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Pilgrim's Progress - Chapter 7

I saw in my dream that Christian went forth not alone; for there was one whose name was Hopeful (being so made by looking upon Christian and Faithful in their words and behavior while suffering at the fair), who joined him. Thus one died to show faithfulness to the truth, and another rose out of his ashes to be a companion with Christian in his pilgrimage. This Hopeful also told Christian that there were many more of the men in the fair that would take their time and follow after.

BY-ENDS OF FAIR SPEECH

So I saw that, quickly after they were got out of the fair, they overtook one that was going before them whose name was By-ends; so they said to him, “What countryman, sir? And how far go you this way?” He told them that he came from the town of Fair-speech, and he was going to the Celestial city; but told them not his name.

CHRISTIAN:  From Fair-speech! do any who are good live there?

BY-ENDS:   Yes, I hope.

CHRISTIAN:   Pray, sir, what may I call you?

BY-ENDS:   I am a stranger to you, and you to me: if you be going this way, I shall be glad of your company; if not, I must be content.

CHRISTIAN:   This town of Fair-speech, I have heard of; and they say it’s a wealthy place.

BY-ENDS:   Yes, I assure you that it is; and I have many rich kindred there.

CHRISTIAN:   Pray, who are your kindred there? if I may be so bold as to ask.

BY-ENDS:   Almost the whole town; but in particular my Lord Turnabout, my Lord Timeserver, my Lord Fair-speech, from whose ancestors that town first took its name; also Mr. Smooth-man, Mr. Facing-both-ways, Mr. Anything; and our parson, Mr. Two-tongues.

CHRISTIAN:   Are you a married man?

BY-ENDS:   Yes, and my wife is Lady Feigning’s daughter: therefore she came of a very honorable family. ‘Tis true we somewhat differ in religion from those of the stricter sort, yet but in two small points: First, we never strive against wind and tide; secondly, we are always most zealous when Religion is well dressed and goes in his silver slippers; we love much to walk with him in the street if the sun shines and the people praise him.

Then Christian stepped a little aside to his friend Hopeful, saying, “I think that this is By-ends, of Fair-speech; and if it be he, we have as great a rascal in our company as lives in all these parts. I will ask him.”

So Christian came up with him again, and said, “Sir, is not your name Mr. By-ends, of Fair-speech?”

BY-ENDS:   This is not my name; but a nickname that is given me by some that cannot abide me.

CHRISTIAN:   But did you never give a cause to men to call you by that name?

BY-ENDS:   Never, never! The worst that ever I did to give them a cause to call me this name was that I had always the luck to jump with the turning of the tide, and to gain thereby.

CHRISTIAN:   I thought, indeed, that you were the man that I heard of; now, if you go with us, you must go against wind and tide; you must also own Religion in his rags, as well as in his silver slippers; and stand by him, too, when bound in irons, as well as when he walks the streets with applause.

BY-ENDS:   You must not lord it over my faith; leave it to my liberty, and let me go with you.

CHRISTIAN:   Not a step farther, unless you will do what I say, as we do.

BY-ENDS:   “I never desert my old principles, since they are harmless and profitable. If I may not go with you, I must do as I did before you overtook me, even go by myself, until some overtake me that will be glad of my company.”

THE FRIENDS OF MR. BY-ENDS

I saw in my dream that Christian and Hopeful forsook him, and went on their way. But one of them, looking back, saw three men following Mr. By-ends. Their names were Mr. Hold-the-world, Mr. Money-love, and Mr. Save-all; men who, when boys, had been school fellows with Mr. By-ends. They were taught by Mr. Gripe-man, a schoolmaster in Love-gain, which is a market town in the county of Coveting, in the North. This schoolmaster taught them the art of getting, wither by violence, cheating, flattery, lying, or by putting on a pretense of religion.

Mr. Money-love said to Mr. By-ends, “Who are they upon the road before us?” for Christian and Hopeful were yet within view.

