A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 15 No. 8 – August 1929
THE HERALDRY OF FREEMASONRY
Bro. Reginald V. Harris, Associate Editor, Nova Scotia
THE subject of the Armorial bearings of Masonic bodies is one that, so far as we have been able to discover, has never been comprehensively treated. The arms granted to the Mason's Company of London are mentioned in most of our histories; and there have been occasional articles about various partial aspects of the subject. Bro. Harris, who as many of our readers know, is Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, presents here an account of the various heraldic devices adopted by the various Grand Lodges of the British Isles since 1717, and those of the Dominion of Canada. It is his intention to follow this up with similar articles on the arms and seals of the Grand Lodges of the United States, Australia, Europe and Latin America, as soon as he is able to collect the requisite material, a great deal of which is most inaccessible and difficult to obtain.
FREEMASONRY claims to be a science and a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. Heraldry is a sister science or system, or a cousin at least. Its beginnings go back to the immemorial and remote past; some would claim it is as early, if not earlier than the beginnings of Freemasonry itself. An old authority jocularly asserted that our first parents were lawful bearers of coats of arms; assigning to Adam a shield gules (red), and to Eve, another argent (silver); while after the Fall Adam added a garland of fig leaves, which Abel quartered with argent, with an apple vert (green), in right of his mother.
Whatever the first beginnings it is certain that the use of emblems, insignia, devices, symbols and tokens was common in the days of the Ancient Egyptian Kings, Chaldea, Greece and Rome. Among the North American Indians, families and individuals were frequently designated or represented by tokens or figures in pictorial form.
The science or system of Heraldry as we know it today, comes from medieval and feudal times. It became a factor of importance in England about the end of the twelfth century. The earliest record of a herald in England dates from 1137; in 1483 during the reign of Richard III, the Herald's College was made a corporate body, continuing as such to the present day.
Men of noble or gentle birth bore their coats of arms or family devices blazoned on the shields which they carried in battle; and with their visors down, these devices, with the crest upon the helmet, were the only means of indicating their identity. When in actual use a knight's shield was held in front of him, so that the dexter or right side and the sinister or left side covered his right and left side respectively. As a consequence, the dexter side of the shield is on the left of anyone looking at it, and the sinister on his right.
It is unnecessary at this stage of our study to go into other definitions and terms; many of them will be met with and explained as we go along; others are of no importance to our enquiry.
To mark their dignity and distinction the various guilds, associations and livery companies of early times in England were granted the right of bearing or exhibiting distinctive devices or arms. These insignia harmonized with the trade of the particular company or fellowship. The Masons' Company was one of the early and important guilds of England, and obtained its coat of arms thirty- three years after the grant made to the Drapers' Company in 1439, and was therefore fifth on the list. The arms granted by the Crown in 1472 on the recommendation of the Court of Heralds to the Company of Masons of London founded probably about 1200, were described in the heraldic "lingo" of the time as:
A field of sablys, a cheveron silver grailed, thre castelles of the same garnyshed wt dores and wyndows of the feld, in the cheveron a cumpas of blak.
or in plain English: a shield or ground of black, upon which is a chevron of silver made with indented or wavy edges; above the chevron and below, three silver castles with black doors and windows; on the chevron a black compass. This has been reproduced on the following page, Fig. 1.
The Coat of Arms of the Worshipful Company of Masons of London appears among the heraldic illuminations of several of the old manuscript constitutions or "Old Charges". In the earliest drawings of these Arms the chevron is shown engrailed; that is notched with concave curves, as it is shown in Fig. 1 and also in the left-hand design in Fig. 2. It will be noticed, too, that the castles are very elaborate, while the motto generally-used is: "God is our Guide," instead of the later: "In the Lord is all our trust."
About the year 1600 we begin to find variations. In the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum we find two early seventeenth century documents illuminated with drawings of the Mason's Arms. The first, No. 6860, is dated about the year 1610, and it depicts the old form of the bearing, with the castles drawn in elaborate detail, and the engrailed chevron, but with the new motto: "In the Lord is all our trust." This is reproduced in Fig. 2. It may be remarked incidentally that the essential thing in a grant of arm is the "blazon," which technically used means the description of the bearing according traditional rules. Any heraldic draughtsman can reproduce the arms from the blazon, even if he has never seen them. But naturally his drawing will not be the same as that drawn by someone else, though every such drawing will be at once recognizable, just as words written in different kinds of lettering by different hands are legible to everyone. Heraldry is a kind of sign writing, done according to elaborate rules. Thus it naturally happened that in the course of centuries the style of heraldic drawing changed although the old bearings of families and institutions remained essentially the same.
The second MS. of the two above referred to, Harleian No. 472, is supposed to be of about 1640, or some thirty years later than the other. This, which is also shown in Fig. 2, not only has the new motto, but has towers instead of castles, while the chevron has a plain edge instead of being engrailed. The late Edward Conder in his history of the London Masons' Company (of which he was the Master in 1894-1895) expresses the opinion that the change in the chevron was due to the fact that it more nearly resembled the square and that the tower may have been substituted as being much easier to engrave. Some time after 1717, when the original Grand Lodge of England was organized, it selected as the basis for its arms those of the Masons' Company, as already described, but to the original design certain important and significant alterations were made. The chevron became a Mason's square; each tower was given triple turrets, while the crest was changed from a castle or tower to a bird of unknown species which may have been intended for a phoenix, and finally, two beavers, symbolical of operative builders, were added as supporters, placed one on each side of the shield. Some doubt has been expressed respecting these supporters, some believing them to be otters or panthers, but the opinion of Bro. Hughan and others is that they were intended for beavers even if they did not resemble them closely. At a still later period the motto was changed to "Relief and Truth" in allusion to the basic Masonic principles. These arms continued to be the arms of the original or premier Grand Lodge of England from 1717 to 1813. A reproduction of the seal of the Grand Lodge will be found in Fig. 3. It will be noticed also that the square, level and plumb have been introduced below the shield.
The Guilds of Scottish Masons also used the arms of the Masons' Company, with what warrant it is hard to say. The Grand Lodge of Scotland impaled them with those of the country: placing the latter, the lion rampant of Scotland, on the dexter or right side (actually the left of the design) and the Masons' arms on the sinister side. As will be seen, the later form of the arms is used, with corresponding motto. The crest remains a tower.
Although the Grand Lodges of Canada and the United States are not concerned heraldically in the arms of the "Grand Lodge of all England", established at York in 1725, it will be of interest to refer to them in passing. The Seal of this Grand Lodge was oval in form, and bore on it three regal crowns, with the inscription Sigillum Edwin Northum: Regis; that is, "the seal of Edwin, King of Northumbria."
When in 1751, the Grand Lodge of England (Ancients) was established, a seal was adopted with which they sealed their Warrants, but until the present year no impression of this had been discovered. It was the belief of Henry Sadler that:
... it was similar to the one used by the Grand Lodge of Ireland between 1731-59, a hand holding a trowel, and that it was destroyed and all impressions of it removed from official documents and replaced by impressions from one of the Seals subsequently used in order to obliterate the trail when they were described as Irish Masons.
This was the case with all warrants issued prior to 1760. with the exception of Warrant No. 66, issued for a Lodge at Halifax, Nova Scotia, which was discovered recently by the writer. It is dated Dec. 27, 1757. As this and two other Warrants, Nos. 65 and 67, also issued for lodges at Halifax at the same time, were the first Warrants issued by the "Ancients" for lodges overseas, they were probably overlooked by the authorities when changing the seals on Warrants issued previously to 1760. From this Seal we learn that the original Seal of the "Ancients" consisted of the Square (with square ends) and compasses, the angle of the Square being upward; with a dagger with straight blade above, pointing upward; around the top of the Seal the words, "Virtue and Silence". A reproduction of a drawing made of this seal will be found in Fig. 3.
The changes made in this Seal in 1760 were very slight, and were principally in the drawing or design. The outline is a circle instead of oval, the ends of the Square are curved ornamentally, the compasses have a somewhat different shape, and the blade of the dagger is wavy or flaming, with a change in the hilt, and the inscription, "Grand Lodge London", is added.
Among the Warrants granted by the "Ancients" bearing this seal, is that for a Provincial Grand Lodge in Pennsylvania July 15, 1761. A reproduction of this is given in Fig. 3.
In 1764, new Arms were adopted by the "Ancients", though they were not generally used until 1775. Untechnically described, these new Arms consisted of a cross made of four operative squares, placed with their angles together in the center of the shield, thereby dividing the shield into four parts. In the first or upper left- hand quarter, a golden lion rampant on a blue field; in the second or upper right-hand quarter, a black ox on a golden field; in the third, or lower left-hand quarter, a man robed in crimson and ermine, with arms uplifted, on a golden field; and in the fourth, or lower right quarter, a golden eagle displayed, on a blue field. Crest; The Holy Ark of the Covenant: Supporters; Two Cherubim: Motto, Kodesh la Adonai in Hebrew characters, i.e., "Holiness to the Lord."
The main idea of these Arms was evidently derived from the banners of the four principal tribes of Israel: Reuben, Dan, Judah and Ephraim. During the passage through the wilderness the twelve tribes were encamped in a hollow square, three on each side. As to the true colors of these banners, doubt exists. Jewish commentators claim that the color of each should correspond to the color of the stone assigned to the tribe on the breast-plate of the High Priest. The four charges, man, lion, ox, and eagle, are also to be regarded as symbols of the four Evangelists, and also of the four prophetic and apocalyptic living creatures, or "beasts", as they are unfortunately called in our English translation of the Bible. The Cherubim, the Ark, the Squares, Mottos and other portions of the device need no explanation.
These arms continued to be the arms of this Grand Lodge until the union in 1813, of the two Grand Lodges, "Ancients" and "Moderns", so called, when the arms of the two bodies were impaled, or placed side by side in one shield, thus forming the arms of the present United Grand Lodge of England, the motto being changed to "Audi Vide Tace" (Hear, See, Keep Silence), a command truly significant to the initiate. The Crest chosen was that of the Ancients also, the Ark of the Covenant, the bird or phoenix of the Moderns disappearing. This has been reproduced in Fig. 4.
No change was made in these arms until 1919, when a re-grant was made by the College of Heralds by which a red bordure or frame was added to the shield, upon which appear eight golden lions, passport guardant; the Motto "Holiness to the Lord", in Hebrew characters placed over the crest, and the Latin motto "Audi Vide Tace" beneath the shield, both being continued. A reduced photograph of this grant is reproduced in Gould's Concise History.
Before considering the arms of other Grand jurisdictions of the British Empire and the United States it is necessary to glance at the arms of the Grand Lodge of Ireland. As already stated, the original seal used by the Irish Grand Lodge from 1731-59 was simply a right hand holding a trowel. In 1760 the design was changed to a raised right arm holding a trowel encircled by the words "The Grand Lodge of Ireland".
This device will be found in Fig. 3, second in the upper row, and should be compared with the crest of the arms of the Stonemasons in the center. About 1773, a beautifully cut seal was adopted by the Irish Grand Lodge, depicting a shield, upon which were displayed the square, compasses and plumb, above which were two right hands clasped. The shield rests on the top of a globe, above the shield the blazing sun. Supporters; two cherubs with flaming swords; the whole encircled by a Hebrew motto and the Latin words: Silentio Virtute et Amore, "Silence, Courage and Love." In consequence of the Deputy Grand Secretary having decamped with this seal in 1806, a new one was adopted in that year similar to that of the Grand Lodge of England, "Ancients", which has continued as the seal of the Irish Grand Lodge to the present time.
Turning now to the Grand Lodges of the Dominion of Canada we find almost universal recognition, heraldically, of their descent from the United Grand Lodge of England.
The first lodges on Canadian soil were organized at Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, in 1738 and at Halifax in 1750 received their Warrants from Massachusetts and were of "Modern" allegiance. What their Seals may have been is not now known. In 1757, the "Ancients" warranted a Provincial Grand Lodge for Nova Scotia, the first established by them. Its seal was probably similar to the mother Grand Lodge, namely, the square and compasses, surmounted by a dagger pointing upward, encircled by the words "Virtue and Silence" and possibly also the words "Grand Lodge, Halifax." When, in 1784, this Provincial Grand Lodge was revived they adopted the new seal of Grand Lodge of England (Ancients) surrounded by the words "Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia", with the motto "Kodesh la Adonai".
When in 1813 the two Grand Lodges of England were united the Seal of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia was changed and a seal adopted similar to that of the United Grand Lodge of England, surrounded by the words "Grand Lodge of Free Masons, Halifax, Nova Scotia".
The Seal of the independent Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia (founded by the Scottish lodges in the Province), adopted on its organization in 1866 consisted of the Ancient Arms of the Province granted by Charles I in 1621, with the Bible, square and compasses above; the square below; the plumb to the right and the level to the left. see Fig. 3, lower left-hand corner.
In 1869, when the English lodges united with it, the Grand Lodge adopted a new seal showing on its dexter (right) side the arms of the Province, and on its sinister side the arms of the first Grand Lodge of England, at first sight a rather curious error as this Grand Lodge had warranted but one lodge in the Province in 1770 and all Provincial and District Grand Lodges had been of "Ancient" allegiance. Possibly, however, it alludes to the origin of the first two lodges at Annapolis Royal and Halifax, warranted by the St. John's Grand Lodge, Boston. Surrounding the arms are various Masonic Emblems, with the motto, "Soli Deo Gloria" "To God alone be the Glory". See Fig. 4, upper right-hand corner.
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia exercised jurisdiction in New Brunswick from 1784 to 1829, when a Deputy Provincial Grand Lodge under England was organized lasting until 1859. In this year a Provincial Grand Lodge took its place, the seals of these two bodies being similar to that of the United Grand Lodge of England. On the organization of the Grand Lodge of New Brunswick in 1867, the arms of the Grand Lodge of England were varied by changing or substituting three spruce trees for the castles or towers; the chevron which is argent on a red field lacks the usual compasses superimposed. Probably the substitution of the spruce trees is an allusion to the forest wealth of the Province. See Fig. 3, second in lower row.
Prince Edward Island, the smallest jurisdiction in the British Empire, adopted for some unknown reason a similar seal in 1875; in fact there is no essential change other than the name of the Grand Lodge. The seals of both these Grand Lodges are shown in Fig. 3, second and fourth respectively, in the bottom row.
The first Provincial Grand Lodge of Upper Canada (Ontario) 1795- 1822 being of "Ancient" lineage merely adopted the arms of the parent Grand Lodge of England, encircled with the words "Provincial Grand Lodge, Upper Canada", see Fig. 4, lower left-hand Provincial Grand Lodge, though there is no certainty about this. In 1844, the third Provincial Grand Lodge adopted the arms of the United Grand Lodge of England 1813, encircled by the words, "Provincial Grand Lodge, Canada West." This appears in Fig. 3, third in the lower row.
In 1856 the present Grand Lodge of Canada (in Ontario) was formed, adopting as its arms a design somewhat similar to the previous design, but showing the dexter or right side divided into two parts, the upper showing the original arms of the Mason's Company or the premier Grand Lodge of England, and below the Canadian beaver on a red field or background. The shield is surrounded by ears of wheat and an olive ranch. See Fig. 4, upper left-hand corner.
When in 1869 the Grand Lodge of Quebec was formed by 17 lodges of the Registry of "Canada", three of England and one of Scotland, it adopted arms closely resembling those of the mother Grand Lodge of the majority, those last described, but the ox in the upper right quarter looks more like a lamb, and the eagle in the lower right, more like a phoenix or some other fabled bird. In the lower half of the left side of the shield (below the arms of the original Grand Lodge of England) appears the Rose, Thistle and Shamrock entwined, an obvious reference to the three sources of Masonry in the Province of Quebec. See Fig. 5.
The next daughter Grand Lodge to be formed by lodges on the Registry of "Canada" was that of Manitoba in 1875, and again the "Canadian" design was followed in the main but on the dexter side, instead of dividing the shield into two equal quarters, the arms of the Province of Manitoba (St. George's Cross, above a buffalo) were intruded into the upper quarter up to the chevron, so as to eliminate the castle usually found below the chevron. This is shown in Fig. 4, in the upper row.
The Grand Lodges of Alberta and Saskatchewan, daughter Grand Lodges of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba in 1905 and 1906, also adopted a similar design, replacing the arms of Manitoba with the provincial arms in each instance. These will be found in Figs. 4 and 5 respectively.
The only remaining Grand Lodge in Canada, that of British Columbia, formed in 1871, struck out into new paths and adopted a design, showing Queen Victoria seated on a throne between the two conventional pillars. Above, the square, compasses and star; below, a rose in full bloom; all with the two supports found with the arms of the United Grand Lodge of England. It is shown in Fig. 4, third in the lower row.
In conclusion several observations may be made. The later Grand Lodges, Provincial and Independent, in Canada, followed very closely on the whole the heraldic precedent of the United Grand Lodge of England, even though this was not always exactly the logical thing to have done. From the aesthetic point of view the arms adopted by the Ancients were altogether too complex. A coat of arms is not a "Tracing Board." At the Union these arms became a component part of the Arms of the United Grand Lodge of England, with the result that there was a further loss in clarity and distinction. Most of the Canadian Grand Lodges proceeded to make things still worse, for their method in most cases has been to take the arms of the United Grand Lodge and make them more complicated and less distinctive still by the addition of new elements. When the simplicity of the beautiful seal of the Grand Lodge of York, or the second seal of the Ancient Grand Lodge, is compared with later designs, the loss of effectiveness in the latter becomes very striking. However in the course of years a sentimental attachment grows up, and there is little likelihood that any of them will be changed in the near future.
R. F. Gould, both in his large History of Freemasonry and the Concise History, has something to say on the heraldic designs adopted by the senior Grand Lodge and its later rival, the Ancient Grand Lodge, and there are interesting plates in both works. In the latter is a reduced reproduction of the latest Grant of Arms from the Heralds' College to the United Grand Lodge, which is legible with a magnifying glass. J. Ross Robertson in his History of Freemasonry in Canada, discusses the subject, and some of the illustrations in the present article have been taken from his work. There is a plate of Masonic seals in Sadler's Masonic Facts and Fictions. For Irish seals the work of Bros. Lepper and Crossle may be referred to, the History of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, from which much interesting material may be obtained. There are also many other books and pamphlets which might be referred to, but as in the main the subject has been dealt with so cursorily and incidentally the attempt to list them would not be worth the labor in the present status of the subject.
One thing more may be noted. In the drawings reproduced in Fig. 2, the tinctures or colors are indicated by letters and not by the later conventional shadings. S stands for sable, and A for argent.
* * *
FREEMASONRY, JUDAISM AND GENERAL ERICH LUDENDORFF
Bro. L. F. Strauss, Massachusetts
WE will continue with some further extracts from the work of the German General, Erich Ludendorff, which we quoted last month, the work by which he expects to annihilate Freemasonry; in ignorance, it would seem, of the fact that he is far from being the first to make the same attempt by the same means, that others have attempted the same thing before him, even so long ago as the year 1747.
