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nineteen dollars. Or, it is possible that he may receive instead one rf those pleasant episcopal invitations with which he became acquainted earlier in the year, and on repairing with a heavy heart to his pastor's house find out that the terrible charge of making a false return has been lodged against him. He feels as guiltless of the wrong as a child a month old. He may discover that, in the opinion of the authorities, he ha? overvalued the original cost to himself of some of the articles on which be has estimated his profits. In this case he will, perhaps, be startled to have copies of his wholesale dealers' charges and vouchers presented to him. Or, he may have omitted in making his return to include the advance which he has received during the year on the original price of a pair of draught horses left behind at the Rast to be sold, whose proceeds were forwarded to him. The transaction has totally escaped his mind — not so the Church's I There, in black and white, he reads all its particulars —more precisely drawn out, it may be, than he could have done them by referring to his own private papers. A sickening sensation comes over Mr. Polypeith's soul as he realizes the omniscience and ubiquity of that power into whose grasp he has voluntarily resigned himself irretrievably — forever! If he is really innocent of all intent to cheat, Brigham reads character too skillfully not to know it; and, instead of the fearful doom which awaits such as are fool-hardy or green enough to attempt defrauding the great Fraud of the Universe, — the outlawry, the delivery to the buffets of Satan, the vague, unnamable terrors, the lurking death, — he gets off with a solemn warning and a mulct which may amount to the duplication of his tithes.
Suppose that, instead of having succeeded in his annual business by the time the next tithing day comes round, he has in reality sold nothing, but has accumulated either by manufacture or importation five hundred Boston rockers. He has no money to give the Church; but the Church takes toll out of every grist, and all is grist that comes to its mill. The Church is not fastidious; it will take fifty of his five hundred rockers, and call it square. What can it do with them, d'you ask t A Church founded upon a rock, one might think, can have no call for rockers, hut it has. Mr. Polypeith is instructed to deliver them in the great Tithing Store-house, right under the personal eye of the Church, scil. Brigham. Then, if he has never had occasion to call there before, he sees a sight which surprises him. There are carts and rude Utah-made ranch-wagons standing at the gate to unload tithes of every description of product created by human industry. The shelves and the deep ware-rooms of the all-devouring theocracy groan and bulge with everything which it is conceivable that mankind should sell and buy on this side of the Rocky Mountains. Here are piles of rawhide, both cow and mustang, or even pig-skin; bins of shelled corn, and cribs full of corn in the ear; wheat and rye, oats and barley; casks of salt provisions; wool, homespun, yam, and home-woven cloth in hanks and bales; indigo; cocoons and raw silk; butter, cheese, and all manner of farm produce; even the most destructible of vegetable growths, — not only potatoes, turnips, and other root crops, but green pease and beans, fruit, and young cabbages; hay, carpenters' work, boys' caps, slop-shop overalls, hemp-rope, preserves, tinware, stogies, confectionery, adobe bricks and tiles, moss and gramma mattresses; buckskin leggins, gloves, moccasins, hunting-shirts, and complete suits, the manufacture of which the Mormon women make a specialty, arriving at a degree of excellence in their preparation, and beauty in their adornment, surpassed nowhere in the world, — not even among the Snake Indians. These are but a minute fraction of the contents of the Church Tithing Stores. I have seen day laborers who were too poor to pay their tithes in any lumped form'at the end of the year, bringing them in at sundown in the shape of a tenth of the poor, flabby-meated gudgeons which they had caught in their day's fishing along the Jordan. The Church, under the wonderful management of Brigham, somehow or other succeeds in disposing of all that it receives in this way to the best advantage, and ia not only a self-supporting, hut a money-making concern of the most brilliant character. By consenting to receive the tithes in form, wherever the Mormon finds it easier to bring the literal tenth of his possessions instead of their money value, it effects three most desirable ends. It secures the certain payment of its tithes, since the products of a man's industry are tangible, accessible, nnconcealable, and therefore within its grasp as no notes or specie can be; it acts as a perpetual stimulus to Mormon industry by affording one certain outlet to every man's products, — a market through which he can dispose of at least a part of such products, however loth private dealers may be to run the risk of buying them; and it adds another resemblance to the old Jewish theocracy, which tithed the property of the people in kind, to the multitude of similarities on which it bases its claim to the successorship of Israel as the repository of the Urim and Thummim, the possessor of the Original Priesthood and the Eternal Truth, and the sole Architect of God's temple and kingdom upon earth. At the same time, Brigham's talents as a Rothschild being none less than aa a Moses and a Richelieu, the Church loses nothing pecuniarily by taking Brother Clod's cabbages, and Brother Polypeith's chairs.
