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should come to order by choosing a number. Let no man act for himself moderator to preside over the assembly. alone; let no man indulge prejudices or There was instantly a shout of “M. private feelings. Let us look to the Bonfils ! M. Bonfils !” and as Rogere's good of all the best interests of socipeople took no part, one of the men put ety, and proceed accordingly.”
vote whether M. Bonfils should Having uttered these words, the aged preside, and it was decided in the affirm- moderator sat down upon a little elevaative. The old man, therefore, taking tion that was near. There was then a off his broad-brimmed palm-leaf hat, deep silence around. At last Rogere his long white hair floating down upon arose, and every eye was fixed upon his shoulders, stood before the company. him, while he spoke as follows: His lip quivered, and for a moment he “Mr. Moderator; I respect the feelseemed hardly able to utter a word; but ings that have dictated the speech just at length, in a tone tremulous and faint, uttered by yourself. I acknowledge the and exceedingly touching from its thrill obligation to cast aside selfishness, and of feeling, he spoke as follows: look only to the public good. But in
“My friends and compatriots; we are reasoning according to my sense of all members of the great human family, duty, I come to a very different conclucompanions in the misfortunes that have sion from what some others do. We borne us hither, and the mercy which are all bound to consult the greatest has saved us from a horrible fate. We good of the whole; but how shall we should then have a common feeling; do it? That is the question. We have we certainly have the same interests. already met once before, and the persons
" I ask you to come to the considera- here present, after mature deliberation, tion of the great question to be proposed have decided that they will have no here to-day, with a sense of our respon- other government than such as is foundsibility, and a due regard to these con- ed in nature ; they have decided that an siderations. The question to be here artificial system of government and laws proposed is, I believe, whether this little only tends to mischief, to enslave the community shall be delivered from that many and favor the few. Then why state of lawless anarchy and violence this meeting? Are we a parcel of which now aflicts it, and be blessed boys or silly women, as fickle as the with a government that shall at once winds, undoing one day what we have secure liberty and peace. The real done another? questions are these : Shall our lives be Sir, I am opposed to a constitution ; secure? Shall our homes be safe? I am opposed to enacted statutes and Shall our wives and children live in laws. I am opposed to kings, presidents, quiet? Shall right, and not might, be judges, legislators, and magistrates. the governing principle of society ? What are these but public blood-suck
It is to decide questions thus vital ers, living upon the toil and sacrifices of to our happiness and that of those who the rest of the community ? Away are dependent upon us, that we have with them, and let every man do what now met; and I beg you as fellow-men, seemeth good in his own eyes. Things as brothers, as friends and neighbors, as will all get adjusted to this system in you value life, and liberty, and justice, good time. There is an instinct in the and a good conscience, to come to their animal tribes which is thought to be borconsideration ready and determined to rowed from divine wisdom. The her. act for the best good of the greatest on and the bittern are astronomers and
navigators by nature; they know by leges of citizenship. Sir, look at the instinct what man learns with difficulty. fruits of the island, lately so abundant; They are legislators too, but that divine they are fast disappearing, for no one instinct bids them leave things to their has any interest to preserve or increase natural course. The strongest, by ne- them. Not only are we in a state of cessity and the laws of nature, become confusion and fear, not only are the the leaders, and the rest have only to women and children in the community follow and obey. This is the great sys- in distress from apprehension, but, sir, tem of the universe; and man, by adopt- our means of living are wasting away, ing an artificial scheme of government, -starvation is at our very doors. is only sinning against nature, history “ And what is the remedy for all and experience. I move you, therefore, these evils ? A good government, that that this assembly do now adjourn.". shall parcel out these lands to the peo
Scarcely had Rogere finished, when ple, and secure to each man his own; a his party shouted in the most animated good government, that shall protect a manner, and there was a look of satis- man in his home, his earnings, his propfaction and triumph in their faces that erty; a good government, that will enseemed to say that their leader had set- force right and restrain might; a good tled the whole question. When the government, that will punish murder, applause had subsided, the moderator theft, violence, and crime. This, and stated that there was a motion to ad- this alone, will bring peace to the island; journ, and asked if any one had any- this, and this alone, will give security and thing to say against it. Upon this, happiness to all. Let us have a govBrusque rose, and spoke as follows: ernment, to secure the rights of the peo
“Mr. Moderator; you have already ple and punish injustice, and this island stated the high and solemn purposes of may become a paradise. Its rich hillthis meeting. We are to decide, in the sides and lovely valleys will be cultivafirst place, whether we will adopt some ted, and will produce the greatest abunform of government, and if so, what dance of comforts and luxuries. Let system shall be established ? At the us have protection to life, home, and very outset, and before the subject has property, and commerce will spring up, been discussed, a motion is offered that and we can get from other lands all that we adjourn. It is moved that we sep- they produce which can minister to our arate, and leave this little colony to that enjoyment. anarchy which is now desolating the “ Who will till the soil, if any man island. We are asked to adjourn, and stronger than himself can drive the follow the bittern and the heron as our laborer away and take the produce ? examples in legislation. Man is to be Who will toil, if the violent, and selfish, the pupil of the bird ; the brute is to be and powerful man may take away the the lawgiver of human beings!
result of that toil?. Sir, we are told to “What, sir, is the state of things ? follow nature, to look to the instinct of Riot, crime, and violence are now the animals for a guide.