Ludendorff then, seeks to show that Masonry has nothing in common with the Christian religion, which is not wholly without point in Germany, where the Prussian Grand Lodges will accept no candidates who do not profess to be Christians. Our German General says:
"The words of the Evangelist John, in the first chapter, have no connection with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth."
"Masonic connection with Jesus is very loose."
"Christian lodges call Him their Master and Instructor ... represent Him as divinity approaching the human, as Adam Kadmon ... include Him in their Fraternity, analogous to John the Baptist."
"Freemasonry teaches that Jesus had belonged to the Jewish sect of Essenes, and that he was actually a Freemason."
"The introduction of the personality of Jesus was a kind of afterthought, done for a purpose: To make Freemasonry acceptable by 'good' Christians."
"The enlightened, the really informed, the initiated, know that Christianity and the New Testament are used by, in, Freemasonry as a kind of decoy; but only as far as Christianity, as the New Testament, is in accord with Kabbalistic philosophy, Kabbalistic theology and Kabbalistic politics."
"In the mystical forms of Freemasonry the factor decisive in everything; Jewish Orthodoxy, Jewish standard, Jewish nationality, these three made into a terrific unity... This Jewish unification falls with terrific force upon unsuspecting innocent Germany."
"Food for thought, Freemasons call themselves Noachides, sons of Noah. The Patriarchs, of course, are also mentioned ... Jehova in accord with Bible texts, El Shaddai, etc."
"The Devil made an alliance with Abram, later Abraham, and promised him offspring later called Isaac the first member of the genus homo to be circumcised. This Abraham is an important figure with the Odd Fellows as a model for Love, for do we not read that he sold, for a good price of course, his wife as a harlot?"
"The Talmud is next to the Torah, the Jewish Law, and shows the hate and contempt of Jews for all people."
"It is evident that the Talmud has been the determining influence upon Masonic theories and practices."
"We read: 'Moses our teacher enjoins that we should force all men to accept, follow and obey the laws given to the sons of Noah to kill anyone who refuses.' "
"It is Jewish policy, politics exemplified both in the minor and the higher Masonic degrees, to withdraw Noah and put into his place Solomon."
"The Kings of Sweden and Denmark are Masons."
"The head of Swedish Freemasonry is a man known as Vicar of Solomon, until he actually becomes ruler; his membership is to remain a secret till his actual reign."
"The Kings of England, Edward VII, George V, were high degree Masons. [King George is not a Mason.] These Masons undermine monarchical prestige, abuse people's confidence."
"In the shadow of its authorities, Freemasonry does its work, i.e., the establishment of Jewish domination and world-power. Oh, son of man, begin to think, then act and obtain your freedom."
"The training for the breeding of artificial Jewry. King Solomon and the Old Testament. In the constitution of natural Masonic lodges we read: 'The wise King Solomon is to be called the founder and first ruler of our Order.'"
"The position of the human foot at right angles presents the Kabbalistic symbol straight walking figure of speech for upright living." [Ludendorff is a student, and as such can and does make discoveries.]
"The numbers presented in Adoniram's fancies — illusions! Three, 3^2=9; 3^3=27. This institutes one of the Kabbala's strange figurations."
(The number) "3 as already stated represents the creative force of Jehovah." "In the Kabbalistic dominion we have 3 empires; 9 represents the basis of the magic square; 3x3=9. Here the numbers are given in such a way as to make 15."
"Twenty-seven is the cube of 3. This cube represents a fully developed figure whose impersonation is the incorrupt and incorruptible Jew." [Put "Mason" in place of "Jew" and Ludendorff gives correct information.]
JEWISH CREATION OF THE WORLD
"The Kabbala presents creation in 10 concentric figures."
"The tree with its highest branch forming a crown is another Kabbalistic figure of creation. And the crown is one of the sacred symbols of Freemasonry. The 'Master Mason' in the lodge represents, personifies, the power, the secret of this crown."
"Freemasonry, to which many Protestant ministers belong, has accepted but little of Christianity. Even the Bible is but a symbol."
"The teaching of Jesus, according to Masonic interpretation, represents religious morality."
"The Jew with conscious malice strives to make his words into the religion of the whole world through Freemasonry."
"Dr. Hieber writes: 'We ought not to introduce theological doctrines ... we must remain mindful of this: that if Christ had not perfected His work, His life and work would have been in vain, but as things are, His work runs into millennia.' Next Hieber shows the unification of the human and divine as configuration approaches the figure of the cube, the symbolic presentation of the Son of God. The Jewish child in Bethlehem." [Ludendorff here comes close to a Kabbalistic and Masonic doctrine.] "All Masonic brothers form, constitute, but one lodge, and the central of the one lodge is in New York, the capital of Jewry."
"The Royal art is one of the names given to Masonic work ... the overthrow of Kings in the honor and name of the Jew King Solomon."
"Three great Lights of Freemasonry, taken from the Kabbala, are Wisdom, Beauty and Strength."
"Most German lodges do not accept unbaptized, but will accept baptized Jews. Now, do we not all know baptism cannot affect, or change, a Jew? A Jew always remains a Jew."
"Hieber, objecting to appellation of anti-Semite, rejects, refuses to accept a name of honor."
"Freemasonry makes the North the seat, the home, of Darkness; the rough and hard side of Life, the place of vice and barbarism. In the North are the rough stones representing the genus homo in primitive, uncivilized, state, to be worked upon with dagger and trowel to be made into a cube in the interest and glory of the Jew."
"The great lie, Ex oriente lux, is a Jewish claim and assertion. This lie is today upheld by Freemasonry."
This Ludendorffian presentation of the case; Humanity-Civilization vs. Freemasonry; it makes but one charge, brings but one accusation, Freemasonry has been generated, elaborated by Semites, by a something called Jews. This charge, accusation, might be denied; is at least debatable. Now, my dear Bro. Ludendorff, if a Semite, a member of the Jewish race, and likewise a member of the Order called Freemasonry, may be permitted to do so, I would ask: what about Christianity? Whence comes Christianity? To what race belonged Jesus of Nazareth and all his apostles? Have not you, Erich Ludendorff, been born into, been baptized into, been "confirmed" into that religion called Christianity? Are you aware of this: The word Christian, Christ, Christos is the Greek form or word for "Anointed," which word gives the literal meaning of the Hebrew Meschia, usually spelled Messiah? Christian martyrs in Roman courts till the third century were recorded as Novi Judaei.
The descent, the source, the origin of Freemasonry, as stated, is at least debatable, but there is not, there cannot be, a mentally sane member of the genus homo, who will deny that what today is called Christianity is an offspring, a child of something called Judaism. Has not this religion called Christianity (this offspring of Judaism) been an important factor in civilizing your race, your "Nordic" race, of which you are so proud?
Another piece of information pleasing to Ludendorff. European civilization will reach its highest state in the North. Now everything which is, or exists, has a reason, a cause, an explanation. For this, a kind of "Nordic" ascendency I will not give a reason, but will give a cause and a kind of explanation. In accord with a certain Law of Nature, the longer anything takes to develop and mature the stronger does it become. This law is operative even in the vegetable Kingdom. Fruit which ripens the most quickly, decays the most rapidly. In the North physical, mental and moral life develops more slowly than in the South. The pre-Christian Northerners, the Roman historians relate, drank the life-blood of conquered enemies. Longevity today is greatest in the North. In aerial navigation the "Nordics" lead. The American Lindbergh is a "Nordic." In literature we have Ibsen, Boernson, Strindberg; in the spiritual world we have Swedenborg the mystic. Another piece of information: This "Nordic" ascendency will not be eternal; change and progress is the Law of Life.
Another piece of information, displeasing at first, but highly gratifying later, after securing additional, real information and an after serious reflection: The Founder of what today is known as Freemasonry was not a Jew. He was a "Nordic" for many, many generations, both on his father's and on his mother's side. And this Nordic was the greatest, the noblest, the best "specimen" of the genus homo, produced by the so-called European world.
In addition to this: you are a Patriot, and Patriotism is a virtue. Have not German, as well as British, French or American Jews, done their duty in the so-called Great War?
A further item of information: this writer was a personal friend of Prof. Muensterberg, the well known psychologist and philosopher. This scholar was a friend and adviser of Count Bernsdorff, and at a time when many other Germans had, in a way, lost their patriotism, when Germans in Turnhalle were putting pictures of Bismarck in the cellar, and those of the Kaiser into another place, Muensterberg suffered and sacrificed, and finally died of a broken heart. The writer of these lines also suffered, sacrificed and lost.
And something further: a man is good to the degree that he is unselfish, and bad in the degree that he is selfish. Every man has a duty to the self, the ego, towards family, towards tribe, towards country, and finally, towards the race. No man should seek fortune at the expense of his family, or his family's fortune at the expense of tribe or country, or his country's welfare at the expense, the cost, of the human race. And here another item of information: a teaching in the Weltanschavung of the Founder of Freemasonry it is that the human stage is not the last, the highest, the final level of life on this planet called "Earth." There is another, a higher stage. What is this stage? A name! What's in a name? "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
And as food for thought, the following verse from Goethe may be recalled:
Des Menschen Seele
Gleicht dem Wasser:
Vom Himmel kommt es,
Zum Himmel steigt es,
Und wieder nieder
Zur Erde muß es,
A recently published biography of Goethe, reviewed in THE BUILDER a few months ago, may be recommended. In this work we are informed that Goethe not only believed in the idea of re-incarnation, but that he actually remembered a previous life, in the time of the Roman emperor, Hadrian. And for meditation the utterance: "Before Abraham was, I am," and another idea found in that same book called the Bible, that a certain John, surnamed the Baptist, had once on a time been Elias.
And: "Why speakest thou unto them in parable?" asked the disciples.
He answered and said unto them, "Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given."
Consider: Parables, and Masonic Symbolism.
We are told that once upon a time there was in "Heaven" a great celebration and that by angels there was a song, heard by you in childhood, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will."
Now, ende gut alles gut.
* * *
THE DEGREES OF MASONRY: THEIR ORIGIN AND HISTORY
Bros. A. L. Kress and R. J. Meekren
THE emendation in the answer to the first question in the Catechism in the Dumfries-Kilwinning MS. that was suggested last month may be regarded as the more probable, in that it only gives significance to what is, as it stands, a rather nonsensical response, but it also brings it into closer accord with the parallel documents. Every other catechism extant excepting this and the Trinity College MS. has a question directly demanding: "Are you a Mason?" The other exception, the Trinity College MS. has the following:
Q. What manner of man are you?
A. I am a Mason.
Thus we may suppose with some plausibility that the original of the Dumfries-Kilwinning MS. had some such question as this last, and that would make it probable that the third question, as quoted above, was an inquiry as to a higher grade, and that the answer embodied the same contrast as appears explicitly in the Grand Mystery and its congeners.
In the Examination, and its companion, the Mystery of Freemasons, we find further questions concerning the grade of the one questioned.
Q. Have you been in the Kitchen?
A. Yes I have.
Q. Did you ever dine in the Hall?
A. Yes I did.
To these answers the Mystery appends respectively the two notes. To the first:
N.B. You shall know an Enter'd Apprentice by this question.
and to the second:
N.B. A Brother Mason by this Question.
The Examination throws its own light upon the subject. It begins somewhat differently from the Mystery. The first two questions and answers are as follows:
Q. Are you a Free Mason?
A. Yes indeed I am.
Q. How shall I know it?
A. By signs and tokens ... from my entrance into the kitchen and thence into the Hall.
Thus here turns up once more, it would seem, the terminology we have tentatively distinguished in the Old Charges and the Scottish Minutes that is, that "Mason," or (in the Examination) "Free Mason," was equivalent to Master and Fellow.
The Mystery goes on to ask another question to differentiate the Fellow which has no counterpart in any other of our documents, though it appears in Prichard, and in the Catechisme des Francs-Maçons . And in both it is definitely noted in explanation that it has the same purpose as it has in the Mystery. Of course in these last two publications it is quite possible that the idea was borrowed from a version of the Mystery. As it appears in the latter it runs:
Q. How old are you?
A. Under 5 or under 7, which you will.
N.B. When you are first made a Mason you are only enter'd Apprentice, and till you are made a Master, or as they call it, pass'd the Master's Part, you are only enter'd Apprentice, and consequently must answer under 7, for if you say above, they will expect the Master's Word and Signs.
Now this note is quite likely to have been the work of the editor who prepared the MS. for the printer, so that if any weight is to be given to it at all, it is as reflecting the usage in or about 1730 in London. But the implication is plain that "Master" was the grade above Apprentice, and that the "Master's Part" was a second degree, in our sense of that word.
The remaining documents will have to be treated separately as the indications they afford on the subject of grades, and the secrets pertaining thereto, are almost all peculiar to one source only. We may take the Mason's Confession first. Its date of publication is late, but the anonymous author, who seems to have quite honestly come to the conclusion that Masonry was superstitious and sinful, and that it was his duty to expose it, says that his account is
.... to testify concerning that oath, word and other secrets held among the corporation of Mason's wherein I was taken under the same by sundry of them gathered together and met at D about the year 1727.
We may observe here, incidentally, that the Confession and the Sloane MS. No. 3329, are alone in being written from a hostile or critical standpoint. Omitting the editorial notes in the Mystery and Grand Mystery, which are not properly part of these documents, all the others give the impression of being memoranda of things important to remember but likely to be forgotten. The "Confessor" was admittedly a Mason, but his account is so confused and disjointed that it seems probable that he had had no Masonic intercourse for many years before he wrote it. That he was not a Mason by trade may be also surmised. On the whole it seems safe to assume that, so far as it goes, the Confession represents Scottish usage of about 1725-1750. But whether earlier or later, the lodge in which the author was entered would seem certainly to have known two degrees, but two only. He says explicitly that "a word in the Scripture was shewed" him, which he was told was "the Mason word." And then he adds that one word is the "Mason word," and another "a fellow-craft word," and goes on to say;
The former is shewn to an entered prentice after he has sworn the oath, and the latter is shewn to one that has been a prentice at least for a year, when he is admitted a degree higher in their lodge, after he has sworn the oath again, or declared his approbation of it.
Now the use of the term "degree" here is cause for suspicion. By the time this was published the modern system of three degrees was being worked in Scotland. The minutes of the Lodge at Kelso tell us that the new Master Mason degree was introduced there in June, 1754, and it is remarked that it was worked elsewhere; certainly in Edinburgh whence it was brought. It is very likely therefore that the "Confessor" used the terminology of the period of his writing rather than that of the time of his initiation . But this does not affect the fact that when he was made a Mason the Fellow Craft received secrets which were kept from the Apprentice. That there was more to these secrets than the "fellowcraft word" merely, appears at the end of the Confession, where a series of signs and signals for recognition are described. One of these (so loosely described that one cannot say the secret was really revealed) he calls the "fellow-crafts due guard"; and with this, it is intimated, there went a grip, which is as difficult to reconstruct from the description as the "due guard." And then is added, as an alternative, the five points we have already discussed, though he gives them no distinctive name. The passage runs:
... or placing himself hand to hand foot to foot, knee to knee, heart to heart, ear to ear, [he] says 'Great you, great you God greateth you, and make you a good Master-mason. I'm a young man going to push my fortune, if you can furnish me you will do well."
Now in his account of what he remembered of his initiation the "Confessor" gives an Apprentice salutation, which will be mentioned later in conjunction with the Chetwode Crawley MS. On the other hand all the other sources give a Fellow's greeting or salutation of a similar character to the above. The only exception is the Trinity College MS., which is so very brief, and omits so much, that there is no significance in its not mentioning this.
It is one of the indications of an amalgamation of the secrets of the two ceremonies some time during the period preceding 1717 that this formal salutation is not differentiated in most cases as pertaining to the "Fellows," though in form it is from Masters and Fellows to Masters and Fellows, which in itself would seem to make it inappropriate for an apprentice. The phraseology varied a good deal. It might be guessed that the original form was distinguished by a triple repetition, which however in some places had become obscured. Perhaps the Sloane MS. may be taken as giving a typical form:
The right worshipful, the Mast'rs and fellows in that worshipful lodge from whence we last came greet you, greet you, greet you.
To which the reply was,
God's good greeting to you dear brother.
... the right worshipful brothers and fellows of the right worshipful holy Lodge of St. John ... greet you thrice heartily well.
The original of the reply to this possibly included the jingle, "God's good greeting be at this our meeting," which appears with variations in the five documents included in the Grand Mystery and Examination groups, and also in the Sloane MS.
The Confession is certainly Scottish in origin; the Examination type, judging by certain slight indications, possibly originated in or about London. From other equally slight indications it might be surmised that the Grand Mystery versions came from somewhere geographically in between possibly the north of England. Yet in all we find definite traces of certain forms and secrets peculiar to, and distinguishing, the Fellow of the Craft or Master. There is the formal greeting or salutation, associated with a sign and a word, and "proper" points of Fellowship; and besides this, test questions and answers to introduce and pave the way to these more definite and serious proofs of the free Craftsman's status.
EARLY MEANS OF RECOGNITION
It may be remarked in passing, that to no one will the various means of recognition described and hinted at in these documents seem stranger than to a Freemason of today. It is a curious commentary on Mackey's Code of Landmarks , unalterable as the laws of the Medes and Persians, that in the very first of them, and the one "of all the most legitimate and unquestioned," which can "admit of no variation," we find the "Means of Recognition," which in two hundred years have themselves changed beyond recognition. Though it is probable that on the whole this change has been due to a progressive and organic evolution.
We will now take up the very curious Chetwode Crawley MS. which links up with the Confession on one point, and with the Haughfoot Minute of 1702 in regard to another. It is the only one of our sources that definitely describes a second ceremony, though as we have seen, the Confession alludes to one as following the "entry" at an interval of the year or more. The passage is not a long one, and may be quoted in full  After telling how the Apprentice receives "the word" the author or transcriber says:
Now it is to be remarked that all the Signs and words as just spoken of are only what belongs to the entered prentices. But to a Master-Mason or ffellow Craft there is more to be done, as after follows.
ffirst, all the Apprentices are to be removed out of the Company, and not Suffered to Stay, but only Mason-Masters. Then he who is to be admitted a member of the ffellowship is put again to his knees and gets the Oath administered to him anew. Afterwards he must go out of the Company with the youngest Master to learn the words and signs of ffellowship. Then coming in again, he makes the Master-Sign, and says the Same words of Entry as the Prentice did, only leaving out the Common Lodge. Then the Masons whisper among themselves beginning at the youngest, as formerly. Afterwards the young Master must advance and put himself in the posture wherein he is to receive the word. And says to the assembled Honorable Company whispers;
"The worthy masons and Honorable Company that I came from, Greet you well, Greet you well."
The insertion of the word "whispers" at the end of the next to last sentence seems curious. Both the Grand Mastery and the Institution have an Addendum in which casual modes of recognition are described, of which the fifth is
You must Whisper, saying thus; The Masters and Fellows of the Worshipful Company from whence I came greet you [all]
However the point is not of importance in the present connection. We will now pass to that curious fragment on the present first page of the minute book of the old Lodge of Haughfoot. It will be remembered that some preceding pages have been torn out at some time. The few words remaining were a great puzzle until the Chetwode Crawley MS. was discovered. They were recognized as being of the nature of a ritual rubric, but their precise bearing was a matter of conjecture only. There are only two sentences the first incomplete.
