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WASHINGTON AS A FREEMASON


DELIVERED BY ALBERT G. MACKEY, M. D., GRAND
SECRETARY AND GRAND LECTURER OF THE GRAND
LODGE OF SOUTH CAROLINA;  GENERAL OF THE
SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE 33D DEGREE, FOR THE
SOUTHERN JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES,
ETC., ETC., BEFORE THE GRAND AND SUBORDINATE
LODGES OF ANCIENT FREEMASONS OF SOUTH
CAROLINA, AT CHARLESTON, S. C., ON THURSDAY,
NOVEMBER 4TH, 1852, BEING THE CENTENNIAL
CELEBRATION OF THE INITIATION OF GEORGE
WASHINGTON



One hundred years ago - the day which we are now
celebrating with all these public demonstrations of joy and
pride - and which tens of thousands of our brethren are
commemorating with us, in every city and town and village
throughout the length and breadth of this vast empire - was
hallowed in the history of the Masonic institution, by the
initiation into its sublime mysteries of the Father of his
Country.

The scenes enacted on that day in a small and obscure
lodge of the Old Dominion were then, while the dark veil of
the futurity was still undrawn, supposed to be of an ordinary
character. The minute book of the Lodge at Fredericksburg
presents no more than the usual record, that on the 4th of
November, 1752, George Washington was initiated as an
Entered Apprentice. The youth, who, though even then he
had been honored by a distinguished appointment in the
military service of his native State, had not yet developed
the germ of his future greatness, passed undoubtedly
through the solemn ceremonies of initiation into our mystic
rites, without any suspicion on the part of those who
assisted in bestowing on him the light of Masonry, that the
transaction then occurring was to become an era in the
annals of our institution, and that a century afterwards their
descendants would ordain a jubilee, to hail its memory with
shouts of joy and to celebrate its anniversary with loud
peans of praise. But time, whose lessons are always
progressive and often unexpected, has since taught us that
the event of that evening was among the most important in
the history of American Masonry. It has furnished a topic of
angry discussion to the enemies, and of grateful exultation
to the friends, of our institution. It has given an abiding
testimony of the virtuous principles of that society, among
whose disciples "the patriot, the hero and the sage" did not
disdain to be numbered. And while time shall last and
Masonry shall endure, that old but distinctly legible page in
the record book of Fredericksburg Lodge will be pointed to
with proud satisfaction by every Mason, as indisputable
evidence that the wisest of statesmen, the purest of patriots,
the most virtuous of men, was indeed his brother and bound
with him in one common but mystic tie of fraternity and love.

In the ancient record book of the Lodge at Fredericksburg in
Virginia - a book venerable for its age as a relic of the past -
but still more venerable for the pages on which the record is
made, will be found the following entries.

The first entry is thus:

No. 4th, 1752. This evening Mr. George Washington was
initiated as an Entered Apprentice," and the receipt of the
entrance fee, amounting to 2 pounds 3s is acknowledged.

On the 3rd of March in the following year, "Mr. George
Washington" is recorded as having been passed a Fellow
Craft; and on the 4th of the succeeding August the
transactions of the evening are that "Mr. George
Washington," and others whose names are mentioned, are
stated to have been raised to the sublime degree of Master
Mason.

These records of the early Masonic career of Washington
are inestimable to the Mason as memorials of the first
connection of the Father of his Country with our institution.
But if the history of that connection had there ceased; if
admitted to our temple, he had but glanced with cold and
indifferent eye upon its mysteries; and if then, unaffected by
their beauty - untouched by their sublimity, and unwakened
by their truth, lie had departed from our portals - the pride
with which we hail him as a brother would have been a vain
presumption, and the celebration of this day, a senseless
mockery. But the seed of Masonry which was sown on the
evening of that November fell not on a barren soil. It grew
with his growth and strengthened with his strength, and
bloomed and ripened into an abiding love and glowing zeal
for our order, nor ever withered or decayed amid all the
trials and struggles, the perils and excitement of a long life
spent, first in battling to gain the liberties of his country, and
then in counseling to preserve them.

The evidence of all this is on record, and the genuineness of
the record cannot be disputed. Whatever the enemies of
Masonry may say to the contrary - however they may have
attempted in the virulence of their persecution, to insinuate
that his connection with our order was but accidental and
temporary - first formed in the thoughtlessness of youth and
then at once and forever dissolved - there is abundant
testimony to show that he never for a moment disowned his
allegiance to the mystic art - and never omitted, on every
appropriate occasion, by active participation in our rites, to
vindicate the purity of the institution and to demonstrate in
the most public manner, his respect for its principles.

Years after his initiation, when he held the exalted rank of
leader of our armies in those deeply perilous days, which
have been so well defined as "the times that tried men's
souls," notwithstanding his responsible duties, his arduous
labors, his mental disquietudes, he would often lay aside the
ensigns of his supreme authority, and forgetting for a time
"the pomp and circumstance of glorious war," would enter
the secluded tent and mingle on a level with his brave
companions, in the solemn devotions and mystic rites of
some military lodge, where, under the sacred influence of
Masonry, the god of carnage found no libations poured upon
his altar, but where the heartfelt prayer for the prevalence of
harmony and brotherly love was offered to the Grand
Architect of the Universe. We have the authority of a
distinguished Mason of Virginia, who has elaborately
investigated the Masonic life of Washington, for saying that
"frequently, when surrounded by a brilliant staff, he would
part from the gay assemblage and seek the instruction of the
Lodge." And there was actually living in Ohio a few years
ago a revolutionary veteran, Captain Hugh Maloy, who on
one of these occasions was initiated in the marquee of
Washington, the Commander in Chief himself presiding at
the ceremony.

In scenes like these the great Napoleon has been known to
appear, and the lodges of Paris have more than once
beheld the ruler of the empire mingling in their labors, a
willing witness of the great doctrine of Masonic equality. But
in the founder of a new dynasty, such condescension might -
and possibly with some truth - be attributed to the policy of
winning popular applause. In our true-hearted, single-
minded Washington, no such subservience to man-worship
could be suspected. His only motives were deep love for the
institution, and profound admiration of its principles.

Permit me, before we proceed to a review of the later
portions of Washington's Masonic life, to invite your
attention to one, other revolutionary incident, reflecting
equal honor upon the subject of our address, and on the
order of which he was so illustrious a member.

A distinguished brother who faithfully and valiantly served
his country, in the last contest in which it has been engaged,
once remarked, in an address delivered by him before the
Grand Lodge of this State, that much as he admired
Masonry it was only on the field of battle that he had really
learned to love it. Wisely and truthfully were those words
uttered. For it is there, amid loud hosannas to the god of
slaughter, when
"Men with rage and hate
Make war upon their kind,
And the land is fed by the blood they shed,
In their lust for carnage blind,"
that the voice of Masonry speaks in tones that are heard
above the dull booming of artillery, and the shrill blast of the
bugle. It is there, when the utterance of humanity is hushed -
when language, created by its beneficent author, to express
man's wants and man's affections, is exchanged for the
clashing of steel - when the plunge of the bayonet or the
thrust of the saber is too often the only reply to the cry for
mercy - and when human sympathy has been driven from its
throne in the human heart - it is there that the whispered
word may make its strong appeal, and the mute yet eloquent
sign, will paralyze the uplifted arm, converting by its hidden
necromancy, hate into love, and binding in a moment the
conqueror and the conquered with these strong cords of
fraternal affection which will withstand the utmost strain of
national enmity to snap asunder.

Scenes and events of this kind were of course occurring in
our revolutionary war - for there is no contest among
civilized nations in which they are not present. But one in
which Washington was more particularly and immediately
engaged may serve to show how perfectly he understood
and appreciated this beautiful feature in the Masonic
system.

In the 46th regiment of the British army there was a traveling
Lodge, holding its Warrant of Constitution under the
jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ireland. After an
engagement between the American and British forces, in
which the latter were defeated, the private chest of the
Lodge, containing its jewels, furniture and implements, fell
into the hands of the Americans. The captors reported the
circumstances to General Washington, who at once ordered
the chest to be returned to the Lodge and the regiment,
under a guard of honor. "The surprise," says the historian of
the event, himself an Englishman and a Mason, "the feeling
of both officers and men may be imagined, when they
perceived the flag of truce that announced this elegant
compliment from their noble opponent, but still more noble
brother. The guard of honor, with their music playing a
sacred march - the chest containing the Constitution and
implements of the Craft borne aloft, like another ark of the
covenant, equally by Englishmen and Americans, who lately
engaged in the strife of war, now marched through the
enfiladed ranks of the gallant regiment that, with presented
arms and colors, hailed the glorious act by cheers, which the
sentiment rendered sacred as the hallelujahs of an angel's
song."

When the contest which secured the independence and
freedom of his country was terminated, Washington,
covered with the admiration and gratitude of his fellow-
citizens, retired like another Cincinnatus to the shades of
private life. But he did not abandon then his interest in the
institution of which he was an honored member.

In 1788 he united with others in presenting a petition for the
formation of a new Lodge at Alexandria, and the Warrant of
Constitution, as the instrument authorizing the organization
is technically called, is still in existence, preserved in the
archives of that Lodge, and has been seen by thousands.

That Warrant commences with these words - words which
now cannot be altogether heard with cold indifference:

"I, Edmund Randolph, Governor of the State, and Grand
Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, do hereby constitute
and appoint our illustrious and well-beloved Brother George
Washington, late General and Commander-in-Chief of the
forces of the United States of America, and our worthy
Brothers Robert McCrea, William Hunter, Jr., and Joseph
Allison, Esq., together with all such other brethren as may
be admitted to associate with them, to be a just, true and
regular Lodge of Freemasons, by the name, title and
designation of Alexandria Lodge, No. 22."

The Lodge is still in existence and in active operation, but in
1805 it changed its name in honor of its first Master to that
of "Washington Alexandria."

No one acquainted with the character of Washington - with
his indomitable energy, his scrupulous punctuality, and his
rigid adherence to method in business, will for a moment
suppose that he would ever have engaged in a labor which
he did not ardently strive to accomplish, or have accepted
an office whose duties he did not conscientiously discharge.
But his general and well known reputation for these virtues
is not all that we possess as a testimony of the mode ;n
which he met the responsible cares of presiding over the
Craft.

The Hon. Timothy Bigelow, in an eulogy delivered before
the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, two months after
Washington's death, when there were still living witnesses
of his Masonic life, with whom the speaker had conversed,
supplies us on this point with the following evidence:

"The information received from our brethren who had the
happiness to be members of the Lodge over which he
presided for many years, and of which he died the Master,
furnishes abundant proof of his persevering zeal for the
prosperity of the institution. Constant and punctual in his
attendance, scrupulous in his observance of the regulations
of the Lodge, and solicitous at all times to communicate light
and instruction, he discharged the duties of the chair with
uncommon dignity and intelligence in all the mysteries of our
art."

Incidents like these, interesting as they may be, are not all
that is left to us to exhibit the attachment of Washington to
Masonry. On repeated occasions lie has announced, in his
letters and addresses to various Masonic bodies, his
profound esteem for the character and his just appreciation
of the principles of that institution into which, at so early an
age, he had been admitted. And during his long and
laborious life, no opportunity was presented of which he did
not gladly avail himself to evince that he was a Mason in
heart as well as in name.

Thus, in the year 1797, in reply to an affectionate address
from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, he says: "My
attachment to the Society of which we are members will
dispose me always to contribute my best endeavors to
promote the honor and prosperity of the Craft."

Five years before this letter was written, he had, in a
communication to the same body, expressed his opinion of
the Masonic institution as one whose liberal principles are
founded on the immutable laws of "truth and justice," and
whose "grand object is to promote the happiness of the
human race."

In answer to an address from the Grand Lodge of South
Carolina in 1791, he says: "I recognize, with pleasure, my
relation to the brethren of your Society," and "I shall be
happy, on every occasion, to evince my regard for the
fraternity." And in the same letter he takes occasion to
allude to the Masonic institution as "an association whose
principles lead to purity of morals and are beneficial of
action."

In writing to the officers and members of St. David's Lodge,
at Newport, R. I., in the same year, he uses this language:
"Being persuaded that a just application of the principles on
which the Masonic fraternity is founded must be promotive
of private virtue and public prosperity, I shall always be
happy to advance the interests of the Society, and to be
considered by them as a deserving brother."

And lastly, for we will not further extend these quotations, in
a letter addressed in November, 1798, only thirteen months
before his death, to the Grand Lodge of Maryland, he has
made this explicit declaration of his opinion of the Institution:

"So far as I am acquainted with the doctrines and principles
of Freemasonry, I conceive them to be founded in
benevolence, and to be exercised only for the good of
mankind. I cannot, therefore, upon this ground, withdraw my
approbation from it."

If I have paused thus long upon these memorials of the past,
and if I have borrowed thus largely from these evidences of
Washington's opinions, it is that, so far as this audience at
least is affected, the question of his attachment to our Order
may be forever put to rest, and that the falsehoods and
forgeries of our enemies may be detected by a reference to
the authentic expressions in our favor of the very man whom
they have published to the world as the enemy of
Freemasonry. Henceforth the words which have been
uttered here to-day - to some of you undoubtedly familiar,
but by many now heard for the first time - will stand as
incontrovertible evidence that Washington was, in very truth,
a Mason - in heart, in affection and in allegiance. Not merely
in name and in outward bearing, but one who wrought with
us in our hours of labor, and whose visits to our temple were
prompted by no idle curiosity, but by a warm devotion to the
interests of the Craft, and a philosophical admiration of our
mystic system.

And is it not a noble eulogy of our institution that it should
have numbered among its faithful disciples one so stainless
in morals, so devout in religion, a patriot so pure, a
statesman so virtuous, that his life was the admiration of the
world - his death, the desolation of his country?

There is, indeed, in the whole pervading spirit of
Freemasonry something of that "beauty of holiness" which
must have been congenial to the character of such a man as
he. His heart was irresistibly drawn to it by the purity of its
principles, and the sublime beneficence of its design. He
could not but love, because it was holy, and he could not but
admire it, because it was intellectual.

Though I will not undertake to say that Washington was
indebted for any of those beautiful traits which adorned his
character, to the influence of Masonic teaching (because I
know that he derived them from a diviner school), yet there
was undoubtedly such a similarity in the most prominent
virtues that illustrated his life to those which constitute the
very ground work of the Masonic system, as must have
readily won from him respect and esteem for our institution.

Unfaltering Trust in God - an humble dependence on the
wisdom and power of the Supreme Controller of the
Universe - is the first as well as the most indispensable
moral qualification of every candidate for our mystic rites.
And this virtue, the foundation and suggester of every other,
was a distinguishing feature in the religious constitution of
Washington. In all his private and public letters, in his
official correspondence with the government, and in his
orders to the army, this firm reliance-this trustful
dependence on Divine Providence is prominently and
frequently referred to as though it were a topic on which he
could not too often dilate.

Of Charity, which has been aptly called the cap-stone of the
Masonic edifice, and which, like the virtue already spoken
of, is taught in the most important ceremonies of initiation,
Washington was an illustrious example. Throughout his life
he sought rather for opportunities of discharging the claims
of his virtue than for apologies for its neglect, and he
uniformly acted whenever the poor and the deserving were
presented to his notice under the influence of that great
doctrine of our Order, which teaches us "to soothe the
unhappy; to sympathize with their misfortunes; to
compassionate their miseries, and to restore peace to their
troubled minds."

And again, Brotherly Love, that sublime principle of
philanthropy, by which, as it is defined in our ritual, "we are
taught to regard the whole human species as one family; the
high and low, the rich and poor; who, as created by one
Almighty Parent, are to aid, support and protect each other"
- was admirably exemplified in his humanity to the prisoner,
his condescension to his inferiors, his warm friendship, his
general benevolence, and his uniform urbanity and
gentleness of manner to all who approached him. His was
indeed the character to win kindness from an enemy, or to
secure fidelity in a friend.

The Cardinal Virtues, too, so beautifully inculcated in the
lectures of our system, were eminently prominent in the
character of our beloved brother. And when the neophyte of
our order, standing before the Pedestal of the East, is
receiving from the Master of the Lodge those deeply
significant symbols by which these virtues are to be
impressed upon his mind and heart, I know not where better
the teacher could seek for a bright example of Temperance
than in him who ever placed a due restraint upon the
passions of his humanity, and whose mind was thus
proverbially freed from the allurements of vice - or of
Fortitude, than in him whose noble purposes of soul enabled
him to undergo for the good of his country every peril, pain
and danger that beset his path - or of Prudence, than in him
whose whole life was regulated by the dictates of reason
and who was not more a Fabius in the field than he was a
Solon in the cabinet - or of justice, than in him who, in the
administration of both private and public affairs, always
accorded to every man his just due, without distinction of
rank or person.

And lastly, as to that other great Masonic virtue, Truth, the
"divine attribute," which, as Masons, we are taught
constantly to contemplate, and by which we are directed to
regulate our conduct - where or when lived the man who,
from his very infancy, was more influenced than he by this
holy principle; or of whom we might more truthfully say that
his soul was its throne - his whole life its active
embodiment?

But why extend the catalogue, or why protract this eulogium
of him whom now to praise were indeed "to paint the lily or
to gild refined gold." If on the tomb of the great architect of
St. Paul's, lying beneath the magnificent dome of that proud
temple which his own genius had created, it was thought all
sufficient to inscribe this epitaph: "If you would seek his
monument, look around!" - may we not, viewing this goodly
audience and this large assemblage of the members of a
mystic fraternity, offering up the holocaust of their whole
heart's veneration - and that, too, not here alone, but in all
the widely separated segments of this vast empire - in the
North, in the South, in the East, and the West - all animated
by one common feeling of joyous exultation that the most
loved and honored of our might dead - was with us and of us
- bound willingly and cheerfully to himself in our bond of
fraternity - looking thus at all that is around us, in this public
display, and all that is in us and about us, in the sentiment of
honest pride, that as Masons warms and animates us - may
we not point to this day and to these services as a
"monument more perennial than brass" of our own - our
venerated brother.

The fact that Washington was an active and devoted
member of our fraternity is in itself a source to us of
gratulation, because it furnishes unanswerable testimony
(as one of the ablest of our opponents has candidly
admitted) that "there is nothing in the institution at war with
our duties as patriots, men and Christians." But, while we
thus peculiarly honor the greatest man of his age, and
assert that in uniting with us he vindicated by his own virtue
the purity of his principles, we may be permitted to indulge
in the consoling consciousness that such a vindication was
not altogether wanting; but that both before and since the
connection of Washington with the Craft the history of
Freemasonry has presented a catalogue of glorious names
inscribed upon its proud escutcheon. It is indeed with truth
that the ritual of our Order declares to each initiate that "the
greatest and best of men in all ages have been encouragers
and promoters of the art, and have never deemed it
derogatory to their dignity to level themselves with the
fraternity, to extend their privileges and to patronize their
assemblies." Without directing our researches into that
remote antiquity whose consideration would involve us in
too elaborate an inquiry, I may be permitted to remind the
scholar and the antiquary that during the medieval ages the
art of ecclesiastical architecture was carried by the
Freemasons to that state of classic beauty and scientific
perfection that has never since been equaled by the builders
of succeeding times - that the invention and the most
gorgeous examples of the pointed gothic are attributable to
our Masonic ancestors - and that throughout the whole of
Europe, from the south of Italy to the north of Scotland,
cathedrals, abbeys and churches lift their tall and graceful
spires as monuments of the skill and ingenuity of the
fraternity - or in their magnificent ruins, still "beautiful in
death," continue to extort the admiration of modern taste or
to defy the rivalry of the modern art.

It was then that Popes and Bishops, Kings and Nobles,
lavished their patronage on our Order, and vied with each
other in the protection and encouragement of the institution.
And although at a subsequent period the church, from
motives into whose character I will not now stop to inquire,
withdrew its friendly countenance, and in still later years
commenced a series of unsuccessful persecutions, many
nothwithstanding, of the good and wise, the great and the
powerful in every age and country, have been found among
the disciples of our mystic school.

It is indeed with somewhat more than ordinary pride and
gratulation that we claim as our brethren, among a host of
others, such men as Sir Christopher Wren, the builder of St.
Paul's - and Sir Thomas Gresham, the founder of the Royal
Exchange, the princely gift to London of one of London's
merchant princes - and Elias Ashmole, one of the most
learned of English antiquarians - and Helvetius, the
profound philosopher and mighty thinker - and Lalande, the
celebrated astronomer of France - and Goethe and Schiller,
the immortal masters of German poesy - and Sir Walter
Scott, the great magician of the North - and Horsely, the
distinguished Bishop of Rochester, who boldly stood up in
the British Parliament to defend, when assailed, that
fraternity of which he proudly announced himself to be a
member - and Sir William Follet, the learned and exemplary
lawyer and the late Attorney General of England, who did
not hesitate to declare his attachment to our institution, and
to assign, as a reason for that attachment, "the kindly
sympathy and widespread benevolence and cordial love" its
system created.

And the potentates of earth have knelt at our altar and
breathed forth our vows. Frederick the Great of Prussia, and
George IV of England, with all his uncles and brothers, and
Oscar of Sweden, and Christian of Denmark, and Ernest of
Hanover, may be named among the many kings and princes
who have not only been the patrons, but the disciples of our
art.

And Napoleon, with every marshal and general of
Napoleon's camp; and Nelson and Wellington, whose ashes
are not yet inured, and Collingwood and Napier, and every
distinguished leader of England's army and navy, have worn
the Mason's badge, and learned the Mason's sign.

In our own country the roll of distinguished Masons is not
less honorable to the fraternity. In the revolutionary war all
the generals of the American army, both the children of our
own soil and those noble and kindred spirits who came from
France and Germany and Poland to assist us, were bound
together, not only by the glorious bond of common struggle,
but by the additional cords of Masonic fraternity. And when
in after days, La Fayette, that patriot of two hemispheres,
had returned to the home from which for our cause, he had
so long been an exile, he could find no more appropriate
token of his grateful recollection to convey to Washington,
his venerated father in arms, than a Mason's scarf and a
Mason's apron, and which, wrought by Madam La Fayette, a
Mason's wife, were long treasured and worn by him to whom
they were presented, and are now preserved as sacred
relics by the Lodge at Alexandria.

In civil life we claim an equally noble catalogue. More than
fifty of the signers of the Declaration of Independence,
several of our Presidents and judges, and many of our most
distinguished statesmen, have been initiated into the rites of
Masonry.

Franklin, the chief of our philosophers, and Griswold, one of
the most pious of our prelates, and Clinton, the purest of our
patriots, showed by their steadfast attachment to our
institution their just appreciation of its principles; and Henry
Clay, that man of immoral mind, whose death his country is
still lamenting, is recorded in our annals as a Mason of
unfaltering devotion, who, years ago, sacrificed the
aspirations of ambition to his love of the Craft and refused a
nomination for the Presidency by what was then supposed
to be a powerful party, when the price of his support was to
be a renunciation of Freemasonry.

To men, to minds, to hearts, like these coming up in their
devotions to our altars from all times and from all countries,
Masonry may proudly point, as Cornelia did of old to her
children and say, indeed with truth, "These - these are my
jewels."

One hundred years have elapsed since George Washington
knelt at the sacred altar of Masonry, as an humble thirster
after knowledge, and then and there imposed upon himself
those solemn vows of obedience, and fidelity, and fraternity,
which entitled him to the reception of our mystic light. A
century has, since then, been irrevocably absorbed in the
measureless abyss of time - and a century, how full of
wonderful events. How many old empires have passed
away, and how many new ones have been ushered into
existence - how many dynasties of kings and Kaisers have
been blotted from the herald book of history, and how many
others have been inscribed upon its pages of mundane
glory! How many of the wise and the good, the noble and
the great, have drifted in the shattered bark of life to the
"shores where all is dumb!" How in that great century, now
forever gone, has
"Man put forth
His pomp, his pride, his skill,
And arts that made fire, flood and earth,
The vassals of his will."
How many hearts that then beat with all the hopes of youth,
or with all the ambition of age, have ceased to pulsate - and
all their throbs of love and joy, or hate and grief, been stilled
in the silence of the tomb! What millions of that busy throng
who then peopled the earth's surface have buried all their
struggles and found a certain rest for all their varied labors
in the grave! What revolutions have there not been in
nations; what changes in art and science; how many old
theories have been proved to be fallacious; how many new
ones invested with truth, since that memorable evening,
when George Washington was initiated into our sacred rites!

And he, too, with all his energy and endurance; with all his
wisdom and purity; with all his power and popularity - even
he has passed away - has gone from us forever, leaving his
glory and his virtues as a legacy to his country.

But time, which has thus drawn into the vortex of its mighty
gulf, the perishable fabrics of man's device, and buried in
one common wreck - the inventors and their inventions - the
players and the stage on which they strutted their "brief
hour," has beaten in vain, with all its rolling billows against
the impregnable rock of Masonry.

Though other things have passed away, that still remains;
now as it has ever been ­ indissoluble ­ immutable - no
landmark subverted-no fragment dissevered from its perfect
mass; its columns still standing in strong support; its lights
still burning with undiminished splendor; its altars still
blazing with their sacred fires; its truth still pure as in the day
of its birthhood; and when the cycle of another century shall
have revolved, and you and I, and all that are elsewhere
meeting on this festival day, shall have gone down to the
dust from whence we sprung - another generation will be
here - again to meet upon a second jubilee, and with like
hopes and joys, and with like words of granulation and songs
of triumph, to celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of
that day which gave to Masonry the noblest of her sons, in
him who was "First in war, first in peace, and first in the
hearts of his countrymen."



