‘Do you think I’d keep on with this sewage job if it wasn’t for the pension?’ Loftie asked. He had followed research the more keenly since, at twenty-two, he had wrecked his own happiness.

‘Be free, then,’ said Ackerman. ‘Take three thousand——’ ‘Hold on,’ Harries broke in plaintively. ‘I said “up to five.”’ ‘Sorry, old man! I was trying for the commission. Take up to five thousand a year from Harries for as long as you choose—for life, if you like. Then research on your own lines, Loftie, and—and—let the Bull know if you stumble on anything. That’s the idea, isn’t it?’

This is from "Unprofessional" by Rudyard Kipling.



I don't understand the meaning of "I was trying for the commission".

1 Answer 1


In this context Ackerman is over-paying Harries, as Ackerman is "trying for the commission". Trying for commission means to try to hire someone to work for them.

Collins Dictionary meaning of "commission":

If you commission something or commission someone to do something, you formally arrange for someone to do a piece of work for you.


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