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Edited and Published by the Inmates of the Minnesota State Prison. Entered at the Post-office at Stillwater, Minn., as second-class mail matter. This paper will be forwarded to subscribers until ordered discontinued and all arrears are paid. Should THE MIKKOR fail to reach a subscriber each week, notice should be sent to this office, , and the matter will be attended to at once. Contributions solicited from any and all sour ces. Rejected manuscript will not be returned. THE MIRROR is issued every Thursday at the following rates: One Year ------ SI.OO Six Months - - - - - - .50 Three Months ------ .25 To inmates of penal institutions, 50 cts. per year. Address all communications. Editor, THE MIRROR. Stillwater, Minn. THE MIKKOR is a weekly paper published In thp Minnesota State Prison. It was founded in 1887 by the prisoners and is edited and man aged by them. Its objects are to be a home newspaper; to encourage moral and intellectual improvement among the prisoners; to acquaint the public with the true status of the prisoner; to disseminate penological information and to aid in dispelling that prejudice which has ever been the bar sinister to a fallen man’s self-redemption. The paper is entirely dependent on the public for its financial support. If at any time there should accrue a surplus of funds, the money would be expended in the interests of the prison library. THOSE receiving copies of The Mir ror who are not subscribers will please consider them as sample cop ies. If, after reading them, you should conclude that The Mirror is worthy of your patronage, send one dollar to this office and we will enter your name on our books for a year's subscription. Cheerfulness is the smile of the heart flooding the soul with the sunshine of good nature, and dispelling ill-feeling by the warmth of its sympathy. It does seem to an insider, with an imperfect view of the outside, that the politicians who are doing the most mud-throwing are the ones who suffer greatest from the attacks of logic. The Cubans are said to use wooden cannon in their military operations. This is in accordance with the fitness of things, as the heads of their enemies seem to be made of the same material. The great trouble with the free and easy-going set is that they confound liberty with license. Liberty is the free exercise of nat ural rights limited only by a re spect for the same rights in others, license, on the other hand, regards no restraint or respects no virtue. Between the two there is no affini ty; one inspires the other degrades. Fair play is the golden rule of competition. Belittling the efforts of rivals, and refusing to acknowl edge their successes, betrays self ishness and narrow-mindedness. The sphere of usefulness that en compasses individual exertion is never widened by cheap trickery or malign envy. The man who is ready to admit honesty and fair dealing in others, who has no smile of acceptance for the tale bearer's slander and w’ho regards them as imputations on his own character, is the one who enjoys the largest share of popularity. One of the prison reforms of the near future will be the dropping of the appellation convict. The name is more dreaded than the im prisonment, the one will pass away, but the other ever remains with the prefix “ex’’ hanging like a pall over the life of its bearer. The custom of restricting it to inmates of penitentiaries is unjust, as it spares others who are as equally condemnable under the law as they are. In many states the name re formatory is supplanting prison and penitentiary, and the moral effect of this change is of the great est reformative value, as it leaves the prisoner unbranded after the ex NOTICE. piration of his sentence. “Ex-con vict” is the badge of dishonor with which the law brands its victims, the Nemesis that pursues them, that blasts their ambition and sours them against society. Legal en actment should change convict to prisoner or inmate, and shelve the misty term with galley-slave. For the first time since the days of the Wilniot Proviso the country is now conducting a presidential campaign free from the passions born of slavery. Buried beneath the lapse of a generation and sof tened by the pride of a common nationality, sectionalism and the bitter hatreds of the civil war have now passed into history. A new era of good feeling has opened where all sections divide on ques tions of national policy, without fear of party whips or party preju dice. Every lover of his country should accept it as a hopeful sign of the future, that though interests clash and loud-mouthed dema gogues prate, the republic is now cured of the ulcer of sectionalism. MODERNIRREVERENCE. The age is iconoclastic and sweeping in its changes. The searching inquiry that is being made into every question affecting the welfare of society spares nei ther sentiment or romance. The surface decoration of every message the present has received from the past is cast aside and the substance examined under the unsympathetic eye of the practical. Ideals, heroes and cherished beliefs are dragged down from their pedestals of honor, subjected to ridicule and con tempt, their historical accuracy impunged and their claims to rev erence scoffed and burlesqued with a cynicism that respects no senti ment or feels no pity. All the pleasing tales of history that have delighted generations are being relegated to the domain of fic tion, and in their stead is substi tuted the cold comfort of pedantic philosophy. With this overturning of beliefs, systems and the traditions of the past, with their hoary fallacies and deep-rooted prejudices, there has grown up an irreverence for every thing hallowed by time, custom and fond memory that stops at nothing short of blasphemy. Re ligion, literature, the accepted truths of philosophy and the us ages and manners that inspire and ennoble a people are stripped of their sacred and sentimental fea tures and vulgarized by impudent flippancy and cynical freedom of remark. Filial regard has degen erated so that parental authority has become an expression of levity, devoid of the reverence that natu ral ties binds sacredly inviolate by the holiest of obligations. The terms “old man” and “old woman” are fast assuming a loose respecta bility that is fatal to love of home and family. Religion is discussed in street language, its vulnerable points attacked and derided and the irreverence defended by cheap skeptical phrases that pass current as advanced thought. With every thing else patriotism suffers by the poisonous breath of irreverence that knows no virtue but to blight it. Irreverence, as it pervades thought today, is an outgrowth of the irreligious vein that permeates modem literature. In the zeal to expose social wrongs it has broke loose from the moorings of con servatism that held it within the limits of dignified instruction and drifted into sensationalism, and ribaldry. Uprooting sentiment and things sacred it has left noth ing for the finer nature to cling to, and in dissipating fond fancies it blinds imagination with false ideals and shuts out the beautiful images that adorn habits of thought. Reverence for the sacred and beau tiful is as essential to purity of thought as sunshine is to a beauti ful day. Everything in nature and morals responds to the sympathetic heart that admires their beauty and esteems their nobility. The higher the respect, the purer the impulse and the nobler the pur pose that actuate devotion to right forms of sentiment the more hope ful is life and the purer its joys. IS CRIME INCREASING? The arguments so plausibly ad vanced to prove that crime is on the increase are more often mis leading than instructive. The pessimists who devote their time in laborious efforts to evidence the truth of human degeneracy, sel dom take more than a surface view of the question, and fail to pursue their inquiries into the veiled phases of crime. The attention that the modem reform movement has paid to criminal matters, and the introduction of scientific prin ciples to displace the crude systems of a less intelligent age, has brought the subject into wider notice and given it an importance in social economy that has neces sitated the adoption of methods for recording crime that has fa miliarized the general public with the habits, tricks and modes of operation of criminals. This dif fusion of information, while a safe guard against the practice of thieves, has magnified the extent of the evil. Before police organ ization and the elaborate systems for tracking fugitives from justice had reached their present high state of perfection, the available means for forming a correct esti mate of the sum total of crime were of little value. Today almost every crime, however trivial, is made note of, and when the grand total is compared with the uncer tain results of former methods the present suffers, and unjustly. The wide publicity given crime by newspapers, even to the minu test details, is a factor in creating false impressions that cannot be overestimated. The amount of morbid slush that is written on such cases as Holmes’ and Durant's leads many people with imperfect worldly knowledge to believe that crime is the rule instead of the exception. Published accounts of the careers, crimes and methods of noted thieves, with the usual ex aggeration and misstatements, are always remembered by readers while the more wholesome matter is forgotten. Again, the chances of detection and arrest are many-fold greater than they were a quarter of a cent ury ago. Official corruption is far less prevalent, making it extremely more difficult for the offender to escape justice when caught. The strict supervision exercised over the discipline and character of police officers has brought concert of action, and this has made the average criminal career of short duration. Many other causes com bine to make crime seem to be on the increase. The last two decades has added many offenses to the penal code, thus increasing the number of offenders. Length of sentences has also increased, there by keeping prison population at a higher mark. Tlie criminal increase claim arraigns every disciplinary, educa tional and religious agency of re form that is operating for the im provement of social morals, and implies a retrograde movement oS civilization. The increase of crime is not apparent, or provable by statistical means. It is the meth ods employed for checking it that has given rise to the notion and deduced misleading inferences. Honesty, virtue and self-control are constantly weakening the crim inal instinct in man, and teaching the penalties of crime, its shame, wretchedness and final end. The twentieth year book of the Elmira (N. Y.) reformatory has been received at this office. Aside from the usual detailed statement of department officials, the work is a complete and elaborate review of the results of the advanced peno logical methods in vogue in that institution. Much space is given to anthropology, and the tables presented are an interesting study of the physical characteristics of the inmates. In “Observations and Notes” many valuable sug gestions are made for elevating the moral tone of prisoners and fitting them for the duties of citizenship. The cover of the work is attract ively antique of a rich mousse shade. * LITERARY NOTES. * “The Battle Outside the Heads” is the title of an ingenious story in the Argonaut of August 24th. It details the defeat of an entire fleet of war vessels by a submarine torpedo-boat in the defense of San Francisco during an imaginary war. No name is sigrfed to it, but internal evidence shows that the writer is not only skilled in the use of the pen, but has an elabo rate knowledge of naval tactics. McClure’s Magazine, with a stir ring barrack-room ballad by Kip ling, a thrilling installment of Anthony Hope's “Phroso,” a dra matic sea story by an actual sailor, and characteristic stories by Mrs. Spofford and Clinton Ross, main tains, in the September number, its usual enticing aspect. In scan ning a table of contents of Mc- Clure’s, one never experiences, it must be allowed, the familiar dif ficulty of finding something one really cares to read. More inter esting even than the fiction, in this number, are some of the grav er articles. Mr. Low's recollec tions of his art-student days in Paris and of the notable painters whom he came to know more or less intimately there; Mrs. Mor ton's intimate account of the heroic labors of her husband, Dr. W. T. G. Morton, in overcoming incredible prejudice and obstruc tion and getting his humane dis covery of anaesthesia perfected and introduced, and so giving pain less surgery to the world; the viva cious, yet sympathetic account of the painter Whistler (that most picturesque of men) and his ec centric ways and witty speeches; and Elizabeth Stewart Phelps’ ac count of her life down among the Gloucester fishermen—all of these are the very best of good reading in their several ways. All are fully illustrated with portraits and other pictures. The September Ladies’ Home Journal —in a cover giving a dainty suggestion of early autumn —opens with an*interestingly chatty paper on “The Personal Side of Dickens,” in which Stephen Fiske writes of the famous author at home and as a host. A new study of the novel ist by Alice Barber Stephens illus trates and well supplements the article. A feature of much inter est is the last letter written by the late Harriet Beecher Stowe, re produced in fac-simile. Jane G. Austin is pleasantly recalled in the publication of the opening chap ters of “The Experiment in the Cloister.” Biographical sketches of the daughters of George William Curtis, Joseph Jefferson and Charles Kingsley, and sketches also of Grace King, Ruth Mclnery Stuart and Elizabeth W. Bellamy (all with portraits,) bring the read ers into closer intimacy with “Three Daughters of Famous Men,” and “Three Writers of the South.” Ex- President Harrison writes in his “This Country of Ours” paper of the Secretary of War, Postmaster- General and Attorney-General, de tailing concisely and instructively the duties of each. “The Young Man as a Citizen” is the title of Dr. Parkhurst’s paper. Edward W. Bok expresses hearty endorse ment of a more wide-spread enact ment and enforcement of the “Cur few Law.” The practical and lit erary value -of the score of admirable articles in the September Journal is very materially en hanced by the large number of excellent illustrations, making the number one of the best ever issued. People who live only for them selves are always little, no matter how big they feel.—The Gem. GURRENT QLEANINQS A journal devoted to the pen, ink and paper trade says that the world now uses 3,500,000 steel pens every day in the week. A block of steel four feet square would be reduced to a cube of lit tle more than nine inches if it could be taken to the center of the earth. Photographs of Perrin’s comet, which was visible during the last winter, show that it had two tails, one straight and the other curved sharply backward. Marseilles is running Lyons close for the place of second city of France. The new census shows that Lyons has 467,000 inhabitants, and Marseilles not quite 440,000. The river Jordan makes tho greatest descent in the shortest dis tance of any stream. During its course of 120 miles it has twenty seven falls and descends 3,000 feet. A household curiosity is the as bestos towel, which never needs washing. When soiled, it is cleansed by throwing it in the fire, and in a few minutes it may be taken out fresh and clean. The construction of the Madras electric tramway is making prog ress, the third section having just been completed and opened for traffic. This section of the line is on the overhead conductor system. To render liquid glue insoluble, add to it about one-fiftieth of its weight of formalin, stir well and then expose to strong sunlight for about ten minutes. The action of the light on glue or gelatine'so treated is to render it insoluble. The human system can endure heat of 212 degrees, the boiling point of water, because the skin is a bad conductor, and because the perspiration cools the body. Men have withstood without injury a heat of 300 degrees for several minutes. Scientists predict that the chem ist will dominate coming inven tions, and that all fuel will pres ently be furnished in the form of gas. The next generation may wonder why man was ever such a fool as to carry coal into his house and burn it. Prof. Eliliu Thompson declared, in a lecture recently delivered by him, that much higher speeds than can be obtained with steam loco motives are to be expected by means of electricity, and he con siders from 100 to even 150 miles an hour possible. Only one of the thirteen trees planted on Washington Heights by Alexander Hamilton more than a century ago to commemorate the thirteen original States of the Union, is in a flourishing condition. All of the others are either dead or (tying- Every year a layer of the sea fourteen feet thick is taken up in to the clouds. The winds bear their burden over the land and the water comes down in rain onto the fields to nourish and revivify, while the surplus wends its way back to the ocean through the rivers. One of the most eccentric church spires is that of the parish church (All Saints) of Chesterfield, with its curious, spire, 228 feet high, and sixty-four feet off the perpen dicular. Whichever way the ob server looks at this curious spire it appears to bulge out in that direc tion. A noted physician says that in stead of colds coming from atmos pheric changes, as people generally suppose, they generally originate by breathing impure air. Ninety nine per cent, of what are termed colds are nothing more or less than the poisoning of the mucous mem brane by the bad air. A curious fact connected with deaths by lightning has recently been noticed in Europe. As com pared with the country, towns, and especially cities, possess remark able immunity from lightning strokes. The statistics that have been complied on the subject show that between 1800 and 1851 not a single death by lightning was re corded in Paris.