Theosophical University Press Online Edition
VOL. I., No. 4 - JANUARY, 1880 — Section 2
The Ensouled Violin
Swami versus Missionary
Missions in India
The Edison Telephone
Necromancy . . .
The Devil is Dead
THE ENSOULED VIOLIN.
(By Hillarion Smerdis, F. T. S.)
The almost supernatural or magic art of Nicolo Paganini — the greatest violin player that the world has ever produced — was often speculated upon, never understood. The sensation he produced upon his audience was marvellous, overpowering. The Great Rossini wept like a sentimental German maiden, upon hearing him play for the first time. The princess Eliza of Lucca, sister of the great Napolean, though he was in her service as the director of her private orchestra, was for a long time unable to hear him play without fainting. In women he produced nervous fits and hysterics at his will; stout hearted men he drove to frenzy. He changed cowards into heroes, and made the bravest soldiers become as nervous girls. Thousands of dreary tales circulated about this mysterious Genoese, the modern Orpheus of Italy. For besides his remarkable appearance — termed by his friends eccentric, and by his victims diabolical — he had experienced great difficulties in refuting certain rumours of his having murdered his wife, and after her, his mistress, both of whom loved him passionately. Their unquiet souls, it was whispered, had been made through his magic art to pass into his violin — the famous "Cremona:" superstition not utterly unground in view of his extraordinary facility in drawing out of his instrument the most unearthly sounds, and positively human voices. These effects well nigh startled his audiences into terror; and, if we add to it the impenetrable mystery connected with a certain period of his youth, we will find the wild tales told of him in a measure excusable; especially among a people whose ancestors knew the Borgias and the Medici of black-art fame.
We will now give a fact — a page from his biography — connected with, and based upon, such a tale. The press got hold of it at the time of its occurrence, and the annals of the literature of Italy preserve the record of it until now, though in many and various other forms.
It was in 1831. The great, the "diabolical" Paganini was creating at the house of the Paris Opera an enthusiasm unsurpassed by any triumph he had previously gleaned. After hearing him, several of the leading musicians of the noblest orchestra in the Western world, broke their instruments. . . . . .
At that time, there lived at Paris another violinist gifted with an extraordinary talent , but poor and unknown, a German, whose name was Franz Stenio. He was young and a philosopher, imbued with all the mysticism of Hoffman's "Chant d' Antonio," and nursed in the atmosphere of the old haunted castles on the Rhine. He had studied the occult arts and dabbled in alchemy, but otherwise was interested but little in the matters of this world. The whole of his aspirations mounted, incense-like, together with the wave of heavenly harmony which he drew forth from his four-stringed instrument, to a higher and a nobler sphere.
His mother, his only love on earth and whom he had never left, died when he was thirty. It was then that he found he had been left poor indeed; poor in purse, still poorer in earthly affections. His old violin teacher, Samuel Klaus, one of those grotesque figures which look as if they had just stepped out of some old mediaeval panel, with the speaking and piercing voice of a "show Punch," and the fantastic allures of a night-goblin, then took him by the hand, and, leading him to his violin, simply said: — "make yourself famous. I am old and childless, I will be your father, and we will live together." And they went to Paris.
Franz had never heard Paganini. He swore he would either eclipse all the violinists of those days, or, break his instrument and at the same time, put an end to his own life. Old Klaus rejoiced, and jumping on one leg like an old satyr, flattered and incensed him, believing himself all the while to be performing a sacred duty for the holy cause of art.
Franz was making himself ready for his first appearance before the public, when Paganini's arrival in the great capital of fashion was loudly heralded by his fame. The German violinist resolved to postpone his and at first smiled at the enthusiastic mentions of the Italian's name. But soon this name became a fiery thorn in the heart of Franz, a threatening phantom in the mind of old Samuel. Both shuddered at the very mention of Paganini's successes.
At last the Italian's first concert was announced, and the prices of admission made enormous. The master and the pupil both pawned their watches and got two modest seats. Who can describe the enthusiasm, the triumphs of this famous, and at the same time, fatal night? At the first touch of Paganini's magic bow, both Franz and Samuel felt is if the hand of death had touched them. Carried away by an irresistible enthusiasm which turned into a violent, unearthly mental torture, they dared neither look into each other's faces, nor exchange one word during the whole performance.
At midnight, while the chosen delegates of the Musical Society of Paris unhitching the horses, were dragging in triumph Paganini home in his carriage, the two Germans having returned to their obscure apartment, were sitting mournful and desperate, in their usual places at the fire-corner. "Samuel!" exclaimed Franz, pale as death itself, — "Samuel — it remains for us now but to die! . . . Do you hear me? . . . We are worthless . . . worthless! We were two mad men to have hoped that any one in this world would ever rival . . . him! — " The name of Paganini stuck in his throat as in utter despair he fell into his arm-chair.
The old professor's wrinkles suddenly became purple; and his little greenish eyes gleamed phosphorescently as, bending toward his pupil, he whispered to him in a hoarse and broken voice — "Thou art wrong, my Franz! I have taught thee, and thou hast learned all of the great art that one simple mortal and a good Christian can learn from another and as simple a mortal as himself. Am I to be blamed because these accursed Italians, in order to reign unequalled in the domain of art, have recourse to Satan and the diabolical effects of black magic?
Franz turned his eyes upon his old master. There was a sinister light burning in those glittering orbs; a light telling plainly, that to secure such a power, he too, would not scruple to sell himself, body and soul, to the Evil One.
Samuel understood the cruel thought, but yet went on with a feigned calmness — "You have heard the unfortunate tale rumoured about the famous Tartini? He died on one Sabbath night, strangled by his familiar demon, who had taught him the way, by means of incantations, to animate his violin with a human soul, by shutting up in it, the soul of a young Virgin . . . Paganini did more; in order to endow his instrument with the faculty of emitting human sobs, despairing cries, in short the most heart-rending notes of the human voice, Paganini became the murderer of a friend, who was more tenderly attached to him than any other on this earth. He then made out of the intestines of his victim the four cords of his magic violin. This is the secret of his enchanting talent, of that overpowering melody, and that combination of sounds, which you will never be able to master, unless. . . . . . .
The old man could not finish the sentence. He staggered before the fiendish look of his pupil, and covered his face with his hands, — "And you really believe . . . that had I the means of obtaining human intestines for strings, I could rival Paganini?" asked Franz, after a moment's pause, and casting down his eyes.
The, old German, unveiled his face, and, with a strange look of determination upon it, softly answered. — "Human intestines only are not sufficient for our purpose: these must have belonged to one that has loved us well, and with an unselfish, holy love. Tartini endowed his violin with the life of a virgin; but that virgin had died of unrequited love for him. . . The fiendish artist had prepared beforehand a tube in which he managed to catch her last breath as she expired in pronouncing his beloved name, and, then transferred this breath into his violin.* As to Paganini — I have just told you his tale. It was with the consent of his victim though, that he murdered him to get possession of his intestines . . . "Oh for the power of the human voice!" Samuel went on, after a brief pause. "What can equal the eloquence, the magic spell, of the human voice! Do you think, my poor boy, I would not have taught you this great, this final secret, were it not, that it throws one right into the clutches of him . . . who must remain unnamed at night?"
* Giuseppe Tartini, the great Italian composer and violinist of the xvii century, produced such an impression by his inspired performance that he was commonly styled the "master of nations." He eloped with a high born young lady of great beauty. His most marvellous composition was the "Sonate du diable," or "Tartini's Dream," which he confessed to have written "on awakening from a dream, in which he had heard it performed by the devil, in consequence of a bargain struck with him." — ED. THEOS.
Franz did not answer. With a calm, awful to behold, he left his place, took down his violin from the wall where it was hanging, and with one powerful grasp of the cords tore them out and flung them into the fire.
The old Samuel suppressed a cry of horror. The cords were hissing upon the coals, where, among the blazing logs, they wriggled and curled like so many living snakes.
Weeks and months passed away. This conversation was never resumed between the master and the pupil. But a profound melancholy had taken possession of Franz, and the two hardly exchanged a word together. The violin hung mute, cordless, and full of dust, upon its habitual place. It was like the presence of a soulless corpse between them.
One night, as Franz sat, looking particularly pale and gloomy, old Samuel, suddenly jumped from his seat, and after hopping about the room in a mag-pie fashion approached his pupil, imprinted a fond kiss upon the young man's brow, and then squeaked at the top of his voice. "It is time to put an end to all this!". . . Whereupon starting from his usual lethargy, Franz echoed, as in a dream; "Yes, it is time to put an end to this." Upon which the two separated and went to bed.
On the following morning, when Franz awoke, he was astonished at not seeing his old teacher at his usual place to give him his first greeting. "Samuel! My good, my dear . . . Samuel!" exclaimed Franz, as he hurriedly jumped from his bed to go into his master's chamber. He staggered back frightened at the sound of his own voice, so changed and hoarse it seemed to him at this moment. No answer came in response to his call. Naught followed but a dead silence. . .There exists in the domain of sounds, a silence which usually denotes death. In the presence of a corpse, as in the lugubrious stillness of a tomb, silence acquires a mysterious power, which strikes the sensitive soul with a nameless terror. . .
Samuel was lying on his bed, cold, stiff and lifeless. . . At the sight of him, who had loved him so even, and had been more than a father, Franz experienced a dreadful shock. But the passion of the fanatical artist got the better of the despair of the man, and smothered the feelings of the latter.
A note addressed with his own name was conspicuously placed upon a table near the corpse. With a trembling hand, the violinist tore open the envelope, and read the following: —
My beloved Franz,
"When you read this, I will have made the greatest sacrifice, your best and only friend and professor could have accomplished for your fame. He, who loved you most, is now but an in an inanimate body; of your old teacher there now remains but a clod of cold organic matter. I need not prompt you as to what you have to do with it. Fear not stupid prejudices. It is for your future fame that I have made an offering of my body, and you would become guilty of the blackest ingratitude, were you now to render this sacrifice useless. When you shall have replaced the cords upon your violin, and these cords a portion of my own self, — will acquire under your touch my voices my groans, my song of welcome, and the sobs of my ultimate love for you, my boy, — then, Oh, Franz, fear nobody! Take your instrument along with you, and follow the steps of him who filled our lives with bitterness and despair . . . Appear on the arena, where, hitherto, he has reigned without a rival, and bravely throw the gauntlet of defiance into his face. Oh, Franz! then only wilt thou hear with what a magic power the full note of love will issue forth from thy violin; as with a last caressing touch of its cords, thou wilt, perhaps, remember that they have once formed a portion of thine old teacher, who now embraces and blesses thee for the last time. — SAMUEL."
Two burning tears sparkled in the eyes of Franz, but they dried up instantly under the fiery rush of passionate hope and pride. The eyes of the future magician-artist, rivetted to the ghastly face of the corpse, shone like the eyes of the church-owl.
Our pen refuses to describe what took place later on that day, in the death room, after the legal autopsy was over. Suffice to say that, after a fortnight had passed, the violin was dusted and four new, stout, cords had been stretched upon it. Franz dared not look at them. He tried to play, but the bow trembled in his hand like a dagger in the grasp of a novice-brigand. He made a vow not to try again until the portentous night when he should have a chance to rival — nay, surpass Paganini.
But the famous violinist had left Paris and was now giving a series of triumphant concerts at an old Flemish town in Belgium.
One night, as Paganini sat in the bar room of the hotel at which be stopped, surrounded by a crowd of admirers, a visiting card was handed to him which had a few words written in pencil upon its back, by a young man with wild and staring eyes. Fixing upon the intruder a look which few persons could bear, but receiving back a glance as determined and calm as his own, Paganini slightly bowed and then dryly said: — "Sir, it will be as you desire,. . . name the night . . . I am at your service. . ."
On the following morning the whole town was startled at the sight of numerous bills posted at the corner of every street. The strange notice ran thus: —
"To-night at the Grand Theatre of -----, and for the first time, will appear before the public, Franz Stenio, a German violinist, arrived purposely to throw the gauntlet at, and challenge the world-famous Paganini to a duel — upon their violins. He purposes to compete with the great 'virtuoso' in the execution of the most difficult of his compositions. The famous Paganini has accepted the challenge. Franz Stenio will have to play in competition with the unrivalled violinist the celebrated 'Fantaisie caprice' of the latter, known as 'THE WITCHES."
The effect of the notice proved magical. Paganini, who, amid his greatest triumphs, never lost sight of a profitable speculation, doubled the usual price of admission. But still the theatre could not hold the crowds that flocked to it on that memorable night.
At the terrible hour of the forthcoming struggle, Franz was at his post, calm, resolute, almost smiling, It was arranged that Paganini should begin. When he appeared upon the stage, the thick walls of the theatre shook to their foundation with the applause that greeted him. He began and ended his famous composition "The Witches" amid uninterrupted bravos. The cries of public enthusiasm lasted so long that Franz began to think his turn would never come. When, at last, Paganini, amid the roaring applauses of a frantic public was allowed to retire behind the scenes, and his eye fell upon Stenio, who was tuning his violin, he felt amazed at the serene calmness, and the air of assurance of the unknown German artist.
When Franz approached the foot-lights, he was received with ail icy coldness. But for all that he did not feel in the least disconcerted: he only scornfully smiled, for he was sure of his triumph.
At the first notes of the Prelude of "The Witches" the audience became dumb struck with astonishment. It was Paganini's touch, and — it was something else besides. Some — and that some the majority — thought that never, in his best moments of inspiration had the Italian artist himself, while executing this diabolical composition of his, exhibited such an equally diabolical power. Under the pressure of the long muscular fingers, the cords wriggled like the palpitating intestines of a disemboweled victim; the Satanic eye of the artist, fixed upon the sound board, called forth hell itself out of the mysterious depths of his instrument. Sounds transformed themselves into shapes, and gathering, thickly, at the evocation of the mighty magician, whirled around him, like a host of fantastic, infernal figures, dancing the witches' "goat dance." In the emptiness of the stage background behind him, a nameless phantasmagoria produced by the concussion of unearthly vibrations, seemed to draw pictures of shameless orgies, and the voluptuous hymens, of the witches' Sabbath . . . . . A collective hallucination got hold of the public. Panting for breath, ghastly, and trickling with the icy perspiration of an inexpressible terror, they sat spellbound, and unable to break the charm of the music by the slightest motion. They experienced all the illicit enervating delights of the paradise of Mohammed that come into the disordered fancy of an opium-eating Mussalman, and felt at the same time the abject terror, the agony of one who struggles against an attack of delirium tremens . . . . . . Many ladies fainted, and strong men gnashed their teeth in a state of utter helplessness!
Then came the finale, ------ The magic bow was just drawing forth its last quivering sounds — imitating the precipitate flight, of the witches saturated with the fumes of their night's saturnalia, when the notes suddenly changed in their melodious ascension into the squeaking, disagreeable tones of a street punchinello,* screaming at the top of his senile voice: "Art thou satisfied, Franz, my boy? Have I well kept my promise, eh". . . And then, the slender graceful figure of the violinist suddenly appeared to the public as entirely enveloped in a semi-transparent form, which clearly defined the outlines of a grotesque and grinning but terribly awful looking old man, whose bowels were protruding, and ended where they were stretched on the violin!
* Punch and Judy show — an old and very popular street amusement among Western nations.
Within this hazy, quivering veil, the violinist was then seen driving furiously his bow upon the human cords with the contortions of a demoniac, as represented on a mediaeval Cathedral painting!
An indescribable panic swept over the audience, and, breaking through the spell which had bound them for so long motionless in their seats, every living creature in the theatre made one mad rush to the door. It was like the sudden outburst of a dam; a human torrent, roaring amid a shower of discordant notes, idiotic squeaking, prolonged and whining moans, and cacophonous cries of frenzy, above which, like the detonations of pistol shots, was heard the consecutive bursting of the four cords upon the bewitched violin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
When the theatre was emptied of its last occupant, the terrified manager rushed on the stage in search of the unfortunate performer. They found him dead and stiff, behind the foot-lights, twisted up in the most unnatural of postures, and his violin shattered into a thousand fragments . . . . . . .
Cyprus, October 1st, 1879
It is thought that the use of the microphone in mine districts is very advisable, — the buried miners at Scotch Notch tried very hard by beating the walls and doors of their rocky prison, to let their friends know that they were alive, but did not succeed. The question is raised whether the long and depressing uncertainty as to their fate might not have been relieved had a microphone been employed. Would it not be possible to devise and make known to all workers under ground a simple code of microphonic signals to be communicated by rapping, and heard by means of the microphone?
SWAMI versus MISSIONARY.
The debate at Ajmere between Pandit Dayanund Saraswati Swarmi, and the Rev. Dr. Gray.
Reported for the THEOSOPHIST by Munshi Samarthadan.
In the first issue of your journal I have observed an extract from the Calcutta Amrita Bazar Patrika, relative to the debate, at Ajmere, on Christianity between Swami Dayanund and Dr. Husband, with your favourable comments. An assertion is therein attributed to Dr. Husband that the objections of Pandit Dayamund Saraswati can be satisfactorily answered. This remark makes it incumbent on me to place before the readers, of your Journal a complete account of the discussion that took place in Ajmere, in the presence of this reverend Doctor, between the Right Rev. Mr. Gray and Pandit Dayamund Saraswati Swami, together with the details connected therewith. The public will thus be able to judge of the worth of the Doctor's assertion. At that discussion there were present three different reporters, who wrote down all the questions and answers as dictated to them by the contestants. Of these three copies of the record of discussion, one was taken away by Dr. Gray, and the other two, which were attested at the request of the Swami by Sirdar Bahadur, Munshi Aminchand Saheb, and Pandit Bhagram, Saheb, are now in my possession, and the following extracts are from this authenticated record. I send them to you with a request that you will kindly give them a place in your most valuable journal.
Publisher of the "Veda Bhashya."
B0MBAY, November 1879.
The contest between Swami Dayanund Saraswatiji, Maharaj, and the Rev. Dr. Gray lasted from 7 p. m. to 9:30 p. m. on Thursday the 28th November 1878 (Margashirsha Vadya 4th).
