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LOST SHIPS AND LONELY SEAS

launching a small vessel and his men were well drilled and armed. And his surgeon would keep an eye on their health.

Landing at the camp, King Abba Thulle was escorted by his chiefs and three hundred bronzed fighting men. He wore no clothing and carried on his shoulder a hatchet which seemed to be a kind of scepter. A man of uncommon force and intelligence, a king in deed as well as name, this was to be read at a glance. It was his surmise that Captain Wilson, attended by his officers and armed sailors, must be a prince in his own country, but this error the modest commander was at pains to correct. Musketry drill and the discharge of the pieces astounded Abba Thulle, as did also the clothing and implements of these strangers, and the narrative of the shipwreck sagaciously comments:

 

The king remained awhile pensive and bewildered, and this circumstance impressed on every one the idea that there was every cause to suppose that there had never been a communication between these people and any other nation, that they and their ancestry through ages too remote for human conjecture, might have lived as sovereigns of the world, unconscious that it extended beyond the horizon which bounded them, unconscious also that there were any other inhabitants in it than themselves. And in this case, what might not be the sentiments that burst on a mind thus suddenly awakened to a new and more enlarged notion of nature and mankind."