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life on doing some other work than ours. tions. Thus far, their opposition has been Let us make the experiment.”
combined, and it has been successful. As The plan, then, here proposed has as its things are now, regulations for the reform of main features the responsibility of the chief the civil service will not be honestly carried executive, the abolition of the term system, out, even if they should be formally adopted. and the abolition of large election districts. The leaders on both sides are opposed to it.
It is proposed, also, to abolish this term They will continue to give us platforms system for the men who now fill our public without performance as long as the present offices, and to have them continue to hold system of government remains. The reason their places so long as they are faithful. is that, under our present system, they are
The reasons in favor of this particular always under the “pressure is that has been last proposition are as follows:
mentioned. They will give us good appointIt is only justice to the men who are now ments as soon as we make it for their interin our public employment to keep them est to do so, and not before. As soon as we there until they fail us. We have put them give them the power of appointing and in those places—that is, we have adopted removing their subordinates, and give them their appointments by the election machine. the chance of keeping their places and of Although it may be said that they took making a reputation for themselves by effioffice on an understanding that they might cient service, they will make good appointbe required to leave it at the end of a cer
For, otherwise, they will destroy tain fixed term, yet it is the fairer course their own reputations. At least, that is the toward them to allow them to remain in way human nature works outside of public our service until there is some failure on office. their part for which they should be dis- The reasons, then, for beginning the abocharged. By entering our service they lition of the term system now, with the men have, at least for a time, incapacitated them whom we now have in public places, are, selves for other occupations.
that such a measure would be simple justice They are the best body of men with whom to the men themselves; they would be the to begin an attempt to reform the adminis- best men with whom we could begin a tration of our public affairs. Many of them reform of our public service; and thereby are very able men. They have, indeed, been we could secure their coöperation in making selected on false tests and trained in the reform. This would be “ reform within false school. But they have won their places the machine." This would be reform within a struggle where it has required ability to in both machines at the same time. win. These men now in office have now The system of term elections never was had a longer experience in their official anything but a reactionary system—a reacduties than any equal number of men whom tion against the system of irresponsible we could select. And they will be ready to hereditary power. The evils of the irreserve us well, if we will only allow them to sponsible hereditary system are two: It do so.
selects men on the wrong principle, selectBut the chief reason in favor of putting ing them by the accident of birth, instead these very men, the present President of the of for fitness; it provides no means of United States, the present governors of removing the sovereign for inefficiency or States, the present mayors of cities, with misconduct, no lawful method of enforcing their present subordinates, on a new tenure, his responsibility. The way to meet those on the common sense human tenure, instead two evils is to meet them directly and simply of the tenure by solar time, is that thereby -that is, to have the people elect their chief we can secure the coöperation of the men magistrate, and to provide the means of enwho now hold the control of the election forcing his responsibility by removal in case organizations in favor of the reform of our he uses his power wrongly. government. Some of these men are Repub- But, in nearly all attempts thus far made licans, some are Democrats-together they to avoid the evils of an irresponsible heredcontrol the two organizations. They will itary chief magistracy, it has been the be very glad to support any scheme which leading feature to substitute, for the irrewill secure to them the holding of their sponsible life tenure, tenure by term elecpresent places. It is matter of great doubt tion. There is also that other weird, fanwhether any plan of reform can be carried tastic device called constitutional royalty, in the face of the combined opposition of which consists in surrounding the chief the leaders of the great election organiza- ruler with twenty heads of executive depart
ments, and removing all those heads of wrong working of public affairs. Public departments whenever they fail on a vote oficials do not now fear exposure; they in the legislature. All these systems, if we think it may not come till after the end of are to grace them with a name so ill-de- their term; if it comes, they think they can served, are merely different forms of govern- avoid its effects until the next election; and ment by election machine. It is hard to when the next election comes, it will be say which form is the most pernicious. another grand carnival of banners, and platBut the experience of the last hundred forms, and glorious old party principles. years has clearly demonstrated that they Under the system which has been here are all constructed on false principles, and set forth, we shall trust men with power. that they are not equal to the needs of the At the head of city and State and national age. They served the purposes of their day. affairs there will be a body of men, chosen They were temporary revolutionary, or evo- by the people, whom the people will have lutionary, make-shifts. But this American to trust. Those men will have the power people has outgrown them all. Their day of voting the people's money, as they see for us is gone.
