페이지 이미지

the evening. The day after my arrival, with some friends I rode through Brigham Young's grounds. He has a large pretty house at the upper end of the town, on the slope of a hill. There is a small tower to it, on the top of which is a gilt bee hive, the emblem of the industry of the people. Near his residence, which is also the residence of his first wife, is a long building, whose end is towards the road, where the rest of his wives reside. During the afternoon I had a long and interesting chat with the deputy postmaster, with whom I walked up to Brigham's house in the evening. The President, as the people style him, was not in; but I met his eldest son, Joseph, who is beginning to walk in his father's footsteps, having taken to himself two wives. I was told that a man with only one wife was as bad as a horse thief; and that a man only began to be respectable when he had five! Those who find work enough to manage one wife, may judge how delightful the position of a respectable Mormon must be! The landlord of the hotel at which I stayed had four wives. But, after all, these wives are only servants. The Mormon doctrine is, that every woman, as well as every man, should work for her living; and when a man has more work than his one wife can do as my host Townsend, for instance-he cannot afford to pay wages, so he marries another woman, and gets her labour for her food and lodging. He cannot pay her, because there is very little money in Utah, and because a servant's wages there would be about as high as they are in California, where they range from £5 to £8 a-month, besides board and lodging. The Mormons are very industrious, quiet people; all of the labouring class, with few exceptions. I saw no good-looking women; most of them were fat and rather clumsy. They wear no crinoline, but cotton dresses hanging close about them. Nothing is seen by a passing traveller which would lead him to suppose that he is in a city differing in any way from any other American country town. But sometimes an obliging friend will point out a long one-storeyed building, with half-a-dozen doors in a line, and tell you that that is Mr. So-and-So's residence, and that he has a wife and children in each of those half dozen compartments. You see another house, and are told that it belongs to a dignitary of the church, who has two other houses, and a wife in each. I saw some of Bishop Wells's wives, with their children in their arms, gossipping

quite pleasantly together in the verandah of his house, which is near Brigham Young's.

On the Friday evening I heard some excellent singing by a tonic sol-fa class, in Brigham's school-room, which is said to be occupied during the day by 200 children belonging to Brigham Young and Heber Kimball. On the Sunday I attended their service in the Bowery. In the morning Brigham talked to the people about the wickedness of allowing their children to commit little thefts without punishing them for it. In the afternoon he delivered another address, the indecency of which was so great that I can say no more about it. On the Monday I rode on horseback, and alone-for I could not get company-to the Salt Lake, a distance of about 18 miles. This lake is a wonderful inland sea, about 300 miles in circumference, and its waters are much salter than those of the ocean. It flows in beautiful blue ripples upon a shore of salt deposited by itself. I bathed in the lake, but could not lie down under the water, as it was so buoyant that it kept me afloat without any exertion on my part. When I emerged from the water and the drops had run off, I found that I was covered with seams and a thin coating of salt. I betook me to a small fresh water spring close by, and there washed off the salt.

I dined upon hard-boiled eggs which I had carried with me, and salted them enough by dipping them into the salt that lay thickly on the shore. The shores of the lake supply the people of the city with salt. From one part of the shore a causeway extends across a portion of the lake to a lofty, rocky island, where the Mormon church have thousands of cattle grazing. This road is below the surface of the water, which is on no part of it deeper than 2 or 3 feet. The island is 4 or 5 miles from the shore.

The following morning, after a stay of five days in Salt Lake City, I resumed the coach journey. The last view I had of the City of the Saints is the first that the emigrants have on approaching the end of their toilsome travel,—the object of their dearest hopes. The view is wondrously beautiful; the neat drab houses of sun-baked bricks standing in their orchards and gardens, the wide streets with streams of purest water running down each side of them, the magnificent mountains, and the deep blue of the distant lake, make up a picture so glorious that I do not wonder at

the Mormons falling on their knees in devout gratitude when first they see their sacred city.

