What is the meaning of "brother a to Prince and fellow to a beggar if he be found worthy" in Rudyard Kipling's novella "The Man Who Would Be King"? Does it have to do with Masonic brotherhood and fellowship?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Rudyard Kipling, whose father was a Freemason, became a Freemason and Lodge Secretary in Punjab, India. Freemasonry very much affected Kipling, as he valued its "idea of secret bond, of a sense of community, and of high principles" ("Rudyard Kipling and His Masonic Career," Pietre Stones Review of Freemasonry). Within Freemasonry, social class and caste systems do not exist, an idea that deeply moved Kipling. Therefore, principles of Freemasonry are often themes in his works. Kipling opens his novella "The Man Who Would Be King" with the statement, "Brother to a prince and fellow to a beggar if he be found worthy," which alludes to Masonic principles.

The statement, or "Law," as Kipling's narrator calls it, reflects Masonic principles by speaking of treating those who are highest above you, such as princes, as brothers and...

(The entire section contains 411 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team