Theosophical University Press Online Edition
19 Jan., '86
You may send the MSS. in instalments: Subba Row will go over it with Oakley and it will be returned to you. He asked if he should be free to add or amend, to which I answered of course, it was for that he was requested to edit it. He then consented.
I have thought of a better plan than the others for publishing. Thick volumes like "Isis" are too heavy to hold for reading and too expensive for poor people; the issue in monthly parts makes a constant nuisance of posting, collecting money, buying money orders etc. There is also the risk of having a lot of broken sets left on your hands by many subscribers taking 2, 3, 4 or a half-dozen parts and then stopping, while we, counting on their continuing, print whole sets for them, and find ourselves with that number of odd parts that can't be sold and are only fit to use as packing for book parcels or to sell for old paper. My idea is to split the entire work into four volumes, each half as thick as a volume of "Isis," to issue them (as Herbert Spencer does his works) seriatim, at what will be a moderate cost when paid for separately, and in the first volume to put a "Table of Contents" showing what Vols. I, II, III and IV are to contain. This will induce the subscriber or buyer of Vol. I to buy all the others. To do this, you must have (a) a skeleton plot of the whole book; (b) the matter so arranged as to progressively lead the reader on to the end; (c) and no recurring to a topic after it is once passed: should you think of anything important later, it may be added in a Supplement, with references back in each case to the vol. and pp. when the subject was discussed. In short to do the very opposite of what we did in "Isis," which was a sort of literary rag-bag, with contents higgledy-piggledy.
Now another thing. Subba Row is getting keen on a collation of Indian and Egyptian esoteric philosophy and symbolism. He has broken ground in "The Virgin of the World." A. K. and E. M. have — of course — sent a rejoinder that will go in next month, and this has stirred him up to replying. He keeps coming here and always asks for books which deal with Egyptian Mythology etc. Now do this: through Borj, or Twitit B: or Ill: or someone, arrange to organise at Cairo a couple like Subba Row and Oakley, who would keep in regular correspondence with these two, and exchange ideas, questions, and answers. S. R. is laziness and selfishness incarnate but with anybody to do the writing and plodding he will talk ad libitum. Now Maspero is anxious to make just such a correspondence, but he is too thundering busy. If there were an Oakley there to go at him, hunt up the books he would indicate, and write the letters, enormously good results would follow all around, for Maspero would put it all in his books and Reports, and we would put it into the Th. and books. Would Gregoire d'Elias be any good? I think not. Would Isurenus B. help you?
Another thing: Begin putting away in a stocking shillings, francs, and thalers, towards paying your expenses here in case the coast becomes clear between this and Oct. or Nov. and you are ordered to come. I shall do the same. I have just repaid the Rs. 750 lent to Mary upon my guarantee, but little by little I shall scrape all I can towards your return tickets. The Th. circulation is slowly creeping up to its usual figure and probably we will all end the year at that. The book sales are also increasing. But the rupee is worth only 1/6 now and daily going lower. What it will end in no one knows. I am sending Ã‚Â£50 to London this week to buy paper for the Th. and shall have to pay about Rs. 13.8.0 or 14.0.0 for each pound. This is awful. If enough money is not paid into the bank by Fanny A. for subs. etc. to meet my monthly cheques to you, I shall have to buy at the same or even dearer rates to keep up your supplies. So think twice before buying perfumes and other gim-cracks. Keep your cash for bread.
Hartmann writes that he has "received instruction through an occult source that my going to Ceylon or India at present would only be followed by disappointment," so he is not coming. Thank the 33 crores of gods, their wives, and families for that! Now I take L — to see how he will rub on with them. He is simply a village curate out on a "bust" and never will expand beyond that. As for the qualification of statesmanship — i altro! However, as an ex-Padri he will pass there, and he certainly will not be scheming to upset the T.S. and found a new Dispensation.
Hume will probably leave us alone now. He has his heart's desire in being Boss-General in Native politics and is humbugging them with sweetness as he did us. He got together about a 100 Delegates at the Bombay "National Congress" and one fine day will leave them all sitting in the mud while he walks off with band playing and colours flying to do some fresh deviltry. But meanwhile he will have helped Indian evolution, as he did with us. Von Wiber sailed for Cal. yesterday charmed with the T.S. and everything. He sends home glowing reports. I shall have him helped all through India and then across America by our Branches. He writes for the Berlin Tageblatt, which goes to all the aristocracy of Germany and is quoted all over Europe.
Our Dwaita Catm. is finished, and Sreenevas R. is now getting a certificate from some leading man of that sect to go with it. The Vishishthadvaita comes next. When the Sansk. Library is finished I mean to issue a host of useful handbooks, compiled from the Shastras, about religion, philosophy, sciences, arts, etc. Don't you think this will do the T.S. a lot of good?
Bhawani will stop here for several months to get himself up in Sansk.
I wrote Selin last week.
I know the scandal about Mohini: he has behaved like a soft fool. Your "Mrs. Potiphar" theory is capital. If he has not really played the goose and manufactured a Eurasian. Alas! poor Mademoiselle Theosophie, how thy lovers do compromise thee — ange guardienne! What a d---l of a constitution must thou not have! My respectable colleague, are there any more soiled petticoats to be washed in front of the Chateau Grundy? If so let us have them all out at once and empty the buck-basket.
D'Assier has given me authority to translate and annotate his "Humanite Posthume." I hope to do it in Ceylon at odd times. I am also, with Dr. Cook's help going to get out a "Handbook of Psychometry." Lord! If I had nothing else to do, what a lot of useful books I could get out.
Send the S. D. MSS. to Oakley's address, as I sail for Colombo on the 25th and shall be absent 3 months. Until late in April letters addressed to me simply at Colombo P.O. will reach me there.
Love to the Countess and all friends.
H. S. O.
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