... of entrie as the Apprentice did leaving out (the Common Judge). They then whisper the word as before, and the Master Mason grips his hand in the ordinary way.
Now the Chetwode Crawley MS. in the description of, or more properly perhaps, the memorandum on, the "entry" of an apprentice, says he is sent out of the lodge accompanied by the "Youngest Mason" to be taught the "manner of making Guard," consisting of the sign, word and postures of his Entry, and including the following salutation:
Now am I the youngest and last entered Apprentice; As I am sworn by God and St. John, by the Square and Compass and Common Lodge to attend my Master's service at the Honorable Lodge, from Munday in the morning to Saturday at night, and to keep the keys thereof ...
The remainder is not essential for our purpose here. Turning to the Confession we find that the author says concerning the signs and words that at his initiation:
One person in the lodge instructed me a little about them the same day that I entered, and was called my "Author"
while he chose another to be his "intended until the following assembly "that time twelve-month." It is not definitely said that the newly entered apprentice was sent out of the lodge, but there is a description of his taking formal steps over three lines drawn on the ground, which seems to indicate a ceremonial re-entry and salutation. The passage is as follows, and must be considered in the light of the excerpt from the Chetwode Crawley MS. given above:
Question: What say you?
Answer: Here stand I (with his feet in form of a square) younger and last entered Prentice, ready to serve my Master from Monday morning to the Saturday night in all lawful employment.
All this leads almost irresistibly to the conclusion that at the beginning of the eighteenth century and of course by inference earlier still there were two quite distinct formal salutations employed in Scottish operative lodges, one by the apprentices, and the other by the Masters and Fellows; and that each was accompanied by certain postures and gestures, which were in effect signs of recognition; and that those pertaining to the higher grade were not known to the apprentices.
The Fellow's salutation it would appear was known and used in England in variant forms, and it may be a fair inference to assume that this implies an Apprentice's salutation also, although in that breaking down of the distinction between the two grades in purely nonoperative lodges which we believe to have occurred in some places, this may have come to be little emphasized, or even to have entirely dropped out.
Before leaving the Chetwode Crawley MS. we may note that in the Catechism which follows the descriptive note on the reception of a "Master Mason or ffellow Craft," the following query and response appears:
Q. 8th. What's the name of your Lodge?
Ansr. The Lodge of Kilwinning.
If this is to be accepted as a safe indication of ultimate origin, and there seems no special reason why it should not be, then it is an additional confirmation of our conclusion that Gould was mistaken in inferring that the bare communication of a word was the sum total of the secrets known to the Masons there; for this reference would tie it up closely with the ritual practiced at Haughfoot in 1702, which he regarded as abnormal .
There remain two MSS. more to be considered, the Sloane MS. No. 3329 and the Trinity College MS. These present a special problem, in that on their face they seem to speak of three degrees, under much the same names as are employed today. We have already noted that the paper and handwriting of the former has been judged, by experts having no interest in the contents, to be possibly as early as the first years of the 18th century or even the last years of the 17th. While, judged by these same external criteria, 1730 is probably as late a date as it would be justifiable to assign to it.
In dealing with Mackey's theory of the origin of the symbolic degrees we examined the arguments he based on certain features of this document , and it is these that now call for further examination.
We have already remarked the somewhat critical and disparaging tone of this MS. This could be accounted for by assuming that it is a compilation from various sources by the hand of a non-Mason. The author or compiler always speaks of members of the fraternity as "they." "'They discover [each] other by signs," "their gripe for fellowcrafts"; while "they say," or "say they," is a frequently recurring phrase. It is this latter especially which almost gives the MS. an air of having been written by one who had become a Mason out of curiosity but had never identified himself with the Craft, and had written down something of what he had learned in the same spirit of detachment that an anthropologist might write of the ceremonies of some primitive secret society to which he had gained admission in his study of the culture of a savage race. Whichever way it was, there is not much order or system in his account. He first describes at greater length than in any other of the documents a number of the "casual" signs or signals used to attract a Mason's attention in various circumstances. Among these we find the description of "gripes" that is quoted by Mackey. Then comes a Catechism thus introduced:
Here followeth their private discourse by way of question and answer.
This has sixteen questions. Then we are told that:
In some places they discourse as followeth.
This refers to a group of eight questions, evidently a fragment of another catechism in part parallel to the first, and which, as it stands, ends with a form of the Fellow's Salutation and the response thereto. Then follows this addendum, which it may be assumed comes from a different source:
Another salutation is giving the mast'rs or fellows grip, saying, the right worshipful the mast'rs and fellows in that worshipful lodge from whence we last came, greet you, greet you, greet you well.
To which there is also a proper formal reply. In this reference to the "Master's or Fellow's grip" it is natural to take the two terms as synonymous, as we have found them to be in so many other places. But the previous description of the "gripes" throws some doubt upon this, and the difficulty thus raised makes Mackey's interpretation not unreasonable at the time he wrote. As he quoted this previous passage in full in a work that is accessible everywhere, there will be no need to give more here than the phrases we are specially interested in; there are two paragraphs, neither beginning with a capital letter:
their gripe for fellow craftes is clasping their right hands, etc., etc.
their master's gripe is clasping, etc., etc., but some say the mast'rs grip is the same I last described, only, etc.
Taken as it stands this differentiates the masters and the fellows, and ignores the apprentices. If we might suppose that a mistake had been made in copying, and that we should read:
their gripe is, etc.
their masters or fellow craftes gripe, etc.
the difficulty would vanish; but the emendation is rather risky. It is very true that a word can easily get misplaced or doubled in copying, as everyone who has done much of it knows only too well, but it is safer not to avoid a difficulty by altering the text, unless it is obvious on general grounds that an error exists.
If we had further information as to these "gripes" from other sources we might be able to come to a more definite decision. But there is nothing quite parallel to them in any of our documents. The Grand Mystery has a list of "Signs to know a true Mason", the fourth of which is:
To take hand in hand, with Left and Right Thumbs close and touch each Wrist three Times with the Forefinger each Pulse.
And the Institution repeats this with some changes that make it more incomprehensible still. The Examination has, in a somewhat similar list of signals, the following statement:
To Gripe is when you take a Brother by the Right Hand and put your middle Finger to his Wrist.
Wrist and pulse are much the same thing for such a purpose, and this last, which is reasonably clear, may be the original of the former. But neither is like the two "gripes" described in the Sloane MS.
Gould was quite strongly of the opinion that the Sloane MS. is later than the publication of Prichard's work, and that the compiler knew and borrowed ideas from it. Prichard describes three grips, one for each degree, and the first one, assigned to the Entered Apprentice, sounds as if it might have been a variation of the one first described in the Sloane MS. This might be taken as some confirmation for such an emendation of the text of the latter as we suggested above, especially as the "master's gripe" as therein described bears a general resemblance to the grip set forth in a note to Prichard's "Master's Degree." This would leave Prichard's Fellow Craft grip with no traditional parallel which is of course what we would expect.
If then this emendation were accepted, the Sloane MS. falls into line with all the other sources so far examined, as exhibiting two grades; some secrets being common to all Masons, and some reserved for the Masters or Fellows. But on its face it indicates three grades, although apprentices are only mentioned once, in the fifth question of "their private discourse":
Q. What is a just and perfect or just and lawful lodge?
A. A just and perfect lodge is two Interprintices two fellowcraftes and two Masters ... [or] if need require five will serve that is two Interprintices, two fellow crafts and one Mast'r on the highest hill or lowest valley of the world without the crow of a cock or the bark of a dogg.
It must be said quite frankly that this particular variant of the description of the lodge found in each of our documents (with one exception) seems to imply the of idea of three degrees; even more so, indeed, than Prichard's version does in the parallel passage. This last tells us the lodge consists of
One Master, two Wardens, two Fellow Crafts and two Entered Apprentices.
The Mystery has:
A Master and two wardens, and four Fellows.
The Examination adds to this, "five Apprentices." There is the possibility, which we offer for what it may be worth, that the two Masters mentioned by the Sloane MS. originally referred to two officers for it would appear that there were not always two wardens in addition to a Master (or Deacon).
It may also be noted that the Grand Mystery gives:
.... Five or Seven right and perfect Masons on the highest Mountains, or the lowest Valleys in the world
which the Essex MS. and the Institution repeat; the latter changing the order, making it "seven or five."
Remembering the insistence of the Schaw Statutes on the presence of two Apprentices, this might be interpreted as referring to the constitution of the lodge before and after the apprentices were "removed out of the Company," as the Chetwode Crawley MS. puts it, when a Master or fellow was to be accepted. But the fact is that there is no consistency between the accounts, excepting only that the numbers given are generally odd. Indeed the Grand Mystery and its congeners draw attention to this by asking "Why do Odds make a lodge?" the Institution says "odd numbers" to which the answer is, "Because all odds are men's advantage"; all which he may interpret who can.
The Essex MS. has an additional series of questions, in the answer to one of which we are told that any number "from three to thirteen" makes a "perfect lodge."
To thoroughly discuss this and some other subsidiary points would take too much time and would not be worth while, but it may be noted that the subject is far from having been exhausted. We will therefore pass to the last of our sources, the Trinity College MS., which even more definitely than the Sloane seems to postulate three degrees: Master, "fellow craftsman" and "Enter prentice."
We noted to begin with that this MS. bears an endorsement "Freemasonry Feb. 1711." This is in a later hand than the body of the document, and we know neither just what it means nor why it was made. The first judgment that naturally occurs is that it is a note of the age of the document; and as we do not know who made it, or what his source of information, we are left in a state of uncertainty as to its value. But there is another possibility; it might be a note of the date at which the paper was examined and filed. It is quite plausible that some methodical person who was sorting and classifying miscellaneous family papers, not only labelled them, but made a note of the date when doing so. If this supposition were accepted it would follow that the document itself is older than the date. We believe that disinterested experts, with no knowledge of Masonic antiquities, are inclined to judge the paper and handwriting to be of the beginning of the century, though obviously such considerations alone can hardly lead to certainty inside of fairly wide limits, thirty to thirty-five years or so . We have therefore to allow for this indefiniteness and endeavor so to interpret the document as to make our conclusions, if possible, consistent with either the earlier or later limits which means that they will be to the same extent tentative and indefinite, too.
The MS. contains a brief series of eleven questions and answers, for all of which, with one enigmatic exception, close parallels are to be found in most of the other documents. Then come a few memoranda regarding signs. Here we are first told of a somewhat complicated sequence of gestures called the "common sign," and then comes a short paragraph in which mention is made of a "Master sign," a "fellow craftsman's sign" and the "Enter prentice sign." They are not described, but are merely designated by words that doubtless would have had mnemonic significance to anyone who had once known what they were, but which have for a modern reader no meaning at all. The "Master sign" is said to be "backbone," that of the "fellow craftsman" is "knuckles and sinews," while to the "Enter prentice" is assigned "sinews" only. The following paragraph gives a little more detail, and each sign is coupled with a word. Thus "backbone" is stated to go with the word "Matchpin," a corrupt rendering, doubtless, of the word "Maughbin" found elsewhere.
The only thing in all this that is of concern in our present inquiry is the ascription of special secrets to three classes of Masons, bearing essentially the same titles as our three symbolic degrees. This is quite clear and unequivocal. The apparent reference to three degrees in the Sloane MS. can be removed by an emendation of the text requiring only the deletion of a single word. Here the conclusion is unescapable that three degrees were definitely recognized by the author of the document.
If we assume that it was written by, or at least owned by, some member of the Irish branch of the Molyneux family, in or about the year 1711, then we have to conclude that in Ireland the evolution of the Masonic system was earlier than in Great Britain, so far as the extant evidence leads us to suppose. The endorsement has not been questioned, we believe, except in regard to the date. And the date has been questioned simply because it was assumed that the other evidence requires us to conclude that no third degree could have existed, anywhere, before 1723.
It is very difficult here to hold the balance true. The endorsement may be authentic enough, and yet in this one respect erroneous. That is obvious. But this is not to be proved by a negative argument. We must recall Bro. Tuckett's fallacy of the ultra-critical, the assumption "that what cannot be proved cannot have happened." The positive evidence tells us that in 1730 certainly, and probably, in 1727 or a little earlier, the three degrees were in existence in some places. It also tells us that in 1723 the Grand Lodge of London, and most of the old Scottish lodges, used a two degree system. But this does not exclude the possibility that elsewhere a third degree had come into existence. It may be considered unlikely, it may be judged more probable that the endorsed date of the Trinity College MS. is a mistake, yet the possibility remains that it may be substantially correct; and this must be kept in mind.
On the whole, we are, ourselves, inclined to the view that the MS. is later than 1711, but we do not think that the point is so important to this investigation as it may at first seem to be. Before discussing this, however, it may be remarked that, presuming the endorsement was made in good faith, and this no one has ever doubted, the fact that the month is given as well as the year certainly indicates that it was not a mere conjecture on the part of whoever made the note. One may guess at the probable date of a thing, and set down a year, but no one would be likely to specify any particular month in a year without some warrant for it. But even so, there are still plenty of ways in which error could have arisen. The date might have been copied from some partially illegible memorandum, or the information may have been received at some time previously and remembered inaccurately. All that can be said is that it was probably based on some information received, whether good or bad, or accurately or inaccurately reproduced.
- Published in 1744 by Travenol. Reprinted the following year in the exposé entitled Le Sceau Romps, and shortly after in L'Ordre des Franc-Maçons Trahi and in the many successive editions of those two works ↩
- According to the editor's note to the Confession, the original MS. bore the date Nov. 13, 1751, and was supplemented by another document dated Feb. 20, 1752, both by the same hand presumed to be that of the "Confessor." The whole had been communicated to the Scot's Magazine "by a Mr. D.B." Thus we have no indication of the part of Scotland from which the "Confessor" came. But it is fairly safe to assume that he could have heard about the new system. On the other hand it cannot be said positively that the term "degree" was not in use before the Grand Lodge era. It was a word in quite common use to designate social rank and status. ↩
- Mackey, Encyclopedia. side Landmarks. ↩
- The passage is discussed by Bro. Herbert Poole in the paper previously mentioned, A.Q.C., xxxvi, p. 4. ↩
- It is really amazing that Hughan was unable to see the significance of the conjunction of the Chetwode Crawley MS. and the Haughfoot minute, which he seems to have been the first to notice; he being apparently the discoverer of the MS., or at least the first to critically examine it. From the brief account he gave of it in A.Q.C., vol. xvii, p. 91, it seems it was found in the pages of an old book, the antecedents of which were not discoverable. It is hard to see how, in view of the definite date and unquestioned authenticity of the Haughfoot minute, that it was possible to remain blind to the almost compulsory conclusion, that whatever the actual date of the MS. it represented, in a variant version, the same original that underlay the usage of the lodge of Haughfoot. ↩
- BUILDER, August, 1928, p. 240. For Mackey's citations see his History, vol. iv, p. 969. Revised edition, vol. iv, p. 1023. ↩
- Bro. E. L. Hawkins (A.Q.C., vol. xxvi, p. 18) says that an expert judged the writing to be thirty or forty years earlier than 1711. Gould took it to be later than 1723, solely on the ground of the "Scotticisms" it contained. But what if it came from Scotland? ↩
* * *
AMERICAN ARMY LODGES IN THE WORLD WAR
Sierra Madre Lodge (Sin Numero) Mexico, 1916
Bro. Charles F. Irwin. Associate Editor
SOME years ago while pursuing an inquiry into another matter connected with the activity of the Masonic Fraternity during the World War, I came across a copy of the 1916 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Texas, in which I found an account of a Military Lodge in connection with the Punitive Expedition led by General Pershing into Mexico in 1916. This story possessed elements of such unusual interest to the Craft that I made the resolve to follow it up at a more favorable opportunity.
Several years passed by and once more the matter was brought to my attention when copies of the 1917 Proceedings of the Grand Lodges of Tennessee and Pennsylvania came under examination, for in each of these I found the Texas story repeated, each omitting some feature, or inserting others, which indicated again that we had a rich find in this vagrant incident.
With the opening of my present series of articles on the American Field Lodges in the World War I decided that this would be an appropriate opportunity to deal with this lodge, for though not directly connected with American participation in the conflict, it falls within the same period. After much correspondence with brethren in all parts of the country, I was enabled to get in touch with a number of the actual participants in this lodge of a single communication, and I have decided to give the reminiscences of each as variants of the same story that nothing may be lost. The latest of these to come to hand is the fullest. It is from the pen of Major J. S. S. Richardson of New York City, who at that time (1916) was a New York newspaper correspondent.
Major Richardson has two photographs of a most interesting character. These are of a very unusual memento which he had the foresight to obtain upon the occasion related in the story. He ripped from his bedding roll a piece of canvas and secured the autographs of a number of the brothers present at the time. On the reverse side he drew roughly the Square and Compasses, together with the name and location of this casual lodge.
I discovered also that Sam Dreben, the scout and interpreter of the expedition, was a member of Union Lodge, No. 172, New Orleans, through a list of lodge members obtained from a copy of the 1917 Proceedings of Louisiana. This enabled me to communicate with the Secretary of said lodge, Bro. H. Waszkowski, who informed me that he had in the archives of his lodge papers which had been entrusted to him by Bro. Dreben years before. Bro. Dreben passed on to his reward some years ago. A copy of these papers, which Bro. Waszkowski kindly made for me, discloses the fact that they are a transcript of the minutes of this historical meeting in Mexico. Thus we have recovered an official record written immediately subsequent to the occasion.
Further I was enabled to get into contact with W. Bro. W. H. Faringhy, who was at that time a Quartermaster Sergeant, Q.M.C., and who now is the Master of Monterey Lodge, No. 217, Monterey, California. He was chosen as Junior Warden of Sierra Madre Lodge. He has sent me his recollections of the occasion.
Through Col. F. W. Clarke, M.C., whom I met by a happy chance, I learned that Col. Hugh Scott, M.D., M.C., now working under the United States Veterans' Bureau in Illinois, might have additional information.
Correspondence with Dr. Scott proved this to be true. He informed me in his letters that he served in the Punitive Expedition into Mexico, but that being on duty at an outstation upon the occasion of the meeting of the lodge, he was prevented from being present. However, he naturally heard all about it from brethren who participated.
From these and other sources, then, I have succeeded in recovering from oblivion a story that deserves to be recorded, and to be made more widely known than it seems to have been hitherto. It is a side light on the working of Masonry under unusual circumstances; such meetings having occurred in other days, not only in our country but wherever members of the Craft have met the world over. In most of such cases nothing but a tradition, or a bare reference, remains. It is seldom that definite and detailed record is made at the time, and we have to congratulate ourselves on having been able to recover these accounts before they were lost beyond recall, and it is to me a source of great pleasure that I have been enabled to become the agent in putting the story of this lodge upon permanent record.
In point of time the first reference we have to Sierra Madre Lodge (sin numero) is contained in the Grand Master's Address to the Grand Lodge of Texas in the year 1916. It is found under the title, "A Unique Lodge Meeting." It is based on a letter, and an enclosure therewith, sent to the Grand Secretary of Texas by Bro. John W. Elliott, Secretary of Army Lodge, No. 1105, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The enclosure was a copy of an account of the meeting written by a member of this lodge, Bro. Elmer E. Sampson, who was with the expedition and who was chosen as one of the officers of Sierra Madre Lodge. This account is as follows:
THE ACCOUNT OF BRO. SAMPSON
Sierra Madre Lodge ( without number) F. & A. M ., was opened for social purposes this 14th day of May, the year of our Lord, 1916, in due and ancient form. The brethren assembled in a pass of the Sierras, due east of the Headquarters encampment of the United States Punitive Expeditionary Forces, near Namiquipa, Mexico, the place of meeting.
Upon examination, being found adequate to be used for Masonic purposes, the several stations and places of the lodge were filled as follows:
- Major Ellwood Waller Evans, Acting Regimental Commander, Tenth Cavalry, U.S.A., Annapolis Lodge, No. 89, Annapolis, Worshipful Master
- Quartermaster Sergeant W. H. Faringhy, Quartermaster's Corps, U.S.A., Monterey Lodge, No. 217, Monterey, Calif., Senior Warden
- Captain John Raymond Barber. M.C., U.S.A., Hiram Lodge, No. 10, District of Columbia, Junior Warden;
- Sergeant Elmer E. Sampson, Company "E" E.C., U.S.A., Army Lodge, No. 1105, Fort Sam Houston, Tex., San Antonio, Senior Deacon;
- Captain W. E. Burt, Twentieth Inf., Ass't Chief of Staff, Expeditionary Forces, Hancock Lodge, No. 311, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Junior Deacon;
- J. S. Stewart Richardson, New York Herald Correspondent with the Expeditionary Forces, Thistle Lodge, No. 900, New Orleans, Louisiana, Secretary;
- Sam Dreben, Interpreter of the Intelligence Department, Expeditionary Forces, Union Lodge, No. 172, New Orleans, Louisiana, Tiler
In opening the lodge the Worshipful Master remarked that by meeting al fresco in a mountain crevice, the brethren of Sierra Madre Lodge were but following the example of the ancients of the Craft.
Captain Burt suggested that each of the twenty-three brethren present be presented with a copy of the minutes of the lodge that he may properly inform the brethren of his home lodge of the proceedings of Sierra Lodge. This was carried.
Captain William E. W. MacKinley of the Eleventh Cavalry, U.S.A., and of Ethan Allen Lodge, No. 72, Essex Junction, Vermont, recalled a meeting of a lodge of Bermuda, which he attended. The lodge membership consisted exclusively of officers and enlisted men of the Second Battalion, D.C.L.I. (46th Foot), British Army.
The Worshipful Master called to the East, Captain Barber who was directed to proceed to close the Lodge. Sergeant Elmer E. Sampson occupied the South in place of Captain Barber, and Sergeant Sampson's station as Senior Deacon was occupied by Lieut. C. D. McMurdo of the Tenth Cavalry, and of Faith Lodge, No. 181, Crawford, Nebraska.
The Lodge was then closed in due and ancient form. As Masons the world over, from the time of the Ancient Operative Grand Master have done, so did the brethren of Sierra Madre Lodge (without number) meet, act and part.
The brethren signed the minutes before departing. Those present not already mentioned were:
- Major J. B. Clayton, Medical Corps, U.S.A., Hancock Lodge No. 311, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas;
- Captain W. O. Reed, Assistant Chief of Staff, Expeditionary Forces, Springfield Lodge, No. 50, Springfield, Kentucky.
- Sergeant John F. Gleaves, Signal Corps, U.S.A., Hancock Lodge, No. 311, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas;
- Lieut. Henry R. Adair, Tenth Cavalry, U.S.A., Faith Lodge, No. 181, Crawford, Nebraska;
- Captain R. Porter, Medical Corps, U.S.A., White Pass Lodge, No. 113, Skagway, Alaska;
- Captain I. E. Darby, Medical Corps, U.S.A., Pentalpha, Lodge, No. 194, Gaithersburg, Maryland
- Captain W. L. Hart Medical Corps, U.S.A., Philanthropic Lodge, No. 32, Yorkville, South Carolina;
- Captain Charles E. Demmer, Medical Corps, U.S.A., Andover Lodge, No. 558, Andover, New York
- Private Harry L. Heckel, Sixteenth Infantry, Clerk Headquarters Punitive Expedition, Woodlawn Park Lodge, No. 841, Chicago, Illinois
- Sergeant Warren C. Bailey, S.C., U.S.A., Nebraska Lodge, No. 1, Omaha, Nebraska;
- Sergeant John Hubbel, S.C., U.S.A., McKinley Lodge, No. 631, McKinley, Kentucky
- Quartermaster Sergeant Robert L. Miller, Corps of Engineers, U.S.A., Harmony Lodge, No. 6, Galveston, Texas
- Sergeant Frank W. Towers, S.C., U.S.A., Hiligrove Lodge No. 540, Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Captain J. S. Coulter, M.C., U.S.A., Hancock Lodge, No. 311, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas;
The Grand Master concludes his narrative with these words:
While I may be criticized for burdening the record with the above named meeting of our brethren in foreign lands, yet it possessed so many unusual features, that I believed it would be of interest to you all. You will notice that these brethren were from lodges all over our great country, and we can easily imagine their pleasure in meeting together as brothers, within the tiled precincts of a lodge, where all rank and distinction were done away, and they met upon the level and parted on the square.
Our Most Worshipful Brother needed not to apologize, for in thus recording so unusual an incident he rendered the Craft a benefit far exceeding many of the conventional addresses which proceed from our Grand Easts, in which little of permanent value to the Craft is to be found with much chaff and dust.
The account found in the papers of Bro. Dreben is an exact duplication of that given by Bro. Sampson with this additional information in a note at the bottom of the paper: "News has just been received that Lieut. Henry R. Adair has been killed in battle."
And in a recent letter from Bro. Waszkowski I learn that Bro. Dreben himself "died about three years ago (1925) in Los Angeles, California."
The third variant of the story that has come into my hands is that of Bro. W. H. Faringhy of Monterey, Calif., who under date of Feb. 1, 1929, writes as follows:
BRO. FARINGHY'S VERSION
I have before me your letter of Jan. 22, 1929, to Secretary of Monterey Lodge, No. 217, F. & A. M. (of which at the present time I happen to be Master), relative to my experience with "Sierra Madre Lodge" in Mexico while serving with General Pershing's Punitive Expedition. My memory is a little hazy about that matter, as that Lodge was held nearly thirteen years ago, and I have thought of lots of other things since that time. However I will try and give it you as well as I am able to remember.
At the time, the Expedition was encamped at a place called Namiquipa, in Mexico, where I was on duty as Quartermaster Sergeant, Q.M. Corps, in the Q.M. Depot established there. One day a couple of brother Masons, I cannot recall their names, called on me and asked me to go up with some other Masons up in the mountains like our ancient brethren did and hold a social Lodge meeting. I agreed, and so a number of us went up to the top of a range of the Sierra Madre Mountains east of the camp and formed what was called "Sierra Madre Lodge, sin numero," on May 14, 1916; but it was not in the evening as it was too dangerous to be out at night, that is outside of camp. Some of the brethren rode out to the foot of the range, I should judge approximately five miles, on horses and some rode in trucks and light wagons. All were armed as we were in the heart of the bandit Villa's country. When we arrived at the top of the range we found an ideal spot and formed our Lodge.
An account of the meeting of the Lodge I will quote from a copy of A.A.S.R. Bulletin date at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in May, 1916, as follows (here follows an exact copy of the Sampson variant):
As far as I know that was the only Lodge that ever met in which the officers and members were armed, and the Tiler instead oaf being armed with the implement of his office, had a revolver strapped on his hip instead. [See the story of Saxonia Lodge "Somewhere at Sea," of this series, for a duplication of this point — C.F.I.]
Lieut. Henry R. Adair, 10th Cavalry, was afterward killed in a fight with the Mexicans.
The variant that merits the closing of this unusual story comes to me recently from Bro. J. S. S. Richardson (Major), who at the time of the incident was War Correspondent for the New York Herald, with the Punitive Expedition. It took quite a period of time to locate Brother Richardson but at length I found him residing in New York City and he has proved most courteous and kindly in aiding in the preservation of this story. He was the Secretary of the meeting and one of its instigators and hence his story had special value to the Masonic student. I here give his account veratim:
SIERRA MADRE LODGE (Sin Numero)
Bro. J. S. S. Richardson, Secretary (Maj. U. S. Cavalry Reserve).
Outside Sergeant! Sir! Salute! Salaam!
Inside "Brother," an' it doesn't do no 'arm.
We met upon the level an' we parted on the Square
An' I was Junior Deacon in my Mother Lodge out there!
In the light of a campfire flickering fitfully from the light wind of the Sierras sat six men. The fire was one of several in a bivouac of some 5,000 American troops. The location was the sun-dried plateau of central Chiuahua, 220 miles south of the American border.
The conversation of the recumbent fire gazers related to many things. These men had been to the four corners of the earth and their experiences were numerous and varied. In expressing themselves more than one had used a phrase reminiscent of Masonic intercourse. Suddenly the senior of the group, Major Elwood W. Evans, commanding the Second Squadron, 10th U.S. Cavalry, said: "I believe all of us around this fire are of the Craft. How about it?"
The other five each answered in the affirmative and it was Sam Dreben, trained scout, guide and soldier of fortune, who remarked they were more than sufficient numerically to convene a lodge in due and ancient form.
That started a real Masonic discussion. The six, after interrogating one another as to their Masonic woundings, constituted themselves a committee, with Major Evans as chairman, to examine other Masons who might care to attend a possible meeting. Dreben and the writer were detailed, as a sub-committee, to find an appropriate meeting place.
All of this took place on a Friday night, in the latter art of May, 1916. The troops were a part of the Punitive Expedition, under the command of Brigadier General John J. Pershing, which had crossed the border two months before to exterminate or disperse the band of outlaws which had raided Columbus, N.M., putting a portion of the town to the torch and murdering several American citizens.
The units of the expedition hitherto had been farflung and the marauding banditti now were effectively scattered. The outlaw chieftain, however, Pancho Villa, had not been captured and the American Expedition, most of whose elements were now concentrated, was yet to remain on Mexican soil for many months. This main concentration of the United States forces was six miles south of the ancient Mexican plaza of Namiquipa, which is situated on the plateau between the parallel mountain chains running north and south, the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Sierra Madre Occidental.
Early the following morning Dreben and the writer, fully armed, rode into the foothills of the Sierra Madre Oriental in search of a "Moot Room" and about five miles from camp we located an ideal place, such as might have been used by the ancients. It was an oblong clearing, almost level, set lengthwise due east and west. Surrounded with flat rocks, it was protected on the north side by some stunted trees. Dreben and I collected several of the smaller rocks and fashioned a crude altar. Also, we arranged flat stones in the East, in the South and in the West. We worked there for about two hours, then, bestriding our mounts, rode back into camp and reported to Major Evans.
Circumspectly that day word was passed among the troops that the following afternoon of Sunday, at two o'clock, a meeting of Master Masons would be held nearby. Those desiring to attend were asked to report to Major Evans that afternoon (Saturday) or early the following morning. Everything went according to schedule.
At one o'clock Sunday a strange cavalcade was seen to leave the encampment and follow the trail eastward into the hills. All were mounted and armed and I, as Secretary, carried the necessary Lodge paraphernalia strapped to my saddle. We draped the rude altar in an American flag and opened the Holy Bible in place. The Bible was borrowed from one of the Chaplains of the Expeditionary Force, none of whom, strangely enough, was of the Craft. On the top of the Bible we placed a Compasses and Square loaned by Sergeant Elmer E. Sampson of the Engineers.
Followed then the nomination and election of officers of what was proclaimed as "Sierra Madre Lodge, sin numero" (without number). From the Worshipful Master, Major Evans, down to the squad of Tilers, election was by acclamation. After Major Evans took his seat in the East, Quartermaster Sergeant W. H. Faringhy of the Quartermasters Corps and Captain R. S. Porter of the Medical Corps, were elected Senior Warden and Junior Warden, respectively. They took their stations accordingly.
The other officers were Sergeant Elmer E. Sampson of E Company, Engineers, Senior Deacon; Captain W. B. Burtt, 20th Infantry, Assistant Chief of Staff of the Expedition, Junior Deacon; J. S. S. Richardson, Secretary; and Sam Dreben, Senior Tiler.
A single Tiler was insufficient in the circumstances for the customary function of warding off cowans and eavesdroppers. We were in a hostile country with armed fragments of the bandit group still at large. Therefore four men, mounted and armed, patrolled the precincts of the meeting from the time the lodge was opened until it was closed in due form.
Of course the work resolved itself into an exchange of Masonic experiences among the brethren, who had first seen the light of the Craft in various parts of the world and under several jurisdictions. The interesting discussion was led by the able Worshipful Master Evans, who had the God-given faculty of making everyone talk with exceeding ease and to the interest of all present.
Mother Lodges represented at the meeting were in various states in the Union, the Philippine Islands, Hongkong, Canada, and Great Britain. Much that was peculiar to Craft operations in the several localities provided topics absorbing in the circumstances.
Hardly anyone realized that the meeting had been in session for nearly three hours until a distant bugle call reminded the assembled Craftsmen that retreat was being sounded back at camp. Before closing the lodge, Worshipful Master Evans delivered a short address in which he stressed the fundamentals of Masonic relationships, the true meaning of Craft brotherhood and the all-embracing universal democracy of Masonry.
It was Major Evans who quoted the appropriate lines of Kipling with which this article is prefixed and it was he who expressed the fervent hope that in the not remote future the brethren, gathered as they were from lodges of the three continents, would meet again under the banner of Sierra Madre Lodge, Mexico, sin numero.
The parting words of the Worshipful Master proved vain however. A considerable portion of the comparatively small assembly since have passed to that far country from whose bourne no traveler returns. Major Evans himself is among that noble company; another is Sam Dreben, our genial Tiler and soldier of fortune, who was later decorated for exceptional gallantry in action in France.
Lieutenant Henry R. Adair, of the 10th Cavalry, another of the brothers, was killed a week or two after the meeting, not far from that spot, by Mexicans. He and Captain Boyd, his troop commander, fell with several of their men when they were ambushed and badly out-numbered by a force of Mexicans at Carrizal. It was that fight which really inspired the mobilization of the National Guard along the Mexican Border.
I regret to say that as Secretary of the Lodge I preserved no copy of the minutes. There is but one record of the interesting meeting still in my possession. It consists of a square canvas cut from my bedding-roll. In the center, with pen and ink, I designed the traditional Compasses and Square and lettered above and below, the legend "Sierra Madre Lodge, sin numero, Mexico, 1916, A. D." This was suspended in the East during the session and, after the meeting, I induced almost everybody present to sign his name on the reverse side of the canvas with an ink pencil. A few of those who attended left before this was done, but there are nineteen names still legible on the fragment of canvas.
The names appear as follows:
- Elwood W. Evans, Major, 10th Cavalry, U.S.A.
- Q.M. Sgt. W. H. Faringhy, Q.M. Corps, S. W.
- W. B. Burtt, Capt., 20th Infantry.
- R. S. Porter, Capt. M. C.
- Elmer E. Sampson, "E" Co., Engineers.
- John R. Barber, Captain.
- C. O. McMurdo, Vet. 10th Cavalry
- S. Dreben, Union 172, New Orleans.
- John F. Gleaves, Sgt., Signal Corps.
- Frank W. Towers, Sgt., Signal Corps
- Warren V. Bailey, Sgt., Signal Corps.
- John Hubble, Sgt., Signal Corps.
- Henry R. Adair, 1st Lieut., 10th Cavalry
- Robert L. Miller, Btn. Q.M. Sgt., Engineers.
- J. S. Coulter, Capt. M.C.
- Charles O. Demmer, Capt. M.C
- Harvey J. Hecket, 16th Infantry
- J. S. Stewart Richardson, Thistle No. 900, N. Y.
- William E. W. MacKinley, Capt. 11th Cavalry, Ethan Allen Lodge, No. 72.
By the standards of near perfection reached in most of our Masonic jurisdictions the meeting of Sierra Madre Lodge might not have been considered in any sense a finished product. We were Masonic wanderers traveling on the face of the desert far from our parental "moot rooms." We had been taught differently one from another in some details of the work, but we were a complete unit on the essentials.
One and all "we knew the ancient landmarks and observed them to a hair." If the Grand Master plumbed the thoughts of that dusty band of adventurers, he found nothing but the true gold of Masonic sincerity.
SOME OTHER REFERENCES
Bro. Richardson's account rounds out the story of this remarkable lodge, and to him we are indebted for photographs of the relics of which he speaks. Thus after some years of search it has been possible to combine these versions of the very unusual story of a gathering of Masons upon a mountain side in a hostile country, who there exemplified those principles which we have universally been taught in our several lodges.
I endeavored to obtain an account from each of the officers of the lodge but though this was unsuccessful it is probable that everything of value has been set down in the foregoing accounts. Nevertheless I would be very glad to hear from any other brother who was present in order that his account could be placed in our archives along with the others. Should any reader know of one of the brethren present on the occasion I should be only too glad to receive his present address, or should any reader know of the passing on of any of this group in addition to those noted in this article a notification of the same would be appreciated.
Sierra Madre Lodge sin numero came into being because a group of Masons around a military campfire, relating experiences drawn from roving days around the globe, came together in thought and conversation to that mutual spot where other men have foregathered in other days and under other circumstances. Masonry once again has in this story emphasized the universality and the vitality inherent in the Craft.
In the 1917 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania (page 497) is the following reference to the subject:
Report was made to him (Texas 1916) of a unique lodge meeting 'in a pass of the Sierras due east of the headquarters encampment of the United States Punitive Expeditionary Forces in Mexico,' commanded by General Pershing. There were twenty-three Masons present, nearly all of them commissioned or non-commissioned officers of the Army, representing about fifteen different jurisdictions. A lodge was opened and closed 'in due and ancient form.'
For the 1917 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, a like reference is made to the Texas Proceedings, quoting Bro. Sampson's account in full. To which the Tennessee correspondent adds:
This procedure may not be entirely without precedent. During his service in the Confederate Army, the writer hereof, though not then a Mason (but wanted to be as soon as old enough), heard that the Masonic Grand Lodge of North Carolina authorized and recognized Army Lodges. The Federals, however, kept the writer so constantly entertained and on the move that he could not get the degrees during the war.
It was with the greatest difficulty that a portrait of Maj. Evans was found to illustrate this article. Through the courtesy of Bro. J. Orville Bush we learned that a portrait had been published in Rat Tat, a college magazine published at St. John's College, Annapolis, Md. Bro. Evans then Lieutenant, was Professor of Military Science and Tactics, and Lecturer on International and Constitutional law. It was found however that Rat Tat had long since been discontinued and the volume required, that for 1898 was unprocurable. At last it was found that two ladies, Miss Lillian and Miss Mable Linthieum, had a copy of this volume of the magazine, and very graciously made it available for the purpose of reproducing the portrait, for which kindness I desire to express my appreciation and gratitude.
