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CAGLIOSTRO IN ANTIQUITY "
Beginning on page 170 is down in more than needed volume the wretched story of Cagliostro ; and now that this glossy charlatan, the gold frogs on his clothes and the self-invented title on his visiting card , fas become a ghost in which no living interest remains there would be no warrant to add further facts to a surfeit of facts were it not that the article on page 170 does not contain one fact which was not available before Bros. Rylands and Firebrace published their great two-volume history of the Lodge of Antiquity.
This fact is important, and is here emphasized as such, because it sets the records straight as regards what regular Freemasonry felt about Cagliostro When Cagliastro was bodily present.
Because he had been made a Mason in a Frenchspeaking Lodge in London (see page170) Cagliostro felt he had the right to visit Antiquity, and did so on the night of Nov. 1, 1786. This year feII in that (for Antiquity ) unhappy period when there were two Antiquity Lodges; one under the leadership of William Preston and comprising the larger and most solid portion of the membership and which was acting as head of the Grand Lodge of all England South of the River Trent; the other "the Northouck Lodge," so-called from the leader who had occasioned the division. Cagliostro was accompanied by a train of his friends, some of them, had only the Brethren known it at the time, not regular Masons but members of Cagliostro's Clandestine Egyptian Rite, which he had invented as a scheme for exploiting Masons, and made, up, as were his other claims and titles, out of his own head. A newspaper reported the meeting, in substance, thus: A few at least among "Northouck's members" resented the charlatan's presence, and one of them, Bro.Marsh, found ingenious means of saving his Lodge from a compromising and embarrassing contretemps.
Bro. Marsh, called upon for a song, with a devilishly witty ingenuity substituted an act, which portrayed a "traveling physician" (a quack) and played it out at Cagliostro's elbow. The effect was devastating; the audience (except for the visitors) was in an uproar of laughter. Cagliostro withdrew.
This was a cartoon in prose, and the Lodge passed a formal Resolution to condemn it as a misrepresentation. What actually occurred in the Meeting the Minums do not tell, but whatever it was the "Count's" prestige, gold frogs and all, was ruined Masonically.
(The Trowbridge book referred to on page171 continues to be among the best-read, but to it may be added other titles: Romantic Rascals, by Charles J. Finger; MacBride; New York. Count Cagliostro, by Constantin Photiades; Rider & Co. ; 1932. Le Matre Inconnu Cagliostro, by Dr. Marc Haven; Dorbon-Aire; Paris; a very elaborate bibliography. See Vol. II, by Firebrace, in Reccrds of the Lodge of Anliquily.)
Aside from manufacturing his spurious Egyplian Rite, Cagliostro had no part in regular Freemc.wnry except to join a French-speaking London Lodge. What the Inquisition found out about him nobody knows, but the trial itself shocked France by exposing the sinister methods still in use by the Roman hierarchy, and in its total effects, and as precipitating a nation-wide social crisis, ranks with the Dreyfus, Rasputin (Russian), and Taxil cases. Dumas wrote a novel about Cagliostro in The Diamond Necklace; and Frank King collects a number of illuminating facts in The Lasl of the Sorcerers. To a Masonic community as far from Paris as is American Masonry there is not much of either profit or comfort in the case, unless it be that at this distance it lays a red underline beneath the danger confronting any Masonic Jurisdictions which permit degree making and degree mongering, disguised as Masonry, to go unchecked or unchallenged. Bro. Marsh's performance was a commentary not altogether malapropos.
The calendars given on page 172 ff. are in use by modern bodies of Speculative Freemasonry, and the datings are self-confessedIy of modern origin. They are based on the date of the Creation as 4004 B.c. as written into the margin of the Authorized Version of the Bible by Archbishop Usher in 1611. This date had been nowhere in general use prior to that time, and afterwards was never accepted by many chronologists. A work of encyclopedic informativeness on the calendars in use during the whole of the Operative and the Transition Periods of Freemasonry is Medieviivi Kalendarium, by R. F. Hampon, two volumes; London; 1841. It covers the Tenth to Fifteenth Centuries. In a period before calendars and almanacs came into general use it was widely employed as a handbook on matters of many kinds which have to do with the calendar. It contains much folklore; many pages on the Sts. John, lists of Saints' Days; and, as illustrative of what was said above, gives in one chapter a long list of the estimates of the date of Creation as computed by authorities at different times, among them being: Scaliger, 3950 B.c.; Petavius, 3984 B.c.; Ricciola, 4063 B.c.; Eusebius, 5200 B.c.; Alphonsine Tables, 6934 B.c.
There is no evidence to show that Operative Masons ever adopted a given date, or ever found use for one; moreover they had scarcely any conception of such a thing as a calendar, but fixed dates by reference to Sainta' Days, Church festivals, the reign of Kings, and memorable local events-a flood, a fire, a battle, etc.
CALIPH OF BAGDAD, THE.
This most Widely-read of Masonic novels was written by Sylvanus Cobb, Jr. He was born at Waterville, Maine (the native State of a score of eminent Masons), June 5, 1823, the first of nine children. He moved to Malden, Mass., where his father was Universalist pastor, and a friend of Bro. Hosea Ballou, and lived there ten years ; in 1838 he moved to Waltham, Mass., from which, in 1841, he joined the Navy. Returned, he took up journalism, and for forty years was on the staff of the New York Ledger, an old-fashioned newspaper which published stories and essays. He was made a Mason in Oxford Lodge, Norway, Me., in 1854, and was its WorshipfuI Master five times. He was exalted in 1859; Knighted in Boston in 1872, and in 1874 was made 32° in the same city. He published three Masonic stories in the New York Ledger in 1858-1874. Sea stories, Oriental stories, Masonic stories, and religious stories were his forte. A new edition of the Caliph of Bagdad was published by Geo. H. Doran; New York.
CANDID DISQUISITION, A.
Wellins Calcott (see page 172) saw in Freemasonry something more than a museum of Medieval relics, and more than a set of convivial clubs, and undertook to write a ralionale, or philosophy, on the Craft, becoming thereby the first of a line of greatly distinguished Craftsmen, in which were to stand Hutchinson, Preston, Oliver, Mackey. He was born at a date not discoverable in available books; in the Minutes of one Lodge he is described as "a native of Shrewsbury, county of Salop," in another as from "Salop in Cheshire." At some date in probably the late 1750's he published A Collection of Thoughts, a volume half of quotations and half of his own meditations, a typ'e of book dear to readers in that period. He had 1600 subscriptions for it before printing; and it went through five editions. In 1769 (and with 1200 subscribers) he published A Candid Disquisition of the Principles and Practices of the Most Honnorable sociely of Free and Accepted Masons, etc. Oliver described this book, so simple, so gentle in spirit, and with few obvious displays of the classical learning behind it, "the gem of the period." Kenning describes Calcott: "Indeed he may fully be called the father of the Masonic philosophical and didactic school." Hughan characteristically valued it because it contained a list of Boston Lodges, as follows : under the Provincial Grand Lodge headed by John Rowe: Master's, First, Second, Rising Sun; and under the Scottish Provincial Grand Lodge under Joseph Warren : St. Andrew's, Lodge No. 2 : and under an Antient Grand Lodge Warrant: Antient York, No. 169. Calcott was twice in America, both times in the Carolinas, possibly in New York or Boston. He must have been a wandering man, perhaps one of those impracticable, learned men ungifted with the sense of trade or of money, for we can track him in Scotland and England from Lodge to Lodge, goin g about like a colporteur to distribute his Candid Disquisiliens. He was three times in St. David Lodge, No. 30, and became member by affiliation, during 1761 and 1762. Was Worshipful Master of Holywell Lodge, in England. He visited Lodge St. John Kilwinning, Haddington, No. 57, in 1761. He was in Phoenix Lodge, No. 94, in Sunderland, in 1779, when the Minutes describe him as "from Carolina," and gave a Third Degree Lecture. In his Preston Lecture for 1928, John Stokes says: "Many of the words and phrases used in his lectures were adopted by Hemming and made part of the Ritual which we use today." It is a romantic fact (and Freemasonry is fuII of them) that words written down in 1750 or 1760 by this only half-known, gentle, much wandering man, two or three times described in Lodge Minutes as "in unfortunate circumstances," should afterwards be on the tongues of millions of men who have never so much as heard his name !
CATASTROPHES, MASONIC RELIEF OF.
Durig the period of five years from1923 to1928 indusve the Fraternity in the United States was called upon to raise funds for relief no fewer than five times: the japanese earthquake of 1923; the Florida hurricane of 1926; the Mississippi flood of 1927; the porto Rico hurricane of 1928; the Florida hurricane of 1928. on each of these occasions the Masonic Service Association acted as a unit for the Grand Lodges holding membership in it; other non-member Grand Lodges used it as an agency through which to distribute their funds; the remaining Grand Lodges sent their funds directly to Masonic bodies or other agencies at the scene of the disaster. The total amount of monies raised by Masonic Bodies of each and every Rite has never been computed; the amounts reported as passing through the hands of the Masonic Service Association, or passing through other hands but reported by it were as follows : for the Japanese earthquake, S15,777 the Florida hurricane of 1926, $111,652; the Mississippi flood in 1927, $605,603; the Porto Rico hurricane of 1928, $81,774; the Florida hurricane of 1828 $107,622.
CATECHISMS, THE OLD.
