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THE BIRMINGHAM AGE-HERALD
ypLUME xxxxn_ Birmingham, Alabama, sitnday, march u>, ihin magazine section number 314 Bill Vines on the Business of Politics MISTUR EDDITUR: It is remarkabull how freely a Statesman will express his furm convictslons regarding his parly's genner el polysles, ami also about the bonehed ness and gennerel lncompltlnsy of the uther political parties. It Is the easiest thing in the world to go to one of our grate ropubllcon statesmen, and get his unbyased ami frank opinion aiiout ttie demmycratie administration which has jest cranked up the macheen of state and is now inunkcying with the steering geer and poking its finger round the spark plug. Rite off the bat he’ll tell you how verry unfortunate, it all is, and how he veews with alarm the unorganized hoard of Pirates who have controle of the affares 01 ttie Nasicn. "The blzness interests of tlie country," he seys. "is cought with thf goods rite between the persunnel arnbl •ions and conflicting emoslons and opln yun8 of the leeders of the demmycratle party," lie seys. "Mr. Bryan wants to go one way and Mr. IVilsun wants to go anuther nay and Osker Underwood wants to go another way, and the rest of the party In the House and Senate stand around like a lot of goats sulh favurrlng one thing and sum anuther" he seys. •'There Is no unity of purpose," lie seys. t "Exsept that evvery boddy wants all the pye he can get, and will raise a merry racket if he don't got it. No boddy knows what is going to he dim. The blznesg Interests of the country has pawsed In its pursoot of the Ultimate Consumer, and is standing in suspeense waiting to see how much its going to cost them. Evvery thing Is Kiiaotick and gUieose; nothing is for sertatn. Under the Repub licon party evvery boddy knew what to expect, they knew condisions would not be disturhbed; they knew that our Infint Industries would continuew to Its pro tected, and that all the peepul would would have to do would be to go rite ahed and make all they could and turn It ovver to 'em," ho seys. "The labbering man knew that he would be allowed to contln etv to work and pay taxes and go on strikes and such things In ackordense with our ansient institusions," he seys. "Under Republicon rule we have had an unpregsldlnted ery of Prosperrlt.v for six teen yeers," he seys. "Dlvvldends have Increesed, Crops have increased, offlse holders have Increesed, Tnvestigasion has Increesed, Pensclons have Increesed, and still the peepul are not happy," lie seys. "I weep for my country,” he seys. "It we struggle through the next fore yeers without a series of convulsions and pan nicks which will lceve all of our Indus tries in the hospital for the agreed and infurm cripples, and without beholding J. P. MoiHrin and John D. Rockerfeller pat ronizing free soup houses, I will indeed be happy,'’ he seys. Then you interveew the Demmycratic Statesman and get his idears about the future of the Country. "Onse moor," he seys. "in the histery of the Republick the peepul air soopreem in this country. We have rested fruin the traffickers and Munny changers in the Temple the rains of Guvvermint,’’ he seys. “The kornnicopfa is abroad In the land and will Kornnicope sum for the commun peepul. Too long has Pred ditory weelth and Wall street dommlnated the free institutions of our forefathurs. The Demmycratic party stands unnited and Ifarmonyus and with a full determ minasion to put all the forth class post offises in the Sivvil Servise. as soon as the jobs air filled -with good Demmycrats. We will reduse the tariff on evverythlng exsept lumber," he seys. “I do not agree with my Demmycratic Colleeges about lumber," be seys. "Dumber is one of the leeding industries in my districk and I can show that the lumber industry is wurthy of sum consideration," lie seys, "and besides that lumber is a luxury ennyhow, and there ought to be a tax on luxuries. 1 think it would be a calam rnlty to reduse the tarriff on lumber, and I warn the demmycratlc party that they will reck there opportunities to do so," he seys, 'and besides that it will defect me for the nomminasion next time,'' he seys. "We must have free suger,” he says. The comtnun peepul use lots of super and it is an outrage to tax the menny for tlie tew,” he seys. 