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Yol. XI.—No. 6.
REPUTATION. Some people on their families pride. Some love their rank and station, But best of all is lie who loves A splendid reputation. Oh, blushing maid, oh, bashful youth, If you would have salvation, Remember that the road to it Is through your reputation. You may be rich, you may be great, You may have education, But what are these if you have not With them a reputation. One may lose his dearest friend And have no food or ration. But, then, this loss is trilling to The loss of reputation. Three things to me are very dear— Wealth, title and vocation, But these are little moles beside My mountain reputation. I like the earth, the sea, the sky, All things of God’s creation, But give, oh, give me first of all A spotless reputation. —J. H. Harrison in St. Louis Republic Written for The Prison Mirror, THE SOCIAL GROUPING OF THE HUMAN RACE. To the observing person nature dis closes the seeming result of some peculiar, undemonstrated law of the physical world which exerts an influ ence upon every atom of matter, and, to a greater or lesser extent, causes the various forms into which they have assembled to exert an influence, each upon the other, and, by so doing forms those peculiar groupings of matter or life which we recognize under the term ‘‘social groupings.” These social groupings of like indi viduals are traceable from the micro cosm that the disciples of Koch and Pasteur reveal in the human body; to those mighty groups of suns and their attendant planets which revolve in their undetermined orbits through space. This tendency towards social group ing is quite marked in the mineral and vegetable kingdoms in both of which nature attracts, selects and unites like forms of matter or life. True, many of us may not see or heed the simile in the mineral or vegetable kingdoms; nevertheless, it exists and to a much greater extent than in the animal world. As far back as history records human actions, the social life of brute and in sect has served to point a moral for their higher social brother. “Go to the ant, thou sluggard!” said Solomon, and so good was the advice that they went and keep going to—their “uncle.” “As the bee gathereth honey and storeth it away so must ye store that which ye gather for the days of thy feebleness,—” said Phtah Hotep, a patriarchal phil osopher of ancient Egypt. Everywhere we meet brute, bird and insect life uniting in their social groups. Note the various colonies of beaver once so plentiful; also monkeys, wolves, elephants, crows, swallows, gulls, etc. If we but observe carefully and for a time, we may notice that they obey a certain sort of law established among them, and follow the guidance of their leaders. But we are so accustomed to looking upon ourselves as the “lords of creation,” in writing the capital “I,” in arrogating to ourselves all the intel ligence of nature, that we overlook many interesting phases of that nature among other living forms, from which we might derive much food for thought and study by comparing the social STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 1897. similitudes of the different intelli gences which make up life. We assume that the universe was made for man; that man is the alpha and omega of nature, the aim and end of creation, and, so believing, shut our eyes to the very alphabet which that nature has opened before us on every side. Man, and every living form is but the product of evolution and en vironment; when the enviionment changes, the living forms will also change. But man has been as he is for thousands of years, you say! yes, and I tell you that thousands of years are as a day in the greater processes of na ture. Man is, however, preeminently a social being. The early social group ing of the human race can only be sur mised. In the main all the evidence points to man as an individual savage, living and fighting for existence with the cave bear and his human brother. To all intents his condition did not rise above the level of the brutes about him. Caring nothing for life or death save when brought face to face with that condition in his own person; satis fying his hunger by the roots and ber ries growing in the uncultivated fields and woods; living in the forests by day, lurking in their shelter by night; cun ningly avoiding the stranger, ready to take the aggressive against the weaker brute of his own or other species; with out a habitation other than of nature’s fashioning; employing no art to aid his existence, no intelligence to render that existence useful to himself; stern ne cessity the compelling force driving him to sustain life by the most primi tive methods—methods which charac terize his individual life as one of cun ning and brutish savagery. Nor do we find the transitional stage from lower to higher conditions marked by any sudden bursts of progress. Like the infant, so this progress. At first the child has life and sensation; months elapse ere the infant begins to observe; yet other months and the child’s intelligence awakens; still an other period and the awakened intelli gence attempts to imitate; it crawls, then walks. There we must see the simile of the human race in its first early collective growth towards society, towards civilization and that higher life, which civilization reveals to the mind. Of such is human progress in the abstract, the demonstration of mind over matter. Slowly this growth ger minates; little by little the human in telligence expands, ages perhaps inter vening from his true brute condition until we lind him ready to comprehend and utilize the value of union; to adapt himself to newer conditions; to facili tate the change of environment. What ever the causes leading to the forma tion of the first human social group, whether the natural increase of the natural