Cardiff Blavatsky Archive

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H P Blavatsky


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Marriage and Travel

1848 - 1858


An extract from

Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky - compiled from information supplied by her relatives and friends and edited by A.P.Sinnett


First Published 1913



THE marriage by which Mdlle Hahn acquired the name she has since been known by took place in 1848. She was then, it will be seen, about seventeen, and General Blavatsky to whom she was united — as far as the ceremonies of the Church were concerned — was, at all events, a man of advanced age. Madame herself believed that he was nearer seventy than sixty. He was himself reluctant to acknowledge to more than about fifty. Other matrimonial opportunities of a far more attractive character were, as I now learn from her relatives, open to her really at the time, but these would have rendered the marriage state, had she entered it with some of her younger admirers, a much more serious matter than she designed it to be in her case. Her demeanor, therefore, with the most desirable of her suitors was purposely intolerable. The actual adventure on which she launched herself — for in its precipitation and brevity it may fairly be

described by that phrase — seems to have been brought about by a combination of circumstances that could only have influenced a girl of Mademoiselle Hahn's wild temper and irregular training. Her aunt describes the manner in which the marriage was arranged as follows :


“She cared not whether she should get married or not. She had been simply defied one day by her governess to find any man who would be her husband, in view of her temper and disposition. The governess, to emphasize the taunt,

said that even the old man she had found so ugly, and had laughed at so much,

calling him 'a plume-less raven' — that even he would decline her for a wife!


That was enough: three days after she made him propose, and then, frightened at

what she had done, sought to escape from her joking acceptance of his offer. But it was too late. Hence the fatal step. All she knew and understood was — when too late — that she had been accepting, and was now forced to accept — a master she cared nothing for, nay, that she hated; that she was tied to him by the law of the country, hand and foot. A 'great horror ' crept upon her, as she

explained it later ; one desire, ardent, unceasing, irresistible, got hold of her entire being, led her on, so to say, by the hand, forcing her to act instinctively, as she would have done if, in the act of saving her life, she had been running away from a mortal danger.


There had been a distinct attempt to impress her with the solemnity of marriage, with her future obligations and her duties to her husband, and married life. A few hours later, at the altar, she heard the priest saying to her: 'Thou shalt honour and obey thy husband', and at this hated word 'shalt,' her young face — for she was hardly seventeen — was seen to flush angrily, then to become deadly pale. She was overheard to mutter in response, through her set teeth —' Surely, I shall not.' ” And surely she has not. Forthwith she determined to take the law and her future life into her own hands, and — he left her ' husband ' for ever, without giving him any opportunity to ever even think of her as his wife.


“Thus Mme. Blavatsky abandoned her country at seventeen, and passed ten long years in strange and out-of-the-way places — in Central Asia, India, South

America, Africa, and Eastern Europe.”


At the time the marriage took place, Mademoiselle Hahn was staying with her

grandmother and some other relatives at Djellallogly, a mountain retreat

frequented in the summer by the residents of Tiflis. The young lady herself had

never intended to do more than establish the fact that General Blavatsky would be ready to marry her, but with an engagement regularly set on foot, announced in the family, proclaimed to friends, and so forth, with “congratulations” coming in, and the bridegroom claiming its fulfilment, a restoration of the status quo was found by the reckless heroine of the complication more easily talked about than obtained.


Her friends protested against the scandal that would be created if the

engagement were broken off for no apparent reason. Pressed to go on with the wedding, she seems to have consoled herself with the belief that she would be securing herself increased liberty of action as a married woman than ever she could compass as a girl. Her father was altogether off the scene, far away with his regiment in Russia, and though consulted by letter, was not sufficiently acquainted with the facts of the case to take up any decided attitude either way. The ceremony of the marriage, at all events, duly took place on the 7th of July 1848.


Of course the theories concerning the married state entertained by General

Blavatsky and his abnormally natured young bride differed toto coelo, and came

into violent conflict from the day of the wedding — a day of unforeseen

revelations, furious indignation, dismay, and belated repentance. Nothing was

ever imagined in fiction more extravagant than the progress of the brief and

stormy though imperfect partnership. The intelligent reader will understand that

a born occultist like Mademoiselle Hahn could never have plunged into a

relationship so intolerable, so impossible for her, as that of husband and wife

if she had understood on the ordinary plane of human affairs what she was about.


The day after the wedding she was conducted by the General to a place called

Daretchichag, a summer retreat for Erivan residents. She tried already on this

journey to make her escape towards the Persian frontier, but the Cossack she sought to win over as her guide in this enterprise betrayed her instead to the General, and she was carefully guarded. The cavalcade duly reached the residence of the governor — the scene of his peculiar honeymoon.


Certainly the position in which he was placed commands our retrospective

sympathy for some reasons ; but it is impossible to go into a discussion of

details that might go far to qualify this. For three months the newly married

couple remained together under the same roof, each fighting for impossible

concessions, and then at last, in connection with a quarrel more violent even

than the rest, the young lady took horse on her own account and rode to Tiflis.

Family councils followed, and it was settled that the unmanageable bride should

be sent to join her father. He arranged to meet her at Odessa, and she was

despatched in the care of an old servant-man and a maid, to catch at Poti a

steamer that would take her to her destination. But her desperate passion for

adventure, coupled with apprehensions that her father might endeavour to

refasten the broken links of her nuptial bond, led her to design in her own mind

an amendment to this programme. She so contrived matters on the journey through Georgia, to begin with, that she and her escort missed the steamer at Poti. But a small English sailing vessel was lying in the harbour. Mme. Blavatsky went on board this vessel — the Commodore she believes was the name, and, by a liberal outlay of roubles, persuaded the skipper to fall in with her plans.


The Commodore was bound first to Kertch, then to Taganrog in the Sea of Azof, and ultimately to Constantinople. Mme. Blavatsky took passage for herself and servants, ostensibly to Kertch. On arriving there, she sent the servants ashore to procure apartments and prepare for her landing the following morning. But in the night, having now shaken herself free of the last restraints that connected her with her past life, she sailed away in the Commodore for Taganrog in the first instance, as the vessel had business at that port, and

afterwards returning to the Black Sea, for Constantinople.


The little voyage itself seems to have been full of adventures, which, in

dealing with a life less crowded with adventures all through, than Mme.

Blavatsky's one would stop to chronicle. The harbour police of Taganrog visiting the Commodore on her arrival, had to be so managed as not to suspect that an extra person was on board. The only available hiding place — amongst the coals — was found unattractive by the passenger, and was assigned to the cabin boy, whose personality she borrowed for the occasion, being stowed away in a bunk on pretence of illness.


Later on, when the vessel arrived at Constantinople, further embarrassments had developed themselves, and she had to fly ashore precipitately in a caique with the connivance of the steward to escape the persecutions of the skipper. At Constantinople, however, she had the good fortune to fall in with a Russian lady of her acquaintance, the Countess K-----, with whom she formed a safe intimacy, and travelled for a time in Egypt, Greece, and other parts of Eastern Europe.


Unfortunately, it is impossible for me to do more than sketch the period of her

life that we now approach in the meagrest outline. For the full details of her

childhood given in the foregoing pages, we are indebted to her relatives. She

herself, though frequently able to tell disjointed anecdotes of her childhood,

could never have put together so connected a narrative as that obtained from

Mme. Jelihowsky, and there was no sister at hand to keep a record of her

subsequent adventures during her wanderings all over the world. She

never kept diaries during this period, and memory at a distance of time is a

very uncertain guide, but if the present record is uneven in its treatment of

various periods, I can only point in excuse for this to the obvious

embarrassments of my task.


In Egypt, while travelling with the Countess K-----, Mme. Blavatsky already

began to pick up some occult teaching, though of a very different and inferior

order from that she acquired later. At that time there was an old Copt at Cairo,

a man very well and widely known ; of considerable property and influence, and

of a great reputation as a magician. The tales of wonder told about him by

popular report were very thrilling. Mme. Blavatsky seems to have been a pupil

who readily attracted his interest, and was enthusiastic in imbibing his

instruction. She fell in with him again in later years, and spent some time with

him at Boulak, but her acquaintance with him in the beginning did not last long,

as she was only at that time in Egypt for about three months. With an English

lady of rank whom she met during this period she also travelled for a time.


Her relatives at Tiflis had lost all traces of her from the time the deserted

servants at Kertch reported her disappearance, but she herself communicated

privately with her father, and secured his consent to her vague programme of

foreign travel. He realised the impossibility of inducing her to resume the

broken thread of her married life; and, indeed, considering all that had passed,

it is not unreasonable to suppose that General Blavatsky himself was ready to

acquiesce in the separation. He endeavoured, indeed, to obtain a formal divorce

on the ground that his marriage had never been more than a form, and that his

wife had run away; but Russian law at the time was not favourable to divorce,

and the attempt failed. Colonel Hahn, however, supplied his fugitive daughter with money, and kept her counsel in regard to her subsequent movements.


Ten years elapsed before she again saw her relatives, and her restless eagerness

for travel carried her during this period to all parts of the world. She kept no

diary, and at this distance of time can give no very connected story of these

complicated wanderings. Within about a year of their commencement she seems to have been in Paris, where she was intimate with many literary celebrities of the

time, and where a famous mesmerist, still living as I write, though an old man

now, discovered her wonderful psychic gifts, and was very eager to retain her

under his control as a sensitive. But the chains had not yet been forged that

could make her prisoner, and she quitted Paris precipitately to escape this

influence. She went over to London, and passed some time in company with an old Russian lady of her acquaintance, the Countess B------, at Mivart's Hotel, whom, however, she out-stayed in London, remaining there in company with the

Countess's demoiselle de compagnie in a big hotel, she says, somewhere between the City and the Strand, “but as to names or numbers, you might as well ask me to tell you what was the number of the house you lived in in your last incarnation.”


Connected as she was in Russia, she naturally met a good many of her own

countrymen abroad with whom she was either already acquainted, or who were glad to befriend her. Sometimes, when circumstances were favourable, she would travel with companions thus thrown in her way, at other times altogether alone. Her craving for adventure and for all strange and outlandish places and people was quite unsatiable. Her first long flight abroad was prompted by a passionate enthusiasm for the North American Indians, contracted from the perusal of Fennimore Cooper's novels. After a little minor touring about Europe with the Countess B------ in 1850, she welcomed the New Year of 1851 at Paris, and in the July of that year went in pursuit of the Red Indians of her imagination to Canada.


Fortunately her illusion on the subject of these heroes was destined to an early dissipation. At Quebec (she believes it was) a party of Indians were introduced to her. She was delighted to encounter the sons of the forest, and even the daughters thereof, their squaws. With some of these she settled down for a long gossip over the mysterious doings of the medicine men. Eventually they disappeared, and with them various articles of Madame's personal property —

especially a pair of boots that she greatly prized, and which the resources of

Quebec in those days could not replace. The Red Indian of actual fact thus

ruined the ideal she had constructed in her fancy. She gave up her search for

their wigwams, and developed a new programme. In the first instance, she thought she would try to come to close quarters with the Mormons, then beginning to excite public attention; but their original city, Nauvoo, in Missouri, had just been destroyed by the unruly mob of their less industrious and less prosperous neighbours, and the survivors of the massacre in which so many of their people fell were then streaming across the desert in search of a new home. Mme. Blavatsky thought that under these circumstances Mexico looked an inviting region in which to risk her life next, and she made her way, in the meanwhile, to New Orleans.


This apparently hasty sketch will give the reader no idea of the difficulty with

which she has, at this long subsequent period, recalled even so much as is here

set down. It has only been by help of public events that she can remember to have heard about at such and such places that I have been enabled to construct a skeleton diary of her wanderings, on which here and there her recollections enable me to put a little flesh and blood At New Orleans the principal interest of her visit centred in the Voodoos, a sect of negroes, natives of the West Indies, and half-castes, addicted to a form of magic practices that no highly-trained occult student would have anything to do with, but which nevertheless presented attractions to Mme. Blavatsky, not yet far advanced enough in the knowledge held in reserve for her, to distinguish “black” from “white” varieties of mystic exercise.


The Voodoos' pretensions were of course discredited by the educated white population of New Orleans, but they were none the less shunned and feared. Mme. Blavatsky might have been drawn dangerously far into association with them, fascinated as her imagination was liable to become by occult mysteries of any kind; but the strange guardianship that had so often asserted itself to her advantage during her childhood — which had by this time assumed a more definite shape, for she had now met, as a living man the long familiar figure of her visions — again come to her rescue. She was warned in a vision of the risk she was running with the Voodoos, and at once moved off to fresh fields and pastures new.


She went through Texas to Mexico, and contrived to see a good deal of that

insecure country, protected in these hazardous travels by her own reckless

daring, and by various people who from time to time interested themselves in her

welfare. She speaks with special gratitude of an old Canadian, a man known as

Père Jacques, whom she met in Texas, where at the time she was quite without any companionship. He saw her safely through some perils to which she was

then exposed, and thus by hook or by crook Madame always managed to scramble along unscathed; though it seems miraculous in the retrospect that she should have been able — young woman at that time as she was — to lead the wild life on which she was embarked without actually incurring disasters. There was no reliance in her case, as in that of Moore's heroine, on “Erin's honour and

Erin's pride”. She passed through rough communities of all kinds, savage as well

as civilised, and seems to have been guarded from harm, as assuredly she was

guarded, by the sheer force of her own fearlessness, and her fierce scorn for

all considerations however remotely associated with the “magnetism of sex”.

During her American travels, which for this period lasted about a year, she was

lucky enough to receive a considerable legacy bequeathed her by one of her



This put her splendidly in funds for a time, though it is much to be regretted on her account that the money was not served out to her in moderate instalments, for the temperament, which the facts of her life so far even will have revealed, may easily be recognised as one not likely to go with habits of prudent expenditure. Madame, in the course of her adventures, has often shown

that she can meet poverty with indifference, and battle with it in any way that

may be necessary, but with her pockets full of money, her impulse has always

been to throw it away with both hands.


She is wholly unable to explain how she ran through her 80,000 roubles, except that amongst other random purchases she bought land in America, the very situation of which she has long since totally forgotten, besides having, as a matter of course, lost all the papers that had any reference to the transaction.


She resolved during her Mexican wanderings that she would go to India,

fully alive already to the necessity of seeking beyond the northern frontiers of

that country for the further acquaintanceship of those great teachers of the

highest mystic science, with whom the guardian of her visions was associated in

her mind. She wrote, therefore, to a certain Englishman, whom she had met in

Germany two years before, and whom she knew to be on the same quest as herself, to join her in the West Indies, in order that they might go to the East

together. He duly came, but the party was further augmented by the addition of a

Hindu whom Mme. Blavatsky met at Copau, in Mexico, and whom she soon ascertained to be what is called a “chela”, or pupil of the Masters, or adepts of oriental occult science. The three pilgrims of mysticism went out via the Cape to Ceylon, and thence in a sailing ship to Bombay, where, as I make out the dates, they must have arrived at quite the end of 1852.


A dispersion of the little party soon followed, each being bent on somewhat

different ends. Madame would not accept the guidance of the Chela, and was bent on an attempt of her own to get into Tibet through Nepal. For the time her

attempt failed, chiefly, she believes, as far as external and visible

difficulties were concerned, through the opposition of the British resident then

in Nepal. Mme. Blavatsky went down to Southern India, and then on to Java and

Singapore, returning thence to England.


