Friendship


                                                  ARTICLE NO. 9



                                FRIENDSHIP

    

          The cordiality exhibited here tonight reminds me of the
wise king, growing old, who wished to determine which of his two
sons was the more worthy to ascend the throne. He called them to
him and informed them he would given them a year in which to prove
their popularity, that they would be provided with whatever funds
they wished, and that at the end of the year the more popular
should be selected to rule.

          Straightaway the elder son started squandering money
lavishly upon those who believed (like some today) that anything
coming from the national treasury was free.  The royal palace
nightly was noisy with high revelry.  The young men laughed
heartily at the prince's wit, while others professed to be amazed
that one so young could be so wise.  The elder son appears daily in
public places to receive the adulation of the multitude whose money
he was squandering.

          Publicly the younger son appeared not to enter the
contest for popularity.  Apparently he went his way just as he has
before.  His demands upon the treasury were modest.  He avoided the
blaze of the palace lights under which the many joined in nightly
orgies.  He went quietly about as before endeavouring to adjust
unfair taxes.  Often he appeared in court to plead the cause of
some tattered wretch.  He might mingle with the labourers upon some
public projects and listen to their complaints.  He mingled with
the merchants in the bazaars and heard their troubles.  He mingled
with the subjects of the realm wherever they might be found,
regardless of station.  Unostentatiously he carried contributions
to the unfortunate.  Often he was at the bedside of the sick.  He
sought not the cheers of the multitude,but rather the gratitude of
the poor, which is something we hear about in Freemasonry.

          At the end of the year the wise old king had the two
princes arrested on a trumped up charge of treason to the throne. 
He had them incarcerated in a room that communicates with the royal
audience chamber, so that while restrained from entering, the
princes might see and hear what happened there.

          So soon as the arrests became known, hundreds came to
plead for the younger prince, and to protest that one so kind and
good could not be guilty of the charge laid against him, while none
came except to condemn the elder prince who so lately had had the
help of the many in spending their money.

                                                            ...2

                                   - 2 -



          The elder turned to the younger and asked:  "How were you
able with no apparent effort, to gain so many friends who now come
to plead for you, while I am condemned even by those who so short
a time ago were at my heels?"  The younger answered:  "I did not
try to make friends, I tried to be a friend."

          Didn't he have something there?  Isn't there a Masonic
lesson of deep design in that little yarn?  Friendship cannot be
worn by formula or some magical hocus pocus.  It can't be purchased
over the counter.  It is one of the few things that can't be taken
from one worthy of it.  It is one thing that mellows and improves
with age.  It is one thing that every person, high or low, rich or
poor, may possess in quantity.  It is the one thing which every
person regardless of worldly station, may lavishly endow on
whomsoever he will.  It is the one thing you may give and be richer
for the giving. It is the one thing that follows us beyond the
veil.

          Being a friend is Freemasonry fully developed.



THIS PAPER WAS PREPARED BY VW NORMAN AMIRAULT, ANNAPOLIS ROYAL
LODGE #53, AND WAS DONATED TO THE BOARD OF MASONIC EDUCATION, GRAND
LODGE OF NOVA SCOTIA  FEBRUARY 10, 1990.