Notes on the text
These notes, edited by Alastair Wilson, contain a great deal of material from the ORG, but it has not seemed worthwhile to distinguish old from new, because the material has been totally intermingled. The page and line numbers below refer to the Macmillan (London) Standard Edition of Traffics and Discoveries as published and frequently reprinted between 1904 and 1950.
The French for what we call morale, writing it in italics under the impression that it is French, is actually moral. The other is so familiar, however, that it is doubtful whether it would not be better to drop the italics, keep the -e, and tell the French that they can spell their word as they please, and we shall do the like with ours.The Fowlers went on to quote this particular line from Kipling to illustrate their contention. Nearly a century later, the Fowlers’ usage is commonplace.
this has strong claims to be regarded as one of the Maestro’s least carefully considered generalizations. A naval officer, disclaiming both the ability and wish to write lyric prose, might reasonably dispute the “disgrace”, since he is neither trained nor hired to do so, and indeed if he did, the chief result would be to bring his professional ability into grave doubt.This editor would suggest that Admiral Brock was unkind to Mahan, in that the sentence “Those far distant, storm-beaten ships, upon which the Grand Army never looked, stood between it and the dominion of the world” come close to being lyric prose. And anyway, Kipling was being arch, or ironic.
The ORG continues: We may note that though “Pierre Loti’s” lyric prose got him into the Academie at 41, he did not become a capitaine de vaisseau, i.e., a post-captain, until the age of 56, shortly before he had to retire for age.
The American Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan’s masterly works on naval history and strategy gave him a prophet’s status in Europe, but although they were some way this side of lyric prose, in the United States they earned him proverbial treatment:
“Prophets have honour all over the earthTotally unjustly, according to his biographer, his books led to his being regarded as a mere theorist and no practical seaman, and to friction with the Admiral to whom he was Flag Captain in the U.S.S. Chicago.
Except in the country where they were born …”
[Prophets At Home - verse accompanying “Hal o’ the Draft” in Puck of Pook’s Hill]
“Fail there – ye’ve time to weld your shaft – ay, eat it, ere ye’re spoke;[Page 59, line 21] pyjama-stun’sles a stun’sle is an abbreviation for ‘studding-sail’ (so it ought to be stu’n’s’ls!). Properly, a studding sail was an extra four-sided sail, hung from a stuns’l boom, extended on one side or both of a yard (which is the cross-piece from which a square sail hangs in a square-rigged vessel). Pyjama-stun’sl in this case probably because they were made out of the ceremonial awning, red-and-white striped, which was used inside the main awning over a ship’s quarter-deck on high days and holidays (c.f. Jacques Tissot’s painting, Ball on Shipboard). Their introduction here is highly fanciful, but Pyecroft’s picturesque embellishments, including the shimmy (chemise) suggest washing on a line.
Or make Kerguelen under sail – three jiggers burned wi’ smoke.
(a ‘jigger’ was a temporary sail).
Fond of fun as fond can beHowever, we have not traced a song so entitled.
When it’s on the strict Q.T.