The Cursed Muck-rake
Reading the second part of The Pilgrim’s Progress. In the Interpreter’s house Christiana is shown something that I’ll just reproduce here with little or no comment.
The Interpreter takes them apart again, and has them first into a room where was a man that could look no way but downwards, with a muck-rake in his hand. There stood, also, one over his head with a celestial crown in his hand, and proffered him that crown for his muck-rake; but the an did neither look up nor regard, but raked to himself the straws, the small sticks, and the dust of the floor.
Then said Christiana, I persuade myself that I know somewhat the meaning of this; for this is the figure of a man of this world: is it not, good sir?
INTERPRETER. Thou hast said right, said he, and his muck-rake doth show his carnal mind. And whereas thou seest him rather give heed to rake up straws and sticks and the dust of the floor, than to do what he says that calls to him from above with the celestial crown in his hand; it is to show that heaven is but a fable to some, and that things here are counted the only things substantial. Now, whereas, it was also showed thee that the man could look no way but downwards, it is to let thee know that the earthly things, when they are with power upon men’s minds, quite carry their hearts away from God.
CHRISTIANA. Then said Christiana, O deliver me from this muck-rake!
INTERPRETER. That prayer, said the Interpreter, has lain by till it is almost rusty: ‘Give me not riches,’ is scarce the prayer of one of ten thousand. (Prov. xxx. 8.) Straws, and sticks, and dust, with most, are the great things now looked after.
With that Christiana and Mercy wept, and said, It is, alas! too true.
PS – I wrote this last week. Now I’m in Murree and giddy. My biggest problem is now the cold. Lovin’ it. Pics to come.