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——————i^— ——> Edited and Published by the Inmales of the Minnesota State Prison. Entered at the post office at Stillwater, Minn., as second-class mall matter. This paper will be forwarded to subscribers until ordered discontinued and all arrears are paid. Should THE MIRROR fall 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 all sources. Rejected manuscript will not be returned. THE MIRROR Is Issued every Thursday at the following rates: One Year - -- -- - - -- -- - SI.OO Six Months ------------ .fjO Three Months - -- -- -- -- - - .25 To Inmates of penal institutions - - - - 50 cts. per year Address all communications, Editor PRISON MTRROR, Stillwater, Minn. 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 has ever been the bar sinister to a fallen man’s self-redemption. The paper is entirely dependent on the public for its financial support. If at any time there ahould accrue a surplus of funds, the money would be expended in the Interests of the prison library. Alii. PERSONS receiving copies of THE MIRROR who are not on oar regular lists will please consider such as sample copies. If, after reading, you conclude that THE MIRROR is worthy of patronage send your name to this office for a trial subscription at rates as published above. Says the Cleveland Plaindealer\ It begins tc look as if China considers the United States to be her last bulwark against Russian aggression. It is strange and a little pathetic to see her turning in her despair to the one power of the earth which for years has refused to admit her children to cit izenship or even to residence. This appeal of the oldest nation in the world to the youngest will be in vain. There is only one way in which the United States or any other power can prevent the absorp tion or dismemberment of the Celestial empire by her rapacious neighbor, and American interests at present are not important enough to warrant a re sort to the only means that can possibly avert or pre vent China’s fate. “Lend me your ears,” said Marc Antony. “Sell me one ear,” said a gentleman whose identity is hid den under the generic name of “Western Millionaire,” last week. His offer of $5,000 attracted no less than three hundred men with ears to dispose of and out of the crowd a lusty young German was selected. Now he and the rich man are strapped together, head to head, in a long bed in a Philadelphia hos pital, waiting for the ear to sprout. Every man knows his own business best of course, and no one has the right to criticise a person because he wants a flesh and blood ear, but such perfect tin ones are made in America these days that it does seem foolish to spend $5,000 for one made in Germany. We know of fifty men with tin ears. Thanksgiving Day this year finds oar country in a happy frame of mind and blessed with an abun dance of this world’s goods. At home and abroad we are at peace. Our diplomatic relations with European countries have never been more pleasant, and within our own domains harmony and good will prevail. Prosperity has been lavish in distributing favors during the past year, and every state in the Union has felt its benign influence. As a nation we can feel thankful that no foreign invader has visited our shores, that no great pestilen tial disease ravaged our land, and that no great con flagrations have destroyed any of our large centers of population. Our nation can congratulate itself on its freedom from entangling alliances and on the happy conclusion of a serious question which at one time bade fair to approach open hostilities, namely, the Alaska boundary dispute. As individuals we can find much that is deserv ing of heartfelt acknowledgment on our part. Even the pessimistic jingo can discern a few bright streaks in his career in which he feels he has more or less to be thankful for. In the Christmas Harper's William Dean Howells narrates in his delightful way the story of Bret Harte’s triumphant journey across the continent thirty years ago and his reception by the literary world on the Atlantic coast Mr. Howells does not actually say so in so many words, but the reader is led to believe that Harte was his guest for a week in Cambridge. It is impossible for Mr. Howells to be anything but interesting and charming when he takes up his pen, but in this sketch the subject is as fascinating as the style. Lovers of American litera ture will never weary of reminisoenoes of Harte. The magnetism of the man extends beyond the grave and NOTICE. he himself is as interesting as anything he ever wrote. Like Goldsmith and Johnson, he lives today and will live for years to come. Kipling is the one writer of the present who can be compared to Barte, and dissimilar as are the two in every way, their careers are singularly alike. Like Harte, Kipling won fame early, he is a master of the short story and a good deal of a failure in the novel, and like Harte he excels in describing one phase of life. When Harte deserted California and looked elsewhere for the subjects of his tales, his friends were disappointed at the result; since Kipling has left India and “Tommy Atkins” he has ceased to ex ercise his old spell over his readers. Harte was as great a poet as a story teller: the same is true of Kipling! The California of the one and the India of the other will live as long as the language, but their other works will perish. Down in Dixie the papers are fairly whooping in their glee over the recognition of Panama by this government. They assert that by so doing the United States has explicitly and unreservedly, if somewhat tardily, justified the secession of the Southern states and the establishment of the Confederate States of America. They feel that by recognizing Panama this government has made its former position un tenable, that it has stultified itself and virtually ad mitted that a state or a number of states have a moral and legal right to secede from the Union whenever the occasion to do so arises. Being Southerners, they naturally are pleased. But they are building on shifting sands. Their reason is blinded by their feelings. That the United States has taken precipitate action in the Panama matter most people will admit. That it has moved more in accordance with expediency than with strict justice will also be granted. That it has set up a straw man on the isthmus in order to put through its canal seems probable. But that the secession of Panama from Colombia is at all analogous to the secession of the Southern states from the Union is something no unprejudiced person will admit for a moment. Why did the South wish to leave the Union? In order that the blackest of national sins, slavery, might be perpetuated. Why did Panama take up arms against Colombia? Because it is an isolated province and has been mismanaged by a coterie of grafters and petty tyrants for years. It never was an integral part of Colombia. Perhaps there was a mixed motive; perhaps American gold was a strong argument in favor of revolution, but even admitting this the fact remains that Panama was justified in rebelling against Colombian misrule. This does not say, however, that the United States was justified in recognizing and assisting the young republic before she had proved her worth. The real issue between the North and South in our Civil War was slavery, and when a people take up arms in behalf of such an institution as the traffic in human beings, civilized nations are very chary of lending them moral and financial support. There is no connection whatever between the secession of the Southern states and the secession of Panama. To say there is shows that one is biased and lacking in common sense. The critics still keep adding to the wintery frost which Mr. Rudyard Kipling received on the recent publication of his book of poems, “The Five Na tions.” They are unusually caustic and characterize his latest work as mere mouthings, bubbles which were adduced during that period of adulation in which he was the recipient of the homage of both the American and European press. That Mr. Kipling has lost a great deal of his popularity none will deny; and those who know his work best are notin the least surprised at the unfavorable reception accorded his lareslf work. It seems that Mr. Kipling has become altogether too popular; and like Aristides, he must be ostracised in order that a few lesser celebrites can bask awhile in the sunshine of publicity. Whether his latest poems lack that virile force and vivid originality which distinguished much of his former writings, the fact remains that by his recent arraignment of British officialdom and Englishmen in general, he has succeeded in making himself perso?ia non grata abroad. It isn’t so very long ago since Mr. Kipling was a very much admired poet to whom the reading public looked forward with expectancy and whose writings were eagerly devoured. But it now seems that the critics have succeeded in hurling him from his lofty pin nacle. Where he formerly had a large following of enthusiastic Kiplingites, who believed him to be the coming apostle of poetry, he now has an army of critics. His sway over the young poetical aspirant was phenomenal, but many of these erstwhile enthu siasts have become apostates and are flinging spon dees and dactyles at his declining glory. Such is fame! However, Mr. Kipling cares as little for adverse criticism as a parlor coal stove cares for the beautiful magic tracings which adorn window panes on a frosty morning. Such ironical satire he views with an insouciance that baffles description. He is nsed to it. His true friends and sincere ad mirers still believe in him and consider him one of the brightest stars in the poetical firmament, the crit ics to the contrary notwithstanding. ODDS AND ENDS. Either opportunity, success or failure is largely a question of am bition and courage. 9 9 9 Many men who don’t know much acquire reputations for wisdom by keeping their mouths shut and looking as if they could tell a whole lot if they only would. 9 9 9 If men could harness, bottle up or cage all the thoughts and dreams that flit through the mind in a single day and night, make them realities and put them into action, there would be no limit to the achievements of the human race, and wouldn’t this be a lively world? 9 9 9 Another Thanksgiving Day has rolled around on the great wheel of Time and even we here have numerous things to be thankful for. We should feel thankful for our holiday dinner; thankful for our bed and board; thankful that we are not in a worse place; thank ful that we are not in St. Peters burg or St. Helena; thankful that we are in good company; thankful that we are not out in a cold world freezing and starving; thankful that we are not walking dark and dangerous streets, encountering thugs and thieves, bums and boo dlers, crooks and cyclones, cut throats and confidence-men, hoboes and highwaymen, females and foot pads, robbers and revolvers, or get ting mixed up in railroad wrecks or with rotten whisky. 