Through the Fire

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 Life’s Handicap, as published and frequently reprinted between 1891 and 1950.

[Page 319, line 12] Francesca da Rimini married to Giovanni Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, her guilty love for his younger brother was discovered and they were both executed in about 1289. The story is told by Dante (Inferno, Canto V) and others.

[Page 319, line 19] Donga Pa we have not traced this place, which is also mentioned in “Namgay Doola” earlier in this volume (page 279, line 19) where it is described as ‘Mountain of the Council of the Gods’.

[Page 319, line 21] Kodru not identified.

[Page 320, line 11] Colonel Sahib Bahadur a polite form of reference to Europeans sometimes used by Indians meaning hero or champion. See Hobson-Jobson (p. 48).

[Page 320, line 12] Desdemona …. Othello principal characters in Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello, in which Othello, a jealous husband, desperately in love with his wife Desdemona, but wrongly convinced that she is unfaithful, strangles her.

[Page 320, line 19] Havildar corresponds to the rank of Sergeant in the British army.

[Page 320, line 20] I could not love thee… “To Lucasta, Going to the Wars” by Richard Lovelace (1618-1658): ‘…. I could not love thee (Dear) so much, Lov’d I not honour more.

[Page 321, line 1] the Lines in this context, the rows of buildings in a barracks, or tents etc. in a camp.

[Page 321, line 14] the Talking Monkey’s Head not traced, but “In the House of Suddhoo” (Plain Tales from the Hills) has the head of a talking baby which is an illusion created by a ventriloquist.

[Page 321, line 17] the Sutlej one of the five Rivers of the Punjab, see Hobson-Jobson, p. 877.

[Page 323, line 25] Snider Jacob Snider (1820-1866) converted the Enfield rifle to breech-loading for the British army; it was later replaced by the Martini-Henry.

[Page 323, line 27] wire-bound barrel to prevent the old gun bursting (see line 10 above).

[Page 323, line 29] quick no longer a brutally economical play upon words – ‘quick’ meaning ‘rapid’ for Athira’s plea, and ‘quick no longer’ meaning ‘dead’ once the shot had been fired. ‘Alive’ was the old meaning of ‘quick’ as used in the Apostles’ Creed in the Book of Common Prayer: ‘… From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

[Page 324, line 1] pull the triggers with our toes see the note to “With the Main Guard” (Soldiers Three) page 56, line 28.

[J H McG]

©John McGivering 2006 All rights reserved