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The Sign Of A Freemason
A Quaker Mason formed one of an indiscriminate company of cowans at an inn, where the landlord was also a Brother. Numerous jokes were cracked at the expense of the Fraternity, and the Quaker was called upon to show them a Mason's sign.
One of the company offered to give him a bottle of wine if he would comply with their wishes; and, at length, though with much apparent reluctance, he agreed, on the condition that the wine should be immediately produced, and that the individual consented to receive the communication privately; the Quaker adding: "Friend, if thou does not confess to the company that I have shown thee a Freemason's sign, I will pay for the wine myself."
The proposition was too reasonable to be refused, and the curious candidate for Masonic knowledge retired into another room with his formal friend. When there, the following dialogue took place:
Quaker: "So friend, thou are desirous of seeing a Freemason's sign?"
Cowan: "I am."
Quaker: "Canst thou keep a secret?"
Cowan: "Try me."
Quaker: "Good! Thou knowest that our friend Johnson (the innkeeper) is a Mason?"
Cowan: "I do."
Quaker: "Very well." Then taking him by the arm, he led him to the window. "Dost thou see that ramping lion which swings from yonder upright post?"
Cowan: "To be sure I do - it is our landlord's sign."
Quaker: "Good! Then friend, our landlord being a Freemason thou art satisfied that I have shown thee a Freemason's sign, and thy bottle of wine is forfeited. For thy own sake, thou wilt keep the secret."
The cowan returned to the room with a look of astonishment, confessed that he had received the desired information; and the mystery, which he had purposely observed, tempted others to purchase the secret at the same price
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Last modified: July 05, 2014