Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither by Isabella L. Bird (Mrs. Bishop)

Part 4 out of 6

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.7 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

portiere of white-flowered silk or crepe. This was the entrance to a
small room very well proportioned, with two similar doorways, curtained
with flowered silk, one leading to a room which we did not see, and the
other to a bamboo gridiron platform, which in the better class of Malay
houses always leads to a smaller house at the back, where cooking and
other domestic operations are carried on, and which seems given up to
the women. There was a rich, dim light in the room, which was cool and
wainscoted entirely with dark red wood, and there was only one long,
low window, with turned bars of the same wood. There were three
handsome cabinets with hangings of gold and crimson embroidery, and an
ebony frame containing a verse of the Koran in Arabic characters hung
over one doorway. In accordance with Mohammedan prohibitions, there was
no decoration which bore the likeness of any created thing, but there
were some artistic arabesques under the roof. The furniture, besides
the cabinets, consisted of a divan, several ebony chairs, a round table
covered with a cool yellow cloth, and a table against the wall draped
with crimson silk flowered with gold. The floor was covered with fine
matting, over which were Oudh rugs in those mixtures of toned-down rich
colors which are so very beautiful. Richness and harmony characterized
the room, and it was distinctively Malay; one could not say that it
reminded one of anything except of the flecked and colored light which
streams through dark, old, stained glass.

The Datu Bandar's brother and uncle came in, the first a very handsome
Hadji, with a bright, intelligent countenance. He has lived in Mecca
for eight years studying the Koran under a renowned teacher, and in
this quest of Mussulman learning has spent several thousand dollars.
"We never go to Mecca to trade," he said; "we go for religious purposes
only." These men looked superb in their red dresses and turbans,
although the Malays are anything but a handsome race. Their hospitality
was very graceful. Many of the wealthier Mohammedans, though they don't
drink wine, keep it for their Christian guests, and they offered us
champagne, which is supposed to be an irresistible temptation to the
Christian palate. On our refusing it they brought us cow's milk and
most delicious coffee with a very fragrant aroma, and not darker in
color than tea of an average strength. This was made from roasted
coffee leaves. The berries are exported. A good many pretty, quiet
children stood about, but though the Rajah gave us to understand that
they were the offspring of three mothers, we were not supposed to see
any of "the mean ones within the gates."

Our hosts had a good deal to say, and did not leave us to entertain
them, though we are but "infidel dogs." That we are regarded as such,
along with all other unbelievers, always makes me feel shy with
Mohammedans. Some time ago, when Captain Shaw pressed on the Malays the
impropriety of shooting Chinamen, as they were then in the habit of
doing, the reply of one of them was, "Why not shoot Chinamen? they've
no religion;" and though it would be highly discourteous in members of
a ruled race to utter this sentiment regarding their rulers, I have not
the least doubt that it is their profound conviction concerning

Nothing shows more the honesty and excellence of Captain Murray's
purposes than that he should be as much respected and loved as he is in
spite of a manner utterly opposed to all Oriental notions of dignity,
whether Malay or Chinese. I have mentioned his abruptness, as well as
his sailor-like heartiness, but they never came into such strong relief
as at the Datu Bandar's, against the solemn and dignified courtesy of
our hosts.

We returned after dark, had turtle-soup and turtle-steak, not near so
good as veal, which it much resembles, for dinner; sang "Auld Lang
Syne," which brought tears into the Resident's kindly eyes, and are now
ready for an early start to-morrow.

Stadthaus, Malacca.--We left Serambang before daylight on Thursday in
buggies, escorted by Captain Murray, the buggies, as usual, being lent
by the Chinese "Capitans." Horses had been sent on before, and after
changing them we drove the second stage through most magnificent
forest, until they could no longer drag the buggies through the mud, at
which point of discomfiture three saddled ponies and two chairs were
waiting to take us through the jungle to the river. We rode along an
infamous track, much of it knee-deep in mud, through a green and silent
twilight, till we emerged upon something like English park and
fox-cover scenery, varied by Malay kampongs under groves of palms. In
the full blaze of noon we reached the Linggi police station, from which
we had started in the sampan, and were received by a company of police
with fixed bayonets. We dined in the police station veranda, and as the
launch had been obliged to drop down the river because the water was
falling, we went to Sempang in a native boat, paddled by four Malays
with paddles like oval-ended spades with spade handles, a guard of
honor of policemen going down with us. There we took leave of our most
kind and worthy host, who, with tears in his kind eyes, immediately
turned up the river to dwell alone in his bungalow with his bull-dog,
his revolver, and his rifle, a self-exiled man.*
[*In 1881, Captain Murray, feeling ill after prolonged exposure to the
sun, went to Malacca, where he died a few days afterward at the house of
his friend Mr. Hayward. Sir F. A. Weld writes of him in a dispatch to
Lord Kimberley:--"I cannot close this notice of the State of Sungei
Ujong without recalling the memory of Captain Murray, so lately its
Resident, to whom it owes much, and who was devoted to its people and
interests. A man of great honesty of purpose and kindliness of heart,
Captain Murray possessed many of those qualities which are required for
the successful administration of a Malay State, and though he labored
under the disadvantage of want of knowledge of the native tongue, he yet
was able to attach to himself, in a singular manner, the affections of
all around him. For the last six years, Captain Murray has successfully
advised in the administration of the Government of Sungei Ujong,
consolidating order and good government, and doing much to open out the
country and develop its resources. His name will ever be associated with
its prosperity, and his memory be long fresh in the hearts of its

After it grew dark we had the splendid sight of a great tract of forest
on fire close to the sea. We landed here at a pier eight hundred feet
long, accessible to launches at high water, where several peons and two
inspectors of police met us. Our expedition has been the talk of the
little foreign world of Malacca. We had an enthusiastic welcome at
Government House, but Captain Shaw says he will never forgive himself
for not writing to Captain Murray in time to arrange our transport, and
for sending us off so hurriedly with so little food, but I hope by
reiteration to convince him that thereby we gained the night on the
Linggi river, which, as a traveling experience, is worth all the rest.

I. L. B.


Selangor--Capabilities of Selangor--Natural Capabilities--Lawlessness
in Selangor--British Interference in Selangor--A Hopeful Outlook

Selangor is a small State lying between 2 degrees 34', and 3 degrees
42' N. Its coast-line is about one hundred and twenty miles in length.
Perak is its northern boundary, Sungei Ujong its southern, and some of
the small States of the Negri Sembilan and unexplored jungle and
mountains separate it from Pahang on the east. It is watered by the
Selangor, Klang and Langat rivers, which rise in the hills of its
eastern frontier. Its population is not accurately known, but the
result of an attempt to estimate it, made by the Resident in 1876, is
fifteen thousand Chinese and from two thousand to three thousand
Malays. Mr. Douglas, the late Resident, puts the Malay population at a
higher figure, and estimates the aboriginal population at one thousand,
but this is probably largely in excess of their actual numbers.
[*In offering this very slight sketch of Selangor to my readers as
prefatory to the letters which follow, I desire to express my
acknowledgments specially to a valuable paper on "Surveys and
Explorations of the Native States of the Malay Peninsula," by Mr. Daly,
Superintendent of Public Works and Surveys, Selangor, read before the
Royal Geographical Society on May 8, 1882. I have also made use of a
brief account of the Native Malay States by Mr. Swettenham, Assistant
Colonial Secretary to the Straits Settlements Government, published in
the Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, and of
"Our Malay Conquests" by Sir P. Benson Maxwell, late Chief Justice of
the Straits Settlements.]

The wealth of Selangor lies in its apparently inexhaustible tin mines.
The range of hills which forms the backbone of the Malay Peninsula
rises in places to a height of seven thousand feet, and it is from this
range that the alluvial detritus is washed down, beneath which is
deposited the layer of ore or wash, which varies from four inches to
ten feet in thickness. The supply of this ore is apparently
inexhaustible, but no veins have as yet been found. The mine of
Ampagnan only, near Kwala Lumpor, the capital, gives employment to over
one thousand Chinamen, and each can extract in a year one thousand
pounds weight of white smelted tin valued at 35 pounds sterling. This
mineral wealth is the magnet which, according as the price of tin is
higher or lower, attracts into Selangor more or fewer Chinamen. The
chief source of the revenue of the State has been the export duty on

The low lands on the coast are fringed with mangroves, which thrive in
blue mud and heavy clays, and these lands, when drained, are well
adapted for sugar. Wet rice grows well in the swampy valleys which
separate the minor ranges, and dry rice on the rises; while tapioca,
tobacco, pepper and gambier thrive on the medium heights. The sago palm
flourishes on wet lands. The high hills are covered with primeval
forests, and the Malays have neither settlements nor plantations upon
them. It is believed that these hills, at a height of from two thousand
five hundred to three thousand five hundred feet, are admirably adapted
for the growth of Arabian coffee, cinchona and tea; and some Ceylon
coffee planters are expecting an era of success in Selangor. At
present, however, the necessary labor is not available. The soil in the
interior on the mountain slopes consists of a light red and yellow
clay, the product of a comparatively recent rock decomposition, covered
with vegetable mould from eight to twelve inches thick. There are no
droughts, and the rainfall, distributed pretty fairly over the year,
averages about one hundred and thirty inches annually. The climate is
remarkably healthy, and diseases of locality are unknown. Land can be
purchased for eight shillings per acre on terms of deferred payments.

One curious feature of Selangor, as of Perak, is the occurrence of
isolated hills of limestone varying from eighty to one thousand feet in
height. At Batu there are magnificent limestone caves, richly adorned
with stalactites and stalagmites. The dome of one cavern is three
hundred and fifty-five feet from floor to roof. An important fact
connected with these caverns is that they contain thousands of tons of
bats' manure, which may be as valuable as guano to future planters.
Between the heavy clays and blue mud of the mangrove swamps and the
granite and sandstone of the mountain ranges, the undulating rises are
mainly composed of red clay, sandstones, shales, and granitic and
feldspathic rocks, with extensive deposits of laterite in red clays on
the surface. In the valleys along the rivers the soil consists of rich
alluvial deposits.

Undoubtedly Selangor has great capabilities, and if the difficulties of
the labor question can be satisfactorily disposed of, it is likely that
the new offer of leases for nine hundred and ninety-nine years, subject
to improvement clauses, will attract a number of planters to its
fertile soil and wholesome climate. Selangor includes three large
districts, each on a considerable river of its own--Selangor, Klang,
and Langat.

The Sultan was actually, as he is now nominally, supreme, but the story
of disturbances under this government is a very old one, internal
strife having been the normal condition of the State ever since
Europeans have been acquainted with it. It seems to have been an
undoubted fact that its rivers and island channels were the resort of
pirates, and that its Rajahs devoted themselves with much success to
harrying small vessels trading in the Straits of Malacca.

The name of this State is not found in the earlier Malayan records.
Negri Calang, or the land of tin, was the designation of this part of
the peninsula, and this depopulated region was formerly a flourishing
dependency under the Malay sovereigns of Malacca. The population, such
as it is, is chiefly composed of the descendants of a colony of Bugis
from Goa in the Celebes, who settled in Selangor at the beginning of
the eighteenth century under a Goa chief, who was succeeded by Sultan
Ibrahim, an intense hater and sturdy opponent of the Dutch. He attacked
Malacca, looted and burned its suburbs, and would have captured it but
for the opportune arrival of a Dutch fleet. He surprised the Dutch
garrison of Selangor by night, routed it, and captured all its heavy
artillery and ammunition, but was afterward compelled to restore his
plunder, and acknowledge himself a vassal of the Dutch East India
Company. After this he attacked the Siamese, and was mainly
instrumental in driving them out of Perak.

He was succeeded in 1826 by an ignoble prince, and under his weak and
oppressive rule, and under the extortions and cruelties of his
illegitimate brothers, the State lapsed into decay. Mr. Newbold, who
had charge of a military post on the Selangor frontier in 1833,
witnessed many of the atrocities perpetrated by these Bugis princes,
who committed piracies, robbed, plundered, and levied contributions on
the wretched Malays, without hindrance. In Mr. Newbold's day the whole
population of Kwala Linggi, where he was stationed, fled by night into
the Malacca territory, where they afterward settled to escape from the
merciless exactions to which they were subjected. Slavery and debt
slavery added to the miseries of the country, and it is believed that
by emigration and other causes the Malay population was reduced to
between two thousand and three thousand souls.

