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The Malay Archipelago by by Alfred Russell Wallace

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The Malay Archipelago by Alfred R. Wallace






ON the morning of the 8th of January, 1858, I arrived at Ternate,
the fourth of a row of fine conical volcanic islands which shirt
the west coast of the large and almost unknown n island of
Gilolo. The largest and most perfectly conical mountain is
Tidore, which is over four thousand Feet high--Ternate being very
nearly the same height, but with a more rounded and irregular
summit. The town of Ternate is concealed from view till we enter
between the two islands, when it is discovered stretching along
the shore at the very base of the mountain. Its situation is
fine, and there are grand views on every side. Close opposite is
the rugged promontory and beautiful volcanic cone of Tidore; to
the east is the long mountainous coast of Gilolo, terminated
towards the north by a group of three lofty volcanic peaks, while
immediately behind the town rises the huge mountain, sloping
easily at first and covered with thick groves of fruit trees, but
soon becoming steeper, and furrowed with deep gullies. Almost to
the summit, whence issue perpetually faint wreaths of smoke, it
is clothed with vegetation, and looks calm and beautiful,
although beneath are hidden fires which occasionally burst forth
in lava-streams, but more frequently make their existence known
by the earthquakes which have many times devastated the town.

I brought letters of introduction to Mr. Duivenboden, a native of
Ternate, of an ancient Dutch family, but who was educated in
England, and speaks our language perfectly. He was a very rich
man, owned half the town, possessed many ships, and above a
hundred slaves. He was moreover, well educated, and fond of
literature and science--a phenomenon in these regions. He was
generally known as the king of Ternate, from his large property
and great influence with the native Rajahs and their subjects.
Through his assistance I obtained a house; rather ruinous, but
well adapted to my purpose, being close to the town, yet with a
free outlet to the country and the mountain. A few needful
repairs were soon made, some bamboo furniture and other
necessaries obtained, and after a visit to the Resident and
Police Magistrate I found myself an inhabitant of the earthquake-
tortured island of Ternate, and able to look about me and lay
down the plan of my campaign for the ensuing year. I retained
this house for three years, as I found it very convenient to have
a place to return to after my voyages to the various islands of
the Moluccas and New Guinea, where I could pack my collections,
recruit my health, and make preparations for future journeys. To
avoid repetitions, I will in this chapter combine what notes I
have about Ternate.

A description of my house (the plan of which is here shown) will
enable the reader to understand a very common mode of building in
these islands. There is of course only one floor. The walls are
of stone up to three feet high; on this are strong squared posts
supporting the roof, everywhere except in the verandah filled in
with the leaf-stems of the sago-palm, fitted neatly in wooden
owing. The floor is of stucco, and the ceilings are like the
walls. The house is forty feet square, consists of four rooms, a
hall, and two verandahs, and is surrounded by a wilderness of
fruit trees. A deep well supplied me with pure cold water, a
great luxury in this climate. Five minutes' walk down the road
brought me to the market and the beach, while in the opposite
direction there were no more European houses between me and the
mountain. In this house I spent many happy days. Returning to it
after a three or four months' absence in some uncivilized region,
I enjoyed the unwonted luxuries of milk and fresh bread, and
regular supplies of fish and eggs, meat and vegetables, which
were often sorely needed to restore my health and energy. I had
ample space and convenience or unpacking, sorting, and arranging
my treasures, and I had delightful walks in the suburbs of the
town, or up the lower slopes of the mountain, when I desired a
little exercise, or had time for collecting.

The lower part of the mountain, behind the town of Ternate, is
almost entirely covered with a forest of fruit trees, and during
the season hundreds of men and women, boys and girls, go up every
day to bring down the ripe fruit. Durians and Mangoes, two of the
very finest tropical fruits, are in greater abundance at Ternate
than I have ever seen them, and some of the latter are of a
quality not inferior to any in the world. Lansats and Mangustans
are also abundant, but these do not ripen till a little later.
Above the fruit trees there is a belt of clearings and cultivated
grounds, which creep up the mountain to a height of between two
and three thousand feet, above which is virgin forest, reaching
nearly to the summit, which on the side next the town is covered
with a high reedy grass. On the further side it is more elevated,
of a bare and desolate aspect, with a slight depression marking
the position of the crater. From this part descends a black
scoriaceous tract; very rugged, and covered with a scanty
vegetation of scattered bushes as far down as the sea. This is
the lava of the great eruption near a century ago, and is called
by the natives "batu-angas"(burnt rock).

Just below my house is the fort, built by the Portuguese, below
which is an open space to the peach, and beyond this the native
town extends for about a mile to the north-east. About the centre
of it is the palace of the Sultan, now a large untidy, half-
ruinous building of stone. This chief is pensioned by the Dutch
Government, but retains the sovereignty over the native
population of the island, and of the northern part of Gilolo. The
sultans of Ternate and Tidore were once celebrated through the
East for their power and regal magnificence. When Drake visited
Ternate in 1579, the Portuguese had been driven out of the
island, although they still had a settlement at Tidore. He gives
a glowing account of the Sultan: "The King had a very rich canopy
with embossings of gold borne over him, and was guarded with
twelve lances. From the waist to the ground was all cloth of
gold, and that very rich; in the attire of his head were finely
wreathed in, diverse rings of plaited gold, of an inch or more in
breadth, which made a fair and princely show, somewhat resembling
a crown in form; about his neck he had a chain of perfect gold,
the links very great and one fold double; on his left hand was a
diamond, an emerald, a ruby, and a turky; on his right hand in
one ring a big and perfect turky, and in another ring many
diamonds of a smaller size."

All this glitter of barbaric gold was the produce of the spice
trade, of which the Sultans kept the monopoly, and by which they
became wealthy. Ternate, with the small islands in a line south
of it, as far as Batchian, constitute the ancient Moluccas, the
native country of the clove, as well as the only part in which it
was cultivated. Nutmegs and mace were procured from the natives
of New Guinea and the adjacent islands, where they grew wild; and
the profits on spice cargoes were so enormous, that the European
traders were glad to give gold and jewels, and the finest
manufactures of Europe or of India, in exchange. When the Dutch
established their influence in these seas, and relieved the
native princes from their Portuguese oppressors, they saw that
the easiest way to repay themselves would be to get this spice
trade into their own hands. For this purpose they adopted the
wise principle of concentrating the culture of these valuable
products in those spots only of which they could have complete
control. To do this effectually it was necessary to abolish the
culture and trade in all other places, which they succeeded in
doing by treaty with the native rulers. These agreed to have all
the spice trees in their possessions destroyed. They gave up
large though fluctuating revenues, but they gained in return a
fixed subsidy, freedom from the constant attacks and harsh
oppressions of the Portuguese, and a continuance of their regal
power and exclusive authority over their own subjects, which is
maintained in all the islands except Ternate to this day.

It is no doubt supposed by most Englishmen, who have been
accustomed to look upon this act of the Dutch with vague horror,
as something utterly unprincipled and barbarous, that the native
population suffered grievously by this destruction of such
valuable property. But it is certain that this was not the case.
The Sultans kept this lucrative trade entirely in their own hands
as a rigid monopoly, and they would take care not to give, their
subjects more than would amount to their usual wages, while: they
would surely exact as large a quantity of spice as they could
possibly obtain. Drake and other early voyagers always seem to
have purchased their spice-cargoes from the Sultans and Rajahs,
and not from the cultivators. Now the absorption of so much
labour in the cultivation of this one product must necessarily
have raised the price of food and other necessaries; and when it
was abolished, more rice would be grown, more sago made, more
fish caught, and more tortoise-shell, rattan, gum-dammer, and
other valuable products of the seas and the forests would be
obtained. I believe, therefore, that this abolition of the spice
trade in the Moluccas was actually beneficial to the inhabitants,
and that it was an act both wise in itself and morally and
politically justifiable.

In the selection of the places in which to carry on the
cultivation, the Dutch were not altogether fortunate or wise.
Banda was chosen for nutmegs, and was eminently successful, since
ü; continues to this day to produce a large supply of this spice,
and to yield a considerable revenue. Amboyna was fixed upon for
establishing the clove cultivation; but the soil and climate,
although apparently very similar to that of its native islands,
is not favourable, and for some years the Government have
actually been paying to the cultivators a higher rate than they
could purchase cloves elsewhere, owing to a great fall in the
price since the rate of payment was fixed for a term of years by
the Dutch Government, and which rate is still most honourably

In walking about the suburbs of Ternate, we find everywhere the
ruins of massive stone and brick buildings, gateways and arches,
showing at once the superior wealth of the ancient town and the
destructive effects of earthquakes. It was during my second stay
in the town, after my return from New Guinea, that I first felt
an earthquake. It was a very slight one, scarcely more than has
been felt in this country, but occurring in a place that lad been
many times destroyed by them it was rather more exciting. I had
just awoke at gun-fire (5 A.M.), when suddenly the thatch began
to rustle and shake as if an army of cats were galloping over it,
and immediately afterwards my bed shook too, so that for an
instant I imagined myself back in New Guinea, in my fragile
house, which shook when an old cock went to roost on the ridge;
but remembering that I was now on a solid earthen floor, I said
to myself, "Why, it's an earthquake," and lay still in the
pleasing expectation of another shock; but none came, and this
was the only earthquake I ever felt in Ternate.

The last great one was in February 1840, when almost every house
in the place was destroyed. It began about midnight on the
Chinese New Year's festival, at which time every one stays up
nearly all night feasting at the Chinamen's houses and seeing the
processions. This prevented any lives being lost, as every one
ran out of doors at the first shock, which was not very severe.
The second, a few minutes afterwards, threw down a great many
houses, and others, which continued all night and part of the
next day, completed the devastation. The line of disturbance was
very narrow, so that the native town a mile to the east scarcely
suffered at all. The wave passed from north to south, through the
islands of Tidore and Makian, and terminated in Batchian, where
it was not felt till four the following afternoon, thus taking no
less than sixteen hours to travel a hundred miles, or about six
miles an hour. It is singular that on this occasion there was no
rushing up of the tide, or other commotion of the sea, as is
usually the case during great earthquakes.

The people of Ternate are of three well-marked races the Ternate
Malays, the Orang Sirani, and the Dutch. The first are an
intrusive Malay race somewhat allied to the Macassar people, who
settled in the country at a very early epoch, drove out the
indigenes, who were no doubt the same as those of the adjacent
mainland of Gilolo, and established a monarchy. They perhaps
obtained many of their wives from the natives, which will account
for the extraordinary language they speak--in some respects
closely allied to that of the natives of Gilolo, while it
contains much that points to a Malayan origin. To most of these
people the Malay language is quite unintelligible, although such
as are engaged in trade are obliged to acquire it. "Orang
Sirani," or Nazarenes, is the name given by the Malays to the
Christian descendants of the Portuguese, who resemble those of
Amboyna, and, like them, speak only Malay. There are also a
number of Chinese merchants, many of them natives of the place, a
few Arabs, and a number of half-breeds between all these races
and native women. Besides these there are some Papuan slaves, and
a few natives of other islands settled here, making up a motley
and very puzzling population, till inquiry and observation have
shown the distinct origin of its component parts.

Soon after my first arrival in Ternate I went to the island of
Gilolo, accompanied by two sons of Mr. Duivenboden, and by a
young Chinaman, a brother of my landlord, who lent us the boat
and crew. These latter were all slaves, mostly Papuans, and at
starting I saw something of the relation of master and slave in
this part of the world. The crew had been ordered to be ready at
three in the morning, instead of which none appeared till five,
we having all been kept waiting in the dark and cold for two
hours. When at length they came they were scolded by their
master, but only in a bantering manner, and laughed and joked
with him in reply. Then, just as we were starting, one of the
strongest men refused to go at all, and his master had to beg and
persuade him to go, and only succeeded by assuring him that I
would give him something; so with this promise, and knowing that
there would be plenty to eat and drink and little to do, the
black gentleman was induced to favour us with his company and
assistance. In three hours' rowing and sailing we reached our
destination, Sedingole, where there is a house belonging to the
Sultan of Tidore, who sometimes goes there hunting. It was a
dirty ruinous shed, with no furniture but a few bamboo bedsteads.
On taking a walk into the country, I saw at once that it was no
place for me. For many miles extends a plain covered with coarse
high grass, thickly dotted here and there with trees, the forest
country only commencing at the hills a good way in the interior.
Such a place would produce few birds and no insects, and we
therefore arranged to stay only two days, and then go on to
Dodinga, at the narrow central isthmus of Gilolo, whence my
friends would return to Ternate. We amused ourselves shooting
parrots, lories, and pigeons, and trying to shoot deer, of which
we saw plenty, but could not get one; and our crew went out
fishing with a net, so we did not want for provisions. When the
time came for us to continue our journey, a fresh difficulty
presented itself, for our gentlemen slaves refused in a body to
go with us; saying very determinedly that they would return to
Ternate. So their masters were obliged to submit, and I was left
behind to get to Dodinga as I could. Luckily I succeeded in
hiring a small boat, which took me there the same night, with my
two men and my baggage.

Two or three years after this, and about the same length of time
before I left the East, the Dutch emancipated all their slaves,
paying their owners a small compensation. No ill results
followed. Owing to the amicable relations which had always
existed between them and their masters, due no doubt in part to
the Government having long accorded them legal rights and
protection against cruelty and ill-usage, many continued in the
same service, and after a little temporary difficulty in some
cases, almost all returned to work either for their old or for
new, masters. The Government took the very proper step of placing
every emancipated slave under the surveillance of the police-
magistrate. They were obliged to show that they were working for
a living, and had some honestly-acquired means of existence. All
who could not do so were placed upon public works at low wages,
and thus were kept from the temptation to peculation or other
crimes, which the excitement of newly-acquired freedom, and
disinclination to labour, might have led them into.




I MADE but few and comparatively short visits to this large and
little known island, but obtained a considerable knowledge of its
natural history by sending first my boy Ali, and then my
assistant, Charles Allen, who stayed two or three months each in
the northern peninsula, and brought me back large collections of
birds and insects. In this chapter I propose to give a sketch of
the parts which I myself visited. My first stay was at Dodinga,
situated at the head of a deep-bay exactly opposite Ternate, and
a short distance up a little stream which penetrates a few miles
inland. The village is a small one, and is completely shut in by
low hills.

As soon as I arrived, I applied to the head man of the village
for a house to live in, but all were occupied, and there was much
difficulty in finding one. In the meantime I unloaded my baggage
on the beach and made some tea, and afterwards discovered a small
but which the owner was willing to vacate if I would pay him five
guilders for a month's rent. As this was something less than the
fee-simple value of the dwelling, I agreed to give it him for the
privilege of immediate occupation, only stipulating that he was
to make the roof water-tight. This he agreed to do, and came
every day to tally and look at me; and when I each time insisted
upon his immediately mending the roof according to contract, all
the answer I could get was, "Ea nanti," (Yes, wait a little.)
However, when I threatened to deduct a quarter guilder from the
rent for every day it was not done, and a guilder extra if any of
my things were wetted, he condescended to work for half an hour,
which did all that was absolutely necessary.

On the top of a bank, of about a hundred feet ascent from the
water, stands the very small but substantial fort erected by the
Portuguese. Its battlements and turrets have long since been
overthrown by earthquakes, by which its massive structure has
also been rent; but it cannot well be thrown down, being a solid
mass of stonework, forming a platform about ten feet high, and
perhaps forty feet square. It is approached by narrow steps under
an archway, and is now surmounted by a row of thatched hovels, in
which live the small garrison, consisting of, a Dutch corporal
and four Javanese soldiers, the sole representatives of the
Netherlands Government in the island. The village is occupied
entirely by Ternate men. The true indigenes of Gilolo, "Alfuros"
as they are here called, live on the eastern coast, or in the
interior of the northern peninsula. The distance across the
isthmus at this place is only two miles, and there, is a good
path, along which rice and sago are brought from the eastern
villages. The whole isthmus is very rugged, though not high,
being a succession of little abrupt hills anal valleys, with
angular masses of limestone rock everywhere projecting, and often
almost blocking up the pathway. Most of it is virgin forest, very
luxuriant and picturesque, and at this time having abundance of
large scarlet Ixoras in flower, which made it exceptionally gay.
I got some very nice insects here, though, owing to illness most
of the time, my collection was a small one, and my boy Ali shot
me a pair of one of the most beautiful birds of the East, Pitta
gigas, a lame ground-thrush, whose plumage of velvety black above
is relieved by a breast of pure white, shoulders of azure blue,
and belly of vivid crimson. It has very long and strong legs, and
hops about with such activity in the dense tangled forest,
bristling with rocks, as to make it very difficult to shoot.

In September 1858, after my return from New Guinea, I went to
stay some time at the village of Djilolo, situated in a bay on
the northern peninsula. Here I obtained a house through the
kindness of the Resident of Ternate, who sent orders to prepare
one for me. The first walk into the unexplored forests of a new
locality is a moment of intense interest to the naturalist, as it
is almost sure to furnish him with something curious or hitherto
unknown. The first thing I saw here was a flock of small
parroquets, of which I shot a pair, and was pleased to find a
most beautiful little long-tailed bird, ornamented with green,
red, and blue colours, and quite new to me. It was a variety of
the Charmosyna placentis, one of the smallest and most elegant of
the brush-tongued lories. My hunters soon shot me several other
fine birds, and I myself found a specimen of the rare and
beautiful day-flying moth, Cocytia d'Urvillei.

The village of Djilolo was formerly the chief residence of the
Sultans of Ternate, till about eighty years ago, when at the
request of the Dutch they removed to their present abode. The
place was then no doubt much more populous, as is indicated by
the wide extent of cleared land in the neighbourhood, now covered
with coarse high grass, very disagreeable to walk through, and
utterly barren to the naturalist. A few days' exploring showed me
that only some small patches of forest remained for miles wound,
and the result was a scarcity of insects and a very limited
variety of birds, which obliged me to change my locality. There
was another village called Sahoe, to which there was a road of
about twelve miles overland, and this had been recommended to me
as a good place for birds, and as possessing a large population
both of Mahomotans and Alfuros, which latter race I much wished
to see. I set off one morning to examine this place myself,
expecting to pass through some extent of forest on my way. In
this however I was much disappointed, as the whole road lies
through grass and scrubby thickets, and it was only after
reaching the village of Sahoe that some high forest land was
perceived stretching towards the mountains to the north of it.
About half-way we dad to pass a deep river on a bamboo raft,
which almost sunk beneath us. This stream was said to rise a long
way off to the northward.

Although Sahoe did not at all appear what I expected, I
determined to give it a trial, and a few days afterwards obtained
a boat to carry my things by sea while I walked overland. A large
house on the beach belonging to the Sultan was given me. It stood
alone, and was quite open on every side, so that little privacy
could be had, but as I only intended to stay a short time I made
it do. Avery, few days dispelled all hopes I might have
entertained of making good collections in this place. Nothing was
to be found in every direction but interminable tracts of reedy
grass, eight or ten feet high, traversed by narrow baths, often
almost impassable. Here and there were clumps of fruit trees,
patches of low wood, and abundance of plantations and rice
grounds, all of which are, in tropical regions, a very desert for
the entomologist. The virgin forest that I was in search of,
existed only on the summits and on the steep rocky sides of the
mountains a long way off, and in inaccessible situations. In the
suburbs of the village I found a fair number of bees and wasps,
and some small but interesting beetles. Two or three new birds
were obtained by my hunters, and by incessant inquiries and
promises Í succeeded in getting the natives to bring me some land
shells, among which was a very fine and handsome one, Helix
pyrostoma. I was, however, completely wasting my time here
compared with what I might be doing in a good locality, and after
a week returned to Ternate, quite disappointed with my first
attempts at collecting in Gilolo.

In the country round about Sahoe, and in the interior, there is a
large population of indigenes, numbers of whom came daily into
the village, bringing their produce for sale, while others were
engaged as labourers by the Chinese and Ternate traders. A
careful examination convinced me that these people are radically
distinct from all the Malay races. Their stature and their
features, as well as their disposition and habits, are almost the
same as those of the Papuans; their hair is semi-Papuan-neither
straight, smooth, and glossy, like all true Malays', nor so
frizzly and woolly as the perfect Papuan type, but always crisp,
waved, and rough, such as often occurs among the true Papuans,
but never among the Malays. Their colour alone is often exactly
that of the Malay, or even lighter. Of course there has been
intermixture, and there occur occasionally individuals which it
is difficult to classify; but in most cases the large, somewhat
aquiline nose, with elongated apex, the tall stature, the waved
hair, the bearded face, and hairy body, as well as the less
reserved manner and louder voice, unmistakeably proclaim the
Papuan type. Here then I had discovered the exact boundary lice
between the Malay and Papuan races, and at a spot where no other
writer had expected it. I was very much pleased at this
determination, as it gave me a clue to one of the most difficult
problems in Ethnology, and enabled me in many other places to
separate the two races, and to unravel their intermixtures.

On my return from Waigiou in 1860, I stayed some days on the
southern extremity of Gilolo; but, beyond seeing something more
of its structure and general character, obtained very little
additional information. It is only in the northern peninsula that
there are any indígenes, the whole of the rest of the island,
with Batchian and the other islands westward, being exclusively
inhabited by Malay tribes, allied to those of Ternate and Tidore.
This would seem to indicate that the Alfuros were a comparatively
recent immigration, and that they lead come from the north or
east, perhaps from some of the islands of the Pacific. It is
otherwise difficult to understand how so many fertile districts
should possess no true indigenes.

Gilolo, or Halmaheira as it is called by the Malays and Dutch,
seems to have been recently modified by upheaval and subsidence.
In 1673, a mountain is said to stave been upheaved at Gamokonora
on the northern peninsula. All the parts that I have seen have
either been volcanic or coralline, and along the coast there are
fringing coral reefs very dangerous to navigation. At the same
time, the character of its natural history proves it to be a
rather ancient land, since it possesses a number of animals
peculiar to itself or common to the small islands around it, but
almost always distinct from those of New Guinea on the east, of
Ceram on the south, and of Celebes and the Sula islands on the

The island of Morty, close to the north-eastern extremity of
Gilolo, was visited by my assistant Charles Allen, as well as by
Dr. Bernstein; and the collections obtained there present some
curious differences from those of the main island. About fifty-
six species of land-birds are known to inhabit this island, and
of these, a kingfisher (Tanysiptera Boris), a honey-sucker
(Tropidorhynchus fuscicapillus), and a large crow-like starling
(Lycocorax morotensis), are quite distinct from allied species
found in Gilolo. The island is coralline and sandy, and we must
therefore believe it to have been separated from Gilolo at a
somewhat remote epoch; while we learn from its natural history
that an arm of the sea twenty-five miles wide serves to limit the
range even of birds of considerable powers of flight.



(OCTOBER 1858.)

ON returning to Ternate from Sahoe, I at once began making
preparations for a journey to Batchian, an island which I had
been constantly recommended to visit since I had arrived in this
part of the Moluccas. After all was ready I found that I should
have to hire a boat, as no opportunity of obtaining a passage
presented itself. I accordingly went into the native town, and
could only find two boats for hire, one much larger than I
required, and the other far smaller than I wished. I chose the
smaller one, chiefly because it would not cost me one-third as
much as the larger one, and also because in a coasting voyage a
small vessel can be more easily managed, and more readily got
into a place of safety during violent gales, than a large one. I
took with me my Bornean lad Ali, who was now very useful to me;
Lahagi, a native of Ternate, a very good steady man, and a fair
shooter, who had been with me to New Guinea; Lahi, a native of
Gilolo, who could speak Malay, as woodcutter and general
assistant; and Garo, a boy who was to act as cook. As the boat
was so small that we had hardly room to stow ourselves away when
all my stores were on board, I only took one other man named
Latchi, as pilot. He was a Papuan slave, a tall, strong black
fellow, but very civil and careful. The boat I had hired from a
Chinaman named Lau Keng Tong, for five guilders a month.

We started on the morning of October 9th, but had not got a
hundred yards from land, when a strong head wind sprung up,
against which we could not row, so we crept along shore to below
the town, and waited till the turn of the tide should enable us
to cross over to the coast of Tidore. About three in the
afternoon we got off, and found that our boat sailed well, and
would keep pretty close to the wind. We got on a good way before
the wind fell and we had to take to our oars again. We landed on
a nice sandy beach to cook our suppers, just as the sun set
behind the rugged volcanic hills, to the south of the great cone
of Tidore, and soon after beheld the planet Venus shining in the
twilight with the brilliancy of a new moon, and casting a very
distinct shadow. We left again a little before seven, and as we
got out from the shadow of the mountain I observed a bright light
over one part of the edge, and soon after, what seemed a fire of
remarkable whiteness on the very summit of the hill. I called the
attention of my men to it, and they too thought it merely a fire;
but a few minutes afterwards, as we got farther off shore, the
light rose clear up above the ridge of the hill, and some faint
clouds clearing away from it, discovered the magnificent comet
which was at the same time, astonishing all Europe. The nucleus
presented to the naked eye a distinct disc of brilliant white
light, from which the tail rose at an angle of about 30° or 35°
with the horizon, curving slightly downwards, and terminating in
a broad brush of faint light, the curvature of which diminished
till it was nearly straight at the end. The portion of the tail
next the comet appeared three or four tunes as bright as the most
luminous portion of the milky way, and what struck me as a
singular feature was that its upper margin, from the nucleus to
very near the extremity, was clearly and almost sharply defined,
while the lower side gradually shaded off into obscurity.
Directly it rose above the ridge of the hill, I said to my men,
"See, it's not a fire, it's a bintang ber-ekor" ("tailed-star,"
the Malay idiom for a comet). "So it is," said they; and all
declared that they had often heard tell of such, but had never
seen one till now. I had no telescope with me, nor any instrument
at hand, but I estimated the length of the tail at about 20°, and
the width, towards the extremity, about 4° or 5°.

The whole of the next day we were obliged to stop near the
village of Tidore, owing to a strong wind right in our teeth. The
country was all cultivated, and I in vain searched for any
insects worth capturing. One of my men went out to shoot, but
returned home without a single bird. At sunset, the wind having
dropped, we quitted Tidore, and reached the next island, March,
where we stayed till morning. The comet was again visible, but
not nearly so brilliant, being partly obscured by clouds; and
dimmed by the light of the new moon. We then rowed across to the
island of Motir, which is so surrounded with coral-reefs that it
is dangerous to approach. These are perfectly flat, and are only
covered at high water, ending in craggy vertical walls of coral
in very deep water. When there is a little wind, it is dangerous
to come near these rocks; but luckily it was quite smooth, so we
moored to their edge, while the men crawled over the reef to the
land, to make; a fire and cook our dinner-the boat having no
accommodation for more than heating water for my morning and
evening coffee. We then rowed along the edge of the reef to the
end of the island, and were glad to get a nice westerly breeze,
which carried us over the strait to the island of Makian, where
we arrived about 8 P.M, The sky was quite clear, and though the
moon shone brightly, the comet appeared with quite as much
splendour as when we first saw it.

The coasts of these small islands are very different according to
their geological formation. The volcanoes, active or extinct,
have steep black beaches of volcanic sand, or are fringed with
rugged masses of lava and basalt. Coral is generally absent,
occurring only in small patches in quiet bays, and rarely or
never forming reefs. Ternate, Tidore, and Makian belong to this
class. Islands of volcanic origin, not themselves volcanoes, but
which have been probably recently upraised, are generally more or
less completely surrounded by fringing reefs of coral, and have
beaches of shining white coral sand. Their coasts present
volcanic conglomerates, basalt, and in some places a foundation
of stratified rocks, with patches of upraised coral. Mareh and
Motir are of this character, the outline of the latter giving it
the appearance of having been a true volcano, and it is said by
Forrest to have thrown out stones in l778. The next day (Oct.
12th), we coasted along the island of Makian, which consists of a
single grand volcano. It was now quiescent, but about two
centuries ago (in 1646) there was a terrible eruption, which blew
up the whole top of the mountain, leaving the truncated jagged
summit and vast gloomy crater valley which at this time
distinguished it. It was said to have been as lofty as Tidore
before this catastrophe. [Soon after I' left the Archipelago, on
the 29th of December, 1862, another eruption of this mountain
suddenly took place, which caused great devastation in the
island. All the villages and crops were destroyed, and numbers of
the inhabitants killed. The sand and ashes fell so thick that the
crops were partially destroyed fifty miles off, at Ternate, where
it was so dark the following day that lamps had to be lighted at
noon. For the position of this and the adjacent islands, see the
map in Chapter XXXVII.]

I stayed some time at a place where I saw a new clearing on a
very steep part of the mountain, and obtained a few interesting
insects. In the evening we went on to the extreme southern point,
to be ready to pass across the fifteen-mile strait to the island
of Kaióa. At five the next morning we started, but the wind,
which had hitherto been westerly, now got to the south and
southwest, and we had to row almost all the way with a burning
sun overhead. As we approached land a fine breeze sprang up, and
we went along at a great pace; yet after an hour we were no
nearer, and found we were in a violent current carrying us out to
sea. At length we overcame it, and got on shore just as the sun
set, having been exactly thirteen hours coming fifteen miles. We
landed on a beach of hard coralline rock, with rugged cliffs of
the same, resembling those of the Ke Islands (Chap. XXIX.) It was
accompanied by a brilliancy and luxuriance of the vegetation,
very like what I had observed at those islands, which so much
pleased me that I resolved to stay a few days at the chief
village, and see if their animal productions were correspondingly
interesting. While searching for a secure anchorage for the night
we again saw the comet, still apparently as brilliant as at
first, but the tail had now risen to a higher angle.

October 14th.--All this day we coasted along the Kaióa Islands,
which have much the appearance and outline of Ke on a small
scale, with the addition of flat swampy tracts along shore, and
outlying coral reefs. Contrary winds and currents had prevented
our taking the proper course to the west of them, and we had to
go by a circuitous route round the southern extremity of one
island, often having to go far out to sea on account of coral
reefs. On trying to pass a channel through one of these reefs we
were grounded, and all had to get out into the water, which in
this shallow strait had been so heated by the sun as to be
disagreeably warm, and drag our vessel a considerable distance
among weeds and sponges, corals and prickly corallines. It was
late at night when we reached the little village harbour, and we
were all pretty well knocked up by hard work, and having had
nothing but very brackish water to drink all day-the best we
could find at our last stopping-place. There was a house close to
the shore, built for the use of the Resident of Ternate when he
made his official visits, but now occupied by several native
travelling merchants, among whom I found a place to sleep.

The next morning early I went to the village to find the
"Kapala," or head man. I informed him that I wanted to stay a few
days in the house at the landing, and begged him to have it made
ready for me. He was very civil, and came down at once to get it
cleared, when we found that the traders had already left, on
hearing that I required it. There were no doors to it, so I
obtained the loan of a couple of hurdles to keep out dogs and
other animals. The land here was evidently sinking rapidly, as
shown by the number of trees standing in salt water dead and
dying. After breakfast I started for a walk to the forest-covered
hill above the village, with a couple of boys as guides. It was
exceedingly hot and dry, no rain having fallen for two months.
When we reached an elevation of about two hundred feet, the
coralline rock which fringes the shore was succeeded by a hard
crystalline rock, a kind of metamorphic sandstone. This would
indicate flat there had been a recent elevation of more than two
hundred feet, which had still more recently clanged into a
movement of subsidence. The hill was very rugged, but among dry
sticks and fallen trees I found some good insects, mostly of
forms and species I was already acquainted with from Ternate and
Gilolo. Finding no good paths I returned, and explored the lower
ground eastward of the village, passing through a long range of
plantain and tobacco grounds, encumbered with felled and burnt
logs, on which I found quantities of beetles of the family
Buprestidae of six different species, one of which was new to me.
I then reached a path in the swampy forest where I hoped to find
some butterflies, but was disappointed. Being now pretty well
exhausted by the intense heat, I thought it wise to return and
reserve further exploration for the next day.

When I sat down in the afternoon to arrange my insects, the louse
was surrounded by men, women, and children, lost in amazement at
my unaccountable proceedings; and when, after pinning out the
specimens, I proceeded to write the name of the place on small
circular tickets, and attach one to each, even the old Kapala,
the Mahometan priest, and some Malay traders could not repress
signs of astonishment. If they had known a little more about the
ways and opinions of white men, they would probably have looked
upon me as a fool or a madman, but in their ignorance they
accepted my operations as worthy of all respect, although utterly
beyond their comprehension.

The next day (October 16th) I went beyond the swamp, and found a
place where a new clearing was being made in the virgin forest.
It was a long and hot walk, and the search among the fallen
trunks and branches was very fatiguing, but I was rewarded by
obtaining about seventy distinct species of beetles, of which at
least a dozen were new to me, and many others rare and
interesting. I have never in my life seen beetles so abundant as
they were on this spot. Some dozen species of good-sized golden
Buprestidae, green rose-chafers (Lomaptera), and long-horned
weevils (Anthribidae), were so abundant that they rose up in
swarms as I walked along, filling the air with a loud buzzing
hum. Along with these, several fine Longicorns were almost
equally common, forming such au assemblage as for once to realize
that idea of tropical luxuriance which one obtains by looking
over the drawers of a well-filled cabinet. On the under sides of
the trunks clung numbers of smaller or more sluggish Longicorns,
while on the branches at the edge of the clearing others could be
detected sitting with outstretched antenna ready to take flight
at the least alarm. It was a glorious spot, and one which will
always live in my memory as exhibiting the insect-life of the
tropics in unexampled luxuriance. For the three following days I
continued to visit this locality, adding each time many new
species to my collection-the following notes of which may be
interesting to entomologists. October l5th, 33 species of
beetles; 16th, 70 species; 17th, 47 species; 18th, 40 species;
19th, 56 species--in all about a hundred species, of which forty
were new to me. There were forty-four species of Longicorns among
them, and on the last day I took twenty-eight species of
Longicorns, of which five were new to me.

My boys were less fortunate in shooting. The only birds at all
common were the great red parrot (Eclectus grandis), found in
most of the Moluccas, a crow, and a Megapodius, or mound-maker. A
few of the pretty racquet-tailed kingfishers were also obtained,
but in very poor plumage. They proved, however, to be of a
different species from those found in the other islands, and come
nearest to the bird originally described by Linnaeus under the
name of Alcedo dea, and which came from Ternate. This would
indicate that the small chain of islands parallel to Gilolo have
a few peculiar species in common, a fact which certainly occurs
in insects.

The people of Kaioa interested me much. They are evidently a
mixed race, having Malay and Papuan affinities, and are allied to
the peoples of Ternate and of Gilolo. They possess a peculiar
language, somewhat resembling those of the surrounding islands,
but quite distinct. They are now Mahometans, and are subject to
Ternate, The only fruits seen here were papaws and pine-apples,
the rocky soil and dry climate being unfavourable. Rice, maize,
and plantains flourish well, except that they suffer from
occasional dry seasons like the present one. There is a little
cotton grown, from which the women weave sarongs (Malay
petticoats). There is only one well of good water on the islands,
situated close to the landing-place, to which all the inhabitants
come for drinking water. The men are good boat-builders, and they
make a regular trade of it and seem to be very well off.

After five days at Kaióa we continued our journey, and soon got
among the narrow straits and islands which lead down to the town
of Batchian. In the evening we stayed at a settlement of Galela
men. These are natives of a district in the extreme north of
Gilolo, and are great wanderers over this part of the
Archipelago. They build large and roomy praus with outriggers,
and settle on any coast or island they take a fancy for. They
hunt deer and wild pig, drying the meat; they catch turtle and
tripang; they cut down the forest and plant rice or maize, and
are altogether remarkably energetic and industrious. They are
very line people, of light complexion, tall, and with Papuan
features, coming nearer to the drawings and descriptions of the
true Polynesians of Tahiti and Owyhee than any I have seen.

During this voyage I had several times had an opportunity of
seeing my men get fire by friction. A sharp-edged piece of bamboo
is rubbed across the convex surface of another piece, on which a
small notch is first cut. The rubbing is slow at first and
gradually quicker, till it becomes very rapid, and the fine
powder rubbed off ignites and falls through the hole which the
rubbing has cut in the bamboo. This is done with great quickness
and certainty. The Ternate, people use bamboo in another way.
They strike its flinty surface with a bit of broken china, and
produce a spark, which they catch in some kind of tinder.

On the evening of October 21st we reached our destination, having
been twelve days on the voyage. It had been tine weather all the
time, and, although very hot, I had enjoyed myself exceedingly,
and had besides obtained some experience in boat work among
islands and coral reefs, which enabled me afterwards to undertake
much longer voyages of the same kind. The village or town of
Batchian is situated at the head of a wide and deep bay, where a
low isthmus connects the northern and southern mountainous parts
of the island. To the south is a fine. range of mountains, and I
had noticed at several of our landing-places that the geological
formation of the island was very different from those around it.
Whenever rock was visible it was either sandstone in thin layers,
dipping south, or a pebbly conglomerate. Sometimes there was a
little coralline limestone, but no volcanic rocks. The forest had
a dense luxuriance and loftiness seldom found on the dry and
porous lavas and raised coral reefs of Ternate and Gilolo; and
hoping for a corresponding richness in the birds and insects, it
was with much satisfaction and with considerable expectation that
I began my explorations in the hitherto unknown island of



(OCTOBER 1858 To APRIL 1859.)

I LANDED opposite the house kept for the use of the Resident of
Ternate, and was met by a respectable middle-aged Malay, who told
me he was Secretary to the Sultan, and would receive the official
letter with which I had been provided. On giving it him, he at
once informed me I might have the use of the official residence
which was empty. I soon got my things on shore, but on looking
about me found that the house would never do to stay long in.
There was no water except at a considerable distance, and one of
my men would be almost entirely occupied getting water and
firewood, and I should myself have to walk all through the
village every day to the forest, and live almost in public, a
thing I much dislike. The rooms were all boarded, and had
ceilings, which are a great nuisance, as there are no means of
hanging anything up except by driving nails, and not half the
conveniences of a native bamboo and thatch cottage. I accordingly
inquired for a house outside of the village on the road to the
coal mines, and was informed by the Secretary that there was a
small one belonging to the Sultan, and that he would go with me
early next morning to see it.

We had to pass one large river, by a rude but substantial bridge,
and to wade through another fine pebbly stream of clear water,
just beyond which the little but was situated. It was very small,
not raised on posts, but with the earth for a floor, and was
built almost entirely of the leaf-stems of the sago-palm, called
here "gaba-gaba." Across the river behind rose a forest-clad
bank, and a good road close in front of the horse led through
cultivated grounds to the forest about half a mile on, and thence
to the coal mines tour miles further. These advantages at once
decided me, and I told the Secretary I would be very glad to
occupy the house. I therefore sent my two men immediately to buy
"ataps" (palm-leaf thatch) to repair the roof, and the next day,
with the assistance of eight of the Sultan's men, got all my
stores and furniture carried up and pretty comfortably arranged.
A rough bamboo bedstead was soon constructed, and a table made of
boards which I had brought with me, fixed under the window. Two
bamboo chairs, an easy cane chair, and hanging shelves suspended
with insulating oil cups, so as to be safe from ants, completed
my furnishing arrangements.

In the afternoon succeeding my arrival, the Secretary accompanied
me to visit the Sultan. We were kept waiting a few minutes in an
outer gate-house, and then ushered to the door of a rude, half-
fortified whitewashed house. A small table and three chairs were
placed in a large outer corridor, and an old dirty-faced man with
grey hair and a grimy beard, dressed in a speckled blue cotton
jacket and loose red trousers, came forward, shook hands, and
asked me to be coated. After a quarter of an hour's conversation
on my pursuits, in which his Majesty seemed to take great
interest, tea and cakes-of rather better quality than usual on
such occasions-were brought in. I thanked him for the house, and
offered to show him my collections, which he promised to come and
look at. He then asked me to teach him to take views-to make
maps-to get him a small gun from England, and a milch-goat from
Bengal; all of which requests I evaded as skilfully as I was
able, and we parted very good friends. He seemed a sensible old
man, and lamented the small population of the island, which he
assured me was rich in many valuable minerals, including gold;
but there were not people enough to look after them and work
them. I described to him the great rush of population on the
discovery of the Australian gold mines, and the huge nuggets
found there, with which he was much interested, and exclaimed,
"Oh? if we had but people like that, my country would be quite as
rich "

The morning after I had got into my new house, I sent my boys out
to shoot, and went myself to explore the road to the coal mines.
In less than half a mile it entered the virgin forest, at a place
where some magnificent trees formed a kind of natural avenue. The
first part was flat and swampy, but it soon rose a little, and
ran alongside the fine stream which passed behind my house, and
which here rushed and gurgled over a rocky or pebbly bed,
sometimes leaving wide sandbanks on its margins, and at other
places flowing between high banks crowned with a varied and
magnificent forest vegetation. After about two miles, the valley
narrowed, and the road was carried along the steep hill-side
which rose abruptly from the water's edge. In some places the
rock had been cut away, but its surface was already covered with
elegant ferns and creepers. Gigantic tree-ferns were abundant,
and the whole forest had an air of luxuriance and rich variety
which it never attains in the dry volcanic soil to which I had
been lately accustomed. A little further the road passed to the
other side of the valley by a bridge across the stream at a place
where a great mass of rock in the middle offered an excellent
support for it, and two miles more of most picturesque and
interesting road brought me to the mining establishment.

This is situated in a large open space, at a spot where two
tributaries fall into the main stream. Several forest-paths and
new clearings offered fine collecting grounds, and I captured
some new and interesting insects; but as it was getting late I
had to reserve a more thorough exploration for future occasions.
Coal had been discovered here some years before, and the road was
made in order to bring down a sufficient quantity for a fair
trial on the Dutch steamers. The quality, however, was not
thought sufficiently good, and the mines were abandoned. Quite
recently, works had been commenced in another spot, in Hopes of
finding a better vein. There ware about eighty men employed,
chiefly convicts; but this was far too small a number for mining
operations in such a country, where the mere keeping a few miles
of road in repair requires the constant work of several men. If
coal of sufficiently good quality should be found, a tramroad
would be made, and would be very easily worked, owing to the
regular descent of the valley.

Just as I got home I overtook Ali returning from shooting with
some birch hanging from his belt. He seemed much pleased, and
said, "Look here, sir, what a curious bird," holding out what at
first completely puzzled me. I saw a bird with a mass of splendid
green feathers on its breast, elongated into two glittering
tufts; but, what I could not understand was a pair of long white
feathers, which stuck straight out from each shoulder. Ali
assured me that the bird stuck them out this way itself, when
fluttering its wings, and that they had remained so without his
touching them. I now saw that I had got a great prize, no less
than a completely new form of the Bird of Paradise, differing
most remarkably from every other known bird. The general plumage
is very sober, being a pure ashy olive, with a purplish tinge on
the back; the crown of the head is beautifully glossed with pale
metallic violet, and the feathers of the front extend as much
over the beak as inmost of the family. The neck and breast are
scaled with fine metallic green, and the feathers on the lower
part are elongated on each side, so as to form a two-pointed
gorget, which can be folded beneath the wings, or partially
erected and spread out in the same way as the side plumes of most
of the birds of paradise. The four long white plumes which give
the bird its altogether unique character, spring from little
tubercles close to the upper edge of the shoulder or bend of the
wing; they are narrow, gentle curved, and equally webbed on both
sides, of a pure creamy white colour. They arc about six inches
long, equalling the wing, and can be raised at right angles to
it, or laid along the body at the pleasure of the bird. The bill
is horn colour, the legs yellow, and the iris pale olive. This
striking novelty has been named by Mr. G. R. Gray of the British
Museum, Semioptera Wallacei, or "Wallace's Standard wing."

A few days later I obtained an exceedingly beautiful new
butterfly, allied to the fine blue Papilio Ulysses, but differing
from it in the colour being of a more intense tint, and in having
a row of blue stripes around the margin of the lower wings. This
good beginning was, however, rather deceptive, and I soon found
that insects, and especially butterflies, were somewhat scarce,
and birds in tar less variety than I had anticipated. Several of
the fine Moluccan species were however obtained. The handsome red
lory with green wings and a yellow spot in the back (Lorius
garrulus), was not uncommon. When the Jambu, or rose apple
(Eugenic sp.), was in flower in the village, flocks of the little
lorikeet (Charmosyna placentis), already met with in Gilolo, came
to feed upon the nectar, and I obtained as many specimens as I
desired. Another beautiful bird of the parrot tribe was the
Geoffroyus cyanicollis, a green parrot with a red bill and head,
which colour shaded on the crown into azure blue, and thence into
verditer blue and the green of the back. Two large and handsome
fruit pigeons, with metallic green, ashy, and rufous plumage,
were not uncommon; and I was rewarded by finding a splendid deep
blue roller (Eurystomus azureus); a lovely golden-capped sunbird
(Nectarinea auriceps), and a fine racquet-tailed kingfisher
(Tanysiptera isis), all of which were entirely new to
ornithologists. Of insects I obtained a considerable number of
interesting beetles, including many fine longicorns, among which
was the largest and handsomest species of the genus Glenea yet
discovered. Among butterflies the beautiful little Danis sebae
was abundant, making the forests gay with its delicate wings of
white and the richest metallic blue; while showy Papilios, and
pretty Pieridae, and dark, rich Euphaeas, many of them new,
furnished a constant source of interest and pleasing occupation.

The island of Batchian possesses no really indigenous
inhabitants, the interior being altogether uninhabited; and there
are only a few small villages on various parts of the coast; yet
I found here four distinct races, which would wofully mislead an
ethnological traveller unable to obtain information as to their
origin, first there are the Batchian Malays, probably the
earliest colonists, differing very little from those of Ternate.
Their language, however, seems to have more of the Papuan
element, with a mixture of pure Malay, showing that the
settlement is one of stragglers of various races, although now
sufficiently homogeneous. Then there are the "Orang Sirani," as
at Ternate and Amboyna. Many of these have the Portuguese
physiognomy strikingly preserved, but combined with a skin
generally darker than the Malays. Some national customs are
retained, and the Malay, which is their only language, contains a
large number of Portuguese words and idioms. The third race
consists of the Galela men from the north of Gilolo, a singular
people, whom I have already described; and the fourth is a colony
from Tomóre, in the eastern peninsula of Celebes. These people
were brought here at their own request a few years ago, to avoid
extermination by another tribe. They have a very light
complexion, open Tartar physiognomy, low stature, and a language
of the Bugis type. They are an industrious agricultural people,
and supply the town with vegetables. They make a good deal of
bark cloth, similar to the tapa of the Polynesians, by cutting
down the proper trees and taping off large cylinders of bark,
which is beaten with mallets till it separates from the wood. It
is then soaked, and so continuously and regularly beaten out that
it becomes as thin and as tough as parchment. In this foam it is
much used for wrappers for clothes; and they also make jackets of
it, sewn neatly together and stained with the juice of another
kind of bark, which gives it a dark red colour and renders it
nearly waterproof.

