Newspaper Page Text
Mo. Y. Stillwater, Minn., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 18SY. Vol. 1. For The Mirror. “LORD, THERE IS NOTHING HID FKOITI THEE.” The following extract from one of Mere diths poeuis was found in the pocket of an ex-convict who died suddenly a few months after his release. “My Savior, dare X come to Thee, "Who let the little children come? But 1? —My soul is faint in me! 1 come from wandering to and fro this weary world. There still his round the accurser goes But Thee I found not anywhere,— And yet 1 know that tears lie deep in all 1 do. The homeless that are sick for home, are not so wretched. Receive my heart. And for the sake. Not of my sorrows, but of Thine, Bend down Thy holy eyes on mine. Which aie too full of miseiy 'To see Thee clearly, though they seek. Yet I will not say how oft I have aspired in vain. How toiled along the rugged way. And held my faith above my pain. For this Thou knowest. And how from that of other men my faith was different; All the wrong which devastated hope in me. The wasted years, the excited heart, Which found in pain its only part Of love: the master misery that shattered all my early years, - ■From which in vain I sought to flee: Thou knowest the long, repentant tears. Thou lieard’st my cry against the spheres. Ho sharp my anguish seemed to be. All this Thou knowest. Thou knowest that had I rolled My soul in hell-flame fifty-fold, My sorrow could not be more deep. XiOrd! there is nothing hid from Thee.” GLASS HOISES. stealing A* a Flue Art—Some of tlie ('rooked Methods of “ Respectable” Thieve* Properly Stamped and La beled. “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.” It is a common failngof individuals (who otherwise appear to be gifted with ordinary intelligence and reasoning faculties) to im magine that one who has been convicted of crime must necessarily be a very great crim nal —something out of the common run of human depravity. If the prisoner has been .guilty of a larceny or other crime against property, from which he derived, or ex pected to derive, profit, he is regarded as -something altogether different from the bal ance of the world; and if the steal for which he has been convicted does not as sume the gigantic proportions that modern society has put the stamp of respectability upon, he must be ostracised and shunned as a moral leper. Wise medical men conflict in their theories regarding the cause, some favoring their pet theory that it is a trans- mitted moral taint. While some cling tenaciously to the belief that it is ow ing to disease of the brain and a consequent abberration of certain faculties to which they have applied the technical term “kleptomania.” Wise old frauds of phrenology pretend to locate it, and pre scribe rules to eradicate it, while at the same time they are adroitly skinning some of their poor dupes by coddling their idiosyn crasies or carefully instilling into their simple minds the belief that they are, or will be, invalids, if they neglect to consult and put implicit reliance in the villainous de coctions brewed by the modern apothecai'y, when, on the other hand, nature unaided would have removed the little indisposition. But my object is not to attack the profes- sion of therapeutics, but to show that in spite of the plausable logic of boodle legis lators, and the unanswerable theories of noodle scientists and the bigoted prejudice of the poor, credulous, unsophisticated syco phants who adopt, with unquestioning alac rity, the opinions and prejudices of every smooth-tongued schemer whose dogmas bear simply the stamp of plausibility. For the springs of human action are just the same to day as in the days when the Master walked the earth, and opened the eyes of of the credulous Jews to the whited sepul chers who were regarded with such rever ence and awe for their devotion to God and their love of the Race. The Pharasees of Jerusalem underestimated the penetration of that humble traveling preacher who entered the city with that great howling rabble from the provinces at his heels. But with unerring intuition in reading the hearts of men this great teacher lifted the veil of sanctomony and false devotion that covered the base motives and taught the aston ished people (who must have wondered that they never saw it before) to ever afterwards recognize the true character of lli.n who claimed to be without sin, and so readily saw the mote in the eye of another. It is only the unsuccessful thieves who are in prison, the successful thief (which term, by the way, I apply to all who do not render a just equivalent for value received) who has surrounded himself with all the safeguards of wealth and power, continues to skin the public in thousands of forms of refined modern robbery. I will proceed to enum erate some of the polite forms of stealing which has superceded the more clumsy methods upon which the law (as civiliza tion advances) puts her ban, which