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The Adventures of Timothy Peacock by Daniel P. Thompson

Esquire; or, Freemasonry Practically


PREFACE.

There may be such a thing as conferring on folly a sort of dignity— nay, even a dangerous importance, by treating it too seriously. There may also be such a thing as pursuing vice and crime so far with one unvaried cry of denunciation as to give them a temporary advantage by the more easily eluding the pursuit, or by adroitly crying, "martyr," "persecution," &c., so far to enlist the sympathies of the spectator, who has thus seen but one of the aspects of "the frightful mien," as to induce him to say, "forbear — enough!"

If the following pages shall succeed in presenting the various and motley features of Freemasonry in their proper light—show where it is most effectual to laugh, where to censure and denounce, and where to (not praise—that word would be a white sheep in such fellowship,) where to let it alone—the aims of the author will have been accomplished. His views of that extraordinary, strangely compounded and certainly very powerful institution, are not dissimilar to those of many others at the present day; but he may differ from them in the manner in which he believes it most expedient and politic to serve up for the public many of the materials of which it is composed.

THE AUTHOR.

April, 1835.

Acknowledgment

TO HIS INEFFABLE POTENCY, -

EDWARD LIVINGSTON,

General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the Celestial Canopy of the United States of America:

This feeble attempt at a practical illustration of the Beauties of Freemasonry is humbly dedicated, as a suitable tribute to the Man and the Mason, whose matchless wisdom, so admirably adapted to the genius of that institution of which he is the exalted head in this thus honored country, has successfully foiled its most formidable assailants by the unanswerable arguments of his Dignified Silence .

By THE AUTHOR.

Anno Lucis, 5835.

CHAPTER I.

"Come let us prepare,
We brethren that are."—

Our Hero, the present Thrice Illustrious TIMOTHY PEACOCK, Esquire, was born in a small village in the interior of Rhode Island. His father and mother were deserters from a British fleet. They had, however, once seen brighter days than this circumstance might seem to imply; for Mr. Peacock, at one time, had the honor to write himself Chief Butcher to His Majesty George III., London. Mrs. Peacock, before she united her destinies to those of the honored father of our hero—that union which was to bestow upon the New World the brightest masonic star that ever illumined the wondering hemisphere of the West—Mrs. Peacock, I say, was called the Billingsgate Beauty. They very mackerels she sold might shrink from a comparison with the plumpness of her person, and the claws of her own lobsters were nothing in redness to the vermillion of her cheeks. She made, as may well be supposed, sad devastation among the hearts of the gallant young fish-mongers.—Oystermen, clam-cryers, carpers, shrimpers and all—all fell before the scorching blaze of her optical artillery. But she would have mercy on none of them; she aspired to a higher destiny; and her laudable ambition was rewarded with the most flattering success; for she soon saw herself the distinguished lady of Peletiah Peacock, Chief Butcher to His Majesty. But how she became the envy of many a dashing butcheress, by the splendor of her appearance,—how her husband flourished, and how he fell, and was driven from the stalls of royalty,—how he took leave of the baffled bum-bailiffs of his native city, enlisted on board a man of war, and sailed for America, with permission for his loving rib to accompany him,—how they both deserted at a New England port, at which the vessel had touched, and were housed in a friendly hay-stack in the neighborhood till the search was over and vessel departed,—and, finally, how they travelled over land till they reached the smiling village where they found their abiding domicil, belongs, perhaps, to the literati of Britain to relate. They have, and of right ought to have, the first claim on the achievements of their countrymen with which to fill the bright pages of their country's biography; and to them then let us graciously yield the honor of enshrining his memory with those of their Reverend `Fiddlers' and truth-telling `Trollopes.' Far be it from me to rob them of the glory of this theme.—Mine is a different object; and I shall mention no more of the deeds of the father than I conceive necessary to elucidate the history of the son, whose brilliant career I have attempted, with trembling diffidence, to sketch in the following unworthy pages.

The place where the Peacocks had fixed their permanent residence was, as before intimated, a small village in the state of Rhode Island. This village, I beg leave to introduce to the reader, under the significant appellation of Mugwump, a word which being duly interpreted means (unless my etymology is sadly at fault) much the same as Mah-hah-bone—which last, after a most laborious and learned research, I have fortunately discovered to signify nothing in particular; though, at the same time, I am perfectly aware that both these terms are used at the present day, vulgarly and masonically, as synonymous with greatness and strength. But to our story: Mr. Peacock had no sooner become fairly settled than he began to devise the ways and means for a future independence; and such was his assiduity to business, and such his financial wisdom derived from lessons of sad experience in the old world, that his exertions in the new soon began to count brightly; and the third anniversary of his entry into Mugwump found him the owner of a snug little establishment devoted to public entertainment, under the sign of a bull-dog, which he lucklessly selected in memory of a faithful animal of that species that had once backed a writ for him, that is, had given him bail by holding back a sheriff by the tail of the coat till his master could shift for himself—I say lucklessly, for the malicious and unfriendly took occasion from this circumstance to christen Mr. Peacock's inn by the name of the Doggery; and hence unjustly sprung that epithet now extensively applied to low grog-shops, sluttish taverns, &c. In this situation, however, notwithstanding these attempted disparagements of the envious, Mr. Peacock soon had thriven to such a degree as to be able to bid defiance to all the constables and sheriffs this side of London.—Indeed he now began to be reckoned a man of some pecuniary consequence. This was indeed a source of much pride and gratification to Mrs. Peacock, who began, both by precept and example, to enlighten her ignorant neighbors in matters of London gentility; but was it sufficient to satisfy the mind of one of Mr. Peacock's endowments—of one whose honored name and avocation was once coupled with the Majesty of England? By no means!—He wished only a competence; and this attained, his ambition began to soar to higher honors than the mere possession of sordid lucre, in this land of republican simplicity, will bestow. But how to gain these honors and arrive at his former dignity of station was a subject that often sadly puzzled his mind. The people of his adopted country entertained such singular notions respecting the qualifications they required of those who should ask promotion at their hands, that he soon perceived that any attempt to gain their civil distinctions would be fruitless, and he turned his attention to a different object. He had heard much, both in this and his own country, of the sublime order of Freemasonry—of its titles, its grades, its honors, its talismanic powers in ensuring escapes from pursuing enemies, its advantages in putting its possessors directly into the highway of office and power, and, above all, its wonderful secret, which the brotherhood had so often defied the whole world to discover. "Ah! this must be something," said he, as he pondered on the subject, "this is something that these leveling Yankees have not yet laid their hands on.—This looks indeed a little like old England." In short his curiosity became awakened, his ambition fired to possess the key to this labyrinth of mystery, this great secret treasury of honors and advantages, and he firmly resolved to become a member of this wonderful fraternity. With this determination he applied for admission into a lodge in a neighboring village, it being the only one then in the vicinity. But here alas! his commendable ambition was doomed to suffer defeat and disappointment.—When the important day arrived on which he expected to be initiated, great indeed was his mortification and surprize to be informed that he could not be admitted, as "all was not clear." "It is all very clear to me," replied Mr. Peacock, after the first shock of his surprize was a little over, "it is all very clear to me; but you are all most wilfully out of your wits I can tell ye. I have led as honest a life, both in this country and England, as the fattest of ye, and as to knuckling to a pack of scurvy dimecrats, I'll let ye know I sha'nt;—so, good bye, and be d—d to ye!" After giving these aproned heralds of his defeat this spirited reply, he went home to sleep off his indignation. Sleep however could do but little towards assuaging so bitter a disappointment; and the next day he set off to visit a neighboring farmer, with whom he was intimate, for the purpose of unburdening his troubled feelings. This person, who was called Bill Botherem, on account of his propensity for hoaxing, (his real name being William Botherworth) had been a sailor till about the age of twenty, when, after having seen considerable of the world, and made something handsome in several lucky ventures at sea, he relinquished that kind of life, and purchasing a farm in the vicinity of Mugwump, settled down, and now led a jolly life, keeping bachelor's hall to board himself and his workmen. Mr. Peacock, who had contracted a sort of confidential intimacy with Bill, because he could talk about London, or because he had been a liberal customer, or both, having heard from his own lips that he had been a Mason, though afterwards expelled for some trick or other played off on a brother Mason—Mr. Peacock, I say, considered that he would be the most suitable person to whom he could communicate his difficulties, and at the same time the most capable adviser in putting him in a way of overcoming them, and accomplishing his still ardent desire of becoming a Mason. With this purpose in view, he called on his merry friend, and, withdrawing him a little from his workmen, he candidly related the whole story of his troubles and wishes. Botherem listened to the tale of Mr. Peacock's wrongs with deep attention—sympathized with him in his disappointment, and bestowed many hearty curses on the stupidity of those who could reject a man who would have been such an honor to their society. And, after musing awhile, he told Mr. Peacock that he should advise him not to go near the fellows any more, or make application to any other lodge, but if he wished to become a Mason he had better be initiated privately by some friendly Mason. "Privately!" said Peacock, "I did not know it could be managed in that way." "O, nothing easier," rejoined Botherem, (his eyes beginning to dance in anticipation of the sport of such a process) "nothing easier, Mr. Peacock—you may as well be taken in privately as publicly; and when you have once received the secret by a private initiation, I will venture to say you will be as wise as the best of them." Mr. Peacock, overjoyed at this information, sprang up and exclaimed, "Then, Bill, you shall be the man what shall do it, by the Lord Harry!" Botherem, with some hesitation, consented to the proposition; and it was soon arranged that the ceremony should be performed that very evening at Botherem's house, where no women or other evesdroppers or cowans would be about to pry into their proceedings. Botherem was to send off his workmen and call in such masonic friends as he might wish to assist him in the performance; and the candidate was to come alone about dark, when every thing should be in readiness for the ceremony. All things being thus settled, Mr. Peacock departed, exulting in the thought that the wish nearest his heart was now so near its accomplishment. When Botherem was left alone, he began to be somewhat startled at his own project, lest it be productive of serious consequences to himself should he really initiate the man into the secrets of Masonry; for he well understood the fiery vengeance of the fraternity in case of detection. But his desire to see so fine a piece of sport, as he conceived this would be, at length prevailed over his scruples, and he determined to proceed; varying, however, by way of caution, the usual ceremonies of a regular initiation so far, that while he gave the candidate the full spirit of Freemasonry, he would keep from him so much of the letter as would exonerate him from the charge of divulging the true secrets, which he believed to consist of grips, pass-words, &c. By pursuing this course, he supposed he should be doing ample justice to the candidate, while he could himself escape with impunity, should the transaction ever reach the ears of the fraternity,—a supposition, alas! in which the sequel well shows how fatally he was mistaken.

After having digested his plan of operations, Botherem called his men together, (having no notion of calling in other aid) and swearing them to secrecy, revealed to them his whole scheme. Entering with great spirit into the project of their leader, they went to work with all their might to finish their tasks in time to make the necessary preparations for the interesting occasion. As the nature of these preparations will best be learned in a description of the ceremonies, it will be needless here to detail them.

At the appointed hour, Mr. Peacock, with a heart beating high with expectation, and fluttering at the thought of the lofty honors about to be conferred upon him, made his appearance at the house where the ceremonies were to be performed. A man, with a white birch bark mask on his face, and an old dried sheep-skin apron tied round his waist, and holding in his hands a pole into one end of which was fastened part of an old scythe-blade, stood at the door officiating as Tyler; and, hailing the approaching candidate, bade him wait at a distance till all was ready for his reception. At length a loud voice within the house was heard exclaiming— "Give a word and a blow, that the workmen may know, There's one asks to be made a Freemason!" A heavy blow from an axe or falling block, and a sharp report of a pistol instantly followed, and a man, masked, and otherwise strangely accoutred, soon issued from the door midst the smoke of gunpowder, and, approaching the wondering candidate, took him by the hand and led him into a dark room to prepare him for initiation. Here Botherem, as Most Worshipful Master of the ceremonies, was immediately in attendance.—"Deacon Dunderhead," said he, "place the candidate so that his nose shall point due east, while I propound the usual questions."—

"Do you sincerely desire to become a Mason?"

`To be sure—why, that is just what I come for, you know, Bill.'

"Call me Worshipful!" thundered the Master.

`Worshipful, then,' muttered the abashed candidate.

"Will you conform to all our ancient usages?" continued the master: "Will you cheerfully submit yourself to our established and dignified custom of blindfolding the candidate and stripping him even to the nether garment?"

`Why, I should not much mind about your stopping my blinkers awhile,' replied the candidate; `but as to being put under bare poles, that's too bad, by a d—d sight, Mr. Worshipful!'

"Silence!" exclaimed the Master; "for as the sun riseth in the east, and as a man sticketh an axe in a tree, so do I forbid all profane language on this solemn occasion: will you conform to this our indispensable regulation also?"

`Unless it comes too hot, Mr. Worshipful,' said the rebuked candidate, `that and all the rest on't.'

"Deacon," said the Master, "prepare the candidate for the sublime mysteries of Masonry, and let him take heed to curb his unruly member, for if he swears during the ceremonies, it will be necessary to stop and go over with every thing again." So saying, he left the room.

The candidate was now stripped to his shirt, blindfolded, and, to guard against any rising of a refractory spirit, his hands strongly tied behind him. Thus prepared, he was led to the door of the initiating room, when, after the customary raps within and without, he was admitted, and stationed on one side of the door. There the Master and his men, all masked and duly aproned, stood arranged round the room in a circle, some holding old tin pails, some brass kettles, some loaded pistols, and one an old drum.

The Master now stepped forward and said, "Brother, you are now in the sanctorum totororum of Solomon's temple, but you are not yet invested with the secrets of Masonry, nor do I know whether you ever will be, till I know how you withstand the amazing trials and dangers that await you—trials, the like of which, none but our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, ever experienced." Saying this, he turned to the man stationed as Warden at the south gate, and exclaimed,

"Now Jubelo! now Jubelo! Be ready with your first dread wo, Which those who'd win must never shun,— So now for Number One!"

These words were no sooner uttered than whang! went an old horse-pistol, followed by such a tremendous din from the rattling of old tin pails, brass kettles, and drum, as made the house ring again, and the poor candidate shook in every joint like a man in an ague fit. All was soon still, however; and an open pan filled with hot embers, with a grid-iron over it, was now placed on the floor; when four of the acting brethren, taking the candidate by the arms and legs, held him over the pan, and gradually lowered him down till his seat touched the grid-iron, which in the mean while had become somewhat too warm for parts of so sensitive a nature; for they no sooner came in contact with the iron than the candidate floundered and leaped from the arms of the brethren, exclaiming, "Zounds and fury! do ye want to scorch a fellow's t'other end off? I will wait till h-ll is burnt down before I'll be a Mason, if this is the way!" "The spell is broken," cried the Master, "the candidate has uttered unseemly and profane language; and the ceremony must be repeated.—It is necessary he should feel the torture before he can be permitted to behold the glorious light of Masonry." They then took the struggling candidate in hand again, and by dint of coaxing, induced him to submit himself once more to the fiery ordeal of masonic purification. But, alas! this attempt was attended with no happier results than the other; for, on touching the grid-iron, his old habit (I regret to say it) again beset him, and bounding like a parched pea, he once more broke out into the most unmasonic expressions. The ceremony of course had to be yet again repeated; and it was not till the fourth trial that he was brought to the use of such exclamations as were adjudged not inconsistent with the rule adopted on the occasion. This part of the ceremony being concluded, the candidate was put in motion on his journey round the lodge-room; and when, as they approached the Warden at the west gate, the Worshipful Master stepped forth and exclaimed,

"O Jubela! O Jubela! The man you wanted here survey— Approaching for the second wo! So now for Number Two!"

In an instant two pistols were let off in rapid succession, and the mingled din of pails, kettles, drum, and the shouts of the brethren were still louder than before on the stunned ears of the affrighted candidate, who at the same time received the usual blow from the acting Jubela of the performance; nor was this all or the worst part of Number Two, which he was doomed to encounter: For after the noise had ceased, he was again taken in hand.—His last remaining garment was now stripped off, and he was placed on his hands and knees on the floor, with his rearwards pointed due west, to symbolize the winds, doubtless, that after the deluge, wafted the glorious art westward, till it at length reached our own favored hemisphere. As soon as the candidate's position was duly adjusted in this manner, the Deacon, stationed and prepared for the purpose, dashed a full pail of cold water directly on the premises that had just suffered so cruelly from an opposite element, (these being the parts for which Masonry is supposed to entertain a particular predilection.) Starting from the shock, the poor candidate leaped, howling like a shot mastiff, to the wall, and gave vent to his feelings in some of those unmasonic exclamations which had already cost him so much to subdue. This, according to the rigid rules of the Worshipful Master, led to a repetition of the watery wo, till the hapless victim of this mystic deluge, sighing and gasping for breath like a drowning puppy, became so subdued by the water-cooling process, that he most piteously begged for mercy;—when the rule, though violated to the last drenching, was graciously dispensed with. The candidate was then rubbed down with a cloth, and dressed in all his clothes—still, however, remaining blindfolded. He was then led up to the old drum, placed in the middle of the floor to serve for an altar, when, being made to kneel beside it, an old copy of Gulliver's Travels was duly placed under his hands and properly adjusted on the drum-head: After which, he was made to repeat, while the Worshipful Master administered, the following obligation:

"You solemnly swear, that you will never divulge the mighty secret which has been, and is about to be revealed to you. You swear without equivocation, hesitation, mental reservation, or explanation, that you will never tell, spell, sell, hint, print or squint it, nor the same ever write, indict, or recite, whatever your plight, whether placed under locks, put in the stocks, or reduced to starvation. In short, you swear never to reveal these, the great mysteries of Masonry, which are equalled only in truth and wisdom by the wonderful Book on which you swear to preserve them. You sacredly and solemnly swear it—you swear it singly, you swear it doubly and trebly—you swear it up hill and down hill, forward and backward, slanting and perpendicular, side-ways, end-ways, and all ways—you swear it by your eyes, nose, mouth, ears, tongue, gizzard and grunnet,— yea, by every part, piece, portion and parcel of your body, singed or unsinged, washed or unwashed—you swear it by the sun, moon, stars, earth, fire, water, snow, rain, hail, wind, storm, lightning and thunder.—All this, by all these, you swear, under no less penalty than to be drawn, naked and tail foremost, forty-nine times through dry crabtree fences—be shut up a month in a den of skunks, hedgehogs and rattlesnakes, with clam-shells and vinegar for your only food and drink—run fourteen miles barefoot in January, and be tarred and feathered and kicked and cowskinned from Mugwump to Passamaquoddy and back again. So help you Nebuchadnezzar and St. Nicholas, and keep you steadfast in the same. So mote it be—so mote it be. Amen."

After this oath was administered, the candidate was ordered to rise, and proceed to the east gate of the temple, when the Master once more proclaimed—

"O Jubelum! O Jubelum! The third and last wo now must come, Before the light reveal'd can be! So now for Number Three!"

On which Jubelum, or the Warden of this station, who stood prepared for the emergency, with an old saddle-pad in his uplifted hand, gave the candidate such a blow on the side of the head, as sent him reeling across the room; while at the same instant, whang! whang! bang! went three pistols, with the old accompaniment of jangling instruments, now tasked to their utmost for noise and racket, together with the falling of blocks, kicking over of chairs, and the deafening cheers of the company. The bandage had been snatched from the eyes of the candidate in the confusion, and he now stood bewildered, stunned and aghast amidst the tumult, staring wildly on the strange, masked figures around him, scarcely knowing where he was, or which end he stood on. But being of that happy temperament on which nothing less than dry knocks and actual applications of fire and water make any very alarming impressions, all of which being now over, he soon recovered in a good degree his self-possession. The Master then proceeded to instruct and lecture him as follows:

"Brother, I greet you: You are now a free and acceped Mason. You have now received the principal mysteries of the first degrees of Masonry. In your trials by fire and water, you represented in the one case, Grand Master Lot, and in the other Grand Master Noah, who both outlived the two devouring elements that respectively threatened them, and were more honored than all the multitudes that perished by the fire and the flood. And in the third wo you represented Old Adam, who, as traditions known only to the craft inform us, was at first only a shapeless mass of clay, which, becoming accidentally disengaged from the top of a high hill, rolled down, and was thus reduced to something like human shape, but was still senseless and dark, till, like yourself in the last trial, it was knocked into the light of existence by a blow from some unseen hand. But let me now instruct you in some of the arts of our illustrious order. There are the square and compass," he continued, producing a common iron square and compass. "By the square you must square your actions towards your masonic brethren—though as to all others, the d—l take the hindmost. By this also you are taught to move squarely, or in right lines and directly in all your comings and goings, except in going from a lodge meeting, when the rule does not always apply. And here is the compass: By this you are taught to divide out your favors to your brethren, and draw such circles as shall endow them and them only for your charities. By this also you are taught the art of making a new centre with one foot of the compass, und thus drawing a new circle when the old one fails to enclose the right number of friends, or otherwise does not answer your purpose: This is called pricking anew. These are the great emblems of Masonry, and they are full of wisdom and profit, brother; for there is scarce an act which a Mason may perform that cannot be satisfactorily measured and squared by them, which could never be done perhaps by the rules of the vulgar.

"Now for the signs and tokens.—If you would wish to discover whether any one is a Mason for the purpose of requiring his assistance, you must bring your right hand to the rear, where you have just received the mark of Masonry; and at the same time put the little finger of your left hand in your mouth, and vice versa. This is the sign by which one Mason may know another: Make this, and a brother seeing it, is bound to help you, vote for you, and do what you require. Thus you see, brother, the value and advantage of our glorious art. And now, having finished my instructions, I pronounce you a good, well-made, and worthy Mason."

The lectures being now finished, the lodge was closed, and spirits and other refreshments brought in, when all hands, after saluting brother Peacock with the most flattering greetings, sat down to the cheer; and long and merrily did the joke and bottle pass in honor of that memorable evening.

Not a little elated were the feelings of Mr. Peacock, when he awoke the next morning, by the proud consciousness of his newly acquired dignity. Though it must be confessed that these feelings were subjected to no small draw-back, in consequence of a certain soreness experienced about those parts which had been more immediately exposed to the visitation of Masonic honors. But the skillful applications of his loving partner soon relieved him of troubles of this kind, except scars which remained as lasting mementoes of his honorable service. He often spoke in praise of Masonry, and enlarged in admiration on its mysterious sublimities, which he likened to the terrors of a thunder storm, in which fire, water and thunder came mingling together in awful grandeur. Nor was he less impressed with the opinion of the advantages of the art. He was heard to say, that he would not take his best horse for the secret. So highly indeed did he estimate the value of this exalted mystery, that he firmly resolved that his expected son should one day become a Mason.—His expected son! But that important subject demands a new chapter.

CHAPTER II.

Fer opem, Lucina.

The 17th of April, 1790, was the day made memorable in the annals of American Masonry, by the birth of our hero, Timothy Peacock. The seal of future greatness having been stamped by destiny on the brow of the infantile Timothy, it is no marvel, therefore, that many incidents of a peculiarly singular and ominous character marked his birth and childhood. The day on which he was born, being the very day that terminated the earthly career of the illustrious Franklin, was of itself a circumstance worthy of particular notice; and it operated with much force on the astute mind of his doating father, who, being a firm believer in the doctrine of transmigration of souls, had a deep impression that the spirit of the departed philosopher had taken up its residence in his infant son. Again, a very remarkable potato had grown in Mr. Peacock's garden the previous season. This singular vegetable, which had grown in the form of an accute triangle, or a pair of open dividers, had been hung up in the cellar the fall before, as nothing more than a mere natural curiosity; but the moment Mr. Peacock cast his eyes upon it, a few days after the birth of Timothy, he instantly became sensible that things of far deeper import were involved in the formation of this mysterious production; and the truth, with intuitive rapidity, at once flashed across his mind: It was the well-known masonic emblem, the compass, and an undoubted omen that his house was about to be honored with a human production that was to become distinguished in the mysteries of that art thus strikingly designated. But these conclusions of Mr. Peacock, as well warranted as they were by that remarkable omen, were confirmed by a fact that he conceived could admit of no cavil or speculation. The child came into the world with the mark of a grid-iron clearly and palpably impressed, and that too, on those very parts which he knew, from experience, masonry particularly delighted to honor. I am aware that there are many among the would-be medico-philosophers of the present day, who would perhaps attribute the existence of this striking mark upon the infant, to the imagination of the mother, whose kind assiduities, as I have before intimated, had been put in requisition a few months before, on the occasion of her husband's initiation into the secrets of Masonsonry; but in reply to such conceited opinionists, I need only observe, that facts can never be outweighed by visionary speculations; and it was upon facts such as I have related, that Mr. Peacock founded his prophetic belief that his son was destined to future excellence, and that this excellence was to be more especially conspicuous in the path of masonic honors. Nor were the signs of future intellect at all wanting still further to confirm and justify his parents in the opinion they had formed of his brilliant destiny. Such indeed was the child's mental precocity, that new fears began to take possession of Mrs. Peacock, lest his extraordinary forwardness might be the forerunner of premature decay. But happily for the interests of Masonry, these maternal fears were never realized. The boy grew apace in body and mind. Before he was eight years old, he had nearly mastered all the intricacies of the English alphabet; and such was his progress in natural history, as illustrated in his horn book, that before he was ten he could readily tell the picture of a hog from that of a horse without any prompting or assistance whatever. Such wonders indeed may have since been witnessed under the system of infant schools lately brought into vogue, but it must be recollected that our hero at that day was deprived of the advantages of that incomparable method of hot-bed instruction. Mrs. Peacock, when viewing this unparalelled improvement of her darling son, would often heave a sigh of regret that she was doomed to bring up a child of such promise in this publican land, as she termed it, where he could never become a lord or a lord's gentleman, or wear any of those great titles to which his abilities would doubtless raise him in England. But Mr. Peacock was wont to soothe her grief on these occasions by suggesting that Timothy might, and unquestionably would, become a great Mason, and thus acquire all the grand titles of this order, which was no doubt introduced into this country as the only way of conferring titles and distinctions in this land of ragamuffinous dimecrats.

It was reflections like these, probably, that operated on Mr. Peacock about this time, and rendered him unusually anxious to advance still further himself in the higher degrees of Masonry, in which, as yet, he had made no other progress than that which we have already described in the preceding chapter. Botherworth had been applied to for this purpose, but that gentleman informed Mr. Peacock that he had already imparted all that was useful or instructive in all the degrees which he himself had taken, and that whoever wished for any more of the mystery, must obtain it from a regular lodge in which it could alone be conferred. Mr. Peacock accordingly made application to sundry Masons to obtain their intercession with the lodge in his behalf, but these applications, though backed by a frequent use of those signs and tokens which Botherworth had told him were so omnipotent, were never heeded, and all his attempts therefore to gratify his ambition in this line of preferment were entirely fruitless. This was a source of great mortification as well as of much perplexity to Mr. Peacock, who could by no means satisfactorily account in his own mind for these unexpected failures after having made so much progress in the art. He sometimes began to entertain serious doubts whether he had been properly initiated, and whether his masonry was of the legitimate kind. And in this, perhaps, he may be joined by some of my masonic readers. I cannot think, however, that these scruples of Mr. Peacock were well-grounded: At least, I do not consider that he had reason to complain of any injustice done him by the Worshipful Master, who initiated him, in withholding any useful masonic knowledge; for if he did not impart all those secrets, or perform in strictness all the ceremonies usual on such occasions, he substituted as many others as were a fair equivalent, and those too of a character which would not derogate from the decency or dignity of a legitimate initiation. But to return from this digression: Mr. Peacock finally gave up his doubts respecting the genuineness of his masonry, and attributed his want of success to the circumstance of his being a foreigner, which he supposed was sufficient to awaken the envy and provoke the hostility of even the fraternity in this land of titulary barrenness. This, however, was a disability to which his son would not be subject, and he concluded therefore to centre his hopes on Timothy for distinguishing his family by the reflected honors of that illustrious order. Accordingly he early endeavored to impress his young mind with reverence to the institution, and for that purpose had a little apron made for the boy, beautifully over-wrought with masonic emblems. His dog was named Jubelo, his cat Jubela, and his pet-lamb Jubelum. And thus, by keeping these rudiments of mystic knowledge continually before his youthful mind, those impressions were doubtless implanted, to which may be attributed the subsequent direction of mental energies that raised our hero to such a pinnacle of glory on the ladder of Jacob.

But as it may not be interesting to the reader to follow my hero through a minute detail of his various improvements to the completion of his education, I shall pass lightly over this period of his life, and content myself with observing that his progress in science, literature, and all the various branches of knowledge which he attempted, fully made good the promise of his childhood at the age when, as before mentioned, he accomplished his abecedarian triumph. It may be proper, however, here to notice one prevailing taste which he early manifested in the course of his education: This was a strong predilection for the study and exercise of the art of oratory, and that part of it more especially which, seeking the most dignified and sonorous expressions, constitutes what is called the Ciceronian flow. So high, indeed, was the standard of his taste in this particular, that he rarely condescended, when he attempted any thing like a display of his powers, to use any words, (except the necessary adjuncts and connectives) short of polysyllables.—And these, with the intuitive quickness of genius, he at once seized upon and appropriated to his use, selecting them from the great mass of those undignified cumberers of our language, monosyllables, by the same rule by which the acute farmer, in purchasing his scythe or his cauldron, or by which, in selecting his seed potatoes from his ample bin, he is accustomed to make choice of the largest and the longest. It was this trait, probably, in the intellectual character of our hero—this gift, so peculiarly adapted to give expression to the lofty dictums of masonic philosophy, that contributed mainly in rearing him to that eminence among the fraternity for which he was afterwards so conspicuous.

But these juvenile years flew rapidly away, and time rolling on, and bringing about many other events of moment to the world, brought also our hero to the age of twenty-one,— that important period which so often gives a turn to our destinics for life. It did so to Timothy. Mr. Peacock, who had long deliberated on the course of life most advantageous for his son to pursue, at last concluded, as he had no employment suitable for one of his genius at home, to send him abroad to seek his fortune. And although he could furnish but a small allowance of the needful for such an enterprize, his means having been sadly impaired of late years, not only in the education of Timothy, who had been sent one quarter to a neighboring academy by way of adding the finishing polish to his acquirements, but by the heavy drafts of Mrs. Peacock on the bar-box of the Doggery for the support of her show of the family dignity, yet he had little doubt but Timothy's talents and education would command for him both emolument and honor. This course having been once settled and confirmed by all parties in interest, arrangements were soon completed for his departure. The important day fixed on for this purpose at length arrived; and our hero having buckled on his pack for his pedestrian excursion, went to receive the adieus and blessings of his parents before leaving their kind roof for the broad theatre of the world, when Mr. Peacock, with the characteristic frankness of the high-minded English, thus addressed him:

"As you are now about to go abroad into the world, in the first place, remember, my son, that all men are scoundrels by nature, and especially in this country of dogs and dimecrats. But you have an Englishman's blood beneath your hide, which should make you hold up your head in any country. But blood, I know, won't do every thing for you without tallow; and as I have but little of the solid lucre to give you, why, you must cut and carve out a fortune for yourself. They will tell you that this rippublercan government is the best in the world; but they lie as fast as a dog will trot, except the fast trotting dogs. I see nothing here that compares with England, but masonry, which you must join as soon as you get settled, as I have often told you; then you will have titles that the dimecrats can't get away from you, do what they will. Then go, my son, and become a great man, and do something in the world that will make your ancestors proud of you till the last day of eternity, so mote it be, amen and good by to ye."

CHAPTER III.

"'Tis a rough land of rock, and stone, and tree,
Where breathes no castled lord nor cabined slave;
Where thoughts, and hands, and tongues are free,
And friends will find a welcome—foes a grave."

It was a pleasant morning in the month of May, when our hero shouldered his well-stored knapsack, and, with the blessings of his father and mother on his head, and their meagre outfit in his pocket, went forth into the wide world to seek his fortune wherever he might find it.

Such was the obscure and lowly beginning of the renowned hero of Mugwump!—Such the inauspicious and rayless rising of that masonic star which was destined soon to mount the mystic zenith, and irradiate the whole canopy of America with its peerless effulgence! But not wishing to anticipate his subsequent distinction, or waste words in bestowing that panegyric which a bare recital of his deeds cannot but sufficiently proclaim, I shall endeavor to follow my hero through the bright mazes of his eventful career, giving an unvarnished narration of his exploits, and leaving them to speak their own praise and receive from an unbiassed posterity, if not from this perverse and unmasonic generation, the meed of unperishable honor.

Steering his course westward, Timothy arrived at the end of his first day's walk at a little village within the borders of Massachusetts. Here he put up at a respectable looking tavern for the night. After a good substantial supper had somewhat settled the inquietudes of the inner man, he began to cast about him for companionship; and hearing those who came in address the landlord by the various titles of 'Squire, Colonel, &c., and concluding therefore that the man must be the principal personage of the village, he determined to have some conversation with him, and this for two reasons,—first, because he wished to make enquiries respecting the road to the State of New York, to which it had been settled he should proceed as a place well suited to give full scope to his splendid talents, and, secondly, because he thought it doing the landlord injustice to suffer him to remain any longer in ignorance of the great Genius with whose presence his house was now honored. He therefore opened the conversation in a manner which he deemed suitable to the occasion.—

"Landlord," said he, "comprehending you to be a man of superlative exactitude, I take the present opportunity for making a few nocturnal enquiries."

`Oh, yes; yes, Sir,' replied the landlord, with a bow at every repetition; `yes, Sir, I thank you,—may ben't, however, I don't exactly understand your tarms; but I'll answer your enquiries in the shake of a sheep's-tail.'

"I am now," rejoined the former, "meandering my longitude to the great State of New-York, where I contemplate the lucid occupation of juvenile instruction, or some other political aggrandizement, and I would more explicitly direct my enquiries respecting the best road to that sequestered dominion."

`Oh, yes, yes Sir, I thank you,' said the other— speaking of political matters—I have had some experience in that line, and about the road too; why, let me see—it is just four year agone coming June, since I went representative to the General Court in Boston.—They would make me go to the Legislature, you see.—Well, my speech on the Road Bill of that session as to the best rout to New-York; but may ben't you havn't read my speech.—Well, no matter.—But, my friend, don't you miss it to go to New-York? Now I'll tell you jest what I would do: I would go right to Old Varmount at once.—They are all desput ignerant folks there.—They must want a man of your larnen shockingly I guess.—Now spose you jest think on't a little.'

"Should you advise me then," observed Timothy, happy in perceiving his talents were beginning to be appreciated by the landlord, "should you advise me to concentrate to that dispensation?"

`Go there, do you mean?' replied the polished ex-representative— `why, to be sure I should.—These poor out-of-the-world people must be dreadfully sunk. You wouldn't find any body there that could hold a candle to you: and besides teaching, which you are a person I conclude every way fitting for it, I shouldn't wonder if you got to be governer in two year.'

Much did Timothy, on retiring to rest, revolve in mind the advice of the sage landlord. He could not but admit that the argument for going to Vermont was a very forcible one, and coming as it did from so candid a man, and one who had been a representative to the legislature, it seemed entitled to great weight;—so after mature deliberation, he concluded to follow the 'Squire's enlightened suggestions—go to Vermont, become a chief teacher of the poor barbarians of that wild country, till such time as they should make him their governor.

The next morning Timothy rose early, and under the fresh impulse of his late resolution, eagerly resumed his journey.

Nothing worthy particular notice occurred to our hero during the three next succeeding days of his pilgrimage for fame and fortune. Untroubled by any of those doubts and fears of the future which so often prove troublesome attendants to minds of a different mould, he pressed on in the happy consciousness that merit like his must soon reap its adequate reward. Emoluments and civil distinctions would await him as matters of course, but an object of a higher character more deeply engrossed his mind, and formed the grateful theme of his loftiest aspirations. This was the sublime mysteries of Masonry; and to the attainment of its glorious laurels he looked forward with a sort of prophetic rapture as a distinction which was to cap the climax of his renown and greatness.

With such bright anticipations of the future beguiling many a lonely hour, and shortening many a weary mile, he arrived at the eastern bank of the beautiful Connecticut— that river of which the now almost forgotten Barlow sings or says with as much truth as felicity of expression— "No watery gleams through happier vallies shine, Nor drinks the sea a lovelier wave than thine." Fearlessly passing this Rubicon, for such it was to one of his preconceived notions of the country beyond, supposing, as he did, its eastern borders to be the very Ultima Thule of civilization, Timothy found himself, as a certain literary dandy, who is now receiving " Impressions" among the naked Venuses of Italy, has been pleased to express it, "out of the world and in Vermont."

Vermont! Ah, Vermont! calumniator of the heavenborn Handmaid! How the mind of every true brother sickens at thy degenerate name!—How deeply deplores thy fallen condition!—How regrets and pities thy blindness to that light which, but for thy perverseness, might still have gloriously illuminated thy mountains, and soon have shone the ascendant in all thy political gatherings, thy halls of legislation and thy courts of justice—overpowering in each the feebler rays of uninitiated wisdom, and filling them with the splendors of mystic knowledge! What unholy frenzy could have seized thy irreverent sons thus to lay their Gothlike hands on the sacred pillars of that consecrated fabric, in which we behold accomplished the magnificent object for which the less favored projectors of ancient Babel labored in vain,—the construction of a tower reaching from earth to heaven, by which the faithful, according to the assurance of their wise ones, "Hope with good conscience to heaven to climb, And give Peter the grip, the pass-word and sign!" What high-handed presumption, thus to assail that institution which, as its own historians, as learned as the Thebans and as infallible as the Pope, have repeatedly informed us, commenced in Eden, (whether before or after the gentleman with the blemished foot made his appearance in the garden, they have not mentioned,) and which has since continued, from age to age, advancing in greatness and glory, till it has at length arrived at the astonishing excellence of nineteen degrees above perfection! What blind infatuation and unappreciating stupidity, thus to pursue with obloquy and proscription that heaven-gifted fraternity, who are, we are again informed, so immeasurably exalted above the grovelling mass of the uninitiated, that,

"As men from brutes, distinguished are, A Mason other men excels!"

No wonder this daughter of heaven is indignant at thy ungrateful rebellion to her celestial rule! No wonder her Royal Arch sons of light mourn in sackcloth and ashes over thy disgrace! No wonder her yet loyal and chivalrous Templars are so anxious to see thy "lost character redeemed!"

But from this vain lament over a country once honored and blest—by that glorious Light she has since so blindly strove to extinguish—over a country once happy and unsuspected in her fealty to those who, like the sun-descended Incas, are thus endowed with the peculiar right to govern the undistinguished multitude—over a land thus favored, but now, alas! forever fallen, and become a by-word and reproach among her sister states—let us return to those halcyon days of her obedience in which transpired those brilliant adventures which it has become our pleasing task to delineate.

After crossing the river, our hero entered a thriving village situated around those picturesque falls where this magnificent stream, meeting a rocky barrier, and, as if maddened at the unexpected interruption after so long a course of tranquil meanderings, suddenly throws itself, with collected strength, headlong down through the steep and yawning chasm beneath, with the delirious desperation of some giant maniac hurling himself from a precipice.

After a brief stay at this place, which, to his surprise, wore the marks of considerable civilization, and which he concluded therefore must be the strong out-post of the frontier, and the largest town of the Green-Mountain settlement, he pushed boldly into the interior. Taking a road leading north-westerly, with a view of passing through the mountains into some of the western counties of the state, which he had been told comprised the best part of Vermont, he travelled on several hours with increasing wonder in finding the country cultivated like other places he had been accustomed to see—the farm-houses comfortable, and not made of logs; and the inhabitants much like other people in appearance. In pondering on these, to him unaccountable circumstances, as he diligently pursued his way through a variety of scenery which was continually arresting his attention, he wholly forgot to acquaint himself with the relative distances of the houses of public entertainment on the road. At length, however, the setting sun, slowly sinking behind the long range of Green-Mountains, which now, with broad empurpled sides, lay looming in the distance, reminded him of his inadvertence, and warned him that he must speedily seek out a lodging for the night. But now no inn, or, indeed, any other habitation was in sight; and to add to his perplexity the road became more woody, and he was now evidently approaching a wilder part of the country. Undismayed, however, he pressed onward with a quickened pace, and after travelling some distance he came to a small farm-house. Determined to make application for a night's lodging at this cottage, as it was now nearly dark, he approached it and rapped for admittance. The rap was instantly answered from within, and at the same time a host of white-headed urchins crowded to the door, headed by the house-cur, yelping at the very top of his cracked voice. Presently, however, the owner of this goodly brood made his appearance, loudly vociferating, "Fraction! get out, get out, you saucy scamp! you have no more manners than a sophomore in vacation.—Number One, take a stick and baste the dog to his heart's content; and you, Number Two, Three, and the rest of ye, to your seats in a moment!" After thus stilling the commotion around him, the farmer cordially invited Timothy into the house, where the latter was soon made welcome for the night to such fare as the house afforded. As soon as the common-place remarks usual on such occasions were a little over, our hero, whose curiosity was considerably excited by the specimen of Green-Mountain manners which this family presented, began to make his observations with more minuteness; and taking what he here saw, as many other learned travellers in a strange country have done, for a fair sample of the rest of the inhabitants, he could not but marvel much on the singularity of this people. Every thing about the house exhibited a strange mingling of poverty, and what he had been taught to believe could only be the results of some degree of affluence. The family appeared to be in possession of the substantials of living in abundance, and yet rough benches were about their only substitute for chairs: Indeed, the usual conveniences of furniture were almost wholly wanting.— Again, there were two or three kinds of newspapers in the room, one of which two of the boys, each as ragged as a young Lazarus, were reading together by fire-light, with one hand holding up the tattered nether garments, and the other grasping a side of the sheet whose contents they seemed to devour with the eagerness of a young candidate for Congress on the eve of an election, occasionally making their sage comments, till one, coming to some partisan prediction or political philippic with which the newspapers at that period were teeming, suddenly let go the paper and exclaimed, "Hurra for Madison and the Democrats! Dad, we shall have a war, and I'll go and fight the British!"—while, "so will I!" "and I too!" responded several of the younger boys, starting up, and brandishing their sturdy little fists. While these tiny politicians were thus settling the destinies of the nation, an embryo Congress-member, the oldest boy, or Number One, (as his father called him) a lad of about fifteen, lay quietly on his back, with his head to the fire, studying a Greek Grammar, and furnishing himself with light by once in a while throwing on a pine knot, a pile of which he had collected and laid by his side for the purpose. These circumstances, particularly the latter, filled our hero with surprise, and he asked the farmer how he `contrivified,' in a place with no more `alliances for edifercation,' to bring his boys to such a `length of perfecticability' as to be studying Greek? To this the man replied, that they had a school in every neighborhood that furnished as many, and indeed more advantages than common scholars would improve; and he did not suppose boys in any country, whatever might be said of its advantages, could be very well taught much faster than they could learn. As to his own boys, he did not consider the smaller ones any great shakes at learning; but with regard to Number One, it came so natural for him to learn, that he did not believe the boy could help it. A college school-master, he said, teaching in their school the year before, had put the child agoing in the dead lingos and lent him some books;—since which, by digging along by himself nights, rainy days, and so on, and reciting to the minister, he had got so far that he thought of going to college another year, which he was welcome to do, if he could `hoe his own row.'

