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Kiplingiana; biographical and bibliographical notes anent Rudyard Kipling online

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"Where the red -mapped lands extend.




From " Vanity Fair."




M. F. Mansfield & A. Wessels


M.F. Mansfield & A. Weitk



T OVERS of Mr. Kipling's work should in
"^"^ the present series find much of interest rela-
tive to this foremost figure now in the literary

Mr. Kipling is a remarkable man and thereby
it is allowable that references to his work should
be treated if possible in a unique manner.
This '* Note Book" then is produced as an
attempt to glorify the genius of this now popular
author, who scarcely more than a decade ago
was hailed as ** a new star in the literary firma-
ment, rising up out of the East. "
The collection may in a measure be said to
be eclectic inasmuch as it has been collated from
various sources and while the editor has sought:

A Kipling Note Book

to eliminate the purely fictitious and exaggera-
ted newspaper paragraphs which have gone the
rounds, there will still be found herein many
apt and pertinent anecdotes and facts bearing
upon Mr. Kipling's notably strong and unique
personality as evinced by the character and
popularity of his work.

These fugitive paragraphs would in many in-
stances possibly be lost entirely were they
not embodied in the present series of
** Notes" and it is to be hoped that
the enthusiasts and collectors of
Kiplingiana will derive as
much gratification from
the perusal of the same,
as has the editor in
the compiling
of it. —

A Kipling Note Book

A Brief Biography to Date.

RuDYARD Kipling was born in Bombay, India,
30th December, 1865, the son of John Lock-
wood Kipling and Alice McDonald. He was
educated in the United Services College at
Westward Ho in North Devon.
After his school-days he returned to India, and
took up his labors in a sub-editorial capacity
on "The Civil and Military Gazette" at
Lahore, continuing this work in one form or
another from 1882 to 1889, during which
time amid a multiplicity of office duties he
found the opportunity to write some of the
verses and tales which are now to be found in
the "Departmental Ditties," " Soldiers Three"
and "Plain Tales from the Hills," The first
when he was but twenty-one years of age.
Briefly then his career may be said to have been
made with the publishing of his first book, or
rather the first of which he was the sole author,
"Departmental Ditties in 1886." Of this
book Sir William Hunter, then Chancellor
of Bombay University said, writing in the
London Academy : — " The book gives pro-

4 A Kipling Note Book

mise or" a new lirerarv star rising in the

Then followed rapidly " Soldiers Three,"
"The Gadsbys," "In Black and White,"
" Under the Deodars," " The Phantom 'Rick-
shaw," "Wee Willie Winkie."
These were ail issued by Indian publishing houses
before he finally left the East in 1889 on his re-
turn to England, \'ia China, Japan and America.
His work in India evinced a strong individualit}',
and his many duties, working side by side with
the native, gave him the keen insight into
nature which only those who are workers them-
selves can ever hope to attain. He was not a
theorist, but a practical hand, and if his reading
public was at first limited, he certainly catered
with a skilfiil, artful power, as well as infiising
into the subject matter the wisdom and keenness
of a strong and vigorous mind.
In 1 89 1 he collaborated with Walcott Balestier
in *' The Naulahka " which was published in
London in 1892, during which year he
married Miss Caroline Starr Balestier, the sister
of his collaborator.
His later work, of which more in future pages.

A Kipling Note Book 5

is one long record of successes. Mr. Kipling
is said, properly enough, to be of a modest
retiring disposition, and it is not intended herein
to deal vAxh. those personalities of his life in
which the public has no moral or legitimate
interest. Enough that this slight series of appre-
ciations should deal with such facts of public
interest as may be properly accredited, and such
report as may have a possible bearing upon the
work of the head and hand of this strong man.
From 1892 to 1896 Mr. Kipling lived chiefly
in the United States — building himself a home
among the Green Mountains, at Brattleboro, Vt.
— residing there until he returned to England.
In I 898 he sailed for Cape Town, South Africa,
accompanied by his family, returning during the
autumn, and taking up his abode at Rottingdean
on the south coast of England. His next
journev was to America in Januar)', 1899, en
route it was said to Mexico.
Mr. Kipling, it is thus seen, has been a
great traveller, and it is by this means possibly
that the full vigor of a naturally strong and
virile brain gives out only its best ; we have in
Mr. Kipling, as evinced by his works, a true

A Kipling Note Book

exemplification of the virtue of turning occa-
sionally to ** fresh fields and pastures new " for
one's inspiration, a circumstance which is self-
evident when one recounts the variety and
scope of his recent work.

