EDITED AND PUBLISHED |Y THE INMATES OF THE MINNESOTA
STATE PRISON, ENNEBOTA.
Entered at the postofficejit Stillwater, Minnesota, as second-class mail matter.
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Contributions solicited from ilHomces. Rejected manuscripts will not be returned.
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The Mirror is issued every Thursday at the following rates:
One Year ... - SI.OO Six Months - 5-50
Three Months ... .25 To inmates of all oenal institutions 50
Address all communications to per year. ,
The Mirror is a weekly paper published in the Minnesota State Prison. It was
/ouaded in 1887 by the prisoners and is edited and managed by them. It aims 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 che 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 shall accrue a surplus of funds, the money
will be expended in the interest of the prison library.
For the information of new arrivals and all others desiring to send The Mirror
to friends, the privilege will be granted by complying with the following rules: Write
vour own name and register number and send same to this office witn name and ad
dress of person to whom paper is to be sent. Each paper must be kept clean and
folded in the same manner in which it is received and placed in your door every Fri
day night. All inmates are requested to comply with this order whether sending out a
copy or not.
Service in the Prison Chapel at nine o’clock every Sunday morning. Protestant
and Catholic service every alternate Sunday. Rev. C. E. Benson and Rev. Fr. Corcoran,
Wilt play again? for I could ever listen
To strains like those my ear so lately caught,
And even now with tears my eyelids glisten
At kindling heart-dreams that were quite forgot.
Dreams of the dawning aud the bright decline,
Of days that shall not dawn nor close again,
And deeper musiugs, neath the light devine
Of hope, come back, upon tby closing strain.
Although the word “ovation” seems derived from the Latin “ovum,”
an egg, we hardly suppose that a mob which pelts a poor fellow with eggs
can properly be said to give him an ovation.
Tiieke are three kinds of pi‘aise--that which we yield, that which we
lend, and that which we pay. We yield to the powerful from fear, we
lend it to the weak from interest, and we pay it to the deserving from
Such actors as the following named are to be praised: “Whose bodies
figure what they think and feel; who,'by their silence, their delays, their
looks, their slight graceful movements, can prepare the audience for speech,
and by a pleasant sort of pautomine, combine the pauses of the dialogue
with the general whole.” i
A husband’s idea of “an attempt to provoke a breach of peace,” was
recently explained in a New York police court, by the statement that his
jeolous wife struck him three times on the head with a stool, knocked him
down twice, and threw a panfull of dirty water in his face; when he en
deavored to explain, she hit him with a patent bread machine, and damag
ed his contenance very severely.
We wonder if there is any one in this world who really knows what
he wants. A man has an idea that be wishes to become rich, but w T hen he
has grown rich, he wishes he had stayed poor. The prisoner w r ants his
liberty, oh, so bad! Yet often, when his wish is granted, he don’t know
what to do with it. Many people want to die; but dead, there are quite a
few, no doubt, who want to be back in the land of the living where there
is plenty of snow and ice. And so it goes; some want this and some want
that —always wanting, and never satisfied.
Man’s nature —the nature of human beings —is a mixed nature. We
are part man and part God. We are partly natural and partly spiritual.
We belong partly to the kingdom of nature and to the kingdom ot God.
From this it follows that while we are partly under natural law, we are
also partly above it, and that is the reason why we are so often in violent
conflict within. It is very hard to obey two masters or to reconcile the
laws of two such diverse kingdoms. And we are frequently nearly torn
asunder in the attempt to do so.
But natural law is nearly absolute in this world. It is not entirely
so, because it is held in check and guided by the higher or spiritual law,
or the moral laiv, as we sometimes call it. Still, it is so nearly absolute
that it is much the easier law; to obey. It much easier to indulge our
natural inclinations than to deny them in obedience to the higher law,
and nature generally sees to it that we get some sort of punishment for
not yielding to her.
So the virtuous man who has denied himseff for conscience sake is
not usually rewarded in this world as he thinks he should be. He has
put himself in opposition to the laws of the country in which he is living,
and should not expect a reward while he s f ays there.
