"What," said Juju, "O great Tao, do you recommend as a remedy for the ills of my unhappy country?"
The sage replied as follows: "O mighty and magniloquent Daimio, your aristocracy is not an aristocracy because it is not an aristocracy. In vain you seek to alter this circumstance by paying the noxious vermin of the Dai Li Pai Pur to write fatuous falsehoods maintaining that your aristocracy is an aristocracy because it is an aristocracy.
"As Heracleitus overcame the antinomy of Xenophanes and Parmenides, Melissus and the Eleatic Zero, and Ens and the Non-Ens by his Becoming, so let me say to you; the aristocracy will be an aristocracy by becoming an aristocracy.
"Ki Ra Di and his dirty-faced friends wish to level down the good practice to the bad theory; you should oppose them be levelling up the bad theory to the good practice.
"Your enviers boast that you are no better than they; prove to them that they are as good as you. They speak of a nobility of fools and knaves; show to them wise and honest men, and the socialistic ginger is no longer hot in the individualistic mouth."
Juju grunted assent. He had gone almost to sleep, but Kwaw, absorbed in his subject, never noticed the fact. He went on with the alacrity of a steam-roller, and the direct and purposeful vigour of a hypnotized butterfly. "Man is perfect by his identity with the great Tao. Subsidiary to this he must have balanced perfectly the Yang and the Yin. Easier still is it to rule the sixfold star of Intellect; while for the base the control of the body and its emotions is the earliest step.
"Equilibrium is the great law, and perfect equilibrium is crowned by identity with the great Tao."
He emphasized this sublime assertion by a deliberate blow upon the protruding abdomen of the worthy Juju.
"Pray continue your honourable discourse!" exclaimed the half-awakened Daimio.
Kwaw went on, and I think it only fair to say that he went on for a long time, and that because you have been fool enough to read thus far, you have no excuse for being fool enough to read farther.
"Phenacetin is a useful drug in fever, but woe to that patient who shall imbibe it in collapse. Because calomel is a dangerous remedy in appendicitis, we do not condemn its use in simple indigestions.
"As above so beneath! said Hermes the thrice greatest. The laws of the physical world are precisely paralleled by those of the moral and intellectual sphere. To the prostitute I prescribe a course of training by which she shall comprehend the holiness of sex. Chastity forms part of that training, and I should hope to see her one day a happy wife and mother. To the prude equally I prescribe a course of training by which she shall comprehend the holiness of sex. Unchastity forms part of that training, and I should hope to see her one day a happy wife and mother.
"To the bigot I commend a course of Thomas Henry Huxley; to the infidel a practical study of ceremonial magic. Then, when the bigot has knowledge and the infidel faith, each may follow without prejudice his natural inclination; for he will no longer plunge into his former excesses.
"So also she who was a prostitute from native passion may indulge with safety in the pleasure of love; she who was by nature cold may enjoy a virginity in no wise marred by her disciplinary course of unchastity. But the one will understand and love the other.
"I have been taxed with assaulting what is commonly known as virtue. True; I hate it, but only in the same degree that I hate what is commonly known as vice.
"So it must be acknowledged that one who is but slightly unbalanced needs a milder correction than whoso is obsessed by prejudice. There are men who make a fetish of cleanliness; they shall work in a fitter's shop, and learn that dirt is the mark of honourable toil. There are those whose lives are rendered wretched by the fear of infection; they see bacteria of the deadliest sort in all things but the actual solutions of carbolic acid and mercuric chloride with which they hysterically combat their invisible foemen; such would I send to live in the bazaar at Delhi, where they shall haply learn that dirt makes little difference after all.
"There are slow men who need a few months' experience of the hustle of the stockyards; there are business men in a hurry, and they shall travel in Central Asia to acquire the art of repose.
"So much for the equilibrium, and for two months in every year each member of your governing classes shall undergo this training under skilled advice.
"But what of the Great Tao? For one month in every year each of these men shall seek desperately for the Stone of the Philosophers. By solitude and fasting for the social and luxurious, by drunkenness and debauch for the austere, by scourging for those afraid of physical pain, by repose for the restless, and toil for the idle, by bull-fights for the humanitarian, and the care of little children for the callous, by rituals for the rational, and by philosophy for the credulous, shall these men, while yet unbalanced, seek to attain to unity with the great Tao. But for those whose intellect is purified and co-ordinated, for those whose bodies are in health, and whose passions are at once eager and controlled, it shall be lawful to choose their own way to the One Goal; videlicet, identity with that great Tao which is above the antithesis of Yang and Yin."
Even Kwaw felt tired, and applied himself to saké-and-soda. Refreshed, he continued: "The men who are willing by this means to become the saviours of their country shall be called the Synagogue of Satan, so as to keep themselves from the friendship of the fools who mistake names for things. There shall be masters of the Synagogue, but they shall never seek to dominate. They shall most carefully abstain from inducing any man to seek the Tao by any other way than that of equilibrium. They shall develop individual genius without considering whether in their opinion its fruition will tend to the good or evil of their country or of the world; for who are they to interfere with a soul whose balance has been crowned by the most holy Tao?
"The masters shall be great men among men; but among great men they shall be friends.
"Since equilibrium will have become perfect, a greater than Napoleon shall arise, and the peaceful shall rejoice thereat; a greater than Darwin, and the minister in his pulpit give open thanks to God.
"The instructed infidel shall no longer sneer at the church-goer, for he will have been compelled to go to church until he saw the good points as well as the bad; and the instructed devotee will no longer detest the blasphemer, because he will have laughed with Ingersoll and Saladin.
"Give the lion the heart of the lamb, and the lamb the force of the lion; and they will lie down in peace together."
Kwaw ceased, and the heavy and regular breathing of Juju assured him that his words had not been wasted; at last that restless and harried soul had found supreme repose.
Kwaw tapped the gong. "I have achieved my task," said he to the obsequious major-domo, "I pray leave to retire from the Presence." "I beg your excellency to follow me," replied the gorgeous functionary, "his lordship has commanded me to see that your holiness is supplied with everything that you desire." Then the sage laughed aloud.