fit. They will have the power of removWe have exhausted the possibilities of the ing the people's chief magistrate, when system which was founded on distrust. All they see fit. human private affairs are transacted from Trusting men whom the people choose day to day on the basis of confidence in is entirely safe. We trust men now, under men. Public affairs must be transacted on the system which we have. We are comthe same basis. They can be so transacted pelled to do so. We can trust these men with perfect safety. The large majority of more safely, if we leave them free, than we men are, as a matter of simple habit and can if we compel them continually to do instinct, faithful to their trusts. It is not election work. from fear or compulsion that the private But if that be not so, if the people canwork of the world is in the main well and not be trusted to choose their own servants honestly done. Men who enter public life wisely, and if the servants whom the peodo not change their nature. They remain ple choose cannot be trusted to serve the men of honor, if they were so before. Our people truly, then government by the people security for honest public service must is a failure—and we must go back to the always be, in the main, the character of methods of Constantinople and the dark the men whom we put there. If we have ages. our chief rulers chosen by the real voice of The movement of the age is not in that the people, we shall be certain of one thing, direction. Government by the people has and that is, we shall have at the head of not failed. We have not, indeed, yet found our public affairs, almost without an excep- its perfect form. The men of 1787 did not tion, honest men. The men in our public do their work for all time. In these hunservice have aids to honest conduct, such as dred years, something has been learned in no private individuals can have, from the political, as well as physical, science. This greater degree of publicity to which they first experiment in a people's government are exposed. That alone, in a country for a great nation has not been, in every which has a free press, will keep our pub- respect, a thorough success, but it has been lic men pure, if we only take time, if we fruitful in great lessons. Something is still have time to hold men to their official re- to be done. And it is time for the people sponsibility. But, with these never-ceasing to hold their Convention, to take counsel on elections, an official is out of office before the situation. We need not yet despair of we can find out who is responsible for the the Republic.
THE WHEEL AS A SYMBOL IN RELIGION.
AMONG the many strange developments of religion, or superstition, which I have traced in my wanderings in many lands, none appears to me so curious as that singular phase of mechanical devotion commonly called a prayer-wheel, which actually brings machinery to bear in multiplying the SA reiteration of certain formulas of invocation, or the recitation of sacfed writings. It is, I believe, peculiar to those countries in which Buddha holds sway, in which he is worshiped as the Chakravarta Rajah, or King of the Wheel. It is not, however, found in all Buddhist countries, for during eighteen months' residence in Ceylon, where I carefully explored not only the principal temples now in use, but all the most ancient pre-Christian ruins, in the But such material links as these gold, brass, depths of the tropical forests, I failed to or copper cylinders are, indeed, strange ties find any trace of its use.
