[Oct 23 2005]
[Title] Baa Baa Black Sheep The sharing out of the bags in this famous old nursery-rhyme is said to refer to the English export tax on wool imposed in the year 1275. The words can be sung to the French tune 'Ah vous dirai-je'. A variant last line is "One for the little boy that lives down the lane." In choosing this title Kipling must also have had in mind that traditionally the 'black sheep' was the delinquent member of the family.
[Page 271, heading] When I was in my father’s house I was in a better place This has an echo of two quotations – one from Shakespeare's As You Like It (Act 2, scene 4, lines 15 – 16):
"Ay, now I am in Arden; the more fool I; when I was at home, I was in a better place..."and John 14, 2:
"In my Father’s house are many mansions"[Page 271, line 1] Punch is the young Kipling, and Judy [line 3] is his sister Alice, usually known as 'Trix'. They appear again as 'Punch and Judy' in “The Potted Princess” (St. Nicholas Magazine for January 1893 which is reprinted in the Sussex Edition Volume XXX and in Modern Fairy Stories edited by Roger Lancelyn Green (1955), in Dent’s Illustrated English Classics.
It is not clear why Kipling used these names for himself and his sister as this classic old drama bears no resemblance to their story. (See the note to “The Man who Would be King” at page 242, line 33 earlier in this volume.)
This story was believed to be fictional until Hilton Brown (page 25) published his Rudyard Kipling, A New Appreciation with a savage denunciation of the whole affair. Although F. L. Knowles (page 16) observes:
If it is true that "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" and the opening chapter of The Light that Failed are largely autobiographical, we can only wonder that Rudyard escaped growing up sullen and embittered. A Kipling Primer, Chatto & Windus, 1900.[Page 271, line 2] the hamal Possibly from hammam, a Turkish bath and so a bath attendant, also a house-boy or domestic servant. ORG believes he may be 'Chokra' who is mentioned by Mrs Fleming. ('Trix')
[Page 271, line 2] Meeta the Hindu bearer who occasionally took the young Rudyard to his temple. (Something of Myself, Chapter 1).
[Page 271, line 2] Surti boy a native of Surat.
[Page 271, line 4] mosquito-curtains see the notes on Fever by Dr Gillian Sheehan.
[Page 271, line 11] Punch-baba the Turki for 'Father', used by Europeans and natives as a term of affection for children (Hobson-Jobson).
[Page 271, line 11] ayah nurse Mrs Fleming writes further in KJ84 (quoted above):
"Dear Ayah, who was never cross; clever Meeta, our bearer, who made toys out of oranges and nuts; Dunnoo who took care of the fat white pony which Ruddy would call Dapple Gray (sic), and Chokra, the boy who called the other servants and only grinned and didn’t mind when I pelted him with my bricks."These servants are mentioned by Kipling in Something of Myself. Kipling also uses the name 'Dunnoo' for the dog-boy who rescues his master from the pit in “The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes” earlier in this volume, and for a character in Kim.
[Page 271, line 11] the Ranee that was turned into a tiger This story has not been traced. [Suggestions will be welcomed – Ed.]
[Page 272, line 14] put-put smack-smack.
[Page 272, line 20] Ghauts a landing-place, a path of descent to a river and, in this context two ranges of mountains in Southern India. (see Hobson-Jobson for a long discussion as whether mountains or passes through mountains are meant.)
[Page 272, line 21] Nassik an ancient city of Hindu sanctity, a District of the same name in the Bombay Presidency, and a hill station where the family stayed in the hot weather
[Page 272, line 27] Belait Used for 'Europe' and/or 'England'. This may be the origin of 'Blighty', first World War slang for 'England' which is occasionally heard today, although Hobson-Jobson maintains it comes from the Arabic wilayat, meaning a kingdom or province and thus 'Europe'.
[Page 272, line 30] Bhini-in-the-Garden presumably a mali (gardener).
[Page 272, line 31] the salaam-Captain-Sahib-snake-man Not traced. [Suggestions will be welcomed – Ed.]
[Page 273, line 4] Parel a suburb of Bombay where the ayah used to take the young Rudyard when she went to pray. (Something of Myself, Chapter 1)
[Page 273, line 13] brougham Pronounced 'broom' – a closed carriage named after Lord Brougham (1778–1868).
[Page 273, line 17] Rocklington Young Rudyard (right) was boarded out at Southsea, near Portsmouth, on the south coast of England.
[Page 273, line 25] We are only one case among hundreds see Carrington pp. 14–15 for the reason European children were sent Home and why these two were sent to strangers. See also the note to “Tods’ Amendment” (Plain Tales from the Hills) page 198, line 13).
[Page 274, line 17] Apollo Bunder Then the main quay at the harbour in Bombay (now called 'Mumbai'). The Kiplings sailed on 15 April, 1871 in the P. & O. liner Ripon. See Carrington (page 14) and Something of Myself (page 4).
[Page 275, line 3] broom-gharri a smart and comfortable carriage as opposed to a tonga or tikka-gharri – a hired carriage.
[Page 275, line 10] Hindustani once his second speech as Rudyard would have spent most of his time with servants, he had to be reminded to speak English to his parents (Something of Myself, Chapter 1) so English would really be his 'second speech'.
[Page 275, line 25] rune a letter of the futhork or ancient Germanic alphabet – a mystic symbol or song etc. Kipling features them in “The Runes on Weyland’s Sword" (Puck of Pook’s Hill) and invents some of his own as a decorated initial letter at the beginning of “The Cat that Walked by Himself” (Just-So Stories). Here the word probably simply means a rhyme or saying.
[Page 275, line 25] “Sonny my soul “ The child’s translation of Hymn No.24 in Hymns Ancient and Modern, "An Evening Hymn" by John Keble (1792–1855):
Sun of my soul, Thou Saviour dear[Page 276, line 19] vagabonds on the face of the earth an echo of Genesis 4,12: "a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth."
[Page 276, line 28] Inverarity Sahib A friend of the Kipling family (see page 306, line 6) who was asked by Kipling’s Aunt Georgie (Lady Burne-Jones - see Norman Page, p, 23) to investigate his strange behaviour (cited by Andrew Lycett, pp. 43 – 44.)
[Page 276, line 32] pully-wag loops strong leather loops each side of the doors to facilitate entry and departure from the vehicle; also in some trains of the period. It would be quite an acrobatic feat for a child to put his legs through them !
[Page 277, line 9] ‘Downe Lodge’ Ruddie and Trix were boarded out at 'Lorne Lodge', 4 Campbell Road, Southsea, Hampshire, just under half a mile south of Fratton station.
[Page 277, line 17] a woman in black Sarah Holloway (neé Slatter) Her husband (see below) died in 1874 and her last entry in Kelly’s Directory is in 1896. (ORG)
[Page 277, line 19] a man, big, bony, grey and lame Pryse Agar Holloway, (1810-1874) who served in H.M.S. Brisk as a Midshipman from November 1825 to June 1829 and was present at the Battle of Navarino in 1827. He is believed to have served in the Merchant Navy before joining the Coastguard. He married Sarah Slatter in 1859 (Ricketts, page 16) It is not known where “Captain” came from but it is often an honorary title applied to elderly men with a nautical background. (See notes on page 294, line 12 below) See also the article by Cmdr. Alastair Wilson on "Kipling and the Royal Navy".
[Page 277, line 20] a boy of twelve Henry Thomas Pryse Holloway: born in 1860 (Lycett, p. 36). His career after he joined the bank has not been traced.
[Page 278, line 9] Antirosa the children were instructed to call her “Aunty Rosa”
[Page 278, line 28] Navarino a battle between a British, French and Russian fleet commanded by Sir Edward Codrington and a Turkish / Egyptian fleet commanded by Ibrahim Pasha which was attempting to restore Turkish influence over Greece. Codrington was successful, but as his orders were to avoid battle he was recalled and somehow cleared of disobeying his instructions. (The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, ed Peter Kemp, 1976) See also the note to page 294, line 12 below.
[Page 279, lines 1-2] the chill dawn….etc "a parting in the dawn with Father and Mother, who said that I must learn quickly to read and write so that they might send me letters and books." (Something of Myself, Chapter 1)
See Carrington (page 14) for an examination of the rights and wrongs of the apparently savage way in which the children were abandoned by their parents with no explanation and no way of complaining about their harsh treatment. Also Gilmour (page 8) for Rudyard's brief periods of refuge at 'The Grange' in Fulham with his Aunt Georgy (Lady Burne-Jones).
[Page 279, line 24] The Snows not traced.
[Page 279, line 25] Mrs Inverarity’s house in Marine Lines ORG has her as 'the Doctor’s wife'.
[Page 279, line 31] ‘for ever’ Mrs Fleming says (KJ44) that Auntie would:
“wake me at midnight (I always had to share her room) with warnings that if I left her care my life would be one of neglect and misery, and that I had much better make up my mind to beg my mother as soon as I saw her to “leave me with dear Auntie for always…” And again (KJ84) “Aunty – as we called the woman we were left with, because she was no relation – used to tell us we had been left because we were so tiresome and she had taken us in out of pity; but in a desperate moment, Ruddy questioned her husband and he said it was only Aunty’s fun….”Mrs Holloway shared the front bedroom on the first floor with Trix, Holloway had the back bedroom, Harry and the young Kipling shared an attic bedroom on the floor above. There was also a bedroom for the maid and one spare. (Ricketts, page 19)
The layout of the ground floor, however, seems a little odd - Birkenhead says:
"Lorne Lodge was entered through a hall as narrow as a passage which crooked an elbow at the front door and took a sharp turn before it disclosed the dining-room door at the right, the drawing-room opposite and the steep narrow staircase. (page 16).It is a narrow house with the front door on the right as one stands in the street and looks at it.
One would expect the hall to take a swerve round the stairs and then continue to the back with both rooms leading off to the left.
[Page 280, line 13] curse God and die see Job 2,9.
[Page 280, line 13 and page 281 line 18] a distant, dull boom in the air the road is about three-quarters of a mile from the sea, and while it occasionally blows in the sheltered waters of Spithead, it is actually most unlikely that the children would hear the sea from the house.
[Page 281, line 19] a range of newly-built houses Most of this area was fairly wild until about 1857 when the development of Havelock Park took place. The roads were named after soldiers who took part in the suppression of the Indian Mutiny of that year. St. Batholomew’s Church was built to serve the inhabitants and the dedication itself is not without interest, as St. Bartholomew, one of the Twelve Apostles, was by tradition believed to have gone to India to preach.
The Council leased the land near the sea from the War Department in 1884 and what had until then been marsh, dunes and shingle was developed into the residential and commercial area and the Common we see today.
[Page 282, line 11] an ‘ickle trab’ a little crab.
[Page 282, lines 15–19] "Ah well-a-day, for we are souls bereaved!..." Heading lines by Arthur Hugh Clough (1819–1861) here adapted from his Poems (1862). The original text runs as follows:
Eat, drink and die, for we are souls bereaved:In the early editions these lines were mis-attributed to James Thomson’s (1834 – 1882) The City of Dreadful Night. The error was corrected in later editions (but not the Sussex) after it was pointed out by Andrew Lang (1844–1912) in "At the Sign of the Ship" in Longman’s Magazine for January 1892.
[Page 282, line 22] Garrison Artillery The Royal Garrison Artillery manned the guns in fortresses.
[Page 283, line 17] God see Something of Myself (page 6).
It was an establishment run with the full vigour of the Evangelical as revealed to the Woman. I had never heard of Hell, so I was introduced to it in all its terrors…[Page 283, line 24] Indian fairy-tales probably Hindu myths and legends – see Joseph Jacobs’s Indian Fairy Tales (1892) etc. [Wee Willie Winkie and Other Stories ed. Haughton, Penguin 1988]
[Page 284 line 5] reading "It was strange but Ruddy only learned to read with the greatest difficulty ; I think because he was too clever… (he said) “I want to know why ‘t’ with ‘hat’ after it should be ‘that’” [Mrs Fleming, KJ 84.]
