Showing posts with label Letters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Letters. Show all posts

Children in Prison and Other Cruelties of Prison Life / Oscar Wilde

The circumstance which called forth this letter is a woeful one for Christian England. Martin, the Reading warder, is found guilty of feeding the hungry, nursing the sick, of being kindly and humane. These are his offences in plain unofficial language.

This pamphlet is tendered to earnest persons as evidence that the prison system is opposed to all that is kind and helpful. Herein is shown a process that is dehumanizing, not only to the prisoners, but to every one connected with it.

Martin was dismissed. It happened in May last year. He is still out of employment and in poor circumstances. Can anyone help him?

February, 1898.


I learn with great regret, through an extract from the columns of your paper, that the warder Martin, of Reading Prison, has been dismissed by the Prison Commissioners for having given some sweet biscuits to a little hungry child. I saw the three children myself on the Monday preceding my release. They had just been convicted, and were standing in a row in the central hall in their prison dress, carrying their sheets under the arms previous to their being sent to the cells allotted to them. I happened to be passing along one of the galleries on my way to the reception room, where I was to have an interview with a friend.

A Humane Word from Satan / Mark Twain

[The following letter, signed by Satan and purporting to come from him, we have reason to believe was not written by him, but by Mark Twain. --Editor.]


Dear Sir and Kinsman,--Let us have done with this frivolous talk. The American Board accepts contributions from me every year: then why shouldn't it from Mr. Rockefeller? In all the ages, three-fourths of the support of the great charities has been conscience-money, as my books will show: then what becomes of the sting when that term is applied to Mr. Rockefeller's gift? The American Board's trade is financed mainly from the graveyards. Bequests, you understand. Conscience-money. Confession of an old crime and deliberate perpetration of a new one; for deceased's contribution is a robbery of his heirs. Shall the Board decline bequests because they stand for one of these offenses every time and generally for both?

A Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury / Mark Twain

Riverdale-on-the-Hudson, OCTOBER 15, 1902.


Sir,--Prices for the customary kinds of winter fuel having reached an altitude which puts them out of the reach of literary persons in straitened circumstances, I desire to place with you the following order:

Forty-five tons best old dry government bonds, suitable for furnace, gold 7 per cents., 1864, preferred.

A Letter to A Hindu / Leo Tolstoy

The Subjection of India-Its Cause and Cure.

The letter printed below is a translation of Tolstoy's letter written in Russian in reply to one from the Editor of Free Hindustan. After having passed from hand to hand, this letter at last came into my possession through a friend who asked me, as one much interested in Tolstoy's writings, whether I thought it worth publishing. I at once replied in the affirmative, and told him I should translate it myself into Gujarati and induce others' to translate and publish it in various Indian vernaculars.

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