Mr. Polypeith's diary for the next few years contains nothing more startling than the marriage of his two daughters to a well-to-do elder of the Church, possessing, besides five hundred head of cattle and a nice • ranch in the region of Parley's Park, a trifle of two previous wives, who live harmoniously, not being able to quarrel, as one of them understands nothing but Norwegian, and the other possesses no lingual accomplishments beyond her original Shoshonee. To Mr. Polypeith it seems a little odd at first to have a man paying attention to both his daughters at once; early associations are difficult to conquer, and an only partially regenerate right leg of his twitches uneasily at the memory how it would have kicked
such a suitor down-stairs at the East; but grace triumphs when he reflects that after all the elder does not mean any such thing as trifling -with the young affections of the girls, since he proposed to Hannah Rebecca on Thursday, and to Lucetta Plumina on the Sunday following; moreover, it is a great deal less wearing and expensive to order a wedding for two and get one's family nicely provided for in a single evening, than to string the paternal anxiety along, States-fashion, through two separate courtships, and disburse for two entirely distinct sets of presents and wedding-cake. So he says, "Bless you, my children — bless you! " and, to use the choice patriarchal vernacular, the elder " gits " with the lot.
If polygamy at any time, during the progress of these occurences, seem to Mr. Polypeith any harder of deglutition because the two wives of his saintly son-in-law stand to each other in the sisterly relation, he may lubricate the morsel by that sage consideration which has doubtless been suggested to every dissatisfied person since the foundation of the world, "How much worse it might have been." He may have made the acquaintance of a family such as I myself became aware of while in the Mormon Zion. Passing with a very zealous believer through one of the streets in that city, I had my attention called by my companion to a comfortable residence, belonging, apparently, to some person of more than average condition in the community. "There I" said the gentleman emphatically, — " there lives one of the very best men we've got in Salt Lake City." "How so? " I asked him. "The most noble-hearted, wholesouled, liberal fellow I ever knew. Doesn't stand at anything when he can do a generous action. Here's an instance. Two years ago his partner in business died insolvent, leaving two widows and three daughters without a leg to stand on. He was very well off himself, and a bachelor. So what does he do but go right over to his partner's house, see the two widows and three daughters — make it all right—and marry the whole of 'em. That's what I call a right down liberal action!" I have seen it indignantly denied by Mormon defenders, that marriages of this sort are permitted in Utah; but such a denial on their behalf would be scornfully repudiated by the Mormons themselves, who rather favor such marriages than otherwise, on the same ground that benevolent and sage old slave-holders, in the halcyon days of the Eastern and Southern Patriarchal Institution, used to buy whole families, to wit, that they live much more contentedly together than when they are separated. A mother and i daughter who are wives of the same man, or two sisters similarly situated, are more apt to be patient with each other and freer from jealousy than strangers.
I must now give a page of Mr. Polypeith's diary, which is so painful that he himself would gladly have blotted it out with his heart's blood — which I, indeed, would gladly suppress, were it not that I am writing the truth and have not the romancer's privilege of yielding to sentimental motives. Mr. Polypeith's family, after the daughters were married, conlisted of himself, his wife, and one son nineteen years old — a fine, handsome, frank-natured young fellow who for some time had been a valuable assistant to his father in business, and whom he was rearing to take his place when age should release him from the harness of active life.
Among the neighboring families was one of an elder, whom the Church, shortly after Hiram Polypeith's nineteenth birthday, had appointed to go forth upon a foreign mission — a tour for the collection of converts in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, which would keep him abroad for two years — indeed, until he could bring a ship-load of fresh Saints from the Baltic to New York, and thence across the Mississippi, and the Mountains to Salt Lake. The elder was a well-to-do man of fifty; and it might have seemed just as advantageous to the interests of Zion to send a younger brother, with youthful energy, the " roving drop in his veins," the love of adventure, and the desire of making his way in the world, to sustain him through the labors of a mission, and less extensive family ties to bind him at home; for besides being a little past middle age, he possessed a large property, five wives, and a score of children. Among all his wives, as frequently happens, he doted most on the last and youngest one, to whom he had been married only about'six months when the order came for his departure. The mandate grieved him sore, but theocracies know no sentiment save that of obedience to revelation, and though he would gladly have paid the expenses of a proxy and stayed at home with his little Zilpha and the others, he was compelled to bid them all adieu and fare forth one morning by the overland stage.
