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Vol. VI.—No. 31 A PRISON AND PALACE Behold the tall and lambent spire Irradiate with sunset fire. Those windows smit with twilight beams, With evening's iridescent gleams; How they reflect the early night, Its mingling gold and lazulite. And how those tall transfigured towers Bloom ’gainst the night like granite flowers; How grandly lifts yon burnished dome A skyey shape of lire and foam! •• What are the buildings, friend?” said I, "That loom against the eastern sky, And dashed with many a sunset gleam lx>ok like the palace of a dream?” • Them buildings, boss,” the man replied— A sly smile in his features pale— •• You just lookout you keep outside; Them buildings is the county jail.” I’ained at this ending of my dream, This anticlimax to my theme, 1 found a poultice for my pain in this wise moralizing strain. We all live in a county jail Whose towering walls we cannot scale. Though firmly, all in vain, we press Against its granite stubbornness. Dull, cold as fate, its walls arise And shut our vision from the skies. But when hope's sunlight falls upon Its thick and heavy walls of stone. They loom against the coming night, Transfigured in a mystic light. And, bathed in gold and amethyst. The granite grows as soft as mist— Transformed becomes the culprit’s jail. And fromjits towers cloud banners fling Their gorgeous windings to the gale— It is a palace of a king! —B. TT\ Foss, in Yankee Blade Philanthropists. How many of those who utilize a part of their wealth for benevolent pur poses are actuated from motives that are purely philanthropistical, or from' a sense of duty? They are no doubt numerous. There are at least many in - whom it is difficult to reconcile their so called philanthropy to any such mo tives -men who have through a long career become irrevoeally identified with oppression, whose lives are chap ters of deeds that would outrage the moral constitution of a true philanthro pist and do violence to the sensibilities of a passably just man. To assume that a man can indict an unjust act be fore dinner, and one of benevolence aft er dinner, and remain true to his nature in both instances, is folly and unreason able. To be a philanthropist one must be just. They may not deem it unjust. They may he so constituted that, as long as the unjustness is traceable to the workings of business, or due to the laws of political economy, they are free from all responsibility. The position may be tenable for the ordinary man. but not so for a philanthropist. And their will ingness to assume that plea as an exten uation for their position, stamps their philanthropy with the ear-marks of os tentation and hypocrisy. There is one thing noticeable about the adherents of the doctrine, that an injury resultant from a strict construction of the laws of political economy cannot be a moral wrong. If they seek monetary assist ance of an individual who charges them an usurious interest, they lose sight of the beauties of business and denounce him as a Shy lock. It is the old story of whose ox is gored. The working's of conscience is frequently co-ordinate with that of the purse. If we are pecun iarily benefited it partakes of the elas ticity of our purse. If otherwise, it stands a rigid sentinel and remains im mutable for the same reason that people who are indifferent to our welfare are so free with their advice because it costs nothing. It seems to be a part of the creed of the world, that if a man contributes a part of his wealth to benevolent enterprises it will, in return, suspend judgment on the manner in which that wealth was acquired. If the millionaire lately diseased was one part as great a diplomat as he was a finan cier, we would never have witnessed that virtuous wave that existed at the close of his career. One fraction of that wealth judiciously bestowed on this church or that institution would have changed many of his denunciators into warm euologists, or at least ardent apol ogists. We could admire the unruffled assurance of those so-called philanthro- “IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, MARCH 9, 1893 pists, in the face of adverse criticism, and, what is worse, their own actions, if we could but forget their hypocrisy. And they interpret'the adulation which they are the recipients of, as a recogni tion of qualities,—which they do not possess, that they only profess, while in reality it is only evidence of the prevalence of snobs. We are all snobs; and that composite creation, public opinion, the greatest snob of all. Necessity for Revision and Uniformity of the Divorce Laws. In this world of imperfection and error of which we form a part, there ex ist certain necessary and indispensable evils—that is, certain institutions or organized agencies for the diminution, mitigation or eradication of such ele ments in human nature or character which bring suffering, disease or death on the community at large. Where such evils exist, and there is but one al ternative offered us which is also to a cer tain extent defective, and productive of suffering to innocent parties, common sense demands that we choose the least injurious of the two—or that which is the most capable of improvement or development in the right direction. Chief among the necessary