“O Lord, my God, O thou who didst receive young Abel’s sacrifices, thou who didst curse Cain, avenge, O Lord, this innocent penguin sacrificed upon his own field and make the murderer feel the weight of thy arm. Is there a more odious crime, is there a graver offence against thy justice, O Lord, than this murder and this robbery?”
“Take care, father,” said Bulloch gently, “that what you call murder and robbery may not really be war and conquest, those sacred foundations of empires, those sources of all human virtues and all human greatness. Reflect, above all, that in blaming the big penguin you are attacking property in its origin and in its source. I shall have no trouble in showing you how. To till the land is one thing, to possess it is another, and these two things must not be confused; as regards ownership the right of the first occupier is uncertain and badly founded. The right of conquest, on the other hand, rests on more solid foundations. It is the only right that receives respect since it is the only one that makes itself respected. The sole and proud origin of property is force. It is born and preserved by force. In that it is august and yields only to a greater force. This is why it is correct to say that he who possesses is noble. And that big red man, when he knocked down a labourer to get possession of his field, founded at that moment a very noble house upon this earth. I congratulate him upon it.”
Having thus spoken, Bulloch approached the big penguin, who was leaning upon his club as he stood in the blood-stained furrow:
“Lord Greatauk, dreaded Prince,” said he, bowing to the ground, “I come to pay you the homage due to the founder of legitimate power and hereditary wealth. The skull of the vile Penguin you have overthrown will, buried in your field, attest for ever the sacred rights of your posterity over this soil that you have ennobled. Blessed be your suns and your sons’ sons! They shall be Greatauks, Dukes of Skull, and they shall rule over this island of Alca.”
Then raising his voice and turning towards the holy Mael:
“Bless Greatauk, father, for all power comes from God.”
Mael remained silent and motionless, with his eyes raised towards heaven; he felt a painful uncertainty in judging the monk Bulloch’s doctrine. It was, however, the doctrine destined to prevail in epochs of advanced civilization. Bulloch can be considered as the creator of civil law in Penguinia.
“Bulloch, my son,” said old Mael, “we ought to make a census of the Penguins and inscribe each of their names in a book.”
“It is a most urgent matter,” answered Bulloch, “there can be no good government without it.”
Forthwith, the apostle, with the help of twelve monks, proceeded to make a census of the people.
And old Mael then said: