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The Expedition to Borneo of H.M.S. Dido - For the Suppression of Piracy
by Henry Keppel
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THE EXPEDITION TO BORNEO

OF

H. M. S. DIDO

FOR

THE SUPPRESSION OF PIRACY:

WITH EXTRACTS FROM

THE JOURNAL OF JAMES BROOKE, ESQ., OF SARAWAK,

(Now Agent for the British Government in Borneo).



BY

CAPTAIN THE HON. HENRY KEPPEL, R. N.



NEW YORK:

HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,

82 CLIFF STREET.

1846.



TO

THE EARL OF ALBEMARLE.

My dear Father,

You could scarcely have anticipated, from my profession, the dedication of a book in testimony of my gratitude and affection; but, having had the good fortune to acquire the friendship of Mr. James Brooke, and to be intrusted by him with a narrative of his extraordinary career in that part of the world where the services of the ship I commanded were required, I am not without a hope that the accompanying pages may be found worthy of your approval, and not altogether uninteresting to my country.

I am, my dear father,

Your affectionate son,

Henry Keppel.

Droxford, January, 1846.



PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.

The visit of her majesty's ship Dido to Borneo, and her services against the pirates, occupy comparatively so small a portion of this volume, that some excuse may be necessary for its leading title.

It was only by undertaking to make the account of them part of the narrative, that I could prevail upon my friend Mr. Brooke to intrust me with his Journal for any public object; and when I looked at his novel and important position as a ruler in Borneo, and was aware how much of European curiosity was attached to it, I felt it impossible not to consent to an arrangement which should enable me to trace the remarkable career through which he had reached that elevation. I hope, therefore, to be considered as having conquered my own disinclination to be the relater of events in which I was concerned, in order to overcome the scruples which he entertained against being the author of the autobiographical sketch, embracing so singular a portion of his life, which I have extracted from the rough notes confided to me.

That his diffidence in this respect was groundless will, I trust, be apparent from these pages, however indifferently I may have executed my unusual task, during a long homeward sea-voyage; and, from the growing interest which has arisen throughout the country for intelligence on the subject of Borneo and the adjacent archipelago, I venture also to indulge the belief that the general information will be deemed no unfit adjunct to the story of personal adventure.



ADVERTISEMENT TO THE SECOND EDITION.

The text of this edition has been carefully revised, and has undergone numerous verbal alterations; some portions of it have been transposed, and a few additions have been made to the work. [In the American edition, a few pages of matter, of no interest to American readers, have been omitted from the Appendix.]



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

The Chinese War having terminated, Captain Keppel in H.M.S. Dido appointed to command of the Straits station.—Meeting with Mr. Brooke.—Sketch of his life.—Mr. Brooke's outward voyage in the Royalist.—Touch at Singapore.—Arrival off the coast of Borneo.—Land at the island of Talang Talang.—Intercourse with the Bandar Page 1

CHAPTER II.

Progress: observations.—Description of the coast of Borneo.—Account, &c. of a Pangeran.—Arrival at Sarawak.—Meetings with Rajah Muda Hassim, and conversations.—The Town.—Interchange of visits and presents.—Excursion to Dyak tribes.—Resources and commercial products 14

CHAPTER III.

Second Cruise: up the River Lunda.—The Sibnowan Dyaks.—Their Town of Tungong.—Their Physical Proportions, and Words of their Language.—Their Customs.—Skull-trophies.—Religious Ceremonies and Opinions.—Their Ornaments.—Appearance of both Sexes.—Dress and Morals.—Missionary Prospects of Conversion, and Elevation in the Social Scale.—Government, Laws, and Punishments.—Dances.—Iron Manufacturing.—Chinese Settlement.—Excursion continued 32

CHAPTER IV.

Renewed intercourse with the Rajah.—Prospects of trade.—Ourang-outang, and other animals.—The two sorts of mias.—Description of the Rajah, his suite, and Panglimas, &c.—The character of the natives.—Leave Sarawak.—Songi Dyaks.—Visit Seriff Sahib.—Buyat tongue.—Attack by pirates.—Sail for Singapore 45

CHAPTER V.

Summary of information obtained during this visit to Borneo.—Geographical and topographical observations.—Produce.—Various Dyak tribes.—Natural history.—Language.—Origin of Races.—Sail from Singapore.—Celebes.—Face of the country.—Waterfall 59

CHAPTER VI.

Dain Matara, the Bugis.—Excursions in Celebes.—Dispute with the Rajah's son-in-law.—Baboon shot.—Appearance of the country.—Visit the Resident.—Barometrical observations.—The Bugis.—Geography.—Coral reefs.—Visit the Rana of Lamatte.—Population and products of the country 72

CHAPTER VII.

Mr. Brooke's second visit to Sarawak.—The civil war.—Receives a present of a Dyak boy.—Excursion to the seat of war.—Notices of rivers, and settlements on their banks.—Deaths and burials.—Reasons for and against remaining at Sarawak.—Dyak visitors.—Council of war.—Why side with the Rajah.—Mode of constructing forts.—State of enemy's and Rajah's forces.—Conduct of the war 87

CHAPTER VIII.

Appearance of the country.—Progress of the rebel war.—Character of the Sow and Singe Dyaks.—Their belief in augury.—Ruinous effects of protracted warfare.—Cowardice and boasting of the Malays.—Council of war.—Refuse to attack the enemy's forts.—Rebels propose to treat.—The Malays oppose.—Set out to attack the rebels, but frustrated by our allies.—Assailed by the rebels.—Put them to flight.—Treat with them.—They surrender.—Intercede with the Rajah for their lives.—Renewed treachery of the Malays 100

CHAPTER IX.

Retrospect of Mr. Brooke's proceedings and prospects.—Visit of a pirate fleet.—Intercourse with the chief leaders, and other characteristic incidents.—War dances.—Use of opium.—Story of Si Tundo.—Preparations for trading.—Conditions of the cession of Sarawak 119

CHAPTER X.

Obstacles in the way of coming to a satisfactory conclusion with Muda Hassim.—The law of force and reprisal considered.—Capabilities of Sarawak.—Account of Sarebus and Sakarran pirates.—Excursion up the river.—Visit to the Singe Dyaks.—Description of Mr. Brooke's house at Sarawak.—Circumstances relating to the wreck off Borneo Proper 135

CHAPTER XI.

Return of the Royalist from Borneo Proper with intelligence of the sufferers from the wreck of the Sultana.—Effect of the arrival of the Diana on the negotiations for their release.—Outrage and oppression of Macota.—Fate of the Sultana and her crew.—Mr. Brooke made Rajah of Sarawak.—Liberation of rebel prisoners.—State of Dyak tribes.—Court of justice opened.—Dyak burials, and respect for the dead.—Malay cunning and treachery 151

CHAPTER XII.

Reflections on the new year.—The plundered village, and other wrongs.—Means for their suppression.—The new government proceeds to act.—The constitution.—Preparations for an expedition against the Sea Dyaks.—Form of a treaty.—Wreck of the Viscount Melbourne.—Administration of justice.—Difficulties and dangers.—Dyak troubles.—Views and arrangements of the Chinese.—Judicial forms.—Wrongs and sufferings of the Lundus 164

CHAPTER XIII.

Ascent of the left-hand river to the Stabad.—Remarkable cave in the Tubbang.—Diamond works at Suntah.—Return.—Infested by Dyak pirates.—A meeting of prahus, and fight.—Seriff Sahib's treatment of the Suntah Dyaks.—Expedition against the Singe.—Their invasion of the Sigos, and taking heads.—The triumph over these trophies.—Arms and modes of war.—Hot and cold council-houses.—Ceremonies in the installation of the Orang Kaya Steer Rajah.—Meeting of various Dyak tribes.—Hostile plans of Seriff Sahib, and their issue.—Resolves to proceed to Borneo Proper 183

CHAPTER XIV.

Visit of Captain Elliott.—Mr. Brooke sails for Borneo Proper.—Arrival.—Visited by leading men.—Condition of the country.—Reception by the Sultan.—Objects in view.—The different chiefs, and communications with them.—The Sultan and his Pangerans.—Objects of the visit accomplished.—Return to Sarawak.—Ceremonies of the cession.—Sail for Singapore 199

CHAPTER XV.

Captain Keppel's voyage in the Dido with Mr. Brooke to Sarawak.—Chase of three piratical prahus.—Boat expedition.—Action with the pirates, and capture of a prahu.—Arrival at Sarawak.—Mr. Brooke's reception.—Captain Keppel and his officers visit the Rajah.—The palace and the audience.—Return royal visit to the Dido.—Mr. Brooke's residence and household.—Dr. Treacher's adventure with one of the ladies of Macota's harem.—Another boat affair with the pirates, and death of their chief 213

CHAPTER XVI.

The Rajah's letter to Captain Keppel, and his reply.—Prepares for an expedition against the Sarebus pirates.—Pleasure excursion up the river.—The Chinese settlement.—The Singe mountain.—Interior of the residences.—Dyak festival of Maugut.—Relics.—Sporting.—Return to Sarawak.—The expedition against Sarebus.—State and number of the assailing force.—Ascent of the river.—Beauty of the scenery 228

CHAPTER XVII.

Ascent of the river to Paddi.—Town taken and burnt.—Narrow escape of a reinforcement of friendly Dyaks.—Night-attack by the pirates.—Conference: they submit.—Proceed against Pakoo.—Dyak treatment of dead enemies.—Destruction of Pakoo, and submission of the pirates.—Advance upon Rembas.—The town destroyed: the inhabitants yield.—Satisfactory effects of the expedition.—Death of Dr. Simpson.—Triumphant return to Sarawak 242

CHAPTER XVIII.