Şubat 28, 2009, 09:32:45 öö
Yanıtla #1
  • Ziyaretçi

ALBERT PIKE


Short Talk Bulletin - Vol. I, July. 1923, No.7
Author Unknown

Albert Pike found Freemasonry in a log cabin and left it in a Temple. He was the master genius of Masonry in America, both as scholar and artist.  No other mind of equal power ever toiled so long in the service of the Craft in the New World. No other has left a nobler fame in our annals.  A great American and a great Mason, the life of Pike is a part of the romance of his country. Outside the Craft he was known as a poet, journalist, soldier, jurist, orator, and his ability in so many fields fills one with amazement. Apart from the chief work of his life in Masonry, he merits honor as a philosopher and a scholar. Indeed, he was one of the richest minds of his age, resembling the sages of the ancient world in his appearance and in the quality of his mind. Those who do not know Masonry often think of him as a man whom history passed by and forgot.

Pike was born in Boston, Massachusetts, December 29, 1809, of a family in which are several famous names, such as Nicholas Pike, author of the first arithmetic in America, and the friend of Washington; and Zebulon Pike, the explorer, who gave his name to Pike's Peak.    His father, he tells us, was a shoemaker who worked hard to give his children the benefit of an education; his Mother a woman of great beauty, but somewhat stern in her ideas of rearing a boy.   As a child he saw the festivities at the close of the War with Great Britain, in 1815.  When Albert Pike was four his father moved to Newburyport, and there the boy grew up, attending the schools of the town, and also the academy at Framingham.  At fourteen he was ready for the freshman class at Harvard, but was unable to pay the tuition fees for two years in advance, as was required at that time, and proceeded to educate himself.  Had he been admitted to Harvard he would have been in the class of Oliver Wendell Holmes.

As a lad, Albert Pike was sensitive, high-strung, conscious of power, very shy and easily depressed; but, ambitious and determined to make his place in the world. Always a poet, while teaching school at Fairhaven he wrote a series of poems called "Hymns to the Gods," which he afterward revised and sent to Christofer North, editor of "Blackwood's Magazine," at Edinburg, receiving in reply a letter hailing him as a truly great poet. Had Pike given himself altogether to poetry he would have been one of the greatest of American Poets; but, he seemed not to care for such fame but only for the joy, and sometimes the pain, of writing. Indeed, the real story of his inner life may be traced in his poems, a volume of which was published as early as 1813, in honor of which event his friends gave him a reception.

In a poem called "Fatasma" he pictures himself at that time as a pale-faced boy, wasted by much study, reciting his poems to a crowded room. As his lips move his eyes are fastened on the lovely face and starry eyes of a girl to whom he dared not tell his love, because she was rich and he was poor. No doubt this hopeless love had much to do with his leaving New England to seek his fortune in the West. Anyway, it made him so sore of heart that the word God does not appear in his poetry for several years.

Another reason for going away was the rather stern environment of New England, in which he felt that he could never do and be his best. So, he sings: Weary of fruitless toil he leaves his home, To seek in other climes a fairer fate. Pike left New England in March, 1831, going first to Niagara, and thence, walking nearly all the way, to St. Louis. In August he joined a party of forty traders with ten covered wagons following the old Santa Fe Trail.  He was a powerful man, six feet and two inches tall, finely formed, with dark eyes and fair skin, fleet of foot and sure of shot, able to endure hardship, and greatly admired by the Indians. He spent a year at Santa Fe, the unhappiest months of his life. Friendless, homesick, haunted by many memories, he poured out his soul in sad-hearted poems in which we see not only the desperate melancholy of the man but the vivid colors of the scenery and life round about him. Shelly was his ideal, Coleridge his inspiration but his own genius was more akin to Bryant than any other of our singers.

What made him most forlorn is told in such lines as these:
Friends washed off by life's ebbing tide, Like sands upon the shifting coasts, The soul's first love another's bride; And other melancholy though. Happily, new scenes, new friends, and new adventures healed his heart, and a new note of joy is added to his rare power of describing the picturesque country in which he was a pilgrim. In 1832, with a trapping party, he went down the Pecos river into the Staked Plains, and then to the headwaters of the Brazos and Red Rivers. It was a perilous journey and he almost died of hunger and thirst, as he has told us in his poem, "Death in the Desert."

After walking five hundred miles he arrived at Fort Smith, Arkansas, friendless, without a dollar, and well-nigh naked. He was soon teaching school in a tiny log cabin near Van Buren, and, tired of wandering, his life began to take root and grow.

Again his pen was busy, writing verses for the "Little Rock Advocate," as well as political articles under the pen name "Casca," which attracted so much notice that Horace Greely reprinted them in the New York Tribune. Soon the whole state was eager to know the genius who signed himself "Casca." Robert Crittenden and Judge Turner rode through the wilderness and found the tall, handsome young man teaching in a log schoolhouse on Little Piney River. Charmed with his modesty and power, they invited him to go to Little Rock as assistant editor of the Advocate. Here ended the winter of his wanderings, and his brilliant summer began among friends who love him and inspired him to do his best.

Pike made an able editor, studying law at night, never sleeping more than five hours a day - which enabled him to do as much work as two men usually do. By 1835 he owned the Advocate, which contained some of his best writing. He delved deep into law, mastering its history, its philosophy; and, once admitted to the bar, his path to success was an open road.  About this time we read a tender poem, "To Mary," showing that other thoughts were busy in his mind. That same year he married Miss Mary Hamilton, a beautiful girl whom he met on a June day at the home of a friend. A few months later appeared this "Prose Sketches and Poems," followed by a longer poem; bold, spirited, and scholarly entitled "Ariel." His poems were printed, for the most part, by his friends as he seemed deaf to the whispers of literary ambition.

In the War with Mexico Pike won fame for his valor in the field of Buena Vista, and he has enshrined that scene in a thrilling poem. After the war he took up the cause of the Indians, whose life and languages fascinated him and who, he felt, were being robbed of their rights. He carried their case to the Supreme Court. to whose Bar he was admitted in 1849, along with Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin. His speech in the case of the Senate Award to the Choctaws is famous, Webster passing high eulogy upon it. Judged by any test, Pike was a great orator, uniting learning with practical acumen, grace with power, and the imperious magnetism which only genius can command.

Pike was made a Master Mason in Western Star Lodge No. 1, Little Rock, Arkansas, July, 1850; and the symbolism of the Craft fascinated him from the first, both as a poet and scholar. Everywhere he saw suggestions, dim intimations, half-revealed and half-concealed ideas which could not have had their origin among the common craft Masons of old. He set himself to study the Order, his enthusiasm keeping pace with his curiosity, in search of the real origin and meaning of its symbols. At last he found that Freemasonry is the Ancient Great Mysteries in disguise, it's simple emblems the repository of the highest wisdom of the Ancient World, to rescue and expound which became more and more his desire and passion.  Here his words: "It began to shape itself to my intellectual vision into something imposing and majestic, solemnly mysterious and grand. It seemed to me like the Pyramids in the grandeur and loneliness, in whose yet undiscovered chambers may be hidden, for the enlightenment of the coming generations, the sacred books of the Egyptians, so long lost to the World; like the Sphinx, half-buried in the sands. In essence, Freemasonry is more ancient than any of the world's living religions. So I came at last to see that its symbolism is its soul."

Thus a great poet saw Freemasonry and sought to renew the luster of its symbols of high and gentle wisdom, making it a great humanizing, educational and spiritual force among men. He saw in it a faith deeper than all creeds, larger than all sects, which, if rediscovered, he believed, would enlighten the world. It was a worthy ambition for any man, and one which Pike, by the very quality of his genius, as well as his tastes, temper and habits of mind, seemed born to fulfill. All this beauty, be it noted, Pike found in the old Blue Lodge - he had not yet advanced to the higher degrees - and to the end of his life the Blue Lodge remained to him a wonder and a joy. There he found universal Masonry, all the higher grades being so many variations on its theme. He did not want Masonry to be a mere social club, but a power for the shaping of character and society.

So far Pike had not even heard of the Scottish Rite, to which he was to give so many years of service. He seems not to have heard of it until 1852, and then, as he tells us, with much the same feeling with which a Puritan might hear of a Buddhist ceremony performed in a Calvinistic church. He imagined that it was not Masonry at all, or else a kind of Masonic atheism. His misunderstanding was due, perhaps, to the bitter rivalry of rites which then prevailed, and which he did so much to heal.

At length he saw that Masonry was one, though its rites are many, and he studied the Scottish Rite, its origin, history, and such ritual as it had at the time, which was rather crude and chaotic, but sufficient to reveal its worth and promise.

The Scottish appeared in America in 1801, at Charleston, South Carolina, derived from a Supreme Council constituted in Berlin in 1786. For its authority it had, in manuscript, a Grand Constitution, framed by the Prussian body - a document which Pike afterwards defended so ably, though toward the end of his life he was led by facts brought out by Gould and others, to modify his earlier position. The Council so established had no subordinate bodies at first, and never very many, in fact, until 1855, a very natural result in a country which, besides having Masonry of its own, regarded the Rite as heresy. None the less Pike entered the Scottish Rite, at Charleston, March 20, 1853, receiving its degrees from the fourth to the thirty-second, and the thirty-third degree in New Orleans, in 1857.

The following year he delivered a lecture in New Orleans, by special request, before the Grand Lodge of Louisiana; his theme being "The Evil Consequences od Schisms and Disputes for Power in Masonry, and of Jealousy and Dissensions Between Masonic Rites" - one of the greatest single Masonic lectures ever delivered, in which may be found the basis of all his Masonic thought and teaching. Masonry, as Pike saw it, is morality founded in faith and taught by symbols. It is not a religion, but a worship in which all good men can unite, its purpose being to benefit mankind physically, socially, and spiritually; by helping men to cultivate freedom, friendship and character. To that end, beyond the facts of faith - the reality of God, the moral law, and the hope of immortality - it does not go.

One is not surprised to learn that Pike was made Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, in 1859.   He at once began to recast the Rite, rewriting its rituals, reshaping its degrees, some of which existed only in skeleton, and clothing them in robes of beauty. To this task he brought all his learning as a scholar, his insight as a poet, and his enthusiasm as a Mason.  He lived in Little Rock, in a stately home overlooking the city, where he kept his vast library and did his work. In the same year, 1859, he was reported dead by mistake, and had the opportunity of reading many eulogies written in his memory. When the mistake was known, his friends celebrated his "return from Hades," as it was called, by a festival.

Alas, then came the measureless woe of Civil War, and Pike cast his lot with the South, and was placed in command of the Indian Territory.  Against his protest the Indian regiments were ordered from the Territory and took part in the Battle of Elkhorn. The battle was a disaster, and some atrocities by Indian Troops, whom he was unable to restrain, cause criticism.  Later, when the Union Army attacked Little Rock the Commanding General, Thomas H. Benton, Grand Master of Masons in Iowa, posted a guard to protect the home of Pike and his Masonic Library. After the War Pike practiced Law for a time in Memphis. In 1868 he moved to Alexandria, Virginia, and in 1870 to Washington.

Again he took up his labors in behalf of Masonry, revising its rituals, and writing those noble lectures into which he gathered the wisdom of the ages - as though his mind were a great dome which caught the echoes of a thousand thinkers. By 1871 the Scottish Rite was influential and widely diffused, due, in part, to the energy and genius of its Commander. In the same year he published "Morals and Dogma," a huge manual for the instruction of the Rite, as much a compilation as a composition, able but ill-arranged, which remains to this day a monument of learning. It ought to be revised, rearranged, and reedited, since it is too valuable to be left in so cumbersome a form, containing as it does much of the best Masonic thinking and writing in our literature. It is studded with flashing insights and memorable sayings, as for example:

Man is accountable for the uprightness of his doctrine, But not for the rightness of it. The free country where intellect and genius rule, will endure.   Where they serve, and other influences govern, its life is short.  When the state begins to feed part of the people, it prepares all to be slaves. Deeds are greater than words.  They have a life, mute but undeniable, and they grow. They people the emptiness of Time. Nothing is really small.  Every bird that flies carries a thread of the infinite in its claws.  Sorrow is the dog of that unknown Shepherd who guides the flock of men.  Life has its ills, but it is not all evil. If life is worthless, so is immortality.  Our business is not to be better than others, but to be better than ourselves.

For all his strength and learning, Pike was ever a sensitive,
beauty-loving soul, touched by the brevity and sadness of life, which breathe in his poems. His best known poem, but by no means his greatest, was written in 1872 entitled, "Every Year," in which this note of melancholy is heard:

Life is a count of losses, Every year;

For the weak are heavier crosses, Every year;

Lost springs with sobs replying,

Unto weary Autumn's sighing,
While those we love are dying,  Every year.

