Sublime and Illustrious Order of the Great Tin Spoon
Opening of the Assembly
If the entertainment is in a public ball the stage will represent the lodge room.
If the stage is large more can be seated as members. There should be eight officers named, but only seven are necessary fur the work, and four assistants. The abbreviations and names of the officers are as follows:—
S. P., Sublime Potentate of the 19th Century.
I. B., Illustrious Barbarian of the Middle Ages
A. F., August Fossil of Paleozoic Time.
F. R., Faithful Recorder of Mighty Deeds.
S. W., Sleepless Watcher of the Filthy Lucre,
I. T., Inhuman Tormentor of the Inquisition.
M. W., Mighty Warrior of the Inner Gate.
M.W.O., Mighty Warrior of the Outer Gate.
The other abbreviations are:—
Assist. Assistants; V. Victim (candidate;) d. r. double rail; ch. chariot (wheelbarrow;)
G. T. S. Great Tin Spoon.
The first five officers should have small desks or stands at their stations. If possible, have the S. Ws station on a small platform.
Procure a large tin spoon—the larger, the better. Any ingenious tin smith can wake one that will answer the purpose. If one is made for the occasion; have the handle 18 inches or 2 feet in length, and the bowl of the right proportion.
A box 3 by 1½ by 1½ ft. placed on end and covered with a dark cloth will make the shrine. The double rail is made of two straight grained hard wood bars, from 8 to 10 feet long and 2 inches in diameter; placed about 10 inches apart and fastened together by a piece of board for a seat. An ordinary wheelbarrow (chariot) is necessary, with four narrow upright pieces 4 feet long fastened two on each side. To these pieces hang several spoons, and from their tops, crossing the wheelbarrow, hang two strings of bells.
To be used with the wheelbarrow are six or more pieces of boards 18 by 6 in; one edge beveled, so the wheel will run upon them easily. When required these are to be placed on the floor and the wheelbarrow run over them. Be sure that the double rail and wheelbarrow are strong so that no accident will happen. Select for officers those that have clear, loud voices, that can be heard in all parts of the hall. One weak voice will .spoil the entertainment. Have all things properly arranged, then when the curtain rises, the entertainment can begin and continue without any unnecessary delay.
When the candidate hands over the money, let it be done so the audience can see it. Keep rehearsing until it can be thoroughly and satisfactorily rendered; no matter how tedious it may become. Remember the audience hear and see it for the first time. Therefore do your best.
Curtain rises. Each officer seated at his station—a common table spoon suspended by a string around his neck. S. P. says:
S. P.: Officers and members of the sublime and illustrious order of the Great Tin Spoon.
Time in his rapid flight indicates again the hour for the transaction of the numerous and important affairs, which are to come before us. Let each one give attention; and perform cheerfully and promptly his official service.
Mighty Warrior of the Inner Gate, what is the requisite number of officers for every assembly of the sublime and illustrious order of the Great Tin Spoon?
M. W.: Eight, S. P. Give all abbreviations in full.
S. P.: Name them. Each rises in the order named and remains standing.
M. W.: Sublime Potentate of the 19th Century; Illustrious Barbarian of the Middle Ages: August Fossil of Paleozoic Time; Faithful Recorder of Mighty Deeds; Sleepless Watcher of the Filthy Lucre; Inhuman Tormenter of the Inquisition; Mighty Warrior of the inner Gate; Mightv Warrior of outer Gate.
S. P.: Where stands the Mighty Warrior of the outer gate?
M. W.: Upon the outer wall.
S. P.: For what purpose?
M. W.: To guard the outer gate and allow no strangers to approach without the proper escort.
S. P.: Where stands the Mighty Warrior of the inner gate?
M. W.: Upon the inner wall.
S.P.: For what purpose?
M. W.: To guard the inner gate, prepare the victim, and deliver him into the hands of the I. T.
S. P.: Where stands the I. T?
I. T.: Here, S. P.
S. P.: For what purpose?
I. T.: To receive the victim as he enters the assembly; subject him to all the tortures which those must undergo, who gain admission into our sublime and illustrious order.
S. P.: Where stands the S. W?
S. W.: Here, S. P.
S. P.: For what purpose?
S. W.: To receive the filthy lucre if there is any; keep it for the assembly, but appropriate to my own use as much of it as possible.
S. P.: Where stands the F. R?
F. R.: Here, S. P.
S. P.: For what purpose?
F. R.: To write the proceedings of the assembly, and record the noble deeds of the order, that they may be handed down to future ages.
S. P.: Where stands the A. F?
A. F.: Here, S. P.
S. P.: For what purpose?
A. F.: To require the victim to promise obedience to our order, and not disclose its secrets.
S, P.: Where stands the I. B?
I. B.: Here, S. P.
S. P.: For what purpose?
I. B.: To impart wisdom to the victim and send him on his way rejoicing.
S. P.: Here stands the S. P. to instruct the victim in the remaining secrets and signs of the order. I. T. let our eyes behold again the symbol of our sublime and noble order.
The great spoon is then shown. If possible have it suspended from the ceiling. This can be easily done by fastening two hooks into the ceiling—one over the shrine and the other in the corner at the right of the S. P.
Pass a cord over these, making it fast not far from the floor. The spoon should be drawn up against the ceiling until the, command is given. Then the I. T. should step to the corner and lower the spoon slowly till it almost touches the shrine. If it cannot be suspended let it be brought and placed upon the shrine.
Officers take your positions.
The S. P. then steps forward, places his hand upon the spoon and says:
S. P.: I, the S. P., promise, by the G. T. S. to govern this assembly impartially. Goes to his station and sits down. As soon as the S. P. reaches his station the I. B. steps forward, and says:
I. B.: I, the I. B., promise by the G. T. S. to assist the S. P. to the best of my abilities.
Resumes his station and sits down. The others follow in order.
A. F.: I, the A. F., promise by the G. T. S. to do my duties faithfully.
F. R.: I, the F. R., promise by the G. T. S. to record the proceedings of the assembly correctly.
S. W.: I, the S. W., promise by the G. T. S. to hold fast to the funds of this assembly.
I. T.: I, the I. T., promise by the G. T. S. that the victim shall receive his full amount of torture.
M. W.: I, the M. W., promise by the G .T.S. that none shall pass the inner gate without permission.
S. P.: This assembly of the sublime and illustrious order of the G. T. S. is now ready for business. F. R., Have yon deciphered the hieroglyphics of the last meeting?
F. R.: I have.
S. P.: We will listen.
F. R. reads. Give name of town & date, also name and number of assembly: The members of … assembly, No. … met according to agreement in the … month of the 397th year since the discovery of America by Columbus, and the 113th and 114th of American Independence. (1886). The assembly was opened in solemn and impressive form by the. S. P. All the officers and members present. The records of the last meeting were lead and sent down to be hieroglyphiced. A communication was received from the Grand Lodge of … (any state or country,) warning us of a person calling himself … (a local name) of …, claiming to be a member of the order, and soliciting money under false pretenses. A thorough investigation as regards his membership in the order was made, and it was found that such a person is a fraud, and should receive the condemnation of all honest men, A description of him is as follows: (Then give height, weight, age, complexion, dress, peculiarities &c. This can be made very amusing.) Also a communication from the Grand Lodge of … (some other state,) stating that a woman was found listening in one of the small anterooms adjoining the assembly, during the working of the degree: and as she had obtained several valuable secrets, it was deemed advisable to invent her with the full secret work of the order. Consequently, she was initiated in due form, after considerable resistance on her part and difficulty on the part of the members, and was declared a member of the order, and all assemblies, wherever scattered over the wide world, are hereby ordered to receive and acknowledge her as such; on her presenting suitable credentials, arid subjecting herself to a satisfactory examination.
The application of … (one of the assist.) was reported favorably upon by the detectives. The pebbles were thrown, inspected, and counted, and he was declared a suitable victim to be brought before this assembly. The application of … (name of candidate) was presented, and without comment was placed in the hands of the detectives. The Mighty Warrior of the Inner Gate was then sent upon the war path to secure a victim, who in a short time returned with … (The above assistant,) and delivered him into the hands of the I. T. who, after subjecting him to the tortures mil dangers characteristic of our institution, presented him to the higher officers, where he received the secret instructions, and was declared a member of the order. The officers becoming tired, and not caring to stay longer, put out the fights and went home.
Thus was the assembly closed. Signed—
(name of F. R.)
S. P.: Did any member notice any grammatical errors, mispronounced words, or keeping
his voice up at a period?
Several corrections of an amusing character can be made here which will add very much to the entertainment. After the corrections are made, the S. P. reprimands the F. R. for making such mistakes and warns him to be more careful in the future.
S. P.: Hoping the records to be now correct I declare them passed to be engrossed.
Have you any applications for admission to the order?
F. R.: There is one, S. P.
F. R. hands it to the S. P., who rises and reads.
S. P., to the officers and members of the sublime and illustrious order of the Great Tin Spoon:
Having great respect for your time-honored and sealy institution, and knowing that most of its members arc no better than myself; also observing that when they are together, they do not have to say what the Gov. of North Carolina said to the Gov. of South Carolina; considering all these things, I desire very much to become a member. I am … years of age, and thus far have borne a decent moral character, but how it will be after joining the order I cannot say. During those years I confess I have done some mean tilings; but not any meaner or so mean, as some of those who already belong to the order. If elected, I promise to keep up my end of the yoke and sponge as much from the treasury as the other members.
Signed—(Some name from the audience.)
This application will be placed in the hands of the detectives, who will report at our next
F. R., have you any communications?
F. R.: I have a communication from Rocky Mountain Assembly of Dakota, (any far off place will do) inviting us to participate with them in a clam bake and salt fish picnic to-morrow evening.
S. P.: You have heard the invitation received from Rocky Mountain Assembly, Dakota, to be present to-morrow evening at a clam-bake and salt fish picnic, What will you do with the invitation?
I. B., rises: I move the invitation be accepted.
A. T., rises: I second the motion.
S. P.: It is moved and seconded that the invitation of Rocky Mountain Assembly of
Dakota be accepted. If that is your pleasure, express it in the regular manner.
All vote by clasping the right leg at the knee with both bauds, and lifting the leg to an angle of about 5 degrees.
You will remain in position until counted.
It is an unanimous vote that the invitation be accepted. F. R., you will inform the F. R. of Rocky Mountain. Assembly of Dakota, that their invitation has been accepted, and that about 250 of our members will be present.
S. P., takes pretended application of the candidate—rises and says: The detectives having made a thorough and careful search and inquiry into the character, standing, ability, amount of property and cash on hand of the applicant … gives name of candidate recommend him as a suitable victim.
I. T., you will therefore prepare the pebbles and keep close watch over the voting precinct. For the voting precinct, have a small curtain hung across the corner at the right of the S. P. No ballots or balloting is necessary. When the S. P. orders the I. T. to prepare the pebbles, he goes behind the curtain, stays a few moments, then comes out and says:
I. T.: The pebbles are prepared, S. P.
S. P.: The officers and members will vote in their accustomed order. Each goes behind the curtain beginning with the S. P.
After he comes out, the I. B. goes in, and soon. After the officers; the assistants.
Here an opportunity is offered for considerable amusement. Two or three can delay a minute or so behind the curtain, and come out wiping their lips. One of the assistants should be eager to go and start before all the officers have been in. He is stopped by the 1. T. who says: It is not your turn yet.
Assistant goes back and waits his turn. As the lust assistant comes out, the first assist, who has already been in, starts up to go in again, but is stopped by the I. T. who says: where are you going?
Assist, answers: Going to vote.
I. T. says: Haven't you voted once?
I.T.: Well you can't vote twice on the same application.
Assist: I left something in there.
I. T.: You can get it after the ballot is announced.
Assist goes back to his seat.
After all have been in the S. P. says:
S. P.: I. T., have you watched carefully the voting precinct?
I. T.: I have, S. P.
S. P.: What do you think?
I. T.: That there is something in there besides pebbles,
S. P.: Go in and see.
I. T. goes in and brings out a black bottle and hands it to the S. P.
S.P.: Ha! This is the cause of the delay of some and the eagerness of others. I did not see this when I went in. Hereafter the S. P. will vote after a third of the members have voted. I. T., you may inspect and count the pebbles.
I. T. goes in and stays a short time.
I. T.: The pebbles have been inspected and counted.
S. P.: What is the number thrown?
I.T. ans. any number above 8.
S.P.: What is their color?
S.P.: This assembly declares … name of applicant a suitable person to be taken in by this order.
Here the I. T, can turn to the Assist, and say: You can go in now and see what you left.
Assist.: It isn't there, the S. P. has got it.
S.P.: Shall we now turn from business to pleasure?
Assist, rises: S. P., I would make a motion, that Sec. 5 of article 10 of the By-Laws be changed by striking out the word once, and putting in the word twice.
Assist., eager one jumps up quickly: I second the motion.
S. P.: You have heard .the motion as made and seconded. I will raid Sec. 5 of Article
10. (Reads.) Every member may vote once upon every applicant. If the motion is carried it will read: Every member may vote twice upon every applicant. Any of our By-Laws can be changed at any meeting, by a two thirds vote of the members present. Does any member wish to make any remarks before the motion is put?
4 or 5 might speak; 3 in favor and 2 against. After they have spoken, the M. W. calls for the question: Those in favor of changing Sec. 5 of Art. 10, so that it shall read: Every member may vote twice upon every applicant, signify it in the usual manner.
All vote for it. Remain in position until counted. It is an unanimous vote.
Initiation of Victim
S. P.: M. W., you will now go upon the warpath, and see if yon can secure a victim to beguile our weary hours.
M. W. goes out and prepares V., by putting on him a dark robe—a lady's gossamer or waterproof cloak will answer. For hoodwink, use black musquito netting,—one thickness over V's eyes—but he should conduct himself, as if he could not see.
When he is ready M. W. gives four loud raps.
S.P.: I. T., see who knocks upon the inner gate demanding admission!
I. T., opens door: Who knocks upon the inner gate demanding admission?
M. W.: The M. W. with a victim whom he found lurking around the outer walls.
I. T.: His name?
M. W. gives name of V. in full.
I. T., closes door, turns to S. P. and says: S. P., The M. W. is without with a victim, whom ho found lurking around the outer walls.
S. P.: What is his name?
I. T. gives it.
S. P.: Was his application entered in due form?
I. T.: It was.
S. P.: What was the color of the pebbles thrown?
I. T.: White.
S. P.: Bid him wait until the instruments of torture are placed in position, and the arena made ready for his reception.
I. T. opens door: You will wait until the instruments of torture are placed in position, and the arena made ready for his reception. As most stages have two doors opening upon them, two Assists, should go out of the opposite door, and bring in the d. r., and arrange it upon two chairs.
Then the 1. T. turns to the S, P. and says: The arena is ready for the victim.
S. P.: Bid him enter.
I. T. opens door: The arena is ready for the reception of the victim, The V. is conducted three or four times around the stage and stop at the d. r.: No man should walk when he can vide. The way is long, rough and dangerous, and, lest you should faint by the way, a suitable conveyance is provided for you. Assists., place him on the double rail. [Assists, do so.]
Proceed. V. is carried round three or four times, and as he passes the A. F.'s station the last time, the A. F. says:
A. F.: Halt! Whom are you carrying here, clothed in this sombre garb and hoodwinked?
I. T.: A victim, whom the M. W. found lurking around the outer walls.
A. F.: His name?
I. T. gives it.
A. F.: Was his application entered in due form?
I. T.: It was.
A. F.: What was the color of the pebbles thrown?
I. T.: White.
A. F.: Let him rest here awhile d. r. removed and V. faces A. F., Assist, resume their seats. Victim, I have several questions to ask you; answer them truly. For what purpose have you sought admission into this order?
V.: That I might be with the boys.
A. F.: Does your wife [or girl] know that you intended to join the order?
V.: She does not.
A. F.: Why did yon not inform her?
V.: I preferred to wait until I was a member.
A. F.: Why so?
V.: Because once a member, always a member.
A. F.: Do yon know the trials and dangers that beset your path, before you reach the summit of Tin Spoon glory?
V.: I do not.
A. F.: Kan opportunity of withdrawing was now offered you, would you embrace it?
V.: I don't embrace opportunities, I. prefer something more solid and tangible.
A. F.: Do you wish to go on with the degree?
V.: That's what 1 came here for,
A. F.: And not withdraw?
V.: Not if I know myself. As the other boys have stood it, I think I can. Bring on some more. A. F.: You have answered wisely, and your answers are significant of that courage, bluster and cheek, which are characteristic of this order. Hut before you advance farther into the hidden mysteries, you must make several promises and endeavor to fulfil them. Will yon do it?
V.: I will do anything, even go out and take something,
A. F.: I. T., conduct the victim to our shrine and put him in the proper position.
V. is seated in a chair, legs extended, one on each side of the shrine. The spoon is placed in his right hand, which is raised perpendicular, and the left hand on the top of his head.
I. T.: The victim is in position.
A. F.: Let the victim behold where he is. Let him see himself as others see him. Hoodwink removed, A. F. remains seated. Say I, announce your name, and repeat after me.