Only one event in the recent history of Selangor deserves notice. This
miserable ruler, Sultan Mohammed, had no legitimate offspring, but it
was likely that at his death his near relation, Tuanku Bongsu, a Rajah
universally liked and respected by his countrymen, would have been
elected to succeed him. Unfortunately for the good of the State this
Rajah took upon himself the direction of the tin mines at Lukut,
formerly worked by about four hundred Chinese miners on their own
account, paying a tenth of their produce to the Sultan. One dark, rainy
night in September, 1834, these miners rose upon their employers,
burned their houses, and massacred them indiscriminately, including
this enlightened Rajah; and his wife and children, in attempting to
escape, were thrown into the flames of their house. The plunder
obtained by the Chinese, exclusive of the jewels and gold ornaments of
the women, was estimated at 3,500 pounds. This very atrocious business
was believed to have been aided and abetted, if not absolutely
concocted, by Chinese merchants living under the shelter of the British
flag at Malacca. With the death of Tuanku Bongsu all hope of
prosperity for Selangor under native rule was extinguished.

Matters became very bad in the years between 1867 and 1873, the
fighting among the rival factions leading to a more complete
depopulation of the country, not only by the loss in party fights, but
by the exodus of peaceable cultivators. Lawlessness increased to such
an extent that murders and robberies were of continual occurrence. Mr.
Swettenham, the Assistant Colonial Secretary, affirms that it is hardly
an exaggeration to say that every man above twenty years old had killed
at least one man, and that even the women were not unaccustomed to use
deadly weapons against each other.

The history of the way in which we gained a footing in Selangor is a
tangled one, as the story is told quite differently by men holding high
positions in the Colonial Government, who unquestionably are "all
honorable men." Our first appearance on the scene was in 1871, when the
Rinaldo destroyed Selangor, for reasons which will be found in the
succeeding letter. In November, 1873, an act of piracy was committed on
the Jugra river near the Sultan's residence. On this Sir A. Clarke,
the Governor of the Straits Settlements, with a portion of H.B.M.'s
China fleet, went to Langat and induced the Sultan to appoint a court
to try the pirates, three of the ships and two Government Commissioners
remaining to watch the trial. The prisoners were executed, the
war-ships patroled the coast for a time, and everything became quiet.

In 1874, however, there were new disturbances and alleged piracies, and
Tunku Dia Udin, the Sultan's son-in-law and viceroy, overmatched by
powerful Rajahs, gladly welcomed an official, who was sent by Sir A.
Clarke, "to remain with the Sultan should he desire it, and, by his
presence and advice give him confidence, and assistance to carry out
the promises which he had made," which were, in brief, to suppress
piracy and keep good order in his dominions; not a difficult task, it
might be supposed, for it is estimated that he had only about two
thousand Malay subjects left, and the Chinese miners were under the
efficient rule of their "Capitan," Ah Loi.

In January, 1875, at Tunku Dia Udin's request, a British Resident was
sent to Selangor. Some time afterward the viceroy retired to Kedah, and
the Sultan has been "advised" into a sort of pensioned retirement, the
Resident levying, collecting, and expending the taxes. Sir Andrew
Clarke was very fortunate in his selection of the Sultan's first
adviser, for Mr. Davidson, according to all accounts, had an intimate
knowledge of the Malays, as well as a wise consideration for them; he
had a calm temper and much good sense, and is held in honorable
remembrance, not only for official efficiency but for having gained the
sincere regard of the people of Selangor. His legal training and high
reputation in the colonial courts were of great value in the settlement
of the many difficult questions which arose during his brief
administration. He was succeeded in 1876 by Mr. Bloomfield Douglas, who
has held the office of Resident for six years.

The revenue of Selangor amounted in 1881 to 47,045 pounds, derived
mainly from the export duty on tin, the import duty on opium, and the
letting of opium and other licenses and farms. The expenditure was
46,876 pounds, the heaviest items being for "establishments,"
"pensions," and "works and buildings." The outlook for Selangor appears
to be a peaceful one, and it is to be hoped that, under the energetic
administration of Sir F. A. Weld, its capabilities will be developed
and its anomalies of law and taxation reformed, and that both Malays
and foreigners may experience those advantages of good order and
security which result from a just rule.


The S.S. Rainbow--Sunset at Malacca--A Night at Sea--The Residency at
Klang--Our "Next-of-Kin"--The Decay of Klang--A Remarkable
Chinaman--Theatrical Magnificence--Misdeed of a "Rogue Elephant"--"A
Cobra! A Cobra!"

S.S. "RAINBOW," MALACCA ROADS, February 1, 5 P.M.

I am once again on board this quaint little Chinese steamer, which is
rolling on a lazy ground-swell on the heated, shallow sea. We were to
have sailed at four P.M., but mat-sailed boats, with cargoes of
Chinese, Malays, fowls, pine-apples, and sugar-cane, kept coming off
and delaying us. The little steamer has long ago submerged her
load-line, and is only about ten inches above the water, and still they
load, and still the mat-sailed boats and eight-paddled boats, with two
red-clothed men facing forward on each thwart, are disgorging men and
goods into the overladen craft. A hundred and thirty men, mostly
Chinese, with a sprinkling of Javanese and Malays, are huddled on the
little deck, with goats and buffaloes, and forty coops of fowls and
ducks; the fowls and ducks cackling and quacking, and the Chinese
clattering at the top of their voices--such a Babel!

An hour later, "Easy ahead," shouts the Portuguese-Malay captain, for
the Rainbow is only licensed for one hundred passengers, and the water
runs in at the scuppers as she rolls, but five of the mat-sailed boats
have hooked on. "Run ahead! full speed!" the captain shouts in
English; he dances with excitement, and screams in Malay; the Chinamen
are climbing up the stern, over the bulwarks, everywhere, fairly
boarding us; and with about a hundred and fifty souls on board, and not
a white man or a Christian among them, we steam away over the gaudy
water into the gaudy sunset, and beautiful, dreamy, tropical Malacca,
with its palm-fringed shores, and its colored streets, and Mount Ophir
with its golden history, and the stately Stadthaus, whose ancient rooms
have come to seem almost like my property, are passing into memories. A
gory ball drops suddenly from a gory sky into a flaming sea, and

"With one stride comes the dark."

There is no place for me except on this little bridge, on which the
captain and I have just had an excellent dinner, with hen-coops for
seats. These noisy fowls are now quiet in the darkness, but the noisier
Chinese are still bawling at the top of their voices. It is too dark
for another line.

British Residency, Klang Selangor.--You will not know where Klang is,
and I think you won't find it in any atlas or encyclopedia. Indeed, I
almost doubt whether you will find Selangor, the Malay State of which
Klang is, after a fashion, the capital. At present I can tell you very

Selangor is bounded on the north by the "protected" State of Perak,
which became notorious in England a few years ago for a "little war,"
in which we inflicted a very heavy chastisement on the Malays for the
assassination of Mr. Birch, the British Resident. It has on its south
and southeast Sungei Ujong, Jelabu, and Pahang; but its boundaries in
these directions are ill-defined. The Strait of Malacca bounds it on
the west, and its coast-line is about a hundred and twenty miles long.
From its slightly vague interior boundary to the coast, it is supposed
to preserve a tolerably uniform depth of from fifty to sixty miles.
Klang is on the Klang river, in lat. 3 degrees 3' N., and long. 101
degrees 29' 30" E. I call it "the Capital after a fashion," because the
Resident and his myrmidons live here, and because vessels which draw
thirteen feet of water can go no higher; but the true capital, created
by the enterprise of Chinamen, is thirty-six miles farther inland, the
tin-mining settlement of Kwala Lumpor. Selangor thrives, if it does
thrive, which I greatly doubt, on tin and gutta; but Klang is a most
misthriven, decayed, dejected, miserable-looking place.* The nominal
ruler of Selangor is Sultan Abdul Samat, but he hybernates on a pension
at Langat, a long way off, and must be nearly obliterated, I think.
[*Kwala Lumpor is now the most important mining entrepot in Selangor,
and in 1880 the British Resident and his staff were removed thither.]

It is a great change from Malacca in every respect. I left it with
intense regret. Hospitality, kindness, most genial intercourse, and its
own semi-mediaeval and tropical fascinations, made it one of the
brightest among the many bright spots of my wanderings. Mr. Hayward
took me to the Rainbow in a six-oared boat, manned by six policemen,
completing the list of "Government facilities" as far as Malacca is
concerned. The mercury was 90 degrees in my little cabin or den, and it
swarmed not only with mosquitoes, but with cockroaches, which, in the
dim light, looked as large as mice. Of course, no one sleeps below in
the tropics who can avoid it; so as the deck was thick with Chinamen, I
had my mattress laid on a bench on the bridge, which was only occupied
by two Malay look-out men. There is not very much comfort when one
leaves the beaten tracks of travel, but any loss is far more than made
up for by the intense enjoyment.

It was a delightful night. The moon was only a hemisphere, yet I think
she gave more light than ours at the full. The night was so exquisite
that I was content to rest without sleeping; the Babel noises of fowls
and men had ceased, and there were only quiet sounds of rippling water,
and the occasional cry of a sea-bird as we slipped through the waveless
sea. When the moon set, the sky was wonderful with its tropic purple
and its pavement and dust of stars. I have become quite fond of the
Southern Cross, and don't wonder that the early navigators prostrated
themselves on deck when they first saw it. It is not an imposing
constellation, but it is on a part of the sky which is not crowded with
stars, and it always lies aslant and obvious. It has become to me as
much a friend as is the Plough of the northern regions.

At daybreak the next morning we were steaming up the Klang river, whose
low shores are entirely mangrove swamps, and when the sun was high and
hot we anchored in front of the village of Klang, where a large fort on
an eminence, with grass embankments in which guns are mounted, is the
first prominent object. Above this is a large wooden bungalow with an
attap roof, which is the British Residency. There was no air, and the
British ensign in front of the house hung limp on the flag-staff. Below
there is a village, with clusters of Chinese houses on the ground, and
Malay houses on stilts, standing singly, with one or two Government
offices bulking largely among them. A substantial flight of stone steps
leads from the river to a skeleton jetty with an attap roof, and near
it a number of attap-roofed boats were lying, loaded with slabs of tin
from the diggings in the interior, to be transhipped to Pinang. A
dainty steam-launch, the Abdulsamat, nominally the Sultan's yacht,
flying a large red and yellow flag, was also lying in the river.

Mr. Bloomfield Douglas, the Resident, a tall, vigorous, elderly man,
with white hair, a florid complexion, and a strong voice heard
everywhere in authoritative tones, met me with a four-oared boat, and a
buggy with a good Australian horse brought me here. From this house
there is a large but not a beautiful view of river windings, rolling
jungle, and blue hills. The lower part of the house, which is supported
on pillars, is mainly open, and is used for billiard-room, church,
lounging-room, afternoon tea-room, and audience-room; but I see nothing
of the friendly, easy-going to and fro of Chinese and Malays, which
was a pleasant feature of the Residency in Sungei Ujong. In fact, there
is here much of the appearance of an armed post amidst a hostile
population. In front of the Residency there is a six-pounder flanked by
two piles of shot. Behind it there is a guard-room, with racks of
rifles and bayonets for the Resident's body-guard of twelve men, and
quarters for the married soldiers, for soldiers they are, though they
are called policemen. A gong hangs in front of the porch on which to
sound the alarm, and a hundred men fully armed can turn out at five
minutes' notice.

The family consists of the Resident, his wife, a dignified and gracious
woman, with a sweet but plaintive expression of countenance, and an
afflicted daughter, on whom her mother attends with a loving, vigilant,
and ceaseless devotion of a most pathetic kind. The circle is completed
by a handsome black monkey tied to a post, and an ape which they call
an ouf, from the solitary monosyllable which it utters, but which I
believe to be the "agile gibbon," a creature so delicate that it has
never yet survived a voyage to England.

It is a beautiful creature. I could "put off" hours of time with it. It
walks on its hind legs with a curious human walk, hanging its long arms
down by its sides like B-----. It will walk quietly by your side like
another person. It has nice dark eyes, with well-formed lids like ours,
a good nose, a human mouth with very nice white teeth, and a very
pleasant cheery look when it smiles, but when its face is at rest the
expression is sad and wistful. It spends a good deal of its time in
swinging itself most energetically. It has very pretty fingers and
finger-nails. It looks fearfully near of kin to us, and yet the gulf is
measureless. It can climb anywhere, and take long leaps. This morning
it went into a house in which a cluster of bananas is hanging, leaped
up to the roof, and in no time had peeled two, which it ate very
neatly. It has not even a rudimentary tail. When it sits with its arms
folded it looks like a gentlemanly person in a close-fitting fur suit.

