Acacia John Bunyan

Life and Death
Mr. Badman,
Presented to the World in a
Familiar Dialogue Between
Mr. Wiseman and Mr. Attentive.

By J O H N.B U N Y A N.


Published two years after Pilgrim's Progress.



ATTEN. But did not Mr. Badman marry again quickly?

WISE. No, not a good while after; and when he was asked the reason he would make this slighty answer, Who would keep a cow of their own that can have a quart of milk for a penny? Meaning, who would be at the charge to have a wife that can have a whore when he listeth? So villainous, so abominable did he continue after the death of his wife. Yet at last there as one was too hard for him. For getting of him to her upon a time, and making of him sufficiently drunk, she was so cunning as to get a promise of marriage of him, and so held him to it, and forced him to marry her. And she, as the saying is, was as good as he at all his vile and ranting tricks. She had her companions as well as he had his, and she would meet them too at the tavern and ale- house more commonly than he was aware of. To be plain, she was a very whore, and had as great resort came to her, where time and place was appointed, as any of them all. Ay, and he smelt it too, but could not tell how to help it. For if he began to talk, she could lay in his dish the whores that she knew he haunted, and she could fit him also with cursing and swearing, for she would give him oath for oath, and curse for curse.

ATTEN. What kind of oaths would she have?

WISE. Why, damn her, and sink her, and the like.

ATTEN. These are provoking things.

WISE. So they are; but God doth not altogether let such things go unpunished in this life. Something of this I have showed you already, and will here give you one or two instances more.

There lived, saith one, in the year 1551, in a city of Savoy, a man who was a monstrous curser and swearer, and though he was often admonished and blamed for it, yet would he by no means mend his manners. At length a great plague happening in the city, he withdrew himself [with his wife and a kinswoman] into a garden, where being again admonished to give over his wickedness, he hardened his heart more, swearing, blaspheming God, and giving himself to the devil. And immediately the devil snatched him up suddenly, his wife and kinswoman looking on, and carried him quite away. The magistrates, advertised hereof, went to the place and examined the women, who justified the truth of it.

Also at Oster, in the duchy of Magalapole, saith Mr. Clark, a wicked woman used in her cursing to give herself body and soul to the devil, and being reproved for it, still continued the same; till, being at a wedding-feast, the devil came in person, and carried her up into the air, with most horrible outcries and roarings; and in that sort carried her round about the town, that the inhabitants were ready to die for fear. And by and by he tore her in four pieces, leaving her four quarters in four several highways; and then brought her bowels to the marriage-feast, and threw them upon the table before the mayor of the town, saying, Behold these dishes of meat belong to thee, whom the like destruction waiteth for if thou dost not amend thy wicked life.

ATTEN. Though God forbears to deal thus with all men that thus rend and tear his name, and that immediate judgments do not overtake them, yet he makes their lives by other judgments bitter to them, does he not?

WISE. Yes, yes, and for proof, I need go no farther than to this Badman and his wife; for their railing, and cursing, and swearing ended not in words. They would fight and fly at each other, and that like cats and dogs. But it must be looked upon as the hand and judgment of God upon him for his villainy; he had an honest woman before, but she would not serve his turn, and therefore God took her away, and gave him one as bad as himself. Thus that measure that he meted to his first wife, this last did mete to him again. And this is a punishment wherewith sometimes God will punish wicked men. So said Amos to Amaziah, 'Thy wife shall be a harlot in the city' (Amos 7:17). With this last wife Mr. Badman lived a pretty while; but, as I told you before, in a most sad and hellish manner. And now he would bewail his first wife's death; not of love that he had to her godliness, for that he could never abide, but for that she used always to keep home, whereas this would go abroad; his first wife was also honest, and true to that relation, but this last was a whore of her body. The first woman loved to keep things together, but this last would whirl them about as well as he. The first would be silent when he chid, and would take it patiently when he abused her; but this would give him word for word, blow for blow, curse for curse; so that now Mr. Badman had met with his match. God had a mind to make him see the baseness of his own life in the wickedness of his wife's. But all would not do with Mr. Badman, he would be Mr. Badman still. This judgment did not work any reformation upon him, no, not to God nor man.

ATTEN. I warrant you that Mr. Badman thought when his wife was dead, that next time he would match far better.

WISE. What he thought I cannot tell, but he could not hope for it in this match. For here he knew himself to be catched, he knew that he was by this woman entangled, and would therefore have gone back again, but could not. He knew her, I say, to be a whore before, and therefore could not promise himself a happy life with her. For he or she that will not be true to their own soul, and therefore could not expect she should be true to him. But Solomon says, 'A whore is a deep ditch,' and Mr. Badman found it true. For when she had caught him in her pit, she would never leave him till she had got him to promise her marriage; and when she had taken him so far, she forced him to marry indeed. And after that, they lived that life that I have told you.

ATTEN. But did not the neighbours take notice of this alteration that Mr. Badman had made?

WISE. Yes; and many of his neighbours, yea, many of those that were carnal said, It is a righteous judgment of God upon him for his abusive carriage and language to his other wife: for they were all convinced that she was a virtuous woman, and that he, vile wretch, had killed her, I will not say with, but with the want of kindness.

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