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Edited and Published by the Inmates of the Htnneseta State Prison. Entered at the post office at Stillwater, Minn., as second-class nail matter. This 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 all sources. 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 60 cts. per year Address all communications, Editor PRISON MIRROR, 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 tbe 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 should accrue a surplus of funds, the money would be expended in the nterests of the prison library. A~LT. PERSONS receiving copies of THE MIRROR who are not on onr regular lists will please consider snch as sample copies. If, after reading, yon conclude that THE MIRROR is worthy of patronage send your name to this office for a trial subscription at rates as published above. If an editor wants to advertise himself, he’ll find it cheaper to denounce “pert paragraphs” than to run for president. So says Col. Watterson. The one person with -whom it is impossible to get in touch is the man that agrees with you in everything you say. He acquiesces in every view you take. Tell him black is white and he -will think so too. He has the power of resistance of a jelly fish. On the other hand, we admire the fellow that is always willing to start an argument. He is worth something. He brings to light our unknown quali ties and sharpens our wits. The man who always says Yes, might as well be a wooden man with a putty head. i One person certainly reads and enjoys The Mir ror—the editor of the Arkansas Thomas Cat. We know he reads it, because each week he reprints one or more articles from it; we know he enjoys it, be cause he invariably fails to give us credit for what he copies. Imitation is sincere flattery, but plagiar ism denotes a lamentable lack of energy, initiative and imagination. The editorof the Thomas Cat ought to be a deep sea diver or a tram robber. He is wasting his superb nerve in the newspaper business. This puff is unsolicited by him, and if he chooses he may print it without credit. Again Mother Mary Katherine, who was Miss Kate Drexel of Philadelphia, has demonstrated her devotion to the cause of the Indian, this time by giv ing $500,000 for a school on the Winnebago reserva tion. This is a wealthy tribe and in a few years, when the guardianship of the government ends, each family will have a fair sized fortune to dispose of. If nothing is done to teach them the use of money, the Indians will soon fall prey to sharpers and human wolves and in no time will be stripped of their be longings. The new school will probably save some of them. At least, it will instruct the boys and girls of the tribe and improve them morally and intellect ually. Once more the age dead line appears. Andrew Mermilen, a mechanical engineer, a man temperate and industrious in his habits, having good references from former employers, committed suicide last week because no one in Chicago would give him employ ment. He was 45 years old, and so, in spite of the fact that his arm was as strong, his eye as true and his mind as clear as when he was twenty years young er, he was disqualified for further usefulness. Except in its fatal ending, this case is not ex ceptional. Business men, like society women, have fads, some of which are harmful. The fixing .of a dead line is one of them. A self-satisfied, “self made” man, one of Fortune’s favorites from the cra dle, once said through his press agent that men hav ing reached the age of 45 years without having saved a competency should step aside and make room for their more progressive juniors. The oracle having spoken, men who ought to know better took up the fad and it spread. The truth is, a man of 45 should be, and gener ally is, more valuable than a man of 30. He has had more experience, his judgment is more reliable, he is NOTICE. almoßt certain to.be more steady. Jf he was not a wastrel in his youth, he has at least ten good years of life before he need fear garrulity, senility or decrep itude. To expect every skilled workman having reached the age of 45 years to have saved enough money to enable him to retire, is to be ignorant of the ways of the world. True, most men can earn a living, but it is hard to save money. A week’s sick ness in the family may absorb the savings of a year; a poor investment may eat up the savings of ten years. There is no relationship between business acumen and mechanical ability. Indeed, you seldom find a man that possesses both qualities. And so it is unfair to condemn a mechanic, to label him in competent, because at 45 he has no bank balance. Fortunately fads are ephemeral. Some day a shrewd employer will appear and as a protest against the foolish age dead line will employ only experi enced men 01 40 or over. He will make money. He may not turn out as many finished products as his competitors, but his products will be better made than theirs and will command better prices. In the meantime, it