Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/453

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
405
405
LOST SHIPS AND LONELY SEAS

lieutenant. While the ship tarried at the Pelews, the chronic war against the rebels of Artingall had flared up again, and Captain Delano had this to say of Abba Thulle:

 
The king, according to his usual generosity, had sent word to the people of Artingall that he should be there in three days for war. Although I was a Christian and in the habit of assuming the Christian peoples to be superior to these pagans in the principles of virtue and benevolence, I could not refrain from remonstrating with the king. I told him that Christian nations considered it as within the acknowledged system of lawful and honorable warfare to use stratagems against enemies and to fall upon them whenever it was possible and take them by surprise. He replied that war was horrid enough when pursued in the most open and magnanimous manner, and that although he thought very highly of the English, still their principles in this respect did not obtain his approbation and he believed his own mode of warfare more politic as well as more just.

He said that if he were to destroy his enemies while they were asleep, others would have good reason to retaliate the same base conduct upon his subjects and thus multiply evils, whereas regular and open warfare might be the means of a speedy peace without barbarity. Should he subdue his rebellious subjects by strategy and surprise, they would hate both him and his measures and would never be faithful and happy although they might fear his power and unwillingly obey his laws.

Sentiments of this elevated character excited my admiration the more for this excellent pagan and made an