It has been the fate of certain spots of England, more so than of most other parts of the European world, to be favoured by periodical visits from these gentry. Deerham was now suffering under the infliction, and Brother Jarrum was doing all that lay in his power to convert half its female population into Mormon proselytes. His peculiar doctrines it is of no consequence to transcribe; but some of his promises were so rich that it is a pity you should lose the treat of hearing them. They commenced with—husbands to all. Old or young, married or single, each was safe to be made the wife of one of these favoured prophets the instant she set foot in the new city. This, of course, was a very grand thing for the women—as you may know if you have any experience of them—especially for those who were getting on the shady side of forty, and had not changed their name. They, the women, gathered together and pressed into Peckaby’s shop, and stared at Brother Jarrum with eager eyes, and listened with strained ears, only looking off him to cast admiring glances one to another.
“Stars and snakes!” said Brother Jarrum, whose style of oratory was more peculiar than elegant, “what flounders me is, that the whole lot of you Britishers don’t migrate of yourselves to the desired city—the promised land—the Zion on the mountains. You stop here to pinch and toil and care, and quarrel one of another, and starve your children through having nothing to give ’em, when you might go out there to ease, to love, to peace, to plenty. It’s a charming city; what else should it be called the City of the Saints for? The houses have shady veranders round ’em, with sweet shrubs a-creeping up, and white posts and pillows to lean against. The bigger a household is, the more rooms it have got; not a lady there, if there was a hundred of ’em in family, but what’s got her own parlour and bedroom to herself, which no stranger thinks of going in at without knocking for leaf. All round and about these houses is productive gardens, trees and flowers for ornament, and fruits and green stuff to eat. There’s trees that they call cotton wood, and firs, and locusts, and balsams, and poplars, and pines, and acacias, some of ’em in blossom. A family may live for nothing upon the produce of their own ground. Vegetables is to be had for the cutting; their own cows gives the milk—such milk and butter as this poor place, Deerham, never saw—but the rich flavour’s imparted to ’em from the fine quality of the grass; and fruit you might feed upon till you got a surfeit. Grapes and peaches is all a-hanging in clusters to the hand, only waiting to be plucked! Stars! my mouth’s watering now at the thoughts of ’em! I—”
“Please, sir, what did you say the name of the place was again?” interrupted a female voice.
“New Jerusalem,” replied Brother Jarrum. “It’s in the territory of Utah. On the maps and on the roads, and for them that have not awoke to the new light, it’s called the Great Salt Lake City; but for us favoured saints, it’s New Jerusalem. It’s Zion—it’s Paradise—it’s anything beautiful you may like to call it. There’s a ballroom in it.”