THE MATH, BELUR,
18th May, 1901.
MY DEAR MARY, (Miss Mary Hale.)
Sometimes it is hard work to be tied to the shoestrings of a great name. And that was just what happened to my letter. You wrote on the 22nd January, 1901. You tied me to the latchet of a great name, Miss MacLeod. Consequently the letter has been following her up and down the world. Now it reached me yesterday from Japan, where Miss MacLeod is at present. Well, this, therefore, is the solution of the sphinx’s riddle. “Thou shalt not join a great name with a small one.”
So, Mary, you have been enjoying Florence and Italy, and I do not know where you be by this time. So, fat old “laidy”, I throw this letter to the mercy of Monroe & Co., 7 rue Scribe.
Now, old “laidy” — so you have been dreaming away in Florence and the Italian lakes. Good; your poet objects to its being empty though.
Well, devoted sister, how about myself ? I came to India last fall, suffered all through winter, and went this summer touring through Eastern Bengal and Assam — through a land of giant rivers and hills and malaria — and after hard work of two months had a collapse, and am now back to Calcutta slowly recovering from the effects of it.
The Raja of Khetri died from a fall a few months ago. So you see things are all gloomy with me just now, and my own health is wretched. Yet I am sure to bob up soon and am waiting for the next turn.
I wish I were in Europe, just to have a long chat with you, and then return as quick to India; for, after all, I feel a sort of quiet nowadays, and have done with three-fourths of my restlessness.
My love to Harriet Woolley, to Isabel, to Harriet McKindley; and to mother my eternal love and gratitude. Tell mother, the subtle Hindu’s gratitude runs through generations.
Ever yours in the Lord,
PS. Write a line when you feel like it.