Captain Keppel sails for China.—Calcutta.—The Dido ordered to Borneo again.—Arrival at Sarawak.—Effect of her presence at Sarawak.—Great improvements visible.—Atrocities of the Sakarran pirates.—Mr. Brooke's letter.—Captain Sir E. Belcher's previous visit to Sarawak in the Samarang.—Coal found.—Second letter from the Rajah Muda Hassim.—Expedition against the Sakarran pirates.—Patusen destroyed.—Macota remembered, and his retreat burnt.—Further fighting, and advance.—Ludicrous midnight alarm 257

CHAPTER XIX.

Seriff Muller's town sacked.—Ascend the river in pursuit of the enemy.—Gallant exploit of Lieutenant Wade.—His death and funeral.—Interesting anecdote of him.—Ascend the Sakarran branch.—Native boats hemmed in by pirates, and their crews slaughtered to a man.—Karangan destroyed.—Captain Sir E. Belcher arrives in the Samarang's boats.—Return to Sarawak.—New expedition against Seriff Sahib and Jaffer.—Macota captured.—Flight of Seriff Sahib.—Conferences.—Seriff Jaffer deposed.—Mr. Brooke's speech in the native tongue.—End of the expedition, and return to Sarawak.—The Dido sails for England 274

CHAPTER XX.

Later portion of Mr. Brooke's Journal.—Departure of Captain Keppel, and arrival of Sir E. Belcher.—Mr. Brooke proceeds, with Muda Hassim, in the Samarang to Borneo.—Labuan examined.—Returns to Sarawak.—Visit of Lingire, a Sarebus chief.—The Dyaks of Tumma and Bandar Cassim.—Meets an assembly of Malays and Dyaks.—Arrival of Lingi, as a deputation from the Sakarran chiefs.—The Malay character.—Excursion up the country.—Miserable effects of excess in opium-smoking.—Picturesque situation of the Sow village of Ra-at.—Nawang.—Feast at Ra-at.—Returns home.—Conferences with Dyak chiefs 290

CHAPTER XXI.

Mr. Brooke's memorandum on the piracy of the Malayan Archipelago.—The measures requisite for its suppression, and for the consequent extension of British commerce in that important locality 302

CHAPTER XXII.

Arrival of Captain Bethune and Mr. Wise.—Mr. Brooke appointed her Majesty's Agent in Borneo.—Sails for Borneo Proper.—Muda Hassim's measures for the suppression of piracy.—Defied by Seriff Houseman.—Audience of the Sultan, Muda Hassim, and the Pangerans.—Visit to Labuan.—Comparative eligibility of Labuan and Balambangan for settlement.—Coal discovered in Labuan.—Mr. Brooke goes to Singapore and visits Admiral Sir T. Cochrane.—The upas-tree.—Proceeds with the Admiral to Borneo Proper.—Punishment of Pangeran Usop.—The battle of Malludu.—Seriff Houseman obliged to fly.—Visit to Balambangan.—Mr. Brooke parts with the Admiral, and goes to Borneo Proper.—An attempt of Pangeran Usop defeated.—His flight, and pursuit by Pangeran Budrudeen.—Triumphant reception of Mr. Brooke in Borneo.—Returns to Sarawak 314

CHAPTER XXIII.

Borneo, its geographical bounds and leading divisions.—British settlements in 1775.—The province of Sarawak formally ceded by the sultan in perpetuity to Mr. Brooke its present ruler.—General view of the Dyaks, the aborigines of Borneo.—The Dyaks of Sarawak, and adjoining tribes; their past oppression and present position 329

CHAPTER XXIV.

Proposed British settlement on the northwest coast of Borneo, and occupation of the island of Labuan.—Governor Crawfurd's opinions thereon 345

Concluding Observations 355

Postscript to Second Edition 359

APPENDIX.

I. Natural History. Mr. Brooke's report on the Mias 365

II. Philology 370

III. Proposed Exploring Expedition to the Asiatic Archipelago, by James Brooke, Esq. 1838 373

IV. Sketch of Borneo, or Pulo Kalamantan, by J. Hunt, Esq. 381

V. Extracts from the late Mr. Williamson's Journal 409



EXPEDITION TO BORNEO.

CHAPTER I.

The Chinese War having terminated, Captain Keppel in H.M.S. Dido appointed to command of the Straits station.—Meeting with Mr. Brooke.—Sketch of his life.—Mr. Brooke's outward voyage in the Royalist.—Touch at Singapore.—Arrival off the coast of Borneo.—Land at the island of Talang Talang.—Intercourse with the Bandar.

At the conclusion of the Chinese war, the commander-in-chief, Vice-Admiral Sir William Parker, ordered the Dido to the Malacca Straits, a station in which was included the island of Borneo; our principal duties being the protection of trade, and suppression of piracy.

In the month of March, 1843, while at Pinang, I received intimation from the governor of various daring acts of piracy having been committed near the Borneon coast on some vessels trading to Singapore. I proceeded to that port; and, while undergoing a partial refit, made the acquaintance of Mr. Brooke, who accepted my invitation to return to Sarawak in the Dido; and I could not have visited Borneo with a more agreeable or intelligent companion.

The objects of Mr. Brooke in leaving England, the reasons which induced him to settle at Sarawak, and the circumstances which have led him to take so deep an interest in promoting the civilization and improving the condition of the singular people whom he has adopted, form indeed a story very unlike the common course of events in modern times.

But before illustrating these circumstances from his own journals, it may be acceptable to say a few words respecting the individual himself, and his extraordinary career. I am indebted to a mutual friend, acquainted with him from early years, for the following brief but interesting outline of his life; and have only to premise, that Mr. Brooke is the lineal representative of Sir Robert Vyner, baronet, and lord mayor of London in the reign of Charles II.; Sir Robert had but one child, a son, Sir George Vyner, who died childless, and his estate passed to his heir-at-law, Edith, his father's eldest sister, whose lineal descendant is our friend. Sir Robert was renowned for his loyalty to his sovereign, to whom he devoted his wealth, and to whose memory he raised a monument.

"Mr. Brooke was the second, and is now the only surviving son of the late Thomas Brooke, Esq., of the civil service of the East India Company; was born on the 29th April, 1803; went out to India as a cadet, where he held advantageous situations, and distinguished himself by his gallantry in the Burmese war. He was shot through the body in an action with the Burmese, received the thanks of the government, and returned to England for the recovery of his prostrated strength. He resumed his station, but shortly afterward relinquished the service, and in search of health and amusement left Calcutta for China in 1830. In this voyage, while going up the China seas, he saw for the first time the islands of the Asiatic Archipelago—islands of vast importance and unparalleled beauty—lying neglected, and almost unknown. He inquired and read, and became convinced that Borneo and the Eastern Isles afforded an open field for enterprise and research. To carry to the Malay races, so long the terror of the European merchant-vessels, the blessings of civilization, to suppress piracy, and extirpate the slave-trade, became his humane and generous objects; and from that hour the energies of his powerful mind were devoted to this one pursuit. Often foiled, often disappointed, but animated with a perseverance and enthusiasm which defied all obstacle, he was not until 1838 enabled to set sail from England on his darling project. The intervening years had been devoted to preparation and inquiry; a year spent in the Mediterranean had tested his vessel, the Royalist, and his crew; and so completely had he studied his subject and calculated on contingencies, that the least sanguine of his friends felt as he left the shore, hazardous and unusual as the enterprise appeared to be, that he had omitted nothing to insure a successful issue. 'I go,' said he, 'to awake the spirit of slumbering philanthropy with regard to these islands; to carry Sir Stamford Raffles' views in Java over the whole archipelago. Fortune and life I give freely; and if I fail in the attempt, I shall not have lived wholly in vain.'

"In the admiration I feel for him, I may farther be permitted to add, that if any man ever possessed in himself the resources and means by which such noble designs were to be achieved, that man was James Brooke! Of the most enlarged views; truthful and generous; quick to acquire and appreciate; excelling in every manly sport and exercise; elegant and accomplished; ever accessible; and above all, prompt and determined to redress injury and relieve misfortune, he was of all others the best qualified to impress the native mind with the highest opinion of the English character. How he has succeeded, the influence he has acquired, and the benefits he has conferred, his own uncolored narrative, contained in the following pages, best declares, and impresses on the world a lasting lesson of the good that attends individual enterprise, when well directed, of which every Englishman may feel justly proud."

Such is the sketch of Mr. Brooke by one well competent to judge of that to which he bears witness. In pursuance of the mission thus eloquently and truly described, that gentleman left his native shores in the year 1838, in his yacht the Royalist schooner, of 142 tons, belonging to the Royal Yacht Squadron, with a crew of upward of twenty men. His general views were distinct and certain; but the details into which they shaped themselves have been so entirely guided by unforeseen occurrences, that it is necessary to look to his first visit to Borneo for their explanation; and in order to do so, I must refer to his private journal, which he kindly confided to me, after I had in vain tried to persuade him to take upon himself the publication of its contents, so rich in new and interesting intelligence.



EXTRACTS FROM Mr. BROOKE'S JOURNAL.

"I had for some years turned my mind to the geography of the Indian Archipelago, and cherished an ardent desire to become better acquainted with a country combining the richest natural productions with an unrivaled degree of luxuriant beauty. Circumstances for a time prevented my entering on this field for enterprise and research; and when the barriers were removed, I had many preparations to make and some difficulties to overcome.

"In an expedition conducted by government, the line of discipline is so distinctly understood, and its infringement so strictly punished, that small hazard is incurred of any inconvenience arising from such a source. With an individual, however, there is no such assurance, for he cannot appeal to the articles of war; and the ordinary legal enactments for the protection of the mariner will not enable him to effect objects so far removed beyond the scope of the laws. I was fully aware that many would go, but that few might stay; for while a voyage of discovery in prospectu possesses great attractions for the imagination, the hardship, danger, and thousand other rude realities, soon dissipate the illusion, and leave the aspirant longing for that home he should never have quitted. In like manner, seamen can be procured in abundance, but cannot be kept from desertion whenever any matter goes wrong; and the total previous ignorance of their characters and dispositions renders this more likely, as the admission of one 'black sheep' goes far to taint the entire crew.

"These considerations fully convinced me that it was necessary to form men to my purpose, and, by a line of steady and kind conduct, to raise up a personal regard for myself and attachment for the vessel, which could not be expected in ordinary cases. In pursuance of this object, I was nearly three years in preparing a crew to my mind, and gradually moulding them to consider the hardest fate or misfortune under my command as better than the ordinary service in a merchant-vessel. How far I have succeeded remains yet to be proved; but I cannot help hoping that I have raised the character of many, and have rendered all happy and contented since they have been with me; and certain am I that no men can do their duty more cheerfully or willingly than the crew of the Royalist.

"I may pass over in silence my motives for undertaking so long and arduous a voyage; and it will be sufficient to say, that I have been firmly convinced of its beneficial tendency in adding to knowledge, increasing trade, and spreading Christianity. The prospectus of the undertaking was published in the Geographical Journal, vol. viii. part iii., of 1838, when my preparations for sea were nearly complete. I had previously avoided making any public mention of my intentions, for praise before performance is disgusting; and I knew I should be exposed to prying curiosity, desirous of knowing what I did not know myself.

"On the 27th October, 1838, the Royalist left the river; and, after a succession of heavy gales, finally quitted the land on the 16th December. I may here state some farther particulars, to enable my readers to become better acquainted with her and her equipment. The Royalist, as already noticed, belonged to the Royal Yacht Squadron, which in foreign ports admits her to the same privileges as a man-of-war, and enables her to carry a white ensign. She sails fast, is conveniently fitted up, is armed with six six-pounders, a number of swivels, and small arms of all sorts, carries four boats, and provisions for four months. Her principal defect is being too sharp in the floor, which, in case of taking the ground, greatly increases the risk; but I comfort myself with the reflection that a knowledge of this will lead to redoubled precaution to prevent such a disaster. She is withal a good sea-boat, and as well calculated for the service as could be desired.

"Most of her hands had been with me for three years or upward, and the rest were highly recommended. They are, almost without exception, young, able-bodied, and active—fit in all respects for enduring hardship and privation, or the more dangerous reverse of self-indulgence, and willing to follow the fortunes of the Royalist and her commander through all the various shades of good or evil fortune which may betide. A fine, though slow passage took us to Rio Janeiro, which presents features of natural beauty rarely equaled. The weather during our stay was hot in the extreme, and very wet, which marred, in some degree, the satisfaction I should otherwise have enjoyed in wandering about this picturesque country. I passed ten days, however, very agreeably, and departed with some regret from this brief visit to America and from my friends (if they will so allow me to call them) on board H.M.S. Calliope. I must not omit to mention that, during my stay, I visited a slaver, three of which (prizes to our men-of-war) lay in the harbor. It is a most loathsome and disgusting sight. Men, women, and children—the aged and the infant—crowded into a space as confined as the pens in Smithfield, not, however, to be released by death at the close of the day, but to linger, diseased and festering, for weeks or months, and then to be discharged into perpetual and hopeless slavery. I wish I could say that our measures tended toward the abolition of this detestable traffic; but from all that I could learn and observe, I am forced to confess that the exertions made to abolish slavery are of no avail in this country, and never will be till harsher means are resorted to.

"There are points of view in which this traffic wears a more cheering aspect; for any one comparing the puny Portuguese or the bastard Brazilian with the athletic negro, cannot but allow that the ordinary changes and chances of time will place this fine country in the hands of the latter race. The negro will be fit to cultivate the soil, and will thrive beneath the tropical sun of the Brazils. The enfeebled white man grows more enfeebled and more degenerate with each succeeding generation, and languishes in a clime which nature never designed him to inhabit. The time will come when the debased and suffering negroes shall possess this fertile land, and when some share of justice shall be awarded to their cheerful tempers and ardent minds.

"Quitting Rio on the 9th, we cruised for a day or two with H.M.S. Calliope and Grecian; and on the 11th, parting company, prosecuted our voyage for the Cape of Good Hope."

The next notice runs thus:—"The aspect of Tristan d'Acunha is bold even to grandeur. The peak, towering upward of eight thousand feet above the sea, is inferior only to Teneriffe, and the precipitous cliffs overhanging the beach are a fitting base for such a mountain. I regretted not being able to examine this island for many reasons, but principally, perhaps, on account of the birds of the South Atlantic I had hoped to collect there, many of which are so often seen by voyagers, yet so little known and so vaguely described.

"On the 29th March, after being detained a fortnight [at the Cape of Good Hope] by such weather as no one could regret, we sailed again in a southeaster, and after a passage of six weeks reached Java Head.

"I had been suffering for some time under a severe indisposition, and consequently hailed the termination of our voyage with double satisfaction, for I greatly required rest and quiet—two things impossible to be had on ship-board. From Java Head we glided slowly through Prince's Strait, and coasting along the island, dropped our anchor in Anjer Roads. The scenery of this coast is extremely lovely, and comprises every feature which can heighten the picturesque; noble mountains, a lake-like sea, and deeply indented coast-line, rocks, islets, and, above all, a vegetation so luxuriant that the eye never wearies with gazing on its matchless tints. Anjer combines all these beauties, and possesses the incalculable advantage of being within a moderate ride of the refreshing coolness of the hills. We here procured water and provisions in abundance, being daily visited by crowds of canoes filled with necessaries or curiosities. Fowls, eggs, yams, cocoa-nuts, and sweet potatoes, were mixed with monkeys of various sorts, paroquets, squirrels, shells, and similar temptations on the stranger's purse or wardrobe. Great was the bartering for old clothes, handkerchiefs, and hats; and great the number of useless and noisy animals we received in exchange. Great, too, was the merriment aboard, and the excitement when the canoes first came. The transition from the monotony of a sea-life to the loquacious bustle of barter with a half-civilized people is so sudden, that the mind at once feels in a strange land, and the commonest productions proclaim the luxuriant climes of the tropics. Until this impression is made, we hardly know why we have been sailing onward for four months past, so quiet and unvarying is the daily tenor of a life aboard ship.

"1st June, Singapore.—On reaching Singapore I was most hospitably received by the kind inhabitants, and took up my abode with Mr. Scott. The quiet and repose of my present life, the gentle ride in the cool of the morning and evening drive after an early dinner, are already restoring my shattered strength, and I trust soon to be enabled to prosecute my farther undertaking. In the mean time the Royalist is undergoing a refit after her passage, and, like her owner, is daily improving in good looks.

"I could say much of Singapore, for it is the pivot of the liberal system in the Archipelago, and owes its prosperity to the enlightened measures of Sir Stamford Raffles. The situation is happily chosen, the climate healthy, the commerce unshackled, and taxation light; and these advantages have attracted the vessels of all the neighboring nations to bring their produce to this market in order to exchange it for the manufactures of England.

"The extent of the island is about 27 miles by 11 broad. The town of Singapore stands on the south side, facing the shores of Battam, and is intersected by a salt-water stream, which separates the native town from the pleasant residences of the European inhabitants; the latter stretch along the beach, and cover a space which extends to the foot of a slight eminence, on which stands the governor's house. Off the town lie the shipping of various countries, presenting a most picturesque and striking appearance. The man-of-war, the steamer, and the merchant-vessels of the civilized world, contrast with the huge, misshapen, and bedizened arks of China! The awkward prahus of the Bugis are surrounded by the light boats of the island. The semi-civilized Cochin-Chinese, with their vessels of antiquated European construction, deserve attention from this important step toward improvement; and the rude prahus of some parts of Borneo claim it from their exhibiting the early dawn of maritime adventure.

"27th July.—After various causes of delay I sailed on this day from Singapore. When I contrast my state of health at my arrival with what it now is, I may well be thankful for the improvement. Every kindness and hospitality has been shown me.

"On Saturday at noon we got under weigh with a light breeze, and stood down the Strait on our way to Borneo.

"28th.—In the morning we were well out in the China Sea, running six knots per hour, N. 3/4 E. Lines of discolored water were seen about us, and about 11 A.M. we entered a field some two miles long and 400 yards wide. The consistence of this dirty mass was that of pea-soup, which it likewise resembled in color; and I doubt not the white water of the China Sea (vide Nautical Magazine) is referable to this appearance seen in the night, as may the report of rocks, &c. The Malays on board called it 'sara,' and declared it to come from the rivers. On examination it appeared, when magnified, somewhat like a grain of barley or corn. The particles were extremely minute, soft, and, when rubbed between the fingers, emitted a strong smell like paint-oil; a potent odor arose while passing through the thick patch.

"It may not be superfluous to recount here the preparations I have made for this trip to Borneo, or my intentions when I get there. Borneo Proper, once the seat of piracy, which few vessels could approach with safety, is now under the sway of the Rajah Muda Hassim. The character given this rajah by many persons who know and have traded with him is good, and he is spoken of as generous and humane, and greatly inclined to the English. These reasons have induced me to abandon my intention of proceeding direct to Malludu Bay, and during the season of the southwest monsoon to confine myself principally to the northwest coast. Muda Hassim being at present reported to be at Sarawak, I propose, after taking a running sketch of the coast from Tanjong Api, to enter the river of that name, and proceed as far as the town.

"I believe I have availed myself of every means within my reach to render my visit agreeable to the rajah. I carry with me many presents which are reported to be to his liking; gaudy silks of Surat, scarlet cloth, stamped velvet, gunpowder, &c., beside a large quantity of confectionery and sweets, such as preserved ginger, jams, dates, syrups, and to wind up all, a huge box of China toys for his children! I have likewise taken coarse nankeen to the amount of 100l. value, as the best circulating medium in the country. Beside the above mentioned preparations, I carry letters from the government of Singapore, to state, as far as can be done, the objects of my voyage, and to caution the rajah to take every care of my safety and that of my men. The Board of Commerce have at the same time entrusted me with a letter and present to him, to thank him for his humanity to the crew of an English vessel wrecked on this coast. The story, as I had it from the parties shipwrecked, is highly creditable to his humanity. The vessel, called the Napoleon, was wrecked on the bar of Sarawak river in the northeast monsoon. The people were saved with difficulty, and remained in the jungle, where they were after a time discovered by some Malays. Muda Hassim, on receiving intelligence of this, sent down and brought them to his town, collected all that he could recover from the wreck, clothed them handsomely, and fed them well for several months, and, on an opportunity arriving, sent them back to Singapore free of expense.

"At the same time, however, that I have prepared to meet the natives as friends, I have not neglected to strengthen my crew, in case I should find them hostile. Eight stout men of the Ourang Laut, or men of the sea (Malays), have been added to the force. They are an athletic race, cheerful and willing; and though not seaman in our sense of the term, yet well calculated for this expedition. They pull a good oar, and are invaluable in saving the Europeans the exposure consequent to wooding and watering. They possess, likewise, the knowledge of the jungle and its resources, and two of them have before been to Sarawak and along the coast. Beside these, a young gentleman named Williamson accompanies me as interpreter; and I have fortunately met with a medical gentleman, Mr. Westermann, a Dane, who is surgeon for this voyage, Mr. Williams having left me at Singapore. With these arrangements I look without apprehension to the power of the Malays; and without relaxing in measures of the strictest vigilance, I shall never sleep less soundly when it comes to my turn so to do.

"August 1st.—I am, then, at length, anchored off the coast of Borneo! not under very pleasant circumstances, for the night is pitchy dark, with thunder, lightning, rain, and squalls of wind.

"2d.—Squally bad night. This morning, the clouds clearing away, was delightful, and offered for our view the majestic scenery of Borneo. At nine got under weigh, and ran in on an east-by-south course 4 1/2 or 5 miles toward Tanjong Api. Came to an anchor about five miles from the land, and dispatched the boat to take sights ashore, in order to form a base-line for triangulation. The scenery may really be called majestic. The low and wooded coast about Tanjong Api is backed by a mountain called Gunong [1] Palo, some 2000 feet in height, which slopes down behind the point and terminates in a number of hummocks, showing from a distance like islands.

"The coast, unknown, and represented to abound in shoals and reefs, is the harbor for pirates of every description. Here, every man's hand is raised against his brother man; and here sometimes the climate wars upon the excitable European, and lays many a white face and gallant heart low on the distant strand.

"3d.—Beating between Points Api and Datu. The bay, as far as we have seen, is free from danger; the beach is lined by a feathery row of beautiful casuarinas, and behind is a tangled jungle, without fine timber; game is plentiful, from the traces we saw on the sand; hogs in great numbers, troops of monkeys, and the print of an animal with cleft hoofs, either a large deer, tapir, or cow. We saw no game save a tribe of monkeys, one of which, a female, I shot, and another quite young, which we managed to capture alive. The captive, though the young of the black monkey, is grayish, with the exception of his extremities, and a stripe of black down his back and tail. Though very young, he has already taken food, and we have some hope of preserving his life.

"We witnessed, at the same time, an extraordinary and fatal leap made by one of these monkeys. Alarmed by our approach, he sprang from the summit of a high tree at the branch of one lower, and at some distance. He leaped short, and came clattering down some sixty or seventy feet amid the jungle. We were unable to penetrate to the spot on account of a deep swamp to ascertain his fate.

"A rivulet flows into the sea not far from where we landed; the water is sweet, and of that clear brown color so common in Ireland. This coast is evidently the haunt of native prahus, whether piratical or other. Prints of men's feet were numerous and fresh, and traces of huts, fires, and parts of boats, some of them ornamented after their rude fashion. A long pull of five miles closed the day.

"Sunday, 4th.—Performed divine service myself! manfully overcoming that horror which I have to the sound of my own voice before an audience. In the evening landed again more to the westward. Shore skirted by rocks; timber noble, and the forest clear of brushwood, enabling us to penetrate with ease as far as caution permitted. Traces of wild beasts numerous and recent, but none discovered. Fresh-water streams, colored as yesterday, and the trail of an alligator from one of them to the sea. This dark forest, where the trees shoot up straight and tall, and are succeeded by generation after generation varying in stature, but struggling upward, strikes the imagination with pictures trite yet true. Here the hoary sage of a hundred years lies moldering beneath your foot, and there the young sapling shoots beneath the parent shade, and grows in form and fashion like the parent stem. The towering few, with heads raised above the general mass, can scarce be seen through the foliage of those beneath; but here and there the touch of time has cast his withering hand upon their leafy brow, and decay has begun his work upon the gigantic and unbending trunk. How trite and yet how true! It was thus I meditated in my walk. The foot of European, I said, has never touched where my foot now presses—seldom the native wanders here. Here I indeed behold nature fresh from the bosom of creation, unchanged by man, and stamped with the same impress she originally bore! Here I behold God's design when He formed this tropical land, and left its culture and improvement to the agency of man. The Creator's gift as yet neglected by the creature; and yet the time may be confidently looked for when the axe shall level the forest, and the plow turn the ground.

"6th.—Made sail this morning, and stood in for an island called Talang Talang, anchoring about eight miles distant, and sending a boat to take correct observations for a base-line.

"Our party found Malays of Sarawak on the island, who were civil to them, and offered to conduct us up to-morrow, if we wanted their assistance. The pirates, both Illanuns and Dyaks, have been gone from the bay but a few days; the former seaward, the latter up the rivers.

"7th.—Morning calm. In the afternoon got under weigh, and anchored again near the island of Talang Talang; the smaller one a conical hill bearing south. The Bandar [2] of the place came off in his canoe to make us welcome. He is a young man sent by Rajah Muda Hassim to collect turtles' eggs, which abound in this vicinity, especially on the larger island. The turtles are never molested, for fear of their deserting the spot; and their eggs, to the amount of five or six thousand, are collected every morning and forwarded at intervals to Sarawak as articles of food.

"Our visitor was extremely polite, and, in common with other Asiatics, possessed the most pleasing and easy manners. He assured us of a welcome from his rajah, and, in their usual phrase, expressed himself that the rajah's heart would dilate in his bosom at the sight of us. His dress consisted of trowsers of green cloth, a dark green velvet jacket, and his sarong round his waist, thrown gracefully over two krisses, which he wore at his girdle. His attendants were poorly attired, and mostly unarmed—a proof of confidence in us, and a desire to assure us of his own friendly intentions. I treated him with sweetmeats and syrup, and of his own accord he took a glass of sherry, as did his chief attendant. On his departure he was presented with three yards of red cloth, and subsequently with a little tea and gunpowder."



CHAPTER II.

Progress: observations.—Description of the coast of Borneo.—Account, &c. of a Pangeran.—Arrival at Sarawak.—Meetings with Rajah Muda Hassim, and conversations.—The Town.—Interchange of visits and presents—Excursion to Dyak tribes.—Resources and commercial products.

I Resume Mr. Brooke's Journal, which requires no introductory remark.

"Aug. 8th.—A cloudy day, preventing us from taking our wished-for observations. I made a boat-excursion round the two islands. The north one is somewhat the larger; the southern one, running north and south, consists of two hills joined by a low and narrow neck of land. The water between these islands is deep, varying from seven to six fathoms; but between the smaller one and the main there are rocks and reefs; and though a passage may exist, it would not be advisable for a vessel to try it. These two small islands possess all the characteristic beauties of the clime. Formed of brown granite, with a speck of white sandy beach, and rising into hills covered with the noblest timber, wreathed with gigantic creepers. Cream-colored pigeons flit from tree to tree, and an eagle or two soared aloft watching their motions. Frigate-birds are numerous; and several sorts of smaller birds in the bush, difficult to get at. A small species of crocodile, or alligator, was likewise seen: but we were not fortunate enough to shoot one. The natives, when asked whether they were alligators, answered in the negative, calling them crocodiles. The tides appear to be as irregular as tides usually are in a deep bay. The rise and fall of the tide is about fifteen feet.

"9th.—After breakfast this morning took our sights, and at twelve o'clock the latitude of the smaller Talang Talang and the ship for a base-line. We yesterday took the same base-line by sound, firing alternately three guns from the vessel and three from the shore.

"10th.—A squall from the northward brought in a chopping sea in the morning. We were favored with a visit from another native party, but the chief was in every respect inferior to our first acquaintance, Bandar Dowat.

"11th Sunday.—Got under weigh early, after a night of torrents of rain. The breeze being directly out of Lundu river, I stood as near it as I could, and then bore away for Santobong, in order to reach Sarawak. From Gunong Gading the coast gradually declines, and forms two points. The first of these is Tanjong Bloungei, near which, on the right hand, runs a small river, of the same name. The next point is Tanjong Datu, which shows prominently from most parts of the bay. From Tanjong Datu the coast recedes into a bay, and again forms a low point, which I have christened Tanjong Lundu. The river Lundu disembogues itself into the bay just beyond the point of the same name; and the land on its far bank forms a bight of considerable depth. The Lundu is a barred river with but little water; though, judging from the opening, it is by no means small. Our pilots inform me at the same time, however, that within the bar there is considerable depth of water.

"From the Sungei Lundu the land rises behind a wooded beach. The first hill, which may be said to form the larboard entrance of the river, is peaked, and called Sumpudin, and near it is a barred river of the same name. This range of high land runs some distance; and near its termination is the river Tamburgan. The low coast runs into another bight; and the first opening after the termination of the high land is the mouth of the river Seboo. Then comes another river; after which the land rises into hills, gradually larger, till they terminate in a round-topped hill, which forms the starboard entrance (going in) of the Sarawak river.

"This river discharges itself at the east corner of the bay; and its locality is easily recognized by the highest peak of Santobong, which towers over its left bank, close to the entrance. A ship rounding Datu will readily perceive the high land of Santobong, showing like a large island, with another smaller island at its northern extremity. Both these, however, are attached to the main: and the northernmost point, called Tanjong Sipang, is distinguished by two peaks, like horns, one small, the other larger. Steer from Datu a direct course toward this high land, and when within a mile and a half or two miles of the shore, haul in along the land, as there is a sand nearly dry at low water on the starboard hand, stretching from the shore to the Saddle island, or Pulo Satang. The leading mark to clear this sand is to bring the hollow formed between the round hill at the right entrance of the Sarawak river and the next hill a-head, and as you approach the river's mouth, steer for a small island close to the shore, called Pulo Karra, or Monkey Island. These marks will conduct you over a shoal with 1/4 three, the least depth at high water; you will then deepen your water, and keep away for the low green point on the far side of the river, edging gradually in; and when you are some distance from the opposite low point on the port hand, cross the bar in three fathom (high water) nearly in the center of the river. You must not, however, encroach on the larboard side. The bar is narrow, and just within is 7 and 7 1/2 fathom, where we are at present anchored. The scenery is noble. On our left hand is the peak of Santobong, clothed in verdure nearly to the top; at his foot a luxuriant vegetation, fringed with the casuarina, and terminating in a beach of white sand. The right bank of the river is low, covered with pale green mangroves, with the round hill above mentioned just behind it. Santobong peak is 2050 feet, or thereabouts, by a rough trigonometrical measurement.

"12th.—Lay at anchor; took angles and observations, and shot in the evening without any success. There is a fine species of large pigeon of a gray color I was desirous of getting, but they were too cunning. Plenty of wild hogs were seen, but as shy as though they had been fired at all their lives. When the flood made, dispatched my gig for Sarawak, in order to acquaint the rajah of my arrival.

"13th.—Got under weigh, and in the second reach met our gig returning, followed by a large canoe, with a Pangeran of note to welcome us. We gave him a salute of five guns; while he, on his part, assured us of his rajah's pleasure at our arrival, and his own desire to be of service. With the Pangeran Oula Deen (or Illudeen, anglice Aladdin), came the rajah's chief writer, his shroff, a renegade Parsee, a war-captain, and some others, beside a score of followers. They made themselves much at home, ate and drank (the less scrupulous took wine), and conversed with ease and liveliness. No difference can be more marked than between the Hindoostani and the Malay. The former, though more self-possessed and polished, shows a constraint in manners and conversation, and you feel that his training has made him an artificial character. The Malay, on the contrary, concealing as well the feelings upper-most in his mind, is lively and intelligent, and his conversation is not confined to a dull routine of unmeaning compliments.

"August 13th.—The Pangeran spoke to me of some ship-captain who was notoriously cruel to his Lascars, and insolent in his language to the Malays. He was murdered by his crew, and the circumstance was related to me as though I was to approve the act! 'No Malay of Borneo (added the Pangeran) would injure a European, were he well treated, and in a manner suitable to his rank.' And I am sure such a declaration, in a limited sense, is consonant with all known principles of human nature, and the action of the passions and feelings.

"Our Pangeran was quite the gentleman, and a manly gentleman too. His dress was a black velvet jacket, trimmed with gold lace, and trowsers of green cloth, with a red sarong and kris. He was the only one of the party armed while aboard. The rest were good, quiet men, and one or two of them very intelligent. They took their leave of us to get back to the town at sunset; but the ebb making, returned and stayed until twelve at night, when the tide turned in their favor. We had some difficulty in providing beds. The Pangeran slept in my cabin, and the rest were distributed about on couches or carpets.

"August 14th.—Got under weigh with the flood, and, favored by a light breeze, proceeded up the river nearly as far as the town. From the ignorance of the pilots, however, we grounded on a rock in the middle of the river in 1 1/2 fathom water, and it took us an hour to heave the vessel off by the stern. Had the tide been falling, we should have been in a critical situation, as the rock is dry at low water; but as it was, we received no damage. Shortly after getting off, several boats with assistance came from the place, dispatched in haste by the rajah. The intention was kind, though we needed not the aid. Being dark, we dropped anchor in 5 1/2 fathom, about 1 1/2 mile from the town.

"15th.—Anchored abreast of Sarawak at seven, and saluted the rajah with twenty-one guns, which were returned with eighteen from his residence. The rajah's own brother, Pangeran Mahammed, then saluted the vessel with seven guns, which were returned. Having breakfasted, and previously intimated our intention, we pulled ashore to visit the great man. He received us in state, seated in his hall of audience, which outside is nothing but a large shed, erected on piles, but within decorated with taste. Chairs were placed on each side of the ruler, who occupied the head seat. Our party were placed on one hand; on the other sat his brother Mahammed, and Macota and some others of his principal chiefs, while immediately behind him his twelve younger brothers were seated.

"The dress of Muda Hassim was simple, but of rich material; and most of the principal men were well, and even superbly, dressed. His countenance is plain, but intelligent and highly pleasing, and his manners perfectly elegant and easy. His reception was kind, and, I am given to understand, highly flattering. We sat, however, trammeled with the formality of state, and our conversation did not extend beyond kind inquiries and professions of friendship. We were presented with tobacco rolled up in a leaf, each about a foot long, and tea was served by attendants on their knees. A band played wild and not unmusical airs during the interview, and the crowd of attendants who surrounded us were seated in respectful silence. After a visit of half an hour, we rose and took our leave.

"Sarawak is but an occasional residence of the Rajah Muda Hassim, and he is now detained here by a rebellion in the interior. On my inquiring whether the war proceeded favorably, he replied that there was no war, but merely some child's play among his subjects. From what I hear, however, from other quarters, it is more serious than he represents it; and hints have been thrown out that the rajah wishes me to stay here as a demonstration to intimidate the rebels. We shall see.

"The town consists of a collection of mud huts erected on piles, and may contain about 1500 persons. The residences of the rajah and his fourteen brothers occupy the greater part, and their followers are the great majority of the population. When they depart for Borneo (or Bruni), the remainder must be a very small population, and apparently very poor. The river affords a few fish; but there is little sign of cultivation either of rice or other grain. Fowls and goats seem the only other means of subsistence of these people. The geological features of the country are easily described. Vast masses of granite rock are scattered along the coast; for instance, Gunong Poe, Gading, Santobong, &c. &c., which have evidently at some former period been detached islands. The spaces between these granite masses is now filled in with alluvial soil, intersected in every direction with rivers and streams, and on the low alluvial bank of the Sarawak river stands this little town. The distance from the sea is about twenty-five miles, through banks of mangrove and the Nepa palm, until approaching the town, where some jungle-trees first appear. The breadth is about 100 yards, and the depth six fathoms at low water spring-tides in mid river opposite the rajah's residence. In some places below, the river is narrower, and the depths considerable, varying from three to seven fathoms. The prominent points, however, are shallow, and the rocks below the town lie on the starboard hand coming up just as the first houses appear in sight. The larboard hand should then be kept close aboard. Some other rocks are likewise reported; and in ascending the stream, though it be generally clear, a vessel with or without a pilot should have a boat a-head sounding. In the evening I went ashore suddenly to pay a visit to the rajah, in order, if possible, to break through the bonds of formality. The great man soon made his appearance, and received us very well. We talked much of the state of his country and of ours; but he was very guarded when I spoke of the Dutch. 'He had no dealings whatever (he said) with them, and never allowed their vessels to come here, and therefore could not say what they were like.' We sat in easy and unreserved converse, out of hearing of the rest of the circle. He expressed great kindness to the English nation; and begged me to tell him really which was the most powerful nation, England or Holland, or, as he significantly expressed it, which is the 'cat, and which the rat?' I assured him that England was the mouser, though in this country Holland had most territory. We took our leave after he had intimated his intention of visiting us to-morrow morning.

"16th.—We were ready to receive the rajah after breakfast; but these affairs of state are not so easily managed. There came two diplomatists on board to know, in the first place, how many guns we intended to salute with, and, in the second, whether I would go ashore in my gig, in order to fetch the chief and his brother off. The latter request I might have refused, and in a diplomatic light it was inadmissible; but I readily conceded it, because, in the first place, it was less troublesome than a refusal; and, in the next, I cared not to bandy paltry etiquets with a semi-savage; and whatever pride might whisper, I could not, as an individual traveler, refuse an acknowledgment of the supremacy of a native prince. I went accordingly. The great man came on board, and we treated him with every distinction and respect. Much barbaric state was maintained as he quitted his own residence. His sword of state with a gold scabbard, his war-shield, jewel-hilted kris, and flowing horse-tails, were separately carried by the grand officers of state. Bursts of wild music announced his exit. His fourteen brothers and principal Pangerans surrounded him, and a number (formidable on the deck of a vessel) covered the rear. He stayed two hours and a half; ate and drank, and talked with great familiarity; till the oppressive heat of the crowded cabin caused me to wish them all to another place. However, he departed at last, under a salute of twenty-one guns; and the fatigues of the day were satisfactorily brought to a close. I afterward sent the rajah the presents I had brought for him, consisting of a silk sarong, some yards of red cloth and velvet, a pocket-pistol, scissors and knives, with tea, biscuits, sweetmeats, China playthings, &c. &c. A person coming here should be provided with a few articles of small importance to satisfy the crowd of inferior chiefs. Soap, small parcels of tea, lucifers, writing-paper, a large stock of cigars, biscuits, and knives, are the best; for, without being great beggars, they seem greatly to value these trifles, even in the smallest quantity. The higher class inquired frequently for scents; and for the great men I know no present which would be more acceptable than a small pier-glass. All ranks seemed greatly pleased with those aboard; and some of the lower orders, quite ignorant of the reflection, were continually laughing, moving, sitting, and rising, to observe the corresponding effect.

"18th.—In the morning I intimated my intention of paying a visit to the Pangeran Muda Mahammed; and being apprised of his readiness to see us, I went ashore to his house. He was not, however, in the room to receive us; nor, indeed, was I much surprised at this slight, for he is a sulky-looking, ill-favored savage, with a debauched appearance, and wanting in the intelligence of his brother the rajah. I seated myself, however, and remained some time; but the delay exceeding what I considered the utmost limit of due forbearance, I expressed to the Pangeran Macota my regret that his compeer was not ready to receive me, adding that, as I was not accustomed to be kept waiting, I would return to my vessel. I spoke in the quietest tone imaginable, rose from my seat, and moved away; but the assembled Pangerans, rising likewise, assured me it was a mistake; that he was not yet dressed, and would greatly regret it himself. I repeated that when I visited the rajah, he received me in the hall. While this brief discussion passed, the culprit Muda Mahammed appeared and apologized for his remissness, assuring me that the error was his attendants', who told him I was not coming for an hour. The excuse of course passed current, though false, as excuses generally are. I vindicated my independence, not until it was necessary; and I am well aware that any endeavor of a native to commit an indirect rudeness, if met with firmness and gentleness, always recoils on his own head. The routine of the visit resembled our last—tea, cigars, complimentary conversation and departure. The Pangeran afterward sent me a present of fowls and goats, and I was right glad to have it over. Muda Mahammed is the 'own' brother to Muda Hassim, and next in rank here. As yet I had not made any request to the rajah to allow me to visit various parts of his country; but thinking the time to do so was come (the ceremonial of arrival being past), I sent Mr. Williamson, my interpreter, to express my wish to travel to some of the Malay towns and into the country of the Dyaks. The latter request I fully expected, would be evaded, and was therefore the more pleased when an answer came giving a cheerful consent to my going among the Dyaks of Lundu, and visiting the towns of Sadung, Samarahan, &c. At the same time the rajah informed me, that if I went up the river, he could not be answerable for my safety, as the rebels were not far distant, and constantly on the watch. Sarebus, another large Dyak town, he advised me not to visit, as they were inimical to his government, and a skirmish had lately taken place between them and some of his subjects.

"18th, Sunday.—Performed service. In the evening walked ashore, but the jungle was wet after rain. Every day or night since arriving it has rained, sometimes in torrents, at others in showers, and the sky has been so obscured that no observations can be obtained. The thermometer never ranges above 81 deg., and sometimes stands at 59 deg..

"At twelve at night we were surprised by a boat sent from the rajah, to say he was taken ill, and wanted some physic. We dispatched our surgeon, but it was found impossible to admit him into the sacred precincts of the seraglio, and he returned with the information that the rajah was asleep.

"21st.—Our fleet were in readiness before daylight, and by five o'clock we left Kuching, [3] and dropped down the river. The Pangeran Illudeen and the Panglima, both in prahus, accompanied us, and with our long-boat (the Skimalong) formed quite a gay procession. The prahu of the Pangeran pulled twelve paddles, mounted two brass swivels, and in all had a crew of about twenty men. The Panglima's boat likewise carried a gun, and had about ten men; while the Skimalong mounted an iron swivel, and carried six Englishmen and one of our Singapore Malays. With this equipment we might be pronounced far superior to any force of the rajah's enemies we were likely to meet.

"We passed from the Sarawak river into the Morotaba. At the junction of the two streams the Morotaba is narrow; but at no great distance, where it meets the Quop, it becomes wider, and in some places more than half a mile across.

"The river Quop is a fine stream, fully, as far as I could see, as broad as the Morotaba or Sarawak. Beyond the junction of the Quop and Morotaba the latter river divides into two branches—the left-hand one, running to the sea, retains the name of Morotaba, while the right is called Riam.

"The Riam is a fine stream; at its junction with the Morotaba it takes that name, as the Morotaba does that of Sarawak where they join. Low mangrove or Nepa palm banks characterize these streams; and occasionally slight eminences, with timber, are to be seen. The highest hill is about 3000 feet high, called Matang, and is at the point of junction between the Morotaba and Riam.

"The next river on the starboard hand is the Tanjan, a small stream; and some distance from it, the Kulluong, or Parwheet river, more properly the continuation of the Riam. On the port hand is a smaller river, running N. 35 deg. E. We pursued this stream, called Ugong Passer; and after a hard pull against a strong tide, emerged into the larger river of Samarahan. The tide was so strong against us that we brought up for a couple of hours till it slacked, and between four and five got under weigh again, with the expectation of shortly arriving at our place of destination. Hour after hour passed, however; the sun set; the glorious moon rose upon our progress as we toiled slowly but cheerfully onward. Silence was around, save when broken by the wild song of the Malay boatmen, responded to by the song of our tars to the tune of 'Bonnie laddie, Highland laddie.'

"It was such a situation as an excitable mind might envy. The reflection that we were proceeding up a Borneon river hitherto unknown, sailing where no European ever sailed before; the deep solitude, the brilliant night, the dark fringe of retired jungle, the lighter foliage of the river bank, with here and there a tree flashing and shining with fireflies, nature's tiny lamps glancing and flitting in countless numbers and incredible brilliancy! At eleven at night we reached Samarahan, having been eighteen hours in the boat, and fifteen at the oars, chiefly against tide. The men were tired, but cheerful. Indeed, I can give them no praise beyond their merits for conduct spirited, enduring, and yet so orderly as never to offend the native inhabitants, or infringe upon their prejudices. A glass of grog with our supper, and we all soon closed our eyes in comfortable sleep, such as fatigue alone can bring.

"22d.—The village of Samarahan consists of a few houses, built, as usual, upon posts, and standing close to the brink of the river. It contains from sixty to eighty inhabitants in all, and there is nothing in its site different from the rest of the country. While here, a boat, with a Dyak family, came alongside, consisting of a father, his son, and two daughters. They belonged to the Sibnowan tribe, and had a 'ladang,' or farm, on the Samarahan, toward the sea. The women were good-looking; one, indeed, handsome, plump, and intelligent. They were naked to the waist, and ornamented with several cinctures of brass and colored rattans scraped very thin.

"About ten we quitted Samarahan and proceeded up the river, stopping only to take a set of sights, and about seven in the evening reached Sibnow, having previously passed the villages of Rembas and Siniawan. Siniawan and Sibnow are not above half a mile from each other, and Rembas not far distant. They are all about the same size, consisting each of eight or ten houses, and containing sixty or eighty inhabitants. The river, during its course so far, is characterized by the same clay-mud bank, evidently an alluvial deposit, without one rock to be seen. The banks are low, and for the most part cleared a quarter of a mile or more on either side, but the jungle is rarely disturbed beyond that distance. Occasionally, however, the scene is varied by the rich foliage of this jungle, which here and there kisses the tide as it flows by, and in some spots on the cleared ground arise clumps of trees that would be the pride of any park in Europe. Monkeys in great numbers frisked among the branches; and though unable to shoot them, they amused us often by their grotesque attitudes and the tremendous leaps they made. On one occasion we saw as many as twenty throw themselves, one after the other, from the branch of a high tree into a thick bush full forty feet below, and not one missed his distance or hold! On our way to Sibnow the Pangeran had collected a number of men for a deer-hunt. The nets used for this purpose are formed of rattans strongly wove together, which, being stretched along the jungle, have nooses of the same material, at three feet apart, attached to this ridge-rope. Beaters and dogs then hunt from the opposite quarter, and the deer, in escaping them, is caught in this trap. A length of several hundred fathoms is stretched at once, each separate part of thirty or forty fathoms being joined on as required; and I was told that in this way many deer were taken.

"A heavy rain came on directly after we had brought up, and quickly dispelled all our preparations for supper, by putting out our fire, cooling our hot water, and soaking our half-broiled fowls. To a hungry man such an event is very disastrous; but nothing could exceed the kindness of our Malay friends. They took us to the best house in the village, prepared our supper, and provided us with comfortable mats and pillows to sleep on. Some of our party preferred a bad supper and wet bed to these accommodations; and, to consummate their discomfort, they were kept awake a great part of the night by sandflies. Our lot in the house was more fortunate. We heard the rattling of the pitiless rain, and commiserated those whose choice or distrust kept them in the boat. I obtained by this means an excellent opportunity of seeing a Malay menage in its primitive simplicity. Women, children, and all their domestic arrangements, were exposed to view. Nothing appeared to be concealed, nor could anything exceed the simple, kind-hearted hospitality of the inhabitants. The women gazed upon us freely; and their children, with the shyness natural to their age, yet took a glance at the strangers. Never having seen a white man, their curiosity was naturally excited; but it was never offensive. Our supper consisted of an excellent curry, and cold venison broiled on a stick, flavored with a glass of sherry, and concluded by a cigar. We retired to a dry bed, laying our head on the pillow with as entire a feeling of security as though reposing in England.

"A description of this Malay dwelling, situated so far up this hitherto unknown river, may be interesting. Built, like other Malay houses, on posts, floored with split bamboo, and covered with the leaf of the Nepa palm, it presents the very beau ideal of fragility, but affords, at the same time, many advantages, and with a little improvement might be rendered admirably calculated for a new settler in any warm country. It is built at very small expense, is remarkably roomy, free from damp, and weather-proof. The interior of the house consists of four rooms, the center one large and commodious, the front narrower, but thirty-six feet in length, a family sleeping-apartment on one side, and a kitchen at the back. These apartments are divided one from the other by partitions made of the Nepa; the floors were nicely spread with strong mats of Dyak manufacture, and on our arrival finer white mats were laid over these. The entrance of the house is approached by a steep ladder, which in case of attack is easily removed. The river Samarahan is admirably calculated for trade, and, indeed, the same may be said of the whole country, from the great facility it offers of inland communication. There is no impediment for small vessels of 200 or 300 tons navigating as far as Sibnow, the stream being deep and clear of danger. The tides in the river are strong, but not dangerously so; and, sounding occasionally in every reach, we never found less water than three fathoms. The distant mountains, called Bukar (and some other name), are inhabited by Dyaks, and are said to offer many valuable articles of trade; and we may presume this true from the riches of the region whence the Sarawak river takes its rise. It is highly probable, indeed, that both these rivers, as well as the Quop and others, have their source in the same range, and will be found to afford the same mineral productions. Tin, the natives confidently assert, can be procured, and birds' nests in very considerable quantities. The latter article, I have heretofore understood, was found only in the vicinity of the sea, whence the material of which they are composed is gathered; but both here and at Sarawak the best informed and most intelligent Malays assure me it is likewise found in the interior, and brought by the Dyaks from the mountains. The alluvial soil is a rich clay loam. The principal production at present is rice, of which considerable quantities are grown on the banks of the river, which accounts for the clearing of so many miles of the jungle. The mode of cultivation is similar to what is pursued in Sumatra, and so well described by Marsden. A small spot is cleared of jungle, and when the soil is exhausted of its primeval richness, is deserted for another, which again in turn is neglected, and returns to its wild state. The rice produced is of excellent quality, and of a smaller grain than the Java rice we have with us. It is very white and of excellent flavor, and I am inclined to think is the 'Padi ladang,' or rice grown on dry ground. (For rice, cultivation of, &c., &c., vide Marsden's Sumatra, p. 65.)

