Dramatic Order Knights of Omar Initiation
Note: “Joe”—This character is of peculiar conception, difficult
delineation and always demanding constant study and it is hoped that every
actor will render it in the most realistic manner and secure the finest possible
effect. If not assumed by a singer and comedian it should be given to a fine
recitationist. If no fitting melody of the song designated is known, words and
music appropriate to the character and its lines should be selected.
“Mokanna”—This is intended to parallel in importance the character of “Joe,” though more dramatic and of a different sphere. A close study of the lines develops that sphere.
At the designated hour of meeting, the Grand Mogul will ascend the rostrum and make one sound on the signal stone with the trountion of authority, immediate silence must prevail, the
a will close the outer door, and the Secretary call the roll of officers, who, as they respond to their names, will assume their respective stations.
If neither the G.M. nor G.E. be present the Secretary will appoint to these vacancies. When stations are filled, form line in front of and facing G.M., officers on the right, Mahedi six paces in front of officers first in line. All make the R.B. to C.M., who will respond in same manner. Each will then pass and communicate in a whisper to the G.M., the S.I.P W. and the T.P.W. and proceed to a seat. Those without, or not entitled to these will immediately qualify or retire. All seated, and stations filled, G.M. will rap once with the gavel, and enter upon the following:
Order of Business
1. Reading Record.
2. Admitting Votaries.
3. Reading Correspondence.
4. Reading and acting upon requests from Tyros.
5. Considering and transacting business matters.
6. Dramatic work.
8. Communicating T.P.W.
Act 1, Scene I
Sahib, introducing candidate to Menial in ante-room: Sir, and officer.
Menial, shaking hands impressively with candidate: I take this to be not a treacherous hand, nor thee a man of meddling mouth, but friendly to our Order, and by all the gods that honor kneels to or erects, and all the love of home, and friends, pledge thee no deception, harm or affront.
But if thy soul holds cold deceit, go hence separate hands and count not the moments in thy going. Sahib, know you this man?
Sahib: As a Tyro, but truthful to my belief.
Tyro, to whom should be given, with ample time for memorization or reading, the following: I speak truly. Of thy good friends, and the splendors of their Temple, I have clean report, and with honest heart and keen desire would of their number be.
As read by me, and heard from tongues, mine bath no right to still or question, I do admire, and most noble are the principles they declare— “Race should have its proper sphere. Wealth,
education, refinement—all the emotions of the soul, fair dispensation. Within right and reason to all people at all times, and under all circumstances.”
And I have strong support for their purposes —“To preserve, promulgate, exemplify, by such laws, rules, regulations, forms and ceremony as their lines and authority may now or hereafter provide—such principles.”
Menial: Thou speakest well, and fervently. Beyond our portal—symbol and ceremony, oaths that bind, and pleasures that please, dissipate idle thoughts, ignorance and prejudice.
None mock the cloth, speak as politicians do, or espouse the cause of either. Associations are guarded, Fellowships broadened, our fraternal bond strengthened, and flight given to sad, sombre and monotonous hours.
Your admiration for our principles, your resolve to aid us in our purposes, and your desire to be a peer of ours, and receive fellowship from us, I will report.
Enters temple, leaving door ajar, and reports: Grand Mogul, a Tyro seeks title from and association with us. ‘Tis said
He moves an honest man among men, writes no careless thought,
And advances no incautious foot.
Grand Mogul, in obvious voice: ‘Tis said,” hath no credence here. Therefore, that neither
He nor we, nor ours be chatter of the. street, let him give oath, — — —
And Mahedi have charge of him. Exeunt Menial and Mahedi.
Mahedi, to candidate in ante-room: Sir, ‘tis decreed thou covenant with us. Till then, see
Through thy thoughts, and measure what thou hearest.
Blindfolds and leads candidate to and halts before open door.
He who falters, fails, and in the adverse hour denies us friendship,
Walks a ghost of cold deception midst a wreck of ruined confidence.
He who volunteers, in such an hour, appears a brilliant star
From behind a rolling cloud. But it were well to—
Linger not long in Reverie’s realm;
Linger not long on it rolling tides.
In the push and pull, the surge and swim,
Many, indeed, are the buffeting rides
That move us along relentlessly,
Waiting, nor watching, the lagging oar
As it drifts us here and drifts us there,
Drifting us on the Silent Shore.
While Mahedi is delivering the above, the Venerable Sheik takes a standing position in the center of the temple, one attendant on the right, the other on the left, in front, the Grand Emir to the left, the Grand Mogul to the right in the rear, members forming line, double column, inward faced, right resting at door. Mahedi leads candidate within Temple, closes door and removes blindfold.
Act 1, Scene II
The Lily Resting on top of the five steps and cemented
firmly thereto, are two granite Bases, representing firmness and impartiality.
The one on the right represents the Organic and constitutional laws of the
land, the one on the left represents the same of the Order. Our members are
sworn to uphold and obey them both, hence, this Order is at all times ready to
condemn any violator thereof.
Venerable Sheik: There is a race which mortals run because they must, and not
With any hope of winning it. Time is what they crave, to enjoy
Life’s delight and dash, ere the final heat is reached, dreaming
Ever the whip is idle, till, suddenly, its crack is heard, the “go” is on,
And the leader wins, as win he will. That race is Life; the leader Death.
Nor pause they to think, though they flourish, they must fade, as do the
Leaves of the forest and the lilies of the ~ield1 which have no firmer hold
On life than the mightiest monarch that ever shook the earth with
His footsteps. Generations of men appear and disappear with
The grass, and the multitude that throng the world today may vanish
On the morrow as written names pass from the sanded shores of time.
And how few note the shadows till they fall athwart their threshold,
Shading, forever from their view, the faces of loved ones whose kindly smile
Was the sunlight of their existence; and though angels were guides, kings
And princes companions, and the gleam and gold beyond lit up the eternal
Hills of Paradise, none yearn to travel Death’s “Dark Valley.”
“Laugh and the world laughs with you,
Weep and you weep alone,
For this brave old earth must barrow its mirth,
It has troubles enough of its own.
Be glad and your friends are many;
Be sad and you lose them all,
Not one will decline your nectar and wine;
Alone you must drink life’s gall.
Feast and your halls are crowded,
Fast and the world goes by;
Succeed and give and it helps you to live
But no man can help you to die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.”
Again blindfold candidate.
O, man, whence thou cometh, whither thou goeth1 wherever or whatever, or
However humble or exalted thou art, thou can’s not say
I am the King of men and have no peer.
Exeunt Mahedi and candidate to anteroom. Meantime Venerable Sheik seats himself in center of temple, cross-legged, holding light; attendants, standing erect, holding lights; Grand Emir and G. M. in same position as before, but seated; members seated in circle. Extinguish all other lights. Enter Mahedi with candidate blindfolded, halting at the door. Venerable Sheik continues.
Act 1, Scene III
Venerable Sheik: Mahedi, under what sign, and with whom enter you here?
Mahedi: Under this sign gives the crescent sign with one who would covenant with us.
Venerable Sheik: Seat the Tyro, as I am, before me Mahedi seats candidate. Now, Stranger, Place your left hand over your heart, extend me your right hand, and repeat:
I, (your name) solemnly and sincerely declare and say that what I am about to do and say, will be done and said upon my honor, without hesitation or refusal on my part. Provided, no promise, pledge or obligation of this Order is political or religious in cause or effect.
First: Then, I promise, pledge, swear and declare never to recognize or acknowledge any
person or persons as connected with this Order unless he and they prove to, and satisfy me of being in legal and perfect possession of a complete knowledge and all instructions, private and exclusive, of this and every degree of this Order.
Next: To allow no person or persons, nor myself, unless under and with proper legal authority, to in any manner or for any purpose whatever, print, paint, publish, copy, change, alter, add to, take from, transpose, borrow, loan or expose this, or any other ritual, degree, private thing or matter, now or hereafter connected with, relating to or used by this Order.
Again: Never to use unlawfully, or permit the name or Ritual of this Order to be used unlawfully, whereby the same may be subverted or brought into disrepute if in my power and knowledge to prevent.
Also: To the utmost of my ability and means, to protect woman in all her honor and virtue and to aid and render her all the kindly offices of friendship, charity and benevolence and to do the same to every member of this Order worthy and in need, even should extreme and extenuating circumstances demand.
Further: Never by any act, consent or knowledge of mine to confer, assist in conferring or permit to be conferred, this or any part or portion of this or any other degree of this Order upon any other than a male person of lawful age and reputable character, and not then unless he be a member in good standing of that Order founded by Justice H. Rathbone, and first organized February 19, 1864, by him and others in Washington, D.C.
Finally: To regard, conform to and obey, now, henceforth, evermore, even unto death, to the best of my ability and understanding, this and every other obligation, promise, pledge and declaration of this Order, declaring, at last, that when I fail to do so, I surrender all the honor I am or may be possessed.
All Sing: “Though like a wanderer,
Daylight all gone,
Darkness be over me,
My rest a stone.
“Yet in my dreams I’d be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.”
All remain in position except Mahedi and candidate. Venerable Sheik continues: Go not to the confessional, nor the wine that is red, but in the Cloister of Thy heart hold sweet communion, and when next thou entereth Here, lay all thy hope upon the altar of thine honor.
Exeunt Mahedi and candidate.
End of Act I.
Entering the ante-room, the Mahedi, closes the Temple exit and sees that the Tyro’s attire is the same as the first, when notified, he will approach and make the alarm on the signal which is suspended on the outside of the inner door, the alarm piece shall consist of a piece of high sounding metal 4 x 14 inches, very rough on the outer side, the alarm is made with a piece of metal angled so as to make a loud scratching noise, this to be known as the “Tiger’s Claw.” The alarm is two full-length scratches on the alarm signal, in quick succession, the wicket will be raised. The Mahedi will give one half of the Pass Word, which is “Ti.” The Menial will give the other half, which is “Ger.” The Mahedi will repeat the whole Pass Word to ‘the Menial, “Tiger,” the door will then be opened, the Mahedi takes the Tyro by the arm and walks him in backwards to a chair sitting before the Charter, arriving at the chair the Mahedi releases hold of the Tyro, and causes him to about lace, the Grand Mogul will have previously taken a position on the left and near the charter, standing. The Mahedi will salute the G M. thus: Extend the left arm and fingers, quickly raise, putting the thumb in the left ear, fingers straight up, the palm open to the front.
Mahedi: Sir, a Tyro, one virgin sand,
Grand Mogul, raising right hand, palm down, to height of his chin and say: My worthy, thy assurance is accepted both dropping hands simultaneously.
Grand Mogul: Mahedi, cause the Tyro to be seated. Mahedi obeys.
Grand Mogul: Tyro, you will now give to me your strict attention and make up in your mind and heart to heed and profit by what you may hear.
In this wide, wide World, more beautiful and mysterious than the most skillful and scientific human genius can solve, from whence it came and to whither or what its final end no earthly mortal knoweth, its existence is the will of “GOD” the Father, its final end will be the same, but we know by everything mortal or mutable herein that man’s existence is transitory and of short duration, therefore it becomes a solemn duty to do whatsoever we can to make the world brighter and better as the days go by, especially so, by helping men to rise to lofty ideals, going forth in “His Name” hither and hither, busying ourselves with those obligations that come to us in life; in so doing we of times raise our eyes to glance down the Path of Life, thus we see a man, a fellow being, a stranger traveling through the byways, then in spirit of brotherly love we approach him, only to find that he would a better life enjoy, be yearns for true and trusty friends, he declares that no man condemns him and that he believes in the existence of a “Supreme Being,” but no one careth for him, then it is that we say, Ah, Friend, if you have confidence, cast your lots with us by accepting the requirements and performing the duties of Page and if found worthy, you will be proven as an Esquire, thus done satisfactorily, you can of your own volition aspire to Knighthood, being accepted and demonstrated, your valor against the cold steel of a “Daredevil Monster,” you can then travel the path of Pythian Knighthood until you find yourself advancing upon a pavement neatly and firmly laid with rectangular blocks of spotless white marble, adhered by gray cement produced of the very best ingredients in order to have a silician effect. These represent a clean and perfect record upon. ,which a man can at all times advance fearless of reproach or criticism, such as are required of Brother Knights desiring to know the inner secrets of our Shrine.
