The Worlds Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906. Vols. IV: American
A Visit to Brigham Young
By Artemus Ward (Charles Farrar Browne) (18341867)
From Complete Works of Artemus Ward
IT is now goin on 2 (too) yeres, as I very well remember, since I crossed the Planes for Kaliforny, the Brite land of Jold. While crossin the Planes all so bol I fell in with sum noble red men of the forest [N. B.This is rote Sarcasticul. Injins is Pizin, wharever found], which thay Sed I was their Brother, & wanted for to smoke the Calomel of Peace with me. Thay then stole my jerkt beef, blankits, etsettery, skalpt my orgin grinder & scooted with a Wild Hoop. Durin the Cheafs techin speech he sed hed meet me in the Happy Huntin Grounds. If he duz thare will be a fite. But enuff of this. Reven Noose Muttons, as our skoolmaster, who has got Talent into him, cussycally obsarved.
I arrove at Salt Lake in doo time. At Camp Scott there was a lot of U. S. sogers, hosstensibly sent out thare to smash the Mormins but really to eat Salt vittles & play poker & other beautiful but sumwhat onsartin games. I got acquainted with sum of the officers. Thay lookt putty scrumpshus in their Bloo coats with brass buttings onto um, & ware very talented drinkers, but so fur as fitin is consarned Id willingly put my wax figgers agin the hull 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 and onfurl my banner to the jentle breezis. He lookt at me in a austeer manner for a few minits, and sed:
He sed, Middlin, and axed me wouldnt I like to see his famerly, to which I replide that I wouldnt mind minglin with the fair Seck & Barskin in the winnin smiles of his interestin wives. He accordinly tuk me to his Scareum. The house is powerful big, & in a exceedin large room was his wives & children, which larst was squawkin and hollerin enuff to take the roof rite orf the house. The wimin was of all sizes and ages. Sum was pretty & sum was Planesum was helthy and sum was on the Waynewhich is verses, tho sich was not my intentions, as I dont prove of puttin verses in Proze rittins, tho ef occashun requires I can Jerk a Poim ekal to any of them Atlantic Munthly fellers.
In a privit conversashun with Brigham I learnt the following fax: It takes him six weeks to kiss his wives. He dont do it only onct a yere, & sez it is wuss nor cleanin house. He dont pretend to know his children, thare is so many of um, tho they all know him. He sez about every child he meats call him Par, & he takes it for grantid it is so. His wives air very expensiv. Thay allers want suthin, & ef he dont buy it for um thay set the house in a uproar. He sez he dont have a minits peace. His wives fite among theirselves so much that he has bilt a fiting room for thare speshul benefit, & when too of em get into a row he has em turned loose into that place, where the dispoot is settled accordin to the rules of the London prize ring. Sumtimes thay abooz hisself individooally. Thay hev pulled the most of his hair out at the roots, & he wares meny a horrible scar upon his body, inflicted with mop-handles, broom-sticks, and sich. Occashunly they git mad & scald him with biling hot water. When he got eny waze cranky thayd shut him up in a dark closit, previshly whippin him arter the stile of muthers when thare orfspring git onruly. Sumtimes when he went in swimmin thayd go to the banks of the Lake & steal all his close, thereby compellin him to sneek home by a sircootus rowt, drest in the Skanderlus stile of the Greek Slaiv. I find that the keers of a marrid life way hevy onto me, sed the Profit, & sumtimes I wish Id remaned singel. I left the Profit and startid for the tavern where I put up to. On my way I was overtuk by a large krowd of Mormins, which they surroundid me & statid they were goin into the Show free.
Whats Old Revelashun got to do with my show? sez I, getting putty rily. Tell Mister Revelashun, sed I, drawin myself up to my full hite and lookin round upon the ornery krowd with a prowd & defiant meantell Mister Revelashun to mind his own bizness, subject only to the Konstitushun of the U. S.!
Ile see you all essenshally cussed be4 I wiltist! roared I, as mad as I cood be at thare infernal noncents. I girdid up my Lions & fled the Seen. I packt up my duds & Left Salt Lake, which is a 2nd Soddum & Germorrer, inhabitid by as theavin & onprinsipled a set of retchis as ever drew Breth in eny spot on the Globe.