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town, and had won a party to their own most dangerous opinions in contempt of the law of Beelzebub, their king.
Faithful replied that he had made no disturbance, being a man of peace, and that the parties which were won to them, were won by beholding their truth and innocence, and that they were turned from worse to better. for the king you talk of,” quoth he, “ since he is Beelzebub, the enemy of our Lord, I defy him, and all his angels."
Then three witnesses appeared against Faithful, Envy, Superstition, and Pickthank. Then stood forth Envy and spake to this effect : “My lord, I have known this man a long time, and will attest on iny oath, before this honourable bench, that he is one of the vilest men in this country. He neither regardeth prince nor people, law nor custom. I. once heard him say that the Christian religion and the customs of our town of Vanity are opposite to each other."
Then did the judge say to him, “Hast thou any more to say ? My lord,” replied Envy, “I could say much more, but I would not be tedious to the court. Yet if it need be when the other gentlemen have given in their evidence, rather than anything shall be wanting to despatch him, I will enlarge my testimony against him.” So he was bid to stand by.
Then they called Superstition, who said: “My lord, I have no great acquaintance with this man, nor do I desire to have further knowledge of him.
However this I know, that he is a very pestilent fellow, from some discourse that the other day I had with him in this town, for he said our religion was nought, and such by which a man could by no means please God."
Then was Pickthank sworn, who said," My lord, and you gentlemen all. This fellow I have known for a long time, and have heard him speak things that ought not to be spoken. He hath railed on our noble king, Beelzebub,and hath spoken base words of his honourable friends, whose names are the Lord Old Man, the Lord Carnal Delight, the Lord Luxurious, the Lord Desire of Vain Glory, my old Lord Lechery, Sir Having Greedy, with all the rest of our nobility. He hath said, moreover, that if all men were of his mind, not one of these noblemen should have any longer a being in this town. Besides, he hath 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 such like terms, with which he has insulted most of the gentry of our town.”
Then the judge said to the prisoner at the bar, " Thou runagate, heretic, and traitor, hast thou heard what these honest gentlemen have witnessed against thee?” Then replied Faithful, “May I speak a few words in my own defence ?” “Sirrah ! sirrah !" returned the judge, “thou deservest to live no longer, but to be slain at once upon this place; yet that all men may see our gentleness towards thee, let us hear what thou, vile runagate: has to say,"
Faithful then replied, that in answer to what Mr. Envy had spoken he had never said anything but this, " That what rule, or law, or customs, oi people, were flat against the word of God are opposite to Christianity!” In answer to Mr. Superstition, he said "that whatever is thrust into the worship of God, that is not agreeable to divine revelation, cannot be done but by a human faith, which faith will not be profitable to eternal life.” Concerning Mr. Pickthank's evidence, he said “that the king of the town of Vanity, with all his rabblement, were more fit for a being in hell than in this town and country."
Then the judge called to the jury: "Gentlemen of the jury, you see this man about whom so great an uproar
hath been made in our town. You have also heard what these worthy gentlemen have witnessed against him; also, you have heard his reply and confession. It lieth now in your breasts to hang him, or to save his life; but yet I think meet to instruct you into our law. “ There was an Act made in the
days of Pharaoh the Great, servant to Prince Beelzebub, that lest those of a contrary religion should multiply and grow too strong for him, their males 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. Now, the substance of these laws this rebel has broken, not only in thought but in deed, which is not to be borne."
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. Highmind, Mr. Enmity, Mr. Liar, Mr. Cruelty, Mr. Have-light, and Mr. Implacable; who, everyone gave in his private verdict against him amongst themselves, and afterwards decided to bring him in guilty before the judge.
And first among themselves, Mr. Blind-man, the foreman, said, "I see clearly that this man is a heretic.” Then said Mr. No-good, “ Away with such a fellow from the earth.” "Aye," said Mr. Malice, “for I hate the very looks of him.” Then said Mr. Love-lust, “I could never endure him." “Nor I," said Mr. Live-loose, “for he would be always condemning my way.”
Hang him! hang him!” said Mr. Heady. A
sorry scrub," said Mr. High-mind. "My heart riseth against him,” said Mr. Enmity. “He is a rogue,” said Mr. Liar. Hanging is too good for him," said Mr. Cruelty. “Let us dispatch him out of the way,” said Mr. Hate-light. Then said Mr. Implacable, “ Might I have all the world given me, I could not be reconciled to him; therefore let us forthwith bring him in guilty of death.” And so they did ; therefore he was at once condemned to be led from the place where he was, to the place from whence he came, and there put to the most cruel death that could be invented.
They therefore brought him out, to do with him according to their law; and first they scourged him, then they buffeted him, then they lanced his flesh with knives, after that they stoned him with stones, then pricked 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 a couple of horses waiting for Faithful, who was taken up in it, and straightway was carried up through the clouds, with sound of trumpet, the nearest way to the Celestial gate.
THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.
There is a reaper whose name is Death,
And with his sickle keen
And the flowers that grow between.
· Have nought but the bearded grain ? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again."
He kissed the drooping leaves ;
He bound them in his sheaves.
The reaper said, and smiled;
Where He was once a child.