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SONG OF THE RED REPUBLICAN.
ession's thunder knell from the watch-towers of time!
BELIEF.— I am not afraid of those tender and scrupulous consciences, who are ever cautious of professing and believing too much; if they are sincerely in the wrong, I for give their errors, and respect their integrity. The men I am afraid of, are the men who believe every thing, subscribe to every thing, and vote for every thing. Bishop Shipley.
THE DEMON OF DESPOTISM.
AN ALLEGORIC HISTORY.
(Continued from last number.) At length, the moon sunk below the western horizon, and that glorious luminary the sun was absent; when indulging in a reverie on the future, I seated myself in one of the deepest and gloomiest shadows of one of earth's highest mountains. “What," I soliloquised, “will be the destiny of this newly discovered race? Wbat are their capabilities, what their motives of action ? Will their governing principles be love or hatred ; harmony and peace, or strife and war ?" Doubt, anxious doubt, moved my soul ; hope, not bright and cheering, but like the solitary rays of the sun, darting through the murky clouds of one of winter's gloomiest, wildest days, alternately illuminated or threw darker shades over the boundless vista of the future. Whilst I thus sat brooding over the future destinies of man, light--dim and feebleskirted the eastern heavens ; gradually but slowly it increased, until first the verge, then the broad disk of the sun showed itself, and he moved in his godlike march towards the zenith. The new race bowed towards the east, and paid adoration to the ascending divinity; incense ascended from the tops of the mountains ; altars were erected on the hills, and in the forests; the blood of victims was shed; the moans of these victims, the shouts of the approving multitude, the veneration paid to man by man,—these are, must be, and will be, the triumphant powers, mutually acting in the minds of men, for the creation and perpetuation of tyranny and despotism. "Thus," I exclaimed, “ shall I reign !"
“ Fear! What is that? The elements only warred ; and yet men bow and beseech ;-they pray, they sacrifice! This feeling in this weak race, is omnipotent for evil. The lamb, the ox, fall first ; other sacrifices must and will follow, and I must have supremacy on earth. In whom? Where ? How?" Thus thoughts crowded upon thoughts in quick succession ; and all nature responded, “Over man himself. The priest first, the tyrant afterwards !” Day and night rolled on, season succeeded season ; men multiplied upon the earth; the priests assembled, assumed a sanctity and authority, seized
upon the fears of the people, contemplated the motions and influences of the heavenly bodies, believed, or pretended to believe, that these ruled the destinies of the human family ; called them gods; instituted rites and forms of worship; adored, towards the east in the morning and west in the evening, the rising and setting Lord of the heavenly hosts; and thus man universally fell into my power, and I arose supreme over his destinies, and became absolute; and his happiness or misery now hangs upon my fiat !
In the deep caverns of the earth, in the gloom and solitude of the woods and forests, the priests assembled, and devoted themselves to meditation and worship. The lust of power, the ambition to govern, became their ruling passion. I fanned the spark until it grew into a volcano. I nurtured the germ until it increased and spread out its branches over the surface of the earth, until kings, princes, and priests reposed under its shade. Soon the work of mystery commenced. Ignorant of the influences of the elements, every good, every disaster, was traced to the gods. The swamps and marshes on the great plains of the earth sent forth fatal effluvit ; the sun shone through a false and illusive medium ; the air was filled with 'pestilence ; men looked pale in their countenances—the impress of the fear of death ; they drooped and sunk into
the earth! Death was in every home. Except the moanings and lamentations of the dying, there was stillness and silence abroad, not even a breath of air moved over the surface of the earth : men disappeared, sunk in the ocean of time, and were known no more, for ever. The priests proclaim that the supreme divinity is offended, sacrifices are demanded, that which is most valued and loved of men, must be a voluntary offering to the gods. These priests looked gloomy, walked with an air of sacred mystery; clothed theniselves in symbolical attire ; called a conclave for grave consultation, and then proclaimed that the daughter of a king must be the salvation of the people.
In this I congratulated myself, in having partially consummated a masterly stroke of policy. The manacles of bondage were now firmly rivetted on the deluded human race. “ This," I exclaimed, “is the triumph of the Demon of Despotismı!” The morning was gloomy, but not clouded ; the sun shone, but his light was lurid and the air hazy. The multitude was assembled. The place selected was a grove of oaks ; a rude procession was formed ; a number of priests clothed in yellow preceded ; after these followed unskilled musicians beating drums and timbrels; behind these was seen a tall majestic female, clothed in long flowing robes of white ; her countenance deathly pale,-her young soul quivered on her lips; the multitude gave a shout of joy, but a tear stole silently down the cheeks of the innocent victim. Near the devoted maiden, when the procession had reached the grove of oaks, stood the aged parent. He was tall and stately in his person ; his painful duty was to hand the human victim to the priest. When he took the hand of his devoted daughter, it slightly trembled, his eyes were suffused with tears, a deep but suppressed sigh heaved from his heart. He then folded his arms, and watched the holy rite, with a stern fixedness of purpose depicted in his wild look and unmoved countenance. The high-priest uncovered the bosom of the young woman ; she stood before him the emblem of beauty and innocence ; he muttered a prayer to the Lord of heaven, the Sun; a gloomy sternness spread itself over his features ; he raised the knife ; it descended directly to the heart of the victim; she fell struggling on the altar, breathing out her pure soul a sacrifice for the people. This religious sacrifice effectually established the spiritual and political despotism of the priesthood. When I beheld this I laughed, in nockery and scorn, over the future destinies of man.
A few days after this event, the winds blew in all the fury of the tempest, _action gáve purity to the air,—the purity of the air health to the human being. This was attributed to the mysterious interference of some deity. The priesthood seized upon the auspicious event, proclaimed the love and mercy of this benevoient divinity, though they omitted to instruct the people that if this Be'ing had the power to remove, he had also the power to prevent, this calamity, which would have been a much more godlike display of love and mercy.
Having succeeded in my design, with a joyous exultation, I prepared for, and entered upon, new adventures. “This proud race imagine,” I said, " that they are created in the im age of Good or God. I will transform them into evil beings. One porticin shall be filled with pride, they shall glory in false and worthless dignities and grandeur; the other and the greater portion shall be poor mental imbeciles, shall bow down to shadows and pray to nonentities. But whith er shall I wing my way? It is morning; how pure and pellucid is the light ! Ilow rapid its motion! Yet with greater speed I must traverse these waters ; they appear to be boundless, and lie
under the placid face of heaven, reflecting the golden rays of the sun, as if they were one solid piece of polished silver. How peaceful and har. monious are the elements, fit emblems of yonder race; yet war and discord shall be the portion of man. Yonder appears some small dark speck in the distant verge of the ocean, like dark spots on the sun's disk; as I near them, they look like miniature worlds, in the midst of the trackless waters. On them are moving multitudes of human beings; perhaps they are governed by the influence of peace and love; if so, I must diffuse amongst them the elements of discord, strife, and war. Supremacy, civil and spiri. tual superiority: what enchanting names! How these visionary sons of God will slaughter each other for the phantoms! Here, on the summit of these cloud-capped hills, I take my seat, and observe the motions and pursuits of this proud but weak race. How is this? They live in peace, are free, and each independent of the other. They fish, hunt, and enjoy the spontaneous productions of the earth, in equality and independence. But unrestrained ambition and insatiable avarice shall break through all. What is now being accomplished? Ah! one more powerful than his brethren, possessing more shrewdness and cunning, is measuring and marking out the land on the bank of some river. He is proclaiming that it belongs to him and his followers, exclusively; that all the fish caught in that river, and all the fruits of the valley, though they cost no labour in their production, are not to be touched or tasted but by his permission. At this violation of their natural rights, the outcast people assemble. Indignation and wrath glow in their countanances; they arm with clubs ; each engage priests to offer up sacrifices and prayers to the divinity for the victory. The work is done, completed. How they destroy each other! The virgin earth is stained with human blood! The priests of each party ascend the hills and offer up burnt offerings and prayers that their especial followers may triumph through the divine aid. What a divinity have they imagined! How the true Divinity must abhor equally the deluders and the delusion! Again I proclaim myself supreme over the dark and darkening destines of man."
