"Yes, I belong to the Brotherhood of the Freemasons," said the stranger, looking deeper and deeper into Pierre’s eyes.
"But he must be a Freemason," said he, referring to the abbe whom he had met that evening.
Bazdeev had been one of the best-known Freemasons and Martinists, even in Novikov’s time.
Do you wish to enter the Brotherhood of Freemasons under my sponsorship?
Half an hour later, the Rhetor returned to inform the seeker of the seven virtues, corresponding to the seven steps of Solomon’s temple, which every Freemason should cultivate in himself.
When he had joined the Freemasons he had experienced the feeling of one who confidently steps onto the smooth surface of a bog.
No, he is a Freemason, I have found out.
The Petersburg Freemasons all came to see him, tried to ingratiate themselves with him, and it seemed to them all that he was preparing something for them and concealing it.
Nearly two years before this, in 1808, Pierre on returning to Petersburg after visiting his estates had involuntarily found himself in a leading position among the Petersburg Freemasons.
I began to criticize them, but remembered my rules and my benefactor’s words—that a true Freemason should be a zealous worker for the state when his aid is required and a quiet onlooker when not called on to assist.
Toward midnight, after he had left the countess’ apartments, he was sitting upstairs in a shabby dressing gown, copying out the original transaction of the Scottish lodge of Freemasons at a table in his low room cloudy with tobacco smoke, when someone came in.
In his captivity he had learned that in Karataev God was greater, more infinite and unfathomable than in the Architect of the Universe recognized by the Freemasons.
These according to Pierre’s observations were men who had no belief in anything, nor desire for anything, but joined the Freemasons merely to associate with the wealthy young Brothers who were influential through their connections or rank, and of whom there were very many in the lodge.
Our Freemasons knew from correspondence with those abroad that Bezukhov had obtained the confidence of many highly placed persons, had been initiated into many mysteries, had been raised to a higher grade, and was bringing back with him much that might conduce to the advantage of the Masonic cause in Russia.
Benefit performances, poor pictures, statues, benevolent societies, gypsy choirs, schools, subscription dinners, sprees, Freemasons, churches, and books—no one and nothing met with a refusal from him, and had it not been for two friends who had borrowed large sums from him and taken him under their protection, he would have given everything away.
He had long been thinking of entering the army and would have done so had he not been hindered, first, by his membership of the Society of Freemasons to which he was bound by oath and which preached perpetual peace and the abolition of war, and secondly, by the fact that when he saw the great mass of Muscovites who had donned uniform and were talking patriotism, he somehow felt ashamed to take the step.
"I am afraid," said Pierre, smiling, and wavering between the confidence the personality of the Freemason inspired in him and his own habit of ridiculing the Masonic beliefs—"I am afraid I am very far from understanding—how am I to put it?
And that stout one in spectacles is the universal Freemason," she went on, indicating Pierre.
There are no more uses of "freemason" in the book.
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Famous freemasons include George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Voltaire.
The author did not divulge the specific means freemasons use to recognize each other such as handshakes and specific ritual wording.