Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/84

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all its natural and artificial beauties, its gilded spires and magnificent palaces, is to you.

If ye are determined to disregard every principle of justice, and have resolved to consider the Kings proclamation a sufficient title to their lands, I beseech you to bear in mind that ye are forbidden alike by the maxims of Christianity and the law of nations to slay them, unless it be in self defence in the field; the guilt of which will still fall on your heads as the aggressors. And even in the field—for they will have recourse to arms in their own defence—and what nation would not?-ye are still bound by the usages of war, by every principle of honor and humanity, to spare their lives when they surrender and call for mercy. In short, whether ye reckon them enemies or British subjects, ye have no right to hunt them down and kill them, as if they were so many wild beasts. This is contrary to all law human and divine.

Reflect that ye have to do with a people who are not less the antipodes of the inhabitants of the British isles in their manners, laws, and polity, than in geographical position. The laws and polity of Britain contemplate all property as private property, and protect it in this character, restricting each individual to the enjoyment of his own particular portion. The laws and polity of New Holland are just the reverse. They contemplate all property as public property and guard it as such, allowing the free unrestricted use of the whole to every person in the community. Ngyronon of Monkbeelven will tell you that he has killed a man for no other reason than that of attempting to introduce the law of private property; namely, appropriating a kangaroo to himself and refusing to share it with his fellows.

In a country where the law of private property is unknown, there can be no thieves. Of the meaning of the word theft, in the sense in which ye use the term, these people have not the least conception. How can they? Theft can be practised only among a people who are possessed of private property. The commission of it in a country where every thing is held in common, is morally impossible. The spear of the warrior is perhaps the only exception. Other private property they certainly have none. And the possession of this, is an object only when actually engaged in battle. On all other occasions it is carried about as the common property of the tribe.

The word quipple means properly to pillage, or to spoil an enemy—a practise as common to the nations of Europe as to the savages of Australia. But to quipple from a brother, or one of the same tribe, to all of whom they extend the appellation, would excite their astonishment. What may come to pass, should they ever be introduced to a state of society in which the