"I wish," said the Editor of The Way one morning to his factotum, "that you would run over the letters and see if there are any that need my attention." And here are some which the factotum read:
No. 1. "Dear Sir and Brother,
The Smithville Weekly Clarion has just announced that the Pope has offered a Cardinal's hat to Mrs. Annie Besant if she will abjure Theosophy and make her submission to the Roman See. I can hardly believe the report, and yet the Clarion is usually most reliable. Please drop everything and telegraph me the facts.
John C. P. . ."
No. 2. "Dear Sir,
I have had a very singular experience, and write to ask you what it means. There is some Occult significance, I am sure, and I know no one but you to explain it. I had eaten a hearty dinner the other evening and was lying on a lounge in the twilight, calmly smoking, when I gradually seemed to pass out of consciousness for a time. Then a strange vision in which I took part occurred. (Three pages of description here.) Then it all passed away, and I found myself again on the lounge and my cigar out. The clock showed that about 45 minutes had passed. If you will interpret this for me, you will do me a lasting favor.
In much perplexity,
Wm. L. . ."
(No stamp was enclosed)
No. 3. "Jonesburg, Nov. 20th, 1891.
I enclose 75 cts. Please send me by return mail the two volumes of Isis Unveiled.
Mary W. . ."
(No State given, and stamp of P. O. on envelope illegible)
No. 4, "Dear Brother,
I have not been doing well in business of late, and think I could better myself if I moved to the city. Can you help me to find an opening, and would you mind looking for a suitable boarding-house? I can pay $5 a week, but of course want first-class accommodation, Madison Square preferred. I will look for your kind answer tomorrow.
Yours in truth,
(Mrs.) Susan H. F. . ."
No. 5. "Dear Sir,
My little daughter, now 15, has been studying Theosophy for 6 months, and has written a paper on it which several persons in the village have thought very remarkable. My old aunt shed tears as she read it. We all think that you would be glad of it for the Way, and I send it on. If you have not space, perhaps the North American Review would like it.
With high regards,
Ellen Ann J. . ."
No. 6. "Honored Sir,
I am deeply interested in Theosophy, and have also a Cure for Corns which has never been equalled. My usual terms are 50 cts., but I will sell it for 25 to Theosophists. Let me hear from you soon.
With much respect,
Josiah M. T. . ."
No. 7. "Dear Sir and Brother,
Two weeks ago I sent you an order for The Theosophist of last June. You said you would forward the order to India, but I have waited all this time in vain. Is this fraternal?
Yours with regret,
Francis D. G. . ."
No. 8. "Dere sir
i have red a grate deal of filosofy and science and i want to understand your noo religion. i now all about mettafisics but what do you mean by Karmer? explane this to me and i may join your society. Their is nothing like trooth.
Yours in Trooth,
Philip P. . ."
No. 9. "Dear Sir,
I enclose for your consideration a poem of 5 Cantos which I should be glad to see in the Way. Remuneration is not indispensable, though it would be welcome. In case you are unable to make use of it, please return it by registered mail.
H. L. S. . ."
(No stamps were herein.)
No. 10. "My dear Sir,
I have been greatly exercised of late upon certain problems in the Wisdom-Religion, and venture to ask light from you upon the following points. Doubtless you can clear up to me these difficulties, and thus further a student's progress.
1st. What is the relation of the Ego to the All?
2nd. Is consciousness indivisible on the plane of matter, or is it to be referred to supersensual conditions?
3rd. How are the assertions in The Secret Doctrine, pages 16, 41, and 132 of Vol. I, to be reconciled with the teaching in Isis Unveiled, pages 40, 77, 101, 226 of Vol. II?
4th. What is the true theory of cosmogony? Your early answer will greatly oblige.
Very truly yours,
George L. . ."
No. 11. (postal card.)
Please send me some copies of the Way. I am curious to see it.
Charles M. F. . ."
No. 12. "Dear Sir,
I have long known myself to be possessed of rare spiritual gifts, but they need cultivation. I should greatly thank you for some guidance, as also for the address of a first-class medium. Do you know of a good astrologer?
Your obedient servant,
H. L. M. . ."
No. 13. "My dear Brother,
The novel upon which I have been at work, Cupid in Tibet, and which gives details of life in the fastnesses of the Mahatmas, is now completed, and I am very anxious for your judgment upon it. I have sent you the MSS. by express. Will you kindly read it with care and tell me in what small ways you think it can be improved? One other favor; kindly arrange with one of the best publishing houses for its issue.
If I was not a Theosophist I could hardly think of exacting your time, but I know that you live but for the Cause.
Most fraternally yours,
Belinda Catherine F. . ."
No. 14. "My dear Sir,
Three copies of the Way have gone astray through the carelessness of our new carrier. Please make good this loss, as I do not like my set spoiled.
Yours, &c. &c.
James S. C. . ."
No. 15. Chicago, . . .
You have not yet answered my letter. I should like your immediate reply.
John M. L. ."
(No street and number address, and no date of letter stated.)
At this point a messenger entered with a telegram. The Editor read it and handed it to the factotum. Here it is: --
"Galveston, Texas. Have just heard of Mrs. Besant's coming. The two Theosophists here are most anxious to meet her. Please arrange for lecture here. Edward C. D . ."
"Did you find any trouble with the letters thus far?" asked the Editor. "None," answered the factotum. "But you may possibly think it expedient to deflavor slightly my replies."
From The Path, January, 1892, pp. 299-302.