“Will your Highness kindly permit me that I open my heart to you; I am hurt that the Councillor, Mr. du Bosc, used means which could not be agreeable to me, to make me known the Orders You have entrusted him with, according to what he says in his letter, and which surely could by no means concern me; the Baron de Wurmb, as well as the Baron de Bishopswerder will always be honourable witnesses of the rectitude and uprightness of the step I have taken, which was rendered necessary by the respect and the zealous and faithful attachment which I have dedicated to you for my whole life, Monseigneur; the delicacy enjoined me at first to say nothing about my motive.
“I will hasten as much as possible to carry out the affairs both important and indispensable for the locality I am in, in order that I may immediately afterwards have the inexpressible joy of paying my court to you, the best of Princes; when I shall have the honour of being well known to you, Monseigneur, I expect with full certitude from your fine discernment all that justice which is due to me and which will be extremely appreciated by me, coming from your part.
“I am, in duty bound,
“Your respectful, faithful and humble servant
“LE C. DE WELLDONE.
“Leipzig, May 8th, 1777.”[p. 151]
More evidence of this visit is found in a letter from the Saxon Minister von Wurmb, who was himself an earnest Mason and a Rosicrucian.
“Correspondence of the Prior El, with the Minister Wurmb, o.d. Fr. a Sepulcro,
“Gimmern, June 3rd, 1777.
“The ‘a Cygne tr’ (Gugomos) has most certainly not gone to Cyprus, but to England. . . . M. de St. Germain chiefly on my account has come to Dresden. If he does not disguise himself in an extraordinary manner, then he will not suit us, altho’ he is a very wise man.” [*1]
Evidently a visit was expected which had to be disguised; this gives a clue to the reason why M. de St. Germain was travelling in Leipzig and Dresden under that name of Comte Weldon. According to Cadet de Gassicourt, he was travelling member for the “Templars,” going from Lodge to Lodge to establish communication between them. M. de St. Germain is said [*2] to have done this work for the Paris Chapter of the “Knights Templar.” Investigation proves him to have been connected with the “Asiatische Bruder,” or the “Knights of St. John the Evangelist from the East in Europe,” also with the[p. 152] [paragraph continues] “Ritter des Lichts,” or “Knights of Light,” and with various other Rosicrucian bodies in Austria and Hungary; and also with the “Martinists” in Paris.
He founded, according to Eliphas Levi, the Order of St. Joachim, but this statement is not supported by any historical evidence at present forthcoming, though many of his students and friends were members of this body. Everywhere, in every Order where real mystic teaching is to be found, can we trace the influence of this mysterious teacher. A letter of his to the Graf Gortz at Weimar is quoted, saying that he had “promised a visit to Hanau to meet the Landgraf Karl at his brother’s house in order to work out with him the system of ‘Strict Observance’–the regeneration of the Order of Freemasons in the aristocratic mind–for which you also so earnestly interest yourself.”
A summarised account from the “Gartenlaube ” [*1] fits in here; the letters are said to be authentic; and from internal evidence there is little doubt about it; for the information has to do with the Masonic work on which the Comte de St. Germain was engaged:–
“Karl-August went to the Landgrave Adolf von Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld. St. Germain was there and was duly presented to the Duke,[p. 153]
was charming in conversation and the latter asked, after supper, his host about the count.
“‘How old is he?'”
“‘We do not know, anything sure about it. It is a fact that the count knows details which only contemporains could tell in the same way. It is fashion now in Cassel to listen respectfully to his stories and to be astonished about nothing. The count does not praise himself, neither is he an importune talk-teller, he is a man of good society, whom every one is glad to have. He is not much liked by the head of our house, Landgraf Frederick II., who calls him a tiresome moralist. But he is in connection with many remarkable men and has an extraordinary influence upon others. My cousin, Landgrave Karl of Hesse, is much attached to him, they work together in Freemasonry and other dark sciences. Lavater sends him chosen men. He can speak in different voices and from different distances, can copy any hand he sees once, perfectly–he is said to be in connection with spirits who obey him, he is physician and geognost and is reported to have means to lengthen life.’
. . . . . .
“The Duke went to Gortz, whom he knew well to be an enemy and opponent of Goethe. Therefore in this moment of excitement he took the part of the marshal.[p. 154]
“Gortz received the rare visit in a submissive way; when from slight hints he could notice that the duke was not desirous to speak about Goethe, his countenance was still more brightened.
