Part 7 out of 8
All the great assembly trembled with guilty fears excepting Eurymachus
alone, who calling upon the others to follow him, drew his traitor
sword, and rushed like a lion against his lord.
As they met, Ulysses turned aside the sword of his rushing foe, and
forced his own through the traitor's breast. Eurymachus dropped his
sword from his weakening hand, and fell prone upon the table, breaking
it to the ground, and scattering the rich viands over the marble floor.
Almost at the same moment Amphinomus rushed forward to the attack, but
Telemachus drove his brazen spear through the breast of the fierce foe,
who fell crashing to the stones.
"Arm! great father, arm!" cried Telemachus. "In haste I run for other
arms and missiles, for helmet and shield. Let the two servants stand
faithfully by your side till I return."
"Haste!" replied Ulysses, "lest the host come upon us all at once, and
we be driven from our post."
Telemachus flew to the room where the royal armor lay, and brought with
him four brazen helmets, eight shining spears, and four broad shields.
Still among the coward princes the arrows of Ulysses were flying, each
carrying death to an enemy. Each placed a helmet upon his head, and
buckled on an armor, and thus clothed, the four stood shoulder to
shoulder, awaiting the onset, for by this time the surviving princes
had remembered the strength that lay in their numbers, and prepared to
charge together upon the king and his attendants.
Now Minerva, the wise goddess and friend of Ulysses, appeared again
before him as the aged Mentor, and advised him how to fight. Then with
change of form, she suddenly perched like a swallow on a rafter high,
where, unperceived, she could watch the struggle.
The conflict that followed was a sight worthy of the gods, for again
and again the traitor princes charged upon the doughty four, each time
losing some of their number; for rarely did it fail that the king and
each of his faithful adherents took at least one life from the
multitude. Again and again clouds of darts threatened the life of the
king and his son, but every time Minerva blew them aside,
and they fell harmless upon the floor, or buried themselves in the
woodwork behind the struggling heroes. At last but three of the
attacking party remained alive. First of these was Leiodes, the priest,
who had first tried the bow of Ulysses.
"O gracious king, hear my supplication! I have never dishonored your
house by word or deed, and often I tried to check the injustice of the
rest, but they never listened to my words. Do not make yourself guilty
of insult to my consecrated head."
"Priest you are," returned Ulysses, "but your vows have been made
against me, and against me have your daily prayers been said. Moreover,
you aspired to the hand of my wife, and as you joined in the common
crime against me, you deserve the common fate."
Even as he spoke, he seized a sword from the hand of one of the dead
princes, and swung it flashing through the air, and that moment the
priest's head rolled muttering on the floor. There remained only
Phemius, the reverend minstrel, whose poems had pleased the king in
earlier days, and Medon, the faithful friend and servant of Telemachus.
Neither had taken part in the struggle, and both were spared.
"Be bold," Ulysses said to them, "and rely on the friendship of my son.
Live, and be to the world an example, to show how much more safe are
good than evil deeds. Go out to the open court and leave us here in
this room of blood and carnage."
Carefully the rooms were then searched by Ulysses and his followers,
but nowhere could they find a single living traitor. The dead lay on
the floor in heaps like fish that had been cast from the net upon the
sands, and lie stiffening in the air.
Ulysses was not content till he had punished every evil servant and
treacherous man and woman about the palace or in the town in proportion
to his misdeeds.
Then by the aid of Euryclea, his faithful old nurse, he robed himself
in garments fit for the shoulders of a king, and prepared to meet the
During all this time Penelope had remained in her apartments terrified
by the confusion and noise of fighting in the palace, but praying
always for her son. We can imagine her surprise and delight when she
learned how the battle had turned, and that the beggar, who had fought
so manfully, was indeed none other than her husband Ulysses.
Once more in possession of the throne, the Greek hero and his son
rapidly destroyed every vestige of the unhappy days that had passed,
and soon the kingdom was again enjoying a prosperous and happy reign.
The father of John Bunyan was a poor tinker, a mender of pots and
kettles, working sometimes in his own house and sometimes in the homes
of others. His son followed the same occupation and did his work well.
Even after he became a popular preacher and a great author he kept on
with his humble calling. It was a queer occupation for a man of genius,
and scarcely any one would expect the man who followed it to write a
book that would be more widely read than anything except the Bible.
Evidently Bunyan was no common tinker.
John Bunyan was born at Elstow, a village near Bedford, in 1628, a year
famous in English history as that in which the king, Charles I, was
forced to grant the Petition of Right presented by the House of
Commons. But the commotion in politics produced little effect on father
and child, and the latter grew up as most English boys of his time did
grow, except that he had the advantage of attending a grammar school in
Bedford, a greater advantage than it seems unless we remember that
there were then no common schools in England.
The young tinker was a violent and passionate boy, profane, and a
leader in all the mischief of his kind. In his own account of his early
life written long years afterward he accuses himself of all manner of
sins. Yet from what he says in other places we know that he was far
from being the worst of boys, and that many things that gave him the
greatest concern were curiously exaggerated by his uneasy conscience.
He must have been a strange little fellow, for while he was swearing,
lying and leading raids upon his neighbors' fruit orchards he was often
terrified by the awfulness of his sin and "trembling at the thoughts of
the fearful torments of hell-fire."
To appreciate his feelings fully, we must remember the age in which he
lived as the time when everything in the Bible was taken as wholly
literal, when people believed that sin was followed by awful
punishments in a fiery hell, and when miraculous events were considered
The young John must have known such occurrences as the following,
related by Froude in his Life of Bunyan:
"A man commonly called 'Old Tod' came one day into court, in the Summer
Assizes at Bedford, to demand justice upon himself as a felon. No one
had accused him, but God's judgment was not to be escaped, and he was
forced to accuse himself. 'My lord,' said Old Tod to the judge, 'I have
been a thief from my childhood. I have been a thief ever since. There
has not been a robbery committed these many years, within so many miles
of this town, but I have been privy to it.' The judge, after a
conference, agreed to indict him for certain felonies which he had
acknowledged. He pleaded guilty, implicating his wife along with him,
and they were both hanged."
Filled with terror by the fearful things he heard and saw, it is no
wonder that so sensitive a child was haunted by such nightmares as are
described by one of his biographers.
[Illustration: JOHN BUNYAN 1628-1688]
Once he dreamed that he was in a pleasant place, jovial and rioting,
when an earthquake rent the earth, out of which came bloody flames, and
the figures of men tossed up in globes of fire, and falling down again
with horrible cries and shrieks and execrations, while devils mingled
among them, and laughed aloud at their torments. As he stood trembling,
the earth sank under him, and a circle of flames embraced him.. But
when he fancied he was at the point to perish, one in shining white
raiment descended and plucked him out of that dreadful place, while the
devils cried after him to take him to the punishment which his sins
deserved. Yet he escaped the danger, and leapt for joy when he awoke
and found it was a dream.
At seventeen, Bunyan was a tall, active lad still wild and reckless, an
inventor of tales, who swore to their truth, a great leader in athletic
sports, but free from drunkenness and other coarse vices. The Civil War
was nearing its end, and martial deeds drew Bunyan to enlist, but his
term of service was short and it is not known on which side he served.
Soon after this he married an excellent girl, an orphan, who had been
brought up religiously and who made an excellent wife for the
successful tinker. He was now a regular attendant upon the Established
Church, though, as he says, still retaining his wicked life.
The story of Bunyan's conversion is one that is difficult for us to
understand. To him it was a series of terrifying experiences, a
succession of agonizing struggles, which grew only the more terrible
after he was convinced of his own sinful ways. He tells the story of
his fearful spiritual contest in the plainest, most matter-of-fact way,
but scarcely mentions his home life, his daily work, or the growth of
To him, the Devil was a very real person, who came as a tempter and
would not be denied, long after Bunyan had completely reformed his ways
and was living a life of strict honesty, purity and self-denial. No
sooner had his manner of living become perfect, as we should consider
it, than mental and spiritual temptations fell upon him. He believed
that he had denied and sold his Savior; that he had committed the one
sin for which no atonement was possible, and that he stood on the brink
of a very real hell in whose sulphurous flames his body would burn
forever. We cannot help pitying the poor country workman whose tender
conscience and loyal soul tortured him with pains, worse a thousand
times than those of physical death. No doubt his mind wavered in the
balance, for such agonies lead to insanity, if they are not the
evidence of it.
At last, however, his self-tormenting ceased, and his weary soul found
rest in a comforting belief in Christ's forgiveness. As a result of his
worry his health had given way, and he felt that his end was at hand.
But after peace came to him and he joined the Baptist Church his
strength came back, and for several years he kept at his business,
making good progress and finding himself at twenty-five years of age in
a better position in life than that to which he had been born.
There came to him a further call, and ignorant as he was of history,
literature and philosophy, he entered the ministry of his church. He
knew his Bible thoroughly, he had experienced all the terrors of the
lost and all the joys of the redeemed, and he possessed that living
enthusiasm that carries conviction to others. So, when he spoke to the
people among whom he had passed his life, he caught the imagination of
every one and bore them all along on the flood of his eloquence. No
such preacher was there in England; and everywhere, in woods, in barns,
on the village greens and in the chapels of the towns he preached his
In the height of his fame, the Commonwealth ended, the Puritans lost
their control of political affairs, and Charles II was restored to the
throne of England. Soon the separate meetings of the Nonconformists
were prohibited, and Bunyan was warned that he must cease his
preaching. No one could be more firm, however, in following the
dictates of his conscience than this reformed tinker*, and so, although
he knew arrest and imprisonment faced him, he arranged to meet his
people and deliver to them a farewell address in November, 1660. At
that meeting the constables found him and took him away without any
resistance on his part. The government was anxious to deal liberally
with Bunyan, for his fine character and good influence were both
recognized, but the sturdy exhorter declined to stop his preaching and
would not give the least assurance that he would not continue to spread
his faith. As a consequence he was committed to the Bedford jail, where
he was not kept, however, in close confinement for any great part of
the time. His family were allowed to visit him, and his friends often
came in numbers to listen to his addresses.
