The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett
Theosophical University Press Online Edition

Letter No. 78

{Wurzburg, March}

Saturday 13th/86.

MY DEAR MR. SINNETT,

Here's a new letter with black-mail and bullying in it, this once. It proceeds direct via Bibiche from Coulomb with whom your lovely ex-walz-partner is in direct communication. What the black-guardly clique means, I do not know, but what the Coulomb means I see clear in it for it is an old, old story. But whatever it may be I am determined to throw it back into the Remnant's face. I do not suppose that in England a lawyer is less liable to be prosecuted for libel and defamation than any other mortal is? Now this address:

"Mme. Metrovitch otherwise
Mad. Blavatsky."

is a written libel and a bullying bit of chantage, blackmail or whatever you call it. People with a mouth and a tongue cannot be stopped from saying that every man whoever approached me, from Meyendorff down to Olcott, was my LOVER (though it is just as much of a libel I believe, as any of us saying that the ------ is a Potiphar, or had crim. con. with Mohini, isn't it?). But I do believe that when a lawyer or lawyers on the authority of Mme. Coulomb's infernal gossip writes such an insult implying not only prostitution but bigamy and aliases -- it is a defamation. If you please show this to the lawyer (ours) and do make him stop it at once by saying that unless they and Bibiche write an excuse I will prosecute them and bring them in for libel. Now I have a right to, and if I have not and if you do not profit or take advantage of this — then all I have to say is that you deserve being bullied by the Bibiche. I tell you that were we in Russia or in any other civilised or half civilised country — this letter would be a libel. If it is not so in England then the further one keeps away from your country of freedom and JUSTICE the better for him. Now listen to the story. Agardi Metrovitch was my most faithful devoted friend ever since 1850. With the help of Ct Kisseleff I had saved him from the gallows in Austria. He was a Mazzinist, had insulted the Pope, was exiled from Rome in 1863 — he came with his wife to Tiflis, my relatives knew him well and when his wife died a friend of mine too — he came to Odessa in 1870. There my aunt, miserable beyond words, as she told me, at not knowing what had become of me begged of him to go to Cairo as he had business in Alexandria and to try and bring me home. He did so. There some Maltese instructed by the Roman Catholic monks prepared to lay a trap for him and to kill him. I was warned by Illarion, then bodily in Egypt — and made Agardi Metrovitch come direct to me and never leave the house for ten days. He was a brave and daring man and could not bear it, so he went to Alexandria quand meme and I went after him with my monkeys, doing as Illarion told me, who said he saw death for him and that he had to die on April 19th (I think). All this mystery and pre-caution made Mme. C. open her eyes and ears and she began gossiping and bothering me to tell her whether it was true — what people said — that I was secretly married to him, she not daring I suppose to say that people believed him most charitably worse than a husband. I sent her to grass, and told her that people might say and believe whatever they liked as I didn't care. This is the germ of all the later gossip. Now whether he was poisoned, poor man, as I had always suspected or died of typhoid fever, I cannot say. One thing I know. When I arrived to Alexandria, to force him to go back on the steamer that brought him, I arrived too late. He had gone to Ramleh on foot, had stopped on his way to drink a glass of lemonade at the hotel of a Maltese who was seen talking with two monks and when he arrived at Ramleh fell down senseless. Mme. Pashkoff heard of it, and telegraphed to me. I went to Ramleh and found him in a small hotel, in typhoid fever I was told by the doctor, and with a monk near him. I kicked him out knowing his aversion to priests — had a row and sent for the police to drag away the dirty monk, who showed me his fist. Then I took care of him for ten days — an agony incessant and terrible, during which he saw his wife apparently and called loudly for her. I never left him for I knew he was going to die as Illarion had said and so he did. Then no Church would bury him, saying he was a larbonar. I appealed to some Free Masons, but they were afraid. Then I took an Abyssinian — a pupil of Illarion and with the hotel servant we dug him a grave under a tree on the sea shore and I hired fellahs to carry him in the evening and we buried his poor body. I was then a Russian subject and had a row for it with the Consul at Alexandria (the one at Cairo was always my friend). Then I took up Mme. Sebir, my monkeys and went back to Odessa. That's all. The Consul told me that I had no business to be friends with revolutioniers and Mazzinists and that people said he was my lover. I answered that since he (Ag. Metrovitch) had come from Russia with a regular passport, was a friend of my relatives and had done nothing against my country I had a right to be friends with him and with whomsoever I chose. As to the dirty talk about me I was accustomed to it and could only regret that my reputation clashed with facts — "avoir le reputation sans en avoir les plaisirs" — (if any) has always been my fate. Well this is what Coulomb now got hold of. Last year Olcott wrote to my aunt about this poor man and she answered him telling him, that they all had known Metrovitch and his wife, whom he adored, and who had just died when she asked him to go to Egypt etc. But all this is flapdoodle. What I want to know is — has a lawyer a right to insult me in a letter, as this Remnant has — and have I, or have I not the right to threaten him at least with proceedings?

Please see to it, I ask you as a friend, otherwise I will have to write myself to some lawyer and begin an action which I can do without going to England. I have no desire to begin an action myself, as you know, but I want these lawyers to know that I have a right to, if I choose. Perhaps they believe, indeed, the fools that I was secretly married to poor Metrovitch and that it is a skeleton in the family cupboard? I write a few words which your lawyer can show to the Remnants to disabuse their minds. I will not go to England after all. I prefer Ostende.

Yours ever,
H. P. BLAVATSKY.

Unless you stop the "Mme. Metrovitch" business at once it will be all over theosophical London and a new scandal. I tell you you must do so for your own sake as well as mine. It's a beautiful chance, do not lose it. The Remnants verily believe in that gossip, otherwise they would have never dared to write in this way. Well show them they are IN for once, and then we will triumph.

Just look! I found the envelope I had not remarked till now. Opened LIBELS in open letters or postcards are doubly punishable in the United States. How is it in England? Olcott had a man for six months prison for just such a thing.


Letter 79

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