'T deplore the tendensy of sum demmycrats to demand a tarriff on suger. They air not demmycrats, they air republicans at hart, and they want to rob the peepul for the irhmtoter Interests,” he seys. "The peepul have plased us in power,” he seys, “and if we show our incapassity to run the Guvvermlnt by putting a tarrif on suger they will kick us out of offise,” he seys. "I favur an incum tax,” he continews, “an incum tax on evvery incum above five thousend dol lers, exsept memburs of Congress,” he seys. “There air not menny peepul In my dist.rick who have enny ineums to speek of that voted for me,” he seys, “and the rich ought to pay the expenses of the Guvvermint.” Then you go to see a demmycrat who was “promminitly mensioned for the Cab binet,” but who in sum unaccountabull way was ovverlooked when the names weer sent into the Senate by the Presi ding "Of corse," he seys, "T do not like to commit myself rite now about condisions in the party,” he seys. "Rut I feet* the worst. Presidint Wllsun has not shown that rare judgemint which for a while he gave evvldense of posscssin,” he seys. "This Is what we get by electing a man to the Hyest offise in the gift of the j.eepul who has fullered purely a Accadem mick occupasion," he seys. "He no sooner pulls off his ovvershoes and draws his mileage than he begins to act foolifch,” he seys. "T do not like to give the Presi dint pain by sleeking of him in this man ner, but during his first w'eek of ofrise lie has basely truckled to a corrupt ln flewanse in the party which I have all along advised him against. "Before the nommlnasion I was his warm supporter and he frcquintly asked my advise wh h was freely givven," he seys. "T men sioned to him sevverel times durring the campain, that in case he was elected Pressidint, there weer sevverel of the Cabbinet jobs into which sum much need ed reforms mite be properly introdused, and he would Joculerly slap me on the back and suy that I was sum classy lit tle introduser of reforms myself and that he would always remember it," he sed. "I do not care myself for this Cabbinet job. T only longed to surve my country. And T beleeved that T could smve my country moor efftslently as a Cabblnet officer with moor pay than '1 am now getting than in enny in her way.” "But cents the electslon the President lias treeted me coldly and offish. lie has not sought my advise. He has denyed himself frum drinking at tlie fountain of my experyense. By his corse he has alienated my respect and esteem and that of a frend of mine who is also polytlcally pure, and Its has spoiled a perfectly good adminnlstraiBlcn. "T sadly reer," he seys, wiping away a t.eer of regret, "that be fore the adminnlstrasion is a yeer old the peepul will be yelling for the Hook." It is Indeed tuff on our demmycratjc statesmen, for revvenew only, who have for yeers looked aftur there prospects like a trained nurse, under most unfa vurabull condision, to let the momint of supposed tryumphant victery, see them swivvel up and cash In, owing the pervers sity of a billyus Individuel they have elected Pressidint, In actuelly carrying out his campnin statemints that he was going to be Pressidint of all tlie peepul. So far as I am individuellv consented, far be it frum me to criticise the Press! - dint. T shall give the Pressidint evvery oppertuimity to make good before 1 wound him with enny sarcastick refferenses to thp way lie runs the Ouvvermlnt. If h® sec fit to turn down the petition '1 have sent to him setting forth a few facts legarding my sterling worth and my abll lity to draw the saller.v of a sertuin position under the Guvverniiut, I *haii not fly off the liaudie and Cuss out the aclmiimistrasion. t will ovverlook this error in judgcmint and give him another change. I atn not wedded to enny mi® perticuler job. Of corse I’m not looking tor work, or enny thing like that, hut if I can't get the scttaln job 1 have select ed, who am I that I should get mad about it and not have enny job at all? Tf the Pressldlnt thinks that, a For rain Ambasserdership would not becum my peculier style of buty, but that 1 would look well as Assistant Secretory of the Treasury, or sum such ‘bot-not’ as that, 1 will grascfully yeeld to ids superyor judgernint and continew to stand by ids policies, whatevver they air. Until th® f'ressldint proves conclusively that he is not going to send my game to the Sen ate, and that he is totally lncompetint to run the affares of a grate Nasion, T atn going to give him the bennefit of the doubt and support the adminnistrasion. [ don't think we ought to he too selfish. Yours trooly, BILE VINES, Washington, D. C. The Pantheon of the Himalayas FAR away in distant India lie the Himalaya mountains, truly termed the roof of the world and the mightiest specimens of the handicraft of the Almighty. They are sublimely beauti ful in the distance, they are wonderfully impressive at the approach and positively they are a dream in stone, in the other terrifying in their vicinity. In one phase they are a dream in stone, in the other a demon of living rock. From their mighty fastnesses flow the two great rivers of India, and upon the apices of their loftiest peaks was situated the abode of the In dian gods. The Himalayas are associated with leg ends, epics and sagas that are replete with all consuming interest., and it is a marvel as well as a subject of regret that the tales of their gods and heroes are so little known by the western world. Still, there may exist several reasons for the prevalence of this occidental ig norance, the most potent of which are the comparatively few translations, until recently, of Indian literature and the lengthy, almost unpronounceable, names of their gods, heroes and heroines. We have always been accustomed to look to the Greeks for Hie sources of my thology and demi-gods, but as the Rom ans borrowed their religion from Greece ao the Grecian pantheon found Its pro totypes in oriental characters, and even Hercules may be traced to an Indian origin. As in the Homeric age, India has its two wonderful epics, the one descriptive of battle, valiant deeds and bloodshed, the other breathing the softest sentiments of love, delightful dalliance and weary wan derings. The latter is known as the Ha mayana, is almost an analogue to the Odessey and is a book which I never tire In perusing. The Indian Shakc?spear is Kalidasa, who lived about the time of Christ, and his masterpiece is the drama Shakuntala. which when translated by Sir William Jones in 17S9 produced such u profound •ensatlon in England and Germany that the study of Sum*krit immediately became a vogue. I am not going to frighten nor worry my readers with long names, but shall refer to a few' of the shortest and most pleas ing cognomens In relating a few of these gems of literature and sweetest of legends. Shakuntala was the daughter of a nymph and being left at her birth in the woods was nourished by the birds until she was found and adopted by a sage. She is met in the forest by a king who is hunting and immediately falls in love with her. His majesty induces the girl to contract a marriage of simple acceptance, and upon leaving for his capital gives his wife a ring. When Shakuntala returns to the hermitag? another sage pronc/unces upon her the curse of being forgotten by her tuishand, but later relents to the ex-* ttiiu that Ui« king will remember his wife V . when he sees the ring. The girl starts upon a journey In search of the king, but while bathing in a sacred pool loses her ring so that her husband fails to recog nize her, and site returns to the forest, where her son is horn. However, a fisherman catches a fish \\ liich has swallowed the ring and is brought Into the presence of the king upon the charge of having stolen the ring. Upon seeing the lost pledge-the king remembers Shakuntala and at once setH out in search of her. This is beautiful but it Is only a drama and does not belong to legends proper. One of the prettiest of Indian legends is that of Damayanti, known as the “pearl of girls" and a synopsis thereof is well worth consideration It has been translated into both the dead and living languages from I,atin to Swedish. Nala was a great hunter of the Him alayas as well as a king, but his love for tlie beautiful once caused him to spare the life of a handsome swan This bird in gratitude sang to Damay anti the charms and graces of Nala to such an extent that the young girl fell in love with the king and declared that she would wed no other. Her fath er, who was also a king, gave his daughter, according to the customs of those days, a tournament and great festival which was always attended by girls of the warrior caste and at which they might choose their husbands. In fact the function was known as a svayumvara which means "self choice." This was a time when the gods still visited this earth and mingled with mortals a.nd they were as amorous and as mischievous as those of Greece or Home. They decided to attend the tournament and upon their way thith er encountered Nala also en route to (he function. They bade him go to Damayanta and sue for them. The king though reluctant so to do Is in duced toconsent and by their assist ance is enabled to gain access to the girl's chamber where he tells her that the gods desire her hand. She informs Nala that she will ehoose hut him even though tile gods themselves be pres ent. At the tournament four of the chief gods assume tin* appearance of Nala and Damayanti Is unable to dis tinguish the real object of her affec tions. in her despair the young girl prays to the gods and they resume their divine attributes whereupon she chooses Nala to the great grief of the kings and corresponding delight of the g&ds. The latter give Nala magi gifts: the wedding feast is celebrated ami Nala returns with his bride to ills kingdom. Here they live happily anil are blessed with two children. Isdra-' sens and his sister Isdrasenaa. lint gambling was a besetting vice of that age and In Its indulgence Nala loses all, his kiugdorn and his family, BY C. F. MARKELL and, transformed Into a dwarf, ho wan ders tnto tIre forest. Here lie becomes the charioteer of Rituparna, King of Oudh. Damayata, who has returned to her father's court, suspects that Nala is at Ouhd and offers iier hand to Rituparna if lie will drive from Ouhd to her home, a distance of 500 miles, in a single day, knowing that only her husband is equal lo the task. Nala drives Rituparna through the air and is rewarded by perfect skill in throw ing the dice. His wife recognizes him by his magic command of fire and wa ter and his cooking, lie then resumes his true form, wins back all that he lias lost and lives happily with Dam ayunti ever afterward. It seems that the only species of gambling known ' to the Indians of that period was in throwing the die, but the dice were marked upon four sides only and not upon six sides as at present. The spots were called yugas and typified ages, four being reck oned the best and one the worst. One was designated kaliyugu and represent ed the Iron age. a metal to which the Indians had an extreme aversion. i have often been struck with the similarity existing between the Indian ami the Norse legends and mythology and have spoken in a previous paper of this dread of the touch of iron en tertained by the swan maidens and elves of the’ Norsk sagas. The Hindus had their Bros or Cupid, god of love, and in some respects he is more felicitous than the wily marksman of the Greeks or Romans, He was the son of Faith and Fortune and his bow wAs made of sugar cane, while a line of bees constituted the bowstring, lie carried hut five arrows, each being tipped with a distinctive flower supposed to conquer one of the five senses. Sugar and honey are charming similitudes of love aipl tile domination of the senses by a flower is tile qulntesenee of delicate, sensuous ness. The little god was railed Kama and he rode upon a parrot or sparrow. He was always attended by nymphs, one of whom invariably bore a banner dis playing the Makara. or a fish on a red ground. His wife was Prlttl (affection! and iiis daughter, Trisha, represented desire, while Ids son was known as the unrestained. There is a meaning and world of thought in each of these allegorical names. Mankind possesses an intense pen chant for worshipping something and this Is tlie secret of heroes eventually becoming deified and placed In the pantheon. I have been struck with tills tendency wiien visiting the tomb and residence of Peter the Great in Rus sia. ills relies and their depositor!** have become veritable shrines and I have seen the ignorant peasants cross ing themselves and bowing before and kissing an old garment of accoutre ment that once belonged to the great <*zar, who is today called by many St. Peter the Great. Not only ordinary mortals but plants and beverages have become the sub ject of apotheosis and the Dlonysiac and Bacchic worship of the Greeks and Rorpans find their counterpart in the Hindu worship of soma, a strange ob ject, sometimes the moon, again a plant and still again a drink. As a plant has been Identified in modern times as the Sarcostemma viminalls and in olden days if was collected by the light of tiie moon on certain mountain tops. It was stripped of its leaves which were carried to the place of sacrifice where the priests crushed the stalks between stones, sprinkled them with water ai)d placed them on a sieve for purification. After the Juice had trickled through the meshes of the sieve* into a vessel, it was mixed with clarified butter and barley and allowed to ferment when it was offered In libation to the gods or drunk by the priests. Tills was the practical method of its preparation but in the poetical sense soma was brought from the sky by a falcon and guarded by the Gandharvas, who were heaven ly choiresters at the banquets of the gods. They also