Writing from Suez, on November 30th, 1884, H.P.B. says:
"I sit in an hotel by the sea and wait for the
weather. (1) 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 darret. 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 aritocratic 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 Khedives 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 sons 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. Gods will be done, and if He does not give us
up the pig wont eat us. (2) 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 Col. 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
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 Olcotts 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. (3) 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) A Russian proverb.
(2) A Russian proverb.
(3) Who afterwards became her bitter enemy, as
all his prayers to be taken as a Chela were utterly rejected.
Continued in Part IX
Return to Table of Contents for
Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to Her Family in Russia