to bind earth to heaven ! It was not till we had traveled to the But these are only little wheels, for the north of India, and had penetrated far into use of individuals who may be able to afford the mighty mountain-ranges of the Himal. such luxuries. The devotions of the whole ayas, approaching the borders of Chinese village—nay, the whole district—have to be Tartary, that we observed men twirling little provided for, and therefore prayer-mills brass cylinders as they climbed the narrow, must be prepared on a very large scale, to precipitous tracks by which we wound along represent the worship of the whole people. those dizzy heights. What these toys were, Such an one we saw in the Lama temple at we could not at first make out, till it was Rarung, where, beneath the shadow of the explained to us that the cylinders not only eternal snows, the village (resembling a had sacred words embossed on the outside, cluster of Swiss chalets) stands perched on but that the same mystic sentence was a crag overhanging the river Sutledge. We written again and again, perhaps many thou- pitched our tiny white tents beneath the sands of times, on strips of cloth or paper, dark shade of grand deodaras (sacred which were wound around a spindle, the cedars), and soon made friends with the old end of which formed the handle of the little bonze (priest), who welcomed us cordially, machine. From the center hangs a small and doubtless looked at us as curiously as lump of metal, which whirls around and we did at him—we being the first foreign gives the necessary impetus, so that the women, with the exception of the wife of the little prayer-mill twirls with the slightest Moravian missionary, who had found the exertion, and goes on grinding any given way so far by this route. number of meritorious acts of homage to Poor as was the little temple at Rarung, Buddha, a tiny bell marking each revolution there was much gaudy drapery hung on every to remind the worshiper if he is uncon- side, but it was neither clean nor fragrant. sciously turning too fast. Of course, his My companions beat a hasty retreat, but I mind ought to be all the time absorbed in stood my ground long enough to secure a meditation on the infinite perfections of sketch of what was to me an object of extreme Buddha, but as too much must not be ex. interest, namely, a colossal prayer-wheel, pected from a busy working-man, it suffices resembling a very large barrel-organ, and if he repeat the sentence aloud at the turned by a great iron crank, which worked beginning and end of his devotions, and like a handle. It was a great cylinder, about between whiles continue to twirl slowly. twelve feet high and six or eight in diameter, There is one who speaks of prayer as that painted in circular bands of gold and bright whereby
color, and on every band was inscribed the “ the whole round world is every way
one oft-recurring Buddhist ascription, which Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.” usurps the place of all prayer—the ascrip
tion of praise to the “ Jewel on the Lotus.” are set up in all public places in Thibet, so The cylinder was said to contain the same that the poor, who cannot afford little sentence written many thousand times, and pocket-wheels of devotion, may not lose as it slowly revolved on its axis, a most their chance of thus heaping up merit. musical bell marked each revolution, and They stand at the doors of the principal the worshiper was held to have laid up dwelling-houses, so that every man entering much treasure of heavenly praise.
may give them a spin for the good of the As each man entered, he made a lowly house; while in the monasteries there are obeisance to the head Lama, who laiá many rows of small cylinders, so arranged his hand on the bowed head and pro- that the priest, or any passer-by, can set nounced words of blessing. Then the them all twirling at once by just drawing would-be worshiper sat on the ground be- his hand along as he passes. Sometimes fore the great wheel, and turned the crank the cylinders are so placed as to be turned for his own benefit and that of all dear to by wind or water power. The former are him. Should many arrive simultaneously, provided with wings on the windmill printhe priest himself worked the machine, that ciple, while the latter (sce page 737) are all might share alike in this unspeakable placed over streams, so that the running benefit. It seemed really very hard work, water shall turn them ceaselessly for the yet we had no sooner arrived at Rarung good of the village. A wooden bar passed than all our coolies, weary as they must through the cylinder is fastened to a horihave been with carrying us and our bag-zontal wheel, having the cogs turned diaggage over the steep mountain-tracks, re- onally to the water, just as in the curious paired to the temple, where we found little corn-mills still in use in remote corners them grinding as diligently as if in very truth of Scotland. These wheels rotate with the their hearts' desire was at stake. There action of the water and so turn the cylinder, was no prayer-wheel in the village where which must invariably stand upright. Sevthey lived, so they were making the most eral of these are placed abreast across the of their opportunities.
