in his Life
Notes on the text
These notes, edited by John McGivering and John Radcliffe, are partly new, and partly based on the work for ORG of Roger Lancelyn Green. We have also been grateful for critical comments and suggestions from Peter Havholm. The page and line numbers below refer to the Macmillan (London) Standard Edition of Limits and Renewals, as published and frequently reprinted between 1932 and 1950.
I knew three or four who had worked up to the point of two bottles of whiskey a day before being lucky enough to get wounded or sent home in some other way.[Page 48 line 21] ‘Air o‘ the dog that bit ‘im 'A hair of the dog that bit him' is slang for a drink in the morning in an attempt to cure a 'hangover' from excessive drinking the previous night. This idea is based on the mistaken belief that ‘like cures like’; thus a hair placed in the wound would cure a dog-bite. (Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable). This belief goes back to Hippocrates in ancient Greece. See also “A Doctor of Medicine” (Rewards and Fairies).
Who loves not woman, wine and song[Page 55 line 32] Hizzer-Swizzer La Hispano-Suiza Fábrica de Automóviles, a notable Spanish engineering company created in Barcelona in 1898, produced trucks, aviation engines and buses, as well as racing and luxury cars of the highest quality. In the 1920s Hispano Suiza cars ranked with those of Rolls Royce, Bentley, or Bugatti. (Kipling had a Rolls Royce.)
Remains a fool his whole life long
This is attributed (perhaps without much foundation) to the great Protestant theologian Martin Luther (1483-1546), and was quoted by William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) in his “Credo”. A world-wide saying in many languages, it is also used in “Aunt Ellen” at page 125, line 4 below.
'Oh show me how a rose can shut, and be a bud again...'[Page 58 line 4] Green Park between Piccadilly and Constitution Hill, by Buckingham Palace; see page 55 line 6 above .
Drink as thou canst hold, but after is best[Page 60 line 32] on the dole the 'dole' is now called 'Unemployment Benefit' to which he would probably not have been entitled; but the expression means 'out of work.'
For Drink with men’s driving makes Crowners to Quest.
[A 'Crowner's Quest' is a Coroner's Inquest, a legal enquiry into a death; Ed.]
The merry clerks of Oxenford, they stretch themselves at ease[Page 66 line 2] backwards six feet like a prawn Prawns are members of the sub-order Natantia, order Decapoda somewhat similar to the shrimps, and capable of very rapid movement.
Unhelmeted on unbleached sward beneath unshrivelled trees...
(Men's houses doored and glazed and floored and whole at every turn!)
[On the Western Front men wore helmets, the grass was bleached by explosions, the trees shrivelled, and the houses ruined; Ed.]
Come ye thankful people come..Verse 2
All upon the golden floor
Praising thee for evermore.
Holy, Holy, Holy, LORD GOD Almighty ! …Verse 8 Peter St. Peter, the chief disciple of Jesus in the New Testament, and traditionally regarded as keeper of the gate of Heaven. See also the notes to “On the Gate” in Debits and Credits page 331 line 17, and the heading to "The Church that was at Antioch" in Limits and Renewals.
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea...