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Story of Philip Brusque.
(Continued from page 79.) CHAPTER V.
the convulsions of civilized society.
Brusque urged them to seek an asylum Progress of events.—Necessity of Government.
from their cares and anxieties in the Å Constitution is drawn up and rejected.Murder.—Anarchy.--Emilie and her lover. quiet retreat of Fredonia. Whether he
would have succeeded in persuading When the morning came, it showed them to adopt this course or not, we canupon the bosom of the sea a few black- not tell, had not his arguments been ened fragments of the pirate ship, but enforced by the condition of the ship: beside these not a trace of it was seen. she was found to be in a leaky condiHer whole crew had apparently perished tion, and the necessity of abandoning her in the awful explosion.
became apparent; no time was indeed The people on board the merchant to be lost. Preparations therefore were ship were soon called from rejoicing to immediately made for landing the peothe consideration of their situation and ple, and for taking to the shore all the the course to be pursued. Brusque en- articles that could be saved from the deavored to persuade them to quit the vessel. ship, and take up their abode on the In a few days this task was island. Most of them were refugees All the inmates of the vessel had been from France in the first place, and re- transferred to the island, as well as a. cently from St. Domingo ; in both cases great variety of articles, either of furniflying from the perils which attended ture, food, or merchandise. The vessel
gradually sank in the water, and finally Brusque proceeded to read the docudisappeared. Thus, about seventy per- ment, and then he made some remarks sons were landed upon the island, with. in explanation of it. He said that the out the means of leaving it. So soft plan of a constitution which had just was the climate, so beautiful the little been read was partly copied from that hills and valleys, so delicious the fruits of the United States of Americama nathat all seemed to forget their various tion which had recently arisen among plans and disappointments in the pros- mankind, and promised soon to be the pect of spending the remainder of their most flourishing and happy people upon lives there.
the face of the earth. He then went on Nothing could exceed the efforts of to say that the constitution just read Brusque and Piquet to make their new contained the following principles : friends comfortable and happy. Men, 1. All mankind are born with equal women, and children, all seemed for a rights and privileges; all are entitled to time to emulate each other in helping the same degree of liberty; all are forward the preparations for mutual equally entitled to the protection and comfort. Tents were erected, sleeping benefit of the laws. apartments with beds or mats were pro- 2. All government should spring from vided, and in less than a week all the the people, and have the good of the necessaries of life were distributed to people for its object. every member of their little colony. 3. That all government implies the
The reflective mind of Brusque had abridgment of natural liberty, and that already suggested the necessity of adopt the people ought to submit to such ing some system of government, for even abridgments, so far as the good of society this small colony he knew could not get required. along without it. Under the pressure
The constitution then proceeded to of calamity or emergency, a spirit of prescribe a form of government, consistmutual accommodation might exist, and ing of three branches : Ist, of a Presifor a time might enable the little society dent, who should see to the general to proceed without disturbance. But affairs of the colony, and to the execuhe foresaw that a state of quiet and com- tion of the laws, who should be called fort would bring occasions of discontent the Executive ; 2d, of three judges, who and disorder, which must result in vio- should decide all disputes, to be called lence, if all could not be subjected to the the Judiciary; and 3d, of an assembly, sway of some just system of laws. chosen by the people every year to make These views he suggested to the captain laws, called the Legislature. It also of the vessel, to Emilie's father, and to established the following principles: several others. It was at length agreed 1. Every man of the age of twentyby some of the principal men that the one years should be a citizen, and be people should be assembled, and the permitted to vote for members of the adoption of a form of government be legislature and other officers. proposed. This was done, and Brusque, 2. A majority of votes shall be necesthe captain, and Emilie's father were sary for a choice. appointed a committee to draw up a 3. The land of the island shall be constitution. They attended to this divided between the families, in proporduty, and in a few days the people were tion to their numbers, by the judges, and called together to hear the report of the then each person shall be protected in his committee.