There was no time when he would not have been liberated if he had
merely promised to give up his preaching. At the end of six years he
was liberated, but as he began preaching at once, he was rearrested and
kept for six years longer, when a general change of governmental policy
sent him out into the world at forty-four years of age, free to preach
when and where he wished.
Bunyan's imprisonment was of great value to him, in one respect at
least, for it gave him time to read, reflect and write. That he availed
himself of the privilege, his great works testify. After his release he
continued his labors among his congregation, in writing, and in
visiting other churches. His little blind child, who visited him so
often in the jail, died; but the rest of his family lived and did well,
and Bunyan must be considered a very happy man during the sixteen years
he stayed in his neat little home in Bedford.
In August, 1688, he received word that a bad quarrel had taken place
between a father and son, acquaintances of Bunyan, who lived at
Reading. The old peacemaker went at once to the family and after much
persuasion succeeded in reconciling the two and persuading the father
not to disinherit the son. But this was the last charitable act of the
great preacher, for in returning he was drenched to the skin in a heavy
shower of wind and rain, and after a brief illness died at the home of
one of his friends in London.
THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
The Pilgrim's Progress was written while Bunyan was in the Bedford
jail, and as the writer says, was written for his own amusement.
Christian is Bunyan himself, and the trials and experiences of the
former are but the reflections of the temptations and sufferings of the
great preacher set forth in wonderfully dramatic and striking form.
At some time nearly every person reads _The Pilgrim's Progress_, and to
those who do, Christian becomes a very real person. It is a Puritan
book, pure and simple, and as such, contains some things that people of
other denominations may object to, but there is so much of truth,
simplicity and real human nature in it, so much that touches the
spiritual experiences of all human beings, that most people, regardless
of creed, are helped by it.
_The Pilgrim's Progress_ is a very plain allegory. It describes persons
and things as real and material, but always gives to everything a
spiritual significance. There is no room for doubt at any time, for
the names are all so aptly chosen that the meaning may be seen by any
reader. Yet the allegory is so significantly true that while a child
may read and enjoy it as a story and be helped by its patent
truthfulness and poetry, the maturer mind may find latent truths that
compensate for a more careful reading.
"As I walked through the wilderness of this world," the book begins, "I
lighted on a certain place where there was a den [Footnote: The Bedford
jail.] and I laid me down there to sleep, and as I slept, I dreamed a
dream. I dreamed, and behold, I saw a man, a man clothed in rags,
standing with his face from his own home, with a book in his hand, and
a great burden upon his back. I looked and saw him open the book and
read therein; and, as he read, he wept and trembled; and not being able
longer to contain, he broke out with a lamentable cry, saying, 'What
shall I do?'" This man is Christian, the hero of the story.
CHRISTIAN BEGINS HIS JOURNEY
In this plight, therefore, he went home and refrained himself as long
as he could, that his wife and children should not perceive his
distress; but he could not be silent long, because that his trouble
increased. Wherefore at length he brake his mind to his wife and
children; and thus he began to talk to them:
"O my dear wife," said he, "and you, my children, I, your dear friend,
am in myself undone by reason of a burden that lieth hard upon me;
moreover I am for certain informed that this our city will be burned
with fire from heaven, in which fearful overthrow, both myself, with
thee, my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall miserably come to ruin,
except (the which yet I see not) some way of escape can be found,
whereby we may be delivered."
At this his relations were sore amazed; not for what they believed that
what he had said to them, was true, but because they thought that some
frenzy distemper had got into his head; therefore, it drawing near
night, and they hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all
haste they got him to bed.
But the night was as troublesome to him as the day; wherefore, instead
of sleeping, he spent it in sighs and tears. So, when the morning was.
come, they would know how he did. He told them, "Worse and worse." He
also set talking to them again; but they began to be hardened.
They also thought to drive away his distemper by harsh and surly
carriages to him; sometimes they would deride, sometimes they would
chide, and sometimes they would quite neglect him. Wherefore he began
to retire himself to his chamber, to pray for and pity them, and also
to condole his own misery; he would also walk solitarily in the fields,
sometimes reading, and sometimes praying: and thus for some days he
spent his time.
Now, I saw, upon a time, when he was walking in the fields, that he
was, as he was wont, reading in his book, and greatly distressed in his
mind; and as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying,
"What shall I do to be saved?"
I saw also that he looked this way and that way, as if he would run;
yet he stood still, because, as I perceived, he could not tell which
way to go. I looked then, and saw a man named Evangelist coming to him,
who asked, "Wherefore dost thou cry?"
He answered, "Sir, I perceive by the book in my hand that I am
condemned to die, and after that to come to judgment, and I find that I
am not willing to do the first, nor able to do the second."
Then said Evangelist, "Why not willing to die, since this life is
attended with so many evils?" The man answered:
"Because I fear that this burden that is upon my back will sink me
lower than the grave, and I shall fall into Tophet. And, sir, if I be
not fit to go to prison, I am not fit, I am sure, to go to judgment,
and from thence to execution; and the thoughts of these things make me
Then said Evangelist, "If this be thy condition, why standest thou
He answered, "Because I know not whither to go."
Then he gave him a parchment roll, and there was written within, "Flee
from the wrath to come."
The man therefore read it, and looking upon Evangelist very carefully,
said, "Whither must I fly?"
Then said Evangelist, pointing with his finger over a very wide field,
"Do you see yonder wicket gate?"
The man said, "No."
"Then," said the other, "Do you see yonder shining light?"
He said, "I think I do."
Then said Evangelist, "Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly
thereto: so shalt thou see the Gate; at which, when thou knockest, it
shall be told thee what thou shalt do."
So I saw in my dream that the man began to run. Now, he had not run far
from his own door; but his wife and children, perceiving it, began to
cry after him to return; but the man put his fingers in his ears, and
ran on, crying, "Life! life! eternal life!"
So he looked not behind him, but fled toward the middle of the plain.
The neighbors also came out to see him run, and, as he ran, some
mocked, others threatened, and some cried after him to return; and,
among those that did so, there were two that resolved to fetch him back
by force. The name of one was Obstinate, and the other Pliable.
[Illustration: HE LOOKED NOT BEHIND HIM]
Obstinate argues with Christian, but gives him up in despair and
returns to his home, but Pliable, thinking after all there may be some
good reason in Christian's conduct, decides to accompany him to the
wicket gate, and they converse on the way.
THE SLOUGH OF DESPOND
Now, I saw in my dream, that just as they had ended this talk they drew
near to a very miry slough, that was in the midst of the plain; and
they, being heedless, did both fall suddenly into the bog. The name of
the slough was Despond. Here, therefore, they wallowed for a time,
being grievously bedaubed with the dirt; and Christian, because of the
burden that was on his back, began to sink in the mire.
Then said Pliable, "Ah! neighbor Christian, where are you now?"
"Truly," said Christian, "I do not know."
At this Pliable began to be offended, and angrily said to his fellow,
"Is this the happiness you have told me all this while of? If we have
such ill-speed at our first setting out, what may we expect betwixt
this and our journey's end? May I get out again with my life, you shall
possess the brave country alone for me."
And, with that, he gave a desperate struggle or two, and got out of the
mire on the side of the slough which was next to his own house; so away
he went, and Christian saw him no more.
Wherefore, Christian was left to tumble in the Slough of Despond alone;
but still he endeavored to struggle to that side of the slough that was
still further from his own house, and next to the wicket gate; the
which he did, but he could not get out, because of the burden that was
upon his back; but I beheld in my dream, that a man came to him whose
name was Help, and asked him what he did there?
"Sir," said Christian, "I was bid go this way by a man called
Evangelist, who directed me also to yonder gate, that I might escape
the wrath to come; and as I was going thither I fell in here."
_Help._ "But why did you not look for the steps?"
_Chr._ "Fear followed me so hard, that I fled the next way, and
[Illustration: IN THE SLOUGH OF DESPOND ]
_Help._ "Then give me thy hand." So he gave him his hand, and he
drew him out, and set him upon sound ground, and bid him go on his way.
Then I stepped to him that plucked him out and said, "Sir, wherefore,
since over this place is the way from the City of Destruction to yonder
gate, is it that this plat is not mended, that poor travelers might go
thither with more security?"
And he said unto me, "This mire slough is such a place as cannot be
mended: it is the descent whither the scum and filth that attends
conviction for sin doth continually run, and therefore it is called the
Slough of Despond; for still as the sinner is awakened about his lost
condition, there ariseth in his soul many fears, and doubts, and
discouraging apprehensions, which all of them get together, and settle
in this place. And this is the reason of the badness of the ground.
"It is not the pleasure of the King that this place should remain so
bad. His laborers also have, by the direction of His Majesty's
surveyors, been for above these sixteen hundred years employed about
this patch of ground, if perhaps it might have been mended: yea, and to
my knowledge," said he, "here have been swallowed up at least twenty
thousand cart-loads, yea, millions of wholesome instructions, that have
at all seasons been brought from all places of the King's dominions,
and they that can tell say that they are the best materials to make
good ground of the place, if so be it might have been mended; but it is
the Slough of Despond still, and so will be when they have done what
"True, there are, by the direction of the Lawgiver, certain good and
substantial steps, placed even through the very midst of this slough:
but at such time as this place doth much spew out its filth, as it doth
against change of weather, these steps are hardly seen; or, if they be,
men, through the dizziness of their heads, step beside, and then they
are bemired to purpose, notwithstanding the steps be there; but the
ground is good when they are once got in at the gate."
Now, I saw in my dream, that by this time Pliable was got home to his
house again, so that his neighbors came to visit him; and some of them
called him wise man for coming back, and some called him fool for
hazarding himself with Christian; others again did mock at his
cowardliness, saying, "Surely, since you began to venture, I would not
have been so base as to have given out for a few difficulties." So
Pliable sat sneaking among them. But at last he got more confidence,
and then they all turned their tales, and began to deride poor
Christian behind his back.
* * * * *
Christian proceeds on his way, meeting many persons and conversing with
them, often discouraged, but always persistent in his idea of gaining
Mount Zion and the holy city. The perils that he meets do not overwhelm
him, and even when he is apparently doomed to certain destruction, some
happy turn of events sets him again on his way rejoicing. Friends also
appear to help him whenever he most needs them.
THE FIGHT WITH APOLLYON
When I saw in my dream that, on the morrow, he got up to go forward,
but they desired him to stay till the next day also; and then, said
they, we will, if the day be clear, show you the Delectable Mountains,
which, they said, would yet further add to his comfort, because they
were nearer the desired haven than the place where at present he was;
so he consented and stayed.
[Illustration: THE FIGHT WITH APOLLYON ]
When the morning was up, they had him to the top of the house, and bid
him look south; so he did; and, behold, at a great distance he saw a
most pleasant mountainous country, beautified with woods, vineyards,
fruits of all sorts, flowers also, with springs and fountains, very
delectable to behold. Then he asked the name of the country. They said
it was Emmanuel's Land; "and it is as common," said they, "as this hill
is, to and for all the pilgrims. And when thou comest there from
thence," said they, "thou mayest see to the gate of the Celestial City,
as the shepherds that live there will make appear."
Now he bethought himself of setting forward, and they were willing he
should. "But first," said they, "let us go again into the armory." So
they did; and when they came there, they harnessed him from head to
foot with what was of proof, lest, perhaps, he should meet with
assaults in the way.
He being, therefore, thus accoutered, walketh out with his friends to
the gate, and there he asked the porter if he saw a pilgrim pass by.
Then the porter answered, "Yes."
_Chr_. "Pray, did you know him?"
_Por_. "I asked him his name, and he told me it was Faithful."
_Chr_. "Oh, I know him; he is my townsman, my near neighbor; he
comes from the place where I was born. How far do you think he may be
_Por_. "He has got by this time below the hill."
_Chr_. "Well, good Porter, the Lord be with thee, and add to all
thy blessings much increase, for the kindness that thou hast showed to
Then he began to go forward; but Discretion, Piety, Charity and
Prudence would accompany him down to the foot of the hill. So they went
on together, reiterating their former discourses, till they came to go
down the hill.
Then said Christian, "As it was difficult coming up, so, so far as I
can see, it is dangerous going down." "Yes," said Prudence, "so it is;
for it is a hard matter for a man to go down into the Valley of
Humiliation, as thou art now, and to catch no slip by the way;
therefore, are we come out to accompany thee down the hill." So he
began to go down, but very warily; yet he caught a slip or two.
Then I saw in my dream that these good companions, when Christian was
gone to the bottom of the hill, gave him a loaf of bread, a bottle of
wine and a cluster of raisins; and then he went on his way.
But now, in this Valley of Humiliation, poor Christian was hard put to
it; for he had gone but a little way, before he espied a foul fiend
coming over the field to meet him; his name is Apollyon. Then did
Christian begin to be afraid, and to cast in his mind whether to go
back or to stand his ground. But he considered again that he had no
armor for his back; and therefore thought that to turn the back to him
might give him the greater advantage with ease to pierce him with his
darts. Therefore he resolved to venture and stand his ground; for,
thought he, had I no more in mine eye than the saving of my life, it
would be the best way to stand.
So he went on and Apollyon met him. Now the monster was hideous to
behold; he was clothed with scales like a fish, and (they are his
pride) he had wings like a dragon, feet like a bear, and out of his
belly came fire and smoke, and his mouth was as the mouth of a lion.
When he was come up to Christian, he beheld him with a disdainful
countenance, and thus began to question with him.
_Apol_. "Whence came you? and whither are you bound?"
_Chr_. "I am come from the City of Destruction, which is the place
of all evil, and am going to the City of Zion."
_Apol_. "By this I perceive thou art one of my subjects, for all
that country is mine, and I am the prince and god of it. How is it,
then, that thou hast run away from thy king? Were it not that I hope
thou mayest do me more service, I would strike thee now, at one blow,
to the ground."
_Chr._ "I was born, indeed, in your dominions, but your service was
hard, and your wages such as a man could not live on, 'for the wages of
sin is death,' therefore, when I was come to years, I did as other
considerate persons do, look out, if, perhaps, I might mend myself."
_Apol._ "There is no prince that will thus lightly lose his subjects,
neither will I as yet loose thee; but since thou complainest of thy
service and wages, be content to go back: what our country will afford,
I do here promise to give thee."
_Chr._ "But I have let myself to another, even to the King of princes;
and how can I, with fairness, go back with thee?"
_Apol._ "Thou hast done in this, according to the proverb, 'Changed a
bad for a worse;' but it is ordinary for those that have professed
themselves his servants, after a while to give him the slip and return
again to me. Do thou so too, and all shall be well."
_Chr._ "I have given him my faith, and sworn my allegiance to him;
how, then, can I go back from this, and not be hanged as a traitor?"
_Apol._ "Thou didst the same to me, and yet I am willing to pass by
all, if now thou wilt yet turn again and go back."
_Chr._ "What I promised thee was in my nonage; and beside, I count the
Prince under whose banner now I stand is able to absolve me; yea, and
to pardon also what I did as to my compliance with thee; and beside, O
thou destroying Apollyon! to speak truth, I like his service, his
wages, his servants, his government, his company and country better
than thine; and, therefore, leave off to persuade me further; I am his
servant, and I will follow him."
_Apol._ "Consider, again, when thou art in cool blood, what thou
art like to meet with in the way that thou goest. Thou knowest that,
for the most part, his servants come to an ill end, because they are
transgressors against me and my ways. How many of them have been put to
shameful deaths; and, beside, thou countest his service better than
mine, whereas he never came yet from the place where he is to deliver
any that served him out of their hands; but, as for me, how many times,
as all the world very well knows, have I delivered, either by power or
fraud, those that have faithfully served me, from him and his, though
taken by them; and so I will deliver thee."
_Chr._ "His forbearing at present to deliver them is on purpose to
try their love, whether they will cleave to him to the end; and as for
the ill end thou sayest they come to, that is most glorious in their
account; for, for the present deliverance, they do not much expect it,
for they stay for their glory, and then they shall have it, when their
Prince comes in his and the glory of the angels."
_Apol._ "Thou hast already been unfaithful in thy service to him;
and how dost thou think to receive wages of him?"
_Chr._ "Wherein, O Apollyon! have I been unfaithful to him?"
_Apol._ "Thou didst faint at first setting out, when thou wast
almost choked in the Gulf of Despond; thou didst attempt wrong ways to
be rid of thy burden, whereas thou shouldest have stayed till thy
Prince had taken it off; thou didst sinfully sleep and lose thy choice
thing; thou wast, also, almost persuaded to go back, at the sight of
the lions; and when thou talkest of thy journey, and of what thou hast
heard and seen, thou art inwardly desirous of vainglory in all that
thou sayest or doest."
_Chr._ "All this is true, and much more which thou hast left out;
but the Prince whom I serve and honor is merciful, and ready to
forgive; but, besides, these infirmities possessed me in thy country,
for there I sucked them in; and I have groaned under them, been sorry
for them, and have obtained pardon of my Prince."
Then Apollyon broke out into a grievous rage, saying, "I am an enemy to
this Prince; I hate his person, his laws, and people; I am come out on
purpose to withstand thee."
_Chr._ "Apollyon, beware what you do; for I am in the king's highway,
the way of holiness; therefore take heed to yourself."
Then Apollyon straddled quite over the whole breadth of the way, and
said, "I am void of fear in this matter; prepare thyself to die; for I
swear by my infernal den, that thou shalt go no further; here will I
spill thy soul." And with that he threw a flaming dart at his breast;
but Christian had a shield in his hand, with which he caught it, and so
prevented the danger of that.
Then did Christian draw, for he saw it was time to bestir him; and
Apollyon as fast made at him, throwing darts as thick as hail; by the
which, notwithstanding all that Christian could do to avoid it,
Apollyon wounded him in his head, his hand and his foot. This made
Christian give a little back; Apollyon, therefore, followed his work
amain, and Christian again took courage, and resisted as manfully as he
could. This sore combat lasted for above half a day, even till
Christian was almost quite spent; for you must know that Christian, by
reason of his wounds, must needs grow weaker and weaker.
Then Apollyon, espying his opportunity, began to gather up close to
Christian, and wrestling with him, gave him a dreadful fall; and with
that Christian's sword flew out of his hand. Then said Apollyon, "I am
sure of thee now."
And with that he had almost pressed him to death, so that Christian
began to despair of life: but as God would have it, while Apollyon was
fetching of his last blow, thereby to make a full end of this good man,
Christian nimbly stretched out his hand for his sword, and caught it,
saying, "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall I shall
rise," and with that gave him a deadly thrust, which made him give
back, as one that had received his mortal wound.
Christian perceiving that, made at him again, saying, "Nay, in all
these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."
And with that Apollyon spread forth his dragon's wings, and sped him
away, that Christian for a season saw him no more.