To the past go more dead faces, Every year;
As the loved leave vacant places, Every year;
Everywhere the sad eyes meet us,

In the evening's dusk they greet us,
And to come to them entreat us, Every year.

But the truer life draws nigher, Every year;
And the morning star climbs higher, Every year;
Earth's hold on us grows slighter,

And the heavy burden lighter,
And the Dawn Immortal brighter, Every year.

Death often pressed the cup of sorrow to his lips.  Three of his children died in infancy. His first son was drowned; his second, an officer, was killed in battle. His eldest daughter died in 1869, and the death of his wife was the theme of a melting poem, "The Widowed Heart." His tributes to his friends in the Fraternity, as one by one they passed away, were memorable for their tenderness and simple
faith. Nothing could shake his childlike trust in the veiled kindness of the Father of Men; and despite many clouds, "Hope still with purple flushed his sky."

In his lonely later years, Pike betook himself more and more to his studies, building a city of the mind for inward consolation and shelter.  He mastered many languages - Sanskrit, Hebrew, old Samarian, Persian - seeking what each had to tell of beauty and of truth. He left in the library of the House of the Temple fifteen large manuscript volumes,
translations of the sacred books of the East, all written with an old-fashioned quill, in a tiny flowing hand, without blot or erasure. There he held court and received his friends amid the birds and flowers he loved so well. He was companionable, abounding in friendship, brilliant in conversation, his long white hair lending him an air of majesty, his face blushing like a child's at merited praise, simple. kindly, lovable. So death found him in April, 1891, fulfilling his own lines written as a boy:

So I, who sing, shall die,
Worn thin and pale, by care and sorrow;
And, fainting. with a soft unconscious sigh,
Bid unto this poor body that I borrow,
A long good-by - tomorrow
To enjoy, I hope, eternal spring in high
Beyond the sky.

So passed Pike. No purer, nobler man has stood at the Altar of Freemasonry or left his story in our traditions.  He was the most eminent Mason in the world, alike for his high rank, his rich culture, and his enduring service.  Nor will our Craft ever permit to grow dim the memory of that stately, wise, and gracious teacher - a Mason to whom the world was a Temple, a poet to whom the world was a song.


Şubat 28, 2009, 09:38:36 öö
Yanıtla #2
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Brother Benjamin Franklin


Benjamin Franklin, born January 17, 1706, was the 10th son, and 15th child, of 17 children in the Josiah Franklin family. Josiah was a soap and candlemaker, who lived in Boston, Massachusetts with his second wife, Abiah Folger. Although Franklin learned to read at an early age, he only attended grammar school for two years. By the time he was 10 years old, Franklin was working for his father. However, he did not enjoy the candlemaking profession, and two years later, Franklin was apprenticed to his brother James, a printer.

For five years, Franklin sought to master the printers' trade. During this time, he also strove to improve his education. Franklin read numerous classics and perfected his writing style. One night, Franklin slipped a letter, signed "Silence Dogood," under the door of his brother's newspaper, the New England Courant. That letter and the next 13 written by Franklin were published anonymously. The essays were widely read and acclaimed for their satire.

After a quarrel with his brother in 1723, Franklin left Boston for Philadelphia, where he again worked in the printing industry. He established a friendship with the Pennsylvania governor, Sir William Keith, and at Keith's suggestion, Franklin decided to go into business for himself. Keith offered to arrange letters of credit and introduction for Franklin's trip to London to purchase equipment. Unfortunately, Keith proved unreliable, and Franklin arrived in London with no means. However, he quickly found employment in two of London's largest printing houses, and after two years, earned enough money to return to America.

Franklin returned to Philadelphia in 1726 and resumed his trade. By 1730, Franklin had his own business. That same year, he married Deborah Read, a woman he met before his trip to England. Together they had a son, who died at four years of age; and a daughter, who survived them both.

Franklin's business ventures included the purchase of the Pennsylvania Gazette, which, after his improvement, was considered one of the best colonial newspapers; Poor Richard's Almanac, written under the pseudonym, Richard Saunders, and published from 1732 to 1757; and the printing of Pennsylvania's paper currency. In 1731, Franklin founded what is considered the first public library. During the next several years, Franklin was instrumental in establishing the first fire department, a police force, and the Academy of Philadelphia, which became the University of Pennsylvania. Around 1744, Franklin invented a stove which reduced excessive chimney smoke. The Franklin stove is still in use today.

In the 1740's, Franklin began experimenting with electricity, which led to the invention of the lightning rod. By 1748, Franklin had sold his printing business to devote himself to his scientific experiments. His famous electricity experiment, which included flying a kite during a lightning storm took place in 1752. In addition to his science projects, Franklin was elected to the Pennsylvania assembly and held the post for 14 years. In 1753, he was appointed deputy postmaster general. The following year, Franklin became a Pennsylvania delegate to the intercolonial congress, which met in Albany. His suggestion to unite the colonies as a defense against the French and natives was considered premature and rejected.

In 1757, Franklin was sent to England to petition the king for the right to levy taxes. He remained in England for the next five years, as the representative of the American colonies. Franklin returned to England in 1764 as an agent of Pennsylvania, to negotiate a new charter. He was able to secure the repeal of the Stamp Act, but Parliament continued to levy taxes on the colonies. In 1775, with war seemingly inevitable, Franklin returned to America. Shortly thereafter, he was made a member of the Second Continental Congress and helped draft the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson supposed stated that the only reason Franklin didn't write the entire Declaration was because he would include too many jokes.

  In December, 1776, Franklin, age 71, traveled to France to successfully negotiate a treaty of commerce and defensive alliance. He remained in France for nine years, working on trade treaties. Franklin became a hero to the French, and his company was sought by diplomats and nobility. He was honored by Louis XVI, and his portrait was placed on everything from chamber pots to snuff boxes.

Franklin returned to Philadelphia in 1785. Two years later, he became a member of the Constitutional Convention. Franklin was bedridden during the final year of his life and died on April 17, 1790. As one of his final public acts, he signed a petition to the U.S. Congress urging the abolition of slavery, just two months before his death.



Şubat 28, 2009, 09:39:35 öö
Yanıtla #3
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PAUL REVERE

Short Talk Bulletin - Vol.I    January, 1923    No.1
by:  Unknown

"Listen my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere"

These opening lines of Longfellow's poem, and the  thrilling story which follows, have fascinated us for many  years.  History has recorded the details of the famous ride,  and the incidents connected with it; but Masons know little  about Paul Revere that arouses enthusiasm. 

It is my purpose  tonight to bring out the important facts regarding him and  to show the setting which brings our patriot brother closer  to us.  The forefathers of Paul Revere were Huguenots, that  brave sect of French Protestants who for many years defied  Rome and the King of France.

The Huguenots maintained their  identity and churches in spite of edicts and persecutions.   In 1540, six of their villages were completely destroyed and  the inhabitants driven out, ravaged and murdered at the  behest of the King.  On August 24, 1572, the Huguenots were  the victims of one of the most despicable massacres that  ever took place - the Massacre of St. Bartholomew - in which  more than six thousand of them were sought out in Paris and  murdered in a human hunt lasting three days.  The waters of the Seine ran red with blood; the bodies of the victims were  so numerous that the current was unable to carry them away;  and for many miles the banks of the river were covered with  their remains.

When the news of the massacre reached Rome a  three day's celebration was ordered by the ecclesiastical authorities.  King Charles of France, who, together with his mother, had been influenced by Church leaders to order the  massacre, was congratulated on the service thus performed  for the Holy Roman Church. The persecutions to which the Huguenots were subjected  caused more than four hundred thousand French to leave the  country and settle elsewhere.

Among those who fled was  Simon de Revoire, who moved to the Island of Guernsey in the  English Channel.  Simon's brother Isaac, being a man with a  large family, stayed on in a remote part of France, later  sending one of his sons, Apollo de Revoire, to his Uncle  Simon, at the age of thirteen.  After a time his uncle sent  the Nephew to Boston, where he was apprenticed to a  Goldsmith.  Here he learned the secrets of the trade, and after a visit to Guernsey, he returned to America with the  intention of making this country his home.  His first step  was to change his name to new one more easily pronounced by his  english speaking neighbors, and he was henceforth known as  Mr. Paul Revere.

Establishing himself in business as a gold and  silversmith, Revere married Miss Deborah Hitchborn in 1729.  Twelve children were born of this union. The Paul Revere we are discussing tonight was the third of these, born January 8, 1735.We learn that Revere received his education at the  famous old "North Grammar School" kept by Master John Tileson, who taught school in Boston for eighty years.  He  was especially famed for his skill in penmanship.

Doubtless  we have here the foundation for one of Revere's later activities - engraved lettering.  Young Paul Revere followed in his father's footsteps as  a Gold and Silversmith.   Specimens of his work are still  treasured to this day in some old New England families, and  give ample evidence of his artistic skill.  Inspired by long experience in embellishing the articles manufactured by him,  Revere undertook the art of engraving on copper, with marked  success.   Books of the 17th and 18th centuries show that this was a popular form of illustrating.

Many of Revere's  pictures were political caricatures and cartoons; and among  the best of his works is an engraving depicting the Boston  Massacre, which was extensively copied in Europe. He also  designed bookplates, and in later years furnished the  engravings from which Masonic certificates were made. The outbreak of the French and Indian Wars in 1756   prompted him to enlist in the British Colonial service.   Commissioned a second lieutenant of artillery by Governor  Sterling, he participated in the expedition against Crown  Point under the command of General John Winslow.  Here he received the military training which enabled him to give  excellent service in later years as major, lieutenant- colonel, and colonel of artillery in the armed forces of  Massachusetts.

Upon his return from military service, Revere was  married in 1757 to Miss Sarah Orne of Boston.  Seven  children were born of this union.  After sixteen years of  wedded life, the faithful wife died, leaving Revere a widower at 38 with a large family on his hands, a business  to look after and political events engrossing his attention.  To quote Revere, he found his household "In sore need of a   Mother," and within a short time after the death of his  first wife and infant child, he married Miss Rachel Walker,  ten years his junior.  Eight children were added to the six  of his first marriage.

The Stamp Act of 1765 was one of the causes of the  American Revolution. This act provided for a tax on certain  articles imported by the colonies. The imposition of this  tax was not so objectionable in itself to the colonists as the fact that they had no voice in the matter.  This right, they felt, belonged to them under the Magna Carta, the  foundation of English Liberty.  The opponents of the act formed themselves into bands known as the Sons of Liberty.   Meetings were conducted with great secrecy, those in Boston being ultimately held at the Green Dragon Tavern.  It is of  more than passing interest to note that St. Andrew's Lodge, many of whose members participated in the stirring events of the Revolution, purchased this tavern March 31,1864.

Among the Massachusetts leaders of the Sons of Liberty were Samuel Adams and John Hancock, to whom Revere attached himself.  Not gifted with speech as were his associates, he nevertheless reached the public through his clever cartoons on political events of the day.  He also carried secret dispatches to the leaders of the Sons of Liberty in New York  and Philadelphia; and his unquestioned integrity and excellent memory served the Colonists well when written word could not be safely conveyed.

In 1766 the Stamp Act was repealed, except as to tea,  and this served to quiet matters somewhat for a time; but  the determination of King George III to force the tea tax  upon his colonists made them all the more determined to  resist the measure.  Cargoes of tea were shipped and landed under protest.  Merchants throughout the colonies agreed not  to handle the commodity, and very little was sold, such as did trickle into the channels of trade being handled by Troy   shopkeepers. The arrival of the Dartmouth on November 28, 1773,  caused the Sons of Liberty to call a mass meeting which was  attended by over seven thousand people.  Resolutions were  passed urging that the tea not be landed, and that it be sent back to England in the same ships.  Guards were placed to make sure that the tea was not brought in  surreptitiously.  Another meeting was called on the 30th, at which the officers of two additional ships which had arrived in the meantime were made to promise that they would leave  the harbor without unloading their tea cargoes.

Governor Hutchinson, however, interfered with this solution of the   problem by forbidding the issuance of clearance papers until  the cargoes should be discharged.  The rest of the story has been recorded in history's pages. A group of patriots, disguised as Mohawk Indians, boarded the vessels, and destroyed three hundred and forty-two chests of tea valued at $90,000.

It has been asserted by many writers that the Freemasons of the colony had a large part in the destruction of the tea cargoes.  Definite information is not available, but contemporaneous records of unimpeachable character lead us to believe that there is some truth in the assertions.  The records of Saint Andrew's Lodge, of which Paul Revere  was a member, show that on the night of November 30th, 1773  - the night for the annual election of officers - only seven  members were present.  No election was held, and the  presence of only seven members given as the reason according to the entries in the lodge minutes.