V.: Say I, announce your name and repeat after me.
A. F.: No, pronounce your name.
V.: No, pronounce your name.
A. F.: You do not understand me. What is your name?
V. gives name in full.
A. F.: Then say: I, repeats his name. V. does so and repeats correctly, promise by the G. T. S. which I hold above my head, that I will not tell to any human being, either male, female, or otherwise; nor to any beast of the field: fowl of the air; fish of the sea; or reptile of the dust; what has been done, is being done now, or shall be done to me. I promise I will not stay out late nights, unless I am with the boys. If I do, I will tell my wife I have been to the lodge. I promise that, when I go home late at night, I will not attempt to whirl the clock with the bootjack, nor set my boots on the piano; neither will I stand myself on the bureau, and put the lamp into bed, 1 promise that I will be a kind and indulgent husband; never allowing my wife to split more than half of the wood, or carry more than two thirds of the coal, I promise to pay my honest debts and all the members of this order that I owe. The last part V. does not repeat.
A. F, repeats it.
V.: Yes, I hear it. Go on.
A. F.: Well repeat that first.
V.: I don't want to.
A. F.: Why not?
V.: I don't like it.
A. F.: Why, what is the matter with if?
V.: I owe too many of the members.
A. F.: But you must repeat it or you cannot go on.
V.: Well, if I must, I must. What is it?
A. F.: I promise to pay all the members of this order that I owe, V. repeats it slowly and tries to get in a "not" but the A. F. must make him repeat it right. I promise to stand by the members when necessity demands it; but if necessity demands too much, I shall endeavor to make myself scarce. I will support the laws and constitution of the United States; and if tiny man attempts to pull down the American flag, shoot him on the spot. These promises I will endeavor to keep. So help me great Caesar's ghost. I.T., remove the victim from the shrine, and reconduct him to my station.
I. T. does so. A. F. rising says: You have now made the promises connected with the order which I trust yon will keep. I have a few words more to say to you before you pass on. It is unnecessary for me to advise you to keep the secrets of the order; for the least secret betrayed, is one stone loosened in its foundation. After one is loosened, others follow more easily; and in a short time the foundation becomes so weak, that the whole structure falls. But the foundation of our order is supposed to be so deeply and firmly planted in the hearts of its members, that it will withstand all the elements, and all the vicissitudes of lime. Passion alone is the great enemy we have to fear. Be watchful night and day, and guard its every approach. The position which you assumed at the shrine, although not a graceful one, avid would hardly be allowable in a lady's drawing-room—is a representation of rest and contentment. For within these walls no jarring turmoils of earth's discords come. The wild tide of strife and anger, that ebbs and flows through the outer world, finds no channel here. As maddened ocean lashed into fury by the, storm, hurls its waves against some towering cliff, which unshaken throws them buck foaming into the deep, so are life's discordant elements thrown back, as they surge and beat against our walls. May your life be as calm and peaceful in the outer world, as in this sacred retreat; and may Fortune so smile on you, that you may never be suspended for the non-payment of dues; nor forget to pay the fifty cents you borrowed of me several months ago.
V. takes it out and pays it. You will now pass on never to return here as a victim, and, in due time, if you survive, will arrive at the station of the I. B,, who will impart to you wisdom. But as it is forbidden by the By-laws and constitution of this order flint any victim should see his face before hearing: his O voice, it is necessary that you travel the road in darkness, consequently you must be hoodwinked a second time. Hoodwink put on.
As no man should walk when he can ride, and you came hither on a conveyance, it is right that yon should depart in a similar manner, for the way is yet long, rough and full of dangers. Ho! Assistants, bring forth the chariot, and give the victim royal escort to the I. B. Chariot is brought in by two assists. who place V. upon it; while the other two put down the pieces of boards. Three Assists, take charge of the wheelbarrow, one the handles, two on each side hold of the upright pieces, and the other leads—Three have tin horns which they blow while passing around and also shake the strings of bells across the upright pieces,—any other kind of music is allowable—Three or four circuits will be enough. When they come opposite the I. B.'s station the last time, he says:
I. B.: Halt! Who comes here amid the bray of trumpets and the clash of arms?
I. T.: A victim, by the order of the A. F.
I. B.: Has he made the promises enjoined by the order?
I. T.: He has.
I. B.: Whose presence does he seek?
I. T.: The I. B.’s.
I. B.: For what purpose?
I. T.: Wisdom.
I.T.: It is well. Assist the victim to alight and remove the hoodwink. c.h. is carried out and Assists. take their seats.