spring up again and again under more attractive guises, but always with the same results — robbery; always robbery. But the almighty dollar aimed at by thieves of so many differ ent degrees of intelligence, skill and social surroundings, their methods must of neces sity be diversified from the poorest and most ignorant petty thief to the wealthiest and most erudite powers of the land. The result still remains the same. There are fewer highway l'obberies to-day, because public sentiment is against them; it is easier and safer for a thief to disguise himself as a hotel keeper and charge exorbitant rates for execrable fare. A petty thief who rob bed a lady of her jewelry in the Fourth Avenue tunnel in New York v\as sent to prison for Vi} 4 years for lack of artistic tal lent in his profession. If he had robbed three banks by embezzlement he might have escaped with half as long a sentence, as Boice, of Jersey City, did on that same day. Or if he had stolen like the thieves of the whisky ring he might have kept not only his money, but his social standing. The finest thieves of America are the great commercial barons who crush all competi tors out of existence and get a perpetual corner on some business or commodity, and compel the nation to stand and deliver. Those, are the men who get together and dictate the price of coal, or wheat, or oil, to the world, and compel them to pay it. This is not robbery to any one whose code of morals is a little off color. It’s business, and they are called smart. You had rather be a smart thief than a fool. But a thief is a fool. The folly of fools is deceit. Nothing in the long run is so great a blun der as wrong doing. Stealing by false weights and measures is a favorite method of the real good retailers who would not actually pick the pocket of their victim, but if the right was given them to sell out the great lakes by the quart they would cheat in the measurement. Ere it break, Stealing is a line art when applied in the role of food adulterations. We are horri fied at the account of some fiend trying to murder a whole family at once by putting poison in their food; and what do you think of cooxl respectable men who deliberately sit down and study out cheap poisons and ad minister it to whole nations in their food and drink. I will venture to say there is not a thing that is used by civilized man for food, drink or clothing that is not job bed or doctored by these good people who are horrified at the very word crime. Some good people who would not burglarize a “ IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” house are great people to pegotiate a loan that they never intend to pay. Said a stranger in Scotland, “what are all those people rushing up the street for?” The re ply was that a man was to be hung on the common for stealing sheep.” “Tut, tut,” mused the sagacious Scot; “poor, stupid mon, why did he not iu:v them ani> nev er PAY FOR THEM.” It is estimated that thousands of dollars are stolen from the government every year by the second use of postage stamps, and the good man who erases the ink from a stamp hates vice and crime and denounces it at every convenient opportunity, with long-winded volubility, and is at the same time unaware of the fact that he bears a distant relationship to the mail robber. Ami so in some prisons the prisoner is sent there for being dishonest. He is com pelled to use sham material in the manu facture of goods that will be palmed off by the shining lights ot honor who lease their labor for what it is not, and pay the state for his labor in money that was obtained by false pretense from the citizens that state was bound to protect and who is thus, through the power of boodlers, robbed in two ways at the same time—by competition and by fraud —instead of getting protection against thieves. And so down the long list of polite meth ods. The result is all the same. “Men are all knaves.” They only differ in their methods. Even the good farmer who is so celebrated for his simplicity and honesty vo'dd skin you out of your eyes on a horse dicker or some agricultural transaction. And so 1 say it comes with very bad grace from the thief, this condemnation of the convicted thief —like a lion feasting on a deer and upbraiding the poor cat for mouse stealing. If all methods of stealing were labeled as such, how many a man who stands up now in all * his righteousness would be compelled to take his place “wid de gang” from the poorest laborer up to the “cloth.” And. by the way, the ranks of that profession would be terribly thinned out if the souls of men, and the weal of the race, were the only remunera tions for their self-sacrifice, “Oh! what a falling off there would be.” And what per son (in the possession of common sense) ever supposed that the average lawyer of to-day could follow his profession under the strict principles of honesty and be success ful? Why, the very cream of his practice is the