A Biographical Note.

*' Three different nationalities have gone to
make up Kipling's complicated nature. On the
mother's side Scotland and Ireland, on the father's
England, though 400 years ago the Kiplings
came from Holland. There is likewise a mix-
ture of two different temperaments in the
genealogy. Both grandfathers were clergymen,
but the father is an artist, and the mother has
throughout her life told stories in verse and
prose. The same complexity existed in the
early environment of the future author, spent in
the wonderfiil world of India, midst the primi-
tive culture of the East on the one hand and the
most advanced civilization of the West on the
other. The child could .hus see one family
content with four clay walls under a straw thatch,
with three earthen pots and a handfiil of rice.

A Kipling Note Book 7

earned by hard work, while close by he could
find himself surrounded by all the conveniences
which Europeans find necessary to make their
stay in India bearable.

As the child began to talk he learned to call
things by two different names, and learned to
speak Hindustani as fluently as English." —
London Dailjr News.

A Kipling Romance.

** In a pottery at Burslem in Staffordshire, now
Doulton's, was a young man, named John
Kipling, a designer of decorations. He was a
very clever, young man, although somewhat

** One day at a picnic to the young people of
the neighbourhood at a pretty little English lake
between the villages o( Rudyard and Rushton,
not far from Burslem John Kipling met a
pretty English girl, Mary McDonald, the
daughter of a Methodist minister at Endon.
Kipling fell in love with her at once. They
met very often, and it grew into a love affair
on both sides. Then John Kipling went to the

8 A Kipling Note Book

art schools in Kensington, and was afterwards
sent out to direct the art schools of the Madras
presidency in India. When he went to India he
took pretty Mary McDonald along as his wife.
*' In the flilness of time a son was born to
the Kiplings in Bombay. Their first meeting
at Rudyard La'^e must have been the pretty
bit of sentiment of their lives, for, when they
named the son, they took for him that of the
little lake on the banks of which they first met
each other." — K. C.Star.

Kipling's First Book.

In " My First Book," the experiences of
various contemporary authors, published in
London in 1894 ; Kipling gives credit to " De-
partmental Ditties ' ' as being his first published
book — as a matter of record three other volumes
appeared before the date of the publication of
"Departmental Ditties," to each of which
Kipling had contributed "School Boy Lyrics,"
"Echoes," published in 1885, and "Quar-
tette, the Christmas Annual of the Civil and Mili-
tary Gazette," by Four Anglo-ladian Writers,
the same year.

A Kipling Note Book

The First Indian Editions.

The following advertisement appeared in the
Indian Railway Library, No. 6 :


A. H. Wheeler & Co.'s Indian
Railway Library

1. — ** Soldiers Three," Stories of Barrack-
Room Life. By Rudyard Kipling.

2. — *' The Story of the Gadsbys," A
Tale Without a Plot." By Rudyard

3. — ** In Black and White," Stories of
Native Life. By Rudyard Kipling.

4. — "Under the Deodars," In Social By-
ways. By Rudyard Kipling.

5. — ** The Phantom 'Rickshaw, and Other
Eerie Tales." By Rudyard Kipling.

6. — ** Wee Willie Winkie, and other
Child Stories." By Rudyard Kipling.


A Kipling Note Book

A Kipling Note Book ii

14. — ** The City of the Dreadful Night."

In specially Designed Picture Covers.

Price, One Rupee.

The above are now procurable at all Railway
bookstalls, or from A. H. Wheeler & Co.,


A. H. Wheeler & Co.

'♦Letters of Marque," By Rudyard Kip-
ling. Cloth Cover, Rs. 2.8.

An Indian Newspaper Office.

This description is taken from *' The Man Who
Would Be King.''

** One Saturday night it was my pleasant duty
to put the paper to bed. A king or courtier
was dying at the other end of the world, and
the paper was to be held until the last possible

** It was a pitchy black, hot night, and raining
— now and again a spot of almost boiling water

12 A Kipling Note Book

would fall on the dust. ... It was a shade
cooler in the press-room, so I sat there while
the type clicked and the night jars hooted at
the windows, and the all but naked compositors
wiped the sweat from their foreheads.
** The thing, whatever it was, was keeping us
back. It would not come off. ... I drowsed
off, and wondered whether the telegraph was a
blessing, and whether this dying man was
aware of the inconvenience or delay he was
causing. . . . The clock hands crept up to
three o'clock, and the machines spun their fly
wheels two or three times, to see if all was in
order, before I said the word that would set
them off; I could have shrieked aloud. Then
the roar and rattle of the wheels shivered the
quiet into little bits."

