The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett

Letter No. 21

Mr dear Mr. Sinnett,

I was just ordered to copy out the words (as they stand in Master's letter) — regarded as plagiarism. One whom you do not know (nor anyone in the West either, thank goodness!) wants me to draw your attention, that down to the words "our opponents" at the end of the first para. these are simply words that are daily used in writing if read separately by thousands. There is not one idea in them, and the last sentence: "Our opponents the wiseacres" (i.e. the spiritualists) has quotation marks made by the Mahatma in both its portions.

The second para. is the same — words and series of meaningless words by themselves down to "phenomenal elements undreamt of and previously unthought of," which though a sentence is simply a series of words containing no thought or new idea in it.

He wants to know whether according to your canon of criticism and literary laws such words and sentences would if they were found (as they stand or very like them) — in other books and works scattered throughout a dozen of pages constitute a plagiarism? He says he wants your opinion upon the subject before he tells you why. It is only in the para. found out by Farmer and, as he says, which "immediately precedes the portion given above" that there is a long sentence at the end, that could be called "plagiarism" though there is still nothing new or brilliant in it, if there existed no precipitation.

When you answer this I will send it on to this Mahatma.

H. P. B.

Also — when was "the other letter" you speak of — written? (p. 101 para. 2).

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