Scott's review of Southey's Pilgrim's Progress

Author(s): Scott, Sir Walter


Southey's Pilgrims' Progress

The Pilgrims Progress with a life of John Bunyan By Robert Southey
Esq LLD Illustrated with engravings &c

It has been the boast of our ancestors to improve the constititution of their
country by the address with which they have infused a new spirit into the
ancient institutions like an able architect who contrives to make the
turrets of an ancient castle subservient to the accomodations of modern
hospitality that while they retain the external dignity of former ages they furnish
the internal means of utility and enjoyment demanded in the present
day. Thus many of our institutions inapplicable to the purposes for which they
were originally designed are yet with judgement and propriety
rel[eas]ed because applicable to useful purposes which have arisen with the
increase of general knowledge and with the change of times [¿]. — It is thus
that although Gibbon has with good reason stigmatized the nature of the task im
=posed on the Poets Laureate during the reign of George IIId as the establishment
of a stipendiary poet who in every year and at all events was bound to furnish
a measure of praise and verse such as might be sung in presence of the Sovereign
the taste of the [prince] and the Talents of the Gentleman who has dignified this
office by acceptance have found means, instead of the annual drudgery of securing the labour of the varied talent and unequaled
erudition in occasionally illustrat[ing] the antiquities and peculiarities of
our literature. For although we are conscious that Mr Southeys natural in
clination would have led him voluntarily to the path which he has pur=
sued with so much advantage to the public yet the occupation seems pecu
liarly fitted to an office of the Kings household bound by duty as well as
inclination bestow some attention on the history of national literature.

In this view we are much gratified with the present publication in which
a critick of so much acuteness and a historian so intimately acquainted
with the antiquties of his country has taken a subject of so much interest
for surely nothing can be more interesting than to learn from such authority
under what circumstances John Bunyan in spite of a clownish and vul
=gar rose into a degree of popularity scarce equaled by any English writer.

The Life of John Bunyan is a c[urious] [¿]ery piece of biography and may be
useful at the present time when many persons overcome by doubts and fears
similar to those which in[¿] the author of the Prilgrims Progress have
not the advantage to escape from them into the s[ecure] haven of Rational Piety

John Bunyan was born at Elstow near Bedford in the year 1628. His parents
were the meanest according to his expression of all families in the land. They
were workers in Brass or in common parlance Tinkers whose profession bore to that of a
a brazier the same degraded relation which a cobbler who only mends shoes


* or mispent


to the shoemaker who makes them. It was not followed however by Bunyans father
as an itinerant calling which leads Mr Southey to wonder why the calling
should be esteemed so mean. We believe the reason to be that the Tinkers craft is
in great Britain commonly practised by the Gipsies or [¿]Egyptians and we
surmize the probability that Bunyans own relatives though unclaimed and settled
might have been originally of that class for that they were not native English may
perhaps account for young John asking his father whether he was not of
Jewish a natural enough question if they had any connection with Gipsy
blood. In Life of John Bunyan p.VI and p X.

Of gypsy descent or otherwise John Bunyan was bred up with the slen
der proportion of schooling which is accessible to the children of the poor in England
and which he speedily forgot. He was by nature of enthusiastic feelings and g[uided]
by those impulses to study the future prospects which [¿] virtue afforded in
relation to a future excelence. Yet such was the sobriety of this [¿] that his [mod
est] excesses fell far short of that utter reprobation to which he conceived
entitled. John Bunyan in the wildest period of his life was never addicted to in
=temperance or to unlawful intercourse with women. He seems to have wrought
for his family as an honest and industrious man and early became the hus
band of a deserving [one]. One or two n[¿] excesses which orhe was disposed to con
sider as special pr[¿] inclined him to think seriously on his past bad
conduct and though the effect was but transitory yet [¿]ppled the c[au]ses of
thinking & acting by which vice becomes ba[¿]. Bunyans t[¿]s notwithstanding
the remorse which placed them before him in a darker light seem only to have
[been] those which every ignorant and careless young fellow of the lowest ranks falls
into and probably profane swearing sabbath-braking and a mind addicted
to the games and idle sports of Vanity fair were the most important stains upon
the character of his youth. Repentance regards past offences with a
microscopic eye nor can we wonder that such an ardent spirit as
that of John Bunyan speaking in his own energetick language of his
youthful faults should paint them in blacker colours than the actual truth
authorized. He had practized none of these debaucheries by which the
heart of the Epicurean is hardened against all feelings save those which can
tend to his own gratification and if he lost the valuable time for instruc
tion afforded by the Christian Sabbath, the hours had been employed in folly ra
ther than in vice.

When a considerable part of his youth had been spent in ignorance
and idleness it pleased Heaven to awaken this remarkable man to a sense
of his own iniquities and to conduct him to the paths of Devotion by the pain
ful passage of religious doubts and religious remorse. “The land was at


Of John Bunyans politics we know nothing of his religious doubts
and lessons he has left an ample record.

at this time burning” the nation was divided respecting best form of
government for their protection on this side and the surest means by which
they might obtain eternal felicity for hereafter. This com[¿] was that of
a [¿] in which ardent wishes were mixed with doubts with hopes and
no small portion of mysterious fears. A few religious persons with whom he
became acquainted were of the sect called Baptists and were esteemed by the new
convert who heard them talk of the mysteries of our religion with joy hope
and comfort, a species of saints was peaceful confidence and serenity argued
the security of their calling and election.

Such doubts natural to an ardent and enthusiastic mind were yet terrify
ing from their coincidence with the strict rules of Calvinistic predestination which
were foundation of the creed which he had adopted. That those alone could
share in the benefits of a Redemption for whom had adopted from the beginning of the
world as the Heirs of Salvation gave rise to the dreadful doubt whether he was him
self one of them who sh[ared] this b[lessed] election since were it not so he could
not venture to account himself other than a predestined Reprobate whose future
doom must be the more terrible that his latter faults must be e[¿]ed against
the light of an awakened conscience. He has described at length in his memoirs the
wild tumult of his mind when endeavouring to determine a point which all
the schoolmen on earth must be inadequate to solve and in the course this fear
=ful state of mind Mr Southey traces the germ of the Pilgrims Progress. In a species
of vision or waking dream he compared his own state of mind with the sanctified
condition of the poor persons of the little Baptist Congregation which he had joined
and whom he regarded as happily secure on the important question
which agitated his own mind [Take in from line 13 p.XIX Life of John Bunyan
“I saw he says &c to p. XX end of ∫ “ Soul & sin.”]