regulate the course of the horses of the sun and reveal the secrets of heaven. They are the parents of the first human pair, Tama and Yami, who have preceded all to the realm beyond. From them aro derived ecstatic states just as u, sudden. fear that struck au army or assemblage was regarded by the anctonts as being caused by the unseen presence of Pan, and hence called panics. Its juice was regarded as nectar conferring eternal life and vigor upon those who imbibed it and over 300 lengthy hymns are devoted to its praise. As the plant was yellow it Is presumed that the name soma came to be applied to the moon from the fact that Luhu was regarded as a yellow drop in the sky. In the Apsaras of the Hindus we find the analogues of the Norse Val kyries. Instead of riding horses they bestrode the breezes and conduct to the heaven of Indra warriors fallen in battle whose wives they become. But they are very fond of throwing dice and are accredited with good fortune in play. But tjie Himalayas have also their ter rible gods or demons and their home is nron Kuilasa. one of the loftiest peaks? of the mighty mountains. Here dwells Kali, “the inaccessible, ’ and few persons know that tlie name of the city of Calcutta is but a corruption o.f Kaligliatta, meaning the ghat, or land ing place of Kali. She must have been a creature horrifying to behold, for her body was dark blue and the palms of her hands bright red while her dishev eled hair reached to her feet. Her tongue protruded from her mouth, which was marked with blood. She wore a neck lace of human heads and a cincture of bloodstained hands encircled her waist. During her cult near Calcutta her tem ples swam with blood. Kali was hideous enough, hut in this respect she seems to have been surpassed by her divine spouse, Shiva. 'Phis god’s throat was also dark blue, hut the dis coloration was caused by poison which v ould have destroyed the world had lie not swallowed it at the churning of the ocean, fie had five faces and three eyes to each visage, one of the eyes being in the center of the forehead. His hair was thickly matted and protruded like a horn from his forehead. His central eye was encompassed by a crescent which denoted the measurement of time by months, a serpent around his neck marked the flight of time by .’.ears and a necklace of skulls and serpents about his person typified the revolution of ages. He usually rode a white bull and well it was that he rode for he was so encumbered with ac coutrements and attributes that walking would have been a difficult process. He earried a noose and a drum shaped like an hour glass, a trident, a bow, an ax. a thunderbolt, a skull-mounted staff and a nondescript weapon called a khlnkira. Nor wras this all; be was burdened with a tiger skin, a deer skin and an ele phant’s skin and he often held a deer In one of his hands. He is worshipped to day at Benares and the Hindu scrip tures mention him under more than a thousand different names. Tils companion in the pantheon of India is less revolting and more impressive. The latter's name was Vishnu and in him we again see the close resemblance to the Norsk god I.okl. for both possessed and employed the power of transforming them selves into various shapes and forms. Vishnu engaged in 10 incarnations, the chief of which were those of a fish, a lion, a wild hoar, a tortoise, a lion an:l a dwarf. He moved over the great wa ters resting upon the back of a huge marine serpent and again one of his principal achievements was striding over the heavens in just three steps. The lat ter feat he performed while in the shape of the dwarf, Vamana. Tn the second age of creation the three worlds, heaven, earth and hades, belonged to the demon Bali, but Vanama persuaded the demon to give him as much possession as lie could compass in three strides. Vanama promised and was surprised to see the dwarf cover heaven and earth In three steps and leave nothing but hades as a place of occupancy for the demon. Vishnu had a peculiar mark upon his breast and was covered with precious and rare jewels. Those who are familiar with Norsk mythology will recall the myste rious battle of Loki for tin- Rransuga necklace, and will note the remarkable resemblance between that wily god and Vishnu. The latter wore upon his breast the costly jewel Kaustubha, and upon his wrist the rare gem Syarnentuku. His attributes were as numerous as those of Shiva, consisting of a conch shell, a discus, a club, a lotus, a mow and a sword. He rode upon the garuda, a strange creature, half man and half