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malicious party slanders and sarcasms which them, or “Life Bitters,' that are as good as it may please his employers to circulate. brandy, only dearer, and which temperance Placard, as he walks the streets, may feel a men can drink without hurting the conlittle advertisingly; yet, after all, he is a mere science. It's all the same to Placard. So mechanical medium for the representation with Mr. Editor; he is as willing to give of certain statements, the truth or falsity of proper literary shape to the calumnies of which is only known to others. So Mr. one party as the other. In one case it is Editor considers himself a mere intellectual back and front that does the work; in the medium for the setting forth of certain alle other it is the brain. There is little difference gations, which may be true or false, for any between the two trades, except that Plathing he knows.
card is probably able to care less, and so, Placard has no predilection as to the with an honest conscience, sleep sounder, things he publishes, walking as complacently having done less harm, than the Editor. under 'Celebrated Pills,' which are sure to Both are necessary in the present condition destroy the unlucky wight that swallows of society, and are therefore tolerable.
THE EDITOR-AN ESSAY.
BY AN OLD KNICKERBOCKBR.
THERE is, perhaps, no calling which the necessary theory and plan of religious duties ingenuity or the necessities of society have which they are to perform; and no one precalled into existence so intrinsically import sumes, or has time to think for himself, nor ant as that of the Editor. We write now the hardihood to contradict what the holy philosophically and morally, not editorially. man sets forth; hence, when they have comMan has been characterized as “ a thinking plied with his instructions, by the performanimal," from the fact that he possesses, ance of certain external formula, sustained above all others, the faculty of associating by a sincere belief in the correctness of his ideas, and from those ideas drawing con- teachings, they feel that they have performed clusions applicable either retrospective, pros all that religious duty requires of them, and pective, or to the present; yet, although their consciences are satisfied.. mankind possess this faculty, it cannot be So it is in the moral world, embracing as denied that, in the aggregate, the opinions it does the whole field of what is supposed of others are, in nine cases out of every ten, to constitute the science of ethics, social and consulted before the individual man com political. The great masses of men, whatpletes his conclusions. In fact, most men ever may be their instincts, are occupied in are so absorbed or occupied in the details of the daily affairs of life to such a degree that the immediate physical necessities of exist they are compelled, in these matters, to look tence, that the faculty of thought tends for the opinions of those whose business it is mostly in that direction; and to a very few to think, and to be governed in their conis left the duty of all ethical and religious clusions according to the teaching that thinking necessary for the whole. Thus a chance, design, or inclination may place minister is employed, and paid an annual before them; and, for the saving of time, salary, to do the religious thinking of his they naturally seek the nearest and readiest parishioners ; in other words, to frame the means of information.
In our day, and especially in our country, has found the chimera of a new system of the newspaper becomes the oracle of the un- social government, transcendent in all its thinking masses. When we say unthinking, qualities, and in comparison with which the we mean those who, from want of time, think experience of six thousand years sinks into superficially. They seize upon the first sheet insignificance. He has devised a plan for that comes in their way, very often selecting the amelioration of the whole human race, that which, from its apparent cheapness, the instantaneous emancipation of entire seems most convenient to their means, and continents of people from barbarism and with its perusal occupy the leisure hour which moral darkness to the true light and glory the imperative duties of life permit them to of the highest perfection of intelligence, and appropriate to such employment. Therein the advancement of those already enlightthey read not only the current news of the ened to a condition of far greater knowledge, day, accounts of battles, sieges, of hair- purity, and enjoyment. He has perfected a breadth 'scapes by flood and field, of crime system of government which would strike off, and its punishment, virtue and its reward, at a single blow, the shackles of millions of of markets and the price of stocks; but also enslaved people, and render all mankind, to the cogitations of a thinking brain—a brain the remotest corner of the earth, free, intelperhaps overwrought and monomaniac in its ligent, and happy; and, like all the rest, he reflections, yet, withal, capable of clothing its expects to accomplish his great design aberrations in a garb of poetic attractiveness ; | through the instrumentality of the Amerior, it may be, a brain clear in its perceptions, can ballot-box. sound, logical, and homely. The Editor who Now, all these theories, per se, have the conducts its columns may be a visionary and apparent merit of good intention ; at least, a theorist, building up in the minds of his they are subjects which appeal to the moral readers a fabric of vapor, which, glittering sentiments; and, if they were not utterly in the sunshine of a gorgeous fancy, seems and palpably impracticable, partial, and misbeautiful like the rainbow, and is yet as base chievous in their tendencies and composiless and evanescent as the mist on which the tions, their proselytes would number thourainbow is painted.
