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The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Complete Works of
Artemus Ward (Charles Farrar Browne) Part 4
With a biographical sketch by Melville D. Landon, "Eli Perkins"
4.1. On the Steamer.
4.2. The Isthmus.
4.6. Mr. Pepper.
4.7. Horace Greeley's Ride to Placerville.
4.8. To Reese River.
4.9. Great Salt Lake City.
4.10. The Mountain Fever.
4.11. "I am Here."
4.12. Brigham Young.
4.13. A Piece is Spoken.
4.14. The Ball.
4.15. Phelp's Almanac.
4.16. Hurrah for the Road.
4.17. Very Much Married.
4.18. The Revelation of Joseph Smith.
New York, Oct. 13, 1868.
The steamer Ariel starts for California at noon.
Her decks are crowded with excited passengers, who instantly undertake to "look after" their trunks and things; and what with our smashing against each other, and the yells of the porters, and the wails over lost baggage, and the crash of boxes, and the roar of the boilers, we are for the time being about as unhappy a lot of maniacs as was ever thrown together.
I am one of them. I am rushing around with a glaring eye in search of a box.
Great jam, in which I find a sweet young lady, with golden hair, clinging to me fondly, and saying, "Dear George, farewell!"— Discovers her mistake, and disappears.
I should like to be George some more.
Confusion so great that I seek refuge in a stateroom which contains a single lady of forty-five summers, who says, "Base man! leave me!" I leave her.
By and by we cool down, and become somewhat regulated.
When the gong sounds for breakfast we are fairly out on the sea, which runs roughly, and the Ariel rocks wildly. Many of the passengers are sick, and a young naval officer establishes a reputation as a wit by carrying to one of the invalids a plate of raw salt pork, swimming in cheap molasses. I am not sick; so I roll round the deck in the most cheerful sea-dog manner.
. . . .
The next day and the next pass by in a serene manner. The waves are smooth now, and we can all eat and sleep. We might have enjoyed ourselves very well, I fancy, if the Ariel, whose capacity was about three hundred and fifty passengers, had not on this occasion carried nearly nine hundred, a hundred, at least of whom were children of an unpleasant age. Captain Semmes captured the Ariel once, and it is to be deeply regretted that that thrifty buccaneer hadn't made mince-meat of her, because she is a miserable tub at best, and hasn't much more right to be afloat than a second- hand coffin has. I do not know her proprietor, Mr. C. Vanderbilt. But I know of several excellent mill privileges in the State of Maine, and not one of them is so thoroughly "Dam'd" as he was all the way from New York to Aspinwall.
I had far rather say a pleasant thing than a harsh one; but it is due to the large number of respectable ladies and gentleman who were on board the steamer Ariel with me that I state here that the accommodations on that steamer were very vile. If I did not so state, my conscience would sting me through life, and I should have harried dreams like Richard III. Esq.
The proprietor apparently thought we were undergoing transportation for life to some lonely island, and the very waiters who brought us meals, that any warden of any penitentiary would blush to offer convicts, seemed to think it was a glaring error our not being in chains.
As a specimen of the liberal manner in which this steamer was managed I will mention that the purser (a very pleasant person, by the way) was made to unite the positions of purser, baggage clerk, and doctor; and I one day had a lurking suspicion that he was among the waiters in the dining-cabin, disguised in a white jacket and slipshod pumps. . . . .
I have spoken my Piece about the Ariel, and I hope Mr. Vanderbilt will reform ere it is too late. Dr. Watts says the vilest sinner may return as long as the gas-meters work well, or words to that effect. . . . .
We were so densely crowded on board the Ariel that I cannot conscientiously say we were altogether happy. And sea-voyages at best are a little stupid. On the whole I should prefer a voyage on the Erie Canal, where there isn't any danger, and where you can carry picturesque scenery along with you—so to speak.
On the ninth day we reach Aspinwall in the Republic of Granada. The President of New Granada is a Central American named Mosquero. I was told that he derived quite a portion of his income by carrying passengers' valises and things from the steamer to the hotels in Aspinwall. It was an infamous falsehood. Fancy A. Lincoln carrying carpet-bags and things! and indeed I should rather trust him with them than Mosquero, because the former gentleman, as I think some one has before observed, is "honest."
I intrust my bag to a speckled native, who confidentially gives me to understand that he is the only strictly honest person in Aspinwall. The rest, he says, are niggers—which the colored people of the Isthmus regard as about as scathing a thing as they can say of one another.
I examine the New Grenadian flag, which waves from the chamber-window of the refreshment saloon. It is of simple design. You can make one.
Take half of a cotton shirt, that has been worn two months, and dip it in molasses of the Day & Martin brand. Then let the flies gambol over it for a few days, and you have it. It is an emblem of Sweet Liberty.
At the Howard House the man of sin rubbeth the hair of the horse to the bowels of the cat, and our girls are waving their lily-white hoofs in the dazzling waltz.
We have a quadrille, in which an English person slips up and jams his massive brow against my stomach. He apologizes, and I say, "all right, my lord." I subsequently ascertained that he superintended the shipping of coals for the British steamers, and owned fighting cocks.
The ball stops suddenly.
Great excitement. One of our passengers intoxicated and riotous in the street. Openly and avowedly desires the entire Republic of New Grenada to "come on."
In case they do come on, agrees to make it lively for them. Is quieted down at last, and marched off to prison, by a squad of Grenadian troops. Is musical as he passes the hotel, and smiling sweetly upon the ladies and children on the balcony, expresses a distinct desire to be an Angel, and with the Angels stand. After which he leaps nimbly into the air and imitates the war-cry of the red man. . . . .
The natives amass wealth by carrying valises, &c., then squander it for liquor. My native comes to me as I sit on the veranda of the Howard House smoking a cigar, and solicits the job of taking my things to the cars next morning. He is intoxicated, and has been fighting, to the palpable detriment of his wearing apparel; for he has only a pair of tattered pantaloons and a very small quantity of shirt left.
We go to bed. Eight of us are assigned to a small den upstairs, with only two lame apologies for beds.
Mosquitoes and even rats annoy us fearfully. One bold rat gnaws at the feet of a young Englishman in the party. This was more than the young Englishman could stand, and rising from his bed he asked us if New Grenada wasn't a Republic? We said it was. "I thought so," he said. "Of course I mean no disrespect to the United States of America in the remark, but I think I prefer a bloated monarchy!" He smiled sadly—then handing his purse and his mother's photograph to another English person, he whispered softly. "If I am eaten up, give them to Me mother—tell her I died like a true Briton, with no faith whatever in the success of a republican form of government!" And then he crept back to bed again.
. . . .
We start at seven the next morning for Panama.
My native comes bright and early to transport my carpet sack to the railway station. His clothes have suffered still more during the night, for he comes to me now dressed only in a small rag and one boot.
At last we are off. "Adios, Americanos!" the natives cry; to which I pleasantly reply, "ADOUS! and long may it be before you have a chance to Do us again."
The cars are comfortable on the Panama railway, and the country through which we pass is very beautiful. But it will not do to trust it much, because it breeds fevers and other unpleasant disorders, at all seasons of the year. Like a girl we most all have known, the Isthmus is fair but false.
There are mud huts all along the route, and half-naked savages gaze patronizingly upon us from their doorways. An elderly lady in spectacles appears to be much scandalized by the scant dress of these people, and wants to know why the Select Men don't put a stop to it. From this, and a remark she incidentally makes about her son, who has invented a washing machine which will wash, wring, and dry a shirt in ten minutes, I infer that she is from the hills of Old New England, like the Hutchinson family.
. . . .
The Central American is lazy. The only exercise he ever takes is to occasionally produce a Revolution. When his feet begin to swell and there are premonitory symptoms of gout, he "revolushes" a spell, and then serenely returns to his cigarette and hammock under the palm-trees.
These Central American Republics are queer concerns. I do not of course precisely know what a last year's calf's ideas of immortal glory may be, but probably they are about as lucid as those of a Central American in regard to a republican form of government.
And yet I am told they are a kindly people in the main. I never met but one of them—a Costa-Rican; on board the Ariel. He lay sick with fever, and I went to him and took his hot hand gently in mine. I shall never forget his look of gratitude. And the next day he borrowed five dollars of me, shedding tears as he put it in his pocket. . . . .
At Panama we lose several of our passengers, and among them three Peruvian ladies, who go to Lima, the city of volcanic eruptions and veiled black-eyed beauties.
The Senoritas who leave us at Panama are splendid creatures. They learned me Spanish, and in the soft moonlight we walked on deck and talked of the land of Pizarro. (You know old Piz. conquered Peru! and although he was not educated at West Point, he had still some military talent.) I feel as though I had lost all my relations, including my grandmother and the cooking stove when these gay young Senoritas go away.
They do not go to Peru on a Peruvian bark, but on an English steamer. Off to Acapulco.
We make Acapulco, a Mexican coast town of some importance, in a few days, and all go ashore.
The pretty peasant girls peddle necklaces made of shells and oranges, in the streets of Acapulco, on steamer days. They are quite naive about it. Handing you a necklace they will say, "Me give you pres-ENT, Senor," and then retire with a low curtsey. Returning, however, in a few moments, they say quite sweetly, "You give me pres-ENT, Senor, of quarter dollar!" which you at once do unless you have a heart of stone.
Acapulco was shelled by the French a year or so before our arrival there, and they effected a landing. But the gay and gallant Mexicans peppered them so persisently and effectually from the mountains near by that they concluded to sell out and leave.
