SPARX Pilgrims Progress

by Colin Dexter

Then was there much ado in the family of Christian, for such was his name, that he should run from his home on a way which all knew to be perilous. Two of his neighbors did Christian implore to accompany him. The name of the one was Obstinate, that of the other Pliable. “What,” cried Obstinate, “leave our friends and comforts behind us?” But Pliable went with him for a space, till they reached a quag named the Slough of Despond. Having wallowed here for a time Pliable, getting out on the side nearest to his home, turned back. But Christian struggling on alone, one Help came to his rescue and led him to solid ground.

Here as Christian was walking he espied afar off a Mr. Worldly Wiseman, of the town of Carnal Policy. To his questions as to where he would be going Christian replied that he sought means to be rid of the burden on his back. “Why, in yonder village, Morality,” said the gentleman, “there dwells one whose name is Legality, and who hath a pretty young man, Civility, to his son. These will ease thee of thy burden.” So saying he directed Christian to a high hill, the which, on his reaching it, bent over so much that it was like to fall on and bury him.

Now Christian began to be sorry that he had taken Mr. Worldly Wiseman’s counsel; whereupon he again saw Evangelist, who encouraged him to go back and seek the Gate for which he had been making when urged to go out of the way. So in process of time Christian got up to this Gate, over which was written, “Knock and it shall be opened unto you.” He knocked, therefore, and one named Good-will came to answer.

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