time ago been acquainted with one Mr. FEARING, a pilgrim?

Feebl. Acquainted with him! yes: he came from the town of STUPIDITY, which lies four degrees northward of the city of DESTRUCTION, and as many off of where I was born; yet we were well acquainted, for indeed he was my uncle, my father's brother; he and I have been much of a temper: he was a little shorter than I, but yet we were much of a coinplexion.

Hon. I perceive you know him; and I am apt to believe also, that you were related one to another, for you

have his whitely look, a cast like his with your eye, and

your speech is much alike. Feebl. Most have said so, that have known us both; and, besides, what I have read in him, I have for the most part found in myself.

· Come, Sir, said good Gaius, be of good chear, you are welcome to me, and to my house, and what thou hast a mind to, call for freely; and what thou wouldest have my servants do for thee, they will do it with a ready mind.

Then said Mr. FEEBLE-MIND, This is an unexpected favour, and as the sun shining out of a very dark cloud. Did giant SLAY-GOOD intend me this favour when he stopt me, and resolved to let me go no further? Did he intend, that after he had rifled my pocket, I should go to “ Gaius mine host ?" Yet so it is.

Now just as Mr. FEEBLE-MIND and Gaius were thus in talk, there comes one running, and called at the door, and told, that about a mile and a half off



there was one Mr. Not-RIGHT, a pilgrim, struck dead

upon the place where he was, with a thunderbolt. Alas! said Mr. FEEBLE-MIND, is he slain ? He overtook me some days before I came so far as hither, and would be my company-keeper : he also was with me when SLAY-Good the giant took me, but he was nimble of his heels, and escaped: but, it seems, he escaped to die, and I was took to live.

• What, one would think, doth seek to slay outright,
Oft-times delivers from the saddest plight.
That very providence, whose face is death,
Doth oft-times, to the lowly, life bequeath.
I taken was, he did escape and flee:
Hands cross'd give death to him, and life to me.'

[ocr errors]

Now about this time MATTHEW and MERCY were married: also Gaius gave his daughter PHEBE to JAMES, Matthew's brother, to wife. After which time they staid about ten days at Gaius's house; spending their time, and the seasons, like as pilgrims used to do.

When they were to depart, GAIUS made them a feast, and they did eat and drink, and were merry. Now the hour was come that they must be gone; wherefore Mr. GREAT-HEART called for a reckoning. But Gaius told him, that at his house it was not the custom of pilgrims to pay for their entertainment. He boarded them by the year, but looked for his pay from the Good Samaritan, who had promised him, at his return, whatsoever charge he was at with them, ,




faithfully to repay him? Then said Mr. GREATHEART to him," Beloved, thou doest faithfully, “ whatsoever thou doest to the brethren and to “ strangers, which have borne witness of thy charity “ before the church, whom if thou yet bring for$c ward on their journey, after a godly sort, thou 66 shalt do well?."

Then Gaius took his leave of them all, and his children, and particularly of Mr. FEEBLE-MIND: he also gave him something to drink by the way.

Now Mr. FEEBLE-MIND, when they were going out at the door, made as if he intended to linger. The which when Mr. GREAT-HEART spied, he said,

Come, Mr. FEEBLE-MIND, pray do you go along • with us, I will be your conductor, and you shall • fare as the rest.'

FEE. Alas! I want a suitable companion ; you are all lusty and strong; but I, as you see, am weak; I choose therefore rather to come behind, lest by reason of my many infirmities, I should be both a burden to myself and to you. I am, as I said, a man of a weak and a feeble mind, and shall be offended and made weak at that which others can bear. I shall like no laughing: I shall like no gay attire: I shall like no unprofitable questions. Nay, I am so weak a man, as to be offended with that which others have a liberty to do. I do not know all the truth: I am a very ignorant christian man: sometimes, if I hear some rejoice in the Lord, it troubles me, because I cannoś

[blocks in formation]


do so too. It is with me, as it is with a weak man among the strong, or as a lamp despised. “ He that “ is ready to slip with his feet, is as a lamp despised in " the thought of him that is at ease"; " so that I know not what to do.

But, brother, said Mr. GREAT-HEART, I have it in commission to " comfort the feeble-minded," and to support the weak. You must needs go along with us; we will wait for you, we will lend you our help; we will deny ourselves of some things, both opinionative and practical, for your sake; we will not enter into “ doubtful disputations” before you ; we will be made all things to you, rather than you shall be left behind,

Now all this while they were at Gaius's door; and behold, as they were thus in the heat of their discourse, Mr. READY-TO-HALT came by, with his crutches in his hand, and he also was going on pilgrimage'.

Then said Mr. FEEBLE-MIND to him, How camest thou hither? I was but now complaining that I had not a suitable companion ; but thou art according to my wish. Welcome, welcome, good Mr. READY-TOHALT, I hope thou and I may be some help.

READY-TO-HALT. I shall be glad of thy company, said the other; and, good Mr. FEEBLE-MIND, rather than we will part, since we are thus happily met, I will lend thee one of my crutches.

Fee. Nay, said he, though I thank thee for thy good-will, I am not inclined to halt before I am lame,

| Job. xii. s.

3 Pl. xxxviii, 17.

2 Rom. xiv. 1 Cor. viii. 1X. 22,

M m m 2



Howbeit, I think, when occasion is, it may help me against a dog.

READY-TO-HALT. If either myself or my crutches can do thee a pleasure, we are both at thy command, good Mr. FEEBLE-MIND. Thus therefore they went on.

Mr. GREAT-HEART and Mr. Honest went before, CHRISTIANA and her children went next, and Mr. FEEBLE-MIND and Mr. READY-TO-HALT came behind with his crutches. Then said Mr. Honest, Pray, Sir, now we are upon the road, tell us some profitable things of some that have gone on pilgrimage before us.

GR.-H. With a good will. I suppose you have heard how CHRISTIAN of old did meet with APOLLyon in the valley of HUMILIATION, and also what hard work he had to go thorough the valley of the SHADOW OF DEATH.' Also I think you cannot but have heard how Faithful was put to it by Madam WANTON, with Adam the First, with one DisconTENT, and SHAME: four as deceitful villains as a man can meet with


the road. · Hon. Yes, I believe I heard of all this: but indeed good Faithful was hardest put to it with SHAME; he was an unwearied one.

GR.-H. Ay: for, as the pilgrim well said, he of all men had the wrong name.

Hon. But pray, Sir, where was it that CHRISTIAN and FAITHFUL met TALKATIVE? that same was a notable one.

GR.-H. He was a confident fool ; yet many follow

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »