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Title: Borneo and the Indian Archipelago - with drawings of costume and scenery
Author: Marryat, Frank, 1826-1855
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Borneo and the Indian Archipelago - with drawings of costume and scenery" ***

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New-street Square.

[Illustration: CHINESE JOSS HOUSE.




[Illustration: (Transcriber's Note: No caption in original
text--Picture shows a Bornean ship with the book title, author's
name and publisher printed on the sails and hull.)













I wish the readers of these pages to understand that it has been with
no desire to appear before the public as an author that I have
published this Narrative of the Proceedings of Her Majesty's ship
Samarang during her last Surveying Cruise.

During the time that I was in the ship, I made a large collection of
drawings, representing, I hope faithfully, the costumes of the natives
and the scenery of a country so new to Europeans. They were considered,
on my return, as worthy to be presented to the public, as being more
voluminous and more characteristic than drawings made in haste usually

I may here observe, that it has been a great error on the part of the
Admiralty, considering the great expense incurred in fitting out
vessels for survey, that a little additional outlay is not made in
supplying every vessel with a professional draughtsman, as was
invariably the case in the first vessels sent out on discovery. The
duties of officers in surveying vessels are much too fatiguing and
severe to allow them the time to make anything but hasty sketches, and
they require that practice with the pencil without which natural talent
is of little avail; the consequence is, that the engravings, which have
appeared in too many of the Narratives of Journeys and Expeditions,
give not only an imperfect, but even an erroneous, idea of what they
would describe.

A hasty pencil sketch, from an unpractised hand, is made over to an
artist to reduce to proportion; from him it passes over to the hand of
an engraver, and an interesting plate is produced by their joint
labours. But, in this making up, the character and features of the
individual are lost, or the scenery is composed of foliage not
indigenous to the country, but introduced by the artist to make a good

In describing people and countries hitherto unknown, no description
given by the pen will equal one correct drawing. How far I may have
succeeded must be decided by those who have, with me, visited the same
places and mixed with the people delineated. How I found time to
complete the drawings is explained by my not doing any duty on board at
one time, and at another by my having been discharged into the
hospital-ship at Hong Kong.

It was my intention to have published these drawings without
letter-press, but in this I have been overruled. I have therefore been
compelled to have recourse to my own private journal, which certainly
was never intended for publication. As I proceeded, I found that, as I
was not on board during the whole of the time, it would be better, and
make the work more perfect, if I published the whole of the cruise,
which I could easily do by referring to the journals of my messmates.

I would gladly mention their names, and publicly acknowledge their
assistance; but, all things considered, I think it as well to withhold
them, and I take this opportunity of thanking them for their kindness.




Chinese Joss House                  _Frontispiece_

Bornese Vessel                        _Title-page_

Loondoo Dyak                      _To face page_ 5

River Sarawak and Town
of Kuchin                                        6

Keeney-Ballo                                    59

Serebis Dyak                                    79

Saghai Dyak                                     80

War Dance of the Dyaks                          85

Malay Chief (Sooloo)                           101

Bruni                                          106

Court of the Sultan of Borneo                  109

West Point, Hong Kong                          142

View on the Island of Poo-too                  151

Chinese Joss House at Ningpo                   156

Quelpartians                                   182

Mandarin of Quelpart (Corea)                   183

Japanese                                       185

Natives of Luzon (Philippines)                 199

View in Samboangan                             201

Illanoan Pirate                                207

Dusum                                          210

Port Louis                                     220


Mr. Brooke's House                               7

Dyak Head                                       13

Malays of Kuchin                                23

Native of Batan                                 27

Native of Pa-tchu-san                           31

Sooloo Village                                  42

Native Boat--Borneo                             63

Dyak War Prahu                                  64

Dyak Women in Canoe                             74

Teeth of Dyaks                                  79

Costumes of Dyak Women                          80

with poisoned Arrows                            80

Dyak Village                                    82

Obtaining Fire                                  89

View of Sincapore                               93

Malay Woman                                    100

Proboscis Monkey                               103

Natives of Bruni                               108

City of Manilla                                121

Procession of the Sultan of
Gonong Tabor                                   133

Ears of Dyaks at Gonong Tabor                  135

Portrait of Mahomed Pullulu,
Sultan of Sooloo                               139

Tanka Boats--Hong Kong                         141

Chinese Fishermen                              145

Cook's Shop                                    146

Pagoda--Ningpo                                 154

Tanka Boat Women                               165

Man-of-War Junk                                168

Trading Junks                                  169

Japanese Boat                                  184

Salt Smugglers                                 193

Spanish Galleon                                196

Water Carriers--Manilla                        199

Illanoan Pirates                               208

Natives of N. E. Coast of Borneo                210

Convict                                        215

Kling Woman                                    216




On the 25th of January, 1843, H. M. S. Samarang, being completely
equipped, went out of Portsmouth harbour and anchored at Spithead. The
crew were paid advanced wages; and, five minutes after the money had
been put into their hats at the pay-table, it was all most dexterously
transferred to the pockets of their wives, whose regard and affection
for their husbands at this peculiar time was most exemplary. On the
following day, the crew of the Samarang made sail with full hearts and
empty pockets.

On the 25th February, sighted Fuerto Ventura: when off this island, the
man at the mast-head reported a wreck in sight, which, as we neared it,
appeared to be the wreck of a brig. Strange to say, the captain
recognised it as an old acquaintance, which he had seen off Cape
Finisterre on his return from China in the Sulphur. If this was not a
mistake, it would be evidence of a southerly current in this quarter of
the Atlantic. This may be, but I do not consider the proof to be
sufficient to warrant the fact; although it may lead to the
supposition. If this was the wreck seen at such a long interval by the
captain, a succession of northerly winds and gales might have driven it
down so far to the southward without the assistance of any current. It
is well known that the great current of the Atlantic, the gulf stream
(which is occasioned by the waters, being forced by the continuous trade
winds into the Gulf of Mexico, finding a vent to the northward by the
coast of America, from thence towards Newfoundland, and then in a more
easterly direction), loses its force, and is expended to the northward
of the Western Islands; and this is the cause why so many rocks have
been yearly reported to have been fallen in with in this latitude.
Wrecks, all over the Atlantic, which have been water-logged but do not
sink, are borne by the various winds and currents until they get into
the gulf stream, which sweeps them along in its course until they arrive
to where its force is expended, and there they remain comparatively
stationary. By this time, probably, years have passed, and they are
covered with sea-weeds and barnacles, and, floating three or four feet
out of the water, have every appearance of rocks; and, indeed, if run
upon on a dark night, prove nearly as fatal.

March 3rd.--Anchored off the town of Porto Praya, Island of St. Jago, in
nine fathoms. Porto Praya is a miserable town, built on a most unhealthy
spot, there being an extensive marsh behind it, which, from its miasma,
creates a great mortality among the inhabitants. The consul is a native
of Bona Vista: two English consuls having fallen victims to the climate
in quick succession, no one was found very willing to succeed to such a
certain provision from the Foreign Office. The interior of the island
is, however, very different from what would be expected from the sight
of Porto Praya. Some of the officers paid a visit to the valley of St.
Domingo, which they described as a perfect paradise, luxuriant with
every tropical fruit. Porto Praya is renowned for very large sharks. I
was informed by a captain in Her Majesty's service, that once, when he
anchored at Porto Praya, he had left the ship to go on shore in one of
the twenty-two-foot gigs, not unaptly nick-named coffins in the service.
He had not pulled more than a cable's length from the ship, when a
shark, nearly as long as the gig, came up swimming with great velocity
after them; and as he passed, the animal shouldered the boat, so as
nearly to upset it: as it was, the boat took in the water over the
gunwale. As the animal appeared preparing for another attack, the
captain thought it advisable to pull alongside, and go on shore in the
cutter instead of his own boat; and on this large boat the shark did not
make a second attempt.

April 25th.--Anchored in Simon's Bay, Cape of Good Hope. Sailed again on
the 7th of May, and fell in with a favourable wind; and too much of it.
For six days we were scudding before it under a close-reefed
main-topsail and fore-staysail. On the 10th we lost one of the best men
in the ship, the sailmaker, Charles Downing, who fell overboard; the
ship was rounded to, the life-buoy let go, but we saw nothing of him.
June 7th saw Christmas Islands, and on the same afternoon the land of
Java. On the 11th we arrived off the town of Anger, in company with a
fleet of merchant vessels of all nations and of all rigs. Having been so
long without a fresh meal, we were not sorry to find ourselves
surrounded by boats loaded with fish, fruit, and vegetables; we ate
enormously, and they made us pay in proportion.

On the 19th we arrived at Sincapore, and found the roads very gay with
vessels of all descriptions, from the gallant free trader of 1000 tons
to the Chinese junk. As Sincapore, as well as many other places, was
more than once visited, I shall defer my description for the present. On
June the 27th we weighed and made sail for the river of Sarawak
(Borneo), to pay a visit to Mr. Brooke, who resides at Kuchin, a town
situated on that river.

The public have already been introduced to Mr. Brooke in the volumes
published by Captain Henry Keppel. Mr. Brooke is a gentleman of
independent fortune, who was formerly in the service of the Company. The
usefulness and philanthropy of his public career are well known: if the
private history which induced him to quit the service, and afterwards
expatriate himself, could with propriety, and also regard to Mr.
Brooke's feelings, be made known, it would redound still more to his
honour and his high principle; but these I have no right to make public.
Mr. Brooke, having made up his mind to the high task of civilising a
barbarous people, and by every means in his power of putting an end to
the wholesale annual murders committed by a nation of pirates, whose
hands were, like Ishmael's, against every man, sailed from England in
his yacht, the Royalist schooner, with a crew of picked and tried men,
and proceeded to Sarawak, where he found the rajah, Muda Hassein, the
uncle to the reigning sultan of Borneo, engaged in putting down the
insurrection of various chiefs of the neighbouring territory. Mr.
Brooke, with his small force, gave his assistance to the rajah; and
through his efforts, and those of his well-armed band, the refractory
chiefs were reduced to obedience. Willing to retain such a powerful
ally, and partial to the English, the rajah made Mr. Brooke most
splendid promises to induce him to remain; but the rajah, like all
Asiatics, did not fulfil the performance of these promises until after
much delay and vexation to Mr. Brooke, who required all the courage and
patience with which he is so eminently gifted, before he could obtain
his ends. At last he was successful: Muda Hassein made over to him a
large tract of land, over which he was constituted rajah, and Mr. Brooke
took up his residence at Kuchin; and this grant was ultimately confirmed
by the seal of the sultan of Borneo. Such, in few words, is the history
of Mr. Brooke: if the reader should wish for a more detailed account, I
must refer him to Capt. Henry Keppel's work, in which is published a
great portion of Mr. Brooke's own private memoranda.

[Illustration: LOONDOO DYAK.





On the morning of the 29th June we saw the high land of Borneo, but for
several days were unsuccessful in discovering the mouth of the river. On
the night of July the 4th we anchored off the entrance of a river, which
the captain supposed to be the Sarawak. The next morning the two barges,
well armed, were sent up the river to obtain information. After pulling
with the stream six or eight miles, they discovered a small canoe,
which, on their approach, retreated up the river with great speed. Mr.
Heard, the officer in charge of the boats, had taken the precaution, as
he ascended the river, of cutting a palm branch for each boat, and these
were now displayed at the bows as a sign of peaceable intentions.

These universal tokens of amity reassured the natives, who, seeing them,
now turned the bows of their canoes, and paddled towards the boats. The
canoe contained four men, almost in a state of nudity, their only
covering consisting of a narrow slip of cotton fastened round the
middle. They were copper-coloured, and extremely ugly: their hair jet
black, very long, and falling down the back; eyes were also black, and
deeply sunk in the head, giving a vindictive appearance to the
countenance; nose flattened; mouth very large; the lips of a bright
vermilion, from the chewing of the betel-nut; and, to add to their
ugliness, their teeth black, and filed to sharp points. Such is the
personal appearance of a Loondoo Dyak.

They informed us that the river we were then in was the Loondoo, and
that the Sarawak was some distance to the eastward. They also gave us
the information that the boats of the Dido had been engaged with
pirates, and had been successful, having captured one prahu and sunk
another. After great persuasion, we induced one of them to accompany us
to the ship, and pilot her to the Sarawak.

The same evening we weighed anchor, and stood towards a remarkable
promontory (Tangong Sipang), to the eastward of which is the principal
entrance of the Sarawak river; a second, but less safe, entrance being
within a mile of the promontory. Light and variable winds prevented our
arrival at the mouth of the river until the evening of the following
day. From thence, after two days' incessant kedging and towing, we
anchored off the town of Kuchin, on the morning of the 8th instant. The
town of Kuchin is built on the left-hand side of the river Sarawak going
up; and, from the windings of the river, you have to pull twenty-five
miles up the river to arrive at it, whereas it is only five miles from
the coast as the crow flies. It consists of about 800 houses, built on
piles driven into the ground, the sides and roofs being enclosed with
dried palm leaves. Strips of bamboo are laid across, which serve as a
floor. In fact, there is little difference between these houses and
those built by the Burmahs and other tribes in whose countries bamboo
and ratan are plentiful. The houses of Mr. Brooke and the rajah are much
superior to any others, having the advantage and comfort of wooden sides
and floorings. We visited the rajah several times, who invariably
received us with urbanity, and entertained us in a very hospitable
manner. Muda Hassein is a man about fifty years of age,--some think
more,--of low stature, as are most of the Malays, well made, and with a
very prepossessing countenance for a Malay. His brother, Budruden, is a
much finer man, very agreeable, and very partial to the English. The
Malays profess Mahomedanism; but Budruden in many points followed
European customs, both in dress and drinking wine.






The residence of Mr. Brooke is on the side of the river opposite to the
town, as, for the most part, are all the houses of the Europeans. In
structure it somewhat resembles a Swiss cottage, and is erected upon a
green mound, which slopes down to the river's bank, where there is a
landing-place for boats. At the back of the house is a garden,
containing almost every tree peculiar to the climate; and it was a
novelty to us to see collected together the cotton-tree, the areca,
sago, palm, &c., with every variety of the Camellia japonica in a state
of most luxurious wildness.

[Illustration: MR. BROOKE'S HOUSE.]

The establishment consists of six Europeans, and the house contains one
large receiving-room, and several smaller ones, appropriated to the
residents as sleeping apartments, besides Mr. Brooke's own private
rooms. The large room is decorated with rifles, swords, and other
instruments of warfare, European and native; and it is in this room that
the European rajah gives his audiences: and it is also in this room that
every day, at five o'clock, a capital dinner is served up, to which we
were made heartily welcome. During our stay, Mr. Brooke, accompanied by
several of our officers and some of the residents, made an excursion up
the river. We started early in the morning, with a flowing tide; and,
rapidly sweeping past the suburbs of the town, which extend some
distance up the river, we found ourselves gliding through most
interesting scenery. On either side, the river was bounded by gloomy
forests, whose trees feathered down to the river's bank, the water
reflecting their shadows with peculiar distinctness. Occasionally the
scene was diversified by a cleared spot amidst this wilderness, where,
perchance, a half-ruined hut, apparently not inhabited for years, the
remains of a canoe, together with fragments of household utensils, were
to be seen, proving that once it had been the abode of those who had
been cut off by some native attack, and probably the heads of its former
occupants were now hanging up in some skull-house belonging to another
tribe. The trees were literally alive with monkeys and squirrels, which
quickly decamped as we approached them. Several times we were startled
by the sudden plunge of the alligators into the water, close to the
boats, and of whose propinquity we were not aware until they made the
plunge. All these rivers are infested with alligators, and I believe
they are very often mischievous; at all events, one of our youngsters
was continually in a small canoe, paddling about, and the natives
cautioned us that if he was not careful he certainly would be taken by
one of these animals.

Early in the afternoon we disembarked at a Chinese village twenty-five
miles from Kuchin. The inhabitants of this village work the gold and
antimony mines belonging to Mr. Brooke. We remained there for the
night, and the next morning proceeded further up the river, and landed
at another village, where we breakfasted, and then proceeded on foot to
visit the mines. Our path lay through dense forests of gigantic trees,
whose branches met and interlaced overhead, shading us from the burning
rays of the sun. At times we would emerge from the wood, and find
ourselves passing through cultivated patches of ravines, enclosed on all
sides by lofty mountains, covered with foliage. In these spots we found
a few natives with their families, who seemed to be contented in their
perfect isolation; for in these secluded spots generations may pass
away, and know no world beyond their own confines of forest jungle. At
times our route was over mountains, whose appearance was so formidable
that our hearts almost failed us at the prospect of having to scale
them; but we succeeded beyond our expectations, and at length arrived at
the antimony village, not a little pleased at our labours being ended.
Our spirits, which had been flagging, were revived by a pull at the
bottle. From our resting-place we had a good view of the mine, which is
a source of great profit to Mr. Brooke. The antimony is obtained from
the side of a hill, the whole of which is supposed to be formed of this
valuable mineral. The side at which the men are at work shines like
silver during the day, and may be seen several miles distant, strangely
contrasting with the dark foliage of the adjoining jungles. The ore is
conveyed to Kuchin, and is there shipped on board of the Royalist, (Mr.
Brooke's schooner yacht,) and taken to Sincapore, where it is eagerly
purchased by the merchants, and shipped for England.

After partaking of a little refreshment we set off, through woods and
over mountains, as before, to visit the gold mine. On our arrival at
every village on the road, a certain number of guns were fired by the
natives, in honour of the European rajah; and the same ceremony was
repeated when we left it. It was late in the afternoon before we
arrived at the village attached to the gold mine. It is prettily
situated in the depth of a valley, through which runs a small rivulet.

On every side mountains soar into the clouds, which must be passed
before you can reach the village. Dinner had been prepared for us by the
inhabitants of the village, who were a colony of Chinese; and it was
served up in a large building dedicated to Joss, whose shrine was
brilliantly illuminated with candles and joss-sticks. Some of the
officers unthinkingly lighted their cigars at the altar. The Chinese,
observing it, requested very civilly that they would do so no more; a
request which was, of course, complied with. After dinner we all
proceeded to the rivulet, in search of gold; the natives had cleared out
the bed of the river; the sand and stones were thrown into an artificial
sluice for washing it; and a little gold was found by some of the party.
This gold mine, if it may be so called, is worth to Mr. Brooke about
1000l. per annum, after all the expenses are paid. Its real value is
much greater; but the Chinese conceal a great quantity, and appropriate
it to themselves. But if the particles of gold which are brought down by
a small rivulet are of such value, what may be the value of the mines
above, in the mountains as yet untrodden by human feet? This, it is to
be hoped, enterprise will some day reveal.

We remained at the village that night, and at daylight commenced our
journey back to the village from which we had started the day before.
There we embarked, and proceeded down the river to the first Chinese
village, at which we arrived in the course of the afternoon. A short
distance inland is a mountain, called Sarambo, which it was proposed to
ascend, as, by our telescopes, we could perceive houses near to its
summit, and were told it was the residence of some of the mountain Dyaks
under Mr. Brooke's sway. From the village this mountain wore the
appearance of a huge sugar-loaf, and its sides appeared inaccessible.
Mr. Brooke, with his usual kindness, gave his consent, and despatched a
messenger to the Dyak village, requesting the chief to send a party down
by daylight the next morning, to convey our luggage up the mountain. At
day-dawn we were awakened by a confused noise outside of the house, and,
looking out, we perceived that more than a score of these mountain Dyaks
had arrived. Most of them had nothing on but the usual strip of cotton;
some few had on red baize jackets. They all wore a peculiar kind of
_kris_, and many had spears, sampitans, and shields. They were
fine-limbed men, with muscles strongly developed. Their hair fell down
their backs, and nearly reached their middle: it was prevented from
falling over the face by a fillet of grass, which was ornamented with
mountain flowers.

After a hurried breakfast we set off for the foot of the mountain, our
party amounting to about eighty people. The guides led the way, followed
by the Europeans; and the Dyaks, with the luggage, brought up the rear.
In this order we commenced the ascent. Each person was provided with a
bamboo, which was found indispensable; and thus, like a party of
pilgrims, we proceeded on our way; and before we had gone very far, we
discovered that we were subjected to severe penance. The mountain was
nearly perpendicular. In some places we had to ascend by a single piece
of wood, with rough notches for the feet, resting against a rock twenty
or thirty feet above our heads; and on either side was a precipice, so
that a false step must have been certain death. In other places a single
piece of bamboo was thrown over a frightful chasm, by way of bridge.
This, with a slight bamboo rail for the hand, was all that we had to
trust to. The careful manner in which we passed these dangers was a
source of great laughter and amusement to the Dyaks who followed us.
Accustomed from infancy to tread these dangerous paths, although heavily
laden, they scorned to support themselves. Some of our party were nearly
exhausted, and a long way in the rear before we came to the village. We
had to wait for their coming up, and threw ourselves under the shade of
some huge trees, that we might contemplate the bird's-eye view beneath.
It was a sight which must be seen to be appreciated. Almost as far as
the eye could reach was one immense wooded plain, bounded by lofty
mountains in the far distance, whose tops pierced the clouds. The rivers
appeared like silver threads, running through the jungles; now breaking
off, and then regained. At our feet lay the village we had started from,
the houses of which appeared like mere points. Shakspeare Cliff was as
nothing to it, and his beautiful lines would have fallen very short of
the mark; and while we gazed, suddenly a cloud below us would pass
between us and the view, and all would be hidden from the sight. Thus we
were far above the clouds, and then the clouds would break, and open,
and pass and repass over each other, until, like the dissolving views,
all was clear again, although the landscape was not changed. It was
towards noon before we saw the first mountain village, which we did not
immediately enter, as we waited the arrival of the laggards: we stopped,
therefore, at a spring of cold water, and enjoyed a refreshing wash.
Here we fell in with some pretty Dyak girls, very scantily clothed, who
were throwing water at each other in sport. We soon came in for a
plentiful share, which we returned with interest; and in this amusing
combat we passed half an hour, until all had joined the party. We then
entered the village, which was situated in a grove of trees. The houses
were built upon posts, as those down by the river side. They were
immensely large, with a bamboo platform running the whole length of the
building, and divided into many compartments, in each of which a Dyak
family resides. We were escorted, through a crowd of wondering Dyaks, to
a house in the centre of the village, which was very different in
construction from the others. It was perfectly round, and well
ventilated by numerous port-holes in the roof, which was pointed. We
ascended to the room above by means of a rough ladder, and when we
entered we were rather taken aback at finding that we were in the Head
House, as it is termed, and that the beams were lined with human heads,
all hanging by a small line passed through the top of the skull. They
were painted in the most fantastic and hideous manner; pieces of wood,
painted to imitate the eyes, were inserted into the sockets, and added
not a little to their ghastly grinning appearance. The strangest part of
the story, and which added very much to the effect of the scene, was,
that these skulls were perpetually moving to and fro, and knocking
against, each other. This, I presume, was occasioned by the different
currents of air blowing in at the port-holes cut in the roof; but what
with their continual motion, their nodding their chins when they hit
each other, and their grinning teeth, they really appeared to be endowed
with new life, and were a very merry set of fellows. However, whatever
might be the first impression occasioned by this very unusual sight, it
very soon wore off, and we amused ourselves with those motions which
were "not life," as Byron says; and, in the course of the day, succeeded
in making a very excellent dinner in company with these gentlemen,
although we were none of us sufficiently Don Giovannis to invite our
friends above to supper. We visited three villages on the Sarambo
mountain. Each of these villages was governed by a chief of its own, but
they were subordinate to the great chief, residing in the first village.

[Illustration: DYAK HEAD.]

In the evening the major portion of the population came to the Head
House, to exhibit to us their national dances. The music was composed of
two gongs and two large bamboo drums. The men stood up first, in war
costume, brandishing their spears and shields, and throwing themselves
into the most extraordinary attitudes, as they cut with their knives at
some imaginary enemy; at the same time uttering the most unearthly
yells, in which the Dyak spectators joined, apparently highly delighted
with the exhibition. The women then came forward, and went through a
very unmeaning kind of dance, keeping time with their hands and feet;
but still it was rather a relief after the noise and yelling from which
we had just suffered. The chief, Macuta, expressing a wish to see a
specimen of our dancing, not to let them suppose we were not as warlike
as themselves, two of the gig's boat's crew stood up, and went through
the evolutions of the broad-sword exercise in a very creditable manner.
After this performance one of the seamen danced the sailor's hornpipe,
which brought forth a torrent of yells instead of bravos, but they
certainly meant the same thing. By this time, the heat from a large
fire, with the smell of humanity in so crowded a room, became so
overpowering, that I was glad to leave the Head House to get a little
fresh air, and my ears relieved from the dinning of the drums and gongs.
It was a beautiful starry night, and, strolling through the village, I
soon made acquaintance with a native Dyak, who requested me to enter his
house. He introduced me to his family, consisting of several fine girls
and a young lad. The former were naked from the shoulders to below the
breasts, where a pair of stays, composed of several circles of
whalebone, with brass fastenings, were secured round their waists; and
to the stays was attached a cotton petticoat, reaching to below their
knees. This was the whole of their attire. They were much shorter than
European women, but well made; very interesting in their appearance, and
affable and friendly in their manners. Their eyes were dark and
piercing, and I may say there was something wicked in their furtive
glances; their noses were but slightly flattened; the mouth rather
large; but when I beheld the magnificent teeth which required all its
size to display, I thought this rather an advantage. Their hair was
superlatively beautiful, and would have been envied by many a courtly
dame. It was jet black, and of the finest texture, and hung in graceful
masses down the back, nearly reaching to the ground. A mountain Dyak
girl, if not a beauty, has many most beautiful points; and, at all
events, is very interesting and, I may say, pretty. They have good eyes,
good teeth, and good hair;--more than good: I may say splendid;--and
they have good manners, and know how to make use of their eyes. I shall,
therefore, leave my readers to form their own estimates by my
description. Expecting to meet some natives in my ramble, I had filled
my pockets with ship's biscuit, and which I now distributed among the
ladies, who appeared very grateful, as they rewarded me, while they
munched it, by darting wicked glances from their laughing eyes.

Observing that the lad wore a necklace of human teeth round his neck,
his father explained to me, in pantomime, that they were the teeth of an
enemy whom he slew in battle, and whose head was now in the Head House.

As it was getting late I bade my new friends farewell, by shaking hands
all round. The girls laughed immoderately at this way of bidding
good-bye, which, of course, was to them quite novel. I regretted
afterwards that I had not attempted the more agreeable way of bidding
ladies farewell, which, I presume, they would have understood better; as
I believe kissing is an universal language, perfectly understood from
the equator to the pole.

At daylight the next morning we descended the mountain, and, embarking
in the boats, arrived at the ship late in the afternoon.

While at Sarawak we witnessed a very strange ceremony. Hearing a great
noise in a house, we entered, and found ourselves in a large room
crowded to excess by a numerous assemblage, singing in any thing but
harmony. They proved to be natives of Java, assembled for the purpose of
celebrating one of their festivals. On our entrance into the house, we
were literally covered by the inmates with perfumes of the most
delightful fragrance. Some of these odours were in a liquid state, and
were poured down our backs, or upon our heads; others were in a state of
powder, with which we were plentifully besprinkled. We were then
escorted into the centre of the room, where we found a circle of elderly
men, who were reading portions of their sacred books, and their voices
were accompanied by music from instruments of native manufacture. We
were treated with great attention, being permitted to enter the circle
of the elders, who ordered the attendants to hand us refreshments, which
consisted of cakes made of rice and cocoa-nut oil, and Sam-schoo. Some
of our party, having become slightly elevated, volunteered a song, which
proposition was opposed by the more reasonable. The Javanese were
appealed to by the former, and they gave their votes in favour of the
song. It was accordingly sung by our whole party, much to the delight of
our kind entertainers, who, no doubt, considered that we felt and
appreciated their rites. At length we took our leave, well pleased with
our novel entertainment. So well did we succeed in making ourselves
agreeable, that we received an invitation for the following night.

July 10th.--In the evening a display of fireworks took place, notice of
which had been given to the rajah, and, indeed, to the whole population
of Kuchin, who had all assembled near to the ship, to witness what they
considered a most wonderful sight. Seamen were stationed at all the
yard-arms, flying jib, and driver booms, with blue-lights, which were
fired simultaneously with the discharge of a dozen rockets, and the
great gun of a royal salute. The echoes reverberated for at least a
minute after the last gun of the salute had been fired; and, judging by
the yells of the natives, the display must have created a strong
sensation. Immediately after the salute, the anchor was weighed, and we
commenced dropping down the river with the ebb tide; but we soon
grounded on the mud, and we remained all night with the bowsprit in the
bushes which grow on the banks of the river.

The ship floated the next morning; the anchor was weighed, and with the
assistance of the ebb tide, we dropped down the river at the rate of
five miles per hour. As we were nearing a cluster of dangerous rocks,
about a mile below Kuchin, we found that the ship was at the mercy of
the rapid tide; and, notwithstanding all our endeavours, the ship struck
on the rocks. Anchors were immediately laid out, but to no effect: the
water rapidly shallowed, and we gave up all thoughts of getting off
until the next flood tide. As the water left the ship, she fell over to
starboard, and, an hour after she had grounded, she listed to starboard
25 degrees. Our position was now becoming critical: the main deck ports
had been shipped some time previous, but this precaution did not prevent
the water from gaining entrance on the main and lower decks. As she
still continued to heel over to starboard, a hawser was taken on shore,
and, by purchases, set taut to the mast head; but before this could be
accomplished she had filled so much that it proved useless.

A boat was now despatched to Kuchin, to acquaint Mr. Brooke with our
disaster, and to request the assistance of the native boats. During the
absence of the boats, the top-gallant-masts had been sent down, and
topmasts lowered; but the ship was now careening over 46 degrees, and
full of water. All hopes of getting her off were therefore, for the
present, abandoned; and we commenced removing every thing that could be
taken out of her in the boats. The surveying instruments and other
valuables, were sent up to Kuchin in the gig; and afterwards every thing
that could be obtained from the ship was brought up in the native boats,
as well as the whole crew of the Samarang. Mr. Brooke insisted upon all
the officers making a temporary abode at his house, and prepared a shed
for the crew. An excellent dinner was laid before the officers, while a
substantial mess of fowls and rice was served out to the crew. In fact,
the kindness of Mr. Brooke was beyond all bounds. The gentlemen who
resided with him, as well as himself, provided us with clothes from
their own wardrobes, and during our protracted stay did all in their
power to make us comfortable; indeed, I may safely say, that we were so
happy and comfortable, that there were but very few of the officers and
crew of the Samarang that ever wished to see her afloat again. But I
must return to my narrative.

The morning after our disaster we went down to the ship, and commenced
recovering provisions and stores, sending down masts and yards, and
every other article deemed necessary; and this was continued for several
days: during which the midshipmen, petty officers, and seamen were
removed to the opposite shore, where two houses had been, by Mr. Brooke,
prepared for their reception. Our house, (the midshipmen's) we
christened Cockpit Hall; it was very romantically situate in the middle
of a plantation of cocoa nut, palm, banana, and plantain trees. It was
separated from the house in which the seamen were barracked by a small
kind of jungle, not more than 300 yards in extent, but so intricate that
we constantly lost our way in it, and had to shout and receive an
answer, or go back and take a fresh departure. Our garden, in which
there was a delightful spring of cold water, extended on a gentle slope
about a hundred yards in front of the house, where its base was watered
by a branch of the Sarawak; in which we refreshed ourselves by bathing
morning and evening, in spite of the numerous alligators and water
snakes with which the river abounds. But our incautious gambols received
a check. Two of our party agreed to proceed to the mouth of the branch I
have mentioned, to determine which could return with the greatest
speed. They had commenced their swimming race, when we, who stood ashore
as umpires, observed an enormous water snake, with head erect, making
for the two swimmers. We cried out to them to hasten on shore, which
they did; while we kept up a rapid discharge of stones at the head of
the brute, who was at last driven off in another direction. This
incident induced us to be more cautious, and to keep within safe
boundary for the future.

Our repose at Cockpit Hall was, however, much disturbed by the nightly
visits of wild hogs, porcupines, wild cats, guanos, and various other
animals, some of which made dreadful noises. When they paid us their
visits, we all turned out, and, armed with muskets, commenced an assault
upon them, which soon caused them to evacuate our domain; but similar
success did not attend our endeavours to dislodge the swarms of
musquitos, scorpions, lizards, and centipedes from our habitations. They
secreted themselves in the thatch, and the sides of the house during the
day, and failed not to disturb with their onslaughts during the whole of
the night.

July 22d.--Mr. Hooper, the purser, was despatched in the Royalist to
Sincapore, to purchase provisions and obtain assistance from any of the
men-of-war who might be lying in the roads.

It is not necessary to enter into a minute detail of the service which
we were now employed upon. It certainly was not a service of love, as we
had to raise a ship which we hoped would remain where she was. To enter
into particulars, technical terms must be resorted to, which would only
puzzle the reader. The position of the Samarang was simply this: she lay
on a rock, and had filled by careening over; as long as she was on her
side, the water rose and fell in her with the flood and ebb of the tide;
but if once we could get her on an even keel, as soon as the water left
her with the ebb of the tide, all we had to do was to pump her out, and
then she would float again. To effect this, we had to lighten her as
much as possible, by taking out of her her guns and stores of every
description; then to get purchases on her from the shore, and assist the
purchases with rafts under her bilge, so as to raise her again upon an
even keel. On the second day after she filled, when the tide had run
out, we removed all our chests from the lower deck; most of them were
broken, and a large proportion of the contents missing. On the 27th May
every thing had been prepared, and the attempt to get the vessel on an
even keel was made, and it proved successful, as it well might with the
variety of purchases, and the force of men we had at our disposition.
When we repaired to the ship with 100 Malays to man the purchase-falls,
the tide was ebbing fast, and the pumps were immediately set to work; so
that at midnight, when the tide commenced flowing, the ship was nearly
free of water. The purchases were then manned, and with the assistance
of the rafts the ship gradually righted. The following day, about
half-past two in the morning, the ship was free of water, and had risen
to a careen of 30°; at 3 o'clock she floated into deep water, and was
then anchored. During the forenoon of the same day the ship was towed to
her former anchoring ground off Kuchin. The same night the Harlequin and
Royalist arrived in the river, and a day or two afterwards a brig and
schooner came over with the intention of bidding for the remains of the
ship, and of stocking the officers with clothes and necessaries. This
was a losing speculation, as may be imagined, arising from a report
having been circulated that it was impossible to raise the ship,
whereas, as the reader will perceive, there was very little difficulty
in so doing, nothing but sufficient strength being required.

Our ship, as may be supposed, was in a most filthy state after the late
immersion. Plunging into a river does not clean a vessel, although it
does a man. The decks were literally coated with mud and slime, which
emitted the most foetid odour. Silver spoons, watches, and valuables of
every description, were everywhere strewed about, few of which ever
reached their rightful owners; for the Malays who were employed to clean
the ship had an eye to business, and secreted every thing which was
portable. By dint of great exertion, the ship was in a few days ready to
receive her tanks, guns, and stores, which were embarked by the
Harlequin's boats and boats' crews. She was soon in a forward state, and
an expedition was formed to survey a part of the coast during the
completion of her refitting. The gig and one of the barges were fitted
out for this service, and on August the 13th, at daylight, we left
Kuchin, well armed, and provisioned for ten days. At 10 A. M. we dropped
anchor under the Peak of Santabong, from which the branch of the Sarawak
we were then in derives its name. Here we remained a short time to
refresh the men, who had not ceased tugging at the oar from the time
that we started. The foot of the Santabong mountain is about a quarter
of a mile from the river. It then ascends almost perpendicularly to a
great height, towering far above the neighbouring mountains. Afterwards
it runs seaward for a mile or two, and terminates in a remarkable peak,
which forms the eastern horn of the extensive bay between it and Tanjon
Datu. Here we were about a week, during which time we had extended our
survey to the last-mentioned cape, which is about forty miles to the
westward of Santabong. While in the vicinity of Datu, a strict watch was
kept, that we might have timely notice of the approach of any prahus. A
short distance from the cape is a delightful bay studded with small
islets, which is known by the appellation of Pirate's Bay, so called
from its being a favourite resort of the Illanoan pirates. It was in
this bay that the Dido's boats were anchored when they were surprised by
several piratical prahus, the look-out men in the European boats,
exhausted by the heat and long pulling at the oar, having fallen asleep.
They had scarcely time to cut the cables and grasp their weapons ere
they were assailed on all sides by the pirates, who felt confident of
success, from having found them napping. But they little knew what
people they had to deal with, and if Jack was asleep when they made the
attack, they found him wide awake when they came to close quarters. All
their endeavours to board in the face of the rapid fire of the boats'
guns and small arms proved abortive, and they soon discovered that it
would be quite sufficient for their purpose if, instead of capturing the
boats, they could make their own escape. One of the prahus, pierced by
the well-directed shot, foundered, another was abandoned, and the rest,
favoured by darkness, made their escape. For a more detailed account, I
must refer the reader to Captain Keppel's work on Borneo.

During the survey, we visited the islands of Talen Talen--the Malay word
for turtle. These islands are the property of Mr. Brooke. A few Malays
lived on the largest of them for the purpose of getting turtle eggs,
with which they supply the trading prahus, who continually call here to
lay in a stock of these eggs, which are considered a great luxury by the
Malays. We landed with Mr. Williamson, the Malay interpreter at Sarawak,
belonging to Mr. Brooke's establishment. We were well received by the
Malays, who knew Mr. Williamson well, and he informed them that our
object was to procure a live turtle. They requested us to take our
choice of the numerous turtle then lying on the beach. We selected one
of about three cwt.; but although the turtles are never turned on this
island, she appeared to be aware that such was our intention, and
scuttled off as fast as she could for the water; however, we intercepted
her, and with some difficulty secured our prize. From one of the
numerous nests on the beach we took 600 turtle eggs. As many thousands
could have been as easily procured, but we had sufficient for our wants.
The Malays watch during the night, to ascertain where the turtle
deposits her eggs, for as soon as she has finished her task, she covers
them with her nippers with sand, and immediately retires into the sea. A
piece of wood is then set up as a mark for the nest, which is rifled as
occasion requires. It is a curious fact that the male turtle never

[Illustration: MALAYS OF KUCHIN.]

After visiting several villages on the coast, we returned to Kuchin on
Saturday the 19th, when we found that death had deprived us of our only
musician on board the ship, a loss which was much felt by the crew, as
he contributed much to their amusement. One of the supernumerary boys
had also fallen a victim to the dysentery; but, although we deplored our
loss, we had great reason to be thankful that it had been no greater, as
on the day we left Kuchin, we had upwards of seventy men on the sick
report. The same day, at noon, the anchor was weighed, and we dropped
down the river with the ebb tide. Strange to say, in spite of all our
precautions, we struck on the same reef of rocks again; fortunately,
however, the ship turned with the tide and grounded in the mud close to
the bushes, from whence there was no extricating her till the flood tide
had made. In the afternoon, when it was low water, a very large
alligator was discovered asleep upon the rocks, which had been properly
christened the Samarang Rocks, and which were now, at low ebb, several
feet above water. A party of officers and marines pulled towards him,
and fired a volley at him. The brute was evidently wounded, as he sprang
up several feet in the air, and then disappeared under the water.
Shortly after he again made his appearance, having landed on the
opposite side of the river; his assailants again gave chase, and again
wounded him, but he shuffled into the river and escaped.

At three in the afternoon, we were much pleased at the arrival of the
Diana, one of the Company's steamers, sent from Sincapore to our
assistance. She proved extremely useful, for that night we gained
fifteen miles, when we again grounded and remained all night. On the
following day, at eleven A. M., a cloud of thick smoke was observed
rising above the jungle, which we immediately decided to proceed from a
steamer. Shortly afterwards two masts appeared above the trees, and at
one of them the Vixen's number was flying: she soon hove in sight. We
weighed, and with the Harlequin, were towed down the river at a rapid
pace. When we arrived at the entrance we anchored, finding there the
Wanderer, and being joined soon afterwards by the Ariel, Royalist, and
Diana, we formed a squadron of six vessels.

On the 23d August, the Samarang, Harlequin, Ariel, and Royalist, weighed
anchor and steered along the coast for Borneo Proper, where we arrived
on Tuesday the 29th. On the Thursday following, Mr. Brooke, accompanied
by the captains of the three men-of-war and some officers, started in
one of the barges for the city of Bruni, which was about eighteen miles
from our anchorage. They had an audience with the sultan, but upon what
cause I do not exactly know. They were treated with great civility, and
returned to the ship about one o'clock on the following morning. My
description of Bruni I shall reserve for a future visit. On the 5th of
September we made sail for Hong Kong, with the Vixen in company, leaving
the Ariel and Royalist to carry Mr. Brooke and the rajah's brother down
to Sarawak. The Harlequin sailed for Sincapore. The Vixen having parted
company to obtain fuel at Manilla, we continued our course to Hong Kong,
where we arrived on the 14th inst., and found there Admirals Parker and
Cochrane, in their respective ships the Cornwallis and Agincourt, with
others of the squadron. We sailed again on the 2d of November, and after
working up the coast of China for a week, we steered to the eastward,
and on the 12th sighted the Bashee group. Here our surveying duties
commenced in earnest, as we left the ship at four A. M. and did not
return till darkness put an end to our labours. The governor of this
group of islands sent a letter to our captain requesting the pleasure of
seeing the ship in San Domingo Bay, where wood, water, and live stock
could be obtained on reasonable terms. This letter was accompanied with
a present of fruit and vegetables. A few days afterwards, we worked up
to San Domingo Bay (Batan Island), and we were much surprised on our
arrival to perceive that the town had a cathedral, of apparently ancient
architecture, besides several houses built on the European style. The
remainder of the town, which is of some extent, was composed of houses
built of bamboo, and thatched with palm leaves.

We anchored late in the afternoon, and were boarded by a Spanish
military officer, who, to judge by certain signs and peculiarities, had
been imbibing something stronger than water. The captain and some of
the officers went on shore, to call upon the governor. The governor's
house was distinguished by a flag-staff, with the Spanish colours, or,
rather, a remnant of the Spanish colours; and around the door stood a
group of most indifferently clad Luzonian soldiers, turned out, we
presumed, as a guard of honour. The governor was as much in dishabille
as his troops, and shortly afterwards the party was joined by two
priests and the governor's wife, a very pretty Creole, about twenty
years of age. We were regaled with wine and chocolate, and parted late
in the evening, on very friendly terms. The governor's house is a
miserable abode: it has but one story, and the basement is a barrack for
the soldiers. The upper part, inhabited by the governor, was very
scantily furnished: a few old chairs, a couple of tables, and the walls
whitewashed and decorated with prints of the Virgin Mary and his
excellency's patron saint. The house of the priests, which adjoined the
cathedral, was in much better repair, and more gaudy in the inside.

There are three missions in Batan, each settlement having its cathedral
and officiating priests. The natives, who are a distinct race, are
well-proportioned, of a copper colour, and medium stature. They are very
ugly: their hair is black, and cut short. Their usual dress consists of
a piece of cotton, passed round the loins, and a peculiar-looking
conical hat, surmounted with a tuft of goat's hair. In rainy weather
they wear a cloak of rushes, through which the water cannot penetrate.
The sole covering of the women is a piece of cotton, fastened below the
bosom, and reaching down to the knee. Almost the whole of the Bashee
group of islands are very mountainous. At the back of San Domingo the
land rises to a great height, forming a remarkable peak, which can be
seen many leagues distant. Bullocks, goats, pigs, and vegetables, can be
obtained at a very moderate price; but very little fruit is grown, the
natives usually preferring to cultivate yams, cocoas, and sweet
potatoes. The sugar-cane is cultivated, and the tobacco grown here is
considered, with great justice, far superior to any grown at Luzon.
After a week's stay at San Domingo we ran down to Ivana, one of the
missions, and made a rough survey of the bay. The mission house at this
place was fitted up with every comfort, and we even found luxuries which
we looked in vain for at San Domingo.

[Illustration: NATIVE OF BATAN.]

After completing the survey of this portion of the island, the governor
(who had accompanied us from San Domingo) and a party of us set off to
return to San Domingo by land. Our path lay over mountains nearly 2000
feet in height, from the summit of which every point and inlet could be
discerned, over the whole of the group which lay below, exactly as if
they were laid down on a chart. Our walk was very fatiguing, and we were
all rejoiced when, from an eminence, we descried the village of San
Carlos, the residence of the warm-hearted and hospitable Father
Nicholas. We descended into the vale, and were heartily welcomed by the
jolly old priest, who regaled us with all that his larder could supply
us. It had been arranged that the ship should leave Ivana for San
Domingo on the following morning. At the entreaty of the good padre we
remained at San Carlos all night, and the following morning returned to
San Domingo, the ship anchoring in the bay on the same afternoon. We had
now become quite domesticated with the friendly Spaniards. In the
evenings we were received by an assemblage of the natives at the
governor's house. They were dressed in their best, and went through an
unmeaning dance, which was kept up till a late hour.

On the 27th November we left Batan, and its kind inhabitants, who
exacted a promise that we would return at some future period, and shaped
a course for the Madjicosima islands, which are subject to the kingdom
of Loo Choo. On the afternoon of the 1st of December land was discovered
ahead, and a few hours afterwards we anchored in a narrow passage,
surrounded by reefs on every side. We were anchored off the island of
Pa-tchu-san, one of the group: it was very mountainous. On the following
morning the captain and some of the officers went on shore. They were
received by several hundred natives, who saluted them as they passed on
their way to a temporary shed, where a levee was held by all the
principal mandarins. Our Chinese interpreter, who was a native of
Canton, explained the captain's wishes, and the nature of the service
that we were employed on. They appeared uneasy at the proposal of our
surveying the whole group, and informed the captain that they would
refer the question to the viceroy, and give him a final answer on the
morrow. This answer was in the affirmative, and a few days afterwards we
commenced our survey of the islands. We were attended by the natives,
who furnished us with horses, and anticipated our wishes in every thing
that could make us comfortable. On the first day, at sunset, we arrived
at a temple dedicated to Fo, romantically situated in a grove of trees,
which concealed the elevation until you were within a few yards of it.
Here it was proposed to take up our quarters for the night, and a more
delightful spot could not well be imagined than our resting-place.

The temple was built at the foot of a hill, within a few hundred yards
of the sea. Lights were displayed as a signal to the stragglers, groups
of whom might be seen by the light of the moon, reposing themselves on
the ridge behind us. The glare of the torches brought them all down to
us, both men and horses anxious for rest after the arduous toil of the
day. Just as I was dropping off to sleep, one of my messmates said to
another, "I say, Jemmy, I wonder whether your mother has any idea that
you are sleeping in the temple of Fo, on the island of Pa-tchu-san?" A
loud snore was the only reply, proving that the party addressed was
unconscious of the island Pa-tchu-san, the temple of Fo, or of his
mother, and the bells ringing for church.

Pa-tchu-san, as I have before observed, is very mountainous and
exceedingly picturesque. A high ridge covered with trees extends the
whole length of the island, north and south. On either side of this
ridge are innumerable grassy knolls and mounds from which we looked down
upon the extensive plain on either side, which was studded with knolls
similar to those that we were standing on. During our survey we passed
through all the villages bordering the sea, at the entrance of which we
were invariably received by all the principal inhabitants. All their
villages or towns are surrounded by the most luxurious groves, which
have been apparently planted, for in many parts not a shrub could be
seen beyond the confines of the town. The roads through the towns or
streets generally meet at right angles, lined on each side with gigantic
trees. The houses are built within enclosures raised with huge stones.
These houses are strongly built, the frame being composed of four
uprights of large timber, to which are attached cross pieces on the top
of them, of the same dimensions as their supporters. Openings are left
on each side of the house, which, when the owner pleases, can be closed
by well-fitted shutters on the sliding principle. The roofs are thatched
with paddy stalks. The floor frame is raised about two feet from the
ground, and on it are fixed strong slips of bamboo, which are covered
over with mats. These afford very comfortable sitting and sleeping
apartments. The only inconvenience was, that the fire was made in the
corner of the sitting-room, and as there was no vent for the smoke, we
were nearly stifled. This nuisance was, however, soon removed by a word
to the natives through the medium of the interpreter, and afterwards the
fire was lighted, and the victuals cooked, at an adjoining shed.

The natives of the Madjicosima islands are rather below the middle
stature, but very strong and muscular. Their hair is worn in a very
peculiar manner; the crown of the head is shaved, leaving a circle of
long hair, which is turned up on the top of the head and tied into a
knot of a peculiar shape. Through this knot of hair are passed two brass
ornaments by the common people, but the chiefs are distinguished by
silver ones. These are evidently intended to keep the knot in its right
position. They cultivate the moustache and the beard, the latter being
worn pointed. Their dress consists of a long loose robe of blue or
cross-barred cotton stuffs, which reaches down nearly to the ancles.
This robe is fastened to the waist by a girdle of the same material, and
in which they keep their fans, pipes, &c. The sleeves of the robe are
very large, widening as they approach the wrists, which are consequently
bare. Their shoes or sandals are very ingeniously made of wicker work,
and confined to the foot by means of a strap between the larger toes of
each foot.

[Illustration: NATIVE OF PA-TCHU-SAN.]

The inhabitants of these islands certainly deserve to be ranked among
the most gentle and amiable of nations: no boisterousness attends their
conversation, no violent gestures to give effect to the words; on the
contrary, their voices are modulated when they are speaking, and their
actions, although decided, are gentle. Their mode of salutation is
graceful in the extreme. It consists in a low bending of the head,
accompanied with a slight inclination of the body, and the hands closed,
being raised at the same time to the forehead. What a change in a few
degrees of latitude, in manners, customs, and dispositions, between the
savage pirates of Borneo and these amiable islanders!

The plains between the mountains are cultivated as paddy fields: the
soil appears very good, and there is little doubt but that every kind of
fruit would grow if introduced into these islands; and what a fitting
present it would be to them, if they were to be sent. They grow
radishes, onions, and sweet potatoes, but not more than are sufficient
for their own use. They supplied us with bullocks, pigs, goats, and
fowls, but they seldom kill them for their own use; their principal diet
being composed of shell fish and vegetables made into a sort of stew,
which is eaten with rice, worked by the hand into balls. Every man of
consequence carries with him a kind of portable larder, which is a box
with a shelf in the middle, and a sliding door. In this are put cups of
Japan, containing the eatables. This Chow Chow box is carried by a
servant, who also takes with him a wicker basket, containing rice and
potatoes for his own consumption.

These islands have no intercourse with any part of the world except Loo
Choo, to which they pay tribute as dependencies, and from whence they
annually receive the necessaries they may require, by a junk. They had
no idea that the continents of Europe or America existed. They had only
heard of China, Loo Choo, and Japan, and they could hardly credit our
assertions when we stated that we had lately gained a great victory over
China. When we gave them a description of steam vessels, and first-rate
men-of-war carrying 120 guns, they evidently disbelieved us. We were the
first white men they had ever seen; and ludicrous was the repeated
examination of our arms, which they bared and contrasted with their own.
After great persuasion a few of the chief mandarins and their suites
visited the ship, which was put in holiday attire upon the occasion. It
would be impossible to attempt to describe their rapture at the
neatness, order, and regularity which reigned on board. The guns were
shotted and fired for their amusement: they threw up their hands in
astonishment, and gazed on us and on each other with looks of blank
amazement. During the whole of our peregrinations over these islands we
never saw a female, for on our approach to any village a courier was
sent ahead to warn the inhabitants of our arrival, when the women either
shut themselves up or retired to an adjacent village until we had passed
through. The men assisted us in our labours and attended to our comforts
by all the means in their power. Horses were provided every day, houses
for us at night, and good substantial repasts. Wherever they enter, the
natives invariably eat and drink, more, I believe, from custom than from
hunger. On these occasions tea is the general beverage, the kettle being
a large shell, which admirably answers the purpose. It may be worthy of
remark, that on entering a house, the shoes or sandals are invariably
left at the door. Two of the chiefs were deservedly great favourites
with our party; they were given the famous names of Chesterfield and
Beaufort, the former from his gentlemanly manners, the latter from the
profound knowledge he displayed of all rocks, shoals, &c. On the 17th of
December, having completed our survey of Pa-tchu-san, we returned to the
ship: on the 22d we left our anchorage, which was christened Port
Providence, and ran round to Kuchee Bay on the opposite side of the
island. This noble bay was called Port Haddington, in honour of the late
first lord of the Admiralty. On the 27th the first barge, cutter, and
gig left the ship to survey the island Ku-king-san, the nearest port of
which was about twenty miles from Kuchee Bay, alias Port Haddington,
where we lay at anchor. The boats carried with them provisions for three
weeks, by which time it was supposed that the survey would be completed.
As the formation of this island is similar to Pa-tchu-san, it would be
but repetition to describe it minutely, but it is worthy of remark that
it is indented with numerous deep bays, in each of which there is
sufficient water for a ship of the line. Many of these bays have natural
breakwaters, created by shoals, with a deep water passage on either side
of them, and which may be easily distinguished from the shoals by the
deep blue colour of the water.

On the 15th of January, 1844, the surveying party returned, having been
absent twenty days. We were again visited by the mandarins, who came to
bid us farewell: they quitted us with many expressions of good will, and
expressed a wish that we would return again, and as _individuals_, I had
no doubt of their sincerity.

On the 18th of January we sailed for Ty-ping-san, which is situated
about seventy miles north of Pa-tchu-san. On the following day we
sighted the land, and late in the evening anchored off the coast. This
island is low, compared with the other islands of the group. The
following morning the captain landed and presented a letter of
introduction given him by the mandarins of Pa-tchu-san. The letter of
introduction had the best effects, for we were immediately visited by
the principal mandarins, who informed us that we should be furnished
with horses and every thing else that we might require.

It was on a reef to the northward of this island that the Providence, of
twenty guns, was wrecked about fifty years back. Captain Broughton and
the crew arrived safely at Ty-ping-san, but the present inhabitants,
when it was mentioned, either did not or would not recollect any thing
of the circumstances. As a proof of the morality of these people, and
how much crime is held in abhorrence, I have the following little
history to narrate.

During our survey, we fixed a station upon the extremity of a bleak and
desolate point of land running more than a mile into the sea. There, in
a cave formed by a reef on a mass of rock, we discovered two skeletons.
This would not have so much excited our suspicion, had it not been from
the remarkable locality, as in all the graves we fell in with the
corpses were invariably uncoffined. We expressed a wish to know why such
a spot should have been fixed upon as a last resting-place, as it was
many miles from the nearest habitation. It was not until after much
entreaty that they at length, very reluctantly, consented to give us the
desired explanation, which, as nearly as I can recollect, was as

A young girl, who was considered as the belle and pride of the nearest
town, had formed an attachment to a youth who had been brought up with
her, as a playmate, from their earliest years; and it was acknowledged
by the inhabitants of the town that a more fitting match could not be
made, as the young man was of most graceful mien, and equally well
favoured as his mistress; but the father of the girl, who had been all
along blind to the natural consequences of their long intimacy, had
other views for his daughter, and had selected a husband for her whose
chief recommendation was his wealth. So far it is the old story.

To oppose her father's commands was not to be thought of, for filial
obedience is, with this people, one of the most sacred of duties.
The bridal day approached; presents had been exchanged between the
parents of the parties; and every thing was in a forward state for the
celebration of the nuptials, with all the magnificence befitting the
wealthy condition of the bridegroom. The lovers were in a state of
phrensy, but solaced themselves with stolen interviews. At length the
poor girl, urged by her lover, confessed every thing to her father, and
implored his mercy. He was thunderstruck at this intelligence, for till
that moment he had imagined that his daughter had not a thought to which
he was not privy. The most rigorous discipline was resorted to--the girl
was confined to her chamber, and spies placed to watch every motion.
Those to whom she thought she could trust were suborned by her father,
and to him were conveyed all the letters which she believed to have been
safely conveyed to her lover. His notes being also intercepted, at last
each considered the other as faithless. The poor girl, imagining that
her lover had forsaken her, at last sent to her father, to acquaint him
that she had returned to her duty, and was ready to receive the man whom
he had selected for her husband. They were married: but she deceived
herself; as soon as the ceremony was over, the courage which had
supported her gave way, her former feelings returned stronger than ever,
and she hated herself for her fickleness. Her heart whispered that it
was impossible that one possessing every great and every amiable
quality, as did her lover, could ever have proved faithless, or would
have abandoned one who loved him so dearly. As she sat in the garden and
wept, a slight noise attracted her attention, and she found in her
presence her lover, disguised, who had come to take a last farewell.
Explanations immediately ensued--they found that they had been
tricked--their love and their despair overcame their reason, and they
fled. The father and bridegroom pursued the guilty pair, and after a
most rigorous search, they were discovered. They knew that their fate
was sealed, and they bore up bravely to the last. They were arraigned,
found guilty, and condemned to death; after which their bodies were to
be removed far from any dwelling-place. The sentence was carried into
effect, and their remains were deposited in the cave in which we
discovered them. Many parents might draw a lesson from this tragedy, and
anybody who feels inclined may write a novel upon it; it must not,
however, bear the same title as the Chinese one translated by Governor
Davis, which is styled the "Fortunate Union."

In ten days we completed the survey of the island, and sailed for Batan,
where we arrived on the 7th of February. There we remained a few days,
and then sailed for Hong Kong, having but three days' provisions on
board. We encountered a heavy gale; but, fortunately, it was in our
favour. On the 9th a junk was reported in sight; and in the course of an
hour we were sufficiently near to perceive that the people on board of
her were making signals of distress, and cutting away her masts. We hove
to as near to her as we could venture, for the sea ran high, and lowered
a boat, which reached the junk in safety. They found her to be in a
sinking state: a hawser was made fast to her, with the intention of
towing her into Hong Kong, then not fifty miles distant. We again made
sail, towing the junk at a rapid rate; but the strain caused her planks
to sever, and consequently increased the rush of water in her hold. The
Chinese hailed the ship, and entreated to be rescued from their perilous
condition. She was immediately hauled alongside, and twelve of her crew
succeeded in getting on board of us; but the hawser gave way, and the
junk drifted astern, with five men still remaining on board. Sail was
immediately made, and in a short time we ran alongside of her, staving
in her bulwarks, for both vessels were rolling heavily. Fortunately her
mainmast had gone by the board; had it been still standing, and had
become locked in our rigging, we should have been in great peril
ourselves. The remaining five men and a dog gained the ship, and the
junk again went astern, and in three minutes afterwards went to the
bottom. When they saw her sink, the Chinese raised up a cry at their
miraculous escape. One poor fellow had his hand shockingly mutilated, it
having been crushed between the sides of the two vessels.

The wind had now much subsided, and we made sail for Hong Kong, where we
arrived on the following day. There we found the Agincourt, Sir Thomas
Cochrane, who was now commander-in-chief, Sir William Parker having
sailed for England. The cutter and two of the Company's steamers were
also here; and the Minden hospital ship, as usual, crowded with the
sick and dying. Our first lieutenant, Mr. Wade, took this opportunity of
leaving the ship, and Mr. Heard succeeded him.

On the 6th we sailed for Macao, which is too well known to require any
description here. On the 10th we sailed for Manilla, an account of which
I shall reserve for our future visit. On the 1st of April we again
sailed, on a surveying cruise, to the southward. After fixing the
positions of several small islands in the Mendoro Sea, we steered for
Samboangan, a Spanish penal colony, situated at the southern extremity
of Mindanao. On the 8th we arrived there, and took up our anchorage
close to the town.

Samboangan is built on an extensive plain; most of the houses are
supported on poles ten or twelve feet from the ground. The roofs are
thatched, and the sides covered with palm leaves, ingeniously secured by
strips of bamboo. The fort is well built; and although a century old, is
in very good preservation. It has a numerous garrison, and is defended
by guns of large calibre. There is also an establishment of gun-boats,
which scour the coast in search of pirates. On each side, and at the
back of the town, are groves of cocoa-nuts, bamboos, plantains, and
other fruit trees, through which narrow paths are cut, forming
delightful shady walks to a stranger, who gazes with astonishment and
pleasure upon the variety of delicious fruits, of whose existence he had
no idea. The plain on which the town is built extends about eight miles
inland, when it is bounded by a chain of mountains, which divides the
Spanish territory from that of the warlike tribes who inhabit the

The plain I have spoken of is covered with small villages, pleasantly
situated among thick groves of trees; and it is watered by numerous
streams. The whole country around Samboangan abounds in scenery of the
most picturesque description; and the groups of gaily-dressed and
joyous natives in no small degree add to the beauty of the landscape.
Horses can be obtained at very moderate charges; but unfortunately no
one has ever thought of establishing an hotel, and the want of one was
much felt. We were, therefore, thrown upon the hospitality and kindness
of the natives, who made us welcome by every demonstration in their
power. Fruit, chocolate, and sweet biscuits, were the ordinary
refreshments, for which the charges made scarcely repaid the trouble of
preparing them.

The church, priests' and governor's houses, are the only respectable
buildings in the colony; the other houses in the town are very inferior,
being inhabited by liberated exiles from Manilla. We remained here five
days, and early on the morning of the 13th ran down to a watering-place
about fifteen miles from the town, and completed our water.

The same night we sailed for Sooloo; and the next day, when performing
divine service, it being Sunday, the officer of the watch reported five
prahus in sight, full of men, and each armed with a long gun, pulling
towards the ship. It was quite calm at the time, and our main deck ports
were open. No doubt they perceived the daylight through the ports, and
satisfied themselves that we were a man-of-war, for they soon afterwards
altered their course, and made for the shore. We presumed that they were
pirates from the island of Baselan, who, fancying we were a merchant
vessel, had come out with the intention of attacking us.

At noon on the 16th of April we made the town of Sooloo, the capital of
the island of the same name. It being calm, and the ship at some
distance from the anchorage, the gig was sent ahead to board one of the
three schooners lying in the bay, and hoist a light, as a guide to the
ship; and a rocket was put into the boat to fire in case of being
attacked by superior numbers. There were but five men in the gig!

After two hours' hard pulling, they arrived alongside the largest of the
three vessels. She proved to be the Velocipede, an English vessel,
trading to Sooloo for pearl oysters. The owner of the schooner soon came
from the shore, having been sent off by the sultan of Sooloo to know the
object of our visit. He was accompanied by several Datus or chiefs, who
went back to the town perfectly satisfied with the explanation given.
But the arrival of a man-of-war appeared to excite the fears of the
natives, for gongs were sounding throughout the night, and lights were
flitting to and fro, by the aid of which it was perceived that there was
a strong assemblage of the natives.

The ship anchored on the afternoon of the following day, and the
captain, attended by several of his officers, visited the sultan. We
were received by the prime minister, who informed us that the sultan was
somewhat indisposed, and begged to postpone the interview until the
following day. Leaving the palace, we strolled through the town, which
is partly built in the water; bridges, formed of interlaced bamboo, were
the means of communication between the houses. As these bridges were
some hundred yards in length, the walking was somewhat dangerous; a slip
would have been the cause of a good ducking and a swim to any unlucky
wight, which, I have no doubt, would have given great satisfaction to
the townspeople, who, armed with spears, krisses, and shields, were
watching our motions; but no such mishap occurred, and we returned on
board before sunset. Next day the captain and the same party went again
on shore, and were received by the sultan in person. He was dressed in
the extreme of Malay fashion. He was an excessively plain young man, and
seemed to be ill at ease during the whole of the conference. He appeared
to be a mere puppet in the hands of his ferocious chiefs, who had all
the conversation, without referring to their royal master at any time.

The sultan's dress consisted of a purple satin jacket and green velvet
trousers, both trimmed with gold and silver lace; a red sash confined
his trousers at the waist; and in the sash he wore a kris of the most
costly description. He wore diamond buttons on his jacket, which, being
open, exposed his naked chest. But the party who mostly excited our
interest was the heir apparent, a child of four years old, who was
dressed as an adult, even to his miniature kris. He bids fair to be a
handsome man. His laughing face and engaging manner caused him to be
caressed by the whole party, a circumstance which evidently gave much
pleasure to the sultan. We were regaled with chocolate, sweet cakes, and
fruit; and every attention paid to us by the chiefs. At our departure
the sultan and ministers shook hands warmly with every one of our party,
and we returned on board, accompanied by Mr. Wyndham, of the Velocipede
schooner, who, being a perfect master of the tongue, had acted as an
interpreter on this occasion.

The Samarang was the first English man-of-war that had called at Sooloo
since the visit of Dalrymple in 1761, when he reinstated on the throne
the sultan (grandfather to the present one), who had been deposed by his
rebellious subjects.

Great Sooloo is about fifty miles in length, and twenty-five in breadth,
being the largest of a group of islands known as the Sooloo Archipelago.
This group of islands is inhabited by a fierce and warlike race, bearing
in their personal appearance a strong resemblance to the Malays,
although the two languages differ materially from each other. Great
Sooloo, the residence of the sultan, is very mountainous. Many of the
mountains are wooded to the summit, while others are covered with
patches of cultivation. These islands are thickly populated; and if the
islanders do not practise piracy as a profession, they are always ready
to aid, assist, and protect those who do. The town of Sooloo is well
known to be the principal rendezvous of pirates, who, whenever they
have made a capture, resort there to dispose of their lawless booty. The
ministers, and even the sultan himself, are not able to resist the
temptation of being able to purchase European goods, and articles of
value, for less than half their real value. If not the stealers, they
are the receivers, and thus they patronise piracy of every description.
Governed by their own prince, and independent of any other power, the
people of Sooloo have most extravagant notions of their own prowess, and
of the strength of their fortifications; and they ridicule the idea of
any one venturing to interfere with or attack them.

[Illustration: SOOLOO VILLAGE.]

On the 18th of April we sailed from Sooloo, and visited several islands
in the Archipelago, on one of which we grounded, but escaped without
sustaining any damage. On the 23rd we anchored off Unsang, the eastern
province of Borneo, where we remained four days surveying the coast. A
shooting and fishing party visited the shore daily: the former killed
several wild hogs, and the latter brought every evening a plentiful
supply of fish.

On the 27th of April sailed from Unsang. This day we first served out
our ship-brewed porter, in addition to the usual allowance of spirits.
It continued to be served out nightly, but opinions were very different
about its merits.

For several days after leaving Unsang, we had but little or no wind, and
we were borne away by a strong easterly current, till we were carried in
sight of Celebes, which is high and mountainous, and covered with dense
forests of gigantic trees. On Sunday, the 4th of May, we arrived off
Cape Rivers (Celebes), the position of which was determined by
astronomical observations. It was the intention of the captain to have
passed through the Straits of Macassar, but light wind, and a strong
current from the southward, would not permit us to gain a mile per day.
After experiencing very disagreeable weather while off the coast, we
bore up and made sail for Monado, a Dutch settlement on one of the
north-western promontories of this remarkably shaped island. Our passage
was any thing but agreeable; scarcely a night passed that we were not
visited by strong squalls, accompanied by thunder, lightning, and heavy
rain. On Sunday, the 18th, we anchored in forty-eight fathoms off the
town of Monado, within two cables' length of the shore, which shelves
very suddenly into deep water. A kedge was laid out in-shore of the
ship, and kept well taut; a requisite precaution, as otherwise, if the
land breeze blew off strong, the ship would have dragged her anchor down
the steep beach, and drifted out.

The town of Monado is built on a plain surrounded by mountains, the
highest of which, Klabat, is 6000 feet above the level of the sea. The
houses are well built, and neatly thatched; they are all detached, and
enclosed in a yard or garden. The roads are excellent, and reflect great
credit upon a Prussian engineer, who undertook the task. The fort, which
is at the water's edge, is small, but strongly built, and well adapted
to resist the attack of any native force, although I should imagine it
could not hold out any time against the well-directed fire of a
frigate's broadside. A party of us enjoyed a pleasant ramble through the
town and suburbs, which are dotted with neat cottages, where their
owners invited us to enter and partake of refreshments. We went into
several, and found them scrupulously neat and clean, as Dutch houses
usually are. The people who entertained us refused all compensation, and
it was with difficulty that we prevailed upon the black-eyed damsels to
accept our silk handkerchiefs by way of reminiscences. Very few
Europeans reside here, although their half-bred offspring may be seen in
every tenth person, and they boast of the European blood which flows in
their veins. Monado abounds with poultry, fruit, vegetables, and all the
necessaries of life. Cocoa and sugar are cultivated. Stock is easily
obtained, and very moderate; and water is procured from a small river
which divides the town. Boats should enter the river at last quarter
flood, and return first quarter ebb, as the tide falls rapidly; and at
low water the bar at the entrance is dry. During our stay we surveyed
the major portion of the bay, finding nothing under 150 fathoms of water
at one-third of a mile from the shore.

We found here a Mr. Hart, who had been left at this place in consequence
of his precarious state, from a gun-shot wound he had received on the
Coti River (Borneo). Mr. Hart was a volunteer in the ill-fated
expedition undertaken by Mr. Murray, who attempted to establish a
colony in the Coti River, and who lost his life in an encounter with the
natives. The vessels employed--a brig and a schooner--were fitting out
at Hong Kong while we were there. We fell in with the schooner (the
Young Queen) the day after we left Manilla. The captain of her came on
board to give us the intelligence of the failure of the expedition, with
the death of its leader. Misfortune appeared to cling to them, for, soon
after the schooner left Coti, the crew of her mutinied, and the mutiny
was not put down but by the death of the ringleader, who was shot by the
commander. He was bound to Hong Kong to deliver himself up for trial for
taking the life of the man, and I hardly need observe that he was fully
acquitted. This gentleman was a brother of Mr. Hart.

On the 26th of May, our observations being completed, we sailed from
Monado; Mr. Hart, with the captain's permission, taking advantage of
this opportunity of reaching Sincapore. The following day we ran through
the Straits of Banca, and steered for Ternate, off which island we
arrived on the following Saturday. On Sunday morning, before daylight,
we struck heavily on a coral reef, but by dint of great exertion we got
off, and floated at six. A boat was despatched to the Dutch governor of
the town to state that it was not our intention to anchor. The island of
Ternate is, I believe, governed by a sultan, who has sway over several
other islands. The Dutch have a settlement here, and have long been on
good terms with the ruling powers. It is the most important of the
Molucca group, as it produces a vast quantity of cloves, beside every
variety of tropical fruits. It was taken by us in 1810, and restored in
1815. This island, as far as I could judge, is perfectly round, and
about twenty-five miles in circuit, the land gradually rising to a huge
peak in the centre. It is of volcanic formation. It is well wooded, and
abounds with game; and on this island the boa constrictor grows to the
largest size, being often found upwards of thirty feet in length. The
Dutch town is built on the south-east side of the island. The houses
appear to be better constructed than those of Monado, and the whole town
better arranged. There are several forts, two churches, and apparently
about 400 houses. The one occupied by the governor is distinguished from
the others by its size, and superiority of architecture and decorations.
We obtained quantities of every description of fruit from the boats
which crowded round the ship: in addition to shaddocks, pineapples,
oranges, bananas, and many other common varieties, we had the delightful
treat of the mangosteins, which grow only in these latitudes. It is
impossible to describe the peculiarly grateful taste of this cool and
refreshing fruit. It is a mixture of the sweet and acid, blended in the
most luscious manner. It is in size somewhat smaller than an apple, and
the skin, which is very thick and bitter, of a dark plum colour. This
when dried is used as a remedy for the dysentery. The inside, which is
nearly white, is divided into four parts, resembling in substance a firm
jelly; and, in my opinion, gives one more the idea of what nectar was,
or ought to be, than any thing else which enters into the mouth of man.
We decided that the Peak of Ternate was the true Mount Olympus, and that
it was there that the gods were assembled and, in ancient days, ate
mangosteins, called nectar by the Greeks.

The boat which had been sent on shore to the governor at length
returned, and we made sail to the southward, to survey a portion of the
coast of Gilolo (another of the Spice Islands), which was supposed to be
laid down incorrectly in the charts.

On the morning of Monday, the 3rd of June, the ship being off the coast
of Gilolo, the gig with the captain, and the barge with several
officers, left the ship with four days' provisions to survey a portion
of the coast. At 11 A. M. they landed on a reef, running out about a
cable's length from a small island. About two in the afternoon a body of
natives, armed with spears and krisses, issued with loud yells from the
jungle, and advanced towards them. At the same time a prahu pulled round
a point, and made towards the barge, which was at anchor about fifty
yards from the shore. The captain was at the time on shore taking
observations, but as the natives approached he retired to the gig and
got the arms in readiness. The natives came within 100 yards of us, and
then halted. The captain signed them to go away: they approached nearer;
we gave them a volley, and they hastily retreated into the jungle.

The barge was now prepared for the expected attack of the prahu, which
by this time had approached within point blank range of the barge's gun,
which was a brass six-pounder. Observing, it is to be presumed, that the
boat was so well-armed, and the men were loading the gun, the prahu
ceased pulling, and hoisted Dutch colours. They were ordered to pull for
the Gilolo shore, which they did; a rocket fired at them quickening
their speed considerably. At 3 P. M. the observations being completed,
the astronomical instruments were re-embarked on the barge, and the
captain quitted the gig and went into the barge. Both boats were pulled
towards the main land. On the in-shore side of the small island I have
mentioned, we discovered a village consisting of fifteen or twenty
houses. The gig was despatched with two officers to burn the village,
which was done; the natives who were in the huts escaping into the
jungle. In the mean time, the barge proceeded towards a large village in
search of the prahu. On their way they fell in with a large canoe, at
anchor in one of the creeks.

Taking the canoe in tow, we again took to the oars, and in a short time
perceived the natives hauling the prahu into a creek. A round of grape
quickly decided the matter; the natives fled, and the prahu was quietly
taken possession of by our crew. Having effected our object, we
proceeded along the coast with our two prizes in tow. At sunset, after
rifling the boats of arms, flags, and gongs, we set them on fire, and
made sail to the southward; the gig, which had rejoined us, being in
company. About midnight we anchored in a small and lonely bay,--I should
say, twenty miles from where the above occurrences took place. We took
our meals, but did not attempt to repose till after two in the morning,
although we were quite tired after the events of the day before. We then
lay down, and composed ourselves to sleep.

We had not, however, been recumbent long, ere the sounds of gongs were
heard at a distance; and shortly afterwards the man on the look-out
reported that three prahus were coming into the bay. A short time
sufficed to have every thing in readiness for the expected conflict.

The foremost of the prahus approached within ten yards of the barge,
lowered her sail, and rounded to. A native, one of the chiefs we
presumed, inquired in broken English if we belonged to a ship. The
captain would not satisfy him on that point, but desired him to go away.

The other two prahus, having been joined by a third (making four in
all), had now closed within half pistol shot, and lowered their sails.

Seeing that we were completely enclosed, a musket-ball was fired over
the largest prahu. The men in the prahus gave their accustomed yell, and
the whole force advanced towards us.

The six-pounder, loaded with round and grape, was now fired into the
largest prahu; the cries and confusion were great; the crew of the prahu
leapt into the water, but few arrived on shore,--they sunk under the
fire of our muskets. The three other prahus then commenced a spirited
fire from their guns and small arms, assisted by a flight of arrows and

Pulling within twenty yards of them, we plied them alternately with
grape and canister from our six-pounder. The engagement continued with
great vigour for some time, when their fire slackened; and shortly
afterwards two more of the prahus were deserted by their crews, who made
for the shore; the fourth made off. The three prahus were taken
possession of, towed into deep water, and anchored. Leaving the gig in
charge of them, we went in pursuit of the fourth prahu, and soon came up
with her; but her crew escaped by running the boat on shore.

Another prahu now hove in sight, pulling, or rather paddling, towards
us. Leaving our prize, we faced our new antagonist, saluting her with
grape and musquetry, and causing so much havoc, that, shrieking and
yelling, they made for the nearest shore without returning a single
shot. We followed her, firing into her as fast as possible. On coming up
with her we found her aground, with six dead and one mortally wounded;
the remainder of the crew had saved themselves by wading to the shore.
After getting this prahu afloat, we brought the other prahu, which we
had just before captured (No. 4.), alongside. This boat was crowded with
dead and dying. Among the latter was a female child, apparently about
eight months old, in a state of nudity. The poor little creature's left
arm was nearly severed from its body by a grape shot. She was removed
into the boat, where the rest of the wounded were placed, with as much
care as possible. A low moaning sound escaped from her lips, her eyes
were glazed, and she evidently was fast dying: it would have been a
mercy to have put an end to her sufferings. The dead were then thrown
overboard, and the prahu set on fire; the last prahu, containing the
wounded, was left to her fate.

It was now daylight, and on looking around we perceived five more prahus
off a point between the gig and ourselves in the barge and several
others pulling in from seaward. We gave way for the five prahus, which
were drawn up in a line ready to receive us. Notwithstanding their fire,
assisted by their spears and other missiles, we pulled within fifteen
yards of the outermost prahu of the five, and discharged our gun,
accompanied by a volley of musquetry. The other prahus now closed and
poured in a heavy fire; but, although the barge was struck, not one of
our men was injured. The repeated fire from the boats soon caused the
people in the prahus to make for the shore through the water, when many
of them fell from our musquetry. It was now about six o'clock in the
morning, our last charge of canister shot was in the gun, the last
rocket in the tube, and nearly all the percussion caps expended. The
barge was pulled closer to the nearest prahu to give more effect to the
discharge, and the captain was in the stern of the barge with the rocket
tube in hand, when one of the prahus on shore fired her swivel; the ball
struck the captain, and knocked him overboard. He was hauled in, and we
found that he had received a severe wound in the groin, which was
dressed by the surgeon.

_Lieutenant Baugh_ now took the command, and the gun was discharged with
good effect, and all the people on board of the prahus, who were able to
escape, made for the shore. One of our marines was wounded in the neck
with an arrow, and, with the exception of the captain, no other casualty
took place.

The fight would have been continued with the round shot still left in
the barge, but the assistant surgeon was anxious that the captain should
return to the ship and have the ball extracted. The barge therefore
pulled for the ship, whose royals were just visible above the horizon.
The pirates, finding that we were retreating, returned to their prahus
and fired their guns at us, but without effect.

We arrived on board about 9 A. M., and the ship's head was put towards
the scene of action, while the barge and two cutters were despatched in
search of the gig, of whose safety we had great doubts. About 11.30, A.M.,
the second cutter, being in advance, discovered a sail in shore, and
which, by the aid of our telescopes, we made out to be the gig. When we
closed with her, and found that all was right we were greatly relieved.
We heard from Mr. Hooper, the purser, who was in her, that after waiting
in vain for the barge's return, he set fire to the prahus. In one of
them he found a woman and child alive, whom he landed at the nearest
point. He then pulled in the direction we had gone, being guided by the
sound of our guns. On his arrival in the bay we were not in sight, and
perceiving several prahus with flags flying and gongs beating, he
naturally concluded that we had been overpowered, and he was making the
best of his way towards the ship. The boats continued pulling towards
the shore, leaving the gig to return to the ship and ease the minds of
the ship's company respecting her safety.

On our arrival in the bay with the barge and cutters, we found that the
prahus had hauled into a creek, on the banks of which was a masked
battery, which opened a spirited fire upon us as soon as we came within
range. After an hour's cannonading on both sides we were joined by the
gig, with orders for us not to land, but to return to the ship at
sunset. This order was not received with pleasure, as we hoped to have a
chance of punishing the fellows a little more. We pulled a short
distance along the coast, and entered another bay, in which we destroyed
two prahus; after which we returned to the ship. Calms, and a strong
current setting to the northward, detained the ship near the scene of
action for several days. We at length passed through the straits of
Patientia, but did not get the breeze until we sighted the Isle of
Bouro. Passing through the Bonta passage, straits of Salayer, and Java
sea, we arrived at Sincapore on the 28th of June.

Here we found the Harlequin, which had had a brush with the pirates on
the coast of Sumatra. The Harlequin, Wanderer, and Diana were sent to
the villages of Micedo and Batta, to demand the murderers of an English
captain. On the rajah refusing to deliver them up, the vessels opened
their fire and burnt the villages. The Harlequin lost two men killed and
five wounded; among the latter was Lieutenant Chads, whose arm was
nearly severed by a Malay kris. While here the Superb arrived from Hong
Kong on her way to England; the Driver, with Sir Henry Pottinger on
board; and the Cambrian, Commodore Chads. Also the Iris from England,
and the Dido from Hong Kong, which latter vessel sailed for Sarawak.

I may as well here remark, that the Dutch made a formal complaint
against our captain for having attacked their prahus, which they
asserted were not pirates, but employed by them against the pirates. It
is but fair to give the arguments that were used against us,
particularly as the authorities at Sincapore appeared to think that we
were to blame. They said, you were in boats, and you touched at Gillolo;
the natives, accustomed to be taken off by the Illanoan pirates, were
naturally jealous and suspicious, seeing no vessel. They came alone,
armed, to ascertain who you were. At 100 yards they stopped; you
signalled them to go away, and they advanced nearer to you, but they
committed no act of hostility. You fired a volley at them, and they
retreated. Here the aggression was on your side.

At the same time, you say, a war prahu pulled round the point, and
approached to within range; when the prahu was close to you she ceased
paddling, and hoisted Dutch colours. You desired it to pull for the
Gillolo shore, which it did. There was no aggression in this instance,
and nothing piratical in the conduct of the prahu. After she had obeyed
your order to pull to the Gillolo shore, you wantonly fired a Congreve
rocket at her; your conduct in this instance being much more like that
of a pirate than hers. In the afternoon you pull along the Gillolo
shore, and you discover a village; you send your boat ashore and set
fire to it. Why so? You state that you were attacked by Illanoan
pirates, who reside at Tampassook, some hundred miles from Gillolo, and
you then burn the village of the people of Gillolo, and that without the
least aggression on their part. Is it surprising that you should be
supposed to be pirates after such wanton outrage? To proceed: you state
that you then go in search of the prahu which you ordered away, and that
on your way you captured a large canoe, which you take in tow, and
afterwards perceive the pirates hauling their vessel into a creek. You
attack them, and they run away, leaving the prahu in your possession,
and, as usual, after rifling the prahu and canoe, you set them on fire.
Up to this point there has been nothing but aggression on your part; and
it is not, therefore, surprising that you were supposed to be pirates,
and that the communication was made along the coast, and the vessels
employed against the pirates were summoned for its protection. Again,
the prahus came out and surrounded you; they did not fire at you, but
hailed you in English, requesting to know if you belonged to a ship.
Now, if any thing could prove that they were not pirate vessels, it was
their doing this; and had you replied, they would have explained to you
what their employment was: but you think proper to give no answer to
this simple question, order them to go away, and then fire a loaded
musket into them, which brings on the conflict which you so much
desired. That these observations were true, it must be admitted, and the
complaint of the Dutch, with the hoisting of the Dutch flag, gave great
weight to them: however, pirates or no pirates, the Admiralty Court, on
our arrival in England, considered them to have been such; and, as will
be seen by the extract from the "Times" below, awarded head money to the
amount of about 10,000l. to the captain and crew of the Samarang, and
for his wound received, our captain obtained a pension of (I believe)
£250 a year.[1]


    (_Before Dr. Lushington._)


    "In this case a petition was presented by Sir Edward Belcher,
    the captain, and the rest of the officers and crew of Her
    Majesty's ship-of-war Samarang, setting forth that on the 3d of
    June, 1844, the Samarang being then engaged in surveying duties,
    and near the island of Gillolo, on her passage towards the
    Straits of Patientia, Sir E. Belcher, with two officers and four
    men, quitted her in the gig, accompanied by the second barge,
    armed with a brass six-pounder gun and small arms, and manned
    with twenty officers and men. While engaged on the extreme side
    of a reef, extending from a small islet, in taking astronomical
    observations, they were disturbed by an extraordinary yell
    proceeding from about forty men of colour, who were advancing
    from the islet along both sides of the reef, with the evident
    intention of surrounding Sir E. Belcher and his party, on
    nearing whom they commenced hurling spears and arrows, though
    without effect. They were soon repulsed and put to flight by
    musketry. In the course of the day several large prahus made
    their appearance, manned by large crews of Malay pirates, and
    severe conflicts took place between the respective parties, in
    one of which a ball from the leading prahu struck Sir E. Belcher
    on the thigh, and knocked him overboard, severely and
    dangerously wounding him; but, having been lifted out of the
    water, and dragged into the barge, _he shortly after resumed the
    command_, and ultimately succeeded in destroying all the prahus.

    "Dr. Addams applied to the Court to award the bounties specified
    in the 6th of George IV. c. 49. for the capture and destruction
    of piratical ships and vessels. He submitted that the affidavits
    produced clearly showed the character of the persons on board
    the prahus, and that not less than 1,330 persons were alive on
    board the several prahus at the beginning of the attack, 350 of
    whom were killed.

    "The Queen's Advocate, on behalf of the Crown, admitted that a
    very meritorious service had been performed, and made no
    opposition to the application.

    "The Court pronounced for the usual bounties on the number of
    pirates stated."

    [Footnote 1: The account of this transaction is taken from the
    private log of one of the officers who was present in the barge
    during the whole time. I was not there myself. In his narrative
    it will be observed that he makes no mention of the natives who
    came down upon them having _thrown spears_ at them, although in
    the extract from the "Times" it is so stated. It would appear
    also that there was some mistake as to the number of men on
    board of the prahus and the number killed. A war prahu generally
    contains from fifty to eighty men. Some are smaller, and
    occasionally they are larger, but not often. Capt. Keppell
    states fifty men to be the usual number in his work; and, in his
    conflict with the pirates, estimates the force accordingly. Now
    the first day there was one war prahu, which ran up a creek;
    and, on being fired at, the crew deserted her. On the second day
    there were five prahus, all captured. On the third day the five
    prahus engaged were not captured, the boat returning to the ship
    after the captain was wounded; so that in all it appears that
    there were nine prahus; and, allowing eighty men to each, the
    force would only amount to 720 men, or about one half of the
    number stated, viz. 1330. How the killed, amounting to 350, or
    about half the number, were arrived at and estimated, it is
    impossible to say; but in the narrative of the officer, which I
    have given, the major portion of the crews deserted the prahus
    and got on shore.]

Our captain having now nearly recovered from the wound which he had
received, we found that our destination was Borneo; but previous to the
ship getting under weigh, the boats were ordered to be manned and armed,
to proceed on an excursion to Romania Point, distant about thirty miles
from Sincapore. It was expected that we might there fall in with some of
the piratical vessels which so completely infest the Indian Archipelago;
and if so, we trusted to give them a lesson which might for a time put a
check to their nefarious and cruel system of plunder and rapine. I found
that my name was down in the list of the party selected for the
expedition. Bidding, therefore, a temporary adieu to Sincapore, on the
2d of August we set off on the expedition, with a force consisting of
two barges, one cutter, and a gun-boat belonging to the merchants of
Sincapore, which had been expressly built to resist any attacks of these
bold assailants.

Although the real object of the expedition was, as I have above stated,
to fall in with the pirates, our ostensible one was to survey the
islands off the Point Romania, which is the most unfrequented part of
the Malay peninsula. We arrived there late at night, as ignorant whether
the pirates were there, as the pirates would have been of our arrival.
We had, therefore, nothing to do but to anchor close under the land, and
keep a sharp look-out, in case of being the attacked instead of the
attacking party. As we were not indifferently provided with the creature
comforts which Sincapore afforded, we amused ourselves pretty well; but
if we occasionally opened our mouths, we took good care not to shut our
eyes, and were constantly on the alert. There is a far from pleasant
feeling attached to lying in an open boat, in a night as dark as pitch,
expecting a momentary attack from an insidious enemy, and wholly in a
state of uncertainty as to from what quarter it may be made, or as to
what odds you may be exposed. Under these circumstances, we remained in
watching and silence during a night which appeared interminably long;
and daylight was gladly welcomed by the whole party; and when it arrived
we found ourselves anchored among a crowd of small islands, which were
covered from the beach to their summits with the most luxuriant foliage.
Within shore of us was a beautiful little sandy bay; while the whole
coast, as far as the eye could reach, was one extended jungle, by all
accounts extending many hundred miles inland, and infested with tigers
and other beasts of prey. As for pirates, we saw nothing of them, or any
signs of their having been in that quarter; either they were away on
some distant marauding party, or, having received intelligence of our
approach and force, had considered us too strong to be opposed, and had
kept out of the way. Our warlike expedition, therefore, was soon changed
into a sort of pic-nic party--we amused ourselves with bathing, turning
of turtle, shooting, and eating the wild pine-apples which grew on all
the islands. We remained there for three days, during which nothing
occurred worth narrating, unless it is an instance of the thoughtless
and reckless conduct of midshipmen. We were pulling leisurely along the
coast in one of the boats, when we perceived a very large Bengal tiger
taking an evening stroll, and who, by the motion of his tail, was
evidently in a state of much self-satisfaction. We winded the boat's
head towards him, and were preparing to give him a round of grape from
the gun, but before we could get the gun well pointed, he retreated
majestically into the jungle, which was in the bight of a small bay, and
cut off from the main jungle by some large rocks. Three of our party
immediately declared that they would have a tiger-hunt, and bring back
his skin as a trophy. They landed, two of them having each a ship's
musket, a very uncertain weapon, as they are at present provided, for,
whether from damp or careless manufacture, the percussion caps will not
often go off; and the third armed with nothing but a knife. On their
landing, they took their position on the rocks, and were delighted to
find that the tiger could not retreat to the main jungle without passing
them. They had not long taken up their position before they heard the
crackling of the wood in the jungle, announcing the tiger's approach
towards them. They fixed their bayonets and cocked their locks; the
young gentleman with the knife was also prepared; but the noise in the
jungle ceased. Whether it was that the tiger was afraid to attack three
at the same time, or was making a circuit for a more convenient spring
upon them, certain it is that our three young gentlemen either became
tired of waiting for him, or had thought better of their mad attempt.
One proposed returning to the boat, the others assented; and after
denouncing the tiger as a coward, and wholly unworthy of the name of a
royal tiger, they commenced their retreat as the dark set in; gradually
their pace quickened, in two minutes they were in a hard trot; at last
the panic took them all, and by the time they arrived at the boats they
could not speak from want of breath, so hurried had been their retreat.
We sincerely congratulated them upon their arrival safe and sound, and
having escaped without loss of life and limb from a very mad adventure.
I subsequently related this incident to an old Indian sportsman, who
told me that my messmates had had a most fortunate escape, as they would
have had little or no chance had the tiger made his spring, which he
certainly would have done had they remained much longer, and that one of
them at least must have been sacrificed. On the morning of the fourth
day, the ship, having made sail from Sincapore, hove in sight, and
picked us up. The boats were hoisted in, and we steered for Borneo, to
complete some surveys on the north-east coast.

The island of Borneo, throughout the whole of the N. E. coast, is, with
few exceptions, a low land, covered with jungle; but so beautifully
verdant does it appear when viewed from some distance, that you would be
led to suppose that it was widely cultivated. This idea is, however,
soon dispelled on a near approach, when you discover the rich groups of
acacias, palms, pandani, and numerous trees as yet unknown, so luxuriant
in themselves, but forming one entangled mass, alike impenetrable to
European or native. What, in the distant view, we fancied a verdant
meadow, where we might relax from our long confinement, and amuse
ourselves with recreation, now proved to be ranges of long damp grass,
interspersed with swamps, and infested with venomous snakes. In short, I
never yet was on a coast which, on arriving on it, promised so much,
and, on landing, caused such a series of disappointments to those who
love to ramble about, than the coast of Borneo. To the naturalist,
however, confined as he is to the shelving beach, there is ample food
for employment and research: the island abounds in novel objects of
natural history, both in the animal and vegetable kingdom.

Nothing certain is as yet ascertained relative to the interior of this
immense island, if island it can with propriety be called. From the
accounts of the natives (which, however, must be received with due
caution), it consists of a large plain, devoid of jungle, and inhabited
by cannibals. Two adventurous Dutchmen have latterly set off from
Pontiana, the Dutch settlement, on an excursion into the interior; but
it is doubtful if they succeed, where so many others have already

[Illustration: KEENEY-BALLO.





Borneo has but small elevation for so large an island; in the immediate
vicinity of Keeney Ballu the country is hilly, but by far the greatest
portion of Borneo is but a few feet above the level of the sea. Keeney
Ballu is the highest mountain in the island,--its height is estimated at
14,000 feet or more,--and it can be seen at 150 miles distant on a very
clear day. It is very singular that there should be a mountain of so
great a height rising from an island of otherwise low land. Near Sarawak
there is mountainous country, where live the Dyaks, previously
described, and a mountain of the name of Santabong, which has already
been made mention of. On the S. E. coast of the island we saw no
elevation of land of any consequence. I have given a drawing of the
mountain of Keeney Ballu, distant forty miles. At this distance, with
the aid of the glass, you may perceive the numerous cascades which fall
from its summit in every direction. The Dyaks of Borneo imagine that a
lake exists at the top of this mountain, and that it is to be their
receptacle after death.

As the island is in most parts a flat and marshy jungle, extending about
200 miles inland, and the rivers are not rapid, although numerous, it
would be presumed, especially as the dews of the night are very heavy,
that the island would be fatal to Europeans. Such, however, proved not
to be the case. During our repeated visits to the island (a period of
nearly two years), we only lost one man, by a most imprudent exposure
to the night air, sleeping in an open boat, without the awning being
spread, and exposed to a very heavy dew.

Borneo abounds with rivers, some of them very fine, running inland for
one or two hundred miles. Most of these rivers have been taken
possession of and colonised by the various tribes indigenous to the
neighbouring isles and continent, to wit, Arabs, Malays, Illanoans,
Bughis, the natives of Celebes, Chinese, &c. The reason for this
emigration to Borneo is the protection afforded by these rivers; for as
all these tribes live entirely by piracy, they here find a safe retreat
for themselves and their vessels. How long ago their settlements may
have been first made, or what opposition they may have received from the
Dyak aborigines, it is impossible to say; but as most of the head men in
Borneo claim to be of Arab descent, it may be presumed that many years
must have elapsed since the aboriginal tribes of Dyaks and Dusums were
dispossessed of the rivers, and driven into the interior. Of these
people I shall speak hereafter; there is no doubt but that they were the
original inhabitants of the whole island, and that the various tribes I
have mentioned are but colonists for piratical purposes.

These piratical hordes generally infest the high lands upon the shores
of these rivers, which are difficult of navigation; and, moreover, from
their numerous branches, their resorts are not very easily discovered.
These towns are fortified with stockades, guns of various calibre, and
the passage up the river defended by booms or piles of timber, which
admit of but one narrow passage for their prahus.

It must be understood that these piratical hordes are not only
independent of each other, but often at war, in consequence of their
spoliations. Some of their chiefs have taken upon them the titles of
princes; and one has assumed, as is well known, that of Sultan of
Borneo, another of Sooloo,--how far entitled to such a rank it would be
difficult to say; but this is certain, that there must be a beginning
to every dynasty; and if we trace back far into history, we shall find,
both at home and abroad, that most dynasties have had their origin in
freebooting on a grand scale,--even the House of Hapsburg itself is
derived from no better an origin; and the Sultan of Borneo, whoever he
may be, and if a Sultan does exist, some 800 years hence will, by the
antiquity of his title, prove his high descent, as the German emperor
now does his own.

On the 20th of August we came to an anchor at the mouth of the Sarawak
river, where we remained three weeks completing some very important
surveys. When our work was done, the captain, accompanied by several
officers, went up the river.

On our arrival at Kuchin, we found the Dido corvette, commanded by
Captain Keppell, lying abreast of the town. We also found that Kuchin
was at present nearly deserted, as the Dido's boats, with the Phlegethon
steamer, and all the native war prahus which could be mustered, had
proceeded with Mr. Brooke to the Sakarron, a neighbouring river, to
punish some of the mixed tribes who had lately been detected in an act
of flagrant piracy. On the change of the tide we started for the
Sakarron, with the hope of gaining the Dido's boats, and rendering them
some assistance. Our men exerted themselves to the utmost; but it
requires time to pull eighty miles; and I will therefore, _en voyage_,
explain more fully the cause and the object of the expedition.

The river Sakarron, with its tributaries, the Linga and Serebis, have
been for a long while in the possession of a proverbial piratical tribe
of Malays, governed by chiefs, who are of Arab descent, and much better
acquainted with the art of war than those lawless communions are in
general. Their towers and fastnesses on the banks of their rivers they
have contrived to fortify in a very superior manner. Living wholly by
the proceeds of their piratical excursions, and, aware of the efforts
made by the European rajah, Mr. Brooke, to put it down, they resolved to
take the first opportunity which might offer to show their hostility and
contempt to their new-raised enemy. The occasion soon presented itself.
Seven of the Kuchin Malays, having ventured in a canoe up the Sakarron
river, were all murdered, and their heads cut off, and kept, as usual,
as trophies; and the intelligence of this outrage communicated by them
to Mr. Brooke, with defiance.

Captain Keppell, of the Dido, had just arrived at Sarawak when this news
was brought to Mr. Brooke. Captain Keppell had been sent by Admiral Sir
Thomas Cochrane to the island on purpose to look out for pirates, and to
destroy them and their nests wherever he could find them. He therefore
gladly offered his assistance to Mr. Brooke to punish these murderous
wretches; and the Phlegethon steamer coming in while they were preparing
for the expedition, was, of course, added to the force employed. This
fortunate accession of strength, assisted by all the Malay war boats
which Mr. Brooke could muster, enabled them to give an effectual check
to a band of pirates, so numerous and so warlike as to have become most
formidable. To proceed:--

That night we anchored with the last of the flood at the entrance of the
Sakarron. We had great fear, from the intelligence we had received from
time to time, from boats we fell in with on our passage, that we should
arrive too late to be partakers of the affray; and so it proved, for the
next morning, while proceeding higher up the river, we perceived a large
force of native boats coming down with the ebb, and all of them filled
to the gunwale with plunder.

The Malay and Dyak canoes are made out of a hollowed tree, or, as they
are termed in many ports of India, "dug-outs." They are long and narrow,
and are capable of being propelled with great swiftness. Although very
easy to capsize, they are constantly loaded till so deep that at the
least inclination the water pours over the gunwale, and one man is
usually employed baling with a scoop made out of a banana leaf. Custom,
however, makes them so used to keep the equilibrium, that you often see
the Dyaks, whose canoes are similar to the Malays', standing upright and
propelling them with their spears.

[Illustration: NATIVE BOAT--BORNEO.]

The Malay war-boat, or _prahu_, is built of timber at the lower part,
the upper is of bamboo, rattan, and kedgang (the dried leaf of the Nepa
palm). Outside the bends, about a foot from the water line, runs a
strong gallery, in which the rowers sit cross-legged. At the after-part
of the boat is a cabin for the chief who commands, and the whole of the
vessel is surmounted by a strong flat roof, upon which they fight, their
principal weapons being the kris and spear, both of which, to be used
with effect, require elbow-room.

The Dyak war-boat is a long built canoe, more substantially constructed
than the prahu of the Malays, and sufficiently capacious to hold from
seventy to eighty men. This also has a roof to fight from. They are
generally painted, and the stern ornamented with feathers.

Both descriptions of war-boats are remarkably swift, notwithstanding
such apparent top-weight. To proceed:--

[Illustration: DYAK WAR PRAHU.]

We hove to, to speak to those on board of the canoes, and were informed
by them that the pirates had sustained a severe defeat, and that the
European force was about to descend the river on their return to Kuchin.
As a proof of the victory having been gained, they produced several
heads which had been taken in the fight.

We proceeded about six miles further up the river, when we discovered
the European boats and crews lying at anchor abreast of the smoking
ruins of what had been a Malay town. Here we learnt that the pirates had
been completely routed, after a desperate resistance, that four large
towns had been burnt, and seventy-five brass guns of the country, called
leilas, had been captured. The victory, however, had not been gained
without loss on our side, and had the pirates been better prepared, we
must have suffered much more. Several of the people of Kuchin had been
killed, and of Europeans we had to lament the loss of Mr. Wade, first
lieutenant of the Dido, and formerly of the Samarang, and Mr. Stewart,
one of the residents at Kuchin; the latter gentleman lost his life by an
excess of zeal which quite overcame all prudence. Mr. Wade had landed
with his men after an attack and capture of a fort, and when in advance
received a bullet in the heart. He fell instantly dead; his body was
recovered by his shipmates, and borne to the boat, and during a
temporary cessation of hostilities was conveyed to the river. His loss
was much deplored by his shipmates in both vessels, by whom he was
respected as an officer, and beloved as a friend.

Mr. Stewart, pulling in advance in a small canoe, with some of the
natives belonging to Kuchin, was suddenly pounced upon by three or four
of the enemy's prahus full of men. They ran down the canoe, and thus
were Mr. Stewart and his companions at their mercy. Mercy!--a wrong term
to use when speaking of those who never show any. They were all krissed,
to the number of seventeen, in sight of their companions in the other
boats, who were too far behind to arrive in time to render them any
assistance, although it hardly need be said that every effort was made.
The last that was seen of poor Stewart was his body being carried by one
of the Dyaks into the jungle by the side of the river, and the fellow
was so anxious to obtain the much-valued trophy of a white man's head,
that, as he bore it along, he kept his knife sawing at the head to sever
it from the body. Indeed, so much do these people value a white man's
head, that they will build a separate room on purpose to contain it.

Whilst lying at this place, riding to a strong flood tide, a canoe
floated past us, in which we could discern two dead bodies; they were
both dressed as Malays, and the garments were good. Over the bows of the
canoe there hung a handsomely ornamented kris. We tried to hook the
canoe with the boat-hook, but the strength of the tide was so great that
we could not succeed in securing it, and it floated away with the
stream. We presumed that they were the bodies of some of the Malays
killed in the recent conflict, who probably inhabited a higher portion
of the river, and that they had been put into the canoe by their friends
to be carried home, and had been swept away by the tide from not having
been securely fastened, for nothing would have induced the enemy thus to
make us a present of _two heads_.

"We weighed, in company with the steamer and boats, on the same evening,
and returned to Kuchin, where we arrived on the following day. The
men-of-war boats having been towed by the steamer, we arrived some time
before the native prahus belonging to the river, which had accompanied
us. On the following day they arrived, and the scene was novel and
interesting. They all rounded the point together, dressed out with flags
of all descriptions, beating their gongs and tom-toms, and firing blank
cartridges from their "Leilas." Highly elated with their victory, and
with the plunder which had accompanied it, they celebrated it by all
getting excessively drunk that night upon shamsoo.

We remained at Kuchin for three days, enjoying Mr. Brooke's hospitality;
and during that time it was proposed and arranged that we should pay a
visit to the river Loondoo, the residence of a very remarkable tribe of
Dyaks under Mr. Brooke's authority; but not being able to fix the exact
period for the visit, on that night we returned to the ship.

We had not been much more than twenty-four hours on board, when the
captain, who had been away, returned at midnight; and, at this unusual
hour, ordered all the boats, manned and armed, to be piped away
immediately. We were informed that the river Sakarron was again our
destination; and at four o'clock in the morning we started, with
fourteen days' provisions, and armed to the teeth, to join the Dido's
boats at the mouth of the river Morotabis, from thence to be towed with
them by the steamer to our destination. The cause of this new expedition
was the intelligence that the Arab chief, Serib Saib, who had escaped
during the late conflict, had returned to the Sakarron to collect
together and re-organize his piratical subjects. We soon arrived at the
same spot which we had before visited when the town had been burnt down;
but the expedition proved to be one of little interest. Notwithstanding
his threats, Serib Saib's confidence gave way at the approach of our
force, and he made a precipitate retreat up the river, accompanied by
four or five hundred of his warriors. Nevertheless, we continued to
force our way up the river, with the expectation that, when fairly at
bay, he would make a stand. Our advance was made known to the enemy by
fires lighted on the different hills abreast of the boats. This speedy
mode of communication is adopted by all the natives in this part of the
world. Determined not to abandon the pursuit while a chance remained, we
followed the redoubtable Serib Saib for eighty miles up the river, which
in some parts was too narrow for our boats' crews to make use of their
oars; but all obstacles were overcome in the ardour of the chase.

To impede our progress, large trees had been felled so as to fall across
the river where it was narrow; but these were removed, and we forced our
way on. At last the river, as we approached the source, became little
wider than a ditch, the barges grounded, and could proceed no farther;
the gigs only could float, and we continued, till, after forty-eight
hours of severe labour, we found ourselves at the head of the river; and
we also discovered that Serib Saib had escaped, having with his whole
force landed, and made his way through the jungle into the interior,
leaving at our disposal the forty war canoes which had carried him and
his men. To follow him was impossible; so we were obliged to content
ourselves with the capture of the war canoes, which were all that we had
to show for our exertions. Disappointed, and hungry withal, we were not
sorry to find ourselves once more with our heads down the river.

I must not omit, however, to narrate a little trick played upon our
gallant captain. I have stated that the river was so narrow near its
source that we could not use the oars, and the gigs, which continued the
pursuit, had to be hauled through the bushes by the boat-hooks.
Returning to where the larger boats had been left aground, our bow-man,
who was employed shooting the gig along by such aid as the branches of
the trees, or the tendrils which hung to them, afforded him, stuck his
boat-hook into what appeared to be a suspended ball of moss; but he soon
discovered that it was something more, as it was a nest of hornets,
which sallied out in great numbers, and resented the insult to their
domicile by attacking the bowman first, as the principal aggressor, and
us afterwards, as parties concerned. Now the sting of a hornet is no
joke; we covered our faces with our handkerchiefs, or any thing we could
find, and made a hasty retreat from the spot, pushing the gig down the
stream, till we were clear of their attacks. In the hurry of our escape
we left the boat-hook hanging in the hornet's nest, and not feeling at
all inclined to go back for it, we hailed the captain's gig, which was
following us, and requested very humbly that they would be pleased to
recover our boat-hook for us, as we could not well re-ascend the stream
from the want of it. As we did not mention that it was so peculiarly
situated, the captain saw no objection, and as they came to where it
hung, his bow-man caught hold of the staff, and wrested it from its
position; but this time such force was used that the tendril gave way,
and the nest itself fell down into the boat, and the irritated insects
poured out their whole force to revenge this second aggression. The
insects after all appeared to have a knowledge of the service, for they
served out their stings in the same proportion as the prize-money is
divided: the captain came in for his full share.

Returning rather in a bad humour at having had so long a pull for
nothing, we anchored off a fortified Malay town, which went by the name
of Bintang, and which had been brought to terms by Captain Keppell on a
previous expedition up the river. The people had consequently remained
neutral, although it was well known that they were not to be trusted,
and that, had we been defeated above and beaten back, they would, in all
probability, have attacked us in the rear. As the evening closed in, by
way of astonishing the natives, and giving them some idea of our perfect
equipment, the boats were directed to give a _feu-de-joie_. Some fifteen
guns, with rockets, port-fires, blue lights, supported by a
well-sustained roulade of musketry, had a very warlike effect; and, no
doubt, gave the natives an impression of our superiority in the use of
fire-arms. At the conclusion, Captain Keppell, who was always ready for
fun, gave out the order that all hands were to join in "God save the
Queen," taking the time from him. A dead silence was immediately
produced, waiting for him to lead off, which he did; but, to our great
amusement, he, by mistake, commenced with "Rule Britannia;" and this,
being more to the seamen's taste, certainly, as far as lungs were
concerned, was done most ample justice to.

The saying is, "No song no supper;" of course it must be presumed that a
song deserves a supper. It proved so in this instance; for just as the
chorus was hushed, the Sultan of Bintang, as he styles himself, sent off
to the head boat (the one I happened to be in) a superb supper for seven
people, consisting of seven bronze trays, each tray containing about a
dozen small plates, in which were many varieties of flesh and fowl
cooked in a very superior manner. To each tray was a spoon, made of the
yellow leaf of some tree unknown; but, as specimens of primitive
elegance and utility combined, they were matchless. We had some doubts,
from our knowledge of the treachery of the Malays, whether we should
fall to upon these appetising viands, as there was no saying but that
they might be poisoned. Mr. Brooke, however, who, although not the
commandant, was the mentor of the party, explained that he invariably
observed one rule when treating and dealing with these people,--which
was, never to exhibit any unworthy suspicion of them, as, by so doing,
they became convinced of our own integrity and honour. That this
confidence might have, in many instances, proved dangerous, unless
adopted with great caution, must be admitted; but in our relations with
the people on the rivers of Borneo it was of great service. The Malays
are so very suspicious themselves, that nothing but confidence on your
part will remove the feeling; and, in treating with Malays, this is the
first object to be obtained. The remarks of Mr. Brooke, which were not a
little assisted by the tempting nature of the viands, and no small
degree of hunger, had the effect, and the trays were all cleared out in

While I was in this river I was capsized by a _bore_. This, I must
explain to my non-nautical readers, is a huge rolling wave, which is as
upright as a wall, and travels almost as fast as a locomotive. It is
occasioned by the flood tide pouring in and overcoming the feeders to
the river, forcing them back to their source. On this occasion I was
pulling down the river in a small gig, following the other boats, which
had turned up another branch of it, when I perceived it rapidly
advancing, and making a noise not unlike the animal of the same name,
only a great deal louder. Had I been steering a straight course down the
river I should have faced it, and probably have got off with the boat
half full of water; but I calculated upon reaching the point and
entering the branch of the river before its arrival. But I had not
calculated upon its speed, and a strong eddy current at the point was
wicked enough to draw our boat broadside to the middle of the stream.

The wall of water rushed on us, turned us over and over; but fortunately
by its force it also threw us all, with the gig, upon the point. It did
not, however, throw us our oars, which were performing a _pas de quatre_
in a whirlpool close to us. This was a narrow escape, as, had we
remained in the agitated waters, the alligators would soon have dragged
us under. For two minutes the river was in a state of ebullition, but
gradually subsided. We then launched the boat, regained our oars, and
proceeded to join our comrades. Thankful as we were for our lives having
been preserved, still as we were wet through and had lost all our
provisions and necessaries, we were compelled to admit that it was a
very great bore.

Shortly after our leaving this river a fatal accident happened to one of
our best men. The wind was blowing a heavy gale from the westward,
accompanied by thunder and lightning, such as is only to be seen and
heard on the coast of Borneo. The carpenters were on shore felling trees
for masts and yards, and as we were anchored some distance from the
shore a tent was pitched for their accommodation. They had not been in
the tent long when a large iron-wood tree was struck by lightning, and
fell, burying one of the carpenters, Miller by name, in the sand
underneath it. He was extricated with great difficulty; but before any
surgical assistance could be rendered him he was a corpse. On
examination most of his bones were found to be crushed.

Soon after our return from the Sakarron the expedition to Loondoo was
arranged, and we started in the barge and gig, accompanied by Captain
Keppell in his own boat, and Mr. Brooke and Hentig in one of the native
boats, called a Tam-bang. The distance was about forty miles, and we
should have arrived at four o'clock in the afternoon, but, owing to the
narrowness of the channel, and a want of knowledge of the river, we
grounded on the flats, where we lay high and dry for the space of four
hours. Floating with the following tide, we discovered the proper
channel, and found our way up the river, although the night was dark as
pitch: when near the town, we anchored for daylight.

I may as well here give a slight description of the scenery on the
Borneo rivers, all of which, that we have visited, with the exception of
the Bruni, bear a close resemblance to each other. They are far from
picturesque or beautiful, for the banks are generally low, and the
jungle invariably extends to the water's edge. For the first fifteen or
twenty miles the banks are lined with the nepa-palms, which then
gradually disappear, leaving the mangrove alone to clothe the sides of
the stream. When you enter these rivers, it is rare to see any thing
like a human habitation for many miles; reach after reach, the same
double line of rich foliage is presented, varying only in the
description of trees and bushes as the water becomes more fresh; now and
then a small canoe may be seen rounding a point, or you may pass the
stakes which denote that formerly there had been a fishing station. At
last a hut appears on the bank, probably flanked with one or two Banana
trees. You turn into the next reach and suddenly find yourself close to
one or more populous and fortified towns. As you ascend higher the
scenery becomes much more interesting and varied from the mangroves
disappearing. Few of the rivers of Borneo are more than eighty miles in
extent. The two rivers of Bruni and Coran are supposed to meet in the
centre of the island, although for many miles near their source they are
not much wider than a common ditch.

Before day-light of the following morning our slumbers were disturbed
by the crowing of a whole army of cocks, which assured us of the
proximity of the town we were in search of. We got under weigh, and,
rounding the point, Loondoo hove in sight, a fine town, built in a grove
of cocoa-nut trees, and by no means despicably fortified. We found our
progress arrested by a boom composed of huge trees fastened together by
coir cables, and extending the whole width of the river. Had our
intentions been hostile, it would have taken some time to have cut the
fastenings of this boom, and we should, during the operation, have been
exposed to a double line of fire from two forts raised on each side of
the river. The Chief of Loondoo had, however, been duly advised of our
intended visit, and as soon as our boats were seen from the town, a
head-man was sent out in a canoe to usher us in. After a little delay we
got the barge within the boom. When within, we found that we had further
reason to congratulate ourselves that we came as friends, as the raking
fire from the forts would have been most effectual, for we discovered
that we had to pass an inner boom equally well secured as the first. The
town was surrounded by a strong stockade made of the trunks of the
knee-bone palm, a wood superior in durability to any known. This
stockade had but one opening of any dimensions. A few strokes of the
oars brought us abreast of it, and we let go our anchors. The eldest son
of the Chief came to us immediately in a canoe. He was a splendidly
formed young man, about twenty-five years old. He wore his hair long and
flowing, his countenance was open and ingenuous, his eyes black and
knowing. His dress was a light blue velvet jacket without sleeves, and a
many-coloured sash wound round his waist. His arms and legs, which were
symmetrical to admiration, were naked, but encircled with a profusion of
heavy brass rings. He brought a present of fowls, cocoa-nuts, and
bananas to Mr. Brooke from his father, and an invitation for us to pay
him a visit at his house whenever we should feel inclined.

[Illustration: DYAK WOMEN IN CANOE.]

Preparatory to landing, we began performing our ablutions in the boat,
much to the amusement and delight of the naked groups of Dyaks who were
assembled at the landing place, and who eyed us in mute astonishment.
The application of a hair brush was the signal for a general burst of
laughter, but cleaning the teeth with a tooth brush caused a scream of
wonder, a perfect yell, I presume at our barbarous customs. There were
many women among the groups; they appeared to be well made, and more
than tolerably good looking. I need not enter into a very minute
description of their attire, for, truth to say, they had advanced very
little beyond the costume of our common mother Eve. We were soon in
closer contact with them, for one of our party throwing out of the boat
a common black bottle, half a dozen of the women plunged into the stream
to gain possession of it. They swam to the side of our boat without any
reserve, and then a struggle ensued as to who should be the fortunate
owner of the prize. It was gained by a fine young girl of about
seventeen years of age, and who had a splendid pair of black eyes. She
swam like a frog, and with her long hair streaming in the water behind
her, came pretty well up to our ideas of a mermaid.

As we had contrived to empty a considerable number of these bottles
during our expedition, they were now thrown overboard in every
direction. This occasioned a great increase of the floating party, it
being joined by all the other women on the beach, and for more than half
an hour we amused ourselves with the exertions and contentions of our
charming naiads, to obtain what they appeared to prize so much; at last
all our empty bottles were gone, and the women swam on shore with them,
as much delighted with their spoil as we had been amused with their
eagerness and activity.

About 10 o'clock we landed, and proceeded to pay our visit to the Chief.
We were ushered into a spacious house, built of wood and thatched with
leaves, capable of containing at least 400 people. The Chief was sitting
on a mat with his three sons by his side, and attended by all his
warriors. The remainder of the space within was occupied by as many of
the natives as could find room; those who could not, remained in the
court-yard outside. The Chief, who was a fine looking grey-bearded man
of about sixty years of age, was dressed in velvet, and wore on his head
a turban of embroidered silk. The three sons were dressed in the way I
have already described the one to have been who came to us in the canoe.
Without exception, those three young men were the most symmetrical in
form I have ever seen. The unrestrained state of nature in which these
Dyaks live, gives to them a natural grace and an easiness of posture,
which is their chief characteristic. After the usual greetings and
salutations had been passed through, we all sat down on mats and
cushions which had been arranged for us; a short conversation with Mr.
Brooke, who speaks the language fluently, then took place between him
and the Chief, after which refreshments were set before us. These
consisted of various eatables and sweetmeats made of rice, honey, sugar,
flour, and oil; and although very simple as a confectionery, they were
very palatable. We remained with the Chief about an hour, and before we
went away he requested our company in the evening, promising to treat us
with a Dyak war dance. We took our leave for the present, and amused
ourselves with strolling about the town. I will take this opportunity of
making known some information I have at this and at different times
obtained relative to this people.

The villages of the Dyaks are always built high up, near the source of
the rivers, or, should the river below be occupied by the piratical
tribes, on the hills adjoining to the source. Their houses are very
large, capable of containing two hundred people, and are built of palm
leaves. A village or town may consist of fifteen or twenty houses.
Several families reside in one house, divided from each other by only a
slight partition of mats. Here they take their meals, and employ
themselves, without interfering with each other. Their furniture and
property are very simple, consisting of a few cooking utensils, the
paddles of their canoes, their arms, and a few mats.

In all the Dyak villages every precaution is taken to guard against
surprise. I have already described the strength and fortifications of
Loondoo, and a similar principle is every where adopted. The town being
built on the banks of the river, the boom I have described is invariably
laid across the stream to prevent the ascent of boats. Commanding the
barriers, one or more forts are built on an eminence, mounting within
them five or six of the native guns, called leilas. The forts are
surrounded by a strong stockade, which is surmounted by a
cheveaux-de-frise of split bamboos. These stockaded forts are, with the
houses and cocoa nuts adjoining, again surrounded by a strong stockade,
which effectually secures them from any night attack.

Great respect is paid to the laws and to the mandates of their Chiefs,
although it but too often happens that, stimulated by revenge, or other
passions, they take the law into their own hands; but if crimes are
committed, they are not committed without punishment following them, and
some of their punishments are very barbarous and cruel: I have seen a
woman with both her hands half-severed at the wrists, and a man with
both his ears cut off.

The religious ideas of the Dyaks resemble those of the North American
Indians: they acknowledge a Supreme Being, or "Great Spirit;" they have
also some conception of an hereafter. Many of the tribes imagine that
the great mountain Keney Balloo is a place of punishment for guilty
departed souls. They are very scrupulous regarding their cemeteries,
paying the greatest respect to the graves of their ancestors. When a
tribe quits one place to reside at another, they exhume the bones of
their relations, and take them with them.

I could not discover if they had any marriage ceremony, but they are
very jealous of their wives, and visit with great severity any
indiscretion on their parts.

The Dyaks live principally upon rice, fish, and fruit, and they are very
moderate in their living. They extract shamshoo from the palm, but
seldom drink it Their principal luxury consists in the chewing the
betel-nut and chunam; a habit in which, like all the other inhabitants
of these regions, from Arracan down to the island of New Guinea, they
indulge to excess. This habit is any thing but becoming, as it renders
the teeth quite black, and the lips of a high vermilion, neither of
which alterations is any improvement to a copper-coloured face.

They both chew and smoke tobacco, but they do not use pipes for smoking;
they roll up the tobacco in a strip of dried leaf, take three or four
whiffs, emitting the smoke through their nostrils, and then they
extinguish it. They are fond of placing a small roll of tobacco between
the upper lip and gums, and allow it to remain there for hours. Opium is
never used by them, and I doubt if they are acquainted with its

They seldom cultivate more land than is requisite for the rice, yams,
and sago for their own consumption, their time being chiefly employed in
hunting and fishing. They appear to me to be far from an industrious
race of people, and I have often observed hundreds of fine-looking
fellows lolling and sauntering about, seeming to have no cares beyond
the present. Some tribes that I visited preferred obtaining their rice
in exchange from others, to the labour of planting it themselves. They
are, in fact, not agriculturally inclined, but always ready for barter.

They are middle-sized, averaging five feet five inches, but very
strong-built and well-conditioned, and with limbs beautifully
proportioned. In features they differ very much from the piratical
inhabitants of these rivers. The head is finely formed, the hair,
slightly shaven in front, is all thrown to the back of the head; their
cheek-bones are high, eyes small, black and piercing, nose not exactly
flat--indeed in some cases I have seen it rather aquiline; the mouth is
large, and lips rather thick, and there is a total absence of hair on
the face and eyebrows. Now the above description is not very much unlike
that of an African; and yet they are very unlike, arising, I believe,
from the very pleasing and frank expression of their countenances, which
is their only beauty. This description, however, must not be considered
as applicable to the whole of these tribes,--those on the S. E. coast of
the island being by no means so well-favoured.

[Illustration: SEREBIS DYAK.





The different tribes are more distinguishable by their costumes than by
their manners. The Dyaks of Loondoo are quite naked, and cover the arms
and legs with brass rings. Those of Serebis and Linga are remarkable for
wearing as many as ten to fifteen large rings in their ears. The Dusums,
a tribe of Dyaks on the north coast, wear immense rings of solid tin or
copper round their hips and shoulders, while the Saghai Dyaks of the S.
E. are dressed in tigers' skins and rich cloth, with splendid
head-dresses, made out of monkeys' skins and the feathers of the Argus

[Illustration: TEETH OF DYAKS.]

The invariable custom of filing the teeth sharp, combined with the use
of the betel-nut turning them quite black, gives their profile a very
strange appearance. Sometimes they render their teeth concave by



Their arms consist of the blow-pipe (sum-pi-tan), from which they eject
small arrows, poisoned with the juice of the upas; a long sharp knife,
termed pa-rang; a spear, and a shield. They are seldom without their
arms, for the spear is used in hunting, the knife for cutting leaves,
and the sum-pi-tan for shooting small birds. Their warfare is carried on
more by treachery and stratagem than open fighting--they are all
warriors, and seldom at peace. The powerful tribes which reside on the
banks of the river generally possess several war prahus, capable of
holding from twenty to thirty men, and mounting a brass gun (leila) on
her bows, carrying a ball of one to two pounds weight. These prahus,
when an expedition is to be made against a neighbouring tribe, are
manned by the warriors, one or two of the most consequential men being
stationed in each prahu. Before they start upon an expedition, like the
North American Indians, they perform their war dance.

[Illustration: SAGHAI DYAK.





Should their enemies have gained intelligence of the meditated attack,
they take the precaution of sending away their women, children, and
furniture, into the jungle, and place men in ambush on the banks of the
river, who attack the assailants as they advance. The Dyaks are all very
brave, and fight desperately, yelling during the combat like the
American Indians. The great object in their combats is to obtain as many
of the heads of the party opposed as possible; and if they succeed in
their surprise of the town or village, the heads of the women and
children are equally carried off as trophies. But there is great
difficulty in obtaining a head, for the moment that a man falls every
effort is made by his own party to carry off the body, and prevent the
enemy from obtaining such a trophy. If the attacking party are
completely victorious, they finish their work of destruction by setting
fire to all the houses, and cutting down all the cocoa-nut trees; after
which they return home in triumph with their spoil. As soon as they
arrive another war dance is performed; and after making very merry, they
deposit the heads which they have obtained in the head-house. Now,
putting scalps for heads, the reader will perceive that their customs
are nearly those of the American Indians.

Every Dyak village has its head-house: it is generally the hall of
audience as well. The interior is decorated with heads piled up in
pyramids to the roof: of course the greater the number of heads the more
celebrated they are as warriors.

[Illustration: DYAK VILLAGE.]

The women of the north-east coast are by no means bad-looking, but very
inferior to the mountain Dyaks before described. I have seen one or two
faces which might be considered as pretty. With the exception of a
cloth, which is secured above the hips with a hoop of rattan, and
descends down to the knees, they expose every other portion of their
bodies. Their hair, which is fine and black, generally falls down
behind. Their feet are bare. Like the American squaws, they do all the
drudgery, carry the water, and paddle the canoes. They generally fled at
our approach, if we came unexpectedly. The best looking I ever saw was
one we captured on the river Sakarron. She was in a dreadful fright,
expecting every moment to be killed, probably taking it for granted that
we had our head-houses to decorate as well as their husbands. While
lying off the town of Baloongan, expecting hostilities to ensue, we
observed that the women who came down to fill their bamboos with water
were all armed.

And now to resume the narrative of our proceedings:--

I stated that after our interview with the old chief, and promising to
return in the evening to witness a war dance, we proceeded on a stroll,
accompanied by the chiefs eldest son, who acted as our guide, and
followed by a large party of the natives. We first examined the forts:
these were in a tolerable state of efficiency, but their gunpowder was
coarse and bad. We next went over the naval arsenal, for being then at
peace with every body, their prahus were hauled up under cover of sheds.
One of them was a fine boat, about forty feet long, mounting a gun, and
capable of containing forty or fifty men. She was very gaily decorated
with paint and feathers, and had done good service on the Sakarron river
in a late war. These war prahus have a flat strong roof, from which they
fight, although they are wholly exposed to the spears and arrows of the

We then invaded their domestic privacy, by entering the houses, and
proceeded to an inspection of the blacksmith's shop, where we found the
chiefs youngest son, with his velvet jacket thrown aside, working away
at a piece of iron, which he was fashioning into a pa-rang, or Dyak
knife. The Dyak pa-rang has been confounded with the Malay kris, but
they differ materially. The Dyaks, I believe, seldom use the kris, and
the Malays never use the knife; and I observed, when we visited the
south coast of Borneo, that the knife and other arms of the tribes
inhabiting this portion, were precisely similar to those of the Dyaks on
the northern coast. Customs so universal and so strictly adhered to
proves not only individuality, but antiquity. Having examined every
thing and every body, we were pretty well tired, and were not sorry that
the hour had now arrived at which we were again to repair to the house
of the rajah.

On our arrival we found the rajah where we left him, and all the chief
men and warriors assembled. Refreshments had been prepared for us, and
we again swallowed various mysterious confections, which, as I before
observed, would have been very good if we had been hungry. As soon as
the eatables had been despatched, we lighted our cheroots, and having,
by a dexterous and unperceived application out of a brandy bottle,
succeeded in changing the rajah's lemonade into excellent punch, we
smoked and drank until the rajah requested to know if we were ready to
witness the promised war dance. Having expressed our wishes in the
affirmative, the music struck up; it consisted of gongs and tom-toms.
The Malay gong, which the Dyaks also make use of, is like the Javanese,
thick with a broad rim, and very different from the gong of the Chinese.
Instead of the clanging noise of the latter, it gives out a muffled
sound of a deep tone. The gong and tom-tom are used by the Dyaks and
Malays in war, and for signals at night, and the Dyaks procure them from
the Malays. I said that the music struck up, for, rude as the
instruments were, they modulate the sound, and keep time so admirably,
that it was any thing but inharmonious.

A space was now cleared in the centre of the house, and two of the
oldest warriors stepped into it. They were dressed in turbans, long
loose jackets, sashes round their waists descending to their feet, and
small bells were attached to their ankles. They commenced by first
shaking hands with the rajah, and then with all the Europeans present,
thereby giving us to understand, as was explained to us, that the dance
was to be considered only as a spectacle, and not to be taken in its
literal sense, as preparatory to an attack upon us, a view of the case
in which we fully coincided with them.

[Illustration: WAR DANCE OF THE DYAKS.



This ceremony being over, they rushed into the centre and gave a most
unearthly scream, then poising themselves on one foot they described a
circle with the other, at the same time extending their arms like the
wings of a bird, and then meeting their hands, clapping them and keeping
time with the music. After a little while the music became louder, and
suddenly our ears were pierced with the whole of the natives present
joining in the hideous war cry. Then the motions and the screams of the
dancers became more violent, and every thing was working up to a state
of excitement by which even we were influenced. Suddenly a very
unpleasant odour pervaded the room, already too warm from the numbers it
contained. Involuntarily we held our noses, wondering what might be the
cause, when we perceived that one of the warriors had stepped into the
centre and suspended round the shoulders of each dancer a human head in
a wide meshed basket of rattan. These heads had been taken in the late
Sakarron business, and were therefore but a fortnight old. They were
encased in a wide net work of rattan, and were ornamented with beads.
Their stench was intolerable, although, as we discovered upon after
examination, when they were suspended against the wall, they had been
partially baked and were quite black. The teeth and hair were quite
perfect, the features somewhat shrunk, and they were altogether very
fair specimens of pickled heads; but our worthy friends required a
lesson from the New Zealanders in the art of preserving. The appearance
of the heads was the signal for the music to play louder, for the war
cry of the natives to be more energetic, and for the screams of the
dancers to be more piercing. Their motions now became more rapid, and
the excitement in proportion. Their eyes glistened with unwonted
brightness. The perspiration dropped down their faces, and thus did
yelling, dancing, gongs, and tom-toms become more rapid and more violent
every minute, till the dancing warriors were ready to drop. A farewell
yell, with emphasis, was given by the surrounding warriors; immediately
the music ceased, the dancers disappeared, and the tumultuous excitement
and noise was succeeded by a dead silence. Such was the excitement
communicated, that when it was all over we ourselves remained for some
time panting to recover our breath. Again we lighted our cheroots and
smoked for a while the pipe of peace.

A quarter of an hour elapsed and the preparations were made for another
martial dance. This was performed by two of the rajah's sons, the same
young men I have previously made mention of. They came forward each
having on his arm one of the large Dyak shields, and in the centre of
the cleared space were two long swords lying on the floor. The ceremony
of shaking hands, as described preparatory to the former dance, was
first gone through; the music then struck up and they entered the arena.
At first they confined themselves to evolutions of defence, springing
from one side to the other with wonderful quickness, keeping their
shields in front of them, falling on one knee and performing various
feats of agility. After a short time, they each seized a sword, and then
the display was very remarkable, and proved what ugly customers they
must be in single conflict. Blows in every direction, feints of every
description, were made by both, but invariably received upon the
shields. Cumbrous as these shields were, no opening was ever left,
retreating, pursuing, dodging, and striking, the body was never exposed.
Occasionally, during this performance, the war cry was given by the
surrounding warriors, but the combatants held their peace; in fact they
could not afford to open their mouths, lest an opening should be made.
It was a most masterly performance, and we were delighted with it.

As the evening advanced into night, we had a sort of extemporary drama,
reminding us of one of the dances, as they are called, of the American
Indians, in which the warriors tell their deeds of prowess. This was
performed by two of the principal and oldest warriors, who appeared in
long white robes, with long staves in their hands. They paraded up and
down the centre, alternately haranguing each other; the subject was the
praise of their own rulers, a relation of their own exploits, and an
exhortation to the young warriors to emulate their deeds. This
performance was most tedious; it lasted for about three hours, and, as
we could not understand a word that was said, it was not peculiarly
interesting. It, however, had one good effect: it sent us all asleep. I
fell asleep before the others, I am told; very possible. I certainly
woke up the first, and on waking, found that all the lights were out,
and that the rajah and the whole company had disappeared, with the
exception of my European friends, who were all lying around me. My
cheroot was still in my mouth, so I re-lighted it and smoked it, and
then again lay down by the side of my companions. Such was the wind-up
of our visit to the rajah, who first excited us by his melodramas, and
then sent us to sleep with his recitations.

The next morning, at daylight, we repaired to our boats, and when all
was ready took leave of the old rajah. The rajah's eldest son had
promised to accompany us to the mouth of the river, and show us how the
natives hunted the wild pigs, which are very numerous in all the jungles
of Borneo.

We got under weigh and proceeded down the river accompanied by a large
canoe, which was occupied by the rajah's son, six or seven hunters, and
a pack of the dogs used in hunting the wild boar on this island. These
dogs were small, but very wiry, with muzzles like foxes, and curling
tails. Their hair was short, and of a tan colour. Small as they are,
they are very bold, and one of them will keep a wild pig at bay till the
hunters come up to him.

[Illustration: OBTAINING FIRE.]

We arrived at the hunting ground at the mouth of the river in good time,
before the scent was off, and landed in the _Tam-bang_. Our captain
having a survey to make of an island at the mouth of the river, to our
great delight took away the barge and gig, leaving Mr. Brooke, Hentig,
Captain Keppell, Adams, and myself, to accompany the rajah's son. Having
arranged that the native boat should pull along the coast in the
direction that we were to walk, and having put on board the little that
we had collected for our dinners, we shouldered our guns and followed
the hunters and dogs. The natives who accompanied us were naked, and
armed only with a spear. They entered the jungle with the dogs, rather
too fatiguing an exercise for us, and we contented ourselves with
walking along the beach abreast of them, waiting very patiently for the
game to be started. In a very few minutes the dogs gave tongue, and as
the noise continued we presumed that a boar was on foot; nor were we
wrong in our conjecture; the barking of the dogs ceased, and one of the
hunters came out of the jungle to us with a fine pig on his back, which
he had transfixed with his spear. Nor were we long without our share of
the sport, for we suddenly came upon a whole herd which had been driven
out of the jungle, and our bullets did execution. We afterwards had more
shots, and with what we killed on the beach, and the natives secured in
the jungle, as the evening advanced we found ourselves in possession of
eight fine grown animals. These the rajah's son and his hunters very
politely requested our acceptance of. We now had quite sufficient
materials for our dinner, and as we were literally as hungry as
hunters, we were most anxious to fall to, and looked upon our pigs with
very cannibal eyes. The first thing necessary was to light a fire, and
for the first time I had an opportunity of seeing the Dyak way of
obtaining it. It differs slightly from the usual manner, and is best
explained by a sketch. Captain Keppell, who was always the life and soul
of every thing, whether it was a fight or a pic nic, was unanimously
elected caterer, and in that capacity he was most brilliant. I must
digress a little to bestow upon that officer the meed of universal
opinion; for his kindness, mirth, and goodness of heart, have rendered
him a favourite wherever he has been known, not only a favourite with
the officers, but even more so, if possible, with the men. In the
expeditions in which Keppell has been commanding officer, where the men
were worn out with continued exertion at the oar, and with the many
obstacles to be overcome, Keppell's voice would be heard, and when
heard, the men were encouraged and renewed their endeavours. Keppell's
stock, when provisions were running short, and with small hopes of a
fresh supply, was freely shared among those about him, while our gallant
captain, with a boat half filled with his own hampers, would see, and
appeared pleased to see, those in his company longing for a mouthful
which never would be offered. If any of the youngsters belonging to
other ships were, from carelessness or ignorance, in trouble with the
commanding officers, it was to Keppell that they applied, and it was
Keppell who was the intercessor. In fact, every occasion in which
kindness, generosity, or consideration for others could be shown, such
an opportunity was never lost by Keppell, who, to sum up, was a beloved
friend, a delightful companion, and a respected commander. As soon as
our fire was lighted, we set to, under Keppell's directions, and, as may
be supposed, as we had little or nothing else, pork was our principal
dish. In fact, we had pig at the top, pig at the bottom, pig in the
centre, and pig at the sides. A Jew would have made but a sorry repast,
but we, emancipated Christians, made a most ravenous one, defying Moses
and all his Deuteronomy. We had plenty of wine and segars, and soon
found ourselves very comfortably seated on the sand, still warm from the
rays of the burning mid-day sun. Towards the end of a long repast we
felt a little chilly, and we therefore rose and indulged in the games of
leap-frog, fly-the-garter, and other venturous amusements. We certainly
had in our party one or two who were as well fitted to grace the senate
as to play at leap-frog, but I have always observed that the cleverest
men are the most like children when an opportunity is offered for
relaxation. I don't know what the natives thought of the European Rajah
Brooke playing at leap-frog, but it is certain that the rajah did not
care what they thought. I have said little of Mr. Brooke, but I will now
say that a more mild, amiable, and celebrated person I never knew. Every
one loved him, and he deserved it.

After we had warmed ourselves with play, we lighted an enormous fire to
keep off the mosquitoes, and made a bowl of grog to keep off the effects
of the night air, which is occasionally very pernicious. We smoked and
quaffed, and had many a merry song and many a witty remark, and many a
laugh about nothing on that night. As it is highly imprudent to sleep in
the open air in Borneo, at ten o'clock we broke up and went to repose in
the boats under the spread awnings. Just as we were selecting the
softest plank we could find for a bed, we had an alarm which might have
been attended with fatal consequences. I omitted to mention that when we
rose to part and go into the boats, one of the party threw a lighted
brand out of the fire at the legs of another; this compliment was
returned, and as it was thought very amusing, the object being to leap
up and let the brand pass between your legs, by degrees all the party
were engaged in it, even the rajah and the natives joined in the sport,
and were highly amused with it, although with bare legs they stood a
worse chance of being hit than we did. At last the brands were all
expended and the fire extinct, and then, as I said, we went away to
sleep under the boats' awnings. We were in the act of depositing our
loaded rifles by our sides in a place of security, when the unearthly
war cry rose in the jungle, and in the stillness of the night these
discordant screams sounded like the yelling of a legion of devils.
Immediately afterwards a body of natives rushed from the jungle in the
direction of the boats, in which we supposed that our European party
were all assembled. Always on our guard against treachery, and not
knowing but that these people might belong to a hostile band, in an
instant our rifles were in our hands and pointed at the naked body of
natives, who were now within twenty yards of us. Mr. Hentig was on the
point of firing, when loud shouts of laughter from the Dyaks arrested
his hand, and we then perceived that Mr. Brooke and others were with the
natives, who enjoyed the attempt to intimidate us. It was fortunate
that it ended as it did; for had Mr. Hentig been more hasty, blood must
have been shed in consequence of this native practical joke. We joined
the laugh, however, laid down our rifles, then laid ourselves down, and
went fast asleep, having no further disturbance than the still small
voice of the mosquito, which, like that of conscience, is one that
"murders sleep."

The following morning we bade adieu to our friendly hunting party, and I
must not here omit to mention a trait of honesty on the part of the
Dyaks. I had dropped my pocket handkerchief in the walk of the day
before, and in the evening it was brought to me by one of the natives,
who had followed a considerable distance to bring it to me. It must be
known, that a coloured silk handkerchief is to one of these poor Dyaks,
who are very fond of finery, an article of considerable value. He might
have retained it without any fear; and his bringing it to me was not
certainly with any hope of reward, as I could have given him nothing
which he would have prized so much as the handkerchief itself. He was
made a present of it for his honesty.

We bade farewell to our friends at Kuchin, and continued our survey on
the coast. The boats were now continually employed away from the ship,
which moved slowly to the westward. At this time exposure and hard work
brought the fever into the ship. The barge returned in consequence of
four of her men being taken with it, and our sick list increased daily.
A few days afterwards the coxswain of the barge died, and was buried
along side the same morning. This death, after so short an illness,
damped the spirits of the officers and men, particularly of those who
were ill. After this burial we sailed for Sincapore. At this time our
sick report contained the names of more than thirty men, with every
probability of the number being increased; but, thanks to God, from
change of air, fresh provisions, and a little relaxation from the
constant fatigue, the majority were in a short time convalescent. On the
25th of September we arrived at Sincapore.

[Illustration: VIEW OF SINCAPORE.]

From the anchorage the town of Sincapore has a very pleasing appearance.
Most of the public buildings, as well as some of the principal
merchants' houses, face the sea. The church is also close to the beach,
I presume to allow the congregation the benefit of the sea breezes. It
has no architectural beauty to recommend it, being a plain building with
a spiral steeple, surmounted by a cross. The interior is fitted up with
more regard to neatness than elegance. It has an organ, and is supplied
with a host of young choristers from the academy.

Between the beach and Government Hill is a delightful upland, which is
generally attended by all the beauty and fashion of Sincapore in the
cool of the evening. A canal or small river divides the town into two
parts. On the western side of it, stand all the stone houses of the
merchants, and it is here that all commercial business is transacted. It
is densely populated with Armenian Jews, Chinese, and people from every
part of India, each nation residing in its own quarter, in the houses
peculiar to and characteristic of their country. Indeed, one of the
first things that strikes the stranger in Sincapore is the variety of
costume; Chinamen, Malays and Indians, Armenians and Jews, all mingle
together in every variety of picturesque costume, giving you an idea of
a carnival. The palanquins resemble an omnibus on a small scale, they
are drawn on four wheels, have a door on either side, and seats for four
people. They are very high, and drawn by one horse. The conductors,
however, are not perched up on high, but run by the side of the horse,
as do all the syces in India.

There are two hotels, the proprietors of which are of course rivals. One
is kept by an Englishman, the other by a Frenchman; both are equally
attentive, but the Frenchman's house has the preference, in consequence
of its superior locality, facing the esplanade, and looking upon the
sea. The governor's house is situated on the summit of a hill, about a
quarter of a mile from the beach. From it you have a bird's eye view of
the whole town, and also of the country in the interior for some
distance. From this eminence the town has a very picturesque
appearance; the houses on the east side of the river (the May fair of
Sincapore), are built apart and surrounded by pretty gardens and lawns;
beyond this you have the roads and the sea studded with every variety of
vessels; and the island of Binting rises from sea in the distance. The
interior is not without beauty: the eye ranges over a vast expanse of
grove and forest, interspersed with plantations of nutmegs, cinnamon,
cloves, and sugar canes, and from which a most delightful perfume is
brought by the breeze, while here and there white houses may be
perceived, looking like mere specks in the dark foliage by which they
are surrounded. It is surprising, when we reflect how short a space of
time has passed since this settlement was first made, how such a mass of
building and such a concourse of people can have been collected.

It certainly does appear strange, but it is no less true, that no nation
can colonise like the English, and I have often made that remark in my
wanderings and visitings of the various parts of the globe. England
fills the world and civilises the world with her redundant population,
and all her colonies flourish, and remind you of a swarm of bees which
have just left the old hive and are busy in providing for themselves.
The Dutch colonies are not what you can call thriving; they have not the
bustle, the enterprise, and activity which our colonies possess. The
Dutch have never conciliated the natives, and obtained their goodwill;
they have invariably resorted to violence, and to a disregard of
justice. One would have thought that the French, from their _bonhomie_,
would have been one of the very best nations to civilise, and certain to
have succeeded; but such is not the case. What can be the cause of this,
if it be not that, instead of raising the character of the native
population by good example and strict justice, they demoralise by
introducing vices hitherto unknown to them, and alienate them by
injustice? There was an outcry raised at the French taking possession
of Taheite, as if any attempt on their part to colonise was an
infringement on our right as Englishmen of universal colonisation. I
think if we were wise, we should raise no objection to their colonising
as much as they please. The whole expence of founding the colony,
raising the fortifications, and building the towns, and, if I may use
the phrase, of settling every thing, may safely be left to them. If a
war breaks out, they will have done a great deal of expensive work for
our benefit, as we are certain then to take possession. Algiers has cost
an enormous sum to France, and will cost still more, and yet it can
hardly be considered as a colony. It is a military possession, an
African barrack, no more; and what will be the result in case of the
breaking out of hostilities? Their possession of Algiers will be most
advantageous to England, for defend it they will with all their power.
We, with Gibraltar as a rendezvous, shall of course have a most
favourable position for assailing it, and the consequence will be, that
the whole focus of the war will be drawn away from our own coasts, and
the Mediterranean will be the arena of all the fighting. The struggle
must be before the Pillars of Hercules. The more we increase our fleets,
the larger must her force be, and she will have no squadron to spare to
send out to annoy our trade and colonial possessions. But as this is a
digression, and has nothing to do with my narrative, I beg pardon and go

We found that the Dido had anchored there before us, and had received
her orders to proceed to England. Oh! how we envied her good fortune;
and surely if envy is a base passion, in this instance it becomes
ennobled by the feelings of home and country which excite it. The Dido
left on the 10th, and we regretted the loss of Captain Keppell most
deeply. Many merchant vessels had been lately wrecked on the north coast
of Borneo, and their crews made prisoners by the pirate hordes. Some of
the vessels had had females on board, who had not been heard of since. A
letter from a master of a merchant vessel was received by the
authorities at Sincapore, wherein it was stated on oath, that, having
lately put into the port of Ambong, in Borneo, an European woman had
been seen near one of the huts of the village; but that on their
approach, she disappeared. This account was corroborated by the evidence
of some Lascar seamen, who formed a portion of the crew of the vessel.
The contents of this letter being forwarded by the authorities to our
gallant captain, he determined upon proceeding to Ambong, accompanied by
our old ally, the Phlegethon steamer. Fortunately the town lay in our
track, as we were about to proceed to Labuan, and from thence to
Manilla. We again weighed anchor for Sarawak, whither the steamer had
already proceeded. On our arrival at the mouth of the river we anchored,
and the captain went up in his gig. The following day, to our great
surprise, we received an intimation that we might make a party of
pleasure (a party quite unknown in the Samarang), and go up to Kuchin.
We hurried away before the captain had time to repent his indulgence,
and set off, some seven or eight of us, in the cutter, and pulled away
as fast as we could, till we were first out of hail, and then out of
sight, when we considered that we were safe.

I have already stated that the native houses are built on the left side
of the Sarawak river, and those of the Europeans on the right. These
latter are pretty commodious little bungalows, built of cedar and pine
wood. At present there are but three, belonging to Mr. Brooke, Mr.
Williamson the interpreter, and Hentig, a merchant who has lately
settled there. Ruppell, Mr. Brooke's superintendent, and Treecher, the
surgeon, live in a large house on the native side of the river. Each of
these European houses has its chatty bath adjoining to it, and this
luxury is indulged in at all hours of the day. At nine o'clock a gong
summons all the Europeans to the breakfast table of Mr. Brooke. When
breakfast is over, they all separate, either to follow business or
pleasure, and seldom meet again till six in the evening, when dinner is
served, and the time is passed away till all retire to bed.

Let me describe the view from the front of Mr. Brooke's house:--The
schooner lying half way across the river is the Julia, belonging to Mr.
Brooke: she sails every month for Sincapore, laden with antimony ore;
and thus, at the same time, she forms a mail-packet between Sincapore
and Kuchin. The large open building, with a wharf, leading down to the
river, is the store in which the antimony is sifted, smelted, and
weighed. On the point near the bend of the river is the fort. It is a
strong building of large timbers, and mounts eight 24-lb. iron guns, in
very excellent condition. This is a very necessary defence, as the
European rajah has many enemies. The building whose top just appears
above the trees is the Chinese joss-house, or temple; for there are many
Chinese settlers at Kuchin, who are very useful in their capacities of
carpenters, blacksmiths, and agriculturists. Sweeping with the eye a
range of dwelling houses built on stakes, you stop at one of tolerable
proportions, which has a platform in front of it, on which are mounted
about twenty small guns, and there is a flag-staff, on which is hoisted
a red and yellow flag: that is the palace of Rajah Muda Hassan. Take a
canoe, and cross over to it. You will find Muda sitting cross-legged in
the centre of it: he shakes hands with you, and offers you cigars and
tea. You will also meet his brother, Bud-ruddeen. You take your leave of
the rajah, and amuse yourself with a walk round the town, during which
you examine the natives and their wives, their customs, their houses,
and their gardens.

With the exception of the more civilised tribes in the vicinity of the
Sarawak, the Malays who inhabit the coast of Borneo are a cruel,
treacherous, and disgusting race of men, with scarcely one good quality
to recommend them. The numerous tribes of these people are separately
governed, either by a rajah or petty sultan. Their laws are much more
respected than would be supposed in a country where every man is armed,
and is a robber by profession. The dress of the Malay is very uniform,
consisting of a loose jacket, a sash, and trousers: in some parts a
cloth is worn round the head; in others, a hat, made of leaves or
rattan. Their arms are the kris and spear; occasionally they carry the
sum-pi-tan, and poisoned arrows. Their houses are built upon stakes,
probably for the sake of cleanliness; as the flooring consists of a kind
of grating made of rattan, all dirt falls through. The houses are small,
and contain but one family, and, like those of the Dyaks, are built of
the lightest materials. The Malays pretend to Mahomedanism, and there is
generally a large empty building in every town which is dignified with
the name of a mosque: on the outside are hung drums or tom-toms, of huge
dimensions, which are used as gentle reminders of the hours of prayer.

I have already stated that these Malay tribes live almost wholly by
piracy, to carry on which each town possesses several large prahus,
which they man, and send out to intercept any unfortunate junk or other
vessel incapable of much resistance, which fate or the currents may have
driven too near their coast. When the vessels are captured the cargoes
are deposited in their warehouses, the vessels are broken up, and the
crews are retained as slaves, to dig yams or pound paddy. Unless they
are irritated by a desperate resistance, or they attack an inimical
tribe, they do not shed blood, as has generally been supposed;
restrained, however, by no other feeling than that of avarice, for the
slaves are too valuable to be destroyed. In their physiognomy these
Malays are inferior to the Dyaks: they have a strong resemblance to the
monkey in face, with an air of low cunning and rascality most
unprepossessing. In stature they are very low, and generally
bandy-legged. Their hair and eyes are invariably black, but the face is,
in most cases, devoid of hair; when it does grow, it is only at the
extreme point of the chin. The Borneo Malay women are as plain as the
men, although at Sincapore, Mauritius, and the Sooloos, they are well
favoured; and they wind their serang, or robe, so tight round their
bodies, that they walk in a very constrained and ungainly fashion. Many
of these tribes are intermixed with the natives of the Celebes, such as
the inhabitants of Sooloo.

[Illustration: MALAY WOMAN.]

The Malays deal with criminals in a very summary manner, the knowledge
of which prevents many crimes among this semi-barbarous people. Robbers,
for the first offence, lose their right hand; for the second they
undergo the penalty of death. When we were at Kuchin a Chinaman was
convicted of selling sam-schoo without permission: his goods were
confiscated for a time, to be redeemed only by his good behaviour. I am
not acquainted with their punishments for minor offences, except in the
above instance; but I believe it is generally by fine. Every rajah holds
despotic sway over the inhabitants of his province, and punishes as he
thinks proper, without reference to any tribunal, even in cases where
the sentence is death. The method of executing criminals with the kris
is as follows:--He is made to sit down in a chair, with his arms
extended horizontally, and held in that position by two men. The
executioner, who stands behind him, inserts his kris above the
collar-bone, in a perpendicular manner, which causes instant death, as
the weapon enters the heart.

[Illustration: MALAY CHIEF.





The following anecdote, related to me by some of the Roche people, may
amuse the reader:--A celebrated Malay pirate, whose sanguinary deeds had
filled the Archipelago with terror, became violently enamoured with one
of the slaves of a rajah living on the river Sarawak. After vainly
endeavouring to obtain her from her master by offers of money and
entreaties, he lay in wait for her, and ran away with her into the

He had hardly passed his honeymoon before the rajah discovered his
retreat, and he sent to the Malay to inform him, that, if he would make
his appearance at the audience upon a certain day, he should have
justice done him.

The Malay chief, who was a man of undaunted courage, and who felt
confident that the reputation he had acquired by his piratical exploits
was alone sufficient to awe his enemies, consented to appear, hoping
that arrangements might be made which would permit him to leave the
jungle, and allow him to enjoy his new bride in quiet.

On the day appointed he appeared before the council, armed, and
accompanied by his brother, both resting their hands upon the handles
of their krisses, a movement which among the Malays proclaims no
feelings of amity. In this attitude of preparation they walked into the
audience room, which was crowded with a host of enemies. The council
decided, that if on a certain day he would produce a specified sum of
money the girl should be his, and he should return unmolested. The sum
named was exorbitant, but the Malay chief agreed to the payment, and was
permitted to depart.

When the day of payment arrived, the council sat as before, and the
Malay chief again made his appearance; but this time he came alone, his
brother being absent on a piratical expedition. He had, in consequence
of his violent affection for the girl, made every attempt to raise the
stipulated sum, but could not succeed. He brought all that he could
collect, but it fell far short of the sum which had been agreed upon,
and he requested time to procure the remainder. The council consulted a
while, and then stipulated, that the chief, not having brought the sum
agreed upon, should leave his kris as a pledge till the rest should be
forthcoming. The kris that the chief wore was itself of great value,
very handsomely ornamented with precious stones. It had belonged to his
ancestors, and was, as they always are, highly prized, and they knew
that it would, if possible, be reclaimed. The chief was most reluctant
to part with it, but his love for his mistress overcame his scruples,
and also his prudence, for it left him unarmed amidst his implacable
enemies. He pulled out his kris, and laid it on the table upon the
money, and was busy disengaging the sheath to add to it, when, by a
signal from the rajah, he was seized from behind. He started up, but it
was too late; his trusty weapon, which had so often stood by him in his
need, was no longer within his reach, and he was in a moment transfixed
with a dozen blades, falling a victim to his love of the girl and the
treachery of his foes.

After passing two very pleasant days at Kuchin, we prepared to descend
the river. I have omitted to say that Mr. Treecher, the surgeon, was
fond of natural history, and possessed a very tolerable collection of
birds, and other animals indigenous to the country. I was shown several
skeletons of the orang outang, some of which were of great size. There
is no want of these animals in the jungle, but a living specimen is not
easy to procure; I saw but one, an adult female, belonging to Mr.
Brooke. It was very gentle in its manners, and, when standing upright,
might have measured three feet six inches.

[Illustration: PROBOSCIS MONKEY.]

On board of the Phlegethon there were two specimens of the wa-wa, or
long-armed ape, which had been presented to Mr. Brooke by one of the
neighbouring rajahs, and they are by the natives considered very
valuable. Their affection when domesticated is remarkable; their first
act when they meet one they know is to leap upon your breast and embrace
you with their arms, just like a child will its mother, and they will
remain, if permitted, in this position for hours, and complain if
removed. Their cry is very plaintive, and, heard at night in the jungle,
sounds like that of a female in distress. I was given to understand that
in the presents made by chiefs, a scarce variety of monkey is often the
principal gift, and most esteemed.

The scarcest monkey in Borneo is the proboscis, or long-nosed. I saw but
two specimens of this animal, one a female, with the nose very long, and
pendulous at the extremity; the other a male, very young, and with the
nose more or less prominent, and giving its face a more actual
resemblance to that of a man's than I had ever before seen. This monkey
has never, I believe, been brought to England alive. The British Museum
has a stuffed specimen. It is not so mischievous in its habits as the
tribe in general.

As Rajah Muda Hassan has been so frequently mentioned, it may be as well
to give a succinct outline of his history. At the death of the late
sultan, Muda Hassan was the heir-apparent to the throne, but he resigned
in favour of his nephew, retaining the office of prime minister, which
office he had held during the former reign, not only to the satisfaction
of the sultan, but also of the people, with whom he was deservedly a
great favourite. His influence, being even greater than that of the
sultan, occasioned a jealous feeling, and a contention of party, which
induced Muda Hassan to retire to Sarawak with his wives and personal
attendants. He was succeeded in his office of prime minister by an Arab,
Pangeran Usop, a man of unbounded ambition, who by his harsh and
tyrannical conduct soon became hated by the Brunese, who longed for the
return of Muda Hassan, under whose sway they had been quiet and happy.
Pangeran Usop, aware of the popular feeling, now considered Muda Hassan
as his enemy, and took every opportunity of vilifying and creating
suspicion of Muda Hassan on the mind of the sultan, who was little
better than an idiot. He asserted that Muda Hassan and his brother
Bud-ruddeen were leagued with the English, and were their only
supporters in their pretensions to the isle of Labuan, and that they
would assist the English in taking possession of Borneo.

These reports, although at first treated with disdain, continually
repeated had their effect, not only upon the sultan, but upon the
people; and Muda Hassan, who was informed of what had been going on, and
had not deigned to notice it, now considered that it was advisable to
repair to Borneo, and refute the charges brought against him.

When Mr. Brooke purchased the rajahship and mines of Sarawak, he agreed
to compensate Muda with a life annuity of two or three hundred per
annum, and give him a passage to his native city, Bruni, whenever he
should feel disposed to leave Kuchin. Some time had now elapsed since
the signing of the contract, during which Muda had remained at his
palace at Kuchin, enjoying his income, and living on the very best terms
with the Europeans. He now, however, expressed a wish to return to
Bruni, and as it was Mr. Brooke's intention to proceed to that port in
the Samarang, it was proposed that the Phlegethon steamer should embark
Muda and his suite, and that on our arrival at Bruni we should see this
rajah and his brother Bud-ruddeen installed in their positions which by
their birth they were entitled to. Another object was in view, and
expected to be gained by this step. Up to the present, no efforts had
been made by the Bornean government to discountenance piracy; on the
contrary, the plunder of the pirates was brought in and openly disposed
of at Bruni, which is the royal residence. Muda and his brother
Bud-ruddeen were stanch friends to the English, and it was anticipated
that by their being appointed to offices of power, and forcing the
sultan to a treaty to put down piracy, and pay respect to the English
flag, a very important advance would be made towards the extermination
of these marauders, and commerce, once rendered secure, and property
respected, Borneo would soon be brought to a state of comparative

As soon as the two rajahs, with all their wives and suite, &c., could be
got on board of the Phlegethon, Mr. Brooke, and Mr. Williamson the
interpreter, came on board the Samarang, and we sailed. On our arrival
at the island of Labuan, we anchored the ship, and despatched the
steamer, with her cargo, up to Bruni. The captain of the Samarang and
one or two officers proceeded up to Bruni in the barge on the following
day; and I was the midshipman in charge of the boat. We did not arrive
at the city till 8 o'clock in the evening; and it was too dark to
distinguish the houses. With some difficulty, we discovered the steamer,
which was anchored on the main street. We pulled alongside, and landing
the captain and Kuchinians, Adams, the surgeon of the party, and I,
found ourselves in undisturbed possession of the barge.

[Illustration: BRUNI.





Bruni is called by Crawfurd the Venice of the East; and he is so far
correct, that it is built in the same peculiar way, and is a most
extraordinary town. It is built almost entirely on the water. It is of
great size, containing from thirty to forty thousand inhabitants, most
of whom are Malays, but who, from having so long intermixed with the
tribes on the coast, now style themselves Brunese, after the town. This
town, which is situated where the river forms a wide and shallow
estuary, is built with little regard to regularity. There are, however,
two large main streets, intersecting each other in the form of an
irregular cross. These divide the town into four parts, one of which is
partly built upon terra firma, while the other three portions are
composed of massive wooden houses, built on piles, and just sufficiently
separated here and there to admit of the passage of a canoe. On the
portion which is on dry land is built the sultan's palace, a church or
mosque, and most of the more prominent buildings. It was in the main
street (if such a term may be used), and as near as possible in the
centre of the town, that the steamer was anchored.

When we awoke and roused up it was broad daylight, and the scene was
most novel: surrounding the steamer and the barge, and extending many
yards from them, lay hundreds of canoes, filled with natives of every
tribe to be found on the coast, and dressed in every variety of costume.
From the wild Dusum to the civilised Arab and Malay rajah, natives in
every posture, and decked in every colour, impelled by curiosity, were
crowded around us. Here was a chief, dressed in an embroidered jacket,
sitting cross-legged, and shading himself with a yellow silk umbrella.
There were some wild-looking Dyaks, with scarcely as much covering as
decency demanded, standing up on their narrow canoes, one hand resting
on the handle of their knives, the other on their hips, eying us from
under their long matted hair with glances that told of no good feeling
towards us. In another quarter were women, in a covered boat, whose
jealous lattices only permitted us a glimpse of sparkling eyes, and of
the yellow array which proclaimed them as some of the royal favourites.
As far as you could see on all sides there was a confused mass, composed
of embroidered chiefs, black-eyed women, grey-bearded Arabs, spears,
shields, paddles and umbrellas. Taking out my sketch-book, I amused
myself with drawing the various costumes--no very easy task, as the
canoes were continually on the move; and before I could well catch the
head and shoulders of a native, when I raised my eyes from the paper he
had often disappeared in the crowd, and I found another party and
another costume in his place.

[Illustration: NATIVES OF BRUNI.]

Rajah Muda Hassan had already landed, and 10 o'clock had been fixed upon
as the hour for a full-dress visit to the sultan. As the time
approached, Mr. Brooke, with our captain and the officers composing the
party, came into the barge, and were pulled up to the sultan's audience
chamber. This was a large three-sided building, facing the water, with a
platform in front, on which were mounted five or six leilas, or native
guns. The roof was slightly carved, and the gables ornamented with large
wooden rams' horns. The red and yellow flag of Borneo waved above it.

We were received at the platform by a numerous party of chiefs,
handsomely dressed in silks, satins, and gold embroidery. They ushered
us into the audience chamber, the walls of which were lined with a sort
of cloth, and ornamented with shields. The floor was matted. The chamber
was filled with natives, all well dressed and armed. They sat
cross-legged, preserving a respectful silence. A vacant aisle was
preserved between them leading to the throne, which was at the upper
end of the chamber. The throne was a frame of painted wood, gilt and
carved, and bearing a very suspicious resemblance to a Chinese bedstead.
On this, sitting cross-legged, was the sultan of Borneo, to whom we were
all separately presented as English warriors, &c. &c. Chairs were then
placed in a half circle in front of the sultan, and we seated ourselves.
The sultan, a man of about sixty years of age, is said to be very
imbecile, and under the control of his ministers, who do with him as
they please. He was dressed in a loose jacket and trousers of purple
satin, richly embroidered with gold, a close-fitting vest of gold cloth,
and a light cloth turban on his head. In his sash he wore a gold-headed
kris of exquisite workmanship. His head was bald, and his features wore
a continual air of suspicion, mixed with simplicity. The first is not to
be wondered at, as he lives in the happy expectation of being poisoned
every day. He has two thumbs on the right hand, and makes the
supernumerary one useful by employing it in charging his mouth with the
beetle-nut and chunan, in which luxury he indulges to excess.
Immediately below him were his two body attendants, who have charge of
his beetle-nut box and his weapons. In front of the throne, and inside
the half aisle formed by the Europeans, Seraib Yussef, the prime
minister, Muda Hassan, and Bud-ruddeen, were seated on their hams. On
each side and below the throne were hundreds of attendants or guards;
those in the front row sitting cross-legged, with drawn krisses; those
behind them standing with long spears, tipped with bunches of red
horsehair, in their hands. The remainder of the chamber was occupied by
chiefs, all of them armed.






The communications and demands we had to make were carried on through
Mr. Williamson, the interpreter. The speakers were Mr. Brooke, our
captain, the sultan's prime minister, Muda and Bud-ruddeen, the sultan
occasionally nodding his head in approval of replies made by his prime
minister. The whole of the conversation was carried on in so low a tone
as not to be heard except by those sitting nearest to the throne. The
subject of it was, however, no secret; and it was as follows:--

Near to the mouth of the river, is an island called Pulo Cheremon, on
which the sultan has built some forts. On our entering the river, one of
our boats had been fired at from one of these forts, although the
English flag was hoisted at the time. The demands made in this
conference were, that the proper respect should be paid to the English
flag, that the forts upon Pulo Cheremon should be dismantled, and that
the sultan should reinstate Muda and Bud-ruddeen in offices becoming
their rank. Now, that the first demand was reasonable must be admitted;
but what right we had to insist upon the forts being destroyed, and the
sultan's uncles put into office, I really cannot pretend to say.

Seraib Yussef, who was inimical to the English, expressed his
disapprobation of their demands in very strong terms: as for the sultan,
he had very little to say. As it appeared that there was no chance of
our demands being complied with without coercion, the conference was
broken up by our principals pointing to the steamer, which lay within
pistol-shot of the palace, and reminding the sultan and the ministers
that a few broadsides would destroy the town. Having made this
observation, we all rose to take our departure, stating that we would
wait for an answer to our demands upon the following day. Our situation
was rather critical, only eight Europeans among hundreds of armed
natives taking their sultan in this manner by the beard, when, at a
signal from him, we might have all been despatched in a moment. More
than one chief had his hand upon his kris as we stalked through a
passage left for us out of the audience chamber; but whatever may have
been their wishes, they did not venture further without authority. On
reaching the platform outside, a very strange sight presented itself.
With the exception of a lane left for our passage to the boat, the whole
space was covered with naked savages. These were the Maruts, a tribe of
Dyaks who live in the mountains. The word marut signifies brave. These
naked gentlemen, who are very partial to the sultan, had come down from
the mountains to render assistance in case of hostility on our part.
They were splendidly framed men, but very plain in person, with the long
matted hair falling over their shoulders. They were armed with long
knives and shields, which they brandished in a very warlike manner,
occasionally giving a loud yell. They certainly appeared very anxious to
begin work; and I fully expected we should have had to draw and defend
ourselves. I was not sorry, therefore, when I found myself once more in
the stern sheets of the barge, with our brass six-pounder loaded with
grape, pointed towards them. The poor fellows little knew the effect of
a shower of grape-shot, or they would not have been so anxious for a

The sultan had offered a house for the accommodation of the Europeans
during our stay at Bruni. It was a small wooden building over the water
and resting upon piles. It communicated by a platform with the Mahomedan
mosque, which was built of brick and of tolerable dimensions. The
interior of this mosque had no other furniture in it except a sort of
pulpit painted, which stood in the centre. Outside on a raised platform
was a very large tom-tom or drum, upon which a native played from
morning to night, much to our annoyance, as it was so close to us.
Religious worship appears at a very low ebb at Bruni, for during the
whole time that we remained there I did not see one person enter the

At the back of the mosque there was a piece of green sward, which
separated us from the royal buildings. Passing through the mosque we
strolled over this piece of pasture, when, close to the water's edge, we
discovered several fine old brass 32-pounders, dismounted and
half-buried in the swamp. On inspection we found them to be Spanish,
bearing the inscription of Carolus Tertius, Rex Hispaniorum, with the
arms of Castile above. How they came into the sultan's possession we
could not find out. He was said to value them exceedingly; if so, he did
not show it by the neglect paid to them.

Bruni on a calm day presents a novel and pretty appearance. The masses
of houses appear to float on the water, and the uniformity is broken by
gay flags and banners, which indicate the rank and the office of them
who hoist them. The large square sails of the prahus, the variety of
boats and canoes, the floating bazaar, and the numerous costumes
continually in moving panorama before you, all combine to form a very
admirable picture. Add to this the chiming and beating of gongs and
tom-toms in every cadence, and from every quarter, and you are somewhat
reminded of an Asiatic Bartholomew fair.

The right-hand side of the river, which is opposite to the town,
consists of a series of small hills, which are partially cleared, but
present little appearance of cultivation. Here we were shown a specimen
of the upas tree: it was growing close to a small stone fountain in the
vicinity of some straggling huts. It was a solitary tree, tall and
red-stemmed, with the foliage branching out in a canopy at the top.

So much has been said for and against this tree, usually supposed to be
fabulous, that we looked upon it with great curiosity; and although
aware that its noxious qualities have been much exaggerated, we were
anxious to test its powers, if we could. We procured a ladder, which we
raised against the tree, and one of our party ascended to the uppermost
branches without experiencing the fainting sensation ascribed to be
produced by close contact with its foliage. We then tapped the tree at
the bottom, and there issued from it a white viscous fluid, which the
natives asserted to be a virulent poison, and used by them for dipping
the points of their arrows. We carried off a bottle of this poison, and
having drunk from the fountain beneath the tree, without fear and
without injury, we went away. This was the only specimen of the upas
tree that I saw in Borneo. The lower orders at Bruni, in addition to a
jacket and trousers, wear an immense straw hat of a conical shape, with
a brim as wide as an umbrella. This hat, unless thrown back on the
shoulders, entirely conceals the face. At times, when the river is
crowded with canoes, nothing is to be seen but a mass of these straw
hats, which present a very strange appearance. But the greatest novelty
at Bruni is the floating bazaar. There are no shops in the city, and the
market is held every day in canoes. These come in at sunrise every
morning from every part of the river, laden with fresh fruit, tobacco,
pepper, and every other article which is produced in the vicinity; a few
European productions, such as handkerchiefs, check-cotton prints, &c.,
also make their appearance. Congregated in the main street the canoes
are tacked together, forming lanes through which the purchasers, in
their own canoes, paddle, selecting and bargaining for their goods with
as much convenience as if the whole was transacted on terra firma. Iron
is here so valuable that it is used as money. One hundred flat pieces an
inch square are valued at a dollar, and among the lower classes these
iron pieces form the sole coin. They are unstamped, so that every person
appears to be at liberty to cut his own iron into money; but whether
such is really the case I cannot vouch.

We remained at Bruni for a week, during which time a great deal of
diplomatic duty was got through by the seniors of the party, leaving the
juniors to amuse themselves with discovering fresh objects of interest,
and illustrating every thing worthy of notice.

Our whole party met every evening at the small house which had been
appropriated for our use by the sultan. It staggered fearfully upon its
wooden legs under our accumulated weight, and we constantly expected
that we should be let down into the water. Here we dined and passed the
evening in conversation, with our arms all ready at hand, guns and
pistols loaded, and the boats anchored close along side of us, in case
of any treachery. Every day an interview was had with the sultan, but no
definite answer had been obtained to our demands. On the 6th, however,
it was resolved by our diplomatists that no more time should be wasted
in useless discussion, but that the sultan must be at once brought to
terms; indeed, our own safety demanded it, for the popular feeling was
so much excited, and the people were so indignant at our attempt to
coerce their sultan, that we were in hourly expectation of an attack.

At seven in the evening the party repaired to the audience chamber,
leaving their arms behind them, for they felt that any effort from five
Europeans to defend themselves against so many hundreds, would be
unavailing, and that more would be gained by a show of indifference.
They landed at the platform, and the barge, in which were Lieutenant
Baugh (since dead) and myself, was ordered to lie on her oars abreast of
the audience chamber, and to keep her 6-pounder, in which there was a
fearful dose of grape and canister, pointed at the sultan himself during
the whole of the interview.

It was an anxious time: the audience chamber was filled with hundreds of
armed men, in the midst of whom were five Europeans dictating to their
sultan. The platform outside was crowded with the wild and fearless
Maruts: not a native in the city but was armed to the teeth, and anxious
for the fray.

We, on our parts, were well prepared for fearful vengeance; the barge
was so placed that the assassination of Mr. Brooke and the Europeans
would have been revenged on the first discharge of our gun by the
slaughter of hundreds; and in the main street lay the steamer, with a
spring on her cable, her half ports up, and guns loaded to the muzzle,
awaiting, as by instruction, for the discharge of the gun from the
barge, to follow up the work of death. The platform admitted one of the
steamer's guns to look into the audience chamber, the muzzle was pointed
direct at the sultan, a man held the lighted tow in his hand. Every
European on board had his musket ready loaded, and matters assumed a
serious appearance.

From where I was on the barge, all appeared hushed in the audience room.
I could see the prime minister, Muda, and Bud-ruddeen, as they rose in
turns to speak. I could perceive by the motion of their lips that they
were talking, but not a sound came to our ears. This state of things
lasted about half an hour, and then there was a slight stir, and Mr.
Brooke and his party marched towards us through the crowd of warriors.

By dint of threats he had gained his point. The sultan had signed a
treaty by which he bound himself to respect the British flag, to make
over to us the island of Labuan, to destroy the forts on Pulo-Cheremon,
to discountenance piracy, and to instal Muda and Bud-ruddeen into
offices becoming their birth and high rank.

I have since heard Mr. Brooke remark, that considering the natives were
well aware that our guns were directed against them, the self-possession
and coolness shared by every one of them were worthy of admiration. They
never showed the slightest emotion, their speeches were free from
gesticulation, and even their threats were conveyed in a quiet subdued
tone; and every thing was carried on with all the calmness and
deliberation that might be expected at a cabinet council at St. James's.

Whilst at Bruni, we picked up several specimens of coal, and asking one
of the chiefs if much could be procured, he showed us a few sacks.
Ignorant of its value, he was still cunning enough to perceive how much
interest Ave felt in the discovery, and immediately asked a most
tremendous price for his stock. One would really have thought that we
were bargaining for precious stones; at all events he must have had an
intuitive idea that we considered them as "black diamonds." On the other
hand, an old Arab at Bruni, who had supplied us with one or two live
bullocks, when he saw the Samarang at anchor at the mouth of the river,
had the modesty to offer our captain 400 dollars for her, less than
100l. sterling. Sell dear and buy cheap is the way to get rich, and
proves how fit for commerce are all the people of the archipelago.

While we were lying at Bruni in the barge, one day, when Adams the
assistant-surgeon and myself were sole occupants, we were surprised at
the appearance of a handsomely dressed Malay youth, who stepped into the
boat, greeting us, although strangers, _sans cérémonie_. Always wishing
to study native character, we amused him as well as we could, and on his
departure gave him to understand that he might come whenever he pleased.
About dark we were surprised by a canoe coming under our stern, and the
occupant throwing into the barge several fine fowls and a large basket
of fruit. We could not imagine to whom we were indebted for this
civility, but suspected our Malay friend, and when he came again we
taxed him with it, and he acknowledged it. On this visit he sat in the
boat for some time, appearing to take a great interest in every thing
connected with us, and observed that we were bargaining with the natives
in the canoes alongside of us for the various arms of the country, which
they are content to sell provided they obtain a most exorbitant price.
Our Malay friend went off in his canoe, and in the course of an hour
returned with a large collection of shields, spears, krisses, and mats,
which he begged our acceptance of. Every day did he bring us presents
of some description or another, refusing to take any thing in return,
except perhaps an English pocket handkerchief or something of very
trifling value. Suddenly his visits were discontinued, and we saw no
more of him. One day, dining at the house lent us by the sultan, Mr.
Brooke was talking with some of our party of a young Malay chief, who,
being mad, had attempted to kill his wife, and had in consequence been
placed in durance, but had since been liberated. Mr. Brooke wishing to
speak to him, sent for him, and on his appearance this madman proved to
be our generous unknown.

The day after the signing of the treaty we left Bruni, the steamer
taking the barge in tow, and the same afternoon we joined the Samarang
at our newly-acquired possession, the isle of Labuan. This island is
about thirty miles in circumference, flat, and covered with thick
jungle. It has no inhabitants. Its anchorage is good, being protected by
the main and two smaller islands. The embouchure of a rivulet forms a
small bay, which we dignified with the title of Victoria. We found water
plentiful, and several specimens of coal.

From Labuan we proceeded to Ambong, a place where it was supposed that
an European female had been detained as a slave. Ambong is a pretty
little bay, with a Malay village built in the bight of it, and there is
a fine view of Keeney Balloo, the great mountain of Borneo, in the
back-ground. This mountain, estimated to be 14,000 feet high, is about
forty miles from Ambong, and with the aid of a glass we could discern
cataracts and ravines innumerable. It is certainly a most splendid
affair, on one side rising almost perpendicularly, and in appearance
nearly flat at the top. At sunset, from the bay, its appearance was
splendid. We found nothing at Ambong to lead us to suppose that European
females had at any time been made prisoners by the inhabitants: they
were apparently a quiet, peaceable people, living entirely by
agriculture. Their close neighbours, however, the Moros of Tampassook,
are a notorious tribe of the Illanoan pirates, who are the terror of the
Asiatic seas. It was not improbable that these people might have many
European prisoners as their slaves, but from what we knew of their
character, we felt assured that if they possessed white female
prisoners, they would never consent to their being ransomed.

After making a survey of Ambong, we only waited to take in a supply of
fresh beef, and then started the Phlegethon on her return to Sarawak
with Mr. Brooke and Mr. Williamson, while we shaped our course in an
opposite direction on our way to Manilla.

I may here remark that the bullocks at Ambong were remarkably fine and
the price of them ridiculously cheap. Two of the largest were to be
purchased for about twenty-five shillings worth of calico or any other
European manufacture. Wherever we went on this island, and I may say
over the Indian archipelago generally, the spirit of trade and barter
appeared to be universal; and if the inhabitants of Borneo were inclined
to look into the riches of their island, and with them procure English
manufactures, which when piracy is abolished they will do, the
commercial opening to this country will be great indeed. The scenery in
the bay of Ambong varies from that of the Borneo coast in general. The
bay is backed by a series of small hills, cleared away and partially
cultivated, instead of the low jungle which is elsewhere so universal.

On our way to Manilla we touched at the entrance of a river up which is
situated the town of Tampassook. Bodies of armed men came down in haste
to oppose our landing, which we did with a view of taking sights to
verify the chronometers. We came to a parley before we came to blows,
and the captain drew a line close to the beach, telling the Illanoans
that his men would remain inside of it, on condition that they would
remain outside. This arrangement was agreed to, and the observations
were taken between four or five hundred armed warriors on one side, and
four boats with the guns ready to fire on the other.

The pirates were all very well dressed in stuffs and cloths: they
carried shields so large as to cover the whole body, and long heavy
swords with the handles ornamented with balls and human hair. Many were
on horseback, and formed a very respectable irregular cavalry, wearing a
light loose dress, and armed with long spears and short round shields.
One costume was quite novel, being a coat of armour made of buffalo
leather scaled with oyster shells. Both parties adhered to the
agreement, and all therefore passed off quietly; the observations were
completed, and we returned to the ship.

Tampassook, it is asserted, would be a grand place for booty if it was
stormed, as the inhabitants possess a great deal of money and diamonds.
They are, however, a very brave people, and would not part with their
riches without a terrible resistance.

While off this river we had notice given us that there was a fleet of
100 piratical prahus lying off the island of Balabac. We shaped our
course thither, hoping to surprise them, but we were disappointed: the
birds had flown, and the bay of Balabac was untenanted. We cruised for a
week among the islands in search of them, but could not discover their
retreat; so we shaped our course for Manilla, taking the passage to the
eastward of Palawan, which was considered the best at this season of the

While off the north-east coast of Palawan, our boats left to survey
discovered an Illanoan prahu at anchor off one of the small islands that
surround the coast. The boats gave chase, and the pirates used every
exertion to get away. The gig soon headed the other boats, but gained
very slowly on the pirate, and her muskets caused no apparent execution,
but one of the cutters with the grape from her gun killed several of
their fighting men, who stood on the roof brandishing their krisses, and
fearlessly exposing themselves to the fire. On turning a point the prahu
kept before the wind, and walked away from us so fast that we gave up
the chase.

In about a fortnight afterwards, the Corregidor, a small island at the
mouth of Manilla Bay, hove in sight. On our arriving abreast of it, a
gun-boat came out to board us, and inquire after our bill of health; but
as we had a spanking breeze, and men-of-war do not heave-to to be
boarded, the gun-boat returned to the island as wise as she came out.
Manilla Bay is of immense size, being thirty miles deep, and twenty
wide. Near the mouth of the Bay the land is high, but at the head, where
the city of Manilla is built, it is remarkably low and flat. As we had
the wind in our teeth, and Manilla was twenty-five miles distant, we did
not arrive there till sunset. After shaving the sterns of several
merchant ships, who would have been better pleased if we had given them
a wider berth, we at last dropped anchor about two miles from the town.

Manilla, from the anchorage, has not an inviting appearance. I have said
that the land upon which it is built is very low, and as the town is
strongly fortified, nothing is to be seen from the shipping but a long
line of sea wall, with the roofs of the largest buildings, and a mass of
brick, which we were told was the cathedral, overtopping it. At one end
of this sea wall is the canal, or river, flanked on one side by a mole,
and on the other by a light-house.

Manilla is, however, a very delightful place; and to us, who had been so
many months among savages, it appeared a Paradise. The canal I have
alluded to divides the fortified city from the suburban towns of San
Fernando, San Gabriel, and others, in which are situated all the
commercial houses, stores, godowns, dock-yards, and saw mills. All the
Chinese and lower orders also reside in these suburbs, and I may add
that all the amusements, feasts, &c., are carried on in this quarter.
The city of Manilla within the fortifications is a very quiet, clean,
and well-regulated town, inhabited entirely by the higher orders: the
streets are well laid out, the houses regular, and built of white
freestone. In the centre of the city is the Plaza, on one side of which
is the cathedral, and opposite it the governor's palace; both very
insignificant buildings. The cathedral, which is very ancient, is devoid
of all attempt at architecture, and resembles a huge barn; while the
governor's palace, in appearance, reminds you of a stable.

[Illustration: CITY OF MANILLA.]

During the day the streets of Manilla are perfectly quiet and deserted.
At dusk the people begin to move, and show signs of life. The sallyport
gates are closed at eleven o'clock at night, after which hour there is
neither ingress or egress, and on this point they are most absurdly

The natives of Luzon are much below the middle size. The men are
slightly made, weak, and inoffensive; the women, on the contrary, are
remarkable for their pretty faces, feet, and figures, set off by a dress
of the most picturesque description: a short petticoat, of
gaily-coloured silk or cotton, and a boddice of similar material, of
sufficient height to cover the bosom, is their usual costume. Their long
jet black hair is allowed to fall in tresses down their backs. Many have
a kerchief tastefully thrown over their heads; and they wear little
velvet slippers, embroidered with gold and silver thread. Their
appearance is extremely captivating to foreigners, who do not in a hurry
forget their graceful mien and the arch glances from their brilliant
eyes. Manilla supports a considerable body of infantry and cavalry, the
whole composed of natives of the island. Their horses are small, as well
as the men, and are not well trained; but the object of the Spaniards is
to make a show to intimidate the Indians, who, having no discipline
whatever, are, of course, inferior even to these very moderate troops.
Not long ago, one of the strongest forts was taken possession of by a
party of rebels, assisted by some soldiers who had revolted: the fort
was recaptured, and, as an example, a dreadful slaughter ensued. The
parade ground, outside the citadel, was the scene of carnage. A large
pit was dug, at the brink of which the victims were placed; they were
then shot, and thrown into this grave. Eighty-two were thus butchered,
and buried in the pit, over which a mound has been raised, to
commemorate their execution.

Outside the town, and half encircling it, there is a splendid
esplanade, between an avenue of trees. This leads to the water, when
the road runs parallel with it for nearly a mile, terminating at one of
the piers of the canal. This is known by the, I presume, correct name of
Scandal Point. A number of carriages, filled with all the _élite_ of
Manilla, turn out on this drive a little before sunset, and the scene is
very gay and exciting. I leave the reader to conceive upwards of 200
carriages passing and repassing, besides equestrians and pedestrians.
The reader may say that it must be like the ring at Hyde Park; but it is
more brilliant, although not in such good taste; and then it is the
beauty of the climate--the contrast between the foliage and the blue
ocean--which gives the effect. No buttoning up to an east wind, nor
running away from a shower; but ever gay, and fresh, and exhilarating.
Here you meet the old Don, enjoying his quiet stroll and cigar, all
alone. Soldier officers, in plain dress and long mustachoes, doffing
their hats to every señora. The English merchant, in his unassuming
undress of a white jacket; the British naval officers, with their gay
uniforms and careless manners, prying, with a sailor's curiosity, into
every pretty face; and now and then a saucy mid, mounted on a hack,
dashing between the line of carriages at a full gallop, disturbing their
propriety, and checking the cavalcade, to the great consternation, real
or assumed, of the ladies. All was gaiety and gladness; on every side
was to be heard the merry laugh and hail of recognition. To add to the
excitement, the bands of the several regiments played the most popular
airs on a parade adjoining to the esplanade.

While the carriages were driving up and down, the vesper bell tolled
from the cathedral. In an instant every carriage stopped--every head was
uncovered, and bent in an attitude of devotion. Horses, women, men--all
as if transfixed: every tongue silent--nothing heard but the bell of the
cathedral, and the light breeze which bore away its vibrations. The
bell at last ceased, and in a moment every thing was in full activity as

Twice a week a military band plays at the public almeda from nine till
ten in the evening; and on one of these nights we started in a carriage
to the spot. The almeda is situated close to the gates of the city, and
joins to the esplanade. It is an open square, bordered with a row of
trees, to which are suspended lamps; while in the spaces between the
trees there are seats for the accommodation of the public. In the middle
of the almeda is a stand erected for the musicians. On our arrival there
we found it well lighted up; the place was surrounded by carriages,
which were empty, their occupants having joined the parade. Following
the example, we mixed with the throng, which was numerous. The women
were mostly collected in groups, and the men were smoking their cheroots
and beating time to the music, which was excellent. Lighting our cigars,
we strolled lazily along, and, by dint of lamp-light and impudence,
managed to form a very tolerable idea of the beauty of the senoras. At
ten o'clock, the band struck up a lively polka, which was the signal for
a general dispersion. This is considered one of the principal and most
favourite recreations at Manilla.

The inhabitants of Manilla are composed of the pure Spaniard, and the
Mustichas, or mixed breed. The former are very proud and inhospitable;
the latter are, on the contrary, very friendly, and, for any little
civility, request that you will make their house your home. The women of
the latter are by far the most preferable: the former are said to be
very deficient in good-breeding and education; like the Indians, they
sleep half the day, and are scarcely alive till sun-down, when they
dress for the almeda or esplanade.

There are very good subscription rooms in the city. Every month they
give a ball, concert, or amateur performance. Strangers are presented
with tickets for these amusements--no thanks to the Spaniards--but from
the kindness of the English merchants, who are nearly all members. I
went to one of these balls: there were plenty of women--more than could
get partners; the music was good, the women well dressed, and they
waltzed exquisitely. Adjoining the ball-room was a billiard-room, in
which those who preferred smoking cigars in a cool room to dancing, with
the thermometer at 90°, had retreated. Nothing can be done at Manilla
without the cigar: they smoke for an appetite, they smoke for digestion,
they smoke when they are too hot, they smoke when it is chilly. As the
hands of the time-piece approached the hour of eleven, every one who
lived outside the city was obliged to be off. We, among others, took our
departure; but when we sought for our carriage, it had disappeared. We
set off at a hard trot, to reach the gates before eleven, but in our
haste we missed the road, and came to a cul-de-sac. We retraced our
steps, but when we reached the gates they were closed. A request to the
officer of the guard we knew to be useless, so we turned back, and
prepared to pass the night in the streets, in our uniforms and swords.
After wandering half an hour up and down without seeing a light or
meeting a soul, I heard a violent hammering at a door at a little
distance. I found it was one of our party, who hammered away, and called
out for "Soda water" between each hammering. "All's right!" said he;
"look here!" And sure enough there was a board outside, with "Soda
Water" painted in large letters in English. This repeated hammering and
demand for soda water at last produced the desired effect. A person in a
dressing-gown and slippers came out into the balcony, and demanded our
business. We explained our extreme thirst and benighted condition; and
as the gentleman hesitated, we again applied to the door, intimating
that if we had no admission, at all events he should have no repose. At
last he sent down to have the door opened. We found that he was a
German chemist, who fabricated soda water, among other articles, and,
knowing the partiality of the English for the beverage, had advertised
it in our language over the door. We passed the night with him very
comfortably at his house, breakfasted with him the next morning, and,
promising to bring the whole of our shipmates to drink soda water for
his benefit till we were blown out like balloons, we wished him
good-bye, and returned to the ship.

Gambling is carried to a great extent in Manilla: the game played is
Monté. We visited one of their gambling houses. Winding our way down a
dark and narrow street, we arrived at a porte-cochère. The requisite
signal was given, the door opened cautiously, and after some scrutiny we
were ushered up a flight of stairs, and entered a room, in the centre of
which was a table, round which were a group, composed of every class. An
Indian squaw was sitting by the side of a military officer, the one
staking her annas, the other his doubloons. I stood by the side of an
old Chinaman, who staked his doubloon and lost every time. The strictest
silence was observed, and nothing was heard but the chinking of the
dollars, and the occasional _à quien_ of the banker, who inquired the
owner of the stakes. Every thing was conducted with the greatest order;
when one man had lost all his money he would retire, and make room for
another. The authorities of Manilla have made every effort to put a
check to this demoralising practice, but without much success. It is
universal, from the highest to the lowest, from the civilised to the
most barbarous, over the whole of the Indian Archipelago.

The Indians of the Phillippines are among the best favoured of the
Asiatic islanders, but they are not reckoned so brave as the Malays.
They are a quiet inoffensive race, clean and well shaped, and are all
converted to the Catholic faith. Their principal amusement is
cock-fighting, which, indeed, is carried to a great extent in all the
islands. Every man in the streets has his fighting cock under his arm,
and groups may be seen at all hours of the day, pitting their cocks and
betting on the issue. The country about Manilla is very pretty, well
cultivated, and studded with thriving villages. The Spanish possessions
in this part of Luzon are confined to about twenty miles in every
direction; the interior of the island being peopled with a race of
savages who occasionally make incursions into the country, carrying away
cattle or any thing else that they can lay their hands upon. I could
obtain no particulars of these aborigines, except that they go nearly if
not altogether naked.

On the 1st of December, our old acquaintance, the Velocipede schooner,
arrived from Sooloo, having on board six Lascars, who had been ransomed
from the sultan of Sooloo by Mr. Wyndham. They had formed a portion of
the crew of the Premier, an English merchant vessel, which had been
wrecked on a reef off the eastern coast of Borneo. The crew, consisting
of Europeans and Lascars, had been divided between the sultans of
Sooloo, Gonong Tabor, and Balungan. One of the Lascars was the bearer of
a letter from the captain of the Premier, stating that he and his crew
were still captives, and trusting that a vessel would be sent to rescue
them, as they were strictly guarded by the natives, and had no hopes of
escape. The Samarang being the only man-of-war at Manilla, the English
consul requested our captain to proceed again to Borneo to obtain these
people, calling at Sooloo in order to obtain information and a pilot.

On the 10th of December we sailed for Sooloo, where we arrived on the
15th. We found the natives preparing for an attack, which they
anticipated from the French, and suspicious that our intentions were
also hostile. Having already described Sooloo, I shall confine myself to
events. The captain, with his officers, went on shore, and had an
audience with the sultan; and having brought an interpreter with us from
Manilla, the conversation was carried on without difficulty.
Refreshments, as lemonade, &c. were handed round as before, and, as
before, the room of audience was crowded to suffocation.

The prime minister, who was a little corpulent man with an aquiline
nose, wore such an expression of low cunning, and eyed us with such
ill-concealed hatred, that we christened him Daniel Quilp, and he was
ever afterwards spoken of by that soubriquet. Our object being made
known, and the sultan's assistance demanded to obtain the remainder of
the prisoners, every obstacle that Quilp could throw in our way was
resorted to; and thus the audience became very tiresome, and I paid
little or no attention to what was said, amusing myself by using my
eyes, instead of tormenting my ears. A heavy red curtain was hung up,
dividing the room into two compartments. Observing that this moved once
or twice, I endeavoured to find out the cause, when several pairs of
black eyes, half hidden in the folds and rents, explained the mystery;
and whilst they were loudly disputing, I was winking and making faces at
the sultan's wives, who, stimulated by curiosity to behold the white
men, were thus transgressing the rules of the harem. But old Quilp
looked very hard at me, and for the ladies' sakes I was obliged to

Behind the sultan stood a young man very handsomely dressed in crimson
silk, who held in his hands an English finger-glass. We were very much
at a loss to know what his office might be, and also what might be the
office of the finger-glass; but our curiosity was soon gratified; the
sultan beckoned the youth to approach, and as the latter presented the
finger-glass, his highness blew his nose in it.

Indeed, the misappropriation of English utensils in this part of the
world is very absurd, although it is not surprising that an article
coming into their hands, the use of which they have no idea of, should
be appropriated to that use which they consider it best adapted to. On
the occasion of a dinner given to us by the sultan of Bruni, the whole
party were seized with a fit of very indecorous and immoderate laughter,
by finding the centre dish, which was a curry, served up in a capacious
vessel, which in Europe is only to be found under a bed. The curry,
nevertheless, was excellent; and what matter did it make? "What's in a
name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."--But to return.

We remained eight days at Sooloo, during which time there was much
altercation and excitement. At last the sultan of Sooloo agreed to send
a prahu with us to pilot us up the river, to the town where the crew of
the Premier were in durance.

During the time that we were at Sooloo, we had evidence sufficient of
the vindictive feeling held by the rabble against Europeans, and at the
same time the various ways they resorted to, to give us an idea of their
superiority. They drew our attention to some old cannon mounted on
rotten gun-carriages; they pointed out the strength of their fort, the
sharpness of their krisses and spears; and we could not but smile at the
false estimate of their and our capabilities. They expressed curiosity
to see our swords, which are always made of finely tempered steel,
although not sharp edged, as they are required more for thrusting and
parrying. Of our mode of self-defence they are ignorant, as they
invariably cut with their krisses; their first attention was, therefore,
drawn to the edge of the sword; passing the thumb along it, and finding
it blunt, they expressed the greatest contempt for the weapon. It was
useless to show them the thrust and parry movements, or to prove the
well-tempered steel by bending the blade till the hilt and point were
almost meeting. A sharp iron hoop in their ideas was preferable to all
the best English workmanship. The Sooloo knives are larger than they
usually are in the Archipelago, and of superior manufacture. By rubbing
them with limes and exposing them to the sun, they stain them in a
manner quite peculiar to the place.

Partly to the machinations of our friend Quilp and the irritable and
proud disposition of the people, who considered that the sultan was
humiliated by listening to reason and remonstrance, we were more than
once very near coming to blows. At last every thing was arranged
amicably; and just before starting, the prime minister, Quilp, and a
large party of chiefs, condescended to pay a visit to the ship.

To guard against treachery, for Quilp was equal to any thing, the
marines were kept under arms, and supplied with ball cartridges. The
ship was soon crowded with chiefs, armed to the teeth, and accompanied
by men with muskets, spears, and shields. It certainly did not look like
a very amicable visit on their part, or a very friendly reception on
ours; but the ship wore a very gay appearance. The guns, nettings, and
booms were covered with the chiefs and attendants dressed in very gay
colours. Groups of them sat down on the decks, and made their remarks
upon what they beheld; while numbers prowled about up and down,
examining, peeping, and wondering. We amused them with firing congreve
rockets, guns, &c., which gave them some idea of our value, and we
therefore combined instruction with amusement. They departed highly
pleased and astonished, and it was evident that we were some degrees
higher in the estimation of Quilp himself.

The prahu ordered to pilot us having come alongside, we hoisted her up
abaft, and took the people on board, and then made sail for the hitherto
unknown territory of Panti river. We anchored off the main land on the
25th December, that we might discover the mouth of the river, which was
unknown to us. Our Christmas-day was not a very happy one; we did
nothing but drink to the hopes of a better one the ensuing year. On the
following day we weighed, and moved some distance up the river, and then
anchored, waiting the return of the prahu, which had been despatched up
to the town the night before. We had, by the means of warping and
towing, gained about fifteen miles up the river, when we found that it
divided into two branches, and, not knowing which branch to take, we had
anchored, waiting the return of the prahu. As she, however, did not make
her appearance, although she had had quite sufficient time allowed her,
the boats were therefore manned and armed, and we started in search of
the town Gonong Tabor. As bad luck would have it, we chose the left
branch of the river, and, after two days' unsuccessful search, came back
just as we went, but not quite so fresh as when we started. The prahu
had not yet returned, so, taking a new departure, we proceeded up the
right branch. This proved a fine broad river; one portion of it, studded
with small islands, was very picturesque. We soon hove in sight of what
appeared to be a town, although there were no signs of life visible. It
was built on the left side of the river on two small hills, but we heard
no gongs or tomtoms sounding, the usual alarm of all the Malay
settlements on the approach of strangers. When we arrived off it, we
found that the town was deserted. It had evidently but a short time back
been a populous and flourishing place, but it had been destroyed by the
enemy, as, although the houses were standing, the cocoa-nut and other
trees had been all cut down. On the brow of the hill were many graves;
one, which was stockaded and thatched, and the remnants of several flags
fluttering in the wind, denoted the resting-place of a rajah. He little
thought when he was alive that his head would be transported to a head
house some 20,000 miles distant, but such was his fate: science required
it, and he was packed up to add to the craniological specimens in the
College of Surgeons, the gentlemen presiding over which are as fond of
heads as the Dyaks themselves.

We moved up the river till nightfall, and then anchored. We were
satisfied from appearances that we were not far from a town, and,
loading our arms, we kept a very strict look-out.

At daylight the next morning we weighed anchor, and, having passed two
reaches of the river, we came in sight of the towns of Gonong Tabor and
Gonong Satang. We pulled towards them, with a flag of truce, and were
immediately boarded by a canoe, which contained the prime minister, who
made every profession of good-will on the part of his master, the sultan
of Gonong Tabor. We observed with surprise that he hoisted a Dutch flag,
which he requested that we would salute. The captain replied, that they
must first salute the English flag, and, if they did so, he promised to
return the salute. This was complied with; the English flag was saluted
with twenty-one guns, and an equal number returned. The boats were then
anchored off the town.

Immediately after we had returned the salute, we heard an attempt at
music, and this was soon explained by the appearance of a procession
filing through the gates of the town towards the boats. It was headed by
a Malay, bearing the standard of Gonong Tabor,--red, with a white
border; he was followed by another carrying a large canopy of silk,
highly ornamented, and fringed with lace. After this personage came the
prime minister; then two musicians, one playing the drum, and the other
a flageolet of rude construction. These musicians were dressed in red
bordered with yellow, with cowls over their heads. The rear was composed
of a body-guard of Malays, well armed. The whole advanced towards the
landing-place, having been sent by the sultan to escort the captain to
the palace. The captain and officers landed, and, escorted by the
natives, proceeded to the palace, the red silk canopy being carried
over the head of the captain as a mark of honour. The sultan, a
corpulent but fine-looking man, received us very courteously. He
informed the captain that all the white people belonging to the Premier
had been ransomed by the Dutch, whose trading vessels were in the habit
of visiting Gonong Tabor. The captain of the Premier had refused to
acknowledge the Lascars as British subjects, and, in consequence, the
poor fellows had been retained as slaves. They were not, however, at
Gonong Tabor, but at Baloongan, a town of some importance up a
neighbouring river. He added, that four of the Lascars had fallen
victims to the climate, and that there were twelve still remaining at
the above-mentioned town. It appeared that, from some misunderstanding
between the sultans of Gonong Tabor and Gonong Satang relative to the
disposal of the English prisoners, they had come to blows, and were at
this time at open warfare, the two towns being within gunshot of each
other. Gonong Satang was built on a hill on the opposite side of the
river, and was strongly stockaded as well as Gonong Tabor.


The sultan expressed his desire to enter into an amicable treaty with
the English, and offered our captain his assistance in procuring the
release of the Lascars at Baloongan. This offer was accepted, and, when
we left, a prahu accompanied us to that town.

In the course of the evening the sultan's prime minister and suite
visited the barge, which was moored within a few yards of the
landing-place. We surprised them very much with our quick firing, but
their astonishment was unbounded at the firing of a congreve rocket,
which they perceived carried destruction to every thing in its flight.
The grand vizier was in ecstasies, and begged very hard that the captain
would go up to Gonong Satang, and just fire one or two at their
adversaries in that town. This, of course, was refused.


We here fell in with a most remarkable tribe of Dyaks: they wore immense
rings in their ears, made of tin or copper, the weight of which
elongated the ear to a most extraordinary extent. On their heads they
wore a mass of feathers of the Argus pheasant. They wore on their
shoulders skins of the leopard and wild cat, and neck-laces of beads and
teeth. They were armed with the usual parang, blowpipe, and shield. They
were a much larger race of men than the Dyaks of the north coast, but
not so well favoured. We remained here five days, and on the 1st of
January, 1845, went down the river to the ship, accompanied by the prahu
which was to be our guide to Baloongan. The following day we sailed for
Baloongan, and on the 3rd we anchored off the bank where the Premier was
cast away. Her ribs and timbers were left, but the natives had carried
away every thing of value, except a small anchor, which they had not
ingenuity enough to recover. Leaving the ship at anchor here, we again
manned the boats, and, accompanied by the pilot prahu, proceeded up the
Saghai river: the next day we arrived in sight of Baloongan. Heaving to,
to load our guns, and get our fire-arms in readiness (for we expected a
hostile reception), we then hoisted a flag of truce and pulled up to the
town. What first occupied our attention was a green plot in front of the
town, on which were mounted from fifteen to twenty guns, which were
continually pointed so as to bear upon us as we pulled up, and which
were backed by some thousands, I should think, of Malays and savages,
all well armed with spears and knives. This looked like business, but we
pulled on, with the white flag still flying. A canoe came off,
containing, as at Gonong Tabor, the prime minister. He waved with his
hand, ordering us to anchor, and pointing to the guns, which the natives
still continued to train after us. The captain refused to anchor, and
pulled on; we were then almost abreast and within thirty yards of the
battery. As we passed it within ten yards, the natives kept the muzzles
pointed at our boats, and we expected them every moment to fire. Had
they done so, we might have received considerable damage; but what would
their loss have been when we had opened with round, grape, and canister,
and congreve rockets, upon such an exposed and densely crowded
multitude? They contented themselves, however, with yelling, which does
not kill, and, passing the battery, we dropped our anchor close to the
gate of the stockade by which the town was surrounded.

In passing the battery, and refusing to anchor, the captain adopted the
most prudent and safe course; for we had long before discovered that
decision is absolutely necessary with these people. The least hesitation
on our part would have fortified their courage to attack; but they are
so much awed by our superior arms, and I may safely add the superior
courage of our men, that they never will, however much they may
threaten, be the first to come to blows, provided there is no
vacillation or unsteadiness on our parts. This the captain knew, and
acted accordingly.

After returning their salute of twenty-one guns, the captain, with some
of the officers and a party of small-armed men passed through a line of
Dyaks to the hall of audience, which, as usual, was crowded to excess
with armed Malays. The sultan, who was a stout athletic man, received us
very cordially, but his confused manners and restless eyes showed that
he was not at his ease. His dress consisted of a yellow satin jacket,
over which he wore another of purple silk, worked and hemmed with lace.
His trousers and turban were made of similar materials. Shoes and
stockings he had none, and wearing both jackets open, his chest was
exposed. The sultan acknowledged that the Lascars were still in his
territory, but, as two of them were at some distance in the interior, it
would require a few days to bring them in. He appeared very glad that
the business was settling so easily, for he no doubt expected an inquiry
and a demand for all the ship's stores, the major portion of which had
found their way to Baloongan. The chain cables must have been invaluable
to the natives, and I detected several links which had been partly
converted into spear-heads.

There was nothing worthy of remark in the town of Baloongan. We were
very much interested in the Dyak tribes, who were the same as those
described at Gonong Tabor, and in greater numbers. They were equally
tall, and appeared to be the very perfection of savage warriors. They
invited us several times to pay them a visit on the hills, where they
resided. These Dyaks appeared very friendly to us, and one of them, an
intelligent fellow, of the name of Meta, volunteered to take a letter
overland to Mr. Brooke: his mode of travelling was by pulling up the
Saghai river to its source in his canoe, till he came close to the
source of the Coran, and by his account the two rivers nearly meet. He
took the letter, binding it round his head with a piece of linen; but I
do not know if ever it was delivered. One observation I made relative to
these Saghai Dyaks, which was, that much as they must have been
astonished at our arms and equipments, like the North American Indians,
they never allowed the least sign of it to be perceived.

At the end of a week the prisoners returned in a very miserable
condition. They had been at work, pounding paddy and digging yams; and
they stated that they had not sufficient allowed to eat to support
existence, besides being beat about the legs with bamboos. Two of the
twelve died evidently from ill treatment and exhaustion. Their gratitude
at being delivered from their slavery was beyond bounds; and it
certainly is not very creditable to the master of the Premier to have
abandoned them in the way he did, when a word from him would have
procured their liberty.

We returned to the ship, and the next day ran down to the Premier Reef;
the captain then went again to the Panti river, in the boats, to
conclude the treaty with the sultan of Gonong Tabor. This was soon
accomplished; and giving him an union jack to hoist, at which he was
much pleased, we bade him farewell.

We finished the survey of the Premier Shoal, as it is now named, and
then steered for the island of Maratua, which the sultan of Gonong Tabor
had by his treaty made over to the English, representing it as having an
excellent harbour and good water; but on our arrival we were much
disappointed to find an island surrounded by reefs, with only one
intricate passage through them and sufficiently wide only for boats.
Probably the sultan knew no better. As we were very short of water, we
now made sail for Sooloo, and fell in with the Sooloo prahu, which had
been sent to us as a pilot, and which we had never seen since she went
up the river Panti before us. She had been waiting for us outside, and
the people were very much pleased at finding us, as they feared being
taken by the pirates of Tawee-Tawee. After having been nearly wrecked on
a reef, and having grounded on another, we anchored off the Lugutan
islands, and despatched the two cutters in search of water. One of them
attacked and burnt a prahu, because she looked suspicious; the other did
better, she discovered a stream of water, off which we anchored the same
evening. Having completed wood and water, we sailed for Sooloo, where
we arrived on the Sunday. We were surprised to find a French squadron
anchored in the bay. It consisted of the Cleopatra, 50-gun frigate, Rear
Admiral Cecile, with an ambassador on board, the Victorieuse, 22, and
the Alchimede war steamer. They were treating with the sultan of Sooloo
for the island of Basilan, the natives of which had beat off their
boats, with the loss of a lieutenant and four men killed and many
wounded. The island of Basilan is subject to Sooloo, although the
natives have refused to pay tribute for many years. The French, aware of
this, and wishing to establish a colony in the East, offered the sultan
20,000 dollars if he would make over the island to them; but this was
not acceded to, the chiefs being divided on the question. The people of
Sooloo have a great dislike to all Europeans, but particularly to the
French. Treacherous as we and the French knew them to be, we little
thought to have it proved in so fearful a manner. About a mile to the
right of the town is a spring, where all the ships watered. One day some
peculiar looking berries were found in the pool, which, on examination,
proved to be deadly poison, the natives having thrown them in with the
intention of poisoning us _en masse_. The water was of course started
overboard, and intelligence sent to Admiral Cecile, who was highly


It was singular by what means this discovery was made. One of the seamen
of the Samarang complained of a stinging sensation in his feet from
having wetted them in the pool. Our assistant surgeon happening to be on
shore at the time, caused the watering to be stopped, and the pool to be
examined. Buried in the sand, at the bottom of the pool, and secured in
wicker baskets, were found those poisonous berries, which the natives
had concealed there. As soon as Admiral Cecile received the information,
all the water was thrown overboard, and the boats of the whole squadron,
manned and armed, landed the French admiral, the ambassador, and our
captain. They repaired to the palace of the sultan, who not only
expressed his abhorrence of the attempt, but promised to put to death
the parties if they could be discovered. The attempt did not, however,
stop here. In addition to fruit, the boats at Sooloo brought off rice
cakes, which were eagerly bought by the seamen. Some of the chiefs
issued an order for a large number of poisoned cakes, which they
intended for our consumption; but fortunately the order was so extensive
that it got wind, and we were warned of what was intended by a native of
Manilla, who had been captured by pirates and sold at Sooloo. In reward
for this intelligence, we gave him, and others of the same place, a
passage to Manilla, taking care, however, that they should be smuggled
on board. Sailed for Manilla, staid there a few days, and then went to
Batan, from thence to Hong Kong, where we arrived on the 1st of April,
and found the Iris and Castor in the harbour.

[Illustration: TANKA BOATS--HONG KONG,]

There never was, perhaps, so rapid a rise in any settlement made by the
English as that of Hong Kong, considering the very short time that it
has been in our possession. Where, two years back, there existed but a
few huts, you now behold a well-built and improving town, with
churches, hotels, stores, wharves, and godowns. The capacious harbour
which, but a short time ago, was only visited by some Chinese junks or
English opium clippers, is now swarming with men-of-war and merchant
ships. The town extends along the base of the mountain. Every day some
improvement takes place in this fast-growing colony, but, from the
scarcity of building ground, house rent is very dear, and every thing
has risen in proportion. The town which, from the irregularity of the
ground, has but one street of importance, lies under the highest part of
a rock, which is called Possession Peak. It is built on a kind of ledge,
but this is so steep that the basements of the back houses can be seen
over the roofs of those in the front, although the houses are no further
apart than is necessary for the streets. Above the town the rock rises
almost perpendicularly; but every spot which can be built upon is
appropriated, and scattered buildings may be seen half way up the rock,
only accessible by tortuous and narrow paths. The houses are built of
white freestone; many of them are handsome erections, and on a fine day
the town of Victoria has an imposing appearance.

The island is now intersected by roads, in some parts necessarily
precipitous, but equestrians can make the circuit of Hong Kong without
any other risk but from the marauding Chinese, who, in spite of the
police, still find means of exercising their vocation. To the left of
the town of Victoria is a very pretty valley, but in the middle of it is
a swamp, which renders the place so unhealthy that no one can reside
there: some who did, died there; and there are one or two neat little
villas on it, now untenanted and falling into ruins. Strange to say, it
still bears the name of Happy Valley.

The harbour is completely land locked, and has two entrances. One side
of it is formed by Hong Kong, the other by Kow-loon, which is part of
the mainland.

[Illustration: WEST POINT.





But all this has its reverse. The unhealthiness of the climate is very
great, and this is impressed upon the stranger while at anchor in the
roads; for the first object that meets his eye is the Minden hospital
ship, with her flag continually half mast high, announcing that another
poor sailor had gone to his long home. When you land you will certainly
meet a funeral; and watching the countenances of the passers by, their
sallow complexions, and their debilitated frames, with the total
unconcern with which they view the mournful processions, you may assure
yourself that they must be of daily and hourly occurrence. And such is
the fact.

I was sorry to find that murders and robberies were most frequent at
Hong Kong, although the police force has been augmented from London, and
is under the charge of an experienced officer. While on shore, I
observed the body of a Chinaman rise to the surface, disfigured in a
horrible manner, and although notice was sent immediately to the
authorities, it was allowed to remain beating against the wharf till
late in the afternoon, when it was towed out and sunk in the middle of
the harbour.

I once witnessed the punishment of a Chinese robber at the market gate;
he had been apprehended on the preceding night. His tail, which was
false, and filled with blades of knives, needles, &c., came off in the
officer's hands. However, he was secured, and received a daily allowance
of fifty lashes, which was continued as long as he was capable of
bearing the punishment, and then he was sent to work on the roads.

I left H. M. S. Samarang at this port, and joined the Iris, commanded by
Captain Mundy, whose high character as an officer and a gentleman I well
knew; unfortunately I was only lent to the Iris, and the consequence
was, as will be seen, I had ultimately to return to the Samarang. I
found that the Iris was to sail for the north coast of China, and I was
delighted at the idea of visiting those parts, which there was little
chance of if I had remained in the Samarang.

[Illustration: CHINESE FISHERMEN.]

One object of the Iris proceeding to the coast of China was to carry
General D'Aguilar and suite on a visit to the most interesting of the
hostage ports. We sailed on the 6th of April, and after a week's beating
arrived at Chapel Island, at the mouth of Amoy bay. This bay is very
spacious, being nearly thirty miles deep. To the left of the entrance is
a high peak, on the summit of which is built a splendid pagoda, serving
as a landmark to vessels coming from seaward. The town of Amoy is built
at the bottom of the bay. Close to it, and forming an inner harbour, is
the island of Ku-lang-so, near to which we dropped our anchor.
Ku-lang-so is a pretty island, about a mile in diameter. Up to the
evacuation of Amoy it had been occupied by our troops; and the remains
of a race course and a theatre prove that the gallant 18th had contrived
to amuse themselves. At the present time it is all but deserted, the
only European residents being Mr. Sullivan, the Vice Consul; the
Chinese, who had been driven from it at the capture of the city, not
having as yet returned. The houses on it are prettily disposed, and some
rich foliage and green pasture give an English character to the scenery,
and are very refreshing, after continually looking at the everlasting
paddy fields, which constitute the principal features of the sea coast
of China. It is to this circumstance that I ascribe the exaggerated
accounts we have of the beauty of the island of Ku-lang-so. It forms,
however, a very pleasant promenade, and may be enjoyed without
interruption from the inhabitants. The city of Amoy is built on a low
neck of land. The houses are of a dusky tint, and from the anchorage are
indistinguishable through forests of junks' masts, which surround the
town. To the right of the town, and extending to some distance, is a
fortified wall, which gave some trouble at the capture. I landed with a
party to walk through the city. The streets are narrow and dirty, the
open shops on either side reminding you very much of Constantinople. The
population is immense, the streets are always crowded. We soon found
that we were objects of attention, and were followed by a mob. It was
with difficulty that we could force our way; and, moreover, the town
having been lately evacuated by our troops, the Chinese thought
themselves secure in venting their animosity, by pushing, jostling, and
throwing stones at us. In this, however, they were mistaken, for being a
tolerably strong party, and knowing that they had a very wholesome fear
of us, we were not slow in resorting to blows when intreaties proved in
vain; and, before we were in the middle of the town, more than one
celestial head had come in contact with the pavement. One had the
impudence to bellow in my face; for which impertinence he received a
facer, which gave him something to bellow for. Those, however, who
"were at a distance had the means of annoying with impunity, and we were
glad to take refuge in a pastry cook's shop, which happened most
opportunely to present itself.

[Illustration: COOK'S SHOP.]

On our entering, we were each presented with a pair of chop sticks, and
a large tray was placed before us, filled with sweetmeats of every
description. There were nutmegs and other spices, ginger, sugar cane,
bamboo, and the knee-bone palm, preserved in the most exquisite manner.
Every thing was so novel, chop sticks not excepted, that it was quite
fearful the extent to which we indulged in the sweetmeats; however, as
we had no maiden aunts ready with their doses, as in our infancy, we ate
and spared not. Cakes of the most recherche description, and pastry, the
lightness of which would have shamed Gunter, were each and all in their
turn discussed; and what was our astonishment to find that, on calling
for the bill, the charge amounted to about sixpence.

We visited as much of the town as the mob would permit, but I shall
reserve my description of a genuine Chinese town until our arrival to
the northward. The joss-houses at Amoy are not remarkable, and one
description of these buildings will suffice for all.

We lay at Amoy for about a week, during which the Mandarins paid us a
full dress visit. They were extremely cautious, and remained on board
for a couple of hours. At their departure we gave them the economical
Chinese salute of three guns. During our stay here I amused myself
principally on the island of Ku-lang-so, and I was not sorry when we
weighed anchor, and, with a fair wind, made sail for Chusan.

Chusan is the largest of a closely packed group of islands, near to the
main land of China, and about 500 miles to the northward of Amoy. These
islands, many of them very diminutive, are so close to each other, that
on threading them to approach the town of Chusan, the channel wears the
appearance of a small river branching out into every direction. If the
leading marks were removed it would be a complete marine labyrinth, and
a boat might pull and pull in and out for the whole day, without
arriving at its destination. Narrow, however, as is the passage, with a
due precaution, and the necessary amount of backing and filling, there
is sufficient water for ships of the largest size. At sunset we anchored
off the town of Chusan. Here the islands form a beautiful little
harbour, sufficiently capacious. The island being covered with tea
plants, the panorama is pretty and refreshing. From the anchorage little
can be seen of the town, as it is built on a flat, and hidden by a
parapet and bank of mud, which runs along the bottom of the harbour.
This temporary fortification is called a bund, and was erected by the
Chinese previous to the capture of the place. Behind this bund is an
esplanade, parallel with which are houses, which serve as barracks for
the troops, and the residences of the civil and military functionaries.
The country is hilly, and several commanding forts are visible from the

On landing, we directed our steps to the town by a causeway which leads
from the landing-place to the gates between the fields of paddy, which
are, as usual, swamped with water. The sides of this causeway are lined
with shops; and the island being occupied by the English, soon stared
you in the face, in the shape of boards in front of each shop, bearing
such inscriptions as "Snip, from Pekin," "Stultz, from Ningpo," and
others equally ludicrous, in good English letters. There were
"Buckmasters" and "Hobys" innumerable; Licensed Victuallers and "Dealers
in Grocery." Passing a tolerably well constructed gate, guarded by an
English sentry, we entered the town. The streets are cleaner than those
of Amoy, and not so narrow; but what gave us most satisfaction was, that
our appearance excited no attention; and we enjoyed our walk, and made
our observations uninterruptedly.

Our first visit was to a toy-shop: a great many articles were exposed
for sale, and many very beautiful carvings; they were, however, far too
delicate for a midshipman's chest, and the price did not exactly suit a
midshipman's pocket. A silk warehouse next occupied our attention: here
we were shown some beautiful embroidery, some of which was purchased.
After walking over the whole town, we proceeded to the principal
joss-house: this was very handsome; but I was sorry that it had been
selected as a barrack, and was occupied by a company of sepoys. The
altar was converted into a stand for arms, and the god Fo was accoutred
with a sheath and cross belt. To complete the absurdity, a green demon
before the altar was grinning maliciously from under the weight of a
frieze coat. At the entrance of the joss-house is a covered porch, under
which are two figures sitting, and in this posture nearly twenty feet
high. The interior of the house is handsomely ornamented and gilt; and
behind the altar there is a row of some fifteen figures, in a sitting
posture, all gilt from head to foot, and forming a very goodly assembly:
they represented old men wrapped in togas, with faces expressive of
instruction, revelation, and wisdom. There was nothing Chinese in their
features; the heads were shaved, and it is to be presumed that they
represented the prophets and holy writers who flourished antecedent to
the great Fo. The expression on their countenances was admirable; and
surprised us the more, from a knowledge how fond the Chinese are of
filling their temples with unnatural and unmeaning devils.

We then visited a smaller god-house: this the 8th regiment had converted
into a theatre. Very little traces of a holy temple were discernible;
and the great Fo occupied a corner of the green-room. The scenes were
painted in fresco, and the whole affair was very tolerably arranged.
Most part of the scenery had been painted by my brother during his stay
at this port in the Cambrian. The Chinamen consider this no sacrilege,
as they always use the temples as theatres themselves.

During the winter months Chusan is very cold, and the snow lies on the
ground. The country there abounds with game--deer, swans, partridges,
pheasants, and wild fowl of every description: the prices are very
moderate; a fine buck may be purchased for a dollar, and a brace of
pheasants for a rupee. It was now the month of May, and the swans and
geese had departed, and game was becoming scarce as the weather became
fine; still, however, there was a duck or so to be picked up, so I
joined a party bent on trying their luck, and we prepared for a hard
day's work.

No one who has not tried it can have an idea of the fatigue of a day's
shooting at Chusan. Having a Chinese covered boat, we loaded her with
quite sufficient to support nature for twenty-four hours; and pulling
about four miles through the channels intersecting the islands, we
landed about daylight. Before us was a vast paddy field, into which we
plunged up to our knees in mud and water. As we approached one of the
dykes which convey the water for the irrigation, caution was observed,
not a word was uttered by one of the party, and our good behaviour was
rewarded by a brace of fine birds, which were deposited in the bag,
carried by a celestial under-keeper. Crossing the dyke, we continued to
wade through the paddy fields, shooting some plover and a red-legged
partridge, until we arrived at a Chinese village. We passed through it,
and fell in with a herd of water buffaloes, as they term them. One of
them charged furiously, but the contents of one of our barrels in his
eyes made him start in mid career; and having had quite enough into his
head, he turned to us his tail. These animals show a great antipathy to
Europeans, probably from not having been accustomed to their dress. Red,
of course, makes them furious, and, thanks to his jacket, a drummer of
one of the regiments was killed by these animals. Towards evening we
felt it quite impossible to wade any further; and although nightfall is
considered the best time for shooting ducks, we thought it was the best
time to return to the boat, which we did not regain, fatigued, hungry,
and covered with mud, till ten o'clock at night.






One day, strolling in the country about four miles from Chusan, we fell
in with a very pretty little house surrounded with trees. The courtesy
usually shown to the English at Chusan induced us to enter it, that we
might inspect the premises. Its owner, a mandarin, was absent, but his
major-domo took us over the whole house. The round doors and
oyster-shell windows amused us greatly. The garden was ornamented with
artificial rocks, studded with flowering shrubs, with great taste. There
were two or three grottoes, in one of which was a joss; and an arbour of
lilacs and laburnums, in full bloom, gave a charming appearance to the
whole. Thanking the Chinaman for his civility, we went away, much
pleased with the mandarin's country retreat.

During our stay at Chusan we had made a party to go to the island of
Poo-too, but we were hurried away sooner than we expected, and our
design was frustrated. I will, however, give a description of the island
of Poo-too, as described to me. This island is about forty miles from
Chusan, and is inhabited solely by priests. These being condemned to a
life of celibacy, no woman resides on the island, which is covered with
temples of all descriptions, many of them very handsome, but one in
particular, which was built by the emperor. The island is not large, and
is laid out like a vast garden, with squares and walks, bridges, &c.

We left Chusan, and soon afterwards anchored off the mouth of the Ningpo
River, which is only thirty miles to northward and westward of the
Chusan isles. The first object of interest before us was the famous
joss-house fort, which gave us so much trouble at the capture. General
D'Aguilar and Captain Mundy being about to visit the city of Ningpo, a
party of us obtained a week's leave of absence for the same purpose. We
landed in a ship's boat at Chinghae, a small but tolerably fortified
town, which, however, needs no description. There we obtained a covered
Chinese boat, in which we put our beds and blankets, intending to live
on board her during our stay at Ningpo. Starting with a fair wind and
tide, by noon we were within five miles of the city, which is built
about forty miles up the river. The banks of the river appeared to be
highly cultivated, and the river was crowded with boats of all
descriptions, some going up with the tide, others at anchor, waiting for
the tide to change, to go in an opposite direction. The first that we
saw of Ningpo was a low wall, from the middle of which rose a tall
pagoda. This, with innumerable masts of the vessels lying off the town,
was all that was visible: nor could we discern much more on a nearer
approach. Threading the crowd of vessels which filled the river, on our
left we could only see the wall and battlements of the town, the
before-mentioned pagoda soaring above every thing. To the right, on the
side of the river opposite to the town, were several detached houses,
surrounded with low shrubberies; behind these was the Chinese country,
and then the eye wandered over countless paddy fields, until it at last
rested upon some faint blue mountains in the distance.

Among the houses on the right was that of the vice-consul, Mr. Thorn.
Anchoring our boat as near to his landing-place as possible, we made
arrangements for the night, it being then too late to pay him the
accustomed visit. We had, however, scarcely spread our mattresses, and
put some supper on the fire, when we were hailed by a Chinese boy, and
requested to come on shore. Ignorant from whence the invitation might
come, but nothing loath, we hauled our boat to the jetty, and, landing,
followed young pigtail, who ushered us through a court-yard into a house
of tolerable dimensions, agreeably arranged according to English ideas
of comfort. In five minutes more we were introduced to Mr. Mackenzie, an
English merchant, who, having been informed of our arrival, had sent for
us to request that, during our stay at Ningpo, we would make his house
our home. We would not tax his hospitality so far as to sleep at his
house, having already made our own arrangements; but we willingly
accepted his kind offer of being his guests during the day, and proved
our sincerity by immediately sitting down to an excellent dinner, and in
the evening we retreated to our boat. The next morning we breakfasted
with our host, and then crossed the river, to inspect the city. Having
landed at one of the gates, we hired a sort of sedan chairs, which were
carried by two athletic Tartars, and proceeded to examine a very
remarkable building called the Ruined Pagoda. I shall give Dr. Milne's
description of it, taken out of the Chinese repository, as I think it
will be better than my own:--

"We bent our steps to the Tien-fung, called by foreigners the Ruined
Pagoda. Foreigners make for it as soon as they enter the east gate.
After shaping their course in a south-east direction through numberless
streets, it abruptly bursts upon the view, rising 160 feet above their
heads, and towering high above the surrounding houses. The pagoda is
hexagonal, and counts seven stories and twenty-eight windows. Above
every window is a lantern, and when the pagoda is illuminated, the
effect is very brilliant. This building is in much need of repair, and
is daily becoming more dilapidated. It has already deviated many feet
from the perpendicular, and might not unaptly be described as the
Leaning Tower of Ningpo."

Dr. Milne thus describes the view from the summit:--

"The entire city and suburbs lay beneath us; the valley of Ningpo, with
its hamlets and villages, hills and rivers, on every side; and away in
the distance, on the one hand chains of lofty mountains, the sea, with
all its islands, on the other." Dr. Milne asserts that Ningpo is 10,000
years old, and that the pagoda was raised antecedent to the city being
built. He concludes by explaining the object of the Chinese in raising
these monuments.

[Illustration: PAGODA--NINGPO.]

The view from the summit is remarkably fine, and the ruinous condition
of the pagoda almost warrants the supposition of its being nearly as
ancient as Dr. Milne asserts. I made a drawing of it, and we then
proceeded to the joss-house, which is considered as the handsomest in
the Celestial empire. No part of the building was visible from the
street, and we stopped at an unpretending door where we dismounted from
our vehicles. A Bhuddist priest, clothed in grey and his head shaved,
ushered us through a long gallery into the court-yard of the temple. To
describe this building accurately would be impossible. It was gilt and
carved from floor to ceiling. The porch was supported by pillars of
stone beautifully carved with figures of griffins and snakes. In the
court-yard were two lions carved out of a purple marble, and in the
middle of the yard was an immense brazen ram highly ornamented with
hieroglyphics and allegorical designs. As for the temple itself, it was
so vast, so intricate, and so various in its designs and gildings, that
I can only say picture to yourself a building composed entirely of
carving, coloured porcelain, and gilding, and then you may have a faint
idea of it. I attempted to make a drawing of it, but before I had
obtained much more than the outline, it was time to recross the river.
We dined and passed the evening with Mr. Mackenzie as before. The next
morning I walked to the Chinese cemetery with my gun in my hand, and
shot a few snipe and wood pigeons, and after breakfast we crossed the
river to pay a visit to the shops of Ningpo. The streets of the city are
narrow, but superior to any that we had yet seen. The principal streets
are ornamented with stone arches, and the huge painted boards used by
the Chinese for advertisements give them a very gay appearance. We first
entered into a furniture warehouse, some 300 yards in length, and filled
with Chinese bedsteads carved and gilt in a very splendid manner. These
bedsteads consist of moveable frames about twelve feet square, and
within them are disposed couches, chairs, tables, and the requisites for
the toilet, besides a writing desk, so that a bedstead in China contains
all the furniture of the room. Some of these were valued at five and six
hundred dollars, but were very highly ornamented and of exquisite

A hat shop was the next visited. Its interior would have been considered
splendid even in Regent Street. A long highly polished counter with a
top of cane-work, was loaded with the hats and caps of Mandarins of
every class, and the display was very tempting to those who wanted them.
We then passed five minutes in a porcelain warehouse; from the warehouse
we went to a toy-shop, and being by this time pretty well encumbered
with mandarins' hats and caps, gongs, and a variety of other articles
which we did not want, at the same time making the discovery that our
purses were not encumbered with dollars as they were when we set forth,
we thought it advisable to leave off shopping for the day.

The next day we visited the Hall of Confucius, which was not worth
seeing, nor could we discover to what use it was dedicated, so we turned
from it and went off to see a Chinese play. As we proceeded to the
theatre we were surprised to hear a lad singing "Jim along Josey," we
turned round and found it was a real pig tail who was singing, and we
inquired where he learnt the air. We found that he had served on board
one of our vessels during the Chinese war, so we hired the young traitor
as a cicerone during our stay at Ningpo, and ordered him to follow us to
the theatre, which as usual was a temple or joss-house.





We found it crowded with Chinese, and the actors were performing on a
raised platform. Our entrance caused a great sensation, and for a short
time the performance was unnoticed by the audience. Our beaver hats
quite puzzled them, for we were in plain clothes; even the actors
indulged in a stare, and for a short time we were "better than a play."
The Chinese acting has been often described: all I can say is, that so
far it was like real life that all the actors were speaking at one time,
and it was impossible to hear what they said, even if the gongs had not
kept up a continual hammering, which effectually drowned the voices. At
all events they were well off in the property line, being all very
showily dressed. Fireworks were at intervals exploded, and occasionally
a tumbler would perform some feat, but I felt little interest in the
performance, and kept my eyes on the gallery containing the ladies,
among whom I saw one or two very pretty faces.

The wall round Ningpo is built wide enough for a carriage drive. It has
embrasures, but no guns were mounted. By ascending some steps near to
the town gate we found ourselves on the top of the wall, and walked half
round the town on the parapet. It was very extensive, and, as far as the
eye could reach, the plain was studded with country houses of a slate

I forgot to mention that while here we visited a sect of Chinese nuns or
female devotees. They were assembled in a large room, at one end of
which was an image of the god Fo. Each nun was seated at a small table
on which was a reading stand and a book of prayers. They were all
reading, and at the same time beating a hollow painted piece of wood:
the latter duty was, we were informed, to keep up the attention of the
god. What with them all gabbling at once, and the tapping noise made
with the wood, god Fo appeared more likely to have his attention
distracted than otherwise. However, it was of no consequence, as Fo was
one of that description of gods mentioned in the Bible, among whose
attributes we find, "Ears have they, but they hear not."

We remained here a week, and I was much interested with what I saw; but
so much has already been written about the Chinese, that I wish to
confine myself to what may be considered unbroken ground. As the time
fixed for our departure approached, we determined to go to Chinghae
overland, in chairs. Taking a farewell of our kind and hospitable host,
Mr. Mackenzie, we each took a chair, and took our departure. The road
was interesting, being at one time through tea plantations, and at
another through paddy fields. Our bearers were strong muscular fellows,
and thought little of carrying us twenty-five miles. We passed crowds of
Chinamen irrigating the land, and working in the paddy fields. In some
instances they favoured us with a salute of yells and stones; and as we
approached Chinghae, the unwashed vented their feelings in some very
unpleasant ways. In the town we were followed by a mob; and by the time
we had reached the quay, and procured a boat to take us off to the ship,
the whole town had turned out. Tapping one or two of the most officious
with the bamboo oars, we managed to shove the boat off, and pulled on

We sailed for Chusan the same evening, but this time I unfortunately was
attacked by one of the prevailing diseases of the country, and was
confined to my hammock. We revisited Amoy, and then shaped our course
for Hong Kong. On our arrival, we found no ship there but the Castor,
the admiral and fleet being employed on the coast of Borneo, subduing
the pirates in Maludu Bay. The ship being again about to start for the
northward, I was considered too unwell to remain in her, and was sent on
board the Minden hospital ship, to live or to die, as it might please

The Minden hospital ship is a fine 74; and as all the guns, masts, and
stores, had been landed at the time that she was selected for the duty,
there was great accommodation on board of her; but great as it was,
unfortunately there was not sufficient to meet the demands upon it in
this unhealthy climate. A description of her internal arrangement may
not be uninteresting. The quarter-deck and poop was set apart for the
convalescents; but the heat of the sun was so overpowering, that it was
not until late in the afternoon that they could breathe the purer
atmosphere. Long confinement below had left them pale and wan, and their
unsteady gait proved how much they had suffered in their constitution,
and how narrowly they had escaped the grave. To some this escape had
been beneficial, as their constant perusal of the Bible established;
others, if they even had during their illness alarms about their future
state, had already dismissed them from their thoughts, and were
impatiently awaiting their return to health to return to past folly and
vice. The main deck was allotted to the medical and other officers
belonging to the ship, the seamen who composed the ship's company, and
also on this deck were located the seamen who had been discharged cured,
and who then waited for the arrival of their ships, which were absent
from Hong Kong. On this deck, abaft all, was the inspector's cabin, and
adjoining it the mess-room of the assistant-surgeons, who, like all
their class, rendered callous by time and habit to their dangerous and
painful duty, thought only of driving away the memory of the daily
mortality to which they were witnesses by jovial living and mirth.
Indeed nothing could be a more harassing scene than that of the lower
deck, where the patients were located. Under any circumstances an
hospital is a depressing and afflicting sight, even with all the
advantages of clean well-regulated wards, attentive nurses, and pure
ventilation. Imagine then the feelings of a sick wretch, stretched on a
canvass cot, who is first hoisted up the ship's side, and then lowered
down a dark hatchway (filled with anxiety and forebodings as to his ever
leaving the vessel alive) to the scene of misery which I am about to
describe--the lower deck of the Minden hospital ship.

This lower deck has on each side of it three rows of iron bedsteads, for
the most part filled with the dead and dying; an intolerable stench,
arising from putrefaction, which it is impossible by any means to get
rid of, salutes his descent; and to this is added the groans of
lingering sufferers. He may chance, God help him, to be lowered down at
the very hour of the inspecting surgeon's visits. The latter is seated
by a bed, having probably just performed, or in the act of performing,
an operation. The goodly array of instruments meets his eye, and he
wonders, as they are displayed, what these several instruments of
torture can be applied to; the groans of the patient fall upon his ear,
and his nerves are so shattered and debilitated by disease, that the
blood curdles to his heart. The inspector writes the particulars of the
case on a printed form, while the dressers are passing bandages round
the fainting patient. As soon as he is out of the cot which lowered him
down, the new arrival is washed, and clothed in hospital linen, ready to
be put into a bed. Not unfrequently he has to wait till room can be made
for him, by removing the corpse of the last occupant, just deceased. He
is then placed on it, a coarse sheet is thrown over him, and he is left
to await the inspector's visit, which, as that officer has all his
former patients first to prescribe for, may perhaps be not for an hour
or two, or more. At last he is visited, prescribed for, a can of
rice-water is placed at the head of his bed, and he is left to his own
thoughts, if the groans of those around him, and the horror that he
feels at his situation, will permit him to reach them. If he can do so,
they must be any thing but agreeable; and a clever medical man told me
that this admission into the hospital, and the scene which the patient
was introduced to, was quite sufficient, acting upon a mind unnerved by
disease, to produce fever. Excepting that the hospital was too crowded,
which indeed could not be prevented, there was, however, every
arrangement for the comfort of the patients which could be made under
such a climate. No one was to blame--the hospital for the military was
building, and until it was ready for the reception of the patients, the
men of both services were received on board of the Minden. But if the
day is so trying, who can describe the horrors of the night? The
atmosphere becomes still more foul and pestilential, from the partially
closed port-holes, and from the indifference of the nurses to the
necessary cleanliness required. The whole becomes alive with cockroaches
and other vermin, creeping over the patients; and the mosquitoes prey
upon the unfortunate sufferer, or drive him mad with their unceasing
humming preparatory to their attacks. Add these new trials to the groans
of the dying, which, during my residence on board, never ceased, and at
night were more awful and painfully distinct. The nurses were all men,
obtained from the scum of the sea-ports, for no others would volunteer
for the duty--a set of brutes indifferent to the sufferings of others.
As long as they were, during the day, superintended and watched by the
officers, they did their duty, but at night the neglect was most
shameful. In fact, these wretches composed themselves to sleep instead
of watching. Patients may in vain call, in a feeble voice, for
water--the only answer is a snore. On one occasion, having listened to
the call of a poor fellow for more than an hour, and each time in a
weaker voice, for drink, I was obliged to get up myself to wake the
nurse, that the man might not die of thirst.[2]

    [Footnote 2: These rascally nurses have all been discharged.
    When enlisted as nurses in England, they signed for three
    years' service. When their time was expired, they applied to
    Admiral Cochrane for their discharge. After some demur their
    request was complied with; but their conduct had been so
    disgraceful, that, as it was not in the agreement, they were
    refused a passage home in a man-of-war. I met some of them
    ashore at Hong Kong, looking in vain for employment, and at a
    distance of 20,000 miles from their own country. The
    retribution was just.]

My cabin, for all the officers were separated from the men, commanded
the whole view of the lower deck, and I was compelled to be witness of
scenes of the most frightful description. An English sailor had been
hung for murder, in consequence of his accomplice, who was by far the
most criminal of the two, having turned queen's evidence. This latter
soon afterwards was brought on board the Minden, having been attacked
with the fever, and never was there such an evidence of the racking of a
bad conscience. In his ravings he shrieked for mercy, and then would
blaspheme in the most awful manner. At one moment the spectre of his
dead comrade would be invoked by him, requesting it to depart, or
desiring those around him to take it away. At others, the murdered man
was standing at his bed-side, and he would attempt to run, that he might
flee from the vision. Thus was he haunted, and thus did he disturb all
around him till his very last hour, when he died in an extreme of agony,
physical and mental. What a relief it was when this poor wretch was at
last silent!

Almost every day there was to be seen a Roman Catholic priest
administering the last unction to some disciple of his faith, some Irish
soldier or sailor, whose hour was come. On these occasions the
amputation table was his altar, and a brass flat candlestick the only
ornament. He never failed to be at his post every day, and was a good
old man. At the same time that the old priest was officiating by the
side of one bed, the chaplain of the ship would be attending the last
moments of some other victim. On these occasions all would be silent on
the deck, even the groans were stifled and checked for the time, and
nothing would be heard but the muttered prayer of the Catholic priest,
or the last, and often futile, attempts of the clergyman of our own
creed to extract some sign of faith and hope from the fast-sinking and
almost senseless patient.

    "He dies, and makes no sign! O God, forgive him!"

At times the uproar on the deck would be appalling. Some powerful man in
the strength of delirium would rise from his bed, and, bursting from
some half-dozen of the nurses, would rush through the tiers of beds
roaring like a bull, and dealing blows right and left upon the
unfortunate sick men who fell in his way. Then there would be general
chase after him, until, overpowered by additional help, he was brought
back to his bed and confined by force. An hour or two afterwards, the
nurses who watched him would quit the side of the pallet; a sheet would
be thrown over it; no other communication was necessary to tell me that
the storm had been succeeded by a calm, and that life's fitful fever was

At the forepart of the hospital deck is a bath room; adjoining to that
is a small dark cabin, with no other furniture than a long white-washed
board, laid upon two tressels, with hooks fixed to the carlines of the
deck. Above these the dead bodies are removed: immediately after their
decease a _post mortem_ examination is made by the assistant surgeon, a
report of which is sent into the inspector. A port-hole has a wooden
shoot or slide fixed to it, by which the bodies are ejected into the
boat waiting to convey them for interment.

The church service is read every morning on the hospital deck, and
during the performance the strictest attention was paid by the patients.
When convalescent I enjoyed the privilege of walking on the poop with
the others who had been spared, and truly grateful was I for my
recovery. Such scenes as I have described could not but have the effect
upon me: I hope that I left the hospital a wiser and a better man.

At last the time came when I was pronounced by the doctors to be quite
cured, and at liberty to leave the ship. I hardly need say that I did so
with alacrity. I had always before this considered Hong Kong as a most
disgusting place; but now that I had been so long cooped up with disease
and death, it appeared to me as a paradise. I had made one or two
acquaintances during my former visits, and now found their kind offers
too welcome to refuse them. Having nothing to do, and not being even
obliged to present myself on board of the Mind en, I enjoyed myself
excessively in journeys and excursions to the other side of the island.
My acquaintances were the officers of the 42d regiment, who were
remarkably kind and intelligent men, and during my stay I was a great
deal in their society. We one day made up a party to visit Pirate's Bay,
a spot on the Chinese main, about twelve miles from Hong Kong. Starting
early, we took our guns and the requisites for a pic-nic. When we
arrived at the spot, we hired the only respectable house in the place,
left a native to make the necessary arrangements for our dinner, and
then started on a cruise to view the country. We shot at any thing that
came in our way, and by noon our game-bag contained a curious medley of
ducks, paroquets, swallows, and water rats. By this time the sun became
so overpowering that we returned to the house which had been hired for
our accommodation. Here we dined, and returned to Hong Kong well pleased
with our trip. The roads at Hong Kong, though not particularly good,
have been made at great expence. Large rocks have been cut through to
afford communication, and the quantity of rivulets running down from the
mountains, have rendered it necessary to build innumerable bridges.
There were but few good horses on the island; but I managed to procure a
tolerable one, and in the evening would ride out by "Happy Valley," and
return by dark, the only exercise which the heat of the climate would
permit, and which was necessary to restore me to health. Society is in a
queer state here, as may be imagined when I state, that the shipowner
won't associate with the small merchant, and the latter will not deign
to acknowledge a man who keeps a store. Under these circumstances, the
army and navy keep aloof, and associate with no class. There were very
few ladies at Hong Kong at this time, and of what class they were
composed of may be imagined, when I state that a shopkeeper's sister was
the belle of the place, and received all the homage of the marriageable
men of Hong Kong. Hospitality to strangers is as yet unknown, and a
letter of introduction is only good for one tiffin, or more rarely one
dinner. I made several excursions in the country, but did not find any
thing worth narrating, or describing with the pencil.

[Illustration: TANKA BOAT WOMEN.]

It is here worthy of remark, that there is every prospect of all the
enormous expense which has been bestowed upon this island being totally
thrown away, and that those who have speculated will lose all their
money; in fact, that in a few years Hong Kong will be totally deserted,
and all the money expended upon it will be lost. To explain this I must
mention a few facts, not probably known to my readers.

When, many years ago, the trade with foreigners was first permitted by
the Chinese government, Canton was selected as the port from which it
should be carried on. The Chinese government had two reasons for making
this selection: their first was, their dislike and jealousy of
foreigners induced them to select a port at the very confines of the
empire where the communication with them should take place, so that by
no chance the foreigners should obtain any thing like a footing in or
knowledge of their country; the second reason was, that by so doing they
obtained, at the expence of the foreigners, a very considerable inland
revenue from the tea trade. Canton is situated at least 500 miles from
those provinces in which the tea is grown, and the transit to Canton is
over a very mountainous range, at the passes of which tolls are levied
by the government, which are now said to amount annually to seven
millions. The assertion, therefore, of the Chinese government that they
do not care about the trade is very false, for they have derived a great
revenue from it.

The opening of the more northern ports, which was obtained by the war
with China, has already made a great difference, and every year will
make a greater. Shang-hai, one of the ports opened, and the farthest to
the northward, is situated on the confines of the great tea country, and
vessels going there to take in their cargoes avoid all the duties of
transit, and procure the tea in a much better condition. The merchants
of Canton, moreover, who traffic in tea, are all of them for the most
part people of the province of Shang-hai, who resort to Canton to look
after their interests, but now that the port of Shang-hai is opened,
their merchants are returning to their own country, the English
merchants are settling at Shang-hai, and the vessels are going there to
load with tea direct. Already a large portion of the traffic has left
Canton and gone to Shang-hai, and it is but natural to suppose, that in
a few years the tea trade will be carried on altogether from that port,
as the expence of transit over the mountains and the duties levied will
be avoided, as well as the advantage gained of having the tea in a much
better condition when shipped on board. How the Chinese government will
act when it finds that it loses the great revenue arising from the trade
being carried on at Canton remains to be seen, but it will, probably,
succumb to another war, if such is considered necessary. It will be a
curious subject of interest to watch the fall of Hong Kong, of Macao,
and also of Canton itself, with its turbulent population, which must,
when the trade is withdrawn, fall into insignificance.

The great error of the last war was, our selection of such an unhealthy
and barren island as Hong Kong as our _pied-à-terre_ in China, when we
might have had Chusan, or, indeed, any other place which we might have
insisted upon. We thought that Chusan was unhealthy because we barracked
our soldiers in the swamps, and consequently lost many of the men, when,
as it is a most healthy and delightful climate, had the barracks been
built on the hills, we probably should not have lost a man. Even now it
is not too late. The Chinese dislike our propinquity to their coast at
Hong Kong, and the last expedition will have the effect of increasing
this dislike. I think, with very little difficulty, the Chinese
government would now exchange Chusan for Hong Kong, if it were only to
keep such unpleasant barbarians, as the English have proved to be, at a
more respectable distance. If we had possession of Chusan, the trade
would come to our ports. The Chinese junks would come to us loaded with
tea, and take our goods in return. The trade would then be really thrown
open, which at present it is not.

[Illustration: MAN-OF-WAR JUNK.]

Murders and robberies were of daily, or, rather, nightly occurrence at
Hong Kong, the offenders being Chinese, who are the most daring robbers
perhaps in the world.

[Illustration: TRADING JUNKS.]

I must now detail the events of a cruise of the Samarang during the time
that I was in the Iris, and I avail myself of the private journal of one
of my friends.

May 9th, sailed from Hong Kong to Batan, to complete the survey of the
Bashee group. On the 20th we left Batan to run to Ibyat, about twenty
miles from the former island, and although a high table land, it is low
when compared with Batan. I never saw an island less inviting in
appearance than Ibyat. We landed at the foot of a precipice, nearly
perpendicular, and ascended to the summit by means of rough ladders,
placed upright against large masses of rock; on either side of which
were gaping chasms, the very sight of which were sufficient to unnerve
us. This plan was not only the best for landing on this strange island,
but, as the natives informed us, was almost the only one where a landing
could be effected without great danger. It was near sunset when we
landed; the boats returned to the ship, leaving us to partake of the
hospitality of the padres from Batan, who had taken a passage in the
ship, as they had some spiritual business to transact on this island.
About 8 P. M., we arrived at the village of San Raphael, where we slept
in a house set apart for the use of the padres. This village is situated
in the centre of the island, built in a valley and on eminences which
surround it. The most commanding position is occupied by the church and
mission house, both of which are much larger, although built of the same
materials, and on the same plan, as the houses of the natives. There was
but one room in the mission house, which was scantily furnished with
some heavy wooden chairs, and some cane settees for bed places; however,
thanks to the kindness of the padres, we contrived to make ourselves
very comfortable. There are four villages in the island, San Raphael,
Santa Maria, Santa Lucia, and Santa Rosa; each consisting of about forty
houses, containing about 300 people; so that the population may be
taken, at a rough guess, at about 1200. The natives profess the Roman
Catholic religion, and appear to be very sincere in their devotion.
Divine service is performed morning and evening, at which time the boys
and girls of the village walk to the church in two lines, chanting a
hymn to the Virgin Mary. Each line is headed by the youngest of either
sex, bearing a cross. The boys wore nothing but the middle cloth, and
the girls were almost as scantily clothed; the only garment being a
skirt or petticoat, not larger than a moderate sized
pocket-handkerchief. During two days our friends, the padres, were fully
occupied with the important ceremonies of marriage and baptism. Many of
the parties joined in matrimony were mere children. They all had, on
this important occasion, some addition to their general costume. The
bridegroom, for instance, wore a shirt; some of them had actually a pair
of trousers. The bride had an additional and large petticoat, and an
embroidered handkerchief. They were not at all bashful--there was no
blushing--no tears, and, on the contrary, marriage appeared to be
considered as an excellent joke, and the laughing and flirtation were
carried on to the church door. The padres appeared to be almost
worshipped by the poor natives, who, on their arrival and departure,
respectfully saluted their hands. But their great affection was shown in
a more satisfactory and substantial manner, by the continual supply of
goats, pigs, fowls, vegetables, and fruit, which were liberally supplied
during our stay. I forgot to say that the marriage certificates were of
a very primitive kind; they consisted of a laurel leaf, in which were
rudely inscribed the names of the bride and bridegroom. At length,
having finished our survey, we bid farewell to our hospitable
entertainers, and on the 27th made sail for St. Domingo.

We remained two days at St. Domingo, and then weighed and steered to the
northward. On the 3d of June we landed on the island of Samazana, near
the south point of Formosa. The inhabitants of Samazana are Chinese,
although they pay no tribute to the emperor. This island was first
inhabited, about twenty years since, by a party of Chinese sailors, who
were thrown on shore in a tempest. They afterwards returned to Amoy,
where, having persuaded several families to join them, they returned to
Samazana, and colonised it. The fertility of this island has richly
repaid them for their labour. The village contains about 100 people, who
are located in about ten or fifteen houses. Paddy, sugar-cane, and yams
are grown in abundance, and ground nuts cover nearly one third of the
island. These Chinese settlers keep up a trade with Amoy, from whence
they obtain what they require, in exchange for the productions of their
island. We found these people very civil and obliging, but excessively
dirty in their persons and apparel.

About seven o'clock in the evening, while we were dining on the beach,
an earthquake shook the island, the glasses jingled together, and all
our party were in involuntary see-saw motion, like the Chinese figures.
This lasted about ten seconds. Several of us, who had never before
experienced the sensation, were much relieved when the shock was over,
as it created a suffocating sensation. During the evening there were
several other shocks, but none of them equal to the first in violence.
We remained all night on the island, to ascertain the latitude by the

On the following morning we returned on board, when we were informed
that the ship had struck on a reef on the preceding evening, at 7 P. M.
The lead was thrown overboard, but no soundings were obtained, proving,
beyond doubt, that the concussion had been communicated to the vessel.
She was about four miles off the land at the time, and many would not
then be convinced that it was an earthquake; although I believe it has
been satisfactorily proved that the shock has been felt by a vessel
which has been out of sight of any land.

On the 6th of June sighted one of the Madjicosima islands. The master in
the second cutter left the ship, with a week's provisions, to survey the
island, while we made sail for our former anchorage at Pa-tchu-san, to
obtain water.

On the 8th of June we arrived at Pa-tchu-san, where we were received by
our friends, the chiefs, who appeared delighted to see us again. We
learnt through our interpreter that a French frigate had left Loo-choo
for Corea two months before--twenty-seven of their countrymen, chiefly
missionaries, having been murdered by the Coreans. It would appear that
the French missionaries, exceeding their vocation, had wished to make
some alterations in the Corean form of government, but their attempts
not meeting the approbation of those in power, they fell a sacrifice to
their good intentions.

On the 9th we sailed for Sabangyat to pick up the two cutters. We
arrived there the next day, and were joined by the master. We received
every attention from the hospitable and inoffensive natives, who
supplied us with pigs, fowls, and vegetables, refusing to accept any
thing in return. We returned to Pa-tchu-san to rate our chronometers,
and sailed on the same day. The next morning we landed on Hoa-pen, an
island, but the cloudy weather prevented us from obtaining the latitude.
We landed during the day, and remained on shore the whole night to
obtain our objects, and, I may add, were most cruelly bitten by the
mosquitoes as a reward for our zeal.

When we were returning to the ship on the following morning, a large
albatross alighted on the water close to the boat. As we passed it, it
made several futile attempts to rise again on the wing. It is well known
that this bird cannot fly while under the influence of fear, and so it
appeared in this instance, for, while we were passing it, a shark
thrust its head out of the water and took the unfortunate bird down with

On the 16th we landed at Tea-qua-san, where we captured great numbers of
albatrosses, ferns, and boobies. They actually refused to move at our
approach. This island is very small and uninhabited, but it was evident
that people had landed on it lately, for in a cave we discovered several
grass beds, remains of game, and remnants of cooking. The weather
prevented us from making any observations, but it did not prevent us
from collecting several hundreds of eggs, which we took on board with
us. The next day we saw a large rock, marked doubtful on the charts. A
heavy squall, which forced us to run before it for several hours,
prevented us from ascertaining its position.

June 19. We found ourselves close to the southern extremity of Loo-choo,
the land of which is low. About noon we anchored in the harbour of
Napa-kiang, and were boarded by several mandarins, one of whom the
captain recognised as the interpreter of the Blossom, whose interesting
cruise has been published by Captain Beechey. The natives of Loo-choo
are so similar to those of the Madjicosima group that it would be
useless describing their manners and customs, the more so as we have
already the works of Captain Hall and Captain Beechey, in which they are
described most accurately. A great many junks were anchored in the inner
harbour, their enormous masts towering far above the highest buildings.

The burial ground is a large tract of land to the left of the town; the
tombs are large, and in shape resemble the last letter in the Greek
alphabet ([Greek: Omega]). Strange that it should be the last letter.
Most of them are painted white, and they have from the anchorage a very
picturesque appearance.

It was the captain's intention to have sailed on the day after our
arrival, but the weather proving unfavourable for astronomical
observations, our departure was postponed for another day, when, having
obtained sights, some live stock, and vegetables, we sailed for Guilpat,
a large island off the southern extremity of Corea. Previous to our
sailing, a French missionary called on the captain. He had been left at
Loo-choo by the Alcimene frigate, with a view of introducing
Christianity into the island, but the chiefs did not appear to relish
his sojourn there, and were anxious to get rid of him. He offered to
accompany us to Corea and Japan; at the latter place he would have been
of great service, as he was acquainted with the Japanese language.

June 24. Sighted the Goth island, a portion of the Japanese empire. The
next morning the wind had increased to a heavy gale, and we were
compelled to reduce our canvass to a close-reefed main topsail,
staysail, and trysail. We rounded Cape Goth within a quarter of a mile,
and lay to under the lee of the island, where the sea was comparatively
smooth. Towards the evening the wind subsided, and we again made sail.
Saw the island of Guilpat, and the next morning anchored off the
north-east side of it, in a channel between Guilpat and a small island.
We landed on the small island, where we were received by about sixty
natives, who did not appear well pleased at our intrusion, but knew that
resistance to us would be useless.

In the course of the day several thousand natives had assembled on the
opposite shore. By the aid of good telescopes we could discern forts and
flags. The natives informed us that Guilpat had a standing army, well
supplied with matchlocks, swords, and bows and arrows. They added that
guns are not wanted to defend the island in case of need. This assertion
we afterwards found, making allowance for a little exaggeration, to be
quite correct.

The island of Guilpat is subject to the kingdom of Corea, and is the
largest in that archipelago, being about thirty miles in length and
fifteen in breadth. It is composed of innumerable hills in every variety
of form, such as cones, saddles, and tables. Most of these hills have
forts built on their summits. From these, lights were displayed every
evening, and it was astonishing the rapidity with which these signals
were answered. I have seen the whole coast illuminated in less than five
minutes, each hill appearing like a little volcano, suddenly bursting
out. As soon as the boats had surveyed this part of the island, we
shifted the ship to where the survey was being carried on; and this we
continued to do during the whole time that we were employed in the
survey, the boats returning on board every night. Good anchorage is to
be obtained all round the island. Innumerable forts and batteries are
built along the coast; every rising ground being surmounted with one,
although the major portion of them were not supplied with guns. We found
as we coasted along that all the forts were manned, the people being
armed with matchlocks, spears, and arrows. On several occasions they
fired their matchlocks, and the salute was returned by the 6-pounders in
the barges, which never failed of putting them to flight. In the centre
of the island the land runs to an enormous height, and terminates in a
sharp peak, which, in consequence of its always having been enveloped
with clouds, we did not see till several days after our arrival.

At last we arrived at the principal town, which is situated on the
western side of the island. The town was inclosed with thick walls,
higher than we had observed before as we coasted along. These walls form
a square, each side of which is about half a mile in length, and has
batteries, parapets, and embrasures. In some of the latter there were
guns, which were occasionally fired. The whole ground before the town,
for the distance of a mile and a half, was crowded with people; but if
they waited for our landing they were disappointed, as the captain would
not land. They gave us two bullocks, which were put into the barge, as
the ship was then ten or twelve miles off. The mandarins used every
argument to persuade the captain to come on shore and visit the chiefs
of the island; but, as we had but twenty men in the boats, he refused to
trust himself among eight or ten thousand whose intentions were any
thing but satisfactory. However, he promised that he would come on shore
on the following day, but that at present he was obliged to visit a
point of the bay to obtain observations before sunset. We now prepared
to move in the barge, but found ourselves encompassed by twelve or
fourteen large boats, fastened to each other by strong ropes. We desired
them to make a passage, but they either did not, or would not,
understand us. This looked very much like treachery, and decided
measures were become requisite: the nearest boats were boarded, and the
crews made to cut their ropes. Some of them appeared inclined to resist,
but a smart stroke of the cutlass put their courage to flight. This
affair took place within twenty yards of the beach, and in sight of
10,000 people on the shore. We now being clear, pulled for the point and
secured our station. A great crowd collected around us while we were
observing; the chiefs expressed a wish, in a peremptory sort of way,
that the officers should partake of some refreshment at a short distance
from the beach. This the captain, who suspected treachery, refused, and
as we were going near to our boats, some of the natives laid violent
hands upon our men, but having received from them a few specimens of our
method of boxing, they soon quitted their hold. The Chinese interpreter
was now missing; our men in consequence procured their arms, and
landing, a strict search was made for him. He was found some little
distance on land, having been enticed away by one of the chiefs, who
was plying him with sam-schoo. On his way to return they forcibly
detained him, and were in the act of conveying him away, when the
appearance of the armed party from the boat surprised them, and they
hastened to convey their own persons out of reach of our bayonets. It
was not, however, our intention, or our policy, to commence hostilities,
only to show them that we would not be trifled with.

We returned from the point to the beach before the town, when the boat's
guns were loaded with round and grape, and pointed at the crowd
assembled, in case of any further treachery. The captain then landed
with the small armed party, all ready for resistance.

Music was now heard in the distance, and soon afterwards one of the
principal chiefs arrived, walking beneath a silken canopy. He was
attended by two young lads and a band of spearmen, who prevented the mob
from approaching too close to his highness's person. The multitude
shouted, and bowed their heads to the ground as the chief passed them;
the latter took no notice of their acclamations, but advanced in a very
stately dignified manner towards the captain, apparently keeping time to
the music, which was played by a band of men, dressed in a very
fantastic manner, on cymbals and instruments resembling our clarionets.

The negotiations were now opened: the captain expressed his surprise and
disgust at the treatment he had experienced at the point, where he had
been taking observations. The chief inquired of the captain, in reply,
why he did not shoot the offenders? and assured him that, if the next
time he was annoyed by the rabble he would shoot a few of them, it would
have a very salutary effect upon the remainder. In the course of
conversation, the captain informed the mandarin that England possessed
ships carrying 120 guns of larger caliber than those on board of the
vessel he commanded; and that altogether, including large and small,
the Queen of England had 800 vessels. This account was evidently
discredited, as it always was when such an assertion was made in those
seas, for looking round him and explaining the nature of the
communication to his followers, they all laughed. Asang, the
interpreter, then gave them a history of the Chinese war, on which he
dwelt upon our immense resources, the size and number of our vessels,
and the fire ships (steamers) which we had employed; but it was evident
that the Quelpartians did not believe one word of his assertions. Before
the conference was over, rice, cakes, and sam-schoo were handed round,
and the captain promised that he would visit the chief mandarin on the
following day. By this time, the ship had come to an anchor in the bay,
and we returned on board.

The next morning we got the ship under weigh, and brought her nearer to
the town, so that her guns could be brought to bear in case of need; but
when within 100 yards of the shore, and in the act of going about, the
ship struck with great violence against a rock. Hawsers were laid out,
and with our usual good fortune, we again got into deep water, and in
half an hour anchored off the town in a favourable position for
cannonading it. We then landed our force, consisting of all the marines,
with the drummer and fiddler, besides a party of small-arm men from the
blue jackets, all armed with muskets, bayonets, and cutlasses. The
officers, in addition to their swords, carried pistols in their belts. A
feu-de-joie was now fired, for the double purpose of creating an awe
among the crowd, and ascertaining that all the muskets were in good
order; for the mandarin resided some miles from the beach, and in case
of attack we must have fought hard to regain our boats and the
protection of the ship's guns. All being ready, the drummer and fiddler
struck up a lively air, and we commenced our march towards the
mandarin's house, the officers being accommodated with horses. After
passing over a morass, the waters of which ran sluggishly through the
arches of a bridge, connecting the suburbs with the city, we ascended a
rocky eminence, from the summit of which we had a bird's eye view of the
city, and some portion of the interior. We observed that the ramparts of
the city were lined with people. Our train was nearly a mile in length,
although the natives were walking ten or twelve abreast. Immediately
after our party came the band of the natives, dressed in russet-coloured
cloth, with shawls of the same material; after them the mandarin,
followed by above 200 soldiers, a dense mob bringing up the rear, with
flags and banners displayed.

On the inland side of us was an immense plain, bounded in the distance
by high mountains, whose tops were enveloped in clouds. This plain was
mostly cultivated; that portion of it which was barren had been
appropriated to burial grounds, several of which we passed through. At
the head of the graves were stone figures intending to represent human
beings, but Chantry had not been employed. At length, having walked
round two-thirds of the walls, we entered a defile, leading to one of
the gates of the city, but to our surprise, when we arrived at the gate,
we found that it was locked, and when the cause was demanded, we were
informed that the mandarin refused to allow the soldiers to enter, but
that the officers would be admitted alone. This communication greatly
irritated the captain, and our position caused us some uneasiness. We
were inclosed within two high walls in a narrow lane, our advance
prevented by the locked up gate, and our retreat must be through
thousands who had formed the cavalcade, and were now in our rear. Our
only passage was through this multitude, and I hardly need say that we
were convinced of the treachery of the people. However, there was no
time to be lost: the word was given, the marines formed a front line,
cocked their muskets, and then brought them to the charge bayonets; and
in this way, the crowd retreating before us, we forced our way back,
until we were again clear of the high walls which had flanked us; but
our position even then was not pleasant. We had to pass the fort and
several encampments before we could arrive at the beach, which was at
least four miles distant. However, we put a good face on the matter, and
forcibly detaining one of the mandarins upon the pretence that he must
show us the way back, with the threat, that upon the slightest
molestation on the part of his countrymen, we would blow his brains out,
we commenced our march back to the beach, our two musicians playing with
great energy, "Go to the devil and shake yourselves," which tune, struck
up upon their own suggestion, was the occasion of great laughter among
our party. At last we reached the beach without opposition, and the
mandarin, who was terribly alarmed, was released.

When we arrived, the chiefs attempted to throw all the blame upon the
head mandarin, but the captain would no longer stand their humbug. He
replied to them, that if any of their principal men had visited the ship
they would have been treated with respect and kindness, and that the
number of their armed retainers would have made no difference in their
reception; that he considered them as faithless in all their
protestations of good-will, and from thenceforth he should place no
reliance on any thing that they said; that for the future he would act
as he thought proper without consulting them, and that he would shoot
any one who attempted to interfere with him. We then got into the boats
and returned on board, where we heard that the cutter's crew had been
compelled to kill or wound some of the natives, who had come down in a
body and attacked one of the men with fire-brands. The cutter was at
anchor a short distance from the shore; on the natives approaching they
seized their muskets, but did not fire until their shipmate was in
danger of his life. Two of the natives had fallen and had been carried
off by their comrades.

[Illustration: QUELPARTIANS.




The Quelpartians cultivate paddy (from which they distil their
sam-schoo), sweet potatoes, and radishes, which, with shell-fish, form
the principal articles of food with the lower classes. Pigs, bullocks,
and fowls appeared to be plentiful, although we obtained but few. All
their towns are enclosed with a stone wall; the houses are also built of
stone, and mostly tiled with a species of red slate; but we had few
opportunities of inspecting them, as the natives kept so strict a watch
upon us, and so outnumbered us. These Coreans presented a strong
contrast to the Loo Chooans, who are so polite in their manner and kind
in their demeanour. These Quelpartians, on the contrary, are very
unprepossessing in their appearance, rude and boisterous in their
manner, and of very gross habits. They insisted upon feeling and
inspecting every article of our clothing, even baring our breasts to
ascertain their colour, and in many other respects proving themselves
very annoying. This was submitted to at first, with the hope of securing
their good-will, but afterwards very decided measures were taken to
repulse these dirty wretches, whose clothes smelt most offensively. They
have the high cheek bone and elongated eye of the Tartar, or northern
Chinese, from whom I am inclined to think they are descended. The crown
of the head is closely shaved, leaving a circle of long hair, which is
tied in a knot on the top of the skull (similar to the people of Loo
Choo), but without any ornament. Round the forehead is fastened a
bandanna, about four inches in width, resembling fine net-work in
texture, but it is made with horsehair. This is used to keep the hair in
its proper position. But the most singular part of their costume is the
hat, which is made of the same materials as the fillets: the brim is
about four feet in width, and this gives to the wearer a very grotesque
appearance. The crown in shape resembles a sugar-loaf with the top cut
off, and is very small in diameter. It admits the top-knot of hair, and
nothing more.






The lower orders generally wear a felt hat, but of the same dimensions
and shape. The hats of the mandarins are secured on their heads by
strings of amber beads and large ivory balls, and then passed under the
chin. Rank is denoted by the peacock's feather in the hat. The army are
distinguished by a tuft of red horsehair stuck in the crown. The
respectable part of the inhabitants have several garments; the outer
ones are of various colours, but the cut of them extends to all ranks. I
can liken it to nothing but a long pinbefore, slit up in front, behind,
and at the two sides. Under this they wear other garments, the texture
and quality of which, as well as quantity, depend upon the wealth of the
wearer. The sleeves of their dresses are wide and long. In spite of
their thick mustachios and long flowing beards, they have the appearance
of a very effeminate people.

One evening we saw a large turtle asleep as we pulled along the coast. A
Sandwich Islander, belonging to the gig's crew, went in the water and
turned him, holding him in this position till a rope was made fast to
him, and he was secured. At night we landed on a small island, and we
cooked our prize for our supper. I mention it as a proof of the man's

Completed our survey of the Quelpart, and stood to the N. E. The next
morning we found ourselves close to a labyrinth of islands, not laid
down on any chart. The captain named the group after the ship; and,
having in three days completed the survey of them, we stood further to
the northward and eastward. It would be tedious to detail our surveying
operations. We saw the main land of Corea, but did not go on shore; and
our provisions getting low, we bore all for the southward. After calling
again at Quelpart, where we remained a few days, we made sail for
Nangasaki, a seaport town in the empire of Japan.

We were some distance in the offing in sight of the town of Nangasaki,
when several boats, gaily decorated with flags of various shades and
colours, came out to meet the ship and accompany us to the anchorage.
One of them brought a letter, written in mingled Dutch and French,
inquiring from whence and why we came. The bearer, who was a great man
in authority, desired the captain to anchor immediately; but this the
captain refused, telling him that he should anchor his ship when and
where he pleased. We afterwards discovered that these were all
government boats, and that they were always placed as a guard upon any
ship which visited Nangasaki.

[Illustration: JAPANESE BOAT.]

The crews were all dressed alike, in chequered blue and white cotton
dresses; the boats are propelled with sculls used as oars, the men
keeping time to a monotonous song. Forts, or rather the ghosts of
forts, appeared as if raised by magic; they were easily distinguished
to be formed out of immense screens of coloured cotton, and they were
surrounded by flags and pennons. Although not effective, their effect
was good at a distance.

[Illustration: JAPANESE.




In the evening, a large assembly of the principal men visited the ship;
they wore very loose jackets and trowsers. The jackets reached no lower
than the hips, where they were confined by a silk or silver girdle,
containing two swords, one somewhat larger than the other. The handles
and sheaths of their swords were beautifully inlaid with copper, and
japanned in a very peculiar manner. They were very curious to know the
name and use of every article which excited their attention, and we were
much surprised at their display of so much theoretical knowledge. They
particularly admired the touch-hole of our guns, which are fired with
the detonating tube. The properties of the elevating screws were
minutely examined; and we were inclined to believe that many of our
visitors were artificers, sent on board to examine and make notes of
every thing new.

The Samarang was the first British man-of-war which had visited Nagasaki
since the Phaeton, in 1808. The day after our arrival the chiefs sent
off a present of pigs, fowls, and vegetables, but would receive nothing
in return.

I accompanied the master to a small island, to make observations.
Several of the great men desired us to return to the ship, but we
refused. They appeared greatly annoyed, and drew their hands across
their throats, intimating that their heads would be forfeited for their
breach of duty. However, seeing that we were determined to remain, they
made a virtue of necessity, and consoled themselves by examining our
instruments. A laughable occurrence took place while we were on shore.
The cutter was at anchor about ten yards from the beach. Two of the crew
having an argument, one of them drew his bayonet, and made a lunge at
the other in jest. Observing the natives looking on with amazement, and
fancying that the men were engaged in deadly fray, it drew our attention
to the scene. They no doubt came to the conclusion that we must be a
desperate set of fellows, and killed one another upon the slightest
provocation. At all events, this little incident appeared to have a very
good effect, as the natives, who had continually been interfering with
our observations, now left us, not wishing to be so near to people who
were so prone to mischief.

During the whole night we were surrounded by a squadron of boats, which,
with lanterns lighted, and drums beating, continually moved round the
ship, to intercept any boat leaving it. The captain, finding that the
suspicious character of the Japanese would prevent any thing like
correct surveying, which was the principal object of his visit to
Nagasaki, determined upon leaving this inhospitable shore of Japan as
soon as possible.

On Sunday the 6th, we weighed, and although the weather was
unfavourable, contrived to work out of soundings until 3 P. M., when we
made sail for Loo-Choo. At daylight we found ourselves abreast of a
burning volcano. Dense clouds of smoke were issuing from a peaked
island, about three miles distant. We soon afterwards landed upon an
adjacent island, which, to our surprise, also began to smoke.

The day was sultry, and without a breath of air, so that in a short
time, the atmosphere we were in became overpowering; at last a fresh
breeze sprang up, and the disagreeable sensation wore off. The whole of
the islands between Loo-Choo and Japan appear to be volcanic, and at
certain seasons of the year they break out in a similar manner to those
which we saw. At noon the smoke from the large volcano became lurid; but
whether this was the breaking out into flame, or from the rays of the
sun pouring down upon the smoke, it was impossible to say, as we were
then several miles off. During the whole of the following night we were
becalmed, and during that time impelled, by a strong current, towards
the volcanic island. Strange noises were heard, and large columns of
smoke ascended from the crater, which, from there not being a breath of
air, soon enveloped it from our sight. On the following day we again
landed upon an island, some little distance to the southward of the
volcano, which now vomited flames, ashes, and smoke, during the whole
day. The master landed on another of these volcanic islands, but the
showers of ashes and suffocating atmosphere soon drove him away.

The captain had finished his observations on the first island where we
landed, and we prepared to return on board. Since the morning the swell
had got up considerably, causing the surf to break heavily on the rocks.
However, the instruments were safely embarked in the boat; but while the
captain was waiting for an opportunity to get in, a surf drove the boat
on a shelving rock, and suddenly receding, her stern was dropped so low,
while her bow remained fast, that she capsized. Although the officer and
men in the boat had to swim for their lives, and were much bruised by
being dashed against the rocks by the succeeding surf, fortunately no
lives were lost; but all the instruments, to the value of about 150l.,
went to the bottom, and, no doubt, have since the accident very much
puzzled the sharks as to their use, as they often had done the natives
of those seas. A signal was hoisted on the summit of the island for the
ship to send boats to assist, and, on their arrival, the gig was baled
out, and by sunset we were again on board.

August 18th.--Exchanged numbers with her Majesty's ship Royalist, which
was anchored in Napa Kiang harbour (Loo-Choo). At 3 P. M., we anchored
alongside of her, impatiently expecting letters by her, and we were not
a little depressed at being disappointed. Still we had one comfort,
which was that, instead of having brought us, as we expected, three
months' provisions, to enable us to continue our survey, she had only
fourteen days' provisions for us, which was not more than sufficient to
carry us back to Hong Kong. Many and various were the surmises that this
recall and alteration of our planned employment gave us; the most
prevailing one was that our orders from England were at Hong Kong.
Others supposed that the ship would be hove down, and subsequently
condemned; but the rejoicing was universal at the idea that there would
be some speedy end to our hardships and vexations.

A day or two after our arrival the captain and senior officers landed,
to partake of a dinner given by one of the principal mandarins. They
were well plied with soup, fish, fowls, and sam-schoo, being attended on
by minor mandarins. After dinner they were escorted through the town,
accompanied by a large concourse of natives, who were kept by the police
at a respectful distance. One of the multitude forced his way to join
the captain's party, but was forcibly ejected, and preparations made to
bamboo him, when, to the captain's surprise, he discovered that the
unfortunate culprit was our greatest friend and ally during our visit to
the Madjicosima islands. He had been christened Beaufort by our
officers, in consequence of his accurate knowledge of all the shoals,
bays, deeps, &c. A word from the captain released him, and to the
astonishment of the mob, the captain and officers shook him cordially by
the hand, and made him walk in their company during the remainder of the
day. We did not find out why Beaufort left Pa-tchsu-san, where he
appeared to be one of the principal chiefs; while at Loo-Choo he
appeared to have no rank whatever. August 21st.--Sailed for Loo-Choo,
the Royalist in Company. After looking in at Pa-tschu-san, we made all
sail for Hong Kong; but arriving off the island of Botel Tobago, we were
annoyed with light airs and calms, varied with squalls and heavy rain.
For several days we were at the mercy of the current, until, at length,
we sighted Batan, and steered towards it. The wind still continuing
light, the captain went in the gig, which was my boat, on board of the
Royalist; and we soon left the Samarang far behind. We landed about
three o'clock, and were received by the padre, the governor and his lady
being at San Carlos. The commander of the Royalist and two of his
officers landed with us, and were much pleased with the hospitality of
the old priest. In the course of the evening the governor and his lady
returned from San Carlos; we adjourned to his house, where we passed
the evening. Several dances were performed by the native women; but we
did not admire them--they shuffled with their feet, and threw their
bodies into anything but graceful postures. At midnight we sat down to
an excellent supper, and then returned on board of the Royalist. The
following morning the ship was about three miles from the anchorage.
Bidding adieu to our hosts, we pulled on board, and made sail for Hong

September 8th.--It being calm, the ship's company were permitted to
bathe. In a minute all those who could swim were in the water, playing
about in every direction round the ship, and enjoying the luxury. While
this continued, the man at the mast-head reported a shark close at
hand. The word to come in quickly was given by the first lieutenant and
all the officers. It required no second call--every one knew why, and
swam to the ropes, which were thrown out in every direction. It was
touch and go, as the saying is--one of the marines, who was last, was
actually touched by the shark, who made at him; but before he could
turn to bite, the fellow had jerked himself up out of his reach. It was
very fortunate that the man at the mast-head kept so good a look-out,
for generally they are more occupied with the gambols of the bathers
than looking out for sharks. As it was, many of the swimmers were so
unnerved that it was with difficulty they could get out of the danger.
After the men were on board again, the great object was to have revenge
upon the animal who had thus put an end to the enjoyment. The
shark-hook was baited with a piece of bull's hide, and the animal, who
was still working up and down alongside the ship, hoping that he would
still pick up a marine I presume, took the bait greedily, and was
hauled on board. The axe was immediately at work at his tail, which was
dismembered, and a score of knives plunged into his body, ripping him
up in all directions. His eyes were picked out with fish-hooks and
knives, and every indignity offered to him. He was then cut to pieces,
and the quivering flesh thrown into the frying-pans, and eaten with a
savage pleasure which we can imagine only to be felt by cannibals when
devouring the flesh of their enemies. Certainly, if the cannibal
nations have the same feeling towards their enemies which sailors have
against sharks, I do not wonder at their adhering to this custom, for
there was a savage delight in the eyes of every seaman in the ship as
they assisted to cut to pieces and then devour the brute who would have
devoured them. It was the madness of retaliation--an eye for an eye,
and a tooth for a tooth.

September 14th.--Arrived at Hong Kong, where we found the Castor, Vixen,
and Espiègle. The next day the Agincourt, Dædalus, Vestal, and
Wolverine, arrived from Borneo, having been engaged with the pirates of
Maludu Bay. The squadron had suffered a loss of one officer and eighteen
men killed, and about double the number wounded. This heavy loss was
occasioned by their having to cut through a large boom which the pirates
had thrown across the creek within half pistol shot of their forts. But
the official reports of Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane have already been
published, and I need not, therefore, enter into further particulars.
One incident is, perhaps, worthy of notice, as it shows the respect
invariably paid by the British officers and seamen to a brave enemy,
although a pirate. The colours from the pirates' fort had been twice
shot away, when, to the surprise of the boat squadron, a native was seen
to ascend, without regard to our fire, and nail the colours to the
flagstaff. Instead of taking aim at him, he was enthusiastically cheered
by the seamen; and, as if with one consent, the muskets were all
dropped, and the firing discontinued until he had again got down under
cover, and was safe. The boom being at length severed, the fort in a few
minutes was in our possession. Our late first lieutenant, Mr. Heard, who
had left our ship, in consequence of the treatment he received from the
captain, was wounded in this attack. Mr. Wade was the first lieutenant
who sailed from England in the Samarang, and who also left us, not being
able to put up with the treatment he received. It is singular that poor
Mr. Wade should be killed so soon after he left the ship, and that his
successor, Mr. Heard, as soon as he also left us, should have been
wounded. But these were not the only officers who had quitted the ship:
Lieutenant Inglefield, who joined the ship as assistant-surveyor, was,
like most of the other officers, soon under an arrest; and after having
had a report spread against him that he was mad, he determined to leave
the ship, and obtained his Admiralty discharge. The second master,
appointed by the Admiralty as one of the assistant-surveyors, also left
the ship, but was compelled to join again.

A court-martial was now held on board of the Castor, to inquire into the
conduct of Lieutenant Heard (our late first lieutenant), during the time
that he served under Sir Edward Belcher. The court-martial had been
demanded by Lieutenant Heard, in consequence of Sir Edward Belcher
having written a private letter to Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane, accusing
Mr. Heard of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. The whole of
the officers of the Samarang were subpoenaed, and there is no doubt
what the result of the court-martial would have been; but the court was
broken up on the plea that the charges were not _sufficiently specific_,
as neither date nor circumstances were specified. Before the court broke
up, however, they did so far justice to Lieutenant Heard, as to return
his sword, and state that there was not the slightest stain upon his
character, and that he was honourably acquitted. The reader may perhaps
ask, why the court was dissolved? It was to save the honour of the
cloth, that the court, composed of captains, came to that decision. Had
the court-martial proceeded, what would it have proved?--that a superior
officer had been guilty of slander, and had attempted by this means to
ruin a most excellent officer. The court declared that the charges were
not sufficiently specific. Surely, they were plain enough. Lieutenant
Heard was charged with conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman--a
charge sufficient to dismiss him the service, if it could have been
proved. But let us reverse this case: suppose that Lieutenant Heard had
thus slandered Sir Edward Belcher. Would the court of captains then have
discovered that the charges were not sufficiently specific? Most
certainly not. The trial would have proceeded, and the lieutenant, for
making such false charges in a private letter, would have been dismissed
with ignominy from the service.

November 1st.--Sailed from Hong Kong, after a detention of some days, in
consequence of a row between Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane and our gallant
captain; the admiral, as we understood, refusing to allow the Samarang
to leave the port until Sir Edward Belcher had apologised for his
insubordination towards him. After a detention of a few days, the
apology was forced from Sir Edward Belcher, and we were permitted to get
under weigh. Of course, I cannot exactly vouch for the correctness of
this statement, but such was the _on dit_ of the day. On the second we
experienced a heavy gale, and the Royalist, who was with us as a tender,
parted company. After a weary beat of nineteen days, we arrived at
Batan, the capital of the Bashee islands; but I have already described
this place. We remained here eight days, anxiously expecting the
Royalist, but she did not make her appearance, and we concluded that she
must have received some injury in the gale, and had borne up for
Manilla. We sailed for that place, and arrived there on the 2d of
December. Our conjectures relative to the Royalist were correct: she was
here at anchor, having crippled her foremast in the gale, so as to
render it necessary for her to bear up for this port.

[Illustration: SALT SMUGGLERS.]

We had always enjoyed ourselves at this place. During our repeated
visits we had made many acquaintances and friends, and it was with no
small pleasure that we found that we were to remain here till the first
day of the new year.

It is the custom at Manilla for the inhabitants to throw most of their
houses open on that day: any one may enter, and be sure of a hearty
welcome from the hospitable Spaniards. We anticipated great
pleasure,-and we did nothing but talk about it, as our last Christmas
Day had been a most dreary one, and we were delighted at the idea of
passing this one among hospitable and civilised people. The reader may
therefore imagine our disgust and vexation when, on the 23d, without our
having the least notice of his intention, the captain gave orders for
the anchor to be weighed, and ran the ship down to Caviti, a town about
seven miles distant. Caviti was deserted; all the inhabitants had gone
to Manilla to enjoy the holidays; not a soul remained to welcome us; but
if they had, it would have been of no good to us, as, on Christmas
morning, about two o'clock, we were almost all of us sent on shore to
take a set of magnetic observations, which were not completed until the
same hour on the following day. At the same time, to make "assurance
doubly sure" that we should have no pleasure on that day, leave was
stopped to all those remaining on board of the ship. I will not enter
further into this affair. All I shall say is, that Christmas Day, the
day of rejoicing, the day of good-will, was turned into one in which the
worst passions were roused, and in which "curses not loud but deep" were
levelled at the head of the man who, "dressed in a little brief
authority," took this opportunity of exercising the power entrusted to
him. After completing the observations, we moved further down the Bay,
and surveyed the shoals of St. Nicholas; after which we returned to
Manilla, where all gaiety had ceased.

Caviti was once a place of great importance, having been the capital of
Luzon, from whence the galleons conveyed the treasure to Spain. The
arsenal still remains, but in a very dilapidated state: we found the
artificers busily employed completing some gun-boats and small
schooners, which were intended to accompany the Esperanza, Spanish
frigate, in an expedition to an island off Borneo, where the Esperanza
had latterly sustained a defeat from the pirates who inhabited the

At Caviti lie the remains of an old Spanish galleon, one of the few
which had the good fortune to escape Commodore Anson. The whole of one
side of the vessel is gone, and she is now fast falling to pieces, but
the Spaniards look upon her with great reverence. She is a relic of
their former grandeur; and I was informed by a Spanish gentleman that
she never would be broken up. I looked upon her, if not with reverence,
at least with sympathy; and as I made a sketch of her my thoughts
naturally turned to the rise and fall of empires, and I communed with
myself as to what would be the date in which England would be in the
same position as modern Spain, and fall back upon her former glories by
way of consolation for her actual decay.

[Illustration: SPANISH GALLEON.]

On our arrival at Manilla, whether it was that the captain thought that
we might too readily console ourselves for our Christmas disappointment,
or that he had heard (which I doubt not was the case) the expressions of
disgust which had been so universal, we found that all leave was
stopped. A few of us, not relishing this confinement without just cause,
made our appearance on shore in plain clothes; for we had become
reckless. We could but be turned out of the ship and out of the service:
we longed for the first most especially, and were not alarmed at the
prospect of the second. But although the captain was very willing to
oblige us with the latter as soon as he had done with us, upon the
paying off of the ship, he was not at all inclined to enter into our
views as to the former; for he knew that he never would get another
officer to join him. He therefore took all the work he could out of us
for the present, bottling up his indignation for a future opportunity.

We visited the cigar manufactory. About three thousand women are daily
employed in making and packing up the cigars. One party selects, cleans,
and moistens the leaf; a second cuts; a third rolls; another packs them;
and thus they are passed through a variety of hands before they are
completed. The best cheroots made here are sent to the royal family, and
are called Finas. No. 3. are the next best: of these there are two
kinds--one for consumption, another for exportation. The cheroots sold
in England under the name of Government Manillas are of inferior
quality. In consequence of the failure in the preceding tobacco crop,
cheroots were very scarce during the time we were at Manilla.

There is a fine lace sold at Manilla, called Pina-work. It is made by
the women of an island bearing that name, which is close to Luzon.
Although not so fine as some of the European manufactures, it fetches
very high prices in this country. There is not sufficient made for

The night on which we went on shore contrary to orders proved to be a
festival, and the city was illuminated. There is a variety in
illuminations all over the world, as those who have been to various
countries well know. The lower classes of Manilla construct animals of
all sorts, ships, &c. out of coloured paper--very good imitations of the
reality--and these they illuminate by putting candles within them. We
had amused ourselves with looking at the variety of objects exhibited
by the various whims of the illuminating parties, when, on passing
through a street, we observed a large illuminated pig--such a beauty! He
was standing at the door of a shop, and the owner was quite proud of our
unqualified admiration. We examined him very carefully, and at last we
unfortunately discovered that he was fixed on a board with four wheels.
Wheels naturally reminded us that they were vehicles of locomotion; the
pig could move--that was certain--and we decided that, if possible, pig
must go on board of the Samarang. This was agreed to, _nem. con._, by
all parties, with the exception of the owner, who was not summoned to
the consultation, which, I grant, was an omission. A ball of twine, some
fifty fathoms long, was purchased, and stretched along the street, so as
to give us a good start in case of a rescue. We manned it with all hands
except one, who was appointed to make it fast to the pig, which he
effected with great dexterity, and without being perceived. As soon as
he rejoined us, off we set, followed by pig, who galloped and capered
down the streets in capital style, preserving his equilibrium in a most
astonishing manner.

But the owner of the pig soon discovered his loss, and gave the signal
for the chase. As we passed the gates, the soldiers joined in the
pursuit, and a large mob followed; but pig beat them all, and arrived
safely at the hotel where we resided. Of course, the owner soon came in
to claim his property; but he was so nobly remunerated for his animal,
which became ours by purchase, that he went away jingling the money, and
agreeing with us that it was an excellent joke. We placed our pig in the
centre of the table, and passed our last night at Manilla in a most
agreeable manner.

[Illustration: NATIVES OF LUZON.



We then sailed again for Caviti, which was now again inhabited. The
society is confined to the families of the civil and military officers
who are stationed there. Some of the villages in the vicinity of Caviti
are very picturesque: the bamboos planted on each side of the road meet
over head, and form shady lanes. The women at these villages were
handsomer than any I had seen at Luzon, and were dressed very
tastefully. A petticoat, reaching from the hips to between the knees and
ankles, a not too jealous boddice of light muslin, their long hair
flowing down their backs, and a neat straw hat, composed as graceful a
costume as I have ever witnessed. See two of these girls, both riding
one pony, taking eggs to Caviti, as they pass through the shady lanes,
and you cannot desire a more agreeable picture.


January 3rd.--From this day till the 20th of February we were surveying
various portions of the Phillippine group; but as there is nothing to
interest the reader, I shall pass over a dry catalogue of mostly
uninhabited islands. One of the islands was covered with cocoa-nut
trees. We found on it some Malays, who had come there on an annual
visit, and were loading their boats with the nuts. They were the rudest
of the Malay tribe we had yet seen. Every article in our possession
excited their cupidity, and they expressed their wonder and admiration
by clacking their tongues against the roofs of their mouths, and
emitting a very strange sound. A needle was valued by them at ten
cocoa-nuts, a button at five. For the value of a few shillings we filled
the ship with those highly esteemed fruit. On the 21st of February we
proceeded to Samboangan, a Spanish penal settlement at the south
extremity of Mindanao. The town, which is insignificant, is built on a
plain. Most of the houses are constructed of leaves and bamboo,
supported by stakes. The governor, however, and some of the most
respectable of the inhabitants, occupy neat little white-washed
cottages. There is a fine fort, in good condition, and mounting several
guns, which is garrisoned by about 400 Manilla troops.

The town is surrounded nearly by groves of cocoa-nut trees and bananas,
and the roads cut through them form pleasant shady walks. The plain on
which the town is built is well cultivated, and watered by a fine river.
It is bounded by a range of mountains, which separate the Spanish
possessions from the country inhabited by the warlike natives of the
interior. The people appear well-conditioned and industrious, and are
remarkably neat in their dress and persons. There are several gun boats
stationed here, which are employed to scour the coast of the pirates,
who are very numerous and formidable.

Horses can be obtained here in any quantity, but saddles and bridles are
scarce. Unfortunately, there is nothing so civilised here as an hotel,
so few vessels visiting the port. The little commerce that exists is
carried on by small schooners which run between this island and Manilla.

[Illustration: VIEW IN SAMBOANGAN.




I have mentioned that this is the penal settlement of the Spanish
colonies. The prisoners are confined within the fort, and there is none
of that awe of restraint and doubtful position which you find in a place
where half the population consists of liberated convicts. It is a
flourishing and happy little colony. Many officers of an inferior grade
reside here, holding appointments either in the fort, gaol, or the gun
boats. These people and their wives are Mestichas (or half-breed), and
it is among them and their families that some of the prettiest women in
the Asiatic archipelago may be found.

Our first object after we were on shore was to procure horses, that we
might have a view of the country, as far as prudence would admit. We
were surprised at starting to find such fine roads, lined with gardens
and cottages, embowered in groves of cocoa-nut, bananas, and bamboos.
Where the road was not shaded, arches of wood were raised to protect
passengers from the heat of the sun. The whole country was alive with
natives, dressed in every variety of colour, and sledges drawn by water
buffaloes, carrying fruit, vegetables, and Indian corn. We put our
horses to a swift canter, and passed through many villages, all in
appearance as populous, as thriving, and as happy as Samboangan. At last
we arrived at an open plain, covered with cattle, and bounded by the
mountains in the distance. We remained some time admiring and sketching;
the inhabitants showed us every kindness, and were more courteous in
their demeanour than might be expected from their isolation from the
rest of the world.

On our return, we stopped at a little shop by the road side, close to
the town. It contained fruit, grain, and tobacco; but ascertaining that
coffee and chocolate could be had here, we ordered some of the latter,
which proved to be excellent, and moderate in price. This little shop,
for want of an hotel, became our principal rendezvous during our stay

About nightfall, as we were strolling through the town, we were
attracted by the sounds of music in an adjoining street. We altered our
course accordingly, and on arrival at a large thatched house, perceived
through the open windows that it was filled with musicians and dancers.
We were immediately observed, and the owner of the house, in the most
courteous manner, and in tolerable English, requested us to enter, which
request we immediately complied with. We imagined that it was a ball,
perhaps a wedding; but what was our surprise on entering to see a table
in the middle of the room, on which was placed a dead child! It was
neatly dressed, and ornamented with flowers, looking more like a wax
doll than a corpse. The ball, we were informed, was given in honour of
its funeral. The dancing had not yet commenced, so we were in excellent
time. The master of the house was extremely polite, and requested that
we would consider ourselves at home. We took his advice, and immediately
separated, and paid our addresses to the ladies which most interested us
by their appearance. A great many of them were exceedingly pretty, and
they were dressed enchantingly. Their hair was drawn back, and collected
in a knot behind, their bosoms covered by a light muslin jacket with
short sleeves. A petticoat of many colours was sufficiently short to
disclose their naked feet, on which was a slipper of velvet, embroidered
with gold or silver lace. Two or three great gold ornaments completed
their costume. Add to this their sparkling black eyes, regular features,
and an air of naiveté--inseparable from Spanish girls, and you have some
idea of the witchery of the belles of Samboangan.

We were very soon on excellent terms, and the table with the dead child
being removed to a corner, the father and mother of the deceased opened
the ball with a slow waltz. This being concluded, we selected our
partners, and a livelier air being struck up, off we all went at a
splendid pace. The women waltzed well. The music was excellent. In the
first round all the ladies lost their slippers, which were without
heels; and in the second the pace became fearful, and the old house
shook under the active bounds and springs of some twenty or thirty

Spanish quadrilles succeeded the waltz, and then we had the country
dance. This latter is complicated, but very pretty, and, with the
assistance of our partners, in a short time we were quite _au fait_ to
its mysteries.

The music, which consisted of violins and guitars, bore up
indefatigably. About twelve o'clock we ceased dancing, and preparations
were made for supper. This was laid on the floor, clean grass mats
serving as table cloths. The contents of the dishes were of the most
novel description, and rice was the only article which I could recognise
as unmixed. The repast spread, the host requested us to place ourselves.
I followed my pretty partner's example, and came to an anchor on the
floor alongside of her. I was most assiduous in helping her to whatever
she pointed out; and, as nearly as I can recollect, the plate contained
a curious medley of rice, prawns, fowls' legs, apples, besides other
articles unknown, at least to me. I had observed a total want of knives,
forks, and spoons, but this was explained when I saw that all ate with
their fingers. Seeing no objection to this primitive plan, I was about
getting a plate for myself, when I was informed by my partner, in the
most insinuating way, that I was to consider her plate as my own. I
fully appreciated the compliment, and at once commenced, assisting her
to demolish the pile that I had collected, as I thought, for her use
alone. On looking round I found that we were not singular, and that
every couple were, like us, dipping into one dish. Never was there a
more merry and delightful supper. As soon as it was over, which was not
very soon, for I could have gone on eating a long while for the very
pleasure of meeting the pretty little fingers in the plate, we rose, the
mats and dishes were cleared away, and we resumed the dancing, and it
was at a late hour that we made our _buenas nochas_ to the fair girls of

We remained in this delightful little place for two days. Many of us
were inclined to remain there for life, if we could have escaped. We
made several excursions into the interior, and the more we saw the more
we were convinced that no place was so pretty as Samboangan.

March 3d.--Anchored in a port at Baselan, where the Spaniards had very
lately founded a colony. We found them very busy felling trees, clearing
backwood, and completing the stockade or fort. The natives of Baselan
are a courageous race, and were continually attacking the Spaniards,
occasionally with success. Two gun boats were lying off the town, but
the Spanish force is not sufficient to meet the attacks of the natives,
who continually surprise their outposts and decapitate their prisoners.
On our arrival a discharge of guns and fire-arms was kept up during the
whole night, fully proving the trouble which the Spaniards would have in
establishing and retaining their settlement here. It was a few miles
from this that the French were beaten off by the Malays or pirates, for
the terms are at Baselan synonymous.

March 5th.--Having completed the survey of this port, we made sail for
Balam-bangan. On our route we stopped at Cagayan Sooloo, where we fell
in with two piratical prahus. For reasons, not explained, these vessels
were not interfered with, although there was not the least doubt of
their occupation.

March 9.--The ship struck several times while threading her way through
a line of dangerous shoals to the eastward of Bangay; and on the same
evening we arrived at Balam-bangan.

The Royalist had been despatched about a month before to Sincapore, to
obtain provisions to enable us to survey the coast of Borneo.
Balam-bangan was the rendezvous appointed, and we expected to have found
her anchored there; but in this we were disappointed. The survey of
Balam-bangan was now commenced, and during our survey we discovered the
remains of the old English settlement. It may be as well here to
concisely narrate the history of its rise and fall. About the year 1766,
four ships, filled with troops and every thing requisite for the
formation of a colony, arrived at Balam-bangan, which was formally taken
possession of in the name of his Britannic Majesty. But unexpected
difficulties arose one after the other. The natives of Bangay, about
three miles distant, were hostile, and made repeated attacks upon them.
The soil was discovered not to be of that fertile nature which had been
represented; and unfortunately two of the ships were thrown on shore in
a gale, and every soul on board perished. These several disasters damped
their energies, and created a feeling of distrust among the settlers,
but still the original intention was not abandoned. The forts were
completed, a few houses rose, and as their comfort and security
increased, so did their hopes arise, and they worked with renewed
vigour. But their prosperous state excited the jealousy of the people of
Sooloo, which island is the emporium of the commerce between Borneo and
the other islands. The ruling powers of Sooloo considered that this
commerce must fall off if the English established themselves on an
island so well adapted for it in every respect as Balam-bangan, and they
resolved to attack the colony in its infant state. Perhaps they had
another reason, which was that they anticipated a rich booty, if
successful, and no doubt they were not disappointed. The attack was made
with an overwhelming force, and the English, although they bore
themselves bravely, could not resist it. Most of the colonists were
butchered, some few gained the ships in the harbour and sailed away to
the port from which the expedition was fitted out. Since that time no
further attempt to colonise this island has been made, nor, indeed, is
it likely that there will be, as Labuan is much more advantageously
situated in every respect.

The Royalist at last arrived: she had but few letters, but, valuable and
dear to us as letters always were, she brought intelligence that made
every heart, except one, beat with delight. Was it possible? Yes, it was
true--true! We were _ordered home_. Oh, the delight, the frantic joy,
which was diffused through the whole ship. To have witnessed the scene
we should have been considered as mad. Every one embracing one another,
shaking hands, animosities reconciled at once, all heart-burnings
forgotten: we could have hugged every thing we met--dogs, monkeys,
pigs--except the captain. All our sufferings and privations were
forgotten in the general ecstasy, and, although thousands of leagues
were still to be run before we could arrive at the desired goal, and
months must pass away, time and space were for the time annihilated,
and, in our rapture, we fancied and we spoke as if we were within reach
of our kindred and our homes. Could it be the Samarang that we were on
board of?--the same ship that we were in not one hour ago?--the silent,
melancholy vessel, now all hands laughing, screaming, huzzaing, dancing,
and polkaing up and down the deck like maniacs? And then when the
excitement was a little over, and we became more rational, Why were we
ordered home? was the first surmise. We had been sent out on a seven
years' expedition, and we had not yet been out four. The surveys were
not half finished. Was it the row that the captain had had with the
admiral, and the reports of many officers who had quitted the ship? We
made up our minds at last that it must have been upon the
representations of the admiral to the Admiralty that we had been ordered
home. There could be no other reason. We drank his health in nine times

[Illustration: ILLANOAN PIRATE.





On the 24th of March we sailed from Balam-bangan, with the intention of
making a flying survey of the coast of Borneo, as far as the island of
Labuan and the country at Sarawak, to make the best of our way to
Sincapore, at which place we hoped to arrive about the 1st of May, there
to receive our final orders and start for England. It would be tedious,
and it is not necessary, to give a description of the survey which we
afterwards made. We went over the same ground as before, and we surveyed
with a musket in one hand and a sextant in the other, for the natives
were not to be trusted. Our warlike friends at Tampassook did not much
relish our re-appearance on their coast. A Spanish slave made his escape
from them and came on board, begging a passage to any where. He had been
taken prisoner, with six or seven others, in an engagement between the
Manilla gun boats and the Illanoan pirates, and had been very cruelly
treated. We learnt from this man that the pirates of Tampassook are very
rich, and possessed a large number of fine prahus. They had also plenty
of fire-arms, but were afraid of them, preferring their own weapons.

It was here that we heard the news of the murder of our old friends
Rajah Muda and Bud-ruddeen. It appeared that they had been accused of
being privy to the attack of the English on Maludu, and supporting our
claims to the island of Labuan. Bud-ruddeen died as he had lived, a
brave man, and worthy of a better fate. On the approach of his enemies
he retired to his house with his sister and favourite wife, both of whom
insisted upon sharing his destiny. For some time he fought like a lion
against a superior force, until his servants one by one fell dead. He
then retired dangerously wounded to an inner chamber, with his wife and
sister, and, allowing his enemies to follow him till the house was
filled with them, he fired his pistol into a barrel of gunpowder, which
had been placed in readiness, and at once destroyed himself, his
friends, and his enemies. But this barbarous murder on the part of the
sultan of Borneo and his advisers was not left unpunished. Sir Thomas
Cochrane went to Bruni with his squadron, and reduced the sultan to
submission and a proper respect for the English, and those who were
friendly with them.

As we approached Labuan we found it necessary to be on the _qui vive_,
as all the natives were hostile to us, and would have cut off our
surveying parties if they had had a chance. In the bay of Gaya, we met a
brother of Bud-ruddeen. He was the Rajah of the small province of
Kalabutan. Both he and his followers burned to revenge the death of a
man so universally beloved as Rajah Muda, and offered to accompany us
with their whole force to attack the city of Bruni. They came on board
of us with fowls, eggs, and fruits. They placed little value on dollars,
preferring white linen, handkerchiefs, and bottles, to any other article
in the way of traffic. We, therefore, as we were so soon going to
England, made no ceremony of parting with our old clothes in exchange
for stock; and the next vessel that visits the river will be surprised
at the quantity of midshipmen's jackets, sailors' hats, and marines'
boots, which will be worn by the inhabitants, in addition to their own
costume. Mr. Adams, the assistant surgeon, had obtained permission to
accept the Rajah's invitation to visit the town, which was some five or
six miles up the river. He saw nothing worthy of remark except some of a
tribe of aborigines (Dusums). Their only covering consisted of large
metal rings worn round the neck and hips.


While a party were observing on shore, a short distance to the northward
of Kalabutan, they were fired at by a party of natives concealed in the
jungle. The only person who was wounded was the Spaniard, whom we had
rescued at Tampassook, who was standing by the captain. The ball passed
through his arm, and grazed his body. The arms were handed out of the
gig, which was close at hand, and the enemy retreated into the wood. The
cutter then joined, and having a three-pounder on her bows, opened fire
upon the natives, who had re-assembled.. The first two or three shots
passed over their heads, and encouraged by no injury being done to them,
they came forward dancing, yelling, drawing their knives and spears in
defiance. But a shot passing through the body of the chief set them all
off. They bore him away on their shoulders, and did not afterwards make
their appearance. After cannonading the village for an hour, and doing
them all the mischief that we could, by destroying their fortifications,
burning one and carrying off another prahu, we returned on board, and
then made sail for the island of Labuan, where we arrived on the 25th of
April, 1846. Here our surveying was completed, and we made the best of
our way to Sarawak, where we arrived on the 30th of April. We learnt all
the news of the little colony from Dr. Treecher, who came to visit us.

[Illustration: DUSUM.





We found that Mr. Brooke had been recognised by Government, and that
Captain Bethune had been testing the capability of making Labuan a coal
dépot. Poor Williamson, the interpreter, and a great friend of ours, had
been drowned some months previous, while crossing the river at night in
a small canoe, and no doubt fell a prey to the alligators. He was not
only a very amiable, but a very clever fellow, and his loss was deeply
felt by every body.

Mr. Brooke was absent from Kuchin on an expedition to the Sakarran
river, in the Phlegethon steamer, to inquire into the particulars, and
punish, if necessary, an attack upon his Dyak allies by the natives of
Sakarran. Two Sakarran chiefs, accompanied by a great many war prahus,
had paid a visit to Mr. Brooke, and had been entertained by him in his
usual hospitable manner. At their departure he loaded the chiefs with
presents, for which they appeared to be extremely grateful. As a return
for this kindness, and to prove their sincerity as allies, the principal
chief left his son, a boy of twelve years of age, with Mr. Brooke. But
notwithstanding that this boy was as a hostage, they could not resist an
opportunity of plunder, and that very evening they ascended one of the
tributary streams of the Sarawak, attacked a village, and brought off
with them twenty-seven heads of the unfortunate Dyaks. When the news
arrived, Mr. Brooke was so much enraged at their treachery, that he
almost determined upon sacrificing the boy chief, as the natives
expected; but not wishing to visit the sins of the father upon the lad,
who was innocent, and fearful that his own people would not be so
forbearing, he returned the boy to his parents. We all felt annoyed that
we had not an opportunity of bidding farewell to Mr. Brooke, and
thanking him for his kindness to us whenever he had an opportunity of
showing it. He was, indeed, beloved by every body who had the pleasure
of his acquaintance.

Sailed for Sincapore. The next night we communicated with the Julia (Mr.
Brooke's vessel). She had on board Captain Elliott, and twenty-five
sepoys[3], who were to be stationed as a garrison at Kuchin. We were
much pleased to find that Government had taken up this cause so warmly,
and that Mr. Brooke was likely to be recognised by it, after all his
individual exertions. Our passage to Sincapore proved very tedious, all
hands upon short allowance, and no grog. We touched at Barren Island,
and obtained a large quantity of sea birds' eggs, but they were mostly
rotten; but this did not prevent our making omelets of them, for we were
now with only three days' provisions on board at half allowance, and the
calm still continued. Three days we were in sight of the island, the
sails flapped idly against the masts, and not a breath disturbed the
surface of the ocean wave. We thought of the tale of the Ancient
Mariner, and there were not wanting those on board who declared that
this continued calm was a judgment upon us, not for shooting an
albatross, but for robbing the nests of the eggs.

    [Footnote 3: These sepoys were raised and _paid_ by Mr. Brooke.]

Our barges were sent to Sincapore for provisions, for famine was staring
us in the face, but that same night a breeze sprang up, and on the 20th
of May we dropped our anchor in the roads. At Sincapore we found the
Hazard, 18, whose crew suffered so much at New Zealand; and here also we
found, to our inexpressible delight, our orders for England, of which we
had begun to have some doubts. On the 14th of June arrived the Admiral,
in H. M. S. Agincourt, towed by the Spitfire steamer. As soon as he was
joined by the rest of the squadron, it was the intention of Sir T.
Cochrane to make sail for Bruni, and punish the six-fingered sultan and
his piratical advisers.

Sincapore, like all new settlements, is composed of so mixed a
community, that there is but little hospitality, and less gaiety. Every
one is waiting to ascertain what is to be his position in society, and
till then is afraid of committing himself by friendly intercourse;
moreover, every body is too busy making money. The consequence is, but
few parties are given, and a ball is so rare that it becomes the subject
of conversation for months. There are some good-looking girls at
Sincapore, but it is only at church or on parade that a stranger obtains
a glimpse of them. Prudery is at present the order of the day, and this
is carried to such an extent from non-intercourse, that at a farewell
ball given to the Cambrians, the women would only polka and waltz with
each other.

The country immediately outside the town of Sincapore is spotted with
little bungaloes, the retreat of the merchants from the monotonous
business-life which they are compelled to lead. The plantations of
nutmegs and beetle-nut which surround these country residences are very
luxuriant; and at this time the fruit was on the trees, and the odour
quite delightful. One male tree is planted for every ten females. Very
little cloves or cinnamon are grown at this settlement, but I saw some
specimens. A nutmeg tree is valued, when it once arrives to full
bearing, at a guinea a year. The Areca-palm is a very beautiful tree,
and requires but little attention: these and cocoa-nut are valued at a
dollar per year. Large quantities of sugar-cane are now grown here, and
some fine sugar-mills are built in the vicinity of the town. The roads
are kept in good repair by the convicts, and are now really very

The Chinese joss-house here is considered very fine, and I made a
drawing of it. It has some good stone carving and figures, but is very
inferior to that of Ningpo. During the time that I was drawing it was
filled with Chinese, who were very inquisitive and troublesome: the only
method I could devise for keeping them off was by filling a bowl full of
vermilion, and when their curiosity overcame their prudence, and they
came rubbing up against me, daubing their faces with the colour--this
plan, accompanied with a kick, proved effectual.

[Illustration: CONVICT.]

Sincapore being the penal settlement of India, there are a large number
of convicts here, who are chained, and work at the roads and bridges.
One night I visited the gaol, and was taken over it by an overseer. We
first visited the Chinese department. Two long benches ran along the
room, on which were stretched some thirty men. As the overseer passed he
struck each man with his rattan, and in a moment they were all sitting
up, rubbing their eyes, and looking as innocent as possible. They were
all confined for murder, and were a most rascally-looking set. From this
room we proceeded to another, fitted in the same manner, and filled with
Indians. Many of them were branded on the forehead with "Doomga," which
signifies murder; and in some cases the brand was both in Hindostanee
and English. Leaving them, we entered a small room close to the gates of
the gaol, and guarded by a sentry. In this room were confined the most
reckless characters. They were but eight in number. Parallel to the
bench ran a long iron rod, and to this they were shackled, both hands
and feet. The first man among them pointed out to me by the overseer was
a fine-looking grey-bearded Indian, of great stature, and with the eyes
of a tiger. He had been formerly a rich shipowner at Bombay; but having
been convicted of insuring his vessels to a large amount, and then
setting fire to them, his property was confiscated by the government,
and he was sentenced to work for life in chains. It is said that he has
offered a million rupees to any man who will knock off his irons. His
son carries on the business at Bombay, and it was reported that a vessel
was always lying at Sincapore ready to receive him in case he should
effect his escape; but of this there does not appear to be the slightest
chance, as he is particularly watched and guarded.

[Illustration: KLING WOMAN.]

The next culprits pointed out to us were two of the heads of the secret
society of India. So much has already been said of this extraordinary
association, that I need not discuss it here. There is, however, a
society in Sincapore of a similar nature, composed of all the lower
orders of the Chinese. It is said to amount to 15,000; and the police is
much too weak to prevent the robberies, although some check is put to
them by the presence of the military. It must not be supposed that
because there are 15,000 in the society, that there are that quantity of
robbers: such is not the case. Of course it is difficult to arrive at
the regulations of any secret society, but as far as can be collected,
they are as follows. A certain portion of the society are regular
thieves, and these in a body compel those who are inoffensive to join
the society, by threats of destruction of property, &c. If the party
joins the society, all that is expected of him is, that he will aid and
assist to prevent the capture, and give an asylum to any one of the
society who may be in danger. The richest Chinese merchants have been
compelled to join, and lend their countenance to this society, upon pain
of destruction of their property, and even assassination, if they
refuse; and as they have more than once put their threats into
execution, the merchants have not the courage to resist. Shortly after
our arrival at Sincapore, the burial of one of the chiefs of the society
took place; and such was the concourse assembled to witness the funeral,
that it was thought advisable to call out the troops, as a skirmish was
expected to take place. However, every thing passed off quietly.

The richest Chinaman at Sincapore is Whampoa: he supplies the navy with
stores, and has a thriving business. His country house is a favourite
resort of the naval officers, and he gives excellent dinners, and very
agreeable parties. His champagne is particularly approved of.

There is little or no amusement at Sincapore. During the afternoon every
body is asleep. In the cool of the evening half a dozen palanquins, and
perhaps a few gigs, may be seen driving on the parade: these proceed at
a steady pace round the grass-plot for about an hour; and this is the
only exercise taken. Fashion is very drowsy here, and only wakes up
occasionally, that she may sleep the longer afterwards. From the want of
hospitality, the evenings are passed by strangers at the hotels, playing
billiards, smoking, and drinking. The hotels are very good, in
consequence of the steamers from Bombay to Hong Kong touching here; they
are fitted up with an unusual degree of comfort; and the charges are, of
course, not very moderate. The markets are well supplied with fruit,
vegetables, and stock of all kinds. Among the fruits must be mentioned
the mangostein, which is brought from Malacca; and the pine-apples from
the island of St. John's. The opposite side of the island upon which
Sincapore is built is well wooded. A great many tigers swim over from
the main, and pits are dug for their destruction, 100 dollars being
given by government for every tiger killed.

On the 18th we received our final orders, and took our farewell of
Eastern India; but it must not be supposed that we made the best of our
passage to England. On the contrary, the captain was as anxious to
remain out as we were to get home; and we were six months and twelve
days from the time that we left Sincapore till our arrival at
Portsmouth. The fact was, that the pay and emoluments of a surveying
captain are such, that our captain felt no inclination to be paid off;
and as he never spent any money, he was laying up a nice provision for
his retirement; besides which he hoped that, upon his representations to
the Admiralty, the order for his recall would be cancelled, and that he
would find a letter to that effect at the Cape of Good Hope. His object,
therefore, was to spin out the time as much as possible, so as to allow
the answer of the Admiralty to arrive at the Cape before we did. We were
ordered to survey some shoals, the Cagardos Carahos, on our passage
home; but I believe nothing more.

On Sunday, the 22d, we anchored off a small island near to the isle of
Billaton. At two A. M. we weighed, and ten minutes afterwards the ship
struck on a shoal. All our exertions to get her off proved abortive, and
in this uncomfortable position we remained till the following Thursday,
when she again floated, after throwing overboard the guns, and landing
such stores as we could on the island. This accident and light winds
lengthened our passage to Anger (the Dutch settlement in Java) to
twenty-one days; and there we remained five days, to ascertain the rate
of our chronometers. This Dutch settlement at Anger, although slightly
fortified, might be made a place of great consequence: both outward and
homeward bound vessels touch here for water and stock; and were it
properly supported and improved by the Dutch, as it should be, it would
command a great deal of trade, and during war be of great consequence.
It is governed by a Dutch military officer, and is garrisoned with about
fifty soldiers. The country is remarkably fine here, the plains richly
cultivated and covered with cattle. The farmers complain bitterly of the
taxes imposed upon them by the Dutch, taxes so onerous that no native
has a chance of realising any profits of consequence; but this is Dutch
policy, and very unwise policy it is. We now thought that we were about
to proceed to the isle of France direct, but we were mistaken: we
weighed anchor, and proceeded to the Cocoa islands. This is a low group
of islands literally covered with cocoa-nut trees. These islands are
possessed by a Mr. Ross, formerly mate of a merchant vessel. His family
consisted of two sons and two daughters, and are the only Europeans who
reside there. We could not help thinking that the Misses Ross had very
little chance of getting husbands. The remainder of the population,
amounting to about 120 souls, are all black. They extract the oil from
the cocoa-nut, and trade with it to Java, from whence they procure the
necessary supplies. Whalers occasionally call here to obtain fresh
provisions; but the visit of a man-of-war was quite an event.

From the Cocoas we steered for the Cagardos Carahos shoals, where we
remained for more than a fortnight, surveying. There are several islands
close to these shoals, which are in the shape of a crescent. They are
very dangerous, being in the direct track of ships from China and the

Indeed, we had ocular proof of their dangerous position, for there were
seven or eight wrecks upon them, and the small islands of sand were
crowded with masts, spars, chests, interspersed with human bones
bleaching in the powerful sun. On one of the islands we discovered the
remains of the British ship Letitia, which was wrecked in September,
1845. At a short distance from the beach was the grave of the captain,
who was drowned in attempting to reach the shore with a bag of dollars.
Had he not held on so tight to the bag, he would in all probability have
been saved, as were all the rest on board of her. It certainly would be
very advisable to build a lighthouse upon these shoals; the expense
would be nothing compared to the loss of property and life which they
occasion every year. From the Cagardos Carahos we proceeded to the
Mauritius. Here we found the President, bearing the flag of Admiral
Dacres, and the Snake brig just arrived from England.

Port Louis has been too often described to be mentioned here. Behind it
rose a range of mountains, the highest of which are about 1400 feet
above the level of the sea, and completely shelter the town from the S.
E. gales, which at this period of the year blow with great violence.
Among these mountains is the famous Peter-Botte, and we looked upon it
with great interest, in consequence of the daring and successful attempt
made a few years since by some Englishmen to attain the summit of it.
Even now, although we know that it has been done, it appears to be
impossible. One of the leaders of this expedition was Lieutenant Thomas
Keppel, the brother of our favourite Captain Henry Keppel, and this
circumstance gave it more interest to us; but T. Keppel has since left
the service, and is now a Reverend, moored in a snug _Creek_, and has
quite given over climbing up Peter-Bottes. During the short time that we
remained at this delightful island, we received every kindness and
attention from the governor and his lady, and the officers of the two
regiments stationed there.

[Illustration: PORT LOUIS.





From the Mauritius we proceeded to the Cape of Good Hope. On the morning
of the 24th of September we hove in sight of the Table Mountain, but it
was not until the 26th that we cast anchor in Simon's Bay. Here we
remained for a month, waiting for the arrival of the mail from England.
At last it arrived, but not bringing us, as our captain hoped, the order
for his return to India, on the 24th of October we made sail for
England, and, calling at St. Helena and Ascension _en route_, on the
last day of the year we dropped our anchor at Spithead. We were not,
however, emancipated till the 18th day of January, on which day the ship
was paid off, for which, and all other mercies, may the Lord be




It is with diffidence that I take up my pen to offer a few remarks upon
the prospects afforded to our commerce and manufactures by the opening
of the Eastern Archipelago. Hitherto I have done little more than
narrate what I have seen, and have seldom made any attempt to express
what I have thought. However, as my thoughts have been generated from
what I have observed, whether I am correct or not in my opinions, I
shall venture to lay them before my readers.

How it is that until lately we have never taken any notice of this
immense archipelago it is difficult to say, unless we are to suppose
that, up to the present, the other portions of the inhabited globe have
been found sufficient to consume our manufactures as fast as they could
be produced. It does appear strange that an assemblage of islands,
which, large and small, amounting to about 12,000 in number, equal in
territory to any continent, and so populous, for the inhabitants,
including the more northern islands, are estimated at fifty millions,
should have hitherto been unnoticed, and, at all events, have not
attracted the attention of our government. Moreover, there are such
facilities of communication, not being compelled, as with the Chinese,
to confine ourselves to five or six ports, at which the whole trade is
centred in the hands of a monopoly, taxed with the expences of
land-carriage, port duties, and other exactions. Here, on the contrary,
from the division of the territory into so many portions, we possess all
the advantages of inland navigation, if I may use such a term, for the
straits and channels between them serve as large rivers do on the
continents to render the communication with the interior easy and
accessible. And yet, although we have had possession of the East Indies
for so many years, this archipelago has been wholly neglected. At all
events, the discovery of it, for it is really such, has come in good
time, and will give a stimulus to our manufactures, most opportune, now
that we have so much increased them, that we are in want of customers.
Still we have, almost unknown to ourselves, been advancing towards it
step by step. The taking possession of the island of Sincapore was the
first and greatest stride towards it. Had it not been that we had
founded that settlement, we probably should not have been nearer to
Borneo now, than we were fifty years ago. Sir T. Raffles conferred a
great boon upon this country, and is entitled to its gratitude for
pointing out the advantages which would accrue from this possession.
Till we had made a settlement there, we knew no more of the eastern
archipelago, than what had been obtained by our circumnavigators, or of
the produce of it, further than that Borneo was the country from which
could be obtained the orang-outang.

Latterly we have been at some trouble and expence in forcing our trade
with China, little aware that almost in the route to China we had an
opening for commerce, which, in a few years, judiciously managed, will
become by far the most lucrative of the two, and what perhaps is still
more important, may be the means of a most extended trade with China, as
we can drive the Chinese from the archipelago, and supply China from
them ourselves; but of that hereafter.

One cause, perhaps, which has prevented us from turning our attention in
this direction has been, an unwillingness to interfere with the Dutch,
who have been supposed to have been in possession of all the valuable
islands in the archipelago, and from long-standing to have a prior right
to this portion of the East; but, although the Dutch have not been idle,
and are gradually adding to their possessions, there is little chance of
our interfering with them, as there is room, and more, for the Dutch,
ourselves, and every other nation which may feel inclined to compete
with us. The possessions of the Dutch are but a mere strip in this
immense field; and, although it is true that they have settlements on
the Spice Islands, so named, yet we now know that every one of these
islands may be made spice islands, if the inhabitants are stimulated by
commerce to produce these articles of trade.

It was the settlement at Sincapore which first gave us a notion of the
trade which might be carried on with this archipelago. Every year large
fleets of prahus have come up to Sincapore laden with commodities for
barter, and have taken in exchange European goods to a certain extent;
but their chief object has been to obtain gunpowder and shot, to carry
on their piratical expeditions. In fact, they are traders when they can
only obtain what they want by exchange; but when they can obtain it by
force, they then change their character, and become pirates. But our
possession of Labuan has brought us about eight hundred miles nearer to
these people, and enables us to take more effectual steps towards the
suppression of piracy than we have hitherto done; for this we may lay
down as an axiom, that we never shall reap the advantages promised to us
by commerce in this archipelago till we have most effectually put an end
to the piracy which has existed in these quarters for centuries. Before
I go on, I cannot help here observing how much this country is indebted
to Mr. Brooke for his unwearied exertions in the cause of humanity, and
his skilful arrangements. It is to be hoped, that our gratitude to him
will be in proportion, and that Her Majesty's ministers will, in their
distribution of honour and emoluments among those who have served them,
not forget to bestow some upon one who has so well served his country.

The largest, and perhaps the most important of the islands in this
archipelago, although at present the most barbarous, and the most
hostile to us, is that of Papua, or New Guinea. The inhabitants are as
well inclined to commerce as the other natives of the archipelago, and
do at present carry on a considerable trade with the Chinese, who repair
there every year in their junks, which they fill with valuable cargoes
adapted for the Chinese market. The Chinese have found the trade with
New Guinea so lucrative, that they are doing all that they can to secure
the monopoly of it, and with this view take every occasion, and do all
that they possibly can, to blacken the character of the Europeans in the
minds of the inhabitants. It is to this cause that the Papuan's
hostility to Europeans, and especially to the English, is to be
ascribed; and before we have any chance of commerce with this people, it
is necessary that the Chinese should be driven away from the island,
that they may no longer injure us by their malicious fabrications. This
will be but a just retribution for the falsehoods and lies which they
have circulated to our disadvantage. And there is another reason why we
should be little scrupulous in taking this measure, which is, that one
of their principal articles of commerce with the Papuans consists in
slaves, which are taken on board by the Chinese, and sold at Borneo, and
the adjacent islands of the archipelago, at a great profit. To obtain
these slaves, the Chinese stimulate the Papuan tribes to war with each
other, as is done for the same purpose in Africa. As this traffic is
very considerable, and we are as much bound to put down the slave trade
in the east as in the west, we have full warrant for driving their junks
away, and, by so doing, there is little doubt but that in a few years we
shall secure all the valuable trade of this island to ourselves.

Borneo is, however, the island (or continent) to which our first
attention will be particularly devoted. Up to the present we know little
of it except its coasts and a portion of its rivers; but it is here that
our principal attention must be given, as in its rivers and the island
of Sooloo the chief piratical hordes exist. We have already had some
sharp conflicts with them, and have given them some severe lessons; but
although we have given them a momentary check, and some idea of our
immense superiority, we must not imagine that two or three successful
conflicts are sufficient to put an end to a system which has been
carried on for centuries, and which is so universal, that the whole of
the present generation may be said to have been "born pirates." In fact,
we shall be compelled to subdue them wholly, to destroy them in all
their fastnesses, to leave them without a prahu in their possession, to
depose or confine their chiefs, to destroy their forts, and to carry on
a war of extermination for some years, before we shall put down the
piratical system which at present exists. It is not quite so easy a task
as may be imagined to reform so many millions of people: for it must be
remembered that it is not only at Borneo that we shall have to act, but
that we must destroy the power of the sultan of Sooloo, and other tribes
who frequent other islands, and who follow the same profession. It must
not be forgotten that one of the principal objects of these piratical
excursions is to procure slaves for sale at other ports; and perhaps
this is by far the most profitable part of the speculation. As long as
there is no security for the person, commerce must languish, and be
proportionably checked. In putting down these marauders, we are,
therefore, putting down the slave trade as with the Chinese at New
Guinea. The sooner that this is effected the better; and to do it
effectually we should have a large force at Labuan, ready to act with
decision. Let it be remembered that, with people so crafty and so cruel
as the Malays and descendants of the Arabs, lenity is misplaced, and is
ascribed to cowardice. No half measures will succeed with them. Indeed,
I have my doubts whether it will not be necessary to destroy almost
every prahu in the archipelago, and compel the natives to remain on
their territory, to cultivate or collect articles for barter, before we
shall effect our purpose; for the prahu that sails as a trader is
changed into a pirate as soon as temptation rises on her way. Indeed, if
Labuan becomes, as it will probably be, an emporium and dépôt for
European commerce, without such stringent measures a great stimulus
would be given to piracy. The peaceable trading parties, on their
return, would be laid in wait for by the piratical prahus, and the
English manufactures on board would be so tempting, and such a source of
wealth, that they would be irresistible. Neither should we be able to
afford any protection to the traders, as they would be laid in wait for
at the mouths or up the rivers, and would be captured without our
knowledge; with this difference, perhaps, that the fear of detection
would induce them to murder all the prisoners, instead of selling them
as slaves, as they do at present. Unless, therefore, the most stringent
measures are resorted to on our parts, an increase of commerce with this
archipelago would only occasion in a reciprocal ratio an increase of

The occupation of Labuan and Sarawak will, I should imagine, prove
hardly sufficient to effect the important change to be desired, _i. e._
that of the total suppression of piracy. Stations, with forts, must be
established at the mouths of the principal rivers, that we may have a
constant watch upon the movements of the occupants. In so doing we
should be only encroaching upon those who have encroached upon others:
these rivers have been taken forcible possession of by the Malays and
Arabs, who have driven away the proprietors of the soil, which are the
Dyaks, the aborigines of the island; and they have no more right to the
possessions which they hold, than their chiefs have to the high-sounding
titles which they have assumed. That in taking this step we shall
interfere with no vested rights is certain: we shall merely be
dispossessing these piratical marauders of their strongholds; and the
cause of humanity will sufficiently warrant such interference on our

In our first attempts to establish, a peaceful and secure commerce with
this archipelago, it appears to me that it would be advisable for the
Government to take some share in the venture. Ten or twelve schooners,
well manned, confided to intelligent officers, and armed with one heavy
gun, and swivels in the gunwales, should sail for Labuan, with assorted
cargoes, with the view of both trading and checking piracy. Much depends
upon the way in which the barter is first commenced, and it would be as
well that it should not be left in the hands of adventurers, whose
mercenary feelings might induce them to excite doubt or irritation in
the minds of the natives, and, by such means, do great mischief, and
impede the trade. The constant appearance of these vessels in the
archipelago, the knowledge that they were sent, not only to barter, but
also to protect the well-disposed against violence and rapine, would
soon produce most beneficial effects, and would impose confidence.
Merchant vessels which entered the trade should be empowered, by letters
of marque, to put down piracy, and should be armed in a similar way.
Although there is little doubt but that in a short time vessels would
sail from Labuan with full cargoes for Europe, still it is more than
probable that the most important part of the trade, and which would
employ most vessels, would be the colonial trade, or rather, country
trade, to the several marts in the Indus and China. There are many
productions of the archipelago which are only valued in the East, such
as bêche-de-mer, or trepang; edible birds' nests, &c. This trade we
might very soon monopolise to ourselves, and a most lucrative one it
would prove. The following are the articles to be found in more or less
quantities over the whole of the Indian archipelago:--Antimony, tin,
gold, diamonds, pearls, sapphires, ivory, gums, camphor, sago, pepper,
tortoise-shell, mother-of-pearl, skins, wax, honey, cocoa-nut oil,
coffee, rice, and coal, edible birds' nests and trepang; all the
varieties of spices, as cinnamon, cloves, nutmegs, can be grown as soon
as there is a market for them; the cotton tree nourishes; and, although
not yet worked, it is proved that there is abundance of copper and lead.
An archipelago containing such rich productions, and which we may, with
some little trouble, receive in exchange for our manufactures, becomes a
national concern, and it is the paramount duty of the Government to take
every measure to facilitate the communication with it.

The expedition of Mr. Murray to the river Coti, on the south side of
Borneo, although, from imprudence, it ended not only unsuccessfully but
tragically, fully establishes that an opening for commerce is to be
established. In this expedition Mr. Murray, by his imprudence and
unguarded conduct, brought upon himself the attack of the natives, in
which he lost his own life, and the vessels with great difficulty
escaped. Since that failure, no English vessels have attempted to trade
to the south of Borneo; but we discovered that the Macassar boats paid
the coast an occasional visit, under Dutch colours, exchanging beads and
other trumpery for rich cargoes of ivory and skins. We also discovered
that commercial negotiations with this country would not be attended
with any risk, provided that the vessels employed were well armed, and
the arrangements were so made as not to excite the jealousy and
suspicion of the natives.

European manufactures would be eagerly purchased by the natives, and
would be paid for in ivory, rough ores, or dollars. Mr. Wyndham, who has
settled at Sooloo, has already sent a vessel to trade on the south-east
side of the island, near Gonong Tabor.

So much for the southern portion of this immense archipelago. We have
still to examine the more northern. Indeed, when we look upon the map,
and see the quantity of territory with which we may eventually find the
means of trading,--the millions who, but for the jealousy of the
governments, would be glad to receive our manufactures,--we are lost in
conjecture as to what extent it might eventually be driven. In the north
we should certainly have more difficulties to contend with; and it will
require that the whole of the naval force in India should be, for a
time, devoted to this object. I believe it is as much from their utter
ignorance of our power, as from any other cause, that we have hitherto
been so unsuccessful at Japan; but the object we have in view may be
effected, provided that a certain degree of the _fortiter in re_ be
combined with the _suaviter in modo_. The Japanese now carry on a large
trade with China, and also a confined trade with the Dutch, to whom they
have allowed a factory upon a small island; but they treat the Dutch
with the greatest indignity, and the Dutch submit to it, and, in so
doing, have rendered the Europeans vile in the estimation of the
Japanese. This is the error which must be destroyed by some means or
other, even if it should be necessary to pick a quarrel with them, as we
have already done with the Chinese. At the same time that I admit the
expediency of so doing, I by no means assert that we shall be altogether

There is another point worthy of consideration, which is, that a whale
fishery dépôt might be made with great success in this archipelago, any
where to the southward and eastward; and we might recover a large
portion of that lucrative employment, which, by the means of British
seamen employed in American vessels, has been wrested from us; for
although, at the commencement, the whale fishery from the States was
carried on by Americans only, since it has so enormously increased, at
least two-thirds of the people employed in the vessels are English
seamen, who have become expert in the profession. It is much to be
lamented that the laudable exertions of Mr. Enderby and others to revive
this lucrative employment for our vessels and seamen has hitherto
failed, and that some part of our surplus capital has not been devoted
to an object so important to us as a maritime country.

I shall conclude with a reflection which I made while I was on the
coast, leaving the reader to agree with me or not, as he may be
disposed. How is it, as I have already observed, that all the colonies
founded by other nations, either languish or have been swept away,--not
all, perhaps, as yet, but the major portion of them; while every colony
founded by our little island appears to flourish, till it becomes so
powerful as not only no longer to require the nursing of the mother
country, but to throw off its dependence, and become a nation of itself?
How is it that it can so truly be said that the sun never sets upon the
English flag? It cannot be from any want of energy, or activity, or
intelligence, or judgment in other nations; for surely in these
qualifications we are not superior to the French or to the Dutch,
although we may be to the present race of Spaniards and Portuguese. Our
colonies have not been more carefully fostered than theirs: on the
contrary, they have been neglected, and, if not neglected, they have
been but too often oppressed. Why, then, should this be? Can religion
have any thing to do with this? Can it be that Providence has
imperceptibly interfered, and has decided that England shall perform
the high mission; that she has been selected, as a chosen country, to
fill the whole world with the true faith, with the pure worship of the
Almighty? Has it been for this object that we have been supported in our
maritime superiority? Has it been with this view that we have been
permitted to discomfit the navies of the whole world? May it not be that
when our naval commanders, with a due regard to propriety, have
commenced their despatches with "It has pleased the Almighty to grant us
a splendid victory," at the same time that they were trusting to the
arms of flesh and blood which have so well supported their endeavours,
and in their hearts ascribed their successes to the prowess of man,--may
it not be, I say, that the Almighty has, for his own good reasons,
fought on our side, and has given us victory upon victory, until we have
swept the seas, and made the name of England known to the uttermost
corners of the globe? Has this been granted us, and have we really been
selected as a favoured nation to spread the pure light of the gospel
over the universe? Who can say? "His ways are not our ways;" but if so,
it is a high destiny, which we must act up to at every sacrifice and at
every expence.


Spottiswoode and Shaw,

Transcriber's Notes:

The author's original (and inconsistent) spelling of place and person
names has been preserved, although in some cases, the modern equivalents
are substantially different.

In the original text, most illustration captions had terminating
punctuation but a few did not. In this transcription, terminating
punctuation has been added to those captions which did not have them in
order to remain consistent with the style most commonly seen in the

Lithographs facing pages 85, 142, 199 and 201 were missing a line
specifying the publisher "Longman & Co" which is present in the other
lithographs. It is possible that the pages used for this transcription
had been physically truncated. The original appearance of the physical
page has been preserved and the publisher line, if missing, has not been

Inconsistencies in hyphenation of words preserved. (orang outang,
orang-outang; blowpipe, blow-pipe; bow-man, bowman; daylight, day-light;
flagstaff, flag-staff; goodwill, good-will; gunshot, gun-shot;
lighthouse, light-house; parang, pa-rang; pineapples, pine-apples;
tomtoms, tom-toms; whitewashed, white-washed; pic nic, pic-nic; Nepa
palm, nepa-palms)

In the original text, the characters in abbreviations were separated by
either a half-space or a full-space. This has been standardized to a
full-space in all cases for this transcription.

Pg. 19, unusual or archaic spelling of "musquitos" retained. (musquitos,
scorpions, lizards, and centipedes)

Pg. 20, there is a reference to date 27th May. Context suggests it
should probably be 27th July. The original text has been preserved. (On
the 27th May every thing had been prepared)

Pg. 21, "wth" changed to "with". (delightful bay studded with small)

Pg. 35, unusual or archaic spelling of "phrensy" retained. (The lovers
were in a state of phrensy)

Pg. 90, unusual or archaic spelling of "segars" retained. (We had plenty
of wine and segars)

Pg. 206, word after comma begins with uppercase, most probably it
represents the start of an unspoken thought in the author's mind.
Original text retained. (and we became more rational, Why were we
ordered home?)

Pg. 211, "dépot". On Pgs. 227 and 230, it is spelled "dépôt". Original
spelling preserved in all cases.

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