“Diabolical.” The Reflector (Palmyra, New York) new series, no. 8 (27 February 1830):66–67.
Our readers must be aware of the great difficulty we labor under in translating our foreign correspondence. The inspired man who wrote the “Gold Bible” on “plates of brass,” in the
“reformed Egyptian” language, on account of its brevity, as we are informed, through the medium of one of these psuedo prophets, never had half the trouble that we experience in deciphering the unseemly scrolls of this dark representative of old Pluto’s dominions. His letters and communications are all written in heathen Greek, and the characters so fine and imperfect, that notwithstanding the great power of our editorial spectacles, we have in one instance burnt the scrawl in despair! But behold what followed! The room (our bower,) was immediately filled with the fumes of brimstone, and we thought frequently that we could detect something like sulphuric acid, in the composition; and to cap the climax, we hard a crack, like that of a coachman’s whip, which made us conclude that “old sooty” himself, had snapped his tail at us. We shall be more careful in future.
One great difficulty in transcribing the manuscript of this imp, who appears to bear the whimsical name of Snuffer, (when “done into English,”) is, his (strange as it may seem) ignorance of letters. From the knowledge we possess on this subject, we are bold to declare, that in our opinion, the chief scribe of the “Book of Mor-mon” does not possess less knowledge in either spelling or punctuation; and was it not that we, in a measure, stand pledged to “drag the deeds of darkness to the light of day, we should exchange this unpleasant task for one of a more pleasing nature, to wit: that of writing a true, genuine, and authentic history of “the captivity, dispersion, trials, hardships, sufferings, and final restoration of the ten lost tribes of Israel, who have not been heard of for more than two thousand years, with traits of character, matrimonial customs, anecdotes, &c.;” of all which, not one word will be borrowed from the Cabala of the Jews, the Bible of the Gentiles, the books of Cybals, or the works of a celebrated Chinese philosopher, whose life we have a great itching also to write.
But we have put our hands to the plough, and must not look black. We are pledged to stand forth the champion of a people thirsting after truth, [ office,] and their necessities must and shall be attended to, without any reference to our individual propensities. . . .