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The prison mirror. [volume] (Stillwater, Minn.) 1887-1894, August 31, 1893, Image 1

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®l)c Jlrisou JUirro r.
Vol. YII. —No. 4.
Wisdom divine! Who tells the price
Of Wisdom’s costly merchandise?
Wisdom to silver we prefer
And gold is gross compared to her.
Her hands are fill’d with length of days.
True riches and immortal praise;
Riches of Christ on all bestowed.
And honor that descends from God.
To purest joys she all invites.
Chaste, holy, spiritual delights:
Her ways are Ways of pleasantness,
And all her flow’ry paths are peace.
Happv the man that finds the grace.
The blessing of God’s chosen race;
The wisdom coming from above.
The faitli that sweetly works by love.
Few Favor any Particular Author.
Strong Opinions Given of
Those Mentioned.
Allen’s History of Civilization opens
up a profitable field of thought from
pre-historie times to the civilization of
to-day. Presented in a concise and en
tertaining manner, not at all egoistic, it
carries the evidence that the author is
not controlled by any ism. It leaves
enough to the imagination of the the
student to encourage further investiga
tion in that ever interesting field of
literature. H. 11. S.
If it was my misfortune to be de
prived of all books but one, and I had
the privilege of choosing that one, it
would be without hesitation The Com
plete Lectures of Col. Robert Ingersoll.
In it is the expressed thoughts of a
virtuous, noble and talented man, writ
ten as he undoubtedly thought them,
expressed with unsurpassed eloquence
and defended with unanswerable logic.
In it may be found scientific research
and philosophy, in fact,everything used
in the literary world but that which is
most common—and by me the most de
tested—theory. Sunol.
After considerable cogitation I have
concluded to nominate Mary Agnes
Fleming as the author who has gained
my franchise. She is one of the most
strikingly interesting novelists of to
day; her books are not carried to the
point of impossible or unnatural ele
ments, but are compounded of materi
als, constantly presenting themselves
to the public. Iler characters are true
to nature and her fiction is woven into
a clean, bright, statement of facts; her
books once opened and commenced,
command a steady perusal to the end.
I have never tired of her wonderfully
natural pen pictures; and it is evident
that her abilities have been directed to
do away with that feeling of fatigue so
predominant in us at the present day.
Taking this fact into consideration
with her evenness of composition, book
after book, I give her my whole vote.
A philosopher says: I can tell what
you do by the company you keep and
the condition of your mind by the books
you read. lam skeptical on that point.
But in picking up the pen to name one
of the many authors who have helped
me pass many hours of profit as well as
pleasure, I am compelled to select
Shakespeare, and what shall I say of
the miracle worker. It is vain to try
and tell a tithe of my debt to him, and
once touched he is hard to leave. In
youth the millennium is near, with ad
vancing years it recedes —I do not know
what more could be done amid this
world’s miseries and anarchies, than
what Shakespeare has helped us do.
An ideal created world which will over
lay the hard face of necessity with its
enchantment has aided me in emanci
pating myself from a controversial
spirit and rejoice in the fruits of a good
mind. AVho can understand his errors,
if they be such. Briouam.
For a varied literary diet give me
Byron. He appeals niore to the com
mon every-day man yearning for some
thing better than any other writer of
poetry or .prose that I have ever read.
Childe Harold is the work of a disap
pointed life yearning for tenderness and
love. Lara expresses that scorn of his
fellow-men begotten of a bitter experi
ence. Don .Tuan is a cynical satire of
the world and its ways. Accused of God
liness he never refuted the libel in so
many words, but throughout his writ
ings is a reverence and humbleness be
fore the Divine presence. In Cain he
says “alas I seem nothing” and “it
burns my brow, but nought to that
which is within it." His Hebrew Me
lodies are instinct with humility and
high aspirations for the hereafter* His
every page breathes of devotion to hu
man liberty which his life was conse
crated to. * M.
A better, truer friend than a good
book no one can find. Of all the books
now in use none are so dear to my heart
as the one containing the poetical* works
of H. W. Longfellow. In it are found
some familiar lines that have soothed
my aching heart in time of sorrow,
calmed my mind in time of disappoint
ment and strengthened my nerves in
time of danger. The following lines
saved me from infidelism:
“ ‘Dust thou art, to dust returnest,'
Was not spoken of the soul.”
Ilis works have enabled me to not
judge things by their outward appear
ance only, bvit to remember always
that this world is full of deceit, and
“things are not as they seem." Though
in measured lines he wrote his ideas, he
has given us that which none but the
pure in thought can give. Let others
choose whom they will, but as for me, I
will always be content with 11. W. Long
fellow as my favorite author.