stream, and a rough wooden shed is built These wheels are believed to have been over them to represent a temple. in use among the Buddhists for at least At the Lama temple at Darjeeling, the fourteen centuries, and originated in the wind is made use of in offering ceaseless idea of its being an act of merit to be con- prayers for the dead. Long, narrow flags tinually reciting portions of the writings of inscribed with the same sacred formula are Buddha. For the benefit of the unlearned, fastened to tall poles, from twenty to forty it came to be accounted sufficient to turn feet high, the flags not exceeding four feet over the rolled manuscripts containing the in width. As these flutter in the breeze, precious precepts. This simple substitute they are supposed to be offering ceaseless was found to save so much trouble that the adoration on behalf of the dead whose custom rapidly spread, and the action was names they bear. Within the temple stands further simplified by the invention of wheels, a large wheel, similar to those of the Northknown as tchu-chor-great egg-shaped bar- ern Himalayas, and the priests carry simirels full of prayers, with a cord attached to lar small hand-wheels. the base of the barrel, which, on being Wherever find these wheels, they are pulled, set the cylinder twirling. These invariably placed so as to turn from right to left, following the course of the sun- | equivalent to Amen. This “sixteen-syllathat is to say, the right-hand must always bled charm," as they call it, is the soverbe next to the pivot around which the eign balm of every conceivable ill. Some object turns; to invert this order would Buddhists vary this magic sentence. The not only involve ill-luck, but amount to a Fo-ists in China pin their faith to the words positive sin. This dread will be readily un- Aum-mi-to-fuh, which is also a title of derstood by any one who is versed in old Buddha, and which every devout Fo-ist Scottish lore, and remembers how the turn desires to repeat at least three hundred widdershins (that is to say, in a course con- thousand times in the course of his life. trary to that of the sun, or, as the Latins called To this end, many of their priests shut themit, sinistrorum, that is, with the left-hand selves up in the temples for months together, toward the center) was only made when in- with no other occupation than that of revoking a curse on some particular object or peating these words over and over again, person, and so fully believed in, that malig- day and night. As the laity go about nant evil-doers were supposed invariably to their daily business, the same words are forbegin their diabolic work by making so ever on their lips. The devout and the many turns from right to left instead of from aged carry strings of beads, whereon they left to right.
instinctively count their reiterations of the There was much delay before I succeeded spell, and while they speak to you or to in purchasing two of these, at a price which one another, on all manner of secular submust have supplied the owners with new jects, between each sentence comes a low ones for every member of the family. One murmur, Aum-mi-to-fuh! Then, as they pass of these was procured for me by Mr. away down the street, you see their lips Pagell, the Moravian missionary at Poo, moving and you know that they are still a wild, desolate station far in the interior,— whispering the unvarying ascription of praise where he and his wife have for many years to Buddha, Aum-mi-to-fuh! Aum-mi-to-fuh! devoted their lives to the almost vain at- This title Aum or Om is not peculiar to tempt to Christianize their neighbors, their the worshipers of Buddha. The Brahmins labors being attended with the usual dis- also esteem it so holy that they will not couragement, and resulting in a very small utter it aloud, while the Yains, laying the handful of converts. Mr. Pagell told me hand upon the mouth, whisper it in deepest that the mill he had procured for me con- reverence. We are told that the same word tained a strip of paper, on which was writ- was used by the ancient Celts to express ten a short but very comprehensive prayer the holy and mystic name of God. It is in Thibetan—a prayer for the six classes of somewhat singular that these two races, so living creatures, namely, the souls in heaven, widely separated by time and by distance, the evil spirits in the air, man, animals, should not only have adored the Almighty souls in purgatory, and souls in hell. under the same name, but also have sym
But, as a general rule, all worship begins, bolized their worship of Him by the use continues, and ends with one unvarying of figures representing the revolving sun, sentence, Aum Mani Padmi Hoong. These generally under the image of a wheel. And words are raised in embossed letters out- this is probably the key to the wheels and side the cylinder, besides being written various ceremonies still in use by the Budperhaps thousands of times on the strips of dhists, and points to some remote age when paper inside. They are engraved all over these dead customs were all instinct with sacred places, on the face of the rocks, on life, and were to the worshipers merely symthe walls of the temples; in one great mon- bols of some grand reality, well known to astery in Ladakh the wall is literally covered them all. Hence, the intensely strong feeling with these words of sacred mystic import, in favor of always following the course of the ascribing perpetual adoration to Buddha as sun--of which (under the term deisul) we the jewel on the lotus, in reference to his lotus find so many traces still lingering in all throne—that is to say, the pattern symboli- lands—even, as I have just stated, in our cal of the lotus or water-lily with which his own Scottish Highlands, and which in India throne is always adorned.
and Thibet forces itself on our notice at The literal meaning of the sentence is as
In Scotland, it was till quite follows: Aum or Om, equivalent to the recently the custom to walk three times Hebrew JAH, the holiest and most glorious sunwise around people, cattle, houses, chaptitle of the Almighty; Mani, the Jewel, one els, to insure good luck to them or to the of Buddha's titles; Padmi, the Lotus; Hoong, walker, and at ancient Highland funerals it