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The mirror. (Stillwater, Minn.) 1894-1925, November 19, 1903, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90060762/1903-11-19/ed-1/seq-1/

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B/>e MIRROR
Published Weekly <^%
if- Mlinnesdta. 'c^
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Vol. XVII.—No. 18.
the minuet.
When Marjorie dances the minuet slow,
The mandolins sound like a harp, long ago;
And curtsying low, with a smile so demure,
She looks like a girl in an old miniature.
So stately her bearing and lovely her face,
Battling out over billows of creamy old lace,
That she seems like a lady that Abbey might
paint.
In powder and patches and pompadour quaint—
Or as tho from some great golden frame she
stepped down,
When Marjorie puts on her grandmother’s gown.
When Marjorie gives me her hand in the dance
I try to express what I feel in a glance,
As I bend o’er her glove with a sigh full of
bliss.
And press on her fingers an eloquent kiss;
Then over her shoulder she throws me a smile,
And a look that means much—and means little,
the while.
But what is the use of my fibbing along
Just to make up some words for aud old-fash
ioned song?
Because not a thing that I’ve written is true,
But I think ’twould be nice if it were—do not
you?
—Kate Masterson, in Frank Leslie’s,
The Pearl of
the Baltic.
IF you cast your eyes over the map
of Europe you will find in the
Baltic Sea a good sized island
southeast of Stockholm and known
as Gottland. And in all truth a Good
land it is, which is shown by the title
it earned many centuries ago of “The
Pearl of the Baltic.” To be historically
correct, however, it was not the island
which earned it, but then as now its
only city—namely Wisby.
During the thirteenth century Wisby
was in its glory. The central and dis
tributing point of nearly all the com
merce from the south of Europe on
one side, it was also the mecca of the
Northmen for their valuable furs,
whalebone and splendid steel weapons.
In fact the town was so prosperous that
her renown was sung in many a tongue
and her legends never failed to inspire
the fame she so justly laid claim to. To
form a fair idea of this little city, I
would but mention that there is not a
street in it that is straight, but all with
unexpected turns and twists, a crook
edness which is remarkable; side streets
and by-streets, pockets and precipices,
till a stranger is absolutely bewildered.
No city of its size in the world has
so great a number of perfect ruius,
buildings, landmarks, crypts, caves and
a labyrinth of streets, to show from the
Middle Ages and Dark Ages, as Wisby.
And not to mention the wall that sur
rounds it, or its underground passages
to the cloisters and other ruins all over
Gottland. Let it suffice that today it
has a floating population of 15,000 peo
ple all the year round and during the
summer months at least 4,000 more.
Artists and invalids, tourists and sight
seers, beggers and millionaires, all
mingle or rub elbows here, and besides
royalty often displays its gorgeous col
ors, for may it please you to know that
“Fridham” a few miles south of town
is the summer home of the Bernadottes.
The population of Wisby is about 10,-
000, but being the only town on the
whole island it is always crowded with
farmers, bringing their produce to
market and trade is brisk with the
merchant.
To go back seven hundred years and
gloat over its wealth and traditions, its
wonderful churches and boasted strong
holds, doesn’t require legends and
sagas, but history is sufficient. Besides
those who doubt can verify the almost
unbelievable tales —relics and thou
sands of inscribed stones, some of great
size are there to tell it for years to
come.
Early in-the thirteenth century Wal
demar,King of Denmark, nicknamed
“Atterdag” (some other day) having
,had his fill of wonderful tales of this
same city of Wisby, made up his mind
to number it among his own posses
sions, to which end he set forth with
an army of reckless soldiers, Danes and
Dutchmen, Franks, Spanish adventur
ers and lusty Saxons, some on foot,
others gallantly caparisoned on stal
wart and long haired jntland
hones. Once aboard his ships, before
STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1903.
many days he caught sight of the steep
cliffs of the south end of Gottland, and
with many mishaps he at last managed
to land his many followers in small
boats on the longed for shore. Wisby
lies on the northeastern end of the is
land, with a splendid harbor (to which,
two-score years ago was added an outer
harbor, for monitors, cruisers and oth
er deep sailing craft) which was pro
tected by a fort; palisades reaching a
height of eight hundred feet and abun
dantly furnished and situated to de
fend the only vulnerable entrance to
the city. Waldemar knew this, there
fore his choice of a difficult landing
place.
