In which a knight demonstrates an ancient lesson.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.—Matthew 7:7, 8.
NOW, when they were within sight of the Porter’s lodge, they soon came up unto it; but they made the more haste after this to go thither, because it is dangerous travelling there in the night. So when they were come to the gate, the Guide knocked, and the Porter cried, ‘Who is there?’ But as soon as the Guide had said, ‘It is I,’ he knew his voice, and came down; for the Guide had oft before that come thither as a Conductor of Pilgrims. When he was come down, he opened the Gate, and, seeing the Guide standing just before it, (for he saw not the women, for they were behind him,) he said unto him, ‘How now, Mr. Great-Heart, what is your business here so late at night?’ ‘I have brought,’ said he, ‘some Pilgrims hither, where, by my Lord’s commandment, they must lodge. I had been here some time ago, had I not been opposed by the Giant that used to back the lions. But I, after a long and tedious combat with him, have cut him off, and have brought the Pilgrims hither in safety.’
PORTER. Will not you go in, and stay till morning.
GREAT-HEART. No. I will return to my Lord to night.
CHRISTIANA. Oh, Sir, I know not how to be willing you should leave us in our pilgrimage, you have been so faithful and so loving to us, you have fought so stoutly for us, you have been so hearty in counselling of us, that I shall never forget your favour towards us.
MERCY. Then said Mercy, ‘O, that we might have thy company to our journey’s end! How can such poor women as we hold out in a way so full of troubles as this way is, without a friend or defender?’
JAMES. Then said James, the youngest of the boys, ‘Pray, Sir, be persuaded to go with us and help us, because we are so weak, and the way so dangerous as it is.’
GREAT-HEART. I am at my Lord’s commandment: if he shall allot me to be your Guide quite through, I will willingly wait upon you. But here you failed at first; for when he bid me come thus far with you, then you should have begged me of him to have gone quite through with you, and he would have granted your request. However, at present I must withdraw; and so good Christiana, Mercy, and my brave children, Adieu.
—John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress.