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JS’iic prison |pdmrr.
Edited and Published by the In mates of the Minnesota State Prison. Entered at the Post-oflice at Stillwater, Mlnu., as second-class mail matter. Tills paper will be forwarded to subscribers until ordered discontinued and all arrears are paid. Should THE MIRROR 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 PRISON MIRROR. THE MIRROR is a weekly paper published In the 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 lias ever been the bar sinister to a fallen man’s self-redemption. The paper is entirely dependent on the public for Its fiuaucial support. If at any time there should accrue a surplus of funds, the money would be expended in the interests of the prison library. NOTICE. ALL PERSONS receiving; copies of THE MIRROR vvlio are not on our regular lists will please consider sucli as sample copies. If, after reading, you conclude tliat THE MIRROR Is worthy of patronage send your name to this oflice for a trial subscription at rates as pub lished above. In politeness a man always has with him a reference that is never questioned. You may roast, you may burn the sausage if you will, but the tale of the sesamoid hangs to it still. When you feel that the world is giving you the wurst link on the chain of destiny, do not imagine it is frankfurter say so. A large portion of success in any calling is the ability to prove to friends that their conjectures as to your future fell very wide of the mark. The latest definition of the ad jective “shrewd” as used in quali fying the noun “man” is, one who can steal without injury to the letter of the law. The reason there is always plenty of room at the top of the ladder of fame is not necessarily because there are so many idle rumors about it at the bottom. Ox the outer edge of Truth, and within easy hailing distance of Liardom, is where the gambling capitalist does his famous acrobatic feats of swift financiering. The surest way to masculate a Chawley-boy is to switch him off a thousand miles from home with a week’s board money in his pocket and a solemn warning in his ear. This is not a special or holiday edition; but we take pleasure in making the statement that all con tributions this week are written by men employed on The Mirror force. There are many ways of “get ting on” in the world, but the only reliable way is to stay on when you once get on. This means avoiding unnecessary “side trips” to prison. The man who lives for self alone, whose heart seldom enter tains a thought for aught but his own pleasure, has one good trait— he generally dies young, killed by his own selfishness. In the death of Franklyn W. Lee of the Rush City Rost, news papermen of this state mourn the loss of one of the brightest mem bers of the younger element in the editorial fraternity. Aside from being a thorough newspaper man, Mr. Lee possessed other ac complishments of no mean order as a poet, playwright and painter. Mrs. Lee w T ill continue the publi cation of the paper that had been so ably conducted by her talented husband. When men in general band to gether for mutual welfare as is done nowadays by members of fra ternal societies, trusts, and other protective organizations, that oft sighed-for millennium will be then in full sw T ing. “No one man owns a mortgage upon the convictions or opinions of another,” says the editor of the St. Peter Herald. Just get into prison once, my friend, and you will think the entire world has an iron-clad mortgage on your “con viction.” Stillwater, Minn. Last week a St. Paul legal lumi nary while making a local political speech said: “Men who were com mon thieves twenty years ago are now holding the position of aider man.” That is very poor progress for a reformed thief to make in twenty years. Ie you are innocent or only in directly guilty of an offense, the best way to prove such is by your conduct in the future. Judicial decrees and public sentiment are sometimes very harsh: but when people see that a man is trying hard to do wliat is right it goes a long w r ay toward palliating the in discretions of the past. A good man may fall occasionally, but no power on earth will keep him down if he makes up his mind to regain his lost standing in the worldly race. The hardest part of any man's daily task is acquiring a liking for the work. Even though the w r ork may be part of a punishment im posed, it is still better—for one's own sake, if for no nobler pur pose—to take an interest in the work as thereby its tedium is con siderably relieved. You will al ways notice that men who are well paid for their labor, or who are working by the piece, are able to perform a heavy task daily and feel less fatigued after it than the grumbler who goes to work with a frown. A man working on his own account or who is earnest in his labor for others is always in terested in his work. It is this interest that buoys up his spirit, allays fatigue and gives him a keener enjoyment of life than can be felt by the complaining laggard A NEW method of administering judicial oaths is to be tried in Germany. A witness will first make an unsworn statement in court and will then be asked to swear to it, but before taking the oath he will be allowed to correct or withdraw any part of the testi mony. It is hoped by this method to avoid some of the wilfully false statements made in court. Strong penalties are provided to ensure the working of this new process of taking testimony; these penalties apply equally to the parties to the case as well as the witnesses. Such a law as this would not be amiss in our own country. It is well known that the warding of a simple sentence given in testimony is oftentimes given a different ap plication than intended by a wit ness, and if the matter was read over to him in its new phase he would gladly correct it before at testing thereto by oath. At pres ent a witness gives testimony in a way in which he would not write it on paper, were lie permitted to do so, and a good prosecutor may put such construction as he pleases upon it, unless you have an equally alert attorney for the defense. Un fortunately it takes more money than the ordinary offender can secure to provide attorneys nearly equal in ability to those elected by the people as state’s attorneys. THE POWER OF KINDNESS. The general value of kindly treatment whether in dealing with an animal or a human has never been questioned as to its being more effective than straight-laced severity. In the following short story, taken from the San Francisco Argonaut, will be found a good ap plication of the power of kindness: When the Duchy of Baden was occu pied by Prussian troops after the in surrection of 1849, the officers were warned against playing at Baden- Baden. One summer evening, King (then Prince) Wilhelm strolled into the gaming-rooms and noticed an officer in civilian’s clothes sitting at play. He had won twice on the red, and was about to pick up his money, when he caught sight of the prince watching him. Terror-stricken, he sat quiet, not daring to reach out for his winnings. The red turned up a third and then a fourth time. As the maximum was quickly reached, the prince touched the officer on the shoulder and said, gently: “Take up your money and go, lest one of your chiefs should find you here.” Of course, the soldier got out immediately. Two days later there was a review, during which Prince Wilhelm sighted the culprit, and sent for him. “Lieutenant ,” he said, “after you went away the red turned up four times more. I prevented you from winning four times the maximum, which you would certainly have staked. You will draw on me for that amount. But take my advice, do not gamble again.” The memoirs of an old Ger man general who lived to see his last victory at Sedan have stated as follows: “It was the kindness of the lesson that cured me of gaming. For me it was better than a year’s imprisonment.” Had Prince Willieltn brought condign punishment upon this officer, there is no doubt but that his action would have been ap plauded at the time. But there are none who Mill say that the re sult would have been better had the man been punished. A man who has been punished for an offense feels that he is under no compliment to any one. He reasons that he has paid his bill just as fully as the man who planks dowm a hundred cents for a dollar’s worth of goods. He is also prone to think that, if anything, he has considerable change coming from Society on the deal. On the other hand, the man to whom clemency is extended feels the cockles of his heart w T arm toM T ard the fellow mor tals who are willing to forego the selfish desire to add to his punish ment for the sole reason that it is in their poM'er to do so, and adds to their individual comfort about in the same measure as does a volley of oaths to the man wdio has just inflicted them on some object of his scorn. RON DAG E OUTSIDE OF PRISON. It appears to be an unwritten law of custom that one is justified in seeking whatever comfort he may draw from the fact that bad as his lot may be at present it might be worse. A man in prison is apt to feel that nothing save an ignominious death can be con sidered worse than his present con dition as an incarcerated felon. It will be admitted that it is hard to conceive of a more disgraceful pre dicament than that of a fairly in telligent man in the degraded garb of a felon. But it must also be re membered that it is possible and quite practicable to retrieve the reputation lost by a misstep, where as there are many enjoying legal freedom who are shackled by bonds that imply even more poig nant punishment than falls to the lot of those who are for a time un der legal restraint. In looking only at our individ ual conditions we are apt to feel —and sometimes very reasonably— that fate has been extremely harsh in dealing with us. When you are in this mood just think for a mo ment of the number of people born into the world who practically suffer all the tortures of hell from sickness or crippled limbs that they are in nowfise to blame for. Think what must be the feelings of such as these if they are wont to brood upon the injustice of their punish ment. Is it any consolation for them to feel that, according to biblical injunction, they are suffer ing for the sins of their ancestral sires? Any of us may call to mind some relative or acquaintance who suffer in patience from day to day with some dread affliction from which there is no hope of relief this side of eternity. And yet we seldom hear these invalids make complaint. Picture for a moment the just cause for resentful repin ing that might surcharge the hearts of these invalid heroes and heroines were they of the narrow disposition of many of us who, while enjoying the blessings of good health and a rugged consti tution, complain bitterly of a suffering that in most cases is self imposed. Now, my friends of the whine herd, it is unnecessary to all belch at once. The relator does not ex clude from the “whinery” his own ability to howl; and we are also aware that there is considerable argument on our side of the case. But we should all strive to remem ber that there are many suffering more hopeless agony than ours through no misdeed of theirs. We should also recollect that a wordy hullaballoo