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Two Children. A mansion and a hovel Were standing side by side; The one was narrow, low. and mean. The other grand and wide, one told of light and warmth within, Of music, birds, and flowers; The other told of want and woe, ()f slow and cheerless hours. Two little girls, in loving tones. Talked earnestly together. One warm, the other poorly clad For chill December weather. They each had eyes most innocent. ’They each had golden hair; •one's dress betokened poverty. The other wealth and care. They were too young to know the lines. That placed them far apart; They had met upon a level. They were talking heart to heart. The one from out the mansion told Of Christmas time so near. The presents Santa Claus had brought To her from year to year. And how she longed for him to come With reindeer, bells and sleigh: How lie came while children slept. And how he slipped away. The child from out the hovel said. With quivering lip and tearful eye: "He never comes to our house. Can you tell me the reason why?" o mothers, in your happy homes. With children bright and glad. Think of the little ones tonight. Whose lives are dark and sad! And when tne merry Christmas comes. And all your world is gay. May you with loving words and gifts some wretchedness allay! Anna M. I’ottkr, in The Kingdom RETROSPECTION The Christmas just passed has re called to our mind childhood days, memories of red wagons, drums, skates, sleds and feasts. We remember the child like veneration with which we listened to that story of the birth of Christ, and how the shepherds, watching their docks by nights, were warned by a great light which shone in the heavens, and being much afraid, they were calmed by an angel telling them that a King had been born at Bethlehem. The sky seemed full of angels singing "‘Glory to God in the highest, and on ■earth peace, good will toward men." The shepherds and wise men went to Bethlehem and found the Christ child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Their hearts were tilled with gladness, and returning home, they sang the song of the heavenly choir; “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Even the wanderer in a great city who has no relatives or dear ones on earth, must, unless his heart is cal lous, be pervaded to some extent with this gladness which is evident everywhere, lie sees, when the work ing hours are over, the tired shop girl, who has been slaving for a mere pit tance. rushing about on Christmas Eve eager to invest her mite in a purchase for some loved member of her family, dearer than her own self-sacriticing life: or the poor workman, with a back bent by honest toil, gazing with happy eyes into the store windows at the toys he intends to buy for his own loved ones at home. Even the little news boys are imbued with the spirit of happiness, seeming to have an extra amount of self-reliance, as they shout with gladness. Brave little waifs of the street; they are happy with a bag of peanuts and a seat in the upper gallery of some cheap theatre. Yet there are many poor creatures who have known better days, who have only a place to sleep: a cold, cheerless place and an empty cupboard. An inquiry will show that even these poor souls are not totally devoid of hope. The glad ness in all Christian hearts over Christ mas reaches even the poorest and they look forward to this festival with a feeling of thankfulness that Christ has been born again for them. Some j good Samaritan has found them and j with a cheery word and a present suf ficient to relieve their temporary dis tress, has lifted their burden, given them new hope and made them feel that the world is not so cruel after all. The only ones who are not affected by Christmas and its festivities are those who are so engrossed in themselves that the happiness of others has no interest for them. Even if one is so ! placed that he can do nothing toward ameliorating the condition of a rel ative, friend or stranger; thinking of what he would do if he could and mak ing good resolutions, will bring a con tentment and peace of mind unknown j to those who live for themselves alone. W. (i. RESOLUTIONS. With the approach of the new year comes the time when innumerable reso lutions will be formed. These resolu tions. in the majority of cases, will be confined to the quitting of three habits: the habit of drinking liquor, using pro fane language and the tobacco habit. Although removed from the temptation of indulging in the first two, neverthe less they should receive our careful consideration from a moral standpoint, and as for the third, it simply requires a firm determination and the exercise of the will-power to abandon it. Let any disinterested person go over the records of the year about to close and note the large number of wrecks of hu manity that the indulgence in drink has caused, the poverty, misery and wretch edness that is to be found in countless homes, the sorrows and sufferings that parents endure, the direct result of this appetite for strong drink, and they must acknowledge that it is indeed a curse to mankind. The greater num ber of the inmates of our jails, work houses and penitentiaries can trace back their first wrong step to the agency of drink. No doubt the majority of them often resolved to renounce the habit but failed to keep their resolu tion, which but emphasizes the fact that resolves should be permanent in stead of temporary, not simply confined to a short period of every new year. We, although surrounded by cold and cheerless walls, can determine to so live w r hen again free, that we shall be able to enjoy that which the* 1 Declaration of Independence’’ asserts to be the right of each and every one, viz.; “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Apro pos, while writing this article, there has come back to my recollection the inci dent that caused me to make my first resolution. # A few years ago, while at tending school at L——, the teacher severely punished the writer for an of fense that happened to have been com mitted by someone else, as all such offenses are. Feeling grieved and hu miliated, I related the particulars to my school chum and decided upon revenge. After considering such harmless jokes as bent pins, fire-crackers, etc., we de cided upon drawing a large picture upon the blackboard representing the janitor proposing to the teacher. The joke took immensely, but it was as noth ing to the joke the teacher played upon us in return. We then and there formed a resolution that has not been broken unto this day. Jasper. THE VENEZUELA DISPUTE The present indications are apt to impress one with the idea that a clash between two mighty nations will be the outcome of this important and compli cated question. Our republic claims strong rights, in behalf of Venezuela’s claim to the big gumbo ilats, now in dispute with England. This identical strip of territory has always been re garded as worthless and consequently abandoned to all intent and purpose. Not s© with England. Since 1840 she “IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEAD.” STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, DECEMBER 2(». 1895. has had an apparently undeniable claim to it. In that year she had the bound ary delined, which extends to the i Schomburgk line, which encircles the barren spot now so coveted by the other governAent. since gold has been discovered in such abundant quanti ties, with the probability of yielding | two million dollars annually, the ques- j tion of right and legal possession be come immediately involved, thus plac- j ing England in a somewhat critical position, as her claims were never : recognized by Venezuela, or specified by any form of treaty. Hence the United States has the advantage of I coming to the front with herdiplomaey,; j and displaying the powers of the Mon- j j roe doctrine, making it the backbone ! of her position, the prospects of ar bitration being apparently ignored. Johnnie null's impertinent demand for | sixty thousand dollars as indemnity for alleged injustice committed on British subjects, certainly appears as though the demand was to be sustained by more vigorous demonstrations. If England was disinterested in the state of affairs now existing in the East, and could give her force and attention di rectly to the Venezuela matter, the prospects for a repetition of I*l- and a thorough testing of the Monroe doc trine could be anticipated. Buttaking all the present circumstances into con sideration, it is practically impossible, | for she has too miny irons in the lire. | Furthermore she realizes that a revision of the tariff in connection with her ! commerce would be a disastrous re j suit, for it is an item in itself by no | means to be disregarded. She also has I a highly developed respect for the in dividual side of the question, and cer tainly we are not subdued subjects but men, free and mighty, ready to resent anything in the form of an insult to our country. P. A. F. DISHONESTY DOESN’T PAY Does it pay to be dishonest ? Is there any reward in the life of an habitual criminal that ought to induce him to continue it? Does it return him as much as honest labor would? For the purpose of comparison, let us suppose the case of two men starting w T ith equal opportunities in life. The working man gives honest labor for every dollar he earns. lie is respected in the com munity in which he lives, and if he be sober, industrious and earnest in his endeavor, he can save money from his earnings, and in time get possession of a modest little home, marry a good woman, raise his family in comfort, and can always be assured of a shelter for his old age. A criminal general ly begins his career by committing petty thefts. He graduates from the Workhouse to the Reformatory, and from the Reformatory to the Peniten tiary. Now r , no r>. atter how T successful he has been in his thieving, no matter how great his gains may have been, when he is sentenced to prison he loses a hundredfold more than he ever gained. He is sentenced to a term of years in prison at hard labor. lie per haps loses five of the best years of his life, and no amount of money can ever compensate a man for that. He is branded as a felon; his character is ruined beyond redemption. He is sub jected to the most severe discipline and he must perform hard, disagreeable tasks, and the work he is compelled to do for the state, if done for himself at current wages outside, would yield him fair wages and a good living. If, on the day of his discharge, he were offered ten times the amount of money he had ever gained by dishonest means to go through the same experience again, is it probable that he would do so? We think not. Putting aside the moral aspect of the question altogether, and considering it as a matter of profit and , loss, is it not true that honesty is the s best policy ? C. Rook. A DREAM I had a dream the other night not; the lirstthat I have had —but one that j has left a deeper impression on my | memory than any other. I had been, by that subtle process j which is unexplainable and only occurs . in dreams, transferred to a large and beautiful park, and while resting upon one of the many seats that were dis posed about, I was joined by another person. From the appearance of my com panion 1 was not led to expect anything more than the usual request for the wherewithal to purchase a meal. 1 judged him to be about thirty-live years of age, with a face that seemed pale beneath the stubble of unclean beard that covered it. If is eyes, which for the first time were clearly seen, emitted a ook of repressed intelligence, now full upon me. now lowered to his alter nately shifting, poorly shod feet, as if trying to decide which object was the more attractive to his gaze. Ap parently he decided in favor of the latter, for the noise of his shifting shoes drew his glance downward, and there it rested, with no perceptible object, according to my belief, un less to ponder on the tenure of their future protection from cobblestones and dew. “Poor devil." thought 1, “my bank account will be just as large at the end of the year, anyway, and then, (selfishly) you know, charity covers a multitude of sins; so 1 11 just give him a quarter and a good word, and leave him here to his own reflections and his shifting shoes. As graciously as possible the coin was slipped into his hand, which had the effect of bringing an immediate change in his listless demeanor. ‘‘l needed that," he said, “I am hungry.” “Poor fellow,” I said compassionately, “it is not much, but I hope it will satisfy you for the present, and that things will yet come your way." I had replaced my pocketbook and was about to take myself away, when he turned towards me again and gen tly grasped my sleeve, as if entreating me by this gesture to stay, and not daring to speak, lest his voice prove not as steady as before. 1 sank back, in obedience to his silent wish, and waited until he should regain his com posure. "I thank you for your kindness; thank you, very much. I’ray forgive my agi tation; but your words of a moment since implied a question as to my con dition or appearance or perhaps both. I know both are not exactly above re proach and comment. Again a look of intense sorrow seemed to creep into the lines about the cor ners of his mouth; his eyes looked up ward until their moisture had quite disappeared. ‘•I was eighteen, - ’ he continued “when 1 graduated from the academy, the only one in the city in which l lived, the name of either is immaterial. My par ents had mapped out a college career for me, but through numerous business reverses my father became suddenly poor, and, being an honest man, paid dollar for dollar the liabilities his house had incurred. “Our elegant home was now ex changed for one of the very simplest nature; the comfbrts which we had al ways heretofore enjoyed, we knew no more. My mother, never physically robust, soon died, some said of a broken heart, for my father’s difficulties had been a source of constant anxiety to her, and his unsettled mental con dition and wakeful, wandering nights soon had their effect ou her feeble strength. “He did not long survive her, and with a heart full of anguish—alone, without a living relative, I faced the inevitable, and set about providing the means to keep intact the union be- Ttroiuio. ' sl-00 j»cr year, in advance i y;j x Months no cents. tween soul and body. “Diligently I worked and long. At last it came success, I mean—a good position in the business world, and with it came the incubus that has day after day, inch by inch, throttled every instinct of energy, and sucked dry every drop of sanguine blood that once tlowed through my veins. ••(iod help me! I was alone. I loved no one. and none cared for me. Heavier and heavier grew the incubus, greater and greater became the insatia ble appetite. W hat had I worked so hard for? Why gained the praise of inv fellow men and the distinction which my labor had won? Of what use ! was it to me after all ? And still the ; incubus kept assiduously at work. Here the voice of my companion ; broke, and with the tears streaming I from his eyes he arose and with falter i iug steps started to leave me. “Hut. my friend," 1 cried, • you have ; not told me the nature of this terrible ; incubus, which has dragged you down I to this." Slowly, and with a strangely appre hensive look, with eyes that seemed haunted by some terrible mystery, he approached me again and hissed in my ear the fatal word “hash!’ Slowly my eyes opened as L awoke. Had they looked upon all the world they could have seen no sadder sight than that poor man of good abilities, of fruitless effort, and lost ambition, incapable of the proficient exercise of his faculties, conscious alike of his weakness and of the heavy blight on his life, resigning himself to let his in cubus crush him inch by inch. HOPE ON Whieh of you by your anxieties can make tomorrow any smoother than it would have been without them V Which of you by your groanings and grum blings can change the future V Itchang es you, it wears you out. it puts bitter ness in your sweetened cup. We tell you the spirit of trust, hope and joy is the most victorious atmosphere in which a man can work out his temporal or eternal salvation. There are two ways of living. < hie way says to the people round about: 'ome and make me happyand the other way says, “Come and let me make you happy. George Eliot once wrote, “Every ob stacle can be overcome if only we meet it on broad ground." Hear this in mind and never despair as long as you are capable of considering ways and means. If inventors had never been capable of considering things but from familiar standpoints, we should never have had the sewing machine, nor the meatchop per. Out great advantage of a liberal education is in developing the mind so as to look all around questions, instead of from one side. The one side may be the inaccessible point. If a moun tain can't be crossed, it may be tunneled, and it often happens that impossibili ties drive people into possibilities that are much better methods. A well-bred person with a well-disci plined mind is able to cover with the smiling mask of habit and education many a deep sorrow, perhaps a grief more lasting than death ever brings, and broken hopes, as one idol after an other is shattered; yet the well-trained mind recovers its balance, the skilled hand its cunning and with no outward sign of inward desolation, the spirit gathers up the remnant of life and goes on as before. Nobles Co. Democrat. Thought is the property only of those who can entertain it.—Emerson. The most important victory a man can gain is the victory over himself. Lincoln. Faith is the sacrifice of the under standing to God; repentance and sacri fice of the will—Jeremy Taylor.