Frederic Lawrence Knowles.

A Kipling primer; including biographical and critical chapters, an index to Mr. Kipling's principal writings, and bibliographies online

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Online LibraryFrederic Lawrence KnowlesA Kipling primer; including biographical and critical chapters, an index to Mr. Kipling's principal writings, and bibliographies → online text (page 6 of 19)
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Index to Writings 95

Bill 'Awkins. {The Seven Seas.") — Tommy wants
to find Bill 'Awkins and settle with him for having taken his
girl out walking, but when he meets the man he suddenly
changes his mind.

"Birds of Prey" March. {The Seven Seas.') —
The Tommy who sings this song on departing for the
front seems to have little hope of returning. He reminds
us that

" The jackal an' the kite
'Ave an 'ealthy appetite,"

though he gives a hearty cheer on top of the information.

BisARA OF PooREE, The. {Plain Tales.) — The
Bisara of Pooree is a love-charm which, if stolen, possesses
potent influence for good. A man steals it and then obtains
the consent of a woman, vastly his superior, whom he has long
wished to marry, but who has before repelled his advances.
The charm is stolen from him in turn, and his fiancee at
once suffers a revulsion of feeling and dismisses him.

Bitters Neat. (Added to Plain Tales from the Hills
in the Outward Bound edition. ) — A girl falls in love
with an excellent but dull fellow who, engrossed in his
business and unaccustomed to observe women, fails to see
it. She refiises meanwhile, greatly to her aunt's anger, a
much more "eligible " man. The girl's pitiful little secret
gets out, and, sensitive to the gossip around her, she leaves
India and returns to England.

Black Jack. {Soldiers Three.) — A gang of soldiers
who conspire to kill an unpopular ofiicer with Mulvaney's
rifle and then make it appear that the owner committed the
crime are outwitted by the Irishman, who has chanced to
overhear the whole plot. He finds the rifle loaded and



96 A Kipling Primer

ready. "I was hot wid rage against thim all, an' I
worried the bullet out wid my teeth as fast as I cud, the
room bein' empty. Then I tuk my boot an' the clanin'-
rod and knocked out the pin av the fallin' -block." The
sequel shows how the officer was saved, the man on whom
the lot had fallen to do the shooting was himself wounded,
Mulvaney vindicated, and poetic justice dealt out generally.

Bread upon the Waters. (^Day's Work. ) — McPhee,
Scotch engineer of the "Breslau," was discharged after
twenty years' service for refusing to risk the vessel on
a new timing. A rival steamship line gave him employ-
ment on the " Kite," a tramp freighter. The " Breslau ' '
soon after broke down when on a voyage, and was towed to
port. Thenceforth her management were for retrench-
ment. Their economy extended to risking a trip on the
"Grotkau," a badly-built freighter with a seven-inch crack
on the tail-shaft. The "Kite" followed, creeping up by
night and falling away by day, until the "Grotkau" was
seen signalling for help. A passing liner rescued her crew,
but, being a Government mail steamer, was forbidden to tow.
How through McPhee' s ingenuity and daring this fortune fell
to the " Kite," and how the Scotchman received enough of
the money-reward to make him wealthy, is related by the
hero of the tale himself, and loses nothing in the recital.

Bridge-Builders, The. (^Day's Work.) — The romance
of a flood. Findlayson, of the Public Works Department,
had for three years been engaged in constructing a huge
bridge over the Ganges. When the work was within a
few months of completion, "Mother Gunga " rose in
ilood, as if angry at this man's outrage upon her, and all
but swept the structure away. The engineer refused to



Index to Writings 97

leave his post or to eat food. As a preventive against
fever he consented to take the opium pills thrust upon him
by his native servant, but, unused to the drug, was thrown
into a wild dream, in which the gods of India conversed.
Gunga's prayer for vengeance on the bridge-builders is
denied by Krishna : " They all come to thee at the last.
What need to slay them now ? Have pity, mother, for a
little, — and it is only for a little."

" ' The Bridge-Builders ' has in its conception and
realization astonishing affinities with Zola. The bridge
dominates the narrative in symbolic grandeur, the
swarming lives and the accumulated material ever find-
ing metamorphosis in the growth of the monster struct-
ure. The dramatic concentration is perfect.
The swiftness imparted is unsurpassable." — L. Zang-
•will ( Cosmopolitan , 1899).

"The spanning of the Ganges is not merely an
engineering achievement : it stands for a type of the
losing battle- which the old gods of the East fight against
new and spiritual forces." — ■ Macmillan' s Magazine.

" 'The Bridge-Builders' will, if we are not greatly
mistaken, rank among the masterpieces of this genera-
tion. ' ' — Spectator.

Broken— Link Handicap, The. (^Plain Tales.') —
Kipling reveals in this story as intimate a knowledge of
horse-racing as he shows of polo in "The Maltese Cat."
At the Chedputter races, the famous Shackles, heretofore
invincible, is beaten, through a clever trick played upon
Brunt, the little Australian jockey. The way in which
the riding-boy's nerve is shaken and the race lost is told
with much originality and spirit.

Bronckhorst Divorce-Case, The. {Plain Tales.)

G



9 8 A Kipling Primer

— Bronckhorst treated his wife like a brute. His crown-
ing insult was his institution of proceedings on the criminal
count against one Biel, who had been somewhat attentive
to Mrs. Bronckhorst. It was Strickland (see "Miss You-
ghal's Sais")who discovered that the plaintiff had fabri-
cated false evidence and who made this fact apparent to the
court. After being acquitted, Biel cut Bronckhorst into
ribbons with a whip. But his wife wept over him and
nursed him back to life again.

Brugglesmith. (^Many Inventions.^ — Describes the
author's unpleasant relations with a drunken rascal whom
he calls Brugglesmith — this name being the man's pro-
nunciation of Brook Green, Hammersmith, which he gives
as his address. A wild night of police courts, ambulances,
officers, narrow escapes from drowning, and a thousand
shifts whereby the young man in evening clothes tries to
rid himself of his effusive companion, but to no purpose,
unite to make up a broadly comic if not farcical story.

"Represents the low-water mark of his genius. " —
Prof. Harry Thurston Peck, in Bookman.

" It is amazing to find in this volume such stuff as
' Brugglesmith.' " — Academy, 1893.

Brushwood Boy, The. (^Day's Work.')'' — A fanciful
tale, reminding one of Du Manner's Peter Ibbetson.
From early childhood George Cottar had mysterious dreams
which invariably connected themselves with certain downs
bordering on a strange sea. His rides and voyages had
always the same starting-place — a brushwood pile near the
beach. And his constant companion was a girl who re-
tained the same personality, though she grew in years.
George developed from a visionary boy into an athletic col-



Index to Writings 99

legian and a gallant army officer, but in his dreams he was
ever the Brushwood Boy. He returned to England and
met society. Finally he saw a girl strikingly like his sleep-
companion. It proved to be she, and her dreams were
found to have matched his own in all respects. As they
had loved one another in fancy they came to do so in
reality.

"Exquisite in poetic spirituality." — McClure's

(editorial).

" ' The Brushwood Boy' is not a particularly good

story, but it is the clearest sketch we have seen of Mr.

Kipling's ideal young man, — his Galahad up to date,

— who keeps himself clean in mind and body, and loves
only when his appointed time comes, once and for all. "

— Spectator.

Bubbling Well Road. {Life's Handicap.^ — The
author loses his way in a patch of " plumed jungle grass,
. . . from ten to twenty feet high, and from three to four
miles square." In the heart of the patch, whither he has
gone with the purpose of boar hunting, he comes upon the
bubbling well, whence strange laughter and a devilish echo
emanate, and where mysterious shapes appear. The natives
believe the vicinity to be foil of devils and ghosts. The
adventurer's escape to open country is effected through the
aid of a one-eyed priest, not the least remarkable of his dis-
coveries.

By THE Hoof of the Wild Goat uf-tossed. — The
first line of the lyric preceding " To be Filed for Reference ' '
(f.s/.), and purporting to be taken " from the unpublished
papers of Mcintosh Jellaludin."

By Word of Mouth. {Plain Tale!.") — Not long
after Dumoise, a civil surgeon, had lost his wife by



loo A Kipling Primer

typhoid, his bearer in great excitement reported that he
had seen the Memsahib, who had said, " Give my salaams
to the Sahib, and tell him that I shall meet him next
month at Nuddea." Nuddea was over twelve hundred
miles south of his station. Was it a coincidence that the
doctor was unexpectedly transferred to Nuddea on special
duty ? There was an outbreak of cholera there. Soon
after his arrival he succumbed to it, and thus joined the
Memsahib.

" Captains Courageous " : A Story of the Grand
Banks. [New York and London, 1897. Before publica-
tion in book form by the Century Company it had appeared
serially in McClure' s Magazine. The, title of the story is
evidently quoted from the old English ballad of " Mary
Ambree," Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, Vol. II.
("When captaines couragious," etc., p. 230.)] Harvey
Cheyne, spoiled child of an American millionaire, overbal-
ances himself while leaning in a fit of seasickness over the
deck railing of an American liner, and is swept into the
ocean. He is picked up by a dory from a Gloucester fish-
ing-schooner, " We're Here, ' ' commanded by Disko Troop,
a man of much shrewdness and rude strength of character.
The latter declines to believe Harvey's tales of his father's
wealth, and instead of landing this " most unlicked cub in
fiction ' ' at New York, as the boy desires, keeps him on the
schooner until the close of the fishing-season, paying him
ten dollars a month for working with the other deck hands.
The rough discipline, sometimes enforced with the rope-
end, which Harvey receives, proves to be his moral and
physical salvation. When the season's end restores him to
his parents, who have been heart-broken over his supposed



Index to Writings loi

death, he is a sturdy, self-respecting young fellow who has
learned the lessons of industry and obedience. His father
rewards Troop by giving his son, Dan, a chance to rise as
a sailor. " Captains Courageous " is a boy's book ; that is
to say (in the words of the Edinburgh Review'), " it is a
fine and healthy book for boys of all ages from eight to
eighty." Novel in the strict sense it is not, nor does it aim
to be. It has, however, been justly called " the most
vivid and picturesque treatment of New England fishermen
that has yet been made." (^Atlantic Monthly, December,
1897.) Its plot is slight ; its incidents are neither numer-
ous nor exciting ; its characterization for the most part is
sketchy. Description is the book's strong point. Whether
Mr. Kipling knows all regions of the seven seas equally
well may be doubted, but he unquestionably knows the
Grand Banks. The very breath and swing of the ocean is
in the tale, and a bewildering amount of nautical lore of all
sorts. Moreover, the book, while wholly without didacti-
cism, is profoundly moral. It preaches in every line the
author's favorite Gospel of Work.

"A series of literary sea-pieces constitute the value

of the book from an artistic point of view." — Athe-

ncEiim.

"One of the best things its author has done." —

Edinburgh Review.

" The worst a hostile critic could say of ' Captains

Courageous' would be to call it a glorified boy's

book." • — London Times.

" Never before has Mr. Kipling made more living

characters, and never before has he described so well

the vast waste spaces of the sea. . The book is, in

truth, a sea-book, and from first to last the lap of the



I02 A Kipling Primer

waves against a boat's side and the humming of waters
are in our ears. ' Captains Courageous ' is as much
the book of the sea as Venice is her city. ... Its moral
is beyond praise, for it teaches the great lesson that
obedience and the power to take orders and execute
them loyally and without any false sense of pride is es-
sential to a well-ordered and happy life.
Throughout the book Mr. Kipling's style and treatment
of his subject are masterly. . . . Not a word in the
book is out of tone. ' ' — Spectator.

" A great story, great in its massive simplicity, great
in its vital interest, its wealth of humor, its lessons of
humanity and democracy, its pathos and its nobility."
— Nathan Haskell Dole in Book Buyer.

