Such is the gift of substitution, which follows penetration, and such is the substance of the memoirs of M. Bataille, ship's doctor, who, in the year 1880, undertook to exploit Freemasonry and has come forth unsinged from Diabolism. There is one maxim of the Psalmist which the experience of most transcendentalists has taught them to lay to heart, and to repeat without the qualifications of David when certain aspects of supernatural narrative are introduced—Omnis homo mendax! But lest I should appear to be discourteous, I should like to add a brief dictum from the Magus Eliphas Levi. "The wise man cannot lie," because nature accommodates herself to his statement. In a polite investigation like the present, there is, therefore, no question whether Doctor Bataille is defined by the term mendax, which is forbidden to literary elegance; it is simply a question whether he is a wise man, or whether nature blundered and did not conform to his statement.
The credibility, in whole or in part, of Dr Bataille's narrative will involve some extended criticism, and I purpose to postpone it till the remaining witnesses have been examined. We shall then be in a position to appreciate how far later revelations support his statements. Setting aside the miraculous element, which is tolerably separate from what most concerns our inquiry, namely, the existence of Palladian Masonry attached to the cultus of Lucifer, it may be stated that the most sober part of Dr Bataille's memoirs is the account of his visit to Charleston; here the miraculous element is entirely absent. He confirms by alleged personal investigations the existence of the New and Reformed Palladium; he is the first witness who distinguishes clearly between the Luciferian Order and the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite of Charleston. That distinction is made, however, at one expense; it assumes that the Supreme Council preserved the Baphomet idol as well as the reputed skull of Molay for nearly seventy years, and then surrendered it to another order with which it had no official acquaintance. Under what circumstances and why did it do that? The Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite is connected by its legend with the Templars, and for the Charleston Supreme Council to part with the trophies of the tradition seems no less unlikely than for a regiment to surrender its colours.
DEALINGS WITH DIANA
The philosophy of Horatius is supposed to represent incompletely the content of heaven and earth, but neither earth nor heaven, as at present constituted, would be capable of enclosing the entire content of Dr Bataille's memoirs. Miss Diana Vaughan, with whose history we are next concerned, comes before us under a different aspect. I have failed to ascertain under what circumstances she first became known in France. Le Diable au XIX^e Siecle may have constituted her earliest introduction; she was certainly unknown to Leo Taxil when he published the Palladian rituals, or she would not have escaped mention in the account he there gives of Miss Sophia Walder. However this may be, we have made her acquaintance in the course of the previous chapter, but I am constrained to state that she has, up to the present, shown herself exceedingly circumspect in substantiating the evidence of her precursor.
The whole world is aware, and I need not again repeat, that Miss Diana Vaughan was converted to the Catholic Church some time after Dr Bataille completed his astounding narrative. A Palladist of perfect initiation, comprehending the mysteries of the number 77, and doing reverence to the higher mystery of 666, Grand Mistress of the Temple, Grand Inspectress of the Palladium, and according to him who, in a sense, has prepared her way and made straight her paths, a sorceress and thaumaturge before whose daily performances the Black Sabbath turns white, Miss Vaughan quarrelled, as we have seen, with a sister initiate, Sophia Walder, and conceived for the Italian Grand Master, Adriano Lemmi, the charity of the evil angels, which is hatred. When the Supreme Dogmatic Directory of Universal Freemasonry was removed from Charleston to Rome and the pontificate passed over to Lemmi, as the revelations allege, Miss Vaughan closed her connection with the Triangles, carrying her colours to a vessel equipped by herself, and founded a new society under the title of the Free and Regenerated Palladium, incorporating the Anti-Lemmist groups, and soon after began a public propaganda by the issue of a monthly review, devoted to the elucidation of the doctrines of the Lucifer cultus and to the exposure of the Italian Grand Master. To hoist the black flag of diabolism, as Miss Vaughan would now term it, thus in the open day, naturally elicited a strong protestation from the Palladist Federation, so that she was in embroilment not only with Lemmi but also with the source of the initiation which she still appeared to prize. At the same time she exhibited no indications of going over to the cause of the Adonaites. Becoming known to the Anti-Masonic centres of the Roman Catholic Church only through her hostility to Lemmi, she was always a persona grata whose conversion was ardently desired, but on several public occasions she advised them that their cause and hers were in radical opposition, and that, in fact, she would have none of them, being outside any need of their support, sympathy, or interest. She would cleave to the good God Lucifer, and she aspired to be the bride of Asmodeus. At length the long-suffering editor of the Revue Mensuelle, weary of his refractory protege, would also have none of her, though he surrendered her with evident regret to be dealt with by the prayers of the faithful. One month after, M. Leo Taxil, through the medium of the same organ, announced the conversion of Miss Vaughan, and in less than another month, namely, in July, 1895, she began the publication of her "Memoirs of an ex-Palladist," which are still in progress, so that, limitations of space apart, my account of this lady will be unavoidably incomplete.
Her memoirs are, unfortunately, not a literary performance; and their method, if such it can be called, is not chronological. Beginning with an account of her first introduction to Lucifer, vis-a-vis in the Sanctum Regnum of Charleston, on April 8th 1889, they leap, in the second chapter, over all the years intervening to a minute analysis of the sentiments which led to her conversion, and of the raptures which followed it, above all on the occasion of her first communion. It is not till the third chapter that we get an account of her Luciferian education, or, more correctly, an introduction thereto, for the better part of five monthly numbers has not brought us nearer to her personality than the history of an ancestor in the seventeenth century. As the publisher is still soliciting annual subscriptions to the enterprise, and offering a variety of advantages after methods not unknown in England among the by-ways of periodical literature, the completion of the work is probably a distant satisfaction for those who take interest therein.
Now, having regard to the narrative of Dr Bataille, and having regard to the statements set forth in my second chapter, it is obvious that Miss Vaughan is a witness of the first importance as to whether there is a Masonry behind Masonry, which, more or less, manages, or attempts to manage, the entire society, unknown to the rank and file of its initiates, however high in grade; as to whether its seat is at Charleston, with Albert Pike for its founder, and as to whether its doctrine is anti-Christian, and its cultus that of Lucifer, supported by magical wonders, concerned with sacrilegious observances, and either a disguised Satanism, or drifting in that direction. As already hinted, the mythical and miraculous element,—in a word, that portion of Doctor Bataille's narrative which does violence to sense and reason,—Miss Vaughan has not at present imperilled her position by substantiating, but as to the points I have enumerated, she has most distinctly come forth out of Palladism to tell us that these things are so, and to reinforce what was previously stated by unveiling her private life.
It is therefore my duty and desire to do her full justice, and with this purpose in view, I propose to recite briefly the chief heads of her memoir, so far as it has been published up to date. I must, however, premise at the beginning that she does not come before us with one trace of the uncertainty of accent which might have been expected to characterise the newly-acquired language, not merely of Christian faith, but of its Roman dialect. We find her speaking at once, and to the manner born. Could anything, by possibility, be narrower than certain perished sections of evangelical religion in England, it would be certain sections of ultramontane religion in France; but Miss Vaughan has acquired all the terminology of the latter, all the intellectual bitterness, all the fatuities, as one might say, in the space of five minutes. When she has wearied of her memoirs at the moment, or has reached, after the manner of the novelist, some crucial point in her narrative, she breaks off abruptly, brackets a suivre, and proceeds to an account of the latest wonder-working image, or a diatribe against spirit manifestations in the typical manner of the French clerical press. To be brief, Miss Vaughan has adopted, body and soul, precisely those abuses which Catholics of intelligence earnestly desire to see expunged from their great religion. She has probably never heard of the Forged Decretals, but she would defend their authenticity if she had; she has probably never heard of the corrupted, or any version of the Epistles of St Ignatius, but she would accept the corruptions bodily upon the smallest hint that they savoured better with the hierarchy, and she would do all this apparently in good faith on the authority of a purblind party within the Church, which exists to keep open its wounds. Now, I submit that a volte face is possible, especially in religious opinions, but that a pronounced habit of religious thought cannot be acquired in a day, so that, in the history of Miss Vaughan's conversion, there is more than can be discerned on the surface. The precise nature of the element which eludes must be left to the judgment of my readers, but, personally, I reserve my own, out of fairness to an unfinished deposition.
There is a generic difference between Doctor Bataille and Miss Vaughan. He is an ordinary human being, and if we may trust the many pictures which represent him in his narrative, exceedingly unpretending at that. We have also some portraits of Miss Vaughan, who is aggressive and good to look at; but this is not the generic distinction. Doctor Bataille, poor man, is the scion of an ordinary ancestry within the narrow limits of flesh and blood. Miss Vaughan, on the contrary—I hope my readers will bear with me—has been taught from her childhood to believe that she was of the blood royal of the descending hierarchy, and I cannot gather from her vague mode of expression whether she has altogether rejected the legend of her descent, which is otherwise sufficiently startling.
The position of authority and influence occupied by Miss Vaughan in what she terms high Masonry is to be explained, as she modestly informs us, not by her personal qualities, but by a traditional secret concerning her family, which is known only to the Elect Magi. Miss Vaughan and her paternal uncle are the last descendants of the alchemist Thomas Vaughan, whom she terms a Rosicrucian, and identifies with Eirenaeus Philalethes, author of "The Open Entrance to the Closed Palace of the King." On the 25th of March 1645, she tells us, on the authority of her family history, Thomas Vaughan, having previously obtained from Cromwell the privilege of beheading the "noble martyr" Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury—the title to nobility, in her opinion, seems to rest in the probability of his secret connection with Rome—steeped a linen cloth in his blood, burnt the said cloth in sacrifice to Satan, who appeared in response to an evocation, and with whom he concluded a pact, receiving the philosophical stone, and a guaranteed period of life extending over thirty-three years from that date, after which he was to be transported without dying into the eternal kingdom of Lucifer, to live with a glorified body in the pure flames of the heaven of fire.
After this compact, he wrote the "Open Entrance," the original MS. of which, together with its autograph Luciferian interpretation on the broad margins, is a precious heirloom in the family. Some two years later, in the course of his travels, he reached New England, where he dwelt for a month among the Lenni-Lennaps, and there in an open desert, on a clear night of summer, while the moon was shining in splendour, he was wandering in solitary meditation when the luminary in question, which was in the crescent phase, came down out of heaven, and proved to be an arched bed, very luminous and wonderful, containing a vision of sleeping female beauty. This was the nuptial couch of Thomas Vaughan and its occupant was Venus-Astarte, surrounded by a host of flower-bearing child-spirits, who conveniently provided a tent, and provided also delicious meals during a period of eleven days. Several curious particulars differentiated these Hermetic nuptials, undreamed of by Christian Rosencreutz, from those which govern more ordinary proceedings below the latitude of the Lenni-Lennaps. In the first place, goddess succubus, Astarte provided the ring, which was of red gold enriched with a diamond, and placed it on the finger of her lover; in the second place, transcendental gestation, celestial or otherwise, fulfils the mystery of generation with exceeding despatch, for Astarte was delivered of an infant on the eleventh day independently of medical assistance, whereupon she demanded the return of the nuptial ring, and vanished with tent and sprites astride of the crescent couch. The fruit of their union was left in the arms of Thomas, who was directed to trample on all sentiments of paternal affection, and to deliver the child into the charge of a tribe of fire-worshipping Indians. He does not appear to have sued for the restitution of conjugal rights, and cheerfully surrendered the human hybrid to a family of Lenni-Lennaps, together with his medallion portrait drawn by an artist from devildom, so that the daughter might recognise her father after the method which obtains among novelists. Thomas Vaughan placed the broad ocean between himself and the scene of his marriage, and he never re-visited his daughter, who, in spite of her miraculous origin, does not appear to have distinguished herself in any way, at least up to the point at present reached by the history.
Miss Vaughan says that all the Elect Magi do not accept this legend of the blood royal, and she admits her own doubts subsequent to her conversion. As an article of intellectual faith I should prefer the birth-story of Gargantua, but it satisfied Miss Vaughan till the age of thirty years, and her father and grandfather before her, even supposing that it was fabriquee par mon bisaieul James, de Boston, as hazarded by elect Magi whom a remnant of reason hinders.
The "Memoirs of an Ex-Palladist" have not at present proceeded further than the translation of Thomas Vaughan into the paradise of Lucifer, but from the "Free and Regenerated Palladium" and from other sources the chief incidents of Miss Vaughan's early life may be collected and summarised briefly. We learn that she is the daughter of an American Protestant of Kentucky and of a French lady, also of that persuasion. She was born in Paris, and a part of her education seems to have been received in that city; her mother died in Kentucky when Diana was in her fourteenth year, and I infer that subsequently to this event she must have lived with her father, who had considerable property in the immediate vicinity of Louisville. When the Sovereign Rite of Palladism was created by Albert Pike, Vaughan became affiliated therewith, and was one of the founders of the Louisville triangle 11 + 7; he presided at the initiation of his daughter as apprentice, according to the Rite of Adoption, in 1883. She was raised to the grade of Companion, and subsequently to that of Mistress, and at the age of 20 years, says Dr Bataille, she crossed the threshold of the Triangles, as the Palladian lodges are termed.
Three issues were published of "The Free and Regenerated Palladium," but since the conversion of Miss Vaughan, they have been withdrawn from circulation, except among ecclesiastics of the Roman Church, and up to the present I have failed to obtain copies. For the autobiographical portions of this organ, I am indebted to the notices which have appeared in the Revue Mensuelle. They contain an account of two apparitions on the part of the demon Asmodeus, accompanied by phenomena of levitation and fortified by arguments against the theory of hallucination. These early experiences are, however, of minor importance, nor need I again refer to the sensational incidents which accompanied her initiation as Templar-Mistress at the Paris Triangle of Saint-Jacques; but it appears from her memoirs that the intervention of Albert Pike was not in virtue of the supremacy of his personal authority, and that the ordeal of sacrilege was spared her by the clemency of Lucifer himself, who is supposed to appear in person at the Sanctum Regnum of Charleston and to instruct his chiefs, Deo volente or otherwise, every Friday, the supreme dogmatic director, who had made his home in Washington, having the gift of "instantaneous transportation," whensoever he thought fit to be present in the "divine" board-room.
On the 5th of April 1889, the "good God" assembled his Ancients and Emerites for a friendly conversation upon the "case" of Diana Vaughan, and ended by requesting an introduction in three days' time. After the best manner of the grimoires, Miss Vaughan began her preparations by a triduum, taking one meal daily of black bread, fritters of high-spiced blood, a salad of milky herbs, and the drink of rare old Rabelais. The preparations in detail are scarcely worth recording as they merely vary the directions in the popular chap-books of magic which abound in foolish France. At the appointed time she passed through the iron doors of the Sanctum Regnum. "Fear not!" said Albert Pike, and she advanced remplie d'une ardente allegresse, was greeted by the eleven prime chiefs, who presently retired, possibly for prayer or refreshments, possibly for operations in wire-pulling. Diana Vaughan remained alone, in the presence of the Palladium, namely, our poor old friend Baphomet, whom his admirers persist in representing with a goat's head, whereas he is the archetype of the ass.
The Sanctum Regnum is described as triangular in shape; there was no torch, no lamp, no fire; the floor and the ceiling were therefore not unnaturally dark, but an inexplicable veil of strange phosphorescent light was diffused over the three walls, the source of which proved on examination to be innumerable particles of greenish flames each no larger than a pin's head. Seated in front of the Baphomet, Miss Vaughan apostrophised Lucifer sympathetically on the subject of the unpleasing form in which he was represented by his worshippers, and as she did so the little flames intensified, while floor and ceiling caught fire after the same ghostly incandescent fashion; a great dry heat filled the vast apartment, and, still spreading, the flames covered her chair, her garments, her entire person. At this point the inevitable thunder began to roll; three and one and two great thunders, after which came five breathings upon her face, and after those breathings five radiant spirits appeared, the first act closing impressively with a final salvo of artillery.
The unhappy Baphomet, dismayed by these extreme proceedings, vanished entirely, and, no expense being spared through the whole of the costly tableaux, Lucifer manifested on a throne of diamonds, but whether the gems were furnished from the treasury of Avernus or from the pockets of bamboozled Freemasons through the wide world, les renseignements do not state. Need I say that Miss Vaughan's first impulse was to fall in worship at his feet? But the sordid apparition, instead of accepting the homage with the grace which is native to empire, had recourse to the method of the novelist, and stayed her intention by a gesture. Even at this late date, and with the millstone of her conversion placed in the opposite scale, Miss Vaughan's description of her quondam deity would tempt sentimental young women to forgive all his devildom to a being so "superb" in "masculine beauty." I will refrain from spoiling the picture by much of her own minuteness, or by the exclamatory parentheses of her fury against the magnificent gentleman who deceived her. I should like also to omit all reference to the conversation which ensued between them, but for the sake of true art I am constrained to state that Lucifer descended to commonplace. M. Renan tells us that since he left Saint Sulpice he did nothing but degenerate, and the inference is obvious, that he ought to have gone back to Saint Sulpice, despite the literary splendours of the Vie de Jesus. Since he last broke a lance with Michael, the devil has debilitated mentally, and the substance of his causerie with Diana reminds one of Robert Montgomery and even worse exemplars. In the unexplored regions of penny periodical romance I have met with many better specimens of supernatural dialogue. As to the sum of his observations, it goes without saying that Diana was chosen out of thousands, and this is what justifies my opinion that his proceedings on this occasion were more fatuous than any of his undertakings since he tried conclusions with divinity.
Very silently during the course of this interview the eleven prime chiefs had returned like conspirators as they were, of course in the nick of time, to hear that Miss Vaughan was appointed as the grand-priestess of Lucifer, at which moment there was a fresh burst of circumambient flame and the young lady was transported by her divinity to take part in a grand spectacular drama, divided into two acts.—I. Appearance of Asmodeus with fourteen legions. Exchange of endearing expressions between this personage and Diana. Manifestation of the signature of Baal-Zeboub, generalissimo of the armies of Lucifer, written in fire upon the void. Spiritualisation of the sweetheart of Asmodeus. Diana hungers for the fray. Great pitched battle between the genii of Lucifer and the genii of Adonai, termed Maleakhs, without the gates of Eden. The Terrestrial Paradise carried by storm after severe fighting. Grand panorama of Paradise. Explanatory dialogue between Diana and her future husband. Appearance of a snow white gigantic eagle on which Diana is to be transported to Oolis, "a solar world unknown to the profane, wherein Lucifer reigns and is adored." II. Miss Vaughan having been transported on another occasion to this mystic planet in the arms of Lucifer himself, the episodes of the second act are held over. She was, however, ultimately returned, safe and sound, to the Sanctum Regnum at Charleston, on the back of the white eagle.
Such is Miss Vaughan's statement, and once more she proceeds to give reasons why she could not have been hypnotised or hallucinated. As in the case of Doctor Bataille I propose to postpone criticism until other witnesses have filed their depositions. At the moment it is sufficient to recognise that, apart from the supernatural element which admits of a simple explanation, if Miss Vaughan be a credible witness, then the central fact of the New and Reformed Palladium must be admitted with all it involves.