The five flights of steps here illustrated, each represents a separate and distinct purpose or meaning, yet they are so closely interwoven and allied that they are almost if not entirely inseparable; truly do they represent the five subordinate degrees of the Order of K. of P., including the exalted degree of The Knights of Omar; each of them has a particular motto.
You will do well to ponder them over during life’s journey because they will prove guard and protection against many evils and dangers that we thoughtlessly come in contact with, even though straightforward and upright; in fact they will greatly assist us in finding the Royal Path of Life, the most glorious that earth doth afford. These Steps are cemented together with Brotherly Love1 polished with Friendship, shaped with Charity, adorned with Benevolence, kept clean with Purity, looked upon with Honor, and trusted with Confidence; they are built uprightly with Laurels and leveled with the Plomb of Truth; they are angled with the skill Triangle of Liberality and squared with the true Square of Virtue.
The First Three Steps represent the Mottoes of Friendship, Charity and Benevolence. The fourth step represents the formerly Amplified Degree that is now included in the long form of the degree of Knight1 the M Otto is Honor and Purity.
The fifth step is the Omar degree, the Motto is Confidence. Note as we go up the steps each of them brings us higher from the level upon which we stood; therefore let our every act be of such that when we shall have reached the topmost step that all the Brethren may have the utmost and implicit confidence in us, for there we find the indestructible “Vial,” representing “time” as fresh as in the beginning, filled with imperishable non-fading fluid that
Filled and overflowing with the luscious fruits of the vine and tree and the sustaining product of the Field and Garden, representing “God’s” godly gifts to honest, frugal and obedient mankind, in keeping with his command and promise “Thou shalt live by the sweat of thy brow”; “Cast thy seed in the fertile soil, and it shall bring forth fourfold”; “Trust in me and thou shalt not perish” The Mottoes which are but extracts from our book of law, the Holy Bible, the cornucopia filled with his promises cast over them, assures us, though we may be cast in the Desert Plains of life with not a single friend to impart as much as a cheering word, not a favored springlet from which to sip a cooling drink to our parching lips or thirsty soul, not a rivulet that we may wash the burning sands from our weary feet, we can arise in His name, do our duty to our “God,” to our neighbor, to ourselves and as
By magic the Desert Plains that surround us will become a veritable Garden of Eden. “Nil Des perandum,” trust and obey.
The beautiful Calla Lily in the Vase on the fourth step towering Heaven-ward, opening its richly tinted petals to the glowing light of the hidden sun, represents that purity of the purpose that seeks light and knowledge, rendering sweetness in its every act, inviting attention and admiration of everyone, yet its existence is attended by a mystery far beyond human conception, with its roots imbedded in the dirt of Mother Earth, it seeks the pure air and light in which to show its beauty, dispence its sweetness and demonstrate its real value, hence it climbs upward, here it puts forth a beautiful green blade, there it puts forth a most enchanting velvety flower. Thus it continues to the end of its season, then it droops, withers, falls to Mother Earth and decays. Likewise came we from the dust of the Earth and may it be, as we grow in age that we climb upward, dispelling the clouds that gather about with Charity and gentleness, that in the end of our days, when we must return to Mother Earth, our life may have been as that of the Calla Lily, Purity and Sweetness, remembering always, that as we advance in light and knowledge, the remembrance of our obligations should be as green as the blade and our purposes as pure as the Lily.
You will now stand, raise your left hand, fingers extended, thumb parallel, finger tips to the level of your head, hand near left ear, palm open and to the front, and repeat after me.
Truly, Sir, do I recognize in all that I have beard, the inevitable truths, “Subhi-Sadik.” Allowing your fingers and thumb to remain in the same position, you will lower your hand to a position immediately below your heart and against your breast, palm up, place your right hand palm down on the left shoulder of our Mahedi, in which position take pace with him to the outer realms and there await until commanded.
Mahedi to Tyro: Come.
Turning left about, proceeds to the anteroom.
Candidate should appear for this act in dress suit of black, white gloves and black neck-wear.
Grand Emir takes standing position in front of station of Venerable Sheik, flanked evenly on either side by the members. Mahedi enters Temple with candidate and halts at the door. Attendants take position on either side of candidate.
Grand Mogul: Sir, how decide you to continue?
Tyro: Stately sir, I recognize in all mine eyes hath seen and mine ears beard, incontrovertible truths which give birth to grander admiration and stronger purposes for this most excellent Order, and a deep desire tenacity to hold within this Temple. Therefore, if it please thee, and these honorable gentlemen, I will proceed.
Grand Mogul: Sir, what thou sayest falls upon no foolish ears, and as we play not the part of fools, take thou a thoughtful mood.
Mahedi, adjusting casket to neck of candidate: This is the state of man: today he puts forth the tender leaves of hope; tomorrow blossoms and bears his blushing honors thick upon him, the third day comes a frost—a killing frost, and when he thinks, good easy man, his greatness is a—ripening—nips his root.
Steps to right of candidate.
Grand Emir, facing and slowly approaching candidate: Custom may be grand or purely simple. The ancients celebrated
The valiant deeds of valiant men in classic verse and heroic song, and
Honored them in epics that surpass, in exquisite pathos, elegant diction
And graceful purity, the most polished productions of modern minds,
While those whose history formed a part of the golden era or a glorious age
Were immortalized beyond the power of decay on Time’s indestructible walls.
Leads candidate about Temple while delivering the following: Egypt, the Holy Land, treasures her noble great in antique vase and mummies.
Forms: Persia in weired and impressive mosques; Rome, upon arches
Grand and rivaled only by Rome’s munificent generosity; and Arabia
Yielding to none in awe-inspiring temples. Valorous England
Confers her honored “Star and Garter,” a peerage of the premiership
Upon her active brain, and when their work is done, embalms
Their forms in the silence, the solitude and grandeur of her own,
And only “Westminister,” America, O Land of the Free! O Land
Of the Brave! land of civilization and intelligence, fairest and
Best of lands! while it crowns no king, jewels her humblest her highest—
Their lives, their words and deeds, on the brightest page of universal and eternal history.
Sublime as these tributes are throughout this vast world, countless
Cemeteries house every caste and grade of life and station and
“Millions in those solitudes
Since first the flight of years began
Have laid them down forever in
Their long, last sleep.”
All halt facing door.
First Escort: To die—to sleep—to sleep, perchance to dream,
Aye! there’s the rub; for in that sleep of death
What dreams may come when we have Shuffled off this mortal coil.
Second Escort: Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble; he cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down; he fleeth like a shadow and continueth not.
Mahedi leads candidate to ante-room.
Blindfold candidate. Place coffin in center of Temple facing door, Grand Emir in front. Escorts on either side, each holding a light. Members and non-officiating officers form in double column, inward facing from coffin to candidate. Extinguish lights in Temple. Enter Mahedi leading candidate to Grand Emir.
Grand Emir: There’s many a spot of mother earth where roses bloom and fibrous vines
Play idly o’er sweet infant forms sleeping in the arms of death; arms
That circle, here and there, many a life which rounded out and rose
To full development. The “measure space” is the retreat of
Many a brain once busy building, with unceasing toil, the
Moving shelves of swaying thought deep-dyed in sin, or shaped to
Crush that curse. to all mankind. Go where we will, the “narrow house”
Roofs minds less favored by intelligence and wealth, nor can
We count the aged forms, who battled long and fell at last before
The storms of time-all mourned as dead, though the dead
Liveth after death. How plaintive, and how sad the unpretentious slabs that
Shield the waifs of womankind who had lost—
Ah! the world and its friendships, who once were pure till won by love and mixed with perfidious wine, the menu of misery ending with scorn and contempt from sex alike, and kicks and cuffs of those who should have held them in their hearts as Mary Magdalene, and not frail outcasts from their warm embrace.
Ah! well, what means all this to us; the scene moves on
Yet changes not. All have their peers, who, with one accord exclaim—
First Escort: Oh! Grave, where is thy victory!
Second Escort: Oh! Death, where is thy sting?
Grand Ernir: E’n now as time’s great pendulum moves round the minute
Hands of life, we hear the sobs all sob and sighs all sigh
Of hearts asunder torn by the ploughman, Death, who alone
Can shout, “I am the King and Conqueror of oil!”
Step you now within yon cloister and there covenant with us.
Mahedi places candidate exactly in coffin, which done members will carefully lower it suddenly to floor. Unblindfold candidate and have him repeat the following:
“That I may become a Votary of this Order, and be recognized as a sensible and reputable man, I (name) promise never to degrade myself or sex by living or leading an immoral, intemperate or depraved life, or by associating with any such person or persons.
I also promise not to encourage or countenance either as an officer or votary, profane, indecent, degrading or ungentlemanly language, custom, ceremony or business in this Order.
And I declare that any such act on my part shall constitute and brand me a being utterly and absolutely devoid of honor, and morally and mentally depraved.
All remain silent a moment. Grand Emir continues: How true it is that every life should have its sanctum of secrecy, as well as an open page; that each has smiles and tears fast in their fleeting inevitable in their end—the grave. Misery walks with beggary and treads the hall of wealth. Ambition finds defeat, and sovereigns and thrones totter and fall, and witless fools laugh at reason. Echoing down the colonnades of time, a still, small voice, audible and reaching all, speaks to man: “Know Thyself.”
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
O’er thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud and fall
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart,”
Remember the divine Exordium:
“So live that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry slave at night
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him and lies down to pleasant dreams.”
All sing: There’s a land that is fairer than day,
Tho’ by faith we may see it afar,
For the Father looks over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.
In the sweet bye and bye,
bye and bye,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
Elevate coffin to a perpendicular. Grand Emir continues: If, my friend, you are still willing, and will give evidence of your honor and your fidelity to and friendship for us, repeat the following:
Candidate repeats: I (name) do now orally, and if required will do so in writing, promise, pledge and declare, that at any time after being created a Votary, I will, if neither my political nor religious principles are interfered with, aid, assist, entertain or amuse the Votaries of this Temple, when, where and how they may, in Temple require.
Grand Emir continues: And lest this scene and this act should pass from your memory, or fail to appeal to your honor, and as positive evidence that you have assumed and will faithfully perform all you have here pledged to do, attach your signature to this paper.
Grand Emir hands slip to and obtains thereon the signature of candidate.
End of Act II.
Grand Emir: You will now retire with our Mahedi to yonder pointing to Exit forest and there feed on the verdant herbs of careful thought and meditation while our Grand Mogul prepares to give you further instructions.
On entering the ante-room, the Mahedi closes the exit, arranges the Tyro, as in the beginning, gives the alarm, by one full-length scratch, wait a second, then give two scratches in the same manner as before; the wicket will be opened, he will whisper half the password, as SEE, the Menial will give the other half as KING, the Mahedi will then repeat the whole word, SEEKING, the Menial closes the wicket and reports from his station, loudly, saying:
Menial: Grand Mogul, our Mahedi alarms.
Grand Mogul: What is the cause of the alarm?
Menial: He craves admission, being accompanied by a seeker.
Grand Mogul: Is the seeker properly clad and in the proper mental capacity to enter these realms?
Menial: Sir, he is.
