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thoughts flew from him, as has been beautifully said of Dr. Payson's conversation, in every possible variety of beauty and harmony, like birds from a South American forest. His vivid imagination filled his lonely cell with these realities; and it would appear that only when he was alone did his genius brood over this sacred work; in secrecy and silence did he pursue it; it was a joy of his heart, with which heaven itself mingled, and lent its own blessedness, but with which no stranger could intermeddle.

That this was the manner of the suggestion and production of this great work of genius, is clear from Bunyan's own amusing and instructive preface; and it is one of the most curious things in all the history of literature, to be admitted thus into the secret developments of spontaneous genius in a great writers mind, on a work, the subject of which possesses the writer as with the power of an angel, instead of being possessed by him; carries him away with its sweetness, bears him up upon its wings, as a child in a dream, and moves him swiftly through the luminous air, gazing at the divinely colored pictures painted upon it. So was Bunyan borne upward as on eagles' wings, both by the Spirit of God, and by the power of that natural genius, which was the gift of God; and I may add, by the exciting celestial beauty of a subject, which kindles the heart of the simplest Christian with enthusiasm, and shapes, for the time being, a poet in the plainest mind. All this, without difficulty, you may read under cover of Bunyan's rude rhymes, which are good, unadulterate Saxon, and

full of genuine simplicity and humor, though he scorned attempting to make them more elegant.

When at the first I took my pen in hand,
Thus for to write, I did not understand
That I at all should make a little book
In such a mode ; nay, I had undertook
To make another; which, when almost done,
Before I was aware, I thus begun.

And thus it was: I writing of the way
And race of saints in this our gospel-day,
Fell suddenly into an allegory,
About their journey, and the way to glory,
In more than twenty things, which I set down:
This done, I twenty more had in my crown,
And they again began to multiply,
Like sparks that from the coals of fire do fly.
Nay, then, thought I, if that you breed so fast,
I'll put you by yourselves, lest you at last,
Should prove ad infinitum, and eat out
The book that I already am about.

Well, so I did ; but yet I did not think
To show to all the world my pen and ink
In such a mode ; I only thought to make
I knew not what; nor did I undertake
Thereby to please my neighbor; no, not I,
I did it mine own self to gratify.

Neither did I but vacant seasons spend
In this my scribble; nor did I intend
But to divert myself in doing this,
From worser thoughts, which make me do amiss.

Thus I set pen to paper with delight,
And quickly had my thoughts in black and white.
For having now my method by the end,
Still as I pull'd it came; and so I penn'd
It down, until at last it came to be,
For length and breadth, the bigness which you see.

Well, when I thus had put my ends together,
I show'd them others, that I might see whether
They would condemn them, or them justify;
And some said, Let him live; some, Let him die:
Some said, John, print it; others said, Not so.
Some said, It might do good; others said, No.

Now I was in a strait, and did not see
Which was the best thing to be done by me;
At last I thought, since you are thus divided,
I print it will; and so the case decided.

And how could it have been decided otherwise ? Bunyan proceeds with an ingenious and amusing

apology and justification for using similitudes. Gold, pearls, and precious stones worth digging for, he thought might fitly be put into an allegory ; and truth, even in swaddling clothes, as a sweet laughing babe, might win upon the mind, inform the judgment, make the will submissive, and fill the memory with things pleasant to the imagination. There is refreshing water in dark clouds, when there is none at all in bright ones; and when their silver drops descend, then the earth yieldeth her ripe harvest. A fisherman goes patiently up and down the river-side, and engages all his wits to catch a few nibbles, with snares, lines, angles, hooks and nets; all stratagems he uses for the silly fish. So doth the fowler for the birds ; one can scarce name the variety of his means, his gun, , his nets, his line-twigs, light and bell; one can scarce tell the variety of his postures; he creeps, he goes,

he stands, he pipes and whistles. So shall he, who wisely seeks to catch men, speak dialogue-wise, parable-wise, in prose and poetry, in figures, metaphors, and meaning fables ; in cunning cabinets and mantles he shall enclose truth's golden beams; he shall set his apples of gold in pictures of silver.

Yea, let Truth be free
To make her sallies upon thee and me,
Which way it pleases God.

So Bunyan thought, and would not check the varity of his fancies, though some would-be critics laughed at their simplicity, and some were offended at their novelty. Yet he knew he might write in such a method, and not miss his end, which was

the good of his readers ; and so he wrote, and so he published, committing all to God. The close of his preface is very beautiful, and would to God that every man who reads, might, according to Bunyan's directions, lay the book, the head, and the heart together, and so follow the pilgrim from the City of Destruction to the City of Immanuel !

This book will make a traveller of thee,
If by its counsel thou wilt ruled be;
It will direct thee to the holy land,
If thou wilt its directions understand;
Yea, it will make the slothful active be;
The blind also delightful things to see.

Art thou for something rare and profitable ?
Or wouldst thou see a truth within a fable ?
Art thou forgetful? or wouldst thou remember
From new-year's day to the last of December?
Then read my fancies; they will stick like burrs,
And may be to the helpless comforters.
This book is wrote in such a dialect,
As may the minds of listless men affect :
It seems a novelty, and yet contains
Nothing but sound and honest gospel strains.

Wouldst thou divert thyself from melancholy ?
Wouldst thou be pleasant, yet be far from folly?
Wouldst thou read riddles, and their explanation ?
Or else be drowned in thy contemplation?
Dost thou love picking meat ? or wouldst thou see
A man i' th' clouds, and hear him speak to thee?
Wouldst thou be in a dream, and yet not sleep?
Or, wouldst thou in a moment laugh and weep?
Or, wouldst thou lose thyself, and catch no harm;
And find thyself again without a charm?
Wouldst read thyself, and read thou know'st not what,
And yet know whether thou art bless'd or not,
By reading the same lines ? O, then come hither!
And lay my book, thy head and heart together.

A great characteristic of original genius, perhaps its greatest proof, and one which Bunyan possessed in common with Shakspeare, is its spontaneous exertion ; the evidence of having written without labor, and without the consciousness of doing any thing remarkable, or the ambitious aim of perform

ing a great work. The thought, “ How will this please ?” has little or no power as a motive, nor is it suggested to such minds : the greatest efforts of genius seem as natural to it, as it is for common men to breathe. In this view, Bunyan's work comes nearer to the inspired poetry of the Hebrews in its character, than any other human composition. He wrote from the impulse of his genius, sanctified and illuminated by a heavenly influence; and its movements were as artless as the movements of a little child left to play upon the green by itself; as if, indeed, he had exerted no voluntary supervision whatever over its exercise. Every thing is as natural and unconstrained, as if there had been no other breather in this world but himself, no being, to whose inspection the work he was producing could ever possibly be exhibited, and no rule or model, with which it could ever be compared.

We can imagine this suffering Christian and unconscious Poet in the gloom of his prison, solacing his mind with his own visions, as they came in, one after another, like heavenly pictures, to his imagination. They were so pleasant, that he could not but give them reality, and when he found how they accumulated, the first did the IDEAL of the Pilgrim's Progress rise before his view. Then did he, with the pervading, informing, and transfusing power of genius, melt the materials and mould them into shape. He put the pictures into one grand allegory, with the meaning of heaven shining over the whole, and a separate interest and beauty in every separate part. It is an allegory conducted with

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