Theosophist, Supplement, March 1882
A letter signed by a Mr. R. Barnes Austin of Heathfield, England, addressed to the editor of The Theosophist, has been lying for two months, on our writing table, waiting for publication. We do not fancy any apology would be necessary, had we even thrown it under our table into the wastebasket and without giving it a second thought, as its language is as far from that of a drawing room, as the smells of Hungerford Market are from those of St. James’ Palace. But the points taken by the writer in defense of the new Zanoni “J. K.,” are too amusing not to be noticed. Thus, after gravely assuring us, that— “The enquiry into Occult Philosophy in England is far more extensive, although secretly, than is generally known”—that gentleman aggrieves us profoundly by declaring point-blank that neither “Madame Blavatsky nor Colonel Olcott, do what they will”—will ever be admitted into such company. “They” (we)—“must remain outsiders to all true occult societies, both in England and in India, as well as Tibet”!!!
The news would be stunning indeed, were it made less impressive by the fancy addition to it of the last sentence. We underline it as it would seem that our irate contributor knows all about the land of Bod Yul of which no one else in England knows one iota, beyond, perhaps, what he may have found in the very meagre accounts in Mr. Markham’s Tibet.—(See supra, Art. Reincarnations in Tibet.)
So now, our fondest hopes are dashed for ever. Repelled by the ingrate Spiritualists—for whom we have ever entertained the tenderest feelings; denounced by Western Occultists—for presuming to know what they do not; scorned by the iconoclastic scientists—who generally break today the axiomatic idols they were worshipping but yesterday; reviled on general principles by the orthodox Christians of all shades—who yet are creeping with every hour that drops into eternity, nearer and nearer to us and the Spiritualists; loathed by the theists—who will mirror themselves in every passing rivulet, and on seeing their own figure exclaim—“’tis ‘God’?” and straightway despise their godless Brethren; laughed at by Atheists—for our believing even in conditional immortality and in spirits of any shape or colour; stared at by the Agnostics and—contemptuously ignored by the Esthetics—what can the hapless Theosophists do! We had always believed and prayed that in Tibet we may find, at last, eternal Rest in the fatherly lap of our Koo-soongs, and merge into Nipang between a dish of salted tea and a Doog-pa—(ten miles off) ripping open his own vile stomach . . . But lo! the knell of our doom rings out from—Heathfield, England, and—there is no more hope. “There are,” sternly goes on our merciless judge—“as I know secret societies holding the study and practice of the Occult as the main object of their existence, in direct communication with the highest living adepts [with “J. K.”?] into whose portals Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott would in vain seek an entrance.”
We can assure our respected correspondent (for we still hope that he may be both respectable and respected, albeit defending such a bad case) that neither the one nor the other of the above-named personages has the slightest desire whatever to knock at any such “portal”; least of all at one they are not invited to. But why should he not be satisfied with becoming the mouthpiece of only such societies, in England, and allow us to take our chances with those of India, and especially Tibet? Why should he hunt us across the Himalayas? We suspect we will be able to take care of ourselves among our Hindu and Tibetan Brothers. And pray, why such a cruel edict? Because—as we are informed by Mr. Barnes Austin—we are hated by “Spiritualists and Occultists alike.” Now that is indeed inexpressibly sad! We are not given the plain and direct reasons why, as our correspondent is too much of a gentleman to make use of abusive and insulting epithets; but we are allowed a suspicion of the terrible truth.
“It is well known,” he tells us, “there is no society of true Occultists which would admit within its fold THESE TWO PRETENDERS.
The two “pretenders” (to what?) are, of course, Col. Olcott and Madame Blavatsky, who are yet expected to print all this in their journal conducted, according to Mr. Barnes Austin’s further kind and wittily expressed opinion—on the principle of “Yankee Revolver journalism.” Really our estimable correspondent must have a higher idea of our gentle and obliging kindness, than we can ever entertain of his, especially when he tries to add insult to injury by notifying us that “the so-called Theosophical Society whose obscure existence is barely acknowledged among us” (the Occultists?) draws upon itself “contempt” by such articles, as that in our November number. The article referred to is on “Western Adepts and Eastern Theosophists,” in which no worse insult is offered to the great Occult I AM than that he is therein called by his own name; and that even was done by us—se defendendo. But—Veritas odium parit. Once more, we recognize the wisdom of the old saying.