[Page 284, line 19] Rocklington The real place was Southsea
[Page 284, lines 21–23] harbours where ships lay at anchor etc. See Something of Myself (page 5) "I would go for long walks with the Captain". (Holloway) Kipling mentions H.M.S. Inflexible (with compound armour, steel on iron with seventeen inches of teak backing. then the biggest and most heavily-armoured battleship in the world) which he may have seen in Portsmouth harbour.
[Page 284, line 26] sovereigns British gold coins - £1 each
[Page 284, line 28] the battle of Navarino. see the notes to page 278, line 28 above, and page 294 line 12 below.
[Psge 284, line 33] wadding of a bullet this implies a ball from a muzzle-loading rifle or pistol which might have a piece of flannel or greased leather rammed down the barrel with it to ensure a gas-tight fit . – in this instance, probably the former, a fragment of which must have remained in the wound. (See the note to Page 293, line 15 below.)
[Page 285, line 26] ‘Now I can truly read’
"on a day that I remember it came to me that ‘reading’ was not ‘the Cat lay on the Mat,’ but a means to everything that would make me happy. (Something of Myself, page 7.)[Page 285, line 31 et seq.] Sharpe’s Magazine the child had found Sharpe’s London Magazine, Volume 1 (lacking many early pages) for 7 March 1846, with a picture of a Griffin flying over the mountains with shepherds pointing to it in terror.
A griffin is a fabulous creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body and hind-quarters of a lion. See The Annotated Alice ed. with notes by Martin Gardner (Penguin, 1965, reprint of 1979 (page 124 ff.) for Tenniel’s illustrations of the creature and some account of it.
The poem about the griffin, printed in this number and that for March 21 is "The Shepherd of the Giant Mountains" by S.M. (i.e. Menella) Bute Smedley (1820–1877), a minor poet who seems to have adapted it from the German of Fouqué.
[Page 286, line 2] ‘falchion’ a short broad sword, bent somewhat like a sickle.
[Page 286, line 11] “e-wee lamb” This would have been 'ewe-lamb', a female lamb (pronounced 'you').
[Page 286, line 12] “base ussurper” 'usurper' – one who takes possession by force or occupies some position with no right to do so.
[Page 286, line 13] “verdant me-ad” 'mead' – a green meadow
[Page 286, line 28] Frank Farleigh Frank Farleigh, or Scenes from the Life of a Private Pupil by Frank Smedley, serialized in Sharpe’s London Magazine and collected in 1859.
[Page 286, line 29] Tennyson Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892) Poet Laureate. Some of his earlier works were published anonymously in the magazine. He admired some of Kipling’s later work (see Carrington page 136) and he is mentioned in Kipling's poem “The Last of the Light Brigade).
[Page 286, line 30] ’62 Exhibition Catalogues the International Exhibition of 1862.
[Page 286, line 32] Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) published in 1726 and in many editions thereafter.
[Page 287, line 1] pot-hooks the first step in learning what was known as “copper-plate” writing – a very elegant hand which Kipling never seems to have mastered.
The pupil was given a copy-book, with the top line on each page containing an improving remark which the pupil was required to copy. Pot-hooks were the basic smooth curves which assisted the correct formation of letters. See Kipling’s poem “The Gods of the Copybook Headings”.
[Page 287, line 5] Grimm’s Fairy Tales stories collected by two Germans, Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm (1785–1863) and his brother Wilhelm Carl (1786–1859) and published in English with illustrations by George Cruickshank (1792-1878) in 1823, with many editions thereafter.
[Page 287, line 5] Hans Andersen Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875) Danish author – the first of his immortal Fairy Tales came out in 1835 with others at intervals until 1871-72. They were first translated into English by Mary Howitt and Caroline Peachey in 1846. Some are illustrated by Cruickshank. The image of the princess - a person of wonderful beauty - in “The Brushwood Boy” (The Day’s Work) came to Kipling from such an illustrated edition
[Page 287, line 13] Judy was cutting her second teeth Born 11 June 1868, Kipling's sister 'Trix' would have been about five, (the first molars usually appear at six or so, the incisors a year later, the canines at about twelve: Black's Medical Dictionary)
[Page 287, line 20] don’t open a book for a week Compare Something of Myself (page 7):
"...So I read all that came within my reach. As soon as my pleasure in this was known, deprivation from reading was added to my punishments. I then read by stealth and the more earnestly.[Page 287, line 33] She drank wine ….for her stomach’s sake Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities. The First Epistle of Paul to Timothy 5,23.