Here are four very distinct kinds of people who may all be seen
any day in and about the town of Batchian. Now if we suppose a
traveller ignorant of Malay, picking up a word or two here and
there of the "Batchian language," and noting down the "physical
and moral peculiarities, manners, and customs of the Batchian
people"--(for there are travellers who do all this in four-and-
twenty hours)--what an accurate and instructive chapter we should
have' what transitions would be pointed out, what theories of the
origin of races would be developed while the next traveller might
flatly contradict every statement and arrive at exactly opposite

Soon after I arrived here the Dutch Government introduced a new
copper coinage of cents instead of doits (the 100th instead of
the 120th part of a guilder), and all the old coins were ordered
to be sent to Ternate to be changed. I sent a bag containing
6,000 doits, and duly received the new money by return of the
boat. Then Ali went to bring it, however, the captain required a
written order; so I waited to send again the next day, and it was
lucky I did so, for that night my house was entered, all my boxes
carried out and ransacked, and the various articles left on the
road about twenty yards off, where we found them at five in the
morning, when, on getting up and finding the house empty, we
rushed out to discover tracks of the thieves. Not being able to
find the copper money which they thought I had just received,
they decamped, taking nothing but a few yards of cotton cloth and
a black coat and trousers, which latter were picked up a few days
afterwards hidden in the grass. There was no doubt whatever who
were the thieves. Convicts are employed to guard the Government
stores when the boat arrives from Ternate. Two of them watch all
night, and often take the opportunity to roam about and commit

The next day I received my money, and secured it well in a strong
box fastened under my bed. I took out five or six hundred cents
for daily expenses, and put them in a small japanned box, which
always stood upon my table. In the afternoon I went for a short
walk, and on my return this box and my keys, which I had
carelessly left on the table, were gone. Two of my boys were in
the house, but had heard nothing. I immediately gave information
of the two robberies to the Director at the mines and to the
Commandant at the fort, and got for answer, that if I caught the
thief in the act I might shoot him. By inquiry in the village, we
afterwards found that one of the convicts who was on duty at the
Government rice-store in the village had quitted his guard, was
seen to pass over the bridge towards my house, was seen again
within two hundred yards of my house, and on returning over the
bridge into the village carried something under his arm,
carefully covered with his sarong. My box was stolen between the
hours he was seen going and returning, and it was so small as to
be easily carried in the way described. This seemed pretty clear
circumstantial evidence. I accused the man and brought the
witnesses to the Commandant. The man was examined, and confessed
having gone to the river close to my house to bathe; but said he
had gone no farther, having climbed up a cocoa-nut tree and
brought home two nuts, which he had covered over, _because he was
ashamed to be seen carrying them!_ This explanation was thought
satisfactory, and he was acquitted. I lost my cash and my box, a
seal I much valued, with other small articles, and all my keys-
the severest loss by far. Luckily my large cash-box was left
locked, but so were others which I required to open immediately.
There was, however, a very clever blacksmith employed to do
ironwork for the mines, and he picked my locks for me when I
required them, and in a few days made me new keys, which I used
all the time I was abroad.

Towards the end of November the wet season set in, and we had
daily and almost incessant rains, with only about one or two
hours' sunshine in the morning. The flat parts of the forest
became flooded, the roads filled with mud, and insects and birds
were scarcer than ever. On December Lath, in the afternoon, we
had a sharp earthquake shock, which made the house and furniture
shale and rattle for five minutes, and the trees and shrubs wave
as if a gust of wind had passed over them. About the middle of
December I removed to the village, in order more easily to
explore the district to the west of it, and to be near the sea
when I wished to return to Ternate. I obtained the use of a good-
sized house in the Campong Sirani (or Christian village), and at
Christmas and the New Year had to endure the incessant gun-
firing, drum-beating, and fiddling of the inhabitants.

These people are very fond of music and dancing, and it would
astonish a European to visit one of their assemblies. We enter a
gloomy palm-leaf hut, in which two or three very dim lamps barely
render darkness visible. The floor is of black sandy earth, the
roof hid in a smoky impenetrable blackness; two or three benches
stand against the walls, and the orchestra consists of a fiddle,
a fife, a drum, and a triangle. There is plenty of company,
consisting of young men and women, all very neatly dressed in
white and black--a true Portuguese habit. Quadrilles, waltzes,
polkas, and mazurkas are danced with great vigour and much skill.
The refreshments are muddy coffee and a few sweetmeats. Dancing
is kept up for hours, and all is conducted with much decorum and
propriety. A party of this kind meets about once a week, the
principal inhabitants taking it by turns, and all who please come
in without much ceremony.

It is astonishing how little these people have altered in three
hundred years, although in that time they have changed their
language and lost all knowledge of their own nationality. They
are still in manners and appearance almost pure Portuguese, very
similar to those with whom I had become acquainted on the banks
of the Amazon. They live very poorly as regards their house and
furniture, but preserve a semi-European dress, and have almost
all full suits of black for Sundays. They are nominally
Protestants, but Sunday evening is their grand day for music and
dancing. The men are often good hunters; and two or three times a
week, deer or wild pigs are brought to the village, which, with
fish and fowls, enables them to live well. They are almost the
only people in the Archipelago who eat the great fruit-eating
bats called by us "flying foxes." These ugly creatures are
considered a great delicacy, and are much sought after. At about
the beginning of the year they come in large flocks to eat fruit,
and congregate during the day on some small islands in the bay,
hanging by thousands on the trees, especially on dead ones. They
can then be easily caught or knocked down with sticks, and are
brought home by basketsfull. They require to be carefully
prepared, as the skin and fur has a rank end powerful foxy odour;
but they are generally cooked with abundance of spices and
condiments, and are really very good eating, something like hare.
The Orang Sirani are good cooks, having a much greater variety of
savoury dishes than the Malays. Here, they live chiefly on sago
as bread, with a little rice occasionally, and abundance of
vegetables and fruit.

It is a curious fact that everywhere in the Past where the
Portuguese have mixed with the native races they leave become
darker in colour than either of the parent stocks. This is the
case almost always with these "Orang Sirani" in the Moluccas, and
with the Portuguese of Malacca. The reverse is the case in South
America, where the mixture of the Portuguese or Brazilian with
the Indian produces the "Mameluco," who is not unfrequently
lighter than either parent, and always lighter than the Indian.
The women at Batchian, although generally fairer than the men,
are coarse in features, and very far inferior in beauty to the
mixed Dutch-Malay girls, or even to many pure Malays.

The part of the village in which I resided was a grove of cocoa-
nut trees, and at night, when the dead leaves were sometimes
collected together and burnt, the effect was most magnificent--
the tall stems, the fine crowns of foliage, and the immense
fruit-clusters, being brilliantly illuminated against a dark sky,
and appearing like a fairy palace supported on a hundred columns,
and groined over with leafy arches. The cocoa-nut tree, when well
grown, is certainly the prince of palms both for beauty and

During my very first walk into the forest at Batchian, I had seen
sitting on a leaf out of reach, an immense butterfly of a dark
colour marked with white and yellow spots. I could not capture it
as it flew away high up into the forest, but I at once saw that
it was a female of a new species of Ornithoptera or "bird-winged
butterfly," the pride of the Eastern tropics. I was very anxious
to get it and to find the male, which in this genus is always of
extreme beauty. During the two succeeding months I only saw it
once again, and shortly afterwards I saw the male flying high in
the air at the mining village. I had begun to despair of ever
getting a specimen, as it seemed so rare and wild; till one day,
about the beginning of January, I found a beautiful shrub with
large white leafy bracts and yellow flowers, a species of
Mussaenda, and saw one of these noble insects hovering over it,
but it was too quick for me, and flew away. The next clay I went
again to the same shrub and succeeded in catching a female, and
the day after a fine male. I found it to be as I had expected, a
perfectly new and most magnificent species, and one of the most
gorgeously coloured butterflies in the world. Fine specimens of
the male are more than seven inches across the wings, which are
velvety black and fiery orange, the latter colour replacing the
green of the allied species. The beauty and brilliancy of this
insect are indescribable, and none but a naturalist can
understand the intense excitement I experienced when I at length
captured it. On taking it out of my net and opening the glorious
wings, my heart began to beat violently, the blood rushed to my
head, and I felt much more like fainting than I have done when in
apprehension of immediate death. I had a headache the rest of the
day, so great was the excitement produced by what will appear to
most people a very inadequate cause.

I had decided to return to Ternate in a week or two more, but
this grand capture determined me to stay on till I obtained a
good series of the new butterfly, which I have since named
Ornithoptera croesus. The Mussaenda bush was an admirable place,
which I could visit every day on my way to the forest; and as it
was situated in a dense thicket of shrubs and creepers, I set my
man Lahi to clear a space all round it, so that I could easily
get at any insect that might visit it. Afterwards, finding that
it was often necessary to wait some time there, I had a little
seat put up under a tree by the side of it, where I came every
day to eat my lunch, and thus had half an hour's watching about
noon, besides a chance as I passed it in the morning. In this way
I obtained on an average one specimen a day for a long time, but
more than half of these were females, and more than half the
remainder worn or broken specimens, so that I should not have
obtained many perfect males had I not found another station for

As soon as I had seen them come to flowers, I sent my man Lahi
with a net on purpose to search for them, as they had also been
seen at some flowering trees on the beach, and I promised him
half a day's wages extra for every good specimen he could catch.
After a day or two he brought me two very fair specimens, and
told me he had caught them in the bed of a large rocky stream
that descends from the mountains to the sea abort a mile below
the village. They flew down this river, settling occasionally on
stones and rocks in the water, and he was obliged to wade up it
or jump from rock to rock to get at them. I went with him one
day, but found that the stream was far too rapid and the stones
too slippery for me to do anything, so I left it entirely to him,
and all the rest of the time we stayed in Batchian he used to be
out all day, generally bringing me one, and on good days two or
three specimens. I was thus able to bring away with me more than
a hundred of both sexes, including perhaps twenty very fine
males, though not more than five or six that were absolutely

My daily walk now led me, first about half a mile along the sandy
beach, then through a sago swamp over a causeway of very shaky
poles to the village of the Tomore people. Beyond this was the
forest with patches of new clearing, shady paths, and a
considerable quantity of felled timber. I found this a very fair
collecting ground, especially for beetles. The fallen trunks in
the clearings abounded with golden Buprestidae and curious
Brenthidae, and longicorns, while in the forest I found abundance
of the smaller Curculionidae, many longicorns, and some fine
green Carabidae.

