The Naulahka


Chapter VIII

Notes on the text


by Sharad Keskar

The page and line numbers below refer to the Macmillan Uniform Edition of The Naulahka, first published in 1892 and frequently reprinted since).



[Jan 28 2009]

[Heading] this poem is one of the four headings in this book described as from 'The Libretto of Naulahka (Chorus)', and collected in Songs from Books, 1912.

[Heading, line 3] Azrael the Angel of Death in Muslim mythology.

[Page 91,line 3] discussing the points of a Fox-terrier many people in India and Pakistan are dog-lovers and are keenly interested in breeding pure-bred dogs. The fox-terrier is an English importation into the East and was at that time perhaps the best known of small dog kept by them out there. Kipling owned one, Vicky, who figured in a number of stories.

[Page 92, lines 3-5] More than a brother… brother of one's beloved If there was already an attachment between Kipling and Wolcott's sister Caroline when this was written, this remark may reflect this. Charles Carrington states (p. 182) that this was the case by the time The Naulahka began to appear in print in November 1891. [See the correspondence between Carrington and the ORG Editors in 1963.

[Page 92, line 16] pachisi (correctly puchees, literally twenty-five). A game played with dice on a board.

[Page 93, line 10] was dented when he picked it up As the Maharajah had no coins it was easy for Tarvin to use the same coin as before and so, tactfully, let him appear to have hit it first shot.

[Page 95, line 6] from out the sky line he had appeared from nowhere for no real purpose which he could explain—almost as if he had dropped from the sky.

[Page 96, line 8] Fibby Winks he had named his horse after a business acquaintance in America.

[Page 96, line 12] legislated silver out of existence silver has always had a special position in the exchanges of the United States and India. But since November 1961, the US Government decided not to promise to sell silver at less than the market price of 6/8 (about $I) an ounce in America. At the time Kipling wrote, neither India nor the United States was on the gold standard, and both needed silver.

[Page 96, line 26] Maharaj Kunwar In Chapter XIV of "Letters of Marque", the Maharaja Kanwar is called 'the Crown Prince of Jodhpur State.'

[Page 96, line 30] C-spring harouche a barouche is a double-seated four-wheel carriage with a folding roof.


[S.K.]