What of my dross thou findest there, be bold
To throw away, but yet preserve the gold;
What if my gold be wrapped up in ore? —
None throws away the apple for the core.
But if thou shalt cast all away as vain,
I know not but ’twill make me dream again.
You might guess where that comes from if you remember the book I started reading near the start of last month. I finished my journey and reached the end of Pilgrim’s Progress this morning. Some of it I had remembered but I’d forgotten the pacing of the story and many of the details, including the ‘umble ending.
One question that occured to me several times was why Christian didn’t just ask or heed the names of the people he met? It would save a lot of trouble if he didn’t, for example, waste time tarrying with Ignorance! Of course, that is just the kind of sharp pin you can’t bring into the bubble of an allegory. More respectfully, the work is all the more remarkable for having been written while Bunyan was in prison — and, I expect, not the modern sort with plenty of sunlight and a decent library.
What I have I learned from the re-reading? It is hard to pin down but rather than laying down down my reading project to have an enchanted rest, I’ll press on, seeking discourse with wise Christian sages of the ages. Now, what’s my next classic to be? That’s a question to ponder this afternoon.