Strictly PRIVATE and CONFIDENTIAL
to be neither read to Typhon-Bibiche, nor printed in The Times, not even whispered to Fanny A. — the theosophica-Ethical Urn with the two chela-handles.
My dear Sir Percy,
The die is cast, and my canoe launched on the waters of the "Wandering Jew" again. The Countess leaves here on the 28th of this month, having sacrificed the Gebhards, her relative's visit etc. for me — may her Karma reward her. Now to stop alone I neither fear nor care — save that in case of my quick exit I leave all my papers to the tender mercies of the enemy, and my body to the sacrilegious interference of some d---d priest. But I cannot and will not stop here for another reason. The only acquaintance and friend (to a degree) here, Miss Hoffman — is mortally scared — an old spinster-like nervousness — through the kind efforts of Sellin. This theosophob of Hamburg has a friend here, some Sanskrit scholar who has a correspondent in India. And that correspondent wrote to him about me everything I suppose, that malice and gossip could suggest. In short I am in the position here of Gretchen after her faux pas with Faust, all the old mother gossips beginning to promenade under my windows already and looking in (mystery lending a charm to my incognito for them); and very soon I will, if I stop here, receive news about my "three children" through the window-panes and the latest intelligence about some infamy in the Spy or felon-business, performed by me in India, America or the North-Pole. I have enough of all this.
Now the die is indeed cast. Even Mlle. Hoffmann will desert me, if I stop, and then I go. The Countess will pack up for me my goods and chattels, books and frying pans before she goes. I pay here till the 15th of April, and between April 1 and the 15th I am on my exodus to Ostend, with an option to choose between three or four old towns around at an hour or two distance if I find the place too cold for me. In Ostend, if I can only find a comfortable warm lodging I settle and stop there till we can realise the "chum" dream in England. Ostend by Dover is only four or five hours from London. If anything happens, Louise can always telegraph to you and one of you come to my rescue. Is it all right? Don't say no, unless you can suggest something still nearer and better. I would have preferred France — but there, the female Typhon can get hold of me and bring a law-suit for defamation, and poison my rest once more. Belgium is a securer place. Now please answer this quick and do not breathe a word to any one till I am settled. O lovely, peaceful old age! To have to play at the wandering Jew, to hide like a culprit, a felon, because — well because I have done my duty.
Greetings to the household. Have you received my cheque of 262 dollars? Can you do it? I will need the change badly. If Mrs. S. has any stamps on hand let her send them and close the accounts, and if not let her keep them and shut up shop the same.
Yours lovingly in pitch and tar,
H. P. B.