[February 26th 2020]
Published in the Civil and Military Gazette (CMG), 20 October 1884. Pinney writes of this signature:
The initials stand for "Esau Mull", a pseudonym that RK had used from May, 1884. It is the most frequently-used of his many pseudonyms, for he typically used it to sign his many "Week in Lahore" columns. A 'Mull', short for 'mulligatawny', is a slang term for a Madras civil servant. 'Esau' presumably stands for 'exile'.The poem was never collected by Kipling but is to be found in Rutherford (p. 260) and Pinney (p. 1741).
A comment on a spoofing letter to the Editor, headed "Laid Low" and signed "A. Radical" in the CMG for 17 November 1884:
SIR,— it is most pleasing to persons of my convictions to see how thoroughly the precepts of my school are being carried out in Lahore, at any rate, in small things as in great. There were, a few days ago, in the Lawrence Gardens, two old trees, situated in a position where their offensive antiquity was especially provoking—placed as they were, right in front of the Montgomery Hall. In this region of recent vegetation they could not fail to attract the attention of the most careless passers-by.It is of course possible that Kipling wrote the letter himself, as a caricature of the tendency of Liberals, like Lord Ripon, to do away with established institutions which have been cherished over the years. The poem suggests that the new ones, however showy, are bound to fail.
Jamais never (French).
nevaire joking French pronunciation of "never".
Dekho look, look here.
Ye burra hai this is big.
Iswisti, baito for this reason, sit.
cut kurro do a cutting (caricaturing an ignorant attempt at Hindustani).
ęPhilip Holberton 2020 All rights reserved