HOW LUCIFER IS UNMASKED.
M. le Docteur Bataille is a mighty hunter before the face of the Lord in the land of Masonry, and through the whole country of Hiram; great also is Diana of the Palladians. After their monumental revelations and confessions, those of all other seceders and penitents who have come out of the mystery of iniquity, "are as moonlight unto sunlight, and as water unto wine." My readers in the two previous chapters have drunk raw spirit, and must now qualify it after the Scotch fashion. The aqueous intellectuality and quiet stream of unpretending deposition peculiar to M. Jean Kostka, will be well adapted to modify undue exaltations and restore order to a universe which has been intoxicated by sorcerers. He will show us how Lucifer is unmasked in an undemonstrative and gentlemanly fashion by a late Gnostic and initiate of the 33rd degree. He writes, as he frankly tells us, in a spirit of reparation and gratitude, having commerced freely with devils during a long series of unholy years. "Blessed be the omnipotent Lord, and blessed the loving kindness which drew me out of the abyss.... To glorify these I unmask the fallen angel." The delicacy of the motive and its setting of chivalrous sentiment will be appreciated even by the victim, and the tenderness of the treatment will prompt Lucifer to pardon his reviler, who has been already pardoned by M. Papus for betraying the order of the Martinists. And to do justice towards an amiable writer, who has scarcely the requisite qualities for seriously damaging or advancing any cause, it may be kind to add that he has considerably exaggerated his own case. After a careful examination of his statement, which is exceedingly naive, I am tempted to conclude that he has never been near an abyss; he is innocent of either height or depth, and so far from having ever plunged into the infernal void, he has scarcely so much as paddled in a purgatorial puddle. His guilty transcendental experiences are in reality the most infantile afternoon occultism, and his drawing-room diablerie might be appropriately symbolised by the paper speaking-tube of our old friend John King; there is nothing in it when the voice is not speaking, and there is nothing in it when it is.
Since his conversion, M. Jean Kostka has exhibited much harmless devotion towards Joan of Arc, an enthusiasm which originated among occultists, and he has pious memories of St Stanislaus Kostka, for which dispositions I trust that all my readers will have the complaisance to commend him. He writes, furthermore, "in the decline of maturity, on the threshold of age, in the late autumn of life," which is his dropsical method of saying that he is past sixty, and he veils a "futile name" under the patronymic of his favourite saint. Jean Kostka is not Jean Kostka, but it is without intent to deceive that he evades any possible responsibility in connection with his concealed identity; it is a kind of pious self-effacement, I hope everyone will believe what he says, and give him all credit for having "turned towards the outraged Church." In matters of evidence, pseudonymous statements are, however, objectionable, and I therefore identify our witness as Jules Doinel, who was chiefly concerned in the restoration of the Gnosis and the establishment of a "Gnostic church" in Paris about the year 1890, and is moreover not unknown as a Masonic orator, and in the world of belles-lettres. M. Papus, with the generosity of a mystic, can only speak well of the pious enthusiast who has betrayed his cause and scandalised the school he represents; he explains that Jules Doinel is a marvellous poet deficient in the scientific culture which might have enabled him to explain in a peaceable fashion the phenomena squandered upon him by the world invisible, so that there were only two courses open for him—renunciation of the transcendental path, or madness. "Let us bless heaven that the patriarch of the Gnosis has selected the former." It is possibly showing gratitude for small mercies, because our friend has saved his reason, but is blood-guilty in the matter of common sense. Meanwhile, the widowed Gnosis illuminates its Ichabod in the cryptic quartiers of Paris, Lyons, and so forth.
Every one may agree with M. Papus that Jean Kostka is a very pretty writer in a quiet and shallow way, but, with possibly one exception, he must have withheld the flower of his phenomena in the order of the spirit, for his book is full of sentimental and vapid experiences of the school-miss order, while over the light and spongy soil he has now set the ponderous paving-stones of his new explanation, and toils forward on the road of unreason.
This apart, Jean Kostka, was evidently for many years familiar with the centres and workings of all the cross lights of esoteric thought which meet and interlace in the night of French common thought. He has dwelt among Gnostics, Martinists, Modern Albigenses, and Spiritualists; he appears to have been identified with all, and though he does not accuse himself of the capital offence of conscious Satanism, he has been quite well acquainted with Satanism, and, next best to seeing the devil one's self, he has known many who have. In those days, he tells us, that Lucifer could be visited chez lui in an earthly tabernacle, situated in an unfrequented street, from whence the lointain bruissement du Paris nocturne might be heard by the pensive traveller if he were not too intent on diabolising. Now, he has found out that Lucifer was chez lui everywhere. Je vise Satan et ses dogmes. All his psychic faculties have concentrated into a transcendental apparatus for scenting devildom, and he mournfully comes forward to tell us, with a variation of Fludd's utterance; Diabolus, in quam, diabolus ubique repertus est, et omnia diabolus et diabolus. "Let it suffice to say that the demonologists have invented nothing and have exaggerated nothing." To the spiritualists Lucifer is John King and Allan Kardec; to the Gnostics, he is the Gnosis, Simon Magus, Helen Ennoia, and anything that comes handy from the Nile valley in the fourth century; to the Martinists, he is the philosophe inconnu; to the Albigenses, if there are Parisian Albigenses, he is whatever Albigenses invoke, if they invoke anything; to Madame X., he is Mary Stuart; to his own adepts, within sound of the lointain bruissement, he is a jeune homme blond aux yeux bleus, whom I understand to have worn a dalmatic, and to have been curiously indebted to the author of Aut Diabolus aut Nihil; for the Theosophists, he is that "illustrious demoniac," Madame Blawatsky—his innate delicacy leads him to the permutation of the Typhon V.; and then Freemasonry—it goes without saying that the little horn of Lucifer has displaced all other horns in all the grades and lodges, that the fraternity is his throne and his footstool, and the city of the great king.
If we button-hole Jean Kostka, and ask him to tell us confidentially and upon honour what it is that has changed his views, making him discover the leer of Baal-Zeboub where he once saw the smile of the spiritual Eos, he turns Trappist at once, and goes into retreat with M. Huysman; there is not a syllable of information in all his beau volume as to any intellectual process through which he passed on the way, and I suspect that his conversion partook of the nature of a "penetration," to speak his own language, and was not an intellectual operation, but a sudden volte face. Jean Kostka has changed his pinces-nez, and that is the whole secret:—
"The reason why I cannot tell, But now I hold it comes from hell."
Here is the proof positive; he has nothing in the shape of an accusation; he gets his Lucifer-interpretation out of everything with which he has cut off correspondence by a very simple and civil process of instillation. "I sense it"; je vise Lucifer. Thus, the Order of the Knights of Perfect Silence invite their initiates to become architects of the Holy City. Jean Kostka, in possession of the latest tip, says, "read Hell." The Martinists are concerned with the creation of Adam Kadmon, the ideal humanity. Jean Kostka tells you that they are concerned with nothing of the sort, and that Satan is the only person who can really put us up to the secret, which is curious because he immediately advises us himself that the exercise of the three cardinal virtues to the profit of Lucifer is the sum of the whole mystery and the real sous-entendu of Martinism. The Masonic grades from Apprentice, Companion, Master, through Knight Rose-Cross to Knight Kadosch, and so forward, are exploited after the same manner by the baldest of processes, that of inverting everything. For example, the sacred word of the 33rd degree in the French Rite, namely, Sovereign Grand Inspector General, is Deus meumque Jus. That signifies, says Jean Kostka, that "Lucifer is the sole God and that the material, like the spiritual, world of right belongs to him." If you inquire the process of extraction by which he gets that result, he answers: "I must admit that I have had only a general intuition, but I assure you that it is immense," and he will immediately cite you a password, invite you to take every letter individually, and fit to it just that word which, by another intuition, he perceives belongs to it, when you will see for yourself. Thus, the Kadosch term Nekam, which signifies vengeance, having been duly anatomised, will come out as follows:—N (ex) E (xterminatio) K (risti) A (dversarii) M (agni), to wit: "Death, Extermination of Christ, the Great Enemy." Wicked and wily Jean Kostka to outrage the decencies of orthography and against all reason write the name of the Liberator with a K, thereby concealing the true meaning, which revealed for the first time is as follows:—N (equaquam) E (ritis) K (ostka) A (rtium) M (agister), which being interpreted still further, signifies that there was never such a clumsy device!
Now, it goes without saying that a writer with these methods is not to be taken seriously, but it is worth while to appreciate the quality of intelligence which is received with acclamation by the Catholic Church in France as soon as it comes over from the enemy. "Lucifer Unmasked" appeared originally in the pages of the newspaper La Verite. It was immediately reproduced in Spanish by the Union Catolica; the clerical press boomed full-mouthed salvos in its honour, and his Eminence Cardinal Parocchi has blessed book or author, or both, and believes that it will make a great impression, "undoubtedly contributing to enlighten minds and lead them back to God."