The remainder of our coach journey over the Rocky Mountains, and across the prairies, a distance of 1,100 miles, was not much less monotonous than the first part of the desert ride had been. The telegraph wire was being rapidly erected all along the route, and soon after I arrived in England the news came that telegraphic communication was complete between New York and San Francisco. On the 18th September, just a month after leaving California, I arrived at a railroad in the state of Iowa, and thence, of course, my progress was rapid to New York, and so home. Perhaps you may wish to ask me, in the words of the Persian poet:

"Tell us, friendly traveller, then

Who hast wandered far and wide,
Seen the sweetest roses blow,

And the brightest rivers glide-
Say, of all thine eyes hath seen,
Which the fairest land has been ?"

"Shall I tell the secret, where
Nature seems most blest and fair,
Far above all climes beside ?-
"Tis where those we love abide.







T is not easy to give a short and clear definition of poetry: it may serve our present purpose to define it as "the expression of feeling arising from the creative and perceptive faculty in man." In its common acceptation it is such feeling expressed by words in musical combinations. It may be expressed, however, in other ways. A garland is such an expression in flowers-a beautiful painting such in colours-a fine musical composition such in sound. This is the highest faculty of man's nature; it is higher than intelligence, for it reaches all intelligence can reach, and goes beyond it, creating for itself that which intelligence cannot. The power of the poet is, therefore, twofold-perceptive and creative. With a keenness of vision which most men have not, he can see beauties in nature which they do not see, and understand feelings which they do not understand; and he can, moreover, isolate himself from what is around, to climb among his own creations; and thus he is susceptible of greater enjoyment than other men are, as he looks abroad upon the world, or sees his own thought springing into life, and growing up in beautiful proportion. Let us define, also, what we mean by "religious feeling." It is that which feels after God, seeking for rest in God. In the highest sense it is the feeling of security arising from a knowledge of a union of the soul with God through Christ. It is in this latter and highest sense that I would speak of it in its relationship to poetry. The feeling after God exists perhaps in every heart, and so in one sense every man may be called religious. Even in the heart of the unbeliever there is this feeling. He wants rest and repose; he may not know the reason- that it is because he is standing on that which is ever shifting and transitory, while rest is only found in the Eternal. He may not know the

reason, but still he is conscious of the want, and so he feels after the invisible. Feeling the want, and being ignorant of the true God, rather than have none, men worshipped the false. True to them, indeed, for they believed it to be true; but false in fact, and degrading to the worshipper. So the false religions of the earth arose, not so much from a want of religious feeling, as from ignorance of the true object of worship. But Christianity came, bringing men light, and showing them the true way. This, simple in teaching, and seemingly powerless, shook the system of heathenism to its foundation. Nothing more proves the religion of Jesus to be divine, than its mighty spread by such simple means. If it had not been of divine origin, how is it possible that the teaching of twelve poor men from Judea could have shaken down a mighty structure of false religion, and changed the very thoughts and feelings of the greater part of the civilised world? Well, Christianity came, spreading like light across the nations, and giving freedom wherever it was received. Saul the persecutor, changed to Paul the apostle, went forth with the power of the Spirit. The great goddess in the magnificent temple of Ephesus trembled, the men of Athens listened to his word, and heard of that unknown God which their highest imaginations had never reached; the iron strength of Rome was paralysed and gave way; and upon the ruins of heathenism the magnificent structure of Christianity rose up. And so men heard of Jesus the Redeemer, and learned to worship the true God, who made heaven and earth.

Of all the faculties bestowed by God upon man, that of the creative, imagination is the most wonderful. This faculty is the great life-power of poetry; by it man seems lifted out of himself as a creature to become a creator, and so to approach nearer to the great Creator of all. It is not the power of combination with things already existing, or the power of analysis of like things, but the power of bringing into existence what did not exist before,—or, at least, was not known to exist. Intelligence may combine and analyse; but here is a power beyond this that can originate for itself, or draw beauty from what is around, and weave it into garlands for its own amusement. This faculty, then, has always had much to do with religious feeling. The gods of the old world were nothing more than the creations of imagination reduced to visible deities. Still

« 이전계속 »