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' . • ' | Vol. XL—No. 34. Written for The Prison Minor. The Victor’s GroWrv. [By Lucy Sherman Mitchkui., Minneapolis.] If one by some experience His neighbor has not had, Has learned a lesson that prevents His “going to the bad,” Need lie for this much credit take. Or posaas mentor for its sake? If one through accident of birth Has wealth at his command, So ’mong the noble ones of earth He easy takes his stand, Need he for this much glory claim, Or ask that honor gild his name? r Or if at birth some lucky star In high midheaven shone, So naught could come his life to mar, And failure be unknown, Should he of man high praise receive, If he some fair success achieve? If in the way one walks, there come Nothing that one to tempt. If from the foes that harass some He finds himself exempt, If cold and hunger are unknown, And bread is never turned to stone, If careful hands remove each thorn Lest it should pierce the feet, -And joy with every rising morn Springs up his life to greet, Shall he expect much praise to win, Because perchance, he did not sin? But If with angry snarl and growl, The wolf hangs round the door, If fortune wears foreboding scowl. Deep lining more and more, And riches on fast-hurrying wings Take flight, the while foul slander stings If friends forget their loyalty. And foes bring bitter hate, If help that might of service be Comes always just “too late,’’ If evils on each other crowd Till darkness doth the soul enshroud. If Satan, biding well his time. Approach with specious grace. And, taking attitude sublime. Makes eager haste to place His hidden snare, with skill complete, In pitfalls for unwary feet. If, working so gainst fearful odds. One gaineth victory strong. If, smarting from the goading rods, Ilis life is free from wrong. Then he may claim the victor’s crown, Aml alter strife, in peace sit down. Written for Tlic Prison Mirror ROBBINS THE FISHES. A Shipwrecked Sailor’s Tussle with Piscatorial Property and English Justice. On St. Patrick’s Day, 1872, the writer was at sea on the Henry M. Stanley, of St. John, N. 8,, bound for Liverpool with a cargo of deals. We were water logged, were exhausted from pumping and had run up a signal of distress. Several vessels were sighted but they all passed us by. As night came on the Captain called us into the cabin and said: “Men, she can not sink, but these seas will break her up; so in the morning we will take to the boats. In the meantime 1 will read a chapter from the bible, as I think this is a good time to pray.” But alas! Out of a crew of twenty two only four got the line. Before the Captain finished reading the chapter there came one of those large seas that are an occasional dread in the north Atlantic ocean, and it swept the cabin from the deck. When I found myself I was jammed STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 1898. in between the casing of the rudder, and had a broken arm. I watched my chance and when she raised on a sea I ran forward under the top gallant forecastle, where I found two men. But the sea had got there before us and had wet and jammed everything up in the eyes of her. We could not get a light and it was so dark you could not see your hand. In the meantime the Captain came in and asked: “Who’s here?” We an swered giving our names. The second mate was the Captain’s son and was one of the eighteen that were lost. When morning came it was raining hard, and this had knocked the caps off the sea, so we dared venture on deck to catch the dripping rainwater from the yards to drink, and to wash the Captain’s wounded face, for one of his eyes had been torn out, though he had stood there all night without saying a word. As the day advanced and the rain beat the sea down, we went on*a voy age of discovery about the deck. It was a ticklish job as the bulwarks had been washed away and the yards were swinging at will, liable to fall at any time; if you slipped you were in the drink. Jammed between the pumps we found the Chinese cook’s dead body and the ship’s chronometer. How it got there without being broken is a mystery. We took it forward and one of the men put it in his clothes bag. That day we were taken off by the crew of a German barque and were landed in Queenstown; from there we were sent to Liverpool. Here we got a sample of English justice. Carr, the sailor who had the chronometer, took it to a pawnshop to sell. The pawnbroker offered him twenty pounds for it but Carr wanted thirty, as it would bring one hundred pounds when new. When Carr would not sell it for twenty pounds, the pawnbroker called a policeman and had him arrested for theft on the high seas. Carr was brought before a magistrate and w’hen asked what he had to say in his own behalf, replied: “your honor, if I hadn't took it, it would be keeping time for the fishes now.” The magis trate stopped him by saying: “That is no way to answer the court. If you brought it ashore, you should have given it up. I give you six months at hard labor.” That meant the mill—a hell on earth—and was all the reward poor Carr got for his shipwreck and refus ing to let the fishes have a timepiece on St. Patrick's Day. Sinbad. EVIL IN NEWSPAPERS. [From The Minneapolis Progress.] A reader of the Progress calls at tention to the fact that a daily paper announces the early publication of stories “of thrilling, interesting charac ter, founded upon murders and lowest crimes,” and says: “Shall our citizens allow such reading in the home? I trust some expression of rebuke will appear in your excellent paper.” The stories referred to have such titles as: “The Murder of a Mistress,” “A Deliberate Crime,” “A ltailway Murder,” “An Irish Crime,” “The Dais ton Murder,” “The Wimbledon Mur der,” “Baby Farming Crimes,” etc. The objection by our correspondent to such features is well taken; yet these stories of crimes and criminals of other days are among the more re spectable features of criminal sensa tions which are daily pictured in the public press. In a certain class of metropolitan journals there is a base rivalry in the sensational exaggeration of all criminal happenings. These journals have already gone to such ex- “IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO REND.” « tremes that they are now beginning to feel the reaction of respectable public opinion. What is most reprehensible is for nominally respectable newspapers to become weak imitators of the openly vile journals. Regarding the subject, there are sev eral facts that are generally admitted by thoughtful people. The first is that the advertising of crime tends to pro mote crime. It is sowing the wind to reap the whirlwind. Another fact is that the force of an elevated public sentiment is the only adequate remedy for the evil, and that legislation with out the support of such sentiment is useless. For the promotion of an im proved public sentiment, both individ ual and organized effort should be made. CRIMINALS. [From The Minneapolis Housekeeper.] Voluminous as is the writing on the occupants of state prisons and confi dent as have been the platform pana ceas of the current generation, the rolls of convicts lengthen with every day. Philanthropists have tried to help the offenders, the worst of them, and in doing so have wrought largely and necessarily in the dark. We are, perhaps must ever be, in the state of pupilage. The last word, confounded with the latest word, has been spoken a thousand times, yet the wise word of the latest sage is no sooner spoken than contradicted. Superintendents and chaplains tell us of criminals. Tell us what they see. And what do they see? And whom do they see? The criminal in prison and his conduct there. This affords one kind of data, but is it not reasonable to assume that, as a rule, criminals at large and criminals in prison are un like in important particulars? Ad mitting that men may change or be changed anywhere, is it not notorious that criminals are deceiving the sharp est officials every day, and prison board as well, so that every day offenders of the worst sort are pardoned and immedi ately resume their lawless career? Yet there is no little talk which, if it were evidence, would show that the ancient philosopher could have found an honest man had he gone to a prison to seek him. Criminals, as a body, are not babes, nor feeble-minded. They are moving daily without observation among law abiding citizens. They are more or less intelligent and educated. Many of them have sound opinions on the graver public questions and are able to defend them. They who doubt this may learn the truth by visiting the places where su 1 persons may be seen. It is not easy to find them at all times, nor is it easy to meet them on familiar terms, but he who has good sense and the courage of a worthy motive may get near enough to learn that many a criminal has in him the sufficiency for good and able citizen ship. To arrive at an approximate judg ment of the intellectual capacity of the criminal, it is helpful to consider that almost all the crimes are against property; over ninety per cent. One authority says that the native intelli gence of this class will compare favor ably with that of the average run of people. Nearly - t ’! of the large num ber read and wriv ■ very well, and some of them, though very low-born, had made such use of the school advan tages of the reformatories and prisons that they read through more volumes of philosophy and history than even the usual college student, and were able to converse well on what they had read. As concerns the moral sense of the criminal, there are those who may be criminal by nature; that is, they never understood nor can be made to under stand the meaning of ownership in property. This is a person .to be taken care of and restrained. They are com paratitely few. Excepting these and a few others, criminals know what is right as between man and man. They do not claim to be innocent, except when they wish to deceive. JNor do they plead any “baby act,” except to fool the credulous. The supposition that poverty ac counts for crime, so that one need seek no further, is incapable of proof. Anywhere, down or up, indisposition to honest work explains the most of the thievery. Habits of idleness, per haps, have the most to do with it in low places; while liking for luxuries impel one and another in high circles to run the risk of stealing. The fact that a man and his family live in rags does not suggest dishonesty, unless it appear that they enjoy that kind of ex istence. Evidently, sheer existence without work is, by multitudes, pre ferred above a modest living at the cost of labor. To maintain this, one must either beg or steal. The more ambitious live better by stealing more. Their ambition may be for more than they could earn were they to try. To work for the luxuries is too hard, too slow, and they help themselves in the short way. With these must be classed the defaulters, embezzlers, and fast livers, of the upper grades. It has been attempted to identify the criminal class by a certain shape of head or skull, and by a particular re pulsive expression. Allowing that such heads and such expressions are dis couraging, is it not, shall we say en couraging to remember