Tuesday, October 30, 2012

David Balfour

To my knowledge Robert Louis Stevenson was an apostate who left his solid Christian upbringing, but in some of his writings his good upbringing came out. The following passage is from his book, David Balfour, the sequel to Kidnapped. It's been a little while since I've read it, but this passage has stuck out to me as a good reminder of the responsibilities of life that one must learn to embrace. In the story, David Balfour, age 17 and in danger of execution for reputed treason, is contemplating marrying a certain girl, but then thinks thus,
"I wondered at myself that I could dwell on such considerations in that time of my peril and disgrace; and when I remembered my youth I was ashamed. I had my studies to complete; I had to be called into some useful business; I had yet to take my part of service in a place where all must serve; I had yet to learn, and know, and prove myself a man; and I had so much sense as blush that I should be already tempted with these further-on and holier delights and duties. My education spoke home to me sharply; I was never brought up on sugar biscuits but on the hard food of the truth. I knew that he was quite unfit to be a husband who was not prepared to be a father also; and for a boy like me to play the father was a mere derision." (p. 72)

1 comment: