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THE MINER'S TALE.

173

miners on sudden accidents or illness, was procured with as little delay as possible, though not without considerable trouble; it was then found necessary that he should undergo amputation, and he bore it with great fortitude. During those hours of painful solitude in the mine he had time for serious reflection, and his thoughts now dwelt less on the injuries of his mortal body than on the salvation of his immortal soul; he repeated these memorable words, If thy hand offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to be cast into hell,' ” &c.

“ And what is become of him now?” asked Luke. “I suppose he did not die ?”

Man. No; he yet lives, and is quite an altered character: being disabled from any active occupation, he instructs the children of the poor in this neighbourhood, training them in the fear of God, and especially warning them against “covetousness, which is idolatry.” To his wife he frankly related all the circumstances of the case, remarking, that if he had succeeded in his attempt, he should probably have become worse and worse, and perhaps have suffered an ignominious death, therefore he should always consider his accident as a mercy.

The pilgrims listened well pleased to this tale, for it always gratified them to hear of the reformation of a sinner. Then the man asked them if they would like to go down and see the mine, which, however, they declined, thanking him for his civility, and saying, that from his description they could well imagine what kind of place it was, but that exploring it would take too much time, and hinder them on their journey.

So I saw that they parted, shaking the man kindly by the hand, for they liked his honest countenance, and the sympathy he seemed to feel in the fate of him of whom he had spoken. And then they went on their way till they came to a small house of entertainment for travellers, and at the same time they observed, within half-a-mile to their left, on a rising ground, a large new building, something like a castle; so when they entered the inn, which was little more than a cottage, to rest and refresh themselves, they inquired of the good woman who kept it (and very neat and clean it was), who was named Dame Peaceable, what that edifice was which they

saw.

" Why," replied the dame, “I hardly know what to call it, for some folks say it is like a monastery,

COLLEGE OF CONTENTION.

175

and others call it the College of Contention. It is built on the site of an old castle you may have heard tell of, that belonged to Giant Despair,' and was named Doubting Castle :' but he was killed, and the place became a ruin some years ago."*

“Oh, yes,” said Paul, we heard of it in our childhood; for the pilgrim Christian, who was once imprisoned there with his friend . Hopeful,' was my grandfather, and it was at the time of my mother and grandmother's pilgrimage afterwards, that · Mr. Greatheart,' who was the leader of their party, destroyed both the giant and his dwelling. And can you tell me,” continued he, “who lives in the present building ?”

Dame. There are many together—a sort of community, but the two that are most known amongst them are Mr. Newmode and Mr. Prosy : the latter was absent for some time, sojourning in the Plains of Prohibition ; and the other, though considered a good man, has been deluded away from his home by one Peter Romius, who lives a long way from here. Perhaps you have heard of him, too?

I have both heard of and seen him, as I have

* See “ Pilgrim's Progress, 1st and 2d Parts.

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reason to remember,” said Luke ; “ for he endeavoured to delude me away too."

• Well, to be sure !” exclaimed the woman: But I've heard he has persuaded many a good man to follow after, and abide with him ; the more's the pity! There was one, though, who went and stayed with him for a time, and then left him and returned home to his mother's house; and quite right he was, in my mind, not to be ashamed to own he had been deceived, but, when he found himself in error, to retrace his steps homewards like the prodigal son."

Now I saw in my dream that the travellers, after remunerating the good woman for their meal, once more set forward; and had not walked far when they came to that pleasant river on this side the " Delectable Mountains," and were all (especially Grace) charmed with the sweet and tranquil, yet cheerful, scene it presented. Many trees, some tall and slender, and bending forward as if to view themselves in the stream; others of the shrub kind, fragrant with blossom, and of various tints of green, fringed its high banks. Moreover, they saw three or four pleasure-boats moored close to them, which looked so inviting that they simultaneously felt a desire to embark in one, and addressing a waterman

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