Timothy then asked him the reason of his `designifying' his children by such odd `appliances.' To this question, also, the farmer (who was one of those compounds of oddity and shrewdness who have enough of the latter quality to be able to give a good reason for the same) had his ready answer, which he gave by saying, that he never gave names to any of his children, for he thought that his method of numbering them as they came, and so calling them by their respective numbers, altogether preferable to giving them the modern fashionable double or treble names; because it furnished brief and handy names by which to call his children, and possessed the additional advantage of giving every body to understand their comparative ages, which names could never do; besides, there could be no danger of exhausting the numeral appellatives, which the other course, in this respect, was not without risk in the Green-Mountains; though as to himself, he said he did not know that he ought to feel under any great apprehensions of running out the stock of names, as he had as yet but seventeen children, though to be sure he had not been married only about fifteen years.

Our hero now retired to rest for the night, and, after a sound sleep, rose the next morning to resume his journey, when to his great joy a waggoner came along and kindly gave him a passage over the mountains, landing him at night at an inn in the open country several miles to the west of them.

[1] The expression of Hon. Ezra Meech, a Knight Templar Mason, in a letter written by him to certain gentlemen in Windsor County, after his nomination by the Jackson and National Republican parties, as a candidate for Governor, in opposition to the Anti-Masons.

[2] Allusion is doubtless here made to the starting career of a distinguished member of Congress from Vermont, now deceased, who is said to have commenced his classical studies under the auspices, and in the manner here described.—Editor.

[3] The following anecdote probably refers to some of the neighbors of the above mentioned individual. A boy being asked his name, replied that he had none. The reason being asked, he said his father was so poor he could not afford him one.—Ed.

CHAPTER IV.

"Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November,—
All the rest have thirty-one
But February alone."

The above, reader, I consider the best verse of poetry of modern production: the best, because the most useful, that has been given to the world by the whole tribe of poets of the present century, whether born or made so, from Byron, intellectual giant of lofty imaginings, down to N. P. Willis, puny prince of poetical puppyism. Don't stare so: I am in earnest; and make my appeal, not to finical critics, but to the great mass of the people, learned and unlearned, for a confirmation of my opinion. What man, woman or child, in their daily reckoning of the days in the different months, for the calculations of business, profit or pleasure, does not instantly recur to this verse, which is fixed in the memory of all, or a majority of all, who speak the English language, as the readiest way of ascertaining at once what would otherwise require a considerable exertion of the memory, or perhaps an inconvenient recurrence to the almanac to determine. And what is modern poetry?— what is its real utility, and what are its effects? Metal refined to dross—a crazy man's dreams—a combination of vague, mystified, and unmeaning imagery, containing scarcely one natural simile—one sensible thought, or one sound maxim of moral instruction; and calculated only to enervate and undiscipline the mind, without bettering the heart by awakening one commendable sensibility or by fostering one virtue. Such at least is too much the character of the productions of our mistaken poets. The above lines, however, are obviously an exception to these remarks; and thus viewing them, I thought I would quote them in compliance with the custom of heading chapters with a catch of poetry; and as to their applicability to the subject matter of the chapter over which they are placed, I have little fear of violating the precedents of many of my superiors in authorship.

I left my hero, lodged for the night in a tavern situated in a town some miles west of the Green-Mountains. This town, as he found on enquiry, contained a village of considerable size lying about three miles distant from the tavern of which he was then an inmate. After a night's selfconsultation, Timothy concluded he would make his debut in this village without further wanderings. Whether he came to this determination just at this time, because he considered it a public duty to try to enlighten the inhabitants of this particular town, or whether the diminished gravity of his purse admonished him that he could not proceed any farther without replenishing it, is a matter of no consequence; but certain it is, he was now making an inroad on his last guinea.

I mention these trifling circumstances, because I am aware that even trifles become invested with interest and importance when connected with subsequent greatness. Timothy was informed by the landlord that there was an academy, or town school in the village, which having no funds, was supported by subscription, and taught by such preceptors as could, from time to time, be obtained; some of whom instructed in the dead languages, and all the classics, and some only in English branches, and that this academy was at present destitute of a teacher. For this station our hero now resolved to offer himself, not in the least doubting his qualifications to instruct the children of a people so rude and ignorant, as he had been taught in his own country to believe the Vermonters. For this purpose he proceeded directly to the village, and calling on one of the trustees or committee, who, he was told, superintended the hiring of instructors, promptly offered himself for the vacant situation. The gentleman, as soon as he was made to understand this proposal of Timothy, eyed its author a moment with keen attention—then took out his spectacles, rubbed the glasses, put them on, and took a second look, surveying from head to foot the goodly dimensions of the young six-footer before him, (our hero stood just six feet high in his cowhides, reader,) his looks seeming to say, "a sturdy fellow, truly! but does he look like a preceptor?" For a while he appeared puzzled what answer to make to Timothy. At last however he observed, that perhaps they had better walk over to Esquire Hawkeye's office, as the Squire was also a committee-man, and usually took the main management of the establishment. Accordingly he led our hero to the office of the 'Squire, and introduced him by observing, "A gentleman, who wishes to engage as teacher of our academy, 'Squire.—I always leave cases of this kind to your management, you know, 'Squire," he added, with a kind of half grin. After all the necessary introductory nods, &c. had been made by the parties, the 'Squire, who was a lawyer, laid aside the writs and executions which were ostentatiously displayed on the table before him, and proceeded to put a few general questions to Timothy, who promptly answered them in the way he thought best calculated to produce a favorable impression of his abilities. The 'Squire listened with great attention to every answer, rolling his tobacco quid at the same time in his mouth with increased rapidity. "What say you," at length he said, addressing the man who introduced Timothy, "what say you, Deacon Bidwell, shall we proceed to examine into the gentleman's qualifications, or does he bring with him sufficient credentials?" The Deacon looked to Timothy for an answer to the last question, but not receiving any, he observed, "The 'Squire means to ask you whether you have brought any credentials, or letters of recommend with you." To this our hero, conceiving the question implied a doubt of his qualifitions, and feeling indignant that any doubts should be entertained of him by a people whom he considered so much his inferiors, rather haughtily replied, that he "never carried about with him such superfluous superfluities; and that, if they were not already satisfied with his blandishments, they might proceed to invistigate them." The 'Squire now rolled his quid faster than before. At this moment, a little thin, sallow-faced, important-looking fellow came bustling in, who was saluted as Doctor Short, and who was a no less important personage than the village physician, and a third member of the august board who were about to sit in judgement on the literary and scientific qualifications of our hero. The Doctor having been informed of what was on the carpet, and invited to take a part in the examination, the 'Squire now observed, "Perhaps we may as well proceed to invistigate the gentleman a little, as he expresses it.—So, I will propound a question or two, with his leave:—And in the first place, What is grammar?"

`That part of speech,' replied Timothy, with the utmost promptitude, `which teaches us to express our ideas with propriety and dispatch.'

"How would you parse this sentence," said the 'Squire, holding up in his hand an old book of forms, "This book is worth a dollar?"

`Pass!' replied Timothy, with a sneer, `pass it? why, I should pass it as a very absurd incongruity, for the book evidently is not worth half that sum!'

"Ah, well, Sir, we will take another branch," said the 'Squire, in an apologetic tone—"What histories have you read?"

`Robinson Cruso, George Barnwell, Pilgrim's Progress, Thaddeus of Warsaw, Indian Wars, Arabian Nights, the account of the Great Gunpowder Plot, and a multitudinous collection of others, too numerous to contemplate.'

"At what time did the Gunpowder Plot take place—how, and in what country?"

`In England, in the dark ages of ancestry, when it blew up the King, whose name was Darnley, into the immeasurable expanse of the celestial horizon—shook the whole of Europe, and was heard even into France and Scotland.'

"What is Geography?"

`It is a terraqueous description of the circumambular globe.'

"The gentleman really seems to answer the questions with great promptitude," said the 'Squire, with well-supported gravity. "Doctor, will you take your turn in a few interrogatories?"

The Doctor now assuming a wise look, and taking a new pinch of snuff by way of sharpening his faculties for the occasion, asked Timothy if he had ever studied the Latin language.

Our hero hesitated; but thinking it would not do to be thought deficient in any branch of education, and having caught the signification of a few words from having heard the recitations of a Latin scholar or two in a school which he once for a short time attended, he concluded to risk the consequence of giving an affirmative answer: Accordingly, he told the Doctor that he did profess to know something about that language.

"Well, then," said the Doctor, "What is the English meaning of this sentence—Varium et mutabile semper femina?"

`Why,' replied Timothy, `it means, I opinionate, that simpering females will mutiny without variety.'

"Not so wide from the mark, by the shade of old Virgil!" said the other, laughing: "but let us try another—a famous quotation from Horace: it is this—Poeta nascitur, non fit?"

`O, that is plain enough,' quickly replied our hero, `and I agree with that Mr. Horace—he says that a nasty poet is not fit—that is, not fit for any thing.'

The Doctor and 'Squire now laughed outright—the Deacon looked round to see what was the matter, and smiled faintly through sympathy, but said nothing. "I will now," said the Doctor, after having recovered from his fit of merriment, "I will now give you a sentence in prose, with which you, being a teacher, will of course be familiar:— Bonus doctor custos populorum."

`Why,' replied Timothy, with a look of mingled doubt and wicked triumph glancing at the lean visage of the other, `seeing you put it out to me, I will explanitate it: It says and signifies, that bony doctors are a curse to the people.'

The laugh was now against the Doctor, in which even the Deacon joined heartily; while the somewhat discomfited object of the joke, after a few shrugs of the shoulders, hastily proceeded to say,

"Well, well, let us drop the Latin,—other studies are more important,—let us take some of the higher branchos of English education. What, Sir, is Chemistry?"

`Chemistry!' said our hero, `why, that I take to be one of your physical propensities which has nothing to do with education.'

"Well, then," said the Doctor, "we will take a view of the higher branches of Mathematics—algebraical, geometrical or trigonometrical principles, if you please."

But Timothy, thinking he had answered enough of their impertinent questions, replied, that `as to algymetry and trygrimetry, and such other invented abstrusities,' he considered too insignificant to monopolize his internal consideration: He therefore wished them to tell him at once whether or not they would employ him. This unexpected request rather disconcerted the learned trio, and they appeared much at a loss what to say. After some shuffling of feet, spitting and looking down upon the floor, the Deacon and Doctor both turned their eyes imploringly on the 'Squire, as much as to say, "you must be the man to smooth the answer as well as you can."

The 'Squire then told Timothy, that they were not exactly prepared at present to give any answer. But our hero was not to be put off in this manner, and desired to know when they would be ready to answer him. The 'Squire replied that it was extremely difficult to tell, but if at any time hence they should wish to employ him, they would send him word. Timothy, however, was determined to bring them to something definite, and therefore insisted on their naming a day when they would let him know their decision. On this, the 'Squire finding himself likely to be baffled in his plan of indefinite postponement, as the legislators say, very gravely proposed that Timothy should call in one year from that day, at half past four o'clock in the afternoon, precisely, when he should have the answer which he so much desired.

Our hero hearing this strange proposition, and observing them exchange sundry winks, instantly rose, and, with becoming indignation declaring that he had no sort of desire to enter the employment of men too ignorant to appreciate his talents, abruptly left the office. Pausing not a moment to look either to the right or left, he strode on with rapid steps till he was fairly out of the village; when he turned round and gave vent to his smothered resentment in a torrent of anathemas against those conceited and impudent fellows, who, with such astonishing stupidity, had failed to discover his capacities in an examination in which he had, in his own opinion, acquitted himself so honorably. But he was now clear of them, and he determined to trouble them no more. Indeed, he began now to entertain a contemptible opinion of school-keeping altogether, and he therefore concluded to make no more applications for this kind of employment, at least among the conceited Vermonters. "But where am I going?" he now for the first time thought to ask himself. He revolved several things in his mind, and at last resolved, as it was now nearly night, to return to the tavern where he lodged the last night, and consult with the landlord, who had treated him with much kindness, relative to the course he had better pursue in his present unpleasant circumstances.

CHAPTER V.

"Romans, countrymen and lovers!"


—Brutus.

Vexed, cross, discomfitted and sullen, our hero arrived at the tavern he had left in the morning with such high hopes, nay, with such certainty of success in the application, the fate of which is recorded in the last chapter.

Think not, reader, that I am admitting any thing derogatory to the talents of my hero by describing his failure, or rather want of success, in his attempt to get employed by a paltry school committee. By no means. Who is to say that it was not a fit of sheer caprice in these conceited wights of village greatness, that led to his rejection? Again, as "it requires wit to find out wit," who shall decide that it was not their ignorance instead of his that produced that hapless result? But, admit that it was not,—admit that they were right in considering Timothy not well calculated for the business of instruction, does it follow that this must necessarily go in disparagement of his abilities— of his genius—of his heroic qualities? Why, Marlborough, whose military achievements constitute so bright an era in England's glory—even the great Marlborough, could never have made a school-master. And Newton,—think you Newton could have ever become a Garrick in theatrics— a Sheridan in eloquence, or a Burns in poesy? Greatness does not consist in being great or excellent in every thing, nor does talent, to be of the highest order, require that its possessor should excel in all he may happen to undertake. The farmer, the mechanic, or even the horse-jockey, who displays uncommon dexterity or superior management in the business of his occupation, may be said to be a man of talents.

Having now disposed of this point to my own satisfaction, and to yours also, I presume, gentle reader, I will proceed with my narrative.

No sooner had Timothy entered the bar-room of the inn above mentioned, than he was hailed by the landlord, who was called Captain Joslin. "Well, friend," said he, "what luck? Have you got the place, and come back to practice at the school-master's walk, &c. awhile before you appear among your scholars?" Timothy at first felt a little disinclined to relate the result of his journey to the village, but finding his host kindly anxious to know what had befallen him to cause such dejection in his looks, he at length frankly related the whole proceeding, attributing his failure to a cause which few, I think, who rightly appreciate his capacities, will doubt to be the true one, viz: the inability of the committee to comprehend the depth and bearing of his answers and observations, adding that he had become so perfectly disgusted with school committee-men that he doubted whether he could ever again bring his mind to make another application of the kind. "Ah," said the Captain, "I was rather fearful when you went from here that you would not be able to do much with the big-bugs there in the village; besides, people are mighty particular in these parts about their school-masters: It an't here as it is in Massachusetts and York State. Why, they turned off our master last winter only because my boy, Jock, who was fourteen last sugarin'-time, treed him in a sum in Double Position—though to be sure we don't often get taken in so.—But as to yourself, what do you propose to drive at now for a living?"

This question brought matters to the point on which Timothy had determined to consult the landlord: He therefore candidly told his host his exact situation, and asked his advice on the subject.

"I thought likely," observed the landlord, "that this might be the case with you; and I have been thinking, friend, as you appear to be a kind of honest, free-spoken fellow, besides being stout and able-bodied for business, that you are about such a chap as I should like myself to employ a few months—say till after next harvesting. I have a farm and keep a team, as you see. Now what say you to hiring out to me for about ten dollars a month or so, to work mostly on the farm, but tend bar when I am absent, or at other times, perhaps, when business is not very pressing?"

This kind proposal, although not quite a fair equivalent for a salaried professorship, or the gubernatorial chair of Vermont, came nevertheless at this dark hour of his prospects, as the sun of light and comfort to the soul of our hero; and with that facility, with which great minds always conform to circumstances, he cheerfully acceded to the proposition of Captain Joslin. All the articles of the compact were then discussed and ratified on the spot; and both parties appeared well satisfied with the bargain. It is unnecessary, perhaps, to detail the events of the few first days in which Timothy was introduced into the business of his employer; suffice it to say, that after becoming an inmate in the Captain's family, he soon began to feel cheerful and contented, and such was his alacrity in business, and his sprightliness and buoyancy in companionship, that he shortly became a favorite, not only in his employer's family, but in all the immediate neighborhood. But capacities like his could not long remain concealed by the obscurity of such employment. In this situation he had lived about a month, when one day he received an invitation to go to the raising of a large barn frame in an adjoining town. He accordingly attended the raising; and during the performance, often attracted the attention of the company by his activity in handling the light timbers, as well as by the free good will with which he put his shoulder to the broad-side. After the raising of the building was completed, and the bottle had several times circulated, the company broke from the drinking circle, and gathering into small clubs about in different places, commenced telling stories, singing songs, cracking jokes, and discussing various subjects according to the age and tastes of the parties. Our hero happening to be passing one of these little collections, heard them discussing the subject of Freemasonry— some ridiculing it as a "great big nothing," as they were pleased to term it—others denouncing it as a dangerous institution, and yet others defending it. This was enough to arrest his attention, and arouse his feelings; for he was born, it may be said, with an innate sympathy for that noble institution; and he immediately pushed his way into the circle, and so earnestly took up the cudgels in defence of the slandered order, that he soon triumphantly vanquished his opponents, and was left master of the field. Having, by this time, drawn a considerable crowd about him, and being still full of the subject on which he had now become thoroughly excited, his natural inclination for spouting came upon him too strong to be resisted; and mounting a bunch of new shingles that lay near him, he elevated his fine form, and after pitching his voice by the usual h-e-ms and h-a-ms, thus addressed the listening crowd around him:

"Friends, Countrymen, and Fellow Barn-Raisers:

"In all my longitudinal meanderings from the town of Mugwump, the place of my native developement, to the territorial summits of the Green-Mountain wilderness, I have never heard such scandalous exasperations and calumniated opinions protruded against the magnificent marvelosity of Masonry. Having been instilled from the earliest days of my juvenile infancy to look upon that celestial transportation of Masonry with the most copious veneration, is it any wonderful emergency that I am filled with the most excruciating indignation in hearing these traducities against an institution of such amphibious principles and concocted antiquity? And here I exalt my prophecy that unless you expunge such disgusting sentimentalities, and put down such illiterate falsifications, they will hetrodox the whole popular expansion, till they entirely stop the velocity of civilization: For there is no other preparative that can exalt a people from their heathenish perplexities, and confer rank and distinguishment like the luminous invention of Freemasonry. Then again, behold its useful commodity! Look at that compendious barn-frame! Was it not conglemerated by the square and compass? and are not these emblements extracted from the intelligence of Masonry? Let me then concentrate my propensities to warn you to lay aside your reprobate infringements, lest you, and all your cotemporary posterity, be deprived of the civilized embellishments and incomprehensible advantages of that superfluous fraternity."

He ceased, and his speech was followed with bursts of applauding laughter by many, by exclamations of admiration by some, and by expressions of wonder and surprise by all. It will be said, perhaps, by those astute antimasonic carpers, who, in these degenerate days, scruple not to condemn the choicest specimens of masonic composition because they are often wholly incapable of comprehending them,—it will be said, perhaps, by such, that this impassioned little burst of eloquence is not original in my hero; that it is borrowed from some masonic orator. This I wholly deny; but while I claim entire originality for this impromptu effort, I am free to confess the resemblance which might lead to such a conclusion; and, indeed, not a little proud should our hero feel of a performance which, by its similarity of style, diction, and lucid and conclusive manner of argumentation, is liable to be mistaken for one of those monuments of extraordinary eloquence that, in the shape of twenty-fourth of June orations, have thrown such a halo of light and glory around the mystic temple.

But the temporary applause which Timothy received on this occasion, was of little consequence compared with the subsequent honors of which this little performance seemed to be the moving cause. Scarcely had he descended from his rustic rostrum when he was eagerly seized by the hand by a person who heartily congratulated him on his speech. Timothy having before seen the man, whose name was Jenks, at Joslin's, and become somewhat acquainted, soon fell into a low, confidential sort of conversation with him on the subject of the speech, when the latter observed, that from a certain circumstance (not returning the grip probably) he concluded that Timothy was not a Mason; and, on being told that such was the case, enquired why he did not join the lodge, at the same time adding that he had never before met with a person who, he thought, would make a brighter Mason. Timothy then asked Jenks if he should advise any one to join. "Why," replied the latter, "we never advise any body to join us; but I can tell you that you little dream of what you will lose if you don't." To this Timothy replied that he had long been determined on becoming a Mason as soon as his circumstances would admit, but at present he had no money to spare for the purpose, besides he had certain objections to appearing in the village where he supposed he should have to go if he joined at this time. Jenks however removed all these objections by informing Timothy that they had a lodge in that town, and that a note would answer as well as money for the initiation fee. On hearing this, our hero at once accepted the offer that the other now made, to propose him at the next lodge meeting, which was that very night. Jenks then went and procured pen, ink and paper, and writing a note of the required sum, and an application in due form, brought them to Timothy to sign, at the same time explaining the necessity of this measure. These being signed, it was arranged that Timothy should come in just four weeks, and calling on Jenks at his residence, they should both proceed together to the place at which the proposed initiation was to take place. When this interesting negociation was concluded, our hero proceeded homewards with a bosom swelling with pride and expectation. His step was lighter, his head was held higher, and a new impulse seemed to have been given to his whole energies; for he felt conscious that the coming occasion was to constitute a new era in his destinies.

How slowly to our hero the tedious days of the next month rolled away! It seemed to him that the eventful day that was to unfold to his view the mighty mysteries of Masonry, would never arrive. Long before the time came he had procured the sum requisite for his initiation, and being now fully prepared for that important event, he ardently longed to see the hour at hand. His whole soul became engrossed in the overwhelming subject by day, and by night it was the burden of his dreamy imaginings. Once, in particular, his dream became a vision of striking distinctness, and prophetic import. He saw a vast throne in the clouds, on each side of which extended a broad vapory parapet. A mighty King sat upon the throne, with a shining mitre, covered with mystic symbols, on his head, while an innumerable host of aproned worshippers stood around him ready to do his bidding. While our hero gazed on the splendid spectacle, a ladder was let down to his feet; and he mounted it step by step, till he reached the very seat of the Great Puissant, there enthroned in light and glory ineflable. When the King, taking the crown from his own head, placed it on the head of our hero and descended, exclaiming, "Hail, O Grand King! High and mighty art thou among our followers on earth! Let the faithful worship thee! So mote it be—So mote it be, forever amen, amen!" While the last word was canght up by the multitude of surrounding worshippers, till the long echoes, reverberating through the welkin in peals of vocal thunder, returned to the ears of our enthroned dreamer, and dispelled the magnificent vision from his enraptured senses.

CHAPTER VI.

"Wunder-wurkeinge."

Old Masonic Manuscript.

The long wished day, which was to reveal to our hero those hidden wonders so impenetrably concealed from the profane and vulgar, at length arrived. With restless impatience and quivering anxiety did he wait the proper hour for his departure to meet his appointment at the place of his proposed initiation. And no sooner had it arrived than he mounted his nag, and, with his initiation fee snugly deposited in his pocket, rode off for the residence of Jenks, the friend, who, as before mentioned, had agreed to introduce him. The distance was about five miles; but his horse, although it was a murky evening in July, either through consciousness that he was bound on an errand of no ordinary import, or in consequence of those birchen incentives to speed that were freely administered at almost every step by his impetuous rider, flew over the rough road with the velocity of the wind, and in one half hour stood reeking in sweat at the place of his destination. Jenks, already in waiting at the door, received Timothy with all the kindness of anticipated brotherhood. As soon as the mutual greetings were over, the two immediately set out for the house where the lodge was to hold its meeting. This was a new two-story wooden building, into which the owner had lately moved. Although the house was only partially finished, yet a `rum pole,' as it is sometimes called, had been raised, and the building was already occupied as a tavern. The landlord, himself a Mason, had agreed to consecrate his hall to the use of his brethren, and the approaching meeting was the first opportunity they had found to dedicate it to its mystic purposes. The members of the lodge having mostly assembled when Timothy and Jenks arrived, the former was left alone in the bar-room, while the latter went into the hall, proposing to return for the candidate as soon as all was ready for his reception. This was a moment of the most thrilling and fearful suspense to our hero, tremblingly alive as he was to the overwhelming interests of the occasion. He tried to occupy his mind during the absence of his friend, which seemed an age, by now looking out of the window and watching the movements of the gathering clouds as they came over, deepening the shades of the approaching evening,— now vacantly gazing at the turkies, taking roost in the yard,—now pacing the room and pulling up his well starched collar, and now hurriedly counting his fingers, to kill the lagging moments, and allay the fever of his excited expectation.

At last, however, Jenks came, and informed him, that the committee appointed to consider his case had reported faverably; the vote of the lodge had been taken, and "all was found clear:" he might therefore now follow to the preparation room. This room was no other than the kitchen garret, which, being on a level with the hall, and communicating with the same by a door at one end of it, was now to be used for this purpose through necessity, as that part of the hall originally designed for a preparation room was not yet sufficiently finished to answer for the present initiation. To this garret the candidate was now conducted, through the kitchen, and up the kitchen stairs— that being the only way of getting into the room without going through the hall, which the candidate must not yet be permitted to enter. The garret having been darkened for the occasion, the candidate and his conductor, after getting up stairs, groped along, feeling their way by taking hold of the rafters above them, towards the hall door, frequently stumbling over the loose boards of which the floor, in some places single, in some double or treble, was composed, placed there for the double purpose of seasoning and answering for a temporary flooring. The masonic reader may here perhaps pause to demur to the fitness of our preparation room as being too liable to attract the attention of the inmates of the kitchen below, and thus lead to an exposure to the eyes of prying curiosity; but all this had been prudently foreseen, and the difficulty obviated, by the landlord who had contrived to have his wife and daughter, the only females of the family, go out on a visit that afternoon, with the intimation that they need not return till dark, before which it was supposed the ceremonies of the preparation room would be over.

As soon as Timothy had been stationed near the door leading into the lodge-room, he was left to himself. In a short time however Jenks returned, accompanied by several others, one of whom was the Senior Deacon of the lodge, who now approached the candidate, and questioned him as follows:

"Do you sincerely declare upon your honor, before these gentlemen, that unbiassed by friends, uninfluenced by unworthy motives, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry?"

`I say yes,' replied Timothy, `to all but that about being biassed by friends—my father advised me to join, and Mr. Jenks here'—

"Why, Sir," hastily interrupted the Deacon, "you don't pretend that your friends used improper influence to induce you to join, do you?"

`O, no,' replied Timothy; `but falsifications are exceptionabilities, and I thought you was going to make me say'—

"Ah, Sir," again interrupted the Deacon, "you said no, I think, to the last question: The answer will do, will it not, Brethren?" `We conclude so, Brother,' was the reply. The Deacon then proceeded.—

"Do you sincerely declare upon your honor that you are prompted to solicit the principles Masonry by a favorable opinion conceived of the institution—a desire of knowledge, and a sincere wish of being serviceable to your fellow-creatures?"

`Yes, I do,' eagerly replied Timothy. Here Jenks seeing the probability that the candidate would need considerable prompting, stepped up to his side and jogged him to be quiet.

"Do you," continued the Deacon, "sincerely declare that you will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established usages and customs of the fraternity?"

`Why, yes—it is conjecturable I shall,' replied Timothy, in a half hesitating, half jocular tone and manner, `though the d—l a bit do I know what they are: Suppose you first explicate and expound them a little.' "Say you do," impatiently whispered Jenks in his ear. `I do then,' said Timothy.

The Deacon then went into the lodge to report the answers of the candidate, while those remaining proceeded to strip him of his clothes; but not understanding the meaning of the movement, and not much relishing being taken in hand in this manner, he suddenly started and twisted himself out of their hands, demanding what they were going to do, & bidding them beware of putting tricks upon one who could throw any two of them at a back-hug, side-hold, rough-and-tumble, or any other way—a threat which he probably could, and would have made good, (for he was no slouch at athletics) had they persisted at that moment while under the impression, as he was, that this movement was no part of the ceremony, but a mere trick or joke attempted by way of interlude to pass away the time till the Deacon returned. But Jenks again interfered, and after many persuasions and the most positive assurances that this was really part of the ceremonies, induced him to consent to let them proceed. He then rather grumblingly submitted himself again into their hands, observing that he "supposed it was all right, but what the sublime art of masonry could possibly have to do with pulling down a fellow's breeches, was beyond the expansion of his comprehensibilities to discover." He was then divested of all his clothing except his shirt, which was turned down round the neck and shoulders so that the left breast was left bare. They then incased his legs in an old pair of woolen drawers, which, on account of the candidate's unusual crural dimensions, reached no farther down than about midleg; and bound a black silk handkerchief so snugly about his eyes as to make an impervious blindfold. His right foot was next placed into an old shoe, which in masonic parlance is called "the slipper;" while a rope, of several yards in length, was tied with a noose around his neck. These important ceremonies being in due form completed, all the attendant brethren retired into the lodge-room, except the Senior Deacon, who was here left in charge of the candidate. This officer then taking hold of the end of the rope, or cable-tow, as it is termed in the technics of masonry, made towards the hall door, and reaching out his right hand, while with his left pulling upon the rope round the neck of the candidate, he gave with his mallet, or gavel, three loud knocks on the door, which were instantly answered by three still louder knocks from within; while at the same moment the door was partly opened, and a harsh, sharp voice hurriedly cried out, "Who comes there, who comes there, who comes there?" All this was the work of an instant, and the noise thereby produced falling so suddenly, so unexpectedly, and with such a rapid succession of confused and startling sounds on the ears of the candidate, he involuntarily bolted with the quickness of thought, several feet backwards;—which movement straightening the rope, and causing the Deacon to hang on stiffly at the other end, at once threw the two into a position much resembling two boys pulling sticks. As soon as the poor blind and alarmed candidate had time to rally his scattered ideas, after being brought into this situation, a sudden fancy shot through his brain that they were going to hang him; and, like a led pig, that has hung back almost to choaking, he suddenly made another desperate lunge backwards, when, as the evil genius of masonry would have it, the Deacon unluckily let go his hold, and the poor candidate came down on his rearwards on a place in the floor, which happened to be of but one thickness of boards, with such violence, that every thing gave way before him, and he was precipitated with a loud crash down into the kitchen, and landed, with the shock of thunder, on the floor. Just at that moment, as bad luck would again have it, Susan, the landlord's daughter, a sturdy girl of sixteen, had come home, and was in the act of hanging up her bonnet when this strange vision fell on her astounded senses. She turned round and gave one wild, fixed stare upon Timothy, who with a loud grunt had floundered on to his feet, and now stood in his red drawers, with his face concealed by the black bandage, and so tied with large bows behind as to resemble horns, with his cable-tow hanging down his back, and with his mouth distended with the grin of a baboon thrown into the air. She gave one wild look on this appalling figue, and bolted like an arrow through the door. Scarcely, however, had she reached the yard, when some movement of our hero striking her ear, and leading her to suppose the monster was at her heels, fear seized her afresh, and deprived the poor girl of all power of getting forward, and, like a sheep or a rabbit frightened by a dog, she continued for some time leaping up with prodigious bounds into the air without gaining an inch in advance, throwing up her hands with a pawing kind of motion towards the heavens, and eagerly exclaiming, "O Lord! take me right up into the skies! O, Lordy! O, Lordy!" She soon however recovered her powers of progression, and with all her speed made towards the barn where her two brothers were pitching off a load of hay, screaming at every step, "O, murder! murder! save me! save me, Ben! The devil is come! The devil is in the house! O, save me—save me!"

The boys hearing this outcry, leaped from the load, and ran out eagerly crying, "What's the matter—what's the matter?" "Oh, Ben!" replied the breathless and affrighted girl, "Oh, Ben, the devil is in our house! Oh! Oh! Oh!" "What the darnation do you mean?" exclaimed Ben.— "Suke, you are crazy!" "O, I ain't—I ain't nother," she cried with histerical sobs—"it is the devil—I seed him with his black face, and horns, and tail a rod long! How he looked! Oh! oh! boo-hoo-hoo!" "I snore!" exclaimed the youngest boy, with glaring eyes, and teeth chattering like a show-monkey in January, "I snore! Ben, where's dad?" "Jock!" said the oldest boy, flourishing his pitchfork and courageously making towards the house, "you come on with your fork—by golly! we'll fix him!" So saying, Ben, followed by his brother, pushed forward to the scene of action, both proceeding with their forks presented, ready to receive his majesty of the black face and long tail upon the tines as soon as they should meet him. When they came near the door they proceeded more cautiously, stopping to peep in at a distance; but seeing nothing, they soon grew bolder, and the elder one fairly put his head within the door. Here all was quiet and nothing to be seen. They then went in, searched about the room, looked out of the windows, and passed into the lower rooms of the other part of the house, without finding any breach or hole where his majesty could have come in or gone out, or indeed discovering any thing that could in the least account for their sister's fright. The Masons they knew were in the hall; but they never dreamed that the apparition could have had any connexion with the proceedings of the lodge room. They therefore concluded that it was all poor Susan's imagination that had caused such a fuss, and getting her in, they called her a darn fool to be scart at nothing. But she still persisting strongly in her story, they soon gave it up that it must have been the devil; and their mother coming home soon after, and hearing the story, still added to their fears by expressing her belief that it was a bona fide satanic visitation; and as soon as it was dusk, they lit up a candle, and all sat down close together in fear and wonderment, without going out of doors till the Masons broke up; and even then they received no new light on the subject; for the landlord was silent on the affair, being quite willing to let it go as it stood, lest the truth might be discovered. It therefore became the settled opinion of not only the family but the neighborhood, except the brethren, that the devil actually made his appearance on that eventful evening, and thousands were the conjectures as to the nature of his errand. So much for the devil in red drawers, hoodwinked and cable-towed. Let us now return to the lodge-room.

No sooner had the accident just related happened, than several of the brethren rushed out of the hall, and, while some carefully took up and replaced the broken board by another so as to leave no clue to the disaster, others ran down, and seizing the candidate, now bruised, sore and bewildered, hastily forced him up stairs and hurried him into the lodge-room, where they were on the point of receiving him, when this luckless interruption took place.

After a short pause, to see whether the candidate was hurt, as well as to recover from the fright and confusion into which they had been thrown, they, on finding that no serious damage had been done, now repaired to their respective stations that the ceremony might proceed. The Worshipful Master then bid the candidate "enter with heed and in God's name." A short prayer was next repeated, when the candidate, after a few unimportant questions and answers, was again taken in hand for the purpose of performing the customary ceremony of being led by the cable-tow three times round the lodge-room. The brethren by this time having fairly recovered from their alarm, were now, as they thought of the late affair, and looked on the poor blind candidate, beginning to be seized with much merrier emotions. And as he was led along, his wo-begone countenance wincing at every step, as if he expected every instant some new calamity to befal him, and lifting high his feet, like a new-yoked hog, in fear of more accidents from faithless floors, his shirt sadly torn, and his drawers so disordered as to lead to some corporeal developements of masterly conformation, his appearance produced no little sensation among the assembled brotherhood.—Some were seen compressing their mouths and screwing their lips together to prevent the escape of the threatened explosion of laughter,—some snapping their fingers in silent glee, and some holding their sides, and writhing and bending nearly double through the convulsive effects of suppressed risibility: and in a moment more, the contagion seizing the whole company, the hall shook and resounded with a universal burst of half-smothered laughter. Even the Right Worshipful Master, who was then reading a passage from the open Bible before him, found such difficulty in commanding the tones of his quavering voice, that he was forced to run hurriedly over the remainder of the passage, and no sooner had he reached the last word than he bro't the book together with a hasty slap, and gave himself up to the uncontrolable gust of emotions that was every where raging around him. As soon, however, as the Master could succeed in assuming a face of sober dignity, and in quelling the tumult, the Junior Deacon brought the candidate, now blushing almost through the black handkerchief over his face at his own degradation, to a station near the altar. The sharp points of the compass were then presented to his naked breast, accompanied with some other of the usual ceremonies, previous to administering the oath. He was next ordered and assisted to kneel on his left knee, while his hands were placed in due form, one under, and the other on the open Bible, on which were laid the square and compass. After this, the Worshipful Master approached, and told him that he was now in the proper place and situation to receive the oath of Entered Apprentice, and desired him, if willing to take it, to say over the words, repeating them exactly as they were given off to him. The Master then proceeded to tell over the first clause of the oath, which Timothy, after some hesitation, repeated. They then went on with the rest of the obligation, which was in the like manner, told over and repeated, until they came to the last clause, "Binding myself under no less penalty than to have my throat cut across from ear to ear, my tongue torn out by the roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea, at low-water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours—so help me God;" when the candidate, who, after all that had befel him, was not so much bewildered as to quite lose his own notions about things, or so subdued as to be ready to submit to any thing which he might think for the moment to be of questionable propriety, suddenly started upon his feet, and in a sort of desperate and determined tone exclaimed, "What! have my own throat cut! and ask God to help do it? I'll be exploded first!" This unexpected scrupulousness and refusal of the candidate, whom they supposed to have been too much tamed by the events of the evening to cause them any further trouble, occasioned a momentary confusion among the brethren, and brought Jenks, his old prompter, immediately to his side. The latter then used and exhausted all his powers of coaxing to induce the still stubborn and determined candidate to repeat the clause in question; but, finding that his entreaties were of no effect, he resorted to menaces, threatening to turn him out naked into the street if he refused to complete the oath. But this, instead of producing the desired effect, only made the candidate more turbulent, and he instantly retorted, "Do it, if you want to smell my fist!—I can abolish a dozen of you!" At the same time suiting the action to the word, he sprang forward, flourishing his clenched fist with such fearful violence, that all hands, for the safety of their heads, were obliged to leap out of his reach, while with his left hand he made a desperate pull on the bandage over his eyes. But the quick eyes of the brethren catching this last movement, a half dozen of them sprang upon him in an instant, and, forcibly holding his arms, put him down in his former position, in despite of his furious struggles to get free. Here they held him down by force till his breath and strength were fairly exhausted by the violence of his efforts. They then, with the sharp points of the compass and sword, began to prick him, first on one side, then on the other, until, through pain, exhaustion and vexation, he sunk down and burst out into a loud boo-hoo—blubbering like a hungry boy for his bread and butter. Jenks, now taking advantage of this softened mood, immediately renewed his exertions, and by a little soothing and persuasion, soon brought the poor subdued candidate to consent to take the remainder of the oath, which was instantly administered, lest with recovering strength he should renew his opposition; and thus ended this troublesome part of the ceremony.

The Master now addressing the candidate, said, "Brother, to you the secrets of Masonry are about to be unveiled; and a brighter sun never shone lustre on your eyes. Brother, what do you now most desire?" `I should like a drink of water, and then to be let out,' sobbed Timothy, taking the last question literally, and being now quite willing, in his present state of feelings, to forego any more of the secrets of masonry if he might be suffered to depart. But he soon found that this was not to be permitted; for the prompter bid him answer the question properly, and say he desired light. The question then being repeated, he submissively answered as he was bid; when the Master, giving a loud rap, and raising his voice, said, "Brethren, stretch forth your hands and assist in bringing this newmade brother from darkness to light!" This last order being followed with much bustle, and sounds portending busy preparation for some important movement, the candidate became alarmed, fearing that some other terrible trial, yet in reserve for him, was now to be experienced; and he began to breathe short, and tremble violently. The members having formed a circle around the agitated candidate, the Master, after a few moments of the most profound stillness, now broke the portentous silence by loudly exclaiming, "And God said let there be light, and there was light! " Instantly all the brethren of the lodge furiously clapped their hands; and, with one united stamp brought their uplifted feet to the floor with such a thundering shock as made the whole house tremble to its lowest foundations: while, at the same time, the bandage, which had been gradually loosened for the purpose, was suddenly snatched from the eyes of the candidate, who, shuddering with terror at the astounding din around him, and dazzled by the intenseness of the bright flood of light that burst, from total darkness, at once upon his unexpecting and astonished senses, now stood aghast with dismay and consternation; his fixed and glassy eyes glaring in dumb bewilderment on the encircled group of figures, which, to his distempered and distorting vision, seemed some strange, grim and unearthly beings, and which his wandering imagination soon converted into a band of fiends, standing ready to seize, and pitch him about in torments. Gazing a moment in mute amazement on this terrible array, he became suddenly agitated, and, rising to his full height, and collecting all his delirious energies, he, with one prodigious bound, sent himself, like a rocket, completely over the shoulders of the encircled brotherhood, and fell in a swoon at full length on the floor, leaving an atmosphere behind him but little improved by his ærial transit. All for a while was now bustle and confusion in the lodge-room.—Some were seen running to take up the prostrate candidate—some hurrying for water and spirits to revive him—some, with one hand holding the organs of their mutinnous olfactories, to work in clearing the floor of the sad effects of masonic principles operating the wrong way; and others no less busily engaged in the process of disaromatizing, or removing their own clothes and emblematical adornments; for I grieve to say, that many a gay sash, and many a finely figured apron, here fell a sacrifice to this hapless result of the ennobling mysteries of Masonry.

At length all was again in a fair way to be restored to order. The candidate was soon brought to his senses, and finding himself not dead, and being assured moreover that the storm had now entirely passed by, he began to revive rapidly. His clothes were then brought him, and he was assisted to dress. This being done, and a glass of spirits administered by way of a restorative, the Master proceeded to complete the ceremonies, which were here made to consist only of the grip, signs and pass-words, the lecture of instructions being dispensed with for this time, owing to the weak condition of the candidate; for he was still a little wild, and occasionally visited with sudden starts and slight convulsive shudders, sometimes breaking out into a loud laugh, and at other times shedding tears.

