On the Strength of a Likeness

Notes on the text

These notes, by John McGivering, are partly new, and partly based on the ORG. The page and line numbers below refer to the Macmillan (London) Standard Edition of Plain Tales from the Hills, as published and frequently reprinted between 1899 and 1950.

[Page 302, lines I – 4] Next to a requited…attachment… an aphorism worthy of Jane Austen’s famous opening sentence of Pride and Prejudice: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

[Page 302, line 5] blasé surfeited – too bored to show any enthusiasm.

[Page 302, lines 15 – 17] While she could never be anything more than a sister … welfare a well-known old catchphrase – probably more used in novels than in real life – intended to let a man down lightly when rejecting his attentions.

[Page 302, line 21] Phil Garron appears in “Yoked with an Unbeliever” earlier in this volume.

[Page 303, line 27] Dindigul or Coimbatore the first is 160 miles north of Cape Comorin, the second is 85 miles south-east of Calicut and capital of the District of the same name in the Madras Presidency.

[Page 303, line 33] Ootacamund known as “Ooty”, a pleasant hill-station at about 7,200 ft. in the Nilgiri Hills.

[Page 304, line 25] Annandale racecourse and woodland at Simla, a popular resort.

[Page 305, line 13] “Poor Wandering One” a soprano solo from Act I of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” (1880). For more notes on these light operas see “The Bronckhorst Divorce-Case” at page 246, line 1, earlier in this volume.

[Page 306, line 19] cavalier servente a gallant who waits upon a married lady with fantastic devotion. See the poem of the same name in Early Verse (Ed. Rutherford) p. 247.

[Page 307, line 17] making love At that time the phrase could be used of merely verbal expressions of devotion, and did not necessarily imply the physical act of love.

[Page 307, line 32] the Frontier the North-West Frontier of India.

[Page 308, line 1] losing money at every step not clear – one would expect his Department to reimburse his travelling expenses as he was travelling on duty to another Station.

[Page 308, line 3] Lucknow the ancient capital of the Kings of Oudh, and an important cantonment and municipality some 600 miles north-west of Calcutta.

[Page 308 linr 3] Chutter Munzil The United Service Club at Lahore, formerly a palace and so called for its umbrella-shaped domes. It was constructed by order of Nawab Ghazi Haider and completed by Nawab Nasir Uddin Haider.
Chhatra in Sanskrit, is an umbrella. Munzi in Arabic, the halting-place after a day’s march. So, perhaps, an Umbrella House built by a king, who was entitled to decorate it with Royal Umbrellas, and occupied by his female relations. [Hobson-Jobson].

[Page 308, line 13] pacing this circle of thought This has an
echo of the American writer Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) who wrote in his Journal: ‘Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.’ Several biographers record Kipling’s habit of walking in the country reciting the words of verse he was composing or singing them to a hymn-tune.

[Page 309, line 20] Home the United Kingdom.

[Page 309, line 21] Town in this context, London.

[J. McG.]