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In the early rituals of the eighteenth century, the tongue is called the key to the secrets of a Freemason; and one of the toasts that was given in the Lodge was in these words: "To that excellent key of a Mason's tongues which ought always to speak as well in the absence of a Brother as in his presence; and when that cannot be done with honor, justice, or propriety, that adopts the virtue of a Mason, which is Silence."

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


Being "under the tongue of good report" is equivalent, in Masonic technical language, to being of good character or reputation. It is required that the candidate for initiation should be one of whom no tongue speaks evil. The phrase is an old one, and is found in the earliest rituals of the eighteenth century.

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

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