Napoleon has no right in Mexico. Mexico may deserve a licking. That is possible enough. Most people do. But nobody has any right to lick Mexico except the United States. We have a right, I flatter myself, to lick this entire continent, including ourselves, any time we want to.
The signal gun is fired at 11, and we go off to the steamer in small boats.
In our boat is an inebriated United States official, who flings his spectacles overboard, and sings a flippant and absurd song about his grandmother's spotted calf, with his ri-fol-lol-tiddery-i-do. After which he crumbles, in an incomprehensible manner, into the bottom of the boat, and howls dismally.
We reach Manzanillo, another coast place, twenty-four hours after leaving Acapulco. Manzanillo is a little Mexican village, and looked very wretched indeed, sweltering away there on the hot sands. But it is a port of some importance, nevertheless, because a great deal of merchandise finds its way to the interior from there. The white and green flag of Mexico floats from a red steam-tug (the navy of Mexico, by the way, consists of two tugs, a disabled raft, and a basswood life-preserver), and the Captain of the Port comes off to us in his small boat, climbs up the side of the St. Louis, and folds the healthy form of Captain Hudson to his breast. There is no wharf here, and we have to anchor off the town.
There was a wharf, but the enterprising Mexican peasantry, who subsist by poling merchandise ashore in dug-outs, indignantly tore it up. We take on here some young Mexicans, from Colima, who are going to California. They are of the better class, and one young man (who was educated in Madrid) speaks English rather better than I write it. Be careful not to admire any article of an educated Mexican's dress, because if you do he will take it right off and give it to you, and sometimes this might be awkward.
I said: "What a beautiful cravat you wear!"
"It is yours!" he exclaimed, quickly unbuckling it; and I could not induce him to take it back again.
I am glad I did not tell his sister, who was with him and with whom I was lucky enough to get acquainted, what a beautiful white hand she had. She might have given it to me on the spot; and that, as she had soft eyes, a queenly form, and a half million or so in her own right, would have made me feel bad.
Reports reach us here of high-handed robberies by the banditti all along the road to the City of Mexico. They steal clothes as well as coin. A few days since the mail coach entered the city with all the passengers stark-naked! They must have felt mortified.
We reach San Francisco one Sunday afternoon. I am driven to the Occidental Hotel by a kind-hearted hackman, who states that inasmuch as I have come out there to amuse people, he will only charge me five dollars. I pay it in gold, of course, because greenbacks are not current on the Pacific coast.
Many of the citizens of San Francisco remember the Sabbath day to keep it jolly; and the theatres, the circus, the minstrels, and the music halls are all in full blast to-night.
I "compromise," and go to the Chinese theatre, thinking perhaps there can be no great harm in listening to worldly sentiments when expressed in a language I don't understand.
The Chinaman at the door takes my ticket with the remark, "Ki hi-hi ki! Shoolah!"
And I tell him that on the whole I think he is right.
The Chinese play is "continued," like a Ledger story, from night to night. It commences with the birth of the hero or heroine, which interesting event occurs publicly on the stage; and then follows him or her down to the grave, where it cheerfully ends.
Sometimes a Chinese play lasts six months. The play I am speaking of had been going on for about two months. The heroine had grown up into womanhood, and was on the point, as I inferred, of being married to a young Chinaman in spangled pantaloons and a long black tail. The bride's father comes in with his arms full of tea-chests, and bestows them, with his blessing, upon the happy couple. As this play is to run four months longer, however, and as my time is limited, I go away at the close of the second act, while the orchestra is performing an overture on gongs and one-stringed fiddles.
The door-keeper again says, "Ki hi-hi ki! Shoolah!" adding, this time however, "Chow-wow." I agree with him in regard to the ki hi and hi ki, but tell him I don't feel altogether certain about the chow-wow.
To Stockton from San Francisco.
Stockton is a beautiful town, that has ceased to think of becoming a very large place, and has quietly settled down into a state of serene prosperity. I have my boots repaired here by an artist who informs me that he studied in the penitentiary; and I visit the lunatic asylum, where I encounter a vivacious maniac who invites me to ride in a chariot drawn by eight lions and a rhinoceros.
John Phoenix was once stationed at Stockton, and put his mother aboard the San Francisco boat one morning with the sparkling remark, "Dear mother, be virtuous and you will be happy!"
. . . .
Forward to Sacramento—which is the capital of the State, and a very nice old town.
They had a flood here some years ago, during which several blocks of buildings sailed out of town and had never been heard from since. A Chinaman concluded to leave in a wash tub, and actually set sail in one of those fragile barks. A drowning man hailed him piteously, thus: "Throw me a rope, oh throw me a rope!" To which the Chinaman excitedly cried, "No have got—how can do?" and went on, on with the howling current. He was never seen more; but a few weeks after his tail was found by some Sabbath-school children in the north part of the State.
. . . .
I go to the mountain towns. The sensational mining days are over, but I find the people jolly and hospitable nevertheless.
At Nevada I am called upon, shortly after my arrival, by an athletic scarlet-faced man, who politely says his name is Blaze.
"I have a little bill against you, sir," he observes.
"A bill—what for?"
"Yes, sir—at my bar, I keep the well known and highly respected coffee-house down the street."
"But, my dear sir, there is a mistake—I never drank at your bar in my life."
"I know it, sir. That isn't the point. The point is this: I pay out money for good liquors, and it is people's own fault if they don't drink them. There are the liquors—do as you please about drinking them, BUT YOU MUST PAY FOR THEM! Isn't that fair?"
His enormous body (which Puck wouldn't put a girdle around for forty dollars) shook gleefully while I read this eminently original bill.
Years ago Mr. Blaze was an agent of the California Stage Company. There was a formidable and well-organized opposition to the California Stage Company at that time, and Mr. Blaze rendered them such signal service in his capacity of agent that they were very sorry when he tendered his resignation.
"You are some sixteen hundred dollars behind in your accounts, Mr. Blaze," said the President, "but in view of your faithful and efficient services we shall throw off eight hundred dollars off that amount."
Mr. Blaze seemed touched by this generosity. A tear stood in his eye and his bosom throbbed audibly.
"You WILL throw off eight hundred dollars—you WILL?" he at last cried, seizing the President's hand and pressing it passionately to his lips.
"I will," returned the President.
"Well, sir," said Mr. Blaze, "I'm a gentleman, I AM, you bet! And
I won't allow no Stage Company to surpass me in politeness. I'LL
THROW OFF THE OTHER EIGHT HUNDRED, AND WE'LL CALL IT SQUARE! No
gratitude, sir—no thanks; it is my duty."
. . . .
I get back to San Francisco in a few weeks, and am to start home
Overland from here.
The distance from Sacramento to Atchison, Kansas, by the Overland stage route, is 2200 miles, but you can happily accomplish a part of the journey by railroad. The Pacific Railroad id completed twelve miles to Folsom, leaving only 2188 miles to go by stage. This breaks the monotony; but as it is midwinter and as there are well substantiated reports of the Piute savages being in one of their sprightly moods when they scalp people, I do not I may say that I do not leave the Capital of California in a light-hearted and joyous manner. But "leaves have their time to fall," and I have my time to leave, which is now.
We ride all day and all night, and ascend and descend some of the most frightful hills I ever saw. We make Johnson's Pass, which is 6752 feet high, about two o'clock in the morning, and go down the great Kingsbury grade with locked wheels. The driver, with whom I sit outside, informs me, as we slowly roll down this fearful mountain road, which looks down on either side into an appalling ravine, that he has met accidents in his time, and cost the California Stage Company a great deal of money; "because," he says, "juries is agin us on principle, and every man who sues us is sure to recover. But it will never be so agin, not with ME, you bet."
"How is that?" I said.
It was frightfully dark. It was snowing withal, and notwithstanding the brakes were kept hard down, the coach slewed wildly, often fairly touching the brink of the black precipice.
"How is that?" I said.
"Why, you see," he replied, "that corpses never sue for damages, but maimed people do. And the next time I have a overturn I shall go round and keerfully examine the passengers. Them as is dead I shall let alone; but them as is mutilated I shall finish with the king-bolt! Dead folks don't sue. They ain't on it."
Thus with anecdote did this driver cheer me up.
We reach Carson City about nine o'clock in the morning. It is the capital of the silver-producing territory of Nevada.
They shoot folks here somewhat, and the law is rather partial than otherwise to first-class murderers.
I visit the territorial Prison, and the Warden points out the prominent convicts to me thus:
"This man's crime was horse-stealing. He is here for life."
"This man is in for murder. He is here for three years."
But shooting isn't as popular in Nevada as it once was. A few years since they used to have a dead man for breakfast every morning. A reformed desperado told my that he supposed he had killed men enough to stock a graveyard. "A feeling of remorse," he said, "sometimes comes over me! But I'm an altered man now. I hain't killed a man for over two weeks! What'll yer poison yourself with?" he added, dealing a resonant blow on the bar.
There used to live near Carson City a notorious desperado, who never visited town without killing somebody. He would call for liquor at some drinking-house, and if anybody declined joining him he would at once commence shooting. But one day he shot a man too many. Going into the St. Nicholas drinking-house he asked the company present to join him in a North American drink. One individual was rash enough to refuse. With a look of sorrow rather than anger the desperado revealed his revolver, and said, "Good God! MUST I kill a man every time I come to Carson?" and so saying he fired and killed the individual on the spot. But this was the last murder the bloodthirsty miscreant ever committed, for the aroused citizens pursued him with rifles and shot him down in his own dooryard. . . . .