As a result of the Tea Party, laws were passed in  Parliament closing the port of Boston.  These measures only  served to inflame the people. Revere was soon in the saddle  again, carrying messages to enlist the support of the  southern provinces in behalf of Massachusetts.  The  Massachusetts House of Representatives reorganized under the  name of the "The Provincial Congress" and voted to enroll  twelve thousand Minute Men.  Revere made further trips  south, and in December, 1773, carried news north to
Portsmouth, N.H., that the importation of military stores  had been forbidden by Parliament, and that a large garrison  was coming to occupy Fort William and Mary at the entrance  to the harbor.  The Sons of Liberty thereupon surprised the  fort and removed upwards of one hundred barrels of powder  and fifteen cannon.

Governor Gage of Massachusetts became alarmed at these  aggressive acts of the colonists.  Outlying stores of  gunpowder and arms were called in, and every precaution  taken to guard against further surprises.  The Sons of  Liberty soon learned that the British were preparing for  action.  On April 18, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren, Grand Master  of Massachusetts, who was to give his life for his country  two months later at the battle of Bunker Hill, learned that  troops were gathering on Boston Common.  Fearing for the  safety of Samuel Adams and John Hancock, Warren sent for  Revere and begged him to go to Lexington to warn these men.  Revere had been to Lexington a few days before, and gravely  doubted the possibility of getting through the lines in  event the enemy should form, had arranged, by a show of  lanterns, to indicate the route taken by the British. Revere then made the ride which has preserved his name to  posterity, as graphically told with certain poetic license  by Longfellow.

Paul Revere's ride, however, was not the end of his  activities in the patriot cause.   After the British had  vacated Boston, being harassed by Washington's troops, it  was found that the cannon had been disabled by the removal  of the carriages.  Revere invented a new type, and the guns were again placed in commission.  In July, 1776, Revere was commissioned an officer in a  new regiment raised for the defense of the town and harbor  of Boston.  His important duties and services ultimately won  him the rank of colonel of artillery.  Adverse conditions made his position a difficult one, but he steadfastly fulfilled his duties and made the best of a bad situation.   In 1779 he participated in a expedition against the British  in what is now Maine. Through mismanagement on the part of  some military and naval commanders, the expedition was a  failure, and the soldiers made their way back to Boston in scattered groups.

In addition to his military service, Revere was called  upon in 1775 to engrave the currency of the Colony of  Massachusetts.  In 1776 he engaged in the manufacture of  gunpowder, sorely needed by the American Forces, and was  employed to oversee the casting of cannon.  The war services of Paul Revere did not conclude his service to the new nation.  He contributed to the economic welfare of his community by establishing an iron foundry, and in 1792 began casting church bells, many of which are  still in existence.  A "Hardware" store - as jeweler's shops were called in those days - established by him in 1783, enabled him to dispose of the silverware which he continued  to manufacture.  He invented a process for treating copper  which enabled him to hammer and roll it while hot, a process of great value in shipbuilding.  In 1800 he established a  foundry for rolling copper in large sheets.  This was such an important industry that the government of the United States loaned him $10,000, to be repaid in the form of sheet  copper.  This was the first copper rolling mill in the  country, and dispensed with the necessity which had existed  before of importing this commodity from England.  Robert Fulton's steam engines were equipped with copper boilers made from Revere's plates.  Revere also covered the bottom of the Frigate "Constitution" - better known as "Old  Ironsides" - with sheet copper.

The business was  incorporated in 1828 as the Revere Copper Company, and is still conducted in Canton, Mass. Revere's life, and the services he rendered to the   country, are sufficient in themselves to endear him to every patriotic American.  Yet, we, as Masons, can claim a still  closer tie.  Paul Revere was made a Mason in Saint Andrew's  Lodge on September 4, 1760, being the first Entered Apprentice to receive that work in this body.  In 1770 he  became its Master; in 1783, when St, Andrew's Lodge was  divided on the question of   remaining under the Grand Lodge  of Scotland, from which body it had received its Charter  dated November 30, 1756; or affiliating with the new Grand  Lodge of Massachusetts, he was one of the twenty-three who  voted to withdraw from the old relationship.  A new lodge  was formed in September, 1784, under the name of Rising  States Lodge, and Revere was elected its Master. 

He made the jewels for this lodge, and engraved and printed certificates of membership and notices.  He served as Grand  Master of Massachusetts from 1795 to 1797, inclusive, assisting Governor Samuel Adams in laying the corner stone of the Massachusetts State House, July 4, 1795, on which  occasion he delivered a stirring address. His charities were quiet and unostentatious.  He  founded the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association  in 1795, and served as its president from its founding until 1799, when de declined any further office, although continuing his interest.  His domestic life was peaceable and happy.  The decease of his second wife in 1815 left him a lonely old man.   Revere himself "Passed Out With the Tide" on May 10, 1818,  and was buried in Granary Burial Ground where his old  friends, Hancock and Adams, had preceded him.  Quiet, unassuming, without great gifts as an orator or  statesman, he nevertheless engraved his name on that which is far more enduring than the metals of his Craft - the pages of his country's history and the hearts of his country's citizens.  Behind him was the martyrdom of his Huguenot ancestors; around him was the inspiration of Freemasonry's ideals; within his vision of the future was a  great representative government of a free people wherein religious liberty should be both a fundamental principle and  an inalienable right.  And so he served with the talent that  he had in the humbler spheres of everyday life as well as in  the greater and more spectacular crisis in the life of his commonwealth.

Unselfish service was his ambition and his  watchword, his biography and his epitaph. Freemasonry and  America honor most the Paul reveres of the nation, who from  day to day, in every time of history and walk of life, thoughtfully and patriotically serve mankind. If, however, we are to come to the fullest possible  realization of what  the life of a man like Paul Revere means  to his country and to his Fraternity, we must go further  than a mere personal estimate.   No matter how effective his  life may be in arousing our pride and stimulating our efforts, we must still take one more step.  It will not do  merely to judge a life like his according to the standards  of this day.  We must realize the results of his work in the  light of the conditions which he faced.

I wonder if we can visualize the Colonial period of  this country's history?   The scattered settlements, the log  cabins grouped about stockades out in the wilderness, the  wide distances separating the towns and villages, and the  uninhabited, waste districts between; the bridle paths over  the mountains, the narrow. almost impassable roads with the lumbering stage coaches passing up and down at irregular and  infrequent intervals; a time when it cost a shilling and  more to carry a letter; a  country without telegraph, without typewriter, without railroad - and a people who could not  even dream of such things as these.

Even so the picture is not complete.  We must picture a  country possessed of very few schools, and what schools that  were open, were open only to the sons of the rich.   Intelligence and idealism were impossible for the poor boy,  except as he learned them at the family altar.  The minds of the common people were on the same low, deadly level which  prevailed among the lower classes of Europe.   Under such circumstances can we not see how the superior mind would   revolt against these sordid conditions?  First would come the passion for liberty, and following that, an intense determination that these conditions must be bettered. Then we are able to recreate the influence of the ancestry of a man like Revere?  Many a long evening was spent around an open fireplace, with perhaps a tallow dip  candle or two burning dimly on the mantle, while the head of the household told of the tragedy of his flight from the persecutions inflicted upon his people.

What would the  effect of such a recital be upon a youth like Paul Revere?   Can we realize how these traditions would influence his  mind, how his boyish imagination would be kindled and how  his appreciation of the liberty which the Colonists were trying to work out for themselves in the new world would grow into a veritable passion for freedom?  As he grew older he would see the stalwart pioneers around him trying to plant here a  new type of civilization, an institution which  would insure to every man the utmost of personal liberty which he could expect without infringing upon the rights of  others. Can we not see how a youth raised in this atmosphere would be inspired with a desire to promote and  further the development of these institutions? With stories  of murder and oppression of his people firing his youthful imagination, can we not see that as he grew into manhood his  mind would be quickened?  Can we not understand how any  example of oppression, however slight, would arouse the  fighting instincts, and tyrannical injustice become as it  were a baptism of patriotism, dedicated to the new home which his troubled soul was finding in company with his  fellow refugees? We must also realize that an atmosphere very like this   existed all through the colonies.  It was justified, my  brothers; these hardy pioneers had fled the Old World where  free thought, free speech and free Conscience did not exist.  They had come away with hideous memories of their friends and neighbors tortured and hung for the most trivial crimes.

Years of tragedy had taught them the sacrifices that men  make who stand up for what they  believe, for opinion's sake. It is only when we come to appreciate all of this  background that we can understand the fierce resentment in  the hearts of the colonial leaders when tea profiteers  sought to impose their burdens of taxation, or religious  bigots tried to fasten upon the minds of the people narrow ideas the trend of which would be to bring about a union of Church and State.  We must picture Paul Revere as one of the central figures in a great drama like this, staged in a wilderness, with enemies both within and without; if we could appreciate what the service of the colonial pioneer  really was.   To us in our modern day the accomplishment of these fearless men may not loom so large, but in their day  and time they performed wonders when they gave their passion for liberty and brotherhood free reign and started in to establish a government by, for and of the people.

Well may we ask, how could they do it?  What gave them their breadth of vision?  And it is in this primitive setting that we find the answer. The forces of necessity drove them, persecution was behind them and if they did not build their new Temple of Liberty aright, persecution and failure lay before them.  In the face of a need like this, they won; they accomplished great things for humanity.  They  planted the seeds of brotherhood in the fallow ground of a  new homeland and we, who are their posterity are reaping the reward. This it is which places upon us the responsibility for  doing in our day what they did in theirs.  The conditions  which we have to meet are different from theirs.  The  problems which we have to solve under the complex conditions  of modern civilization would look hopeless to them. My Brethren, they would be hopeless to us did we not have their  examples before us and were we not familiar with the  principles which they applied to their problems in those tempestuous days.  We have the same principle, we have the  same Masonic atmosphere of brotherhood and we have an even greater opportunity than they had to put these principles  into practice and make them live among men today.  Ours is the task to maintain the freedom of speech and conscience  which they established for us and to see to it that  Freemasonry, grown now to a fraternity of men far greater in number than all the people who lived in the thirteen  colonies, shall stand foursquare for law and order, for the  right to think and worship as we please, and for the perpetuation of those priceless privileges which the Paul  Reveres of early America wrought out of their needs and the conditions which faced them, because they had the Masonic vision, the Masonic fervency and the Masonic zeal to build  after the Masonic pattern.


Şubat 28, 2009, 09:42:09 öö
Yanıtla #4
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ROBERT  BURNS

Short Talk Bulletin -  Vol. I,  June, 1923  No.6
by: Unknown
 

Freemasonry has no greater name than Robert Burns.  If there are those who question his investiture as Poet Laureate of the Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, owing to the absence of certain documentary evidence, no one denies that he was, and is, the greatest poet of Freemasonry, the singer alike of its faith and its friendship, its philosophy and its fun, its passion and its prophecy.  Nay, more; he was the Laureate, of the hopes and dreams of the lowly of every land.

Higher tribute there is none for any man than to say, justly, that the world is gentler and more joyous for his having lived; and that may be truly said of Robert Burns, whose very name is an emblem of pity, joy, and the magnetism of Brotherly Love.  It is therefore that men love Burns, as much for his weakness as for his strength, and all the more because he was such an unveneered human being.  It is given to but few men thus to live in the hearts of their fellows; and today, from Ayr to Sidney, from Chicago to Calcutta, the memory of Burns is not only a fragrance, but a living force uniting men of many lands into a fellowship of Liberty Justice and Charity."The Memory of Burns!" cried Emerson, "I am afraid Heaven and earth have taken too good care of it to leave anything to say.  The west winds are murmuring it.   Open the windows behind you and hearken to the incoming tide, what the waves say of it.  The doves perching on the eaves of a stone chapel opposite may know something about it.  The Memory of Burns - every man's, every boy's, every girl's head carries snatches of his songs, and  they say them by heart; and what is strangest of all, never learned them from a book, but from mouth to mouth.  They are the property and the solace of mankind!"

 
 
In a tiny two-roomed cottage, clay-built and thatch-roofed, on the banks of the Doon, in the district of Kyle, two miles south of the town of Ayr, in Scotland, Robert Burns was born on January 25th, 1759.  It was a peasant  home, such as he afterward described in "The Cotter's Saturday Night," in which poverty was consecrated by piety, where the father was a priest of  faith and the mother a guardian angel of the holy things of life.  So far from as schools were concerned, his education was limited to grammar, writing and arithmetic.  Later he picked up a little Latin, a smattering of French, and some knowledge of English and classic poets.  But he knew the Book of Nature, leaf by leaf, and the strange scroll of the Human Heart, as only the swift insight of genius can read them. At the age of twenty-two Burns was initiated into the Mysteries of Freemasonry, in St. David's Lodge at Tarbolton, July 4th, 1781.


