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vol. 3, p. 250
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 3 (1875-1878)


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The Kobolds are Coming – Oho! Oho!

(*) Written by Dr Hume: a socialistic agitator and ...

Mrs. Emma Hardinge Britten, under the heading of " What Spirits are among us ?"–lately discussed in the Banner of Light the above subject. The article, however, was filled mainly with dissertations on the subject of Kobolds, or Earth Spirits, in which miners generally believe, and which, in England, are called by them " Hammerers." She says:

We see no reason to discredit the idea that spirits tenant the interior of the earth as well as the exterior, or to believe that the air, the ether, and the sea are not full of spirit life. All our researches teach us that such is the case. It is well known that the ancient Magi and the Alchemists of the middle ages gave full credit to the existence of such spirits. We have before us a " Tragedy," entitled the " Magian Meroth,"[2] which has been submitted to us for publication, and the advertisement of which appears in another part of this paper ; from it we make an extract which illustrates what we have asserted. It is taken from the first scene in the fourth act, in which the Magian Meroth evokes the Spirit Moloch.

SB, v. 3, p. 250, unfolded inlay

Place–The observatory of Meroth's palace, overlooking the
Nile. Time – Midnight. Meroth solus.

Mer.–No breath of air. And smooth as Isia's cheek
The starlit river mocks the spangled sky,
Glowing with borrowed beauty. Calm as death
The waters sleep. No tinkling ripple wakes
With its light fall the ear, or mars the face
Of nature's mirror. Solemn is the scene.

’Tis Immortality embracing Time.
O for a cherub’s wings to soar aloft
To gain that glittering Crown ; or power to plunge
Into to azure depth of Nilus’ wave,
To seize such priceless and eternal spoil;
Lo! where the sparkling Serpent’s silver folds
Revolving glitter in the lucid stream,
Or where, reflected clear, th’ ecliptic’s arch
Studded with stars innumerable, girds
The vault of heaven, and in the zenith hung,
The shining Scorpion laves its brilliant scales.
Mine hour draws on. The heavenly charioteers
Approaching blend in one their rival orbs:
And their conjunction heralds forth my fate.”

(Meroth retires from the casement into the circle.)


Mer.–“ Ye Genii of the Earth ! who reign beneath
Deep in the pond’rous centre. Unto whom
The caves of earth are haunts; whose subtle paths
Through this revolving mass are all unknown
To us–benighted beings. Ye, who watch
With ever-wakeful eyes the priceless’ gifts
Of earth, or spangle caves with diamonds
And purest stalactites, in fancy forms
Innumerable Ye, who know the veins.
And trace the rapid silver to its font.
Ye, who in earth’s dark womb work nature’s ends
And dwell, in sovereign state, on golden thrones
Shrined in your adamantine halls of light,
By peerless jewels sunned, Hear ye my words,
And by this offering be your wrath appeased.”


The metals first, in order due,
In glitt’ring glory shine,
The sacred salt, the sulphur blue,
Fresh from the sparkling mine ;
The basalt rock, the limestone white,
The relics of the past,
Whose forms, in petrifactions bright,
The works of art outlast.
Nor be the dark ground newt forgot,
A subject to your sway,
The mole, who dwells where mortals rot,
And lives where men decay.
Let these appease your anger dire;
Be these the victims to you ire.


Mer.–“ Powers of Air ! Whose forms ethereal fill
The azure vault of heaven. More potent far
And subtler than the rulers of the earth.
Whether ye guide the planets as they roll,
Or hurl the shining meteor through the sky,
Affrighting matter with your aery play ;
Or whether, far beyond our bounded ken,
Ye track the distant comet’s burning path,
Where the purged ether knows no stain of earth,
Beyond the bounds of thought. To you I call,
And by this charm your indignation shun.”

(Meroth burns a grain of myrrh.)


This vapor was bound in a magic chain,
It mounts to its home thus freed by flame ;
By the genii of earth ’twas pent in a grain.
But, purged by fire, ’tis loose again.
The prison is broken,
The captive is free,
I charm by this token
Your anger from me.
In spiral wreaths, it rises fair,
Propitious be, ye powers of air.


Mer.–“ Ye Spirits of the Sea ! To whom the depths
Of ocean, with her myriads of strange forms,
Her shells of every hue and every shape,
Her monsters, and her mysteries are known.
Ye Spirits of the vasty deep–who dwell
In coral halls and amber palaces,
All rich inlaid with the bright stone which stains
The sparkling crest of the wild wave with blue ;
Where, on your thrones, with the sea-diamond decked,
With changeful opals and with pearls begemmed,
Ye sit and rule the dwellers in the deep.
Obey this amulet of pow’r divine.


See the gem which erst has shone
O’er the brow of Solomon:
This the place,—and this the hour,—
Mark—and tremble at its pow’r.



Mer.–“ Spirits of Fire ! sons of light and heat.
Ye have defied me, ye have mocked mine art ;
But ye this night I summon !—By my star,
Triumphing and triumphant—by this sign—
The sign of mighty Hermes !—by this charm
Which Endor’s seeress wrought in Ramah, when
She woke the prophet from his peaceful sleep.
Ye answer not.

Is It for this I’ve sacked the stores of eld ?
For this I’ve traversed wildernesses, rich
In nature’s ample stores; her gardens wild,
Ere then unsoiled, unstained by human foot ?
For this I’ve paced our arid sands, beneath
That glowing sky where ghastly madness glints
From Afric’s burnished sunbeams ? Is’t for this
In foreign lands I’ve roamed a far to gain
The knowledge of their wise, nor feared to meet
The hot simoon’s all-blasting breath, on which
Death rides alone—triumphant ? By a spell
More potent far I’ll shake your glowing thrones.
Twice hast thou answered—be the bond fulfilled.
Moloch ! arise ! appear !—He calls thee, who
On Zion’s holy hill, by the usurped,
Passed through thine altar’s flames his first-born son ;
Thy presence I compel. Flesh of my flesh—
Blood of my blood—the living record lasts;
And by that sacrifice I summon thee
Now to appear, and answer !

(The fallen angel Moloch appears.)

We omit the dialogue which here occurs, which has reference to incidents in the play.

To us a drop of water is a world; and the world does not bear that comparison to infinity which a drop of water does to the ocean. The astronomer tells us that the moon has no atmosphere, but he is not wise who from that assumes that the moon has no inhabitants. The fish might with equal right say to the man, “ You cannot exist where you are; there is no water," as the man assume that existence cannot be maintained in moon, because there is no visibie atmosphere surrounding it. No; it is far wiser to believe, if we cannot prove, that all space is occupied; that the limitless fields of ether are full of inhabitants; that the depths of the sea are tenanted by more numerous indwellers than the land. We only occupy about a third of the house of the world, very probably, the kitchen department; the other two-thirds are not likely to be either vacant or tenanted by less worthy occupants than ourselves. Such being our ideas, we have read with much satisfaction Miss Emma Hardinge Britten's late dissertations, published in the Banner of Light, on materialization, etc. We were particularly struck with admiration of her description of the Kobolds or Gnomes—red, black and copper-colored, who work in the mines. We are glad that she has seen the little devils at their labor, and can verify as to the truth of their existences.

For ourselves, we hail everything of the kind, from the realm of Oberon to the domain of the giant of the Hartz Mountains, as absolute verities, very much more so than the daily commonplaces we meet with in this work-a-day world. We love the dainty Ariel—“ Art,” and have some consideration oven for the deformed Caliban—“ Labor.” True, the latter is an ugly whelp that is apt to bite his best friends, but we love him and would do him good, notwithstanding. When he has had to bring in a little more wood, and his back is a little more galled under his load, he will probably be amenable to reason. We hope so, and shall toil on cheerfully in his cause, trusting that overwork and starvation will assist us to enlighten him in the matter of his rights. But these are speculations. Emma Hardinge Britten's "Kobolds" are facts. She has seen them, and, by-the-bye, very opportunely too, for in the same paper that contains her experience regarding them appears an advertisement of a book concerning them of which she is the sole agent. Singular, in the front page the Kobolds, in the terminating leaf the advertisement of the book. How apropos! Charming! Rejoice, ya Theosophists, the day of your redemption draweth nigh! But we do not admire the terms under which the book is to be issued. Only five hundred copies at $5 each, and then the plates to be remorselessly smashed. As Abraham pleaded for ..dom we feel called upon to ..etrate. O hard-hearted Seeress! peradventure there be six hundred subscribers that desire the book, wilt thou not spare the plates for the sake of the surplus hundred? Peradventure there be fifty—or even ten wilt thou not yield to their importunity? Only fancy, a book containing information on all the spirits that are above the earth, in it and under it—going, going, and the bidders cruelly amited to five hundred. O sapient lady, have mercy! Entreat the Austrian Michael Scott that stands behind thee not to be so hard-hearted. We implore thee by

“ That sacred wine
Whose precious drops preserve from fell disease
The house of life;"

by the art of Tubal-Cain; by the holy Kabbala of the Jews; by the Eleusinian mysteries; by the eternal fire of Rosicrucius; by the three sacred hairs in the beard of the prophet Mohammed—reverse thy fearful order, and leave not the millions, outside of the selected five hundred, in the darkness of ignorance forever.


..es may say what she likes hereafter, and her effusive whitewashers may cover more columns with this thin but rosy Kalsomine wash. She cannot regain public confidence. The mere fact she went to Brooklyn with her prepared bag seems to indicate that her mediumship has left her, or at any rate, is so much impaired that she has no longer confidence in it.

This exposure warrants our stating the fact that the spirit John King, in a recent letter to an eminent literary gentleman of this State, repudiates all connection with the Holmeses. Can it be that his abandonment of them has made it necessary for her to resort to trickery ?


Honest and intelligent criticism is the great want of Spiritualism to-day.

Madam Blavatsky's Work

The portion of Madame Blavatsky’s article published this week, concluded her answer to the article on “Rea icrucianism,” by Hiraf, which appeared in our issue of July 1st instant. It is calculated to increase, if that were possible, the respect in which this lady has been held, for her talents, her learning and her unselfish devotion to the Cause. It is true she only hints at the profound mysteries which lie back of all writings upon Occultism, and which are purposely veiled from the cursory reader, because of the great danger there would be, if they were made easy of access to the common mind. But, without violating either the truth or confidence reposed in us, we can say that things seen by us make us ready to give a most respectful attention to the claims of the Oriental philosophers, however wild and visionary they may seem to the world of our modern, science.

We believe that the time is near at hand when our sham Spiritualism will be purged of its dross, and the true significance and beauty of this faith will stand revealed. We believe that modern Spiritualism has long been drifting towards perdition, and is now being sucked into the vortex of falsehood and evil passions where, unless now arrested, it will make its final plunge. We look about for the sons of Light who are ready to unite with us to attempt to save it. We call aloud every week, and wait to hear the echo of friendly voices. We wait, and hope, and pray for the union of a courageous and devoted band, whose purity, intensity, unselfishness and usefulness of purpose will make every obstacle bow before their united effort, like a rush swept by a gust of wind. We wait to see an uprising of the whole body of Spiritualists, to sweep out of their connection every juggling, medium, and to subjugate every elementary spirit who now lurks, unsuspected, about our circles, and controls our genuine mediums to do and say shameful things.

Our faith in God and His love for man is so strong, that we wait with calm assurance for the purification of this world-wide religious movement ; the dispersion of human superstitions, ignorance and wrong ; and the gradual enfranchisement of the human soul from its long-worn fetters. It is the self-imposed mission of this journal to try to point out the right path to the great multitude of spiritual investigators and believers, and do its part, great or little as it may be, in helping on the good work in which, for many years, in many countries, this devoted Russian lady has been engaged. Sit Lux.


British Idolatry of the Opera Singer Mingotti.–1756

“Ra, ra, ra, rot ye,
My name is Mingotti[6].
If you worship me notti,
You shall all go to potti.”

Editor's notes

  1. The Kobolds are Coming – Oho! Oho! by unknown author, Editor's Drawer, p. 234. With a big fragment of tragedy "Magian Meroth" by Robert William Hume.
  2. Full text of Magian Meroth by R. W. Hume in PDF is available to download.
  3. The following could be the ending of another article.
  4. Madam Blavatsky's Work by unknown author (signed as Sit Lux), Spiritual Scientist, v. 2, No. 20, July 22, 1875, p. 234
  5. British Idolatry of the Opera Singer Mingotti.–1756 by unknown author
  6. Regina Mingotti (1722-1808) was an Italian-Austrian operatic soprano. Notable for being the first woman to manage an opera company in London.