The last of the Sons of Malta.
The "ancient and honorable order of the Sons of Malta
," which is represented as being "ancient because the memory of man knoweth not its origin, and honorable because the great and wise of every age have been numbered with its firm and steadfast supporters, " came to a complete, if not inglorious end, this forenoon.
The furniture of Pro Patria Lodge, the largest, most thoroughly equipped, and most famous in the United States
, was sold at auction, under mortgage, at 11 o'clock, together with all the regalia and warlike implements, which seem to have entered largely into the initiatory services of this mystic brotherhood.
The sale occurred in the lodge-room, a spacious hall at 814 Broadway, the first floor from the roof and the fifth from the earth.--The hall was fitted up in a peculiar style of elegance.
The floor was richly carpeted, and the room was surrounded by long sofas, white the walls were decorated with twenty-four knights in armor, with tapestry, and with the red cross of St. John
, which appears to have been the symbol of the order.
The articles sold were classified as follows: 1st, the useful; 2d, the instrumental; 3d, the ornamental and mystical.
Under the first head, were sold the sofas, chairs, carpets, &c, one of the carpets containing three hundred yards, and selling for seventy-five cents the yard, half what it cost.
Under the second head were sold an Alexandria organ, which was started at $50, and sold at $90. Also, a Chinese gong, which, the ‘"brothers"’ assert, was formerly owned by the Emperor Chow Chow
, and which brought $11. An immense tin trumpet and a quantity of horns were also sold, for a trifle.
Under the third head were sold five ‘"bloodless swords."’ When the auctioneer reached these articles, one of the initiated called out at the top of his voice, ‘"Now left the stranger feel the height of the sword!
Now, stranger, be strong and brave, and leap with all your might, for this will put your courage to the test!"’--whereupon, those who appeared to understand it laughed heartily, and outsiders concluded that this must have been a part of the initiation ceremonies.
According to the handbill, these swords were ‘"made of Damascus
steel, and used in the terrible wars of the Knights of Malta
, with roast beet and plum pudding, eighteen hundred years before the deluge,"’ and ‘"were presented to Pro Patria Lodge by Alexander
."’ Among them was said to be the celebrated sword which was suspended by a single thread The purchasers, however, did not seem to be impressed with their great value for the five swords only brought five dollars.
Then there were five terrible tin spears, which were sold in a lot for four shillings.--Then seven helmets, said to have descended from the Crusaders, under Peter the Hermit, with vizors complete, were also sold in a lot for the same amount.
Then came the mail and armor, which went on like easy terms, five or six shillings paying for the whole.--Next were sold eight rusty muskets, with fixed bayonets, four shillings each.
Several hundred dominoes, with cowes, black
, were sold at twelve and fifteen cents apiece.
‘"The Rugged Path
"’ was not sold, but judging from its appearance the ‘"strangers"’ who passed over it must have had a rough journey over the rollers.
After the furniture and other articles named had been sold, the auctioneer withdrew to the back room, and proceeded to sell regalia, which he said must not be exposed to the gaze of the uninitiated.
The mystic volume, said to be a large illustrated octave work, was sold unseen.
The ‘"sacred bath,"’ however, was displayed to the crowd.
It sold for $1.50, and appeared to be nothing more nor less than a large punch bowl.
In conclusion, the ‘"brothers"’ joined in a song, to the tune of ‘"Auld Lang Syne,"’ beginning--
‘"When old Maltesia first was born."’
The crow I dispersed; and thus ends the mystic brotherhood of the I. O. S. M.--N. Y. Advective, Feb. 23.