It is only shallow-minded pretenders who make either distinguished
origin a matter of personal merit, or to obscure origin a matter of person
al reproach. A man who is not ashamed of himself, need not be ashamed
of his early condition. It did happen to me to be born in a log cabin,
raised amoug the snow-drifts of New Hampshire<at a period so early that
when the smoke first rose from its rude chimney and curled over the froz
en hills, there was no similar evidence of a white man’s habitation be
tween it and the settlements on the rivers of Canada. Its remains still
exists; I make it an annual visit. I carry my children to it, and teach
them the hardships endured by the generations before them. I love to
dwell on the tender recollections, the kindred ties, the early affections,
and the narrations and incidents which mingle with all I know of this
primitive family abode; I weep to think that none who then inhabited it
are now among the living; and if ever I fail in affectionate veneration for
him who raised it, and defended it against savage violence and destruction,
cherished all domestic comforts beneath its roof, aud through the fire and
blood of seven years’ revolutionary war, shrunk from no toil, no sacrifice,
to serve his country and to raise his children to a condition better than
his own, may my name and the name of my posterity be blotted from the
* memory of mankind. —Daniel Webster
Our Solid Sonnet: Tell us not, oh,
weary bummers,- that this world is
sodden mush. You Tiave had your
golden summers • underneath “An
hieuser Busch.” You have basked
through many May-days concocting
many a stew. Why this kicking?
Don’t the pay days make a home
sweet home for you? In the free
world, on the rattlers you went glid
ing through the land, comrade to
yeggs, bums and battlers, and you
left upon the sand footprints that
raised the dickings and caused far
mers to grieve, while you beat it with
their chickens, laughing meanwhile
in youf sleeve. Not enjoyment all,
some sorrow must be up to you to
bear. Dou’t itnagme you can bor
row all the oiber fellow’s share of
this world’s goods aud not suffer.
Others thought the sarpe but, gee!
Many a poor deluded duffer is now
doing time with me. Lives of crook
dom plainly tell us that this prowl
ing through the night oft compels
the state to “cell” us and to guide
our steps aright. Guide our steps
so we may ponder, we may analyze
—and see, tnat the chap we wrong
ed out yonder is the winner, for he’s
free. Let us then be up and think
ing of the better way awhile. It
will stop our spirits sinking and may
bring us back to smile. Smile to
know that somewhere in us is a
spark that means for good, and it fi
nally will win us back to Honest
Brotherhood. . 4
On Those Cold Nights
Who is it puts me in my bed?
Who tucks the covers ’round my head?
Who is it makes me get a cough
By kicking all the covers off?
What is it makes me go to bed?
What is it that I always dread?
What is it spoils my peaceful snooze
And sends me forth to make more shoes?
—We wont claim it
Why don’t you cover the leading
things of the day? a mau said to me.
Well, I dou’t know as I can, but,
here goes: Hurrah for Woman Suf
frage, for Gov. Blease, for er, er, ah,
The Ancient Order'of Hibernians. —
Sunday is supposed to be a day of
rest, but did you ever know anyone
to be rested on Monday? —May Stan
We know lots that were ah-rest
ed in the wee sma’ hours on Monday
The ordinary jest of the post card
“goes in one ear and out the other,”
but one that came forcibly to our
notice that had a deal of truth was
this: Thou shalt not speak falsely of
thy fellow-man lest he speak the
truth of you, which might be worse.
The Wood Shed For Bill
It beats me, said small Willie’s maw.
How my jam disappears from veiw.
Which made Will say. when I see paw
I guess it will beat Willie, too.
The county commissioners have
allowed Sherriff Meiuing 11 cents a
meal for feeding prisoners, instead
of 10 cents as heretofore. The sher
riff is undecided whether to furnish
squabs or terrapin for the extra cent.
Don’t cast your hammer towards
a chap who is down so low that he
cannot ward off the blow; w T ait until
he gets up a little higher and then,
if you must, sling mud at him. You
will stand a better chance of hittirg
him —w’hen he is high enough to see.
Also he will stand a better show
Come iDto my house and into my garden without suspicion.
Let us be content because we live near to each other. Let us think well
of each other when we m*eet, and let us be gracious. I have done many
foolish things in my life and a few wrong things. So have you. I was
never glad of my sins. I suppose that you also have repented of yours.
Therefore we must resolve not to build them into a coffin for the burial of
friendliness, Let us forget our faults when we sit down to chat as neigh
bois.' lor truly, if you remember my folly and ray wrong doing you will
expect the same again, and I shall be unable to yield you my best. If I
allow my thoughts to linger with your weakness, your very strength will
be crippled by my presence. Therefore, I pray you, remember not the
day when I was unkind to a servitor, rude to a child, false to a friend—if
there have been such days. Remember the I have tried to be
kind, and courteous and true. I promise that I will strive to thrust from
my mind the days when you gossiped or sneered or were niggardly, if such
days have been. I will call to mind sunnier days when you labored quiet
ly, praised generously, and brought rich gifts. ■Come into my house, my
gaiden, and rest a while. Be free to enjoy what pleases you. Meet my
eyes sinceiely when you shake hands with me. For your tragedy I prom
ise to have only sympathy, for -your comedy a guileless laugh. Do you
be gentle with my feelings. For are we not set close to each other that
" e iua y learn loving kindness. Is not God lljmself with us when we seek
the best in each other as neighbors.
