Secret Societies of All Ages - Charles Heckethorn

BOOK VI CHIVALRY " Chivalry was more a spirit than an institution . . . the ceremonial was merely the public declaration that he on whom the order was conferred was worthy to exercise the powers with which it invested him; but still, iJie spirit was the chivalry."—James's History of Chivalry CHIVALRY 1 86. Original Aim.—An idea of conservation and propagandism prodaced the association of the San Greal, whose members professed to be in search of the vase of truth, which once contained the blood of the Redeemer; or, to leave metaphorical language, to bring back the Christian Church to apostolic times, to the true observance of the precepts of the gospel. At the Round Table, a perfect figure, which admitted neither of first nor of last, sat the Knights, who did not attain to that rank and distinction but after many severe trials. Their degrees at first were three, which were afterwards raised to seven, and finally, at the epoch of their presumed fusion with the Albigenses, Templars, and Ghibellines, to thirty-three. The chief grades, however, may be said to have been—i. Page; 2. Squire; 3. Knight, and the three chief military orders of those days were the Templars, the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, who afterwards were called the Knights of Rhodes, and lastly the Knights of Malta; and thirdly, the order of Teutonic Knights. 1 87. Knights the Military Apostles of the Religion of Love, — This association was above all a proud family of apostles and missionaries of the Religion of Love, military troubadours, who, under the standards of justice and right, fought against the monstrous abuses of the Theocratic regime, consoled the " widow "—perhaps the Gnostic Church—protected the "sons of the widow"—the followers of Manes—and overthrew giants and dragons, inquisitors and churchmen. The powerful voice of the furious Roland, which made breaches in the granite rocks of the mountains, is the voice of that so-called heresy which found its way into Spain, thus anticipating the saying of Louis XIV., "There are no longer any Pyrenees." This may seem a startling assertion, but it is nevertheless true. Of course I do not now speak of the chivalry of feudal times, but of that which existed even 149 ISO SECEET SOCIETIES before the eleventh century, that issued from the womb of Manichseism and Catharism, and was altogether hostile to Rome. But even at that period the Papal Church acted on the principle afterwards so fully carried out by the Jesuits of directing what they could not suppress; and having nothing more to fear than spiritualism, whether mystical, Platonic, or chivalric, Rome, instead of opposing its current cunningly turned it into channels where, instead of being destructive to the Papacy, it became of infinite advantage to it. 1 88. Te7iets and Doctrines.—Those who composed the romances of the Round Table and the San Greal were well acquainted with the Gallic triads, the mysteries of the theological doctrines of the Bards and Celtic myths. These romances have their origin in the phenomena of the natural world, and the San Greal is only a diminutive Noah's Ark. Prom Chaucer's " Testament of Love," which seems founded on the " Consolation of Philosophy " by Boethius, it has been supposed that the love of chivalry was the love of woman, in its highest, noblest, and most spiritualised aspect. But the lady-love of the knight in the early period of chivalry was the Virgin Sophia, or philosophy personified. The phraseology employed in the rites of initiation, the religious VQws taken on that occasion, the tonsure to which the knights submitted, with many other circumstances, sufficiently indicate that the love so constantly spoken of has no reference to earthly love. This applies especially to the knights who may be called Voluntary Knights, and whose charter is the curious book called "Las Siete Partidas," by Alfonso XI., king of Castile and Leon. Their statutes greatly resembled those of the Templars and Hospitallers; they were more than any other a religious order; bound to very strict lives; their clothes were of three colours, and— strange coincidence—analogous with those with which Dante beheld Beatrice clothed, and the three circles he describes towards the end of " Paradise." They had two meals a day, and drank only water, a regimen scarcely fit for a militia whose duties were not always spiritual; for, besides their special duties, they were also subject to all the rules of chivalry, and bound to protect the weak against the strong, to restore peace where it had been disturbed, to serve their body (the Lodge), and protect the (evangelical) religion. They are said to have branded their right arms in sign of their fraternity; but this is perhaps only a figure of the baptism of fire and the Spirit, one of the most essential CHIVALRY 151 rites of the Religion of Love. A green glass vase, said to be the original San Greal, is preserved in the cathedral of Genoa, and considered so valuable that it requires a special permission from the municipality to see it. It was "by authority " said to be cut out of a gigantic emerald; but the ungodly French, who during the rule of the first Napoleon had carried it to Paris, chemically tested, and proved it, asstated above, to be only green glass. II THE TEMPLAES 189. Foundation of the Order.—It was founded in 11 18, partly on a more ancient order, as would appear from a MS. in the library of the Louvre, entitled Hostes sur les Frdres Mages ecristes par un Contemporain des Chevaliers Templiers qui en estes. In the above year nine valiant and pious knights formed themselves into an association which united the characters of the monk and the knight. They selected for their patroness " La douce Mire de Dieu,' and bound themselves to live according to the rules of St. Augustine, swearing to consecrate their swords, arms, strength, and lives to the defence of the mysteries of the Christian faith; to pay absolute obedience to the Grand Master; to encounter the dangers of the seas and of war, whenever commanded, and for the love of Christ; and even when opposed singly to three infidel foes not to retreat, They also took upon themselves the vows of chastity and poverty, promised not to go over to any other Order, nor to surrender any wall or foot of land. King Baldwin II. assigned them a portion of his palace, and, as it stood near the Church of the Temple, the abbot gave them a street leading from it to the palace, and hence they styled themselves " Soldiery of the Temple " (militia templi). 190. Progress of the Order.—The first nine years which elapsed after the institution of the Order, the Templars lived in great poverty; Hugh des Payens and Godfrey of St. Omer, the founders, had but one war-horse between them, a fact commemorated on the seal of the Order, which represents two knights seated on one charger. Soon after. Pope Honorius confirmed the Order, and appointed a white mantle—to which Eugenius III. affixed a red cross on the breast—to be the distinguishing dress of the Templars. The Order also assumed a banner formed of cloth, striped white and black, called Beaus4ant (in old French a piebald * Preserved in the Scotch dialect, with its original meaning, in the form Jawzevd or hawson, 15a THE TEMPLARS 153 horse), which word became the battle-cry of the knights. The banner bore a cross and the inscription, ' Non noUsy Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam" Thenceforth many knights joined the Order, and nnmerous powerful princes bestowed considerable possessions upon it. Alfonso, king of Arragon and Navarre, even appointed the Templars his heirs, though the country refused to ratify the bequest. Thus they became the richest proprietors in Europe, until they possessed about nine thousand commanderies, situated in various countries of Europe and in Palestine, with an annual rental of one hundred and twelve million francs. 191. Account of Commanderies.—Their commanderies were situate in their eastern and western provinces, the former embracing Jerusalem, Tripoli, Antioch, Cyprus; the latter, Portugal, Castile and Leon, Arragon, Prance, including Flanders and the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Italy, and Sicily. Whilst Jerusalem was in the hands of the Christians, the chief seat of the Templars was in that city; afterwards it was transferred to Paris, where they erected the large building until lately known as the Temple. It was in this building that Philip the Fair took refuge on the occasion of a riot which took place in 1306, where the Templars protected him until the fury of the people had calmed down. The Knights, it is said, incautiously displayed to the royal cupidity their immense treasures. On a subsequent, but far more momentous rising, the pile which served an ungrateful king for an asylum became the prison of an unfortunate successor. Recently this memento of royal perfidy, and of an avenging fate that struck the innocent, has been levelled to the ground. 192. Imputations against the Order.—Towards the end of the twelfth century the Order counted about thirty thousand members, mostly French, and the Grand Master was generally ohosen from among the French. Through the great number of their affiliated members they could raise a large army in any part of the Eastern world, and their fleet monopolised the commerce of the Levant. Hence they departed from their original humility and piety. Palestine was lost, and they made no effort to recover it, but frequently drew the sword—which was only to be used in the service of God, as they understood the phrase—in the feuds and warfares of the countries they inhabited. They became proud and arrogant. When dying, Richard Cceur de lion said, " I leave avarice to the Cistercian monks, luxuriousness to the begging friars, pride to the Templars; " and yet perhaps they only 154 SECEET SOCIETIES felt their own power. The English Templars had dared tosay to Henry III., " You shall be king as long as you arejust; " portentous words, which supplied matter for meditation to that Philip of France who, like many other princes wished to be unjust with impunity. In Castile, the Templars, Hospitallers, and Knights of St. John combined against the king himself. Perhaps they aimed at universal dominion, or at the establishment of a Western sovereignty, like the Teutonic Knights of Prussia, the Hospitallers in Malta, or the Jesuits in Paraguay? But there is scarcely any ground for these imputations, especially the first, considering that the members of the Order were scattered all over the earth, and might at the utmost have attempted to seize the govern* ment of some individual State, as that of Arragon, for instance, but not to carry out a scheme for which even the forces of Charlemagne had been inadequate. Accusations better founded were, that they had disturbed the kingdom of Palestine by their rivalry with the Hospitallers; had concluded leagues with the infidels; had made war upon Cyprusand Antiochia; had dethroned the king of Jerusalem, Henry II.; had devastated Greece and Thrace; had refused to contribute to the ransom of St. Louis; had declared for Arragon against Anjou—an unpardonable crime in the eyes of Prance — with many other accusations. But their greatest crime was that of being exceedingly wealthy; their downfall wastherefore determined upon. 193. Plots against the Order.—Philip the Fair had spent his last sou. The victory of Mons, worse than a defeat, had ruined him. He was bound to restore Guyenne, and was on the point of losing Flanders. Normandy had risen against a tax which he had been obliged to withdraw. The people of the capital were so opposed to the government, that it had been found necessary to prohibit meetings of more than five persons. How was money to be obtained under these circumstances? the Jews could give no more, because all they had had been extorted from them by fines, imprisonment, and torture. It was necessary to have recourse to some grand confiscation, without disgusting the classes on whom the royal power relied, and leading them to believe, not that booty was aimed at, but the punishment of evil-doers, to the greater glory of religion and the triumph of the law. At the instigation of Philip the Fair, libels were published against the Order of the Knights Templars, in which the most absurd charges were made against the. members, accusing them of heresy, impiety, and worse crimes. Great weight was attached THE TEMPLAKS 155 to the statements made against the Templars by two renegades of the Order, the Florentine Eoffi Dei, and the Prior of Montfaucon, which latter, having been condemned by the Grand Master to imprisonment for life for his many crimes, made his escape and became the accuser of his former brethren. 194. Attentions paid to Grand Master.—Bertrand de Got who, by the influence of the French king, had become Pope under the title of Clement V., was now urged by the former to fulfil the last of the five conditions on which the king had enabled him to ascend the chair of St. Peter. The first four conditions had been named, but Philip had reserved the naming of the fifth till the fit moment should arrive; and from his subsequent conduct there can be no doubt that the destruction of the Order of the Temple was the condition that was in the king's mind when he thus alluded to it. The first step was to get the Grand Master, James de Molay, into his power. At the request of the Pope that he would come to France to concert measures for the recovery of the Holy Land, he left Cyprus and came to Paris in 1 307, accompanied by sixty knights, and bringing with him 1 50,000 florins of gold, and so much silver that it formed the lading of twelve horses, which he deposited in the Temple in that city. To lull him into false security, the king, whose plan was not yet quite ripe for execution, treated the Grand Master with the greatest consideration, made him the godfather of one of his sons, and chose him with some of the most distinguished persons to carry the pall at the funeral of his sister-in-law. The following day he was arrested with all his suite, and letters having in the meantime been sent to the king's ofiicers in the provinces on the 13th October 1307 to seize upon all the Templars, their houses and property, throughout the kingdom, many thousand members of the Order, knights and serving brothers, were thus made prisoners. 195. Charges against the Templars.—The Templars were accused of denying Christ, the Virgin, and the Saints, and of spitting and trampling on the cross; of worshipping in a dark cave an idol in the figure of a man covered with an old human skin, and having two bright and lustrous carbuncles for eyes; of anointing it with the fat of young children roasted; of looking upon it as their sovereign God; of worshipping the devil in the form of a cat; of burning the bodies of dead Templars and giving the ashes to the younger brethren to eat and drink mingled with their food. They were charged with various unnatural crimes, frightful IS6 debaucheries, and superstitious abominations, such as only madmen could have been guilty of, and as could only be thought of in an age of frightful ignorance, stupidity, and superstition. To make them confess these crimes they were put to the torture, not only in France, but also in England, for Edward II. leagued with Philip to destroy the Order. Many knights in the agonies of the torture confessed to the crimes they were charged with, hundreds expired under it without making any confession, many starved or killed themselves in other ways in prison. The trial was protracted for years; the persecution extended to other countries; in Germany and Spain and Cyprus the Order was acquitted of all guilt; in Italy, England, and France, however, their doom was sealed, though for a moment there seemed a chance of their escaping, for the Pope, seeing that Philip and Edward had seized all the money aod estates of the Templars, and seemed inclined to deprive him of his share of the spoil, began to side with the Order. But on some concessions being made to him by the two kings, he again supported them, though in the end we find him complaining of the small share of the booty that came into his hands. 196. Burning of Knights.—The tedious progress of the sham trial was occasionally enlivened by the public execution of knights who refused to acknowledge crimes of which they were not guilty. Fifty-nine gallant knights were led forth in one day to the fields at the back of the nunnery of St. Antoine, where stakes had been driven into the ground, and faggots and charcoal collected. The knights were offered pardon if they would confess; but they all refused and were burned by slow fires—that is, clear charcoal fires. At Senlis nine were burned, and many more in other places. On all these occasions, as well as in the awful scenes of the torturechamber, the Dominican friars were the mocking witnesses. 197. James de Molay.—The Grand Master remained in prison five years and a half, and there is no doubt that he was repeatedly put to the torture. The confession he was said to have made was probably a forgery. Finally, on the 1 8th March 1313, he and Guy, the Grand Preceptor of the Order, were burnt by a slow fire on a small island in the Seine, between the royal gardens and the church of the Hermit Brethren, where afterwards the statue of Henry IV. was erected, both to the last moment asserting the innocence of the Order. 198. Mysteries of the Knights Templars.—Without laying too much stress on confessions extorted by violence, or de THE TEMPLARS 157 nnnciatioiiB proceeding from revenge, cupidity, and servility, it is manifest that the Templars, in their ordinances, creed, and rites, had something which was peculiar and secret, and totally different from the statutes, opinions, and ceremonies of other religio-military associations. Their long sojourn in the East, in that dangerous Palestine which overflowed with schismatic Greeks and heretics, who, driven from Constantinople, took refuge with the Arabs; their rivalry with the Hospitallers; their contact with the Saracen element; finally, the loss of the Holy Land, which injured them in the opinion of the world, and rendered their lives idle—all these and many other circumstances would act on this institution in an unforeseen manner, differing from the tendencies of the original constitution, and mix up therewith ideas and practices little in accordance with, nay, in total antagonism to, the orthodox thought that had originated, animated, and strengthened this military brotherhood. 199. The Temple and the Church.—The very name may in a certain manner point to a rebellious ambition. Temple is a more august, a vaster and more comprehensive denomination than that of Church. The Temple is above the Church; this latter has a date of its foundation, a local habitation; the former has always existed. Churches fall; the Temple remains as a symbol of the parentage of religions and the perpetuity of their spirit. The Templars might thus consider themselves as the priests of that religion, not transitory, but permanent; and the aspirants could believe that the Order constituting them the defenders of the Temple intended to initiate them into a second and better Christianity, into a purer religion. Whilst the Temple meant for the Christian the Holy Sepulchre, it recalled to the Mussulman the Temple of Solomon; and the legend which referred to this latter served as a bond to the rituals of the Freemasons and other secret societies. Further, the Church might be called the house of Christ; but the Temple was the house of the Holy Spirit. It was that religion of the Spirit which the Templars inherited from the Manichseans, from the Albigenses, from the sectarian chivalry that had preceded them. The initiatory practices, the monuments, even the trial, showed this prevalence of the religion of the Spirit in the secret doctrines of the Temple. The Templars drew a great portion of their sectarian and heterodox tendencies from that period in which chivalry, purified and organised, became a pilgrimage in search of the San Greal, the mystic cup that received the blood of the Saviour; from that epoch 158 SEOEET SOCIETIES in which the East, in invasions, armed and unarmed, with the science of the Arabs, with poetry and heresies, had turned upon the West. 200. Initiation.—Much has been said about the mode of initiation—that it took place at night in the chapel, in the presence of the chapter, all strangers being strictly excluded; that licentious rites attended it, and that the candidate was compelled to deny, curse, and spit upon the cross—that cross for which they had shed so much of their own blood, sacrificed so many of their own lives. We have seen that this was one of the chief accusations brought against the Order. Was there any truth in it? It seems most probable there was; but the practice may be explained as in the following paragraph. 201. Cursing and Spitting mi the Gross Explained.—Such a practice need not surprise us in an age in which churches were turned into theatres, in which sacred things were profaned by grotesque representations, in which the ancient mysteries were reproduced to do honour, in their way, to Christ and the saints. The reader may also bear in mind the extraordinary scenes afterwards represented in the Miracle Plays. Now the aspirant to the Templar degree was at first introduced as a sinner, a bad Christian, a renegade. He denied, in fact, after the manner of St. Peter, and the renunciation was frequently expressed by the odious act of spitting on the cross. The fraternity undertook to restore this renegade, to raise him all the higher the greater his fall had been. Thus at the Festival of the Idiots, the candidate presented himself, as it were, in a state of imbecility and of degradation, to be regenerated by the Church. These comedies, rightly understood at first, were in course of time falsely interpreted, scandalising the faithful, who had lost the key of the enigma. The Templars had adopted similar ceremonies. They were scions of the Cathari (175) -and Manich89ans. Now the Cathari despised the cross (176), and considered it meritorious to tread it under foot. But with the Templars this ceremony was symbolical, as was abundantly proved during their trial, and had indeed reference to Peter's thrice-repeated denial of Christ. 202. Charge of Licentious Practices.—As to licentious rites, if any such ever were practised, they were confined to certain localities and certain degrees of initiation; for it appeared at the trials that many knights had never even heard of the practices they were charged with; that they had never seen the bust of the Baphomet; that they had never been invited THE TEMPLAES 159 or asked to take part in licentious or blasphemous rites. If -certain members of the Order were cognisant of, and parti•cipated in such, their offences were individual offences, and not crimes which the Order and its teaching could ' be reproached with. Unnatural crimes, however, were so common in the days of the Templars that they might safely be ¦charged with them, without at once raising a cry of indignation, and a sense of incredulity at the mere accusation itself; for in the age of the Templars it was customary on the •election of a bishop to insist on the candidate swearing that he was not guilty of sodomy, seducing nuns, or bestiality! Had these vices not been very common, every honest man would at once have exclaimed, Nolo episcopari! All the <;harges brought against the Templars had been previously made against the Cathari, the Albigenses, and against the Hospitallers; and Clement, in a bull dated but four days after that of the suppression, acknowledged that the whole of the •evidence against the Order amounted only to suspicion. 203. The Templars the Opponents of the Pope.—But there may have been another and special reason for introducing this ceremony, and ever keeping the treachery of Peter before the minds of the members of the Order. We have seen that the Templars, during and in consequence of their sojourn in the East, attached themselves to the doctrines of the Gnostics and Manichaeans—as is sufficiently attested, were other proofs wanting, by the Gnostic and Cabalistic -symbols discovered in and on the tombs of Knights Templars, which appeared to them less perverted than those of the priest of Eome. They also knew the bad success the pro•clamation of Christ's death on the cross had had at Athens, in consequence of -schylus' tragedy, "Prometheus Vinctus," wherein Oceanus denied his friend, when God made him the sacrifice for the sins of mankind, just as Peter, who lived by the ocean, did with regard to Christ. The Templars, therefore, came to the conclusion that all these gods, descended from the same origin, were only religious and poetic figures of the sun; and seeing the bad use made of the doctrines connected therewith by the clergy, they renounced St. Peter, And became Johannites, or followers of St. John. There was thus a secret schism, and according to some writers, it was this, together with the opposition to Roman Catholicism which it implied, as well as their great wealth, which was among the causes of their condemnation by the court of Bome. 204. Baphomet.—The above explanation may also afford i6o SECEET SOCIETIES a clue to the meaning and name of the idol the Templars were accused of worshipping. This idol represented a man with a long white beard, and the name given to it was Baphomet, a name which has exercised the ingenuity of many critics, but the only conclusions arrived at by any of them as to the meaning of the name, and deserving consideration, is that of Nicolai, who assumed that it is composed of the words j8a /LtTA9, the "baptism of wisdom," and that the image represented God, the universal Father. As to the meaning of the head itself, we have already referred to the Gnostic and Cabalistic doctrines and symbols adopted by the Templars (198), and the head worshipped by them certainly was one of these symbols. We know that the Cabalists represented God 71 dbstracto by a head without a beard, whilst the creative God was represented by a bearded head. The former symbolised unchangeableness, the latter the constant growth seen in the world. To the Templars the' bust was the One God; when it was shown to the initiated, the hierophant pronounced the Arabic word yalla (corrupted from yh cdla), the "Light of God," and the new member was addressed as a " friend of God." But a denial of the Trinity in those days involved racks and faggots; hence it became sufficiently plain why the secret was looked upon as inviolable, and was so well kept by the Templars that we can only conjecture its import. 205. Disposal of the Possessions of the Templars.—The Order having been suppressed by a Papal bull, dated 6th May 13 12, the king and the Pope converted to their own use the movable property of the Order under their respective jurisdictions, the king keeping, as we have seen, the lion's share. Its other possessions in France and Italy were, sorely against the will of the king, assigned to the Order of the Hospitallers, who were, however, obliged to pay such large fines to the king and Pope as completely impoverished them for the time. A portion of their German estates was assigned to the Teutonic Knights; the Spanish possessions of the Templars, consisting of seventeen towns and castles, were secured by the king for the foundation of the Order of Our Lady of Montesa, whose object was as barbarous as any Christian Pope or king could devise, namely, to combat the Moors; and the king of Portugal, who did not violently suppress the Order, made it change its name to that of the Order of Christ, which exists to this day, and, since 1789, consists of three classes: Grand-Cross, Commander, and Knight. BOOK VII JUDICIARY " All through the Middle Ages justice was no such secret to the people as it is at the present time, when it is buried under piles of law papers."— WiGAND. VOL. I. THE HOLY VEHM 206. Origin and Object of Institution.—In this book we are introduced to an order of secret societies altogether different from preceding ones. Hitherto they were religious or military in their leading features; but those we are now about to give an account of were judicial in their operations, and the first of them, the Holy Vehm, or secret tribunals of Westphalia, arose during the period of violence and anarchy that distracted the German empire after the outlawry of Henry the Lion, somewhere about the middle of the thirteenth century. The supreme authority of the Emperor had lost all influence in the country; the imperial assizes were no longer held; might and violence took the place of right and justice; the feudal lords tyrannised over the people; whosoever dared, could. To seize the guilty, whoever they might be, to punish them before they were aware of the blow with which they were threatened, and thus to secure the chastisement of crime—such was the object of the Westphalian judges, and thus the existence of this secret society, the instrument of public vengeance, is amply justified, and the popular respect it enjoyed, and on which alone rested its authority, explained. 207. Places for Holding Courts.—Romance writers have surrounded the Vehm with darkness, mystery, and awe, but sober history shows the institution to have been, before the date of its corruption, the fairest, and perhaps the only fair tribunal in the country where it existed, and that its only secrecy consisted in the justice and rapidity with which it discovered crime and executed its sentences. As to its meetings, they were not usually held in subterranean vaults or dimly lighted caves, but more frequently in the open air; at Nordkirchen the court was held in the churchyard; at Dortmund in the market-place. The favourite place for holding the courts was near or under trees; nor were they 163 i64 held at night, bat in the morning, soon after the break of day. 208. Officers and Organisations.—The Westphalia of that period comprehended the country between the Rhine and the Weser; its southern boundary was formed by the mountains of Hesse, its northern by Priesland. Vehm or Fehm is, according to Leibnitz, derived iromfama, as the law founded on common fame. But /em is an old German word, signifying condemnation, which may be the proper radix of Vehm. But the old German word Fehm also meant "company," "society," "separation," "something set apart;" thus pigs put apart for the purpose of fattening were called fehm-pigs (Fehnischweine); the mark that was set on them to distinguish them was called the fehm-sign (Fehmmahl). The word Vehm having this general meaning, we may understand how the society of Free Judges, to distinguish it above other associations, acquired the epithet of "holy." The courts were also called Fehmding, Freistuhle, "free courts," heimliche Gerichte, heimliche Achten, heimliche &escJilossene Achten, "secret courts," "free bann," and verbotene Gerichte, "prohibited courts." No rank of life prohibited a person from the right of being initiated, and in a Vehmic code discovered at Dortmund, and whose reading was forbidden to the profane under pain of death, three degrees are mentioned: the affiliated of the first were called Stuhlherren,. "lords justices;" those of the second, Schoppen (scabini, Schevins)] those of the third, Frohnboten, "messengers." Two courts were held, an offenbares Ding, " open court," and the heimliche Acht, "secret court." Any uninitiated person found in the "secret court" was invariaby hanged lest h& might warn the accused, condemned in contumaciam, of the sentence passed upon him. The members were called Wissende, "the knowing ones," or the initiated. The clergy, women and children, Jews and heathens, and as it would appear the higher nobility, were exempt from its jurisdiction. The courts took cognisance of all offences against the Christian faith, the Gospel, and the Ten Commandments. 209. Language and Rules of Initiated.—The initiated had a secret language; at least we may infer so from the initials S. S. S. G. G., found in Vehmic writings preserved in the archives of Herfort, in Westphalia, that have puzzled the learned, and by some are explained as meaning Stock, Stein, Strick, Gras, Grein—stick, stone, cord, grass, woe. At meals the members are said to have recognised each other by turning the points of their knives towards the edge, and THE HOLY VEHM 165 the points of their forks towards the centre, of the table. A horrible death was prepared for a false brother, and the oaths to be taken were as fearful as some prescribed in the higher degrees of Freemasonry. The affiliated promised, among other things, to preserve the secret Vehm before anything that is illumined by the sun or bathed by rain, or to be found between heaven and earth; not to inform any one of the sentence passed against him; and to denounce, if necessary, his parents and relations, calling down upon himself, in case of perjury, the malediction of all, and the punishment of being hanged seven feet higher than all others. One form of oath, contained in the archives of Dortmund, and which the candidate had to pronounce kneeling, his head uncovered, and holding the fore-finger and the middle finger of his right hand upon the sword of the president, runs thus: "I swear perpetual devotion to the secret tribunal; to defend it against myself, against water, sun, moon, and stars, the leaves of the trees, all living beings; to uphold its judgments and promote their execution. I promise, moreover, that neither pain, nor money, nor parents, nor anything created by God shall render me perjured." 210. Procedure.—The first act of the procedure of the Vehm was the accusation, made by a Freischopps, The person was then cited to appear; if not initiated, before the open court, and woe to the disobedient! The accused that belonged to the Order was at once condemned; and the case of the unaffiliated was transferred to the secret tribunal. A summons was to be written on parchment, and sealed with at least seven seals; six weeks and three days were allowed for the first, six weeks for the second, and six weeks and three days for the third. When the residence of the accused was not known, the summons was exhibited at a cross-road of his supposed county, or placed at the foot of the statue of some saint or affixed to the poor-box, not far from some crucifix or humble wayside chapel. If the accused was a knight, dwelling in his fortified castle, the Schoppen were to introduce themselves at night, under any pretence, into the most secret chamber of the building and do their errand. But sometimes it was considered sufficient to affix the summons, and the coin that always accompanied it, to the gate, to inform the sentinel of the fact that the citation had been left, and to cut three chips from the gate, to be taken to the Freigraf as proofs. If the accused appeared to none of the summonses, he was sentenced in contumaciam according to the laws laid down in the " Mirror of Saxony; " the 1 66 SECEET SOCIETIES accuser had to bring forward seven witnesses, not to the fact charged against the absent person, but to testify to the wellknown veracity of the accuser, whereupon the charge was considered as proved, and the Imperial ban was pronounced against the accused, which was followed by speedy execution. The sentence was one of outlawry, degradation, and death j the neck of the convict was condemned to the halter, and his body to the birds and wild beasts; his goods and estates were declared forfeited, his wife a widow, and his children orphans. He was declared fehmhar, i.e., punishable by the Vehm, and any three initiated that met with him were at liberty, nay, enjoined, to hang him on the nearest tree. If the accused appeared before the court, which was presided over by a count, who had on the table before him a naked sword and a withy halter, he, as well as his accuser, could each bring" thirty friends as witnesses, and be represented by their attorneys, and also had the right of appeal to the general chapter of the secret closed tribunal of the Imperial chamber, generally held at Dortmund. When sentence was once definitively spoken for death, the culprit was hanged immediately. 211. Execution of Sentences.—Those condemned in their absence, and who were pursued by at least a hundred thouf sand persons, were generally unaware of the fact. Ever; information thereof conveyed to them was high treason'; punishable by death; the Emperor alone was excepted from the law of secrecy; merely to hint that "good bread might be eaten elsewhere," rendered the speaker liable to death for betraying the secret. After the condemnation of the accused a document bearing the seal of the count was given to the accuser, to be used by him when claiming the assistance of other members to carry out the sentence; and all the initiated were bound to grant him theirs, were it even against their own parents. A knife was stuck in the tree on which the person had been hanged, to indicate that he had suffered death at the hands of the Holy Vehm. If the victim resisted, he was slain with daggers; but the slayer left his weapon in the wound to convey the same information. 212. Decay of the Institution.—These secret tribunals inspired such terror that the citation by a Westphalian free count was even more dreaded than that of the Emperor. In 1470 three free counts summoned the Emperor himself to appear before them, threatening him with the usual course in case of contumacy; the Emperor did not appear, but THE HOLT VEHM 167 pocketed the affront. By the admission of improper persons, and the abuse of the right of citation, the institution— which in its time had been a corrective of public injustice— gradually degenerated. The tribunals were, indeed, reformed by Rupert; and the Ai'ensberg reformation and Osnaburgh regulations modified some of the greatest abuses, and restricted the power of the Vehm. Still it continued to exist, and was never formally abolished. But the excellent civil institutions of Maximilian and of Charles V., the consequent decrease of the turbulent and anarchic spirit, the introduction of the Roman law, the spread of the Protestant religion, conspired to give men an aversion for what appeared now to be a barbarous jurisdiction. Some of the courts were abolished, exemptions and privileges against them multiplied, and they were prohibited all summary proceedings. The last Vehm court was held at Celle in 1568. But a shadow of them remained, and it was not till French legislation, in 181 1, abolished the last free court at Gemen, in the county of Munster, that they may be said to have ceased to exist. But it is not many years since that certain citizens in that locality assembled every year, boasting of their descent from the ancient free judges. 213. Kissing the Virgin.—There is a tradition that one of the methods of putting to death persons condemned to that fate by the secret tribunals was the following:—The victim was told to go and kiss the statue of the Virgin which stood in a subterranean vault. The statue was of bronze and of gigantic size. On approaching it, so as to touch it, its front opened with folding doors, and displayed its interior set full with sharp and long spikes and pointed blades. The doors were similarly armed, and on each, about the height of a man's head, was a spike longer than the rest, the two spikes being intended when the doors were shut to enter the eyes and destroy them. The doors having thus opened, the victim by a secret mechanism was drawn or pushed into the dreadful statue, and the doors closed upon him. There he was cut and hacked by the knives and spikes, and in about half a minute the floor on which he stood—which was in reality a trap-door—opened, and allowed him to fall through. But more horrible torture awaited him; for underneath the trap-door were six large wooden cylinders, disposed in pairs one below the other. There were thus three pairs. The cylinders were furnished all round with sharp blades; the distance between the uppermost pair of parallel cylinders was such that a human body could just lie between them; i68 SEOEET SOCIETIES the middle pair was closer together, and the lowest very close. Beneath this horrible apparatus was an opening in which could be heard the rushing of water. The mechanism that opened the doors of the statue also set in motion the cylinders, which turned towards the inside. Hence when the victim, already fearfully mangled and blinded, fell through the trap-door, he fell between the upper pair of cylinders. In this mutilated condition, the quivering mass fell between the second and more closely approaching pair of cylinders, and was now actually hacked through and through on the lowest and closest pair, where it was reduced to small pieces which fell into the brook below, and were carried away, thus leaving no trace of the awful deed that had been Accomplished. II THE BEATI PAOLI 214. Character of the Society.—The notices of this sect, which existed for many years in Sicily, are so scanty that we may form a high idea of the mystery in which it shrouded itself. It had spread not only over the island, where it created traditional terror, but also over Calabria, where it was first discovered, and cruelly repressed and punished by the feudatories, who saw their power assailed by it. A popular institution, in opposition to the daily arrogance of baronial or kingly power, it knew not how to restrain itself within the prescribed limits, and made itself guilty of reprehensible acts, so that it was spoken of in various ways by its contemporaries. 215. Tendencies and Tenets.—We have already seen that it had connections with the Holy Vehm, and its statutes were somewhat similar to this tribunal; but it is to be observed that it proceeded from that spiritual movement which produced the reaction of the Albigenses, the propaganda of the Franciscans, and the reformatory asceticism of the many heretics who roamed through Italy and the rest of Europe, preaching opposition to Kome, and organising a crusade against the fatuous and corrupt clerocracy. Among these heretics we must remember the Abbot Gioachimo, whose prophecies and strange sayings reappear in the Evangelium Sternum of John of Parma, a book which was one of the text-books of the Sicilian judges. The Evangelium ternumy a tissue of cabalistic and Gnostic eccentricities, was by the Beati Paoli preferred to the Old and New Testaments; they renounced belief in dualism, and made God the creator of evil and death—of evil, because he placed the mystical apple in the mystical garden; of death, because he ordained the deluge, and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. 216. Accotint of a Sicilian Writer.—Amidst the general silence of historians, the account of a Sicilian writer, which was published only in 1840, and is still generally unknown, 169 I70 may be considered the only document concerning this family of Avengers, who at the extreme end of Italy reproduced the struggles and terrors of the Westphalian tribunals. This writer says:—*'In the year 1 185, at the nuptials. of the Princess Constance, daughter of the first King Roger of Sicily, with Henry, afterwards Henry VI., Emperor of Germany, there was discovered the existence of a new and impious sect, who called themselves the Avengers, and in their nocturnal assemblies declared every crime lawful committed on pretence of promoting the public good. Of this we find an account in an ancient writer, who does not enter into further details. The king ordered strict inquiry to be made, and their chief, Arinulfo di Ponte Corvo, having been arrested, he was sentenced to be hanged with some of his most guilty accomplices; the less guilty were branded with a red-hot iron. The belief exists among the vulgar that this secret society of Avengers still exists in Sicily and elsewhere, and is known by the name of the Beati Paoli. Some worthless persons even go so far as to commend the impious institution. Its members abounded especially at Palermo, and Joseph Amatore, who was hanged on December 17, 1704, was one of them. Girolamo Ammirata, comptroller of accounts, also belonged to this society, and suffered death on 27th April 1725. Most came to a bad end, if not by the hands of justice, by the daggers of their associates. The famous vettiirino, Vito Vituzzo of Palermo, was the Ig-st of the wretches forming the society of the Beati Paoli. He escaped the gallows, because he turned in time from his evil courses, and thenceforward he passed all day in St. Matthew's Church, whence he came to be known by the surname of * the church mouse.' The preceptors and masters of these vile men were heretics and apostates from the Minor Brethren of St. Francis, who pretended that the power of the pontiff and the priesthood had been bestowed on them by an angelic revelation. The house where they held their meetings is still in .existence in the street de' Canceddi, and I paid it a visit Through a gateway you pass into a courtyard, under which is the vault where the members met, and which receives its light through a grating in the stone pavement. At the bottom of the stairs is a stone altar, and at the side a small dark chamber, with a stone table, on which were written the acts and sentences of these murderous judges. The principal cave is pretty large, surrounded with stone seats, and furnished with niches and recesses where the arms were kept. The meetings were held at night by candle THE BE ATI PAOLI 171 light. The derivation of the name, the Beati Paoli (Blessed Pauls), is unknown; but I surmise that it was adopted by the sect, because either the founder's name was Paul, or that he assumed it as that of a saint who, before his conversion, was a man of the sword, and, imitating him, was, during the day, a Blessed Paul, and at night at the head of a band of assassins, like Paul persecuting the Christians." Such is the author's account, which I have greatly abbreviated, omitting nearly all his invectives against the sect, of which very little is known, and whose existence evidently, in its day, was to some extent beneficial; for Sicilians, on suffering any injury or loss, for which they cannot apply to justice, are often heard to exclaim—** Ah, if the Beati Paoli were still in being! " Ill THE INQUISITION 217. Introductory.—The earth in the Colosseum at Rome is said to be soaked with the blood of Christian martyrs. Some pope—I forget which—to convince a heretic, is reported to have taken up a handful of the earth, squeezed it, and caused drops of blood to fall from it. Supposing, for argument's sake, the legend and the assertion on which it is founded to be true, the Christian Church has well avenged her martyrs. To accomplish her ends, the Romish Church established the Inquisition. 2 1 8. Early existence of an Inquisition.—From the earliest days of Christianity the Inquisition existed in the spirit if notin the form. The wretched pack of controversial wolves, the so-called Fathers of the Church, when not flying at one another's throats, were ever busy in spewing forth their fanatical venom upon all not of their ilk. When Polycarp, on being challenged by Marcion, the Gnostic, to **own him," replied, *' I own thee to be the first-born of Satan," we may be certain he would, had he possessed secular power, not have been satisfied with giving that polite answer, but would gladly have burnt him alive; and yet the Gnostics were people superior in intelligence and morals to the rabble composing the early Christians, as even their enemies had to admit. When that monster Constantine had made the Christian Church all-powerful, heretic baiting began in full earnest. One of the first victims was Priscillian, the founder of a Gnostic sect in Spain, who, at the instigation of St. Augustine, was accused of Manicha9ism—the saint must have known, for he had been a Manichaean himself during ten years! Priscillian was executed at Trier in 385. The next five or six centuries were too much occupied with war and bloodshed and political intrigues to give much attention to heretics; in fact, from the eighth to the eleventh centuries they hardly existed. But when, towards the end of the latter century, the papal system of Hildebrand attained its full development, Z72 THE INQUISITION 173 despotically attempting to control all religious thought, socalled heretics arose, and with them their persecution. The decision of Pope Urban II. that the murder of an excommunicated person was no crime became civil law, as also the doctrine of St. Augustine, that the extermination of heretics was a duty to the Church and a kindness to the heretic himself. Thomas of Aquinas (1224- 1274) adopted the doctrine of St. Augustine; the " angelic" teacher expounded the words of the apostle, that we ought to avoid a heretic twice admonished, by saying that the best way to avoid him was to bum him. On this principle acted Henry II., king of England, who, together with Louis VII. of France, acted as the grooms of Pope Alexander III. on his entering Couci (Comes); the English king, who, in the Abbey of BourgDieu, was too overawed by the Pope to sit on a chair in his presence, but, like a dog, cowered on the floor, this king ordered the first execution for heresy in his kingdom by having a sect called Publicans or Patari put to death because they rejected baptism and submission to the Pope. The Patari had arisen in Italy, and spread over the European continent, and were so terribly persecuted that at last they retaliated; but the Church was too strong for them, and we frequently in the history of those times find notices similar to the following: " In this year the Most Reverend Archbishop William of Rheims, Legate of the Apostolic See, and the illustrious Count Philip of Flanders, burnt manjr heretics alive." 219. Council held at Toulouse.—In May 1163 a council, attended by seventeen cardinals, one hundred and twentyfour bishops, hundreds of abbots, and priests without number, was held at Tours, where the Inquisition, which had, as we have seen, existed for centuries in spirit, was put into shape and assumed a definite form. " An accursed heresy," said the holy speakers, " has recently arisen in the neighbourhood of Toulouse, and it is the duty of bishops to put it down with all the rigour of the ecclesiastical law. Innocent III., in 1 198, sent the first two travelling Inquisitors to France, empowered to judge heretics, " the foxes called Waldenses, Cathari, and Patari, who, though they have different faces, yet all hang together by their tails, and are sent by Satan to devastate the vineyard of the Lord," which *' foxes " were to be caught for them by ecclesiastical and secular princes, '* to be judged and killed," an order which the said princes obeyed with such alacrity, that the progress of the two Inquisitors was everywhere signalised by the bonfires of burning heretics* 174 But these were persecuted not in France only, but wherever the power of the popes could reach them, first of all, of course, in Italy, where one of the most distinguished victims, Arnold of Brescia, had some time before the above-mentioned occurrences been strangled in prison, and his body publicly burnt at Rome in 1155. His heresy consisted in having preached against the crimes of the Papal See. 220. Establishment of the Inquisition.—We have elsewhere more particularly spoken of the heretical sects which in the tenth to the twelfth century existed in Italy and the south of France (168-185). Peter of Castelnau having been sent to preach against the Albigenses, was slain by them. As soon as his death became known he was canonised, and the fourth Council of the Lateran, in 1228, at the instigation of Pope Honorius III., sanctioned and organised the Inquisition, the original idea of which was due to Dominique de ¦Guzman, who also founded the order of Dominican friars. The' Council, or rather the Pope, decreed that all heretics should be delivered over to the secular arm and their property confiscated. Sovereigns were called upon to drive all heretics from their states; in case of non-obedience, the Pope would offer their territory to whosoever could conquer them. Persons who had favoured heretics or received them into their houses were to be excommunicated and declared infamous, incapable of inheriting property, and not entitled to Christian burial. Guzman, rightly considering that the foul band of preaching friars, whom he had associated with himself, were not the sort of people to further his views— for those men were too fanatical not to be violent, which would have been injurious to the new institution—further organised his " Militia of Christ," a religious police, composed of bigoted men and women, belonging to all classes of society, even to the highest—the head of the house of Medina-Coeli down to 1820 enjoyed the high privilege of carrying the standard of the Faith in all autos-dd-fi, and other solemnities of the Inquisition—of criminals, as we shall see in the account of the " Garduna " (Book IX.); of fools and knaves. The invisible troop of spies and denouncers, these familiars of the Inquisition, as they afterwards called themselves, formed the secret portion of the Inquisition, and were none the less fonnidable on that account. From 1233, when the Inquisition was established in Spain, to the beginning of the next century, it made rapid progress, spreading into Italy and Germany. In 1308 the Inquisition persecuted the Templars it, outrance; avios-dar-f4j THE INQUISITION 175 *' acts of faith," as the burning of heretics was called, shed their lurid light over many a Spanish city, at which the royal family frequently were present. In 141 5 the Inquisition burnt John Huss at Constance; Platina, a papal writer, in his " Lives of the Popes " thus pleasantly speaks of it:—" In the same Council, John Huss and Jerome were burnt, because they affirmed, among other errors, that ecclesiastical men ought to be poor . . . matters being thus composed, etc. Burning your opponents certainly is composing matters; but the author was a Papist. 221. Progress of Institution.—Until the joint reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Inquisition in Spain had been confined to the kingdom of Arragon. But about 1481 the queen established it in Castile, and the king gradually extended its jurisdiction over all his states. Like James of Scotland, the king of Spain always wanted "siller;" the Inquisition offered him a third of all the property it confiscated, and promised him a large share of the riches of the thousands of Jews then living in Spain; the nobles of Arragon and Castile were always conspiring against him, the Inquisition would quietly amd secretly get hold of their persons, and thus rid him of these enemies; heaven was to be gained by putting down heresy; here surely were reasons enough for protecting the Inquisition and investing it with full powers. The queen also—alas, that it has to be said of her!—was greatly in favour of it, and even requested the Pope to declare the sentences pronounced in Spain to be final and without appeal to Eome. She complained at the same time that the people accused her of having no other view in establishing the Inquisition than that of sharing with its officers the property of those condemned by them. The Pope, Sixtus IV., granted everything, and appeased her conscientious scruples as to confiscations. A bull, dated 1483, named Father Thomas de Torquemada, an atrocious fanatic. Grand Inquisitor of Spain. For eighteen years he held the office, condemning on the average ten thousand victims annually to death by fire, starvation, torture. In the first six months of his sanguinary rule 298 marranos—Moors or Jews that had been converted to Christianity—were burnt at the stake in Seville alone, and seventy condemned to imprisonment for life. During the same space of time 2000 marranos were burnt alive in various other places; a greater number, who had been fortunate enough to make their escape before they were seized—for when once in the power of the terrible tribunal there was little chance of evasion— 176 SECEET SOCIETIES were burnt in effigy; and about 17,000 persons, accused on the charge of heresy, underwent various other punishments. Upwards of 20,000 victims in half a year! Torquemada was so abhorred that he never stirred abroad without being surrounded by 250 familiars, and on his table always lay a horn of the unicorn, which, according to Moorish superstition, was supposed to possess the virtue of discovering and nullifying the force of poison. His cruelties excited so many complaints that the Pope himself was startled, and three times Torquemada was obliged to justify his conduct. During the fifteenth century so many executions took place at Seville, that the prefect of that city had the diabolical idea, in order to expedite the process, to erect, outside the city, a permanent scaffold in stone, on which he placed four gigantic statues in plaster, hollow inside, into which New Christians, accused of having relapsed into their old faith, were forced, and slowly calcined to death, as in a kiln. This scaffold was called quemadero (the burner), and the ruins of it could be seen as late as the year 1823. 222. Judicial Procedure of the Inquisition.—Before proceeding with our historical details, let us briefly state the mode of procedure adopted by the execrable tribunal of the Inquisition. A denunciation, verbal or in writing, and it little mattered from what impure source it proceeded, formed the startingpoint. Every year, on the third Sunday in Lent, the " Edict of Denunciation " was read in the churches, enjoining every person, on pain of major excommunication, to reveal within six days to the Holy Office, as the Inquisition was now styled, facts opposed to the purity of faith that might have come to their notice. Denunciation also had its rewards. Plenary indulgence was granted by the popes to whoso was good Christian enough to denounce his father, son, brother, or other near relation. Charles V. relieved every one who had denounced ten heretics, or became a familiar of the Inquisition, from all taxation and statute labour. And the most trifling acts exposed persons to the charge of heresy; to put a clean cloth on the table on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, smelled of Judaism; to put on clean linen on a Friday, the Mahometan Sunday, betrayed Mahometanism. The opinions of Luther, casting horoscopes, eating with Jews, dining or supping with friends on the eve of a journey, as the Jews do, these and a hundred other things equally innocent might lead to the stake. William Franco, a citizen of Seville, whose wife had been seduced by a priest, which he dared not resent, having casually observed THE INQUISITION 177 that his wife was in purgatory, this expression was reported to the Inquisitors, who thereupon condemned him to imprisonment for life in the cells of the Inquisition. The arrests were generally made at night, and the victims taken oflE in a carriage, the wheels of which had tires made of leather, whilst the mules, which drew it, were shod with buskins, the soles of which consisted of tow between two thick pieces of leather, so as to prevent their approach being heard. These buskins were an invention of Deza, the second Grand Inquisitor. Some of them were found in the inquisitorial arsenal at Malaga when its doors were broken open in 1820. General Torrijos, who for two years had been a prisoner of the Inquisition, and who was treacherously shot by order of Ferdinand VII. in 1831, carried oflE one of these buskins. Two others were appropriated by an Englishman, a Mr. Thomas Wilkins, of Paddington Place (Street?), London, who as late as the year 1838 would show them to his friends. Where are they now? The prisoner having been incarcerated in the dungeons of the Inquisition, his property was put under sequestration, and the claw of the Holy Office was one which seldom released its prey. According to its statutes, indeed, it was compelled to release the accused if twelve witnesses, of pure Catholic blood, testified in his favour. But it was very seldom twelve such witnesses could be brought together, for in most cases persons who gave evidence in favour of the victims of the Inquisition ran the risk of being themselves charged with heresy. The prisoner, on his apprehension, was carried to a dungeon, generally underground, sometimes at a depth of thirty feet. Each cell was about twelve feet by eight, with no accommodation but a plank bed, and a utensil, which was emptied every three or four days, and sometimes but once in a week. From eight to ten prisoners were shut up in such a cell when the Holy Office had many victims. They were not allowed to make any complaints; if they did so, they were gagged and cruelly flogged. Such treatment naturally often led to suicide. To mention a comparatively recent instance: in 18 19 six prisoners were in one of the dungeons of the Inquisition at Valencia. A gaoler, instructed to try one of them, that is, to get a confession out of him, told him that if he did not reveal what he knew, he would be racked next day. The prisoner confessed nothing, but next day the six prisoners were found dead; they had strangled one another, and the last had asphyxiated himself by inhaling VOL. I. M 178 SEOEET SOCIETIES the poisonous gases arising from the utensil above referred to. The prisoners had been charged with being Freemasons. Sometimes a prisoner was left to die of starvation, or kept for years in his dungeon, whilst no one dared to raise a voice in his behalf. People disappeared, and their relations and friends only surmised, and cautiously whispered among themselves their suspicions, that they were languishing, or had perhaps died, in the prisons of the Inquisition. Some of the prisoners, however, were brought before their judges, in whose presence they were compelled to sit on the sharp edge of a triangular piece of wood, supported by two X; this mockery of a seat was called a potro. The trial was supposed to be public, but the audience was packed; none but good Catholics, who could be depended on, were invited to attend. That the publicity was a mere delusion, is proved by the fact that the New Christians offered King Ferdinand the sum of 600,000 ducats to let the trials be public; but Cardinal Ximenes, the Grand Inquisitor, induced the kiug to decline the offer, as he also persuaded Charles V. to refuse the still higher offer of 800,000 ducats made by the same New Christians for the same privilege. The prisoner, when before his judges, was exhorted to confess his crime, but he was not informed of the charge against him; and if he did not know what to confess, or if his confession did not agree with the secret information against him, he was taken to the torture chamber, to extort what was wanted. As the Inquisitors were profoundly religious men (!), regulating their conduct by the teaching of Christ, which forbids the shedding of blood, they had with hellish ingenuity contrived their instruments of torture so that they should avoid that result, and yet inflict the greatest suffering the human body can possibly bear, without having the vital spark extinguished in it. It is true that the pendulum torture—which certainly was applied, as the instrument was discovered as late as the year 1 820 in the prison of the Inquisition at Seville—proved that the rule was broken through; but the modern Inquisitors, it appears, were not so conscientious as the ancient! The Inquisitors, whilst admitting that innocent persons might sometimes die under torture, maintained that still it ought to be applied, for if a good Catholic died under their hands he went straight into paradise, which no doubt was very consolatory to the victim! 223. Palace of the Inquisition.—The palace of the Inquisition contained the judgment hall, offices for the employes, torture chambers, cells of mercy and penitence, and dungeons, THE INQUISITION 179 lesides the private apartments of the Grand Inquisitor. A rich prisoner was first taken to a cell of mercy, and if he <50uld be persuaded to surrender all his property to the Inquisition, he was, after some months of seclusion, allowed to issue forth, as poor as Job, but rich in the gifts of grace. The cells of mercy were on the first floor. The cells of penitence, to which victims less ready to be converted were taken, were generally situate in small round towers of about ten feet diameter, just under the roof. They were whitewashed, and the only light they received was through a small opening in the vaulted ceiling. The only furniture were a stool and a truckle bed. If a prolonged stay in this terrible solitude did not have the desired effect, the victim was consigned to a dungeon, with walls five feet thick, and double doors, in almost total darkness, with an earthen vessel for the excrements, which was emptied once in four days. What the prisoners' food consisted of, may be inferred from the fact that something less than a penny a day was allowed for it—and, of course, the poor gaoler had to make his profit out of it! The next move of the prisoner was to the torture chamber. The torture chamber in the papal palace at Avignon was constructed with diabolical ingenuity. To cause the shrieks and groans of those tortured to remain confined within the hall, each wall projects and recedes in such a manner as to exhibit a face in a different direction to that of the wall on the opposite side, and in this way the solid mass of masonry of each wall is carried upwards, the result of which peculiar structure is that shrieks were thrown back from wall to wall, and thus never could reach the outside, nor disturb the pope, toying with his concubines in the adjoining palace. The place where the victims were burnt is a vast circular chamber, shaped exactly like the furnace of a glass-house, terminating at the top in a narrow chimney of a funnel form. Up to about the year 1850 these chambers were shown to strangers, but since then the superior ecclesiastical authorities of Avignon have caused them to be dismantled and shut up — they showed the Church in too hideous a character. 224. Tortures.—There were three modes of torture chiefly in use. The first was that of the cord. The prisoner's arms were tied behind him with one end of 'a long rope, which passed over a pulley fixed in the vault of the chamber; he was then raised from the ground to a considerable height, which, by twisting his arms backward and above his head, was sufficient to dislocate the shoulder joints; the rope was i8o SECEET SOCIETIES then suddenly slackened, so that he fell to within a foot or so from the ground, by which his arms were nearly torn out of their sockets, and his whole body sustained a fearful concussion. In some cases the back of the victim, in being drawn up, was made to press against a roller, set round with sharp spikes, causing, of course, fearful laceration. At Bome this mode of torturing was of half-an-hour's duration; in Spain it was continued for more than an hour. Another mode of applying the cord torture was by fastening the victim down on a sort of wooden bed and encircling his arms and legs in different places with thin cord, which by means of winches could be so tightened as to cut deep into the flesh. If these tortures found the prisoner firm, and extorted no confession, it was generally in the above position that he was subjected to the torture by water. His mouth and nostrils were covered with a thick cloth, and one of the Satanic brood of Dominican friars would sit by him, and through a funnel pour water on the cloth, which speedily became soaked, and then more water being poured on, the latter would enter the mouth of the unfortunate wretch lying there in fearful agony, undergoing all the pangs of slow suffocation, while his brow was covered with the cold sweat of death, and the blood started from his eyes and nostrils; and all the time the fiend by his side exhorted him, " for the love of Him who died on the Cross," to confess. The third mode of torture was by fire. The victim was stretched and fastened on the ground; the soles of his feet were exposed and rubbed with oil or lard, or any other easily inflammable matter, and then a portable fire was placed against them; the intense torture the burning of the greasy matter spread on the soles caused to the unfortunate prisoner may be imagined. When, in consequence of it, the prisoner declared himself ready to confess, a screen was interposed between his feet and the fire; on its withdrawal, if the confession was not satisfactory, the pain was even more frightful than before. Ingenious Inquisitors would sometimes vary the mode of torturing. Thus John de Roma, a monk attached to the Inquisition, caused some of his victims to be forced into boots filled with boiling tallow, and the tonsured monster laughed over the cries of the wretched sufferers. Tho wretches who, at the Inquisitor's command, executed all these terrible operations on their fellow-creatures, wore long black gowns with hoods covering their heads, having holea for mouth, nostrils, and eyes. Another diabolical device of the Inquisitors consisted in THE INQUISITION i8i this, that while they asserted that the torture or being put to the question could only be applied once, they declared the torture sisjpended, when it was found that by continuing it at the time the victim would die under their hands, and thus deprive them of the further gratification of their thirst for cruelty. The torture was begun, but not finished, and the unfortunate wretch could thus be put to the question as often as they pleased—the torture was only being continued! This diabolical fiction was also part of the judicial procedure against witches, as laid down in the Malleus maleficarum. The Inquisitors further were the first to put women to the torture; neither the weakness nor the modesty of the sex had any influence on them. The Dominican friars—the Thugs of the Papacy—would flog naked women in the corridors of the Inquisition building, after having first violated them, for some slight breach of discipline! Even after this lapse of time, it makes one's blood boil with indignation when thinking of those horrors! The fact has been denied by apologists of the Inquisition; but that the practice existed, is proved by the severe decree against it made by the Inquisitor-General Ximenes Cisneros (1507-1517), who threatened with death every oflScial of the Holy OflSce who should be guilty of this and similar excesses. Yet this Cisneros caused 2536 victims to be burnt alive! 225. Condemnation and Execution of Prisoners.—Out of every 2000 persons accused, perhaps one escaped condemnation to death or lifelong imprisonment. The most fortunate—those that were reconciled—had to appear, bareheaded, with a cord round their neck, clothed in the san henito, an ugly garment, something like a sack, with black and yellow or white stripes, and carrying a green wax taper in their hands, in the hall of the tribunal, or sometimes openly in a church, where, on their knees, they abjured the heresies laid to their charge. They were then condemned to wear the ignominious garment for some considerable time. Several other degrading and troublesome conditions were imposed on them, and the greater portion or whole of their property was confiscated: this was a rule the holy fathers never departed from. The relaxed, or those condemned to death, dressed in an even more hideous garb than the " reconciled," having the portrait of the- victim immersed in flames, and devils dancing round about it, painted thereon, were led out to the place of execution, attended by monks and friars, and burnt at the stake, the court, Grand Inquisitor, his officers, and the people witnessing the agonies of the i82 SEOEET SOCIETIES dying, and inhaling the flavour of their burning flesh with intense satisfaction. One trait of mercy the monkish demonsshowed consisted in first strangling those that died penitent before burning them, whilst those who maintained their innocence to the last were burnt alive. These bloody recreations at last became so fashionable, that in Spain and Portugal the accession of a king, a royal marriage, or the birth of a prince, was celebrated by a grand auto-da-fd, for which as many victims were reserved or procured aspossible. 226. Procession of the Auto-da-fi.—The night before the aut0'da-f4 a procession of wood-cutters, Dominicans, and familiars started from the building of the Inquisition for the open space where the sacrifice was to take place. On their arrival there they planted by the side of an altar, already erected there, a green cross, covered with black crape. This cross was symbolical of the grief of the Church for the heretics who were going to be burnt. After having set up the cross the procession returned, minus the Dominicans, who remained behind to pray and chant psalms. The procession of the autO'da-f, which started early in the morning for the place of execution, was opened by a company of lance-bearers,, then came priests, then men carrying the eflSgies of such heretics as had made their escape, and could therefore not be bodily burnt or degraded; these men were followed by such as carried coarse 'coffins or shells, containing the bones or corpses of heretics who had died while in the prisons of the Inquisition. After these marched those who had repented,, who were followed by the relaxed, or those condemned to be burnt, and wearing the hideous san benito. Sitch as it was feared might speak heretical words to the bystanders were gagged. Each victim carried a lighted taper, and was accompanied by two friars, to urge him either to be converted, if obstinate, or to give him such spiritual comfort as Dominican friars could bestow. Behind these victims walked the familiars—and, as already stated, grandees of Spain deemed it an honour to be such—after these came the Inquisitors with their Council, the whole procession closing with the standard of the Tribunal carried aloft. When the dismal train had arrived at the place of execution, and those who were condemned to a less punishment than death had had their different sentences read to them, the great treat of the day, the burning, began. As soon as the victims had been placed on the piles of wood, and chained to the posts erected in the middle of each pile, the devout people called THE INQUISITION 183 out, " Let the dogs' beards be made! " which was done by the executioners thrusting staves, to which burning heather had been tied, into the faces of the victims, till they were black and singed. With ** The foolish people gazing Upon a scene, in which some dayEach might himself the victim play/' But the Inquisitors were not always satisfied with a simple burning; they sometimes superadded diabolical tortures, as, for instance, gagging by means of a piece of wood, cleft so as to let the tongue be held by it, or actually tearing out the tongue, to prevent the victims uttering heresies while being led to the stake; or worse still, flaying them alive, and then strewing brimstone and salt over the skinned body, and burning it slowly suspended by chains over live coal. The Inquisitors gave Francis I., king of France, in 1535, six times in one day the treat of seeing a heretic drawn up and down by chains over the flames, till the partly-consumed body of each fell into the burning pile beneath. That madman, Charles V., whom courtly historians call a "great" prince, ordered female heretics to be buried alive! 227. History contimied.—The monster Torquemada was still Inquisitor-General. The people of Aragon, who had from the first violently opposed the establishment of the Inquisition in their territory, were exasperated when autosda-f6 began to be celebrated among them, and in order to intimidate their butchers slew the most violent of their oppressors, one Peter Arbues of Epila, at the altar. The Church immediately placed him among her martyrs; Queen Isabella erected a statue to him; his body wrought miracles, and Pope Pius IX. canonized him. The just death of the Inquisitor of course led to increased cruelty and persecution on the part of the Holy Ofiice; the men who slew Arbues unfortunately were captured; they had their hands cut off before being hanged, and their bodies were cut up in pieces, which were exposed on the highways. Torquemada next urged on the king and queen to expel the Jews from their states, as enemies of the Christian religion. The Jews, informed of their danger, offered the king 30,000 ducats towards the expenses of the war with Granada, on condition that they were allowed to stay. Ferdinand and Isabella were on the point of acceding to this proposal, when Torquemada, a crucifix in his hand, presented himself to the sovereigns, and thus addressed them: '' Judas 1 84 SECEET SOCIETIES was the first to sell his master for thirty pieces of silver. Your highnesses intend selling him a second time for thirtypieces of gold. Here he is, take him, and speedily conclude the sale! " Of course the proud king and equally haughty queen cringed before the insolent friar, and the decree went forth on the 31st March 1492 that by the 31st July of the same year all Jews must have quitted the states of Ferdinand aud Isabella on pain of death and confiscation of all their property. Some 800,000 Jews emigrated, momentarily saving their lives, but scarcely any property, since the time was too short for realising it at its value. Thousands of men, women, and children perished by the way, so that the Jews compared their sufferings to those their forefathers underwent at the time of Titus. When, shortly after this expulsion of the, Jews, the kingdom of Granada was conquered by the Spanish arms, the conquest was considered as heaven's special approval and reward; and Ferdinand, to show his religious zeal, committed every kind of cruelty his soul could invent. After the capture of Malaga, twelve Jews, who had taken refuge there, underwent by his direct orders the terrible death by pointed reeds, a slow bat fatal torture, like being stabbed to death with pins. Torquemada died in 1498; his successor, the Dominican Deza, introduced the Inquisition into the newly-conquered kingdom of Granada; 80,000 Moors, preferring exile to baptism, left the country. He also introduced the terrible tribunal into Naples and Sicily; and though the Sicilians at first rose against it, and expelled the Inquisitors, they had afterward, overcome by Charles V., to submit to its reestablishment. Deza, during his short reign of nine years, caused 2592 individuals to be burnt alive and 829 in effigy, and condemned upwards of 32,000 to imprisonment and the galleys, with total confiscation of property. He was succeeded by the mild Ximenes, after whom came Adrien Boeijens, who was as cruel a persecutor as Torquemada; the Lutheran doctrines, now gaining ground, gave him and his successors plenty of occupation, and the bonfires of the Inquisition blazed not only in Spain, but at Naples, Malta, Venice, in Sardinia and Flanders; and in the Spanish colonies in America the poor Indians perished in hecatombs, for either refusing to be baptized, or being suspected of having relapsed into their former idolatry, after having adopted and professed the mild and gentle creed of Christianity. 228. General History of Institution contimbed.—We need THE INQUISITION 185 not go through the list of Grand Inquisitors seriatim. Let us only give particular facts, indicative of the spirit that continued to guide them. Under the generalate of Valds, the eighth Inquisitor-General, a lady ninety years old, Marie de Bourgogne, immensely rich, was denounced by a servant as having said: " Christians respect neither faith nor law." She was thereupon cast into one of the dungeons of the Holy Office, where she remained for five years for want of proof. At the end of that time she was put to the torture to extort an avowal, and she was so unmercifully racked, that she died under the butchers' hands. She underwent the three tortures of the cord, water, and fire. But her trial was continued after her death, and ended in her remains being condemned to be burnt, and the total confiscation of her property; her children, besides being disinherited, also being declared infamous for ever. In 1559, at an auto-da-fS held at Valladolid, they burnt the body of Dame Eleanor de Vibero y Cazalla, who had died a good Catholic, but was after her death accused by witnesses, whose confessions were extorted by the rack, of having associated with Lutherans. Her property was confiscated. The Inquisition also condemned Charles V., after his death, as a heretic, and caused his confessor. Dr. Cazalla, to be burnt alive. At this autodorf were present the Princess Donna Joan, the regent, in the absence of Philip II. from the kingdom, and Prince Don Carlos, then only fourteen years of age. 229. Englishmen Imprisoned by the Inquisition.—In 1558 Nicholas Burton, a London citizen, who traded to Spain, arrived at Cadiz in his own ship. He was seized by the Inquisition and accused of having spoken disrespectfully of that tribunal, and being a heretic, and after having been kept in prison for two years, was burnt alive, his mouth being gagged, at Seville. The Inquisition seized his ship and cargo, valued at;50,cxx). But portion of the cargo belonged to a Bristol merchant, who sent his lawyer, John Frampton, to Spain to claim his property. His mission, of 'Course, failed. He was sent to Cadiz a second time, when the Inquisition seized, imprisoned, and racked him, and finally made him appear in the auto-da-f, in which Burton was burnt. But eventually Frampton made his escape, returned to England, and published his experiences. Why •did our blustering Bess, who sent thousands of Englishmen to perish abroad to uphold the cause of foreigners, the Huguenots, not interfere in behalf of two Englishmen, her -own subjects, to snatch them from the clutches of the 1 86 SEOEET SOCIETIES Spanish fiends? Well, Philip of Spain had made her aa offer of marriage, and even a queen does not like to offend an unsuccessful suitor. 230. History continTied.—Philip II. extended the jurisdiction of the Inquisition throughout the Netherlands, and in spite of the resistance of the inhabitants, met with such success, that his noble executioner, the Duke of Alva, could boast of having within five years sent to the stake and gallows 18,000 persons for the crime of heresy. But the oppression at last became so great, that the Netherlandsrevolted again, and this time successfully; they for ever threw off the Spanish yoke. It was during this Dutch war of liberation that the mysterious catastrophe of Don Carlos, Philip's son by his first wife, occurred, Eomance asserts that the tragedy had its origin in the love passages said to have taken place between Don Carlos and Philip's second wife, Elizabeth of France, who, before becoming his stepmother, had been his aflSanced bride. But historyexplains the facts in this way: Don Carlos conspired against his father, a gloomy tyrant, who deprived him of every scrap of power and influence, keeping him in the perfect subjection of a child; the prince thought of assassinating the king, or flying to the Netherlands, which he hoped to erect into an independent kingdom for himself. While he was hesitating,, the Inquisition discovered both incipient schemes, revealed them to the king, and pronounced either deserving of death* Don Carlos was seized, imprisoned, and killed by poison. It is diflScult to imagine a moral monster such as Philip II. was* He caused the works of Vesale, his own physician, who first taught the true facts and principles of anatomy, with their illustrations by Titian, to be publicly burnt, and the doctor himself was compelled to make an involuntary pilgrimage to* Jerusalem to expiate his impious attempt of prying into the secrets of nature. This, we may say, was simply absurd om the part of the king; what follows is atrocious. In 1559 he learnt that an auto-da-f had taken place in a distant locality, where thirty persons had perished at the stake. He besought the Inquisitors to be allowed to witness a similar spectacle; the Dominican devils, to encourage and reward such holy zeal on the part of Heaven's anointed, sent out their archers, who searched with such diligence for victims, that on the 6th October of the same year the king was able to preside at Valladolid at the burning of forty of his subjects, which gave him the most lively satisfaction. One of the condemned, a person of distinction, implored the royal mercy, as he was THE INQUISITION 187 being led to the stake. "No," replied the crowned hyena, " if it were my own son, I would surrender him to the flames if he persisted in his heresy." In 1566 the Grand Inquisitor Espinosa began his crusade against the Moors that still remained in Spain. For a long time the persecuted race confined themselves to remonstrances, but when it was decreed that their children must thenceforth be brought up in the Christian faith, a vast conspiracy was formed, which for nine months was kept secret, and would have been successful had not the Moors of the mountainous districts broken out into open rebellion before those of the country and towns were prepared to support them. The Christians scattered among the Moorish population of course were the first victims of the long pent-up rage of the Mussulmans. Three thousand perished at the first outset; all the monks of a monastery were cast into boiling oil. One of the insurgents, the intimate friend of a Christian, knew of no greater proof of affection he could show him than transfixing him with his lance, lest others should treat him worse. The Marquis of Mondejar, captaingeneral of Andalusia, was appointed to put down the insurrection. As he was too humane, his reprisals not being severe enough, the Marquis de Los Velez, called by the Moors the "Demon with the Iron Head," was associated with him in the command, and he carried on war in the most ferocious manner. At the battle of Ohanez blood was shed in such quantities, that the thirsty Spaniards could not find one unpolluted spring. One thousand six hundred Moors were subjected to a treatment worse than death, and immediately after Los Velez and his band of butchers celebrated the feast of the Purification of the Virgin! And in the end the superior number of the Christians triumphed over Moorish bravery, and the Inquisitors were busy for weeks holding autoS'da'f6 to celebrate the victory of the true faith. Under the long reign of Philip 11. , called the "Demon of the South," six Grand Inquisitors carried on their bloody orgies. The Reformed Creed of course supplied the greatest numbers of victims; at Seville on one occasion eight hundred were arrested all at once. At the first auto-da-fi of Vallad olid, on 12th May 1559, fourteen members of one family were burnt. The Inquisition was established in the island of Sardinia, at Lima, Mexico, Cartagena, in the fleet, army, and even among custom-house ofiicers. By the original documents in Trinity College, Dublin, it appears that in the 1 88 three years from 1 564 to 1 567 the Inquisition at Rome passed III sentences on heretics. 231. History continued.—Philip III. of Spain was earlytaught the power of the Inquisition; for when, at the beginning of his reign, he was obliged to be present at an auto-da-f6, and could not restrain his tears at seeing two young women, one Jewish and the other Moorish, burnt at the stake, for no other fault than that of having been brought up in the different creeds of their fathers, the Inquisitors imputed to him his compassion as a crime, which could only be expiated by blood: the king had to submit to being bled and seeing his blood burnt by the executioner. The Inquisitors, in fact, were above the king. At autos-da-fd the Grand Inquisitor's throne was more lofty than that of the king. The Inquisitor Tabera kept the arch-priest of Malaga for two years in prison, because that ecclesiastic, whilst carrying the viaticum to a dying person, had not stopped to let the Inquisitor pass. Philip IV. inaugurated his reign by an atUo-da-f {1632). The Inquisitor-General gave to the show of the auto-da-fi, whose interest began to decline, a new zest by causing the sentence of death against ten marranos to be read to them, while each of them had one hand nailed to a wooden cross. The marriage of Charles II. with the niece of Louis XIV. (1680) was celebrated with an auto-da-fS at Madrid. On the 12th April 1869 some workmen, employed in digging up the earth in the chief square of Madrid, came upon a layer of coals and ashes, mixed with bones, which proved to be human bones; moreover, iron collars and other things were found, which left no doubt that the spot had been the scene of the autO'da-fi, of 1680, a full account of which was published, by " express desire of the king and of the Grand Inquisitor, Valladares, to the honour and glory of Spain," by Joseph del Olmo, who was one of the familiars of the Inquisition. This autode-f was even a grander affair than that of 1632. There were 118 victims, one-and-twenty of whom were burnt alive in the presence of the young king and queen and the nobility of the court, besides a vast concourse of less exalted spectators. On the previous day the wood-cutters, to the number of 290, had defiled before the royal palace, every one with a log of wood on his shoulder. Their leader stopped at the gate of the palace, where a duke was in waiting to receive the log, which he reverently carried up to the king, who took it from him, carried it to the boudoir of the queen, placed the piece of wood, on which two days after a human being was to be THE INQUISITION 189 burnt alive, into her arms, like a baby; he then gave it back to his grace, my lord duke, and, according to the instructions he had received from his father-confessor, the Don Estevan del Vado, Inquisitor of Toledo, sent word to the captain of the wood-cutters, that on the auio-da-f this log was to be thrown into the flames in the name of the king. On the day of the auto-da-fi the show was not over till half-past nine at night; and, says Del Olmo, " The public went away highly pleased, especially with the conduct of the king, who had stood the heat of the day, and shown that he was not at all weary." 232. Reflections.—Is it possible to realise the horrors of this transaction—a man brought up in the principles of chivalry, and a woman of royal birth, whom one would suppose to be not only noble, but also gentle, witnessing, on their wedding-day, when one would imagine their hearts to be full of joy, and therefore full of good-will towards all men, and especially their subjects, so cruel a spectacle as the burning alive of human beings, burnt, so to say, in their honour? But here we see the effects of evil church government and priestly influence. When the mania of burning every old woman who had a black cat, as a witch, arose, the Inquisition found a new field of labour; and whatever might be the density of mental darkness with which priests and monks covered Europe, they took care there should be plenty of material light, and hence the funeral pyres of human reason and liberty were always blazing. Some of the Molinists, who, under pretext of "Perfect Contemplation," encouraged the most scandalous sexual excesses, were also burnt, not on account of their immoral practices, but because of some so-called heretical notions they propounded. Under the succeeding kings of Spain general enlightenment and civilisation had made too much progress to allow the Inquisitors to indulge as formerly their frantic rage and fanatical cruelty. During the reign of Ferdinand VI., Charles III., and Charles IV., they obtained only 245 condemnations, of which fourteen were to death. Freemasons and Jansenists were the principal victims. One of the vilest acts of the Inquisition during the reign of Charles III. was the imprisonment, on the charge of heresy, in 1778, of Count Olivades, the founder of La Carolina, the central city of the Sierra Morena colony, and of other highly beneficial institutions to Spain. His friends enabled him, in 1780, to make his escape to Venice. 233. Abolition of the Inquisition.—Napoleon, on the 4th December 1808, whilst encamped at the village of Chamartin, 190 a short distance from Madrid, summoned the authorities of Madrid to surrender. The Grand Inquisitor refused. Napoleon wrote on a piece of paper: ** The Inquisitors are to be made prisoners. The Holy Office has ceased to exist. Its revenues are confiscated." Colonel Lumanuski, acting under the immediate orders of Marshal Soult, was sent to seize the palace of the Inquisition at Madrid. The building was surrounded by a strong wall, and guarded by 400 soldiers. The Fathers were summoned to open the gates, instead of which they shot the herald. The order to attack was given immediately. The Spanish soldiers were protected loj their waHs, the French troops were exposed, in an open plain, to their fire, and had no ladders. Some trees were <5ut down, turned into battering-rams, and soon a breach was made in the wall, through which the French entered the building. Then the priests left their cells, pretending to be surprised at the garrison having offered any resistance to their friends, the French! But Lumanuski, not to be deceived, ordered them to be closely guarded; the soldiers were all made prisoners. The French then examined the building; they found splendid halls and rooms, but no prisons, torture rooms, or any of the horrors usually associated with the dread tribunal. Lumanuski was about to retire, when Colonel di Lilla suggested that the marble floor of the ground floor should have water poured on it, to see if it would flow off anywhere. Speedily it was seen to disappear through a crack between two slabs of marble. In trying to raise one of the slabs a soldier touched a hidden spring, and the slab rose up, revealing a staircase, descending which the French first came to a large hall, the judgment hall, with appropriate furniture; then they discovered a number of cells, in some of which bodies of men, in various states of decay, were found—prisoners who had been left to die in solitary confinement. In others they found prisoners still alive, men, women, and children, all perfectly naked, and numbering about one hundred persons. These, of course, were clothed, the soldiers giving them their cloaks or coats, and restored to liberty. All the cells having been visited, the French next came upon the torture chambers, containing all the diabolical instruments invented for racking human bodies. At this sight the fury of the French soldiers was not to be restrained; they declared that the holy fathers should themselves undergo the tortures they had inflicted on their victims; and Lumanuski states that he saw the torture applied in four different ways on as many of the Inquisitorial THE INQUISITION 191 fiends—a very slight retribution for all the evil they had done. 234. Restoration and Final Abolition.—But Ferdinand VII. on his restoration—alas! with the help of England—in 1 814, re-established the Inquisition, and appointed Francis Thiry Campilla, Bishop of Almeria, its forty-fifth Inqaisitor•General. Immediately the prisons, galleys, and penal colonies were filled with prisoners, Freemasons forming a preponderating number amongst them. But in 1820 all the Spanish provinces combined again in a general insurrection, broke the bonds of Absolutism, again crushed the Inquisition and its familiars, set free its prisoners, demolished its palaces and prisons, and burnt its instruments of torture. But in 1823 xb fresh reaction set in; French troops, led by the Duke of AngoulSme, restored Ferdinand VII. to the throne, and the king, at the " earnest desire of his subjects/' set up the Inquisition once more; and " if the Spanish nation was anxious for its restoration," as Dr. Brlick, the apologist of Absolutism, both political and priestly, in his " History of the Secret Societies of Spain " observes, " it is a proof that this tribunal was neither cruel nor unpopular." But the tribunal was unpopular, and the feeling was so strongly expressed, that the English ambassador, Sir Henry Wellesley, siding with the nation, threatened to leave Spain if the Inquisition were re-established with all its former authority. But though shorn of its once absolute power, the institution was still strong enough to send people to the scaffold: in 1826 it burnt a Jew; and a schoolmaster, accused of Quakerism, was hanged at Valencia on the 31st July of the same year. True, the last victim did not wear the san henito, but his own clothes; the Inquisitors could no longer render their prisoners ridiculous; and the barefooted Carmelite friar, who accompanied the Quaker, could not, even at the last moment, win him for the heaven he promised him if he recanted. The Quaker died impenitent. The Inquisition still exists in Portugal, though in a modified form. It also still exists at Eome: its palace stands to the left of St. Peter's, but its dungeons are empty, and the once murderous Inquisition is now merely a tribunal of <5lerical discipline, 235. The False Nuncio.—I have in the foregoing account ¦spoken of the Inquisition chiefly as it existed in Spain. It was, however, not confined to that country; its fearful octopus -arms embraced every nation it could reach. The way it was introduced into Portugal was peculiar, and worthy 192 SEOEET SOCIETIES of that tribunal. In 1 5 39 there appeared at Lisbon a papal legate, who declared to have come to Portugal, there to establish the Inquisition. He brought the king letters from Pope Paul III, and produced the most ample credentials for nominating a Grand Inquisitor and all other ofiScers of the sacred tribunal. This man was a clever swindler, called John Pers, of Saavedra, who was an adept at imitating all kinds of writing and forging signatures and seals. He was attended by a magnificent train of more than a hundred servants, and to defray his expenses had borrowed at Seville enormous sums in the name of the Apostolic Chamber at Rome. The king was at first surprised and angry that the Pope should send an envoy of this description without previous notice, but Peres haughtily replied, that in so urgent a matter as the establishment of the Inquisition and the suppression of heresy the Holy Father could not stand on points; and that the king was highly honoured by the fact that the first messenger who brought him the news was the legate himself. The king dared complain no more; and the false nuncio the same day nominated a Grand Inquisitor, set up the Holy OjBSce, and collected money for its working expenses. Before news could come from Rome, the rogue had already pocketed upwards of two hundred thousand ducats. But he could not make his escape before the swindle was discovered, and Pers was condemned to be whipped and sent to the galleys for ten years. But the best of the joke was, that the Pope confirmed all the swindler had done; in the plentitude of his divine power, Paul III. declared the slight irregularities which attended the establishment of the Portuguese Inquisition not to affect its efiicacy or moral character, and that, now it was established, it should remain so. 236. The Inquisition in various Countries.—Other countries where the Inquisition was established were the Spanish Netherlands, the Spanish colonies in America, in the East Indies, the Papal States, Venice, Germany, where for some time it raged with particular ferocity; the Dominican fiends had scarcely been three years at Strasbourg when they burnt eighty Waldenses, and the demon, Konrad von Marburg, travelled up and down the country burning heretics with diabolical joy. He met with a well-merited reward by being killed by Count Sayn, near Marburg. In some of the countries named above the Inquisition was abolished before it ceased to exist in Spain and Italy. In 1557 an attempt was made to introduce the Inquisition into England, but, fortunately for this country, unsuccessfully. But, even without its help. Bloody THE INQUISITION 193 Mary bad the satisfaction of burning ninety-four heretics in the course of that year in England alone. 237. Apologists of the Inquisition.