The Story
of the Gadsbys

(4) "With any
Amazement"



Notes on the text

These notes, by John McGivering, are partly new, and partly based on the ORG. The page and line numbers below refer to the Macmillan (London) Standard Edition of Soldiers Three and Other Stories, as published and frequently reprinted between 1899 and 1950.



[June 30 2005]

[Title] This is from the First Epistle of St. Peter, chapter 3, verse 6

Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord whose daughters ye are as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
This is also
the end of 'The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony' in The Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England, which is based on the First Prayer Book of Edward VI (1549) with several revisions up to 1662 when it took its present form which is used here. It is referred to below as 'The Marriage Service'.

[There have been further revisions since Kipling's day, which - in the view of many who were familiar with the earlier version - have debased its beautiful language: Ed.]

[Page 158, line 7] fantasia a musical composition not governed by the usual rules of form, here used somewhat jokingly.

[Page 158, lines 22 – 13] Uprouse ye, etc. possibly Kipling’s own but based on ballads of Robin Hood, the legendary outlaw of Sherwood Forest.

[Page 159, line 3] a condemned criminal in the days of hanging, a condemned man was, on the day of his execution, usually reported to have slept well and eaten a hearty breakfast.

[Page 159, line 18] mugging up in this context, slang for learning.

[Page 159, line 18] drill he means the Marriage Service.

[Page 160, line 16] Vestal one of the six spotless virgins who tended the sacred fire in the Forum in ancient Rome.

[Page 160, line 20] obsequies funeral rites – a joke in rather poor taste.

[Page 160, line 24] ‘wilt thou take this woman?’ he has got it slightly wrong - see Page 167, line 1 below

[Page 160, line 29] the Verger’s fees

the Man shall give unto the Woman a Ring, laying the same upon the book with the accustomed duty to the Priest and Clerk.
(The Marriage Service)
[Page 160, line 30] D--- Damn… !

[Page 161, line 6] passaging to cause a horse to go sideways.

[Page 161, line 28-9] David...Jonathan See 1 Samuel 18 for the story of David and Jonathan, a pair of inseparable friends.

[Page 162, line 3] ‘To have and to hold etc’ he gets it wrong again and brings in part of the Lord’s Prayer, the Gloria and the oath a witness takes in court. – see Page 167, line 1 below.

[Page 162, line 8] get into a hat forget his lines.

[Page 162, line 23] never would wait for the troop to come up he was always ahead of himself.

[Page 163, lines 11 &12] ‘An’ since ‘twas very clear etc possibly by Kipling. stingo was strong beer.

[Page 163, line 23] a four-finger peg a stiff glass of (probably) whisky – place the hand vertically on the table alongside the glass and pour to the top of the first finger.

[Page 163, line 25] bus! Hindi. bas – stop ! enough !

[Page 164, line 2] turned off hanged – a jocular expression for getting married.(See page 159, line 3 above)

[Page 164, line 7] Amdheran
perhaps an engagement in the Second Afghan War of 1878–1880 in which cavalry charged guns, which has not been traced, or is perhaps an invention of Kipling's. It is also mentioned in “Fatima” and twice in “The Swelling of Jordan” later in this volume. [information would be appreciated; Ed.]

[Page 164, line 12] Friend that sticketh closer than a brother Proverbs, 18, 24: A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. See Kipling's poem "The Thousandth Man":
"One man in a thousand, Solomon says,
Will stick more close than a brother".
[Page 164, line 26] burnisher an implement for cleaning metal.

[Page 164, line 26] spurs pointed metal fittings attached to the boot-heels of a horseman to stimulate the horse to greater activity. See the notea to Page 167, line 29 and Page 169, line 25 for spurs in use.

[Page 165, lines 10 & 11] Good –peo-ple- all etc ORG records the inscription on the eighth bell in Portsmouth Parish Church - now the Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury - but it differs slightly from the Cathedral records which have:

We good people all to prayers do call
We honour the King and bride’s joy do bring
Good tidings we tell and ring the dead’s knell.
See the Kipling Journal (KJ42 page 66) which also suggests that Kipling may have visited the tower when he was a child in Southsea and quotes the inscription on No. 4 bell as indicating that it was cast in 1737 by Joshua Kipling; unfortunately the Cathedral records have Joshua and 1717, with no mention of Kipling.