[Page 289 line 13] Tilbury a two-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle for two people (From the name of its supposed first builder.)
[Page 290, line 2] Black Sheep In this context, a disreputable member of the family (in those days often sent to the Colonies with an allowance paid on the understanding that he remained abroad). (In Plain Tales from the Hills Phil Garron in “Yoked with an Unbeliever” and McIntosh in “To be Filed for Reference” are examples, while Dicky Hatt in "In the Pride of His Youth” might well have become one.)
[Page 290, line 13] the Valley of Humiliation Christian, the hero of Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1628–1688) meets the foul fiend Apollyon here. Also mentioned in "A Second-Rate Woman” [page 98, line 33] earlier in this volume.
[Page 290, line 13] He shared his room with Harry and knew the torture in store see also Something of Myself (page 6):
"I was a real joy to him, for when his mother had finished with me for the day he (for we slept in the same room) he took me on and roasted the other side.[Page 291, line 3] cross-examining him Compare Something of Myself (page 6):
"If you cross-examine a child of seven or eight on his day’s doings (specially when he wants to go to sleep) he will contradict himself very satisfactorily. If each contradiction be set down as a lie and retailed at breakfast, life is not easy. I have known a certain amount of bullying, but this was calculated torture – religious as well as scientific. Yet it made me give attention to the lies I soon found it necessary to tell: and this, I presume, is the foundation of literary effort."See also “The Moral Reformers” (Stalky & Co.) for more on the same theme.
[Page 293, line 10] lych-gate a covered gateway to a churchyard under which it was customary to rest the bier during the reading of the preliminary part of the Burial Service.
[Page 293, line 15] wadding see the note to page 284, line 33 above; the surgeon would have removed the bullet at the time the Captain was wounded, but left some of the wadding behind, which had now reached a vital part of the body.
[Page 294, line 1] Cometh up as a Flower a successful novel by Rhoda Broughton (1840–1920) published in 1867 and regarded as rather daring at the time.
[Page 294, line 12] the song of the Battle of Navarino ORG has found four sets of verse called “The Battle of Navarino” but has been unable to trace the version with all its seventeen verses (line 17) from which this extract is taken and wonders if perhaps it is one of Kipling’s own or a genuine song which the child learned from Holloway. [Information would be welcomed – Ed.]
Codrington’s Report of the battle includes the information that;
the Asia led in followed by the Genoa and Albion …. the Dartmouth, Mosquito, Rose, Brisk and Philomel were to look after the six fire-vessels at the entrance of the harbour. Brisk, a sloop of ten guns in which Holloway served as a Midshipman was indeed sore exposed coming to close quarters with one of the biggest of the Turkish ships but her casualties were only one killed and three wounded. [See Naval Battles of Great Britain by Charles Elkins (1828)][Page 294, line 20] a boatswain’s pipe a whistle of peculiar shape and great antiquity, with a piercing note that could be heard over the noise of sea and wind when the human voice could not. It was used for passing orders and had a characteristic “tune” for each, somewhat in the nature of a bugle-call. Now used in the Royal Navy only for ceremonial purposes and really known as a “call”. Its owner is pronounced 'bo’sun'.
[Page 295] Journeys end in lovers' meeting... This heading is from Feste’s song in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Act 2 Scene 3:
O mistress mine, where are you roaming?[Page 295, line 2] semi-pagan rites Black clothing for everybody as a sign of mourning, with the exhibition of the corpse in his coffin in the front room, and refreshments for everybody after the funeral. These observances still exist to this day in a number of Christian countries, and were not in fact peculiar to the English middle-classes.
[Page 295, line 4] awful in black crape a thin silk fabric, dyed black and used to make mourning garments.
[Page 295, line 24] a hubshi from the Persian habshi, meaning a black person.