" Like Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, and
one or two other first-rate books of adventure, it will
give almost as much pleasure to grown-up people as to
boys. . . . The interest of the book does not depend
by any means entirely on the story, but almost equally
on the vivid descriptions of the cod-fishing fleet and its
industry. ' ' — Literature.

Adverse judgments are expressed by the editor of the
(American) Bookman, who finds the book " meaning-
less" (" Mr. Kipling at the Crossroads," Bookman,
December, 1898), and by an anonymous reviewer in the
Atlantic, who says of the story, after praising its healtli
of atmosphere and serenity of manner, " ' Captains
Courageous'' is badly wrought and is less than the
measure of his (Kipling' s) power. " (" Notable Recent
Novels," Atlantic, December, 1897.)

Cells. (^Ballads.) — The song of a Tommy vsrho is
confined to "the Clink" for "a thundering drink, and
blacking the corporal's eye." He has one consolation :



Index to Writings 103

•' I left my mark on the corporal's face, and I think he'll
keep it there ! "

Children of the Zodiac. {^Many Inventions.') —
The children of the Zodiac are the Ram, the Bull, the Lion,
the Twins, and the Girl (Virgo). The principal actors are
Leo and the Girl, -who, after leading the life of gods, come
to share earth conditions, and learn the mystery of love and
the meaning of death. Though the setting of the story is
fancifiil, the motif is Kipling's favorite one : Each must do
the day's work assigned him with brave patience. Or, in
the concluding words of the allegory, " What comes or
does not come, we must not be afraid."

" In ' Children of the Zodiac ' there is a defence and
justification of preaching such as St. Paul himself might
say amen to." — W. B. Parker, Public Opinion.

For adverse estimates of the story see Academy,

July I, 1893 ; also AthencEum, July 8, 1893. The

latter review finds it obscure and wearisome, and thinks

it the "one failure in the whole collection."

Chil's Song. (^Second Jungle Book.) — A poem

following " Red Dog ' ' in the Second Jungle Book. It is the

song which Chil sang "as the kites dropped dovifn one

after another to the river-bed," when the great fight with

the pack of dholes was finished.

Cholera Camp. ( The Seven Seas, ) — A song full of
rude pathos. There is cholera in the camp, with a death-
roll of ten a day.

City of Dreadful Night, The. (^Life's Handi-
cap. ) — A description of a fierce night in August at Lahore.
Crowded roof-tops. Muezzin's midnight call, unburied
corpses, snoring kites, lean dogs, sleeping lepers, scudding
jackals, — all are photographed unforgettably.



I04 A Kipling Primer

"As a description it is wonderfully vivid and con-
vincing. ' ' — Spectator.

' ' A truly wonderful piece of word-painting. ' ' —
Athetiaum.

"Never was there a more astonishing picture." —
Blackwoods.

(See Fro7n Sea to Sea.)
Cleared. (^Ballads.^ — An invective against certain
men high in ofEcial life vyho instigated a notorious shooting
affi.ir in Ireland, vjrhich had wide-reaching political effects.
The whitewashing Commission "cleared " these "honor-
able gentlemen ' ' from the stigma of complicity in the crime,
but an honest Englishman holds them to be worse even
than the assassins.

" As a piece of deadly, logical, impassioned invec-
tive, ' Cleared ' may scarce be matched. ' ' — National
Observer.

" Rings false from first line to last." — Francis
Adams in Fortnightly.
Come Back to me. Beloved, or I die! -^ — The refrain
of Bisesa's song, which begins,

' ' Alone upon the housetops, to the North

I turn and watch the lightning in the sky."

(See " Beyond the Pale," Plain Tales from the Hills.)
Conference of the Powers, A. ( Many Inventions. ) —
Mr. Eustace Cleever, novelist, falls into the company of
three young fellows home from the army. This self-com-
placent " decorator and colorman in words " has never
been ten miles from fellow-Englishmen, and has been wont
to regard warfare as unnatural if not essentially vulgar.
Always ready to draw out men in search of " material,"
he encourages the youths to talk of raids and battles. He



Index to Writings 105

ends by learning a good many things, and confesses that he
has "been moving in worlds not realized."

