Artemus Ward visits Brigham Young.
It is now goin on 2 (too) yeres, as I very well remember, since I crossed the Planes for Kaliforney, the Brite land of Jold.—While crossin the Planes all so bold I fell in with some noble red men of the forest (N. B. This is rote Sarcastical. Injuns is Pizen, whar ever found,) which they Sed I was their Brother, & wantid for to smoke the Calomel of Peace with me. They then stole my jerk beef, blankets, etsettery, skalpt my organ grinder & Scooted with 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 skool-master, who has got Talent into him, cussy-cally obsarves.
I arrove at Salt Lake in doo time. At Camp Scott thare was a lot of U. S. sojers, hosstensibly sent out thar to smash the mormons but really to eat salt vittles & play poker & other sumwhat beautiful but on sar-tin games. I got acquainted with sum of the officers. They lookt putty scrumpshus in their Bloo coats with brass buttings onto um & ware very talented drinkers, but so fur as fitin is consarned Ide willinly put my wax figgers agin the hull party.
My desire wus to exhibit my grate show at Salt Lake City, so I called on Brigham Yung, the grate mogull amung the mormins and axed his permishun to pitch my tent and onfurl my banner to the jentle breezis. He lookt at me in a austeer manner for a few minits & sed,
“Do you bleeve in Solomon, Saint Paul, the imaculateness of the Mormin Church, and the Latter-day Revelashuns?"
“Sez I Ime on it!" I make it a pint to git along plesunt, tho I didn't know what un-der the Son the old feller was drivin at. He sed I mite show.
"You air a marrid man Mister Yung, I bleeve?" sez I, preparin to write him sum free parsis.
"I hev eighty wives, Mister Ward. I sar-tinly am marrid."
"How do you like it as far as you hev got?" sez I.
"He, sed, ''middlin," and axed me wouldn't I like to see his famerly, to wich I replide that I wouldn't mind mingling with the fair seek & Barskin in the winnin smiles of his interesting wives.
He accordinly took me to his Scareum.—The house is powerful big & in a exceedin large room was his wives and children, which larst was squakin and hollering enuff to take roof rite orf the house. The wimin was of all sizes and ages. Sum wuz pretty and sum wus plane; sum was helthy and sum on the wayne; which is werses, tho sich was not my intenshuns, as I don't prove of puttin werses in Proze ritins, tho ef oc-cashun requires I can Jerk a Poim ekal to any of them Atlantic Munthly fellers.
"My wives, Mister Ward." sed 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 hev eighty more in varis parts of this conscrecated land which air Sealed to me."
"Which?" sez I, gittin up & starein at him.
"Sealed, Sir, sealed."
"Whar bowts?" sez I.
"I sed, Sir, that they was Sealed!" He spoke in a traggerdly voice.
“Will they probly continue on in that style to any great extend, Sir?" I axed.
“Sir," sed he, turnin as red as a biled beet, "don't you know that the rules of Church is, that I, the Profit, may hev as meny wives as I wants?"
"Jes so,' I sed. "You are old pie, ain't you?"
"Them as is Sealed to me—that is to say, to be mine, when I wants um—are at pres-ent my sperretooul wives," sed Mister Yung.
"Long may they wave!" sez I seein I shood git into a scrape ef I dident look out.
In privit conversashun with Brigham I lernt the follerin fax: It takes him six weeks to kiss his wives. He don't do it only onct a yere & sez it is wuss nor cleanin house. He don't pretend to know his child-ren, thare is so many of um, tho they all know him. He sex about every child he meats calls him Par, and he takes it for granted it is so. His wives air very expen-sive. They allurs want suthing, and ef he don't buy it for um thay set the house in a uproar. He sez he don't hev a minits peace. His wives fite amung themselves so much that he has bilt a fiting room for thare spesh-ul benefit and when too of um git into a row he has um turned loose into that place, where the dispoot is settled accordin to the rules of the London prize ring. Sumtimes they abooze hisself individooally. They hev pulld the most of his hare out at the roots & he wares meny a horrabull skar upon his body, inflicted with mop-handles, broom-sticks, & sich.
Occashunly they git mad & scald him with bilin hot water. When he got eny waze cranky thay'd shut him up in a dark closit, previsly whippin him arter the stile of muthurs when thare orfspring git onruly.—Sumtimes when he went in swimmin thay'd go to the banks of the Lake & steal all his close, thereby compellin him to sneek home by a sircootius rowt, dresst in the Skander-lus stile of the Greek Slaiv. "I find that the keers of a marrid life way hevy onto me," sed the Profit, "& sumtimes I wish Ide remaned singul." I left the Profit and startid for the tavern where I put up to. On my way I was overtuk by a large crowd of Mormins, which thay surrounded me & statid that thay wus goin into the show free.
"Wall," sez I, ef I find a individooul who is going round lettin folks into his show free, He let you know."
"We've had a Revelashun biddin us go into A. Ward's Show without payin noth-in!" they showtid.
"Yes," hollerd a lot of femaile Mormon-esses, ceasing me by the cote tales & swingin me round very rapid, "we're all goin in free! So sez the Revelashun!"
"What's Old Revelashun got to do with my Show?" sez I, gittin putty rilei. "Tell Mister Revelashun," sez I, drawin myself up to my full hite and lookin round upon the ornery krowd with a prowd & defiant mean, "tell Mister Revelashun to mind his own bizniss, subjeck only to the Konstitushun of the United Staits!"
"Oh now let us in, that's a sweet man," sed several femailes, puttin thare arms rownd me in luvin stile. "Becum 1 of us. Be-cum a Preest. and hev wives Sealed to you."
"Not a Seal!" sez I, startin back in hor-rer at the idee.
"Oh stay, sir, stay," sed a tall, gawnt femaile, ore whoos hed 37 Summirs must have parsed, “stay, & Ile be your Jentle Gazelle."
"Not ef I know it, you won't," sez I.—"Awa yu skanderlus femaile, awa! Go & be a Nunnery!" That's what I sed, jes so."
“&," sed a fat, chunky femaile, who must have wade more than too Hundred lbs., UI will be your sweet gidin Star!"
Sez I, "Ile bet two dollars and a half yu won't!" Whare ear I may Rome Ile still be troo 2 thee, oh Betsy Jane! (N. B.—Betsy Jane is my wife's Sir name.)
"Willst thou not tarry hear in the Prom-ist Land?" sed several of the miserable crit-ters.
“Ile see you all essenshally cussed be 4 I wiltist!" roared I, as mad as cood be at thare infernul noncents. I girded up my Lions & fled the Seen. I packt up my duds & left Salt Lake, which is a grand Suddum & Germorrer, inhabited by as vain & on-principuld a set of retchis as ever drew Breth in eny spot on the Globe.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.