seems as if the unemployed mechanic of 45 must either jump in the lake or steal. What is done spontaneously, or rather what is done without conscious effort, is usually what is last ing in art. The great novel, the great poem, picture or musical composition is never labored, because it is simply an expression of the thoughts and feelings of the man that wrote or painted it. To him it was the easiest and most satisfying method of expressing himself. He was able to do so only through a mas tery of the technical details of his profession, but in accomplishing his masterpiece he had to forget tech nique. Spontaneity almost excuses triviality. Many charming works of art are the result of a passing whim or fancy, The vagrant thought came, was ex pressed and lived for the enjoyment of others, a tran sitory efflorescent mood fixed for all time. As the Fourth draws near the agitation in creases for a less dangerous celebration of the day. All over the country the fact that 467 persons were killed and 3,967 injured last Fourth is being recalled to the public mind by the papers, which are making an earnest plea on behalf of the children for a more reasonable celebration this year. Such a human sacrifice as is commoqly offered up on the Fourth of July is unnecessary, not to say wanton. It does not advance the cause of freedom, nor does it increase the sum total of young America’s patriotism. It has made the day a sad anniversary in thousands of American homes. Modify it; curtail the death rate by the exercise of a little common sense. There is no disposition to make it a quiet day—once a year the children have a right to make all the noise they can—but merely to safeguard the youngsters. This can be done by tabooing the giant cracker, the toy cannon and the toy pistol. For the first time in 134 years the Worcester Spy has suspended publication. Financial difficulties were the cause. Established in 1770, the Spy was a living monument of colonial days. It was a poorer at one time. During the Revolution it was fearless in its denunciations of the British, while its words of advice, encouragement and cheer to the Conti nental troops set a fine example for its contempora ries. Fiske and other historians comment on its wholesome influence. . The Spy was originally a Boston paper, but the utterances of its first editor, Isaiah Thomas, were too radical to suit the British, who compelled him to move his plant out of Boston. He chose Worcester for his new home. Under the direction of Mr- Thomas and the talented and enterprising editors that succeeded him, the paper prospered until 1898, since which time it has been in financial straits. It was staunch republican in its politics. 1 Some newspaper correspondents in Russia and the Far East seem to delight in belittling the brav ery of the Russian troops. If one of the latter shows the white feather, or if a few malcontents at tempt to desert, these writers make as much of the incident as if such a thing never occurred outside of Russia. The paper printing such exaggerated stor ies perhaps wins the support of a few bitter oppo nents of the czar, of a few Jews whose relatives have been driven from Russia, for instance, but it dis credits itself with those who have watched the oper ations in the Far East. So far there has been no more cowardice in the Russian ranks than in the Japanese. In point of courage, the men that op posed the Japanese advance at the Yalu River were the equal of any soldiers in the world. They fought like men possessed of the very essence of patriotism, and their bravery won high praise from the Japanese officers. None of the fighting on the Liau Tung peninsular has shown the Russians to be cowards; on the contrary, they have been as brave as their en imies. Americans are out of sympathy with Russia in this war, but they ought to be above circulating liedftabout her. Odds \ Ends By B. 3. I. "TX " It ie easier to keep out of prison than to break out, -provided you begin in time. * ♦ * Of course it is easy enough to figure out how a hen that eats sawdust can lay eggs that will hatch chickens with wooden legs, but how in the world can a fellow figure out arithmetically, algebra ically or trigonometrically the problem that a hen in Missouri can lay hard boiled eggs, or that other new problem of planting liver pills in Phoenix, Arizona, and growing a healthy crop of as sorted pills? *» » » There are some curious facts about our calendar. No century can begin on Wednesday, Friday or Sunday. The same calendars can be used every 20 years. Octo ber always begins on the same day of the week as January, April as July, September as December. February, March and November begin on the same days. May, June and August always begin on different days from each other and every other month in the year. The first and last days of the year are always the same. These rules do not apply to leap year. My first Memorial Day in the South was in a town that had been destroyed by Sherman in his march to the sea, but which, at