The news flew fast, even in those
days, and by sunrise the following day
the city had a warlike appearance. Ev
ery fifty feet on the wall which encloses
Wisby from shore to shore, from the
palisades on the north to the fort on
the south, are towers reaching up a
hundred and sixty feet, and each had
their full quota of defenders and arms,
ammunition,stones, pitch, caldrons, and
the wide, deep ditch which surrounded
the wall was full of water and was
steadily replenished from springs and
pumps by the younger lads, servsfnts
and country folk who had entered dur
ing the night for refuge.
For a year and a Waldemar and
his army lay outside the walls besieg
ing the city to no avail; provisions be
gun to run low; Iris soldiers becoming
dissatisfied at the impossible task of
entering, gibed and sneered at by
the successful defenders on the wall,
until he was about to give up in des
pair and give the order for home and
five squares per day. In order to real
ize his unwillingness to this effect it is
only to be remembered he could see
those eighteen church-spires glittering
night and day, for in them were fixed
carbuncles and jewels of great value.
The spires could be seen by passing
ships and did duty as beacons for the
unwary mariner, helping to spread the
fame of this wonderful city of the
north. Those same carbuncles and
jewels came from Northern India and
Tibet and were worth millions in gold,
and so secure dicf the Wisbyans feel
they displayed them on their churches.
He could hear the shouts of triumph
from within, the songs and festivities,
the abandon of hilarity too, in their
long since forsaken worship to the old
gods of the Norsemen, Thor, his ham
mer and Odin his wisdom and justice.
The nut seemed too hard for him to
crack!
Then lo and behold! Cupid came to
his aid in the form of a young officer
with small honor and a beautiful peas
ant girl with a large heart. Think of
it, Cupid turning traitor! To be sure
the young captain was only amusing
himself with a maiden of humble
station (methinks not the first or last
one to play with sacred fire) but by fair
means or foul he had gained the maid
en's heart, and by promise of happy
years to come in a foreign land, by tak
ing oath as to his honorable love, by
proving to her that since she loved
him she was his, of his country and
thus alien to her own, she was to gain
entrance to the city, open a gate during
the night and let him in disguised to
look and feast on the beautiful church
es, the jewels and to take some notes.
That was all. She resisted. He pleaded,
argued, coaxed—won.
-When the king heard this great plan
he could hardly restrain himself for
joy. lie swore a mighty oath he would
make the captain a general and raise
him to knighthood—some other day!
He immediately sent for the maidep
(much against the youngofficer’s wishes)
and let her kiss bis hand to show his
favor and assured her of a prominent
place ’mongst his court ladies —some
other day! You see his name was Wal-
demar Atterdag! And the maiden —
she cried! Whether they were tears of
joy and happiness*, or a welling up of
her conscience against unnatural crav
ings of a heart too far gone to be re
called, is not for me to say. She cried
and buried her face in the arms of her
lover—perhaps she had a premonition
of her fate to come, perhaps a fleeting
“IT VS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.”
vision flashed before eyes of fearful
tortures, of sufferings intolerable, of a
damned soul’s outcry—if so, I say, do
not forget the man, the gallant soldier,
the houorable lover—and his share in
hellish payments yet to come!
But to my story! The maiden car
ried out her part of the contract faith
fully and opened the gate. Her lover
met her, wrapped in a large cloak, in
which he folded her and they strolled
slowly up a side street leaving the gate
unfastened; he feasting his eyes and
lips on this virgin body, on the wealth
of churches and houses muchly dis
played on the outside, until two hours
had gone by when they returned to the
gate. Then she realized what she had
done. Thousands of the enemy were
already inside the walls, lined up in the
shadows like ghosts, and pouring in
through the gate came a steady stream
as water out of a fire nozzle. She gave
a heart-breaking scream followed by a
thousand throats giving vent to their
lust for plunder and the citizens awoke
to find the meaning of sacking a city.
Murder and lust, murder and gold!
Fire! Fire! Fire! Churches plundered,
sacked and burned, no place sacred,
nothing holy! Some other day! But
there was one place sacred. Sacred be
cause Waldemar himself was in it.
The church of St. Maria was his head
quarters, and tho looted was not
burned; and here many women,children
and aged people found safety and shel
ter. Here also fled the maid; presuma
bly waiting for her lover to the eyes of
the king’s guard amid much laughter
and jest, but in reality to pray to her
Father in Heave ft for strength to face
a more vital passion than love. O fear
ful hate! O traitoress! “Confess to
thy people thou art a traitor;” cried her
inner soul. “Wait for thy lover!” cried
her bleeding heart. And so the sun
rose, calling the gods to Valhalla for
speedy counsel. Aba Dah.
(To be continued.)
“0 traveler fcy Unaccustomed Ways.”
Oh, traveler by unaccustomed ways—
Searcher among new world’s for pleasures
new—
Art thou content because the skies are blue,
And blithe birds thrill the air with roundelays,
And those fair fields with sunshine are ablaze?
Doest thou not find thy heart’s-ease twined
that rue,
And long for some dear bloom on Earth that
grew,
Some wild, sweet fragrance of remembered
days?
I send my message to thee by the stars— •
Since other messenger T may not find
Till I go forth beyond Earth’s prisoning bars,
Leaving this memory-haunted world behind,
To seek thee, claim thee, whereso’er thou be,
Since Heaven itself were empty, lacking thee,
—Louise Chandler Moulton, in Harper’s.
The Daily Press.
LAST week the writer prepared a
paper on the subject of “Amer
ican Journalism,” intending to
offer it to The Mirror, but
found his theories punctured by a fow
lines in a current weekly which stated
that a newspaper like the London
Times could have no existence in this
country, that the Englishman can
take everything seriously while the
American demands his news served
up in flippant style, and places a prem
ium upon the Townsend-Ade manner
of handling current topics. This must
be true, as there is a demand for breezy
serio-comic work even in handling
news of serious import and the slow,
careful and conservative style similar
to*that of the London Times would be
a drug on Park ltow. The reporter
who can not work in all the latest slang
in his story of the football game and
invent some new vulgarism for the oc
casion would be soon transferred to
Harlem.
The editor probably justifies himself
by the fact that the public demand
such stuff and we must give it to them,
in this he is but partly right; the pub
lic demand is there, but should not the
editor have a higher motive than to sat
isfy the mob ? It is not the slang or the
flippant manner of treating serious
subjects that work the greatest barm,
but it is lack of thoroughness in invest-
igating subjects to which they give
pages every day for months at a time.
Take, for instance, the boom in indus
trial stocks a few years ago. The
press of this country by its stories of
millions made overnight is to blame
for the fact that the public is now hold
ing the bag. The papers lauded the
Wall Street millionaires up to the skies
and made them demigods in the eyes of
the public; they boomed stocks as if they
were the subsidized organs of a stock
brokerage firm. ThePierpont-Schwabs
needed no press agent, a snap shot was
taken of them in their every act and
blossomed forth on the first page with
a double leaded tribute to their genius.
What was the result? Millions of dol
lars were paid by the American public
for worthless stocks. Now these very
papers turn around and in no less lurid
style inform the public that they have
been “done up,” that these Captains of
Industry of yesterday are today a pack
of swindlers.
Out west some years ago a man failed
in business, owing some two hundred
thousand dollars. Creditors came
from miles away in a special train ac
companied by a corps of attorneys, but
did not get a cent. Mr. Delinquent in
formed them that he was “all in.” A
rough and ready stockman from the
next county came riding in on a cayuse
with his claim for some odd thousands.
He held a gun to the head of Mr. Delin
quent and was paid in full. If this
man was caught in the recent clean-up
in Wall Street he could probably justi
fy himself in going to the editor of
some of our metropolitan papers and
after producing his gun demand why
he was not informed of all this water
in his stocks two years ago. The water
was there two years ago in the same
quantity as it is today and it seems pos
sible that careful investigation would
have disclosed the fact. Our metropol
itan press boasts that its facilities for
making investigations are far superior
to any detective agency in the country.
Its duty to the public was to investi
gate and make its disclosure early in
the game, instead of waiting until the
crash came and then hurl odium at the
promoters of graft.
In some of the business offices of
our great papers the greatest care is
taken that no objectional or fraudulent
advertisement is allowed space in the
publication, and it stands to reason
that the same care should be used in
guarding the news columns. This is
especially true of our larger dailies, as
they practically influence the whole
country. A few lines in a New York
daily becomes a column in Seattle and
the writer of a stick on Park Row may
see it blossom forth into a whole page
in the interior.
