Observations on the Most Prominent Parts of the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress.’
Before taking a walk with the pilgrims, to point out a few peculiarities not noticed by commenta–tors, it may be well to answer the inquiry so often made—Is the narrative that of the author’s and his wife’s own experience? My humble opinion is that he did not so intend it. His first wife had been for years an inhabitant of the Celestial City, and his second was a decided Christian long be–fore his ‘Pilgrim’ was written. At the pillar to commemorate Lot’s wife, Hopeful calls to Chris–tian, ‘for he was learned,’—a title, so far as lettered lore was concerned, Bunyan could not have given to himself, nor would he have applied it as to his own spiritual knowledge. It appears not to be intended to portray the experience of any one man or woman, but the feelings, doubts, conflicts, and enjoyments of the Christian character. The whole household of faith embodied and described in the sacred pages, enlarged by his own experience, and that which he discovered in his Christian inter-course; from the first fearful cry, ‘What shall I do to be saved?’ until the crown of glory and immortality is put upon his head with the anthem, ‘It is finished,’ ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.’
Among some very singular discoveries made from the pages of this eminently non-sectarian book, is, that it sanctions the old and curious cus–tom of christening infants. The mind capable of making such a discovery, must be familiar with very jesuitic and far-fetched arguments in defence of a custom which, Bunyan thought, set the Bible, and reason too, at defiance, and could only be defended by tradition, handed down to us by the Papists from the dark and gloomy ages of super–stition. It is in an edition with notes by Mr. St. John, and a key by H. Wood.213 In the index there appears the following sentiments under the word—
‘Baptism.—The ordinance of, to be observed, and the advantage that children are thereby made partakers, who are thus early admitted into the visible church of Christ. Chris–tian’s sons have been married, and their olive branches were springing up, when Christiana and her troop of children and grandchildren had passed the hill Lucre, and arrived at the green meadows. Here they find a house is built for the nourishing and bringing up those lambs, the babes of those women that go on pilgrimage.’
The annotator seizes an opportunity from this parental anxiety to ‘train up a child in the way he should go,’ to introduce Bunyan as an authority for the christening of infants.
But to return to our ‘Pilgrim.’ A charge has been made against the arrangement of the story, because the converts in the town of Vanity are not described as having entered the way by the wicketgate. They witness the patient endurance of sufferings in Faithful, and are led to feel that there must be some solemn realities in religion to which they were strangers; we have no account of their convictions nor misery; their Slough of Despond, or entering the wicket-gate, or relief on the sight of Christ crucified, for all this has been already told in Christian’s experience. The lovely inmates in the Palace Beautiful, descriptive of the temper which every member of a Christian church ought to cultivate, are left there as if they went no further towards Zion. Christian’s journey does not appear to occupy the time taken to perform the same distance by Christiana. These, and many other apparent discrepancies, are essential to the author’s design, because he represents it all under the similitude of a Dream. The following quota–tions clearly indicate some changes of import–ance, interfering with Christian liberty between the writing of the First Part in prison before 1673, and the publication of the Second Part in 1684. When Christiana came to the Slough of Despond,
‘She perceived also, that notwithstanding the command of the King, to make this place for pilgrims good, yet it was rather worse than formerly. For that many there be that pretend to be the King’s labourers; and that say they are for mending the King’s highway, that bring dirt and dung instead of stones, and so mar instead of mending.’
Before the pilgrims attempted to ascend the Hill Difficulty, they sought for some refreshment, and Great-heart said—
‘This is the spring that Christian drank of before he went up this hill; and then ’twas clear and good; but now ’tis dirty with the feet of some that were not desirous that pilgrims here should quench their thirst.’
The two lions in the way to frighten the young inquirer from making a public profession at the Palace Beautiful, may represent the civil and ecclesiastical powers when assuming the throne of God, to judge and compel men as to forms of Divine worship. Their effort was to prevent further inquiries, and thus turn the pilgrims back to the City of Destruction; they are chained, to show that these devils are under Divine control, and can only hurt such as they may devour. A cessation, or temporary relief from persecution, puts them to sleep as Faithful passes; and a recollection of the misery and cruelties they had so recently perpetrated, raises Giant Grim to back them, and terrify Christiana, Mercy, and the children. The effects of this cruel persecution of the saints thinned the number of professors.