Butterflies were not abundant, but I obtained a few more of the
fine blue Papilio, and a number of beautiful little Lycaenidae,
as well as a single specimen of the very rare Papilio Wallacei,
of which I had taken the hitherto unique specimen in the Aru

The most interesting birds I obtained here, were the beautiful
blue kingfisher, Todiramphus diops; the fine green and purple
doves, Ptilonopus superbus and P. iogaster, and several new birds
of small size. My shooters still brought me in specimens of the
Semioptera Wallacei, and I was greatly excited by the positive
statements of several of the native hunters that another species
of this bird existed, much handsomer and more remarkable. They
declared that the plumage was glossy black, with metallic green
breast as in my species, but that the white shoulder plumes were
twice as long, and hung down far below the body of the bird. They
declared that when hunting pigs or deer far in the forest they
occasionally saw this bird, but that it was rare. I immediately
offered twelve guilders (a pound) for a specimen; but all in
vain, and I am to this day uncertain whether such a bird exists.
Since I left, the German naturalist, Dr. Bernstein, stayed many
months in the island with a large staff of hunters collecting for
the Leyden Museum; and as he was not more successful than myself,
we must consider either that the bird is very rare, or is
altogether a myth.

Batchian is remarkable as being the most eastern point on the
globe inhabited by any of the Quadrumana. A large black baboon-
monkey (Cynopithecus nigrescens) is abundant in some parts of the
forest. This animal has bare red callosities, and a rudimentary
tail about an inch long--a mere fleshy tubercle, which may be
very easily overlooked. It is the same species that is found all
over the forests of Celebes, and as none of the other Mammalia of
that island extend into Batchian I am inclined to suppose that
this species has been accidentally introduced by the roaming
Malays, who often carry about with them tame monkeys and other
animals. This is rendered more probable by the fact that the
animal is not found in Gilolo, which is only separated from
Batchian by a very narrow strait. The introduction may have been
very recent, as in a fertile and unoccupied island such an animal
would multiply rapidly. The only other mammals obtained were an
Eastern opossum, which Dr. Gray has described as Cuscus ornatus;
the little flying opossum, Belideus ariel; a Civet cat, Viverra
zebetha; and nice species of bats, most of the smaller ones being
caught in the dusk with my butterfly net as they flew about
before the house.

After much delay, owing to bad weather and the illness of one of
my men, I determined to visit Kasserota (formerly the chief
village), situated up a small stream, on an island close to the
north coast of Batchian; where I was told that many rare birds
were found. After my boat was loaded and everything ready, three
days of heavy squalls prevented our starting, and it was not till
the 21st of March that we got away. Early next morning we entered
the little river, and in about an hour we reached the Sultan's
house, which I had obtained permission to use. It was situated on
the bank of the river, and surrounded by a forest of fruit trees,
among which were some of the very loftiest and most graceful
cocoa-nut palms I have ever seen. It rained nearly all that day,
and I could do little but unload and unpack. Towards the
afternoon it cleared up, and I attempted to explore in various
directions, but found to my disgust that the only path was a
perfect mud swamp, along which it was almost impossible to walk,
and the surrounding forest so damp and dark as to promise little
in the way of insects. I found too on inquiry that the people
here made no clearings, living entirely on sago, fruit, fish, and
game; and the path only led to- a steep rocky mountain equally
impracticable and unproductive. The next day I sent my men to
this hill, hoping it might produce some good birds; but they
returned with only two common species, and I myself had been able
to get nothing; every little track I had attempted to follow
leading to a dense sago swamp. I saw that I should waste time by
staying here, and determined to leave the following day.

This is one of those spots so hard for the European naturalist to
conceive, where with all the riches of a tropical vegetation, and
partly perhaps from the very luxuriance of that vegetation,
insects are as scarce as in the most barren parts of Europe, and
hardly more conspicuous. In temperate climates there is a
tolerable uniformity in the distribution of insects over those
parts of a country in which there is a similarity in the
vegetation, any deficiency being easily accounted for by the
absence of wood or uniformity of surface. The traveller hastily
passing through such a country can at once pick out a collecting
ground which will afford him a fair notion of its entomology.
Here the case is different. There are certain requisites of a
good collecting ground which can only be ascertained to exist by
some days' search in the vicinity of each village. In some places
there is no virgin forest, as at Djilolo and Sahoe; in others
there are no open pathways or clearings, as here. At Batchian
there are only two tolerable collecting places,--the road to the
coal mines, and the new clearings made by the Tomóre people, the
latter being by far the most productive. I believe the fact to be
that insects are pretty uniformly distributed over these
countries (where the forests have not been cleared away), and are
so scarce in any one spot that searching for them is almost
useless. If the forest is all cleared away, almost all the
insects disappear with it; but when small clearings and paths are
made, the fallen trees in various stages of drying and decay, the
rotting leaves, the loosening bark and the fungoid growths upon
it, together with the flowers that appear in much greater
abundance where the light is admitted, are so many attractions to
the insects for miles around, and cause a wonderful accumulation
of species and individuals. When the entomologist can discover
such a spot, he does more in a mouth than he could possibly do by
a year's search in the depths of the undisturbed forest.

The next morning we left early, and reached the mouth of the
little river in about au hour. It flows through a perfectly flat
alluvial plain, but there are hills which approach it near the
mouth. Towards the lower part, in a swamp where the salt-water
must enter at high tides, were a number of elegant tree-ferns
from eight to fifteen feet high. These are generally considered
to be mountain plants, and rarely to occur on the equator at an
elevation of less than one or two thousand feet. In Borneo, in
the Aru Islands, and on the banks of the Amazon, I have observed
them at the level of the sea, and think it probable that the
altitude supposed to be requisite for them may have been deduced
from facts observed in countries where the plains and lowlands
are largely cultivated, and most of the indigenous vegetation
destroyed. Such is the case in most parts of Java, India,
Jamaica, and Brazil, where the vegetation of the tropics has been
most fully explored.

Coming out to sea we turned northwards, and in about two hours'
sail reached a few huts, called Langundi, where some Galela men
had established themselves as collectors of gum-dammar, with
which they made torches for the supply of the Ternate market.
About a hundred yards back rises a rather steep hill, and a short
walk having shown me that there was a tolerable path up it, I
determined to stay here for a few days. Opposite us, and all
along this coast of Batchian, stretches a row of fine islands
completely uninhabited. Whenever I asked the reason why no one
goes to live in them, the answer always was, "For fear of the
Magindano pirates." Every year these scourges of the Archipelago
wander in one direction or another, making their rendezvous on
some uninhabited island, and carrying devastation to all the
small settlements around; robbing, destroying, killing, or taking
captive all they nee with. Their long well-manned praus escape
from the pursuit of any sailing vessel by pulling away right in
the wind's eye, and the warning smoke of a steamer generally
enables them to hide in some shallow bay, or narrow river, or
forest-covered inlet, till the danger is passed. The only
effectual way to put a stop to their depredations would be to
attack them in their strongholds and villages, and compel them to
give up piracy, and submit to strict surveillance. Sir James
Brooke did this with the pirates of the north-west coast of
Borneo, and deserves the thanks of the whole population of the
Archipelago for having rid them of half their enemies.

All along the beach here, and in the adjacent strip of sandy
lowland, is a remarkable display of Pandanaceae or Screw-pines.
Some are like huge branching candelabra, forty or fifty feet
high, and bearing at the end of each branch a tuft of immense
sword-shaped leaves, six or eight inches wide, and as many feet
long. Others have a single unbranched stem, six or seven feet
high, the upper part clothed with the spirally arranged leaves,
and bearing a single terminal fruit ac large as a swan's egg.
Others of intermediate size have irregular clusters of rough red
fruits, and all have more or less spiny-edged leaves and ringed
stems. The young plants of the larger species have smooth glossy
thick leaves, sometimes ten feet long and eight inches wide,
which are used all over the Moluccas and New Guinea, to make
"cocoyas" or sleeping mats, which are often very prettily
ornamented with coloured patterns. Higher up on the bill is a
forest of immense trees, among which those producing the resin
called dammar (Dammara sp.) are abundant. The inhabitants of
several small villages in Batchian are entirely engaged in
searching for this product, and making it into torches by
pounding it and filling it into tubes of palm leaves about a yard
long, which are the only lights used by many of the natives.
Sometimes the dammar accumulates in large masses of ten or twenty
pounds weight, either attached to the trunk, or found buried in
the ground at the foot of the trees. The most extraordinary trees
of the forest are, however, a kind of fig, the aerial roots of
which form a pyramid near a hundred feet high, terminating just
where the tree branches out above, so that there is no real
trunk. This pyramid or cone is formed of roots of every size,
mostly descending in straight lines, but more or less obliquely-
and so crossing each other, and connected by cross branches,
which grow from one to another; as to form a dense and
complicated network, to which nothing but a photograph could do
justice (see illustration at Vol. I. page 130). The Kanary is
also abundant in this forest, the nut of which has a very
agreeable flavour, and produces an excellent oil. The fleshy
outer covering of the nut is the favourite food of the great
green pigeons of these islands (Carpophaga, perspicillata), and
their hoarse copings and heavy flutterings among the branches can
be almost continually heard.

After ten days at Langundi, finding it impossible to get the bird
I was particularly in search of (the Nicobar pigeon, or a new
species allied to it), and finding no new birds, and very few
insects, I left early on the morning of April 1st, and in the
evening entered a river on the main island of Batchian (Langundi,
like Kasserota, being on a distinct island), where some Malays
and Galela men have a small village, and have made extensive
rice-fields and plantain grounds. Here we found a good house near
the river bank, where the water was fresh and clear, and the
owner, a respectable Batchian Malay, offered me sleeping room and
the use of the verandah if I liked to stay. Seeing forest all
round within a short distance, I accepted his offer, and the next
morning before breakfast walked out to explore, and on the skirts
of the forest captured a few interesting insects.

Afterwards, I found a path which led for a mile or more through a
very fine forest, richer in palms than any I had seen in the
Moluccas. One of these especially attracted my attention from its
elegance. The stein was not thicker than my wrist, yet it was
very lofty, and bore clusters of bright red fruit. It was
apparently a species of Areca. Another of immense height closely
resembled in appearance the Euterpes of South America. Here also
grew the fan-leafed palm, whose small, nearly entire leaves are
used to make the dammar torches, and to form the water-buckets in
universal use. During this walk I saw near a dozen species of
palms, as well as two or three Pandani different from those of
Langundi. There were also some very fine climbing ferns and true
wild Plantains (Musa), bearing an edible fruit not so large as
one's thumb, and consisting of a mass of seeds just covered with
pulp and skin. The people assured me they had tried the
experiment of sowing and cultivating this species, but could not
improve it. They probably did not grow it in sufficient quantity,
and did not persevere sufficiently long.

Batchian is an island that would perhaps repay the researches of
a botanist better than any other in the whole Archipelago. It
contains a great variety of surface and of soil, abundance of
large and small streams, many of which are navigable for some
distance, and there being no savage inhabitants, every part of it
can be visited with perfect safety. It possesses gold, copper,
and coal, hot springs and geysers, sedimentary and volcanic rocks
and coralline limestone, alluvial plains, abrupt hills and lofty
mountains, a moist climate, and a grand and luxuriant forest

The few days I stayed here produced me several new insects, but
scarcely any birds. Butterflies and birds are in fact remarkably
scarce in these forests. One may walk a whole day and not see
more than two or three species of either. In everything but
beetles, these eastern islands are very deficient compared with
the western (Java, Borneo, &c.), and much more so if compared
with the forests of South America, where twenty or thirty species
of butterflies may be caught every day, and on very good days a
hundred, a number we can hardly reach here in months of
unremitting search. In birds there is the same difference. In
most parts of tropical America we may always find some species of
woodpecker tanager, bush shrike, chatterer, trogon, toucan,
cuckoo, and tyrant-flycatcher; and a few days' active search will
produce more variety than can be here met with in as many months.
Yet, along with this poverty of individuals and of species, there
are in almost every class and order, some one, or two species of
such extreme beauty or singularity, as to vie with, or even
surpass, anything that even South America can produce.

