The Committee of Ways and Means

Notes on the text

These notes are based on those originally written by Thomas Pinney for the Cambridge edition of Something of Myself (1995), with the kind permission of Cambridge University Press, and the author.

[Page 105, line 23] January ’92 Kipling’s plans were upset shortly after he arrived in Lahore; there he learned of the death of Wolcott Balestier in Germany on December 6. On receiving this news Kipling made emergency arrangements to return to England, a journey he managed in the extraordinary time of fourteen days. On his arrival in London he at once took out a special license and married Balestier’s sister, Caroline, on January 18. This event, however long it may have been privately in preparation, took all his friends and family by surprise. Almost nothing before this time is known of the relations between Kipling and the woman he married.

[Page 105, line 28] The plague … Manchuria The so-called third Pandemic began in 1894 at Canton; in the period 1898-1928 some 13 million deaths, mostly in the East, have been attributed to the plague. I do not know on what grounds Kipling connects it with a ‘flu epidemic in London in 1892.

[Page 106, line 6] Langham Place All Souls Church, now in the shadow of Broadcasting House, the headquarters of the BBC.

[Page 106, line 7] Henry James (1843-1916) the American novelist; he and Kipling were acquainted through the Savile Club, and James had written a “critical introduction” to the American edition of Kipling’s Mine Own People, 1891. In addition to those named by Kipling, there were also present at the wedding Gosse’s wife, daughter, and son, and William Heinemann, the publisher, who had been an associate of Wolcott Balestier.

[Page 106, line 7] Ambrose Poynter (1867-1923) Kipling’s cousin, the son of Agnes Macdonald and Sir Edward Poynter, P.R.A. Ambrose practised as an architect. He succeeded his father as second baronet in 1919

[Page 106, line 20] Canada deep in snow Kipling here skips the first stage of their wedding journey, which was spent in New York City and in Brattleboro, Vermont. They left Liverpool on the S.S. Teutonic on February 3, and did not reach Vancouver until April 3, more than two months after their wedding.

[Page 107, line 13] real estate Kipling bought land in Vancouver in 1889 when he first visited the city, and this he sold many years later. If the story about “Steve” is true, it must refer to land he bought in 1892.

[Page 107, line 17] no shadow of any claim This was an Englishman named H.J. Hunt, the representative of a firm of London importers; he and his wife travelled with Kipling and his wife on the S.S. Empress of India from Vancouver to Yokohama (see Catharine Morris Wright, “How `St. Nicholas’ Got Rudyard Kipling,” Princeton University Library Quarterly, 35 [1974], 265-66).

[Page 107, line 20] an earthquake Caroline Kipling reports two earthquakes in her diary, one on May 11, and a “severe” one on June 3.

[Page 108, line 6] suspended payment The New Oriental Banking Corporation of London suspended payment on June 9; Kipling eventually recovered all of his money but in the meantime was left with $100 in a New York bank (Caroline Kipling diary, June 9).

[Page 108, line 25] Back again, then They left Yokohama on June 27.

[Page 109, line 1] his home … many years before Joseph Balestier (1814-80), a native of Martinique but an American from infancy; the town is Brattleboro, Vermont. Kipling’s suggestion that his wife’s family were long-time residents is incorrect. Caroline Kipling’s grandparents, who had originally visited Brattleboro for its then famous water cure, had bought land for a summer house near the town in 1872, only twenty years earlier; they kept a house in New York City. Caroline Kipling’s own family were residents of Rochester, New York, and only summer visitors to Brattleboro. By 1892, however, both Caroline Kipling’s brother, Beatty, and her mother had become permanent residents of Brattleboro.

[Page 109, line 13] Bliss Cottage They learned on July 22 that Bliss Cottage was available and moved in on August 10. The cottage still stands, but has been moved from its original site on the Bliss farm.

[Page 111, line 3] her grandmother Caroline Starr Balestier (1818-1901) lived in the house called “Beechwood,” built by her husband north of Brattleboro.

[Page 111, line 23] buy back… India In ’89 Kipling had sold the copyright of his Indian Railway Library titles in March 1889, just before leaving India (see p. 75): he bought them back in July 1894. The copyright of Departmental Ditties and Plain Tales belonged to the firm of Thacker, Spink and Co.; Kipling bought that of Departmental Ditties in 1899, and perhaps he bought that of Plain Tales at the same time, though I have no record of the transaction. In any case, he had long left Bliss Cottage before these events.

[Page 112, line 5] a stranger He has been identified as Linn Taylor of Brattleboro, who sold Kipling a policy for $10,000 from the National Life Insurance Co. of Montpelier in 1894 (undated clipping from Vermont Phoenix in Howard Rice papers, Notebook 17, Marlboro College).

[Page 112, line 17] Adjutant of Volunteers at Lahore See p. 51.

[Page 112, line 28] Leuconoë … as possible That is, Mrs. Kipling agreeing with Mr. Kipling: Horace, Odes, 1, xi: “Ask not, Leuconoë (we cannot know), what end the gods have set for me, for thee … Reap the harvest of today, putting as little trust as may be in the morrow!”.

[Page 113, line 9] 19 `get the story’ Caroline Kipling’s diary for October 14, 1892, records that their day was “wrecked by two reporters from Boston”; their articles appear in the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe, October 23, 1892. Kipling is reported as saying, among other things, “Why do I refuse to be interviewed? Because it is immoral! It is a crime, just as much a crime as an offence against my person, as an assault, and just as much merits punishment. It is cowardly and vile. No respectable man would ask it, much less give it.”

[Page 113, line 16] boy … brought up by wolves “In the Rukh,” finished before January 26, 1893 (Many Inventions).

[Page 113, line 20] Nada the Lily Serialized in January-May 1892 and published in book form in May. The passage in question is identified by Kipling in a letter to Haggard, October 20, 1895: “You remember in your tale where the wolves leaped up at the feet of a dead man sitting on a rock? Somewhere on that page I got the notion [of The Jungle Books]” (Morton Cohen [ed.], Rudyard Kipling to Rider Haggard [London, Hutchinson, 1965], pp. 31-32). The reference is to p. 103 of Nada the Lily.

[Page 114, line 7] My first child and daughter Josephine Kipling (1892-99).

[Page 114, line 15] Dr. Conland James Conland (1851-1903), a sailor and a fisherman before qualifying as a doctor; he practiced in Brattleboro from 1880 until his death, served in the state legislature, was a trustee of the local library, and a student of Vermont history.

[Page 114, line 18] `considered a field and bought it’ Cf. Proverbs 31:16: “She considereth a field, and buyeth it.” In fact, Kipling had bought a field for a house site barely a week after his first arriving in Vermont. Plans for a house were begun early in March 1892, and work on the site began before the end of the year.

[Page 114, line 23] Jean Pigeon Kipling quoted Jean Pigeon in a speech to the Canadian Authors’ Association on July 12, 1933: “Everyt’ing which ze tree ‘ave experience’ in ze forest ‘e take wiz ‘im into ze ‘ouse” (The Times, July 13, 1933).

[Page 114, line 27] `Naulakha’ So called to commemorate the friendship between Kipling and Wolcott Balestier, his wife’s brother, with whom Kipling wrote the novel called The Naulahka before Balestier’s sudden death at the end of 1891. The word means “nine lakhs” (900,000), shorthand for anything extremely valuable (note that the title of the novel is a mis-spelling, an extraordinary oversight in a writer so scrupulous as Kipling). The house still stands essentially unaltered since Kipling built it.

[Page 116, line 24] ‘A Walking Delegate’ First published in The Century Magazine, December 1894: collected in The Day’s Work.

[Page 117, line 3] burnt it severely This was in January 1895, their second winter in Naulakha.

[Page 118, line 14] a `Dry’ State Vermont introduced state prohibition of the drinking of alcohol in 1852, and after abandoning that continued to maintain local prohibition.

[Page 118, line 19] pledget The usual sense of this obscure word is “compress for applying over wound.” Kipling means it figuratively and ironically.

[Page 120, line 20] John Hay (1838-1905) made his reputation as secretary to Abraham Lincoln; he afterwards combined literature, diplomacy, and politics. He was Ambassador to Great Britain, 1897-98, and Secretary of State, 1898-1905. Kipling visited Hay at his summer home in Newbury, New Hampshire, in September 1895 (William Roscoe Thayer, Life and Letters of John Hay [Boston, Houghton, Mifflin, 1915], 11, p. 126).

[Page 121, line 13] Washington in ’96 Corrected to 95 in later printings. Kipling and Caroline Kipling were in Washington, D.C. from February 26 to April 6, 1895.

[Page 121, line 14] Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was a member of the circle of John Hay and Henry Adams in Washington; Kipling is mistaken in saying that Roosevelt was then Under-Secretary of the Navy; he was a Civil Service Commissioner. Later in 1895 he became president of the New York City Board of Police Commissioners. He was Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1897-98, before going on active service in the Spanish-American War. In 1900 he was elected Vice-President of the United States, and he took office as President on the assassination of Mckinley in 1901

[Page 121, line 15] the Upper John Davis Long (1838-1915).

[Page 121, line 20] conforming-Dopper A rigid sect among the Boers of the Transvaal.

[Page 121, line 28] grizzlies that he had met In his days in the American west in the 1880s.

[Page 122, line 13] to keep her busy Kipling refers to the growing crisis in South Africa after the Jameson raid at the end of 1895.

[Page 122, line 15] Hannibal Chollops Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, ch. 33: Hannibal Chollop “always introduced himself to strangers as a worshipper of Freedom; [and] was the consistent advocate of Lynch law, and slavery.”

[Page 122, line 19] spouse `twisting the Lion’s tail’ One may guess that Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924), Senator from Massachusetts and one of the Hay Adams-Roosevelt circle, is meant.

[Page 122, line 25] New York Police Court Judge In a communist-led riot at the New York pier of the German liner S.S. Bremen on July 27 the ship’s flag, with the Nazi swastika, had been torn down and thrown into the Hudson. When some of the rioters were brought before Magistrate Louis B. Brodsky on September 6, Brodsky dismissed the charges, comparing the swastika to “the black flag of piracy” (New York Times, September 7, 1935). In response to German protest, Secretary of State Cordell Hull “expressed his regret” for Brodsky’s remarks (New York Times, September 15).

[Page 123, line 3] Professor Langley Samuel Pierpont Langley (1834-1906) secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1887, a distinguished research scientist and a productive inventor. His experiments with powerdriven aircraft in 1896 produced the first successful free flight of a power-driven heavier-than-air machine. Kipling has perhaps confused memories of Langley’s 1896 experiments with his failure in 1903 with a full-size man-carrying machine.

[Page 123, line 26] The next time I met him Kipling has confused the chronology of things here. His last meeting with Roosevelt was in 1910, when Roosevelt came to England to deliver the Romanes Lectures at Oxford: this was twelve years after the annexation of the Philippines. Roosevelt also gave a speech at the Guildhall in May on this visit: his topic there was Egypt.

[Page 124, line 12] `Pithecanthropoid’ In 1903 Roosevelt exploited a revolution in Colombia to separate Panama from that country, under the administration of President J.M. Marroquin.

[Page 124, line 13] delightful sons Quentin (1897-1918) and Kermit (1889-1943).

[Page 124, line 21] Sam Maclure Corrected to “McClure” in later printings. Samuel Sidney McClure (1867-1949), American editor and magazine publisher, made his first success by developing a literary syndicate supplying newspapers around the world with stories and features. He was indefatigable in pursuing authors to write for his syndicate, and by his energy and generosity had great success in the pursuit. McClure’s Magazine, begun in 1893, was famous as the magazine of the “Muckrakers.” McClure was briefly in partnership with F.N. Doubleday, Kipling’s American publisher.

[Page 124, line 23] The Wrecker By Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne, 1892.

[Page 125, line 23] Frank Doubleday Doubleday (1862-1934), founder of the firm of Doubleday, publishers, in 1897, and Kipling’s American publisher from 1898; he worked for the firm of Charles Scribner until starting on his own, and it was Scribner who published the “Outward Bound” edition of Kipling’s works, a “collected edition” undertaken when its author was barely more than thirty years old. Doubleday’s first visit to Kipling was on November 30, 1895.

[Page 125, line 27] his wife Doubleday’s first wife, Neltje de Graff (1865-1918).

[Page 126, line 10] stuff I had never written Kipling has especially in mind a collection of his work called “The Brushwood Edition” assembled in 1898-99 by the New York publisher and bookseller, G.H. Putnam. Kipling brought suit against Putnam, and lost it after long and expensive proceedings. The episode also cost Kipling much public sympathy. Putnam was a reputable publisher and a champion of international copyright; the case against him was obviously a weak one; and Kipling commenced his action almost before he had recovered from his near-fatal illness in New York, when the American public had indulged in a frenzy of excited sympathy for the great writer. His attack on Putnam thus appeared both unseemly and ungrateful.

[Page 126, line 12] cheaper and cheaper editions e.g, the “Swastika Edition,” 1899, of 20,000 fifteen-volume sets at $15 the set.

[Page 126, line 16] a pillar of the Copyright League George Haven Putnam (1844-1930), head of G.P. Putnam and Son from 1872 to 1930. He was a leading figure in the cause of international copyright. See the note above.

[Page 127, line 2] the Father was much amazed Lockwood Kipling, just retired from India, arrived in Vermont in June; he and Kipling went to Quebec in early August, and called on Norton in early September.

[Page 127, line 3] Charles Eliot Norton Norton (1827-1908), Professor of the History of Art at Harvard. He had lived and travelled extensively in Europe as a young man, and was an intimate of the Rossetti circle and of Ruskin. His daughters Sarah (Sally) and Lily were life-long friends of Kipling and his family.

[Page 127, line 6] Boston Brahmins As the privileged caste of wealth and high culture in Boston were known.

[Page 127, line 26] Shady Hill Norton’s house in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

[Page 127, line 27] Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82), poet and essayist, whose correspondence with Carlyle Norton edited, 1883.

[Page 127, line 28] Wendell Holmes Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-94), poet, essayist, and Professor of Anatomy at Harvard.

[Page 127, line 28] Longfellow Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82), poet and Professor of Modern Languages at Harvard. Norton published Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: A Sketch of His Life, in 1907.

[Page 128, line 1] the Alcotts Bronson (1799-1888) and his daughter Louisa May Alcott (1832-88); the father was an educational reformer and the friend of Hawthorne, Emerson, and Thoreau; the daughter is famous as the author of Little Women, 1868.

[Page 128, line 12] Continental supplanters Cf. the remark of Mrs. Burton in “The Edge of the Evening” (1913): Lincoln, she says, “had wasted the heritage of his land by blood and fire, and had surrendered the remnant to aliens” (A Diversity of Creatures, p. 281). Mrs. Burton is a Southerner.

[Page 128, line 24] Wiltshire Kipling and his family visited England in the summers of 1894 and 1895. His parents had settled at Tisbury, Wiltshire, where they remained until their deaths. See p. 138.

[Page 129, line 4] hairdresser’s waxen model In Stevenson and Osbourne’s The Wrong Box, ch. 7, Pitman, the artist, on contemplating the model in a hairdresser’s shop, exclaims that “there’s a something – there’s a haughty, indefinable something about that figure.”

[Page 129, line 6] strove after that eye See Kipling’s two drawings illustrating “How the Whale Got Its Throat” (Just So Stories).

[Page 129, line 8] Gloucester, Mass. Kipling visited Gloucester in September 1894 and June 1895 (Caroline Kipling’s diary).

[Page 129, line 20] Boston Harbour Kipling made a one-day visit to Boston to “look at ships” on February 25, 1896, and he and Conland made two brief visits to Gloucester in May and August 1896: there is no further record of their visiting Boston together in Caroline Kipling’s diary.

[Page 129, line 24] Pocahontas coal After the Pocahontas coal-field in West Virginia.

[Page 130, line 21] San Francisco Not San Francisco, but San Diego.

[Page 130, line 27] schedule The “railway magnate” was F.N. Finney (1832-1916), who had been an official of the Soo Line and then of the M.K.T. In a letter of March 10, 1896, he worked out the route that Kipling used in Captains Courageous (MS. Dalhousie University).

[Page 131, line 1] real live railway magnate Finney himself (Carrington, p. 231 n.)

[Page 131, line 12] Super-film Magnate Perhaps Irving Thalberg (1899-1936), head of production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; he called on Kipling to discuss Captains Courageous on July 8, 1931 (A.S. Watt to Caroline Kipling, July 7, 1931; to Kipling, July 9, 1931: Berg Collection, New York Public Library).

[Page 132, line 27] So we loosed hold To anyone acquainted with the outline of Kipling’s life in Vermont, this account is bound to seem quite disingenuous. At the time he left the United States, September 1, 1896, he showed no wish at all to watch developments in England. However important the general hostility that he imagined around him may have seemed in his later memory, two much more distinct events appear to have put him into motion at the time. The first was the wave of anti-English feeling that the press stirred up during the crisis over Venezuela at the end of 1895; more immediate and urgent was his quarrel with, and his disastrous legal action against, his unruly brother-in-law, Beatty Balestier. When Kipling left Vermont in 1896 for England it was by no means clear to him that he would not return.

[Page 132, line 27] another small daughter Elsie (1896-1976), born on February 2; she married George Bambridge in 1924.

[Page 133, line 4] Woulds’t thou … wrote the bill “Suum Cuique” lines 1-2.

[Page 133, line 6] spring of ’96 Not spring but fall; they moved into Rock House, St. Marychurch, Maidencombe, Torquay, on September 1 0, 1896.

[Page 134, line 25] Despondency within the open, lit rooms Their experience in the house gave Kipling the suggestion for his story “The House Surgeon,” 1909 (Actions and Reactions).

[Page 135, line 22] `Two and a half’ – Army biscuits This measure is supposed to equal one pound of bread.

[Page 136, line 8] fourteen years back In fact, fifteen.

[Page 136, line 15] in ’96 That is, 1897.

[Page 136, line 17] daughter of the Ridsdales Stanley Baldwin married Lucy Ridsdale on September 12, 1892.

[Page 136, line 27] my son John John Kipling (1897-1915) was born on August 17, 1897, at North End House; he died in the Battle of Loos, in 1915, so the omens attending his birth were falsified.

[Page 137, line 3] house opposite the church on the green See the end of ch. 2. The house, called ‘The Elms’, still stands on Rottingdean Green in Sussex. Kipling rented it for three guineas a week, and lived there from September 1897 to September 1902. He tried but failed to buy it.

[Page 137, line 8] little affair at Yokohama The failure of their bank and their temporary embarrassment for money in 1892. But Kipling was by this time a wealthy man, by any standards.

[Page 137, line 20] `Sussex’ First published in The Five Nations, 1903.

[Page 138, line 6] fat bathers … wallowing in the surf Burne Jones’s comic sketches of “fat bathers” and others survive in many collections, e.g., The Royal College of Surgeons, London.

[Page 138, line 11] Irish boy… mixed up with native life Kipling was at workon Kim as early as October 1892 (to Mary Mapes Dodge, October 15, 1892: MS. Princeton).

[Page 138, line 15] Mr. Micawber In Dickens, David Copperfield: See the end of ch. 36.

[Page 138, line 18] left India for good In 1893.

[Page 139, line 5] Arthur Morrison Corrected to Alfred Morrison in later printings. Morrison (1821-97), a wealthy collector, possessed every sort of precious object: porcelains, gems, gold work, miniatures, glass, engravings, portraits, and manuscripts.

[Page 139, line 10] the Wyndhams The Hon. Percy Scawen Wyndham (1835-1911), son of the first Lord Leconfield. Lockwood Kipling died at his house, “Clouds,” East Knoyle, Wiltshire.

[Page 139, line 15] `Backward … Time in thy flight’ Elizabeth Akers Allen, “Rock Me to Sleep, Mother” (1860), Stanza 1.

[Page 139, line 17] Kim came back to me Perhaps the autumn of 1898, when Caroline Kipling’s diary records that Kipling was working on Kim with Lockwood Kipling; but he had probably been at work on it in the preceding year too.

[Page 139, line 28] good enough for Cervantes was good enough for him Kipling means the form of the episodic narrative of the road, common to Don Quixote and to Kim.

[Page 141, line 2] Grand Trunk Road at eventide Kim, ch. 4.

[Page 141, line 5] Deputy Curator for six weeks On his first arriving in Lahore in 1882. Before taking up his work on the Civil and Military Gazette, Kipling assisted his father in the Lahore Museum, of which Lockwood Kipling was curator, in addition to his work in the School of Art. “Six weeks” is probably longer than Kipling actually spent in the Museum.

[Page 141, line 9] Jatakas Stories About one or another of the previous births of the Buddha.

[Page 141, line 15] the Father attended to Kim Kipling’s statement requires some correction. Lockwood Kipling’s illustrations in relief for Kim were made for the regular trade edition of 1901. They were then used when Kim was added to the Outward Bound edition in 1902, the edition that Kipling presumably means by “illustrated edition of my works.” Lockwood Kipling had been making illustrations for that since 1897, and by the same method.

[Page 142, line 12] `If you get … God invents’ Browning, “Fra Lippo Lippi,” lines 217-18.

[Page 142, line 18] High Cannibalism “Higher Cannibalism” in later printings (See also p. 192, below). In a letter to Sydney Cockerell, October 6, 1932, explaining why he could not undertake to write a memoir of Lady Burne Jones, as Cockerell had urged him to do, Kipling wrote that “This here biography and `reminiscence’ business that is going on nowadays, is a bit too near the `Higher Cannibalism’ to please me. Ancestor-worship is all right but serving them up filletted or spiced, `high’ (which last is very popular) has put me off” (MS. Morgan Library).

[Page 142, line 26] the Athenaeum The London club founded in 1824 and distinguished by a membership of notables ever since. Kipling was not thirty-three but still in his thirty-first year at the time of his election, being then “the youngest member by 20 years,” as his wife proudly put it (Caroline Kipling to F.N. Finney, June 9, 1897: Parke-Bernet catalogue, December 10, 1941.

[Page 143, line 15] an old General Major General John Barton Sterling (1840-1926), Served in the navy but joined the Coldstream Guards, 1861. After commanding the regiment, he retired in 1901. A member of the Athenaeum and the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes.

[Page 143, line 25] Parsons Sir Charles Algernon Parsons (1854-1931), engineer and manufacturer of turbines; his experimental Ship, Turbinia, 1897.

[Page 144, line 6] Hercules Ross Corrected to Hercules Read in later printings. Sir Charles Hercules Read (1857-1929), Keeper of British and Medieval Antiquities and Ethnography, British Museum.

[Page 144, line 23] my spiritual comfort Kipling perhaps means that his clubs were important to him because he had no London residence. But other interpretations are possible.

[Page 144, line 24] Carlton A Conservative club, in Kipling’s days in Pall Mall.

[Page 144, line 24] Beefsteak A social club dating back to 1876.

[Page 145, line 22] Villiers Street That is, 1889-91.

[Page 146, line 1] ‘no letters in the grave’ Boswell, Life of Johnson, December (Hill-Powell edn. [Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1934] IV, 413).1784.