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7 > Page 7 of Addresses delivered at the Grand annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky : held at the Masonic Temple in the city of Louisville, October 18th, A.D. 1869, A.L. 5869 / Elisha S. Fitch.

ELISHA S. FITCH. even more rusty and useless than was the fowling-piece or the old Dutch hunter among the highlands of the Hudson after lying by his side during his twenty-years' nap in the humid atmosphere of "Sleepy Hollow." But, having been suddenly aroused by this general regulation, and galvanized into something like Masonic activity again, they are all at once very forci- bly reminded of their isolated condition, and evince a new-born desire to enjoy the sweet fellowship of the fraternity ! But alas! they are not "con- venient" to any regular Lodge. The nearest is "at least five or six miles distant," and, to meet with their brethren and thus enjoy the privileges of the institution they have always so much loved and venerated, thev are compelled to perform this wearisome journey of five or six miles, and that, too, often over nothing better than a plank road or a macadamized turnpike; and, therefore, having become somewhat rheumatic, we suppose (as old Rip did,) during their lone stay in the profane world, and not being ab!e to be- take themselves to the "iron horse" and speed away in a twinkling to some commodious, the Grand Master must forsooth establish anoth- er Lodge within sound of their own dinner horn, or possibly "the cause of Masonry will suffer any irreparable loss!" I need not say that under these cir- cumstances I have not felt disposed, as your official representative, to offer any such premium to Masonic inertia, and more especially to elevate those who had bees so long the demitted drones of an old hive, into the dignity and authority of king bees in a new one. Itoccurred to me, in view of your recent legislation (whether expedient or not) in regard to this class of Masons, that it will be neither just nor consistent to reward with special fa- vor their palpable and persistent dereliction of duty. I presume that many, if not all of these applications, will be renewed dut- ing the present session for your decision, and while I certainly have no dis- position to forestall your action in regard to any of them, but cheerfully and confidently commit the responsibility into your hands, I would never- theless respectfully urge the necessity of more than usual caution and dis- crinmination in multiplying Lodges in this jurisdiction. While we are annually complaining, and very justly too, that our subor- linate Lodges are doing too much work and receiving too indiscriminately those who are knocking at their doors, may it not be possible that, as a Grand Lodge, we are acting inconsistently and quite as indiscreetly in grant- ing by wholesale, as has been too much our habit, the multitudinous peti- tions which from year to year are found crowding our Grand Secretary's ta- ble While I believe, and am willing to concede, that there are some por- tions of the State which may not be sufficiently supplied with Lodge facili- ties, and which may even, perhaps, be embraced by some of the petitions referred to the Grand Master, yet I am quite as well satisfied that we are forming Lodges far too rapidly and promiscuously for the general good of Masonry in this Commonwealth.