MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.
before him, and put them into his castle, into a very dark dungeon, nasty, and loathsome to the spirits of these two men.  Here, then, they lay from Wednesday morning till Saturday night, without one bit of bread or drop of drink, or light, or any to ask how they did; they were, therefore, here in evil case, and were far from friends and acquaintance.  Now, in this place Christian had double sorrow, because it was through his unadvised haste that they were brought into this distress.

Now Giant Despair had a wife, and her name was Diffidence; so when he was gone to bed, he told his wife what he had done, to wit, that he had taken a couple of prisoners, and cast them into his dungeon for trespassing on his grounds.  Then he asked her also what he had best to do further to them.  So she asked him what they were, whence they came, and whither they were bound, and he told her.  Then she counselled him, that when he arose in the morning he should beat them without mercy.  So when he arose, he getteth him a grievous crabtree cudgel, and goes down into the dungeon to them, and there first falls to rating of them as if they were dogs, although they never gave him a word of distaste.  Then he falls upon them, and beats them fearfully, in such sort that they were not able to help themselves, or to turn them upon the floor.  This done, he withdraws, and leaves them there to condole their misery, and to mourn under their distress:  so all that day they spent their time in nothing but sighs and bitter lamentations.  The next night, she, talking with her husband further about them, and understanding that they were yet alive, did advise him to counsel them to make away with themselves.  So when morning was come, he goes to them in a surly manner, as before, and perceiving them to be very sore with the stripes that he had given them the day before, he told them, that since they were never like to come out of that place, their only way would be forthwith to make an end of themselves, either with knife, halter, or poison; for why, said he, should you choose to live, seeing it is attended with so much bitterness?  But they desired him to let them go.  With that he looked ugly upon them, and, rushing to them, had doubtless made an end of them himself, but that he fell into one of his fits (for he sometimes, in sunshiny weather, fell into fits), and lost for a time the use of his hands; wherefore he withdrew, and left them as before to consider what to do.

Well, towards evening the giant goes down into the dungeon again, to see if his prisoners had taken his counsel.  But when he came there, he found them alive; and, truly, alive was all; for now, what for want of bread and water, and by reason of the wounds they received when he beat them, they could do little but breathe.  But, I say, he found them alive; at which he fell into a grievous rage, and told them, that seeing they had disobeyed his counsel, it should be worse with them than if they had never been born.

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MacMillan's Reading Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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