1853, however, was an unfortunate year for a Russian to visit this country. The

preparations for the Crimean War were distressing to Mme. Blavatsky's

patriotism, and she passed over at the end of the year again to America, going

this time to New York, and thence out West, first to Chicago, then an infant

city compared to the Chicago of the present day, and afterwards to the Far West, and across the Rocky Mountains with emigrants' caravans, till ultimately she brought up for a time in San Francisco. Her stay in America was prolonged on this occasion altogether to something like two years, and she then made her way a second time to India via Japan and the Straits, reaching Calcutta in the course of 1855.


In reference to her prolonged wanderings her aunt writes: —


“For the first eight years she gave her mother's family no sign of life for fear

of being traced by her legitimate 'lord and master', Her father alone knew of

her whereabouts. Knowing, however, that he would never prevail upon her to

return home, he acquiesced in her absence, and supplied her with money whenever she came to places where it could safely reach her.”


During her travels in India in 1856 she was overtaken at Lahore by a German

gentleman known to her father, who, — in association with two friends, having

laid out a journey in the East on his own account, with a mystic purpose in

view, in reference to which fate did not grant him the success that attended

Mme. Blavatsky's efforts — had been asked by Colonel Hahn to try if he could

find his errant daughter. The four compatriots travelled together for a time,

and went through Kashmir to Leli in Ladakh in company with a Tartar Shaman, who was instrumental in helping them to witness some psychological wonders wrought at a Buddhist monastery. Her companions, Mme. Blavatsky explains, had all formed what, referring to the incident in Isis Unveiled, she calls “the unwise plan of penetrating into Tibet under various disguises — none of them speaking the language, although one of them, a Mr K------, had picked up some Kasan Tartar, and thought he did”. The passage in Isis rather too long for quotation here. It begins on page 599, vol. ii of that book, and describes the animation of an infant by the psychic principles of the old Lama, the superior of the monastery. The passage as given in his is taken from a narrative written by Mr K-----, and put by him in Mme. Blavatsky's hands, and corresponds in outline to similar marvels related by the Abbé Huc in the first edition of his

Recollections of Travel in Tartary, Tibet, and China.


In the later editions of that book the testimony the author gives to the wonders he witnessed in Tibet is all cut down and mutilated. His story was found to be too striking in recognition of “miracles” that were not, under the direction of the church, to be tolerated by the authorities in its earlier form ; but the first edition of the book can still be seen at the British Museum, where I have verified the

accuracy of the quotation given in Isis.


In reference to the journey in the course of which the Russian travellers

witnessed the transaction at the Buddhist monastery, Mme. Blavatsky writes: —


“Two of them, the brothers N------, were very politely brought back to the

frontier before they had walked sixteen miles into the weird land of Eastern

Bod, and Mr K------, an ex-Lutheran minister, could not even attempt to leave

his miserable village near Leli, as from the first days he found himself

prostrated with fever, and had to return to Lahore via Kashmir.”


The Tartar Shaman, referred to above, rendered Mme. Blavatsky more substantial assistance in her efforts to penetrate into Tibet than he was able to afford to her companions. Investing her with an appropriate disguise, he conducted her successfully across the frontier, and far on into the generally inaccessible country. It was to this journey that she vaguely refers in a striking passage occurring in the last chapter of Isis Unveiled. As the narrative, though given in Isis without any of the surrounding circumstances, fits here into its proper place in these records, I quote it at full length. Reference has just

been made to certain talismans which each shaman carries under his left arm,

attached to a string. Mme. Blavatsky goes on :


“ ' Of what use is it to you, and what are its virtues ? ' was the question we

often offered to our guide. To this he never answered directly, but evaded all

explanation, promising that as soon as an opportunity was offered and we were

alone, he would ask the stone to answer for himself. With this very indefinite

hope we were left to the resources of our own imagination.


