« EelmineJätka »
an Odd Fellows' lodge, and there were not the women have some excuse for being in above forty persons present-for the exporta- such haste to get to Utah. tion to Utah a few days before had thinned The first elder (whose name was Webb) the ranks. They were all of the working sat down, and another rose to succeed him clase, some very respectably dressed, and the a mean, yellow, dirty man, who spoke a women generally clean and well looking. north-country dialect with a Yankee twang, Two or three women had children in arms, and looked the incarnation of a vulgar hypoand there were other children of five or six crite. There was nothing whatever in his years of age among the congregation. There manner indicative of sincerity of purpose. were also a few young men in the room, lank He spoke in a bullying tone, using great reand gaunt, and having a self-satisfied smirk hemence and very Mormon-like language. on their countenances, as if they were look- He began by remarking, " the people's minds ing forward to the bliss of having a dozen is a good deal more enlightened now than it wives. The elders were worn, haggard men, were. There was much ignorance and suwho looked as though they actually had the perstition in high places, which prevented wives, and did not find it a bliss at all, but the new gospel finding its way to the people. quite the contrary. There were two or three Men refused to believe the message of the very old men there, and some boys who are Prophet Joseph Smith, but he would remind not yet eligible for Utah. The whole group them that every inspired messenger had been had gathered round a little dark grubby man, received with doubt, including the Saviour who was preaching to them with much ear- himself. Smith's followers were reviled, but nestness and volubility.
" I tell you,” shrieked the harsh grating He was insisting upon the divine inspira- voice, « that gods and angels look down upon tion of the Book of Mormon. Rude, unpol- you with approval, and that you are acceptished, and unlettered as he was, he impressed able to them.” Working himself into a parus as being a thoroughly earnest man. His oxysm of wrath, his emaciated sensual face argument was that fresh revelation from God on fire with anger, he denounced all revilers was necessary to convert the present age. of “God's chosen people,” future and to The Scriptures are not suficieat for this pur- come, and particularly warned the strangers pose, for they fail even to convince. Schol- present that they would suffer dreadful punars and divines are always wrangling about ishments if they came there to mock. Some the meaning of this and the other passage, of the women, however, having perhaps aland many of the laws laid down in the Bible ready marked the elder stranger for their were intended for a people and a state of so- own, looked at him in a spirit of gentleness, ciety now passed away. Moreover, God has and were evidently inclined to deal more merconstantly held direct communication with cifully with him than was the saint. This his servants. An instance, the speaker said, yellow, dirty man then pulled what looked might be found in St. Mark (he should have like a window rag from his pocket and rubbed said St. Matthew) where the Saviour ad- his oily face with it, and resumed his speech dresses Peter in the words, “ Blessed art in a lower key. Joseph Smith was merely, thou, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood he said, like an errand-boy who had received hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father a message from God to deliver to mankind. which is in Heaven." It was a similar rev-" I myself," he added, “ have received the elation that God made to his servant Joseph gift of the Holy Spirit, and there is many Smith. The speaker dwelt upon this point here as knows it." Then he waxed wrath at some length, but his line of argument had again at the strangers (who had been listenevidently been disturbed by the entry of ing throughout with the utmost gravity and strangers. He talked at the strangers—there patience) and said that others before them were three of them--a good deal, and the had mocked the Lord's anointed and suffered young women also carefully surveyed them, for it. This last objurgation lasted several perhaps mentally calculating the possibility minutes, and made the elder hotter and of their making proposals to them by and by greasier than ever, insomuch that the winas true Mormons. And it must be owned dow-rag was fished out again and applied to that if the Mormon men in Wales are all of his forehead. Finding that his denunciations the type who were present at that meeting, did not disconcert the strangers, the elder
suddenly brought his exhortation to a close, upon the happiness his belief afforded him, and said, in a low, quick voice, “ there will and in the vague melancholy search after hapbe a meeting afterwards for our own people piness which all men make this peculiar form only.” A hymn was sung,-it was a strange of religion steps in and professes to lead the unmeaning doggrel,--a prayer was offered, way. It undertakes to realize our hopes, not and the people, evidently puzzled, rose to de- hereafter only, but on this earth, where hithpart. But the yellow man, probably noterto we have been taught to expect disaphaving exhausted his store of ribaldry and pointment. Christ is shortly coming to his blasphemy, called out to them to stay, desir- kingdom, and looks down upon the labors of ing that strangers only should leave. As it his “ Latter-day Saints” with peculiar favor. was evidently useless to stay, the strangers Their reward is sure. Then, so far as matedid leave, and were presently followed by rial circumstances are concerned, their dethree women, who had possibly been told off sires will be provided for. To men they offer by the elders to try what they could do with a piece of land, with the prospect of indethe unbelievers.
pendence-that great ambition of the workThe strangers got into conversation with ing classes, which it is nearly impossible for these women. All were young, and two of them to gratify in this country. Here they them were going to Utah with the next batch must drudge and toil on, with little hope of of emigrants. They particularly wished to bettering their condition; there they may be kr.ow what the strangers thought of the meet- landed proprietors at once, working for their ing, and unanimously agreed with them in own profit, their children (which are here an thinking that the yellow, dirty man, made a encumbrance)a help and a blessing to them, mistake in abusing persons who happened to and the encouraging thought in their minds drop in at the service, since he might drive that while thus enjoying the fruits of their away those who would become converts. labor they are performing a religious duty, Being asked whether they expected to be and helping to set up the last kingdom of married in Utah, they said “ Yes” with God upon the earth. Women are taught to alacrity. In reply to a further question, one believe that in that favored land beyond the acknowledged that she should not like to be Rocky Mountains, they may marry and have apportioned a twelfth part of a husband's children without the fear of their being love and attention : “I hope to keep my hus- brought to want or shame; while the sensual band to myself, as you hope to keep your find a Mohammedan Paradise prepared for wife, I suppose.
“ Yes, but your religion them, and their favorite vices encouraged as allows a man to have several wives." “ That a religious obligation. The man who has the is only what is said of us. Don't you be- largest number of children is the most honlieve it. Only some of the elders have more ored in Utah, for he does most, to strengthen wives than one.” This girl further said that the kingdom. Mothers gladly give up their her age was twenty, that she had been brought daughters for what they deem a sacred cause. up to Mormonism from a child, and that she Their imaginations are enraptured by the would not change her religion for all the stories of peace and contentment and happiworld. Her father was a Mormon, she said, ness to be enjoyed by the Great Salt Lake. and sometimes preached. She was good- No wonder that the ignorant believe, and belooking, and so sincere that the tears started lieve gladly, in representations which cheer to her
eyes when she spoke of her religion. their hearts and promise an alleviation of She was exactly the kind of person the Mor- their hardships-no wonder that when Church mons seek to entrap—they invariably work and Dissent are alike passive, the poison is their ministrations upon the best looking widely distributed and absorbed, and that young women they can find.
thousands fall victims to that mirage which It may seem extraordinary to some that a lures them to fresh scenes in the vain hope creed such as that of Mormonism should make of finding a happier lot—the hollow chimera the progress it does, but after attending this which has wrecked so many, and against meeting we were little surprised at the cir- which the high and eternal truths of Chriscumstance. The first speaker dwelt much tianity alone can and ought to prevail.
From The Spectator. at Tien-tsin, was seized with an eager desire HORSEBACK IN MANTCHU TARTARY.* to test the new treaty and gratify his own
MR. FLEMING is a traveller after the ancient curiosity by a journey into the interior, and rather than the modern fashion, and the great the arrival of a Shanghai friend decided him volume in which he has recorded his experi- to fix on Moukden, the capital of Manchuria, ences will be read for reasons other than the as his ultimate destination. The usual route charm of the author's style. He does not is by sea, but the travellers wanted to ascermanufacture epigrams, or startle his reader tain if the provision of the treaty which alby new and acute theories ; his own reflec- lows Europeans to travel had been explained tions are sometimes oddly simple, and his in the interior, and resolved to do the distance, whole narrative reads rather like the talk of some seven hundred miles, on horseback. a garrulous old man than the sharp incisive They could obtain no interpreter, but they descriptions to which recent travellers have had a sharp groom, and Mr. Michie knew accustomed society. He has occasionally a some little of the Mandarin dialect ; 80, proflux of words most annoying to critics, and vided with a passport from the consul, and he dwells on his personal miseries, particu- another from a Chinese official, three strong larly those he suffered from bad smells, with ponies, a cart, and a sufficiency of silver flora minuteness not a little tiresome to all who ins and copper “ cash,” they set out on their care more about the Mantchus than Mr. dangerous expedition round the Gulf of George Fleming. But his narrative is a Pechelee. Of course, such a march produced most charming one, nevertheless, or, it may an adventure an hour, sometimes comic, be, in consequence of these very defects. The sometimes exasperating, but always fresh, · big volume is neither more nor less than a and always recorded in a tone which reminds huge gossiping letter, addressed by a fine-na-one rather of Smollett than any more recent tured, clear-speaking fellow, with the very writer. Mr. Fleming manages to make us keenest of eyes, to a reader who wants to perceive, not only the points of the landscape know 66 all about” a portion of China never and the peculiarities of the people, but the visited by an Englishman, or, indeed, by a conditions under which life is permanently European, except some chance Russian or carried on, the reasons, as it were, why forgotten Jesuit. He has an untrodden re- China is so populous and so orderly an emgion to tell of, and he photographs it and its pire. The impression left will decidedly people and their ways, instead of manufac- raise the Englishman’s estimate of Chinese turing theories to account for its and their civilization, by showing him how very closely existence. Long and lifelike descriptions, it resembles his own. Mr. Fleming, for exreading like pages out of Hakluyt's collection, ample, soon after he had fairly escaped from are interspersed with personal anecdotes, the beaten track, came a few miles beyond local legends, stories of adventures in South- the little town of Fungtai upon a succession ern China, attempts at Chinese history, and of villa like those of a prosperous English little sketches, some of them revealing no county : “ Ten li further we found another common artistic power. There are two of quite as charming and as rich in the possesthem in particular, “ dining before an audi- sion of excellent water, with its little cottages ence,” and “ the useless passport,” which built of wood and whitewashed, their roofs are really admirable for the mixed impression tiled or thatched, and roomy enclosures also of fun and fidelity they leave on the reader's of brick, finished in the most workman-like eye. The second in particular, a sitting man- manner, and the attached gardens stocked darin, surrounded by policemen, gives a bet- with fruit trees and vegetables. Every little ter impression at once of the similarity and aggregation of houses, spread evenly and not the difference between China and Europe than too thickly over the country, was snugly emanything we remember to have seen. All bosomed in genial sylvan shade, from the the personages are Tartar to the backbone, light green curtain of which they peeped out yet it is an Austrian guard-room which the lovingly on the tastefully planted rows of sketch suggests.
trees that grew apart from them like model Mr. Fleming, while serving in July, 1861, plantations, for fuel or building purposes.” * Travels on Horseback in Mantchu Tartary. By
In the distance stood up huge black mounG. Fleming. Hurst and Blackett.
tains of granite, and, “ from their feet, ex
tending away to the right and right-front, really consists. A little way on Mr. Flem-
“ At thirty li from Kia-ping we reached from the ravines and gullies. This is the re- ket-day; for at its busiest hour we found sult of uninterfered-with industry and unwea- ourselves struggling through a crowd of agriried toil ; a fair and acceptable specimen of culturalists and traders. They occupied every the glory and pride of the sons of Ham, alike crammable corner, and wedged each other so their source of grandeur and permanency,
tightly into the middle of the narrow street their populousness and prosperity, uniform- from the stalls, from the piles of goods heaped
that they could scarcely extricate themselves ity, and cheerful peacefulness as a nation. upon each side of the thoroughfare, and from It is a country cultivated to the utmost de- the live stock kicking, squealing, bleating, gree that mortal man, unaided by science, lowing, and neighing on every hand. could hope to attain." The high roads, nar “ Here business was being transacted by rowed to the last practicable point to save staid, bargain-making, healthy old men, clad land, are left unfenced, except by an occa- and the great brimmed straw hat scarcely at
in sober homespun blue or white cotton stuff, sional trench, and approached by still nar- tached to their venerable heads by bands of rower paths, dividing fields covered with black tape. millet or barley, or the castor-oil plant, or "Speculations and questionable ventures studded with olive green melons as thick as were sparkling in the eyes of the younger cannon balls, or broken by walled-in gardens negotiators, who, attired in their best outfits of exquisite horticulture, the walls covered -consisting of a maximum of silk, and a
minimum of the less pretentious material, with creepers, the frequent arbors loaded with rines, and the plots crowded with herbs, veg: plaited, glistening queues, too elaborate to
with clean-shaven heads, and long, welletables for the table, and peach, pear, and be protected from the great heat by any sort plum trees. Flowers grown only to look at of covering—talked loudly and long, and are few, and those chiefly honeysuckle and strutted around their customer, or around cockscomb. The whole adult population were the stock in which they were about to invest at work in the fields or gardens, the very aged their capital, using their fans in the most cositting about under the huge trees which shade quettish manner, far more for display than for the village, and guarding the children at their any real benefit to their olive complexions.
“ The more wealthy farmer, the owner of play. Every village has its roadside well full but a small plot, and the day laborer, all minof clear sparkling water, there is streaming gled and bargained, bought and sold, in the traffic on the roads, and everywhere there is quietest and readiest manner possible, withan air of comfort and absence of pressure from out disturbance, and, so far as we could see above which greatly modifies the English iin- in such a dense crowd, without those preservpression of Chinese manners. There is always fairs--the lynx-eyed policemen.
ers of the peace in Hesperian markets and a village inn, and a guard-house or police
“Stalls, shaded by square-topped white station of some kind or other, a few shops, a cotton umbrellas, which nearly knocked our forge, and one or two houses of a wealthier heads off in consequence of our not stooping class, the English mansion being the only low enough to pass beneath them, were shakfeature of the scene the absence of which Mr. ing beneath every kind of native produce ;: Fleming regrets. Probably the Chinese and long rows of sacks stood on end with
peasantry, who till their own land and eat its open months, exhibiting their contents, per
fectly lined each side of the way. Beans, product, instead of taking only a share in the
pease, wheat, barley, and millet, were the shape of wages, would, if they knew all the staple articles exposed for sale. Baskets full facts, be of a different opinion. There must of fresh and salted vegetables ; stands laden be hundreds of thousands of such villages in with home-made cotton cloth, coarse, but China in which life flows on for centuries in thick and durable; or great bundles of the orderly tranquillity, and it is in these, and white flocculent material ready for spinning; not in the packed cities, where life is com- sorts of hardware and pottery of native man
little stores of alum or sal-ammoniac; all pressed by competition till it almost expires, ufacture; tailoring and shoemaking booths ; that the true strength of China, the conser- while barness and saddlery hung over all the vative force which protects its civilization, poles and pegs of the saddlers' compartment..
There were tempting displays of large-sized, either by braziers, or by a brick bed-place well-colored, but very deceptive flavorless ap- built hollow over a furnace and supplied with ples, and hard watery pears, with an abun- hot-air pipes. The fuel is wood or millet dant and more acceptable assortinent of stalk, or pounded coal mixed with mud, Mr. peaches, apricots, and nectarines, in which we indulged greatly, and filled pockets and Fleming says, but, as we suspect, with ricesaddlebags.
water, a mode of using it universal in Asia, “ There were butchers cutting and chop- and which is convenient because the fire never ping at the legs and bodies of well-dressed goes out, and emits little or no smoke. The pigs, slain for the occasion ; and, better than people were all decently dressed—though Mr. all, a sight which made our gustatory nerves Fleming records, with a quaint cockney horfairly tingle; there were delicious legs of the
ror, that he found men at work frequently in 'yang
row — the mutton, about which we the fields and on the towing-paths quite naked had inquired fruitlessly at every haltingplace, fresh and glowing in its delicate tints --and are as neat in their costume as Dutchof white and red."
men, and far more so than English peasants.
They speak,'like most races except the EngWhat, save the locale, the dress, and the lan- lish, kindly and civilly to one another, and guage, is the difference between that scene are unique in Asia for their treatment of anand the one we have all witnessed in an Eng- imals. They never punish. lish market village? The inns are, of course, “ Hence a mule that, in the hands of a forof every kind and degree, but a good one eigner, would be not only useless but danmust be very like an English country inn, gerous to every one about it, becomes in the only the sleeping-rooms are a succession of possession of a Chinaman as quiet as a lamb brick buildings on the ground floor. The and as tractable as a dog. We never bebeld guests sit usually in hot weather under a a runaway, a jibbing, or a vicious mule or shade in the yard, which is adorned with found the same rattling cheerful
pony in à Chinaman's employment; but miniature gardens, and“ at each side of the tained over heavy or light ground by means doorway, resting on rugged pillars of rock- of a turr-r or cluck-k, the beast turning to the work, are immense glazed vascs filled with right or left and stopping with but
a hint water on the surface of which float fine
from the reins. This treatment is extended imens of the almost idolized water-lily-just to all the animals they press into their seron the point of blooming, with black and red ited in getting a large drove of frightened
vice. Often have I admired the lact exhibgold fish swimming around the stems, and sheep through narrow crowded streets and sporting under the great palmate leaves- alleys, by merely having a little boy to lead curious looking animals, with an extraordi- one of the quietest of the flock in front; the nary development of the caudal fin, and eyes others steadily followed without the aid either protruding far beyond their heads. In one from a yelping cur or a cruel goad. Cattle, corner are some dwarf fruit trees, the most pigs, and birds are equally cared for.” notable of which is the species of citron called The “ gentle” Hindoo, who will not kill an • the fingers of Buddha'—from the digitated animal for the world, treats it while alive manner in which the fruit grows--the plum- with sickening cruelty, and the Burmese who tree, and the peach, the double blossoms of reverences all life as the gift of the Creator, which, in the early spring months, form is as brutal as the English cabman. Throughsuch a beautiful spectacle in northern gar- out his long ride Mr. Fleming, though somedens.'' The houses are always in gardens, times bullied by innkeepers and always jealwhich are, moreover, always surrounded by ously watched by the mandarins, suffered walls, a Chinaman having an English love for little annoyance from the people except privacy and the sense of exclusive possession. through their ungovernable curiosity. No They are always of wood or brick, with over serious attack ever seems to have been made heavy wooden roofs, and have a curious sum- on him, and were the Government really mer-house effect, resembling in fact, precisely willing, Europeans might apparently travel the now almost extinct willow-pattern plate. from end to end of northern China. The furniture consists chiefly of tables, chairs, The descriptions of country, village, and -the Chinese have arrived at the arm-chair, wayside inn life constitute the true charm of --and low stools, with ponderous screens and this book ; but Mr. Fleming reached the great wardrobes ; and heat is secured in winter / wall at its meeting with the sea. It is, he