From ‘Epistles – Fourth Series’-chapter -V of Volume 8 of The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda.

To Miss Mary Hale


September 1899.


Yes, I have arrived. I had a letter from Isabelle from Greenacre. I hope to see her soon and Harriet. Harriet Woolley has been uniformly silent. Never mind, I will bide my time, and as soon as Mr. Woolley becomes a millionaire, demand my money. You did not write any particulars about Mother Church and Father Pope, only the news of something about me in some newspapers. I have long ceased to take any interest in papers; only they keep me before the public and get a sale of my books “anyway” as you say. Do you know what I am trying to do now? Writing a book on India and her people — a short chatty simple something. Again I am going to learn French. If I fail to do it this year, I cannot “do” the Paris Exposition next year properly. Well, I expect to learn much French here where even the servants talk it.

You never saw Mrs. Leggett, did you? She is simply grand. I am going to Paris next year as their guest, as I did the first time.

I have now got a monastery on the Ganga for the teaching of philosophy and comparative religion and a centre of work.

What have you been doing all this time? Reading? Writing? You did not do anything. You could have written lots by this time. Even if you had taught me French, I would be quite a Froggy now, and you did not, only made me talk nonsense. You never went to Greenacre. I hope it is getting strength every year.

Say, you 24 feet and 600 lbs. of Christian Science, you could not pull me up with your treatments. I am losing much faith in your healing powers. Where is Sam? “Bewaring” all this time as he could; bless his heart, such a noble boy!

I was growing grey fast, but somehow it got checked. I am sorry, only a few grey hairs now; a research will unearth many though. I like it and am going to cultivate a long white goaty. Mother Church and Father Pope were having a fine time on the continent. I saw a bit on my way home. And you have been Cinderella-ing in Chicago — good for you. Persuade the old folks to go to Paris next year and take you along. There must be wonderful sights to see; the French are making a last great struggle, they say, before closing business.

Well, you did not write me long, long. You do not deserve this letter, but — I am so good you know, especially as death is drawing near — I do not want to quarrel with anyone. I am dying to see Isabelle and Harriet. I hope they have got a great supply of healing power at Greenacre Inn and will help me out of my present fall. In my days the Inn was well stored with spiritual food, and less of material stuff. Do you know anything of osteopathy? Here is one in New York working wonders really.

I am going to have my bones searched by him in a week. Where is Miss Howe? She is such a noble soul, such a friend. By the by, Mary, it is curious your family, Mother Church and her clergy, both monastic and secular, have made more impression on me than any family I know of. Lord bless you ever and ever.

I am taking rest now, and the Leggetts are so kind. I feel perfectly at home. I intend to go to New York to see the Dewy procession. I have not seen my friends there.

Write me all about yourselves. I so long to hear. You know Joe Joe of course. I marred their visit to India with my constant break-downs, and they were so good, so forgiving. For years Mrs. Bull and she have been my guardian angels. Mrs. Bull is expected here next week.

She would have been here before this, but her daughter (Olea) had a spell of illness. She suffered much, but is now out of danger. Mrs. Bull has taken one of Leggett’s cottages here, and if the cold weather does not set in faster than usual, we are going to have a delightful month here even now. The place is so beautiful — well wooded and perfect lawns.
I tried to play golf the other day; I do not think it difficult at all — only it requires good practice. You never went to Philadelphia to visit your golfing friends? What are your plans? What do you intend to do the rest of your life? Have you thought out any work? Write me a long letter, will you? I saw a lady in the streets of Naples as I was passing, going along with three others, must be Americans, so like you that I was almost going to speak to her; when I came near I saw my mistake. Good-bye for the present. Write sharp. . . .

Ever your affectionate brother,