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- The Complete Works of Artemus Ward, Part 6 - 4/9 -


other failings they may have, intemperance cannot be laid to their charge. Among the Mormons there are no paupers, no gamblers, and no drunkards.) I prefer temperance hotels-- altho' they sell worse liquor than any other kind of hotels. But the Salt Lake Hotel sells none--nor is there a bar in all Salt Lake City--but I found when I was thirsty--and I generally am--that I could get some very good brandy of one of the Elders--on the sly--and I never on any account allow my business to interfere with my drinking.

(Picture of) The Overland Mail Coach.--That is, the den on wheels in which we have been crammed for the past ten days and ten nights.--Those of you who have been in Newgate (The manner in which Artemus uttered this joke was peculiarly characteristic of his style of lecturing. The commencement of the sentence was spoken as if unpremeditated; then when he had got as far as the word "Newgate," he paused, as if wishing to call back that which he had said. The applause was unfailingly uproarious.)------------------------------- ----------------------------and stayed there any length of time--as visitors--can realize how I felt.

The American Overland Mail Route commences at Sacramento-- California--and ends at Atchison--Kansas. The distance is two thousand two hundred miles--but you go part of the way by rail. The Pacific Railway is now completed from Sacramento--California--to Fulsom--California--which only leaves two thousand two hundred and eleven miles, to go by coach. This breaks the monotony--it came very near breaking my back.

(Picture of) The Mormon Theatre.

This edifice is the exclusive property of Brigham Young. It will comfortably hold 3,000 persons--and I beg you will believe me when I inform you that its interior is quite as brilliant as that of any theatre in London. (Herein Artemus slightly exaggerated. The coloring of the theatre was white and gold, but it was inefficiently lighted with oil lamps. When Brigham Young himself showed us round the theatre, he pointed out, as an instance of his own ingenuity, that the central chandelier was formed out of the wheel of one of his old coaches. The house is now, I believe, lighted with gas. Altogether it is a very wondrous edifice, considering where it is built and who were the builders.)

The actors are all Mormon amateurs, who charge nothing for their services.

You must know that very little money is taken at the doors of this theatre. The Mormons mostly pay in grain--and all sorts of articles.

The night I gave my little lecture there--among my receipts were corn--flour--pork--cheese--chickens--on foot and in the shell.

One family went in on a live pig--and a man attempted to pass a "yaller dog" at the Box Office--but my agent repulsed him. One offered me a doll for admission--another infants' clothing.--I refused to take that.--As a general rule I do refuse.

In the middle of the parquet--in a rocking chair--with his hat on--sits Brigham Young. When the play drags--he either goes out or falls into a tranquil sleep.

A portion of the dress-circle is set apart for the wives of Brigham Young. From ten to twenty of them are usually present. His children fill the entire gallery--and more too.

(Picture of) East Side of Main Street, Salt Lake City.

The East Side of Main Street--Salt Lake City--with a view of the Council Building--The legislature of Utah meets there. It is like all legislative bodies. They meet this winter to repeal the laws which they met and made last winter--and they will meet next winter to repeal the laws which they met and made this winter.

I dislike to speak about it--but it was in Utah that I made the great speech of my life. I wish you could have heard it. I have a fine education. You may have noticed it. I speak six different languages--London--Chatham--and Dover-- Margate--Brighton--and Hastings. My parents sold a cow-- and sent me to college when I was quite young. During the vacation I used to teach a school of whales--and there's where I learned to spout.--I don't expect applause for a little thing like that. I wish you could have heard that speech--however. If Cicero--he's dead now--he has gone from us--but if old Ciss (Here again no description can adequately inform the reader of the drollery which characterized the lecturer. His reference to Cicero was made in the most lugubrious manner, as if he really deplored his death and valued him as a schoolfellow loved and lost.) could have heard that effort it would have given him the rinderpest. I'll tell you how it was. There are stationed in Utah two regiments of U.S. troops--the 21st from California--and the 37th from Nevada. The 20-onesters asked me to present a stand of colors to the 37-sters--and I did it in a speech so abounding in eloquence of a bold and brilliant character--and also some sweet talk--real pretty shopkeeping talk--that I worked the enthusiasm of those soldiers up to such a pitch--that they came very near shooting me on the spot.

(Picture of) Brigham Young's Harem.--These are the houses of Brigham Young. The first on the right is the Lion House--so called because a crouching stone lion adorns the central front window. The adjoining small building is Brigham Young's office--and where he receives his visitors.--The large house in the centre of the picture--which displays a huge bee-hive--is called the Bee House--the bee-hive is supposed to be symbolical of the industry of the Mormons.-- Mrs. Brigham Young the first--now quite an old lady--lives here with her children. None of the other wives of the prophet live here. In the rear are the schoolhouses where Brigham Young's children are educated.

Brigham Young has two hundred wives. Just think of that! Oblige me by thinking of that. That is--he has eighty actual wives, and he is spiritually married to one hundred and twenty more. These spiritual marriages--as the Mormons call them--are contracted with aged widows--who think it a great honor to be sealed--the Mormons call it being sealed-- to the Prophet.

So we may say he has two hundred wives. He loves not wisely--but two hundred well. He is dreadfully married. He's the most married man I ever saw in my life.

I saw his mother-in-law while I was there. I can't exactly tell you how many there is of her--but it's a good deal. It strikes me that one mother-in-law is about enough to have in a family--unless you're very fond of excitement.

A few days before my arrival in Utah--Brigham was married again--to a young and really pretty girl--but he says he shall stop now. He told me confidentially that he shouldn't get married any more. He says that all he wants now is to live in peace for the remainder of his days--and have his dying pillow soothed by the loving hands of his family. Well--that's all right--that's all right--I suppose--but if ALL his family soothe his dying pillow--he'll have to go out-doors to die.

By the way--Shakespeare indorses polygamy.--He speaks of the Merry Wives of Windsor. How many wives did Mr. Windsor have?--but we will let this pass.

Some of these Mormons have terrific families. I lectured one night by invitation in the Mormon village of Provost, but during the day I rashly gave a leading Mormon an order admitting himself and family--it was before I knew that he was much married--and they filled the room to overflowing. It was a great success--but I didn't get any money.

(Picture of) Heber C. Kimball's Harem.--Mr. C. Kimball is the first vice-president of the Mormon church--and would-- consequently--succeed to the full presidency on Brigham Young's death.

Brother Kimball is a gay and festive cuss of some seventy summers--or some'ers thereabout. He has one thousand head of cattle and a hundred head of wives. (It is an authenticated fact that, in an address to his congregation in the Tabernacle, Heber C. Kimball once alluded to his wives by the endearing epithet of "my heifers;" and on another occasion politely spoke of them as "his cows." The phraseology may possibly be a slight indication of the refinement of manners prevalent in Salt Lake City.) He says they are awful eaters.

Mr. Kimball had a son--a lovely young man--who was married to ten interesting wives. But one day--while he was absent from home--these ten wives went out walking with a handsome young man--which so enraged Mr. Kimball's son--which made Mr. Kimball's son so jealous--that he shot himself with a horse pistuel.

The doctor who attended him--a very scientific man--informed me that the bullet entered the inner parallelogram of his diaphragmatic thorax, superinducing membranous hemorrhage in the outer cuticle of his basiliconthamaturgist. It killed him. I should have thought it would.

(Soft music.) (Here Artemus Ward's pianist [following instructions] sometimes played the dead march from "Saul." At other times, the Welsh air of "Poor Mary Anne;" or anything else replete with sadness which might chance to strike his fancy. The effect was irresistibly comic.)

I hope his sad end will be a warning to all young wives who go out walking with handsome young men. Mr. Kimball's son is now no more. He sleeps beneath the cypress--the myrtle-- and the willow. This music is a dirge by the eminent pianist for Mr. Kimball's son. He died by request.

I regret to say that efforts were made to make a Mormon of


The Complete Works of Artemus Ward, Part 6 - 4/9

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