—Some writers, who discuss history philosophically—which means whitewashing cruel tyrants and monstrous institutions—the learned divines in scratch wigs and the courtly historiographers in flowing periwigs, have endeavoured to whitewash the Inquisition. It was an institution, they say, necessary in its day to preserve the purity of religion; an argument not worth answering, it is so absurd. No man, and no aggregation of men—though it call itself " the Church "—has any inherent right to call any man to account for his religious belief: it is a matter of conscience no tribunal is competent to meddle with. Then the apologists of the Inquisition further say, that the Inquisitors were more fanatical than cruel. This, again, is false. No man, who was not cruel, could have inflicted the suflEerings inflicted on their fellow-men by the Inquisitors. The pity they pretended to feel for their victims, and the anxiety they displayed for the welfare of the souls of those they sacrified to their ambition and greed—for their victims generally possessed means, which the Inquisition confiscated—were even more wicked than the cruelties they practised. The Spanish Inquisitors and monks were infamous hypocrites, and not fanatics. The morality of fanatics usually is above reproach; but no men ever were more debauched, more filthy, more corrupt than Spanish Inquisitors, monks, and the priesthood in general. In 1556 the public voice of Spain accused certain priests of using the confessional for immoral purposes. Paul IV. ordered the Inquisition to investigate the matter. The denunciations were so numerous, that the Inquisitors, fearing too great a scandal, had to renounce the prosecution of the delinquent priests; and, no doubt, they had a fellowfeeling for them! And I cannot help agreeing with Hoffmann, the latest historian of the Inquisition, when he says, that the modern apologists of that tribunal must be even more bloodthirsty than the Inquisitors were, for with the latter the fierce religious fanaticism of their age in some degree palliated their inhumanity: to defend it in this age shows a real tiger nature. VOL. I. BOOK VIII MYSTICS "There is great abundance of chaff and straw to the grain, bat the grain is good, and as we do not eat either the chaff or straw, if we can AToid it, nor even the raw grain, but thrash and winnow it, and grind it and bake it, we find it, after undergoing this process, not only very palatable, but a special dainty of its kind. But the husk is an unsurmountable obstacle to those learned and educated gentlemen who judge of books entirely by the style and grammar, and who eat grain as it grows, like the cattle."— Rev. J. Smith. ALCHYMISTS " In our day men are only too much disposed to regard the views of the disciples and followers of the Arabian school, and of the late Alchemists, respecting transmutation of metals, as a mere hallucination of the human mind, and, strangely enough, to lament it. But the idea of the variable and changeable corresponds with universal experience, and always precedes that of the unchangeable."—Liebig. The alchymist he had his gorgeous vision Of boundless wealth and everlasting youth; He strove untiringly, with firm decision, To turn his fancies into glorious trutt Undaunted by the rabble's loud derision, Condemning without reason, without ruth. And though he never found the pear! he sought, Tet many a secret gem to light he brought. 238. Astrology perhaps Secret Heresy.—The mystic astronomy of ancient nations produced judicial astrology, which, considered from this point of view, will appear less absurd. It was the principal study of the Middle Ages; and Bome was so violently opposed to it because, perhaps, it was not only heresy, but a wide-spread reaction against the Church of Bome. It was chiefly cultivated by the Jews, and protected by princes opposed to the papal supremacy. The Church was not satisfied with burning the books, but burned the writers; and the poor astrologers, who spent their lives in the contemplation of the heavens, mostly perished at the stake. 239. Process by which Astrology degenerated.—As it often happens that the latest disciples attach themselves to the letter, understanding literally what in the first instance was only a fiction, taking the mask for a real face, so we may suppose astrology to have degenerated and become false and puerile. Hermes, the legislator of Egypt, who was revealed in the Samothracian mysteries, and often represented with a ram by his side—a constellation initiating the new course of the equinoctial sun, the conqueror of darkness—was revived 197 198 in astrological practice; and a great number of astrological works, the writings of Christian Gnostics and Neo-Platonists, were attributed to him, and he was considered the father of the art from him called hermetic, and embracing astrology and alchymy, the rudimentary efforts of two sciences, which at first overawed ignorance by imposture, but, after labouring for centuries in the dark, conquered for themselves glorious thrones in human knowledge. 240. Scientific Valice of Alchymy.—Though Alchymy is no longer believed in as a true science, in spite of the prophecy of Dr. Girtanner, of Gottingen, that in the nineteenth century the transmutation of metals will be generally known and practised, it will never lose its power of awakening curiosity and seducing the imagination. The aspect of the marvellous which its doctrines assume, the strange renown attaching to the memory of the adepts, and the mixture of reality and illusion, of truths and chimeras which it presents, will always exercise a powerful fascination upon many minds. And we ought also to remember that every delusion that has had a wide and enduring influence must have been founded, not on falsehood, but on misapprehended truth. This aphorism is especially applicable to Alchymy, which, in its origin, and even in its name, is identical with chemistry, the syllable al being merely the definite article of the Arabs. The researches of the Alchymists for the discovery of the means by which transmutation might be effected were naturally suggested by the simplest experiments in metallurgy and the amalgamation of metals; it is very probable that the first man who made brass thought that he had produced imperfect gold. 241. The Tincture.—The transmutation of the base metal was to be effected by means of the transmuting tincture, which, however, was never found. But it exists for all that; it is the power that turns a green stalk into a golden ear of com, that fills the sour unripe apple with sweetness and aroma, that has turned the lump of charcoal into a diamond. All these are natural processes, which, being allowed to go on, produce the above results. Now, all base metals may be said to be imperfect metals, whose progress towards perfection has been arrested, the active power of the tincture being shut up in them in the first property of nature (i i). If a man could take hold of the tincture universally diffused in nature, and by its help assist the imprisoned tincture in the metal to stir and become active, then the transmutation into gold, or rather the manifestation (11) of the hidden life, could be effected. But this power or tincture is so subtle that it cannot possibly ALOHYMISTS 199. be apprehended; yet the Alchymists did not seek the non-*) existing, but only the unattainable. 24. Aims of Alchymy.—The three great ends pursued by Alcbymy were the transmutation of base metals into gold by means of the philosopher's stone; the discovery of the: panacea, or universal medicine, the elixir of life; and the universal solvent, which, being applied to any seed, should, increase its fecundity. All these three objects are attainable by means of the tincture—a vital force, whose body is electricity, by which the two latter aims have to some extent been reached, for electricity will both cure disease and promote the growth of plants. Alchymy was then in the beginning the search after means to raise matter up to its first state, whence it was supposed to have fallen. Gold was considered, as to matter, what the ether of the eighth heaven was as to souls; and the seven metals, each called by the name of one of the seven planets, the knowledge of the seven properties really implied being lost—the Sun, gold; Moon, silver; Saturn, lead; Venus, tin; Mercury, iron; Mars, mixed metal; Jupiter, copper.—formed the ascending scale of purification, corresponding with the trials of the seven (iaverns or steps. Alchymy was thus either a bodily initiation, or an initiation into the mysteries, a spiritual Alchymy; the one formed a veil of the other, wherefore it often happened .that in workshops where the vulgar thought the adepts occupied with handicraft operations, and nothing sought but the metals of the golden age, in reality, no other philosopher's stone was searched for than the cubical stone of the temple of philosophy; in fine, nothing was purified but the passions, men, and not metals, being passed through the crucible* Bohme, the greatest of mystics, has written largely on the perfect analogy between the philosophical work and spiritual regeneration. 243. History of Alchymy.—Alchymy flourished in Egypt at a very early age, and Solomon was said to have practised it. Its golden age began with the conquest of the Arabs in Asia and Africa, about the time of the destruction of the Alexandrian Library. The Saracens, credulous, and intimate with the fables of talismans and celestial influences, eagerly admitted the wonders of Alchymy. In the splendid courts of Almansor and Haroun al Baschid, the professors of the hermetic . art found patronage, disciples, and emolument. Nevertheless, from the above period until the eleventh I New arrangement: Veniis, copper; Meroury, mixed metal; Mars, iron; Jupiter, tin. 2CX) century the only alchymist of note is the Arabian Geber, whose proper name was Abu Mussah Djafar al Sofi. His attempts to transmute the base metals into gold led him to severed discoveries in chemistry and medicine. He was also a famous astronomer, but—sic transit gloria mundi!—he has descended to our times as the founder of that jargon known by the name of gibberish! The Crusaders brought the art to Europe; and about the thirteenth century Albertus Magnus, Roger Bacon, and Raymond LuUy appeared as its revivers. Edward III. engaged John le Rouse and Master William de Dalby, alchemists, to make experiments before him; and Henry VL of England encouraged lords, nobles, doctors, professors, and priests to pursue the search after the philosopher's stone; especially the priests, who, says the king— (ironically?)—having the power to convert bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, may well convert an impure into a perfect metal. The next man of note that pretended to the possession of the lapis phUosophorum was Paracelsus, whose proper name was Philip Aureolus Theophrastus Paracelsus Bombastus, of Hohenheim, and whom his followers called " Prince of Physicians, Philosopher of Fire, the Trismegistus of Switzerland, Reformer of Alchymistical Philosophy, Nature's faithful Secretary, Master of the Elixir of Life and Philosopher's Stone, Great Monarch of Ckymical Secrets." He introduced the term alcahest (probably a corruption of the German words ''all geist,'' "all spirit"), to express the universal solvent. The Rosicrucians, of whom Dr. Dee was the herald, next laid claim to alchymistical secrets, and were, in fact, the descendants of the Alchymists; and it is for this reason chiefly that these latter have been introduced into this work, though they cannot strictly be said to have formed a secret society. 244. Still, Alchymists formed Secret Societies.—Still, in the dedication to the Emperor Rudolph II., prefixed to the work entitled Thesaurinella Chymica'aurea tripartita, we read: 'Giren in the Imperial City of Hagenau, in the year 1607 of our salvation, and in the reign of the true governor of Olympus, Angelus Hagith, anno cxcvii/' The author calls himself Benedictus Figulus. The dedication further mentions a Count Bemhard, evidently one of the heads of the order, as having been introduced to a society of Alchymists, numbering fourteen or fifteen members, in Italy. Further, Paracelsus is named as the monarcha of this order; that is, the monarch, a local head, subject to the governor of Olympus, the chief of the Italian society. The author also, beside the ALCHYMISTS 201 usual chronology, gives a separate sectarian date; if we deduct cxcvii. (197) from 1607, we obtain the date 14 10 as that of the foundation of the society. Kgnlus says it was merged in the Bosicrucian order about the year 1607. Whether it was the same as that mentioned by Raymond Lully in his "Theatrum Chymicum," whose chief was called Bex Physicorum, and which existed before 1400, is uncertain. 245. Decay of Alchymy.—Alchymy lost all credit in this country by the failure, and consequent suicide, of Dr. James Price, a member of the Royal Society, to produce gold, according to promise, the experiments to be performed in the presence of the Society. This occurred in 1783. But in 1796 rumours spread throughout Germany of the existence of a great union of adepts, under the name of the Hermetic Society, which, however, consisted really of two members only, the well-known Karl Arnold Kortum, the author of the Johsiade, and one Bahrens, though there were many " honorary '* members. The public, seeing no results, though the " Society " promised much, at last took no further notice of the Hermetics, and the wars, which soon after devastated Europe, caused Alchymy to be forgotten; though up to the year 1812 the higher society of Carlsruhe amused itself, in secret cliques, with playing at the transmutation of metals. The last of the English Alchymists seems to have been a gentleman of the name of Kellerman, who as lately as 1828 was living at Lilley, a village between Luton and Hitchin. There are, no doubt, at the present moment men engaged in the search after the philosopher's stone; we patiently wait for their discoveries. 246. Specimen of Alchymistic Lainguage.—After Paracelsus, the Alchymists divided into two classes: those that pursued useful studies, and those that took up the visionary fantastical side of Alchymy, writing books of mystical trash, which they fathered on Hermes, Aristotle, Albertus Magnus, and others. Their language is now unintelligible. One brief specimen may suffice. The power of transmutation, ealled the Green Lion, was to be obtained in the following manner:—" In the Green Lion's bed the sun and moon are bom; they are married and beget a king; the king feeds on the lion's blood, which is the king's father and mother, who are at the same time his brother and sister. I fear I betray the secret, which I promised my master to conceal in dark speech from every one who does not know how to rule the philosopher's fire." Our ancestors must have had a great 202 talent for finding out enigmas if they were able to elidt a meaning from these mysterious directions; still, the language was understood by the adepts, and was only intended for them. Many statements of mathematical formulae must always appear pure gibberish to the uninitiated into the higher science of numbers; still, these statements enunciate truths well understood by the mathematician. Thus, to give but one instance, when Hermes Trismegistus, in one of the treatises attributed to him, directs the adept to catch the flying bird and to drown it, so that it fly no more, the fixation of quicksilver by a combination with gold is meant. 247. Personal Fate of the Alchymists.—The Alchy mists, though chemistry is greatly indebted to them, and in their researches they stumbled on many a valuable discovery, as a rule led but sad and chequered lives, and most of them died in the utmost poverty, if no worse fate befell them. Thus one of the most famous Alchymists, Bragadino, who lived iu the last quarter of the sixteenth century, who obtained large sums of money for his pretended secret from the Emperor of Germany, the Doge of Venice, and other potentates, who boasted that Satan was his slave—two ferocious black dogs that always accompanied him being demons—was at last hanged at Munich, the cheat with which he performed the pretended transmutation having been discovered. The two dogs were shot under the gallows. But even the honest Alchymists were doomed— *< To lose good days that might be better spent, To waste long nights in pensive discontent; To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow, To feed on hope, to pine with fear and sorrow; To fret their souls with crosses and with cares, To eat their hearts through comfortless despairs. Unhappy wights, born to disastrous end, That do their lives in tedious tendance spend! " II JACOB BOHME 248. Parallel between Mystics and Sectaries.—All secret societies have some connection with mysticism, secret itself, delighting in mystery, as the loving soul delights in surrounding the beloved object with mystery. Sectaries to some extent are the parents of mystics. The silent adoration of the Infinite, in which mystics delight, has its counterpart in the worship of progress, liberty, and truth, to which sectaries devote themselves. Progress, liberty, truth, are attributes of the highest humanitarianism. The mystics are the men of thought, the sectaries the men of action. However remote the thoughts of the former may seem from application to everyday life, from political strife, they yet have a positive influence on human belief and will. The mystics behold in paradise that same ideal, transfigured, enlarged, and perpetuated, which the sectaries pursue on earth. 249. Character and Mission of Mystics.—The mystics continue the school of ancient initiations, which to many nations were their only philosophy, science, and liberty. They are the priests of Infinity; in their tenderness they are the most tolerant of men, pardoning all, even the devil; they embrace all, pity all. They are, in a certain sense, the rationalists of prayer. By means of syntheses, trances, and raptures, they arrive at a pure and simple understanding of the supernatural, as popularly understood, which they adore more with their imagination and affection, than with the learned and sophisticated conceits of theology. Therefore the mystics of all creeds resemble each other; theirs is a region common to all religions, the universal home of the soul—a height from which the innumerable horizons of conscience are seen to meet. 250. Merits of Bohnu.—The prince of mystics is without contradiction Jacob Bohme; in fact, compared with him, all other mystics sink into utter insignificance, as mere vision 204 es, whose rhapsodies, though sometimes poetical, were always fantastical and useless to the world, because not founded on the truths of Eternal Nature. Bohme was a visionary, but a visionary of the stamp of Columbus; to him also it was given to behold with his mental eye a hidden world, the world of the Properties of Eternal Nature, and to solve the great mystery, not of this earth alone, but of the universe. He was emphatically a central philosopher, who from his standpoint could survey the whole sphere, within and without, and not merely an outer segment of its shell. He could therefore see the causes of things, and not their effects only. There is, I do not deny it, much in the writings of Bohme that cannot be maintained or proved, much that appears as pure alchymistical and cabalistic reverie, the disease of the age in which he lived. But though he may often be wrong in his deductions, he is always right in fundamentals. And even after rejecting all that is doubtful or absolutely erroneous, there is left so much which science and experiment demonstrate to be absolutely true, that it is hard to remember that all this was enunciated by a man who had no learning and never made an experiment in his life, and at a time when none of the scientific truths he put forth were even dreamt of by scientific men. Even if he had made known nothing but the Seven Properties of Nature (ii), the key to all her mysteries, he would for ever rank among the greatest lights of science. I confess I am at a perfect loss to account for this extraordinary knowledge in an untutored shoemaker, such as Bohme was. If there were any work extant, or known to have been extant before or at his time, in which an account of the Seven Properties was given, I should say, he must have copied from that, though this theory would still leave the original discoverer unknown; but no trace either actual or traditional of any such work, or of the knowledge of these properties—except of such as is implied in the universal veneration in which the number seven has ever been held—is anywhere discoverable. True, Bohme's terminology is chiefly borrowed from the alchemists, but not his knowledge. Whence then did he derive it? No one who has studied its details can doubt of their trutL No one before him has put them forth, Is then intuition possible? Was Bohme endowed with that gift? This is in fact a greater secret than any handed down in any secret society, ancient or modem. Of course scientific men, as they are called, laugh at Bohme as a mad dreamer, just as the Royal Society laughed at the electric discoveries of Franklin JACOB BOHME 205 — he was a printer who had actually worked at the press, what could he know of electricity? How could he solve a problem that had puzzled the most learned of their members? And how can Bohme, the despised and illiterate shoemaker, teach the scientists of our day anything? But the fact remains, that in the writings of this poor cobbler lie the germs of all the discoveries in physical science hitherto, and yet to be, made. 251. Bohme' 8 Influence.—I am well aware that this assertion will again meet with the derision it has hitherto encountered. Yet the reader who has accompanied me thus far ought to pause ere he joins the laughers. He will have had ample proofs that I accept nothing on mere authority, however high it may be considered. I want proof, positive proof, of any alleged fact, before I accept it as fact. If, therefore, with this disposition on my part, and after the study of Bohme's works, pursued for a number of years, with opportunities such as few have had—for the hierophant that initiated me into the mysteries of the German theosopher was undoubtedly the most learned Bohmite in this or any other country; in fact, the only man that understood him thoroughly-if under these circumstances I entertain the opinions expressed in the foregoing paragraph, they cannot well be without foundation. But whoso is not to be convinced by Bohme's demonstration of the Seven Properties cannot be convinced by any argument. And Bohme's writings have not been without a deep and lasting, though latent, influence on modern philosophy and scienca Even Newton was largely indebted to him. Among Sir Isaac's papers there were found large extracts out of Bohme's works, written with his own hand; and he thence learnt that attraction is the first and fundamental law of nature. Of course, the scientific elaboration of the axiom is all Newton's own, and it detracts nothing from his glory that he learnt the law from Bohme. Newton even went further; he and Dr. Newton, his relative, set up furnaces, and were for several months hard at work in quest of the tincture so largely spoken of by Bohme. But the influence of this author ia still more strikingly seen in the writings of Francis Baader, a German physicist of the present day, who has pursued his scientific inquiries by the light—feebly caught, it is true, in his mind's mirror—of Bohme's revelations. The greatest philosophic thinkers of this and the preceding century have drunk at the spring of Bohme's writings; and the systems of Leibnitz, Laplace, Schelling, Hegel, Eichte, and others. 206 are distinctly permeated by his spirit—but none suflSciently, and hence no one of their systems is satisfactory. Goethe was well versed in Bohme, and many allusions in his writings, which the critics can make nothing of, may be explained by passages from Bohme. Thus the commentators and translators of "Faust '* have made the most ridiculous guesses as to the meaning to be attached to the " Mothers," to whom Faust is to descend in his search for Helen. The " Mothers " are the first three properties of nature (i i), and all the instructions given by Mephistopheles to Faust before his descent ad inferos form a highly poetical, and at the same time philosophical, description of them. If scientific men, instead of laughing at Bohme, would study his works, we should have no Darwinism, no theories of the sun's refrigeration, and no President of the British Association propounding the monstrous doctrine that life on this earth had its origin in the life carried hither on fragments struck off other planets and celestial bodies and falling on this globe—a theory which, «ven could it for on» moment be entertained, would still leave the question, " Whence came life? " unanswered. Nor should we have the Huxleys and Tyndalls assuming that life can be put into a cteature, after its material body is made, which is no better than assuming that a circle and its roundness are two separate things—that first comes the figure and afterwards its roundness. Bohme, whom they look upon as a dlreamer, would show them, the real dreamers, that life makes the body to manifest itself; when a growing acorn puts forth sprouts, it is the life creeping out, feeling its way, and clothing itself in matter as it goes along, and in order to go along. Let scientists read that magmficent chapter beginning with: " We see that all life is essential; it manifests itself by the germing of the essences." What theology might learn from Bohme cannot be comprised in a few words: the vexed questions of the origin of evil, predestination, Christ's flesh and blood which are to regenerate man, their nature and action, are all profoundly and pseudoscientifically expounded in the writings of this author. But as he had no academic title, nor even common education, they despise him; and yet some of these very men will put faith in equally illiterate spiritualists. 252. Sketch of B6h7n£s Life.