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XVI. Modern Rosicrucian Societies

CHAPTER XVI.

MODERN ROSICRUCIAN SOCIETIES.

IT is an opinion entertained by the elect in modern theosophical
circles, that the true Rosicrucian Brotherhood
migrated into India, and this notion is said to be countenanced
by a Latin pamphlet of Henricus Neuhusius, published
in 1618, under the title “Pia et utilissima Admonito
de Fratribus Rosæ Crucis,” and which was afterwards
translated into French. They have developed into Thibetan
Brothers, have exchanged Protestant Christianity for
esoteric Buddhism, and are no longer interested in the
number of the beast. Their violent antipathy to the pope
still remains: they have not yet torn him in pieces with
nails, but probably expect to accomplish this long-cherished
project about the period of the next general cataclysm.
This is an interesting theory which might be debated
with profit. I have not personally discovered much trace
of the Rosicrucians in India, but the absence of historical
documents on this point affords a fine field for the imagination,
which writers like Mr. Hargrave Jennings should not
allow to lie fallow. In my prosaic capacity as a historian,
I have not been able to follow in the footsteps of the
Fraternity further than the Island of Mauritius. Thanks
to the late Mr. Frederick Hockley, whose valuable library of
books and manuscripts, treating of all branches of occultism,
has been recently dispersed, I have discovered that a certain

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Comte de Chazal accomplished the magnum opus in that
place at the close of the last century, and that he initiated
another artist into the mysteries of the Rosicrucian Fraternity.
The Comte de Chazal was possessed of vision at a
distance, and witnessed the horrors of the French Revolution
from a vast distance, with amazing perspicuity, by
means of the mind’s eye. The following curious document

Copy of the Admission of Dr. Bacstrom into the Society of the
Rosa Croix be Le Comte de Chazal at the Island of Mauritius,
with the Seal of the Society.
ISLE OF MAURITIUS, DISTRICT OF PAMPELAVUSO,
12th Sept. 1794.

In the name of ‏יְהרָח אלהזִב‎  the True and only God Manifested
in Trinity.
I, Sigismund Bacstrom, do hereby promise, in the most
sincere and solemn manner, faithfully to observe the following
articles, during the whole course of my natural life, to
the best of my knowledge and ability; which articles I
hereby confirm by oath and by my proper signature hereunto
annexed.
One of the worthy members of the august, most ancient,
and most learned Society, the Investigators of Divine,
Spiritual, and Natural Truth (which society more than two
centuries and a half ago (i.e., in 1490) did separate themselves
from the Free-Masons, but were again united in one
spirit among themselves under the denomination of Fratres
Rosæ Crucis, Brethren of the Rosy Cross, i.e. the Brethren
who believe in the Grand Atonement made by Jesus Christ
on the Rosy Cross, stained and marked with His blood, for

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the redemption of Spiritual Natures), having thought me
worthy to be admitted into their august society, in quality
of a Member Apprentice. and Brother, and to partake of
their sublime knowledge, I do hereby engage in the most
solemn manner—
1. That I will always, to the utmost of my power, conduct
myself as becomes a worthy member, with sobriety
and piety, and to endeavour to prove myself grateful to the
Society for so distinguished a favour as I now receive, during
the whole course of my natural life.
2. That derision, insult, and persecution of this august
society may be guarded against, I will never openly publish
that I am a member, nor reveal the name or person
of such members as I know at present or may know hereafter.
3. I solemnly promise that I will never during my whole
life publicly reveal the secret knowledge I receive at present,
or may receive at a future period from the Society, or from
one of its members, nor even privately, but will keep our
Secrets sacred.
4. I do hereby promise that I will intrust for the benefit
of good men, before I depart this life, one person, or two
persons at most, in our secret knowledge, and initiate and
receive such person (or persons) as a member or apprentice
into our Society, in the same manner as I have been
initiated and received; but such person only as I believe
to be truly worthy and of an upright, well-meaning mind,
blameless conduct, sober life, and desirous of knowledge.
And as there is no distinction of sexes in the Spiritual
World, neither among the Blessed Angels, nor among the
rational immortal Spirits of the human race; and as we
have had a Semiramis Queen of Egypt; a Myriam, the

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prophetess; a Peronella, the wife of Flammel; and, lastly,
a Leona Constantia, Abbess of Clermont, who was actually
received as a practical member and master into our Society
in the year 1736; which women are believed to have been
all possessors of the Great Work, consequently Sorores Roseæ
Crucis, and members of our Society by possession, as the
possession of this our Art, is the key to the most hidden
knowledge; and moreover, as redemption was manifested
to mankind by means of a woman (the Blessed Virgin), and
as Salvation, which is of infinitely more value than our
whole Art, is granted to the female sex as well as to the
male, our Society does not exclude a worthy woman from
being initiated, God himself not having excluded women
from partaking of every felicity in the next life. We will
not hesitate to receive a worthy woman into our Society as
a member apprentice (and even as a practical member or
master, if she does possess our work practically, and has
herself accomplished it), provided she is found, like Peronella,
Flammel’s wife, to be sober, pious, discreet, prudent,
and reserved, of an upright and blameless conduct, and
desirous of knowledge.
5. I do hereby declare that I intend, with the permission
of God, to commence our great work with mine own hands
as soon as circumstances, health, opportunity, and time will
permit; 1st, that I may do good therewith as a faithful
steward; 2nd, that I may merit the continued confidence
which the Society has placed in me in quality of a member
apprentice.
6. I do further most solemnly promise that (should I
accomplish the Great Work) I will not abuse the great
power entrusted to me by appearing great and exalted, or
seeking to appear in a public character in the world by

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hunting after vain titles of nobility and vain glory, which
are all fleeting and vain, but will endeavour to live a sober
and orderly life, as becomes every Christian, though not
possessed of so great a temporal blessing; I will devote a
considerable part of my abundance and superfluity (multipliable
infinitely to work of private charity), to aged and
deeply-afflicted people, to poor children, and, above all, to
such as love God and act uprightly, and I will avoid encouraging
laziness and the profession of public beggars.
7. I will communicate every new or useful discovery
relating to our work to the nearest member of our Society,
and hide nothing from him, seeing he cannot, as a worthy
member, possibly abuse it, or prejudice me thereby; on the
other hand, I will hide these secret discoveries from the
world.
8. I do, moreover, solemnly promise (should I become a
master and possessor) that I will not, on the one hand,
assist, aid, or support with gold or with silver any government,
King, or Sovereign, whatever, except by paying
taxes, nor, on the other hand, any populace, or particular
set of men, to enable them to revolt against the government;
I will leave public affairs and arrangements to the government
of God, who will bring about the events foretold in
the revelation of St. John, which are fast accomplishing; I
will not interfere with affairs of government.
9. I will neither build churches, chapels, nor hospitals,
and such public charities, as there is already a sufficient
number of such public buildings and institutions, if they
were only properly applied and regulated. I will not give
any salary to a priest or churchman as such, to make him
more proud and insolent than he is already. If I relieve a
distressed worthy clergyman, I will consider him in the light

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of a private distressed individual only. I will give no
charity with the view of making my name known to the
world, but will give my alms privately and secretly.
10. I hereby promise that I will never be ungrateful to
the worthy friend and brother who initiated and received
me, but will respect and oblige him as far as lies in my
power, in the same manner as he has been obliged to promise
to his friend who received him.
11. Should I travel either by sea or by land, and meet
with any person who may call himself a Brother of the
Rosy Cross, I will examine him whether he can give me a
proper explanation of the Universal Fire of Nature, and of
our magnet for attracting and magnifying the same under
the form of a salt, whether he is well acquainted with our
work, and whether he knows the universal dissolvent and
its use. If I find him able to give satisfactory answers, I
will acknowledge him as a member and brother of our
Society. Should I find him superior in knowledge and
experience to myself, I will honour and respect him as a
master above me.
12. If it should please God to permit me to accomplish
our Great Work with my own hands, I will give praise and
thanks to God in humble prayer, and devote my time to the
doing and promoting all the good that lies in my power,
and to the pursuit of true and useful knowledge.
13. I do hereby solemnly promise that I will not encourage
wickedness and debauchery, thereby offending God by
administering the medicine for the human body, or the
aurum potibile, to a patient, or patients, infected with the
venereal disease.
14. I do promise that I will never give the Fermented
Metallic Medecine for transmutation to any person living,

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no, not a single grain, unless the person is an initiated and
received member and Brother of the Rosy Cross.

To keep faithfully the above articles as I now receive
them from a worthy member of our Society, as
he received them himself, I willingly agree, and sign
this with my name, and affix my seal to the same.
So help me God. Amen. S. BACSTROM, L.S.

I have initiated and received Mr. Sigismund Bacstrom,
Doctor of Physic, as a practical member and brother
above an apprentice in consequence of his solid
learning, which I certify by my name and seal.—
Mauritius, 12 Sept. 1794. DU CHAZEL, F.R.C.

The Philosophic Seal of the Society of the Rosicrucians.
The Philosophic Seal of the Society of the Rosicrucians.

Among Mr Hockley’s manuscripts there is also the
“Diary of a Rosicrucian Philosopher” during the first
period of the work. It describes the preparation of the
first matter, and breaks of abruptly after a few leaves.
Whether this unnamed philosopher was a true Rosicrucian,

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and whether the Comte de Chazal could lay claim to that
distinction, are problems which cannot be solved. Individual
pretenders and fraudulent associations have occasionally
appeared ever since the publication of the “Fama”
and “Confessio Fraternitatis.”
It is certain that a pseudo-society existed in England
before the year 1836, for in that year we find Godfrey
Higgins saying that be had joined neither the Templars
nor the Rosicrucians. “I have abstained from becoming a
member of them, that I might not have my tongue tied or
my pen restrained by the engagements I must have made
on entering the chapter or encampment. But I have
reason to believe that they have now become, in a very
particular manner, what is called exclusively Christian
Orders, and on this account are thought, by many persons,
to be only a bastard kind of masons. They are real masons,
and they ought to be of that . . . universal Christianity or
Creestianity, which included Jews, Buddhists, Brahmins,
Mohamedans.” He identifies the Templars and Rosicrucians
with Manichæan Buddhists, and asserts the Rosicrucians
of Germany to be ignorant of their origin, “but,
by tradition, they suppose themselves descendants of the
ancient Egyptians, Chaldeans, Magi, and Gymnosophists;
and this is probably true.”
The present Rosicrucian Society of England, on its remodelling
some thirty years ago, cut off by mutual consent
its connection with the few ancient members then existing,
who were probably representatives of the “Rosicrucians”
referred to by Higgins, and established itself as a public
body, in so far as the fact of its existence was not itself a
secret. A previous qualification into Masonry is an indispensable
qualification of candidates, as will be seen in the
Ordinances of the Society. The reason for this regulation

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is that certain masonic secrets are revealed to the accepted,
and it would otherwise be unfair to Masonry. Thus, on
his admission as a novice, the postulant is required to
repeat the Masonic arcana.
I am enabled to present to my readers, from sources
hitherto unpublished, the

Rules and Ordinances of the Rosicrucian Society of England.

The Society of Brethren of the Rosy Cross is totally
independent, being established on its own basis, and as a
body is no otherwise connected with the Masonic Order
than by having its members selected from that fraternity.
I. That the meetings of the Society shall be held in
London, at such house as the majority of members shall
select, on the second Thursday in January, April, July, and
October in each year. The brethren shall dine together
once a year at such time and place as the majority may
select. The first meeting in the year shall be considered
as the obligatory meeting, and any member unable to
attend on that occasion, or at the banquet meeting, shall
be required to send a written excuse to the Secretary-
General. Each brother present at the banquet shall pay
his quota towards the expenses thereof.
II. The Officers of the Society shall consist of the Three
Magi, a Master-general for the first and second orders, a
Deputy Master-general, a Treasurer-general, a Secretarygeneral,
and seven Ancients, who shall form the Representative
Council of the Brotherhood. The Assistant Officers
shall be a Precentor, a Conductor of Novices, an Organist,
a Torch Bearer, a Herald, .a Guardian of the Temple, and a
Medallist.
III. The Master-general and the Officers shall be elected

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annually at the obligatory meeting, and shall be inducted
into their several offices at the same evening. The Mastergeneral
shall then appoint the Assistant Officers for the
year.
IV. No brother shall be eligible for election to the
office of Master-general or Deputy Master-general unless
he shall have served one year as an Ancient, and have
attained the third Order; and no brother shall be eligible
for the offices of Treasurer-general, Secretary-general, or
Ancient unless he be a member of the second Order.
V. The Society shall, in conformity with ancient usage,
be composed of nine classes or grades; and the number of
brethren in each class shall, in conformity with ancient
usage, be restricted as follows:—
1st, or grade of Zelator . . . 33
2nd, ,, Theoricus . . . 27
3rd, ,, Practicus . . . 21
4th, ,, Philosophus . . 18

Total . . . 99

The above shall form the First Order
5th, or grade of Adeptus Junior . 15
6th, ,, Adeptus Major . 12
7th, ,, Adeptus Exemptus . 9

Total . . . 36

These brethren shall compose the Second Order.
8th, or grade of Magister Templi . 6
9th, ,, Magus , , , 3

Total . . . 9

These shall be considered as the Third (or highest) Order,
and shall be entitled to seats in the Council of the Society.

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The senior member of the ninth grade shall be designated
“Supreme Magus,” and the other two members Senior and
Junior Substitutes respectively. The grand total of members
shall thus be limited to 144, or the square of 12. The
numbers of registered Novices or Aspirants shall not be
restricted, but members only shall be permitted to be present
at the ceremonial meetings of the Society.
VI. The distinction of Honorary Member may be conferred
upon eminent brethren, provided that their election
to such membership shall be unanimous, and that their
number be strictly limited to 16, or the square of 4. An
Honorary President, who must be a nobleman, and three
Vice-Presidents, shall be elected from the honorary members.
A Grand Patron may also be elected in like manner.
VII. No aspirant shall be admitted into the Society
unless he be a Master Mason, and of good moral character,
truthful, faithful, and intelligent. He must be a man of
good abilities, so as to be capable of understanding the
revelations of philosophy and science; possessing a mind free
from prejudice and anxious for instruction. He must be a
believer in the fundamental principles of the Christian
doctrine, a true philanthropist, and a loyal subject, names
of aspirants may be submitted by any member at the
meetings of the Society, and if approved after the usual
scrutiny, they shall be placed on the roll of Novices, and
balloted for as vacancies occur in the list of members.
VIII. Every Novice on admission to the grade of
Zelator shall adopt a Latin motto, to be appended to his
signature in all communications relating to the Society.
This motto cannot under any pretence be afterwards
changed, and no two brethren shall be at liberty to adopt
the same motto.

