FOOTNOTE TO “PARACELSUS”
[The Theosophist, Vol. IV, No. 5, February, 1883, p. 121]
[An inquirer requests of the Editor information upon the history of Paracelsus, at the same time stating that the latter “gave way during the concluding years of his life to excessive intemperance,” which he says “is, to say the least of it, strongly inexplicable in one who is considered to have advanced far in the path of occult wisdom and attained adeptship.” To this H. P. B. appends the following footnote:]
We, who unfortunately have learned at our personal expense how easily malevolent insinuations and calumny take root, can never be brought to believe that the great Paracelsus was a drunkard. There is a “mystery,” and we fondly hope it will be explained some day. No great man’s reputation was ever yet allowed to rest undisturbed. Voltaire, Paine, and in our own days, Littré, are alleged on their deathbeds to have shown the white feather, turned traitors to their lifelong convictions, and to have died as only cowards can die, recanting those convictions. Saint-Germain is called the “Prince of Impostors,” and “Cagliostro”—a charlatan. But who has ever proved that?