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Yol. 1. Mo. 8. GOOD THINGS TO KUMIiMBKR. [The following lines, handed in by one of our brother unfortunates, are published not for their merits as “poetry,” but for the good sentiments contained therein.—Ed.] ’Tis a good tiling for us to remember. That where there’s a will there's a way, For faint hearts and timorous actions Have never yet carried the day. Cool heads and brave hearts can accomplish, Whate’erthey determine to do, And the harder the task the more credit Ee ours for putting it through. ’Tis a good thing to call to our mem’ries, When our hearts are distress'd and forlorn. That the darkest of all the dark hours Is that which precedes the fair morn. And, too, when the sunshine is hidden And gloom all our pathway enshrouds. The sun is still shining, remember. In spite of the gloom and the clouds. ’Tis best toward the faults and the failings Of others to he very kind, Because very often those failings Within our own hearts we can find. There is no one in all the creation Whose heart is unsullied by sin. So we’d best take our friends as we find them. And not pry too closely within. Ah, this too, is good to remember, The cup of cold water, the crust. That is given in One name will ne’er be Forgot as tho’ written in dust. But will shine in the annals of Heaven, What we do in the name of our Lord, Tho’ the humblest and meanest of actions, Will meet with a blessed reward. C. W. P. “THE BASKUT.” Its Patli Not Strewn AVI tit Roses—Tlte .lien It Meets in Its Riisfness Peram bulations. The Basket has just eaten a long, solitary dinner and is in fine spirits, for only last night it received a letter from its best girl, stating that she is glad at last she thoroughly knows the character of The Basket and congratulates herself upon having escaped the fates of its other wives. iShe calls it a polygamist (The Basket looked up this polyg business and finds that it means any one that is not married seldom enough.) With anjoverioaded stomach —having drank too much water for dinner —four pairs of shoes, four pairs of suspenders, a broom, a pepper box. with a loose top and a lot of pipes, caps, thread, etc., The Basket starts out to visit about 418 cells. “Hist, ha, there; give us a pipe, will you?” The Basket stops, drops all the paraphernalia, gets a pipe, and after collecting its goods again starts to the next cell. “Hold on; how are you off for vests today?.” The Basket replies, “No vests —none till the end of the month.” “Well, say, put me down for one, anyway.” The Basket puts him down—for a damphnle—and again starts. “Say, while you are at it, give me a pair of shoe strings.” The Bas ket knows very well that it has no shoe strings but it makes a diligent search to show good intentions, you know, and finally says, “I’m sorry, but I haven’t a a single string.” The Basket forges ahead and is getting along very nicely, when a series of “hists” call him back about six cells. This crank wants some matches-. The Basket has no matches, hut the crank says, “Well, ask Bob next door to give you some.” Boh lias none, but Torn has. The Basket skates (the floors are nicely oiled) down to Tom’s cell. Tom slowly •counts out the matches and remarks that “he'll be darned if he'll give that crank any more matches; what’s lie do with all the matches? Does he eat them?” The Basket delivers the matches and tells the crank that Tom will have some more to morrow. Steam is gotten lip and away goes The Basket. It suddenly stops, sneezes, cries a few tears, and after wiping Stillwater, Minn., Wednesday, Sept. £B, 188 Y. the pepper out of its nose and eyes, finds the to]) of the pepper box and discovers that it lias collided with another crank —the crank of the bar. The crank is examined and found O. K. The Basket was foully struck below the belt, but no damage was done, except to enliven the pepper. Away goes The Basket, and again it is stopped by Jim Younger, who has his hands full of hooks and his mouth full of to —wax. “Pete, in No.— says lie is going to wipe up the floor with The Basket when it comes around that way.” The Basket smiles, for it knows a short way round that cell, when suddenly a pair of fierce black eyes protruding from the bars of a cell stop The Basket with, “where’s them pants 1 ordered yester day?” The Basket is startled and makes a bungling reply about the pants not being half-soled, and goes around the corner to kick itself for having so little sand, when a heelless slippered editor approaches and asks his usual question, “what kind of chewing tobacco have you?” The Basket had been laying for that tobacco fiend and tells him that his tobacco is “Turned Loose.” He dosen’t take time to see and appreciate this beautiful play on words hut says. “Well that will do; I’ve some good tobacco in the office.” The Basket pro ceeds. and the rest of the circuit is a re petition of the first part. The Basket should he abused and is abused. No matter how much annoyed bv unnecessary demands and questions, The Basket must smile and look happy. When No. 29 is reached the little cherub makes some remarks which are distasteful to The Basket. As No 29’sdoor is locked, courage oozes from each individual pore of The Basket, and it invites the cherub to repeat his little observations outside of his cell. The cherub rises and pretends to come out; The Basket having started doesn’t know whether the cherub really came out or not, for he had been taught from child hood that “it is bad luck to turn hack.” The Basket is perched on the crater of a dynamitic volcano; if you want any of its contents beached into your cell, please light the fuse. The Basket. Sept. 23, 1887. A True Friend. Editor Mirror: When people reach a period where they are determined to rise above their failures and mistakes, then they are verging in to the right track. We cannot walk over the briers and stones without being hurt; we must get onto the smooth highway, where the paving is “right thoughts, lofty purposes and noble desires” with a vision of the heavenly city at the far end, and ever bear in mind along the way, that beautiful verse— “ Are we weak and heavy ladencd. Cumbered with a load of care, I recious Savior, still our refuge. Take it to the Lord in prayer. Ho thy friends dispise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer; In His arms He’ll take and shield thee. Thou wilt find a solace there.” When one undertakes to accomplish any thing, one would, and properly should, place the whole heart and soul into the undertaking. If. my dear reader, you have reached your decision and have begun the up-hill journey, put heart and soul into it, and when you have moments of weakness, sing the above little verse. It will give you strength and the happy consciousness, that you are not alone, even in your solitude, but have Him for youi guide and friend— Him. who forsakes none that believe and put their trust in Him. Chas. M. Moi:ton\ Sept. 24. 1887. St. Paul has two savory lteeds now. One is ex-warden of the penitentiary, and the other is ex-showman, poet and dude. They are accused of irregularity, immoral ity and heinous crimes. How would it do to turn one or both over to the tender mercy of the surgeons.—Dodge County Republican. &3588832828 i*. “ IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” JAIL. LIFE. Eli! Effects of Hip Commingling; of Novices aii«l Professionals. Editor ol Mirroi Having read a great many articles in The Minnon on prison reform, I would like to give you a few of my personal experi ences. Judging from our population here, nearly 50 per cent of the men sent to the penitentiary are under thirty years of age, and are serving their first term. The great er portion of these men go out of prison worse than when they came in—that is, where young men and mere boys have to associate with habitual criminals —and this fact will he evident to any one whose experience has been as broad as my own. I have seen a number of young men since mv incarceration, arrested for their first offense, filled with remorse anil good resolutions, who were laughed out of their scruples and inoculated with hatred for so ciety. resistance of authority, and a desire for revenge for fancied wrongs. They go into a jail comparatively novices and come out of the penitentiary fully initiated into the mysteries of crime! An inexperienced person could scarcely imagine what an influence the hardened criminal has over the susceptible youth. They have nothing to do hut sit around and tell them big, fat stories about how men rob hanks, and buy fast horses and brown sttme fronts with the proceeds. No mis sionary ever worked with more zeal and more success. These stories are generally suited to a wild young man, who feels down hearted, and is ready to take Hold of or lis ten to anything to turn the dull hours of jail lite into bliss. On the other hand, if lie shows the least signs of penitence or a desire to reform, he is invariably looked up on with scorn and contempt hj r his compan ions. and called a “coward.” So, while this state of things exists, I say, brave is the boy who spends from one month to one year in jail, and then goes to state prison, and isn’t worse off when he comes out. My advice to the young man in prison is to laugh right back at him who attempts to laugh you out of your good resolutions, and consider him your worst enemy, no matter what lie may give you. If lie teaches, or tries to teach you, evil, he certainly is not your friend. 1 have myself seen a great deal of this wicked world, and cannot be counted among the “spring chickens,” but I have ceitainly heard more evil talked in my less than two years of prison life than 1 did in my twenty-six years of liberty. As to reforming a man who is a villain at heart, 1 do not think such a thing possible; but I do think that more than half of the men in prison are simply victims of circum stances, and are not half so had as the out side world claim them to be. When a man is once in prison and without friends and money, there is but one avenue open to him—lie must have the moral courage to resist any temptation, no matter how strong it may he. If he cannot do that, he will forever he an outcast; but in order to be successful he must commence in prison, where the temptations are not so many. Still, it we can resist what there are there, we will he much better able to meet those in the outside world. McFarland. Sept. 18, 1887. Hooked By Hook Rait. “Clara,” said a Philadelphia mother, “lias Charlie popped the question yet?” “No, nia; hut I think he will before long.” % “What makes you think so?” “Because he asked me if vou often vis ited and stopped with your two sons-in law. ” “Well, what did you tell him?” eagerly asked her mother. “I told him you seldom took a meal in their house.” “Hood girl! I see that you had your wits about you. It was an untruth, I know, Clara, but I’ll bet you have hooked him.” — Philadelphia Ileaiid. ffC*"*"*! Kindness tlic Key Note to Reformation. Editor Mirror: To-night, as my thoughts are directed homeward and to mother. I* wonder how many fond loving mothers —yes, Christian mothers —as they fondlv stroke the heads of their infant sons, or nestle them to their bosoms as only a mother can, ever think that sometime lie may he stripped of his civil rights and cast into a convict's cell. No matter how sad and humiliating to me, such is the fact with more than fifty thou sand human beings in the United states alone. I have read much with reference to the punishment and reformation of those af flicted with a criminal nature, and have come to the conclusion that the law never has and never can reform a criminal who is such by inheritance, though it can and will make it exceedingly uncomfortable for him if lie don’t reform himself. But all men who are sent to prison are not demons nor criminals by nature. Many are the victims of unfortunate circumstances, who by some act in an unguarded moment have committed a crime against so ciety. perhaps the only one they have ever committed. And if a little char ity had been mingled with “justice” at the time of their trials, this class of so-called criminals would have become valuable acquisitions to the mechanical, mercantile or professional world, and to society. But, alas, charity is blind to the weak ness of flesh and deaf to the wails and sobs of wives, children and poor old mothers, and the unfortunate is carried away to pris on and forever after branded a social out cast. This class of “criminals” have my heart felt sympathy. If anything will assist in the reforma tion and lead to the path of righteousness those who are doomed behind these massive walls, it is the reception of tender, loving messages from a faithfull wife, a loving mother or sister, which prove to the erring one that the lamp of love is still burning for him at the old home. But fully 50 per cent of the wives desert their husbands as soon as they are in trouble, no matter what their crime may have been—whether defending their honor or stealing a loaf of bread to keep her and her offspring from starving. Parents, too, often desert an erring son or daughter when in trouble. 1 have more respect for the criminal con fined in a felon’s cell than for such “par ents.” For a character is born and not made The subject of crime and criminals, their prosecution and reformation is simply inexhaustible. The key note to reformation (if any) is kindness. In conclusion I will say, abolish the most palpable fraud known to cirimiiial jurispru dence —the jury system—and there will he fewer so-called “criminals” and more of the other fellows in our prisons. Rambler. SepL 20. 18S7. For Want ol'Succor. The following letter explains itself. Though we regret to lose the Examiner we are grateful for the praise and approval and kind wish for our continued success, as we aim to publish, if not a journal of high lite rary standard, at least a clean and pure one: Banbury, Ct., Sept. 17, 1887. Editor Mirror: BEAU SIU—We are compelled to announce the suspension of our paper, vhe Danbury Examiner, and to take a final leave of our ex changes, among which we were well pleased to number THE PRISON MIRROR. We desire to express our appreciation and ap- X>roval of the literary character and neat appear ance of your paper, and to wish for it a successful career, free from the complications which are so often fatal to papers which, like our own. are established in the interest ot labor. Respectfully, THE DANBURY EXAMINER CO., W. E. Grumman, Manager. Rive Gents.