will not improve mat ters a particle. The quiet resigna tion of the bed-ridden sufferer should be an inspiration to us to bear up manfully and look forward cheerfully to the day when legal freedom should instill within us a stronger brotherly feeling for the unheralded heroes and heroines of the sick chamber w T ho, though re moved from the clang of bars and bolts, are suffering a lifelong bondage outside of prison walls. THE SPIRIT OF DISTRUST. Looking back upon the progress of the world, more especially the gigantic strides made in the pres ent century, one marvels at the ability and amount of energy ex pended to bring to a successful completion the extensive central ized business and social organiza tions of a mutual nature that are the w T onder of the present age. It is true that some of these enter prises bearing the generic name of trusts are not looked upon favor ably by the entire people. And yet this very name by which they are known shows, not only their origin, but the only means by which they may be fought. It is the lack of trust among the people in general that makes a commer cial trust so effective. These com bines are built upon the mutual confidence manufacturers have in each other when making their famous deals. When the dear people recognize the full value of widespread mutual confidence it will be quite practicable to restrict any bad effects of commercial trusts. Looking at the subject from a local standpoint it may be readily seen that the happiest communi ties are usually the smaller cities and villages in which people be come well acquainted with and have mutual confidence in each other in business and social trans actions. The young men who grow up in such localities are never a noticeable quantum in penal in stitutions. Virtue, happily, is con tagious. Young men brought up in surroundings where mutual trust is the pervading spirit of the people are bound to grow up into good men. It is the spirit of distrust as most strongly emphasized among residents of the larger cities, that is the spawn of a greater part of the misery and misfortune that marks the local history of all met ropolitan centers. To bring the matter to closer range, it will be found that wher ever distrust is implied, cause for it is most likely to be created. Even in prison life it has been proven that more good can be accom plished by placing men on by showing a willingness to trust them, than can be attained by the closest watchfulness and continual nagging. All iirison officials know this, though it is not to be assumed that watchfulness is not a neces sity; there is always a certain num ber in and out of prison who are of very little use to themselves or the world, and who must be watched with the care a hungry tabby exercises in securing a breakfast of mouse meat. Were it not for this latter class, life in prison as well as out of it would be more bearable. But the existence of such a class should not be made an excuse for the existence of the general spirit of distrust that is fruitful of so much unnecessary evil. When the lover, with his sweet heart, makes a hit, he usually Mrs. her. —L. A. W. Bulletin. The heart of a flirt settles no more tenaciously on a man’s affec tions than a collar button does in one of his shirts.— Up To Date. It is evident the writer in a Philadelphia paper who said “blood is thicker than water” never saw the Chicago river.— Toledo Blade. Swarms of mosquitos [have [al ready made their appearance in New Jersey and are welcomed as a sure harbinger of spring.—Minne apolis Tribune. A Chicago girl scared away' a crook by a prompt application of soft dough. As “dough” was what he was after, he was probably sat isfied. —St. Paul Globe. There’s rejoicing among the newspaper An Italian editor has killed a poet and the gentle spring time is just com mencing to break out. —Stillwater Daily Gazette. To the commandment, “Thou slialt not steal,” the Chicago al derman adds—“that which is nailed down or red hot,” and then only occasionally violates it. —St. Paul Dispatch. A woman in New York with spiritualistic tendencies [claims to have been in heaven and hell. If she means Boston and 'Chicago why doesn’t she say so right out? —Lewiston (Me.) Journal. Right in the midst ish trouble Italy has tossed a causus belli at us. She has just started half a hundred organ grinders with monkey attachments for this country.—Denver Post. A number of young men have left London for Klondike “in search of adventure.” That is the kind of pasturage the twin-screw, double-turreted Yukon mosquito is looking for. —Minneapolis Jour nal. The Chicago Times-Herald says: “A Pittsburg contemporary says that John Wanamaker has opened his gubernatorial campaign with vigor. Well, is that all he is go ing to open?” No, but the other things will have to be opened with a corkscrew, probably. —St. Paul Pioneer Press. An eccentric character wdio lives near Derby, Conn., has been en gaged for some time past in mak ing violins for the angels. He is an expert wood worker, and these instruments are said to be finely constructed. No money will tempt him to part with his instruments; he declares that God ordered 1,000 violins from him. —Chicago Inter Ocean. Inquiries for paroled prisoners are being received daily by Warden Wolfer from persons who desire to employ them, no less than ten such inquiries having been re ceived in the past week. The writers of the letters bear unani mous testimony that the paroled prisoners settle down to honest lives and make a really superior class of citizens. The board of prison managers can not grant pa roles fast enough to supply the demand. —Minneapolis Journal.