(notes edited by Roberta Baldi
and Alastair Wilson)
Would you be astonished if I told you that I look forward to nothing but an Indian journalist’s career? ... My home’s out here; my people are out here ... all the interests I have are out here. ... London journalism ... is a great and grand thing but it seems to me ... that out here one lives and writes more in the centre of history with one’s hands on everything than in a land where by reason of its hugeness every one is on the outskirts of everything; watching ministers, policies and financiers from afar.
(Letters, Ed. Pinney , vol 1. pp.126-127).
Dost think, in a moment of anger,A maxim which Blitzen would have been well advised to heed. [A.W.]
'Tis well with thy seniors to fight?
They prosper, who burn in the morning,
The letters they wrote overnight;
For some there be, shelved and forgotten,
With nothing to thank for their fate,
Save "That" (on a half-sheet of foolscap),
Which a fool "had the honour to state—."
One poem, concerning Boanerges Blitzen, shows that Kipling knew he was running some risk...Curiously enough Lord Dufferin, Viceroy during Kipling's time in India liked Departmental Ditties. He commented to Kipling's father John that they combined 'satire with grace and delicacy', so he must have seen the truth behind at least some of the laughter. [‘Roger and Francis Bacon and Some Comparisons with Rudyard Kipling'][Lines 17, 19] Never young Civilian’s prospects were so ... the capital C for Civilian indicates that Blitzen was a member of the ICS, as opposed to a ‘civilian’ who might have been any box-wallah (businessman), or someone else outside official circles like Kipling himself. [A.W.]
Ithuriel is an angel, the touch of whose spear exposes deceit. When Satan contrived to get into Paradise, Gabriel sent Ithuriel to find where he had hidden himself. Satan was disguised, but the touch of Ithuriel’s spear compelled him to reveal himself. [Ralph Durand p. 8].[passim] Till he found This repetition marks the climax of the story, as Blitzen realises that he is out of favour.