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Pilgrim's Progress, he was not definitely thinking of the edification of his neighbours, goes far towards explaining the absence of commonplace arguments and exhortations. "I did it mine own self to gratify," he declared in his rhymed apology for his book." Later on, in reply to some brethren of the stricter sort who condemned such dabbling in fiction, he defended his book as a tract, remarking that, if you want to catch fish,

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They must be groped for, and be tickled too,

Or they will not be catch't, whate'er you do.

But in its origin The Pilgrim's Progress was not a tract, but the inevitable image of the experiences of the writer's soul. And what wild adventures those were every reader of Grace Abounding knows. There were terrific contests with the Devil, who could never charm John Bunyan as he charmed Eve. To Bunyan these contests were not metaphorical battles, but were as struggles with flesh and blood. "He pulled, and I pulled," he wrote in one place; "but, God be praised, I overcame him-I got sweetness from it." And the Devil not only fought him openly, but made more subtle attempts to entice him to sin. "Sometimes, again, when I have been preaching, I have been violently assaulted with thoughts of blasphemy, and strongly tempted to speak the words with my mouth before the congregation." Bunyan, as he looked back over the long record of his spiritual torments, thought of it chiefly as a running fight with the Devil. Outside the covers of the Bible, little existed save temptations for the soul. No sentence in The Pilgrim's Progress is more suggestive of Bunyan's view of life than that in which the merchandise of Vanity Fair is described as including "delights of all sorts, as whores, bawds, wives, husbands, children, masters, servants, lives, blood, bodies, souls, silver, gold, pearls, precious stones, and what not." It is no wonder that one to whom so much of the common life of man was simply Devil's traffic took a tragic view of even the most innocent pleasures, and applied to himself, on account of his love of strong language,

Sunday sports and bell-ringing, epithets that would hardly have been too strong if he had committed all the crimes of the latest Bluebeard. He himself, indeed, seems to have become alarmed when-probably as a result of his own confessions-it began to be rumoured that he was a man with an unspeakable past. He now demanded that "any woman in heaven, earth or hell" should be produced with whom he had ever had relations before his marriage. "My foes," he declared, "have missed their mark in this shooting at me. I am not the man. I wish that they themselves be guiltless. If all the fornicators and adulterers in England were hanged up by the neck till they be dead, John Bunyan, the object of their envy, would still be alive and well.' Bunyan, one observes, was always as ready to defend as to attack himself. The verses he prefixed to The Holy War are an indignant reply to those who accused him of not being the real author of The Pilgrim's Progress. He wound up a fervent defence of his claims to originality by pointing out the fact that his name, if "anagrammed," made the words: "NU HONY IN A B." Many worse arguments have been used in the quarrels of theologians.

Bunyan has been described as a tall, red-haired man, stern of countenance, quick of eye, and mild of speech. His mildness of speech, I fancy, must have been an acquired mildness. He loved swearing as a boy, and, as The Pilgrim's Progress shows, even in his later life he had not lost the humour of calling names. No other English author has ever invented a name of the labelling kind equal to that of Mr. Worldly Wiseman-a character, by the way, who does not appear in the first edition of The Pilgrim's Progress, but came in later as an afterthought. Congreve's "Tribulation Spintext" and Dickens's "Lord Frederick Verisopht" are mere mechanical contrivances compared to this triumph of imagination and phrase. Bunyan's gift for names was in its kind supreme. His humorous fancy chiefly took that form. Even atheists can read him with pleasure for the sake of his names. The modern reader, no doubt, often smiles at these names where Bunyan did not mean him to smile, as

when Mrs. Lightmind says: "I was yesterday at Madam Wanton's, when we were as merry as the maids. For who do you think should be there but I and Mrs. Love-the-flesh, and three or four more, with Mr. Lechery, Mrs. Filth, and some others?" Bunyan's fancifulness, however, gives us pleasure quite apart from such quaint effects as this. How delightful is Mr. By-ends's explanation of the two points in regard to which he and his family differ in religion from those of the stricter sort: "First, we never strive against wind and tide. Secondly, we are always most zealous when Religion goes in his silver slippers; we love much to walk with him in the street, if the sun shines, and the people applaud him." What a fine grotesque, again, Bunyan gives us in toothless Giant Pope sitting in the mouth of the cave, and, though too feeble to follow Christian, calling out after him: "You will never mend till more of you be burnt." We do not read The Pilgrim's Progress, however, as a humorous book. Bunyan's pains mean more to us than the play of his fancy. His books are not seventeenthcentury grotesques, but the story of his heart. He has written that story twice over-with the gloom of the realist in Grace Abounding, and with the joy of the artist in The Pilgrim's Progress. Even in Grace Abounding, however, much as it is taken up with a tale of almost lunatic terror, the tenderness of Bunyan's nature breaks out as he tells us how, when he was taken off to prison, "the parting with my wife and four children hath often been to me in the place as the pulling the flesh from the bones. . . especially my poor blind child, who lay nearer my heart than all beside. Oh, the thoughts of the hardship I thought my poor blind one might go under would break my heart to pieces!" At the same time, fear and not love is the dominating passion in Grace Abounding. We are never far from the noise of Hell in its pages. In Grace Abounding man is a trembling criminal. In The Pilgrim's Progress he has become, despite his immense capacity for fear, a hero. The description of the fight with Apollyon is a piece of heroic literature equal to anything in those romances of adventure that went

to the head of Don Quixote. "But, as God would have it, while Apollyon was fetching his last blow, thereby to make a full end of this good man, Christian nimbly reached out his hand for his sword, and caught it, saying: 'Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy! when I fall I shall arise'; and with that gave him a deadly thrust, which made him give back, as one that had received a mortal wound." Heroic literature cannot surpass this. Its appeal is universal. When one reads it, one ceases to wonder that there exists even a Catholic version of The Pilgrim's Progress, in which Giant Pope is discreetly omitted, but the heroism of Christian remains. Bunyan disliked being called by the name of any sect. His imagination was certainly as little sectarian as that of a seventeenth-century preacher could well be. His hero is primarily not a Baptist, but a man. He bears, perhaps, almost too close a resemblance to Everyman, but his journey, his adventures and his speech save him from sinking into a pulpit generalization.

when Mrs. Lightmind says: "I was yesterday at Madam Wanton's, when we were as merry as the maids. For who do you think should be there but I and Mrs. Love-the-flesh, and three or four more, with Mr. Lechery, Mrs. Filth, and some others?" Bunyan's fancifulness, however, gives us pleasure quite apart from such quaint effects as this. How delightful is Mr. By-ends's explanation of the two points in regard to which he and his family differ in religion from those of the stricter sort: "First, we never strive against wind and tide. Secondly, we are always most zealous when Religion goes in his silver slippers; we love much to walk with him in the street, if the sun shines, and the people applaud him."” What a fine grotesque, again, Bunyan gives us in toothless Giant Pope sitting in the mouth of the cave, and, though too feeble to follow Christian, calling out after him: "You will never mend till more of you be burnt." We do not read The Pilgrim's Progress, however, as a humorous book. Bunyan's pains mean more to us than the play of his fancy. His books are not seventeenthcentury grotesques, but the story of his heart. He has written that story twice over-with the gloom of the realist in Grace Abounding, and with the joy of the artist in The Pilgrim's Progress. Even in Grace Abounding, however, much as it is taken up with a tale of almost lunatic terror, the tenderness of Bunyan's nature breaks out as he tells us how, when he was taken off to prison, "the parting with my wife and four children hath often been to me in the place as the pulling the flesh from the bones. . . especially my poor blind child, who lay nearer my heart than all beside. Oh, the thoughts of the hardship I thought my poor blind one might go under would break my heart to pieces!" At the same time, fear and not love is the dominating passion in Grace Abounding. We are never far from the noise of Hell in its pages. In Grace Abounding man is a trembling criminal. In The Pilgrim's Progress he has become, despite his immense capacity for fear, a hero. The description of the fight with Apollyon is a piece of heroic literature equal to anything in those romances of adventure that went

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