Pike continues with his thesis about science; he mentioned it was man himself who often caused these devastating events, “the Asiatic cholera had its origin in English avarice and cruelty, as they suppose who trace it to the tax which Warren Hastings, when Governor-General of India, imposed on salt, thus cutting off its use from millions of the vegetable-eating races of the East.” Oh, how often have we seen this done by our own fellows, “The conceited boast would hardly have died upon the lip.” Once again my friends, enjoy:
The conceited boast would hardly have died upon the lip, when, from the mysterious depths of remotest India a spectre stalked forth, or rather a monster crept, more fearful than human eye had ever yet beheld. And not with surer instinct does the tiger of the jungles, where this terrible pestilence was born, catch the scent of blood upon the air, than did this invisible Destroyer, this fearful agent of Almighty Power, this tremendous Consequence of some Sufficient Cause, scent the tainted atmosphere of Europe and turn Westward his devastating march. The millions of dead left in his path through Asia proved nothing. They were unarmed, ignorant, defenceless, unaided by science, undefended by art. The cholera was to them inscrutable and irresistible as Azrael, the Angel of Death.
But it came to Europe and swept the halls of science as it had swept the Indian village and the Persian khan. It leaped as noiselessly and descended as destructively upon the population of many a high-towered, wide-paved, purified, and disinfected city of the Nest as upon the Pariahs of Tanjore and the filthy streets of Stamboul. In Vienna, Paris, London, the scenes of the great plague were re-enacted.
The sick man started in his bed,
The watcher leaped upon the floor,
At the cry, Bring out your dead,
The cart is at the door!
Was this the judgment of Almighty God? He would be bold who should say that it was; he would be bolder who should say it was not. To Paris, at least, that European Babylon, how often have the further words of the prophet to the daughter of the Chaldæans, the lady of kingdoms, been fulfilled? “Thy wisdom and thy knowledge have perverted thee, and thou hast said in thy heart I am and none else beside me. Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know whence it riseth; and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off; desolation shall come upon thee suddenly.”
And as to London–it looked like judgment, if it be true that the Asiatic cholera had its origin in English avarice and cruelty, as they suppose who trace it to the tax which Warren Hastings, when Governor-General of India, imposed on salt, thus cutting off its use from millions of the vegetable-eating races of the East: just as that disease whose spectral shadow lies always upon America’s threshold, originated in the avarice and cruelty of the slave-trade, translating the African coast fever to the congenial climate of the West Indies and Southern America–the yellow fever of the former, and the vomito negro of the latter (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 811-812).
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