Grand Mogul: Then hinder him not by further challenge.
During the report of Menial to the Grand Mogul, the Mahedi causes the Seeker to get down on all fours, i.e., hands and toes, puts a rope around the Seeker’s neck, takes one end of the rope in his right hand, when the door is opened, he leads Seeker slowly into the Temple, saying as each hand and foot strikes the floor, Ka-yum, Ke-yick, Fe-cho, Sli-cum da Mann he-er Se-eka Da O-mar-dom, repeating until he arrives at the chair before the charter, then he causes the “SEEKER” to he seated upright in the chair, he then advances to the altar, putting palms of his hands together, fingers pointing right and left, right hand up as if concealing something, and say: A Seeker awaits before the chart of science craving further knowledge thereof bows and releases hands.
The Grand Mogul acknowledges by a wave of the right hand, turning to the Seeker.
Grand Mogul: Tyro, hast thou become a true Seeker for the mysteries of the Knights of Omar?
Tyro: Sir, of a truth, I have.
Grand Mogul: Tyro, thou heardest the report of our Mahedi, bath he truthfully spoken concerning thee?
Tyro: Sir, of a truth, he bath truthfully spoken.
Grand Mogul: Tyro, that which thou sayest being true, by the will of the Votaries here assembled I shall proceed to impart to you such as our chart contains, you will remember that in last review we discontinued after that of the “Calla Lily,” now we begin at the base of the Columns.
Base of Columns
The two Ionic Columns resting on the Bases, represent Strength and Durability. They are perfect in form and equally designed, the one on the left is Strength, the one on the right is Durability of the Order. Their equal proportion implies that as long as we have strength we can reasonably expect durability or duration and the same can be said of duration, the weakness of the one affects the other. From behind and showing at the fourth step is a Pomgranate vine that entwines both the Columns denoting a constant growing in sweetness, love and beauty, they continue upward endeavoring to reach the highest pinnacle of the towering Columns, on each of which is a double Triangle equilateral in mechanism and design, denoting equality in all matters affecting the Order or any member thereof. In the left Triangle is a Lamb feeding in a verdant Pasture, denoting Meekness and Innocence, the Greek letter
equals “P” in English and stands for purity, thus durability carries with it three cardinal principles or virtues: Meekness, Innocence and Purity. In the right triangle is a Dove passing through space with an Olive branch, denoting swiftness to bear terms of peace where confusion and discord exist, harmless in purpose and intent, ever alert, quick to mediate for peace and happiness where turbulence exists. The Greek letter equals “L” in English, and stands for love, thus strength carries three cardinal virtues: Swiftness, Love and Peace, therefore let our strength be used to accomplish these purposes and victory without the loss of a friend will ever remain inscribed on our Banner.
The known faithful burden bearer of ages, they were conspicuous and reliable carriers for “Abram and Lot” centuries ago when removing from Ur to Canaan and from Canaan to Egypt and back to Egypt during the famine; they removed Lot from thence to the Cities of the plains and Abram to the land of Mamre. They proved themselves to Isaac and Jacob, they are known and recognized all through History for their sturdy endurance and obedience to commands. When the wise men undertook the journey over the desert plains in search of the place of the Nativity of our Blessed Saviour, no burden bearer was thought of other than the
Dangerous, ferocious, treacherous, bloodthirsty, wiry, alert, nimbly active, creeps stealthily through bog and fen, moats, morass, wild and hideous byways ever ready to instantly leap or dash upon the innocent. Game as he is, powerful as he is, he’s a coward, because he seldom attacks his foe, or comes at innocence in the open; on the other hand he sneaks about seeking advantageous places and makes his attacks unaware and by surprise, thus he would destroy the Camel and its burden; especially would he relieve the Camel of its human rider, docile and humble as the Camel is; his perfect sense of smell, acute eyesight and the instinct of the Tiger’s tactics and methods, detects the vicious prowler afar off and warns his rider or Master of the approaching or hidden danger confidently expects protection by his master. ‘Tis said that when they shall have been attacked two or three times and their masters have put the attacker to rout or have slain him, that they become so confident that they give the warning and calmly await the results before proceeding on the journey. It becomes us thefore to prepare for the journey of life. Let the motto of this degree be the Camel to warn you of the dangers that lurk along the journey. It will prove the guiding Star directing you to the dangers that be about you. Receive it and keep It and practice it.
All seated in ordinary manner.
Mahedi to candidate in ante-room: My friend, it pleases me to invite thee to a seat within our Temple.
As candidate enters, Temple will be at ease.
“For he’s a jolly good fellow,
For he’s a jolly good fellow,
For he’s a jolly good fellow,
Which nobody can deny.”
All shake hand of candidate, after which Mahedi will seat him on right of Grand Mogul.
Grand Mogul, standing: Votaries, my thanks to each of you, who, in his humble way has effort made to act a part in the life we live. Let’s turn to other scenes. But ‘tis meet to remind you all that our respected Code bars all religious rule, political point, coarse sentiment and violations of moral and civil law.
But while reason is the reigning King, Mirth revels in our realm, and with her pleasant smiles and ready wit, drives dull care away.
Friendship has bound us well together, caution guided us aright and Bravery stirred us to noble deeds, and all give out the motto: “Friends, watch with confidence.”
Thus equipped let us pass the genial word, extend the friendly hand, and do the courteous act. Now, let the play go on.
Joe, entering from side room, dressed in ragged cloths, sings or recites the following: In the days when I was hard up, not many years ago,
I suffered that which only can the Sons of misery know,
Relations, friends, companions, they all turned up their nose,
And rated me a vagabond for want of better clothes.
‘Hard up, oh, hard up. I never shall forget
The day when I was hard up—I may be well off yet.
In the days when I was hard up, for want of food and fire,
I used to tie my shoes up with little bits of wire.
When hungry, cold, cast on a rock—no cent to get a meal,
How oft I beat the devil down for tempting me to steal.
