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Vol. VII.—No. 2. SOME MOTHER’S CHILD, At home or away, in the alley or street. Whenever I chance in this wide world to meet. A girl that is thoughtless, or a boy that is wild. My heart echoes sadly, “’Tis some mother’s child!” And when 1 see those o’er whom long years have rolled. Whose hearts have grown hardened, whose spirits are cold— Be it woman all fallen, or man all defiled, A voice whispers sadly, “Ah! some mother’s child!” No matter how far from the right she hath strayed; No matter what inroads dishonor hath made; No matter what element cankered the heart— Though tarnished and sullied, she’s some moth er’s girl. No matter how wayward his footsteps have been; No matter how deep lie is sunken in sin; No matter how low is his standard of joy— Though guilty and loathsome, he’s some moth er’s boy. That head hath been pillowed on tenderest breast; That form hath been wept o’er, those lips have been pressed; That soul hath been prayed for in tones sweet and mild; For her sake deal gently with “ some mother’s child.” —Selected. CHARLES DICKENS. The Great Author Reviewed—Some of His Masterpieces are Paraded— One Dissents. Micawber is perhaps the character par-excellence of all Dickensonia, as typical yesterday, as he is to-day, as he will be tomorrow; the representative of the careless, indifferent, don’t-care-how things-go, part of society. He does not belong to any phase of life yet is pecul iar to all. He does not create an op portunity, and never has one, always willing to do, but never does, always seeking but never finding, ever reach ing. never grasping, restless, shiftless, vacillating with no hope no aim and no ambition, other than what depends up on “how things turn up.*’ His proto type fills our cities, jails and prisons, from which, wherever found, they are alwavs waiting “ to see how things turn up.” L. O. P. Dickens is leader of all masculine English prose authors of fiction. His works have no taint nor nauseating fla vor of the dime-novel or sensational schools. He serves out pure, rich, wholesome, invigorating mental food for young and old. His Christmas Stories beginning in common every day life lead us step by step uncon sciously upwards to a higher and nobler sphere of thought, to brighter views of life, and to good deeds worthy of being called the acts of men. Such was ever Dickens’ aim to lead imperceptibly up wards to a broader view of life and nobler usefulness. By portraying life as it was in vivid contrast he forced men to eschew evil and aspire to good for very manhood’s sake. Doc. * * * Barring one or two of his productions, as an author I admire Dickens. As an individual he seems to be narrow-mind ed if not bigoted. Who would expect a man of his intelligence to write such a book as Martin Chuzzlewit. It w r as the worst libel ever put upon a nation or people, and then confessing igno rance of facts makes the matter worse. He claimed to work for the uplifting of man. He who is governed by such motives surely ought to familiarize himself with the facts of a case before passing judgment upon it. Like Beade he was a reformer but with this differ ence, Beade made the means (or charac ters) secondary to the principles or aim to be accomplished, Dickens worked to bring strength to his characters leaving the principle as second to the means. He has left us though many literary treats. The Pickwick Papers alone would have made him immortal. Mac. Fagin, as portrayed by Dickens, is a fair representative of many such charac ters throughout our land who are cap turing young Olivers at every turn and instructing them in roguery and vice in all its forms. You will find them in every town, looking for the guileless “ IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, AUGUST 17, 1893. and innocent to make victims of. You find them in all walks of life; in boards of trade, the House of Representatives, police and district courts, churches and saloons. Always looking to advance their own interests by the downfall of another. Many of the young men to day are leading lives of crime and idle ness through falling into meshes of a Fagin’s net Many of the men now con fined behind stone walls can look back to the day they met a genial Fagin. There have been and always will be such characters who are ever ready to advance their own welfare by ruining others. Brigham. Dickens introduces entirely too many characters in his works. Their personal discriptions are often prolonged into lengthy biographies. If the hero puts up at an inn for the night, it is not nec essary to bore the reader with the inn keeper’s family history. All such petty details retard the plot. The reader wants the plot to keep moving. He is anxious to learn the fate of the chief characters. He cares nothing for petty incidences. Dickens’ novels are out of date. Humdrum tales of daily life are not suitable to the active minds of the present. This progressive age demands fascinating fiction. It does not want sermons on morality. Moralizing