The lodge was now closed with a prayer by the Worshipful Master; after which, the brethren were called from labor to refreshment. Bottles were then brought on, and all freely partaking, soon relaxed into cheerful chit-chat and social gaiety—some occasionally breaking out into parts of those chaste, animating, and lofty breathing songs, so peculiar to this moral and soul-gifted fraternity, and so worthy withal of that classical origin of organized Freemasonry which the learned Lawrie and other historians of the order, have, with great appearance of truth, we think, traced to the mysteries of Bachus. And while strains like the following, "Come let us prepare, We brethren that are Assembled on merry occasion; Let's drink, laugh and sing— Our wine has a spring— Here's health to an accepted Mason," with the exhilarating effects of the now rapidly circulating bottle, co-operating in their genial influences on both body and mind, the feelings of the company were soon exalted to the highest pitch of joyous excitement. A thousand lively jokes and sallies of wit, together with many a hearty laugh over the romantic events of the evening, enlivened the scene; and even the pale and exhausted candidate began to mingle slightly in the prevailing mirth, and feel, as they now broke up, that Richard would soon be himself again.

CHAPTER VII.

"Tityre, tu patulæ recubans sub tegmine fagi."

—Virgil.

Dark and fearful were the troubled visions of our hero after he had retired to his pillow for rest on that memorable night when the awful mysteries of Masonry were uncurtained to his view. Scenes of the most thrilling horror, in their thousand rapid and startling mutations, were continually rising, with terrible vividness, to his mind, and haunting his distracted fancy. He now seemed falling, for days and months, down, down, some bottomless abyss— now suddenly arrested in his swift descending course by a tremendous jerk from a rope, which, fastened around his neck, had run out its length, and now brought him to the end of his tether—now slowly hauled up through the same gloomy passage, attended by winged monsters, flapping their great pinions about his head, as they labored upwards along this vault of darkness and terror; and now quickly transported to the middle of a vast, interminable plain, where the sky was immediately overcast—storms arose—his ears were stunned by frightful peals of thunder—streams of vivid lightning overpowering his vision, and scorching his hair and garments, were flashing around him, and kindling up the combustible plain to a general conflagration; while he was beset on every side by a troop of tormenting fiends, who, armed with sharp spears, and clothed with aprons woven, warp and woof, with living serpents, and fringed with their hissing heads, thronged thickly about him—some stripping off all his clothes, dancing on before him and holding them up to his grasp, yet forever eluding it; and others constantly running by his side, howling, goading and stinging him in every part; while bleeding and blistered, he vainly endeavored to escape, and strove on, in unutterable agony, through the scorching and burning regions, hoarsely crying for water, and begging for his clothes,—for his shirt—even a shirt!—

"I have brought you a shirt, Brother Peacock," said a voice at his bed-side. He started from his disturbed slumbers at the word, which, in seeming echo to his own deep mutterings, now fell on his ear. "Where—where am I? Who are you?" he hurriedly and fiercely exclaimed, looking wildly around him.—"Are they gone?" `What gone?' said the voice. "Them awful—Oh!—Ah!—Why, it is only Jenks—Yes, yes, I remember now, I went home with you last night; but O, Jenks, what a dream I have had! And then, to think of last night at the lodge-room!" `Come, come,' said Jenks, `you are like a puppy with his eyes just opened,—every thing looks strange and terrible,— a cat seems to him as big as a yearling, and the little fool will bristle up and yelp at his own shadow. But never mind; we will make a man of you yet. I will explain all to you in good time. I have got a decentish sort of shirt here, which I rather guess you had better put on,' he continued, looking down on the stained remnant of what was yesterday our hero's best India cotton shirt, the choice freedom gift of his mother, still pertinaciously clinging in shreds to the limbs of the owner, as if loath to break off so old a friendship: `and I think I could tie up that old one you have on in your handkerchief, and throw it into the swamp going home, or burn it or something, so it should not lead to any discoveries of what we do in the lodge-room. But come, rouse up, man! Our breakfast is about ready. I have got to be off to-day; but I shall be going by Joslin's in a day or two, when I will call, and we will have some talk together.' So saying, he left the room.

Timothy now attempted to rise, but so sore and stiff was he in every joint, from what he had last night gone through in the masonic gymnastics of initiation, that he found himself somewhat in the condition of that hapless South-American animal, whose movements are so painful, that it is said to utter a scream of agony at every feeble bound it makes in its progress. After several trials, however, with as many interjectional grunts, he succeeded in getting on to the floor and dressing himself: after which, he found way to a cool spring in the door-yard:—its pure bubbling waters seemed to his parched throat sweet as the Pierian fountain to the thirsty aspirants of Parnassus; and had it been that consecrated spring, Pope's direction, "Drink deep," would never have been more faithfully followed. He then went into the breakfast-room where the family were already assembled and waiting his presence.

"Is the gentleman unwell this morning?" asked Mrs. Jenks, glancing from the pale, haggard features of Timothy to her husband. Jenks smiled and said nothing. "O, ho! I had forgotten," said she—"you were both at the lodge last night—that accounts for all—I have seen newmade Masons before, I believe."

`My wife,' observed Jenks, with a knowing wink to Timothy, `my wife don't like masonry very well.'

"And what woman would?" she tartly replied. "You go to your lodge-meetings every few nights, leaving your families alone and unprotected—your wives and children perhaps sick, or suffering for the want of the money you are squandering in your midnight carousals; and when you come reeling home, the only comfort they receive for a long and lonely night of tears and anxiety, is to be told, in answer to their inquiries, concerning the employment of your cruel absence, `You can't know—you are not worthy to be made acquainted with this part of your husband's secrets!"'

`My wife,' said Jenks, `don't appear to know that masonry takes the wives of Masons under its special protectection, and that their poor widows are always provided for by her charities.'

"Charity! Poor widows!" retorted she,—"they may well be called poor; for Mason's widows generally are poor enough. And what is the amount of the mighty charities they receive at your hands? After their husbands have spent all their property by neglecting their business to attend to their masonry, paying out their money, or by bad habits they first acquire at the lodge-room, then if they die and leave penniless widows—well, what then? Why, the lodge will be so very charitable as to pay back to those widows, perhaps, one tenth part of what they have been the sole means of robbing them: And this they call charity!"

`O wonderful!' replied Jenks—`And then the horrors of being left alone a few hours, and the tears'—

"Yes!" retorted the nettled dame—"yes, the tears: If there is any affection between a man and his wife, masonry does more to destroy it, and break up that mutual confidence which is necessary to preserve it, than any one thing I can mention. And if all the tears that have been, and will be, shed by Masons' wives, on account of their husbands' masonry, could be collected into a running stream, it would carry a saw-mill from this hour to the day of judgement!"

`Come, come, wife,' said Jenks, `I think you have said quite enough for once.'

"Enough of truth for your conscience, I presume," replied the fair belligerent, determined to have the last word in the argument.

Timothy wondered much to hear such irreverent invectives against masonry so boldly expressed by the wife of a brother Mason. He had supposed that all wives were proud of the honor of having masonic husbands; for he knew his mother was so. Still there were some of the observations he had just heard which tallied so well with what he had already seen of masonry, that he felt a little staggered, and could not prevent his conscience from secretly giving a response to many of the lady's remarks. But the sneering way in which Jenks laughed off these remarks of his wife, soon convinced him that there was no truth in them, and that they were the effects of the woman's ignorance, or arose from some freak or prejudice she had taken against masonry, so the matter passed off without again entering his mind.

After breakfast was over, and brotherly adieus had been exchanged between Jenks and Timothy, the latter mounted his horse and rode homeward. Many, and somewhat sober were his reflections, as he slowly pursued his solitary way over the same road which he yesterday passed with feelings as different from what they now were as the speed of his horse in the two cases. His thoughts recurred to the fearful trials he had gone through, and all the strange scenes of the lodge-room. To his yet darkened mind, they seemed to him nothing but vague mysteries, strangely blending the trivial and odd with the solemn and terrible. The sun had indeed shone out, but the dark rolling clouds had not yet passed entirely from the field of his fancy, and the ravages of the storm were yet too recent on his feelings to allow him to contemplate the late scenes of the lodge-room with much pleasure.

On the following day Jenks called at Joslin's, but being somewhat in a hurry, he proposed to Timothy that they should meet in a certain field, about equidistant from their respective residences, on the next Sunday, when the promised explanations and instructions in Masonry should be given. Timothy, however, rather objected to a meeting on Sunday; for his mother, who was a church woman, and a strict observer of the Sabbath, notwithstanding her odd notions about rank and family distinction, had always taught him that the seventh day of the week should never be devoted to worldly matters; and never having been taught any better since he left his paternal roof, the proposal to spend this day in the manner contemplated struck him unfavorably. He accordingly stated his objections candidly, and proposed another day for the intended meeting.

Jenks, however, firmly combatted these fastidious scruples of our hero, as he termed them, and told him he had hoped he was above minding these old womanish superstitions. Still Timothy could not entirely conquer his doubts on the subject; and in this I think he was, in a good degree, excusable; for it must be recollected he had but just been initiated, and had not enjoyed as yet scarcely any opportunity of being enlightened by the true principles of masonic philosophy; and when it is considered how deeply early impressions, however erroneous, become engrafted on the heart, I do not think it at all strange that he could not divest himself at once of all these notions which he had been taught to believe correct. Finding his companion still in hesitation on the subject, Jenks, therefore, to remove all further scruples, now informed him that masonry was the very handmaid of religion—indeed it was religion itself, and all the religion that was needed to give a man a passport to heaven; consequently, whatever time was spent in studying masonry, was, in fact, devoted to religious employment, which was the object of the Sabbath, aswas admitted by all the most rigidly pious. But what was more than all, he said, the control of this day peculiarly belonged to the craft, as it was a day of their own establishing; for to masonry, and to masonry alone, the world were indebted for the consecration of the Sabbath. This was put beyond all dispute by the unerring records of masonic history, which, in the words of the learned Preston, Brother Webb, and many other great Masons, expressly says, that "In six days God made the world, and rested on the seventh: the seventh, therefore, our ancient brethren consecrated." Of course this day, being one of their own making, must be the rightful property of the order, and, although they could do what they pleased with it, yet it could be spent no way so suitably as in the study of their art.

Such were the forcible arguments used, and the unanswerable facts cited by Jenks, in enlightening his pupil in the path of his mystic duties, and teaching the extent of his privileges as regarded the observance of the Sabbath. And, although these were abundantly sufficient to enforce conviction on all except the most obdurate of uninitiated heretics, yet there is another curious fact relative to the ancient history of this day, thus clearly traced to masonic origin, which he might have added, and which I cannot persuade myself here to pass unnoticed, it being, as I conceive, a fact of the most momentous import to the glory of the institution, as not only showing the connexion between masonry and the Sabbath, but figuring forth the greatness and divine exaltation of the former, more strikingly perhaps, than any one occurrence related within the whole compass of its marvelous history: Josephus, that authentic ancient historian, informs us that there was a certain river in Palestine that stayed its current and rested on the seventh day, in observance, as he supposed, of the Sabbath. Now if this day was established and consecrated by masonry alone, does not the plainest reason dictate that it was the institution itself, and not the day it had established, that this pious and considerate river thus stayed its course to reverence? Or was not this worship in fact, thus apparently bestowed on the object created, clearly intended for the creator? Nothing, it appears to me, can be more certain than that such was the fact. How stupendous the thought! To what a magnificent pitch of exaltation then has that institution arrived, to which the works of nature thus bow in reverence,—to which the otherwise forever rolling rivers of the earth are held in quiet subjection, resting in their rapid courses at her omnipotent behests!

But to return from this digression—Timothy no sooner learned that such was the case with regard to the connexion between Masonry and the Sabbath than he magnanimously yielded his scruples, and, handsomely apologizing for his ignorance of the facts just stated by his superior in the art, cheerfully consented to the proposed meeting.

Accordingly, on the following Sunday, he repaired on foot and alone to the appointed place of meeting. Jenks was already on the ground awaiting his arrival. After the customary greetings were exchanged, they seated themselves on the grass under the spreading branches of a large beach tree which grew on the margin of the field, affording an excellent shade to screen them from the sultry rays of a July sun. The field which they had thus selected for their masonic rendezvous adjoined a deep piece of woods which extended back unbroken to the mountains, and, being more than a half mile distant from any dwelling-house, furnished a secure retreat against all cowans and evesdroppers, without the aid of a Tyler. Here in this silent and sequestered spot, our two friends, stretched on their grassy bed beneath their cooling covert, proceeded to the business of their appointment. Jenks then producing an old worn pamphlet, went on to read and explain the ceremonies of initiation, which, he said, in its main outlines, represented, as was supposed by the learned men of their order, the creation of the world; because when all was darkness, God said "Let there be light, and there was light." The candidate, he concluded, represented Adam, who came out of the darkness naked, and was admitted to the light, and became endowed with noble faculties, as was the case with all admitted to the glorious light of Masonry.

"But do you suppose, Jenks," said Timothy, "that God led Adam round with a rope tied to his neck, before he let him see the light?"

`I know not how that may have been, Brother Timothy,' replied Jenks, `but at all events, I think there is a striking resemblance between the events of the creation and the ceremonies of an initiation; and we have it from our ancient books that Adam was made a Mason almost as soon as he was created.'

"Our first father Adam, deny it who can, A Mason was made, as soon as a man."

This proving satisfactory to the mind of Timothy, Jenks then proceeded to explain all the grips and tokens of the first degree; after which he taught our hero the art or mystery of halving and spelling Boaz. He next explained the meaning of the several emblems of this degree, such as the three great lights of masonry, representing the sun, moon, and Master of the lodge.—The square and compass, which teach the brethren in such a beautiful and definite manner to square their actions towards one another, whatever sharp corners may thus be made to jostle against the ribs of the luckless uninitiated— to circumscribe their conduct within due bounds, allowing such extent to be fixed to that convenient epithet as their own good judgement and circumstances shall dictate,—all of which thus furnish a great moral guide to the man as well as the Mason—far superior, as many pious and intelligent of the brethren aver, to the Savior's golden rule, "Do unto others," &c., the latter being, as they say, too indefinite for a practical guide by which to regulate their conduct, or rather, we suppose, too general in its application to suit the system of ethics peculiar to this exalted fraternity. And finally he took up the lectures at large, by which Timothy obtained the valuable information that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, as beautifully shadowed forth in the respective stations of the Master and Senior Warden of the lodge,—that the twenty-four inch gauge, or rule, properly represents the twenty-four hours of the day, and was for that reason made just of that length, and not, as is supposed by the unenlightened, because twelve inches make a foot, and a measure of an even or unbroken number of feet is most convenient,—that Chalk, Charcoal and Earth, represent Freedom, Fervency and Zeal, because chalk is free to be broken, or rubbed off—charcoal is hot when it is burning, and the earth is zealous to bring forth, &c. &c. All this, and a thousand other equally striking and instructive emblematical illustrations of this degree were impressed on his understanding in the course of these scientific lectures, expanding his mind with a new stock of useful knowledge.

Having in this manner gone through his explanations of the more prominent points of the lectures, Jenks now took a general view of the principles they inculcated, and the important instruction they afforded to the young aspirant of this noble science. In short, he so eloquently portrayed the many beauties of this degree, that Timothy began to catch some bright gleams of the true light of masonry. Although, to be sure, he had always supposed that the sun rose in the east and set in the west, and that charcoal was apt to be hot when it was burning, yet he never before dreamed that meaning of such deep import lay hidden under these simple facts; but the veil of his natural blindness being now removed, he perceived the great wisdom they contained—a wisdom which was impenetrably concealed from the world, and, consequently, of which he must have forever been deprived, had he never been admitted into the portals of this glorious temple of light, and put in possession of the "art of finding out new arts, and winning the faculty of Abrac."

It now occurring to our hero that he had promised, under the most dreadful penalties, never to reveal, by writing, printing, or otherwise, any of the secrets of masonry, he asked Jenks how the book they then were reading came to be printed, as it appeared to contain most of the secrets and ceremonies of the degree he had taken.

Jenks replied, that this book, which was called Jachin and Boaz, was doubtless a correct and perfect system of masonry at the time it was first published, although not strictly so in all respects now, as many improvements, and some alterations in their signs and pass-words, to prevent the uninitiated from getting into the lodge, had since been made: still, being mainly correct, it was often used in the lodges in lecturing, and might be profitably studied by all young Masons. As to its publication, it was done by a perjured wretch who had violated his oath by writing and publishing it; and it was generally understood among the craft that he had paid the just forfeit by the loss of his life.

This last remark led Timothy to ask if all who revealed the secrets of masonry were served in the same way.

To this Jenks replied, that any mason who divulged the secrets would undoubtedly die for the crime; for, if he did not kill himself, as their traditions informed them some ancient traitors had had the good conscience to do when guilty of this crime, means would soon be taken to put such a wretch out of existence. But, he said, Timothy would much better understand these things when he was exalted to the higher degrees, which, it was to be hoped, he would soon take; for as yet he had seen comparatively nothing of the glories of masonry which, at every degree as the candidate advanced along this great highway of light and knowledge, were more and more brightly unfolded to his view. Jenks then drew such a glowing picture of the honors and advantages of the higher degrees, that our hero, who confessed to himself that his mind was not wholly filled with what he had seen in the first degree, soon resolved to make another attempt to advance in this bright road to perfection, and especially so when he was informed that he had passed through the worst of the terrors, while all the pleasures of the mystic Paradise, since he was now fairly within its gates, remained to be enjoyed.

It was therefore arranged between them that Timothy, at the next lodge meeting, should make application for taking the two next higher degrees, provided he could raise the requisite fees for the purpose; and he was to take home the book, and carefully keeping it from all eyes, make it his study till the next meeting of the lodge, that he might be the better prepared for his intended exaltation.

Having spent many hours under this delightful shade, in this pleasing and instructive manner, the two friends were now about to separate, when an incident occurred, which, having an immediate bearing on the subsequent destinies of our hero, we shall proceed to relate, as is our duty to do in every thing that has conspired to affect his remarkable fortunes, however trivial it may appear at this stage of our narrative, or unworthy the dignity of the historian of so renowned a personage.

When our friends were on the point of separating, as I have mentioned, they were suddenly startled by a loud cracking of the bushes behind the old brush-fence that extended along the border of the woods, at the distance of about ten rods from the tree under which they were standing. The noise was soon repeated, and now plainly appeared to proceed from the irregular steps or bounds of some heavy, slow-going quadruped on the approach towards them, while the sounds of the cracking brush were followed, as the creature occasionally paused in his course, by a sort of wheezing grunt, or blowing, not unlike that of a hog suddenly falling into the water. Now, although cowardice was no part of our hero's character, yet possessing, in common with all other men, the instinct of selfpreservation, he soon felt a queer sensation of the blood creeping over him as these ominous sounds struck his ear— his hair, too, suddenly grew refractory, and began to rise in rebellion against the crown of his hat, and he prudently suggested to Jenks, in the firmest terms that he was able to command, the propriety of losing no time in putting a little more distance between them and such suspicious noises. The latter, however, who was more accustomed to the animals of the woods, only uttered an impatient `pshaw!' at our hero's timely suggestions, and bidding him remain where he was, went forward to reconnoitre that part of the woods from which these singular sounds proceeded. After creeping up to the fence and peering thro' awhile, Jenks quickly retreated, and cutting, with his jackknife, a couple of good shelalahs on his way back, he came up to Timothy, and with great glee told him that there was an old bear with two small cubs slowly making their way towards the clearing, with the intention, doubtless, of entering the field, which was covered with wheat, then in the milk. At this intelligence our hero's all-overishness alarmingly increased, and like a good general, he quickly cast his eyes round to discover and fix upon the best way by which to effect a safe retreat, and seizing his friend by the arm, pulled him along several steps, eagerly pointing towards the nearest house, while his teeth (his tongue just at that time being strangely forgetful of its office) made a most chattering appeal to the obdurate heart of the other, and did their best to second their owner's pantomimic request for immediate flight. "Pooh! pooh!" coolly replied Jenks, "a pretty story if two such chaps as you and I should run for an old bear and two little scary cubs! Here, take one of these clubs, and stand by like a man.—They will soon be over the fence, and if we can frighten off the old one, perhaps we can catch or kill one or both the young ones.—Follow me, and make no noise." So saying, Jenks, with Timothy following almost mechanically at his heels, led the way into the grain to a station from which they could sally out and cut off the retreat of the bears. Here stooping down, they awaited the approach of the foe in silence. In a few moments a loud cracking was heard in the old fence; and immediately after, a rustling among the grain told them that the objects of their solicitude were fairly in the field. "Keep cool, Tim," whispered Jenks, carefully raising himself till he could peep over the grain, "keep perfectly cool—wait till they get a little further into the field. There, then! come on now, and do as you see me!"

With this he rushed furiously forward, swinging his hat and screaming at the top of his voice, and came close upon the astonished animals before they could discover, over-topped as they were by the tall, thick-standing wheat, whence this terrible out-cry came from, and on what side the storm was about to burst upon them. The old bear, however, quickly rallied, and throwing herself on her haunches, and flourishing her broad boxers, tendered battle to her antagonist in a style that would have done honor to the most eminent pugilist of christianized England. The poor cubs were immensely frightened, and, taking different directions, bounded off with all their might, one towards the beech tree, and the other, as fate would have it, directly towards Timothy, who stood like a statue, in the very place where Jenks had left him. But the instant he saw this horrid young monster making towards him, his faculties immediately rose with the occasion, and uttering such a yell as scarce ever did a hero before him, he struck a line in the direction his eye had before marked out for a retreat, and, throwing one hasty glance over his shoulder, in which he saw his friend engaged with the old bear, one cub climbing the beech, and the other close to his heels, run like a deer from the scene of action, clearing the top of the grain at every leap, and crying `help!' and `murder!' at every breath.

Meanwhile the battle was waged with manful courage on both sides by the combatants still on the field; and the issue might have been doubtful perhaps, but for the sudden movement of our hero just described: for the cub that ran towards him receiving a fresh fright from the sturdy outcries of the latter in his retreat, quickly halted, and after making several confused tacks about in the grain, finally came round in sight of its dam, and ran off into the woods. The old bear seeing this, and being satisfied with saving one of her family, or supposing both to have escaped, at once relinquished the battle, and fled in the same direction. Jenks being thus relieved in this hazardous contest, immediately bethought himself of the cub in the tree, and at once determined to secure it. With this purpose in view, he stripped some strong pieces of elm bark from a neighboring tree, and began to climb the beech, near the top of which he could soon perceive the motionless form of the cub firmly grappling the forking branches. After considerable difficulty, he came within sight of the animal, which suffered him to approach without starting, when carefully working a bark noose round its hinder legs, he firmly tied them to the trunk of the tree, and then soon succeeded in getting a pocket-handkerchief over its head, and thus finally so blinded and muffled the creature as to render it nearly harmless. This achieved, Jenks untied its legs from the tree and commenced his descent, leaving it the use of its fore paws to cling around the body of the tree as he gradually pulled it down backwards.

While Jenks was thus engaged in this slow and somewhat difficult process of bringing down his sable captive, Timothy, who had reached a neighboring house, and borrowed a gun and ammunition, hove in sight, now gallantly returning to the rescue, advancing with a sort of desperate determination in his looks, with his piece snugly bro't to his shoulder, levelled and cocked for instant aim. When within thirty or forty rods of the tree where he had left one of the enemy lodged, he halted, and shutting his eyes, boldly pulled away at the top; but his faithless gun only flashed in the pan, and he was coolly preparing to try it again, when taking a hasty glance at the tree, he perceived a rustling among the branches. No time was now to be lost; and he fell to priming and flashing with all his might, till the clicking of the lock arrested the attention of Jenks, who at the same time catching a glimpse of his friend's motions, became alarmed, and sung out lustily to him to forbear. Timothy was horror-struck at this discovery, and he began most bitterly to reproach himself for suffering his courage to carry him to such a pitch of rashness as to lead him into such a dreadful risk of killing his friend; and that friend too a masonic brother!—The thought was distracting! He was soon consoled, however, by the information that the battle was now over, and the enemy driven into the woods, except one cub which, now disabled, remained as the trophy of the victory.

Jenks soon got safely down with the cub, and secured it at the foot of the tree, when feeling curious to know by what lucky cause he had so narrowly escaped being shot at for a bear, he unloaded the musket, and found, to his surprise and amusement, that our hero had, in loading his gun, entirely overlooked the important article of powder, making some amends for this oversight however by the quantity of balls he had put in, no less than four of which Jenks found snugly wadded down at the bottom of the barrel.

The exploits of this eventful day being now brought to a close, Jenks shouldered his ursine trophy, and the two friends separated for their respective homes, both pleased with their achievements, and both thankful, though for different reasons, that they had outlived the dangers of the battle.

CHAPTER VIII.

"Still louder, Fame! thy trumpet blow;
Let all the distant regions know
       Freemasonry is this:"—

Our hero, after the romantic meeting, and the attendant occurrences mentioned in the last chapter, sat down in good earnest to the study of Masonry. His whole soul became gradually enlisted in the subject, and his every leisure moment was devoted, with unremitting ardor, to treasuring up the mystic beauties of this celestial science. No longer troubled with those absurd scruples relative to the Sabbath, which he entertained before he became enlightened by the liberal principles of masonry, he now every Sunday rode over to the residence of his friend, Jenks, and spent the day with him in secret communion on that theme in which they in common delighted—the one in giving and the other in receiving instruction. These meetings were also enlivened by recounting over their late adventure in cub-catching, and amusing themselves in teaching the now docile trophy of that heroic achievement such various pranks and feats as they considered necessary to a genteel ursine education. His master, perceiving in him signs of his making a bear of uncommon talents, had honored him with the dignified name of Boaz—an appellation at first suggested by the title of the book under consideration at the time of his capture, and more especially by the strength of a powerful grip which he gave Jenks on his way homeward, which he likened to the masonic grip of that name. And besides conferring the honor of a masonic name, they taught him many accomplishments peculiar to the craft.—He would stand erect on his haunches—cross his throat with one paw, or cross his paws on his breast, after the fashion of the sign and due-guard of the first degree, as readily, when the same motions were made to him, as the most expert Entered Apprentice in Christendom.— Nor were his masonic attainments limited to one degree only: the due-guard & sign of the Fellow-Crafts, and the Master's sign of distress, were also familiar to him—the latter of which he was wont to make whenever he wanted an ear of green-corn, or an apple. In short, Boaz was fast becoming a bright Mason, and would doubtless soon have made a great adept in the mysteries of the craft, could he have taken the obligations, and have been made to understand the preference which is due to the brotherhood. In no other respects need he have been deficient; for none certainly could be better calculated by nature for many of the high and active duties of the order than he. In the execution of the penalties, he would have been justly eminent.— Jeremy L. Cross himself, would not have been able to rip open the left breast of a traitor, pluck out his heart, or tear open his bowels and scatter them on all sides to the four winds of heaven, with more masonic accuracy.

But to return to our hero: Such was his intense application to the task of perfecting himself in the study of Freemasonry, that before the next lodge-meeting he had committed to memory the whole of Jachin and Boaz, which, with the instructions received from Jenks, had made him master of the first degree, and given him considerable insight into the two next succeeding. Jenks became proud of his pupil, and began to prophecy bright things of his future usefulness and eminence among the order. His progress was indeed unrivalled, but no greater perhaps than might have been anticipated from one of his retentive memory, and from one whose mighty genius was so well calculated by nature to grasp the peculiar sublimities of the mystic science. The next lodge-meeting therefore found him fully prepared to meet his intended exaltation. He had taken up his wages at Joslin's to the present time, which furnished him with the means not only of paying the additional fees required for taking the two next degrees, but of getting a new coat and several other articles of dress that were required, as he conceived, by the dignity of the important station to which he was about to be exalted, and at the same time leaving a few dollars for the usual disbursements of the lodge-room. Thus every way prepared, he once more set out for the tavern where he had lately encountered the appalling scenes of his initiation. He did not, however, proceed at this time with the same urgent speed as when he passed over the road before; nor were his feelings raised to the same pitch of excitement. The first sight of the house, as he approached, to be sure caused a chill and shudder to run over him, as it brought fresh to mind the trials and terrors he had there passed through; but these sensations quickly vanished as he recollected the cheering light which there burst upon him at last in rereward for those fearful trials; and more especially as he cast his thoughts forward to the still brighter glories and honors before him.

He now entered the lodge-room, and not a little gratified and elated were his feelings at the warm and cordial greetings with which he was received by the assembled brotherhood. The lodge having been apprised of his wish to take the next degrees in order, he now retired, while they proceeded to the balloting; and all being again announced clear, they now immediately commenced the ceremonies of raising him to the degree of Fellow-Craft, or passing him, as it is technically termed. But as the ceremonies of taking this degree are, in many respects, similar to those which I have already described in the account given to Timothy's initiation, and besides being now performed on one who was in a measure prepared to meet them without surprise so as to produce no very remarkable effects on his mind, I shall pass lightly over this degree— mentioning only a few of the most prominent acquisitions in knowledge which our hero made in the interesting and beautiful lectures of the Fellow-Craft, which I deem of too much importance to be omitted. He here was taught that important fact in physiology that that there are five human senses, viz: hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling and tasting,—the three first of which are considered the most essential among Masons, though the last, I opine, is not considered to be altogether superfluous. He likewise was instructed into the learned intricacies of lettering and halving Jachin, and was greeted by that appellation of wisdom in reward for his triumph over the arduous difficulties of the task. And lastly, the uses of that beautiful moral emblem, the plumb, were illustrated to his understanding, and its monitory suggestions impressed on his heart: for that instrument, he was told, which operative masons use to raise perpendiculars, taught, or admonished free and accepted Masons to walk uprightly, or perpendicularly in their several stations before God and man. This last hieroglyphical maxim of moral duty which masonry, in her astute sagacity, has so naturally deduced from that instrument, forcibly reminded our hero of an epitaph which he had somewhere read:— "Here lies Jemmy Tickiler Who served God perpendicular." And although he never before could see the force of this epitaph, yet he now at once saw its beautiful application, and immediately knew that it must have originated from the genius of masonry. But as important and interesting as these discoveries were—as much as these, and the thousand other beauties of this instructive degree were calculated to expand the mind, and awaken the admiration of our hero, still they were nothing—comparatively nothing, to the treasures of knowledge which were opened to his wondering view in the next, or Master Mason's degree. The ceremonies of raising were, in the first place, peculiarly solemn and impressive: And connected as they are with an account of the death of the traitors, Jubelo, Jubela, Jubelum, and the murder of the Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, thus furnishing many historical facts, a knowledge of which can be obtained only through the medium of masonry, these ceremonies of themselves unfolded to his mind information of the utmost importance. The circumstance, too, that the body of Hiram had lain fourteen days without corruption, in the hot climate where the incident occurred, particularly excited his wonder, as the event could be attributed only to a miracle, thus furnishing proof to his mind that this institution, like the Christian religion, was founded in miracles. To this marvellous circumstance, which struck our hero so forcibly, another not less curious and wonderful, I think might be added—I mean the singular coincidence involved in the fact that three men, as above mentioned, should happen to come together—be of the same fraternity, and all traitors, whose names, all of one beginning, should so nearly furnish the grammatical declination of a Latin adjective! Nor need our admiration stop here; for when we consider that these men were all Hebrews, whose language is so dissimilar to that of the Latin, and that they lived in an age too when the Romans and their language were unknown at Jerusalem, our surprise is still more excited; and being unable, by the help of our own limited faculties, to comprehend these miraculous circumstances, we are compelled to stop short, and pause in wonder over the extraordinary events which are connected with the early history of this ancient institution. But however important the ceremonies of this august degree may be considered as establishing the divine origin of Freemasonry, and as throwing new light over some passages in the history of antiquity, they still yield in importance to the moral beauties, the lofty sentiment, and the scientific knowledge illustrated and enforced in the lectures. Here a grand fountain of wisdom is opened to the candidate; and it was here that our hero revelled in intellectual luxury.—It was here for the first time in his life that he became acquainted with that interesting philological fact that masonry and geometry are synonymous terms, a discovery to which the world is undoubtedly indebted to the light of masonry; for Crabbe, (a shame on him!) notwithstanding his learned industry in collecting the synonymes of our language, appears to be wholly ignorant of this curious fact. Here he learned, while receiving an account of the construction of Solomon's Temple, another fact in history entirely new to him, "that it never rained in the day-time during the seven years in which the temple was building,"—a fact which can be considered none other than a miracle; and, as the temple is known to have been the production of masonry solely, goes still further to prove that the institution is divine, and under the immediate protection of Heaven. Here too he learned the reason and justice of inflicting the penalties of the obligations on traitors, as illustrated in the example of the great and good Solomon, the acknowledged father of organized Freemasonry. But time, and the narrow limits of this brief work, will not allow me to proceed any farther in recounting the various scientific discoveries which our hero here made— the many moral maxims that were impressed on his heart, and the thousand instances of the sublime and beautiful that burst on his mind. Suffice it to say, that all were equally instructive, important and wonderful with those I have enumerated. But not only all these important acquisitions in knowledge did our hero make on this eventful evening, but he won the unanimous applause of his brethren by the becoming manner in which he bore himself through the whole ceremonies, and which more than atoned for his wayward obstinacy and awkwardness at his initiation, and, in the minds of all present, gave bright promise of his future masonic eminence:—while the hearty good humor with which he entered into the convivialities of the evening, in time of refreshment, began to render him the favorite of the lodge-room, and he was universally voted a bright Mason.

Being now clothed with his apron and the badges of a Master Mason, and greeted, as he continually was, with the dignified title of Worshipful, he began to feel the responsibilities of his station, and the importance with which his existence had become invested. He assumed a more manly step—a more lofty mien; and conscious worth and consequence gave the air of majesty to his whole demeanor.

Thus ended the important events of this evening, which constituted a bright era in the life of our hero, and implanted in his bosom a love for this noble institution which was never eradicated.

Nothing of any particular interest occurred to our hero till the next lodge-meeting, when the Senior Warden having left the town, he was almost unanimously elected to fill that important and honorable station. And a candidate having been presented for initiation, he found an opportunity to display his masonicac quirements, which he did with such brilliancy and promptitude as to draw forth repeated applause from his admiring brethren. An extra meeting of the lodge was, a few days after, holden, at which he rose still higher, and took the three next degrees, viz: Mark, Past, and Most Excellent Master, which carried him to the seventh round in the ladder of Masonry. Such was the unparalleled progress, and such the starting career of the man who was destined to become so proud a pillar in this glorious fabric.

About this time Joslin, Timothy's employer, sought an interview with him, and told him that a settlement would be agreeable. Timothy could see no necessity for such a measure; but Joslin, without heeding our hero's observations to this effect, opened his account-book, and began to figure up the amount due after deducting what had been received; and after he had ascertained the sum, he turned to Timothy and asked him if it was correct? "I presume it may be," replied Timothy, "but"—`But what?' said Joslin—`You have become a great man since I employed you, Mr. Peacock, and I cannot any longer see you stoop to labor which is so much beneath a person of your consequence: Here is your money." So saying, he threw down the few dollars now Timothy's due, and, whirling on his heel, left the house.

This was an unexpected affair; and Timothy scarcely knew what to make of it.—After musing however about half an hour, he came to the conclusion that Joslin wanted he should go: But what had he done to render his employer dissatisfied?—He could think of nothing. To be sure, when alone in the field, he had often marked out a lodge-room on the ground, and taking a stump, and supposing it a candidate, had lectured to it several hours at a time. He had sometimes yoked the off ox the nigh side, when his mind was deeply engrossed with this subject; and he had that morning turned the horse into the oat-field instead of the pasture. But what of these trifling errors? And were they not caused too by the intenseness of those studies which were infinitely more important than the insignificant drudgeries which had been saddled upon him by a man whose ignorance could never admit of his appreciating things of a higher character?

Our hero began to grow indignant as he thought over these things; and he determined he would have nothing more to do with Joslin, but leave his house that very day; and, in revenge for his narrow-minded views, and base conduct, forever deprive him and his family of those services and that society with which he had been too long benefited, and his house too much honored.

Our hero was a person of great decision of character; and what he resolved to do, he scarcely ever failed of carrying into immediate effect. Accordingly, in one hour from the time Joslin left him, as above mentioned, he had packed his bundle and was making tracks towards the residence of his friend, Jenks, for consultation and advice, and perhaps a temporary home, not knowing where else to go in this unexpected emergency.

Having arrived at the house of Jenks, and informed him of what had happened at Joslin's, and that he had left that gentleman's employ forever, the two friends walked out into a field, and spent the remainder of the day in deep and confidential consultation. Many plans for our hero's future course were suggested and discussed, and as many, on weighing them, rejected. But a project was at length hit upon by Jenks, which was finally adopted.—This was an excursion to the city of New-York to see what could be made out of Boaz by exhibiting him as a show, or selling him to some caravan. In this enterprise they both were to embark and become joint partners in all profits or losses that might arise out of the adventure. Jenks owned a stout horse and waggon, half of which Timothy was to purchase, paying down what he could spare, and giving a note for the rest; while Boaz, being a kind of joint trophy, was generously thrown into the company by Jenks, notwithstanding his greater claims to the animal, without any charge to Timothy whatever. Jenks was a notable schemer.— He having but a small farm, which did not require all his time to manage it, had generally, for the last several years, taken two or three trips a year in pedling goods for a neighboring merchant; and he was now calculating to take one of these pedling voyages as soon as he had finished his harvesting.—But as soon as he thought of the above mentioned plan, he concluded to forego his ordinary fall pedling trip, and engage in this, where he believed there would be a chance of greater gain, though he knew there would be considerable hazard: and for this reason he rather undertake the enterprise with some one who would run the risk of loss with him, and believing that Timothy's personal appearance and gifts of speech might make him highly serviceable to the company, he now entered heartily into this scheme, ostensibly for the benefit of our hero— privately for his own.

The next day the bargain was matured in all its parts, and all the necessary writings drawn. Timothy gave Jenks twelve dollars for half of the waggon, and twenty-five for an equal share of the horse—the latter, though an excellent stout horse, was lacking of an eye, and for that reason had been named Cyclops by the late school-master of the district, who being a Freshman at Burlington University, when he taught the school the winter before, had drawn this name from the vast depths of his classic lore, and bestowed it on the old horse in reward for his good service in carrying him and his girl ten miles to a quilting.

The time for starting was now fixed by our two friends at just one fortnight ahead; and for the interim Timothy agreed to work for Jenks to enable him to complete his harvesting, and be ready at the time.

While making these preparations for the intended journey, the regular monthly meeting of the lodge came round, when Jenks told Timothy that there was one degree in Masonry to which he was now entitled, and which might prove of great advantage to him on their contemplated journey; and he would advise our hero to take it—it was called the Secret Monitor, or Trading Degree.—He, himself, had found it of great service. Accordingly, at the lodge-meeting, after the lodge was closed, this degree was privately conferred upon Timothy, the obligation of which, as it discloses the principles and eminent advantages of this invaluable step in masonry, I must beg leave to insert at length. It is as follows:

"I, A. B., of my own free will and accord, in presence of Almighty God, do hereby and hereon, most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, that I will keep and conceal all the secrets belonging to the Secret Monitor; that I will not communicate this to any one except it be to a true and lawful brother, Master Mason or Masons, whom I shall have reason to believe will conform to the same. I further promise that I will caution a brother Secret Monitor by word, token or sign, when I shall see him do, or about to do, or say anything contrary to the true principles of Masonry. I further promise that I will caution a brother Secret Monitor by word, token or sign, when I shall see him do, or about to do, or say anything contrary to his own interest, either in buying or selling, or any other way. I further promise, that when so cautioned, I will pause and deliberate upon the course I am about to pursue. I further promise, that I will help, aid and assist a brother Secret Monitor, by introducing him into business, sending him custom, or any other manner in which I may cast a penny in his way. I further promise, that I will commit this obligation to memory immediately, or as soon as possibly consistent.—All which I promise and swear, with a firm and steadfast resolution to perform the same; binding myself under no less penalty than to have my heart pierced through by the arrow of an enemy, or to be left alone without a friend to assist in the day of trouble.—So help me God, and keep me steadfast to perform the same."

Such were the matchless beauties of this honorary degree of a Master Mason, which our hero now received with no less pride than admiration! Nor was this the only honor conferred on him that evening.—About the middle of the evening the Master of the lodge was called home by the sudden illness of his wife, when the unexpected honor of presiding over the lodge devolved on Timothy; and nobly did he sustain himself in discharging the functions of that high station. After this meeting Jenks and Timothy proceeded to more immediate preparations for their expedition. At the suggestion of Jenks, they run up about twenty pounds of tallow and bees-wax into black-balls, using wheat-smut to give the tallow a coloring. They then put up about a dozen junk-bottles of common water, squeezing the juice of a few elder-berries into one, wild turnip into another, and peppermint or wild annis into a third, and so on, to give them some peculiar tint or taste, no matter what; and labelling these bottles all with different names and epithets, such as "certain cure for consumption,"— "cure for corns," &c. &c. These and various other domestic manufactures were prepared and put up for pedling on the way. A large box fitted to the waggon, and properly aried with gimblet-holes, was made to accommodate Boaz; while due care was bestowed upon him to perfect his accomplishment before introducing him into the world: all of which, having now become nearly grown to the size of ordinary bears, and well nurtured in intellect, he acquired with surprising readiness and docility.

CHAPTER IX.

"Love's but an ague that's revers'd,—
Whose hot fit takes the patient first;—
That after burns with cold as much
As iron in Greenland does the touch."

