and "William the Conqueror"
(by the Hon. Austin Asche, AC QC.)
For Alice though a child could understandThis is an important point for the later development of the story, because it is made clear from the start that we are not dealing with a mystic. George 'knows the difference'.
That neither did this chance-discovered land
Make nohow or contrariwise the clean
Dull round of mid-Victorian routine,
Nor did Victoria's golden rule extend
Beyond the glass: it came to the dead end
Where empty hearses turn about; thereafter
Begins that lubberland of dream and laughter.
Over the edge of the purple down,and to his astonishment, wonder and delight he realises that she is singing about something that only he could know. The song relates with precise particulars some of the dreams he has had as boy and man. Meeting her next morning, he learns that she has composed the song herself. So this must be the girl who has shared his adventures over the years. He knows this immediately, but she does not, and she becomes flustered and embarrassed when he stares so amazedly at her.
Where the single lamplight gleams –
Know ye the road to the Merciful Town
That is hard by the Sea of Dreams ...
As I entered my empty house in the dusk there was no more in me except the horror of a great darkness, that I must have been fighting for some days. I came through that darkness alive, but how I do not know.The same sort of horror, almost demanding suicide, is described in "In the Same Boat". And the ultimate horror, the nightmare that finally kills its man, is powerfully related in "At the End of the Passage" [Life's Handicap].
It's quite true she is what they call 'psychic'. Her only mistake is thinking that being psychic is being spiritual. Some animals are psychic, she is a sensitive ...Father Brown the priest is making the distinction between a spiritual person (he would never use the term 'spiritualist' in this context) who has some contact with the divine, and the 'sensitive' person who has some increased sensory awareness of what is happening or is to happen. In that sense, Kipling might agree that some of his stories are about "sensitives". The theme appears very strongly, for instance, in ‘The Wish House’ [Debits and Credits] and ‘They' [Traffics and Discoveries].
"One minute," said Mrs. Jim [Lady Hawkins] who was thinking.And, of course, Scott does not appear. Later, when the work is all over, Scott and William discuss the incident.
"If he goes to Khanda, he passes within five miles of us. Of course he'll ride in."
"Oh no, he won't," said William.
"How do you know, dear?"
"It'll take him off his work. He won't have time."
"He'll make it," said Mrs. Jim, with a twinkle.
"It depends on his own judgment. There's absolutely no reason why he shouldn't, if he thinks fit," said Jim.
"He won't see fit," William replied, without sorrow or emotion. "It wouldn't be him if he did."
"Did you understand?"Does this say it all? Surely this is the true Kipling, telling us of those he most admires, the people who serve the great god Duty, and earn their reward. The delight of these two is cheerily depicted as they join their friends in their return to the beloved Punjab. They have won through, and have the honour of their peers – "Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me." They are in Kipling's tradition. George and Miriam are not.
"Why you didn't ride in? Of course I did."
"Because you couldn't, of course I knew that."
"Did you care?"
"If you had come in – but I knew you. wouldn't – but if you had, I should have cared a great deal. You know I should."
"Thank God I didn't! Oh, but I wanted to!"