We do not want restriction of the
press but we do want a press that will
print things as they are rather than as
the public wants them. A more con
servative press would be a great thing
for this country, a press which would
not entangle itself in a position where
they call a man a god one day and a
devil the next, where their hero of today
will remain a hero and not be the cow
ard of tomorrow.
Another little weakness of the fourth
estate is its proneness to play the jug
gler with some piece ot nonsense and
j keep it up in the air all the time. We
suppose the editor who would drop the
Carrie Nation item would be counted
out of the game and considered guilty
|of unprofessional conduct. The pub
j lie may demand to know every move
ment made by Carrie, but we doubt it.
The pdwer of the press is wonderful,
but the daily paper under present con
ditions is on the decline. People are
turning more and more to magazines
and reviews for their ideas on moment
ous subjects and unless a change for
the better occurs there is danger of it
deteriorating to the place of a bur
lesque furnishing a vaudeville enter
tainment to amuse, but not influence,
the public. W. E. C.
Teach thy necessity to reason thus,
There is no virtue like necessity.
Richard IL

Teruo.l Sl.OOper year, In advance
itKMS.-j six Months 60 cent*.
Critic and Criticism.
POSSIBLY in my endeavor to
deal with so hard a subject as
critics, 1 am attempting to han-
dle a class so wide in its scope,
as to almost include everyone, and of
course that means myself. The pur
pose of this paper is not to find fault
with any criticism that has been passed
upon myself or my endeavors, but to
state clearly what I think the word
“critic” means and what is meant by
just and unjust criticism.
We are surrounded by critics.' We
hear them on every hand, and judging
by the numbers, one naturally wonders
if they are the products of some ma
chine, because most of them are so auto
matically constructed that all one has
to do is to press the button in order to
start them going. When we hear the
expression “critic” used we naturally
associate the word with “grumbler”
or those who are at home at finding
fault.
When I hear of a so-called critic and
j his criticisms, my first thought is this:
I What kind of a man is he?'ls he a per
| feet machine of human nature and hu
! man intelligence? Invariably I find
that he is not. There is an old saying
that still water runs deep, and it is a
pretty safe proverb to go by. I gener
ally classify the man whose capabilities
of wagging bis tongue, who finds fault
with the acts and sayings of others as a
man of a very limited storage capacity,
and in the majority of caseslam correct.
No, proper use of words, moods, tenses,
etc., does not lessen a man’s endeavor,
and it is the honest endeavor that should
be criticized, not a man’s gift of ex
pression. In our American literature
of today one can scarcely read a page
without detecting some grammatical
error, but if one reads for the purpose
of detecting errors and judges by them
’ the ability of the writer to handle his
subject, then we are in nowise capable
of criticising fairly the article read or
its author.
Critics should be divided in no less
than three classes: First, those who
criticise for the sole purpose of creat
ing an inspiration; second,those whose
criticisms show there was bias existing
which creates unfairness; third, those
who criticise because it is second na
ture to them to do so.
Those who criticise for the sole pur
pose of creating an inspiration or to
encourage another are really the only
ones that come within the true mean
ing of the word “critics.” Their first
consideration is “How much of an en
deavor was it? What are the present
or past advantages of the writer ? How
much experience has he had ? Has he ap
peared in public before ?” If these ques
tions are answered in the affirmative,
the question is whether there has been
any improvement in the manner of
handling his subject, in his manner of
expressing himself and is he improving
in his delivery or not.
Too often unfair criticism is caused
by some personality that is known to
the critic and which he has allowed to
influence his judgment. The existence
of this personality in the beginning ren
ders him unfit to criticise unless he can
forget everthing except the subject, the
endeavor, the advantages, the improv
ment and the experience of the one
criticised. If a critic is unable to drop
from his mind all personal feeling, then
his criticism will fail to accomplish its
purpose, and the unjustness of his crit
icisms will cause others to doubt his
ability to deal fairly with them.
Very little can be said of those who
criticise because it is second nature to
them to do so. We have heard them
by the score and all that can be said
is that we sympathize with them in
their ailments because they are unable
to refrain from it. They are as they
were created.
Fair criticism has been the making
of men and has inspired them with an
endeavor to perfect their endeavor,
while on the other hand unfair criti
cism has ruined and discouraged
many a man.
In our criticism let ns make more
use of that grand and noble word “Jus
tice” in its true meaning, for in that
way we can encourage many a man to
greater efforts. C. L. C.
1
.

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