Consequences. {Plain Tales.') — Celebrates Mrs.
Hauksbee's cleverness, and the audacity of one Tarrion,
who, with that lady's help, obtained possession of secret
information useful to the Government, and, armed there-
with, demanded and received a fat appointment.

Conundrum of the Workshops, The. {Ballads.') —
A poem expressing scorn for merely professional critics, —
the slaves of form and tradition, — who insist on asking
about work which they admit to be clever, striking, or
human, " Yes, but is it art P "

" " A charming satire. ' ' — - Academy.

Conversion of Aurelian McGoggin, The. {Plain
Tales.) — McGoggin was " all head, no physique, and a
hundred theories," which latter he exploited on all occa-
sions. He worked nine hours a day in the Indian summer,
and finally collapsed. The break-down took the form of
aphasia, which caused loss of speech and memory. After
three months of rest he recovered, but he was cured of his
intellectual conceit. Something had at last happened which
he couldn't understand.

Courting of Dinah Shadd, The. {Life's Handicap.)
— Mulvaney tells of his first meeting with Dinah Shadd,
and of the progress, not always smooth-running, of the
courtship. After his engagement Judy Sheehy inveigles
him into drunken protestations of aiFection, and afterwards
tries to prove that he is her "promised man." In this
plot she is ably backed up by Mother Sheehy, a broadly
comic character, who, when she finds that Mulvaney
remains true to Dinah, curses both him and his sweet-



io6 A Kipling Primer

heart with Irish volubility. But Dinah Shadd remains
constant.

" A little masterpiece." — Francis Adams in Fort-
nightly.

" The one story in the book [L. H.] admirable
from first to last is ' The Courting of Dinah Shadd. ' ' '

— Lionel Johnson in Academy.

Ct/pid's Arrows. (^Plain Tales.') — A beautifiil girl
without fortune was shown attention by a very ugly but
rich commissioner in Simla. Mamma was overjoyed, but
daughter, while flattered, vastly preferred young Cubbon,
a handsome dragoon with no prospects. The commissioner
arranged an archery tournament for ladies, with a diamond-
studded bracelet as prize. All could see that the bracelet
was a gift to the girl, who was the champion archer there-
abouts, and that acceptance carried with it the heart and
hand of the great man. The contest came. The girl
deliberately shot wild and lost the prize, mamma wept
with shame and disappointment, and the boy carried the
real prize away after all.

"The archery contest in ' Cupid' s Arrows ' needs
only to be compared with a similar scene in Daniel
Deronda to show how much more closely Mr. Kip-
ling keeps his eye on details than George Eliot did."

— Edmund Gosse.

Danny Deever. (^Ballads.) — A powerfully realistic
ballad. Danny Deever was hanged in the presence of his
regiment for having shot a sleeping comrade.

Edmund C. Stedman speaks of " the originality and
weird power" of this poem, and Lionel Johnson
pronounces it in the Acade?ny "the most poetical. In
the sense of being the most imaginative and heightened
in expression," of the Barrack-Room Ballads.



Index to Writings 107

Darzee's Chaunt. — Verses following " Rikki-Tikki-
Tavi ' ' in the Jungle Book. The song is sung by Darzee,
the tailor-bird, in honor of the mongoose, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi,
who has killed the cobras.

Daughter of the Regiment, The. (^Plain Tales.)
— Miss Jhansi McKenna was plain, ill dressed, and Irish,
but she was the daughter of the regiment and the pride of
B Company. Mulvaney tells the story of the cholera
scourge, and the heroic efforts made on behalf of the men
by Ould Pummeloe, Jhansi's mother, and by Jhansi herself,
then a little girl, who followed the old woman, carrying
water to the boys. Ould Pummeloe died, but Jhansi re-
mained in the regiment. Mulvaney was her self-appointed
champion and protector, and it was he who brought about
her marriage with a corporal.

