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Vol. 3. No. 22. (•pa;oaies) Y ES, GI'ILTY. '“Yes, I’m guilty,” the prisoner said As he wiped his eyes and bowed his head “Guilty of all the crimes you name; But this yere lad is not to blame, ■Twas I aloDe who raised the row. And, Judge, if you please, I’ll tell yer how. You see, this boy is paie and slim, We calls him saint—his name is Tim, He’s like a preacher in his ways; He never drinks, or swears or plays, But kinder weeps and sighs all day— ’Twould break your heart to hear him pray. Why, sir, many and many a night. When grub was scarce and 1 was tight, No food, no fire, no light to see. When home was hell, if hell there be, I’ve seen that boy in darkness kneel, And pray such words as cut like steel; Which somehow lit and warmed the room, And sorter chased away the gloom. Smile if you must, but these are facts. And deeds are deeds and acts are acts; And though I’m black as sin can be. His prayers have done a heap for me. And make me think that God, perhaps, Sent him on earth to save us chaps. This man what squealed and pulled us in, Keeps a place called Fiddlers’ Inn. Where fakes and snipes and lawless scamps, Connive and plot with thieves and tramps. Well, Tim and me we didn’t know Just what to do or where to go. And so we staid with him last night, And this is how we had the fight. They wanted Tim to take a drink, But he refused as you may think, And told them how the flowing bowl Contained the fire that kills the soul. •Drink! drink!’ they cried, ‘this foaming beer ’Twill make you strong and give you cheer, Get preachers groan and prate of sin, But give to us the flowing gin!’ Then Tim knelt down beside his chair, And offered up this little prayer; ‘Help me, dear Gord,’ the child began, As down hischeeks the big tears ran, ‘To keep the pledge I gave to you. And make me good and strong and true, I've done my best to do what’s right. But. Gord, I’m sad and weak to-night. Father, mother, oh plead forme— Tell Christ I long with you to be!’ ‘Get up, you brat, don’t pray round here,’ The landlord yelled with rage and fear. Then, like a brute he hit the lad, Which made my blood just b’iling mad. I guess I must uv hurt his head, For 1 struck hard for the man that’s dead. No, he hain.t no folks or friends but me; His dad was killed in sixty-three. Shot at the front where bursting shell And cannon sang their song of hell, And muskets hissed with fiery breath, As brave men fell to their tune of death. As the life blood flowed from his wounded side I promised him, sir, and it gave him joy, That I’d protect his darling boy. 1 simply did what his father would. And helped the weak as all men should. Yes, I knocked him down and blacked his eye; And used him rough I’ll not deny But think of it. Judge, a chap like him Striking the likes of little Tim, If 1 did wrong send me below, But spare the son of comrade Joe — Y’ou forgive him and me? Oh, no! A fact? God bless you! Come Tim, let’s go.” —M. J. Munyon. “Destroy tlieCave,lgnorance, and You Destroy tlie Mole, Crime.” This is the sentiment voiced by Victor Hugo in one of his best books while philos ophizing on the cause and general results of crime. That ignorance is the direct cause none can very well gainsay. By ignorance is not necessarily meant dense illiteracy, though illiteracy is usually the greatest ig norance. A college professor may be a shining light in his own sphere and still be very ignorant ot many vital points of life. It is but a few months ago that one of the principal professors in a leading eastern col lege was compelled to dee the country on account of committing as foul a crime as is within the range of human knwoledge to conceive. It was not an act done on the impulse of the moment —it had been a con tinual habit with him. Is not such a man Stillwater, Minn., 'Thursday, Jan. 9,1890. ignorant in a high degree, to let an abom inable habit fasten itself upon him? If he gave any thought to the subject he could not fail to see that continuance in such an abomination would be his ruin, and would necessitate his becoming an exile or the oc cupant of a felon’s cell. This man was competent to demonstrate the laws of logic to his pupils, but he could not practice in his own life the simplest of those laws. While tbis may be an isolated case in its heinousness, we are not in want of proof to show that even learned men are often lack ing in the most essential part of knowledge —the wisdom to put into practice the simple truths which they know are necessary to the preservation of their liberty and happi ness. The newspapers of the day only too often herald the degrading downfall of men from high plaecs. who, as the papers put it “ought to know better.” The ignorance which Victor Hugo spoke of was certainly illiteracy. At the time and place he gave utterance to his grand senti ment illiteracy was the great cave he deemed necessary to destroy. It is so yet. About ten per cent of the inmates of this prison are wholly illiterate, and bve per cent of the balance are barely able to read. This is a conservative estimate, and it is safe to say that but few other prisons can make as favorable a showing—if the limited statis tics we already have at hand are reliable. What are men of this kind to do when they are liberated? Can it be expected that, handicapped as they are, and mayhaps with very low moral instincts, they will make a desirable addition to any community? Not likely; if they are already in a criminal rut they will probably remain so. It cannot be otherwise. They are shrouded in a mental darkness even worse than physical blind ness. They are helpless, and it is not en tirely their fault if they continue to prey upon their fellowmen. Their only guides are instinct and necessity. The only alternative in this case is to re deem these men from the stygian cloud of ignorance that hides the higher perceptions and capabilities of manhood. Let the bright beams of the sunlight of knowledge enter into their darkened intellects. Arouse them from the destroying stupor of monot onous repetition that is gnawing away their mental and moral vitality. Let them see that there is something more in life than eating, sleeping and animal pleasure. The majority of these illiterate men are fully aware of their helplessness and will jump at the chance to become the equals of those who are fortunate in the possession of the lesser accomplishments of life. “Educate the criminal” is the keynote to the reformation of the wrong doer. Facili ties for giving prisoners a good, common education and moral training should be a principal part of the equipment of every penal institution. It is senseless to attempt to force profound religious doctrines upon men who are incapable of comprehending the simple laws essential to their own wel fare. At present but very few penal insti tutions —aside from reformatories—have any systematic method of improving the in mates in an educational sense. And this is the very thing that is necessary above all others. Start schools in the prisons; let religious teaching take a second place in this regard—religion will follow as a nat ural sequence to mental enlightenment. It will not pay to be parsimonious in the in troduction of educational facilities into prisons. The amount of money expended yearly in returning second-termers will more than defray the cost of keeping up an educational system in every prison. All those, past and present, who have given any thought to prison affairs maintain that education is the “one thing needful” in every prison. The highest authorities on the subject demand that useful, practical knowledge be instilled into prisoners if ref ormation is the end sought. And why has not this idea been acted upon long ago? Economy is the principal reason given. It will appear to a thoughtful person that this kind of economy is similar to that which actuated the old woman to burn away a three-cent candle in the search for one cent she had lost. There is no economy in re trenchment of this sort. The only truly economical side to the question is to spare no reasonable expense in following out the admirable precept of the immortal Victor Hugo, and thus rend the Cimmerian cloud that impells so many to the committal of crime. Honda. “ IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” Principle and tlie Publican. Principle is the keystone of moral integ rity. Upon this virtue hinges all the fun damental elements that characterize man kind in their daily routine of duties to self and others. Most men have some natural qualifications for usefulness —some more than others, but it is offset by a besetting unsteadiness of purpose. Self-conquest, lies at the base of all other noble achieve ments. Mind, manner, heart and will, reg ulate the intrinsic value of any action ema nating from the one or the other or of a com bination of the whole of them. A man with limited means, upon whose time and purse others have a legitimate claim, meets an object that calls for assist ance. His impulse is to relieve the dis tress apparent in the object; an impulse which is pure in itself because it springs from a heart naturally generous and alive to all corporal necessities and aftliection in others, and he does that which reason and justice do not dictate by using means not his own to gratify an impulse laud able in itself. Now, shall we say this man did a self-sacrificing act to lend a help ing hand to others? Upon the broad plane of principle and justice the answer is no. And why? For the simple reason that he used the means of others. He goes beyond his means to mitigate apparent misfortune to the exclusion of all other responsibilities; and the result is that others entitled to and dependent upon his care must suffer in pro portion to his thoughtlessness. The prin ciple applicable to an action of this kind is the same as if the man had only ten cents with which to buy bread for his table and spends it for a drink of whisky, with the difference in impulses to regulate the ac tions in favor of the first. A man robs me of my purse, I tell him he is taking my all, and leaving me nothing to buy my dinner; and his generous impulse is to return a dollar for that purpose. In an other case and like conditions, the robber refuses the return of a dollar. Now what are the motives governing these two men in these two transactions? We may suppose the first having known the pangs of hunger, his sympathy stretches out towards his vic tim a safeguard against immediate want; while the second thought only of self to the exclusion of all other objects. One would say it would be a fine point well drawn out to distinguish a grain of principle in either of these examples; but such is not the case, for principle is only a word, the use of which enables us to distinguish between the just and unjust. Was it not a sympathy which sprung from the underlying sense and the fitness of the situation which called forth the impulse of the robber to return me the part of my own for a purpose spe cific in itself? Undoubtedly it was. But not so in the second case, for it demon strated the fact that he was incapable, or unwilling, to comprehend the situation and the necessities the