Then said the men that met them, “You have but two difficulties more to meet and then you are in the City.” So they all walked together till they came in sight of the gate.
Now I saw that between them and the gate was a river, but there was no bridge to go over, and the river was deep. At the sight of the river Christian and Hopeful were stunned, but the men that went with them said, “You must go through, or you cannot come in at the gate.”
The pilgrims then, especially Christian, began to be afraid, and looked this way and that way, but could find no way by which to escape the river. Then they entered the river, and Christian began to sink and to cry out to his friend Hopeful, saying, “I sink in deep waters, the billows go over my head.”
But Hopeful cheered Christian, and said he felt the ground under his feet. Yet a great horror and darkness fell upon Christian, for he thought he should never reach the Celestial City, and Hopeful had much difficulty to keep his friend’s head above water. Then I saw in my dream that at last Christian took courage, and soon he found ground to stand upon, and the rest of the river was shallow. Thus they got over. Now upon the bank of the river, on the other side, they saw the two shining men again, who waited there for them, and led them toward the gate.
The City stood upon a mighty hill, but the pilgrims went up that with ease, talking gladly to their shining companions, and thus they came up to the gate.
And over the gate there were written in letters of gold “Blessed are they that do the King’s Commandments and may enter in through the gates into the City.”
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. They had harps given to them to praise on, and crowns were given to them 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, “Enter ye into the joy of your Lord.”
Now just as the gates 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 I heard many voices saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord.”
And after that they shut up the gates, and when I had seen this, I wished I myself were within. So I awoke, and behold it was a dream.
TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE
By Charles and Mary lamb
There was a certain island in the sea, the only inhabitants of which were an old man, whose name was Prospero, and his daughter Miranda, a very beautiful young lady. She came to this island so young, that she had no memory of having seen any other human face than her father’s.