Lockhart says that he was introduced to the Lodge by John Rankine.  The minute recording his initiation reads:  "Sederunt for July 4th.  Robert Burns in Lochly was entered an Apprentice.  Jo Norman, Master."  The second and third degrees were conferred on the same evening, in the month of October following his initiation.  Six years later he was made a Knights Templar as well as a Royal Arch Mason in Eyemouth, as under the old Regime the two were always given together.  By this time he had won some fame as a poet, and the higher degrees were given him in token both of his fame as a poet and his enthusiasm as a Mason.

On July 27th, 1784, Burns was elected Depute Master of St. James Lodge, Tarbolton, a position which he held until St. John's Day, 1788. He was made an honorary member of St. John Lodge No. 22, Kilmarnock, on October 26th, 1786.  Major William Parker, the Master of St. John Lodge, became a great friend of Burns, and subscribed for thirty-five copies of the first edition of his poems.  He is the "Willie" in the song "Ye Sons of Auld Killie" (a contraction of Kilmarnock) composed and sung by Burns on  the occasion of his admission as an honorary member of St. John Lodge:

"Ye Sons of Auld Killie, assembled by William,
To follow the noble vocation;
Your thrifty old mother has scarce such another,
To sit in that honored station.
I've little to say, but only to pray,
As praying's the ton of your fashion;
A prayer from the muse, you may well excuse,
"Tis seldom her favorite passion.
Ye powers who preside, o're the wind and the tide,
Who mark each element's border;
Who formed this frame with beneficent aim,
Whose sovereign statute is order;
Within this dear mansion may wayward contention,
Or withered envy ne're enter;
May secrecy round be the mystical bound,
And Brotherly Love be the center.
 
 
The minutes of this meeting concluded as follows:
"Robert Burns, Poet, from Mauchline, a member of St. James, Tarbolton, was made an Honorary Member of this Lodge." "(Sgd.) Will Parker.This was the first Lodge to distinguish Burns with the designation "Poet," and to honor him with honorary membership.  Besides being a faithful and enthusiastic attendant upon the meetings of his own Lodge, Burns was a frequent visitor at Lodge when away from home. It is said that, with a very few exceptions, all his patrons and acquaintances were members of the Fraternity.

Burns is described at this time as nearly five feet ten inches in
height, and of a form agile as well as strong; his high forehead shaded with black, curling hair, his eyes large, dark, full of bright intelligence, his face vividly expressive.  His careless dress and untaught manners gave an impression of coarseness at first, but this was forgotten in the charm of his personality, and his face in repose had a calm thoughtfulness akin
to melancholy.  Full of fun and fire, affable and the best of good company, his superior mind did not make him supercilious, and he loved more than all else, a festival that was half frolic and a feast where joy and good will were guests.

Alas, drinking was a habit in the Scotland of those days, to a degree we can hardly imagine, as much in the Church as in the Lodge; and it made the bitter tragedy of Robert Burns.  Truth obliges us to admit that his moral failure was early and pitiful, due alike to his environment and to a fatal frailty of which made him fitful, unstable, and a prey to every whim of fancy and of passion.  It is an awful risk to be endowed with the genius of a Burns; it digs deep pitfalls for the man to whom it is given.  Yet, if in his later years he was a degraded man of genius, he was never a man of degraded genius.  The poison did not enter his song.  Allan Cunningham was right when he said:  "Few men had so much of the Poet in them, and few poets so much of the man; the man was probably less pure than he ought to have been, but the poet was pure and bright to the end."
 
 
So, and naturally so, men are willing to hide with a veil of charity the debris of character scattered along the starry path of Burns.  On reading his poems Byron exclaimed:  "What an antithetical mind!  Tenderness, roughness, delicacy, coarseness, sentiments, sensuality; dirt and deity - all mixed up in one compound of inspired clay!"  But that might pass for a description of mankind in general, and of Burns in particular.  If Burns was a sinner he was in that akin to ourselves, as God knows, a little good and a little bad, a little weak and a little strong, foolish when he thought he was wise, and wise, often, when he feared he was foolish.  So we may give Burns the charity which he prayed for others:

Then at the balance let's be mute,
We can never adjust it;
What's done we partly may compute,
But know not what's resisted.

By the same token, no great poet whose name is linked with our Craft ever owed more to Freemasonry, or gave more to it.  More intimately than any other he was identified with its life, its genius and its ideals.  Its teachings moved his thought; its spirit inspired his song; its genius nurtured that love of freedom and Fraternity which he set to everlasting  music.  So much is this true, that it remains a marvel to this day how Shairp could have written a biography of Burns without once mentioning his membership in the Craft.  In the gentle air of Freemasonry he found refuge from hardship and heaviness of spirit; and its fellowship served to shelter him from the poisoned arrows of petty bigots who were unworthy to untie his shoes - men of a kind known in every age, whose hard-heartedness was clad in unctuous hypocrisy.
 
 
Surely, if ever of any one, it can be said of Robert Burns, that his soul goes marching on.  He was the harbinger of the nineteenth century, the poet of the rights and reign of the common people, whom, it has been said, God must love because he made so many of them.  The earth was fresh upon the tomb of George Washington when that century was born; it discovered Lincoln and buried him with infinite regret.   But its triumphant melody first found voice in the songs of Robert Burns, as the greek singer inspired Patriarch with the fire which kindled the Revival of Learning, and out of the inertia of the Middle Ages created modern times.  So when Taine, the French critic, came to account for that age he found that it's spirit "Broke First in the Scotch Peasant, Robert Burns." - a man of all men most fitted to give it voice, because "scarcely ever was seen together more of misery and of talent."

There are those who dream of a vague blur of cosmopolitism, in which all local loyalties, all heroic national genius shall be merged and forgotten. Not so Robert Burns.  He was distinctively a national poet, striking deep roots in his native soil, and, for that reason, touching a chord so haunting that it echoes forever.  This at least is true; a man who is not deeply rooted somewhere - to whom one spot on earth is not a little dearer, and the sky over it a little bluer - will not be of much use anywhere.

When Burns appeared the spirit of Scotland was a low ebb.  Her people were crushed and her ancient fire almost quenched.  Her scholars blushed if they used her dialect.   It was at such a time that a God-Endowed singer took up his harp, inspired by the history of his people, the traditions of Wallace and Bruce stirring him like a passion, his soul attuned to the old ballads of love and daring, singing the simple life of his nation in its vivid and picturesque language.   He struck with a delicate but strong hand the deep and noble feelings of his countrymen, and somewhere upon his variegated robe of song will be found embroidered the life, the faith, the genius of his people.  No wonder the men loved a poet, and make his home at once a throne of melody and a shrine of national glory.
 
 
Because he was so deeply rooted in the soil of his own land; because he was so sweetly, sadly, joyously - yea, and even sinfully - human, his spirit and appeal are universal, for the human heart beats everywhere the same, and by loyalty to the genius of our own country we best serve our race.
His passion for liberty, his affirmation of the nobility of man, his sense if dignity of labor, his pictures of the pathos and the hard lot of the lowly, find response in every breast where beats the heart of a man.  It is thus that all men love Burns, for it was he who taught, as few have taught since the Son of Man lodged with the fishermen by the sea, the brotherhood of man and the kinship of all breathing things.  Such singers live as long as men love life, and their words become a part of the sacred scriptures of the human heart.

This is no time to deal in literary criticism - a dreary business at best, a dismal business at worst.  It is by all agreed that Robert Burns was a  lyric poet of the first order, if not the greatest song writer of the world.  Draw a line from Shakespeare to Browning, and he is one of the few minds tall enough to touch it.  The qualities of Burns are simplicity, naturalness, vividness, fire, sweet-toned pathos, and rollicking humor - qualities rare enough, and still more rarelyblended.  His fame rests upon verses written  swiftly, as men write letters, and upon songs as spontaneous, as artless, as lovely as the songs of birds.   He sang of simple things, of the joys and woes and pieties of the common life, where
sin bewshadows virtue and the cup of death is pressed to the lips of love.He saw the world as God made it, woven of good and ill, of light and shadow, and his songs come home to rich and poor alike, a comfort and a consecration.
 
 
No wonder Burns was the best beloved poet of Lincoln, as much for his democracy as for his humor, his pathos, and his rich humanity.  With him social rank was but a guinea stamp, a bit of tawdry tinsel alongside the  native nobility of manhood.  He honored a man for his worth, not for his
wealth.  For the snob, for the fop, he had genuine contempt.  If he flayed the selfish pride of the rich, it was not from envy - just as truly did he scorn the poor man who, instead of standing erect, only cringes and whines. He told the poor man that it is no sin to be poor, but that it is a sin to be ashamed of it.  He taught that honest poverty is not only nobler, but
happier, than indolent or il-gotten wealth.  The Cotter's dog and the Laird's dog are very real dogs, as all admit, but their talk is something more than dog-philosophy.   It is the old, old story of the high and the low, and it is like Burns to take the part of the under dog. Still, had the Cotter's dog given way to self-pity, Burns would have been the first to kick him.  He hated fawning, as he hated sham, and he knew that if toil is tragedy, labor is an honor and joy. That which lives in Robert Burns, and will live while human nature is the same, is his love of justice, of honesty, of reality, his touch of pathos and melting sympathy, his demand for liberty, his faith in man and God - all uttered with simple speech and the golden voice of song.  His poems were little jets of love and liberty and pity finding their way out through the fissures in the granite-like theology of his day.  They came fresh from the heart of a man whom the death of a little bird set dreaming of the meaning of the world wherein life is woven of beauty, mystery and sorrow.
A flower crushed in the budding, a field mouse turned out of his home by a plowshare, a wounded hare limping along the road to dusty death, or the memory of a tiny bird who sang for him in the days agone, touched him to tears, and made him feel the old hurt and heartache of the world. The poems of Burns did not grow; they awoke complete.  He was a child of the open air, and about all his songs there is an outdoor feeling - never a smell of the lamp.  He saw nature with the swift glances of a child - saw beauty in the fold of clouds, in the slant of trees, in the lilt and glint of flowing waters, in the immortal game of hide-and-seek played by sunbeams and shadows, in the mists trailing over the hills.  The sigh of the wind in the forest filled him with a kind of wild, sad joy, and the tender face of a mountain daisy was like the thought of one much loved and long dead.
The throb of his heart was warm in his words, and it was a heart in which he   carried an alabaster box of pity.  He had a sad life and soul of fire, the instincts of an angel in the midst of hard poverty; yet he lived with dash and daring, sometimes with folly, and, we must add, - else we do not know Burns - with a certain bubbling joyousness, despite his tragedy.
 
 
Such was the spirit of Robert Burns, a man passionate and piteous, compact of light and flame and loveliness, capable of withering scorn of wrong, quickly shifting from the ludicrous to the horrible in his fancy, poised  between laughter and tears - and if by some art se could send his soul into all the dark places of the world, pity and joy would return to the common ways of man.  His feet may have been in the furrow, but the nobility of manhood was in his heart, on his lips the voice of eternal melody, and in his face the light of the morning star.  Long live the spirit of Robert Burns, Poet and Freeemason!  May it grow and glow to the confounding of all injustice, all unkindness!

He haunts his native land As an immortal youth; his hand
Guides every plow. His presence haunts this room tonight,
A form of mingled mist and light From that far coast.
 
 


Şubat 28, 2009, 09:43:49 öö
Yanıtla #5
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Robert Morris (1818-1888)
Poet Laureate of Masonry


Dr. Rob Morris was born Robert Williams Peckham on August 31, 1818 near Boston, Massachusetts. When his father died in 1825 he was placed in a foster home and took the name of one of his foster parents, John Morris. His childhood and young manhood were spent in New York where he received many educational advantages including a splendid college training which qualified him as a successful lawyer, lecturer, educator and instructor in Masonry. He devoted many years in research and creative writing.

Dr. Morris became a Master Mason in Oxford, Mississippi, March 5, 1846. At this time he was President of Mt. Sylvan Academy. He soon became interested in an idea that the female relatives of Master Masons should share, in a measure, the benefits from knowledge of this great fraternal Order. Embued with this desire, his fertile mind set forth to evolve an Order which would benefit both men and women.

While President of Mt. Sylvan Academy, he met and later married Miss Charlotte Mendenhall. Several children were born of this union. Mrs. Morris was an inspiration to Dr. Morris and a real helpmate for nearly fifty years. They both worked on the idea of the Order and invited brother Masons and their wives to discuss the plans with Dr. Morris demonstrating to them the theories he had formulated. This may be rightfully termed the origin of the Order of the Eastern Star, although it was many years before it was recognized or its principles felt by those who were fortunate enough to come within its scope.