* * *
ELEVEN YEARS A LEPER
Bro. Leo Fischer, Philippine Islands
[The following article has been reprinted in various Masonic publications and THE BUILDER deems it of sufficient importance to be included in its pages. Its original appearance was in the Masonic journal, The Cabletow, Philippine Islands. If this story appeals to the charitable instincts of any of our members we will he glad to act as forwarding agent for contributions.]
WILLIAM E. FAWCETT was born in New England among people to whom it comes natural to go down to the sea in ships, so he was still in his teens when he made his first voyage before the mast. The broad surges of the open sea and the whistling of a fresh breeze through the rigging never lost their charm for him. For a time he served in the American navy, then he returned to his first love, the merchant marine. Being ambitious, he studied navigation and became more and more proficient in his chosen career, until he finally obtained a master's license. In due course of time he married, and, prompted by a desire to be useful to his fellowmen and occupy himself with higher things, he applied for and received the degrees of Freemasonry in Bagumbayan Lodge, No. 4, of Manila, P.I. Early in 1918 he had reached the height of his ambition: he was in command of a deep-seagoing vessel, had a faithful, devoted wife and promising children, was a Master Mason in good standing, honored and respected among the workmen upon the Temple, and enjoyed the esteem and confidence of the rest of the world. Then the blow fell which shattered all his hopes of a quiet, happy old age, striking at that robust health of which he was so proud, tearing him from the arms of his family and the company of his brothers and fellows, and making him a prisoner under conditions that person must see for himself in order to fathom their horror he became a leper!
How he contracted the dreadful disease neither he nor anybody else has ever been able to find out. He himself believes that a fly, lighting on an open wound on his face or hand after having settled on a leprous sore, carried the germ. He was forced to leave his family and was taken to the San Lazaro Hospital, in Manila, for observation and treatment. The symptoms of leprosy, the swelling of the ears and face and the sores appearing here and there on his body, marked him as a subject for exile to Culion, that isola dolente of the South China Sea to which society, intent upon its own salvation, banishes those afflicted with the loathsome disease. After a few months' stay on the island he was, at his insistent request, and in view of the fact that the progress of the disease seemed to be checked, transferred back to the Leper Ward of the San Lazaro Hospital, in Manila. There, at least, he could have his wife visit him and felt not so much an outcast from the civilized world.
However, the vermin-infested old Spanish buildings of San Lazaro and the fare which, while abundant and wholesome, was not what he was used to, coupled with the lack of privacy and his enforced association with people who, though he had only kindly feelings for them, were not his own compatriots, made life burdensome even there. To make our Brother's sad fate more bearable, his Masonic Brethren purchased for him a large tent which was pitched under some acacia trees in the extensive compound of the hospital. A fund was raised to buy extras for his table; a small ice-box was secured and he was furnished with reading matter and other comforts. But tents are very expensive and do not last long in the tropics. The burning rays of the sun of the 14th degree of latitude and the typhoons for which the Philippine Islands are noted, played havoc with several tents in succession and the old mariner finally moved back into the building, where a small corner, partitioned off with an improvised screen, was assigned to him, and there he is still confined now, not knowing when he will be able to walk out of his prison, a free man once more.
The place looks like a medieval prison more than anything else. The light comes in through a grated opening in the thick, massive wall. In the narrow, screened-off space stand two iron bedsteads, one being the captain's and the other that of Mason, another American leper, a mulatto. Mason, who has been a leper for a year or two, must be a godsend to the lonely old man. Cheerful, easy-going, neat and clean, with the orderliness and efficiency of the ex-service man, we found him busy preparing some extras for his and the captain's table when we made our last visit. On two small alcohol stoves standing on a table, codfish cakes and bacon were sizzling, and the big man was working silently, with evident gusto, contributing an occasional chuckle or some casual remark in his soft speech to our conversation.
Beyond the screen, among the beds of the Filipino lepers, another alcohol stove or two were in operation. The scene reminded me of a gipsy camp.
Our Brother, sitting in his canvas easy chair, has generally some grievance or the other, though he bears his fate with wonderful resignation. The treatment which he receives is too trying and the injections according to the official standard would soon kill the old man. The private physician who used to treat him with a specific of his own has given up the ease, because of interference on the part of the government doctors, according to our Brother. Be that as it may, the disease shows no tendency of giving way, though it is not making much headway, either.
On the grimy walls of our Brother's prison hang pathetic reminders of the happy days when he had a neat, snug cabin on a steamer or sailing vessel and had but to step outside to breathe the salt air and scan the wide expanse of tumbling waves, familiar to him Since his early youth. There is his ship's clock, near it hangs his barometer, and suspended from a nail are his binoculars. His master's license, neatly framed, and the model of a sail-boat, his own handiwork, vie with each other in a poor attempt to conceal the hideous we were going to say leprous walls. Day in and day out, night after night, when the terrible itching caused by the injections keeps sleep from his eyes, our Brother beholds those prison walls and on them those reminders of the days of his strength and glory.
And yet, whenever we visit him, which is none too often because those visits are by no means a pleasure, the old captain has a cheerful smile on his face and cheerful words on his lips and expresses his longing to sit once more with the Brethren in his Mother Lodge.
In all probability, Brother Fawcett will not leave the Leper Ward of San Lazaro for years to come. What he will do when he gets out is a problem that causes him considerable worry. The lodge has, for a number of years, been paying a small allowance to his wife, and our Brother is husbanding the small fund raised for him four or five years ago through the good offices of The Cabletow with jealous care, for her and his daughter's sake. His Service in the U.S. Navy does not entitle him to a pension and he has nothing to fall back on but the hundred odd dollars left of that fund.
In the meantime he bears his sad fate with a courage and resignation worthy of the best traditions of American manhood and trusts to the Great Architect of the Universe to strengthen and protect him.
The fund of which we have spoken is under the joint custody of the Grand Secretary and the Managing Editor of The Cabletow. There have been no accretions to it for several years except the interest. If any Brother feels like adding his mite to it, his gift will be gladly received and acknowledged and faithfully managed for the benefit of a Mason whose fate is one that we would not wish to our worst enemy.
* * *
BOARD OF EDITORS
R. J. Meekren, Editor-in-Chief
E. E. Thiemeyer, Research Editor
Louis Block, Iowa
Robert L. Clegg, Ohio
Gilbert W. Daynes, England
Ray V. Denslow, Missouri
George H. Dern, Utah
N. W. J. Haydon, Canada
R. V. Harris, Canada
C. C. Hunt, Iowa
Charles F. Irwin, Ohio
A. L. Kress, Pennsylvania
F. H. Littlefield, Missouri
Joseph E. Morcombe, California
Arthur C. Parker, New York
J. Hugo Tatsch, Iowa
Jesse M. Whited, California
David E. W. Williamson, Nevada
* * *
CATCHING THEM YOUNG
THE first year or so of Masonic life are to the members of our Fraternity very much what the years of childhood are to the adult. In them those conceptions and impressions are received, those habits formed, which dominate later life. The young Mason is in a receptive state, he craves for explanation and instruction. If he does not receive it, he is apt to gain an unworthy, or at least an impoverished idea of Masonry, which generally prevents his ever making any real advance. Therefore, the question of arousing the interest of the newly initiated brother is of paramount importance. What we have to do is to encourage the newly-made Mason to follow the injunction given to him, to "approach the East." Here of course is meant, not the point of the compass, not the East of the lodge room, but the symbolic East, the source of light and knowledge. It is impossible for any one to actually attain this destination; it is an ideal that recedes as we advance, but in receding grows in magnitude and significance. Though we can never reach the goal yet each can make the effort to approach it, and to advance along the path. Some will go farther than others; some will fall by the way before they are well started; others progress to the frontiers of recognized knowledge; and a few, very few, will overstep the bounds of what has been accomplished and find themselves pioneering in fields never before touched by the labors of any predecessor. There are other factors into which the way of attainment can be analysed, but they need not be considered here. It is aside from our purpose in the present discussion to indicate how to encourage progress after the start has been made, for example. It is the start and the material with which to begin that we are essentially interested now.
A survey of the present situation does not seem to help us much in finding a remedy except insofar as it gives the key to the weaknesses which must be eliminated. There are in this country more than three millions of men who wear the square and compass. Of these three million possibly three per cent know any more about Masonry than was told them on the nights they received their degrees. Thus we are faced with a staggering problem. The overwhelming majority of American Masons know no more than the bare ritualistic elements of Masonry and most of them only the merest confused smattering of that. These Masons form the various categories of "button Masons." Some of them attend lodge at irregular intervals, others on anniversaries, when elections are held, others whenever refreshments are served, and still worse some never come at all. It is necessary to see no farther, here is the great weakness, to strengthen which must be the first object of any constructive work. There are before us then, two evils, one existing in the present state of the Fraternity, and one which threatens the future. Where is the best point at which to begin work?
If strenuous efforts are made on those members who are at present uninterested observers of the workings of the Craft and we neglect those who are coming up the ladder of initiation, a constant supply of uninterested members is being created and our work is endless. It might be stated with certainty that concentrating on the other horn of the dilemma leaves the already dying timber to the final ravages of dry rot and decay. It is for both the old and the young Mason that we have to work, but strategically the latter is far more important for the future.
These objects, however, need a two fold treatment. The two classes cannot be reached by quite the same methods, although in the final analysis the same principles and the same material must be employed. The educational efforts of various Grand Lodges, the mechanism of Study Clubs fostered by the N.M.R.S. are directed very largely towards the greater and senior class of Masons, and it is only by such means that they can be reached. But the task is difficult. The subject of the effort has been initiated perhaps several years previously, and the enthusiasm of the early period has died out, and must be revived. This phase of Study Club work will require the hardest effort and will prove the least fruitful. The other phase of Study Club work comes in bringing the new initiate into the fold of thinking Masons. There is a preliminary step to this work and it is being worked with considerable success in many cases. We refer to the presenting of pamphlets, magazines, or books to the newly initiated Mason as he climbs the three steps. The value of this lies chiefly in the fact that it shows the young Mason that there is more than a mere ritualistic formula to the Order, and while his enthusiasm is still at its highest, encourages him to make a start in "approaching the East." He is ripe to fall in with the Study Club idea and capitalize the knowledge he has acquired from the elementary works that have been given him.
Thus far we have seen a possible remedy to a bad situation. We probably never will see the day when Masonry is composed of reading or at least thinking members, even to the extent of one in three, but a reasonable goal at this time would be one in ten, and that might, and ought to be accomplished before very many years are past. While it is devoutly to be hoped for, it is doubtless beyond our wildest dreams that each of these 300,000 future readers on Masonic subjects will become students in the scholastic sense of the word. If we got only 3,000 research workers out of that number we are increasing the present member by about 2,700, and that might be judged as beyond the wildest hope. It is not research students that Masonry wants, however. They will develop if this idea can be worked out. It is interested members that are needed; men who are capable of intelligently performing the official duties of the lodge, men who when they take part in a ceremonial understand whereof they speak, and do not merely repeat a meaningless formula memorized after the fashion of a parrot, or ground out mechanically like a gramophone, with less effect or conviction than the bird of green and iridescent plumage says, "Polly wants a cracker."
The scheme is attractive and looks well on paper, but unfortunately there are difficulties and stumbling blocks in the way. One, and the most important, because it seems harder to remedy than the others, is the dearth of reliable popular Masonic reading. There is no scarcity of books, and even of popular works which the unstudious may read for pure enjoyment, much as he would read one of the six best sellers, and having, unfortunately, just as much foundation in fact. It is a dearth of reliable material that we are confronted with. There is much valuable information that is authentic, but so written that it is of interest only to the more advanced student. There are no more than half a dozen — a dozen at most — of good, authoritative yet elementary books suitable for the beginner in Masonic reading.
Doubtless every field of knowledge has been obscured with wild theories and the baseless fancies of writers with more imagination than knowledge, but none to the extent that Masonic scholarship has been. There are more hobby-riders, more constructors of systems on the basis of scraps of disparate facts, among so-called Masonic scholars than in any other subject of research. While of those who sincerely try to weigh all evidence and confirm every step taken are conspicuous by their rarity.
It is this state of affairs that makes the task of educating Masons so difficult. Misunderstandings arise and corrections have to be made and the earnest seeker after truth, who has not sufficient time to read everything of importance that has been written and weigh it for himself, becomes disgusted and joins the army of uninterested Masons.
As long as the type of scholarship remains what it is the task of overcoming the lack of interest in Masons is going to be difficult. It means hard work and unceasing effort and the best possible use must be made of the material in hand. There are two aims that must be fostered, first, to increase the interest of new members and in those old initiates who can be reached, and second, to increase the number and the quality of authentic yet popular works on Masonry. When these tasks are accomplished Masonry will rise to heights yet hardly dreamed of, and may possibly begin to justify some of the extravagant claims made for it by our panegyrical writers and lodge orators.
E. E. T.
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MASONS AT LAW
IN the appropriate circumstances it is sometimes asserted with great solemnity, and as it were unction, that Freemasonry is not a debt collecting agency. It is a very just statement, and presumably of very great importance. It therefore calls for some consideration.
First it must be presumed, considering the times and occasions when those high in the councils of the Craft utter this fundamental verity or truth, that it refers only to debts owing by and to Masons. In other words, no man should become a Mason expecting that the Institution will straightway put pressure to bear on his debtor whom he believes to be already a Mason. That certainly would be very foolish, so foolish indeed that we are inclined to ask if any one ever sought to become a Mason for such a reason.
No, on mature thought we feel sure that this cannot be the intended application, it must refer to debts contracted between Masons. But here again the hypercritical will inquire, "Can a Mason refuse to pay his just debts?" being able to pay, understood of course. We presume a distinction must be made between Masons and Masons, that is between Masons and those who have somehow joined. Let us then continue.
Suppose U lends V some small sum of money at a high rate of interest, and, after receiving more in interest than he originally lent, wants the debt paid, which V, being in distress cannot do. They are both Masons, or at least both belong, and U indignantly demands that charges be preferred. Well, "Masonry is not a debt collecting agency" as we have been informed, nevertheless (supposing that such a nightmare situation were ever real) charges ought to be preferred — against someone.
Or take another case; M sells C certain goods and because C is a brother Mason gives him credit, perhaps without any of the customary safeguards that he would take in dealing with strangers. Later he is pressed for money, but C neglects to take any notice of his requests for payment. Or let us suppose that L lets B have fifty or a hundred dollars to help him in a tight pinch, such as may happen to anyone. Both are Masons and L simply trusts B. and takes no note or other acknowledgment — sometimes Masons, especially young and enthusiastic Masons, have been so — so — well, indiscreet let us say. That is a fairly colorless word. B forgets all about it, buys a new radio, or another car, and so is unable to pay; somehow always has some reason, quite satisfactory to himself, why he can't pay. If L asks the advice of any of his elders in the Craft, he will of course be told at once about the sacred doctrine, "Masonry is not a debt collecting agency."
So it would seem that L and M must act in the matter as if they were not Masons, they must seek legal remedies, bring the matter into court, with the public and the reporters present. The judge says, "Where is your proof of the transaction — was it made before witnesses? Have you a written acknowledgment of any kind?" And the answer being in the negative he naturally may want to know why a grown man, presumably sane, omitted such elementary precautions in a weary, wicked world. "Oh, he was a brother Mason and I trusted him." Sounds nice in cold print. Yet a case in California was decided on precisely similar grounds, the judge holding that the defendant had used this fraternal bond to further a fraud on the plaintiff — and the newspapers of the country told us all about it.
Masonry is not a debt collecting agency we repeat, and most emphatically. Neither is it a shoe manufacturing company, nor a chain store concern, nor a financial corporation. These statements are all sublimely and absolutely true, and they all have as much to do with the essentials of such cases as we have mentioned. We fear that the tendency of Masonry today in the United States is to organize itself in such fashion as to make it impossible to carry out any of its professed ideals. Like the Pharisees of old, our leaders and rulers and legislators — and ultimately the governed are always responsible for their governors — by their "traditions of the elders," their rulings, their fundamentals and landmarks, have made Masonic principles of none effect — or at least that is the direction in which our organization is drifting.
Masonry, once more, is not a debt collecting agency, but it is a brotherhood of honest, just and upright men, or at least supposed so to be. Is a man who refuses to pays just debt an honest and upright man? Is the man who presses an unjust claim also upright and honest? Or suppose, as often happens in real life, the situations are more complex than the simple cases we have supposed and that the Ms and the Cs, and the Ls and Bs, all, as they usually do, honestly think they are in the right. The common experience of the whole world teaches us that money matters will breed quarrels and ill feeling quicker than anything else. Is not Masonry a Fraternity, a band of friends and brothers between whom no contention should exist — what does it all mean? Is not the Craft to be interested in such things? No, say our Scribes and Pharisees with one accord; our traditions, our principles, our landmarks forbid — Masonry is not a debt collecting agency. Two members of a lodge are at daggers drawn, one thinks the other should pay his debt at once, he needs his money. The other understood he could pay when he was able, and it is very inconvenient to pay. Both are angry. But the lodge must not interfere, the Master mustn't say a word, he would infringe the traditions of the elders, and disturb a sacred truth — we will not repeat it. No, the two brothers must go to the courts of law, and make their differences public, so the world can say, as once it said (oh long ago!) of Christians: "These Masons, how they love one another."
It is very strange — Masonry still survives (unchanged we fondly believe) through all the revolutions of the ages — yet a hundred years ago a Mason who sued another in a civil court before bringing his complaint before his lodge for the good offices, the arbitration or judgment of his brethren, was actually held to have committed a grave offense, and rendered himself liable thereby to the severest censure, even to expulsion. But Masonry does not change, its landmarks are fixed — sometimes one might think in the band wagon of progress — its traditions (even if new) are of the elders, and we have their word for it, it is not a debt collecting agency. But what is it?
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HENRY THOMAS SMITH
WE have to announce with the deepest regret the death of one of our Canadian members, R. Ex. Comp. Henry Thomas Smith, for many years Grand Scribe E of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Canada and Ontario. He was one of the best known Masons in Canada, possibly the best known. Not content with the faithful and efficient discharge of his official duties, he was an indefatigable student of the early history of Masonry in the Dominion, and especially in the "Two Canadas," now known as Quebec and Ontario. Several of his works have been reviewed in THE BUILDER recently, and we understand that he was engaged at the time of his death upon a history of a Toronto Lodge.
He died suddenly on May 29, aged 69 years. We extend our most heartfelt sympathy to his wife and daughter, and his other surviving relatives.
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A CANADIAN LODGE IN AUSTRALIA
There is a lodge in Montreal, the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 1, which originally under a different name opened the first regular lodge in Australia in 1814. This lodge was originally known as the Lodge of Social and Military Virtues, No. 227, R.I., and was instituted March 4, 1752, in the 46th British Regiment, known now as the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.
