Despair was a terrible looking man, with shaggy hair and beard and clothes made of the rough skin of wild beasts…He drove [the pilgrims] before him across the fields to his house, which was called Doubting Castle and put them in a dark dungeon, locking the door behind him.
All day and all night they lay there upon the bare ground, without either food or water, and not even able to see each other. Hopeful crept close to Christian, and they clung together, wondering whether the giant would soon come and put them to death…In the morning the giant took his club and went down to the dungeon. When he had beaten the boys, he left them again in the darkness, and they were so bruised by the heavy blows that they could not move but lay upon the ground all that day, moaning with pain. The next day Despair visited them again and seems surprised to find they were not dead. He told them that he would never let them leave his castle…
Christian said, “It is dreadful here. We cannot bear it much longer and we shall never be able to escape.”
“You must not talk in that way,” replied Hopeful. “You are forgetting all that has happened to you before. Just remember what a long way you have traveled and how many dangers you have been in. You were not afraid to fight with Self, and the King helped you to conquer him. You passed safely through the Death Valley, and even in Vanity Fair the King did not let you be killed. Let us trust in Him and wait a little longer.”
(“Little Pilgrim’s Progress”, adapted from John Bunyan’s classic by Helen L. Taylor)
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