Newspaper Page Text
@1 )c fir is on 4Mimu\
Vol. VI.—No. 40. For The Mirror A BIRTHDAY SONG. (To May.) The gray dawn breaking in the east foretold of brighter rays. "While high in heaven sung the lark its morning song of praise. The Tuscarawas river flowed its gravelly bed along; The blackbirds waking in the trees poured forth their morning song. The dew yet lingered on tire flowers in those young morning hours, "While through our open window came the per fume of the flowers. The gentle breezes from the south waved o’er the tender corn. And cattle on a thousand hills were waking with the morn. Our Birdie yet was fast asleep, on that sweet fourth of May. And folded in her loving arms our darling Daisy lay. Two golden heads, four ruby lips were all my vision saw. But well I know two angels watched that little bed of straw. An humble little cottage then was all we could afford, "While two small children gathered round to share our scanty board. But hark! what voice disturbs my rest, so sweet, so clear, so shrill? Tis not the Robin’s silvery notes, nor yet the whip-poor-will. Is it the mocking-bird that sings within the cherry trees? Or swells the music of the thrush upon the morning breeze? My palpitating heart stood still. I trembled with affright. And wondered if some spirit broke the stillness of the night. O glorious day! O welcome morn—the sweetest day in Spring! Let heaven ring with joyous shouts! Retail the angels sing! "Within my arms a baby lay; the Lord had sent you down. With eyes as blue as heavens' vault, and hair a chestnut brown. I viewed your little cherub form with all your in fant charms, Then kissed vour lips, and laid ypn dowa.wit.hin your mother’s arms. Full thirteen years have come and gone since that sweet happy day. My .heart is now a withered leaf; my hair is turn ing gray. O days of weeping, nights of tears, and years of throbbing pain! When shall my bosom cease to bleed and joy re turn again? Two little graves on Oakland’s hill mark where our darlings lay For eight long, sad and lonely years, wrapped in their shroud of clay. I had a bright career indeed, which none can well deny. And in those lucky days I laid for thee a fortune by. But fires of persecution raged; the day of ruin came, And all your fortune disappeared within that lurid name. A hundred cruel men combined to ruin and to blight. And bring upon the name we bear a cloud of endless night. Your father now has been condemned in prison cells to lie. While you, sweet May, must walk the earth the scorn of every eye. "Which path your virgin feet shall choose I surely cannot tell, While I must waste my manhood’s prime within a prison cell. But if our children come from heaven, then sure ly this is true. The God who sent my darling down will send her angels too. And though without a father’s care you must go forth to-day. While angels guide your little feet they cannot go astray. A Look Ahead. The leading question which agitates the convict, who is soon to shed the habiliments of his present thralldom, is what pursuit to engage in when he makes his second debut.upon the world’s stage. The question is a serious one for all, and its answer will prove for many the crucial test. Not a few of our number, prior to their prison career, have made a living, and an easy and pleasant one, if it dates back a decade of years, at clerical work, such as book keeping, copying, and other office work, and they, no doubt, think that the field is still open to them, as their life in prison has detracted nothing from their whilom proficiency. A word of warn ing to these. Since you presided over ledger, journal, and day-book, the world has taken a gigantic stride—yes, several of them, —in a forward direction. Your place has been supplied, and, to speak candidly, much more satisfactorily filled —by woman. She is every bit as com petent, much neater in appearance, and infinitely preferable to you, because she works for one third your former wages. You may possibly succeed in ousting her, and notions of chivalry are often lost sight of in the race for wealth, if you can answer in the affirmative the following queries: Are you a compe tent double-entry book-keeper? Are you a stenographer? Can you type write? AVill you work for S3O per month? You could not if you would, and the remuneration question would make the answer just as true and as for cible, you would not if you could. In your day, $75 per month was the aver age wage of a competent d. e. book-keep er; there were no typewriters, and sten ographers’ legal pay was $5 per day. Nowadays a dainty little woman, neat, well dressed and fair to look upon, does all three, and. mind you, does them well; no superficial work or make believe thoroughness, but good, honest, skilled labor—and all for S3O per month—a sum that would not, in your palmy days, have sufficed to pay your board. It really seems shameful, at first glance, to thus cheapen valuable labor, but you" must consider that S3O and the sur roundings are to her princely, when compared with the ill paid drudgery to which her less favored sisters are con demned. If you had any aspiration