BY-ENDS:   They are a couple of far countrymen that are going on a pilgrimage.

MONEY-LOVE:   Alas! why did they not wait, so that we might have had their good company?

BY-ENDS:   These men are so rigid, and love so much their own notions, and care so little for the opinions of others, that, let a man be ever so godly, yet, if he agrees not with them in all things, they thrust him out of their company.

SAVE-ALL:   That is bad; but we read of some that are righteous overmuch. But, what matters were there wherein you differed?

BY-ENDS:   Why, they feel they must journey in all weathers; and I am for waiting for wind and tide. They risk all for God any time; and I am for taking all advantages to secure my life and property. They are for holding their notions, though all other men be against them; but I am for Religion in so far as the times and my safety suit it. They are for Religion when in rags and contempt; but I am for him when he walks in his golden slippers, in the sunshine, and with applause.

HOLD-THE-WORLD:   For my part, I can count him a fool, that, having the liberty to keep what he has, shall be so unwise as to lose it. Let us be wise as serpents. It is best to make hay while the sun shines. You see how the bee lieth still all winter, and bestirs her only when she can have profit and pleasure. God sends sometimes rain and sometimes sunshine; if they be such fools to go through the rain, yet let us be content to take fair weather along with us.

Abraham and Solomon grew rich in religion; and Job says that “a good man should lay up gold as dust”; but he must not be such as the men before us, if they be as you have described them.

SAVE-ALL:   I think that we are all agreed that it is a wise and good plan to become religious so as to get all you can thereby.

And so these four men, Mr. By-ends, Mr. Money-love, Mr. Save-all, and old Mr. Hold-the-world, walked on together, while Christian and Hopeful were far in advance. They were so sure they were right in this matter that they called to Christian and Hopeful, in order to put the question to them.

So they stopped and when these four men had come up, Mr. Hold-the-world asked Christian and Hopeful about the matter in question.

CHRISTIAN:   Your question is so simple that even a babe in Christ could answer it. Religion is not for the purpose of getting and enjoying this world. One does not have to become religious for that. No true Christian follows Christ for the loaves and fishes. Only heathen, hypocrites, devils, and witches are of that opinion.

Judas was of that kind of religion. He held the money-bag, so that he might have what was in it, for he was a thief. But he was lost, cast out, forsaken, and became the son of perdition.

At this answer they stood staring at one another but did not know what to say. Hopeful said he thought Christian was right. So there was a long silence among them.  Then Christian and Hopeful went on ahead, and Christian said, “If these men cannot stand before the word of men like you and me, what will they do when they stand before the judgment bar of god almighty?”

Then Christian and Hopeful went on till they came to a delicate plain, called Ease, where they went with much content; but that plain was so narrow they quickly got over it. Now at the farther side of that plain was a little hill, called Lucre, and in that hill a silver mine. Some of them that had formerly gone that way, because of the rarity of it, had turned aside to see this, but going too near the brink of the pit, the ground gave way, and, falling in, they were slain; some also had been maimed there and could not to their dying day be themselves again.

CHRISTIAN MEETS DEMAS

Then I saw in my dream that a little off the road, over against the silver mine, stood Demas (gentleman-like) to call to passengers to come and see; who said to Christian and his fellow, “Ho! turn aside hither, and I will show you a thing.”

CHRISTIAN:   What thing so important as to turn us out of the way?

DEMAS:   Here is a silver mine, and some digging in it for treasure; if you will come, with a little trouble you may get rich.

HOPEFUL:   Let us go see.

CHRISTIAN:   Not I. I have heard of this place before now, and how many there have been slain; and besides, that treasure is a snare to those that seek it.

Then Christian called to Demas, saying, “Is not the place dangerous? Hath it not hindered many in their pilgrimage?”

DEMAS.   Not very dangerous, except to those that are careless. But he blushed as he spoke.

Then said Christian to Hopeful, “Let us not stir a step, but still keep on our way.”