Jean Kostka, as already indicated, is a spiritual sentimentalist; he has passed by a rapid transition common to such natures from the Gnostic transcendental initiate to the pious Catholic devotee, and he will make an excellent Lourdes pilgrim. As there will be no need to recur to him again, it will be permissible to justify my criticism by some account of his personal experiences. M. Papus speaks of him as the founder and patriarch of the Gnostic Church. Of this same patriarch and primate Jean Kostka also speaks as of another person, recites the facts of his conversion, and hopes he will do better work for the Church of God than he has done for Lucifer. Which is Dr Jekyll and which Mr Hyde in this duadic personality is not of serious consequence, as they have both got into a better way of thinking and acting. Now, since his demission from these high functions, Jean Kostka has found that the chief piece of Gnostic devilry is in denying that the lost angels are eternally damned. On this point he has attained what is rare in him, a touch of personal animosity. To supply the antipodes of heaven, let us say, with a lethal chamber, as a meaner order than that of theological charity does here, in the interests of homeless and snappy dogs, would, in his present state of grace, seem a very wicked proposition. Well, in 1890 Jean Kostka was invited, as I understand, by the chief of the Gnostic Church, that is, by himself, to a chapel in the palace of a lady who figures frequently in his pages under the name of Madame X.; the author takes great credit for concealing her real titles, but he has failed to conceal her identity, and there can be no harm in saying that the reference is to Lady Caithness. He was present upon serious business, in fact, nothing short of assisting at a seance. A medium had been secured, the proceedings began, rappings became audible, an intelligence desired to communicate, and, finally, there was a message, with a name given. It was Luciabel, "whom you know as Lucifer." To this day Jean Kostka does not seem conscious of any element of idiocy in the variation of the old-fashioned name. In the revelation which followed, the intelligence, who seemed amiably disposed despite his sinister connections, informed the circle that, like Jesus, he was engendered eternally from God, that he was exiled from the pleroma, and that he was the Sophia-Achamoth of Valentine, the Helena-Ennoia of Simon Magus, the thought of God which had become anathema, and that he was now in search of love and consolation, both of which might take shape in a Gnostic church, and would be highly acceptable. There is, so to speak, a commercial element in the overtures which dries up the feeling of pity, or one might be exceedingly sorry for this lost chord of eternal thought, hoping charitably that we should still somehow hear it in heaven.
Since his conversion the unpretentious marvel of this seance has been a dire trouble to Jean Kostka, partly on account of its eschatology, but still more because the sitters were conscious at its close of a breath passing over their faces, while he himself felt the presence of lips against his own. Poor Jean Kostka! They were all abased on their knees, which happens occasionally, even at seances, to pious people in Paris, and he concludes that he was kissed by Helena-Ennoia, alias Lucifer, alias Luciabel, who is also described on the charge-sheet of orthodox theology by other and more objectionable titles. The shameful memory causes him to exclaim fervently:—"May he who purged the lips of Isaiah with a burning coal deign to purify mine by the sacred kiss of penitence and pardon: in osculo sancto." There is a touch of sublimity in that, and the basia of Baal-Zeboub may well enough be more demoralising than those of Secundus. At the time, however, he founded the Gnostic Church.
We become acquainted with ghosts after various manners, according to our psychic condition. There is the spontaneous and accidental ghost who is seldom caught in the act; there is the able-bodied materialised ghost whom we catch in the act occasionally, and preserve our mental balance by clinging to his watch-chain and seals; they may be distinguished as the timeless ghost and the ghost who occasionally does time. Over and above these two generic specimens there is the ghost that throws, who is separable from the ghost that hurls, as our French friends put it. To hurl is to utter objectionable and unreasonable yells, preferably in the dead of night and in lonely places. This ghost is much sought after by specialists. It would be tedious to name all the varieties, but I can guarantee the unequipped that all known specimens have been carefully labelled, except possibly the odorous ghost, the ghost, that is to say, who manifests exclusively to the olfactory organ. This is an exceedingly withdrawn inappreciable kind, but it is familiar to Jean Kostka, who is a connoisseur in the smell supernatural, and has a trained psychic nose. He can distinguish between the spiritual perfume which characterises, let us say, St Stanislaus and the odorem suavitatis of Lucifer. He is also an authority on conditions, and gives a ravishing description of the voluptuous enervation diffused over all his limbs when he had a private memorandum from Isis by means of raps during the reception of a master in a blue lodge. On this occasion he tells us that he was inspired to pronounce one of his most wicked and dangerous Masonic discourses. Dear M. Kostka! Dynamite would lose its destroying power in his harmless hands.
At another function—but this was in a red lodge—he was overwhelmed by the presence of Lucifer, who elected and commissioned him to fight in his cause. It was a moment of unwonted intelligence—these are his own words—and he agreed, so incompetence chose its minister, and Frater Diabolus again showed himself a short-sighted rogue, because has not his emissary converted and passed over to the makers of pilgrimages? M. Kostka also at this time was so wicked as to be guilty of a pact, but he reserved two points, "the person of Christ and His mother." The reservation of these sacraments is not specialised as to its kind, but, mon Dieu, how distraught was Lucifer to be so palpably tricked by a trente-troisieme! Both these matters were, however, personal to the seer, and the lodges, whether red or blue, seem to have been quite unconscious that they had been entertaining divinity and demon unawares. M. Kostka has, in fact, been distinguished from the common herd of Masons by many favours of Lucifer, and he has naturally been ungrateful, for which I admire M. Kostka.
In succeeding chapters he details at considerable length a variety of hallucinations which he experienced on the subject of Helena-Ennoia, and he has also had visions of Jansen, of a false Francis Xavier, a false Christ, &c., but his most important experience was that which he terms Penetration, commonly experienced in autumn seasons and during the mists and mildness of October nights. On these occasions he was conscious of a curious extension of personality by which he seemed to enter into all Nature, and all Nature took voice and interpreted herself intelligibly to him. After music came verbal communications, and then the apparition of forms, chiefly of classical mythology. Most people would have termed this poetic rapture passing into lucidity, but our friend avers that it is the Enemy.
Such have been the experiences and adventures of Jean Kostka in the psychic world, and they are of precisely the same calibre as his critical method. I may say, in conclusion, that, if spared, he will do better in his next book, for he promises another, which is to exhibit in a convincing manner how Lucifer has been vanquished by Joan of Arc. In the meantime we may part from him with due recognition of his absolute good faith and extreme amiability; we may congratulate him on his conversion, and still more upon the very pleasant reading he provides; he does not appear to have unmasked Lucifer, but he has let us into the secret of the best that can be done in that way.
Lastly, the point to be marked in connection with the memoirs and revelations of Jean Kostka is this, that neither in Paris nor elsewhere, neither in Masonry nor in other secret associations, concerning which he has had every opportunity to judge, has he come personally into contact with a cultus of Satan or Lucifer; that he chooses to term certain mystical opinions and practices diabolical, because they are condemned by the Latin Church, is a matter which is perfectly indifferent and exhibits only the forlorn position of a case which resorts to the expedient. But it is highly significant that a man who has mixed among mystics of all grades for probably thirty years, who is affiliated to innumerable orders, and in his present mood would be glad to expose everything, has nothing to tell us of the Palladium, though he dwelt at its gates, and the circles he frequented were at a stone's cast from the alleged Mother-Lodge Lotus of Paris.
THE VENDETTA OF SIGNOR MARGIOTTA
To Signor Domenico Margiotta we owe the most explicit account of the great compact between Mazzini and Albert Pike which produced the New and Reformed Palladium. With this institution he does not attempt to connect the anterior order founded in 1730; for him the possession of the Templar Baphomet explains the name which it received, and the passage of that idol from its original custodians he leaves in the same uncertainty as Dr Bataille. This difficulty apart, in Signor Margiotta the question of Lucifer has received a most important witness; he is the most recent, the most illustrious, and Masonically the most decorated of all. If I add that he is in one respect to be included among the most virulent, I do not necessarily detract from his value. So far as one can possibly be aware, he is a man of unimpeachable integrity, who gives us every opportunity to identify him, heraldically by his arms and emblazonments, historically by an account of his family, personally by extracts from the Dizionario Biografico, Masonically by a full enumeration of all his dignities, including photographs of his most brilliant diplomas and printed correspondence from Grand Masters and other exalted potentates of the great Fraternity. It would be difficult, however, in the last respect, to discover many more exalted than himself, for before his demission he was Secretary of the Lodge Savonarola of Florence; Venerable of the Lodge Giordano Bruno of Palmi; Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33rd degree, of the Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite; Sovereign Prince of the Order (33rd ..., 90th ..., 95th ...,) of the Rite of Memphis and Misraim; Acting Member of the Sovereign Sanctuary of the Oriental Order of Memphis and Misraim of Naples; Inspector of the Misraim Lodges of the Calabrias and of Sicily; Honorary Member of the National Grand Orient of Haiti; Acting Member of the Supreme Federal Council of Naples; Inspector-General of all the Masonic Lodges of the three Calabrias; Grand Master, ad vitam, of the Oriental Masonic Order of Misraim or Egypt (90th degree) of Paris; Commander of the Order of Knights-Defenders of Universal Masonry; Honorary Member, ad vitam, of the Supreme General Council of the Italian Federation of Palermo; Permanent Inspector and Sovereign Delegate of the Grand Central Directory of Naples for Europe (Universal High-grade Masonry), and, according to his latest portrait, Member of the New Reformed Palladium. That such a luminary could withdraw from the firmament of the Fraternity and not take after him the third part of the stars of heaven, above all that the Italian Grand Master could have the effrontery to affirm that he had never heard of him and had only discovered who he was after some investigation, are matters for astonishment to the simple.
Professor Margiotta returned to the church of his childhood in the autumn of 1894, and the news of his conversion is said to have so overwhelmed the head-quarters of Italian Freemasonry at Rome that the annual rejoicings upon the 20th of September, when Rome became the Capital of United Italy and when Universal Freemasonry was instituted in 1870, were incontinently suspended. My readers will not attach a high degree of accuracy to this statement, for there does not appear in reality to have been any convulsion of the Order; there was indeed more rejoicing in Jerusalem than lamentation in the tents of Kedron. Signor Margiotta was the recipient of flattering congratulations from eminent prelates; the bishop of Grenoble salutes him as "my dear friend"; the patriarch of Jerusalem invites him to take courage, for he is doing high service to humanity, labouring under the scourge of the Masonic plague; the bishop of Montauban expresses his lively sentiment and entire devotion; the archbishop of Aix regards the revelations as of great importance to the Church; the bishop of Limoges praises and blesses the books of M. Margiotta; the bishop of Mende does likewise, his enthusiasm taking shape in superlatives; the Cardinal-Archbishop of Bordeaux applauds the intention and the effort; the bishops of Tarentaise, of Oran, of Pamiers, of Annecy, take up the chant in turn, and his Holiness the Pope himself sends his Apostolic Benediction over the seal of Peter.