toward a life of clerical work, abandon them at once, and make up your mind that if the only alternative offered you be plying a “ No. 2,” you will take the alternative, and choose the shovel. A trade of any kind is priceless, and, strange to relate, the nearer it approach es downright manual labor, the more re munerative the trade becomes. If you have no trade, and are not too farad vanced in age, and your health and strength be not impaired, the wisest thing to do is to set about learning one. The advice may seem odd, from the fact that it has always been customary to associate trade learning with life's springtime; and many think the old saw, “’Tis hard to teach an old dog new tricks/' applies equally well to mankind. Experience however has clearly proved that riper years, far from abridging man’s receptive power, serve rather to make his schooling, in whatever he un dertakes, the more rapid, his proficiency the more easily attained. One reason, and the main one, no doubt, why man ual or mechanical labor should suggest itself to the ex-convict, apart from the fact that it is most sought after and best paid, is because, in that field, his surroundings will be, if not more con genial, at least less irksome; his employ er and his co-workers will be less given to inquiring into his past career, and raking over dead ashes, which he him self would prefer left in the oblivion to which he has consigned them; he will be judged, if at all, by his present work, and be given “a fair field and no favor.” Could he consistently ask for more? (*) Cremona, I can hear some answer, “ yes, if you steal enough.” But the meaning I wish to convey does not apply to steal ing sanctioned by law; it simply applies to common, every day stealing, which the law, in its dignity, is bound to pun ish. It applies only to those who are caught and cannot afford to buy their way out of it. So, I think that the majority of the inmates of this insti tution, as well as those of similar insti tutions, would answer a very emphatic “No.” And who, I would ask, is better qualified to answer this query than those who have tried their hand at stealing and now have twenty-four hours each day that they can devote to meditating on this very question; and, if I am not greatly mistaken, it forces it self on the biggest part of us here. When it presents itself to our minds we let our thoughts wander back to the happy days of our boyhood, when our hearts were free of guile, and our thoughts as pure as the free air of heaven; when our boyish minds fancied all sorts of visions of the great future that spread before us, endeavoring in vain to solve its deep mysteries, until we become unconscious of our sur roundings, and our soul takes its fill of “ IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, MAT 11, 1893. Does it Fay to Steal? happy recollections which our dream brings back to us. But when we be come our real self once more, we natu rally ask ourselves “How much better off am I to-day?” and the answer is painful to contemplate—worse off. After having worked for years to ac quire a trade or profession, and to build our character, we are now un able to mingle with our fellow men without seeing the finger of scorn pointed at us at any moment. I have often heard the old saying. “If I were a boy again, and knew what I now know,” and I think that nine out of ten of us here would take a different road than the one that has led us to this place. This is enough to prove that it doesn't pay to steal. P. The Pessimist. Some call him cynic, though either name describes his character sufficiently at first reading. Not only his name but his countenance bears at all times a seowl intended to blight all pleasantries. As a black, cold, cloud throws an equal ly black shadow over nature’s merri ment, and turns the laughing of the blossoms into a shuddering sob, so the scowling countenance of the chronic growler checks the light-hearted merri ment of the circle, cursed by his pres ence, and become an unwilling audience to his supposed wrongs. AA'e all know him; we meet him every day; and every time we hear his “tale of woe,” we hope the good angel will reward him, and take him home ere we meet him again, i only know of one man I would walk further to avoid, and that is the man who wants to see me in regard to that “little bill.” AVhy is it necessary to be everlasting ly howling about our real or supposed wrongs? If we are really, with malice and intent , being wronged by somebody, time, the “healer of all the ills that fiesh is heir to," will see our wrongs right ed; but if the wrongs are only the prod uct of a diseased or pessimistic brain, the more you try to encourage the sub ject, the worse he gets, until finally it is to be hoped that the “gods” may have use for him. “ Laugh and the w ” but no, I won’t spring that old maxim, because it would look too ridiculous to see the whole world laughing; someone has to attend to the funerals; But if we would endeavor to throw off as much as possible the sombre cloak of dull care, and don the brighter tinted robe of good cheer, the world would be richer