‘Now, to say the truth, this way had of late lain much unoccupied, and was almost all grown over with grass.’
Their fears are at that time dissipated by Great-heart the guide, who slays the Giant.
While Christiana and her company rest at the town of Vanity,
‘There came a monster out of the woods, and slew many of the people of the town. It would also carry away their children, and teach them to suck its whelps. Now no man in the town durst so much as face this monster; but all men fled when they heard the noise of his coming. This monster propounded conditions to men; and such men as loved their lives more than their souls, accepted those conditions. So they came under.’
From all this it is obvious, that between the time when Bunyan wrote the First Part, and the publication of the Second, some painful events had taken place, interfering with a Christian profession. Those iniquitous laws, called the Five Mile and the Conventicle Acts, were passed in the 16, 17, and 22 Charles II.; the first of these imposed ruinous fines, imprisonment, and death, upon all persons above sixteen years of age, who attended Divine service where the Liturgy, the compulsive use of which had proved an awful curse and scourge to the kingdom, was not read. The second ordained that no nonconformist minister should live within five miles of any town. Bunyan did inhabit and live in Bedford by compulsion, but he was not proceeded against, although it would have been as just as was the conduct of the Recorder of London on the trial of Penn, for holding a conventicle; for he ordered an officer of the court to put Penn’s hat on his head, and then fined Penn for having it on!! The third of these Acts was to suppress all meetings for worship among the nonconformists; these were passed in 1665, 1666, and 1671, and in a short time made the frightful desolations to which we have before referred; so that it appears as if the First Part was written before 1666 or 1667, when these abominable laws were enforced, and the Second Part after their effects had been seen and felt. That these horrid laws were obtained and put in force by the clergy, urged on by the bishops, we have melancholy proof. Even all publicans attending any conventicle, had their licenses taken from them.214 In the diocese of Salisbury, not one dissenting meeting was left. On October 11, 1666, an order was issued, that in Scotland all leases and rents should be void as to those who did not attend the parish church. Any person holding a conventicle was fined five thousand marks; and at length the King ordered military execution in that kingdom upon all nonconformists, without process or conviction.215 The result of the severe sufferings of our Scottish forefathers in the faith, was the exemption of their posterity from the use of the detested book. The saints of those days comforted one another with a proverb:—‘It is better that the body should die to this world by the lions without, than that body and soul should die eternally by our lusts within.’ Interference with the education of the children of dissenters was under the 14 Charles II., which enacts, ‘That no person shall teach any children, whether in a private family or in a school, unless licensed by his diocesan, and all were to be taught according to the Book of Common Prayer,’ or ruinous fines and imprisonments were enforced. Thus the Slough of Despond became more foul; the spring of water became muddy; the lions so thinned the number of pilgrims that the grass grew upon the road, and the monster was very rampant. He who feels no indignation when listening to such enormous crimes perpetrated by wicked laws, has the despicable spirit of a slave. Nothing but the voice of the Saviour commanding us to forgive his and our enemies, could prevent us leading our children to the altar of our God to swear eternal enmity against a system founded on tyranny, and producing as its effects all the abominations of desolation.
There is great reason to suppose that the man in the iron cage, at the Interpreter’s house, alludes to an apostate, one John Child. He had been a Baptist minister, and was born at Bedford in 1638. It may have been to him that Burroughs refers in his account of a disputation which he and some Quakers had in Bedford Church with John Bunion, and one Fen, and J. Child, Nov. 23, 1656. They, as Burroughs says, laid down, ‘That very God and the everlasting Father died on the cross as man. That the Word that was in the beginning was crucified. That justification is without respect to obedience. That there is a light which convinceth of sin, besides the light of Christ. That there is no saving knowledge, but comes from without from heaven.’216 John Child was then only eighteen years of age, and he appears to have been an intimate friend of Bunyan’s, so that when his ‘Vindication of Gospel Truths’ was published, John Child united in a recommendatory preface—this was in 1657. From a dread of prosecution he conformed to the Church of England, and he may be the person referred to in Bunyan’s ‘Defence of Justification,’ who said, ‘If the devil should preach, I would hear him, before I would suffer persecution; as a brave fellow which I could name, in his rant, was pleased to declare.’ This poor wretch afterwards became terrified with awful compunctions of conscience. He was visited by Mr. Keach, Mr. Collins, and a Mr. B. (probably Bunyan.) When pressed to return to the fold of Christ, he said, ‘If ever I am taken at a meeting, they will have no mercy on me, and triumph, This is the man that made his recantation; and then ruin me to all intents and purposes, and I cannot bear the thought of a cross nor a prison. I had a fancy, the other morning, that the sheriff’s officers were coming to seize all that I had.’ His cries were awful. ‘I shall go to hell; I am broken in judgment: when I think to pray, either I have a flushing in my face, as if it were in a flame, or I am dumb and cannot speak.’ In a fit of desperation he destroyed himself on the 15th October 1684. This was one of the innumerable unholy triumphs of the state in its interference with religion.217
Christian’s sleeping in the arbour, as well as the emblem of the muck-rake seen in the Interpreter’s house, is illustrated by Quarles in his Emblems—
‘Well, sleep thy fill, and take thy soft reposes;
But know, withal, sweet tastes have sour closes;
And he repents in thorns, that sleeps in beds of roses.’218
And on an avaricious muck-rake—
‘The vulture of insatiate minds
Still wants, and wanting seeks, and seeking finds
New fuel to increase her rav’nous fire.’219
The warning giving by Evangelist to the pilgrims, that persecution awaited them, might have been drawn from the affectionately faithful conduct of Mr. Gifford, Bunyan’s pastor, in encouraging him to preach in the villages at the risk of imprisonment, and even of death.
The trial at Vanity Fair is an almost unconscious operation of quiet but keen satire upon the trials which took place at the time, sanctioned by all the formalities of law: ‘they brought them forth to their trial in order to their condemnation.’ ‘The imaginary trial of Faithful, before a jury composed of personified vices, was just and merciful, when compared with the real trial of Lady Alice Lisle before that tribunal where all the vices sat in the person of Jefferies.’220
This is one of the most remarkable passages in the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress.’ It is impossible to doubt that Bunyan intended to satirize the mode in which state trials were conducted under Charles II. The license given to witnesses for the prosecution, the shameless partiality and ferocious insolence of the judge, the precipitancy and the blind rancour of the jury, remind us of those odious mummeries which, from the Restoration to the Revolution, were merely forms preliminary to hanging, drawing, and quartering. Lord Hate-good performs the office of counsel for the prisoners, as well as Scroggs himself could have performed it. No one who knows the state trials can boe at a loss fur parallel cases. Indeed, write what Bunyan would, the baseness and cruelty of the lawyers of those times ‘sinned up to it still,’ and even went beyond it.
‘Judge. Thou runagate, heretic, and traitor, hast thou heard what these honest gentlemen have witnessed against thee?
‘Faithful. May I speak a few words in my own defence?
‘Judge. Sirrah, sirrah! thou deservest to live no longer, but to be slain immediately upon the place; yet, that all men may see our gentleness to thee, let us hear what thou, vile runagate, hast to say.’
Had Bunyan possessed lands, or wealth, to have excited the cupidity of the lawyers or informers, he would not have escaped hanging for so faithful a picture of Judge Jefferies.
Every dissenter should read the trial of William Penn and William Mead, which took place in August 1670.221 They were indicted for preaching in Gracechurch Street, the police and military having taken possession of the Friends’ Meeting-house there. The jury refused to find Mead guilty, when the judge addressed them—‘Gentlemen, you shall not be dismissed till we have a verdict that the court will accept; and you shall be locked up without meat, drink, fire, and tobacco. You shall not thus think to abuse the court; we will have a verdict, by the help of God, or you shall starve for it.’ They requested an essential accommodation, but it was peremptorily denied. Having been locked up all night, on the following morning, when the court was opened, the jury again persisted in finding Mead not guilty; and the foreman said, ‘We have agreed according to our consciences.’ The Lord-mayor replied, ‘That conscience of yours would cut my throat;’ he answered, ‘No, my Lord, it never shall;’ when the Lord-mayor said, ‘But I will cut yours so soon as I can.’ Again they were locked up until the evening; they then kept to their verdict, when the Lord-mayor threatened to cut the foreman’s nose. Penn said, ‘It is intolerable that my jury should be thus menaced,’ when the Mayor cried out, ‘Stop his mouth; jailer, bring fetters, and stake him to the ground.’ Penn replied calmly, ‘Do your pleasure; I matter not your fetters:’ and the recorder thus addressed the jury, ‘I say you shall go together, and bring in another verdict, or you shall starve.’ A second night they were locked up without food or accommodation. On the third morning these true-born Englishmen again brought in their verdict not guilty, and for this the jury were sent as prisoners to Newgate!!! Their names were, Thomas Veer, Edward Bushell, John Hammond, Henry Henley, Henry Michel, John Brightman, Charles Milson, Gregory Walklet, John Baily, William Lever, James Damask, and Wil Plumsted —names that ought to be printed in gold, and exhibited in the house of every nonconformist, and sculptured in marble to ornament our new House of Commons. The effects of persecution for refusing to obey man when he usurped the throne of God, hastened an approaching era. England shuddered; dissenters increased; and eventually the King saved his contemptible head by the quickness of his heels. Toleration succeeded persecution, and it is now time that freedom should take the place of toleration, and the liberties of Englishmen be freed from the polluted touch of any hierarchy.
