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Vol. No. I^.
1- A PHILANTHROPISTS MISTAKE. A Bailer l)ay Romance. I. The prison of Bleak Hollow, looked much as usual upon this morning—cold, grey, and uninviting. Teddy Fitzroy stepped forth trom it with a shudder akin to joy. And as he allowed for a moment his gaze to sweep the beauti ful blue vista before him, a sigh of gladness escaped from his heart. For ten years and a half, had Fitzroy called this gloomy prison house his home. And now, that he was free and unrestrained once more, his very soul did weep for pleasure. Objects in life, he had none. Excepting alone, the oft, and fondly cherished wish — to lead an upright life. And money he had none; the trifle which the prison al lowed its discharged convicts having been expended in the purchase of a deceut-look ing hat and linen collar. “What! —That you, Fitz?—Out?” The voice belonged to a hale and hearty, pleasant-visaged gentleman comine along the street toward the prison portal at a brisk gait. It was none other, than Deacon Quist; or, as lie was wont to impress upon folks right and left, per means of his elegantly engraved cards—Peter Q. Quist, Philan thropist; and lie was on his way to the prison in the fulfillment of a self-impos'ed appointment to greet our Teddy into the outer world, and freedom. During lus many visits to the prison, he had somehow or other taken a fancy to him; and upon more than one occasion, had intimated his attention to be on hand at the day of the release, and lend a helping hand. “Yes, sir. Yes, sir,” replied the ad dressee, respectfully; “Out—an’ free—sure enough. But Ps afeert,” he added, apol ogetically, “You wa’n’t going to come —So thought Pd mought as well be movin’.” “Well, well, that’s all right, Fitz;” the philanthropist rejoined in pleasant tone, “though you might have waited a little while longer. It reveals to me another good trait in your character. Shows, you don’t put too much dependence in others. Good trait, that; yes, indeed—A 1! But tell me, Fitz; what do you calculate doing now, anyway. Made up your mind yet?” “Well —er —yes, sir, 1 cal’late doin’ what’s right. Think I can find suthin’, Mr. Quist?” “Do l?” And the philanthropist’s coun tenance just fajrly beamed: “Most decid edly. I do. Just listen, Fitz.” and out of the exuberance of his spirits, the worthy man leaned well over toward the shabby ©p’ ftrteon illirror. A WHISKY JUG. Within these earthen walls confined, The ruin lurks of human kind; More mischiefs here united dwell. And more diseases haunt this cell. Than ever plagued the Egyptian flocks Or ever cursed Pandora’s box. Within these prison walls repose The seeds of many a bloody nose, The chattering tongue, the horrid oath. The fist for fighting nothing loath, The nose with diamonds glowing red, The bloated eye, the broken head, Forever fastened to this door. Confined within, a thousand more Instructive fiends of hateful shape E'en now n-e planning an escape, Here only by a cork controlled And Blender walls of earthen mold, In all the pomp of death reside Kevenge that ne’er was satisfied. The tree that bears the deadly fruit Of maiming, murder und dispute, Assault that innocence assails, The images of gloomy jails, The giddy thought on mischief bent, The evening hour in folly spent— All these within this jug appear. And Jack the hangman in the rear. Thrice happy he who, early taught By Nature, ne’er this poison sought; He with the purling streams content, The beverage quaffs that Nature meant. In reason’s scale his actions weighed, His spirits want no foreign aid; Bong life is his in vigor passed, Existence welcome to the last; A spring that never yet grew stale, Such virtue lies in Adam's ale. Stillwater, Minn., Thursday, Nov. 13,159 Q. form of the ex-convict, and in a confiden tial tone,remarked: “It’s all settled. I’ve got you a job—and, it’s a dandy, too. Ar ranged it all with Jones, when I was up at Wesleyburg the other day. All you’ll have to do. is to take this card (he produced the article, and handed it to Teddy), go to Wesleyburg, and present yourself at Mr. Jones’ place of business. The address — you’ll find it on the card. So cheer up, me boy; and hope lor a better time ahead.” Up to now —side by side —the philanthro pist and ex-convict had walked leisurely away from the prison buildings—on up the quiet thoroughfare. But at this point, the former recalled to mind another engage ment, and stopping briefly to add a bit of well meant advice, he bade Fitzroy a hearty farewell. And upon the thanks that bub bled forth from Fitz in choking incoherence, he merely waved from the distance a mag nanimous deprecation: “Don’t mention it, me boy. Don’t mention it!” ii. Puff, puff—toot, toot, toot—puff, puff— toot, toot. toot. On through the darkness sped the Wesleyburg Express. And tiius, for hours at a time. Presently —a shock! A moment of untold horror! And all was over. The train was wrecked. And though much profitable and interest ing reading might be gleaned therefrom, the attending scenes of misery and suffering, are foreign to this tale. iii. Never before, in the history of the Wes leyburg District court, was there such an in terest manifested, as there was in the case now on trial—The Wesleyburg Express Wrecking case. Or. as it appeared upon the record —“The State vs. Jenks, and Fitzroy.” People from afar, had flocked to witness the proceedings. And. to twelve of as good yeomen as the district could produce, had it fallen the lot to act as jurors. It was plain to see, that public opinion was predisposed in favor of Jenks; though— so far as that goes—there was no evidence against either of the accused —any more, than that they had both been seen on that fatal night, riding the blind end of the ex press car. But Jenks —though a repulsive looking tramp—was uot an ex convict, as it was but shortly after tiie arrest of the twain discovered that Fitzroy was. Hence this disposition in favor of Jenks. Through the eloquent pleas of the re spective counsels, the case swayed first to one side, then to the other. The state set up an ingenious claim of circumstantial ev idence, and the det'euse refuted it. “It is preposterous to suppose,” claimed they, “that they (the defendants) had placed the ties across the track, and then trudged back through a foot and a half of snow, to the nearest telegraph station— which was twenty miles away—to board the very train—the prosecution has it—that they intended to demolish! Preposterous and out of all reason! The accused are in nocent of the charge.” And thus for three days the trial pro ceeded. On the morning of the fourth —having made another tine argument—especially in sofar as the interests of Fitzroy were con cerned. In showing—in view of his release from Bleak Hollow, over one hundred miles away, on the very morning of the tragedy— the utter impossibility of the latter making “connections” —“even, thougti a motive there could be established,” as was face tiously added, the defense rested its case. And the prosecution having nothing further to add. than that it trusted a verdict would be rendered in accordance with the evidence adduced, the judge made the charge to the jury. “You will please find a verdict of Not Guilty.” The jury retired. The two accused sat pale, yet hopeful. A solemn hush through out the audience. An hour elapsed, and yet no sign of jury. Two hours, and still that solemn hush. Three—At last. Just as the sombre looking court clock indicated four, the door in the east wing swung ajar, and the jurors hove in sight. “Your, verdict, Gentleman?” “Et’s ‘Guilty.’ Judge, for F-F-Fitzroy. ‘Not Guilty.’ as to J Jenks.” And thus ended the celebrated case of “ r l he State vs. Jenks, and Fitzroy. Jenks went on about his business—what ever that was-md Fitzroy. a day or two later, went back to Bleak Hollow on a 20 years’ sentence. EPILOGUE. And now. that the story is ended, where does the philanthropist’s mistake come in? Well, that’s where the moral comes in, and —Unidentified. “ IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” Pll tell you—He should have done by Fitz roy, as he would have done by himself, were he the one that was going to Wesley burg after a job. In other words —He should have purchased him a ticket. Chakles Le Furst. Pnblic Morals. The study of the morals of a people is simply an inquiry into what the public knows or cares about duty. By public mor als is meant the average righteousness of the whole people. Society is so full of local and individual forces that in the most de praved epochs in history we find some good men—some great characters. The Pagan times could always point to a Job, or a Socrates, or a Zeno. Like mountain peaks the great, upright souls of earth can be dis cerned from afar. But the average morality of an age or nation is not so easily found, i Everyone can see that Antonine the Pious j was a better man than Nero, but whether j old Rome was more depraved than modern j Paris, or Cartilage more or less civilized ! than Minneapolis are questions more diffi cult to answer. It is a safe assumption, however, that the morality of America is at least higher than that of ifid Rome or Athens —that the average public sentiment is higher than it was two thousand years ago. Of this, then, we are assured that, bad as the world still is, there has been a steady moral progress, and that vice hasde dined along with the decline of barbarism —otherwise the modern statesman, philan thropist and Christian might well lie down in despair. In contemplating the past we see only its splendid temples, its pyramids, its colossal ruins and triumphal arches— those old lauds come down to us wreathed in garlands of art or letters, and not in the rags of their vices; and yet we know the vices were there. We know that crime, and human passion, and selfishness, and the cruelest tyranny ravaged the world. Who ever looks behind the drapery of literature and the arts which hide the awful vicesand brutal passions of classic nations will be hold the sky of Rome and Athens and An cient Egypt darken, while the heavens that overarch our own land and all modern na tions are aglow with the light of public virtue. And yet our public morality is low enough. Compared with what men once were our condition m*y seem tolerable, compared with what we should be, it is dis graceful. It is the more disgraceful that our moral development has not kept pace with our intellectual conquests. Every child knows that integrity is ttie law of life, but hardly one man in a thousand illustrates the truth in his daily conduct. We are a nation of learned minds, and weakened consciences. It is only a single specimen fact in our history that New York City owes 5150.000.000, more than half of which was stolen by its own municipal officers. Over railways and banks, and customs, and life insurance and public contracts, and de scending over most private business inter ests bangs a cloud of suspicion. Money is borrowed, not by character, but by an ex amination ol' the books of the recorder. What the