Doubts qualms fears returned upon him notwithstanding the metaphorical
assurance which this vision had conveyed to his mind. Whatever wild and wayward
thought streamed across the restless region of his thoughts was arrested like
a suspicious looking person in a besieged city brought to account for itself treated
with an attention which it did not deserve being the suggestion of casual
and involuntary intrusion far rather than of deliberate and calm reason. It
is perhaps in this sense that the human is said in scripture to be abomi=
nable wicked since not only without our will but in positive
contradictions with our best exertions wicked suggestions profane the thoughts
of the good and foul emotions pollute the heart of the most pure. The wise &
well informed shrink with horror from the phantoms of h[¿] and of vice which
thus intrude themselves on their fancy and pray to Heaven for strength to ena
ble them to reject such pollution from their thoughts and for power to fix
them upon —

But these thoughts of his possible exclusion from the pale of the righteous



rushed with such vivid force on the mind of the unfortunate Bunyan as com
pelled him to admit as good arguments the doubts and suspicions which
were the coinage of his own mind and to spend his unhappy days now in
discussing imaginary reasons why he could not be [¿]ed among the
people of God and even suspecting that by doing so he was guilty of great crime
in doubting the efficacy of Grace purchased at such a rate [¿] for the cl[ass] of sin
ners “In an evil hour” says Mr Southey with his usual good and just f[eeling]
“were the doctrines of the Gospel &c [Life as before XXI line 7. to end of ∫ than Bunyan”

In a state of anxiety and agony with all the ingenuity which enabled
him to attack the comfort which he secured from some texts of scripture
with the grounds of doubt and terror which he gathered from others the doubt
that he was forsaken of God that was he was predestined to eternal reprobation
that the scriptures the source of joy and comfort to others were to him only as
a roll like that seen by Ezekiel full of cares and denunciations he was
length induced to lay his case open to the teacher of the anabaptist congrega
tion. It was then the unfortunate man was [driven] [¿] to experience though but
in a degree the damages incurred by those who disown subscription to an established
ministry qualified by education and study to be [¿] to those who are in
distress of mind on religious grounds. For this some thing more is necessary
than good intentions some thing more even than good principles a long and
familiar acquaintance with the scripture and with the opinions of the best
commentators upon known points of controversy among Christians an acquain
tance with the [¿] they made use of and the manner in which they might
be included is essential in such a case to the adviser who is to speak the words
of comfort to a [disordered] sufferer.

Gifford, Bunyan's anabaptist preacher, was not the less a good man. But
his youth had been far differently occupied than with theological studies. He had been
an officer of the Royalists, and, like too many of that party, had led a profligate
life, as if in very opposition to the Puritans to whom the Cavaliers were opposed
as well in manner as in a[¿]. Misfortune and imprisonment gave him
a more just view of religion than he had [¿]. He changed the tenor of his
life and became the leader of the Baptist congregation of Bed
ford into which Bunyan joined himself. But however respectable a person in
many respects his advice to Bunyan was that of one enthusiast to another
He advised him to receive no religious doctrine as indisputable, which had not
been confirmed to his individual self by evidence from Heaven.

This dangerous doctrine was of a nature like enough to have entirely
distracted the unfortunate Bunyan. He had now formed to himself a
hypothesis accounting for the blasphemous evil thoughts and suggestions




guilt which distracted his mind imputing them to the immediate suggestion
which no doubt greatly relieved his mind from the apprehension that they
had been the voluntarily produce of his own wicked heart. And so strongly
has he expressed the same idea in Christians progress through the valley of the
Shadow of Death.

“One thing I would not let slip &c. Taken in Pilgrims progress p.83. line 7th
to line 10 from b[¿] “blasphemies came”.

Furnished thus with a theory to account for the source of these evil things
blasphemes and suggestions of unbelief which in recording the history of
his religious experience he dared not to utter either with word
or pen he was now taught by his mistaken pastor Gifford to look for a
conter balance to these decrees of hell by the suggestions which Heaven itself in
fused into his thoughts as an antidote to these promptings of the
devil. So strong is the power of the human imagination that he
who seriously to see miracles especially if a [man] of fancy
like Bunyan does not long expect them in vain Mr Southey thus des
cribes his condition while engaged in balancing the support and comfort
which he received from heaven with the discountenance and criminal suggestions
inspired by the enemy of mankind.

Life of Bunyan p XXV “Shaken thus continually line 5 &c down end of ∫ he
had met with before.

The s[¿]erious feelings of despair and misery the same hideous apprehensions
of unpardonable crimes committed and eternal judgement incured were from time
to time dispelled by the texts and promises of scripture born in upon the mind of
the sufferer with a force so totally irresistible as to him at least had the appear
=ance of undoubted inspiration, occupied a space of nearly three years of Bun
=yans life during which the humble fits of despair with which he was occasional
ly overwhelmed bore a frightful proportion to the comparative intervals of
peace and tranquility. He attained a more generally calm and tranquil state
of spirit from the practice which he generally adopted of reading over his bible with
the utmost care and attention observing how the different passages bore upon
and explained each other and to use his own experience ”with careful heart
and watchful eye with great fearfullness to turn over every leaf and with much
diligence mixed with trembling to consider every sentence with its natural force
and latitude.” The result of this minute and systematic investigation of
the scriptures could not but have had a tranquillizing & composing effect
on the mind of a man whose crimes consisted rather in thoughts unwilling
ly entertained than in the break of any known laws whose [¿]ful sins
of ignorance had been long renounced He looked upon the gospel system with
the comprehensive views which he had learned from [¿] Saw “that it
was good” and although [¿] he retained the opinions concerning the earlier




current of his religious career the same species of doubts and difficulties do
not seem to have disturbed his middle and his closing life. Mr W. Scott a former
editor of the Pilgrims progress thought it not advisable to dwell
upon fanaticism which characterizes the earlier part of his religious life Mr
Southey on the contrary is of opinion that “Bunyan's character &c p XIV middle
of page to line 9 from bottom valley of the shadow of death”

We are much of the opinion expressed by Mr Southey. The history of a man
so by natural powers as Bunyan is connected with history of his age
nor can we so well express the dangers of Fanaticism as when we behold the
struggles of so pure and so powerful a spirit involved in its toils. It may be ea
sily supposed that there were many falling into the same toils who strug
gled with them in vain and in that respect the doctrine which required men
who had naturally no sound understanding to boast of, who were influenced
more than the temperate and self denying Bunyan by the lust
of worldly pleasure to exercise of the private judgement as it was called [¿]
the wildest most blasphemous and most culpable excesses. It was like the bal
sam [¿]ted by the lunatick h[ero] of Cervantes which operating upon one set
of patients agreed with their constitution and though by a severe operation
condu[ted] finally to their recovery whereas applied to them of a grosser and [¿]
ser h[ealth] conducted them to deaths door.

Of this Southey gives one instance in the person of a poor man who had
the merit of being amongst the first whose conversation called Bunyan to a
sense of religion was himself so unable to endure the illumination of which
he conveyed the first spark to so notable a person that he became a Ranter
and wallowed in the foulest vice as one who was secure in the Election of his
his calling and whom the grossest sin could not debar from the happiness
which was predestined to him the unfortunate man loved to tell Bunyan
that he had run through all religions and in his persuasion had fallen upon the
the right way at last a way namely which in assuring to him an unalien
able right to Heaven freed him from all limits to the indulgence of his
animal passions during the time he remained on earth.