The Early Masontic Calechismus by Douglas Knoop, G. P. Jones, and Douglas Harner (Manchester University Press; 1043) is the first book-length (200 pages) analysis of those unfamiliar but important documents which are called the OId Catechisms. The authors describe them as having been originally "mainly concemed with the form of giving the Mason Word, and the quostion and answers used to test persons claiming to have the Mason Word." There are Masons still living in America who can recall a wide-spread use of "test questions," some of which were of archaic form, and which on the surface had no apparent connection with the Ritual. Something of the same sort was in use in the Eighteenth Century (and perhaps a half century or so earlier) ; a few of them, and possibly the elaborate ones, were written or printed. They are useful for the data they contain, or imply, about the Esoteric Work. The authors of Early Masonic Catechismus have collected everything thus far discovered about nine written catechisms and seven printed ones. Of the former: Edinburgh Register House MS., 1696. Chetwode Crawley MS., circa 1700. Sloane MS. 3529, Circa. 1700. Dumfries No. 4 MS., circa 1700 Trinity College Dublin MS., 1711. Institution of Free Masons circa 1725. Graham MS., 1726. Chesham MS., circa 1740. Essex MS., circa 1750. Of the printed ones: A Mason's Examination, 1723. The grand Mystery of Free-Masons Discovered , 1725. The Whole Institutions of Free-Masons Opened 1725. The Grand Mustery Laid Open, 1726. A Masons Confession, 1725. The Mystery of Freemsonry, 1730 Prichards Masonry Dissected, 1730.
The Cathedral of St. John The Devine In New York City was built according to the designs and methods used by Operative Freemasons of the Middle Ages as nearly as modern knewledge, skill and circumstances made it possible. Exept that its founder, Bishop Henry C Potter, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, was an active Freemason, this first American cathedral, properly and strictly so called (architecturally), has received little attention from the American Fraternity, though each year an increasing number of Masons visit it to see with their own eyes what kind of work had been done by the founders of their own Craft. The second genuinely Gothic cathedral to be erected on the Continent, the National Cathedral at Washingwn, has been in a different case, for so many Grand Bodies have taken a share in building it that they must in the future ever feel a small sense of proprietorship in it.
A charter to the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation was granted by Congress in 1893. A cathedral close of 65 acres was purchased on Mount Saint Alban, 400 feet above the general level of Washington, D.C. Its central tower will stand higher in the sky than the Washington Monument ; it and the Washington Masonic Memorial (Freemasonry's own national cathedral) will be in full view of each other. Washington had expressed a hope for "a church for national purposes" ; I'Enfant had embodied it in his city plan; the National Cathedral is a realization of their dreams.
The bodies of Admiral Dewey, President Wilson, and Bishop Satterlee already are entombed in it; in the course of time it may become another Westminster Abbey. There will be in it a Masonic Section, as planned for by Bro. and Bishop James E. Freeman; hundreds of Masons or Masonic Bodies have paid for stones to be used in it. A Masonic Committee of the National Cathedral Association was formed, led by Bro. John H. Cowles, head of the Scottish Rite, Southem Jurisdiction; the Rt. Rev. James E. Freeman, Bishop of Washington, Honorary Chairman.
The Roman Popes set up systems of censorship long before the invention of printing, and when even hand-written manuscripts were very scarce and were too expensive for general use ; it censored also symbols, statues, pictures, music, speeches, ceremonies and pageants-it even tried to censor games and dances, and more than once went so far as to undertake the censorship of women's dress!-one of the favorite subjects of many of the bachelor Popes, and a principal theme of the sermons of the great preacher, Chrysostom. From the early days of the Christian religion down to the present moment the system of censorship of the Roman Church has rested on a single principle : it claims for itself the exclusive right to decide what is true and what is not true. Kings, princes, barons, Lords, the heads of great commercial companies, and the heads of colleges and universities, these also have employed censorship as a means of control and of preventing unorthodox words or practices. The American Revolution and the French Revolution between them were the first to overthrow this system which is as pernicious and inhuman in its own way as slavery was in another way. Today the bureau of the Roman Censorship publishes thick volumes of its Index, which are little more than titles of condemned books; many Masonic titles are among them, as also are titles by Luther, Melanchthon, Erasmus, Sir Isaac Newton, John Locke, and a long Iist of names equally celebrated of men who have believed that facts and realities decide what is true and is not true (the many Papal condemnations of the doctrine of the sphericity of the earth had no effect on the shape of the planet) !
When the Mother Grand Lodge of England (1717) set up a censorship of Masonic books, that is, books about Masonry written by Masons, it was acting according to received custom. That censorship continued until late in the century, when it went by default, and is not likely ever to be revised, because a censored Mason and a Freemason are a contradiction in terms; for if a Mason can be trusted to be loyal to the Craft in his behavior, so can he be trusted not to betray or to misrepresent it in what he says and writes. (On Church censorship the standard work is Censorship of the Church of Rome, by George Haven Putnam; S. P. Putnam's Sons; New York; 1906.)