I lecture in the theatre at Carson, which opens out of a drinking and gambling house. On each side of the door where my ticket-taker stands there are monte-boards and sweat-cloths, but they are deserted to-night, the gamblers being evidently of a literary turn of mind. . . . .
Five years ago there was only a pony-path over the precipitous hills on which now stands the marvelous city of Virginia, with its population of twelve thousand persons, and perhaps more. Virginia, with its stately warehouses and gay shops; its splendid streets, paved with silver ore; its banking houses and faro-banks; its attractive coffee-houses and elegant theatre, its music halls and its three daily newspapers.
Virginia is very wild, but I believe it is now pretty generally believed that a mining city must go through with a certain amount of unadulterated cussedness before it can settle down and behave itself in a conservative and seemly manner. Virginia has grown up in the heart of the richest silver regions in the world, the El Dorado of the hour; and of the immense numbers who are swarming thither not more than half carry their mother's Bible or any settled religion with them. The gambler and the strange woman as naturally seek the new sensational town as ducks take to that element which is so useful for making cocktails and bathing one's feet; and these people make the new town rather warm for a while. But by and by the earnest and honest citizens get tired of this ungodly nonsense and organize a Vigilance Committee, which hangs the more vicious of the pestiferous crowd to a sour-apple tree; and then come good municipal laws, ministers, meeting-houses, and a tolerably sober police in blue coats with brass buttons. About five thousand able-bodied men are in the mines underground, here; some as far down as five hundred feet. The Gould and Curry Mine employs nine hundred men, and annually turns out about twenty million dollars' worth of "demnition gold and silver," as Mr. Mantalini might express it, though silver chiefly.
There are many other mines here and at Gold Hill (another startling silver city, a mile from here), all of which do nearly as well. The silver is melted down into bricks of the size of common house bricks; then it is loaded into huge wagons, each drawn by eight and twelve mules, and sent off to San Francisco. To a young person fresh from the land of greenbacks this careless manner of carting off solid silver is rather a startler. It is related that a young man who came Overland from New Hampshire a few months before my arrival became so excited about it that he fell in a fit, with the name of his Uncle Amos on his lips! The hardy miners supposed he wanted his uncle there to see the great sight, and faint with him. But this was pure conjecture, after all.
. . . .
I visit several of the adjacent mining towns, but I do not go to Aurora. No, I think not. A lecturer on psychology was killed there the other night by the playful discharge of a horse-pistol in the hands of a degenerate and intoxicated Spaniard. This circumstance, and a rumor that the citizens are "agin" literature, induce me to go back to Virginia.
. . . .
I had pointed out to me at a restaurant a man who had killed four men in street broils, and who had that very day cut his own brother's breast open in a dangerous manner with a small supper knife. He was a gentleman, however. I heard him tell some men so. He admitted it himself. And I don't think he would lie about a little thing like that.
The theatre at Virginia will attract the attention of the stranger, because it is an unusually elegant affair of the kind, and would be so regarded anywhere. It was built, of course, by Mr. Thomas Maguire, the Napoleonic manager of the Pacific, and who has built over twenty theatres in his time and will perhaps build as many more, unless somebody stops him—which, by the way, will not be a remarkably easy thing to do.
As soon as a mining camp begins to assume the proportions of a city, at about the time the whiskey-vender draws his cork or the gambler spreads his green cloth, Maguire opens a theatre, and with a hastily-organized "Vigilance Committee" of actors, commences to execute Shakespeare.
My arrival at Virginia City was signalized by the following incident:
I had no sooner achieved my room in the garret of the International Hotel than I was called upon by an intoxicated man who said he was an Editor. Knowing how rare it was for an Editor to be under the blighting influence of either spiritous or malt liquors, I received this statement doubtfully. But I said:
"Wait!" he said, and went out.
I heard him pacing unsteadily up and down the hall outside. In ten minutes he returned, and said:
Pepper was indeed his name. He had been out to see if he could remember it; and he was so flushed with his success that he repeated it joyously several times, and then, with a short laugh he went away.
I had often heard of a man being "so drunk that he didn't know what town he lived in," but here was a man so hideously inebriated that he didn't know what his name was.
I saw him no more, but I heard from him. For he published a notice of my lecture, in which he said I had A DISSIPATED AIR!
When Mr. Greeley was in California ovations awaited him at every town. He had written powerful leaders in the "Tribune" in favor of the Pacific railroad, which had greatly endeared him to the citizens of the Golden State. And therefore they made much of him when he went to see them.
At one town the enthusiastic populace tore his celebrated white coat to pieces, and carried the pieces home to remember him by.
The citizens of Placerville prepared to fete the great journalist, and an extra coach, with extra relays of horses, was chartered to the California Stage Company to carry him from Folsom to Placerville—distance, forty miles. The extra was in some way delayed, and did not leave Folsom until late in the afternoon. Mr. Greeley was to be feted at 7 o'clock that evening by the citizens of Placerville, and it was altogether necessary that he should be there by that hour. So the Stage Company said to Henry Monk, the driver of the extra: "Henry, this great man must be there by 7 to-night." And Henry answered, "The great man shall be there."
The roads were in an awful state, and during the first few miles out of Folsom slow progress was made.
"Sir," said Mr. Greeley, "are you aware that I MUST be at
Placerville at 7 o'clock to-night?"
"I've got my orders!" laconically returned Henry Monk.
Still the coach dragged slowly forward.
"Sir," said Mr. Greeley, "this is not a trifling matter. I MUST be there at 7!"
Again came the answer, "I've got my orders!"
But the speed was not increased, and Mr. Greeley chafed away another half hour; when, as he was again about to remonstrate with the driver, the horses suddenly started into a furious run, and all sorts of encouraging yells filled the air from the throat of Henry Monk.
"That is right, my good fellow!" cried Mr. Greeley. "I'll give you ten dollars when we get to Placerville. Now we ARE going!"
They were indeed, and at a terrible speed.
Crack, crack! went the whip, and again "that voice" split the air.
"Git up! Hi yi! G'long! Yip—yip!"
And on they tore over stones and ruts, up hill and down, at a rate of speed never before achieved by stage horses.
Mr. Greeley, who had been bouncing from one end of the coach to the other like an india-rubber ball, managed to get his head out of the window, when he said:
"Do—on't—on't—on't you-u-u think we-e-e-e shall get there by seven if we do—on't—on't go so fast?"
"I've got my orders!" That was all Henry Monk said. And on tore the coach.
It was becoming serious. Already the journalist was extremely sore from the terrible jolting, and again his head "might have been seen" at the window.
"Sir," he said, "I don't care—care—AIR, if we DON'T get there at seven!"
"I've got my orders!" Fresh horses. Forward again, faster than before. Over rocks and stumps, on one of which the coach narrowly escaped turning a summerset.
"See here!" shrieked Mr. Greeley, "I don't care if we don't get there at all!"
"I've got my orders! I work for the California Stage Company, I do. That's wot I WORK for. They said, 'git this man through by seving.' An' this man's goin' through. You bet! Gerlong! Whoo- ep!"
Another frightful jolt, and Mr. Greeley's bald head suddenly found its way through the roof of the coach, amidst the crash of small timbers and the ripping of strong canvas.
"Stop, you —— maniac!" he roared.
Again answered Henry Monk:
"I've got my orders! KEEP YOUR SEAT, HORACE!"
At Mud Springs, a village a few miles from Placerville, they met a large delegation of the citizens of Placerville, who had come out to meet the celebrated editor, and escort him into town. There was a military company, a brass band, and a six-horse wagon load of beautiful damsels in milk-white dresses representing all the States in the Union. It was nearly dark now, but the delegation were amply provided with torches, and bonfires blazed all along the road to Placerville.
The citizens met the coach in the outskirts of Mud Springs, and Mr.
Monk reined in his foam-covered steeds.
"Is Mr. Greeley on board?" asked the chairman of the committee.
"HE WAS, A FEW MILES BACK!" said Mr. Monk; "yes," he added, after looking down through the hole which the fearful jolting had made in the coach-roof—"yes, I can see him! He is there!"
"Mr. Greeley," said the Chairman of the Committee, presenting himself at the window of the coach, "Mr. Greeley, sir! We are come to most cordially welcome you, sir—why, God bless me, sir, you are bleeding at the nose!"
"I've got my orders!" cried Mr. Monk. "My orders is as follers: Get him there by seving! It wants a quarter to seving. Stand out of the way!"
"But, sir," exclaimed the Committee-man, seizing the off leader by the reins—"Mr Monk, we are come to escort him into town! Look at the procession, sir, and the brass bands, and the people, and the young women, sir!"
"I'VE GOT MY ORDERS!" screamed Mr. Monk. "My orders don't say nothin' about no brass bands and young women. My orders says, 'git him there by seving!' Let go them lines! Clear the way there! Whoo-ep! KEEP YOUR SEAT, HORACE!" and the coach dashed wildly through the procession, upsetting a portion of the brass band, and violently grazing the wagon which contained the beautiful young women in white.
Years hence, gray-haired men, who were little boys in this procession, will tell their grandchildren how this stage tore through Mud Springs, and how Horace Greeley's bald head ever and anon showed itself, like a wild apparition, above the coach-roof.
