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manifested in the world, had its worshippers and champions, but the "good" times were not then ; when the cross and the faggot, the prison and the scourge, were the arms with which that creed was combated, and its supporters destroyed.

But the term has probably had no reference to any period of religious liberty, so we will not make the inquiry a theological one ; suffice it that a belief in “good old times” of one kind or another exists, and has had its maintainers for ages, and will continue to have till—we know not when. Perhaps it is only our own nation after all which boasts of having had any good old times to be proud of (“les bons vieux temps” sounds so very literally translated, that I question the genuineness of the Gallicism), so, leaving speculations upon general history, we will try and find out when the term may be best applied to our ancestors' “experiences" of by-gone days.

Not surely to the times of our acorn-eating progenitors? With all my love for the venerable and the antique, I do not think that the days of mud huts, and woad, and paint fashions, were altogether to be preferred to the present, although I am not an admirer of French entre-mets, and by no means a supporter of crinoline. The Bond-street exquisite may, perhaps, have but a paucity of ideas beneath his well oiled locks, but still, with all his faults, I think he may be an improvement upon those respectable ancestors whose dwellings were in the woods, and very much " in the rough.” Nor do I think that the venerable frequenters of Pall Mall clubs, the feasters upon turtle, and the imbibers of cold punch and “crusted port," would place their “good old times” so far back as the days of the Druids. And the ladies of the present day, despite of all the rights and wrongs for and against which they are struggling and contending, would hardly desire an exchange of their imaginary slavery for that which was then too often a stern reality.

So the good old times not being then, were they but a little later, in the days of the Conquest ? We can now look back, and trace what blessings dawned upon our land when Norman William, and bis eager followers, set foot upon the shore he was so soon to possess, but very different, methinks, was the feeling with which the new suzeraine was greeted by those who had opposed him, till opposition was useless. The days of the curfew were bad enough to those who had had no gas-pipes laid down; what would they be to us who are supporters of Child and Palmer's manufactures and the projectors of gas companies innumerable? Or, again, will anyone place "the good old times” in the age of the doughty deeds of chivalry, when armed cohorts sailed “Eastward ho"! carrying thither, at the point of the sword, the creed of the Prince of Peace ?

Were those days of anarchy at home, of peril dared abroad, the days we would choose to live in, we who know the blessings of peace within our walls and plenteousness within our palaces, even whilst other lands are desolated and laid waste for the iniquities of their rulers. Is it nothing that we are at peace within ourselves, whilst our bravest and noblest go forth to contend against oppression, injustice, and barbarian cruelty, in quite another spirit than that which animated the adventurers in the so-called Holy Wars? Surely the days that now are are better for us to live in than the days of the Crusaders, zealous but misguided though their fanaticism was. Let it not be supposed that the advantages subsequently derived from the intercourse of nations thus originated, are either unremembered or unvalued, but, nevertheless, we should hesitate to designate even the golden age of chivalry as the good old times which free-born Britons would, as a nation, desire to see revived.

The glories of the Elizabethan age have been hymned alike in prose and

poetry, and our maritime pre-eminence amongst the nations of the earth still testifies to the wise and vigorous rule of the Protectorate and the days of good Queen Anne; those days of brilliant victories on foreign shores, when art and science flourished at home, have passed into a proverb; but should we not far more rejoice in the days of good Queen Victoria, when the blessings enjoyed by our forefathers have descended sevenfold upon us and our children

Who were the special gainers in those good old times of unknown date, the sovereign of unlimited power, and too often of contested throne and insecure authority ?—the nobles, most generally hated and feared as much by the sovereign as by their subordinates; the middle classes, so long scarcely acknowledged or existing as an order by themselves, or the lower ranks, whose condition was but a li:tle way removed from that of the beasts which perish? We do not know for whom the good old times were so propitious, neither can we tell where to place them; can they then be altogether a myth, or were they ante-diluvian ?-in an age when the printing-press was 'unknown, the steam-engine an undreamt-of marvel, when the electric spark was an unthought-of messenger, ere the bond of brotherhood, knitting together in one all the families of the earth, had been recognised? But our speculations on the point might be carried on ad infinitum, so we must even conclude with the query which headed our meditations: when were the good old times ? subjoining a request that any one answering that momentous question will, at the same time, show cause for the immense superiority of the “ light of other days," and for the veneration with which they are regarded.

Y.S. N.

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ODD-FELLOWSHIP: ITS PRINCIPLES & PRACTICE.