But we expect Mr. Barnes Austin to recognize in his turn that he was not mistaken in his notions of our forgiving disposition. Now, that he sees that we have picked out the gems from his letter to us, and publish them, proving to him thereby that no amount of gratuitous impertinence can make us forget our duty to one, who seems to be on such intimate terms with our “Tibetan adepts”—we hope he will prove magnanimous, and abstain from making us lose our character entirely in their eyes?
And why should we not publish the aforesaid “gems,” and even have them followed au besoin by those of the “Adept” himself—gems far more precious and more refined. Only those who feel they have merited the castigation will turn round, snarling and attempting to bite like a cur on whose tail one has inadvertently stepped. Only those who have sores, fear the accidental touch. We are not so troubled. By this time our innocent “skeletons”—the few at least we may have had, and which like other people we preferred keeping in our “family closets”—have all been so completely dragged out before the public gaze—thanks to the slanders of world-famous mediums and the meek Christian missionary, the vindictive bigot and the sensation-hungry press—that clever would be that enemy who could frighten us by any new threat!
But Mr. Barnes Austin does not threaten, he but kindly warns. His strongest point against us—at least the one placed foremost—is to be found, as we understand, in his claim on behalf of the “Adept” to the intimate friendship of some occultists whose “social standing” is “quite equal, if not superior” to any to which (we two) “can ever lay claim.” We fail to understand the possible relations that titles and aristocracy can have to great or small occult knowledge. The greatest world-renowned philosophers and sages were no Earls or Princes, but often men who had sprung from the lowest grades of society—or, as our correspondent himself puts it—“Jesus was a carpenter, Ammonius Saccas a porter of sacks, Böhme a shoemaker, and Spinoza a spectacles-grinder.” True, Buddha was the son of a king, but he became the World-Saviour and the highest Initiate only after having, for forty years, begged his daily bread. Our opinion of “J. K.” was never founded upon the (to us) immaterial fact whether he be the direct descendant of King Louis the Saint, or of Shylock, or even that of the impenitent robber crucified on the left hand of Jesus. His fury at being called—as he imagines—a “Jew” is entirely gratuitous, for we never have called him one. We said he was a “Pharisee” and that is quite a different thing. Let him learn—the omniscient initiate—that the first, the best, the dearest as the most revered of the friends of our youth, one with whom we corresponded to the day of his death, and whose portrait we treasure as a relic, the learned Rabbi, in short, with whom we studied the Kabala—was a Jew. Let him inquire, and he will find that we have a number of Jews in our Society, both in America, Europe and here; and that many of our valued and most intelligent friends are Jews. Hence, we have never found fault with, least of all reproached, him with being a Jew, but only a Pharisee, of which class there are as many among the Christians as among his own race. Nor do we doubt, in the least, his being an “Occultist”—as questioning the bravery and competency of a soldier, does not mean denial of the fact that he belongs to the army. And, we are ready to admit that theoretically he may have obtained a pretty fair (not thorough) “mastery of the occult system,” and is a very advanced Kabalist, in possession of genuine and sterling learning in the Jewish Kabalistic and Western alchemical lore. All this we are prepared to admit, as it is clearly shown in much of what is said in his “Adeptship of Jesus Christ,” however strongly it smacks of what others have said before him. Thickly interlarded with paragraphs utterly irrelevant to the main question; the whole breathing a spirit of vindictive narrow-mindedness—a kind of Kabalistic odium theologicum—peppered throughout with vulgar epithets to the address of all those who cross his path, and looking like patches of mud upon a white garment, yet, the essay is not devoid of a certain merit. But it is this strange mixture of lofty ideas with a most uncharitable and ungentlemanly abuse of language whenever attacking those he hates—especially the Theosophists, that gives us the right to deny him point-blank the title of an adept, and to maintain that a man of that sort cannot have been initiated into the true mysteries. A real adept will either conceal forever his adeptship from the world’s gaze, or, if forced to live among the common herd, will prove far above it, by his moral grandeur, the loftiness of his cultivated mind, his divine charity and his all-forgiveness of injury. He will correct the faults of those who strive—as he himself has once striven—after initiation, with polite kindness, not by using Billingsgate language. A true adept is above any petty feeling of personal resentment—least of all of ridiculous vanity. He cares not whether he is physically handsome or plain, but ever shows the moral beauty of his spotless nature in every act of life. Finally we say, it is not enough to be a learned Kabalist, a successful mesmerizer, a great alchemist or even a commentator upon Occult Science—what one would call a “theoretical” occultist—to deserve the name of an Adept in the real sense of that word. 1 Though we have never claimed ourselves Adeptship or a “very high degree of Initiation,” yet we claim to know something of real Adepts and Initiates, and are pretty certain of what they look like—the whole host of English Occultists notwithstanding. And we maintain that, at the present moment, and ever since the spring of 1881, there is no more in the membership of the Theosophical Societies, than among the whole conclave of “secret societies” of English and other Occultists—Mr. Barnes Austin speaks about—one single Adept, let alone “an advanced Initiate into the highest degrees.” The true mysteries of the genuine Aryan and Chaldean lore, are receding with every day more from the Western candidates. There are yet in Europe and America some advanced students, some neophytes of the third and perchance of the second Section, and a few “natural-born seers.” But like a gallant ship sinking under the weight of barnacles attached to it, even they lose ground daily, owing to the indiscretions of hundreds of self-deluded parasites, who would have people believe each of them brings to humanity a new Revelation from heaven! It is the adherents of the “adepts” of this latter class, who believe in and unwisely defend them, but who, deluding themselves, but delude others, who thus create all the mischief. And these, we say, are but an impediment to the progress of THE Science. They only prevent the few true adepts, that remain, to come out and publicly assert the survival of the ancient knowledge and—their own existence.
We will try to prove what we say some day. Meanwhile, having on hand an article—“The ‘Adept’ Revealed”—composed of choice paragraphs selected from a paper by J. K., headed “Under which ‘Adept’ Theosophist?” and sent to us by the above-named “Initiate” for publication, we proposed (had the Council of the Theosophical Society under whose auspices this Journal is issued, permitted it) to publish the immortal production in the Supplement of our next issue—there being no room in this one. Having devoted our labour and time to fathoming all kind of occult and psychological problems, we intended to present our readers with a sketch (drawn by his own hand) of a modern “Adept”; to point out to the uninitiated, the combination of qualities that seem to be required in our age, to make up the “highest adept” in Europe; and, to acquaint the Hindu reader, whose unsophisticated experience has hitherto permitted him to get acquainted but with the characteristics of his own unkempt and unwashed “Mela-Yogin,” also with those of a European Illuminated who hungers to be regarded as a “Zanoni,” linked with “Christ and Spinoza.” The extracts would have shown better than any criticism, to what a degree of forbearance, soul-grandeur and purity of heart, a modern “adept” can reach. Nevertheless, from the first of the “Answers to Correspondents” which follow, it will be shown that if Mr. Barnes Austin’s “client” whose “soul” is so large that he “carries the Himalayas always about him”—has ever followed in the footsteps of any “adept” at all, it must be in those of the alchemist Eugenius Philalethes (Thomas Vaughan). Let him who doubts our statement turn to his Magia Adamica and read his low abuse of his contemporary, Dr. Henry More, the Platonic philosopher, than whom no Englishman ever left a nobler name. Not only we did not hesitate to publish the personal vilifications to our address by “J. K.,” if the Council of the Society had permitted it, but we felt proud to think that we shared the fate of Henry More, one of the saintliest characters of his period.
Owing to all the above considerations, we most emphatically deny the sacred title of “adept” to one who, while unblushingly declaring himself an “Initiate,” having reached the “Christ-state,” acts at the same time like a vulgar bully. As our magazine is not intended for the constant parading of our genealogical trees and the list of our family connections, we will, with Mr. Barnes Austin’s permission, refrain from again discussing either social standing, or high or low birth in connection with adeptship or “J. K.” Our answer to all the exceptions taken to what we said of him and others in our November article is found by whomsoever is interested in the quarrel, in our “Answers to Correspondents.” [see below] There being no room for ventilating discussions about the worth of our Society, its members and its founders—which never interest anyone but the parties concerned—we generally settle all such affairs in these extra pages which we added at our own expense for the accommodation of the various business of our Society. Hence, our correspondent’s fling that, as “J. K.” does not intrude his private affairs upon us (the English Occultists) why does the editor of The Theosophist presume to drag them out—is as gratuitous as it is vague. The above-named editor would never have presumed to give one moment’s thought to other people’s “private affairs” had she not to defend herself and her Society from weekly attacks and public insults offered them; attacks and insults as unprovoked as they were brutal, and which lasted for about seven months in both the London Spiritualist and the Medium and Day-break. And if we occupied several columns, to our regret, in the uncovering of the enemy so securely hiding himself, as he thought, behind his J. and his K., it was only to show him in his true character and point out the evident motives for the slurs upon people, many of whom are far higher, intellectually as well as morally, than he ever will be himself. As to the space for that exposure, it found room in our own Supplement—not in the columns which belong to our subscribers.
To conclude: If, as we suppose—notwithstanding the very rude tone of his letter, our stern judge who demeans us but to raise “J. K.” the higher—is a gentleman, then we can assure him, his esteem for that individual will be put sorely to the test when he reads the reasons why his paper was rejected by the Council. Let him but read those few sentences copied verbatim from a paper the writer had requested us to publish in full (as though we had no more regard for our members and readers than to print more than we can help of such indecencies!). And if, after reading it, Mr. Barnes Austin still justifies “J. K.” then we would have to reconsider our long held theory that an English gentleman is at heart chivalrous to a fault.
1. The title of adept, messenger and Messiah has become a cheap commodity in our days—at least in London—we see. And, the claims even of a “J.K.” become less extraordinary, when one finds in respectable Spiritual newspapers such letters as signed by Mr. Charles W. Hillyear. In this letter no less than twelve messengers, angels or Messiahs, are mentioned by the writer—the twelfth of whom is the late Mr. Kenealy, the author of Enoch and the Apocalypse! He is spoken of as “divine Messenger,” and the sentence—“such Masters as Fo (Buddha), Jesus, and Dr. Kenealy” (who defended the Tichborne case) —is applied directly to that well-known, modern gentleman!! After this we better close forever our columns to the term—“Adept.”
Answers to Correspondents
Theosophist, Supplement, March, 1882
“J.K.”—Your letter headed “Under which ‘adept’ Theosophist?” will not be published, for the following reasons:
(1) Personal abuse to the address of the editor, however amusing to the latter, does not interest the general reader.
(2) Our journal is not concerned with, and carefully avoids everything of a political character. Therefore, such vilifications as contained in the said article, namely, a low and vulgar abuse of Russia, its “barbarian moujik” and the “worthy countrywoman of Ignatieff”; and especially the mention of the “red cock” crowing over “the Jew’s house”—cannot find room in its columns. But such matter would be received, most likely, with cheerful welcome in those of a third-class Jewish, Russophobic organ in Germany.
(3) For that same reason we must decline to allow the author of “The Adeptship of Jesus Christ,” to soothe his ruffled feelings by expatiating upon “the political object” of the Theosophical Society; “which is to place the English under the Hindoos, and to bring the Hindoos under the Russian rule” (!!!), as the absurd accusation comes two years too late and would not interest even our Anglo-Indian readers.
(4) A lady medium respected and beloved by all who know her, is called in it our “spy,” and “general informant” which is a gratuitous calumny and a glaring untruth.
(5) British and American laws having provided against the violation of the postal enactments intended to secure the purity of the mails, the Journal would risk to pay the penalty for sending indecent matter by book post. The coarse paragraph in the said article, which relates to the proposed visit of the “handsome widow’s son” to the Indian “theosophical dovecot” and the supposed “flutter in it,” among the fair and dark sisters “whom the writer proposes to initiate” into the higher mysteries, etc., etc., comes directly under that law.