Departmental Ditties.

Such a night, as is above described, was ** the
kind of a night ' Departmental Ditties ' and
their younger brethren were born," says
Rudyard Kipling in *' My First Book."

A Kipling Note Book 13

** Rukn Din the foreman approved of them im-
mensely, for he was a cultured Muslim : * Your
poetry very good, sir, just coming proper length

** Mahmoud the *comp.' had an unpleasant
way of referring to the poems as another of
those things.

** There was built a sort of a book, a lean,
oblong docket, to imitate a Government en-
velope, bound in brown paper, and ded with
red tape."

Later there arose a demand for a new edition,
and Kipling's " first book " was added to from
time to time and subsequent editions were issued
under a regular publisher's imprint and when
the book finally blossomed out as a London
publication it was as a much fatter cloth-bound
volume with a gilt top. But Kipling himself
has said that he "loved it best when it was a
little brown baby with a pink string around his
stomach. ' '

The first edition printed at Lahore by the Civil
and Military Gazette Press, is now so scarce as

14 A Kipling Note Book

to command from fifty to one hundred and fifty
dollars according to condition.
A transcript of the wording on the tide page, or
cover is as ftiUows :

No. I OF 1886, ox Her Majesty's Service
ONLY, Departmental Ditties and Other
Verses, to all Heads of Departments and all
Anglo-Indians. Rudyard Kipling, Assistant,
Department of Public Journalism, Lahore
District, 1886.

The Barrack Room Ballads often attributed as
work of the same period as that during which
Departmental Ditties were issued, were not
issued in book form until 1892 (London, Me-
thuen & Co.,) many of the verses originally
appeared in various English periodicals notably
Macmillan's Magazine, St. James Gazette, and
the volume included yet others which then saw
the light of publicity for the first time.

Out of India.

Thus it was that Rudyard Kipling first entered
literature. At the present day journalist is but
another word for a literary man, or should be at

A Kipling Note Book 15

least, as applied to those of the craft who stand
at the head, and Kipling's heroic work on the
Indian newspaper for the value of a very few
hundred dollars per year gave his art the im-
petus which he later turned so well to account.
His travels led him to England, across the
Pacific and through the United States, as the
outcome of which he published through various
newspapers a series of observations, or im-
pressions, which might properly be called
"American Notes."

Therein he gave the free and democratic atti-
tude of the masses, or such part of that body
with whom he came in contact, some hard

Entering the United States through the Golden
Gate he journeyed first to the North-West,
thence through Yellowstone Park, and Chicago
to the East.

His running comment was both apt and per-
tinent, and to express the most and the least
which can be said in their favor — he told some
very evident truths.

1 6 A Kipling Note Book

Kipling on Stevenson.

** There is a writer, called Mr. Robert Louis
Stevenson who makes most delicate inlay-work
in black and white, and files out to the fraction
of a hair. He has written a story about a
suicide club, wherein men gambled for death
because other amusements did not bite suffi-

" My friend. Private Mulvaney, knows nothing
about Mr. Stevenson, but he once assisted in-
formally at a meeting of almost such a club as
that gentleman has described, and his words
are true." — ''Soldiets Three."

Fac-simile of Cover to First Edition

A Kipling Note Book 17

Kipling's Early Books.

In prose there appeared in 1888 stories
mainly culled from the columns of The
Civil and Military Gazette (Lahore). The
volume was entitled " Plain Tales from the
Hills,"and contained in all some forty tales.
Then followed within a year " Soldiers
Three," " The Story of the Gadsbys," " In
Black and White," " Under the Deodars,"
"Wee Willie Winkie," and "The Phantom
Rickshaw," — all of which, with the excep-
tion of "Plain Tales from the Hills," ap-
pearing in Wheeler's Indian Railway Li-
brary. The first four titles above noted are
illustrative of the four main features of
Anglo-Indian life, viz., the Military, Do-
mestic, Native, and Social.

Suppressed Works.