9 9 9 Why is it that in college towns students are given liberties which would be denied other people? Why is it that college rowdies are permitted to violate all laws of decency in the streets, theatres or elsewhere? Why are they per mitted to damage property, create disturbances, organize themselves into howling, riotous mobs while respectable citizens must look on and suffer the consequences? These hoodlums may even disturb public meetings in many towns, but the police must not interfere. That was a most disgraceful state of af fairs which occurred at a theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, re cently and it would seem that there is a laxity in the police regulations or something lacking in the laws when such disturbances are tol erated and the principals permitted to go unpunished. 9 9 9 In a series of articles now run ning in Leslie's Monthly Mrs. Maud Ballington Booth relates some touching experiences in' connec tion with her work in prisons, among prisoners and prisoners’ families. Mrs. Booth says all punishment should tend to reform, that prison reform is work that cannot be accomplished by outside agencies, but that it is a specific duty of those placed in charge of these institutions. Her personal experience, she says, has caused her to admire the deep interest and earnest efforts of the wardens whom she has come to know, but regrets that their efforts are too often hindred by politics. Mrs. Booth declares that it would be easier to get half a million dollars for beautifying some state building than ten thousand for the sanitary improvement of a prison cellhouse. 9 9 9 Last week it was hinted in these columns that in the near future something might be invented that would annihilate frosty atmos phere, snow and ice. At that time not a hint had been given me that suoh a thing is already in exist ence, but Mr. Bordwell has since received a consignment of half a dozen huge articles of mechanism, constructed to perform the iden tical functions suggested. The fuel bill of this institution ia win ter is an important item, being in the neighborhood of a thousand dollars per month. The new in vention, which might be called a heater, liarnesses the sun, absorbs and stores the heat in a lingo cylindrical drum which is abont 93 feet in diameter. The emission of heat can be so regulated tha£ any desired degree may be ob tained, from zero to four thousand, degrees Fahrenheit. Four of theso heaters are to be placed on the walls surrounding the institution, one on each corner. These will supply heat for all the wall-guards and for the entire inclosure in cluding the greenhouse and Sin bad’s flowerbeds, and will transform the lawns, park and entire incloeure into spring and summer. One heater is to be used for heating; the cellhouse and one to heat the shops. Each apparatus is about three hundred feet in circumfer ence and the only objectionable feature about them is their -enor mous size, a fact which necessitates the construction of a railroad about twenty rods wide on which to transport them. 9 9 9 One of the great companies that manufacture guns and other things to kill men and birds has evolved an automatic shotgun. It is said to be a contrivance that may bo discharged six times as fast as a shooter can crook his finger. It would seem that this is too much of a good thing for any sportstusn, but no doubt it will be eagerly sought by manyunsernpoiousma* who are simply guided by the in stinct of cruelty, the barbarous desire to kill something or .any thing. The old style double-barrel shotgun should and doubtless will continue to be sufficiently effective and rapid for most real sportsmen who hunt wild birds, and wby should anyone have a desire for a wholesale extermination of tiw harmless, beautiful birds? Not all of the bird family are musical, but the vast majority are more o t less so, even tho many are only capable of repeating two or three notes; but the bird family eg a whole contribute very largely to the cheerfulness of the world. If there were no birds we would be living in a more dreary world and if they are killed more rapidly it is only a question of time wfeen there will be no birds to kill, none to sing. Then why hasten the work of extermination? Give every biped afflicted with this lost for slaughter, a double action au tomatic gun and in about four thousand minutes all the birds and a vast portion of mankind wonld cease to exist. Why in the name of the great silver horned spoon is it that man continues to be con structed with this cruel desire to kill? Why does not this savage barbaric desire cease to exist among civilized, Christian people? Will men never cease to kill for the mere sake of killing? Will they never cease to delight in in flicting injury, suffering and death upon innocent, harmless creatures? It has been said that the desire to kill is just that much of the bare legged, untutored, unwashed, ao combed savage that lingers in the civilized man. A year or so ago a large number of Americans went to Columbia to join both armies. It cannot bn said that these Americans were actuated by a sense of patriotism for a country in which they fen aliens and had no interests. They coaid not have been actuated by a desire to seek heathful occupations in a tropical country where fetma are so common. ...BY H. J. B.