A REPUBLICAN CITIZEN
[From The Banner of Light, May 13th, 1879, but
addressed to the Editor of The Bombay Gazette.]
ON the very day of my return
from a months travel, I am shown by the American Consul two paragraphs,
viz., one in your paper of the 10th inst., which mentions me as the "Russian
Baroness," and one in The Times of India of the
8th, whose author had tried hard to be witty but only succeeded in being
impertinent and calumnious. In this last paragraph I am referred to as a
woman who called herself a "Russian Princess."
With the original and selected matter in your contemporary you, of course,
have nothing to do. If the editor can find "amusing" such slanderous
tomfooleries as the extract in question from The Colonial Gazette and
Star of India, and risk a suit for libel for circulating defamations
of a respectable scientific Society, and vilifying its honoured President
by calling him a "secret detective"an outrageous lie,
by the waythat is not your affair. My present business is to take
the Gazette to task for thrusting upon my unwilling Republican head
the baronial coronet. Know, please, once for all, that I am neither "
Countess," "Princess," nor even a modest " Baroness"whatever
I may have been before last July. At that time I became a plain citizen
of the United States of America. I value that title far more than any that
could be conferred on me by King or Emperor. Being this, I could be nothing
else, if I wished; for, as everyone knows, had I been even a princess of
the royal blood before, once that my oath of allegiance was pronounced,
I forfeited every claim to titles of nobility. Apart from this notorious
fact, my experience of things in general, and peacocks feathers in
particular, has led me to acquire a positive contempt for titles; since
it appears that, outside the boundaries of their own fatherlands, Russian
princes, Polish counts, Italian marquises and German barons, are far more
plentiful inside than outside the police precincts. Permit
me further to stateif only for the edification of The Times of
India and a brood of snarling little papers searching around after the
garbage of journalismthat I have never styled myself aught but what
I can prove myself to be, namely, an honest woman, now a citizen
of America, my adopted country, and the only land of true freedom in the
Bombay, May 12th.
"No Religion Higher Than Truth"
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