sands where they now count by tens. It is He may be a fanatic, whose whole soul is a well-known fact in mental philosophy, that absorbed in the darling object of a single an intelligent mind, partially diseased, emits philanthropy; with him all other objects the most brilliant and fanciful scintillations become secondary; he appeals only to the of thought; hence we are enabled to acsympathies of those who read, and strives count for the beautiful and attractive garb in with all his might to concentrate those sym which these theorists clothe their arguments; pathies upon a single point. With him the and it becomes the duty of men of reflection class of unfortunates that has arrested his and calm thought to take off the tinsel ornaattention stands alone upon earth ; there are ments from these creations, and place before no other sufferers, no other objects of com the reading world the naked, corporeal somiseration, none other deserving the con- phistry which they have been made to sideration of man, and for their sake all cover. other interests must give way—the ties of This is done to a certain degree, but it is kindred, love of country, duties to society not always done in the cheapest form; hence every thing must yield to the claims of this it is that many who read the one never see sympathetic Moloch, and the higher law is | invoked to wreak its anathemas on the con- poison, never reach the antidote, and, consesciences of all who dare demur.
quently, the popular sentiment becomes conHe may be a political economist, who, in vulsed with a mixture of discordant and a remote corner of a diseased imagination, irrational theories, the result of a diseased
and imperfect school of newspaper litera- cise the high and honorable profession of an ture.
Editor. Such being the influence exercised by An Editor should be the director rather Editors over the popular mind, how appa- than the creator of public opinion; he should rent is it that the conductor of a public jour- watch the current of the popular mind, and, nal should be fitted by nature, as well as through the acute judgment and general education, for so responsible a duty. The knowledge which he is supposed to possess, press should be wholly free, in the usual ac- check the hasty and irrational impulse ; and ceptance of the term as applied to the press; the reader should be governed by his conbut the man who conducts it should be clusions, if they are sound and logical. But, neither a fanatic, a false theorist, a soul- in order to entitle him to this great deferbound partisan, an inert, passive, mercenary ence, he must make his appeal to their unslave, a senseless fool, nor the advocate of derstanding as well as their sympathies, and, illiberal doctrines; and the only way that above all, against their mere prejudices. It is left to root out these excrescences remains is not essential that the Editor should be a with the readers themselves ; with them rests learned man, in the scholastic meaning of the whole responsibility of purifying the the word; but he should be a man welloracle, and rendering the public press in informed on general topics. He should be reality what it professes to be-the conser- what is called " well read," and possess a vator of the public weal, the friend of quick perception. He should be a man of order, the dispenser of intelligence, and an calm and deliberate judgment, to enable him engine of truth, justice, morality, and free to reason thoroughly; and possess nerve, to dom.
enable him to put forward his cogent arguThis rests with the people. When the inents forcibly. A vein of wit is essential masses refuse to patronize prurient and mis- to the Editor, for with it he can dip his pen chievous publications; when they cease to in satire where argument fails, or where the buy a paper merely to see what the Editor-subject is so foolish as to appreciate or yield whom they know to be obscene or scurril- to no better weapon. If he deals in politics, ous—has to say about somebody or some- (and what Editor does not !) he should be thing; when they will take or purchase a versed in political history, and able to compaper for its intrinsic merit alone, and the pare systems, draw conclusions, and exhibit actual good they are to derive from it, then effects. In short, the Editor should be inwill the new era begin, and our newspapers telligent, sensible, and, above all, honest in will become what they profess to be—the his opinions and writings. oracles of the people; and, through their If the gentlemen who conduct the editorial influence, the popular mind will be trained columns of the public press were all of this to wise and rational reflection. No man class, we should have a community better publishes a newspaper merely for amuse regulated, and better laws better adminisment or for the sake of enforcing particular tered. The great mass of the people would theories ; he does it for the profit of the be more intelligent, and the popular mind thing, and he is sure to publish that which more rational and harmonious. There would sells best ; hence it rests with the people to be less of partisan attachment for party's say what kind of matter they will have, and sake, and more of patriotism, good morals, whether a bad man shall be allowed to exer- and good order.
RELIGION OF THE HINDOOS.
The religious belief of the Hindoos is called Sheva, the Destroyer of all. Now, whilst the Brahminism, and is founded on a most exten- latter is worshipped by all, the former has sive collection of sacred records, of which the scarcely any attention paid to his temples; and Brahmins are allowed to be the sole expound- even Vishnu, the Preserver, has few votaries, ers. “These sacred writings (says Mr. Strat- compared with the Destroyer, Seeb. Suborham, in his Indian Recollections ') are of two dinate to these are 330,000,000 inferior gods kinds-the Vedas and Shastres. The former and goddesses, each representing some pecumay be termed their Scriptures, the latter ex- liar virtue or vice. The Hindoos suppose that positions of them. Beass Muni (that is, Beass each of the three presiding powers oftentimes the inspired), a prophet who lived in the reign seeks to encroach upon the prerogative of his of Judistheer, on the banks of the Jumna, near compeer, and thus are often quarrelling and the present city of Delhi, collected all the de- and seekieg to subvert each other's arrangetached pieces which form the Vedas, from all ments.” . parts of India, and gave them their present One of their most superstitious practices form and arrangement. They are divided consists in worshipping or deifying the the into four books, all written in the Sancrit. The waters of the Ganges. This large and beaufirst book is called Rug Veda, which signifies tiful river extends from west to east across an the Science of Divination, concerning which extensive district in Hindostan proper, and it principally treats. The second is distin- with its tributaries may be reached by a very guished by the title of Sheham, which signifies large proportion of inhabitants, in the most Piety or devotion, and this book treats of reli- populous and productive part of India. The gious and moral duties.