Another instance of the danger in indulging such reveries as wrecked the
peace and endangered the reason of Bunyan for three years though fortunately
it was unable either to [¿] his heart or to corrupt his reason was seen in one
his contemporaries Lawrence Claxton by name whose rare treatise containing the
impudent avowal of his profligacy lies now before us and is so apposite to the
subject as to claim some notice. This man who we may [¿] hope was mad
enough to excuse his profligacy was prevailed upon so late as 1660 at the instigation
he says of no mean parts or parentage in this Reasons Kingdom who had much
importuned him to that effect published the various



* This rare tract is termed at length “The lost sheep Found, Or, The prodigal return
to his Fathers house after many a sad and weary journey through many religi
countrys where now notwithstanding all his former transgressions and breach of h
fathers command he is received in all eternal favours and all the righteous and
wicked sons that he hath left behind reserved for Eternal mercy

As also every Church or dispensation may read in his travels their porti
after this life.

By Lawrence Claxton the only true converted Messenger of Jesus Christ
Creator of heaven and earth London printed for the Author 1660.


leadings forth of my spirit through each dispensation from the year 1630 to the year
1660 — in order that as Mr Claxton expresses it*

Our limits as well as our inclinations render it impossible for us to give
more than a very general analysis Some of Claxtons analyses are [two]
[two] gross some of his debaucheries too coarse and indecent to permit them being
more than indicated. Yet it may not be useless to trace the career of a man
who started under a vague apprehension of extreme tenderness of consci
ence and ascended from one flight to another till he became in principle
a matererialist almost an Atheist and in practize a coarse and debauchd

His reformation commenced in an abhorrence to railed altars and an [aver
sion] to the prayers which the devotion of his father compelld him and in the
Common Prayer Book and the practice of [Pi]etry together with an envy of those
of his own sentiments who had [¿] exercized a gift of extempor prayer. He wrote
down a form of words to assist him in his desire to shew his gifts before these
but when he came to the exhibition [¿] [¿] [¿] [¿] [¿] he lost his form
of written words and with them the composure of mind that sustaind him
him in his task and was only convinced by constant practice that
the Gift of expressing himself in publick was one which perseverance could ob

Secondly Claxton began too quarrell with the f[¿] of the presbyterians whose
doctrine he found differed only from the Episcopal in a few insignificant rites
and ceremonies. He also was or affected to be displeased with their eagerness
in pressing on the civil war.

Thirdly therefore he left them and travelld to the Independents and attachd
himself particularly to one Dr Crisp and became an Antinomian
or express Disciple of those who protested against being still [¿] as men
under the law of Moses.

Fourthly Lawrence Claxton discoverd that as he phrases it he was
still burning bricks in Egypt and did not approach nearer to that uncircum=
s[¿]d liberty of conscience which it was his desire to obtain And future extrava
gances [¿] [¿] at A[¿] to [¿] that which he affected to [¿] for a [¿]
liberal in[¿] of religious myster[¿] his real hope was to find li
cence for a g[¿] [¿] of pr[¿] than these s[ects] had [¿] v[¿]d
upon. But he then took to the pulpit and was not if his own word can be ta
ken inferior to any preacher of that time. So that he was put in possession of a
parish named Pulem with a pension of forty shillings weekly So that as he expresses
himself he thought himself very gallantly provided for “so that says he I thought
that I was in heaven upon earth judging the priests had a brave time

[¿] if [¿] Lawrence Claxton

in this world to have a house built for them and means provided for them to
tell the people stories of other men's works” But from this paradise he was removed
in about half an hour by the envy of the neighbouring clergy as he insinuates who
called him sheep stealer as he expresses it for robbing their flocks by his
superior gifts and doctrines. His character probably overtook him for his parish
and he parted with contempt on both sides Lawrence Claxton continued a
rambling unsettled life in the course of which he commenced Dipper or Anabap
tist. He resided in Robert Marchants who had four daughters
of which he seems to have had the handsomest for his wife or concubine. Claxton
was now apprehended by Parliament. After remaining in custody six months
it appears he formally renounced the practice of Dipping as it was called and by the
sacrifice of his opinions procured his liberty.

Sixthly he joined a Society of people called Seekers who worshiped only by prayer
and preaching. In this new character he put out a book having something in
the title analogous to the celebrated work of John Bunyan with whom we are con
=trasting him. It was called The Pilgrimage of Saints by Church cast out in Christ
found seeking truth. “This being” he says “a suitable piece of work in these days
wounded the churchers which book Randall owned and sold many for me.” [In]
this doctrine & in the most infamous [¿] of debauchery this unhappy man
continued untill he came the length of affirming that it was thought and not the
action which constituted sin and therefore he who practized any unlawful act
under the belief that it was no sin to such it became pure and lawful. He was
now what was called a Ranter and Chief of a company who professed and prac
tized the most abominable debauchery they had attained they thought in this out
rageous licence the true privelege of enlightened saints The ground of Claxtons faith
was that all things being created originally good nothing was evil but as the opi
nion of men made it so under which belief he apprehended there was no such
such thing as a theft a cheat or a lie and (murder excepted) he broke with
out scruple the law in every other respect. If the least doubt entered his mind he
washed it away he tells us by a cup of wine. In London with his female associates
he spent his time in feasting and drinking “so that taverns I called the House of God
the drawers Ministers and sack divinity.” This extravagant and dissolute con
duct scandalized and offended Claxton was again taken into custody
when he was formally banished from the British islands.

Ha[w]es He next endeavoured to conceal himself under another species of im
posture and aspired to the art of Magic and having found as he says “some of Dr
Wards and Woolerds manuscripts I improved my genius to fetch back goods that were
stolen yea to raise spirits and fetch treasure out of the earth. However miseries I gained
and was up and down looked upon as a dangerous man — And
therefore have several times in vain attempted to raise the devil that I might see
what like he was but all in vain so that I judged all was a lie and that there was
no devil at all nor indeed no God neither save one Nature. He found [out] that the
Scriptures were contradictory that the world was eternal and believed in neither



Redemption Resurrection or religious principles of any kind. To this dreadful
result was Lawrence Claxton conducted by his bewildered principles of his meta
physical theology though he does not stop there any more than at any
former stage of his deluded journey.

A stronger contrast between the effect of secular researches on e[mpassion]ed
and profligate Claxton and the selfd[¿]d and blameless author of the pilgrim
Progress can scarce be presented to the mind The course of study which almost drove
the good man into religious despair hurried into profligacy and atheism the truly
fanatick hypocrite Claxton.

We return to John Bunyans life from our sketch of his [¿]ed contemporary and
[¿] as is illustrated in the Pilgrims Progress that the same path which pa[¿]
[¿] through the valley of the shadow of death may conduct one [¿] to the
Celestial City may lead another to the infernal regions.