Mr. Monk was on time. There is a tradition that Mr. Greeley was very indignant for a while; then he laughed, and finally presented Mr. Monk with a brand new suit of clothes.
Mr. Monk himself is still in the employ of the California Stage Company, and is rather fond of relating a story that has made him famous all over the Pacific coast. But he says he yields to no man in his admiration for Horace Greeley.
I leave Virginia for Great Salt Lake City, via the Reese River
There are eight passengers of us inside the coach—which, by the way, isn't a coach, but a Concord covered mud wagon.
Among the passengers is a genial man of the name of Ryder, who has achieved a widespread reputation as a strangler of unpleasant bears in the mountain fastnesses of California, and who is now an eminent Reese River miner.
We ride night and day, passing through the land of the Piute Indians. Reports reach us that fifteen hundred of these savages are on the Rampage, under the command of a red usurper named Buffalo Jim, who seems to be a sort of Jeff Davis, inasmuch as he and his followers have seceded from the regular Piut organization. The seceding savages have announced that they shall kill and scalp all pale-faces [which makes our face pale, I reckon] found loose in that section. We find the guard doubled at all the stations where we change horses, and our passengers nervously examine their pistols and readjust the long glittering knives in their belts. I feel in my pockets to see if the key which unlocks the carpet-bag containing my revolvers is all right—for I had rather brilliantly locked my deadly weapons up in that article, which was strapped with the other baggage to the rack behind. The passengers frown on me for this carelessness, but the kind-hearted Ryder gives me a small double-barrelled gun, with which I narrowly escape murdering my beloved friend Hingston in cold blood. I am not used to guns and things, and in changing the position of this weapon I pulled the trigger rather harder than was necessary.
When this wicked rebellion first broke out I was among the first— to stay at home—chiefly because of my utter ignorance of firearms. I should be valuable to the Army as a Brigadier-General only so far as the moral influence of—my name went.
. . . .
When this wicked rebellion first broke out I was among the first to stay at home -chiefly because of my utter ignorance of firearms. I should be valuable to the army as a Brigadier General only so far as the moral influence of my name went.
. . . .
However, we pass safely through the land of the Piutes, unmolested by Buffalo James. This celebrated savage can read and write, and is quite an orator, like Metamora, or the last of the Wampanoags. He went on to Washington a few years ago and called Mr. Buchanan his Great Father, and the members of the Cabinet his dear Brothers. They gave him a great many blankets, and he returned to his beautiful hunting grounds and went to killing stage drivers. He made such a fine impression upon Mr. Buchanan during his sojourn in Washington that that statesman gave a young English tourist, who crossed the plain a few years since, a letter of introduction to him. The great Indian chief read the English person's letter with considerable emotion, and then ordered him scalped, and stole his trunks.
Mr. Ryder knows me only as "Mr. Brown," and he refreshes me during the journey by quotations from my books and lectures.
"Never seen Ward?" he said.
"Ward says he likes little girls, but he likes large girls just as well. Haw, haw, haw! I should like to see the d—- fool!"
He referred to me.
He even woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me one of
. . . .
I lecture at Big Creek.
Big Creek is a straggling, wild, little village; and the house in which I had the honor of speaking a piece had no other floor than the bare earth. The roof was of sagebrush. At one end of the building a huge wood fire blazed, which, with half-a-dozen tallow-candles, afforded all the illumination desired. The lecturer spoke from behind the drinking bar. Behind him long rows of decanters glistened; above him hung pictures of race-horses and prize-fighters; and beside him, in his shirt-sleeves and wearing a cheerful smile, stood the bar-keeper. My speeches at the Bar before this had been of an elegant character, perhaps, but quite brief. They never extended beyond "I don't care if I do," "No sugar in mine," And short gems of a like character.
I had a good audience at Big Creek, who seemed to be pleased, the bar-keeper especially; for at the close of any "point" that I sought to make he would deal the counter a vigorous blow with his fist, and exclaim, "Good boy from the New England States! listen to William W. Shakespeare!"
Back to Austin. We lose our way, and hitching our horses to a tree, go in search of some human beings. The night is very dark. We soon stumble upon a camp-fire, and an unpleasantly modulated voice asks us to say our prayers, adding that we are on the point of going to Glory with our boots on. I think perhaps there may be some truth in this, as the mouth of a horse-pistol almost grazes my forehead, while immediately behind the butt of that death-dealing weapon I perceive a large man with black whiskers. Other large men begin to assemble, also with horse-pistols. Dr. Hingston hastily explains, while I go back to the carriage to say my prayers, where there is more room. The men were miners on a prospecting tour, and as we advanced upon them without sending them word they took us for highway robbers.
I must not forget to say that my brave and kind-hearted friend Ryder of the mail coach, who had so often alluded to "Ward" in our ride from Virginia to Austin, was among my hearers at Big Creek. He had discovered who I was, and informed me that he had debated whether to wollop me or give me some rich silver claims.
How was I to be greeted by the Mormons? That was rather an exciting question with me. I had been told on the plains that a certain humorous sketch of mine (written some years before) had greatly incensed the Saints, and a copy of the Sacramento "Union" newspaper had a few days before fallen into my hands in which a Salt Lake correspondent quite clearly intimated that my reception at the new Zion might be unpleasantly warm. I ate my dinner moodily and sent out for some cigars. The venerable clerk brought me six. They cost only two dollars. They were procured at a store near by. The Salt Lake House sells neither cigars nor liquors.
I smoke in my room, having no heart to mingle with the people in the office.
Dr. Hingston "thanks God he never wrote against the Mormons," and goes out in search of a brother Englishman. Comes back at night and says there is a prejudice against me. Advises me to keep in. Has heard that the Mormons thirst for my blood and are on the lookout for me.
Under these circumstances I keep in.
The next day is Sunday, and we go to the Tabernacle, in the morning. The Tabernacle is located on — street, and is a long rakish building of adobe, capable of seating some twenty-five hundred persons. There is a wide platform and a rather large pulpit at one end of the building, and at the other end is another platform for the choir. A young Irishman of the name of Sloan preaches a sensible sort of discourse, to which a Presbyterian could hardly have objected. Last night this same Mr. Sloan enacted a character in a rollicking Irish farce at the theatre! And he played it well, I was told; not so well, of course, as the great Dan Bryant could; but I fancy he was more at home in the Mormon pulpit than Daniel would have been.
The Mormons, by the way, are preeminently an amusement-loving people, and the Elders pray for the success of their theatre with as much earnestness as they pray for anything else. The congregation doesn't startle us. It is known, I fancy, that the heads of the Church are to be absent to-day, and the attendance is slim. There are no ravishingly beautiful women present, and no positively ugly ones. The men are fair to middling. They will never be slain in cold blood for their beauty, nor shut up in jail for their homeliness.
There are some good voices in the choir to-day, but the orchestral accompaniment is unusually slight. Sometimes they introduce a full brass and string band in Church. Brigham Young says the devil has monopolized the good music long enough, and it is high time the Lord had a portion of it. Therefore trombones are tooted on Sundays in Utah as well as on other days; and there are some splendid musicians there. The Orchestra in Brigham Young's theatre is quite equal to any in Broadway. There is a youth in Salt Lake City (I forget his name) who plays the cornet like a North American angel.
Mr. Stenhouse relieves me of any anxiety I had felt in regard to having my swan-like throat cut by the Danites, but thinks my wholesale denunciation of a people I had never seen was rather hasty. The following is the paragraph to which the Saints objected. It occurs in an "Artemus Ward" paper on Brigham Young, written some years ago:
"I girded up my Lions and fled the Seen. I packt up my duds and left Salt Lake, which is a 2nd Soddum and Germorer, inhabited by as theavin' & onprincipled a set of retchis as ever drew Breth in eny spot on the Globe."
I had forgotten all about this, and as Elder Stenhouse read it to me "my feelings may be better imagined than described," to use language I think I have heard before. I pleaded, however, that it was a purely burlesque sketch, and that this strong paragraph should not be interpreted literally at all. The Elder didn't seem to see it in that light, but we parted pleasantly.
I go back to my hotel and go to bed, and I do not get up again for two weary weeks. I have the mountain fever (so called in Utah, though it closely resembles the old-style typhus) and my case is pronounced dangerous. I don't regard it so. I don't, in fact, regard anything. I am all right, MYSELF. My poor Hingston shakes his head sadly, and Dr. Williamson, from Camp Douglas, pours all kinds of bitter stuff down my throat. I drink his health in a dose of the cheerful beverage known as jalap, and thresh the sheets with my hot hands. I address large assemblages, who have somehow got into my room, and I charge Dr. Williamson with the murder of Luce, and Mr. Irwin, the actor, with the murder of Shakspeare. I have a lucid spell now and then, in one of which James Townsend, the landlord, enters. He whispers, but I hear what he says far too distinctly: "This man can have anything and everything he wants; but I'm no hand for a sick room. I NEVER COULD SEE ANYBODY DIE."
That was cheering, I thought. The noble Californian, Jerome Davis -he of the celebrated ranch- sticks by me like a twin brother, although I fear that in my hot frenzy I more than once anathematised his kindly eyes. Nursers and watchers, Gentile and Mormon, volunteer their services in hoops and rare wines are sent to me from all over the city, which, if I can't drink, the venerable and excellent Thomas can, easy.