Dedication to the City of Bombay. {The Seven
Seas. ) — The opening poem in The Seven Seas, giving
expression to the author's pride in his native city, —

" For I was born in her gate.
Between the palms and the sea.

Where the world-end steamers wait. ' '

Dedicatory Poem. {Ballads. ) — These lines, ad-
dressed to Wolcott Balestier, touch almost the high-water
"^mark of Kipling's work. They have no title, but will be
recalled from their opening verse:

" Beyond the path of the outmost sun, through utter dark-
ness hurled."

For a detailed analysis, see the JV. Y. Independent,
March 30, 1899. An adverse critical estimate of the
poem may be found in Mr. Lionel Johnson's review
of Barrack-Room Ballads in the London Academy.



io8 A Kipling Primer

Departmental Ditties. — (Published, Lahore, 1886;
second and third editions, Lahore ; fourth edition, Cal-
cutta ; subsequent editions, Calcutta and London ; pirated
editions. New York and elsewhere. See Bibliography. ) A
volume of local satires, parodies, and society verse. Since
Mr. Kipling has not included the book among his collected
works, the poems are not in this primer given separate con-
sideration under their titles. ' As a matter of fact, they are
hardly worth it. The best of them, in our judgment, are
entitled. The Story of Uriah, The Galley Slave, and What
the People Said. The fidl list of poems in the first Cal-
cutta edition (1890) follows: Departmental Ditties. —
Prelude (" I have eaten your bread and salt"); General
Summary ; Array Headquarters ; Study of an Elevation,
in Indian Ink ; A Legend of the Foreign Office ; The
Story of Uriah ; The Post that Fitted ; Public Waste ;
Delilah ; What Happened ; Pink Dominoes ; The Man
who could Write ; Municipal ; A Code of Morals ; The
Last Department. Other Verses. — To the Unknown
Goddess ; The Rupaiyat of Omar Kal'vin ; La Nuit
Blanche ; My Rival ; The Lovers' Litany ; A Ballad of
Burial ; Divided Destinies ; The Masque of Plenty ; The
Mare's Nest ; Possibilities ; Christmas in India ; Pagett,
M.P. ; The Song of the Women; A Ballade of Jakko
Hill ; The Plea of the Simla Dancers ; The Ballad of
Fisher's Boarding House ; As the Bell Clinks ; Certain
Maxims of Hafiz ; The Grave of the Hundred Head ; The

' As the Kipling Primer goes to press we learn that an author-
ized edition of the Ditties is just issued by Mr. Kipling's New
York publishers. This fact does not, however, alter our convic-
tion that these juvenile verses hardly deserve separate consid-
eration .



Index to Writings 109

Moon of Other Days ; The Overland Mail ; What the
People Said ; The Undertaker's Horse ; The Fall of Jock
Gillespie ; An Old Song ; Arithmetic on the Frontier ;
One Viceroy Resigns ; The Betrothed ; A Tale of Two
Cities ; Griffin's Debt ; In Spring Time ; Two Months :
(i) In June, (z) In September; The Galley Slave;
L' Envoi.

Derelict, The. ( The Seven Seas. ) — The song of a
ship, wrecked and abandoned at sea, mourning her lost estate.

Destroyers, The. — A poem of nine double quatrains
contributed to McClure' s for May, 1898. This spirited
description of torpedoes as used in modern warfare opens :

"The strength of twice three .thousand horse
That seek the single goal."

Possibly the most striking lines are :

" The brides of death that wait the groom —
The choosers of the slain."

Devil and the Deep Sea, The. (JDafs Work.) —
A British whaling-steamer, the "Haliotis," won a bad
reputation by piratical and poaching expeditions, and was
finally captured in tropical waters, her holds filled with
stolen pearls. A foreign man-of-war signalled her to
"heave to." Its order being disobeyed, it fired a shot
which disabled' her engines. The " Haliotis " was then


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Online LibraryFrederic Lawrence KnowlesA Kipling primer; including biographical and critical chapters, an index to Mr. Kipling's principal writings, and bibliographies → online text (page 6 of 19)