The Religious terrors of Bunyan had been considerably checked by that con
stant course of scriptural study in which he had finally occupied himself and
the effect of which was to communicate vigour and steadiness to his faith. But there
can be no doubt that an occupation of doing exten[sive] good to his fellow ven
tures fixed his attention upon the mind of others instead of permitting him
to indulge in his own reveries. Bunyans habitual serious habits and undenied
purity of life had not escaped the observation of the congregation of which he was
a member passed a resolution after the death of their pastor Gifford some of the bre=
thren (one at a time as is not unjudiciously provided) to whom the Lord may have
given a gift be called forth to speak a word or two in the church for mutual edi
fication. Full of scriptural thoughts and language and having the
scriptures themselves at command the Author of the Pilgrims progress was never
theless totally void of that [rash] confidence which made so many at that peri
od rush without consideration on the task of the preacher and instructor of
their brethern His attention to his new duties in some degree to have relieved his
own dubious state of mind. Yet he flinched not from the task of preaching
the severe doctrine under the strictness of which he himself groaned internally.
The following are his own remarkable expressions “This part of my work” &c
p. XLVIII line 11 Life to line 14 “take me off my work.”

Besides his preaching in which he acted as a kind of volunteer auxiliary
to one John Burton the principle Anabaptist teacher of Bedford He was also engaged in religious controversy and that with
the Quakers who though they have now thanks to time and toleration settled
down into the gentlest and mild of religions had originally e[¿]d a conside
rable degree of enthusiasm in [these lands]. The controversy continued for some
time and was not conducted without acrimony. Bunyan accused the Qua
kers of denying some of the most essential doctrines of Christianity and
Edward Burroughs his antagonist objected to our author his taking reward
for his services and going shares with his principal Burton in £150 which he


sustained to

affirms was received as his yearly salary.
To this charge Bunyan returned an explicit denial alleging that he wrought with
his hands for his daily living and for that of his family and solemnly affirming
that he distributed the knowledge which God had given him freely not for filthy lucres
sake. The Quakers and other antagonists could only attack his principles
and his character but the persecuting spirit which had not unnaturally taken
possession for a time of the [¿]tick government imposed direct personal conse
quences Considerable efforts were made after the Restoration of Charles IId for su[¿]
pression of these sectaries who were held as the principle cause of the late civil
war and of the death of Charles IId. John Bunyan was cited before the justice as
a person in the habit of going about preaching although the charge does not ap
pear to have mingled with any specifick charge as to his political opinion
He refused to find security to abstain from his itinerant ministry and
he was of course sent to prison resigned and contented with his captivity providing
that it might be the awakening of the saints in the country or otherwise serve
what he est[¿] the cause of vital religion.” The fruit of his submission to the
will of God was probably a state of peace of mind and contentment such as in
his lifetime he had not hitherto enjoyed.

This persecution was no sudden storm which was to pour forth its vio:
ence and then be hushed to rest. Bunyan dwelt no less than twelve years in
Bedford Jail rather than the christian preach[¿] which he considered as
his birth right. The manner in which he employed his leisure during his retreat
from the world constitutes his great distinction as a benefactor to
the world of Christianity This he has expressed himself in the first sentence
of his memorable work “As I walked through the wilderness of this world I
lighted on a certain place where there was a den where I laid me down to sleep
and as I slept I dreamed a dream.” The allegorical den is on the margin
explained to be the prison where the author so many years' imprisonment.
[¿] It is true Bunyans captivity was neither rigorous nor continued. He
was indeed deprived of the power of working at his usual occupation of a
tinker “he was as effectually taken away from his pots and kettles” says one
of his former biographers “as the Apostles were from mending their nets But he
learned to make tagged thread laces and thus supported his family by the
labour of his hands. The jailer of Bedford was a “gentle provost” and indul
ged his respected prisoner with all and more than all the liberty which he could
grant with safety to himself. He was suffered to abroad at pleasure visited
the congregations of his sect and was actually chosen pastor of the congrega
tion of Anabaptists He accepted the office and being thus only a prisoner on
parole he appears to have been able to exercise its duties [¿] all as is well expressed
by Mr Southey Life LXXII page 2d line “The fever of his enthusiasm &c to line
8 7 to its close. About 16 years before his death that is about 1674 he was at length
6 enlarged from a confinement which for at least five years [¿] been

6 Beale


degree unusual After this his life past smoothly. His reputation as a preacher
stood very high even in the metropolis where the chapels were crowded to overflowing
when his ministry was expected. A chapel was built for him near
Bedford and he often frequented another at a place called Bentick. The pulpit
which he used is still preserved with pious care.

We cannot see in the sermons which Bunyan had left any strong mark
of the genius which he really possessed but the fashion of them is strange to the
present day His elocution must have been warm and fervent and he himself
even distrusted the degree of applause which his eloquence courteously allowed
p. Life line 13 from bottom “One day when he had preached & line 7th from bo[¿]
authenticates itself”

He died at no very late period of life from the consequences of a labour
of friendship He had undertaken a journey to prevail upon a friend not to disinherit
his son caught cold in returning to London & was carried off by a fever. His epitaph
is in these words p LXXXI life line 6th from bottom “Mr John Bunyan &c to line 3d
from b[¿] “earthly bed”

Of the first appearance of this celebrated Parable Mr Southeys diligence has
preserved the following notices p.LXXXIV life line 3d from bottom to LXXXV End of ∫ large

When the astonishing and almost [¿]d success of the Pilgrims Progress
had raised a swarm of imitators the author according to the frequent spleen of the
world was accused of plagiarism himself to which he made an indignant reply
in what he considered as verse, prefixed to another of his works termed the Holy War

p. LXXXIX line 9
Some say the Pilgrims progress is not mine
down to Dribble it daintily line 11 from bottom.

Mr Southey has carefully examined the charge of supposed imitation
which so much rests upon the simplicity of the conception of the story and has suc
cessfully shown that Bunyan could not have known or profited by one or two allego
ries in the French and the Flemish languages works which the Tinker of Elstow was unlikely
to meet with and which thrown in his way he could not have read and finally which could
if he had read them scarce have supplied him with. Mr Southey however has not
mentioned a work in English, of Bunyans own time and from which certainly [the]
general kind of the allegory may have been taken and [¿]ed as
both works were published nearly about the same it is at least very possible that the
one n[¿]y have suggested the f[¿]h The work alluded to is now before us entitled
the Parable of the Pilgrim written to a friend by Symon Patrick D.D. Dean of Peterborough
This excellent D[ivine] and worthy man inscribes his pilgrim to the friend for whom [¿]
was all[ud]ed so early 14 December 1672 and Mr Southeys earliest conjecture does not
allow an earlier date for Bunyans pilgrim 1672 being the very in which he was en
larged from prison. The language of Dr Patrick in addressing his friend excludes the
possibility of his having seen John Bunyans celebrated work He apologizes for sending
to his acquaintance one in the old fashioned dress of a pilgrim and says he


[Bulmers] [¿] [¿]hia


found among the works of a late writer a short discourse under the name of A Parable
of a pilgrim and it was so agreeable to the portion of fancy he was endowed
with that he presently thought that a work of this nature would be very grate
ful to his friend also. It appears that the “Parable of a Pilgrim” so sketched
by Dr Patrick remained in the possession of the private friend for whom it was sketched
when it being supposed by others that the work might be of more general uti
lity it was at length published in 1668.

