Artemus Ward visits Brigham Young.
It is now going on too (2) yeres, as I very well remember, since I crossed the Planes for Kali-forny, the Brite land of gold. While crossin the Planes all so bold, I fell in with some noble red men of the forest (N. B. This is rote Sarcasti-cul. Injins is Pizin, whar ever found,) which they said I was their Brother, & wantid to smoke the Calomel of Peace with me. They then stole my jerkt beef, blankits, etsettery, skalpt my orgin grinder & Skooted with a Wild Hoop. Durin the Cheaf’s techin speech, he sed he shood meet me in the Happy Huntin Grounds. If he duz, thare will be a fite. But enuff of this ere. Reven Noose Muttons, as our skoolmaster, who has got Talent into him, cussycally obsarves.
I arrove at Salt Lake in doo time. At Camp Scott thare was a lot of U. S. sojers, hosstensibly sent out thare to smash the mormins, but really to eat Salt vittles & play poker and other beauti-ful but somewhat onsartain games. I got ac-quainted with some of the officers. They lookt putty scrumpshus in their Bloo coats with brass buttons on to um, & ware very talented drinkers; but, so fur as fiting is consarned, Ide willinly put my wax figgers agin the whole party.
My desire was to exhibit my grate show in Salt Lake City, so I called on Brigham Yung, the grate mogull among the mormins, and axed his permishun to pitch my tent ann onfurl my ban-ner to the gentle breezes. He lookt at me in an austeer manner for a few minits & sed:
"Do you bleeve in Solomon, St. Paul, the Im-maculateness of the Mormin Church and the Lat-terday Revelashuns?"
Sez I, "Ime on it!" I make it a pint to git along plesunt, tho I didn't know what under the Son the old feller was drivin at. He sed I mite show.
"You air a marrid man, Mistur Yung, I bleave?" sez I, preparin to rite him sum free parsis.
"I hev eighty wives, Mister Ward. I certain-ly am marrid."
"How do you like it as fur as you hev got?" sed I.
He sed "Middlin," and axed me wouldn't I like to see his famerly, to which I replied that I wouldn't mind minglin with the fair Seek & Bar-skin in the winnin smiles of his interestin wives. He accordingly tuk me to his Scareum. The house is powerful big & in a excedin large room was his wives and children, wich larst was squawkin and hollerin enuff to take the roof rite orf the house. The wimin was of all sizes nnd ages. Sum was pretty and sum was plane, some was healthy and sum was on the Wayne—which is verses, tho sich was not my intenshuns, as I don't approve of puttin verses in Prose riting, tho ef occashun requires, I can Jerk a Poim ekal to eny of them Atlantic Munthly fellers.
"My wives, Mister Ward," said Yung.
"Your sarvant, marms," sed I, as I sot down in a cheer which a red heded female brawt me.
"Besides these wives you see here, Mister Ward," sed Yung, "I have eighty more in varis parts of this consecrated land which are Sealed to me."
"Which?" sez I, gittin up and starin at him.
"Sealed, Sir, sealed."
"Whare bowts?" sez I.
"I sed, Sir, that they was sealed." He spoke in a traggerdy voice.
"Will they probably continue on in that stile to any great extent, Sir?" I axed.
"Sir," sed he, turnin as red as a biled beat, "don't you know that the rules of our Church is that I, the Profit, may hev as meny wives as I wants?"
"Jes so," I sed. "You air old pie, ain't you?"
"Them as is Sealed to me—that is to say, to be mine when I wants um—air at present my sperretooul wives," sed Mister Yung.
"Long may they wave!" sez I, seein I shood git into a scrape ef I didn't look out.
In a privit conversashun with Brigham, I lernt the follerin fax: It takes six weeks to kiss his wives. He don't do it only onct a year, and sez it is wuss nor cleanin house. He don't pretend to know his children, thare is so many of um, tho they all know him. He says about every child he meets calls him Par, and he takes it for granted it is so. His wives air very expensiv. Thay allers want suthin' & ef he don't buy it for um they set the house in an uproar. He sez he don't hev a minits peace. His wives fite among themselves so much that he has bilt a fitin room for thare speshul benefit & when too of um git into a row he hes um turned loose into that place, whare the dispoot is settled according to the rules of the London prize ring. Sumtimes thay abooz hisself individooally. Thay hev pull-ed the most of his hair out at the roots and he wares meny a horrible scar upon his body, in-flicted with mop-handles, broom-sticks and sich.
Occashunaly thay git mad and scold him with bilin hot water. When he got eny waze cranky they'd shet him up in a dark closit, previsly whippin him arter the stile of mothers when thare orfsprings git onruly. Sumtimes when he went in swimmin thay'd go to the banks of the Lake & steal all his close, tharby compellin him to sneek home by a circuitous rowt, dresst in the Skanderlus stile of the Greek Slaiv. "I find that the keers of a marrid life way hevy onto me," sed the Profit, "and sumtimes I wish Ide remaned single." I left the Profit and started for the tavern whare I put up to. On my way I over-tuk by a large crowd of Mormins, which thay surrounded me & statid that thay was goin into the Show free.
"Wall," sez I, "ef I find a individooul who is going round lettin folks into his show free, Ile let you know."
"We've had a Revelashun biddin us go into A Ward's Show without payin nothin!" thay showtid.
"Yes," hollered a lot of female Morminesses, ceasin me by the cote tales, & swinging me round very apid, "we're all goin in free! So sez the Revelashun!" "What's Old Revelashun got to do with my Show?" sez I, gettin putty riley. "Tell Mister Revelashun," sed I, drawin myself up to my full hite, and lookin round upon the orney krowd with a proud and defiant mean, "tell Mister Revelashun to mind his own bizzniss subjeck only to the Konstitushun of the United Staits!"
"Oh now let us in, that's a sweet man," sed several females, puttin thare arms rownd me in luvin style. "Becum 1 of us. Becum a Preest, & hev wives Sealed to you "
"Not a Seal!" sez I, starting back in horror at the idee.
"Oh stay, Sir, stay," sed a tall, gawnt fe-maile, ore whoos hed 37 summairs must hev parsd, "stay, & Ile be your gentle Gazelle."
"Not ef I know it, you won't," sez I. "Awa you skanderius femaile, awa! Go and be a Nun-nery!" That's what I sed, jes so.
"& I," sed a fat, chunky femaile, who must hev wade more than two hundred lbs., "I will be your sweet gidin Star!”
"Sez I, "Ile bet two dollars and a haif you won't." Whare ear I may Rome Ile still be true 2 thee, oh Betsey Jane! [N. B.—Betsey Jane is my wife's Sir name.]
"Wiltist thou not tarry hear in the Promist Land!" sed several of the miserabil critters.
“Ile see you all essenshally cussed be 4 I wil-tist!" roared I, as mad as I cood be at thare in-fernal noncents. I girdid up my Lions and fled the Seen. I packt up my duds and left Salt Lake, which is a 2nd Soddum and Germorrer, in-habitid by as theavin and onpricipuld a set of retchis as ever drew Breth in eny spot on the globe.
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