The said Pandit Swami arriving, in Ajmere on Kartik Shuddha 13th, began to deliver lectures on the true religion as prescribed in the Veds. The first lecture was about the Deity and the second about the Veds; on the latter occasion the great Missionary at Ajmere, the Rev. Dr. Gray, and Dr. Husband were present. The Swami was demonstrating on the authority of the Shastras (ancient religious works) and of treatments consistent with logic, that alone the four Veds and no other work constituted the sacred inspired writings. He also pointed out some inaccuracies contained in "Toumta," "Genesis" and "Koran," with a remark that he did not intend thereby to insult the feelings of any party, his elect being simply to appeal to the public to enquire and consider impartially whether or not it is possible for works containing the statements quoted by him to be regarded as divine inspirations. The Rev. gentleman thereupon asked the from Genesis and the gospels in writing, and send them to him, adding that he would then answer them. The Swami readily assented, remarking, remarking that he had constantly desired to meet wise persons like the Rev. gentleman and have it decided what is true and what is false; as to carrying on a discussion by sending written communications to each other it would take up too much time, and the public moreover would not have, the advantage of an open discussion. The best arrangement then would be that the Rev. gentleman should meet the Swami at an appointed time at the same place where they now were, and answer the latter's questions on the spot. But the Rev. Dr. Gray declined and insisted that the questions should be communicated to him in writing and after considering them for two or three days he would answer. To this, the Swami objected. It was finally agreed that the Swami would mark the passages in the Bible objected to by him and, on their meeting again, the Rev. gentleman would answer them; and with this understanding, Dr. Gray left the meeting. The Swami then sent to the Rev. gentleman, through Pandit Bhagram, Extra Assistant Commissioner, a written communication embracing 59 quotations from the Bible. It was but nine or ten days later when the Rev. gentleman had well considered his answers, that a day was fixed for a public discussion upon the subject; and, as the public had been notified, the gathering was large. Sardar Bhagram Munshi Aminchand, Judge at Ajmere, Mr. Roy Bhagram, Extra Assistant Commissioner, Ajmere, Sardar Bhagatsing, Engineer at Ajmere, and other respectable persons were present. At the appointed time the, Swami arrived at the meeting bringing the four Vedic books, and the Rev. gentleman, accompanied by Dr. Husband of the Mission Hospital, also came, with a large number of books. At the commencement the Swami observed to the public that he had often had discussions with clergymen at meetings at which no disturbance of any sort whatever occurred, and expressed a hope that the discussion that was to take place would similarity terminate without any obstruction. The Rev. gentleman expressed a similar hope. He then suggested that as the passages referred to him by the Swami were many while the time at their disposal was short, the number of questions and answers should be limited to two. The discussion then began and notes were taken down by three writers, specially engaged for the purpose.
Swami: — In Genesis, chapter 1, verse 2, it is stated that; "God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth was without form and void." Now God being considered omniscient and omnipotent, how could there be imperfection in His work? There must be perfection in every thing done by omnipotent God. It is but in the work of man, whose knowledge is limited and imperfect, that imperfection is possible.
Rev. Mr. Gray: — The meaning does not imply that the earth was "without form" but that it was Veran, which in Hindu reads Oojad, — desolate.
Question: — But in the first chapter of Genesis it is distinctly stated that in the beginning God created heaven and the earth, and that the latter was "without form" and void "soonee" (uninhabited void) and that there was darkness upon the face of the deep. This clearly shows that the "words without form" are not here used for Oojad, desolate, for if it were so used, there would then be no need for the word Soonee, uninhabited, to follow, as void means the same thing. When God created the earth, could he not have created it well-formed by using his omnipotence?
Answer: — Two words bearing the same meaning are often used together in all languages, as in the case under discussion. (In illustration of this, Dr. Gray quoted two or three phrases such as, the land was Veran and Soonsan, both adjectives conveying the same idea that it was desolate or uninhabited.)
The Swami was just preparing to ask a further question in connection with this explanation when the Rev. gentleman interrupted by reminding him that the discussion upon each passage should be limited to two questions and two answers, the more so, as there were many such passages and all could not be discussed that night. The Swami answered that it was not necessary that all the passages should be discussed that very night, for they could be continued for two, three, or more days, until the dispute was settled. But the Rev. gentleman did not approve of this suggestion, neither did he consent to the Swami's proposal that at least ten questions, when necessary, should be allowed in respect to every passage.
Thereupon, the Swami suggested that the number of questions should be fixed at least at three. But the Rev. gentleman said he would not consent to more than two. And Dr. Husband refused to allow the matter to be referred to the decision of those present as over 490 persons would have to be consulted. Thus impeded, the Swami, considering it improper that such a large meeting should be dissolved without any discussion taking place,
consented and passed on to the next question (1.)
(1) Behold! This meeting was held to ascertain the truth, which can be done only when each point is fully discussed, but the Rev. gentleman objected to such a course being adopted and insisted that only adopted and insisted that only two questions should be asked in reference to each disputed passage, and even then was unable to defend his position. — Kalai Oodagayee (nonplussed) Samarthadan.
Swami: — In the same book of Genesis and in the same chapter — I find: "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." In the first verse it is stated that, when God created the heaven and the earth, water was not yet created; whence, then, the water? God. . . "moved." Is God a Spirit or has he a body like men? If the former, how could he "move?" and, if the latter, how could he have power to create the heaven and the earth, since it is impossible for a "being" to pervade every thing? Where was God's body when his spirit was moving upon the waters?
Mr. Gray: — The creation of the earth includes that of water also. As for the latter portion of the question, I say that from the beginning of Genesis (Tourat) to the end of the gospels, God is described as existing in spiritual form.
Swami: — And yet in several places in the Bible, God is described as having a body. To create the garden of Eden; go and walk there ("And they heard the voice of God walking in the garden in the cool of the day"); talk with Adam; to ascend Mount Sinai; to converse with Moses and with Abraham, and his wife, Sara; to enter their tent; to have a wrestle with Jacob — all such acts warrant the inference that God has some sort of body, or that at least he creates one for himself when occasion requires.
Dr. Gray: — All these have no connection with the question under consideration (?) and their currency is entirely attributable to ignorance.
It is a sufficient answer to this that the Jews, (Christians?) and Mahomedans who have faith in "Tourat" (Genesis?) fully believe that God is Rooha (spirit?) (2.)
(2). Readers! The Rev. gentleman in his first answer says that from the commencement of Genesis to the end of the Gospels, God is spoken of as existing in spiritual form; and when the Swami points out passages in the same book which prove that God has a body, the Rev. gentleman asserts that they have no connection with the verse under discussion, — and takes for his authority the "Jews," Christians and Mahomedans. A question arises here: Do not these sects which regard God as a spirit go against those passages quoted by the Swami? — Samarthadan.
Swami: — In verse 26th of the same chapter it is stated that "God said let us make man in our image after our likeness." This clearly leads to the inference that in form God was also like man, i. e., composed of soul and body, for if he had no body how could he create man in his own image and after his own likeness?
Dr. Gray: — This verse says nothing about a body nor is it thus implied. God created man holy, possessed of knowledge, and happy; God is full of eternal happiness, and he created man in his own image. When the latter sinned he lost his Divine form.
After that the Rev. gentleman quoted some passages from Corinthians and Colossians in support of this view.
Swami: -- From the fact of Adam having been created in the likeness of God, it follows that Adam was like God. And if man was created holy, learned and happy, how could he disobey God's command? Such a disobedience on his part shows that he was not gifted with fore-knowledge, and therefore was not perfect; that his sight was opened only when he ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge; for had he been full of knowledge before, he could not have got knowledge after he ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Therefore, he became wiser after his disobedience than he was before, notwithstanding that God blessed him; and it was but when he was upon the point of being cursed that his eyes were opened to a sense of his nudity and he covered his body with the leaves of the Goolar. If he was equal to God in knowledge and holiness, why should he not have been previously aware as to whether his body was naked or covered? It is thus seen that in knowledge he was not equal to God ; had he been possessed of knowledge and holiness like God, he should have been omniscient, pure and happy, and never have done evil. To one like God it is impossible to fall from his position. And as he did fall, it follows that he could not be like God, unless the latter is also liable to fall through want of foresight and knowledge. Moreover, we have to be told whether those who "believe" will have the same (degree of) knowledge, etc., as Adam had before his fall, or more, or less? If the same, it may be doubted whether they might not fall as did Adam, though he was equal to God in the above three qualities
Dr. Gray: — The answer already given sufficiently covers all this ground. The point to be answered is how could Adam being holy, have become disobedient. The answer is that though previously holy he became a sinner by violating the command of God (3). It is not true as assumed by the Swami that Adam got his knowledge afterwards; but when he ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge he got the knowledge of evil with which he had previously not been acquainted. As regards the remark that his eyes were then opened and he knew that he was naked, I will answer that Adam having become a sinner felt ashamed. In the daily experience of the average it is generally the reverse; and while "sinners" lose all sense of shame, it is only the virtuous man whose modesty is liable to be shocked: Another objection is, that if man was like God he could not have fallen. Our answer is that though created in the likeness of God he was not equal to God, for if it were so he would never have been tempted to commit sins. As regards the concluding query as to whether the believers will be more or less holy than Adam, it is to be observed that the question at issue being whether God has a physical body or not, the enquiry about the degree of holiness is irrelevant. In regard to the other question, if the body of God were physical, the religious men who are regenerated in the form of God might have their bodies changed also.
(3)A question naturally arises here. If man was like God in knowledge, why should he have been ignorant of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? As he was ignorant of it, it follows that he had not the requisite knowledge, and therefore was not like God. And if he was not, then he could not have been created in the likeness of God, either bodily or spiritually; since God has no body, and that Adam was ignorant of some things. — Samarathadan.