Before that year the first Edition[¿] of the Pilgrims Progress of Bunyan
unquestionably made its appearance in print But we equally acquit
the prelate of Peterborough and the Tinker of Elstow from copying a thought
or idea from each other although it is a singular circumstance that two
works with nearly the same title each certainly the same general turn
of allegory should have been circulating at the same time. If Dr Patrick
had seen the Pilgrims Progress of Bunyan which certainly is a possibility
he would in the pride of Academick learning have probably scorned to adopt it
as a model. As a man of worth and respectability he would never have denied
the obligation which he had incured and his total silence on the subject convin
ces us there was none to suppress. John Bunyan would have equally
scorned “with his very heels” to have borrowed an unacknowledged from a
Dean and and an Episcepalian and we are satisfied that he would have cut
hand off rather than written the Introductory verses we have quoted had not
the pilgrim been entirely his own.

Indeed whosoever will take the trouble of comparing two works which
open the subject of nearly the same allegory and bearing a very similar title
came into existence at nearly the same time will plainly see their total dissi
milarity Dr Patricks book is as different from that of Bunyan as can well be
The latter is a close and continued allegory in which the metaphorical fic
tion is continued with all the minuteness of a real story. In Dr Patricks work
the same plan is generally announced as arising from the earnest longing
of a traveller whom he calls Philotheus or Theophilus who desires are fixed on
journeying to Jerusalem as a pilgrim. After much distressing uncertainty
caused by the contentions of pretended guides who recommend different
routes he is at length recommended to a safe and intelligent Having at
length heard of a safe and intelligent guide to the blessed city Theophilus
hastens to put himself under his pilotage and the Good man delivers his in
structions for the way which are given at full length so that the dangers of
error and indifferent company on the way may be securely avoided and
from these de[¿] instructions in which very little care is taken even to pre
the appearance of Allegory which he himself has ap[¿]ed. You have almost
in plain terms the moral and religious precepts necessary to be
observed in a devotional course through life.

Foot Note

x Parable of the Pilgrim chapter XXX
X2 Ibidem, chapter XXXIV

The pilgrim indeed sets out upon his journey but it is only in order again
to meet with his Guide who launches further into whole chapters of instructions
with scarce a reply from his passive pupil It is easy to conceive the extreme
difference between the strain of continual instruction rather encumbered than
enlivened by the metaphor which being forgotten the author recollects every now
and then as if by accident and and the lively manner in which John Bunyan
puts the adventures of his Pilgrim before which every now and then surprize you
into the belief the [anecdotes] told with such [persuasion] are allegorical and not
real. Two circumstances alone strike us as [¿] somewhat in the manner
of Him of Elstow The one is where the Guide awakens some sluggish pilgrims whom
he finds sleeping by the way. The other is where their way is crossed by two horsemen
who insist upon assuming the office of Guide. The one indicating the Catholic church
is a pleasing talker excellent company by reason of his pleasant humour and of a
carriage very pleasant and inviting “But they observed he had a sword by his side
and a pair of pistols before him together with another instrument hanging at his
belt which was formed for pulling out of eyes”. x2 The pilgrims suspect this well armed
cavalier to be one of that brood who will force others into their own path and
put out their eyes in case they should forsake They have not got rid of their
Dangerous companion by whom the Catholick Church is indicated than they are
accosted by a man of a quite different shape & humour more sad and melancho
ly more rude and of a heavier wit also who crossed their way on the right hand”
He also representing doubtless the Presbyterians pressed them with
eagerness to accept his guidance and did little less than menace them with total
destruction if they reject his guidance.. A dagger and a pocket pistol though less
openly and ostentatiously disposed as the arms of the first cavalier seem ready
the same compulsory and persecuting principles and he therefore is repulsed as
well as his conf[eder]ate — These are the only passages in which the Church of
England dignitary has caught for a moment the spirit of the Tinker of Bed
ford. Th[rough] the rest of his Parable which is a long quarto volume he is quite
respectable — evinces considerable classical learning & compared to Bunyan
may rank with the dullest of all possible Doctors “a worthy neighbour indeed
and a marvellous good bowler — But for Alexander you see how 'tis — ” Yet Dr
Patrick had the applause of his own time. The first edition of his Parable of the
Pilgrim was in 1678 and the sixth edition which lies before us was published in

Mr Southeys remarks on Bunyan's simplicity contain
just and powerful Eulogism on this Classic of the Common people “Bun=
yan was confident in his own powers of expression to 3d line p LXXXIX ima
ginative powers” It may be added to these good and powerful remarks
that the most pleasing occupation of the fine arts being to awaken not to [grati]
fy [¿] the imagination sketches in drawing simple melodies in musick
a bold decisive but light touched strain of poetry or narrative are more

like to



to general popularity than an attempt to gratify the imagination of the specta
tor or audience by a highly wrought piece of composition leaving their own fancy
nothing to do but to admire which pretends at once to excite general curiosity by the
outline and to satiate it by the distinct accurate and circumstantial detail, which
shall no wish un[grateful]. To understand this we need only remember having been
the visiter of some celebrated scene of natural beauty under the close guardian
ship of a pragmatical guide who will let you find out nothing independent of
him and is so anxious that you should learn nothing unseen he makes you al
most wish yourself both deaf and blind that you may neither hear his instructions
nor profit by them. The rare talent of description and narrative is the
Ne quid nimis of the d[¿] a limit which genius often neglects in its profusion but
seldom fails to pay the penalty in popular opinion.

C[hristie] It is not however the words and manner of the Pilgrims Progress which have
raised that singular allegory to so high a rank among our general readers
The form and stile of composition of the popular allegory is safely referred to the
highest authority

Who spake in Parables I dare not say
But sure he knew it was a pleasing way.