possessions, and the property he acquires. 4. Any citizen shall be competent to of what he had said. In vain did he fill any
office to which he is chosen.' oppose the views of Rogere; in vain did Such were the outlines of the constitu- he show that it was impossible for socition, as set forth by Brusque in presence eiy to have order without laws, to mainof all the men of the colony. A pro- tain justice, peace and security without found silence followed the remarks of government. In vain did he appeal to the orator. But, at length, a man named history and the past experience of manRogere rose, and said that he did not kind. The idea of perfect freedom was like the proposed constitution. For his too fascinating to the majority; and the part, he did not see the necessity of any assembly finally decided, by an overgovernment. He had, in France only whelming vote, to reject the proposed seen iniquity, and folly, and crime, fol. constitution, and to make the experiment lowing the footsteps of government, of living without laws or government. whether admitted by kings or citizens, The subject, however, became a matand he believed that the best way was ter of discussion among the people, and to get along without it. "For my part,” they were soon divided into two parties, said he, "I believe that liberty is the called the Brusqueites and the Rogeregreatest political good, and the moment ites; the former being in favor of a govyou begin to make laws, you put fetters ernment, and the latter in favor of unupon it. As soon as you establish a limited freedom. Things went on quigovernment, you prepare to smother or etly for a time, for the people were all strangle it. Of what use is liberty to French, and their good breeding seemed the eagle when you have broken his to render the restraints and obligations wing, or to the mountain deer when you of enacted statutes, less important. Be-' have cut the sinews of his limbs, or to side, the island abounded in fruit, and man when it is doled out by magistrates, there seemed such a supply of food, as who may say how much we shall have, to afford little ground for dispute as to and how we may exercise it? Take the possession of property. As for shelfrom man his liberty, and you sink him ter, the climate was so mild as to render as far as you can to the standard of the the covering of a tent sufficient for combrute! Give him liberty, and he is but fort. little lower than the angels! Then why But occasions of collision soon arose. restrain liberty? Why take it for grant- Some articles brought from the ship had ed that the first step in society is to fetter been claimed and taken into use by one human freedom and trench upon human of the sailors as his own; but now rights ? Let us be wiser than to be another sailor insisted that they were guided by a prejudice; let us venture to his. An altercation of words followed depart from the beaten path, and strike between the two, and at last they came out something new. I close by mov- to blows. In the struggle, one of them ing that we dispense with government was killed. This event cast a cloud altogether; that we rely upon the moral over the little colony, but it was transient. sense of mankind, which rests upon an It was forgotten in a few days. Other innate perception of justice. This is quarrels, however, soon followed ; and sufficient for our safety and our happi- finally the whole society was in a state
of anarchy and confusion. It was now Brusque was not a little disappointed obvious that reason had lost its power, to observe, as Rogere sat down, that there and that the weak were exposed to viowas a pervading feeling of approbation lence and injustice from the strong.
Among the people of the colony were many causes of anxiety. The disturbed several rude men, who, finding that state of the little community upon the there was no punishment to be feared, island, the brawls and riots that were began to be very insolent; and it was not occurring almost every day, and a genea little remarkable that Rogere usually ral feeling of fear and insecurity which associated with these persons, and seem- she shared with her friends, had cast a ed even to countenance their injustice deep gloom over her mind. The conand their tyranny. At last, he was evi- duct of Rogere had been offensive to her dently considered their leader, and being on several occasions, but that which much more intelligent than his followers, caused her most vexation and sorrow he was soon able to govera them as he was the strange demeanor of Brusque, pleased. In order to secure his ascen- her former lover. On the night of their dency over their minds, he flattered deliverance from the pirates on board them by holding forth the prospect of the ship, he had made himself known unbounded liberty. He encouraged to her, and their meeting was marked them in their acts of licentiousness, and with all the fondness and confidence of pretended that this was freedom. He former times. But from that period, he sought to prejudice their minds against had treated her only with common civiliBrusque and the other members of the ty. He had indeed been most careful community who were in favor of a gov- to provide for her comfort and that of ernment of equal laws, by insisting that her parents. Though he had been very they were aristocrats or monarchists, industrious in promoting the general who wished to enslave the people. Thus, welfare of the colony, it was apparent by playing upon the passions of his that he felt a special interest in contriparty, Rogere soon made them subser- buting to the peace and happiness of vient to his will. While he pretended Emilie and her aged parents. By his to be a friend of freedom he was now care their tent was so contrived as to actually a despot; and while his follow- afford a perfect shelter, and it was supers were made to believe that they were plied with everything which circumenjoying liberty, they were in fact the stances permitted, that could minister to slaves of a cunning tyrant. Nor was the pleasure of its inmates. this all. While claiming to be the lib- daily provided with the finest oranges, eral party, the party that favored hu- the freshest figs, and the choicest pineman rights and human freedom, they apples. And it was evident that this were daily guilty of acts of injustice, was all done either by Brusque himself, violence and wrong, toward some of the or by some one at his bidding. But people of the island.
still," he seldom came to the tent; he It was in this state of things that, one never_sought any private conversation pleasant evening, Emilie walked to the with Emilie; and sometimes, when he sea-shore, which was at no great dis- looked upon her, she could perceive that tance from the tent in which she lived. his countenance bespoke a deep but The moon occasionally shone out from melancholy interest; and no sooner was the clouds that were drifting across his feeling noticed, than he hastened the sky, and threw its silver light upon to disguise it. the waves that came with a gentle swell While Emilie was walking upon the and broke upon the pebbly beach. The beach, she thought of all these things; scene was tranquil
, but it could not of the unsettled state of the colony, the soothe the heart of Emilie, who had now uncertainty of their fate, and of the rude