Nature, it is sometimes said, often smiles auspiciously on those undertakings which are fraught with important benefactions to man. When the birds flew to the right, the chickens fed well, and Sol unveiled his smiling features, then, and then only would the sagacious old Romans commence any important undertaking. In what direction the birds flew, on the morning that our two friends set forth on their journey, it was not noticed; but certain it is, that the numerous brood of dame Jenks' chickens manifested no lack of appetite on that memorable occasion: and a bright October's sun burst smilingly through the thick and humid mantle of mist and fog that had closely wrapt, through the night, the head waters of the sluggish Otter, as they applied the string to the back of old Cyclops, and rattled off on their intended enterprise. The learned Boaz had been duly boxed and shipped aboard their partnership vehicle, and a stock of provisions laid in, consisting of baked meats and bread for the biped, and soft corn, sweet apples, and oats, for the quadruped portion of this distinguished party, which might have served a company of Bedouins for crossing the great desert of Africa. They did not strike immediately into the main road leading to the west, but by common consent took a by-road which passed through a thinly inhabited part of the country, and, after a circuit of some half dozen miles, came into the direct road to New-York. This aberation, indeed, cost old Cyclops four or five additional miles' travel, but it enabled them wholly to avoid the village of examination-memory, which our hero had resolved should never again enjoy the light of his presence, and thus saved him from the violation of vows that both he and his friend, in the present instance, seemed equally anxious to preserve inviolate.

Nothing of particular interest happened to our travellers during their first day's journey. Having their provisions with them, and not expecting to reap any emoluments by the exhibition of Boaz while in Vermont, or accumulate much by their exertions as pharmacopolists till they had reached a more gullable people than those jacks-at-alltrades and professions, the inhabitants of the Green-Mountains, they stopped at neither private house or tavern during the day; and at night, after a diligent day's drive, they found themselves in the vicinity of the Hudson, and many miles within that great political bee-hive, the State of New-York, where a numerous array of proud and luxurious queen-bees are generously allowed all the honey for governing the `workies.'

About dark they hauled up at the door of a kind of farmer's tavern, situated adjacent to a pine plain, which was now on fire, while the country for some miles round was enveloped in a dense cloud of smoke, through which a thousand lights from stump and tree were beginning to twinkle with the gathering shades of the approaching evening. The landlord, an easy, though rather of a sneaking looking personage, came out, with his pipe in his mouth, and greeted our travellers as they drove up to the door. Our hero immediately leaped out of the waggon, and, with a dignity of demeanor suitable to his elevated standing in masonry, returned the salutation of the host, while at the same time, seizing the hand of the latter, he gave him a hearty grasp. "What a d—l of a grip you have, stranger!" said the landlord, as wincing with pain he withdrew his own passive hand from the vice-like squeeze of Timothy's fingers—"You must be a southerner, I guess, for they always shake hands with a fellow whether they have ever seen him before or not; but they don't knudge in among a body's knuckles so, as I knows of."— `Ah! he has never been admitted to the glorious light of masonry,' thought Timothy, with a sigh.

"Landlord," said Jenks, now taking upon himself the character of spokesman, "we should like to put up with you to-night provided we can pay you in our way, and we are willing to give you an excellent bargain."

`Your way?' asked the other, giving a suspicious glance at the waggon, `your way!—what mought that be, if I may be so bold?'

"Why," replied Jenks, "we have a live bear for show, and"—

`A live bear!' peevishly interrupted the man—`Pho! pish! pshaw!'

"Yes, a fine one! but hear me," said Jenks, somewhat abashed at the other's sneers—"hear me through: we ask twenty-five cents a person for a sight, and if you will keep us, you, and all your family, shall see the animal, which, I presume, will amount to much more than the reckoning; so you will be making quite a spec!"

`A curious spec that!' said the landlord—`I would give about three skips of a flea to see your bear—I was out to a great hunt on the mountains the other day, and help'd kill four as loud bears as ever was seen: But I won't ax any thing better than money for your keeping; and that you have enough of, I'll warrant.—Come, come, none of your Yankee tricks for me—I used to be a Yankee myself once, and understand a thing or two about their contrivances to get along on the road.'

At this declaration, which conveyed the startling intelligence that their host was a fellow-countryman, our travellers concluded to say no more about Boaz by way of paying their fare, but to put up on the offered conditions; so, after seeing Cyclops well stabled and fed, and Boaz safely locked up in the barn, they all went into the house, and entered into conversation.

"Would it not," said Timothy, as the landlord left the room for a moment, "would it not, Brother Jenks, be more complaisant with the dignity of our station to take some hot digestibles to-night? My appetite begins to be somewhat excruciating, and I propound that we take a supper like gentlemen."

`My appetite, under such circumstances, would have been as keen as yours before I was married, I presume, Timothy,' replied the other, glancing, with a comical smile, at a rosy-cheeked girl in the next room, on whom our hero's eyes had been all the while rivited, `and as it is, I have no objection to what you say.'

The landlord then entering the room, a supper was accordingly bespoken, and while it was in preparation the garrulous host took a seat with his guests, and resumed his discourse.

"So, you are from old Varmount, you say," began mine host. "Well, I was original born in Cornetercut."

`Ah!' said Jenks, `then I don't wonder you understand so much about Yankee contrivances, as you call them: Did you ever follow the business of pedling?'

"Not by a jug-full, Mister," replied the other—"I never was one of your wooden nutmeg fellers, I'll warrant it.— But I peddled love and larnin to some purpose when I fust come to York State, I tell ye—he-he he!"

`Why, how was that?' asked Jenks.

"I was goin' to tell you," said the host.—"As soon as I got my edifercation parfect, I steered for York State, and teached in one of the low counties among the Dutch till I got acquainted with a young wider with an only darter, when we soon struck up a bargain, and moved up to this farm, which fell to her as her portion out of her father's estate, and here we all are, pretty well to do in the world, as you may say."

`We don't make our fortunes quite so easy as that in Vermont,' observed Jenks.

"No," rejoined the other, "I never could see how you all contrive to live in that cold, barren, out-of-the-way region. Why, I once travelled a piece into the Green-Mountains about the middle of June, and going by a log-hut, I saw a man planting potatoes with his great coat on,—it was then about ten oclock in the forenoon.—At sundown I returned by the same place, & found the man to work digging his potatoes up again.—So, thinking this was rather queerish, I stopped and axed him what he was doing that for, when he said he didn't dare to trust his potatoes in the ground over night for fear they would freeze! he did, as true as my name is Jonas Bidwell—he-he he!"

`Was that,' retorted Jenks, somewhat nettled at the taunt thus thrown at his native state, as well as at the boisterous and self-applauding laugh of the landlord at his happy delivery of this witty story, `was that about the time when the Yorkers were so anxious to possess `this cold, barren, out-of-the-way place,' that they came on in large numbers and tried to drive the owners from their farms, so that they could live there themselves, but getting handsomely basted with beech clubs, or beech-sealed as it was called, retreated as fast as their legs would carry them, leaving the Green-Mountain Boys to enjoy the sour grapes to themselves?'

"I don't know any thing about that," said the landlord, still chuckling at his own story—"but the potatoes—he-he he!"

`But the Beech-Sealers,' rejoined Jenks, imitating the tone of the other—`what a cold, barren place Vermont has ever since been with the Yorkers!—ha-ha ha!'

Just at this moment the landlady, a short, fat, chubby figure, that would have rolled down a hill one way as well as the other, came waddling into the room, stopping every two or three steps to take breath, or a fresh puff at her pipe,—"Shonas!" said she, addressing her husband, as she dropped into her chair with a force that shook the whole house,—"Shonas! Pe Cot! You look tam vell here in ter house ven ter vire ish purnin all mine vinter crain up! I can take care dese Cot tam Yankee petlars ash petter ash you.—So pe off to vatch ter vire all night, or ter hell take yer!"

The obedient husband, who had sunk into silence the moment his bigger half made her appearance, no sooner heard the promulgation of this ukase than he took his hat and sneaked out of the house to his appointed task. The landlady then entertained our travellers with many a story about her farm, which "Shonas," she said, "a coot fellow enough, help her carry on;" and enlarged with much apparent interest on her stock of cattle, giving even the pedigree of her calves and colts, and finally wound up the history of her prospects by saying, "Tank mine Cot, I havn't seen ter pottom of mine milk-tup dese twenty years!"

This last observation our travellers better understood when they sat down to supper, which in the meanwhile had been announced as ready, and which consisted, among other things, of bonnyclabber, a favorite dish with the Dutch. They, it is said, always keep a tub in one corner of the pantry, for the purpose of making and keeping this sine qua non of their tables; it being manufactured by adding every day a quantity of new milk, always leaving, when they use out of it, (unless forced by necessity to use the whole) a portion of the old in the bottom of the tub to turn these daily additions into this delectable beverage. Hence the Dutchman's thermometer of prosperity is his milk-tub.

At supper, our travellers were attended by the landlady's daughter, to whom allusion has before been made.— Nature, as regarded the family stock, here seemed to be in a process of rapid improvement, without being very badly cramped for room for her operations; for the daughter, in features, was to the mother, after making every reasonable allowance for the ravages of time, as Hebe to Hecate. But aside from this, and difference of diameter, if a gauger's term be admissible in this connection, the girl was a chip of the old block, which she abundantly proved by retorting all the jokes cracked upon her by her guests with a spirit equalled only by the refinement and delicacy of her language. Our hero being the young man of the party, and having been somewhat smitten from the first by her appearance withal, particularly attempted to display his gallantry; all of which she met with such jocose freedom that he proceeded with her to the highest pitch of sociability; and, by the time that supper was over, and the table cleared off, he began to feel, as she turned her little twinkling black eyes upon him, rather queer about the inwards. Jenks now going out to see to old Cyclops and Boaz, left our enamored swain to the enjoyment of more privacy with his spanking sweetheart—an opportunity which he did not fail to improve; and soon getting into a romp with her, he became emboldened to throw out hints which most damsels, who reckon themselves among the household of Diana, might have perhaps resented. Not so, however, with the lively Katreen; for she, like most of her country-women, I believe, not holding to restricting the liberty of debate on one subject more than another, met Timothy more than half way in all his advances; and, as far as words were concerned, fairly beat him on his own ground. By the time they had been performing their domestic waltz half an hour or so, our hero could have sworn he was in love, with as clear a conscience as Uncle Toby had done before him, after the rubbing operation by the soft hand of Widow Wadman. By the way, I wonder if the fashionable dances, known by the appellation of waltzes, did not originate in a hint taken from Uncle Toby's courtship. I can think of no other supposition so probable when the similar operations and results of the two performances are fairly considered.

Jenks now coming in, deprived Timothy of further opportunity of prosecuting his suit at this time, and of making some direct propositions which he was about to do when thus interrupted in his amorous parlance, and which, he had no doubt would be favorably received.

It was now bed-time, and our hero was reluctantly compelled to retire with Jenks, leaving his conquest, as he believed, on the very point of its achievement. Their sleeping apartment was one of the front rooms of the house, the other front room being used as the bar-room, while a long room in the rear of these, answering the purpose of kitchen, bed, and dining-room, completed the ground work of the building, which was of one story with a Dutch roof, and a long, low piazza in front.

As soon as our travellers were by themselves in their sleeping-room, Jenks at once proceeding to disrobe himself, began talking on the subject of their journey, while Timothy, taking a chair, and, without seeming to heed the observations of his companion, sat some time silent and abstracted. On perceiving this, the former inquired the cause; and, after pumping and rallying him awhile, succeeded in reviving his usual ingenuousness, and making him confess the reason of his sudden entrancement. Just at this time, our hero, with the quick ears of love, caught the sounds of the footsteps of his fair one in the chamber above him bustling about in preparation for bed. The ancients represented the god of love as blind—a wight, of course, who never looked before he leaped. By this, nothing more was intended, doubtless, than that he was considered a rash, short-sighted and foolish fellow; but I have frequently suspected, from his so often deliberately instigating his devotees to acts which result in their total discomfiture, and from the design so often apparent in the mischief which he seems to delight in occasioning, that this deity is much more of a knave than a numb-skull; and that this, after all, is the only reason why

"The course of true love never did run smooth."

Timothy, having noticed that there were several windows in the roof of the house within reaching distance of the top of the piazza, and knowing that one of these must open from the chamber of his charmer, now formed the chivalrous project of scaling the outward walls which enclosed the bright prize of his affections. This resolution was no sooner taken than communicated to his companion.

"These Dutch minxes," coolly observed the latter, "are clear pepper-pots for grit; and if this one should happen to take a snuff at your climbing up to her window, Tim, I would not warrant your pate from all damage short of money."

`O, no trouble there,' said the other eagerly, `for I have ascertained for an intense certainty that she has taken a most amorous conviction for me.'

"It may be as you suppose," rejoined Jenks, "for I saw that you and she were as thick as two cats in a bag, in the supper-room; but have you thought, Brother Timothy, of the possibility of your violating your masonic obligations if you go on in this affair? How do you know that this girl is not a Master Mason's daughter?"

`Why!' replied our hero, `I gave the old man as derogatory a grip as ever was given to a brother, when we first met him at the door, and he returned it no more than the most dormant cowan in existence!'

"Well, but her own father," said Jenks, "is dead—perhaps he was a Mason."

`Allowing your conjectural supposition to be true,' observed the other, somewhat staggered, `do you think the obligation was meant to be amplified and distended to a Mason's wife or daughter after he is dead?'

"I rather think," replied the elder votary of mystic morality, "that the obligation does not bind us, in this respect, after a brother's death; though it doubtless would extend to a brother's widow in a matter of charity. But you are on sure ground for another reason, which I guess you never thought of, Timothy.—The oath says, `you shall not violate a brother Master's wife, sister or daughter, knowing them to be such.'—Now, when you don't know that a woman is a relation to a brother of such a degree, you can't of course infringe on your obligation, whatever you may do. So you see you are safe in this case; but I thought I would see how you would get along with my questions. Thus you see that our obligations, when you come to look at their true meaning, are not so rigid after all; for even at the worst, this caution applies only to Masters' relations; and as to the female connections of Entered Apprentices and Fellow-Crafts, I know of nothing in masonry that forbids us to meddle with them if we wish,— much less as regards all the rest of the sex who have not the honor to be related to Masons of any degree; for to enjoy ourselves with these is, I take it, one of the privileges that masonry bestows on her trusty followers."

Timothy, who had been somewhat startled by the naming of his masonic obligations, and once or twice perplexed by the questions thus unexpectedly put to him on the subject which occupied his mind, was now happily relieved from his doubts and misgivings by the explanation of his more experienced masonic friend, and, entirely coinciding with the latter in opinion respecting the latitude which his obligations implied, began in earnest to think of his nocturnal enterprise.

As soon, therefore, as all was quiet below, of which he was soon assured by hearing the old lady pitch the pipes of her nasal melody, he crept carefully out of the front door, and, after taking a hasty observation at the heights to be surmounted, and the situation of the window that opened into his fancied Elysium, he began to climb a post of the piazza. This, after a hard struggle, he happily effected. Being now on the top of the piazza, which was almost flat, he found no difficulty in walking along till he came under the window in question. Here he paused to consider what might be the most suitable manner of making known his presence to the fair object of his visit. As soon as he had made up his mind upon this delicate, though important subject, and screwed up his courage to the sticking point, he reached up, and, taking hold of the window stool, and bracing his feet against the steep slant of the roof beneath it as he mounted, raised himself till he could look into the window, which, it being a warm night, the unsuspicious occupant had fortunately left open. "Now," said Timothy, in a whispered ejaculation, "now may the gods of love and masonry inspire me." And, for the double purpose of awakening the respectful admiration of his charmer by making known his masonic quality, and at the same time enrapturing her with the melody of verse, he commenced chanting, in the soft, winning accents of love, one of those delicate and beautiful little stanzas of masonic poesy which are forever the pride and boast of mystic minstrelsy—

"To Masons and to Masons' bairns, And women both with wit and charms Who love to lie in Masons' arms."

"The bitches! I wish they were dead—caterwauling round the house all night," muttered the half-roused sleeper, between dreaming and thinking.

Our hero, feeling somewhat mortified in finding that his own sweet notes should be mistaken by his drowsy inamorata for the music of some nocturnal band of feline performers, and perceiving by her snoring that she was again relapsing into slumber, resolved to regale her ears with a livelier strain, though with a text no less beautiful and appropriate:—

"Then round the circle let the glass, Yet in the square, convivial pass; And when the sun winds o'er the lea Each lass shall have her jubilee."

"That aint the cats!" exclaimed the damsel in tones of alarm, starting up in her bed,—"what's that in the window! Who are you?"

`O it is I,' replied Timothy, with a most affectionate simpering of voice—`it is only I, the gentleman who had the connubial conversation with you in the supper-room, and could not rest for thinking of the pelucid embellishments of your charms.'

"And what," replied the girl, who had become thoroughly awake during this gallant speech, "and what, Mr. Pelucid Embellishment, do you want here? It strikes me that you won't be much more apt to rest, if you stay here long, than you would in your own room where you ought to be."

`O, celestial charmer!' exclaimed our hero, `do not cause my extraction forever! I know your internals must bleed with the most amorous propensities for my anxious condition! I am a high Mason; and

"We're true and sincere— We all love the fair— They'll trust us on any occasion."—

"Well, Sir," said Katreen coolly, "if you are one of those wise fellers that strut about with aprons as solemn as a pack of old women at a granny-gathering, I will trust you on this occasion with a secret: do you want I should tell it?"

`O, I should be extremely extatic to hear it,' replied Timothy, overjoyed at this supposed symptom of her relenting.

"Well, then," said she, in no very mild accents, "if you, Sir, don't make yourself scarce in two minutes, I'll give you something that will make you keep as long as a pickled lobster!—that's all."

`O, you lily of cruelty!' exclaimed our swain, `O, don't retard my congenial anxieties, but let me come in: I shall propagate no noise.'

"No, nor any thing else, I guess," said she, tartly; "but I shall though," she continued, leaping out of bed, "I shall though—scamp of impudence! Will you be gone?"

But Timothy, notwithstanding the ominous tones of her voice, and the rather unloving nature of her remarks, which might, perhaps, have discouraged one of a less gallant and sanguine disposition, still persisted in thinking that she was merely joking, and not believing that she could seriously be otherwise than enraptured with him, became the more emboldened as he beheld this fearless daughter of Amsterdam standing in her night-clothes beside her bed, apparently waiting his approach; and he began to make a movement to climb into her window. Perceiving this, she sharply bid him desist, or he should repent it. Timothy begged her not to speak so loud, lest she should raise the folks in the house.

"I can help myself, I thank you," she replied, "without calling any assistance; and I will do it too, to your sorrow."

Our hero hearing that she did not wish to alarm the house, and feeling no great apprehensions on any other score, now boldly began to mount the window; but scarcely had he thrust his head over the threshold of his fancied paradise, when, (shade of Dean Swift, inspire me to tell it!) the hidden reservoirs of that paradise were suddenly uncapt—a masked battery was unexpectedly opened upon the unconscious victim, and its projected torrent of liquid wrath, coming with fatal aim, met him full in the face with a force that nearly swept him from the window-stool with the shock!

"There! take that, stupid puppy!" exclaimed the gentle angel within, "and if that an't enough, I've got another in store for you. It will be quite an addition to your pelucid embellishments, I apprehend."

"Then Cupid shriek'd, and bade the house farewell."

Reader! did you ever shoot a squirrel in a tree-top? If you have, and noticed how suddenly he fell from his hold as the messengers of death reached his heart, then you may form some idea how quickly our hero dropped from the window on to the piazza below on receiving this deadly shot from the fortress of his charmer.

Almost all diseases, in this age of physiological research, have their specific remedies: and why not love among the rest? But when Byron, in his wicked wit, while treating of the antidotes of this complaint, said or sung— "But worst of all is nausea or pain About the lower regions of the bowels, Love who breathes heroically a vein, Shrinks from the application of hot towels," he must have been wholly ignorant, I think, of the efficacy of that potion which was thus promptly administered to our hero—a potion no sooner taken than his Cyprian fever, with all its hallucination and burning agonies, left him instantly and forever. The lovely and the loved one, whom, one moment before, his fancy had invested with all the charms and graces of the Houri, was now to his disenthralled senses....bah! he could not endure to think of her. His first thoughts were involuntarily employed in making this metamorphose—his second were turned to his own condition: and for the next half hour, a dark object, in form much resembling our hero, might have been seen standing in the neighboring brook, busily engaged in something, the accompanying motions of which seemed not much unlike those attending the ordinary process of washing clothes. But why longer dwell on this sad and singular catostrophe? Misapprehensions will often occur among the wisest and best; and how then could it be expected, in the present cese, that a mere country girl could perfectly understand the rights and privileges to which our hero was duly entitled by the liberal principles and blessed spirit of masonry?

Some physicians have recommended, I believe, salt water bathing for promoting sound and healthy slumbers. I much incline to second the opinion of its efficacy in this respect; and had he, who discovered this remedy, have wished to extend his fame in this particular, our hero would have freely given him a certificate in favor of the practice; for he never slept more soundly than on the night of his adventure with the lovely Katreen, the heroine of the Dutch tavern.

CHAPTER X.

At the first streak of day light the next morning, our hero jogged his companion to awake, that they might rise and prepare for their departure. But Jenks, although an early riser, and generally first on such occasions, yet seeing no particular necessity for so very early a start, begged for a little more repose. The impatience of Timothy however would admit of no delay, and again rousing his friend, and hastily dressing himself, he proceeded with wonderful alacrity to get out and harness the team and put every thing in readiness for immediate departure; all of which he had accomplished by the time that Jenks, who was all the time wondering at the unaccountable anxiety of his friend to be off at such an early hour, had dressed himself and came out into the yard. The reckoning having been paid the evening previous, the two friends now mounted their carriage and drove off from the house, leaving all its unconscious inmates still wrapt in their unbroken slumbers.

For the first few miles of their ride they were mutually silent, as people generally are, or are inclined to be, during the first hours of the morning. Whoever has been much at the public schools in his youth, and seen a host of these wayward disciples of Minerva reluctantly turning out at day-light for prayers and recitation, cannot but remember the sour and lugubrious countenances there every morning exhibited—the mumping taciturnity, and the cold and unsocial manner with which each marched on doggedly to the task: While, after their morning duties were over, and the mounting sun, aided perhaps by a smoking cup of their favorite Batavia, had warmed up their sluggish blood to action, the same fellows were invariably seen returning to their rooms locked arm in arm as amiable and smiling as the face of spring, and as chatty as the black-bird in her sunny meadows.

So with our adventurers during the first part of their morning's ride. The sun however now began to glimmer through the heavy column of fog that lay brooding over the noble Hudson; and its vivifying effects were soon perceptible.

"What do you suppose is the reason, Brother Jenks," said Timothy, gaping and stretching out his arms at full length, "what do you suppose is the reason that women have never been allowed to incorporate into our privileges of masonry?"

`Why, Brother Peacock,' replied the other, `you know that the faculty of keeping secrets is one of the greatest and most essential virtues of masonry: and don't you recollect a passage on this subject in one of the songs in the Book of Constitutions, which runs in these words— "The ladies claim right to come into our light, Since the apron they say is their bearing— Can they subject their will—can they keep their tongues still, And let talking be chang'd into hearing?" Here you see how naturally their claims are urged, and at the same time how strong are the reasons against their ever being admitted.'

"True," observed Timothy, "but still I have some instigations for wishing that there was some method to extinguish their wilful functions towards us, and, if they cannot be admitted to infest their minds with a proper understanding of the rights and privileges which belong to us Masons, and which you know it is their duty to extend and yield to us in every case that requires the least emergency."

`I have sometimes wished the same,' observed Jenks, `my wife, besides forever teasing me to tell her the secret, always makes a great fuss because I am out one night in a month or so, which all, no doubt, comes from her not being able to understand the true nature and value of masonry. But I don't suppose there is any help for this grievance, for, as to their ever being worthy of being admitted into the lodge, and this is the only way any thing could be done for them, that business, I take it, was settled at the beginning of the world; for there is another place in the Book of Constitutions which fully explains this matter. It is in a piece called the Progress of Masonry, and goes on in this way— "But Satan met Eve when she was a gadding, And set her, as since all her daughters, a madding— To find out the secrets of Freemasonry, She ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Then as she was fill'd with high flowing fancies, As e'er was fond girl who deals in romances, She thought with her knowledge sufficiently cramm'd, And said to her spouse, My dear, eat and be damn'd! But Adam, astonish'd like one struck with thunder, Beheld her from head to foot over with wonder— Now you have done this thing, madam, said he, For your sake no women Freemasons shall be." Now in this history of the matter given by this book, which you know is the Mason's Bible, and no more to be doubted than the other Bible, you see why women in the first place were cut off from the privileges of masonry; and although the reasons mentioned in the first verse I repeated are enough to prevent their being admitted, yet you see if those reasons did not exist, they could never come to this honor, because it was forbidden almost as soon as the world was made; and this I take to be one of the heaviest curses that was bestowed upon Eve for eating the forbidden fruit, (which was pretty much the same, I suppose, as unlawfully trying to get into the secrets of masonry) that her whole sex should forever be denied the honors and privileges of our blessed institution.'

"These verses," said Timothy, "are indeed sublimely transcendant; but there is one incomprehension about them which I should like to hear you diffuse upon. They say that Satan meeting Eve, set her mad to find out the secrets of masonry, and so she eat of the forbidden fruit to get these secrets. Now is it not consequential that Satan was a Mason himself wrongfully trying to initiate her in this way?"

`I don't exactly see how it was myself,' replied the other, `but these things are no doubt explained in the high degrees which I have not taken. I suppose however that Satan might once have been an accepted Mason, but you know he was expelled from heaven, which is no doubt the Great Grand Lodge of the Universe, and made up wholly of Masons.'

"Then you do not suppose," said Timothy, "that any of the feminine extraction ever go to heaven?"

`Why, as to that,' replied Jenks, `we cannot certainly tell, but I think it a very doubtful case. If they have no souls, as our brethren in Turkey and some other parts of the old world believe, then of course they cannot go to heaven. But if they have souls, as all in this country, except Masons, believe, then it seems rather a hard case that they should be shut out. Still there are so many reasons against their ever being admitted, allowing they have souls, that I scarcely know how to do them away as I could wish, out of the pity I feel for this unfortunate part of the human race. You know we take a most solemn oath in the Master's degree never to initiate women, idiots, and the like; now if women cannot be initiated on earth, and it seems to be a divine command that they shall not, for masonry is divine, how can they ever enter heaven, which, I am persuaded is, as I said before, all masonry, and the very perfection of masonry? But you don't appear to pay any attention to what I am saying, Timothy,' continued the speaker, looking round on the former, who had been, for some time, engaged in slyly reaching one arm round back of their seat, and pulling out of their chest a wet shirt, cravat, &c., and spreading them out to the sun—`you don't appear—why! what in the name of the Old Nick is all this?—when did you wet these clothes, Timothy?' The latter blushed to the gills, and began to stammer out something about bringing them from home in that condition.

"Come, come, Tim, none of your locklarums with me: you got them wet in your last night's scrape, which by the way, as I was asleep when you came in, I forgot to ask you about this morning.—Did you fall into the brook while blundering about in the dark?"

`Worse than that,' whimpered the confused Timothy, finding it of no use to attempt concealment.

"Worse than that!" exclaimed the other, "what, then, did you stumble into some filthy ditch?"

`Worse than that,' again replied our hero.

"Worse than that!!" reiterated Jenks in surprise, raising his voice to a sort of howl—"what the d—l do you mean, Tim?—speak out—don't act so like a fool!"

`Why—I got up—to her window,' said Timothy, hesitating and stammering at every word—`and I went to'—

Jenks here burst out into loud, continued peals of laughter, while our hero hung down his head in silence till his companion's merriment had measurably subsided, when he sheepishly observed, "I am glad you are a Mason, Brother Jenks, because I know that now you will never divulge this transacted dilemma."

Our travellers now pushed on rapidly, and about noon reached the flourishing town of Troy—

"Place of the free Hart's friendly home,"

whose inhabitants they had heard possessed a sprinkling of that gullible credulity which induced the luckless wights of its ancient namesake to let the wooden horse into their renowned city. They determined therefore to give Boaz an opportunity of making his debut before a public whose cash and curiosity might qualify them to appreciate his merits. But they reckoned, it seems, without their host; for after sojourning in this place about twenty-four hours, and offering Bruin for exhibition with all the recommendations they could invent, they realized barely enough to pay their expenses. Finding that there was but small prospect of making much out of the Trojans, our travellers now proceeded down the river. At the capital they paused only long enough to test the virtues of the Albany beef, that great natural benefice of this famine-proof city, for the bestowment of which I wonder the citizens in their gratitude have not raised from the bottom of the river a monumental water-god a hundred feet high, with something like the following inscribed on his head: Here hungry wights, tho' oft their cake be dough, While Hudson rolls no lack of beef shall know.

Proceeding diligently on their journey, they arrived about dark at the city of Hudson. This night brought them a little piece of good luck from a source on which they had hitherto placed but small reliance: For putting up at an inn in the outskirts of the city, where there happened to reside one of your comfortably funded single ladies, who, having been in the post-meridian of life without receiving an offer, long enough to give her the hypochondria, imagined herself in a consumption, and, having dismissed all her physicians for blockheads, was now on the inquiry for some specific for her fancied malady. Our travellers, on learning this history of her case from her own lips during their meal, began to bethink them of turning to some account the bottled nostrums, which, as a forlorn hope, they had stowed away in their waggon. Accordingly Jenks, after having listened to her remarks and lamentations long enough to satisfy himself pretty well how the wind set with her, enquired with apparent indifference, if she had ever tried the celebrated medicine lately discovered in the Eastern States which had cured so many consumptions.

She replied in the negative, and, with a countenance brightening up with joy and excited curiosity, eagerly enquired where any of this medicine was to be had.

On which, Jenks told her that he had charge of a few bottles which had been sent by him to a gentleman in New York, one of which perhaps might be spared; but so very valuable was this medicine considered, that no one, he presumed, would be willing to give the price demanded. This only inflamed the invalid's curiosity the more, and she became very anxious to see this elixir of life. Jenks then, with some seeming hesitation, went out and brought in a bottle, which, having been ingeniously tinctured by the juice of the elder-berry, and rendered aromatic by wild annis and the like, furnished a liquid both agreeable to the taste and the sight; and turning out a small quantity, he descanted largely on its virtues, and prescribed the manner in which it was to be taken. Charmed by the taste and appearance of the beautiful liquid, and her faith keeping pace with her imagination in the growing idea of its sanative qualities, her desire to possess it soon became uncontrollable, and she demanded the price of the bottle. And, while the cautious vender was hesitating whether it was his best policy to say one dollar, or two, she, taking this hesitation for a reluctance to part with such a treasure, observed she must have it if it cost ten dollars. This remark gave Jenks a clue of which he was not slow to avail himself, and accordingly he told her that ten dollars was just the price of one bottle, which was considered sufficient to effect a complete cure in the most obstinate cases. This she said was indeed a great price, but still money was not to be put in competition with life. Thus observing, she rose, and forgetting the cane with which she usually walked, bustled out of the room. Jenks now began to fear that his avarice had led him to overshoot his mark, and he regretted that he had not set his price lower, as she had left him in doubt whether she intended to become a purchaser. He had not however much time allowed him for regrets; for his patient soon returned, and, planking ten dollars, took possession of her invaluable medicine, and proceeded to administer to herself the specified does on the spot. After this her spirits soon became exhilarated, and she declared that she already felt much better.

Faith will remove mountains, saith the Scripture in substance. I have often considered how peculiarly applicable is this scriptural sentiment to the case of those laboring under that, by no means the least terrible of diseases, hypochondriacal affection. The poor afflicted dupe, in the present instance, no sooner gave herself up to the full influence of that wonder-working attribute, than she felt, it would seem, the mountain rolling from her oppressed feelings.

The next morning, as our travellers were about to resume their journey, she came to the door with the bright look and elastic step of a girl of fifteen, and expressed the most unbounded gratitude to them for having been the means of saving her life: She had not felt so well for two years, and she was certain she should be entirely cured by the time she had taken the whole bottle of her charming medicine.

Our travellers drove off almost holding their breaths till they had got fairly past the last house in the city, when they began to snicker, and soon to laugh and roar outright at the strange and ludicrous manner in which dame fortune had been pleased to visit them in this unexpected little piece of success. "I have often heard it observed, Brother Tim," said Jenks, after his fit of merriment had been indulged in to his satisfaction, "I have often heard it observed, that mankind were always prone to measure the value of every thing by the price that was attached to it; but I confess I never saw this trait so strikingly exhibited before. Had I put the price of that bottle at fifty cents, the old hypoey squab, I will warrant you, would not have looked at it. Let us then take a hint from this affair for governing our future operations."

They then fell to contriving in accordance with this suggestion; the result of which was, that the same price, which they had just so miraculously obtained, was to be affixed to each of their remaining bottles of tinctured water. Their black-balls were to be cried up as perpetual leather-preservers, at a dollar a piece; and Boaz was to be passed off as some unknown animal, if possible, with terms for his exhibition sufficiently high to comport with their new scale for the graduation of prices.

After this weighty business had been well discussed and definitely settled, they concluded it best to embrace every probable chance of putting their scheme into operation. Accordingly they stopped at almost every house on the road for the commendable purpose of searching out the sick, and administering to their distresses. But unfortunately it never fell to their lot to find any more cases of consumption, either in fancy or fact, or any other disease indeed that required the aid of any of their list of infallibles. With their black-balls, however, they met with a little more success among the Dutch farmers, who considered that the preservation of their shoes, so that they might pass as heir-looms from one generation to another, was an object by no means to be sneezed at, declaring, in their honest credulity, "none but a Cot tam Yankee would have found out dat." But with Boaz they found it impossible to succeed in this way. At Poughkeepsie they spent one day, and Timothy made a learned speech to the multitude to prove their bear an unknown and newly discovered animal. But as soon as two or three had been admitted to the sight, the game was up. Boaz was pronounced a bona fide bear as ever sucked his claws. Whereupon, symptoms of a mob began to be among the crowd. One fellow stepped up to and offered him half a crown, observing, and to our hero instead of the bear, that he for one was well satisfied that the creature was an unknown animal, and worth the money for the sight, and concluded by asking where he was caught. Others said something about those implements of the low and vulgar, tar and feathers. In short, matters began to wear rather a squally appearance.

Quoe cum ita sint—"since things go on at such a deuced rate," thought our travellers, it is no more than prudent to be a jogging. They therefore packed up their duds without further loss of time, and took a French leave of these impertinent Poughkeepsians, who were growing quite too familiar to suit their notions of genteel intercourse.

The next day, while diligently wending their way towards the great city, they came to a little village containing a tavern, store and meeting-house, those three grand requisites of village greatness. Here they stopped at the tavern for a little rest and refreshment. When they were about to depart, Timothy stepped up to the bar, and offered the landlord a small bank note out of which to pay their reckoning. The latter took the note in hand, and, giving it a long scrutinizing look, observed that he had some doubts about that bill; and at the same time casting a glance of suspicion at our friends, asked Timothy how he came by the paper. The latter could only say that it was handed him by his friend Jenks, and Jenks affirmed that he took it on the road; and although he knew it to be good, yet to save all dispute, he would pay the reckoning in other money. Having done this, they requested the landlord to deliver up the questioned bill; but he declined, and said he should first like to know whether it was counterfeit or not; and as there was a good judge of money in the place, they would submit it to his inspection. To this Jenks demurred, as causing them a foolish and unnecessary detention. But the landlord, without beeding his remarks, sent out his boy for the gentleman in question. In a few moments a little dapper, pug-nosed fellow, with a huge cravat round his neck, reaching up over his chin to his mouth, and looking as if he had been trying to jump through it—while a large bunch of gold seals were appended to his waist to keep the balance of his watch true, (provided he had one) came bustling into the room swelling with the conscious importance of his character as village merchant. "Here, Mr. Nippet," said the landlord, reaching out the bill, "please to give us your opinion of that paper." Mr. Nippet accordingly took the bill, and, after having squinted at it side-ways and all ways with a severe and knowing air, laid it down, and, with a tone that plainly told that there could be no appeal from his judgement, pronounced it counterfeit. All eyes were now instantly turned upon our travellers with looks of the darkest suspicion; and not doubting the correctness of the decision of their counterskipper oracle any more than a good Catholic would that of the Pope, they already beheld our travellers, in imagination, snugly immured within the walls of the Penitentiary. They, however, showing the rest of their money, which proved to be good, and taking much pains to convince the company of the honesty of their intentions, succeeded so far in allaying these suspicions, that no opposition was made to their departing. Nippet, however, who had preserved a dignified silence during this process of examination & acquittal, now, as they drove off, pulled up his cravat and said, "Dem me! if them are fellers aint as prime a pair of Yankee counterfeiters as ever went uncaged, I will agree to forfeit the best double-twilled looking-glass in my store."

The effect of this malediction was soon manifested among the crowd by eager inquiries for the village lawyer and the sheriff. But let us follow our travellers, who, having got too far off from the scene of action to perceive any thing of this new movement, were now quietly pursuing their journey, wholly unaware of the storm that was brewing in the village they had just left. Perhaps, however, I should not omit to state that Jenks, for reasons best known to himself, often cast an uneasy glance behind him, and as often put up old Cyclops to considerable more than his wonted jog. After they had travelled about two hours, and while passing over an uneven and woody country, somewhere in the vicinity of `Sleepy Hollow,' that secluded region, which would forever have remained in its own quiet and inglorious obscurity, but for the classic pens of Washington Irving and the author of these memorable adventures: the one having already rendered it famous as the scene of the exploits of the immortal Ichabod Crane, and the other now adding the climax of its celebrity by connecting it with the masonic achievements of the no less immortal Timothy Peacock,—while passing these regions, I say, the attention of our trayellers was suddenly arrested by the clattering of hoofs on the road behind them; and looking round, they saw a man riding at full speed coming after them.

"What can that fellow want?" hurriedly exclaimed Jenks—"something about that bill, I fear—I wish I had never tried the experiment of putting"—

"You are the gentlemen, I conclude, with whom I have some business," said the man, riding up and addressing our travellers, and at the same time taking out a warrant, "you are the persons, I think, who put off a certain bank bill at our village a few hours since," he continued, motioning them to stop their horse. Here was a dilemma inindeed! Our travellers were thunderstruck. But it was here, O divine Masonry! that thy transcendant genius shone triumphant! Here the omnipetence of thy saving and precious principles was displayed in its true glory for the protection of thy faithful children! And it was here thy supreme behest, in obedience to which, "Supporting each other Brother helps brother," was kindly interposed between thy sons in difficulty and the cruel and less sacred exactions of civil law, and set the rejoicing captives free! Quick as thought our hero rose from his seat, and looking the officer full in the face, made the Master Mason's hailing sign of distress. The officer hesitated, and seemed to be in great perplexity how to act. On which, Jenks, who had been thrown into more confusion than Timothy, now regaining his assurance in perceiving they were in the hands of a brother, also rose and made another masonic sign to the officer which our hero did not at that time understand. But its potency was instantly acknowledged by a corresponding token, and its redeemnig efficacy as quickly visible.

"Here must be some mistake," said the officer, "no two persons in a waggon have passed you on the road, gentlemen?" he continued, with a look which seemed to say, we must invent some excuse for this.

`None whatever,' replied Jenks, fully comprehending the drift of the question, `none whatever, but perhaps they were considerably behind us, and might have turned off at a road which I noticed several miles back, and which leads I conclude to some ferry over the Hudson.'

"Nothing more likely," rejoined the sheriff, "but to put the matter beyond dispute, and enable me to give a safe answer to my employers, I will ride on to the next house, and enquire if any travellers, at all answering the description of the fugitives, have passed the road, and if informed in the negative, I shall of course be exonerated from any further pursuit in this direction. So, good bye, Brethren," he continued, pointing to a thick wood behind a hill on the right, "good bye—caution and moonlight will ensure a safe journey to the city." So saying, he clapped spurs to his horse, and dashing by the waggon of our travellers, was soon out of sight.

"Brother Peacock," said Jenks, "there is no time to lose; we must drive out into the woods and conceal ourselves and team behind yonder hill till dark." They then jumped out of their waggon, and taking their horse by the head, led him out of the road into a partial opening at the right, and picking their way through the bushes and round fallen trees and logs, soon arrived at a situation where the intervening hill cut off all view from the road, and where a small grass plot and spring furnished an excellent place for halting and refreshment. Being now in a place of safety, they unharnessed old Cyclops, and gave him the last peck of oats now remaining of the stock which they had brought from home. Our travellers now taking a seat, Jenks proceeded to explain to Timothy, as far as his oath would permit, the nature of the sign which he had made to the officer, and which had so effectually ensured their escape from arrest. The token he had used he said was the Royal Arch sign of distress, which no Mason of that degree ever dare pass unheeded, whatever might be his opinion of being bound to answer the Master's sign of distress in circumstances like those in which they had just been placed. As to the latter obligation, he remarked, there was a difference of opinion among Masons,—some believing they were bound to afford relief, protection or liberty, as the case might require, whenever the Master's sign was made; others considering that this sign only extended to relief in certain cases. Among the latter class, he presumed, stood this officer, by his hesitation when this sign was made, since he appeared to have no doubts what was his duty when he saw the sign of the Royal Arch degree,—that sign which was never known to fail a brother in distress,— that sign, indeed, whose potency can palsy even the iron arm of the law—bid defiance to the walls of the deepest dungeons, and rend the strongest fetters that ever bound the limbs of a captive brother.

Timothy could not here refrain from bursting forth into the most rapturous exclamations in praise of the glorious institution that could effect such wonders. Its advantages, its value, and its protective power, were now to him no longer a matter of hypothesis. He had seen them exemplified. He had experienced their glorious fruits. He blessed the auspicious hour that first brought the precious light to his soul, and he resolved that he would never rest till he had taken not only the Royal Arch, but every higher degree, till he had reached the very summit of the Ladder of Jacob.

It was now about noon, and our travellers, beginning to feel the demands of appetite, went to their waggon, and after making a pretty heavy draft on their remaining stock of provisions, repaired to a little bed of moss near a spring which was overshadowed by a large chesnut tree, and commenced their sylvan meal.

"Brother Timothy," said Jenks, tossing a half-eaten biscuit in his hand and giving a momentary respite to his masticators, "I have been thinking about trying an experiment. You know you preached like a philosopher there at Poughkeepsie to make them believe that Boaz was no bear, but some strange and unknown animal, but failed to make the fellows trust one word of all you told them; and for the reason no doubt that when they came to see him with his long black hair, and every way in his natural trim, their common sense told them that he could be nothing but a bear. Well, as I was looking on to notice how matters went, and hearing you talk with so much high learning about the unknown animal as you called him, a thought struck me that if it had not been for the creature's black coat, you might have made them believe your story; and if he could be sheared or shaved, it would be nearly all that would be wanting to make him pass for what you cracked him up to be."

