When they were almost out of this wilderness,
Faithful chanced to glance back and espied one coming after him,
and he knew him.
EVANGELIST JOINS THEM
“Oh!” said Faithful, “who comes yonder?” Then
Christian looked, and said, “It is my good friend Evangelist.”
“Ay, and my good friend, too,” said Faithful; “for it was he
that set me in the way to the gate.” Now was Evangelist come up
unto them, and this saluted them:
EVANGELIST. Peace be with you, dearly
CHRISTIAN. Welcome, welcome, good
Evangelist. To see you brings to my thought your former kindness
and unwearied laboring for my eternal good.
FAITHFUL. And a thousand times
welcome! thy company, O Evangelist, how desirable is it to us
EVANGELIST. How has it been with you,
my friend, since our last parting? What have you met with, and
how have you behaved yourselves?
Then Christian and Faithful told him of all
things that had happened to them in the way; and how, and with
what difficulty, they had arrived to that place.
EVANGELIST. Right glad am I, not that
you met with trials, but that you have been victors, and that
you have continued in the way to this very day.
The crown is before you, and it is an
incorruptible one: so run that you may obtain it. Some there be
that set out for this crown and, after they have gone far for
it, another comes in and takes it from them. “Hold fast,
therefore, that you have; let no man take your crown.”
Now, as you see, you are almost out of this
wilderness. You will soon come into a town where you will be
beset by enemies, who will try hard to kill you; one or both of
you must seal the truth which you hold with blood. But be you
faithful unto death, and the King will give you a crown or life.
THE PILGRIMS AT VANITY FAIR
Then I saw in my dreams, that, when they were out
of the wilderness, they presently saw a town before them, and
the name of that town is Vanity; and at the town there is a fair
kept, called Vanity Fair. It is kept all the year long. It bears
the name of Vanity Fair, because the town where it is kept is
lighter that vanity, and also because all that is sold there, or
that comes there, is vanity; as is the saying of the Wise, “All
that cometh is vanity.”
This is no newly begun business, but a thing of
ancient standing. I will show you the original of it.
Almost five thousand years ago, there were
pilgrims walking to the Celestial
city, as these as these two honest persons are; and
Beelzebub, Apollyon, and Legion, with their companions seeing
that the path of the pilgrims lay through this town of Vanity,
set up a fair; a fair where they would see all sorts of vanity,
and it should last all the year long. Therefore at this fair are
all such things sold as houses, lands, trades, places, honors,
preferments, titles, countries, kingdoms, lusts, pleasures, and
delights of all sorts, as wives, husbands, children, masters,
servants, lives, blood, bodies, souls, silver, gold, pearls,
precious stones, and what not.
At this fair there are at all times to be seen
jugglings, cheats, games, plays, fools, apes, knaves, and
rogues, and that of every kind.
Also, there are several rows and streets under
their proper names, where such and such wares are sold, such as
Britain Row, the French Row, the Italian row, the Spanish Row,
the German Row, where several sorts of vanities are to be sold.
Also the wares of Rome are greatly promoted in this fair.
Now, as I said, the way to the Celestial
city lies through the town where this lusty fair is kept.
Even the Prince of princes Himself, when here, went through this
town to his own
country, and that upon a fair day too. It was Beelzebub, the
chief lord of this fair, that invited Him to buy of his
vanities; Beelzebub would have made Him lord of the fair, had He
but have done him reverence. Because He was such a person of
honor, Beelzebub led Him from street to street, and showed Him
all the kingdoms of the world in a little time, that he might,
if possible, allure that Blessed One to ask for and buy some of
his vanities; but He gave no mind to the merchandise.
Now, Christian and Faithful, as I said, must
needs go through this fair. Well, so they did; but as they
entered into the fair, all the people were moved and the town
itself, as it were, in a hubbub about them, and that for several
reasons; for their garments were very different from the kind
sold at the fair; their speech was also strange since they spoke
the language of Canaan. But, most of all the pilgrims took no
interest in the goods offered for sale. They would not even look
at them, and when called upon to buy, they would put their
fingers in their ears, and cry, “Turn away mine eyes from
beholding vanity,” and look upward, signifying that their trade
and traffic were in heaven.
