Some Unpublished Letters of H. P. Blavatsky, comp. E. R. Corson
Theosophical University Press Online Edition

LETTERS 10 - 17

Letter No. 10

PHILADELPHIA,
Wednesday.

PROFESSOR H. CORSON.

MY DEAR SIR,

How can I ever thank you for your kind remembrance and friendly wishes to me? Really and indeed, this fearful sickness has opened my blind eyes and perhaps cured me of my unjust and bitter suspicions towards many of my friends. I never believed in the possibility for myself to find any other but indifferent acquaintances and correspondents. I have found out my mistake with some and will profit by it. The danger is far -- unfortunately; but at least I will not be obliged to add to the list of my natural accomplishments and charms, the one of a wooden leg, once that I am doomed to live.

I am really glad and proud to see that you are able to discern in my face something else beside a pug nose. It rekindles my hopes for a future time to come when we shall be sitting both of us smoking and talking, and I expect that having been able to find out something behind the veil of flesh on the portrait, you may perhaps find out, too, behind or rather inside that clumsy Russian form of mine, something worthy of your attention. You know I am a missionary, and a fanatic, too, by the way. You must believe in something else besides your "Ennemosers and Howitts." Magnetism is all very fine and a very appropriate word sometimes, but it does not cover all the ground, and there is most assuredly something yet at the back of it which Ennemoser failed to perceive; for nothing blinds so much your intuitions and perceptions and prevents you from hearing the whisperings of your spirit as too much study and ponderings over books. "The dead letter that killeth." Read more on the pages of your soul if you can, and leave the idle speculations of others outwardly scientific as they may appear to the stony Tyndalls and the sceptical book-worms who live and die in other people's authorities, though in their pride they may fancy them their own.

I am afraid my scribbling will be a sad strain on your nerves. Excuse me and believe in the sincere and true feelings of your

Very grateful

H. P. BLAVATSKY.


Letter No. 11

PHILADELPHIA.

PROF. HIRAM CORSON.

MY DEAR SIR,

Just sent you a letter yesterday, for I felt better, and for this last reason did not like sending you such a horrid portrait.

But to-day I feel worse, and, as I want you to recognize me whenever I peep out from "under the veil of Isis," to come down and have a bit of friendly chat with you, I send you this one. Don't get too scared, and try to keep away the nightmare from you. They want me to part with my leg to-morrow. "Barkis is willing." I will do to-night what I would not have done a month ago to save my life (had it been dear to me, which it is not) and ask those I dread and fear, but who alone can save it from amputation, to come and help me, for I am afraid I am so strong that I may survive this horrid leg, and above all I dread such a prospect.

I would have sent another picture of mine to Mrs. Corson, but this is the last I have, except one that I am sending to Mrs. Andrews.

Good-bye, and God bless you, my dear unknown correspondents.

I will come.

Yours truly here and there,

H. P. BLAVATSKY.


Letter No. 12

No date. Evidently from New York after Mme. Blavatsky's visit to Ithaca.

MY DEAR PROFESSOR,

Lord love you, my best friend, is your wife's sister's niece's child dead, or what? that neither yourself nor your dear epouse can write a line to a poor she-traveller? This is the third letter I write you and not a word in response. Are you angry? Are you mad with me for anything? Think not, for I feel as innocent of any wrong done to you as an unborn kitten.

The boots are here, but I would prefer a letter.

I am nailed up like a slave to my chair writing all day as I did in your place. I have found some very precious rare books at Mr. Ditson's, like B. Higgins's Anacalypsis,* for instance, and it is very useful to me. And what do you do, and pussy and the apple-trees? I feel as if I had left a home where I had lived for twenty years, God bless you! Is my dear Mrs. Corson translating hard? 'Pon my word, I feel as if all was not right, as if she was kind of angry with me for something. Olcott wants me to go home (?!!) and does not even say where is this home. I like his impudence.

*The author is Godfrey Higgins, 1771 to 1833. Among his works is cited: Anacalypsis; an attempt to draw aside the Veil of the Saitic Isis, or an Inquiry into the Origin of Languages, Nations, and Religions, 1836, 2 vols., quarto, Posth. Privately printed.

I send you The World, with an interesting letter in it addressed to Olcott, from un temoin oculaire. I will send you hereafter all the interesting things that might chance to come out, and the by-laws of our Society.

Did you read the true pro and con in the last Banner? Brittain versus Britten, one stating that she had seen herself the elementary, and the other denying that ever such a thing existed at all.

Well, we have lit a "goodly" bonfire, as John says it, and I guess we shall have to fight our way out pretty hard this winter for our spiritual heresy.

Do tell me, please, in a letter the words you told me about the Koran. "Every word of it is true," isn't it? I forgot them and want really with my usual impudence to place them at the beginning.

I enclose fifty cents for Mary. I forgot to pay her for her last washing and she must think me mean.

God bless both of you. Do let me hear if it were but one word in answer. When will Beardsley send me the rest of my portraits? Please order from him two dozen more of those with the cigarette in the hand, only bigger if he can do them. I will enclose you a post office order for eight-fifty in my next if you answer me that he is at work on them. I suppose by the thirteen dollars he, too, charged me for the three dozen, that every extra dozen will be four twenty-five. Will you inquire, please?

God re-bless you.

Sincerely and truly yours,

H. P. BLAVATSKY.


Letter No. 13

THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY,
MOTT MEMORIAL HALL,
64 MADISON AVENUE,
NEW YORK,
Jan. 8th, 1876.

Happy New Year to both of you!

MY DEAR MR. CORSON,

Et tu, Brute! Well, you have given me a nice blow and a very unexpected one. You have obliged me to read over and over Olcott's Inaugural Address, and confess that you are partially right. I never read it before, and when he delivered it I was so preoccupied with my own thoughts that I only heard the spirit of it and not the dead letter. But, my dear, dear Mr. Corson, believe me that greatly as I value your opinion, and much as I know you to be unable of premeditated or conscious injustice, you have been too hard and too unjust to him, for on my soul, he is the most fervent, the most unselfish and fanatical spiritualist that ever was.

What is there in his unfortunate English phraseology which makes him, an able writer, shape his words so as to be misunderstood by two-thirds of his opponents? My knowledge of the English is so superficial that most likely I do not well understand the value of words. But I am ready to stake my life that Olcott neither wanted to insult spiritualists nor mean what you think; never was his indignation so great as when he learned about the insult offered us by Tyndall; it was greater than mine perhaps. Do you not agree with him in deploring that state of things in American spiritualism? You are not a free lover; hundreds of well-educated men and women are not free lovers; thousands of them are. I can tell you one thing, Mr. Corson, and I swear it to you on my eternal soul, that Olcott, who was himself not of a very virtuous life as most men are in New York, and committed licentious actions before, since he became a spiritualist, — for he is a spiritualist, has begun to lead the most ascetic life. Mr. Corson, I write this to you as to a gentleman if not as to a friend, for now that you are mad with theosophists perhaps you do not wish to have me as a friend, therefore I write you this in strict confidence, and if you do not believe me write to your old friend Monachesi, who is a member of our Society, and he will corroborate my words. Olcott is a fanatic, so much so, that I am afraid that this abrupt change from a comfortable life, good eating and drinking and indulging in all sorts of worldly things, will either bring him to insanity or death. He is getting thinner with every day. He eats no more meat, renounces supper and wine; his only aim in life is to become purified, as he says, of his past life, of the stains he has inflicted on his soul. I can do nothing with him. I have evoked the spirit of fanaticism in him, and now I cruelly repent, for this man does nothing by halves. His only object in life, he says, is to purify American spiritualism of the dirt of free love; to never proceed to hold seances except by making the greatest efforts to secure pure mediums of pure morality, children or young innocent persons, if possible, such selected priestesses vowed to chastity as in the times of Theurgy. He is right there, for if we wish to commune with pure spirits we must open to them clean passages, and offer pure channels. You have Mary Andrews, a good, honest, virtuous woman, a mother of a family; but how many have you of such? Think of the New York mediums. Ask people what they are and how can you expect to have any other spirits but unprogressed vile criminals like the murderer Webster, or elementaries through those who are so impure. See Home, the best of all physical mediums in Europe; why, he is positively obsessed by the Seven Devils. No slander, no defamation, no lie is too much for him. Because Olcott views spiritualism perhaps too exultingly, and expresses himself in too strong terms, — for I agree with you in that why should people misunderstand him for that which never entered his mind? Many and many times, day after day, I repeat to him that he must not brag of what is not done yet. For Felt, though he promised to all the Theosophists to clear the atmosphere chemically and show the unseen monsters around us, and though he had done so before a dozen witnesses at least, who traduced him and called him a sorcerer, I do not know whether or when he will make his promise good. But Olcott is such a sanguine fanatic, so sure of the other world, so certain that if he leads a pure life he will be helped by genuine spirits, pure disembodied men and women, that he speaks of it very foolishly as if it were already demonstrated and done.

My dear Mr. Corson, will you doubt me being a spiritualist? You know my ideas; I have shown you fully what I am and what I think. I told you that I did not think myself good and pure enough to evoke spirits, that I am so wicked that I cannot even control John, and I have given him up. The last evening I passed with you, Mrs. Corson gave me a lesson which I will never forget in my life, and the mother, in whom the most sacred feelings were so aroused to indignation by the mere idea of seeing her departed angel mixed up with ex-pirates and unprogressed spirits, was right; and since that night she is constantly before my eyes whenever I am about to fall to the temptation and allow John to speak to some distressed mother, father, brother, or some other person who holds the spirit he wants to communicate with as sacred. Forgive my stupid English and do try to understand me if you can. Perhaps I shall never see you again, but the warm sincere friendship, the high respect and esteem I feel for both Mrs. Corson and yourself will never change. You may reject me as unworthy of you; you may perhaps believe all the calumnies circulated about me; you may become my enemy, but I shall not change for all that.

My book is finished, and it is there you will find all I think. It is no more like what it was when I was writing it in your home, than one chapter is like twenty or thirty others. I take every phenomenon, every manifestation, and try to show Science that not only is it possible but that it is so and must be so in the very nature of things. I sent the introductory chapter to Buchanan, and he calls it "grand, gloomy, and peculiar," but suggests few changes. I shall send him chapter after chapter, for I have no one in the world to help and show me where I am wrong and where right, and I shall feel grateful to any scientist, or unprejudiced spiritualist who will help me. At least I am a spiritualist, and bitter as my last letter in the Scientist is, you can see by it that I am a true spiritualist. Papers slander me, mediums defame me, and spiritualists misunderstand me. What can I do? There is no one in this wide world but hates me, I that have never harmed any one knowingly. Well, such is my fate. All the slanders afloat about me in London and here come from Dr. Child and Catholic priests (two of them here). See what Algernon Joy writes about Child in the London Spiritualist. Notwithstanding that everyone knows in the country that the Holmeses and he were frauds, he continues selling in Philadelphia his biography of John King, dictated by the mask shown by the Holmeses; and Child is an honorary member of the London Spiritualist. He is one of the most prominent writers and supporters of the Religio-Philosophical journal, he a proved fraud, a mercenary humbug. There's your justice in your spiritualist papers. He makes money by his spiritualist frauds and is honoured. I give my last cent to the cause and leave myself no means to buy shoes with, and I am slandered and vilified as if I were "The Mother of Harlots" in person. Did I invent elementaries? Are they Olcott's and my creation? Such was the firmest belief of the Theurgists and mediaeval scientists. Aksakof writes me that Prince Dolgourouky, the greatest mesmeriser now living except Dupotet, says, after thirty years' experience with clairvoyants, that they draw a large line of demarcation between disembodied genuine spirits and elementaries. That they see and describe them, and assure him, without knowing one word of occultism, that at seances the gnomes and sylphs generally prevail if the medium is not pure. They describe these beings just as Paracelsus and others describe them; ignorant clairvoyants, most of them illiterate peasant girls, have also described them.

Charles Massey, our English member, writes from England to Olcott that he dined with Crookes and passed half a day in deep conversation with him, and that Crookes confessed to him he was an occultist, a pupil of Eliphas Levi; that Crookes showed and explained to him many things, giving him as his reason of his unbelief in spiritualism, his firm knowledge that Katy King was an elementary spirit. Now, you see that the Magic half-explained by Eliphas Levy, brings results, and places you in contact with elementaries only. Were Crookes an initiate of the East he would know how to drive away elementaries and commune but with immortal spirits. Such magic is sorcery and more than dangerous. White or sacred magic of the Theurgists is Spiritualism in its most sublime pure state. If we speak of elementaries it is not because we want to prove that all the spirits are such, but to warn people to discern between those and immortal spirits, because for us occultists, spiritualism is the most sacred belief that can be given to humanity, and that we consider the communication between disembodied spirits and ourselves such a mysterious, sacred affair as not to contaminate it through such channels as most mediums are. Iamblichus, Porphyry, Plutarch, Appolonius, and all the Neo-Platonists wrote hundreds of volumes on the difference existing between bad demons or elementaries, and good demons or the souls of the departed. See what Iamblichus, a practised Theurgist, writes. He deems it so sacred that the least error, he says, the least impurity during the evocation, can bring elementaries in the shape of monstrous animals and so forth. The spiritualists of France never proceed to hold a seance without a fervent harmonious prayer, and they are right.

Well, I have said enough. Time will show who is right and who is wrong. I sent you two copies of the Sun of December 26th and January 2nd with my two articles. I have contracted with the Sun (or nearly done so) for an article every Sunday for thirty dollars; it helps me to live, and that is why my book goes so slowly, for one cannot well write with an empty stomach.

I have not seen Olcott since I read your article in the Banner. I am sure it will be a sad blow to him, for he thinks a great deal of you, and is untiring in his praises of esteem of you.

We have seances with every medium who consented to be tested. What we want is to kill fraud. We had three seances with Mary Thayer; they were the most beautiful. We were sixteen theosophists, all skeptics except Olcott and me, and seven editors of different papers. She was bagged, and the seance was held at Mr. Newton's house. Mr. Newton is president of the New York spiritualists; no fraud possible, rooms searched, doors scaled and locked, our own pockets ransacked. In three minutes the enormous table was literally covered with flowers, the most rare plants, two ring-doves, a canary-bird, shells, pieces of wet coral from the sea, etc. etc. That is a test. God bless you and Mrs. Corson.

Truly and sincerely yours,

H. P. BLAVATSKY.


Letter No. 14

THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY,
MOTT MEMORIAL HALL,
64 MADISON AVENUE,
NEW YORK,
March 22, 1876.

MY DEAR MR. CORSON,

I need not tell you that your letter was a very agreeable surprise. It proved to me that the recent distrust in my judgment in consequence of the abuse that has been showered upon me from every nook and corner is not always warranted. I had come almost to believe that I was an impostor, because everybody said so. I could not blame you to be the echo of the great uproar of a thousand slanderous tongues. What little good opinion I had of myself was crushed out; and if they had accused me of having murdered President Lincoln or of being a reincarnation of Pope Joan, I would not have been surprised. But let us drop it. I never would have said a word if the story had not been told me in the presence of several of my friends, who expressed their indignation at this unmerited epithet. Your letter in the Banner made me think you had very hard feelings against occultists to speak of us as assassins who were going to murder all the spirits of mediums, instead of their being as they are their most devoted friends. The difference between us is that the mediums sell spirits and their phenomena for money and the spiritualists buy them as they would sweet candy, while we occultists regard the subject as a religion which should not be profaned. Olcott blew a loud blast on the trumpet because he knew that Phelps' experiments would come right upon his heels, and so they did. Our Society is now pledged to secrecy, and we have a grip and a password.

Spiritualism is based upon blind faith, that is, the spiritualists cannot demonstrate the reality of their spirits while the faith of the occultists in God and the spirits is firmly based upon a mathematical demonstration of both. Therefore the former is built upon sand, but ours upon the firm rock. There can be no such undaunted believers as the Kabbalists are, for no amount of fraud, lying, or exposures, can shake a conviction based upon such a ground. With you all it is hypothesis; with us spiritualism is a geometrical theorem, solved and proved ages ago by philosophers who lived thousands of years before Pythagoras. With spiritualists, two plus two equals five and half a dozen in the bargain; but with us they can make nothing but four. We ask no spiritualists to believe what we say, because we say it, we ask them to investigate and see for themselves. If Plato's philosophy called a dreamy fiction by the Epicureans of our modern days is accused of being the opposite of Aristotle's; and if instead of proceeding like the latter from the particulars to the universals, we have but one unanswerable argument to offer, Geometry, the only exact science among the many others, the only one which accepts no hypothesis, no theories, no speculations, but whose decisions are irrevocable — proceeds also from universals down to particulars. So that spiritualists who are so anxious to upset the Kabbalah as a science, must first prove Geometry and Euclid to be in error. Of course, the manner in which this idea should be forced upon the attention of spiritualists is far from being that which should have been employed by Olcott. But he is of a very combative disposition, and a crazy enthusiast, but his honesty no one can question. He kicked up a tremendous row on the two continents, and I received all the return blows, as I am generally considered in the light of the daimon of Socrates towards him. He did no good to spiritualism, but a serious harm to the cause he represents as the President of our Society. But now he knows better, as you may judge by his recent letters. This seems to be a very critical time for spiritualists, and for all of us who believe in genuine phenomena, and we can well afford to put aside minor differences to fight the common enemy. That unmitigated blackguard, Home, not content with spitting venom on everyone who is said to produce phenomena, has attacked the pure and innocent Leymarie, the dead Eliphas Levy, and all the mediums of Christendom. The editorial of Colby in last week's Banner will find echo all over Europe.

I understand and appreciate your fine Latin quotation from one of the hypercritical Fathers of the early Church. You surely do not want me to be canonised at such a price? Think only, St. Blavatsky — impostor and martyr. Pretty epitaph to be engraved on my tombstone! That would surely beat my wife's sister's niece's youngest child.

Well, God bless you. I am glad we have settled our quarrel. A thousand sincere regards to Mrs. Corson, which unless she takes me really to be an anti-Christ in petticoats she must accept as sincere.

