wages; and in order to prevent the craft being imposed upon by unskilful workmen, each craftsman claiming wages was made to thrust his hand through a lattice window, and at the same time give this token, holding under the two last fingers of his hand a copy of his mark. (See Fig. 22, p. 156.)
The Senior Grand Warden casts his eye upon the corresponding mark in the book (where all the marks of the craft, eighty thousand in number, were recorded), and, seeing how much money was due to that particular mark, placed it between the thumb and two fore-fingers of the craftsman, who withdrew his hand and passed on; and so on, each in his turn, until all were paid off. If any person attempted to receive wages without being able to give the token, the Senior Grand Warden seized him by the hand, drew his arm through the window, held him fast, and exclaimed immediately, “An impostor!” Upon this signal, an officer, who was stationed there for that purpose, would immediately strike his arm off.
The following charge is then given to the candidate by the Right Worshipful Master:
Brother, I congratulate you on having been thought worthy of being advanced to this honorable Degree of Masonry. Permit me to impress it on your mind, that your assiduity should ever be commensurate with your duties, which become more and more extensive as you advance in Masonry. In the honorable character of Mark Master Mason, it is more particularly your duty to endeavor to let your conduct in the Lodge and among your brethren be such as may stand the test of the Grand Overseer’s square; that you may not, like the unfinished and imperfect work of the negligent and unfaithful of former times, be rejected and thrown aside, as unfit for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. While such is your conduct should misfortunes assail you, should friends for-sake you, should envy traduce your good name, and malice persecute you, yet may you have confidence that among Mark Master Masons you will find friends who will administer to your distresses, and comfort your afflictions: ever bearing in mind, as a consolation under the frowns of fortune, and as an encouragement to hope for better prospects, that the stone which the builders rejected, possessing merits to them unknown, became the chief stone of the corner.
The brethren shuffle round the Lodge again, as before.
R. W. M. (giving one rap.)–Brother Senior, what is the cause of this disturbance?
S. G. W.–Right Worshipful, it is the sixth hour of the sixth
day of the week, and the crafts are impatient to receive their wages.
R. W. M.–You will form them in procession, and let them repair to the office of the Senior Grand Warden and receive their wages.
Members form two and two and march around the Lodge against the sun, and sing from the text-book the last three verses of the Mark Master’s Song. The Ceremony of paying the wages is gone through at the Master’s seat in the east, the Master acting as Senior Grand Warden, and paying “every man a penny.”
The members then inquire, each of the other, “How much have you?” The answer is given, “A penny.” Some one asks the candidate the question, and he replies, “A penny.” At this information, all the brethren pretend to be in a great rage, and hurl their pennies on the floor with violence, each protesting against the manner of paying the craft.
R. W. M. (giving one rap.)–Brethren, what is the cause of this confusion?
S. D.–The craft are dissatisfied with the manner in which you pay them. Here is a young craftsman, who has just passed the square, and has received as much as we, who have borne the burden and fatigue of the day; and we don’t think it is right and just, and we will not put up with it.
R. W. M.–This is the law, and it is perfectly right.
J. D.–I don’t know of any law that will justify any such proceeding. If there is any such law, I should be glad if you would show it.
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