XXVI.7 That one must not decide by the precepts of religion when the question has to do with those of natural law

The Abyssinians have a very severe fast of fifty days which wea­kens them so that for a long time they are inca­pa­ble of any action ; the Turks do not fail to attack them after their fast.1 Religion should, in favor of natu­ral defense, put limits on these prac­ti­ces.

The Jews were com­man­ded to keep the Sabbath, but it was stu­pi­dity on the part of that nation not to defend itself when its ene­mies chose that day to attack it. Cambyse, besie­ging Peluzium, pla­ced in the first line a large num­ber of ani­mals which the Egyptians held to be sacred : the sol­diers of the gar­ri­son dared not shoot. Who does not see that natu­ral defense is of a higher order than all the pre­cepts ?

Recueil des voyages qui ont servi à l’établissement de la Compagnie des Indes, vol. IV, part 1, p. 35 and 103.