bibliographical account of the editions of the ‘pilgrim’s progress’ published during the author’s life, with notices of the more prominent modern editions.
The first edition of the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ was published in a foolscap 8vo, in 1678. This volume is of extraordinary rarity; only one copy being known to exist, and that in the most beautiful preservation, in the original binding, clean and perfect. It was discovered in a nobleman’s library, and, judging from its appearance, had never been read. It is now in the cabinet of H. S. Holford, Esq., of Weston Birt House, Tetbury, Gloucestershire. To that gentleman the public are deeply indebted for his liberal permission, given to me on behalf of the Hanserd Knollys Society, not only to copy it for publication by that Society, but also to correct the proof-sheets of the edition by a careful comparison of them with the original. Having with great care and labour edited that edition, I can certify that it is an accurate reprint, not merely verbal, but literal, including the punctuation, and the use of capitals and italics. The volume contains 253 pages, with a black-letter head-line. It has no portrait or cuts. In it are some words and sentences which were omitted in all the subsequent editions until that in 1847, by the Hanserd Knollys Society.
The second edition was published also in the year 1678. The title is nearly similar to the first, with the words, ‘The second Edition, with Additions.’ And to this very considerable additions had been made. A copy of this book, wanting the verses at the end, is in the British Museum; and a very fine and perfect one is in the library of W. B. Gurney, Esq., Denmark Hill.159 It is comprised in 276 pages, and has no portrait or cuts. It has many more typographical errors than the first edition, but the spelling is greatly modernized and improved.
The third edition appeared in the following year, 1679, by the same publishers. A most beautiful copy of this rare volume, bound in olive morocco, to all appearance new, is in the library of the Rev. * * *160
It contains 287 pages, with a portrait of the author, engraved by R. W[hite]. f. marked upon the rock, but no other cut or illustration. This portrait is well engraved, and a credit to the eminent artist, who was a personal friend of Mr. Bunyan’s. It is very superior to the miserable imitations which ornamented later editions. In this a considerable addition was made; and this completed the allegory. From that time to the author’s decease, every edition presents some little additions of side-notes or references.
The fourth edition is by the same publishers, in 1680; it contains 288 pages, and has the portrait. A copy of this is in the Editor’s possession. Another copy of this same edition, lent to me by Mr. Pickering, bookseller, Piccadilly, has on the back of the portrait, An Advertisement from the Bookseller:—
‘The Pilgrims Progress, having sold several Impressions, and with good Acceptation among the People, (there are some malicious men of our profession of lewd principles, hating, honesty, and Coveting other mens rights, and which we call Land Pirates, one of this society is Thomas Bradyl, a Printer, who I actually found printing my Book for himself, and five more of his Confederates,) but in truth he hath so abominably and basely falcified the true Copie, and changed the Notes, that they have abused the Author in the sence, and the Propriator of his right (and if it doth steal abroad, they put a cheat upon the people). You may distinguish it thus, The Notes are Printed in Long Primer, a base old letter, almost worn out, hardly to be read, and such is the Book it self. Whereas the true Copie is Printed in a Leigable fair Character and Brevier Notes as it alwaies has been, this Fourth Edition hath, as the third had, the Authors picture before the Title, and hath more then 22 passages of Additions, pertinently placed quite thorow the Book, which the Counterfeit hath not.
‘This is Brevier, and the true copy.’
‘This is Long Primer Letter.’
The additions alluded to are quotations from Scripture, and side-notes. Dunton had a high opinion of Braddyll, and calls him a first-rate printer, active, diligent, and religious.161 Ponder certainly did not unite in these encomiums.
The fifth edition is also by Ponder, and was published in 1680; it contains 221 pages. This has the portrait, and one woodcut on page 128—the Martyrdom of Faithful, with the verse beneath. A fine copy is in possession of my excellent friend Mr. Pickering.
The sixth has not been found in a perfect state.
The seventh, in very beautiful preservation, is in the library of R. B. Sherring, Esq., Bristol. It was published by Ponder, 1681, containing 286 pages, handsomely printed, with the portrait, and the cut of the Martyrdom of Faithful, on a separate leaf, between the pages 164 and 165. It was a copy of this edition which Bunyan used in writing his Second Part, all the references in which, made to the First Part, correspond with this edition. On the back of the portrait is a manuscript memorandum, that the book was given to Thos. Hayward Aug., 1682. Pretium 1s. 6d.
