Volume 1 Page 237


[The World, New York, January 24, 1877]

To the Editor of The World:

Sir,—In my benighted country such a thing as an “interview” is unknown. Had I been aware of its dangers, I would have tried to use magic enough to impress my words upon the intelligent young gentleman who called upon me yesterday in your behalf. As it is, I find in his “report” a little error that is calculated to give my very esteemed antagonists, the theologians, a poor opinion of my Biblical scholarship. He makes me put into the mouth of Jehovah the injunction, “Fear the gods.” What I did say was that in Exodus, xxii, 28, Jehovah commands, “Thou shalt not revile the gods”; and that, attempting to break its force, some commentators interpret the word to mean the “rulers.”
As I have had the opportunity of knowing many rulers, in many different countries, and never knew one to be “a god,” I made so bold as to express my wonder at such an elastic interpretation.
The theologians do not imitate the moderation of the “Lord God,” but “revile the gods” of other people without stint, especially the “gods” (spirits) of the Spiritualists. As none of their writers have thought of availing themselves of this weapon of defense, I thought it no more than fair to introduce it in my “Veil of Isis,”* for their benefit as well as
* [The Veil of Isis was to be the original title of H.P.B.’s first large work, but on May 8, 1877, J. W. Bouton, the Publisher, wrote to H.P.B. saying that another work had already been published with this title. He and Charles Sotheran suggested a change of title to Isis Unveiled. The suggestion was accepted by H.P.B. By that time, however, the running head of Volume I had already been printed, and it stands as “Veil of Isis” throughout the first Volume, as it would have cost too much to alter it. The introductory section “Before the Veil” retained its original title also.
The work to which Bouton referred is: The Veil of Isis. The Mysteries of the Druids. By W. Winwood Reade. London: Chas. J. Skeet, 1861, 250 pp.—Compiler.]

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that of the “heathen” to whom you are so kindly sending missionaries to convert them. Hoping that I am not trespassing upon the hospitality of your columns in asking the insertion of these few lines,
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
A benighted Buddhist, and the Corresponding Secretary of the Theosophical Society.
New York, January 23rd.