sacred ceremony of adoring the Ganges, conThe third is the Judger Veda, which, as the sists in the population crowding morning and word implies, includes the whole science of evening to bathe in it, and quantities of the Religious Rites and Ceremonies. The fourth is water are carried to all parts of India, and are denominated Obater Bah: in the Sanscrit, sworn by in courts of justice. “At Allahabad obater signifies the being or essence, and bah, (continues the above entertaining writer), good; this, literally, interpreted, is the know- where the streams of the Ganges and the ledge of the good Being, and accordingly, this Jumna unite, the country for many miles book comprehends the whole science of theo- round is considered sacred ground; and so logy and metaphysical philosophy.
greot is the number of pilgrims who resort The Vedas, as also the Shastras or commen- thither for bathing, that the vizier has received taries, pretend to great antiquity ; so much so, in one year half a lac of rupees, for permission that many Europeans have been strangely to enjoy the benefit of immersion in the sacred staggered in their belief of the Mosaic chro- flood. Many are the lives sacrificed here an. nology by reading them. But it only requires nually. The persons who thus fall victims to a little consideration and research to discover their superstition are generally females, who a vein of imposition running through the whole come from all parts of the country to perform of their details. They reckon the duration of the tragic deed, and who show a firmness of the world by four ages, or jogues, extending purpose worthy a better cause. Several of altogether about eight millions of years; but them, accompanied by the priests, embark in the fallacy of this reckoning has boen fully a boat, and proceed to the spot where the exposed by astronomical observation.
streams unite, when each of the victims in The idea which the Shastrees give of God, is succession descends from the boat to the river, that there is one Supreme Being, whom they with a large earthen pan fastened to her body, style Bhogabon, or Esher, sometimes Khodah; and is supported by a priest till she has filled proceeding from him, are three powers or the pan with water from the stream, when the deities, namely, Bruhmha, the Creator of all; priest lets go his hold, and she sinks to rise no Vishnu, the Preserver of all; and Seeb, or more, amidst the applause of the spectators,
whilst the Brahmins enjoy the scene, and extol structures, which 'are dragged along by the the fortitude of the last victim to her who is multitude amid the shouts of assembled thouabout to follow."
sands. As the wheels pass swiftly on, selfThe cow is an animal held sacred among devoted victims rush forward, throw themselves the Hindoos, and cow-dung is used in the tem- before them, and are crushed to death, exultples and other places as a species of holy oint- ing in the hope of thus securing a passage to ment. The lotus, a plant with tall, luxuriant the celestial abodes. The practice of widows leaves, is likewise held in deep veneration. sacrificing themselves on the funeral pile of Some of the temples or pagodas of the Hindoos their husbands, is another horrid rite; but it are of high antiquity and gigantic conception, has been suppressed in recent times by the majestic appearance, and tasteful architecture. British government. The entrance is always made in a huge pyra- Besides Brahminism, there are a variety of mid, in a number of stories, which gradually religious beliefs and sects in India, but all less grow narrower as they approach the top. In- or more founded on the most gross superstiside may be seen the cow lying down, a cer- tion. Each possesses its own temples, images, pent, or some other object of adoratiou. Here and orders of priesthood. The Boodhists, presacrifices take place. One of the most exten- vious to their violent expulsion by the Hinsive pogodas of India is that of Juggernaut, doos, were second in point of numbers; but whose towers are seen at twenty miles' dis- their religion is now little known in India, and tance. Here, as at other places, there are pro- is confined chiefly to Thibet, Birmah, Siam, cessions of idol cars, large heavy ornamented and Ceylon.-Chambers.
THOUGHTS ON GOING TO MY NATIVE HOME.
BY WILLIAM WALCUTT
There still remains the hearth
Hearth round which we met
Played in the West.
Spots I've treasured well-
Far in the West.
Now will I journey home
Home, to look once more
Far out a-West.
Rest now in quiet sleep;
In the far West.
Grave, at whose sad shrine
Far out a- West.
Dwells, and his dim eye
Far in the West.
There dwells my early love
Love, my Lilmah:true!
I sought the West.
Rising, and morn appears,
Out in the West ?
Home, to look once more
Far in the West.
Brothers and sisters ten
Ten, that were eleven-
Far from the West.