the time of my visit, had been re built into a beautiful city. The intense interest displayed by seem ingly every citizen, the sight of breastworks and other marke of battle, the vivid word pictures of battle and pillage as described by my father, who had been with Sherman and who now rode with me in the outskirts of the city, the uniform gentleness and kindness of the people, many of whom had had fortutoes swept from them by our Northern army—all these things’made it the saddest Memo rial Day I have ever experienced. In most cases the old animosities have entirely disappeared, but when we think, as some of us are prone to do at times, of charging our Southern neighbor with a slight touch of lingering animosity, let us not forget that in addition to losing brother, father or son, he lost home and everything. Let us remember the sentiments ex pressed by Edith Palmer Putnam in a reoent number of the Volun teers' Gazette . She says in part: “I never stand at a Memorial Day service and watch the friends of the buried heroes tenderly cover ing their dead with the blossoms of memory, but my mind turns to those on the other side who are mourning ‘the boys in gray.’ My heart beats in sympathy with Northern mourners, and weeps in unison with their tears on every Memorial Day, but nevertheless it never fails to feel a throb of pity for the bereaved ones on the Con federate side, and to ache at the remembrance of those who yet suf fer the effects of Northern vic tories. I am a Northern woman, but 1 am also human and hold all men brothers in the great family of God.” * 9 * Spanish is certainly the most , useful foreign language that can ; be acquired by the young men of ' the United States today. Amer ; ican trade with Spanish-speaking - countries will continue to expand, i and the man with a thorough com ' man d of the Castilian tongue will be more and more in demand. It it a great mistake to believe that any of the Latin-American coun tries, or even the Spanish islands brought under American rule will in any great measure become Americanized, even in the course of a number of years. Those Southern people cling most tena ciously to their customs, and the Northerners who go to live among them are the ones who, in a gener ation or two, are notably altered in speech and customs. Young men should learn Spanish; and parents should realize the service they can render their children by having them begin the stndy of the language in their youth, when any tongue can be acquired read ily and quickly. Americans are very independent people. They have unbounded adl miration for their country, and with commendable patriotism be lieve that its customs and methods are the best to'be found anywhere. This attitude toward their own country is all right, but when Americans, or foreigners of any other nationality, are in Spanish countries they should remember the old rule about Home. As hint ed at in my series of articles on Mexico between two and three years ago, the foreigner who suc ceeds in business in Mexico is not the one who persists in trying to inaugurate the business oustoms in force in his native land, but the one who adapts himself to the manners of his adopted country. The Mexican people take life easy; they do business more deliberately than Americans, and are never too busy to observe the courtesies of life. The foreigner who goes to Mexico to do business with Mexicans should go with a deter mination to learn to deal with them after their own fashion. He should abandon at once any idea he may have of “educating them, up to American methods.” If he does not they will probably aban don him. It often happens that a representative of important in terests goes to Mexico to arrange business matters that he supposed would occupy him for possibly several days. His sfay sometimes lengthens into weeks before the details can be settled. Impatient as he may become, his principals at home are more restless at the delay, and even begin to question his explanations. Such occur rences should be avoided by al lowing plenty of time for business to be done according to established usages. The opportunities for industrial investment and trade expansion in Mexico arfe many and varied in character. There are many chances for the investment of capital, and Americans with money are going to Mexico every day and most of them are reaping big harvests. There are plenty of poor people in Mexico and it is a poor country for the American laborer, for he cannot compete in wages or in the standard of living with the native peon. Mexico is the land of pictur esque contrasts. To give any ade quate description of the country one would have to write a lengthy book, for it has all climates from that of the torrid zone to the snowy peaks of the great moun tains. The hot lands are distinct ly different from the temperate lands, and the temperate lands, from the cold lands, and they in turn differ from the mountain ous country whioh extends above them, sometimes up into regions, of eternal snow.