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much admired. In the She-King and Shoo-King the name of God is commonly used.
If Confucius referred to any spiritual cause, he evaded this, and said “ Heaven.” His people connected with the worship of ancestors a faith in the existence of spirits : “Respect them and keep aloof from them,” was all that he would say on the subject. His character was not stainless. He falsely declined to see his guests, on the plea of illness; he deliberately broke one oath. He compromised his own principles whenever the temptation was strong. He was as full of trivialities as Lord Chesterfield.
Of women, he said : “No instruction must issue from the haremwoman's business is merely to prepare wine and food.” Of the relation between superiors and inferiors : “The grass must bend when the wind blows across it.” The duty of blood revenge he inculcated in the strongest manner. He threw no light on any question of world-wide interest; gave no impulse to religion, and had no sympathy with progress. Whether he moulded his people, or the popular life moulded him, is still an open question. Of the eighty-six disciples of Confucius, it seems hardly worth while to record anything. The only one whom we respect is he who did not “die a natural death,” and never wanted the courage to rebuke “the Master."
With this understanding of the life of Confucius, we are prepared to examine the works heretofore associated with his name. In a general sense this includes the whole of Chinese literature, for Confucius is supposed to have revised and annotated the ancient classics, and stands in relation to his own people, and in connection with the books relating to himself, as Moses has always stood in relation to the Jews and in connexion with the Pentateuch, A relation and connection to be accounted for in the same way, and just as far from the literal fact.
Nor are our own sacred books the only scriptures that have been supposed to suffer from traditions, glosses and commentaries, with such accidental injuries as must always be imminent when a language is constructed of wedgeshaped or pictorial characters, and the meaning of a word may be entirely changed by the addition or omission of a single point.
Previous to this century, twenty-three commentaries published in China, on the works of Confucius and the records preserved by him, were known to foreign scholars; and of late, the work of denial and criticism has progressed wich still greater rapidity. The Hindus are at this moment asking the English government to assist them in breaking down idol worship, and this effort is entirely independent of Christian conversion. The Emperor of China, who represents the critical and advanced party in the Celestial Empire, is said to have solicited foreign intervention, to protect himself against insurgents. The reign of ceremony is over-the “superior man” no longer rules his native land, and within the present century it is very probable that the literary and religious ideas of his countrymen will be shaken to the foundation.
(Continued in our next number.)
TO S, M. D.
— when we drink
Of Water pure and clear,
If any one be near,
So, in the morning bright,
The fresh ascending light,
From nature's temperate bowl,
And cheeriness of soul,-
And send a hope with this
An inward joy and peace,
May nestle in your heart.
So will the day be part
Of struggling hope and fear,
But all is vision clear :
Lo! God is very near,
GAMESTER : one who games. SONGSTER: one who sings. SPINSTER: one who spins out a
single thread of blessedness. SHYSTER : one who
SHYSTER is a monster. A
There is no such thing in nature. It is a base product of the black arts of despair. But the compounds work freely, and there is a glut of Shysters in the market. Now: wait a minute, I know what you are going to say about my digestion, the blues, and all that lingo. I remember what you said before when I ventured to speak of a certain fungoid growth in society, -and let me tell you once for all, that my digestion is perfect, and that I am in perpetual humor for racing you around the block at the first sound of your boots upon the pavement. Still, in the very best of spirits, I persist in saying that we are over-stocked with Shysters. Suppose I were a doctor, and mildly noted the fact that cholera was prevalent, nobody would call me a dyspeptic or a croaker on that account. No more do I merit any hard name when I call attention to a moral epidemic, which any one who is not stone blind can see is active, far and wide, putting Shysters where men should be found.
Indeed, so subtle and penetrating are these ethic zooids, that it is by no means easy to find men who are not possessed by a morbid hankering to figure as Shysters. Shyster! Shy of what? The true or the false ? You may know a genuine man readily; he goes straight up to the true, and never shies at the false.
The Shyster is of a contrary nature : whether he is dealing with truth or falsehood, he is forever contriving some trick by which he may get the better of his interlocutor. He is shy to trust his own strength and rectitude. And if in the meshes of his cunning he chances to catch an intimation of the fact that Shysters in the end are the dupes of their own cleverness, he only chuckles, and sets about taking a Shyster's advantage of his discovery. What an astounding Shyster was Napoleon! And the world is full of pigmy Napoleons. Perhaps the Roman haruspices could not look each other in the face without laughing ; but now-a-days we have learned a sort of smirking self-control. Still, no Shyster can mimic a good man's face, to the deception of a practiced eye. As a fire-fly to the sun, so is a Shyster to one who is more solicitous to be right than to be recognized.
Shysters are the fungus growth that hide, at once, and proclaim, the feebleness of a decaying organization. They are very beautiful too, many of these Polonius-like confervoids-under the microscope ; but in a wise economy, no provision is made for their culture. And whenever it is found that the Shysters have crowded out the truebolds, nothing remains but to burn the whole fabric. So the Catholic Church goes to the flames, and the Protestant Church, and every order of dogmatism ; for it is on the ruins of such that Shysters grow rank and pestilent. And the Government at Washingtonwho knows Up, men and women of the nation, and scrape for your lives ! or a worthier people will shortly build upon the ashes of the structure you let go to the mould.
It is not often that the moral histologist finds ready mounted for his microscope so fair a specimen of the Sbyster vulgare, as that recently prepared by the Hicksite Quakers of this city,-certainly the last people who should be expected to have anything to do with Shysters.
Let us begin at the Sporule :
About ten years ago, soon after the completion of the new Friends' Meeting House, in Brooklyn, the dozing congregation was startled one First day morning by a middle-aged Friend, known to all as an able, astute, tireless, conservative worker in the business affairs of the Society, rising from his layman's bench, and, in a few simple words full of pathos, and of great power, announcing that he had long struggled against a feeling that he was called upon to speak ministering words to the people, and that he should resist the divine call no longer. The impression made upon his hearers was profound. It was as if the sluggish moral sentiment of the assemblage had been shocked, or, perhaps, exhilarated, into vital activity. The rotund Shysters—as they always do in the sudden blaze of any fresh moral illumi. nation, witness the great uprising of the North—either shrivelled out of sight, or else gave themselves up to be borne on by the tide they could not resist. But soon it was found that the new preacher came preaching new doctrine-new for those benches. Speaking as a Friend to Friends, he went back of the Book of Discipline and the traditions of the gallery for his inspiration, He taught obedience to our highest impulses, reverence for the Creator, contempt for idols visible and invisible, dynamic love. Of course the Shysters began to shy. One day, instead of eking out his discourse with an orthodox allusion to Abraham, he pointed to the gallows on which John Brown had just been hung, and found there an edifying example of submission to the divine voice speaking in the heart. Here at length was a pretext. Striking an alliance with the old pro-slavery virus, the Shysters went to work. Now plausible, now threatening, with satanic activity, they went about undermining one who, they said, “had begun in the light, but had fallen from grace.”
Let me make a passing commentary on the prevalent superstition of Friends concerning “ immediate revelation.” They hold that the duly commissioned servant of the Most High is merely a spout through which the Heavenly stream is supplied to thirsting souls; that the true preacher is always and simply a spout, never a reservoir ; and all premeditation of a discourse, necessarily brings it down to the earth, earthy. Again and again, have I heard a broad brimmed Shyster who was constantly in the habit of proclaiming this doctrine of immediate inspiration, declare, that “if John J. Merritt could only have gone on as he started in his first discourse, he would have been a great and shining light in the Society.” Perhaps so; but how did he start? Just as an intelligent man about entering upon a novel and momentous work might be expected to start; cautiously, examining every point, weighing every word. I have seen the manuscripts of those “ first discourses,” written out and re-written, months before one of them was delivered. Yet the chief of the Shysters has proclaimed, over and over,
that these were the discourses, acceptable to God and the Galleries, from the spirit of which Friend Merritt afterwards fell.
Whether the subject of the newly awakened hostility of the Shyster-benches met their insidious and wanton attacks with perfect grace and temper is a question which need not enter into our brief glance at the Shyster vulgare. If it is true, as some have said, that he began right and fell afterwards, then so much the more hateful is the Shyster-brood which was potent to work his fall. At any rate, a monogram detailing the progress of the “ John J. Merrit: case” for the eight years following the execution of John Brown, would be of immense service to the student of the Natural History of Shysters. Every naturalist knows the richness of certain kinds of stagnant water in infusorial life ; and it will be found that no possible infusions of political or railroad matters can enter into comparison with the stagnant waters of an old religious organization for showing the finer varieties of those curious animalcules, or perhaps homuncules, known to science as the Shyster vulgare. In the instance to which I have referred, and of which I hope some day to see a detailed memoir, the powerful nature of the man whom these little creatures had singled out for their prey, his familiarity with their habits and practices, his readiness in scrutinizing the many phases which they put on with almost amæboid facility, the masterly skill with which he countermined the plots which they laid for his destruction, have been of great service in bringing their more concealed characteristics and propensities clearly into view. The end is not yet. After years of agitation, the Shysters of the Elder growth succeeded in getting his case before the Monthly meeting, but the party discipline was imperfect and he was restored to good standing. After a time, he was again indicted; and this time, in true shyster fashion, without a word of investigation, in the face of solemn charges of corruption and partizan bias, made in open meeting by a friend of unimpeachable standing, who, not three months before, had been an accredited representative of the Monthly meeting to the Quarterly meeting, and whose specific charges against the manner of the prosecution no one attempted to answer; this time by a bare majority, a shyster verdict was rendered, and John J. Merritt was declared disowned. He appealed to the Quarterly meeting, which appointed a committee. The committee met at once, heard the contesting parties, and adjourned - all in one day. Nothing farther was done. The Quarterly meeting met three months afterwards, but no report was made. Then presently, the appellant received notice to appear before the committee for a reopening of the case. And what do you suppose was the time set by this cautious committee for commencing anew their important investigation? The evening before the next Quarterly meeting! Six months after the date of their appointment; and less than twentyfour hours before the time for them to present their report !supposing they had any intention of reporting. And what do the Shysters gain by this delay? Why, the man they dread is kept out of Yearly meeting this year, and out of the Monthly meeting till after the Elders have secured, in August, their renomination for the following three years. Perhaps, too, they may succeed in working up a report sustaining the action of the Monthly meeting, -or perhaps they do not mean ever to report.
It will be seen by the terms I use that I am not certain whether the Shysters belong to the animal or the vegetable kingdom Like animals they absorb oxygen and give off carbonic acid gas ; and like plants they appropriate rapidly certain mineral substances, particularly gold and silver. liberty therefore to speak of them sometimes as animalcules and sometimes as confervoids.
I feel at