[Page 296, line 3] ‘How do you like school?’ See Something of Myself (page 16) where Kipling refers to: "The terrible little day-school where I had been sent... The compilers of the ORG sought out contemporary advertisements in local papers for various schools near Lorne Lodge. The school was evidently 'Hope House', Somerset Place, Green Street, Southsea, and the Principal was a Mr. T. H. Vickerey. [Harold Orel, A Kiplng Chronology, G.K. Hall & Co., Boston, Mass. / Macmillan 1990)
Kipling was later to use the name 'Vickery' for the name of one of the principal characters in "Mrs Bathurst" (Traffics and Discoveries).
[Page 296, line 14] shops the child had been brought up in the Anglo-Indian tradition of despising people in “trade”
[Page 298, line 3] tout court simply, in short.
[Page 299, line 5] Cain the first murderer – Genesis 4,8. "Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."
[Page 300, line 12] Noah’s Ark Models of the Ark with many of the animals are still popular playthings in the nursery today, though they are likely to me made of card or plastic. Lead-free paint must have been used, as Punch was not poisoned when he sucked it off the animals. [See page 301, lines 9-11] See Genesis 6 and 7 for the construction of Noah's Ark, and the story of the Flood.
[Page 300, line 29] the Throne of Grace "...I pray and beseech you, as many as are here present, to accompany me with a pure heart, and humble voice, unto the throne of the heavenly grace, saying after me..." The beginning of "Morning and Evening Prayer" in The Book of Common Prayer.
[Page 301, line 21] Brighton The celebrated resort on the south coast of Sussex made fashionable by the Prince-Regent at the end of the 18th century.
[Page 301, line 28] board-wages payments in lieu of food.
[Page 302, lines 4-5] Jane made many friends … went out daily Perhaps the poor child had taken to prostitution ?
[Page 304, line 2] It grew monthly more and more of a trouble to read See Something of Myself (page 16). "...My eyes went wrong and I could not well see to read ... my work at the terrible little day-school ... suffered.
[Page 304, line 25] a card with “Liar” on my back This is an echo of David Copperfield (Charles Dickens, 1812–1870). Opinions differ on whether this actually happened to Rudyard. See Birkenhead (page 26), Seymour-Smith (page 24), and Ricketts (page 25). See also Something of Myself (page 16 lines 21-3).
[Page 305, line 19] the Nadir of Sin the lowest point of anything – in this context, the very worst of sin. (if this is a quotation, we have not traced it; Ed.]
[Page 305, line 33] nearly blind see Something of Myself (page 17) "...a man came down to see me as to my eyes and reported that I was half-blind..."
[Page 306, line 10] He had known that Mama was coming Andrew Rutherford suggests he had not known. See Wee Willie Winkie and Other Stories ed. Haughton, Penguin 1988 (page 421). Charles Carrington (page 20) also describes his mother's return as "without warning".
[Page 306, line 6] Inverarity Sahib. I ushered you into this wicked world so he was their Doctor (see Note to Page 276, line 28 above) and presumably not the Bombay lawyer mentioned by Andrew Lycett (page 44). (He was J.D. Invararity, see Something of Myself ed. Robert Hampson, page 176).
[Page 306, line 30] frivolously young She was born in 1837 and so would have been 40 in 1877.
[Page 308, line 6] Black Sheep flung up his right arm Something of Myself (page 17):
"...My Mother] told me afterwards that when she first came up to my room to kiss me good-night, I flung up an arm to guard off the cuff that I had been trained to expect.[Page 308, line 25] I am your Mother "...Whether you live or die, or are made different, I am your Mother. “The Knife and the Naked Chalk” (Rewards and Fairies>.
[Page 308, line 29] a big boy of ten He was eleven years and two months old. ( Carrington (page 20) and KJ 44)
[Page 309, line 23] the Fear of the Lord was so often the beginning of falsehood A highly appropriate misquotation of Psalm 111,10: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" Both parents were children of Wesleyan ministers, in whose households fear of punishment for small transgressions may well have led to falsehood.
[Page 309, line 25] I am taking the children away into the country Something of Myself (page 17): "I was taken at once from the House of Desolation and for months ran wild in a little farm-house on the edge of Epping Forest". Epping Forest is in Essex, just north of London.
[Page 310, line 7] pagal Hindi, 'fool'.
©John McGivering 2004 All rights reserved