is en tirely out of place in fiction. A novel should be a work of fiction and not a sermon. Rider Haggard and other writers of the same class have driven Dickens from the field. His works are not suitable to the reading public of to day. C. C. Probably the most interesting char acters in all Dickens, not excepting the immortal Pickwick, and the celebrated S. Weller Esq., is the quartette composed of Oliver Twist, Old Fagin, Bill and Xaney Sykes. If is of the last named I wish to call attention. Pretty low down in the social strata they all were, but she most of all, for had she not giv en everything to Bill ? And when neg lect, cruelty and blows came, with what meek fidelity she clung to the beast. Soothing his drunken sorrows, binding up his wounds, and catering to his bes tial wants and yet her only reward a vile name and a viler blow. Oh love, love where else art thou but in the heart of woman. It is a certainty such love is not in the heart of man. There are many thousand Xancys in the world, and perhaps among us there may be some who claim such a one; if such there be, all I can hope and say is, be good to her. Wayne. We appreciate Dickens more thor oughly perhaps than any other author in the same field. This appreciation is due in part to the admirable manner in which he delineates the characteristics of those who seem to possess no charac ter; also in part to the ease with which author and character are separated. His field of action is the most difficult to describe, and one that requires genius of peculiar order to do so cor rectly. Xor does he weaken his charac ters by uniting in them the higher and lower' plains of society; he does not raise them above their level, they live and act in the sphere to which they be long. Xor does he portray an ideal or a probable, but an actual character; nor does he draw them w ith a touch here and there, but he brings before us the character already in existence. He be comes the glass through which we see the clearly defined form of the object before unseen. Leonardus. Dear little Dame Durden! Who so unfortunate as to have missed thy ac quaintance ? Oft times we meet her and pass her by unrecognized in the heyday of our careless self-satisfaction. She does not thrust herself into notice. But w'hen the soul is sore w r ounded and the heart battered and bruised, dear lit tle Dame Durden comes with her cheer ful smile and soft assuring voice; she fiours balm on the soul and puts cooling otions to the bruised heart. She w r ill not be repulsed. Her love of her kind is part of that divine love which the Master showed during his brief earthly ministration so full of loving tender pity. “Her’s but to do and die” for others. She and her kind are the hero ines of every day life who charge the grim batteries of circumstances, woe and sin, with the quiet, unassuming courage of the truly brave. Without her the world would be a vast, dreary waste. Around her spring oases in this “Wilderness of sin.” R. F. Uriah Ileep! I wonder if you knew, Charles Dickens, how many of the hu man race you were so faithfully por traying when your inspired mind brought before you such a character ? How many of us, in this battle of life, have met, face to face, at least one Uriah Heep? One of those crawling, fawning, “so ’umble” creatures that Hod hates and even the devil shuns. One that, unable to understand or rec ognize the utility of any minor princi ple of true manhood, cuts, stabs and undermines his fellow-men. How many of us have trusted, in spite of an in fallible instinct, and almost placed full confidence in such, when, as a tlash of lightning descending from a clear sum mer sky, there comes a shock that al most unbalances all faith in human kind. Aye, Uriah Ileep, we have met thee, but under a different name; and, even now, as we recall thee to mind, we are nauseated and involuntarily murmer: “O Lord deliver us from such.” Pariah. If there is any force to the theory of inhexited criminality, the Marchioness should have bloomed into a Gorgon of the first water. The offspring of the il licit lust of a deformed demon and a female piece of Brass of such malevo lent cunning could not but be vicious on the theory of inherent crime. Reared on meagre scraps in a dark cellar, and in constant terror of cruel taunt and blow, she “ growed up ” in a far worse atmosphere than the immortal and irre pressible Topsy, to be a shrewd, sharp, pilfering little imp. But down beneath her petty faults lay hidden the divine seed awaiting the fervor of love to bid it spring up and flourish into the noble ness of true womanhood. The little acts of kindness, lightly thrown off by the light-hearted, good-natured Swiveller, had fallen on no barren ground and bore an abundant harvest when the ob ject of her silent adoration required womanly nursing and love. With the refining, beautifying influence of love blossomed honesty, truth and devotion which worked out for herself and her lover a happy salvation from their troubles. J. B. Charles Dickens of all