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IX. The fee for admission to each Order shall be ten
shillings, and the annual subscription from every member
to defray the contingent expenses of the society shall be
five shillings. The registry fee for a novice or aspirant
shall be seven shillings and sixpence.
X. As vacancies occur in each grade, by death, resignation,
or otherwise, the members of such grade shall elect
brethren from the next grade to supply the vacancies thus
created.
XI. The Master-general shall have the superintendence
and regulation of the ordinary affairs of the Society; subject,
however, to the veto of the Magi in matters relating
to the ritual. He shall be assisted in the discharge of his
duties by the Council, and shall be empowered to arrange
for the due performance of each ceremony, by appointing
well-qualified brethren to assist as Celebrant, Suffragan,
Cantor and Guards, in the various grades of the first and
second Orders. The M. G. shall preside at the general
meetings of the brotherhood, and shall at all times be received
with the honours due to his important office.
XII. The Deputy Master-general shall, as the representative
of the chief, preside at all meetings in his absence,
and in the presence of any Past Master-general, and on such
occasions shall be vested with equal authority for the time
being; subject, however, to appeal being made from his
decisions to the Master-general and his Council.
XIII. The Treasurer-general shall receive from the
Secretary-general all moneys belonging to the Society,
and shall keep an account of his receipts and disbursements,
which shall be audited before the obligatory meeting
in January, by the Ancients, under the supervision of the
Master-general. No expenses shall be incurred without

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the knowledge of his chief or his deputy. The proceedings
of the Society shall be printed quarterly, under the title of
THE ROSICRUCIAN, and a copy shall be sent to every subscribing
and honorary member by the Secretary-general.
The record shall be conducted under the supervision of the
Supreme Magus.
XIV. The Secretary-general shall convene all meetings
of the Council and general body; record the proceedings
in the minute book, register the names, residences, and
mottoes of all members, with dates of admission to each
grade; collect all fees and subscriptions when due, and
forthwith pay them over to the Treasurer.
XV. The Council of Ancients shall attend the meetings of
the Society, and in the absence of the M. G., P. M. G., and
D. M. G., the Senior Ancient present shall preside. They
shall generally assist the Chief in the discharge of his duties,
more especially with reference to the ceremonials of the
several Orders.
XVI. The Precentor and Organist shall have the direction
of all musical arrangements at the meetings of the Society.
XVII. The Conductor of Novices shall examine all aspirants,
and report to the Council as to their qualifications for
admission to the grade of Zelator; he shall also perform all
the duties appertaining to his office in the G**** M*****
C*****.
XVIII. The Torch Bearer shall discharge the peculiar
duties allotted to him, more especially those which relate to
the ceremonies in the first grade.
XIX. The Herald and Guardian shall defend the entrance
of the Temple, and permit no one to enter without first
acquainting the Conductor.
XX. The Jewels for the Magi, Officers, and Brethren, are
to be worn at all ceremonial meetings.

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JEWELS OF THE ROSIE CROSS.
Jewel of the Supreme Magus.

An ebony Cross, with golden roses at its extremities and
the jewel of the Rosie Cross in the centre. It is surmounted
by a crown of gold for the Supreme Magus alone, as represented
in the engraving below, and the jewel is to be worn
round the neck, suspended by a crimson velvet ribbon

HISTORY OF THE ROSICRUCIANS_waite_Seite_429_Bild_0001

Jewel of the two Junior Magi.
As above, but without the crown, and worn in the same
manner.

Jewel of the Grand Officers.
A lozenge-shaped plate of gold enamelled white, with the
Rosie Cross in the centre, surmounted by a golden mitre, on
the rim of which is enamelled in rose-coloured characters
LUX, and in its centre a small cross of the same colour.
This jewel is worn suspended from the button-hole by a
green ribbon an inch in width, and with a cross also

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embroidered on it in rose-coloured silk, as shewn in the
engraving below, which is as nearly as possible one-third of
the actual size of the jewel.

HISTORY OF THE ROSICRUCIANS_waite_Seite_430_Bild_0001

Jewel of the Fraternity
The lozenge-shaped jewel of the Rosie Cross, as above,
without the mitre, suspended by a green ribbon an inch in
width, and without the embroidered cross.
———
This information is transcribed from a secret record of
the association, entitled “The Rosicrucian,” which was first
published in 1868, appearing as an infinitesimal quarterly
of twelve small pages, and subsequently continued as a
monthly magazine, which subsisted till the year 1879, when
it accomplished another transformation, whose history I have
failed to trace. There is much curious material contained
in the two series. An early number announces the objects
of the society which it represents. It is “calculated to
meet the requirements of those worthy Masons who wish to
study the science and antiquities of the Craft, and trace it
through its successive developments, to the present time;
also to cull information from all the records extant, of
those mysterious societies which had their existence in the
dark ages of the world when might meant right, when every

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man’s hand was against his brother, and when such combinations
were necessary to protect the weak against the
strong.
These objects appear to have been fulfilled in a very
desultory manner, so far, at least, as, the organ of the association
is concerned. Reports of Masonic meetings, long
serial stories of an occult character, and somewhat feeble
poetry by supreme magi and worthy fratres, permanently
occupied a large proportion of an exceedingly limited space
for a period of ten years.
In 1871 the society informed its members that it was
entirely non-masonic in character, with the sole exception
that every aspirant was required to belong to the masonic
Brotherhood. The assigned reason is the numerous points
of resemblance between the secrets of Rosicrucians and
Freemasons. The object of the association was then stated
to be purely literary and antiquarian, and the promulgation
of a new masonic rite was by no means intended. “The
society is at present composed of 144 Fratres, and is ruled
over by three brethren, who have attained to the ninth
degree, or Supreme Magus. Seventy-two of these compose
the London College, and thirty-six is the statutory number
of each of the two subordinate colleges” at Bristol and
Manchester. Every College, excepting the Metropolitan,
was restricted in 1877 to thirty-six subscribing members,
exclusive of those of the ninth grade; the following numbers
being permitted in each grade:—
1. Magister Templi . or VIII°.
2. Adeptus Exemptus . or VII°.
3. Adeptus Major . . or VI°.
4. Adeptus Minor . . or V°.
5. Philosophus . . or IV°.

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6. Practicus . . or III°.
7. Theoricus . . or II°.
8. Zelator . . . or I°.
The numbers were doubled in the Metropolitan College,
but these arrangements were practically abrogated by the
admission of supernumerary members until the occurrence
of “substantive vacancies.” A Yorkshire College was consecrated
in 1871; a college in Edinburgh to represent the
East of Scotland had been established some time previously.
The prime mover in this Association was Robert Wentworth
Little, who died in the year 1878, at the age of
thirty-eight; he was the Supreme Magus, and the actual
revival of the Rosicrucian Order in England was owing to
his instrumentality. The Honorary Presidentship has been
conferred upon various noblemen, the late Lord Lytton
was elected Grand Patron, and among the most important
members must be reckoned the late Frederick Hockley,
Kenneth Mackenzie, and Hargrave Jennings.
The most notable circumstance connected with this
society is the complete ignorance which seems to have
prevailed amongst its members generally concerning everything
connected with Rosicrucianism. This is conspicuous
in the magazine which they published. Frater William
Carpenter complains that he has not obtained much light
from the work of Frater Jennings, and that he himself is
“an untaught speculator.” Frater William Hughan is
acknowledged as an adept, but he does not seem to have
been aware that the “Fama” and “Confessio Fraternitatis”
originally appeared in Germany. Frater Carpenter inclines
to the opinion that the question had better be left to itself,
as “an inquiry into the matter is destined to get every one
who attempts it into an entanglement. He humbly con-

page 425
fesses that it is too wonderful for him, too high, and that
he cannot attain it. At the same time he hazards a new
definition of the much-abused term Rosicrucian, which he
believes to have been assumed by the Brotherhood not
because they sought light by the assistance of ros, dew, but
in rus solitude, which is conclusive as to the philological
abilities of this “untaught speculator.” By the year 1872,
the members seems to have discovered that their organ and
indeed their society had scarcely borne out its original
intention, for “the general body of members have done
little to promote the elucidation of Rosicrucian lore;” but,
in spite of resolutions to the contrary, matters continued in
much the same condition, though glowing expectations
were entertained on the initiation of one Frater Kenneth
Mackenzie VI°,, a burning and a shining light of occultism,
somewhat concealed beneath the bushel of secresy. I
gather from various casual statements that the balance of
opinion in the camp of the “Rosicrucian Brotherhood in
Anglia” is to the following effect—That Andreas was in
some way connected with the authorship of the “Fama”
and “Confessio Fraternitatis,” that the fraternity of
Christian Rosencreutz as described therein and in the
“Chymical Marriage” had no tangible existence, but that
they gave rise to the philosophic sect of Rosicrucianism,
which name became, in the words of Thomas Vaughan, a
generic term, embracing every species of mystical pretension.1
This harmless association deserves a mild sympathy at
the hands of the students of occultism.
“It has not done much harm, nor yet much good;
It might have done much better if it would.”

1 “Hours with the Mystics,” ii., 104.

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Its character can hardly have deceived the most credulous
of its postulants. Some of its members wrap themselves
in darkness and mystery, proclaiming themselves Rosicrucians
with intent to deceive. These persons find a few—
very few—feeble—in truth very feeble—believers and
admirers. Others assert that the Society is a mask to
something else—the last resource of cornered credulity and
exposed imposture. There are similar associations in other
parts of Europe and also in America, e.g. the Societas
Rosicruciana of Boston. In concluding this notice of
modern Rosicrucian associations, I beg leave to warn my
readers that all persons, whether within or without the
magic circles of public libraries, who proclaim themselves to
be Rosicrucians are simply members of pseudo-fraternities,
and that there is that difference between their assertion and
the facts of the case “in which the essence of a lie consists.”
Though the true Rosicrucians, supposing such a society
to have had at any period a tangible and corporate existence,
disappeared very suddenly from the historical plane,
the glamour of the mystery which surrounded them proved
a prolific prima materia for the alchemical transfigurations
of romance and poetry, and insured them a place in
legend. Two curious traditions are noticed by Hargrave
Jennings, but his mental tortuosity has, in both cases, induced
him to pervert the story which he recounts by the
introduction of worthless and untruthful details manufactured
by his own imagination, and prudently ascribed to
other, of course unnamed, sources of information. One of
these is the alleged discovery of the tomb of Rosicrucius.
Mr. Jennings cites Plot’s “History of Staffordshire” as his
authority for this legend; I have carefully looked through

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the large folio volume of this “painstaking antiquary,”
but have failed to verify the reference; the Spectator
for May 15, 1712, cites the story in the words of the
original narrator, and this version I present, for comparison,
to the students of the “distinguished esoteric littérateur’s”
pseudo-history. Mr. Hargrave Jennings says that it
is “poor and ineffective,” an opinion not uncommon to
other interpreters of history who manipulate their materials
in the interests of their private opinions.
“A certain person having occasion to dig somewhat deep
in the ground, where this philosopher lay interred, met
with a small door, having a wall on each side of it. His
curiosity, and the hopes of finding some hidden treasure,
soon prompted him to force open the door. He was immediately
surprised by sudden blaze of light, and discovered
a very fair vault. At the upper end of it was a statue of a
man in armour, sitting by a table, and leaning on his left
arm. He held a truncheon in his right hand, and had a
lamp burning before him. The man had no sooner set one
foot within the vault, than the statue, erecting itself from
its leaning posture, stood bolt upright; and, upon the
fellow’s advancing another step, lifted up the truncheon in
its right hand. The man still ventured a third step, when
the statue, with a furious blow, broke the lamp into a
thousand pieces, and left his guest in a sudden darkness.
“Upon the report of this adventure, the country people
soon came with lights to the sepulchre, and discovered that
the statue, which was made of brass, was nothing more
than a piece of clock-work; that the floor of the vault was
all loose, and underlaid with several springs, which, upon
any man’s entering, naturally produced that which had
happened.

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“Rosicrucius, say his disciples, made use of this method
to show the world that he had re-invented the ever-burning
lamps of the ancients, though he was resolved no one should
reap any advantage from the discovery.”
The second story has suffered still further outrage. Mr.
Hargrave Jennings asserts that it is related upon “excellent
authority.” This authority is a work by Dr. John Campbel,
entitled “Hermippus Redivivus; or, the Sage’s Triumph
over Old Age and the Grave,” and the reference therein is
“Les Memoires Historiques” for the year 1687, tome i.
p. 365, which no one has been able to identify, and which,
according to William Godwin,1 had perhaps no other existence
than in the fertile brain of the compiler.
“There happened in the year 1687, an odd accident at
Venice, that made a very great stir then, and which I think
deserves to be rescued from oblivion. The great freedom
and ease with which all persons, who make a good appearance,
live in that city, is known sufficiently to all who are
acquainted with it; such, therefore, will not be surprised
that a stranger who went by the name of Signor Gualdi,
and who made a considerable figure there, was admitted into
the best company, though nobody knew who or what he was.
He remained at Venice some months, and three things were
remarked in his conduct. The first was, that he had a small
collection of fine pictures, which he readily showed to anybody
that desired it; the next, that he was perfectly versed
in all arts and sciences, and spoke on every subject with
such readiness and sagacity, as astonished all who heard
him; and it was in the third place observed, that he never
wrote or received any letter; never desired any credit, or
made use of bills of exchange, but paid for everything in
ready-money, and lived decently, though not in splendour.

1 Preface to “The Travels of St. Leon.”

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“This gentleman met one day at the coffee-house with
a Venetian nobleman, who was an extraordinary good judge
of pictures: he had heard of Signor Gualdi’s collection, and
in a very polite manner desired to see them, to which the
other very readily consented. After the Venetian had
viewed Signor Gualdi’s collection, and expressed his satisfaction,
by telling him that he had never seen a finer, considering
the number of pieces of which it consisted, he cast
his eyes by chance over the chamber-door, where hung a
picture of this stranger. The Venetian looked upon it, and
then upon him. ‘This picture was drawn for you, sir,’
says he to Signor Gualdi; to which the other made no
answer but a low bow. ‘You look,’ continued the
Venetian, like a man of fifty, and yet I know this picture
to be of the hand of Titian, who has been dead one hundred
and thirty years, how is this possible?’ ‘It is not easy,’
said Signor Gualdi gravely, ‘to know all things that are
possible, but there is certainly no crime in my being like a
picture drawn by Titian.’ The Venetian easily perceived,
by his manner of speaking, that he had given the stranger
offence, and therefore took his leave.
“He could not forbear speaking of this in the evening to
some of his friends, who resolved to satisfy themselves by
looking upon the picture the next day. In order to have
an opportunity of doing so, they went to the coffee-house
about the time that Signor Gualdi was wont to come
thither; and not meeting him, one of them, who had often
conversed with him, went to his lodgings to enquire after
him, where he heard that he had set out an hour before for
Vienna. This affair made a great noise, and found a place
in all the newspapers of that time.”
The mysterious Signor Gualdi was “suspected to be a

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Rosicrucian.” The acknowledged fictions of a later period
occasionally introduce the Society to the novel-reading
public. Among these may be mentioned the incoherent
and worthless romance, entitled “St. Irvyne; or, The
Rosicrucian,” which was written by Shelley at the age of
seventeen; Lord Lytton’s “Zanoni;” “The Rosicrucian’s
Story,” by Paschal B. Randolph, an American half-breed of
no inconsiderable talent, who translated the “Divine Pomiander,”
formed an ephemeral Rosicrucian publishing
company, and crowning a chequered existence with a
sudden suicide, is still much respected among certain
spiritual circles, occasionally “communicating” with quite
the average veracity of other “controls” performed by the
“choir invisible.” The official organ of the English Societas
Rosicruciana has also provided its select and esoteric circle
of “antiquarian” illuminati with “Leaves from the Diary of
a Rosicrucian, a romance of considerable ability by Kenneth
Mackenzie, F.R.C., IX°.