A FEW months ago John S. Morton was sentenced in Philadelphia to ten years' imprisonment in the Eastern Penitentiary. As he left the courtroom, his friends for the most part fashionable and wealthy men surrounded the judge, clamorously demanding that he should be driven to jail in a carriage instead of the prison van.

This little incident and the story of the prisoner is worthy the attention of young men beginning commercial life.

One short year ago Morton was a leading citizen in Philadelphia; not a leader after the fashion of Tweed or Fisk, but a refined, cultured gentleman, the descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a long line of judges and honorables, energetic in business, and in all philanthropic and Christian enterprises.

He was one of the foremost projectors of the Centennial Exposition, was president of the great permanent exhibition, and his name was brought prominently before the people as a candidate for governor of Pennsylvania.

He had everything that could give a man a solid, honorable footing in the world; but unfortunately he fell into the society of a clique of fashionable people, of the sort who would think the riding to prison in a van a worse disgrace than the crime that drove him there.

In his haste to gain money and to vie in splendor with these friends Morton was led to dabble in stocks then to gamble in them, and finally in order to make up his losses, to issue fraudulent stock in a railway company of which he was president, to the amount of two millions of dollars. 

The man had not the hardihood of a villain born in vice, for, on discovery he pleaded guilty, and fainted in the courtroom.  Boys who read such stories as these are apt to think of themselves as of an entirely different order of human beings from these gigantic swindlers; et the shop-boy who sells a lot of damaged goods to an unwary customer, or the lad who cheats at a game of marbles, is each in his degree guilty as was Morton, and afoot in the same broad highway.

Deception and fraud permeate every part of our commercial system, and they generally meet a temporary success. The shop man who cheats in his master's interest usually is promoted, just as Morton, with his ill gotten gains, was able to live like a prince; but retribution is sure, even in his world. The tricky clerk is known and avoided as a tricky merchant, and John S. Morton, with his shaved head and convict's dress, will meet old age in a prison cell.