Then Demas called out again, saying, “But will you not come over and see?”

Then Christian roundly answered, saying, “Demas, you are an enemy to the right ways of the Lord of this way, and have been already condemned for turning aside. Why do you seek to lead us into the same trouble?”

Demas cried again that he also was a pilgrim and that if they would tarry a little, he would join them.

CHRISTIAN:   What is your name? Is it not Demas?

DEMAS:   Yes, my name is Demas; I am the son of Abraham.

CHRISTIAN:   I know you; Gehazi was your great-grandfather, and Judas your father, and you have trod in their steps. It is but a devilish prank that you play. Your father was hanged for a traitor, and you deserve no better reward. So they went on their way.

THE END OF MR. BY-ENDS

By this time by-ends and his companions were come again within sight, and they at the first call went over to Demas. Now, whether they fell into the pit by looking over the brink, or whether they went down to dig, or whether they were smothered in the bottom by the damps that commonly arise, of these things I am not certain; but this I observed, that they never were seen again in the way. Then sang Christian:

“By-ends and silver Demas both agree;
One calls: the other runs, that he may be
A sharer in his lucre; so these two
Take up in this world, and no farther go.”

RIVER OF THE WATER OF LIFE

I saw, then, that they went on their way to a pleasant river, which David the king called “the river of God,” but john, “the river of the water of life.” Now their way lay along the bank of this river; here, therefore, Christian and his companion walked with great delight; they drank also of the water of the river, which was pleasant and enlivening to their weary spirits.

On the banks of this river on either side were green trees that bore all manner of fruit; and the leaves they ate to prevent illness, especially such diseases as befall pilgrims in their travels. On either side of the river was also a meadow, curiously beautified with lilies, and green all the year long. In this meadow they lay down and slept, for here they might lie down safely. When they awoke, they gathered again the fruit of the trees and drank again of the water of the river, and they lay down again to sleep. This they did several days and nights. Then they sang:

“Behold ye, how these crystal streams do glide,
To comfort pilgrims by the highway-side;
The meadows green, besides their fragrant smell,
Yield dainties for them; and he who can tell
What pleasant fruit, yea, leaves, these trees do yield,
Will soon sell all, that he may buy this field.”

So when they were disposed to go on (for they were not as yet at their journey’s end) they ate and drank, and departed.

BY-PATH MEADOW

Now, I beheld in my dream that they had not journeyed far until the river and the way for a time parted, at which they were very sorry; for the way away from the river was rough and hurt their feet. As they went on, they wished for a smoother path.

A little before them there was, at the left of the road, a meadow, and a stile to go over into it, and that meadow is called By-path Meadow. Then said Christian to his fellow, “If this meadow lies along by our wayside, let’s go over it.” Then he went to the stile to see; and the path lay along by the way of the other side of the fence. “It is according to my wish,” said Christian; “here is the easiest going. Come, good Hopeful, and let us go over.”

HOPEFUL:   But what if this path should lead us out of the way?

CHRISTIAN:   That is not likely. Look, does it not go along by the wayside?

VAIN-CONFIDENCE

Hopeful, being persuaded by Christian, followed him over the stile. When they were over, and were into the path, they found it very easy to their feet. Looking before them they saw a man walking as they did, and his name was Vain-Confidence; so they called after him, and asked him whither that way led. He said, “To the Celestial Gate.”

“Look,” said Christian, “did not I tell you so? By this you may see we are right.” So they followed, and he went before them. But the night came on, and it grew very dark; so they that were behind lost sight of him that went before. He, therefore, that went before (Vain-confidence by name) not seeing the way before him, fell into a deep pit, which was on purpose there made by the prince of those grounds to catch careless fools, and he was dashed in pieces by his fall.

Now Christian and his friend heard him fall. So they called to know the matter; but there was none to answer, only they heard a groaning.

