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By Waterbird in the Style of Susan Ashton
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A Modern Musical Adaptation of John Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress in Serial Form PART 2 The Story of Champion’s Wife, Christiana and Their Four Son’s Journey Chapter 12 Scene 1 LINK TO THE SPOKEN WORD AUDIO READ: http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/watchandlisten/play/be8406aaf By this time they were got to the Enchanted Ground, where the air naturally tended to make one drowsy: and that place was all grown over with briars and thorns, excepting here and there, where was an enchanted arbour, upon which if a man sits, or in which if a man sleeps it is a question, say some, whether ever he shall rise or wake again in this world. Over this forest therefore they went, both one and another: Mr. Great-heart went before, for that he was their guide; Mr. valiant-for-truth came behind, being rear-guard; for fear lest per adventure some fiend, or dragon, or giant, or thief, should fall upon their rear, and so do mischief. They went on here, each man with his sword drawn in his hand, for they knew it was a dangerous place. Also they cheered up one another, as well as they could. Feeble-mind, Mr. Great-heart commanded, should come up after him, and Mr. Despondency was under the eye of Mr. Valiant. Now they had not gone far, but a great mist and darkness fell upon them all, so that they could scarce, for a great while, one see the other: wherefore they were forced for some time to feel for one another by words, for they walked not by sight. But any one must think that here was but sorry going for the best of them all; but how much worse was it for the women and children, who both of feet and heart were but tender. Yet so it was, that, through the encouraging words of him that led in the front, and of him that brought them up behind, they made a pretty good shift to way along. They way was also here very wearisome, through dirt and slabbiness. Nor was there on all this ground so much as one inn or victualling-house wherein to refresh the feebler sort. Here, therefore, was grunting, and purring and sighing; while one tumbleth over a bush, another sticks fast in the dirt; and the children, some of them lost their shoes in the mire; while one cries out, I am down! And another, Ho, where are you? And a third, The bushes have got such a fast hold on me, I think I cannot get away from them. Then they came to an arbour, warm and promising, much refreshing to the pilgrims: for it was finely wrought above-head, beautified with greens, furnished with benches and settles. It also had in it a soft couch, where the weary might lean. This, you must think, all things considered, was tempting; for the pilgrims already began to be foiled with the badness of the way: but there was not one of them that made so much as a motion to stop there. Yea, for aught I could perceive, they continually gave so good heed to the advice of their guide, and he did so faithfully tell them of dangers, and of the nature of dangers, when they were at them, that usually, when they were nearest to them, they did most pluck up their spirits, and hearten one another to deny the flesh. This arbour was called the Slothful’s Friend, and was made on purpose to allure, if it might be, some of the pilgrims there to take up their rest when weary. I saw them in my dream that they went on in this solitary ground, till they came to a place at which a man is apt to lose his way. Now, though when it was light their guide could well enough tell how to miss those ways that led wrong, yet in the dark he was put to a stand: but he had in his pocket a map of all ways leading to or from the Celestial City: wherefore he strikes a light (for he never goes also without his tinder-box), and takes a view of his book or map, which bids him be careful in that place to turn to the right hand. And had he not been careful here to look in his map, they had in all probability been smothered in the mud; for just a little before them, and that at the end of the cleanest way, too, was a pit, none knows how deep, full of nothing but mud, there made on power to destroy the pilgrims in. Then thought I with myself, Who that goeth on pilgrimage but would have one of these maps about him, that he may look, when he is at a stand, which is the way he must take. Then they went on in this Enchanted Ground, till they came to where there was another arbour, and it was built by the highway side. And in that arbour there lay two men, whose names were Heedless and Too-bold. These two went thus far on pilgrimage; but here, being wearied with their journey, sat down to rest themselves, and so fell fast asleep. When the pilgrims saw them, they stood still, and shook their heads; for they knew that the sleepers were in a pitiful case. They consulted what to do, whether to go on and leave them in their sleep, or step to them and try to awake them: so they concluded to go to them and awake them; that is, if they could; but with this caution, namely, to take heed that they themselves did not sit down, nor embrace the offered benefit of that arbour. So they went in, and spake to the men, and called each one by his mane (for the guide, it seems, did know them), but there was no voice nor answer. Then the guide did shake them, and did what he could to disturb them. Then said one of them, I will pay you when I take my money. At which the guide shook his head. I will fight so long as I can hold my sword in my hand, said the other. At that one of the children laughed.