Victim, I also have a few questions to ask you. Answer truly. How do you like it as far as you have gone?
V.: Should like it better if I hadn’t gone so far.
I.B.: What do you mean?
V.: That I could have dispensed with the last two or three rounds on the wheelbarrow, which that old fossil over there called a chariot.
I. B.: Did it hurt?
V.: Hurt? Did you ever try it?
I. B.: No distinction is allowable on affiliation with the order. All are subjected to the same treatment.
V.: I should like to have had hold of the wheelbarrow when they run you round.
I. B.: Which do you prefer to ride on, a double rail or wheelbarrow.
V.: It is like eating crow broth, I don't hanker after either.
I. B.: Do you remember your promises?
V.: Some of them.
I. B.: What do yon remember?
V.: That my wife is to split the wood, and bring in the coal.
I. B.: Anything else?
V., as if thinking: When I go home late at night, I must not blow myself out, and put the lamp into bed.
I. B.: Do yon remember anything else?
V. shakes his head slowly: No.
I. B.: Don't yon remember yon promised to pay all the members you owe?
V., slowly and sadly: Yes, Takes a bill from his pocket, hands it to I. B. who thanks him and puts it into his pocket, I shall be dead broke in the time I get through this.
I. B.: How so?
V.: Because I owe nearly all the members here.
I. B.: Don't be discouraged, I hardly think they will crowd yon, but will give you time.
Your answers to my questions have convinced me, that you are a person of more than ordinary ability, and that you will lie a valuable acquisition to our order. I will now explain to you, why we use the double rail and wheelbarrow.
V.: I feel as if my knowledge of those two things was completely saturated; anything more would be superfluous.
I. B.: Perhaps so, but 1 will speak of them historically. They have been used by man for centuries, and have received but very little change in form or material since their appearance. They seem to be of those few things that are perfect at their beginning; while the greater part of man's inventions are improved by time and experience. In the order of invention the rail antedates the wheelbarrow. They are both used for carrying heavy weights or loads, and also have been used as modes of conveyance.
But never considered a safe and comfortable way of locomotion, they have not come into general use by the travelling public.
In this order, they are emblematic of strength and perfection. Of strength, because as they are constructed to sustain or bear heavy weights or loads; so is the foundation of our order strong enough to withstand any outside force that may be brought to bear against it, All the shafts of envy, all the slanderous tongues, all the bitter reproaches have no more effect upon it, than the idle wind that whispers among the trees, or the low moaning of the waves, as they follow each other up the beach. Of perfection, for as none or but little improvement has been made upon them since their first appearance, so is our order perfect; was perfect at its beginning; is perfect now; and will continue so to the end of time. Although Time has written the word change upon all things earthly, yet the grand and fundamental principles which compose our order are subject to no change. They are more enduring than the towering mountains whose snow-capped summits glitter in the morning sun, for when the chemical combinations of this mundane plant are dissolved into their atomic elements, those principles will rise on the wings of hope and love, and as Rome rose on a distant shore from the buried ashes of Troy, so they alighting on some beautiful and far-off world, will build again an order similar to this. May your acts and conduct be such, that they may precede you to that far-off world, and when you stand at the outer gate demanding admission, may your demands not be in vain.
I. T.: conduct the V. to the S. P., before whose royal presence he must bow, as votaries bow at the shrine of Wisdom. V. is conducted to S. P. and kneels on a block of wood 12 by 6 by 3 inches.
S. P.: Who kneels in the presence of the S. P?
I. T.: A victim, whom the M. W. found lurking round the outer walls; delivered him into my hands; been obligated by the A. F; has stood before the I. B. seeking wisdom; and now bows before the S. P. to receive the remaining rites and secrets of this noble and illustrious order.
S. P.: Bid him rise,
I. T.: Rise victim.
S. P.: You have now reached the end of your weary journey and are permitted to rest. Nobly and bravely have you travelled the road, and 1 trust you are far wiser than when yon entered upon the perilous path. But it is by perseverance that every obstacle is overcome, every doubt removed, and every danger disappears. Let your initiation into this order be an instructive lesson to you in your daily life. I will now explain to you the remaining mysteries of the order, after which, I will decorate you with the emblem, which we are all proud to wear, and from which our order takes its name. That emblem is the spoon. The origin of the spoon, like the birthplace of Homer, is unknown. Some assert that it dates from remote antiquity, that its history is lost in the clouds and mists of obscurity, and that it is nearly as old as man himself. Others declare it a modern invention, having been produced between the 14th & 19th centuries. But be that as it may.