(6) The THEOSOPHIST devoted to Oriental Philosophy, Art, Literature, Occultism, Mesmerism, Spiritualism and other sciences, has not pledged itself to reproduce burlesque parodies, or circus-clown poetry. Therefore, such grotesque bits of prose and poetry as:—
“Stay your all answering horse laugh, ye natives and Anglo-Indians, remember he laughs best who laughs last!”—or”—
Then tremble, pretenders, in the midst of your glee,
For you have not seen the last of J. W. nor me. 1
—are not fit to appear in a serious article.
(7) The THEOSOPHIST publishes only articles written and sent by gentlemen.
1. J. W. is Mr. Wallace, whom we have the honour to answer further on.
MR. “JOSEPH WALLACE”
—No names—but one having been mentioned in the article “Western ‘Adepts’ and Eastern Theosophists”; and positively not one word of an insulting character directly relating to the “hierophant” or the “Lady Magnetist” having found room in it, or the writer’s thought—unless, indeed, to question the fitness of blending the study of divine mysteries, with a whiskey-distilling apparatus, and advertisements of a commercial character, becomes synonymous with defaming characters—we do not know that we ought to apologize to Mr. Wallace at all. Least of all to the extent of inflicting upon our subscribers and members nearly 3000 words or four columns of prose of an unexceptionably unrefined character, peppered, in addition to it, with glaring misconceptions and most ridiculously incorrect statements. That sentence alone in his letter which openly taxes us with being:
“Glad indeed to exchange the commercial standing of your (our) Journal which does not even inculcate teetotalism for that of my still”
—would be sufficient to call forth protests and indignant answers from a number of our members. Our correspondent, though a “hierophant” himself—one who develops seership and initiates others into the mysteries of spiritual clairvoyance—has failed, we see, to discover that the Founders of the Theosophical Society are strict and uncompromising teetotalers; and that, with the exception of a few Englishmen, all of its members are pledged to total abstinence from anything like wine or even beer, let alone liquor; and that they are most of them, strict vegetarians. We regret to find him committing such a serious blunder.
Another just as amusing a mistake, considering it comes to us from that part of London which professes itself, and pretends to be regarded as the very hot bed of clairvoyance, mysticism, intuitional perception and “Soul” and “Christ-States”—whatever the latter may mean—and which, nevertheless, shows clearly its professors failing to comprehend correctly the meaning of even that which any profane mortal would see, is discovered in the following passage of our correspondent’s letter:
. . . “J. K.” whom you charge in the Spiritualist—under the idea that he belonged to your own secret Fraternity (?!)—with being a traitor to his Theosophical Oath in writing so openly that which you till then considered was sacred and known only to the Theosophic sworn members (! ! !), was not accused then of knowing little on occult matters, but rather as knowing too much. There was evidence then of “Homeric laughter”; but now he is credited by you as knowing the A. B. C. of the subject, etc. etc.
Truly—acu rem tetigisti! Every word in the above is a misconceived and disfigured notion. We never, for one moment—since the appearance of “J. K.’s” first article, “An Adept on the Occult Brothers,” in the Spiritualist (June 24), and directed against our Society—mistook him for a member of our “secret Fraternity”; nor could we so mistake him, as the same mail that brought that article brought us letters from several Theosophists informing us what and who he was—that very “pretentious writer.” Let any man with a sufficiently clear head, on a forenoon, turning to our only letter in the Spiritualist in 1881 (namely, that of August 12), read the lines, which have now led Mr. Wallace into such a funny blunder, and then judge whether there is one word in it which could lead to such a supposition. Not only has “J. K.” ever failed to show to us any sign of “knowing too much” on Occult matters (with which we are concerned) but he has constantly proved to the whole of our Society that he knew nothing whatever of either its objects and aims, its organization or its studies. And it is precisely such an assurance on our part, that made us reply in answer to his ignorant assertion that “the very first psychical and physical principles of true Theosophy and Occult science are quite unknown to and unpracticed by its members,” the following:—
“How does he know? Did the Theosophists take him into their confidence? And if he knows something of the British Theosophical Society (does this imply that he belongs to their Society?) what can he know of those in India? If he belongs to any of them, then does he play false to the whole body and is a traitor? And if he does not, what has he to say of its practitioners, since they (the Branch Societies) are secret bodies?”