One afternoon when I was arranging my insects, and surrounded by
a crowd of wondering spectators, I showed one of them how to look
at a small insect with a hand-lens, which caused such evident
wonder that all the rest wanted to see it too. I therefore fixed
the glass firmly to a piece of soft wood at the proper focus, and
put under it a little spiny beetle of the genus Hispa, and then
passed it round for examination. The excitement was immense. Some
declared it was a yard long; others were frightened, and
instantly dropped it, and all were as much astonished, and made
as much shouting and gesticulation, as children at a pantomime,
or at a Christmas exhibition of the oxyhydrogen microscope. And
all this excitement was produced by a little pocket lens, an inch
and a half focus, and therefore magnifying only four or five
times, but which to their unaccustomed eyes appeared to enlarge a
hundred fold.

On the last day of my stay here, one of my hunters succeeded in
finding and shooting the beautiful Nicobar pigeon, of which I had
been so long in search. None of the residents had ever seen it,
which shows that it is rare and slay. My specimen was a female in
beautiful condition, and the glassy coppery and green of its
plumage, the snow-white tail and beautiful pendent feathers of
the neck, were greatly admired. I subsequently obtained a
specimen in New Guinea; and once saw it in the Kaióa islands. It
is found also in some small islands near Macassar, in others near
Borneo; and in the Nicobar islands, whence it receives its name.
It is a ground feeder, only going upon trees to roost, and is a
very heavy fleshy bird. This may account far the fact of its
being found chiefly on very small islands, while in the western
half of the Archipelago, it seems entirely absent from the larger
ones. Being a ground feeder it is subject to the attacks of
carnivorous quadrupeds, which are not found in the very small
islands. Its wide distribution over the whole length of the
Archipelago; from extreme west to east, is however very
extraordinary, since, with the exception of a few of the birds of
prey, not a single land bird has so wide a range. Ground-feeding
birds are generally deficient in power of extended flight, and
this species is so bulky and heavy that it appears at first sight
quite unable to fly a mile. A closer examination shows, however,
that its wings are remarkably large, perhaps in proportion to its
size larger than those of any other pigeon, and its pectoral
muscles are immense. A fact communicated to me by the son of my
friend Mr. Duivenboden of Ternate, would show that, in accordance
with these peculiarities of structure, it possesses the power of
flying long distances. Mr. D. established an oil factory on a
small coral island, a hundred miles north of New Guinea, with no
intervening land. After the island had been settled a year, and
traversed in every direction, his son paid it a visit; and just
as the schooner was coming to an anchor, a bird was seen flying
from seaward which fell into the water exhausted before it could
reach the shore. A boat was sent to pick it up, and it was found
to be a Nicobar pigeon, which must have come from New Guinea, and
flown a hundred miles, since no such bird previously inhabited
the island.

This is certainly a very curious case of adaptation to an unusual
and exceptional necessity. The bird does not ordinarily require
great powers of flight, since it lives in the forest, feeds on
fallen fruits, and roosts in low trees like other ground pigeons.
The majority of the individuals, therefore, can never make full
use of their enormously powerful wings, till the exceptional case
occurs of an individual being blown out to sea, or driven to
emigrate by the incursion of some carnivorous animal, or the
pressure of scarcity of food. A modification exactly opposite to
that which produced the wingless birds (the Apteryx, Cassowary,
and Dodo), appears to have here taken place; and it is curious
that in both cases an insular habitat should have been the moving
cause. The explanation is probably the same as that applied by
Mr. Darwin to the case of the Madeira beetles, many of which are
wingless, while some of the winged ones have the wings better
developed than the same species on the continent. It was
advantageous to these insects either never to fly at all, and
thus not run the risk of being blown out to sea, or to fly so
well as to he able either to return to land, or to migrate safely
to the continent. Pad flying was worse than not flying at all.
So, while in such islands as New Zealand and Mauritius far from
all land, it vas safer for a ground-feeding bird not to fly at
all, and the short-winged individuals continually surviving,
prepared the way for a wingless group of birds; in a vast
Archipelago thickly strewn with islands and islets it was
advantageous to be able occasionally to migrate, arid thus the
long and strong-winged varieties maintained their existence
longest, and ultimately supplanted all others, and spread the
race over the whole Archipelago.

Besides this pigeon, the only new bird I obtained during the trip
was a rare goat-sucker (Batrachostomus crinifrons), the only
species of the genus yet found in the Moluccas. Among my insects
the best were the rare Pieris arum, of a rich chrome yellow
colour, with a black border and remarkable white antenna--perhaps
the very finest butterfly of the genus; and a large black wasp-
like insect, with immense jaws like a stag-beetle, which has been
named Megachile Pluto by Mr. B. Smith. I collected about a
hundred species of beetles quite new to me, but mostly very
minute, and also many rare and handsome ones which I had already
found in Batchian. On the whole I was tolerably satisfied with my
seventeen days' excursion, which was a very agreeable one, and
enabled me to sea a good deal of the island. I had hired a roomy
boat, and brought with me a small table and my rattan chair.
These were great comforts, as, wherever there was a roof, I could
immediately instal myself, and work and eat at ease. When I could
not find accommodation on shore I slept in the boat, which was
always drawn up on the beach if we stayed for a few days at one

On my return to Batchian I packed up my collections, and prepared
for my return to Ternate. When I first came I had sent back my
boat by the pilot, with two or three other men who had been glad
of the opportunity. I now took advantage of a Government boat
which had just arrived with rice for the troops, and obtained
permission to return in her, and accordingly started on the 13th
of April, having resided only a week short of six months on the
island of Batchian. The boat was one of the kind called "Kora-
kora," quite open, very low, and about four tons burthen. It had
outriggers of bamboo about five feet off each side, which
supported a bamboo platform extending the whole length of the
vessel. On the extreme outside of this sit the twenty rowers,
while within was a convenient passage fore and aft. The middle
portion of the boat was covered with a thatch-house, in which
baggage and passengers are stowed; the gunwale was not more than
a foot above water, and from the great top and side weight, and
general clumsiness, these boats are dangerous in heavy weather,
and are not unfrequently lost. A triangle mast and mat sail
carried us on when the wind was favourable,--which (as usual) it
never was, although, according to the monsoon, it ought to have
been. Our water, carried in bamboos, would only last two days,
and as the voyage occupied seven, we had to touch at a great many
places. The captain was not very energetic, and the men rowed as
little as they pleased, or we might have reached Ternate in three
days, having had fine weather and little wind all the way.

There were several passengers besides myself: three or four
Javanese soldiers, two convicts whose time had expired (one,
curiously enough, being the man who had stolen my cash-box and
keys), the schoolmaster's wife and a servant going on a visit to
Ternate, and a Chinese trader going to buy goods. We had to sleep
all together in the cabin, packed pretty close; but they very
civilly allowed me plenty of room for my mattrass, and we got on
very well together. There was a little cookhouse in the bows,
where we could boil our rice and make our coffee, every one of
course bringing his own provisions, and arranging his meal-times
as he found most convenient. The passage would have been
agreeable enough but for the dreadful "tom-toms," or wooden
drums, which are beaten incessantly while the men are rowing. Two
men were engaged constantly at them, making a fearful din the
whole voyage. The rowers are men sent by the Sultan of Ternate.
They get about threepence a day, and find their own provisions.
Each man had a strong wooden "betel" box, on which he generally
sat, a sleeping-mat, and a change of clothes--rowing naked, with
only a sarong or a waistcloth. They sleep in their places,
covered with their mat, which keeps out the rain pretty well.
They chew betel or smoke cigarettes incessantly; eat dry sago and
a little salt fish; seldom sing while rowing, except when excited
and wanting to reach a stopping-place, and do not talk a great
deal. They are mostly Malays, with a sprinkling of Alfuros from
Gilolo, and Papuans from Guebe or Waigiou.

One afternoon we stayed at Makian; many of the men went on shore,
and a great deal of plantains, bananas, and other fruits were
brought on board. We then went on a little way, and in the
evening anchored again. When going to bed for the night, I put
out my candle, there being still a glimmering lamp burning, and,
missing my handkerchief, thought I saw it on a box which formed
one side of my bed, and put out my hand to take it. I quickly
drew back on feeling something cool and very smooth, which moved
as I touched it. "Bring the light, quick," I cried; "here's a
snake." And there he was, sure enough, nicely coiled up, with his
head just raised to inquire who had disturbed him. It was mow
necessary to catch or kill him neatly, or he would escape among
the piles of miscellaneous luggage, and we should hardly sleep
comfortably. One of the ex-convicts volunteered to catch him with
his hand wrapped up in a cloth, but from the way he went about it
I saw he was nervous and would let the thing go, so I would mot
allow him to make the attempt. I them got a chopping-knife, and
carefully moving my insect nets, which hung just over the snake
and prevented me getting a free blow, I cut him quietly across
the back, holding him down while my boy with another knife
crushed his head. On examination, I found he had large poison
fangs, and it is a wonder he did not bite me when I first touched

Thinking it very unlikely that two snakes had got on board at the
same time, I turned in and went to sleep; but having all the time
a vague dreamy idea that I might put my hand on another one, I
lay wonderfully still, not turning over once all night, quite the
reverse of my usual habits. The next day we reached Ternate, and
I ensconced myself in my comfortable house, to examine all my
treasures, and pack them securely for the voyage home.



(OCTOBER 1859 To JUNE 1860.)

I LEFT Amboyna for my first visit to Ceram at three o'clock in
the morning of October 29th, after having been delayed several
days by the boat's crew, who could not be got together. Captain
Van der Beck, who gave me a passage in his boat, had been running
after them all day, and at midnight we had to search for two of
my men who had disappeared at the last moment. One we found at
supper in his own house, and rather tipsy with his parting
libations of arrack, but the other was gone across the bay, and
we were obliged to leave without him. We stayed some hours at two
villages near the east end of Amboyna, at one of which we had to
discharge some wood for the missionaries' house, and on the third
afternoon reached Captain Van der Beck's plantation, situated at
Hatosua, in that part of Ceram opposite to the island of Amboyna.
This was a clearing in flat and rather swampy forest, about
twenty acres in extent, and mostly planted with cacao and
tobacco. Besides a small cottage occupied by the workmen, there
was a large shed for tobacco drying, a corner of which was
offered me; and thinking from the look of the place that I should
find- good collecting ground here, I fitted up temporary tables,
benches, and beds, and made all preparations for some weeks'
stay. A few days, however, served to show that I should be
disappointed. Beetles were tolerably abundant, and I obtained
plenty of fine long-horned Anthribidae and pretty Longicorns, but
they were mostly the same species as I had found during my first
short visit to Amboyna. There were very few paths in the forest;
which seemed poor in birds and butterflies, and day after day my
men brought me nothing worth notice. I was therefore soon obliged
to think about changing my locality, as I could evidently obtain
no proper notion of the productions of the almost entirely
unexplored island of Ceram by staying in this place.

I rather regretted leaving, because my host was one of the most
remarkable men and most entertaining companions I had ever met
with. He was a Fleeting by birth, and, like so many of his
countrymen, had a wonderful talent for languages. When quite a
youth he had accompanied a Government official who was sent to
report on the trade and commerce of the Mediterranean, and had
acquired the colloquial language of every place they stayed a few
weeks at. He had afterwards made voyages to St. Petersburg, and
to other parts of Europe, including a few weeks in London, and
had then come out to the past, where he had been for some years
trading and speculating in the various islands. He now spoke
Dutch, French, Malay, and Javanese, all equally well; English
with a very slight accent, but with perfect fluency, axed a most
complete knowledge of idiom, in which I often tried to puzzle him
in vain. German and Italian were also quite familiar to him, and
his acquaintance with European languages included Modern Greek,
Turkish, Russian, and colloquial Hebrew and Latin. As a test of
his power, I may mention that he had made a voyage to the out-of-
the-way island of Salibaboo, and had stayed there trading a few
weeks. As I was collecting vocabularies, he told me he thought he
could remember some words, and dictated considerable number. Some
time after I met with a short list of words taken down in those
islands, and in every case they agreed with those he had given
me. He used to sing a Hebrew drinking-song, which he had learned
from some Jews with whom he had once travelled, and astonished by
joining in their conversation, and had a never-ending fund of
tale and anecdote about the people he had met and the places he
had visited.

In most of the villages of this part of Ceram are schools and
native schoolmasters, and the inhabitants have been long
converted to Christianity. In the larger villages there are
European missionaries; but there is little or no external
difference between the Christian and Alfuro villages, nor, as far
as I have seen, in their inhabitants. The people seem more
decidedly Papuan than those of Gilolo. They are darker in colour,
and a number of them have the frizzly Papuan hair; their features
also are harsh and prominent, and the women in particular are far
less engaging than those of the Malay race. Captain Van der Beck
was never tired of abusing the inhabitants of these Christian
villages as thieves, liars, and drunkards, besides being
incorrigibly lazy. In the city of Amboyna my friends Doctors
Mohnike and Doleschall, as well as most of the European residents
and traders, made exactly the same complaint, and would rather
have Mahometans for servants, even if convicts, than any of the
native Christians. One great cause of this is the fact, that with
the Mahometans temperance is a part of their religion, and has
become so much a habit that practically the rule is never
transgressed. One fertile source of want, arid one great
incentive to idleness and crime, is thus present with the one
class, but absent in the other; but besides this the Christians
look upon themselves as nearly the equals of the Europeans, who
profess the same religion, and as far superior to the followers
of Islam, and are therefore prone to despise work, and to
endeavour to live by trade, or by cultivating their own land. It
need hardly be said that with people in this low state of
civilization religion is almost wholly ceremonial, and that
neither are the doctrines of Christianity comprehended, nor its
moral precepts obeyed. At the same time, as far as my own
experience goes, I have found the better class of "Orang Sirani"
as civil, obliging, and industrious as the Malays, and only
inferior to them from their tendency to get intoxicated.

Having written to the Assistant Resident of Saparua (who has
jurisdiction over the opposite part of the coast of Ceram) for a
boat to pursue my journey, I received one rather larger than
necessary with a crew of twenty men. I therefore bade adieu to my
kind friend Captain Van der Beck, and left on the evening after
its arrival for the village of Elpiputi, which we reached in two
days. I had intended to stay here, but not liking the appearance
of the place, which seemed to have no virgin forest near it, I
determined to proceed about twelve miles further up the bay of
Amahay, to a village recently formed, and inhabited by indigenes
from the interior, and where some extensive cacao plantations
were being made by some gentlemen of Amboyna. I reached the place
(called Awaiya) the same afternoon, and with the assistance of
Mr. Peters (the manager of the plantations) and the native chief,
obtained a small house, got all my things on shore, and paid and
discharged my twenty boatmen, two of whom had almost driven me to
distraction by beating tom-toms the whole voyage.

I found the people here very nearly in a state of nature, and
going almost naked. The men wear their frizzly hair gathered into
a flat circular knot over the left temple, which has a very
knowing look, and in their ears cylinders of wood as thick as
one's finger, and coloured red at the ends. Armlets and anklets
of woven grass or of silver, with necklaces of beads or of small
fruits, complete their attire. The women wear similar ornaments,
but have their hair loose. All are tall, with a dark brown skin,
and well marked Papuan physiognomy. There is an Amboyna
schoolmaster in the village, and a good number of children attend
school every morning. Such of the inhabitants as have become
Christians may be known by their wearing their hair loose, and
adopting to some extent the native Christian dress-trousers and a
loose shirt. Very few speak Malay, all these coast villages
having been recently formed by inducing natives to leave the
inaccessible interior. In all the central part of Ceram there new
remains only one populous village in the mountains. Towards the
east and the extreme west are a few others, with which exceptions
all the inhabitants of Ceram are collected on the coast. In the
northern and eastern districts they are mostly Mahometans, while
on the southwest coast, nearest Amboyna, they are nominal
Christians. In all this part of the Archipelago the Dutch make
very praiseworthy efforts to improve the condition of the
aborigines by establishing schoolmasters in every village (who
are mostly natives of Amboyna or Saparua, who have; been
instructed by the resident missionaries), and by employing native
vaccinators to prevent the ravages of smallpox. They also
encourage the settlement of Europeans, and the formation of new
plantations of cacao and coffee, one of the best means of raising
the condition of the natives, who thus obtain work at fair wages,
and have the opportunity of acquiring something of European
tastes and habits.

My collections here did not progress much better than at my
former station, except that butterflies were a little more
plentiful, and some very fine species were to be found in the
morning on the sea-beach, sitting so quietly on the wet sand that
they could be caught with the fingers. In this way I had many
fine specimens of Papilios brought me by the children. Beetles,
however, were scarce, and birds still more so, and I began to
think that the handsome species which I had so often heard were
found in Ceram must be entirely confined to the eastern extremity
of the island.

A few miles further worth, at the head of the Bay of Amahay, is
situated the village of Makariki, from whence there is a native
path quite across the island to the north coast. My friend Mr.
Rosenberg, whose acquaintance I had made at New Guinea, and who
was now the Government superintendent of all this part of Ceram,
returned from Wahai, on the north coast, after I had been three
weeks at Awaiya, and showed me some fine butterflies he had
obtained on the mountain streams in the interior. He indicated a
spot about the centre of the island where he thought I might
advantageously stay a few days. I accordingly visited Makariki
with him the next day, and he instructed the chief of the village
to furnish me with men to carry my baggage, and accompany me on
my excursion. As the people of the village wanted to be at home
on Christmas-day, it was necessary to start as soon as possible;
so we agreed that the men should be ready in two days, and I
returned to make my arrangements.

I put up the smallest quantity of baggage possible for a six
days' trip, and on the morning of December 18th we left Makariki,
with six men carrying my baggage and their own provisions, and a
lad from Awaiya, who was accustomed to catch butterflies for me.
My two Amboyna hunters I left behind to shoot and skin what birds
they could while I was away. Quitting the village, we first
walked briskly for an hour through a dense tangled undergrowth,
dripping wet from a storm of the previous night, and full of mud
holes. After crossing several small streams we reached one of the
largest rivers in Ceram, called Ruatan, which it was necessary to
cross. It was both deep and rapid. The baggage was first taken
over, parcel by parcel, on the men's heads, the water reaching
nearly up to their armpits, and then two men returned to assist
me. The water was above my waist, and so strong that I should
certainly have been carried off my feet had I attempted to cross
alone; and it was a matter of astonishment to me how the men
could give me any assistance, since I found the greatest
difficulty in getting my foot down again when I had once moved it
off the bottom. The greater strength and grasping power of their
feet, from going always barefoot, no doubt gave them a surer
footing in the rapid water.

After well wringing out our wet clothes and putting them on, we
again proceeded along a similar narrow forest track as before,
choked with rotten leaves and dead trees, and in the more open
parts overgrown with tangled vegetation. Another hour brought us
to a smaller stream flowing in a wide gravelly bed, up which our
road lay. Here w e stayed half an hour to breakfast, and then
went on, continually crossing the stream, or walking on its stony
and gravelly banks, till about noon, when it became rocky and
enclosed by low hills. A little further we entered a regular
mountain-gorge, and had to clamber over rocks, and every moment
cross and recross the water, or take short cuts through the
forest. This was fatiguing work; and about three in the
afternoon, the sky being overcast, and thunder in the mountains
indicating an approaching storm, we had to loon out for a camping
place, and soon after reached one of Mr. Rosenberg's old ones.
The skeleton of his little sleeping-hut remained, and my men cut
leaves and made a hasty roof just as the rain commenced. The
baggage was covered over with leaves, and the men sheltered
themselves as they could till the storm was over, by which time a
flood came down the river, which effectually stopped our further
march, even had we wished to proceed. We then lighted fires; I
made some coffee, and my men roasted their fish and plantains,
and as soon as it was dark, we made ourselves comfortable for the

Starting at six the next morning, we had three hours of the same
kind of walking, during which we crossed the river at least
thirty or forty times, the water being generally knee-deep. This
brought us to a place where the road left the stream, and here we
stopped to breakfast. We then had a long walk over the mountain,
by a tolerable path, which reached an elevation of about fifteen
hundred feet above the sea. Here I noticed one of the smallest
and most elegant tree ferns I had ever seen, the stem being
scarcely thicker than my thumb, yet reaching a height of fifteen
or twenty feet. I also caught a new butterfly of the genus
Pieris, and a magnificent female specimen of Papilio gambrisius,
of which I had hitherto only found the males, which are smaller
and very different in colour. Descending the other side of the
ridge, by a very steep path, we reached another river at a spot
which is about the centre of the island, and which was to be our
resting place for two or three days. In a couple of hour my men
had built a little sleeping-shed for me, about eight feet by
four, with a bench of split poles, they themselves occupying two
or three smaller ones, which had been put up by former

The river here was about twenty yards wide, running over a pebbly
and sometimes a rocky bed, and bordered by steep hills with
occasionally flat swampy spots between their base and the stream.
The whole country was one dense, Unbroken, and very damp and
gloomy virgin forest. Just at our resting-place there was a
little bush-covered island in the middle of the channel, so that
the opening in the forest made by the river was wider than usual,
and allowed a few gleams of sunshine to penetrate. Here there
were several handsome butterflies flying about, the finest of
which, however, escaped me, and I never saw it again during my
stay. In the two days and a half which we remained here, I
wandered almost all day up and down the stream, searching after
butterflies, of which I got, in all, fifty or sixty specimens,
with several species quite new to me. There were many others
which I saw only once, and did not capture, causing me to regret
that there was no village in these interior valleys where I could
stay a month. In the early part of each morning I went out with
my gun in search of birds, and two of my men were out almost all
day after deer; but we were all equally unsuccessful, getting
absolutely nothing the whole time we were in the forest. The only
good bird seen was the fine Amboyna lory, but these were always
too high to shoot; besides this, the great Moluccan hornbill,
which I did not want, was almost the only bird met with. I saw
not a single ground-thrush, or kingfisher, or pigeon; and, in
fact, have never been in a forest so utterly desert of animal
life as this appeared to be. Even in all other groups of insects,
except butterflies, there was the same poverty. I bad hoped to
find some rare tiger beetles, as I had done in similar situations
in Celebes; but, though I searched closely in forest, river-bed,
and mountain-brook, I could find nothing but the two common
Amboyna species. Other beetles there were absolutely none.

The constant walking in water, and over rocks and pebbles, quite
destroyed the two pair of shoes I brought with me, so that, on my
return, they actually fell to pieces, and the last day I had to
walk in my stockings very painfully, and reached home quite lame.
On our way back from Makariki, as on our way there, we had storm
and rain at sea, and we arrived at Awaiya late in the evening,
with all our baggage drenched, and ourselves thoroughly
uncomfortable. All the time I had been in Ceram I had suffered
much from the irritating bites of an invisible acarus, which is
worse than mosquitoes, ants, and every other pest, because it is
impossible to guard against them. This last journey in the forest
left me covered from head to foot with inflamed lumps, which,
after my return to Amboyna, produced a serious disease, confining
me to the house for nearly two months, a not very pleasant
memento of my first visit to Ceram, which terminated with the
year 1859.

It was not till the 24th of February, 1860, that I started again,
intending to pass from village to village along the coast,
staying where I found a suitable locality. I had a letter from
the Governor of the Moluccas, requesting all the chiefs to supply

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