Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan
After the Officers have taken their proper places, Mahedi advances to the center of the Temple, salutes the Royal Vizier and turning to the Votaries, says:
Mahedi: Hail, Votaries of … Temple No. … Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan. Votaries all rise to their feet. The Divan sits in the Temple ready to minister to our pleasures.
Together, oh, Arabs, salute the Royal Vizier. All salute. Satrap, instruct the Sahib that the Divan is in the Temple.
Satrap: Sahib, the Divan is in the Temple. Guard well the gates.
Royal Vizier: ‘Tis well. Mahedi, examine those present in the password and report those not qualified to remain.
Mahedi passes through the Temple, collects the password and such as are not in possession of same approach the station of the Royal Vizier and receive it, if in good standing. After collecting the password Mahedi faces the Royal Vizier and salutes.
Mahedi: Sire, I find all in possession of the password, except such as I have reported to you.
Royal Vizier: Mahedi, you will retire and present the Flag of our Country.
Immediately, the Flag is brought into the Temple. If the Brigands are in costume they march into the Temple, right and left open order toward the station of the Royal Vizier, halt and face inward. As the Brigands halt, the color bearer (Mahedi) carries the Flag into the Temple reaching a point four paces in front of the Royal Vizier, he halts when the STAR SPANGLED BANNER (or other National Anthem) is played or sung. Then the Royal Vizier salutes and says:
Royal Vizier: Attention, Votaries, join me in saluting the Flag of our Country, all execute right hand salute give the pledge of allegiance.
All repeat the pledge of allegiance, with right hand on left breast: I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands—one Nation, under God,
indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all. All resume position of attention.
The color bearer (Maheds) then places the Flag in a stand to the right of the Royal Vizier, salutes the Flag, returns to his position in front of the Royal Vizier if Mahedi, if not, salutes and retires from the Temple escorted by the Brigands, the Votaties singing the lust stanza of AMERICA (or other National Anthem). If the Brigands are not in costume, the Mahedi will act as color bearer. The color bearer may have as an escort two Votaries who, when the Flag is halted before the Royal Vizier, side step right and left two paces, facing the Flag and coming to salute; when the Flag is placed they escort the color bearer from the Temple (or to his stetson). By the "Flag" is meant the National Standard of the Country in which the Temple holds its charter.
Royal Vizier: Votaries, remove your Fez while the Sheik asks for Divine guidance.
Sheik: Our Heavenly Father, as we engage in the work of this hour, we pray for Thy guidance, that all may be done in a way pleasing to Thee, and especially do we thank Thee for this hour of fellowship, when we seek to help one another prepare for better living. We ask Thy blessing upon the members of our Order and to the end that we may forever rest in Thy House. Amen.
Royal Vizier: By virtue of the power vested in me by the Imperial Palace, I now declare … Temple, No. … Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan duly opened. Mahedi, inform the Satrap.
Mahedi: Satrap, the Divan is in the Temple, let those who seek enjoyment enter.
Satrap: Sahib, the gate of the Temple is open. Closes door.
Mahedi, facing Votaries: All hail, Arabs, this Temple is now open. Salutes Royal Vizier.
The Royal Vizier seats the Temple with one rap of the gavel, and proceeds with the business.
The officers will take their stations. The Tyro or Tyros will be in charge of the Sahib in the ante-room, with the outer door between the Temple and ante-room open.
Royal Vizier: Votaries, this occasion promises much enjoyment; each has a part to play in our chosen divertisement, which, it pleases me much to say, offends not by that vulgar mixture some men call entertaining. Let our doors be closed and nothing mar the even flow of happy and delightful hours. The Sahib will close the outer door to the ante-room rather forcibly and audibly so that the sound can be heard in the Temple, and the door between the ante-room and the Temple is partially closed by the Satrap so that sound can pass between the rooms, the tyro having previously been placed in the ante-room. As this is completed the R.V. will continue: Mahedi, carry out our royal desires.
Mahedi goes to inner door: Satrap, and you, Sahib, take note. Our august sovereign has assumed his throne; guard well your gates, and acquit yourselves as becomes your degree. Returns to his station after partly closing the door.
Sahib, to Tyro in ante-room, in presence of the Satrap: Sir, the principles of the Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan are: 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.
Now I take thee as friendly to our Order, with no incautious tongue, and this, grasping hand of Tyro an honest hand. And in all honor, truth and friendship. I pledge thee no deception, harm or affront, hut should thy soul develop cold deception, count not on the moments of thy going, but releasing hand GO.
Satrap: Sahib, with whom holdest thou converse touching things most dear to us? To have and hold our friendship one must be a Knight of motive pure, strong of purpose and sincere in admiration for our Order and its principles.
Sahib: Satrap, the bonds that bind this man to us are dissoluble only by the hand of Death, or when manhood surrenders all its worth. Report him a Knight unsullied by such treachery, but most desirous to stronger bind those bonds by greater honor and refinement.
Satrap enters Temple, door slightly ajar, salutes and reports to the Royal Vizier: Royal Vizier, the Sahib reports at his gate one who seeks our fellowship and the title of a Knight of Khorassan. ‘Tis said, his friendship is sincere, his caution careful, his bravery of metal pure, and therefore he is worthy of admission here.
Royal Vizier, in offended tones: I’ll hear no false report. Know you not "‘Tis said" hath no credence here. I am surprised! If he of whom you speak hath no treacherous or designing thought, let him his own petition here present, and you proceed your other duties to perform.
Satrap salutes Royal Vizier and goes to his station.
Royal Vizier: Mahedi! Mahedi goes to center of Temple and salutes the Royal Vizier. Carry unto him this command: that lest he, or we, or ours, be chatter for some curious crowd, he shall give oath within our Temple that will guard against such mishaps.
Mahedi salutes Royal Vizier and retires to the ante-room closing inner door.
Officers seated as in opening.
Votaries form solid pyramid, apex toward the R.V. Sheik three feet in front of base, Secretary on his right, Treasurer on his left, carrying torches, each one foot to the rear of Sheik. All sit in Arabic manner, except the officers, who stand. Extinguish lights in the Temple. Maintain absolute silence. When the pyramid is formed Sahib hands form "OO,, to Tyro and blindfolds him. Mahedi with Tyro enters Temple and slowly approaches the Sheik. Escorts taking position with infant "X" in rear of the Tyro.
Mahedi: Sir, look through thy thoughts, measure well what thou hearest, forget the follies of the outer world, for ‘tis decreed that thou covenant with us beneath our Temple’s dome. Pledge thine honor and fidelity here, and present thy petition to our respected Sheik.
It is supposed that they have arrived at the station of the Sheik. Removes blindfold. Tyro hands form "OO" to Sheik, who looks it over.
Sheik: This voucher is commendable and worthy of deposit midst our treasured files. Hands it to the Secretary and then addresses the Tyro. Rags once it was, then pulp, then paper and now a document of much evidence in thy cause. Within these portals, symbols and ceremonies, oaths that bind and diversions that please, dissipate idle, ignorant and biased thought. The plots of politicians and no espousing tongue. None mock the cloth or wear robes of gauze; associations are guarded, fellowship broadened, our fraternal bond strengthened, and entrance barred to monotonous hours.
And yet, we realize that life is fast and furious—a race which mortals run with death because they must, and not with any hope of winning it. The most they crave is time to enjoy its delights and dash before the final heat is on; rarely dreaming of defeat until suddenly the "Go" is given. The contest rages—a quarter—another—a third—the last! and ha, ha, ha, he laughs in his victory, for DEATH HAS WON. Didst ever note the excitement of that race? No, nor how few pause to think that, though they flourish, yet they, like the leaves of the forest and lilies of the field, fall, and have no firmer hold on life e’en though they be mightiest monarchs that ever shook the earth with their footsteps.
Generations of men appear and disappear with the grass, and multitudes that throng the earth today vanish on the morrow, as written names on the sanded shores of Time. Gently the sunlit faces fall behind the eternal shadows, the stars of love peep forth only from memory’s azure blue, affections fall into never waking sleep, the night is on, and though angels were guides, princes and kings companions, the gleam and gold of the everlasting hills of Paradise illuminate the Dark Valley", yet none yearn to travel its mysterious vale.
Laugh and the world laughs with you,
Weep and you weep alone;
For this brave old earth must borrow its mirth,
It has troubles enough of its own.
Be glad and your friends are many,
Be sad and you lose them all,
None will decline your nectar and wine,
Alone you must drink life’s gall.
Ere your soul speaks out in committing tongue, pause silently in deep thought, for here none takes a backward step or false position, veils a smitten conscience or does an act or deed, or says a word, staining the escutcheon of his honor. Are you ready to bind yourself to us? Waits for an answer.
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.
As the song is concluded all Votaries not taking part in the Ceremony of Initiation, will rise without command and resume their seats immediately upon conclusion of the Sheik’s part as the column is being formed on the floor.
Sheik: Let your left hand feel the throbbing of your heart, your right here mark this memory Escorts hold infant "X" in front of the Tyro and your tongue repeat: I, …, do solemnly promise and pledge:
FIRST—Never to consent to or assist in conferring all or any part of this or any other work of this Order upon any person not a member in good standing, of the rank of Knight, in the Order of Knights of Pythias.
SECOND—Never to recognize as a Votary of this Order any person until I have become satisfied that he is legally in possession of our secrets and regularly instructed in our ceremonies.
THIRD—I especially pledge and declare, that I am a lawful citizen of a Country in which this Order has a legal existence, and here and now pledge my allegiance and loyalty to the Constitution and Laws of such Country, agreeing that when I fail so to do I forfeit and surrender my membership in the Order and all my titles, rights or interest therein.
AGAIN—Never to expose, copy, alter, add to or take from any part of the ritual of this Order.
FURTHER—To the utmost of my ability to protect the honor and virtue of woman.
FINALLY—To forever remember, conform to and obey, with true Arabic fidelity, this and every other obligation of the Order, declaring that when I fail so to do I surrender all the honor of a man and a Votary of this Order.
Go not into life’s dissipation, nor to the wine that is red, but in the cloister of thy heart hold sweet communion, and when next thou enterest here lay all thy hopes on the altar of thine honor.
All rise and form column of twos in the following order: Escorts, Sheik and Brigand Leader, Secretary and Treasurer, Brigands, Mahedi with Tyro. As column reaches inner door break open order, Tyro and Mahedi marching through the open columns. During the march all sing:
Tho’ 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.
When Mahedi and Tyro have reached the ante-room, close door and turn up lights, officers resume their stations.
Have Tyro in the ante-room with the door closed. Form happy, jovial groups. Music may be rendered or some current topic of business may be under calm discussion. However, whatever is being done should be so timed that it will come naturally at an end very shortly after the Tyro is brought in and seated by the Satrap who then returns to his station. At the conclusion of whatever is being done, one Votary, previously designated by the Master of Ceremonies will remark, "Let’s have a speech, Mahedi" and two or three others second the call: "Yes, Speech, Mahedi, speech."
Mahedi: Votaries your call is indeed most flattering, and I would that mine were the faculty to charm your ears with eloquent words, painting life’s beautiful and varied scenes. A royal glow of delicious pleasure seems to permeate your happy souls to-night. The slang, the slur, the coarse, the cruel, of the outer world find no favor here, and surely Votaries, Khorassan’s shield will e’er ontarnished be, if ever thus refinement’s scenes adorn these sacred halls. Thus let it ever be, and all remember that a true man like a true woman is a never-waning star in the social sphere, brightening up the higher realms of refinement, wit and amusement.
It seems most meet that our inner souls should commingle with our outer selves. The past holds its place among living memories, and none should keep those jewels. love and kindness, forever sealed in alabaster coffers. Think nobly of your friends, fill their lives with sweetness, speak approving, cheering words while they can hear, and their hearts can thrill with them. Say, while they are with you, those things that you would kindly utter after death, brighten and perfume their homes with the flowers you would lay on their graves, and let those flowers be love and affection. Applause. I would rather you would come to me in my weary and troubled hours, and refresh me in my declining days than to speak your gentle words over my form as it lies wasting in the concealing tomb. Post-mortem kindness cheers no burdened spirit, and roses on the coffin cast no fragrance on the lonely way. Applause.
Here pointing to the Tyro sits one who some of us have often met in the outer world, who now desires to take the place of one who once was a member of our Arab band, and, though I saw him deep in silent meditation, standing before the emblem of his final home, and heard the solemn words of promise fall from his moving lips, it hath occured to me that tried he has not been, and who of you can say that in the social requisites we demand he will he found not wanting?
Now I propose that this man be not permitted here until we his fitness for our associations have well tried. What say you, friends? Speak out!
