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have been acquainted, and from it perhaps he got some suggestions which he made use of in his description of Interpreter's House. But wherever he got the ideas or materials, his handling of them was all his own, and by the time he was finished with them they were alive and immortal. Take, for example, his description of the man with the muck rake. For simplicity, directness and force it is like the Gospel parables, and leaves just the same unforgettable impression on the mind as they do.
“The Interpreter took them into his significant rooms, and showed them what Christian, Christiana's husband, had seen some time before. Here, therefore, they saw the man in the cage, the man and his dream, the man that cut his way through his enemies, and the picture of the biggest of all; together with the rest of those things that were then so profitable to Christian. This done, and after those things had been somewhat digested, by Christiana and her company, the Interpreter takes them apart again, and has them first into a room where was a man that could look no way but downwards, with a muck-rake in his hand; there stood also one over his head with a celestial crown in his hand, and proferred him that crown for his muck-rake; but the man did neither look up nor regard, but rake to himself the straws, the small sticks, and the dust of the floor. Then said Christiana, 'I persuade myself that I know somewhat the meaning of this; for this is a figure of a man in this world ; is it not, good sir ?' 'Thou hast said right,' said he, 'and his muck-rake doth show his carnal mind. And, whereas thou seest him rather give heed to rake up straws and sticks, and the dust of the floor, than do what he says that calls him from above, with the celestial crown in his hand; it is to show that heaven is but a fable to some, and that things here are counted the only things substantial. Now, whereas it was also showed thee, that the man could look no way but downwards, it is to let thee know that earthly things, when they are with power upon men's minds, quite carry their hearts away from God.' Then said Christiana, 'Oh ! deliver me from this muck-rack !' That prayer,' said the Interpreter, has lain by till it is almost rusty. “Give me not riches," is scarce the prayer of one of ten thousand. Straws and sticks, and dust, with most are the great things now looked after.' With that Christiana and Mercy wept, and said, 'It is, alas, too true.'"
Bunyan's characters are all very real, and it would be possible in nearly every case to tell who they are by listening to their talk, so self-revealing it is. Such is the talk of Mr. Worldly-wiseman, when he advises Christian, who has just emerged from the Slough of Despond, to turn aside from the way on which he has set out.
There is not a more dangerous and troublesome way in the world. ... Thou hast met with something, as I perceive, already; for I see the dirt of the Slough of Despond is upon thee; but that Slough is the beginning of sorrows that do attend those that go on in that way. Hear me, I am older than thou; thou art like to meet with in the way which thou goest, wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, swords, lions, dragons, darkness, and, in a word, death, and what not ; these things are certainly true, having been confirmed by many testimonies. ... It is happened unto thee as to other weak men, who meddling with things too high for
them, do suddenly fall into thy distractions, which distractions do not only unman men, as thine I perceive have done thee, but they run them on desperate ventures, to obtain they know not what.... But why wilt thou seek for ease this way, seeing so many dangers attend it, especially since (hadst thou but patience to hear me) I could direct thee to the obtaining of what thou desirest, without the dangers thou, in this way, wilt run thyself into; yea and the remedy is at hand ! Besides I will add that, instead of these dangers, thou wilt meet with much safety, friendship, and content.”
Just so have the worldly-wise spoken in the ears of the pilgrim of faith in every age, from the time of Abraham, who went forth not knowing whither he went, until now.
Very characteristic too is the speech of Mr. By-ends. He declines to tell Christian and Hopeful his name, but every word he utters betrays him.
"So I saw that after they (Christian and Hopeful) were gone out of the Fair, they over-took one that was going before them, whose name was By-ends; so they said to him: What countryman, Sir ? and how far go you this way?' He told them that he came from the town of Fair-speech, and that he was going to the Celestial City; but told them not his name.
“' From Fair-speech,' said Christian ; 'Is there any good that lives there?' 'Yes,' said By-ends, I hope.' Pray, sir, what may I call you ? 'said Christian.
By-ends : 'I am a stranger to you, and you to me ; if you are going this way, I shall be glad of your company; if not, I must be content.'
"Christian : This town of Fair-speech,' said Christian, 'I have heard of; and, as I remember, they say, it is a wealthy place.'
By-ends : 'Yes, I will assure you that it is, and I have very many rich kindred there.'
“Christian : 'Pray, who are your kindred there? if a man may be so bold.'
“ By-ends : ‘Almost the whole town; and in particular, my Lord Turn-about, my Lord Time-server, my Lord Fair-speech (from whose ancestors that town first took its name), also Mr. Smooth-man, Mr. Facingboth-ways, Mr. Any-thing; and the parson of our parish, Mr. Two-tongues, was my own brother by my father's side ; and, to tell you the truth, I am become a gentleman of good quality, yet my great-grandfather was but a waterman, looking one way and rowing another, and I got most of my estate by the same occupation.'"
Bunyan's admiration of the soldierly qualities in man comes out in what we are told of Valiant-forTruth, who had been set upon by three ruffians, and had fought and repulsed them. Great-heart, after listening to his story of the encounter, said to him : "Thou hast worthily behaved thyself. Let me see thy sword.' So he showed it him. When he had taken it in his hand, and looked thereon awhile, he said, “Ha! it is a right Jerusalem blade.' ... Mr. Great-heart was delighted in him, for he loved one greatly that he found to be a man of his hands."
But remarkable as is Bunyan's power of suggesting character, it is equalled by his power to call up a scene; and some of the pictures which he brings before his readers are among the most precious and memorable things in the book. Here is one of them :
They went then till they came to the Delectable Mountains; which mountains belong to the Lord of that hill of which we have spoken before ; so they went up to the mountains to behold the gardens and orchards, the vineyards and fountains of water; where also they drank, and washed themselves, and did freely eat of the vineyards. Now there were on the tops of these mountains shepherds feeding their flocks, and they stood by the high-way side. The Pilgrims, therefore, went to them, and leaning upon their staffs, as is common with weary pilgrims, when they stand to talk with any one by the way, they asked, Whose Delectable Mountains are these? And whose be the sheep that feed upon them ? ... I saw also in my dream that when the shepherds perceived that they were way-faring men, they also put questions to them (to which they made answer as in other places) as, Whence are you ? and how got you into the way ? and by what means have you so persevered therein ? for but few of them that begin to come hither do show their faces on these mountains. But when the shepherds heard their answers, being pleased therewith, they looked very lovingly upon them, and said, Welcome to the Delectable Mountains !
The passages telling of the approach of Christian and his companion, Hopeful, to the Celestial City, and of their entrance into it, have much of the grandeur and beauty of the Apocalypse, on which they largely depend for their imagery.
"Now while they were drawing near towards the Gate, behold a company of the heavenly host came out to meet them. ... They compassed them round about on every side ; some went before, some behind, and some