« 上一页继续 »
Chr. Nay, my children shall go with me, not one of them is willing to stay behind.
Tim. I wonder in my very heart what or who has brought you into this mind!
Chr. Oh! neighbour, knew you but as much as I do, I doubt not but that you would go with me.
Tim. Pr'ythee, what new knowledge hast thou got, that so vorketh off thy mind from thy friends, and that tempteth thee to go nobody knows where?
Then Christiana replied, I have been sorely afflicted since my husband's departure from me; but especially since he went over the River. But that which troubleth me most is my churlish carriage to him when he was under his distress. Besides, I am now as he was then; nothing will serve me but going on Pilgrimage. I was a-dreaming last night that I saw him. O that my soul was with him! He dwelleth in the presence of the King of the country; he sits and eats with Him at his table; he is become a companion of Immortals, and has a house now given him to dwell in, to which the best palace on earth, if compared, seems to me but as a dunghill. The Prince of the Place has also sent for me, with promise of entertainment, if I shall come to him; his messenger was here even now, and has brought me a Letter, which invites me to come. And with that she plucked out her Letter, and read it, and said to them, What now will you say to this?
Tim. Oh! the madness that has possessed thee and thy husband, to run yourselves upon such difficulties! You have heard, I am sure, what your husband did meet with, even in a manner, at the first step that he took on his way, as our neighbour Obstinate can yet testify, for he went along with him, yea, and Pliable too; until they, like wise men, were afraid to go any farther. We also heard, over and above, how he met with the Lions, Apollyon, the Shadow of Death, and many other things. Nor is the danger he met with at Vanity-Fair to be forgotten by thee: for if he, though a Man, was so hard put to it, what canst thou, being but a poor Woman, do? Consider also that these four sweet babes are thy children, thy flesh and thy bones. Wherefore, though thou shouldst be so rash as to cast away thyself, yet, for the sake of the fruit of thy body, keep thou at home.
The reasonings of the flesh.
But Christiana said unto her, Tempt me not, my neighbour; I have now a prize put into my hands to get gain, and I should be a
*2 Cor. v. 1-3.
fool of the greatest size, if I should have no heart to strike in with the opportunity. And for that you tell me of all these troubles that I am like to meet with in the way, they are so far off from A pertinent reply being to me a discouragement, that they show I to fleshly reason- am in the right. "The bitter must come before ing. the sweet," and that also will make the sweet the sweeter. Wherefore, since you came not to my house in God's name, as I said, I pray you to be gone, and not to disquiet me farther.
Then Timorous all-to-reviled her, and said to her fellow, Come, neighbour Mercy, let us leave her in her own hands, since she scorns our counsel and company. But Mercy was at a stand, and could not so readily comply with her neighbour, and that for a twofold reason. 1. Her bowels yearned over ChrisMercy's bowels yearn over Christiana. So she said within herself, If my neighbour will needs be gone, I will go a little way with her, and help her. 2. Her bowels yearned over her own soul; for what Christiana had said had taken some hold upon her mind. Wherefore she said within herself again, I will yet have more talk with this Christiana, and if I find truth and life in what she shall say, myself with my heart shall also go with her. Wherefore Mercy began thus to reply to her neighbour Timorous:
Mercy. Neighbour, I did indeed come with you to see Christiana this morning; and since she is, as you see, a taking of her last farewell of her country, I think to walk this sunshiny morning a little with her to help her on her way. But she told her not of her second reason, but kept it to herself.
Tim. Well, I see you have a mind to go a-fooling too; but take heed in time, and be wise: while we are out of danger, we are Timorous forsakes out; but when we are in, we are in. So Mrs. her, but Mercy Timorous returned to her house, and Christiana cleaves to her. betook herself to her journey. But when Timorous was got home to her house, she sends for some of her neighbours, to wit, Mrs. Bat's-eyes, Mrs. Inconsiderate, Mrs. Lightmind, and Mrs, Know-nothing. So when they her friends what were come to her house, she falls to telling of the the good Christiana story of Christiana, and of her intended journey. intends to do. And thus she began her tale :
Neighbours, having had little to do this morning, I went to give Christiana a visit, and when I came at the door, I knocked, as you know't is our custom; and she answered, "If you come in God's name, come in." So in I went, thinking all was well; but when I came in I found her preparing herself to depart the town, she
and also her children. So I asked her, what was her meaning by that ? and she told me in short, That she was now of a mind to go on pilgrimage, as did her husband. She told me also of a dream that she had, and how the King of the Country where her husband was had sent her an inviting letter to come thither.