And is man, order of the day. One murder has gifted with reason, to throw that reason already been committed, and the man aside and follow instinct? The propowhose hand is stained with his brother's sition is absurd. If we follow animals, blood is here, as free as the rest; and we must adopt their modes of life. If that murderer's hand is lifted up in an you adopt the government of wolves, assembly, as if entitled to all the privi- you must live in rocks and dens, feast
upon blood, and have no other covering thrown down, and two stout men, seizing than nature provides. If
you allow the upon him, tied his hands and feet fast. strong to take what they can grasp, we The rest of Brusque's party, after a go back at once to the savage state. short skirmish, fled down the hill to the
“ Let us then be more wise, more village, where they were received with reasonable, more just. Let us remem- cries of consternation and despair. ber that we men act not only for our- M. Bonfils and Brusque were taken selves, but for others. I beseech you to to the “Castaway's Cave,” which Rolook upon the anxious groups of wives, gere now made his head-quarters, and mothers, and daughters in that little val- where his party soon assembled. After ley, whose hearts are now palpitating a brief interval, it was proposed by one with anxiety; they are waiting the of the men that Rogere should be chief result of our deliberations, as involving of the island, with full power in his interests more dear than life to them. hands to govern as he pleased. His Let them know that you have this day motion was carried by acclamation, and resolved to establish a good govern. M. Bonfils and Brusque were required ment, and they will ask ten thousand to give their consent. Refusing to do blessings on your heads. Let them this, they were bound and taken into know that this state of anarchy is to one of the lower apartments of the continue, and they will mourn the day cave, and, totally unable to move, they that saved them from the billows to were left to themselves. which the relentless pirate had doomed
(To be continued.) This speech of Brusque's had an evident effect, and when the question of The Siberian Sable Hunter. adjournment was put, there was a majority against it. Brusque, greatly
CHAPTER IV. encouraged, then rose, and moved, that
A meeting with Tunguses.— A great feast.—The it was the sense of the assembly that
travellers proceed. the best good of the people required the immediate adoption of some form of The long story of Linsk being finishgovernment. No sooner was this mo- ed, Alexis remarked that, although it tion put, than Rogere, fearing that it was not the best he had heard in his might be carried, sprang to his feet, and, life, he was still obliged, for he had drawing a dagger, brandished it in the never heard a Samoide tale before. air, at the same time addressing his “ Well," said the old hunter, a little party as follows:
snappishly,“ if you don't like my stories, My friends, are you not sick of this you need not listen to 'em. I did n't folly, this hypocrisy, this child's play? make 'em myself, and only tell what Away with it all! let us be men–let us other people have told me.
And as to be free. Down with that hoary fool, these Samoides, what can you expect, and this false-hearted knave!” Saying when the men are not taller than a keg this, and pointing to M. Bonfils and of brandy, and the women are about Brusque, he led the way, and rushed the height of a five-gallon jug? Can upon them. His men followed as with we expect to make silk
purse one impulse. The aged moderator was sow's ear? I could tell you a story of struck to the ground by a single blow, Tartar robbers and enchanted castles, if and Brusque, taken by surprise, was you would like that better.”
“I beg your pardon,” said Alexis ; “I same fashion as the person first describdid not mean to offend you. The Sa- ed. The women were attired in short moide story will do, but I should like to cotton gowns and flannel petticoats that hear a Tartar tale
reached but little below the knee. The “Well,” said Linsk, “ I will tell you children were half naked, or clad in cotone;” but just as he was about to begin, ton wrappers. Several of them had on they came in sight of some huts be- cast-off seal-skin jackets reaching lown longing to the Tunguses, a very singu- to the middle, and making them look lar race of people, who inhabit the mid- like half boys and half beasts. dle portions of Siberia. They resemble They were a queer-looking set of peothe Ostiacks, like them living in houses ple, but seemed frank and good-natured, built of poles set in a circle. They have and invited the strangers to spend the no towns or villages, but they wander night, which was now approaching, with from place to place, living entirely by them. Linsk, who knew the language hunting and fishing, in which they dis- pretty well, accepted the offer, and the play wonderful skill and perseverance. party was led to one of the largest huts. In summer, they dwell on the banks of · Alexis noticed two large rein-deer in a the rivers, and in winter retire to the little pen attached to the dwelling, and wooded regions, where they pursue the observed several large dogs, who now sable, ermine, marten, and black fox. awoke from their
and came smell. They have no fire-arms, but are adroit ing
suspiciously around the new-comers. in the use of the bow and arrow. In On entering the hut, the scene prethe spring, they carry or send their furs sented was a curious one. The whole to Yakoutsk, a considerable town on the interior consisted of one room.
This Olekminsk river, and the great fur-mar was circular, of a conical form, and ket of Siberia.
about twenty feet across.
Benches were In a short time, our adventurers came set around, upon which the wife and to the group of huts which they had or two other women were sitting. before descried, and Linsk, who knew The fire was built in the centre, and, the habits of the people, did not hesi. there being no chimney, the whole hut tate at once to go up to one of them and was filled with smoke; but the inmates prepare to enter it through a hole about did not seem to mind it. The children three feet high, that was left as a door. were crawling upon the floor like pigs. He was met at the entrance by a man After staying a while in the hut, it of about fifty years of age, and dressed was announced that supper was ready, in a short coat made of a wolf-skin, and and the travellers soon found that it was a pair of flannel trowsers, that looked to be a feast. The men of the party as much like a petticoat as anything had been on a fishing expedition, and, else. He gazed at the four hunters for having been absent a week, had scarcely a moment with some distrust, but then tasted a bit of food during that period, seemed satisfied, and made a sign of and their families at home had been welcome.
fasting in the mean time. One of The conversation soon brought other the huts had been assigned to the cookpersons out of the several huts around. ing of the meal, and it was to be eaten These consisted of men, women, and in the same place. children-all low in stature, and with When the sable-hunters came to the skins of the color of a smoked ham. hut, they found about sixty people there, The men were dressed nearly in the of all sexes and sizes. Already had the
revel begun; for the hunger of the par since their departure from Tobolsk. ty was beyond control. The feast itself After the meal had been finished, a few was a sight to see. Four large iron of the men treated themselves, apart, to caldrons had been set over the fire, brandy, in which entertainment our filled with fishes of all sorts, though adventurers were permitted to join. A chiefly cod. They were thrown in to scene of drunkenness followed, after gether without dressing-heads, tails, which the men staggered to their seveentrails, fins, and scales! A huge quan- ral houses. Linsk and his companions tity of deer's-grease and a little salt had were comfortably lodged, having drank been put in. A brisk fire had then but sparingly. been kindled beneath, and the whole fried In the morning the travellers left or boiled into a mighty chowder. The their Tungusian friends, and set out on steam that gushed from the door of the their journey, offering to pay for their hut, was almost strong enough for a entertainment, which was, however, supper.
so rank as to satisfy refused. Indeed, this had been geneAlexis and his two younger companions, rally the case, and they had hardly found who soon went out of doors, and min- any necessity of having money. Progled with the people there.
ceeding upon their journey, Linsk, A feast of wolves could not have been according to his wont, began to talk, more voracious. Knives, forks, and and these Tungusians were naturally plates were not thought of; each one the subject of his discourse. ran into the hut with a wooden bowl, They are very numerous,” said he, and, dipping it into the caldron, brought "occupying nearly half of Siberia, and forth the seething mass, and while it yet being confined to the central portions of it. seemed boiling hot, they devoured it They are as restless as Tartars, always with a rapacity absolutely amazing. moving from place to place, and alterThe scalding heat seemed not to be the nately feasting and starving. They go least hindrance; there was no ceremoni- without food as long as a wolf
, and, like ous blowing and cooling-down it went, a wolf, they will
a wolf, they will gorge themselves one dishful after another, as if it were when they get a chance. They eat food a strife to see who could devour the when and where they can get it. This most in the shortest space of time ! is the way they are brought up. I have
In two or three instances the chil- seen them eat candles, soap, and raw dren upset their bowls, and picking up pork. I was once at a place where a the food from the ground, heedless of reindeer died of disease; they threw the dirt attached to it, ate it down; no him whole upon a fire, singed him a litmatter if it was trodden upon, it was all tle, and then eat him, leaving nothing the same.
One of the children was but the bones! A real hungry Tungusian seen by Alexis, flat upon his stomach, will eat twenty pounds of meat in a lapping up the broth, from the earth, that day!” had been spilt. Among this crowd, the Alexis would have expressed some dogs came in for their share ; but they doubt of all this, had not the scene he were often obliged to dispute their had witnessed prepared him to believe claims to the remnants with the greedy it, and had he not found that Linsk, children.
though loyal to servility, and not a little Among all this coarseness, the stran- inclined to superstition, was still a man gers were treated with the utmost hos- of veracity in all that related to his own pitality, as, indeed, they had been ever observation and experience. He went