"Beside rice, rattans are found in great quantities, and likewise Malacca canes, but whether of good quality I am not able to say. On my expressing a wish to see one, a man was dispatched into the jungle, and returned with one in a few minutes. Bees-wax is another article to be procured here at present to the amount of thirty or forty peculs per year from Sibnow, Malacca canes a small ship-load, rattans in abundance, and any quantity of Garu wood. [4] When we consider the antimony of Sarawak, beside the other things previously mentioned (to say nothing of gold and diamonds), we cannot doubt of the richness of the country: but allowance must be made for the exaggeration of native statements.

"It must likewise be borne in mind, that these articles are collected in small quantities in a country thinly populated; and for the purposes of trade it would be necessary to have a resident European on the spot to gather the produce of the country ready for exportation. I have no doubt that permission might be obtained for an English merchant to reside in the country, and that during the lifetime of the Rajah Muda Hassim he would be secure from outrage. The produce of the country might likewise be obtained (at first) at a low rate in exchange for European goods suited to native tastes. In addition to the articles I have already mentioned, I must here add pins, needles, and thread, both gold and white, showy cheap velvets, yellow, green, and red cloth, Surat silks, cottons, colored beads (for the Dyaks), nankeens in small quantities, gold-lace of various qualities, gunpowder, muskets, pistols, flints, &c., &c. The head man of Sibnow (Orang Kaya), when I asked him why he did not collect the produce of the country, replied, that the inhabitants were few, and unless an English merchant was settled at Kuching to buy the things, it was no use collecting them. The uncertainty of sale, as well as the very small prices to be obtained from trading Malays, prevents these people using the advantages of their country, and as yet they seemed to consider it impossible that vessels would come for them. That they will one day or other be convinced to the contrary, I am sure; that it will be soon, I sincerely hope; for I can see no reason, with a population and rulers so pacific, why a trade highly advantageous to Singapore should not be opened. I considered our reception as an additional proof how much better the natives are disposed where they have had no intercourse with Europeans; how perfectly willing they are to extend a friendly hospitality when never previously injured or aggravated; and as the first white men who ever visited their country, we can bear the most cordial testimony to their unaffected kindness.

"It is true that we were under the protection of the rajah and accompanied by a Pangeran, and could have insisted on obtaining what was readily granted. But in case the natives had shown any aversion or antipathy toward us, it would easily have been observed.

"23d.—Heavy rain all the morning. Our salt provisions being exhausted, we procured a goat, which was cooked to last during our upward passage.

"At 12, the flood making, we quitted Sibnow, and passing through the same description of country, reached the village of Guntong, consisting of eight houses, and about sixty or seventy inhabitants. The scattered population on the banks of the river amounts, however, to an equal, or probably greater number than in the villages. Beyond Guntong the country becomes wild, but beautiful, and the river gradually narrows until not above twenty-five yards wide. The depth, however, was three fathoms at high water, where we brought up for the night, about five hours' pull from Guntong. The course of the river is so tortuous, that in one place two reaches are only divided by a neck of land five yards across!

"We were now fairly in the bush, and beyond the range of our Pangeran's knowledge; and I was not therefore surprised (though disappointed) when he intimated the necessity of returning. 'There was nothing to see; the river was narrow, rapid, and obstructed by trees; the Dyaks hostile; the rajah's enemies in ambush.'

"I had nothing to answer, save my desire to proceed; but I felt, at the same time, bound in honor to return; for to abuse the indulgence of a native prince on our first excursion would have been a poor way to obtain his future permission to visit other places.

"I did everything man could do to shake the Pangeran's resolution; and I believe I should have been successful, had his stock of tobacco and sirih [5] not been expended. My last resource was resorting to the means found efficient with most men to induce them to alter their opinion. I was content to gain a consent to our proceeding some miles farther up the stream in the morning, and then returning with the ebb. Nothing during this contention could be more polite than the Pangeran's manner; for he not only expressed but looked his regret, and urged on me his responsibility to the rajah. The plea was unanswerable, though I could not help suspecting the want of tobacco and betel as the leading motive.

"24th.—We proceeded, as previously agreed, up the river some ten or twelve miles farther, during which distance it narrows to an inconsiderable but deep stream. In many places it was not above eighteen feet wide, with trees overhanging the water. The depth was 2 1/2 fathoms high water; but being the rainy season, it would not be deeper than necessary for boats all the year round. In the early morning the jungle presented a charming scene. Long vistas of noble trees with a diversity of richest foliage were before us—in some places overarching the water, and forming a verdant canopy above our heads. Birds were numerous, and woke the woods with their notes, but rarely approached within shot. Pigeons in numbers and of several varieties were seen, but very shy and wild.

"We pushed on ahead of our attendant Pangeran, and pulled up long after the ebb had made. He had a long chase, and exhausted his lungs in shouting to us to return; and at last, from pity and according to promise, I did so. Poor fellow, he was very glad, fired his swivel-gun, and then brought up for breakfast. I believe a few hours' progress would have brought us to the vicinity of the hills and into the country of the Dyaks; and although disappointed at not being allowed to proceed thither, I nevertheless comfort myself that we have penetrated a hundred miles up a Borneon river hitherto unknown—a river likewise (as far as we have yet examined it) admirably calculated for the purposes of navigation and trade, and which may at some future period become of importance not only to the trade of our settlement of Singapore, but even to the commercial interests of Great Britain. The general character of the Samarahan is similar to that of other rivers flowing through alluvial soils; the stream is deep, with muddy banks and bottom, and apparently free from danger or obstruction. Of course these remarks are not meant to prevent the necessity of caution in any vessel proceeding up, as our survey was necessarily very brief; and, like other rivers, one bank will usually be found deep, the other shallow; which must be attended to.

"It now remains for us to proceed up the river from its mouth to its junction with the Ugong Passer; and should it prove to have sufficient water for vessels on the bar, nothing more will be desired.

"Returning, it took us five hours with a fair tide to Sibnow; the next ebb we reached Samarahan in three hours, where we stopped for the night. A heavy rain set in after we brought to, and continued till morning.

"25th.—The morning was cold and raw; but cleared up as the sun rose. At 7 we started, and at a quarter past 10 reached the mouth of the Ugong Passer and thence into the Riam. Thus it took us 11 1/4 hours, with a strong ebb tide, to pull the distance. We had ascended the river from the junction of the Ugong Passer. Mr. Murray's plan of the river will show the distance as taken of each reach, together with its bearing. The ebb tide lasted us some distance up the Riam; but the flood making, we entered a small creek, called Tarusongong, scarce wide enough for the boat to get through, and entirely overarched with the Nepa palm. The general direction of the creek was N.W., and we emerged from it into the Boyur river; and pulling through several reaches, got into the Quop, [6] and thence, after a while, into the Morotaba; from the Morotaba into the Sarawak river, reaching the schooner at sunset, all well and happy. Thus ended our first cruise into the interior of Borneo."



CHAPTER III.

Second Cruise: up the River Lundu.—The Sibnowan Dyaks—Their Town of Tungong.—Their Physical Proportions, and Words of their Language.—Their Customs.—Skull-trophies.—Religious Ceremonies and Opinions.—Their Ornaments.—Appearance of both Sexes.—Dress and Morals.—Missionary Prospects of Conversion, and Elevation in the Social Scale.—Government, Laws, and Punishments.—Dances.—Iron Manufacturing.—Chinese Settlement.—Excursion continued.

"Aug. 30th.—Our flotilla, constituted as before, quitted Sarawak with the ebb tide, and reached Santobong, at the mouth of the river, soon after the flood had made. We waited for the turn of the tide; and in wandering along the sand, I had a shot at a wild hog, but unluckily missed. I likewise saw a deer, very like a red deer, and nearly as large. The hog I fired at was a dirty white, with a black head, very unlike in this particular to any wild hogs I have hitherto seen either in India or Europe; but several young pigs, likewise seen, were black.

"With the flood we weighed anchor, intending to bring up at the mouth of the Seboo river; but the Skimalong outsailing the prahus, foolishly parted company, causing me much uneasiness, and keeping the prahus under weigh all night. I was at this time aboard the Pangeran's boat, where I usually slept. About 10 on the 31st we reached Lobrek Bay, and rejoined our boat.

"With the flood tide we proceeded up Lundu river, which has Gunong Gading on the right hand. The course of the river is very tortuous, but it appears every where of more than sufficient depth. The Dyak village of Tungong is situated about eighteen miles from the mouth, and takes its name from a small stream which joins the Lundu just below, on the left hand. It was dark when we arrived, and we ran against a boom formed of large trees run across the river as a defense against adverse Dyak tribes. We could see nothing of the town, save that it appeared longer than any we had yet visited.

"September 1st.—The River Lundu is of considerable breadth, about half a mile at the mouth, and 150 or 200 yards off Tungong. Tungong stands on the left hand (going up) close to the margin of the stream, and is inclosed by a slight stockade. Within this defense there is one enormous house for the whole population, and three or four small huts. The exterior of the defense between it and the river is occupied by sheds for prahus, and at each extremity are one or two houses belonging to Malay residents.