In this combat no man can imagine, unless he had seen and heard as I
did, what yelling and hideous roaring Apollyon made all the time of the
fight--he spake like a dragon; and, on the other side, what sighs and
groans burst from Christian's heart. I never saw him all the while give
so much as one pleasant look, till he perceived he had wounded Apollyon
with his two-edged sword; then, indeed, he did smile, and look upward;
but it was the dreadfulest sight that ever I saw.
"A more unequal match can hardly be,
Christian must fight an Angel; but you see,
The valiant man by handling Sword and Shield,
Doth make him, tho' a Dragon, quit the field."
So when the battle was over, Christian said, "I will here give thanks
to him that delivered me out of the mouth of the lion, to him that did
help me against Apollyon." And so he did, saying--
"Great Beelzebub, the captain of this fiend,
Design'd my ruin; therefore to this end
He sent him harness'd out: and he with rage,
That hellish was, did fiercely me engage.
But blessed Michael helped me, and I,
By dint of sword, did quickly make him fly.
Therefore to him let me give lasting praise,
And thank and bless his holy name always."
Then there came to him a hand, with some of the leaves of the tree of
life, the which Christian took, and applied to the wounds that he had
received in the battle, and was healed immediately. He also sat down in
that place to eat bread, and to drink of the bottle that was given him
a little before; so, being refreshed, he addressed himself to his
journey, with his sword drawn in his hand; for he said, "I know not but
some other enemy may be at hand."
But he met with no other affront from Apollyon quite through this
Later Christian meets Faithful, a true pilgrim, but one of a different
temperament, so that his trials and other experiences have been
different, but the two proceed on their journey together happy in good
companionship. They pass through Vanity Fair, and Faithful is stoned to
After Christian's escape from Vanity Fair he is joined by Hopeful, and
the two travel on as he and Faithful had done. Their trials continue
but Christian finds even more help in the cheerful nature of Hopeful
than in the gentle disposition of Faithful, and he looks forward
without great dread to other trials which he may have to endure.
DOUBTING CASTLE AND GIANT DESPAIR
Now, I beheld in my dream, that they had not journeyed far, but the
river and the way for a time parted; at which they were not a little
sorry, yet they durst not go out of the way. Now the way from the river
was rough, and their feet tender, by reason of their travels; "so the
souls of the pilgrims were much discouraged because of the way."
Wherefore, as still they went on, they wished for a better way. Now, a
little before them, there was on the left hand of the road a meadow,
and a stile to go over into it; and that meadow is called By-path
Meadow. Then said Christian to his fellow:
"If this meadow lieth along by our wayside, let us go over into it."
Then he went to the stile to see, and, behold, a path lay along the
way, on the other side of the fence.
"It is according to my wish," said Christian. "Here is the easiest
going; come, good Hopeful, and let us go over."
_Hope_. "But how if this path should lead us out of the way?"
_Chr_. "That is not like. Look, doth it not go along by the wayside?"
So Hopeful, being persuaded by his fellow, went after him over the
stile. When they were gone over, and were got into the path, they found
it very easy for their feet; and withal, they, looking before them,
espied a man walking as they did (and his name was Vain-confidence); so
they called after him, and asked him whither that way led. He said to
the Celestial Gate.
"Look," said Christian, "did not I tell you so? By this you may see we
So they followed and he went before them. But, behold, the night came
on, and it grew very dark; so that they that were behind lost the sight
of him that went before.
He, therefore, that went before (Vain-confidence by name), not seeing
the way before him, fell into a deep pit, which was on purpose there
made, by the prince of those grounds, to catch vainglorious fools
withal, and was dashed in pieces with his fall.
Now Christian and his fellow heard him fall. So they called to know the
matter, but there was none to answer, only they heard a groaning. Then
said Hopeful, "Where are we now?"
Then was his fellow silent, as mistrusting that he had led him out of
the way; and now it began to rain, and thunder and lightning in a very
dreadful manner, and the water rose amain.
Then Hopeful groaned in himself, saying, "Oh, that I had kept on my
_Chr._ "Who could have thought that this path should have led us
out of the way?"
_Hope._ "I was afraid on it at the very first, and therefore gave
you that gentle caution. I would have spoken plainer, but that you are
older than I."
[Illustration: IN DOUBTING CASTLE ]
_Chr._ "Good brother, be not offended; I am sorry I have brought
thee out of the way, and that I have put thee into such imminent
danger. Pray, my brother, forgive me; I did not do it of an evil
_Hope._ "Be comforted, my brother, for I forgive thee; and believe, too,
that this shall be for our good."
_Chr._ "I am glad I have with me a merciful brother. But we must not
stand thus; let us try to go back again."
_Hope._ "But, good brother, let me go before."
_Chr._ "No, if you please, let me go first; that, if there be any
danger, I may be first therein, because by my means we are both gone
out of the way."
_Hope._ "No, you shall not go first; for your mind being troubled
may lead you out of the way again."
Then, for their encouragement, they heard the voice of one saying, "Set
thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest; turn
But by this time the waters were greatly risen, by reason of which the
way of going back was very dangerous. (Then I thought that it is easier
going out of the way, when we are in, than going in when we are out.)
Yet they adventured to go back; but it was so dark, and the flood was
so high, that in their going back they had like to have been drowned
nine or ten times.
Neither could they, with all the skill they had, get again to the stile
that night. Wherefore, at last, lighting under a little shelter, they
sat down there until the daybreak, but, being weary, they fell asleep.
Now there was not far from the place where they lay, a castle called
Doubting Castle, the owner whereof was Giant Despair; and it was in his
grounds they were now sleeping.
Wherefore he, getting up in the morning early, and walking up and down
in his fields, caught Christian and Hopeful asleep in his grounds.
Then, with a grim and surly voice, he bid them awake; and asked them
whence they were, and what they did in his grounds.
They told him they were pilgrims, and that they had lost their way.
Then said the Giant, "You have this night trespassed on me, by
trampling in and lying on my grounds, and therefore you must go along
So they were forced to go, because he was stronger than they. They also
had but little to say, for they knew themselves in a fault. The Giant,
therefore, drove them before him, and put them into his castle, into a
very dark dungeon, nasty and stinking to the spirits of these two men.
Here, then, they lay from Wednesday morning till Saturday night,
without one bit of bread, or drop of drink, or light, or any to ask how
they did; they were, therefore, here in evil case, and were far from
friends and acquaintance. Now in this place Christian had double
sorrow, because it was through his unadvised counsel they were brought
into this distress.
"The Pilgrims now, to gratify the flesh, Will seek its ease; but oh!
how they afresh Do thereby plunge themselves new griefs into; Who seek
to please the flesh, themselves undo."
Now, Giant Despair had a wife, and her name was Diffidence. So when he
was gone to bed, he told his wife what he had done; to-wit, that he had
taken a couple of prisoners and cast them into his dungeon, for
trespassing on his grounds. Then he asked her also what he had best to
do further to them. So she asked him what they were, whence they came,
and whither they were bound; and he told her. Then she counselled him
that when he arose in the morning he should beat them without any
So, when he arose, he getteth him a grievous crabtree cudgel, and goes
down into the dungeon to them, and there first falls to rating of them
as if they were dogs, although they never gave him a word of distaste.
Then he falls upon them, and beats them fearfully, in such sort that
they were not able to help themselves, or to turn them upon the floor.
This done, he withdraws and leaves them, there to condole their misery,
and to mourn under their distress.
So all that day they spent the time in nothing but sighs and bitter
lamentations. The next night, she, talking with her husband about them
further, and understanding they were yet alive, did advise him to
counsel them to make away with themselves.
So when morning was come, he goes to them in a surly manner as before,
and perceiving them to be very sore with the stripes that he had given
them the day before, he told them that, since they were never like to
come out of that place, their only way would be forthwith to make an
end of themselves, either with knife, halter, or poison. "For why,"
said he, "should you choose life, seeing it is attended with so much
But they desired him to let them go. With that he looked ugly upon
them, and, rushing to them, had doubtless made an end of them himself,
but that he fell into one of his fits (for he sometimes, in sunshiny
weather, fell into fits), and lost for a time the use of his hand;
wherefore he withdrew, and left them as before, to consider what to do.
Then did the prisoners consult between themselves, whether it was best
to take his counsel or no; and thus they began to discourse:
_Chr._ "Brother, what shall we do? The life that we now live is
miserable. For my part I know not whether it is best, to live thus, or
to die out of hand. 'My soul chooseth strangling rather than life,' and
the grave is more easy for me than this dungeon. Shall we be ruled by
_Hope._ "Indeed, our present condition is dreadful, and death
would be far more welcome to me than thus forever to abide; but yet,
let us consider, the Lord of the country to which we are going hath
said, 'Thou shalt do no murder;' no, not to another man's person; much
more, then, are we forbidden to take his counsel to kill ourselves.
Besides, he that kills another, can but commit murder upon his body;
but for one to kill himself is to kill body and soul at once.
"And, moreover, my brother, thou talkest of ease in the grave; but hast
thou forgotten the hell, whither for certain the murderers go? 'For no
murderer hath eternal life.'
"And let us consider, again, that all the law is not in the hand of
Giant Despair. Others, so far as I can understand, have been taken by
him, as well as we, and yet have escaped out of his hand. Who knows but
that God that made the world may cause that Giant Despair may die? or
that, at some time or other, he may forget to lock us in? or that he
may, in a short time, have another of his fits before us, and may lose
the use of his limbs?
"And if ever that should come to pass again, for my part, I am resolved
to pluck up the heart of a man and try my utmost to get from under his
hand. I was a fool that I did not try to do it before; but, however, my
brother, let us be patient, and endure a while. The time may come that
may give us a happy release; but let us not be our own murderers."
