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to be encountered, and the pleasures to be enjoyed, while future travellers will probably find the particulars I have given both instructive and serviceable. The accompanying map, which has been specially prepared in order to exhibit the course of the railway, along with a section showing the gradients, will enable both the general and the professional reader to understand very clearly the nature and magnitude of the enterprise.
It is possible that my account of the Mormons will occasion some surprise. In the main it differs materially from the accounts written by several preceding visitors to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. I could not confirm all their statements without making an unpardonable sacrifice of truth. Doubtless they were honest in their eulogy; but, then, they must either have deliberately shut their eyes, or else have been incompetent and superficial observers. It may be, that, going forth laden with foregone conclusions, they returned home rejoicing that they were in the right. Captain Burton's description of what he witnessed in Utah is permeated with his avowed approval of polygamy, His wife having publicly explained that his practice is diametrically opposed to his teaching, the book in which he has presented a favourable picture of Mormon society must now be regarded as an awkward joke or an elaborated paradox. Mr. Hepworth Dixon, without unreservedly expressing personal admiration for the worst Mormon doctrines and customs, has undoubtedly produced the impression that polygamy is not such a bad thing after all. His volumes about America are apparently designed to breed doubts and excite suspicions.
The well-informed reader is always at a loss to decide whether Mr. Dixon has been shamefully imposed upon, or has determined to impose upon others. The drawback of books of travel ingeniously planned in order to sell, is that they are apt to be regarded by the uninitiated as trustworthy merely because they happen to be entertaining. Sir Charles Dilke in his Greater Britain' writes very sensibly and fairly about the Mormons and their ways; but he deals with the subject only as an episode in his long and eventful journey.
In addition to divergences of statement and opinion, this volume is distinguished from previous ones by containing particulars, alike curious and novel, relating to the aspect of Mormonism since the Pacific Railway has rendered it easy to visit and to get away from the City of the Saints. The new order of things in Utah has made it imperative to return a speedy and definite answer to the old inquiry: What shall be done with the Mormons ?' I have supplied material wherewith to frame the reply which must be given, and I have indicated the form in which I think the reply may most appropriately be couched.
MAP SHOWING THE LINES OF RAIL BETWEEN THE ATLANTIC AND
PACIFIC, WITH SECTION OF THE Pacific Railway to face Title-page