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[Pilgrims looking at the Pillar of Salt.]
are good against surfeits; where the meadows are green all the year long, and where they might lie down safely. By this riverside, in the meadows, there were cotes and folds for sheep, a house built for the nourishing and bringing up of those lambs, the babes of those women that go on pilgrimage.t Also there was here one that was intrusted with them, who could have compassion, and that could "gather these lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom," and that could "gently lead those that are with young." Now, to the care of this Man Christiana admonished her four daughters to commit their little ones, that, by these waters, they might be housed, harboured, succoured, and nourished, and that none of them might be lacking in time to come.§ This man, if any of them go astray or be lost, he will bring them again; he will
↑ Heb. v. 2.
Isa. xl. 11.
§ Jer. xxiii. 4.
also "bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen them that are sick."* Here they will never want meat, drink, and clothing; here they will be kept from thieves and robbers; for this Man will die before one of those committed to his trust shall be lost. Besides, here they shall be sure to have good nurtriture and admonition, and shall be taught to walk in right paths, and that, you know, is a favour of no small account. Also here, as you see, are delicate waters, pleasant meadows, dainty flowers, variety of trees, and such as bear wholesome fruit; fruit not like that which Matthew ate of, that fell over the wall, out of Beelzebub's garden; but fruit that procureth health where there is none, and that continueth and increaseth it where it is.
So they were content to commit their little ones to him; and that which was also an encouragement to them so to do was, for that all this was to be at the charge of the King; and so was as an hospital to young children and orphans.
Now they went on, and when they were come to By-path-meadow, to the stile over which Christian went with his fellow Hopeful, when they were taken by Giant Despair, and put into Doubting Castle, they sat down and consulted what was best to be done; to wit, now they were so strong, and had got such a man as Mr. Great-heart for their conductor, whether they had not best to make an attempt upon the Giant, demolish his Castle, and if there were any Pilgrims in it, to set them at liberty, before they went any farther. So one said one thing, and another said the contrary. One questioned if it was lawful to go upon unconsecrated ground; another said they might, provided their end was good; but Mr. Great-heart said, Though that assertion offered last cannot be universally true, yet I have a commandment to resist sin, to overcome evil, to fight the good fight of faith; and, I pray, with whom should I fight this good fight, if not with Giant Despair? I will therefore attempt the taking away of his life, and the demolishing of Doubting Castle. Then said he, Who will go with me? Then said old Honest, I will; and so will we, too, said Christiana's four sons, Matthew, Samuel, Joseph, and James, for they were young men, and strong. So they left the women in the road, and with them Mr. Feeble-mind, and Mr. Ready-to-halt, with his crutches, to be their guard until they came back; for in that place the Giant Despair dwelt so near, they keeping in the road, a little child might lead them."‡
So Mr. Great-heart, old Honest, and the four young men, went
* Jer. xxiii. 4. Ezek. xxxiv. 11-16. † 1 John ii. 13, 14.
+ Isaiah xi. 6
They being come to By-path stile have a mind to have a pluck with Giant Despair.
Despair has overcome angels.
[Doubting Castle demolished.
to go up to Doubting Castle, to look for Giant Despair. When they came at the castle-gate, they knocked for entrance with an unusual noise. At that the old Giant comes to the gate, and Diffidence his wife follows. Then said he, Who, and what is he, that is so hardy, as after this manner, to molest the Giant Despair? Mr. Greatheart replied, It is I, Great-heart, one of the King of the Celestial Country's conductors of Pilgrims to their place; and I demand of thee that thou open thy gates for my entrance; prepare thyself also to fight, for I am come to take away thy head, and to demolish Doubting Castle.
Now Giant Despair, because he was a Giant, thought no man could overcome him; and again, thought he, since heretofore I have made a conquest of angels, shall Great-heart make me afraid? So he harnessed himself, and went out. He had a cap of steel upon his head,
The Pilgrims rejoicing at the death of Giant Despair.]
a breastplate of fire girded to him, and he came out in iron shoes, with a great club in his hand. Then these six men made up to him, and beset him behind and before; also, when Diffidence the Giantess came up to help him, old Mr. Honest cut her down at one blow. Then they fought for their lives, and Giant Despair was brought down to the ground, but was very loath to die; he struggled hard, and had, as they say, as many lives as a cat; but Great-heart was his death, for he left him not till he had severed his head from his shoulders.
Despair is loath to
Then they fell to demolishing Doubting Castle,
and that, you know, might with ease be done, since Doubting Castle Giant Despair was dead. They were seven days in destroying of that; and in it, of Pilgrims, they found one Mr. Despondency, almost starved to death, and one Much-afraid, his daughter: these two they saved alive. But it would have made you a-wondered to have seen the dead bodies that lay here and there in the Castle-yard, and how full of dead men's bones the dungeon was.
When Mr. Great-heart and his companions had performed this exploit, they took Mr. Despondency and his daughter Much-afraid into their protection; for they were honest people, though they were prisoners in Doubting Castle to that tyrant Giant Despair
They therefore, I say, took with them the head of the Giant, (for his body they had buried under a heap of stones,) and down to the road and to their companions they came, and showed them what they had done Now, when Feeble-mind and Ready-to-halt saw that it was the head of Giant Despair, indeed they They have music and dancing for were very jocund and merry. Now Christiana, if joy. need was, could play upon the viol, and her daughter Mercy upon the lute; so, since they were so merry disposed, she played them a lesson, and Ready-to-halt would dance. So he took Despondency's daughter, Much-afraid, by the hand, and to dancing they went in the road. True, he could not dance without one crutch in his hand; but I promise you he footed it well; also the girl was to be commended, for she answered the music handsomely. As for Mr. Despondency, the music was not so much to him; he was for feeding rather than dancing, for that he was almost starved. So Christiana gave him some of her bottle of spirits for present relief, and then prepared him something to eat ; and in little time the old gentleman came to himself, and began to be finely revived.
Now I saw in my dream, when all these things were finished, Mr. Great-heart took the head of Giant Despair, and set it upon a pole by the highway side, right over against the pillar that Christian erected, for a caution to Pilgrims that came after, to take heed of entering into his grounds.
Then he writ under it, upon a marble stone, these verses fol lowing:
A monument of deliverance.
This is the head of him whose name only
This head also, when doubting cripples dance,
When these men had thus bravely showed themselves against Doubting Castle, and had slain Giant Despair, they went forward, and went on till they came to the Delectable Mountains, where Christian and Hopeful refreshed themselves with the varieties of the place. They also acquainted themselves with the Shepherds there, who welcomed them, as they had done Christian before, unto the Delectable Mountains.
Now the Shepherds, seeing so great a train follow Mr. Great