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CHRONICLE AND COMMENT
A REVIEW OF MASONRY THE WORLD OVER
Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry
In the June number of Mercury, the official organ of the Societas Rosicruciana in America, there are two articles concerned with the Craft. The first, by Dr. Maitland A. T. Raynes, is entitled "Rosicrucian Origin of Freemasonry" and deals with the hypothesis which has attracted so many inquirers. The article does not go much beyond quoting a number of writers for and against — including Gould, Albert Pike and Ossian Lang. Dr. Raynes, accepting the hypothesis himself, suggests that the Craft was organized as a kind of "Outer Court" from which candidates could be picked for the true mysteries, and he concludes
The proportion of snobs, joiners and politicians who followed his Grace of Montagu into the Craft [in 1723] still remains as great as ever — till we are tempted to cry with the Prophet Ezekiel: "Son of Man, can these dry bones live?"
The second article attempts to answer the question: "Why the Holy Bible Is Freemasonry's Greatest Light." The answer, naturally, is along "esoteric" lines. One passage may be quoted; having pointed out several things to the credit of the Fraternity, or its members, the author goes on:
... recent performances are less encouraging. The promising T B. movement flickered out, and when three million American Masons tolerate the suppression and persecution of their brethren in some countries of Europe without even demonstrating in their behalf as the K. of C. did for their Mexican co-religionists, then there is lack of centralization and in coordination of Masonic activity.
There it is; the fact is obvious to every one. And it is not wholly an unmixed evil that it is so. Everyone, both of friends and enemies, seems to expect Freemasonry to act, to do things, as an organization. But this is foreign to the genius of the Craft — our work is individual. But even so the force of the criticism is not wholly evaded.
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of South Australia in April the Grand Master, the Hon. Mr. Justice John Mellis Napier, was re-elected to office for the ensuing year. In his address he referred to the Third Australian Masonic Conference held July, 1928, at Sydney. The two following recommendations passed at this Conference were quoted by M.W. Bro. Napier. The first is in these terms:
- That this conference reaffirms that it is not desirable that a lodge should become so large in numbers as to prejudice members from engaging in and enjoying fraternal fellowship with one another.
- That this Conference is of the opinion that the membership of a lodge should not exceed 150.
The second resolution was:
- That a Committee to be appointed by each lodge to visit sick or afflicted members and to renew an interest in their lodge in members absenting themselves from lodge meeting.
- That the delivery of lecturettes upon the symbolic meaning of the several parts of each ceremony in each degree be encouraged, and that it be a recommendation to the Grand Lodges to institute circulating libraries and arrange for the delivery of lectures.
In some ways conditions in Australia more closely resemble those in this country than they do in the British Isles, and so these resolutions, especially the first, are of great interest.
It seems from some further remarks of the Grand Master, that there are variations in one of the significant points of the third degree as that is worked in different parts of Australia. It was suggested at the Conference apparently, and the Grand Master expressed his approval, that the lodges of South Australia should make changes to conform with the practice elsewhere in the Commonwealth. We have no other information as to the exact nature of the changes proposed, but it should be remembered that the desire for uniformity is not a wholly safe guide. In general it is best to hold to local tradition and usage, and instruct candidates carefully in the variations to be met with elsewhere. This is done in many lodges in Scotland, and possibly elsewhere, and is the best solution of the problem; for these variations all are valuable, both as proofs of our antiquity and as suggesting different points of view in regard to our symbolism.
M.W. Bro. Torrigiani Going Blind
The London Freemason of May 25 quotes a correspondent of the Daily Chronicle, who, writing from Paris, makes the statement, on the authority of "an address by Mussolini" — so that it must of course be true — that the exiled, or more correctly imprisoned, Grand Master, Domizio Torrigiani, has been removed from the Island of Ponza and is now in a "nursing home" [private hospital] near Parma, undergoing treatment for blindness.
Until we have better authority than that so far given, we have to doubt the granting of such a favor by the Fascist dictator. Alpine, the official organ of the Grand Lodge of Switzerland, had in its issue of April 15 a brief note to the effect that Torrigiani was going blind; that he and other political prisoners had been removed from the Island of Ustica to the smaller and still more barren Island of Ponza, and that in spite of his suffering from a very severe inflammation of the eyes (which makes any attempt to escape impossible) he is guarded constantly by half a dozen Carabinieri, and that while he was being removed from Ustica to Ponza, the steamer was convoyed by two submarines for fear of some attempt to liberate him by sea. It is to be said, however, that several Masonic journals in different parts of Europe accept this report of the Chronicle's correspondent, in spite of the unreliability of its source. It is further stated by some of them that it is a prison hospital in which Bro. Torrigiani is being treated; which makes the story sound less improbable. We may hope to learn more definitely later on, even if without much expectation of obtaining the real facts under present conditions.
The International Masonic Association
The Proceedings of the meeting of the Consultative Committee of the A.M.I. (as it is most generally known), which we held in Paris last February, have recently come to hand. The Association in recent years has met with grave difficulties financially, which hinders among other things its publication program. For one thing it has not been able to pay the very modest salary assigned to the Grand Chancellor, who is the equivalent in many of his functions to a Grand Secretary. Bro. Gottschalk, who held the position temporarily after the death of Bro. Quartier le Tente, has renounced his claims in this respect, for which unselfish action he was fraternally thanked by the Committee.
Some criticisms had been received in regard to the last edition of the Association's Year Book (reviewed in THE BUILDER last October) in that it gave information about certain irregular organizations. It was stated in reply that the purpose of the Year Book is to supply information and that its chief value lay in its completeness. Inclusion in the Annual implied nothing as to regularity or recognition. As the Chancellor said:
If we limit ourselves to the list of Obediences that are unanimously recognized, we will not only be missing means of judging, but we will be trenching upon questions of regularity an territoriality which are entirely beyond our competence.
Another very interesting question was raised; that of the minimum requirements in Masonic ritual. The able and comprehensive report published by the Association some time ago on Jurisdiction and territoriality gives hope that useful work could be done in this direction too — though one hardly knows how it could be published.
Death of the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of the Netherlands
Masonry in the Netherlands has suffered a very great loss in the death of Prof. J. H. Carpentier Alting on April 29 of this year. He was born in 1864 at Colmschate. He was a graduate of the University of Amsterdam, and as a young man went out to Padang in the Dutch East Indies, in the year 1886, where he became Secretary of the Department of Justice and finally President of the Supreme Court. He was made a Mason in the lodge Mata Hari at Padang. Returning home he was appointed to the chair of Administrative Law in the famous University of Leiden, in 1907. In 1919 he went back to the East Indies returning again in 1921. While in the East he was editor of the Indisch Maconnick Tydschrift, and later of Broedereten, and was also Deputy Grand Master for the Dutch East Indies. He was elected Grand Master in 1926, which office he held till his death.
It is impossible in this brief notice to say anything of Bro. Carpentier Alting's services to the Craft and to humanity, but it is safe to say that not only was he one of the most outstanding men — and Masons — in the Netherlands, but also in Europe.
The International Conference of Supreme Councils of the A.&A.S.R.
The July number of the "New Age" has a report of the Conference of the representatives of the Supreme Councils of the Scottish Rite throughout the world. The Conference met in Paris, and the sessions were held in the Masonic Temple, rue Puteaux 8, which is also the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of France. The meetings continued from Monday, April 29, till the following Saturday. They were of course many social functions, including a reception and banquet at the Palais d'Orsay. One important question discussed was the possible revival of the Supreme Councils which have been suppressed or become dormant. It was decided that the Supreme Councils of the same continent should undertake to do what seemed best in this regard. Bro. Bareia, the Sovereign Grand Commander of Spain, spoke of the difficulties of the Craft in that country, under an unfriendly dictator and in face of the constant and powerful hostility of the Jesuits.
The Supreme Councils represented were the Southern and Northern Jurisdictions of the United States, France, Spain, Belgium, Brazil, Peru, Portugal, Uruguay, Argentine, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, Paraguay, Switzerland, Canada, Egypt, Turkey, Ecuador, Jugoslovakia, the Netherlands, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Roumania and Austria. Both Sovereign Grand Commanders of the United States were present, Bros. John Cowles and Leon M. Abbott. There are thirty-four recognized Supreme Councils at present at work throughout the world, and of these twenty-six were represented.
The Scottish Rite has had, and has, many more or less active opponents, and it has been the subject of much criticism the world over. But this much must be said for it at least; it is the most active and powerful agency connected with the Craft that is making for a realization of the ideal of Masonic Universality.
St. John's Day Meeting of Quatuor Coronati Lodge
Readers of THE BUILDER will be especially interested in this meeting of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, as a paper by our Research Editor, Bro. E. E. Thiemeyer, was read by the Secretary, Bro. Lionel Vibert, seeing that Bro. Thiemeyer (to his great regret be it said) was not able to be present to read it himself. The paper dealt with the origins of the first Grand Lodge in 1716-1717, a subject about which, one might excusably think, everything possible had already been said, not once but many times. However, there was something new in the paper. Bro. Thiemeyer advanced evidence to show that the original organization was called a "General Lodge," and was probably regarded by the brethren who formed it as the same thing as the "General Assembly" which according to the Old Charges was the legislative organ and final court of appeal for the Craft. By 1721 the presiding officer had come to be called Grand Master, though the term General Master was also used as an equivalent.
The election of a great nobleman, the Duke of Montagu, who shortly after was made Grand Master of the Order of the Garter, made the term Grand Master seem more appropriate, and as a consequence the annual Assembly in London came also to be called a Grand Lodge by a natural conveyance of terms, although this did not become a fixed usage till some years later. The paper was well received and was the subject of considerable discussion.
The Eastern Star in Scotland
As has been intimated at different times in THE BUILDER, the Order of the Eastern Star as constituted in the United States has fallen foul of the laws of the Grand Lodges of the British Isles, and quite generally those of the Empire also. The following report was submitted to the Grand Committee at a meeting held on April 18 of this year:
The Special Committee appointed to enquire into the position of the Order of the Eastern Star, whose first Report was approved by the Grand Lodge on the 4th of November, 1926, have further to report that they are satisfied that the Constitution and Ritual of the Order have been altered, and, as now in use in Scotland, these contain nothing associating or claiming to associate or connect the Order with Freemasonry. The Committee are therefore of opinion that any further action is unnecessary and request that they be discharged.
The Report was approved and the Committee thanked for their services.
The earlier Report referred to as having been adopted by the Grand Lodge in 1926 was rather lengthy. It contained various citations to illustrate and establish the Masonic connection of the Eastern Star; quoted the action taken against it by the Grand Lodges of England and Ireland; and recommended, in consideration of the fact that the Order had been introduced into Scotland more than twenty years previously, and that no action had hitherto taken in regard to it, that a certain time be allowed for its Constitution to be altered in such a way as to eliminate all reference to Freemasonry. This sensible plan was adopted by the Grand Lodge, and the recent report of the committee is the final closing of the question.
Secret Societies in Ireland
Anyone who knows anything of the history of Ireland is fully aware that secret societies have flourished there like weeds in a rich but neglected soil. We noted in passing last month, that there seemed to be some indications of an incipient anti-Masonic movement under way in the Irish Free State. The government organ, we are informed, has recently published an article attacking, with equal impartiality, the Masonic Fraternity and a new organization which is apparently an imitation of the Knights of Columbus — named, after a well known Irish saint, the Knights of Columbanus.
The article asserts that Freemasonry is a corrupt organization, existing for the promotion of graft — that it enables unworthy persons to obtain positions and privileges for which they are not entitled by their ability or education. It also says that they are "all known and watched." Then attacking the Knights of Columbanus it asserts that, like Freemasonry, its purpose is graft, and the putting its members in a preferential position in regard to promotion in professional and other occupations.
It seems that this new society was practically unknown until this article appeared, and the disclosure has apparently caused something of a sensation. It is understood that the matter will be considered by the Roman Catholic Bishops at their next Synod. However, the general objection that the Roman Church has to secret societies has never prevented the Irish from forming them.
One thing must be added. Whatever this article may portend, there has hitherto been no open exhibition of hostility towards Freemasonry either on the part of the government of the Irish Free State or of the people generally. It is possible, therefore, that the article merely represents the views of the author, or else that he castigated the Masons merely in order to be able to strike at the new organization.
From another source we learn that a Roman Catholic magazine is publishing the names of all Freemasons in Dublin, as if Freemasonry were an offense. And in response R. W. Bro. Colonel Claude Cane, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ireland, has written to the press to say that 60 per cent of the Irish Freemasons at the time of the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Bill were Roman Catholics, and he based this statement on the records and registers which have been carefully and accurately kept by the Grand Lodge of Ireland for nearly two centuries, and not upon vague tradition. Freemasons have never been, as the Roman Catholic clerical papers are so fond of saying, opponents of religious liberty. On the contrary, they have always done their best to support it. It is apparently forgotten that, during the whole of the time in which he was agitating for Catholic emancipation, Daniel O'Connell was an enthusiastic Freemason, and frequently wrote and spoke in favor of the Order.
Some Facts About English Masonry
It has been an unwritten law of English Masonry that the Grand Lodge of England always meet in London. This precedent, however, was recently broken when a meeting was held in Liverpool and it has now been arranged that at least one Quarterly Communication a year will be held out of London.
While there is no law to the contrary, it has been customary for the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England to be a member of the nobility. The last commoner to hold that high office was George Payne in 1720.
According to Sir Alfred Robbins the average size of an English Lodge is 86, but the average of attendance is much higher than in either the United States or Canada. Sir Alfred Robbins, by the way, has recently been appointed for the twelfth consecutive term as President of the Board of General Purposes of the United Grand Lodge, an unusual distinction and the longest record in the history of that Grand Body.
Not only is it customary in England for a Mason to be a member of a number of lodges but he may also be the Master of more than one lodge at the same time. Charles E. Keyser who recently succeeded Sir Frederick Halsey as Provincial Grand Master of Hertfordshire, has been Master of twenty-seven lodges.
The latest Scottish Rite News Bureau report advises that the Bro. Charles Edward Keyser mentioned in the above paragraph died recently at his home, Aldermaston Court, near Reading, Berkshire. He was 82 years of age and had nearly 20,000 votes in the three great Masonic institutions, contributed large sums to their upkeep and was known as "the Prince of Masonic Charity." That he well deserved this title was shown upon more than one occasion. For example, in 1927 when the sum realized at the Annual Festival of the Royal Masonic Boys' Institute fell about $40,000 below the sum needed, he very generously handed over a check for $50,000 to the treasurer of the institution to meet the deficiency. Bro. Keyser was a member of thirty-six lodges.
Plural Membership in Wisconsin
The Grand Lodge of Wisconsin now permits "plural membership." This simply means that a Mason in Wisconsin can belong to as many Masonic lodges as he wishes and his financial resources permit. In case of a Wisconsin Mason's residence in another Grand Jurisdiction, provided such other Grand jurisdiction permits dual or plural membership, he may affiliate with any lodge of the place of his residence. With the provision reversed a Mason from another Grand jurisdiction, but residing in Wisconsin, may affiliate in Wisconsin. In neither case will the affiliate lose his membership in his "home lodge." The Masonic status of the individual holding dual or plural membership is, of course, governed by his status in his "home lodge."
A total of about sixteen Masonic Grand jurisdictions in this country and abroad now permit either dual or plural membership. None of those who have once adopted the system have abandoned it. This is pretty fair evidence that the system works satisfactorily.
Evidently the idea of Study Circles is spreading beyond the realm of American Masonry. In a recent issue of the South Australian Freemason appeared an article on Study Circles. It may be of interest to brethren in America to know that the idea has been in operation in Australia for some time.
Glen Osmond Lodge has had a Study Circle in connection with its lodge for over six months. There are several study circles in operation throughout South Australia, one at Moorook on the River Murray having been in operation since 1924.
For years W.M's and officers of lodges have been ever conscious of the falling away in attendance of their members, and the lack of personal interest in their lodge's welfare, and it may fairly safely be assumed that this apparent absence of interest is due very largely to the lack of individual thought, from which brethren suffer, and that they need some lead apart from ordinary lodge meetings and the cursory study of the Ritual to help them along the paths of thought the better to grasp the treasured teachings which are there to be found for their seeking, and to make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge.
The South African Masonic Journal carries this announcement:
"At the meeting of the Cape Masonic Study Circle held in the Refractory of the British Lodge, Capetown, on Wednesday, March 6, Wor. Bro. W. B. Know delivered a lecture on "Irish Freemasonry, Past and Present."
South Africa and South Australia have joined the ranks of those interested in the Study Circle plan. It leads us to wonder how many other countries follow this idea. We know the research lodges in England, of course, but are there similar organizations in existence elsewhere?
Something New in Masonic Service
The New South Wales Freemason reports that advice has been received by the Secretary of the Big Brother Movement that all Royal Arch Chapters in Scotland have been circularized by the Grand Scribe E, advising Companions that on their sons' arrival in New South Wales a Scottish Royal Arch Companion will be allotted to them as a Big Brother.
Lectures have been delivered in many Chapters, and the Grand Superintendent, Lord Cassillis, occupied the Chair on one occasion. Our Scottish Companions gratefully acknowledge the interest and assistance being given to their sons.
The Secretary of the Big Brother Movement is Ex. Companion F. J. G. Fleming. His address is corner George and Argyle Streets, Sydney, and he states that he will be pleased to hear from any Companions who are willing to act as Big Brothers to one of these boys. There is no financial responsibility on the part of the Big Brother nor is he responsible for finding a position for a boy.
Reconstitution of the Lodge "Goethe" in Paris
This lodge, working in the German language, was formed in 1909, under the Grand Lodge of France. Naturally its members were largely of German nationality or of German origin, and for this reason it ceased working on the outbreak of the war. It is another sign of the lessening of war bred suspicion and hostility that it has again been revived. Many of the members are from Austria. The Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Spain was present, two D.D.G.M's of the Grand Lodge of Jugo Slovakia the Grand Lodge of Vienna was represented, as well as several lodges in different countries. The jewels were gifts: a Swiss lodge, Fels am Rhein, gave the Master's gavel, and the Bible for the altar was presented by Bro. Muffelmann of Berlin.
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MASONIC TEACHINGS AND MODERN PROBLEMS
Bro. Herbert Hungerford
Help to Make These Pages a Real Forum for Discussion
All brothers interested in any phase of Masonic Education, especially those who believe in fostering the Masonic Study Club movement, are invited to send criticism, comments and, particularly, practical suggestions for furthering this movement. Those who are willing to help organize Round Table Discussion Groups or other Masonic Study Clubs in their Lodges or their districts are invited to send for Membership Blanks, etc., which will be supplied free of cost.
Address: Herbert Hungerford
General Campaign Manager,
The Masonic Study Club Campaign
BEAR in mind the warning given with the first announcement of our Seven Keypoint Introductory Programs arranged for Round Table Discussion Groups in which we emphasized the fact that we were simply offering tentative suggestions which might be modified any way through the experience or advice offered by well-informed brethren. Thus far, but few suggestions have been received but one of them seems to be quite pertinent and suggestive of immediate action. Bro. Ernst W. Gruss, of Houston, Texas, in a very able and illuminating letter advises a change in the arrangement and names of the courses, thus:
- Masonic Symbolism.
