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A Plea for The Author of the Poem, “June.”
1 Written for The Prison Mirror. I was much surprised at the ' criticisms given at our last meet ing of the Pierian Circle on the vocal delivery of the poem, “June.” It naturally discourages the author from being more liberal with his • contributions and therefore de prives him of the benefit of prac tice, which is the_ fundamental principle of the C.. L. S. C. The article, as are all oE his produc tions, was grand, arid with practice his vocal delivery will be as good as that of his pen. It is all very well for those en gaged in politics or public life, and consequently not troubled with shyness, to criticise an author's vocal delivery of the works of his pen, and to maintain that speaking in public is as easy as lying, which it may be to them; but literary folks are of a more modest temperament and the oper ation of clothing the naked thoughts with words in public is often as embarrassing to them as would be that of dressing in pub lic. They can manage business letters not much more unsuccess Writtenfor The Prison Mirror. One of General Grant’s favorite war stories was about old Hank Lincoln. The humble old general in telling this would roar with laughter. Old Hank was from Wisconsin, Company I, 14th Regi ment, and was a brave fellow, but fearfully lazy. On one occasion during a long, dusty march on a hot summer day, toward four o’clock in the after noon, while marching through a bit of timber country, old Hank could not resist the temptation to sit down on a log and enjoy the shade. His captain spoke up, urging him to come on. Old Hank threw down his gun and replied: “Captain, I’ll be danged if I walk another step today.” The captain, knowing old Hank thoroughly, answered, “all right,” and the company kept right on over the brow of a neighboring hill. Very soon bullets were heard whistling through the branches of ■Yrilten for The Primn Mirror There is in this world a class of disgruntled, pigheaded individuals who are never contented or satis fied with themselves or anyone else. A class who like a pair of bagpipes are everlastingly spout ing wind. wi v r,d and wiud of a very foul order. This class is generally known as the ‘'kicker" and no where on God’s footstool can he be found in such abundance and with so little excuse for giving way to his “wind bag" propensities than behind prison walls. The “kicker’’ has been and al ways will be his own worst enemy, most damnably disagreeable to himself and all others with whom he comes in contact he becomes at last an object avoided and .disliked if not actually hated by every one including his own “onorous ' self. Always with a tale of woe on his tongue tip ready to pour into an unwary ear; never for a moment seeming to realize that his un willing victim may have worries and troubles of his own greater by far than the petty rantings of the “kicker,” he nevertheless con tinues to grunt and squeal until at last he finds himself as deserted and solitary as though he were the sole inhabitant of a desert isle. ’ Though this incumbering “scum” i also exists in the world at large, fully viva voce than with pen and ink, but when it comes to composing or speaking their im mortal thoughts and works aloud, and for another’s ear, it is a differ ent matter. The amanuensis may be as silent as the grave, but you can’t be sure of it; like that chanticleer which interfered with the repose of the jjhilosopher of Cliekea be cause he thought it was “going to crow,” you feel he is going to speak though he may never do so. He may be as grave as a judge, but you cannot resist the impres sion that your last sentence, though in reality a particularly sublime one, may.possibly have sounded rather ridiculous. If you had been alone you would have repeated it, and derived en couragement from its grandeur, but now you simply dare not do it; the man would roar. It is true you only think he would, but thought goes for a great deal in imaginative composition. The tender emotions are very difficult to deal with in this connection: think of making love to an im- Favorite Yarns of War. the trees, and old Hank, grabbing his gun, started after his compan ions, who by this time had come out in the clearing, and to avoid the deep dust of the road were marching along close to a rail fence. Old Hank came flying by in the middle of the road, and as he passed, the captain yelled: “Say, Hank, I thought you -would n't walk another step today?” “Thunder and lightning! Cap, do you call this walking?” answered Hank as he ran by at a double quick gait. Old Hank was on guard one winter night, his shoes were pretty near gone, his army coat thread bare, and as he paced up and down he began to muse in this fashion: “Oh! yes —I love my country, yes —I do. But just look at these shoes just see this overcoat —nice outfit for Uncle Sam to give a fellow. Oh! yes —I love my country, yes I do, but I’ll be ding danged if I ever get out of this ROAST. it is not to him the writer wishes to refer, but to the “iron-jawed” ignoramuses who will persist in annoying his fellow unfortunates in durance vile. The “kicker” selects no one in particular on which to vent his spleen, but everybody in general comes in for a slap from his nasty tongue. He may talk to you of some one in all show of confidence and friendliness and at the very first opportunity pick you to pieces in some one else's ear, showing what a low-minded, double-faced cur he really is. He might be called gossip or scan dal monger, but years of experi ence among such “yellow pups ’ have taught me that they are one and the same. The “kicker” is also a coward of the most cowardly type. It is always such mouthings as his that cause trouble, and he likewise is always first to blubber and whine when the effects of his utterance result in disaster. Among those who know him not he presents a brave front and his brag and bluster fill the uninitiated mind with wonder how he with his fire eating proclivities could ever have been captured much less confined withip prison walls. But soon ah very soon are the unsophisticated undeceived, for at the order who aginary object, or, as it were, at second hand, in the presence of a third person! Romeo could not have done it, nor even Swift, though “he could write finely on a broomstick.” When you are writing, you can refresh your memory of your last sentence at a glance, but it is piti ful to have to ask somebody else, “Where was i? Where am I?” as though one were half