During the years he taught as principal in "The Little Red Brick School Building" in Richland, Mississippi, 1849 - 1850, he worked with zeal writing a Ritual of the Order of the Eastern Star. In 1850 he systematized the Degrees with the idea of giving them form, he decided on the degrees, contemplated the themes, incorporated from the pages of antiquity the heroines and names upon which the beautiful work is built, established the signs and passes, colors and emblems of the Order and promulgated the fundamental principles which have remained unchanged through the years.

The first Ritual was compiled and published under the title of "The Rosary of the Eastern Star."

In 1855 he organized a Supreme Constellation with himself as the Most Enlightened Grand Luminary, with headquarters in New York City. Charters were issued in all parts of the United States.

In 1860 the Constellation form of organization was discontinued and charters were issued for the organization of Families. In 1868 the Constellation and Families became lost except for their historical value.

In 1866 Dr. Morris became associated with Mr. Robert Macoy of New York City. Upon Mr. Morris' departure for the Holy Land he transferred to Robert Macoy all the authority he had assumed and exercised in planning the Order of the Eastern Star. Under Mr. Macoy's guiding hand the Supreme Grand Chapter was organized. This was a self-constituted body. Deputies were appointed in all parts of the United States, the Territories and in Mexico.

In 1867 and 1868 Mr. Macoy compiled and published a Ritual, using Dr. Morris' Rosary as a guide. This was the beginning of the organization of Chapters of the Order of the Eastern Star in the States as well as internationally. He immediately attempted to make the work more systematic and succeeded in adapting it to organized Chapters in such a way as to assure their success.

Dr. Morris traveled extensively in foreign countries. He spent nearly a year in the Holy Land. He organized the first Masonic Lodge in Jerusalem, Royal Solomon Number One, and became its first Worshipful Master.

He was an author of great ability and wrote numerous and valuable works on Masonry and its kindred subjects. The most popular were, "The Lights and Shadows of Masonry" and "Free Masonry in the Holy Land." He contributed to columns in almost every Masonic publication.

He was also a poet of unusual attainment, having written over four hundred poems. His best known poem is "The Level and the Square." Many of these poems were devoted to the Order of the Eastern Star and are still used by Chapters.

Aside from his work in Masonry and Eastern Star, he wrote many religious songs which are used by Churches and Sunday Schools. While seated on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in Palestine, he wrote the beautiful song "0, Galilee."

In 1858-1859 Dr. Morris served as Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Kentucky. In 1860 he drafted the Constitution of the Grand Lodge. Having passed through the chairs in the Blue Lodge, Royal Arch Chapter, Council, Commandery, Consistory and Grand Lodge, and having spent most of the strength, thought and wisdom of his early manhood in a close study of the Rituals, codes, principles and tenets of Masonry, he was conceded to be one of the most versatile and learned Masons of his day.

In 1880 the General Grand Chapter conferred on Dr. Morris the title of "Master Builder of the Order of the Eastern Star" and August 31st, the birthday of this illustrious man, was set apart as the Festal Day of the Order, to be observed by having special programs on that day. He also had the Degrees of Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Laws conferred upon him later in life.

The crowning event in the career of this remarkable man occurred in 1884 when over 500,000 Master Masons throughout the world expressed their desire that he be crowned with the laurel wreath, symbolizing Poet Laureate of Masonry. One hundred years had elapsed since the first Poet Laureate, Robert Burns, had received this honor. Dr. Morris was the first poet thought capable of filling this place after Robert Burns. In the presence of more than seven hundred dignitaries this honor was conferred for the second time in the history of the craft.

The first Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star was organized in Michigan in 1867. Three years later Grand Chapters were organized in Mississippi, New Jersey and New York. Before the close of 1876, Grand Chapters were organized in California, Vermont, Indiana, Connecticut, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Massachusetts.

Meanwhile the publication of different Rituals and revised editions thereof brought confusion and diversity in the work where there should have been uniformity. It therefore became necessary that this be corrected with all Grand Chapters united under one body and using the same Ritual; thus the General Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star was organized in Indianapolis, Indiana, on November 16, 1876. Committees were appointed to compile and edit a Ritual of the Order of the Eastern Star. The one now in use has been evolved from the Ritual edited by the Committees appointed at that time.

The Chapters of the Order of the Eastern Star now encircle the earth. The General Grand Chapter has jurisdiction over all Grand Chapters in the United States (except New York and New Jersey which are independent Grand Chapters), the Provinces in Canada, and the Grand Chapter of Puerto Rico. There is a Supreme Grand Chapter of Scotland with jurisdiction over Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales, South Africa, and New Zealand. The States, Territories and Dependencies of Australia are under the jurisdiction of the United Grand Chapter of Australia which was established in 1985.

Chapters have been organized subordinate to the General Grand Chapter in Alaska, Aruba, Austria, Bermuda, Taiwan, Panama, Germany, Guam, Hawaii, Japan, Mexico, Okinawa, Italy, Philippines and Saudi Arabia. The membership in the Order numbers over 1,000,000 members in over 8,000 Chapters.

In 1950 the General Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, observed the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Writing of the Ritual with appropriate ceremonies held in Washington, D.C.

The International Eastern Star Temple and the offices of the General Grand Chapter are located in Washington, D.C. In the Reception room of the International Eastern Star Temple, over the mantel, hangs an oil painting of this distinguished Master Builder of our Order. This was a gift from the Grand Chapter of Kentucky and was unveiled by his grand daughter, Miss Ella Morris Mount, Past Grand Matron and Grand Secretary of Kentucky.

Dr. Morris spent a great part of his life in Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky. The last twenty-six years were spent in LaGrange, Kentucky, where his family was reared and educated. His home is now the property of the Grand Chapter of Kentucky and is maintained as a Shrine in honor of the Master Builder of our Order.

The "Little Red Brick School Building in Mississippi" is owned by the Grand Chapter of Mississippi and is maintained as a Shrine in honor of Dr. Morris' writing of the Ritual in Mississippi.

On July 31, 1888, when the news of his death was sent to all parts of the world, profound grief was expressed at his passing as his whole life had been devoted to the uplifting of humanity. He was buried in the cemetery in La Grange, Kentucky, where admiring friends from all over the world have erected a tall marble shaft in his memory. On one side of the shaft is the Square and Compasses and on the other side is the Five Pointed Star.



