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wachsynge, and becommynge a myghtye wyseacre,* and gratelyche renowned, and here he framed a great Lodge at Groton,t and maked many Maconnes, some whereoffe dyd journeye yn Fraunce, and maked manye Maconnes, wherefromme, yn processe of tyme, the arte passed in Engelonde.
Quest. Dothe Maconnes descouer here arts unto odhers ?
Answ. Peter Gower when he journeyedde to lernne, was ffyrste made, and anonne techedde; evenne soe shulde all odhers be and teche. Maconnest hauethe alweys yn everyche tyme from tyme to tyme communycatedde to mannkynde soche of her secrettes as generallyche myghte be usefulle; they haueth keped backe soche allein as shulde be harmfulle yff they commed yn euylle haundes, oder soche as ne myghte be holpynge wythouten the techynges to be joynedde herwythe in the Lodge, oder soche as do bynde the Freres more strongelyche togeder, bey the proffytte, and commodytye comynge to the Confrerie herfromme.
Quest. Whatte artes haueth the Maconnes techedde mankynde ?
Answ. The Artes Agricultura, Architectura, Astronomia, Geometria, Numercs, Musica, Poesie, Kymistrye, Governmente, and Relygyonne.
Quest. How commethe Maconnes more teachers than odher men ?
Answ. They hemselfe haueth allein the arte of fyndynge
*“ Weisager in the old Saxon, is philosopher, wiseman, or wizard.”
+ Groton. “ Groton is the name of a place in England. The place here meant is Crotona, a city of Grecia Magna, which in the time of Pythagoras was very populous.”
# Maconnes havethe communicatedde, &c. “ This paragraph hath something remarkable in it. It contains a justification of the secrecy so much boasted of by Masons, and so much blamed by others; asserting that they have in all ages discovered such things as might be useful, and that they conceal such only as would be hurtful either to the world or themselves. What these secrets are, we see afterwards."
neue artes, whyche art the ffyrste Maconnes receaued from Godde; by the whyche they fyndethe whatte artes hem plesethe, and the treu way of techynge the same. Whatt odher menne doethe ffynde out, ys onelyche bey chaunce, and herfore but lytel I tro.
Quest. What dothe the Maconnes concele, and hyde ?
Answ. Thay concelethe the art of ffyndynge neue artes, and thattys for here owne proffytte, and preise : Thay concelethe the art of kepynge secrettes, thatt soe the worlde mayeth nothinge concele from them. Thay concelethe the art of wunderwerckynge, and of fore sayinge thynges to comme, thatt so thay same artes may not be usedde of the wyckedde an euylle ende ; thay also conceuethe the arte of chaunges,* the wey of wynnynge the faculty of Abrac,t the skylle of becommynge gude and parfyghte wythouten the holpynges of fere, and hope ; and the universellef longage of Maconnes.
Quest. Wylle he teche me thay same artes ?
* The transmutation of metals.
† Facultye of Abrac. An abbreviation of the word Abracadabra. In the days of Ignorance and Superstition, that word had a magical signification ; but the explanation of it is now lost.
* The being able by secret and inviolable signs, carefully preserved among the Fraternity throughout the world, to express themselves intelligibly to men of all languages and nations. “ A man who has all these arts and advantages, is certainly in a condition to be envied : But we are told, that this is not the case with all Masons; for though these arts are among them, and all have a right and an opportunity to know them, yet some want capacity, and others industry to acquire them. However, of all their arts, and secrets, that which I most desire to know, is, The skylle of becomynge gude and parfyghte; and I wish it were communicated to all mankind, since there is nothing more true than the beautiful sentence contained in the last answer, that the better men are, the more they love one another.' Virtue having in itself something so amiable as to charm the hearts of all that behold it.”
Answ. Ye shalle be techedde yff ye be werthye, and able to lerne.
Quest. Dothe alle Maconnes kunne more then odher menne?
Answ. Not so. Thay onlyche haueth recht, and occasyonne more then odher menne to kunne, butt manye doeth fale yn capacitye, and many more doth want industrye, that ys pernecessarye for the gaynynge all kunnynge.
