Quotes August days

August 14th to 20th


Still the unrestful noise continues, the sigh of a great city overwhelmed with heat, and of people seeking in vain for rest. It is only the lower class of women who sleep on the house-tops.


This is from “The City of Dreadful night“. Young Kipling is walking through the sleeping streets of Lahore on a hot moonlit night.

Through the Delhi Gate he enters the walled city, where it seems even hotter and more stifling. He hears men talking and pulling at their hookahs, and a shopkeeper balancing his books behind the shutters.

At the Mosque of Wazir Khan he climbs a dark stair to a minaret high above the moonlit city. A muezzin gives his splendid cry to prayer, briefly rousing the sleeping men. As the story-teller makes his way home in the dawn, a woman’s corpse is carried down to the burning ghat. ‘The city was of Death as well as Night.’

The spring crops are short in five districts, and nobody seems to know where the rains are. It is nearly March now, I don’t want to scare anybody, but it seems that Nature is going to audit her accounts with a big red pencil this year.


This is from “Withut Benefit of Clergy”. John Holden leads a double life. To his colleagues in the civil service he is a bachelor, living in spartan bachelor quarters, and sometimes neglecting his work.Here there is disvussion inn his Department about conditions in the countryside.

But Holden has set up a young Muslim girl, Ameera, in a little house on the edge of the old city. She is the love of his life, and he of hers. They are idyllically happy together, and when she gives birth to a baby boy, Tota, their happiness is complete.

When Tota dies of fever, they are distraught. Then Ameera is stricken with cholera and dies in Holden’s arms. He is left desolate, and the house is soon pulled down. The idyll is over as if it had never been.

It was a hot, dark. breathless evening, heavy with the smell of a newly watered Mall. The flowers in the Club garden were dead and black on their stalks, the little lotus-pond was a circle of dried mud, and the tamarisk trees were white with the dust of weeks.


This is from “William the Conqueror” It is the hot season in Lahore, over a hundred in the shade and the flowers wilting. But in South India there is famine. An emernency team sets off to the south for famine relief, bringing food where it is needed and caring for abandomed children.

This is a love story. In Kipling’s own word in a letter to the Editor of the Ladies’ Home Journal: It deals with a wooing in the thick of a Madras famine – man and girl together working hard among the starving and feeding the abandoned black babies and generally going through deep waters: and it ends with their joyful return to their home province, the Punjab.’