—Jacob Bohme was born at Goriitz, in Upper Lusatia, in 1575. In his childhood he was engaged in tending cattle. In this solitary life and the constant contemplation of nature he felt himself a poet, and, as he imagined, destined for great things. He saw an occult JACOB BOHME 207 meaning in all the voices of the country; and, believing that therein he heard the voice of God, he lent his ear to a revelation he regarded as coming from God Himself through the medium of nature. At the age of fifteen or sixteen he was Apprenticed to a shoemaker at Gorlitz. The sedentary occupation increased his tendency to mysticism. Severe and zealous for good manners and morals, and quite wrapped up in himself, he was considered proud by some, and mad by others. And indeed, having received no education whatever, his ideas were necessarily confused, obscure, and disconnected. In 1594 he married. Though a good husband and good father, he did not cease from being a visionary; and, driven to it by frequent dreams, which he attributed to the influence of the Holy Spirit, he finally decided on writing. His first work was the " Aurora," the best known, but the most imperfect, of all his writings, both as regards style and matter. It brought upon him the persecution of the clergy, at whose instance the magistracy of Gorlitz prohibited his writing any more—an order which he obeyed for a number of years; but eventually the promptings of his spirit were no longer to be withstood, and he entirely gave himself up to the composition of his numerous writings during the last six years of his life, in which he produced among other works the " Mysterium Magnum," the " Signatura Eerum," the "Threefold life," the " Six Theosophic Points," the " Divine Contemplation," the " Supersensual Life," all of which contain, amidst much that is incongruous, whimsical, obscure, and unintelligible, passages of such profound knowledge and comprehensive meaning that no true philosopher dares to despise them, and which in fact will yet be recognised as the only solid bases of all true science. Now and then we meet in his writings with passages of such poetic beauty, such lofty views of Deity and Nature, as surpass all the conceptions of the greatest poets of all ages. His works, written in German, during his lifetime circulated only in manuscript; they were afterwards translated into Dutch, and from this language they were rendered into English. The German edition of his works, full of errors, did not appear until 1682. In Prance, St.Martin, le Philosophe Inconnu, translated some of them into French. His greatest commentator was Dionysius Andreas Preher, a German, who lived many years in this country, and whose works, all written in English—with the exception of two, written in German, and translated into English by the present writer—exist only in manuscript, copies of some of them being in the British Museum, whilst the originals were 2o8 in the possession of the late Mr. Christopher Walton, of Highgate, who, before his death, presented them, together with his unique collection of books and MSS. relating to mystical topics, including the translations made by the present writer, to Dr. Williams' library, London, for public benefit. William Law, the learned English divine, who had the use of these MSS., is his greatest English commentator; his "Appeal," "Way to Divine Knowledge," "Spirit of Prayer," and " Spirit of Love," show how well he had seized the leading ideas of Bohme's system. Bohme died in 1624, his last words being, "Now I am going into paradise." 253. The Philadelphians.—Bohme himself never founded any sect. He was too much wrapt up in his glorious visions to think of gathering disciples and perpetuating his name by such means: like the sun, he shed his light abroad, because it was his nature to do so, unheedful whether it fell on rich or barren ground, leaving it to fructify according to its own inherent qualities. And the fruit is to come yet. For the society of the " Philadelphians," founded towards the close of the seventeenth century by Jane Lead, whose vain visions undoubtedly were the result of her study of the work of Bohme, never led to any results, spiritual or scientific. The society, in fact, only existed about seven years, and its members had but vague and imperfect notions of the meaning and tendency of the writings of their great master. VOL. 1. Ill EMANUEL SWEDENBORG 254. Emanuel Swedenhorg.—A mystic, who as yet has made much more noise in the world, though totally unworthy of being compared with Jacob Bohme—for this latter has left to the world solid and positive scientific knowledge, founded on an extraordinary insight into Nature and her operations; whilst the former has left it nothing but some poetical ideas, with a farrago of nonsensical rubbish, such as hundreds of confessed madmen have written—is Emanuel Swedenborg. Still he was a man of great parts. In him were combined the opposite qualities of scientist, poet, and visionary. The desire of knowledge made him master the whole cycle of the sciences of his age, and when twenty-eight years old he wa& one of the most learned men of his country. In 17 16 he visited the English, Dutch, French, and German universities. In 171 8 he transported for Charles XII. a number of vessels over land from one coast to another. In 1721 he visited the mines of Europe, and wrote a description of them in his great work " Daedalus Hyperboreus." Then he gave himself up to theology, and unexpectedly turned to mysticism, often the denial of theology. He was fifty-five years old when he began to look within himself and to discover the wonders of the ideal world; after the mines of the earth, he explored the depths of the soul, and in this later exploration he forgot science. His pretended revelations drew upon him the hatred of the clergy, but he enjoyed such consideration in his own country that they could not injure him. At the Diet of 175 1 Count Hopken declared that the most valuable writings on finance proceeded from the pen of Swedenborg. A mystical financier was what the world had never seen, and perhaps will never see again. He died in London. There is an English society which prints and circulates his works, filling Yet in the late Mr. Laurence Oliphant it again saw a character closely resembling that of Swedenborg—the sharp, shrewd man of business and of the world, and the mystic. History repeats itself. 212 about fifty large volumes; and he has many followers in this country. He moreover made many discoveries in astronomy, chemistry, and medicine, and was the forerunner of Gall in phrenology. 255. His Writings and Theories.—Much in his writings is no doubt absurd; but still we think a sense, not at once apparent, but which turns nonsense into sense, may be discovered therein. Whoso attentively reads the " New Jerusalem," or the "Journey to the Astral Worlds," must see that there is a hidden meaning in his abstruse language. It cannot be assumed that a man who had shown so much vigour of mind in his numerous works on poetry, philosophy, mathematics, and natural history—a man who constantly spoke of "correspondences," wherein he attributed to the least thing a hidden sense—a man whose learning was un* bounded and acute—that such a man wrote without attaching some real meaning to his illusory language. The religion he professes is philanthropy, and consequently he gives to the abstract idea of the perfect man the name of Man-Grod, or Jesus Christ; those who aspire to it are angels and spirits; their union becomes heaven, and the opposite, hell. 256. Rationale of Swedenborg's Writings.—From the most remote antiquity we meet with institutions—as the foregoing pages have sufficiently shown—ever aiming at political, religious, and intellectual reform, but expressing their ideas by speaking allegorically of the other world and the life to come, of God and angels, or using architectural terms. This practice, which is permanent, and permeates all secret societies, aims at morality in conduct, justice in government, general happiness and progress, but aims at all these according to certain philosophical ideas, viz., that all men are free and equal; but understanding that these ideas, in the various conditions of actual society, in its different classes, and in the heads of government and worship, would meet with powerful opponents, it takes its phraseology from an imaginary world successfully to carry out its objects. Therefore its external worship resembles ours, but by the science of correspondences it becomes something different, which is thus, expressed by Swedenborg: " There is in heaven a divine cultus outwardly similar to ours, but inwardly different. I was permitted to enter into the celestial temple (perhaps the lodge), where are shown the harmonised divinity and the deified humanity." 257. The New Jerusalem.—One of the chief conceptions of Swedenborg, as expounded in the "New Jerusalem," is the divine in the heart of every man, interpreted by humanity. EMANUEL SWEDENBORG 213 which is one of the articles of faith of (true) Masonry. " Ta will and to do right withoat any interested aims, is to restore heaven in oneself, to live in the society of angels. The con- science of every man is the compendium of heaven; all is there, the conception and sanction of all duties and all rights/ It is thus Swedenborg speaks of the mystic or sectarian life: '' Between the good and the evil there is the same difference that there is between heaven and hell. Those that dwell in evil and error resemble hell, because the love of hell is the opposite of that of heaven, and the two loves hate and make war upon each other unto death. Man was created to live with the soul in the spiritual, and with the body in the natural,, world. In every man, then, there are two individualities, the spiritual and the natural, the internal and the external. The internal man is truly in heaven, and enjoys intercourse with celestial spirits even during the earthly life, which is not the true, but only a simulated life. Man, being twofold, has two thoughts, the superior and the inferior, two actions, two languages, two loves. Therefore the natural man is hypocritical and false, for he is double. The spiritual man is necessarily sincere and true, because he is simple and one; in him the spirit has exalted and attracted the natural; the external has identified itself with the internal. This exaltation was happily attained to by the ancients, who in earthly objects pursued their celestial correspondences." 258. The Correspondences.—He returns over and over again to the science of the correspondences, alluding to the initiations of the ancients, the true life that succeeds the simulated initiatory death, the mystical .heaven, which to the Egyptians and Greeks was nothing but the temple. " The science of the correspondences among the ancients was the highest science. The Orientals and Egyptians expressed it by hieroglyphics, which, having become unintelligible, generated idolatry. The correspondences alone can open the eyes of the mind, unveil the spiritual world, and make that apprehensible which does not come under the cognisance of the senses." Again he says: " I will show you what faith and charity are. Instead of faith and charity think of warmth and light, and you will understand all. Faith in its substance is truth, Le., wisdom; charity in its essence is affection, i.e., love. Love and wisdom, or charity and faith, the good and the true, form the life of God in man." In the description of the fields of heaven, the guiding augel—perhaps the warden of the lodge—says to Swedenborg that the things around him are correspondences of the angelic science, that all he sees— 214 plants, fruits, stones—all is corresponding, just as in masonic lodges. As there are three degrees in life, so there are three heavens," and the conditions of their respective inhabitants correspond with those of the initiated of the three masonic degrees. The " New Jerusalem " may be considered also as a protest against the papal rule, hated by Swedenborg, as by all sectaries. He sought its fate in the Apocalypse, as formerly did the Albigenses; and declared that the corrupt Roman clergy must make way for a better priesthood, and the decayed and idolatrous church for a new temple. To increase the authority of his words he adds: ''What I tell you, I learned in heaven," probably the sectarian heaven, into which he had been initiated. Extracts might be multiplied, but the above will suffice to show the spirit that animates the writings of Swedenborg; they will suffice to show that to enter into the hidden thoughts of most emblems, rites, and secret societies, it is necessary to consider the twofold, and even threefold, sense of the different figures. Every symbol is a mystery; nothing is done or said in secret assemblies that is not worthy of scrutiny— names, members, forms, all are indications, hints of hidden truths, dangerous truths, and therefore covered with double and triple veils. 259. Various Swedenhorgian Sects.—From these writings arose various sects, one of them composed of men who await the New Jerusalem, believing in the marvellous prophecies, the conversations with angels, the seraphic marriages of the elect, and considering themselves the true disciples of Christ, because Swedenborg called the Sun of Mercy, which spreads light and warmth throughout the universe, the Saviour of the world. This sect has most followers in England. The other sects boast of possessing the greatest secrets of their master. Of these sects the following may be mentioned. 260. Illuminati of Avignon.—Pemetti, a Benedictine monk, and Gabrianca, a Polish nobleman and a Mason, were the first to surround with whimsical rites and ceremonies the knowledge and reveries of the Swedish mystic. In 1760 they established at Avignon a society of Illuminati, not to be confounded with the Illuminati of Bavaria, nor with any other Illuminati. The city of the popes became a sectarian stronghold, with affiliated lodges in the chief towns of France. The members occupied themselves with philosophy, astronomy, and that social chemistry, which then subjected to a formidable examination all the elements of which political society is composed. EMANUEL SWEDENBORG 215 261. Illvminated Theosophists.—Paris wanted to have its own Swedenborgian rite, not satisfied with having introdaced that of Pemetti The Freemason Chartanier, who in 1766 was the master of the Parisian lodge " Socrates," modified the rite of Avignon, and called the new order the "Illuminated Theosophists," and after an active propaganda in France, crossed the Channel and opened a lodge in London, where at first he met with much success; but the rite was soon abandoned. 262. Philosophic Scotch Bite.—Another modification of the Avignon rite was one introduced in 1770 by the Abb Pernetti, who was entirely devoted to alchymy. He called the rite the " Hermetic " rite; but, as its name implies, it was more alchymistical than masonic. Boileau, a physician of Paris, and zealous follower of Pernetti, remodelled the Hermetic rite, rendered it more purely masonic, and gave it the name of the " Philosophic Scotch rite." The two rites were afterwards united into twelve degrees, the last of which is the ** Sublime Master of the Luminous Ring," which boasted of being derived from Pythagoras. In 1780 an Academy of the Sublime Masters of the Luminous Ring was established in France, the initiation into which consisted of the presumed philosophic doctrines of the sage of Samos. 263. Bite of the Fhilaiethes.—Another rite founded on the masonic speculations of Swedenborg was one invented in the lodge of the " United Friends," in Paris. The members, among whom were Oondorcet and Antoine Court de Gobelin, the author of the "Monde Primitif," called themselves " Philalethes," or " Searchers after Truth," and the founder was Lavalette de Langes, Keeper of the Royal Treasury. It was divided into twelve classes or chambers; the first six degrees were styled Petty, and the last six High Masonry. Like almost all societies founded on Masonry, the Philalethes endeavoured to lead man to his pristine virtue and liberty; they felt the approach of the Revolution, and kept themselves au fait of events and aspirations. The lodge of the Amis B&unis, the centre of the system, possessed a rich collection of works and MSS. on secret societies, a large chemical laboratory, a cabinet of natural history, all under the care of De Langes; but at his death, in 1788, the precious collection was dispersed and the lodge dissolved. A lodge, in imitation of the above, was founded at Narbonne in 1780, but with considerable modifications. The brethren called themselves Philadelphians, who are not to be confounded with the Philadelphian Society founded in 2i6 SIORET SOCIETIES London about a century before, though they professed to derive their rites from England. They were divided into three categories or temples, and ten classes or circles. After the first three masonic degrees came the '* Perfect Master," the "Elect," and the "Architect," forming the fourth. The fifth comprised the " Sublime Scotch," the sixth the "Knight of the East" and the "Prince of Jerusalem." The four remaining degrees were supposed to be the depositories of masonic knowledge, philosophical and physical, and of mystic science, fit to fortify and exalt the mind of man. These four degrees were called the first to the fourth chapters of Bose» Croix. 264. Bite of Swedenborg.—What is properly known as the rite of Swedenborg was another modification of the order of the Illuminati of Avignon (260), effected by the Marquis de Thome in 1783, wherein he endeavoured to restore the true meaning of the doctrines of the Swedish mystic. It was a critical labour of some value, and the rite is still practised in several lodges of Northern Europe. It consists of six degrees: Apprentice, Companion, Master Theosophite, Uluminated Theosophite, Blue Brother, Red Brother. 265. Universal Aurora.—In the same year, 1783, there was founded in Paris the Order of the " Universal Aurora," whose chief object was the support of Mesmerism. Cagliostra took an active part in it. IV MARTINISM 266. Martinez FaschcUia.—The influence of the writings of Jacob Bohme, though perceptible in all mystic degrees founded since his day, is most visible in the mystic Masonry called " Martinism," from its founder, Martinez Paschalis, and its reformer, the Marquis of St. -Martin, the "Unknown Philosopher." Martinez Paschalis was a Portuguese and a Jew, but having turned Christian after the manner of the Gnostics of the first- centuries, he began in 1754 to assemble disciples in various French cities, chiefly Marseilles, Bordeaux, Toulouse, and Lyons, none of whom rose to the degree of epopt, or knew the secrets of the master, though he inspired all with the greatest respect and devotion towards himself. His secret doctrine appears to have been a confused medley of Gnosticism and Christianised Judaism, not excluding the cabala, which in fact is found more or less in all theosophic speculations, even in those of Bohme; though his followers,, as well as his opponents, from not understanding him, have attributed to him many erroneous opinions which he never entertained. Paschalis laid great stress on the omnipotence of will—this is a point constantly insisted on, its truth being demonstrated from the deepest ground, by Bohme. With this writer he taught that intelligence and will are the only active forces of nature, whose phenomena man can control by willing energetically; and that man in this manner can rise to the knowledge of the supreme Ens. With these principles, Martinez condemned all empires founded on violence, and all societies based on convention. He longed for a return to the patriarchal times—which the more enlightened, however, look upon as times of rank tyranny and he also formed other conceptions which we shall see more fully developed by the lUuminati. The life of Martinez, like his doctrines, is full of gaps and mysteries. He arrived in a town no one knew whence, he departed no one knew whither; all at once he was seen 21 8 where least expected. From 1768 to 1778 Paschalis resided either at Paris or at Lyons. Then he suddenly crossed the ocean, and died at St. Domingo in 1779. These sudden appearances and disappearances were perhaps needed to maintain his prestige. De Mattre, who had much intercourse with his disciples, states it for certain, that the Order founded by him, and called the " Rite of the elected Cohens or Priests," had superior degrees unknown to the members of the lower grades. We know the names of nine degrees, though not their rituals: they were—Apprentice, FellowCraft, Master, Grand Elect, Apprentice Cohen, Fellow-Craft Cohen, Master Cohen, Grand Architect, Knight Commander. The zeal of some of the members, among whom we find Holbach, Duchamteau, and St.-Martin, caused the Order to prolong its existence some time after the death of the founder. 267. Saint-Martin.—We have seen that St. Martin was A disciple of Paschalis; he was also, for his day, a profound expounder of the doctrines of Bohme, some of whose works he translated. He to some extent reformed the rite of Paschalis, dividing it into ten degrees, classed in two temples. The first temple comprised the degrees of Apprentice, Fellow-Craft, Master, Ancient Master, Elect, Grand Architect, and Master of the Secret. The degrees of the second temple were Prince of Jerusalem, Knight of Palestine, and Knight of Kadosh. The order, as modified by him, extended from Lyons into the principal cities of France, Germany, and Russia, where the celebrated Prince Repnin (1734-1801) was its chief protector. It is now oxtinct. ROSICRUCIANS 268. Merits of the Eosicmdans.—A halo of poetic splendour surrounds the order of the Eosicrudans; the magic lights of fancy play around their graceful day-dreams, while the mystery in which they shrouded themselves lends an additional charm to their history. But their brilliancy was that of a meteor. It just flashed across the realms of imagination and intellect, and vanished for ever; not, however, without leaving behind some permanent and lovely traces of its hasty passage, just as the momentary ray of the sun, caught on the artist's lens, leaves a lasting image on the sensitive paper. Poetry and romance are deeply indebted to the Rosicrucians for many a fascinating creation. The literature of every European country contains hundreds of pleasing fictions, whose machinery has been borrowed from their system of philosophy, though that itself has passed away; and it must be admitted that many of their ideas are highly ingenious, and attain to such heights of intellectual speculation as we find to have been reached by the Sophists of India. Before their time, alchymy had sunk down, as a rule, to a grovelling delusion, seeking but temporal advantages, and occupying itself with earthly dross only: the Rosicrucians spiritualised and refined it by giving the chimerical search after the philosopher's stone a nobler aim than the attainment of wealth, namely, the opening of the spiritual eyes, whereby man should be able to see the supernal world, and be filled with an inward light to illumine his mind with true knowledge. The physical process of the transmutation of metals was by them considered as analogical with man's restoration to his unfallen state, as set forth in Bohme's Signatura Rerum, chapters vii., x.-xii. The true Roscrucians, therefore, may be defined as spiritual alchymists, or Theosophists. 269. Origin of the Society dovhtfwL—The society is of very uncertain origin. It is affirmed by some writers that from 220 SEOEET SOCIETIES the fourteenth century there existed a society of physicists and alchymists who laboured in the search after the philosopher's stone; and a certain Nicolo Bamaud undertook journeys through Germany and France for the purpose of establishing a Hermetic society. From the preface of the work, " Echo of the Society of the Eosy Cross," it moreover follows that in 1 597 meetings were held to institute a secret society for the promotion of alchyray. Another indication, of the actual existence of such a society is found in a book published in 1605, and entitled, " Eestoration of the Decayed Temple of Pallas," which gives a constitution of Eosicrucians. Again, in 1610, the notary Haselmeyer pretended to have read in a MS. the Fama Fraternitcdis, comprising all the laws of the Order. Four years afterwards appeared a small work, entitled " General Eeformation of the World," which in fact contains the Fama Fratemitatis, where it is related that a German, Christian Eosenkreuz, founded such a society in the fourteenth century, after having learned the sublime science in the East. Of him it is related, that when, in 1378, he was travelling in Arabia, he was called by name and greeted by some philosophers, who had never before seen him; from them he learned many secrets, among others that of prolonging life. On his return he made many disciples, and died at the age of 150 years, not because his strength failed him, but because he was tired of life. In 1604 one of his disciples had his tomb opened, and there found strange inscriptions, and a MS. in letters of gold. The grotto in which this tomb was found, by the description given of it, strongly reminds us of the Mithraic Cave. Another work published in 1615, the Confessio Fratemitatis Bosce Gnuds, contains an account of the object and spirit of the Order. 270. Bosicnudan Literature.