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Fulness to such a burden is,
That go on pilgrimage :
Here little, and hereafter bliss,
Is best from age to age."
Then said their guide, Do you hear him? I will dare to say, this boy lives a merrier life, and wears more of that herb called Heart's-ease in his bosom, than he that is clad in silk and velvet! But we will proceed in our discourse.
Christ when in the
flesh had his country-house in the Valley of Humilia
In this Valley our Lord formerly had his country-house. He loved much to be here; he loved also to walk these meadows, for he found the air was pleasant. Besides, here a man shall be free from the noise and from the hurryings of this life. All states are full of noise and confusion; only the Valley of Humiliation is that empty and solitary place. Here a man shall not be so let and hindered in his contemplation, as in other places he is apt to be. This is a Valley that nobody walks in, but those that love a Pilgrim's life. And though Christian had the hard hap to meet here with Apollyon, and to enter with him in a brisk encounter, yet I must tell you, that in former times men have met with angels here; have found pearls here; and have in this place found the Words of Life.t
Did I say, our Lord had here, in former days, his country-house, and that he loved here to walk? I will add, in this place, and to the people that love and trace these grounds, he has left a yearly revenue, to be faithfully paid them at certain seasons, for their maintenance by the way, and for their further encouragement to go on in their pilgrimage.‡
Now, as they went on, Samuel said to Mr. Great-heart, Sir, I perceive that in this Valley my father and Apollyon had their battle; but whereabout was the fight? for I perceive this Valley is large.
Great-heart. Your father had the battle with Apollyon at a place yonder before us, in a narrow passage, just beyond Forgetful-green. And indeed that place is the most dangerous place in all these parts. For if at any time Pilgrims meet with any brunt, it is when they forget what favours they have received, and how unworthy they are of them. This is the place, also, where others have been hard put to it. But more of the place when we are come to it; for I persuade myself, that to this day there remains either some sign of the battle, or some mon. ument to testify that such a battle was fought there.
*Heb. xiii. 5. Phil. iv. 12, 13. † Hos. xii. 4. 5. + Matth. x. 29.
Humility a sweet grace.
Then said Mercy, I think I am as well in this Valley as I have been any where else in all our journey. The place, methinks, suits with my spirit. I love to be in such places, where there is no rattling with coaches, nor rumbling with wheels. Methinks here one may, without much molestation, be thinking what he is, whence he came, what he has done, and to what the King has called him. Here one may think, and break at heart, and melt in one's spirit, until one's eyes become as the "fish pools of Heshbon."* They that go rightly through this valley of Baca make it a well; the rain that God sends down from heaven upon them that are here, "also filleth the pools." This Valley is that from whence also the King will give to his their vineyards; and they that go through it shall sing, as Christian did, for all he met with Apollyon.
'Tis true, said their guide, I have gone through
An experiment of it. this Valley many a time, and never was better than
The place where Christian and the fiend did fight.
when here. I have also been a conductor to several Pilgrims, and they have confessed the same. "To this man will I look, (saith the King,) even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my word." Now they were come to the place where the aforementioned battle was fought. Then said the guide to Christiana, her children, and Mercy, This is the place; on this ground Christian stood, and up there came Apollyon against him. And look, did I not tell you? here is some of your husband's blood upon these stones to this day. Behold, Some signs of the also, how here and there are yet to be seen, upon the place, some of the shivers of Apollyon's broken darts! See also how they did beat the ground with their feet as they fought, to make good their places against each other! how also, with their by-blows, they did split the very stones in pieces! Verily Christian did here play the man, and showed himself as stout as Hercules could, had he been here, even he himself. When Apollyon was beat, he made his retreat to the next valley, that is called the Valley of the Shadow of Death, unto which we shall
A monument of.
Lo! yonder also stands a monument, on which is engraven this battle, and Christian's victory, to his fame throughout all ages. So, because it stood just on the way-side before them, they stepped to it, and read the writing, which, word for word, was this:
Hard by here was a battle fought,
Each other to subdue.
The Man so bravely play'd the Man,
Of which a monument I stand,
The same to testify.
When they had passed by this place, they came upon the borders of the Shadow of Death; and this Valley was longer than the other; a place also most strangely haunted with evil things, as many are able to testify; but these women and children went the better through it, because they had day-light, and because Mr. Great-heart was their conductor.
When they were entered upon this Valley, they thought that they heard a groaning as of dying men; a very great groaning. They thought also they did hear words of lamentation spoken, as of some in extreme torment. These things made the boys to quake; the women also looked pale and wan; but their guide bid them be of good comfort.
The ground shakes.
a kind of a
So they went on a little farther, and they thought that they felt the ground begin to shake under them, as if some hollow place was there: they heard also hissing as of serpents; but nothing as yet appeared. Then said the boys, Are we not yet at the end of this doleful place? But the guide also bid them be of good courage, and look well to their feet, lest haply, said he, you be taken in some snare.