Hereabouts, nowdays, we have made it quite the fashion to see no
good whatsoever in “the other fellow”—when the “other fellow” does
something just a little bit better than we are capable of doing. This is
not exactly a new attitude, it has been thusly for many moons, not so
strong, perhaps, as at present but nevertheless, with us and in us at all
times. We have many preachers in our midst, who, in reaching out for
what they think attainable, and failing to connect with same spread
around the gospel of discontent. Our egotism is disgusting; not to our
selves bui to our neighbors. Victims of “type-us-fever;” worshiping the
printed word —if our name is connected thereto^—we go around discount
ing every talent the “other fellow” possesses, and magnifying our own in
significant, idiotical raurmurings. We mount our own egotism upon a
pedestal and fall prostrate before it, and when other folk do not worship
at the same shrine we cry out that we are misused and abused. Huggers
of dillusions! We imagine because we fill space in The Mirror that the jour
nalistic world is waiting with open arms to recieve us to its bosom, when
in reality most of the papers in the state know not that we are alive.
- If moat of us have thoughts of piling “stuff” on to editors antf expect
its return in shape of “coffee-and,” we are doomed to be “illusionized
some.” If we cannot write for The Mirror, or a paper for the Chautau
qua circle, without having “an ax to grind,” we should quit. Some of us
have a bit of the ‘ artistic temperment”—caught from reading Nate Col
lier’sDope —and we are sick-a-bed and weary of this constant “knocking.”
It is intolerably sickning to hear a mad whine for recognition of his mer
its when iu reality a peck of oats is what he needs. It isn’t “boosts” we
need, I think in all probability that our bread and milk is not prepared
properly. Perhaps a couple of soothing lullabys would be what is needed.
I will write same if it will put the knockers to sleep--forever.
Get these thoughts in connection with The Mirror, or the Chautau
“It isn’t what Ido for The Mirror, for -the ‘Circle,’ that counts: It’s
what those two institutions do for me.”
“I write for The Mirror because it is my duty to do so.”
“I write for the pleasure of writing: for profit (intellectually) and
for self advancement (morally.)”
“I look for no praise from the officials, —therefore I court no favors r
and want no blame from my fellow-man.”
That is all we have to say, we hope it may do some good. We can
not advance towards self-betterment if we have traitors in our own camp.
Pull with us, or else go hide yourself. Let’s start now and work, as we
should work, for the uplifting and upbuilding of both institutions, the
Chautauqua Circle and The Mirror.
The perennial anti-treating bill was introduced to the House, Jan. 10-
Let us hope something good will be heard from it at this session. The W.
C. T. U. and Anti-Saloon League should throjv their strength to the fight
—not to abolish the saloon —to abolish the treating curse. In fighting the '
saloon as a whole, you have the consumer against you; but in waging war
on the “treating evil” you have the consumer with you. Another points
lots of little kids whose feet touch the icy pavement every winter would
be sporting red-top boots if it were a crime for their fathers to spend
money on Tom, Dick and Harry, in a saloon. This may start a local .
gument, but let me say, with the sage of the Mesaba Ore, “Don’t talk
back, boy, for we know what we are talking about.”
Some tender thing came in my thoughts today,
For I was dreaming of the long ago,
I saw a little girlie stop her play.
Creep to my arms, with, Oh, “I love you so:”
What have I done that memory should bring
Into my empty life, —so rich a thing?
Some wistful thing came in my thoughts today,
I saw a maid approaching womanhood—
Come to me, whisper in a trustful way,
Others may doubt, but I believe you good:
What have I done that memory should cast
Into my thoughts—a heart throb of the past?
A bitter thing came in m.y thoughts today,
I saw a maiden now a woman grown—
W eep for my wildness, and then turn away,
And I I went my sinful way—alone:
O, God! the memory stings; yet must 1 bear
My pumshment v for crushing things so fair.
To My Neighbor
(Marguerite 0.8. Wilkinson, in Craftsman.)
4r ¥ 9
Are We Guilty?
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