All engaged in floor work show seeming disposition to eject Tyro, shouting, "Put him out. Put him out." Suddenly the Royal Vizier will command:
Royal Vizier: One moment, Votaries, be calm. A word with you. There should be no questioning the fairness of the proposition now before you. Yet, as sovereign by your choice I would in terms dispassionate advise the wiser course. Pass not this man to the jostling crowd of mixed humanity, but bind him to us by a bond, the severance of which would break the Knightly link that holds him to us.
Secretary, producing form "OO": Royal Vizier, this, from our archives, shows our friend’s willingness, his readiness and intention to accept those forms by which he may become our peer. Hands form to the Royal Vizier.
Mahedi then salutes, goes to the Royal Vizier and whispers, pointing to the Tyro, and returns to his station.
Royal Vizier: This looking at the form should he sufficient proof of his good faith, But to our royal office comes complaint against waiver of our rules. So let him retire while we his desires grave consideration give.
Mahedi and Tyro retire to the ante-room.
Officers seated in their proper places. Mahedi returns, conducting Tyro, while Royal Vizier is speaking and seats Tyro at the right of the Royal Vizier. While Royal Vizier is speaking, Satrap advances to center of the Temple and awaits recognition by Royal Vizier.
Royal Vizier: Votaries, my thanks for your united aid in acting out the part of our play delineating life. How happy it is that here we elevate the moral law, respect the civil code, discuss no religion and wrangle not over politics. Let’s follow sharp these lines. ‘Tis reason and "Reason" is our reigning king, though mirth revels in our realm, and, with her pleasant smile and ready wit, drives dull care away.
Satrap advances to station of the Royal Vizier, whispers to him and returns to his station at the inner door.
Royal Vizier: Word has come to me that there is before our portals one who claims to be our brother, who, having reached the topmost rung of life’s successful ladder, has fallen from its dizzy height, and now, while yet possessing all the brilliancy of a lucid brain, though robbed by reverses hard, asks kind consideration of us all, and, as we move among the higher walks of social life, let’s hear his story and then away to other scenes.
NOTE—The character of Saruk is of peculiar conception and demands careful study. The idea of the character is that Saruk, formerly a member of the Order, through unfortunate habits, has forfeited his standing in society. His costume should be that of a shabby genteel. Under no circumstance is it permitted to picture Saruk as a tramp or under the influence of liquor.
Finding the Temple open, his clouded brain clears long enough to permit him to work his way into the Temple and ask permission to tell his story. Temples may use their own pleasure in using the song sung by Saruk. The first verse without the chorus is recommended. About this character of Saruk is hinged the moral of the Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan—the intention being to impress the motto of the Order—"Lift Up the Fallen."
Saruk Entering carelessly front side or ante-room, salutes the Royal Vizier and sings:
In the days when I was hard up, not many years ago,
I suffered that which only can the one o! 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 days when I was bard up—I may be well off yet.
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.
Spoken: All things have some change, they say;
Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall,
But—hesitates and all say: Go on, go on.
The pockets of my pantaloons —
They know no change at all.
Well, laugh! But other men have laughed and frowned at me whose frowns were favors in disguise. But he who laughs last laughs best.
Memory is indeed a precious faculty. Mine runs to people who have laughed in cold contempt at my humble birth; to other folk who sported at my ill-shaped lines, and to some who stung my pride as they sneered at my coat as coming off the shelf of some old second-hand store. I never had a trade, yet all the mind and muscle mine to give, hard and honest toil received; but if I neared, or touched, or even passed the hundred mark of diligence and duty, none blazed the score abroad, and yet I have laced the shoes of some men whose lines I’ve robed in rhetoric, polished with perfect periods, and adorned with sense where drivelling sentiment prevailed.
As I remember, on the crowded thoroughfare of man, I divided half my loaf—all I had, and gave a cheery word, always mine to give—with one who had seen gold nuggets roll into his pan as up the royal road to wealth he climbed. And yet, discouraged with my lot in life, tempted as others have been before me, I fell; and though I dragged none but myself into the hell in which I lived, yet, in my sober thoughts, my mind goes back to scenes like this. You laugh at my appearance—at my words I was once like you. I had friends, a home, and mine the fault, they all have gone.
A former friend, a fashion plate, in soft blown suit of texture fine, modern make and perfect fit, passed me by this day.
Well, it matters not, but glad he used to be when I said "Howdy" to him on the frosty morning while yet he wore the thin and tattered coat. And yet another: Jim, oh, Jim! he was dear to me, a little older, but blessings on his head; for though I thought fate would ne’er a friend to either be, but a foe to both, she smiled on him and frowned on me. No stone tells where he lies, but I know the spot, and oft 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 at his birth,
But melancholy marked him for her own."
