Quotes Empire July

July 2nd to 8th


Even in these days, when local self government has destroyed the greater part of a native’s respect for a Sahib, I have been accustomed to a certain amount of civility from my inferiors, and on approaching the crowd naturally expected that there would be some recognition of my presence. As a matter of fact there was; but it was by no means what I had looked for.

The ragged crew actually laughed at me—such laughter I hope I may never hear again


This is from “The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes” one of Kipling’s earliest tales, written when he was nineteen.

Jukes, out on a ride across a desert landscape has tumbled with his pony down a sandy cliff into a trap. Behind him unclimbable sand,  in front  the river, with an armed  guard boat preventing escape. It is a prison, where surviivivors of cholera, who have cheated death, are held.

From the  dignity of a Sahib he is now one of a ragged crew, loving on crows.

Fortunately  in the end his groom tracks him across the sands and helps him to escape.

‘“The slut’s bitten me!” says he, clapping his hand to his neck, and, sure enough, his hand was red with blood. Billy Fish and two of his matchlock-men catches hold of Dan by the shoulders and drags him into the Bashkai lot, while the priests howls in their lingo— “Neither God nor Devil but a man!”


This is from “The Man who Would be King“, pne of Kiplin’s best known tales;

Two adventurers, ex-soldiers, have made their way  through high mountains into Kafiristan. To make their fortunes. By bluff and force of personality and the weapons  they bring, they make themselves kings. mustering an army,  their army, enforcing  their authority, and persuading the people that they are gods.

But the leader decides he needs a wife, and – terrified – she btyes him brfore all the people, and the blood comes. The bluff is called and the spell broken The leader is killed, dropped from a bridge into a deep ravine.

The other is crucified, nut escapes to tell the tale.

Then, to my extreme gratification, she threw her arms round my neck and murmured pretty things. I was in no haste to stop her; and Nasiban, being a handmaiden of tact, turned to the big jewel-chest that stands in the corner of the white room and rummaged among the contents. The Mohammedan sat on the floor and glared.

‘One service more, Sahib, since thou hast come so opportunely,’ said Lalun. ‘


This is from “On the City Wall”.

The story-teller has come to the  house of Lalun, a beautiful courtesan in her house on the city  wall. It  is the festivlk of Mohurrum. , and there is riot in the streets between Muslims and Hindus.

He helps Lalun  pull and old man up through the window  to sfety, and she  tells him that this is an old Muslim, who is threatened and needs to get away/ Irresistible, she persuades him to guide the old man through the streets to join his friends.

He does so, unaware  that he has unwittingly helped a dangerous rebel leader, a prisoner of the British,  escape.

He relishes  the strangeness of the Old City, but has little understanding of  what is really going on.