that compara tively few of this sort are to be seen in the criminals at large? If they are so plainly marked, how is it that they pass muster so well in the crowd? How is it that they mingle in almost all great assemblies, patronize the best hotels, travel by the Pullman and oc cupy places of trust and honor, as so many of them do? Is it not clear, on reflection, that the majority of crimi nals are made, not born such ? Thieves, embracing all who take that which does not belong to them, are thieves through choice. Making allowance for the insane, the weak minded, and the literally starving, the great majority who steal do steal and are thieves. Some of them deliber ately adopted this method of acquir ing, not because it was the only one possible to them, but because it was the easier. There is a hint of this in that character of tramp whose rejec tion of a meal if he is expected to work for it is no uncommon occurrence. If to get a breakfast for the asking be bliss, may not the getting of a dollar for the taking be great joy ? There are those who hold that the criminal is a criminal through hered ity, or environment, or both. That is, he is criminal only in name, to suit one of the defects of the social organiza tion. There has been a burglary or a murder. He who did the deed did it not. His father or his mother, or his grandfather or his grandmother, or the two of them, or the first robber or murderer did the deed, either with or without the co-operation of society from the beginning. From this it should seem that the guilt of the lat est actor is infinitesimal, if indeed there can be said to be any appreciable guilt in him. Wherefore the roses, icecream, and occasional champagne. Others come specifically with the ar guments of liquor, poverty, and the rest, inclusive of the social life of the times. In this manner, through the particular and the general, crime is made out to be the outcome of com pulsion rather than of choice. Indeed there is the bold contention that there is no power of will in the criminal, Terms-■) SI.OO per year. Jnadvauc ' | Six Months 50 cents. which, after all, is not so very bold, in view of the scores of wicked genera tions urging him to rob or to slay! But if no will power, no choosing; if no choosing, no burglary and no mur der; only so much property taken and so much life let out. Proceedings reprehensible, to be sure, and severely punishable could the real perpetrators be found; but since these are hidden in the depths of the past, extending to medieval and possibly to prehistoric t'mes, they are beyond present juris diction, beyond reach of all known judicial process. The robber may com plain, wife and children of the mur derer may mourn, the community may be alarmed by the uncertain tenure of property and of life, but what greater security can be hoped for so long as respectable writers and other teachers utter a doctrine of responsibility that busies itself with dwellers in the chambers of the dead while their red handed descendants, whether within prison walls or without, sit at ease, toying with flowers and wines ? HEREDITY OR WHAT? [From St. Paul Globe.] There is a very general disposition to shove off onto something or other responsibility for the results of our own actions. One favorite shift is luck, another is a “mysterious dispensation of providence,” and another is hered ity. The last was the subject of a pa per presented to the meeting of the Associated Charities. It differs from the attribution of conditions to luck and to providential dispensations only in its semblance of a scientific attitude; at base it is the same. It is only a more refined, elevated, intellectual way of accounting for conditions. It tries to make answer to that twin problem Whence, whose brother is Whither. When we know whence we came we will know' whither we are going. Mean time we guess. Heredity is one guess and a poor one. Atavism is one phase of it, the reappearance of ancestors. Heredity is always a fault bearer. It is made to excuse delinquencies in morals. lie is not to blame for being a thief or a drunkard for his father or grandfather was a thief or a, drunk ard. It never accounts for what men esteem good. Xo one was ever a great orator, scientist, author, physician, minister, inventor or mechanic, because his father or grandfather was one. “It is natural for us to expect that when we sow wheat we shall reap wheat,” predicates the paper read at the meeting. This is an attempt to reason from an analogy that is not universal. For a single illustration showing its inaptness, if we plant an apple seed we should just as naturally expect to get a tree that w ould bear the same kind of apples. But we never do. We get a tree that in leaf, bark, and form is an apple tree, but we get a very different kind of fruit: rarely a better one; sometimes one as good, oc casionally a worthless one. So with other plants. What kind of wheat we get, what kind of apples we pick, what kind of men and women we have de pends far less on ancestral conditions than on the environment during the developing period. The paper on hered ity and pauperism struck the truer note, truer of all phases of the subject. The mission of social organization is to provide the suitable, favoring sur rounding for the development of the mysterious character germ; environ ment that will foster the good and im pede the bad traits in it. Likewise is this the duty of every individual mem ber of the organization, both to those germs for whose introduction he or she may be responsible, and to those others to which one owes only the common obligation of a common hu manity.