“But the day on which the stone 'spoke' came very soon. It was during the most

critical hours of our life; at a time when the vagabond nature of a traveller

had carried the writer to far-off lands where neither civilisation is known nor

security can be guaranteed for one hour. One afternoon, as every man and woman had left the yourta (Tartar tent) that had been our house for over two months, to witness the ceremony of the Lamaic exorcism of Tshoutgour, [An elemental demon, in which every native of Asia believes.’] accused of breaking and spiriting away every bit of the poor furniture and earthenware of a family

living about two miles distant, the Shaman, who had become our only protector in those dreary deserts, was reminded of his promise. He sighed and hesitated, but after a short silence, left his place on the sheepskin, and going outside,

placed a dried-up goat's head with its prominent horns over a wooden peg, and

then dropping down the felt curtain of the tent, remarked that now no living

person would venture in, for the goat's head was a sign that he was ' at work.'

“After that, placing his hand in his bosom, he drew out the little stone, about

the size of a walnut, and, carefully unwrapping it, proceeded, as it appeared,

to swallow it. In a few moments his limbs stiffened, his body became rigid, and

he fell, cold and motionless as a corpse. But for a slight twitching of his lips

at every question asked, the scene would have been embarrassing, nay dreadful.


The sun was setting, and were it not that the dying embers flickered

at the centre of the tent, complete darkness would have been added to the

oppressive silence which reigned. We have lived in the prairies of the West, and

in the boundless steppes of Southern Russia; but nothing can be compared with

the silence at sunset on the sandy deserts of Mongolia; not even the barren

solitudes of the deserts of Africa, though the former are partially inhabited,

and the latter utterly void of life. Yet, there was the writer, alone with what

looked no better than a corpse lying on the ground. Fortunately this state did

not last long.


“ ' Mahaudû !' uttered a voice which seemed to come from the bowels of the

earth, on which the Shaman was prostrated, ' Peace be with you. What would you have me do for you ? '


“Startling as the fact seemed, we were quite prepared for it, for we had seen

other Shamans pass through similar performances. 'Whoever you are', we

pronounced mentally, 'go to K-----, and try to bring that person's thought here.

See what that other party does, and tell ----- what we are doing and how



“ ' I am there,' announced the same voice. ' The old lady (kokona) is sitting in

the garden. . . . she is putting on her spectacles and reading a letter.'


“ 'The contents of it, and hasten', was the hurried order, while preparing

note-book and pencil. The contents were given slowly, as if, while dictating,

the invisible presence desired to put down the words phonetically, for we

recognised the Vallachian language, of which we knew nothing beyond the ability

to recognise it. In such a way a whole page was filled.


“ ' Look west . . . toward the third pole of the yourta,' pronounced the Tartar

in his natural voice, though it sounded hollow, and as if coming from afar. 'Her

thought is here.'


“Then with a convulsive jerk the upper portion of the Shaman's body seemed

raised, and his head fell heavily on the writer's feet, which he clutched with

both his hands. The position was becoming less and less attractive, but

curiosity proved a good ally to courage. In the west corner was standing, life-like, but flickering unsteady, and mist-like, the form of a dear old friend, a Roumanian lady of Vallachia, a mystic by disposition, but a thorough disbeliever in this kind of occult phenomena.


“ 'Her thought is here, but her body is lying unconscious. We could not bring

her here otherwise', said the voice.


“We addressed and supplicated the apparition to answer, but all in vain. The

features moved and the form gesticulated as if in fear and agony, but no sound

broke forth from the shadowy lips; only we imagined — perchance it was a fancy — hearing, as if from a long distance, the Roumanian words, 'Non se pote' ('It cannot be done' ).


“For over two hours the most substantial, unequivocal proofs that the Shaman's

astral soul was travelling at the bidding of our unspoken wish were given us.