Why did Signor Margiotta abandon Palladism and Masonry? It was not because these institutions were devoted to the cultus of Lucifer, for I do not gather that he was scandalised by that fact at the time when it appears to have become known to him. It was not because sacrilege and public indecency characterised the rituals of initiation in the case of the Palladian Order, for he does not zealously press this charge. It was not, so far as can be traced, because he trembled for the safety of his soul; he does not provide us with a sickly and suspicious narrative of the sentiments which led to his conversion or the interior raptures which followed it; he does not mention that he was the recipient of a special grace or a sudden illustration; he ceased to believe in Lucifer as the good God because that being had permitted his favoured Freemasonry to pass under the "supreme direction of a despised personage who is the last of rogues." In other words, Signor Domenico Margiotta has a strong loathing for Signor Adriano Lemmi; he has long and earnestly desired that Freemasonry should "vomit him" from her breast, but as this has not come to pass, Signor Margiotta decided to vomit himself. Now, when a man embraces religion, he is supposed to forgive his enemies, to do good to them that hate him, to avoid the propagation of scandals, and when he cannot speak well to say nothing; but this is not the special quality of grace which attaches to the second trente-troisieme, who has come out of Freemasonry to expose and revile the order.
The two narratives which comprise the exposure in question are respectively entitled, "Adriano Lemmi: Supreme Chief of Freemasonry," and "Palladism, the Cultus of Satan-Lucifer." Both these books contain a violent impeachment of the Italian Grand Master, which, if it concerned us, would not convince us. Its main points go to show that in the days of his boyhood, Lemmi was guilty of an embezzlement at Marseilles, for which he is said to have suffered at the hands of justice; that he led the life of a Guzman d'Alfarache, in itself sufficiently romantic to condone an offence which should have been effaced with its penalty, supposing the allegation to be true; that he subsequently found himself at Constantinople, where he was thrown among Jews, and is there charged by his accuser with the commission of a still more terrible crime; he, in fact, became a proselyte of the gate, and suffered the rite of circumcision. Later on he is depicted as a political conspirator, an agent and friend of Mazzini, Kossuth, and the patriots of the Revolution, in connection with whom he is made responsible for innumerable villainies which connect him with the apostleship of dynamite. We may pass lightly over these matters, nor need we delay to inquire after what manner Adriano Lemmi may have amassed the wealth which he possesses, nor what questions on the subject of a monopoly in tobacco may have been raised or dropped in the Italian Parliament. All these points, including Signor Lemmi himself, are as little known as they are of little moment in England, and they are wholly outside our subject, except in so far as they exhibit the methods of his accuser, which, indeed, are so objectionable in their nature as to go far towards exonerating their object. Signor Margiotta, at any rate, puts himself so clearly in the wrong, and is altogether so virulent, as to place the inference of personal animosity almost in the region of certitude; one is therefore tempted to accept the explanation offered by the victim, that the Marseilles scandal turns upon a mistaken identity, and his explicit denial that he ever underwent the rite of Jewish initiation. Furthermore, I believe that I shall represent the opinion of tolerant Englishmen when I say that to insult and abuse a man for adopting another faith, however opposed to our own, and even ridiculous in itself, is an odious method in controversy, and for myself I see little to choose between a proselyte of the gate, a renegade Mason, and a demitted Roman Catholic.
The true secret of the Margiotta-cum-Lemmi embroilment does not, I think, transpire in the narratives with which we are concerned; I mean to say that there is an eluding element which must, however, be assumed, if we are to account reasonably for the display of such extreme rancour. An honourable man may object to the jurisdiction of a person whom he regards as a convicted thief, but he does not usually pursue him with the violence of personal hatred. Now, in 1888 Signor Margiotta became a candidate for the Italian Parliament, and he attributes his failure to the hostility of Lemmi, who, prompted by Gallophobe tendencies, brought his influence to bear against a person who was friendly to the French nation. I submit that this assists us to understand the animus of the converted Mason and the lengths to which it has taken him. In all other respects Signor Margiotta displays the most perfect frankness, and does his best upon every occasion to substantiate his statements by formidable documentary evidence. I repeat therefore, that, much as we may regret his acrimony, he remains a most important witness to the existence of Universal Masonry, the existence of the Reformed Palladium, the transfer of the Masonic Supremacy at the death of Albert Pike to the Italian Grand Master, and the split in the camp which followed. He claims also that he is personally acquainted with Miss Diana Vaughan; he extols her innumerable virtues in pages of eloquent writing; he even goes so far as to photograph the envelope of a registered letter which he posted at Palmi, in Calabria, addressed to that lady in London. He indirectly substantiates the narrative of Carbuccia by a long account of his personal dealings with Giambattista Pessina, descending into the most curious particulars; he publishes the secret alphabet of the Palladium, specimens of litanies addressed to the good god Lucifer, and hymns of equivocal tendency attributed to Albert Pike. Finally, he fully admits the Satanic character of perfect Masonic initiation, and contributes a long chapter to swell our recent knowledge upon the subject of "Apparitions of Satan."
As regards Universal Masonry, when announcing his demission and conversion to an officer of the Lodge, Giordano Bruno, at Palmi, Signor Margiotta reveals to him that he and his brethren are ruled, without knowing it, by a supreme rite, and that he, Margiotta himself, Venerable of the Lodge referred to, being a true elect and perfect initiate, constituted the link of connection between the ordinary Masonry of Palmi and this central and unsuspected power. On the same occasion he addressed a long communication to Miss Vaughan, in which he claims that he has ever acted as an honest Mason, faithful to the orthodoxy thereof, and having the cause of Charleston at heart. Now, the circumstances which occasioned these statements, and the good faith which seems to characterise them, are presumptive testimony to their truth; in the absence of any evidence, and merely on a priori considerations, it would be intolerable to suggest that their author, while advertising his changed views upon a solemn subject, was guilty of wilful deception.
The centralisation of Universal Masonry in an order known as the New and Reformed Palladium, with Albert Pike at its head, is supported by the citation of a document dated the 12th of September 1874, and being an authority from Charleston for the constitution of a secret federation of Jewish Freemasons, with a centre at Hamburg, under the title of Sovereign Patriarchal Council. It is not the only document emanating from the "Dogmatic Directory" which is printed by Signor Margiotta, but the others are not entirely new, having some of them previously appeared in the memoirs of Dr Bataille. The Luciferian opinions of Albert Pike are exhibited plainly in a letter addressed by him to Signor Rapisardi, famous in all Italy for his poem of "Lucifer," which Signor Margiotta affirms to have been written at the suggestion of the American Grand Master.