The difference between the time when the First Part of the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ was written, and the Second printed, appears very strikingly in the state of the town of Vanity. ‘In those days we were afraid to walk the streets, but now we can show our heads. Then the name of a professor was odious, now, specially in some parts of our town, religion is counted honourable.’
The surprising difference between then and now can only be accounted for by the Declaration for liberty of conscience made in 1672, while the author was in prison, proving by strong circumstantial evidence that the First Part was written before 1672, the Second having been written before 1684, and even then the nonconformist ministers were called ‘kidnappers;’222 and very soon after this, persecution again lifted up her accursed head.
How keenly does Christian unravel the subtleties of By-ends and his company! Bunyan was awfully but justly severe against hypocrisy upon such as named the name of Christ, and did not depart from iniquity. In his ‘Holy Life, the Beauty of Christianity,’ he thus addresses such characters: ‘Christ calls them hypocrites, whited walls, painted sepulchres, fools, and blind. This is the man that hath the breath of a dragon; he poisons the air round about him. This is the man that slays his children, his kinsmen, his friend, and himself; that offends his little ones. Oh! the millstone that God will shortly hang about your neck, when the time is come that you must be drowned in the sea and deluge of God’s wrath.’223
When By-ends would have joined the Pilgrim’s company, Christian was decided: ‘Not a step further, unless you will own religion in his rags as well as when in his silver slippers, and stand by him, too, when bound in irons.’ A writer in the Edinburgh Review224 very justly says—
‘The town of Bedford probably contained more than one politician, who, after contriving to raise an estate by seeking the Lord during the reign of the saints, contrived to keep what he had got by persecuting the saints during the reign of the strumpets.’
Christian having admirably triumphed over these enemies and over Demas, becomes confident, and not only involves himself, but leads his companion into great trouble, by leaving the strait but rough road, and thus falling into the hands of a fearful giant. While in the dungeon, and suffering under awful doubts, Bunyan aptly introduces the subject of suicide. This dialogue upon self-murder, between Christian and Hopeful in Doubting Castle, might have been intended as an antidote to Dr. Donne’s singular treatise to prove ‘that self-homicide is not so naturally sin, that it may never be otherwise.’ So singular a thesis by a learned man and a dignitary of the Church, must have made a deep impression upon the public. It was published by authority in 1644. In his preface, the learned Doctor says, ‘Whether it be because I had my first breeding and conversation with men of a suppressed and afflicted religion, accustomed to the despite of death, or from other causes; whensoever any affliction assails me, methinks I have the keys of the prison in my own hand, and no remedy presents itself so soon to my heart as mine own sword. Often meditation of this hath won me to a charitable interpretation of their action who die so;’ and his conclusion is,225 ‘that self-homicide may be free, not only from enormous degrees of sin, but from all.’ The whole work displays great learning and extreme subtlety; I doubt much whether St. Thomas Aquinas could have argued so absurdly wicked a proposition better; and against such an adversary Bunyan appears in the person of Hopeful, and in a few words dissipates all the mist of his subtleties, and exposes the utter peril and destruction that must follow so awful a sin as self-murder. The dignitary of the Church was taught by schoolmen a difference between sins which a simple Christian could not have conceived. Dr. Donne quotes the penitential canons which inflict a greater penance upon one who kills his wife, than upon one who kills his mother; ‘not that the fault is greater, but that, otherwise, more would commit it.’226 Our pious Pilgrim, taught by the Holy Spirit, abhors all sin as bringing the curse of the law upon the sinner, and requiring the blood of atonement to cleanse its stain.