evils existing in the present age we find poor farms, prisons, insane asylums and divorce laws. Some persons may object to this enumeration as irrelevant and inappro priaterbut experience teaches us that, so far as cause and effect is concerned, they are more or less co-related and con tingent the one upon the other, and that they are the natural and inevitable prod uct of our daily modern life, as portray ed in all large cities and towns in civil ized communities. Before we take up the question refer red to in the caption above, the writer would remark that in putting forth bis view on Marriage and Divorce, lie is by no means referring to bis own personal experience, as the basis of his argument, but simply recording his observations and investigations during half a century of public life. Having himself partici pated, for more than forty years, in the responsibilities and vicissitudes, the joys and sorrows of married life, he may be presumed to have somewhat of a practical experience of the matter of which he speaks. So far as his own ex perience is concerned, they were the happiest and most prosperous years of his life, and his most ardent wish for his Benedict readers is that they might have been equally fortunate in the choice of their life partners. The present anomalous and chaotic condition of the laws regulating mar riage and divorce in the American Re public are especially calamitous in their results and demoralizing in their influ ence as regards the domestic happiness, social purity, moral status and intellect ual and general advancement of the community at large. There are no two out of the fourty-four States in which the marriage and divorce laws are ex actly alike. Each State makes its own regulations, and they differ so widely in scope and interpretation, that what is considered equivalent to marriage in one State is simply concubinage or un licensed cohabitation in another; and, while the seeker after divorce is, in one State, limited to adultery as the only ef fective plea—in other States, he may have the choice of some twelve or fourteen causes on which to plead for divorce — and, in some few States, he need not as sign any cause whatever, the decree be ing granted and the case adjudged by proxy, and the presence or evidence of the parties to the suit not being consid ered an absolute necessity. Thus, vir tually, the marriage-tie is made a mis • erable farce, and the divorce court a means for legalized prostitution. The most imperative need of the age, there- fore, is a thorough revision and readjust ment of the Jaws governing divorce and regulating the procedure of the court: uniformity of legislation and action in every State, and a rigid, vigilent enforce ment of the law, when so revised and amended. We maintain, most emphatically, that, iu view of the maintenance of the public inorals, of social purity and of domestic happiness, adultery, had and iniquitous as it is, is far from being the worst, or the most disastrous both to parents and off spring, of the various crimes against marital happiness and public morality. Let us take the various breaches of the law controlling the marital relation in their proper order. 1. Habitual Drunkenness. Dissipa tion and Dissolute Conduct. We know by observation and experience the bane ful influence and disastrous results at tendant on that agricultural operation popularly known as "sowing his wild oats!”--an operation insanely gloried in and boasted of by our “gilded youth” and would-be “ toughs ” in every clime and age. There is no reason whatever for permitting or encouraging the growth of wild oats or any such vicious vegetation, as the product is both worth less and injurious to the community at large as well as to the individual him self. If this be so while the individual remains a bachelor, common sense and common decency demonstrates most forcibly, that the “wild oats farmer” should be absolutely prohibited from assuming the marriage relation; or when married, from continuing that relation, and so spreading indefinitely the baneful influences of his reckless disregard of all laws human and di wine. The offspring -nil, any marriage in which either or both of the parents are addicted to vicious indulgencies of any kind cannot fail to become exag gerated examples and intensified in stances of the vices, irregularities and diseased conditions produced and de veloped by those who brought them into existence. It is the direct and inevita ble product of such marriages that pop ulate our hospitals, poor farms, prisons and insane asylums, and establish that under strata of pauperism, crime and national disaster by which all large communities are more or less afflicted. Another cause for divorce should be inherited or acquired insanity, mono mania or mental aberration. Mental disturbance, like physical disease, is in creased in force and power by trans mission. and, as it progresses from gen eration to generation, it increases in in tensity and virulence, until it becomes irresistible and unconquerable. There are mental and moral, as well as phys ical epidemics. Yellow fever, cholera and typhus commence with an isolated or obscure case, in a remote section of the city, but the mephitic influence spreads' like wild fire and speedily slaughters its thousands