selection of the sexes, or formed for the purposes of aggression or pro tection, or the natural union of weak individuals to some Hercules whose club was the first application of human reason towards an end beneficial to the user; whatever the cause, it was but the unconscious placing of themselves within the scope of natural law. The first union formed would act as an armature to its magnet; the magnetism of the natural law of social groupings having been felt by a few atoms of the human armature, at once communi cates the force to every individual atom within its range. Individuals would look enviously upon the freedom or safety of movement that the first in cipient union had given to those within its embrace, and, tempted by this, would gravitate to the union formed; or the idea would be quickly seized upon; other groups formed, and soon these little communities would expand from a few individuals, by the union of groups, into larger and stronger com munities, Some point would be fre- “IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEAD.” quented more or less regularly as a meeting place and chosen for a habita tion which they would occupy, until, for various reasons, a change would be come necessary. Such in the main may have been the first conditions leading to and producing social group ing among the human species. What period of time elapsed between man’s individual savage state until his first general union into social groups we can not tell. Many writers place the stone age of man (a period far ad vanced in social grouping) to as remote an era, as five, ten and even thirty thousand years B. C. Certainly ceons elapsed, but of what length, who may tell ? In view of the fact that inscribed records of the human race exist, dated to as early an era as seven or eight thousand years B. C., it would be safe to assert that the period 30,000 B. C. would be a safe milestone serving to make man’s first social grouping—the first step in human progress. So far we see the human race has merely come under the natural law un underlying all living conditions; the gathering into groups formed of indi vidual likenesses. This law cannot be evaded by man any more than can the bee or the ant or the swallow or any other species of life evade the law which unites them in their individual groups. Human progress is absolutely dependent upon social union, is the off spring of this union, and accordingly as the individual exerts his own intlu ence towards the cementing of indi vidual interests in social union, so will that individual intiuence exert a power over surrounding personal influences and thereby preserve the aggregate influences which society exerts for the better upon its individual members. The further consideration of human progress from the milestone to which we have traced it, devolves into a con sideration of society; of man in a social state; the union of individuals into those more intimate relationships which prelude the unity of social in terests and the construction of nations. Leonard. Written for The Prison Mirror. TRUTH AND FALSEHOOD. Truth is understood to be the real state of things; reality, fact, etc. False hood is the want of truth or veracity; an untrue assertion; a misrepresenta tion of truth. Some philosophers teach that God is the father of truth, and the devil the father and originator of lies. Time and circumstances may change what was once the truth to falsehood. This is apparent in the following narrations. Bible history states that about six thousand years ago, a serpent had dis course with Eve and persuaded her to disobey God. It also states that God at Joshua's request made the sun and moon stand still in order to give him, Joshua, light and time to pursue his enemies. Again it states that our earth stands upon pillars; and that the sun and moon revolve around our planet. This last theory was believed for more than four thousand years, until in 1545 when Copernicus in his researches in astronomy proved it to be false; and for this he became a martyr. Science has also discovered that a serpent has no vocal organs, and con sequently it was impossible for him to converse with Eve. It has further been proven that such an event as Joshua relates in regard to the sun and moon, would be an impossibility with out causing destruction to our earth. Therefore I believe they are symbol ical narrations; if not, they can only be fables. Ignorance sometimes cause truth to have the c ppearance of false-, hood and vice This I will illus trate with what, to all appearance, seems to be a perfect man or animal; by minute examination by an expert it may be found imperfect. The im perfection may be color blindness, de fective hearing, partial insensibility of some nerve, or an unbalanced mind; as, too spirited or too dull. From this we will see that the expert with his superior knowledge changed the view; what before was taken as perfect, be came imperfect; in other words he proved the apparent truth to be false hood. Through all ages among the different nations we find that there have been continual changes according to cir cumstances, in laws, in politics, in cus toms and opinions; yes, even in reli gions. The Mosaic law commanded “eye for eye, tooth for tooth,” but the great teacher, Christ, afterward taught love and mercy. He did not condemn the woman who committed adultery, which was punishable by death under the Mosaic law. No, He said, “I do not condemn you, go, sin no more.” And He further says, “whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” This teaches us that we shall not be revengeful, but be patient and forgiving toward our fellowman. When we consider the many hun dred different religions among the na tions, there arises the question: where is truth? For, remember, each of these religions claims to be the right and true one; each have their