Then said Hopeful, “Where are we now?” But Christian was silent, knowing that he had led him out of the way. Then it began to rain, and thunder, and lightning in a most dreadful manner, and the water began to rise.

Then Hopeful groaned, saying, “O that I had kept on my way!”

CHRISTIAN:   Who could have thought that this path would lead us out of the way?

HOPEFUL:   I was afraid at first, and therefore gave you that gentle caution. I would have spoken plainer, but you are older than I.

CHRISTIAN:   Good brother, be not offended. I am very sorry I have put thee into such great danger. Forgive me: I did not do it with any evil intent.

HOPEFUL:   Be comforted, my brother, for I forgive thee, and believe, too, that this shall be for our good.

CHRISTIAN:   I am glad I have with me a merciful brother; but we must not stand still; let us try to go back again.

HOPEFUL:   But, good brother, let me go before.

CHRISTIAN:   No, let me go first, that, if there be any danger, I may be first to meet it, because by me we both lost the way.

HOPEFUL:   No, you shall not go first; for your mind being troubled may lead you out of the way again.

Then for their encouragement they heard the voice of one saying, “Let thine heart be toward the highway, even the way that thou wentest; turn again.”

Now, the waters were greatly risen, and the way back was very dangerous. It is always easier going out of the way when we are in, than going back when we are out of it. Yet they undertook to go back; but it was so dark, and the flood was so high, that they like to have been drowned nine or ten times.

Neither could they, with all the skill they had, get back to the stile that night. So, at last finding a little shelter, they sat down there until daybreak; but, being weary, they fell asleep.

DOUBTING CASTLE

Now, there was, not far from the place where they lay, a castle, called Doubting Castle, the owner whereof was Giant Despair, and it was in his grounds they now were sleeping.

Next morning, while walking very early about his grounds, the Giant caught Christian and Hopeful still asleep. Then, with a grim and surly voice, he bade them awake, and asked then whence they were, and what they did in his grounds. They told him they were pilgrims and had lost their way.

Then said the Giant, “You have this night trespassed in my grounds, and therefore you must go along with me.” So they were forced to go, because he was stronger than they. They had also but little to say, for they knew they were in fault.

The giant drove them before him and put them into his castle, into a dark dungeon, nasty and evil smelling to the spirits of these two men. Here they lay from Wednesday morning till Saturday night, without on bit of bread or drop of drink, or light, or any to ask how they did; they were, therefore, here in a bad fix. Christian had double sorrow, because it was through his thoughtless haste that they were brought into this distress.

Now, Giant Despair had a wife, whose name was Diffidence. So, when he was gone to bed, he told his wife what he had done; to wit, that he had taken a couple of prisoners and cast them into his dungeon for trespassing on his grounds. Then he asked her what to do further with them. She advised him that next morning, he should beat them without any mercy. So, when he arose, he took a great crab-tree cudgel, and went to their dungeon.

First, he began to abuse them as if they were dogs, although they had never spoken harshly to him. Then he beat them fearfully, so that they were not able to help themselves, or even turn on the floor. After this, he left them there to sorrow over their misery and to mourn under their distress. So all that day they spent their time in nothing but sighs and bitter grief. The next night she, talking with her husband about them, advised him to tell them to take their own lives.

On the next morning, he went to them with surly manner, and told them that, since they were likely never to come out of that place, their only way would be to make an end of themselves, either with knife, halter, or poison. “For why,” said he, “should you choose life, seeing it is attended with so much bitterness?” But they desired him to let them go.

Then, he rushed to them and had doubtless made an end of them himself, but he fell into one of his fits (for he sometimes, in sunshiny weather, fell into fits), and lost for a time the use of his hands. So he left them as before to consider what to do. Then did the prisoners consult between themselves, whether it was best to take his advice or no; and thus they spoke:

CHRISTIAN:   Brother, what shall we do? The life we now live is miserable. For my part, I know not whether is best, to live thus, or to die out of hand. “My soul chooseth strangling rather than life, and the grave is more easy for me than this dungeon.” Shall we be ruled by the giant?

