Christian and Pliable accidentally fall into the Slough of Despond. For a while, both struggle within the mire, though Christian falls deeper because of the burden on his back. Irate with the situation and deciding that Christian's expectations are not worth the
trouble they have encountered, Pliable decides to abandon the journey altogether and heads home as soon as he manages to get out. "It is not enough to be pliable." Christian still wishes to continue his pilgrimage though he remains stuck in the bog. Eventually Help arrives.
from The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan:
Now I saw in my dream, that just as they had ended this talk they drew near to a very miry slough, that was in the midst of the plain; and they, being heedless, did both fall suddenly into the bog. The name of the slough was Despond. Here, therefore, they wallowed for a time, being grievously bedaubed with the dirt; and Christian, because of the burden that was on his back, began to sink in the mire.
Then said Pliable, "Ah! neighbour Christian, where are you now?"
"Truly", said Christian, "I do not know".
At this Pliable began to be offended, and angrily said to his fellow, "Is this the happiness you have told me all this while of? If we have such ill speed at our first setting out, what may we expect betwixt this and our journey's end? May I get out again with my life, you shall possess the brave country alone for me." (It is not enough to be pliable.) And, with that, he gave a desperate struggle or two, and got out of the mire on that side of the slough which was next to his own house: so away he went, and Christian saw him no more.
Wherefore Christian was left to tumble in the Slough of Despond alone:
but still he endeavoured to struggle to that side of the slough that was still further from his own house, and next to the wicket-gate; (Christian in trouble seeks still to get further from his own house.) The which he did, but could not get out, because of the burden that was upon his back: but I beheld in my dream, that a man came to him, whose name was Help, and asked him, "What he did there?"
"Sir", said Christian, "I was bid go this way by a man called Evangelist, who directed me also to yonder gate, that I might escape the wrath to come; and as I was going thither I fell in here."
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