Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Friday, September 28, 2007

Boreham on the Hunger for the World

The aching hunger of the human heart for the whole wide world! It is a positively fearsome thing. Many illustrations rush to memory, but the most clear and the most classical is that of David Livingstone. What a day that was when, after his long seclusion in the forests of Central Africa, he was at last found by Stanley! Let Stanley himself tell the great story:

‘The doctor asked me to tell him the news. “No, doctor,” said I, “read your home letters first; you must be impatient for them!”
“Ah,” said Livingstone, “I have waited for years for letters. I can wait a few hours longer. No, tell me general news: how’s the world getting on?”

And then, buried in that African jungle, the two men sat for hours whilst the one told the other of the completion of the great Pacific railroad, of Grant's election to the Presidency, of the realization of electric cables, of the Franco-German war, of the siege of Paris, of the Cretan rebellion, of the sensational developments in Egypt, of the Spanish revolution which had driven Isabella from the throne, of the assassination of General Prim, and of a hundred other historic transformations. Even as Stanley told the story, Livingstone became a changed man. Fresh tides of vitality rushed into his frame; his appetite strangely returned to him; his haggard face simply shone with the glow of human enthusiasm. “You have brought me new life! You have brought me new life! You have brought me new life,” he repeated again, and again, and again.

What did it all mean? It meant this. The heart of a person cries out for the world, the whole wide world; and it is starved if you confine it to the African forest or the Australian bush.

F W Boreham, Mountains in the Mist (London: Charles H Kelly, 1914), 14-15.

Image: ‘Dr.Livingstone, I presume.’