The view of those who fell under despair, as seen from the Delectable Mountains, is exactly in accordance with the experience narrated in the ‘Grace Abounding,’ No. 186. ‘O the unthought-of imaginations, frights, fears, and terrors, that are affected by a thorough application of guilt, yielded to desperation! this is the man that hath his dwelling among the tombs with the dead.’ Compare this with the Pilgrim’s feelings in Doubting Castle, and their view from the Delectable Mountains.
Bunyan was by nature a philosopher; he knew the devices of Satan, and warns the professor of his danger of backsliding. The conversation upon this subject between the pilgrims, opens the depths of the human heart, and the subtleties of Satan. One Temporary represents those professors who return to the world; he had wept under a sense of sin; had set out on pilgrimage, but was perverted by Save-self. Christian had a narrow escape from Worldly-wiseman, but Temporary was lost. He warns the pilgrim of one great device of the enemy in his treatise of ‘A Holy Life.’ ‘Take heed, professor, of those sins which Satan finds most suitable to your temper and constitution;’ these, as the little end of the wedge, enter with case, and so make way for those that come arter, with which Satan knows he can rend the soul in pieces.
In the conversation with Ignorance, Bunyan speaks the sentiments, but not in the language of Arthur Dent, when, in the Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven, he says—
‘You measure yourselves by yourselves, and by others; which is a false mete-wand. For you seem to lie straight, so long as you are measured by yourselves and others; but lay the rule of God’s Word unto you, and then you lie altogether crooked.’
At length Christian and Hopeful arrive at the river which has uo bridge; they cross in safety, and ascend to blessedness, which ‘eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, or hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive.’ We see them enter, and are ready to exclaim—
‘Celestial visions—Then the wondrous story,
Of Bunyan’s Pilgrims seem’d a tale most true;
How he beheld their entrance into glory,
And saw them pass the pearly portal through;
Catching, meanwhile, a beatific view
Of that bright city, shining like the sun
Whose glittering streets appear’d of golden hue,
Where spirits of the just their conflicts done,
Walk’d in white robes, with palms, and crowned every one.’227
After having accompanied the Pilgrim and his friend Hopeful to the gates of the Celestial City, and longed to enter with him into the realms of bliss, we naturally revert to his widow and orphans, and with renewed delight do we find the truth of the promise: ‘Thy Maker is thy husband,’ ‘a father to the fatherless.’ We unite heart and soul with the amiable family at the Interpreter’s house, who ‘leaped for joy’ when they arrived. And on reaching the Palace Beautiful, ‘O what a noise for gladness was there within, when the Damsel did but drop that word out of her mouth—Christiana and her boys have come on pilgrimage!’ Having been the road before, we feel renewed pleasure at every step, and richly enjoy our new companions; for the inexhaustible treasures of Bunyan’s mind furnishes us with now pleasures every step of the way.
Bunyan’s views of church-fellowship show his heavenly-mindedness, and happy would it be for the church if all its members were deeply imbued with these peaceful, lovely principles; he thus expresses them:
‘Christians are like the several Flowers in a garden, that have upon each of them the Dew of Heaven, which being shaken with the wind, they let fall their dew at each other’s roots, whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of one another. Also where the Gardiner has set them, there they stand, and quarrel not with one another. For Christians to commune savourly of God’s matters one with another, it is as if they opened to each other’s nostrils Boxes of Perfumes.228 Saith Paul to the Church at Rome: I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end you may be established; that is, that I may be comforted together with you, by the mutual faith both of you and me.’ Rom. 1:11, 12.