Yours truly and sincerely,

H. P. BLAVATSKY.

My love to Mr. Beardsley, whose work is all over Europe now.


Letter No. 15

(and English Translation)

THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY,
MOTT MEMORIAL HALL,
64 MADISON AVENUE,
NEW YORK,
12 March 1876.

MA CHERE MADAME CORSON,

Voici plus d'un mois que je me leve tous les matins avec la ferme resolution de vous ecrire et toujours retenue dans mon projet avec l'idee dominante que si j'attendais il y aurait plus de raisons de jour en jour d'appuyer par des preuves flagrantes ce que j'aurais a vous dire.

La guerre est declaree. Tous les chiens sont reveilles et aboient a la lune. Les spiritualistes m'ont condamnee. M'ont-ils executee? Pas encore; et ils trouveront plus difficile a le faire qu'a 1'essayer.

Et d'abord avant que je me lance dans quelques explications necessaires, afin d'eclaircir la situation et de ne laisser aucune equivoque entre nous je commence par vous dire que je sais depuis a peu pres un mois que, pour des raisons inscrutables comme le sort lui-meme, sans plus de motif alors que lorsque j'etais chez vous, Mr. Corson m'a appelee "impostor" en parlant de moi a un monsieur qui fait ou delivre des ballades — Clark, je crois.

Si 1'expression a ete plus douce je l'en remercie; si elle a ete accompagnee de quelque chose de plus fort encore, ni mon opinion, ni mon estime pour lui, ni la sincere amitie, estime et meme affection que je vous porte a vous ne peuvent etre ni changees ni modifiees ni amoindries d'une seule ligne! Je connais trop les effets et changements de decorations a vue d'oeil produits par les habiles mecaniciens de l'angel-girt world, pour m'etonner de la moindre des choses que ces messieurs et dames du monde invisible sont capables de produire sur un temperament nerveux comme celui de Mr. Corson. Le temps est le meilleur vengeur, Madame; un jour peut-etre Mr. Corson s'appercevra-t-il que c'etait une insulte gratuite que je n'avais pas plus meritee de sa part, que je ne m'y etais attendue.

Mais passons la-dessus, car si j'en parle at all ce n'est que pour vous faire savoir que je le sais, et que si cela m'a coupee au vif et fait souffrir, le coup e'tait amoindri car je le savais d'avance, je m'y attendais, et que cela devait etre ainsi. Quant a moi, cela ne me change pas d'un atome et mes sentiments pour vous sont les memes qu'ils etaient au moment ou nous nous separames a la station.

On publie des infamies sur mon compte; on tache de me faire the confederate of the Eddies ou bien celle d'Olcott, — trouvant impossible de me trouver une aventuriere qui se donne des noms, des titres, des parents, et un rang dans la Societe Russe qu'elle n'a pas, on tourne volte-face, on attaque ma reputation, mon honneur, par des insinuations basses et laches, car je defie n'importe qui de publier autre chose que des insinuations et une seule bonne preuve.

Voici donc le grand moment! Mme. Blavatsky quoique la fille de ses peres est une femme immorale, une femme qui a eu des amants a la pele. Tandis que le Dr. Bloede raconte a Brooklyn en secret que j'ai eu une liaison criminelle avec le Pape et Bismarck. Mr. Home, ce medium immacule, repand son venin sur moi en Europe. Plus que cela, moi, qui travaille depuis 1'ete passe 18 heures par jour, je suis accusee dans des lettres anonymes envoyees a mes amies qui me les apportent avec indignation (comme Emma Hardinge Britten, par exemple) de frequenter des maisons de rendezvous. On offre a Emma H. B. de la conduire dans ces endroits et de lui donner des preuves, que j'y etais le meme jour et a la meme heure qu'elle passait (toute une journee) avec moi!

Fort heureusement que j'ai de vrais amies et amis ici La soeur d'Olcott, une dame agee et mere de six enfants que tout le monde respecte et connait qui m'a tellement prise en amitie qu'elle vient d'Orange deux ou trois fois par semaine. Emma H. Britten, Mrs. Judge Miller, et Westbrook, qui sont toutes connues ici, sont mes amies constantes et sont pretes a aller jurer sur le stand devant les magistrats, que jamais il n'y a eu de femme plus calomniee, plus lachement, traduced que moi! J'ai un paquet des lettres qui m'arrivent tous les matins, lettres de sympathie et d'estime et j'en suis fiere, Madame.

Si vous n'etiez qu'une flappe-doodle spiritualiste, ma chere Madame Corson, je ne prendrais pas la peine de vous ecrire tout cela, mais etant une des femmes les plus vertueuses et estimables que je connaisse, un angel comme vous appelle Monachesi constamment, je tiens a ce qu'un jour, le jour de la grande justice, vous puissiez vous dire que vous avez montre quelques traits d'amitie a une femme qui n'etait pas tout a fait indigne de votre amitie, nonobstant qu'elle fume et jure meme.

La verite se fait lentement jour, tres lentement, mais il est impossible d'etouffer la lumiere sous le boisseau, et chaque lambeau de ma reputation, chaque crachat de venin empoisonne comme celui dont Dr. Bloede se fait la seringue, est un trou fait a la toile abaissee sur l'Angel World, "the sweet Spirit-Land," dont les habitants controlent les mediums en les inspirant de l'esprit de chayite, d'amour, de foi et de justice, en les metamorphosant en des diables incarnes qui ne respirent que malice, mensonge, lache calomnie, et tous les sept peches capitaux!

Par les fruits on connaitra l'arbre. Bien heureuse suis-je, si en perdant ma reputation je sauve des millions qui se perdent maintenant dans l'illusion que tous les esprits qui communiquent avec eux sont des anges de purete, des disembodied spirits. Je suis prete a m'offrir en holocauste pour l'humanite. Je suis une vieille femme et il m'est facile de prouver que si on m'accuse maintenant, a New York, lorsque je suis du matin au soir, sous les yeux de mes amis, de quoi ne m'a-t-on pas accusee lorsque j'etais jeune et seule au monde alors comme maintenant. Et remarquez que mes plus ardents ennemis, ceux qui ne s'arreteront devant aucune lachete, aucune infamie, sont des spiritualistes et des mediums. Non! Ni le Christ ni les Apotres n'ont pas chasse tous les demons, et n'y parviendront jamais, car legion est leur nom! Les Christ et les Apotres de nos jours sont les mediums et les lecturers, les spiritualistes en un mot, qui prechent reforme et annoncent a coup de trompettes le nouvel Evangile, le regne de Dieu maintenant que les mortels se confondent tellement avec les invisibles et les Immortels, or ces Christ et ces Nouveaux Apotres etant possedes eux-memes, des sept demons bibliques, qui veulentils reformer et 'a quoi? Les rangs des spirites augmentent tous les jours, et avec chaque jour on entend et sent plus de malice, plus de mechancete infernale. Les mediums se dechirent entre eux comme des betes feroces, Home ecrit un livre dans lequel il expose tous les mediums d'Amerique; il est a la recherche de tous les pamphlets "which exposed mediums." Mr. et Mrs. Hardy dechirent Mrs. Thayer et autres. Les Holmes sont devenus plus mediums que jamais et fleurissent a Philadelphia en metamorphosant leurs poings, masques en grand'meres, et angel-wives, et oncles militaires, et les spiritualistes gobent tout cela! Dr. Child a recommence a vendre son livre sur John King et Katie King publiquement, et Olcott possede 19 lettres ecrites par des esprits et adressees tant a lui-meme qu'a Gardner en le menacant de le tuer lui et Dr. Gardner s'il osait delivrer sa lecture a Boston contre les Elementaires. Il l'a delivree et meme deux et vit encore!

Et pourquoi cette haine que rien ne peut assouvir, cette persecution constante, maligne, effrenee qui a elle seule tranformerait un criminel, un voleur et une -- mother of Harlots en un et une martyre? Tout cela parce que notre societe composee en ce moment de 79 membres tous gens instruits, et presque tous quoique sceptiques desirent ardemment se convaincre de la Grande Verite, de l'Immortalite. Spirits (intercourse) travaillent a separer le bon grain du tas d'ordures pour s'assurer et prouver aux autres qu'il y a un monde des Esprits desincarnes, compose d'ames liberees, travaillant a progresser et a s'epurer a monter toujours en s'approchant de la grande Source Divine Dieu, le grand Principe pur et invisible, mais qu'il y a aussi des mondes invisibles qui nous environnent remplis d'ames non repenties -- unprogressed!! and malign spirits, les demons de la Chretiente, et de creatures sans aucune ame, principes elementaires de la matiere sans conscience, sans responsabilite comme sans lumiere parce que denuees d'ame immortelle encore.

On pense que tout cela est de mon invention lorsque des montagnes de livres ont ete ecrits a ce sujet depuis 4000 ans et plus!

Si on me tuait aujourd'hui, les pierres du chemin crieraient la verite apres moi. Qu'ils ecrasent donc la Societe Theosophique. Que Dieu vous garde et vous benisse. Que le All Good and Wise vous protege. Tel est le fervent desir de celle qui se signe pour la derniere fois.

Votre devouee,

H. P. BLAVATSKY.

-------------------

Translation of French Letter dated March 12, 1876.

THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY,
MOTT MEMORIAL HALL,
64 MADISON AVENUE,
NEW YORK.

MY DEAR MRS. CORSON,

For more than a month I rise in the morning with a firm determination to write you always firm in my resolution and with a dominant idea that if I should wait there would be a better opportunity from day to day to support by positive proofs what I wish to tell you.

War is declared. All the dogs are awakened and are barking at the moon. The spiritualists have condemned me. Have they executed me? not yet; and they will find it more difficult to do it than to attempt it.

And first before I start certain necessary explanations, that I may clear the situation and allow no misunderstanding between us, I tell you that I have known for almost a month, that for some inscrutable reasons, like fate itself, without any more motive than when I was with you, Mr. Corson called me an "impostor" in speaking of me to a gentleman who makes up or tells tales — Clark, I believe.

If the expression had been kinder I could thank him for it, if it had been accompanied by something stronger still, neither my opinion nor my esteem for him, nor my sincere friendship and esteem and even affection for you could be changed or modified in the least degree. I know too well the effects and changes of decorations made quickly by skilful scene-changers in this angel-girt world, to astonish me in the least by anything which these gentlemen and ladies of the invisible world are capable of producing on a nervous temperament like that of Mr. Corson's. Time is the best avenger, Madame. Some day, perhaps, Mr. Corson will recognize that this was a gratuitous insult which I had not merited from him and which I had not expected.

But let us pass on. If I speak of it at all it is only to let you know what I know, and if it has wounded me to the quick and made me suffer, the blow was softened, for I knew it in advance and was awaiting it, and that it had to be as it was. As for me it does not change me by one atom, and my feelings for you are the same as they were when we parted at the station.

Slanders are published about me; they try to make me a confederate of the Eddys, and even of Olcott. Finding it impossible to make me out an adventuress who gives herself names, titles, relatives and rank in Russian society or a turncoat, they attack my reputation, my honour, by base and cowardly insinuations; for I defy them, no matter who they may be, to publish anything but insinuations, or one single good proof.

The time has come. Madame Blavatsky, the daughter of her fathers, is an immoral woman who has had her lovers in numbers. Whilst Doctor Bloede, of Brooklyn, tells secretly that I had had a criminal liaison with the Pope and Bismarck, Mr. Home, that immaculate medium, spread his venom over me in Europe. More than that, I who worked since last summer eighteen hours a day, am accused in anonymous letters sent to my friends, who indignantly carry them to me (like Emma Hardinge Britten, for example), of frequenting houses of assignation. One to Emma H. B. offers to conduct her to these places, and to give her proofs that I was there the same day and hour that she passed with me. Most fortunately I have true friends and friends here. The sister of Olcott, a lady of years and mother of six children, whom everybody respects and knows, has so taken me into her friendship that she comes from Orange two and three times a week. Emma H. Britten, Mrs. Judge Miller, and Mrs. Westbrook, who are well known here, are my constant friends, and are ready to go on the stand before magistrates and swear that never has there been a woman more calumniated and more cowardly traduced than I. I have many letters every morning of sympathy and esteem, and I am proud of them, Madame.

