by John McGivering)
|notes on the text|
"Dayspring Mishandled" is ... a picture of a life wasted in hoarded-up hatred and complicated revenge. It is a new and significant extra twist in Kipling's concern for forgiveness in his last years - or almost new, for, long ago, in an Indian story of 1887, "The Watches of the Night", the practical joke revenge on a self-righteous scandal-mongering colonel's wife goes too far and destroys the wellbeing not only of her but of her amiable husband. In that story we are told that the implacable author of the vengeful practical joke, Mrs Larkyn, "was a frivolous woman in whom none could have suspected deep hate ... She never forgot." The story, like many of Kipling's slighter Indian stories, is more profound than it seems at first glance.