`What an ingenious contrivability!' excaimed the other. `Brother Jenks, what a fundament of inventions is always exasperating the dimensions of your perecranium! Who else would have ever cogitated such a comical designment? '

"Now, Tim," continued Jenks, without seeming to heed the exclamations of his companion, "we have all the afternoon before us, as it will not do to start till dark, and I put a pair of sheers into our chest, and several kinds of paint, thinking I might want them perhaps to fix old Cyclops for market. So you see we have leisure and tools—now what say you to trying the experiment of taking off the bear's coat close to his skin, and otherwise fixing him as we shall think expedient?"

`By all muchness and manner of means, let us condense the experiment into immediate operation,' replied our hero, adding the most sanguine anticipations of its success.

The project was then discussed in all its bearings, and becoming more and more confirmed in the opinion that it must succeed, the projectors rose for the purpose of patting it into execution without further delay. It was arranged that Timothy should take a bag, and going out of the woods to the back side of an orchard which they had noticed about half a mile back, procure a quantity of sweet apples to feed Boaz and make him more quietly submit to the operation; while Jenks was to remain behind and make all necessary preparations for the performance.

Accordingly, Timothy steered off with his bag, and the other proceeded to get out his old shears and sharpen them upon a piece of slate stone, then to prepare his shaving tools with which it was proposed to go over the animal after shearing by way of putting on the finish to the work; and finally to get out poor Boaz, the unconscious object of these preparations, who little dreamed that his masters were about to deprive him of the only coat he had to his back, and that too when cold winter was rapidly approaching.

By the time these preparations were completed, Timothy came staggering along over the logs under a load of nearly two bushels of apples, and reaching the spot, threw them down at the feet of his companion.

"Stolen fruit is sweet," said Jenks, taking out and tasting several of the apples, "this makes the Scripture good; for I never tasted sweeter apples in my life."

`I declare to Jehoshaphat and the rest of the prophets,' said Timothy, `the idea never once entered my conscience that I was breaking the commandments by taking these apples without the liberty of licence.'

Jenks now perceiving the uneasiness that his remark had caused his too scrupulous friend, at once relieved his feelings by telling him, in the language of the Jesuitical Fathers, whose learned and logical reasoning bears so striking a resemblance to that of masonic writers in support of their institution, that, as he was calculating to devote his share of the avails of their project to the study of masonry, whatever was done in furtherance of so noble an object could not be blameable; for the end always justified the means, and therefore this act which appeared to trouble his mind so unnecessarily, was in fact a virtue instead of a crime.

They now proceeded to the shearing operation—one plying the shears, while the other slowly administered pieces of apples to the animal, and thus kept him quiet during the performance. In about an hour they completed this first part of their task, having deprived Bruin of the whole of his sable wardrobe as far as it could be effected with shears. Next was the more difficult and tedious process of shaving. They beat up a large supply of lather, and diligently betook themselves to this novel exercise of the barber's profession. This part of their undertaking proved indeed to be a slow and troublesome business. But Boaz, either because he was conscious of the important objects which the operation involved, or because the razor, in passing over his skin, produced, by its light and gentle friction, those pleasurable sensations which are said to be so highly appreciated in Scotland as to lead to the erection of rubbing-posts in that country, bore up through the whole with the patience of a philosopher, and, with the exception of a little wincing and snapping as occasionally the razor happened to graze the skin, suffered the operators to complete their task without offering the slightest opposition. This process being at length finished, they smeared over his skin with some light paint mixed with earth so as to give him an ashy appearance.

"There Boaz!" exclaimed Jenks, laughing at the comical appearance of the animal, as he stood before them completely metamorphosed, his body as smooth as the head of a shorn Carmelite, and his whole figure comparatively as light and spruce as a Broadway dandy, and with organs of ideality quite as well developed, (though with a little more destructiveness to be sure,) "there Boaz, if you wont betray us by your bearish breeding, we may defy the Old Nick himself to discover your true character."

It was now past sunset, and the deepening shadows of evening beginning to fall thick and fast into the deep glens of the highlands, reminded our travellers that they might soon depart in safety. Accordingly, having harnessed their team, and wrapped their shorn friend in an old blanket, to compensate him for the loss of his natural covering, they retraced their way to the road by the last lingering gleams of the fading twilight, and immediately commenced their journey at a pace which seemed to indicate a mutual impatience between horse and owners to bid adieu to this part of the country with as little delay as possible. Passing rapidly on and meeting with no molestation, they travelled till about midnight without stopping; when observing a field of unharvested corn beside the road, they halted, and borrowed a quantity of ears sufficient to furnish old Cyclops with a good supper. Having rested here about an hour, they again put forward and drove with the same speed and diligence for the remainder of the night; and such was their progress in this nocturnal journey, that, as the rising sun began to gild the tops of the distant mountains, they entered the great city of New-York, having travelled in about twelve hours of hazy moonlight nearly forty miles without but once halting.

[4] A term used for Sturgeon, caught in great plenty near Albany.

CHAPTER XI.

"Lobsters are not fleas, damn their souls."

Peter Pindar, for Sir Joseph Banks.

New-York!—London of America—vast depot of the agricultural riches of the West, and the proud haven into whose open and welcoming bosom the winged canvass, laden with merchandize, comes drifting from every clime before the four winds of heaven! City of fashions!—whose hundred sacred spires rise over congregations there weekly assembled, punctual to the dictate of this fickle goddess, who is even there presiding mistress of the ceremonies! Congregations whose devotions would be disturbed by the appearance of one coat out of date—whose feelings would be shocked by the sight of one ribbon too much or too little in a dress, and whose sensibilities would be thrown into agony by the daring intrusion of one unfashionable bonnet! City of puffs and exaggeration! where there is no medium— where every thing —"Is like to Jeremiah's figs,— The good were very good—the bad not fit to give the pigs." Where literature, if fashionable, is celestial—if not, damnable.— Where an author becomes at once a Magnus Apollo , or a dunce.—Where every thing is cried up to the clouds, or hissed into infamy.—Where every performance or exhibition, of whatever kind or character, is all the go, the rage, the roar; and the exhibitors or performers are received with shouts of applause, clapped, encored, honored, worshipped; or spurned, hissed, spit at, and mobbed from the city.—Where every thing, in short, goes by steam on the high pressure principle.—Where every thing is done in a fury, a whirlwind; and where those who would succeed must raise the wind to the same pitch and power of the surrounding tempest, and ride fearlessly on the gale; for if they fall short of this, or pause one moment to resist the current, they are overthrown and trod and trampled under foot by the rolling mass of life, and lost forever!

Jenks had several times before been in this city, and having noticed the peculiarities of the place, and learned how things were done there, and concluding withal that whatever was done, "it were better if it were done quickly," now shaped his course accordingly. Near the centre of the city stood a livery stable with a capacious yard which the owner, whom I shall call Stockton, had been accustomed to let to the keepers of caravans for the exhibition of their animals. This Stockton being a masonic acquaintance of Jenks, the latter, on arriving at the city, immediately drove to his stand, and as his yard was then luckily unoccupied, found excellent accommodations for the intended exhibition of Boaz. Having for a reasonable sum obtained these accommodations, and seen Boaz safely locked up in the high enclosure which constituted the exhibition room, Jenks immediately went in search of a painter to take a full sized portrait of his Bruinship to display for a sign, while Timothy was despatched to a printing-office to get a hundred or two of handbills struck off describing Boaz as the new and wonderful animal lately caught in a cave among the Green-Mountains, and setting forth the time, place and terms of his exhibition. The painter with his implements, and a large piece of canvass, was soon on the ground, and after wondering awhile over this strange subject for his pencil, diligently proceeded to the task of taking his likeness. While these things were doing, Jenks and Timothy took the opportunity of dressing before they made their appearance before the public, and of taking their dinner. After which, at the suggestion of their friend, Stockton, they employed an old ex-officio crier, remarkable for the power of his lungs, and the aptitude of his hyperboles,to distribute their handbills and cry up Boaz in such manner as he thought best calculated to catch the attention of the multitude.

By three o'clock in the afternoon, every thing was prepared for this wonderful exhibition. The painter had completed his task, having given a rough, but striking picture of Boaz standing on the limb of a tree, about to spring upon a deer that was making his appearance in the bushes below; and the handbills having come, `Thundering Tom,' as their new crier was called, had already begun his work of distributing them, making the very pavements tremble as he passed along the streets, crying with stentorian voice the exhibition of the "new! strange!! wonderful!!! and unknown animal!!!! caught in the Green-Mountains!!!!!"

"Now Brother Tim," said Jenks, "it is neck or nothing with us. It will be no half-way business here. Our pockets will be filled with cash before to-morrow night, or our backs will be tarred and feathered, just according as how the thing takes; but we must act our part well or all is lost to a certainty. I have done the contriving, and you must do the talking, Tim: You have learning, and can philosophize and explain to the visitors. But mind you, Tim, if you get up any wonderful stories about Boaz, be careful not to cross yourself by telling different ones, especially till a new set of visitors come in, and you are sure that all those who heard your first story are gone. And above all, Tim, be very careful that you don't let the cat out of the bag."

After these hasty injunctions, Jenks, with a heart palpitating with the mingled emotions of hope and fear, went out and took his station at the door. It was obvious that public curiosity had been awakened, and that the wind was now fairly raised. A crowd was already collected round the door, gazing at the picture, and listening to the marvellous stories that Thundering Tom, who having gone the rounds in distributing the handbills and returned, was now administering to them by wholesale. As soon as Jenks made his appearance, they became clamorous for admission— when he nothing loath, though trembling at the uncertainty of the result, threw open the door, and, as fast as he could pocket the half dollars, (fifty cents being the terms of admission) let in the eager multitude. This was a moment of intense anxiety to our travellers, wholly uncertain as they were, what impressions would be produced by the first sight of Boaz—whether he would maintain his assumed character, or whether detection and its supposed consequence, a mobbing, would immediately ensue. They were soon relieved, however, from all apprehensions of any trouble at present, by the concurrent voice of the visitors, who after carefully examining the monster round from head to tail, all broke out in exclamations of wonder and admiration at the appearance of this singular animal, and declared themselves highly gratified with the sight. Timothy now believing it was time for him to take a part in the scene, proceeded to relate to the gaping crowd the manner of taking the animal, which he said was effected by a steel-trap that he and his companion had set near a small lake surrounded by woods and mountains, where they had observed the creature's tracks, which they took for those of a catamount. And on going to the trap the next day, they found it was gone, and the stone to which it was chained, weighing about five hundred pounds, had been dragged off with it. Following the track which was plainly marked by the trap and stone, they pursued on, and soon came to a young deer with his throat torn open, lying dead beside the way; and knowing that the animal must have caught this deer before he got into the trap, and carried it so far where he had dropped it owing to his failing condition, they followed on now certain of soon overtaking him. After going about half a mile, they found he had gone into a dark and frightful cavern in the side of a steep mountain. They then raised a band of hunters, and went in with torches, and after incredible difficulty and danger, they succeeded, with ropes, in taking the monster alive, and tying and muzzling him so securely that they got him home; and after taming him as much as his ferocious nature would admit of, they had now brought him to the city to let the people see him and find out from the learned men what animal he was.

This account still increased the general wonder, and the ferocious character which Timothy had given to Boaz was now confirmed by his present appearance; for owing to the soreness produced by the shaving, and the jolting of his rapid ride immediately after, he was unusually cross and snappish, and kept in one continual snarl as the visitors punched him with their canes through the railing within which he was chained.

Various were the conjectures as to what kind of animal he could be; and many the sage remarks that were uttered on the occasion. One thought he must be some relation to the elephant—a kind of Tom Thumb elephant, he said, since he knew of no animal of the four-footed kind but what had hair except the elephant and this monster; and asked if there were not a small kind of elephants somewhere in a country called Lilliputia, where, as he had read in some history, all the animals were excessively diminutive: Another said he had been to see all the caravans that ever came into the city for twenty years, and he had seen all the animals in the world, he believed, except the unicorn, which he never could happen to come across, and according to the idea he had formed of that animal, he thought it must be very like this monster, and he rather expected the same thing: And yet another, a spruce and intelligent clerk from Broadway, observed, that he was perfectly satisfied what the creature was—it was one of that class of animals called non-descripts, found in great numbers in Siberia and other parts of the torrid zone: he had often heard Doctor Mitchel, in his lectures, speak of the animal; though he did not know before that any of this class were ever found in America; but he was not at all surprised that they should be discovered in such a cold, rough and desolate wilderness as the Green-Mountains.

These and a thousand other observations of the kind were made by this, and each succeeding set of visitors that were continually coming and going in great numbers for the whole of the afternoon and evening—during all of which, Boaz maintained his character of an unknown animal unimpeached; and notwithstanding the most rigid scrutiny and learned inspection, which he was constantly undergoing, all except the learned Broadway clerk, gave up that they had never seen or heard of the like of him before, and that he was truly an unknown animal, and a great curiosity.

Thus went matters gloriously on for our travellers till nine o'clock in the evening, when, although the crowd seemed rather to increase than diminish, they were forced to close the exhibition and shut up for the night. As soon as they were alone and all still without, they fell to rejoicing over their good fortune, and counting their money, which to their agreeable surprise amounted, from the receipts of the exhibition alone, to something over three hundred dollars. Jenks' eyes glistened like stars in a frosty night: and Timothy snapped his fingers and capered about the room like a mad-man, uttering a thousand extravagancies. Concluding to sleep on blankets in an apartment in the building adjoining the exhibition room, and communicating with it, that they might better see to the safety of Boaz, it was arranged that Timothy should now go to some neighboring victualling-cellar for some provisions for their supper, while Jenks went to one or two printing-offices to get a notice of to-morrow's exhibition inserted in the morning papers. This business finished, and the parties having returned, they now sat down to their meal spread on the lid of their travelling-chest, and recounted, with great glee, the many little incidents that had fallen under the observation of each during the hours of exhibition. "But Timothy," said Jenks, after they had indulged a while in dwelling on the scenes of the afternoon, "Timothy, I fear me that this run of luck can't last long: This afternoon and evening we have had scarcely any to see Boaz, as I observed, but the more ignorant class; and although many of them were dressed so neat, they were mostly lounging dandies, and merchants' clerks, that havn't three ideas above a jackass, except it is about the business behind their counters. But to-morrow, as this thing gets more noised through the city, we may expect more knowing company. And when those prying lawyers, and doctors with their glasses, come examining and squinting about Boaz, then we may look out for breakers. And at the best, I have little hope of keeping up the farce beyond to-morrow night, as the hair on his back will begin to start so as to be seen by the next day at farthest; and I don't suppose that he would let us shave him again, as he is so sore and cross with the effect of the last operation. Now I have been thinking that we had better be prepared for the worst; so if a blow-up should happen, we shall have nothing to do to prevent our leaving the city at a moment's warning. I think we had better sell our horse and waggon if we can do it to advantage; for if any thing should happen, we can get away better without our team than with it; and if there should not, we can never do better with Cyclops than here; besides, if we sell out and go home by water, we shan't have to pass through that blackguard village where they made such a fuss about that bill. And as to Boaz, we can leave him with Stockton to sell for us."

Timothy agreeing to these propositions, it was decided that Jenks should go out next morning before the hour arrived for opening the door to visitors, and taking Thundering Tom along to assist him, should try to find a sale for the team. This being settled, they began to prepare for sleep. The cautious Jenks, however, did not lay down till he had searched round the yard and building and found a window through which they might retreat into a back alley and get off, in case a mob should attack them. After this, they wrapped their blankets round them, and laying down on the floor, with their coats for pillows, were soon lost in slumber.

Bright and early the next morning our travellers aroused themselves from their golden dreams, and harnessing up old Cyclops, and going out and getting Thundering Tom, the latter and Jenks drove towards the lower part of the city to find a sale for the establishment, leaving Timothy to feed Boaz and prepare for the coming exhibition. As luck would have it, while on their way they came across a man whose horse had just taken fright, and, running against a stone post at the corner of the street, had dashed the waggon to which he was harnessed into a thousand pieces, and broke and torn the harness so as to render it wholly useless for the present purposes of the owner, who now stood over the ruins, lamenting his misfortune, which was the greater he said as he was compelled to return immediately into the country with a small load, while he had not enough money to pay for a new harness and waggon, and he did not suppose he could get any other without considerable delay. Jenks having halted and heard the man tell this story, at once offered to sell his own waggon and harness on the most reasonable terms; and as the man was as eager to buy as Jenks to sell, a bargain was soon concluded to the satisfaction of all parties. It now only remaining to dispose of old Cyclops, Jenks then proceeded onward, leading him with a halter, while Thundering Tom took a parallel street for the purpose of inquiring out a purchaser. In a short time, however, the latter came puffing along after Jenks, and overtaking him told him he had just learned that the master of the Jersey horse-boat wanted to purchase a horse, and he had no doubt but old Cyclops would suit, as eyes or no eyes it was all the same for that business, provided the horse was stout enough. "But," said he, "I think you had better leave the management of parleying with the old fellow to me: I know him well, and what is better he don't know me,—a free, bold speech, and a price that will do to fall upon, is all that is wanting for your success."

With quickened pace they then took their route to the ferry. They no sooner had arrived at the landing than they called out for the master of the boat, which had not yet commenced its trips for the day. Presently an old thick-set, rough-looking fellow came swaggering along towards the stern of the boat, and demanded what they wanted.

"A horse to sell, your honor—just from the country— dog cheap!" replied Thundering Tom.

`What are his points and bottom?' asked the master.

"He will trot you," said the other, "he will trot you, Sir, to the New Jerusalem in three hours!"

`But I want one,' said the master, `that will trot slow— not fast.'

"Well then," replied Tom, "my horse will trot as slow as common horses will stand still!"

`You are a musical fellow,' said the master—`I will come out there and look at your horse—Sound?'

"As a roach," replied Tom, "except an eye that he let a catamomount have one day to pay him for a broken skull."

`You lie like the devil,' said the other—`nevertheless, I like your horse: What is your price?'

"One hundred dollars," replied Tom.

`Hundred satans!' exclaimed the master: `however, put that red-headed woodpecker of yours on to him,' he continued, pointing to Jenks, whom he evidently took for a servant of Tom's, `and let us see him move. I will give seventy-five if I like him as well as I think I shall.'

Jenks now biting his lip in silent vexation at this taunt on his personal appearance, mounted old Cyclops, and rode back and forth some time,—after which, and considerable bantering, the bargain was struck at seventy-five dollars, when Jenks and Thundering Tom returned to their lodgings, chuckling at the thought of their good bargain; for the former had instructed the latter to take fifty dollars if he could get no more. Jenks now giving his companion ten dollars for the great assistance he had rendered him in this sale, and in getting Boaz into notice, now dismissed him, and returned to Stockton's to tell Timothy of his unexpected luck in disposing of their establishment so well and so quickly.

At nine o'clock, Boaz having been well fed, and then switched into a suitable degree of soreness and ferocity, and Timothy instructed to keep a bright look-out for squalls, Jenks took his post and opened the exhibition. The morning papers had been distributed over the city, and given notice of the exhibition to the more domestic and retired citizens. And this, with the floating rumors that they had heard the evening before from the rabble in the streets concerning the strange animal for show at Stockton's, so inflamed their curiosity, that they soon came flocking to see him. Among these, a band of that class which is called the cream of society, being made up of the wealthy, and those at the same time distinguished by family, having made their appearance with their wives and daughters, one of them, after examining the animal a few minutes, asked Timothy if Dr. Mitchel had been to see the monster. And being answered in the negative, he, with several others, proposed going after the Doctor immediately, as he could at once settle the question whether the creature was an unknown animal or not. So saying, two of the gentlemen went off in quest of the great walking library of New-York, leaving their daughters to remain till they returned. The latter, freed from the restraint which they felt in the presence of their fathers, soon manifested a disposition to make the most of their liberty, and began to quiz and question our hero, whose good looks and ruddy cheeks seemed to attract their notice. One asked him whether his sweetheart did not cry when he came away—another whether the girls in the Green-Mountains rode side-ways when they rode horseback; and whether they worked in the field with the men ploughing and reaping: And a third asked him whether they had meeting-houses and state-houses in Vermont. To all these questions Timothy made gallant answers, lugging in some compliment on every occasion. One of these fashionables of the cream at length seeing an opportunity when the rest had moved off to one side of the apartment to listen to some discussion going on there, approached close to our hero, and asked him in a half whisper if he should know her in the dark. "Only by that breath of Arabian perfumery," he replied. `O you rogue, you must not know me by any thing; so you wont find me to-night at Mrs. — assignation house, — street, No. —, precisely at 8 o'clock,' said she, tipping him a wink, as she twirled off talking loudly about the strange animal. In a few minutes more another made a kind of circuit round the room, and passing near him, dropped a small piece of paper into his hand, and scarcely had he put away the first before another billet was dropped at his feet as a gay lass brushed by him, saying she was going to peep out the door to see if papa was coming. Timothy was rather at a loss what to make of all this; and he took the first opportunity to inspect the billets; and on reading them, he found to his surprise that that they both named places and a time of meeting him. "What can this mean?" thought he—"a second act of the play of that Dutch trollop on the road? or have I at length got among ladies that are capable of appreciating my character?" Every thing, as he looked round on the rich and fashionable dresses of these ladies, conspired to tell him that the latter must be the case, and he pulled up his cravat and stepped about with an air of manly dignity which showed that he considered justice was done him. While Timothy was absorbed in these pleasing reflections, the citizens returned in company with the Magnus Apollo of the city. Jenks, who had over-heard enough to learn that some one had now come who was a great critic about animals, felt rather uneasy when the Doctor went in, and even Timothy was not altogether without apprehensions when he saw the learned man scrutinize Boaz so closely. Taking out paper and pencil, the Doctor proceeded to make minutes—speaking or humming over to himself as he wrote, "Strange animal—caught among the Green-Mountains.....Appearance—entire destitution of the capillary characteristic, short, thick and swinish..... Habits—cynic and irascible.....Food—`what does he eat, Sir?' said the Doctor, looking up at Timothy— `Flesh and fruit,' replied the latter, somewhat overawed by the presence of the great man—`He was caught when he had just killed a deer, and we have fed him on apples and such kind of viands'—"Apples, viands! "hastily interrupted the other—"The carneous and pomaceous are distinct and disconnected; but ah! I understand now—it was the deer that you meant by the appellative of viand; but to the animal—wonderful! carniverous and pomiverous," &c. &c. He then examined Boaz over, and asked Timothy a thousand questions about him—after which, he recapitulated his notes, and pronouncing the animal a non-descript in natural history, he gave his cane a twirl, and saying "I will drop a line to my friend of the Journal at Albany concerning this valuable discovery," bowed gracefully to the company and departed.

No sooner was the decision of the great oracle of the city promulgated, than hundreds came crowding to see the non-descript, as he was now termed. Among the rest the Broadway clerk came in to boast of his sagacity in discovering the name of the animal even before the Doctor had seen him. Nearly all day nothing was heard or talked of in the city but the non-descript at Stockton's. The street leading to the place of exhibition was thronged by one continual stream of visitors, eager to get a sight of the lion of the day. Timothy and Jenks pocketed the money in handfuls, and began to think they were made forever. But alas! who can count on the continuance of the favors of the changeful goddess of fortune! Our travellers were now doomed to experience in common with all others the effects of her fickleness and caprice. Towards night, while yet reaping the golden harvest, and now lulled into security by their unexpected and unparalleled success, all their prospects were ruined in a moment by the sagacity of a New-England drover, who, having been a hunter in early life, and now being in the city and hearing of the wonderful animal, had stepped in to see what it was. After this man had leisurely surveyed Boaz awhile, he all at once started up and exclaimed, "a shaved bear, as I live!" The words no sooner struck the ear of Timothy, who happened to be standing near, than he sprang before the man, and made a masonic sign—the drover luckily was a Mason, and returned the sign. Timothy then very appropriately made the sign of the Secret Monitor's degree: This was also understood and heeded; for the man curling his lip with a suppressed smile, left the room in silence. Timothy immediately stepped to the door where Jenks was still keeping his post, and taking him aside informed him of the occurrence, and its fortunate termination through the instrumentality of their beloved institution.

"O blessed masonry!" exclaimed Jenks.

`Yea, blessed—thrice blessed and celestially glorious!' responded Timothy—`without this sanctified salvation of savoring salubrity, we should have been twice disembogued since we left the land of our depravity; but we have triumphed over all, and are now safe.'

"Be not too confident of that, Brother Timothy," said the other—"are you sure that no one of the visitors heard this man's exclamation of shaved bear?"

`I declare!' replied Timothy, dropping the elegant, for the more common mode of expression, as he was wont to do on most business-like occasions—`I declare, I never thought to see to that.'

"Go in immediately then," said Jenks, with much trepidation— "see if you can discover any symptoms among them that look like trouble— any winks and whispering. Tim, I am afraid we are ruined after all! I am glad it is almost night. O, if we can get through this day!" he continued, letting his voice fall into a low ejaculating kind of soliloquy, as Timothy hastily left him for the exhibition room—"If we can outlive this day, they shall never catch me in this hornets' nest again till the day of pentecost."

On Timothy's return to the show-room, he soon perceived enough to convince him that Jenks' fears and apprehensions were not altogether groundless. A midshipman, it seems, had overheard part of the drover's exclamation, and, having closely inspected Boaz with his quizzing glass during Timothy's absence from the room, and discovered the hairs just beginning to start through the skin, came to the same conclusion that the creature could be nothing but a common bear with his hair shaved off. And keeping the discovery from the public for the purpose of reserving the frolic of punishing the hoax to himself and his companions, he was now, as Timothy came into the room, whispering with one of his fellows to whom he had just communicated the secret, and conferring on the best mode of kicking up a row on the occasion. The wicked looks of the two fellows as they stood in one corner engaged in a close conversation, occasionally glancing their eyes from Boaz to Timothy, at once convinced the latter that they had mischief in view which was intended for himself and Boaz; and accordingly he kept a close watch of their movements.

After whispering awhile, these two fellows went out, and Timothy began to hope he was mistaken as to their intentions. But he was not long left to console himself with such reflections; for they soon returned with two other companions, when all, as if to remove all doubts as to the identity of Boaz, fell to scrutinizing him anew with their glasses. While they were thus engaged, Timothy's quick ear caught parts of sentences, as one of the two who came in last was whispering to the other—"D—n me for a lubber, if Tom an't right—I've seen many a bear in cruising— no mistake—let's get under weigh—no time to lose," &c. Soon after this they all four stole out of the room as slyly as possible, and went off into the city.

Timothy lost no time in informing Jenks of all he had seen. The latter on hearing this account, was at no loss in coming to the conclusion that these fellows, whom he had himself noticed with suspicion, had gone off to raise a band of their companions for a mob. And he told Timothy that their only chance now was to clear out all the visitors as quick as possible, and lock up the exhibition-room. This measure being concluded on, Timothy went in and informed the company that they wished to close the exhibition for a short time, and that those who wished to examine the animal any further could have an opportunity in the evening. But the company were slow in obeying the order—some said they could not come again—others they had paid their money and had a right to stay as long as they pleased; and all seemed to think that no harm would be done by a little delay. What was to be done? Any appearance of impatience on the part of the keepers might create suspicion. Jenks stood on thorns as he witnessed the dilatory movements of the company dropping off one by one at long intervals. He could have pulled them out by their necks in the agony of his impatience to see them gone; but he was afraid to manifest the least uneasiness. As no new ones, however, were now admitted, the number of those within gradually diminished; and finally, all but two or three took their departure. Just at this time Jenks heard a distant hum like that of an approaching multitude. He instantly called Timothy and told him to clear the room with the utmost despatch. It was some time however before the latter succeeded in getting the two remaining visiters started, as one was telling a story in which he did not like to be interrupted till he had got through. Meanwhile the clamor and noise appeared to be rapidly approaching; and the yelping of dogs could be distinguished among the other sounds that now began to swell loudly on the breeze. Jenks could stand it no longer, and was about rushing into the exhibition-room to drive the remaining loiterers out by force, when he met them coming out. No sooner had the feet of the hindmost of these passed out of the reach of the door, than, swinging it to as if he considered life or death depended on the act, he hastily locked it, not however till he had caught a glimpse of the enemy in full force rushing into the yard. In a moment they were at the door thundering for admittance. Our travellers paused an instant to listen to the exclamations of the besieging multitude. "Is the tar and feathers come, Jack?" said one voice. "Send off for more dogs," said another. "Bring along the rail," cried a third. "Beat down the door—what's the use in puttering?" exclaimed a fourth.

Timothy and Jenks waited no longer, but hastily tying up the contents of their chest in their pocket-handkerchiefs, they began their retreat through the window in the rear, which, as we have before mentioned, the prudence of Jenks, had provided as a retreat from danger. They had scarcely let themselves down on the other side before the door of the exhibition room flew from its hinges before the bars and axes of the assailants, who now rushed tumultuously into the room. "Damn my eyes, Tom, the knaves have escaped!—but here is the bear," exclaimed one. "Let him loose! turn him into the street! call up the dogs!" said several. "Look in that back room," cried the first — "the fellows can't be far off, for I saw one of the damned rascals just retreating into the door as we hove in sight." Such were the consoling sounds that fell on the ears of our travellers as they were making their way with all convenient speed over fences, through back yards, gates, &c. into a dark alley that led out to a street on the opposite side of the square—still pursuing their way with hot haste they paused not til they had got two squares between them and the scene of action. Here, just as they came out into a long street, their ears were saluted by the mingled din of the voices of dogs and men, and looking in the direction of the , they saw Boaz crossing the street but one square from them upon the keen skip with a troop of dogs of all sorts and sizes at his heels, filling the air with the discordant cries of pup, cur, bull and mastiff, commingling with the shouts of the mob pushing on hard behind them. All at once Boaz made a halt in the middle of the street and turned with terrible fury on his four-footed pursuers. Immediately the last dying yelp of some luckless cur sent up quivering in the air by the teeth of the enraged Bear, the bass groan of the bull dog coming within reach of his loving embrace, and the death screech of others, announced to his old masters that their ursine companion was not idle. While Jenks and Timothy stood witnessing with exultation the gallant exploits of Boaz, the whole pack of dogs, as their masters came up and encouraged them by their presence, sprang at once upon the poor animal. A tremendous struggle now ensued, and many a dog paid for his temerity by the forfeit of his life before their dread antagonist yielded up his breath and fell beneath the overpowering numbers of his foes.

"There is the last of poor Boaz!" said Jenks with a sigh; "but he has died like a hero!"

In ten minutes from this time our travellers were on board a sloop which they fortunately found at the wharf getting under weigh for Albany. The breeze sprang up, and with the fading twilight the sight and sounds of the receding city slowly melted in darkness and silence.

CHAPTER XII.

"Help, muse, this once, we do implore,
And we will trouble thee no more."


Hudibras improved.

It was a pleasant autumnal morning, and the sun shone warmly and brightly down into that stupendous chasm of the Highlands, through which the majestic Hudson is forever rolling his vast column of pure and uncontaminated waters, the accumulated tribute of a thousand hills, to cool and freshen the turbid bosom of the briny ocean. On the deck of a sloop moored at a landing near this picturesqe spot two men were now to be seen sitting, like tailors, with something between them on which they appeared to be intensely employed; while the sounds of axes on shore, and the appearance of several men throwing wood towards the vessel, denoted that she had hauled up at this place to take in a quantity of that article, and that all the crew, except the two persons just mentioned, were now engaged on shore for that purpose. Of these two last named personages, one was a dumpy looking fellow of the apparent age of about thirty-five, with red hair and a freckled face. The other was evidently much younger, tall and well formed in his person. His hair and eyes were black; and indeed he was every way as remarkable for his fine, as his companion for his insignificant, appearance. After they had been thus busily engaged awhile the younger one, suddenly springing on to his legs, bounded several feet from the deck, snapping his fingers and exclaiming, "Nine hundred and forty-four odd dollars! O thunder and bombs! O lightning! two lightnings! O Jupiter and Jeremiah! Nine hundred and forty-four odd dollars! What shall we do with it all? Upon my sequacity I did not dream there was so much. O Nebuchadnezzar and the rest of the patriarchs, what a tornado of effulgent fortune has befel us! Hurra! Huzza! kick over the chairs—raise Ned, and break things!" `Come, come, Tim,' said the other, who, though partaking largely in the raptures of his friend, seemed less enthusiastic in the manner of expressing them, `come, Tim, you are out of your senses. They will observe you on shore, if you crack and crow at this rate. Come, sit down again, and let us divide this windfall according to agreement; and then we will talk over other matters.' The parties were soon again seated with the glittering heap between them, and with a sort of suppressed chuckling, and eyes beaming with exultation and delight, proceeded to the task of dividing the booty. This pleasing employment was at length satisfactorily completed; and each one gathered up his portion, and, carefully tying it up in an extra cravat, deposited it in his bundle.

"Now, brother Timothy," said the elder, "what do you propose to drive at by way of laying out your money? I believe," he continued without waiting for a reply, "I believe I shall go directly home and pay off the mortgage on my place. I shall have money enough now to square off every thing to the last cent, and have some odd change left, I guess. Gemini! who would have thought of such thumping luck! By George! I'll get the old woman a bran-fir'd new calico at Albany, and the boys a bushel of fishhooks. Lord! how the little devils will grin and snap their eyes when I get home!—and the old woman—Tim, I kinder like the old creature, after all, if she does raise a clatter about masonry once in a while.—But as I was saying, what are you going to do?"

`Why, as to myself, brother Jenks,' replied Timothy, `I have been thinking that I should make some tarryfication at Albany; and, if I can get in with the brethren there, I shall take the higher degrees of masonry, and perhaps attend to the great study of the forty-seven Euclids, mentioned in our lectures.'

"You are right, brother Timothy," said the other, "you have now the lucre to enable you to perfect yourself in the great and noble art of masonry; and I advise you by all manner of means to attend to it. I have a masonic friend at Albany who will introduce you into his lodge. If I had your gifts, Timothy, I would be a great man. When I proposed to you to join me in this expedition to New York, I knew what your appearance and gifts of speech would do. I can contrive as well as the fattest of them, but hang me, if I can argue. You see how cutely I planned out this show business of Boaz which has lined our pockets so handsomely. And for all that you remember how they all always seemed to look and listen to you to explain and expound matters—and how all the ladies gathered round you, while me, the main-spring of the whole, they would scarcely notice at all. It makes me mad when I think of it. But blast 'em, I have now got pretty well paid for bearing their treatment this time; for mean and insignificant as they appeared to think me, I had wit enough, it seems, to Tom-fool the whole posse of 'em there in New-York, big-bugs and all. But as to you, there is some encouragement for you to advance in Masonry. You can stay a few months in Albany, perfect yourself in all the lower degrees, and take all the higher. And when you have done this I have no doubt you will be one of the brightest Masons in all America. You can then travel where you please and get a good living by lecturing to the lodges about the country. Your fortune will then be made, and then you will be a great man, Timothy."

`That is precisely the plan,' rejoined our hero, as he pulled up his cravat in the dignified consciousness of meriting his companion's encomiums, `that is precisely the plan I ramified and co-operated for myself before I left home, provided we should meet with that indelible success in the exhibition of Boaz which we hoped and prophetized, and which has now, bating the poor animals' abolishment, transpired and expanded to a certain occurment.'

"Ah! poor Boaz! said Jenks mournfully, "How sorry I am that we could not have got him away alive! what a noble fellow for a bear he was, Timothy! and how bravely he died!"

`Yes,' observed the other with kindling enthusiasm, `Yes, as I looked on with the most indignant admiration, and saw them expunging the life of the poor fellow, I thought of Cæsar who was killed and assassinated in the senate by Brutus and a concatenation of others, and who only had time to look Brutus in the face and say, tu Brute , which meant, I suppose, too much of a brute, and this I take it was the reason why the murderer was called Brutus. But why I similified the two cases was because Boaz was also assassinated by brutes, like Cæsar. And I opinionate likewise the death of Boaz resembles the way and manner, that we read some of our ancient brethren were put to the torture and rack—those two machines that they used to bind and murder Masons upon, to get their secrets in the days of poperarity.'

"That is very true," rejoined Jenks, "and, like those old martyrs, Boaz may be considered as dying for the cause of masonry, since he was the means of helping us to money which you are agoing to lay out in studying, and of course in extending the knowledge of the art; and if you should become a great Mason, Timothy, by means of the money he brought you, he will have been a great benefit to our order, and ought to have a monument, like those old heroes and martyrs, erected to his memory. I wish you would write a pair of verses about him, Timothy—same as if they were going to be put on a grave-stone,— epitaphs I think they call them."

`My mind,' replied Timothy, in answer to this request or proposition of his friend, `my mind was never much diverged towards rhymetry, but we may as well have our time amplified, on our voyage, in writing something for the glorification of his memory, as in any other way, since we have but little else to procrastinate our leisure employment. '

The crew now coming on board and beginning to take in their wood, this interesting discussion upon the character of Boaz, and on the propriety of composing an elegiac tribute to his memory, was of course suspended. In a short time, however, the wood was taken in—all the business for which the vessel had moored was completed, and she was again put before the wind and proceeded slowly on her voyage. After indulging awhile in viewing the magnificent and diversified scenery that opened in beauty and grandeur on either side of them as they wound their way along the bends of this noble and picturesque river, our friends began to bethink them of the task which they lately had under consideration, that of honoring the lamented Boaz with an epitaph. They accordingly borrowed pen, ink and paper of the captain, and going to a retired part of the deck, fitted or piled up some square boxes of freight so that they very well answered the double purpose of seats and writing desk. Here, being again by themselves, they resumed the discussion of the subject.

"Now, as I told you, Brother Jenks," observed Timothy, as he spread a sheet of white paper before him, and held the pen in his hand shaking out its superfluity of ink, "now as I told you, I comprehend the art of poetification but badly. I have often tried, but I never could make more than one line of rhyming in my life without confuscating my sentiments or debasing the sublimity of my language. And I should rather prefer concocting an oration instead of making a rhymified curtailment on this grievous occasion."

`I still think,' said Jenks, firmly persisting in his opinion, `that a pair of verses would be much more fitting for an epitaph. If you cannot do it yourself, perhaps we both could by putting our heads together. Now suppose you write the first two lines, and kinder give a pitch to it; and I guess I can think up two more to match them, and so make it rhyme,—what say you?'

"I will make the endeavor of a beginning," replied our hero, "If you really think that the most feasible designment."

`But is there not some rule,' asked the other, `for making verses? I conclude all the lines have to be of a particular length: For unless we know how long each one is to be, how can we get the others right?'

"To be sure," replied the other, "I have somewhere read the rules of making rhymetry—I think it was Blair's Lecturizing, or some other great work on the decomposition of language; and I believe the length of the lines is reckoned by feet"—

`Inches, more like!' interrupted Jenks—`who on earth ever heard of a line of poetry two or three feet long?'

"Why, I don't exactly understand it myself," said Timothy, somewhat puzzled how to get along with the question, "but still I am very explicit that the book said feet, and did not, as I commemorate, mention inches at all. I don't know that I can explanitate the business very discriminately myself. Yet I suppose these feet are not so long as common feet—probably not longer than inches, as you opinionate. But one thing I am certain and conclusive about, and that is, that all the lines must be measured."

`Well then,' said Jenks, `we wont puzzle our brains any more on that point, but measure for ourselves. So you may write off a couple of lines of about a proper length, and I will try to mate them in due order and proportion.'

Our hero now took his pen, and wrote a caption; and, then, after thinking awhile, now putting his pen almost to the paper, now taking it suddenly back to relapse into musing again, and exhibiting sundry other of the usual symptoms and sufferings of mental parturition, he at length dashed off two whole lines without the least pause or hesitation, and handed them over to his companion, whose more mechanical genius, it was expected, would enable him to match them with alternate rhyme. Jenks was for proceeding to business in proper form, and doing every thing in a workmanlike manner. He accordingly took the paper and first laid it squarely before him. After this was adjusted, he thrust his hands into his breeches' pocket, and drew out a little folded box-wood rule, which, as he said, being somewhat of a joiner, he always carried about with him. He then took the exact measure of the length of the two lines which Timothy had written, in inches, fourths, eighths, &c., agreeably to the rule which his literary friend had suggested. Having ascertained the measure in this manner, he next took a separate piece of paper, and pricking off a corresponding space, drew two perpendiculars for boundaries on the right and left, so that he might write his lines horizontally and at right angles between them, and have their required length indicated without the trouble of repeated measurement to find when he had got them of the right length. Having thus hit on a satisfactory plan for preserving the measure which his friend had adopted, he then read the lines that were to be mated, and, humming over the closing or final words of each, put his brains to the task to get two others of corresponding sound to make the rhyme. These he had the good fortune to hit upon without much trouble, and having done so, he carefully placed them close against the right perpendicular, for the final or rhyming words of the two lines which were to constitute his part of the performance. Nothing now remained but the less important task of finding sentiment and words to fill up the lines. And this, after running over the words in the two lines of Timothy awhile to get the jog of them, as he expressed it, he very soon and very happily effected; and then, with much self-gratulation, transcribed and placed them exactly under Timothy's lines in their order, thus completing one verse of their undertaking to the mutual satisfaction of the parties. Another verse was then begun and finished in the same manner; and thus they proceeded through five entire verses, which brought them to the conclusion of their performance. This notable production of partnership poetry I have most fortunately been enabled to obtain; and to remove all doubts of its genuineness I can assure the reader that I now have it before me in the original hand writing, and on the same piece of paper on which it was first written. I shall make no apologies in offering it entire, believing that my masonic readers at least will be capable of justly appreciating its merits, and concur with me in considering it a morceau of genius too precious to be lost. It is as follows:

AN EPITAPH ON A FOUR-FOOTED BROTHER. Here lies the poor Boaz, our dogmatized brother, Most potently skill'd at the grip or the token; And yet all his Masonry proved but a bother— He made signs of distress, but his guts were ripp'd open. Like Sampson he fell on the loss of his hair, But the arches of glory bent o'er him in falling— For the Philistine dogs by the dozen were there, By the help of his jaw-bone laid kicking and sprawling. Like the Templars of yore he died for the cause, And ne'er flinch'd till his frontier exposures were riven— But I guess he's at rest, now sucking his claws, For the crows were last seen with him going towards heaven. And he there, bidding sun, moon, and lesser lights, hail! Aye shall stand by his great brother Bear in the stars— And snarl at the lion—snap off the ram's tail, And fight the old dog-star like thunder and mars. Let masonic pig-asses in tempests of rhyme, Then trumpet his honors from ocean to sea— And the curse be decreed, on account of this crime, That no dog shall hereafter a freemason be.

