Bro C.H.D. Robbs, PAGDC
The thanks for our readers are, indeed, due for this interesting article. The late Bro. J.C. Parkinson`s contention may, perhaps, be met by a quotation, with slight alteration, from the Bard himself:-
"The Brother doth protest too much - methinks"!
I should like to add to the instance of quasi-Masonic allusions from Shakespeare`s works, a passage of immense significance to the speculative Master Mason:
"I will find where truth is hid,
Though it were hid indeed within the Centre."
(Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2, Polonius loq)
Is it not rather remarkable that the unknown compilers of our Masonic Ritual have most excellent prose, often reaching great heights of beauty, without undue borrowing from Holy Writ, or other sources?
It is true that Portia`s famous speech supplies, almost word for word, the comparison between charity and mercy, in the address to the initiate in the N.E..
Again a passage from Milton, "Paradise Loet," Book I:-
"No light, but rather darkness visible
Served only to discover sights of woe,"
has a similar ring to the M.M., and may possibly have been adopted from that poet for Masonic purposes.
I cannot think of any other potion of the Ritual where there appears to have been deliberate borrowing from other sources, and should be glad if other more erudite brethren would tell me if I have omitted other examples.
note from the webmaster: The following book reating to this topic is in our Library
Shakespeare - Creator of Freemasonry
by Alfred Dodd
A look at the works of Shakespeare in an effort to prove the title.
Library #: M13_DOD
Publisher: Rider & co
Published year: 1937