by John McGivering)
|notes on the text|
... the night got into my head…. and I would wander till dawn….For more by Kipling on night life in Lahore, see “In the House of Suddhoo”, “Beyond the Pale,” “The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows,” and other stories in Plain Tales from the Hills, and “Without Benefit of Clergy” earlier in this volume. See also “On the City Wall” in Soldiers Three. See also ‘The City of the Two Creeds writtten for the CMG in October 1887, which reports on the Mohurrum festival in Lahore.
Never was there a more astonishing picture than that, all done in black and white, which is called 'The City of Dreadful Night'. We pant in the air which is no air, we sicken for the evanescent breath of dawn…. If her Majesty herself…. desires a fuller knowledge of her Indian empire… we desire respectfully to recommend to the Secretary for India that he should place no sheaves of despatches in the royal hands, but Mr. Rudyard Kipling’s books.Angus Wilson (p. 37) speaking of Kipling’s insomnia, regards this as: 'only the most crudely brilliant of the stories that resulted from this misery'.