drowned or quite drunk. Moreover, there are cases, if she be of the opposite sex, when instead of one’s dicta tion one can’t help thinking of the amanuensis. An author's timidity should always be taken into consideration, and not be paraded by the hardened critics, who may be of the class . referred to in the first part of this article. Do not understand me to say that you must not criticise, but do it in a mild manner without casting reflections on the author’s early training. Give him a chance and he will, after becoming used to speaking in public, correct his own faults. It is all right to take a fall out of the critic, (as ex pressed by one of our members) but leave the author alone. Mahnud. scrap, if I’ll ever love another.” The commissary had received new supplies, and among them a few- barrels of molasses. Old Hank was placed on guard, to prevent the boys from getting at it until the proper time. Seeing no one around as he paced up and down, he concluded he would en joy the sweets of life and succeed ed in picking a hole in one of the barrels with his bayonet. Then dipping his gun into the molasses, he would draw’ it out and transfer the liquid to his mouth. The captain happened along, and see ing Hank in the act, reproached him in strong language for stealing molasses over which he was placed in charge. Old Hank was over come with fear for a moment, but his Irish sense of humor came to his rescue, and, quickly recovering himself, he quickly pushed the blade of the bayonet into the liquid, took a taste of it, and then broke the silence by saying: “Sure Cap, don’t ye be always telling us to take everything w T id the bayo net.” Strabo. is the first in a sickly fawning, cringing, uur-like manner? Who is first, I ask, to show his eager ness to execute the order but that wonderous fire-eater the “kicker!” There is nothing on earth or in heaven or above this noxious “snake in the grass” won’t kick about. He starts in the morning with the “grub.” It should be so and so or this and that, when chances are a thousand to one that the ranting “son of a gun” never fared so well before in all his life. He will intimate that before becoming a res ident of our colony his fare had always been of the porterhouse, canvas-back patie de foi gras variety. “Patie de foie pants!” he considered himself blanked lucky with a tomato can stew over a jungle fire, but hold! just watch how this “edition du luxe” throws it into himself and you have his measure. Then the furnishings his official residence are far from satisfying. He much prefers the luxuries of the Waldorf-Astoria where he has been in the habit of sojourning. Oh yes, Waldorf- Astoria, room 42963 N. P. R. R. company; plenty of space to stretch his tender limbs upon that magnificent couch, the soft floor, punky shoes for a pillow and a beautiful coverlet with a strong odor of “short one.” Then again this individual is always in hot water with those in J. R. KOLLINER DEALER IN Our assortment of clothing contains some of the finest specimens in this line that is to be found west of Chicago. It will pay you to call and examine our prices and styles in FASHIONABLE CUT SUITS. Hen’s and boys’ Caps at clearing sale prices. Men’s black and brown stiff Hats; a guaranteed $3 Hat, at only $1.95. Men’s, boys’ and children’s Suits and Overcoats at special low prices. Guard’s Uniforms a Specialty. J. R. KOLLINER Staples Block authority. He is guiltless of all rule infractions and is simply be ing imposed upon according to his own story. Yet his fellow workers have very little trouble to keep right side up. Why of course says the “kicker,” “he’s got me for a ‘mark;’ I can’t do anything with out getting ‘soaked,’ ’’ and there is the point. The “kicker fails to realize that by doing something lie lays himself open, and then whines because he is caught. Now one thing the writer has noticed is that the “kicker” is invariably of the “gooseberry” variety of “grafter,” with gray matter of about the quality to be found in a box of sawdust used for a cuspidor, aud that’s no dream either, for any fellow who will come into a den of sorrow and raise his blatant calf-like voice to make that sorrow into misery has not the brains of a jackrabbit after being hit with a club, and had the writer the privilege the “kicker” would feel uncomfortably warm in the region where the pants hang loosest. The most sickening thing the writer can imagine is the would-be grafter who deliberately takes his chance fully knowing and realizing the consequences of his act and then because he gets the short end, howls like a whipped pup. What business have you in prison any way if you can’t take things as they come and keep your yawp shut? Nobody’s fault but your own that you are where you are. Oh yes, I know all about the put up job and how the “fly cops” did for you. Poor unsophisticated fellow, are you not aware that that story is older than prisons themselves? Adam made that spiel in Eden a few weeks be fore you were thought of. A man who will commit an infraction of the law and howl because his game was a losing one is far worse Glothing and Cjents Furnishings. Stillwater, Minn. than the babe who on putting its hand in the fire cries because of the burns resultant, for the babe knows no better, and the man is an ass Now this tirade is directed to no one in particular, but every body in general. If the jacket fits you, why wear it. If it does not fit, then this “roast 4 ’ will slide off like water on a duck’s back, and though this article may appear to have been thrown off by a pessi mist, let it be known that such is not the case. Pessimism is an unknown quantity to the w’riter, but hopes he shares slightly in the qualities of a Philosopher. —:AGENT§ WASTED:— Every agent realizes the import ance of a handsomely bound, finely illustrated, and extremely popular book at the price of one dollar. Forty thousand copies of “The Conquest of Poverty” sold in the paper binding within three months of coming out. Then there came a constant demand for the volume bound in cloth, so we bound it and illustrated it with scenes from our beautiful home surroundings. Send 60 cents for a sample copy of the book, cloth bound, and instruc tions “How to Work A County Successfully.” Mrs. Helen Wilmans. Sea Breeze, Florida. Do You Want Real Enjoyment Then send five cents for a sample copy' of the “Humorist,” in St. Louis, Mo. You will become a subscriber if you read one. Ad dress: “Humorist,” St. Louis, Mo., enclosing five cents. Subscribe for < THE PRISON MIRROR.