vul ture. It possessed the body and limbs of a human and the head, wings, beak and talons of an eagle. Its face was white, its wings Ted and its body golden. Like Shiva, Vishnu was known under more than 10<Hi names, and his wife was Luk shmi, a goddess closely corresponding to the Greek A'dirodite. Her creation was most remarkable, and this way—when Vishnu was a tortoise, he recovered cer tain treasures which had been lost in the deluge. His huge- back served as a pivot lor the mountain Mandara, around which the gods and demorfg twisted the serpent Kasukl. This prodigious gyration churned the ocean and brought up 14 precious ob jects. Those objects were Ambrosia, a physician to the gods; Lakshmi or beauty. Sura or goddess of wine, ('handra or the moon, the prototype of lovely women, the prototype of horses, the wonder jewel worn upon Vishnu’s breast, a celestial tree yielding all desires, the cow grunting all boons, the prototype of elepnants. a conch shell which discomfit ted all enemies by Its sounds, an unerring bow and a deadly poison. This is Intensely interesting, for In It we detect many or the germs of Grecian mythology. Aphrodite, like Lakshmi. was sea born: horses sprung rroin the sea ami hence Neptune, the sea god. Hist invented horses; the celestial trees correspond to th' golden apples of Ihsperldes, and in the wonder working jewel we find the trea.sure of the Rhine or Nlbelungon hord, which Is of Scandinavian origin. The deadly poison refers to that which dis patched Hercules, and here for a mo ment's divergance, which is worthy of note Near Sardinia Is a little Isle once known as the Island of Hercules, and upon It grew a strange and deadly poison. This poison was peculiar to Sardinia, of which the tiny island was a part, and dro^ve those who partook of it mad. Rut It. caused Its victims to cm He just before death, and hence our word sardonic Smile or smile of Sardinia Though we do not know his origin, we can trace this man Hercules in all his wanderings, and 1 shall write of him in a future paper. He !-• closely alH« i to Bacchus, both of them wciu ruii persona, and it Is an interesting query If the two were not one and the same individual. India was the Hindu god of the air. and like Jupiter wielded the thunderbolt in the storm. He was a mighty god and worked for noble ends. His chief labors consisted in warring against the demons who in the shape of dragons essayed to deprive the earth and mortals of the light warmth of the sun. lie Is the favor ite in the,epics of India. It Is a great pity that much beauty of thought should he marred by absurd and puerile contentlop for there are today two great religious parties in India war ring over the precedence of a frontal Tnark, one faction contending ihai prefer ment should be accorded Vishnu’s right foot and the other equally zealous in maintaining that equal reverence is duo the impress of both feet. Of the two great Indian epics the Tla mayana appeals to me the more potently, and in it there are unmistakable traces of the Trojan cycle of legends. Until the date of Valmikl, its reputed author, is established, it must remain a mooted question whether Homer drew his inspira tions from Hindu sources or vice versa* It is not for me to say. England Fears .Jingoism From the New York Times. “The most ominous symptom of Eu rope Is the revival of Jingoism in France." In this phrase one of the foremost leaders of liborul opinion in England summed up the view, taken by a con siderable part of the press and public of England of the recent developments across the channel. With the entente cordlale binding this country to active co-operation with France under certain contingen cies, British Interest is obviously keen er than that of a mere spectator. It is no secret that there exists iu England a school of publicists and politicians who are convinced that Great Britain will ionic day have to fight German , and believe that the longer that day is deferred the smaller will lie England's chance of coming victorious out of the death grapple. With tim improved relations of Great Britain and Germany of l^te it is sig nificant that this school is looking to the recent development of what is termed "the new spirit" in France a the mediaeval (‘hrist.au looked at the coming of a new crusade. By part of the Ijo.idon press 1‘res ident Hoi non re's presidential message, the appointment of-’M. l(cleanse to St. . ’ftcrsbtirg and the announcement ..f the projected increase in military ex penditure are extolled uj signs of th* hi* heal pauiolibiu.