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Letter №33 p. 1

Your "illustrious" friend did not mean to be "satirical," whatever other construction might be put on his words. Your "illustrious" friend was simply feeling sad at the thought of the great disappointment K.H. is sure to experience when he returns among us. The first retrospective glance at the work he has so much at heart, will show him such samples of mutual feeling exchanged as the two herein enclosed. The undignified, bitter, sarcastic tone of one will give him as little cause to rejoice as the undignified, foolish and childish tone of the other. I would have left the subject untouched had you not so misunderstood the feeling that dictated my last. It is better I should be frank with you. The term "Highness" to which I am not in the least entitled is far more suggestive of satire than anything I have hitherto said. Yet as "no epithet will hang to the shirt-collar of a Bod-pa" I heed it not advising you to do the same and see no satire where none is meant and which is but frankness in speech, and the correct definition of the general state of your feelings toward the natives.

Your solicitor knows better — of course. If the paragraph in question is not libellous then all I can say is, that a complete re-codification of your libel law is very much needed.

You will certainly have trouble with her about the "female branch." Her scorn for the sex — has no bounds and she can hardly be persuaded that any good can ever come from that quarter. I will be frank with you again. Neither myself nor any of us — K.H. being entirely left out of the question — would consent to become the founders, let alone the conductors of a female branch — we all having had enough of our anis. Yet we confess that a great good may result of such a movement,


"Illustrious friend" may be a reference to the way in which A. P. Sinnett alluded to the Mahatma on July 5, 1881, in a talk he gave in Bombay (see reference).

Ani is a prefix added to the name of a nun in Tibetan Buddhism, much as the word "sister" in Christianity.