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with grape and shrapnel from declined guns hung over the edge of the precipice, and sweep them with similar missiles from each end of the defile; but an ambuscade of sharp-shooters at the top of the precipice, and a body of men with crow-bars to topple down loose fragments of the crag on the invaders' heads, would have been all sufficient for the bloody work. - * Early in the afternoon we reached another small affluent of the Great Salt Lake known as Weber River, and thenceforward our course lay through a region very different from any we had been travelling since we left Denver, indeed, since we left the Missouri itself. We had entered the area of Mormon conquests. Thus far this strange people had crowded back against the mountains, desolation, sterility, and poverty. With a delight no words can paint, no heart can feel save that of a traveller who for a thousand miles has seen the earth beneath his feet an almost unbroken ashen gray, or burnt brown, did we look out upon a boundless scope of living green — green grass, green grain-fields, green gardens—cool, fresh, and tender as New England meadow-land in June. The great sleek oxen and the mild-eyed cows were browsing lazily, up to their bellies in verdure. The rye and wheat were so packed by their luxuriance, that to us, looking down on them from a crag of the defile, their tops seemed almost like a solid turf, but for the faint wind that sent waves of shadow over them, chasing waves of light. Five minutes had sufficed to bring about the greatest visual contrast of our lives. Sterility, savage gloom, death, or the even deeper death of never having yet been born,-these

were the burden of Nature's chant among the crags not a mile behind us; now she reveled like a Bacchante singing the joys of corn, and wine, and oil, or better yet, crowned with plumes of harvest, came as the matronly Ceres, leading by her little berry-stained fingers the young Pomona, with prophetic orchard blossoms wreathed about her sunny hair, both singing with the stately bard of old, “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.” The beneficent cause of all this luxuriance was as silent about itself as divine charity. But we knew, here and there we could see, the canals with their innumerable smaller channels of irrigation which ramified over the whole field, hiding their bounty under the stalwart stalks, and juicy blades, and plump ripening ears whose roots they nourished. To the unstudied observer, him to whom all sand is the same, the witness of his eyes seems incredible. The soil of that wonderful harvest field must be like this which blows in our faces from the shifting dunes at our side; yet this is sand. True, but it is also one of the richest soils in the world; for it is the detritus of rocks which, without exaggeration, the scientific man might choose to call baked fertilizers. We have made our soup, our stove-polish, even our fuel, into blocks; so we may have blocks of condensed soil. Piled up into crags till we want them, they make excellent scenery; the weather grinds them down, and spreads them over our grain fields and kitchen gardens; by and by they are as good dinner as they were scenery. There is no bad soil in the world. There are incomplete soils,soils that say, “I’ll advance all the silex you want, all the lime, or all the potash, only you must get the


aluminum.” But Utah soil need hardly be defended in this category. As yet it needs no manure, scarcely any top-dressing, unless as a mulch to guard against excessive evaporation. All it needs is water, and how to get that is the plain problem which engages the Mormon farmer day and night; not so complicated a problem as presents itself to many a New England agriculturist, but making up for its slight draft on skill by a tremendous call on industry. The Utah farmer must woo the very snow-peaks, and through them the clear, unanswering heavens, which smile on his starvation, until he makes the mountain-top his mediator, and builds a channel from the edge of the eternal ice to his own acres, that the bounty of the sky may not pay too large a commission to his sublime go-between by leakage on the way. None but the Mormon himself can tell you what miles of patiently constructed troughing, and piping, and ditching are expressed in those glorious green acres which, like the finest things in a picture, seem the easiest done because the artist spent his sweat, and blood, and very soul in giving them the look which hides his great struggles forever. It was nearly sundown when we stopped to change horses at Kimball's, twenty-nine miles from Salt Lake City, and the last station but one between us and the capital of the Saints. Hitherto during the afternoon I had found the beauty of the world's newly recovered green somewhat marred by the absence of the highest element in life's comfort, and the dearest stimulus to, as well as resting-place from, life's industries. I looked for it steadily, yet found it never. The chickens had coops; the stock had its corrals, and stables, and pens; the very grass and grain were com

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ing in at last from the heat and burden of their day, to rest and shelter in substantial barns. But for them who toiled that these might thrive, for whom these lived, and moved, and had their being, -the men, the women, and the children,--what had they to come to? I looked about me over the green fields, carefully, wonderingly, everywhere, and found houses in plenty, but no home. Not that the material was lacking. Some of the houses were excellent snug specimens of the adobe; others were meat structures of wood; scarcely any gave outward sign of poverty, shiftlessness, or unneatness in their occupants. The dejection which they produced in me, their utter un-homelikeness, proceeded almost wholly from negative causes. They looked like mere sleeping and eating places. The spirit which raises the human habitation above the grade of the marmot's burrow, the fox's cover, or the bear's den—the spirit without which a palace is no better than these—was utterly absent, —not gone, for it never had been. When the quantity of houses within the same inclosure increased, the quality decreased proportionally. I saw little red-headed, tow-headed, black-haired children tumbling together in promiscuous heaps, rolling on the unsodded ground of the same dooryard, while a couple of women were sitting listlessly on different porches, watching their play, calling to them in shrill accents, yet seeming to ignore each other entirely. No house had its pretty little gardenpatch in front of it. No flower-beds testified to the pride which wifely hands took in making the house, whither a lover brought them home, the delightful

and longed-for nest which means earthly heaven to the matured husband. There was no indication anywhere of keeping the marriage wine, yielded by the clusters of maidenhood, from turning into the vinegar of that wretched self-deception, “the steady old married people’s” condition. No climbing rose stretched its arms over the gable to fling bouquets and perfumed dew into the second-story window. Around the porchpillars, where such there were, nestled no honeysuckle, no columbine, no Wisteria, nor cypress, nor morning glory, nor madeira, nor trumpet vine. What unvarying betrayal of the house's inside is always given, clear as speech, by these lovely dumb outsiders' While you listen and assent to them, there she stands, turning their tendrils about her finger, with as delicate lovingness as if they were her own soft curls, and she standing before a toilet whose true tale makes her modesty blush with joy because it is almost tea-time, and he is coming. There is no need she should be here with her tender little prunings, her dexterous persuasions of the wayward shoot, her fond help of the right twisting one; for the caress she gave her pets yesterday is still gratefully remembered by them, and they tell of her in ways unmistakable. The very bees, for whom she has made an emerald spiral stair up to a seventh heaven of blessedness among the nectaries, croon about her as they drink honey from goblets of alabaster, and gold, and ruby, and empurpled crystal, saying, “There's a woman within' there's a woman within'" Yes, indeed! who else? The husband puts his name on a silvered copper-plate — great, gross, mechanical, purchasable thing, which you might melt down to make pennies, or stair-rods, or andirons; the wife writes hers in God's live letters that grow, not get shaved

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