All the members of our great association, though they are proud to call themselves Odd-fellows, have no precise notion as to the principles we profess and the practices we adopt. Many are content to visit their lodges now and then, hear a speech made or a song sung, partake of the benefits when they require them, and so rest in what we cannot but consider as blameable ignorance of the vital principles on which our Order is based. This should not be; and in order that no reader of the Magazine, at least, should excuse himself from partaking of the work of practical Odd-fellowship, and thoroughly understanding its objects, we propose to deal with the question in a manner comprehensible to all.

And first, as to the origin of the name by which we are known. In that useful periodical called Notes and Queries (vol. 9, p. 327) a writer, who signs himself C. F. A. W., asks-"What is the origin of Odd-fellowship? What gave rise to the title of Odd-fellow? Are there any books published on the subject, and where are they to be had ? Is there any published record of the origin and progress of the Manchester Unity ?"

To which the following. is the answer :"Our correspondent should consult the Odd-fellows' Magazine, N.S., published quarterly by order of the Grand Master and Board of Directors of the Manchester Unity of the Independent Order of Odd fellows. Perhaps some of our readers may wish to know what is an Odd-fellow. Take the following description of one, as given in vol. 4, page 287:– He is like a fox for cunning, a dove for tameness, a lamb for innocence, a lion for boldness, a bee for industry, and a sheep' for usefulness.' This is an Odd-fellow, according to Oddfellowship.

In vol. 9 also, page 578, appears this further answer :-“C.F. A. W. will find some of the Odd-fellows' secrets discovered in a small volume entitled, 'A Ritual and Illustrations of Free Masonry, &c.,' by a traveller in the United States (third thousand), published by James Gilbert, 49, Paternoster Row, 1844. The Odd-fellows date from Adam, who was the odd and solitary representative of the human race before the creation of Eve.-Kennedy M Nab."

Again, in vol. 10, page 75, “In answer to C. F. A. W., I once saw in a bookseller's catalogue (whose, I forget) a work entitled, 'An Historical Sketch of Odd fellowship. If I should meet with it again, I will acquaint him of it through the medium of your paper."

In vol. 2, N.S., page 249, we find, "an Odd-fellow” who seems to have a sly hit at Masonry. He says, “Having met with the following paragraph in an interesting volume recently published called Flemish Interiors, I should be glad if any of your readers could say whether the practice to which it refers is confined to the masons at Antwerp."

“A curious and I believe peculiar custom still exists at Antwerp among the guild of masons. Henri Conscience, the great Belgian writer, who was perambulating the town with me, informed me, as we passed their hall, that when a new master mason was to be elected it was necessary that, previous to being initiated into his somewhat important position, he should prove himself worthy of the dignity about to be confered on him by pulling down and rebuilding with his own hands the fagade of one portion the building, which has consequently been re-erected innumerable times, though

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the remainder of the edifice is sufficiently venerable. If the candidate shrunk from this trial, there was no alternative but to yield his claim.”