The village of Klang is not interesting. It looks like a place which
has "seen better days," and does not impress one favorably as regards
the prosperity of the State. Above it the river passes through rich
alluvial deposits, well adapted for sugar, rice, and other products of
low-lying tropical lands; but though land can be purchased on a system
of deferred payments for two dollars an acre, these lands are still
covered with primeval jungle. Steam-launches and flattish-bottomed
native boats go up the river eighteen miles farther to a village called
Damarsara, from which a good country road has been made to the great
Chinese village and tin mines of Kwala Lumpor. The man-eating tigers,
which almost until now infested the old jungle track, have been driven
back, and plantations of tobacco, tapioca, and rice have been started
along the road. On a single Chinese plantation, near Kwala Lumpor,
there are over two thousand acres of tapioca under cultivation, and the
enterprising Chinaman who owns it has imported European steam machinery
for converting the tapioca roots into the marketable article. Whatever
enterprise I hear of in the interior is always in the hands of
Chinamen. Klang looks as if an incubus oppressed it, and possibly the
Chinese are glad to be as far as possible from the seat of what
impresses me as a fussy Government. At all events, Klang, from whatever
cause, has a blighted look; and deserted houses rapidly falling into
decay, overgrown roads, fields choked with weeds, and an absence of
life and traffic in the melancholy streets, have a depressing
influence. The people are harassed by a vexatious and uncertain system
of fees and taxes, calculated to engender ill feeling, and things
connected with the administration seem somewhat "mixed."

You will be almost tired of the Chinese, but the more I see of them the
more I am impressed by them. These States, as well as Malacca, would be
jungles with a few rice clearings among them were it not for their
energy and industry. Actually the leading man, not only at Kwala
Lumpor (now the seat of government), but in Selangor, is Ah Loi, a
Chinaman! During the disturbances before we "advised" the State, the
Malays burned the town of Kwala Lumpor three times, and he rebuilt it,
and, in spite of many disasters stuck to it at the earnest request of
the native government. He has made long roads for the purpose of
connecting the most important of the tin mines with the town. His
countrymen place implicit confidence in him, and Mr. Syers, the
admirable superintendent of police, tells me that by his influence and
exertions he has so successfully secured peace and order in his town
and district that during many years not a single serious crime has been
committed. He employs on his estate--in mines, brickfields, and
plantations--over four thousand men. He has the largest tapioca estate
in the country and the best machinery. He has introduced the
manufacture of bricks, has provided the sick with an asylum, has been
loyal to British interests, has been a most successful administrator in
the populous district intrusted to him, and has dispensed justice to
the complete satisfaction of his countrymen. While he is the creator of
the commercial interests of Selangor, he is a man of large aims and of
an enlightened public spirit. Is there no decoration of St. Michael or
St. George in reserve for Ah Loi?* So far, however, from receiving any
suitable recognition of his services, it is certain that Ah Loi's
claims for compensation for losses, etc., have not yet been settled.
[*The months after my visit, Ah Loi received the Sultan of Selangor for
several days with great magnificence, and in July, 1880, he entertained
the Governor of the Straits Settlements and his suite with yet greater
splendor, erecting for the occasion a fine banqueting-hall with open

Sir F. A. Weld writes of this visit--"At Kwala Lumpor, besides the
reception and a dinner at the Capitan China's, a Chinese theatrical
performance was given representing a sultan and great rajahs,
quarreling, but laying aside their quarrels on the appearance of a
'governor,' who pacifies the country. Addresses and odes were also sung
and recited to me from the stage, and the performers representing the
great personages prostrated themselves and made obeisances. The
dresses were all real hand-worked gold and silver embroidery on thick
silks of the richest colors. The princes were attended by their
warriors, some of whose helmets and arms were magnificent, with banners
and feather standards, and coats of arms, or their equivalents, borne
aloft by heralds; ladies also appeared, one a prima-donna, other
actresses rode hobby-horses, only the head of the woman and hobby-horse
being visible in the clouds of silk and gold. Jesters jested; and
tumblers, in blue, loose tunics and wide scarlet trousers, shot across
the stage when there was any room in front of the crowd of actors with
the rapidity of meteors. The pace was too great to be even sure that
they were human beings. I have seen Kean's Shakespearian revival
pageants formerly in London, but I never realized what a mediaeval
court pageant might have been till in the heart of the Malay Peninsula
I saw the most gorgeous combination of color and picturesque effect
that I have ever set eyes upon."]

Klang does not improve on further acquaintance. It looks as if half the
houses were empty, and certainly half the population is composed of
Government employes, chiefly police constables. There is no air of
business energy, and the queerly mixed population saunters with limp
movements; even the few Chinese look depressed, as if life were too
much for them. It looks too as if there were a need for holding down
the population (which I am sure there isn't), for in addition to the
fort and its barracks, military police stations are dotted about. A
jail, with a very high wall, is in the middle of the village. The
jungle comes so near to Klang that tigers and herds of elephants,
sometimes forty strong, have been seen within half a mile of it. In
Sungei Ujong there was some excitement about a "rogue elephant" (i.e.,
an elephant which for reasons which appear good to other elephants, has
been expelled from the herd, and has been made mad and savage by
solitude), which, after killing two men, has crossed the river into
Selangor, and is man-killing here. A few days ago a man catching sight
of him in the jungle took refuge in a tree, and the brute tore the tree
down with its trunk, and trampled the poor fellow to death, his
companion escaping during the process.

Yesterday evening we had service in the hall, the whole white
population being "rounded up" for it; seven men and two women, three of
whom are Roman Catholics. The congregation sat under one punkah and the
Resident under another, both being worked by bigoted Mohammedans!
Everything was "ship-shape," as becomes Mr. Douglas's antecedents; a
union jack over the desk, from which the liturgy was read, and a
tiger-skin over the tiles in front, the harmonium well played, the
singing and chanting excellent. We had one of the most beautiful of the
Ambrosian hymns, and possibly Dr. Bonar may like to hear that his hymn,
"I heard the voice of Jesus say," was sung with equal enjoyment by
Catholics and Protestants in the wilds of the Golden Chersonese.

There is an almost daily shower here, and it is lovely now, with a
balmy freshness in the air. No one could imagine that we are in the
torrid zone, and only 3 degrees from the equator. The mercury has not
been above 83 degrees since I came, and the sea and land breezes are
exquisitely delicious. I wish you could see a late afternoon here in
its full beauty, with palms against a golden sky, pink clouds, a pink
river, and a balm-breathing air, just strong enough to lift the heavy
scented flowers which make the evenings delicious. There has been a
respite from mosquitoes, and I am having a "real good time."

But I had a great fright yesterday (part of the "good time" though). I
was going into the garden when six armed policemen leapt past me as if
they had been shot, followed by Mr. Daly, the land-surveyor, who has
the V.C. for some brave deed, shouting "a cobra! a cobra!" and I saw a
hooded head above the plants, and then the form I most fear and loathe
twisting itself toward the house with frightful rapidity, every one
flying. I was up a ladder in no time, and the next moment one of the
policemen, plucking up courage, broke the reptile's back with the butt
of his rifle, and soon it was borne away, dead, by its tail. It was
over four feet long. They get about three a day at the fort.

There is a reward of 20 cents per foot for every venomous snake brought
in, 50 cents per foot for an alligator, and 25 dollars for every tiger.
Lately the police have got two specimens of an ophiophagus, a
snake-eating snake over eighteen feet long, whose bite they say is
certain death. They have a horrible collection of snakes alive, half
dead, dead, and preserved. There was a fright of a different kind late
at night, and the two made me so nervous that when the moonlight
glinted two or three times on the bayonet of the sentry, which I could
see from my bed, I thought it was a Malay going to murder the Resident,
against whom I fear there may be many a vendetta.

LETTER XIV (Continued)

Yachting in the Malacca Straits--A Tropic Dream--The Rajah
Moussa--Tiger Stories--A Grand Excitement--A "Man-Eating Kris"--A Royal
Residence--A Council of State--The Sultan's Attendants--The "Light of
the Harem"--The Sultan's Offering


I was glad to get up at sunrise, when the whole heaven was flooded with
color and glory, and the lingering mists which lay here and there over
the jungle gleamed like silver. Before we left, Mrs. Douglas gave me
tea, scones, and fresh butter, the first fresh butter that I have
tasted for ten months. We left Klang in this beautiful steam-launch,
the (so-called) yacht of the Sultan, at eight, with forty souls on

I am somewhat hazy as to where I am. "The Langat river" is at present
to me only a "geographical expression." It is now past three o'clock,
and we have been going about since eight, sometimes up rivers, but
mostly on lovely tropic seas among islands. This is one of the usual
business tours of the Resident, with the additional object of
presenting a uniform to the Sultan. Besides Mr. Douglas there are his
son-in-law, Mr. Daly; Mr. Hawley, who has lately been appointed to a
collectorship, and who goes up to be presented to the Sultan; Mr.
Syers, formerly a private in the 10th Regiment, now superintendent of
the Selangor police force; and thirty policemen, who go up to form the
Sultan's escort to-morrow. Precautions, for some occult reason, seem to
be considered indispensable here, and have been increased since the
murder of Mr. Lloyd at the Dindings. The yacht has a complete permanent
roof of painted canvas, and under this is an armament of boarding
pikes. Round the little foremast four cutlasses and a quantity of ball
cartridges are displayed. Six rifles are in a rack below, and the
policemen and body-guard are armed with rifles and bayonets.

The yacht is perfection. The cabin, in which ten can dine, is high and
airy, and, being forward, there is no vibration. Space is exquisitely
utilized by all manner of contrivances. She is only 50 tons, and very
low in the water, but we are going all the way to Prince of Wales
island in her--200 miles. Everything is perfect on board, even to the
cuisine, and I appreciate the low rattan chairs at the bow, in which
one can sit in the shade and enjoy the zephyrs.

This day has been a tropic dream. I have enjoyed it and am enjoying it
intensely. We steamed down the Klang river, and then down a narrow
river-like channel among small palm-fringed islands which suddenly
opened upon the sea, which was slightly green toward the coral-sanded,
densely wooded, unpeopled shores, but westward the green tint merged
into a blue tint, which ever deepened till a line of pure, deep,
indescribable blue cut the blue sky on the far-off clear horizon. But,
ah! that "many twinkling smile of ocean!" Words cannot convey an idea
of what it is under this tropic sun and sky, with the silver-flashing
wavelets rippling the surface of the sapphire sea, beneath whose clear
warm waters brilliant fishes are darting through the coral groves.
These are enchanted seas--

"Where falls not rain, or hail, or any snow,
Or ever wind blows loudly."

It is unseemly that the Abdulsamat should smoke and puff and leave a
foamy wake behind her. "Sails of silk and ropes of sendal," and poetic
noiseless movements only would suit these lovely Malacca Straits. This
is one of the very few days in my life in which I have felt mere living
to be a luxury, and what it is to be akin to seas and breezes, and
birds and insects, and to know why nature sings and smiles.

We had been towing a revenue cutter with stores for a new lighthouse,
and cast her adrift at the point where we anchored, and the Resident
and Mr. Daly went ashore with thirteen policemen, and I had a most
interesting and instructive conversation with Mr. Syers. Afterward we
steamed along the low wooded coast, and then up the Langat river till
we came to Bukit Jugra, an isolated hill covered with jungle. The
landing is up a great face of smooth rock, near the top of which is a
pretty police station, and higher still, nearly concealed by bananas
and cocoa-palms, is the large bungalow of the revenue officer and
police magistrate of Langat. We saw Mr. Ferney, the magistrate, landed
the police guard, and then steamed up here for a council.

Mr. Syers went ashore, and returned with the Sultan's heir, the Rajah
Moussa, a very peculiar-looking Malay, a rigid Mohammedan, who is
known, the Resident says, to have said that when he becomes Sultan he
"will drive the white men into the sea." He works hard, as an example
to his people, and when working dresses like a coolie. He sets his face
against cock-fighting and other Malay sports, is a reformer, and a
_dour_, strong-willed man, and his accession seems to be rather dreaded
by the Resident, as it is supposed that he will be something more than
a mere figure-head prince. He is a Hadji, and was dressed in a turban
made of many yards of priceless silk muslin, embroidered in silk, a
white baju, and a long white sarong, and full white trousers--a
beautiful dress for an Oriental. He shook hands with me. I wish that
these people would not adopt our salutations, their own are so much
more appropriate to their character.

The yacht is now lying at anchor in a deep coffee-colored stream, near
a picturesque Malay village on stilts, surrounded by very extensive
groves of palms. Several rivers intersect each other in this
neighborhood, flowing through dense jungles and mangrove swamps. The
sun is still high. The four white men and the Rajah Moussa have gone
ashore snipe shooting, the Malays on board are sleeping, and I am
enjoying a delicious solitude.

February 4, 4 P.M.--We are steaming over the incandescent sapphire sea,
among the mangrove-bordered islands which fringe the Selangor coast,
under a blazing sun, with the mercury 88 degrees in the shade, but the
heat, though fierce, is not oppressive, and I have had a delightful
day. The men returned when they could no longer see to shoot snipes,
with a well filled bag, and after sunset we dropped down to Bukit Jugra
or Langat. Most of the river was as black as night with the heavy
shadows of the forest, but along the middle there was a lane of
lemon-colored water, the exquisite reflection of a lemon-colored sky.
The Resident and Mr. Daly went down to the coast in the yacht to avoid
the mosquitoes of the interior, but I with Omar, one of the "body
guard," half Malay half Kling, as my attendant, and Mr. Syers, landed,
to remain at the magistrate's bungalow. It was a lovely walk up the
hill through the palms and bananas, and the bayonets of our escort
gleamed in the intense moonlight, not with anything alarming about them
either, for an escort is only necessary because the place is so
infested by tigers. The bungalow is large but rambling, and my room was
one built out at the end, with six windows with solid shutters, of
which Mr. Ferney closed all but two, and half closed those, because of
a tiger which is infesting the immediate neighborhood of the house, and
whose growling, they say, is most annoying. He killed a heifer
belonging to the Sultan two nights ago, and last night the sentry got a
shot at him from the veranda outside my room as he was engaged in most
undignified depredations upon the hen house.

There was a grand excitement yesterday morning. A tigress was snared in
a pitfall and was shot. Her corpse was brought to the bungalow warm and
limp. She measured eight feet two inches from her nose to her tail, and
her tail was two feet six inches long. She had whelps, and they must be
starving in the jungle tonight. Her beautiful skin is hanging up. All
the neighborhood, Chinese and Malay, turned out. Some danced; and the
Sultan beat gongs. Everybody seized upon a bit of the beast. The Sultan
claimed the liver, which, when dried and powdered, is worth twice its
weight in gold, as a medicine. The blood was taken, and I saw the
Chinamen drying it in the sun on small slabs; it is an invaluable
tonic! The eyes, which were of immense size, were eagerly scrambled
for, that the hard parts in the centre, which are valuable charms,
might be set in gold as rings. It was sad to see the terrible "glaring
eyeballs" of the jungle so dim and stiff. The bones were taken to be
boiled down to a jelly, which, when some mysterious drug has been
added, is a grand tonic. The gall is most precious, and the flesh was
all taken, but for what purpose I don't know. A steak of it was stewed,
and I tasted it, and found it in flavor much like the meat of an
ancient and overworked draught ox, but Mr. Ferney thought it like good
veal. At dinner the whole talk was of the wild beasts of the jungle;
and, as we were all but among them, it was very fascinating. I wanted
to go out by moonlight, but Mr. Ferney said that it was not safe,
because of tigers, and even the Malays there don't go out after

Mr. Ferney has given me a stick with a snake-mark on it, which was
given to him as a thing of great value. The Malay donor said that
anyone carrying it would become invulnerable and invisible, and that if
you were to beat anyone with it, the beaten man would manifest all the
symptoms of snake poisoning! Mr. Ferney has also given me a kris. When
I showed it to Omar this morning, he passed it across his face and
smelt it, and then said, "This kris good--has ate a man."

I could not sleep much, there were such strange noises, and the sentry
made the veranda creak all night outside my room; but this is a
splendid climate, and one is refreshed and ready to rise with the sun
after very little sleep. The tropic mornings are glorious. There is
such an abrupt and vociferous awakening of nature, all dew-bathed and
vigorous. The rose-flushed sky looks cool, the air feels cool, one
longs to protract the delicious time. Then with a suddenness akin to
that of his setting, the sun wheels above the horizon, and is high in
the heavens in no time, truly "coming forth as a bridegroom out of his
chamber, and rejoicing as a giant to run his course," and as truly
"There is nothing hid from the heat thereof," for hardly is he visible
than the heat becomes tremendous. But tropical trees and flowers,
instead of drooping and withering under the solar fury, rejoice in it.

This morning was splendid. The great banana fronds under the still,
blue sky looked truly tropical The mercury was 82 degrees at 7 A.M. The
"tiger mosquitoes," day torments, large mosquitoes with striped legs, a
loud metallic hum, and a plethora of venom, were in full fury from
daylight. Ammonia does not relieve their bites as it does those of the
night mosquitoes, and I am covered with inflamed and confluent lumps as
large as the half of a bantam's egg. But these and other drawbacks, I
know from experience, will soon be forgotten, and I shall remember only
the beauty, the glory, and the intense enjoyment of this day.

Quite early the Rajah Moussa arrived in a baju of rich, gold-colored
silk, which suited his swarthy complexion. He sat in the room
pretending to look over the Graphic, but in reality watching me, as I
wrote to you, just as I should watch an ouf. At last he asked how many
Japanese I had killed!!!!

The succession is here hereditary in the male line, and this Rajah
Moussa is the Sultan's eldest son. The Sultan receives 2,000 pounds a
year out of the revenue, and this Rajah 960 pounds.

The Resident arrived at nine, wearing a very fine dress sword, and gold
epaulettes on his linen coat; and under a broiling sun we all walked
through a cleared part of the jungle, through palms and bananas, to the
reception at the Sultan's, which was the "motive" of our visit. The
Sultan, Abdulsamat, has three houses in a beautiful situation, at the
end of a beautiful valley. They are in the purest style of Malay
architecture, and not a Western idea appears anywhere. The wood of
which they are built is a rich brown red. The roofs are very high and
steep, but somewhat curved. The architecture is simple, appropriate,
and beautiful The dwelling consists of the Sultan's house, a broad,
open passage, and then the women's house or harem. At the end of the
above passage is the audience-hall, and the front entrance to the
Sultan's house is through a large porch which forms a convenient
reception room on occasions like that of yesterday.

From this back passage or court a ladder, with rungs about two feet
apart, leads into the Sultan's house, and a step-ladder into the
women's house. Two small boys, entirely naked, were incongruous objects
sitting at the foot of the ladder. Here we waited for him, two files of
policemen being drawn up as a guard of honor. He came out of the
women's house very actively, shook hands with each of us (obnoxious
custom!), and passed through the lines of police round to the other
side of his house into the porch, the floor of which was covered with
fine matting nearly concealed by handsome Persian rugs.

The Sultan sat on a high-backed, carved chair or throne. All the other
chairs were plain. The Resident sat on his right, I on his left, and on
my left the Rajah Moussa, with other sons of the sultan, and some
native princes. Mr. Syers acted as interpreter. Outside there were
double lines of military police, and the bright adjacent slopes were
covered with the Sultan's followers and other Malays. The balcony of
the audience-hall, which has a handsome balustrade, was full of Malay
followers in bright reds and cool white. It was all beautiful, and the
palms rustled in the soft air, and bright birds and butterflies flew
overhead, rejoicing in mere existence.

If Abdulsamat were not Sultan, I should pick him out as the most
prepossessing Malay that I have seen. He is an elderly man, with
iron-gray hair, a high and prominent brow, large, prominent, dark,
eyes, a well-formed nose, and a good mouth. The face is bright, kindly,
and fairly intelligent. He is about the middle height. His dress
became him well, and he looked comfortable in it though he had not worn
it before. It was a rich, black velvet baju or jacket, something like a
loose hussar jacket, braided, frogged, and slashed with gold, trousers
with a broad gold strip on the outside, a rich silk sarong in checks
and shades of red, and a Malay printed silk handkerchief knotted round
his head, forming a sort of peak. No Mohammedan can wear a hat with a
rim or stiff crown, or of any kind which would prevent him from bowing
his forehead to the earth in worship.

The Resident read the proceedings of the council of the day before, and
the Sultan confirmed them. The nominal approval of measures initiated
by the Resident and agreed to in council, and the signing of
death-warrants, are among the few prerogatives which "his Highness"
retains. Then a petition for a pension from Rajah Brean was read, the
Rajah, a slovenly-looking man, being present. The petition was refused,
and the Sultan, in refusing it, spoke some very strong words about
idleness, which seems a great failing of Rajah Brean's but it has my
strong sympathy, for--

Should life all labor be?--
There is no joy but calm;
Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of things?"

During the reception a richly-dressed attendant sat on the floor with
an iron tube like an Italian iron in his hand, in which he slowly
worked an arrangement which might be supposed to be a heater up and
down. I thought that he might be preparing betel-nut, but Mr. Douglas
said that he was working a charm for the Sultan's safety, and it was
believed that if he paused some harm would happen. Another attendant,
yet more richly dressed, carried a white scarf fringed and embroidered
with gold over one shoulder, and two vases of solid gold, with their
surfaces wrought by exquisite workmanship into flowers nearly as
delicate as filigree work. One of these contained betel-nut, and the
other sirih leaves. Meanwhile the police, with their bayonets flashing
in the sun, and the swarthy, richly-costumed throng on the palm-shaded
slopes, were a beautiful sight. The most interesting figure to me was
that of the reforming heir, the bigoted Moslem in his gold-colored
baju, with his swarthy face, singular and almost sinister expression,
and his total lack of all Western fripperies of dress. I think that
there may be trouble when he comes to the throne, at least if the
present arrangements continue. He does not look like a man who would
be content to be a mere registrar of the edicts of "a dog of an

The Sultan has a "godown" containing great treasures, concerning which
he leads an anxious life--hoards of diamonds and rubies, and priceless
damascened krises, with scabbards of pure gold wrought into marvelous
devices and incrusted with precious stones. On Mr. Douglas's suggestion
(as I understood) he sent a kris with an elaborate gold scabbard to the
Governor, saying: "It is not from the Sultan to the Governor, _but from
a friend to a friend_." He seems anxious for Selangor to "get on." He
is making a road at Langat at his own expense; and acting, doubtless,
under British advice, has very cordially agreed that the odious system
of debt slavery shall be quietly dropped from among the institutions of

When this audience was over I asked to be allowed to visit the Sultana,
and, with Mrs. Ferney as interpreter, went to the harem, accompanied by
the Rajah Moussa. It is a beautiful house, of one very large, lofty
room, part of which is divided into apartments by heavy silk curtains.
One end of it is occupied by a high dais covered with fine mats, below
which is another dais covered with Persian carpets. On this the Sultana
received us, the Rajah Moussa, who is not her son, and ourselves
sitting on chairs. If I understood rightly that this prince is not her
son, I do not see how it is that he can go into the women's apartments.
Two guards sat on the floor just within the door, and numbers of women,
some of them in white veils, followers of the Sultana, sat in rows also
on the floor.

It must be confessed that the "light of the harem" is not beautiful.
She looks nearly middle-aged. She is short and fat, with a flat nose,
open wide nostrils, thick lips, and filed teeth, much blackened by
betel-nut chewing. Her expression is pleasant, and her manner is
prepossessing. She wore a rich, striped, red silk sarong, and a very
short, green silk kabaya with diamond clasps; but I saw very little of
her dress or herself, because she was almost enveloped in a pure white
veil of a fine woolen material spangled with gold stars, and she
concealed so much of her face with it, in consequence of the presence
of the Rajah Moussa, that I only rarely got a glimpse of the
magnificent diamond solitaires in her ears. Our conversation was not
brilliant, and the Sultana looked to me as if she had attained nirvana,
and had "neither ideas nor the consciousness of the absence of ideas."
We returned and took leave of the Sultan, and after we left I caught a
glimpse of him lounging at ease in a white shirt and red sarong, all
his gorgeousness having disappeared.

After we returned to the bungalow the Sultan sent me a gift. Eight
attendants dressed in pure white came into the room in single file, and
each bowing to the earth, sat down a brass salver, with its contents
covered with a pure white cloth. Again bowing, they uncovered them, and
displayed the fruitage of the tropics. There were young cocoa-nuts,
gold-colored bananas of the kind which the Sultan eats, papayas, and
clusters of a species of jambu, a pear-shaped fruit, beautiful to look
at, each fruit looking as if made of some transparent, polished white
wax with a pink flush on one side. The Rajah Moussa also arrived and
took coffee, and the verandas were filled with his followers. Every
Rajah goes about attended, and seems to be esteemed according to the
size of his following.

We left this remote and beautiful place at noon, and after a delightful
cruise of five hours down the Jugra, and among islands floating on a
waveless sea, we reached dreary, decayed Klang in the evening.

I. L. B.


Tiger Mosquitoes--Insect Torments--A Hadji's Fate--Malay Custom--Oaths
and Lies--A False Alarm


I have had two days of supposed quiet here after the charming
expedition to Langat. The climate seems very healthy. The mercury has
been 87 degrees daily, but then it falls to 74 degrees at night. The
barometer, as is usual so near the equator, varies only a few tenths of
an inch during the year. The rainfall is about 130 inches annually. It
is most abundant in January, February and March, and at the change of
the monsoon, and there is enough all the year round to keep vegetation
in beauty. Here, on uninteresting cleared land with a featureless
foreground and level mangrove swamps for the middle distance, it must
be terribly monotonous to have no change of seasons, no hope of the
mercury falling below 80 degrees in the daytime, or of a bracing wind,
or of any marked climatic changes for better or worse all life through.

The mosquitoes are awful, but after a few months of more or less
suffering the people who live here become inoculated by the poison, and
are more bothered than hurt by the bites. I am almost succumbing to
them. The ordinary pests are bad enough, for just when the evenings
become cool, and sitting on the veranda would be enjoyable; they begin
their foray, and specially attack the feet and ankles; but the tiger
mosquitoes of this region bite all day, and they do embitter life. In
the evening all the gentlemen put on sarongs over their trousers to
protect themselves, and ladies are provided with sarongs which we draw
over our feet and dresses, but these wretches bite through two "ply" of
silk or cotton; and, in spite of all precautions, I am dreadfully
bitten on my ankles, feet, and arms, which are so swollen that I can
hardly draw on my sleeves, and for two days stockings have been an
impossibility, and I have had to sew up my feet daily in linen! The
swellings from the bites have become confluent, and are scarlet with
inflammation. It is truly humiliating that "the crown of things" cannot
defend himself against these minute enemies, and should be made as
miserable as I am just now.

But it is a most healthy climate, and when I write of mosquitoes, land
leeches, centipedes and snakes, I have said my say as to its evils. I
will now confess that I was bitten by a centipede in my bath-house in
Sungei Ujong, but I at once cut the bite deeply with a penknife,
squeezed it, and poured ammonia recklessly over it, and in a few hours
the pain and swelling went off.

I had been to the fort, the large barrack of the military police, and
Mr. Syers showed me many things. In the first place, a snake about
eight feet long was let out and killed. The Malays call this a
"two-headed" snake, and there is enough to give rise to the ignorant
statement, for after the proper head was dead the tail stood up and
moved forward. The skin of this reptile was marked throughout with
broad bands of black and white alternately. There was an ill-favored
skull of a crocodile hanging up to dry, with teeth three inches long.
One day lately a poor Hadji was carried off by one, and shortly
afterwards this monster was caught, and on opening it they found the
skull of the Hadji, part of his body, a bit of his clothing, and part
of a goat. I brought away as spoils tiger's teeth and claws,
crocodile's teeth, bear's teeth, etc.

I went also to the Government offices. The skin of a superb tiger,
which was killed close to Klang after it had devoured six men,
decorated the entrance. I heard two cases tried before the Resident.
The first criminal was a Malay, who was "in trouble" for the very
British crime of nearly beating his wife to death. She said she did not
want to prosecute him, but to get a divorce. She was told to apply to
the Imaum, and the man was bound over to keep the peace for six months.
The next case was a very common one here, and the court was crowded
with Chinese onlookers. A Chinaman had bought a girl (very nice-looking
she was), and now a man wants to marry her, upon which her owner
produces a promissory note from her, and demands $165 as her price! It
was impossible to make him understand that the transaction is utterly
illegal and immoral. The Resident addressed some very strong and just
words to this man in reprobation of his conduct, which were translated
for the benefit of the crowd.

I cannot elicit anything very definite, here or elsewhere, about the
legal system under which criminals are tried in these States.
Apparently, murder, robbery, forgery, and violent assault come under
English criminal law, and must be equally punishable whether committed
by a Briton, a Chinaman, or a Malay. But then nobody, except a
Christian, can be punished for bigamy. So criminal law even undergoes
modification by local custom; and the four wives of the Mussulman, and
the subordinate wives of the Chinaman, have an equal claim to
recognition with the one wife of the Englishman. Even Mohammedan law,
by which the Malays profess to be ruled, is modified by Malay custom,
which asserts itself specially in connection with marriage, its
frequent attendant repudiation, and inheritance.

The "Malay custom" (adat Malayu) seems to have been originally a just
and equitable code, though ofttimes severe in its punishments, as you
will see if you can get Newbold's _Malacca_, and was probably suited to
the people; but it has undergone such clippings and emendations by the
successive Rajahs or Sultans of these native States, that the custom
now in force bears a very faint resemblance to the original adat. It is
said, indeed, that each alteration has been for the worse, and that now
any chief who introduces anything of his own will, justifies it as
"adat Malayu." Mr. Swettenham, the Assistant Colonial Secretary, says
that the few upright Rajahs who exist say that there is no longer any
"adat Malayu," but that everything is done by "adat Suka hate," i.e.,
the custom by which a man can best suit his own inclination.

So it seems that a most queerly muddled system of law prevails under
our flag, Mohammedan law, modified by degenerate and evil custom, and
to some extent by the discretion of the residents, existing alongside
of fragments of English criminal law, or more perhaps correctly of
"justice's justice," the Resident's notions of "equity," overriding all
else.* Surely, as we have practically acquired those States, and are
responsible for their good government, we ought to give them the
blessing of a simple code of law, of which the residents shall be only
the responsible interpreters, modified by the true "Malay custom" of
course, but under the same conditions which are giving such growing
satisfaction to the peoples of India and Ceylon.
[*A Colonial friend tells me that he asked an English magistrate in one
of the native States, by what law--English, Colonial, or Malay--he had
sentenced some culprits to three years' imprisonment, and that the reply
was a shrug, and "The rascals were served right."]

The oaths are equally inscrutable, and probably no oath, however
terrible in formula, would restrain a Chinese coolie witness from
telling a lie, if he thought it would be to his advantage.*
[*Sir Benson Maxwell, late Chief Justice of the Straits Settlements, to
whose kindness I am much indebted, wrote to me lately thus: "In China I
believe an oath is rarely taken; when it is, it is in the form of an
imprecation. The witness cuts off a cock's head, and prays that he may
be so treated if he speaks falsely." "Would you cut off a cock's head to
that?" I once asked a Chinese witness who had made a statement which I
did not believe. "I would cut off an elephant's head to it," he replied.
In the Colonial courts, Chinamen are sworn by burning a piece of paper
on which is written some imprecation on themselves if they do not speak
the truth.]

I went to see the jail, a tolerable building--a barred cage below, and
a long room above--standing in a graveled courtyard, surrounded by a
high wall. Formerly there were no prisons, and criminals were punished
on the spot, either by being krissed, shot, or flogged. Here they have
a liberal diet of rice and salt fish, and "hard labor" is only mild
work on the roads. The prisoners, forty-two adult men, were drawn up in
a row, and Mr. Syers called the roll, telling the crime of each man,
and his conduct in prison; and most of those who had conducted
themselves well were to be recommended to the Sultan for remission of
part of their sentences. "Flog them if they are lazy," the Resident
often said; but Mr. Syers says that he never punishes them except under
aggravated circumstances. The prisoners are nearly all Chinamen, and
their crimes are mostly murder, gang-robbery, assault, and theft.
About half of them were in chains. There is an unusual mortality in the
prison, attributed, though possibly not _attributable_, to the enforced
disuse of opium. We went also to the hospital, mainly used by the
police, a long airy shed, with a broad shelf on each side. Mr. Klyne,
the apothecary, a half-caste, has a good many Malay dispensary

On our return, four Malay women, including the Imaum's wife, came to
see me. Each one would have made a picturesque picture, but they had no
manners, and seized on my hands, which are coarsened, reddened, and
swelled from heat and mosquito bites, all exclaiming, "chanti!
chanti!"--pretty! pretty! I wondered at their bad taste, specially as
they had very small and pretty hands themselves, with almond-shaped

In the evening the "establishment" dined at the Residency. After
dinner, as we sat in the darkness in the veranda, maddened by mosquito
bites, about 9:30, the bugle at the fort sounded the "alarm," which was
followed in a few seconds by the drum beating "to quarters," and in
less than five minutes every approach to the Residency was held by men
with fixed bayonets, and fourteen rounds of ball-cartridges each in
their belts, and every road round Klang was being patrolled by pickets.
I knew instinctively that it was "humbug," arranged to show the
celerity with which the little army could be turned out; and shortly an
orderly arrived with a note--"False alarm;" but Klang never subsided
all night, and the Klings beat their tom-toms till daylight. I am
writing at dawn now, in order that my letter may "catch the mail."

I. L. B.


A Yachting Voyage--The Destruction of Selangor--Varieties of
Slime--Swamp Fever--An Unprosperous Region--A "Deadly-Lively"
Morning--A Waif and Stray--The Superintendent of Police


You will certainly think, from the dates of my letters, that I am
usually at sea. The Resident, his daughter, Mrs. Daly, Mr. Hawley, a
revenue officer, and I, left Klang this morning at eight for a two
days' voyage in this bit of a thing. Blessed be "the belt of calms!"
There was the usual pomp of a body-guard, some of whom are in
attendance, and a military display on the pier, well drilled, and well
officered in quiet, capable, admirable, unobtrusive Mr. Syers; but
gentle Mrs. Douglas, devoted to her helpless daughter, standing above
the jetty, a lone woman in forlorn, decayed Klang, haunts me as a
vision of sadness, as I think of her sorrow and her dignified
hospitality in the midst of it.

Now, at half-past eleven, we are aground with an ebb-tide on the bar of
the Selangor river; so I may write a little, though I should like to be

Bernam River, Selangor, February 8th.--"Chi-laka!" (worthless
good-for-nothing wretch), "Bodo!" (fool). I hear these words repeated
incessantly in tones of thunder and fury, with accompaniments which
need not be dwelt upon. The Malays are a revengeful people. If any
official in British service were to knock them about and insult them,
one can only say what has been said to me since I came to the native
States: "Well, some day--all I can say is, God help him!" But then if
an official were to be krissed, no matter how deservedly in Malay
estimation, a gunboat would be sent up the river to "punish," and would
kill, burn, and destroy; there would be a "little war," and a heavy war
indemnity, and the true bearings of the case would be lost forever.

Yesterday, after a detention on the bar, we steamed up the broad, muddy
Selangor river, margined by bubbling slime, on which alligators were
basking in the torrid sun, to Selangor. Here the Dutch had a fort on
the top of the hill. We destroyed it in August, 1871. Some Chinese
whose connection with Selangor is not traceable, after murdering nearly
everybody on board a Pinang-owned junk, took the vessel to Selangor. We
demanded that the native chiefs should give up the pirates, and they
gave up nine readily, but refused the tenth, against whom "it does not
appear that there was any proof," and drew their krises on our police
when they tried to arrest the man in defiance of them. The (acting)
Governor of the Straits Settlements, instead of representing to the
Sultan the misconduct, actual or supposed, of his officers, sent a
war-ship to seize and punish them. This attempt was resented by the
Selangor chiefs, and they fired on those who made it. The Rinaldo
destroyed the town in consequence, and killed many of its inhabitants.

When the Viceroy, a brother of the Sultan of Kedah, retook Selangor two
years afterward, he found that what had been a populous and thriving
place was almost deserted, the few hovels which remained were in ruins,
the plantations were overgrown with rank jungle growths, and their
owners had fled; the mines in the interior were deserted, and the roads
and jungle paths were infested by bands of half-starved robbers.*
[*This account of Selangor does not rest on local hearsay, but on the
authority of two of the leading officials of the Colonial Government.]

Selangor is a most wretched place--worse than Klang. On one side of the
river there is a fishing village of mat and attap hovels on stilts
raised a few feet above the slime of a mangrove swamp; and on the other
an expanse of slime, with larger houses on stilts, and an attempt at a
street of Chinese shops, and a gambling-den, which I entered, and found
full of gamblers at noonday. The same place serves for a spirit and
champagne shop. Slime was everywhere oozing, bubbling, smelling putrid
in the sun, all glimmering, shining, and iridescent, breeding fever and
horrible life; while land-crabs boring holes, crabs of a brilliant
turquoise-blue color, which fades at death, and reptiles like fish,
with great bags below their mouths, and innumerable armor-plated
insects, were rioting in it under the broiling sun.

We landed by a steep ladder upon a jetty with a gridiron top, only safe
for shoeless feet, and Mr. Hawley and I went up to the fort by steps
cut in the earth. There are fine mango-trees on the slopes, said to
have been planted by the Dutch two centuries ago. The fort is nearly
oblong, and has a wall of stones and earth round it, in which, near the
entrance, some of the Dutch brickwork is still visible. The trees round
it are much tattered and torn by English shell. In front of the
entrance there is a large flat stone on a rude support. On this a young
girl was sacrificed some years ago, and the Malay guns were smeared
with her blood, in the idea that it would make them successful. I was
told this story, but have no means of testing its accuracy.