helping of knaves to defeat the ends of justice—helping them to profit and re venge by lies, quibbles and sophistry, mak ing the worse appear the better side. For it is the boast of the very pioneers of law and oratory, (the Greek Sophists) that they taught their students to make the worse ap pear the better side. But while robbery, inhumanity and injus tice is always base and dispicable, under whatever guise it may appear, still, with out attempting to prop up the rotten walls of the slimy edifice, I must say that it would be advisable for people who are addicted to the habit of throwing stones to make sure that their little habitation is made of some material less brittle than glass. The world has evidently not ad vanced in this respect since Shakespere’s day: “TXirough tattered clothes small vices do appear: Robes and furred gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold, And the strong lance of Justice, hurtless breaks: Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw doth pierce it.” Sept. IT. F. M. Ante-Martial Privilege*. Fiancee: (of hideous but fabulously rich man) “Have you shaved?” The man; “Y~es” Fiancee: “Have plenty of perfume on.” The man: *‘Ycs.” Fiancee: “No tabacco in your mouth?” The man: “No.” Fiancee: “Well, you can kiss my poodle, then.—Town Topics. When women send the seduced to Cov entry, but countenance and even court the seducer, ought we to wonder at seduction? —Colton. HISTORICAL SOGjETY. Five Gents. Man, Know Tliyseir. One of the greatest lessons which we should learn in this place is the one of self study. There is no place like this for get ting acquainted with one’s own self. Plu tarch quotes Cato as saying, that “every man ought to especially reverence himself, as every one is always in his own pres ence.” llow can we respect, much less rever ence ourselves, if we have not a thorough knowledge of ourselves. The first step to be taken is a careful retrospect of our past lives. We all know that we have erred, but we must go deeper than the sin—we must examine into the motive that prompt ed the wrong-doing—with the keen dis secting knife of dispassionate judgement, lay bare the inner history of the past years. This is a specie of mental vivisection which is exceedingly painful, and will be only un dertaken by those who truly desire to know themselves—to “see themselves as others see them.” Aye, and with an eye that can see far deeper than any, save the Almighty’s. This retrospect, although painful, will prove a valuable mental discipline. The resultant picture cannot but be humiliating. And it is very useful, inasmuch as it shows clearly how little we can respect ourselves, considering the past, and to point clearly the way in the future, whereby we can re gain our lost self-respect. This habit of self-scrutiny should become a daily one. Even with our restricted opportunities in this place, we can do many things during the day which a careful examination at night would clearly show had much better have been left undone. If each night we would review with unbiased eye the words and actions of the past day, I an sure that there are few, if any. but that would be greatly benefited thereby. Crime in the abstract is revolting. Considered in the light of sober reason it is extremely repulsive. Minor offences lead to greater ones, and if we carefully guard against the lesser ones we shall stand in but little danger of com mitting the graver ones. One ot the most beneficent, results of this daily examination is the habit of thought. If we know each day that every mood and eveiy action has to be accounted for at night, it will tend to make one very guard ed, and to think well before word is spoken, or deed done. The ancient Hebrew proverb expresses quaintly the thought which I have endea vored to place befoie you: “Let die coun sel of thine own heart stand, for a man’s mind is sometimes wont to tell him more than seven watchmen that sit above in a high tower.” E. PRISON PHASES. BY PICKI.ES. In what way does the labor party resem ble the enterprising burglar? They both seek gain through (k) nights of labor. We have wall-ffowers at the prison, and they’re not old maids, either. Humored, that a certain convict of Teu tonic extraction is so pleased with the re cent introduction of boiled bologna sausage into the cuisine of our “noted resort,” by our Joliet steward, that he has made appli cation for an extention of his time here. There is a man in the penitentiary for killing Time; he is now serving time. A convict has been discovered in the pris on who says he is “guilty”. He will be placed on exhibition in the “curio hall” attached to the prison. A sign over a convict’s bench in one of the shops reads: “The Christian at Work.” The facetious wretch got it from the head ing of a well known religious journal. A paradox: The convict keeps “mum.” until he gets “extra dry,” and then lie calls for water. The “pen” is mightier than the convict.