Volume 2 Page 349
[The Theosophist, Vol. I, No. 6, March, 1880, pp. 134,144]
Several most ludicrous printer’s mistakes have occurred lately within our experience. The Deccan Star, noticing a book written by the Conductor of this magazine, called it “Ices Unveiled”; in printing, last month, the Viceroy’s letter to us, the compositor made Mr. Batten say he had submitted three of our members, instead of numbers, to His Excellency; and, instead of allowing one of our metaphysical contributors to write about developing the inner or spiritual Ego, compelled the unhappy man to appear anxious to develop the spiritual eggs. Finally, the sober Oriental Miscellany of Calcutta, for February, comes pirating to us about the true spiritual philosopher uniting himself to the Scul of the Universe! If anything more dearly justifying compositorcide than these can be shown, let us know it by all means.
Another error, not at all ludicrous but very annoying was the conversion of the Hon. George H. M. Batten’s official title from Personal Assistant into Personal Attendant of His Excellency the Viceroy. We trust that the stupid blunder may be excused.
That witty and epigrammatic journal, the Bombay Review, has favoured us with several friendly notices, for which it merits, and will kindly accept, our best thanks. But one remark upon our February number must not pass without rejoinder. It says “The Theosophist’s ghost stories we have noted once and forever—they make very uncanny reading.” They do, if taken only in one sense; and the less one has of ghost stories in general, judging from that point of view, the better. If they were only meant to feed the morbid fancies of sentimental novel readers, their room might well be thought better than their company. But, since they appear in a magazine professedly devoted to a serious enquiry into questions of science and religion, it is not unreasonable to presume that the editors have a definite purpose to show their connection with one or both of these departments of research. Such, at any rate, is the fact. Before we have done with our readers, it will be made very clear that every story of ghost, goblin, and bhûta, admitted into our columns, has the value of an illustration of some one phase of that misconceived but most important science, Psychology. Our friend of the Bombay Review is hasty in jumping at the conclusion that he has had his last say about our Phantom Dogs,* Ensouled Violins, and stalking shades of the departed.
The government of Erivan was always known for the wealth of its monuments and relics of antiquity. And now, a Russian daily paper, Kavkaz, announces recent discoveries invaluable to archaeology, in the shape of inscriptions upon solid rocks and isolated stones. They are all in cuneiform characters. The earliest of them having attracted the attention of the eminent archaeologist and Armenian scholar, Professor Norman, with the help of the photograph forwarded to him from Etchmiadzine (the oldest Armenian monastery), he first discovered the key to these
* [Reference is here to a story of a “Phantom Dog” contributed by a Russian Captain to the pages of the Messenger of Odessa, and translated for The Theosophist, possibly by H. P. B. herself, who vouches for the veracity of the author. It was published in Vol. I, December, 1879.—Compiler.]
characters, and has proved their historical importance. Besides this, the Professor has demonstrated by his discovery that, previous to the invention of the now existing alphabet, by Mesrob, the Armenians had cuneiform or arrow-headed characters, especially remarkable in that all have a similar form of rectangular triangles; the significance of each character, i.e., of the triangle, depending upon the mutual conjunction and position of these triangular forms.