BLTC Press Titles


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Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Hermenie Templeton Kavanagh


The Bhagavad Gita

Anonymous


Mortal Coils

Aldous Huxley


The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky


History of the Masonic persecutions in different quarters of the globe

by George Oliver

Excerpt:

MASOIIC PERSECUTION.

INTRODUCTORY ESSAY

ON THE USAGES AND CUSTOMS OF SYMBOLICAL MASONRY N THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.

BY THE EDITOR.

" The Scalds exclaim, with miserable frown,1
Masons repair ? they'd sooner pull it down.
A set of ranting, roaring, rumbling fellows,
Who meet to sing old rose and burn the bellows.
Champagne and claret, dozens in a jerk,
And then they say how hard they've been at work.
Next for the secret of their own wise making,
Hiram and Boaz. and Grand Master Jachin 1
Poker and tongs! the sign ! the word! the stroke I
'Tis all a nothing, and 'tis all a joke.
Nonsense on nonsense! let them storm and rail,
Here's the whole history of their mop and pail;
For 'tis the sense of more than half the town,
Their secret is—a bottle at the Crown I"

Masonic Prologue. " Ton shall not go out to drink by night, or if occasion doe happen that you must goe, you shall not stay till past eight of the clock, havmg some of your fellowes, or one at the least, to beare you witness of the honest place you were in, and your good behaviour, to avoid scandall." —Ancient Charges.

" I wish the reader to take notice, that in writing of this book, I have made myself a recreation of a recreation ; and that it might prove so to him, and not read dull and tediously, I have in several places mixed (not any scurrility, but) some innocent harmless mirth; of which, if thou be a severe sour complexioned man, then I here disallow thee to be a competent jndge; for divines say, There are offences given, and offences not given, but taken."—Izaak Walton.

From the habits and usages of any society or body of men may be gathered a tolerably correct idea of their relative qualities, and the tendency such an association

See Masonic Institutes, p. '247.

possesses to promote? the happiness and prosperity of its members. The eighteenth century was distinguished by the existence of numerous local institutions, which periodically congregated together different classes of society, for divers purposes, the chief of which appears to have been the amusement of a vacant hour, when the business of the day was ended. Few of these ephemeral societies aimed at a higher flight. Some met weekly, while the members of others assembled every evening. Each profession and calling had its club, and in large towns the trade of every street was not without its means of thus ' killing the evening hour.

Such societies embraced every class of persons, from the noble to the beggar; and, whatever might be a man's character or disposition, he would find in London a club that would square with his ideas. If he were a tall man, the tall club was ready to receive him; if short, he would soon find a club of dwarfs; if musically inclined, the harmonic club was at hand; was he fond of late hours, he joined the owl club ; if of convivial habits, he would find a free and easy in every street ;2 if warlike, he sought out the lumber troopers ;3 if a buck of the first water, he joined the club of choice spirits; and if sober and quiet, the humdrum. If nature had favoured him with a gigantic proboscis, an unsightly

* A celebrated tavern, called the Coal Hole, was famous for midnight gossipping. Here the most celebrated comedians entertained their private friends in a series of convivialities after they had delighted the town. Here, too, certain painters, poets, sculptors, musicians, and other ingenious men, who preferred late hours, a smoky room, and hilarity, to the sober comforts of domestic life, wasted the night in glorious independence, fearless of the frowns, and tears, and curtain lectures which might await them at home.


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