Oriental Order of Humility or Merry Haymakers
Ritual of the Forty-Third Degree or Degree of Reflection and Meditation


The Council having been duly opened as Sons of Humility, the following announcement will be made:
If there be any Companions present who have not received the 43° of the Sons of Humility, they will please retire to the approaches and await our pleasure. Grand Keeper of the Threshold, are the approaches secure; and is the Grand Sentinel of the Approaches at his post?
The approaches are secure, and the Grand Sentinel is at his post, your Sublime Excellency.
Then the Grand Captain of the Guard and Grand Herald will examine all Illustrious Companions present, and see that they are entitled to participate in this session of our solemn conclave.
We find all correct, your Sublime Excellency.
I now declare this Grand Council of Sons of Humility closed, and open in the 43°. Advance the sign. The Grand Herald will retire to the approaches and ascertain if any Companions are in waiting who desire to be advanced to this degree.
Grand Herald retires, and upon returning reports:
Grand Sultan, I find in waiting Companions …, who, of their own free will and accord, desire to be made Illustrious,
Grand Minister of Finance, has the fees for the degree been paid?
The fees have been paid, your Sublime Excellency.
Then, Grand Captain of the Guard, you will take sufficient escort and conduct the Companions to the Grand Commander of Cavalry.
Grand Captain of the Guard retires to the approaches and causes the Companions to remove their hats and coats, and form in marching order, the same as in Sons of Humility, conducts them to the Threshold, and gives one distinct rap.
Who thus disturbs our secret conclave?
It is the Grand Captain of the Guard, who, in obedience to the command of the Grand Sultan, demands entrance with …, Companions of the Sons of Humility, who desire to be made Illustrious in the 43° of our beloved Order.
Grand Captain of the Guard, do you vouch for al] that they are true Companions and not enemies in disguise?
I do; and if they are not found true, may my doom be the bow-string.
Then you may enter.
Then the Grand Captain of the Guard conducts the Companions before and facing the Grand Commander of Cavalry.
Grand Commander of Cavalry, by direction of his Sublime Excellency, the Grand Sultan, I present to you these noble Companions, who have expressed a desire to be made Illustrious.
Companions, we are pleased to know that since your admittance into our noble and beloved Order that you have been devoted to its principles and have profited by the lesson of humility that we have, in a striking and impressive manner, endeavored to inculcate; and that you have been made to feel that our noble Order is not a passing joke and byword, but is indeed a stern reality. Having been informed that you have expressed a desire to become Illustrious in our ranks, it becomes my duty to assure you that while all the Illustrious Companions present believe in one or the other of the many religious doctrines, and are followers of the various political parties of the day, yet the discussion of either religion or politics within our Councils is expressly prohibited by our law, and under no circumstances will it be permitted during the sessions of this conclave. Having given you this assurance, do you still desire to become Illustrious Companions of our noble Order?
We do.
Then, Grand Captain of the Guard, you will conduct these noble Companions to our Grand Vizier for obligation.
Grand Vizier, I am instructed to present to you these noble Companions for obligation in the 43°.
Companions, before you can proceed further it is essential as well as imperative that you should be obligated, and if you still desire to become Illustrious you will place your left hand over your heart and right hand closed, as if grasping the hilt of a sword, the hand a little to the rear of and about as high as the head, and repeat after me, using your name where I use mine: I, …, in the presence of the Honorable Illustrious Companions here assembled in solemn conclave, do promise that I will faithfully conceal and will never reveal any of the secrets or work of the Sons of Humility that have heretofore been imparted to me, and that I will forever conceal and never reveal any part or portion of the secret Work of the 43° of the Order of the Sons of Humility.
I also promise that I will be true and faithful to my country, defend and protect the widow and the orphan, and will relieve the distress of suffering humanity so far as lies within my ability to do so without injury to my family. All this I, of my own free will, promise; and if I fail or prove recreant to my vow, may the title Illustrious be wrested from me and my name become disgraced among honorable men. Amen.
COMPANIONS all respond:
It is well.
Companions, I admonish you be at all times vigilant, and keep as a sacred legacy the title of Illustrious, which will soon be given you by His Excellency, the Grand Sultan. Grand Captain of the Guard, you will conduct the noble Companions to our Grand Prophet for further instruction.
Grand Prophet, I present to you these noble Companions, who have been duly obligated in the 43°, for further instruction.
Noble Companions, you have taken a solemn obligation of secresy, but before you can receive the great honor to which you aspire, we have a lesson of importance to impart to you, a lesson that should be impressed upon your minds and never forgotten.
Guard well the lips; none eau know
What evils from the longue may flow;
What guilt, what grief may be incurred
By one incautious, hasty word.
Be "slow to speak," look well within,
To check what there may lead to sin;
And pray unceasingly for aid,
Lest unawares thou be betrayed.
Condemn not, " judge not," not to man
Is given his brother’s faults to scan;
One task is thine, and one alone,
To search out and subdue thine own.
Indulge not murmuring, O, restrain
Those lips so ready to complain;
And if they can be numbered, count
Of one day's mercies the amount.
Shun vain discussions, trifling themes,
Dwell not on earthly hopes and schemes,
Let words of wisdom, meekness, love,
Thy heart's true renovation prove.
Companions, can you realize this thought?