Swami: — In Genesis, chapter II, verse 3 — I read that "God rested on the seventh day from all his work," and "that He blessed the seventh day and sanctified it." God being all-powerful, all pervading, and full of eternal happiness (satchitanand swaroopa), the creation of the world could not have exhausted him in the least. Then what necessity was there for Him to take rest on the seventh day, as though he had exercised himself too strenuously for six days? And if he blessed only the seventh day, what did he do for the other six days? How can we think that God required any specific time to create, or had to work hard for it?
And now, instead of answering this question, the Rev. gentleman said that the time was up and he could not stay there any longer; adding that, as the writing down of all the points under discussion had taken up a good deal of time, he did not intend to resume the discussion on the next day unless this writing was dispensed with (!) He also said that if the Swami wished to discuss the subject in writing, written questions should be sent to the Rev. gentleman beforehand to be answered by him in writing also. At the suggestion of Dr. Husband, other persons supported Dr. Gray. The many disadvantages pointed out by the Swami, who observed that if the discussion were not committed to paper a person might say one thing and after deny it, was not heeded. Then again, no one would be benefited by such a correspondence; for if published by any one, it might be published as he liked. To this the Rev. gentleman remarked that he thought that only very few out of that great gathering of the people present could have understood anything of what had passed there. Thereupon a Mahomedan, an amanuensis, followed by a few of his co-religionists said that they did not understand (4) anything. This confession made the Rev. Dr, Gray remark that if the amanuensis did not understand anything, who else did? But when the Swami asked the other two writers — Hindus — if they also had understood nothing, these replied that they understood thoroughly, and could minutely explain all they had written. Truly was the Swami warranted in expressing wonder that, while two of the writers understood every word they had written, one did not.
(4) The Mahomedans also disliked the arrangement of committing the discussion to paper; for, if this restriction was removed they intended to bring in a Molvi to discuss with the Swami and then to publish a version of such discussion as they pleased. On this occasion some Pandits, idolaters, also bragged of their intention to hold a discussion with the Swami, but neither any Molvi nor Brahman whom the Swami surnamed Popejee, little Popes — eventually came forward for the purpose. Had there been an unrecorded discussion they would have attended, but here they had to hold a discussion in which what was once said having been written down, could not be either recalled or changed. — Samarthadan.
The Rev. gentleman refusing positively any discussion for the next day, unless it was no more to be committed to paper, nothing could be definitely settled. The Swami proposed that the three copies of that evening's discussion should be attested by the Rev. gentleman, by himself, and by Meer Mijeelis, and that one of the attested copies should remain with each of them, but the Rev. gentleman refused to sign any of the documents. Thus, the meeting was closed and the audience dispersed, but the Swami, Sardar Babadur Munshi Aminchand, and Pandit Bhagram (on their way) waited a while at Sardar Bhagatsing's residence, which is close to the place where the meeting was held. There the two copies which had been retained by the Swami were attested by the aforesaid two gentlemen before they went to their respective places.
The next day the Rev. gentleman wrote to the Swami asking him if he intended to resume the discourse that night, with an intimation that it should be done orally without being committed to paper; or that, if written discussion be preferred, exchange of written communications should be resorted to. The Swami wrote in reply that he would hold a discussion only if it were done at a public meeting and committed to paper, as otherwise many disadvantages (already mentioned by him) might result; and added that if the Rev. gentleman agreed to this course, he (theSwami) would stay at Ajmere to continue the discussion as long as he would be desired to do so, but if not, Dr. Gray should notify Sardar Bhagatsing that he would not attend the proposed discussion. To this the Rev. gentleman assented but too willingly. The Swami left Ajmere three or four days later, and after visiting Masuda and Nashirabad departed for Jeypore. The day after the Swami had left Ajmere, the Rev. gentleman called at the Mission School a meeting of its students with many other citizens, and commented in their presence elaborately and learnedly, according to his own pleasure, upon the passages from Genesis questioned by the Swami, in order — he said — that nobody should feel any longer doubts as to the infallibility and wisdom contained in the Scriptures.
Soon after that and while preaching in the streets, some irreverent persons remarked to him that, while he was daily puzzling his head with ignorant persons like themselves for hours together, he had alleged that he could not spare time to discuss with the Swami, because to report the discussion took so much of time. They added that if he had succeeded in making the Swami accept any of his views, thousands of people would have followed him, — but instead of that, it appeared that the Rev. gentleman preferred preaching only in the presence, of ignorant people.
Note by the Editor of the THEOSOPHIST: — The above affords a fair example of Missionary tactics in India. Open debate with learned natives before audiences is avoided whenever practicable, and their work, as a rule, confined to the lowest and most ignorant castes. Teachers in mission schools and sectarian colleges even avoid discussing theological questions put by bright native youths, before the classes, bidding them come to them privately and have their interrogatories answered. The fact forces itself upon the attention of every unprejudiced visitor to India that the Oriental missionary scheme is a wretched failure, and the millions contributed to it by the benevolent are virtually wasted. This appears to be the opinion of most old Anglo-Indians of all ranks. It is intended to publish testimony upon this very important subject in these pages and communications are invited.
MISSIONS IN INDIA.
By Alice Gordon, F. T. S.
The missionary question is of too serious a nature to be discussed with flippancy, or, indeed, to be discussed at all, save by those whose long residence in India has made many of its aspects familiar to them. The benevolent piety of the Christian world has been so long occupied with the scheme of 'spreading the Gospel among the heathen' that the support of missions is regarded as a sacred duty. This desire may be very worthy, but the ignorance and lack of discrimination in these supporters of Missions are truly lamentable.
In the ordinary European mind, the 'heathen' are massed altogether, and no difference is known or suspected between the religious state of Andaman Islanders, Feejeeans, Mohamedans, or Hindus. They are all 'heathen,' and in the opinion of missionaries and those who send them, must necessarily be benefited by a free application of Christianity. It is to dispute this opinion as far as regards the larger portion of the natives of this country, that I venture to lay before your readers the conclusions arrived at after a residence here of sixteen years. Anglo-Indians are often reproached by their religious friends at home, for their indifference to, or discouragement of missionary enterprize. That there may be good cause in the experience, acquired during residence here, scarcely strikes these enthusiastic soul-savers. They attribute it to thorough deterioration of mind in Anglo-Indians; whereas it is the result of a more liberal belief on the one hand, and a knowledge of the generally worse than useless effort of missionaries on the other. I do not feel myself competent to point out all the causes which lead to this uselessness,— I would even say harmfulness — of missionary work, but I will try to show a few. In the first place, the men sent out are usually utterly ignorant of the history of India except perhaps its most recent phases; and what is still worse they know nothing of (even if capable comprehending) the Hindu religion and philosophy. The result is that with a narrow dogmatic creed, an inability to see any good outside of it, combined with their ignorance of Hindu Philosophy, they render themselves offensive and contemptible in the eyes of educated natives. Thus their converts, if they make any among Hindus, are only from the lowest classes, usually men or women who having lost caste, are glad to find shelter and society anywhere. These naturally have no influence, and their example is not likely to be followed, as, would be the case if the higher classes were touched by Christianity. It may be asked why this religion, which appears so perfect in the eyes of its ardent professors, does not commend itself to the educated classes, seeing they are able to study it if they choose. I answer, because these educated men know their own religion and philosophy better than we do, and may with very good excuse, prefer their own gods to the gods of the Christian. That the Hindu religion would bear regeneration may be acknowleged, but that must come from the earnest and united efforts of Hindus themselves, and we may hope that the advance of education, and the general movement the influence of the Western mind is causing, will have this effect — is having it we may surely say, — for, the rise of the Arya and Bhramo Samajes are the outward and visible signs of this inward and spiritual revival. To expect dogmatic Christianity to take root among Hindus has for many years seemed to me absurd. With regard to Mahomedans, a very slight acquaintance with their strongly monotheistic religion, must show the difficulty attending the propagation of a creed which has a Trinity as its basis. In the eyes of the average Mussalman there can be little appreciable difference between the Christian and Hindu creeds, and if they have any preference it must be in favour of the Hindu, as it is one which does not inculcate proselytizing. It has forced itself on my mind of late years that we Westerns show great presumption — which can only be excused because of our ignorance — in assuming as we do, such entire superiority over the people of this country. That we have the energy of a more youthful nation, that we have the courage of a people accustomed to warfare, I grant; that we can be and are beneficial to the country, I believe, but we shall best perform the duty we profess we owe as a ruling race, when we learn better, and respect more the people we govern. Mutual appreciation would lead to greater confidence, and the influence of liberal ideas on both sides would doubtless help to break down their caste prejudice, and our arrogance. But I am digressing from my subject — missions. The only success, worth calling such, of the labors herein criticised has been among the Hill tribes, and nominal Christians are numerous among these. I know of one small mission connected with no other, under the sole direction of an able, liberal-minded man, and in this instance I believe a marked improvement has taken place in the physical and moral well-being of the simple savages. Among other of these missions the evidence of those unconnected with them is far from favorable, and it is well known that a people whose simplicity and truthfulness were remarkable before the advent of missionaries, are no longer so distinguished by these virtues. I do not feel justified in repeating all I have heard in connection with these missions, but I can say that the general feeling among Europeans towards them is one of indifference or dislike. I have lived in several stations where missions were established, in some far as long as thirty or forty years; and I have even found missionaries honest enough to confess how few converts are made among Hindus or Mahommedans. At one station there was a school originally started for the orphans collected during a famine. This was entirely supported by station and casual subscriptions, (and perhaps Government aided.) The Society which kept up this mission refusing their patronage as far as money went, their object being the conversion of grown-up heathen, "brands snatched from the burning!" Of course many of these missionaries are earnest and good men according to their light, but it certainly seems to me that they go the wrong way to work. If instead of so many preachers of the Gospel, they had carpenters and men of other trades; if they taught the art of agriculture and the improvement of cattle, some good results might be seen as the outcome of so much money and so many missionaries.