One trader mockingly said unto them, “What will
you buy?” But they, looking gravely upon him, said, “We buy the
truth.” At that the pilgrims were taunted and mocked and some
even threatened to strike them.
At last things came to a hubbub and great stir in
the fair, insomuch that all order was gone. Word was sent to the
great one of the fair, who quickly came down, and ordered his
most trusty friends to take these men for trial, because the
fair was almost overturned.
THE PILGRIMS ON TRIAL
So they were brought to trial, and asked whence
they came, whither they went, and what they did there in such
unusual garb. The men told them that they were pilgrims and
going to their own country, which was the heavenly Jerusalem.
That they had given no occasion to the men of the town, nor to
the merchants, to abuse them and hinder them in their journey,
except when one asked them what they would buy, they said they
would buy the truth.
But they that examined
them believed them to be crazy people and mad, or else such as
came to put all things into a confusion in the fair. Therefore
they took them and beat them, and besmeared them with dirt, and
then put them into a cage, that they might be made a spectacle
to all the men of the fair.
There they lay for some
time, and were made the objects of any man’s sport, or malice,
or revenge; the great one of the fair laughing still at all that
befell them. But the pilgrims were patient and returned good
words for bad, until some men in the fair that were more
observing and less opposed than the rest, began to blame the
more cruel sort for their continual abuses to the men. And so,
after angry words had passed on both sides (the pilgrims
behaving themselves all the while very wisely and soberly before
them) they fell to some blows, and did harm to one another.
THE PILGRIMS IN STOCKS
Then the pilgrims were brought before the court
again, and charged with being guilty of the late hubbub that had
been in the fair. So they beat them pitifully, clamped irons on
them, and led them in chains up and down the fair, for an
example and terror to others, lest any should speak in their
behalf, or join themselves unto them. But Christian and Faithful
behaved themselves yet more wisely, and received the wrongs and
shame that were cast upon them with so much meekness and
patience, that it won to their side (though but few in
comparison with the rest) several of the men in the fair. This
put the other party in a greater rage, so that they resolved
upon the death of these two men. So they put them in the cage
again and made their feet fast in the stocks.
The pilgrims then remembered what their friend
Evangelist had said, and comforted each other, committing
themselves to Him that ruleth all things. So, with much content,
they abode in this condition until otherwise disposed of.
FAITHFUL FACES DEATH
After a while they were brought before their enemies, and place
on trial. The judge’s name was Lord Hategood. The charges
against both were the same in substance, though somewhat varying
in form; the contents whereof were: “That they were disturbers
of their trade; that they had made riots and divisions in the
town, and had won a party to their own most dangerous opinions,
in contempt of the law of their prince.”
The Faithful said that he had opposed those only
who were against Him who is higher than the highest. “As for
disturbances,” said he, “I make none, being a man of peace. The
parties that were won to us were won by beholding our truth and
innocence, and they are only turned from worse to better. As to
the king you talk of, since he is Beelzebub, the enemy of our
Lord, I defy him and all his angels.”
Then it was ordered that all who had anything to
say for the lord the king against the prisoner at the bar should
appear and give their evidence. So there came in three
witnesses: Envy, Superstition, and Pickthank..
they were then asked if they knew the prisoner at the
bar, and what they had to say for their lord the king against
Then stood forth Envy, and said, “My lord, I have
known this man a long time and, notwithstanding his name,
Faithful, he is one of the vilest men in our country. He cares
for neither prince nor people, law nor custom, but does all that
he can to win men to certain of his disloyal notions, which he
calls principles of faith and holiness. And I heard him once
affirm that Christianity and the customs of our town of Vanity
were opposite, and could not be reconciled. By which saying, my
lord, he at once condemned not only all our laudable doings, but
also us in the doing of them.”
Then they called Superstition and asked what he
could say for their lord the king against the prisoner. So he
SUPERSTITION. My lord, I have no
great acquaintance with this man, nor do I desire to have.