But possibly the strongest evidence is less of a documentary kind; the minute account of the warfare waged by Signor Margiotta and other Italian Masons, in which they were helped by Miss Vaughan, to prevent the accession of Lemmi to the sovereign pontificate upon the death of Albert Pike and the transfer of the centre to Rome, seems to bear upon its surface every reasonable sign that it cannot be an invented narrative. Indeed, the first impulse upon reading the testimony of this witness leaps irresistibly to conclude that the denial of the main allegations is no longer possible. A searching analysis does, however, reveal sufficient grounds to warrant a different judgment. In the first place, whereas Signor Margiotta proclaims the supreme power of the Reformed Palladium, the documents which he cites in his support are, for the most part, documents of the Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite, about the immense jurisdiction of which there is no question. In the second place, the authority of Albert Pike, as it is seen in most of the documents, is in virtue, not of the Palladium, but of his position as Supreme Chief of the Supreme Mother-Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite. What Signor Margiotta terms Universal Freemasonry is not the Palladium at all, but simply the Scotch Rite; one of his own diplomas, reproduced at page 120 of "Adriano Lemmi," is proof positive of this; and in view of the universal diffusion of this rite, no one would deny it the name. In the third place, the documents of Signor Margiotta as regards the Palladium are not to be trusted, because in one instance a gross imposition has been practised provably upon him, and he may have been deceived in others. Hence, although he may be a member of a society termed the New and Reformed Palladium, it may not possess the jurisdiction or the history to which it pretends. In the fourth place I deny that the Grand Central Directories of which I have given particulars, derived from Signor Margiotta, in my second chapter, are in any sense Palladian directories. That of Naples for Europe is said to have twenty-seven triangular provinces, one of which is Manchester, and Mr John Yarker is said to be Provincial Grand Master. Now, I have Mr Yarker's own written testimony that he never heard of the Palladium until the report of it came over from France. Mr Yarker is a member of the 33rd degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite, and he is also the Grand Master of the only legitimate body of the Supreme Oriental Rite of Memphis and Misraim in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Moreover, in most Masonic countries of the world he is either Honorary Grand Master, or Honorary Member in the 95 deg. of Memphis, 90 deg. of Misraim, and 33 deg. Scottish Rite, the last honorary membership including bodies under the Pike regime as well as its opponents. He is perfectly well acquainted with the claim of the Charleston Supreme Council to supreme power in Masonry, and that it is a usurpation founded on a forgery. In a letter which he had occasion to address some time since to a Catholic priest on this very subject, he remarks:—"The late Albert Pike of Charleston, as an able Mason, was undoubtedly a Masonic Pope, who kept in leading strings all the Supreme Grand Councils of the world, including the Supreme Grand Councils of England, Ireland, and Scotland, the first of which includes the Prince of Wales, Lord Lathom, and other peers, who were in alliance with him, and in actual submission. Its introduction into America arose from a temporary schism in France in 1762, when Lacorne, a disreputable panderer to the Prince of Clermont, issued a patent to a Jew named Stephen Morin. Some time after 1802, a pretended Constitution was forged and attributed to Frederick the Great of Prussia. This constitution gives power to members of the 33rd degree to elect themselves to rule all Masonry, and this custom is followed.... The good feeling of Masonry has been perpetually destroyed in every country where the Ancient and Accepted Rite exists, and it must be so in the very nature of its claims and its laws." Mr Yarker has no connection with a supreme dogmatic directorate in any other form than this disputed but perfectly well-known assumption of the Charleston Supreme Council. The term "Supreme Dogmatic Directorate" was not used by Pike, and the confidence enjoyed by the American was never extended to Lemmi, though he may have desired it. Instead, therefore, of all Masonry being ruled by a central authority unknown to the majority of Masons, we have simply a bogus claim which has no effect outside the Scottish Rite, and of which all Masons may know if they will be at the pains to ascertain. When Signor Margiotta informed the officer of the Giordano Bruno Lodge that he secretly represented a central and unknown authority, it is in this sense that we must understand him—that is to say, he represented the interests of the Charleston Supreme Council. Hence the revelations concerning "Universal Masonry" are an exaggeration founded upon a fact, and the Palladian Order, of which Signor Margiotta tells us that he is a member, is at any rate not what it pretends. It has doubtless imposed on him by means of forged documents, as also upon Leo Taxil, and M. Adolphe Ricoux. The writings which it fathers upon Albert Pike, and quoted by Signor Margiotta, as in other cases, are stolen from Eliphas Levi, the so-called alphabet of the Palladium included. The documentary piece de resistance upon which our author relies as evidence for the existence of an international Masonic organisation is a certain voute de Protestation, on the part of a so-called Mother-Lodge Lotus of England, secret Temple of Oxford Street, against the transfer of the Dogmatic Directory from Charleston to Rome, the "Standing Committee of Protestation" being Alexander Graveson, Provincial Delegate of Philadelphia, U.S.A., V. F. Palacios, Provincial Delegate of Mexico, and Diana Vaughan, Provincial Delegate of New York and Brooklyn. Signor Domenico Margiotta has been grossly deceived over this document. What he prints as the English original in guarantee of good faith, side by side with a French translation, is a clumsy and ridiculous specimen of "English as she is wrote," and the French is really the original. I append some choice specimens:—"To the Most Illustrious, Most Puissant, Most Lightened Brothers ... composing, by right of Ancient and Members for life, the Most Serene Grand College of Emerited Masons." Here the underlined passages are a Frenchman's method of interpreting into English Tres Eclaires Freres, a titre d'Anciens et de membres a vie, and Macons Emerites. Again: "The protesters numbered six-and-twenty, including twenty-five sovereing delegates present at the deed, and one sovereign delegate, who could not stand by (ne peut etre present), but the substitute of which wisely and prudently abstained from the vote at the first turn (au premier scrutin) and threw a blank ticket at the second, expound (verb governed by protesters) the acts and situation thence disastrously resulting for our holy cause."
Once more: "The present protesting vault aims at the two ballots (vise les deux scrutins), and requests to be proceeded urgently to their annulment." Again: "The Charleston's Brothers ... have not acted in such a manner as to forfeit the whole Masonry's esteem.... The direction ... has not discontinued to prove foresight.... It was injust to transfer," &c., and so on for sixteen printed pages which certainly deserve to rank among the curiosities of literature. This is the precious document which appears over the signatures of Alexander Graveson and Diana Vaughan, after which I submit to my readers that Signor Domenico Margiotta may be dismissed with all his file of papers, not as himself deceiving, but as singularly liable to deception, of which he has otherwise given us several signal instances. For example he believes himself to have enjoyed the high privilege of beholding the Prince of Darkness upon two separate occasions. The first was in 1885 at Castelnuovo-Garfagnana in a beautiful old walled garden, belonging to a high-grade Mason named Orestes Cecchi, a fast friend of Margiotta. The time was the forenoon, and the two Masons were smoking under the shade of green trees surrounded by floral delights. Margiotta was a spiritualist and a follower of Allan Kardec; Cecchi had a turn for the Vedas and the occultism of the Eastern world; they were chatting upon the possibility of transmigration; the one doubted, the other affirmed; Cecchi, to convince his companion, informed him that he possessed a familiar who invariably appeared to him under the form of a goat, but he had a look in his eye which proved positively that he was the Grand Architect of the Universe! That there might be no doubt about the matter Cecchi called his familiar, who appeared suddenly, and joyfully caressed his master, at whose command he subsequently licked the hand of the overwhelmed Signor Margiotta, and it became red and painful. Cecchi playfully chided the apparition for not assuming human form, and hinted at the propriety of doing so, but the animal knowingly nodded and incontinently scurried away. Now, I put it to my readers, that Cecchi was exploiting his friend, that a domesticated animal appeared at the summons of his owner in a wooded garden, and that Signor Margiotta is fooling when he pretends to believe that it was the devil.
The second experience was at Naples under the roof of Pessina, about half-past ten in the evening, after a Lodge meeting of the Misraim rite. Then and there, as a matter of cordial good fellowship, the accommodating Imperial Grand Master evoked a devil to give evidence of his actuality to Margiotta, who, in spite of the episode of the goat, still posed as a doubting Thomas. It was managed by means of a whisky-bottle, out of which, after certain invocations and magical ceremonies, a vapour rose mysteriously, and resolved itself into a human figure, wearing a golden crown, with a brilliant star in the middle. According to the picture which accompanies this delicious narrative, the apparition had the wings of a bat and a tail of the bovine class. It was Beffabuc, the familiar of the magician, who begged him to enlighten the sceptic, but the latter, according to the apparition, was protected by a higher power and would never be persuaded to believe in him. Signor Margiotta gives the names of all who were present at the evocation—twelve members of the 33rd degree, to say nothing of Misraim dignities. I submit, however, that the episode of the bottle would split the rock of Peter, that the absence of Signor Pessina for twenty minutes previous to the performance, eked out with a little ventriloquism, and some Pepper accessories would explain much, and that there is also another hypothesis which I will leave to the discernment of my readers, and to which I lean personally.
Our witness, in any case, would not be a persona grata to the Society for Psychical Research. As he is violent in his enmities, so is he gullible in marvels. His impeachment of Adriano Lemmi must be ruled completely out of court; his thaumaturgic experiences are paltry trickeries; his account of Albert Pike is largely borrowed matter; the magical practices which he attributes to Pessina are derived from the Little Albert and other well known grimoires; the most that follows from his narrative is that certain Italian Masons, probably atheists at heart, pose as partisans of Satan simply to accentuate their derisions of all religious ideas, much after the manner of Voltaire in some of his cynical correspondence. It is a continental form of pleasantry, and an artistic experiment in blasphemy which is taken seriously by the unwise.
I need hardly add that the story of Aut Diabolus aut Nihil, which is accepted literally by Doctor Bataille, is also the subject of reverential belief on the part of Signor Margiotta, and as an illustration of his classifying talent, he terms Adriano Lemmi a Mormon because, having obtained a divorce, he, in the course of time, contracted another marriage. Furthermore, the very strong testimony which Signor Margiotta gives to Dr Bataille, directly by eulogium and indirectly by citation, as also the intimate relations which he maintained with Diana Vaughan, make his value as a witness of Lucifer dependent, to a large extent, upon the credibility of these persons, with consequences which will shortly appear. Lastly, his own personal credibility seems seriously at stake when he talks of "triangular provinces." He, and those connected with him, can alone explain what that means; they have never existed in Masonry. Mr Yarker, who, he says, is Grand Master of such a province, has never heard the expression. Mr R. S. Brown, Grand Secretary of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, also denies all knowledge of the one which, according to Signor Margiotta, is located at Edinburgh.
Last on the list of our recent witnesses who have had a hand in creating the Question of Lucifer—not actually last in the order of time but the least in importance to our purpose—is M. A. C. de la Rive, author of "Child and Woman in Universal Freemasonry." He very fairly fulfils the presumption which is warranted by his name; he does not pretend to have come forth from the turbid torrent of Satanism and Masonry which is carrying multitudes into the abyss and effacing temples and thrones in its furious course. He has been content, like a sensible person, to stand on bank or brink and watch the rage and flow. He does not tell us anywhere in his narrative that he is himself a Mason; he has no personal acquaintance with Satan; he has not been guilty of magic, nor has he assisted at a Black Mass. He belongs to a wholly different order of witnesses, and he has produced what is in its way a genuine book, which does not pretend to be more than a careful compilation from rare but published sources, while we can all of us defer to the erudition of a Frenchman who has actually spent on collecting his materials the almost unheard-of space of twelve months. The result is correctly described as "grand in octavo, 746 pages," and is really an inflated piece of Masonic chronology, exceedingly ill-balanced, but, at the same time, undeniably useful. Beginning with the year 1730 it is brought down to 1894, and it is designed to demonstrate the existence at the present day of "adoptive lodges" wherein French gallantry once provided an inexpensive substitute for Masonry in which ladies had the privilege of participating. One of the most learned and illustrious of French Masonic writers, Jean-Marie Ragon, describes such androgyne or female lodges as "amiable institutions" invented by an unknown person some time previously to the year 1730, under the name of "mysterious amusements," which appears to describe them exactly, and one cannot be otherwise than astonished at the extraordinary gravity of nervous and well-intentioned persons who ascribe them such tremendous importance. Whereas they are the fringe of Freemasonry, writers like M. de la Rive persist in regarding them as its heart and centre, while it is also in such institutions that he and others of his calibre expect to discover Satanism. A celibate religion ever suspects the serpent in the neighbourhood of the woman. He discovers Satanism accordingly by reading it into handy passages and bracketing interpretations of his own when the text cannot otherwise be worked. Thus he gets oracles everywhere, and to compel Satan he finds the parenthesis quite as useful as the circle of black magic; it is a juggler's method, but among French anti-Masons it passes with high credit. The question of Female Freemasonry, apart from the Palladian Order, is quite outside our subject; its existence in Spain is a matter of public knowledge, and I have Mr Yarker's authority for stating that in certain countries, one of which is South America, the Rite of Memphis and Misraim and the Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite have both initiated women, the latter up to and including the 33rd degree. No adoptive lodges exist or would be tolerated in England within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge, and if it can be shown that the Palladian order initiates English women into Masonic secrets, that is performed surreptitiously and in defiance of our Masonic constitutions. As to the schismatic Grand Orient of France, whatever may be done in secret or devised in public upon this point, is of no importance here, but I should add that little credit, and deservedly, is attached in England to any of the so-called revelations which from time to time come over from Paris.
