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from the feeling, when in his presence, that you are beholding a most remarkable man. He is nearly seventy years old, but appears very little over forty. His height is about
“five feet ten, The height of Lord Chesterfield's gentlemen;"
his figure very well made, and slightly inclining to portliness. His hair is a rich curly chestnut, formerly worn long, in supposed imitation of the apostolic coiffure, but, now cut in our practical Eastern fashion, as accords with the man of business whose métier he has added to apostleship, with the growing temporal prosperity of Zion. Indeed, he is the greatest business man on the Continent, — the head and cashier of a firm of one hundred thousand silent partners, and the only auditor of that cashier besides. Brigham Young's eyes are a clear blue-gray, frank and straightforward in their look; his nose a finely chiseled aquiline; his mouth exceedingly firm, and fortified in that expression by a chin almost as protrusive beyond the rest of the profile as Charlotte Cushman's, though less noticeably so, being longer than hers; and he wears a narrow ribbon of brown whiskers meeting on the throat. But for his chin, he would greatly resemble the best portraits of Sidney Smith, the humorist. I think I have heard Captain Burton say that he had irregular teeth, which made his smile unpleasant. Shortly after the Captain's visit, our benevolent President altered all that, sending out as Territorial Secretary Mr. Fuller, who, besides being a successful politician, was an excellent dentist. He secured Brigham's everlasting favor by making him a very handsome false set, and performing the same service for all of his favorite but edentate wives. Several other apostles of the Lord owe to Mr. Fuller their ability to gnash their teeth against the Gentiles. The result was, that he became the most popular Federal officer (who didn't turn Mormon) ever sent to Utah. The man who obtains ascendency over the mouths of the authorities cannot fail ere long to get their ears.
Brigham's manners astonish any one who knows that his only education was a few quarters of such common-school education as could be had in Ontario County, Central New York, during the early part of the century. There are few courtlier men living. His address is a fine combination of dignity with the desire to confer happiness, of perfect deference to the feelings of others with absolute certainty of himself and his own opinions. He is a remarkable example of the educating influence of tactful perception wedded to entire singleness of aim, without regard to its moral character. His early life was passed among the uncouth amd illiterate; any tow-headed boy coming into the Clifton Water-cure to sell Ontario County maple-sugar has, to all external appearance, a better chance of reaching supreme command than Brigham had in his childhood; his daily associations since he embraced Mormonism have been with the least cultivated grades of human society, a heterogenous horde, looking to him for its erection into a nation; yet he has so clearly seen what is requisite in the man who would be respected in the Presidency, and has so unreservedly devoted his life to its attainment, that in protracted conversation with him, I heard only a single solecism (“ain't you” for “aren't you”), and saw not one instance of breeding which would be inconsistent with noble lineage.
I say this good of him frankly, disregarding any slur which may be cast on me as his defender by those broad-effect artists who always paint the Devil black; for I think it high time that the Mormon enemies of our American idea should be plainly understood as far more dangerous antagonists than hypocrites or idiots can ever hope to be. Let us not twice commit the blunder of underrating our foes. Brigham began our conversation at the theatre by telling me I was late—it was after 9 o'clock. I replied that this was the time we usually set about dressing for an evening party in Boston or New York. “Yes,” said he, “you find us an old-fashioned people; we are trying to return to the healthy habits of the patriarchal age.” “Need you go back so far as that for your parallel?” suggested I. “It strikes me that we might have found four-o'clock balls among the early Christians.” He smiled, without that offensive affectation of some great men, the air of taking another's joke under their gracious patronage, and went on to remark that there were, unfortunately, multitudinous differences between the Mormons and Americans at the East besides the hours they kept. “You find us,” said he, “trying to live peaceably. A sojourn with people thus minded must be a great relief to you, who come from a land where brother hath lifted hand against brother, and you hear the confused noise of the warrior perpetually ringing in your ears.” Despite the courtly deference and scriptural dignity of this speech, I detected in it a latent crow over that “perished Union,” which, up to the time of Lee's surrender was the favorite theme of every Saint one met in Utah, and hastened to assure the President that I had no desire for relief from sympathy with my country's struggle for honor and existence. The Opera-house was a subject which Brigham and I could agree upon. I was greatly astonished to find in the desert heart of the Continent a place of public amusement which, regarding comfort, capacity, and beauty, has but two or three superiors in the United States. It is internally constructed somewhat like the New York Academy of Music, seats twentyfive hundred, and commodiously receives five hundred more when, as in the present instance, the stage is thrown into the parquet. My greatest surprise was excited by the remarkable artistic beauty of the gilt and painted decorations on the great arch over the stage, the cornices, and the moulding about the proscenium boxes. President Young, with a proper pride, assured me that every particle of the ornamental work was by indigenous and Saintly hands. “But you don't know yet,” he added, “how independent we are of you at the East. Where do you think we got that central chandelier, and what d'ye suppose we paid for it?” It was a piece of work which would have been creditable to any New York firm, apparently a richly carven circle, twined with gilt vines, leaves, and tendrils, blossoming all over with flaming wax-lights, and suspended by a massive chain of golden lustre. So I replied that he probably paid a thousand dollars for it in New York. “Capital!” exclaimed Brigham; “I made it myself! That circle is a cart-wheel, the wheel of one of our common Utah ox-carts. I had it washed, and gilded it with my own hands. It hangs by a pair of oxchains, which I also gilded; and the gilt ornaments of the candlesticks were all cut after my patterns out of sheet tin l’’ This is but one among a thousand illustrations of the versatility which characterizes this truly remarkable man. They are familiar to every Mormon; you can go nowhere in the Territory without hearing , them admiringly recounted by the people. As I have said, in the society sense of the word, Brigham is far from being an educated man. He knows neither Latin, Greek, mor, so far as I am aware, any modern foreign language, unless, perhaps, like several prominent men among his subordinates, he has acquired sufficient acquaintance with the dialects of Shoshone, Ute, and other neighboring Indian tribes, to help in their reduction to the condition of tools and emissaries of the Church. I am not at all sure that he possesses even this slight lingual accomplishment, for, as I may hereafter show, the division of labor has been so clearly systematized, that even the business of learning Indian is apportioned chiefly to a class of Mormons who, when occasion demands, can assume all the other characteristics of red-deviltry, as well as the use of those incoherent grunts which constitute its language. Brigham's knowledge of mathematics stops at a moderate practical acquaintance with surveying, and the ability to keep books with a particularly cheerful credit side. Every deficiency in the matter of polite education which his enemies can lay to his charge, Brigham acknowledges with a simple-hearted frankness and an evident appreciation of the advantages denied his youth, challenging the admiration of all fair minds far more than any mere