—The Thesaurinella Chymican aurea, already referred to (sect. 244), may have been a Eosicrucian work, as also Baymundii Lullii Theoria. In 1615, Michael Meyer published at Cologne his Themis Aurea, hoc est, de legibus Fratemitatis Bosece Crucis, which purported to contain all the laws and ordinances of the brotherhood. Another work, entitled " The Chymical Marriage of Christian Eosenkreuz," and published in 161 6, in the shape of a comic romance, is really a satire on the alchymistical delusions of the author's time. Both works were written, as we learn from his autobiography, by Valentine Andrea, a Lutheran clergyman of Herrenberg near Tubingen. But instead of being taken for what the author intended them—satires on the follies of Paracelsus, ROSIORUOIANS 221 Weigel, and the alchymists—the public swallowed his fictionB as facts: printed letters and pamphlets appeared everywhere, addressed to the imaginary brotherhood, whilst others denounced and condemned it. One Christopher Nigrinus wrote a book to prove the Rosicrucians were Calvinists, but a passage taken from one of their writings showed them to be zealous Lutherans. Andrea himself, in his "Turris Babel" and **Mythologia Christiana," published circa 1 6 19, condemns Bosicrucianism. Impostors, indeed, pretended to belong to the fraternity, and to possess its secrets, and found plenty of dupes. Numerous works also continued to appear. Here are the titles of a few of them:— "Epistola ad patres de Rosea Cruce." Frankfurt, 1617. " Quick Message to the Philosophical Society of the Rosy Cross." By Valentine Ischirnessus. Danzig, 16 17. "The Whole Art and Science of the God-Illuminated Fraternity of Christian Rosenkrenz." By Theophilus Schweighart. 16 1 7. " Discovery of the Colleges and Axioms of the Illuminated Fraternity of Christian Rosenkreuz." By Theophilus Schweighart. 16 1 8. **Ze naturce secrdis quibusdam at Vulcaniam artem chymicm arUe omnia necessariis, addressed to the Masters of the Philosophic Fraternity of the Rosy Cross." 161 8. N. P. " Sisters of the Rosy Cross; or, Short Discovery of these Ladies, and what Religion, Knowledge of Divine and Natural Things, Trades and Arts, Medicines, etc., may be found therein." Parthenopolis, 1620. " The Most Secret and Hitherto Unknown Mysteries of All Nature." By the Collegium Rosianum. Leyden, 1630. Of course the scientific value of all these writings was nU, the literary scarcely more. 271. Beal Objects and Results of Andrea's Writings.—The account given in the preceding paragraph of the literary performances of John Valentine Andrea is the popular one. But certain explanations are necessary. Andrea's Rosicrucian writings concealed political objects, the chief of which was the support of the Lutheran religion, which the Rosicrucians themselves followed. Andrea made two journeys to Austria— the first in 161 2, when the Emperor Mathias ascended the throne; and the second in 16 19, a few months after the Emperor's death. At Linz he had private interviews with several Austrian noblemen, all of them Lutherans. Rosicrucian lodges, to further the objects of the Reformation, were established, but numerous Catholics obtained admission 222 to them, and gradually turned their tendencies in the veryopposite direction. Andrea perceiving this withdrew from Rosicrucianisro, and endeavoured by the subsequent writings mentioned above, to disavow his former connection with it. With the same object also he, during his second residence in Austria, founded the " Fraternitas Ohristi," to which many members of the Protestant Austrian nobility sought admission. Three years after the society was prohibited by the Government, and its final suppression hastened by an opposition society, founded by the Catholics, with the sanction of the Pope, first at Olmiitz and then at Vienna, the leaders being the Counts Althan, Gonzaga, and Sforza; the order was called that of the " Blue Cross." The Bosicrucians, being no longer under the influence of Andrea, broke up into a number of independent lodges, which quickly degenerated into mere traps to catch credulous dupes and their money; hence the duration of most was short. But on the accession of Joseph IL, whose liberal principles were known, the Eosi crucians, as well as other secret societies, sprang into life again. Freemasonry became the fashion of the day. Masonic implements were worn as "charms; " the ladies carried muff& of white silk edged with blue, to represent the Mason's aprons, and so on. The Emperor found it necessary tO" regulate the conduct of these secret societies. He suppressed all except that of the Freemasons, to whom in 1785 he granted a patent, which began thus: " Since nothing is ta exist in a well-regulated state without proper supervision, We deem it necessary thus to declare our will: The so-called Masonic Societies, whose secrets are unknown to us, since we never were curious enough to inquire into their juggleries (gatLckeleieny etc. This edict, which abolished the other societies, but allowed the Freemasons to continue their " juggleries," as the Emperor called their ceremonies, threw many of the suppressed societies, including the Bosicrucians, into the arms of the Masonic Fraternity; the Asiatic Brethren, as we shall see further on (281), transferred their activity from Vienna to Sleswick. 272. Ritual and Ceremonies.—The "juggleries" of the* Bosicrucians, whom the Emperor suppressed, were those of the "constitution" of 1763, and as follows:—The apartment where the initiation took place contained the tdbella mysticay presently to be described. The floor was covered with a. green carpet, and on it were placed the following objects:— A glass globe, standing on a pedestal of seven steps, and divided into two parts, representing light and darkness; ROSIORUCIANS 225 three candelabra, placed triangularly; nine glasses, symbolising male and female properties; the qaintessence, and various other things; a brazier, a circle, and a napkin. The candidate for initiation is introduced by a brother, who takes him into a room where a light, pen, ink, and paper,, sealing-wax, two red cords, and a bare sword are laid on a table. The candidate is asked whether he firmly intends to become a pupil of true wisdom. Having answered affirmatively,, he gives up his hat and sword, and pays the fees. His hand& having been bound, and his eyes bandaged and a red cord put round his neck, he is led to the door of the lodge, on which the introducer gently knocks nine times. The doorkeeper opens it and asks "Who is there? " The hierophant answers, " An earthly body holding the spiritual man imprisoned in ignorance." The doorkeeper, " What is to be done to him? " The introducer, " Kill his body and purify his spirit." The doorkeeper, " Then bring him into the place of justice." They enter, place themselves in front of the circle, the candidate kneeling on one knee. The master stands at his right hand, with a white wand, the introducer at his left, holding a sword; both wear their aprons. The master says, " Child of man, I conjure you through all degrees of profane Freemasonry, and by the endless circle, which comprises all creatures and the highest wisdom, to tell me for what purpose you have come here?" The candidate, "To acquire wisdom, art, and virtue." The master, "Then live! But your spirit must again rule over your body; you have found grace, arise and be free." He is then unbound, steps into Qie circle, the master and the introducer hold the wand and sword crosswise, the candidate lays three fingers thereon, and as soon as the master says "Now listen," the candidate repeats the oath propounded to him, which is simply a declaration that he will have no secrets from his brethren, and will lead a virtuous life. Then he is invested with the title of the order, the seal, password and sign, hat and sword, and has the mystical table interpreted to him, after which, like the Masons, he and the other brethren go from " labour " to " refreshment." This mystical table is divided into nine vertical and thirteen horizontal compartments. The first column of nine divisions gives the numbers, the second the names of the different degreea The lowest comprises the Junioi'es, who know next to nothing; the highest the Magi, from whom nothing is hidden, who are masters over all things, like Moses, Hermes, HyrauL Their jewel is an equilateral triangle. According 224 SEOEET SOCIETIES to the table, the different degre98 have meeting-places all over Enrope and Asia; the Magi meet at Smyrna every ten years; the Magistri, a degree below, at Camra, in Poland, and Paris, in France, every nine years; the Juniores every two years at such a place as may be most convenient. The admission fee to the degree of Magus is ninety-nine gold marks; to that of Junior, three mark& The Minares, who know the "philosophical sun," and ''perform marvellous <5ures," pay what they choose. 273. Eosic7cianism in England in the Pad.—The works of Andrea excited mach attention in England, where mysticism and astrology at that time had many adherents, as Wood's " Athen89 Oxonienses " fully shows. Eobert Fludd in this country was the great champion of the Rosicrucians. His two most important works concerning them are ** Apo* logia et Gompendiaria Fratemitatem de Rosea Gruce snspioionis et infamise maculis aspersam. veritatis quasi Fluctibus abluens et abstergens." Leyden, 1616. "Tractatus Apologeticus integritatem Societatis de Rosea Cruce defendens." Lugdvai Batavorum, 161 7. This latter is really a duplicate of the former with a new title. Fludd was followed by one Heydon, born 1629. Strange to say, an attorney, who, among other works on the Rosicraoians wrote " An Epologue for an Apilogue," wherein occur passages such as this: '' I shall tell you what Rosicrucians are, and that Moses was their father. Some say they were of the order of Elias, some of Ezechiel, others define them to be the officers of the generalissimo of the world; that are as the eyes and ears of the great king, seeing and hearing all things, for they are seraphically illuminated as Moses was, according to this order of the elements, earth refined to water, water to air, air to fire." Such gibberish as this was served up for the reading public some centuries ago, and, I suppose, satisfied them. In another of his works Heydon maintained that it was criminal to eat—though he did not abstain from the practice himself—but that there was a fine fatness in the air quite sufficient for nourishment, and that for men of very voracious appetites, it was enough to place a cataplasm of cooked meat on the epigastrium to satisfy their hunger. EOSICEUCIANS 225 In 1646 Elias Ashmole, William Lilly, Dr. Thomas "Wharton, George Wharton, Dr. J. Hewitt, Dr. J. Pearson, and others formed a Eosicrucian society in London, practically to carry out the scheme propounded in Bacon*s " New Atlantis," that is, the erection of the House of Solomon. It was to remain as unknown as the island of Bensalem, that is to say, the study of nature was to be pursued esoterically,. not exoterically. The carpet in their lodge represented the pillars of Hermes; seven steps, the first four of which symbolised the four elements, and the other three salt, sulphur, and mercury, led to an " exchequer," or higher court, or stage, on which were displayed the symbols of creation, or of the work of the six days. Some of the members of this society were Freemasons, hence they were enabled to hold their meetings in Masons' Hall, Masons' Alley, Basinghall Street. They kept nothing secret except their signs. 274. Origin of Name.—The name is generally derived from the supposed founder of the order, Eosenkreuz, Eose Cross; but according to others, it is taken from the armorial bearings of the Andrea family, which were a St. Andrew's cross and four roses. Others again, modern writers, say it is composed of ros dew, and crvx, the cross; criix is supposed mystically to represent LVX, or light, because the figure X exhibits the three letters; and light, in the opinion of the Eosicrucians, produces gold; whilst dew, ros, with the (modern) alchymists, was a powerful solvent. But Mr. Waite, in his "Eeal History of the Eosicrucians'' (London, 1887), argues with much force, that the Eosicrucians bore the rose and cross as their badge because they were ardent Protestants, to whom Martin Luther was an idol, prophet, and master, and the device on the seal of Martin Luther was a cross-crowned heart rising from the centre of a rose. The theory has much in its favour, but we cannot quite set aside the fact that in all mystical systems the rose and the cross have always been emblems of paramount importance. We meet with them in the most ancient Hindu mythology. Lackschemi, the wife of Vishnu, was found in a rose with 108 leaves, whence the Indian rosary has the same number of beads, and to the Hindus the cross was the symbol of creation. We have already seen in the account of the Eleusinian Mysteries what importance was attached to the rose, and that Apuleius makes Lucius to be restored to his primitive form by eating roses; and the "Eomance of the Eose " was considered by the Eosicrucians as one of the most perfect specimens of Provengal literature, and as the alle VOL. I. p 226 gorical chef d*ceuvre of their sect. It is undeniable that this was coeval with chivalry, and had from thenceforth a literature rich in works, in whose titles the word Rosa is incorporated; as the Rosa Fhilosophoruniy of which no less than ten occur in the Artis Auri/erce quam Ghemiam vocant (Basilea, 1610). The connection of the Rosicrucians with chivalry, the Troubadours, and the Albigenses, cannot be denied. Like these, they swore the same hatred to Rome • like these, they called Catholicism the religion of hate. They solemnly declared that the Pope was Antichrist, and rejected pontifical and Mahomedan dogmas, styling them the beasts of the East and West. 275. Statements concerning themselves.—They pretended to feel neither hunger nor thirst, nor to be subject to age or disease; to possess the power of commanding spirits, and attracting pearls and precious stones, and of rendering themselves invisible. They stated the aim of their society to be the restoration of all the sciences, and especially of medicine; and by occult artifices to procure treasures and riches sufficient to supply the rulers and kings with the necessary means for promoting the great reforms of society then needed. They were bound to conform to five fundamental laws:— I. Gratuitously to heal the sick. 2. To dress in the costume of the country in which they lived. 3. To attend every year the meeting of the Order. 4. When dying to choose a successor. 5. To preserve the secret one hundred years. 276. Poetical Fictions of Rosicrucians.—These are best known from the work of Joseph Francis Borri, a native of Milan, and it is to them the " poetic splendour which surrounds the Order," which, in fact, gave real existence to it, is due. Having preached against the abuses of the Papacy, and promulgated opinions which were deemed heretical, Borri was seized by order of the Inquisition and condemned to perpetual imprisonment. He died in the Castle of St Angelo in 1695. The work referred to is entitled *' The Key of the Cabinet of Signer Borri," and is, in substance, nothing but the cabalistic romance entitled "The Count de Gabalis," published in 1670 by the Abbe de Villars. What we gather from this work is, that the Rosicrucians discarded for ever all the old tales of sorcery and witchcraft and communion with the devil. They denied the existence of incubi and succubi, and of all the grotesque imps monkish brains had hatched and superstitious nations believed in. Man, they said, was surrounded by myriads of beautiful and beneficent beings, all anxious to do him service. These beings were the elemental spirits; the EOSICEUCIANS 227 air was peopled with sylphs, the water with undines or naiads, the earth with gnomes, and the fire with salamanders. These the Eosicrucian could bind to his service and imprison in a ring, a mirror, or a stone, and compel to appear when called, and render answers to such questions as he chose to put. All these beings possessed great powers, and were unrestrained by the barriers of space or matter. But man was in one respect their superior: he had an immortal soul, they had not. They could, however, become sharers in man's immortality, if they could inspire one of that race with the passion of love towards them. On this notion is founded the charming story of " Undine;" Shakespeare's Ariel is a sylph; the " Eape of the Lock," the Masque of " Oomus," the poem of "Salamandrine," all owe their machinery to the poetic fancies of the Eosicrucians. Among other things they taught concerning the elemental spirits, they asserted that they were composed •of the purest particles of the element they inhabited, and that in consequence of having within them no antagonistic •qualities, being made of but one element (11), they could live for thousands of years. The Eosicrucians further held the doctrine of the signatura rerum, by which they meant that everything in this visible world has outwardly impressed on it its inward spiritual character. Moreover, they said that by the practice of virtue man could even on earth obtain a glimpse of the spiritual world, and above all things discover the philosopher's stone, which, however, could not be found •except by the regenerate, for " it is in close communion with the heavenly essence." According to them the letters INEI, the sacred word of the Order of Eose Croix, signified Igne Natura Regenerando Integral, 277. The Hague Lodge.—In the year 1622, Montanus, or, by his real name, Ludwig Conrad, of Bingen, was expelled from an order of Eosicrucians which then existed at The Hague, where they had a grand palace. They held their meetings by order of the master, called "imperator," in great cities, such as Amsterdam, Danzig, Nuremberg, Hamburg, Mantua, Venice, besides such as were held at The Hague. They publicly wore a black silk cord, but at their meetings they put on a gold band, to which were attached a golden cross and rose. Their card of membership was a large parchment, with many seals affixed with great cere 228 SECEET SOCIETIES mony. When holding a public procession, they carried a small green flag. This Montanns, who wrote a book entitled " Introduction to the Hermetic Science," says, that he spent his patrimony and his wife's fortune, of eleven thousand dollars, for the benefit of the society, and that when he was totally impoverished he was expelled, being, however, bound over to keep their secrets, " which latter, indeed, I kept, as women do not reveal anything where there is nothing to reveal." These pretended secrets are supposed to be contained in a book entitled " Sinceri Renati Theophilosophia Theoretico-practica," but I have not been able to obtain or see a copy of this work. The society is supposed to have become extinct at the beginning of the (eighteenth century. 278. A Bosicrucian MS.—According to a statement made by Dr. von Harless in his "Jacob Bohme and the Alchy mists" (2nd ed., Leipzic, 1882), a society of Rosicrucians must have existed in Germany in the year 1641. Dr. von Harless says, '*I have recently had an opportunity of inspecting a Rosicrucian MS. hitherto unknown. It was probably written about 1765, and contains the statutes of an order of Rosicrucians, with the title Testamentum, The original must date from the middle of the seventeenth century, as is proved by a special warning given to members to observe secrecy,, especially towards Roman Catholic ecclesiastics, two members having, from not attending to this caution, been great sufferers in 1641. The MS., besides the statutes, also contains instructions for alchymistic operations. The Order, according to the MS., had one chief, called imperator; its chief seats were Ancona, Nuremberg, Hamburg, and Amsterdam. The members were to change their residence every ten years, and maintain the greatest secrecy as to their existence. The apprenticeship lasted seven years. Their mode of addressing one another was: ave /rater; the answer: rosece et aurece. The first: crucis; then both together: Bemdictus Deus qui dedit nobis signum,' Then the mutual production of the signuniy consisting of an engraved seal, a specimen of which was also shown to Dr. von Harless." On taking steps to obtain further particulars from Dr. von Harless himself, I learnt to my regret that he had died in 1878; and as he had given no intimation in the above-named works where the MS. is deposited, I am unable to report further thereon. But it would seem that the society referred to in the MS. was the same as the one spoken of in the *' Thesaurinella," mentioned towards the end of sect. 244. 279. New Rosicrucian Constitution.—In 1 7 14, or one ROSICEUCIANS 229 hundred years after Andrea's writings, there appeared a new Rosicrucian constitution, entitled, ''The True and Perfect Preparation of the Philosopher's Stone of the Brotherhood of the Golden and Rosy Cross. Published for the benefit Filiorum Doctrince by Sincere Renato, Breslau." The preface stated that the treatise was not the writer's work, but intrusted to him by a professor of the art, whom he was not allowed to name. The author divides the work into practica ordinis minoris and practica ordinis majoris, indicating the division of the Order into two distinct fraternities, the superior one being known as the " Brethren of the Golden Cross," their symbol being a red cross, and the inferior one as the "Brethren of the Rosy Cross," their symbol being a green cross, from which it is evident that the real work of the Order was alchymy. Each brother, on being initiated, -dropped his real name, and assumed a fictitious one, as we ' have seen that Ludwig Conrad was known in the Order as Montanus (277), and as hereafter we find the lUuminati assume all kinds of fancy names. Renato's book further states that the Order possessed large seminaries, as the abovenamed Montanus had asserted. Article 42 of the statutes prohibited the reception of married men into the Order; in Article 17 members who wished to marry were allowed to take wives, but were to live with them philosophice, whatever that may have meant. Article 44 enjoined that if a brother should, by misfortune or want of caution, be discovered by any potentate, he was rather to die than reveal the secrets of the Order. 280. The Dulce of Saxe- Weimar and other Rosicriicians.— The first modern writer who openly professed himself a Rosier ucian was Duke Ernest Augustus of Saxe- Weimar, who in 1742 published his '*Theosophic Devotions " in a small edition, copies of which are easily recognised by their red morocco binding and the ducal crown and cipher on the cover. In it he refers to the " last great union of brethren," and, according to the vignette at the end of the book, he must mean Rosicrucian s. We hear of a society of Rosicrucians founded by Freemasons, whose *• General Constitutions" were settled in 1763; they were based on the * Themis Aurea" of Michael Maier, who had been physician-in-ordinary and alchymist to the Emperor Rudolph (1576- 161 2). This revived taste was taken advantage of by many adventurers. John George Schroepfer, who kept a coffee-house at Nuremberg in 1777, established at his house a lodge, and 230 made so much pretence to secret and exclusive knowledge, that the Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick and the Duke of Courland—by whose order Schroepf er had once been flogged — invited him to Dresden, where they openly patronised him, while he deluded them with the apparitions of ghosts and magical phantasma—really produced by magic-lanterns and concave mirrors. But his conduct eventually so disgusted his patrons that they refused him further supplies of money, whereupon he shot himself in a wood near Leipzic. But this vulgar cheat left credulous disciples behind. John Rudolph Bischofswerder (i 741-1803), a major, and afterwards Prussian Minister of War, who had almost been a witness of Schroepf er's death, and John Christopher Wollner (17321800), a clergyman, and afterwards Prussian Minister of Public Cult, continued what Schroepfer had started. Under the patronage of the Crown Prince, Frederick William of Prussia, the nephew of Frederick the Great, whom he succeeded in 1786 as King Frederick William II., established at Berlin a Rosicrucian lodge, and the enlightened views which had been introduced by, and had prevailed during the reign of, old Fritz were quickly suppressed by religious, persecution. At that tiine Bahrdt had considerable success with his resuscitated order of Illuminati. The two highly-placed rogues saw in this plebeian a man who might some day compete with them for the king's favour; so whilst they, in league with his mistress, the Countess Lichtenau, more than ever amused their silly royal patron with the calling up of ghosts and drunken orgies, they induced him to put forth the notorious Religious Edict of 1788, which was to stem the ungodly advances of the Illuminati, and which also restored the censorship of the Press. The book (in German), entitled ** The Rosicrucian in his Nakedness," published by Master **Pianco," an ex-member of the society, in 1782, was a violent attack and expos6 of the Rosicrucians; but the delusion continued to flourish. VI ASIATIC BRETHREN 281. Origin of the Order.