Writing from Suez, on November 30th, 1884, H.P.B. says:
"I sit in an hotel ''by the sea and wait for the weather.' (2) -In plain words I am waiting for our steamer, which is now busy crawling along the canal. We arrived here direct from Cairo by rail, having spent ten days there, which counts for much these days. That they mean much you will see for yourself by the long telegrams from the London newspapers which I send to you. I am beginning to be convinced that I actually am a celebrity when so much money is paid for telegrams about me. The correspondent of the Daily Telegraph came personally to interview me, and asked my permission to let his readers know of my discoveries as to the antecedents of Mon. and Mme. Coulomb, and as to my own 'movements.' In the telegrams as you see they are styled 'blackmailers' and 'fraudulent bankrupts,' hiding from several ordres d'arret. You will also see that in Alexandria and Cairo I was 'received very warmly by the Viceroy and the cream of society.' And so I really was. You cannot imagine how much was made of me. As soon as Hitrovo learned that I had arrived, he invited us to his house and immediately began all sorts of dinners, lunches, picnics, till the very sky was hot. Our Russian compatriots, Hitrovo, Abaza, Tschegloff, gentleman-in-waiting, and the ex-Madame Beketoff, nee Princess Vera Gagarin and now Countess de la Salla — all of them such nice, kindly people that I do not know how to thank them for their services and their kindness. And even on the part of the foreigners, I was astonished, not with their extreme amiability — to amiability I am used — but with their real cordiality and simplicity of manner. Next morning I went with Mrs. Cooper-Oakley to see the Nubars, taking with me the letter of Mackenzie Wallace, and as soon as my card was sent in, Nubar Pasha in person came to meet us nearly to the street door. He led us into the Palace, brought his wife and his daughter, Madame Tigran Pasha, and they were all so kind to us, we might have been old friends. Certainly I ascribe it all to the letter of my dear Olga Alexeevna (Madame N.). Madame Nubar Pasha is an Armenian, a well-educated and well-read woman, speaking French like a Parisian, a real grande dame. We lunched and dined with them twice. At their house I made the acquaintance of a dear Russian soul, Countess de la Salla. Her husband is an adjutant to the Khedive, but he is more like a healthy, nice-looking Russian lad than an Italian. She knew me by hearsay and also as 'Radha Bai,' and when she heard that I was the niece of General Rostislav Fadeef, she positively fell on my neck and kissed me. Uncle used to go to their house as an intimate friend, and she was so attached to him that she had tears in her eyes when she asked me for particulars of his death. She took me up, and began to take me from one aristocratic house to another, proclaiming to all that I am a 'celebrity,' a 'wonderful woman,' an authoress, a savant and what not. She took me to the Vice-Reine, as the wife of the Khedive is called here, assuring me that it was absolutely necessary. There in the Khedive's Hareem I found a crowd of visitors, most of them English women, wives of the notabilities who are now reigning over Egypt. My old, but not kindly acquaintance from India, Lady B., who was always an enemy to the T.S., fairly stared at me, finding me on a sofa side by side with their Vice-Reine; and the Countess de la Salla immediately wanted to know if she was a Theosophist! and declared that she herself had joined the Society and was 'awfully proud of her diploma'! Un coup de theatre! Then she took me to the niece of Ishmail Pasha, the late Khedive; to his son's wife, Princess Hussain. Both these Princesses and the wife of the Khedive have a European education, are Parisian in speech — des emancipees. The Vice-Reine is positively a beauty, a most charming face, but it is a pity she is too stout. The de la Sallas have got up a dinner-party for me, inviting about fifty of the local aristocracy, both French and English, as well as our diplomatic corps. All the Russians are especially delighted with my having turned an English clergyman, the Rev. C. Leadbeater, into such an ardent Theosophist. As if he were the only one! Why amongst our members we have even got Bishops.
"Well, and now I am starting for Madras to fight the pseudo-Christian missionaries. God's will be done; and if He does not give us up the pig wont eat us.' (3) Good-bye my dear, my loved ones: maybe forever, but even this would not matter. Happiness is not to be gained on earth. Here we have the dark entrance-hall alone, and only on opening the door into the real living place, into the reception-room of life, shall we see light. Whether in Heaven, in Nirvana, in Swarga is all the same: the name does not matter. But as to the divine Principle it is One, and there is only one Light, however differently it may be understood by various earthly darknesses. Let us wait patiently for the day of our real, our best birth. Yours until that day, until Nirvana and forever."
H.P.B. left India in April, 1885. She was desperately ill at the time, and there was so much confusion over her departure that she was not even given her clothes to take with her. She gave Colonel Olcott her word of honor that she would not say where she was living until the worst of the storm had blown over, and she kept her word. With Babajee and Mary Flynn she travelled to Naples, and there lived in entire seclusion for some months. Whilst there, she put in preliminary order her materials for the Secret Doctrine. Madame Jelihovsky writes that she herself sometimes did not like the idea of certain people in Tibet apparently monopolizing all the wisdom in the universe. H. P. B. would reply that they did not monopolize such wisdom; she spoke of the existence of these particular Great Souls because she knew of their existence, but others no doubt existed in other parts of the world who were equally wise and equally great.
"In every country and in every age there were and there will be people, pure of heart, who, conquering their earthly thoughts and the passions of the flesh, raise their spiritual faculties to such a pitch that the mysteries of being and the laws governing Nature and hidden from the uninitiated, are revealed to them. Let blind men persecute them; let them be burned and hunted from 'societies acknowledged by law;' let them be called Magi, Wise Men, Raj Yogis or saints — they have lived and they still live everywhere, recognized or unrecognized. For these people who have illumined themselves during their life-time, there are no obstacles, there are no bodily ties. They do not know either distance or time. They are alive and active in the body as well as out of it. They are, wherever their thought and their will carries them. They are not tied down by anything, either by a place, or by their temporary mortal covering."
When the three months' residence in Naples had nearly expired, H.P.B. thought of going to Germany, where, as she wrote, they at least had warm stoves and double windows in the winter, and where it was possible to be comfortable indoors. She also vigorously defended the "Adyar Theosophists" for having left her in such sore straits in Naples, and protested that they had done all that was possible for her under the circumstances; and to prove that the Society itself was loyal to her, she sent her relatives hundreds of letters from Branches and people in India, England, and "especially in America," protesting against her retirement. She had resigned her office of Corresponding Secretary at Colonel Olcott's urgent entreaty, as he had been greatly alarmed over the Coulomb attack.
All her letters at this time breathed peace and rest, even gladness, caused by the many proofs of sincere friendship from such people, she wrote,
— "as Solovioff. (4) I am travelling with him in Switzerland. I really cannot understand what makes him so attached to me. As a matter of fact I cannot help him in the least. I can hardly help him to realize any of his hopes. Poor man. I am so sorry for him and all of them."
1. Copyright. 1895. (return to text)
2. A Russian proverb. (return to text)
3. A Russian proverb. (return to text)
4. Who afterwards became her bitter enemy, as all his prayers to be taken as a Chela were utterly rejected. (return to text)
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