Now James began to be sick; but I think the James sick with cause thereof was fear; so his mother gave him fear.
The fiend appears.
some of that glass of spirits that had been given her at the Interpreter's house, and three of the pills that Mr. Skill had prepared, and the boy began to revive. Thus they went on, till they came to about the middle of the valley; and then Christiana said, Methinks I see something yonder upon the road before us, a thing of a shape such as I have not seen. Then said Joseph, Mother, what is it? An ugly The Pilgrims are thing, child, an ugly thing, said she. But, mother, what is it like? said he. It is like I cannot tell what, said she; and now it is but a little way off. Then said she, it is nigh!
Well, well, said Mr. Great-heart, let them that Great-heart enare most afraid keep close to me. So the Fiend courages them. came on, and the conductor met it; but when it was just come to him, it vanished to all their sights. Then remembered they what
had been said some time ago, "Resist the devil, and he will flee
They went therefore on, as being a little refreshed; but they had not gone far before Mercy, looking behind her, saw, as she thought, something most like a Lion; and it came a great padding pace after; and it had a hollow voice of roaring; and, at every roar that it gave, it made all the Valley echo, and all their hearts to ache, save the heart of him that was their guide. So it came up, and Mr. Great-heart went behind, and put the Pilgrims all before him. The Lion also came on apace, and Mr. Great-heart addressed himself to give him battle; † but when he saw that it was determined that resistance should be made, he also drew back, and came no farther.
Then they went on again, and their conductor did go before them, A pit and dark- till they came at a place where was cast up a pit the whole breadth of the way; and before they could be prepared to go over that, a great mist and a darkness fell upon them, so that they could not see. Then said the Pilgrims, Alas! what now shall we do? But their Guide made answer, Fear not; stand still, and see what an end will be put to this also. So they stayed there, because their path was marred. They then also thought that they did hear more apparently the noise and rushing of the enemies; the fire also, and smoke of the pit, was much easier to be discerned. Then said Christiana to Mercy, Now I see what my poor husband went through! 1 knows what her have heard much of this place, but I never was here afore now. Poor man! he went here all alone in the night; he had night almost quite through the way; also these Fiends were busy about him, as if they would have torn him in pieces. Many have spoken of it; but none can tell what the Valley of the Shadow of Death should mean, until they come in it themselves. "The heart knows its own bitterness; and a stranger intermeddleth not with its joy." To be here is a fearful thing.
Great-heart. This is like doing business in great waters, or like going down into the deep; this is like being in the heart of the sea, and like going down to the bottoms of the mountains. Now it seems as if the earth, with its bars, were about us for ever. But "let them that walk in darkness, and have no light, trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon their God." For my part, as I have told you already, I have gone often through this valley, and have been much harder put to it than now I am; and yet you see
I am alive. I would not boast, for that I am not my own Saviour; but I trust we shall have a good deliverance. Come, let us pray for light to him that can lighten our darkness, and that can rebuke not only these, but all the Satans in Hell.
So they cried and prayed; and God sent light and deliverance, for there was now no let in their way; no, not there, where but now they were stopped with a Pit. Yet they were not got through the valley; so they went on still, and behold, great stinks and loathsome smells, to the great annoyance of them. Then said Mercy to Christiana, There is not such pleasant being here, as at the Gate, or the Interpreter's, or at the House where we lay last.
Oh! but, said one of the boys, it is not so bad to One of the boys go through here, as it is to abide here always! and, reply. for aught I know, one reason why we must go this way to the House prepared for us, is, that our home might be made the sweeter
Well said, Samuel, quoth the guide; thou hast now spoke like a man. Why, if ever I get out here again, said the boy, I think I shall prize light and good way better than ever I did in all my life. Then said the guide, we shall be out by-and-by.
Heedless is slain, and Take-heed preserved.
So on they went, and Joseph said, Cannot we see to the end of this valley as yet? Then said the guide, Look to your feet, for we shall presently be among the snares! so they looked to their feet and went on; but they were troubled much with the snares. Now, when they were come among the snares, they espied a man cast into the ditch on the left hand, with his flesh all rent and torn. Then said the guide, That is one Heedless, that was going this way; he has lain there a great while. There was one Take-heed with him, when he was taken and slain; but he escaped their hands. You cannot imagine how many are killed hereabouts; and yet men are so foolishly venturous as to set out lightly on pilgrimage, and to come without a guide. Poor Christian! it was a wonder that he here escaped; but he was beloved of his God: also he had a good heart of his own, or else he could never have done it. Now they drew towards the end of this way; and just there where Christian had seen the Cave when he went by, out thence came forth Maul, a Giant. This Maul did use to spoil young Pilgrims with sophistry; and he called Great-heart by his name, and said Maul, a giant, quarunto him, How many times have you been forbid- rels with Greatden to do these things? Then said Mr. Great heart.
heart, What things ?—What things? quoth the Giant; you know