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■ . MAR ' ^«2 

LONDON: -^C^j 

X O ; , ' r . .1. 

W. H. ALLEN & CO., 13 WATERLDd^^tACE, 



(Th» right qf trandation mtrvtd,) 

-205, L . 9^. 

L4/ND0II : 


Thb experiences of a life spent in mercantile adven- 
tures hardly seem to contain sufficient interest to 
warrant their being made the subject of a book. 
Neither training nor acquirements had qualified me 
to be a scientific recorder of the wonders of the 
Eastern Archipelago, and I have not attempted to 
figure as such, but have merely tried to put down, as 
simply as possible, some account of five and twenty 
years spent among its islands. Yet I venture to 
hope that the story of my life will not be devoid of 
some information, and there are two topics on 
which I can claim to speak with an intimate know- 
ledge, and on one of which I feel bound to record 
my testimony. 

The future of Borneo is just now forcing itself 
anew upon the consideration of the English public. 
The early efforts to develop the resources of the 
north-west of Borneo may be fairly referred to, both 


for the warnings and the encouragements which 

they convey. On this I can speak of what I know. 

As to another subject, I may seem to awaken 

slumbering controversies and challenge hostile 

opinion. The references to the dispute between 

two men, both of whom I knew and admired — 

Rajah Brooke and his nephew, Captain Brooke — 

will be uninteresting to many and displeasing to 

some, but there are also those who will remember 

and who were interested in their careers, and who 

will see that I have attempted, though somewhat 

late, to do an act of justice. As one who shared the 

intimacy of Rajah Brooke, I hold that his whole 

life will stand out as great and heroic, and such a 

man can bear the imputation of errors in judgment, 

and will not need to have his faults shielded. It 

has been my object, while doing full justice to Sir 

James Brooke, to deal fairly also with the memory 

of his gallant nephew, who no less devoted his life 

and sacrificed his fortunes to the cause of civilising 


L. V. H. 

The Orove^ 

Thamtan Heath. 


Suttee in Bali To face p. 61 

San Francisco in 1849 „ 79 

Audience of the King of Cambodia . . „ 105 

Maps of Borneo „ 123 

Boats carrying Quicksilver on the Stoat 

River „ 140 

Land Dyak House „ 145 

Do. do. „ 147 

Land Djaks „ 149 

The Borneo Company's Steamer retaking 

Sarawak ,, 183 

The Manager's Bungalow at the Mines „ 243 

Pay-day at the Quicksilver Mines „ 245 

The " Vestf old " „ 337 

Northcape and Mager 0, seen from the East ,, 345 

Vodso „ 346 

Workmen employed on Bear Island . . „ 352 

The House of Peter the Great at Archangel „ 357 

Barges in the Harbour of Archangel . ,, 358 
Stranding of the " Yestfold " on the Coast 

of Lapland „ 363 

Bear Island „ 367 

Samojeden „ 369 

Bear Island : '' Yestfold " at Anchor . „ 371 

Monument found on Bear Island ... „ 372 



The Copper Mines at Bussenika, the extreme 

eastern point of Lapland 
Pumping the " Hope " Mine . 
The Old Gkdleries in the Mine 
The Village Umba, on the White Sea . 
The Village Pona Guba 
A Samojeden Hut .... 
Map of Lapland 

To faM p. 




Thb Island of Bali 1 

Califobnia in 1850 72 

Cambodia and Siam 94 

Bobnbo 123 

Rbyisitino Bali 196 

Bobnbo (continued) 204 

A Bbief Visit to China and Japan .... 257 

Califobnia Rbyisitbd 302 

The White Sba 329 


page 199, line 1, /or "know" rtad "renew." 
pag^ 209, line 1, for " sion " read *' miBsion." 
page 241, line 28, for " trade, in " rwd " trading." 
page 249, line 6, for "work" read "open up." 
page 256, line 14, omit "easilj." 




In September 1846 I left my native land, Denmark, 
to seek my fortunes in the world. 

It seems strange, in these days of screw-steamers 
and swift travelling by land and sea, to recall the 
long and wearisome voyage on board the Johanna 
GcBsar^ as the little brig in which I had embarked 
was called. Seven days of pleasant sailing brought 
us into narrow seas within close view of white cliffs 
looking whiter still in the morning sun. I looked at 
them with great interest when I was told that they 
were the cliffs of Dover, and knew that I was taking 
my first view of England. In company with eighty- 
five other ships, we beat down channel, narrowly 
escaping collision. Four days later, we found our- 
selves in the latitude of Bordeaux. Then came a 



change of wind, and we were driven back on our 
course. The waves washed over the deck of our little 
vessel as we scudded along ; the hatches were bat- 
tened down, the man at the helm was securely lashed 
to the wheel, where, amidst the wildest tossings, he 
might comfortably assure himself that, if the ship 
went to the bottom, he would still be at his post ; 
and the passengers, nine in number, including my- 
self, were stowed away in a wretched hutch, called 
the cabin, half dead from sickness, exhaustion, and 
fear. There we were day after day, night after 
night, in that pestiferous hole, with nothing to cheer 
us except, perhaps, the reflection that, as no attempt 
even was made to cook any food, it was perhaps 
fortunate that we were too ill to eat anything, and 
with no excitement beyond the unpleasant one of 
hearing that a sailor had been washed overboard. 
It was not till the twenty-second day from our start 
that Cape Finisterre was sighted, but after this 
wind and weather became favourable, and the voyage 
pleasant, if monotonous. We saw a whale, looked 
on while the sailors harpooned porpoises from the 
bowsprit, and rejoiced in the addition they and the 
flying-fish made to our not-luxurious table. The 
porpoise-steaks, though rather dry, were not unlike 
beef, and the flying-fish were really excellent eating. 
I often think of that first voyage, and the happy 
hours I spent on board the little brig ; I had many 
a pleasant evening reverie, dreaming of the strange 
land, the island of Bali, to which I was bound. 


Young, full of health and spirits, and with all the 
world before me, I built a hundred castles in the 
air, the foundations of which were aU laid in 
the mysterious little island I was nearing. There 
was indeed a great fascination about Bali, no one 
that I had ever come across had been to it, even 
in books there was little to be learnt concerning 
it ; but that httle was of a nature to excite one's 
curiosity. It was described as a small paradise, 
rich in all the beauties with which nature endows 
tropical countries; inhabited by an interesting, 
handsome race of natives, who were independent, 
proud, and unwilling to admit Europeans among 
them. One stranger only, a countryman of my 
own, had managed to establish himself at Bali. 
He had left his native land many years before, never 
to return. Little was known of him, but romantic 
stories of his doings, his influence, and his wealth, 
were afloat. These had captivated my imagination, 
and, armed with a letter of introduction, I had 
determined to visit him, and offer him my services. 

On the 4th December, we began to look out for 
the Cape mountains, but the Captain had miscalcu- 
lated our position, and we did not reach the Cape 
until the 14th. 

After a short stay there I was to continue my 
voyage alone, and had therefore to bid adieu to 
my fellow-passengers ; amongst them was a Dutch 
doctor, of whom I must relate a little anecdote. He 
was a Baptist minister, seventy-two years of age, 

1 ♦ 


and appeared to have spent most of his time in 
roaming about the world. He was at present on 
his way to Java ; he was very zealous and earnest, 
and tried hard to convert me to his own way of 
thinking. In this he did not succeed, although, as 
we shared the same cabin, I had the benefit of much 
spiritual advice, and the example of his devotional 
habits always before me. When we arrived at the 
Cape, and the time came for landing, I noticed 
that he grew fidgety and uneasy. I thought, per- 
haps, it merely meant that the obviously new wig 
he had put on, fitted badly ; but I soon discovered 
that something more weighty was on his mind, and 
having carefully shut the cabin-door, he unburdened 
himself to me. He brought out a small case, and, 
quietly opening it, displayed to my astonished eyes 
a quantity of jewellery and a number of gold 
watches, which he wished me to assist him in smug- 
gling on shore, assuring me, with much pathos, that 
it would be no sin, and a great kindness to assist 
him in his laudable object of eluding the custom- 
house officers. I was overcome with surprise, but 
watched with some amusement my pious friend go 
on shore with his hat, wig, pockets, and umbrella, 
all stuffed and containing enough jewellery to set 
up a small shop. 

The Cape is too well known to need any descrip- 
tion from me. What struck me most was the 
population. Had I not known that it was an 
English colony, I should hardly have suspected 


it; Dutchmen, Malays, Hottentots, and Negroes 
were much more common than Englishmen. The 
dust is a terrible drawback in Cape Town, and the 
scenery at first disappointing. The view from the 
heights, however, is really very fine. Between vine- 
yards and groves of the most varied vegetation, 
pretty villas lie scattered ; beyond is the town and 
the clear blue sea, and the mountains which from a 
distance look so barren, are, on a nearer view, seen 
to be covered with flowering heaths and shrubs ; yet, 
not far away, the desert sand reminds one that this 
is Africa. 

I greatly enjoyed my stay at the Cape. The 
scenes were to me novel and delicious, and never to 
be forgotten ; the balmy climate, the rich vegetation 
and luxuriant fruit, the drives to Constantia and 
Stellenbosch. My letters of introduction to the 
Dutch families procured me the cordial hospitality 
which was, in those days of slow communication, 
willingly extended to travellers. People had not 
then learnt to think a trip to the further end of 
Africa a mere pleasant little tour, and a visitor fresh 
from Europe was a godsend, fSted, made much of, 
and interrogated. 

It is pleasant in these days, remembering recent 
troubles with them, to recall the visits I paid to the 
Boers, in waggons drawn by a dozen or more of 
oxen, and how right welcome they made me. Nor 
did they need to grudge hospitality, for they had vine- 
yards, flocks, and herds, more than they could count. 


The Boers, however, even then, spoke in very- 
unfriendly terms of the English, whom they accused 
of having liberated their slaves, paying only their 
fractional value. That the first effect of liberty 
upon the slaves was a desire to luxuriate in idleness 
there could be no doubt, and the labour question 
was one which might well exasperate the Boers. 

These Boers appeared to me to be a sturdy race ; 
tall and powerfully built, devout after their fashion, 
but obstinate, and not easily brought to accept new 
men and things. They were very communicative, 
and gave me interesting accounts of their fights 
with the Kaffirs. 

One thing was related to me, which is too curious 
not to be told, though I do not know how much 
credulity the faculty will give it. 

A friend of my host had suffered from lung 
disease, but in an engagement with the Kaffirs a 
bullet went through the diseased part, carried it 
away, and so caused the man's recovery. 

I was truly sorry when the time came to leave 
these friendly entertainers, but the Johanna Gcesar 
was ready to start for Singapore, and I had to go. 

Nothing of interest occurred on the way to the 
Straits of Sunda ; we were over a fortnight getting 
from thence to Singapore. We were often becalmed 
among the numerous islands, sometimes at anchor, 
sometimes running into mud-banks ; sometimes swept 
back many laboriously gained miles by the currents, 
very trying to the patience, perhaps, but leaving time 


for a calin, contemplative survey of the tropical 
surroundings.^ Sometimes, when beating through 
narrow channels, we approached within a stone's 
throw of the land, and, to the eyes used so long 
only to look on the waves, the marvellous vegetation 
seemed glorious indeed. 

Two or three times while becalmed we were able 
to land, and to wander about for a while, never 
seeing a human being ; for these islands all seemed 
uninhabited, the stillness broken only by the gentle 
beating of the sea upon the pebbly beach, the calls 
of the birds and the buzz of insects. On one of 
these occasions, it was on the coast of Sumatra, I 
learned that life in a tropical forest is not all bliss, 
as the colours and sunshine, and all the beauty 
around, had led me to suppose. We had landed on 
a low, swampy, jungle-covered coast, and had not 
been on shore long before we were literally covered 
with mosquitoes ; but greater trouble had nearly 
overtaken us, for as we were returning to the ship 
we nearly ran into the jaws of an alligator. How- 
ever, all things come to an end, and on the 25th 
February we had reached the end of the maze of 
islands, and found ourselves in the , Straits of 

Among the many watch-towers which Great 
Britain, for political or commercial reasons, has 
placed about the earth, Singapore will always hold a 
high rank. A small island of 224 square miles, 
separated from the southernmost point of Asia's 


mainland by a narrow strait, it is the point 
of contact of the Eastern and Western worlds. 
Through the narrow straits passes the commerce of 
Europe, India, and China; here meet the Chinese, 
the Malay, the Arab, the natives of India, and the 
hundred nationalities of the Eastern seas. Who 
shall estimate the influence this motley gathering of 
colours and tongues has had upon the destinies of 
the peoples, and upon the entire Eastern world ? 
To many of them this little settlement was a 
wonderland, the marvels of which were related to 
eager crowds in many a distant country, and in 
many a piratical haunt. That such freedom and 
security could co-exist with such tempting display of 
wealth was to them the greatest wonder of all, and 
while the freedom of dealing in arms doubtless 
stimulated piracy, the besetting sin of the Malayan 
race, the humanising influences which emanated from 
this tiny focus of freedom and enterprise were, on 
the other hand, far-reaching and important. In 
many subsequent years of commercial intercourse 
with these races, I came fully to realize this, and to 
look upon Singapore as the centre of a vast work of 

Crowds of Malay sampans surrounded us as we 
entered the harbour ; these boats were filled with 
all sorts of articles of native industry, as well 88 
with fruit and fresh provender, which after a long 
diet on ship's fare (and ship's fare did not mean the 
sumptuous fare of passenger steamers now-a-days) 


looked very tempting. The jabbering and shouting 
of the Klings, offering their wares, and invading 
every part of the ship, was quite bewildering. 

The character of the shipping then to be seen in 
Singapore harbour was very different from what it 
now is ; the Eastern trade was then still carried on 
mainly in sailing ships. Steamers which should 
carry Eastern produce through the Suez Canal were 
not then dreamt of. Ships of many nations were 
riding in the harbour, and their graceful outlines 
and slender masts and spars contrasted oddly with 
the strange uncouth appearance of a fleet of junks 
with painted eyes and fantastic shapes. There were 
also Malay prahus and some yellow-painted ships, 
which might have been those of Anson or Drake, 
but which I was told belonged to the King of 

It was indeed interesting to observe the life and 
civilisation which, owing to British enterprise, Uned 
the shore. Where thirty years before was a dense 
jungle, was now an imposing-looking town with 
esplanades, gardens, churches, public buildings, and 
inviting looking villas; on a commanding height was 
the Governor's residence, a row of cool-looking bun- 
galows ; and as a background to the picture, rose 
Bukit Timah, a hill several hundred feet high, from 
the summit of which a most enchanting view might 
be obtained over islands, straits, mountains, and 

But in spite of the advancement that had been 


made, and the busy life that abounded on the little 
island, travelling about was still a dangerous plea- 
sure, for the tigers taxed the population (which was 
less than 100,000) at the rate of rather more than 
one man a day. They arrived from the mainland, 
managing to swim across the narrow straits. 

Notwithstanding the heat, tigers, and insects, the 
small English community spent their leisure time 
pleasantly enough. The roads were good, and during 
the luxurious cool hour of early morning everyone 
went out on horseback or on foot. 

In after years I saw much more of Singapore 
life; but on the present occasion my stay was 
short, and my time was chiefly taken up in collect- 
ing all possible information concerning Bali. The 
accounts of the island which was my proposed 
goal were not encouraging. The natives were 
described as ferocious and inhospitable, and I was 
strongly urged not to go among them. But I deter- 
mined not to abandon the plan with which I had left 
home, without making an attempt to carry it out. 
Accordingly I engaged a passage on board the 
American ship Michael Angelo, which was bound in 
search of a cargo of rice or other produce to the 
island of Lombok. 

The Captain promised to land me at Bali, and in 
the course of the voyage determined himself to 
examine the trading resources of that island. We 
made the longed-for coast early in April 1847; it was 
near sundown, the last rays of the sun illuminated 


grassy plains, covered here and there with fniit- 
trees, and rising in a gentle slope from the coast 
towards the northern mountain ranges which cul- 
minated in the peak of Gunong Agong towering over 
8,000 feet above the level of the sea. It looked 
like a mighty sentinel guarding the entrance of the 
Strait of Lombok, over which it was casting its vast 
shadow, while its western face, illuminated by the 
setting sun, showed in rugged outUnes and ruddy 
hues the lines of lava streams of past eruptions. 

With strangely mingled emotions I beheld the 
reality of the gorgeous dreamland of my early 
visions. The emerald and vermilion colours of those 
paintings which had captivated my youthful fancy 
were not indeed visible, but a thousand tints in- 
imitable by artist's pencil blended in mellow beauty, 
and added a new charm to the rich fertility of the 
country, the first view of which, strange to say, in 
its actual reality caused no feeling of disappointment. 

We anchored several miles distant from the shore, 
which seemed to form a shallow bay. No villages 
or houses were visible, but some distance from the 
ship numerous canoes, with outriggers, were en- 
gaged, apparently, in fishing. Their occupants 
seemed for some time not to notice us ; but at last 
one of the fleet was seen to move, and rapidly came 
alongside. It contained two fine, athletic natives, 
naked to the waist, but girded with a sarong, in 
which was stuck a kriss, and a flat straw pouch, 
containing their siri. My small stock of recently 


acquired Malay proved, as might have been expected, 
useless ; but repetition of the name " Lange,*' with 
appropriate gesticulations, made them understand 
that I wished to be conveyed to my countryman's 
head-quarters. I was lowered into the canoe, which 
was simply hollowed out of the trunk of a tree, 
about a foot wide, and with only one outrigger, 
which made it so unsteady that it was necessary to 
hold on to the gunwhale with both hands* 

The tropical twilight was rapidly deepening into 
night, which was illuminated by hundreds of bright 
lights from the fishermens' torches, which they 
used to attract the fish. After two hours' pull, we 
neared the shore, and entered a narrow stream 
where the shade of the overhanging trees rendered 
the dense darkness even more intense. Hours 
passed, and I began to wonder whither I was being 
carried ; no explanations were obtainable from my 
dusky companions, and as we paddled on in the 
gloom, the hard seat of the unsteady craft increased 
my physical discomfort, while all the stories as to the 
savage character and disposition of the natives of 
Bali came into my mind and intensified my desire 
to see the end of the journey. It was past mid- 
night when at last there came a break in the 
palm-groves, the boat was made fast, and I stepped 
ashore. Before me towered the walls of a large 
enclosure, the entrance to which was by an impos- 
ing arched gateway, surmounted with a flag-staff ; 
this, as might be expected, proved to be Mr. 


Lange's factory. We knocked at a gate, but long 
in vain ; at last a voice was beard, and a long parley 
eventually led to tbe cautious opening of a side 
door, wbence a strange-looking figure, bolding a 
lantern before bim, curiously surveyed us ; I must 
pause to give a description of bim. Under tbe 
most favourable circumstances, Badjoo, for sucb 
proved on furtber acquaintance to be his name, 
bad, witbout exception, one of tbe most villainous 
faces conceivable. To wbat race be belonged it 
was difficult to say; be liked to call bimself a 
Bugis, but bis woolly bair and swartby complexion 
contradicted tbis, and tbere was probably more of 
tbe Papuan tban anything else in bis blood. His 
name, however, indicated that be belonged to tbe 
race of sea-gipsies, who, as fishermen, form a dis- 
tinct class in tbe Sooloo Seas, but on subsequent 
acquaintance he freely admitted that piracy had 
been most in bis line. Badjoo was of very diminu- 
tive stature, had lost an arm, and had small, red 
eyes, which always appeared to look in different 
directions ; bis clothing was limited to one garment, 
viz. tbe sarong, a cloth sewn together like a sack, 
which, drawn over one shoulder, left in view a pair 
of emaciated legs. Altogether, anything more 
goblin-like it would be difficult to conceive. 

We were at length admitted to a spacious court- 
yard, planted with trees, surrounded by low build- 
ings of various descriptions, some being warehouses 
and others dwelling-bouses, in the centre of which 


stood a large square open shed, with the roof rest- 
ing on pillars, connected by a low wall. The boat- 
men having been dismissed, my new conductor led 
me across the yard to an open hall, which was 
evidently a dining-room. It was illuminated by a 
dim lamp, and had at one end a billiard -table. 
Having beckoned me to be seated, he took his 
departure. Presently a gentleman, whom I rightly 
concluded was the master of the establishment, 
entered with a brisk step, and with sailor-like 
frankness held out his hand, and in English asked 
me my business. I handed him my Danish letters 
of introduction, and, while he was reading them, 
had time to notice this somewhat remarkable man. 
The light hair and blue eyes showed his Scandina- 
vian nationality; there was kindliness, but also 
determination and daring marked in his features ; 
a short well-knit frame, showed great physical 
strength, and his bearing was that of a man 
accustomed to command. He was dressed in the 
white drawers and jacket which are the usual night- 
dress of those parts ; two black and white spotted 
Dalmatian dogs followed at his heels, and looked 
somewhat suspiciously upon the nocturnal intruder. 
Having quickly acquainted himself with the con- 
tents of the letters, he gave me a most cordial 
welcome, and, speaking in Danish, hoped that I 
would make his house my home. A long conver- 
sation followed, and it was not till the small hours 
of the morning that we retired to rest. 


Such was the first introduction to my future 
chief 9 of whose character and career it will not be 
out of place to give some particulars. Mr. Mads 
Lange was bom in Denmark in 1811 ; sent to sea 
at an early age, he eventually became chief officer 
of a Danish trading vessel, the Falcon^ owned and 
commanded by Captain John Burd, a gentleman of 
Scotch parentage, but born in Denmark and edu- 
cated for the navy. The Falcon had been an East 
India Company's ship, but was now under Danish 
colours, and had been renamed the Syden, sailing 
under the flag of the Danish Asiatic Company, 
which gave certain privileges ; in fact, the ship was 
equipped and manned as a man-of-war, as was 
needful in those days for ships sailing on the 
Eastern seas, taking two or three years to a 

John Burd was a good and a daring commander, 
and in his chief officer he had a man able and ready 
to do his bidding; and many were the daring 
adventures in which the Syden was engaged, but 
which it would be out of place here to relate. 

When Burd settled down as a merchant at Hong 
Kong he took his first lieutenant Lange into part- 
nership, who then went to the island of Lombok, 
in the SydeUy from whence he shipped rice to China, 
and therein carried on a very lucrative trade. 

When Lange arrived at Lombok, an Englishman, 
bom in Bengal, named King, was already settled 
there, and the two rival traders became antagonists. 


King desired to drive Lange out of the island, and 
a favourable opportunity soon presented itself. 

A revolution broke out, a pretender rose in arms 
against the reigning sovereign, and both sides pre- 
pared for war. 

The rival traders espoused opposite sides ; Lange 
supporting the rightful ruler; King siding with 
the rebel. 

Lange possessed many of the qualities which, 
when circumstances favour, make men great : 
daring and generous to a fault, he possessed also 
that resoluteness and force of will which assure 
ascendency over those with whom they come in 

Having taken his side in the coming struggle, 
Lange threw himself into the mel^e with all the 
ardour of his temperament ; he landed guns, arms 
and ammunition from his ships, fortified, drilled 
men, and, in short, was in his element. 

Acting as adjutant and commandant of the 
artillery was a Dutch half-breed, by name, Mobrom; 
a man with whom in after years I had much to do, 
and must introduce to my readers, for he was a 
man of grotesque appearance and manners. A tall, 
spare, lean figure; long, thin, spindle legs, and 
arms to match ; an enormous mouth, and a face 
which, having the unhealthy, yellowish colour of 
the half-caste, was always in motion, owing to some 
muscular contraction. He was fond of telling 
stories and cracking jokes, and could, with extra- 


ordinary suddenness, change the expression of his 
face — a broad grin would instantaneously vanish 
and give place to an expression of the most solemn 

Mobrom was, as related, appointed commandant, 
and had charge of the artillery and ammunition, but 
an unfortunate accident happened which had nearly 
converted the native allies into foes. 

The house in which M. Mobrom had stored his 
powder, rockets, and shells, took fire, and caused 
great destruction in the village. So furious were 
the natives that M. Mobrom, who had escaped only 
in his drawers and nightcap, ran into a pond and 
remained there concealed, head only above water, 
an entire day ; meanwhile many fights took place 
between the rival factions, with varying results, but 
eventually fortune favoured the rebels. The 
adherents of the lawful ruler began to forsake him, 
and eventually, deeming his cause lost, he aban- 
doned himself to despair, and with his own hand 
set fire to his palace, and perished in the flames 
with his wives and many of his followers. 

This event cost Lange all his property, and nearly 
his life, which he saved only by the swiftness of his 
horse ; the bridle was seized by one of the hostile 
natives, while another held on to its tail, but Lange 
having cut down the first, and shot the other 
through the head, safely reached the shore, and 
swimming his steed alongside his ship, got safely 
on board. 


18 piONBEBma m thb far bast. 

Lange now established himself in Bali, in the 
village of Kotta, in the kingdom of Badong. At 
the time of his arrival there, the Dutch East India 
Trading Company had an agent in the place, but 
although the Dutch obtained a good many Balinese 
slaves to recruit their armies, they did not find it 
practicable to establish comfortable commercial 
relations with the Balinese, who were jealous of 
their independence, and suspicious of the Dutch. 
They finally abandoned their factory at Badong. 
All their personelle was withdrawn, and Mr. Lange 
stepped into their place. 

He soon became a favourite with the people, and 
their princes in the south of Bali (the north was 
hostile) over whom he established an extraordinary 
ascendancy. He was made farmer of the revenues 
of Badong, and Fombukal, or chief magistrate of 
Kotta, and, though at first viewed with suspicion 
by the Dutch (who knowing his English sympathies, 
looked upon him as an Englishman), they con- 
tinually had to recognise his influence and power. 
He became their political agent in the island; 
and though his sympathies were with the Balinese, 
yet the Dutch memoirs which are now lying before 
me, bear witness to his generous zeal for the 
interests, not only of the Dutch Government, but 
of individuals. They testify to his protecting 
influence over life and property at many a ship- 
wreck, and how the castaway found shelter under 
his hospitable roof. 


The Dutch writer continues as follows :— 
, '' Notwithstanding the many cares which his large 
commercial transactions imposed upon him, he has 
always with the greatest zeal promoted the interests 
of the Netherlands Government and its officials. 
Nor was it," he adds, " merely Dutch officials who 
experienced his generous hospitality and assist- 
ance; men of letters, such as Baron Yan der 
Howell, the botanist Zollinger, and the philologist 
Friedrich, can bear witness to his constant readi- 
ness to serve, and his unbounded generosity and 

Nor was his gallantry less conspicuous — I stiU 
quote my Dutch authority, though I have heard the 
occurrence told by Mr. Lange himself. 

** During the first expedition in the north of Bali, 
under Colonel G. Bakker in 1846, Lange was 
present in his small schooner, the Venus ; he laid 
her close under the Balinese fort, and though his 
deck was perfectly open to their fire, fired at them 
with his 9-pounders with great effect. A Dutch 
officer was killed by his side, but when asked by 
the Dutch commander to withdraw, he declined to 
understand the signal, and so fought on till the 
place was taken. After the victory, Lange, at a 
council of war, offered himself to go and seek out 
the kings of Beliling and Karang Assam, and not- 
withstanding that Mr. Major, the resident of Besokee, 
endeavoured to dissuade him from the perilous 
attempt, he left on Colonel Bakker's horse, accom- 

2 • 


panied only by his Balinese interpreter and a native 
servant ; and although the general opinion in the 
expedition was that Lange would be murdered, he 
succeeded in the negotiations and returned in 

The island of Bali, though in point of size insig- 
nificant compared to its neighbours of the Archi- 
pelago, supports, on its area of 1,500 square miles, a 
popvdation of nearly 1,000,000. At the period of my 
residence it was divided into eight separate and in- 
dependent States, among which, however, the oldest, 
and, so to speak, mother State, Klongkong, enjoyed 
a nominal pre-eminence, and the Rajah Dewa 
Agong, as representing the original founder of 
Hindoo emigration into Bali, was allowed the prece- 
dence of honour, and, as his title shows, hereditary 
sanctity. The State of Beliling occupies a narrow 
but fertile strip of land on the north side of the 
island, lying between the sea and the northern range 
of mountains. The Rajah also rules over the territory 
of Djembrana, on the western side of the island, 
looking across the Strait of Bali to Banjuwangie, 
and divided from Beliling by the western portion of 
the mountain chain. The combined population of 
the two States is estimated at 80,000. Karang As- 
sam, with a population about equal, lies to the east 
of Beliling, in the north-east corner of the island, 
extending southward to the seaport of Padang, 
in the Straits of Lombok. Next to Karang Assam 
is the State of Klongkong, the chief part of which 


state is inland, but it has one seaport, Kassumba. 
South of Klongkong comes Gianjar, a siQall State, 
extending nearly to the south-east corner, which is 
occupied by the important and populous State of 
Badong. The commercial superiority arising from 
its possession of the best harbours of Bali, and its 
relations with the Dutch, will be seen from the 
account of its trade carried on by Mr. Lange. In 
the interior of the island, the State of Bangli, 
or Tanah Bali, the garden of Bali, includes the 
elevated table-land between the two ridges of 
mountain^. South of Bangli, is Mengoi, principally 
inland, between the States of Badong and Bangli. 
The largest and most populous of all the States, 
it has 200,000 inhabitants, is Tabanan, which is 
bounded by Mengoi on the east, Beliling, Djembrana, 
and the sea on the north and west. 

The division of States, with their peculiar names, 
is puzzling enough to the new-comer to the island, 
and probably also to the reader. I have not 
thought it necessary to give any elaborate account 
of each State, but have contented myself with the 
bare enumeration of their names and positions, and 
a short but general account of that island. 

Bali is in many respects interesting. Mr. Alfred 
Wallace tells us that it is the boundary of the 
tropical vegetation, and, to a great extent, of the 
animal life pertaining thereto, for on the other 
side of the narrow strait which separates it from 
the island of Lombok, the flower and animal 


if^orld is changed and becomes more like that of 

It is also very beautiful. No verdure can com- 
pare in freshness with the paddy-fields; and here 
they extended with neat trinmess, like a smooth 
green carpet, for miles and miles towards the 
mountains, whence the water came which irrigated 
the greater part of the island, giving, year after 
year, a never-ending succession of rice crops. 
Here and there groves of fruit-trees, overshadowing 
the villages, gave a variety to the scene. Strings 
of ponies, droves of oxen, and vast flocks of ducks 
and geese would be met at intervals ; but of archi- 
tecture there was little to attract the eye. The 
villages, the temples, and even the king's palace, 
were poor and insignificant. 

Bali is the most thickly populated, and, I might 
add, the most productive country in the East. The 
mountain chains run across the northern portion of 
the island, culminating, at the north-east corner, in 
the grand, precipitous, volcanic cone, of Gunong 
Agong. Three years previous to my arrival, there 
had been an eruption, and the crater was still 
emitting occasional columns of smoke ; indeed, in 
the first days of my residence in Bali, my sleep was 
often brr)ken by one of the frequent shocks of 
earthquake, but when I discovered that they seldom 
did any damage, I thought of them as little as of 
the powder-magascine over which I slept. 

Bali had never suffered so much from the erup- 


tions of its own volcano as from that of Sumbava 
during the terrible eruption of 1815, when the shock 
was felt all through these islands, from Sumatra and 
Java in the west to Timor and Borneo in the east. 
The ashes, which lay three feet thick in Sumbava, 
burying the dead and dying, fell over a distance of 
4,000 miles. The island of Bali was covered with a 
volcanic deposit, which destroyed the crops and 
caused a famine. During my own residence we 
experienced, as I have said, frequent shocks of 
earthquake. One evening we were startled by loud 
reports, as of heavy firing near at hand, but the 
explosions were those of the eruption of the moun- 
tain £[loet, in Java. We subsequently learned that 
the reports had been heard distinctly on the islands 
hundreds of miles eastwards, as far as Borneo and 
Celebes. But if the mountains of the interior some- 
times threatened Bali with their destructive forces, 
they also contained the sources of the fertility of 
the island. Situated near the summits of high 
mountains, several thousand feet above sea-level, 
are lakes of fresh water of great but irregular 
depths, some, indeed, being reported unfathomable. 
They present the curious phenomenon of a tide, the 
rise and fall of which corresponds in time with that 
of the sea. 

These lakes, " danoos," four in number, named 
respectively, Danoo Batur, to the east, near Bangli; 
Danoo Bartta ; Danoo Bujan, which is the smallest; 
and Danoo Tambolingan, to the west, serve as 


inexhaustible reservoirs, from which the whole island 
is irrigated. The streams are small and insignifi- 
cant, and travellers are obliged to carry a supply 
of water with them. Nevertheless, by the waters of 
the mountain lakes, led through an intricate system 
of irrigating canals, the Balinese are enabled, with 
little labour, to raise two abundant crops of rice 
annually ; and the price of the best grain was, in 
my time of residence, as low, in some districts, as 
one Java rupee per picul of 1 33 lbs. 

Besides the staple crop, which averaged an annual 
yield of 100,000 tons, the cultivators raised tobacco, 
Indian com, cotton, and pulses, these latter crops 
being alternated with rice so as to avoid exhausting 
the ground. A plant, bearing a red flower, called 
Kassumba, which was used as a dye, was also 
cultivated, as well as coffee and beans. 

The vegetation is, as might be expected, rich, but 
mostly cultivated. Besides the great variety of 
palms and other fruit-trees, among which the tama- 
rind is in great perfection and beauty, the cotton 
tree also is very common, but the grandest of aU is 
the mighty banyan, or waringan, sacred to the 
Balinese, under whose mighty spreading branches 
they delight to lounge. 

The fruit is varied, abundant, and delicious ; the 
pomelo, or shaddock, orange and plantain, were 
all of excellent quality. We had also the mango, 
mangosteen, soursop, salak, langsat, ramboutain, 
custard apple, aud numerous others. 


The Balinese have no gardens, properly so called. 
There are groves of fruit-trees, and fields with 
peas, beans, sweet potatoes and jams; but vege- 
table, fruit, or flower gardens are unknown. The 
Balinese are fond of adorning their hair with 
flowers, usually the kananga or bunga champaka, 
of which they grow large trees ; they also like to 
put these flowers behind the ear. Mr. Lange had 
a small garden, in which we grew some vegetables 
and flowering shrubs, which the natives admired 
much, especially a fine oleander; yet it never 
seemed to occur to them to plant and make gardens 
for themselves. The Indian islander is slow to 
imitate, or to apply by practical industry to his own 
use, the conditions he acknowledges to be good. 

The agriculture is simple and primitive. The 
Balinese plough is entirely constructed of wood, 
the share being of a peculiarly hard wood, which 
makes its way through the ground ; and is drawn 
by a yoke of oxen. An iron-pronged implement, 
something between a hoe and a fork, a small hoe, a 
species of bill-hook, and a knife wherewith to cut 
wood or grass, complete the total of agricultural 
implements in use. 

The cattle are of a much larger breed than those 
of Java owing to the crossing of the ordinary 
Javanese breed with the wild cattle. Although 
there are no regular grazing grounds, they pasture 
on the rice stubble, or, while the crops are growing, 
are turned out to graze in the woods or on the 


fallow land. They are always sleek and fat. The 
Hinduism of the Balinese forbids the use of the 
cow for any other than agricultural purposes and 
for milking ; but, for all that, I have occasionally 
seen the lower classes eating beef. 

The oxen are especially well suited for draught 
cattle, and less powerful animals would have found 
it difficult to draw the Balinese carts, ^^padaties," 
through the soft, sandy road, full of ruts and holes, 
which led from the harbour of Bali Badong to Mr. 
Lange's establishment ; and, indeed, the streets of 
Kotta itself were as bad. 

These carts deserve a word of description. They 
have two wheels, ten feet apart, of considerable 
size. The axle is thinner than the tyre of the wheel, 
BO that the spokes run inward towards the centre. 
The axle consists of three pieces, the centre piece of 
which is fixed to the cart, while the two other pieces 
are fixed in the wheel, revolving with it in the centre 
piece. On this somewhat formidable arrangement 
rests a very small trough capable of holding three or 
four hundredweights of rice, and on the top of this 
the driver is perched. These carts, when labouring 
through the soft sands and deep ruts, make a fearful 
noise, but do not get upset. 

The animals which would have most attracted the 
traveller's attention, when arriving near Mr. Lange's 
place, were the game-cock, the dog, and the pig. 
The Balinese being passionately attached to cock- 
fighting, these birds are kept in thousands, in 


separate cages, which line the road, and the occu- 
pants keep up an incessant noise, while the owners 
squat down beside them, engaged in animated dis- 
cussion, perhaps upon the merits of the various 
birds, which give the Balinese as much subject for 
amusement and daily discussion as the race-course 
and politics afford an English public. 

Barring the noise, these birds were an interesting 
sight; not so, however, the other denizens of a 
Balinese street — the pig and the prowling dog. 
A young Balinese porker is not by any means to 
be despised when roasted, and is also well enough 
to look at; but the swine that used to perambulate 
the streets of Kotta in such numbers were usually 
old sows, lean, ungainly, and filthy. As for the 
famished, hungry-looking curs, which prowled about 
snarling and snapping at everything by day, and 
howling at night, they were a pest, and our great 
delight was to shoot them. 

In all branches of industry the Balinese are 
behindhand, and this is probably owing chiefly to 
the idleness of the men and the amount of work 
and of responsibility imposed upon the women. It 
is also due to the fact, perhaps, that the Balinese 
have Uttle craving for wealth, and a rich man is 
almost unknown. The men cultivate the land to a 
certain extent, leaving their wives to conduct all 
trading. There are few manufactures worth speak- 
ing of, and except for the produce of the land and 
the sale of live stock there is little staple trade. 


Every family, to be sure, possesses its loom, with 
which the women weave some native cotton, along 
with gold thread, bought of the Chinese, into the 
coarse sarongs and salendongs, which all Balinese 
wear. This cotton thread is also exported, though 
not in large quantities. There is some pottery 
peculiar to Bali ; it is thin and well baked, and the 
shapes of the vessels are by no means bad. The 
native-made hardware and cutlery are fairly good, 
and the natives excel in the manufacture of spears 
and krisses, made out of the iron and steel which 
they get from the Chinese, with scraps of iron from 
broken vessels, &c. In this way they make a metal 
so well-tempered that these arms are able to do 
extraordinary work, and the iron knives and krisses 
will, with very little trouble, cut through the hardest 
wood. The Balinese salt is excellent, fine and very 
white, and its superior quality probably suggested 
the salting of beef, which is dried in the sun, and 
exported in large quantities. Only Mahommedans, 
however, are employed in this branch of trade. 

If, however, wealth is seldom the lot of the 
native Balinese, they comfort themselves by the 
reflection that its possession would only be the 
means of exciting the cupidity of the Rajahs> who 
generally adopted practical measures to express their 
views concerning any treasure amassed by their 
subjects, by taking it into safe keeping themselves. 

But if the BaUnese gather but little actual wealth, 
the fertile land in which they live prevents their 


feeling the need of money. The land produces all, 
or nearly all, that they require, and living is, there- 
fore, cheap. Of raiment there is little need ; and, 
altogether, unless a man is immoderate in his 
desires, or has given himself up to the vice and 
delinum of opium, he gets along well enough, and 
with comfort. 

I have omitted to mention the fishing trade. It 
is small, though sufficient for the consumption of 
the island, and gives occupation to a considerable 
number of people. The boats in which they go out 
to fish are called by the Balinese " jukongs," and 
are peculiar to themselves. The boat complete does 
not cost more than ten rupees. It is about ten feet 
long, one foot broad, and one foot deep, and is 
provided with very long outriggers made of hollow 
bamboo, and attached to the boat by carved frames 
of wood, which the fishermen call the boat's legs 
and arms. To serve as a mast, there is a high piece 
of bamboo, which is fixed in a groove against the 
stem of the boat. The sail is three-cornered, and 
meets a second bamboo coming from the prow. 
The huU is hollowed out of a tree. These boats are 
tolerably safe, and admirably suited for the heavy 
surf on that coast, but it is dangerous to put out far 
to sea in them. 

The dress of the native is so scanty that much 
description of it is impossible. The chief garment 
is the sarong, which is fastened round the waist, 
and usually falls about to the knees ; it is made of 


a common check cloth. A second garment, which 
is merely another check cloth, is sometimes thrown 
over the shoulders when they are cold. This has 
the advantage of serving for a cloak by day and 
blanket by night. A small pouch, made of grass 
or rushes, is usually stuck into the folds of the 
sarong at the waist, and is used to contain betel, or 
tobacco or opium, as the case may be, and as this 
pouch projects, it serves as a resting-place for the 
bands or for the ends of the shoulder-cloth. Every 
man carries a kreis, some of which have carved 
handles, often of ivory, and sometimes representing 
images of the gods. Their blades, which, as above 
described, are home-made, are valued according to 
their age or the amount of service they have done. 
The dress of the women is similar to that of the 
men, except that the material employed is rather 
better. They wear a scarf about the shoulders, 
which partly covers, but seldom hides, the bosom ; 
and they adorn their hair with a profusion of flowers, 
generally champaka or jessamine. If they have 
inconveniently long hair they tie it back with a wisp 
of grass or a narrow strip of cloth. In spite of its 
meagreness, the attire of the Balinese is not destitute 
of picturesqueness, or even of elegance. 

The name Bali, Crawfurd thinks, is derived from 
the Malay word, " Balik," return. Mr. Friederich, 
the Sanscrit scholar, states the origin of the name 
thus : — ** Bali is the nominative of the theme Balin, 
a strong person, a hero." But another origin has 


suggeRted itself to me wbicli, with all due deference 
to these authorities, I venture to advance. Bali 
figures in the sacred writings as a mythic monarch, 
and thus preserves the name of the demon-being 
who conquered Indra, and ruled over the three 

Another Bali was the son of Indra, and one of 
the fabulous allies of Rama in the war with the 
demons of Lanka (Ceylon). The Ramayana, one of 
the great poems of Hindu mythology, relates how, 
when Vishnu descended on earth, and was incarnate 
as Rama, a great war occurred between him and the 
demon Ravana, who had carried off Rama's wife, 
Sita, to Lanka or Ceylon. In order to recover her, 
some fabulous bears and monkeys were specially 
created by the gods to become the allies of Rama. 
Foremost amongst these were Hanuman, the 
monkey, and Y&mbuvat, the bear, Eang of the 
Winds, and Bali, son of Indra. 

In connection with this may be mentioned the 
curious veneration for monkeys which I accidentally 
discovered. I was about to make a journey, and was 
warned by some of the natives to avoid a wood near 
my road, it being dangerous to approach it on 
account of the great number of large monkeys. I 
dismissed the matter from my mind until I came 
within sight of the wood, when, my curiosity being 
aroused, I rode towards it, and, sure enough, though 
I have since lived in lands the home of monkeys, I 
have never seen such crowds of them; the trees 


seemed alive with them, and the chatter was 
deafening. I had some plantains in my valisei and 
held out some for them to see. The excitement 
created was amusing. There appeared to be much 
consultation, and at last one old veteran came 
down, and gradually approaching me till quite close, 
he suddenly made a dash at the plantain which, 
sitting on my horse, I held towards him. This 
same reverence for monkeys was exhibited when, 
twelve years later, I visited the island on my way 
from Borneo to Europe. I had with me an ourang- 
outang, which had long been in my possession in 
Sarawak, and which I hoped to bring home to 
Europe alive. But it so happened I was detained 
in Singapore, and subsequently went to Java and 
Bali. The news of the arrival of this distinguished 
stranger spread amongst the natives, and the house 
was besieged from morning till night by large 
crowds of people, who showed the greatest anxiety 
to see him. Some of the great Rajahs, and the 
Dewa Agong himself sent down messengers, asking 
to be permitted to see him, which, however, the 
death of the ourang prevented. It seems that the 
ourang-outang, which they had never seen, was 
known to them from their sacred writings. 

With regard to religion in Bali, it is strange 
that it alone has preserved Hinduism, which once 
prevailed in Java and other eastern islands, whence 
it was driven out by the spread of Islamism in the 
fifteenth century. The whole political and social 


lives of the Balinese are moulded by the traditional 
rights and customs of Hinduism, although the 
religion is much corrupted, and the Balinese are 
neither as intolerant of other creeds, nor as addicted 
to superstitious practices as are their co-religionists 
in India. 

Tradition relates the introduction of the existing 
religion and government into Bali by a fugitive 
prince of Majapahat, as follows : — 

The father of Rattu Browaya, of Majapahat, in 
Java, was told by his chief Bramana that, according 
to the sacred books, the rule of Majapahat would 
become extinct within forty days; and, giving full 
credence to the tale, he caused himself to be burned 
alive. His son fled to Bali with a number of followers, 
and established his authoritj at Elongkong, taking 
the title of Supreme Sovereign, which title still con- 
tinues hereditary in the Rajahs of Klongkong, who, 
proud of their pure descent, seek to maintain its 
purity by enforcing the rule that the Dewa Agong, 
the Rajah of Klongkong, shall marry his own sister. 

Whether this legend truly represents the first 
introduction of Hinduism into Bali from Java, or, 
as some recent authorities say, exaggerates the 
effect of the migration from Java of those who 
refused to submit to Islam, I cannot undertake to 
aflBrm ; but it is certain that the belief of this origin 
of the Rajahs of Klongkong exists in Bali. The 
Balinese preserve the sacred books, both of the 
religious account and of the ancient legends in the 



Kawi language, written, or rather soratohed, upon 
Palmyra leaves. 

The Balinese literature has attracted the special 
attention of Sanscrit scholars. Mr. Friederich, well 
known for his researches in this direction, and who 
was sent to Bali by the Society of Literature and 
Art in Batavia, resided for some time in Mr. 
Lange's house, where he was a contemporary of 
my own, and where he exclusively devoted himself 
to Balinese literature. He writes : — 

^'The Balinese literature deserves great atten- 
tion ; here I am pretty sure that we find the whole 
of the Kawi literature, besides a number of writ- 
ings peculiar to Bali itself, which latter are also 
based upon old traditions. Here we find the Yedas, 
of which not a trace is now to be found in Java, 
although during the Hindoo time they must surely 
have existed in the island. Then we have the 
Rdmdyana in its entirety, and in its most original 
form, whereas in Java, only the Javanese para- 
phrase, called Rama, of an apparently recent date, 
is known. Of the second Hindostanee epos, the 
Mahabharata, the Balinese now only know the para- 
phrase, Barata-Yuddha, which also exists in Java, 
but they know the names of all, and of the eight 
parts of the work, six entire versions, and two in 
part, are still in their possession. In fact, we may 
say that here we find the greater part of the whole 
literature present in a far more original form than 
in Java.'' 


The Eawi language, is, however, only a sacred 
and learned tongue. It may be also called the 
court language, but the majority of the population 
are ignorant of it, and speak the Balinese. 

The division of the population into castes, accord- 
ing to the laws of Manu, is maintained, though not 
with the same exceeding jealousy that prevails in 
Hindustan. The Balinese are, however, divided 
into four castes of Bramana, Satriya, Vaisya, and 
Sudra, which may generally be described as priests, 
soldiers, merchants and labourers. 

The Bramanas again are divided into two classes, 
those who perform the ofiBces of priesthood, called 
Ida, and those who are descendants of Brahmins, 
but who do not act as priests, and are called Dewa, 
i.e. god. The Satriyas, or members of the military 
order, are generally known by the title of Gusti, or 
lord. Vaisyas, the third order, comprehend, not 
only traders but also artisans, as goldsmiths and 
cutlers. Sudras, the fourth order, include hus- 
bandmen. ordinary artisans, and slaves. 

The Balinese are Saivas, votaries of Siva, and 
although the names of the different gods and 
goddesses of the Hindu pantheon are known to them, 
their belief seems to be that onlj? one god exists, 
viz. Siva ; and the other gods known to them are 
only the attributes of Siva under different names, 
who is not only the chief deity, but the deity which 
comprises all others. This at least is the teaching 
of their priests, though the masses often under- 

3 ♦ 


stand these names to refer to different gods. Thug 
Surya, the sun, is identical with Siva ; he has a 
wife, XJma, and children, Ganesa and others, but 
these are only so many manifestations of his power 
and functions. So also, Kala, time, or death — 
with his wife Durga, and his Butas or Baksasas, 
evil beings, which have to be propitiated by san- 
guinary sacrifices — are only the same Siva, in his 
character of punisher or destroyer. 

To Brahma and Yishnu but little reverence is 
paid, though occasionally at agricultural festivals 
temporary altars are erected in their honour, but 
Brahma Siva, and Sada Siva, as they are called, form 
together with Maha Siva, either the trinity or unity. 

In some parts of Bali, the traces of Buddhism are 
found mixed with Hinduism, indicating the earlier 
reUgion, and we hear of Bramana Siva, and Bramana 
Buddha, though of the latter there are but few. 

The highest priests are called Pandita, or Pa- 
danda, meaning" "staff-bearer," derived from a 
staff, the symbol of the dignity of his office. They 
preside at the great rural festivals and sacrifices, they 
sit opposite the temples muttering the Yedas, and 
superintend the ceremonies which the princes are 
to perform. Only a Brahmin can become Padanda, 
and, during the course of his teaching, has most 
painful duties to perform towards his teacher, to 
whom he has entirely to submit himself, and in 
proof of his submission performs the most 
degrading and disgusting offices. 


The two lower castes do not possess the Yedas, 
nor can their religious training acquire for them 
the position and power of Padanda. The Satriyas 
and Vaisyas may, by the faithful observance of their 
religious duties, obtain the dignity of Resi, while the 
Sudras can only become Mankoes or Dokuns, village 
priests and doctors. As such, however, he is sup- 
posed, as a reward of merit obtained by his penance, 
to be able to cure diseases, and to conduct the 
ceremonies of the ordinary temples. A few of 
them perform penances analogous to the Indian 
Joga, but not so severe. 

Sivaism, upon the whole, is practised here in a 
much milder form than in India. 

Bali is covered with temples, but they are gene- 
rally small, meanly- built sheds, within an enclosure 
shaded by waringan or banyan trees, where offer- 
ings of flowers or fruit are deposited. The worship 
of the Balinese may be divided into three distinct 
services. The first used exclusively by the princes 
and nobles, is presided over by the Padanda. For 
this worship there are only six temples in the 
island, most of which are situated in lonely places 
near mountain tops, or on rocky promontories 
overhanging the sea. The princes of each district 
make yearly pilgrimages to these, and by sacrifices 
persuade the deities, who at times are supposed to 
have their abode in the mountain, to return to the 
precincts of the temple. 

In each of these six temples, the deities which 


are worshipped have different names, which appear 
not to be of Hindu origin, but the Balinese assert 
that the meaning of all is Siva. 

While the above are the principal temples for the 
worship of the high castes, there are also in every 
village places of devotion dedicated to the evil 
spirits, where sacrifices of living creatures are very 
frequent. There are also places for washing and 
purifying, all of which are, as it were, affiliated to 
the great temples, but are presided over by Man- 

Last of all, there are the domestic shrines for 
the worshippers in every Balinese household, but 
these, like all the before-mentioned temples, are, as 
regards architecture, very contemptible and insig- 
nificant, usually built in groups, and of unburnt 
bricks, inlaid with porcelain or glass, and sur- 
rounded by a wall. They go by a variety of names, 
but there are three principal kinds called Padm&- 
sana, Chandi, and Meru. In many cases they are 
nothing more than small pyramids with openings 
for the reception of offerings. 

The sacrifices consist of all sorts of eatables, also 
money, and even clothing occasionally; and to 
propitiate the evil powers, cattle, pigs and poultry 
are slaughtered. 

The offerings are mostly brought by women, who 
approach the temple dancing, the Pandita sitting 
facing the sanctuary, and sprinkling the crowd 
with holy water. 


Bali, as already described, is of a triangular 
form and terminates towards the south in a sort 
of boot, with a narrow neck forming the ankle 
This neck of land was about four miles broad, and 
on it stood Mr. Lange's establishment. Here he 
had organised a large business ; the eastern and 
western harbours, according to the change of the 
monsoons, being used by him for shipping. Ships 
carrying the flags of many European seafaring 
nations might be seen in the harbour, loading with 
rice, coffee, tobacco, cocoa-nut oil, and all the vari- 
ous products of the sunny island. All these things 
were bought in the establishment from natives who 
carried them thither, or were sent by Chinese 
traders and agents employed on the coast. For the 
purpose of collecting produce Mr. Lange owned 
several schooners, which he sent round to Lombok, 
Sumbava, Flores, the Sandal- wood Islands, the 
Moluccas, and other eastern islands, so that alto- 
gether Badong was a very busy place. 

I soon found myself deep in business, which, 
though novel and interesting enough, taxed my 
energies to the utmost. Mr. Lange, probably in- 
fluenced by the spirit prevailing around him, had 
an objection to employing Europeans on shore, 
though he had many afloat. As a consequence, his 
staff was absurdly small for the amount of business 
in which he was engaged, and I was a good deal 
surprised when I had been with him only a short 
time, and had acquired but little of the language. 


to find large responsibilities thrown carelessly upon 
me. Hardly a day passed in which some vessel did 
not turn up, it might be from China, bringing 
thousands of bags of Chinese cash, bronze coins 
with a hole in the centre, which formed our cur- 
rency, and the handling of which involved con- 
siderable labour as well as profit. These coins were 
bought by us in China, by weight, at a price giving 
1,200 to 1,400 for a dollar. On arriving they had 
to be recounted and put on strings, 200 on each, 
and were then used as a medium of payment for 
produce, at the rate of 700 per dollar. All this 
work was done by women, but of course, under 
careful supervision. They were also entrusted with 
the duty of measuring and paying for the produce. 
Perhaps a vessel from Singapore would arrive, 
bringing Manchester goods, opium, &c., or from 
the eastward, with the beautiful Sumbava, Timor, 
and Macassar ponies, and of course our own vessels 
were always either arriving or expected, bringing 
rice, &c., collected by the agents. 

All this made my life busy enough, but I enjoyed 
it. Rising at a quarter past five I was soon in the 
saddle, and riding through the groves of cocoa-nut 
trees which cover that part of the island. Twenty 
minutes' gallop brought me to the beach, where 
during the north-east monsoon, vessels would be 
riding at anchor. It was here that we kept our 
boats, and the boatmen waited in readiness to load 
the vessels from large sheds behind, which were 


filled with produce ready for shipment. Here also 
were the slaughter-houses, in which the Balinese 
oxen were converted into the dried beef, known as 
" ding-ding," which was sent to Java for the 
Dutch troops. 

Having made arrangements for the day's work, 
an exhilarating canter along the beautiful shore, 
and back through groves and fields, gave me a fine 
appetite for an early breakfast. 

Meanwhile strings of ponies had been converging 
from different parts of the country towards our 
factory, each carrying four baskets filled with the 
produce of the island. Each little caravan was 
attended by the owner, usually a woman, and the 
day's work now fairly commenced ; by seven o'clock 
all were at work. Measuring, weighing and pack- 
ing went on rapidly, and long rows of carts carried 
bags, bales, and casks to the sea-shore. It may 
be worth mentioning that the great staples, such 
as rice and coffee, were received at a uniform 
price, so many measures so many pice ; and this 
price seldom varied, whatever might be the state of 
European markets or the fluctuation of prices in 
other places. 

But a more exciting branch of our commerce was 
that dealing with live cargoes ; French vessels used 
to come regularly from the lie de Bourbon, to 
obtain cargoes of cattle, ponies, pigs, and all sorts 
of poultry and fancy birds — ^veritable Noah's arks. 
When the order was given for the loading of one of 


these vessels, it was only necessary to send a few 
days in advance to a dozen or so of the Balinese 
ladies, who acted as our agents in such matters, 
and on the appointed day the beach near which the 
vessel lay would be crowded with many times the 
number of animals wanted, from which the selection 
was then made. 

The leading part taken by the women in all these 
bustling transactions was a peculiar feature in 
Balinese life ; but their business capacities entirely 
justified the confidence of their lords and masters. 
Not that the trading was left entirely to the fair 
sex, but the men generally confined their own 
interests to cattle dealing, though, even in this, the 
women had more than their share ; and when ship- 
ments of live stock had to be got ready, it required 
some discretion to distribute patronage amongst 
our friends to their satisfaction. When half-a-dozen 
ladies arrived, each with a following of slaves, who, 
on such occasions, would carry propitiatory offerings 
on their heads, in the shape of baskets of delicious 
fruit, it was difficult to hold the scales so as to 
satisfy all. Here, for instance, is a fat, insinu- 
ating little woman, commonly called by us Anak 
Agung, "Child of the Great One/' She is the 
wife of Gusti Mate Dangin, a noble of rank. She 
has come many miles this morning with her ponies 
and attendants, and wants to contract for the 
delivery of a number of oxen and pigs, not to 
mention innumerable geese, ducks and fowls. How 


can her pleading be resisted? But, on the other 
hand, there is Meme Kintang, a tall, thin woman, 
who, I am sorry to say, is addicted to opium, but 
who pleads her long business relations with energy, 
while a third screams that, last time her oxen were 
shut out in favour of her sister merchants. And 
so the argument goes on. Possibly at this juncture 
Mr. Lange makes his appearance, when they all in 
chorus appeal to him, who, most likely, in his usual 
offhand way, consents to take all, to the great 
embarrassment of the unfortunate clerk, who, when 
the day of shipment arrives, finds that he has two 
or three times as many animals on his hands as the 
ship will hold, and does not know what to do with 
the rest. With that day comes the tug of war. 
The beach is, of course, crowded, and the lowing of 
cattle, screeching of pigs, and crowing of cocks, 
mingled with the shouting of the natives, make a 
very lively scene indeed. 

The trade in oxen was very large. The Balinese 
oxen were much sought after, and with good reason, 
for they were especially fine animals, of a wild 
breed, and they were kept in a half -wild state in 
the southern part of the island — ^that part which 
forms the boot, and is known as " Bukit.** Here 
they roamed about in great herds, as did also the 
buffaloes, which were particularly savage. This part 
of the country was, therefore, somewhat dangerous 
to visit. How the Balinese settled the ownership 
of these animals between themselves always puzzled 


me. They had apparently no mark to distinguish 
them. There was a good deal of disputing on this 
pointy but not so much as might have been expected, 
as in such disputes rank and power usually settled 
the matter. 

It was part of my duty to inspect and receive the 
purchases made by Chinese agents, both in the 
village and on the coast. Altogether, as may be 
imagined, I was very hard worked, and often felt 
thankful enough, when evening came, to join the 
party, at times a large one, which assembled round 
Mr. Lange's hospitable table. These parties had a 
distinct interest of their own. Men of many 
nationalities — captains of ships, merchants, savans 
— all appeared at them, and were made welcome. 
Now and then a Dutch man-of-war would bring a 
large and lively party of officials from Java ; and 
these, as well as the Dutch naval officers, were men 
of high culture and social powers ; or some Rajah 
would pay us a visit ; and amongst them, though the 
Balinese are a fine race of men, there was no finer 
specimen than old Rajah Kassiman, the ruling 
monarch of Badong. Over seventy years of age, 
with long flowing white hair, tall, erect and portly, 
when walking under the golden umbrella with 
stately step, surrounded by a large retinue, he 
looked every inch a king. 

Wonderful indeed were the tales told round that 
table ; but, together with the songs which usually 
followed at a later stage, they caused the evenings 


of these cosmopolitan parties to pass harmoniously 
and pleasantly. The singing was to me a source of 
infinite amusement. It was, in a manner, com- 
pulsory for everyone to give his song. Mr. Lange's 
head clerk, an Englishman, who took the bottom of 
the table, had a great talent for comic songs, and 
he enforced, without mercy, the rale of the song 
upon others. And so, in half the languages of 
Europe, in comic, gay and doleful strains, the song 
went round. A game of billiards usually terminated 
the evening, but I seldom waited till the end. A 
long day's incessant work to begin again on the 
morrow, predisposed me to early hours. 

We had little social intercourse with the Balinese ; 
indeed, they lived in so poor a way aa not to hold 
out much inducement to visit them. 

The houses of the ordinary dwellers are insigni- 
ficant, not more than twenty feet square and eight 
high. They are also ugly, having thatched roofs 
and mud walls ; they are generally built in clusters, 
and each group of houses is enclosed by walls. To 
each such group is generally attached one house of 
a better kind than the rest, painted or otherwise 
ornamented. In this, as it is generally safe to con- 
clude, dwells the head of the family, while the 
various branches live in less pretending dwellings 
round about it. As regards the walls which 
surround such a group of houses, they are built of 
unburnt brick, and, therefore, require a thatched 
covering to protect them against the rain, which 


otherwise would cause them to crumble away ; and 
as this covering is not always in good repair, the 
walls are, as a rule, also in a condition as dilapidated 
as if they had been battered by artillery, and have 
breaches serving, as well as the doorway, for ingress 
and egress. These doorways are, nevertheless, as 
a rule, very substantial, though scarcely wider than 
suffices to admit one person at a time. Two or three 
steps generally lead up to them. 

Having visits from the Eajahs, we in turn visited 
them, generally those of Badong or Tabanan. I 
well remember going with a party on a visit to the 
old Rajah Kassiman. It was about a three hours' 
ride to his place, and a rather uncomfortable one. 
Our horses had to thread their way along narrow 
dykes, or floundered knee-deep through the soft 
paddy-fields, or swam the brooks, for there was an 
absence of bridges ; yet it was, upon the whole, an 
interesting ride. It was a holiday. The people 
were about in crowds, in their best attire, calling 
out friendly greetings as we passed. As we 
approached Kassiman, we were met by our old 
acquaintance, the heir apparent of Badong. He 
rode a small, pretty black horse, somewhat like the 
Barbary breed, and was accompanied by a party of 
spearmen, some of whom kept close to the animal. 
This young prince, who was slight and delicate- 
looking, had a rather striking face, somewhat of the 
Hindoo cast, but of a feminine type. He was fair, 
with a hooked nose, and high, receding forehead. 


His hair, as that of all the princes, was long, and 
twisted in a knot on the top of the head, in which a 
red hibiscus was stuck. He received us as cordially 
as princely reserve would permit, and returned with 
us to the palace. 

The manner in which these princes lived was 
anything but pleasant, and of comforts they had no 
idea. The Rajahs of Bali had retained their inde- 
pendence, rather to their disadvantage in some 
things. They had not, like their neighbours in Java, 
adopted European customs and manners, much less 

Their palaces consisted of a succession of courts, 
containing some open square buildings, known as 
the Bali-Bali. On the floor of these the retainers 
sat and lounged, generally passing the time away 
in gambling, though they would sometimes amuse 
themselves by reading old palmyra leaves, upon 
which stories and legends were scratched. The 
innermost courts contained the dwellings and harem 
of the Rajah, which were usually low, mean-looking 
buildings of wood and bricks, and the interiors 
were bare and destitute of ornament, except, 
perhaps, numerous china plates, which, in true 
Queen Anne fashion, adorned the walls. 

To such a place the prince conducted us, where 
the jovial old Rajah gave us a cordial welcome, and 
himself escorted us to inspect his armoury, of which 
he was very proud. It consisted mainly in a 
long row of Balinese spears, and of antiquated 


rifles, some of which it might have been dangerous 
to fire. But all were bright, and made a very good 
show. This over, the feast began with boiled rice 
and cooked fowls, served in very commodious 
vessels, which shall, however, remain nameless. 
During the meal, and indeed, during the whole time 
of entertainment, the gfamalan band played, not 
inUrmooiouBly. The g^aUn i, boat-LU •»«• 
across the cavity are placed wooden or metal bars 
of graduated length. The performer squats on the 
ground in front of the instrument, and strikes with 
a little hammer the bars forming the notes. In 
some cases the Rajahs indulge in gamalans inlaid 
with gold. The Rajah Kassiman had one of great 

Speaking of the Balinese gamalan, a Dutch 
writer says : — " They were larger and handsomer 
than any I had seen in Java ; the first strokes 
proved at once that here we had not to deal with 
Java music. Tone and measure are, it is true, 
similar, but there is much less melody, and a great 
deal more fire and animation in the Balinese music. 
What one hears most, is a gay, martial allegro, 
whilst the high and softer solos, now from one, 
then from the other instrument, cause an agreeable 

The meal over, we took a walk to Gunnong Ratta, 
where the Rajah bad what was called a pleasure 
garden. It was situated on the bank of a small 
stream near the frontier of the State of Gianjar. 


The stillness in and round the building presented 
an agreeable contrast to the uoisy hubbub which 
we had just left. Passing under the majestic 
waringan trees, we came to a sort of square, formed 
on three sides by buildings, and where we were 
greeted by large dogs of European breed. On the 
right the Royal Artillery park occupied the whole 
wing ; it consisted of twelve pieces of ordnance, 
several very old ones. We saw no ammunition, and 
it may be doubted that the Balinese would have 
known how to use it had there been any. In the 
centre building, a little house caught our eyes, be- 
tween the bricks of which a quantity of china cups, 
plates, and flat dishes were fixed, totally without 
order and taste. At the corner of the building 
there was a square tower; two very narrow flights 
of stairs, with high and awkward steps, led to a 
flat roof, but to reach it we had to climb over 
trellis work, which entirely surrounded it, and had 
no door. The view from the top hardly rewarded 
the trouble ; it was over hills, overgrown with long 
so-called alang-alang grass, stretching in the direc- 
tion of the State of Gianjar. We went round by 
the left wing of the building, in order to reach the 
garden — ^but garden is rather a strong expression 
for a space which looked like the moats and walls of 
a fortress, or terraces constructed of strong walls, 
without regularity or plan. Within these stone 
borders there was a narrow strip of garden soil, in 
which here and there a few straggling Glerodendron^ 



double jessamine, and other flowers were planted. 
We ascended from one terrace to the other by 
means of stairs, of which the steps were two feet 
and a half in height, so that a promenade in this 
royal pleasure garden was very much of the nature 
of the ascent of the great pyramid. Descending, 
we came to a court containing a sort of grotto, in 
which clear water was dripping down, which served 
as a bathing place ; and from hence water was led 
away in aqueducts. There were more of such 
bathing-places in the neighbourhood, and each 
seemed to have its divinity, for everywhere there 
hung the above-mentioned flowers, which seemed 
to indicate votive offerings. These were, in fact, 
the sacred washing places to which reference is 
made elsewhere in this chapter. 

On the waUs of one of these places stood some 
images, which were of a whitish grey, rough, and 
covered with such a peculiar mouldy coating that 
we ascribed to them very great age, and were 
amazed when we were told that they were younger 
than the surrounding buildings, which had been 
constructed about ten years ago. The explanation 
is that in Bali they make images of mud, which 
by baking become as hard as stone, and soon get 
the appearance of age. 

In a little island in the neighbouring river there 
was a lonely cottage, in which lived a hermit, a fakir 
who, as the Balinese believed, had not eaten for 
the last few years. 


It was dark when we again reaohed the Rajah's 
palace, and now the festivities began in earnest. 
The gamalans played with all their might, and the 
place was lit up; but Kassiman's illumination was 
not very princely, as it consisted simply of shells in 
which some oil and wick had been put. If we had not 
brought lamps from Kotta we might have been 
compelled to sit down in the dim light of a young 
moon. But even so, there was a difficulty; the 
lamps would not bum. The crown prince and the 
prime minister squatted down on the ground to put 
them in order. Unfortunately, they seemed very 
inexperienced in the trimming of lamps; they 
screwed up the wick one or two inches ; of course 
it flickered up in a bright flame, burned quickly 
down, and in a few minutes collapsed altogether. 
The lamp trimmers looked at each other with long 
faces, and seemed greatly puzzled as to the cause of 
this sudden change from light to semi-darkness. 

And now the dancing.girls appeared upon the 
scene. The first performer, though like all of them, 
a slave, yet appeared to take higher rank than is 
usual with her class, for she had a number of female 
attendants carrying mats, siri-boxes and necessaries 
for restoring the toilette, and her deportment was 
that of a coy, proud beauty, not deigning to look at 
us strangers. Nor were we, in the uncertain 
flickering light, able to appreciate her charms ; but 
she was young and graceful, richly and tastefully 
dressed in a tight-fitting tunic, and salendong of 

4 • 


wliite, red and blue silk ; a head-dress of metallic 
flowers, which was held together round the forehead 
by a broad golden band, as completely concealed 
her hair as if it had been a lawyer's wig. She 
went through a number of attitudes, expressive of 
the great emotions, love, fear, anger, and hate : all 
of which could hardly be called dancing, but which 
were very graceful, and served admirably to display 
suppleness of limb and beauty of figure. The 
artistic finish, and grace of her movements was 
admirable ; even when sitting she seemed to dance, 
and her mimicry was always consistent. After a 
while she vanished, and a second appeared on the 
scene, evidently a secondary star, less chary of her 
smiles, and not, as the first performer, disdaining 
at the end of the dance to claim a pecuniary reward 
by, Balinese fashion, touching with the palm of her 
hand the chest of the person from whom a gratuity 
is expected. 

What more happened I do not know, for the 
music continued till I was thoroughly worn out, 
and so, wrapping my cloak around me, I laid down 
on the floor of the Bali- Bali, and was soon fast 

Dances and shows of monsters and giants are 
part of the religious performances of the Balinese, 
and here is the right place to describe them. 

Amidst shouts of laughter, some ten men, under 
a rough white skin, appeared, imitating the move- 
ments of an animal, supposed to represent an 


immense tiger — probably a mythological figure. 
The head of this monster had some resemblance 
to that of a tiger ; the jaws were moveable. The 
two foremost men made the teeth gnash with a 
hideous grin, just as if the mythical creature was 
preparing itself for an attack. Then came a great 
number of women and girls, who ran forward with 
baskets, and laid before the monster their votive 
offerings, kneeUng down, and praying with uplifted 
hands. Between their fingers they held marigolds, 
which, after they had prayed for some time, they 
threw backwards, and replaced with others. The 
gifts which they offered consisted of fruit, rice, and 
flowers. The house in which the performance took 
place was decorated with bunches of flowers and 
wreaths of lotus leaves. The sacred flowers are the 
marigold and the globe amaranthus. I remember 
on another occasion an amusing incident in con- 
nection with one of these performances. Returning 
one evening from the harbour with the captain of 
a ship, we suddenly came upon one of these strange 
giant shows. The glare of the torches fell upon 
the monsters; they stood out looking grim and 
unearthly against the dark shadows of the wood 
behind. My friend the captain, a simple-hearted 
and unsophisticated man, probably with beliefs of 
all kinds undisturbed within him, had never been 
in the East before, and being altogether unprepared 
for the sight, he started, and with a shout of 
horror turned, and, taking to his heels, ran with 


all his might and main back towards the harbour, 
never stopping until he was once more safely on 
board the ship. These performances are usually the 
dramatic representations of mythical and religious 
incidents contained in their sacred writings, and 
however tiresome and monotonous they may appear 
to Europeans, they are watched by the natives for 
hours with unflagging interest. 

The Balinese themselves perhaps get most excite- 
ment out of the cock-fighting, which I have men- 
tioned as their other great amusement. When a 
tournament was to take place, the natives might be 
seen by hundreds, and indeed thousands, making 
their way to the appointed place, where they would 
form a ring, and for hours watch the combat. The 
birds which were carried to battle in large baskets, 
were always fine specimens and of beautiful plum- 
age. They were armed with steel spurs, some three 
inches long, manufactured by the Balinese, who are 
skilled workers in steel. The crowing of the birds, 
the hum of betting, and the battle itself, watched 
with keen interest by the excited and swarthy 
crowd, all helped to make up a remarkable, if not 
very edifying, scene ; for not only Chinese pice, but 
also human beings are lost and won here. 

In Bali, as in many of the eastern islands, slavery 
still existed. Slaves were not, indeed, exported then, 
as was the case not many years before, when 
the Dutch recruited their forces in Java with 
Balinese slaves, and passing French vessels carried 


them off to the plantations at the lie de Bourbon ; 
but for domestic purposes slavery was still in force. 
All prisoners taken in war, certain classes of 
criminals, insolvent debtors, &c., became slaves. 
The Balinese were not, however, hard taskmasters, 
and even under the circumstances, the relation 
between freeman and slave seemed kindly ; but, in 
reality, the entire people were the slaves of their 
Eajahs, who governed them with the most despotic 
power. Life was held cheaply, and the laws 
awarded death for trivial offences. I will give an 
instance : — 

Coolies were engaged in unloading Chinese pice 
from one of our ships. These pice were packed in 
mat bags, and, therefore, easily extracted. One of 
the men was brought up from the harbour, accused 
of stealing about four shillings' worth of pice. It 
so happened that a chief magistrate of the town, 
the Dewa Made Bahi, paid us one of his frequent 
visits, probably to ask a loan, and the man was 
brought before him. The witnesses were there, 
and the proof easily established. The whole in- 
quiry and judgment took about half-an-hour, the 
sentence being that the man should be removed 
forthwith to the place of execution, and krissed, 
i.e., stabbed to the heart. Yet, strange to say, 
such scenes caused no excitement or astonishment 
among the people; and the man would have met 
his death but for the interference of Mr. Lange, the 
sentence being commuted to servitude on board a 


silip, which, by the way, the Balinese dread, as they 
dislike the sea. 

Severity in the administration of justice on the 
part of the rulers did not, unfortunately, imply any 
tender regard for the rights of the subject, as the 
following stories will show. 

There is a law by which, when a man dies without 
male issue, the widow, slaves, and other belongings, 
become the property of the Rajah. A childless 
widow, one of the not few women who by trade 
amass wealth, or what in Bali would be considered 
wealth, had adopted a boy of whom she was very 
fond. She was anxious to conceal her riches, 
knowing that if they were discovered after her 
death, the Rajah, and not the boy, would become 
her inheritor. The matter preyed on her mind, and 
she frequently spoke to Mr. Lange on the subject. 
He advised her to pay over a considerable sum to 
him, which he would secure for the boy. But 
though the woman's affluent circumstances were 
perfectly well known to us, she could not be brought 
to admit that she actually possessed the money, the 
fact being that she could not bear the idea of 
parting from it. A short time passed, and she 
died. The Rajah's men were swiftly in the house, 
the ground was dug, and many thousand guilders 
rewarded their search. But the boy remained 

A tragic fate overtook an unfortunate native, 
which was caused by the kindness of a friend of 

1!H]5 ISLAND 0^ BALI. 57 

mine, ^ English doctor belonging to Mr. Lange's 
establishment, and who had acquired great fame 
amongst the natives. 

Amongst those who came for his advice was a 
man with an enormous tumour below the neck. A 
successful operation was performed, and, greatly to 
the astonishment of the natives, the man, after much 
suffering, appeared amongst them completely cured. 
He eventually returned to his native place in 
another part of the island, but, unluckily for him, 
an approaching war with the Dutch had made white 
men unpopular with the Rajah and his subjects, and 
enraged at hearing one of them praised for his 
wonderful cure, the Rajah had the poor man put 
into a bag and thrown into the sea. 

Such acts on the part of rulers scarcely seemed 
consistent with the general appearance of peaceful 
contentedness which I have described; but cruel 
superstitions and acts of isolated tyranny do not 
necessarily affect the well-being of a people. 

But a tragedy was enacted during my stay in 
Bali, which most profoundly impressed me ; and it 
was the more terrible because, though enacted in 
the name of religion, it was not merely the fervour 
of the fanatic that gave the victims strength to play 
their strange part, but that human affection which 
is common to us all. I am alluding to the immola- 
tion of women on the funeral pile of their husbands. 

Although it has been argued that the custom of 
sati is not enjoined in the Yedas, yet it has been 


maintained as a religious duty among the Balinese, 
even with more obligatory power than in Hindoo- 
Stan before the East India Company abolished the 
practice. At the death of a Rajah, or prince of 
high rank, not only his wives, but his female 
slaves, were accustomed to sacrifice themselves on 
the funeral pile in which his body was cremated ; 
and not only on the death of a husband was this 
terrible offering of human life made to the dead, 
but even on the death of a queen or princess son^e 
of her slaves devoted themselves to death. This 
self-immolation was called bela, or retaliation.* The 
extent to which this awful practice was carried may 
be judged of by some facts given by Orawfurd and 
others. Seventy-four women were slaughtered and 
burnt in 1814 on the death of the Rajah Jalanteg; 
while in 1633 as many as ninety-eight were sacri- 
ficed by the Rajah of Gelgel on the death of his 
wife and two sons. If the victims are wives, and of 
royal birth, they are burned alive, leaping from a 
stage into the fiery pit below; but if concubines 
and slaves, they are usually stabbed first with the 
kriss, generally wielded by a male relative, the 
young and beautiful often suffering most, when pity 
unnerves the slayer's hand. A case happened 
when the unhappy young victim, after receiving 

* Beta in Balinese is also traoBlated "true or faithful in 

tHS ISLAND OF ftALl. 69 

seven stabs, yet still living, cried ont, ^^Crael 
murderers, will no one terminate my sufferings ?'' 
when she was finally run through the back. 

The Balinese always declared that no women 
were compelled to devote themselves to death, but 
moved by superstition, and a desire to obtain the 
rewards promised to a faithful wife, they frequently 
offered themselves. They were then taken charge 
of by the priests, kept in a constant state of excite- 
ment by opium and other means, and when the final 
stage was reached, could no longer retreat. As the 
corpse of a Rajah was kept for a long time after 
death, the victims had plenty of time to repent of 
their rashness in offering themselves to be burned ; 
but instances where they saved themselves were 
almost unknown. 

While I was at Bali one of these shocking sacri- 
fices took place. The Rajah of the neighbouring 
State died on the 20th of December 1847 ; his body 
was burned with great pomp, three of his con- 
cubines sacrificing themselves in the flames. It was 
a great day for the Balinese. It was some years 
since they had had the chance of witnessing one 
of these awful spectacles, a spectacle that meant for 
them a holiday with an odour of sanctity about 
it ; and all the reigning Rajahs of Bali made a point 
of being present, either personally or by proxy, and 
brought large followings. 

It was a lovely day, and along the soft and 
slippery paths formed by the embankments which 


divide the lawn-like terraces of an endless succession 
of paddy-fields, groups of Balinese, in festive 
attire, could be seen wending their way to the 
place of burning. Their gay dresses stood out in 
bright relief against the tender green of the ground 
over which they passed. They looked little enough 
like savages, but rather like a kindly festive crowd 
bent upon some pleasant excursion. The whole 
surroundings bore an impress of plenty, peace, and 
happiness, and, in a measure, of civilisation. Tt 
was hard to believe that within a few miles of such 
a scene, three women, guiltless of any crime, were, 
for their affection's sake, and in the name of religion, 
to suffer the most horrible of deaths, while thousands 
of their countrymen looked on. 

But already the walls which surround the palace 
of the King of Gianjar are in sight. Straight 
avenues, up the sides of a terraced hill, lead to the 
kratoUf or palace ; and, higher still, on the centre of 
an open space, surrounded by a wooden rail, a 
gaudy structure with gilded roof, rising on crimson 
pillars, arrests the attention. It is the spot 
where the burning of the dead man's body is to 
take place. Upon closer inspection the structure 
is seen to rest upon a platform of brick- work four 
feet high, upon which is a second floor, covered 
with sand. In the centre stands the wooden image 
of a lion, gorgeous with purple and golden trap- 
pings. The back is made to open, and is destined 
to receive the body of the king for burning. The 


entire building is gaudily decorated with mirrors, 
china plates, and gilding. 

Immediately adjoining this structure is a square 
surrounded by a wall four feet high, the whole of 
which space was filled with a fierce, bright fire, 
the fatal fire which was to consume the victims. 
At an elevation of twenty feet a light bamboo 
platform is connected with this place, a covering 
of green plantain stems protecting it against fire. 
The centre of this bridge supports a small pavilion , 
intended to receive the victims while preparing 
for the fatal leap. 

The spectators, who, possibly, did not number less 
than 40,000 or 50,000, occupied the space between 
these structures and the outer wall, inside which a 
number of small pavilions had been erected for the 
use of women. This space was now rapidly filling, 
and all eyes were directed towards the kraton whence 
the funeral procession was to come. Strange to say, 
the dead king did not leave his palace for the last 
time by the ordinary means. A corpse is considered 
impure, and nothing impure may pass the gateway. 
Hence, a contrivance resembling a bridge had been 
constructed across the walls, and over it the body 
was lifted. This bridge led to the uppermost storey 
of an immense tower of a pagoda shape, upon which 
the body was placed. 

This tower, called the " badi," was carried by 
five hundred men. It consisted of eleven storeys, 
besides three lower platforms, the whole being 


gorgeously ornamented. Upon the upper storey 
rested the body, covered with white lineui and 
guarded by men carrying fans. 

The procession marching before the ** badi " 
consisted first of strong bodies of lance-bearers, 
with music at intervals ; then a great number of 
men and women carrying the offerings, which con- 
sisted of weapons, clothing, ornaments, gold and 
silver vessels containing holy water, siri-boxes, 
fruit, meat-dishes, boiled rice of many colours, and, 
finally, the horse of the deceased, gaily caparisoned ; 
then more lance-bearers and some musicians. 
These were followed by the young king, the Dewa 
Pahang, with a large suite of princes and nobles. 
After them came the pandita, or high priest, carried 
upon an open chair, round which was wrapped one 
end of a coil of cloth, made to represent a huge 
serpent, painted in white, black, and gilt stripes, 
the huge head of the monster resting under the 
pandita's seat, while the tail was fastened to the 
bade, which came immediately after it, implying 
that the deceased was dragged to the place of 
burning by the serpent. 

Following the large badi of the dead king, 
came three minor and less gorgeous ones, each con- 
taining a young woman about to become a sacrifice, 
or *^ bela." The victims of this cruel superstition 
showed no sign of fear at the t-errible doom now so 
near. Dressed in white, their long black hair 
partly concealing them, with a mirror in one hand 


and a comb in the other, they appeared intent only 
upon adorning themselves, as though for some gay 
festival. The courage which sustained them in a 
position so awful was indeed extraordinary, but it 
was bom of the hope of happiness in a future world. 
From being bondswomen here, they believed they 
were to become the favourite wives and queens of 
their late master in another world. They were 
assured that readiness to follow him to a future 
world, with cheerfulness and amid pomp and splen- 
dour, would please the unseen powers, and induce 
the great god Siva to admit them without delay to 
Swerga Surya, the heaven of Indra. 

Round the deluded women stood their relatives 
and friends. Even these did not view the ghastly 
preparations with dismay, or try to save their 
unhappy daughters and sisters from the terrible 
death awaiting them. Their duty was not to save but 
to act as executioners; for they were entrusted 
with the last horrible preparations, and finally sent 
the victims to their doom. 

Meanwhile the procession moved slowly on, but be- 
fore reaching its destination a strange act in the great 
drama had to be performed. The serpent had to be 
killed, and burned with the corpse. The high priest 
descended from his chair, seized a bow, and from the 
four corners of the compass discharged four wooden 
arrows at the serpent's head. It was not the arrow, 
however, but a flower, the champaka, that struck 
the serpent. The flower had been inserted at the 

64 noNssRiNa in the fab sast. 

feathered end of the arrow, from which, in its flight 
it detached itself, and by some strange dexterity the 
priest so managed that the flower, on each occasion, 
hit its mark, viz. the serpent's head. The beast was 
then supposed to have been killed, and its body 
having been carried hitherto by men, was now wound 
round the priest's chair and eventually round the 
wooden image of the lion in which the corpse was 

The procession having arrived near the place 
of cremation, the badi was thrice turned, always 
having the priest at its head. Finally it was placed 
against the bridge which, meeting the eleventh 
story, connected it with the place of cremation. The 
body was now placed in the wooden image of the lion ; 
five small plates of gold, silver, copper, iron and 
lead, inscribed with mystic words, were placed in 
the mouth of the corpse ; the high priest read the 
Vedas, and emptied the jars containing holy water 
over the body. This done, the faggots, sticks 
striped in gold, black, and white, were placed under 
the lion, which was soon enveloped in flames. This 
part of the strange scene over, the more terrible 
one began. 

The women were carried in procession three times 
round the place, and then lifted on to the fatal bridge. 
There, in the pavilion which has been already men- 
tioned, they waited till the flames had consumed 
the image and its contents. Still they showed no 
fear, still their chief care seemed to be the adornment 


of the body, as though makiiig ready for life rather 
than for death. Meanwhile, the attendant friends 
prepared for the horrible climax. The rail at the fur- 
ther end of the bridge was opened, and a plank was 
pushed over the flames, and attendants below poured 
quantities of oil on the fire, causing bright, lurid 
flames to shoot up to a great height. The supreme 
moment had arrived. With firm and measured steps 
the victims trod the fatal plank ; three times they 
brought their hands together over their heads, on 
each of which a small dove was placed, and then, 
with body erect, they leaped into the flaming sea 
below, while the doves flew up, symbolising the 
escaping spirits. 

Two of the women showed, even at the very last, 
no sign of fear ; they looked at each other, to see 
whether both were prepared, and then, without 
stooping, took the plunge. The third appeared to 
hesitate, and to take the leap with less resolution ; 
she faltered for a moment, and then followed, all 
three disappearing without uttering a sound. 

This terrible spectacle did not appear to produce 
any emotion upon the vast crowd, and the scene 
closed with barbaric music and firing of guns. It 
was a sight never to be forgotten by those who 
witnessed it, and brought to one's heart a strange 
feeling of thankfulness that one belonged to a civi- 
lisation which, with all its faults, is merciful, and 
tends more and more to emancipate women from 
despotism and cruelty. To the British rule it is due 



that this foul plague of suttee is extirpated in India, 
and doubtless the Dutch have, ere now, done as 
much for Bah. Works like these are the credentials 
by which the Western civilisation makes good its 
right to conquer and humanize barbarous races 
and to replace ancient civilisations. 

I have little more that is interesting to tell of 
Bali. The conditions of my daily work were much 
disturbed during the latter part of my time in the 
island. The greater part of the coast was blockaded 
by the Dutch, the natives were in arms, and we 
had to be on our guard against surprises, to 
turn our attention less to trade and more to arms, 
to drill our men and to keep night watches. 

The Balinese, though cruel, and even unmanly 
in many of their habits and customs, were yet 
capable of much patriotism. They held out against 
the Dutch in successive wars with great gallantry, 
though they had little but lances and krisses with 
which to withstand European arms. 

I have already shown, on Dutch authority, how 
much bravery and discretion Mr. Lange displayed 
in the attack which was made on the Balinese. It 
yet remains to give in outline the events that 
followed the second attempt of the Dutch in 1848, 
and to show as a sequel the part played by him on 
this last occasion. 

On the 8th and 9th of June, the Dutch attacked 
the fortified place of Djagar Aga, in the kingdom 
of Beliling, and were repulsed with great loss ; but 


the Balinese paid dearly for their success, for 
in spite of their coolness and courage they lost 
over 2,000 men in the engagement. The Dutch 
returned to Java, but they left blockading vessels 
along the coast, and in March 1840, again ap- 
peared off Bali with a fleet of twenty-two sail, 
including transports, and 8,000 men. On the 13th 
April, Djagar Aga was again attacked, and after 
desperate resistance on the part of the Balinese, 
who, with their lances, again and again charged the 
Dutch, the place was taken ; but the Balinese 
successfully retreated to the interior, where the 
Dutch could not follow them, and three of the 
northern kingdoms still remained unsubdued. The 
Dutch then moved their forces round to the east 
side of the island to the bay of Padang Cove, the 
country of the Dewa Agong, whose sacred person 
was thus threatened. The northern Rajahs pre- 
pared for a supreme effort to protect him, and 
the celebrated Balinese patriot, the Gusti Jelanteg, 
with the Dewa Agong, and the Rajahs of Karang 
Assam, Gianjar and Mengoi, rallied round him with 
their forces. They had 33,000 men in arms. The 
two southern Rajahs of Badong and Tabanan 
were still on the Dutch side, but the excitement was 
great, and it was thought that these too might be 
forced to rally round the Dewa Agong. 

On the 25th May, the Dutch attacked Kassumba, 
near Padang Cove, which they took, but with the 
loss of their gallant leader. General Michiels, who 

5 • 


was killed, when the chief command devolyed upon 
Colonel Van Swieten. 

As might be expected, all these events, not only 
seriously interfered with our business, but made our 
position at Badong exceedingly uncomfortable. 
Our Rajah, the old Kassiman, had engaged with 
the Dutch to conquer the neighbouring State, 
Mengoi, but failed, and his men were severely 
beaten. This raised the excitement around us to a 
great pitch, for a counter-attack was expected every 
moment. Our position became precarious, for our 
factory, full of plunder, was much coveted by the 
enemy, and an attack was actually threatened. We 
prepared for defence to the best of our ability, 
brought guns from our saluting battery on the sea- 
shore within our walls, and, as far as we could, 
made ready for the enemy. 

While we were thus occupied, Mr. Lange himself 
was busied with important matters. He endea- 
voured to bring about a conference between the 
Balinese and their foes; and succeeded in in- 
ducing the former to promise to attend. Our Rajahs 
wished to send friendly communications to the 
Dutch general in command, and to this end I was 
entrusted with the task of conducting their am- 
bassadors to the camp. I embarked for that 
purpose in Mr. Lange's yacht, the Vent^ ; Mr. 
Lange, at the same time, proceeding overland to 
Elongkong, to be ready to assist in the negotia- 


Having reached Padang Gove, and been cour- 
teously received by the general and his staff, I 
proceeded to introduce the emissaries of the 
Bajahs; but soon found that my mission was not 
to be a successful one. The Dutch camp was in 
a somewhat dejected state. The commander-in- 
chief, as already mentioned, had been killed, with 
many officers and men, in the attack on Kassumba. 
One-fourth of the remaining men were ill with 
dysentery, and they had the pleasure of knowing 
that 30,000 Balinese were ready to attack them. 

The Dutch General complained of treachery on 
the part of some of the Rajahs. The Dewa Agong 
and the Rajah of Gianjar had sent discourteous 
answers to the General's offer of safe guidance to 
the proposed conference, which was to take place 
on the 10th of June. He was, therefore, inclined 
to doubt, not only the pacific assurances of the 
messengers I had brought, but also the possibility 
of Mr. Lange's ability to interfere. The conduct 
of the Rajahs, the Dutch considered, left them no 
choice but to renew the fight, and the prospects 
of peace appeared suddenly to vanish. The 
Balinese, on their side, were quite ready to begin 
hostiUes again, and to defend the seat of the 
Majapahat race, and the sacred temple of Sungei 
Lawas to the last. A fierce battle seemed 

On the 8th June the advance of the troops 
commenced, the war steamers at the same time 


attacking Lebeh, the capital of Gianjar. Almost 
in a moment, however, the aspect of things totally 
changed. The advancing soldiers, after two hours' 
march, suddenly found themselves confronted by a 
party led by a European. It was Mr. Lange, who 
brought them the welcome tidings of a peaceful solu- 
tion. The Rajahs of Badong and Tabanan had kept 
faith, and, coming to Klongkong with 16,000 men 
to attend the proposed conference, had induced the 
hostile Rajahs to submit, and to open negotiations. 

These were formally commenced on the 15th of 
July 1849, in Mr. Lange's factory at Badong, when 
all the princes, with a following of nearly 40,000 
men, were entertained by him on behalf of the 
Badong Rajah, and a peace concluded, which virtually 
left the gallant Balinese in full possession of their 

It was not a very glorious termination for the 
Dutch ; but that they were able to withdraw at all, 
without discredit, they owed entirely to Mr. Lange. 
Yet he, on his side, had little reason to feel thankful 
towards them. The protracted blockade which 
they had maintained during their languid opera- 
tions against the Balinese had destroyed the trade 
of the island, and caused him losses which he never 
recovered. He could not adapt himself to the 
altered circumstances in which the Dutch expedi- 
tions had left him ; and he was not the man to 
retrieve his position by long-continued thrift aud 
prudence. There was more of the bold viking 


than the prudent trader in his nature. He de- 
lighted in tossing about in a gale in his little yacht, 
the VenuSf which he loved as though it were a 
living thing. He knew every rope and spar in 
his considerable fleet, and no laggard captain would 
return from a needlessly protacted voyage with 
impunity. He delighted in overcoming all difficul- 
ties save those of commercial life. He was not a 
skilful rider, yet so bold a one, that I have seen 
him break in obstinate and vicious horses by sheer 
force of will. He was a power in the country, 
and the Balinese feared, yet liked and admired him, 
and, in truth, though severe, he was generous even 
to a fault, and loyal to his trust, without thinking of 
the consequences to himself. 

The prolonged commercial inactivity had not only 
taken away occupation, but had caused me to tire 
of the country. My health also had greatly suffered 
from a dangerous fever, which a pleasant sojourn 
in Java had not entirely eradicated ; and so, after 
much consideration, I determined to leave the 
country and go to China for a change. 




Haying left Bali in the brig Bramah on the 21st of 
June 1849, I arrived in Singapore on the 8th of July, 
and after only two days' stay, embarked in the 
American ship Tartar for Hong Kong. We had a 
stormy passage. One night the captain called me on 
deck, but I could see no reason for disturbing my 
sleep, till he pointed upwards, and I then saw, for 
the first time, on each masthead, blue, flickering 
lights. It was the well-known electric phenomenon 
called the lights of St. Elmo, and imparted a singu- 
larly weird aspect to the wildness of the stormy 

During two months' stay in China, I visited 
Canton, going up in a lorcha, a sailing boat, very 
low in the water ; in fact, a sort of large lighter. 
The sail up the Canton River was interesting, 
crowded as it was with every kind of Chinese craft, 
all novel and picturesque; but we had to be on 

OAL[FOBNIA IN 1850. 78 

our guard, for every boat might be a pirate, ready 
to board us, and had to be warned off by pointed 
rifles. It was an exciting time in China; the 
Governor of Macao had just been murdered in 
broad daylight, while taking a ride in the suburbs 
of the city. There was a general feeling of uneasi- 
ness among Europeans, and the coast was infested 
by pirates, who frequently attacked European 

The depredations of the pirates, however, received 
a check in October, when a squadron, consisting 
of Her Majesty's sloops Columbine and Fury, and 
the Honourable East India Company's steam sloop 
PMegethon^ under the command of Commander Hay, 
inflicted a crushing defeat upon the Pirate Admiral 
Shapug-tsai. The Chinese at Hainan furnished a 
fleet of eight war junks to co-operate with the 
British, and the combined force caught the pirate's 
fleet, consisting of sixty-four vessels carrying 1,224 
guns, and 3,160 men, in the bay of Tonquin. Of 
the whole squadron the English Commodore was 
able, after three days' fighting, to report that only 
half-a-dozen of the smaller vessels had escaped with 
about 400 men. The other vessels had been all 
destroyed ; 1,780 pirates had been killed, and 
1,000 remained, in the words of the Commodore's 
despatch, " to be finished by the Cochin-Chinese." 

The English commander, while mentioning those 
of his officers who had distinguished themselves, 
did not fail to add that ^* Major-General Weng, the 


Mandarin, proved himself a gallant, active and 
efficient ally." 

Those were still days when merchant princes 
existed in China, extending generous hospitality to 
travellers, a boon in those days when hotels were 
not universal. People at Hong Kong were at this 
time becoming excited about . California. I re- 
member being at a party which must have left 
mournful recollections in the minds of many of the 
guests. It was given by two gentlemen of the 
legal profession, who, though doing extremely well, 
yet wanted to do better, and induced by the excit- 
ing news, which every incoming ship brought from 
California, determined to seek their fortune there ; 
and many were the toasts invoking Plutus on their 
behalf. The ship sailed, but was never heard of 
again. I ought to have taken the moral to heart, 
but I did not. 

When leaving Bali, I was still weak from the 
effect of fever, but the sea voyage, and change of 
diet had restored my health and spirits, and not 
wishing to remain idle any longer, I gladly accepted 
the offer of a clerkship in a Singapore mercantile 
office. Again I embarked for that place on the 9th of 
September, in the opium clipper Sydney, a schooner 
which on this occasion proved anything but a clipper, 
for we were twenty-eight days going down, and I 
was nearly eaten up by cockroaches, which at night 
blackened the walls of the cabin. 

Eight months passed very pleasantly in Singapore, 


but I saw no prospect of advancing my interests, 
and when friends suggested to me to try my luck in 
California, offering to facilitate my voyage thither, 
and in certain eventualities open a career for me, I 
could not resist ; my employers, too, had offered to 
keep my place open for me, if these expectations 
should not be realised, and so, on the 7th of June 
1850, I started. 

Once more my course was up the China Sea. We 
went so far north as to sight some small islands 
belonging to Japan, and then, steering eastward, 
we soon found ourselves in the steady, gentle 
breezes, and smooth sea of the Pacific. For weeks 
the ship ploughed her way towards the El Dorado, 
without our touching a rope or sail, and it was not 
till nine weeks had passed that dense fogs warned 
us that we were approaching our goal. Now, also, 
the sea was alive with creatures — seals, sea lions, 
and whales in great number. The latter were singu- 
larly bold ; we fell in with three apparently young, 
sperm whales, who accompanied us for several hours, 
playing about, and rubbing themselves against the 
keel of the ship. We did not quite like it, and 
when one of them rose out of the water some twelve 
or sixteen feet, apparently curious to see what we 
were like, the captain rather amused us by calling 
out as if alarmed, " Good God ! They are coming 
on board I" 

On the sixty-seventh day, going under easy 
canvaSy we suddenly saw through the mist a high, 


rocky coast, in which opened a narrow inlet, it 
might have been a mile or a mile and a half long. 
This was the Golden Gate, the entrance to San 
Francisco harbour. It was blowing hard, and we 
were soon in the narrow, tearing through it with 
great speed, and ere long opened to our view one 
of the finest harbours in the world, averaging in 
breadth, ten to fifteen miles, with depth inland of 
seventy to eighty ; this perfectly land-locked inland 
sea might hold all the navies of the world, and a 
goodly fleet was here now. There were seven 
hundred and eighty-four big ships, and several 
hundred coasters in the harbour, to a great extent 
deserted by their crews, as was very apparent from 
the untidy and neglected appearance of most of 
them. Three or four were wrecks. Before entering 
the harbour, our captain had exacted a promise 
from his men, in consideration of certain engage- 
ments on his part, not to desert their ship. There 
were twenty-two of them, but I may as well 
mention here that only eight or nine kept their 
promise; the temptations and intimidation practised 
by crimps from the shore were too much for them. 
These even threatened the captain's life, if he put 
hindrances in the way. One old and grey-haired 
man, captain of a large Dutch ship lying close by, 
was tied to the mast and flogged for trying to 
enforce discipline. 

It was a curious state of things. But three short 
years had elapsed since this country had been an 


all but uninhabited waste; the Jesuit mission at 
Dolores, five miles from the present city, being 
almost the only settlement. The traveller might 
gallop across the plains for days without seeing any 
sign of human life, except perhaps a half-savage 
Mexican with his broad-brimmed sombrero, long 
spurs, and lasso, or it might be a stray trapper or 
Indian ; for these latter still held their own in upper 
California. But now, where but a short time since 
a wilderness had been a great town was fast rising, 
and commerce and civilisation were doing their best 
to eradicate all signs of the savage. 

By a strange chance I happened, twenty-five 
years lat^r, when in the north of Bussia, to call 
upon an official of high rank. He had in earlier 
days been a captain in the Bussian navy, and was, 
in 1827, in the Pacific. The conversation turning 
upon California, he told me that, being in that year 
in Vancouver's Land, a Swiss adventurer asked for 
and obtained a passage in his ship which subse- 
quently called at San Francisco ; a party of the 
ship's officers went in the boat picnicing up the 
Sacramento Biver, and the Swiss who was with them 
requested to be left behind. This man was Johann 
Sutter ; he put up a saw mill, but this failing, he 
took to farming, and when years after he erected a 
water-wheel in connection with his farm, the first 
Califomian gold was discovered in it. Such was 

the account given by His Excellency Gt . I have 

BLQce seen an American account of the same event. 


which in the main agrees with this, and gives an 
interesting record of Sutter's adventures. Accord- 
ing to this, he had passed his early life in the 
refined surroundings of a French court, having been 
captain of the Gardes du Corps of Charles X., but 
growing dissatisfied with the artificial society of 
Europe, and longing for a fresh world, and natural 
life, he set out for America, dived into the gloomy 
forests and boundless prairies of the pathless west ; 
and after innumerable adventures discovered, as we 
have seen, the El Dorado, yet eventually died a 

But the news of the great discovery had flashed 
upon the world, and probably never has any event 
caused so widespread an excitement; a true El 
Dorado had been found, such as even Cortez or 
Pizarro could scarcely have imagined, and which 
defied all speculation as to the limits of its treasures, 
or its influence upon the commerce and well-being 
of the world. 

From our ship's deck, San Francisco presented 
anything but a picturesque or inviting appearance ; 
the harbour, it is true, was magnificent, but the 
surrounding country was barren and sandy; the 
town was built upon a hilly waste, and comprised a 
curious medley of wooden shanties, tents, with here 
and there a building deserving the name of house. 

Expectant and curious, we pulled on shore with 
some difficulty, making our way between lanes of 
shipping, rafts and boats, with all sorts of merchan- 


dise, and over a road ankle-deep in sand, till, nearly 
blinded with dust, we reached the main road. It was 
thronged with a strange and motley crowd. Euro- 
peans of every grade of Society were here, jostling 
each other, mostly weather-beaten and dirty, with 
the mark of the miner's rough experience fresh upon 
them, though it was clear that a flannel shirt and 
corduroys did not, in most instances, cover men to 
the manner born. Among the crowd of hardy and 
rough-looking men, seemingly well fitted to contend 
with the work and privations in the mines, there 
were delicate-looking lads, some with spectacles, 
evidently more at home in the study than in the 
mine. Here and there also were groups of fresh 
arrivals, spruce and tidy-looking, who, like our- 
selves, were looking on, repenting, perhaps, of their 
rash adventure, or, may be, nerving themselves for 
an effort to grapple with fortune in the busy and 
heaving crowd. Mixed with these were Chinese, 
Mexicans, Indians, and other nationalities less 
easily distinguished. Strangely contrasting with 
them all were a few uniforms and epaulettes ; they 
seemed out of harmony with the surroundings, for 
a glance showed that society was here turned upside 
down, and that order and authority were hardly to 
be expected. The streets were filled with merchan- 
dise, especially where the crowd denoted that an 
auctioneer was selling off, sometimes at astonishing 
prices, for articles which yesterday would almost 
have brought their weight in gold were to-day all 


but thrown away. The value of money, house-rent, 
and charges of all kinds were so enormous as not 
to allow speculators to hold with a view to a future 
improvement in the demand. We now found our- 
selves in the Plaza or grand square filled, like the 
adjoining street, with merchandise and building 
materials. Here were buildings of a motley descrip- 
tion, rows of provision booths, side by side with 
the Alcalde's residence, next door to which was the 
famous Parker House, partly hotel, partly gambling- 
house, rented at 175,000 dollars. Of the latter 
class were, in fact, the largest and best build- 
ings in the town, though not always corresponding 
to the imposing names which figured upon them, 
such as the " El Dorado," " Alhambra," '' Belle 
Union," &c. But what of the inside ? The great 
bulk of these gambling hells may be described as 
being constructed of the roughest materials rudely 
put together; a little gaudy paper-hanging and 
gilding, and a gaudy chandelier or two giving 
the place quite a gay and imposing appearance. 
There would be one or two drinking bars, a 
musician or two, and a dozen or two of monte, 
faro and rouge-et-noir tables. Day and night, 
week-days and Sundays, the crowd was always 
surging round these ; and a wonderful study they 
presented. I watched one man, evidently a Spanish 
South American, probably a Chilian, steadily trans- 
ferring his gold to the bank. He must have had 
5,000 or 6,000 dollars in gold eagles ; a small pile 


was still left ; he staked it all, and was cleared out, 
but not a muscle did he move. With a shrug of the 
shoulder, and a half -suppressed laugh, he retired, 
had a conversation with a friend, and having 
apparently borrowed money, was soon seen at 
another table. The result there appeared to have 
been satisfactory, for presently he returned to the 
first game, played again, and won. How much, or 
with what final result, I did not wait to see ; but I 
was sure that whatever it was his looks would not 
betray his feehngs. He was, evidently, a profes- 
sional gambler, too hardened to show his emotions. 
But the ordinary miner also, elated with success, 
suddenly possessed of unwonted wealth, staked his 
gold recklessly, unconscious that the professional 
gambler, with keen eye, was watching his prey; 
though, not seldom, when the fleece was shorn, the 
operator found a wolf within ready to turn upon 
him. Many a knife and revolver were drawn by 
infuriated victims, though, as a rule, they were 
overpowered before blood flowed. 

In the street the same high-flown names adorned 
the buildings. " Astor House," ** Delmonico's " 
"Irving House," &c., invited the passer by to very 
indifferent lodgings. Further on to these succeeded 
less pretentious wooden shanties, the walls covered 
with bunks, which let at a dollar a night. Ship's 
cabooses, and even packing cases, did service as 
lodgings ; and I am not sure that the latter, when 
filled with dry straw, were of the worst. Then there 



were billiard tables at a dollar a game ;• bowling alleys 
at the same price. A theatre was not yet open, but 
before leaving, I was able to visit one, the great 
sensation being a man in the audience who appeared 
in a white waistcoat. 

But I was not doomed to experience the worst 
discomforts of Californian life ; for I had become 
a member of a sort of bachelors' hall. There were, 
I think, twenty-two of us, with one servant among 
us, who acted as cook and servant of all work. We 
were not in want of creature comforts, as most of 
my associates had eatables consigned to them. It 
was a curious and a jolly party, comprising literary, 
business and professional men ; amongst them were 
some good companions, one or two especially so ; 
and, alasl that I should have to record it, these 
were, as I afterwards heard, ex-convicts from 
Australia. Others there were who, then poor, are 
now among the richest men in the States. One, 
an old acquaintance of mine from the East, had 
been buying ships and land, the so-called water 
lots now forming the most important part of 
the city. He offered me some at trifling prices. 
Had I been in a position to buy, I should in all 
probability have become a Croesus; whether he 
stuck to his I never learned. It was a keen, des- 
perate struggle for wealth, and not a pleasant 
atmosphere ; but in the assembly to which I 
belonged there was, at any rate, one night in the 
week when hearts unbent, and gold was not the all- 


absorbing topic. These evenings generally wound 
up by the whole company getting on their chairs, and, 
with one foot on the table, singing "For Auld Lang 
Syne ; " and there were those amongst us whose 
faces then softened with thoughts of other days and 
scenes. Few of us had soft couches on which to 
retire to rest. We laid, wrapped in blankets, on 
the floor, fleas and rats innumerable being our com- 
panions. As one lay wrapped in the blanket, the 
latter could be felt running over you. But even 
hotels were not very comfortable. A friend of 
mine, whom I occasionally visited, was, at great cost, 
living in what was then one of the first hotels. 
One morning I called earlier than usual, and on 
entering his room, I found him still in bed, with an 
Umbrella over his head, and not without reason. As 
for cleanliness, it was a difficult matter. The 
streets, though a wooden pavement had been com- 
menced, were still, as a rule, in deep, soft sand, or 
equally deep mud ; and at night they were unlighted 
and dangerous. Water was scarce, and washing 
cost six dollars per dozen pieces. An old Indian 
ayah, left by the captain's wife, made a fortune by 

A fearful fire (San Francisco has seen many) 
occurred during my stay, destroying the hopes of 
thousands, and showing others under what pre- 
carious conditions they were toiling ; yet the 
industry displayed was marvellous, and the builders 
worked almost as fast as the flames, and restored 

6 • 


things to their former condition in an incredibly 
short time. I had undertaken to see our ship's 
cargo landed and stored, an expensive process, as 
charges for boats and carts were enormous ; but 
our warehouse being built on piles in the sea, boats 
could come alongside. I had not been there for two 
days; on the third as I went down, to my amazement, 
instead of the usual sea view, I found a big ware- 
house in front of us ; with such rapidity were houses 
run up. Amongst the things of which the cargo 
of our ship consisted was a large quantity of rough 
furniture, especially chests of drawers. The entire 
cargo was, as customary, sold by auction, and was 
soon disposed of ; but when the agent came to make 
up his account, he found that the furniture which 
had been sold was filled with clothing, blankets, 
flannel shirts, corduroy trousers, &c., &c. How the 
acute Yankee enjoyed the joke when he came to 
unpack his bargain I 

We had, however, come to San Francisco at a 
very unfavourable time. It was three years since 
gold had been first discovered. The first rush had 
gone by. Thousands had returned from the 
diggings disheartened, to seek more congenial 
employment in the cities. Supplies also, of every 
description, had been crowding in from all parts, 
far in excess of the demand and the storing 
capacity of San Francisco. The rainy season, 
moreover, would soon set in, when these evils would 
increase manifold, and the climate, under the then 


condition, become unhealthy. The consequence was, 
that our ship, and others from the same quarter, 
came to a bad market. One of the others con- 
tained a cargo of wooden houses which, a few 
months before, had commanded enormous prices, 
but were now unsaleable, and the owner had, with 
a few exceptions, to leave them in the ship, the 
captain taking them for the freight. For those 
which were landed, he bought a piece of ground on 
which to put them up. He had brought Chinese 
carpenters for this purpose, and was, therefore, still 
hopeful to make something by his venture. But 
one morning he came in with a long face ; the 
carpenters had all run away to the mines. He was 
not, however, to be thus done; and so, arming 
himself, he set out with a friend in pursuit, and 
succeeded in overtaking the Celestials, but only to 
have insult added to injury. The Chinese, finding 
themselves in a lawless land, quickly learned the 
lesson, and took up so menacing a position that my 
friend was glad to get off with a whole skin. The 
unfortunate man, having invested his all in the 
venture, ended, I was told, by losing his reason. 

San Francisco being surrounded by sand-hills, 
there were no pleasant walks, but I took occasional 
rambles. Amongst the places I visited was the old 
church and mission at Dolores. A strange contrast 
to the restless, ever-changing aspect of the sur- 
rounding, was this desolate old church, a monument 
of the past, and of labours as arduous and more 


heroic than those of the crowd which now pass its 
walls unheeded, bent upon a search for wealth. Yet, 
what a wonderful work was done by these old San 
Franciscan missionaries who invaded the barren, 
sandy coasts in search of souls to savci the cross in 
one hand, the sword in the other. A few records 
of their doings will not be uninteresting. 

Cortez had discovered and explored Lower Cali- 
fornia in 1 534, and in his wake had followed Jesuits 
and Franciscan Friars. Their proselytizing system 
was not such as to be in sympathy with the ideas of 
the nineteenth century; but it cannot be denied 
that their zeal and self-denying labours were such 
as to call for admiration, and that they introduced 
among the savage tribes of California a more settled 
form of life, and some idea of moral restraint; 
indeed, some of the lives of the early missionaries 
were examples of heroism and endurance not 
unworthy of the great leaders who had gone 

When the Jesuits were expelled from Lower 
California, in 1767, the Spanish Governor of Mexico 
desired to extend Spanish rule to Upper California, 
and the Franciscan Friars were the pioneers selected. 
Father Junipero Serra, with fifteen friars, invaded 
Upper California with armed followers, both by 
land and sea, and with indomitable perseverance and 
unscrupulousness as to the means employed, they 
succeeded, after many hardships and dangers, in 
establishing themselves, and gaining ascendancy 

OALUFOBNU IN 1850. 87 

over the Indians. Before the end of the eighteenth 
century they had established sixteen missions in 
different parts of Upper California, that of Dolores, 
near San Francisco, being one. Here they ruled 
supreme, each mission being a principality. The 
whole country was divided into four military dis- 
tricts, the head-quarters of which were called the 
"presidio" of the district or jurisdiction. These 
consisted of a square built of sun-dried bricks, 
within which resided the commandant and the troops. 
Here also was the church and mission-house. Out- 
side these were the villages and farms occupied by 
the converts ; these increased yearly, and, it must 
be added, the priors, keeping in view the ends, were 
not particular as to the means. An interesting 
account of these is given by Captain Bushey, who 
visited California in 1826. He says : — 

** This expedition ended in a battle, with a loss, 
in the first instance, of thirty-four of the converts, 
and eventually in the gain, by a second expedition 
sent to avenge the loss of the first, of forty women 
and children of the invading tribes. These were 
immediately enrolled in the list of the mission, and 
as quickly converted to Christianity. I happened 
to visit the mission about this time, and saw these 
unfortunate beings under tuition. They were 
clothed in blankets, and arranged in a row before a 
blind Indian, who understood their dialect, and was 
assisted by an Alcalde to keep order. The tutor 
began by desiring them to kneel, informing them 


that he was going to teach them the names of the 
persons comprising the Trinity, and that they were 
to repeat in Spanish what he dictated. The neo- 
phytes being thus arranged, the speaker began : — 

" * Santissima Trinidada ; Dios^ Jesu Ghristo^ 
Espiritu Santo^^ pausing between each name to listen 
if the simple Indians, who had never spoken a 
Spanish word before, pronounced it correctly, or 
anything near the mark. After they had repeated 
these names satisfactorily, their blind tutor, after a 
pause, said, ^ Santos^* and recapitulated the names 
of a great many saints, which finished the morning's 
tuition. After a few days, no doubt these pupils 
were promising Christians, and admitted to all the 
benefits and privileges of Christians, and gente de 
razon ; indeed, I believe that the act of making the 
cross and kneeling at proper times, and other such 
mechanical rites, constituted no small part of the 
religion of these pious people. The rapidity of the 
conversion is, however, frequently stimulated by 
practices much in accordance with the primary 
kidnapping of the subject. If, as not unfrequently 
happens, any of the captured Indians show repug- 
nance to conversion, it is the practice to imprison 
them for a few days, and then to allow them to 
breathe a little fresh air in a walk round the 
mission, to observe the happy mode of life of their 
converted countrymen, after which they are again 
shut up, and thus continue incarcerated until they 
declare their readiness to renounce the religion of 



their forefathers. As might be believed, the cere- 
monial exercises of the pure Catholic religion 
occupies a considerable share of the time of these 
people ; masses performed twice daily, besides high 
days and holidays, when the ceremonies are much 
grander and of longer duration. And at all the per- 
formances every Indian is obliged to attend under 
the penalty of whipping ; and the same method of 
enforcing proper discipline, as in kneeling at proper 
times, keeping silence, &c.,is not excluded from the 
church service itself. In the aisles and passages of 
the church, zealous beadles of the converted race 
are stationed, armed with sundry weapons, of potent 
influence in effecting silence and attention, and 
which are not sparingly used on the refractory and 
inattentive. These consist of sticks and whips, long 
goads, &c., and they are not idle in the hands of 
the officials that sway them." 

But the rule of the priests was destined to fall ; 
their wealth and power excited the jealousy of the 
Spanish Government, and although they defied it 
for many years, their wealth was, in 1833, reduced 
to very modest proportions. In that year, the vast 
possessions of the mission were secularised and a 
fixed sum was paid them by the Government. The 
glory of the mission had now departed. 

" That, indeed," says Forbes, " was their age of 
gold. Bight bounteous and prosperous times, to 
which many of the Calefornian, and even of the 
old American residents, looked back with regret. 


Then, each mission was a little principalitj, with its 
100,000 acres, and its 20,000 head of cattle. All 
the Indian population, except the " Gentiles " of 
the mountains were the subjects of the Padres ; 
cultivating for them the broad lands, and reve- 
rencing them with the same devout faith as they did 
their patron saint of the settlement. The spacious 
hall, galleries, and court-yards of the missions 
exhibited every sign of order and good government, 
and from the long rows of adobe-dried houses, 
flanking them, an obedient crowd came forth at the 
sound of morning and evening chimes. The tables 
of the padres were laden with the finest fruits, and 
vegetables from their thrifty gardens and orchards, 
and flasks of excellent wine fi*om their own vine- 
yards. The stranger who came that way was 
entertained with lavish hospitality, for which all 
recompense was proudly refused, and on leaving, 
was welcome to exchange his spent horse for his pick 
out of the caballada. Nearly all the commerce of 
the country with other nations was in their hands. 
Long habits of economy and management gave 
them a great aptitude for business of all kinds, and 
each succeeding year witnessed an increase of their 
wealth and authority." 

Such was the history in which this old church 
and fort had played a part. The church, with 
the rude, Gothic arches, faded gilding and paint, 
and un distinguishable portraits of monks and 
saints, was now deserted ; the gold* workers heeded 

OALIFORNU IN 1850. 91 

it not. The ecclesiastical and devotional spirit had, 
for the time, departed. Another spirit was abroad, 
offering on the shrines of Mammon. The old 
barracks and fort at Presidio were also in ruins; 
a few Spanish cannon and mortars with the Cas- 
tilUan arms upon them were the only witnesses that 
a mighty nation once ruled here. 

Another place in the outskirts of San Francisco, 
where I was fond of going was Flag-staff Hill, from 
whence a splendid view was obtained over the town, 
harbour, and surrounding country — a view which 
I thought it worth while to sketch. Just below 
the hill, where the tents show over the crest, was 
"Happy, pleasant and contented Valley,'* a para- 
dise mostly occupied by laundry workers of both 
sexes, and by butchers. What had suggested so 
inappropriate a name for the site of these occupa- 
tions, I know not ; but when once sauntering about 
there, I came upon numberless heads and horns 
of slaughtered animals, which were certainly not 
appropriate to it. 

That California had a great future before it was 
ahready then quite clear, and I wrote to my friends 
in the East, not to be discouraged by the reports 
which victims of dishonesty and the lawless con- 
dition of the place were sending abroad, and which 
were calculated to frighten away honest and legiti- 
mate trade. From the accounts given of the 
interior, it was clear that the desolate aspect of the 
country was confined to a narrow tract on the coast^ 


and that, not far off, the country possessed other 
and more enduring sources of wealth than gold. 
But the facts of the moment were too strong for 
my friends, and they would have nothing to do 
with the place ; and as there was nothing to be 
done at present, it was decided that I should return 
in the ship, and see what could be arranged in the 

About the 12th of September the vessel was at 
last ready to sail, and I went on board, but to find a 
diflSiculty — only nine of the crew of twenty-two had 
stuck to their duty ; these did not suffice to raise 
the anchor, and we had to send on shore for men to 
do it. At last all was ready, and the tide soon took 
us out of the harbour. ** I thank my stars that I 
am once more master of my own ship ! You will 
never catch me in that accursed place again," said 
the captain, as with a sigh of relief he looked 
towards the Golden Gate, now fast fading from our 

But though the captain had got his ship safely 
out to sea, his troubles were not over. Danger- 
ously under-manned, we were yet to be still more 
crippled. Sickness broke out ; the chief officer died 
within a few days, the captain at the same time 
being seriously ill, and some of those left were more 
or less ill. It began to look very serious, and had 
bad weather come on some disaster would have 
happened. Luckily, we had gentle, steady breezes, 
and a smooth sea. I had, however, to stand for 


days at the helm, but it is no hardship to guide 
a ship before favourable winds in fine weather. 
Gradually our invalids recovered ; we crossed the 
Pacific in safety, and reached the coast of China 
without accident. We remained a few days in 
Hong Kong, and then continued our voyage to 

The Califomian speculation had been disastrous 
to my friends ; there was no question of further 
enterprises in that direction. I therefore accepted 
an offer from my late employers to go as their agent 
to Borneo ; but as some months would yet pass 
before I could enter upon my duties there, 1 mean- 
while undertook voyages to Cambodia and Siam. 




At this period, the attention of commercial men in 
Singapore had for some time past been directed to 
the kingdom of Siam and its dependencies. This 
country had formerly claimed suzerainty over the 
entire Malayan peninsula down to the very Straits 
of Singapore, and had carried on an important 
trade with Europe, in which many English ships 
were engaged, but during some years this trade 
had been gradually dwindling away. The cause of 
the decay had been the system of monoply practised 
by the Siamese Government, and the hostile dis- 
position latterly displayed by the old King Phra 
Nang Klau towards Europeans. To the merchants 
of the prosperous free port of Singapore this was 
an unsatisfactory state of things ; they agitated at 
home, and at last induced the English Government 
to send Sir James Brooke on a mission to conclude 
treaties of commerce with Siam and Cochin China. 
This mission left Singapore in 1850, but failed, 


the Siamese Government having refused to enter 
into negotiations, and the relations with Siam 
became in consequence very strained. The trade 
with Singapore entirely ceased, and petitions were 
sent home by one party there, urging coercive 
measures against Siam. 

This state of things being perfectly well under- 
stood both in Siam and its tributary States, the 
latter saw in a rupture with England an oppor- 
tunity for asserting their independence. Amongst 
these States, Cambodia was the most important, as 
well as the one which had suffered most. Situated 
between Siam and Cochin China, it had been 
attacked and plundered by both in turn. When, 
therefore, the reports of the danger incurred by 
Siam reached Cambodia, the King sent an agent to 
Singapore to represent his situation, the capabilities 
of his country, and his desire to be friendly with 
the English, and to open commercial relations with 

An enterprising firm in Singapore resolved to 
put these assertions to a practical test, by sending a 
ship and merchandise, and the conduct of this 
mission was entrusted to me. 

In former days Cambodia was approached from 
the China Sea, through the great Cambodian river 
the Mekong, and large ships used to ascend that 
stream upwards of a hundred miles, to a point 
where four arms unite into one great river, which 
falls into the China Sea at Saigon ; but as the 


Cochin Chinese had long ago closed this waterway 
to Cambodia, the only means of approach now was 
from the Gulf of Siam, and the village of Komput 
remained the only port open to the Cambodians. 
For this place we accordingly laid our course when, 
in February 1851, we lifted our anchor in Singapore 
harbour, having on board the King of Cambodia's 
Agent, Monteiro — a Portuguese by descent. 

From the Gulf of Siam we made for Komput, 
which proved more difficult to find than we had 
expected, as the coast line was incorrectly laid down 
in the Admiralty charts ; according to it, we must 
have sailed eighteen miles inland. At last, however, 
we found the place, and anchored in a picturesque 
gulf, bounded to the east by the islands and 
coast of Cochin China, and on the north and west 
by the mainland and islands of Cambodia. Of the 
village or town of Komput, nothing was, however, 
to be seen from the ship, which, owing to the 
shallow water, had to anchor ten miles from the 

The Gulf of Siam was in those days greatly 
infested by pirates, and Komput, being then an 
unknown port, as yet unvisited by European vessels, 
was more than suspected of being one of their chief 
stations ; in fact, many of the Rajahs and princes 
in the Eastern Archipelago were more or less 
directly engaged in piracy, and I was not by any 
means sure that the King of Cambodia, of whom 
nothing was known, would form an exception. We, 


howerer, had come by his invitation, and he would 
expect this first visit in modem times of an English 
vessel to result in important benefits to his country 
and himself, by the opening up of commercial rela- 
tions with a British settlement, and perhaps direct- 
ing the attention and sympathy of Englishmen to 
his country. There was every reason, therefore, to 
expect that he would protect us as far as his 
authority went; but the question was, as to his 
power. However, we were merchant adventurers, 
and had to take men upon trust, and so, getting 
into the ship's boat with my companions, we 
reached — after a couple of hours* sail — the mouth 
of the river upon which the town is built. The 
stream is about three hundred yards wide, and the 
banks are well wooded with fine forest trees, among 
which is found in abundance a magnificent tree 
which is largely used by the Chinese as masts for 
their junks. A couple of miles up the river the town 
came in sight — a miserable collection of thatched 
bamboo huts, surrounded by filth and mud, strongly 
reminding us of the Malay villages on the other 
side of the gulf; but the population seemed to 
consist mainly of Chinese, and apparently of a very 
depraved, emaciated, opium-smoking class. 

One of these huts, somewhat apart from the 
market-place, and untenanted, was placed at my 
disposal, and having obtained an interpreter, I sent 
him for some of the most respectable Chinese in the 
place, and gathered what information I could from 



them. I gave them particulars of the goods which 
composed our cargo, and eventually disposed of a 
considerable number of boxes and bales, the con- 
tents of which were to be taken in payment for 
the produce of the country, to be collected by 

Meanwhile, we received a visit from the Governor, 
who combined a savage dislike to foreigners vnth 
an intense greed for bribes. Fortunately, Monteiro 
possessed experience and influence which served, to 
some extent, as a protection against the avarice of 
this greedy official, on whom we depended for 
means of proceeding inland to Oudong, the royal 
capital. The cunning subterfuges and crafty dodges 
by which he endeavoured to protract these arrange- 
ments, with a view to black mail, were very 
creditable to his ingenuity ; but as neither my 
temper nor resolution were affected by them, the 
means were at last forthcoming, in the shape of 
nine or ten carts drawn by oxen. 

On the 3rd of March, we started on our journey, 
making very slow progress. The oxen were poor ; 
the carts worse. These latter consisted of a 
number of hoops covered with matting, and resting 
on two wheels, of course without the ghost of a 
spring. In this funnel-shaped conveyance I made 
my bed, and so travelled in a reclining position. 
The road, after traversing a marshy plain, led 
through magnificent forests, containing groves of 
bamboo, wild mango, and various species of palms. 


They were full of wild animals of all kinds. Water 
was very scarce, as we never came across any 
streams, and the ponds — whence travellers were 
usually supplied — were dried up, and contained 
only a thick, green, slimy substance, quite un- 
drinkable ; but in such places the margins were 
trampled by animals, as though a cattle-market had 
been recently held there. Here were the foot- 
prints of the elephant, rhinoceros, wild buffalo, 
tiger, leopard, boar, and deer. As a rule there 
was little underwood, and far away, under the leafy 
canopy, we could see the animals grazing, while 
overhead were the peacock, parroquet, eagle, pigeon, 
&o. We were, therefore, never without game for 
our meals when we encamped, but had rarely 
anything to drink. Occasionally we succeeded in 
quenching our thirst with the delicious toddy of the 
gumuti palm ; but as our food supply consisted 
almost entirely of rice, and we could not eat it raw, 
we had — however repulsive it might be — to make 
use of the aforesaid unwholesome slimy water for 
cooking purposes. 

Oudong lies about 135 miles to the north-east of 
Komput ; but the road to the capital is nearly 200 
miles long. The dry sandy soil made travelling 
heavy and slow, and our progress did not exceed 
twenty miles a day. The carts constantly broke 
down, and had to be repaired with such means 
as could be found in the forest, in the shape of 
rattans, &c. Human habitations were rare. Now 

7 ♦ 


and then we came to a Buddhist monastery, but the 
monks, though they looked picturesque in their 
long yellow robes, were of little use, having nothing 
to offer ns. At night we formed the carts into 
a camp, having the cattle in the centre, and kindled 
fires all round to keep out wild beasts. 

On the fifth day we reached a village where we 
were to change our draught animals, but the people 
assured us that they had none. Monteiro, however, 
knew better. He had the headman put into the 
stocks, and the animals were at once forthcoming. 
We learned here, that a number of elephants had 
passed on the previous day, having been sent by 
the King to meet us, to expedite our journey ; but 
they had missed us. At the few villages which we 
passed, the people crowded round to see us ; they 
appeared a wretchedly poor lot. Though T had 
brought with me all sorts of tempting trifles, with a 
view to barter for food or curiosities, they could 
offer us nothing. On one occasion — when halting 
at such a village— I was wandering about in the 
wood with my rifle, and seeing a wood-pigeon in a 
very high tree, I by good chance brought it down 
with a bullet; the people regarded the performance 
with surprise. Presently they brouo^ht out an 
elephant's tooth, which they told me was of price- 
less value, as no one wearing it could be hit by 
arrow or bullet. The tooth was a good size, and 
would, at thirty or forty yards, offer a fair mark. 
T, therefore, suggested that they should let us have 


a trial at it, to which they willingly consented. We 
accordingly all had a shot by turns. I was not at 
all surprised at missing it myself, though, after my 
late performance, it seemed to impress the people, 
but I was vexed to see one of my companions, who 
was really a good shot, miss it also. The charmed 
tooth was carried away in triumph ; nor could our 
arguments convince them that our bad shooting, 
and not the virtue of the tooth, was the cause. I 
believe that no money could then have bought it. 

Some of the aborigines in Cambodia, known as 
Stiens, use the cross-bow when hunting, and they 
bring down even the elephant with their poisonous 
arrows, which, I was told, take effect very quickly. 

On the evening of the tenth day we at last 
reached Oudong, after a very fatiguing journey. 
We were all worn out, and I was bruised and stiff 
all over. 

We found Oudong to be a very poor-looking place 
like Komput, composed of thatched bamboo huts, 
but containing, according* to native statements, about 
10,000 inhabitants. The fact is, that the town had 
been so often burned down by the Annamites or 
Siamese enemies, and was so likely to suffer this 
experience again, that it was hardly worth while to 
build substantial houses. A bamboo house was 
assigned to us ; but our first night was not destined 
to be a comfortable one. We were disturbed by 
hideous noises, which we soon recognised as the 
howl of jackals — a peculiarly horrible sound. Ere 


long, numbers of them surrounded our house. As 
there was room between the bamboos of the walls to 
push a gun-barrel through, we kept up a steady 
fire at them, but without any great effect, as the 
night was dark. 

Though the present condition of the country is 
one of poverty and decay — the capital itself steeped 
in filth, which invites the jackal by night, and the 
vulture by day ; for these loathsome birds are seen 
everywhere, even round the King's palace — ^yet 
there are still signs of the departed greatness of the 


country in the astonishing remains of the ruined 
palaces and temples of Ongkor, the ancient capital 
of Cambodia, which was situated towards the north- 
east, on the banks of the Mekong, and was the 
residence of monarchs who ruled the mightiest 
empire in the far East, embracing part of the 
present China in the north, and of Burmah in the 
east. The traditions still preserved, tell of twenty 
kings who were tributaries to the ancient sovereigns 
now represented by the King of Cambodia, himself 
now protected by the French Government at Saigon. 
In the centre of Oudong was a large square sur- 
rounded by walls with fortified gates on each of the 
four sides. Within the square was the Eang's palace, 
protected by a second wall. It was not a very 
pretentious building, being of wood, and of the 
same temporary character as the rest of the town. 
The King had sent a message to invite our atten« 
dance, giving us at the same time a hint not to 


talk politics, as emissaries from Siam and Cochin 
China had, he said, arrived to inquire as to the 
meaning of so unusual an occurrence, as the 
presence of an English ship at Komput. 

At this time the King of Cambodia was Phra 
Harirak, or Ongduong. He was about fifty years 
of age, and had ruled Cambodia seven years. 

Fifteen years before, the Cochin Chinese of 
Annam had protected the Cambodians from the 
attacks of the Siamese, and had placed on the 
throne a princess named Neac Ong Ban. The unfor- 
tunate Queen being detected in a correspondence 
with her relations, was condemned and decapitated 
by the Annamite General, who placed her sister on 
the throne ; but after a series of revolts and 
massacres the oppression of the Cochin Chinese 
compelled the Cambodians to appeal to the King of 
Siam, who, after defeating the Annamite troops, 
restored order in the country, and placed Ongduong 
on the throne. He was, however, constrained by 
the Siamese to promise tribute to the King of Cochin 
China, and the latter agreed to join Siam in re- 
cognising him as King of Cambodia, and leaving the 
country in peace, undisturbed by the invasions which 
had been an annual infliction. The King, whose 
full style and titles were Somdetch Phra Harirak 
Maka Issara Tibodi, was not only a tributary of 
Cochin China, but also a vassal of Siam, and might 
not leave the country without the permission of 
the King of Siam, while his eldest son, Rachabodi, 


had been sent to Bangkok as guarantee of his loyalty 
to Siam. Subsequently to my visit at Oudong, I made 
this young man's acquaintance in Siam, and then 
thought that doubtless he and the country which 
he might be called upon to rule, would benefit by 
the teachings which the somewhat more advanced 
and settled condition of Siam could afford him. 

At the appointed time, the King received us in 
audience with rather a poor attempt at regal state. 
There was a sort of throne, and the assembled 
pages and nobles who were all dressed in red gold- 
laced coats, were lying on the floor, awaiting the 
monarch's arrival. I found that the proper head- 
covering for full dress was a hat resembling that 
worn by stage banditti, with a high-pointed peak 
and a very broad brim, the hat-band being replaced 
by a species of coronet. The early Portuguese 
navigators must, I think, have introduced these, to 
which they appeared to attach much importance, 
and as those now in use were in a very dilapidated 
condition anxious inquiries were made as to my 
ability to supply new ones. Head-coverings seemed, 
in fact, to be a weakness in courtly circles at 
Oudong ; tor when invited to the audience, I was 
asked whether it was true that Europeans usually 
wore a black hat of a very peculiar construction. 
When I had admitted this, and given a description 
of it, much disappointment was evinced on learning 
that I could not gratify His Majesty by appearing 
in the European hat. 


The King, a middle-aged, comfortable, somewhat 
heavy, but benevolent-looking man, with features 
deeply marked by small-pox, now made his appear- 
ance. He was surrounded by a crowd of women — 
mostly young girls —who did not in any essential 
way differ in appearance or dress from Malay 
women ; except that their heads were shaved, 
leaving only the Siamese tuft of short, bristly 
hair; the teeth were filed and blackened after the 
disgusting Malay fashion ; the sarong also was 
gathered up, and fastened with a girdle, the bosom 
being covered only with a salendong. They were, 
doubtless, fair representatives of the two or three 
hundred said to inhabit the royal Zenana. 

The King expressed himself as being very pleased 
with our visit, inquired as to our journey, regretting 
that he had been unable to do more for our comfort, 
and then, entering upon matters touching trade, 
told us of the former prosperity of the country, 
when large ships came up the Cambodian River ; 
but he added that there was still a large trade to 
be done, and as a practical proof of this, on my 
return I brought back a valuable cargo of rice, 
pepper, raw silk, ivory, tortoise-shell, cardamoms, 
gamboge, stick-lac, &c. A large quantity of buffalo 
hides and horns, having to be brought down a canal, 
were intercepted by the Cochin-Chinese. Having 
conversed with us for some time — amongst other 
things upon the subject of the currency of the 
country, and intimating that he wished me to pro- 


cure him a coining machine (which was subsequently 
sent to him) — the King entered upon business with 
his officials, most of whom had some report to give, 
which appeared occasionally to cause great amuse- 
ment. We took our leave, after having offered to 
the King some handsome presents, which were 
graciously accepted. 

We were twice invited to the King's private 
apartments, which, as far as appearances went, 
might have been a pawnbroker's shop in a poor 
locality. There were, of course, some valuable 
articles there, but it was a singular medley of things 
— Japanese, Chinese, Malay, and European manu- 
factures, arranged in a manner which showed that 
neither their value nor their intended purposes were 
understood. We were entertained very hospitably, 
most of the dishes being of the nature of stews, 
prepared in Chinese fashion; as to the compo- 
sition of which, it were better not to inquire too 
curiously. The King honoured us by his presence, 
though he did not join in the feast, but went round, 
pointing out the delicacies, carrying all the while 
his youngest son, of whom he seemed very proud. 
He subsequently conducted us through a very neat 
garden, and on leaving, presented us with silk 
stuffs which had been woven in the palace. An 
elepha&t of huge size was subsequently offered, but 
this I gratefully declined to accept. 

During this visit, the King had been more com- 
municative as to the state of the country. He said 


that he was very anxious that English ships should 
again come up the river; but when J asked him as 
to protection through Cochin China, he said, " Good 
heavy guns will be your best passport." 

Two French missionaries arrived from the in- 
terior to see me. They had heard of the arrival of 
an English ship, and having had no news for years 
from the Western World, had bought an elephant, 
and made a fatiguing journey. They told of dread- 
ful persecutions which the missionaries endured in 
Cochin China ; they themselves had been imprisoned 
in underground dungeons and tortured, and had 
narrowly escaped the death which had been the 
portion of many of the converts and some of their 
brethren. They were eager for news, and astonished 
to hear of the Revolutions in Europe and the de- 
thronement of Louis Philippe. 

I made several excursions on ponies covered with 
bells and gaudy trappings, and visited several settle- 
ments on the Cambodian River, which here is a 
magnificent broad stream. On the banks were 
thousands of storks, herons, and other aquatic 
birds, but the bustle of the commerce once carried 
upon it was no longer there. There were few boats 
on the river, and the settlements upon the banks 
were few and scattered. 

We spent about a week at Oudong, and then 
returned on elephants, which was a quicker mode of 
locomotion than carts, and not nearly so fatiguing. 
So long a journey on elephants, was, however, a 


new experience, and on one occasion it became an 
exciting one. We found the forest on fire, the 
animal took fright, set up a startling roar, and 
bolted at a pace something between a trot and 
a gallop, but at a prodigious rate, which made the 
howdah sway like a boat in the sea-way. I was a 
little alarmed as to the consequences, but he was 
finally brought under command again ; otherwise, 
we used to be on excellent terms. A large quantity 
of Chinese sweetmeats had been given me at 
Oudong, and as I did not relish them, I used, at 
halting-places, to regale my elephant, who was 
delighted with them. 

Having completed the loading of the ship at 
Komput, we set sail for Singapore, which we 
reached in the middle of June. 

Thus ended ray journey to Cambodia, of which 
the result, from a commercial point of view, was 
very satisfactory, and inaugurated a trade which 
has since been increasing ; but Cambodia will never 
recover even the shadow of its former prosperity, 
till the Mekong, the magnificent highway which 
nature gave it, shall again be available from its 
upper waters to the sea. 

When returning from Cambodia, I fulfilled my 
promise to the King to plead the interests of his 
country, and 1 had hoped that English enterprise 
would set in in that direction ; but subsequent 
events threw these regions into the hands of the 
French. It suited the policy of Napoleon III. to 


renew French prestige in tliis part of the world. 
The cause of religion, and the cruel treatment of 
French missionaries, was the pretext for inter- 
ference, and it can scarcely be a cause for regret 
that this should be so ; but when I visited Saigon 
twenty years later I could not help seeing that the 
French — though a people with noble instincts, a 
highly gifted and great nation — ^yet have not the 
art of colonising. 

In the evolution of time there will probably 
again be a great future for the beautiful countries 
of Indo-China and the Eastern Archipelago gene- 
rally ; but though Western civilisation will doubtless 
supply the motive power, the real work of rehabili- 
tMing them must be supplied by other races. 

It has already been mentioned how a recent 
mission to negotiate a Treaty of Commerce with 
Siam had failed. The King would not receive the 
British plenipotentiary, and it was thought that the 
British Government would take offence, and force 
Siam into a more friendly course. Petitions, both 
for and against coercion, were sent home from 
Singapore, and Siam was preparing for defence. 

On the eve of leaving Cambodia, a rumour had 
reached me that the old King of Siam was dead, 
and this had caused some interest among the com- 
mercial community at Singapore, for it was known 
that the heir to the throne was an enlightened 
man, and well-inclined towards Europeans. 

Under these circumstances it was thought 


possible to renew oommercial intercourse with 
Siam. I was asked, and gladly consented, 
to make the attempt; I was to call at the 
ports on the Malayan coast going up, in order 
to ascertain the truth of the rumour^ as to the 
King*s death, and only if it was confirmed, to 
shape my course for the river Menam. 

Our vessel bore quite a warlike aspect; she 
carried no less than ten guns, which, however, as 
there were frequent acts of piracy in the Gulf, were 
not unnecessary. Having left Singapore on the 
23rd of June, we passed Cape Roumania, the 
southernmost point of Asia, and had before night 
left the well-known rock Pedro Braneo out of sight. 
Sailing pleasantly along the low forest-clad coast of 
the Malay Peninsula, we found ourselves on the 
i&fth day off Tringanu, and anchored within two 
miles of the river. I landed, and went to the house 
of the Chinese Bandar, with whom I was well 
acquainted, but found him absent. Meanwhile 
messengers came to invite me to the Rajah's pre- 
sence. His Highness, who was sitting in an open 
shed, was very friendly and full of questions as to 
the object of my trip, but as I came to seek infor- 
mation, not to give any, and he either could not or 
would not impart any respecting affairs in Siam, I 
soon took my leave. He told me, however, that he 
had lately taken three piratical boats, and pointed 
towards three large junks, partly burnt, in one of 
which twenty- three men had been killed. A few 


years before this same Rajah was one of the worst 
pirates on the coast, ha7ing a number of piratical 
crafts cruising about on his own account ; Singa- 
pore being so near, he now found it more convenient 
to pose as the suppressor of piracy, but whether 
these boats really were pirates, who could say ? I 
was assured by Chinese that one of them at least 
was not. 

We continued our course north, with light sea- 
breezes by day, and the land wind at night, and the un- 
broken forests of Malacca always in view. We were 
next to call at Calantan ; and on the 30th, towards 
evening, we came in sight of five large Chinese 
junks at anchor, and as we doubted not this was the 
place we were seeking, we bore down for it, but the 
junks looked very suspicious; and as trading junks 
ought long before to have left for China, we began 
to suspect that we now saw before us the piratical 
fleet of which we had heard at Cambodia; we, 
therefore anchored at some distance, opened our 
gun-ports, and gave ourselves, as much as possible, 
the appearance of a man-of-war, which apparently 
had the desired effect, for the next morning the 
suspected crafts had disappeared. 

It took three hours' pull to reach the town, which 
is ten miles up the river. I made for the Rajah's 
house, followed by a crowd of people. Just as I 
reached the place, two newly-caught elephants were 
brought in, followed by a number of tame ones, 
which apparently had been employed in the hunt. 


These Rajahs all being tributary to Siam, were 
greatly interested in the precarious relation- 
ship in which that country was now understood to 
stand to the British Government. They were well 
acquainted with the failure of Sir James Brooke's 
mission, and would apparently have liked a war. 
As regarded the death of the King, they professed 
ignorance, though admitting that rumours to that 
effect were about. 

The next state on the coast, Sangara, was 
reached on the 4th July. The Rajah of this country 
is a vassal of Siam, and the people looked more 
like Siamese than Malays. I expected to obtain 
reliable news here, and, partly to avoid losing time, 
partly that our vessel might run no risk from 
pirates, which we learned had, a short while ago, 
actually carried off the Rajah, holding him at a 
ransom of 10,000 dollars, we anchored eight miles 
from the coast, and I went ashore. The residence 
of the Rajah was surrounded with walls ; he was a 
pure Siamese, and I had to converse with him 
through an interpreter. He was extremely civil, 
though shy in imparting information about Siam, 
but told me that the old King was really dead, and 
so, at last, I had obtained the news which would 
justify me in shaping my course for Siam, and two 
days later we anchored at the mouth of the Menam. 
Three Siamese vessels were lying at anchor outside, 
ready to sail for China, with tribute from the new 
King to the Emperor of China. I was told that I 


would probably meet with a friendly reception. 
This was cheering, and I at once prepared to pro- 
ceed to Bangkok, still some forty miles distant. 

Leaving the vessel at noon, I arrived at Faknam 
at three in the afternoon ; this was a rather dirty 
town, with a fortress, protecting the entrance to the 
river ; and here vessels bound for Bangkok, had to 
undergo inspection, and to leave all arms, ammuni- 
tion, and stores of a war-like character. The forts 
were not of a very formidable nature, as against a 
European foe, though, doubtless, capable of 
defending the river against any native attack. 

The commandant in charge was greatly surprised 
at seeing the British flag, and could not understand 
how news of the King's death could have reached 
Singapore. He evidently thought my coming there 
a somewhat audacious act. I explained that I had, 
during a late stay in Cambodia, heard the news of 
the King's death. " Ah I" he said, ** are you the 
one who has been visiting the King of Cambodia at 
Oudong ? Then we know all about you ; but you 
must return on board, and in a couple of days I 
will send you word as to the King's pleasure 
regarding your taking the vessel up to Bangkok." 
But delay did not suit me ; I was well acquainted 
with native tactics, and knew that this might mean 
indefinite procrastination, and I thought that the 
Siamese Government, being now desirous to con- 
ciliate English interests, were unlikely to send the 
first ship under English flag, inhospitably away. I 



therefore intimated tliat if they sent me on board 
again I should not return. This had the desired 
effect, and, after a couple of hours' .delay, I was 
permitted to proceed up the river, a messenger 
having meanwhile been despatched with the news. 

I left the fort at 8 p.m., and did not reach 
Bangkok till 11 next day, having sailed and pulled 
by turn all night ; when, some days later, I again 
leisurely ascended the river in the ship, often having 
to anchor when the tide was against us. I used fre- 
quently to land, and, seeing large numbers of pigeons 
on the roofs of the pagodas and temples, I thought 
it a good opportunity to bag some. I was thus 
busily occupied, dividing my attention between two 
of these sacred buildings, firing away right and left, 
and had already secured several birds, when loud 
shouting made me look round, and I saw a crowd 
of yellow-robed Buddhist priests, armed with sticks, 
rushing towards me, evidently much excited. It had 
not occurred to me that I was on forbidden ground, 
but as there was no mistake that hostility was in- 
tended, I beat a hasty retreat to my boat, and made 
a note about pigeon -shooting in Siam. 

The approach to Bangkok is picturesque, the 
river is skirted by gardens and plantations; the 
trees and vegetation generally being very fine ; and 
as the town is approached, richly decorated temples 
become more and more frequent. By and by rows 
of floating houses come in view, which show that 
Bangkok is reached. The plateau on which the 


city is built being low, and subject at certain times 
of the year to the inundation of the river, these 
floating shops, which can be moved from place to 
place, are very convenient. The houses on terra 
firma are, as a rule, built upon posts, like Malay 

Siam, like Cambodia, and the Eastern Archi- 
pelago generally, is a country with great natural 
resources, but very partially developed for want of 
population, which is estimated at 6,000,000, but 
probably without reliable data. Siam is mainly a 
level plain, formed by two spurs of mountains, 
which are offshoots of a great mountain chain which 
runs through the southern provinces of China. 
This valley, watered in its whole length by the river 
Menam, which, like the Nile, yearly overflows its 
banks, leaving an alluvial deposit, is very rich for 
agricultural purposes. Bice, sugar, coffee, and 
other produce is largely grown, and the fruit of 
Siam is, in quality, amongst the finest in the East. 
In minerals also the upper part of the country is 
probably rich, but they are but little worked. The 
people are inclined to be indolent, and here, as 
elsewhere in these parts, it is the Chinese who 
are the leaven, and who, though as yet forming but 
a small fraction of the population, are foremost in 
agricultural pursuits. As traders, however, they 
have not got it quite their own way, for the 
Siamese nobles, and even the princes, engage 
largely in trade, and at the time I was there, 

8 ♦ 


monopoly was the order of the day. The system is 
doubtless disappearing as time goes on and treaties 
with European States come into force; but the 
demands for Western manufactures by a nation, 
the bulk of which is still living in a primitive 
manner, must continue limited. European mer- 
chants will, also, experience keen competition from 
the natives and Chinese. 

At the time of my arrival European trade with 
Siam had for years languished; the Portuguese, 
and after them the Dutch, had been the first 
in the field ; but their factories and influence no 
longer existed. French enterprise had mainly been 
directed towards the extension of the Church, and 
England had not been very successful in her nego- 
tiations for treaties. Crawfurd failed in 1822. The 
treaty concluded by Burney in 1826 still made 
British subjects amenable to Siamese laws, and, 
finally. Sir James Brooke's mission in 1850 had, as 
we have seen, proved a failure, as had also that of 
Mr. Ballestier on the part of the United States. 

One Portuguese gentleman was the only repre- 
sentative left of European merchants. To him 1 
had letters of introduction, and was received with 
the greatest kindness and hospitality. 

One of the obstacles to foreign trade in Siam, was 
the oppressive mode of levying duty on ships. The 
usage was, to take the measure across the deck, 
and to pay accordingly. Besides the amount thus 
charged being excessive, this acted unfairly for 


vessels of small burden. I therefore determined 
that if they wanted my ship to oome up the river, 
they should grant me this concession ; and when the 
following day, I was admitted to an interview with 
the Praklang, or Foreign Minister, I told him of my 
intention. He promised to do his best, which pro- 
mise I fortified, according to the custom of the 
country, by liberal presents ; nor was I deceived, in 
due course I was informed that not only was my 
request granted, but that the King intended to give 
me an audience, and what was more, it was to be 
an audience of a public and imposing character — in 
order, as I was informed, that this change of an old 
custom of the country might be made in the presence 
of the notabilities of the state. 

I should here mention, that the King just 
deceased, being an illegitimate son, had no right 
to the throne ; his half-brother, the present King's 
father, had been the real heir, and this man's son, 
fearing that his uncle might think it necessary 
to firmly establish his throne by removing him, 
sought safety within the monastic walls, and 
became a Buddhist monk. To this he probably 
owed his erudition, which in some branches of know- 
ledge — for instance, astronomy — is said to be con- 
siderable. He also had a knowledge of many 
Eastern languages, including Sanscrit, as well as of 
Latin and English, all of which was partly due to 
missionary instruction, but mainly to self-teaching. 
His greater knowledge had doubtless helped him 


to a better appreciation of the outer world, and 
his country's relations to it, than his predecessor 
had possessed. 

That very curious office in Siam, of Second 
Eling, was occupied by the King's brother ; though 
not really invested with kingly powers, he, never- 
theless, enjoyed many privileges not allowed to the 
lieges. He also had enlightened ideas, and a desire 
to adopt European civilization ; he had a guard in 
European uniform, and owned a small steamer, said 
to have been constructed under his own supervision, 
was in fact, a well-informed man, desirous to promote 
the well-being of the country. 

On the day appointed for the audience, I went 
with my Portuguese host, in a handsome barge, to 
the palace, or rather that quarter of the town occu- 
pied by His Majesty — a large space, surrounded by 
high walls, and containing temples, barracks, and 
dwelling-houses, for the royal retinue, which pro- 
bably number several thousands ; the royal wives 
alone amounting to over 500. 

Having arrived at the palace, we were shown into 
a room where we had to wait some considerable 
time. Here there was a large gathering of officials 
in their gayest attire. The princes and great officers 
of state were, however, still to come, and one by one 
they arrived, carried in magnificent sedan chairs, 
each with a following of from ten to thirty men ; 
the emblems of their dignity — ^golden swords, tea- 
pots, and siri-boxes— being carried before them upon 


silken cushions. We had been kept waiting outside 
the inner walls of the palace, but they were now all 
called away, except my companion and myself. 
After a while we also were invited into an open 
space in the centre of which was the audience hall. 
A guard of about 200, in European uniform, white 
trousers and red coats, was drawn up at the entrance 
to the outer hall. We were received by the Minister 
for Foreign Affairs, with whom was an interpreter, 
and the Master of the Ceremonies, in a court dress, 
given him, as he informed me by Sir James Brooke. 
The ticklish question of " kowtow,'* or kneeling in 
the King's presehce, was got over by allowing us a 
low seat. A magnificent golden screen stood in 
front of the porch leading to the inner hall. After 
stepping past it, I saw the Siamese monarch sitting, 
or rather reclining upon his throne; the Prime 
Minister lying on the steps, the Princes on either 
side, right and left, while the councillors and cour- 
tiers, a couple of hundred of them, lay in two long 
rows on their faces on either side of the hall. 

The sight was a novel and rather gorgeous one. 
The throne, which was raised several feet from the 
floor, was richly gilded ; on either side was a golden 
and silver tree. The King, whose lower garments 
and girdle were glittering with gold and precious 
stones, was naked to the waist, unlike his courtiers, 
who all were dressed in rich robes or jackets. He 
seemed past middle age, was thin, fair complexioned, 
and had an air of good nature ; being in mourning 


for the late King, his head was shaved, the usual 
custom being to leave a tuft of hair over the fore- 
head. Before him lay a golden sword, with which 
he was now and then playing during the audience. 
But all this state left nevertheless an unpleasant 
impression of the abject servility of the scene. It 
was distressing to see this crowd, many of them fat 
old men, in this uncomfortable crouching position, 
resting on knees and elbows, and not daring to lift 
their faces during the whole of the audience. It 
represented but too faithfully the condition of the 
people ; for as the nobles here prostrate themselves 
before the King, so do they, in their turn exact 
homage and slavish obedience ; and so on, through 
every class of the people, one class only excepted, 
viz. the " talapoins," or priesthood ; they alone 
stoop to none, but on the contrary, though living 
upon alms, they receive these with unconscious 
indifference, the giver offering his alms with due 
humility ; absorbed in self-contemplation, the Bud- 
dhist priest is dead to the outer world, and disregards 
all that goes on around him. 

The audience did not last long. I was asked to 
state my business, which was done, and repeated by 
the interpreter. The King then asked a number of 
questions, showing that he knew all about my visit 
to Cambodia, and on the Malayan coast ; inquired 
also as to the feeling in Singapore towards Siam, 
and wound up by granting my request, stating at 
the Fame time that he expected the British Govern- 


ment would again send an Ambassador to Siam, 
when a treaty would be formally concluded. It was 
his wish, he said, to do all in his power to encourage 
European commerce^ and he felt sure that the intro- 
duction of European capital into the country would 
have the effect of greatly increasing the production 
of the staples of the country, and especially of 

I had written a letter congratulating the King 
upon his accession, which was handed to him, and to 
which he, sitting upon the throne, wrote the following 
answer : — 

" Compliments and thanks from Somdet Phra 
Parra-Manda, newly-exalted King of Siam, to 
Mr. Helms, 26th July, 1851"; and he ordered the 
great seal to be attached to it. 

Two days later, I had a similar interview with 
the second King, who had his troops reviewed in my 
presence, and on my departure presented me with 
a gold and silver flower, a sign of grace and 

The Siamese being Buddhists bum their dead, 
and such a burning of the remains of two persons 
related to the royal family was shortly to take place, 
and to be the occasion of great festivities. It was 
the day before my departure, and the Foreign 
Minister received the King's special request to 
invite me. There were, I was told, about 15,000 
people present. The Kings arrived in great state, 
and, the burning over, there were all sorts of 


festivities, during whioh the King, who with his 
&inily and suite occupied the royal box, threw new 
golden and silver coins, concealed in lemons, amongst 
the people. I had my place near him, between the 
Foreign Minister and the son of the King of Cam- 
bodia, who listened with great interest to the 
account I gave him of my visit to his father's 
residence at Oudong. The King, on his departure, 
addressed a few kindly words to me, and invited me 
to settle in Siam. 

I likewise received much courtesy from the 
ministers; the Phra Kalahom (Prime Minister) 
entertained me at his palace, when, after refresh- 
ment, a theatrical performance was given by the 
inmates of his zenana. 

Presents in produce were returned, exceeding in 
value those I had offered ; they consisted of 200 
piculs of sugar, several piculs of gamboge, stick-lac, 
&c. Finally the Government entrusted me with 
a large order for all kinds of armaments, war-like 
stores, machinery, &c., to the value of over £20,000; 
in fact, I had every reason to be pleased with my 

SARAWAK '\'^ y' 

J - ■. 

..'.., jy ; '. : . ■ '".■.' 



r ^ 




In commencing this new chapter of my life in the 
Island of Borneo, it is not my purpose to enter at 
length into any description of the island, or of the 
territory of Sarawak, a settlement which may claim 
a small space in the history of the British Empire, 
or at least of the British race, as the scene of the 
labours of Sir James Brooke. But as a preface 
to the record of my personal experiences in what 
was to me an unknown land, some brief account of 
Borneo in 1851 may not be thought superfluous. 

This great island, inferior only to Australia, or 
perhaps to New Guinea, in extent, will doubtless, in 
time to come, be one of the most important countries 
of the far East. Its vast resources only need de- 
velopment, and its numerous rivers, rising in the 
centre of the island, are ready to serve as natural 
highways for the transport of the mineral and 
vegetable products, which have as yet only been 
partially exploited. 


Up to the year in which Sir James, then Mr. 
Brooke, arrived, the country was of little account to 
the outside world. The Dutch, it is true, occupied 
in the south and south-east the largest and the most 
populous part of the island, which has an area of 
about 300,000 square miles, with something like 
2,000,000 inhabitants, fully one-half of which are 
claimed as dependents of the Dutch, who, however, 
have not the power and resources to maintain more 
than a nominal rule over these vast dependencies. 
A few hundred Europeans rule in Borneo over more 
than one million of natives, who mostly live in the 
roadless forests. The Dutch being practical people, 
leave the government of savage tribes, which it will 
not pay to govern, to be dealt with by Malay 
Sultans, or Dyak chiefs. At the entrance of the 
principal rivers they build forts, held by a com- 
mandant and a small garrison, a Resident with a few 
officials resides at the head-quarters of the Sultan 
or Rajah, and a gun-boat or two are on the river. 
This suffices to maintain the Suzerainty of the 
Netherlands Gk)vernment, who, however, require 
now and then to undertake a punitory expedition 
when the Dyaks or Chinese rebel against their Malay 

But upon the whole, rapine and bloodshed had then 
ceased to be as prevalent in that part of the island 
which they claimed, as they continued to be in the 
remaining portion. This, though nominally subject 
to the Sultan of Brunei, and the other chiefs of minor 

BOBN£0. 125 

importanoe, really enjoyed no settled government, 
the authority of the Sultan being mainly exercised 
by means of mandates for extorting forced contri- 
butions, or " squeezes," whenever practicable. The 
rule of the Sultan of Brunei might not inaptly be 
compared with the upas tree which grows near his 
palace. Oppression, originating with the Sultan, 
branched oS through his nobles, and from them 
again through meaner subordinates, till the unfor- 
tunate people were overshadowed and blighted by 
a net- work of cruelty and corruption. The stronger 
tribes seized the opportunity of oppressing their 
weaker or less warlike neighbours, and head-hunting, 
which no doubt originally was practised to obtain 
trophies of war, became indiscriminate and universal. 
Head-hunters roamed through the forests, while 
piratical tribes scoured the coast, and the advantages 
possessed by the latter were so great as compared 
with the inland tribes shut out from the sea, that 
they tended to develop stronger and more vigorous 
races on the sea-board than in the interior. Hence 
arose the distinct division of land and sea Dyaks, 
between whom a chronic warfare existed, which 
together with diseases such as small-pox, for which 
the poor savages had no remedy, tended to depopulate 
the island. 

Such was the state of the country when, in 1839, 
an English gentleman, James Brooke, appeared on 
the scene. His antecedents were shortly these : born 
in 1803, he entered the Hon. East India Company's 


service ; and served in 1825 in Burmah, where he was 
severely wounded in one lung and invalided home. 
The wound procured him nearly five years' leave of 
absence, and a pension of £70 a year for life. 
Betuming to India in 1830, and anxious to arrive 
before the lapse of the five years' furlough should 
delay his chance of promotion, he was shipwrecked, 
and proceeded to Madras in the Gastle of Runtly^ 
a slow vessel which successfully prevented his getting 
to Bengal before the expiration of his time. He 
made this an excuse for leaving the Company's 
service, the real reason, however, being that he had 
conceived a tasto for adventure and for the sea, and 
an accidental friendship made on board had set him 
longing to visit the unknown countries of the East, 
and especially the islands of the Archipelago. 

The Castle of Huntly went to China, and thither 
Brooke went also. On his way he had an opportunity 
of seeing the islands of the Eastom seas; their 
beauty, and the veil of mystory which still covered 
them, strengthened his longings for adventure, and 
he resolved some day to return and explore these 
strange seas and lands. Shortly after he returned 
to England his father died, leaving him £30,000. 
He was thus enabled to carry out his wish. He 
bought a small schooner of 142 tons, and sailed, in 
the autumn of 1838, for Singapore. 

At this time the Island of Borneo was almost un- 
known. The Sultan of Brunei was known by name 
only, but his rule extended nominally over the entire 

BOBNEO. 127 

north-west coast of the island, bounded in the south 
by the Dutch settlement of Sambas ; the southern- 
most part of the territory of Brunei being the pro- 
vince of Sarawak, which was at that time governed 
by the Sultan's uncle, Muda Hassim, who had been 
sent down by the Sultan to quell a revolt, but in 
which he had so far failed, the fighting resulting— 
Borneo fashion — in a chronic state of warfare. 

At the time of Mr. Brooke's arrival in Singapore, 
some shipwrecked seamen had brought an account of 
kindly treatment received by them at the hands of 
Muda Hassim, and the Singapore authorities being 
desirous to make some acknowledgment of this 
kindly act, Brooke accepted the mission to take 
letters and presents across to Sarawak, and he 
anchored for the first time at Kuching on the 15th 
August 1839. 

Accident directed the future Bajah of Sarawak to 
the scene of his labours, and doubtless circumstances 
gradually wove the threads of his destiny; yet it was 
a strange determination for an English gentleman 
of independent fortune, eminently suited to enjoy 
social life and aspire to worldly distinction, of his 
own free will to choose a scene like this for his 
life's labour — for what was Sarawak at that time ? 
A few scattered communities, remnants of tribes, 
still remained on the most inaccessible parts of the 
lime-stone hills, which like islands here and there 
stand out of the level sea of dense jungle. These poor 
emaciated Dyaks passed a wretched existence amidst 


pigs and filth, Uving in continual dread, at times 
descending into the lower valleys in search of food, 
but furtively, as the timid deer, lest the stronger 
hostile tribes should be upon them. The popula- 
tion immediately surrounding Mr. Brooke's resi- 
dence consisted mainly of corrupt Malays, broadly 
speaking, divided into two classes, viz. nobles and 
slaves, poor and idle, and ever ready to coalesce 
with the stronger Dyak tribes on the sea-coast for 
the oppression of the weak. The sea Dyaks, though 
the most formidable, were nevertheless by far the 
best and most hopeful element of the population 
for a ruler possessing adequate means for their 
subjection to deal with. 

But what a task for unaided private enterprise I 
To stop and turn back the savagery and decay of 
centuries ; to step in between the oppressor and the 
oppressed with a code of morals and ideas of justice 
hardly comprehensible to them; to brave all the 
perils of open enmity and secret treachery and of 
war-like expeditions in feverish jungles, all the 
anxieties of pecuniary deficiencies for the wants of 
government, and almost worst of all, in his case, 
the persecution of countrymen who, with pardonable 
incapacity to appreciate the circumstances amongst 
which the Kajah laboured, combined the unpar- 
donable assumption to judge him. 

What Bajah Brooke might have made of Borneo, 
but for this opposition, it is now difiicult to say. 
To the future historian Sir James Brooke will pro- 



BOfiKEO. 129 

bably appear a more dramatic personage by reason 
of his independent action and unmerited persecution ; 
but those who, like myself, were witnesses to and 
understood the import of the work he was doing, 
could not but deplore this senseless opposition to a 
good and noble work. 

That a first sight of Borneo should have inspired 
a romantic disposition I can well understand. 
When, on the 16th January 1852, I for the first 
time steamed past Tanjong Datu in the Hon. East 
India Company's war-steamer Pluto, I beheld with 
delight the country which was for so many years 
to be my home. Following the coast line of the 
deep bay formed by the two points Datu and Sirik, 
the landscape presented ranges of picturesque moun- 
tains of varying dimensions and diversified outlines. 
From the range of ** Poi," rising nearly 5,000 feet 
above the sea, a succession of hills and fertile valleys 
extended as far as the Sarawak river at the bottom 
of the bay, the entrance being marked by the beautiful 
mountain Santubong. Its steep slopes, rising from 
the embouchure of the river to a height of 2,000 feet, 
were covered to the very top by magnificent timber, 
while the white sandy beach at its foot was bordered 
by graceful casuarinas. 

At the time of my arrival in Sarawak, a Com^ 
mission appointed by the British Government at 
the instance of the Eajah's enemies in England, to 
inquire into his actions in Borneo, was about to 
sit in Singapore, and this uaturally cast some gloom 



over the small English community in Sarawak, 
where it was felt that the proceedings would tend 
to lessen the Bajah's prestige. 

I had come to Borneo as the agent of a com- 
mercial firm to buy up the antimonial ore, and 
generally to develop the trade of the country, which 
as yet was insignificant, the trading community 
consisting of a few Chinese and Klings, whose 
shops in native-built huts made up the bazaar of 
Kuching. Yet humble as was this beginning of 
Rajah Brooke's capital, it was a great improvement 
upon what he had found when he first arrived in 
Sarawak. The comfortable Government House in 
process of construction, half a dozen European 
bungalows, and a pretty little church, showed that 
European civilisation had been fairly planted in the 

A memorandum recording my first arrival in 
Sarawak contains the following entry : — " Arrived 
this day in the steamship Pluto from Singapore. 
Called upon Captain Brooke, who asked me to take 
up my residence in the Government House till such 
time as I made my arrangements. I was during 
the day introduced to Mr. Arthur Crookshank, the 
magistrate; Mr. Ruppell, treasurer; Mr. Spencer 
St. John, Rajah Brooke's secretary ; Mr. Crymble, 
in charge of the fort ; the missionaries Fox, Nicholls, 
and Chambers; and Mr. Hentig, a planter." These, 
and two or three others in subordinate positions, 
constituted the European population of the town of 

fiOBNfiO. 181 

Kuohing on my first arrival there, the Rajah being 
absent in England, and Mr., afterwards Bishop 
MacDougaU and family on their voyage home. 

In the steamer which had brought us over 
Captain Brooke and Mr. St. John embarked, to join 
an expedition sent by the British Government to 
punish pirates who had taken an English schooner 
in Maludu Bay on the north coast of Borneo. 

It took nearly a month after my arrival in 
Sarawak before I could take possession of the little 
mat-bungalow which was to be my future residence. 
It was veiy small — little more than a square box of 
palm-leaves, divided into two parts, one being the 
bed, the other the sitting-room, with a verandah 
all round. It was, however, prettily situated on 
the top of a hill looking down upon the river, town, 
villages, and mountain-ranges beyond; but the 
clearing at that time was not large, and the sombre 
forests surrounded us on every side. My entire 
staff consisted of a Chinese cook and a Ealing clerk 
and factotum, my faithful Abdullah, who for 
twenty years served the Company and myself with 
unsurpassed devotion; we shared good and evil 
days together. He was my only assistant then, 
and our business transactions were very trifling; 
but thousands of men were at work for us, directly 
and indirectly, before I left. 

But neither of these two servants lived in my 
bungalow; and it speaks volumes for the effect 
already produced by Rajah Brooke's rule, that I 

9 • 


felt it safe to live absolutely alone in this jungle- 
surrounded bungalow, having no one within call. 

With adequate occupation for body and mind, I 
soon fell into this mode of life, lonely though it 
seemed at first. Coming, as I did, with consider- 
able experience from different parts of the East, 
and having been in close contact with natives of 
various races and classes, I soon understood the 
situation here. 

My principal business during the first two years 
in Sarawak was to attend to the working and 
shipping of antimony ore, which then was obtained 
by the Chinese and Malay gold-diggers, who, as the 
means of earning money in Sarawak were as yet 
few, were eager to work the mines, while Dyaks 
firom Seribas and Sakarran, who but a few years 
before had been a dread to the land Dyaks, were 
now working peaceably side by side with these; 
next to the Chinese these men were our best work- 
men. Considering the mixture of nationalities and 
tribes working here together, there were sur- 
prisingly few disputes ; most of those which did 
occur arose from the attempts of Malays to outwit 
and impose upon the more honest and simple- 
minded Dyaks, of whom we rarely had to complain. 

A good deal has been written about the honesty 
of the Dyaks, and doubtless, as a rule, this is true ; 
but they were not immaculate, as the following 
story will show : — 

On arriving at my office one morning I dis- 

BORNEO. 133 

covered that the safe was open and about 700 
dollars had been abstracted. The accomplishment 
of the theft had been easy enough, for the thief had 
got possession of the key, which had been left in a 
writing-desk in the oflBce. But in order to escape 
with his booty the culprit had also to steal a boat, 
which, as he was paddling down the river, was 
by good luck recognised by the owner, who re- 
possessed himself of it ; the heavy basket of dollars 
then attracted attention, and, in short, within a few 
hours my property was restored. The man was 
put in irons, but escaped, and found means once 
more to conceal himself in my office, where, .one 
morning, we found that the safe had been again 
attempted, this time, however, without success. 
The audacity of the attempt at once led me to 
suspect my previous visitor, and thinking it not 
improbable that a third attempt might be intended, 
I had the office searched, and sure enough our 
Dyak friend was found concealed in a loft overhead, 
whence, through a hole in the ceiling, he had 
leisurely watched my proceedings. Once more he 
was consigned to the fort, from which he escaped 
when the Chinese attacked it. 

Bajah Brooke had wisely adapted his system of 
government to the circumstances by which he was 
surrounded. To have attempted violent reforms, 
based upon western ideas of morality and justice, 
would have been hopeless. The amelioration of the 
condition of the people was a work requiring time 


and patience. He took no stops of importance 
without taking the people into his confidence, and 
he, in fact, associated the chiefs who had exercised 
authority previous to his arrival in the government. 
These, who bore the title of Datu, were three in 
number, and amongst them and their descendants 
there were men of the best Malayan type — able, 
gentlemanly, and courteous. 

I attended every Wednesday at the Court, which 
was presided over by the Rajah, Captain Brooke, 
or Mr. Crookshank, and where the Datus also 
assisted and joined in the examination of cases 
with the greatest intelligence ; it was a Court of 
Equity guided to some extent by Mahomedan laws 
and usages. 

Criminal as well as civil cases were brought 
before us, but a great proportion were debt cases. 
The Kling traders particularly were very litigious, 
and seemed to enjoy it, law being cheap. I have 
reason to know that entirely fictitious cases, 
which it took us hours to examine, were got up, 
and that it was a subject of betting who should 
gain his case. 

In latter days trial by jury was introduced in 
criminal cases, and when the accused were China- 
men, the jurymen were selected from Europeans, 
Malays, and Chinese. I will not express an opinion 
as to whether the system was a safe one under such 
circumstances, but, as foreman of the jury, other- 
wise composed of the Malay chiefs and principal 

BOBNEO. 135 

Chinese traders, I usually found it impossible to 
extract an independent opinion ; the answer to my 
question, " Guilty, or not guilty ? " usually was, 
" Apa katta tuan ? *' (What do you say, sir ?) 

The first five years of my life in Sarawak were 
passed in uneventful quiet, but I look back upon 
them with unfeigned pleasure. Our society con- 
sisted entirely of the gentlemen connected with the 
Rajah and his Government, of the mission, of which 
Mr. MacDougall was the head, about fifteen in all 
(including only one lady), and of these some were 
stationed on the coast ; but these latter were fre- 
quent visitors at head-quarters, where they were 
always welcome, for the Eajah did not keep 
young men who had joined him, and laboured in 
the common cause, under strict rules of discipline. 
He surrounded himself with gentlemen, and knew 
well that such work most zealously when trusted 
and left to themselves, and nobly they did their 
duty — many of them giving their lives for the 
cause. It is with a feeling of sadness that I think 
of them all ; for few are left, and to most of them 
their life's labour must have seemed a thankless 
task — not excepting their chief himself. In reality, 
however, they did not work in vain, though it 
might appear so then. The truth is, that in civilis- 
ing a country so deeply sunk in barbarism as was 
Sarawak when Sir James Brooke first arrived there, 
the labour of one lifetime is not rewarded by the 
fruition of success ; whether we regard the govern- 


ment, or the church mission, or the commercial 
development of the country, the first twenty-five 
years seemed to have brought nothing but dis- 
appointment and vexation of spirit, though in 
reality the foundation was then laid for others to 
build upon. 

UnhappUy the time was not distant when 
shadows were to fall over the little community, 
when affection, confidence, and friendship, the 
growth of years, were to be destroyed ; but this 
time was not yet. I am writing of 1856, the year 
preceding the Chinese insurrection. The deadly 
disease which had afflicted the Rajah had been over- 
come, without apparently affecting him ; he was 
convalescent, and his gentleness and winning man- 
ners were probably never more conspicuous to his 
friends than at this period of thankfulness for his 
recovery, when the affection of his surviving friends 
— Europeans and natives — must have been soothing 
to his mind. At this period T stayed with him at 
the sanitarium which Captain Brooke had built for 
him on the mountain of Sei'ambu, and the charm of 
his society is still vivid in my recollection. Later 
on, at Kuching, during our evening rides, when he 
used to walk his old Arab along the two miles of 
road which was all that Kuching then boasted, he 
liked to talk over the political and commercial pro- 
spects of the country, to hear of my doings, and to 
give the latest information which the natives had 
brought— it might be touching some discovery of 

BORNEO. 187 

coal or otlier mineral, such as they were always 
bringing, generally with nothing in it. " I shall 
make you an abang, Helms," he once laughingly 
said to me, "if that turns out a workable coal- 
seam." The material prosperity and commercial 
progress of the country was a matter very near his 
heart, and as I was naturally likewise deeply in- 
terested in it, there was a bond of sympathy 
between us. He took a lively interest in every 
new step of our commercial career. At one time I 
had the pleasure of inviting him to turn on steam 
to work the first engine which had ever been used 
for manufacturing purposes in the island of Borneo; 
at another, to celebrate the departure of the first 
English ship which carried the produce of Borneo 
to Europe direct. 

My time was divided between my office and the 
antimony mines, and I was brought into daily con- 
tact with all classes of the population. The people 
at first were poor, and came to me for advances, to 
enable them to collect the produce of the forest, to 
build boats, or to undertake trading adventures, and 
it was interesting to watch the development of the 
resources of the country. I was at first somewhat 
impatient at what seemed the slowness of the process. 
I would willingly have seen these small rivulets of 
trade, which began to trickle out of the boundless 
wealth of Borneo's resources, rapidly expand into a 
broad stream of commerce, but experience taught 
me that time had to be accounted with ; trade is an 


important civilizing agent, but it oonld not at once 
alter the habits of the people, the great bulk of 
whom were poor, idle, and distrustful, all the result 
of misrule and oppression. They had to learn that 
their earnings were secure before they thought it 
worth while to work for the acquisition of property. 
As yet, the Chinese trading element was not large. 
As it increased, the trade developed, and the com- 
bined effect of regular Government and increasing 
prosperity had a wonderful effect upon the people ; 
but we need not go to Borneo for illustrations to 
prove that poverty is an incentive to crime, while 
prosperity brings decency and order into the outward 
life, as well as self-respect and contentment. 

My pleasantest duties in Borneo were those con- 
nected with the mines in Upper Sarawak. In after 
years I had occasion to explore the country carefully, 
and ascended most of the mountains, which, as they 
are chiefly of the Umestone formation, are, as a rule, 
diflBcult to ascend, but very picturesque. The two 
streams which form the Sarawak river, originating 
in a range of sandstone mountains 3,000 feet high, 
unite some fifteen miles from their sources and flow 
through a limestone formation, and scenery of ex- 
ceeding beauty. In the district embraced by the 
two streams, the antimony and gold was mainly 
worked, though not confined within this boundary, 
and as the great-er part of the ore was obtained by 
the natives and Chinese in shallow diggings, the 
washing of the soil yielding gold-dust, often amongst 

BORNEO. 189 

the boulders of antimony, the men, scattered in small 
parties over the district, were frequently changing 
their ground. I used to find them working the ore in 
the most varied localities, now in some picturesque 
dell in the mountains, or in crevices deep within 
them, or on tower-like summits or craggy pinnacles 
only accessible by ladders, and yet, in such unlikely 
places, the water- worn boulders of the richest ore 
might be found lying like so many eggs in a nest ; 
in other places, these boulders lay deep in the clayey 
soil, from which the Chinese, by extensive trenching 
and sluicing operations, extracted both gold and 
antimony. It is wonderful that in a comparatively 
small district this has been going on for forty or 
fifty years, apparently yielding as much metal as 
when it was the cause of the wars going on in the 
country when Sir James Brooke first arrived there. 
Occasionally we came across dykes, containing the 
antimony in situ, but as a rule these had been 
decomposed and broken up through the action of 
water. In some cases, again, we found the antimony 
in large masses, and of the richest quality, embedded 
in clay slate. 

This district was reached from Kuching by boat. 
The voyage, which took about four hours, was pleasant 
enough ; we reclined on mats and pillows, in a boat 
well screened against sun and rain, and propelled by 
a crew of lusty Malays, whose songs, often impro- 
vised, formed an accompaniment to the regular 
strokes of the paddles. 


The scenery in the upper part of the river, par- 
ticularly of the right branch, is extremely beautiful. 
The stream grows shallow here, with rapids ; the 
rocks and pebbles are seen through the clear 
water, which in many places has worn its bed deep 
in the limestone, undermining the ri,er.b<mke, 
leaving huge shelving masses of limestone over- 
hanging the water, upon which often grow mighty 
trees of fantastic shape, suspended over the river in 
a manner which makes one wonder how the roots 
can sustain the enormous weight. Overhead the 
branches meet, forming a green vault, and from 
which are suspended all the wondrous vegetable 
forms of the tropical forest. Garlands of creepers, 
and ferns in endless variety, hue and form ; flowers, 
too, though seemingly not abundant, are there, but 
owing to the height of the trees they are not readily 
observed without a glass; of orchids caelogyne, 
dendrobium, vanda, cyprapedium, and above all the 
rhododendron, here an orchid, delight the senses by 
their beauty and fragrance. Nor is the dense mass 
of the surrounding foliage without its variety of 
tint, and its sombre hue serves to show off the 
graceful and flowering plants which line the bank. 
Here is the tree-fern, fifteen to twenty feet high, 
and above the white and crimson masses of the 
clerodendron are seen the orange and golden 
ioxora and the lilac bongor. Here and there the 
precipitous sides of the limestone hills, looking like 
the hoary walls of some ancient ruin, covered with 

BORNEO. 141 

moss, ferns, and creeping plants, are seen above the 
trees, forming a picturesque setting to the beautiful 
vegetation. Now and again, marking past or present 
Dyak settlements, are groves of palms, or graceful 
groups of bamboo, while high over all the stately 
tapang tree rears its crown on a stem, straight as 
the poplar, and often 150 feet to the first branch. 

How pleasant it was, after a day of fatigue and 
jungle- work, to glide down the stream amidst the 
great stillness of the forests, leisurely scanning the 
enchanting vista, while the sun was high in the sky. 
Gaudy kingfishers on the river-side, flitted before the 
boat; or argus, or fire-back pheasants, leisurely taking 
wing across the river. A wood-pigeon, perhaps, sat 
high on some exposed branch ; or flocks of beautiful 
doves, of green, chocolate, yellow, and pink shades, 
passed on in rapid flight. Overhead, a whizzing noise 
might be heard : it would be the great wings of a 
flock of hombills, who, with regular and powerful 
strokes, made a straight course for their destination. 
But of the songs of birds there were none, and when 
a flock of crows began to caw, it sounded like the 
sweet voices of old friends. 

But when the sun got low on the horizon, the 
animal world gave signs of life ; the call of birds, 
and buzz of insects then began, and as night ap- 
proached, the latter became more noisy ; above all, 
the cicada, a green creature, with transparent wings 
a couple of inches long, sent forth piercing sounds 
which may be heard a mile away. It begins with a 


strong, trumpet note, which has been likened to the 
sharpening of a steel knife on a grindstone, but 
infinitely more penetrating. This note is very pro- 
longed, and is followed rapidly by others, gradually 
getting fainter, at last dying away, when it begins 
anew with the first note, and so continues, filling the 
stillness of the night with its noisy trumpeting. 

Often have these sounds sent me to sleep, when 
lying in my boat, moored in the deep shade of the 
overhanging trees ; the rustling water running by, 
the surroundings solemn and dim, yet not all dark- 
ness, for there were trees and bushes overhanging 
the stream, throbbing with a brilliant light ; and 
where the fire-flies in myriads flashed their light 
upon the darkness ; it was as though thousands of 
tiny stars were pulsating with a fitful glow, or as if 
electric sparks were flashing from the leaves. 

The description here given of a Bornean jungle, 
may seem irreconcilable with the allusions to it 
which I have made elsewhere, but the limestone 
district of Upper Sarawak is one of exceptional 
beauty ; the marshy plains and mangrove swamps 
which extend over most of the districts bordering 
the sea, are well described as a "sweltering jungle," 
or rather an impenetrable tangle and network of 
roots, covering unknown depths of mud. But even 
the fair scenes just referred to, lose somewhat of 
their charm when the explorer leaves his boat and 
enters the jungle, cutting his path laboriously 
through creepers and parasites, till he chances on 

B0BN20. 143 

some Dyak path, which, however, to the new comer 
will at first present a hardly less difficult problem. 
A Dyak path is formed of stems of trees or bamboo, 
often only a few inches in diameter, and raised one 
or more feet from the ground. They are placed end 
to end, and upon these rough, unsteady, and often 
slippery sticks, the traveller walks up and down, 
over hill and swamp, not seldom losing his balance, 
and landing in the mud ; in any case, to the novice, 
this kind of locomotion is most fatiguing, as he 
always has to fix his attention upon the path. 
Meanwhile the mosquitoes torment him, and at the 
end of his journey, or if he come to a stream, which, 
covered as he is with mud and perspiration, invites 
him to a cooling bath, he will probably find himself 
covered with leeches, which no precaution or dress 
will keep off. I remember on one occasion picking 
off as many as twenty-seven. Under such circum- 
stances, a tropical forest does not inspire the same 
feelings of sentimental enthusiasm, as when one 
views it comfortably reclining in a boat, and per- 
chance reading the latest home news, while the 
Malays are preparing a delicious curry on some 
pebbly bank in the river, some cooking the rice, 
others preparing the chicken ; while others again 
seek an edible fern, the pako, which imparts a most 
delicious flavour. 

But a search for minerals, which was often the 
object of my expeditions, cannot always be prose- 
cuted in boats; these have at times to be left 


securely fastened in some creek, while the exploring 
party dives into the jungle, labouring through it in 
the manner described, and not altogether without 
danger. The Dyaks are in the habit of setting traps 
for the wild pigs and deer which roam about the 
woods. These consist of a sort of bamboo-spear, 
arranged in such a manner that when a cord, which 
is drawn through the grass or underwood, is touched, 
a strong sapling, which is held back by this string, 
and acts as a powerful spring, flies back, and drives 
the spear with great force in a horizontal direction, 
and at an elevation from the ground, calculated 
according to the game it is intended to kill. If set 
for a pig, it would probably pass through a man's 
leg, if he were so unfortunate as to touch the cord 
while labouring through the underwood of the 
jimgle ; but, if set for deer, it would pass through 
some more vital part. When roaming through the 
jungle, as I used to do, these contrivances were a 
constant cause of anxiety, as the marks which the 
Dyaks place for their own information are so un- 
certain that they themselves at times meet with 

When night comes on, the Malays, or Dyaks, 
quickly arrange a platform of branches, and an 
awning of leaves, which form a sufficient covering 
for a night's shelter. If, however, a Dyak village 
is reached, quarters are rarely refused, except the 
village or house be ** pamali " or tabu. But a land 
Dyak settlement is, as already remarked, as a rule. 

BORNEO. 145 

unsavoury and filthy. A short description will, 
however, be necessary. 

The construction and plan of the villages of the 
land and sea Dyak tribes are, in principle, the same. 
The houses of the latter are often 500 feet long, 
built upon heavy piles, 30 feet to 40 feet high, the 
object being to make them defensible against their 
enemies. The land Dyaks being weaker, and always 
on the defensive against the more powerful tribes of 
sea Dyaks, seek protection by settling upon the 
most inaccessible hill-tops, and rely more upon the 
natural strength of these fastnesses than the defen- 
sibility of their houses. These are therefore neither 
so large, strong, nor high as those of the sea Dyaks, 
and as the ground upon which they build is usually 
upon the slope or rocky summit of a hill, they have 
no room for the large and regular houses built in 
terraces, whicli form a sea Dyak viUage, and which 
often contain upwards of fifty families. A hill Dyak 
settlement, therefore, usually consists of several 
houses built over or between rocks, or in any position 
which the ground will admit, and do not, as a rule, 
contain more than a dozen families. 

A visit to one of these settlements involves usually 
a stiff walk from the river, over such paths as have 
already been described, leading through jungle, 
swamp, or paddy-fields, usually to the foot of a hill 
or mountain. As one gets nearer, the road begins 
to ascend, and when approaching the settlement, 
groves of fruit-trees are seen, often in great abund- 



ance and of gigantic size. Thus, under the shade 
of durian, mango, mangosteen, &c., the traveller, 
unless accustomed to Dyak paths, plods on his way 
rather wearily, balancing and steadying himself with 
a long stick, which his native followers will have cut 
for him, but nevertheless, every now and then losing 
his balance and stepping into the mud, which, in 
the rainy season, may be knee, or even waist deep. 
The road meanwhile gets steeper, and at last the 
batangs, as the trees or bamboos under foot are 
called, can be ascended only by means of notches, 
which have been cut in them, to make them into a 
sort of ladder, though an awkward one. At last 
the olfactory organs receive unmistakable evidence 
that a settlement is near. Groves of palm-trees 
come in sight, either the cocoa, areca, gumuti, or 
perhaps sago-palm, which usually surround the 
houses of old settlements. 

Dyak houses, whether large or small, whether 
owned by sea or land Dyaks, are, as already stated, 
built upon one plan. Those now under consideration 
are usually not above fifteen to twenty feet from the 
ground, the posts being slight, and therefore numer- 
ous. Under and round the house all is soft mud, 
reeking with the exhalations of every kind of refuse 
from the house, which passes through the open floor, 
and in which pigs and mangy dogs are wallowing. 
A number of families, differing according to circum- 
stances from half a dozen upwards, occupy one 
house, one large roof covering them all ; the floor 

BOBN£0. 147 

is formed of strips of the nebong palm, so fastened 
together as to leave a space between each. The 
house is lengthwise divided into two divisions ; the 
one forming a long, broad verandah, common to all 
the inmates. The other is subdivided into apart- 
ments, of which one or two are occupied by each 
family. Each such room has three doors, one leading 
to the verandah, and one on each side, leading to 
the neighbouring apartments. The fourth side has 
a sort of skylight, or trap-door, which, though it is 
part of the roof, can yet be raised, and so admit 
air and light. 

While each room is sacred to the privacy of a 
Dyak family, the verandah is common to all the 
inmates; here the various indoor occupations are 
carried on. The women husk the paddy by pounding 
in a trough or wooden mortar, and thus furnish the 
daily supplies of rice ; or they make mats or baskets, 
while the men carve rough wooden ornaments, or 
handles for arms. 

The visitor is usually invit^ed to a seat or raised 
platform at one end of the house ; this is in fact, 
the family lounge. If the stranger comes at a time 
when no labour is going on in the fields, he will, 
after having taken his seat, speedily find himself 
surrounded by the inmates of the village, and will 
be impressed according to his temperament with 
disgust at their uncleanliness, pity for their ignorance 
and poverty, or surprise at the contrast between 
their miserable condition and the beauty and re- 

10 • 


sources of the wide domains over which these tribes 
claim dominion. 

A few words may be said here about the tribes 
which inhabit this part of Borneo. There is no 
reason to suppose that the aborigines of Borneo 
differ in race from other natives of the Eastern 
Archipelago. Here as elsewhere, the peopling of the 
island was doubtless effected by successive waves of 
immigrants, each new wave forcing the former one 
further inland. But it is only in the thirteenth 
century that history affords distinct information on 
this subject. In the chapter on Bali, allusion has 
been made to the powerful Hindoo state, Majah- 
pahat, in Java. The rulers of this state appear to have 
exercised power even as far as the shores of Borneo. 
As early as the thirteenth century, colonies from 
Java were settled on the southern and western 
coasts of Borneo, and it was not till the fall of that 
Empire, in 1478, that these colonies obtained their 
independence and became separate states, after- 
wards subdued more or less completely by the 
Dutch. These colonists, intermarrying with the 
aborigines, no doubt introduced the Hindoo religion 
amongst them, of which there are distinct traces. 

There is nothing in the appearance of these 
tribes to stamp them with any inferiority, as com- 
pared with the other tribes and nations of the 
Eastern Archipelago. Stunted, lean, and melancholy- 
looking, they bear the traces of cruelty and oppres- 
sion ; but their features are, if anything, better 

BORNEO. 149 

than those of the Malays, and there is no want of 
intelligence, though simplicity, and even gentleness, 
is often the general expression of their features. 
There are. perhaps, few instances in the history of 
the early dealings of white men with savages, where 
they have approached the former with such feelings 
of trustfulness as these poor tribes evinced towards 
Sir James Brooke and those who followed in bis 
footsteps in Borneo. Still retaining the traditions 
and practising some of the religious rites of their 
more civilised ancestors — sacrificing to good and 
evil genii — they not unnaturally regarded the white 
man, who so suddenly appeared amongst them and 
brought them visible blessings, as endowed with 
higher powers, and the visit of such a one amongst 
them was the occasion of rejoicings and festivities. 
The tribe was called together, fowls and pigs were 
sacrificed as a propitiation to secure good harvests, 
large families, and other blessings ; then followed 
feasting and dancing, accompanied by deafening 
sounds of gong and tom-tom, and the traveller in 
all the entertainments was treated as the honoured 

Writers on Borneo have been of opinion that in 
the superstitions and rehgious practices of these 
tribes are to be found traces, not only of the reli- 
gion of Hindustan, but also of the pagan rites of 
the Polynesians. The latter supposition is based 
mainly upon the fact that Tabu, or, as they call it 
Pamali or Porich, is practised by the Dyaks. If a 


person dies in a village, communication with the 
outside world is cut off for many days ; so also, if 
a member of a family is ill, that family is cut off 
from communication with its neighbour ; and so in 
other important actions of life, such as after the 
Bowing of the fields, &c. Doubtless, this would 
seem to point to some communication between 
these tribes and the Pacific islanders, though this can 
be only surmised; but, as regards Brahmanical 
rites, we have positive knowledge, for not only have 
Hindoo stone idols been found in the country, but 
the religious beliefs and superstitions of the Dyaks 
are clearly based upon Hindoo mythology. The 
Tapa, or Jevata (which word recalls the DevatiL of 
the Vedas), whom the Dyaks consider the Supreme 
Being, is equivalent to Brahma ; and here we find 
that, as in Hindustan, his attributes are divided 
into a sort, of Trinity, or Trimurti, viz. Tenabe, 
Jange, Jirong, the creator, upholder, and destroyer. 
The Dyak idea of a future state appears very hazy. 
They appear to retain some traces of a belief in the 
transmigration of the soul. These Dyaks burn 
their dead, and in the cloud of smoke the soul of 
the virtuous is supposed to ascend, and to enter 
upon a spiritual existence in the jungle ; while the 
smoke from the cremated body of the vicious 
descends to the regions below. But the spirit is 
sometimes believed to inhabit a tree, and so, to 
some extent, though not entirely, to lose its 

BOfiNtSO. 15 1 

Like most barbarous and savage nations, the 
Dyak identifies his gods and spirits with the great 
phenomena of nature, and assigns them abodes on 
lofty mountains. 

Besides the Trimurti, the Dyak seems to believe 
in two classes of spirits, each of which has many 
subdivisions, viz. TJmot, spiritual beings like the 
Nats of the Burmese, and Mino, the ghosts or 
spirits of dead men. Some of these spirits are 
malignant, while others are merely mischievous; 
the former kind, such as TJmot-trin, or Kamang, 
delight in war and bloodshed, and are appeased by 
propitiatory offerings. They are supposed to join 
in sanguinary feasts, such as the ^'head'' feast, 
when the heads of fallen enemies are being cured, 
or dried over slow fires, preparatory to their de- 
posit in the head-house. Though all spirits are not 
equally malignant, all are more or less dreaded. 
The silent surroundings of primaeval forests, in 
which the Dyak spends much of his time, the moun- 
tains and gloomy caves, often looming mysteriously 
through the cloud and mist, predispose him to 
identify them with supernatural influences, which 
in his imagination take the form of monsters and 
genii. With no better guide than the untutored 
imagination of a mind which, in religious matters, 
is a blank, who shall wonder that this is so? I 
have myself often felt the influences of such sur- 
roundings, when dark clouds deepened the forest 
gloom, and the approaching storm set the trees 


whispering ; if at such a moment the shaggy red- 
haired, and goblin form of the orang-outang (with 
which some of the Djaks identify their genii) 
should appear amongst the branches, it requires 
little imagination to people the mystic gloom with 
unearthly beings. 

The Dyaks have, as the above will have shown, 
no religion which hinders European and Christian 
influences, neither was the Mahomqiedan population 
very zealous in their religious practices, and there 
was nothing like fanaticism. In later years, as their 
more prosperous condition enabled them to join in 
pilgrimages to Mecca, they grew more zealous ; but, 
as a rule, the Mohammedan religion sits lightly 
upon the Malayan races in the Eastern Archipelago. 
An amusing incident which I remember, will serve 
as an illustration. 

An American ship, coming from Manilla, stranded 
not far from the coast of Borneo. Having bought 
the wreck, J despatched a steamer to the spot, to 
see what could be saved. The captain had taken 
on board all that he could lay hands upon, in- 
cluding poultry and other live stock, and was 
regretfully looking at a fine porker, which was still 
left solitary on deck, but which he could not ask 
his Mahonmiedan crew to touch. Suddenly a bright 
idea struck him; "My men,*' he said, "you have 
still to fetch me that sheep." The sailors looked at 
him in great surprise, as there was no sheep on 
board, but the captain repeated his demand more 

BORNEO. 153 

emphatically, and pointing to the pig, said to the 
now wondering crew, " You fools ! did you never 
see a Manilla sheep before?" The men now under- 
stood him, and entering into the joke after some 
little hesitation, laughingly collared the so-called 
sheep, which my captain carried ofi in triumph. 

That there were at some period considerable set- 
tlements in many parts where the solitude of the 
forest now reigns, I had often occasion to notice 
when exploring the country. Often would the pick 
or spade, used for the purposes of mineral explora- 
tion, reveal thick layers of pottery and china of 
antique, apparently Chinese make. On one occa- 
sion we found a number of square paving tiles 
some four inches thick, beautifully made of pebbles, 
concrete, quartz, &c. ; they had been polished, were 
clearly very old, and made by people of a higher 

I have alluded to the caves. Nearly all the lime- 
stone mountains in Upper Sarawak have them, and 
some are miles in extent, and are sometimes difficult 
to reach. On one of my earlier trips up country, I 
was accompanied by two young missionaries; we 
had explored some caves, passing entirely through a 
mountain, and the Dyaks then informed me that 
there were other caves above. We determined to 
explore these also, and climbed the steep sides of 
the rock for this purpose; when at a height of 
several hundred feet, we found that a cave could be 
entered only by climbing over a rocky ledge which 


overhung the precipice below, so that our safety 
would depend solely upon the slender shrubs by 
which we were to raise ourselves over the protrud- 
ing ledge. One of our companions, rather full- 
blooded, was already much exhausted by the climb. 
We advised him not to attempt to enter the cave, to 
which he agreed. We got safely in, and were 
resting at the entrance of the cavern, when, to our 
dismay, we saw our friend's face, pale and nervous, 
appear over the ledge. We were not in a position 
to render him assistance ; yet it seemed but too 
probable that he would let go his hold. With 
bated breath, we counted the seconds that enabled 
us to grasp him and land him safe in the cavern. 
Poor fellow I a few years later he was murdered by 
treacherous natives of the Dyak tribes. 

Speaking of these two friends calls to my mind 
an adventure of a similar nature, of which the 
other was the hero; it was on the mountain of 
Gading, in the Lundu River. There is on this 
mountain a succession of cascades, one a perpen- 
dicular fall of probably not less than eighty feet. 
My friend and I stood on the rock above, and were 
about to descend, so as to see it from below, when 
it occurred to my adventurous companion, that 
instead of following the path down along the bank 
of the stream, he would descend by a short cut, 
through the fall itself. I advised him not to do so, 
but he persisted, and, having cut a number of 
rattans, tied them together, and securing one end to 

BOKNEO. 1 55 

a tree, he let himself down the foaming cataract. 
I watched him with some uneasiness, and not with- 
out reason, for, when half way down, he found that 
his cord had come to an end. He was gesticulating, 
but could not shout, the foaming water only now 
and then revealing his head. I hurried to cut more 
rattans and send them down to him, but he was 
soon exhausted by the pressure and weight of the 
water. He had to let go, and I saw him hurled 
into the pool below. 1 rushed down, fearing the 
worst, but luckily, the face of the rock was smooth, 
and the pool below deep, so that he escaped with a 

I have mentioned the Chinese as the principal 
gold and antimony workers in Sarawak, and as they 
played so important a part in subsequent events 

there, I must say a few words as to their position 


in the country. 

There is reason to believe that a large colonization 
of Chinese took place in the north of Borneo, some 
centuries ago, and that they even had rulers of their 
own ; but, in any case, there is, as Mr. Spencer 
St. John, in his ^^ Forests of the far East," has 
shown, ample evidence to prove that in compara- 
tively recent times, there were large numbers 
of Chinese in the north of Borneo, where they 
engaged principally in pepper planting. But they 
were latterly so oppressed by the native rulers, that 
in 1846 they had almost entirely disappeared, or 
been absorbed in the native population. Nor was 


it in the north of Borneo merely that the Chinese 
settled and brought their indomitable industry to 
bear upon the resources of the country. In the 
south-west of the island, especially at Sambas, they 
formed large settlements, and here their industry 
was not, as in the north of Borneo, confined to 
pepper-planting and other agricultural pursuits, but 
was directed mainly to gold mining. 

Some years before the arrival of Rajah Brooke 
in Sarawak these Chinese had, from their settle- 
ment in Sambas, crossed into Sarawak, for the 
purpose of working gold, but in the then unsettled 
state of the country they found themselves exposed 
to the rapacity and violence of the Malays, and after 
having offered an unsuccessful resistance, were 
driven back to Sambas. Here, at Mentrado and 
Landak, they had formed large settlements; as 
many as 50,000 are supposed to have lived here, 
and through intercourse with the aborigines a race 
sprang up, which combined many of the good 
qualities of the two races, and strengthened the 
influence of the Chinese, which eventually led them 
into difficulties with the Malay Sultan of Sambas. 
At first the Chinese were able to hold their own, but 
when the Dutch appeared on the scene in support of 
the Sultan they were easily subdued. 

WTien Rajah Brooke had established order and 
security in Sarawak, the Chinese soon again found 
their way into the country, and they formed con- 
siderable settlements in Upper Sarawak, at Bau, and 

BORNEO. 1 57 

Sinjawan. Their principal occupation was gold- 
washing, but numbers were employed in working 
antimony ore, and some engaged in agricultural 

The gold and antimony is, in Sarawak, carried in 
the same lodes and veins, but the district here re- 
ferred to shows unmistakable evidence of having 
at some period been submerged. All the limestone 
hills had been acted upon by water, and the reefs 
which passed through the district had been broken 
up. Here and there both metals are found in situ ; 
but, as a rule, it is scattered over the entire 
district — the antimony in boulders, the gold as 

The former metal was a monopoly of the Borneo 
Company, and was, where circumstances permitted, 
worked by us under the supervision of European 
overseers, or, when found on the surface, collected 
by the natives. In later years I erected smelting 
works, constructed roads and tramways through the 
jungle, and, in fact, established a great industry ; 
but in those early days, I left it more with the 
Chinese and natives to seek and work the ore, 
where it was most conveniently obtained, assisting 
them by making paths, supplying tools, gunpowder, 
&c. &c. 

The gold was obtained by laborious sluicing 
operations, and only hard-working and thrifty 
people, like the Chinese, could have made a living of 
it. Their labours in the construction of reservoirs, 


sluices, and water-races, were very great, and the 
extent of country turned over and worked by them 
was prodigious ; but a Chinaman is willing to work 
on condition that he is well fed ; he wants his four 
or five meals a-day, consisting mainly of rice, 
vegetables, and pork. He must have his tea, 
tobacco, opium, and samshu, a spirit distilled from 
rice, and, when he has ready money, he must 
gamble. He is, therefore, an excellent subject to 
tax, and from the opium, arrack, and gambling 
farms, the Sarawak treasury was largely replenished. 
The Dyaks and Malays are but poor subjects to 
tax, they work little and require little. 

But poor, according to European ideas, as were 
the resources out of which the Chinese eked a living 
by their gold- washing, they were perfectly content; 
they lived, indeed, from hand to mouth, as miners 
often do, and it was rarely the case that the result 
of their periodical realization of thqir sluicing 
operations sufficed to pay their debts, but they 
always drew fresh drafts upon future expectations. 
Their creditors, amongst whom I was usually a 
principal one, had to take them upon trust, and 
they rarely belied their confidence when they had 
the means. 

But upon the whole, the Chinese had reason to 
be satisfied with their lot; they lived under a 
Government which, so long as they consumed, and 
paid taxes upon their consumption, left them very 
much to themselves ; indeed, they were not suffi- 

BORNEO. 159 

ciently governed and looked after. The organisation 
which they obtain through their secret societies, 
which is almost Republican in its form, gives them 
a taste for self-government. This was particularly 
the case with isolated Chinese communities in 
Borneo. Had the Chinese in Sarawak, which by 
this time (1856) numbered over 4,000, felt tjie 
hand of a strong Government upon them, they 
would not have risen in rebellion, but remained a 
happy and contented community, which, ere now, 
would have transformed much of the Sarawak 
jungle by the power of their marvellous industry. 

But the self-government which they were prac- 
tically enjoying, and their constantly increasing 
numbers, made them conceited and impatient of any 
restraint whatever. Above all, they felt the heavy 
tax upon opium. They smuggled, and, when fined, 
defied the Government, and began to plot its 

But before telling the story of the Chinese insur- 
rection, it may be well, in a few words, to review 
the condition of the English community in Sarawak 
at this time. 

Sir James Brooke had once more returned to his 
dominions from a visit to England in 1853. He 
was troubled by the Commission which had been 
appointed by the British Government, to inquire 
into the charges brought against him by Mr. Hume 
and others, and which was shortly to sit in Singa- 
pore. But a greater trouble was in store for him : 


immediately on his arrival in Borneo, he was 
attacked by small -pox; but he recovered from the 
disease, and came out victorious from the inquiry, 
and he was now able to devote himself to the 
administration of the country. He visited his 
Suzerain, the Sultan of Brunei, and obtained from 
that effete prince the concession of an additional 
large territory. Upon his return from this voyage, 
he retired to a secluded bungalow, which had been 
built for him as a sanitarium, by Captain Brooke, 
on the top of a hill some 1,200 feet high, and here he 
gradually recovered some of his scattered strength, 
and from that time up till 1856 he quietly devoted 
himself to promote the happiness of his people. 

One matter, which was much upon his mind, was 
his claim to have his government and his own 
position recognized by the British Government. 
There were diflSculties in recognizing a British subject 
as an independent prince, and in allowing his govern- 
ment jurisdiction over British subjects; but this 
matter was now settled to his satisfaction. 

Other events happened at this time, which tended 
to soothe the Rajah's harassed mind; I allude to 
the appointment of a bishop, and the formation of 
the Borneo Company. 

The Rev. Mr. Macdougall, the head of the Borneo 
Mission was in 1855 named Bishop of Labuan, and 
accepted also from the Sarawak Government letters 
patent as the Bishop of Sarawak. This recognition 
on the part of the religious world, of the importance 

BORNEO. 161 

of the field wliich— through his labours— had been 
opened out for the propagation of the Christian 
faith, must have been gratifying to the Rajah, 
whose heart was ever pitying the miserable con- 
dition of his poor, ignorant Dyaks, who, having no 
religious belief of any kind, were ready to be con- 
verted either by Christian or Mahometan ; that they 
should not become converts to the latter faith was 
also, for political reasons, much to be desired. 

While the spiritual wants of the people were thus 
to be provided for, the material development of the 
country was also to be given a new stimulus. The 
business which I had been sent to Borneo to open 
up had, from very small beginnings, grown so far 
that those interested in the enterprise considered 
that the time had come for enlarging the operations, 
and thereby assisting Sir James Brooke's efforts for 
the development of the resources of the country. To 
this end a company was formed, called the Borneo 
Company, which took over the business which I had 
hitherto conducted, and of which I had become the 
manager. This company was formed under the then 
new Limited Liability Act, and comprised commer- 
cial and non-commercial men, amongst them many 
of the Rajah's friends. The objects were far- 
reaching, embracing trade, mining, and agriculture ; 
and under favourable circumstances, and with 
patience, the object in view might probably have 
been fully obtained. Patience was an essential con- 
dition here, as it was in the nature of things that the 



development of the country must be gradual ; it 
was mostly covered with dense jungle, unsurveyed, 
and roadless. Such labour as was suitable for 
the purposes of the company, had mostly to be 
imported; food, to some extent, also. In short, 
everything had to be begun de novo^ and experience 
to be bought. These are not exactly conditions 
favourable for the operations of a company, which, 
however philanthropic it may think itself, never 
loses sight of dividends, and properly so. Doubt- 
less, in this case, both motives were combined, pro- 
ducing, perhaps, undue eagerness, and a desire to 
push on faster than the circumstances of the country 
permitted. It was pleasant enough to see steamers 
upon our jungle-surrounded rivers, and energetic 
Englishmen, fresh from home, full of eagerness for 
work, to enliven our small circle ; but it all came 
upon us a little too fast. Still, difficulties would 
have been overcome, and mistakes corrected, but 
for the occurrence of the great disaster which, at 
the outset, blighted the Company's prospects and 
retarded its progress for years; I refer to the 
Chinese insurrection. 

This disaster came upon us like a thief in the 
night, and at the time when the country was to 
take a new start, and when the career of many of 
us, who had been plodding through weary years of 
dull existence, was to take a new and brighter 
form. The Rajah had overcome many troubles, and 
was recovering his bodily strength ; his faithful 

BOfiNBO. 163 

friend and follower, Arthur Crookshank, had lately 
returned from home with a young and beautiful 
wife. With them had returned our old friends, the 
Rev. Mr. MacDougall (now a bishop), and Mrs. Mac- 
Dougall. The presence of the ladies shed brightness 
over the place, and more were to come; Captain 
Brooke and our genial friend Charles Grant, were 
on their way, both newly married men. To myself, 
new prospects had suddenly been opened; the tender 
plant which I had been nursing for so many years 
was now under a forcing system, to take more rapid 
growth. Great resources were placed at my dis- 
posal, and my bungalows were filled with young 
Englishmen, who were to assist me in the work, 
but to whom the country was as yet strange. On 
the evening of the 18th of February, 1857 the 
various bungalows which crowned the hills sur- 
rounding the village of Sarawak, contained parties 
of joyous and hopeful men and women, but midnight 
had barely passed before fire and bloodshed covered 
the scene. 

I have thought it better, instead of giving my 
own account of the Chinese Insurrection, to insert 

the diary of my friend , who was in its midst, 

and who made notes of the incidents as they 
occurred. His account is so vivid, and, as I can 
attest, so truthful, that I feel no apology is needed 
for presenting it to the reader. 

11 • 




28th, 1857. 

" The Bishop says, if you please will you get up 
and bring your gun." These words, spoken by a 
young lady with a weak voice, brought me hastily 
out of bed at half-past 1 o'clock on Thursday 
morning, the 19th of February 1857. 

It was a wonder I had not awoke sooner, for guns 
were firing in the bazaar (the main street of the 
town) followed by shouting and shrieking. Every- 
one downstairs was in a great state of excitement, 
the Bishop and the men-servants loading. 

''The Chinese are down from Bau," said the 
Bishop, ** and are attacking the town." 

You will understand things better if I stop and 
tell you who the people from Bau are. Bau is the 
name of a town situated up the country not far 
from the banks of the Sarawak river, and by water 
is about fifteen miles from us. It is here that gold 
is found, and many years ago, long before the 
Bajah came to the country, the Chinese had formed 
a settlement at Bau, and supported themselves 
principaUy by gold-washing. From time to time 
their numbers were augmented by bodies of Chinese 
from Sambas (the Dutch territory), a large well- 
built town sprung up, and the trade with Sarawak 
became important. All this time the Chinese were 
governing themselves, electing their own magis- 

BOSNfiO. 165 

trates, inflicting the punishment of death, and, in a 
word, were independent of the Rajah's government. 
Kungsi, or companies, like that at Ban, are esta- 
blished mainly for trading purposes, differing in 
this respect from Hoeys, which are political so- 
cieties. There is a secret constitution in both, 
known only to members of each kungsi. This, 
whatever it may be, answers the purpose of divinity 
and oracle — it is the rallying point ; when lost or 
destroyed, the kungsi is broken up. 

It was the purchase of opium that brought the 
kungsi at Bau into immediate communication with 
the authorities at Sarawak. Our Government keeps 
the opium trade entirely in its own hands, and 
makes thereupon the respectable profit of about 
100 per cent. At one time the consumption at Bau 
amounted to sixty balls of opium per month, but of 
late, although the population had increased, the 
demand for opium had fallen to thirty balls. 
Smuggling had become the order of the day, and, 
to save itself the trouble of detecting the culprits, 
the Government ordered that the kungsi should pay 
as heretofore for sixty balls, whether they took 
them or not. Who could object to such an exer- 
cise of authority on the part of a ^* paternal 
government ** ? Apparently the kungsi did. 

To return — ^by this time the Rajah's house was 
in flames, and the firing and shouting in the bazaar 
was increasing. Peter's house and Crookshank's 
were fired almost simultaneously. The houses 


burned like paper. Though a very dark night the 
light from the fires enabled us to make out crowds 
of Chinese round the houses, some with guns, but 
more with a weapon formed of an iron blade, some- 
thing like a broadsword, either for cutting or 
thrusting, attached to a pole about four feet long, 
a very useful implement to an aggressor. 

Well, we made up our minds that our house was 
to come next. The two Channons, men in the 
Rajah's service, had come up to the Mission-house, 
so that by this time we were a party of some six 
men, with eight or nine women or children. All 
the men had guns, and the orders were to en- 
deavour to keep the Chinese back till the ladies 
could be got into the jungle. That all could escape, 
no one had the least idea; the only thing to be 
done was to make the best defence possible; 
beside, the prospect of dying fighting was less 
unsatisfactory than that of being murdered in cold 
blood. All gathered in the dining-room, the Bishop 
said a short prayer and gave us a blessing, as we 
thought, for the last time. Then the women and 
children were put behind, and the men were ranged 
in front, ready to fire when the assailants appeared. 
News was soon brought that the old fort was taken. 
There was now no doubt that, unless the Malays 
made an attack on the Chinamen, the second fort 
must go too, for in this there lived only four men — 
Crymble and three Malays. It very soon followed 
the fate of the other, and in another half-hour the 

BOBKSO. 167 

Bau kungsi were masters of Sarawak, its forts 
and artillery ; the firing became reduced to a single 
gun now and then from the new possessors of the 

20th. — With daylight this morning there came a 
party of some seven Chinese to the Mission-house, 
saying that their quarrel was with the Government 
only, and not with the English generally. They 
requested the Bishop to go with them to the hos- 
pital to doctor the men wounded in last night's 
fight. Thirteen or fourteen fellows lay badly hit. 
And now all kinds of stories began to reach us ; 
the Bajah, Crookshank, Helms, and several others 
were killed, while of many no intelligence could be 
gained. About 8 o'clock a man came, saying that 
Mrs. Crookshank was lying among the grass near 
her house. The hatred which the Chinese had for 
Crookshank was supreme, and the Bishop felt that 
any indiscreet act might induce them to make an 
end of everybody. He went down, therefore, to the 
fort, where the leaders were by this time holding 
their court, and requested permission to remove 
Mrs. Crookshank. ** No," said the brutes, ** she is 
as bad as her husband and shall die too." But the 
Bishop, who is not a man to be beaten, returned at 
last with the gracious permission of the kungsi. A 
party of Malays made a litter, and carried Mrs. 
Crookshank to the house; she was ghastly pale, 
with wounds on her head, and feet and hands, but 
her pluck was indomitable, as she was carried up- 


stairs, her dress crimsoned with her own blood. 
She had a bad spear-wound, but the Bishop was 
happily soon able to relieve us with the news that 
he had good hopes of her recovery. Spite of all 
her sufferings, she was perfectly calm and collected, 
and gave the story of the night from beginning to 
end. Neither she nor her husband woke till the 
Chinese were attacking the house. When roused 
they managed to leave together on the side oppo- 
site the kitchen (kitchens are distinct buildings 
from the house). Mrs. Crookshank being in white, 
her husband put her before him, hoping that his 
darker dress might conceal her. A man, however, 
saw them, and by running round the other side of 
the kitchen overtook them, and so came upon Mrs. 
Crookshank first. He ran his spear into her side, 
and she fell, as if dead. Crookshank, who had a 
short spear, fixed it in the Chinaman, but the fellow, 
though badly wounded, managed with a wrench to 
get the spear out, and immediately closed with 
Crookshank. They fought for some minutes, tdl 
they were both exhausted, when Crookshank, who 
had received a wound in his shoulder, and thought 
his wife dead, got away through the jungle and 
reached the house of the Datu Bandar (the Malay 
chief). Mrs. Crookshank, after a little while, 
managed to crawl away and laid down in some grass. 
Here she remained till about 6 o'clock, when some 
Chinamen came up, less like fiends than their com- 
panionSi and put a covering over her to shield her 

BORNEO. 169 

from the sun. WhUe they stood round, a man came 
wanting to kill her, but they would not let him, and 
she remained undisturbed till brought to the Mis- 
sion-house. All her rings, in which she was in the 
habit of sleeping, were taken from her hands, with 
the exception of her wedding-ring, which could not 
be moved. 

When 9 o'clock came, I became anxious for news 
of Helms, and resolved to set out in search of him. 
The bazaar was full of the Kungsi's men, who had 
made the new fort their head-quarters, and were 
keeping regular guard through the street with the 
late Government's rifles on their shoulders. They 
were strong-built fellows for the most part ; they 
looked unpleasantly hard at me as I passed, and 
once or twice seemed about to stop my passage ; 
but by keeping up a look of assurance as though I 
had known the rascals from their babyhood, I went 
through the town without hindrance to our factory. 

Presently, to my great satisfaction, I met HelmS| 
and learned from him his adventures. His house 
stands on a high hill overlooking the town. Some 
of the Government's and Company's employes had 
been dining with him; amongst them Crymble, 
Nicholetts, and Wellington, who left his house 
at 11. Three hours later two of these three were 
murdered. On coming into the balcony, when 
roused by the firing, Helms saw a large party 
coming up to his house. Being alone, he thought 
discretion the better part of valour, and made the 


best of his way past the Company's house to a 
Malay village in the valley on the other side. Here he 
procured a boat, and crossing the river to the house 
of one of the bravest of the Malays, he endeavoured 
to plan a defence. But the Malays could do 
nothing ; there was no one to lead them, no one to 
keep them together ; neither the Rajah, nor a single 
one of his officers was to be heard of. In the 
morning Helms crossed over again in a small boat 
to the town. Just as he was coming under the 
bank by our factory, a party of Chinese fired into 
the boat and hit a Malay. Helms's Chinese boy 
called out to them that it was he who was in the 
boat, upon which they put up their guns and made 
signs to Helms to come on shore. He did so, and 
marched with them to the Court-house. 

In a house near the fort lay Beattie, an engineer 
from our steamer, who some time previously had 
accidentally crushed his foot, and this poor fellow 
had lain helplessly the whole night through, expect- 
ing every minute to be his last ; and when Helms 
drew the curtains of his bed, he begged for mercy, 
and it took some time before he could realize that 
it was a friend who bent over him. The Chinese 
readily complied with the request to get him carried 
to Helms' s house. 

We had by this time heard of the safety of the 
Bajah and all of bis pai'ty, with the exception of 
Nicholetts, who, with Steel, the Governor of 
Kauowit, was sleeping in a small buugalow next the 

BORNEO. 171 

Eajah's. He rushed out by the front door, where 
all the Chinese were assembled, and was cut down 
in a moment. The Bajah and his servant escaped 
through the bathing-room door on the side of the 
house, swam the creek, in which the Chinese boat 
was lying, and then crossed the river to the Datu's, 
where he was met by Crookshank and Crymble. 

In the middle of the day the great conference came 
off in the Court-house of the English. There attended 
the Bishop, Buppell, Helms, and myself. The 
Datu, and one or two other head men, represented 
the Malays. The Kungsi leader sat on his haunches 
in the Eajah's chair, the Malays on the one side 
of the table, we opposite. The whole of the Court 
was filled with scowb'ng Chinese faces, who 
thoroughly enjoyed their short triumph. The 
Kungsi then stated their grievances, said that they 
did not wish to interfere with the Europeans in 
Sarawak, claimed immunity from taxes, &c., and 
concluded by electing Helms Eajah. He was the 
popular man, and stood a fair chance of being made 
a monarch; but as he continued respectfully to 
decline the honour, it was at last ^ranged that the 
Bishop, Helms, and Euppell should form a 
triumvirate ; that the Chinese should go up the 
river the same day, carrying all their plunder, and 
that the Malays should not attack them, and that 
no steamer or boats should be sent up the river in 
pursuit. Is it wonderful that these terms were 
agreed to ? What else was to be done P The life 


of every English person in Sarawak was hanging by 
a thread, and we knew too well the result of resist- 
ance ; besides, many in the Court-house were 
wanting harder terms, and it was thought the 
sooner over the better. And so all was yielded. 
Copies of the contract were drawn up in English, 
Chinese, and Malay ; these were all signed at once — 
Chinese fashion. Two fowls are brought in, their 
heads cut off, and as they flutter about the table, 
their blood is sprinkled over the documents. After 
this came tea and cigars, and we had to sit another 
half hour smoking and drinking ; and when at last 
we left, we were obliged to shake hands with the 
brutes whom, with the greatest pleasure, we could 
have shot dead upon the spot. It was after this 
that the Chinese, to make sure of their bargain, 
first proposed that Helms should accompany them 
up the river. He got off, but they afterwards sent 
him an imperious demand to attend them. 

The whole of the day the Chinese kept the town, 
and the white flag of the Celestial Empire waved from 
the fort. My room at the Mission-house was now 
occupied by the Channons. I went up to Helms ; 
there I found Manly with his wife and child, and 
poor Mrs. Middleton. A Chinaman came to Helms, 
and in a mysterious manner informed him that 
Mrs. Middleton was in the jungle. Helms at once 
followed his informant, and brought the poor lady 
to his house, passing, in so doing, the still smoulder- 
ing ruins of her home, where four dogs were 

BORNEO. 178 

tearing at sometliing, he did not at that time even 
guess what. Hers was a pitiable tale. The mob, 
after leaving Helms, had run round the hill and 
attacked her husband's house. He thought it was 
merely an attack upon himself, as, in consequence 
of his being the head of the police, he was brought 
frequently into collision with Chinese smugglers. 
Supposing that if he could not be found no further 
violence would be done, he bolted. The Chinese 
soon made their way into the house. Wellington, 
dear brave fellow, stood before Mrs. Middleton's 
door, and fired on them, and killed one man with 
the butt end of his gun, but of course, had no chance 
against so many, and was quickly killed. The two 
little boys were next murdered, and their heads 
kicked about the room. Mrs. Middleton, after 
this, crept down to the bath-room, and hid herself 
in a water-jar ; but the timbers over her began to 
crack, and she was forced to leave. Opening the 
door, she saw there were no men about, and at once 
ran into the jungle, where she concealed herself for 
some time in a pool of water, sitting in it up to 
her chin, till she saw a Chinaman coming towards 
her, with a sword in his hand. He called to her 
that he was a friend of Peter's, and would procure 

The ladies slept at Helms' s to-night, and Manly 
and myself kept watch in the verandah. 

21st. From the hill this morning we could see 
the Kungsi on the move, and effecting a clearance 


of the fort and post office. Cannon, rifles, plate 
and money were being carried down into the boats. 
It was very agreeable, even under these circum- 
stances, to see them going, for we were fearing 
every minute some ill-advised attack on the part 
of Malays, which must have ended in disaster. 
Our only chance was to bide our time. About 
11 o'clock, the Kungsi sent up a message to 
Helms sajring they would like to speak to him before 
they left. ** They would like to speak to him, 
would they? Oh, certainly; he would be with 
them directly." And with this the messengers went 

For another hour the Chinese loitered about, but 
after a time the boats began to push off. What 
a relief ; they are away at last. But no; they had 
gone but a few yards when the boats all pulled 
back again, and, with a great shout, men sprang on 
shore, and rushed through the bazaar. What was to 
come now ? Manly went off to the sago factory in 
case concealment of our charges might be necessary, 
and I went down to the bazaar. The Chinese, it 
seems, were fearing an attack from the Malays on 
the river, but after a little reassurance they started a 
second time. The Bishop soon met me ; he was 
afraid of something rash being done by the Malays, 
and wanted Helms to go up to the Datu's, and 
prevent an attack on the Chinese, if such were 
meditated. Where was Helms ? I had not seen 
him since he left to go to the Kungsi, and on 

BORNEO. 175 

making inquires, no one had any knowledge of him. 
Failing in finding him, I went on to the Datu'fl 
house, gave him the Bishop's warning against 
taking any further steps without a properly sufficient 
force. As boat after boat of the Chinese passed up 
with their plunder, the Datu's eyes flashed with 
rage, and it was, I believe, only the quieting influ- 
ence of the Bishop's message that prevented him and 
his followers making an attack. 

When the boats were out of sights we went up 
together to the Mission -house, where the meeting 
of the Datu and the Bishop was really affecting. 
A few hours after this the Malays had got boats 
ready, and were in pursuit of the Chinese before 
any of us knew of it. 

A man came to me this afternoon saying there 
was a white man's head in the fort ; it proved to be 
Wellington's. There were many ghastly cuts upon 
it, but the features were as tranquil as if the boy 
were sleeping. A bullet had entered his cheek, and 
passing through the brain, must have caused instant 
death, so that the poor fellow could have had no 
suffering. He fell nobly, for he might easily have 
saved himself had he chosen to do so. I took his 
head to the Mission-house, and the Bishop arranged 
to bury it the next day. 

In the afternoon the Bishop sent down Mrs. 
MacDougal, Miss Wooley, and the children, to the 
mouth of the river, intending them to leave for 
Singapore in the Oood Luck a small schooner 


that was lying at the mouth. Buppell had already 
gone down, without saying a word to anybody. 

In the evening came a great many stories about 
Helms, who was still missing. Some said the 
Chinese had taken him up with them, while one man 
had " seen " his dead body. 

Now that the Kungsi had left the town, the 
tradesmen became greatly alarmed at the prospect 
of being attacked by the Malays, who were hardly 
in the humour to distinguish one Chinese tail from 
another. There was the greatest possible difficulty 
in preserving anything like confidence, and but for 
the Bishop there would have been chaos. He was 
commander-in-chief, and organised everything, and 
kept us up to our work, as the whole night through 
we had to walk about the town fully armed. 

A letter had come from the Bajah saying he 
would be up to-morrow with "plenty of men," and 
the prospect of this put us in good spirits. 
Occasionally during the night, large boats passed 
up, and we began to think the Kungsi would get a 
good thrashing on their own ground. 

News reached me this morning, that Helms had 
positively been seen on board the Oood Luck. 
I confess to feeling not a little anxiety at finding 
myself the Company's sole representative in Sarawak. 
Our money had been all taken from the fort ; we 
had a little in the safe at the office, but the keys 
thereof were with Helms. Presently the coolies 
commenced asking for money and opium, and got so 

BORNEO. 177 

clamorous that I began to fear row number two. In 
this emergency, I had to apply to the Commander- 
in-chief, at whose request the most respectable 
Chinese traders offered to make me advances. 
While they were gone home for the money, Helms, 
to my no small delight, returned. His absence was 
explained in this way ; when the Chinese had sent 
up for him, he knew it was with the intention of 
taking him with them as a hostage, and accordingly, 
sending the man to say he was coming, he bolted 
at once in the opposite direction, to the Malay 
Kampong, from whence he could watch the Chinese 
in the act of embarking, and only waiting for him. 
His intention, when leaving the house, was to return 
as soon as the Chinese boats had left ; but while 
waiting here, a boat from Samarahan brought him 
this note from the Rajah : — 

**The schooner Good Luck is down the river; 
hasten on board, and write to Harvey to send us 
arms and ammunition. I will be with you to- 
morrow ; meanwhile, hold the fort." 

This was telling the Israelites to make bricks 
without straw. However, Helms saw the importance 
of this communication, and that no time was to be 
lost. He went down to the river and boarded the 
schooner, fulfilling his orders, when he found that 
amongst the crowd of intending passengers were 
Mrs. MacDougall, with family, and other ladies. He 
urged them to spare themselves the misery of a 
voyage in the densely packed schooner, and having 



brought them on shore and seen them as comfortably 
settled as could be in a Malay house, he, after 
getting his first few hours' sleep for two days, 
returned to Kuching; but what was intended to 
be half an hour had thus become many hours' 

In the evening we heard that the Rajah was 
ready to come up. The Bishop took a boat to 
meet and hasten him, for it was becoming more 
and more evident that his absence was gravely 
aggravating the situation. At 8 o'clock in the 
evening an alarm was spread that the Chinese were 
on their way down again, and my orders were to 
take Mrs. Manly and Middleton down the river 
with the view of concealing them in a Malay house. 
When we reached the village we found it deserted, 
and it was impossible to leave them. 

Some way further down the river, we came to a 
large prauh (native ship) belonging to a friendly 
Malay who was on board, with his wife and chil- 
dren, ready to drop down to sea if necessary. He 
willingly received the ladies. Then I pulled fur- 
ther down to carry the news to the Rajah. Very 
soon I met the Bishop returning in a large war- 
prahu. He had found the Rajah utterly depressed 
and hopeless, and with only one boat, instead of 
"plenty of men." This was disheartening, but 
nothing checked the Bishop. He was not in the 
sweetest of tempers, it must be owned. " Come on 
board," he called to me ; " if the Rajah deserts his 

BOBNKO. 1 79 

country, I must look after my diocese I '* and so the 
twelve paddles struck the water, and we flew up to 
the town. All that night we were sent from house 
to house with a party of Malays, searching for 
arms, of which we collected a large quantity ; and 
all the night long the Bishop was about like the 
rest of us, keeping everyone together, encouraging 
everyone, and directing everything. Like us all, he 
was armed to the teeth, with sword, double-barrel, 
and revolver, fje recalled the olden times, when 
lord-bishops could strike a blow, if need were, in a 
good cause. 

22nd. — Early this morning we received positive 
intelligence that a fresh attack was about to be 
made on the place. Soon after this, the Rajah's 
solitary boat was seen pulling up, and I went down 
to the Court-house, where it was presumed he 
would land. As the boat pulled to the bank, almost 
simultaneously some of the Kungsi men came down 
the road and opened fire. The result was what was 
to be expected, where you have, as was our case, a 
few muskets to oppose a large body of men with 
plenty of guns, rifles, and ammunition. How many 
minutes the affair lasted I don't know, but very 
few. The Malays gave way, and everyone looked 
after himself. 

In the morning Helms had collected our sago- 
coolies and some Malays at our warehouse, to have 
them ready to act as the emergency might suggest. 
We had expected a stout fight on the part of the 

12 • 

I • 


Malays, but as they broke immediately, and the Rajah 
turned his war-boat once more down the river, it was 
clear that all was up for the time. Looking up to 
his house on the hill. Helms saw it surrounded by 
Chinese ; he then removed the books, papers, and 
money from the office, and joined in the grand 
stampede down the river. 

The Bishop got on board the Rajah's boat. I 
came up to Helms's house to endeavour to move 
Beattie, the stoker belonging to the steamer, who 
had met with a very severe accident, and was lying 
on the sofa unable to move. He was gone — how, 
was the puzzle. As I walked down the bank to- 
ward the factory thirteen or fourteen armed China- 
men came up to the house. This time I gave it all 
up. I thought of you all at home, and thanked 
Heaven that I need not fall alive into their hands. 
Just as the fellows were coming down the hill 
towards me, I was equally surprised and delighted 
at hearing the voice of my Malay servant calling to 
me to make haste. He was in a little boat under 
the bank, along which I made a precipitate and un- 
dignified retreat, splashing through the mud up to 
my knees, and reaching the boat minus my shoes 
and hat. On reaching the boat I found cause 
to thank my servant ; not only had he got the boat 
ready, but had put in my rug, plaid, and knapsack. 
A Dyak boat soon overtook us, into which I put 
my things as we went on, taking the little boat in 
tow. By this time the flight had become general — . 

BORNEO. 181 

boats by the dozen were pulling down the river — 
everyone was bolting; once again the white flag 
waved over Sarawak, and soon we saw volumes of 
smoke rising over the town. The tide being against 
us, we made but little way. When we (Helms and 
myself — Helms had joined me on the way) came to 
the Quop (a junction of the river) three miles below 
the town, we found a large three-masted prahu 
ready for sea. Her we engaged, thinking to take 
up all the Europeans at the mouth. We came up 
to the ladies' party at a little village close to the 
entrance of the river, and greatly relieved them 
with the news of their respective husbands. Pre- 
sently the Rajah came, and started a panic by 
announcing that the Chinese were in full pursuit. 
Double quick march was the order. The Bishop, 
with a large party, started for Linga (on a river to 
the north, and occupied by a friendly and powerful 
tribe of Dyaks). The Rajah left in his war-boat 
for Samarahan (a nearer river in the same direc- 
tion) with this parting order to Helms and myself : 
" Offer the country^ on any terms^ to the Dutch *' ; 
while, funnily enough, the two spinsters were bil- 
letted on Helms and me, the two bachelors of the 

By the time all were on board, it was so dark 
that our men were afraid to cross the bar, and we 
found ourselves compelled to anchor all night, still 
within reach of the Chinamen. 

Behold us then. The other two boats are out to 


sea; we are lying within a mile of the bar. The 
night is pitch dark and the rain coming down as it 
only does in the tropics. Helms and I are walking 
the deck, eagerly peering through the darkness, and 
expecting that it might go hard with us yet. The 
ladies are below with the Malay women, enjoying 
the luxury of rice and salt-fish ; one of them with 
the reasonableness peculiar to her sex, begs that if 
if the Chinese do come, we will let her know a 
quarter of an hour beforehand. 

23rd. — No signs of the enemy this morning. We 
began to think they were too much occupied in 
looting Sarawak to indulge a thought of pursuit. 
Our plan was now altered, as our men would not 
go to Sambas, in consequence of some of them 
being in disgrace with the Dutch. Serhassan was 
now to be our port — an island, two days off the main- 
land, and governed by a native rajah. We hoped by 
his assistance to get on to Singapore; but now 
water and ballast had to be got in, so that the 
morning was well on before we were fairly under 
weigh. The men were hoisting all sail, when a 
shout of ^^ Kapalapi I Kapalapi I '' (the steamer I the 
steamer I) brought us on deck like a shot. Out at 
sea, just coming round the point of the coast, we 
could make out the smoke. Never was a more 
welcome sight vouchsafed to anyone ; the effect on 
us was quite beyond my power to describe— the 
Malays danced for joy, my handkerchief {Anglicl^ 
hat) went spinning in the air with a hearty hurrah 

BORNEO. 183 

as the steamer came on. At first we took her for 
a Dutchman, and it looked as if we should be 
obliged to " offer the country " as we had been 
bidden to do, but at last made out her flag, and 
knew that she was our own. Helms and I pulled 
off to meet her, in a small boat. It was some time 
before Captain Skinner recognised us, for we were 
in Malay dress and bronzed with exposure. Once 
on board we startled all with our intelligence. 
Helms, who was now Rajah nolens volens, decided on 
going up to the town at once, and the ladies were 
brought on board. Now came an exciting scene — 
the guns were got out, the rifles, cutlasses, &c. all 
piled, and the decks cleared; but while this was 
being done we saw a large boat making for the 
river, which turned out to carry the Rajah, who had 
seen the smoke of the steamer far out at sea. The 
gloom and depression had passed away from the 
Rajah now, and everyone was in tearing spirits. 
The moment we opened the town, we were exposed 
to the fort, and the guns from the old fort opened 
on us with grape of original composition — baUs, 
nails, scraps of rusty iron, came whizzing round, 
many of which were picked up afterwards as sou- 
venirs ; two of the boats were struck, and the keel 
of the one above me was splintered in all directions. 
The next instant our long eighteen-pounder forward 
spoke his mind. Firing almost simultaneously with 
another gun of same calibre the roar was a good 
one, and then came the sharper notes of the swivels 


and rifles. The shot from the gun forward, which 
was manned by the mate, went slap into the fort and 
created a scare. Out scoured the Chinese like wild 
hares in March, some dashing up the road leading to 
the Channons, while many ran through the bazaar, 
affording practice for the riflemen on board. The 
new fort was quickly cleared, and two or three 
more rounds completed the action. We steamed 
slowly up the river, on the sides of which the Malay 
kampong was still burning, and then coming back 
again anchored off the bazaar. And thus the 
Company's steamer retook the town of Sarawak. 

In the evening some went on shore, unshipped 
the guns, and hauled down the Chinese flag. I 
curled myself up on the cabin table, and enjoyed a 
glorious six hours of unconsciousness. 

24th. — This morning we mustered a strong party 
and went on shore to effect a search. We were 
ordered to go through all suspected houses, and 
captured some twelve men. The fury of the Malays 
knew no bounds with these fellows; they seized 
them by the tail, and dragged them along to the 
Court-house ; here they kept them, under a strong 
escort, till the Rajah arrived, standing over them 
with a drawn sword, and measuring the distance 
from their necks. Only one of the men was con- 
demned ; of the rest, some were remanded, others 
liberated. It was with difficulty the Malays could 
be prevented taking the Chinaman's head off in the 
court. He was dragged away to the green close 

BORNEO. 185 

by, and then, almost as he was being beheaded, 
five or six spears were sticking in his body. 

All this time we had heard nothing of Bussell 
and his party, who were at Bidi (our antimony 
mines), a place within a few miles of Bau. When 
the Kungsi were in Sarawak they gave us a 
solemn promise that they would interfere with no 
one at the mines, but after the second attack we 
entertained great fears for the safety of our people. 
Large rewards had been offered for their recovery, 
but hitherto nothing had been heard of them. 
Lodgings on the steamer increased in demand; 
men slept three abreast on the deck, four beds were 
" made up " in the cabin, one of which — the table 
— I continued to occupy. 

25th. — Went up to the Bishop's house. The 
confusion was complete. Into whatever room you 
went, the scene was the same — furniture smashed, 
boxes and drawers broken open ; all that could be 
made use of gone, and the rest of the things — 
books, clothes, glass, and papers playing at hide-and- 
seek all over the floor. The room I had occupied 
was like the rest. I had deferred unpacking my 
books and clothes till the Company's house was 
ready, so that the boxes were standing, for the 
most part, as they had come from England, but 
without exception they were standing empty. The 
lock of the book-box had been a very strong one, 
and on this account, I suppose, the box had been 
supposed to contain something valuable. The 


result apparently was unsatisfactory, for the books 
were knocked about here there and everywhere. 
I found a volume of Bacon's " Essays " half-way 
down the hill, kicked there apparently, with a 
sword-cut well into it. 

Though the steamer held Sarawak, the prospect 
of reducing the Chinese up the country appeared 
anything but immediate. At one time a report 
came that Bau was being fortified, at another that 
the Kungsi would hazard another attack. One thing 

was evident, that the steamer could not leave till 


order had been re-established. Helms was there- 
fore sent by the Bajah to Sambas, to give informa- 
tion of the affair to the Dutch authorities. He 
started this evening as his own pilot with five or 
six men. 

29th to March 6th. — Dyak and Malay boats 
coming in daily ; the Dyaks mostly Sakarran with 
a few Seribas. These are the head-hunters and 
pirates against whom the expeditions have been 
frequent. They are quiet now, and, with the ex- 
ception of the Seribas, who live further up the 
river, submit to the Rajah's authority. They are 
fine, strong fellows, forming a great contrast in this 
respect to the hill Dyaks. The Dyak bankongs 
(war-boats) are pulled by from twenty to thirty 
men, and in consequence go along at a great speed. 
The boats were decorated as customary on a war 
expedition, and the men wore their armlets and 
huge ear-rings. These redoubtable warriors were 

BORNEO. 187 

thirsting for heads ; but as it was probable that if 
they went up-country by themselves, they would 
not nicely distinguish between the hill Dyaks and 
Chinese, they were induced to remain at Sara- 
wak till the entire fleet could arrive. They crowded 
the steamer from morning to night, examining 
everything, and expressing great astonishment. 
The eccentric spinster, with whom Helms and I 
were nearly running away, afforded us unceasing 
amusement by her unequivocal expressions of 
admiration of these lightly-clothed warriors. 

7th. — Russell and his boys came down to-day. I 
had heard from him two days before, and had de- 
spatched the Sarawak news to him. The escape of 
his party had been a narrow one. The Chinese 
endeavoured to persuade him to go to Bau, but in 
vain; and he moved from one Dyak village to 
another, for a fortnight. 

9th. — This evening, just as we were going to 
dinner, an alarm was raised that the Chinese were 
coming down. The Dyaks in the bazaar flew to 
the attack, and on board everyone was under arms ; 
but the alarm proved a false one. About 8 p.m. we 
were again put on the qui vive by a distant shout, 
which, as it drew nearer, was recognised as a " head 
sound '* ; the Dyak boats were returning from a 
successful expedition against the Chinese up the 
river. They began to pass the steamer, but in too 
great haste to carry the news of their success 
home, to stop. " Good news I we have heads ! '' 


was the burden of their answers. At length a 
Malay boat pulled up, and we received a confused 
account of the victory ; suflficient, however, to make 
us feel that the scale was turning. 

10th. — The Datu Bandar came on board this 
morning, and gave us a full report of a fight be- 
tween the Malays and Chinese. He himself, with the 
Datu Tumagong and Abang Boyang had gone up 
in three large Malay war-boats with several Dyak 
prahus. On reaching a place called Ledah Tanah, 
they found a body of Chinese stockaded. These 
were not expecting an attack, and dinner was in 
process of cooking. When surprised, they waited 
till the Malays were near shore, and then gave 
them a volley, but only one man was struck. The 
next instant the boats were in shore, and the Malays 
and Dyaks, sword in hand, were upon them. The 
Chinese fled in all directions ; some of them, know- 
ing what must come, ran into the jungle and held 
down their heads for them to be taken off. A 
quantity of opium and guns was recaptured, and 
the fact of this force comprising picked men of the 
Kungsi, inspired the Malays and Dyaks with con- 
fidence. Intelligence was received this evening that 
the Chinese had deserted Beledah, a fort above 
Ledah Tanah ; also that Siniawan, a village on the 
opposite bank, was set fire to. 

At this time the Rajah was living on board, but 
each morning he went ashore to Buppell's for a bath. 
Turnbull and I were told off as his body-guard, and 

BORNEO. 189 

after we had got him off again to the steamer, in- 
dulged in a little private pillaging of the wine-cellar ; 
TumbuU, with the genius of an Engineer, contrived 
with a hooked rattan to draw up excellent hock 
flagons through the little window which ventilated 
the cellar, and with these and some cheroots, we 
passed a pleasant hour each morning ; the owner, 
you must remember, had bolted from Sarawak, 
leaving his house open to everyone. 

Mrs. Middleton and Miss Wooley, being tired by 
this time of the steamer life, resolved to take up 
their quarters at Ruppell's, and went over in the 
afternoon with their goods and chattels. I was 
ordered on active service, and with two Malays, 
kept guard in the verandah during night. At 
midnight the ** head sound " came again, and I 
learned from the boats as they went by that Bau 
was destroyed. 

12th. — Letters from the Eajah, who, after the 
Datu's success, had gone up to Beledah with news 
that Bau was burnt, and the Chinese retreating 
toward the Sambas frontier. Mrs. Middleton and 
Miss Wooley removed to the fort, and I returned to 
head- quarters on the cabin table. 

To-day, some of the Dyaks who had been in the 
fight, returned with their prizes, and the cooking of 
heads commenced. The heads, after being cleaned, 
are hung over a slow fire and smoked ; this effectually 
cures them, and they are then ready for stacking. 
Perhaps thirty heads were hanging in different parts 


Sambas with a loss which, at the lowest calculation, 
was 1,500." 

Now to resume my own narrative. After the 
24th of February Sarawak was quiet ; not, however, 
in the calm of security, but rather the lull after the 
abrupt termination of a storm, which might at any 
moment break forth again, though perchance from 
another quarter. The Chinese were driven out, but 
passions had been aroused, and lawlessness was 
abroad. The feeling of security and reliance in the 
Rajah's government, which it had taken weary years 
to build up, was destroyed at one blow, and years 
must elapse before it could be restored. Round 
the Company's steamer, which had now become the 
head-quarters of the Rajah and the few Europeans 
still left, armed savages were passing and repassing 
in war-canoes, with restless activity. The steamer's 
guns were the only controlling force ; the Govern- 
ment was without resources, and the Rajah seemed 
cowed by his misfortunes and uncertain what was to 
be done. T felt, therefore, that it would be neces- 
sary for me to take counsel with the Company's 
representative at Singapore, as to our future course ; 
and as it was impossible to remove the steamer, I 
resolved to perform the voyage in a small open boat, 
which was the only means left me. I prepared to 
leave, and at the Rajah's urgent representation, I 
undertook, on my way, to call at the Dutch settle- 
ment, Sambas, in order to apprise the authorities 

BOBNEO. 193 

there of what had happened, and to solicit their 
co-operation in restoring order and quiet. I was 
received by the Resident there with the greatest 
courtesy, but the head-quarters of Dutch authority in 
Borneo being at Fontianak, instructions had to be 
obtained from thence. As I had fulfilled my mission, 
I desired to continue my voyage to Singapore ; but 
the voyage to Sambas had shown that it would be 
impossible to reach Singapore in my frail boat, I 
therefore hired a native prahu, which, though not a 
very promising craft, yet seemed to offer a better 
chance. But in this I was mistaken; we en- 
countered a gale shortly after leaving Sambas, and 
lost every sail but a jib, which, however, as good 
luck would have it, enabled us to regain the port of 
Sambas, just as a Dutch man-of-war arrived from 
Fontianak on her way to Sarawak, and under the 
circumstances, I was glad to return in her. 

On my arrival in Sarawak, I found that the Rajah 
had established himself on shore in the fort, had 
to some extent recovered tone, and was able to 
receive the Dutch with a show of becoming confi- 
dence in his own resources. A few days later 
a sailing vessel, the Water lAly^ arrived from 
Singapore, sent by the Borneo Company with the 
arms and suppUes, which I had ordered when going 
down the river during the insurrection. The 
Company's representative wrote me as follows : — 

^^By this schooner we ship arms, ammunition, 
and stores for the Sarawak Qovernmeut, also specie 



for account of the Borneo Company. Out of 
this remittance you will please furnish the Rajah 
with such sum of money as he may require; 
and, generally, you are authorised to place at the 
disposal of the Sarawak Government the whole 
resources of the Company in Borneo, so far as they 
may be made available for the upholding of the 
government and the safety of the European and 
other residents in the Rajah's territory." 

I was now able to send away our steamer and 
proceed in her myself to Singapore. Here the 
Baleigh frigate was lying, with gallant Admiral 
Eeppel, on his way to China. I called upon him, and 
told the tale of our troubles. The Admiral had done 
much for Borneo, where his name was a household 
word. He had deeply interested himself in the 
work of Sir James Brooke, and he was therefore 
greatly moved by my story, and, though unable to 
go himself, caused a ship of war to go across, and 
make a demonstration which had the best effect in 
calming the agitation. Accompanied by this vessel, 
on board which as passenger was the Prince Victor 
of Hohenlohe, now Count Gleichen, I once more 
returned to Borneo in our steamer. 

Some time after the insurrection, I accompanied 
the Rajah to Brunei, and, on our return, we 
called at Muka, where he hoped to settle a fend 
between the two rival factions of the Pangerans 
Dipa and Matusin. The latter had killed Dipa's 
father, and there seemed little prospect of settling 

BOBNSO. 195 

such a feud ; however, the Rajah wished to try, and 
we accordingly anchored off Muka. Boats came off 
for us from the shore, and it was arranged that we 
should land the same night ; the rival factions were 
to meet before him in the morning. On the Rajah's 
invitation, I accompanied him, together with Mr, 
A., a Singapore friend, on shore. Next morning 
the Rajah received the two rival chiefs and 
their followers, ranged on either side of a long 
house. All were armed, and the experiment seemed a 
dangerous one ; the Rajah evidently thought so also, 
for once his hand moved down to a concealed 
revolver. But the meeting went off peacefully — the 
Rajah's pleasing eloquence having its usual quieting 
effect. To have brought two such parties face to 
face without resort to arms, was a feat which those 
who know what blood feuds mean will appreciate. 
To reconcile them was impossible; but incidents 
like this show how the Rajah exerted himself to 
establish peace and good-will even at considerable 
personal risk. 

When peace was finally restored in Sarawak, I 
made up my mind to take a run to Europe. During 
ten years in the East I had been much exposed to 
the climate, and had suffered in health ; moreover, 
my arrangements with the new Company were not 
satisfactory, and required alteration if 1 was to re- 
main in Borneo, which could only be accomplished by 
interview; so on the 19th June, 1858, 1 left Sarawak. 





I HAD been eleven years in the East ; my work and 
anxieties in Borneo had told upon my health, and, 
wanting rest and bracing breezes, I was in no hurry 
to get to Europe, but rather inclined to enjoy a 
dolce far niente sort of life. I therefore gladly 
accepted the offer of a nephew of my old chief. 
Captain Lange, who, coming into Singapore har- 
bour in his brig Ghruda^ asked me to go down to 
Bali with him, and was pleased at the prospect of 
again visiting the scenes of early days. 

The brig had excellent accommodation; I was 
made very comfortable, and had a delightful pas- 
sage ; soft breezes, and a smooth sea. The coast 
of Borneo was in sight the greater part of the way, 
and we went so near to Sambas that I could see the 
flag on the fort of Pamankat. On the thirteenth day 
we made the coast of Java, off Cheribon, and then 
shaped our course for Sourabaya, where I left the 
vessel to have a peep at Java, rightly called the 


garden of the far East, and the plaoe of all others 
for a weary man who wishes to rest — a place 
where he may indulge in luxurious repose, undis- 
turbed by anything that is going on around him. 
There is no activity and bustle to reproach him for 
being idle, the Dutch seem to enjoy a perpetual 
holiday, and do not bother the natives with develop- 
ment; they know they have a snug berth, and 
endeavour to keep and enjoy it. I could have 
wished myself a Dutchman, that I might be at 
liberty to roam at pleasure over the lovely country ; 
but not being able to pass myself off for one, I could 
not get permission to go into the interior, and had 
to confine myself to excursions in the environs of 
Sourabaya, which, though pretty, was not new to 
me, as I had spent some time there in 1849, and so I 
limited my stay to ten days, of which, however, I 
made the most, and renewed my opinion of the 
Dutch, to the effect that, though officially harsh, 
they were, individually, the most pleasant and 
hospitable people. 

I left for Bali on the 17th of September, in my 
poor old chief's yacht, the Venus^ which his brother 
had kindly placed at my disposal. I coasted leisurely 
and pleasantly along the coast of Java, landing now 
and then ; I had a good cook, and every comfort on 
board, and was not, therefore, by any means in a 
hurry. With a book, and well-protected against 
the sun by awnings, I luxuriated on the deck 
of the Venus, as she gently skimmed the smooth, 


limpid sea under easy canvas, and was able to ad- 
mire at my leisure the beautiful scenery of Eastern 
Java. On the 5th day we entered the Bali Strait, 
called at Banjuwangi, where Mr. Lange had a house, 
which in former days I had sometimes visited, and 
then went across the strait to Bali. 

I have often thought that the pleasure of revisit- 
ing old familiar places and friends, after many years' 
absence, is greatly alloyed with sadness caused by the 
sight of the changes time has wrought, and I felt 
something of that kind on landing at Bali ; the 
place was as nearly as possible the same, but I saw 
a great change in the people, and, above all, I felt a 
great change in myself. I needed not the testimony 
of the natives to tell me that I had grown older. 
To outward appearance there was no change in the 
old place, but it looked sad ; and though there were 
some ships loading, there seemed to be a languor 
and listlessness prevailing, very different from the 
early days of my sojourn there. But there was 
especial cause for this, the master mind was gone — 
Mads Lange was dead. In my first chapter, I 
mentioned the depressing effect which the pro- 
tracted warlike operations of the Dutch had had 
upon the trade of the island, and how M. Lange's 
commercial operations had suffered in consequence ; 
this preyed on his mind, and, I have reason to think, 
shortened his days. He died, still in the vigour of 
manhood, and I returned only to find his lonely 
grave, instead of the friendship I had hoped one 


day %o know. His memory, I feel sure, must be 
treasured in the hearts of the Balinese, for he was 
to them a true friend and benefactor. There was 
much sickness in the island, the season being an 
unhealthy one. Out of the five Europeans who 
now formed the establishment, two died during the 
one month I was there, and a third was brought to 
the verge of death. I, too, sickened, but not so as 
to prevent my taking out-door exercise. Every 
morning I took long rides along the palm-lined 
sea-shore. My travelling companion, the ourang- 
outang mentioned in a previous chapter, who had 
thus far kept in excellent health, also sickened, and 
whether in spite, or in consequence of hot baths 
and injections, which by my friends' advice were 
regularly administered, and which he seemed to relish 
much, I cannot say, but he finally died. R. I. P. 

It was soon borne in upon me that, in my then 
state of health, it would not be wise to make a pro- 
longed stay in the island ; but as sickness and death 
threatened to disable my host and his staff from 
carrying on their business, and I, in an emergency, 
could be of some service to them, I prolonged my 
stay for six weeks, and finally consented, at my 
host's urgent solicitation, to proceed to Australia in 
a ship which he was loading, and was prevented 
by illness from accompanying himself, as he had 
intended. Everything considered, the plan was a 
very good one ; it secured to me a health-giving 
voyage in a fine ship, and an opportunity of seeing 


Australia ; so on the the 8th of November I em- 
barked in the good ship Statdy, and soon the coasts 
of Java and Bali faded on the horizon. 

The fair wind with which we had started did not 
last long, it soon veered to the south, and we had 
to beat down against it, and eventually to go to 
the south of Tasmania, instead of through Bass's 
Strait, as we had intended. The thermometer went 
down to 52® degrees, and we experienced a heavy 
gale and sea, which broke the stem ports, flooded 
the saloon, and threatened the safety of the ship. 
Meanwhile, however, I was gaining strength, dis- 
cussed with great relish pea-soup, salt junk, and 
plum pudding, and felt as if a new life was dawning 
upon me, and I was getting ready to take my share 
in it ; but it was a lonely voyage, the ship was a 
large one, and 1 the only passenger ; morever, during 
the whole voyage of forty-five days, we only saw 
one sail. 

When I went on deck on the morning of the 24th 
of December, we were within a few miles of a 
barren, rocky coast. To me, who had been ac- 
customed to the picturesque coasts of the islands 
of the Archipelago, these frowning, rocky cliffs, 
apparently without bush or shrub, appeared most 
desolate. Great, therefore, was my surprise to learn 
that right ahead, where no break as yet was visible 
in the rocky wall, was the harbour of Sydney ; but 
for the light-house right ahead, I could scarcely 
have believed it. As we got closer in, an opening 


became visible between two abrupt headlands, but 
still it only seemed an insignificant bay, as Cook bad 
deemed it when, after surveying Botany Bay, he 
passed this harbour unnoticed. When close to the 
gap we took a pilot on board; there was hardly 
wind enough to make the ship manageable, but as 
there were signs of a sea breeze, her head was 
directed towards the gap; the current, however, 
swept us so close in under the south head that we 
had to let go the anchor, and not a bit too soon, 
for we were within a few yards of the rocks, and if 
a breeze had sprung up before a steamer could have 
been got to tow us out of our precarious berth, the 
ship would have drifted on to the rocks, as the 
least sea sends in heavy rollers, and we had no room 
to pay out more chain. To make our reflections 
more cheerful, we were told that we were lying 
where the Duncan Dunbar was lost, when, out of 
some two hundred passengers, only one man 
escaped; the pilot showed me the identical bit of 
shelving rock upon which he was, as by a miracle, 
saved. At last the steam-tug came; we escaped 
with the loss of an anchor, and in another hour 
we were in the harbour, amidst a fleet of the 
most famous chpper ships of G-reat Britain and 

Sydney had quite the appearance of an English 
city, with the difference that at this time of the 
year, when the old country was probably shiver- 
ing in snow and ice, here was found all the 


luxury of midsummer. The streets were crowded, 
for it was Christmas-eve, and the approach of the 
festive season was visible in the abundant supply of 
good cheer temptingly displayed. I went to see the 
great market, where the fruit- stalls offered a sight 
such as few countries can equal for its variety. I put 
up at an hotel near the Botanical Gardens, where I 
used every morning to enjoy my bath, my run round 
the gardens, and my coffee in the Frence caf S close by. 
But I soon met with friends ; I had an introduction 

to Mr. B , to whom I consigned the ship's cargo, 

and he and his pretty young wife made my stay in 
Sydney very pleasant. I parted from them with 
much regret, and years passed by ere we again met 
amongst the mountains of Switzerland, and had 
goodly flocks of lads and lasses to introduce to each 

Having spent a month in Sydney, I went on to 
Melbourne, remaining there a fortnight ; visited the 
principal diggings, and proceeded to England in the 
Boyal mail steamer Oneida. We came by the usual 
route through the Red Sea, calling at King George's 
Sound, where we spent three days very pleasantly, 
roaming over the hills, which are covered with the 
most wonderful variety of heather, scraping oysters, 
or seeing the natives dance " Corrobories; " and last, 
though not least, one evening we had Shakespearian 
readings by a gentleman who came to visit us on 
board. There were a great number of passengers, 
and the large saloon was full of an expectant audience. 


The subject was " The Merchant of Venice,** and the 
reading delighted us all. The reader excited the 
more interest as he was declared by the ladies to 
be very like Shakespeare, a resemblance which, I 
think, art had a little improved upon. A very 
substantial sum rewarded him, to which was added 
an invitation to breakfast next day, with his wife. 
Next morning, however, there were ominous 
whispers about, and from the few words that 
reached me, I gathered that something very shock- 
ing had happened; it eventually turned out that 
the Shakespearian hero of the previous evening was 
a convict, and that the character of the lady was 
equally dubious. 

After a very pleasant voyage, I reached London 
on the 13th of March 1859. 




A TEAR had passed. I had engaged to return to 
Borneo, to take the management of the Company's 
affairs ; I had also taken to myself a wife, and on 
the 20th of February 1860, we embarked at South- 
ampton for our future home. We had a fellow- 
passenger, Captain Brooke, who was also returning 
to Sarawak to take charge of the Government, Sir 
James having, at that time, fully determined to 
withdraw from the Government in Captain Brooke's 
favour. He had told me so when I visited him at 
Bath, and wrote me also to the same effect, in the 
following words : — 

"My active career is over, and I have made 
arrangements to resign the government of Sarawak 
into Brooke's hands, at an early date. I hope we 
may meet again in Sarawak, as I never give up the 
prospect of visiting the country and people before 
my death ; we have had many a pleasant day there, 
and you may again enjoy it." 

BORNEO. 205 

I therefore looked upon Captain Brooke as the 
future Bajah, and as I had known him for many years 
as an amiable, fair-dealing man, who had governed 
the country well and firmly, I rejoiced at the prospect. 

We arrived in Sarawak on the 17th of April. I 
had been absent two years all but two months, and 
I found that this period had proved an unfortunate 
one, alike for the G-overnment and the Company. 

Two intriguing native chiefs, Sirib Musahor 
and Datu Haji, who, regretting the old regime 
of license and rapine, were chafing against the 
march of civilisation which the Bajah's Govern- 
ment was tending to introduce, had plotted the 
destruction of his government, the murder of the 
European inhabitants, and had commenced opera- 
tions, ^^ though as yet veiled under pretended inno- 
cence," by murdering two young men. Fox and Steel, 
who were in charge of a remote out-station. The 
more extended conspiracy planned by these men 
was, however, discovered. Capt. Brooke's younger 
brother, Mr. Charles Johnson (now Bajah of Sara- 
wak), who in his uncle's and brother's absence 
administered the Q-ovemment, had dealt firmly 
with the emergency, and driven the two chiefs out 
of the country. Still, these events, following so 
soon upon the insurrection of the Chinese, when 
the G-overnment had to rely upon the Malay and 
Dyak population, caused great uneasiness, and 
threw a gloom over the place, and which, of course, 
had also acted unfavourably upon all mercantile 


pursuits. In fact, when I accepted the offer of 
returning to Borneo, many of the Europeans had 
left, or were preparing to leave. 

This did not seem a very good time at which 
to bring out a young wife, and to recommence 
my labours in Borneo; but at the very thresh- 
old of Sarawak, on the sands of Santubong, 
we found a party, assembled there to welcome 
Captain Brooke on his return, which cheered us. 
There were Mr. and Mrs. Crookshank, who had 
suffered so cruelly during the Chinese insurrection, 
but had now recovered ; there also were Mr. Alder- 
son and Mr. Watson, who, like gentlemen good 
and true, had stuck to their duty in the time of 
trial. None of those who were actors in the events 
of those days will forget the humorous wit and 
kindly disposition of these two young men, now 
dead, and who in those gloomy days contributed 
so much to enliven our small party. 

The high hopes with which the Company had 
started in 1856 were now brought very low ; the 
Chinese insurrection, the failure of the coal mine, 
and the subsequent Malay conspiracy and inse- 
curity, had indeed entirely disorganised the original 
scheme; and as nothing succeeds like success, so 
nothing failed like failure. The poor Bajah was 
beset with pecuniary troubles; and the Company 
having not only had their prospects blighted, and 
confidence shaken, but having incurred losses direct 
and indirect, were perhaps not in a generous mood. 

BOBNSO. 207 

Having already in England been made fully 
acquainted with the events taking place in Sarawak 
during my absence, I was not affected by the low 
and desponding condition in which I found every- 
thing on my arrival, and I was fortified against it 
by my determination to do my utmost to infuse 
new life into the Company's operations according to 
plans understood and sanctioned at home. In this 
pursuit I moved about a good deal, accompanied by 
my wife, who admired and liked the country. 

Meanwhile, however, our politics were not run- 
ning smoothly. When Sirib Musahor was driven 
out of Sarawak he fled to Brunei, and calling at 
Muka on his way, induced his well-meaning but 
weak brother-in-law, Pangeran Dipa, to take up a 
hostile attitude against Sarawak, leading to the 
expulsion of Sarawak native traders from Muka, 
from which place came the principal supplies of 
sago, the trade in which I was doing my utmost to 

Captain Brooke found himself, soon after his 
arrival in Borneo, obhged to start with an ex- 
pedition for Muka, in order, if possible, to induce 
the Pangeran to raise his interdict on our trade ; 
but he was met with hostility, and had to throw up 
stockades till reinforcements could arrive. He 
wrote to me from Muka : — 

^^ This Muka war is a more troublesome business 
than I expected, and the forts strong to assault 
with such a rabble ; however, when our reinforce- 


ments arriye I shall be able to lead them such a 
life as will soon tire them out." 

The reinforcements soon came, and Captain 
Brooke and his brother Charles began a vigorous 
attack, which must soon have induced submission, 
had not the Governor of Labuan, who was also 
Acting Consul-General for Borneo, appeared on the 
scene in the war-steamer Victoria^ and authoritatively 
demanded the discontinuance of hostilities; more- 
over, intimating that Sirib Musahor would soon 
again arrive at Muka. 

It is strange how an otherwise able man could 
commit this unwise act. It was well known to us 
all that the Sirib had caused the death of Messrs. 
Fox and Steel, and would, if the opportunity had 
offered, have done as much for the entire European 
community of Sarawak. However, Captain Brooke 
submitted, and returned with his force to Sarawak, 
but the act of the Q-ovemor of Labuan was even- 
tually entirely disapproved by the British Govern- 
ment, and he appears himself to have had misgivings 
as to the course he had taken. At any rate, the 
steamer Victoria^ which had brought him down to 
Muka, called at Sarawak at the beginning of 
October to offer her services, and Captain Brooke, 
desiring to avail himself of the opportunity to send 
Mr. Crookshank and a few of the leading natives, 
with a view of coming to an understanding about 
the opening of trade, also requested me to accom- 
pany them. I did not consider it a very safe 

BOBNEO. 209 

sion to undertake, considering the circumstanoes 
under which the Sarawak forces had withdrawn, 
seeing also that Sirib Musahor was still the 
guiding spirit at Muka; but as the Datus urged 
it, I consented. Mr. Crookshank went in his own 
yacht towed by the Victoria^ I in the steamer. The 
Muka people, whom we found fishing, and other- 
wise engaged at the entrance to the river, took no 
alarm, but when we got half-way up to the town, 
we were met by several large boats, full of men, 
guns, and stakes for stockades, and at the entrance 
of the narrow creek where Pangeran Dipa's house 
is, we found a heavily-armed boat, on board which 
our native companions were ordered and detained, 
the Captain, Mr. Crookshank, and myself only 
being allowed to proceed up the creek to the Pan- 
geran's house — a very long one, capable of holding 
several hundred men, and built on poles at least 
thirty feet high. This house was full of armed 
men, loading guns, and otherwise demonstrating in 
a way not at all reassuring ; but as the captain of 
the war-steamer had taken no precautions whatever, 
we had no choice but to go up the ladder and 
make the best of it. Pangeran Dipa was very 
friendly, but seemed uneasy, and when after a while 
Pangeran Musahor entered, looking black as night, 
naked to the waist and with a great kriss in his 
sarong, evidently in a passion and prepared for any 
emergency, the situation became critical. Sitting 
at one end of the room, with our backs to a crowd 



of armed savages, whom the Pangeran faced, it 
needed only a sign from him and there would have 
been slaughter. This we afterwards learned was 
intended by Musahor, but Dipa restrained him, and 
we got safely out of the place. 

On mv return in the Victoria. I wrote Governor 
Edwards the following letter : — 

" In consequence of the request of some of the 
Chinese and Malay traders of Sarawak, I availed 
myself of Captain Wood's permission to visit Mukka 
in the Victoria for the purpose of ascertaining 
whether the authorities there could be induced to 
re-open trade with Sarawak. I wish to acquaint 
your Excellency that the visit of Her Majesty's 
steamer has been so far successful as to induce 
Pangeran Dipa to promise to relieve Sarawak 
traders and allow them to trade. An interview 
took place between him and some of the principal 
Sarawak Malays, and the latter expressed con- 
fidence in the integrity of Dipa's intentions ; but I 
have also to acquaint your Excellency that Pan- 
geran Dipa, while expressing himself friendly 
towards Sarawak, stated that there are now people 
in Muka over whom he has no control, and it was 
dear from the demeanour of Sirib Musahor and his 
followers that he meant them, as they showed signs 
of hostility, erecting stockades, and loading guns 
in our presence. I have, therefore, to acquaint your 
Excellency that, in the opinion of myself and those 
who were with me, there can be no lasting peace 

BOBKBO. 21 1 

with Muka till Sirib Musahor is removed; and I 
pray your Excellency, if possible, to effect this." 

To which the Governor replied from Labuan on 
the 28th October :— 

" I have to acknowledge your letter by the Fic- 
toria steamer, and thank you for the information 
given of the state of affairs in the River Muka. 
It was most gratifying to me to find that Pangeran 
Dipa has so faithfully fulfilled his engagements ; I 
trust that the trade of the river will have no fur- 
ther hindrance. As you have visited it so recently 
in the Victoria^ I did not deem it necessary to 
return there immediately, I did not reply to your 
letter till I could make inquiries respecting the con- 
duct of Sirib Musahor at Muka, but no information 
on the subject has yet reached Brunei. I desired 
Mr. Lowe to mention the subject to His Highness 
Jang de Pertuan, who had promised to make inquiries 
at Muka. His Highness is most anxious that the 
trade of the river should not be vexed from any 
cause, but you must be aware how impossible it is 
for me to press upon His Highness the individual 
interests of Sarawak at this moment, Mr. Brooke 
having declared all friendly relations to be in 

As already stated, the British Government dis- 
approved of the Governor's acts, and Consul- 
General St. John, who was absent on leave, was 
sent out, and went to Muka in a war-steamer, 
armed with the Sultan's authority. The Sirib 

14 • 


seeing that resistance was useless, left Muka, and 
eventually Borneo. 

During my various trips to Muka I had had 
opportunity to acquaint myself with the place and 
its great sago-producing capacity, and I established 
an agency and sago factory there. It was during 
one of my periodical visits to the place in May 1862, 
that a Lannun pirate fleet, consisting of six large 
and six smaller boats, appeared off the river. I had 
come up in the steamer Rainbow with Captain 
Brooke, who had left me at Muka, and after 
taking Mr. Hay, the Governor, on board, proceeded 
to the neighbouring river Bintulu. The pirates 
had captured thirty-two people in the neighbour- 
hood, and remained two days outside the river. 
There was great consternation in the place, and the 
absence of the commander of the fort with part of 
the fort men, made things worse. The river being 
blockaded it was dangerous for boats to venture 
out, and it was only by offering a large reward that 
I induced some natives to make the attempt at 
night. They were chased by the pirates, but suc- 
ceeded in escaping, and delivered my letter to 
Captain Brooke, at Bintulu. A desperate fight 
with the pirates followed, and resulted in the fol- 
lowing casualties : — 

Pirates killed or drowned . 1 90 

Escaped .... 19 

Brought prisoners to Sarawak 31 


BORNEO. 218 

Captives killed or drowned . 140 

Ditto liberated at Muka . . 30 

Ditto at Sarawak . . .164 

Ran away in jungle • • 56 


Amongst the captives there were people from 
every part of the Eastern Archipelago, from Borneo, 
Celebes, Java, the smaller islands and the Malayan 
peninsula. The appearance of these captives was 
most distressing, many of them looked like mere 
skeletons ; they had only had sea- water to drink, and 
raw sago for food ; and their limbs were systematic- 
ally beaten, to disable them from mutiny or flight. 

1 must now ask my readers to carry their thoughts 
back to the diary of the events of the Chinese 
Insurrection which has been placed before them. 
It is a record of first impressions, and recalls vividly 
the incidents of that exciting time, and I can bear 
testimony to the accuracy of the statements without 
committing myself to the reflections and deductions 
of the then youthful writer. That the Rajah's be- 
haviour on this occasion seemed at variance with his 
previous brave and chivalrous conduct, was doubt- 
less the case; but if we consider that he was 
scarcely convalescent, after an exhausting illness — 
that by a sudden blow, he, in one night, saw the 
fruit of years of toil destroyed, his property given 
to the flames, and himself a hunted fugitive in the 
woods, disappointed in the support which he sought 
amongst the natives, — his failure, if such it was, to 


meet the occasion as it required, may well be 
overlooked. Still, those who were with the Rajah 
then and afterwards could not but think that a 
change had come over him, which seemed to show 
itself in his subsequent conduct. It is not my 
intention to dwell upon affairs which belong rather 
to private life than to history; but of one cir- 
cumstance, which few of the Rajah's friends, 
well-acquainted with the facts, can contemplate 
without pain, I feel compelled to give a somewhat 
explicit account. I refer to the estrangement 
between himself and his nephew. Captain Brooke 
Brooke, which eventually led to the disinheritanoe 
of the latter. • 

As this sad quarrel forms so important a part of 
the history of Sarawak, and has been variously 
stated and misrepresented by partizans on both 
sides, I am desirous of putting the transaction in 
its true light, and trust I shall succeed in doing so. 

It should here be stated that Captain Brooke 
Brooke, formerly of H.M.'s 88th Regiment, was the 
eldest son of the Reverend F. C. Johnson and his 
wife, Emma Frances, eldest sister of Sir James 
Brooke; a younger brother is Charles Johnson 
Brooke, the present Rajah of Sarawak, the two 
brothers having taken their uncle's name. 

Captain Brooke's position will be best understood 
by the help of the statements made in a pamphlet 
published at the time, and from which I have largely 

BOBNBO. 215 

" Upon Sir James Brooke becoming Bajah of 
Sarawak, in 1841," Captain Brooke says, "he 
expressed a strong desire that Mr. Brooke should 
join him in the Bast, engaging, on his part, to con- 
stitute his nephew heir to the Baj and possessions 
of Sarawak, and these proposals were repeatedly 
renewed between that period and 1848, when Sir 
James Brooke returned to England, and was 
appointed Governor of Labuan. Shortly after Sir 
James Brooke's return to Sarawak, in the same 
year, Mr. Brooke, having determined to accept his 
uncle's offer, obtained the appointment of aid-de- 
camp, and joined him in Sarawak in September. 

" From this time forward. Sir James repeatedly, 
in writing, acknowledged Mr. Brooke as his heir ; 
and the latter, on his part, made various sacrifices on 
the strength of this promise. Thus, on the 9th of 
January 1853, Sir Jan^es, writing to Mr. Brooke's 
father, with reference to a sum of money which the 
latter had lent him, says: — 

" In case of my death, to whom, you ask, are you 
to look for the interest ? You must to your son, as 
Brooke will inherit Sarawak, as well as all my 
property there." 

** In September 1853 Captain Brooke resigned his 
commission in Her Majesty's service, that he might 
devote himself exclusively to Sarawak, and, at the 
Rajah's desire, threw £1,500, the price of his com- 
mission, into the public treasury. 

^^ In 1856, upon the occasion of Mr. Brooke's mar- 


riage to the daughter of Mr. Grant, of Kilgraston, Sir 
James gave the latter the fullest written pledges 
that nothing should interfere between Mr. Brooke 
and the inheritance of Sarawak. In this letter he 
says: — 

" My deab Grant, 

" My marriage is a most improbable event, 
and shall not stand in the way. 

" First, then : Brooke's succession is not only 
legally secured, but positively confirmed by the 

'* Second : the Government will make a sufficient 
allowance for Brooke's proper maintenance. 

" Third : the provision for the widow and the 
children shall be considered directly Brooke returns. 

" Fourth : the succession in the direct line is ac- 
knowledged, but an infant coming into the succession 
must be dependent on his natural guardians, and 
on the degree of respect which the people at large 
would pay to the arrangements of a deceased ruler. 
The case would be the same, whether my son were 
entrusted to Brooke's guardianship, or his sons to 
the guardianship of his brother, Charles Johnson ; 
and in either case I should have a perfect confidence 
in the stability of the arrangement, for I am sure 
their faith and honour would be above temptation." 

'* In the same year, 1 856, a lease was negotiated 
between Sir James Brooke and the Borneo Com- 
pany; the legal instrument being, in consequence 

BORNEO. 217 

of Mr. Brooke's interest as the heir-presumptive of 
the Sarawak Government, framed between Sir James 
Brooke and Mr. Brooke, as co-lessors, and the 
Borneo Company as lessees. This negotiation was 
a very long one; the lease was most rigidly con- 
sidered by the professional advisers on both sides, 
and Mr. Brooke executed it in the perfect faith that 
his description as heir-presumptive to his uncle was 
correct, and the covenants of the lease are made 
with, while the grant of the minerals is made by, 
both the co-lessors. Sir James's signature, duly 
witnessed, is attached to both lease and counterpart, 
and no doubt can exist that the reciprocity of all 
the parties is enforcible in all the courts of law 
and equity in this country. 

" Thus, the position of Mr. Brooke, as the 
acknowledged heir of the Raj and possessions of 
Sarawak, remained unchanged until the year 1857 ; 
then occurred the outbreak of the Chinese insurrec- 
tion, destroying the greater part of the town of 
Sarawak, paralysing the trade, and shaking all 
confidence in the stability of the country. Shortly 
after the outbreak Sir James Brooke returned, in 
ill-health, to England, and the Government of 
Sarawak was placed in Mr. Brooke's hands. It was 
at this period, as will hereafter be seen, that the 
first misunderstanding between Sir James Brooke 
aud his nephew arose. 

** In October, the following year, 1858, Sir James 
Brooke, while still in England, was attacked by 


a serious illness, which incapacitated him from 
further active service. Upon this news reaching 
Sarawak Mr. Brooke returned to England, and was 
at once entrusted by his uncle with all business 
relating to the settlement. 

"In March 1859, Sir James Brooke's health 
being still precarious, it was proposed, with a view 
to facilitate his immediate retirement from the 
Government of Sarawak, to raise a testimonial 
fund, on the understanding that the proposed fund 
should not fall short of £5,000. Sir James, at a 
meeting held at his friend Mr. Templer's chambers, 
and in the presence of Lord B. Cecil and Messrs. 
Knox, Trelawney, Hughes, and Templer, formally 
announced his resignation, and presented Mr. 
Brooke as the Bajah of Sarawak. It will be seen 
hereafter that the fund ultimately amounted to 
more than £9,000, and was duly presented to Sir 

" It was at this period that, by his uncle's direc- 
tion, Mr. Brooke, as the responsible ruler of the 
country, entered into correspondence with Lord 

"In February 1860 Mr. Brooke returned to 
Sarawak ; was warmly received by the people, and 
assumed the government. 

"In 1861 Sir James returned to Sarawak, to 
assist in settling the serious difficulties which had 
arisen with one of the neighbouring districts. 
Finally, in September of the same year, Sir James 

BOHNBO. 219 

Brooke, previous to his departure for England, 
formally installed Mr. Brooke as the Rajah Muda^ 
* young rajah,' of the country, investing him with a 
sword of state in the presence of the chiefs, and 
calling upon them to obey him henceforth as their 
Rajah, as formerly they had obeyed him (Sir James 
Brooke) as Rajah/' 

The foregoing summary sets forth the circum- 
stances under which Mr. Brooke became Rajah 
Muda of Sarawak ; but by no means does it show 
the long years of service in a tropical climate, the 
dangers, the poverty, the family afiBiictions that 
had been his lot during the sixteen years he had 
spent in the service of Sarawak. These are amply 
shown and acknowledged in his voluminous corre- 
spondence with his uncle. Moreover, in a time of 
financial pressure, Mr. Brooke without hesitation 
sacrificed a large portion of his private fortune to 
assist the Treasury. From the time of his joining 
the Government, in 1848, he was received as a 
partner in the work, and for years, during the long 
absence of Sir James Brooke, the entire manage- 
ment of the province, both political and financial, 
was entrusted to him. 

To understand rightly the Rajah's action in this 
matter, it is necessary to take account of all his 
sufferings, which had strained his faculties, mental 
and bodily, and to some extent warped his judg- 
ment. After many years of heroic labours and 
sacrifices in the cause of Sarawak, he was disap- 


pointed by not reaping the fruit he had fondly 
dreamed of. Weakened in health, disfigured by 
small-pox, impoverished by the Chinese insurrection, 
and suffering from the anxieties which the subsequent 
unsettled state of the country entailed, he had yet 
felt, most of all, that the admiration and support 
which his own country had once given him, had, to 
a great extent, been withdrawn. He considered 
himself ill-used by the British Government, became 
a man with a grievance, and wrote and spoke of the 
Government in terms which showed that he no 
longer judged with the calmness and patience of 
former days. 

In this frame of mind, and still feeling the respon- 
sibilities and pecuniary cares of the government 
resting upon him, without any certain source from 
whence to provide for its wants, or indeed for his 
own, it was natural that he should endeavour to 
transfer Sarawak to some power which, while it 
insured the future of the country, should reUeve him 
from pecuniary anxiety. He applied to the British 
Government, but in a spirit and in a manner which 
was little calculated to effect his object ; he, in fact, 
adopted a tone which eventually brought down upon 
him the reminder that he was a British subject. 
He then turned to other states, France, Holland, 
and Belgium by turns, but without success. 

These transactions extended over several years, 
from 1858 till 1862, and, meanwhile, time had 
brought about a juster appreciation, on the part of 

BORNEO. 221 

the British Qovernment, of the merits of the Rajah's 
claims, and the value of his territory. The Govern- 
ment instructed the Governor-General of India to 
inquire and report as to the nature of the Rajah's 
government and pretensions; and the Governor- 
General deputed the Governor of Singapore to pro- 
ceed to Borneo, and make inquiries on the spot. 

But I have to take up the story at an earlier 
date: Captain Brooke had, in 1858, come to an 
understanding with his uncle the Rajah, by which 
he was acknowledged his heir, and charged with the 
Government on the terms stated by the Rajah in 
the following letter, dated 19th of December 1858. 

" Under these circumstances, then, you cannot 
expect that I should resign my authority into your 
hands till I am certain your views for the future 
are consistent with the improvement of the country, 
or until (the people being willing to back you), a 
small portion of the debt due to me shall be repaid 
so as to release me from risks, which I deprecate 
as ruin. I may be forced, from circumstances, to 
run these risks which you court, but you cannot 
ask me to do so whilst any safe or honourable 
alternative remains. If I be forced to incur such 
a game of hazard, it shall be as Rajah of the country, 
and I will die in harness, and leave you as my 
successor. Now, the simple question arises — will 
the people endorse your views, and can we in any 
way raise such a sum as I require? For I conclude you 
are ready to make sacrifices to carry out your plans. 


I require £10,000 in money, and a yearly payment 
during my life of £500 to £700, and after my death, 
£200 a year for George's life. Here are the terms of 
my abdication, presuming the people, t.^. the Council, 
and Abang-Abang approve, I will then formally trans- 
fer my power to you, and when you have formally 
accepted the responsibility, may Qt)d help you . . . 
So far, then, there can be no misunderstanding, 
there can be no wrong done. I yield to your wishes 
at a sacrifice to you so small, that you will be only 
too glad to make it, if in your power. I have shown 
you a difference of views, I have shown you how it 
may be brought to accord, and even in this I will 
try and assist you, for I am not dealing in idle 
words. The present Company, or a new one, will 
still keep English interests in the country. My 
friends talk of a testimonial ; £10,000 is not a large 
sum, and even failing in more than £5,000, the 
remainder might be raised on loan. You would 
thus gain your object, and you might be justified, 
to a certain degree, in running the risk you men- 
tion; and if the revenue develope and British 
interests expand, there will be a chance of success." 
That the rights and privileges named in the 
above letter should in any event become Captain 
Brooke's, after the Rajah's death, was, as we have 
seen, only a fulfilment of the promise given when he 
gave up his commission and prospects in the British 
army, and devoted himself to Sarawak; but the 
arrangement now proposed amounted to an imme- 

BORNEO. 223 

diate transfer of tlie country to Captain Brooke, 
upon the terms of the letter, viz. £500 to £700 a 
year, and £10,000. But besides these payments there 
was an obstacle which both seemed to have 
overlooked, viz., the assumption of the debt 
of the Sarawak Government. Money had been 
borrowed for the necessities of the State, and 
more was necessary for the purchase of a steamer, 
now urgently wanted. Captain Brooke's guarantee 
not being suflBcient for the creditors, the Rajah was 
looked to as the responsible party, as the claims 
could not be discharged by the Sarawak exchequer, 
then in an impoverished condition. Practically, 
therefore, there could be no question of the Rajah's 

It was at this time, that, as above mentioned, 
some of the Rajah's friends in England, regretting 
that the last years of a life so nobly spent should 
be embittered by pecuniary troubles, conceived the 
idea of inviting subscriptions amongst his friends, by 
way of testimonial, the object being to raise a fund 
for the purpose of relieving the Rajah from pecuniary 
anxiety. The sum thus subscribed, amounting to a 
little over £9,000, gave rise to misapprehension and 
misunderstandings, both on the part of Captain 
Brooke and the gentlemen who took the active 
management of the matter, and, as will be seen, 
these misapprehensions contributed to the final 
rupture between Captain Brooke and the Rajah. 

The Rajah had, in his letter of the 19th of 


December 1858, claimed £10,000 and an annuity of 
from £500 to £700. The annuity he appears to 
have fixed as between his nephew and himself, but 
it was asserted by Captain Brooke, and by some of 
the gentlemen who formed the committee for raising 
the fund, that the Rajah had accepted this fund in 
full satisfaction of all claims, and then and there 
introduced Captain Brooke as his successor. That 
this was their view is shown by the following extract 
from a statement published by Captain Brooke, in 
reply to an article in a Singapore newspaper which 
adopted the Eajah's view of the matter. Captain 
Brooke says : — 

" Only recently it has come to the knowledge of 
Mr. Brooke that a pamphlet printed by him in 1863 
for private circulation, and referring to a recent 
occurrence between Sir James Brooke and himself, 
has been noticed, and, in a manner, replied to in an 
article of the Singapore Straits Times. The idea of 
becoming Rajah of Sarawak during the lifetime of 
Sir James Brooke, had never occurred to him until 
the proposal to him to resign in his favour was 
made by Sir James himself, in the year 1858. Now, 
Mr. Brooke must beg his readers to notice, in refer- 
ence to this proposal, how strangely the newspaper 
article is at variance with the facts of the case. It 
says (pp. 1, 2) : *In 1859, Sir James Brooke was 
desirous to make his nephew Rajah, and to become 
the Rajah Tuah (old Rajah). For this purpose 
negotiations were entered into, with a view to 

BORNEO. 225 

relieve Sir James Brooke from the liabilities 
incurred in the Government, on completion of which 
terms Sir James intended permanently to retire 
from all active administration in Sarawak, and 
instal Mr. Brooke in his place. The following were 
the conditions named by Sir James in his letter to 
Captain Brooke : I require £10,000 in money, and 
a yearly payment during my life of from £500 to 
£700, and after my death £200 for George's life. 
Here are the terms of my abdication.' But this 
letter containing these conditions was written in 
1858, and therefore could not refer to a negotiation 
in 1859. 

" What is the fact? There were two negotiations 
entered into with a view to enable Sir James 
Brooke to abdicate. The first was made by Sir 
James Brooke in 1858. The letter of Sir James 
Brooke, from which the above extract was made, 
contained the conditions under which, in 1858, not 
in 1859, he was willing to abdicate. 

" * These conditions,' the article states, * were not 
carried out, and Sir James, on the appearance of 
fresh troubles, proceeded to Sarawak in I860.' 

" Now, it is true that the conditions of the pro- 
posed abdication in 1858 were not carried out; but 
anyone reading the above would be led to conclude 
that these were the conditions of the negotiations 
of 1 859, and that that proposal of abdication had 
been given up because these conditions could not 
be carried out ; although such was not the case. In 


the following year, 1869, Sir James Brooke was still 
anxious to abdicate, and his friends, to relieve him 
of a pecuniary difficulty which appeared the only 
bar to his resignation, determined lo raise the money 
by a public subscription. Sir James Brooke eagerly 
accepted the proposal, and thus expressed himself 
with reference to it, in his letter to Mr. Brooke, of 
11th of March 1869 :— 

" * If no more is to be had> £5,000 \^ill satisfy 
me, as a return for my private fortune ; but I should 
like £10,000. I say, too, that it is my wish and 
intention, provided this arrangement for money 
can be made, to resign the Q-overnment into your 
hands. I will be an adviser when you want me.* 

" The testimonial fund amounted to more than 
£9,000 ; it was raised for a double purpose, viz. 
to enable Sir James Brooke to retire from Sarawak, 
and to prevent his raising the necessary funds by 
negotiating with France. Sir James knew the 
conditions upon which the fund had been raised ; 
they were prominently stated in the circular issued 
by the committee. The sum raised was presented 
to him, and accepted by him ; and so positive had 
been the announcement of his abdication in Mr. 
Brooke's favour, that Mr. Knox, the private and 
intimate friend of Sir James Brooke, and a leading 
member of the committee, wrote to Mr. Brooke as 
follows : — 

" * I do not see how you can object to the Rajah's 
return to Sarawak, for it appears that he must 

BORNEO. 227 

return, to invest you formally with authority. Con- 
tinued residence there, and interference with your 
Government, would no doubt prove a violation of 
the honourable engagement between you.* '* 

It will be seen that Captain Brooke maintained 
there were two negotiations, one claiming an 
annuity of £500 to £700 and £10,000 ; the other 
accepting a testimonial fund amounting to a little 
over £9,000, as a compensation in full for the 
Rajah's abdication. To the opinion of Mr. Kndx, 
one member of the committee already quoted as 
apparently in favour of Captain Brooke's side, 
may be added that expressed by another member, 
viz. Mr. Hughes, Q.C., who takes the same view. 

" 28th of April 1863. — I am much grieved at 
the news you send me, though I was not altogether 
unprepared for something of the kind. It is a very 
sad subject to me, and it is painful to me to answer 
your questions, because I cannot do so without 
casting blame on one whom I have for many years 
honoured and looked up to as one of the greatest 
of living Englishmen. However, you, on behalf of 
Captain Brooke, have clearly a right to ask me for 
plain answers to a plain question, as I filled the 
office of joint secretary, with Templer, to the 
Brooke testimonial. First, then, it was my un- 
doubted belief at the time when the fund was raised, 
that Sir James Brooke had determined to resign 
the Rajahship of Sarawak into the hands of his 
nephew, Captain Brooke. This belief remained 

16 • 


unshaken ; it is founded upon what I heard, before 
the testimonial was started, from Sir James Brooke 
and his intimate friends, and upon the statement of 
his views which he made to the committee at their 
first meeting. I would gladly speak with diffidence 
on the point if I dared ; but my memory of what 
took place, and of my own motives for taking an 
active part in so disagreeable a duty as raising 
money for a great man, is too clear to allow me 
to do so. Secondly, I cannot say whether the 
other subscribers looked upon their subscriptions 
as given upon this express understanding. Very 
few of them were at the meeting at which Sir James 
declared his intention of resigning, and we had no 
means of judging what the motives of the general 
body were, with whom we were not brought in 
personal contact. I only speak positively for my- 
self, and I should wish not to go any further in my 
testimony. Of course you may make any use you 
please of this letter." 

On the other hand, the Rajah, on the 22nd 
of December 1858, wrote to Mr. Charles Brooke 
(Captain Brooke's brother, the present Rajah of 

" I yield, however, to Brooke's views and wishes, 
on certain conditions; for I feel that I would 
willingly hamper the stage no more. But Sarawak 
must not be endangered by any personal feeling or 
nationality of its ruler. If there be a fair prospect 
of safety, let Brooke try his hand; but, at the same 

BORNEO. 229 

time^ I must be relieved from the anxieties and 
responsibilities of my office." 

" * These terms have not been fulfilled in a single 
particular. How, then, does Mr. Brooke support 
his pretentions ? Has he lost my letter of the 19th 
of December 1858 ? or does he quote a paragraph, 
which mentions my abdication, whilst he suppresses 
the terms upon which it was dependent? There 
can be no misunderstanding the correspondence 
when read with a knowledge of the terms of my 
abdication in Mr. Brooke's favour. I did not abdi- 
cate, because these terms were not complied with, 
and, had I done so, I should have become a 
pensioner upon my nephew's bounty.' " 

I have quoted letters supporting Captain Brooke's 
claim. The other side is ably advocated in the 
the following letter from Mr. Thomas Fairbaim, 
which sustains the Rajah's view of the case. It is 
dated the 13th of May 1863. 

" I deeply regret the necessity of my absence 
from London at the time when the affairs of Sir 
James Brooke are about to receive consideration 
by the Cabinet. You know how long I have been 
the Rajah's friend, how true and lasting is my 
affection for him. It would have been a happiness 
to me to have assisted in any way I could to have 
obtained the recognition of his rule and govern- 
ment. The recent attempt by the Rajah's nephew 
to defy his uncle's authority was marked through- 
out by such ingratitude and baseness that I am 


not astonished to hear, as I have done from Mr. 
Brooke himself, that he will even take advantage of 
his visit to England under parole to stir up fresh 
opposition to the Rajah's position as the ruler of 
Sarawak. Knowing, as I do, how Mr. Brooke met 
the Bajah at Singapore, not daring to face his imcle's 
just anger in Sarawak, and before the native council; 
how his submission was complete ; how in tears he 
confessed his sorrow for what he had done, and 
then asked for permission to travel, and for the 
means of doing so; and how Sir James Brooke, 
with ungrudging generosity, granted both, I confess 
Mr. Brooke's letter to myself makes me believe he 
will resort to any artifice to deal his uncle a foul 

'* It has not surprised me, therefore, to learn that 
it is attempted to fasten the conditions on the 
Bajah's acceptance of the public testimonial in 
1879, conditions which I unhesitatingly pronounce 
to be false and unfounded. 

"I may say that I was the prime mover in 
getting up that testimonial. It originated at a 
time when the Rajah was under my own roof, 
stricken down by God's hand. It was meant from 
the beginning, and was so treated throughout, as a 
simple, earnest, and affectionate testimony of friends 
to a noble character and disinterested public 
services, services which, instead of enriching, 
had left their author, broken by illness and 
weariness of heart, with threateniug poverty. It 


was hoped that a fund to be raised would prove 
sufficient to save the Rajah's declining years from 
want ; but I most solemnly declare no stipulation or 
suggestion of any kind, affecting Sir James Brooke's 
future conduct or perfect freedom of action, was ever 
made. Had such a suggestion ever been breathed, 
I, for one, would have indignantly thrown up any 
connection with the movement. It never was made, 
and whoever may now circulate such a statement 
must be originating it for unworthy purposes. 
Ask Mr. Knox, Lord de Grey, Mr. Novelli, or any 
other member of the committee who was not 
mixed up with the shameful clique who subse- 
quently wanted to make out that the Bajah was mad. 
I am sure one and all will confirm what I have 

It will be seen that a very serious divergence of 
opinion existed, not only between the Rajah and 
his nephew, but between gentlemen of high social 
position who had taken a leading part in promoting 
the testimonial. I think the impartial observer will 
agree as to the difficulty of believing that the Rajah 
could have consented to accept a sum which would 
barely have given him £400 a year as a compen- 
sation for the sacrifices involved in his wonderful 
career in Borneo. The explanation appears to be 
that when some members of the committee asserted 
that the Rajah had accepted the testimonial fund in 
full discharge of all claims, and then and there 
introduced Captain Brooke as his successor, they 


j j 


I I 

overlooked the fact that the question of annuity wai 
regarded by the Rajah as a matter settled betweei 
himself and his nephew, which, as it concerned th< 
Sarawak exchequer only, was not a matter for th< 
committee to take cognizance of. 

As already stated, these transactions took plao 
in 1859. Captain Brooke returned to Sarawak ii 
the spring of 1860, and the Rajah followed in th< 
autumn of the same year. Friendly relations existed 
between them during his stay in Borneo, and befor 
again returning to Europe the Rajah invested hi 
nephew with the title of Rajah Muda (younj 
Rajah), and charged him formally with the govern 
ment of the country. 

Matters were in this position between the unci 
j and nephew when the visit of the Governor o 

Singapore above alluded to took place. Amonj 
the papers with which the Government had supplie 
him for his guidance was a memorandum drawi 
up by Consul-General Spencer St. John, who, a 
an old friend and adviser of both the Rajah an< 
his nephew, took an active interest in the Rajah' 
negotiations with the British Government, of whic 
he was the representative. In this paper Mr. Si 
John made the following statement : — 

'^ I have considered that as Sarawak has bee 
benefited by the expenditure of between £40,00 
and £50,000 of Sir James Brooke's private fortuni 
that country should return it to him in £40,000 c 
five per cent, stock. I put it at that, as he wi 

BOBN£0. 233 

have to provide for Mr. Brooke, in case the Govern- 
ment should not continue him as Governor of Sara- 
wak for any time. I only suggest this as a way out 
of a diflBculty ; if well managed the country would 
not feel it. Of course, it would be preferable if 
the Government would boldly clear off all liabili- 
ties, &c." 

This memorandum was probably not intended 
for Captain Brooke's eye; but the Governor, 
doubtless wishing to act with perfect candour 
towards his host, showed it to him, which had 
the effect of greatly exasperating Captain Brooke, 
who thought his rights infringed upon, and who, 
it must be remembered, was, owing to his recent 
afflictions and cares, in a morbid and excitable state 
of mind. An angry letter to his uncle was the result. 
It was as follows : — 

'^ I hesitated not one moment, but resolved to 
take my own course and assert my own rights and 
those of the people of Sarawak. Bajah, you must 
blame yourself ; you have overstrained the bow of 
my patience, and it has broken at last. We must 
try our relative strengths, and all I can say is, that 
if I prove the stronger, I shall always bear in mind 
that you were the founder of Sarawak, that you 
are my relative, and that you were my friend. I 
do not write this in anger, but in calm determina- 
tion, &c." 

And the challenge thus thrown down was taken 
up by the Rajah, who again left England for 


Sarawak in February 1863. Captain Brooke did not 
await his uncle's arrival, but met him in Singapore, 
and a partial reconciliation took place. Brooke, 
submitting himself to the Rajah's pleasure, was 
required to go on leave to England, and ensured 
an allowance. The following correspondence took 
place between them : — 

Mr. Brooke to the Rajah. 

" Singapore, 26th February 1863. 
" Our interview terminated so abruptly yester- 
day that I left you without hearing what your 
intended commands were. I should like to know 
whether you intend to prevent my return to 


The Rajah's reply. 

" Singapore, 26th February 1863. 
" In reply to your note I say, as you have sub- 
submitted to my authority, and expressed your 
willingness to proceed upon leave of absence, I 
have no intention to prevent your return to Sara- 
wak, upon gaining my permission to do so. I can 
give no pledge beforehand, as it must depend upon 
circumstances at the time and your own conduct." 

The Rajah then proceeded to Borneo, and Cap- 
tain Brooke went to England, where he, I think 
unadvisedly, raised an agitation against the Rajah. 
In defence of this course, Captain Brooke says in 
his statement : — 

" But to his (Captain Brooke's) surprise, Sir 

BOBNSo. 235 

James proceeded to Sarawak, and without commu- 
nicating with him, or even allowing any notice of 
his arrival in England to reach Sarawak — in fact, 
just six weeks after Mr. Brooke had left Singapore, 
Sir James (who, as Mr. Brooke asserted, had agreed 
that three years should be allowed for the recon- 
sideration of the matter in dispute) summoned a 
council * and in their presence, but, as Mr. Brooke 
is informed, without their concurrence,' decreed the 
banishment of Mr. Brooke during his pleasure, and 
the deprivation of his rank and title. When this 
news reached Mr. Brooke, he printed a statement in 
his own defence, and protested against the act of 
Sir James Brooke ; and consequently the statement 
in the article, that Mr. Brooke rushed, immediately 
on his arrival in England, into open opposition to 
Sir James Brooke, is erroneous. Mr. Brooke found 
himself betrayed. Sir James had induced him to 
return to England on the understanding that mat- 
ters were to remain for a time undecided. Not a 
word was even hinted that he would take advantage 
of his absence to condemn him before a council of 
his own people." 

Had Captain Brooke acted with more patience 
and prudence, time would, doubtless, have softened 
the Rajah's feelings towards him. I judge thus 
from his expressions to me, immediately on his 
arrival in Sarawak, when I had a full explanation 
with him, as to the bearing of this event upon the 
Company's interests. He then explained at length 


the cause of the misunderstanding between himself 
and his nephew, and spoke more in sorrow than 
anger; but the hostile attitude which Captain 
Brooke assumed at home resulted in his disinherit- 

I have endeavoured impartially to state both 
sides of this case, but do not hesitate to avow, that 
in my opinion, the conclusion to be drawn is, that 
Sir James Brooke had irrevocably and for sub- 
stantial considerations acknowledged his nephew as 
his heir and successor ; the latter was, in fact, a 
partner in the Government, and it ought no longer 
to have been in the Bajah's power to disturb this 
arrangement ; nor is it likely that he would have 
attempted this, but for the misfortunes which over- 
took Sarawak in the Chinese insurrection, and the 
consequent impoverishment of himself and his 
Government. These misfortunes tended, as already 
hinted, to obscure his mind and warp hia judgment, 
and vacillation and uncertainty were but too appa- 
rent in his subsequent action in this matter. At 
one time we find him '* quite ready to make over to 
you (Captain Brooke) in the most formal and bind- 
ing manner the country, the government and pro- 
perty, receiving as little as 1 can live upon for 
myself." Again, " Brooke's and Charlie's positions 
are established beyond my power to disturb, even 
did I wish it." But then, again, he assumes his full 
right to act independently of his nephew, and uses 
menacing language towards the latter; the fact 

BORNEO. 237 

being that they had no longer the right to act 
independently of each other. They had contracted 
obligations towards each other, and towards the 
creditors of Sarawak, who had lent money to the 
Sarawak Government upon Sir James's security, 
and were not content with Captain Brooke's. The 
Rajah could not, therefore, abdicate till they were 
satisfied ; and the truth is, he never had any desire 
to do so, but illness compelled him to withdraw 
from Sarawak, and to leave his nephew in charge. 

As regards the transfer of his position as Rajah, 
there had been the same vagueness and uncertainty. 
He had, as Captain Brooke asserted, transferred his 
government and position to him in the Court-house 
of Sarawak in September 1861 ; but this was sub- 
sequently denied by Sir James. Yet, that his 
action on this occasion was almost an abdication, if 
it did not absolutely amount to one, is proved by 
the following letters written by two of the Sarawak 
officers, one of them first in position after the 
Rajah, who, when called upon by Captain Brooke 
to give their opinion as to what had taken place, 
wrote as follows : — 

" At the ceremony of your installation as Rajah 
Muda, the Rajah's speech, as far as I can recollect, 
was as follows : — 

" * Datu, Abang-Abangs, Nakodahs, and all pre- 
sent : I have assembled you all here to-day to give 
you notice of my intended return to Europe. I 
have dwelt among you for many years ; 1 am now 


old and in bad health, and soon I may be called 
away. Before I leave Sarawak I wish to tell you 
that I create my son Bajah Muda, that I make 
over the government and the country to him, and 
I beg and entreat of you all, that as you have loved 
and obeyed me as your Rajah, so now you will love 
and obey him as your Rajah. The country is now 
settled, our enemies are overthrown, and if you 
continue resolute and united all will go well. I 
now wish you all farewell ; if at any future time 
you want me, I will always come.' 

** By this speech the natives, and I, considered 
that the Government was regularly made over for 
good into your hands, and that you are now looked 
on as the Rajah, for Sir James Brooke is now called 
the Rajah Tuah ; in fact, it is as near an approach 
to abdication as can be, or rather, perhaps I should 
say, it is the Eastern mode of abdication. The 
natives now, doubtless, look upon you as the Rajah 
and ruler." 

Another officer wrote as follows : — 

" In reply to the letter you wrote this morning, 
I can state that I was present when the Rajah, Sir 
James Brooke, took his public farewell of the chiefs 
and inhabitants of Sarawak. In the speech he then 
made. I distinctly understood the Rajah to say that 
he entirely placed the government of the country 
in your hands, and in presenting you with the 
sword he had carried as Rajah of Sarawak for 

BORNEO. 239 

twenty years, lie introduced you to all present as 
Rajah of Sarawak. 

*'He at the same time said that, should his 
health permit of his again visiting his old people, 
he should try to do so ; but I may say that the 
impression of everyone present was that, in giving 
you his sword he had tendered his formal abdication 
of the Government of Sarawak." 

While sympathising with Sir James Brooke in 
his misfortunes and difficulties which clouded and 
embittered his latter years, one cannot help seeing 
that his conduct towards his nephew was unjusti- 
fiable. The treatment which drove the latter to 
desperation and defiance was indefensible. 

But when saying this, it should be remembered 
that it is not by isolated actions under such cir- 
cumstances that posterity will judge a great man, 
and as such his work hajs stamped the Rajah. 

That Sir James would have relented towards his 
nephew, had time and circumstances permitted, 
may well be believed ; but another was ready to 
step into the place. 

A recent writer on Sarawak, when speaking of 
Sir James Brooke's pecuniary difficulties, hints at 
harsh and ungenerous conduct on the part of the 
Borneo Company. This, in reality, was not the 
case ; the Company rendered the Rajah great 
services and substantial support. The diary has 
already shown how the Company's steamer drove 
out the rebellious Chinese, enabling the Rajah to 


re-asBert his authority, and how the Company subse- 
quently placed their resources at his disposal ; but 
it must be remembered that the Company had been 
greatly discouraged at the very outset of their 
existence. The Chinese insurrection disorganized 
their eflForts, inflicted very heavy pecuniary losses, 
swept away the labour from the mines, and left for 
years a feeling of insecurity which acted injuriously 
upon the development of the country ; and when 
things settled down, and the country began to prosper, 
new anxieties were created by the Rajah's quarrel 
with his nephew. The Company was a commercial 
one, not a philanthropic society ; the directors had 
shareholders asking for dividends, and, under all 
the circumstances, I cannot think the Rajah had 
any just cause for complaint. Whether the Com- 
pany's conduct was calculated to secure the attain- 
ment of the object for which it was founded, is 
quite another matter ; but their fault, in the first 
instance, was rather an excess of faith in the resources 
of Sarawak, and too much impatience to develop 

What great changes had been wrought in the 
prosperity and appearance of the country since Sir 
James Brooke first established his government, will 
be best shown by giving extracts from a letter 
published in a Singapore newspaper by Mr. Hugh 
Low (now Her Majesty's Resident at Perak, in 
the Malayan Peninsula), after his visit to the settle- 
ment in 1868. Mr. Low, who has written several 

BOBNBO. 241 

works on Borneo, is an old friend of Sarawak, 
where, as will be seen, he first arrived in 1844. 

"The town of Kuching, more commonly called 
Sarawak by Europeans, was in 1844 a small Malay 
village, with about forty miserable Chinese shops, 
and thatched houses. There was not, at that time, a 
house of brick in the place, and the only wooden 
ones were those occupied by the Bajah and his 

"One small schooner kept up communication 
with the outer world, and by its making a voyage to 
Singapore once in two months all the requirements 
of the commerce of the place were satisfied. 

" The town was situated in a swamp, and sur- 
rounded, to the house doors, by jungle. 

" I now find it one of the prettiest places I know 
of in the East. The swamps have been drained by 
the roads, and the hills surrounding it are each 
surmounted with a pretty bungalow, many of them 
built of the most permanent material. A beautiful 
armed screw yacht, belonging to the Government, 
conveys its mandates and officers to the out- 
stations. The Boyalistj a most commodious steam 
vessel, keeps up regular communication with Singa- 
pore and Labuan, and schooners supplement her in 
carrying the heavier portions of the trade. Several 
ships annually go direct to England with produce 
collected by the Borneo Company, and the trade, 
in part of the town, consists of about 250 houses, 
some of them of superior, and all of good construction, 



situated along a well-drained road, which passes 
through what was formerly the swampy site of the 
Chinese village. 

" On approaching the town from the mouth of the 
river, the first houses are met with about two miles 
below the commercial part of it, and as we near the 
Samarang Rocks a view of almost unexampled beauty 
opens upon us. The noble river, and the thickly- 
clustering Malay houses occupy the foreground, 
behind them are the hills, on which the Residency, 
Mr. Helms' and other beautiful bungalows, are 
situated ; and at a distance of seven miles rises the 
noble range of the Matang Mountains, behind which 
the sun sets amongst clouds every evening, in a 
glory which it is well worth a visit to Sarawak to 

** I could not learn that the actual numbers of the 
population had been ascertained, but I should judge 
it to be about 20,000, and all seem to be occupied 
and happy. The river is covered with large schooner- 
rigged native boats, flying the Sarawak colours, 
and its bank, along the Chinese bazaar, is crowded 
with native vessels of various kinds from the out- 
stations, from the Dutch territories, from the Malay 
peninsula, the islands of the north and south 
Natunas, and many other places. The shops are full 
of goods of all descriptions, and a perfect Babel of 
tongues salutes the ear in passing through the 

** In those days the revenue also was of the most 

BOBNBO. 248 

trifling description, and the expenditure was almost 
entirely defrayed from the private fortune of the 
Rajah. Though the expenditure is still a drain on 
the credit and resources of the family, the following 
figures will show that its prospects of being shortly 
met by the receipts are very encouraging. 

1865. 1866. 1867. 

Dollars. Dols. Cents. Dols. Cents. 

Receipts . 138,515 202,777 26 150,407 23 
Expenditure 161,897 208,053 12 157,870 21 

" The wealth of the province of Sarawak at pre- 
sent is in its minerals, the chief of these worked 
being antimony, gold, diamonds, and, within the last 
three months, ores of quicksilver.'* 

Of the district where the antimony and gold is 
worked I have given some account in a previous 
part of this chapter. I shall now say a few words 
touching the quicksilver mines, situated a few miles 
south of the former, at the base of the Bongo Moun- 
tains, a sandstone range near the boundary of the 
Dutch territory, and the watershed of the great 
rivers which intersect the south-west coast of 
Borneo. This part of Sarawak was uninhabited 
up till the year 1867; the undisturbed primaeval 
jungle extended from the confines of the antimony 
and gold-mining settlements to the base of the 
Bongo mountain. Here, among the limestone 
hills and rocks, I used at intervals to explore 
and search for the minerals of which traces had 
been found, and it was after many a vain search 

16 • 


that, in September 1867, when stragghng up 
mountain torrent with a party of natives, leapi 
from boulder to boulder, I came upon a huge mi 
of rock lying across the stream, which showed r 
lines of the mineral of which I was in search. Tl 
was the first sight of what is now known as t 
quicksilver mines of " Tegora," the only mines 
the kind in that part of the world. This boulc 
had fallen from the hill-top, 900 feet above. T 
discovery led very shortly to labours which ma 
the jungle resound with the miner's blast and t 
engine's puff. 

Here, as elsewhere, it was much due to the t 
mirable pioneering qualities of the Chinese, tt 
the great difficulties attending the opening of su 
works were rapidly overcome. Roads were mac 
huts built, machinery carried, and ere long t 
mountain was made to yield its stream of liqu 
silver. If I had to complain of the Chinaman he' 
it was of his recklessness, whether at the mines 
at the smelting works. A prospect of gain ovi 
comes all his sense of danger ; here is an instanc 
I was sitting with a friend on the slope of t 
" Tegora " mountain ; busy groups of men were 
work round about us, and above us towered t 
peak. Suddenly, a dull, grating noise was heard ji 
behind us. It was caused by a huge mass of roc 
weighing hundreds of tons, which was sliding don 
crushing in its descent two Chinamen and bac 
wounding a third. These men had been hewi 

I \ 

■, >fi';-'J 





k ^'^ 

■ JW. 1 


r «.■•■ . 











-■. 'ifriJ 


















BOBNEO. 245 

out ore from a piece of rock which supported this 
great mass. They had been warned of the danger 
and ordered away, but had stealthily returned and, 
unobserved, recommenced the work, which speedily 
caused their destruction. Again, at the mercury 
furnaces, all sorts of precautions were taken to 
protect the men from salivation, but in vain; they 
would work their own way, the consequeaces often 
being disastrous. I remember visiting the mines 
one day, when the manager informed me that a 
Chinaman wished to see me. ^^ What does he 
want?*' I said. " Oh, he's got all his teeth in a 
bit of paper," was the answer; and so it was. I 
was much shocked, but he did not seem to mind it 
much, and a few dollars made him quite happy. 

In the history of Sarawak, subsequently to the 
Chinese insurrection, there is much that is to be 
regretted, and a great blow was inflicted on the 
prosperity of the country by the quarrel between 
its founders ; but to both uncle and nephew must 
be rendered a hearty tribute of praise for their 
devotedness to the land of their adoption, and their 
conduct of one of the most romantic and heroic 
enterprises of this century. Both the Bajah and 
his nephew found final resting-places in their native 
land ; the death of Sir James taking place in July 
1868, at his residence Burrator, in Devonshire. 
Captain Brooke died the same year. 

With their death, the interest which attaches to 
the Sarawak to which they devoted their lives, may 


be said to have ceased. Sir James Brooke's labours 
attracted the attention and sympathy of his coun- 
trymen^ because of the romantic circumstances 
which surrounded his first settlement in BomeOy 
his sympathy with the suffering Dyak tribes, and 
the extraordinary influence he obtained over the 
natives of the country. As for Captain Brooke, 
those who knew him and witnessed his devotion to 
his duties, and the sorrows with which it pleased 
Providence to afflict him in his private life, will 
think of him as a martyr to whom Sarawak owes 
much, and whose lovable qualities are remembered 
by native and European alike. 

Sarawak has now passed out of that phase of 
history which associated it with chivalry and 
romance, but has, on the other hand, gained in 
security and prosperity. The old savage habits of 
the people gradually changed ; some of the restless 
leaders were exiles, others died, and a new genera- 
tion, which had not known the fierce excitement of 
chronic wars and piracy, grew up in more settled 
and law-abiding habits, and in more lawful occu- 
pations. Commerce, the great civiliser, gradually 
taught the people that greater advantages were to 
be derived from peaceful trade than from piracy 
and war, and Civilisation came to them ofiFering all 
her advantages without any of the drawbacks from 
which many aboriginal populations have, under 
similar circumstances, suffered. There were no 
*' mean " whites, and no roughs from Australia and 

BORNEO. 247 

California to introduce new and unknown vices, 
and the natives were not slow to learn the lesson 
which the " almighty dollar " taught. 

By small degrees, and in modest proportions at 
first, the manufactures of Europe, India, and China 
found their way to the most distant tribes, who in 
return gathered the products of the forest. Many 
of the telegraph cables which now flash messages 
through the ocean depths, are insulated by gums 
collected by the Dyaks in the forests of Borneo. 
When the natives had fairly realised the advantages 
of trade, a great change for the better took place 
in their habits, stimulated by the Chinese, who 
promptly followed up every success of the Govern- 
ment in subduing hostile tribes by settling amongst 
them, and turning the minds of the natives to 
labour and gain. The astuteness and capacity of 
the Chinese for adapting themselves to any cir- 
cumstances, was shown here, as elsewhere, to a 
very remarkable extent. Small as was their 
number, they were yet found in every available 
settlement, often without knowing the language, 
and at the risk of their lives, which, however, to 
the Chinaman was a secondary consideration, gain 
being his first, in the competition for which, the 
simple Dyak was utterly unfit to cope with him. 
But whatever the faults of the Chinese, they are 
unrivalled as pioneers in tropical countries, and are 
in trade valuable as mediums between the white 
man and the savage. 


In this manner the country gradually advanced 
in prosperity, which .was very visible, not only 
amongst the natives, biit also in the character of 
the government. The simple patriarchal relations 
which subsisted between the rulers and ruled had 
to a great extent passed away with the early 
founders of the settlement, yet it is upon such 
bonds of sympathy and confidence that an autho- 
rity like that of the white ruler of Sarawak must 

But the present Government of Sarawak pos- 
sesses an element of security in the variety of 
races of which the population is made up, which, 
however, would be disturbed if the Dyaks became 
possessed of fire-arms, and it is improbable that 
these can permanently be withheld from them. 
Sarawak possesses a land frontier of several hun- 
dred miles, entirely surrounded by Dyak and 
Kayan tribes, who, from the head waters of the 
numerous rivers, can swoop down upon the popu- 
lation below ; while to attack them from boats 
slowly and painfully ascending against the stream, 
with its densely-wooded banks lined with marks- 
men, would be a precarious task. 

What the future of Sarawak may be is hard to 
say. The Brooke dynasty may be perpetuated, but 
it would be an unique incident in history. The 
results of Sir James Brooke's labours will not, 
however, be allowed to disappear. Holland, for 
one, could not allow anarchy and native misrule 

BOBNBO. 249 

to be renewed in Sarawak ; her prestige — a word 
much abused, but implying an important truth in 
dealing with native races — is a question of vital 
importance. The fate of Sarawak may possibly be 
determined by the success or otherwise of the 
new Company now forming to work the north of 
the island. 

The formation of this Company to develope the 
resources of North Borneo is one which, at least 
from a philanthropic point of view, is deserving of 
sympathy and success. It will tend to ameliorate 
the condition of a people fast decaying under the 
misrule of the Brunei and Sooloo sultans and 
nobles, will utilise a fine country, extend civilisation 
and commerce, and perhaps wean to more peaceful 
pursuits the Lanun pirates, who used so grievously 
to harass the coasts of Borneo and neighbouring 
islands, and to render native, even European trade, 
insecure. These pirates had their home in the 
Sooloo Archipelago, over which Spain professes to 
claim suzerainty; that she has been unable to 
coerce these atrocious and daring freebooters 
proves the weakness and unreality of her power, 
even in the Sooloo Archipelago. To the Dutch it 
is due to say that they did their best, but Holland 
may well be excused if, having so vast a colonial 
seaboard to guard, she failed to do so effectually ; 
the wonder is, that Spain and Holland should view 
with jealous eyes a movement like that of the North 
Borneo Company, which proposes to occupy terri- 


tory in which they have no practical interest, and 
the development of which under British auspices 
can but tend to lighten their own duties and 
increase the prosperity of their possessions. 

But the task of the North Borneo Company 
will not prove an easy one. In many respects, 
doubtless, the northern part of the island may be 
considered the most valuable. The want of decided 
seasons, which, in South Borneo seems to prevent 
the profitable cultivation of some of those more 
valuable products which Europeans come to the 
East to plant, is less felt in the north of the island, 
and there is probably no reason why coffee, tea, 
cinchona, or indigo should not grow here as well as 
in India or Burmah. Again, in the north are found 
the only good harbours in the island, while one 
advantage which Borneo possesses over India, the 
large Sunda islands, and Australia, viz. its navig- 
able rivers, is not wanting in the north. There is 
no country in the East where these natural high- 
ways are so numerous as in Borneo, and the 
facilities which they offer for opening up the island 
cannot easily be over estimated. 

Still, if the Company anticipate an easy conquest 
of their difficulties, they have not read the chroni- 
cles of Borneo aright. It is true that Sir James 
Brooke, his followers and successors, have, to a 
great extent, cleared the ground for them. The 
natives have learned to associate the English name 
with the noble work done by them, while the 

BOBNUO. 251 

mighty advance of commerce during the last decades 
has been gradually encircling this stronghold of bar- 
barism in its irresistible folds. But even so, savage 
nature will not easily yield to civilising influences, 
which make rapid strides only when paying their 
way. Steam*ships, telegraphs, and railways are 
costly things, which a savage country with a scanty 
population can ill support. 

The Company hold a territory of 20,000 square 
miles, with a population of upwards of 100,000 
aborigines and Malays who, it may be assumed, 
will contribute but little towards the labour or 
development of the country. Subjects brought so 
low as those under a sultan's sway are not easily 
trained to industrious toil. The sponge must 
indeed have been squeezed dry when such rulers 
as the Sultan of Brunei and his Ministers consent 
to part with it ; but, though Their Highnesses may 
find it more profitable personally to pocket a fixed 
sum than to apply the squeeze to a people no 
longer capable of responding to their satisfaction, 
the numerous Fangerans and Nakodahs, who are 
their agents, and who, as a rule, pocket the bulk of 
the squeezes themselves, are probably not so well 
satisfied with the new state of things. Independent 
action in such matters is dear to their souls, and I 
am much mistaken if trouble and intrigue do not 
result, particularly if the Company become mono- 

Commerce and dividends are not, under such 


circumstances, well mated with empire and autho- 
rity. Sir James Brooke's great influence over the 
natives was, in a great measure, owing to the fact 
of his standing aloof from trade ; his sacrifices were 
patent to the natives, he lived amongst them, 
sharing good and evil days with them; he spent 
his own fortune and promoted theirs, but he never 
appeared as a rival in trade ; he had clean hands, 
and had a right to adopt the lofty tone of a 
sovereign ruler. 

And, if the Company's position and status are 
different from those of Rajah Brooke, the coli- 
dition of their respective countries also materially 
differ. While North Borneo has great advantages 
over Sarawak, the latter has enjoyed others, which 
have materially helped it forward. It was mainly 
due to the mineral resources that the Sarawak* j 
Government was able to tide over its difficulties. 
The gold and antimony brought the Government^ 
directly and indirectly, their revenue ; and not only 
so, but the men to work these minerals were, from 
the very first, ready at hand in the adjoining Dutch 
province, with a large gold-digging Chinese popula- 
tion, which had but to step across the border, while 
the vigorous tribes of sea Dyaks, when once sub- 
dued, became a powerful element in the develop- 
ment of the resources of the country. Again, 
Singapore, with its Chinese capitalists and labour, 
was within 350 miles of the settlement, while North 
Borneo is separated 900 miles from it. 

BOBNKO. 253 

Tribes scattered over vast territories, such as 
those in Borneo, find this amongst the first results 
of an improved government, that the products of the 
forests rise in value ; they can collect them in safety 
and dispose of them to the best advantage. But 
the more valuable of these products are, in a com- 
paratively few years, exhausted, and entire districts 
are often denuded of the trees which yield them ; 
they do not, in fact, offer any permanent source of 
income to the population, or revenue to the govern- 
ment. This agriculture only can supply. 

It is to China that Borneo will look for popula- 
tion and labour, and, from my point of view, this is 
the interesting part of the Company's programme ; 
for it is an incident in, perhaps the immediate fore- 
runner of, a great wave of Chinese immigration, 
which seems inevitable at no distant date, and 
which may become a formidable movement. To the 
Chinese, the Eastern Archipelago has long been a 
favourite goal; and their emigration to America 
and Australia being repelled, we shall probably see 
the receding wave turn towards the Archipelago. 

Meanwhile, this will help the Company ; but when 
the Chinaman begins to feel his strength, the 
anxieties of government will be felt by them. 
Those burning questions between the old savage 
possessors of the soil and the new-comers, which 
must occur sooner or later, will then crop up, and 
require a strong Government to deal with them. 