If you were only a flap-doodle spiritualist, my dear Madame Corson, I would not take the trouble of writing you all this, but being on the contrary one of the most virtuous and estimable women that I know, an angel, as Monachesi calls you constantly, I write you. I look for the day, a day of justice, when you will be able to say to yourself that you have shown some friendship for a woman who was not entirely unworthy of your friendship, notwithstanding that she smoked and even swore.

Truth comes slowly into the light, very slowly; but it is impossible to hide the light under a bushel. Each shred of my reputation, each spittle of venom like that which Dr. Bloede uses in his syringe, is a hole made in the curtain lowered over "the angel-world," the "sweet spirit-land," whose inhabitants control the mediums, supposedly inspiring them with the spirit of charity, of love, of faith, and of justice, while changing them into incarnate devils who breathe only malice, lying, and cowardly calumny, and all the seven cardinal sins.

By its fruits one shall know the tree. Indeed happy am I, if, in losing my reputation, I save millions who are lost now in the illusion that all spirits who communicate with them are angels of purity, disembodied spirits. I am ready to offer myself as a holocaust for humanity. I am an old woman, and it is easy for me to prove that if I am accused now in New York, where I am from morning to night under the eyes of my friends, of what was I not accused when I was young and alone in the world? And remember that my worst enemies, they who do not stop at any baseness, any infamy, are the spiritualists and the mediums. No! neither Christ nor the apostles have chased away all the demons, and they never will succeed, for their name is legion. The Christ and the apostles so-called of our day are the mediums and the lecturers, the spiritualists, in a word, who preach reform and announce with a blast of trumpets the new gospel, the kingdom of God now which mortals so confound with the invisibles and the immortals, the so-called Christ and new apostles being possessed themselves of the seven Biblical demons. Whom do they wish reformed, and changed into what? The ranks of the spirits increase daily, and with each day one hears and feels more malice, more infernal wickedness. The mediums tear each other like wild beasts. Home writes a book in which he exposes all the mediums in America; he is seeking all the pamphlets which expose mediums. Mr. and Mrs. Hardy attack Mrs. Thayer and others. The Holmeses have become greater mediums than ever, and flourish in Philadelphia metamorphosing their fists, changed into grandmothers and angel-wives and military uncles, and the spiritualists gobble all that. Dr. Child has started again to sell publicly his book on John King and Katy King, and Olcott has nineteen letters written by the spirits and addressed to him as well as to Gardner threatening to kill him and Gardner if he dares deliver his lecture in Boston against the elementaries. He has delivered it and even two and still lives.

And why this hate which nothing can soften, this constant malign frenzied persecution which in itself would transform a criminal, a thief, and a mother of harlots into a martyr? All this because our Society is composed at this time of seventy-nine members, and all instructed people, and almost all, although skeptics, ardently desirous of being convinced of the grand truth of immortality, of spirit intercourse working to separate the good seed from the heap of manure, in order to assure and to prove to others that there is a world of spirits discarnate, composed of liberated souls labouring to progress and to be purified in order to mount higher in approaching the grand divine Source, God, the great Principle, pure and invisisble. But there are also invisible worlds which surround us, full of non-repentant souls, unprogressed! and malign spirits, the demons of Christendom, and creatures without any soul, elementary principles of matter without conscience, without reponsibility as well as without light, because still bereft of an immortal soul.

They think that all this is of my invention, when mountains of books have been written on the subject since four thousand years and longer.

If I am killed to-day the stones of the road will cry out the truth after me. Let them wipe out then the Thesosophical Society.

May God guard you and bless you, may the All-Good and Wise protect you. This is the fervent desire of one who signs herself for the last time

Your devoted

H. P. BLAVATSKY.


Letter No. 16

(and English Translation)

NEW YORK,
Aug. 28, 1878.

MADAME C. R. CORSON.

CHERE MADAME CORSON,

Vous avez eu raison lorsque vous avez ecoute la bonne inspiration qui vous a mis la plume a la main pour m'ecrire. Ayant toujours eu plus d'ennemis que d'amis, votre silence subit et sans motif apparent ne m'a pas etonnee quoiqu'il m'ait vraiment peinee. Mais, n'en parlons plus; vous aviez vos raisons, et cela me suffit. Au contraire je suis ravie d'apprendre la raison de cette rupture qui a ete si inattendue pour moi; j'y attribuais une toute autre raison, et comme le chat qui se sent toujours fautif apres avoir vole un morceau de viande, je pensais que vous aviez appris par quelqu'un de Philadelphie la verite sur la mystification dont nous nous sommes amuses pendant trois mois: je fais allusion a ce mariage conseille par les "esprits" entre moi et cet imbecile qui etait vingt ans plus jeune que moi. Pour me moquer des Spiritualistes, des Esprits, et surtout de mon ex-amie Mrs. Louise Andrews, qui, des que je lui fis savoir mon alleged intention, se mit a m'ecrire des lettres pleines de jalousie, je communiquais sous secret cette nouvelle a plusieurs de mes amis, leur faisant accroire que tout etait consumatum est et que j'etais mariee. C'etait bete a moi et je m'en suis repentie bien souvent; car cela a fait causer les mauvaises langues, d'autant plus que ce monsieur, a peine vous avais-je quittee a Ithaca, s'est marie publiquement a une demoiselle Allan. J'espere que vous ne pensez pas que je vous aie trop menti loin de mon sejour chez-vous? Je me souviens qu'a peine de retour a New York j'avais l'entention de vous ecrire que ce n'etait qu'une plaisanterie de mauvais aloi mais vous ne m'en avez pas donne le temps. Je vous en prie, chere Madame Corson, n'en parlez plus a personne. Tout le monde l'a oublie, et j'ai positivement honte de m'etre pretee a cette comedie, qui selon les lois de N.Y. et de Philadelphie aurait pu avoir des mauvaises consequences pour moi, car il y a eu beaucoup de personnes qui l'ont prise au serieux.

Je vous envoie la lettre que vous me demandez pour M. Aksakof; et je vais lui en ecrire une autre d'ici. Je ferais tout ce qu'il est en mon pouvoir, mais j'ai bien peur que la condition des finances russes pour le moment, apres cette guerre, et les poches qui ont ete forcement videes, le moment ne soit mal choisi. Mais qui sait? Peut etre aurez-vous de la chance apres tout. Ecrivez a M. Aksakof tout ce que vous m'avez ecrit a moi; il connait tout le monde et il se peut qu'il vous trouve une bonne place. Je lui ecris expres sur papier theosophique car comme membre de la S. T. il se croira oblige de faire tout ce qu'il pourra. C'est une des lois de notre Societe de s'aider reciproqument et de toujours travailler les uns pour les autres. Notre Societe a grandi, chere Madame, et d'enfant malforme et hue par tout le monde elle s'est developee en un geant qui compte ses membres par milliers et s'est dernierement affilee a la plus grande Fraternite Esoterique des Indes L'Arya Samaj. Nous avons des membres Indous, maintenant, par milliers; et notre chef supreme Swami (Saint) celui qui produit des "miracles," Dyanand Sarasvati, le plus grand scholar aux Indes, l'orateur le plus distingue, qui attire a lui tous ceux qui l'entendent precher, nous ordonne de venir aux Indes. Il y a deux millions d'Arya-Samajees deja dans l'Inde et des nouveaux membres sont recrutes tous les jours. A part la science psychologique et les etudes des sciences occultes notre Societe, dont le programme est d'etablir une Fraternite de l'Humanite, est aussi une societe reformatrice. "We go dead against idolatry in every shape and colour, whether in the heathen or Christian religion"; car voyons, chere amie, vous avouerez que les saints et saintes des Eglises grecque et latine sont tout autant des idoles que celle du Pantheon Indou? Notre Arya Samaj est une societe reformatrice, et les journaux appellent notre chef "Le Luther des Indes." Et je parie que "my wife's sister's niece's child" donnerait quelque chose pour etre temoin des merveilles en fait de phenomenes que nos freres indous produisent a volonte sans les mettre ni sur le dos des "Esprits" ni sur celui du bon Dieu, car notre philosophie rejette tout "miracle" et ne croit a rien de surnaturel. Avez vous lu ou vu mon livre? Je voulais vous en envoyer un exemplaire lorsque la premiere edition a paru au mois d'octobre dernier, mais j'ai eu peur que vous ne me le renvoyiez. La premiere edition (1000 copies) fut vendue dans neuf jours, et les deux autres sont epuisees depuis bien longtemps. Mon Editeur Bouton, en fait imprimer une quatrieme edition pour octobre. Les journaux anglais l'ont loue bien plus encore que les critiques americains et il n'y a eu que le Sun seul qui mit en piece mes ouvrages. Avant meme que de le lire, il l'a debine. "The Herald gave the most flattering notice." Enfin je m'en fiche! Je pars pour les Indes et "three cheers for the Heathen Hindoos"!

Il est probable que nous ne nous reverrons jamais, mais, croyez que l'amitie affectueuse que j'ai toujours eue pour vous et mon estime pour Mme. C. R. Corson ne s'affaibliront jamais. Si votre "wife's sister's niece's child" ne m'en veut plus (??) dites-lui que je l'embrasse. Si non, et s'il m'en veut encore dites-lui que je ne l'embrasse pas, mais que je l'aimerai toujours.

C'est dommage que je n'aie pas su que votre fils fut a Vienne. Mes deux tantes, les generales Witte et Fadeif, ma soeur, Mme. Tieloy, et mes deux cousines y ont ete depuis le printemps. Elles sont toutes allees a Carlsbad maintenant.

Monsieur votre fils eut trouve en elles une societe agreable. Elles parlent toutes l'anglais et le francais.

Et maintenant adieu, chere Madame Corson, croyez moi, mon desir le plus sincere serait de vous voir heureuse et contente car vous l'avez bien merite.

A vous de coeur,

H. P. BLAVATSKY.
302 W. 47th St.
N.Y.

------------------------

Letter 16 (translation).

NEW YORK,
August 28, 1878.

MADAME C. R. CORSON.

DEAR MRS. CORSON,

You were right when you were inspired to take your pen and write to me. Having always had more enemies than friends, your silence, sudden and apparently without motive, did not astonish me, although it truly pained me. However, let us not speak of it further; you had your reasons and that is sufficient. On the contrary, I rejoice to learn the reason of this rupture, which was entirely unexpected and which I had attributed to quite another cause. Like the cat which feels guilty after having stolen a piece of meat, I thought you had learned from someone in Philadelphia the truth about the mystification we amused ourselves over for three months. I allude to that marriage suggested by "the spirits" between me and that poor fellow who was twenty years younger than myself. To mock some spiritualists, and especially some spirits of my former friend Mrs. Louise Andrews, who, as soon as I informed them of my alleged intention, started to write me letters full of jealousy. I communicated the news in confidence to many of my friends, making them believe that all was consummated, and that I was married. It was stupid of me, and I have repented indeed often over it, for it made many evil tongues wag. Further, the gentleman, hardly had I left Ithaca, married publicly a Miss Allen. I hope you do not think that I had lied to you too much, being far away from you. I recollect that almost after my return from New York I intended writing to you of this folly of bad alloy, but you did not give me any occasion. I beg of you, dear Madame Corson, do not speak of it further to anyone. Everybody has forgotten it, and I am positively ashamed to have lent myself to this comedy, which, according to the laws of New York and Philadelphia, might have caused serious difficulties, for there were many persons who had taken it seriously.

