to the bosom of Abraham afore his right time

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catchacat

New Member
Mandarin, Cantonese
Friends in the English Only Forum,

I am reading <Grit of Women> (written by Jack London) and finding the following part obscure to me.


The context is that in a tent in the freezing Alaska winter one of the men woke up quivering and complaining about the terrible trip. Thereat he, a young newcomer, asked for a match to light a cigarette. Then a man named Bettles handed the youngster a fire-stick and told him he had been through worse. And Bettles continued like:

"You're all right, for a cub, any ye've the true sperrit. Come this day year, you'll walk all us old bucks into the ground any time. An' best in your favor, you hain't got that streak of fat in your make-up which has sent many a husky man to the bosom of Abraham afore his right and proper time."

What puzzle me are that
1/Come this day year(does he mean come this day in a year?)
2/walk us old bucks into the ground(I think he meant that the young man might cause them old folks to end up dying somewhere. Am I right? And BTW how could the cub do this?)
3/
sent many a husky man to the bosom of Abraham afore his right and proper time.(What does it mean? Why are people sent to the bosom of Abraham? Does it mean when people die? I know that it could be some kind of allusion.)

Thank you! I'll be glad if someone could help me with it.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    What puzzle me are that
    1/Come this day year(does he mean come this day in a year?)
    Yes, that is what he means.
    2/walk us old bucks into the ground(I think he meant that the young man might cause them old folks to end up dying somewhere. Am I right? And BTW how could the cub do this?)
    The young man can walk farther than the older men can.
    sent many a husky man to the bosom of Abraham afore his right and proper time.(What does it mean? Why are people sent to the bosom of Abraham? Does it mean when people die? I know that it could be some kind of allusion.)
    It means that the streak of fat (this means something like "softness" or "laziness") in older men has killed many husky men before they should have died.
     
    Last edited:

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    The expression "the bosom of Abraham" comes from a parable told by Jesus about a rich man and a poor beggar in the book of Luke, Chapter 16.

    Here are a few lines from the story in the King James version of the Bible:

    22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
    23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
    24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
    25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

    More here about the parable:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_man_and_Lazarus
     

    catchacat

    New Member
    Mandarin, Cantonese
    JamesM,

    Good answer! It helps me a lot. One of many reasons I love reading stories from famous writers is they quote from parables and this is interesting for me.

    Thank you!:)
     
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