“If in China or among the natives of India, we claimed civil advantages which were connected with religious usages, little as we might value those forms in our hearts, we should think common decency required us to abstain from treating them with offensive contumely; and, though unable to consider them sacred, we would not sneer at the name of Fot, or laugh at the imputed divinity of Visthnou.”–Courier, Tuesday. Jan. 16.
Come take my advice, never trouble your cranium,
When “civil advantages” are to be gained,
What god or what goddess may help to obtain you ’em,
Hindoo or Chinese, so they’re only obtained.
In this world (let me hint in your organ auricular)
All the good things to good hypocrites fall;
And he who in swallowing creeds is particular,
Soon will have nothing to swallow at all.
Oh place me where Fo (or, as some call him, Fot)
Is the god from whom “civil advantages” flow,
And you’ll find, if there’s anything snug to be got,
I shall soon be on excellent terms with old Fo.
Or were I where Vishnu, that four-handed god,
Is the quadruple giver of pensions and places,
I own I should feel it unchristian and odd
Not to find myself also in Vishnu’s good graces.
For among all the gods that humanely attend
To our wants in this planet, the gods to my wishes
Are those that, like Vishnu and others, descend
In the form so attractive, of loaves and of fishes!
So take my advice–for if even the devil
Should tempt men again as an idol to try him,
‘Twere best for us Tories even then to be civil,
As nobody doubts we should get something by him.
 Vishnu was (as Sir W. Jones calls him) “a pisciform god,”–his first Avatar being in the shape of a fish.