A. 11. C.
* *
Were I placed in such a position as
should permit the selection of only one
book from the literary product of the
world, my choice would fall on Shakes
peare. Literature never produced a
greater master or truer artist. For him
the human mind was an instrument
sounding forth with equal vigor the
controlling passions of life. His in
spired hand swept the gamut, and
hope, friendship and love, pride and am
bition, fear, hate and dispair, each played
their part in the measures of life.
Where shall we find such characters as
he has given us in the mind haunted
Macbeth, the unrelenting Shylock, the
noble Anthony, the skeptical dispairing
Hamlet and the host of others that
flood memory. He suits all passions
and all sympathies, joy and sorrow, love
and hate, pleasure and pain; he is at
once poet, philosopher, statesman, ora
tor, clown and tool. Yet only man him
self, with simple or complex nature,
some good and’ some evil, part philoso
pher and always friend.
Charles Kingsley, though not my
favorite author, gave to the world my
favorite book. In Westward Ho a man
is put face to face with manhood of a
living breathing, earnest, honest pug
nacious, go-a-head Christian kind. In
Amyas Leigh, Kingsley has depicted
the man, of all others, you would want
by your side in a desperate pinch. A
man whose counterpart you would most
proudly call brother or dearest friend.
A man of brain, brawn and soul. In
Ayacanora he has given us an exquiste
picture of the evolution of woman from
savagery to civilization. In Mrs. Leigh
he shows the very soul of a good pure
mother adoring ” her God, loving her
children and dutiful to her country—
the woman that has made the Anglo-
Saxon race carry every thing before it
when perseverance, courage and princi
ple were needed to win victory or death.
And in it is told the story of the first,
great, forward, dominating stride of the
race in simple words that thrill and
burn. R. F.
P. A. F.
I may as well say at once lam not a
great book worm. I read for recreation
after hours of trial, and require a pleas
ant soothing-syrup rather than a brisk
stimulant to a brain aweary with fig
ures and figuring. Such mental food I
have always found between the covers
bearing Bret Harte’s name. The Luck
of Roaring Camp has “ wrastled” away
many a headache. When Christmas
Came to Sandy Rar, it brought to me a
message of the rich veins of human
kindliness to be mined from rough ex
teriors. The Outcasts of Poker Flat
reveal the heroism common to all hu
manity when circumstances call for
sacrifice of its divine incense. The
Fool of Five Forks gives one.side of
the boundless self-sacrifice love is capa
ble of, whilst M’liss shows us its mar
velous reformatory influence and Hig
gles displays its tenacity in faithfully
clinging to the most hopeless human
wreck. All through is woven that
quiet, subtle humor, like a silver thread,
brightening all to the broad level of a
common humanity, J. B.
. * ,
Oliver Goldsmith, first, last and for
ever. In The Vicar of Wakefield we
catch a glimpse of him in his struggles
with fortune. Wandering through
Europe unknown and penniless he eked
out an existence, sometimes as a musi
cian, again as a valet. The fruits of
this period of vagrant existence are to
be found in his wonderful masterpiece
The Traveller. His discriptions of the
lands he visited during his wanderings
have no equal in verse or prose. His
easy style and simple language charm
and soothe the reader. There is a tinge
of melancholy in all of his poetry that
tells of genius struggling with adver
city. There is plenty of power in his
prose writings. Though not a deep
reasoner, he had the gift of placing his
argument in such a light, as to make
it easily understood. Asa writer of
comedy he attained a level above the
average of his time. She Stoops to
Conquer is still admired. Goldsmith
was one that loved his fellow-men. He
gave all he possessed while he lived to
the suffering, and bequeathed to posteri
ty those gems of his genius, that have
immortalized his name. C. C.
Charles Dickens was perhaps the best
delineator of character that ever existed
among story writers. So human, life
like and so faithfully portrayed are they,
that while reading, one can call to mind
having met, sometime in their existence,
be it yesterday or in the almost forgot
ten past, just such beings. How truth
ful and vivid are his portrayals of the
villainous Quilp, Sykes or Fagin; the
underhand doings of the hypocritical
Pecksniff; who, under the cloak of reli
gion endeavors to hide a multitude of
sins. How natural seem the characters
of the good natured Mark Tapley, the
happy -go - lucky principles of Dick
Swiveller and the easy going Micawber.