Surely good house servants ought also to be obtainable from among converts, but the experience of all these years has not shown me half a dozen Christian servants, and of these few, one was a thief and one a drunkard. It indeed seems they cannot supply themselves with servants, for I know one missionary who employs a Mussulman tailor, though his mission has been fourteen years established in the station. This fact is worth many arguments. It must not be supposed that my experiences are unique or my conclusions uncommon. If the opinions of all the Europeans resident in India were canvassed, the supporters of missions would be greatly astonished at the result. India orthodox, believing very much in missionaries, and fully in sympathy with the home societies. I have been going through a course of unpleasant surprises and disenchantments ever since. I meet many who are even more indignant than myself, that such large sums of money should be annually spent in such an unsatisfactory way. It would be curious and interesting to know how much of this money is expended in keeping missionaries and their families and how little upon the 'heathen' and their needs. Few missionaries are unmarried, and in some societies, wives are regularly sent out to supply vacancies of this sort caused by death. There is no doubt that many poor and worthy men are thus enabled to bring up large families and live in a more comfortable way than they could in their own countries, but this I fancy, is not the object for which the money is subscribed! I have no doubt that the greater number of these men come out here with the honest belief that they have a call to convert the poor, ignorant, heathen, and once here, what are they to do if their illusions are dispelled, and their enthusiasm crushed? It would require a heroism, scarcely to be expected in ordinary men, to acknowledge their failure, publish their defeat, and retire from the profession; so they fall into the worn groove, and those who are too honest to falsify statements sent home find plausible excuses for the small number of converts.
Since beginning this letter I have met a lady of equally long residence in India, who fully agrees with all I say, and mentions that, quite recently, at a missionary meeting in a country place in England to which she went with her parents, who had also been in India, they were as much amused at the begging missionary's statements as surprised at his audacity. Among other things he spoke of the golden hair and blue eyes of the children that flocked to him mission school in far-off India! This touching picture accomplished the result intended, and he bore away substantial pounds, shillings and pence to the blue-eyed and golden haired children of his imagination.
One more step in the progress of invention has been taken by the Americans, and it is a stride. A joint stock Company has just been formed under the title of 'The American Rapid Telegraph Company' for utilizing a new invention for despatching messages by machinery. That is to say, an American inventor has devised a mechanical apparatus for laying a message upon the wires as fast as the operator's eye can read the words of the manuscript. This is a startling announcement, but coming upon the heels of the telephone, the phonograph and the electric light, it causes but little astonishment. Men now-a-days may almost be said to dine and sup daily on mechanical marvels. The THEOSOPHIST having among its subscribers many who are attached to the Indian Telegraph service, they will be interested in what follows.
The name of the ingenious discoverer of this new telegraphing apparatus is not mentioned in the Philadelphia Weekly Times, the important American journal from which the present information is compiled, but the president and vice-president are well known, wealthy and enterprising gentlemen. The subscribed capital is three million Dollars — about seventy lakhs of rupees. The requisite machines are being constructed at the Colt's Arms Co.'s shops, in the superb style of workmanship peculiar to that vast industrial establishment; the poles are of the best, Canadian red cedar — a very durable wood; and the wires of best cast steel thickly electroplated with copper — whereby threefold more tensile strength is obtained, with more than fourfold increase of electrical conductivity, as compared with the other wires in use. This, it is claimed, will ensure trustworthy and rapid telegraphing over circuits three time as great as is possible by the best wires of other telegraph companies. The breaking strain of this new wire is not less than 3,000 pounds, so that it would be able to sustain without fracture the weight of quite a large fallen tree: the wire might be borne down to the very ground without the circuit being broken. The breaking strain of the ordinary wire now used is seven hundred pounds. Owing to the hasty and slipshod manner in which lines are commonly built, in America at least, the item of 'repairs' is very large, the reports of the Western Union — the monster company of the world — showing an annual disbursement for this item of about eight dollars — say Rs. 18 — per mile of poles, or an aggregate of from 600,000 to 700,000 dollars on the lines of the company. The "Rapid' Company, however, do not anticipate being obliged to lay out one-tenth of this sum for the maintenance of their lines, for the reasons above stated. Taking all these advantages into consideration — machinery as against hand-work and the saving in maintenance — the American 'Rapid' Company do not now hesitate to state the fact that when the Washington and Boston line is opened to the public it will be possible for them to do a profitable business at ten cents per hundred words, and so on at the same rate, without regard to distance, as the line extends throughout the United States. Indeed, it is confidently expected by them within the next three years to be able to telegraph ordinary business letters to and from all points in the country for ten cents (annas 4) each, and yet, within the recollection of the middle-aged reader, the postal charge on a half-ounce letter from New York to Boston or Washington, was eighteen and three-fourths cents, and between more distant points twenty-five cents. Those were the days when the mails were transported by stage-coaches and like conveyances of limited capacity.
It will not require the 'Rapid' Company to construct between New York and other cities of the Union more than three of their low-resistance wires to transmit and receive a volume of telegraphing tenfold greater than is now transmitted over all the wires of the Western Union and Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Companies by the Morse or any other form of hand-key telegraphing now in use. The official reports of the Western Union Company show that the actual average cost to that company by their slow and tedious hand-key system is twenty-five cents for ten-word messages.
An officer of the 'Rapid' Company being asked if this great public benefit were likely to be suppressed in the interest of the existing monopoly by the secret consolidation of the new with the old company, replied we shall make no appeal for pecuniary aid to the public until we have proved: —
"First. That we can telegraph, reliably, sixty to ninety thousand words per hour over long circuits, and sixty to a hundred times faster than can be done by the Morse or any other hand-key system.
"Second. That we can telegraph more economically than can be done by any other system, by from seventy-five to ninety per cent.
"Third. That we can telegraph full five-fold more accurately and ten-fold more reliably than can be done by any other system.
"Fourth. That we can and will do all telegraph business confided to us, whether it is one thousand or fifty thousand messages per day, with far more promptness than the same business can possibly be done by any other system or company. When the Rapid Telegraph Company is prepared to demonstrate these four propositions, its limited number of stockholders may be prevailed upon to share their investments with a larger circle of the business public, but they will certainly guard against the possibility of a single share of their stock passing into the hands of persons having affiliations with the Western Union or other speculative telegraph companies. A majority of the Rapid Company's stock has been placed in the hands of trustees, with rigid provisions for holding it for five years or more, so that no lease, sale, consolidation or pooling arrangement with other lines or companies is possible. With five millions of dollars, judiciously expended, the Rapid Company will cover the whole country east of the Rocky Mountains with a network of wires capable of telegraphing ten fold. more matter in a given time than there can now be telegraphed over all the existing wires of the country, which represent nearly or quite ninety million dollars."
The Rapid Company propose to inaugurate, upon the opening of their lines to the public, six distinguishing features: —
1. Express Messages — A uniform tariff of 25 cents for thirty words or less, including date, address and signature, to all stations east of the Rocky Mountains, with one cent additional for each word over thirty. Instant transmission over the wires and prompt delivery by special messengers is meant by the word "express."
2. Mail Messages — Fifty words or less to all stations east of the Rocky Mountains for 25 cents, with one cent additional for five words or less added, to be telegraphed at the convenience of the company, but within one hour; and delivery guaranteed through the Post office or by messenger within 2 hours from the date of the message, between eight o'clock A. M. and six o'clock P. M.
3. Night Messages — Fifty words or less to stations east of the Rocky Mountains for fifteen cents, with one cent additional for five words or less added, to be telegraphed at the convenience of the company, between six o'clock P. M. and eight o'clock A. M., and deliverable through the nearest Post Office, post-paid, by or before nine O'clock A. M.
4. Press Reports — For exclusive publication in one journal in any circuit of five hundred miles or less, or in any practical telegraph circuit over five hundred miles east of the Rocky Mountains, one hundred words or less fourteen cents, and the same tariff for any desired number of words. No one reporter to hold a wire to the exclusion of other reporters over twenty minutes, or, say, twenty thousand words at any one time.
5. Stamped Messages — It is proposed to use stamps for "express," "mail," "night" and "press" messages, under an arrangement with the Post Office Department, and the public may purchase and use the same with the same convenience as postage stamps are now used for mail correspondence.
6. Street letter-boxes will be made available, under an arrangement with the Post Office Department, for collecting stamped telegrams every fifteen minutes, from 8 A. M. to 6 P. M.
Twenty-five or thirty years ago Frederick Hudson, then editorial as well as business manager of the New York Herald, predicted that the time would come when no Herald correspondent would think of posting a letter to that paper; wherever he might be, his copy, however lengthy, would seek the telegraph and not the mail bag. If the Rapid Company are to carry out these "distinguishing features," it needs no prophet to predict the not distant day when the business man will no more think of seeking the United States mail bag for a letter than the hurried traveller now thinks of searching for the old-time fourhorse coach.