As regards M. de la Rive, apart from this subject, we are unable to extract from his pages anything that is fresh or informing on the subject of our inquiry. Despite the sensational picture which emblazons the title-page, where a full-length Baphomet is directing a decolletee Templar-Mistress through the pillars Jakin and Bohaz, there is not a single page in the whole vast compilation which shows any connection between Satanism and Masonry until towards the close, when an adroit tax is levied on the still vaster storehouse of Doctor Bataille. The author tells us clearly enough how adoptive Masonry arose, what rites were instituted, what rituals published, what is contained in these, and it is all solid and instructive. His facts, as already indicated, are borrowed facts, but they come from a variety of sources, and original research was scarcely to be expected from a writer against whom the avenues of knowledge are sealed by his lack of initiation. He concludes, however, that Adoptive Masonry is Satanic by intention, and that even the orphanages of the Fraternity are part of a profound and infamous design to ruin the children of humanity and to perfect proselytes for perdition.
The appearance of "Child and Woman in Universal Freemasonry" was hailed with acclamation in the columns of the Revue Mensuelle; it reviewed it by dreary instalments, and when reviewing was no longer possible, had recourse to tremendous citations; as a last effort, it supplied an exhaustive index to the whole work—a charitable and necessary action, for the twelve months' toil of the author had expired without the accomplishment of this serviceable means of reference. And still, as occasion offers, it gives it bold advertisement.
The quaint methods of previous witnesses are amplified by M. de la Rive. Like Dr Bataille, he tells us that the Order of Oddfellows, though quite distinct from Palladism, is "essentially Luciferian," but he does not say why or how—instance of demonstrative method. He regards the Jews with holy hatred as chief ministers of Anti Christ, and characterises them as that nation of which Judas was "one of the most celebrated personages"—specimen recipe for the production of cheap odium in large quantities; but what about Jesus the Christ, whom men called King of the Jews? Fie, M. de la Rive! He informs us that Miss Alice Booth, daughter of General Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, is one of the foremost Palladists of England—instance of absurd slander which refutes itself.
M. de la Rive must therefore on all counts of his evidence be ruled out of court as a witness. No one denies the existence of Adoptive Lodges in a few countries and under special circumstances, and no sensible person attributes them any importance. Freemasonry as an institution is not suited to women any more than is cricket as a sport, but they have occasionally wished to play at it as they have wished to play at cricket; the opportunity has been offered them, but, except as the vogue of a moment, it has come to nothing. It is, moreover, of no importance to our inquiry if it can be proved that the true head of the Grand Lodge in England is the Princess of Wales and not her royal husband; while concerning the existence of Devil-Worship M. de la Rive has nothing new to tell us, and nothing at first-hand. I therefore ask leave to dismiss him, hoping that he will devote another laborious year to the reissue of Masonic rituals, authentic or not, at the extremely moderate price which he asks for his first volume; originals are scarce and costly, and invention is a pleasant faculty. The interpretation which he chooses to put on them is an interpretation of no consequence, and can never have misled any one who is in any sense worth misleading.
THE PASSING OF DOCTOR BATAILLE
The most obvious line of criticism in connection with the memoirs entitled Le Diable au XIX^e Siecle would be the preposterous and impossible nature of its supernatural narratives. To attribute a historical veracity to the adventures of Baron Munchausen might scarcely appear more unserious than to accept this recit d'un temoin as evidence for transcendental phenomena. I need scarcely say that I regard this reasoning as so altogether sound and applicable that it is almost unnecessary to develop it. The personal adventures of Doctor Bataille as regards their supernatural element are so transparently fabulous that it would be intolerable to regard them from any other point of view. That an ape should speak Tamil is beyond the bounds of possibility; it is impossible also that a female fakir or pythoness, aged 152 years, should allow herself to be consumed in a leisurely manner by fire; it is impossible that any ascetics could have maintained life in their organisms under the loathsome conditions prevailing within the alleged temple at Pondicherry; it is impossible that any person could have survived the ordeal which Dr Bataille pretends to have suffered at Calcutta,—to have relished and even prolonged; it is impossible that tables and organs should be found suspended from a ceiling at the close of a spiritual seance; it is impossible that the serpent of Sophia Walder should have been elongated in the manner described. When I say that these things are impossible I am speaking with due regard to the claims of transcendental phenomena, and it is from the transcendental standpoint that I judge them. Genuine transcendental phenomena may extend the accepted limits of probability, but when alleged transcendental phenomena do violence to all probability, that is the unfailing test of hallucination or untruth on the part of those who depose to them. These things could not have occurred as they are narrated, and Dr Bataille is exploiting the ignorance of that class of readers to whom his mode of publication appealed. As products of imagination his marvels are crude and illiterate; in other words, they belong to precisely that type which is characteristic of romances published in penny numbers, and when he pledges his rectitude regarding them he does not enlist our confidence but indicates the slight value which he sets on his stake.
At the same time, two reasons debar me from laying further stress upon this line of argument. In the first place we must remember that his unlettered readers have been taught by their religious instructors to believe in the unlimited power of the devil, and they have probably found in the outrageous nature of the narratives a real incentive to accept them. In the second place my own position as a transcendentalist connects me less or more with the acknowledgment of transcendental phenomena, and to distinguish the limits of possibility in these matters would involve a technical discussion for which there is no opportunity here. It is understood, however, that in the interests of transcendental science I reject the miraculous element in Dr Bataille's memoirs.
Another line of criticism also open and leading to convincing results would dwell upon the glaring improbability of the entire story outside that miraculous element. There is no colourable pretence of likelihood, for example, in the connection instituted between fakirs and Freemasons, or between secret societies in China and a sect of Luciferians in Charleston. But the partisans of Dr Bataille are prepared to believe anything of Masonry, and to dismiss likelihood as they would dismiss impossibility. Some arguments are unassailable on account of their stupidity, and of such shelter I intend to deprive my witness. I shall therefore merely register my recognition that this criticism does obtain completely. For much the same reason I shall only refer in passing to another matter which in itself is sufficient to remove these memoirs from the region of actuality; they bristle with the kind of coincidences which are the common convenience of bad novelists to create or escape situations, and are rejected even by legitimate fiction, because they are untrue to life. At the present time the device of coincidence is left to its true monopolists, the Society for Psychical Research and the manufacturers of the penny dreadful. Unreasonable demands are, however, made upon it by Dr Bataille; never in an awkward predicament does the coincidence fail to help him; wheresoever he goes it times his arrival rightly to witness some occasional and rare event, and it places him at once in communication with the indispensable person whose presence was antecedently unlikely. The very existence of his memoirs would have been jeopardised had the Anadyr reached Point-de-Galle immediately before instead of immediately after the catastrophe which converted Carbuccia. At the beginning of his mission against Masonry, coincidence arranged the last illness of the Cingalese pythoness to the exigencies of his date of arrival; it brought John Campbell to Pondicherry and Phileas Walder to Calcutta; at Singapore it fixed a Palladic institution in the grade of Templar-Mistress to correspond with his flying visit on the road to Shanghai. Now, all these coincidences are of the class which come off in fiction and miss in the combinations of real life, but to insist on this point would not disillusionise the believers in Dr Bataille, who will say that he was assisted by Providence. We must show that he has deceived them in matters which admit of verification, over certain points of ordinary fact, which can be placed beyond the region of dispute, and by which the truth of his narrative may be held to stand or fall. I shall confine myself for this purpose to what he states at first hand in his capacity as an eyewitness, and to two salient cases which may be taken to represent the whole. Among the rest some are in course of investigation, and so far as they have gone are promising similar results; the locality of others has been so chosen as to baffle inquiry; and in one or two instances I have failed to obtain results. It is obviously impossible to prove that there is not a native hut in "a thick and impassable forest" at an unindicated distance from Point-de-Galle, or that this hut does not possess a vast subterranean chamber. When we cannot check our witness we must regard what he tells us in the light of those instances which it is possible to fix firmly. Among negative results I may mention an inquiry into the alleged death of a person named George Shekleton in a Masonic lodge at Calcutta. Sir John Lambert, K.C.S.I.E., the commissioner of police at that place, very courteously made investigations at my suggestion, first at the coroner's court, but the records for the year 1880 are not now in existence, and, secondly, among the oldest police officers, but also without result. I applied thereupon to Mr Robert William Shekleton, Q.C., J.P., inquiring whether any relative of his family had died under curious circumstances at Calcutta about the year 1880. His answer is this:—"I never heard anything about the death of a George Shekleton in Calcutta. My elder and younger brother were both living in Calcutta, and if any person of the same name had been living there I should have heard it from them. My younger brother Alexander Shekleton died at Madras on his way home with his wife and children of confluent small-pox; my eldest brother Joseph is still alive." The presumption, therefore, is that Carbuccia's story of the strange fatality which occurred in his presence at a Masonic lodge is without any foundation in fact, but I regard the result as negative because it falls short of demonstration. I am now setting other channels in operation, but as it is not a test case, and not an event which Dr Bataille claims to have witnessed himself, it is unnecessary to await the issue.