With these words, Hopeful at present did moderate the mind of his
brother; so they continued together (in the dark) that day, in their
sad and doleful condition.
Well, toward evening, the Giant goes down into the dungeon again, to
see if his prisoners had taken his counsel; but when he came there he
found them alive; and truly, alive was all; for now, what for want of
bread and water, and by reason of the wounds they received when he beat
them, they could do little but breathe. But, I say, he found them
alive; at which he fell into a grievous rage, and told them that,
seeing they had disobeyed his counsel, it should be worse with them
than if they had never been born.
At this they trembled greatly, and I think that Christian fell into a
swoon; but, coming a little to himself again, they renewed their
discourse about the Giant's counsel; and whether yet they had best to
take it or no. Now Christian again seemed to be for doing it, but
Hopeful made his second reply as followeth:
_Hope._ "My brother, rememberest thou not how valiant thou hast
been heretofore? Apollyon could not crush thee, nor could all that thou
didst hear, or see, or feel, in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. What
hardship, terror, and amazement hast thou already gone through! And art
thou now nothing but fear? Thou seest that I am in the dungeon with
thee, a far weaker man by nature than thou art; also, this Giant has
wounded me as well as thee, and hath also cut off the bread and water
from my mouth; and with thee I mourn without the light. But let us
exercise a little more patience: remember how thou playedst the man at
Vanity Fair, and wast neither afraid of the chain, nor cage, nor yet of
bloody death. Wherefore, let us (at least to avoid the shame that
becomes not a Christian to be found in) bear up with patience as well
as we can."
Now, night being come again, and the Giant and his wife being in bed,
she asked him concerning the prisoners, and if they had taken his
counsel. To which he replied, "They are sturdy rogues, they choose
rather to bear all hardship, than to make away with themselves."
"Then," said she, "take them into the castleyard to-morrow, and show
them the bones and skulls of those that thou hast already despatched,
and make them believe, ere a week comes to an end, thou also wilt tear
them in pieces, as thou hast their fellows before them."
So when the morning was come, the Giant goes to them again, and takes
them into the castle-yard, and shows them, as his wife had bidden him.
"These," said he, "were pilgrims as you are, once, and they trespassed
in my grounds, as you have done; and when I thought fit, I tore them in
pieces, and so, within ten days, I will do you. Go, get you down to
your den again;" and with that he beat them all the way thither.
They lay, therefore, all day on Saturday in a lamentable case, as
Now, when night was come, and when Mrs. Diffidence and her husband, the
Giant, were got to bed, they began to renew their discourse of their
prisoners; and withal the old Giant wondered that he could neither by
his blows nor his counsel bring them to an end.
And with that his wife replied:
"I fear, that they live in hope that some will come to relieve them, or
that they have picklocks about them, by the means of which they hope to
"And sayest thou so, my dear?" said the Giant; "I will, therefore,
search them in the morning."
Well, on Saturday, about midnight, they began to pray, and continued in
prayer till almost break of day.
Now, a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half-amazed,
brake out in this passionate speech:
"What a fool," quoth he, "am I, thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when
I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom, called
Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle."
Then said Hopeful, "That is good news, good brother; pluck it out of
thy bosom and try."
Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try at the
dungeon door, whose bolt (as he turned the key) gave back, and the door
flew open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out. Then he
went to the outward door that leads into the castle-yard, and, with his
key, opened that door also. After, he went to the iron gate, for that
must be opened, too; but that lock went damnable hard, yet the key did
open it. Then they thrust open the gate to make their escape with
speed, but that gate, as it opened, made such a creaking that it waked
Giant Despair, who, hastily rising to pursue his prisoners, felt his
limbs to fail, for his fits took him again, so that he could by no
means go after them.
Then they went on, and came to the King's highway, and so were safe,
because they were out of his jurisdiction.
Now, when they were gone over the stile, they began to contrive with
themselves what they should do at that stile, to prevent those that
should come after from falling into the hands of Giant Despair. So they
consented to erect there a pillar, and to engrave upon the side thereof
this sentence--"Over this stile is the way to Doubting Castle, which is
kept by Giant Despair, who despiseth the King of the Celestial Country,
and seeks to destroy his holy pilgrims."
Many, therefore, that followed after, read what was written, and
escaped the danger. This done, they sang as follows:
"Out of the way we went, and then we found
What 'twas to tread upon forbidden ground;
And let them that come after have a care,
Lest heedlessness makes them, as we, to fare.
Lest they for trespassing his prisoners are,
Whose Castle's Doubting, and whose name's Despair."
Having escaped from Doubting Castle they continue their perilous way,
ever drawing nearer to the Celestial City, and ever growing more
impatient for the end of their pilgrimage.
BEULAH LAND, DEATH, AND THE CELESTIAL CITY
Now I saw in my dream, that by this time the Pilgrims were got over the
Enchanted Ground, and entering into the country of Beulah, whose air
was very sweet and pleasant, the way lying directly through it, they
solaced themselves there for a season. Yea, here they heard continually
the singing of birds, and saw every day the flowers appear in the
earth, and heard the voice of the turtle in the land. In this country
the sun shineth night and day; wherefore this was beyond the Valley of
the Shadow of Death, and also out of the reach of Giant Despair,
neither could they from this place so much as see Doubting Castle.
Here they were within sight of the city they were going to, also here
met them some of the inhabitants thereof; for in this land the Shining
Ones commonly walked, because it was on the borders of heaven. In this
land, also, the contract between the bride and the bridegroom was
renewed; yea, here, "As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so did
their God rejoice over them." Here they had no want of corn and wine;
for in this place they met with abundance of what they had sought for
in all their pilgrimage.
Here they heard voices from out of the city, loud voices, saying, "Say
ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh! Behold, his
reward is with him!" Here all the inhabitants of the country called
them, "The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord sought out," etc.
[Illustration: The Celestial City]
Now, as they walked in this land, they had more rejoicing than in parts
more remote from the kingdom to which they were bound; and drawing near
to the city, they had yet a more perfect view thereof. It was builded
of pearls and precious stones, also the street thereof was paved with
gold; so by reason of the natural glory of the city, and the reflection
of the sunbeams upon it, Christian with desire fell sick; Hopeful also
had a fit or two of the same disease. Wherefore, here they lay by it a
while, crying out, because of their pangs, "If ye find my beloved, tell
him that I am sick of love."
But, being a little strengthened, and better able to bear their
sickness, they walked on their way, and came yet nearer and nearer,
where were orchards, vineyards, and gardens, and their gates opened
into the highway. Now, as they came up to these places, behold the
gardener stood in the way, to whom the pilgrims said, "Whose goodly
vineyards and gardens are these?" He answered, "They are the King's,
and are planted here for his own delight, and also for the solace of
pilgrims." So the gardener had them into the vineyards, and bid them
refresh themselves with the dainties. He also showed them there the
King's walks, and the arbors where he delighted to be; and here they
tarried and slept.
Now, I beheld in my dream, that they talked more in their sleep at this
time than ever they did in all their journey; and being in a muse
thereabout, the gardener said even to me, "Wherefore musest thou at the
matter? It is the nature of the fruit of the grapes of these vineyards
to go down so sweetly as to cause the lips of them that are asleep to
So I saw that when they awoke, they addressed themselves to go up to
the city; but, as I said, the reflection of the sun upon the city (for
"the city was pure gold") was so extremely glorious, that they could
not, as yet, with open face behold it, but through an instrument made
for that purpose.
So I saw that, as they went on, there met them two men, in raiment that
shone like gold; also their faces shone as the light. These men asked
the pilgrims whence they came; and they told them. They also asked them
where they had lodged, what difficulties and dangers, what comforts and
pleasures they had met in the way; and they told them.
Then said the men that met them, "You have but two difficulties more to
meet with, and then you are in the city."
Christian, then, and his companion, asked the men to go along with
them; so they told them they would.
"But," said they, "you must obtain it by your own faith."
So I saw in my dream that they went on together, until they came in
sight of the gate.
Now, I further saw, that betwixt them and the gate was a river, but
there was no bridge to go over, and the river was very deep. At the
sight, therefore, of this river, the Pilgrims were much stunned; but
the men that went with them said, "You must go through, or you cannot
come at the gate."
The pilgrims then began to inquire if there was no other way to the
gate; to which they answered, "Yes; but there hath not any, save two,
to-wit, Enoch and Elijah, been permitted to tread that path, since the
foundation of the world, nor shall, until the last trumpet shall
The Pilgrims then (especially Christian) began to despond in their
minds, and looked this way and that, but no way could be found by them
by which they might escape the river. Then they asked the men if the
waters were all of a depth.
They said, "No;" yet they could not help them in the case; "for," said
they, "you shall find it deeper or shallower as you believe in the King
of the place."
They then addressed themselves to the water; and entering, Christian
began to sink, and crying out to his good friend Hopeful, he said, "I
sink in deep waters; the billows go over my head, all His waves go over
Then said the other, "Be of good cheer, my brother, I feel the bottom,
and it is good."
Then said Christian, "Ah! my friend, 'the sorrows of death have
compassed me about;' I shall not see the land that flows with milk and
honey;" and with that a great darkness and horror fell upon Christian,
so that he could not see before him. Also here he in a great measure
lost his senses, so that he could neither remember nor orderly talk of
any of those sweet refreshments that he had met with in the way of his
But all the words that he spake still tended to discover that he had
horror of mind, and heart-fears that he should die in that river, and
never obtain entrance in at the gate. Here, also, as they that stood by
perceived, he was much in the troublesome thoughts of the sins that he
had committed, both since and before he began to be a pilgrim. It was
also observed that he was troubled with apparitions of hobgoblins and
evil spirits, for ever and anon he would intimate so much by words.