The writer in the Times having personally tested the new system says: —
"The machine telegrapher transmits, as I have seen tested, over one wire and with the expenditure of the same 'power' as is used in working the sewing machine, 1,000 words or 5,000 letters per minute — recording the same accurately at this or a higher rate of speed, for any desired length of time. As this would be full employment for sixty Morse wires and one hundred and twenty Morse operators, the advantages of machine telegraphing, as compared with the present monopoly's system, would seem to be as sixty to one in favor of machine telegraphing. The modern sewing machine represents fourteen hand sewers — the machine telegrapher represents a hundred and twenty Morse operators, and these figures fairly represent the comparative advantages, as to labor-saving expenses, between machine sewing and machine telegraphing."
It appears that the Rapid Company style their system of telegraphy a new one only because late inventions and discoveries have perfected its use for business purposes yet some of the important patents and devices from which such surprising results are obtained have been the subjects of close study, great elaboration and large expenditures of money for the past eight years or more, and however startling and improbable may seem the statements of the capabilities of machine telegraphy, they claim to have fully demonstrated them on long telegraph circuits of three hundred, five hundred and one thousand miles and for a period of time exceeding four months without a single failure or the discovery of a single material fault. They therefore propose to enter the broad, rich telegraphic field,
confidently expecting that if they serve the public and the press well and cheaply they will respond with a greatly increased volume of business.
The company controls, under strong American and European patents:
1. "Electro-mechanical telegraphy," which has been explained
2. "Real duplex telegraphy," by which one wire is made precisely as effective as and even more convenient than two wires can be in the hands of expert Morse operators. This system is divested of all the complications of other "duplex" devices and admits of sending and receiving messages simultaneously from either end of a wire or to and front any intermediate or way offices, which they claim cannot be done by any other known "duplex" or "quadruplex" system. This "real duplex" system, they also claim, is especially well adapted to railroad telegraphing and for use on all way lines where the volume of business does not require a faster system of telegraphing than the Morse, but yet where the exigencies of the business require the use, substantially, of two wires.
3. Multiplex telegraphy, which is substantially the transmission from each end of a single wire, in any circuit of 1,000 miles, of four messages — from both ends simultaneously — thus practically duplexing the "quadruplex" system, but by vastly more simple devices — devices, indeed, they claim even more simple and much more "flexible" than are required to operate the ordinary "duplex" system.
4. "Metrical Telegraphy." — A new system for working long ocean cables and under ground telegraph lines, whereby the wires are discharged of all inductive and static electricity and placed in a condition to carry electric impulses with twenty-fold greater rapidity than heretofore, and to increase the hourly transmission over any good Atlantic cable of from 1,000 words to probably 10,000, or probably more, per hour. By the metrical system every possible electrical signal indicates reliably a Roman letter in print, thus saving of electric signals at least three-fourths, as compared with any other known system of cable telegraphing.
5. Line and Page Printing Telegraph Machine. — This they claim as a very ingenious and valuable intention, requiring but one battery to operate at both ends of a wire, thereby with other important improvements, placing the printing telegraph far above every other known device for communicating intelligence where high speed is not necessary and where some convenient method of recording is desirable or necessary, as it is in every business communication. The recording is done very neatly in lines and pages, book form, which makes it incomparably superior to all other machines for reporting stocks, for private line purposes and intercommunicating uses, a record for convenient reference being a very great if not a necessary desideratum among business men.
6. The Electric Generating Machine. — By means of this new invention every telegraph office may, at a trifling expense, be fitted as a main office, and may send all messages within a circuit of 1,000 or 1,500 miles direct to destination. This is an aid to the new "machine telegraphy" of incalculable value and importance, as it does away with all necessity for "relaying" or "reperforating" messages, and saves in battery expenses many thousands of dollars per month. The new principles involved in this Mechanical Electric Generator admit of the instant generation of all the "quantity" and all the intensity of current required for circuits of 1,000 to 1,500 miles or less, and, practically more than doubles the value of the "rapid" system of machine telegraphy.
7. Speaking Telephone. — This telephone is constructed on novel principles, and repeats language with great distinctness in ordinary Morse telegraph circuits of 300 miles.
8. Telegraphic Devices and Patents. — Besides the above named seven valuable inventions, and also exclusive of several very broad ones covering the manufacture of "compound" steel and copper wire, whereby telegraph wires may be had of any desired electrical conductivity and tensile strength combined, the Rapid Company control a large number of other valuable devices and patents connected with telegraphy and embracing really about all the inventions of practical merit in this branch of science during the past quarter of a century; and as it is and will continue to be a leading feature of the company's organization to extend the most liberal encouragement to all inventors who may invent original devices of decided merit, or who may make valuable improvements on existing devices, it is not to be doubted that the company will keep well in advance of valuable telegraph improvements.
The respectability of the paper in which this account of the 'Rapid' system of telegraphy appears forbids the supposition that this is but a sensational newspaper tale of the kind so ripe in American journalism. If, therefore, this be a real discovery, its effect, immediate and remote, upon the advancement of knowledge and the knitting together of nations and communities by the strong ties of mutual interest, will be incalculably great. When shall the THEOSOPHIST be able to report to the Western World an invention equally important by a Hindu artisan? Is the genius that was equal to the discovery of Viman Vidya extinct?
Telephonic intercommunication on a practical working scale has at length become an accomplished fact in the City of London, as has just been demonstrated by means of the Edison loud-speaking telephone to a number of scientific gentlemen and others connected with this exceedingly interesting question, both as regards its scientific and commercial aspects. The instrument is so arranged that a conversation can be maintained between two persons at a distance without the slightest personal inconvenience or difficulty, the transmitting part of the apparatus being placed conveniently for the mouth and the receiving portion in a line with the ear. The practical application of the system at present extends to ten stations, all placed in connection with a central station called the Telephone exchange, which is situated in Lombard-street. The stations, or, more properly speaking, the private offices, which are connected with the exchange, are situated — No. 1 in Copthall-buildings, No. 2 in Old Broad-street, No. 3 in Suffolk-lane, No. 4, in Lombard-street, No. 5 in Princes-street, No. 6 in Carey-street, Lincoln's Inn, No. 7 in Queen Victoria-street, No. 8 in George-yard, Lombard-street, No. 9 in Throgmorton-street, No. 10, being the Times office. At the central office is a switch-board capable of being connected with twenty-four different stations, but which at present is only connected with the ten we have mentioned. The number twenty-four is the most that can be attended to by one person, but there may be any number of switch-boards in the same room, and any station on one board can be connected with any one on another board. Adjoining the switch-board is a telephonic apparatus, and the operator — who may be a boy — sits in front of the board. Assuming that station No. 2 wishes to communicate with No. 6, the person at No. 2 calls the attention of the attendant at the exchange by means of an electric bell. At the same moment a shutter on the switch-board falls and discloses the number of the applicant. The attendant acknowledges the signal, and No. 2 instantly says "Connect me with No. 6." The shifting of a pin effects this, and Nos. 2 and 6 are left to communicate with each other. At the close of the conversation, No. 2 gives a signal on the bell to intimate that he has finished, and the attendant withdraws the pin and Nos. 2 and 6 are instantly separated. And so with any other numbers; they can be instantly connected or disconnected, and any number of stations can be connected up in couples and worked at the same time. Of course, only one station can be connected with one other at the same time; but the coupling and uncoupling are effected so quickly that a person may communicate with any others in very rapid succession. The practical success of all these arrangements must depend very largely upon the possession of a means of communication which meets certain every-day requirements. In other words, it means that the transmitting instruments employed must be able to transmit messages clearly, and either in a loud tone, so as to meet the contingency of the receiving party being a short distance from his instrument, or in a low tone, so as to enable a conversation to be carried on which may be audible to the receiving party, but inaudible to others who may be near, and whose ears it is desirable that the conversation shall not reach. These necessary conditions were shown to be amply present, with many others, in the Edison loud-speaking telephone, the working being in charge of Mr. E. H. Johnson, the engineer, and Mr. Arnold White, the manager of the company. Loud-speaking this telephone certainly is, but it is none the less soft-speaking also, for conversations were carried on between two parties in whispers, and although a low hissing sound was perceptible to the bystanders, they were unable to catch the words of the speaker at the distant station. On the other hand, words spoken in a loud tone were audible even at times above the hum of conversation. A great many tests were applied by those present in order to prove the system in various ways, but in no case was there any failure, although at some of the stations the operators were quite fresh at the work and in one or two instances were possessed of rather weak voices. Communications were opened, maintained, and closed with the various stations in rapid succession, and with every success; and here we may mention that a paragraph was recently set in type, which was dictated through the telephone, the result being a perfectly correct reproduction of the transmitted subject.
It will thus be seen that this latest and most important outcome of Mr. Edison's scientific researches so far proved itself to be a practical success in this country. Its future development will of course be governed by the demand for this method of communication, and although there may not be so large a scope for it in London and some of the provinces as in the cities of the United States there is still a wide field for its application, more especially perhaps in country towns and outlying districts. With regard to the distance at which communication can be maintained without difficulty by means of the telephone, it is stated that it has been worked between stations 100 miles apart in America. Shorter distances, however, are considered to be better than long ones for perfect transmission, and as a rule it may be taken that there is no loss of power up to about five miles' distance. Beyond that point there is a perceptible loss, which goes on increasing with the distance. But in practice even five miles will no doubt be found to be an exceptional distance, and would perhaps only be met with where two stations were each two miles and a half from the central exchange. At any rate, so far as present requirements are concerned, the apparatus as now arranged appears to fulfill the conditions and requirements of practice, and, while we congratulate its inventor upon its success, we may anticipate its widespread application.— Weekly Times.
