A. Ward Among the Mormons
Artemas Ward's entertainment opened for the season on Monday evening, with complete and brilliant suceess. Dodworth's Hall was filled with an overflow-ing audience, and great numbers were turned from the door, unable to procure even standing room. The en-tertainment thoroughly justified public expectation. In its humorous qualities, indeed, it seemed to surpass ex-pectation. We do not remember ever to have heard such continuous and uncontrolled laughter as that excited by the rattling narrative which preceded the pictorial exhibitions. Every phrase appeared to hit the mark with unerring precision. There was com-paratively little of the peculiar sort of humor which dis-tinguishes Artemus Ward's writings, but a vast deal of the quick, keen and pointed jocularity which appeals most strongly to the mirthful sense of a popular assem-blage. As a writer and as a lecturer, Artemus Ward, like "any other man," must necessarily be two different beings. It is certain, however, if we may judge by the result of Monday evening's experiment, that his ability is not less in one capacity than in the other.
The record of a tour among the Mormons forms the substantial part of the entertainment at Dodworth's Hall, and the relation of personal experience and close observation in that strange region affords much matter of serious interest and instruction. But to counteract any suspicion of tediousness that might creep over his audience, the lecturer has enlivened the whole subject by drawing liberally upon such humorous elements as it obviously possesses. The union of practical informa-tion with odd and mirthful fancies, is very skillfully contrived. The illustrative part of the exhibition makes fewer demands upon the merriment of the audience than that in which the imagination of the speaker is wholly free and untrammeled, but all is good of its various kinds. The pictures themselves are unques-tionably the only authentic representations of Mormon life and scenery that have been submitted to the public. They are faithfully executed, and in some cases artistic-ally so. It is nevertheless palpable that their value is subordinate to the rhetorical part of the entertainment. This is of so clever an order that, with the additional ad-vantage of the rare comical aptness and felicity of man-ner which the lecturer enjoys, we shall be surprised it "Among the Mormons" be not at once established as a permanent institution among the amusements of New York.
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