It is one of man's closest companions in his journey through life. It accompanies him from the cradle to the grave. It feeds him in infancy, and carries the medicine to his dying lips. Around it cluster the happy recollections of his boyhood life, when he ate pudding and milk, or pilfered the jam from his mother's jars. In our order it is emblematic of liberality and devotion. Of liberality, for it never begrudges anything that it gives, but gives all that it can hold, good measure, pressed down and running over. Of devotion, for it is constantly used by man, and ever ready to serve him in his many wants, both good and bad. Although it stirs the sugar in the intoxicating cup, yet it mixes the wholesome ingredients of his food, and renders
it palatable and pleasing to his taste, and would serve him only for his own good, if man was disposed to use it such. Be careful how it is used in your hands.
There are an innumerable number of signs in this order, but the following are the most important. It is necessary that you should become proficient in them, so that you can recognize them when seen, and also be able to give them in other assemblies. The first is the sign of salutation, and is made thus: raise the right arm perpendicular from the shoulder, fingers bent as if forming the bowl of a spoon, place the left hand on the top of the head. It denotes: I remember and can keep mum, and alludes to what took place the night before. The next sign is the sign of distress. This is a cry easy sign to remember, no member ever having forgotten it to my personal recollection. It is made thus: let the right arm hang by the side, raise the forearm until a right angle is formed at the elbow, palm of the hand upward; then bend the fingers as if forming the bowl of a spoon; raise the hand to the mouth as if taking a drink. Its signification is embodied in itself. Words are unnecessary to explain its meaning.
Any member perceiving this sign knows what it means and will act accordingly. Use this sign whenever necessity demands, but use it with discretion and moderation. The next is the sign of recognition. Although the sign you have just seen is more often used for that purpose, still this sign has been used on some occasions. When yon meet a person and wish to know if he belongs to the order, throw the weight of the body upon the left foot, and kick out sidewise twice with the right foot. If he belongs to the order, he will kick with the left foot in a similar manner.
The voting sign, which is given when the members are seated, is made thus: clasp the right leg at the knee with both hands, then raise the leg to an angle of about 5 degrees.
The grip of the order is given as follows: Extend both arms in front of the body, crossed halfway between the wrists and the elbows, your right hand grasping the other person's right hand, and your left, ins left. First shake the right hand, then the left; and then both together. No limit to time. Shake as long as you please.
You have now been initiated into our noble and illustrious order, and have reached the summit of Tin Spoon glory. Therefore, I invest you with this jewel hangs a spoon around his neck as the emblem of the order.
You are now invested with all the exclusive, indefeasible and essential rights and prerogatives of our order, and if any kind of an opportunity offers itself you ought to make a respectable living. Let the experience of those, who are older than you, be examples for you either to shun or to follow, remember that fickle Fortune does not smile on those, who bottom chairs or keep down barrel heads in low groceries or grog shops. The only way to succeed in this life is by close application to what ever you undertake. Life is what we make it, either a fruitful garden or a barren waste. How much better to look back over life's great highway, and see it bright with flowers, and abounding in the fruits of well-doing, than a blackened, dreary path, with nothing bright or beautiful to delight the eye or gladden the heart. No fruit, no flower, no song of bird or hum of insect's wing, but as gloomy and as cheerless, as that mighty waste of waters over which the dove flew and found no resting place. What pleasure is there in looking back upon a life like that? What encouragement to those that come after! A useful life wasted. A talent buried in the earth. What bitter reproaches from neglected opportunities and shattered hopes, will rise up in condemnation of such a life, and wring from the heart a wail almost as pitiful and agonizing, as ever arose from a lost soul, as it passed underneath the arch over which Dante read that awful inscription: "All hope abandoned ye who enter here." Let it be your endeavor to leave no such picture for posterity to look upon, but rather: "Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother
Seeing, shall take heart again."
I. T., give the member a seat in the assembly.
4 raps all rise. As we have done enough business for one evening, and there are no more applications to be balloted upon, I declare this assembly closed.
Opening of the Assembly