- Masonic Symbolism Applied.
- Ancient Landmarks and Teachings of Masonry.
- History of Masonry.
- North America
- United States
- Home State
- Home County, City, and Town
With the exception of item e, the student can get his history by just reading a good work on the subject. By "History" I suppose you mean the past of the organization as we now have it and those organizations we claim to be the forerunners of our organizations.
Now, I hold a somewhat different idea of the history of Masonry. Briefly it amounts to this: Since the hour or day when man felt the desire to improve himself both mentally, intellectually, spiritually, and physically, he was engaged in Masonic Work. Thus Masonry, according to my opinion, is synonymous with Civilization. On this basis, all those beings who have done aught for the betterment of mankind have been Masons regardless of whether not they were members of any organization. And again, all lose ancient organizations, whose object of their labors was the betterment of mankind, were Builders in the truest sense of the word, hence masons, though not called so. I do not accept the old trade guilds as the forerunners of Masonry. Just think that I should consider organizations of beer-guzzlers, rum fiends, and gluttons my Masonic ancestors, men who destroyed, but did not build the human mind, when I can follow the leadership of all those great master minds who sought to improve mankind since the beginning of human improvement. I consider it puerile to emphasize the rather far- fetched theory that the trade guilds were our Masonic ancestors. To me it shows that our Masonic Students are themselves not clear just what Masonry really is. My Masonry is a direct descendant of those ancient leaders who, tens of thousands of years ago, sought to raise their fellowmen to higher level of life. Nor do we have to borrow the symbols of the bricklayers and stonemasons for our own use. The fundamental symbols of Masonry are ages-old and date back to the time when man first began to think. This is incontrovertibly proven by the findings of archaeologists and anthropologists. No, the equilateral triangle, the square, the circle, the cross, the apron, the East, the West, the South, and others were established tens of thousands of years before guilds of bricklayers and stonemasons were thought of.
It seems to me that the points raised in this letter are well taken and, mainly, deserving of our emulation. While I do not altogether agree with the viewpoint expressed by Bro. Gruss, I can fully appreciate his point that it will be far more interesting to the newly-made Mason if we start with lessons more definitely supplementing the points that we have tried to impress in the ceremonials of our different degrees.
I am quite willing, in fact, to concede that Masonic history should be made the last, rather than the first, of our introductory round table discussions.
I am inclined, however, to believe that our first course of study in discussion groups, composed chiefly newly-made masons, should be on "The Fundamental Teachings of the Fraternity."
The causes which have brought about this conclusion on my part have been not only my personal observation of the activity of Study Club Groups but, particularly, the reaction or response to my series of articles on "Our Ancient Fraternity and Present Day Problems" which have been running during the past year in the columns of THE BUILDER. It seems to me that the considerable interest manifested by our brethren everywhere in this series of critical articles indicates that there is a definite value in tieing-up or comparing the problems of modern life with the teachings of our ancient Fraternity.
It seems to me, likewise, that this particular plan of beginning Masonic Study discussions with a brief course on "Masonic Teachings and Modern Problems" is right along the line and fully in harmony with the plan of our ritual.
It is presumed that every candidate applies for admission to a lodge because he hopes thereby to learn how to improve himself in Freemasonry. In other words, it seems to me that it is a natural and justifiable expectation of every newly-made Mason that he will find in the Fraternity practical assistance in solving his personal or life-problems. If the objective of Fraternity is not precisely this, I confess that I have failed to understand what it is.
It is absurd for any one to assume that the sole objective of Fraternity is self-improvement for its members, yet, I doubt if any one will deny that this is one of its foremost aims. This being the case, it seems a common sense proposition that each Study Club group for newly-made brethren should first be concerned with discussing the principles and practices of fraternity which ought to help every member of any lodge to live more happily, and a more serviceable and, therefore, a more successful life.
A Challenge to Inside Critics of Freemasonry
YOUR attitude in accepting or rejecting this challenge should determine whether you are a sincere, constructive critic of your Fraternity, or merely an ordinary fault-finder. My claim to the privilege of presenting the challenge is derived from the fact that my recent series of articles in THE BUILDER, on "Our Ancient Fraternity and Present Day Problems," brought me considerable commendation as well as some rebukes for being, as one writer puts it, "a bold and plain-spoken critic of our ancient and honorable institution."
I make no denial of the fact that I have endeavored to criticize our Fraternity fearlessly, but I do insist that I have always been, likewise, a friendly critic. Whenever I have pointed out what I considered an unwise or unwholesome tendency, or a serious shortcoming in the programs and activities of present-day Masonry, I have endeavored invariably to suggest changes or recommend remedies, which, I believe, would correct the conditions of which I have complained.
I object most vigorously to any implication that every critic of our Fraternity must be regarded as a "calamity howler." The Fraternity certainly is a human institution and the weakness and frailty of all mortal beings is a clearly recognized factor of our ritual. So, the ostrich-minded objectors to any criticism of our Fraternity do not disturb me in the least.
On the other hand, it is a matter of serious concern when we find so many members who do not hesitate to criticize the Craft, but appear to be unwilling or at least inactive either in putting forth any effort of their own or participating in a constructive program for changing and improving the conditions which are the cause of their complaints.
The challenge I issue, therefore, is that every critic who sincerely believes that some of the activities we emphasize in our lodge programs today are not the best and most desirable features to be put foremost; also that some of the tendencies and trends of modern Masonry do not seem to be in the right direction, is not acting in accord with the true Masonic spirit when he merely gives voice to his objections, yet fails to do his part to bring about the changes necessary to correct the conditions which he believes should be modified.
According to my observation in our lodges today, we have too many fault-finders and too few constructive critics. In nearly every lodge you will find members who are regarded more or less as "pests" because they are always raising objections, finding fault and scolding about this, that or the other activity of the lodge; yet these fault-finders seldom can be induced to assume the leadership of any activity or even take part in any program that is designed to correct the conditions which they complain about.
I admit that this is a perfectly natural human trait, nevertheless, it is not in accord with the high ideals of Freemasonry. A person who professes to be a good man and a Mason should always be willing to back up his words with his deeds.
In my own criticisms of modern Masonic activities and tendencies, I have pointed out why I believe that the average lodge today has made a mistake by shifting too much emphasis upon the purely social and entertaining features of its program with a corresponding decrease in the emphasis upon the educational features of Freemasonry. As result of this shifting of our emphasis, it is my contention that the present tendencies are away from the ancient fundamental ideals of the Fraternity and that modern Masonry is in danger of a decline because it is failing to impress upon every newly-made brother the true teachings of the Institution. This is due mainly to the fact that the distracting social, commercial and recreational activities of everyday life have so influenced Masonic programs that we push our candidates through the "degree mills" so rapidly that we fail fully to impress upon their minds the important educational and moral lessons upon which our great Fraternity has been established.
In my series of articles criticizing these modern Masonic tendencies, I believe that I presented ample evidence to justify every criticism. I have since received considerable testimony from brethren from all parts of the country whose observations and opinions fully bore out my contentions.
Likewise, I maintain that I have not rested content with merely pointing out some of the faults and mistaken efforts in modern Masonry, but I have sincerely endeavored to devise a constructive program that will provide the things that I believe are needed to supply these shortcomings to which I have called attention. In other words, I regard the activities to supplement every lodge program with some sort of definite Masonic study as being, by all means, the best possible way to remedy the defects brought about by the overemphasis upon speed with its consequent superficiality.
I was gratified by the numerous letters of comment which my series of critical articles provoked; but I confess that I have been somewhat disappointed at the response to my appeal for cooperation in helping to devise and develop popular programs for the extension of the Masonic Study Club campaign and the introduction of some form of Masonic education into every lodge possible.
If you agree with the writer's contention that some of the activities of modern Masonry have gotten off the main track, you certainly owe it to yourself, as well as to your brethren, to do your part in helping to switch your lodge programs back to the right track.
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The books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which always include postage. These prices are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice; though occasion for this will very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen, where books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries for second-hand works and books out of print.
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THE HISTORY OF THE STAR POINTS. By John Kennedy Lacock. Published by the Sampson Publications, Inc., Boston Stiff paper, illustrated, 68 pages.
THIS booklet is based on a series of articles that originally appeared in the Eastern Star Magazine. These found such a wide appeal among members of the Order that the supply fell short of the demand, and it was therefore decided to reprint them, with some revision and the addition of new material.
The author has done his best with somewhat intractable material. While Jephthah's vow and its result are perfectly understandable in the light of primitive ideas and customs, and indeed similar stories can be found in folk tales all over the world, yet it is hard to draw any consistent moral from it suited to our own level of culture. One would say, if it teaches anything, it teaches the folly of making promises without knowing what they imply, with the corollary that there are times when promises should be broken. Actually, we should understand the story that Jephthah left the choice of the gift to God, to God as he and his people conceived him, and assumed, with them, that God desired the sacrifice of the maiden. In this light the story is noble and heroic, so far as the human characters are concerned.
Contrasted with the difficulties of adapting this terrible story (which is as tragic, when it is realized, as that of Iphigenia), the beautiful tale of Ruth is a great relief. While some of the motives are obscure without some knowledge of oriental ideas regarding marriage, and the completeness with which a woman ceases to belong to her own family and becomes part of her husband's, yet it is so human and natural that its appeal is universal. To talk about it, to describe it, is to spoil it — such is its delicacy. And whatever it may be in the original, the translation of the King James version is a masterpiece of simplicity and directness of style.
In the veracious history of Esther, which is a novel or romance of the third or second century B.C., we again have moral difficulties. It is a story, in very heightened colors and little regard for probability, of oriental court intrigue and harem polities. It takes a lot of skill to adapt it so as to make it fit into a scheme of occidental female virtues, and Bro. Lacock has done everything that is possible with it.
With Martha, and Electa, the ideal figure of an early Christian lady, the task is easier. Here there is nothing that needs explanation or explaining away.
The work should be of real assistance to those engaged in active work in Eastern Star Chapters and we trust it will have the distribution it deserves.
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CAGLIOSTRO: CHARLATAN, ROGUE, MYSTIC AND MESMERIST. By Johannes von Guenther; translated by Huntley Paterson. Cloth and boards, 12mo., 445 pages; illustrated, $3.50, net.
CAGLIOSTRO! Truly a name to conjure with. Even to this day — as witness by the articles and books still being written — his name arouses attention and interest. And thus it is that the house of Harper and Brothers of New York and London have considered Johannes von Guenther's Cagliostro: Charlatan, Rogue, Mystic and Mesmerist a worthy addition to their series of romantic biographies.
The four hundred and more pages of this readable book held my attention and fascinated me one wild and stormy Sunday not long ago. Bending trees and wind-swept hills across the flooded banks of the Missouri stood out in sheer relief against blackened skies, in which blinding flashes of lightning and the long roll and rumbling of celestial artillery added to the ominous spell of the book at hand. Perhaps the satanic play of the elements added to my appreciation of this interest compelling volume. Be that as it may, the work will also interest others, and especially brethren of the Craft, for throughout the entire book the Masonic Fraternity of eighteenth century Continental Europe is brought into the rapidly changing settings of Palermo, London, St. Petersburg, Strassburg, Paris, Boulogne, Sur Mer and Rome.
Let the American or English Mason be warned, however, that he will not come upon the Masonic references with any feelings of friendliness. It is instantly apparent that the author is not a Freemason, and it is also very evident that he has drawn upon the popular misapprehensions and the fictions of the eighteenth century for his so-called Masonic backgrounds. His text recalls the anti-Masonic literature of the 1780's and the 1790's — notably Robison's Proof of a Conspiracy Against the Governments of Europe, first published in 1797 and issued in many editions and in several languages. He has also availed himself of the German and French literature treating of the Illuminati. The first flush of indignation coming upon one when reading of the utterly absurd and totally impossible allegations about the Freemasons soon gives way to calmer feeling of mild amusement; one wonders how anyone could have believed such preposterous things. Still, when considering the vast amount of literature that has been written about Cagliostro in Italian, French, German, Dutch and English, and realizing that this impudent character gave the people of his time much to talk about, we continue our perusal of the book in a more appreciative frame of mind.
In the author's belief, it should be said that he is aware of the criticisms of the Craft. In an epilogue to the book, he says:
"Friends have called the author's attention to the fact that the Freemasons of the present day may feel that they have been assailed in this book, and may assume that the narrative contains attacks upon their Order. But nothing of the kind was intended; for, in the first place, the author knows much too little of modern Freemasonry to be in a position to criticise it either favourably or unfavourably. And, secondly, he does not believe that modern Freemasonry can possibly feel that it is affected by the foolish blunders of the past, particularly as these blunders are more or less proved historically. For the much glorified eighteenth century, the 'gallant Age,' the 'era of enlightenment' was also a period in which much nonsense flourished, and in which every kind of tomfoolery immediately found enthusiastic admirers."
This capably written defense — for it is clever, ironical and even satirical — is in itself indicative of the treatment accorded to Freemasonry in the book. Only the capable treatment and vigorous style of the author, blended with the spirited action of the work as a whole, compels the reader onward in spite of his protests, and carries him to the conclusion of the volume with the feeling that the time spent in its perusal has been worth while. It gives him a better understanding of the antagonism existing even to this day against Freemasonry in Europe, and reminds him again that the bitter clerical opposition of the eighteenth century is equally as vindictive in the twentieth.
Aside from the Masonic references, the book presents a cross section of eighteenth century European life which can only be brought out in the form of historical romances. As the author frankly states, the volume "is a romance based on a free handling of the historical material [and] was not intended as anything more than an attempt artistically to depict the portrait of Cagliostro in accordance with the spirit of his Age and of his environment." The tale is slightly erotic in spots, but not in a manner to be offensive; the dashes of passion are in full harmony with the situations, revealing the masterly craft of the author.
Unfortunately, no facts are before me as to the author. The vigor, flavor and style of the original German very evidently has been skillfully preserved in the translation; even the illustrations are European in their treatment and subtly add to the enchantment of the printed text.
It may not be amiss to add that Masonic students will find a more acceptable account of Cagliostro in W. R. H. Trowbridge's Cagliostro: The Splendour and Misery of a Master of Magic, a work now out of print, but available through Masonic libraries. In connection with this should be read Bro. B. Ivanoff's excellent article, "Cagliostro in Eastern Europe (Courland, Russia and Poland)," which appeared in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. XL (1927), pages 45-80. It touches upon the alleged identity of Balsamo and Cagliostro as one and the same individual, as well as upon Cagliostro's Masonic visits. The volume under review does not differentiate between the two characters.
J. H. T.
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THE FREEDOM OF THE SEAS. By Alec Wilson. Published by the League of Nations Union, London. Paper, 60 pages.
THERE is little doubt that one of the greatest obstacles to the furtherance of disarmament projects is that question which is compendiously, but most ambiguously entitled the Freedom of the Seas. As things stand today the problem lies mainly between the two great English speaking political entities, neither of which is English in any but the loosest sense. Could a way out of the virtual impasse be found the cause of peace would be greatly advanced. The difficulty is that there has been too much heat and too little light in the discussion of the problem hitherto. And this is true not only of ordinary people, and the newspapers which provide material for their opinions, if not the opinions as well, but also to a very great and alarming extent by statesmen too.
The pamphlet under review briefly and clearly traces the history of the problem, and in doing so demonstrates the curious and significant feature that the problem has progressively changed during the course of the development of our modern civilization. The earliest claims were for freedom for ships to sail on the seas on their "lawful occasions" on the one hand, and on the other, that certain seas were closed, the private property of the states making the claim, and that all intruders were trespassers and pirates. England from very early times claimed sovereignty over the "Narrow Seas," the English Channel, and the adjacent waters. Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands each made claims of exclusive rights in the Western Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. There has been no consistency in these claims, they were all based on self interest, or what seemed to be to the advantage of the states concerned at the moment, and every maritime nation has been as quick as a weather vane to change from one attitude to the opposite under changed conditions.
The question of the freedom of the sea in time of peace settled itself by changed conditions and force of circumstances. It was not due to any abstract sense of justice, but to the fact that the game was not worth the candle. Indeed it became ridiculously impossible, as impossible as for a land owner to claim exclusive right in the atmosphere above his land. It is Mr. Wilson's contention that circumstances are now such that the freedom of the seas in time of war has come to mean something absolutely different from what it did, and that to discuss it upon the old lines is worse than waste of time.
Two of the many changes that vitally affect the question are the conquest of the air and the fact that modern war means the active belligerency of every member of the state, from the soldier in the field to the children "cultivating potatoes in school gardens." Every article of commerce is contraband of necessity, for everything may directly or indirectly assist a country in prosecuting a war.
The solution that the author sees emerging is a simple and comprehensive one. It is not new, but it has not been accepted hitherto because of the difficulty in realizing the effects of changed conditions. Once the possibility of war between the United States and the British Empire is ruled out, no real obstacle remains between them, their interests are alike. The latter says: if we could agree that neither would interrupt each other's sea borne commerce in war time nor permit others to do so it would remove the one thing that England, the heart and nerve center of the Empire, has to fear. And this in effect is precisely what the United States has contended for under the phrase the "freedom of the seas."
The author quotes Prof. Gerould of Princeton:
If we attempt to maintain our rights in a "public" war [i.e., a war waged by members of the League of Nations against one that has broken the Covenant] we shall either break the blockade laid down by the League, in which case we become the ally of the Power which has broken its agreement ... or we shall be forced to make common cause with the League. The dilemma is inescapable.
And he thinks that the logic of events is forcing every nation closer and closer to the formula of President Wilson.
Absolute Freedom of Navigation upon the Seas outside territorial waters, alike in Peace and War, except as the Seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.
Towards some such conclusion as this the logic of events is leading the world. The mental inertia that characterizes humanity in the mass may make the process of realizing it slow and painful — but the logic of events always wins in the long run.
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WITCHCRAFT IN OLD AND NEW ENGLAND. By George Lyman Kittredge. Published by the Harvard University Press. Cloth, table of contents, notes, index, x and 641 pages. Price $6.25.
WITCHCRAFT, and the working of magic, is a subject almost as extensive as all literature. References, allusions, descriptions, are to be found in almost every kind of book from fiction to theology. In the present volume the notes alone take over two hundred pages, and they consist almost entirely of references. And even so, it is not to be supposed that they are exhaustive, even for the limited subject of English witchcraft. However so much of this material is merely repetition of the same kind of thing that it is by no means necessary to go through it all in order to get a just idea of the subject. It is possible to reach conclusions and make judgments even if one lacks the extensive acquaintance with obscure and rare works that is exhibited by the author of this latest work on witchcraft.
The first and the two last chapters of the book are really independent articles, previously published, as is explained in the preface. Nevertheless the reader gets the impression that they actually contain the motif about which the rest of the book is written — or motifs would be more accurate. And regarded in this light the work is to be warmly welcomed for it corrects a series of errors and misapprehensions that amount almost to superstitions, which are held by practically everyone, excepting a very few specially well informed students. The chief of these erroneous opinions is that witchcraft was a baseless illusion founded on a corrupt, or at least superstitious religious outlook, coupled with an insane desire to persecute and shed blood. That magic and witchcraft, in the widest sense, are universal, a primitive heritage of the human race, has long been known to anthropologists and students of comparative religion and folklore. But until recent years there was not much attention given to mediaeval and modern witchcraft in Europe, with the result that many older ideas still remained current; and with this a general lack of any real understanding of the situation.