Last Sabbath I sat within the walls of a great cathedral, directly under the grand memorial window, and heard the soft, sweet waves of eloquence, rising on and rippling and rolling away over that vast sea of spell bound listeners.
"I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE"
fell from the preacher’s lips. Then came the gentle touch
"There is no flock, however watched and tended,
But one dead lamb is there.
There Is no fireside howso’er defended,
But has one vacant chair."
As I left that sacred edifice my better self came back to me. I hungered for a word of comfort from the lips of some true friend, a glance from some pitying eye, hands clasped in fellowship. I came within your Temple gates. Oh, God! Oh, Master! Am I dreaming? Have I found what my heart and soul desire? Hold me! Hold me! My head reels with the recollection of my former and better life. Lead me—I crave—
Faints, falls, and is held in the arms of the escorts.
Royal Vizier: Votaries, as well you know, and oft have marked, life’s drama is replete with such saddening scenes. We should assist this man. We must carry out the motto of our Order, "Lift Up the Fallen." Escorts lift Saruk to his feet. He was once our brother. So take him to our chamber, and clothe him as becomes a Votary, and let us give him the opportunity he craves to become himself again and let the lesson of this hour sink deep into our minds.
Votaries remain quiet while the Escorts lead Saruk from the Temple and Mahedi takes the Tyro into the ante-room.
Place cloister erect in center of Temple, Grand Emir three feet in front of it. Other officers in their stations. Six Votaries in charge of cloister. Lights dimmed. Absolute silence. Satrap steps to ante-room door.
Satrap to Mahedi in ante-room: Mahedi, the Temple in calm deliberation decides that this Tyro be conducted by you through the impressive ceremonies of our higher rites.
Mahedi, blindfolds and addresses Tyro as he enters Temple: All my hopes are centered now in thee. Doomed am I to scorn and contempt, aye, disgrace, if honor wait not upon thy future course. Be firm, waver not, for he who falters, fails, and in the trying hour deserts his friend, walks a ghost of cold deception midst a wreck of ruined confidence. But he, who in such a moment, stands steadfast, forms a rock against which foes might rage with futile force. Halts with Tyro three feet from and facing Grand Emir.
Grand Emir: Misery, though it walk with beggary or hide behind wealth, ends only in the grave. Fools laugh at reason, ambition at defeat, thrones at sovereigns, and Time and Death at all. We know not whence we came or whither we go, yet ever that grand old iconoclast—Time, sounds down his deep and wondrous colonnade, to all mortal men, his sonorous admonition:
GNOTHI SE-AU-TON. (Know Thyself.)
So, too, does he engrave upon the arches he dedicates to fame, the annals of the lives that have become sublime and beautiful by their noble deeds for men. Sublime as these tributes are, through this vast world, countless cemeteries house every caste and grade of life and station and
"Millions in these solitudes.
Since first the flight of years began
Have laid them down forever in
Their long, last sleep."
Even now, as this same Time swings the great pendulum that moves upon his dial plate, the mighty hands of life, we hear the sobs, the sighs of hearts asunder torn by the reaper Death, who alone can say:
"I AM THE KING AND CONQUEROR OF ALL"
Step ye now within our cloister and there covenant with us.
Mahedi gently places Tyro in the cloister, Votaries lower slowly and carefully to the floor.
Mahedi: When thoughts of the last bitter hour come like a blight o’er thy spirit, and sad images of the stern agony, and shroud and pall, and the breathless darkness, and the narrow house, make thee to shudder and grow sick at heart, remember the sublime exordium:
"So live that when thy summons comes to join the innumerable caravan, that moves to the mysterious realms, 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."
The six Votaries will carry the cloister, foot first, once around the Temple, in quiet and solemn manner to starting point. Lower gently to the floor, then raise the cloister slowly to a perpendicular position when the Grand Emir will say:
Grand Emir: You will now retire for calm deliberation over all that you have done and seen and to decide whether you will enter on a journey that will bring you to the oasis of fair Khorassan’s desert.
Mahedi escorts Tyro to ante-room.
Officers in their proper stations. Mahedi enters Temple with Tyro, who presents form "OOO" to Royal Vizier.
Royal Vizier: Be seated friend, for your request demands consideration.
