Blavatsky Collected Writings, Vol. 5 Page 313


[The Theosophist, Vol. V, No. 1(49), October, 1883, p. 25.]

Having just received The Theosophist for June, I find on page 234 a letter from one signing himself “A Junior Student,” and headed—“An explanation wanted.” I now beg you will allow me a few remarks upon the subject, which may, perhaps, prove of a certain importance. Seven or eight years ago, in one of Jules Verne’s works (I forget the title), I read the following: A savant finds in an old book verses in Runic characters that his nephew alone can decipher. These verses contain the proof that an old alchemist Arne Saknussemm, burnt alive by the Holy Inquisition, had performed a voyage into the interior of the earth via the crater of a volcano in Greenland, &c., &c; a voyage undertaken later on by the uncle and nephew.

Page 314

This old alchemist, among other extraordinary feats, was the inventor of the double “M” written in Runic characters in a peculiar way. It will be easy to verify the statements, and in case they are found correct, to put down “A Junior Student” as he deserves—for his impertinence.

I. OF JAVA, 7th July.

Editor’s Note.—We thank our Java brother for the information. We have read this work of Jules Verne along with all his other works of scientific fiction as they have appeared: but since one reads certainly not a romance for the sake of its action, descriptions, and analysis of human nature, the names of the fictitious personages used as crystallizing points, or “motor-centres,” by the author are soon forgotten. We did our best to give “Junior Student” facts we presumed he actually wanted; and we hope our Editorial ‘Note’ edified him. But if the party in question got his alchemist out of Jules Verne’s romance, and put his query in a spirit of quizzing, it would only show that he is yet a very junior student, indeed, who has, moreover, a very puerile notion of a joke; and when he blooms into a ‘Senior,’ or a graduate, he will discover what a simpleton he made of himself. The proverb tells us to “Answer a fool according to his folly”; but in this instance our sober answer profited others perchance, if not him. But, perhaps, we do the lad injustice. He may have sent his questions in good faith.