Prof. Kittredge brings this out very clearly in the first chapter, entitled a "Typical Case." No one can read it without seeing that there was much to be said on the other side. Granted that the whole thing was a baseless superstition — in the proper sense of that word, a "standing-over," a survival, from the most primitive thought of the childhood of the race — yet the "persecution" was inevitable. As the author says, if not guilty in fact, the witches were generally guilty in intention. And there is no doubt that with the working of magic went, often enough, other more material and practical methods of working injury, especially the use of poisons.
In this typical case Prof. Kittredge had before him the original depositions of the witnesses and complainants against a certain Michael Trevisard, by his name a Cornishman and a "foreigner" in Devonshire, where the offenses occurred, Alice his wife, and his son Peter. This took place in 1601 and 1602, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The witnesses had all suffered grievous misfortunes of one kind and another, including loss of goods and health; all following upon curses or maledictions from one or other of the defendants, particularly the woman. There can be no doubt that the witnesses and the community believed these misfortunes to be due to witchcraft, or maleficia, and it is very likely that the Trevisards believed it too; and at least that they had sought advantage from the fear which they were held.
Witchcraft in England was an offense against the criminal law and was proceeded against in the secular courts like any other felony, robbery or murder for example. The evidence is generally of the same kind. The complaint in most cases follows some real misfortune, death or disease usually. And in the trials evidence is given of announced intention on the part of the accused to work evil against those afflicted, with or without evidence of the performance of magical rites. In general, the evidence of the injury suffered by the victim, which was real enough, and the announced, or confessed, intention of the witch, was taken as proof of guilt. And granted a universal belief that evil could be worked by magical and demonic means it must be admitted that it would seem sufficient.
The second chapter is entitled "English Witchcraft Before 1558." The special significance of the date lies in the fact that one of the author's pre-occupations is to controvert an opinion that the belief in witchcraft was an importation by the religious exiles who returned to England after the death of Queen Mary. The theory apparently being that they were imbued with the belief in the reality of compacts with the devil, and so on, during their sojourn on the Continent, and that they converted their fellow countrymen to it on their return. The supporters of this theory are nowhere mentioned by name so far as the reviewer has been able to discover, and he must also confess that he has never come across it previously. In any case it seems so preposterous that one would suppose the least acquaintance with the evidence would dispel it. One would have thought it more appropriate to have dismissed it in a brief note, as the theories of Mr. Summers and Miss Murray are disposed of. But it is evident that here once more we have differing views accounted for in part by an ambiguous meaning of words. What the unnamed "scholars" mean by witchcraft, and what Mr. Summers means is quite different from what Prof. Kittredge means, and Miss Murray means something different again; though there is the less excuse for misunderstanding her position, as she clearly defines the sense in which she uses the word, and sticks to that aspect of the subject.
Returning to the second chapter the author brings samples of the evidence for the belief in, and the character of, witchcraft in England, from Anglo-Saxon times down to the Tudor period; with so much of parallel historical and anthropological evidence as to establish its character as a primitive heritage of mankind.
The succeeding chapters deal with the methods and machinery of witchcraft. The use of images and like means to work evil or good — generally evil. This in some form or other is found everywhere the world over, and at all periods. Following this comes the subject of curses, elf shot, induced madness, magical poisons and charms. Then wind raising and rain making, metamorphosis, treasure hunting, divination and so on are taken up in succession. In the sixteenth chapter we come to the witches Sabbath and the compact with the devil. In this chapter the general thesis is that the periodical meetings of witches and their worship of the devil, was all a creation of the Continental inquisitors, with the further contention that there was no basis in fact for it. Or rather, that it was built up out of the secret meetings of heretical religious sects, to whom all kinds of enormities were ascribed, mixed up with the whole paraphernalia of mediaeval demonology, and it is insisted that nothing like it ever appeared in England.
It is of course, impossible to adequately discuss the matter in the brief space of a review. Prof. Kittredge obviously disagrees with the theory advanced by Miss Murray in her Witch Cult, published some eight years ago. One cannot help feeling that her argument was entitled to more consideration than a few rather contemptuous references in the notes.
Those who regard witchcraft as merely a delusion, an example of collective insanity, are ignorant of the antecedents of the phenomenon. They do not realize that it is a stage of human evolution and part of the price of the development of civilization. Those who, like Mr. Summers, still believe in its reality, are simply in this respect at a lower cultural level. The difference between Miss Murray and Prof. Kittredge is more one of emphasis, and as it would seem, some misunderstanding or lack of comprehension on the part of the latter, due to preconception or bias, which has prevented him, not only from seeing the force of the evidence marshalled by Miss Murray, but also from seeing the full implications of some of the facts he has himself adduced.
To get the matter clear; Prof. Kittredge has dealt with witchcraft as a generally held belief. A state of affairs found not only in mediaeval England and Europe, but everywhere else. Miss Murray expressly limited herself to the subject of an alleged organization, practicing what she calls the Witch-Cult. The two theses are complementary, and not necessarily in conflict. Taking primitive peoples generally, among whom witchcraft may be called normal, we find that its methods are known to everyone, but they are especially practiced by certain individuals, who in many cases are definitely organized, and such organizations are frequently equivalent to a sort of priesthood. It is Miss Murray's hypothesis that such an organized primitive religion survived, more and more driven into concealment and into bitter hostility to dominant and militant Christianity, from pagan times down to the seventeenth century at least.
There is nothing inherently incredible in this in the light of our present knowledge of the history of religion, and Prof. Kittredge has not demolished the theory by his method of limiting and separating the evidence. He leaves Scotland out entirely, for example, although in view of the cultural relationship of the two countries we are permitted to assume that what existed in Scotland in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries would illustrate the situation in England from one to two centuries earlier. When he deals with the most pertinent evidence of such an organization in England he weakens the force of the facts by paraphrasing the records and interspersing comments of his own. While it may be quite true that in Elizabethan England this organization had broken down, it does not follow that it had not existed, or did not then exist elsewhere. A religion implies some organization, and in the second chapter we are presented with a whole series of laws and canons which couple witchcraft with the ritual observances of paganism. When we consider in what manner Western Europe was Christianized it would have been miraculous indeed if the worship of the older gods had not survived.
When Prof. Kittredge comes to King James and the New England witches he is wholly admirable. He shows conclusively that so far from the witch trials in England being due to the fanatic zeal of the Scottish king, as everyone has taken for granted, the exact reverse is true. The trials were due to popular pressure and James did much to check it, counseling his judges to be very sceptical of the evidence offered in such cases.
In the same way he goes far to rehabilitating the people of New England by showing, first that they were necessarily limited by the beliefs and knowledge of their own time, and that the outbreak was comparatively very mild, and that in a remarkably short time it was suppressed.
One rather interesting item appears in the second chapter. A monk named Thomas Wryght was accused of practicing magic and of having "books of experiments." He defended himself by saying that he had used his books "for speculation merely and never for operation." This was in 1500, and is a fresh instance of the use of these words in the same way they are now used by Masons. It is probable that they are genuine tradition in the Craft to distinguish two classes of members.
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THE QUESTION BOX & CORRESPONDENCE
A ROMAN CATHOLIC GRAND MASTER
You published in June an interesting article about a Roman Catholic being Grand Master of one of the Canadian obediences. In the April number of "The Master Mason" a reply is given in the question department that "no church affiliation is a disqualification to Masonic advancement in England," and instances of Catholic Grand Masters were cited.
Now, all these citations are of occurrences long ago and far away, given without any explanation of the present status between Freemasonry and the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. So that from your article and "The Master Mason's" reply, it might be inferred that today a Romanist in full communion with his church could be a supreme ruler of our Order. Just to dispel such notion I give the following quotation from Lucien Wolf's Life of the First Marquess of Ripon. The heading of Chapter xiii (Vol. I) is "From King Solomon's Throne to the Pope's Footstool," and at page 292 reads:
... Moreover, he [the Marquess] was convinced that, the Syllabus notwithstanding, there was no necessary incompatibility between Roman Catholicism on the one hand and religious toleration and political liberalism on the other. When, at the last moment, the attitude of the Vatican in regard to Freemasonry was made clear to him it was relatively much too small a matter to modify the grave decision at which he had arrived.
Here is a capable and distinguished Grand Master being told (in 1874) on his conversion to the Roman Catholic faith, that renunciation of Freemasonry was in order before acceptance. Yet, one can find ambiguous replies and articles in Masonic publications in 1929 such as have been alluded to herein.
Donald Lightbourn, New York
Many other cases analogous to that of the Marquess of Ripon could also be cited. We had no idea that any of our readers could suppose that conditions were the same now as they were a hundred years ago. Though the first Papal Bull condemning the Craft was promulgated as early as 1738 it was long before it was universally enforced. The subject cannot possibly be gone into here. Much has been published in THE BUILDER in the past, and may need to be repeated in the future.
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THE REGIONAL GRAND LODGE OF PENNSYLVANIA
In 1924 the officers of the Grand Orient of France moved by the pleadings of a representative of the Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, entered into an agreement with it. The arrangement met with some opposition and the Grand College of Rites (the Supreme Council of the Grand Orient) refused to confirm it insofar as the degrees conferred under its authority were concerned. The agreement, therefore, has covered only the Blue Lodge organization of the Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
Soon after his election as Grand Master (President du Conseil de l'Ordre) in 1927, M. W. Bro. Arthur Groussier started to investigate the real relations between the Grand Orient and the Pennsylvania body, as these relations had caused the Grand Orient losses of fraternal relations and individual good will. He was anxious to sever all connections with this body but did not want to be unfair or unjust. The fact, however, that the Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania was not carrying out its part of the agreement made his task much easier and the Executive Committee (Conseil de l'Ordre) at its last meeting, adopted the following resolutions severing all connections with the Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
"The Executive Committee of the Grand Orient of France, at a plenary meeting, June 23, 1929
"Having read the Agreement entered into May 10, 1924, between the Grand Orient of France and the Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and
"Having heard the report of its Officers
"Considering, on the one hand
"That the articles of this Agreement have been but partially applied,
"That the Grand Orient of France has not been kept informed of the proceedings of the Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and has not even knowledge of the rules now in force
"That, for the above reasons, the relations between the two contracting parties have no serious basis and that the tie holding the Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania to the Grand Orient of France has become purely nominal
"Considering on the other hand
"The rules relating to territorial jurisdiction adopted by the Congress of the International Masonic Association in December, 1927,
"Is of the opinion
"That under such conditions it is much preferable that the two Obediences separate completely
"And, therefore, terminates, on its part, irrevocably and at once, the above Agreement
"This brings about the immediate, absolute and definite independence of both parties to the Agreement."
In line with the above decision the Grand Orient of France lately refused fraternal relations to two ether unrecognized Grand Bodies in this country and also turned down an application received from a number of Masons in New York City to form a new lodge there. The Grand Orient has decided to strictly observe the laws on territorial jurisdiction adopted by the International Masonic Association.
L. G., Colorado.
Our correspondent is a native of France and a member of a French Lodge under the Grand Lodge of France, with which a considerable number of American jurisdictions hold fraternal relations. The Regional Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania was originally under the Grand Orient of Spain, and its formation was due to one of the many unfortunate conflicts between American and European ideas about territorial jurisdiction. It has taken the European brethren a long time to realize the rigidity of American rules on the subject but the report of the A.M.I. has been widely accepted, and will probably prevent any such false steps being made in the future.
* * *
I notice that you have once or twice recently mentioned the subject of dual or plural membership. I am in a position to see the annual Proceedings of a number of our Grand Lodges, and from them I gather that some of the Fraternal Correspondents are very much opposed to the idea, and I rather suspect their influence has had a good deal to do with the slow progress it has made.
One argument that is often repeated is that dual membership makes it impossible to obtain accurate statistics of total membership, and it is frequently said that the Grand Lodges of the British Isles do not know what their membership really is. This seems always to be regarded by those who advance it as an unanswerable argument, that must at once crush anyone so foolish as to believe in plural membership. If it is a fact that these Grand Lodges do not know their membership figures (about which I cannot say anything) it can only be because they are not especially interested in having the information; for it is obvious that only a little ingenuity would be required to overcome the difficulty. Naturally, it would involve a little more work, but every brother who belongs to a second lodge would be paying Grand Lodge dues twice over, and the extra income thus secured should be far more than the cost of the added clerical work.
If I may be permitted to take up your space for the purpose I would like to suggest two possible methods. When a brother affiliates with a second lodge that lodge must be cognizant of the fact; for not having a dimit, it would be necessary for him to show he was a member in good standing of the other lodge. Of course the first lodge might be in ignorance of his second membership, but not if the second one made inquiries regarding him. This could be easily made part of the procedure in such cases. Then he would appear on the roll of each lodge as belonging to two lodges.
Now if every lodge in its annual reports to the Grand Secretary classified its membership, so many brethren belonging to that lodge only, so many belonging to that and another one, it will be a very simple matter to get the true totals. The membership reports would be summed up under the two heads — say 50,000 single memberships, 1000 dual memberships. As each brother belonging to two lodges is reported twice the total of such is obviously 500, and in consequence the grand total is 50,500.
The second method would not even require so much calculation as this. If in every lodge the roll is kept so as to show primary and secondary membership. Secondary membership will be that of those brethren who join a lodge while holding membership in another. Should they dimit from the first, their membership in the second would become primary. In this case the grand totals for the jurisdiction would be the sum of the primary memberships reported.
I can see absolutely no difficulty in working out such plans. There might be difficulty in starting them, not due to the plan itself, but to the mental inertia of those charged with its working. Compared with the records kept in any business of any size at all such differentiations would be simple and elementary. Why should the intelligence of Lodge Secretaries be deemed incapable of grasping a system of elementary simplicity when very often the same men are conversant with more complicated records in their ordinary vocation?
As for the advantages of dual membership, it seems to me they are so obvious and so great that I cannot really understand why such trifles should be regarded as a discouragement. I should say that had we to choose between exact membership totals and dual membership, that the latter would be of such advantage to the Craft that the sacrifice of the former would be a very small price to pay for it. But we can easily have both if we only think so.
J. G. G., Missouri.
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FREEMASONRY IN ITALY
The following is a translation of part of a letter from Sig. Fr. S. Nitti, former Premier of Italy, now living in exile in France. It was sent to us by Bro. Charles Fama, of New York and as it will be seen, is of sufficiently great importance to be published in full:
News that has just arrived to me from Italy state that the deportation of the opponents of Fascism have never been as numerous as they have been in recent weeks. Anyone who has ever been connected at any time with the Masonic Fraternity is arrested and deported to one of the prison islands.
The ex-Grand Commander of the Italian Masonry, Ettore Ferarri, who is 86 years of age, is under imprisonment in his own home guarded by the police and can only leave his own home in the company of members of the police force.
The Vice-Grand Commander, one of the most noted attorneys, Guiseppe Leti, escaped to Paris. The Fascisti not being able to arrest him, without any reason whatsoever, arrested his son, Franceseo Leti, who was sent into exile in one of the prison islands for five years. This son, a physician, had never occupied himself with politics and was not even a Mason. He was a noted physician and did not occupy himself outside his medical profession. The Fascisti not being able to attack the father took revenge upon his son.
The present Grand Master of Italian Masonry, Domizio Torrigiani, after being imprisoned for several years on one of the islands where he was subjected to the greatest persecution and became almost completely blind, has been taken to a prison hospital in Italy.
General Bencivenga, former Republican Deputy and President of the Italian Press Association, has also been sent to one of these penal islands.
The only prominent Mason out of prison in Rome was the Deputy Grand Master, Guiseppe Meoni. A few weeks ago he was also arrested and without a trial sent to one of the penal islands for five years.
In the last wave of persecutions is to be noted the arrest of many great writers, physicians and lawyers, amongst them Guastalla Lenzi, Pavone, Cosmo and many other citizens of the greatest respectability. The Special Fascist Tribunal has just condemned to four years and eight months imprisonment two very noted attorneys, Fevrenni and Mazotti. The only accusation against these was that they had given information of the actual Fascist situation to their friends in Paris.
The slightest criticism to the Fascist regime is considered a crime. Any person who dares to criticise the evil consequences of the stabilization of the Italian Lira to Italian commerce is mercilessly treated and arrested. Never has there been a greater amount of money deposited by the Italians of Italy in foreign banks. This because everyone is convinced that Fascism is about to be financially bankrupt.
Senator Benedetto Croce, who is the foremost Italian philosopher, had the courage to criticise in the Italian Senate the Fascist-Vatican Concordat. It is said that his speech was a masterpiece, but not one word of it was permitted to be published in any newspaper. On coming out of the Senate chambers he was attacked and beaten mercilessly by a band of black shirt thugs.
Twenty professors and students of the University of Turin sent a letter to Senator Croce expressing their admiration for his stand. The letter was opened by the postal authorities and the undersigned were all arrested and sent to jail.
A very noted author, Signor Umberto Cosmo, and a journalist of the highest esteem, a man of most conservative personality, because he dared in public to say that he admired the spirit of Senator Croce against the Vatican treaty, was sent to the penal island of Ustica.
To help the poor and destitute family of those who are in exile is also a crime.
Two noted lawyers of Milan, Signor Sehuavi and Sacerdote, were arrested because they helped financially the family of an old anti-Fascist deputy which is now in the utmost poverty.
The reserve gold of the Banea D'Italia is diminishing every day and the balance equilibrium is becoming demolished. All tentatives to float new loans in foreign countries are unfruitful. The Fascist regime feels itself shaky and therefore becomes more intolerant and ferocious.
All foreign correspondence is under strict scrutiny and control, and in a letter sent from Italy which contains unfavorable comment on the Fascist situation, is enough to cause the arrest of the sender.
There are here several dozen of ax-Italian deputies, ex-ministers and ax-ambassadors. Men who have preferred exile and misery rather than submission to the tyranny of Fascism. They cannot even write to their friends in Italy without compromising these and exposing them to persecution, but what is much worse, if anyone from Italy is caught writing to these exiles he is not only subject to persecution but also arrest.
The situation has become so acute that the end of Fascism cannot be very far.
* * *
A LIST OF ANDERSON'S CONSTITUTIONS SOUGHT
The undersigned would greatly appreciate learning through members of the National Masonic Research Society of the addresses of owners of editions of Anderson's Constitutions in North America. This applies to original copies only. The name of the private owner or library, whether of 1723, 1738, 1746, 1756 and 1785 and condition. This information is desired in connection with a study of Anderson and his work. Bro. Lionel Vibert, Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, London, 2076, writes me he thinks there are not over forty or fifty copies of the 1723 edition in existence.
C. S. Plumb, Columbus, Ohio.
We suggest that every reader who has any knowledge of any old edition of the Constitutions now in America, outside the major libraries, should write to Bro. Plumb in care of THE BUILDER.