THE RETORT COURTEOUS
[From the Indian Spectator.]
THERE is a story current among
the Yankees of a small school boy, who, having been thrashed by a bigger
fellow and being unable to hit him back, consoled himself by making faces
at his enemys sister. Such is the position of my opponent of the world-famed
Bombay Review. Realizing the impossibility of injuring
the Theosophical Society, he "makes faces" at its Corresponding
Secretary, flinging at her personal abuse.
Unfortunately for my masked enemies and fortunately for myself, I have
five years experience in fighting American newspapers, any one of
which, notwithstanding the grandiloquent style of the "Anthroposophists,"
"B.s" and "Onesimuses" is any day more than a
match in humour, and especially in wit, for a swarm of such pseudonymous
wasps as work on the Review. If I go to the trouble of noticing
their last Saturdays curry of weak arguments and impertinent personalities
at all, it is simply with the object of proving once more that it requires
more wit than seems to be at their command to compel my silence. Abuse is
no argument; moreover, if applied indiscriminately it may prove dangerous
Hence, I intend noticing but one particular point. As to their conceit,
it is very delightful to behold! What a benevolent tone of patronage combined
with modesty is theirs! How refreshing in hot weather to hear them saying
We have been more charitable to her than she seems subsequently to deserve
Could dictatorial magnanimity be carried further? And this dithyrambic,
which forces ones recognition of the worth of the mighty ones "of
broad and catholic views," who control the fates of The Bombay Review,
and have done in various ways so much "for the races of India"!
One might fancy he heard the "spirits" of Lord Mayo and Sir William
Jones themselves blowing through the pipes of this earthshaking organ.
Has it acquired its reverberant diapason from the patronage of all the
native princes whose favours it so eagerly sought a while ago?
I have neither leisure nor desire to banter penny-a-line wit with such
gold-medal experts, especially when I honestly write above my own signature
and they hide themselves behind secure pseudonyms. Therefore, I will leave
their claptrap about "weeds and Madame Sophy" to be digested by
themselves, and notice but the insinuation about "Russian spies."
I agree with the Review editor when he says that it is the business
of Sir Richard Temple and Sir Frank Souter to take care of such "spies."
And I will further add that it is these two gentlemen alone who have
the right or the authority to denounce such people.
No other person, were he even the noblest of the lords instead of an
anonymous writer, can or will be allowed to throw out such
a malicious and mischievous hint about a woman and a citizen of the United
States. He who does it risks being brought to the bar of that most just
of all tribunalsa British Court. And if either of my ambuscaders wishes
to test the question, pray let him put his calumny in some tangible shape.
Such a vile innuendoeven when shaped into the sham-denial of a bazaar
rumour, becomes something more serious than whole folios of the "flapdoodle"
(the stuffas sailors sayupon which fools are fed) which the
Reviews Christian Shastris serve up against Theosophy and Theosophists.
In the interest of that youthful and boisterous paper itself, we hope that
henceforth it will get its information from a more reliable source than
the Bombay market places.
H. P. BLAVATSKY.
Bombay, March 14th, 1879 .
"No Religion Higher Than Truth"
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