And it would be sufficient, we should say, to glance at the reasons given by us further on, in the same article, for our rejecting him absolutely as an initiated “adept,” to prevent anyone, let alone a “Hierophant,” from being led into such an absurd mistake. As to there being “no evidence then of Homeric laughter” at J. K.’s letters, Mr. Wallace errs very sorely again. From the first to the last, those articles provoked the greatest merriment among the Anglo-Indians. No one could read them—especially the one entitled “Information for Theosophists, from an adept” in which he so naïvely boasts of his “high calibre” as a “literary” man and mixes up in such an absurdly ridiculous way the Arya Samaj and the Theosophical Society (another proof of his clairvoyant powers)—without being seized with a fit of inextinguishable laughter. So much so, indeed, that during “the ‘J. K.’ period in the Spiritualist,” (as somebody called it) a gentleman of Simla, of high official standing, and of as high and universally recognized ability, offered to bet that those letters of “J. K.’s” would turn out some day a mere “hoax,” a purposely put-up humoristic joke, to find out whether any Theosophist would be fool enough to accept them seriously; “for”, he added, “it is absolutely incredible that any man in his right senses should so boast, or write about himself such absurdly panegyrical and bombastic eulogies.”
The third mistake—and a very serious one—in Mr. Wallace’s letter, is what he pleases to view as “an unfounded and unwarranted insinuation.” The “insinuation” is alleged to be contained in the following sentence in our article “Western ‘Adepts’ and Eastern Theosophists” (November Theosophist) — “A gifted lady magnetist’s work—the legitimate wife, we are told, of his (J. K.’s) Hierophant-Initiator, though we never heard yet of a practising Hierophant-Magician who was married, etc.” This is all that we have “dared to pen.” Were we wrongly informed, or is it a crime to mention legitimate wives? Who, but a man capable of discovering filth where there is positively none, would ever imagine that anything but that which was clearly stated, was meant? To hint at any other implication or the least intention on our part to throw doubt on the legality of the said marriage, is to utter an outrageous lie. We doubted, and now doubt, and will doubt forever, and not only doubt, but positively deny, that one married and the father of a family, can ever be a practical adept, least of all a “Hierophant,” all the Flammels and Böhmes and Co., notwithstanding. Mr. Wallace believes in, practices to a certain point, and teaches Western occultism. We believe in, practice also to a certain point, and learn, never having pretended to “teach” Eastern Occultism. Our paths diverge widely and we need not be elbowing each other on our way to the ABSOLUTE. Let Western Adepts and Hierophants leave us strictly alone, and not pretend to speak of, and insult what they do not know, and we will never pronounce their names whether orally or in print.
Therefore, we refuse room to Mr. Wallace’s letter likewise. Although far more decent than that of his pupil, it is yet sufficiently rude to authorize us to refuse it space. The said gentleman is at liberty to publish his denunciations in a pamphlet form or otherwise and give them as wide a circulation as he thinks proper; or, better still, he might incorporate it within the forthcoming grand work by the modern “Adept” to be called “A History of Mystic Philosophy”, a book—as he modestly tells us,—which is sure “to stand the criticism of ages.” As the author thereof is sure to use in it the same refined phraseology as we find in his language whenever directed against “Spiritual Snobbery,” and the “talking Theosophists,” Mr. Wallace’s article will find itself in good company. The more so, as we are threateningly promised in it by “J. K.” a chapter “specially provided” for our “non-total oblivion,” and that of our “unwashed Isis in rags.”
We part with Mr. Wallace, without the slightest ill-feeling on our part as he has evidently misconceived the situation from first to last. We only regret to find a gentleman apparently so full of sterling learning and knowledge so evidently destitute of good education and manners, as to have actually written the letter under review.
To “MISS CHANDOS LEIGH HUNT (Mrs. Wallace).”—We beg to convey our respectful regards to this lady and to acknowledge receipt of a voluminous paper from her pen, purporting to be a reply to “those sentences, which refer to her, contained in the article entitled ‘Western “Adepts” and Eastern Theosophists’.” We have read the reply with pleasure and found it as dignified, ladylike, good-natured and witty, as the three above noticed, are undignified, and vindictive, and in one case—indecent and silly. Therefore, and notwithstanding the rather misconceived attitude adopted by Mrs. Wallace, considering we have not named her in our article, and referred but to what was—in our mind and to the majority of our readers—a pure abstraction—we are ready, now that we do know her, to offer her our sincere apology and to express regret at having included in it “those sentences which refer to her” since they seem to have given her offense though none at all was meant to be offered by the writer, to either Miss Chandos Leigh Hunt, or Mrs. Wallace. We regret the more to find her unacquainted with the Mahayana philosophy. For, were she but as familiar with it as she seems to be with Epictetus—“after whom she has named her boy”—and had she made of the former as well as of the latter her “textbook,” owing to the lucid exposition in that philosophy, of the close connection which exists between every cause and effect, she might apprehend our meaning at once. As such is not the case though—(unless indeed the omniscient “J.K.” rushes into explaining and teaching the public this philosophy as well as he does esoteric Buddhism)—we will add a few words more just to explain to Mrs. Wallace why we do not give room to her reply.
Maintaining still, as we do, our undeniable right to have published our November article as an elucidation of the unprovoked and incessant attacks of her husband’s pupil upon us—though the said article may have contained unnecessary personalities provoked by indignation—we would yet be glad, in atonement for the latter, to publish her paper in extenso. It was already in the hands of the printer, when in addition to her husband’s and his “EPOPT’S” letters we received four more papers as lengthy and as explicit as her own. It would appear as if the tornado of indignation raised by our article was happily limited to—with one solitary exception, namely, Mr. Barnes Austin—and raged entirely within the family circle of the persons alluded to in our article. As if in answer to the threats and denunciations contained in Mr. Wallace’s and his pupil’s letters, both of whom expatiate in them upon the “various scandalous stories”—slanders and malicious inventions set afloat about us by numerous known and unknown enemies (whose utterances our correspondents show themselves but too ready to accept as gospel truths), we have before us no less than four lengthy papers from London approving our article, and full of quite the reverse of what one might be inclined to view as complimentary to either the “Hierophant,” or the “Adept.” Apparently there is a latet anguis in herba for every hapless occultist, not for the Theosophists alone. A far less charitable view is taken of, and worse slanders repeated in them about the above-named persons than were ever invented for the personal and special annihilation of our humble self. Hence, in justice to ourselves, were we to publish Mr. and Mrs. Wallace’s articles, we would have to publish side by side those of their detractors; and this is what we would never do. Whatever the indecent means other people may resort to, we at least, will never use such base weapons—not even against our enemies. We may become guilty—we are not perfect—of a desire to wound them in their vanity, never in their honour; and, while freely using ridicule as our weapon to silence them, whenever they seek to destroy us with their insults and denunciations, we would blush to repeat even to a friend—let alone to threaten to publish them in a book or a journal—that which, so long as it is not positively proved to be the truth and nothing but the truth, we regard as a shameful and scandalous gossip, the venomous spittle of the “snake hidden in the grass . . .”
Thus reiterating our expressions of regret personally to Miss Chandos Leigh Hunt (Mrs. Wallace) of whom we have never heard the slightest evil report from any trustworthy quarters, but the reverse from our two friends, we close the subject altogether. We mean no more to allow our columns to be disgraced with such polemics. Our esteemed contemporary, the Psychological Review, recently protested against our prolonging the “castigation,” as “there is more serious work to be done.” We concur; and were but the insignificant individuals “J. K.” and Madame Blavatsky alone concerned, it would be an impertinence to keep them at the front. But as the defense of our Society, which represents—however imperfectly—India, or rather the Orient, was and is a “serious work”; and as silence is often mistaken for weakness—we had to find room for the above “Answers to our Correspondents.” They need trouble themselves no more: we have settled our accounts.