4 MARCH 1949, Page 20


SIR,—The answer to your correspondents, J. H. C. Brooking and R. E. Martin, is quite obvious. There were two Kiplings: one of them was the great master of the short stories, of Kim and the Barrack-Room Ballads, and the other wrote intolerable jingles in which an unctuous morality was often united with a penny-whistle patriotism. (Many of your readers will recall Sir Max Beerbohm's delightful cartoon.) A parody does not imply literary excellence in the original but, on the contrary, has the reverse implication. When Kipling sank, to the level of Tupper he, like Tupper, was an easy prey for the parodist. Imitation is another matter. I do not, of course, deny the value of " If " in the Scouts' but or the parish hall.—Yours faithfully, C. E. VULLIAMY Lollesworth Cottage, West Horsley.