in with the Vital Principle. The former was overjoyed, and hurrying up, said, "Has your Holiness forgotten me?"
He then prostrated himself, and desired to be allowed to interrogate the Vital Principle; but the latter said, "I wander on without knowing what I want. I roam about without knowing where I am going. I stroll in this ecstatic manner, simply awaiting events. What should I know?"
"I too roam about," answered the Spirit of the Clouds; "but the people depend upon my movements. I am thus unavoidably summoned to power; and under these circumstances I would gladly receive some advice."
"That the scheme of empire is in confusion," said the Vital Principle, "that the conditions of life are violated, that the will of God does not triumph, that the beasts of the field are disorganised, that the birds of the air cry at night, that blight reaches the trees and herbs, that destruction spreads among creeping things,—this, alas! is the fault of government."
"True," replied the Spirit of the Clouds, "but what am I to do?"
"It is here," cried the Vital Principle, "that the poison lurks! Go back!"
- To the root, to that natural state in which by inaction all things are accomplished.
"It is not often," urged the Spirit of the Clouds, "that I meet with your Holiness. I would gladly receive some advice."