Chapter 19 Summary

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 550

Only Ignorance

Illustration of PDF document

Download Black Beauty Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Black Beauty is not sure how long he has been ill, but the horse doctor, Mr. Bond, comes to see him every day. One day he bleeds the horse as John holds the pail. After that, Black Beauty feels quite faint and thinks he is going to die; those around him seem to think so, too. Ginger and Merrylegs are moved to the other stable so that the Black Beauty's environment will be quieter; his fever makes him quite sensitive to sound.

One night John has to give Black Beauty some medicine, and Thomas Green, Joe’s father, comes to help him. After giving the medicine, John makes the horse comfortable and plans to stay for half-an-hour to see how the medicine settles; Thomas wants to stay, as well. The pair sits on a bench that has been brought into Merrylegs’ stall. They set the lantern on the floor so that the light will not disturb their patient.

After sitting in silence for a while, Thomas asks John if he will “say a bit of a kind word” to Joe, for he feels utterly responsible for Black Beauty’s condition. The boy is quite broken-hearted and cannot eat or smile; he believes no one will ever speak to him again if the horse dies. This is breaking his father’s heart, so he asks John to give the boy some words of comfort, as he is a good boy. John pauses slowly before speaking. He asks Thomas not to be too hard on him, for while he knows Joe is not a bad boy and he meant no harm, Black Beauty is “the pride of his heart.” This horse is also the favorite of the Gordons, and thinking that his life "may be flung away in this manner" is a burden John does not want to bear. John does agree to speak a kind word to the boy tomorrow—if Black Beauty is better.

Thomas thanks him, adding that he is glad John understands that Joe acted only out of ignorance. John is provoked by the statement and practically shouts that ignorance is the “worst...

(The entire section contains 550 words.)

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this Black Beauty study guide. You'll get access to all of the Black Beauty content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

  • Summary
  • Chapter Summaries
  • Themes
  • Characters
  • Analysis
  • Critical Essays
  • Teaching Guide
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Chapter 18 Summary


Chapter 20 Summary