Nonfiction > Henry Craik, ed. > English Prose > Vol. III. Seventeenth Century
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Henry Craik, ed.  English Prose.  1916.
Vol. III. Seventeenth Century
 
Mr. By-ends
By John Bunyan (1628–1688)
 

SO I saw that quickly after they were got out of the fair, they overtook one that was going before them, whose name was By-ends; so they said to him, What country-man, sir? and how far go you this way? He told them, That he came from the town of Fair-speech, and he was going to the celestial city (but told them not his name).
  1
  From Fair-speech, said Christian; is there any that be good live there?  2
  By-ends.  Yes, said By-ends, I hope.  3
  Christian.  Pray, sir, what may I call you?  4
  By-ends.  I am a stranger to you, and you to me; if you be going this way, I shall be glad of your company; if not, I must be content.  5
  Christian.  This town of Fair-speech, I have heard of it, and, as I remember, they say it’s a wealthy place.  6
  By-ends.  Yes, I will assure you that it is, and I have very many rich kindred there.  7
  Christian.  Pray, who are your kindred there, if a man may be so bold?  8
  By-ends.  Almost the whole town; and, in particular, my Lord Turn-about, my Lord Time-server, my Lord Fair-speech (from whose ancestors the town first took its name); Also Mr. Smooth-man, Mr. Facing-bothways, Mr. Anything, and the parson of our parish, Mr. Two-tongues, was my mother’s own brother by father’s side; and, to tell you the truth, I am a gentleman of good quality; yet my great-grandfather was but a waterman, looking one way, and rowing another, and I got most of my estate by the same occupation.  9
  Christian.  Are you a married man?  10
  By-ends.  Yes, and my wife is a very virtuous woman, the daughter of a virtuous woman. She was my Lady Feigning’s daughter, therefore she came of a very honourable family, and is arrived at such a pitch of breeding, that she knows how to carry it to all, even to prince and peasant. ’Tis true, we somewhat differ in religion from those of the stricter sort, yet but in two small points; First, we never strive against wind and tide. Secondly, we are always most zealous when religion goes in his silver slippers; we love much to walk with him in the street, if the sun shines, and the people applaud it.  11
  Then Christian stepped a little aside to his fellow Hopeful, saying, It runs in my mind that this is one By-ends of Fair-speech, and if it be, we have as very a knave in our company as dwelleth in all these parts. Then said Hopeful, Ask him; methinks he should not be ashamed of his name. So Christian came up with him again, and said, Sir, you talk as if you knew something more than all the world doth, and if I take not my mark amiss, I deem I have half a guess of you: is not your name Mr. By-ends of Fair-speech?  12
  By-ends.  That is not my name, but indeed it is a nick-name that is given me by some that cannot abide me, and I must be content to bear it as a reproach, as other good men have borne theirs before me.  13
  Christian.  But did you never give an occasion to men to call you by this name?  14
  By-ends.  Never, never! The worst that ever I did to give them an occasion to give me this name, was, that I had always the luck to jump in my judgment with the present way of the times, whatever it was, and my chance was to get thereby; but if things are thus cast upon me, let me count them a blessing, but let not the malicious thereby load me with reproach.  15
  Christian.  I thought indeed that you was the man that I had heard of, and to tell you what I think, I fear this name belongs to you more properly than you are willing we should think it doth.  16
  By-ends.  Well, if you will thus imagine, I cannot help it. You shall find me a fair company-keeper, if you will still admit me your associate.  17
  Christian.  If you will go with us, you must go against wind and tide, the which, I perceive, is against your opinion: you must also own religion in his rags, as well as when in his silver slippers, and stand by him, too, when bound in irons, as well as when he walketh the streets with applause.  18
  By-ends.  You must not impose, nor lord it over my faith; leave me to my liberty, and let me go with you.  19
  Christian.  Not a step further, unless you will do in what I propound, as we.  20
  Then said By-ends, I shall never desert my old principles, since they are harmless and profitable. If I may not go with you, I must do as I did before you overtook me, even go by myself, until some overtake me that will be glad of my company.  21
 
 
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