I lay there in this wild, broiling way for nearly two weeks, when one morning I woke up with my head clear and an immense plaster on my stomach. The plaster had OPERATED. I was so raw that I could by no means say to Dr. Williamson, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant". I wished he had lathed me before he plastered me. I was fearfully weak. I was frightfully thin. With either one of my legs you could have cleaned the stem of a meerschaum pipe. My backbone had the appearance of a clothesline with a quantity of English walnuts strung upon it. My face was almost gone. My nose was so sharp that I didn't dare stick it into other people's business for fear it would stay there. But by borrowing my agent's overcoat I succeeded in producing a shadow.
. . . .
I have been looking at Zion all day, and my feet are sore and my legs are weary. I go back to the Salt Lake House and have a talk with landlord Townsend about the State of Maine. He came from that bleak region, having skinned his infantile eyes in York county. He was at Nauvoo, and was forced to sell his entire property there for 50 dollars. He has thrived in Utah, however, and is much thought of by the Church. He is an Elder, and preaches occasionally. He has only two wives. I hear lately that he has sold his property for 25,000 dollars to Brigham Young, and gone to England to make converts. How impressive he may be as an expounder of the Mormon gospel, I don't know. His beefsteaks and chicken-pies, however, were first-rate. James and I talk about Maine, and cordially agree that so far as pine boards and horse-mackerel are concerned, it is equalled by few and excelled by none. There is no place like home, as Clara, the Maid of Milan, very justly observes; and while J. Townsend would be unhappy in Maine, his heart evidently beats back there now and then.
I heard the love of home oddly illustrated in Oregon, one night, in a country bar-room. Some well-dressed men, in a state of strong drink, were boasting of their respective places of nativity.
"I," said one, "was born in Mississippi, where the sun ever shines and the magnolias bloom all the happy year round."
"And I," said another, "was born in Kentucky—Kentucky, the home of impassioned oratory: the home of Clay, the State of splendid women, of gallant men!"
"And I," said another, "was born in Virginia, the home of Washington: the birthplace of statesmen: the State of chivalric deeds and noble hospitality!"
"And I," said a yellow-haired and sallow-faced man, who was not of this party at all, and who had been quietly smoking a short black pipe by the fire during their magnificent conversation—"and I was born in the garden-spot of America."
"Where is that?" they said.
"SKEOUHEGAN, MAINE!" he replied; "kin I sell you a razor strop?"
There is no mistake about that, and there is a good prospect of my staying here for some time to come. The snow is deep on the ground, and more is falling.
The Doctor looks glum, and speaks of his ill-starred countryman, of
Sir. J. Franklin, who went to the Arctic once too much.
A good thing happened down here the other day, said a miner from New Hampshire to me. "A man of Boston dressin' went through there, and at one of the stations there wasn't any mules. Says the man who was fixed out to kill in his Boston dressin', 'Where's them mules?' Says the driver, 'Them mules is into the sage brush. You go catch 'em—that's wot YOU do.' Says the man of Boston dressin', 'Oh no!' Says the driver! 'Oh, yes!' and he took his long coach-whip and licked the man of Boston dressin' till he went and caught them mules. How does that strike you for a joke?"
It didn't strike me as much of a joke to pay a hundred and seventy-five dollars in gold fare, and then be horse-whipped by stage-drivers, for declining to chase mules. But people's ideas of humor differ in regard to shrewdness which "reminds me of a little story."
Sitting in a New England country store one day I overheard the following dialogue between two brothers:
"Say, Bill, wot you done with that air sorrel mare of yourn?"
"Sold her," said William, with a smile of satisfaction.
"Wot'd you git?"
"Hund'd an' fifty dollars, cash deown!"
"Show! Hund'd an' fifty for that kickin' spavin'd critter! Who'd you sell her to?"
"Sold her to mother!"
"Wot!" exclaimed brother No. 1, "did you railly sell that kickin' spavin'd critter to mother? Wall, you AIR a shrewd one!"
A Sensation—Arrival by the Overland Stage of two Missouri girls, who had come unescorted all the way through. They are going to Nevada territory to join their father. They are pretty, but, merciful heavens! how they throw the meat and potatoes down their throats. "This is the first squar' meal we've had since we left Rocky Thompson's," said the eldest. Then addressing herself to me, she said:
"Air you the literary man?"
I politely replied that I was one of "them fellers."
"Wall, don't make fun of our clothes in the papers. We air goin' right through in these here clothes, WE air! We ain't goin' to RAG OUT till we git to Nevady! Pass them sassiges!"
Brigham Young sends word I may see him tomorrow. So I go to bed singing the popular Mormon hymn:
"Let the chorus still be sung,
Long live Brother Brigham Young,
And blessed be the vale of Desere't—ret—ret!
And blessed be the vale of Deseret."
At two o'clock the next afternoon Mr. Hiram B. Clawson, Brigham Young's son-in-law and chief business manager, calls for me with the Prophet's private sleigh, and we start for that distinguished person's block.
I am shown into the Prophet's chief office. He comes forward, greets me cordially, and introduces me to several influential Mormons who are present.
Brigham Young is 62 years old, of medium height, and with sandy hair and whiskers. An active, iron man, with a clear sharp eye. A man of consummate shrewdness—of great executive ability. He was born in the State of Vermont, and so by the way was Heber C. Kimball, who will wear the Mormon Belt when Brigham leaves the ring.
Brigham Young is a man of great natural ability. If you ask me,
How pious is he? I treat it as a conundrum, and give it up.
Personally he treated me with marked kindness throughout my sojourn
His power in Utah is quite as absolute as that of any living sovereign, yet he uses it with such consummate shrewdness that his people are passionately devoted to him.
He was an Elder at the first formal Mormon "stake" in this country, at Kirtland, Ohio, and went to Nauvoo with Joseph Smith. That distinguished Mormon handed his mantle and the Prophet business over to Brigham when he died at Nauvoo.
Smith did a more flourishing business in the Prophet line than B.Y. does. Smith used to have his little Revelation almost every day— sometimes two before dinner. B.Y. only takes one once in a while.
The gateway of his block is surmounted by a brass American eagle, and they say ("they say" here means anti-Mormons) that he receives his spiritual dispatches through this piece of patriotic poultry. They also say that he receives revelations from a stuffed white calf that is trimmed with red ribbons and kept in an iron box. I don't suppose these things are true. Rumor says that when the Lion House was ready to be shingled, Brigham received a message from the Lord stating that the carpenters must all take hold and shingle it, and not charge a red cent for their services. Such carpenters as refused to shingle would go to hell, and no postponement on account of the weather. They say that Brigham, whenever a train of emigrants arrives in Salt Lake City, orders all the women to march up and down before his block, while he stands on the portico of the Lion House and gobbles up the prettiest ones.
He is an immensely wealthy man. His wealth is variously estimated at from ten to twenty millions of dollars. He owns saw mills, grist mills, woollen factories, brass and iron foundries, farms, brick-yards, &c., and superintends them all in person. A man in Utah individually owns what he grows and makes, with the exception of a one-tenth part: that must go to the Church; and Brigham Young, as the first President, is the Church's treasurer. Gentiles, of course, say that he abuses this blind confidence of his people, and speculates with their money, and absorbs the interest if he doesn't the principle. The Mormons deny this, and say that whatever of their money he does use is for the good of the Church; that he defrays the expenses of emigrants from far over the seas; that he is foremost in all local enterprises tending to develop the resources of the territory, an that, in short, he is incapable of wrong in any shape.
Nobody seems to know how many wives Brigham Young has. Some set the number as high as eighty, in which case his children must be too numerous to mention. Each wife has a room to herself. These rooms are large and airy, and I suppose they are supplied with all the modern improvements. But never having been invited to visit them I can't speak very definitely about this. When I left the Prophet he shook me cordially by the hand, and invited me to call again. This was flattering, because if he dislikes a man at the first interview he never sees him again. He made no allusion to the "letter" I had written about his community. Outside guards were pacing up and down before the gateway, but they smiled upon me sweetly. The veranda was crowded with Gentile miners, who seemed to be surprised that I didn't return in a wooden overcoat, with my throat neatly laid open from ear to ear.
Nobody seems to know how many wives Brigham Young has. Some set the number as high as eighty, in which case his children must be too numerous to mention. Each wife has a room to herself, These rooms are large ans airy, and I suppose they are supplied with all the modern improvements. But never having been invited to visit them, I can't speak very definitely about this. When I left the Prophet he shook me cordially by the hand, and invited me to call again. This was flattering, because if he dislikes a man at the first interview he never sees him again. He made no allusion to the "letter" I had written about his community. Outside guards were pacing up and down before the gateway, but they smiled upon me sweetly. The verandah was crowded with Gentile miners, who seemed to be surprised that I didn't return in a wooden overcoat, with my throat neatly laid open from ear to ear.
. . . .
I go to the Theatre to-night. The play is Othello. This is a really fine play and was a favourite of G. Washington, the father of his country. On this stage, as upon all stages, the good old conventionalities are strictly adhered to. The actors cross each other at oblique angles from L.U.E. to R. I. E. on the slightest provocation. Othello howls, Iago scowls, and the boys all laugh when Roderigo dies. I stay to see charming Mrs. Irwin (Desdemona) die, which she does very sweetly.
. . . .
I was an actor once, myself. I supported Edwin Forrest at a theatre in Philadelphia. I played a pantomimic part. I removed the chairs between scenes, and I did it so neatly that Mr. F. said I would make a cabinet-maker if I "applied" myself.
. . . .
