of a Private"
Notes on the text
These notes, by John McGivering, are partly new, and partly based on the ORG, with extra material by Dr Gillian Sheehan. 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.
The 'uncontrolled licentiousness of a brutal and insolent soldiery' which has, over the years, become a catchphrase and something of a joke which is applied to all soldiers whether they deserve it or not.The same expression is quoted in “The Courting of Dinah Shadd” (Life’s Handicap, page 41, line 24)
In Kipling’s time carbon and nitrogen taken in bread, meat, milk, eggs and fatty substances were thought to be removed by the lungs, kidneys, skin and liver. In a hot climate it was thought that the lungs were less, and the liver more, instrumental in this process, Hence (as one means of avoiding disease in the liver) the necessity of caution as regards quantity of food taken. Vegetable food was better adapted to a tropical climate than animal food because it was thought less likely to cause plethora. (Plethora is a morbid condition marked by too many red blood corpuscles or unhealthy repletion; Kipling seems to have meant the latter)[Page 80, line 23] ammunition-boots boots provided by the Army - at one time the term “ammunition” included all military stores but now signifies explosives of one sort and another.
The European, especially when newly arrived in the tropics, was advised to partake sparingly of animal food, which is not required to the same extent as in a temperate climate. [ Information from A Manual of Family Medicine and Hygiene for India, by William Moore, reprinted in Delhi, 1989.]
The premonitory symptoms of sunstroke included irritability, restlessness and headache, inability to make much exertion without great effort, confusion of ideas, confusion of vision, loquacity, and fits of laughing and crying. Heat apoplexy could be preceded by the premonitory symptoms described above, or it might begin with the person fainting, being hot to the touch, with flushed face and bloodshot eyes, and noisy breathing or snoring. In a short time the person could become unconscious and have convulsions. [Information from William Moore, A Manual of Family Medicine and Hygiene for India, reprinted, Delhi, 1989, p. 372.][Page 81, line 25] cholera an infection of the intestine with violent diarrhoea caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.
And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, 'Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high,'See the poem "Danny Deever”.
…Then the king said, 'Hang him thereon.' So they hanged Haman on the gallows…