In the days when I was hard up I found a blissful hope;
‘Tis all a poor man’s heritage to keep him from the rope.
It has become my maxim dear, and ‘twill ever be my plan,
Although I wear a ragged coat, I’ll wear it like a man.
Exit Joe for encore.
Joe, re-entering: All things have some change, they say;
Winter, spring, summer and fall,
But—hesitate; all say: Go on, go on.
the pockets of my pantaloons,
They know no change at all.
Laugh on, my friends, laugh on, but other men have laughed and frowned at me
Whose frowns were favors in disguise. Anon my finger runs the lines
Of memory o’er, and stops at this one who frowned in contempt
At my humble birth; at another who said my coat was off the shelf
Of some sly old Shylock’s store. One Laughed in cold
Derision at my ill-shaped lines. Smith twitted me for having
Neither tendency nor trade. Brown said I knew no Holy Writ, and
Jones, I could expound no law. John Doe would tell my fellows that
My tongue knew not the easy, graceful flow of fluent speech that oft makes
Men—men among men, and Roe—Dick Roe, gave me
Kennel with the dogs of politics that snap and snarl in the slime and
Slum of “Tory Hill.”
I say it not in triumphant mood—but as incontroverted word
Before Truth’s tribunal, I have laced the shoes of men
Whose words I clothed in robes of rhetoric, polished with perfect
Periods and adorned them with sense instead of sentiment.
Beg, I would not, steal, I did not, and all the mind and muscle
Mine to give, I gave to honest, bumble toil. It I neared
Or touched or passed, the hundredth mark of diligence and duty,
None blazed the score abroad.
As I have gone dancing down the Bowery of Time, I met thereon
Men, who, like myself, had seen better and a brighter life.
One had seen gold nuggets roll into his pan as up the royal road to
Wealth he climbed. But yesterday I gave him half my loaf—’twas
All I had—and a cheery word—that I always give—to brighten up
His passing years. Another who oft in the needing hour, in and
Out of season, had shared my pittance, chuckled o’er his fat account.
But now had none of it for me. A night or two ago I passed
Before a palace grand and heard from out its mirrored walls
Sweet lays warbled to rich toned and delicious music, and
Dreamed of those good old days when I sang the merry song
With the warble in that palace. A fashion plate
In soft brown suit, of texture fine, modern make and perfect fit,
Passed me by the other day, and I thought: How glad he used to
Be when I said, “How-dy” to him on the frosty morning while
Yet we wore the thin and tattered coat.
Jim—God bless the dear, old boy—Eh! why, yes, the heart
Does flutter and the eye grow moist, when I mention him
But I used to think, as I looked upon our scant attire, that
Fate was ne’er a friend to either, but a foe to both; yet she
Smiled on Jim and frowned on me, and since then and oft,
Jim’s tongue, lined with sliver, has stirred this land of eloquence.
And there was Waddy and Wat—you know Waddy and Wat—
They make me laugh laughs, all laugh. Wad, whene’er he took the
Chair to preside over the “Mystic Moments Club” was the dryest
Chap that e’er supped ale with men. Waddy would say, “Go on with the game,”
And Wat—he kept our books, and cash, would yell, “Police !“
And Wat would adjourn the Club and —get drunk. Wat was a
Little nice, you know. He’d push aside the poison put for his temptation.
And with seeming innocence and accident would overtip
Wad’s mug of beer. That’s why Wad sat most with me.
Look at Waddy and Wat now. The club thought ‘‘more the merrier”
Was the proper thing, instead of “quality” and let in all Tory Hill.
Wad’s cups were many after that, and now he’s
In his grave. No stone tells where he lies, but I know the spot
And often thither go and murmur unto heaven
“Here rests his head upon the lap of earth,
A youth to fortune and to fame unknown,
Fair science smiled not on him at his birth,
But melancholy marked him for her own.”
Last Sabbath I leaned against the outer wall of Great St. Paul’s Church,
Directly under the grand memorial window, which had here
And there a chip of cash from the stock of Batsey, of Burns and of Bate,
Each of whom had passed us all in the search for wealth,
And heard the waves of soft, sweet eloquence as they rose
And rippled on, and out, and over, the vast sea of listeners
Spell-bound in that sacred edifice.
“I am the resurrection and the life.”
Preached the preacher, and—Oh! was I dreaming—I heard Wat—it was he—softly repeat
“There is no flock, however watched and tended,
But one dead lamb is there;
There is no fireside, howsoe’er defended,
But has one vacant chair.”
Ah, well, Master, I might go still further down the list, but this
Much I learned—while in those rags— “A common peerage is the lot of man.
Exit Joe. Enter Mokanna suddenly. All shout: Brigand! Brigand! Brigand!
Mokanna, assisted by several members, seizes and blindfolds, binds arms and feints to gag and rush away with candidate. Great confusion. Grand Mogul shouts: Salaam - Salaam, Salaam, Salaam, Ueikum!
Confusion ceases. Who dares entrance to these sacred walls. Why all this sudden storm; this reign of riot; have earth’s bowels burst forth, rills become raging torrents and mountains tumbled from their heights?
Mokanna to Grand Mogul: Sir, here is my scroll that I am of thy noble band,
Yet oft have designing men tempted me to leave thy faithful fold,
And lay all mine honor on the altar of their false belief.
What! leave thee and those that love me—aye, are bound to me by all
The sacred ties of devoted brotherhood. No, not o’er all the richest Moors
Of every Spanish plain would I reign and thus forsake the humble place
Assigned me here, for in that flight would come slavery and dishonor.
No, sir, I never believe mine eyes; before them may appear but
Cold deception, and oft a rounded arm may hold a mailed hand
That soon may strike me down. I trust no man till he prove by test
And trial hard, that all his warm professions his offer of good graces,
And his daring deeds, sacrifice no honor of mine own; that none of
His soft words are pleasing platitudes, nor gentle waves rippling.
O’er a seat of sweet sayings. Nor do I bar his deep appeal.