If the reader will now glance at the several sections of the sixth chapter, he will find that one of the most important is that entitled "The Seven Temples and a Sabbath in Sheol," where Dr Bataille tells us that he witnessed unheard of operations in black magic on the part of Palladian Masons and diabolising fakirs. The locality was a plain called Dappah, two hours drive from Calcutta. The particulars which are given concerning the edifices on the mountain of granite, but more especially concerning an open charnel where the dead bodies of innumerable human beings, mixed indiscriminately with those of animals and with the town refuse, are left to rot under the eye of heaven, will not impress any one, however unacquainted with India, and with the vicinity of the English capital and seat of government, as wearing many of the features of probability. The facts are as follows:—A place called Dhappamanpour, and for brevity Dhappa, does exist in the neighbourhood of Calcutta, and thereto the town refuse is actually carried by a special line of railway; there is no granite mountain and there are no temples, while so far from it being a charnel into which human bodies are flung, or a place where the adepts of the Palladium could celebrate a black Sabbath and form a magic chain with putrid corpses, it is a great lake covering an area of thirty square miles, and is known by Anglo-Indians as the Saltwater Lake. In the year 1886 it was in course of reclamation, but all that Dr Bataille tells us is specifically untrue, and he could never have witnessed there the things which he describes as taking place in the year 1880. The recit d'un temoin is in this matter an invented history.
As a consequence of this bogus experience in Calcutta, Dr Bataille pretends to have been admitted within the charmed circle of the New and Reformed Palladium, and was therefore qualified to be present at the initiation of a Templar-Mistress which took place not long after at Singapore. His account of this initiation turns upon two or three points which do not appear in the synopsis of the sixth chapter. One of these is the existence of a Kadosch Areopagite of the Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite. But at least, at the period in question, there was no such Areopagite, and the Scotch Rite did not exist at Singapore. The sole Masonic institution was a District Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of England in the Eastern Archipelago, working under the warrant of the English Grand Lodge, holding half-yearly communications, and special meetings when the District Grand Master deemed necessary. Its patent dates from March 3, 1878, and the District Grand Master at the time was the Hon. William H. Macleod Read. Three lodges worked under its jurisdiction, two of which were at Singapore and one at Penang, and to one of the former a Royal Arch Chapter was attached. It is needless to say that our author's Misraim diploma would have obtained his admission to none, and there is no person here in England who would have the effrontery to affirm that he might have fared better by reason of his Palladian degree. It is sufficient, however, to state that there was no Lodge of the Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite in Singapore at the time of his visit. But the imposition does not end here; Dr Bataille does not merely describe what took place at a lodge which was not in existence—he gives particulars of an address delivered by a certain Dr Murray at a meeting attended by himself. Now, at the date in question, there was no such person either in the town, in its vicinity, or in Penang. There is fortunately an institution among us which is termed the British Museum, and it enables us to verify questions of this kind. Furthermore, when describing the Palladian meeting at the Presbyterian chapel—there was such a chapel by the way—he tells us that the Grand Master was named Spencer, and that he was a negociant of Singapore, but there was again no such person in the town or its vicinity at the time, and so his entire narrative, with its ritual reproduced from Leo Taxil, is demolished completely. I submit that these two instances are sufficient to indicate the kind of man with whom we are dealing. It may be a matter of astonishment to my readers that a work even of imposition should be performed so clumsily as to betray itself at once to a little easy research, but it must be remembered that the class of French readers to whom Dr Bataille made appeal are so ignorant of all which concerns the English that skill is not required to exploit them; it is enough that the English are abused. Of our author's qualifications in this respect I have already given some specimens, but they convey no idea of his actual resources in the matter of abuse and calumny. A direct quotation will not be beside the purpose in this place:—"Wheresoever religious influence can make itself felt, there the wife and maid are the purest, the most ingenuous expression of the creation and the divinely touching idea synthetised by the immaculate Mother of Christ, the Virgin Mary; but, on the contrary, in England, and still more especially in the English colonies, under the pernicious influence of the Protestant heresy engendered by revolts of truly diabolical inspiration, the wife and maid are in some sort the opprobrium of humanity. The example, moreover, comes from an exalted place, as is known. The whole world is acquainted with that which John Bull does not himself confess, namely, the private history of her whom Indians term 'the old lady of London,' given over to vice and drunkenness from her youth—Her Majesty Wisky the 1st." I have made this quotation, because it gives the opportunity to dispense with the civility of discussion which is exercised by one gentleman towards another, but would be out of place on the part of a gentleman who is giving a deserved castigation to a disgusting and foul-mouthed rascal. This is the nameless refuse which flings itself to bespatter Masonry. Down, unclean dog, and back, scavenger, to your offal! The scullion in the Queen's kitchen would, I think, disdain to whip you.
Setting aside these scandalous slanders, and returning to the subject in hand, it is clear that when a writer who comes forward with a budget of surprising revelations is shown to have invented his materials in certain signal instances, it becomes superfluous to subject his entire testimony to a laborious sifting, and there is really no excuse to delay much longer over the memoirs of Dr Bataille. It will be needless to state that my researches have failed to discover any such dismantled temple as that described at Pondicherry, and affirmed to be on the English soil adjacent to the French town. It is equally unnecessary to say that the story of the caves of Gibraltar is a gross and absurd imposture, for, in fact, it betrays itself. Parisian literature of the by-ways has its own methods, and its purveyors are shrewd enough to know what will be tolerated and what enjoyed by their peculiar class of patrons; transcendental toxicology and an industry in idols worked by criminals intercommunicating by means of Volapuk may be left to them.
Nor is it needful to do more than touch lightly upon a pleasant process in piracy by which Dr Bataille lightens the toils of authorship. He has done better than any other among the witnesses of Lucifer in his gleanings from Eliphas Levi. On p. 32 of his first volume there is a brazen theft concerning the chemistry of black magic, and there is another, little less daring, on p. 67, being a description of a Baphometic idol. It goes without saying that the Conjuration of the Four is imported, as others have imported it, from the Rituel de la Haute Magie. The vesture of the master of ceremonies who officiated in the Sanctuary of the Phoenix, one of the mythical temples of Dhappa, is a property derived from the same quarter. So in like manner is part of a magical adjuration in the account of a Sabbath in Sheol. Finally, a method of divination described in a later place (vol. i., pp. 343, 344) will be found in Christian's Histoire de la Magie.
The artist who has illustrated the memoirs has acted after the same manner. The two Baphometic figures (vol. i., pp. 9 and 89), are reproductions from Levi's plates. The Sabbatic figure (Ib., p. 153) is a modification from Christian. The original idea of the shadow-demon on p. 201 will be found in Levi's sacerdotal hand making the sign of esotericism. The four figures of the Palladian urn on p. 313 are plagiarised in a similar way. The illustration on p. 337, which purports to be a gnostic symbol of the dual divinity, is actually the frontispiece to Levi's Dogme de la Haute Magie. The magical urn on p. 409 is the facsimile of a similar object in another of Levi's drawings; and if it were worth while to continue, the material for a further enumeration is not wanting. But these matters, after all, are of inferior moment, and to complete the exposure of this witness, I pass to the final points of my criticism.
Dr Bataille publishes an alleged Table of High-grade Masonry as it existed on March 1, 1891, and this document, which is similar in many respects to another of a slightly anterior date, produced by Signor Margiotta, is said to have been prepared by Albert Pike himself; it includes a long list of the persons then in correspondence with the Supreme Dogmatic Directory as Inspectors General "in permanent mission." It is a bizarre medley which includes the Orders of the Druids, Mopses, Oddfellows, and Mormon Moabites in the same connection as the Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite, the Rites of Memphis and Misraim, and the San-Ho-Hei. As such, it would be, in any case, a large tax upon the gullibility of readers outside the back streets of Paris. But I determined to make some inquiries among the English names mentioned. For example, Mr R. W. Shekleton, to whom I have already referred, is said, at the period in question, to have been in official correspondence with the Dogmatic Directory, representing the special relations of Ireland, and, having drawn his attention to the point, he has furnished me with the following contradiction:—"The statement in your letter, taken from the book you refer to, that I was in the year '91 in direct correspondence with the Supreme Dogmatic Directory of Charleston is utterly false. I never even heard of any such Body as the Supreme Directory, or of what is called the New and Reformed Palladium. The only communication I ever had with General Albert Pike (whom I had never seen) was in reference to a question of Masonic procedure in America. So far as I am aware the existence of either of the Bodies you refer to is unknown to any of the Masonic Body in Ireland, and I can, with almost certainty, make the same statement in reference to the English and Scotch Masons. Having been for nearly twenty-seven years the Acting Head of the Order in Ireland, I can speak with authority, and you are at liberty in my name to give the most emphatic contradiction to the statements quoted from the book. So far as I am aware, General Pike was never anything more than Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the 33rd Southern Jurisdiction of America."