Hopeful, therefore, here had much ado to keep his brother's head above
water; yea, sometimes he would be quite gone down, and then, ere a
while, he would rise up again half dead. Hopeful also did endeavor to
comfort him, saying, "Brother, I see the gate, and men standing by to
receive us;" but Christian would answer, "It is you, it is you they
wait for; you have been Hopeful ever since I knew you."
"And so have you," said he to Christian.
"Ah, brother;" said he, "surely if I was right, He would now arise to
help me; but for my sins He hath brought me into the snare, and hath
Then said Hopeful, "My brother, you have quite forgot the text, where
it is said of the wicked, 'There are no bands in their death, but their
strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men, neither are
they plagued like other men.' These troubles and distresses that you go
through in these waters are no sign that God hath forsaken you, but are
sent to try you, whether you will call to mind that which heretofore
you have received of his goodness, and live upon him in your
Then I saw in my dream, that Christian was as in a muse a while. To
whom also Hopeful added this word, "Be of good cheer, Jesus Christ
maketh thee whole;" and with that Christian brake out with a loud
voice, "Oh! I see Him again, and He tells me, 'When thou passeth
through the waters I will be with thee; and through the river, they
shall not overflow thee.'"
Then they both took courage, and the enemy was after that as still as a
stone, until they were gone over. Christian therefore presently found
ground to stand upon, and so it followed that the rest of the river was
Thus they got over.
Now, upon the bank of the river, on the other side, they saw the two
Shining Men again, who there waited for them, wherefore, being come out
of the river, they saluted them, saying, "We are ministering spirits,
sent forth to minister for those that shall be heirs of salvation."
Thus they went along toward the gate.
Now you must note that the City stood upon a mighty hill, but the
Pilgrims went up that hill with ease, because they had these two men to
lead them up by the arms; also, they had left their mortal garments
behind them in the river, for though they went in with them, they came
out without them. They, therefore, went up here with much agility and
speed, though the foundation upon which the City was framed was higher
than the clouds. They therefore went up through the regions of the air,
sweetly talking as they went, being comforted, because they safely got
over the river, and had such glorious companions to attend them.
Now while they were thus drawing toward the gate, behold a company of
the heavenly host came out to meet them: to whom it was said, by the
other two Shining Ones, "These are the men that have loved our Lord
when they were in the world, and that have left all for His holy name;
and He hath sent us to fetch them, and we have brought them thus far on
their desired journey, that they may go in and look their Redeemer in
the face with joy."
Then the heavenly host gave a great shout saying, "Blessed are they
which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb." There came out
also at this time to meet them, several of the king's trumpeters,
clothed in white and shining raiment, who, with melodious noises, and
loud, made even the heavens to echo with their sound. These trumpeters
saluted Christian and his fellow with ten thousand welcomes from the
world; and this they did with shouting and sound of trumpet.
This done, they compassed them round on every side; some went before,
some behind, and some on the right hand, some on the left (as it were
to guard them through the upper regions), continually sounding as they
went, with melodious noise, in notes on high; so that the very sight
was to them that could behold it as if heaven itself was come down to
meet them. Thus, therefore, they walked on together; and as they
walked, ever and anon, these trumpeters, even with joyful sound, would,
by mixing their music with looks and gestures, still signify to
Christian and his brother how welcome they were into their company, and
with what gladness they came to meet them.
And now were these two men, as it were, in heaven, before they came at
it, being swallowed up with the sight of angels, and with hearing of
their melodious notes. Here also they had the City itself in view, and
they thought they heard all the bells therein to ring to welcome them
thereto. But above all, the warm and joyful thoughts that they had
about their own dwelling there, with such company, and that for ever
and ever. Oh, by what tongue or pen can their glorious joy be
expressed! And thus they came up to the gate.
Now, when they were come up to the gate, there was written over it in
letters of gold, "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they
may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates
into the City."
Then I saw in my dream that the Shining Men bid them call at the gate;
the which, when they did, some looked from over the gate, to-wit,
Enoch, Moses and Elijah, etc., to whom it was said, "These pilgrims are
come from the City of Destruction, for the love that they bear to the
King of this place;" and then the pilgrims gave in unto them each man
his certificate, which they had received in the beginning; those,
therefore, were carried in to the King, who, when he had read them,
said, "Where are the men?"
To whom it was answered, "They are standing without the gate."
The King then commanded to open the gate, "That the righteous nation,"
said he, "which keepeth the truth may enter in."
Now I saw in my dream that these two men went in at the gate: and lo,
as they entered, they were transfigured, and they had raiment put on
that shone like gold. There were also that met them with harps and
crowns, and gave them to them--the harps to praise withal, and the
crowns in token of honor.
Then I heard in my dream that all the bells in the city rang again for
joy, and that it was said unto them, _"Enter ye into the joy of your
I also heard the men themselves, that they sang with a loud voice,
saying, _"Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that
sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."_
Now, just as the gate were opened to let in the men, I looked in after
them, and, behold, the City shone like the sun; the streets also were
paved with gold, and in them walked many men, with crowns on their
heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises withal.
There were also of them that had wings, and they answered one another
without intermission, saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord." And after
that they shut up the gates; which, when I had seen, I wished myself
[Footnote: From _Afterichiles_, by James Whitcomb Riley, copyright
_By_ JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY
I cannot say, and I will not say,
That he is dead.--He is just away!
With a cheery smile and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land,
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there.
And you--oh you, who the wildest yearn
For the old-time step and the glad return,--
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of There as the love of Here;
And loyal still, as he gave the blows
Of his warrior strength to his country's foes.--
Mild and gentle, as he was brave,--
When the sweetest love of his life he gave
To simple things;--Where the violets grew
Pure as the eyes they were likened to,
The touches of his hand have strayed
As reverently as his lips have prayed:
When the little brown thrush that harshly chirred
Was dear to him as the mocking-bird;
And he pitied as much as a man in pain
A writhing honey-bee wet with rain.--
Think of him still as the same, I say;
He is not dead--he is just away!
LITTLE GIFFIN OF TENNESSEE
Out of the focal and foremost fire,
Out of the hospital walls as dire,
Smitten of grape-shot and gangrene--
Eighteenth battle and he sixteen--
Spectre such as you seldom see,
Little Giffin of Tennessee.
"Take him and welcome," the surgeon said,
"But much your doctor can help the dead!"
And so we took him and brought him where
The balm was sweet on the summer air;
And we laid him down on a lonesome bed,
Utter Lazarus, heels to head.
Weary war with bated breath!
Skeleton Boy against skeleton Death!
Months of torture, how many such!
Weary weeks of the stick and crutch!
And still the glint of the steel-blue eye
Told of a spirit that wouldn't die,
And didn't--nay more, in Death's despite
The crippled skeleton learned to write.
"Dear Mother," at first, of course, and then,
"Dear Captain," asking about the men.
Captain's answer, "Of eighty and five,
Giffin and I are still alive."
"Johnston's pressed at the front," they say--
Little Giffin was up and away.
A tear, the first, as he bade good-bye,
Dimmed the glint of his steel-blue eye.
"I'll write, if spared."--There was news of fight,
But none of Giffin--he didn't write.
I sometimes fancy that when I'm king,
And my gallant courtiers form a ring,
Each so careless of power and pelf,
Each so thoughtful for all but self,
I'd give the best on his bended knee--
Yes, barter them all, for the loyalty
Of Little Giffin of Tennessee.
A PIKE COUNTY VIEW OF SPECIAL PROVIDENCE
By JOHN HAY
[Footnote: John Hay was born in Indiana, and in 1861 became the law-
partner of Abraham Lincoln, and for the greater part of the time
during the latter's life as president of the United States, acted as
his private secretary. After the War he held various political offices
and was an editorial Writer on the New York Tribune. He became known
for his unusual tact and foresight, and finally became secretary of
He is well known, too, for his writings, the most notable of which is
his _Abraham Lincoln_, which was written in company with John G Nicolay.
Besides this he wrote a number of humorous poems, of which _Little
Breeches_ is perhaps the best known.]
I don't go much on religion,
I never ain't had no show;
But I've got a middlin' tight grip, sir,
On the handful o' things I know.
I don't pan out on the prophets
And free-will, and that sort of thing,--
But I b'lieve in God and the angels,
Ever sence one night last spring.
[Illustration: Went team, Little Breeches, and all]
I come into town with some turnips,
And my little Gabe come along,--
No four-year-old in the country
Could beat him for pretty and strong,
Peart and chipper and sassy,
Always ready to swear and fight,--
And I'd larnt him ter chaw terbacker,
Jest to keep his milk-teeth white.
The snow come down like a blanket
As I passed by Taggart's store;
I went in for a jug of molasses
And left the team at the door.
They scared at something and started,--
I heard one little squall,
And hell-to-split over the prairie
Went team, Little Breeches and all.
Hell-to-split over the prairie!
I was almost froze with skeer;
But we rousted up some torches,
And sarched for 'em far and near.
At last we struck hosses and wagon,
Snowed under a soft white mound,
Upsot, dead beat,--but of little Gabe
No hide nor hair was found.
And here all hope soured on me
Of my fellow-critter's aid,--
I jest flopped down on my marrow-bones,
Crotch-deep in the snow, and prayed.
* * * * *
By this, the torches was played out,
And me and Isrul Parr
Went off for some wood to a sheepfold
That he said was somewhar thar.
We found it at last, and a little shed
Where they shut up the lambs at night.
We looked in, and seen them huddled thar,
So warm and sleepy and white;
And THAR sot Little Breeches and chirped,
As peart as ever you see,
"I want a chaw of terbacker,
And that's what's the matter of me."
How did he git thar? Angels.
He could never have walked in that storm.
They jest scooped down and toted him
To whar it was safe and warm.
And I think that saving a little child,
And bringing him to his own,
Is a derned sight better business
Than loafing around the Throne.
This little poem is an imitation of what was the rude dialect of some
parts of Pike County, Indiana. One must not be too critical of the
roughness and the apparent irreverence of some of the lines, for the
sentiment is a pleasing one. An ignorant man who believes in "God and
the angels" may be forgiven for the crudity of his ideas, and the
mistakes he makes in bringing up his boy, especially as he "never ain't
had no show."
THE YARN OF THE "NANCY BELL"
_By_ W. S. GILBERT
'Twas on the shores that round our coasts
From Deal to Ramsgate span,
That I found alone, on a piece of stone,
An elderly naval man.
His hair was weedy, his beard was long,
And weedy and long was he;
And I heard this wight on the shore recite,
In a singular minor key:--
"O, I am a cook and a captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain's gig."
And he shook his fists and he tore his hair
Till I really felt afraid,
For I couldn't help thinking the man had been drinking,
And so I simply said:--
"O elderly man, it's little I know
Of the duties of men of the sea,
And I'll eat my hand if I understand
How you can possibly be
"At once a cook and a captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain's gig!"
Then he gave a hitch to his trousers, which
Is a trick all seamen larn,
And having got rid of a thumping quid
He spun this painful yarn:--
"'Twas in the good ship Nancy Bell
That we sailed to the Indian sea,
And there on a reef we come to grief,
Which has often occurred to me.
"And pretty nigh all o' the crew was drowned
(There was seventy-seven o' soul);
And only ten of the Nancy's men
Said 'Here' to the muster-roll.
"There was me, and the cook, and the captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo'sun tight and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain's gig.
"For a month we'd neither wittles nor drink,
Till a hungry we did feel,
So we drawed a lot, and, accordin', shot
The captain for our meal.
"The next lot fell to the Nancy's mate,
And a delicate dish he made;
Then our appetite with the midshipmite
We seven survivors stayed.
"And then we murdered the bo'sun tight,
And he much resembled pig;
Then we wittled free, did the cook and me.
On the crew of the captain's gig.
[Illustration: "FOR DON'T YOU SEE THAT YOU CAN'T COOK ME?"]
"Then only the cook and me was left,
And the delicate question, 'Which
Of us two goes to the kettle?' arose,
And we argued it out as such.
"For I loved that cook as a brother, I did,
And the cook he worshipped me;
But we'd both be blowed if we'd either be stowed
In the other chap's hold, you see.
"'I'll be eat if you dines off me,' says Tom.
'Yes, that,' says I, 'you'll be.
I'm boiled if I die, my friend,' quoth I;
And 'Exactly so,' quoth he.
"Say he: 'Dear James, to murder me
Were a foolish thing to do,
For don't you see that you can't cook me,
While I can--and will--cook you?'
"So he boils the water, and takes the salt
And the pepper in portions true
(Which he never forgot), and some chopped shalot,
And some sage and, parsley too.
"'Come here,' says he, with proper pride,
Which his smiling features tell;
"'Twill soothing be if I let you see
How extremely nice you'll smell.'
"And he stirred it round, and round, and round,
And he sniffed at the foaming froth;
When I ups with his heels, and smothers his squeals
In the scum of the boiling broth.
"And I eat that cook in a week or less,
And as I eating be
The last of his chops, why I almost drops,
For a wessel in sight I see.
* * * * *
"And I never larf, and I never smile,
And I never lark nor play;
But I sit and croak, and a single joke
I have--which is to say:
"O, I am a cook and a captain bold
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain's gig!"
_By_ LADY DUFFERIN
Och, girls, did you ever hear
I wrote my love a letter?
And altho' he cannot read,
I thought 'twas all the better.
For why should be he puzzled
With spellin' in the matter,
When the _manin'_ was so plain
I loved him faithfully,
And he knows it--oh, he knows it--
Without one word from me.
I wrote it, and I folded it,
And put a seal upon it,
'Twas a seal almost as big
As the crown of my best bonnet;
For I wouldn't have the postman
Make his remarks upon it,
As I'd said _inside_ the letter
I loved him faithfully,
And he knows it--oh, he knows it--
Without one word from me.
My heart was full, but when I wrote
I dare not put the half in;
For the neighbors know I love him,
And they're mighty found of chaffin',
So I dare not write his name _outside_,
For fear they would be laughin',
But wrote, "From little Kate to one
Whom she loves faithfully,"
And he knows it--oh, he knows it--
Without one word from me.
Now, girls, would you believe it,
That postman so _consated_,
No answer will he bring me,
So long have I waited?
But maybe--there mayn't be one,
Because--as I have stated--
My love can neither read nor write,
But he loves me faithfully,
And I know, where'er my love is,
That he is true to me.
THE ARICKARA INDIANS
[Footnote: This description is taken from. Irving's _Astoria_, an
account of early explorations in the Northwest, undertaken under the
management of John Jacob Astor.]
_By_ WASHINGTON IRVING
The village of the Rikaras, [Footnote: The Arickaras, or Rees as they
are now sometimes called, are reduced to a few hundred persons who are,
with the Mandans and other Indians, on a reservation in North Dakota.]
Arickaras, or Ricarees, for the name is thus variously written, is
between the 46th and 47th parallels of north latitude, and fourteen
hundred and thirty miles above the mouth of the Missouri. [Footnote:
This would place the village somewhere near the present site of
Bismarck, North Dakota.] The party reached it about ten o'clock in the
morning, but landed on the opposite side of the river, where they
spread out their baggage and effects to dry. From hence they commanded
an excellent view of the village. It was divided into two portions,
about eighty yards apart, being inhabited by two distinct bands. The
whole extended about three quarters of a mile along the river bank, and
was composed of conical lodges, that looked like so many small
hillocks, being wooden frames intertwined with osier, and covered with
earth. The plain beyond the village swept up into hills of considerable
height, but the whole country was nearly destitute of trees.
While they were regarding the village, they beheld a singular fleet
coming down the river. It consisted of a number of canoes, each made of
a single buffalo hide stretched on sticks, so as to form a kind of
circular trough. Each one was navigated by a single squaw, who knelt in
the bottom and paddled, towing after her frail bark a bundle of
floating wood intended for firing. This kind of canoe is in frequent
use among the Indians; the buffalo hide being readily made up into a
bundle and transported on horseback; it is very serviceable in
conveying baggage across the rivers.
The great numbers of horses grazing around the village, and scattered
over the neighboring hills and valleys, bespoke the equestrian habits
of the Arickaras, who are admirable horsemen. Indeed, in the number of
his horses consists the wealth of an Indian of the prairies; who
resembles an Arab in his passion for this noble animal, and in his
adroitness in the management of it.
After a time, the voice of the sovereign chief, "the Left-handed," was
heard across the river, announcing that the council lodge was preparing
and inviting the white men to come over. The river was half a mile in
width, yet every word uttered by the chieftain was heard; this may be
partly attributed to the distinct manner in which every syllable of the
compound words in the Indian language is articulated and accented; but
in truth, a savage warrior might often rival Achilles himself for force
The explorers landed amid a rabble crowd, and were received on the bank
by the left-handed chief, who conducted them into the village with
grave courtesy; driving to the right and left the swarms of old squaws,
imp-like boys, and vagabond dogs, with which the place abounded. They
wound their way between the cabins, which looked like dirt-heaps
huddled together without any plan, and surrounded by old palisades; all
filthy in the extreme, and redolent of villainous smells.
At length they arrived at the council lodge. It was somewhat spacious,
and formed of four forked trunks of trees placed upright, supporting
crossbeams and a frame of poles interwoven with osiers, and the whole
covered with earth. A hole sunken in the centre formed the fireplace,
and immediately above was a circular hole in the apex of the lodge, to
let out the smoke and let in the daylight. Around the lodge were
recesses for sleeping, like the berths on board ships, screened from
view by curtains of dressed skins. At the upper end of the lodge was a
kind of hunting and warlike trophy, consisting of two buffalo heads
garishly painted, surmounted by shields, bows, quivers of arrows, and
On entering the lodge the chief pointed to mats or cushions which had
been placed around for the strangers, and on which they seated
themselves, while he placed himself on a kind of stool. An old man then
came forward with the pipe of peace or good-fellowship, lighted and
handed it to the chief, and then falling back, squatted himself near
the door. The pipe was passed from mouth to mouth, each one taking a
whiff, which is equivalent to the inviolable pledge of faith, of taking
salt together among the ancient Britons. The chief then made a sign to
the old pipe-bearer, who seemed to fill, likewise, the station of
herald, seneschal, and public crier, for he ascended to the top of the
lodge to make proclamation. Here he took his post beside the aperture
for the emission of smoke and the admission of light; the chief
dictated from within what he was to proclaim, and he bawled it forth
with a force of lungs that resounded over all the village. In this way
he summoned the warriors and great men to council; every now and then
reporting progress to his chief through the hole in the roof.
In a little while the braves and sages began to enter one by one as
their names were called or announced, emerging from under the buffalo
robe suspended over the entrance instead of a door, stalking across the
lodge to the skins placed on the floor, and crouching down on them in
silence. In this way twenty entered and took their seats, forming an
assemblage worthy of the pencil; for the Arickaras are a noble race of
men, large and well formed, and maintain a savage grandeur and gravity
of demeanor in their solemn ceremonials.
