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Part II Preface: the Answer to Objection IV

From John Bunyan's classic The Pilgrim's Progress, Part II Preface.

Answer to Objection IV

My Christiana, if with such thou meet,
By all means, in all loving wise them greet;
Render them not reviling for revile,
But, if they frown, I prithee on them smile:
Perhaps 'tis nature, or some ill report,
Has made them thus despise, or thus retort.

Some love no fish, some love no cheese, and some
Love not their friends, nor their own house or home;
Some start at pig, slight chicken, love not fowl
More than they love a cuckoo or an owl.
Leave such, my Christiana, to their choice,
And seek those who to find thee will rejoice;
By no means strive, but, in most humble wise,
Present thee to them in thy Pilgrim's guise.

Go then, my little Book, and show to all
That entertain and bid thee welcome shall,
What thou shalt keep close shut up from the rest;
And wish what thou shalt show them may be bless'd
To them for good, and make them choose to be
Pilgrims, by better far than thee or me.

Go, then, I say, tell all men who thou art:
Say, I am Christiana; and my part
Is now, with my four sons, to tell you what
It is for men to take a Pilgrim's lot.

Go, also, tell them who and what they be
That now do go on pilgrimage with thee;
Say, Here's my neighbour Mercy: she is one
That has long time with me a pilgrim gone:
Come, see her in her virgin face, and learn
'Twixt idle ones and pilgrims to discern.
Yea, let young damsels learn of her to prize
The world which is to come, in any wise.
When little tripping maidens follow God,
And leave old doting sinners to his rod,
'Tis like those days wherein the young ones cried
Hosanna! when the old ones did deride.

Next tell them of old Honest, whom you found
With his white hairs treading the Pilgrim's ground;
Yea, tell them how plain-hearted this man was;
How after his good Lord he bare the cross.
Perhaps with some gray head, this may prevail
With Christ to fall in love, and sin bewail.

Tell them also, how Master Fearing went
On pilgrimage, and how the time he spent
In solitariness, with fears and cries;
And how, at last, he won the joyful prize.
He was a good man, though much down in spirit;
He is a good man, and doth life inherit.

Tell them of Master Feeble-mind also,
Who not before, but still behind would go.
Show them also, how he had like been slain,
And how one Great-Heart did his life regain.
This man was true of heart; though weak in grace,
One might true godliness read in his face.

Then tell them of Master Ready-to-Halt,
A man with crutches, but much without fault.
Tell them how Master Feeble-mind and he
Did love, and in opinion much agree.
And let all know, though weakness was their chance,
Yet sometimes one could sing, the other dance.

Forget not Master Valiant-for-the-Truth,
That man of courage, though a very youth:
Tell every one his spirit was so stout,
No man could ever make him face about;
And how Great-Heart and he could not forbear,
But pull down Doubting-Castle, slay Despair!

Overlook not Master Despondency,
Nor Much-afraid, his daughter, though they lie
Under such mantles, as may make them look
(With some) as if their God had them forsook.
They softly went, but sure; and, at the end,
Found that the Lord of Pilgrims was their friend.
When thou hast told the world of all these things,
Then turn about, my Book, and touch these strings;
Which, if but touched, will such music make,
They'll make a cripple dance, a giant quake.

Those riddles that lie couched within thy breast,
Freely propound, expound; and for the rest
Of thy mysterious lines, let them remain
For those whose nimble fancies shall them gain.

Now may this little Book a blessing be
To those who love this little Book and me;
And may its buyer have no cause to say,
His money is but lost or thrown away.
Yea, may this second Pilgrim yield that fruit
As may with each good Pilgrim's fancy suit;
And may it some persuade, that go astray,
To turn their feet and heart to the right way,

Is the hearty prayer of
The Author,



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