« PreviousContinue »
Lust. Not guilty.
Clerk. Crier, call upon the witnesses to stand forth and give their evidence.
Cry. Gentlemen, you the witnesses for the King come in, and give in your evidence for our Lord the King against the prisoner at the bar.
Clerk. Come, Mr Know-all, look upon the prisoner at the bar. Do you know him?
Know. Yes, my Lord, I know him.
Know. His name is Lustings: he was the son of one Beastly, and his mother bare him in Flesh Street; she was one Evilconcupiscence's daughter. I knew all the generation of them.
Clerk. Well said. You have here heard his indictment, what say you to it, Is he guilty of the things charged against him, or not?
Know. My Lord, he has, as he saith, been a great man indeed; and greater in wickedness than by pedigree, more than a thousandfold.
Clerk. But what do you know of his particular actions, and especially with reference to his indictment.
Know. I know him to be a swearer, a liar, a Sabbathbreaker; I know him to be a fornicator and an unclean person; I know him to be guilty of abundance of evils. He has been to my knowledge a very filthy man.
Clerk. But where did he use to commit his wickednesses ? in some private corners, or more open and shamelessly?
Know. All the town over, my Lord.
Clerk. Come, Mr Tell-true, what have you to say for our Lord the King against the prisoner at the bar?
Tell. My Lord, all that the first witness has said I know to be true, and a great deal more besides.
Clerk. Mr Lustings, do you hear what these gentlemen say? Lust. I was ever of opinion, that the happiest life that a
man could live on earth, was to keep himself back from nothing that he desired in the world; nor have I been false at any time to this opinion of mine, but have lived in the love of my notions all my days. Nor was I ever so churlish, having found such sweetness in them myself, as to keep the commendations of them from others.
Court. Then said the Court, There hath proceeded enough from his own mouth to lay him open to condemnation; wherefore set him by, jailer, and set Mr Incredulity to the bar.
Incredulity set to the bar.
Clerk. Mr Incredulity, thou art here indicted by the name of Incredulity (an intruder upon the town of Mansoul), for that thou hast feloniously and wickedly, and that when thou wert an officer in the town of Mansoul, made head against the captains of the great King Shaddai, when they came and demanded possession of Mansoul; yea, thou didst bid defiance to the name, forces, and cause of the King; and didst also, as did Diabolus thy captain, stir up and encourage the town of Mansoul to make head against, and resist the said force of the King. What sayest thou to this indictment; art thou guilty of it, or not?
Then said Incredulity, I know not Shaddai. I love my old prince. I thought it my duty to be true to my trust, and to do what I could to possess the minds of the men of Mansoul to do their utmost to resist strangers and foreigners, and with might to fight against them. Nor have I, nor shall I change my opinion, for fear of trouble, though you at present are possessed of place and power.
Court. Then said the Court, The man, as you see, is incorrigible. He is for maintaining his villanies by stoutness of words, and his rebellion with impudent confidence; and therefore set him by, jailer, and set Mr Forget-good to the bar.
[The song of the shepherd's boy in the " Valley of Humiliation,”* has fixed itself in almost every memory; but, with this exception, there is little of Bunyan's poetry which is equal to his prose. But in his “ Book for Boys and Girls,” there are some little compositions which, amidst all their homeliness, are curious as examples of a literature in which our English language is not abundant.]
Upon a Penny Laaf.
Of the Boy and Butterây.
# He that is down, needs fear no fall;
He that is low, no pride;
Have God to be his guide.
Little be it or much;
Because thou savest such.
That go on pilgrimage;
Found in her, would be bundled up together;
Upon the Frog.
DURING the Plague of London, in 1665, a few Christian friends were met for prayer in a private house in Covent Garden ; but, as it was an unlawful assembly, the soldiers broke in with drawn swords and arrested the worshippers. They were committed to Newgate prison, where the pestilence was raging; and an old minister from the country, Mr Richard Flavel, and his wife, caught the infection, and were released only to die.
Their eldest son was also at this time a minister. He had been born in a pleasant parsonage in Worcestershire, and on the soft summer evenings, whilst he lay a babe in the cradle, a nightingale kept up such a constant serenade at the chamber window as filled the young mother with all sorts of happy prognostics. Poor lady! she little dreamed that she and her husband were to exchange the orchard and rose-trees of Broomsgrove for a filthy and pestilent prison; but although their first-born did not turn out a musician or a poet, he was destined to a nobler vocation. As a minister and author, he transmitted the joyful sound of the gospel through the dark reigns of Charles and James the Second; and of all who sang songs in that night, few found listeners so eager and grateful as John Flavel.
In 1656, and when he was about twenty-six years of age, the people of Dartmouth, in Devon, chose him as their minister. Going amongst them on their own invitation, and in all the freshness of his affections, he and the inhabitants became ardently attached to one another. With his fund of striking incidents, with his faculty of happy illustration, with a temperament in which cheerfulness and solemnity were remarkably blended, and with a style of address in which