"The common habitation, as rude as it is enormous, measures 594 feet in length, and the front room, or street, is the entire length of the building, and 21 feet broad. The back part is divided by mat partitions into the private apartments of the various families, and of these there are forty-five separate doors leading from the public apartment. The widowers and young unmarried men occupy the public room, as only those with wives are entitled to the advantage of separate rooms. The floor of this edifice is raised twelve feet from the ground, and the means of ascent is by the trunk of a tree with notches cut in it—a most difficult, steep, and awkward ladder. In front is a terrace fifty feet broad, running partially along the front of the building, formed, like the floors, of split bamboo. This platform, as well as the front room, besides the regular inhabitants, is the resort of pigs, dogs, birds, monkeys, and fowls, and presents a glorious scene of confusion and bustle. Here the ordinary occupations of domestic labor are carried on—padi ground, mats made, &c., &c. There were 200 men, women, and children counted in the room and in front while we were there in the middle of the day; and, allowing for those abroad and those in their own rooms, the whole community can not be reckoned at less than 400 souls. Overhead, about seven feet high, is a second crazy story, on which they stow their stores of food and their implements of labor and war. Along the large room are hung many cots, four feet long, formed of the hollowed trunks of trees cut in half, which answer the purpose of seats by day and beds by night. The Sibnowan Dyaks are a wild-looking but apparently quiet and inoffensive race. The apartment of their chief, by name Sejugah, is situated nearly in the center of the building, and is larger than any other. In front of it nice mats were spread on the occasion of our visit, while over our heads dangled about thirty ghastly skulls, according to the custom of these people. The chief was a man of middle age, with a mild and pleasing countenance and gentle manners. He had around him several sons and relations, and one or two of the leading men of his tribe, but the rest seemed by no means to be restrained by his presence, or to show him any particular marks of respect: certainly nothing of the servile obsequiousness observed by the Malays before their prince. Their dress consists of a single strip of cloth round the loins, with the ends hanging down before and behind, and a light turban, composed of the bark of trees, twined round the head, and so arranged that the front is stuck up somewhat resembling a short plume of feathers.

"Their figures are almost universally well made, showing great activity without great muscular development; but their stature is diminutive, as will be seen by the following measurements, taken at random among them, and confirmed by general observation:

"Sejugah, the chief, height, 5 ft. 1 3/4 in. Head round, 1 ft. 9 in. Anterior portion, from ear to ear, 1 foot; posterior, 9 in.; across the top, 1 1/4 ft.

"Kalong, the chief's eldest son, height, 5 ft. 2 1/4 in. Anterior portion of head, 1 ft.; posterior, 8 3/4 in.; across the top, 1 ft., wanting a few lines.

Height

Man from the crowd 5 ft. 1 3/4 in. Another 5 1 1/2 Another 5 4 Another 4 10 Another 5 3 Another 5 4



"The following is a specimen of their names, and some few words of their dialect, the only ones I could get not Malayan. The fact, indeed, appears to be that, from constant intercourse, their Dyak language is fast fading away; and, while retaining their separate religion and customs, they have substituted the soft and fluent Malay for their own harsher jargon. The names are, Jugah or Sejugah, Kalong, Bunshie, Kontong, Lang, Rantie.

The vocabulary:

hairs, bok (similar to the Lundu Dyaks). thigh, pah. woman, indo. father, api. sea, tasiek. slave, ulon. spear, sancho. black, chelum. good, badass. bad, jaie. quick, pantass. slow, bagadie. that, kneah (nasal, like kgneah). this, to. to go, bajali. there, kein. come, jali here, keto. come here, jali keto. to give, bri. give all, bri samonia (M). to bring, bii. bring that, bii kneah. bring here, bii keto.

"The corruptions of the Malay are langan for tangon, arm; ai for ayer, water; menua for benua, country; komah for rumah, house; besi for besar, great.

"Like the rest of the Dyaks, the Sibnowans adorn their houses with the heads of their enemies; but with them this custom exists in a modified form; and I am led to hope that the statements already made public of their reckless search after human beings, merely for the purpose of obtaining their heads, will be found to be exaggerated, if not untrue; and that the custom elsewhere, as here and at Lundu, will be found to be more accordant with our knowledge of other wild tribes, and to be regarded merely as a triumphant token of valor in the fight or ambush; similar, indeed, to the scalps of the North American Indian.

"Some thirty skulls were hanging from the roof of the apartment; and I was informed that they had many more in their possession; all, however, the heads of enemies, chiefly of the tribe of Sarebus. On inquiring, I was told that it is indispensably necessary a young man should procure a skull before he gets married. When I urged on them that the custom would be more honored in the breach than the observance, they replied that it was established from time immemorial, and could not be dispensed with. Subsequently, however, Sejugah allowed that heads were very difficult to obtain now, and a young man might sometimes get married by giving presents to his lady-love's parents. At all times they warmly denied ever obtaining any heads but those of their enemies; adding, they were bad people, and deserved to die.

"I asked a young unmarried man whether he would be obliged to get a head before he could obtain a wife. He replied, 'Yes.' 'When would he get one?' 'Soon.' 'Where would he go to get one?' 'To the Sarebus river.' I mention these particulars in detail, as I think, had their practice extended to taking the head of any defenseless traveler, or any Malay surprised in his dwelling or boat, I should have wormed the secret out of them.

"The men of this tribe marry but one wife, and that not until they have attained the age of seventeen or eighteen. Their wedding ceremony is curious; and, as related, is performed by the bride and bridegroom being brought in procession along the large room, where a brace of fowls is placed over the bridegroom's neck, which he whirls seven times round his head. The fowls are then killed, and their blood sprinkled on the foreheads of the pair, which done, they are cooked, and eaten by the new-married couple alone, while the rest feast and drink during the whole night.

"Their dead are put in a coffin, and buried; but Sejugah informed me that the different tribes vary in this particular; and it would appear they differ from their near neighbors the Dyaks of Lundu.

"Like these neighbors, too, the Sibnowans seem to have little or no idea of a God. They offer prayers to Biedum, the great Dyak chief of former days. Priests and ceremonies they have none; the thickest mist of darkness is over them: but how much easier is it to dispel darkness with light than to overcome the false blaze with the rays of truth!

"The manners of the men of this tribe are somewhat reserved, but frank; while the women appeared more cheerful, and more inclined to laugh and joke at our peculiarities. Although the first Europeans they had ever seen, we were by no means annoyed by their curiosity: and their honesty is to be praised; for, though opportunities were not wanting, they never on any occasion attempted to pilfer any thing. Their color resembles the Malay, and is fully as dark; and the cast of their countenance does not favor the notion that they are sprung from a distinct origin. They never intermarry with the Malays, so as to intermingle the two people, and the chastity of their women gives no presumption of its otherwise occurring. Their stature, as I have before remarked, is diminutive, their eyes are small and quick, their noses usually flattened, and their figures clean and well formed, but not athletic. Both sexes generally wear the hair long and turned up, but the elder men often cut it short. As is natural, they are fond of the water, and constantly bathe; and their canoes are numerous. I counted fifty, besides ten or twelve small prahus, which they often build for sale to the Malays, at a very moderate price indeed. The men wear a number of fine cane rings, neatly worked (which we at first mistook for hair), below the knee or on the arm, and sometimes a brass ring or two; but they have no other ornaments. The ears of a few were pierced, but I saw nothing worn in them except a roll of thin palm-leaf, to prevent the hole closing. The women are decidedly good-looking, and far fairer than the men; their figures are well shaped, and remarkable for their embonpoint. The expression of their countenance is very good-humored, and their condition seems a happy one. Their dress consists of a coarse stuff, very scanty (manufactured by the Sakarran Dyaks), reaching from the waist to the knee; around the waist they have rings of ratan, either black or red, and the loins are hung round with a number of brass ornaments made by their husbands. Above the waist they are entirely naked, nor do they wear any covering or ornament on the head. They have a few bracelets of brass, but neither ear-rings nor nose-rings; and some, more lucky than the rest, wear a necklace of beads. They prefer the smallest Venetian beads to the larger and more gaudy ones of England. The labor of the house, and all the drudgery, falls on the females. They grind the rice, carry burdens, fetch water, fish, and work in the fields; but though on a par with other savages in this respect, they have many advantages. They are not immured; they eat in company with the males; and, in most points, hold the same position toward their husbands and children as European women. The children are entirely naked; and the only peculiarity I observed is filing their teeth to a sharp point, like those of a shark. The men marry but one wife, as I have before observed. Concubinage is unknown; and cases of seduction or adultery very seldom arise. Even the Malays speak highly of the chastity of the Dyak women; yet they are by no means shy under the gaze of strangers, and used to bathe before us in a state of nudity.

"That these Dyaks are in a low condition there is no doubt; but, comparatively, theirs is an innocent state, and I consider them capable of being easily raised in the scale of society. The absence of all prejudice regarding diet, the simplicity of their characters, the purity of their morals, and their present ignorance of all forms of worship and all idea of future responsibility, render them open to conviction of truth and religious impression. Yet, when I say this, I mean, of course, only when their minds shall have been raised by education; for without previous culture I reckon the labors of the missionary as useless as endeavoring to read off a blank paper. I doubt not but the Sibnowan Dyaks would readily receive missionary families among them, provided the consent of the Rajah Muda Hassim was previously obtained. That the rajah would consent I much doubt; but if any person chose to reside at Tungong, for the charitable purpose of leading the tribe gradually, by means of education, to the threshold of Christianity, it would be worth the asking, and I would exert what influence I possess with him on the occasion. I feel sure a missionary would be safe among them, as long as he strictly confined himself to the gentle precepts and practice of his faith; he would live abundantly and cheaply, and be exposed to no danger except from the incursion of hostile tribes, which must always be looked for by a sojourner amid a Dyak community.

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