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Vol. XI.—No. 7. Written for The Prison Mirror. IDLE PLAY. [By Fannie Fullerton.] Standing on a lofty bridge Where the waters run beneath, There stood a child, with impulse mild, And just in play, this idle day, I saw her toss Nor mind the loss A splendid floral wreath. Then, with dimples and sweet smiles, Watched it as it floated there Adown the stream, with happy dream And laughed to see, in greatest glee A ragged boy Snatch up the toy And homeward quickly bear. I stood upon a lofty bridge— Wild the waters ran below And lightly threw, nor ever knew, I tossed a gem, that diadem, That once in life ’Midst all its strife Each human heart may know. But now, I am the ragged boy, Risking all to gain my gem, Nor mind the wave, could I but sa»e That priceless hour, fraught with such power So idly tossed! Forever lost! My wasted diadem. Written for The Prison Mirror THE UPBUILDING OF SOCIAL LIFE. The social life of man as it exists today has been a gradual development from individual savage conditions, by ■crude and barbaric methods, to those higher, more intimate relationships now in vogue under which the indi vidual members of the social groups unite to establish those necessary so cial laws for the guidance of their ac tions in daily life, and by which they advance to a higher plane of civiliza tion accordingly as the members, indi vidually and in the aggregate, accept their own worthy decrees. Between the early social groupings of savage man and his civilized (?) brother of today there lies a vast dif ference of conditions. We have sur mised preexisting conditions, we see the conditions existing. There must be a cause for every result. Let us see if we can trace the actuating cause producing the existing conditions of civilization. Some years ago I saw a huge boulder so delicately poised upon the apex of a cone-like granite support as to be readily swayed by the hand or wind. The expending of a small amount of energy would have sent this boulder of many tons weight, leaping and crashing down the mountain side, in obedience to the laws of gravity. The energy was not manifested to us while the boulder lay at rest; it existed, but inert. We have only to disturb the equipoise and the energy becomes active. Since we add nothing not already existing to the conditions, it is evident that the energy of the mass of rock must have been already in exist ence. From this we see that condi tions of nature may exist of which we have no evidence except from the re sults. To arrive at the cause we must follow an inductive method of reason ing. Let us apply the above illustration of a natural law to human progress. Man is an enlightened being possessed of a wide range of knowledge and an infinite number of methods for apply ing this knowledge. Man was a savage and his intelligence nil. Yet, in an anatomical sense he is the same man. W hat, then, is the element that, while STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 1897. it adds nothing apparently to his phys ical makeup, has added to his attain able results? Tracing his steps back ward through the ages we find that element written upon every page of the world’s history; written in lurid letters on fragmentary remains of early days; written in letters of fire and blood, in religion, law and literature; in art and handicrafts; written in every line and age, in letters of deep relief, the single force, the element Union. First union of persons, and then, union of ideas. Union has made man what he is, from whatever point of vantage you may reason, “All roads lead to Rome” was the old saw. But with us all reasoning points to Union. Man’s early social grouping demonstrated to his natural intelligence, the benefit to be derived from simple union for the common good; the power of union, be fore latent, springs into active exist ence. The march of progress began; progress, the child of union, tha parent of artificial life; that progress which, like the dog star above, has cast its beams down upon countless genera tions, often faintly glowing, perchance hid by the clouds of ignorance and prejudice, of war and vandalism; yet through the rifting border of broken ideals, it rises more glorious from the shaddowed background. We have assumed the foundation stone of social life, the basic element of progress, to have been the element of union—union of individuals, union of ideas. Let us develop this thought. At first man was an individual savage, his strength represented by the integer one. L'nion steps in, his strength is doubled, quadrupled, etc. A group is formed, union steps in, the group doubles, quadruples and so on. The groups form households, presided over by a housefather, households unite, tribes are formed, tribes unite, nations are born and, so throughout the course of time we find an individual race and nation. t But nature demands a com pensation for union, which, when its forward movement has become weak ened in energy, lacks cohesive force. Like the wheel too rapidly revolved, it splits asunder and thus we find many nations from the one race; thus the union of parts is strengthened at times by division, a weakening process. Again the force of union may grow so strongly within definite lines as to re tard its offspring, progress, by produc ing an ultra-conservative condition of society, a society, or social life, of which the Chinese is today typical; which characterized the Moorish and Moham medan races of the middle ages and the Egyptians and Babylonians of anti quity. A spirit of “we and we alone are the people.” This conservatism, permeating the social fabric gradually choked the path of progress since it assumed the unattainable as attained in them. Why look farther for truth since we have found it? Why seek new things since these we now possess are perfect? Lrnion—liberal, open, questioning—begets an intelligent progress. Union of persons, union of ideas— let us now consider the union of ideas. At first man’s savage nature would rule the union formed, and the first ideas to be generally grasped by the social life of a people would be crude and partake of their earlier conditions. “Might would make right.” Brute strength would rule the individual, ag gregate brute strength the nation as against nation, individual prowess, national triumph in war, hence war is the dominant idea of crude social life, and exemplified by every page of an cient and mediaeval history. War was the crowning glory of Thothmes and Rameses, of the Hyksos and Seti of Egypt; of Nebonoplasser and Neb uchadnezzer of Babylon; of Cyrus and Darius of Persia; of Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and Napoleon. Brute strength the dominant idea ruling “IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” master and slave, king and people, and union the element which gave to this idea the requisite strength by which to operate. So too, the idea of rule, of law; at first it was “you shall do so and so because I have the strength to make you and will make you do so and so; I am leader because of my strength; I rule because I am chief; I govern be cause I am king.” The transition is up held because of the grasp the idea has upon the social life of the subject class. What at first was compulsion finally seems necessary to hold society to gether, united ideas of similar import supply the power, the adhesive force, which law exerts upon the individual. The individual respects law, tries to maintain government, only when both respect and maintain him. So, too, we can trace this union of ideas (as a prime factor in the production of civilization, or in any phase of life,) on through the realms of art, literature and religion. But, whether it be Ra or Bel, Melkarth or Jehovah, Zeus or Jove, Buddha or Confucius, Zoroaster, Mohammed, or Christ, unity of ideas is the cement that binds each together in their differ ences. So in the various forms of art it is union of ideas that united and maintained for centuries the gigantic grandeur of the sculptured colossi, the angular reliefs, the peculiar and hid eous deformities which constituted the artistic standards of Egypt, or the more natural and graceful Assyrian types; or the ideal beauty of Grecian productions. Each standard differed, yet, only a union of ideas could pro duce for each nation their different standard. It is unnecessary to carry the illus tration farther. Xone will dispute the fact that each and every leading idea that the human mind produces and promulgates, whether those ideas fos ter or retard civilization, every idea that unifies all or part of society, that sends that society forward on its march of progress, depends upon the union of individuals, and individual ideas of similar import, developed along their divergent pathways; like the spokes of a wheel, however, they all support the center, the hub, and that center, civili zation. Leonard. Written for The Prison Mirror GENEROSITY The man whom we honor, respect and esteem while living; whose mem ory we cherish, exalt and revere while in death, above all other men, is the man of a generous disposition. We honor the statesman whose honesty enables him to thwart the designs of the ava ricious, because he stands forth as a beacon light for the protection of the masses. We honor the hero for per forming some heroic deed, because that deed required courage, daring and for titude, and stands for ever a living tes timonial to inspire the rising genera tion of youths to emulate their prede cessors. We honor the generous man, not for any one single deed that may have commanded the world's attention at the time; but because his numerous deeds of kindness are a monument that will be remembered by the community long after the statesman and hero are forgotten. The adulation showered upon the statesman and hero may be only a momentary burst of enthusiasm in which “distance lends enchantment, but familiarity breeds contempt.” The world may know nothing beyond the action that made their name famous. Their home life may be a continual turmoil of strife, hatred and unhappi ness. They may not only be feared by their friends, but their children as well. But they are not to be compared to the generous man. There is considerable difference be tween the two. The ungenerous man can look upon the adverse conditions of another who is enduring poverty, wretchedness and almost death without a feeling of commiseration. His man ner tow r ard his fellow creatures is arro gant and the bond of fellowship he holds as a mockery. He usually pro vokes a strong feeling of hatred with in those whom he comes in contact with, and as far as a kindly word or compassion is concerned, he is like a marble statue. Where the generous man would stop and try to encourage his despondent brother by kindly words of advice or material assistance to keep the grim specter poverty from the threshold; the cold, hard-hearted man would silently pass on with a vindictive leer on his countenance. Where the kind-hearted man would be praised and lauded wherever his name was mentioned, the other would be re sponded to with jests and ridicule. Where the one would possess, under ad verse conditions, a good-natured dispo sition, the other would lose all self-con trol over his excitable temperament and his brutal instincts would impel him to commit actions that would cause his satanic majesty to smile ap provingly. In society, business or rec reation, his society is eagerly sought for, where the other would be ignored as undesirable company. The generous man very seldom gives utterance to a harsh command that is undeserved. There may be times when a sharp command is an absolute neces