(notes by John McGivering
and John Radcliffe)
Kipling was dedicated to the craft of writing; that was his work. Where he was unusual was that he saw other men's work building roads or bridges, administering a district - as also a kind of art. If a man was in love it might inspire him to work of a kind he had never been capable of, but marriage, if it was what the world calls successful, might lead to a softening of the impulse to create, a self-indulgent breakdown of the discipline art demands, a loss of nerve, a refusal to take risks. This was the creed proclaimed in the club and the mess, often brutally and facetiously; `another good man gone', they would say when an engagement was announced, and the bridegroom on the eve of his wedding would be referred to as `the condemned man'. Kipling often expressed this as vulgarly and brutally as they, for instance in the wholly deplorable verses called `The Fall of Jock Gillespie'. But he, and probably four-fifths of the unmarried who talked like this, secretly longed for the stability and comfort of an assured home.In Kipling's “With Any Amazement” in “The Story of the Gadsbys” (Soldiers Three) Gadsby's best man describes him as '... sleeping as soundly as a condemned criminal...' on the eve of his wedding. And Kipling's Envoi to "The Story of the Gadsbys" includes the much-quotes line:
'He travels the fastest who travels alone'.