A treat for Greatheart
On, on to The Slough of Despond
A portrait of Pilgrims close to Hill Lucre
he progress of the pilgrims
his is the account of the journey partaken by the weary band of pilgrims assembled an hour before noon on the 28th day of October in the year of our Lord 2012. Christian accompanied by his companion Hopeless, nay Hopeful, and his hound Faithful, were to lead this band of unbelievers and vagabonds starting from the picket gate, and through many temptations and tribulations to reach the Celestial City [Ed ...he means the Pub].
From the start many were led down the way called Danger, but foresooth, saw the error of their ways and returned and found the Wicket gate [Ed ... farm gate to you] where they were greeted by Good Will and Wordly Wiseman. Once again, led by the lanky Greatheart a trusty smith, who was large in stature but short in leggings, the pilgrims started down the path to Destruction but again turned back after seeing the foolishness of their ways.
Continuing along By-path Meadow the going was much improved but the Lady Talkative and 2 companions became FRBs for their sins and were returned to repent their errors.
Many ways that could be taken were encountered and much wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued with many pilgrims sent back to cleanse their souls. Count Wiseman was often among these unbelievers but dutifully recorded these events on his tablets of stone. After traversing the Pleasant Meadow, Christian addressed the pilgrims and warned them of the dangers awaiting them as they reached The Slough of Despond, but all passed through with much slipping and sliding. Other pilgrims passed us by, riding their strange chariots, but our happy band all reached the Wench Check safely.
On setting forth we were led astray once more by Turnaway who is beholden to be below the one called Little Faith who was heard later to mutter "No not again" upon reaching the sign to return and repent. Also the one called Flatterer (He who was to forget his role and order of address when we reassembled) addressed Christian and accused him of "devious methods" but was invited to cleanse himself in the Lake of Repentance but he refused to do so, and only Count Wiseman and Formality (he of the strange chariot) were absolved of their wrongdoings by the cleansing waters.
The Schoolmaster was not seen at his dwelling but the Schoolmistress, accompanied by her hound Honest was ever present at the front of our ensemble.
After passing safely through The Valley of the Shadow of Death we came within view of the Doubting Castle, close to Hill Lucre, where the Giant Maul lived, and our weary band posed for a portrait of our passing, but no signs of hidden treasure were to be seen.
Proceeding along, past the Enchanted Ground with the Delectable Mountains in the distance, we were led by The Evangelist , he who was to note our many wrongdoings, and others, so to reach the Hill of Difficulty.
The Evangelist notes wrongdoings
Honest is absolved in The Lake of Repentance
Now then, now then, Formality
Once again many pilgrims were bewitched by the open and inviting way before them, passing by Deadman's Lane, a way that would lead them to the Celestial City, and had to repent their ways and return with much anguish and tiredness.
The way home was uneventful with those less able to match the gait of Greatheart, Wiseman, and Pliable (he who is in charge of the archives), returning with a comfortable amble to reach our goal. Much ale was quaffed in front of a roaring log fire and our assembly had much discussion of the trials and tribulations of our Journey. Many pilgrims were not present including Graceless, Feeblemind, Formality and Hypocrisy and other who had reached high office, but they are forgiven for their weaknesses and may in time reach the gates of The Celestial City.
Facts:- John Bunyan. Born Elstow 1628, died 1688. Imprisoned Bedford Gaol 1660-72 and also 1675 where it is thought he wrote The Pilgrims Progress.
Places: Wicket Gate .. the gate to Elstow Church. Delectable Mountains ..The Chiltern Hills.
Slough of Despond...A wet area near his home in Harrowden. Celestial City...London.
Most famous hymn.. He who would valiant be, one of the few hymns to include the word "hobgoblin" (original version).
Bunyan confessed to a number of sins including use of profanity, dancing and bell-ringing.
THE ROUTE THE COUNT TOOK recorded in unimaginable and magical images