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Vol. X.—No. 4
THE LAND OF PRETTY SOON. I know a land where the streets are paved With the tilings we meant to achieve, It is walled with the money we meant to have saved. And the pleasures for which we grieve. The kind words unspoken, the promises broken, And many a coveted boon, Are stowed away in that laud somewhere— The laud of “pretty soon,’’ There are uncut jewels of possible fame Lying about in the dust, And many a noble and lofty aim Covered with mold and rust. And. Oh! this place, while it seems so near, Is further away than the moon: Though our purpose is fair, yet we never get there— To the land of “pretty soon.” The road that leads to that mystic land Is strewn with pitiful wrecks. And the ships that have sailed for its shining strand Bear skeletons on their decks. It is further at noon than it was at dawn, And further at night than at noon; Oh. let us beware of that land down there— The land of “pretty soon.” —Ella Wheeler Wilcox. THE AGITATOR Many people confound the province of the agitator with that of the tricky politician, who has only the advance ment of self-interest in mind and who artfully conceals his real purpose by cloaking it with some popular reform movement. The honest agitator has a grand result ever in view. Ignorance, prejudice or selfishness may cause vili fication to be heaped upon him and public opinion may form an unjust verdict against him, but he is ever sin cere and aggressive. Although an arduous task to over come public prejudice, the agitator, whose motives are based upon pure principles and strict justice, is not dis couraged by ridicule or abuse. He be lieves in the ultimate triumph of right and is buoyed up by the same inspira tion that influenced the early martyrs of the Church. The most sublime truths ever uttered have always met the blind opposition of the multitude. “Crucify Him!” “Crucify Him!” was the cry that greet ed our Savior in the judgment hall of the Jews, and still greets every moral reform advanced today. The agitator lives in advance of his time. He is the precursor of the coming reforma tion. and stands as a beacon light show ing men the way to a better life. Not with honeyed words or illusive prom ises does he seek to bring the people to his position, but armed »with right, he asks no compromise and hurls his de nunciations in tones of thunder at their enslavers. Concession and compromise never produce a change in opinion. Their sphere is found in matters of expedi ency alone. Moral agitation is the es sential principle which forms and moulds public opinion. It produces thought along new lines and concen trates the public mind upon great themes. The agitator has a province distinctively his own. Courage, posi tiveness of conviction and purity of motive are the qualities that belong to him. Every agitator has been de nounced as a fanatic. No man ever yet presented a new idea which in volved a sweeping change in public opinion, that did not at first meet with opposition. Galileo was tortured for expounding scientific truths. Savona rola suffered martyrdom for agitating and exposing ecclesiastical corruption. Wendell Phillips, whose life and tal ents were devoted to the freeing of a STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 1896. down-trodden race, met with violent public opposition. Even today, polit ical banishment seems to await the man who opposes the popular will. The agitator must stand on principle and shun expediency. Devotion to principle is the secret of his power, as it is in all , contemplated reforms. The greater the advancement in civili zation, the greater the need of the agi tator. Through him unjust penal codes have been blotted from the statute books, and slaves have breathed the air of freedom. As long as wrong is indicted, his mission will continue. It will con tinue until capital and labor shall clasp hands in unity and friendship. Ample is the opportunity of the sin cere agitator. We are today face to face with problems compiex and serious. The ties that unite labor and capital are strained nigh unto breaking. The gap between wealth and poverty is widening. In the midst of plenty may be seen want and suffering. Among the working classes there is a feeling of bitterness and a desire for social change. May the wage earner be deaf to the wild appeals of loud-mouthed advo cates of rash methods, and learn to heed the voice of him whose heart and soul are large enough to see that all have rights; a man with judgment sufficiently keen, to discover the source of a grievance, and with strength and courage to relieve it by just and fair means. Heaven will unite with man in proclaiming him hero, whose pur pose it is to serve, not self, not party, nay, not country—but humanity. G. J. W. THE VIRTUE OF RECEIVING. Receiving is traditionally such a poor thing compared with giving, that there is a prevailing tendency to frown on it and reject its claims to virtue. From the receiver’s standpoint all gifts may be divided into things that we want and things that we don’t want. It takes no particular skill or grace to receive things that we want, but, as in times of general giving, like Christ mas, the gifts we get are for^ the most part things that we don't want, that branch of receivership is worth atten tion. The two ordinary reasons for not wanting things are the vulgar one that they do not strike us as intrinsically desirable, and the more selfish reason that we don't want to receive them from a particular donor. A general remedy, applicable to reluctances due to either of these reasons is to keep constantly in mind the happiness of the giver in giving, remembering that you are delighted with a tritle from some one you love, because it makes you happy to have been even passively instrumental in procuring him the pleasure of giving, applying the same principle, you can accept ever so costly a gift from some one for whom you care little without an irk some sense of obligation. It is far more generous to sacrifice one's per sonal inclinations and accept, than to refuse. Remember that by receiving with due grace, you secure to another person a desirable form of happiness. The very essence of graceful receiving is to rise superior to the sense of obli gation. The purpose of a gift, from the giver’s point of view, is to make the receiver happy. But obligations are apt to be irksome, and the receiver who suffers one to weigh on him, mean ly permits the giver’s intentions to be misconstrued and the whole value of the transaction to be destroyed. Ap preciation is what is wanted. To ap preciate is a generous quality, pleas urable to the receiver who can experi ence it, and highly agreeable to the giver. Both are blessed by it and mu tual love is quickened. Receiving that yields to the impulse to give some thing back is clumsy and inapt. Giving “IT IS XEVER. TOO EATE TO MEXD.” hack is mere barter. It is revengeful, it is neither pious nor philosophical and the wise receiver will have none of it. But oftentimes it is merely the refuge of the inexperienced. A re ceiver who knows his business will no more resort to it than an expert horse man will hold onto the pommel of the saddle. The way to receive is to re ceive, not to retaliate. To receive tri fles from the rich and be charmed with them is a simple matter. To receive gifts of value from the poor and not be impressed is a finer art, but on no account to be neglected. R. M. ARRIVAL OF THE ROYAL COUPLE. Does advertising pay V Well I should say if does. Through the extensive circulation of The Prison Mirror, and the loud advertising of binder twine, making known the attractions of this summer resort, we now have the honor of a visit from the king and queen of the Philippine Islands. They arrived recently after a series of thrill ing adventures encountered in passing through the barbarous countries that lie between here and their own realms. It seems that while oft' the coast of Fiji the queen was captured by the cannibals, who proceeded to make a fricassee out of her. but the timely ap pearance of the king, at the head of his forces, saved his consort the disagree able duty of acting as principal at the contemplated banquet. While strug gling valorously, his Royal Highness the king, had his left arm badly shat tered by a spear, which accounts for the increase in the hospital force since his arrival here. The queen, though nervous from the many trials that she has passed through, is now partaking of the hospitalities of the institution and preparing for her trip to the state fair, where all the high functionaries of the state will be in attendance to do her honor. She is a dream of loveli ness, radiant with all the charms of natural beauty and with a smile that is the soul of truth. His Majesty, though a little the worse for wear, still manages to retain his dignity, and by the time he is ready to go on parade, it is confidently expected that he will be in a tit condition to pose as a represent ative of the divinity of kings. Long may they live and glorious be their reign is the wish of Sinbad. SELF-CONQUEST. The way to possess power without is to have it within. The way to be strong in sorties upon the foes outside our walls, is to be sure of the death of traitors within. “But it is hard to dem and deny and still again deny one's self,” says a querulous voice. Of course it is! So is it harder to fight than to bend supinely to the blow, so is it harder to force our w r ay against a torrent than to yield to its onrush and perish, so is it more toilsome to climb a steep ascent than to glide down it a corpse on the roaring crest of an avalanche. Yet who that claims kin ship to manhood would cease strug gling in these physical directions, so long as a spark of life remained. The feeble pen that is followed by so many eyes, halts and hesitates here, and questions whether this may not all be too serious and too sermonic for a newspaper column. The answer comes: “No, for the press is called to be a power.” And the negative is con firmed by a growing sound that smites the psychic ear, a murmur that swells into an infinite agony of vain regret; it is the voice of all, of one, whose bright est prospects have vanished, whose power for good have been over come by yielding to unholy ambition, to the mere making of wealth, to the killing of time, to the lowering of the human standard till it became a par ody and caricature of all that is dis gusting in the animal. These are they whose bodies conquered their souls and permitted no deeds of value to our race. By their vain breathings, by their chained and manacled bodies, by their shrivelled souls, by their animal ism, the sign is here erected, “The secret of power is Self conquest.” All sincere battling with self is in some degree, self-conquest. The vic tory of one day renders more sure the basis of operations for the next. So vast becomes the growing power over self, that before it the trend of hered ity bows down defeated, until out of the filth comes forth a creature as pure as the w-ater lily. If by battling you gain the mastery of your instincts you need no longer yearn for power. You will have it. You need not blazon it from the housetops, for those who meet you will know you have it. It will surround you, unconsciously on your part, with a subtle emanation that will help or rebuke those who en ter its charmed circle. Thus formed the defeat to our highest that is threat ened by our lowest, yon will have wrested victory, and will take your place among those purified and power ful ones that glorify on humanity.— St. Peter Herald. THE VALUE OF CHARACTER. Goodness is greatness. The best people are the noblest people. God counts quality. The light that shines from a thoroughly good life more than eclipses the light from the sun. We are not strong by what we do but by what we are. The inner graces consti tute the worth and beauty of the soul. They are to the man what harmony is to music—what form and color are to art. The individual who has conquered himself is more worthy of admiration than he who, by the armies, has placed nations under his feet. Even genius is nothing beside goodness. True, this is not the world’s estimate. The world regards men by their wealth, their so cial position, the number of their friends, and by their influence upon others. Those who live in palaces, dress in broadcloth and satin, ride in luxur ious equipages, have culture, and re finement, are possessed of distinguished talent, attract by their wit, charm by their eloquence, astonish by their learn ing--these are the great of earth before whom we bow down. But the judg ment of the world is by no means al ways the judgment of God. Only true manhood counts with Him. Men may have houses and lands and mental gifts and reputation and pleasures, and all that and yet men of whom Emerson speaks when he says the hand can pass through them. The character is the essential thing is suggested by the estimates which men put upon it. Who are the men we involuntarily place at the head of the race? Is it those who have the most wealth and reputation ? No; it is those whose characters are such that they conquer where they stand. Open the pages of literature and notice who are the ideal characters. The great authors are always punishing the bad and re warding the righteous. Dante is only a sample of all when he places evil men in perdition and good men in paradise. How Shakespeare puts moral qualities to the front! The same is true of Scott and Thackeray, and Dickens and George Elliot, and, indeed of all the world’s great thinkers and writers. Righteous ness is the chiefest and noblest posses sion. See here, young people! Not all can gain high position, or great wealth, or social influence, or wide reputation. But all—all may have that which is better than position and wealth and social influences and reputation —all may possess a pure heart and a clean life. An upright, unselfish life spent amid poverty and obscurity is a larger life than that lived by a king or queen who knows not God’s righteousness. — Glen Mills Daily. TroMfi. ( SI.OO per year. In advance it. a. f Tyj on th s 50cents. MORAL SAFEGUARDS. The chief horror of crime is found in the impassable social barrier which even the suspicion of it builds against the suspect. The symbols of a crimi nal life—the grated window, the hand cuffs and manacles, the star of the po liceman, or even the gallows—do not touch or annoy the human soul attuned to gentleness and innocence. The pur poses of all these are entirely hidden from the straight and narrow path of perfect rectitude, and the man or wom an who abides in the temple erected by a perfectly clear conscience rests perfectly secure from every fateful ill which can beset the traveler upon life’s journey. The man or the woman who may be accused of even the vilest crime, and who yet has within their bosom the sweet consciousness of innocence—a conscience void of offense —is no less safe than the one who is never accused or even suspected. Otherwise there would be a missing ingredient in the chemical formula of a Divine purpose. The individual accused knowing him self innocent, by the double fact of ac cusation and innocence, may become thereby the chosen exempler of the law of righteousness that is inherent in the constitution of things. This is the consoling and uplifting lesson of the cross—the story of all the Calvaries and crosses—the acts of lofty heroism and complete self-renunciation and self-sacrifice —that have shone like bea con lights along the rugged and toil some path the race has traveled out of savagery to such light and knowledge and civilization as it now enjoys. In deed, it is the lesson of all martyrdom from the “persecution of the saints” down through all the hideous persecu tions and killings of cruel sectaries to ,1 ohn Brown. Men and women must not only avoid actual criminal practices, but should not permit the shadow of a criminal thought to abide with them. Avoid the appearance of evil, even though the soul of truth and righteousness be a perpetual guest at your board. —Min- neapolis Times. HYPOCRITES. It is sickening to hear so much bare faced hypocrisy about the working man’s wages. If the workingmen were not vastly in the majority not one word would be heard about their wages. This stuff about the working man’s breakfast table and the work ingman’s dinner pail and the working man’s wife and little ones is the thinly veiled scheme of the disreputable poli ticians and the men who make a prac tice of grinding workingmen down to the last cent, irrespective of whether he gets his breakfast or not, or whether his dinner pail is filled with coarse black bread, without butter or meat, or whether his wife and little ones go in rags and hunger and squalor as well. They would see a man’s family on the verge of starvation and would refuse to raise his pay one cent. On the con trary, they would take every means in their power to decrease the pittance he already got. And to think of being compelled to listen day by day to this insulting twaddle that it is the work ingman’s wages that is troubling the souls of our soulless corporations and jninds of our devil-may-care politi cians. The workingmen owe it to themselves to boldly, earnestly, and in dignantly rebuke such studied insults to their intelligence. The working man’s wages, indeed! Little do the great corporations care for the work ingman’s wages except to devise some means of cutting them down under some lyin§ but plausible excuse,.and that excuse is varied from time to time according to the agitation that is tak ing place in the minds of the public.— Minneapolis Irish Standard.