and tens of thousands as it winds its desolating, death-dealing course through street and avenue. So with the incipient germ of mental aberration or deficiency, from whatever cause it may arise—whether it be mania a potu, exhausted vitality, or a generally vitiated condition of the mental and moral forces —as it is trans mitted from parent to child, and so on through successive generations, it is in creased in power and disastrous results, until a race of criminals, idiots, and de crepit, pauperized individuals is perma nently established in the community. In ancient times, among the Spartans and other tribes of ancient Greece, the parents who transmitted to their off spring their domestic virtues, their pa triotism. valor, and stalwart physical strength were honored and worshipped as demi-gods, just in proportion as they transmitted those virtues in their orig inal force and purity. In the last cent ury our Puritan ancestors were held in reverence for the solid moral, mental and physical virtues and qualities they bequeathed in like manner to their off spring. And so, but in much more for cible degree, later generations of “wild oat” sinners have foisted on the com munities of which they are members an offspring distinguished by vicious ness, imbecility, disregard of all moral Tcdmc. ' per year, in advance, i fcKMo. six Months 50 Cents. or physical laws, and abuse of the priv ileges granted them as reasoning beings —and who. therefore, should be repu diated. disowned, and deprived of all possible means of transmitting their vices and the accompanying suffering and sorrow to innocent, helpless, unof fending offspring. But there are still other causes which should be held as legitimate reasons for divorce—viz., desertion, failure to provide for family, and cruelty from all which sources the large and con stantly-increasing army of paupers, de pendents on charity and wrong-doers (driven to crime by starvation, want of employment and ignorance), are con tinually reinforced in all our cities and towns. The only tangible means by which this source of supply can be ar rested is by the strict enforcement of the divorce law (in its spirit as in its .letter ) to those who thus contribute to the national pauperization. The line must be drawn somewhere— and there is no better or more effective line of demarcation than that provided by a common-sense adjustment of the law of divorce. In order to prevent collusion, evasion or fraud on the part of suitors, and to ensure an honest in vestigation into the bona fides of every case, the evidence of both plaintiff and defendant should be submitted to an official commission of three persons, eminent in the medical and legal pro fessions, who should make their report to the judge; and the judge, having carefully considered the sworn evidence and the referee's report, should give his judgment accordingly. We need a moral quarantine quite as urgently as we need sanitary regulations for the preservation of the public health. AVhen an invasion of cholera or other infectious disease is threatened or has shown itself, we organize a cordon of medical police to arrest its progress, and take prompt measures to disinfect and purify those dwellings already vis ited by the deadly foe. So must it be in relation to all matters of moral and social purity. There are thousands upon thousands of families now in ex istence which have been deteriorated, decimated and almost destroyed by the vices and irregularities of the parents, where the offspring have become so im pregnated with the virus of physical, mental and moral contagion that ab solute cure is almost impossible. All that can be done in such cases is to mit igate the evil which exists, and prevent its further spread. One chief object as regards the rising and future genera tions is to organize and strictly enforce such regulations as shall prevent the marriage (or, if already married, dis solve the marriage) of such persons as, by reason of mental deficiency, physical condition, 01; moral obliquity, are inca pable of fulfilling the duties, and carry ing out in all their purity the respon sibilities of parents and guardians. Make the proof of the existence of these vices and irregularities on the part of either of the parties to the marriage contract prima fade evidence for a de cree of divorce. Thus, the further spread of disease (mental, moral or phvsical) will be effectually checked; anil, if we go a step farther, and abso lutely prohibit the marriage of all un married persons exhibiting by their conduct or condition such disqualify ing characteristics as those we have de scribed, we shall ensure to future gen erations and future ages a period of national prosperity, personal happiness, moral excellence and intellectual at tainment greater than the world has yet known —and realize as a fact and priceless blessing that which has hith efto been only a “pleasant fiction”—“a sound mind in a sound body ” as the proud possession of the future Amer ican citizen. Divorce for adultery only means a depraved and nation; divorce for the causes we have men tioned, subject to a reconstructed law, means a new and powerful nation, the pride of the world. F. J. G. Charlestown, Mass. Eternal vigilance very often brings on the price of spectacles.— Pvcli.