Such the chaste, classical and elegant offspring of the masonic muse as invoked by the combined efforts of our two friends in behalf of the memory and virtues of their lamented brother, Boaz! It perhaps were needless to attempt its praise, or to say how much it resembles, in beauty and pathos, many of those much admired songs and odes, which through the consenting judgment of ages, are now found gracing the pages of the Book of Constitutions. I have been particular in describing the original mode of versification which the writers of this unique and inimitable production here adopted, in the construction of their rhymes, in order to give modern rhymers, especially the ode-makers of the masonic household, the benefit of the improvement. They will not fail, I think, to see at once its advantages, and avail themselves of the system accordingly. Some may perhaps say that this system is liable to objection, as having a greater tendency than the old one to lead those adopting it to sacrifice the sense to the rhyme. But in answer to this I would say, that I believe there is little danger of making matters much worse in this respect than they always have been among even the most celebrated rhymers: For some of the most approved of these, it would seem, have considered, with the humorous author of the work from which I have quoted at the beginning of this chapter, that "Rhyme the rudder is of verses,"— which implies that the rhyme must govern, whatever shall become of the sense or sentiment. We learn from one of the annotators of Pope, in one of the first editions of his works published after his death, that the great poet finished and sent to the press the copy of his "Essay on Man," with those well known introductory lines proposing as they now read to "Expatiate free on all this scene of man, A mighty maze, but not without a plan!" written in the following manner: "Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man, A mighty maze, and all without a plan!" But on being told by a judicious literary friend that the whole treatise went directly to contradict this proposition which he had laid down as the foundation of his work, all going to prove a great and connected plan in all the operations of the Deity, he, with a most accommodating spirit, took his pen and altered the last line of the couplet as it now stands,

"A mighty maze, but not without a plan!"

Thus transforming himself from an atheist, a believer in chance, and a want of any fixed order in the works of creation, as the line, as he first had it would imply, into a consistent believer in the settled and determinate plans of providence, and all this too, as one would judge, only because he luckily hit on another phrase that would effect the change without injuring the rhyme! If the consideration of rhyme then could thus influence the great and acknowledged model and father of versification, what may not be expected from the children? Alas then for those who depend, for moral or ethical guides, on the maxims and precepts of rhyming philosophers!

CHAPTER XIII.

Intry, mintry, cutry corn,
Apple seed and apple thorn;
Wier, brier, limber lock,
Three geese in a flock.


Nursery Ballad.

On the second morning after leaving the great emporium of trade, and the patroness of mobs and shaved bears, our travellers arrived safe and sound, in purse and limb, at the busy mart of Fort Orange, as Albany was called by the original Dutch settlers. Leaving Timothy in a sort of Dutch doggery, or sailor's hotel, situated near the wharf, Jenks immediately went in search of the friend to whom he had proposed to introduce the former. He soon returned, however, with the news that this friend was absent from the city. In this dilemma he advised Timothy to put himself on his own resources for an introduction into society, telling him if he would rig himself up with a new suit of clothes, and take lodgings in some fashionable hotel with a well furnished bar, he could find no difficulty in becoming acquainted with the brotherhood. The two friends then took a formal and tender leave of each other, after a mutual promise of correspondence by letter till Timothy should rejoin the other in a few months, the next spring at the farthest, under his hospitable roof in the Green-Mountains.

Our hero felt much regret at first in being separated from his friend, and thus suddenly deprived of his company and council. But lack of a just confidence in himself being never a very prominent defect in our hero's character, he now felt, therefore, but little hesitation in putting himself at once in the way of public notice. In accordance with the suggestion of Jenks, and more perhaps in compliance with the dictates of his own feelings, he determined in the first place to obtain that by no means uncurrent pass-port to good society, a fine suit of apparel. He therefore took his bundle in his hand and went directly in search of a merchant tailor. Having found one he at once stated his wish to purchase a genteel suit of clothes. The man eying Timothy an instant, observed, "he presumed he had none that would fit," and was about turning away when his eye glancing on a roll of bank bills which our hero was holding in his fingers, he suddenly recollected "a suit or two that would doubtless suit to a hair." "It was surprising," he said, "that he should have forgotten them." Suit after suit was then produced by this vulgar fraction of humanity, and a bargain was soon completed to the mutual satisfaction of both parties. And Timothy, having enrobed himself in his new purchase, and made his toilet with suitable care in a private room furnished him by the now very accommodating tailor, immediately set out to look up a boarding house. After going the rounds of the public houses awhile, and making all necessary inquiries, he at length took lodgings in a popular hotel in the best part of the city, which eminently possessed the requisites mentioned by Jenks, it being celebrated as a house of choice liquors, and as a resort of all those who justly appreciate them. Timothy's next object was to form some masonic acquaintance. And in this he was peculiarly fortunate. At the dinner table, to which he was soon summoned after engaging his board he threw out the usual masonic sign as he lowered his empty glass from his lips, and had the pleasure of seeing it answered by a young gentleman who sat opposite to him. As soon as the company rose from the table Timothy made a sign or beck to this newly discovered brother, and was followed by him, though with evident reluctance, to the room which the landlord had assigned to the former. They were no sooner alone in the room than this person observed that "he regretted very much the low state of the funds of his lodge, and he was fearful that little or nothing could be spared at that time, still however he was always willing to hear a brother's story." Timothy, as soon as he could find a place to break in upon his alarmed brother, proceeded to inform him that he had no desire to draw on the charities of his brethren, but having a few hundred dollars at his command, and being very desirous to perfect himself in Masonry, he knew of no way in which he could spend his money more profitably or pleasantly; and all the assistance he desired was such introductions to the brethren of the place as would be necessary in pursuing this object. The merchant, for he proved to be a young merchant of the city, on hearing that no draft was to be made on his charity, as he seemed rather hastily to have anticipated, immediately broke through the atmosphere of restraint and repulsiveness in which he had enveloped himself on entering the room, and suddenly became very sociable and friendly. He highly commended our hero's intention of pursuing such a noble study as Masonry. He greatly respected such people, he observed, and always felt bound to sell them goods much cheaper than he sold them to others. His name he said was Van Stetter, and his store was in — street, where he was ever extremely happy to see his friends.

A general understanding having thus been effected between Timothy and Van Stetter, they fell to conversing on other topics; and before they had been together one hour they had become, by the strength of the mystic tie, not only familiar acquaintances but sworn friends. The merchant then arose, and repeating his friendly offers, and promising to furnish a supply of masonic books as soon as Timothy should wish to commence his studies, bid the latter a good day and departed. Much did our hero congratulate himself, when the other was gone, on his good fortune in thus happily securing so valuable an acquaintance; and he could not help again blessing, and admiring anew, that glorious institution which could so soon convert an entire stranger into a faithful friend.

Being now fairly settled, and every thing appearing bright before him, Timothy's first care was to write a long letter to his parents, informing them of his singular good fortune, and of his present determination to remain for the present in Albany in order to become a great man in Masonry, which would perhaps take him till the next spring to accomplish. Having performed this pleasing task, and dispatched his letter by mail, he spent several of the following days in viewing the different parts of the city, and its various curiosities, before sitting down to those important studies in which he felt conscious he was destined shortly to become a great and distinguished adept.

In the course of a few days Van Stetter, who had been absent on business most of the time since the introduction above mentioned, called at Timothy's room and brought him a large supply of masonic books; and at the same time informed him that the lodge of which he was a member held a meeting that evening, and gave him an invitation to attend as a visiting brother. Timothy was overjoyed at this gratifying intelligence and thankfully accepted the kind invitation of his friend. Accordingly at the appointed hour, they repaired to the lodge-room. Here they found a goodly number of the brethren assembled, although the lodge was not yet called to order. This gave Timothy an excellent opportunity of being personally introduced to most of the members, by all of whom he was received and treated with many flattering attentions. And not a little elated were his feelings by such a reception from men of the appearance and consequence of those by whom he was now surrounded. He felt that glow of inward complacency which is ever experienced by modest merit when treated according to its conscious worth; and he perceived at once how greatly he had been underrated by the world. But now he had at last got into that sphere for which his high endowments had designed him, and from which he had been kept only by his inauspicious fortune that had thrown him among those who were incapable of appreciating his merits. Equally gratifying likewise was this meeting to our hero in other respects. The gifted promptitude with which the work of the lodge was performed—the splendour of the furniture, the rich dresses, and the dazzling decorations of the members, together with the convivial elegance of the refreshments, did not fail to make a lively impression on the mind of one who, as yet, had seen only the interior of an ill-furnished lodge-room in the Green-Mountains; and he went home filled with renewed love and veneration for the mystic beauties of divine Masonry.

In about a week after the lodge meeting above mentioned, a meeting of the Temple Royal Arch Chapter was holden at Temple Lodge Room in the city; and Timothy, at the suggestion of his friend, Van Stetter, preferred his application to that body for receiving the Royal Arch degree. Having presented his credentials from the Lodge, where he was initiated and received the subordinate degrees, to several of his masonic acquaintance, he was by their recommendations balloted in; and, as there was another applicant for the degree present, it was proposed to make up the team, as it is beautifully termed in masonic technics, by a volunteer, and exalt both the candidates that very evening. The imagination of Timothy had long dwelt with rapture on the happy hour which was to make him a Royal Arch Mason, and now as that much desired event was at hand, his feelings and fancy were wrought up to the highest pitch of expectation; and it was with the most trembling anxiety, and fearful interest that he entered upon this new and untried scene in the vast labyrinth of masonic wonders. Yet he manfully submitted to the ceremonials; and as brightly as he had pictured to himself the glories of this degree he found the reality still more splendid and impressive. But I will not attempt to describe the deep and mingled emotions, the rapid alternations of fear, amazement and admiration which took possession of his breast as he passed through those august and awful ceremonies—as he now encountered the living arch, formed by the conjoined hands of two long rows of the brethren, and thus compassing numerous manual cross-chains which rose and fell like so many saw-gates, over the impeded path of the low-stooping candidate who strove on beneath in all the bother and agony of a poor wretch running the gauntlet, sometimes cuffed and buffetted, sometimes knocked back, sometimes pitched forward, and sometimes entirely overthrown and kept scrambling on his back, like some luckless mud-turtle in the hands of a group of mischievous urchins, till the sport had lost its charms of novelty for the tittering brotherhood— as he now took the rough and rugged rounds of his dark and perplexing pilgrimage, sometimes hobbling over net-ropes, chairs and benches, sometimes tumbling headlong over heaps of wood and faggots, and sometimes compelled to dodge, curl down his head, hop up, or dance about, to save his pate and shins from clubs, brick-bats and cannon balls, that fell and flew about the room in all directions on the breaking down of the walls of Jerusalem—as now he was lowered down into the dark, subterraneous vault to find the sacred ark, in the shape of an old cigar-box, and was scorched,suffocated, and blown almost sky high by a terrible explosion of burning gun-powder—as now he kneeled at the altar to take the voluntary oath, under the pressure of sharp instruments and uplifted swords—as he now listened to the deep toned and solemn prayer of the High Priest—and, in fine, as now he was admitted to the light, and beheld the splendid furniture of the lodge-room, the gorgeous robes of scarlet and purple of the Council, the white garments and glittering breast-plate of the High Priest, and the crimson habiliments of the Grand King, wearing the awful mitre, inscribed, "Holiness to the Lord."

But these scenes of almost oppressive sublimity were occasionally relieved by those of a lighter character; and the comic and amusing, like sunshine through a summer's cloud, often broke beautifully in to enliven and diversify the performance.

As the old Jewish guide who personates Moses leading the children of Israel through the wilderness, under the masonic title of Principal Sojourner, now conducted the hoodwinked candidates through or rather over the semblant wilderness of the lodge-room, consisting, as before intimated, of heaps of wood, brush, chairs and benches, the company, bating the unavoidable affliction of battered shins and broken noses, met with many amusing adventures. On arriving at each of the guarded passes on their rout, or veils as they are technically called, the guide was compelled to give certain pass-words before they were suffered to proceed. But Moses, being now somewhat old, and having grown rather rusty in the use of these words, it having been about a thousand years since he had used them much, was often sadly puzzled to recollect them, and made many diverting mistakes in endeavoring to give them at the places where they were required. "I am that I am," being the pass-words for the first veil, Moses, as he approached the master, exclaimed in his Jewish brogue, "What a ram I am?" The master shook his head. "I am dat ram, den," said the improving guide—`No!' said the master. "Well den," said Moses, "I am dat I ram"— not quite—"I am dat I am." `Right, worthy pilgrims, ' said the master, `proceed on your way. I see you have the true pass-words. You will find many difficulties to encounter. Your next pass-words are Shem, Ham and Japhet—don't forget them.' Thus permitted to proceed, they pursued their journey and soon arrived at the next veil. But here again, alas for the memory of poor old Moses—the pass-words, which he had been so strictly charged to remember, had quite escaped him; but the old sojourner had no notion of giving up in despair, and accordingly he at once put his wits to the trumps in trying to stumble again on the words of this masonic Se same. And soon beginning to rally his scattered ideas, and remembering the pass-words consisted of the names of three men of scriptural notoriety, he, with that inimitable humour and drollery with which Masonry has here so appositely invested his character, now cried out to the master, " She shake, Me shake and Abed-we-go." But the master gave him so stern a look of rebuke that it threw him at first into some confusion. Soon recovering, however, he hammed and hawed once or twice, and, in a subdued tone of voice, said, "Shadrach, Meshack and Abednigo ." `No! no!' said the master.

"Well, it was some tree peoples I be sure," said the guide scratching his head and looking round in obvious perplexity, "it was, let me see, it was, `Shem, Japhet and Bacon-leg."'

The master still shook his head, but with a look of more encouragement.

"It was den, it was Shem, Japhet and Ham which be de same nor bacon-leg."

"Try again, worthy pilgrim," said the softening master.

"Oh! Ah!" exclaimed Moses with urekaen rapture, "I have it now, it was `Shem, Ham and Japhet."'

Such is a faint sample of the scintillations of wit and the bright flashes of thought and fancy that were made to sparkle and shine through this splendid performance; and accompanied as these chaste and innocent sallies always were by the most exhilerating shouts of laughter and applause from the surrounding companions, it failed not to render the scene one of indescribable interest.

Nor were other parts of the performance much less replete with interest and instructive amusement. After the finding of the long lost ark, the opening of that sacred vessel, and the discovery of the bible in the presence of the council, who make the walls of the lodge-room resound with hallelujahs of rejoicing on the occasion; the detection of a substance which the High Priest "guesses, presumes and finally declares to be manna," comprised a scene alike delightful to the curious, the thoughtless and the learned. And then the closing, the closing act of this magnificent drama! the marching in a circle of the gay and glittering companions—the three times three raising of the arms, stamping of the feet and spatting of the hands— the breaking off into tripple squads and the raising of the Royal or Living Arch, chanting in deep toned cadences beneath its apex of bumping heads, that sublime motto of metrical wisdom—

"As we three did agree The sacred word to keep, And as we three did agree The sacred word to search, So we three do agree To close this Royal Arch."

What could be more grand, more imposing and beautiful! Our hero stood wrapt in admiration at the spectacle. The early associations of his childhood rushed instantly on his mind; for he here at once beheld the origin, as well as the combined beauties of those exquisite little juvenile dramas which have ever been the praise and delight of succeeding generations:

"Come Philander let's be a marching."

And again that other no less beautiful one, where the resemblance is still more striking—

"You nor I nor no man knows How oats, peas, beans and barley grows, Thus the farmer sows his peas, Thus he stands and takes his ease, He stamps his foot, he spats his hands, He wheels about, and thus he stands."

In this degree also, besides the invaluable acquisition of the long lost word which is here regained, the key to the ineffable characters or Royal Arch Cypher, and many other secrets of equally momentous consequence, our hero gained much historical information which was equally new and important, and which served to correct some erroneous impressions which he had derived from those uncertain authorities, the common uninitiated historians. It was here he learned for the first time the interesting circumstance that the bible was discovered and preserved by Zerubbabel and his companions, all Royal Arch Masons; and consequently that but for Masonry all Christendom would even to this day have been groping in pagan darkness. Here also was brought to light the astounding fact that Moses, as before intimated, lived to the unparalleled age of about one thousand years! This fact which is obtained only through the medium of Masonry, he inferred with indisputable certainty from that part of the degree which represents Moses present and yet hale and hearty, at the destruction or breaking down of the walls of Jerusalem, and indeed for years after, which every chronologist knows would make him of the age I have mentioned. These two facts alone, if nothing else were contained in this degree, would be sufficient to render it of incalculable importance; but these were but as a drop of the bucket compared with the great arcana of hidden knowledge which was here unfolded, and all of it too of equal importance and authenticity of the specimens just given. Deeply indeed did the thirsty soul of Timothy drink in the treasured beauties of this concealed fountain of light and wisdom. All that he had before seen of the glories of Freemasonry fell far short, in his opinion, of the mingled beauty, wisdom and magnificence of this closing act in the great and stupendous drama of ancient Freemasonry. Nor was he at all singular in this opinion. Other great men have considered this degree the same, as I am gratified to learn from a recent work by my acute and accomplished masonic cotemporary, Mr. W. L. Stone, who considers this degree "far more splendid and effective than either of its predecessors;" while of those predecessors, or inferior degrees, he says they "impressed lessons on his mind which he hopes will never be effaced." Thus we here see one of those singular and striking coincidences which will often happen in the views and impressions which have been entertained on the same point by two such minds as those of our hero, and the unbiased author above quoted, when they would have no means of knowing the opinions entertained by each other.

But as beautiful and perfect as our hero considered this noble degree, there was yet one little scene which he believed to be capable of improvement. It was that in which the High Priest, on opening the discovered ark, finds a substance which he and the Council, after tasting, smelling and divers other evidences of doubt, concluded to be manna. Now the improvements suggested, consisted in calling up old Moses, who was then on the spot to settle the question at once, whether the substance was manna or not; for he, it will be recollected, was the very person who put it in the ark, eight or nine hundred years before, when he and his people were in the wilderness, feeding on this same manna, of course he would at once determine whether this was the same kind of stuff which formerly served for the fish, flesh, fowl, bread and pudding, of his breakfast, dinner and supper. This suggested improvement, however, in which I have the happiness to concur with my hero, is now submitted to the craft with the most humble deference, but should it meet with their approbation, and especially that of my friend Mr. Stone, they and he are heartily welcome to the suggestion; and I shall wait with some anxiety for the appearance of the next edition of the work of that author, to see whether he considers the proposed alteration, worthy of adoption. But to return to our hero. How was his mind raised and expanded by the scenes of this glorious evening! A few months before, he would have thought, in his ignorance, the use of that awful epithet, "I am that I am," in the manner above described, to be nothing less than the most daring impiety, and the representation of God in the burning bush, the height of blasphemous presumption. But now, he the more admired the privileges of that institution which permits its sons to do that with impunity, and even praise, which in the rest of the world would be audacious and criminal. And he could not help looking with pity on the condition of all those yet out of the pale of the masonic sanctum sanctorum. For he was now fully satisfied that all wisdom, virtue and religion are here concentrated. And he felt himself immeasurably exalted above the rest of mankind, like one of the superior beings in full fellowship with God, whom he had just seen represented as one mingling in the ceremonies of the lodge-room.

CHAPTER XIV.

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,"
Than any but Freemasons ever dreamed of.


Shakespeare improved.

The next morning, Timothy, having passed a night of much crural uneasiness, rose early, and went down to the bar, with a view of getting some brandy to bathe his shins. Here he encountered Van Stetter, who, being just in the act of taking his morning potation, warmly pressed the former to join him, telling him that the internal application of a double fog-cutter, would prove a much more pleasant and effective medicine, to one in his condition. But our hero rather declined the prescription, observing that he usually drank but little spirits, and he had always thought that the habit of daily drinking was inconsistent with correct morals. Van Stetter at first endeavored to laugh Timothy out of such countryfied whims, but finding him serious in what he had said, recourse was next had, to argument.

"I did not expect," said Van Stetter, "to hear such silly scruples from so bright a Mason as you are, Mr. Peacock."

`I was not under the awarement,' observed Timothy, `that masonry propelled its approbation towards drinking.'

"There is where you are sadly in the dark," replied the other. "Do not the highest and brightest of our sublime order, set us the example of a free use of the enlivening bowl? And do not the precepts of the most approved writers among the craft directly sanction the practice? You cannot have forgotten those soul-cheering lines in the Book of Constitutions—

"The world is all in darkness, About us they conjecture, But little think, A song and drink, Succeeds the Mason's lecture. Fill to him, To the brim, Then, Landlord, bring a hogshead, And in a corner place it, Till it rebound with hallow sound, Each Mason here will face it."

`It is very true,' observed Timothy, his early impressions beginning to give way before the direct, and not to be mistaken, meaning of this quotation, `it is true I have read the lines, and often heard them songnified in the lodge-room; and would not be understood to nullify, or extenuate their veracity; but I had supposed that they applied only to the circumvented potables of the craft in lodge-meetings, where I take it the liquor is in a sort sanctified by the ratification of its use in masonic purposes, after the similified example of the wine in sacramental churchifications. '

"That cannot be the case," said the merchant, "for if it was as you suppose, drinking would have been made a part of the ceremonies, instead of being resorted to, as it always is, only in time of refreshment. No, brother Peacock, you entertain very erroneous notions on the subject. The meaning of these lines, and numerous other passages of the same import, to be found in this great guide and teacher of all true Masons, evidently is, that the craft are particularly privileged to indulge in the luxury of good liquors, on all proper occasions, when they should never prove cravens at the bumper."

`I begin to see through my perceptions more clearly,' said our hero, `and I am free to confess that your remarks have transfused so much rationality into the matter, that it is now transparent to my cogitations. But I take it that there is nothing in the Book of Constitutions, that inclines to a recommendment of morning drams, which I have been taught to believe are injurious to the obstetrical department of the stomach.'

"Now hear that," exclaimed Van Stetter, laughing,— "was there ever such a scrupulous animal for a man of your cloth;—such a doctor of doubts and divinity preaching and hesitating over a fog-cutter! Why, man, it is the very thing for the stomach, to correct the crudities and keep out the fog and chill in such dark mornings as these. But to put the matter at rest in your mind, I can refer you to a verse in one of the odes in the Book of Constitutions, which expressly gives its approbation to the wholesome practice of moistening our systems with a good glass of a morning. It runs thus:—

"When the sun from the east salutes mortal eyes, And the sky-lark melodious bids us arise, With our hearts full of joy, we the summons obey, Straight repair to our work, and to moisten our clay."

Timothy could no longer withstand such arguments, backed as they were by these palpable quotations, taken directly from the very scriptures of Masonry. And with that frankness, which is the peculiar characteristic of noble minds, when convinced of the truth, he freely gave up the point in dispute, making many apologies for his unjust prejudices, and manitesting no little chagrin at this detection of his ignorance of masonic principles. But my readers in general, I trust, will hold him at least excusable, when it is recollected that as yet he had enjoyed but limited opportunities of imbibing the true spirit of masonic philosophy to free him from those prejudices which he had received from the feeble light of uninitiated wisdom, and to correct those narrow notions which had been implanted in his mind by the lessons of the nursery. And even my masonic readers, I cannot but indulge the hope, will extend their charity, and kindly overlook this sin of ignorance in a brother; and more especially so, when they learn, how cheerfully he now gave evidence of the sincerity of his conviction, in the manful acceptance of the proffered glass, and never afterwards, either in theory or practice, had the slightest indication to relapse into that error from which he had been thus kindly rescued.

Time, with our hero, now rolled pleasantly away. His days were spent in the most assiduous devotion to his masonic studies; and his evenings at the lodge-room, or at the store of Van Stetter, in company of a few choice spirits of the mystic tie, occasionally diversified, however, by visiting places of public resort, and taking moonlight rambles about the city. In one of these rambles, a little incident occurred, which, as it may serve to illustrate some of the less known principles of Divine Masonry, is perhaps worthy of a place in these instructive adventures. As Timothy was returning homeward one night, at a rather late hour, and passing a house, which Van Stetter had before pointed out to him as the residence of a new star in the courts of pleasure, he heard a great outcry within; while at the same time, a lady appeared at the door, crying aloud for assistance. Rushing immediately into the apartment from which the noise proceeded, he beheld two men in a desperate conflict, which was instantly brought to a close, however, by one felling the other to the floor with a heavily loaded cane. At the first glance which Timothy cast at the conqueror, (who paused a moment over the apparently lifeless body of his prostrate foe,) he knew he had seen the man somewhere before—a second look told him, to his surprise, it was no other than the pious dignitary, whose deep and devotional tones of voice, on the evening of his own exaltation to the Royal Arch degree, had filled his mind with such solemn reverence. The recognition was mutual, but attended with evident confusion on the part of the man in the broil, who making the Royal Arch sign to Timothy, instantly glided out of the house, leaving the latter in care of the dead or wounded man, still lying on the floor without the least sign of reanimation. Scarcely had our hero time to recover from his surprise, when the lady, who had run out for help, returned with two men, all of whom eagerly inquired for the aggressor. On finding he had just escaped, they sharply interrogated Timothy respecting his name, abode, and his knowledge of the person who had committed the deed. To all of which he gave true answers, except the last item in the catechism, which he well knew his obligation required him to conceal. Being convinced that Timothy was no accomplice in the transaction, they proceeded to take up the yet lifeless man, and put him on to a bed, suffering the former to depart unmolested. As soon as our hero reached his lodgings, he took his friend Van Stetter aside and informed him of the whole adventure, expressing his surprise that a man so gifted and apparently devotional in the prayers and other religious exercises of the lodge-room, should be found visiting such establishments.

Van Stetter could scarcely refrain from laughing at the last observation of Timothy, but kindly attributing it to inexperience in the indulgences vouchsafed by the liberal principles of Masonry, he immediately undertook the task of setting the matter in its proper light. "In the very prayer to which you have alluded, brother Peacock," said he, "you may infer a sanction of the indulgences which you seem so inclined to censure in our illustrious companion. You will recollect, probably, this passage in the prayer in question: `We bless thee that when man had fallen from his innocence and his happiness, thou didst leave him the powers of reasoning, and capacity of improvement, and of pleasure.' Here you must see that the capacity for pleasure which our exalted brother was improving, is accounted as a privilege to the craft, for which they should be thankful to heaven. And again the same prayer says, `Give us grace diligently to search thy word in the book of nature, wherein the duties of our high vocation are inculcated with divine authority.' Now if we are to look to the book of nature for our guide, as is here directly intimated, where is the brother whose nature does not occasionally point to these pleasures in which you seem to doubt the propriety of indulging?"

Timothy could not gainsay this argument, drawn as he knew it was from the most solemn part of the mystic creed; and he silently acquiesced in the views of his more experienced brother. "I see how it is with you," continued Van Stetter, after a short pause, and it was the same with me before my mind received the full light of Masonry. You cannot at once break through the mists of early prejudices and notions, which are perhaps wisely enough too, intended to restrain and govern the uninitiated world, who, in their blinded condition, have nothing better to guide them. But we, who have been admitted to the true light, have laws and rules to guide as superior to all others, and whatever they sanction, we need have no scruples in practicing. But as I see you are now convinced of all this, let us return to our first subject. There may something grow out of this affair that will require consideration on another point. You say the man scarcely gave signs of life when you left him?"

`I certainly considered the poor fellow,' replied Timothy, `but little better than totally extinguished.'

"Did you learn who he was, and what gave rise to the squabble," asked Van Stetter?

`I heard the lady say,' said the other, `that he lived with a saddler in the upper part of the city; and, as far as I could digest a legible conjecture as to the causes of the belligerent catasterophy, from all I heard devised and intimated on the subject, I opinionate that the man had a premature engagement with the lady, which she nullified in favor of the more superfine embellishments of our worthy companion.'

"Nothing more likely," observed Van Stetter, "but did you learn whether they knew who our brother was?"

`I suppose not,' replied Timothy, `as the lady said it was a Mr. Montague.'

"Good!" exclaimed the other, "he had the caution to go under an assumed name. Perhaps all may go well, but I fear the wounded man may know our companion, and expose his name, should the poor creature get so as to speak. Now what I have been coming at, brother Peacock, is this—suppose this man dies, or is like to die, and our exalted brother in the difficulty should be discovered and arrested; and you should be summoned as a witness against him, what should you swear to?"

`Swear to?' replied Timothy, `why I should swear to all I knew, why not?'

"What!" said Van Stetter, "would you betray a brother Royal Arch, when the other party does not even belong to the craft in any degree?"

`Why how could I help it,' said Timothy, surprised at the earnest and censorious manner of the other, `how could I help telling all I know about this casual dilemma; for I shall be under bodily oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?'

"Would you dare to break your solemn obligations?" said the other, with a withering frown. "Have you not sworn, under the dreadful penalty of having your scull cleaved from your head, that you will aid and assist a companion, Royal Arch Mason, when engaged in any difficulty; and espouse his cause, so far as to extricate him from the same, if in your power, whether he be right or wrong? And would not your companion be in difficulty in such a case? and would it not be in your power to extricate, or clear him, by swearing that he was not the man that you saw knock down the other in the broil? And again have you not sworn in the same fearful oath, that a companion, Royal Arch Mason's secrets, given you in charge as such, and you knowing them to be such, shall remain as secure and inviolable in your breast, as his own, murder and treason not excepted? And did not your companion in this case, make you the sign, and thus give you in charge the secret of his being at that place, and of the deed he had committed? What say you to all this? Speak! for we must know who there is among us that will dare to betray the secrets of the craft."

Our hero was dumbfounded. The difficulties of the supposed case, now for the first time, flashed vividly across his mind. On the one hand was his civil oath, a breach of which he had been taught to hold as the most heinous of crimes—while on the other, stood his masonic obligations with their terrible penalties, in direct conflict with his civil duties, staring him full in the face! It was a dilemma which he had never foreseen; and now as it was a situation in which probably he would soon be placed, his heart sunk within him at the distressing thought. Troubled and confused, he knew not what to say or think, and he humbly threw himself on the mercy of his friend, imploring forgiveness if he had done wrong, and asking advice how to act in case he should be called into court, and wishing to hear explained how these two conflicting obligations were reconciled with each other.

Van Stetter, now instantly softening down to the most soothing and friendly tones, assured Timothy that there was no doubt or difficulty at all in the case. That it was an undoubted duty to protect a brother in trouble, whatever might become of his civil oath, which every true Mason took, when it was forced upon him in these cases, with the mental reservation, that he would tell all except what might be inconsistent with his more sacred masonic obligation. And when he did this, he would commit no crime in stating what would be necessary to extricate a companion from difficulty, while at the same time he could save himself from the awful guilt of breaking the oaths of his order. Saying this, and exhorting Timothy to be true and steadfast, should any thing happen to put his fidelity to the test, Van Stetter bid his friend good night, and retired to his own apartment.

The events of the following day showed that the fears and anticipations of our two friends were not unfounded. Their luckless companion was arrested and brought before a city magistrate, on the charge of assault with intent to kill. And Timothy was summoned to appear forthwith as a witness against him. Scarcely had the officer finished reading his summons, before Van Stetter, who had early been apprised of what was going forward, appeared, and requesting a moment's indulgence of the former, while he transacted some important business with his friend, took Timothy aside, and informed him that the brethren had already held a hasty consultation on the business, which began to wear, he said, rather a serious appearance. "The fellow is scarcely expected to live," he continued, "and they have found a new witness in a man who was most unluckily going by the door as the accused was coming out, when he left you, and what was still worse, this witness caught a glimpse of his face, and knew him, which led to his arrest. Now if this man appears, as he doubtless will, as well as the girl, we fear it will be a tough case. But, as good luck will have it, the magistrate is a Royal Arch, and if you prove true, Timothy, we think all will turn out right. We have concluded that the only safe way will be for you to swear plumply, as I intimated last night, that the accused is not the person you saw engaged in the affray. This will save him. And now, brother Peacock, in one word, can we trust you? All eyes will be upon you, and it is the very time for you to immortalize yourself with the brotherhood of this city."

Our hero having mastered all his scruples on this subject, and being most anxious to retrieve his masonic character, which he feared had suffered in the eyes of Van Stetter, by his late doubts, now felt proud by the opportunity of evincing his fidelity to the brotherhood; and assuring his friend of his fixed resolution to be true, he joined the officer and proceeded to the place of trial. On the way, several of his masonic acquaintances, falling in with him, still more encouraged him to persevere in his determinations by their looks and by whispering in his ear, as apportunities presented, their brief exhortations to be steadfast in the good purpose. On arriving at the court room, our hero found the trial was already in progress. The grounds of the prosecution having been stated, the girl, at whose house the broil happened, was called on for her testimony. Besides the particulars which led to the quarrel, she plumply and positively swore to the identity of the prisoner at the bar, with the person who gave the deadly blow. This testimony, of itself, so clear and full as it was, very evidently impressed the minds of the by-standers, with the opinion of the prisoner's guilt; and being strongly confirmed by the next witness, who was equally positive that the person whom he saw coming out of the house at the time and place mentioned by the other witness, was no other than the accused, the cause began now to be considered a clear one, and not an individual present, except the brotherhood, supposed that there was the slightest chance for the acquittal of the accused. But how little did they know of the saving virtues of Freemasonry— of the power and strength of its mystic tie. Events soon told them that they had reckoned without their host. Our hero was now called on to the stand. Casting his eyes around on the spectators, he met the riveted and meaning glances of many a brother, waiting in breathless solicitude, for that important testimony which was to furnish the promised proof of his fidelity. He read at once in their looks, their expectations and requirements, and he was happy in feeling that they were not to be disappointed— that they were about to behold so conspicuous an example of his devotion to the glorious principles of Freemasonry. He then, with an air big with the consciousness of the responsibility which devolved upon him, proceeded to give in his testimony, stating that he was present at the affray when a man was struck down and wounded by a severe blow from another man, but positively denied that the accused was the person who committed the deed, or that he was present at the time or before or after it happened. The girl looked at our hero with undissembled amazement. And the council for the prosecution would not believe that the witness testified as he intended, till he had put the same question over and over again, and as often received the same positive answers. A murmur of surprise and suspicion ran through the crowd, and the low muttered words, "perjury, bribery" &c. from the friends of the wounded man occasionally became audible. But Timothy regarded not these out-breakings of malice and blinded ignorance, for he saw that in the grateful and approving looks of his brethren around him, that assured him of their protection and a safe immunity from the operation of any of those narrow rules of local justice, which the uninitiated might attempt to enforce against him. The trial was now soon brought to a close. The accused bringing one other witness to prove him at another part of the city, within a few minutes of the time when the broil was stated to have taken place, there rested his defence. The council for the prosecution, having been so taken by surprise, by the testimony of Timothy, his own witness, as to throw him into confusion, and spoil his premeditated speech, proposed to his brother to submit the facts without argument, which being acceded to, the court now took the case. When the magistrate, taking up the only point, at issue, whether the accused was or was not, the person who committed the deed, and balancing the testimony of the last witness, proving the accused in another part of the city at or near the time, against that of the man passing by, who was greatly liable to be mistaken in deciding upon personal identity by moonlight, and weighing the assertions of Timothy, an unimpeached witness against those of a girl of ill fame, was at no loss in perceiving which way the scales of justice preponderated; and he therefore pronounced a full acquittal of the prisoner.

There was no noisy exultation on the part of the brotherhood at this triumph of their principles; but though every thing was conducted with that prudence and caution so characteristic of the order; though scarcely a sign of rejoicing was visible among them; yet Timothy, on leaving the house, and on his way homeward, soon discovered, in the silent and cordial grasp of the hand, in the speaking look, or the low whispered "Well done thou faithful," how important that triumph was considered, and how highly estimated were those services by which it was accomplished.

Our hero was ever after the favorite of his city brotherhood.

CHAPTER XV.

"For mystic learning wondrous able,
In magic, talismen are cabal;
Whose primitive tradition reaches
As far as Adam's first green breeches."

For several of the following weeks, our hero devoted himself almost wholly to masonry. And considering the great natural aptitude of his genius for this noble study, and considering the unwearied pains taken for his instruction by the brotherhood since his late important services for the craft, and the lively interest they now manifested for his advancement, it is, perhaps, scarcely to be wondered at, that his progress was unrivalled. He attended all the frequent meetings of the Chapter, many of which were holden on his own account, and proceeded with rapid advances through the most prominent degrees of knighthood. We regret that the limits assigned to this work will not permit us to follow him further in his brilliant career in the lodge-room, describing, as we have so far attempted to do, the peculiar excellencies and leading features of each of these important and splendid degrees. But this not being the case, we can only say, that new beauties and wonders, new fountains of light and wisdom, were continually unfolding themselves to his enraptured mind, as he proceeded, step by step, through the august mazes of this stupendous system.

Thus passed the time of our hero till about the middle of winter, when the Grand Chapter of the State of New York assembled at Albany for their annual session. At this session, which lasted about a week, nearly all the great, the high and illustrious of the order in the state, embracing most of its highest civil officers, were present. What a golden opportunity for the young aspirant of masonic honors! Here was the great Clinton—here the Van Rensselaers, the Van Derheighdens, and scores of other proud Vans,

"Who boast their descent from Burgher Patroon, And, like bull-frogs from ditches, now croak to the moon."

Not a little proud was our hero to be admitted into the company, to set beside, and be placed upon an equal with these high titled dignitaries of masonry. And, as he walked in their gorgeous processions, often arm in arm with the most distinguished, and glanced at his own fine form, his elegant dress and the splendid ensignia with which it was surmounted, betokening his own elevated rank in masonry, his heart swelled and expanded with exulting delight, and, in the repletion of his happiness, he sighed, "this it is to be great!"

But the splendor of parade that marked this brilliant assemblage of the wealth, rank and talent of the land, as magnificent and imposing as it was, still yielded in comparison to the richness of the intellectual repast which was here afforded. The wise, the learned and the eloquent, all brought their rich offerings to the mystic shrine. But among all those who contributed to this glorious feast of the mind, the celebrated Salem Town, Grand Chaplain, took, by far, the most conspicuous part on this important occasion. Besides the performance of the customary clerical duties of his station, this profound masonic philosopher favored the Chapter with the fruits of his prodigious researches, in the shape of lectures, or addresses, delivered each day during the session, on the origin, history and principles of Freemasonry. Our hero was an eager and delighted recipient of his learned instruction,and he thought, as he daily sat under the pure droppings of this masonic sanctuary, that he had never heard such wisdom.

In his first lecture, this great and good man gave a suscinct and lucid history of the origin of Freemasonry. After a few general prefatory remarks, and after stating what were the secrets of masonry, such as the signs, pass-words, &c. which might not be told, he proceeded to discuss that which might be told, introducing the main subject of the lecture with the following bold and beautiful antithesis: "But it is no secret that masonry is of divine origin ." With this triumphant assertion, he proceeded to consider the proofs of the proposition, with all that logical accuracy and conclusiveness which so eminently characterize his published productions. He said "the earth was created to unfold the great councils of eternity." That man was created a social being, and it was therefore necessary to form associations for the purpose of carrying into effect the views of heaven, which the energies of civil government were too feeble to accomplish. And that as masonry was the oldest and the most noble of all these associations, it was hence intended to become the repository of the will of heaven, and hence the medium by which that will was to be promulgated to the world. Thus leading the hearer to the irresistible conclusion, not only that masonry was of divine origin, but that the earth itself was in fact created for the use of masonry. It would be just like many pragmatical professors of whys, ergos and wherefores, to carp here and say that the premises in this masterly argument were all assumed. But the out-breakings of spleen and ignorance! who heeds them? The argument, in substance, is here, and will speak for itself,—I have no fears that my intelligent readers will not justly appreciate it. But should any still entertain the least doubts on this subject, let them follow this great reasoner into the succeeding lectures, where the same argument is resumed, with such accumulations of testimony as to convince the most skeptical. I allude more particularly to that masterly parallel which he drew between Masonry and revelation, and which subsequently appeared in his great work on speculative masonry. In this parallel, after enumerating a long array of coincidences, to prove that Masonry and revelation must have been one and the same, co-existent, and of common origin, and reserving, like a skillful logician, the strongest and most striking for the last, he puts all doubts at defiance, and caps the climax with the following:— "And finally, the Scriptures teach us in general terms, all the duties of charity, to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, to visit the widow and fatherless,—masonry dwells upon these subjects in every degree, and lays her members under solemn obligations to exercise christian charity and benevolence. The word of God teaches us to love our enemies, and render good for evil. Masonry will feed a brother, though a personal enemy, even at the point of a sword, should his necessities absolutely require it!"