The elder's family and that of Brother Polypeith had been intimate from the first year of the latter's settlement in Zion. They frequently met each other in the exchange of hospitalities. Mrs. Polypeith was weekly invited to tea at the Salmudys', and the Salmudys, on the principle of its being inconvenient to move large masses, were reinvited in squads at a rate which went through them all in about one lunar period. When the elder came to go away, Mrs. Polypeith mingled her tears as she had her tea with the Mistresses Salmudy; and Mr. Polypeith, grasping Elder Salmudy's hand with emotion, told him that during his absence he would endeavor to be such a friend to his family, as he would ask Elder Salmudy to be to his in case their positions were changed.
There was one member of the Polypeith family who did not partake to the full extent in the general affliction felt at Elder Salmudy's departure. This was Hiram Polypeith — the handsome, spirited lad with the curly hair, red cheeks, and bright boyish eyes—,who had his reasons. As the Salmudys lived next door to the Polypeiths on the right side, so did the Crandalls live next door on the left side. From the day that Mr. Polypeith took his house, his garden and the Crandalls' had opened into one another by a little wicket in the partition fence, and the relation of the two families had been as intimate as that of the former with the Salmudys'. The wicket almost always hung ajar, and the children of both households had held the inclosures in common, playing tag together around the gravel walks, dressing dolls and making-believe tea-fight under extempore houses rigged up beneath the cool shadows of acacias, quaking asps, cottonwoods, and rock-maples transplanted from the canons. The youngest child of the Crandalls was a pretty golden-haired girl, -with laughing blue eyes and merry temperament — the pet of everybody, and a gleam of sunshine wherever she went. She was the little sweetheart of Hiram Polypeith from the time they first played together; she was enough unlike him in every respect, except the fact of beauty and mutual attraction, to bring out the strongest positive characteristics of the boy, and awaken an intense feeling of chivalry in him, which manifested itself in every way — from fighting her battles with ruder and stronger children to carrying her tiny dinner when she went to school, and being her invariable guard of honor at all picnics to Black Rock or the Lake in the Mountains. She returned his feeling with one of absolute confidence and admiration — was never so happy as when she nestled against his side, and, whenever her light heart thought of the future at all, never imagined a place in it whose centre was not her boy-gallant. One of their most frequent plays (as I suppose is the case with all children of every place and age) was "getting married ; " and the romantic tenderness of Hiram's love for little Zilpha Crandall was shown by the fact that while the other little male-Saints had polygamic plays, he never added to his list of wives, but incurred the temporary suspicion or even infantile religious persecution of his mates as a bad Mormon, by remaining sternly monogamic and marrying Zilpha over and over and over again.
But they could not always remain children and play under the acacias. Zilpha, being just Hiram's age, as was woman's right, blossomed first, and became a demure, marriageable little Mormoness in long dresses (or, as a perverse Gentile friend used to call Mormon little girls, a "Mormoniculess," Mormon little boys being similarly " Mormonicles), " while Hiram was blushing at the shortness of a roundabout, which he felt still more ashamed to exchange for that uneasily self-conscious garment, a coat with tails. Before either of them knew it, the golden-haired beauty had attracted the attention of that multuxoriverous mammal, Elder Salmudy, — a splay-footed quadrigenarian, with beetle brows, a raucous voice, which one would have as soon thought of as a frog's for the vehicle of love-making, and vast expansiveness below the epigastrium without adequate diameter of legs to sustain such a superstructure. Already, too, as the Gypsy Queen denominated Rector Racktithe, married the third time, he was " a mighty toaster o' women," having four Mistresses Salmudy to watch for his martial footfall at the close of the laborious day. To adapt Louis in " Richelieu," "Fine proxy for a gay young cavalier I" But why linger over the hagglings of the marriage market? Salt Lake is no better than New York or London, though it does pretend to be, and Mormon parents sell their daughters fora "bon parti " just as ours do, —