The parquette of the theatre is occupied exclusively by the Mormons and their wives and children. They wouldn't let a Gentile in there any more than they would a serpent. In the side seats are those of President Young's wives who go the play, and a large and varied assortment of children. It is an odd sight to see a jovial old Mormon file down the parquette aisle with ten or twenty robust wives at his heels. Yet this spectacle may be witnessed every night the theatre is opened. The dress circle is chiefly occupied by the officers from Camp Douglas and the Gentile Merchants. The upper circles are filled by the private soldiers and Mormon boys. I feel bound to say that a Mormon audience is quite as appreciative as any other kind of an audience. They prefer comedy to tragedy. Sentimental plays, for obvious reasons, are unpopular with them. It will be remembered that when C. Melnotte, in the Lady of Lyons, comes home from the wars, he folds Pauline to his heaving heart and makes several remarks of an impassioned and slobbering character. One night when the Lady of Lyons was produced here, an aged Mormon arose and went out with his twenty-four wives, angrily stating that he wouldn't sit and see a play where a man made such a CUSSED FUSS OVER ONE WOMAN. The prices of the theatre are: Parquette, 75 cents; second and third upper circles, 25 cents. In an audience of two thousand persons (and there are almost always that number present probably a thousand will pay in cash, and the other thousand in grain and a variety of articles; all of which will command money however.
Brigham Young usually sits in the middle of the parquette, in a rocking-chair, and with his hat on. He does not escort his wives to the theatre. They go alone. When the play drags he either falls into a tranquil sleep or walks out. He wears in winter time a green wrapper, and his hat in the style introduced into this country by Louis Kossuth, Esq. the liberator of Hungaria. I invested a dollar in the liberty of Hungaria nearly fifteen years ago.
A piece hath its victories no less than war.
"Blessed are the Piece-makers." That is Scripture.
The night of the "comic oration" is come, and the speaker is arranging his back hair in the star dressing-room of the theatre. The orchestra is playing selections from the Gentile opera of "Un Ballo in Maschera," and the house is full. Mr. John F. Caine, the excellent stage manager, has given me an elegant drawing-room scene in which to speak my little piece.
[In Iowa, I once lectured in a theatre, and the heartless manager gave me a dungeon scene.]
The curtain goes up, and I stand before a Salt Lake of upturned faces.
I can only say that I was never listened to more attentively and kindly in my life than I was by this audience of Mormons.
Among my receipts at the box-office this night were—
20 bushels of wheat. 5 bushels of corn. 4 bushels of potatoes. 2 bushels of oats. 4 bushels of salt. 2 hams. 1 live pig (Dr. Hingston chained him in the box-office.) 1 wolf-skin. 5 pounds of honey in the comb. 16 strings of sausages—2 pounds to the string. 1 cat-skin. 1 churn (two families went in on this; it is an ingenious churn, and fetches butter in five minutes by rapid grinding.) 1 set of children's under-garments, embroidered. 1 firkin of butter. 1 keg of apple-sauce.
One man undertook to pass a dog (a cross between a Scotch terrier and a Welsh rabbit) at the box-office, and another presented a German-silver coffin-plate, but the Doctor very justly repulsed them both.
The Mormons are fond of dancing. Brigham and Heber C. dance. So do Daniel H. Wells, and the other heads of the Church. Balls are opened with prayer, and when they break up a benediction is pronounced.
I am invited to a ball at Social Hall, and am escorted thither by
Brothers Stenhouse and Clawson.
Social Hall is a spacious and cheerful room. The motto of "Our Mountain Home" in brilliant evergreen capitals adorns one end of the hall, while at the other a platform is erected for the musicians, behind whom there is room for those who don't dance to sit and look at the festivities. Brother Stenhouse, at the request of President Young, formally introduces me to company from the platform. There is a splendor of costumery about the dancers I had not expected to see. Quadrilles only are danced. The mazourka is considered sinful. Even the old-time round waltz is tabooed.
The Saints address each other here, as elsewhere, as Brother and Sister. "This way, Sister!" "Where are you going, Brother?" &c., &c. I am called Brother Ward. This pleases me, and I dance with renewed vigor.
The Prophet has some very charming daughters, several of whom are present to-night.
I was told they spoke French and Spanish.
The Prophet is more industrious than graceful as a dancer. He exhibits, however, a spryness of legs quite remarkable in a man at his time of life. I didn't see Heber C. Kimball on the floor. I am told he is a loose and reckless dancer, and that many a lily-white toe has felt the crushing weight of his cow-hide monitors.
The old gentleman is present, however, with a large number of wives. It is said he calls them his "heifers."
"Ain't you goin' to dance with some of my wives?" said a Mormon to me.
These things make a Mormon ball more spicy than a Gentile one.
The supper is sumptuous, and bear and beaver adorn the bill of fare.
I go away at the early hour of two in the morning. The moon is shining brightly on the snow-covered streets. The lamps are out, and the town is still as a graveyard.
There is an eccentric Mormon at Salt Lake City of the name of W.W. Phelps. He is from Cortland, State of New York, and has been a Saint for a good many years. It is said he enacts the character of the Devil, with a pea-green tail, in the Mormon initiation ceremonies. He also published an almanac, in which he blends astronomy with short moral essays, and suggestions in regard to the proper management of hens. He also contributes a poem, entitled "The Tombs," to his almanac for the current year, from which I quote the last verse:—
"Choose ye: to rest with stately grooms;
Just such a place there is for sleeping;
Where everything, in common keeping,
Is free from want and worth and weeping;
There folly's harvest is a reaping.
Down in the grave among the tombs."
Now, I know that poets and tin-pedlars are "licensed," but why does
W.W.P. advise us to sleep in the barn with the ostlers? These are
the most dismal tombs on record, not except the Tomb of the
Capulets, the Tombs of New York, or the Toombs of Georgia.
Under the head of "OLD Sayings," Mr. P. publishes the following. There is a modesty about the last "saying" which will be pretty apt to strike the reader:—
"The Lord does good and Satan evil, said Moses.
Sun and moon, see me conquer, said Joshua.
Virtue exalts a woman, said David.
Fools and folly frolic, said Solomon.
Judgments belong to God, said Isaiah.
The path of the just is plain, said Jeremiah.
The soul that sins dies, said Ezekiel.
The wicked do wicked, said Daniel.
Ephraim fled and hid, said Hosea.
The Gentiles war and waste, said Joel.
The second reign is peace and plenty, said Amos.
Zion is the house of the gods, said Obadiah,
A fish saved me, said Jonah.
Our Lion will be terrible, said Micah.
Doctor, cure yourself, said the Saviour.
Live to live again, said W.W. Phelps."
TIME, Wednesday afternoon, February 10. The Overland Stage, Mr. William Glover on the box, stands before the veranda of the Salt Lake House. The genial Nat Stein is arranging the waybill. Our baggage (the Overland passenger is allowed twenty-five pounds) is being put aboard, and we are shaking hands, at a rate altogether furious, with Mormon and Gentile. Among the former are Brothers Stenhouse, Caine, Clawson and Townsend; among the latter are Harry Riccard, the big-hearted English mountaineer (though once he wore white kids and swallow-tails in Regent Street, and in boyhood went to school with Miss Edgeworth, the novelist), the daring explorer Rood, from Wisconsin; th e Rev. James McCormick, missionary, who distributes pasteboard tracts among the Bannock miners; and the pleasing child of gore, Captain D. B. Stover, of the commissary department.
We go away on wheels, but the deep snow compels us to substitute runners twelve miles out.
There are four passengers of us. We pierce the Wahsatch mountains by Parley's canyon.
A snowstorm overtakes us as the night thickens, and the wind shrieks like a brigade of strong-lunged maniacs. Never mind. We are well covered up- our cigars are good. I have on deerskin pantaloons, a deerskin overcoat, a beaver cap and buffalo overshoes; and so, as I tersely observed before, Never mind. Let us laugh the winds to scorn, brave boys! But why is William Glover, driver, lying flat on his back by the roadside; and why am I turning a handspring in the road; and why are the horses tearing wildly down the Wahsatch mountains? It is because William Glover has been thrown from his seat, and the horses are running away. I see him fall off and it occurs to me I had better get out. In doing so, such is the velocity of the sleigh, I turn a handspring.
Far ahead I hear the runners clash with the rocks, and I see Dr. Hingston's lantern (he always would have a lantern), bobbing about like the binnacle light of an oyster sloop, very loose in a choppy sea. Therefore I do not laugh the winds to scorn as much as I did, brave boys.
William G. is not hurt, and together we trudge on after the runaways in the hope of overtaking them, which we do some two miles off. They are in a snowbank, and "nobody hurt".
We are soon on the road again, all serene; though I believe the Doctor did observe that such a thing would not have occurred under a monarchial form of government.
We reach Weber station, thirty miles from Salt Lake City and wildly situated at the foot of the grand Echo Canyon, at 3 o'clock the following morning. We remain over a day here with James Bromley, agent of the Overland Stage line, and who is better known on the plains than Shakspeare is; although Shakspeare has done a good deal for the stage. James Bromley has seen the Overland line grow up from its ponyicy; and as Fitz-Green Halleck happily observes, none know him BUT TO LIKE HIS STYLE. He was intended for an agent. In his infancy he used to lisp the refrain,
"I want to be an agent,
And with the agents stand."
I part with this kind-hearted gentleman, to whose industry and ability the Overland line owes much of its success, with sincere regret; and I hope he will soon get rich enough to transplant his charming wife from the desert to the "White settlements".
