Kipling's Gadsby- like Fitzgerald's Gatsby- is a bit of a booby though cast in what might appear a heroic mold. Gadsby is a Captain in the Cavalry, Gatsby a bootlegger turned millionaire. Both are undone by women. Gadsby- this is the declasse, the vulgar, aspect of Kipling- is frankly and utterly thrown into a blue funk 'afraid with every amazement' by the memory of his wife's bout with cholera and his baby son's little cough.
He commits the ultimate sin- watering his horse 'to take the edge off' before riding to parade.
Gatsby- but I forget what happened to Gatsby- my memory is he wasn't married to his inamorata and so it was probably 'Wealth' or 'Social Privilege' or 'America' or some other such abstraction that did for him.
I suppose some Post Colonial / Queer Studies nutjob has vomited on this story of Kipling in some learned journal. What gets me is the 'afraid with any amazement' attaching itself to, not the bride- still partaking of nursery teas at the beginning of the play- but the groom, 33 years old at the time of his final harrowing and renunciation.
Dunno how Kipling does it- fucker makes Xtianity profound and elemental and humiliatingly human when, surely, everyone else proved long ago that it was a great stinking pile of Sexist crap, not to mention Racist- I did mention Racist didn't I?- well, take it as read if I didn't- and fucking up the Environment big time and the sustainability of the Global Warming of those pesky Palestenian's illegally occupying Gazza's football strip.
The story of the Gadsby has got to be one of his worst- but if it redeems the Xtian wedding service... how come a fucking 2 anna reporter from fucking Lahore or whatever gets to do this?
Is there something else going on under the surface? The 'afraid with any amazement' references Abraham and Sara- the Church is the bride of Christ- in 'Under the City Walls'- District Commissioner Petit, engaged in putting down a Mohurram riot, quotes the words of Caiaphas -'it is meet that one man should die for the sake of the people...' I suppose, I could also mention 'the Church at Antioch' or Free-masonry- even Literature as a Free-masonry as in 'the Janeites' and so on and so forth.
Or, maybe, the simplest explanation is best. Kipling wasn't an utterly shite human being, despite being a bloody good writer.