All being seated, the old seneschal prepared the pipe of ceremony or
council, and having lit it, handed it to the chief. He inhaled the
sacred smoke, gave a puff upward to the heaven, then downward to the
earth, then toward the east; after this it was as usual passed from
mouth to mouth, each holding it respectfully until his neighbor had
taken several whiffs; and now the grand council was considered as
opened in due form.
The chief made an harangue welcoming the white men to his village, and
expressing his happiness in taking them by the hand as friends; but at
the same time complaining of the poverty of himself and his people; the
usual prelude among Indians to begging or hard bargaining.
Mr. Hunt then spoke, declaring the object of his journey to the great
Salt Lake beyond the mountains, and that he should want horses for the
purpose, for which he was ready to trade, having brought with him
plenty of goods. He concluded his speech by making presents of tobacco.
The left-handed chieftain in reply promised his friendship and aid to
the new-comers, and welcomed them to his village. He added that they
had not the number of horses to spare that Mr. Hunt required, and
expressed a doubt whether they should be able to part with any. Upon
this, another chieftain, called Gray Eyes, made a speech, and declared
that they could readily supply Mr. Hunt with all the horses he might
want, since, if they had not enough in the village, they could easily
steal more. This honest expedient immediately removed the main
difficulty; but the chief deferred all trading for a day or two, until
he should have time to consult with his subordinate chiefs, as to
market rates; for the principal chief of a village, in conjunction with
his council, usually fixes the prices at which articles shall be bought
and sold, and to them the village must conform.
The council now broke up. Mr. Hunt transferred his camp across the
river at a little distance below the village, and the left-handed chief
placed some of his warriors as a guard to prevent the intrusion of any
of his people. The camp was pitched on the river bank just above the
boats. The tents, and the men wrapped in their blankets and bivouacking
on skins in the open air, surrounded the baggage at night. Four
sentinels also kept watch within sight of each other outside of the
camp until midnight, when they were relieved by four others who mounted
guard until daylight.
[Illustration: TRADING FOR HORSES]
A trade now commenced with the Arickaras under the regulation and
supervision of their two chieftains. Mr. Hunt established his mart in
the lodge of the Big Man. The village soon presented the appearance of
a busy fair; and as horses were in demand, the purlieus and the
adjacent plain were like the vicinity of a Tartar encampment; horses
were put through all paces, and horsemen were careering about with that
dexterity and grace for which the Arickaras are noted. As soon as a
horse was purchased, his tail was cropped, a sure mode of
distinguishing him from the horses of the tribe; for the Indians
disdain to practice this absurd, barbarous, and indecent mutilation,
invented by some mean and vulgar mind, insensible to the merit and
perfections of the animal. On the contrary, the Indian horses are
suffered to remain in every respect the superb and beautiful animals
which nature formed them.
The wealth of an Indian of the far west consists principally in his
horses, of which each chief and warrior possesses a great number, so
that the plains about an Indian village or encampment are covered with
them. These form objects of traffic or objects of depredation, and in
this way pass from tribe to tribe over great tracts of country. The
horses owned by the Arickaras are, for the most part, of the wild stock
of the prairies; some, however, had been obtained from the Poncas,
Pawnees, and other tribes to the southwest, who had stolen them from
the Spaniards in the course of horse-stealing expeditions into the
Mexican territories. These were to be known by being branded, a Spanish
mode of marking horses not practised by the Indians.
As the Arickaras were meditating another expedition against their
enemies the Sioux, the articles of traffic most in demand were guns,
tomahawks, scalping-knives, powder, ball; and other munitions of war.
The price of a horse, as regulated by the chiefs, was commonly ten
dollars' worth of goods at first cost. To supply the demand thus
suddenly created, parties of young men and braves had sallied
forth on expeditions to steal horses; a species of service among the
Indians which takes precedence of hunting, and is considered a
department of honorable warfare.
While the leaders of the expedition were actively engaged in preparing
for the approaching journey, those who had accompanied it for curiosity
or amusement, found ample matter for observation in the village and its
inhabitants. Wherever they went they were kindly entertained. If they
entered a lodge, the buffalo robe was spread before the fire for them
to sit down; the pipe was brought, and while the master of the lodge
conversed with his guests, the squaw put the earthen vessel over the
fire, well filled with dried buffalo meat and pounded corn; for the
Indian in his native state, before he has mingled much with white men,
and acquired their sordid habits, has the hospitality of the Arab;
never does a stranger enter his door without having food placed before
him; and never is the food thus furnished made a matter of traffic.
The life of an Indian when at home in his village is a life of
indolence and amusement. To the woman is consigned the labors of the
household and the field; she arranges the lodge; brings wood for the
fire; cooks; jerks venison and buffalo meat; dresses the skins of the
animals killed in the chase; cultivates the little patch of maize,
pumpkins, and pulse, which furnishes a great part of their provisions.
Their time for repose and recreation is at sunset, when, the labors of
the day being ended, they gather together to amuse themselves with
petty games, or hold gossiping convocations on the tops of their
As to the Indian, he is a game animal, not to be degraded by useful or
menial toil. It is enough that he exposes himself to the hardships of
the chase and the perils of war; that he brings home food for his
family, and watches and fights for its protection. Everything else is
beneath his attention. When at home he attends only to his weapons and
his horses, preparing the means of future exploit. Or he engages with
his comrades in games of dexterity, agility and strength; or in
gambling games in which everything is put at hazard, with a
recklessness seldom witnessed in civilized life.
A great part of the idle leisure of the Indians when at home is passed
in groups, squatted together on the bank of a river, on the top of a
mound on the prairie, or on the roof of one of their earth-covered
lodges, talking over the news of the day, the affairs of the tribe, the
events and exploits of their last hunting or fighting expedition; or
listening to the stories of old times told by some veteran chronicler;
resembling a group of our village quidnuncs and politicians, listening
to the prosings of some superannuated oracle, or discussing the
contents of an ancient newspaper.
As to the Indian women, they are far from complaining of their lot. On
the contrary, they would despise their husbands should they stoop to
any menial office, and would think it conveyed an imputation upon their
own conduct. It is the worst insult one virago can cast upon another in
a moment of altercation. "Infamous woman!" will she cry, "I have seen
your husband carrying wood into his lodge to make the fire. Where was
his squaw that he should be obliged to make a woman of himself?"
Mr. Hunt and his fellow-travellers had not been many days at the
Arickara village, when rumors began to circulate that the Sioux had
followed them up, and that a war party, four or five hundred in number,
were lurking somewhere in the neighborhood. These rumors produced much
embarrassment in the camp. The white hunters were deterred from
venturing forth in quest of game, neither did the leaders think it
proper to expose them to such risk. The Arickaras, too, who had
suffered greatly in their wars with this cruel and ferocious tribe,
were roused to increased vigilance, and stationed mounted scouts upon
the neighboring hills. This, however, is a general precaution among the
tribes of the prairies. Those immense plains present a horizon like the
ocean, so that any object of importance can be descried afar, and
information communicated to a great distance. The scouts are stationed
on the hills, therefore, to look out both for game and for enemies, and
are, in a manner, living telegraphs conveying their intelligence by
concerted signs. If they wish to give notice of a herd of buffalo in
the plain beyond, they gallop backward and forward abreast, on the
summit of the hill. If they perceive an enemy at hand they gallop to
and fro, crossing each other; at sight of which the whole village flies
Such an alarm was given in the afternoon of the 15th. Four scouts were
seen crossing and recrossing each other at full gallop, on the summit
of a hill about two miles distant down the river. The cry was up that
the Sioux were coming. In an instant the village was in an uproar. Men,
women, and children were all brawling and shouting; dogs barking,
yelping, and howling. Some of the warriors ran for the horses to gather
and drive them in from the prairie, some for their weapons. As fast as
they could arm and equip they sallied forth; some on horseback, some on
foot; some hastily arrayed in their war dress, with coronets of
fluttering feathers, and their bodies smeared with paint; others naked
and only furnished with the weapons they had snatched up. The women and
children gathered on the tops of the lodges and heightened the
confusion of the scene by their vociferation. Old men who could no
longer bear arms took similar stations, and harangued the warriors as
they passed, exhorting them to valorous deeds. Some of the veterans
took arms themselves, and sallied forth with tottering steps. In this
way, the savage chivalry of the village to the number of five hundred,
poured forth, helter-skelter, riding and running, with hideous yells
and war-whoops, like so many bedlamites or demoniacs let loose.
After a while the tide of war rolled back, but with far less uproar.
Either it had been a false alarm, or the enemy had retreated on finding
themselves discovered, and quiet was restored to the village. The white
hunters continuing to be fearful of ranging this dangerous
neighborhood, fresh provisions began to be scarce in the camp. As a
substitute, therefore, for venison and buffalo meat, the travellers had
to purchase a number of dogs to be shot and cooked for the supply of
the camp. Fortunately, however chary the Indians might be of their
horses, they were liberal of their dogs. In fact, these animals swarm
about an Indian village as they do about a Turkish town. Not a family
but has two or three dozen belonging to it of all sizes and colors;
some, of a superior breed, are used for hunting; others, to draw the
sledge, while others, of a mongrel breed, and idle vagabond nature, are
fattened for food. They are supposed to be descended from the wolf, and
retain something of his savage but cowardly temper, howling rather than
barking, showing their teeth and snarling on the slightest provocation,
but sneaking away on the least attack.
The excitement of the village continued from day to day. On the day
following the alarm just mentioned, several parties arrived from
different directions, and were met and conducted by some of the braves
to the council lodge, where they reported the events and success of
their expeditions, whether of war or hunting; which news was afterward
promulgated throughout the village, by certain old men who acted as
heralds or town criers. Among the parties which arrived was one that
had been among the Snake nation stealing horses, and returned crowned
with success. As they passed in triumph through the village they were