However, I know that he is a very pestilent fellow. I heard him
say that our religion was such that it could by no means please
God. Which saying of his, my lord, means that we worship in vain
and finally shall be damned.
Then Pickthank was told to say what he knew
against the prisoner at the bar.
PICKTHANK. My lord, this fellow I
have known a long time, and have heard him rail on our noble
prince Beelzebub, and speak contemptuously of his honorable
friends, whose names are, the Lord Old-man, the Lord
Carnal-Delight, the Lord Luxurious, the Lord
Desire-of-Vain-Glory, my old Lord Lust, Sir Having Greedy, with
all the rest of our nobility.
Besides, he has not been afraid to rail on you,
my lord, who are now appointed to be his judge, calling you an
ungodly villain, with many other abusive terms.
JUDGE. When Pickthank had told his
tale, the judge said to the prisoner a the bar, “Runagate,
heretic, and traitor! Have you heard what these honest gentlemen
FAITHFUL. May I speak a few words in
my own defense?
JUDGE. Sir, you deserve to live no
longer, but to be slain immediately; yet, that all men may see
our gentleness toward you, let us hear what you, vile runagate,
have to say.
FAITHFUL. I say, then, in answer to
what Mr. Envy said, I only said this: that what rule, or laws,
or customs, or people were flat against the Word of God, are
opposite to Christianity. If I am wrong in this, convince me of
my error, and I am ready to take back my words.
As to Mr. Superstition and his charge against me,
I said only this: that in the worship of God there is required
true faith. But there can be no true faith without a knowledge
of the will of God. Therefore, whatever is thrust into the
worship of god
that is not agreeable to the Word of God will not profit to
As to Mr. Pickthank, I say that the prince of
this town, with all his attendants, by this gentleman named, are
more fit for hell than for this town and country. And so the
Lord have mercy upon me!
Then the judge said to the jury (who all this
while stood by to hear and observe), “Gentlemen of the jury, you
see this man about whom this great uproar has been made; you
have also heard what these worthy gentlemen have witnessed
against him; also you have heard his reply and confession. It is
now in your power to hang him or to save his life. But I must
instruct you in our law.
There was an act made in the days of Pharaoh, the
great servant to our prince, that, to prevent those of a
contrary religion from growing too strong for him, their
children should be thrown into the river. There was also an act
made in the days of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, another of his
servants, that whoever would not fall down and worship his
golden image should be thrown into a fiery furnace. There was
also an act made in the days of Darius, that whoso for some time
called upon any god but him should be cast into the lions’ den.
Now, the substance of these laws this rebel has broken, not only
in thought, but also in word and deed, and for the reason that
he hath confessed he deserveth to die the death.
Then went the jury out, whose names were Mr.
Blind-man, Mr. No-good, Mr. Malice, Mr. Love-lust, Mr.
Live-loose, Mr. Heady, Mr. High-mind, Mr. Enmity, Mr. Liar, Mr.
Cruelty, Mr. Hate-light, and Mr. Implacable; every one spoke
privately against him among themselves, and afterwards
unanimously concluded to bring him in guilty before the judge.
FAITHFUL DIES AT THE STAKE
And so they did: therefore
he was presently condemned to be put to the most cruel death
that could be invented.
They brought him out, to do
with him according to their law; and first they scourged him,
then they stoned him, and cut him with their swords, and, last
of all, they burned him to ashes at the stake. Thus came
Faithful to his end.
Now, I saw that there stood
behind the multitude a chariot and horses waiting for Faithful,
who (when his enemies had slain him) was taken up into it, and
carried through the clouds with sound of trumpet to the
But as for Christian, he had
some rest, and was sent back to prison. But He who overrules all
things, having the power of their rage in His own hand, so
brought it about that Christian escaped them, and went his way.
And as he went, he sang, saying:
Faithful, thou hast faithfully professed
Lord, with whom thou shalt be blest,
faithless ones, with all their vain delights,
out under their hellish plights.
Faithful, sing, and let thy name survive;
they killed thee, thou are yet alive.”