Forward to Fort Bridger, in an open sleigh. Night clear, cold, and moonlit. Driver Mr. Samuel Smart. Through Echo Canyon to Hanging Rock Station. The snow is very deep, there is no path, and we literally shovel our way to Robert Pollock's station, which we achieve in the Course of Time. Mr. P. gets up and kindles a fire, and a snowy nightcap and a pair of very bright black eyes beam upon us from the bed. That is Mrs. Robert Pollock. The log cabin is a comfortable one. I make coffee in my French coffee-pot, and let loose some of the roast chickens in my basket. (Tired of fried bacon saleratus bread—the principle bill of fare at the stations —we had supplied ourselves with chicken, boiled ham, onions, sausages, sea bread, canned butter, cheese, honey, &c. &c., an example all Overland traders would do well to follow.) Mrs. Pollock tells me where I can find cream for the coffee, and cups and saucers for the same, and appears so kind, that I regret our stay is so limited that we can't see more of her.
On to Yellow Creek Station. Then Needle Rock—a desolate hut on the Desert, house and barn in one building. The station-keeper is a miserable, toothless wretch, with shaggy yellow hair, but says he's going to get married. I think I see him.
To Bear River. A pleasant Mormon named Myers this station, and he gives us a first-rate breakfast, Robert Curtis takes the reins from Mr. Smart here, and we get on to wheels again. Begin to see groups of trees- a new sight to us.
Pass Quaking Asp Springs and Muddy to Fort Bridger. Here are a group of white buildings, built round a plaza, across the middle of which runs a creek. There are a few hundred troops here under the command of Major Gallergher, a gallant officer and a gentleman, well worth knowing. We stay here two days.
We are on the road again, Sunday the 14th, with a driver of the highly floral name of Primrose. At 7 the next morning we reach Green River Station, and enter Idaho Territory. This is the Bitter Creek division of the Overland route, of which we had heard so many unfavorable stories. The division is really well managed by Mr. Stewart, though the country through which it stretches is the most wretched I ever saw. The water is liquid alkali, and the roads are soft sand. The snow is gone now, and the dust is thick and blinding. So drearily, wearily we drag onward.
We reach the summit of the Rocky Mountains at midnight on the 17th. The climate changes suddenly, and the cold is intense. We resume runners, have a breakdown, and are forced to walk four miles.
I remember that one of the numerous reasons urged in favor of General Fremont's election to the Presidency in 1856 was his finding the path across the Rocky Mountains. I wrung my frostbitten hands on that dreadful night, and declared that for me to deliberately go over that path in mid-winter was a sufficient reason for my election to any lunatic asylum, by an overwhelming vote. Dr. Hingston made a similar remark, and wondered if he should ever clink glasses with his friend Lord Palmerston again.
Another sensation. Not comic this time. One of our passengers, a fair-haired German boy, whose sweet ways had quite won us all, sank on the snow, and said—Let me sleep. We knew only too well what that meant, and tried hard to rouse him. It was in vain. Let me sleep, he said. And so in the cold starlight he died. We took him up tenderly from the snow, and bore him to the sleigh that awaited us by the roadside, some two miles away. The new moon was shining now, and the smile on the sweet white face told how painlessly the poor boy had died. No one knew him. He was from the Bannock mines, was ill-clad, had no baggage or money, and his fare was paid to Denver. He had said that he was going back to Germany. That was all we knew. So at sunrise the next morning we buried him at the foot of the grand mountains that are snow-covered and icy all the year round, far away from the Faderland, where it may be, some poor mother is crying for her darling who will not come.
. . . .
We strike the North Platte on the 18th. The fare at the stations is daily improving, and we often have antelope steaks now. They tell us of eggs not far off, and we encourage (by a process not wholly unconnected with bottles) the drivers to keep their mules in motion.
Antelopes by the thousand can be seen racing the plains from the coach windows.
At Elk Mountain we encounter a religious driver named Edward Whitney, who never swears at the mules. This has made him distinguished all over the plains. This pious driver tried to convert the Doctor, but I am mortified to say that his efforts were not crowned with success, Fort Halleck is a mile from Elk, and here are some troops of the Ohio 11th regiment, under the command of Major Thomas L. Mackey.
On the 20th we reach Rocky Thomas's justly celebrated station at 5 in the morning, and have a breakfast of hashed black-tailed deer, antelope steaks, ham, boiled bear, honey, eggs, coffee, tea, and cream. That was the squarest meal on the road except at Weber. Mr. Thomas is a Baltimore "slosher," he informed me. I don't know what that is, but he is a good fellow, and gave us a breakfast fir for a lord, emperor, czar, count, &c. A better couldn't be found at Delmonicp's or Parker's. He pressed me to linger with him for a few days and shoot bears. It was with several pangs that I declined the generous Baltimorean's invitation.
To Virginia Dale. Weather clear and bright. Virginia Dale is a pretty spot, as it ought to be with such a pretty name; but I treated with no little scorn the advice of a hunter I met there, who told me to give up "literatoor," form a matrimonial alliance with some squaws, and "settle down thar."
Bannock on the brain! That is what is the matter now. Wagon-load after wagon-load of emigrants, bound to the new Idaho gold regions, meet us every hour. Canvas-covered and drawn for the most part by fine large mules, they make a pleasant panorama, as they stretch slowly over the plains and uplands. We strike the South Platte Sunday, 21st, and breakfast at Latham, a station of one-horse proportions. We are now in Colorado ("Pike's Peak"), and we diverge from the main route here and visit the flourishing and beautiful city of Denver. Messrs, Langrish & Dougherty, who have so long and so admirably catered to the amusement lovers of the Far West, kindly withdrew their dramatic corps for a night, and allow me to use their pretty little theatre.
We go to the mountains from Denver, visiting the celebrated gold-mining towns of Black Hawk and Central City. I leave this queen of all the territories, quite firmly believing that its future is to be no less brilliant than its past has been.
I had almost forgotten to mention that on the way from Latham to Denver Dr. Hingston and Dr. Seaton (late a highly admired physician and surgeon in Kentucky, and now a prosperous gold miner) had a learned discussion as to the formation of the membranes of the human stomach, in which they used words that were over a foot long by actual measurement. I have never heard such splendid words in my life; but such were their grandiloquent profundity, and their far-reaching lucidity, that I understood rather less about it when they had finished than I did when they commenced.
. . . .
Back to Latham again over a marshy road, and on to Nebraska by the main stage-line.
I meet Col. Chivington, commander of the district of Colorado, at
Col. Chivington is a Methodist clergyman, and was once a presiding elder. A thoughtful, earnest man, an eloquent preacher, a sincere believer in the war, he, of course brings to his new position a great deal of enthusiasm. This, with his natural military tact, makes him an officer of rare ability; and on more occasions than one he has led his troops against the enemy with resistless skill and gallantry. I take the liberty of calling the President's attention to the fact that this brave man ought to have long ago been a brigadier-general.
Col. Chivington vanquished the rebels with his brave Colorado troops, in New Mexico last year, as most people know. At the commencement of the action, which was hotly contested, a shell from the enemy exploded near him, tearing up the ground, and causing Captain Rogers to swear in an awful manner.
"Captain Rogers," said the Colonel, " gentlemen do not swear on a solemn occasion like this. We may fall, but falling in a glorious cause, let us die as Christians, not as rowdies, with oaths upon our lips. Captain Rogers, let us -"
Another shell, a sprightlier one than its predecessor, tears the earth fearfully in the immediate vicinity of Col. Chivington, filling his eyes with dirt and knocking off his hat.
"Why, G- d- Their souls to h- ," he roared, "they've put my eyes out- AS CAPTAIN ROGERS WOULD SAY!"
But the Colonel's eyes were not seriously damaged, and he went in.
Went in, and came out victorious.
. . . .
We reach Julesberg, Colorado, the 1st of March. We are in the country of the Sioux Indians now, and encounter them by the hundred. A Chief offers to sell me his daughter (a fair young Indian maiden) for six dollars and two quarts of whisky. I decline to trade.
Meals which have hitherto been 1 dol. Are now 75 cents. Eggs appear on the table occasionally, and we hear of chickens farther on. Nine miles from here we enter Nebraska territory. Here is an occasionally fenced farm, and the ranches have bar-rooms. Buffalo skins and buffalo tongues are on sale at most of the stations. We reach South Platte on the 2d, and Fort Kearney on the 3d. The 7th Iowa Calvary are here, under the command of Captain Wood. At Cottonwood, a days ride back, we had taken aboard Major O'Brien, commanding the troops there, and a jovial warrior he is, too.
Meals are now down to 50 cents, and a good deal better than when they were 1 dol.
KANSAS, 105 miles from Atchison. Atchison! No traveller by sea ever longed to set his foot on shore as we longed to reach the end of our dreary coach-ride over the wildest part of the whole continent. How we talked Atchison, and dreamed Atchison, for the next fifty hours! Atchison, I shall always love you. You were evidently mistaken, Atchison, when you told me that in case I "lectured" there, immense crowds would throng to the hall; but you are very dear to me. Let me kiss you for your maternal parent!
We are passing through the reservation of the Otoe Indians, who long ago washed the war-paint from their faces, buried the tomahawk, and settled down into quiet, prosperous farmers.
. . . .
We rattle leisurely into Atchison on a Sunday evening. Lights gleam in the windows of milk-white churches, and they tell us, far better than anything else could, that we are back to civilization again.
An overland journey in winter is a better thing to have done than to do. In the spring, however, when the grass is green on the great prairies, I fancy one might make the journey a pleasant one, with his own outfit and a few choice friends.
Are the Mormon women happy?
I give it up. I don't know.
It is at Great Salt Lake City as it is at Boston. If I go out to tea at the Wilkinses in Boston, I'm pretty sure to find Mr. Wilkins all smiles and Sunshine, or Mrs. Wilkins all gentleness and politeness. I am entertained delightfully, and after tea little Miss Wilkins shows me her photograph album, and plays the march from "Faust" on the piano for me. I go away highly pleased with my visit; and yet the Wilkinses may fight like cats and dogs in private. I may no sooner have struck the sidewalk than Mr. W. will be reaching for Mrs. W's throat.
This is the City of Saints. Apparently, the Mormon women are happy. I saw them at their best, of course—at balls, tea-parties and the like. They were like other women as far as my observation extended. They were hooped, and furbelowed, and shod, and white- collard, and bejewelled; and like women all over the world, they were softer-eyed and kinder-hearted than men can ever hope to be.
The Mormon girl is reared to believe that the plurality-wife system as it is delicately called here is strictly right; and in linking her destiny with a man who has twelve wives, she undoubtedly considers she is doing her duty. She loves the man, probably, for I think it is not true, as so many writers have stated, that girls are forced to marry whomsoever "the Church" may dictate. Some parents no doubt advise, connive, threaten, and in aggravated cases incarcerate here, as some parents have always done elsewhere, and always will do as long as petticoats continue to be an institution.
How these dozen or twenty wives get along without heart-burnings and hairpullings I can't see.
There are instances on record, you know, where a man don't live in a state of uninterrupted bliss with ONE wife. And to say that a man can possess twenty wives without having his special favorite, or favorites, is to say that he is an angel in boots—which is something I have never been introduced to. You never saw an angel with a Beard, although you may have seen the Bearded Woman.
The Mormon woman is early taught that man, being created in the image of the Saviour, is far more godly than she can ever be, and that for her to seek to monopolize his affections is a species of rank sin. So she shares his affections with five or six or twenty other women, as the case may be.
A man must be amply able to support a number of wives before he can take them. Hence, perhaps, it is that so many old chaps in Utah have young and blooming wives in their seraglios, and so many young men have only one.
I had a man pointed out to me who married an entire family. He had originally intended to marry Jane, but Jane did not want to leave her widowed mother. The other three sisters were not in the matrimonial market for the same reason; so this gallant man married the whole crowd, including the girl's grandmother, who had lost all her teeth, and had to be fed with a spoon. The family were in indigent circumstances, and they could not but congratulate themselves on securing a wealthy husband. It seemed to affect the grandmother deeply, for the first words she said on reaching her new home were: "Now, thank God! I shall have my gruel reg'lar!"
The name of Joseph Smith is worshipped in Utah; and, "they say," that although he had been dead a good many years, he still keeps on marrying women by proxy. He "reveals" who shall act as his earthly agent in this matter, and the agent faithfully executes the defunct Prophet's commands.
A few years ago I read about a couple being married by telegraph— the young man was in Cincinatti and the young woman was in New Hampshire. They did not see each other for a year afterwards. I don't see what fun there is in this sort of thing.
I have somewhere stated that Brigham Young is said to have eighty wives. I hardly think he has so many. Mr. Hyde, the backslider, says in his book that "Brigham always sleeps by himself, in a little chamber behind his office;" and if he has eighty wives I don't blame him. He must be bewildered. I know very well that if I had eighty wives of my bosom I should be confused, and shouldn't sleep anywhere. I undertook to count the long stockings, on the clothes-line, in his back yard one day, and I used up the multiplication table in less than half an hour. It made me dizzy— it did!
In this book I am writing chiefly of what I saw. I saw plurality at its best. I have shown the silver lining of this great social cloud. That back of this silver lining the cloud must be thick and black, I feel quite sure. But to elaborately denounce, at this late day, a system we all know must be wildly wrong, would be simply to impeach the intelligence of the readers of this book.
I have not troubled the reader with extracts from Mormon documents. The Book of Mormon is ponderous, but gloomy, and at times incoherent; and I will not, by any means, quote from that. But the Revelation of Joseph Smith in regard to the absorbing question of plurality or polygamy may be of sufficient interest to reproduce here. The reader has my full consent to form his own opinion of it:—
Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; as also Moses, David, and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines: Behold! and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter: therefore prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same; for behold! I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant, and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory; for all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as was instituted from before the foundations of the world; and as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof, must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.
And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations or expectations, that are not made, and entered into, and sealed, by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that, too, most holy, by revelation and commandment, through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.
Behold! Mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion. Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord, that is not made in my name? Or will I receive at your hands that which I have not appointed? And will I appoint unto you, saith the Lord, except it be by law, even as I and my Father ordained unto you, before the world was? I am the Lord thy God, and I give unto you this commandment, that no man shall come unto the Father but by me, or by my word, which is my law, saith the Lord; and everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me, or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God; for what soever things remaineth are by me, and whatsoever things are not by me, shall be shaken and destroyed.
Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me, nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world, and she with him, their covenant and marriage is not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world: therefore when they are out of the world, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory; for these angels did not abide my law, therefore they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately, and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity, and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God for ever and ever.
And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid, neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world, it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory, for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.
And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood, and it shall be said unto them, Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths, then shall it be written in the Lamb's Book of Life that he shall commit no murder, whereby to shed innocent blood; and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them in time and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world, and they shall pass by the angels and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds for ever and ever.
Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law, ye cannot attain to this glory; for straight is the gate, and narrow the way, that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world, neither do ye know me. But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation, that where I am, ye shall be also. This is eternal life to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law. Broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to the death, and many there are that go in thereat, because they receive me not, neither do they abide in my law.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies; and if they commit no murder, wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan, unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.
The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder, wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God: and he that abideth not this law can in no wise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.
I am the Lord thy God, and will give unto thee the law of my holy priesthood, as was ordained by me and my Father before the world was. Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation, and sitteth upon his throne.
Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins—from whose loins ye are, viz., my servant Joseph—which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed out of the world, they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore, ye could not number them. This promise is yours also because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham, and by this law are the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein he glorifieth himself. Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law, and ye shall be saved. But if ye enter not into my law, ye cannot receive the promises of my Father, which he made unto Abraham.
God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law, and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises. Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily, I say unto you, NAY; for the Lord commanded it. Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless it was written, Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.
Abraham received concubines, and they bare him children, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac, also, and Jacob, did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones; and are not angels, but are gods. David also received many wives and concubines, as also Solomon and Moses my servant, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time, and in nothing did they sin, save in those things which they received not of me.
David's wives and concubines were given unto him of me by the hand of Nathan my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me, save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore, he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.
I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, by appointment, and restore all things; ask what ye will, and it shall be given unto you, according to my word; and as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery, and shall be destroyed. If she be not in the new and everlasting covenant, and she be with another man, she has committed adultery; and if her husband be with another woman, and he was under a vow, he hath broken his vow, and hath committed adultery; and if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent, and hath not broken her vow, and knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my holy priesthood, to take her, and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery, but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many; for I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the priesthood, wherein I restore all things and make own unto you all things in due time.
And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you remit on earth, shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you retain on earth, shall be retained in heaven.
And again, verily, I say, whomsoever you bless, I will bless, and whomsoever you curse, I will curse, saith the Lord; for I, the Lord, am thy God.
And again, verily, I say unto you, my servant Joseph, that whatsoever you give on earth, and to whomsoever you give any one on earth, by my word and according to my law, it shall be visited with blessings and not cursings, and with my power, saith the Lord, and shall be without condemnation on earth and in heaven, for I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father. Behold! I have seen your sacrifices, and will forgive all your sin; I have seen your sacrifices, in obedience to that which I have told you; go, therefore, and I make a way for your escape, as I accepted the offering of Abraham of his son Isaac.
Verily, I say unto you, a commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself, and partake of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand by covenant and sacrifice; and let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God; for I am the Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my voice; and I give unto my servant Joseph, that he shall be made ruler over many things, for he hath been faithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him.
And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment, she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord, for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law: but if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, as he hath said; and I will bless him, and multiply him, and give unto him an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds. And again, verily I say, let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespasses, and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, wherein she hath trespassed against me; and I, the Lord thy God, will bless her, and multiply her, and make her heart to rejoice.
And again, I say, let not my servant Joseph put his property out of his hands, lest an enemy come and destroy him—for Satan seeketh to destroy—for I am the Lord thy God, and he is my servant; and behold! and lo, I am with him, as I was with Abraham thy father, even unto his exaltation and glory.
Now, as touching the law of the priesthood, there are many things pertaining thereunto. Verily, if a man be called of my Father, as was Aaron, by mine own voice, and by the voice of him that sent me, and I have endowed him with the keys of the power of this priesthood, if he do anything in my name, and according to my law, and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him. Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph, for I will justify him: for he shall do the sacrifice which I require at his hands, for his transgressions, saith the Lord your God.
And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood; if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent; and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery, for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him, and to none else; and if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.
And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law. Therefore it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor, and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law, when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. And, now as pertaining to this law, verily, verily, I say unto you I will reveal more unto you hereafter, therefore let this suffice for the present. Behold! I am Alpha and Omega. AMEN.