The birth and growth of the Idea among the Aryans of India, as viewed from Rig-Vedic Poetry, &c., and a further Transition to Science, as observed historically.
By H. H. D. — B.A.
"In that fair clime; the lonely herdsman stretched
On the soft grass, through half a summer's day,
With music lulled his indolent repose;
And in some fit of weariness, if he,
When his own breath was silenced, chanced to hear
A distant strain, far sweeter than the sounds
Which his poor skill could make, his fancy fetched
Even from the blazing chariot of the gun,
A beardless youth, who touched a golden lute,
And filled the illumined groves with ravishment.
The nightly hunter lifting up his eyes,
Towards the crescent moon, with grateful heart
Called on the lovely wanderer who bestowed
That timely light, to share his joyous sport:
And hence a beaming goddess, with her nymphs,
Across the lawn and through the darksome groves
(Not unaccompanied with tuneful notes,
By echo multiplied from rock or cave),
Swept in the storm of chase, as moon and stars
Glance rapidly along the clouded heaven
When winds are blowing strong. The traveller slaked
His thirst from rill or gushing fount, and thanked
The Naiad. — Sunbeams upon distant hills
Gliding apace, with shadows in their train,
Might with small help from fancy, be transformed
Into fleet Oreads sporting visibly,
The Zephyrs, fanning as they passed, their wings,
Lacked not for love, fair objects, whom they wooed
With gentle whisper. Withered boughs grotesque,
Stripped of their leaves and twigs by hoary age,
From depth of shaggy covert peeping forth,
In the low vale or on steep mountain-side
And sometimes intermixed with stirring horns
Of the live deer, or goat's depending beard,
These were the larking Satyrs, a wild brood
Of gamesome deities; or Pan himself
The simple shepherd's awe-inspiring god!" — WORDSWORTH.
What the philosophic poet beautifully observes as above by way of a description and explanation of Nature-Worship among the Greeks, may equally be said of our Indian Aryans and other nations. In the early infancy of man, in the pleasant and innocent morning and spring of humanity, Imagination is warmest and brightest, fancy soars highest and ranges over the widest regions of nature and thought, the appreciation of the Beauty and sublimity in the natural phenomena is keenest, and the love of the Wonderful uppermost, especially under climes smiling with all the grace and beauty nature can afford, or frowning with all her severity. It is the former or the latter, predominating, as the case may be, with other accompanying causes, that determines the optimism or pessimism of a nation. It is thus that a luxuriant harvest of mythology is richly formed and gathered with the pregnant and fruitful seeds cast all around with a liberal hand by divine Poetry. And it is accordingly that wonderfully precocious, glorious, and far-aspiring philosophy is evolved out of the material. This vital energy we have witnessed growing and setting developed with the Aryans of Aryavarta and Hellas.
In those very early, pro-historic ages, man is, as it were, just heralded in the world. Everywhere there is novelty for him and that gives a strange charm to existence. His mind is in a blessed state of pleasurable excitement, His wants are limited, and consequently his cares few. Pleasure and merriment, bliss and repose greet him in every direction. He is enraptured with the harmony of numbers — with the divinely beautiful Poetry. The only fatigue he experiences is from a free range over hills and dales, on undulating plains, or along the tuneful banks of rivers or waterfalls and fountains, — or from the excitement of the chase, or the leading of a joyous dance. He is ever lulled to repose by mellifluous music. Rich and rare mythology diverts him and ambitions, though sage, — and far searching philosophy, at times, instructs him. Sweet, sublime, though changeful, nature is his only nurse to tend him, tenderly or otherwise.
Thus man,— "the wonder and glory of the universe," the topmost and most brilliant and precious link of the chain of evolution, — man, placed in this garden of nature, encircled on all sides by her caressing arms, was from the earliest times impressed with the beauty and sublimity of the aspects of nature; and he was at times awe-struck with the severe manifestations of the terrible, resistless, undeterminable, natural powers. In every direction that he turned big glancing, searching eye, incomprehensible Infinity, or inconceivable Greatness was all that be perceived.
He saw dark, frowning, giant-like mountains, rugged, raising their proud heads high above the clouds, and spreading their arms far beyond his ken. He observed the wavy clouds about their shoulders, ever and anon shaken by fitful currents of winds, and he imagined those clouds to be their wings. The nearer he approached them, the higher they seemed to rise from under the ground; and the low, deep, moanings of winds confined within their dark, chamber-like caverns re-wording them — were to him their angry vituperations! The sky he saw overcast with dark, lowering clouds, thunders roll, lightnings flash and cleave the thickest clouds, and the war of elements rages furiously: waters falling down in torrents. He read in all these the hand of superhuman agencies.
He marked the thunderbolt descend and clip the cloudwings of the mountain-giants: lop off their heads, rip open their bosoms: the host of winds confined let loose, the nectarine water-milking clouds released, the waters, enclosed and therefore till then unseen, find an outlet, beautiful streams flowing fast, bearing down all opposition in their course, trampling over the wreck of cloven rocks and falling down a precipice with noisy thundering, lash — the cooling spray spreading in all directions borne on the wings of the breezes: the milk-white foam surmounting the crests or dipping into the shallows of rapid wavelets of rapids! The spirit of Famine is destroyed, the wings of the hills clipt: and the hoard of the niggard taken from him! Some of the mountains flying the wrath of the victorious foe, take shelter in the sea; fragments rather of the hills detached from the main body under volcanic agency and cast down to a considerable distance with the same giant projectile force into a neighbouring sea, bay, gulf, or creek, or the upheavals and risings of mountain tops or rocks above sea-level through the same cause! And here we have the oft-recorded myths, the rich materials of the Poetry of the very general Rig Veda and other hymns detailing the combats of India, Divaspati, Dyaus, Zeus, Jupiter, on the one side, and Vritra, Ahi and a host of other demons, Rakshas, on the other, the marutas, the storm-gods, alone standing by the side of their Lord, when all else desert him, — and his final victory!
These severity of the sky described above gradually softens into mildness! Pleasurable stillness and brightness rule the scenery. Pearl-like rain-drops kiss the blushing, tender, glistening, and already tearful leaves or flowerets of plants, creepers, or trees in the now breaking sunshine, and display their marvellous beauty and rainbow glory. The face of Heaven smiles, as it were! A beautiful arc spans the ethereal region! The sky becomes a deep cerulean blue. Here and there white fleecy clouds spice the beauty of the canopy over-head! The sun shining in all his glory, descending the vault of heaven, bestrides it with his three huge steps, and trampling over the head of the proud demon and the fiery Titan, paints with his magic rays the clouds besprinkled about the firmament, thus preparing a glorious carpet, as it were, for night to tread upon. The finger-rays of the departing god, in love seem tremblingly to touch the fading lotus-faces, and rest but for a moment on the glowing face of ardent Sandhya in love with him! Oh the glory, the energizing power, and warmth of the Divine Vishnu call forth every morning an exclamatory prayer of the pious Arya. "We medidate upon that adorable light of Savitri! May it dispel the gloom of our Intellect!"
The Sun-God withdraws himself to repose, imparting his glory every evening to Agni the constant companion, friend, protector, father and everything of the Rishi. Dark Night, with her bright retinue of planets, stars, and constellations, appears; and just heralds the sweet and mild-faced moon. They play their part and retire.
The youthful Dawn, announcing her glorious lord Surya brings fresh warmth and vigor, light and life. The whole world seems refreshed. The vegetable kingdom assumes all the graces and traces of active life. The rivers, rills, and waterfalls renew their harmonious music, that to him at least was silent in the reign of sleep and night. In every one of these he perceives life and activity, strength greater than his own, and beauty seldom seen amongst his kind, and thus everywhere he imagines the presence of superhuman agency — a deity.
In the bright blue bend of the heavens he sees the benevolent, all-embracing parent of the world and all the gods, keeping them encased in its heart's heart and inmost bosom, the Boundless Divine Aditi Dyans, the representation of infinity, Eternity, and Immortality! The ethereal region is presided over by a benignant yet Almighty God — the Lord of the celestial host of marutas — Indra, in the army of the tempestuous powerful winds, his constant companions, and faithful attentive followers. He imagines, at first, mountains, Parvatas, to be giants, Rakshasas, and they are defeated and made powerless by his patron Divinity! One God, Surya, rules the glory of the day, and another, the blushing, changing light at night, Chandramas, or Soma. But no, Soma is the inebriating, strength-infusing, valour-inspiring beverage of the Immortals and their votaries! It is invoked in strains of greatest beauty. Indra takes delight in it, and the hoary Rishi draws the Powerful of the Powerful home to his sacrificial ground with that choicest of offerings, and he had everything granted him by the god when under its influence. Soma inspired him with the sublimest divine Poetry — revealed to him things unseen, and unseeable, unknown and unknowable, made him one with the Divinity! And so Soma was honoured with the god-head, and Soma Bacchus-Dionysus all-conquering, all-subduing, all powerful God, ranked among Immortals thus in course of time.
And Night herself was a goddess to whom is addressed one of the most beautiful hymns of Rig-Veda. So also was Ushas, Dawn! So are there Naiads, Dryads, Hamadryads, Oceanides, floral and sylvan deities, and fauns, apsarasas, elves, spirits, and goblins. Thus is formed the Pantheon of the Physiolater, and hence springs the ever flourishing, fruitful, pregnant mythology.