own dogmas and sacred rites; each claims that God has communicated with them and revealed to them His divine laws. Some worship God as a single being, some as two, some as three, and others as a multitude. Are they all right and true, or are they all wrong and false? I believe it is impossible for us mor tals to decide what is real truth, except what can be demonstrated mathemat ically; for what was truth and right yesterday may be false and wrong today. And what is apparently true and right today may be judged false and wrong tomorrow. Where is the mortal who is competent to draw the line between truth and falsehood.? J. F. J. WHO ARE THE “FITTEST? Modern scientists supposed that they had made a new and wonderful dis covery in the law of the survival of the fittest. But it is an old-world law that in the developments the human race, as in the processes of nature, the fittest survive; that the fittest are the strong est. Hence, in all ages men have hon ored strength or power, according to their conception of its character. In the morning twilight of history brute force ruled society; might was right. In the nineteenth century the strength of the prize fighter is lightly esteemed, but men worship other kinds of power, and follow the leadership of powerful men as naturally as their savage an cestors followed the ablest of their tribe. Wealth, intellect and position are the three greatest sources of supremacy in the present. The financier controls the fate of nations; the statesman or the scholar sways thousands by the dom ineering brain; the man born to be king rules through the authority of his office. Under these strong men are others of every degree of ability. The foot of one man, as in the picture, is on the head of another; the submerged classes are the weakest classes. Society being constituted in obedi ence to this law of nature, its members are accustomed to gage the worth of their fellows, and the value of all things in life, by their intrinsic power or their contribution to power. This disposition is manifested in all sorts and conditions of men, in every depart ment of activity. The school boys in vite the newcomer to fight, that they may prove what manner of boy he is; the lords of the business world and the Terms- i sl-00 per year, in advance Six Months 50cents. queens of society do the same thing in a different way; the test of education is the grip it affords a man upon the good things of this world; the test of a principle of trade or politics is the amount of power which it lends to the system, or to the representatives of the system. The materialistic tendency of this age has emphasized reliance upon power. This immutable decree of nature, that the strongest and fittest survive, has always seemed to be in direct op position to the spirit of Christianity. Meekness and humility do not seem compatible with worldly success. Yet the contradiction is only superficial. The founder of the Christian system never left the laws of the universe out of account. He also acknowledged that power ruled the world, but not the power of money, intellect or birth; the power of the spirit is stronger than these; therefore it will outlast them. This transcendental spiritual force was the subject of his teachings, and was manifested in his life. His disciples did not understand it; his contempo raries thought of him as a fanatic who had pershed in his weakness. His followers importuned him to make himself a king. The overwhelming Roman empire had swallowed up the little Jewish state; the soldiers of Cjesar guarded the streets of the holy city; but the mob was ready to follow the strong man, who would lead against the intruder. The carpenter of Xaza reth had declared his strength; yet he did not show it. Half in contempt, half in good natured wonder, Pilate asked the worn peasant at the prison ers' bar, “Art thou a king, then?” The answer was incomprehensible to the Roman aristocrat, and to the gaping crowd as well: “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world.” The message of the founder of Chris tianity is that he is king who rules over himself, he is the strong man who re sists evil and follows righteousness; he is the chief of all who is the servant of all; that humility of spirit is the badge of strength. This power of the spirit sways all other power, and delivers from the domination of money, rank and intellect. He who has this spirit ual self-control does not rely on mate rial prosperity, nor is he disturbed by the material accidents of life, or moved by its lower impulses. He has power over all these things, because goodness is stronger than them all; through goodness he comes into the spirit of the divine. He illustrates what has been written that “he who ruleth his own spirit is greater than he who taketh a city;” and, “because thou hast made the most high thy habitation, there shall no evil befall thee.”—Minne apolis Times. A story is told of Horace Greeley that an acquaintance got offended at one of his articles in the Tribune, went to the office and stopped his subscrip tion. Later in the day he met Mr. Gre eley and said: “I stopped your paper.” “There must be some mistake,” replied Horace, “for I just came from the of fice, and when I left the presses were running as usual, the clerks were as busy as ever, the compositors were hard at work, and the business was go ing on the same as yesterday and the day before.” “Oh!” said the old subscriber, “I didn’t mean that I had stopped the paper, I stopped only my copy of it, because I didn’t like one of your edi torials.” “Pshaw!” retorted Greeley; “if you expect to control the utterance of the Tribune by the purchase of one copy a day, or if you think to find any newspaper worth reading which will never express convietions at right an gles with your own, you are doomed to disappointment.”—Unknown.