Within the fort the collector and magistrate--a very inert-looking
Dutch half-caste--has a wretched habitation, mostly made of attap. We
sat there for some time. It looked most miserable, the few things about
being empty bottles and meat-tins. A man would need many resources,
great energy, and an earnest desire to do his duty, in order to save
him from complete degeneracy. He has no better prospect from his
elevation, than a nearly level plateau of mangrove swamps and jungle,
with low hills in the distance, in which the rivers rise. It was

In the meantime the Resident was trying a case, and when it was
concluded we steamed out to sea and hugged all day the most monotonous
coast I ever saw, only just, if just, above high-water mark, with a
great level of mangrove swamps and dense jungle behind, with high,
jungle-covered hills in the very far distance, a vast area of
beast-haunted country, of which nothing is known by Europeans, and
almost nothing by the Malays themselves. So very small a vessel tumbles
about a good deal even with a very light breeze, and instead of going
to dinner I lay on the roof of the cabin studying blue-books. At
nightfall we anchored at the mouth of the Bernam river, to avoid the
inland mosquitoes, but we must have brought some with us, for I was
malignantly bitten. Mrs. Daly and I shared the lack of privacy and
comfort of the cabin. Perfect though the Abdulsamat is, there is very
little rest to be got in a small and overcrowded vessel, and besides,
the heat was awful. I think we were not far enough from the swampy
shore, for Mrs. Daly was seized with fever during the night, and a
Malay servant also. In the morning Mrs. Daly. who is comely and has a
very nice complexion, looked haggard, yellow, and much shaken.

At daylight we weighed anchor and steamed for many miles up the muddy,
mangrove-fringed river Bernam, the mangroves occasionally varied by the
nipah palm. We met several palm-trees floating with their roots and
some of their fruits above the water, like those we saw yesterday
evening out on the Malacca Straits, looking like crowded Malay prahus
with tattered mat-sails.

Before nine we anchored at this place, whose wretchedness makes a great
impression on me, because we are to deposit Mr. Hawley here as revenue
collector. I have seen him every day for a week; he is amiable and
courteous, as well as intelligent and energetic, and it is shocking to
leave him alone in a malarious swamp. This dismal revenue station
consists of a few exceptionally poor-looking Malay houses on the river
bank, a few equally unprosperous-looking Chinese dwellings, a police
station of dilapidated thatch among the trees, close to it a cage in
which there is a half-human looking criminal lying on a mat, a new
house or big room, raised for Mr. Hawley, with the swamp all round it
and underneath it, and close to it some pestiferous ditches which have
been cut to drain it, but in which a putrid-looking brown ooze has
stagnated. There is a causeway about two hundred yards long on the
river bank, but no road anywhere. The river is broad, deep, swift and
muddy; on its opposite side is Perak, the finest State in the
peninsula, and the cluster of mat houses on the farther shore is under
the Perak Government.* Sampans are lying on the heated slime. Cocoa-nut
trees fringe the river bank for some distance, and there are some
large, spreading trees loaded with the largest and showiest crimson
blossoms I ever saw, throwing even the gaudy Poinciana regia into the
shade; but nothing can look very attractive here, with the swamp in
front and the jungle behind, where the rhinoceros is said to roam
[*The Bernam district has recently been handed over to Perak, and is now
under Mr. Low's very capable administration.]

We landed in the police boat at a stilted jetty approached by a ladder
with few and slippery rungs. At the top there was a primitive gridiron
of loose nibong bars, and the river swirled so rapidly and dizzily
below that I was obliged ignominiously to hold on to a Chinaman in
order to reach the causeway safely. To add to the natural insecurity of
the foothold, some men were killing a goat at the top of the ladder,
and its blood made the whole gridiron slippery. The banks of the river
are shining slime giving off fetid exhalations under the burning sun;
there is a general smell of vegetable decomposition, and miasma fever
(one would suppose) is exhaling from every bubble of the teeming slime
and swamp.

In the veranda of Mr. Hawley's house a number of forlorn-looking
Rajahs are sitting, each with his forlorn-looking train of followers,
and in front of the police station a number of forlorn-looking Malays
are sitting motionless hour after hour. The Chinese have a row of shops
above the river bank, and even on this deadly-looking shore they
display some purpose and energy. Mrs. Daly and I are sitting in Mr.
Hawley's side veranda with the bubbling swamp below us. She reads a
dull novel, I watch the dead life, pen in hand, and think how I can
convey any impression of it to you. The Resident has gone snipe-
shooting to replenish our larder. A boat now and then crosses from the
Perak side, a sauntering Malay occasionally joins the squatting group,
a fishing hawk now and then swoops down upon a fish, a policeman
occasionally rouses up the wretch in the cage, and so the torrid hours

I take this up again as the dew falls, and the sea takes on the
coloring of a dying dolphin. The Resident returned with a good bag of
snipe, and with Rajah Odoot, a gentle, timid-looking man, and another
Rajah with an uncomfortable, puzzled face, took his place at a table, a
policeman with a brace of loaded revolvers standing behind him.
Policemen filed in; one or two cases were tried and dismissed, the
Malay witnesses trembling from head to foot, and then the wretch from
the cage was brought in looking hardly human, as, from under his
shaggy, unshaven hair and unplaited pigtail which hung over his chest,
he cast furtive, frightened glances at the array before him. He was
charged with being a waif. A Malay had picked him up at sea in a boat,
of which he could give no account, neither of himself. So he is
supposed to have been implicated in the murder of Mr. Lloyd, and we are
bringing him, heavily ironed, and his boat up to Pinang. I wonder how
many of the feelings which we call human exist in the lowest order of
Orientals! It is certain that many of them only regard kindness as a
confession of weakness. The Chinese seem specially inscrutable; no one
seems really to understand them. Even the Canton missionaries said that
they knew nearly nothing of them and their feelings. This wretched
criminal, with his possible association with a brutal murder, is a most
piteous object on deck, and comes between me and the enjoyment of this
entrancing evening.

We reembarked late in the afternoon, and with the flood-tide in our
favor have left Selangor behind. It has impressed me unfavorably as
compared with Sungei Ujong. Of Kwalor Lumpor I cannot give any opinion,
but I have seen no signs of progress or life anywhere else. The people
of the State are harassed by vexatious imposts which yield very little,
cost a great deal to collect, repress industry, and drive away
population. Among such are taxes on individuals moving about the
country up or down the rivers, cutting wood or in boats, oppressively
heavy export duties on certain kinds of produce, and ad valorem duties
on all articles of import and export not otherwise specially taxed. The
costs of litigation are enormous, and the legal expenses to litigants
are as great as in settlements where with the same money every
advantage can be obtained. The stamps on all legal documents are also
oppressive. The various departments are said to be in a state of

With all this there is a good deal of display of military power on a
small scale, and of such over-aweing implements as bayonets and
revolvers, together with marching and counter-marching, body-guards and
guards of honor. There must surely be a want of the right kind of vigor
in the administration, and a "laisser aller" on the part of some of the
minor officials, the result of which is that the great capabilities of
the State are not developed, and its resources seem very little known.
There has not been any disturbance in Selangor since 1874; and as
neither the Sultan, the Malays, nor the Chinese have ever raised
objections of any serious kind to the proposals of the British
advisers, the "far back" state of things is very singular.

Mr. Syers, the superintendent of military police, appears a thoroughly
efficient man, as sensible in his views of what would conduce to the
advancement of the State as he is conscientious and careful in all
matters of detail which concern his rather complicated position. He is
a student of the people and of the country, speaks Malay fluently, and
for a European seems to have a sympathetic understanding of the Malays,
is studying the Chinese and their language, as well as the flora,
fauna, and geology of the country, and is altogether unpretending. I
have formed a very high opinion of him and should rely implicitly on
anything which he told me as a fact. This is a great blessing, for
conflicting statements on every subject, and the difficulty of
estimating which one comes probably nearest the truth, are among the
great woes of traveling!

I. L. B.


The Dindings--The Tragedy on Pulu Pangkor--A Tropic Sunrise--Sir W.
Robinson's Departure--"A Touch of the Sun"--Kling Beauty--A Question
and Answer--The Bazaars of Georgetown--The Chinaman Goes Ahead--The
Products of Pinang--Pepper-Planting


In the evening we reached the Dindings, a lovely group of small islands
ceded to England by the Pangkor Treaty, and just now in the height of
an unenviable notoriety. The sun was low and the great heat past, the
breeze had died away, and in the dewy stillness the largest of the
islands looked unspeakably lovely as it lay in the golden light between
us and the sun, forest-covered to its steep summit, its rocky
promontories running out into calm, deep, green water, and forming
almost land-locked bays, margined by shores of white coral sand backed
by dense groves of cocoa-palms whose curving shadows lay dark upon the
glassy sea. Here and there a Malay house in the shade indicated man and
his doings, but it was all silent.

On a high, steep point there is a small clearing on which stands a mat
bungalow with an attap roof, and below this there is a mat police
station, but it was all desolate, nothing stirred, and though we had
intended to spend the early hours of the night at the Dindings, we only
lay a short time in the deep shadow upon the clear green water,
watching scarlet fish playing in the coral forests, and the exquisite
beauty of the island with its dense foliage in dark relief against the
cool lemon sky. Peace brooded over the quiet shores, heavy aromatic
odors of night-blooming plants wrapped us round, the sun sank suddenly,
the air became cool, it was a dream of tropic beauty.

"Chalakar! Bondo!" Those jarring sounds seemed to have something
linking them with the tragedy of which the peaceful-looking bungalow
was lately the scene, and of which you have doubtless read. A Chinese
gang swooped down upon the house from behind, beating gongs and
shouting. Captain Lloyd got up to see what was the matter, and was
felled by a hatchet, calling out to his wife for his revolver. This had
been abstracted, and the locks had been taken off his fowling-pieces.
The ayah fled to the jungle in the confusion, taking with her the three
children, the youngest only four weeks old. The wretches then
fractured, Mrs. Lloyd's skull with the hatchet, and having stunned Mrs.
Innes, who was visiting her, they pushed the senseless bodies under the
bed, and were preparing to set fire to it when something made them

No more is likely to be known. The police must either have been
cowardly or treacherous. The Pyah Pekket called the next day and
brought the frightfully mangled corpse, Mrs. Lloyd, whose reason was
overturned, and Mrs. Innes, on here. It is supposed that the Chinese
secret societies have frustrated justice. A wretch is to be hanged here
for the crime this morning on his own confession, but it is believed
that he was doomed to sacrifice himself by one of these societies, in
order to screen the real murderers. The contrast was awful between the
island looking so lovely in the evening light, and this horrid deed
which has desolated it.

The mainland approaches close to the Dindings, but the mangrove swamps
of Selangor had given place to lofty ranges, forest covered, and a
white coral strand fringed with palms. It was a lovely night. The
north-east monsoon was fresh and steady, and the stars were glorious.
It was very hot below, but when I went up on deck it was cool, and in
the colored dawn we were just running up to the island-group of which
Pinang is the chief, and reached the channel which divides it from
Leper Island just at sunrise. All these islands are densely wooded, and
have rocky shores. The high mountains of the native State of Kedah
close the view to the north, and on the other side of a very narrow
channel are the palm groves and sugar plantations of Province
Wellesley. The Leper Island looked beautiful in the dewy morning with
its stilted houses under the cocoa-palms; and the island of Pinang,
with its lofty peak, dense woods, and shores fringed with palms
sheltering Malay kampongs, each with its prahus drawn up on the beach,
looked impressive enough.

The fierce glory of a tropic sunrise is ever a new delight. It is
always the sun of the Nineteenth Psalm, with the prevailing yellow
color of the eastern sky intensifying in one spot, a cool, lingering
freshness, a deepening of the yellow east into a brilliant rose color,
till suddenly, "like a glory, the broad sun" wheels above the horizon,
the dew-bathed earth rejoices, the air is flooded with vitality, all
things which rejoice in light and heat come forth, night birds and
night prowlers retire, and we pale people hastily put up our umbrellas
to avoid being shriveled in less than ten minutes from the first
appearance of the sun.

"Pinang," from the Pinang or areca-palm, is the proper name of the
island, but out of compliment to George IV, it was called Prince of
Wales Island. Georgetown is the name of the capital, but by an odd
freak we call the town Penang, and spell it with an e instead of an i.

There were a great many ships and junks at anchor, and the huge "P. and
O." steamer Peking, and there was a state of universal hurry and
excitement, for a large number of the officials of the Colonial
Government and of the "protected" States are here to meet Sir W.
Robinson, the Governor, who is on his way home on leave. There are
little studies of human nature going on all round. Most people have
"axes to grind." There are people pushing rival claims, some wanting
promotion, others leave; some frank and above-board in their ways,
others descending to mean acts to gain favor, or undermining the good
reputation of their neighbors; everybody wanting something, and
usually, as it seems, at the expense of somebody else!