Again man, as he is figured above and as he essentially is, man is pleased with the scenes he views. He enjoys them: but he trembles when he sees them angry, and wishes to propitiate them with bountiful presents and offerings. He is greatly delighted when he sees them looking bright and mild. But the impression of his own insignificance and the awe-inspiring greatness of nature about him is not altogether effaced from his mind.
He sees in his domestic fire his faithful friend — the light and life of his humble home. He appreciates the genial warmth that is associated with it. But he is as well a witness to the terrible manifestation of its power — the destructive might, occasionally serving his purpose though -in the forest conflagration, so often graphically described in many a hymn addressed to Agni: The circumambient flame roaming or rolling unopposed in every direction, devouring every substance within its reach, dealing death and destruction to every denomination of life, strewing its dark path with the wrecks of destruction, dark with the once glowing embers now extinct — so he is Krishria-vartma or whitening it here and there with ashes scattered about. He feels the earth quake, and hears the underground thunder roll and reverberate. He witnesses volcanoes burst, and devastate the most fruitful fields, and disfigure the comliest face of earth, and there he sees the angry goddess Chandika-Jvalamukhi riding a blood thirsty gory lion, angrily shake her world-destroying-annihilating trident! He is apprized of the submarine fire Aurva's rage: the angry foaming ocean lashing the shore with all its might: the sun burning bright, the night assuming a deadening chill: the biting cold of winter almost extinguishing life.
And under all these circumstances he has the painful cognition of his helpless plight. He is convinced of the fact that his gods are mild and severe as occasion suits them or permits: that they too are endowed with the same feelings, emotions, sensations, motives as himself.
Another season comes: a second cycle commences. The sun is eclipsed: the light of day obscured: the brightest eye of Heaven blindfolded: one of his own favourite deities eaten up by an invisible demon — Rahu! The struggle ensues; and, after great travail, the solar deity is delivered. The moon also has to grapple with the same giant, and in the same manner his other gods have to bear the brunt of the brutal force of a fierce foe. The war between Good and Evil, Light and Darkuess, between Indra and Vritra, Ahara Mazda and Ahriman, Jehova or Messia, and Satan, Zeus or Jupiter, and Titans, continues for ever. Poesy narrates the varied actions and delineates them in the choicest fancy colours. Omniscient Philosophy, too, offers some explanation of the phenomena. Human mind is agitated, energized, is at stir. His (i. e. man's) ambition rises, rebellious spirit sprouts forth. Can he not get the spark of that Promethean fire to melt the unyielding adamantine shackles of superstition and ignorance, that weigh heavy upon him? Can he not be independent, free' — These are the questions that storm his heart and fire his soul. Poesy tells him of a powerful, dreadful Rakshasa, Ravana, who through sheer force of his energy, Tapas, obtained Universal Sovereignty. All the vanquished host of heaven paid homage to him. The Sun, the, Moon, the Wind, Fire, Ocean, and the Ruler of all the Rulers and Lord of the Heavens, even the Thunderer, served him obediently and received humbly his commands and did him servile duty! The Creator, lord of all creatures, Brahma Prajapati, was his chaplain, who instructed him from time to time as to his futurity. An aerial car bore him through the ethereal regions — wherever he willed. Thus was the domination over nature and her agencies, as exemplified in Ravana, rendered complete!
Are there no means, is there no agent that may secure to him that long coveted object? Has he no means within his reach to accomplish that end? Why not! He had and has yet with him what he wanted. He must look within and without him. He has that reason, that intellect, that imagination, contemplation, that observing faculty, that power of experimenting. Philosophy he has had long since developed in course of time. Science or experimental Philosophy was what he needed, and that was evolved out of the elements he had in him, and developed. The mind thus awakened by curiosity, by investigation, and enlightened by observation and experience, penetrated right through the mysteries of nature. And they were known to him, and were embodied into science; and what has not that science — associated with Art and Industry — done for him? Yes, that is the most powerful agent and Novum Organon of his.
The dreams of Imagination have now been realized: fables are now proved facts. The giant Intellect of man has converted the denizens of Olympus — of Meru of old -the powers and forces of nature, into his ready, pliant, and obedient ministers and agents. They drive his mills, work the machines of his contrivance, drag his vehicles, saw planks of wood for him, drudge at his various manufactories, and thus perform many an admirable and useful service. Thus Wind, Water, and Fire are humbled and forced to do the service of menials! Their sting of mischief has been removed, their destructive force assuaged
for a while. They cannot now elude his grasp. The sun must draw portraits at his bidding; and one of the citizens of the metropolis of Western India — Mr. Adams of Bombay — ventures to convert him into an agent to work the spinning and weaving and other mills or run our locomotives. The lightning is his swiftest, most faithful and efficient messenger, encircling the globe in a very short space of time, like Robin Goodfellow. He is at home, as it were, in the arms of angry Neptune. He has already sounded those watery depths and mastered their secrets. He has counted the host of stars, registered their names, and taken an almost accurate map of the heavenly regions. He has read the Past of this world and the Kosmos and has an almost perfect prevision of their future. He has taken a rough measure of time and space. He rides on the wings of Ariel, and his car rises to such a height as to appear like a grey speck on the serene, cerulean face of heaven -far transcending the lightest and brightest and highest clouds, and exultingly taking a comprehensive view of the unseen and otherwise invisible wonders of nature from a commanding position aye a station, triumphant! The track of a traveller on the ice-fields is lost for ever after a momentary impression, but not that of sound of any denomination written by the Theosophist, Edison, on a tin-foil now! They (i. e. the sounds or letters pronounced, uttered, or recited) as if by magic, shall receive and inherit eternity of existence as a boon unasked — charactered though they be on a frail substance — likely to be faithfully reproduced at any moment; and the Phoneidoscope from this time gives him images of sound, reflected in beautiful fringes of colours on the floating tiny soap-bubbles! His powers of sight and hearing have been and are being greatly increased. He can now see the minutest animalculae, or hear the faintest pulsation or the most inaudible tread of the butterfly, greatly magnified, and this is not enough. His other resources have immensely been and shall be so multiplied; for science has still an inexhaustible store of marvels for him undreamt of.
Ahmedabad, November 1879.
Editor's Note: — We have not been willing to interrupt the rhythmic flow of our correspondent's language with any commentaries of our own, but must add a word of supplement. The outward phase of the idea of nature-worship he has succinctly and eloquently traced. But he, in common with most modern scholars, completely ignores one chief factor. We allude to the experience, once so common among men, now so comparatively rare, of a world of real beings, whose abode is in the four elements, beings with probable though as yet ill defined powers, and a perceptible existence. We are sorry for those who will pity us for making this admission; but fact is fact, science or no science. The realization of this inner world of the Elementals dates back to the beginning of our race, and has been embalmed in the verse of poets and preserved in the religious and historical records of the world. Granted that the perception of phenomena developed nature worship, yet, unless our materialistic friends admit that the range of these phenomena included experiences with the spirits of the elements and the higher and noble realities of Psychology, it would trouble them to account for the universality of belief in the various races of the Unseen Universe.
Why should but one of the elements, namely earth, be so densely populated, and fire, water, air, &c., be deemed empty voids, uninhabited by their own beings — the "viewless races," as the great Bulwer-Lytton called them? Is this partiality of nature a logical hypothesis of science? Who that observes the marvellous adaptations of the organs of sense and the natures of beings to their environment, dares say that these elementals do not exist, until he is well assured that the perceptive faculties of our bodies are capable of apprehending all the secret things of this and other worlds? Why may not the spirits of the kingdoms of earth, air, fire and water, be non-existent to us — and we to them — only because neither has the organs to see or feel the other? Another aspect of this subject was treated in our December issue. — ED. THEOS.
A Marvellous Manifestation.— A Man Face to Face With His Own Soul.
In the "History of the Intellectual Development of Europe," by J. W. Draper of New York, occurs this passage on Alexandrian Necromancy: "Thus Plotinus wrote a book on the association of demons with men, and his disciple Porphyry proved practically the possibility of such an alliance; for, repairing to the temple of Isis, along with Plotinus and a certain Egyptian priest, the latter, to prove his supernatural powers, offered to raise up the spirit of Plotinus himself in a visible form. A magical circle was drawn on the ground, surrounded with the customary astrological signs, the invocation commenced, the spirits appeared, and Plotinus stood face to face with his own soul. In this successful experiment it is needless to inquire how far the necromancer depended upon optical contrivances, and how far upon an alarmed imagination. Perhaps there was somewhat of both, but if thus the spirit of a living man could be called up, how much more likely the souls of the dead."
THEDEVIL IS DEAD.
Sigh, priests: — cry aloud — hang your pulpits with black,
Let sorrow bow down every head;
The good friend who bore all your sins on his back,
Your best friend, the Devil, is dead.
Your church is a corpse — you are guarding its tomb;
The soul of your system has fled;
The death knell is tolling your terrible doom;
It tells us, the Devil is dead.
You're bid to the funeral, ministers all,
We've dug the old gentleman's bed;
Your black coats will make a most excellent pall,
To cover your friend who is dead.
Aye, lower him mournfully into the grave;
Let showers of tear-drops be shed;
Your business is gone: — there are no souls to save;
Their tempter, the Devil is dead.
Woe comes upon woe; it is dreadful to think,
Hell's gone and the demons have fled;
The damn'd souls have broken their chains, every link,
The jailer, who bound them, is dead.
Camp-meetings henceforth will be needed no more;
Revivals are knocked on the head;
The orthodox vessel lies stranded on shore;
Their Captain, the Devil, is dead. — Prof. Denton.