Saturday, October 23, 2010

Supplementing One Another

Everybody who has read that wealthiest of all northern biographies will remember the storm scene on the Highland loch.

Dr. Norman Macleod was in a small boat with a boatman, some women, and ‘a well-known ministerial brother, who was as conspicuous for his weak and puny appearance as Dr. Macleod was for his gigantic size and strength.’

A fearful gale arose. The waves tossed the boat sky-high in their furious sport.

The smaller of the two ministers was frightened out of his wits. He suggested that Dr. Macleod should pray for deliverance. The women eagerly seconded the devout proposal.

But the breathless old boatman would have none of it. He instantly vetoed the scheme. 'Na, na!’ he cried; 'let the wee mannie pray, but the big one maun tak' an oar if ye dinna a' want to be droned!’

The shrewd old Highlander was simply stating, in a crude way of his own, life's great supplementary law….

The gifts of each exactly supplemented those of the other. Each was the other's better half.

F W Boreham, ‘Our Better Halves,’ The Luggage of Life (London: Charles H Kelly, 1912), 216-219.

Image: Storm scene on a Highland loch.