Ten months later, we received a letter from a Vallachian friend in response to

ours, in which we had enclosed the page from the note-book, inquiring of her

what she had been doing on that day, and describing the scene in full. She was

sitting, she wrote, in the garden on that morning,[The hour in Bucharest

corresponded perfectly with that of the country in which the scene had taken

place.] prosaically occupied in boiling some conserves; the letter sent to her

was word for word the copy of the one received by her from her brother; all at

once, in consequence of the heat she thought, she fainted, and remembered

distinctly dreaming she saw the writer in a desert place, which she accurately

described, and sitting under a gipsy's tent,' as she expressed it. '

Henceforth,' she added, 'I can doubt no longer'.


“But our experiment was proved better still. We had directed the Shaman's Inner

Eye to the same friend heretofore mentioned in this chapter, the Kutchi of

Lhassa, who travels constantly to British India and back. We know that he was

apprised of our critical situation in the desert; for a few hours later came

help, and we were rescued by a party of twenty-five horsemen, who had been

directed by their chief to find us at the place where we were, which no living

man endowed with common powers could have known. The chief of this escort was a Shaberon, an 'adept' whom we had never seen before, nor did we after that, for he never left his soumay (lamasary), and we could have no access

to it. ... But he was a personal friend of the Kutchi.”


This incident put an end for the time to Mme. Blavatsky's wanderings in Tibet.

She was conducted back to the frontier by roads and passes of which she had no previous knowledge, and after further travels in India, was directed by her

occult guardian to leave the country, shortly before the troubles which began in

1857.She went in a Dutch vessel from Madras to Java, and thence returned to Europe in 1858.


Meanwhile the fate to which she has been so freely exposed all through her later

life was already asserting itself to her disadvantage, and without, up to this

time, having challenged the world's antagonism, by associating her name with

tales of wonder, she, nevertheless, already found herself — or rather, in her

absence, her friends found her — the mark for slanders, no less extravagant, in

a different way, than some that have been aimed at her quite recently by people

claiming to take an interest in psychic phenomena, but unable to tolerate those

reported to have been brought about by her agency.


Her aunt writes: “ Faint rumours reached her friends of her having been met in Japan, China, Constantinople, and the far East. She passed through Europe several times, but never lived in it. Her friends, therefore, were as much surprised as pained to read, years afterwards, fragments from her supposed biography, which spoke of her as a person well known in the high life, as well as the low, of Vienna, Berlin, Warsaw, and Paris, and mixed her name with events and ancedotes whose scene was laid in these cities, at various epochs, when her friends had every possible proof of her being far away from Europe. These anecdotes referred to her indifferently under the several Christian names of Julie,

Nathalie, etc which were those really of other persons of the same surname; and

attributed to her various extravagant adventures. Thus the Neue Freie Presse

spoke of Madame Heloise (?) Blavatsky, a non-existing personage, who had joined the Black Hussars — les Huzzards de la Mart — during the Hungarian revolution, her sex being found out only in 1849.” Similar stories, equally groundless, were circulated at a later date. Anticipating this, her aunt goes on :


“Another journal of Paris narrated the story of Mme. Blavatsky, 'a Pole from the

Caucasus' (?), a supposed relative of Baron Hahn of Lemberg, who, after taking

an active part in the Polish Revolution of 1863 (during the whole of which time

Mme. H. P. Blavatsky was quietly living with her relatives at Tiflis), was

compelled, from lack of means, to serve as a female waiter in a ' restaurant du

Faubourg St Antoine'.


These, and many other infamous stories circulated by idle gossips, were laid at

the door of Mme. Blavatsky, the heroine of our narrative.


On her return from India in 1858, Mme. Blavatsky did not go straight to Russia,

but, after spending some months in France and Germany, rejoined her own people at last in the midst of a family wedding-party at Pskoff, in the north-west of Russia, about 180 miles from St Petersburg.






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