Then said Mrs. Know-nothing, And what! do you think she will go ?
Tim. Ay, go she will, whatever comes on't; and methinks I know it by this;-for that which was my great argument to persuade her to stay at home, (to wit, the troubles she was like to meet with on the way,) is one great argument with her to put her forward on her journey. For she told me, in so many words, "The bitter goes before the sweet; yea, and for as much as it so doth, it makes the sweet the sweeter."
Mrs. Bat's-eyes. Oh! this blind and foolish woman! said she; and will she not take warning by her Husband's afflictions? For my part, I see, if he were here again, he would rest himself content in a whole skin, and never run so many hazards for nothing.
Mrs. Inconsiderate also replied, saying, Away with such fantastical fools from the town; a good riddance, for my part, I say of her. Should she stay where she dwells, and retain this her mind, who could live quietly by her? for she will either be dumpish or unneighbourly, or talk of such matters as no wise body can abide; wherefore, for my part, I shall never be sorry for her departure; let her go, and let better come in her room; 'twas never a good world since these whimsical fools dwelt in it.
Madam Wanton, she that had like to
have been too hard for Faithful, in time past.
Then Mrs. Light-mind added as followeth: Come, put this kind of talk away. I was yesterday at Madam Wanton's, where we were as merry as the Maids. For who do you think should be there, but I and Mrs. Love-the-flesh, and three or four more, with Mrs. Lechery, Mrs. Filth, and some others; so there we had music and dancing, and what else was meet to fill up the pleasure. And I dare say my lady herself is an admirably well-bred gentlewoman, and Mr. Lechery is as pretty a fellow. By this time Christiana was got on her way, and Mercy went along with her. So as they went, her children be
ing there also, Christiana began to discourse. And Mercy and good Mercy, said Christiana, I take this as an unexpected
favour, that thou shouldst set forth out of doors with me, to accompany me a little in my way.
Mercy inclines to
[Christiana, her children, and Mercy, set off.]
Then said young Mercy, (for she was out young,) if I thought it would be to purpose to go with you, I would never go near the Town any more. Well, Mercy, said Christiana, cast in thy lot with me; I well know what will be the end of our pilgrimage. My husband is where he would not but be for all the gold in the Spanish mines; nor shalt thou be rejected, though thou goest but upon my invitation. The King, who hath sent for me and my children, is one that delighteth in mercy. Besides, if thou wilt, I will hire thee, and thou shalt go along with me as my servant; yet we will have all things in common betwixt thee and me; only go along with me. Mercy. But how shall I be ascertained that I also shall be entertained? Had I this hope but from one that can tell, I would make no stick at all,
Mercy doubts of acceptance.
but would go, being helped by Him that can help, though the way was never so tedious.
her to the Gate, which is Christ, and promises there
to inquire for her.
Chr. Well, loving Mercy, I will tell thee what thou shalt do: go with me to the Wicket-Gate, and there I will further inquire for thee; and if there thou shalt not meet with encouragement, I will be content that thou return to thy place; I will also pay thee for thy kindness which thou showest to me and my children in the accompanying of us in our way as thou dost. Mercy. Then will I go thither, and will take Mercy prays. what shall follow; and the Lord grant that my lot may there fall, even as the King of heaven shall have his heart upon me.
Christiana glad of
Christiana then was glad at her heart, not only that she had a companion, but also for that she had Mercy's company. prevailed with this poor Maid to fall in love with
her own salvation. So they went on together, and Mercy began to weep. Then said Christiana, Wherefore weepeth my sister so? Alas! said she, who can but lament that shall Mercy grieves for but rightly consider what a state and condition my her carnal rela poor relations are in, that yet remain in our sinful tions. Town? And that which makes my grief the more heavy is, because they have no instructer, nor any to tell them what is to come. Chr. Bowels become Pilgrims: and thou dost weep for thy friends, as my good Christian did for me when he left me; mourned for that I would not heed nor regard him; Christian's pray. but his Lord and ours did gather up his tears, and put them into His bottle; and now both I and thou, and these my sweet babes, are reaping the fruit and benefit of them. I hope, Mercy, that these tears of thine will not be lost; for the Truth hath said, that "they that sow in tears shall reap in joy; and he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."*
Then said Mercy :
Let the most Blessed be my guide,
If it be His blessed will,
Unto his gate, into his fold,
Up to his Holy Hill.
And let Him never suffer me
To swerve or turn aside
From his Free Grace and holy Ways,
Whate'er shall me betide.
• Psalm cxxvi. 5, 6.
ers were answered
for his relations after he was dead.