It is but natural that a popular author
should at an advanced period in his career
devoutly wish that some of his earlier prod-

1 8 A Kip ling Note Book

uct might have died ere it was born. It
is not known that this is the exact view
held by Mr. Kipling in regard to his early
work, but the fact remains that several
volumes may practically be considered to
have been withdrawn from public gaze or
at least from the open market, among them
"Departmental Ditties," which, it is re-
called, is not to be found in the collective
Outward Bound edition of his works. In
view of recent light thrown upon the sub-
ject, this is presumably for the reason that
the 'author did not wish to preserve the
verses in such enduring form.
The contents of the volume entitled " Let-
ters of Marque " is probably omitted for
the same reason, and copies of the origi-
nal edition are so uncommon as to already
command inflated prices; and the '' Smith
Administration," containing a contribution
of Mr. Kipling to The Pioneer when he
was drawing a regular salary, opens an
interesting question in copyright law— Has
a salaried contributor no interest in his

A Kipling Note Book 19

copyright? The story goes that between
Mr. Kipling and his superiors some dis-
agreement developed, and that in revenge
they swore they would never give their con-
sent to republication. " The tale has been
revived through the sale by Messrs. Sotheby
of a copy of the " Smith Administration "
for the startling sum of ;^2 6; and, owing
possibly to the vogue which first editions of
Kipling have in the United States, it was
thought to have been purchased for some
American collector. Only three copies of
the book are supposed to be in existence —
two in T/ie Pio7ieer office in London, and
one in the Allahabad office; and as the
latter is reported missing, the question of
where the Sotheby copy originated has been
of sufficient matter to interest the service
of a firm of solicitors."
Of an entirely different character are the
still earlier volumes to which Mr. Kipling
was in whole or in part a contributor —
"Schoolboy Lyrics," "Quartette," and
" Echoes."

20 A Kipling Note Book

These are to be noted in a bibliography in
the later pages of this work, and properly
speaking should be considered as early
editions merely, even though they be in
many instances well-nigh inaccessible.

Kipling on the Soudan.

In " The Light that Failed " is given the
most graphic pen-picture of the fighting
qualities of the "British square" that has
yet been written. It here follows in part:
". . . No need for any order; the men
flung themselves panting against the sides
of the square, for they had good reason to
know that whoso was left outside when the
fighting began would probably die in an
extremely unpleasant fashion. . . . All
had fought in this fashion many times be-
fore, and there was no novelty in the
entertainment — always the same hot and
stifling formation, the smell of dust and
leather, the same bolt-like rush of the
enemy, the same pressure on the weakest

A Kipling Note Book 21

side of the square, the few minutes of des-
perate hand-to-hand scuffle, and then the
silence of the desert, broken only by the
yells of those whom the handful of cavalry
attempted to pursue. . . . No civilized
troops could have endured the hell through
which they came — the living leaping high
to avoid the dead clutching at their heels,
the wounded cursing and staggering for-
ward until they fell, a torrent black as the
sliding water above a mill-dam, full on the
right flank of the square. . . . No element
of concerted fighting; for all the men
knew, the enemy might be attacking all
four sides of the square at once ; their bus-
iness was to destroy what lay in front of
them, to bayonet in the back those who
passed over them, and, dying, to drag down
the slayer till he could be knocked on the
head by some avenging gun-butt. . . .
There was a rush, . . . the right flank of
the square sucked in after the invaders,
and those who best knew that they had but
a few hours more to live staggered to a dis-

22 A Kipling Note Book

carded rifle and fired blindly into the scuffle
that raged in the centre of the square. . . .
The heart of the square became a shambles,
the ground beyond, a butcher's shop. The
remnant of the enemy were retiring, the few
English cavalry were riding down the lag-
gards. . . . Then Torpenhow sat down
and worked up his account of what he was
pleased to call * a sanguinary battle in
which our arms had acquitted themselves,'
etc. . . ."

And in " Fuzzy- Wuzzy " Mr. Kipling eulo-
gizes the Soudanese :

** So 'ere's to you, Fuzzy- Wuzzy, at

your 'ome in the Soudan ;
You're a pore benighted 'eathen

but a first-class fightin' man;
An' 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy,

with your 'ayrick 'ead of 'air —
You big black boundin' beggar —

for you bruk a British square."

A Kipling Note Book 23

Dedication to " Soldiers Three."







Some Prefaces to Indian Editions.
Preface to "Soldiers Three."