novelists, wrote of the people, for the people. Unlike most authors, he wrote to introduce sim ple facts and laid them before thinking men and women with such force and in such vivid colors that the scales of custom fell from their eyes. They be came awakened to the fact that they were existing under wrongful con ditions that could be set right, and were bearing unnecessary burdens. To him, all that was injurious to the life, pro gress and welfare of the people, was subject of ridicule, sarcasm and invec tive. His mighty pen did more to re move oppressions than any other re former or clique of reformers. Fagin, Sykes and Mr. Venus accomplished more towards cleansing and remodel ing the heart of London, than all the daily press put together. Little Dorrit, Pickwick and Bleak House abolished imprisonment for debt and swept the Marshalsea and Fleet prisons out of ex istence with their parasite sponging houses. All of his characters were liv ing, breathing men and women from the pot-boy to the judge on the bench. In fact, his books all teach the grand lesson of how to live and how not to live. P. A. F. Allow me to introduce to you Mr. Richard Swiveller. In him you will find a character that one will meet every day; an easy going, devil-may care sort of fellow, who is glad he is living and who is contented as long as there is plenty to eat and the rosy, (as he poetically calls gin), flows freely. This love of the rosy is Dick’s greatest fault, for it leads him into all kinds of mistakes, to use no stronger term, un til we find him plotting the unhappi ness of Little Nell. But he is finally brought to himself after a protracted illness, which was no doubt brought on by indulging too freely in that same “ rosy.*’ Recovering, he marries, settles down, and leads a happy life. But the Dick Swiveller’s of the present day need something stronger than a fit of illness to- bring them to their senses. They will be jolly good fellows and all that, cost what it may. They, too, will indulge in the “rosy” until it causes them to make a far greater mistake than did the aforesaid Richard. Many of them have time to think the matter over while they serve the state for a number of years. I have no doubt that many of the “boys”—the writer among them—were brought here through just such qualities, and that most of them have the good, deep in their hearts, if some one will dig it up. Yon. Our navy of to-day is something that we as a people can justly be proud of. We know that the ships that the gov ernment is building in these days are to fight, not to run away. I think we soon will be able to cope with the na vies of the world, and I am proud as an ex-man-of-war's man that the seamen of foreign powers cannot now throw it in our face that we who boast of so much wealth cannot build a navy, but have to trust to a few old wooden ships. Even John Chinaman could formerly say that America only had two ships, the Hartford and Palos. It was very humiliating from a sailor's point of view; but nevertheless those old wood en ships served their purpose well, and for cool, solid comfort in a warm cli mate, they took the prize; and the sail ors of ’6B to ’BB will keep them in fond recollection. I hope that if our new navy is called upon, they will leave as good a record. Sinbad. By studying carefully the lives of great men we learn that there is in man a feeling of ambition to discover that which is beyond their present reach. It matters not what we see, know, or possess, something seems to whisper in our ear “ there is more beyond.” It was this fancy that pictured to Columbus a passage to India over the Atlantic and thereby gained for him a name that will resound through the annals of time as the discoverer of America. The attainments made in science seem wonderfully perfect to many of us, yet there are men to-day who burn the midnight oil simply because fancy sings to them in prophetic voice “there’s more beyond.” As we sit in our little bed-chamber when our day’s work is over we often sigh for our freedom, and it seems to us if freedom we only had we could enjoy life as others do. Though dressed in convict attire we are human beings and, as such, we are prone to listen when fancy reminds us of the fact that the earth enclosed within these rock-walls is not the only place on the globe but that “there’s more beyond.” Nor is this earth the only place for us to live, “there’s more beyond ” the river of death —the land “from whose bourn no traveller re turneth.” Lives of Columbus and other great men all remind us that “ ’Tis not all of life to live, nor all of death to die.” Oh, then, let us not live like the beast of burden caring only to live and nothing more, but let us listen carefully and thoughtfully to the voice that tells us “ there’s more beyond ” and so live that when our bodies lie mouldering in the grave our souls can enter that hap py land where jails and penitentiaries are unknown. A. H. C. t cduo . ( SI.OO per year, in advance, ■ ERM S. ( Bj x Months 50 Cents. u. s. N. Plus Ultra.