Learning to be Silent

King Solomon asked an Entered Apprentice, a Fellowcraft, a Master Mason, and a Past Master to retire to a chamber for instructive meditation. They were given orders to sit silently and not to speak.

At evening time, a servant came in to light the lamps, and accidentally spilled some oil.

“Watch out!” cried the Entered Apprentice. “You’re spilling the oil!”

“Shush,” said the Fellowcraft. “We aren’t supposed to talk.”

“Fools,” said the Master Mason. “Why couldn’t you just be quiet?”

“It appears,”┬ásaid the Past Master, sanctimoniously, “that I am the only one who did not talk.”