"This small book contains, for the most
part, the further adventures of my esteemed
friends and sometime allies. Privates Mul-
vaney, Ortheris, and Learoyd, who have
already been introduced to the public.
Those anxious to know how the three most

24 A Kipling Note Book

cruelly maltreated a member of Parliament;
how Ortheris went mad for a space; how
Mulvaney and some friends took the town
of Lungtunpen ; and how the little Jhansi
McKenna helped the regiment when it was
smitten with cholera, must refer to a book
called * Plain Tales from the Hills.' I
would have reprinted the four stories in
this place, but Dinah Shadd says that ' tear-
in' the tripes out av a book wid a pictur'
on the back, all to make Terence proud
past reasonin',' is wasteful, and Mulvaney
himself says he prefers to have his fame
' dishpersed most notoriously in sev'ril
volumes.' I can only hope that his desire
will be gratified."

RuDYARD Kipling.

Preface to

" Under the Deodars.'*

"Strictly speaking, there should be no
preface to this, because it deals with things

A Kipling Note Book 25

that are not, and uglinesses that hurt. But
it may be as well to try to assure the ill-
informed that India is not entirely inhab-
ited by men and women playing tennis with
the Seventh Commandment; while it is a
fact that many of the lads in the land can
be trusted to bear themselves bravely, on
occasion, as did my friend, the late Robert
Hanna Wick. The drawback of collecting
dirt in one corner is that it gives a false
notion of the filth of the room. Folk who
understand, and have a knowledge of their
own, will be able to strike fair averages.
The opinions of people who do not under-
stand are somewhat less valuable. In re-
gard to the idea of the book, I have no hope
that the stories will be of the least service
to any one. They are meant to be read
in railway trains, and are arranged and
adorned for that end. They ought to ex-
plain that there is no particular profit in
going wrong at any time, under any cir-
cumstances, or for any consideration. But
that is a large text to handle at popular
pnces ; and if I have made the first rewards

26 A Kipling Note Book

of folly seem too inviting, my inability and
not my intention is to blame." ^

RuDYARD Kipling.

Preface to

"The Phantom 'Rickshaw."

" This is not exactly a book of real ghost
stories, as the cover makes believe, but
rather a collection of facts that never quite
explained themselves. All that the col-
lector can be certain of is that one man
insisted upon dying because he believed
himself to be haunted, and another man
either made up a wonderful fiction or vis-
ited a very strange place, while the third
man was indubitably crucified by some per-
son or persons unknown, and gave an ex-
traordinary account of himself.
" Ghost stories are seldom told at first hand.
I have managed with infinite trouble to se-
cure one exception to this rule. It is not a
very good specimen, but you can credit it
from beginning to end. The other stories
you must take on trust, as I did."

RuDYARD Kipling.

A Kipling Note Book 27



AHO Blnoe be cannot spend'nor nse arlgbti
Tho little time licre given him in tros^

But waateth it in weary undelight

Ot foollsli toil and trouble, strife and ln9t<

He naturally clamours to inlierit

7£e Everlasting Future. that his merit

£lBy baveluU &oope - a3 surely is most jasO

TM City 0/ Oread/ut IfigKl,

a. H.^W HEELER & CO.,




28 A Kipling Note Book

Contents First Edition

" Departmental Ditties."

The writer is indebted to The Pioneer
and The Civil and Military Gazette for per-
mission to reprint the papers contained in
this docket, as specified below :


General Summary.

Army Headquarters.

Study of an Elevation in Indian Ink.

Legend of the F. O.

The Story of Uriah,

The Post that Fitted.

Public Waste.

Pink Dominoes.

The Man Who Could Write.

A Code of Morals.

The Last Department.

To the Unknown Goddess.
The Rupaiyat of Omar Kal'vin.
My Rival.

A Kipling Note Book 29

The Lovers' Litany.
Divided Destinies.
The Mare's Nest.
Pagett, M.P.

The Plea of Simla Dancers.
Certain Maxims of Hafiz.
The Moon of Other Days.
The Undertaker's Horse.
Arithmetic on the Frontier.
Giffen's Debt.
In Spring Time.

" American Notes."

When Mr. Kipling first came to America,
in 1892, via the Golden Gate, he said some
very complimentary things about the Bohe-
mian Club of San Francisco; but as he
journeyed eastward his comments in gen-
eral were far less favorable.

Much criticism was caused thereby.

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Online LibraryFrancis MiltounKiplingiana; biographical and bibliographical notes anent Rudyard Kipling → online text (page 1 of 7)