If so, what care and caution has been taught.
Grand Captain of the Guard, you will now conduct these noble Companions to his Sublime Excellency, who alone has the power to confer the honor they are seeking.
Grand Sultan, I have been directed by our Grand Vizier to present to you these noble Companions, who have been duly obligated and instructed, and are now prepared to receive from your hands the title of Illustrious.
Grand Captain of the Guard, the decree has been officially made, and it is my pleasure, at the proper time, to grant the prayer of these noble Companions and declare them Illustrious, and to further our purpose you will conduct them to the approaches, and from thence, after due preparation, to the divan of the Grand Sultan, where they will be made Illustrious Companions of our grand and noble Order.
The G. C. of the G. retires with the victims, and after securely hoodwinking them, returns with them to the Grand Sultan. Lights are nearly all turned out.
Grand Sultan, your orders have been obeyed, and the noble Companions stand before your divan to receive such honor as it may be your pleasure to grant.
Grand Captain of the Guard, let the noble Companions be seated. After they are seated, proceeds. Illustrious Companions, you have assembled in secret conclave to witness the advancement of these noble Companions to the highest honor within our gift. During their progress you have scanned with watchful eye and have listened with attentive ear. Every word and every movement has been critically observed, and if you have heard aught or seen that which would bar their final advancement in the 43°, let the objection be now made.
By your silence you have signified your approval, and we charge you that during this solemn occasion the utmost quiet must prevail, and hot even the sound of the slightest footfall must disturb the solemnity or mar the beauty of the ceremony now about to take place.
Noble Companions, thus far you have successfully passed in your journey in search of the golden title, but before you can proceed further it is necessary that you should devote a few moments, undisturbed, to reflection and meditation upon your past conduct. All mankind are prone to deeds of sin and meanness, and we are convinced that you are not saints and an exception the fixed law of nature, and without doubt you all have been, at some period of your lives, guilty of some grievous sin, or some act of—meanness, the secret of which has not been made public, but has been safely locked up within your respective breasts. We seek not to know your inmost thoughts, but it will be well for each of you, if you have never reflected and meditated upon your past conduct, to earnestly now commune in the proper spirit with your own thoughts, and you will be the better prepared to enter that high estate and become an Illustrious Companion of the Sons of Humility. A few moments will now be given you for this important reflection, after which your pathway is not difficult, and the title Illustrious will be within your grasp. The utmost silence is now imperative.
At the commencement of the Grand Sultan's charge, all present retire, without the slightest noise, the janitor turns out all the lights, save one near the door. The Grand Sultan also retires at the close of his charge, the remaining light turned out, and the noble victims left in darkness to reflection and meditation in their praiseworthy efforts to become Illustrious. The permanent pass-word and salutation sign of the degree will be given to the elect at the next convocation of the Council.

Private Instructions
Just before the Grand Captain of the Guard retires for the purpose of bringing in the candidates, if there are enough members besides the four principal officers present, the Grand Sultan calls over the names of initiates, at the same time instructing some member (generally the one who introduces him) to retire just outside the inner door and from thence accompany the candidates throughout the initiation.
On page 11 the Grand Sultan says, "The grand secret of the Order is— Your stern is higher than your head." A member is stationed in the rear of each candidate, and at the word "head," strikes him on the posterior with a paddle. On page 13, at the outer door three raps—password, Jack; at the inner door, five raps—password, Ass. The two forming the word JACKASS.
Sign at the center of the room, thumbs of both hands placed in the ears, flingers close together, but far apart from the thumbs, using the thumb as a fulcrum, the fingers thrown forward three times like asses' ears. This sign is given to Grand Sultan, then to Grand Master of Cavalry. The latter responds with the words "I know you are a Jackass, for I see your ears."
The recognition or cautionary sign is made by two first fingers of right hand behind the ear, brought downward and forward twice, slightly bending the ear, the other fingers and thumb being closed.
Answer with the two first fingers of left hand, brushing the lips first left, then right, as if smoothing mustache or removing something from the lips.
Before the following grip is conferred, if there should be more than one candidate, all are sent to the ante-room, and brought in one at a time to receive it.
Grip: Clasp right hands, thumbs extending toward wrist. Then place index finger of left hand on right arm, about four inches from end of thumb. Direct party receiving instructions to place the thumb of his right hand on the nail of the index finger of your left. He attempts it and fails, and remarks on the impossibility of doing it. The reply is: "Nobody but a J. A. would attempt it."
Warning Sign: After the candidate has been instructed in the preceding, he is told that there are certain words which are used as a Warning Sign, and instructed therein in the following manner: He (or they) is made to approach the G. S.; and slightly inclining his head in the attitude of listening, the G. S. will proceed, in a low tone of voice, to inform him that if he sees a J. A. about to be imposed upon or defrauded in any manner by any one who is not a member, he is at liberty to go to him and say in a tone not louder than he himself shall receive it, the words of the Warning Sign. The G. S. then, with mouth close to the ear of the candidate, shouts in a loud voice these words: "Look out, he is about to cheat you." When two J—A—'s are trying to swindle each other, the Warning is not to be given, it being an ancient custom and usage of the Order for them to do so if they can.
43°—Salutation Sign: Same position as when taking the obligation.
Pass-word—Outer Door—Illustrious; Inner Door—Jack.