(notes by John McGivering
and John Radcliffe)
No more wine? then we'll push back chairs and talk.For an account of how extensively Kipling drew on Browning, see Ann Weygandt (pp. 108-9).
A final glass for me, though: cool, i' faith!
We ought to have our Abbey back, you see....
…this purports to be the thoughts of Lord Dufferin in the form of an extended late-night reverie in which he broods over what advice he might give the incoming Viceroy, Lord Lansdowne. It is a sombre meditation in the free style of Robert Browning, full of arresting passages as the Viceroy seeks to put his disillusionment into words.However, Mrs Kipling apologised profusely, and the offending nine lines did not appear again. Evidently the Dufferins bore the young poet no ill-will, and—back in Europe—he stayed with them in Naples in 1891.
It was not the thoughts put into his his head that had raised the Viceroy’s temperature, however, but the invasion of his privacy. He had confided to an inner circle of friends in Simla that he proposed to publish some poems written by his mother, Helen, Countess of Gifford, to whose memory he was devoted. Ruddy referred to this in his poem, which led Lord Dufferin to accuse Alice Kipling of betraying a confidence. In fact it was the scheming Mrs. Napier whose sour ‘Mrs. Reiver’ character can be glimpsed in half-a-dozen of the Simla tales (In particular “The Rescue of Pluffles” and other Plain Tales from the Hills.
We've heard it before, but we'll drink once moreKipling encountered Lord Roberts again twelve years later, during the South African War, where Roberts master-minded the victorious campaign against the Boer commandos. In early 1900 Kipling was briefly on the staff of The Friend of Bloemfontein, set up on Roberts's orders. See "A Burgher of the Free State". Also Kipling’s poems “Bobs”, and “Lord Roberts” .
While the army sniffs and sobs.
For Bobs its pride, who has lately died
And is now succeeded by Jobs.