Sunday, November 18, 2007

Discernment and those Things that Happen Accidentally

Writer F W Boreham says in one of his books:

I am writing here at Hobart. And Hobart will never cease to honour the illustrious memory of Sir John Franklin. He was one of Tasmania's early Governors.

Franklin Square is within a few hundred yards of this study of mine, and in the centre of the Square is a fine bronze statue of Sir John. I never look upon it without recalling that seaside holiday of his, in the course of which, the shallows having played with the shallows, the deeps began to call to the deeps. He walked up and down the sands looking out on the infinite expanse of water. He climbed the broken cliffs, and, shading his eyes with his hands, watched the great ships vanish over the distant sky line. The unseen taunted his imagination. It turned the whole course of his life. It was the accident of that timely holiday by the seaside that gave Sir John Franklin to Tasmania and to the world at large.

His parents had designed him for the Church, and it was the height of his ambition to become a bishop. But the sight of the sea awoke other instincts within him. Distant voices called him and distant fingers beckoned, until, yielding himself to the spirit of adventure, he became one of the most celebrated navigators of all time. And at the cost of his own life he opened up the frozen North to the more successful explorers who followed.

Source: F W Boreham, ‘The Call of the Deep’, The Golden Milestone (London: Charles H Kelly, 1915), 147-148.

Image: Sir John Franklin; statue in Waterloo Place, London.