Having thus conclusively settled the question of the divine origin of Masonry, the learned lecturer proceeded to show the existence and continuance of the institution from the creation down to the present time; and, taking the simple, single fact, that Masonry and geometry are synonymous terms for the basis of his argument, he was here again triumphantly successful in establishing this important point. For, as the principles of geometry were involved in the creation of the world, in the construction of Noah's ark, and the ark of the Tabernacles, built by Moses, nothing could be clearer than the conclusion that God, Noah and Moses, were eminent Freemasons. In a manner equally learned and ingenious did he trace the footsteps of Masonry from Moses to Solomon, the well-known Grand Master, and thence to Alexander the Great, Pythagoras, Hypocrates, the Roman Generals, and lastly the Druids and the princes of civilized Europe. After he had thus completed his masterly history of ancient Freemasonry, he then passed on to consider the general tenets and character of the institution. And here the soundness of his moral and political principies, and the powers of his eloquence were no less conspicuous than the learned research and logical acumen which he had displayed in the historical part of his subject. One of his addresses at this stage of his lectures particularly arrested our hero's attention. While treating on the unity and fellowship of Masons in all parts of the world, however they might differ in "things unessential" or indifferent to the order, such as Christianity, Paganism, Mahometanism, piracy and the like, he set forth, with the most glowing eloquence, the privileges and advantages of masonry. "Here is a privilege," said he, "no where else to be found: Do you fall into the merciless hands of the unrelenting Turk? even there the shackles of slavery are broken from your hands through the intercession of a brother: Do you meet an enemy in battle array? the token of a Mason instantly converts him into a guardian angel. Even the bloody flag of a pirate is changed for the olive branch of peace by the mysterious token of a Mason." He then related several interesting anecdotes illustrative of these remarks: One, where an American was captured and imprisoned in Egypt, and escaped by the aid of a Turkish Mason: Another, where an American, imprisoned in Edinburgh, among other prisoners, was liberated by the craft in that city, on his being recognized as a Mason, while all the rest of the prisoners, not being Masons, had to submit to their fate. And yet another, where a whole crew falling into the hands of a pirate, were preserved from death by one of their number being a Mason and giving the token to the piratical leader, who, proving a worthy brother, graciously spared the lives of all his prisoners.

Timothy could scarcely keep his seat for the liveliness of his emotions while these anecdotes were relating. The escape of himself and his friend Jenks from arrest, in the affair of the counterfeit bill, in the Highlands, occurred instantly to his mind in confirmation of the lecturer's remarks. The late recent affair too, of the arrest and escape of his exalted companion from a disgraceful punishment, rushed forcibly to his mind. Never before had he perceived the advantages of Masonry in so strong a light as set forth in these anecdotes. For he at once saw that the lecturer had told but half the story—having left the most important inferences yet to be drawn by the hearer—common sense told him that if a Mason could thus escape the operation of the rigid rules of war, or the despotic laws of a Turkish despot, how easily he might put all other laws at complete defiance. And in the case of the pirate, it was no less manifest that the same sacred token, which saved the innocent crew, must be reciprocally obeyed by snatching that piratical leader from the gallows should he unfortunately fall into the hands of his enemies, those unfeeling ministers of the law, and undergo condemnation. Our hero was lost in admiration of the institution which vouchsafed all these precious immunities to its members; and again and again did he bless the day that enrolled him among that favored number, and made him a recipient of those saving virtues and invaluable privileges.

Such are a few, among a thousand others that might be cited, of the bright specimens of the logic and learning, and wisdom and eloquence, which the illustrious Grand Chaplain displayed in the course of these celebrated lectures. Well may the fraternity be proud of the man whose genius has not only shed such lustre on their institution, but irradiated its kindly light into the minds of the purblind uninitiated, till thousands have been brought to the fold of Masonry. Such minds do not appear in every age, but, like comets, at intervals of centuries, come blazing along, shedding abroad their glorious effulgence, and dispersing the gloom around them. Seven cities, it is said, contended for the honor of the birth-place of Homer. Of the birth-place of the great lecturer, we are not apprised. Should not the public be put in possession of information on this point, without further delay, to prevent such unhappy contests hereafter, as those which vexed the Grecian cities in disputing for the distinguished honor of giving birth to their favorite bard? The literary birth-place of the Grand Chaplain, however, is fortunately established. That high distincton falls to the envied lot of his doating Alma Mater, the Otter-Creek Minerva, who would not long sit demure and unnoticed in her Green-Mountain bower, had she a few more such hopeful sons to brighten her into fame by the light of their reflected honors.

For the remainder of the winter, and most of the spring following, our hero unremittedly devoted himself to the great object he had chosen, on which to concentrate the energies of his mighty genius. And the progress he still continued to make, plainly evinced, that these golden opportunities had fallen to the lot of one who was highly capable of improving them. Besides perfecting himself in the lectures of all the subordinate degrees, he paused not in his onward career till he had taken all the ineffable degrees, and all the degrees of knighthood which the Chapters, Councils or Encampments, to which he could have access, were capable of conferring. And so thoroughly did he study the lessons or lectures of each, that he soon acquired the reputation, even among the expert and accomplished Masons of the cipatal, of being a proficient of no ordinary promise.

Having now arrived at a proud summit in the path of masonic advancement, he began to bethink him of leaving the city, in order to avail himself of his acquirements in some way, to replenish his purse, which his winter's living in the capital, together with expenses incidental to the many degrees he had taken in Masonry, had now reduced to rather alarming dimensions. While revolving these things in his mind, he received a most welcome letter from his old friend, Jenks, giving him an urgent invitation to revisit the Green-Mountains, and deliver an oration before the lodge, which had the honor of making him a Mason, at the approaching anniversary of the birth day of St. John, which they had concluded to celebrate. Highly flattered at the complimentary nature of this invitation, he immediately resolved to accept it, being gratified at the thought of so fine an opportunity of showing his former masonic associates, a specimen of the improvement he had made since he left them. Accordingly he wrote a long letter to Jenks, in which, after detailing his personal adventures since they parted, he announced his willingness to undertake the proposed task of preparing an address for their approaching celebration, and promised to be on the spot in season to deliver it in person. Having done this, and come to the conclusion of remaining several weeks longer in the city, that he might have access to masonic books, while engaged in preparing his oration, he now diligently betook himself to the pleasing task. Night and day, did he labor in this grateful employment, till he had brought his performance to a most satisfactory conclusion. After this he spent several days in committing his oration to memory, speaking it over in his room, and practicing before a large mirror, after the manner of Demosthenes, to get the action, which consisted, in his opinion, in gesticulation and commanding attitudes. Not, however, that he meant to copy the manner of the great Grecian orator, for he had another prototype in view, of a far superior kind, as he believed, in the Grand Chaplain, and him he endeavored to imitate with the most sedulous care, in catching his graceful attitudes and melodious modulations of voice. While engaged in this interesting employment, and in making preparations for his departure, he accidentally one day happened at the post-office, where he most unexpectedly found two letters for him. Hurrying back to his room, he proceeded to examine them. Percieving the superscription of one to be in his father's hand, he tore it open and read it as follows:—

"O, Tim,—I have lately found out a most Jo-fired discovery! You know Tim, about the time you was born, I joined the Masons—at least I thought I did. Now I have lately found out that business was but little better than a damn'd hoe-axe. Bill Botherem, the scamp of tophet, damn him! Well, yer see, he made me believe he could take me in, and so he did, and be damn'd to him! but he had no right to, besides more than half of his jigerations there, initials, I think they call them, were no Masonry at all amost. And all the scorching and drenching, and all that flumydiddle about tin pans and pistols and number ones and number twos—and all that botheration about going over with it again, cause a fellow could'nt help swearing a little, to let off the steam, was nothing but some of Bill's divlish cheatery and whimsification. For I have found out there is nothing in Masonry against swearing in a natural way at all amost. Well, yer see, Bill has at last got found out in his diviltrees. A little while after you went away, one of the fellows who helped Bill in that scurvy business, joined the true lodge, and told on't after he'd kept the secret in his clam shells more than twenty years. So neighbor Gibson, who is a Mason, came to me, and told me all as how I had been Tom fooled, and advised me to join the true lodge, and so I did, and have now got the bony fide Masonry—and by the Lord Harry, how easy 'tis! Bill's Masory could not hold a candle to it! Well, yer see, we now considered what was to be done with Bill. But some thought he did'nt fairly break his oaths, and some said it was so long agone that we'd better let it drop, and so we did, only concluding to let all the brethren and other trusty folks know in a kinder private way, that Bill was a villain. But Bill, yer see, did'nt know as how we'd found him out, and so he lately tried another trick, and really made a young fellow a Mason privately, and told all the true secrets, they say. But what is the drollest is, he's got found out in that too. The fellow, yer see, was courting a gall, and told her all—and you know how things drop through wimen. She told it to a Mason's wife, and so it got to the lodge. We have taken the young fellow in, but they all say something must be done with Bill this time, or he will ruin the whole tote of us. And sure enough. Thunder! must all the world know all the didos we cut up in the lodge-room—wimen and all? A pretty kettle of fish that! I am clear for bringing the perjured scoundrel up to the bull-ring. But we are in a bother how to come at it in a legal kind of a way, as yer may say—and so we want you should come home and insult on the business. So you'd as well ax those great bug-Masons there in York State, their advice, and then pull up stakes for Mug-Wump, in no time. Brother Gibson, says he is agoing to write you too. Your mother has got the extatics to see you, and so I remain your honorable father.

PELETIAH PEACOCK."

The other letter was in Royal Arch cypher, and from the person mentioned in Mr. Peacock's letter, which, being translated for the benefit of the uninitiated, reads as follows:—

"Dear Brother,—Botherworth has perjured himself. Vengeance must be had—but the manner—come and assist us.

In caution,

GIBSON."

Timothy could scarcely restrain his indignation sufficiently to read these letters through. The insult here practiced upon his father alone, called loudly for punishment, but this, despisable as it was, seemed as nothing to the awful guilt of Botherworth, in breaking his obligations and turning the sacred rights of Masonry into mockery! Shuddering at the very thought of the deep damnation that the wretch had brought upon himself, our hero lost no time in laying the case before some of the most experienced and learned of the craft in the city, and finding them unanimous in their opinion on this subject, he took their advice as to the best manner of proceedure when he arrived at the scene of action, and proceeded to make preparations for an immediate departure for the spot to which he felt that a high duty now called him, and to which he was determined to hasten with no other delay than that which might be required on his way to meet his engagement with his Vermont brethren, at their approaching festival.

Accordingly, the next day after a tender parting from his city brethren—one of whom, I scarce need say which, presented him with an elegant gold headed cane on the occasion,—our hero took stage and bid a reluctant farewell to the city, where every thing had conspired to contribute to his happiness and to advance him in the path of mystic greatness.

Nothing worthy of relation occurred on the two first days of his journey—and on the second night, he had the pleasure of grasping the trusty hand of his old friend Jenks, at his home in the Green-Mountains.

[5] See Town's Speculative Mosonry, Chap. I, Edition I, page 37.

CHAPTER XVI.

"O what a fall was there, my countrymen!"
"Some luckless star, with baleful power
And mischief fraught, sure rules the hour."

Once more, gentle reader, must we make a brief pause among the ever-green mountains of that rugged, yet fertile and flourishing state, which, in so many respects, may be termed the Switzerland of America. That fearless and sturdy little sister of the Republic, who has ever stood the unflinching sentinel of the out-post unrelieved, asking no assistance for herself, and eager to meet the first foe that would attempt to encroach on the bright domain of her beautiful, though often unmindful sisterhood. That state, in fine, whose sons are hardy, industrious, healthy, and physically vigorous as the green, rock-grasping forests that clothe their native mountains, patriotic to a proverb, and as ignorant of the vices, as many of their contemptuous Atlantic neighbors are of the virtues, and, at the same time, more intelligent, perhaps, as a mass of people, than those of any other spot on the face of the globe.

The anniversary of the birth-day of St. John happened this memorable year, as it generally does in New-England, I believe, on the 24th day of June, and not in one of the autumnal months, as among the observant brotherhood of the southern states, and some parts of Europe. It was a lovely day, and of that season of the year when the scenery of this part of the country, more especially appears in all its glory. The zephyrs were gently ruffling the deep green foliage that exuberantly covered the mountain sides, or waving the vigorous growth of the rich fields of corn and wheat, in the fertile valley beneath, within which our hero was this day to make his public debut, as the young Boanerges of Masonry.

In an old pasture or common adjoining the road about one hundred rods from the tavern, the identical tavern where Timothy first opened his eyes to the glorious light of Masonry, a platform of new boards had been built up and elevated six or eight feet from the ground, over which was erected a booth of green boughs, and in front was placed a row of small ever-green trees leaning their tops against the stage in a slanting position for the double purpose of ornament and of screening from the view of the audience the unseemly chasm beneath. This was the rostrum prepared for the orator of the day. At the distance of some fifteen or twenty feet in front, and parallel with the stage, were numerous rows of benches, composed by laying boards on short logs or blocks, for the accommodation of the audience. And at the right of these, through an artificial grove of maple saplings, sharpened and set into the ground, ran a long table, with seats on each side, fitted up in a style in good keeping with what we have already described. While baskets of cold baked meats, bread, various kinds of pastry, fried cakes, cut into curious fantastical shapes, but mostly typical of masonic emblems, such as square, compasses, &c., the ingenious devices of the landlord's and other masons' wives, called in to assist in the mighty preparations,—honey, preserves, and nicknacks without number, as well as bottles of beer, cider, and even Malaga wine, with the usual accompaniment of glasses, were already on the ground, and placed, at a short distance from the table in the custody of Susan, the landlord's daughter, and her brothers,—personages to whom the reader was introduced in a former chapter—the former of whom from the gayest and most frolicsome had now become metamorphosed into the demurest of damsels, wearing a checkered apron and beauless bonnet, modes which she adopted at a camp-meeting, soon after receiving the visit of his majesty of the black face and nine-foot tail, as described in the chapter to which we have just alluded. But leaving these, now actively employed in preparing the dinner table for the brotherhood, and such others as might choose to join them on this joyful occasion, let us return to the inn where the company of the day were mostly already assembled.

About eleven o'clock in the forenoon, the drum beat at the door, and the long line of the brethren, issuing from the lodge-room, formed procession in front of the house, and, preceded by martial music, moved on to the place we have described, the master of the lodge and orator first, the subordinate officers next, then the masonic privates, or brethren generally, and lastly, the citizens with their own or mason's wives, sweet-hearts, or partners protempore; for hundreds of both sexes, and all ages, had flocked in from the neighboring country, coming on foot, in gigwaggons, on horse back, like beavers, with their better parts behind them, and even in ox-teams, to witness the novelties of a masonic festival.

When the procession reached the place prepared for the exercises of the day, the orator, master and chaplain for the occasion, ascended the stage, while the audience were seated on the benches prepared for them in front.

Now was a moment of intense and thrilling interest to our hero. Never did he feel a more lively sense of the responsibility which rested on him. He perceived himself the focus of all eyes, and he knew that high expectations were formed of the performance on which he was about to enter; but he felt proud in the consciousness, that as bright as these expectations might be, they were still more brightly to be answered. And as he glanced at his own fine coat, so favorably contrasted with the rustic habiliments of those around him, his flowing ruffles, his snowwhite vest, and above all, the rich crimson sash and other glittering badges of his proud exaltation in Masonry, now displayed over his person in the most tasteful arrangement, he felt a glow of self complacency at the thought of the unparalelled sensation that his appearance was about to make on the hungry expectants of the gaping and wonderstruck multitude. And, in fancy, he already heard the low whispered plaudits of the wise, the suppressless awe and astonishment of the ignorant, and the tender and languishing sighs of the heart smitten fair. But why delay the anxious reader with the anticipated banquet of intellectual luxuries when the bright reality is before him. As soon as the brief clerical exercises were over, our hero gracefully rose, advanced to the front of the stage, and, after saluting the three masonic points of the compass, designating the rising, meridian and setting sun, with as many elegant bows, he looked slowly around on the audience, in imitation of his reverend Albanian prototype in oratory, and, drawing himself up with that dignity so peculiarly his own, addressed the listening crowd as follows—

Illustrious Companions, Right Worshipful Masters and Beloved Brethren, of our ancient, co-existent, honorable and refulgent Institution of Free and accepted Masonry:

With the most profound ebulitions of diffident responsibility, I rise to address you on this stupendous occasion. Assembled as we are to ruminate on the transcendant and ineffable principles of that glorious institution whose existence is co-ordinate with the origin of antiquity, and whose promulgated expansion extends from where the rising sun elucidates the golden portals of the east, to where it sets in the oriental extremities of the west, let us in the first place, promenade back through the mysterious ages of ancestry and exaggerate a short biography of its radient progress from its suppedaneous commencement, down to its present glorious state of splendid redundance. It is agreed by all, that Freemasonry existed among the earliest generations of our posteriors after the general deluge. Learned men of our order, however, have discovered that it begun its origin at a much more antiquated period of the universe even before progenerated man had heard the audible voice of the grand architect of the world, bidding him enter and behold the light of the exhilerating heavens. And I am conclusively of the opinion that it must have commenced its created existence somewhere near the beginning of eternity. From traditional knowledge, known only to the craft, it has been long dogmatically settled, that "masonry is of divine origin." The expulsion of the rambellious angels from Heaven, it may be lucidly argufied, was for unmasonic conduct. Hence it is implicitly proved that there was a grand lodge in that luminous expansion. The first indefinite evidence of the existence of masonry on this subterraneous hemisphere is in the garden of Eden. It is the most conjectural probability that after the Great Almighty Supreme, and Worshipful Grand Master of the mundane Universe, had expelled those unworthy masons from the Grand-lodge of the celestial canopy, he sent forth his trusty wardens to ramify a subordinate lodge among the puerile inhabitants of the earth, that they might pass through a state of reprobation before they were permitted to transmigrate to the great and lofty encampment of Heaven. And it was problematically these who initiated Adam into the secrets of masonry, and clothed him with the apron, that universal expressment of our order, which we read, he wore as he meandered the orchards of Paradise. Eve, I comprehend was not allowed to consolidate in the blessings of masonry, because, as our Book of Constitutions, so clearly explanitates, she turned cowan and attempted in an unlawful way to get at the secrets by eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of masonry which Satan, an expelled mason of the most serpentine deviltry, told her would make her like one of the initiated. Hence the orderous name of Eve'sdroppers, whom it has ever since been the original custom of our order to place tylers at the door, with drawn swords, to scarify and extrampate—and hence also the reason why her daughters, those lovely but unfortunate feminine emblements of creation, have never been allowed to mingle in the lodge-room. The next certain information which has been transplanted to us concerning masonry, relates to the terrible apochraphy of the flood, which furnishes the most devastating testimony of the continued existence of our art in the personified character of the thrice illustrious Grand Master Noah. For a proof of this mysterious circumstantiality, we need only concentrate to the ulterior fact, that masonry and geometry are the same, or which is called by learned ventriloquists, synonymous identities. Now as Noah planned and constructified the ark, that expansive battlement of the convoluted waters, and as this could never have been architecturized and developed without, with a literary endowment of geometry, hence it is an evident and obvious manifestation to the most itinerant comprehension, that Noah was a most superabundant mason. And here, beloved brethren, who but must pause, in the most obstreperous admiration, over the great and magnified benefits which our blessed institution has protruded on the terrestial inhabitants of the revolutionary world. There we behold the astonishing veracity, that, but for Masonry, no ark could have been made and digested for the predominant salvation of those who were afterwards devised to multiply the earth, and all mankind in consequential inference, must have been forever extinguished, and found emaciated graves in the watery billows of annihilated eternity!

Thus we see how emphatical and tantamount is the proof that those two illustrious Israelites, Adam and Noah, were free and accepted masons; and it is equally doubtless that there were thousands of others, even in those unfathomable ages, who belonged to the same institution; and, although our records are not particularly translucent on the subject, I have no doubt but Methusalem, Perswasalem and Beelzebub, and all the rest of the old patriarchs, were worthy and accepted brothers of our divine order. But to proceed in mythological order, the next perspicuous mason that we meet with in our accounts is Moses, who was, as we all know that have been exalted to the seventh degree, a Royal Arch Mason. It is a probable coincidence, I think, that this August degree, as it is usually called, (on account, I suppose, of its having been discovered and first conferred in the month of August,) was for the first time developed to this superlative brother and companion from the burning bush amidst the tremendous ambiguity and thunderiferous rockings of Mount Sinai.— For it was here that the omnific word, "I am that I am," which none but the craft will presume to depreciate, was delivered to Moses for the benefit of the order through all exterior ages. From this time to the days of the great and refulgent Solomon, little is irradiated in our historical inventions concerning the state of our artificial institution: But all traditional probabilities unite in concurring that all the superfluous characters of that undiscovered period were engaged in extending the art with the most propagating velocity. Among the most predominant of these, I should place Joshua and Sampson. We peruse, in scriptural dispensations, that Joshua, the great General of the Jewish militia, while monopolized in battle with his obnoxious invaders, being hard run, and wanting more time to disembogue his hostile enemies, commanded the sun and moon to stand still, and they obeyed him. Now I have no questionable doubt but this pathetic achievement, which has so long discomfited the uninitiated to expounderate, was effectualized by the art of masonry: Joshua, we know, was highly identified, and, like Companion Royal Arch Moses, held facial intercourse with the Illustrious Grand Puissant of the World, and I think it the most probable preponderance that he made the grand hailing sign of distress to the great masonic deification enthroned on the circumjacent canopy of heaven, who observed the sign and immediately stopped those great geological luminaries to answer the distressing emergencies of brother Joshua, and deliver him from his extatic difficulty. Thus we again behold, in admirable wonder, the powerful omnipotence of masonic chicanery which can even control the revolving astronomies of heaven! Equally suppositious likewise is the evidence that Sampson, that almighty wrestler of antiquity, was a bright and complicated mason. For proof of this congenial fact we need only perambulate that part of the Bible which treats of his multangular explosions among the interpolling Philistines. There we find it implicitly stated that Sampson had thirty companions with him at his wedding feast. Now is it not highly presumptious that these must have been Companion Royal Arch Masons? I think the evidence most conclusive and testimonial: Sampson therefore was a brother of that glorified degree, and a mason whose prodigious muscular emotion must have made him a most pelucid ornament to the institution through the remotest bounds of posterity. It was not however till that primeval period of triumphal magnificence, the reign of King Solomon, the great Sovereign Commander, and Prince of the Tabernacle, that masonry shone forth in all its glory and concupisence. It was then that the tremendous stupefaction of the temple, the wonder of all cotemporary posterity, uprose to the belligerent heavens in all the pride of monumental aggrandizement wholly by the geometry of masonic instrumentality. From this time, which is termed the Augustine period, in honor of the August, or Royal Arch emblazonments of architecture, that enhanced this emphatic epoch, our divine art soon expanded, with the most epidemic enlargement, over the circumambient territories of the congregated world. It was then that our great patron, St. John, came out of the wilderness, preaching the beauties of masonry, and wearing the sash, or girdle, of a Royal Arch Mason, (thus preposterously proving that he was one of the glorious fellowship, and had arrived to that superlative exaltation,) and established and secreted a day for masonic designment, which he called the Anniversary, and which has always since, from time immemorial, been caricatured by the brotherhood as the glorious anniversary of St. John. The same great and ostentatious day, beloved brethren, which we are triumphantly permitted at this time to celebrate; and a day which all the worthy and accepted will forever coagulate in celebrating till the last hour of time shall evaporate, and mankind be abolished in the deluge of eternity! It was there too that Nebuchadnezzar and Pythagoras, Tubal Cain and Homer, Alexander and Zerubbabel, Hiram and Bachus, Zoraster, Zedekiah and Vulcan, Aristotle, Juno, Plato, and Apollo, Frederick, Pluto and Voltaire— all, all bright and luminous masons, shone along the transcendant galaxy of futurity like the opake meteors that irrigate the conflagrated arches of heaven!

Having now, my beloved and auspicious brethren, disseminated before you a brief historical circumcision of the origin and progressive intensity of our wonderful institution, let us preponder awhile on its momentous beauties, its ambiguous advantages, and its inevitable principles.

Of all the ties that bind and mankind together in this sublunary vale of the the tie of masonry is the most inveterate and powerful. By this, men of all sexes and credentials—men of the most homotonous opinions and incarnate malevolence, are bound together like Sampson's foxes, in municipal consanguinuity and connubial entrenchments. It is this that clothes the morally destitute, and protects the indigent incendiary from prosecuting enemies: It is this that dries the tears of unfathered orphans, and dispenses with charity to the weeping widow. It is masonry which mystifies the arts and sciences, and opens the only true fountains of inanity to the world. It pervades the halls of justice in sinuous counteraction, and snatches the prosecuted from perilous enthralment. It opens the prison to relieve the faithful delinquents, and defies the world in arms to stop it. It also the domestic tenement, and populates society. It exhilarates its members, rubifies their intellectual receptacles, and exalts them above the vulgar mass of credulity. And finally, it concentrates, refines and vitiates all who come within the pale of its Sanctum Pandemonium, whether they be found roaming the burning wastes of arctic sands, or inhabiting the torrid regions of the frozen North.

Such, brethren, is Speculative Freemasonry! And such will it continue till it countermarches all the terraqueous altitudes of the world, when, as my most appropriate and magniloquent friend, the Thrice Illustrious Salem Town supposes, a masonic millenium will come, and usher the whole earth in rapid pervasion. Then will all become one great exasperated family of freemasons, except, perhaps, a few of the most disinvited exclusives, such as idiots and feminine excrescences.

But here let me offer my derogatory consolation to my fair hearers whom I see listening around me in lovely admiration. Let me have the assurance to tell them, that although they may not be allowed to amalgamate in the regular forcipations of the lodge-room, yet they are never so safe as when in the circumventive arms of a free and accepted mason. And we are bound by our obligations in the most inoperative manner to refrain from our indulgent latitudes towards these fair and necessary implements of creation, and particularly so if we know them to enjoy the equivocal honor of being the wives or daughters of our exalted brotherhood. Then let them always seek the gloririous disparagement of monopolizing their connubial paramours from among our amorous fraternity. O! let them come to us for aid and embracing protection; and we will fly forward with our arms wide extended to meet and enrapture them."

At that fated instant, Heu miscrande puer! the luckless orator, in suiting the action to the word by rushing eagerly forward with protruded arms towards the fair and blushing objects of his address, unfortunately pressed too hard against the single board, which composed the only railing in front, for its feeble powers of resistance to withstand. When the faithless barrier suddenly gave way, and, alas! alas! amidst a flourish of his long-studied and most elegant gestures, and with his countenance wreathed with the most inviting smiles, he was precipitated from his lofty stand down headlong on to the bushes which stood bracing against the front of the stage, and, these quickly yielding near their tops to his rearward weight, and giving him a new impulse by way of a counter somerset, he finally landed in broken tumbles, feet downwards on the ground beneath— where, by a most strange and still more luckless concurrence, he struck directly astride an old ram, the leader of a flock, which, unobserved, had taken shelter from the burning rays of the sun, in this cool retreat in which they were now quietly reposing when their strange visitant descended among their affrighted ranks. The horned old patriarch, little dreaming of such a visit from above, and being less appeasable, or less mindful of the honor thus unexpectedly paid him, than Alborak, the ennobled ass of the Turkish prophet, was not slow in manifesting a disposition to depart without waiting particularly to consult his rider as to the course to be taken. And, after one or two desperate and ineffectual lunges to free himself of his load and retreat back under the stage, he suddenly floundered around and made a prodigious bolt through the partial breach, just made in the bushes, appearing in the open space in front of the stage before the astonished multitude with the terrified orator on his back, riding stern foremost, with one hand thrown wildly aloft, still firmly grasping the precious manuscript, and the other despairingly extended for aid, believing in the fright and confusion of the moment, that it could be no other than the devil himself who was thus bearing him off in triumph.

After proceeding a few short, rapid bounds in this manner, the no less frightened animal made a sudden turn, and, tumbling his rider at full length on the ground among the feet of a bevy of screaming damsels, leaped high over heads, benches and every thing opposing his progress, leading the way for his woolly tribe, now issuing in close column from their covert with the speed of the wind, running over the prostrate orator, regardless of his snow white unmentionables, vest and flowing ruffles, and trampling down or upsetting all in their way as they followed at the heels of their determined leader. Forcing their passage in this way through the crowd till they came against the end of the long dinner table, now fully spread for the company, and covered with all that had been prepared for the occasion, the file leaders came to some insurmountable obstacle, and the whole flock were brought to a stand; when, as the very demons of mischief would have it, they suddenly tacked about, mounted the table, which furnished a clear road for escape, and the whole train of forty sheep, enfilading off one after another swift as lightning, raced over its whole length from one end to the other; and, unheeding the scattering fragments of meats, pies, vegetables and nutcakes which flew from beneath their trampling feet in all directions, and the rattling din of knives, forks, broken crockery and glasses which attended their desolating progress, triumphantly escaped, shaking off the very dust of their tails in seeming mockery at the company whom they left behind, some fainting or shrieking, some grappling up clubs and stones in their phrenzy to hurl after the retreating fiends, or calling loudly for dogs to assail them, some cursing and raving at the loss of their dinner, some hallooing or breaking out into shouts of laughter, and all in wild uproar and commotion.—But we drop the curtain, leaving epicures to yearn with compassion, young masonic orators to sympathize, and the brotherhood at large to weep over the scene!

CHAPTER XVII.

Amoto quaeramus seria ludo.

—Horace.

Our tale, gentle reader, must now assume a more serious aspect. From the more light, and often somewhat ludicrous incidents through which we have passed to this stage of our narrative—incidents from which more gifted pens than ours might have plentifully drawn the shafts of effective satire, or the food for merry laughter—we now reluctantly turn to scenes calculated to cause other reflections— to awaken other and more painful emotions.

About ten days subsequent to the events recorded in our last chapter, William Botherworth, whose frolicsome exhibitions of masonry improved occupied a conspicuous place in the first or introductory part of these remarkable adventures, received from a commercial acquaintance of the neighboring port the following letter:—

"Wm. Botherworth,

Sir,—As war is now declared, and a fleet of the enemy's forces said to be hovering round the coast, we are fearful that they will reach this place, in which case our property would be exposed to destruction. The quantity of hops which you left in store with us might be removed into the interior without much trouble or expense; and I am very anxious that you should come to town immediately to devise measures respecting them. I wish you to come tomorrow, as after that I may be absent several days. Do not fail of being here by to-morrow evening.

Yours, &c.

S. RODGERS."

"Pshaw!" said Botherworth to himself—"pshaw, man! your wits must surely be wool-gathering. In the first place the British will never get there; and if they should, they will doubtless respect all private property. They must be wanton fiends indeed to destroy my few hundreds of hops. However, Rodgers may know more than he tells, and perhaps, on the whole, I had better ride down to-morrow and see for myself."

Such were the passing thoughts of Botherworth as he run over for a second time this brief epistle, so artfully calculated to arrest the attention of the person to whom it was addressed. And, putting up the letter with the conclusion that he should obey the summons, as unnecessary and even singular as it appeared to him, proceeded to make such little arrangements about his farm as he considered his intended absence for a day or two would require.

Botherworth, although by nature a person of great buoyancy of spirits and cheerfulness of disposition, qualities which he still in a good measure retained, had yet of late years manifested much less inclination for convivial companionship, or for mingling with society at large, than formerly. And becoming of consequence more domestic, he had supplied himself with a good selection of books with which to furnish that recreation and employment of his leisure at home which the excess of his social feelings had formerly led him to seek too much perhaps abroad in the usual routine of profitless amusements. From these, together with the early advantages which he had enjoyed of seeing the world and becoming acquainted with mankind, he had by this time acquired a stock of general knowledge much more extensive than is commonly to be met with among men in his sphere of life; while at the same time, aided by a mind naturally acute and discriminating he had formed original views and settled opinions upon almost all subjects connected with the different classes and organizations of society and its various institutions. The circumstance of his expulsion from the masonic lodge for causes growing out of the prevailing characteristic of his more youthful years, as before intimated, creating probably some degree of acrimony and sensitiveness of feeling towards the fraternity, had led him to bestow much study and reflection on the nature and principles of that peculiar institution. The result of all of which was to establish in his mind the honest, though at that period, the singular, conviction that the whole system was founded on principles radically wrong, and unjust and unequal in their operations towards the rest of society; and, to say nothing of its ceremonies and lofty pretensions which he had always felt disposed to ridicule, that its oaths and obligations could not be either legally or morally binding upon those who had taken them. And it was with these views and impressions that he had ventured, a few months previous to the time of which we are speaking, upon the act of which the reader has been already apprised, that of imparting to a young friend, in a confidential way, all the essential secrets of Freemasonry—little dreaming, at the time, as he had formerly made partial experiments of the kind with impunity, that consequences so melancholy to himself were so soon to follow, and even now wholly unconscious that he had been betrayed to the infuriated, but cautious and darkdoing brotherhood.

In the evening following the day which brought him the letter above quoted, Botherworth came into his house with looks so uncommonly pensive and dejected as to attract the notice of the family; for still a bachelor, though now upwards of forty, he had living with him at this time, in capacity of house-keeper, a quaker lady whose husband followed the sea, with her two children, both fine boys, to all of whom Botherworth was much attached. Taking a seat at an open window, he long sat gazing out, in thoughtful silence, on the surrounding landscape, that lay spread in tranquil beauty before him. The stars were beginning to twinkle through the gathering curtains of night; and the full orbed moon, majestically mounting the deep cerulean vault of the orient heavens, and brightening each moment into more glorious effulgence, as the twilight, streak after streak, slowly faded in the west, threw her silvery beams, with increasing splendor, over the broad and diversified landscape, now glimmering on the placid stream, now kindling in refracted brightness and beauty on the cascade, and now shedding a varied and sombre glory over hill and dale, town and woodland, as far as the eye could reach, round the adjacent country, all quiet and noisless as the repose of sleeping infancy, except when the voice of the plaintive whippoorwill, responding to his mate on the distant hill, at measured intervals, broke sweetly in upon the silence of the scene.

"Miriam," said he at length, partially rousing himself from his long reverie, and addressing the quakeress who sat knitting in quiet cheerfulness near him, "Miriam, what a beautiful evening!—or rather," he continued after a pause, "beautiful, and happifying it seems to me it should be, with all these bright and glorious objects before us."

`And why is it not so, friend William,' said the person addressed.

"I know not," replied the other, "but every thing to-night to me appears to wear a singularly gloomy aspect. Even this scene, with all its brightness, which ever before as I remember, looked pleasant and delightful, now appears strangely mournful and deathly. And why is it? Can it be that nature ever sympathises with our feelings, or rather is it, that the state of our feelings produces this effect? What are those favorite lines of yours, Miriam, which I have often heard you singing, containing, I think, some sentiments on this subject?"

`It is not according to my people's creed to sing,' meekly replied the quakeress, `yet not deeming the forbearance essential, I sometimes transgress, perhaps wrongfully; but does thee wish me to sing the lines now?'

Botherworth replying in the affirmative, the lady, who, though untutored by art, was yet one of those whom nature has often gifted with powers of minstrelsy more exquisite and effective than any thing which the highest acquirements in musical science alone can bestow, now commencing in a low, soft, melodious voice, sang the following stanzas:—

When the pulse of joy beats high, And pleasure weaves her fairy dreams, O, how delightful to the eye— How gladsome all around us seems! Fountain, streamlet, garden, grove, All, all, in semblant brightness drest, And breathing melody and love, Reflect the sunshine of the breast. But when sorrow's clouds arise, And settle on the mind in gloom, How quickly every bright hue dies Of all that joyousness and bloom! Earth and skies with mingled light, The vocal grove, the streamlet's flow, Now seem to sicken on the sight, Or murmur back the sufferer's wo. Thus forever—dark or fair, As our own breasts, life's path we find; And gloom or brightness gathers there, As mirror'd from the changeful mind.

"Miriam," said Botherworth, again apparently awakening from the moody abstraction into which he had relapsed when the quakeress had ceased, "Miriam, do you believe we shall have an existence in another world?"

`Surely, friend William,' said she, in evident surprise at the question, `surely thee cannot doubt the scriptures?'

"No, I do not," replied the other—"on them my only hope of a hereafter is grounded, for, but for them I should be forced into the fearful conviction, that with the body the soul perished. Human pride I know flatters itself with the thought of immortality, and in the wish, the strong hope, believes it, calling this belief, which grows only out of the desire, as I have often thought, a proof of the soul's future existence. But is there any thing in nature— in reason, that sufficiently indicates it? The soul and body comparatively begin their existence together— are in maturity at the same time, and at the same time decay, and apparently terminate their existence. When the oil in the lamp is consumed, the light goes out, and is seemingly extinguished for ever. But the thought—the bare thought of annihilation, how dark, how dreadful!"

`What makes thee talk so,' again soothingly asked the quakeress, `and appear so gloomy to-night. Thee art generally jocose, and I sometimes think too vain and light in thy conversation—but now. Thee art well, friend Wiliam? '

"Yes, I am well, Miriam," said he, mournfully, "but it seems to me as if this pleasant evening was to be the last I shall ever behold. But what matters it, should it in reality be so? I have no wife or children, no relations indeed, but the most distant, to mourn for me. The world in which I once delighted to mingle, will move on without me, unconcious of its loss. The gay will still be merry and laugh, as I have done; the mercenary will still traffic and contrive, absorbed in their own interests, and the ambitious will still go on, pursuing the objects of their aim, and thinking only of their own advancement. The little vacancy in the ranks of society which my absence may occasion, will quickly be filled by others, probably more deserving. And who will miss me?"

`Why!—thou dost indeed surprise me!' said the agitated listener, laying down her knitting work with increasing emotion—`It pains me, friend William, to hear thee talk so. Why does thee expect to die now more than any other time?'

"I have no reason for thinking so," relied Botherworth, in the same desponding tone, "none that would generally be considered as one, I presume; but as I before intimated, there is a dark and fearful cloud upon my soul. For several hours past, I have felt some unaccountable influence acting on my feelings under which they seem to labor in troubled agony as if they, and not my reason, were instinctively sensible that some danger, some hidden evil was impending over me—the whole operating upon me, in spite of all my endeavors to shake it off, like what the sailors used to call the death-spell which sometimes seized the victim doomed soon to perish by battle or storm. But what it is, or when, or where, the bolt is to fall, I know not. To-morrow I am going to town to be absent perhaps several days. If any thing should happen to me, you will find my will in my desk which you may deliver to the person to whom it is directed, and in proper time you will learn what I have done for you and your children."

So saying, he bid the quakeress a tender good night, and leaving her with tears standing in her eyes, retired to rest.

Among all the various branches of the reputed supernatural, as enchantment, witchcraft, second-sight visions, prophetic dreams, apparitions, signs, warnings &c., which have successively been in vogue in different countries, and in different ages of the world, but which are now mostly exploded as discovered to have been but the tricks and inventions of the artful and designing, or accounted for on natural principles, there is no one that has received less attention from intelligent and philosophical writers than that which is generally known by the term of presentiments. And, yet, it appears to me there is no one of them all, that is so well entitled to consideration, as regards the many and authenticated facts which can be cited in support of its real existence, and at the same time so difficult of solution when that existence is established. History, biography and the records of travellers and journalists furnish numerous instances of men having experienced deep forebodings of the fate which soon awaited them, but which no human foresight could then reasonably have predicted. Men too, whose character for intelligence and courage, exempted them from the presumption that they might have been under the influence of imagination or superstitious fears. Among these, for example, may be instanced the brave Baron De Kalb, who fell at the south in the American Revolution, and the gallant Pike, a victim of the last war, both of whom, previous to the battles in which they respectively perished, felt an unwavering conviction that their earthly career would be terminated in the approaching contest. The conflagration of Richmond theatre furnished also one or two most striking examples of this kind. If these and the like instances are not attributable to sheer chance, which, it appears to me we are hardly warranted in presuming, then it follows that the doctrine of presentiments is established as having a foundation in fact, and is not the less entitled to credit because it has a particular and not a general application. But once admitting the existence of this mysterious principle, where is the human philosophy that can explain its operation or fathom its causes? If I rightly understand the history of these cases, and I have heard some of them from the lips of those who described from actual experience, the operation seems to be instinctive, and chiefly confined to the feelings or animal sensibilities, and apparently originating with them, while the impression on the mind is vague and undefined, suggesting no distinct ideas, and seemingly putting it in action only for the purpose of contriving or providing escape from the boded danger. Indeed the intellect appears to have but little to do with these impressions—and often, while the mind rejects them and seems to convince itself that they arise from assignable causes, the same dark, boding, irrepulsible feeling, in spite of all the suggestions of reason, again and again returns to haunt the agitated bosom. To what then is this principle to be assigned? To instinct, like that which is said to forewarn the feathered tribe of approaching convulsions of nature? Or is it a direct communication from higher spiritual beings made to the animal, not the intellectual part of our existence? But this last supposition would involve the proposition that spiritual, can communicate with animal existence without the intervention of mind—a proposition never yet admitted among the settled principles of philosophy—it would open the door to a new and unexplored field in the doctrine of pneumatology. Whence then shall we turn for a solution of this inextricable subject? Where are the enterprising Locks and Stewarts of the age, that they pass the subject unnoticed? If a vulgar superstition, is it not prevalent enough to require a refutation?— and if not, why do they shrink from the investigation, and the attempt of solving the mystery?

The next morning, Botherworth arose lively and cheerful. The cloud had evidently passed from his brow; and taking his breakfast in his usual serenity of mind, and sociability of manner, and without the slightest allusion to the events of the preceding evening, set forward on foot to where he expected to intersect a public stage, which before night would land him at his place of destination.

CHAPTER XVIII.

"Off with his head: so much for Buckingham."

Once more change we the scene of our eventful drama. On the same evening during which the events described in our last chapter transpired, another scene having an important bearing on the catastrophe of our tale was acting in a different quarter. Of this scene, it is our next purpose to lift the curtain.

In a spacious hall, situated in one of our flourishing seaports, and consecrated to the uses of the mystic order, now sat a small circle of the brotherhood in deep consultation on some matter evidently of high import to the interests of their revered institution. Though few in numbers, they were obviously, from their dress, age, and deportment, a select and chosen band composed of the high and honored, and the wise and trusty of the fraternity. They appeared to be intently engaged in examining various books, manuscripts and papers, which lay spread on the table before them, and which, after having been perused by one, were handed on to another, with a low, passing remark, and sometimes with a direction by the finger to some particular passage, till they were thus passed round the whole circle. After having been engaged awhile in this manner, an elderly personage, who appeared to be acting as the presiding dignitary on the occasion, giving a rap on the table with his small ivory gavel, now rose and observed,—

"This charge, Brothers Knights—this charge, or accusation, which has been presented by our illustrious visiting companion in behalf of our respected brethren of Mugwump, against this poor infatuated man, being amply proved and established by testimony which, by the usages of the craft, has always been admitted in similar cases, it remains only for us now to consider what order shall be taken in regard to this unpleasant transaction. And involving, as I scarcely need tell you it does, a crime of the foulest turpitude, and touching, in the most vital part, the interests and safety of our exalted institution, it is meet that we proceed with due caution, and proper deliberation, in determining what punishment should be awarded to the execrable wretch who has thus dared to violate his oaths, and trample under foot one of the most sacred and essential jewels of masonry. To this end, a full expression of the individual opinions of all present is highly desirable."