in good-fellowship, and a better place to live in. Yours without a shudder, $. Mile. The Woods Crime. People are shocked and amazed at the recent killing of a young man by a child of eleven years, for the purpose of rob bery. They seem totally at a loss to ac count for such an occurrence in an en-. lightened and virtuous community, and pronounce the boy a phenomenon, a monster; and the attention of scientists and experts in the study of crime is called to the case. To one who has studied the mind of a child and knows what effect environ ment and daily example have on the nature of the impressible little mortal, the amazement is that there is only one Antone Woods in the community in stead of many in each neighborhood. In each little human being that comes into the world is a latent germ of savagery—a survival of the time when his ancestors were constantly obliged to take life, either as means of self preservation or to obtain the necessities of living. A man no longer has to kill his stronger neighbor to obtain coveted things—there are more modern ways of robbing him. The child has not learned these, and might is still right with him. What shall we do to keep this latent germ of savagery undeveloped till it withers away from disuse ? What we Tcdmc. * SI.OO per year. In advance i tKMo. , £j x Months 50 Cents. usually do is to awaken and develop it. We put cap pistols into the hands of our four-year-olds and play at letting them shoot us, falling over most realis tically when hit, to the baby’s expressed delight. We tacitly encourage the snapping at animals and playmates. A little later we give the boy a nickle plated and jointed shot-gun, for throw ing missiles of some kind, and valuable to him because it "looks like a real one." The sling-shot comes next, and he hunts the birds from tree to tree, up and down our streets, taking a stray shot at passing dogs or tethered cows, or playmates, occasionally causing the playmate to go through life hampered by the loss of an eye. We read him stories of lion hunts and beaver trap ping, and he sits open-eyed and eared while we recount our hunting exploits. He hears of the large elk we got a shot at, and wounded, but got away, and he learns that men take life as a means of pleasantly spending a vacation. He is allowed to hear accounts of angry men shooting and killing one another, and of men and women murdered for money or other valuables. How can he learn from this his rela tions to his fellow men and to animals, the sacredness of life and the rights of property ? The mind surely grows by what it feeds on, what has his mind been feeding on? Next come the text books of science, and as we no longer tell our children facts but let them find out her secrets from nature herself, he finds these questions to help him in his study of insects: “How long can a grasshopper hop after his head is off?” “ Can you drowii a grasshopper by hold ing his head under water ? ” And then when an eleven-year-old baby, evidently accustomed to handling a gun, and a good marksman at that, and presumab ly not surrounded by the elevating and refining circumstances which modify the same instincts in our own children, removes an obstacle that stands in the way of his possessing a better gun than he has and a pretty watch besides, we stand aghast at the monstrousness of it. It is a pitiful and distressing, but per fectly iogical, result. It were almost better that the baby should suffer the (accepted) logical punishment for his crime, because the environment that even now might develop the other side of that warped and distorted child nat ure, will be so nearly impossible of at tainment.— Den Per Republican. A Severe Blow. There is a story in one of the Ram's Horn exchanges about a young lady or ganist in a church in Colorado who was somewhat captivated with the young pastor of the church in the next street, and was delighted to hear one week that by an exchange he was to preach the next Sunday in her own church. The organ was pumped by an obstreperous old sexton, who would often stop when he thought the organ voluntary had lasted long enough. This day the or ganist was anxious that all should go well, and as the service was about to begin she wrote a note intended solely for the sexton’s eye. He took it, and in spite of her agonized beckonings, carried it straight to the preacher. What was that gentleman’s astonishment when he read: “Oblige me this morning by blowing away till I give you the signal to stop.’’— Ram's Horn. There is a little trick about the statue of Fulton in Statuary Hall that few vis itors ever see. Fulton is represented with a model of his great discovery in his hand. Standing at the left and look ing at his face, there is the most hope less kind of an expression on his feat ures. Walk slowly around in front of the figure and the expression changes to one of hope. The farther you go toward the right the more hopeful the face be comes, until at the extreme right it bursts suddenly into a look that almost says, “ I’ve got it.” —Kate Field's Wash ington. Stinginess is harder to cure than the consumption.— Ram's Horn.