Mahedi seats Tyro at right and in front of the Royal Vizier, who takes form "OOO" and enters into consultation with the Grand Emir and Sheik. Satrap at the inner door, announces Saruk, who asks permission to enter, permission being granted by R. V., Saruk enters and salutes R. V. our higher rites.
Saruk: Royal Vizier and Votaries, I would that mine were the power to express in language clear the gratitude I hold towards you and our Order great, for the opportunity you gave me to prove myself a man again. I now and here again do pledge my efforts best, to regain and hold the proud position that once was mine, and will do all that man can do to aid those who like myself have fallen from their high estate and willing are to be uplifted. This day ever will in my memory be and,
My memory has painted a perfect day,
With colors that never fade,
For I found, at the end of that perfect day,
The soul of a friend I bad made.
Royal Vizier, addressing Saruk: Be seated Votary, among your peers.
Commotion is heard in ante-room.
Royal Vizier: Satrap, what causes this confusion?
As Satrap opens the door Mokanna and his brigands rush in and Mokanna advances towards the Royal Vizier.
Mokanna: Sire! Out on yonder bleak and lonely desert I saw the frail and wasting remnants of a once noble man. Three friends did calm his fevered brow, and I, who some have said lead murderous bands o’er and wastes, moistened his parched lips with waters fresh from Zem Zem’s cool and murmuring well.
I looked into his delirious eyes, and as they peaceful grew, recognized in the wandering nomad a once favored member of my Arab band. Points to Saruk as former member. Now Sire, I stand here in all the majesty and might of my God-given strength to protect and defend our good cause and its chivalrous Knights. Oft have designing men tempted me to leave thy faithful fold and lay all mine honor on the altar of their false belief. Ha, ha, ha. ye Gods! ye Gods! It makes my blood boil with intense desire to drive them off earth’s broad surface, for well I know the thinness of the gauze that hides their unholy intent. No, Sire, not for all the wealth of mines or monarchs, would I fly the humble place assigned me here and take upon myself such degrading slavery of soul and honor. Though rugged his life and brown his skin, no Arab plays the hidden hand with those his courageous life would lead. They must brave and meet all the dangers of the plains if the journey o’er them they would undertake. Entering upon this journey, every Arab folds his hands across his breast, Mokanna and his band fold their arms across their breasts and bow to Royal Vizier a sign of readiness and willing heart to bear all its trials and privations.
As I entered this oasis I recognized, quick as the flash that often plays in awful madness around my mountain home, one who has never shown to us one devoted act of soulful honor. And by all the Gods, Allah and the Prophet, I’d have this man pointing to the Tyro bear all the burdens of that eventful march, prove his honor and fidelity; and by heaven, he shall, he must. What say you friends, speak out!
Brigands shout: He must, he must and rush toward Tyro.
Royal Vizier: Salaam, Salaam, SALAAM!
Confusion ceases and brigands salaam before the Royal Vizier. To salaam is to drop to the knees and bend head to the floor.
Royal Vizier: Why all this reign of riot? This sudden storm? Have earth’s bowels burst forth, rills become raging torrents and mountains toppled from their dizzy heights? Of what tribe be these Brigands? Why come they here?
Mokanna: Sire, here is my scroll that I am of thy noble band; hands scroll to the Royal Vizier who glances at it and these, my faithful friends, are guards upon the road that leads to Khorassan’s delightful oasis. If under their sheltering folds, he pointing to Tyro would rest ‘tis I who at your command, will guide this pilgrim—for no longer Tyro must he be.
Royal Vizier, handing scroll back to Mokanna: So let it be. It is deemed but just that this Tyro should prove his metal and his worth. So let him be brought before me that I may impart to him information that will provide for his future guidance and he then shall be entrusted to Mokanna’s care.
Tyro is brought before R. V. who instructs him in the lecture and unwritten work of the Order.
Royal Vizier: Votary, before I communicate to you the secret work of our Order, I desire to say to you that it stands upon the higher plane of social nature. We meet within these Temple walls upon a common level, ‘forgetting our business cares, our relative positions in society, rejuvenating ourselves with clean enjoyment and endeavouring to impress upon the minds of those who enter into our midst, our motto, "Lift Up the Fallen."