“‘At the beginning of May, dear Marshal, I made a highly interesting acquaintance at the Landgraves in Barchfeld,’ said finally the duke, not without embarrassment. ‘An acquaintance which I wish to keep up. It was a certain Comte Saint Germain, who is staying at Cassel; please write to this gentleman and invite him courteously to come over here.’
“Gortz promised to meet this request within the shortest time and to the best of his ability.
“When the duke had gone away, he sat down to his writing table and wrote as follows:
“Letter of Count Gortz:–
“‘Triumph, dear count. Your knowledge of men, your addresses conquer. You have foretold well: our gracious master is enchanted with you and asks you hereby, in due form through me to come to his court.
“‘You are really a wonder-worker, for his detested, plebeian favourite now totters . . . a little help, one stroke of your genius and the advocate of Frankfurt, who intrudes upon us, is checkmated. Will you fight him openly now, or do you prefer to make first an incognito personal survey of the territory? put down one or two[p. 155]
mines for him and show yourself only when he is totally beaten out of the field? and then take his place with far more right and power?
I leave all this to your sagacity. Rely upon me as before, entirely, and a small elite of faithful aristocrats, one or two of which you may wish to bind closer to you if you think it good.
“‘Always yours truly’
“‘Count Gortz, marshal of court.'”
St. Germain’s answer:
“‘I am quite ready to associate further with you and your companions in opinion, very grateful for the complaisant invitation. I will follow it later on.
“‘In the present moment I have promised to visit Hanau, to meet the Landgrave Karl at his brother’s and work out with him the system of the “Strict Observance”–the regeneration of the order of freemasons in an sense–which interests you too so much.
“‘The Landgrave is to me a dear and sympathetic protector, and if not a prince regnant, his position in Schleswig attached to Danish service, is very princely. I will, by all means, before I decide quite for the Landgrave, come to Weimar, liberate you from the hated intruder, and recognise[p. 156]
the field there. Maybe I will prefer to do incognito at first.
“‘Recommend me faithfully to your master, and promise my visit for some time to come.
“‘In the name of prudence, silence and wisdom I salute you
From internal evidence this is an authentic letter, for the Comte de St. Germain would certainly have been helping in this body, based as it was on the old “Order of the Temple” which will be treated at length later on. It was, moreover, to save themselves from persecution that these members called themselves “Free and Adopted Masons,” and adopted the signs and words of Masonry. Undoubtedly the “Strict Observance” sprang from the most secret “Order of the Temple,” a truly occult organisation in the olden time.
At the suggestion of the Comte de St. Martin and M. Willermoz the name was changed because of the suspicions of the police; the new one chosen was “The Beneficent Knights of the Holy City.”
Baron von Hund was the first Grand-Master; on his death the general leadership was vested in the Grand Duke of Brunswick, an intimate[p. 157]
friend of M. de St. Germain. All these various organisations will be dealt with in order; at present they are merely mentioned to show the connecting link formed by M. de St. Germain between the separate bodies, with whom M. de St. Germain had work to do; an Austrian writer in a recent article says:–
“In the Masonic and Rosicrucian literature one often finds hints as to the relations of St. Germain to the secret societies of Austria. One of St. Germain’s adherents in Vienna was Count J. F. von Kufstein, in whose Lodge (in the house of Prince Auersberg) magical meetings were held which generally lasted from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. St. Germain was present at one such meeting and expressed his satisfaction with the workings.
. . . St. Germain collected old pictures and portraits; he was addicted to alchemy, believed in universal medicine and made studies as to animal magnetism. He impressed people, especially the higher classes, by his French manners, his wide knowledge and his talkativeness. This ‘Bohemian’ so much attacked by historians, played the part of a political agent during the peace negotiations between France and Austria. Again, he is said to have distinguished himself in the year 1792 in the revolution.
“He was the ‘Obermohr’ of many mystic brotherhoods, where he was worshipped as a[p. 158]
superior being and where every one believed in his ‘sudden’ appearances and equally ‘sudden’ disappearances. He belongs to the picture of ‘Old Vienna’ with its social mysteriousness; where it was swarming with Rosicrucians, Asiatics, Illuminates, Alchemists, Magnetopaths, Thaumaturgs, Templars, who all of them had many and willing adherents.
“Dr. Mesmer who knew the Comte St. Germain well from his stay in Paris, requested him to come to Vienna in order that he might pursue his study of animal magnetism with him. St. Germain stayed secretly here and was then known as the ‘American of the Felderhof’ which latter became later on ‘Laszia House’ in the Lugeck N. 3. Dr. Mesmer was much helped by the Count and here in Vienna his (Mesmer’s) teaching was written down. Soon Mesmer gained followers but he was obliged to leave the town. He went to Paris where his ‘Harmonious Society’–a secret society of savants–continued to exist. In Vienna St. Germain came in touch with many mystagogues. He visited the famous laboratory of the Rosicrucians in the Landstrasse behind the hospital where he instructed for some time his brethren in the sciences of Solomon. The Landstrasse, situated on the outskirts of Vienna, was for many centuries a region of spooks.[p. 159]
“Below in the Erdberg the Templars and the estates of their order and outside town in the Simmering there was in the times of Rudolf II. the gold kitchen where the eccentric fraternity endeavoured to make gold. It is certain that the Comte de St. Germain has been in Vienna in the year 1735, and also later. The arrival of the Count (who enjoyed at that time a great prestige) at once created a great sensation in the initiated circles.” [*1]
The following is a list of some of the societies, more or less connected with Masonry, which had “Unknown Heads.” Translated they are as follows:
The Canons of the Holy Sepulchre.
The Canons of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.
The Beneficent Knights of the Holy City.
The Clergy of Nicosia in the Island of Cyprus. [*2]
The Clergy of Auvergne.
The Knights of Providence.
The Asiatic Brothers; Knights of St. John the Evangelist.
The Knights of Light.
The African Brothers.
Then there are groups of various Rosicrucian bodies widely spread in Hungary and Bohemia.[p. 160] [paragraph continues] In all of these bodies enumerated can be traced clearly the guiding hand of that “messenger” of the eighteenth century, or of some of his immediate friends and followers. Again in all of these groups can be found, more or less clearly, those fundamental principles which all the true messengers of the Great Lodge are bound to teach: such, for instance, as the evolution of the spiritual nature of man; reincarnation; the hidden powers of nature; purity of life; nobleness of ideal; the Divine power that is behind all and guides all. These are the clues which show without possibility of doubt to those who search for truth, that Lodge whence came the Comte de St. Germain, the messenger whose life is here but roughly sketched.
His work was to lead a portion of the eighteenth century humanity to that same goal which now, at the end of the nineteenth century, again stands clear before the eyes of some Theosophists. From his message many turned away in scorn, and from the present leaders the blind ones will to-day turn away also in scorn. But the few whose eyes are opening to the glad light of a spiritual knowledge, look back to him who bore the burden in the last century with gratitude profound.
^139:1 Maximilian Hell (Imperial Court Astronomer). To this highly respected scholar are due thanks for having given the impulse to take up magnetism scientifically and practically. See Oesterr. National Encyclopadie, art. “Mesmer.”
^139:2 Kleine Wiener Memoiren, i., 81. Wien, 1846.
^139:3 H. P. BLAVATSKY, Theos. Gloss., p. 214. London, 1892.
^145:1 Op. cit., ii., pp. 136-162. It is to be regretted that Graffer’s florid account opens the door to a slight suspicion of charlatanry in the mind of the modern student of occultism. It is probably, however, his way of looking at the matter which is at fault. A more experienced student would probably have described the interview far otherwise, although he might have testified as strongly to precisely the same facts.
^146:1 Op. cit., iii., p. 89.
^146:2 The Secret Doctrine, ii., p. 212, 3rd ed.
^147:1 ii., pp. 616, 617.
^148:1 BJORNSTAHL, J. J. Reise in Europa in 1774, vol. v., PP. 229, 237.
^148:2 LANGVELD, L. A.–The Hague.
^151:1 Der Signatstern, oder die enthullten sammtlichen sieben Grade der mystischen Freimaurerei, iii., pt. s. Berlin, 1804.
^151:2 CADET DE GASSICOURT, Le Tombeau de Jacques de Molay, p. 34. Paris, 1795.
^152:1 Brause Jahre Bilder in Gartenlaube, 1884, n. 38, 39.
^159:1 MAILLY, A. de–Der Zirkel, March 1st, 1908.