THE LIONS AT THE GATE "Timorous and Mistrust warned him of roaring lions before the gate, but Christian went on. When he came to the lions they were chained, and Watchful, the porter, called him to keep in the middle of the path and have no fear." Difficulty, and midway of the hill he stopped to rest and fell asleep and lost his roll. When he discovered his loss he had to go back for the roll and climb that dreadful hill once more. Timorous and Mistrust, who had lost heart and were returning, warned him of roaring lions before the gate of the Palace Beauti ful, but Christian went on. When he came to the lions they were chained, and Watchful, the porter, called to him to keep in the middle of the path and have no fear. So he made his way in safety into the Palace Beautiful; and there he was welcomed by four grave and beautiful damsels, Discretion, Piety, Prudence, and Charity.
Christian tarried for several days in the Palace Beautiful. He was there furnished with armor pro vided for pilgrims—a sword, shield, helmet, and breastplate, all of prayer, and shoes that should not wear out. And from the top of the house they showed him the Delectable Mountains, in the midst of a most pleasant country, beautiful with woods, vine yards, fruit, and flowers of all sorts, with springs and fountains. This he was told was Immanuel's Land, and from the top of the mountains he should see the gate of the Celestial City.
Down a steep and slippery hill slope the Pilgrim journeyed into the Valley of Humiliation. There he met the foul fiend Apollyon, with scales like a fish and wings like a dragon, breathing fire and smoke.
When Apollyon could not prevail upon Christian by flattery or persuasion to turn back, he straddled across the narrow path and gave battle to him, hurling fiery darts at Christian's breast.
The Dreadful Struggle with Apollyon For half a day they fought. Christian was sore wounded in hand and foot and head. Apollyon struck his sword from his hand and pressed him almost to death. But Christian got his sword again, and struck Apollyon such a blow that he spread his dragon's wings and flew away. While Christian lay spent from battle and loss of blood, there came to him one who brought leaves from the Tree of Life to heal his wounds, and he went on his way rejoicing.
At the end of this valley was another, called the Valley of the Shadow of Death. He could scarcely see for the gloom of night. A deep ditch bordered the path on one side, and a wide bog on the other.
And in the middle of the valley was a fiery cavern