The bells were re-cast in 1912 which may explain the discrepancies. [Information courtesy of the Dean’s Secretary and The Guides’ Guide to The Cathedral Church of St. Thomas of Canterbury, (Fourth Edition) Old Portsmouth PO1 2HH.]

See “ Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” (Wee Willie Winkie) and Something of Myself Chapter I, although there is no mention of this in either volume. Carrington (p. 30) includes bell-founders among Kipling’s forebears.

[Page 165, line 32] Padre Father (Portuguese, Spanish and Italian) Priests are so called in the army – they might have been married by their own Chaplain (See Newarks’ illustration at p. 79) or the local Parson.

[Page 166, lines 9 – 12] The Voice that breathed o’er Eden, etc the first verse of Hymn 350, in Hymns Ancient and Modern the traditional hymnal of the Church of England, which may not be in some later editions.

[Page 167, line 1] … only unto her as long as ye both shall live ? this is the beginning of the ceremony mentioned at page 160, line 24 above:

'Wilt thou have this Woman to thy wedded Wife. to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony ? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live ?'
The Man shall answer, 'I will'.
(The Marriage Service)
[Page 167, lines 11-33 ] Her right hand, man ! etc The Minister … shall cause the Man with his right hand to take the Woman by her right hand, and to say after him as followeth:

I (Name) take thee (Name) to my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.
(The Marriage Service)
The Woman makes a similar declaration in which she also promises to obey her husband but this is often omitted today.

[Page 167, line 16] the ring see Note to Page 160, line 29 above.

[Page 167, line 23] joined together….
Then shall the Priest join their right hands together, and say: 'Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder.'
(The Marriage Service)
[Page 167, line 28] one length the Priest with the bride and groom advance to the Altar.

[Page 167, line 29] jingles the rowels on his spurs would rattle quite musically !

[Page 167, line 33] whose daughters are ye ..etc see the note on the Title above.

[Page 168, line 4] vestry. They sign Bride, Groom and witnesses sign the Register in the robing-room ( office/cloakroom etc.) attached to the church.

[Page 168, line 14] Hades Hell.

[Page 168, line 19] Mendelssohned out of Church the organist traditionally plays the famous Wedding March from The Midsummer Night’s Dream by Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847) as the bridal party forms up and walks out of the church in procession.

[Page 168, line 32] done gone band karo all the jutis locked up all the shoes.

[Page 169, line 11] Stole away a phrase from the hunting-field when a fox slips away from cover almost unnoticed.

[Page 169, line 13] Amdheran see the note to Page 164, line 7 above.

[Page 169, line 17] Mahasu a hill village and dak-bungalow (rest-house for travellers) not far from Simla.

[Page 169, line 18] Young Lochinvar

"O young Lochinvar is come out of the west,
Through all the wide Border his steed was the best..."

["Lochinvar", Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)]
[Page 169, line 26] Best Patna Patna is a city in Bengal, famous for excellent rice, which - in an old Hindu custom - is thrown at newly-married couples as a symbol of fertility.

[Page 170, lines 3–5] You may carve it on his tombstone etc adapted from Shakespeare's All’s Well that Ends Well, Act 2, scene 3, lines 314 and 315:

"A young man married is a man that’s marr’d."
See also the verse “The Winners” ('What is the moral ? Who rides may read') with the last line of each verse: 'He travels the fastest who travels alone'. It is one of the poems entitled “L’Envoi” as printed in The Indian Library Edition and re-named when collected (slightly amended) in the Definitive Edition of the verse.

[Page 170, line 10] Wonder who’ll be the next victim ? The ORG entry on this episode says: 'As we know, Mafflin married Miss Deercourt (Emma)' , who was Minnie's bosom friend. Mafflin is mentioned, with the Gadsbys, in "The Last of the Stories" (Abaft the Funnel). His marriage to Emma is mentioned in Kipling's Preface to The Story of the Gadsbys in No. 2 of the Indian Railway Library series, and not usually publishd in later collections.


[J H McG]

©John McGivering 2005 All rights reserved