I send you the letter to Monsieur Aksakof which you asked for, and I shall write him another from here. I would do everything in my power, but I am indeed afraid that the condition of Russian finances at this time after this war when the pockets have been forcibly emptied, that the time is badly chosen. But who knows? Perhaps you have a chance, after all. Write to M. Aksakof what you have written to me; he knows everybody and he will be able to look out for you. I write him especially on Theosophic stationery, for as a member of the Theosophical Society he will feel himself obliged to do everything he can. One of the laws of our Society is to aid reciprocally, and always work one for the other. Our Society has increased from an ill-formed infant, hooted at by everybody, into a giant which counts its members by thousands and has recently been affiliated with the greatest esoteric fraternity of India, the Arya Samaj. We have Indian members now by the thousands, and our chief supreme Swami (saint), he who produces miracles, Dyanand Satasvati, the finest scholar in India, the most distinguished orator who attracts to him all those who hear him. He orders us to come to India. There are two million Arya-Samajees already in India, and new members are recruited every day. Apart from psychology and occultism our Society, whose programme is to establish a fraternity of humanity, is also a reformatory society. We go dead against idolatry in every shape and colour, whether in the heathen or Christian religions. You must admit, dear friend, that the saints of the Greek and Latin Churches are all as much idols as those of the Indian Pantheon.

Our Arya Samaj is a reformatory society, and the journals call our chief the "Luther of India," and I bet that "my wife's sister's niece's child" would give something to be a witness of the marvels produced phenomenally by our Hindoo brothers by their will-power without calling in the aid of the spirits nor by the aid of the good God, for our philosophy rejects all "miracles" and does not believe in the supernatural. Have you read or seen my book? I would have sent you a copy when the first edition appeared last October, but I was afraid you would return it to me. The first edition (one thousand copies) was sold in nine days, and the two others have been long sold out. My publisher, Bouton, has had printed a fourth edition for October. The English journals have praised it even more than the American critics, and the Sun alone pulled it to pieces; even before reading it they condemned it. The Herald gave the most flattering notice. Well, I don't care a pin about it! I start for India, and three cheers for the heathen Hindoos!

It is probable that we shall never see each other again, but you must know that the affectionate friendship which I have always had for you, and my esteem for Madame C. R. Corson will never diminish. If "your wife's sister's niece's child" is no longer angry with me (??), tell him that I embrace him. If not, if he is still angry, tell him that I do not embrace him, but I shall always love him.

It is a pity that I did not know that your son was in Vienna. My two aunts, Generals Witte and Fadeif, my sister Madame Tieloy, and my two cousins have been there since the Spring. They have all gone to Carlsbad now.

Your son would have found in them an agreeable society; they speak English and French.

And now adieu, dear Madame Corson. Believe me my most sincere desire would be to see you happy and content, for you have well merited it.

Heartily yours,

H. P. BLAVATSKY.

302 West 47th St.,
N.Y.


Letter No. 17

(and English Translation)

NEW YORK,
302 W. 47th ST,
Aout 28, 1878.

MONSIEUR M. ALEXANDER N. AKSAKOF,

6, Perspective de Nevsky, St. Petersbourg.

Permettez moi de vous presenter Madame C. Corson epouse de Mr. Hiram Corson, Professeur a l'Universite de Cornell, a Ithaca, N.Y. (E.U.) Amerique a Heidelberg tous deux, pour le moment; et a qui selon son desir j'envoie cette lettre pour en faire ce qu'elle voudra.

A part l'honneur qu'elle me fait de se dire une de mes amies, Madame C. R. Corson selon l'avis unanime de tous ceux qui la connaissentest est une dame dont l'education solide et brillante, sa bonte de coeur et son caractere irreprochable la font aimer et respecter de tous ceux qui l'approchent. Vous vous souviendrez peut-etre, qu'il y a trois ans et plus, je vous ecrivis plusieurs lettres datees d'Ithaca et, de la maison meme de Madame et Mr. Corson. Tous deux et pendant plusieurs semaines me firent une de ces receptions, franche, cordiale, et pleine de bonte, que je n'oublie pas facilement; d'autant plus, que ma cigarette inextinguible, et mes manieres de grenadier prussien en conge, me laissent generalement, fort peu d'espoir d'en recevoir souvent de semblables.

Madame Corson vous expliquera elle-meme, et mieux que moi, ce qu'elle desire. Mon role a moi, doit se borner a vous la recommander aussi chaudement que possible.

Je suis heureuse de saisir cette occasion de lui rendre un petit service ne fut-ce que pour prouver une fois de plus, que l'ingratitude n'a jamais ete au nombre des vices dont la charite publique et toute chretienne m'orne si abondemment et avec une generosite des plus rares.

Sur ce, cher M. Aksakof, veuillez croire a 1'expression de la plus sincere et affectueuse estime de votre correspondante,

H. P. BLAVATSKY.

Qui vous prie de vous rappeler qu'il y aura bientot quatre mois qu'elle n'a pas recu un mot de vous.

----------------

Letter 17 (translation).

NEW YORK,
302 WEST 47TH ST.,
August 28, 1878.

M. ALEXANDER AKSAKOF,

6 Perspective de Nevsky,
St. Petersburg.

Permit me to present to you Mme. C. Corson, wife of Mr. Hiram Corson, professor at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., U.S.A. both at Heidelberg for the time being, and to whom, according to her wish, I send this letter to use as she may desire.

Apart from the honour she has done me to call me one of her friends, Mme. C. R. Corson, universally recognized by all those who know her, is a lady whose education, solid and brilliant, whose goodness of heart, and whose irreproachable character, make her loved and respected by all those who come in touch with her.

You will remember, perhaps, that more than three years ago I wrote you many letters dated from Ithaca, and from the home of Mr. and Mrs. Corson. They both for several weeks received me with frankness, cordiality, and goodwill, which I cannot easily forget, all the more as my inextinguishable cigarette and my manners of a Prussian grenadier on furlough, left me little hope of receiving similar kindness again.

Mme. Corson will herself explain to you, and better than I can, what she desires. My duty is limited to recommending her to you as warmly as possible. I am glad to take this opportunity to render this slight service to her, if only to prove once more that ingratitude has never been among the vices with which public and Christian charity have so abundantly and with the rarest generosity adorned me.

With this, dear M. Aksakof, please believe in the sincerest and most affectionate esteem of your correspondent,

H. P. BLAVATSKY,

who begs you to remember it will be soon four months since she has received a word from you.


Commentary on Letters

Contents