There were two eighth editions in 1682; they have 211 pages, and two leaves of a list of ‘Books,’ printed for Ponder, the publisher. A fine copy of one of these is in Sion College Library; and the other, somewhat imperfect, is in the Editor’s possession. On the back of the frontispiece is the following Advertisement:—
‘The Pilgrims Progress having found good Acceptation among the People to the carrying off a Seventh Impression, which had many Additions, more than any preceding: and the Publisher observing, that many persons desired to have it Illustrated with Pictures, hath endeavoured to gratifie them therein; And, besides those that are ordinarily Printed to the fifth Impression, hath provided Thirteen Copper Cuts curiously Engraven for such as desire them.’
Of these cuts, which were sold for one shilling, nothing is known, unless they are the set of neat engravings inserted, four in a sheet, in Chandler and Wilson’s edition of Bunyan’s Works, 2 vols. folio, 1737, very fine impressions of which appeared in an early German translation, published in London, under which are the English verses; they are sixteen in number, but if the three ‘that are ordinarily printed to the eighth impression’ be deducted, the number then agrees with the advertisement. The whole of these designs were cut in wood, and with the verses were printed in the thirteenth edition.
This eighth edition looks as if it was printed with a Dutch type; sheet D, pp. 49–72, differs from the rest of the volume, and it is very singular, that in the two following editions the same difference is found in sheet D, which is a sharper type, and more closely printed.
Gay, in his What-d’ye-call it? a farce, represents a man about to be shot, when a countryman offers him a book to pray by; he takes it, and says:—
‘I will, I will.
‘Lend me thy handkercher. [Reads and weeps.] “The Pilgrim’s Pro—”
‘I cannot see for tears! “Pro— Progress,”—Oh!
‘ “The Pilgrim’s Progress—eighth—edi-ti-on,
With new ad-di-tions never made before,”
Oh! ’tis so moving, I can read no more!’
This farce was first acted in 1715, and proves that the ‘Pilgrim’ was then a most popular religious book. The late Mr. Heber, and Mr. Wilson, supposed that this referred, not to the eighth by Ponder, but to the eighteeth edition, which was printed for N. Boddington; but might it not more probably refer to the eighth edition of the ‘Pilgrim,’ Part II., which was printed by that celebrated publisher, a fine copy of which is in the Editor’s collection?
There are two ninth editions, both bearing the imprint of N. Ponder; the first of these is dated 1683, 212 pages. A copy of this is in the Editor’s library, and another in possession of L. Pocock, Esq., Montague Street. It has a different portrait, but the same woodcuts as the eighth, with the addition of Doubting Castle on p. 145, numbered 135.
Another and distinct edition is called the ninth, also by N. Ponder, with the same cuts as the last, on 212 pages, but with a different type; this bears the date of 1684. A copy is in the extensive library of Joshua Wilson, Esq., Highbury. On the back of the portrait there is the advertisement of the thirteen copper plates, in addition to those ‘ordinarily printed to the eighth impression.’
The tenth edition, by Ponder, 1685, on 200 pages, is in the Editor’s collection. In the title the name is spelt Bunian, but he signs the Apology as usual, Bunyan. This has the frontispiece, and two woodcuts only; that of Doubting Castle is omitted. On the reverse of the title is this Advertisement:
The Pilgrims Progress from this World to that which is to come; The Second Part: delivered under the similitude of a Dream, wherein is set forth the Manner of the setting out of Christian’s Wife and Children, their Dangerous Journey, And Safe Arrival at the desired Country, by John Bunian. I have used Similitudes. Hos. 12. 10. Price One Shilling.
The eleventh edition was in 1688, as advertised at the end of ‘The Water of Life.’
Twelfth, in the Editor’s collection, dated 1689, also by Ponder.
The thirteenth edition has fourteen woodcuts, with the verses under each; the last of which affords a curious proof of the extreme carelessness with which this popular work was published. This cut, in the former copies, represented the pilgrims triumphantly rising on the clouds to the Celestial City, attended by angels, with a crown over Christian, and under this was a suitable verse. Imagine this cut exchanged for one in which you see the two pilgrims in distress, wading through the river of death; one sinking in despair, the other standing firm, and holding his companion’s chin above water; and you read, under this picture, the same verse that was placed under that of their triumphal ascent:—
‘Now, now, look how the holy Pilgrims rise;
Clouds are their Chariots. Angels are their Guide.’
A more complete travesty could hardly have been devised.
