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Vol. VII.—No. 22. Wrrtten for The Prison Mirror A VISION IN FROST. By Shorn I’okt. The night was cold; all through the day The sun chased not the frost away; Each window-pane, a frosty heart Throbbed weird-like in fantastic art; By magic hands of etching power, «4rew outlines of the nodiling-flower. The tiny limbs of fern and brake, A fairy arbor seemed to make. And life on wings did there uprise rtf bumble-bees and butterflies— A humming-bird, whose tendril tongue To sparkling beads of honey clung— And children grouped, of dew congealed In clusters thronged an argent field. A mitriform displayed itself. A lyrate leaf, a monadelph: Far-reaching from the window-sill. In hold relief, a daffodil Attracting from a river, thawed. A nautilus and heteropod. Oigantic dills upreared tlteir heads, Near oozy swamps and sea-marsh beds Ignoble, in their rights defied. By sea encroachments at hightide; Though barren, worn and isolate, They spoke of scenes of distant date— Of olden days, and vanished art. When Doric skill supplied the mart. There, massive works in ruins lay. Ancient, moresque, grand in decay; Where once a castle seemed to be High-walled in rustic masonry, A gargoyled-pillar proudly stands; A groined arch with trefoil bands, And volutes carved, where could be seen A miter-jointed baldachin; Four chamfered shafts, modillion-traced, A turret o’er a battlement placed. Those battered eliffs showed traces yet Of barbacau and minaret, Corinthian, beyond deface. In mortised-holds from top to base— Like warders on tlie boundaries Stood stern-browed oaks, and beech-nut trees Portcullis and chevaux-de-frise; A jewelled sword, a rampart gun, A breast plate, shield and morion. Ax-Lochaber and gabion. All these intaglios deep and plain Were pictured on the window-pane. The hour was late, though warmer grown. The firelight on the carvings shone; Through all the hours, the moon-beams played With nereids in ambuscade. And. where a lancet window gleamed— Balcony-set and silver-beamed. Illumined sparks flew up in flame. And in four letters, blazed a name— Euterpe from the ruins sprung. Dancing, she moved the nymphs among: Nor stayed she. till of veil she bared A maid blue-eyed, and golden-hair’d. Melpomene with Erato In Clio's myrtle-wreaths did glow; And Calliopa. sweet in song. Chimed with Thalia in the throng. The mingled tones at Satyrs’ call. In frozen echoes scaled the wall, Dissolving, shone;—tuned all the air. With home, sweet home, resplendent there. Pendant, then in argent light Sought refuge on a mountain’s height; And dazzling more, again, arrayed, The muses and the blue-eyed maid. A wand’ring knight, lost to the road. Long rested where the summit glowed; As one in doubt which path to take— (Less for his own. than others’ sake)— The brilliant scene his limbs did shake. He pondered deep, oft would upstart. And blear-eyed glances seemed to dart Upon that wild, cragg’d mountain part. His head firm-set, gray hairs besprent, Pushed forward with resolves intent. Huge bowlders in his pathway glared. And three-faced Furies at him stared; Opposing him. their lips they lent In ambidexter argument. He struggled on. bold crags he gained. His eyes upon the maid remained— Who trembled that a step he miss; For near Him yawned a precipice. And, as the last portcullis fell. Abound'. A leap! A solemn spell! The knight—the maid, their frosted-train— Had melted from the window-pane! FROM NEUTRAL GROUND One of our Contributors Voices his Sen- timents on the Purity of the Press Perhaps one who has no voice in poli tics, should idly scan the doings of the various political parties without com ment . The temporary loss of citizen ship does not, however, imply that one must needs abandon all interest in wordly altairs, or cease to form opinions upon the questions of the day. Hence, 1 take the liberty of advancing my hum ble sentiments upon that subject, which seems to me, to be of the most vital importance. The question with which I deal, is the unjust manner in which official acts of our leading public men ■are criticised. Petty party mud-slinging is resorted to in order to* prove and up hold the alleged veracity and wisdom of political measures, platform planks, “ IT I« NEVER TOO DATE TO MEND.” STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, JANUARY 4, 1894. reform bills and the like. Party leaders are ridiculed and slanderd and in many instances their personal character has been assailed and made the butt of silly, crack-brained jokes. The press, being the voice of the peo ple, has a perfect right, and is in duty bound, to criticise the official acts of the people's servants; but when it (le cends to calumny as a means to advance party interests, it oversteps its bounds of reason and justice, and thrusts a bomb of injury upon the course of liber ty. The press has a right to cinsure and condemn any wrong which it may detect in the adminstration of state or nation al affairs; but it tramples its freedom in the dust when it puts forth mislead ing statements as a means to influence voters and further party ends. Slander has never won an argument nor secured a victory. Logical persuasion, whether right or wrong, more often accomplishes the desired end. Good government is necessary. With out which, chaos would reign supreme. In order to maintain the supremacy of good government, the dignity of office must be maintained. In a republic where all power is vested in the people, they, and they alone, have the right to place or reject their servants, wherever and whenever they deem it necessary for the public welfare; and any agency which strives to mislead and deceive the people by voicing sentiments which are opposed to truth, is political treason, and a direct blow at the fountain head of liberty. The people, growing accus tomed to hearing their official servants spoken of disparagingly, will, sooner or later, become indifferent to the dignity of office, and begin to tear down instead of adding strengih and beauty to their temple of freedom, which was so dearly bought and established by the blood of our nation's heroes. Purity of the press means good government and the main taining and building up of our national dignity and honor. 0. C. Faults of Culture Perhaps a number of your many readers will term it heresy, when I say that there is no pursuit more selfish than that of culture for its own sake. Any competent observer cannot fail to have noticed that the seeking of that which is admirable in intellectual at tainment and progress, simply for the purpose of holding it in possession, a petty power, has the same degrading effect upon the soul that comes to the miser who hoards his gold. It is safe to declare that all men and women who pursue culture as an end, failing to de vote it to any purpose that involves self-surrender'are mean, like the hoard ing miser. So it happens, as men grow more learned by study, more nicely ad justed and finished in their power, more delicate and exact in their taste, they lose sympathy with the world in com mon, and become fastidious, and cold; warming only in the presence of those who praise them or set value on then possessions. I have often noticed, as culture comes in, faith goes out, instead of grow ing vigorous and far-reaching. Is it the ignorant who have faith in mankind, and must man surrender his divinest possesion w-hen culture enters in ? He must, if culture is pursued as and end in itself; but, if pursued to fur ther the ends of benevolence, it strength ens faith. Culture which ends in self, is infidel; it makes a God of itself. When culture is selfish, all sympathies are clannish; such culture has no broad aims except selfish onetf. Whatever it does is done for the few, it never con tributes to the many, it is too proud to be useful, it refuses to come dow r n to the dusty ways of life to point the way upward and help nien bear their bur dens. The world might go to the dogs, or the devil for all selfish culture would do to prevent it. The noble w r ork is done by those who have faith in man kind; by the humble, who have some thing better than culture, or by those who place culture under the law of love. The florist can show- us a rose whose beauty has been won by culture, but at the cost of its fragrance. There may be much to admire in selfish culture, but like the rose, there is nothing to in hale. We are obliged to go near'to see that which should come to us on the wings of the wind. Brighax. A Happy People. ‘Where ignorance is bliss ’Tis folly to be wise.’' The happiest people 1 have ever seen was in Mexico, twenty years ago. For four years I lived in the city of Tuxpam. In that portion of Mexico the inhabi tants have no horses or farm imple ments and the average farmer culti vates about one acre of land, raising two crops of corn and beans each year. Every variety of tropical fruits grow spontaneously, or need but little care or attention. The corn is planted by jab bing a sharp stick into the ground, and dropping the corn into the hole thus made. Xo cultivation was necessary, and crops thus planted would yield fifty bushels per acre, each crop, or one hun dred bushels annually. In an hours time, enough fish could be harpooned to last a month. Which, with all kinds of fruits, this fare is all the native wishes. His clothes are made of a thin domestic cloth, and his feet are protected by san dals. His expenses for a family of six or seven would probably be five dollars per annum. At no time in his existence does he posses more than two dollars in money, and one hour's work, divided by long intervals of rest, weekly, is the amount of time consumed by labor. Sitting in the dense shade of the mango or some other tropical tree, he would while away his time drinking rum that had been distilled by his wife from cane juice, and smoking cigarettes manu factured by himself. His knowledge of the world consisted of the way to the nearest town, where he would repair Saturdays with a bunch or two of ban anas or some other fruit, which he ex changes for clothing. Books and news papers never invade his household. Contentment is universal. The country is well supplied with watercourses and the lakes and rivers are abundantly supplied with fish and oysters. The height of the native’s ambition is to pro claim a revolution which never amounts to as much as a ward fight in one of our cities on an election day. The trials and perplexities of financial embarrass ment are unknown to him, and he cares nothing for transpiring events outside of his family. Ignorance there, reigns supreme, and appears to be the bliss of contentment. Texas. Xo.. 2. Why Should I Write for the Mirror? First you should write for it because it is your own paper and you have just as good a right to contribute to its col umns as anyone. You should have a personal interest in its usefulness and success, and endeavor in every way pos sible to make it a success, and benefit to your fellow prisoners. Again, it will be beneficial to yourself to contribute to its columns no matter how well in formed you may be, or how much you may need information. There are many well-read men wdio possess abun dant information on many difficult and important subjects, and yet they lack the ability to express themselves intelli gently in writing. It is not all of a true education to fill one's mind with knowledge; to be able to draw out that knowledge and present it to the public, either through the press or orally, is as much of a true education as it is to pos ess the same. If you have never writ ten for Tiie Mirror, then you should commence at once and feel that it is a privilege, and that you can soon make it beneficial to yourself. If you are a beginner, I am sure the editor will take you by the hand and kindly lead you on—that he will correct your errors, so that in a short. time, it will be a pleasure to you to assist him with a regular weekly contribution. A. B. M, Tcduo. ' * l - 00 year, in advance i tKMb. ) six Months 60 Cents. Keep Your Resolutions. New -Year's day has long been the chosen time when men have resolved to turn over a new leaf. It is a day that naturally stands as a mile stone upon the pathway of life. It is a van tage point from which to review the past and look the future squarely in the face. Those habits which have led to failure or a retrograde to our ex istence should be reformed. The man whose extravagance has embarrassed his financial success should adopt the lesson of economy. The man who has neglected business for pleasure should gird on his armor and move forward to his proper sphere in the rapid race of life. The drunkard, a sad disappoint ment to himself and his friends, should bravely put the tempter behind him and not only abandon his besetting sin but do works meet for repentauee. The debauchee should live more closely to the laws of health and decency. The young man who is wasting his time should devote himself to mental, moral, and intellectual improvement. Aside from adherence to pure and honest con victions, nothing can do more to make life pleasant and successful than good books and good associations. Stick to your New Year’s resolutions. Time past is irrevocable and your one hope lies in the proper improvement of opportunities as they present them selves. Have the courage of your con victions and stick to vour resolutions. C. E. My Letters '['here are few persons even outside of prison walls, who do not appreciate the receiving of a letter; there is something extremely fascinating about the very prospect. In returning to my cell from the shops. I am delighted to espy a little white-winged messenger of love lying upon my cot, (already opened; awaiting my perusal, or I am sorely disappointed at its absence. In returning to my cell after the labor of the day is done; I often try to pursuade myself that there is not the slightest probability of my receiving a letter at that time; thus as it were, striving to deceive myself, that I might the more fully enjoy the pre cious token. What a great blessing it is to have some loved one or friend who do not forget nor forsake us in our hour of sorrow and trouble, and thus by cheerful and loving messages. “They scatter fragrant flowers Upon a thorny path, Bringing many pleasant hours To a life e'en worse than death A Modern Solomon There is in Hungary a religious society calling themselves Nazarenes. Some time ago they appeared in a body before one of the county judges, whom they informed that they were about to cru cify their leader, whom they claimed to believe was the Messiah, and who in accordance with their belief and doc trine must be crucified. The judge pondered over the matter for a moment, and then said: “My friends, I will not interfere with you in the discharge of your religious obligations, if your Messiah approves of crucirixion, then let him prepare to die; but if your Messiah does not arise again on the third day, and appear among us, 1 will have you all tried and hanged for mur der.” After considering for a brief time the judge's words, they concluded to let their Messiah live. * P. L. Sam Does It Texas, No. 2, in his article on Sam Jones, in a recent issue of The Mirror says: “I firmly believe that the man has converted more sinners than any man living.” I have always believed that man was only an instrument in the hands of God, in the conversion of a sinner; and that the real work was done by a higher power. It may be, however, that Sam does his own con verting. A. A. W. s. w