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The Twin Abominations.

most men would think polygamy to be an offence carrying with it its own punishment. If the tendency of even monogamous simplicity be to tiffs and breakfast-table debates, what must be the magnificent wrath of a patriarch who can arraign a score of wives upon an indictment of cold tea and half-baked rolls; but who is still compelled to withdraw his charges by the rattling musketry of twenty nimble tongues? Brigham of Utah is represented to be a stout creature, with quite an oriental talent for administering the affairs of his seraglio; and we will do him the justice to say that, to our knowledge at least, he has never sacked any insubordinate spouse in his Salt Lake Bosphorus.

But the mild and truly affectionate government of the United States is quite right in taking it for granted, that Young, who is getting to be a little old, will be relieved by taking from him ninety-nine per cent. of [392] his uxorious embarrassment. To our utter astonishment the Mormon objects to this proceeding — is unwilling to part with one single individual rib of his whole magnificent collection, and must be mildly persuaded, for his own good, through the potent logic of an indictment. ‘T is a curious world. Here at the East, hundreds of wretches are clamoring to the courts to rid them of one spouse, and there at the West, Brigham, and other much-married saints, are struggling for assorted lots, numbering from a dozen to a gross, of the same article. Thus it is that human nature is most inconsistently asinine. Thus it is that the barbarous Mormon Bible, which is notoriously a pack of lies, has taught to its admirers a patience which, in too many instances, the highest revelation has failed to inculcate in its professors. Wonderful is habit, and the world is really indebted to the Sultan of Salt Lake for a new proof of its potency. Mithridates breakfasting upon belladonna and lunching upon arsenic was a fool to him.

We shall await the result of this curious experiment in social ethics with considerable interest; for if the government can put down a plurality of wives in Utah, who will doubt its ability to put down the Rebellion? In both cases we confess that we entertain a lively hope of the most favorable results. In both cases we have a right to anticipate the triumph of that imperious civilization which makes no terms either with legalized brothels or barracoons. There is a restraining power somewhere, which forbids man to go backwards, and effectually prevents the reconstruction [393] of barbarous institutions. The Anglo-Saxon race is as likely to discard its coat and breeches, and, oblivious of gunpowder, to betake itself in its own painted skin to the spearing of game, as to sustain a society having for its base either Polygamy or Slavery.

It is one of the divinest things in the economy of this divinely-created world, that there is no resurrection for a convicted and executed and buried falsehood. There is no consolation for us in this chaos of conflicting moral elements, except in a steady faith that, Whatsoever things are unjust bear but a limited life. It is not in vain that so many of the incorporated blunders of mankind have already tottered and tumbled into a tomb from which there can be no resurrection. It is not in vain that our eyes, placed in the frontal regions, must look forward. That was no hard command which directed us to forget the things behind and to press forward.

Polygamy claims the same divine sanction to which Slavery makes a pretence. It is a Patriarchal Institution. It bottoms itself upon Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It sticks closely by the historical letter of the Old Testament, and that, too, upon points which the Jews themselves have, in deference to the difference of ages, wisely abandoned in practice, if not in religious theory. No Israelite, however opulent, astonishes the world by a magnificent and multitudinous concubinage. Rothschild, in such a display, might rival the traditional glories of Solomon. But the Synagogue has discarded an institution inconsistent [394] with the social phenomena of the age to the bastardized Christianity of Brigham Young; while the Christian Slaveholder, contemptuously overleaping the gap which divides the Old and New Dispensations, claims, as an extenuation of his crime, the authority and example of Moses and the Prophets.

Polygamy is an offence against reason, decency, policy, and the enlightenment of the times; but in the system of Human Slavery the most indecent and revolting features of Polygamy are included. Each of these systems tends to the gratification of unhallowed lusts, to the pollution of woman, to the degradation of the marital relation, to the desecration of home, to a loose and promiscuous association of the sexes; but these odious peculiarities of Slavery are mixed with others which are so much more revolting, and which appeal so much more directly to human sympathy, that we forget the lesser wrong (if there can in such case be any comparison) in our indignation at the greater. Brigham's polygamous institution is bad enough at the best; but it is free from that taint of remorseless and calculating selfishness which makes Southern Slavery an almost unmitigated evil.

Nobody can calculate how many children call Brigham Young by the endearing title of father; but we must say this for him, that however numerous they may be, he has brought none of them to the auction-block. He keeps no market for the sale of his own flesh and blood. He does not advertise the bone of his bone. He makes no merchandise of his [395] little boys and girls. And finally, it may be stated for the satisfaction of gentlemen disposed to dabble in ethnics, that all the youthful Youngs are indubitably white, and present to the world a bleached Caucasian aspect. For the soul of us we cannot help regarding Mawworm preaching from his tub as a far more agreeable character than Inkle selling his Yarico for filthy dollars.

There are sundry good Samaritans of the Copperhead variety who cannot speak of the wrongs which the Man-Owners have suffered without bursting into a flood of tears. Slavery is established by positive law, and it is cruelly unjust to meddle with it so much as by a mere mention of its iniquity. Well, concubinage is established by the positive law of Utah, backed. by the authority of the Mormon Bible. Will the husbands of one wife, here and elsewhere, convene to sympathize with the husband of many wives?--We shall see.

March 19, 1863.

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