The paragraph about Charlemagne on page 195 makes note of the tradition that he had a school for Masons in his castle at Aix-la-ChapeIle (Aachen). To this may be added two other points at which he enters the circle of Masonic studies:
1. Beginning at line 576 the Cooke MS. refers to a Carolus Secundus, that is, Charles the Second; and in 590 ff. goes on to say that he was a King who loved Masons and cherished them and gave them charges and manners of which some are still in use in France, and ordained for them an annual assembly "and for to be reuled by maaters & fellows of alle thyngs a-mysse." It is likely that Charles the Bold (840-77 A.D.) is here referred to ; but some commentators believe rather that it refers to Charlemagne, and if so it explains the origin of the tradition referred to in the above paragraph.
2. In Medieval wall paintings and stained glass windows the conventionalized picture of Charlemagne represents him as a large, bearded, Moses-like figure, carrying the model of a cathedral in the crook of his arm. In a few French Medieval manuscipts this cathedral at Aix is described as "our Solomon's Temple," Charlemagne is "our Solomon," and the knowledge and skill showed in building it is described "as Solomon's art."
CHAUCER AND FREEMASONRY.
For some centuries the Kings of England had a general overseer to manage and to supervise their own many and often very large building operations, and to act in the King's name when Royal supervision of any other building enterprise might be called for, such officials being called at times Commissioner, Supervisor, Chief Clerk, etc. Elias de Dereham and William of Wykeham were two of the more famous ''surveyors''; as also were, at a later time, Inigo Jones, who introduced the Palladian style from Italy into England, and Christopher Wren.
Geoffrey Chaucer, the poet, held the office late in the Fourteenth Century. On page 67, of the Transactions of the Manchester Association for Masonic Research, VOI. 19-21 (for 1928-31) was quoted a document which Chaucer issued and signed:
(3) Bill of GeooErey Chaucer, Clerk of the King's Works, to be Chancellor, for the issue of a commission under the Great Seal to Hugh Swayn to purvey stone, timber, tiles, shingles, &c. and to take masons, carpenters, and others for the works at Westminster, Sheen, Kennington, Charing Mews, Byfleet, Coldkennington, Clarendon and Hathebergh Lodge; and of similar commissions to three others for the works of the Tower of London, Berkhampstead, Childeme Langley, and Eltham. (A.D.1389. French. Probably holograph.) Signed :- Par GeoEray Chaucer, clerc des cevereines du roy nostre seignur.
Traces of signet. (Chancery Warrants 1. 1660 a No. 26)
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales also establish a link, though a less obvious one, betw,een the poet and the Craft of Masons. The Masons' Company in London, with which Chaucer had oflicial conneetions, sustained the St. Thomas Hospital there, Ieft it many bequests, and often visited it in livery. Masons' Companies in two, and possibly three, other cities also helped to support Iocal hospitals of their own named for St.Thomas and it is possible that they Iooked on St.Thomas as their Patron Saint. This Saint Thomas was the martyred Archbishop of Canterbury, St. Thomas … Becket, who was murdered in his own cathedral in 1170. The fact that three knights, described at the time as "the three ruflians," murdered the fiftythree year old prelate by beating him over the head after demanding that he "give them his word," threatened to bury him in the rubbish, and that his body was buried in a spot between a memorial to John the Baptist on one side and John the Evangelist on the other, the two forming parallel lines, must have held a peculiar interest to men in the Masons' Companies, and may account for their support of St. Thomas Hospitals; and it is possible that Chauser, conuected with the Mason Company in London as he was, may from that association have had his interest in Canterbury first aroused, and as a result of which he wrote in rhyme the Canterbury (St. Thomas' church) Tales.
It belongs to the in curable romanticism of Medieval England 'that this St. Thomas, England's "favorite saint,'' her most "glorious martyr," "the most English of the Saints," was by blood only half English, and half Christian. Gilbert Becket was a member of the Mercers Company, or gild, but as a young man went off on one of the Crusades to war on the infidel Saracens, was captured, was released by "a fair Saracen," a Mohammedan lady ; they fell in love, she followed him to London, professed conversion, and Thomas was their son.
Thomas learned reading and writing, went to work in the Sheriff's office, and then was employed by the King, upon whose wish, and against Thomas' own desires, he took Holy Orders expressly in order to be named Archbishop of Canterbury, where the King purposed to have a friend and supporter in that highest ol ecclesiastica1offices, but discovered to his chagrin, and too late, that "he had a Tartar there."
The Mercers Company afterwards was given the land which had belonged to the senior Becket; and in the Charter given it by Henry IV in 1406 its members were named "Brothers of St. Thomas à Becket." St. Thomas was for centuries a favorite Patron Saint among the gilds and companies.
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