HOPEFUL:   Indeed, our present condition is dreadful; and death would be far more welcome to me than to live on here. But yet, let us think: the Lord of the country to which we are going hath said, “Thou shalt do no murder,” no, not to another man’s person; much more, then, are we forbidden to take his advice to kill ourselves. And, as for ease in the grave, hast thou forgotten the hell, whither, for certain, the murderers go? for, no murderer hath eternal life.”

Who knows but that God, who made the world, may cause Giant Despair to die? or that, at some time or other, he may forget to lock us in? or that he may, in short time, have another of his fits before us, and he may lose the use of his limbs? I am resolved to pluck up the heart of a man, and try my utmost to get from under his bond. Let us be patient and endure awhile; the time may come that may give us a happy release; but let us not be our own murderers.

With these words, Hopeful at present did calm the mind of his brother; so they continued together in the dark that day, in their sad and doleful condition.

Well, towards evening, the giant went down into the dungeon again, to see if his prisoners had taken his counsel. But, when he came there, he found them alive; and truly, alive was all; for now, what for want of bread and water, and by reason of the wounds they received when he beat them, they could do little but breathe. Yet, he fell into a terrible rage, and told them that, seeing they had disobeyed his counsel, it should be worse with them than if they had never been born.

At this they trembled greatly, and I think Christian fell into a swoon; but, coming a little to himself again, they renewed their discourse about the giant’s advice and whether yet they had best to take it or no. Now, Christian again seemed for doing it; but Hopeful made his second reply as followeth:

HOPEFUL:   My brother, remember how brave you have been. Apollyon could not crush you, nor could all the terrors of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Remember how you played the man at Vanity Fair, and were neither afraid of the chain, nor cage, nor yet of bloody death. Let us, to avoid the same that is unbecoming to a Christian, bear up with patience as well as we can.

That night, the old giant and his wife renewed their talking of their prisoners; and the old giant wondered that he could neither by his blows nor counsel bring them to death. And, with that, his wife replied, “I fear that they live in hope that some will come to relieve them; or that they have pick-locks about them, by the means of which they hope to escape.”  “And sayest thou so, my dear?” said the giant: “I will therefore search them in the morning.”

That night, about midnight, they began to pray, and continued in prayer till almost break of day.

Then, a little before day, good Christian said, “What a fool am I to lie in a foul-smelling dungeon, when I may as well walk in liberty! I have a key in my bosom called Promise, that will, I am sure, open any lock in Doubting Castle.

Then said Hopeful, “That is good news, good brother: pluck it out of thy bosom, and try.”

USING THE KEY OF PROMISE

Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try the dungeon door, whose bolt gave back, and the door flew open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out. Then he went to the outward door that leads into the castle yard, and with his key opened that door also. After, he went to the iron gate, for that must be opened too; that lock, though exceedingly hard, yet finally opened.

Then they thrust open the gate to make their escape with speed but that gate as it opened, made such a creaking, that it waked Giant Despair who, hastily rising to pursue his prisoners, felt his limbs to fail; for his fits took him again, so that he could by no means go after them. Then they went on, and came to the King’s highway again, and so were safe because they were out of Giant Despair’s rule.

When over the stile, they agreed to build there a pillar, and to engrave upon the side this sentence: “Over this  stile is the way to Doubting Castle, which is kept by Giant Despair, who despiseth the King of the Celestial Country, and seeks to destroy His holy pilgrims.”

Many pilgrims afterwards read this warning and escaped the danger.

Going on their way, the pilgrims sang as follows:

“Out of the way we went, and then we found
What ‘twas to tread upon forbidden ground:
And let them that come after have a care,
Less heedlessness make them as we to fare;
Lest they for trespassing his prisoners are
Whose Castle’s Doubting, and whose name’s Despair.”

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 28:15

As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.