Pilgrims Progress

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Ignorance Comes to His End

Now, while I was gazing upon all these things, I turned my head to look back, and saw IGNORANCE come up to the river side; but he soon got over, and that without half the difficulty which the other two men met with. For it happened that there was then in that place one VAIN-HOPE, a ferryman, that with his boat helped him over: so he, as the other I saw, did ascend the hill to come up to the gate; only he came alone, neither did any man meet him with the least encouragement. When he was come up to the gate, he looked upon the writing that was above, and then began to knock, supposing that entrance should have been quickly administered to him; but he was asked by the men that looked over the top of the gate, "Whence came you? and what would you have?" He answered, "I have ate and drank in the presence of the King, and he has taught in our streets." Then they asked him for his certificate, that they might go in and show it to the King. So he fumbled in his bosom for one, and found none. Then said they, "Have you none?" But the man answered never a word. So they told the King; but he would not come down to see him, but commanded the two Shining Ones that conducted CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL to the City, to go out, and take IGNORANCE, and bind him hand and foot, and have him away. Then they took him up, and carried him through the air to the door that I saw in the side of the hill, and put him in there. Then I saw that there was a way to hell, even from the gates of heaven, as well as from the city of Destruction. So I awoke, and behold it was a dream!


Now, reader, I have told my dream to thee;

See if thou canst interpret it to me,

Or to thyself, or neighbour: but take heed

Of misinterpreting; for that, instead

Of doing good, will but thyself abuse:

By misinterpreting evil ensues.

Take heed also that thou be not extreme

In playing with the outside of my dream;

Nor let my figure, or similitude,

Put thee into a laughter or a feud.

Leave this for boys and fools; but as for thee,

Do thou the substance of my matter see.

Put by the curtains, look within my veil

Turn up my metaphors, and do not fail

There, if thou seekest them, such things to find

As will be helpful to an honest mind.

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.