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1900: Humorous verse from a Raj rhymster

Dum Dum [Kendall, John Kaye] At odd moments: a book of verses and parodies. Bombay The "Times of India" Press 1900
First edition in book form, 93, [1]. A very good copy in the original cloth backed boards.

Captain John Kaye Kendall of the Royal Artillery was a Gunnery Instructor stationed in Bombay. Like so many others in civil or military service in India, he was driven to banish tedium by composing verses of dubious quality. Typical of this collection is this complaint about noise from the servants' quarters: "Do you hear your children yelling, o my bearer, / Till they nearly burst their lungs? / My hours of peace are daily getting rarer; / Will they never hold their tongues? / Did you whip the little devils for their shrieking, / When I told you to before? / There doesn't seem a bit of use in speaking, / And the thing's become a bore." Under the pseudonym "Dum Dum", Kendall published several books of humorous verse, including The crackling of thorns (1906), A fool's paradise (1910), and odd creatures (1915). This was his very first work to appear, and one of only two published in India rather than London, the other being In the hills, and other views (Bombay, 1903). Most of the pieces in this collection had previously been published in the Times of India, The Pioneer, or The Civil and Military Gazette.