Mr. Douglas, who had got up his men in most imposing costume, anchored
the Abdulsamat close to the Peking, and at once went on board, with the
kris with the gold hilt and scabbard presented by the Sultan of
Selangor. In the meantime the Governor sent for me to breakfast on
board, and I was obliged to go among clean, trim people without having
time to change my traveling dress. On deck I was introduced by the
Governor to Mr. Low, the Resident in Perak, who has arranged for my
transit thither, and to Mr. Maxwell, the Assistant Resident. I was so
glad that I had no claims of my own to push when I saw the many
perturbed and anxious faces. I sat next Sir William Robinson at
breakfast, and found him most kind and courteous, and he interested
himself in my impressions of the native States. No one could make out
the flags on the Selangor yacht, four squares placed diagonally, two
yellow and two red, in one of the red ones a star and crescent in
yellow, and on the mizzenmast the same flag with a blue ensign as one
of the squares! I wonder if the faineant Sultan who luxuriates at
Langat knows anything of the sensationalism of his "yacht."

Mr. Douglas took me back to the launch in fierce blazing heat, which
smote me just as I put down my umbrella in order to climb up her side,
and caused me to fall forward with a sort of vertigo and an icy chill,
but as soon as I arrived here I poured deluges of cold water on my
head, and lay down with an iced bandage on, and am now much better. In
nine months of tropical traveling, and exposure on horseback without an
umbrella to the full force of the sun, I have never been affected
before. I wear a white straw hat with the sides and low crown thickly
wadded. I also have a strip four inches broad of three thicknesses of
wadding, sewn into the middle of the back of my jacket, and usually
wear in addition a coarse towel wrung out in water, folded on the top
of my head, and hanging down the back of my neck.

Soon after I came into the salon Mr. Wood, the Puisne Judge, a very
genial, elderly man, called and took me to his house, where I found a
very pleasant party, Sir Thomas Sidgreaves, the Chief Justice, Mr.
Maxwell, the Assistant Resident in Perak, Mr. Walker, appointed to the
(acting) command of the Sikh force in Perak, and Mr. Kinnersley, a
Pinang magistrate, with Mr. Isemonger, the police magistrate of the
adjacent Province Wellesley. With an alteration in the names of places
and people, the conversation was just what I have heard in all British
official circles from Prince Edward Island to Singapore, who was likely
to go home on leave, who might get a step, whether the Governor would
return, what new appointments were likely to be created, etc., the
interest in all these matters being intensified by the recent visit of
Sir W. Robinson. It was all pleasant and interesting to me.

This evening the moonlight from the window was entrancingly beautiful,
the shadows of promontory behind promontory lying blackly on the silver
water amidst the scents and silences of the purple night.

As one lands on Pinang one is impressed even before reaching the shore
by the blaze of color in the costumes of the crowds which throng the
jetty. There are over fifteen thousand Klings, Chuliahs, and other
natives of India on the island, and with their handsome but not very
intellectual faces, their Turkey-red turbans and loin-cloths, or the
soft, white muslins in which both men and women drape themselves, each
one might be an artist's model. The Kling women here are beautiful and
exquisitely draped, but the form of the cartilage of the nose and ears
is destroyed by heavy rings. There are many Arabs, too, who are wealthy
merchants and bankers. One of them, Noureddin, is the millionaire of
Pinang, and is said to own landed property here to the extent of
400,000 pounds. There are more than twenty-one thousand Malays on the
island, and though their kampongs are mostly scattered among the palm-
groves, their red sarongs and white bajus are seen in numbers in the
streets; but I have not seen one Malay woman. There are about six
hundred and twelve Europeans in the town and on Pinang, but they make
little show, though their large massive bungalows, under the shade of
great bread-fruit and tamarind-trees, give one the idea of wealth and

The sight of the Asiatics who have crowded into Georgetown is a
wonderful one, Chinese, Burmese, Javanese, Arabs, Malays, Sikhs,
Madrassees, Klings, Chuliahs, and Parsees, and still they come in junks
and steamers and strange Arabian craft, and all get a living, depend
slavishly on no one, never lapse into pauperism, retain their own
dress, customs, and religion, and are orderly. One asks what is
bringing this swarthy, motley crowd from all Asian lands, from the Red
to the Yellow Sea, from Mecca to Canton, and one of my Kling boatmen
answers the question, "Empress good--coolie get money; keep it." This
being interpreted is, that all these people enjoy absolute security of
life and property under our flag, that they are certain of even-handed
justice in our colonial courts, and that "the roll of the British drum"
and the presence of a British iron-clad mean to them simply that
security which is represented to us by an efficient police force. It is
so strange to see that other European countries are almost nowhere in
this strange Far East. Possibly many of the Chinese have heard of
Russia, but Russia, France, Germany, and America, the whole lot of the
"Great Powers" are represented chiefly by a few second-rate war-ships,
or shabby consulates in back streets, while England is a "name to
conjure with," and is represented by prosperous colonies, powerful
protective forces, law, liberty, and security. These ideas are forced
so strongly upon me as I travel westward, that I almost fear that I am
writing in a "hifalutin" style, so I will only add that I think that
our Oriental Grand Vizier knew Oriental character and the way of
influencing Oriental modes of thinking better than his detractors when
he added et Imperatrix to the much loved V. R.

This is truly a brilliant place under a brilliant sky, but Oh I weary
for the wilds! There is one street, Chulia Street, entirely composed of
Chulia and Kling bazaars. Each sidewalk is a rude arcade, entered by
passing through heavy curtains, when you find yourself in a narrow,
crowded passage, with deep or shallow recesses on one side, in which
the handsome, brightly-dressed Klings sit on the floor, surrounded by
their bright-hued goods; and over one's head and all down the narrow,
thronged passage, noisy with business, are hung Malay bandannas, red
turban cloths, red sarongs in silk and cotton, and white and gold
sprinkled muslins, the whole length of the very long bazaar, blazing
with color, and picturesque beyond description with beautiful costume.
The Klings are much pleasanter to buy from than the Chinese. In
addition to all the brilliant things which are sold for native wear,
they keep large stocks of English and German prints, which they sell
for rather less than the price asked for them at home, and for less
than half what the same goods are sold for at the English shops.

I am writing as if the Klings were predominant, but they are so only in
good looks and bright colors. Here again the Chinese, who number
forty-five thousand souls, are becoming commercially the most important
of the immigrant races, as they have long been numerically and
industrially. In Georgetown, besides selling their own and all sorts of
foreign goods at reasonable rates in small shops, they have large
mercantile houses, and, as elsewhere, are gradually gaining a
considerable control over the trade of the place. They also occupy
positions of trust in foreign houses, and if there were a strike among
them all business, not excepting that of the Post Office, would come to
a standstill. I went into the Mercantile Bank and found only Chinese
clerks, in the Post Office and only saw the same, and when I went to
the "P. and O." office to take my berth for Ceylon, it was still a
Chinaman, imperturbable, taciturn, independent, and irreproachably
clean, with whom I had to deal in "pidjun English." They are everywhere
the same, keen, quick-witted for chances, markedly self-interested,
purpose-like, thrifty, frugal, on the whole regarding honesty as the
best policy, independent in manner as in character, and without a trace
of "Oriental servility."

Georgetown, February 11th.--I have not seen very much in my two days;
indeed, I doubt whether there is much to see, in my line at least; nor
has the island any interesting associations as Malacca has, or any
mystery of unexplored jungle as in Sungei Ujong and Selangor. Pinang
came into our possession in 1786, through the enterprise of Mr. Light,
a merchant captain, who had acquired much useful local knowledge by
trading to Kedah and other Malay States. The Indian Government desired
a commercial "emporium" and a naval station in the far east, and Mr.
Light recommended this island, then completely covered with forest, and
only inhabited by two migratory families of Malay fishermen, whose huts
were on the beach where this town now stands. In spite of romantic
stories of another kind, to which even a recent encyclopedia gives
currency, it seems that the Rajah of Kedah, to whom the island
belonged, did not bestow it on Mr. Light, but sold it to the British
Government for a stipulated payment of 2,000 pounds a year, which his
successor receives at this day.

It is little over thirteen miles long; and from five to ten broad. It
is a little smaller than the Isle of Wight, its area being one hundred
and seven square miles.

The roads are excellent. After one has got inside of the broad belt of
cocoa and areca palms which runs along the coast, one comes upon
beautiful and fertile country, partly level, and partly rolling, with
rocks of granite and mica-schist, and soil of a shallow but rich
vegetable mould, with abundance of streams and little cascades, dotted
all over with villas (very many of them Chinese) and gardens, and
planted with rice, pepper and fruits, while cloves and nutmegs, which
last have been long a failure, grow on the higher lands. The centre of
Pinang is wooded and not much cultivated, but on the south and
south-west coasts there are fine sugar, coffee and pepper plantations.
The coffee looks very healthy. From the ridges in the centre of the
island the ground rises toward the north, till, at the Peak, it reaches
the height of two thousand nine hundred and twenty-two feet. There is a
sanitarium there with a glorious view, and a delicious temperature
ranging from 60 degrees to 75 degrees, while in the town and on the low
lands it ranges from 80 degrees to 90 degrees. A sea breeze blows every
day, and rain falls throughout the year, except in January and
February. The vegetation is profuse, but less beautiful and tropical
than on the mainland, and I have seen very few flowers except in

The products are manifold--guavas, mangoes, lemons, oranges, bananas,
plantains, shaddocks, bread-fruit, etc.; and sugar, rice, sweet
potatoes, ginger, areca, and cocoa-nuts, coffee, cloves, some nutmegs,
and black and white pepper. My gharrie driver took me to see a Chinese
pepper plantation--to me the most interesting thing that I saw on a
very long and hot drive. Pepper is a very profitable crop. The vine
begins to bear in three or four years after the cuttings have been
planted, and yields two crops annually for about thirteen years. It is
an East Indian plant, rather pretty, but of rambling and untidy growth,
a climber, with smooth, soft stems, ten or twelve feet long, and tough,
broadly ovate leaves. It is supported much as hops are. When the
berries on a spike begin to turn red they are gathered, as they lose
pungency if they are allowed to ripen. They are placed on mats, and are
either trodden with the feet or rubbed by the hands to separate them
from the spike, after which they are cleaned by winnowing. Black pepper
consists of such berries wrinkled and blackened in the process of
drying, and white pepper of similar berries freed from the skin and the
fleshy part of the fruit by being soaked in water and then rubbed. Some
planters bleach with chlorine to improve the appearance; but this
process, as may be supposed, does not improve the flavor.

In these climates the natives use enormous quantities of pepper, as
they do of all hot condiments, and the Europeans imitate them.

Although there are so many plantations, a great part of Pinang is
uncleared, and from the peak most of it looks like a forest. It
contains ninety thousand inhabitants, the Chinese more than equaling
all the other nationalities put together. Its trade, which in 1860 was
valued at 3,500,000 pounds, is now (1880) close upon 8,000,000 pounds,
Pinang being, like Singapore, a great entrepot and "distributing

Now for the wilds once more!

I. L. B.


The Boundaries and Rivers of Perak--Tin Mining--Fruits and
Vegetables--The Gomuti Palm--The Trade of Perak--A Future of Coffee--A
Hopeful Lookout--Chinese Difficulties--Chinese Disturbances in
Larut--The "Pangkor Treaty"--A "Little War"--The Settlement of
Perak--The Resident and Assistant-Resident

The "protected" State of Perak (pronounced Payrah) is the richest and
most important of the States of the Peninsula, as well as one of the
largest. Its coast-line, broken into, however, by a bit of British
territory, is about one hundred and twenty-five miles in length. Its
sole southern boundary is the State of Selangor. On the north it has
the British colony of Province Wellesley, and the native States of
Kedah and Patani, tributary to Siam. Its eastern boundary is only an
approximate one, Kelantan joining it in the midst of a vast tract of
unexplored country inhabited solely by the Sakei and Semang aborigines.
The State is about eighty miles wide at its widest part, and thirty at
its narrowest, and is estimated to contain between four and five
thousand square miles. The great artery of the country is the Perak
river, a most serpentine stream. Ships drawing thirteen feet of water
can ascend it as far as Durian Sabatang, fifty miles from its mouth,
and boats can navigate it for one hundred and thirty miles farther.
This river, even one hundred and fifty miles from its mouth at Kwala
Kangsa, is two hundred yards wide, and might easily be ascended by
"stern-wheel" boats drawing a foot of water, such as those which ply on
the upper Mississippi. Next in size to the Perak is the Kinta, which
falls into the Perak, besides which there are the Bernam and Batang
Padang rivers, both navigable for vessels of light draught. Along the
shores of these streams most of the Malay kampongs are built.