It would be well to have the means of properly answering the questions contained in the first extract, and communications with reference to them are invited from old members of the Order. In a lecture given not long since, touching upon the history of the Manchester Unity, the speaker remarked that no doubt much valuable information lies concealed in the minds of some of the old and experienced members of the Society, who, with some few exceptions, have been anything but diligent in collecting and diffusing their knowledge. He also stated that even the origin of the term “Friendly Societies” was not proved, and hazarded a conjecture upon that of Odd-fellowship. In the first Act of Parliament, passed in 1793, the expression “ Friendly Societies” is used as one well understood ; and the saine Act provides that any number of persons may form themselves into and establish one or more society or societies of Good-fellowship, for raising by subscriptions and voluntary contributions a stock or fund for the mutual relief and maintenance of all and every the members thereof in old age, sickness, and infirmity, or for the relief of widows and children of deceased members. The words Good-fellowship are peculiar in having a great resemblance to others now in frequent use, “Odd-fellowship," and it might reasonably be supposed they had at that time been heard, but were not approved by reason of their quaintness. In 1796 and 1799 two acts were passed against unlawful assemblies and oaths. The last was in reference to "Societies of late years instituted calling themselves Societies of United Englishmen, United Scotchmen, United Britons, United Irishmen, and the London Corresponding Society," the members having "taken unlawful oaths and engagements of fidelity and secrecy, and used secret signs and appointed committees, secretaries, and other officers in a secret manner." Thes were by the act suppressed, an exception being made in favour of the Freemasons, who were exempted from the operation of the act, because, as it says, their lodge meetings “have been in great measure devoted to charitable purposes.". The conjecture alluded to is this :-that the rebellious spirit in Ireland and elsewhere had advocates, who, meeting at public houses and getting tired of continually discussing an hopeless cause, turned their attention to more useful subjects, and formed Friendly Societies, with the best intentions, but a quiet understanding among the promoters that the combination should be used for political purposes if opportunity offered. This ascribes an ignoble parentage to the orders of the present day, but is countenanced by some circumstances. In the northern counties of England, making all allowance for density of population, the great majority of Friendly Society members are even now to be found. It is a popular saying, that Lancashire can claim to be the birth place of all the largest associations. To recollect what happened in the early years of the present century, requires a man of advanced age ; but the memory of many odd-fellows serves them to assure us that the Unity was then first formed, and that at the same time rival institutions, calling themselves Foresters, Old Friends, Ancient Druids, and other attractive names, also arose from the “free and easies, or as to some of them were remodelled to gain public support. The speaker asked if it was unreasonable to suppose that some intelligent men, and possibly belonging to the Freemasons, founded the orders from the then members of inchoato Friendly Societies, the ancient trade guilds, the free and easies, and the political clubs combined ? and that the name “Odd-fellows” was adopted as fitly expressive of the mixed class, as being also less ambitious than “Good-fellows;" and in deferen to the wishes and opinions of Lancashire {inguists, who considered it in every sense the best. “Odd” they certainly could not mean should be interpreted“strange" or“ ridiculous," as it too frequently is now; but to designate "uncommon” fellows, or else companions joined

; in partnership in a state of “inequality,” for none could tell who amongst them would first require the intended benefits.

Our readers will recollect the commonly received account of the Manchester Unity is this :- In the year 1912 twenty-seven men formed the Unity from one of the extinct guilds—the Sheffield Unity; they were working men, belonging to, and residing at, Manchester, and they determined to revive the spirit of the ancient institution ; they chose the name of “ Odd-fellows,” meaning thereby that they did not consist, like most of the old guilds, of men of any particular trade, but were "odd," or unconnected. In the list of lodges the names of the officers, from 1814 to the present time, are set forth. The Editor of this Magazine gave a brief and somewhat similar account of the origin of Odd-fellowship, in the pages of the “ London Journal,” some short time since, with a slight sketch of the principles and practice of our Order. Thus much for our name. We now proceed to present our readers with

A PLAIN GUIDE TO ODD-FELLOWSHIP.

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1. Initiation, Study of Laws, and Practice. To begin at the beginning :-You wish to become an Odd-fellow. You ask me to see you "made," and let you know all about it. First answer me some questions. When were you born? When was your wife born! Write down those dates on this form, and give me, if you please, something as “ earnest money. To-morrow evening my lodge meets, and I shall hand in this paper and cash, when your name and address will be read allowed from the “proposition book," so that any one knowing you may be prepared to object to your admission, if necessary, or, if they do not know you, may make enquiries about you if they choose. You must now go to the doctor, who will examine you, to ascertain if you are in a sound state of health, and he will get you to sign a declaration that you are so, as well as your wife. The certificate he gives you must be taken care of, as it will be wanted when I meet you at the lodge house next meeting night. When we meet, you must pay the rest of the initiation fee, and I, taking the doctor's certificate, shall leave you for a little time, to prepare the members for your reception. I shall tell them I propose you as a member-have known you for many years—-believe you to be respectable, and a fit person to become an Odd-fellow. Nothing being said against you, the lodge will no doubt resolve that you shall be admitted. I shall then bring you in, when you will go through the ceremony of initiation. I need not describe it to you, as you will, I hope, take an interest in it at the time, and will afterwards see other members initiated. And I must not divulge more, because it is a secret I am bound to keep. This much, however, I may say, that you will go through it without any attempt being made to shock or terrify you, by means of skeletons, axes, or red-hot pokers; but being introduced to the members, and having taken upon yourself the usual promises, you will listen to a reasonable-but impressive-homily, upon your duties to your Creator, your neighbour, and yourself, and at its close may shake hands with me as a brother. You will then be shortly instructed how to gain admission into any lodge, and for that purpose will receive a pass-word, which is changed quarterly. You will take home with you five books, which the secretary gives you ; and I have no doubt you will, like others, innocently ask me, in the next week, what they are all about. Let us look at them. The general laws

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