Whilst I thus sat brooding over the incipient evil of my own creating, I cast a prophetic glance into the future; mighty thoughts elevated and expanded my soul; generation pushed generation into the infinite ocean of eternity: each advanced and receded with the rapidity of the waves of the boundless waters that surrounded me. “Science,'' I exclaimed, “and what shall be called Civilization, shall advance; man's mind shall be vast and comprehensive; the world shall be his laboratory; the universe, with the starry heavens, his magnificent temple of devotion. Yet this Science shall destroy Man himself; the element of war shall spring out of the earth; and what should lead to peace, I will convert into instruments and inventions for his ruin.-But what is that which I now behold ? The work of evil proceeds more rapidly than I could have hoped. How busy are these sons of folly and madness; clubs, spikes, and other instruments of destruction are called into existence: they form into companies, they distinguish themselves into clans and hordes, they join battle, the earth is again saturated with blood! How eagerly each seeks the other's lifehow the contest rages—how the one party rushes on the other which recedes; the other again prevail,-like the winds and the waves in the storm,
-force contends with force,-until one master-movement bears all down before it. Hark, the triumphant shout! they rush upon the vanquished,
tear open the still warm bodies of the slain, seek their hearts, drink the yet warm and vital blood, that they may add the bravery or ferocity of the dead to that of the living : and for what? That One, or a Few, may play the tyrant,—may fill with awe and hold in subjection the infatuated and the abject amongst mankind !"
When the tumult of battle had subsided, according to their rude notions and manners, they ornamented the heads of their chiefs with the feathers of birds, hoisted them upon their shoulders, carried them in triumph, and sung songs of victory. They afterwards kindled fires, roasted the limbs of the slain, devoured them, and then their priests sung a hymn of praise, and returned thanks to the Great Spirit for what He had done for them !Thus savage or civilized they shall bow to my behest.
The floods of ages again passed away, and bore along thousands of gene. rations into an eternal oblivion : they are as the fragile bark, sunk below the surface of the ocean, not even a vestige or shadow remains. The storm and the whirlwind became my native elements ; they filled my soul with an ineffable melancholy, mingled with a malignant pleasure. These were, to me, the emblems of despotic power, of superstitious terror or, uncontrolled passions, of wars and human conflicts. Raised into the mid-heavens, by the spirit of the warring elements, I was borne in triumph to the vast continent of India. Over that great country my spirit passed with inconceivable fleetness. Everything here was on a scale of the utmost grandeur; nature appeared to excel herself; forests, rivers, vallies, dales, and mountains, were magnificence herself, dressed in perennial verdure and inexpressible beauty. The dark visages of the human race, appeared to me to forebode a dark and mysterious destiny. “They are mine," I exclaimed, with a voice that passed through the heavens like distant thunder, and the mountains echoed back, " They are mine?”
By what means or machinations shall I subdue, shall I subjugate this sable race? There they are, well clothed, well fed, intelligent, prosperous, and living in peace. How cheering a prospect to the wise and virtuous; but
“ Evil be thou my good!” They have no priests, no altars, no fears, no gods. The seeds of creeds and discords must be sown; the heavens and the earth must be peopled with imaginary beings; the mountains must be temples,--the vallies and plains smoke with burnt-offerings. When man thus falls feebly to the earth, and looks tremblingly to the heavens, despotic power, invested in the Few, will bind down his soul with manacles indissoluble ; his body will be the pitiable, the machine-like slave,--the weak, yet almost omnipotent instrument of others. Excited by religious zeal, and devotional patriotism, they will assemble in thousands and hundreds of thousands, in hostile array. Then will be my hour of victory ; then like the tornado, they will deal deadly conflict, and cover the earth with devastations and desolation. Individually and in the mass they will fall before me the scourged and the scourge of their own race.
These thoughts elevated my spirit to heaven, even to the throne of the supreme Good; whilst my plans were conceived and matured in the dark, in the infernal regions. My soul was however troubled within me, at the calm and sweet repose of the magnificent scenery, which lay stretched ont to an almost interminable distance before me. The sun had passed the meridian, the air had become oppressively hot; a white cloud spread itself