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HE Life and Death of Mr Badman was published by John Bunyan in 1680, two years after the First
Edition of the First Part of The Pilgrim's Progress. In the opening sentence of his preface he tells us it was intended by him as the counterpart or companion picture to the Allegory. But whatever his own intentions may have been, the Public of his own time seem to have declined to accept the book in this capacity. Indeed, another writer, who signs himself T. s., undertook to complete Bunyan's Allegory for him, in a book in size and type closely resembling it, and entitled The Second Part of the Pilgrim's Progress ...exactly Described under the Similitude of a Dream. It was printed for Jho. Malthus at the Sun in the Poultry, and published in 1683. So far as is known, only one copy of this book is now in existence, the copy which was formerly in the library of the poet Southey and now in that of the Baptist Union. Upon this Bunyan seems to have changed his purpose, so far as The Life and Death of Mr Badman was concerned, and on the first of January, 1685, published the story of Christiana and her Children as his own Second Part of The Pilgrim's Progress.
The work before us, therefore, now stands apart by itself. In its composition Bunyan seems to have been greatly influenced, so far as form is concerned, by a book which his wife brought with her on her marriage, and which, as he tells us in his Grace Abounding, they read together. It was entitled The
Plaine Man's Pathway to Heaven: By Arthur Dent, Preacher of the Word of God at South Shoobury in Essex. The eleventh impression, the earliest now known, is dated 1609. Both books are in dialogue form, and in each case the dialogue is supposed to be carried on through one long day. Bunyan's Mr Wiseman, like Dent's Theologus, holds forth instructive discourse, while the Mr Attentive of the former, like the Philagathus of the latter, listens and draws on his teacher by friendly questionings. There is not in Bunyan's conference, as there is in Dent's, an Asunetus, who plays the part of an ignorant man to come out enlightened and convinced at last, or an Antilegon, who carps and cavils all the way; and there is not in Dent's book what there is in Bunyan's, a biographical narrative connecting the various parts of the dialogue; but the groundwork of each is the same—a searching manifestation and exposure of the nature and evils of various forms of immorality:
Bunyan's book came out in 1680, and was published by Nathaniel Ponder, who was also the publisher of The Pilgrim's Progress. A third edition appeared in 1696, but as no copy of the second edition is known to exist, no date can be assigned to it.
In 1684 Johannes Boekholt, a publisher in Amsterdam, obtained leave of the State to issue a Dutch translation, with the title Het Leven en Sterben van Mr Quaat. This edition was illustrated by five copper-plate engravings, executed by Jan Luiken, the eminent Dutch engraver, who also illustrated The Pilgrim's Progress the following year. In 1782 a Welsh version, translated by T. Lewys, was published at Liverpool with the title : Bywyd a Marwolaeth yr annuwiol dan enw Mr Drygddyn. A Gaelic version also was published at Inverness in 1824, entitled Beath agus Bas Mhr Droch-duine.
The present edition has been reprinted from a copy of the first issue, lent by the Trustees of the Bunyan Church at Bedford, and the proofs read with a second copy of the same issue, in the library of the British Museum. For convenience of reading, as in other issues of this series of CAMBRIDGE English Classics, the old type forms of j, s, u, etc. have been made uniform with those in general modern use; but neither the spelling (including the use of capitals and italics) nor the punctuation has been altered, save as specified. Effect has been given to the errata noted by Bunyan himself, and printed on page 15 of this issue.
The text of this edition of Bunyan's Holy War is a careful reproduction of the First Edition of 1682. It is not certain that there was any further authentic reprint in Bunyan's life-time. For though both in the Bodleian and the British Museum there is a copy purporting to be a second edition, and bearing date 1684, it is difficult to resist the impression that they are pirated copies, similar to those of which Nathaniel Ponder complained so bitterly in the case of The Pilgrim's Progress. For both paper and typography are greatly inferior to those of the first edition; some of Bunyan's most characteristic marginalia are carelessly omitted ; Bunyan's own title—'The Holy War made by Shaddai upon Diabolus for the regaining of the Metropolis of the World'—is altered to the feebler and more commonplace form— The Holy War made by Christ upon the Devil for the Regaining of Man’; and, further, when a new edition was issued in 1996, the alterations and omissions of 1684 were ignored, and a simple reprint made of the first edition of 1682.
9 October, 1905.