Then, again, how pathetic is his delinia
tion of Little Dorrit, whom, loving and
gentle as she was, the worst hardships
could not subdue. Call to mind how
she clung to the father from whom
nothing could part her. For good com
ing out of evil, recall the Marchioness;
reared amid vice and squalor but in
whom laid dormant nobility of charac
ter that time awakened. Then comes
Dame Durden, bringing peace and love
to all who come in contact with her.
Throughout all of his novels are por
trayed such life-like characters, and
his creations will ever remain my
favorites. A. F. L.
A Hustler.
In this glorious Republic of ours no
man need stand abashed at obstacles in
life, but move on and let the guiding
star be ever sought until success crowns
his efforts. Several years ago there
arrived in San Antonio, Texas, Uriah
Lott, to fame and fortune compartaive
ly unknown, but with shrewd common
sense to guide him, and without in
fluence financially he succeeded in
building between six and seven hundred
miles of one of the finest railroad prop
erties in the South. The capital he
possessed to start with was hardly suf
ficient to keep his family in provisions
until his scheme was an assured suc
cess. Common sense told him there
was great need for a line of railroad
through the counties tributary to San
Antonio upon the south. With might
and will-power he commenced solicit
ing subscriptions and agitating the
building south. As soon as enough
money was raised to buy a few goods,
he opened a commissary and com
menced hiring hands. Before pay-day
arrived he had several miles of grading
almost completed. With the leverage
of this work he obtained considerable
money and notes as bonus, but not
enough by half to pay his workmen.
So he informed them that they would
be compelled to accept 40 per cent, cash
and the balance the following pay-day.
As the section at that time was over
supplied with common labor the men
reluctantly agreed, lie styled his road
the San Antonio and' Aransas Pass.
As soon as the first few miles were
graded he purchased a lot of second
hand rails from the Southern Pacific 11.
It., together with an old engine which
had been condemned as worthless. lie
laid his track, patched and painted his
engine, and commenced service upon
his line with two hired fiat cars. In
the meantime his second pay-day had
passed and without a cent of money
and with a very short stock of merchan
dise, but by fair promises and considera
ble persuasion he got his men to agree
to wait another month. A repetition
of these tactics with a small amount of
cash sufficed for many pay-days,
and in five years the outcome was a
fine paying system of six or seven
hundred miles of railroad under the
management of Uriah Lott, president,
and upon the records of Bexar county,
Texas, stand recorded many blocks of
property in Uriah Lott's * name. A
brown-stone front upon Congress Ave.,
is his residence. Such has been .the
success of a hustler unknown to the
world ten years ago. What fools men
are not to hustle honestly instead of
wasting brains devising dishonest
means to get small gains. " K. C.
In the choice of associates lies the
source of all our troubles; if we would
only stop to consider who we are asso
ciating with we would be saved a vast
amount of woe. We rush madly along
until we fall into the lowest and vilest
pits of degradation and sin. We can
not always judge a man by the clothes
he wears, bnt we can almost invariably
judge him by his companions. It makes
no difference how upright or good he
may be; if he delivers himself to be led
by his evil companions he will fall fast,
as sure as there is a God in heaven. His
first lesson in the art of vice, if I may
call it an art, is the cigarette or cigar;
from these he goes to the wine-room;
then he soon finds that wine is not
strong enough, so he is prevailed upon
to take something stronger; being easi
ly persuaded he learns to take his tod
dies; he learns the road to the bar-room
and goes, from there to the gambling
hell. By adding these up you find that
the sum makes total in disgrace and
ruin. How many of us have dear old
mothers at home who may be singing
that beautiful song: “Oh 'where is my
wandering boy to-night?” Little she
thinks that her boy is languishing be
hind prison bars. And suppose she does
know, and you ask her the cause of her
boy’s downfall she will quickly tell you
it was “bad company.” What have we
gained by these associations? Nothing,
absolutely nothing. What have we lost ?
Everything, character, reputation ■ and
name have gone. We have neither
friends nor home. But, as our little pa
per says, “It is never too late to mend,”
so when the prison gates are open for
us and we again breathe the fresh air
of liberty, let us try and follow these
good old words:
Magistrate: The case against you
looks pretty dark.
Johnson: (acul’ledgem’an) Dat’sall
right, jedge; I can prove an albino.—
TcDue. j SI.OO per year, in advance,
i tkms. -j sj x Months 50 Cents.
Our Associates.
“Shun evil companions.
Dark passions subdue
Look ever to Jesus
He will carry you through.”

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