Trivium Pursuit

Mr. Despondency and His Daughter Much-Afraid

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When days had many of them passed away, Mr. Despondency was sent for, for a post was come, and brought this message to him:

“Trembling man! these are to summon thee to be ready with the King by the next Lord’s day, to shout for joy for thy deliverance from all thy doubtings. And,” said the messenger, “that my message is true, take this for a proof.” So he gave him a grasshopper to be a burden unto him.

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets. –Ecclesiastes 12:5

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Now Mr. Despondency’s daughter, whose name was Much-Afraid, said, when she heard what was done, that she would go with her father. Then Mr. Despondency said to his friends, “Myself and my daughter, you know what we have been, and how troublesomely we have behaved ourselves in every company. My will and my daughter’s is, that our desponds and slavish fears be by no man ever received, from the day of our departure, forever, for I know that after my death they will offer themselves to others. For, to be plain with you, they are ghosts which we entertained when we first began to be pilgrims, and could never shake them off after, and they will walk about and seek entertainment of the pilgrims, but for our sakes, shut the doors upon them.”

When the time was come for them to depart, they went up to the brink of the river. The last words of Mr. Despondency were, “Farewell, night. Welcome, day!” His daughter went through the river singing, but none could understand what she said.

–excerpt from Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

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