Şubat 28, 2009, 09:46:18 öö
Yanıtla #6
  • Ziyaretçi

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Brief History of Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart—christened Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart—was born in Salzburg on 27 January 1756. His father, Leopold Mozart, was a famous musician and composer in his own right. In his twenty-fourth year, Leopold received an appointment as violinist in the orchestra of the Archbishop of Salzburg, finally rising to the position of chapel master. He composed with fertility, and produced a famous violin method. But, as Leopold himself realized, his greatest work was not his own music, but—his son, Wolfgang.  Much has been written about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s phenomenal precociousness.  At the age of three, he already sat in front of the harpsichord attempting to find harmonic successions of thirds; whenever he succeeded, his shrill voice rang out joyfully. When Wolfgang was four, his father began to teach him the elements of harpsichord and, playfully, the rules of composition. Wolfgang did not need to learn. He began producing minuets and other small pieces for harpsichord, and several sonatas for harpsichord and violin. He produced with such ease that by his sixth year he had produced an imposing quantity of minuets, sonatas, and even a concerto. His sensitive ear could recognize that the violin of his father’s friend was tuned an eigth of a note lower than he himself tuned his own instrument; and it could rebel so violently against a raucous sound that at the blast of a trumpet he swooned with pain.  Music, obviously, came as naturally to him as breathing.  Leopold Mozart, recognizing the extraordinary gifts of his two children (for Maria Anna, five years Wolfgang’s senior, was also strongly talented) decided to exhibit his children before all Europe. When Wolfgang was six years old, therefore, an extensive concert tour brought him to the foremost concert halls and royal courts of Europe. Wherever he performed, the sweet charm of his personality and his incredible genius conquered the hearts of music lovers. Francis I of Wein lovingly referred to him as “ein kleine hexenmeister” (“a little master-wizard”). In Frankfurt, Mozart gave somthing of a one-man circus show: “He will play,” ran the announcement in the Frankfurt newspaper, “a concerto for the violin, and will accompany symphonies on the clavier, the manuel or keyboard being covered with a cloth, with as much facility as if he could see the keys; he will instantly name all the notes played at a distance, whether singly or in chords as on the clavier or any other instrument, bell, glass or clock. He will, finally, both on the harpsichord and the organ, improvise as long as may be desired and in any key.” “I was only fourteen years old,” wrote Goethe many years later to Eckermann about this Frankfurt performance, “but I see, as if I were still there, the little man with his child’s sword and his curly hair. . . . A phenomenon like that of Mozart remains an inexplicable thing.” In Paris, Wolfgang became the darling of Versailles.  He was, as Grimm wrote “so extraordinary a phenomenon that one finds it difficult to believe it unless one has seen him with one’s own eyes and heard him with one’s own ears.” The Paris visit was marked by the appearance of Mozart’s first published work, four sonatas for the harpsichord. From Paris, the Mozarts came to London, where Wolfgang won the heart of Johann Christian Bach, chapel master. In London, Wolfgang gave several sensational performances at the Vauxhall Gardens which were the subject of great wonder. The Mozarts were back in Salzburg in 1766, after an absence of four years. The tour had been a greater success artistically than materially. True, Mozart was given many gifts by royalty, but the principal goal towards which Leopold aspired had been unachieved—the acquisition of a permanent, lucrative post by Wolfgang in one of the principal European courts. One year later, the Mozarts were once again on tour. They had come to Wein where Wolfgang was commissioned to compose his first opera. Intrigues, created by envious composers (who realized their inferiority), prevented this first opera receiving a performance. In Wein, however, another charming theatrical work of Mozart, Bastien und Bastienne, an opéra-bouffe, was performed at the home of a friend, Dr. Messner. Towards the close of 1769, the Mozarts made their first journey to Italia, a journey crowned with glory. In Mantua, they attended a concert of the Philharmonic orchestra which performed a few of Wolfgang’s compositions in his honour. In Milano, they received a commission for Wolfgang to compose an opera seria for the following year. Bologna brought Mozart into contact with the great Martini, who welcomed the young genius with open arms of admiration and respect. In Roma, there took place that phenomenal proof of Mozart’s genius which has frequently been quoted. Yount Mozart attended a performance of the celebrated Miserere of Allegri which could be heard only in Roma during Holy Week performed by the papal choir. By papal decree it was forbidden to sing the work elsewhere, and its only existing copy was guarded slavishly by the papal choir. Any attempt to copy the song or reproduce it in any form was punishable by excommunication. Mozart, however, had heard the work only once when, returning home, he reproduced it in its entirety upon paper. (I have heard the piece; it is long and extremely complex, with double-orchestra, organ, and conflicting choral parts.) No one has ever been able to even dream of duplicating this feat, even on a much smaller scale. This incomparable feat soon became the subject for awed whispers in Roma; it was not long before the Pope himself heard of this amazing achievement. The Pope summoned Mozart, but instead of punishing the young genius with excommunication, he showered praise upon him and gave him handsome gifts. A few months later, the Pope bestowed upon Mozart the Cross of the Order of the Golden Spur. The following autumn, the Mozarts were back in Italia for Wolfgang to fulfil his commission for Milano and bring to completion his opera seria, Mitradate, re di Ponte . "Before the first rehearsal," Herr Leopold Mozart wrote to his wife, "there was no lack of people to run down the music and pronounce it beforehand in satirical language to be something poor and childish, alleging that so young a boy, and Deutsch in the bargain, could not possibly write an Italiano opera and that, although they acknowledged him to be a great executant, he could not understand or feel the chiaroscuro required in the theatre. All these people have been reduced to silence since the evening of the first rehearsal with small orchestra, and say not a word." At the performance of Mitridate on Christmas day of 1770, the work was a phenomenal success. One of the soprano arias, contrary to all precedent, was encored. Cheers greeted the diminutive composer as he reached the stage. The newspapers commented upon that "rarest musical grace" and that "studied beauty" which seemed to be Wolfgang's intuitive idiom. The next few years of Mozart's life were drab. Except for two brief intermissions, he remained in Salzburg whose limited intellectual world chafed him considerably. Moreover, his musical labour at the Court of the Archbishop was an endless humiliation. He was the principal composer and virtuoso at the Court, but his salary was so meagre and his work so unappreciated that each day was for him crowded with trials. His fellow musicians at the Court were dissolute scoundrels, whose musical tastes were vulgar and whose interests centred upon gambling and drink. "Tell me," Wolfgang wrote at this time,"how could a decent fellow possibly live in such company?" It was, therefore, with a yearning heart that Wolfgang dreamt of escaping from Salzburg. A new extensive tour was, therefore, planned for Mozart in 1777, and since Herr Leopold was refused by the Archbishop a leave-of-absence, Wolfgang Mozart left in the company of his mother to conquer the music world anew. But the music world was this time not so easily conquered by Mozart. He was now twenty-one years old—a child prodigy no longer. The music world had in the past lavished its adoration upon a little pug-nosed child who could achieve miraculous musical feats. Now that the child had entered man's estate, he had lost his great appeal. München and Mannheim turned a deaf ear to his pleas for a permanent post at court; even random commissions were not forthcoming. These disappointments, however, did not smother Wolfgang's high spirits. Now a man, he found consolation from his disappointments in frequent love affairs. In Augsburg, there was his cousin, Basle, his first genuine love. "Basle," he wrote to his father,"seems to have been made for me, and I for her—for both of us have that little bit of badness in us." In Mannheim, where he was a household guest of a musical family called Cannabich, he in turn courted Rosa Cannabich and then Aloysia Weber, a singer, daughter of a copyist. He thought seriously of marrying Aloysia; only the heated and embittered letters of his father convinced him that it was wiser to delay marriage until he had procured his desired post. The road, therefore, next brought him to Paris, where in the Summer of 1778 Mozart's mother passed away. In Paris, too, Mozart met disappointment. There were those who were acutely jealous of his phenomenal genius; the others thought of him only as a one-time prodigy who had outgrown his talent. Because of these people, it was impossible for him to receive the appreciation he deserved. Small commissions fell to him, but they were so slight and of such negligible importance that they failed to support him adequately. Even Grimm, once so idolatrous, now lost interest in Wolfgang, complaining in a long letter to Herr Leopold Mozart, that Wolfgang was "too confident, too little a man of action, too much ready to succumb to his own illusions, too litte au courant with the ways that lead to success." It was not long before Mozart, convinced that no important post was open for him, decided to return to Mannheim and marry Aloysia Weber. To his bewilderment and humiliation, he learned upon his arrival that Aloysia had forgotten him so completely during his absence that she did not even recognize him when he entered. Disappointment and disillusionment now completely overwhelmed him. He returned to Salzburg (a town he detested with increasing strength each time he returned to it) for a brief and sombre period. In 1780, a commission from München for an opera seria brought him escape. This commission resulted in the first of Mozart's great opera, Idomeneo. Idomeneo, upon its first performance on 29 January, 1781, was a rousing success. Ramm, the oboist, and Lange, the horn-player "were half-crazy with delight,"and the latter exclaimed: "I must own that I have never yet heard any music which made such a deep impression upon me!" The audience expressed its enthusiasm in no uncertain responses. This success inspired Mozart to sever all connections with Salzburg and his employer, the Archbishop, and to settle permanently in Wein. Shortly after he made Wein his permanent home, he was commissioned by Joseph II to compose a Singspiel. Die Entfüauthrung auf dem Serail duplicated in Wein the success that Idomeneo enjoyed in München. Gluck, the foremost composer of operas at the time, had the work especially performed for him, his praise being lavish. Joseph II honoured Mozart with rewards. And Prince Kaunitz, after hearing the opera, openly expressed the opinion that a genius like Wolfgang Mozart could appear only once. On 4 August 1782 Mozart was married to Constanze Weber, youngest sister of his one-time beloved Aloysia. The ceremony was a simple one, the only ones present being the bride's mother and youngest sister, two witnesses, and a friend of the family. "The moment we were made one," Mozart wrote to his father,"my wife and I began to weep, which touched everyone, even the priest. ...We are married now; we are man and wife! And we love each other enormously. We feel that we are made for one another." It was shortly after his marriage that Mozart met and became a close friend of Josef Haydn. Haydn recognised Mozart's genius, and until the end of his life exerted his every effort to bring recognition and fame to the younger composer who, he sincerely felt, was without an equal in all music. On 1 May 1786, Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro was introduced in Wein. "I can still see Mozart," wrote Michael Kelly, a singer, in his Reminiscences "dressed in his red fur hat trimmed with gold, standing on the stage with the orchestra, at the first rehearsal, beating time for the music....The players on the stage and in the orchestra were electrified. Intoxicated with pleasure, they cried again and again, and each time louder than the preceding one: 'Bravo, maestro! Long live the great Mozart'...It seemed as if the storm of applause would never cease....Had Mozart written nothing but this piece of music it alone would, in my humble opinion, have stamped him as the greatest composer of all time. Never before was there a greater triumph than Mozart and his Figaro!" Despite this emphatic success, Mozart knew at this time a period of great trial and depression. His child, Raimund, had died three months after birth, inspiring in the composer a fit of melancholy which was not easily dissipated. Moreover, at this time, Mozart knew appalling poverty. Repeatedly, he wrote pitiful letters to publishers, to friends, to distant acquaintances for small loans to relieve his trying circumstances. Finally, his wife Constanze was ill, her sickness brought on by undernourishment. Yet, in spite of these trying years, Mozart's pen knew no recess from the production of imperishable masterpieces. In October of 1787 he produced for Prag Don Giovanni, which more than one critic has designated as the greatest opera (including me). Don Giovanni was greeted with thunderous cheers; but to the impoverished composer it meant only one hundred meagre florins. One year after Don Giovanni, Mozart composed his three final symphonies—numbers 39 (in G-minor), 40 (in E-flat major), and 41 (in C-major, the Jupiter)—all in the incredible span of two months. In 1790, came Così fan tutte , followed closely by Die Zauberflöte. And between the composition of these monumental works, Mozart was composing a prolific library of concerti for solo instruments and his masterpieces for string quartet, along with hosts of other works. Mozart's last work was composed under mysterious circumstances. In 1791 a stranger, masked and dressed in grey, accosted Mozart and commissioned him to compose a requiem. The stranger was representing a wealthy nobleman who frequently asked great composers to produce works for him which he later presented under his own name. But to Mozart, ill and morbid as he was at this time, it appeared that this stranger was a messenger from the other world sent to warn the composer that the time had come for him to compose his own requiem. Through the sleepless, delirious nights, the messenger from the other world haunted Mozart's thoughts. Feverishly he worked upon his requiem, refusing both rest and food so that he might finish his work before it was too late. "Willingly would I follow your advice," he wrote to a friend who tried to persuade him to take a holiday,"but how can I do it?...I know by my feelings that my hour has come. It is striking even now! I am in the region of death." He was found at his desk unconcious. He was taken to bed, and the physician who had been summoned soon announced that Mozart was seeing his last days. Mozart had already known that he was dying. To his pupil, Süßmayer, he explained precisely how the Requiem was to be brought to completion. Shortly before his last breath left him, he attempted to sing parts of his last great work. On 5 December 1791, he said farewell to his family and turned his face to the wall; shortly afterwards he was dead. Mozart's remains were thrown into a pauper's grave in the churchyard of St. Mark. One week later, when Constanze returned with flowers to Mozart's body, she could not find the grave. Because Mozart had died like a pauper, his grave had been left unmarked, his body unidentified. Thus passed probably the greatest genius the world has ever known. Mozart was short and slim, and though his head was slightly too large for the body its well-proportioned features gave him an attractive appearance. His face had a softness that was almost effeminate, his cheeks always being sickly pallid. His eyes, piercing in their intensity, were eloquently expressive. His hair, of which he was considerably proud, was a rich shock. Well-poised, meticulously well dressed (he frequently sported laces and jewelry) and possessed of charming manners he made a deep impression upon these with whom he came into contact. Though moody by temperment and introspective, he was considerably fond of the society of pleasant people. He adored dancing, and it was with great difficulty that Constanze could keep him from frequenting places of questionable reputation. His recreation consisted of bowling and playing billiards. "He was generally cheeful and in good humour," Constanze Mozart has recorded,"rarely melancholy, though sometimes pensive. His speaking voice was gentle, except while directing music when he became loud and energetic— would even stamp with his feet, and might be heard at a considerable distance." Commenting upon Mozart's method of composition, Robert Pitrou wrote: "With him, both stages—the birth of ideas and their elaboration—were probably unconcious. His mind was constantly creating, without ever a break. When he came to the third stage—to committing to paper—he used to give his ideas at one stroke the very form he was aiming at... When at his desk, he always seems...to have been copying music already fully written down in his mind. We even know, from his letters, that his mind could turn to other music the while. Sending a prelude and fugue to his sister on 20 April 1792 [error of date is copied direct from quote], he wrote: 'Forgive the untidy arrangement. I had composed the fugue first, and while writing it out, I was thinking out the prelude.'" Mozart himself has written: "When I am in the right mood, ideas seem to teem within me. Those I like I retain. Then there are scraps which might go to the making of many a good dish. When I start composing I draw upon the accumulation in my brain." Commenting succinctly on Mozart's principal operas, Eric Blom has written: "With Idomeneo mastery may well be said to have been reached...Fine work Mozart certainly did put into Idomeneo, and in spite of the influnce of Piccinni and of certain conventions (mainly choral) of French grand opera, he was becoming an independant musical personality. His treatment of accompanied recitative shows a very sensitive readiness to apply expressive touches...In Die Entfüauthrung auf dem Serail Mozart was at last wholly in his element, not because of any special liking for the Deutsch Singspiel...but chiefly because by 1782 he was a fully matured master of his craft and had learnt a good deal about life....Indeed one would not have a note different...for it never ceases to be delicious as it is apt to its type and subject....It is a structure and a collection of tunes of such fascinating grace that one would like to call back every phrase of it to hug it over and over again....And then came Le nozze di Figaro...the perfect opéra-bouffe.... Beaumarchais' exposure of a refined but pernicious civilization is here made the pretext for music as sunnily civilized [sic] as the world ought to have if the dreamers of Mozart's age had been right....These qualities [Le nozze di] Figaro has to a great degree never again attained in music, and it has moreover a profound humanity, a sympathetic penetration into the hearts of men and women—especially women...[Le nozze di] Figaro is Italian
  • comic opera in its final stages of perfection.... With all its overwhelming perfection, [Le nozze di] Figaro still shows an almost disconcerting readiness to use the current idiom of the time....But the next opera, the greatest of all...Don Giovanni, makes a tremendous advance in achieving the originality already, so to speak, at the fountainhead of inspiration....It is impossible to conceive that any notion as here set down by Mozart could have come from the pen of any other composer, then or later. What is more, not a single number in Don Giovanni can be imagined to occur in any other opera by Mozart himself. Everything is in character, everything colored [sic] by the particular mood into which this great tragi-comic subject cast him....After Don Giovanni we are magically transported into yet another world: that of Così fan tutte. Well, scarcely a world at all; only a show of marionettes....Once again Mozart achieved the miraculous feat of writing a score which, consistent in style from start to finish, could not by any conceivable chance lend a single one of its number to any other works of his. The whole perfume and flavor [sic] of the music is new and unique. Artifice is the keynote of it.... "What Mozart wanted was not declamation but spontaneous emotional expression, not grandly ordered drama but the variety of life....That is why he was not in the least disturbed by the hair-raising inconsistencies, the pantomime absurdities of The Magic flute [Die Zauberflöte?] ....Here was a great deal of nonsense, but it was good theatre, it was alive, and there was a multiformity of setting, of situation, of character such as he had never before had occasion to handle...The variety of The Magic flute [Die Zauberflöte?] score ought to be bewildering; somehow it is only astonishing in a favorable [sic] sense....The music itself is much more diversified than that of any opera of Mozart's....the flashy Italian[a] arias of the Queen of the Night [Königin der Nacht?] next to Sarstro's solemn utterances in Mozart's 'masonic' manner, the popular ditties of Popageno side by side with the profound humanity of Pamina's tear-compelling G-minor lament and the wonderful dramatic truth of her brief mad scene...all this and more is by some marvel of genius fashioned into a single gem of many facts—and of inestimable value." Edvard Grieg, the famous composer, has written an illuminating essay on Mozart which is not widely known. In it, he has discussed Mozart's final symphonies in the following manner: "We note at once the great step from Haydn's to Mozart's treatment of this highest of instrumental forms, and our thoughts are involuntarily transferred to the young Beethoven who, without any specially noteworthy break, rises from where Mozart left off to those proud summits which none but he was destined to reach. In the introduction of the E-flat major symphony, just before the first allegro, we come upon harmonic combinations of unprecedented boldness. They are introduced in so surprising a way that they will always preserve the impression of novelty....In the G-minor symphony, Mozart shows himself to us in all his grace and sincerity of feeling. It is worth noting what astonishing effects he gets here by the use of chromatic progressions. In the Jupiter symphony [Symphonie Nr.1 C major KV. 551] we are astounded, above all, by the playful ease with which the greatest problems of art are treated. No one who is not initiated suspects in the finale, amid the humurous tone gambols, what an amazing contrapunal knowledge and superiority Mozart manifests. And then this ocean of euphony! Mozart's sense of euphony was, indeed, so absolute that it is impossible, in all his works, to find a single bar wherein it is sacrificed to other considerations." Mozart was the greatest composer who ever lived.



 

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