Quest. Are Maconnes gudder menne then odhers ?
Answ. Some Maconnes are not so vertuous as some odher menne ; but yn the moste parte, thay be more gude then thay woulde be yf thay war not Maconnes.
Quest. Doth Maconnes love eidther odher myghtylye as beeth sayde?
Answ. Yea verylyche, and yt may not odherwyse be: For gude menne, and true, kennynge eidher odher to be soche, doeth always love the more as thay be more gude.
Here endethe the Questyonnes and Answeres.*
* Glossary, to explain the Old Words in the foregoing Manuscript. Allein, only
Myghte, power Alweys, always
Occasyonne, opportunity Beithe, both
Oder, or Commodyte, conveniency Onelyche, only Confrerie, fraternity
Pernecessarye, absolutely necessary Faconnynge, forming
Preciso, honor Fore saying, prophesying
Recht, right Freres, brethren
Reckenyngs, numbers Headlye, chiefly
Sonderly che, particularly Hem plesethe, they please Skylle, knowledge Hemselfer themselves
Woned, dwelt Kunne, know
Wunderwerckynge, working miKunnynge, knowledge
A letter from Mr. Locke to the Right Honorable Thomas Earl of Pembroke, to whom he sent this ancient manuscript, concludes as follows, viz : “I know not what effect the sight of this old paper may have upon your Lordship; but for my own part I cannot deny, that it has so much raised my curiosity, as to induce me to enter myself into the. Fraternity ; which I am determined to do (if I may be admitted) the next time I go to London, (and that will be shortly.) I am, my Lord, your Lordship's most obedient, and most humble servant,
Ancient Charges at the Constitution of a Lodge: Ex
tracted from a Manuscript, in the possession of the Lodge of Antiquity in London, written in the time of James the Second.
***** And furthermore, at diverse assemblies have been put and ordained diverse crafties by the best advice of magistrates and Fellows. Tunc unus ex senioribus tenet, librum, et ille potent manum suam super
librum. Every man that is a Mason take good heed to these charges (we pray) that if any man find himselfe guilty of any of these charges, that he may amend himselfe, or principally for dread of God, you that be charged to take good heed that you keepe all these charges well, for it is a great evill for a man to forswear himselse upon a book.
" The first charge is, That yee shall be true men to God and the holy church, and to use no error or heresie by your understanding and by wise men's teaching. Allso,
Make gudde, are beneficial Wylde, savage
Secondly, That yee shall be true liege men to the King of England, without treason or any falshood, and that yee know no treason or treachery, but ye shall give knowledge thereof, to the King or to his counsell; allso yee shall be true one to another, that is to say, every Mason of the Craft that is Mason allowed, yee shall doe to him as yee would be done unto yourselfe.
Thirdly, And yee shall keepe truely all the counsell that ought to be kept in the way of Masonhood, and all the counsell of the Lodge or of the chamber. Allso, that yée shall be no thiefe or thieves to your knowledge free: That yee shall be true to the King, Lord, or Master that ye serve, and truely to see and worke for his advantage.
"Fourthly, Yee shall call all Masons your Fellows, or your Brethren, and no other names.
Fifthly, Yee shall not take your Fellow's wife in villany, nor deflower his daughter or servant, nor put him to no disworship.
“Sixthly, Yee shall truely pay for your meat or drinke wheresoever yee goe, to table or bord. Also, yee shall doe no villany there, whereby the Craft or Science may be slandered.
“ These be the charges general to every true Mason, both Masters and Fellowes.
“Now will I rehearse other charges single for Masons allowed or accepted.
“ First, That no Mason take on him no Lord's worke, nor any other man's, unlesse he know himselfe well able to perform the worke, so that the Craft have no slander.
“ Secondly, Allso, that no Master take worke but that he take reasonable pay for itt; so that the Lord may be truly served, and the Master to live honestly, and to pay his Fellows truely. And that no Master or Fellow supplant others of their worke; that is to say, that if he hath taken a worke, or else stand Master of any worke, that he