Our Order applauds that Knighthood from which it seeks its Votaries, and which it has chosen to faithfully support. Look you around this Temple. Not one you see who is not proud of that glorious Knighthood, a Knighthood which 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, crushing wrong, protecting woman, her honor and virtue, the sanctity of home and hearthstone; shielding ever and sheltering always the widow, the orphan and the fatherless from the world’s cold dependencies—a Knighthood whose trend is tireless and to eternity, whose pæans rang out and ring on, over the wide world for all time, in Damon’s silvery voice:
"Pythias, I know that thou upholdest no tyranny, and I swear by all the Gods that ever wielded wand over Honor’s field, I hate it with that intensity and force, my love and friendship live and burn for thee." To be both true and loyal, leave no ignominious stain on either’s fair escutcheon, so that when your work on life’s broad field is done, when the lamps are out, when the clods hide your casket, and green be the sward upon your grave, be your monument a memory or a mausoleum, posterity shall read above its speechless portal—
"A bright, brave memory his, a stainless shield,
No shame defaces, no envy mars
The record of an honored life revealed;
His name a star among eternal stars."
My friend, it is now my pleasure to impart to you the secret work of our Order.
To enter your own Temple: quietly command the attention of the Sahib, who is in charge of the Outer door. To him you will present a receipt, showing your dues to be paid for the current calendar year. The Sahib will pass you to the inner door, upon which you will give three raps, followed by two raps. The Satrap will open the wicket and receive from you the Imperial password, always permanent. …. The Satrap will then admit you, when you will proceed to the center of the Temple, face the Royal Vizier, salute the Flag, give the Royal Bow, and be seated.
The Royal Bow is made thus: Place the thumbs and palms of the hand flat together, the nails of the thumbs resting upon the forehead, bend the body half way forward, remaining thus for
a moment, then assume an erect position, dropping the hands to the sides.
To retire: approach the center of the Temple as upon entering and give the same salutes.
To enter a Temple not your own: you will proceed as upon entering your own Temple, except that you will hand your receipt for dues to the Sahib and request him to transmit it to the Secretary for examination. If it is in the prescribed form and your Temple is in good standing and duly recognized you will be admitted, when you will proceed as upon entering your own Temple. At no time you will be permitted within a Temple not your own unless you enter as just directed.
Imperial Honors, to be given to the Imperial Officers, or their duly authorized Deputies when officially visiting a Temple are made thus: stand erect and place the left hand, palm inward, over the heart and dropping the right arm, fingers extended, with the palm flat against the side, then raise the arm, fully extended, to execute a half circle, slowly turning the hand so that when the arm is horizontal the palm faces outward; from that point on reverse the movement and let the hand, palm down, fall flat upon the fez if worn, then reverse the movement so that the arms return to their original position.
In this entire movement the hand portrays the crescent and its shadow, narrow at the points an broad in the center.
You will now be seated among the Votaries.
Eighth Order of Business
The eighth order of business is left largely to the discretion of the different Temples, with the strict injunction that nothing of a degrading nature or character shall be permitted. Temples are hereby warned to see to it that nothing which will degrade or physically injure the Tyro is attempted. After the conclusion of this order of business the Tyro being re-invested with his proper clothing is seated among the Votaries.
Royal Vizier: Mahedi, collect the rituals and inform the Sahib that the Divan is about to leave the Temple.
Mahedi collects the rituals, reports the number so collected to the Royal Vizier, and the Secretary shall make proper entry in his minutes of the number of rituals collected.
Mahedi: Satrap, inform the Sahib that the Divan has fulfilled its mission. Guard well your portal.
Satrap: Sahib, the Divan has fulfilled its mission. Guard well your portal.
Mahedi: Royal Vizier, your order has been obeyed.
Royal Vizier, * *: Votaries, remove your Fez while the Sheik asks the Blessing of our Heavenly Father.
Sheik: We thank Thee, our Father, for the opportunities that Thou hast given us this day. As we go from here to our various homes and environments, we would ask Thy guidance in our humanitarian endeavors and that Thou wouldst especially bless those who we are trying to help. Guard our thoughts and our words until we meet again and in Thy Name we ask it all. Amen.
Royal Vizier: Mahedi, secure the Flag of our Country. Mahedi takes the Flag from the stand, and assumes position four paces in front of and facing Royal Vizier, who says:
Royal Vizier: Attention, Votaries. All rise, execute right-hand salute, and come to attention with hands at side. Mahedi faces about and carries the Flag to the ante-room, all remaining at attention until the Flag leaves the Temple. The Temple is now closed. *.