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(Bunyan.) HEN they asked Mr Feeble-mind how he fell into his hands.
Then said the poor man, I am a sickly man, as you see: and because death did usually once a day knock at
my door, I thought I should never be well at home; so I betook myself to a pilgrim's life, and have travelled hither from the town of Uncertain, where I and my father were born. I am a man of no strength at all of body, nor yet of mind, but would, if I could, though I can but crawl, spend my life in the pilgrim's way. When I came at the gate that is at the head of the way, the Lord of that place did entertain me freely; neither objected he against my weakly looks, nor against my feeble mind; but gave me such things as were necessary for my journey, and bid me hope to the end. When I came to the house of the Interpreter, I received much kindness there: and because the Hill of Difficulty was judged too hard for me, I was carried up that by one of his servants. Indeed, I have found much relief from pilgrims, though none was willing to go so softly as I am forced to do: yet still, as they came on, they bid me be of good cheer, and said, that it was the will of their Lord that comfort should be given to the feebleminded, and so went on their own pace. When I was come to Assaultlane, then this giant met with me, and bid me prepare for an encounter. But, alas! feeble one that I was, I had more need of a cordial; so he came up and took me. I conceited he should not kill me. Also when he got me into his den, since I went not with him willingly, I believed I should come out alive again; for I have heard, that not any pilgrim that is taken captive by violent hands, if he keeps heart-whole towards his Master, is, by the laws of Providence, to die by the hand of the enemy. Robbed I looked to be, and robbed to be sure I am ; but I am, as you see, escaped with life, for the which I thank my King as the author, and you as the means. Other brunts I also look for; but this I have resolved on, to wit, to run when I can, to go when I cannot run, and to creep when I cannot go. As to the main, I thank
, Him that loved me, I am fixed; my way is before me, my mind is beyond the river that has no bridge, though I am, as you see, but of a feeble mind.
(Milton.) DENY not, but that it is of greatest concernment in the DEN
Church and commonwealth to have a vigilant eye how books demean themselves as well as men; and, thereafter, to confine, imprison, and do sharpest justice on them as malefactors,—for books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a progeny of life in them, to be
as active as that soul was whose progeny they are ; nay, they do preserve, as in a phial, the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively and as vigorously productive as those fabulous dragons' teeth ; and, being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men. on the other hand, unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a man as kill a good book. Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the earth, but a good book is the precious life-blood of a masterspirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life. It is true no age can restore a life, whereof, perhaps, there is no great loss; and revolutions of ages do not oft recover the loss of a rejected truth, for the want of which whole nations fare the worse.