The interior of Perak is almost altogether covered with magnificent
forests, out of which rise isolated limestone hills, and mountain
ranges from five thousand to eight thousand feet in height. The scenery
is beautiful. The neighborhood of the mangrove swamps of the coast is
low and swampy, but as the ground rises, the earth which has been
washed down from the hills becomes fertile, and farther inland the
plains are so broken up by natural sand ridges which lighten the soil,
that it is very suitable for rice culture.

Tin is the most abundant of the mineral products of Perak, and, as in
the other States, the supply is apparently inexhaustible. So far it is
obtained in "stream works" only. The export of this metal has risen
from 144,000 pounds in 1876 to 436,000 pounds in 1881. Tin-mining
continues to attract a steady stream of Chinese immigration, and the
Resident believes that the number of Chinamen has increased from twenty
thousand in 1879 to forty thousand in 1881. Wealth is reckoned in slabs
of tin, and lately for an act of piracy a Rajah was fined so many slabs
of tin, instead of so many hogsheads of oil, as he would have been on
the West African coast.

Gold is found in tolerable quantities, even by the Malay easy-going
manner of searching for it, and diamonds and garnets are tolerably
abundant. Gold can be washed with little difficulty from most of the
river beds, and from various alluvial deposits. The metal thus found is
pure, but "rough and shotty." The nearer the mountains the larger the
find. It is of a rich, red color. Iron ore is abundant; but though coal
has been found, it is not of any commercial value. The methods of
mining both for tin and gold are of the most elementary kind, and it is
probable that Perak has still vast metallic treasures to yield up to
scientific exploration and Anglo-Saxon energy.

Rice is the staple food of the inhabitants. Dry rice on the hillsides
was the kind which was formerly exclusively cultivated, but from some
Indians who came from Sumatra to Perak the Malays have learned the mode
of growing the wet variety, and it is now largely practiced. Partly in
consequence of a great lack of agricultural energy, and partly from the
immense quantity of rice required by the non-producing Chinese miners,
Perak imported in 1881 rice to the value of 70,000 pounds.

There is scarcely a tropical product which this magnificent region does
not or may not produce, gutta-percha, india-rubber, sago, tapioca,
palm-oil and fibre, yams, sweet potatoes, cloves, nutmegs, coffee,
tobacco, pepper, gambier, with splendid fruits in perfection--the
banana, bread-fruit, anona, cocoa-nut, mangosteen, durion, jak-fruit,
cashew-nut, guava, bullock's heart, pomegranate, shaddock,
custard-apple, papaya, pine-apple, with countless others. The
indigenous fruits alone are so innumerable, that a description of the
most valuable of them would fill a chapter.

Our homely vegetables do not flourish, but watermelons, cucumbers,
gourds, capsicums, chilies, cocoa-nut cabbage, edible arums, and, where
the Chinese have settled, coarse lettuces, radishes, and pulse, grow
abundantly, with various other not altogether to be despised vegetables
with Malay names.

The timber is magnificent, and under the unworthy name of "jungle
produce" a large trade is done in it. Perak is the land of palms, and
produces the invaluable cocoa-palm, most parts of which have their
commercial value, the areca palm which produces the betel-nut, the
gomuti palm from whose strong black fibres they make ropes, cordage,
and strands for capturing the alligator; the jaggary-palm, from which
sugar is made, as well as a fermented beverage; the nibong palm, which
grows round the Malay kampong, and is used for their gridiron floors
and for the posts of their houses; the dwarf-palms which serve no other
purpose than to gladden the eyes by their beauty; and the nipah palm
which fringes the rivers, and, under the name of attap, forms the
thatch of both native and foreign houses.

Road-making has not made great strides in Perak, but railroads are
being planned, and a good road extends from the port of Larut to the
great Chinese mining town of Taipeng, and thence to the British
residency at Kwala Kangsa, a distance of over thirty-three miles, the
electric telegraph accompanying the road. Others are in course of
construction, and there are numerous elephant and jungle tracks through
the western parts of the State.

Still, the rivers form the natural highways. Perak has two ports--Teluk
Anson on the Perak river, thirty-four miles from its mouth, and Teluk
Kertang, a few miles up the Larut river, and eight miles from the great
tin mines of Taipeng. The import and export trade is carried on mainly
with Pinang, and at this time one of several small steamers leaves
Larut for that port daily. A steamer calls at Teluk Anson once a
fortnight on her voyage from and to Singapore and Pinang, and another
calls at the same port every fourth day, as well as at the Dindings and
the Bernam river.

Trade is rapidly advancing. The exports of the State, which were valued
at 147,993 pounds in 1876, amounted to 513,317 pounds in 1881; and the
imports which amounted to 166,275 pounds in 1876, had reached 488,706
pounds in 1881, the whole import and export trade of that year
amounting to 1,002,023 pounds. The free population of Perak is now
estimated at

Malays 56,000
Chinese 40,000
Other Asiatics 850
Europeans 90
Aborigines 1,000

To which may be added a slave and bond debtor population of nearly four
thousand souls.

The revenue of Perak has risen from 42,683 pounds in 1876 to 138,572
pounds in 1881; and the expenditure, keeping pace with it, has risen
from 45,277 pounds in 1876 to 130,587 pounds in 1881. The chief sources
of the Perak revenue are customs duties, opium and other farms and
licenses, and land revenue; and the chief items of expenditure are for
civil and police establishments, roads and bridges, and allowances and
pensions to chiefs. It is worthy of remark that the military
establishment--for so the magnificent Sikh armed police force may be
called--costs more than the civil establishment. It may also be
remarked that the revenue of Perak, thanks to the financial sagacity
and wise discrimination of the Resident, is collected with little
difficulty, and without inflicting any real vexations or hardships on
the taxpayers.

Public works, such as the construction of good cart roads and bridges,
the making of canals, the clearing rivers from impediments to
navigation, the enlargement of experimental gardens, the introduction
and breeding of sheep, cattle, and improved breeds of poultry,
surveying wild land, and rebuilding and draining mining towns, are
being carried on energetically. It has been found, after long and
carefully-conducted experiments, that the lower mountains of Perak are
admirably suited for the growth of tea, cinchona, and Arabian coffee,
while Liberian coffee grows equally well on the lower lands. Coffee
appears to be so nearly "played out" in Ceylon, that many
coffee-planters have been "prospecting" in Perak; and now that the
Government of India has consented to the importation of Indian coolie
labor into the State, under certain restrictions, as an experimental
measure, a future of coffee may be predicted with tolerable certainty.
One of the causes for satisfaction in connection with this State is
that the Malays themselves are undoubtedly contented with British rule,
and are prospering under it. Crime of any kind in the Malay districts
is very rare. The "village system" works well, and the courts of law
conduct their business with an efficiency and economy which compare
favorably with the transactions of our colonial courts; English law is
being gradually introduced and gives general satisfaction, and the
native Rajahs are being trained to administer even-handed justice
according to its provisions, and at the same time without trenching
upon Malay religion and custom. Slavery and debt bondage, which, as
hitherto practiced in Perak, have involved evils and cruelties which
are unknown to any but those who have actually lived in the State,
will, it is hoped, be abolished by equitable arrangement in 1883.
Various difficulties remain to be settled; the large Chinese element,
with its criminal tendencies, requires great firmness of dealing, and
the introduction of foreign capital and an additional form of alien
labor may lead to new perplexities; but on the whole the outlook for
Perak and its people is a favorable one, especially if the present
Resident, Mr. Hugh Low, is able to remain to continue his task of
developing the resources, settling the difficulties, and consolidating
the well-being of the State.

Nothing is known of the early settlement of Perak. It was formerly
tributary to the Malay sovereigns of Malacca, and afterward to those of
Acheen, to whom the Perak Sultans sent gold and silver flowers as
tribute. Siam has also at different times asserted sovereign rights and
demanded tribute, but the Siamese were expelled in 1822 with the help
of Rajah Ibrahim, the warlike chief of the neighboring State of
Selangor. The Government was a despotism, administered during the last
three centuries by Sultans who were connected with the ruling dynasties
of Johore and Acheen.

Our connection with Perak began in 1818 by a commercial treaty between
the East India Company and the Sultan, the chief object of which was to
circumvent the Dutch on the subject of tin. By another treaty, in 1826,
it was agreed that the Sultan should govern his country according to
his own will; that no force should be sent either by Siam to "molest,
attack, or disturb" Perak; and while it was stipulated that the Siamese
should not attack or disturb Selangor, the English engaged not to allow
Selangor to attack or disturb Perak.

So things jogged along till 1871, when the Sultan died, and the Rajahs,
passing over two men who by blood were nearest to the throne, elected
Ismail, an old and somewhat inoffensive man. Three years of intrigue
followed, and many singular complications, which would be quite
uninteresting to the general reader, and they furnished no excuse for
English interference.

It is singular that the fall of Perak as an independent State was
brought about by what may be called a civil war among the Chinese, who
in 1871 were estimated at thirty thousand, and were principally engaged
in tin-mining in Larut. These Chinamen were divided into two
sections--the Go Kwans and the Si Kwans; and a few months after Sultan
Ismail was elected, a dispute arose between the factions. Both parties
flew to arms, and were aided with guns, ammunition, military stores,
and food from Pinang, Pinang Chinese having previously supplied the
capital needed for working the mines. The settlement was kept in
perpetual hot water, its trade languished, and in return for military
equipments the Chinese of Larut sent over two thousand wounded and
starving men. The Mentri, the Malay "Governor" of Larut, although aided
by Captain Speedy and a force of well-drilled troops recruited by him
in India, and possessing four Krupp guns, was powerless to restore
order, and Larut was destroyed, being absolutely turned into a
wilderness, in which all but three houses had been burned, and, while
the Malays had fled, the surviving Si Kwans were living behind
stockades, while those of the faction opposed to that with which the
Mentri and his Commander-in-Chief, Captain Speedy, had allied
themselves, were living on the products of orchards from which their
owners had been driven, and on booty, won by a wholesale system of
piracy and murder, practiced not only on the Perak waters but on the
high seas.

The war waged between the two parties threatened to become a war of
extermination; horrible atrocities were perpetrated on both sides; and
it is said and believed that as many as three thousand belligerents
were slain on one day early in the disturbances. If the course of
prohibiting the export of munitions of war had been persevered the
strife would have died a natural death; but the Mentri made
representations which induced the authorities of the Straits to accord
a certain degree of support to himself and the Si Kwans, by limiting
the prohibition to his enemies the Go Kwans. Things at last became so
intolerable in Larut, and as a consequence in Pinang, that the Governor
of the Straits Settlements, Sir A. Clarke, thought it was time to
interfere. During these disturbances in Larut, Lower Perak and the
Malays generally were living peaceably under Ismail, their elected
Sultan. Abdullah, who was regarded as his rival, was a fugitive, with
neither followers, money, nor credit. He had, however, friends in
Singapore, to one of whom, Kim Cheng, a well-known Chinaman, he had
promised a lucrative appointment if he would prevail on the Straits
authorities to recognize him as Sultan. Lord Kimberley had previously
instructed the Governor to consider the expediency of introducing the
"Residential system" into "any of the Malay States," and the occasion
soon presented itself.

An English merchant in Singapore and Kim Cheng drafted a letter to the
Governor, which Abdullah signed, in which this chief expressed his
desire to place Perak under British protection,* and "to have a man of
sufficient abilities to show him a good system of government." Sir A.
Clarke, thus appealed to, went to Pulo Pangkor, off the Perak coast,
summoned the Chinese head men and the Malay chiefs to meet him there,
and so effectively reconciled the former, who were bound over to keep
the peace, that they were not again heard of. The Governor stated to
the Malay chief and Abdullah that it was the duty of England to take
care that the proper person in the line of succession was chosen for
the throne. He inquired if there were any objection to Abdullah, and on
none being made, the chiefs signed a paper dictated by Sir A. Clarke,
since known as the "Pangkor Treaty." Its articles deposed Ismail,
created Abdullah Sultan, ceded two tracts of territory to England, and
provided that the new ruler should receive an English Resident and
Assistant Resident, whose salaries and expenses should be the first
charge on the revenue of the country, whose counsel must be asked and
"acted upon" on all questions other than those of religion and custom,
and under whose advice the collection and control of all revenues and
the general administration should be regulated. After the signing of
this treaty piracy ceased in the Perak waters, and Larut was repeopled
and became settled and prosperous.

Book of the day: