(by Hugh Brogan)
Just beyond the west fringe of our land, in a little valley running from Nowhere to Nothing-at-all, stood the long, overgrown slag-heap of a most ancient forge, supposed to have been worked by the Phoenicians and Romans and, since then, uninterruptedly till the middle of the eighteenth century. The bracken and rush-patches still hid stray pigs of iron, and if one scratched a few inches through the rabbit-shaven turf, one came on the narrow mule-tracks of peacock-hued furnace-slag laid down in Elizabeth's day. The ghost of a road climbed up out of this dead arena, and crossed our fields, where it was known as 'The Gunway,' and popularly connected with Armada times ...Then, it pleased our children to act for us, in the open, what they remembered of A Midsummer Night's Dream... And in a near pasture of the water-meadows lay out an old and unshifting Fairy Ring. You see how patiently the cards were stacked and dealt into my hands? (2)But Kipling never renounced the freedom of the artist. All his work is notable for what has often been called his knowingness - his hoard of recondite facts, eagerly collected, which he uses to give interest and conviction to his narratives. This is as true of Kim as of his Great War stories; of "McAndrew's Hymn" as of "Captains Courageous." Yet if the work in hand required him to take liberties with facts, he took them; and it is as pointless to complain of his frequent historical inaccuracy as it is to complain of the limitations of his depiction of India. The questions that need answering are always, 'what was he up to?' and 'what did he achieve?' - questions, in a phrase, about his purposes and his art. What follows amounts to a few suggestions about these important matters as they concern his treatment of history.
Far-called, our navies melt away;"Recessional" is not exactly an historical poem, except in the sense that its great impact on publication made it a part of British history, but it is full of apprehensive historical awareness. It is not surprising that it was, apparently, in the same year that Kipling began to think of writing something about the Roman Empire and started reading Edward Gibbon's classic account of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (written between 1776 and 1788). (5) But it was not until 1904, when he was well-established at Burwash, that he seriously followed up the idea. At about that time his cousin Ambo Poynter, after hearing him talk of Roman stories, suggested that he write about 'an old Centurion of the Occupation telling his experiences to his children;' and he gave Kipling the name 'Parnesius'.
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre...
She is not any common earth,What is Gramarye? Above all, book-magic: grammar, Latin, literature; understanding, power, and delight. This is the standard which Kipling set himself; this, therefore, is the standard by which he must be appraised. How compelling is his necromancy?
Water or wood or air,
But Merlin's Isle of Gramarye
Where you and I will fare.
A huge grey horse, whose tail-hairs crinkled the glassy water, was drinking in the pool, and the ripples about his muzzle flashed like melted gold. On his back sat an old, white-haired man dressed in a loose glimmer gown of chain-mail. He was bare-headed, and a nut-shaped iron helmet hung at his saddle-bow. His reins were of red leather five or six inches deep, scalloped at the edges, and his high padded saddle with its red girths was held fore and aft by a red leather breastband and crupper. (9)Una spots the likeness to Sir Isumbras at once: Kipling, throughout the Puck books, was eager to acknowledge his debts. (Sir Richard's resemblance to Lewis Carroll's White Knight is presumably coincidental).
'Freeman believed in the basic continuity of English history,' says Frank Barlow, 'and that the Norman conquest was good for England ; it was a fire which did not destroy, but only purified. 'Old England', said Freeman, 'came forth with her ancient laws formed into shapes better suited to changed times, and with a new body of fellow-workers...'This was exactly what Kipling was getting at in three of the five Dalyngridge stories - "Young Men at the Manor", "Old Men at Pevensey", "The Treasure and the Law" - and also, eventually, in the verses "England's on the anvil" in the School History:
There shall be one people - it shall serve one Lord -Can Kipling really have believed that part of William's work was to give England one speech? It is a debatable thesis,but Barlow's verdict should be noted: 'This view of English history ...is undoubtedly tenable as a panorama, and still finds exponents." (14)
(Neither Priest nor Baron shall escape!)
It shall have one speech and law, soul and strength and sword.
England's being hammered, hammered, hammered into shape!
What is a woman that you forsake her,If Kipling really was drawing on "Seafarer" it suggests an extra historical depth to his tale, for the first Angles and Saxons were in their time piratical seafarers like the Vikings, and perhaps the "Harp Song" hints at this. And so, perhaps, does the name given to the Viking skipper, "Witta", which is an English rather than a Norse name, and suggests its bearer's cunning and sea-skill.
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
To go with the old grey Widow-maker?
In the whole range of Rudyard Kipling's work, no pieces have been more effective in moulding the thought of a generation than the three stories of the centurions defending Hadrian's Wall during the decline of the Roman Empire ...The story of the centurion's task is told as a panegyric of duty and service which press their claims all the more urgently when leaders fail to lead and statesmen study only their own careers.This verdict can hardly be bettered. The power of the centurions' story cannot be denied, but it is almost pure romance. Parnesius and Pertinax are historically incredible, like the Three Musketeers, and just as fascinating. Their inauthenticity bothers no-one. It is hardly worth demonstrating this proposition at length, and everyone will make allowances for all the archaeological discoveries made in the century since Kipling wrote: there were many things that he could not know. Sometimes he guessed correctly: recent scholarship has established that, contrary to what was long thought, Roman control of the Wall was re-established after the fall of Magnus Maximus, and was perhaps not lost during his reign. (23)
'Kipling', he says elsewhere, created 'a dynamic myth', which strengthened the nerve of many young soldiers in 1914, and therefore 'it mattered little that Rudyard's Roman soldiers of the fourth century too much resembled subalterns of the Indian Army.' (22)
Cities and thrones and powersEver since "Recessional" he had been afraid that the British might bring about the fall of their empire through the degeneration of their character and society:
Stand in Time's eye
Almost as long as flowers,
Which daily die... (25)
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,It had (he believed) happened to Rome. And everything which occurred in the decade between "Recessional " and the publication of Puck of Pook's Hill - Britain's less-than-impressive conduct of the war in South Africa, for instance, or the installation of a Liberal government, which happened while he was actually writing Puck of Pook's Hill, confirmed him in his fears. More, he was becoming increasingly apprehensive of the threat from imperial Germany, a threat to which most of his countrymen seemed blind. Ever more stridently he strove to warn them. The Parnesius tales were part of his campaign of admonishment:
Lest we forget - lest we forget!
'Kipling claimed he did not intend to write parables, 'but when situations are so ludicrously, or terribly, parallel ...what can one do?' ' (26)But perhaps the parallels were not quite what he thought. They may have been between interpretations, not events. Kipling was devoted to Gibbon, but in "Parnesius" he was putting to work, for the sake of the British Empire, an un-Gibbonian, universally accepted nineteenth-century myth, that the Fall of Rome could be explained entirely by the moral degeneracy of the Romans.
No indeed! We are not strongHe also included "A British-Roman Song (A.D. 406)", which can be read as implying that Parnesius was deluded. Borrowing his form from Horatius Flaccus (the poem may be reckoned the first of his many pastiches of Horace) Kipling celebrates the greatness of "the very Rome", and proclaims it:
But we know Peoples that are.
Yes, and we'll guide them along,
To smash and destroy you in War!
We shall be slaves just the same?
Yes, we have always been slaves,
But you - you will die of the shame,
And then we shall dance on your graves! (17)
Soon to send forth again a brood,But the date attached to the poem deliberately gives the game away. The prayer was to be denied. 406 (fifteen hundred years exactly before the publication of "Puck") was followed by 410, when the city of Rome was sacked by Alaric the Goth and the Emperor Honorius found himself unable to help the beleaguered British-Romans, now naked to their enemies because another ambitious general (Constantine III) had again emptied the island of troops in another ultimately unsuccessful attempt to seize the purple. "A British-Roman Song" can, indeed must, be read as Kipling's appeal to the islanders of his own day to be true to their past and to their imperial mission; but it is hardly hopeful. In his zeal to drive home the virtues of duty and service, and to warn his contemporaries, Kipling has conceded too much for the good of his case. His more careful readers might well conclude from his presentation that imperialism was intrinsically oppressive, selfish and incompetent, and become Little Englanders. Nor would they have been reassured had they read Kipling's then-unpublished poem, "The Coin Speaks" (the coin in question being of a very late Roman Imperial minting):
Unshakeable, we pray, that clings
To Rome's thrice-harnessed hardihood
In arduous things...
Many years my thin white faceThe upshot of these considerations is a paradox: in spite of many errors in detail, and in spite of his purpose to celebrate imperial virtues, Kipling, by the sheer force of his imagination, almost Shavian in its power to present both sides of the question, achieves a memorably powerful and convincing account of the fall of the Roman Empire, of virtue's failure; an account which in this way resembles and complements his optimistic account of the founding of the kingdom of England in the Dalyngridge stories. A historian must pay homage to his achievement.
Peered in every market-place
At the doomed Imperial Race.
Warmed against and worn between
Hearts uncleansed and hands unclean,
What is there I have not seen?
Not an Empire dazed and old,
Smitten blind and stricken cold,
Bartering her sons for gold ... (31)
Prophets have honour all over the Earth,The background of great deeds (what the followers of Fernand Braudel dismiss as "I'histoire événementielle") is remote, and, such as it is, was found by Kipling in Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, which prints the ballad of the Scottish pirate Sir Andrew Barton, a work stigmatised by the Oxford Dictionary of Natopnal Biography as 'combining violence, chivalry and inaccuracy in varying degrees.' (34) A brilliant conceit links both Barton and Sebastian Cabot (seaman of Bristol, cartographer, and son of the discoverer of Newfoundland) to smuggling ironmasters in Sussex, and though set in the reign of Henry VII the story gives rise to one of Kipling's most delightful poems, "A Smuggler's Song":
Except in the village where they were born;
Where such as knew them boys from birth
Nature-ally hold 'em in scorn. (33)
Five and twenty ponies,This leaps straight into the eighteenth century. All this is riches enough, but the great purpose and achievement of "Hal o'the Draft" is to bring the society of the Dudwell valley fully to life for the first time. The opening chapters of Puck of Pook's Hill had made a beginning, particularly in the descriptions of the river and the meadows beside it; building on that Kipling now brings in the church, "St Barnabas" (St. Bartholomew in actuality), the farms, the orchards and, above all, the people, especially the rascally ironmaster John Collins, whose name Kipling had found on a tomb in St. Bartholomew's: Orate p. Annema Jhone Coline (the inscription itself was to be used in Rewards and Fairies) (35) This is history of a new kind. It merges imperceptibly with human geography, and leaves another ineradicable impression, of how the Weald lived and worked in the fifteenth century:
Trotting through the dark -
Brandy for the Parson, 'Baccy for the Clerk.
Laces for a lady; letters for a spy,
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by!
The valley was as full o' forges and fineries as a May shaw of cuckoos. All gone to grass now!Kipling also manages to convey his own views on the nature of art, and what was the place of artists and craftsmen (he makes no distinction between them) in the last years before the Reformation, when Catholic England was still vigorous:
Half Oxford was building new colleges or beautifying the old, and she had called to her aid the master-craftsmen of all Christendie - kings in their trade and honoured by Kings. (36)It is good nourishing historical fare, and looks forward to the method that Kipling was to use consistently in Rewards and Fairies.
'Queen Bess’s father' (actually Edward VI or his ministers, RK is simplifying again) 'he used the parish churches something shameful. Justabout tore the gizzards out of I dunnamany. Some folk in England they held with ’en; but some they saw it different, an’ it eended in ’em takin’ sides an’ burnin’ each other no bounds, accordin’ which side was top, time bein’. (That was what terrified the 'Pharisees', or fairies.) 'They couldn’t abide cruel Canterbury Bells ringin’ to Bulverhithe for more pore men an’ women to be burnded, nor the King’s proud messenger ridin’ through the land givin’ orders to tear down the Images.' (39)So they thronged into Romney Marsh, and eventually, with the help of the Widow Whitgift and her two sons, escaped to France. It is a moving tale, and implies a severe verdict on religious fabaticism, but its deepest meaning lies elsewhere, No readers of Eamon Duffy's remarkable study, The Stripping of the Altars (40) can fail to have learned how profoundly late mediaeval English Christianity was taken up with the cult of the dead. The living, to shorten their sufferings in Purgatory, made charitable provision in their wills for schools, hospitals and alms-houses; for prayers and ceremonies to save their souls; they faithfully executed the behests of their predecessors and in return hoped that the dead, particularly the sainted ones, would watch over them. Atl aspects of religious life were shaped by this cult; it was truly a world where the dead and the living co-existed and communicated; a world where death was implicitly believed to be a mere step from one form of existence to another. All this was shattered for ever by the Reformation. Kipling's Pharisees, then, may rightly be understood as an exact and powerful metaphor for the dead who were being driven out of the churches and out of the country. Eamon Duffy's work makes the point inescapable; but it was Kipling's genius which intuitively discovered it, perhaps by reflecting on what Bishop Corbet (1582-1635) meant when he wrote "The Fairies' Farewell" ('Farewell Rewards and Fairies...') which, like Sir Andrew Barton, Kipling may first have discovered in the Reliques:
By which we note the fairiesIn "Dymchurch Flit" Kipling does far more than stimulate a love of the past: he is conveying the nature of the great Tudor convulsion, and delicately provokes sensitive readers to reflect on the price of revolution and the nature of human society.
Were of the old profession;
Their songs were Ave Maries,
Their dances were procession.
But now, alas! they all are dead,
Or gone beyond the seas,
I have given my heart to a flower, Though f know it is fading away, Though I know it will live but an hour And leave me to mourn its decay! Ye desolate whirlwinds that rave, I charge you be good to my dear! She is all - she is all that I have, And the time of our parting is near! (44)Kipling wrote about these verses to an admirer soon after "Rewards" was published:
Shenstone has somewhere or other, about the end I think, of a long and drearyish ode four lines of pure tears. Thus:Kipling, he tells us, had "glorious fun" when writing "Rewards" (46) and it was partly a matter of putting the English language through its paces, and conveying to the ignorant a realisation of what it was, what it could do and what it had done through the centuries. This is perhaps clearest in "A Doctor of Medicine", which tells how Nicholas Culpeper, the seventeenth-century astrologer physician, ended an outbreak of plague at Burwash during the Civil War. Kipling had loved Culpeper's writings for years. He did not believe in the astrology, but he was fascinated by Culpeper's botany and his language, and the tale and its accompanying verses gave his fascination its head. Kipling catches the man's diction perfectly. His Culpeper characterizes himself with every word he utters, whether he is addressing Dan and Una as if they were a public meeting ('And now, good people, give me leave to be particular in this case') or correcting himself when he carelessly refers to "the King" (being a supporter of the Parliament, he should have said 'the man Charles Stuart) or proclaimirg that his hypothesis has been vindicated by 'divine astrology and humble search into the veritable causes of things - at the proper time - the sons of wisdom may combat even the pague', or just coughing pompously 'Ahem!', as a trick to catch the ear of the vulgar crowd. The utterance of Kipling's Culpeper takes us into a lost mental world as completely as any learned, laborious historian could do in the twenty-first century. (47)
"Yet time may diminish the pain
The flower and the bud and the tree
That I reared for her pleasure in vain
In time may bring comfort to me"
- or words to that effect. I quote without the book, but my heart knows it too well. Well, of course they were the words for my Philadelphia only they wouldn't have been set to music. So I had to invent a sort of parallel passage of about the same age and appearance and if you look closely you'll see that they in turn owe something to the Meditation of Alexander Selkirk "I am monarch etc." The actual effect comes out of "desolate" - "rave" - and "charge." (45)
... while there is no reason to suppose that the episode that he imagines ever took place, the story itself probably contains the true answer to the question whether Talleyrand was working for the French government or not. Fiction is often an aid to history, and the penetrating eye of genius can discern much that remains elusive to the patient researches of the historian. (49)Still more impressive than this feat are the poems which Kipling crams into his book (twentytwo sets of verses as compared to fifteen in "Puck"). Verse came to him easily, perhaps more easily than prose, and may have been a relief to him after the strict discipline to which he subjected his daemon in writing the "Puck" tales. The poems enlarge, or even burst, the bounds setup by the prose ("A Truthful Song") carries us as far as twentieth-century London, with its reference to 'building flats near the Marble Arch'. The verses on Queen Elizabeth ("The Looking-Glass") and Napoleon ("A Saint Helena Lullaby") drive home Kipling's sense of the significance of these figures.
If you can make one heap of all your winningsRather more successful as a contribution to historical understanding is a second smugglers' song ("Poor Honest Men") which not only shows that Kipling, the lover of the unregenerate, never quite reformed, but gives a remarkably full account of the trade that was forbidden only so that the state could raise revenue - a point central to the politics of the eighteenth century, being one of the causes of the American Revolution. This is true historical education.
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss...
Suddenly, his days before him and behind him seemed to standThis poem was not published until 1926, in Debits and Credits. where it is attached to "The Wish House", to which, in its celebration of love, it certainly belongs. However that may be, it demonstrates that the figures and themes of the past which Kipling had conjured up in the Puck books never lost their hold on his imagination, and even when the Puck books were finished might occasionally drive him into verse (another example is " A Departure", which reverts to the Winged Hats and was published in " Land and Sea Tales). The point was most plainly demonstrated when Rewards and Fairies was barely finished. Kipling had got to know a professional historian, C.R.L. Fletcher of Oxford, whom he found all too sympathetic. Fletcher was both a deep-dyed reactionary and a writer with a bold imagination. He was bringing out a four-volume "Introductory History of England" which Kipling liked, not least because for it Fletcher invented a Sussex village called Tubney, which he used to illustrate the impact of events and social change on ordinary English people. It was perhaps an idea suggested by "Puck", but if so Kipling did not mind. He wrote to Fletcher:
Stripped and barren, fixed and fruitless, as those leagues of naked sand
When St. Michael's ebb slinks outward to the bleak horizon-bound,
And the trampling wide-mouthed waters are withdrawn from sight and sound. (54)
I make haste to offer you my most grateful thanks. When I think of the historical baled hay (in Epochs of 40 pages) that was fed to me in my youth I feel like asking for the heads of all my schoolmasters. (55)He agreed to look over the proofs of volume 4, especially the chapter on India (56) Thus encouraged , Fletcher suggested that Kipling compose some verses to enliven an infant history of England which he was also writing. Kipling leapt at the idea, and produced seventeen poems. A School History of England, by C.R.L. Fletcher and Rudyard Kipling, was published in 1911. Except financially (the book sold in large numbers for years) it was an almost entire failure. Whereas the Puck books had been generally welcomed and praised, and are still admired, the "History," on publication, was generally abused . The Manchester Guardian, the great Liberal paper, said it was "as nearly worthless as a book can be." (57) It has been largely ignored by critics and biographers . The fault was chiefly Fletcher's. The text which he produced (with some help from Kipling) had the double fault of being grossly opinionated and of writing down to its readers. Fletcher is overbearing, and his work cannot compare for charm with Mrs Marshall's roughly contemporaneous Our Island Story (though it is factually much more reliable). Kipling must share the blame: he read and approved Fletcher's draft and was unshaken by the attacks on the book. (58). Its only interest nowadays (except as a cultural symptom of its times) lies in his verses, which are on a plane far above Fletcher's prose.
He was the author of his line -He carried his talent for period pastiche to new heights in the lines on "Brown Bess":
He wrote that witches should be burnt;
He wrote that monarchs were divine,
And left a son who proved they weren't!
In the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade"After the War" - an elegy on the War of American Independence - seems, in its quiet pathos, to suggest that Kipling's attitude to history was still evolving:
Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise -
An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes -
At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
They were pierced to the heart by he charms of Brown Bess.
The snow lies thick on Valley ForgeThe tone seems akin to that of many of the poems which, in a few years more, soldiers from the trenches would be giving to the world. And the last verse reminds us (as does "Philadelphia" and "Brother Square-Toes" in Rewards and Fairies) how much Kipling's writing about eighteenth century America gained from his personal knowledge of the country
The ice on the Delaware
But the poor dead soldiers of King George
They neither know nor care...
Golden-rod by the pasture wallBut then much in Kipling's earlier work - we may think of the Cold Lairs in the Mowgli stories - proves his lifelong sense of the evanescence of human glory, and the futility of much human striving. Even after the "History" Kipling had not quite done with his vision of the English past. In 1913 or thereabouts he wrote a poem, "The Land", which is a final celebration of Hobden ('Whoever pays the taxes, ol' Mus' Hobden owns the land') (59) But for the most part he turned to other sorts of work. His children had grown up, or at least had left childhood behind them; their father no longer needed to concern himself with elementary education. Politics reclaimed him (indeed, had never been entirely absent, as the "Puck" books demonstrate) : he was becoming obsessed with the Irish question and with the looming prospect of war with Germany. The Puck series remained an achievement to be proud of, as everything he says about it in Something of Myself attests: the only doubt about it which he ever entertained arose when a friend, years later, suggested that it had helped the begetting of:
When the columbine is dead,
And sumach leaves that turn, in fall,
Red as the blood they shed.
"the Higher Cannibalism" in biography, By which I understood him to mean the exhumation of scarcely cold notorieties, defenceless females for choice, and tricking them out with sprightly inferences and 'sex'-deductions to suit the mood of the market. (60)Kipling felt innocent of the charge, but it is easy enough to see what the friend meant. Lytton Strachey in Eminent Victorians, which Kipling thought was "downright wicked in its heart" (61), selected four English worthies and used them to convey a vision of an age, which is at the same time (very unlike "Puck") a searching critique of it. The book inspired a shoal of satirical biographies. The technique has a superficial resemblance to "Puck" (Strachey himself playing the sprite's part), but ironically wonderful though it would be if Strachey had learned from Kipling, the notion is extremely unlikely.
The compiler of these records ...has been scrupulous to avoid debatable issues of bad staff-work or faulty generalship. These were not lacking in the War, but the broad sense of justice in all who suffered from them, recognizing that all were equally amateurs, saved the depression of repeated failures from turning into demoralization. (65)This was not the Kipling of the pre-war polemics, and the book is all the better for it. One point which he did not discuss, because he took it for granted, but which nevertheless permeated every page, was that the war had to be fought and that the Allied cause was just. It is perhaps the most instructive of all points for modern readers, brainwashed as so many have been into an unearned and sentimental belief that the war was nothing but a pointless Hell, created by jingoistic politicians and incompetent commanders. Kipling's sober chronicle of one part of the vast struggle leaves such readers with no excuse for evading the real complexities of the tragedy.
...where, under cover of a whirl of `entertainment', they and their kin wearied themselves to forget and escape a little from that life, on the brink of the next world, whose guns they could hear summoning in the silences between their talk. (67)That was as near as Kipling came to openly putting his own feelings into his book, but they are the unacknowledged ground-bass of all its music.
...in a life where Death ruled every hour, nothing was trivial, and bald references to villages, billets, camps, fatigues and sports, as well as hints of tales that can never now fully be told, carry each their separate significance to each survivor, intimate and incommunicable as family jests. (69)But he could not quite repress his daemon. The men of the regiment were mainly Irish (though much less so at the war's end than at its beginning) and Kipling's attitude to Irish nationalism might have been expected to create difficulties for him, especially as the years when he was writing his history were those of the Irish revolution and civil war; but his contact with them seems to have swept all such considerations aside. He did not change his views (he would not have been Kipling if he had), but he chose to forget them, as it were; and his reward was a renewal of some of his earliest magic. Mulvaney came back, last of Gramarye's revenants. Listening to the vivid talk of the survivors Kapling realised that their remarks could supply a splendid running comment on events, a sort of chorus for the drama; he quoted them plentifully, for instance on reactions to the armistice:
'Ye would come on a man an' ask him for what ye wanted or where you was to go, and the Frenchman, he'd say, 'Oui! Oui! Gare finnee,' an' smile an' rub his hands an' push off. The Englishman - some dam' back-area Clerk or ticket-collector that had been playin' ping-pong at Boulogne since '14, he'd smile the same way an 'Tis over! 'tis over!' he'd say, clean forgettin' everythin' that he hadn't done wrong-end-up. But we was all like that together- silly, foolish, an' goin' about grinnin'. ( (70)The poet and chronicler of the Old Army thus returned as one of the memorialists of the New, and no doubt Mulvaney's ghost saluted.
Whether ye rise for the sake of a creed,The theme had long been dear to Kipling; it is tempting to guess that he returned to it after deciding that "Gallio's Song" had not exhausted it; both story and song rested on the old identification of Roman imperialism with British; the writing is as skilful as ever; but nothing new is said about either.
Or riot in hope of spoil,
Equally will I punish the deed,
Equally check the broil;
Nowise permitting injustice at all
From whatever doctrine it springs -
But - whether ye follow Priapus or Paul -
I care for none of these things! (72)
Your notion of wheat in the ear as cargo is fascinating but I won't venture on it till I know a heap more. Clay amphorae are obviously impossible. Tell me what you can about bagged wheat (100 lb bags) and hides. Spain produced both... (73)Where the approach to history was concerned, Kipling was perhaps more of an antiquarian than anything else - except an imaginative writer.