capitalist wants is not an un clouded title. The land is full of open, and half disguised frauds, and the same moral weakness that engenders such sin permits it to go unpunished. One cause of this disgraceful condition is the neglect of courts and juries to enforce the law against offenders, and the haste of executives to pardon cfiminals. Law is the first great support of any land. People having the intellectual light to enact good laws ought to have the virtue and moral courage to enforce them. A state cannot wait lor religion to make men good, or for culture to make them moral, for religion and culture demand time; whereas the state cannot wait one minute for reform. Moses made the Hebrew nation by means of law. Law precedes the gospel. The law is the schoolmaster to bring the populace up to ward civilization. Criminals never learn duty from any abstract study of philosophy. A Tweed or a Mike McDonald ora Johnson never sits down like a Spencer or a Mills or a Northrop to study methods in the light of moral obligation. Their only instructor is the statute book; and when the law is inad equate, or not in the least liable to be en forced, there is no schoolmaster to teach such men honesty. Our local Tweeds and Turpins care nothing for public opinion— they have no sense of shame. Hence to Rive Gents. condone the offenses of dishonest public men, or fail to punish criminals is to close the school-house of conduct, encourage the grossest official corruption, and invite the return of barbarism. The church, the school-house, and the press are useful agencies, but their good comes slowly. Public justice, represented by the law, acts instantly. Another cause of the low condition of the public morals is the prevailing materialistic spirit. Humanity is always being swayed by first one and then another prevailing wind of taste and philosophy. In Luther’s day sprang up the wind of religious liberty. At one time a tempest of chivalry and cru sades swept over Europe. Later the wind of civil liberty arose. In another age every man was a romantic lover and all literature a song. To day the wind that sweeps over us blows from materialism in its first estate, and is bending the thought of the age in one way. The literature, the art, the wide education of the present, united to a broad and liberal religion ought to form the best quality of soul ttie world has ever seen; but education is buying railroads and ships, and mines, and men who once would have been poets are stealing money through a bank or a contract or an otlice, and the Christians who once would have died for their Lord under Nero, are now conniving with Mammon to see how the most money can be taken in for the least paid out. The problem of Aristotle was the tides; of Galileo, the motion of the stars; of Calvin and Luther, the laws of God; of the pa triots. of liberty, but in this materialistic age the problem is how to secure a loan wliere principal and interest shall never be paid. The church is not free from responsibil ity. It has accomplished much good, but it lias also wrought harm. It smites sin, but is smitten in its turn. It lias thrown much light and virtue upon the world; but it has also absorbed much pride and selfish ness and darkness. We trace its history and see it starting forth, at first a humble sister of charity; to-day it rides in a chariot, a proud queen perfumed and bedizened like Cleopatra. It has injured public morals by teaching a theology which places creed above character, belief above conduct, or thodoxy above righteousness. For the materialistic tendency which discredits the idea of God, and of a future life and as sumes only an instrument —the human mind —the teachings and methods of the church are in a degree responsible. To a great majority of the human family a pos itive belief is essential. The natural fruits of the modern materialism, which leaves thousands without tiie food and shelter of a positive religious belief —with no Infinite One over them, and no Infinite Arms around them, and no grand destiny beyond the grave—are worldliness, and selfishness—the most powerful hindrances to humanity in its struggles toward a higher and better average moral state.—Minne apolis Times. Serving His Eleventli Term. August Meyer was received at the Missouri penitentiary November 11, on a two years’ sentence from St. Genevieve county, for obtaining property under false pretenses. He is 70 years old and has now commenced serving his 11th term in the Missouri penitentiary. He first came here in 1830, and, with the exception of a year he spent in jail in Hliniois. lie has hever been out of this penitentiary but a few months at a time since. He is a monu mental liar, and rarely ever tells the same story twice. He has been sentenced every time for working some kind of a confidence game, and even while in prison has plied his vocation on verdant guards and amateur detectives witli great success. Independence of tiie Press. Proprietor of Bay State Fungus (to ed itor): Colday, the ear muff manufacturer, has just sent in a column advertisement. Editor: Audi have just written a long editorial showing his unfitness for Congress. Proprietor: Well, put in the advertise ment instead of the editorial. —Puck. Betting Him oli'Easy. Prisoner: I am an old man, your Honor; eighty three on my last birthday. Be lenient with me, sir. The Judge: I will. Being eighty-three years old you have not long to live. I therefore make your terra as light as I can. Instead of ten years, you go up for life. — Puck.