If once he bare his dripping arm and let run its warm and thrilling blood my life to save
As I passed these portals I heard some nomad pouring his
Plaintive tale into these listening ears. Quick as the flash
That often plays in awful madness round my mountain home,
I recognized one here who had ne’er shown one devoted act of Soulful honor. Now, Sire, over great Sahara’s desert winds a
Path which pilgrims trod in search of rest and recreation. Yet
In the journey many have naked gone, hungered, thirsted and by
The wayside fallen, their flesh food for carrion birds, their bones atoms
Among the hot and flying simoons of the waste. Entering upon that
Journey, the Arab folds his hands across his breast to show a
Readiness to share with his companions all its trials and tribulations
And I would have this man thus see all, hear all, know all, bear the burdens of
That eventful march, aye, more, prove all his protestations
Of honor and fidelity.
Re-enter Joe with ragged suit upon his arm.
Joe: Here are the rags I wore, let’s see how they fit this man who
Seems to crave a peerage here with us.
Candidate must don suit. Mahedi then leads candidate to Grand Mogul.
Grand Mogul: Arabs, form you the caravan. Fill well your basket with
Wheaten bread from oven hot, and measure to its brim
Each bag with fresh water from the coolest rills.
Mahedi, lead forth and rein up our royal beast.
And in his carriage place the Tyro in position safe.
Provide him with much baksheesh, lest it he need, and lest
The willing brute grow ill or tired, and the traveler
Needs dismount and trod the rolling rocks and burning sands,
Put surer footing on his feet. Make sharp and most the time,
Short the journey, drive fast and yet be human.
RUSH Camel from side room to G.M’s. Station. Put wooden shoes on candidate before mounting him. Securely place candidate in saddle. He must be well and carefully guarded the entire time he is mounted to prevent accident .
Mokanna: Now, Arabs, the tiger.
All give the D.O.K.O. “tiger” or “yell” by dividing the last word of the order’s title, thus:
Start camel now at lively, but guide pace and when ride is deemed sufficient, halt at and in front of station of G. M., surrounded by votaries. Maintain silence a moment, then resume by singing.
All sing: Blest be the tie that binds
All in fraternal love,
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear,
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.
Unblindfold, but retain candidate in position. Grand Mogul continues: Sir, before you descend to our level, give me your ear. A true gentleman is a beaming star in the social spheres; yet woman has no peer in those firmaments. In refinement, intelligence, geniality, wit and amusements, her smile is the cheeriest, her song the sweetest, speech the chastest, and her mind the purest, and in the swing and swirl, the play and pleasure of her realm, she rises to regency as the Queen of home and holy influences. But, Divine being that she is, we can not trust her with the secrets of our Order, and yet our duty lies ever at the portals of hex honor and defense, for while our Order stands upon the higher plane of social nature it applauds that Knighthood, whose trend is tireless and to eternity; whose pean first rose o’er the oasis of Syracuse, in Sicily’s plain, on that fair Italia’s desert, and rang out to all the world and for all time, from Damon’s silver voice:
“Pythias, I know thou upholdest no tyranny,
And I swear, by all the gods that ever wielded
Wand o’er honor’s fields, I hate it with
That intensity that I do love thee.”
That Knighthood that has made it possible to emulate such love and friendship, for men to be more cautious in life’s affairs, braver in defending right, correcting error and crushing wrong; to step from the shades of lower life to the higher spheres of culture and refinement; to school, to rostrum, and stage and pulpit; to legislate with wisdom, protect the sanctity and virtue of home and hearthstone, and to shield and shelter the widow, the fatherless and the orphan from the world’s cold dependencies; To such a knighthood be true and loyal, that when your work on life’s broad field is done, whether your monument be a memory or a mausoleum, posterity shall read above its portal “A bright, brave memory, his a stainless shield, No shame defaces and no envy mars,
The record of an honored life revealed
His name a star among eternal stars.”
You may now retire with our Mahedi for conduct to our Temple’s privileges and pleasures.
Mahedi retires to ante-room with candidate and re-invests him with his proper clothing, which done, he gives three scratches in quick succession on the alarm signal, wait a second, then give two in like manner, the wicket will be raised.
Menial, gruffly: Who dares alarm at the Portals of this Temple?
Mahedi: I, the Mahedi of this Temple, accompanied by a Seeker, Sir, who is nearing Votaryship herein.
Menial, closes the wicket and reports: Grand Mogul, our Mahedi alarms for admission, saying that he is accompanied by a seeker.
Grand Mogul: Admit him.
Menial: Mahedi, it is the orders of the Grand Mogul that you be admitted. Closes the wicket and opens the door. Music. March should be played. Mahedi enters with Seeker on his right and march around the room three nines, halting at the chair before the chart, where the G. M. has previously taken a standing position.
Mahedi making the Royal Bow: Sir, a Tyro who has outwitted the Tiger’s cunning and tamed our wildest Camel.
Grand Mogul: Tyro, I congratulate you on your successful passage through the wild and Desert plains you have come. It therefore gives me pleasure to impart to you final information illustrated in our Charter. You will remember that in our former review we discontinued after a few thoughts along Zoological lines, we shall now begin along a few Geometrical lines to which you will do well to give very strict attention.
The Triangle. A Geometrical Instrument, conceived and invented by the sage of Corona, Pythagoras, for building purposes many centuries ago or in ancient times, it being equilateral on all sides, its symbolism can be applied to many and great things, lying flat upon a plane, the arc will beautifully portray the greatest triumvirate known to man, “FATHER, SON AND HOLY GHOST,” representing Faith, Hope and Charity, they all being equal, the one in the other. Then how beautifully does it picture the essential embodiments of that great and mighty tribune, in the creation. It represents Geologically the Earth, Stone and Water; Astronomically, the Sun, Moon and Stars; Physically, the Flesh, Blood and Bone; Scientifically, Oxygen, Hydrogen and Nitrogen, the Hurrican, Tornado, Cyclone and many
Being founded upon the durability and strength of the Knights of Pythias, of N. & S. A., E., A., A., & A., we hold our communications on the Triangle in an arc under the watchful eye of “GOD” from whom nothing is hidden or secret, being protected from eves-droppers and conspirators from without by two vigilant Votaries and trusted comrades, one of whom keeps a constant watch on the outer walls, and one who guards the inner portals of our Shrine, where Knowledge, Wisdom, Solidarity and Merriment abound with the esculence of corn to strengthen us and the succulence of the purest vintage to cheer us, we support and uphold the Flag of the United States of America, the Supreme and Grand Lodge, the Calanthians, the Uniform Rank in all its branches and that of our own.