So saying, and shaking back his silvery locks with impressive dignity, he resumed his seat; when, after a moment of profound silence, a tall and somewhat youthful looking person arose, and extending forth his hand, while his elbow gracefully rested on his side, addressed the listening conclave as follows:—

"Illustrious Companions, and

"Brothers most puissant and powerful:

"I will own that I am imbued with the most deep and momentous indignation at the constipated atrocity of this most unheard-of, unthought-of, and diabolical instigation which we are now congregated to nullify and dissertate. And while I candidly confess, that I have drank deep of the hallucinating fountains of masonry, and mounted high its perpendicular glories, that I have often sat in learned ostentation with the most illustrious Grand Kings, holy and illustrious Knights, and Potentates and their exalted Princes of our celestial order, in the circumambient State of New-York, where masonry has arrived to such a pitch of cohesive perfection as to monopolize all the most ponderous offices of their government, and embrace by far the most inflated portion of their society. While I confess all these great and exulting advantages for masonic developements, I feel a more qualified presumption in obtruding my delectable opinions on your obsequious attention. And as regards the proper and punishable infliction which ought to be fulminated on the head of this indelible reptile, I have but one concentrated opinion. We swear and solemnize in all the subordinate degrees that we will suffer our lives to be abolished if we violate our obligations; and in the higher and more mystified exaltations of masonry, we are commanded to bring all others who violate their infringements to the most speedy and condign punishment. In the obligation of Knight Adepts of the Eagle or Sun, which I, and some of you, I comprehend, have been superlatively glorified in taking, we find these sentimental commands: We are bound to cause their death, and take vengeance on the treason by the destruction of the traitor, all of which is beautifully illustrified in that evangelical degree, by the fate of the man peeping. Now my conclusive opinion forces me to the most inveterate belief, that as the perjured wretch, who is now under investigation for betraying the secrets of masonry, has not had the honorable conscience, like Jubela, Jubelo, Jubelum, to deliver himself up to be excruciated by the penalties of his obligation, it is our most nefarious duty to execute them ourselves, and blot out the monster from the face of his existence."

With this burst of eloquent indignation and brilliant display of masonic erudition, our hero, (who, having lived through his Green-Mountain ramification as he probably, in his own flowing language, would have expressed it, had now arrived at the scene of action, and, as the reader I presume has already discovered, was no other than the gifted speaker,) slowly sunk back into his seat, not fainting, like the great Pinckney at the close of his speech, but calmly adjusting his ruffles over a bosom heaving with the proud consciousness that his zeal and faithfulness in the cause of masonry could only be equalled by the eloquence and ability with which he had enforced its divine precepts.

As soon as the hum of applause which followed this powerful appeal had a little subsided, a member; who had not appeared to join in these manifestations of approbation, hesitatingly arose, and, with the marks of doubt, irresolution and perplexity, deeply depicted on his countenance, timidly observed,

"I am very fearful, respected Brothers, that we shall act too precipitately in this painful business. I am aware that most of our obligations conclude with penalties or imprecations of death; but these are ancient forms, and adopted probably in the dark ages, when laws and customs were altogether different from those of the present day. And I am not, I confess, without some misgivings and doubts whether we are authorized, in these times of civilization and wholesome laws, to execute these penalties according to their literal meaning. Indeed I believe that some intelligent masons are of the opinion that an expulsion is all the punishment that we now have any right to inflict for betraying the secrets or"—

Here a general sneer of contempt and indignation interrupted the speaker, and "Who thinks so?"—"who says so?"—"where are the cowardly traitors that dare avow it?" hastily demanded half a dozen members at once, starting on to their feet and bending their angry and almost withering looks full on the abashed and shrinking speaker.

"Order!" exclaimed the Master, giving a loud rap on the table—"Order, Brethren! Our councils vouchsafe a free expression of opinion, and each member has a right to utter his sentiments, however erroneous and unmasonic they may be. And it is the duty of the brethren to curb and circumscribe their passions within due bounds, and endeavor to enlighten the erring by reason rather than with the language of menace."

Thus rebuked by the Master, the brotherhood, restraining their agitated forms and disturbed feelings, again sunk into silence—not however, without throwing many a dark and meaning look, and many a glance of suspicion on the weak and erring brother who now sat mute and trembling and seemingly sinking to the floor under the weight of his own conscious unworthiness.

Order having now been restored in the conclave, the discussion was resumed. Several speeches of a very determined tone, and full of fiery declamation, were now made in opposition to the remarks of the doubting brother. After which, a member of the conclave who had been a cool and dispassionate, and so far a silent observer of the scene, now rose and calmly observed,

That for one he never approved of the use of harsh terms in expressing the performance of those disagreeable duties which justice sometimes required at their hands. They often served to alarm the timid and faint hearted; besides, they were not in accordance with the general policy of the craft. Such things should be expressed, he said, as they should be done, with that caution and prudence which constituted some of the most cardinal virtues of the true mason. But as to the principle laid down by his illustrious and eminently gifted brother Peacock, aside from the terms in which it was expressed, he was surprised that any doubts should be entertained by any intelligent mason on a point which he considered so well settled by the precedents and examples to be found in the history of the institution. So saying he then took up a book, and, turning to a passage at which he had previously turned down a leaf, proceeded to read the history of the degree of Elected Knights of Nine, also of the degree of Elected Grand Master, or Illustrious Elected of Fifteen; the former giving an account of the death of Akirop, who, having been guilty of some crime of an enormous nature, had fled from Jerusalem and concealed himself in a cavern, where he was seized by a band of trusty brethren, allotted to that honorable service by their Grand Master Solomon, and slain by Joabert, who in his impatient zeal thus anticipated that justice on the traitor which of right belonged to the Grand Master to execute. The latter passage described a similar transaction.

"Now, Right Worshipful Brethren," said the speaker, closing the book and looking down upon it with a sort of embarrassing modesty as he stood carelessly balancing it in his hands,—"this work, although perhaps it does not become me to speak of its merits, yet having been diligently compiled from the best historical authorities, and carefully compared with all the traditional accounts on the subject, and moreover having been fully approved and recommended by competent judges, whose names are hereto prefixed, as a true and authentic history—this work, I say, it seems to me, is calculated to throw all the light on the subject now under consideration which can possibly be needed to indicate the course of our operations. We here see that the brethren were so anxious for the honor of bringing the traitor to justice for this crime, which, whatever it might have been, is ranked in the oath of the degree the same as the crime of divulging the secrets, and subject to the same punishment, that Solomon was compelled to restrain their commendable zeal, and decide by lot who should be the favored few to perform this important and glorious service. And we further see that when Joabert, in his just indignation against the traitor, had too impatiently slain him, Solomon was even offended with this zealous brother, not on account of the act, but because he had deprived him of the enviable chance of meting out justice to the villain with his own hands; but by proper intercession, however, he not only became appeased and forgave Joabert, but invested him with the highest honors in reward for this heroic service to the institution! Now will any mason dare attempt to impeach this high example, or question the rectitude of the conduct of that eminent Grand Master of antiquity? And are we, who are but the dust of the balance in the comparison, are we sitting here coldly hesitating, and doubting the right and justice of the act which the illustrious King Solomon, who has so long and so proudly been hailed by our admiring order as the great and shining light of the East to guide their humble footsteps in the paths of masonic wisdom— the right and justice of the act, I say, which the illustrious Solomon thus esteemed and thus rewarded? Is this such a specimen of light and improvement as you should be willing the shade of that mighty man, looking down from his lofty seat in heaven, should behold in his followers? I beg leave to close my remarks with a quotation from the same work:"

"King Solomon, our patron, Transmitted this command— The faithful and praiseworthy True light MUST understand. And my descendants also, Who're seated in the East, Have not fulfilled their duty, Till light has reached the West."

Closing his observations with this beautiful little specimen of the inspiration of the mystic muse, here so appositely introduced, the learned speaker sat down amidst the warm, deep, rapturous, and long-continued applauses of the approving brotherhood, who thus, with almost united acclaim, pronounced the sense of the conclave on the subject matter in debate.

Nothing further being offered in opposition to the affirmative of this important question, and there having been such decided indications that the arguments and cited authorities of the last speaker had, in the minds of the conclave, unanswerably and irrevocably settled the fate of the victim, this part of the discussion was now dropped, and the mode of disposing of the unfortunate man was next brought under consideration. Here there appeared to be some diversity of opinion: Some proposed that lots should be cast, after the example of King Solomon, for designating the performers of this important duty: Some that the villain should be put out of the way by the first of their number who should meet him alone in some by-place to which he might be easily allured: Some thought that he should be dealt with by the full council in the lodge-room where the penalties should be executed in a true and strictly masonic manner, else it would be but little better than actual murder; and others that it should be done by volunteers who should be left to choose their own time, place and manner of performing the meritorious deed. None of these however seemed fully to answer the minds of all present. It was in this emergency that the genius of our hero, which often seemed to be masonically intuitive, shone conspicuous. He proposed that as many balls as there were members present should be put into an urn, three of which should be stained with blood, or some red substance, as indicative of the duty of those who should draw them: and that the urn should then be passed round, when each member should draw out one of these balls, and, without examining it, put it in his pocket till he had left the lodge room, when those who, by inspecting their respective balls when alone, discovered themselves to be the fortunate men, should meet each other at midnight in the most central church-yard, hold a private meeting, and concert measures for the execution of their duty, which was however to be performed according to masonic technics, though in some secret place, and without the knowledge of any other of the members.

This ingenious and truly masonic plan of our hero was received by the conclave generally with the most flattering approbation. Some praised it because it embraced in substance the plan they had suggested: Some because it was better calculated than any other way to prevent giving rise to any of those little jealousies and feelings of envy which might be created towards those who had the superior good fortune to be designated for the honor; and yet others of the prudent and cautious cast approved of the measure on account of the safety it insured to all concerned, in case of discovery and a meddlesome interference of the civil authorities, who would thereby be deprived of witnesses except in the immediate actors, or principals, who could not be compelled to criminate themselves. In short, all saw the advantages of the proposed plan, and it was immediately adopted.

The several members of the conclave now commenced, with great alacrity, making preparations for carrying the plan of operations into instant effect. An urn, containing a number of the marbles used in the common ballotings of the lodge-room, corresponding to the number of members present, was brought forth and set upon the table—when Timothy, heroically pricking a vein in his own wrist, took three of the balls and bathed them all over with the blood thus produced, till they were deeply and indelibly stained with the significant and ominous color. After which they were returned and shaken up with the balls remaining in the urn. The brethren were then formally arranged at equal distances from each other round the long, eliptical table, about which the conclave had been irregularly gathered during their discussion, and the solitary lamp, which had set in the midst, was removed to a distant corner of the room. The fate-holding urn was then taken by a Warden and passed slowly and silently along the gloomy circle, and, while the distant and feeble light dimly threw its sidelong and flickering rays athwart the livid and ghastly-looking visages of the darkly grouped brotherhood, displaying the varying indications of the deep and contrasted emotions with which they were respectively agitated—from the demoniac smile of anticipated vengeance, to the cold and settled gravity of predetermined justice—from the stern and fiery glance of the headlong and danger-daring, to the hesitating start or convulsive shudder of the misgiving and doubtful—all, in turn, were subjected to the test, and successively put forth their tremulous hands and drew out their uncertain allotments.

This fearful ceremony being now concluded, the Master then stated to the conclave that this meeting not having been a regularly opened and conducted lodge, but acting as a select investigating tribunal, and the criminal not having been present, it had been deemed advisable to hold on the following evening a Grand Council of Knights, before which the guilty wretch, (measures having been taken to have him in town,) would be arraigned to answer to the dreadful charge which had been preferred and proved against him,—this mode of procedure being considered most conformable to ancient usages when one of the craft had been found guilty of treasonable or other heinous offences against the institution. And here, if he did not, like some of the ancient traitors, imprecate his own doom, the fearful sentence which had this evening been matured, would be pronounced against the perjured offender, and he would be left to those on whom the high duty might devolve of meting out the measure of justice adequate to the enormity of the crime. The conclave then broke up, and the brethren, after lingering awhile to make arrangements and devise measures for the operations of the next day and evening, stealthily retired to their respective abodes.

No sooner had our hero reached his lodgings and found himself alone, than he eagerly pulled forth the uncertain ball—when, to the unspeakable delight of his aspiring soul, he saw himself one of the honored and fortunate three who were commissioned for the important duty—a duty which the lapse of ages might not again afford the enviable chance of performing.

With such heroic and exalted feeling glowing in his devoted bosom, he sat off at the appointed hour for the designated rendezvous of the chosen trio, the result of whose deliberations will be seen in our following and final chapter.

CHAPTER XIX.

"There is no doubt but Morgan richly deserved his fate."

Massachusetts Newspaper.

Many were the strange faces—strange to the citizens generally, though not to the brotherhood—which were seen in the different parts of the town on the day following the conclave described in the preceding chapter: For many distinguished for the eminence they had attained on the mystic ladder, coming on various pretences from the neighboring towns and cities, had here now assembled to assist their brethren in their deliberations, and in concerting and carrying into effect all those provisional measures for secrecy and safety which might be required for ensuring the present and ultimate success of their fearful undertaking.

It was nearly sunset when Botherworth arrived in the place. After putting up, and taking some refreshment, at a public house, he immediately repaired to the quarters of Rodgers, the commercial correspondent of whom we have already made mention. That gentleman, however, though apprised of Botherworth's arrival within a few moments from the time it happened, as were most of the combination of which the former, as the reader may have already suspected, was an active member, not wishing to meet the latter till about dark, both because it would not comport with that part of the plan of operations which had been assigned to his management, and because he was unwilling to risk his countenance with so much concealed beneath it, in a confronted meeting by full day light, had now just stepped out, having left word that he should return in a short time to attend upon such as might call in his absence, or wait on them at their lodgings. On learning this from the person in attendance, Botherworth slowly sauntered back to his hotel, and amused himself with a newspaper till it became too dark to allow of his reading any longer by day-light. He then arose and left the house with the view of going a second time in search of Rodgers. He had proceeded but a few rods, however, when he was met by the person in question. At the first sight of this man, Botherworth made, he knew not why, an involuntary start, recoiling from his approaching person as from the contact of a viper, and felt for the instant all those dark and fearful sensations of vague apprehension, which the last evening at home he had so unaccountably experienced, again rushing over him; but making a strong effort to repel these unwelcome intruders, he soon succeeded in so far mastering these feelings, as to salute Rodgers with considerable show of cordiality. His greeting was returned by the other with equal attempts at cordiality, but with an air and manner no less embarrassed and hesitating, though arising from causes far different, as the conscience of the latter but too plainly informed him.

The mutual civilities and common-place questions usual on such occasions being over, Rodgers carelessly observed that his partner had just returned, as he had learned a few minutes before, from an excursion to the neighboring port, and had probably brought news with him which would be interesting to them both, and perhaps necessary to know before coming to any determination on the business which had caused their present meeting: he would therefore propose a walk, if agreeable, to his partner's residence, which was situated, he said, in an opposite part of the town. Botherworth, readily assenting to this plausible proposal, and not being acquainted with the situation of the house in question, immediately gave himself up to the guidance of the other, and they proceeded leisurely along, frequently pausing, at the suggestion of Rodgers, to inspect the new buildings which they passed in their route, late improvements in the streets, and such other objects as the latter could find for enlisting the attention of his companion, and consequently for delaying their progress. Upon all these Rodgers now seemed uncommonly communicative, and, as Botherworth thought, strangely disposed to linger. In this dilatory manner they proceeded on, the latter expecting every moment when they should arrive at the place of destination, till they had reached the very outskirts of the town, and it had become quite too dark for further observation on the objects around them. Botherworth mentioning both of these circumstances to his companion, asked him if they had passed the residence of his partner. On which Rodgers replied that the evening was so pleasant that he had gone somewhat out of their direct route for the purpose of observing and pointing out the novelties which were always springing up in a town of that size, and they had now got considerably beyond the place; but they would immediately return by the shortest course. So saying, and taking the arm of his still unsuspecting companion, Rodgers turned about, and, with a quickened pace, struck into another street leading back into the most populous part of the town. In this way they passed rapidly on, frequently making short turns, and crossing into other streets, till Botherworth (it now having become very dark, and he not being familiarly acquainted with this part of the town) became wholly at a loss as to the street they were traversing: when all at once, Rodgers, who had all along been extremely sociable, and was now in the midst of a ludicrous story, suddenly turned into the yard of a tall building, and, with a sort of hurried motion, pulling the other along with him, and interrupting himself only to say, in a quick, parenthelical tone, "Here-here—this is the place," made directly up to the open door, and unceremoniously entered.

Here finding themselves in what appeared to be a broad space-way, or passage leading to other parts of the building, they continued to advance forward, groping their way through the almost utter darkness before them, till they had proceeded some fifteen or twenty feet from the entrance, when Botherworth, wondering that no light was to be seen in any direction, and thinking that things wore a rather strange appearance for a private dwelling, began to pause and hesitate about proceeding any farther. Just at this moment a slight bustle from behind attracted his attention, and partly turning his head he distinctly heard the sound of slowly turning hinges: and whirling suddenly round, he imperfectly distinguished some persons cautiously pushing to, and closing the door, behind which, in a dark corner of the space, they appeared to have been standing in concealment. Scarcely had he time to rally his thoughts, before Rodgers, now relinquishing his arm and stepping out of his reach, gave a sharp rap on the wall with his cane. Botherworth's suspicions being now thoroughly aroused, he sternly demanded of Rodgers what building this was, and what was the meaning of all these singular movements. But before he received any reply, and while repeating the question in a louder and more startled tone of voice, a man suddenly appeared with a light at the head of a broad flight of stairs leading up from the space-way to a large hall on the second floor, and began to descend, holding the lamp in one hand and a glittering poniard in the other, while his person was invested with all the showy insignia of one of the higher orders of masonry. Botherworth gazed on the scene now unfolded to his eyes, in mute amazement. At the entrance through which he had passed into the building, stood two men, one just in the act of withdrawing the key from the door which he had locked on the inside, and both armed with the same weapons and clothed with the same badges as worn by the brother who appeared in the opposite direction. Rodgers was standing at the further end of the space-way, pretending to be looking for some door or place for escape, and affecting great flurry and surprise, as if they had got into a wrong building by mistake: while the man coming down stairs, having paused about midway, now stood fumbling and trying to unfold a paper which he held in his hands. A moment of profound silence ensued, in which all parties stood gazing at each other in deep surprise or awkward embarrassment. Botherworth, however, who now saw the whole truth at a glance, was not long in giving utterance to the rising tempest of his emotions. "Treacherous wretch!" he exclaimed, with bitter energy, turning his eyes, fiercely sparkling with indignation, and throwing out his clenched fist towards the mute and shrinking form of Rodgers, "treacherous wretch! is this the game you have been playing all the while to decoy me into this pit-fall! Speak, villain!" he continued, uplifting his arm and advancing toward the dumb-founded and trembling betrayer, "speak, perfidious, doubly damned villian, or I will"—

`Stop, stop, sir,' cried one of the men at the door, rushing quickly between them, `this course will not avail you here.'

"Here!—where?" exclaimed Botherworth, turning roughly on the intruder, "and who are you, to assume the right of interfering in our private quarrels?"

`Where you are, and who we are, these badges will well inform you,' retorted the other, pointing to their aprons, `and as for this man, whom you are so harshly assailing, he has done but his duty, as the business we have with you, sir, will shortly show you. Brother,' he continued, motioning to the man on the stairs, `why delay to execute your mission?'

"Is your name William Botherworth?" now asked the latter, in some trepidation, descending the remaining steps, yet keeping at a respectful distance from the person addressed.

`And supposing it is, what then, sir?' said Botherworth scornfully, in reply.

"Then, in that case, and you seem to admit the fact," replied this doughty minister of the mystic mission, holding out the paper which quivered in his hand like the leaf of an aspen, "then, sir, I have here a summons for you, in behalf of our Venerable Council, above assembled, and by order of our Most Potent Grand Master, to appear before them, and answer unto certain matters and charges then and there to be preferred against you, of which you may not fail to comply."

Botherworth, after sending an anxious glance round the apartment and scrutinizing anew the looks and persons of those around him, as if searching for some avenue of escape, or weighing the chances of overpowering his captors in a sudden onset, and seemingly rejecting such expedients as hopeless, at length, in a tone of mingled submission and defiance, observed, `Well, be it so—I see I am ensnared, and in your power, and what I am compelled to do, I may as well do unconstrained—I will go in, but if the liberty of speech is not also denied me, they shall hear some truths, though all the mock King Solomons in the country should be present.'

So saying, he motioned to his keepers his readiness to attend them to the hall; when two of them immediately closed in on each side of him, after the manner of the guards of a prisoner, and, while the less stout-hearted brother, who had acted as grand summonser on the occasion, nimbly mounted before them to herald their coming to the council, they all ascended the stairs, leaving Rodgers (who was, it seemed to be understood, having now fulfilled his part in the drama, to be excused from any farther attendance) alone to his own enviable reflections on the noble and generous part he had acted towards his confiding acquaintance. On reaching the hall door, one of the brothers gave the appropriate rap, which was immediately answered by another within, when, after waiting a few moments, the door opened, and they were ushered into the same spacious lodge-room mentioned in the foregoing chapter.

Here a scene, in which the splendid, the grotesque and the terrible, were strangely blended, now burst with over-powering brightness on the dazzled and unexpecting senses of Botherworth. The lodge had been opened with the imposing and fearful degree of Elected Knights of Nine, as being, in the opinion of the brotherhood, more appropriate than any other to the important occasion which had called them together. The hall, intended to represent the audience chamber of King Solomon, who is said, by the standard historians of the craft, to have instituted, in his wisdom and mercy, this tragical order of knighthood, was decorated with hangings of white and scarlet, pictured in flames, as typical, probably, of the leading characteristics of the degree, like the fiery and torture-painted robes worn by the victims of the Inquisition on their way to the stake. Nine bright lights in the east and eight in the west sent forth their steady streams of reflecting light, and filled the room with the most dazzling effulgence. The Most Potent Grand Master, personating Solomon, was seated in the east under a purple canopy, embroidered with skeletons, death's heads and cross-bones, with a table before him covered with black, dressed out in all his royal robes, with a crown on his head and a glittering sceptre in his hand. While the brethren, arranged in formidable array on either side of the throne, and clad in the deepest black with broad ribbons of the same color pending from their shoulders, and terminating in tasselled dagger sheaths, with aprons of white, but sprinkled with blood and painted with the figures of bloody heads and arms, holding bloody daggers, and with broad brimmed hats on their heads, slouched over their eyes, now stood with drawn poniards in their uplifted hands, fiercely scowling at the new comer at the door, and looking like a gang of bandits just interrupted in some bloody achievement with the gory evidences of their unholy deeds freshly reeking upon them. The whole presenting a scene to the unapprised spectator, as wild and incongruous, as it was terrific and revolting. A spectacle more calculated perhaps to inspire awe, to dazzle and appal, than any one to be met with, in the whole round of masonic machinery, and a spectacle indeed, before which even the naturally fearless Botherworth could not keep his stout heart from quailing.

After a few moments of profound silence, maintained apparently in order that the imposing scene before him might have its full effect on the mind of the prisoner, the brethren, at some slight signal from the throne, all sunk back into their seats, crossing their legs at the knee and resting their heads on their right hands;—when the Master knocked eight and one with the handle of his poniard which was instantly repeated by the Grand Warden in the west, and then by all the brethren together. The noise of this instructive ceremony having died away, and all again become hushed in silence, the Grand Master, laying aside the poniard and elevating his sceptre, looked round the Council and said: "Elected Knights and Princes of Jerusalem present, let the accused now be presented before our tribunal of justice and mercy." The two brother Knights, who conducted Botherworth into the room, and who still retained their places at his side, now led the latter forward near the middle of the floor and directly in front of the throne; when the Most Potent, in the deep and passionless tones of a judge, addressed him as follows:

"William Botherworth—you stand charged of wantonly and wickedly violating the sacred obligations which you have voluntarily taken never to reveal, except to a brother, the secrets and mysteries of our divine institution, by communicating the same to one of the profane and uninitiated. You are also accused of having, in an early period in your life, set at nought the sacred injunctions of our institution by a pretended initiation of one seeking the true light, wherein our awful solemnities were impiously turned into ridicule and mockery, and our order greatly scandalized. To these dreadful allegations which have been fully substantiated to us and of which we have proofs at hand, what do you plead in defence, and what reasons offer, why the ancient usages of our honorable fraternity should not be conformed to, touching the punishment of so heinous and high-handed offences?"

With a slight quivering of the lip and tremulousness of the voice, but with a firm and undaunted countenance, Botherworth, looking slowly round on the portentous faces of the brotherhood, and settling his keen and indignant eye on the Master, replied:

`Most Worshipful Master, and you gentlemen, abettors, or Knights, or whatever title you, or either of you may please to assume, to sit in judgement upon me, addmitting all the facts set forth in your charges, the truth of which you assume to have been already established against me, though I have never been confronted with my accusers, or allowed even the shadow of hearing or trial—admitting I have confidentially communicated to an individual the secrets or ceremonies of an institution from which I have been long ago expelled—admitting all this, I hold myself justified and blameless in the act. I account myself absolved from the obligations which you say I have violated—obligations which I never voluntarily or understandingly took, but which were forced upon me, trembling under the often applied torture of sharp pointed instruments, and confused and bewildered by the new and startling objects around me—obligations which, even in any circumstances, those imposing them had no just right or authority to administer,— which in themselves, are immoral and illegal, enjoining as they do, in many parts of them, acts contrary to the laws of the land and prohibited by the precepts of revelation, and which, therefore ought not, and cannot be binding on the conscience or conduct of those who unfortunately become subjected to their unjust and soul-damning enthralment. And having violated no law of my country— contravened no rule of morality or any way infringed upon the rights of individuals, I deny, fearlessly deny, the right of your institution, to which I owe no allegiance, to arraign, and bring me to judgement, and I will hold myself amenable to none of your tribunals.'

"Perjured wretch!" exclaimed the Master, kindling in resentment for the insulted dignity of his sacred office, and shocked at the audacious heresies of the accused,— "perjured wretch! dare you in the same breath confess your sacred oaths violated, and exult in your unatoned guilt? We are not wanting in authority to judge, or power to execute. Tamper not with the sword of justice, for it is not slow in vengeance. Villain! fear and tremble!"

`I fear you not,' resumed Botherworth, in the same undismayed and reckless tone, `I neither fear your authority, or tremble at your threatenings. I will say nothing of the singular and volume-speaking fact that I now stand a guarded prisoner before you, in a free country, and in the heart of a christianized and intelligent community, arrested by no legal authority, and retained in duress by those who have no right to control my actions. I will say nothing of the base and detestable plan of deceit and treachery, by which I was entrapped and brought into this place by one of your number, acting doubtless under commission from this illustrious Council. I will say nothing of these, for they flow directly from that system of darkness and iniquity which are the Jachin and Boaz, the very pillars and keystone of your boasted institution—they are but the legitimate fruits of those fearful oaths which require of the poor blinded and haltered candidate, at the very threshold of your pagan temple, to give his sanction to murder and suicide; and which go on enjoining, as he advances step by step along its bewildering labyrinths of moral pollution, the same connivance or commission of acts of a deeper and deeper turpitude, till at length he finds himself, as the occasions arise, doubly, trebly, and irretrievably sworn to the participation or execution of half the foul deeds to be found in the whole dark catalogue of crime! I will not trouble you with a further recital of my private opinions of the character of your institution, nor of those settled and honest convictions which long ago forced me to the choice of burning my Bible and rejecting its law of universal love, charity and forgiveness, or of discarding forever my masonry with its whole system of selfish favoritism, iniquity and vengeance,—and which, I need not tell you, resulted in the determination to retain the former and renounce the latter. I will not detain you, as well I might, with arguments and allegations like these. But, in answer to your question when you ask what reasons I have to offer why the ancient usages of your order should not be conformed to respecting my punishment, I again repeat, that no law either human or divine has given you jurisdiction over me. I again boldly deny your right to judge or control me. I fearlessly impeach your pretended authority, and, aware as I am of the fearful doom which a conformity to those usages would involve—of the dark and murderous designs which your menaces imply, I bid you beware how you attempt to execute your hellish purposes. I bid you beware how you lay a finger upon me for evil. The loud cry of murder will reach beyond the walls of your infernal conclave, and summon up a host to my aid. But should you succeed in the foul designs which you are plotting against me, I bid you remember the prophetic warning which I now give you—my blood will not long be unavenged; but crying up from the ground, will be answered in the judgement of heaven, which will soon smite your proud fabric to the dust, and lay open to a hooting and exasperated world your ridiculous mummeries, your unhallowed and impious mysteries, and your bloody register of crimes!'

As Botherworth closed this audacious speech, arraigning with such daring mockery the exalted purity and justice of the divine institution of masonry, and bidding defiance to its heaven-delegated authority with such high-handed insults, there was a deep and general commotion in the Council. Dark and sullen looks of hatred and detestation, and quick and fiery glances of indignation were every where bent on the blaspheming speaker, and, accompanied by the heaving breast, the short, suppressed breathings, and the low, broken mutterings of out-breaking wrath, now but too plainly indicated the determined and unanimous purposes of the outraged and agitated brotherhood.

The Most Potent now hastily rising from his seat, with every muscle quivering with rage, and with a voice half choked with emotion, rapped furiously on the table, exclaiming, "Anathema maranatha! Anathema maranatha!"

Swift as echo came the startling raps of the brotherhood in response.

"Nekum!" cried the Master.

"Vengeance!" responded the Council.

"So mote it be!" said the Master.

"Amen, amen, amen, amen!" exclaimed the brotherhood in eager reply.

The formalities of order were now no longer attempted to be maintained in the Council; and the members, hastily leaving their places, began to scatter promiscuously over the floor of the lodge-room—some gliding stealthily out of the door, some gathering into small groups about the room and whispering together with quick and earnest, but restrained gestures—some passing in and out the preparation-room and disrobing themselves of their masonic habiliments or badges, and others with hurried, nervous steps, and excited countenances, moving to and fro in seeming preparation for some approaching event; while the low, half suppressed murmur of eager voices which ran through the hall, and the expectant looks and attitudes every where visible, seemed to indicate that the crisis was now at hand.

Botherworth was by no means unmindful of these ominous appearances; and, not being very strictly guarded at this moment, he began to edge along by degrees towards the door, which, though still effectually tyled, afforded nevertheless the only avenue for his escape from the hall. His progress, however, was quickly arrested by the watchful brotherhood, who no sooner observed the movement than they immediately gathered round the spot where he stood, some falling in between him and the door to obstruct his way, and others, with affected indifference and carelessness, jostling about his person. But Botherworth, not relishing such familiar proximity just at this time, sternly bade them stand off at their peril. This repulse had a momentary effect in making them give way; yet they soon again closed up around him, and, though awkwardly mute, still continued the same manoeuvres of frequently changing places, turning round and rubbing against his body. Becoming more and more suspicious of this singular conduct, he again attempted to disengage himself and make his way out of the crowd, when all at once one of the brethren, who, like the tiger, had been watching for a favorable opportunity to seize his prey, suddenly sprang upon him from behind, and grasped him with both arms fast round the middle. A brief but desperate struggle now ensued. With a prodigious effort, Botherworth wrenched himself from the grasp of his antagonist, and hurled him headlong to the floor: But before he could avail himself of his advantage, both of his own legs were grappled by another of his foes, and he himself was prostrated in turn. A dozen now sprang upon his body at once, and with maniac grasp confined him to the floor, while one darting to his head, passed a large pocket-handkerchief over his face, and, holding both ends, drew it forcibly through his mouth just as the stifled cry of murder was escaping his lips. Holding him in this situation till he had nearly exhausted his strength in his ineffectual struggles to get free, his victors then proceeded to disable him from making uny farther resistance. They first firmly tied his wrists together behind him—next closely pinioned his arms with a rope, one end of which was left dangling in his rear for future purposes; and lastly, so effectually gagged him as to prevent the possibility of his raising an alarm by any articulate cries for assistance. He was now helped on to his feet, and, after being threatened with instant death if he attempted to groan or make any noise, led down stairs by two of the brethren walking each side and holding their poniards to his breast, while a third holding on to the end of the rope, and armed with the same weapon to prick him if he faultered, followed behind. At the door stood a close carriage drawn up in readiness to receive the prisoner, and two of the three brothers who had been allotted the preceding evening to the last important duty, and who had now left the lodge-room for the purpose on the breaking up of the Council, were in attendance, anxiously awaiting his appearance from the hall—one of whom, having mounted the driver's seat, was now holding the reins, while the other, who was no other than our hero, was seated within to take charge of the unfortunate man on the way to the place which had been appointed by the three for the final catastrophe, and whither the third one of their number had already proceeded alone to see that all things were duly prepared, and to await the arrival of his companions.

When the keepers of Botherworth had got him to the door, they made a brief pause, and, in a quick, under-tone of voice, exchanged the pass-word with their companions in waiting. They then, after peering about a moment in the darkness to discover if any one was approaching, hastily urged him forward, forced him into the carriage, and, in willing ignorance of the identity of the brothers to whom they had delivered their charge, instantly retreated back to the recesses of their sanctum sanctorum to join their brethren in resuming the deliberations of the conclave. But having no occasion to witness the further proceedings of the rest of this illustrious assemblage, let us bid them a final adieu, and follow the fortunes of our hero, who was now about to fill the measure of his masonic glory in the closing scene of our changeful and sad-ending story.

As soon as Timothy had seated the prisoner by his side in the carriage, securely possessed himself of the end of the rope by which he was pinioned, and sternly enjoined the strictest silence at the point of his poniard, he made a signal to his companion, and immediately they were in motion on their way out of town.

Trembling with the most painful solicitude and fearful apprehension lest something should occur to excite suspicion, or frustrate their purposes, did our hero and his trusty companion pass slowly and cautiously along the different parts of the town, and though the streets were now dark and deserted, or illumined only by here and there a light dimly twinkling through the gloom, and silent as the city of the dead except occasionally perhaps the distant and dying sounds of the receding steps of some benighted debauchee stealthily pursuing his way homeward, yet they suffered not their vigilance to abate, nor would their feelings allow them to breathe freely, till they had passed the last straggling tenement of the suburbs,—when feeling comparatively relieved from this agitating sense of insecurity and fear, they struck off into an uninhabited road, and proceeded rapidly onward to the place of destination. After a drive of about half an hour, during which the gloomy silence of the way was only broken by the deep sighs and stifled groans that sometimes involuntarily burst from the bosom of the agonized and wretched prisoner, or the rumbling of distant thunder now occasionally heard in the south, which seemed to send forth its low, deep utterance in mournful response to his sufferings, the carriage halted near an extensive sheet of water.

The brother who had acted as driver, having dismounted from his seat, and fastened his horses, now repaired to the carriage door and threw it open;—when he and our hero helped Botherworth out upon the ground, and after placing him between them, and cautiously securing their holds on his person, they turned into a narrow lane, and forced him along till they arrived at the water's edge.

Here lay a boat in which their pioneer brother was now standing, just handling the oars, and making ready to push off from the shore. The boat was a large skiff with three boards thrown across for seats, besides the low one near the stern for the oarsman, but with nothing else about it uncommon or suspicious except a fifty-six pound iron weight which lay in the bottom in the rear of the middle seat.

As soon as the brother in charge of the boat was recognized as such by his companions on shore through the official medium of the pass-word, the prisoner, after some ineffectual attempts at resistance, was dragged on board and placed on the centre cross board or high seat. Our hero took the seat in front, and his compani on the driver the one next behind the prisoner, while in rear of all, the third of the consecrated band, betook himself to the seat and office of oarsman. Thus arranged, they headed round, and immediately pushed out towards the middle of the wide expanse of sleeping waters that lay shrouded in darkness before them.

For some time they rowed on in silence, while the gloom seemed every moment growing more and more deep and impenetrable around them. When all at once a broad and lingering flash of lightning burst upon the waters in the brightness of noon-day, displaying a scene in the boat at which the brotherhood themselves startled. The oarsman with his lips in motion counting the stroaks of his oars, a calculation having been made of the number required to carry them far enough from the shore for their purpose, was now bending lustily to his work, while the large drops of persperation were falling fast from his anxious and troubled brow. The brother sitting immediately behind the prisoner, was egerly engaged in tying the end of the rope, by which the arms of the latter were confined, to the iron weight that lay between them in the bottom of the boat. While the victim himself, still unconcious of the fatal machinery preparing at his back, was glaring, with the attitudes of surprise and horror, upon the face of Timothy, whom he seemed now for the first time to have recognized as his old acquaintance; for the latter had not only kept his return a secret from all but the brotherhood, but, for reasons best known to himself, had carefully avoided confronting Botherworth in the late lodge meeting. And on thus unexpectedly discovering among his foes the person whom he had supposed some hundred miles distant—whom he had often obliged as a friend and neighbor, and to whom now, but for the connection in which he found him, he would have confidently appealed for aid in this emergency, the astonished and heart-struck man started from his seat, and gazing an instant on the rapt and lofty mien before him with a look which spake that to which the Ettu Brute of Caesar were meaningless, sunk dispairingly down with a groan of unutterable anguish as the last glimmerings of the wasting flash played faintly over the deeply depicted wo of his distorted features. A loud peal from the approaching thunder-cloud came booming over the broad face of the bay, and all again was hushed in silence and darkness.

Our hero's philosophy and sense of masonic justice as stern as was the one, and as exalted and deep-rooted as was the other, were, it must be confessed, a little shaken by this unexpected incident. The thought that he was about to lift his hand against one whom he had long familiarly known as a kind and agreeable neighbor produced indeed some unpleasant sensations, and made kim for the moment almost relent of his noble purposes. But other thoughts soon came and brought with them an antidote for this excusable frailty of feeling. He thought of his insulted father whose injuries had never been avenged. He thought of the just behests of that institution to which his heart was wedded—whose sacred principles he had irrevocably adopted as his only guide of action in life, and his pass-port to heaven in the hour of death, and whose violated laws now seemed to cry aloud for vengeance on the audacious wretch who had spurned and trampled them under foot with such impious defiance. And above all, he thought of his own solemn oaths in which he had unreservedly sworn on the holy bible, invoking the everlasting God to keep him steadfast. "To sacrifice the traitors of masonry." "To be ready to inflict the same penalty (that suffered by Akirop) on all those who disclose the secrets of their degrees," and "to take vengeance on the treason by the destruction of the traitor"—and were not these sacred obligations to be regarded? What were the ordinary injunctions of the civil laws of the country to these? What indeed had they to do with him in such a case? He was entirely aloof from their prohibitions, and above their control. He was the honored subject of another, and paramount government, and under its high sanction he was now acting. And as for incurring any moral guilt by the deed he was about to commit, that was inconsistent and impossible; for in one of those sublime and exalted degrees he had taken he had been "made holy," and consequently was now placed beyond the liability of sinning. He thought of all these, and as they passed through his mind, he wondered at his momentary weakness. His bosom again became steeled, and his arm nerved for the high and enviable duty before him, and he grew impatient for the moment of its execution to arrive.

Meanwhile the thick and blackening mass of cloud in the south was rapidly approaching. Nearer and nearer fell the thunder-claps, and more and more vividly played the lightnings around the wide-stretched and lofty van of the dark, moving column—now shooting fiercely and perpendicularly down from their vapory battlements above to the face of the startled deep beneath—and now, like the fiery serpents of the fabled Tartarus, crinkling and leaping from wave to wave along the wide arena of their terriffic gambols till the whole bay was kindled into light and seemingly converted into one vast Phlegethon of flames.

The prisoner at each returning flash, during the first part of this grand and fearful scene, was observed to send many a searching and wistful look around over the face of the vacant waters. And now, finding there was no foreign vessel in sight, or any other craft indeed, to which his keepers could be taking him, as he seemed to have imagined was, at the worst, their purpose, he began to grow every moment more alarmed and restive. A cold sweat stood on his face, and his features became more and more troubled, and his eyes more wildly despairing, till his whole frame seemed to writhe in agony under the workings of his dreadful apprehensions. And, though still painfully gagged, deep and heart-rending groans, now in the accents of wo and distress, and now in the tones of supplication to his keepers, or to heaven for mercy, were continually bursting in convulsive sobs from his anguished bosom.

For many minutes the boat still shot swiftly onward in its course, with no other indication that the fast nearing storm or the increasing restlessness of the prisoner were heeded by the brethren, except in the augmented velocity with which they forced their skiff through the surging waters. But soon, however, the strokes of the oarsman began visibly to relax, while the cautious changing of postures, the fixing of feet, and the long-drawn and tremulous respirations of the band, plainly told that the awful moment was approaching. At length, in a chosen interval of darkness, the now almost motionless oars were suddenly thrown aback, and the boat brought to a stand. For one moment there was a dead and fearful pause. Our hero and his companion by the prisoner awaited with trembling nerves and suspended breaths the fatal signal from the oarsman. At last it came—the same significant word of the lodge-room—"Nekum!" In an instant our hero was upon his feet—in another his poniard was buried to the hilt in the bosom of the prisoner;—while the other, fiercely grappling at the same time one end of the seat on which the unfortunate man was writhing, and the ponderous weight to which he was fastened, hurled both together into the water. With the splashing sound descended the lightning stream in quivering flames to the spot, revealing here the hero exultingly brandishing his reeking blade aloft, and exclaiming, " Vengeance is taken!"—and there the sinking man, with the crimson current spouting up through the discoloured wave that was flowing over his convulsed and death-set features. Darkness again succeeded. Once more rose a faint bubbling groan, and all was still. The boat wheeled swiftly round for the shore, and the loud crash of thunder that followed told the requium of the hapless Botherworth, the victim of masonic vengeance!

 
 
 

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