And without dwelling on the precedent suggested by the poet we may observe
how often the allegory or parable has gained without suspicion those passes of the
human heart which were vigilantly guarded against the real [¿] by self
interest prejudice or pride. When the prophet approached the sinful monarch with
the intention of reproving his crimes of murder and adultery [an] a direct annunci
ation of his purpose might have awakened the king to wrath instead of that
penitence to which it was the will of heaven that he should be invited. But he
listened unsuspectingly to the parable of the ewe-lamb and it was not till the
awful denunciation Thou art the man that he found the crime which he
readily condemned in the supposed wealthy oppresser was in fact that which he
had himself committed. In this respect the comparing the parable with the real
facts which it intimates is like the practice of the artists to examine the reflection
of their paintings in a mirror that they may get clear of false lights and sha=
dows and judge of their compositions more accurately by seeing them presented
under a change of lights and circumstances

But besides the moral uses of this species of composition it has much in
it to exercise those faculties of the human mind which it is most agreeable to
keep in motion. Our judgment is engaged in weighing and measuring the points
of similarity between the reality and the metaphor as these evolve themselves and
fancy is no less amused by the unexpected surprizing and we may even say
the witty turns of thought by which the most unusual associations are produced
between things which in themselves seemed opposed and irreconcilable but
which the Allegorist has contrived should nevertheless illustrate each other. In some
cases the parable possesses the interest of the riddle itself the examination and
solution of which are so interesting to the human intellect that the history &
religious doctrines of ancient nations was often at once preserved and disguised

in the form of such ænigmata.
In such a stile of composition rendered [most] venerable by the
purposes to which it has been applied John Bunyan however uneducated was a
distinguished Master. It is said by Mr D'Israeli with the warm approbation of Mr
Southey that he was the Spe[aker] of the common people and our part we are inclined
to allow him in the simplicity of his story and his very shrewdness and if the
reader pleases vulgarity of stile and when advantages of no [¿] [weight]
which considering both writers as allegorists may in some respect counter balanced
the advantages of a mind fraught with education a head full of poetick flight
and talent in a word the various unutterable difference between the friend of Sidney and of Raleigh the fascinating poet of fairy Land and the obscure
n of Elstow the self erected holder forth to the ana:
baptists of Bedford. Each told a tale expressive of the progress of Religion and
morality under the guize in the case of Spenser of a romance of chivalry
while that of Bunyan resembles the outline of a popular fairy tale with its ma
chinery of giants dwarfs and and enchanters So far they resembled each other
and as the s[¿]y must allow the scholar the advantage of a richer imagi
nation and a taste incalculably more cultivated then he may in re
turn claim over him the superiority due to a more simple and better concocted
plan from which he suffered no tempting opportunity to lead him astray.

This will appear more evident if we observe that Spencer the first book
perhaps excepted in which he has traced in the adventures of the Redcross
Knight with considerable accuracy the history and changes in the Christian has
in other cantos suffered his story to lead him astray from his moral and engages
his Knights by whom we are to understand the abstract virtues in tilts and
tournaments not to be easily reconciled with the explanation of the allegory
What are we to understand by Britomart overthrowing Arthegal if we regard
the Lady as the representative of chastity and the Knight as that of
justice and many [ri]ddles of the same would be most easily poin:
ted out & readers will sometimes feel that those passages of the poem are some
times are not the least amusing in which Spenser forgets his allegory and becomes
a romancer like Ariosto But besides the Allegory by which Spenser designs
to present the pageant of the Moral virtues assigning a
Knight as the representative of each virtue by whom should be curbed and overthrown
the vices and appetites which oppose themselves to the same, Spenser embodied in his story a second and political allegory. Not only
is Gloriana the imaginary concentration of the Glory sought by every true Kinght
she is also Queen Elizabeth not only does King Arthur present the spirit and Essence
of pure Chivalry he is also Spenser's (unworthy) patron the Earl of Leicester and
and many of the adventures which describe encounters between the Knights and the
vices also shadow forth anecdotes and intrigues of the English court invisible
to those as Spencer himself insinuates

Who n'ote without a hound fine footing trace
This complication of meanings may render the Fairy Queen valuable to

captivity and
Transfer to the back of p 17

PLXXXVIII Note “The vulgarism alluded to” says the Laureate &c to line 3d of
[¿]“a been smothered”. Under Mr Southeys favour however this is a fault
in orthography rather than as one in grammar. A in the case quoted
is simply a mode of spelling the auxiliary [Have] and the Author meant it
as if he had written “might have made [¿] like had” or like to have
been smothered” His mode of speaking and writing was allowed by a simple
process. The word have owing

At the House of Gaius for example the wine as red as blood the milk
“well-crumb'd” the apples and nuts but the carving of the table and or
dering of the salt and trenchers have each their especial and typical
meaning & while the reader hears of the entertainment of Dr Patrick
he seems to feed at that which Bunyan so naturally describes and to
hear the instructions of the worthy Host

Pilgrims Progress p. 344


antiquary who can discern the real or double meaning of his allegory But
it must always be an objection to Spencers plan with the common reader that
an attempt at too much ingenuity has marred the simplicity of his allegory &
deprived in a great degree of consistency and coherence.

In this essential point the poet is greatly inferior to the prose allegorist
Indeed they write with a different idea of the importance of the subject Spencer
desired no doubt to aid the cause of Virtue but it was in the character of a cold
and unimpassioned moralist easily seduced from that part of his task by the
desire to pay a compliment to some courtier or some lady or the mere wish to
give a wider scope to his own fancy. Bunyan on the contrary in recommending
to his readers those religious opinions which he thought essential to salvation
was d[¿]ing to turn the most sacred task which [life] could the task for
which he had lived through poverty and was we are convinced prepared
to have died. To gain the favour of Charles and all his court he would not
we are confident have guided Christian one foot off the narrow and strait
path, and lies his excellence above Spencers that his powerful thoughts are all
directed to one solemn end and his fertile imagination taxed for everything
which could life and vivacity to his narrative vigour and consistency to his
allegory. His every thought is turned to strengthen and confirm the reasoning
on which his argument depends. And nothing is more admirable than
the acuteness of that fancy with which still keeping eye on his principal purpose
Bunyan contrives to extract from the slightest particulars the means of kee
ping in view and fortifying his meaning.

Let us for example compare Bunyan to a good man but a common
[¿] author Dr Patrick the author of the rival work. His Pilgrim in the 32n Chap
ter falls in with a company of “select friends who were met [¿] at a frugal
9 but handsome dinner This incident suggests to the worthy guide the
praises of sociable mirth restrained by temperance and sobriety. Bun
yan has occasion to mention an entertainment and instead of the gene:
rality of Patrick every dish which he places on the table is in itself a scrip
tural parable and the precise nature of the refreshment while described with the
vivacious seeming accuracy of Le Sage or Cervantes is found on referring to the texts
of scripture indicated to have an explicit connection with the sacred text to which
they contain a typical allusion Unquestionably this desire to keep to k[¿] [too]
close to the metaphor and hunt it as were down sometimes may be held
trifling and tedious But it is a better fault than a degree of negligence which
should neglect the plan so as to render the allegory confused and doubtful

The Parable of the Pilgrims Progress is of course tinged with the tenets of
the author who might be called a Calvinist in every respect save his aversion
to the Institution of a regular and ordained clergy. To these tenets he has of course
adap the pilgrimage of Christian in the events told and opinions expressed,
but the work is by no means of a controversial turn. the final condemnati=on

Take in passage in circumflex on back of p. 16.
We must not here omit to mention the valuable restorations of the
[original text by which Mr Southey has restored so much of the masculine
language and idiomatical English which had been gradually dropped out
of successive impressions by careless or unfaithfull correctors of the press.]


nation of Igorance who is consigned to the infernal regions
when asking admittance to the Celestial City though unable to produce a certificate
of his calling expresses the same severe doctrines respecting fatality which
had been for a time the torment of Bunyan himself. This is indeed in [¿]y
s[ense] a theology the Serb[i]nian Bog where armies whole have sunk and which
a human [reader] is unable to fathom its mystery we cannot think a safe
a prudent study for human wisdom. But the work is not of a controversial
character might be perused without offence by sober-minded christians
of all persuasions and in consequence it is read universally and has been transla
ted into many languages. It indeed appears from many passages in Bunyans
works that there was nothing which he dreaded so much as divisions amongst
sincere Christians and he has left his testimony against those names by which
Even when engaged in controversy he expressed this sentiment Life p LXXVII line 13 “Since you
would know &c till end of ∫ know them by their fruits.”