circumstances demanded, consequently his want of the principles of justice. Very many men go through life a living lie and fraud, and these are the ones who practice a principle of charity and good works on a plan peculiarly and specifically their own; for there is no particle of the God-like virtue in it. They proclaim their good actions from the housetops that all may hear, see and have knowledge of them. If they meet a suppliant for alms of what ever kind, they take care some one shall know it who will circulate the knowledge of the act —so that it will bring credit and profit to themselves —on street corners, as it were, in tones sufficiently loud to attract notice of all passers by. And yet such men are often leaders of a community that may pride itself on the purity of its so ciety and who subverts its own will to the detriment of others simply to pander to the tastes and wishes of a less deserving ob ject. It is such natures as these that soil the bright spots in nature and cause a blush of shame to mantle the cheek of the more pure minded because of the knowledge that human nature can stoop so low as to call into play the essence of God’s virtue to pander to their desires for worldly gain. To do the best one can, one must mortify the evil passions, root out selfish desires, and foster the aims of all that is good in self and others. Hate no one and help all others in your power, and that power will come to all with the exercise of desire and will. J. iPive Gents. Cause and Effect. I have read with pleasure the able article by “M —.” on the temperance question in last week’s issue. What I would ask is, why does a man drink to such an extent that he lowers him self in the eyes of men to a degree that he is looked upon as worse than any beast? Does he wilfully become a sot for the honor and glory of it? No, I think not. In the majority of cases a man has some trouble on his mind which he tries to shake off by the use of liquor. And so from starting in with a small dose of the deadly liquor he goes on until he finds himself in a bottom less pit, without a friendly hand to help or save him. How this matter is to be rem edied is a proposition Ido not pretend to solve. Man has been a wine-biber ever since the time of Noah, and will continue to be such until the inilleniun arrives. Closing the saloons will not have the de sired effect, neither will prohibition. I have traveled considerably in lowa and have been thirsty in that state; but 1 never yet struck a town in which I could not obtain a glass of soda water with a “stick” in it. This does away with prohibition being a preventive of drunkenness. The idea of doing away with all the saloons in the country is not to be thought of. Why should the majority suffer for the minority? If A is fond of his glass of beer and chooses to partake of it and has the good sense to know when he has enough, is there any just reason, I ask, why he should be de prived of his drink because B happens to be a habitual drunkard who cannot pass a sa loon but must needs get loaded up? In my humble estimation saloonkeepers are a much maligned class, they do not ask a man into their house, nor when he is in do they compel him to get drunk. If whisky was not sold by saloonkeepers it would, as a matter of fact, be obtained in some other way. 1 would remind my readers that, let any subscription be started in a city the sa loonkeeper is the first one asked to append his name, and help in a pecuniary manner. Why could there not be started in every state in this country an asylum for inebriates the same as in England? Asylum- have been in vogue in the latter country for a long time, and the good result is manifest in a noticeable decrease of crime. A stranger taking any interest in the laws of this country is not a little surprised at the proceedings of the municipal courts, as, for instance, a prisoner is charged with be ing drunk; the policeman states his evi dence; his honor then asks, the prisoner what he has to say to the charge. “Not guilty,” says the prisoner. '‘But,” replies the judge, “the policeman says you were, and we prefer to believe his word to yours —s2s or thirty days.” If the unfortunate has not the shekels to pay his fine he goes to the bastile. Now, I say there is surely something wrong about this. In all other countries I have been in—and they are many—in a trial of this sort a policeman must bring forth some corroborative evidence, else the prisoner will be given the benefit of the doubt. Policemen may be, and, I have no doubt are, as a rule, an honorable body of men. But they are by no means infallible, and are just as liable to make a mistake as any other man. Thus, I maintain, many an innocent man has been unjustly accused and sent to prison, making him a ruined man for life, because when he is free he feels the degradation he hasundereoneand, like Ishmael of old, his hand is against every one and every one’s hand is against him. And so it comes that he tries to soothe his sorrow in the flowing bowl, and soon we have a case of “another good man gone wrong,” for in nearly every instance the unfortunate eventually lauds in the state penitentiary to do penance and re form —if he can. If some of our legislators would look into this matter 1 am writing about, 1 respectfully venture to say they will find the subject worthy of their great minds and consideration. * Cakgos Otl»er Provision. “So, young man, you want to marry my daughter. Don’t you rely upon your father for support?” “Yes; but he wont do it any longer.”— Puck. Folly must hold its tongue while wearing the wig of wisdom. —J. A. Macon.