|notes on the text|
LETTER I – Kipling first compares the English as inhabitants of England with the Anglo-Indians and Indians in India, to the detriment of the former. Then, from his experiences of Trade Unions and the strikes which took place during this period, he draws parallels with the rigidity and protectionism of the Indian caste system, pointing out that the Indians set their’s up 4,000 years ago. He goes on to excoriate the English working man for his envy of the successful ones who employ him, and for his desire to be paid without actually having to work for the money.
LETTER II – This is a much more light-hearted piece, largely concerned with the description of excursions. He begins with a trip to the London Necropolis near Woking, then to Plymouth, before going on a fishing trip and accepting an invitation to a piscatorial club in London’s East End. Lastly he describes a visit to the seaside, possibly Brighton, and his enchantment with a three-year old “Ollendorfian” little girl who gets a damp posterior from sitting in two inches of water on the beach and exclaims “Mon Dieu! Je suis mort!”.