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besides warm sympathy and personal friendship, no small measure of (well deserved) contempt for persons, who, personally knowing her, could misunderstand her true character. The originals of the true documents quoted above are in French, but I give an exact translation. Madame Fadeeff took the trouble to have her own signature to the letter to me authenticated by the Notary of the Bourse at Odessa, whose seal is attached.
I need not here prolong this explanation by inserting documents relating to Colonel Olcott, as these are referred to in a letter I am about to quote.
In reply to the unjust and groundless attack made by the Saturday Review, Mr. A. O. Hume, C.B., son of the late Joseph Hume, M.P., and late Secretary to the Government of India, wrote to that paper :—
"As regards Colonel Olcott's title, the printed papers which I send by this same mail will prove to you that that gentleman is an officer of the American Army, who rendered good service during the war (as will be seen from the letters of the Judge Advocate-General, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Assistant-Secretaries of War and of the Treasury), and who was sufficiently well known and esteemed in his own country to induce the President of the United States to furnish him with an autograph letter of introduction and recommendation to all Ministers and Consuls of the United States, on the occasion of his leaving America for the East, at the close of 1878.
Surely this is scarcely the kind of men to whom the epithet 'unscrupulous adventurer' can be justly applied.
"I may add, from my own knowledge, that a purer-minded, more noble, or more self-devoted gentleman than Colonel Olcott does not exist. He may be right or wrong in his belief, but to the cause of that belief he has devoted his fortune, energies, and the remainder of his life; and while I can quite understand many treating him as a fanatic, I confess that 1 am surprised at a paper, of the high class to which the Saturday Review belongs, denouncing such a man as an 'unscrupulous adventurer.' “As regards Madame Blavatsky (in Russia still
Madame la Générale
HELENE P. BLAVATSKY,'
though she dropped all titles on becoming a naturalized American
citizen.) She is the widow of General N. V. Blavatsky, Governor during the Crimean War, and, for many years, of Erivan in Armenia. She is the eldest daughter of the late Colonel Hahn, of the Russian Horse Artillery, and grand-daughter of Princess Dolgorouki of the elder branch which died with her. The present Princess Dolgorouki belongs to the younger branch. The Countess Ida v. Hahn-Hahn was Madame Blavatsky's father's first cousin. Her father's mother married, after her husband's death, Prince Vassiltchikoff. General Fadeeff, well known even to English readers, is her mother's youngest brother. She is well known to Prince Loris Melikoff, and all who were on the staff, or in society, when Prince Michael S. Woronzoff was Viceroy of the Caucasus. Prince Emile v. Sayn Wittgenstein, cousin of the late Empress of Russia, was an intimate friend of hers, and corresponded with her to the day of his death, as had done his brother Ferdinand, who lately commanded some Regiment (Cossacks of the Guard, I think) in Turkestan. Her aunt, Madame de Witte, who, like the rest of her family, corresponds regularly with her, and indeed her whole family, are well known to Prince Kondoukoff-Korsakoff, at present Governor-General of Odessa.
"I could add the names of scores of other Russian nobles who are well acquainted with her; for she is as well known and connected in Russia as Lady Hester Stanhope was in England; but I think I have said enough to convince any impartial person that she is scarcely the kind of woman likely to be an 'unscrupulous adventuress.'
"Ladies are not generally prone to taking fancies to outside ladies; there is very commonly a little suppressed sex-jealousy of those especially who are cleverer than themselves; but Madame Blavatsky has lived for months at a time in my house, and is certainly one of the cleverest women I ever met, and yet all the ladies of my house have learnt to love dearly this energetic, crotchety, impulsive, self-devoted old woman. Any one may set her down as a mystic or a visionary, but no one who knows her can doubt her all-consuming faith in the mission to which she has sacrificed her life.
"But, after all, can you rightly call people adventurers who not only make no money out of the cause they espouse, but, on the contrary, spend on it every farthing that they can spare from their private means? I not, then assuredly Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky are not adventurers, for to my certain knowledge they have spent on the Theosophical Society over £2,000 (two thousand pounds) more than its total receipts. The accounts have been regularly audited, printed, and published, so that anyone may satisfy themselves on this head.
"But it will be asked, what is this grand cause? It is the formation
and development of the Theosophical Society, the objects of which, as stated in the published rules, are as follows:
“First.—To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity. Second. To study Aryan literature, religion and science. "Third. To vindicate the importance of this inquiry. "Fourth.-To explore the hidden mysteries of Nature and the latent powers of man.
'Now, these objects may be considered Utopian or visionary, but they seem to me innocent enough, and hardly the kind of objects that would satisfy unscrupulous adventurers.
"There are many other misconceptions involved in the article under reference, to which objection might reasonably be taken; but these are perhaps of less importance. All I desire now to make clear is, that so far from being 'unscrupulous adventurers,' Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky are very unworldly, unselfish, pure-minded people, who are devoting their time, their property, and their lives to a cause which even, if Utopian, is unobjectionable, and may incidentally be productive (indeed, it already has been so) of much good.
"I remain, yours obediently,
"A. O. HUME, "Late Sec. to the Govt. of India."
Gentle and temperate as this letter was, and unfair as had been the imputations which evoked it, the Saturday Review, to the shame of that journal as it seems to me, never inserted it. It is true that before the letter reached home, communications had apparently been made to the Saturday Review, by some friends of Colonel Olcott, and the following graceless and grudging admission had been published in the paper of Sept. 17:
"We have received a letter from a friend of Colonel Olcott, objecting to some strictures which were lately made upon that gentleman and Madame Blavatsky as founders of the so-called Theosophical Society of India. Our remarks were based upon the published accounts of their doings, which struck us as bearing a suspicious resemblance to those of the 'spirit mediums' in Europe and America. We are quite willing to accept our correspondent's statement that Colonel Olcott occupied an honourable position in his own country, and to believe that both he and Madame Blavatsky are credulous enthusiasts and not unscrupulous
adventurers. When, however, people promulgate pernicious theories and adopt practices which, under another name, have been authoritatively pronounced illegal and mischevious, they must not be surprised if, in the absence of private information as to their biography, they lay themselves open to adverse criticism."
This paragraph, the previous publication of which justified the Saturday Review (in its own sight) in taking no notice of Mr. Hume's letter, is itself full of fresh insinuations which are groundless and untrue, as any reader of the present volume will perceive; but in India, at all events, considerable publicity has been given to the documents quoted above, as also to others of the same series, which it seems unnecessary to republish here in full, and whatever opinion may be formed by careless observers who will not take the trouble to investigate them, concerning the tenets of occultism, there is no longer any room there for two opinions about the blameless lives and pure devotion of the leading representatives of the Theosophical Society.