sity, and in these moments the circum stances may be such as cause him to lose his self-command and be exceed ingly harsh. But notwithstanding this, he is not to be compared to the ungener ous man. What a paradise this world would be if generosity was to take the place of men’s ambition to accumulate for tunes! Poverty, misery and the poor house would be unknown. Crime, with all its attending vicissitudes, its prisons and the vexed problem of the reformation of the inmates, and the prison labor question, would undoubt edly be solved. The feeling of bitter ness existing between capital and the wage-earner could easily be adjusted. Tyranny and oppression would be rele gated to the rear if man would cultivate the generous traits of his nature in equal proportion to that of the avari cious- Jasper “RATTLING” A WITNESS The court-room was crowded when the case of Blake against Pettingill was called. It was what the law terms a tort case; in other words, a damage suit. Mr, Blake had been driving by the Pettingill house, when Mr. Pettin gill’s dog dashed out and began to bark. The horse reared and kicked, and finally fell. Mr. Blake was thrown out, his arm was broken, and both horse and buggy were damaged. Mr. Blake was therefore suing Mr. Pettingill for five hundred dollars damages. Several witnesses told the story of the accident. The most convincing statement was made by an old man who saw the whole affair, and described it in a simple and straightforward way. The defendant’s lawyer was a young man named Haskell, recently come from a neighboring city. Success in one or two cases had given him a rep utation for “smartness” which he was eager to sustain, and the mild-faced old witness, who told such a matter-of-fact tale, seemed to him a promising subject for vigorous cross-examination. “Now you say,” the lawyer began, “that you were near the horse and dog, and saw what happened ?” “Yes, sir,” replied the old man, sim ply. “Just how near were you?” “Well I think—” “Never mind what you think. I want to know just how far you were from the horse and dog,” insisted the lawyer. “Well, I suppose—” “I tell you I don’t want to know Tcrmb.l SI.OO per year. In advance i fcwvis.-j gj x Months 50cents. what you think or what you suppose. I want a plain answer to my question.” “But I was only going to say—’ be gan the witness, timidly. “Will you or will you not answer my question V” thundered the lawyer. The color rose in the old man’s face and his blue eyes snapped. He had ev idently told an honest story, and was irritated by the lawyer’s attempt to dis credit his testimony. Concluding, probably, that the only way to end the badgering was to make a positive statement, no matter what, and then stick to it, he spoke up sharply: “I was just twenty-three feet from the horse’s head.” “Will you swear it was not twenty seven feet ?” asked the lawyer. “It was just twenty-three feet” re peated the old man, doggedly. “Do you mean to tell us that you can judge distances as accurately as that?” “Yes, sir, I can.” The lawyer, feeling sure that the wit ness had given his first definite answer in the hope of escaping further ques tioning, and had been too proud to re cede, turned amiably to the jury. “Gentleman,” he said, “our venerable friend’s ability to measure distances by the eye is remarkable. But in justice to my client I feel obliged to make a little test here in your presence.” Then, turning with a malicious smile to the witness: “Wont you give us an exhibi tion of your wonderful powers by tell ing us how long this court-room is ?” The old man glanced carelessly along the side of the room, and promptly an swered, “Thirty-three feet and seven inches.” “Now,” said the lawyer, confidently, “I will show you gentlemen the differ ence between knowledge and bravado. Will the court kindly permit the room to be measured?” The order was given, and to every one’s surprise the result was announced as exactly thirty-three feet and seven inches Lawyer Haskell turned red. “A strange coincidence; nothing more!” he cried, in what was meant to be an off hand way. “Perhaps the witness will also tell us how wide the room is.” “Certainly,” replied the old man. “It’s twenty-two feet and four inches.” Some one got down on the fioor and measured the distance carefully. “Twenty-two feet, four inches,” he an nounced. Lawyer Haskell turned indignantly to the judge. “Your honor,” he said, “there is some trickery here! I will ask the witness one more question, and I will find out for myself whether he tells the truth or not;’’ and then, to the witness, “How high is this room ?” “Fourteen feet and one-half inch.” answered the old man, cheerfully and promptly, with hardly a glance from floor to ceiling. The lawyer called for a step-ladder, and with red face and set teeth climbed slowly up, measuring with great care. The crowd watched him, and almost unconsciously began to count aloud as the two-foot rule crept up: “Four, six, eight, ten, twelve, fourteen!” By ihis time the end of the rule was so near the ceiling that there was no necessity for Mr. Haskell to announce the result. The whole room burst into a shout. “The witness is excused,” was all the lawyer could say when he came down. Although, in summing up, Mr. Has kell tried to prove that Mr. Pettingill never kept a dog, any way, and that Mr. Blake’s horse was afflicted with the blind staggers and subject to heart failure and temporary insanity, the jury promptly gave Mr. Blake the full amount of damages asked for. It was some time before Mr. Haskell discovered that the witness he had tried to “rattle” was the carpenter who had drawn the plans and made the changes in the court-house the year before. Let us hope—though it be hoping against hope—that the expe rience will incline him to treat wit nesses with more politeness hereafter. —Youth’s Companion.