14th December 1835

Captain Fitzroy’s Journal
Remarking on the criticisms of such as have animadverted on officers who found themselves obliged to take harsh measures in self-defence—La Pérouse, whose humanity and good sense not one individual among the nations who regret his untimely loss, ever questioned, says, "I am, however, a thousand times more angry with the philosophers who extol the savages, than with the savages themselves. The unfortunate Lamanon, whom they massacred, told me the very evening before his death, that the Indians (meaning the natives of the Navigator Islands) were worthier people than ourselves!

"Observing rigidly the orders I have received, I have always treated them with the greatest mildness; but I confess to you, that if I were to undertake another voyage of the same kind, I would demand different orders.

"A navigator, on quitting Europe, ought to consider the savages as enemies, very weak indeed, and whom it would be ungenerous to attack and barbarous to destroy, but whose assaults he has a right to prevent when authorised to do so by well-grounded suspicions" — Voyage of La Pérouse, vol. iii. p. 413.

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