SOME say the 'Pilgrim's Progress' is not mine,
Insinuating as if I would shine
In name and fame by the worth of another,
Like some made rich by robbing of their brother.
Or that so fond I am of being sire,
I'll father bastards; or, if need require,
I'll tell a lie in print to get applause.
I scorn it: John such dirt-heap never was,
Since God converted him. Let this suffice
To show why I my 'Pilgrim' patronize.
It came from mine own heart, so to my head,
And thence into my fingers trickled;
Then to my pen, from whence immediately
On paper I did dribble it daintily.
Manner and matter, too, was all mine own,
Nor was it unto any mortal known
Till I had done it; nor did any then
By books, by wits, by tongues, or hand, or pen,
Add five words to it, or write half a line
Thereof: the whole, and every whit is mine.
Also for THIS, thine eye is now upon,
The matter in this manner came from none
But the same heart, and head, fingers, and pen,
As did the other. Witness all good men;
For none in all the world, without a lie,
Can say that this is mine, excepting I
I write not this of my ostentation,
Nor 'cause I seek of men their commendation;
I do it to keep them from such surmise,
As tempt them will my name to scandalize.
Witness my name, if anagram'd to thee,
The letters make - 'Nu hony in a B.'