—This Order originated probably about the year 1780, though irs chiefs were not known ia 1788; it was, however, suspected that Baron Ecker and Eckhofen was one of them. He resided at first at Vienna, but afterwards settled at Sleswick; he distinguished himself by his writings, but the superstitious proclaimed him a terrible Gacomagus. The order spread from Italy to Russia. Its basis was Rosicrucian, its meetings were called Melchisedeck lodges, and Jews, Turks, Persiaus, and Armenians might be received as members. The masters were called the Worshipful Chiefs of the Seven Churches of Asia. The full title of the Order was, '* Order of the Knights and Brethren of St. John the Evangelist from Asia in Europe." The teaching of the Order was partly moral, that is to say, it instructed how to rule spirits, by breaking the seven seals; and partly physical, by showing how to prepare miraculous medicinea and to make gold. It inculcated cabalistic nonsense, and was greatly detested by Rosicrucian s and Freemasons—two of a trade cannot agree. The names of the degrees were taken from the Hebrew, and were symbolical of their characteristics. The Order did not profess Kosicru danism, yet in the Third Chief Degree the members were styled "True Rosicrucians." The results of the scientific researches of the masters were not communicated to aspirants; these had to discover them as they could. The fact seemed to be that the masters had nothing to communicate, but this admission would have been fatal to the Order; its secrets .appearing to exist in the credulity of outsiders only. 282. Division of this Order.—The Order was divided into five degrees, viz., two probationary and three chief degrees. The first probationary degree, that of the " Seekers," never consisted of more than ten members. The period of probation was fourteen months. They had lectures delivered to them every fortnight, and the costume they wore at their 232 SEOEET SOCIETIES meetings consisted of a round black hat with black feathers, a black cloak, a black sash with three buttons in the shape of roses, white gloves, and sword with a black tassel, a black ribbon, from which was suspended a double triangle, which symbol was also embroidered on the left side of the cloak. The second probationary degree, consisting of ten members, was called that of the " Sufferers." Its duration was seven months. Whilst the "Seekers" were theorists only, the 'Sufferers" were supposed to make practical researches in physical science. They wore round black bats with black and white feathers, black cloaks with white linings and collars, on which double triangles were embroidered in gold, black sashes with white edging and three rosettes, white gloves, and swords with black and white tassels. The First Chief Degree styled its members " Knights and Brother-Initiates from Asia in Europe." They wore round black hats with white, black, yellow, and red feathers, black •cloaks with white linings and collars and gold lace; on the left breast of the cloak there was a red cross with four green roses, having in their centre a green shield with the monogram M and A. The same cross, of gold, and enamelled, was worn on a red ribbon; the member further wore a pink sash round the body edged with green and with three red roses, white gloves with a red cross and four green roses; the tassels of the swords displayed the four colours of the feathers. 283. Initiation into this Degree.—On the reception of a ** Sufferer" into this degree he was led into a room hung with black; the floor and furniture were covered with black cloth. The room was lit up with seven golden candlesticks, six of which had five branches each, whilst the seventh, standing in the centre, represented a human figure in a white dress and golden girdle. The chair of the master stood in the centre of the room on a dais of three steps, under a square black canopy; the back wall was partly open, but held back with seven tassels, and behind it was the Holiest of Holies, consisting of a balustrade of ten columns, on the basement of which was a picture of the sun in a triangle, surrounded by the divine fire. Under the centre 'candlestick was the carpet of the three masonic degrees, surrounded by nine lights, a tenth light standing a little further off at the foot of the throne. There stood, on the right, a small table, on which were placed a flaming sword, with the number 56 engraved thereon, and a green rod, with two red ends; to the left lay the Book of the Law. ASIATIC BRETHEEN 233 The " Sufferer," being then in an adjoining room, was asked three times if he desired to be initiated. His answer being in the affirmative, the Grand Master ordered him to be introduced, after having read the inscription on a red shield in letters of gold over the door: **Here is the Door of the Eternal; the just enter here." The introducer then rang a bell twice, the Grand Master rang once, and the door was opened. The candidate stepped up to the table, and thrice made the Master's sign. He was then told that he was accepted, and had to sign an obligation never to reveal the secrets of the Chapter. After a few other childish ceremonies he was led to the Table of Purification, on which stood three lights on as many columns. The one represented a man with the triangle, the other a woman with the triangle reversed; the central one a man with a double triangle. In the centre of the table stood a crystal cup, filled with water, in which salt had been dissolved, another cup with salt, a spoon, a bundle of cedar-wood bound with hyssop and pink and green silk. The candidate had his coat and waistcoat taken off, the collar of his shirt opened, and his right arm bared. Having knelt down, the Grand Master sprinkled his neck thrice with the water, saying, " May the Merciful One give thee the knowledge of thy weapons, of thy lance, and of the number Pour [which with Rosicrucians is the root and beginning of all numbers]. Then touching his right arm he said, " May the Almighty give thee strength in battle; " and touching his breast, " May the Just One give thee as a conqueror rest in the centre." The *' Sufferer" was then dressed ' again, the Grand Master opened the Holiest of Holies, and the candidate having taken the oath, the Grand Master dubbed him a Knight. Touching his right shoulder he said, "May the Infinite give thee strength, beauty, and wisdom for the fight; " and touching the left shoulder, *'We receive thee, in the name of the most worshipful and wisest seven Pathers and Rulers of the seven Unknown Churches in Asia, as a Knight and initiated Brother." Touching him on the head, he said, " May the Eternal One give thee the light of the number Pour, and thou shalt be delivered from the Eternal Death." Then there ensued mutual embracing, a little more speechifying by the Grand Master, and then the servants brought in salt, bread, wine, lamb and pork, the latter being symbolical of the Old and the New Covenant! 284. Second Chief Degree, Wise Masters.—This degree could only be obtained from the Sanhedrim, which constituted the 234 highest authority, for in this degree began the revelation of secrets. What they were has never become known to outsiders. We may assume them to have been wonderful, considering the wonderful costume the knights were entitled towear in this degree, viz., a red hat with stripes of the four different colours mentioned, in a red cloak, with a green crossand roses, having in their centre the monogram J and embroidered in gold on a red field; the same cross in gold, and enamelled in the same four colours, attached to a green ribbon, edged with red, and three green roses; white gloves, decorated with red crosses and green roses inside and out;. sword, with green and red tassel. 285. Third Chief Degree, or Royal Priests, or True Rosicrucians, or the Degree of Melchisedeck.—This degree also could be obtained from the Sanhedrim only. The number of it& members was restricted to seventy-two. Solomon in all his glory was nothing compared with the True Eosicrucians in their oflScial costume. Here it is: a hat, gold, pink, and green, the brim turned up in front, and the name Jehovah embroidered thereon in gold, and surmounted with white, red, yellow, black, and green feathers; a long pink undergarment, fitting closely to the body, the cuffs of the sleeves being made of materials similar to those composing tho hat, as also the sash, worn round the waist, whereon were embroidered three roses, one white, one red, and the centre one the colours of the sash; the stockings or hose and shoes were of pink silk. The cloak consisted of materials similar to those of the hat, and was lined with green; on the left breast was seen a point with many rays issuing from it. Round the neck the knight wore a gold chain, having alternately between the ordinary links shields with the monograms M and A and J and C, and the representation of a tree, having on the right hand a man, and on the left a woman, who with one hand cover the jpudenda, and touch the tree with the other; to the end of the chain the Urim and Thummim were attached. White gloves, decorated with green and red roses within and without, completed this gorgeous apparel. 286. Organisation of the Order.—The Sanhedrim exercised the highest authority, which it could delegate to committees appointed from among its members. The authority next under the Sanhedrim was the General Chapter, after which came the Provincial Chapters. All these various departments had every one their own oflScials, with high-sounding titles, which need not be given here—the reader will find ASIATIC BRETHEEN 235 enough of them among the Freemasons; but on reading a list of them, one cannot help exclaiming— " And every one is Knighted, And every one is Grand; Who would not be delighted To join in such a band? " But to join in this band was somewhat expensive; the Order was a fee- trap of no mean order, something like a few of th& spurious degrees in Masonry. On his initiation into the order of the Asiatic Brethren the candidate paid a fee of two ducats; when he took it into his head to found a Master Lodge, he had to pay seven ducats for the privilege, and two ducats for the carpet; for every folio of the Rules of the Lodge, ten kreuzer, or about twopence-halfpenny. The foundation of a Superior Master Lodge cost twelve ducats; of a Provincial Chapter, twenty-five ducats; of a General Chapter, fifty ducats. Every Brother paid to the Superior Master a monthly contribution of eightpence, and for extraordinary expenses and correspondence a fee proportionate to his means on the days of John the Baptist and John the Evangelist. These fees and subscriptions must annually have amounted to a goodly sum. What became of it? Eolling, a member, in 1787, published the laughable secrets of the Order. 287. Rosicrucian Adventurers.—In 1781 there appeared at Vienna "An Address to the Rosicrucians of the Ancient System." The Order seems to have been revived about that time by Fraxinus—evidently a fictitious name—who was Provincial Grand Master of the four united Masonic Lodges at Hamburg. The Masons did not know that Fraxinus was a Eosicrucian, but he evidently knew how to fleece his dupes. We learn from one Cedrinus, who was a member of one of the Hamburg lodges, that for the initiation into the Rosicrucian degrees he was by instalments mulcted in the sum of nearly 150 dollars. When Cedrinus began to express dissatisfaction at these continual extortions, Fraxinus, to quiet him, made Cedrinus keeper of the Great Seal of the Hamburg lodges. This gave the latter an opportunity of gaining an insight into the way in which degrees were manufactured, and how Masonry .was corrupted by them. He fell out with Fraxinus, and everywhere proclaimed the machinations of the Rosicrucians. Fraxinus expelled him as a perjured brother. Another Eosicrucian who obtained notoriety at about the same time was Brother Gordianus, who resided at Tubingen. 236 SECEET SOCIETIES He was supposed to be a Eosicrucian and an alchymist, since he lived well without having any visible means of subsistence. A schoolmaster, known by the initial L. only, had long desired to become a Eosicrucian; he consequently paid Gordianus a visit, who informed him, amongst other matters, that the object of the Order was to carry out the intentions of Valentine Andrea; that certain conditions were imposed on every member, viz., eternal silence on all concerning the Order, the introduction within six weeks of another member, to show that he was capable of winning the confidence of his fellowmen, and the payment of an initiation fee of fifty dollars. The poor schoolmaster after a time raised the money, and received the subjoined receipt, on a small blue card:— Sub RATIFICATIONE Venerand. Superior TETTAra Receptionis in minum Gradum Ordinis Philosophorum incogritorum, Fratr. A. LL et R.C. Systematis antiquioris. A 4077. s. 8 I. Gordianus M.L.3 - + - C. Fr. Inspector -l-g.--i--b Circuli II. On the back of the card was the following:— © + Praevia sancta promissione religiosa;. Ad impletionis Articuli fundamentalis. I. et II. et rite ad impleto Articulo III. Gordianus then proposed to L. that he should translate hermetical and magical writings from Latin into German, which L. did. Gordianus published these translations in a ASIATIC BEETHEEN 237 periodical he was then the editor of, without, however, remunerating L., but keeping his faith alive by repeated promises shortly to introduce him to the heads of the Order, who would communicate to him great and valuable secrets. But it seems L. became impatient. He and friends of his made inquiries, and ascertained that Gordianus had boasted that he intended to form a society of cheats and dupes. One of L.'s friends charged Gordianus with it. The latter, in 1785, in writing to L. tried to justify himself, but eventually disappeared from Tubingen, when L. made known the above facts as a warning to others. 288. Theoretical Brethren.—Accordiug to the book, '* The Theoretical Brethren, or Second Degree of Eosicrucians,' published in 1785, the Eosicrucian ritual was as follows:— The candidate must have been initiated into the Scotch rite; he is led into a large room lighted with candelabra; at the upper end is a square with a black cloth, on which lie an open Bible, the Laws of the Order, and a black embroidered apron. On the carpet there is a globe, surrounded by two rings; from the outer one rays proceed into a circle of cloud, in which are seen the seven planets. A cubical stone is placed above Mars, and the Blazing Star above the globe. An unhewn stone stands opposite to Saturn. The planets promote the growth of the seven metals; the Blazing Star represents Nature; the two circles typify the agens and patiens, the male and female principles. The unhewn stone is the materia prima philosophorum; the cubical stone, the patiens philosophorum. The globe signifies the lodge. The oath is confined to promising fidelity to the Order, secrecy and devotion to the study of nature. The apron is white lined with black, and embroidered. The jewel is of gilt brass, and consists of two triangles with rays issuing therefrom, the name of Jehovah in Hebrew letters, and on the reverse the signs (S)? $ . It is attached to a black ribbon. Sign: raising the right hand, with the thumb and two forefingers extended, which is answered by placing the thumb and two fore-fingers on the heart. The grip is given by taking the brother with the right hand round the waist. The word is Chaos. In Hamburg the initiation fee was forty gold marks, about £2'; monthly contributions amounted to about eighteen shillings. There are nine degrees. We need not go through the whole of them; a few may suflSce. The third degree is called Bracheus, in which the word is Majim, the answer to which is Brocha. The next degree is that of Philosophus; the word, Euachhiber; initiation fee. 238 about twenty dollars. There is a ninth degree, the initiation fee to which is ninety-nine gold marks, for which the member becomes a true Magus, knowing all the secrets of nature, with power overall angels, devils, and men; the philosopher's stone is the least of his possessions. 289. Spread of Bosiciiicianism.—These Rosicrucians assert that they had lodges in various countries. Vienna, according to their statements, was the seat of the Grand Master of the eighth degree; Konigsberg, Stettin, Berlin, and Danzig, meeting places of the Brethren of the fifth degree; at Breslau and Leipzic the Brethren of the fourth degree assembled; at Hamburg the Brethren of the sixth degree had a lodge, which cost nine thousand marks. The Order, moreover, had lodges at Nuremberg, Augsburg, Innsbruck, Prague, Paris, Venice, Naples, Malta, Lisbon, Bergen-op-Zoom, Cracow, Warsaw, Basle, Zurich in Europe, and at Smyrna and Ispahan in Asia. The sect was also known in Sweden and Scotland, where it had its own traditions, claiming to be •descended from the Alexandrian priesthood of Ormuzd, who embraced Christianity in consequence of the preaching of St. Mark, founding the society of Ormuzd, or of the " Sages of Light." This tradition is founded on the Mani<5ha9ism preserved among the Coptic priests, and explains the seal impressed on the ancient parchments of the Order, representing a lion placing his paw on a paper, on which is written the famous sentence, Pax tibi, Marce Evangelista meuSy " from which we might infer that Venice had some <5onnection with the spreading of that tradition. In fact, Nicolai tells us that at Venice and Mantua there were Rosi"Crucians, connected with those of Erfurt, Leipzic, and Amsterdam. And we also know that at Venice congresses of Alchymists were held; and the connection between these latter 1 A somewhat curious fact may be mentioned here: The Rosicrucians generally adopted sirlereal or alchymistic pseudonyms. In the seventeenth century, under the Emperor Ferdinand III., one John Konrad Richthausen came to Vienna. He was a Rosicrucian, and as such bore the name of •Chaos, and eventually was ennobled as Herr von Chaos. In 1663 he -erected an institution for the sons of poor or deceased parents. When, three years after, the Plague raged in Vienna and attacked some of the youths in the institution, the executors of Richthausen's will—the te>tator having died—quickly erected in the district of Mariahilf, almost in the centre of Vienna, another building, to separate the youths attacked by the disease from the others. Gradually the building was enlarged, so that in 1773 it could receive 145 pupils. It was known as the Chaos Foundation {( Jvaosische Stift). In 1752 the Empress Maria Theresa purchased the house for a military academy, which purpose it still serves; but it continues to be called the Stift and the street facing it is still •called the Stiftyasee, ASIATIC BRETHREN 239 nd the Rosicrucians has already been pointed out. Nevertheless the Scotch and Swedish Rosicrucians called themselves the most ancient, and asserted Edward, the son of Henry III., to have been initiated into the Order in 1191, by Raymond LuUy, the alchymist. The Fraternity of the Rosy Cross is still flourishing in England (see 293). 290. Transition to Freernasons.—From the Templars and Rosicrucians the transition to the Freemasons is easy. With these latter alchymy receives a wholly symbolical explanation; the philosopher's stone is a figure of human perfectibility. In the Masonic degree called the "Key of Masonry," or •*' Knight of the Sun," and the work " The Blazing Star," by Tschudi, we discover the parallel aims of the two societies. From the "Blazing Star" I extract the following portion of the ritual: " When the hermetic philosophers speak of gold and silver, do they mean common gold and silver?"—"No, because common gold and silver are dead, whilst the gold and silver of the philosophers are full of life." "What is the object of Masonic inquiries? "—" The art of knowing how to .render perfect whatNature has left imperfect in man." "What is the object of philosophic inquiry?"—"The art of knowing how to render perfect what Nature has left imperfect in minerals, and to increase the power of the philosopher's stone." " Is it the same stone whose symbol distinguishes our first •degrees? "—" Yes, it is the same stone which the Freemasons seek to polish." So also the Phoenix is common to Hermetic .and Masonic initiation, and the emblem of the new birth of the neophyte. Now, we have already seen the meaning of this figure, and its connection with the sun. We might multiply ¦comparisons to strengthen the parallelism between hidden arts -and secret societies, and trace back the hermetic art to the mysteries of Mithras, where man is said to ascend to heaven through seven steps or gates of lead, brass, copper, iron, bronze, silver, and gold. 291. Progress and Hxtindion of Rosicrucians.—After having excited much attention throughout Germany, the Rosicrucians endeavoured to spread their doctrines in France, but with little success. In order to attract attention, they in 1623 secretly posted certain notices in the streets of Paris, to this effect: " We, the deputies of the College of the Rosy Cross, visibly and invisibly dwell in the city. We teach without books or signs every language that can draw men from mortal error," etc. etc. A work by Gabriel Naud gave them the final blow. Peter Mormio, not having succeeded in reviving the society in Holland, where it existed in 1622, 240 published at Ley den in 1630, a work entitled "Arcana Naturae Secretissima/' wherein he reduced the secrets of the brethren to three—viz., perpetual motion, the transmutation of metals, and the universal medicine. 292. Bosicrucians in the Mauritius.—I am indebted to Mr. Waiters " Real History of the Rosicrucians " (published by George Redway, 1888) for the following particulars:— It appears that a society of Rosicrucians existed in 1794 in the island of Mauritius. "My authority," says Mr. Waite,. " gives at length a copy of ' the admission of Dr. Bacstrom ' into that society by Le Comte de Chazal. In that document Dr. Bacstrom promises, among other things, * never to reveal the secret knowledge he receives,' ' to initiate such persons as he may deem worthy,' including women, seeing that * Leon a Constantia, Abbess of Clermont, was actually received as a practical member and master into the society in 1736 as a Soror Crucis; ' that he will ' commence the great work as soon as circumstances permit/ that he ' will give nothing to the Church,' that he will 'never give the fermented metallic medicine for transmutation to any person living, unless he be a member of the Rosy Cross.' " To this document is appended the philosophic seal of the society, representing a man standing in a triangle, enclosed in a square, and surrounded by a circle. At the head and feet of the man are various cabalistic signs. The whole resembles some of the diagrams which may be found in the " Magical Works of Cornelius Agrippa," in the chapter treating of the proportions, measures, and harmony of the human body. 293. Modern English Rosicrucians.—Mr. Waite further states ,that a pseudo-society existed in England before the year 1836, because Godfrey Higginssays that " He had joined neither the Templars nor the Rosicrucians." The present Rosicrucian Society was remodelled about thirty years ago. A previous initiation into Masonry is an indispensable qualification of candidates: "the ofBcers of the society shall consist of three Magi, a Master-General, a Treasurer-General, a Secretary-General, and seven Ancients. There is also an Organist, a Torch-bearer, a Herald, a Guardian of the Temple, and a Medallist. The members are to meet four times a year, and dine together once a year. Every novice on admission shall adopt a Latin motto, to be appended to his signature in all communications with the Order. The jewel of the Supreme Magus is an ebony cross, with golden roses at its extremities, and the jewel of the Rosie Cross in the centre. It is surmounted by a crown of gold for the Supreme ASIATIC BRETHREN 241 Magus alone, and is worn round the neck, suspended by a crimson velvet ribbon. The jewel of the general officers is a lozenge-shaped plate of gold, enamelled white, with the Rosie Cross in the centre, surmounted by a golden mitre, on the rim of which is enamelled in rose-coloured characters LUX, and in its centre a small cross of the same colour. The jewel is worn suspended from a button-hole by a green ribbon an inch wide, and with a cross also embroidered on it in rose-coloured silk. The jewel of the fraternity is the lozenge-shaped jewel of the Rosie Cross, without the mitre, suspended by a green ribbon an inch it. width, and without the embroidered cross. Mr. Waite derived this information from a secret record of the association entitled The Rosiciitcian, a very small quarterly of twelve pages, first published in 1868, which ceased in 1879. In 1871 the society informed its members that their objects were purely literary and antiquarian; that it consisted of 134 fratres, ruled over by three Supreme Magi. Seventy-two members composed the London colleges, the others formed the Bristol and Manchester colleges. A Yorkshire college was consecrated in 1 877; a college in Edinburgh had been established some time previously. The prime mover in the association was Robert Wentworth Little; the late Lord Lytton was Grand Patron. But as to Rosicrucian knowledge the Brethren were altogether destitute of it, as they themselves admitted.