What are some quotes from The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling?

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"I ask you as a stranger—going to the West," he said with emphasis.

"Where have you come from?" said I.

"From the East," said he, "and I am hoping that you will give him the message on the Square—for the sake of my Mother as well as your own."

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"I ask you as a stranger—going to the West," he said with emphasis.

"Where have you come from?" said I.

"From the East," said he, "and I am hoping that you will give him the message on the Square—for the sake of my Mother as well as your own."

This exchange between the unnamed narrator (Kipling) and the stranger on the train (Peachy) is a clear reference to Freemasonry. Freemasonry is a fraternal organization, and Rudyard Kipling was a member. Masons pledge to help one another in times of need, and Peachy is appealing to Kipling's membership in this organization for help delivering his message. By citing these words, Peachy is subtly identifying himself as a Mason and checking to see if Kipling is one too. These specific words come from the Third Degree in Masonic ritual, in which an initiate states that he is traveling West in search of the secrets of Masonry. Masonic imagery can be found throughout this short story. Indeed, it even plays a significant role in the plot. Many of the natives of Kafiristan are Masons, something which Dravot and Peachy exploit as they rise in power.

We shall be Emperors—Emperors of the Earth! Rajah Brooke will be a suckling to us. I'll treat with the Viceroy on equal terms.

Here, we can see a snippet of Dravot's ambition. No longer does he plan on just using the Kafirs to get rich. Now he sees himself as the leader of a great potential empire. He envisions himself rising in station to the point where he is equal with the world's great leaders. When we first meet Dravot and Peachy, they are simple conmen, but delusions of grandeur have worked their way into Dravot's mind and given birth to the hubris that will be his ultimate downfall.

Neither God nor Devil but a man!

This exclamation is made by a Kafiri priest upon seeing Dravot's blood—the result of the bite that the Englishman receives from his would-be bride. It is this blood that exposes him as a mortal human and not the god that he led the natives to believe he was. It is this simple sight of blood that puts an end to his ruse. This instigates a mad dash to escape, which ends in the death of Dravot. Even though he is exposed as the charlatan that he is, Dravot dies standing proud like the king he wished to be.

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