First is to invite our attention and remind us, though we gather together in our secret Cloisters and there hold sweet communion, though we assemble in our safely guarded and well protected Shrines, where shut out from the World and may at the time, be by the world forgotten, that the ever watchful Eye of “GOD” is upon us and every secret of our heart, the true purpose of our intent is to him an open book and that he is ever ready to assist and render unto us protection and safe guidance in all our good and worthy undertakings, making a true and pleasing record of all our deeds and acts that tend toward the purpose of his Kingdom among mankind.
Second, is to remind us of that impressive admonition: “Friends, watch with confidence.” Although surrounded by a host of Friends seemingly most loyal and true, they may be to-day, but what are they or what may they be on the morrow?
With its five points is to remind us of the five senses of man, Hear, Feel, See, Taste, Smell. These give us a clear understanding of things or matter, present, past, far, near, direct and indirect, to the point of the compass and a power to judge the future, ‘neath these essentials, however lurk evils that will surely separate them from us lest we heed the safe admonition conveyed by the sign of the eye. These evils are even as dangerous and vicious to our health and happiness, both in this life and the life to come, as the Tiger is to our lives when traveling the devious ways through the wilds of his habitation, just as stealthily as he creeps about the highways and byways of his dominion ‘neath the starry canopy of Heaven seeking other creatures that he may lap the life’s blood thereof while it is hot, just so do the evils that are so pernicious to us, in destroying those God-given senses, that are so dear to us, lurk about us, ready at all times to take advantage of every opportunity or idle moment; therefore ‘tis well to again remind you of the Esquire’s Motto that you may grow to perfect manhood and uprightness in character, that through you the full effect of Pythianism may be shown as the noonday Sun on a Cloudless Day.
To enter your own Temple: After it has been duly opened quietly command, in a gentle manner, the attention of the officer guarding the outer entrance. Securing that attention, whisper in his ear the Temple Pass Word and he will admit you. Proceed to and give on the next or main entrance door, three raps. Wait a moment, then give two raps. The door will then be opened and you will give to the officer in charge there the Imperial Pass Word in a whisper. Give him then your name and the name, number and location of your Temple, and if not financially indebted to your temple, you will be admitted, whereupon proceed to the center, face and give to the Grand Mogul the Royal Salute, which is made thus: Raise arms full length above head, thumbs and fingers touching, hold thus a moment, then resume erect position. After which you will take a seat.
To retire from your Temple. Obtain the Treasurer’s order on the Grand Mogul for the Temple Pass Word. Obtaining the letter, proceed again to the center of the Temple, face the Grand Mogul, give the Royal Salute, then retire.
To enter a Temple not your own. Proceed as if it were your own, except at the outer door give the officer thereat your membership card, and in a whisper the Shibboleth. He will admit you to his charge. Pay him the admission fee charted by the Temple, that he may transmit it with your card to the Grand Mogul, and your Temple is duly recognized, the Mahedi will admit you, and you proceed as instructed to enter your own Temple.
To retire Obtain your card from the Treasurer, take the center of the Temple, face and salute the Grand Mogul with the Royal Bow.
The challenge is formed thus:
First person—WHAT do you know?
Second person—FINE thing.
First person—FUN in it?
Second person—FOR all.
The answer is made by the first person constructing a sentence found of the first word of each line as given: What Fine Fun For Arabs.
The Imperial Word of the Order is “Gnothi Seanton,” meaning “Know thyself”.
The Shibboleth. (Changed on the 22nd day of each July now current) is— The Imperial Pass Word is that created by the Grand Mogul for the next or succeeding meeting, and is serviceable only in your own Temple.
You will now be seated on my right. End of Dramatic Work.
Raise arms full length above head, thumbs and fingers touching, hold thus a moment, lower to the line horizontal with shoulders, then drop to side.
Place thumbs and palms of hands , flat together with nails against forehead, bend body halfway forward, remain thus a moment, then resume erect position.
Describe a cresent with right arm and hand, palm open and outward from right to left on line parallel with hip to line perpendicular with left side of head, then reverse.
Extend the right hand, fingers extended with the thumb upright, interlock the index fingers, allowing the three last fingers to lie flat on the palm of each hand, the thumb lips not touching First Votary says, Teganiseia (which means) Howdy, (while saying this let the thumb tips touch lightly for each syllable) thus, ‘Te” touch, “ganis” touch, “eia” touch. Second Votary says, “Pulleoreia” (which means, Very Good or Very Well). Touching the palm of the first Votary’s hand lightly once for each syllable, thus “Pul” touch, “leor” touch, “eia” touch (these movements must be executed with dexterity and snap) then release the hands.
Form line, right resting at G.M. on left, all sing: “Mid pleasures and palaces, wherever we
Be it eve so humble, there’s no place like home.
‘Tis the charm of the world, and it gathers us there,
Be the dwellers so few or the number so fair.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home, there’s no place like home.”
G.M. will say: Attention! Break line, retire. All retire.
Resting on top of the five steps and cemented
firmly thereto, are two granite Bases, representing firmness and impartiality.
The one on the right represents the Organic and constitutional laws of the
land, the one on the left represents the same of the Order. Our members are
sworn to uphold and obey them both, hence, this Order is at all times ready to
condemn any violator thereof.