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Great as the authority of the Major Illuminees over the Minerval Academies may appear at first sight, no person of the preparatory class is in fact entrusted with any real authority. Even the Scotch Knight in his intermediate class does not enjoy any. The Order recognizes as real Superiors none but those who have been initiated into the class of the Mysteries. Even in that class the adept must have attained the degree of Regent before he can be named Prefect for the Scotch Knights, or Dean of his district. Those are the first two offices which the Order considers as having any real authority over the Brethren.

Though the Code expressly declares, that each Superior shall find in his instructions the respective laws concerning his particular duty, it certainly contains none for the office of Dean. A single Chapter is indeed to be found in the Code on his election and consecration. On the first establishment of a new district he is elected by the Provincial; but on his deposition or death the Epopts assemble and choose a successor by the plurality of votes, the Provincial only having the right of confirming such an election. With regard to what the Code terms his consecration (Weihung des decani), it is generally performed by what is called a Plenipotentiary, and in a sort of barbarous Latin, extremely inelegant. Were not the impiety of it as abominable as the ceremonial is low, it might form an excellent scene for the theatres of Bartholomew fair. The Illuminizing Legislator, a very inferior copyist of Moliere’s Malade Imaginaire, ridicules St. Paul, Moses, and all religious ceremonies, as Moliere did the quack disciples of Hippocrates. Little wit is required to scoff at religious rites, and yet our Legislator has only succeeded in being disgustingly impious. Such turpitude is not worthy of our notice, for none but Epopts can admire it; this nevertheless is all the information the Code can give us respecting the Dean. 1

The same cannot be said of the instructions for the Prefects. These Local Superiors may have as many as eight Lodges at a time under their command, partly Minerval, and partly Masonic. The Prefect is the first Regent within his prefecture, and has the direction of all that part of the Order stiled in the Code the lower part of the edifice. All the Quibus Licets of his district pass through his hands. He opens those of the Scotch Knights, and the Solis of the Novices and Minervals; but every thing else he transmits to the higher Superiors. When

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he founds new Lodges, or receives new Brethren, he gives the new Geographical names and Characteristics, which he selects from the list that he has received from the Provincial. He makes a general report to the Provincial of every thing that has happened within his Prefecture once a month; and every three months transmits the reversal letters, the tablets sent by the Scrutators with notes on their political and moral conduct, and an exact return of the state of the funds belonging to each Lodge. He decides on the promotion of the Brethren as far as Scotch Knight, but can confer the latter degree only with the consent of the Provincial.—He has the right once a year of commanding all the adepts under his direction to return whatever writings the Order may have entrusted them with—He returns them to those on whose fidelity he has reason to rely, but not to those whom he may have any reason to suspect, or who are intended to be dismissed2

The foundation of the Edifice rests solely on the vigilance, experience, and zeal of the Prefect.—And it was to the direction of their conduct in every part of the Government that Weishaupt dedicated his lessons under the following heads:—I. Preparations.—II. Tuition of the Pupils.—III. Spirit or love of the Order—IV. Subordination.—V. Secrecy.—Each of these articles contains a cloud of those artifices which the reader has seen interspersed in divers parts of the Code, but which now become the peculiar study of the Prefect. I shall only extract the most striking, or those on which the Legislator particularly insists; such, for example, as the following, to be found in the first pages of the head Preparation.

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