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NOTES AND QUESTIONS

1. Who is represented as telling this story? Is he English or French? How do you know? Where do you think he is when telling the story? Why does he long to be able to use a pen? Of whose valor does his story tell? What does he say of his own injury?

2. What were the English Engineers called upon to do? Why was this necessary? How many answered the call for volunteers? What became of the detachments sent out? What did they accomplish? What remained to be done? How was this accomplished?

3. Do you think it requires more courage to venture alone under fire than it does to take part in a charge? Can you explain why this is so?

4. Why were there no cheers when the twelfth man ran for the fuse?

5. This poem pays tribute to valor in action. In what other ways may valor be shown?

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3. Why did she not name the place at which she expected to meet her husband? 4. What news did she receive? With what thought did she support herself?

5. Do you like the measure in which this poem is written? Does it seem appropriate to the story? With what word does each stanza end? Does this add to the rhythm of the poem? Can you explain how it helps to impress the spirit of the poem upon the reader?

6. What kind of valor is honored in this poem? Have you read any other poem which pays tribute to this kind of valor?

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NOTES AND QUESTIONS

1. Kipling is the friend of the brave man everywhere, but he is especially the friend of the British soldier, because he knows him so well. In this ballad he presents the grievance of Tommy Atkins, as the British regular soldier is called. Remember, this poem was written long before the World War. To what can you ascribe the refusal of the public house to serve the soldier? How can you explain his treatment in the theater?

2. How can you account for the fact that soldiers are so poorly paid?

3. What qualities are needed to make a good soldier?

4. How much of the indifference shown toward soldiers in time of peace may be attributed to the fact that a nation thinks the loyalty and patriotism of the soldiers will hold them true no matter how they are treated?

5. Who is the Widow referred to in the poem? Who was her husband?

6. Do you think the soldiers liked this poem? Why? How would they feel toward its author? When do you think they would sing this ballad?

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