(From a Letter in The Gentlemen’s Magazine )
IT is stated in the Life of Bunyan by the late Mr. Southey, that the first edition of the Pilgrim’s Progress had not then been discovered, although much search had been made after it. I therefore about twelve years ago wrote to Mr. Southey stating that I would procure a copy if possible, and I sent him some information relative to a supposed signet ring of Bunyan’s, (which was found on taking down the old bridge at Bedford, upon which the toll-house stood in which Bunyan was imprisoned,) and also some anecdotes respecting him, and a drawing of the bridge and toll house, all which Mr. Southey said he would avail himself of should he ever publish a second edition of the life.
Since that time I have frequently endeavoured to procure the first edition as a literary curiosity, and an elderly lady of this city has lately presented me with an old duodecimo copy of the work, which, if not the first, is one of the early editions. The following are the particulars of it. The title-page and also part of “the Author’s Apology for his Book,” are lost. It begins with:-
“Why, what’s the matter? It is dark; what tho’?
But it is feigned; what of that?
I tro some men by feigned words,’’ &c. &c.