The character of Mercy is lovely throughout the whole journey; but there is a circumstance in her courtship which may not be generally understood. It is where she refers to the conduct of her brother-in-law to her sister Bountiful—a method of separating man and wife at all times perfectly illegal, and happily at present unknown: ‘Because my sister was resolved to do as she begun, that is, to show kindness to the poor, therefore her husband first cried her down at the cross, and then turned her out of his doors.’ This is a summary mode of divorce, not mentioned in any work on vulgar customs or popular antiquities. My kind friend, the Rev. J. Jukes, the pastor of the church at Bedford, informs me, ‘That the practice of crying a wife at the market-cross seems to have prevailed in Bedfordshire almost to the present time, and to have been merely a mode of advertisement to the public, that the husband would not pay the debts of his his wife, contracted subsequent to the time when it occurred.’
The character of Mr. Brisk is wittily drawn in Bunyan’s Emblems:—
—‘Candles that do blink within the socket,
And saints whose eyes are always in their pocket,
Are much like; such candles make us fumble;
And at such saints, good men and bad do stumble.’
Bunyan enjoyed the beauties of nature, especially the singing of birds; thus when Christiana leaves the Palace Beautiful, the songs of the birds are reduced to poetry, to comfort the pilgrims. A bird furnished him with one of his Divine Emblems. It is upon the lark:—
‘This pretty bird, oh! how she flies and sings
But could she do so if she had not wings?
Her wings bespeak my faith, her songs my peace;
When I believe and sing, my doubtings cease.’
Mercy longs for that mirror which flatters not, and the shepherds give her a Bible. Modern Christian may wonder that she had not previously furnished herself with one; doubtless she had the use of one, and all her pocket-money went to relieve the distresses of the poor of Christ’s flock. Think of the thousands of pious men and women incarcerated in dungeons, because they loved Christ, and dared not violate conscience. What a charge upon those saints who possessed the means of means of rendering them assistance! The revenues of the Church by law established were never used for the distribution of Bibles. The Church had obtained a most enormous and injurious privilege, for the sole printing of Bibles in all languages, to withhold altogether, or give a supply as they chose. The natural consequence of this was, a high price for books printed on bad paper, and miserably incorrect. Of late years, part of the wealth she derived from her monopoly in printing incorrect Bibles has been wrung from her, and the Word of life now flows all pure as a mighty river, to refresh the earth. All honour be paid to those who fought that battle, and obtained that important victory. In Bunyan’s time, the Church allowed it only ‘in a niggard stream, and that polluted.’ Herbert has well expressed the value of the mirror which Mercy longed for:—
‘The Bible is the looking-glass of souls, where in
All men may see
Whether they be
Still as by nature they are, deformed with sin;
Or in a better case,
As new adorned with grace.’229
And he has thus shown the value of its sacred pages, to guide the benighted travellers: ‘Great-heart struck a light, and took a view of his book or map.’
‘The Bible! That’s the book. The book indeed,
The book of books!
On which who looks,
As he should do aright, shall never need
Wish for a better light
To guide him in the night.’230
The Christian reader can scarcely know, after having read the whole volume, which gave the greatest enjoyment—whether travelling in company with Christian and his bosom friend, or the delightful feelings excited by witnessing the matronly conduct of Christiana; seeing her modest friend, Mercy, a lovely companion, or the excellent picture of child-like behaviour in the four boys: retracing the road, every step becomes delightfully interesting, and the Valley of Humiliation the most lovely picture of the whole. The courtship of Mr. Brisk—the additions to their company—the weddings, and the happy close231—this, with the final perseverance of the whole party, leads every reader earnestly to wish for a Third Part, more adventures, more of the Divine goodness, more proofs that in this world, with all its bitterness, the gospel of Jesus Christ makes its possessors happy; yes, ‘we have the promise of the life that now is, as well as of that which is to come.’ But death, probably from the latent effects of his imprisonment, cut short the valuable life of the pilgrim’s friend. And now, after long neglect, his country is teeming with his name as a national honour, and scarcely knows how sufficiently to show respect and admiration to his memory. Magnificent merchant-ships bear that name to oriental and transatlantic countries. Several thousand pounds have been subscribed to adorn the scene of his labours at Bedford, with a Bunyan Chapel, capable of seating about twelve hundred worshippers—a more appropriate monument to his memory than a statue or a splendid tomb. The pens of our greatest literary men have been employed to exhibit his singular piety, his extraordinary talent, and his extensive usefulness, and his image is to be placed with those of Milton, Shakspeare, Hampden, and the giant men who have shed glory upon this nation, in the splendid new house in which the Commons of England are to hold their sittings.
Hackney, Sept. 1850.