Bunyan gives a hint, in the verses with which the First Part is concluded, of his intention to continue the allegory. This was not done until 1684, and the great popularity of his work induced unworthy men to publish continuations, intended to cheat the public into a belief that they came from the pen of Bunyan. He thus warns the public in the verses prefixed to the Second Part:—
‘ ’Tis true, some have, of late, to Counterfeit
My Pilgrim, to their own, my Title set;
Yea, others, half my name and Title too;
Have stitched to their Books, to make them do;
But yet they, by their Features, do declare
Themselves not mine to be, whose ere they are.’
No trace has been found of the book or books which appeared before 1684, under Bunyan’s initials or half his name. The only counterfeit which has been discovered is in the library of the Baptist Mission House, wanting the frontispiece.162 It was published under the following title:—‘The Second Part of the Pilgrims Progress, from this present World of Wickedness and Misery to an eternity of Holiness and Felicity, exactly described under the similitude of a Dream, &c. They were Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, Heb. 11:13–16. Let us lay aside every weight and the sin that doth so easily beset us, Heb. 12:7. London, for Thomas Malthus at the Sun in the Poultry 1683.’ The frontispiece has two whole-length portraits, one sleeping with his head resting on iris hand—both in clerical garb.
The author dedicates, with some pomp, his little work to Jehovah, and signs it T. S. There are two poems at the end of the volume by R. B., and the author’s Apology for his Book. It is very probable, from this Apology, that the author was one of those who, when consulted about publishing Bunyan’s First Part, said, ‘No.’ He calls Bunyan’s volume ‘a necessary and useful tract, which hath deservedly obtained such an universal esteem and commendation;’ and he then destroys all his commendation by discovering a four-fold defect in that discourse: First, nothing is said of man in his first creation; second, nor of his misery in his lapsed state, before conversion; third, briefly passing over Divine goodness in reconciling sinners; and, fourthly, the reading of it occasioned, in vain and frothy minds, lightness and laughter.
Such carping criticism is utterly unworthy of comment. Bunyan finds his pilgrim fallen from his first creation into a state of misery, and under a sense of his danger, crying, ‘What shall I do to be saved?’ He unfolds, in multitudinous variety, instances of Divine goodness in reconciling sinners, and almost irresistibly leads his reader to accompany the poor pilgrim in his way to the celestial city, full of the solemnity of his heavenly calling.
Who the author of this Pilgrim’s Progress is, it may be difficult to ascertain. He dreams that multitudes are dancing in the broad way to misery, and only two or three toiling on the narrow up-hill path to happiness. He accounts for this, first, from infant baptism leading them to imagine that they are in the right path, and that no profaneness can prevent them attaining that eternal inheritance which they vainly imagine to be a right conferred upon them in their christening; secondly, they delight in sin; thirdly, preferring to go to hell with a multitude, rather than to heaven with a few; fourthly, because their reward is of merit, and not of gift; fifthly, ‘many refuse the narrow way because of its simplicity: they must have their glorious colleges and splendid ministers, their beautiful quires, and raised altars, with hangings of arras and tapestry, furnished with the finest silver and gold of Ophir, a gaudy and pompous worship and musick to delight their spirits,’ &c. He found these people dancing with mirth and jollity round a bottomless pit to the outeries and screeches of the damned, and playing with the flames of hell. One of these madmen becomes alarmed at the preaching of Boanerges, and Conscience and Judgment do their utmost to terrify him. Then comes Affection, and promises the poor penitent wings to fly above the clouds. Will huffs and hectors, and must have him leave off canting and whining; but after a long dialogue, Will consents to go on pilgrimage. They meet with Apollyon, and have other adventures: a poor, spiritless copy of the inimitable First Part by Bunyan. After passing more than half his pilgrimage, his old heart is taken out, and a new one given to him. Under the idea of a feast, where the guests are fed on dishes of gospel mysteries, sauced with eternity, the author states his peculiar notions. He at length arrives at the River; Faith and Hope support him; he is received by the Shining Ones, and enters the city. In all probability, this book never reached a second edition, being totally eclipsed by the real Second Part, in 1684.
The author of this forgery, in his Apology, refers to a custom among the Puritans of giving the mourners at a funeral a book instead of rings, gloves, wine, or biscuit. ‘This,’ he says, ‘would prevent trifling discourse, as is too commonly used on such occasions. Among those few who have practised this, abundance of good hath been done by that mean; and who knows, were it more generally used at our burials, what good might be effected thereby?’163
At length, in 1684, Bunyan published the Second Part of his ‘Pilgrim’s Progress,’ in a similar volume to his first. It has 224 pages. For the use of a fine copy of this rare book, we are indebted to the kindness of the executors of the late Lea Wilson, Esq. In this volume seven pages are in a larger type than the rest, from p. 100 to 106 inclusive; p. 106 is numbered 120. It has only one cut—the dance round the head of Giant Despair. The next edition which we have been fortunate enough to obtain has a similar title to the first; it has no indication of what edition it is, but bears the date of 1687. These two editions were published by N. Ponder in the Poultry. The sixth edition appeared in 1693, by Ponder and Boddington, in Duck Lane; the seventh in 1696, by Ponder; the eighth by Boddington, in 1702; the ninth is by N. Boddington, at the Golden Ball, in Duck Lane, 1708.164
Since that time, innumerable editions have issued from the press; but before giving a short account of the most prominent of these, we must not forget an impudent forgery, called the Third Part of this popular allegory.
It was probably the intention of Bunyan to write a Third Part. Christian’s four boys, with their wives and children, are represented as remaining to be a blessing to the church. He closes his Second Part with these words: ‘Should it be my lot to go that way again, I may give those that desire it, an account of what I here am silent about; meantime I bid my reader, Adieu.’ His design might have been to display the difficulties of maintaining a course according to godliness in the busy scenes of life, among mechanics, tradesmen, and others. His death, in 1688, cut short his labours.
The extensive circulation of Bunyan’s Works, and his extraordinary fame as an author, excited the cupidity of contemptible scribblers to forge his name to productions quite unworthy of his great natural and acquired talent. He had scarcely entered into rest, before a tract appeared, which might, from its title, have imposed upon those not well acquainted with his style of writing. It is a quarto tract, entitled, ‘The Saint’s Triumph, or The Glory of the Saints with Jesus Christ. Describing the joys and comforts a believer reaps in heaven, after his painful pilgrimage and sufferings on earth. With weighty encouragements to draw poor doubting Christians to Christ. Laying open the main lets and hinderances which keep them from him. With helps to recover God’s favour. To which is added; The Glorious Resurrection in the last day, for them that sleep in Jesus Christ. Discoursed in a Divine ejaculation, by J. B. With a bold woodcut portrait of John Bunyan on the title-page. London Bridge, printed for J. Blare, at the Looking Glass, 1688.’ Neither the style, nor sentiments, nor the use of Latin quotations, have the slightest similarity to our great author’s works.
In a very few years there was published:—
The Pilgrim’s Progress, &c., the Third Part—to which is added, The Life and Death of John Bunyan, Author of the First and Second Part: this compleating the whole Progress.
This Third Part made its appearance in 1692; and although the title does not directly say that it was written by Bunyan, yet it was at first generally received as such. In 1695,165 it reached a second edition, and a sixth in 1705. In 1708, it was denounced in the title to the seventh edition of the Second Part, by a ‘Note, the Third Part, suggested to be J. Bunyan’s, is an imposture.’ It is surprising that so contemptible a production could for one moment have been received by the public as written by Bunyan. The late Rev. John Newton, in very happy language, asserts that ‘a common hedge-stake deserves as much to be compared with Aaron’s rod, which yielded blossoms and almonds, as this poor performance to be obtruded upon the world as the production of Bunyan.’166 Dr. Ryland justly observes, that ‘when the anonymous scribbler of the Third Part of the Pilgrim’s Progress tried to obtrude his stuff on the world as the production of Mr. Bunyan, the cheat was soon discovered; every Christian of taste could see the difference as easily as we can discern the superior excellence of a Raphael or a Titian from the productions of a common dauber: and we can as easily distinguish Bunyan from all other writers, as we can discern the difference between the finest cambric and a piece of hop-sacking.’167 The author of this forgery is as yet unknown.