Mr Southey notices with what general accuracy this Apostle of the people
writes the English language notwithstanding all the disadvantages which which
his youth must h[¿] Mr Southey only notices one gross and repeated error Have owing to the frequent conversion of the v into the u
pronounced haue or Ha as Hu' done for Have [done] or the like. When to
this desire we add c[onfusion] of the aspirate a very frequent change we pro
nounce I a done instead of I ha' done or I h[un] done This is inaccurate
[mode] of pronouncing and spelling the word, inconvenient also because it leads
to confusion between A the article and the same letter used for Have the
auxiliary with which to form the preterperfect. But the mode of writing is not
ungrammatical. The speedy popularity of the Pilgrims Progress while it grati
fied Bunyans feeling as an author had the effect of inducing him again to indulge
the vein of allegory in which his warm imagination and clear and forcible ex
pression had procured him such success. Under this impression Bunyan
produced the Second party of his pilgrims and well says Mr Southey that
none but those who have acquired the ill habit of always reading critically
can feel it as a clog upon the first. The first part is indeed one of those delight
fully simple and interesting tales which when finished we are not unwilling
to begin again Even the adult becomes himself like the child who cannot be
satisfied [¿] the repetition of a favourite tale but harasses the story-telling aunt
or nurse to know more of the incidents and characters and ruminates over
the original tale with more delight when he can ex[tend] an account of further
incidents or further characters added to the [scene].

In this respect Bunyan has contrived a contrast which far from exhausting


“There is a pleasure” says the learned Editor “in travelling with a nother
companyon the same ground — a pleasure Reminiscence neither inferior in
kind or degree from that which is derived from a first impression. The
characters are judiciously marked. [Had a]

Bunyan however added another work to those by which he was already
distinguished. This was the “Holy war made by King Shaddai upon Diabolus for
the regaining of the Metropolis of the World; Or the losing and reta=
taking of Mansoul.” In this allegory the Fall of Man is intimated un
der the type of a flourishing city reduced under the tyranny of the Giant
Diabolus or the Prince of Evil and recovered after a tedious Siege by Imma=
nuel the Son of L[ord] Shaddai founder and true lord the city. A late reverend
Editor of this has said that Mr Bunyan was better qualified than
most ministers to treat this subject with propriety having been himself a
soldier and knowing by experience the evils and hardships of war. He displ
throughout his accurate knowledge of the Bible and its distinguishing
doctrines, his deep acquaintance with the human heart and its desperate
wickedness his knowledge of the devices of Satan and of the prejudices of the
carnal mind against the gospel * To this panegyric we * Burder's Edition of
entirely subscribe except that we do not see that Mr Bun the Holy War 18[2]
=yan has made much use of any military know:
lege which he possessed Mansoul is attackd by mounts slings and
battering rams weapons out of date at the time of our civil wars and we can
only trace the authors warlike occupations from his referring to the Points of
war then performed as Boot and saddle horse and away & so forth. Indeed not
having the folio edition of his works we know not how long he was a sol:
dier of the parliament The greatest risk which he incured in his milita
capacity was one somewhat resembling the escape of Sir Roger de Coverleys
ancestor at Worcester who was saved from the slaughter of that action by
having been absent from the field. In like manner Bunyan having
been appointed to attend at the siege of Lancaster a fellow soldier
volunteered to perform the service in his stead and was there slain.
Mr Burder calls upon us the singular propriety of the names assigned
to the characters introduced an art in which Bunyan exceeded all
other authors Upon the whole though the Holy war be a work of
great ingenuity it wants the simplicity and interest which is the
charm of the Pilgrims Progress.



his subject opens new sources of interest and adds to the original impression.

The pilgrimage of Christiana her friend Mercy and her children are at least as interest
ing as those of Christian himself and it material adds to the interest which we
have taken in the progress of the husband to trace the effects produced by events
similar to those we meet with when women and children are subjected to
the same contingencies. of Mercy is particularly [¿] with an ad
mirable grace and simplicity nor do we read of any with equal interest excepting
[the] of Ruth in scripture — A modest humility regarding her own [¿] and a [¿]
veneration for the matron Christiana which display themselves with much grace on
every occasion. The distinctions which form a contrast between the first and
second part of the Pilgrims Progress are such as circumstances render appropri
ate and John Bunyans strong mother wit enabled him to seize upon correctly
Christian for example a man and a bold one is represented as enduring his fatigues
trials and combats by his own stout courage under the blessing of Heaven [¿] but
to express that species of inspired valour by which women are supported in the path
of duty notwithstanding the natural feebleness and timidity of Man Christiana
and Mercy obtain from the Interpreter their guide called Great Heart by whose
d strength and valour their lack of both is supplied and the dangers and dis
tresses of the way repelled and overcome.

The author hints at the end of the second part as if “it might be his lot to
go this way again nor was his that light species of talent which could be ex:
hausted by two crops. But he left to another and very inferior hand the
task of composing a third part containing the adventures of one Tender Conscience
but far unworthy to be bound up as it sometimes is with John Bunyans
matchless Parable +

In these observations we have never touched upon Bunyans poetry
an omission for which the Good man had he been alive would scarce have
thanked us for he had a considerable opinion of his gift that way though his
present Editor himself a distinguished poet is of opinion that John modelled
his verses upon those of Robert Wisdom a degree more prosaic than the effusions of
Sternhold and Hopkins. His mechanical education and original [¿]
prevented his access to better models & of verse he knew nothing but the necessity
of tagging verses of a certain length with very slovenly [rhimes]. Mr Southey has
revived some specimens of verses written by Bunyan with great self approbat
tion doubtless upon the leaves of Foxs Book of Martyrs These “Tinkers
tetrastics as Southey calls them may rank in idea & expression with the basest
doggrel. The author has soard beyond Robert Wisdom when he was able to
express thus in recommendation of the Pilgrims Progress. [Authors Apology
p.9. line 9

Wouldst thou divert thyself to end of [verse]
head and heart together”.

In these lines

which lies open
in a critical age like the present

though carelessly and roughly formed there are both ideas and powers of ex
pression. Another little sonnet taken in connect[¿]ion with the scene of Repose
in the prose narrative has a simplicity which approaches ele=
gance with the exquisite piece of [¿]n occurring in the entrance of the Pilgrim
into the valley of Humiliation. [pilgrims progress p. 211

Now as they were going along &c down to p. 212 six lines from
bottom “silk and velvet”

We must not omit to mention that this scene of Humili
ation is illustrated by one of the very clever wooden cuts by which as by
a branch of Cut peculiarly suited to ornament letter press than a new edition of
Pilgrims progress is adorned.

Thus decorated and recommended by the taste and criticism
of Mr Southey there is little doubt that this established favourite of the Public
should be well in its new garb. As however it contains many
passages eminently faulty in point of taste as indeed from the origin and
situation of the author was naturally to be expected we should not be surprized
that it should be more coldly received A dead fly can corrupt a precious elixir an
obvious fault against taste especially if it be of a kind to lively
ridicule will cancel the merit of wit beauty and sublimity and so we would
not be surprized should the Pilgrims Progress be considered as out of fa:
shion vulgar and unworthy of regard

Still John Bunyans parable must be dear to many as to us from the
recollection that in youth we were endued with permission to peruse it in
at times when all studies of a nature merely entertaining were prohibited. We re=
member with interest the passages where we stumble betwixt the literal story
metaphorical explanation and can even remember a more simple and ear
=ly period when Grim and Slaygood and even he

whose castle's Doubting and whose names despair

were to us as literal as those destroyed by Giant Killing Jack. Those who
can recollect the early development of their own ideas on such subjects
will many of them at the same time remember the reading of this work as
the first task which gave exercize to the mind before their taste
grown too fastidious for enjoyment taught them to be more disgusted with
a single error than delighted with one hundred beauties.


32 IV
Phaedon — 31/34 (6) In like manner, the question being asked,
What is that, which, being in the body, will give it life? — we
must answer — It is the soul. The soul when it lays hold of any
body, always arrives bringing with it life. Now death is the
contrary of life. Accordingly the soul which always brings with
it life, will never receive the contrary of life. In other words,
it is deathless or immortal.(a) O

35 (8) Such is the ground upon which Sokrates rests his
belief in the immortality of the soul. The doctrine reposes,
in Plato's view, upon the assumption of eternal, self-existent,
unchangeable, Ideas or Forms(b) —r & upon the congeniality of
nature, & inherent correlation, between these Ideas & the Soul —
upon the fact, that the soul knows these Ideas, which knowledge
must have been acquired in a prior state of existence — & upon
the essential participation of the soul in the Idea of Life, so
that it cannot be conceived as without life, or as dead.q (c) The
immortality of the soul is conceived as necessary & entire, including
not merely post-existence but also pre-existence. In fact the
reference to an anterior time is more essential to Plato's
theory than that to a posterior time; because it is employed to
explain the cognitions of the mind, and the identity of learning
with reminiscences: while Simmias, who even at the close is not
without reserve on the subject of the post-existence, proclaims an
emphatic adhesion on that of the preexistence.v (d) The proof moreover,
being founded in great part on the Idea of Life, embraces every thing living,
& is common to animals(e) s (if not to plants) as well as to
men: and the metempsychosis, or transition of souls
not merely from one human body to another but also from
the human to the animal body & vice versâ, is a portion of
the Platonic creed.

36 (8) Having completed his demonstration
of the immortality of the soul, Sokrates proceeds to give a sketch

MS 42543

(a)o Plato Phaedon. p. 105 C. [¿]

Nemesius, the Christian Bishop of Emesa, declares that the proofs
given by Plato of the immortality of the soul are knotty & difficult
to understand, such as even adepts in philosophical study can hardly
follow. His own belief in it he rests upon the inspiration of the Christian
Scriptures (Nemesius de Nat. Homin. c. 2. p. 55. ed 1505).This written about 1862-1863. H. G.

(b)r Plato Phaedon p 76 — D — E. p. 100 B.C. It is remarkable that
in the Republic also, Sokrates undertakes to demonstrate the immortality of the
soul: & that in doing so, he does not make any reference or allusion to the arguments
used in the Phaedon but produces another argument totally distinct & novel: an argument
which Meiners remarks truly to be quite peculiar to Plato — Republic. XX. 609 [¿] 611C.

meiners — Geschichte der Wissenschaften — vol. II p. 780.

(e)S See what Sokrates says about the swans — Phaedon p. 85 A-B.

(c) Zeller — Geschichte der Griech. Philos. Part II. p. 267.

V “Die Seele ist ihrem Begriffe nach dasjenige, zu dessen Wesen
“es gehört, zu leben — sie kann also in keinem Augenblicke als
“nichtlebend gedacht werden: In diesen ontologischen Beweis
“für die Unsterblichkeit, laufen nicht bloss alle die einzelnen
“Beweise des Phaedon zusammen, sondern derselbe wird auch shon
in Phaedrus vorgetragen &c compare Phaedrus. p. 245

Hegel, in his Geschichte der Philosophie (Part II. p.186-87) —
189. ed. 2) maintains that Plato did not conceive the soul as a separate
thing or reality — that he did not mean to affirm, in the literal sense of
the words, its separate existence either before or after the present life —
that he did not descend to so crude a conception (zu dieser Rohheit herabzusinken)
(d) r Plato Phaedon. p. 92 D. p. 107 B as to represent to
himself the soul as
a thing, or to enquire into its duration or continuance, after the manner
of a thing — that Plato understood the soul to exist essentially as the
Universal Notion or Idea, the comprehensive aggregate of all other Ideas,
in which sense he affirmed it to be immortal — that the descriptions
which Plato gives of its conditions either before life or after death are to be
treated only as poetical metaphors. — There is ingenuity in this
view of Hegel & many separate expressions of Plato receive light from it:
but it appears to me to refine away too much Plato had in his own mind
& belief both the soul as a particular thing & the soul as an
universal. His language implies sometimesthe one, sometimes the other.


Cite this Document

APA Style:

Scott's review of Southey's Pilgrim's Progress. 2022. In The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved January 2022, from

MLA Style:

"Scott's review of Southey's Pilgrim's Progress." The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2022. Web. January 2022.

Chicago Style

The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing, s.v., "Scott's review of Southey's Pilgrim's Progress," accessed January 2022,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. 2022. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Scott's review of Southey's Pilgrim's Progress

Document Information

Document ID 247
Title Scott's review of Southey's Pilgrim's Progress
Year group 1800-1850
Genre Personal writing
Year of publication 1830
Wordcount 11650

Author information: Scott, Sir Walter

Author ID 47
Title Sir
Forenames Walter
Surname Scott
Gender Male
Year of birth 1771
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Occupation Author, solicitor
Father's occupation Solicitor
Education University
Locations where resident Edinburgh
Other languages spoken Latin