A much more respectable attempt was recently made towards a Third Part, under the title of ‘Pilgrims of the nineteenth century; a continuation of the “Pilgrim’s Progress,” upon the plan projected by Mr. Bunyan. Containing a history of a visit to the town of Toleration; with an account of its charter, and a description of the principles and customs of its inhabitants. Under the similitude of a dream. By Joseph Ivimey. 1827.’ The object of this volume is to show the advantages which resulted from the Act of Toleration, by the adventures of Christian’s children; but what they had to do with the nineteenth century, may be difficult to ascertain. It is full of political allusions, and proclaims the author’s peculiar sentiments. Bunyan’s object was to win souls to Christ, under the influence of whose presence the most highly-liberal principles, both political and religious, will be fostered. Intolerance, fanaticism, and bigotry fly from the presence of the Saviour as naturally as the shades of night vanish before the rising sun. There is much valuable and interesting information in Mr. Ivimey’s volume to Protestant dissenters, but even that is much eucumbered. He is so delighted with Toleration as almost to forget that it is only one step towards liberty. When Christianity shall have spread its genial influences over our rulers, all sects will be equally cherished in running the race of benevolence and charity; then the burning of Christians for their obedience to God, or tolerating them to love and worship their Maker, according to the dictates of their consciences, but still compelling them to support what is in their conviction Antichristian, will be equally wondered at as gigantic grievances, and an intolerant abuse of governing powers.
For many years the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ was continually printed on very ordinary paper, and innumerable were the copies that issued from the press; the woodcuts, when worn out, were replaced by an inferior set. Each Part was published separately, in the ordinary shilling chap-book form; these are sometimes met with bound together, and forming a stout volume. Thus Part First, twenty-second edition, with new cuts, 1727, with Part Second, the thirteenth edition, with five cuts and a note, stating that the Third Part is an imposture; and then Part Third, thirteenth edition, 1743. Another copy has Part First, the twenty-third edition, 1731; Part Second, the fourteenth edition, 1728; and Part Third, the twelfth edition, not dated. The first edition of the Three Parts, uniformly printed, which has fallen under our notice, is by J. Clarke, 1743; a MS. memorandum gives the price of the volume, 1s. 6d. The most wretched set of cuts are to an edition printed for D. Bunyan, in Fleet Street; another, with similar cuts, is sold by J. Bunyan above the Monument, meaning higher up Fish Street Hill than where the Monument stands. In 1728, there appeared a handsome edition of the Two Parts, ‘Adorned with curious sculptures by J. Sturt.’ The editor of that edition states, that the former were printed for the poorer sort at a cheap rate [in a small type], so that many worthy Christians by age and infirmities were deprived of the benefit of it. This was duly weighed by persons of distinction and piety, who determined to have it handsomely printed, and they generously contributed, by large subscriptions, to secure its being a correct edition. In comparison with all that had preceded it, this shone forth an elegant 8vo volume, fit, at that period, to ornament any library or drawing-room. The engravings are from the old designs, and well executed. This was for many years considered to be the standard edition, and was frequently reprinted; in 1775, two editions of this volume were published, after which that with Mason’s Notes superseded it. Who the editor was is not known; but this book very sadly abounds with gross errors. When Faithful joined Christian, in the conversation about the old man who offered Faithful his three daughters, the editor has altered it to ‘one of them.’ In Part II. p. 63, ‘lines’ is put for ‘lions;’ another and very serious error occurs in the catechising of James by Prudence; she asks him, ‘How doth God the Son save thee?’ the answer and the next question is left out; and it appears thus: ‘By his illumination, by his renovation, and by his preservation.’ The lines that were omitted are: ‘James. By his Righteousness, Death, and Blood, and Life. Prud. And how doth God the Holy Ghost save thee?’ Mr. Mason, in his edition with notes, took as his standard this erroneous copy, and put a note at the bottom of the page :
(f) I cannot prevail on myself to let this part pass by, without making an observation. Mr. Bunyan expresses himself very clear, and sound in the faith; but here it is not so: for what is here ascribed to the Son, is rather the work of the Spirit; and indeed the work of salvation effected by the Son of God is entirely left out. I am, therefore, inclined to think that here is a chasm, though not, perhaps, in the author’s original work, but by its passing through later editions. It really seems defective here in the explanation of salvation by the distinct offices of the Holy Trinity.
In the next edition with Mason’s Notes, he, having discovered his error, very properly inserted the missing lines, but as improperly continued his note reflecting upon Bunyan;168 and it was continued in many subsequent editions in which the text was correctly printed.
A line is omitted in Sturt’s edition, Part II. p. 185, and in many subsequent ones. ‘How were their eyes now filled with celestial visions,’ should be, ‘How were their ears now filled with heavenly noises and their eyes delighted with celestial visions.’ But a more unaccountable error occurs in the First Part, p. 95, where Bunyan says ‘the Brute169 in his kind serves God far better than he’ [Talkative], the printer has strangely altered the word ‘Brute’ for ‘Brewer.’ It is easier to account for an error in printing a missal in Paris, in the rubric of which should be, ‘Ici le prêtre ôtera sa calotte’ (here the priest shall take off his cap); but in printing, the a was exchanged for u in calotte: the printer was ruined and the books burnt. It is quite impossible to notice all the errors; they abound in almost every page of all these interesting editions. Some of these errors have been continued through nearly all the modern editions, with other serious alterations. Thus, when the pilgrims, in the Second Part, leave the Delectable Mountains, they in a song record the goodness of God in giving them, at proper distances, places of rest, ‘Behold, how fitly are the stages set!’ the word ‘stages’ is altered in many to ‘tables;’170 and in other editions to ‘stables.’171When the pilgrims escape front Doubting Castle, they sing, ‘Out of the way we went,’ &c.; one line of these verses is left out in all the modern editions—an omission which ought to have been seen and supplied, because all these songs throughout the volume are uniformly in stanzas of six lines. In Hopeful’s account of his conversion, Bunyan says, ‘I have committed sin enough in one duty to send me to hell;’ this is altered to ‘one day.’172 In the conversation with Ignorance, Christian observes, ‘When our thoughts of our hearts and ways agree with the Word;’ meaning when we sit in judgment upon our thoughts, and our opinion of our thoughts agrees with the Word: but the strength and meaning of this serious passage is lost by altering the words to ‘when the thoughts of our hearts,’ &c. This alteration has been very generally, if not universally, made. Another very extraordinary error has crept into many editions, and among them into the elegant copies printed by Southey, and that by the Art-Union with the prints in oblong folio. It is in the conversation between Christian and Hopeful, about the robbery of little Faith. Bunyan refers to four characters in Scripture who were notable champions, but who were very roughly handled by Faint-heart, Mistrust, and Guilt; they made David (Ps. 38.) groan, mourn, and roar. Heman and Hezekiah too, though champions in their day, had their coats soundly brushed by them. Peter would go try what lie could do—they made him at last afraid of a sorry girl. Some editor not acquainted with Heman (see Ps. 88.), and not troubling himself to find who he was, changed the name to one much more common and familiar, and called him ‘Haman.’173 More recent editors, including Mr. Southey and the Art-Union, probably conceiving that Haman, however exalted he was as a sinner, was not one of the Lord’s champions in his day, changed the name to that of Mordecai.174 A most unwarrantable and foolish alteration. In the Second Part,175 ‘This Vision’ is put for ‘This Visitor.’ The marginal note, ‘The Light of the Word’ is changed to ‘The Light of the World.’176 This error is perpetuated by Southey and others. A copy of Sturt’s edition, with every error marked in the text, appears to be more covered with spots than a leopard’s skin.
This wondrous Dream has been translated into nearly all the languages of the world. To Mr. Doe’s enumeration of one hundred thousand copies in English having been circulated in the life of the author, must be added all the editions in North America. There were then also translations into French, Flemish, Dutch, Welsh, Gaelic, and Irish; and, since then, it has been read by the Christian Hebrews in the holy city, Jerusalem, in their own language, without points; and probably beside the waters of Jordan and Tiberias; and far may it spread!177 It has also been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Danish, German, Estonian, Armenian, Burmese, Singhalese, Orissa, Hindoostance; Bengalee, by Dr. Carey, 8vo, Serampore, 1821; Tamil, Marathi, Canarese, Gujaratti, Malay, Arabic, in a handsome 8vo volume, with woodcuts, printed at Malta; Romaic,178 Samoan, Tahitian, Pichuana, Beehuana, Malagasy, New Zealand.179 And in Dr. Adam Clarke’s library was a copy in Latin, entitled Peregrinatis Progressus, a J. Bunyan Lat.edit. a Gul. Massey, 4to. A copy of the Welsh translation, published before Bunyan’s decease, but which had not come to his Knowledge, is in the library of Miss Atherton of Kersell Cell, near Manchester. That lady, not understanding the Welsh language, most readily and kindly furnished me with some particulars of this rare volume, extracted in Welsh; and it appears that the title-page exactly follows the English editions. The preface is signed S. H. It has the marginal notes and references. Licensed by R. Midgley, 23rd of November 1687. Printed in London by J. Richardson, 12mo, 168/78;, the 10th of January. ‘The translator advises such as desire to learn to read Welsh, to buy the Primer and Almanack of Mr. Thomas Jones, because the letters and syllables are in them.’ The late Mr. Thomas Rodd informed me that he possessed a copy in Welsh, translated by Thomas Jones, published in 1699, small 8vo. The Dutch edition was very neatly printed, with superior cuts, t’Utrecht, by Jan can Paddenburgh, 1684.
The French translation is a neat pocket volume, with copper-plates, very superior to any embellishments in the early English copies, Amsterdam, chez Boekholt, 1685. The frontispiece represents our pilgrim with his burden on his shoulders, knocking at the wicket-gate. The title is, Voyage d’un Chrestien vers l’ Eternité, par Monsieur Bunjan F.M. en Bedtford. The ‘Lecteur ami’ comprises fourteen pages. In it he describes
‘The author of this book, Mr. John Bunyan, is, at this time, an upright and faithful minister at Bedford, in England —a man of unexampled piety and devotion; such an one as Demetrius of whom John speaks in his 3rd Epistle and 12th verse. Every one bears witness that, in this little volume, and in his other works, appear a manifest and peculiar wisdom, very great experience, and a penetrating sight into spiritual things. The design of our author is simply to present a penitent soul seeking God on his journey towards Eternity. How he turns from his former state of perdition, leaves his home, and sets his steps towards the Jerusalem on high; his adventures by the way; his view of those that choose for themselves bypaths that lead to hell; we doubt not but that some, in turning over these leaves, will read their own experience ingeniously drawn out, and their own portrait placed before their eyes, as if they saw themselves in a glass. The Christian traveller, the true citizen of Zion, is skilfully portrayed to the life. If a hypocritical professor should have his eyes illuminated, he will here see himself under another name than that of Christian—his foolish imaginations overthrown—his hopes perish, and all his expectations swept away like a cobweb. If any one judge that this mode of writing is not sufficiently solemn for such spiritual matters, and doubt the propriety of representing them as a dream and under such images, they should recollect that our author was unintentionally led to this manner of writing, and found himself very much embarrassed as to the propriety of publishing it to the world; and did not venture to print it until persuaded by many learned and pious men. Our Bunyan wrote allegorically, on the hopes that Divine truth might reach the very depths of the heart. Many great theologians have treated the most important truths in the same figurative manner, following the footsteps of our great and sovereign Rabbi Jesus Christ, who taught by similitudes, as also the prophets were constrained by the Holy Spirit to speak. Oh that our readers may find themselves to be true citizens of Zion, with their feet in the Royal Highway, that they may be fortified, consoled, and instructed; and, if convinced of backsliding, may return to the paths of peace, to love King Jesus, the Lord of the Hill. And may many take our Christian by the skirt of his robe, and say, we will go with thee. May it arrest the attention of the Flemings as it has that of the English, among whom, in a very few years, it has been printed many times.’
This interesting preface, which we have somewhat abridged, ends with a quotation from Acts 20:32,
Bunyan’s language is so purely English, his style so colloquial, his names and titles so full of meaning, that it must have been a most difficult book to translate. This is seen on turning to the fifth question put by Prudence, on the Pilgrim’s arrival at the Palace Beautiful.
’Pru. Et qui est ce, je te prie, que te rend si désireux de la montagne de Sion?
’Chres. Quoy, demandes tu eela? O mon Dieu! comme le cerf brâme apres le décours des eaux fraisches, ainsi mon eeur180 désire apres toy le Dieu, le Grand Dieu vivant. C’est là où j’attends de voir en vie celuy que je vis autrefois mort, et pendu sur la croix; c’est là où j’espère d’être unefois déchargé de toutes ces choses, qui me causent tant de peine, tant de donleur, tant de dommage, & m’en ont causé jusques à ce jour icy; c’est là, a ce qu’on ma dit, qu’il n’y aura plus de mort; c’est lâ où je jouiray d’une compagnie, a laquelle je prendray le plus grand plaisir. Car, pour te dire la vérité, je l’aime; voire
’Je t’aimeray en toute obeissance.
Tante que vivray, O mon Dieu, ma puissance.
Je dis, je l’aime, à cause qu’il a illuminé les yeux obscurcis de mon entendement par une lumière divine, procedée des rayons du soleil de sa grace, lumière qui m’a servi de guide pour me conduire en ce chemin; mais aussi je l’aime, pource qu’il ma déchargé de mon fardeau: & je me trouve las a cause de mon mal intérieur; ah que mon ceur soupire apres ce lieu, où je serai delivré de monrir; après cette compagnie, où l’on chantera à jamais, saint, saint, saint, est l’Eternal des armées.’
The answer in English is one hundred and two words; in French, extending to two hundred and twenty.
The Slough of Despond is called Le Bourbier Mésfiance; Worldly-Wiseman, Sage Mondain; Faithful, Loyal; Talkative, Grand Jaseur; Pickthank, Flatteur; My Old Lord Letchery, Mon vieux Seigneur Assez Bon; No-good, Vautrien; Live-loose, Vivan Mort; Hate-light, Grand Haineux; Bye-ends, Autrefin. The poetry would have seriously puzzled the worthy translator; but instead of attempting it, he supplies its place from French psalms or hymns. The copper-plates are rather fine specimens of drawing and engraving. Sweeping the room at the Interpreter’s house, and Attempting to awake the Sleepers on the Enchanted Ground, are new designs.181
There is a copy in the British Museum somewhat modernized, Rotterdam, 1722;182 and a very handsome edition, with plates by an eminent Dutch engraver, printed at Rotterdam, 1757;183 and one with woodcuts, 12mo, Basle, 1728,184 &c. &c. These are French Protestant translations; besides which, there have been many editions of a Roman Catholic translation into French. This is greatly abridged, and, of course, Giant Pope is omitted; and so is the remark about Peter being afraid of a sorry girl. They are very neat pocket volumes, printed in Paris, 1783; at Rouen, 1821, &c. &c., entitled, Le Pélérinage d’un Nommé Chrétien Traduit de L’Anglois. In the preface, the Roman Catholic translator calls the English nation judicieuse et eclairée. The Editor bought a copy of this book in a convent in France. The lady-abbess assured him that it was a most excellent work to promote piety and virtue!—a sentence which first led him to the discovery that the old lady had a remarkably sweet voice.
Dr. Cheever accounts thus for the extensive popularity of our ‘Pilgrim:’—
‘It is a piece of rich tapestry, in which, with the Word of God before him as his origiual and guide, and with all these heavenly materials tinged in the deep feelings of his own converted heart, he wove into one beautiful picture the spiritual scenery and thrilling events of his own journey as a Christian pilgrim. It is all fresh and graphic from his own experience, vivid with real life, freshly portrayed from the Word of God; nor can you tell that Bunyan was of any sect, save that he was a living member of the church of Christ.’
This work has afforded the deepest interest to the painter; and it has also excited the poet to sing our Pilgrim’s adventures, both in rhyme and blank verse. The ornamental embellishments were at first good woodcuts for a chap-book,185 faithful copies of which will be found in this edition; these dwindled down, in succeeding editions, to the cheapest and most contemptible cuts that can be conceived. The worst of these is in an edition of the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress,’ by a namesake of the author, Mr. D. Bunyan. The next series were the copperplates to Sturt’s edition; fine impressions of these designs are found, four on a page, in the first complete edition of Bunyan’s Works, 1737. Since then, many beautiful sets of engravings have been published in the editions by Heptinstall and Scott, between 1788 and 1793, the most beautiful being a series of sixteen elegant designs by Stothard, engraved by Strut.186 These were reduced, and published in 4to, with Sonnets by George Townsend, Prebendary of Durham. Thus, at length, we find that Bishop Bunyan keeps company with other dignitaries. Twenty-four original outlines were published by Mrs. Mackenzie; and a set of very beautiful engravings, with a valuable letterpress accompaniment by J. Conder. The edition by Southey is elegantly illustrated. The Art-Union has favoured the public with a series of illustrations in oblong folio, some of which, however elegantly designed, would probably puzzle even the keen, penetrating eye of Bunyan to discover what work they were intended to illustrate.187 A more serious defect is observable in this oblong edition. Bunyan’s terms are considered as too vulgar, and two of his words are exchanged for the more polite term of ‘harlot;’188 while, on the corner of page 36, an indecent cut is exhibited! The Introduction and Life of Bunyan, by Godwin and Pocock, are well written and handsomely illustrated. A similar series of outline engravings to the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress,’ by the daughter of a British Admiral, were given to the subscribers to the Sailor’s Home in Well Street, London. They were on tinted paper, the same size as those by the Art-Union, but very inferior both in design and engraving. A large sheet of beautiful woodcuts was lately published by that eminent artist, Thomas Gilks. The most elegant edition for a drawing-room or library that has been published is one just finished, by Mr. Bogue. It is not only a correct text, but is rich in illustrative woodcuts and borders, and has a deeply-interesting Memoir of Bunyan, from the pen of Dr. Cheever.
In 1844, a very handsome edition of the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ was published in folio, on fine paper, for purposes of illustration. It has a Memoir of the Author, by the Rev. Thomas Scott.