But if the Company is paving the way for a 


great Bornean Empire, under the British flag, it 
will be doing a good and useful work. A settle- 
ment that should embrace the territory ceded to the 
North Borneo Company, as well as Brunei and 
Sarawak, would prove no contemptible acquisition 
to the British Crown, and has, unquestionably, 
much to recommend it. With little sympathy for 
a foreign policy of territorial abandonment, as a 
rule, I yet hold that the ever-increasing dominions 
gathering under the British flag involve a respon- 
sibility from whicli English statesmen may well 
shrink ; but there are certain geographical positions 
which are recognised as affording security rather 
than danger to the British Empire, and Borneo 
may be found to belong to this class of possessions. 
A glance at the map will show how very import*ant 
the harbours of North Borneo might become to a 
British fleet, if the day comes that England has to 
fight to protect her commerce in the China Sea, or 
the Pacific. These harbours are backed by vast 
coal-fields, the country is healthy, with a moderate 
temperature, and the island possesses unrivalled 
resources. What is wanted is population, and under 
a strong Government the country would very soon 
be entitled to the name ** New China," rather than 
** New Ceylon," as some writers already call it, for 
to the Chinamen, and the race which will spring 
from their union with the Dyaks, and not to the 
decaying Malay, belongs the future of Borneo. 
The increasing power of the Mongolian race over 

BOBNBO. 255 

other parts of the globe than those now occupied 
by them is not, perhaps, a pleasant prospect ; but a 
survey of the condition of the far Bast will, I think, 
lead to the conviction that the march of events is 
fast bringing those vast and now neglected posses- 
sions within the reach of reclamation and develop- 
ment, and that the Mongolian race will take a 
leading part in this movement there can be little 
doubt. Their numbers (about 360 millions) and 
qualifications alike point to them as the coming 
race in those parts. The Chinaman surpasses every 
other race in the qualities required for contending 
with nature in undeveloped and savage countries, and 
so we see him gradually supplant them in the Indo- 
Chinese peninsula, from their own borders to the 
southernmost point of Malacca, in the hundreds of 
islands in the Eastern Archipelago, in Australia and 
the Pacific, in California and Peru. At present he 
is the labourer only ; but we have seen that in 
Borneo, and elsewhere, there have in the past been 
Chinese dominations. The Chinese will follow the 
Japanese, slowly but surely, in profiting by the 
teaching of European civilisation, whether for peace 
or war. Already we hear of steam-ships, com- 
manded, manned, and navigated by Chinese, 
crossing the Pacific to California, and of Chinese 
admirals inspecting European arsenals and forts ; 
and it is not an improbable fancy that would pic- 
ture celestial fire-ships carrying the hordes of China 
to conquest in the Eastern seas. 


If, therefore, aa seems scarcely doubtfiil, we are 
now witnessing the first straggling settlements of a 
future great Chinese Empire in the Eastern Archi- 
pelago, Englishmen may reflect whether it is not 
well that the training of such a people shall 
be under British supervision, and be formed after 
an Anglo-Saxon, and not a purely Chinese, or even 
Muscovite pattern — for these three great nationali- 
ties seem destined to rule the Eastern world. 

Much might be done by the rulers of India to 
prevent the Indo-Chinese population from assuming 
a too distinctive Chinese character, by encoura^'ng 
immigration from India. The Chinese element, 
which is to some extent objectionable both morally 
and physically, could be easily modified by the 
introduction of the natives of India, as labourers 
or settlers, while the latter country would be 
relieved of its redundant population. 

Who that has witnessed the blessings which 
British civilisation, freedom, and commerce have 
scattered in those regions, and noted the capacity 
which the Chinese display for utilising them, can 
help entertaining the hope that the British flag — 
not of the lesser, but of the Greater Britain — may 
continue to wave supreme in those seas, and that, 
till the great Anglo-Saxon Confederacy comprising 
all British settlements shall have been matured, 
England will hold in trust such possessions 
those of the Island of Borneo. 




I HAD done with Borneo. On the 30th of May 
1872, 1 embarked in the steamer which was to carry 
me from its shores, and, as it turned out, for the 
last time. It was just twenty years since I had 
arrived there; the country was then still savage, 
poor, and undeveloped. News from the outside 
world came to us at uncertain, often long intervals; 
and our days were passed in slow monotony. But 
we were living in hope ; the great possibilities of 
the future brightened the present, and nerved us 
for the work which each in his own sphere had to 
perform. For myself, as I looked at the country 
for the last time, and the scenes through which I 
had passed and the work I had done flitted before 
my mind, I felt satisfied that though twenty of the 
best years of my life had been spent in its jungles, 
they had not been spent in vain. 

My route to Europe was by way of China, Japan, 
and California. Of some of these countries I had 



interesting recollections ; time must, since my first 
visit, have wrought great changes, and I employed 
myself in jotting down some notes on the home- 
ward voyage, which may interest some readers. 

Having left Singapore in the Messageries steamer 
Provence^ on the 10th of June, we anchored off 
the Mekong (the Cambodian river), on the evening 
of the 12th, and steamed up to the town of Saigon 
next morning. 

It was now many years since I had last sailed on 
the waters of this river, on the occasion of my visit 
to the King of Cambodia. He had then looked 
rather to the Union Jack than to the Tricolour for 
protection, but France was now mistress here, she 
had conquered these countries ; the Empire wanted 
glory and military prestige, and the sufferings of 
French missionaries at the hands of the Cochin- 
Chinese, offered a pretext which satisfied the religious 
sentiments of the country. It has been said that 
France goes to war for an idea ; she appears to form 
colonies on the same principle. Here was this town 
of Saigon, with its military and naval establishments, 
its forts, docks, roads, and public buildings on a 
magnificent scale, but with little trade, and that in 
the hands of the English, Americans, or Germans, 
but few, if any. Frenchmen. How different is such 
a beginning to that of an English settlement 1 The 
trader here leads the way ; his warehouses, a church, 
a court-house, probably a club, certainly a cricket- 
ground, form the nucleus of a British settlements 


Probably the Frencbman's aim is a loftier one ; reli- 
gious proselytism, military glory, scientific research, 
may be a nobler aim than the barter of Manchester 
or Sheffield goods, but if the object be to wean 
barbarous and semi-barbarous races to courses more 
in conformity to what western nations call civilisa- 
tion, to promote their material welfare, and throw 
open the resources of the wide world for the benefit 
of mankind in general, then I think experience 
shows that trade is the most effective civiliser. 

On the morning of the 14th we left Saigon ; four 
hours' steam through a flat and uninteresting 
country brought us to Cape St. James ; with cool 
north-easterly breezes and a smooth sea we held 
our course toward Hong-Kong, within sight of the 
barren mountain ranges of Cochin-China. A few, 
but pleasant fellow-passengers, a table almost too 
luxurious, and a rubber of whist every night, com- 
bined to make the passage a very agreeable one. 
On the evening of the 17th, four days after leaving 
Saigon, we were steaming in the shadows of a high 
mountain, the terraced sides of which displayed 
brilliant lines of light. Soon we were threading 
our way between the crowded shipping in the 
harbour of Hong-Kong, made gay with thousands 
of coloured lanterns suspended from Chinese junks, 
while the beating of gongs and the shrill voices of 
women in the boats which on every side surrounded 
us, made it quite clear that we had reached the 
Celestial Empire. I bad not yet made up my mind 

17 • 


whether to proceed in the steamer to Shanghai, or 
whether to go from hence to Japan direct, but acci- 
dent decided me. Coal-barges were ahready along- 
side, and every skylight-door, an opening to the 
saloon and cabin, was closed to keep out the coal- 
dust. Going down to pack my portmanteau, I 
soon found the heat so unbearable that I was 
glad quickly to seize a few things and make my way 
on deck, determined to leave my portmanteau where 
it was, till we should reach Shanghai. Then, after 
having with some difficulty got into a boat, by making 
a leap into one out of a great number which were 
swayed to and fro by the competing sjrrens, who 
were pushing and jostling each other, as to who 
should get their boat nearest the gangway and so 
secure the fare, I was quickly pulled on shore, 
and soon found myself in a sedan chair ascending, 
by zigzag roads, the mountain side upon which Hong- 
Kong is built. Two pleasant days were spent here ; 
but it is not my plan to say much of China, where 
my stay was short, for I resisted my friends'- tempt- 
ing offer to visit Macao and Canton, though I would 
like to have seen whether time had wrought as 
great a change there as I noticed in Hong-Kong, 
which, a thriving settlement when I last saw it, had 
now become a great city. 

On the 20th I re-embarked in the Provence for 
Shanghai. I felt now quite at home amongst the 
gentlemanly officers of the ship, who were full of 
fun. I remember an amusing bet which was made 


at table ; one of them undertook to eat fifty lichis, 
a fruit with a stone, which he was to cut out, in 
five minutes ; the bet was for ten pounds. He had 
done forty-one well within the time when, to his 
great chagrin, it was found that there were no more, 
and that the conditions of the bet could not be ful- 
filled. Our passage was somewhat delayed by dense 
fogs, and the last twelve hours by a heavy gale ; it 
was, in fact, the tail of a typhoon, but we got safely 
into the river on the morning of the 23rd. A striking 
contrast to the brown rocks of Hong-Kong, is the 
verdure of the smooth paddy-fields between which 
the ship passed up the Shanghai river. 

These outposts of European civilisation planted 
on the coast of China, their vitality and rapid 
growth, seem to me one of the most suggestive 
and portentous signs of this progressive age. It 
points undoubtedly to great and rapid changes in 
the history and development of the long-slumbering 
East. They show what may be expected when the 
enterprise and science of the West shall have 
leavened the Chinese Empire. The spot where 
this great city of Shanghai now stands was, some 
five-and-twenty years ago, green paddy-fields ; now 
it is the centre of a vast trade, supplying the West 
with tea and silk, while introducing to China the 
manufactures of Europe and America. The shrewd 
and thrifty Chinaman was not long in taking ad- 
vantage of the security which the shadow of the 
foreign flag afforded him, on the very threshold of 


his own empire and against his own countrymen, 
harassed by the Taiping rebels who, with fire and 
sword, wasted the cities on the sea-board of China. 
They flocked in thousands to settle and make 
money under the protecting wings of the British 
and French forces. Soon a great Chinese city 
sprang up around the European settlement. But for 
a time their confidence was misplaced : the Powers, 
unable to agree upon a united policy, allowed the 
Taipings to attack, murder, and burn the settle- 
ment under their very eyes. At last the Taipings 
were conquered; a British officer taught the 
Chinese how to fight, and they crushed the mon- 
ster. The rebellion came to an end; and once more 
a Chinese town arose around Shanghai; but not so 
merely, they invaded the European settlement, not, 
indeed, by conquest of the sword, but by the power 
of the dollar. John Chinaman, fond of the dollar 
himself, knows its potency with Europeans, and so 
in the European quarter of Shanghai, originally 
intended for the white people only, the yellow- 
skinned Chinaman soon reared houses fit to vie 
with the sumptuous residences of the European 
merchants. Having secured a vantage-ground, 1 
should not be surprised to see them eventually 
crowd out the Europeans. 

The great heat which prevails in Shanghai during 
the summer months was just beginning, and 1 was 
not sorry to get away, for my health was not quite 
satisfactory. I embarked on the night of the 24tli 


June, in the Pacific Mail Company's steamer New 
York, for Japan. Our departure was to have 
been soon after midnight, but seemed to be delayed 
in deference to a wedding-party which was on 
board. The newly-married couple were going to 
Japan for their wedding tour, and were accom- 
panied on board by fourteen or fifteen gentlemen, 
all Americans I think. A supper was partaken of, 
and after the young couple had retired, the party 
got so merry and were so loth to leave, that some 
little pressure had at last to be employed to get 
them out of the ship, and we did not get off till 
2 o'clock on the morning of the 25th. 

We had fresh breezes, some sea, and the ther- 
mometer went down to 65 degrees, twenty below 
what I had been accustomed to in Borneo. I had 
to put on warmer clothing, and felt I was recover- 
ing under the united influence of a bracing air, and 
the careful, I may say solicitous, attentions of one 
of the Chinese stewards. A fellow -passenger had 
remarked that this boy was always looking after 
me, and in a marked degree attending to my com- 
fort. I, too, noticed it, and asked the reason. He 
answered me in Malay, " I am sorry you don't re- 
member me ; I served you in Sarawak, and I hope 
you are going back again, for I should like to 
return there." 

Waking on the morning of the 28th, I heard 
animated conversation in a strange tongue ; they were 
pleasant, cheery, and laughing sounds, soft and melo* 


dious. The speakers were Japanese boatmen, crowd- 
ing round the steamer in search of fares. We were 
in Nagasaki. I dressed quickly and went on deck. 
What a lovely scene it was I A narrow water, 
almost land-locked, which looked more like a river 
than an arm of the sea, bounded on either side by 
a beautiful hilly country, indented with numerous 
inlets, bays, and gullies; the hills terraced with 
cultivated fields set in a framework of rich and 
varied foliage. Here and there was a village or 
group of single houses. It was a pleasing scene, 
and I felt that I should like Japan. 

But as yet I was but on the threshold ; I had 
still the famed inland sea before me, with its towns 
and cities. I hoped to make some stay at Hiogo, 
Yokohama, and Yeddo, perhaps to visit Kioto — the 
sacred city of the Mikado, as yet but rarely seen by 
Europeans. In comparison with these Nagasaki 
had but little to show, and our stay was but of a 
day's duration. 

For those of my readers who have not paid much 
attention to the previous history of this remarkable 
people, a few words upon the condition of old 
Japan, now fast fading away, may be desirable. 

The Empire of Japan is composed of four large 
and, it is said, about 3,800 smaller islands, with a 
population about equal to that of Great Britain, 
viz. 34,000,000. The Mikado, or emperor, who 
dates his dynasty 660 years B.C., had exercised a 
feeble sway at Kioto, or, as it is now called^ Miako* 


Anarchy and tribal fights divided the country, and 
finally, in 1192, the commander-in-chief, or Shio- 
gon, usurped the authority, governing at Yeddo. 
Still the Japanese continued to consider the Mikado 
as their sovereign ; the position, as has been 
stated, being that the ** Shiogon governed but did 
not reign, while the Mikado reigned but did not 
govern." When communication between Japan and 
the outer world was, after many centuries, re- 
established in 1854, the positions of the Mikado and 
Shiogon were misunderstood; the former, it was 
supposed, was the spiritual chief, the latter the 
temporal; but this, as has been shown, was an 

Below the Mikado and Shiogon there were 278 
Daimios, or territorial princes, ruling large pro- 
vinces with independent and despotic authority, 
but they were practically vassals of the Shiogon, 
who retained hostages for their fidelity and made 
them at certain times reside at Yeddo to render 
homage. This state of things was that existing in 
Europe in the Middle Ages. 

Intercourse with Europe was first opened by 
the Portuguese in 1542, when three Portuguese 
adventurers imder the guidance of a Chinaman 
first made their appearance, driven by stress of 
weather to an unknown coast, and were received 
kindly by the Japanese, who interchanged com* 
modities with them, and engaged to receive a 
Portuguese ship once a year, which agreement 


an accident helped to realise. A few years later 
a Japanese nobleman, who had fled his coun- 
try, found refuge in Goa, where he was baptised, 
and eventually induced merchants and priests to 
visit Japan. They fitted out a ship with mer- 
chandise, and Francois Xavier himself embarked in 
it. They were received by the Japanese with open 
arms, and were freely permitted to go where they 
liked from one end of the empire to the other. 

Thus, FranQois Xavier introduced the Roman 
Catholic religion. The ruling princes, however, 
soon took alarm ; they imagined that the Somish 
religion inculcated allegiance to a foreign Power, 
and in 1624 it was interdicted. In 1638 terrible 
persecutions were commenced against the Chris- 
tians, over 50,000 perished; the Europeans were 
expelled, and the ports closed against them. From 
this date the Japanese Government maintained the 
most rigid policy of isolation ; only the Dutch were 
permitted to have a prison-like factory at Decima, 
being permitted only to visit Jeddo as tribute- 
bearers closely guarded by a most vigilant escort. 
They were permitted to prostrate themselves 
and offer presents before a screen, behind which 
the Shiogon and his ladies were supposed to sit, 
and to offer humble thanks for the imprisoned 
existence which they were permitted to enjoy at 
Decima, afterwards performing for the amusement 
of the Japanese Court all sorts of antics and tom- 
fooleries — dancing, feigning drunkenness, &c. 


This exclusiveness waa maintained till 1854, in 
which year the American, Commodore Parry, 
steamed into the harbour of Yokohama with a 
squadron of the United States war-vessels, and 
extorted a treaty from the frightened Shiogon. 
The European nations gradually followed the ex- 
ample thus set them. In 1858 the Earl of Elgin 
concluded a treaty for England. 

The Shiogon gave deep offence by signing the 
American treaty, and especially for signing it 
without the Mikado's sanction, and for ten years 
a policy of assassination and deadly hatred to 
foreigners, whom the Government could not protect, 
followed. This resulted in the two bombardments 
of Kagoshima and Chioshiu by the English and 
combined fleets, which opened the eyes of the 
Japanese to the power of the Western nations, and 
awoke in their minds an intense desire to raise 
their country to an equality with them. A com- 
plete revulsion in favour of the despised foreigner 
set in, and a desire for a strong government and 
the unification of the nation in the hands of the 
Mikado, who was urged by the most powerful of 
the Daimios to suppress the Shiogonate. The 
Shiogon tendered his resignation, but, notwith- 
standing, a coup d'itat appears to have been neces- 
sary for the complete extinction of the Shiogon 
and his party. This was carried out in the winter 
1867-68, and after a short and sharp civil war of 
six months' duration, the Shiogon and his party 


were defeated, and the Shiogonate became a thing 
of the past. 

The Daimios then decided upon a grand act of 
self-sacrifice, and suppressed themselves ; 278 mili- 
tary princes, possessing regal powers, vast wealth, 
and separate armies, abdicated, from purely patnotio 
motives, the station which their families had held 
for twenty centuries. Surely, the history of few 
nations can show a grander act of patriotism. 

As my impressions of Japan were not formed 
during my short stay at Nagasaki, I shall not dwell 
on my visit here. The town itself does not com- 
pare with other cities which I subsequently saw. 
The island of Decima, however, — once the prison- 
factory of the Portuguese and Dutch — was in- 
teresting as a relic of the sufferings which these 
poor Dutchmen must have undergone. It was 
wonderful to think that nations would consent, for 
the sake of two or three ship-loads annually of 
Japanese manufactures, to play so humiliating a 
part. I pitied the poor Dutchmen who, knowing 
themselves surrounded by so interesting a people 
and so beautiful a country, had to live in their 
midst like caged birds. 

On the 28th we again got under way. It had 
been raining and was thick, but cleared up for a 
moment just as we passed under the rocky island, 
Pappenberg, where, in the time of the persecutions, 
30,000 Christians are said to have been driven over 
the cliffs and perished in the sea. Next morning 


we were in the Straits of Simonosaki, tlie entrance 
to the inland sea ; the scenery of this sea has been 
compared to Switzerland and to Norwegian fjords. 
There may be a resemblance to both, as the hills 
and mountains stand up boldly from the shore, and 
islands and promontories form many a narrow 
strait and pine-clad fjord. As the steamer went 
on her way, now through some narrow strait, then 
emerging into a great expanse of water, and again 
between a maze of islands, the scene was ever 
varying ; the villages and towns grouped on the 
shore and hill-sides, the lawn-like field in terraces 
covering the hills, while boats and junks of novel 
form, if not of gaudy colours, enlivened the land- 
scape. Two days of steaming amidst such sur- 
roundings brought us to Hiogo, or Kobi ; barely so 
prettily situated as Nagasaki, but a larger town. 
It is in reality two towns, Kobi being the foreign 
settlement, Hiogo the native town. 

I was somewhat surprised, and rather disgusted, 
when landing on what I looked upon as Japan 
proper, to find a custom-house and custom-house 
officers in uniform ; I had not expected that it had 
progressed so far in civilisation. It was clear, how- 
however, that the officials had not yet got into the 
same practice as their brethren in Europe. They 
seemed utterly puzzled what to do with my port- 
manteaux, deprecated my opening them, and seemed 
only anxious to apply a large Government mark 
to the outside. They did this with the greatest 


care, and seemed to take great delight in the 

A Japanese town is not a very imposing one. 
As a rule the streets are narrow and rather mean- 
looking; the houses are frameworks of unpainted 
wood, the interior divisions consisting of paper 
screens movable at pleasure, so that the inner 
arrangements can on a moment's notice be re- 
arranged. The houses are, as a rule, only one or 
two stories high. Then, the Japanese shops make no 
display. The best articles are stored away in back- 
rooms out of dust and damp, and are not produced, 
except when asked for, and a Japanese shopman or 
woman shows no anxiety to sell, though they know 
how to ask, leaving a large margin, perhaps 200 
to 300 per cent., to bargain for ; but if at the end 
of a long bargaining you refuse to buy, they are 
perfectly pleasant about it. 

Shopping is usually a foreigner's first business in 
Japan, but the conveyance which will take him 
about, and the sights on the way, require a word of 

Having established myself in the very comfortable 
hotel at Kobi, I desired, without delay, to view the 
town, and asked for a conveyance; one of the now well- 
known jinrikshas was brought. They had but recently 
been introduced, but, with their usual keenness for 
new things, the Japanese were introducing them 
rapidly, and already hundreds were to be seen about 
the streets. This vehicle is a sort of bath-chair or 


perambulator, with a hood, and is drawn by one, 
two, or three men, according to distance or speed 
required. The men will do forty miles a day, at 
the rate of five miles per tour. In this novel mode 
of conveyance, I was speeding along the streets of 
Hiogo, and, as I have said, they were not imposing, 
but rather colourless and unpicturesque, but scrupu- 
lously clean, and they presented many novel sights. 
First of all there were the people themselves ; here, 
too, however, I was disappointed; the men were 
small, thin, and badly made, but there was no 
mistaking the intelligence, cheeriness, and kindliness 
in their faces. Some were very scantily dressed, 
though this was not the rule ; the prevailing tone of 
all I saw was simplicity and sombreness of colour, 
usually brown. Like other Asiatics, their dress is 
loose-fitting, a sort of dressing-gown crossed in front 
and secured at the waist with a scarf or obi, which, 
in the case of women, is very wide, long, and of 
bright colour, passed twice round the waist, with an 
enormous bow behind. The dress is by no means 
graceful, and is made less so by the forward bend, 
consequent upon the high clogs, made of wood, upon 
which they walk. The hair-dressing of the women 
is a work of art, a sort of chignon with bows, erect, 
and drawn back from the face, fastened up with 
large, ornamental pins. The people all looked 
pleasant, polite, and orderly ; no beggars were to 
be seen, and all were in a hurry. I passed the 
theatre, stopped, and got out ; the people were per- 


f ectly friendly, without being rude ; a girl handed 
round a plate, I put in my coin, and, not seeing 
much to interest, continued my drive. Few animals 
were seen in the streets, a few stout ponies and 
bullocks, shod with straw, were carrying loads. 
Coolies were pulling hand-carts, no carriages, but 
in every direction jinrikshas were passing me, all 
seeming in great haste, and they contained people 
of all classes. The jinriksha was evidently not a 
conveyance for the aristocratic few only. 

I soon came to the conclusion that the picturesque 
in Japan must be sought in nature, not in man 
or his creations ; still all I saw was interesting, and 
what their streets and houses wanted in picturesqne- 
ness, was made up for in cleanliness. This is illus- 
trated by their floor-mats, which form an important 
part of a Japanese house ; they are made in squares, 
all of one size, and about three inches thick, soft, 
white, and beautiful, and the Japanese build their 
houses to enclose so many mats. In Japan, there- 
fore, no one enters a room with shoes on. One 
defect I found, from dear experience, that these 
mats possessed, they retained fleas ! which caused 
me some sleepless nights in the country. 

Being there in summer, I found the houses 
sufficiently pleasant, but in winter the paper walls 
must be cold, and the movable charcoal stoves 
sorry comforters; but the Japanese, like the Chinese, 
keep out the cold by drawing one suit of clothes 
over another, as many as are needed. Their beds 


also are veiy simple, the bed-clothes consist of 
quilted dressing-gowns, and the pillows of wooden 

The streets through which I drove must have 
been from two to three miles long, and were crowded 
from end to end. At the end of the town I saw a 
large crowd of men and women, the former dressed 
in long, yellow robes, the latter in white ; it was a 
funeral. I followed to the burial place, and saw 
the bier, somewhat resembling a sedan chair in 
shape. There was a crowd of Buddhist priests 
chanting, ringing bells, &c. ; but the air was polluted, 
and I hastened away into the green fields beyond. 
I took a walk to what is known as the waterfall, a 
couple of miles from the town; the weather was 
delicious, and the air bracing. The path is cut in 
the hill-side, winding in and out ; here and there 
small cottages, looking like toy-houses, with little 
gardens. In a well-wooded dell I came upon the 
fall, a clear leap of water from the rocks above ; it 
invited to a bath. Still following the path, I reached 
the top of the hills, and had a glorious view of the 
country, the town, and its environs. 

Having obtained the necessary authorisation and 
passport for Kioto, I started the following day with 
a friend, in a small streamer, for Osaka. The sea 
was smooth as a pond, and covered with junks and 
fishing-boats, and many small steamers crowded 
with passengers. The shore was thickly dotted 
with villages and houses ; I felt that I was iu a 



great, populous empire. In two hours and a 
half we reached the river leading to Osaka. The 
crowd of shipping thickened as we neared the place, 
already the junks lined the banks two and three 
deep, and the small passenger steamers passed us in 
quick succession. 

Osaka is the commercial capital of Japan, Hiogo 
being the shipping-port. It is the Japanese Venice, 
being intersected by thirteen rivers and canals, 
spanned by several hundred bridges. Thousands of 
boats float on the waters, and the Daimios' residences 
border the rivers for two or three miles. There was 
great stir in the town, for the Mikado was expected 
on the morrow. Our little steamer, having at last, 
with great difficulty, safely got through the maze 
of shipping and alongside the quay, we speedily 
obtained jinrikshas, and through the densely crowded 
streets, reached Jote*s hotel. Jote is a Japanese, 
but he keeps an hotel furnished somewhat upon 
European principles. The building is on the banks 
of the river, of wood, and two-storied ; built in a 
quadrangle, with a garden in the centre, an open 
gallery running round the upper story, upon which 
opened the bed-rooms and sitting-rooms. In the 
latter, the dinner- tables were laid out in European 
style, but they all seemed empty, except one in 
which three Japanese ladies were sitting. They 
invited us to enter, and entertained us with tea, and 
subsequently performed on the guitar. We learned 
that' they belonged to the class of landed gentry, and 


were on a visit to town. The husbands subsequently 
turned up, and joined us at dinner, delighting us 
with the courtesy and friendliness of their manners. 

From the balcony, over the canal, we looked 
down upon the constantly passing pleasure-boats, 
containing merry parties, singing, playing, and 
drinking tea, and evidently enjoying themselves. 
The Japanese are a pleasure-loving people, and, 
though they are far from being idle, seem to take 
life easy. 

As the Kioto exhibition would only be kept open 
a few days, my friend and I determined to press on 
the same afternoon, and at 7 p.m. we started in a 
large, covered boat, poled by six men. It was 
getting dark, and the canals, lit up by the lights and 
lanterns of thousands of boats, had a striking ap- 
pearance. Gay as Osaka had been during the day, 
the merriment going on in the boats passing us on 
every side had greatly increased. The long rows 
of the Daimios' residences looked imposing in the 
uncertain light ; there seemed to be no end to the 
city, and before we. had emerged from it I was fast 
asleep. Now and again I woke during the night, 
when called upon to show our passports, which 
happened two or three times, and I then found our 
men working away with unabated energy, now 
poling, now towing from the shore, but always 
accompanying their labours with mirth and song. 
It took us twelve hours to reach the place where we 
had to disembark, and where jinrikshas were in 

18 • 


waiting for us, which, at a rapid pace, brought 119 
along the seven miles of road which we still had to 
do before reaching Kioto. Houses lined the road 
almost the entire distance, and crowds of people 
moved upon it ; but though Europeans were then a 
new sight here, no uncivil words or gesture were 
heard or seen. The men bowed low, and the 
women gave us a pleasant greeting, with the con- 
stant call of " Ohaio " (Grood-moniing). Yet it was 
only three years since Sir Harry Parkes was attacked, 
and one of his escort cut down, in the streets of 

We rested at several tea-houses on the road-side. 
They were usually small, open to the front, with a 
raised platform on one side and a kitchen on the 
other; to this platform the traveller is at once 
conducted, to have his soiled shoes removed before 
stepping upon the matting. Usually, there are a 
couple of rooms at the back, but all the work and 
life goes on in the open part. At intervals we 
came upon large bright-looking tea-houses with 
numerous attendants, gay with flags and lanterns, 
rows of charcoal-stoves, numerous small lacquered 
tables, bright polished copper kettles and utensils, 
tanks with live fish, which are served up at a 
moment's notice, and, in many instances, gardens 
with flowers and fountains. The stream of passing ' 
travellers was unceasing, on foot, in jinrikshas, in 
con goes — a sort of hammock slung upon a pole 
carried by two men — and pack-horses with straw 


shoes and high saddles, &c. The crowd gradually 
became denser, the houses and shops larger, and 
presently we came in sight of noble avenues, grand 
flights of granite steps, and magnificent temples. 
It was Kioto, the sacred city of Japan ; the town 
in which the Mikado had been enshrined and kept 
from the eyes of the outer world. If Osaka is the 
city of commerce, Kioto the Japanese claim to be 
the city of art, beauty, sanctity, and gaiety. 

And who that for the first time looked down 
upon its temples, groves, and gardens, could deny 
its claim to be a thing of beauty, where nature and 
art seemed to have vied with each other ? 

On a nearer approach we found that, hidden by 
this circle of beauty and grandeur, were long nar- 
row streets, through which our now panting men 
bowled us along, and finally stopped at the foot of 
a magnificent flight of steps. They led to a temple, 
and in some of the buildings belonging to it we 
were to be lodged. Mr. Jote, our Osaka host, had, 
during the exhibition, established a temporary hotel, 
and we found that our accommodation had been 
most comfortably provided for. We were hungry, 
and I well remember with what relish I sat down 
to a delicious salmon-trout, from Lake Bima, a fish 
I had not tasted for many years. 

Hitherto no Europeans, except a few privileged 
officials, had been admitted to Kioto; we were, 
therefore, on new, as well as interesting ground. 
Besides ourselves, one English visitor was lodged in 


the hotel. He was a merchant from Yokohama, 
long resident in the country, and we benefited 
much from his experience. 

I soon found that it was no misnomer to call 
Kioto a city of temples ; they encircled the town, 
and the wonderful and imposing effect of endless 
flights of granite steps some thirty feet wide, and 
of avenues of superb maple, fir, oak, and other trees, 
gave a stately and impressive appearance to the 

What a change must have come over the people 
since these temples were built I They must have 
been the product of great religious enthusiasm, and 
now they stood apparently neglected ; one of them 
was our hotel, three others were turned into 
exhibition buildings. 

These temples have been so fully described by 
others, that I do not purpose to dwell upon detaik 
at length, but a few words touching them and the 
religion of Japan would seem necessary. 

Japan has two religions, Shintooism and Buddhism; 
the former is the ancient religion of the country, 
and the chief object of its worship is the great sun- 
goddess ; but there are numerous minor deities, the 
Mikado, who is considered the direct descendant oi 
the govldess, being the first in the hierarchy. The 
Japanese Pantheon is very large, as numbers of 
distinguished Japanese, who have deserved well of 
their country in war or peace, are canonised after 
death and become patron saints, to whom shrines 


are dedicated. This religion inculcates some pure 
moral principles which, if adhered to, would lead to 
abstention from all that is impure; it also com- 
mends outward religious observances and pilgrim- 
ages. The form of worship is simple, consisting in 
prayers, almsgiving and penances. On one occasion 
T disturbed an old woman in a Shintoo temple. She 
was, according to our interpreter, to walk a certain 
number of times round the temple in silence, in 
which my presence disturbed her. 

Buddhism is comparatively modem in Japan, and 
was introduced from China ; it has to a great extent 
assimilated itseK with the older religion. There is 
nothing in the rites of either to offend the eyes of 
the Christian ; in fact, there is much in the Bud- 
dhist rites resembling those of the Roman Catholic 
religion. There are candles and burning of incense, 
ringing of bells, altars attended by long-robed 
priests, multitudes at prayer, who are telling their 
beads, bowing, and raising hands. In many cases 
this is done with reverence and evident sincerity, 
though this is not the rule, for the Japanese cannot 
be called a religious people. 

The temples are picturesque, made more so by their 
surroundings. The most striking feature is the 
roof, which is of great size and weight, altogether 
out of proportion to the building. It has a great 
sweep or curve, and consists in many cases of 
several frames elevated one above the otber and in 
diminishing sizes, thus forming several breaks in 


the roof, which is covered with ornamental tiles, in 
some cases even, with gilded metal plates : the pil- 
lars and walls carrying the roof are of wood, often 
beautifully carved and gilt. As a rule there is an 
outer temple, open and unmatted, where the noisy 
crowd congregates, and where traffic is carried on 
in all sorts of curious articles, books, prints, 
amulets, &c. This leads to the inner temple 
beyond which, again, is the most sacred part, where 
— amidst lighted candles, incense burning, and all 
kinds of idols, instruments, and cymbals — ^the 
yellow-robed priests are performing their rites. 
In many cases the temples form but a centre of 
public amusements, and a gay and careless crowd 
may be seen surging around them. 

The day after my arrival I sallied out with my 
interpreter, to visit the exhibitions. These, as 
already stated, were held in three temples in different 
parts of the city ; the first, the temple of Chooing, 
contained arms, ancient armours, silk stuffs, and 
raw materials. The other two, Hongange and 
Henningen, contained china, lacquered ware, bronzes, 
crockery, embroidered tapestry, birds, fish, Ac.; 
amongst the latter, a large salamander from Lake 
Bima. There were many beautiful things in this 
exhibition, but the best were not for sale, they 
belonged to princes and nobles. I made a few 
purchases, but was not happy in ray selections ; my 
silks were pronounced too heavy for use in England* 
A silver table-ornament I found out was not silver, 


luckily in time to compel the vendor to return the 
money. My last purchase, however, was a triumph ; 
it was some pottery of a very unique and grotesque 
design ; in fact, a monkey riding upon a frog. My 
acquaintance, the Yokohama merchant, who was a 
great collector of china and pottery, at once declared 
it to be a treasure, and, with some reluctance, I 
made an exchange with him ; but the sequel was not 
happy. When, some time after, I dined with him 
at Yokohama, I admired his beautiful collection, 
but missed the frog, and upon inquiry found that it 
had turned out to be an imposture, having, in fact, 
been imported from France. 

Having done the exhibition, one of the officials 
there invited us to a tea-house, on the hill of Maru- 
yama, from which an extensive view is obtained 
over Kioto and its surroundings, as far as Osaka. 
In a neighbouring tea-house 200 dancing-giris were 
being entertained at the expense of the Government, 
which had sent them up to see the exhibition. 
They were all very young, dressed in flowery robes 
and gay obis ; but the extravagant painting of the 
faces and lips, made the poor young creatures look 
anything but charming. 

On the morning of the dth a notice was sent us 
by the authorities, that the Mikado was expected 
during the day, and requesting us not to drive in 
the streets; but our friend the merchant, whose 
interpreter was a Japanese of rank, procured a pass 
permitting us to drive through the bye-streets, and 

282 PIONfiSRiKa IN THlB FAB IfiASt. 

we drove out to see the grounds where the Mikados 
are buried. The streets, always tidj and neat, had 
evidently undergone extra-cleaning, and large paper 
lamps had been hung out on either side; thej were 
comparatively empty, and business suspended, and 
even of jinrikshas there were none to be seen. 
Once a policeman stopped us, but on seeing the 
pass, allowed us to proceed. We were soon in the 
country, which, but for the bamboo plantations, 
and other vegetation of a southern clime, might 
have been some fair part of England. Presently 
we came to a broad, stately avenue, fully half a 
mile long, running through a park. Here and there 
were clusters of picturesque houses and tea-gardens, 
beautiful lawns, and groves. Under one of these 
we lay down, and allowed our men to rest ; for the 
sun was hot, though the air was pure and bracing. 
The park was very extensive, and the temples 
numerou6, some of them having monastic cells 
attached to them. Having walked about tar 
some time, we again got into our carriages. After 
a while we came to similar, and still prettier scenes ; 
for here were clear streams meandering, now in 
their natural beds, now in stone-lined aqueducts 
with high-arched bridges. It was the very place 
for a picnic, and we were loth to leave it, but we 
had to return to Osaka in the evening. 

After dinner we got into our boat, which, by a 
narrow, shallow canal, was to take us to the larger 
boat on the main river, and were carried down by a 


rapid current, an admiring multitude witnessing our 
descent, for the people were crowding by thousands 
to witness the expected arrival of the Mikado. 
Even the bridges under which we drifted were 
thickly covered with heads and umbrellas. I was 
greatly impressed by the enormous crowd which 
lined the banks, it was something like what might 
be seen in London on a Lord Mayor's day. Now, 
as our boat was almost the only one moving down, 
the course having been cleared for the expected 
Mikado, it spoke well for the orderly conduct of the 
people that we were allowed to pass between them 
Avithout any rude words or gesture ; on the contrary, 
we had a good deal of fun in exchanging salutations 
with the good people, our " Ohaio '* (Good-morning), 
or " Sajanara," (Good-day), being pleasantly re- 
sponded to. Gradually we got into the country, and, 
instead of houses, we now had paddy-fields on either 
side of us. It was very pleasant, but took us longer 
than we expected, and it was 11 before we arrived 
at the town on the main river, where the other 
boat had awaited us. We dined here, on provisions 
which we had brought ; we then got into a fine 
boat with a large house, in which our beds had 
been got ready, and I was soon fast asleep, nor 
woke till broad daylight, about 5 o'clock next 
morning. We then obtained a fair view of Osaka, 
now all bustle and activity. 

We arrived at our hotel at 7 a.m., and after 
breakfast drove out to see the town, miles of streets 


intersecting each other at right angles, the usual 
wonderful tidiness and cleanliness everjrwhere. 
There was also evidence of the rage which had 
taken possession of the people for imitating Euro- 
peans ; not only were there fleets of steamers, and 
Japanese in European dress and uniforms, race* 
courses, and shooting-alleys, but even then I was 
not prepared, in these narrow, crowded streets, to 
meet numbers of young Japanese bowling through 
the crowd on bicycles, a machine which I, as yet, 
had never seen ! for they had not yet reached the 

We were on our way to see the Castle, an exten- 
sive and formidable place, built of huge blocks of 
granite, with a deep and broad moat similarly lined. 
We entered the outer gate ; the sentries, in white 
undress uniform, with French caps and sword- 
bayonets fixed, directed us to the guard-house, and 
we had to wait here till permission to see the Castle 
was obtained, which, after long waiting, we did not 
get. We were impressed, however, with what we 
saw. Strange to say, there appeared to be no 
guns ; we were told they had all been removed, and 
sawn in two. The Government seemed to feel 
secure as against foreigners, but not as to their own 
countrymen, and wanted to make sure that these 
guns should not fall into their hands. It was not, 
indeed, wonderful that while such stupendous 
changes were going on, the Government should 
fear opposition. 


We left Osaka by one of the small Japanese 
steamers, at 9 a.m. on the 7th. T now spent some 
days in making excursions in the environs of Hiogo, 
amongst them was one to the village of Arima. 

At 5 P.M. on the 12th the ponies were at the 
door in charge of two guides, or bettoes. I selected 
a strong large animal which, with the exception of 
a hard mouth, proved an excellent beast. The 
Japanese pony is large and serviceable, but rather 
awkward^looking. After clearing the town, the 
road led up a narrow gorge between high hills. A 
watercourse which had cut a deep bed in the 
ravine supplied power for a number of water- 
wheels which were working rice-mills. Gradually 
we ascended the hills by a winding path, till at 
last we reached the highest point, about 2,000 feet 
above the sea. Our path was good and hard ; 
the innumerable mountain peaks reared their 
sandy slopes out of the fresh green vegetation 
in the hollows, which occasionally ended in lovely 
valleys reaching down to the plain below, covered 
with villages, groves, and paddy-fields ; beyond was 
the sea with numerous steamers and ships; and 
further on still the opposite coast. The shrubs on 
either side of our path covered with well-known 
flowers — the wild rose, the honeysuckle, the helio- 
trope, and numerous varieties of lilies, and between 
them the dwarfed mountain-firs, wild raspberries, 
&c. Our path was often only wide enough for 
the pony to pass, and we looked down into the 


▼alleys on either side. Gradually we again de- 
scended, the sandy hills came to an end, and we 
were amongst farm-houses, bamboo-groves, and 
fields. The men and women were working in them, 
the children were playing about in great numbers, 
(by-the-way, I never saw anyone crying in Japan). 
After a ride of about eight miles, we stopped at a 
house to rest the ponies after their hard climb. The 
people were obliging and not curious ; they offered 
us tea, and we bought some peaches, which are 
abundant here, but not very good. It was now 
seven o'clock, and was getting dark, but by the light 
of the young moon we groped our way amongst the 
bamboo-groves. Bamboo is much cultivated here, 
being used for the great industry of basketwork 
peculiar to Arima. The last part of the road was 
one continued and steep descent, and at 9 o'clock 
we were in the village of Arima. The narrow lanes 
looked strange in the uncertain moonlight ; none 
of the streets were more than a few yards wide, 
though the houses on either side were two and three 
stories high. The noise of the horses' hoofs upon 
the stone pavement brought the people to the 
balconies, and they were eagerly looking out to 
ascertain who the strangers were. Our guides 
inquired for lodgings, and we were finally put up 
in an old temple, which, as usual, hiid a small court 
in front with the inevitable rockery, flowers, and 
toy-fountains in which the Japanese so delight. 
On this occasion our hosts, to show off their 


gardens to the greatest advantage, put candles in 
different parts of them. 

We felt now quite ready to do justice to a dinner, 
having ridden fifteen miles, but unfortunately the 
provender of the landlady of our hotel had left Kobi 
with ourselves, and could not be expected for some 
hours ; meanwhile we had some small cups of the 
somewhat unsatisfactory Japanese tea, and the time 
passed in conversation with the natives conducted 
through our interpreter. But the hours passed, 
and as no supplies came, I had eventually to retire 
without my dinner. 

The next day was employed in examining the 
town, its shops and industries. This is the great 
seat of the world-renowned basketwork, and the 
shops were mostly filled with samples, and with the 
paint-brushes with which the Japanese beauties 
adorn themselves. We saw the people at their 
work, also in their bath-houses, the peculiar insti- 
tution of Japan, which open to the street, and where 
men and women go in promiscuously and think 
nothing of it. A separate bath was offered us, but 
we preferred to take it more privately. Having 
made a few purchases, and seen the sights, we left 
at 1 P.M., and by a different and, if possible, more, 
lovely and picturesque road than yesterday, we 
reached the hotel at Kobi by half-past four, in 
good time for dinner. 

As I was standing, towards sunset, outside the 
hotel, a strange thing happened, very illustrative oi 


the then coDdition of Japan. A large Japanese 
steamer came in, and when in the harbour the 
engineer, a Japanese, could not stop the engines. 
They appeared all to have lost their heads, or they 
could have turned her and stood out again ; but to 
our amazement, instead of doing this, they ran her 
at full speed on shore, and there she remained. 
The captain, engineer, and officers bolted. 

On the following day we paid a second visit to 
Osaka, seeing more sights ; and ascended to the top 
of a pagoda, from whence a bird*s-eye view of the 
city was obtained, which showed it to be of immense 
extent, and in every part intersected with canals, 
spanned, it was said, by 325 large bridges. We 
subsequently visited the theatre. Seven girls were 
on the stage ; one, who apparently acted the part 
of Queen, was the object of a sort of slow danoe 
done to rather monotonous music. Their costumes 
were very ample and rich, and their coiffures were 
a marvel. 

The Kioto exhibition is now over, and we are 
preparing for our voyage to Yokohama and Jeddo. 

I had taken passage in the steamer Costa Rica^ 
and having taken a last drive through the town, 
went on board at 4 p.m. on the 18th. I found a 
great many first-class Japanese passengers and 
many Europeans ; in fact, the boat was full. I was 
much struck by the quiet, gentlemanly manners of 
the Japanese. Some of them were of high rank, 
amongst others the Governor of Osaka; most of them 


were dressed in European clothes, using fork and 
knife at table, and taking their wine, beer, and 
champagne with the best of us. The sea was 
smooth, and I enjoyed the beautiful scenery as we 
steamed out of the harbour of Hiogo. But the 
heat was now getting very great; it was QS^' in 
the shade. 

We anchored oft Yokohama at 7 a.m. on the 20th 
July. A fellow-passenger obtained rooms for us at 
the Club. 

Of Yokohama I shall say little ; it was rapidly 
getting Europeanised. The bluff upon which the 
European residences were built was the most pro- 
minent feature of the place. It had beautiful drives, 
and a fine botanical garden, where it was pleasant 
to lounge. 

The Japanese delight in gardens and flowers, as 
well they may, for there are few countries, if any, 
which produce such a variety of trees, shrubs, and 
flowers. The traveller is surprised and delighted 
to find here, intermixed, plants usually associated 
with colder or warmer latitudes. He finds the fir, 
pine, oak, maple, elm, chesnut, and cedar mixed 
with the cryptomaria, camellia, pomegranate, 
bamboo, and palm, while endless varieties of 
rhododendron, azalea, hydrangea, wistaria, iris, 
and lily are mingled with the honeysuckle, ivy, 
marigold, buttercup, and thistle. 

Though passionately fond of gardening, the 
Japanese are not content to let nature alone. They 



prune, trim, dwarf, and exaggerate their shralw, 
which are twisted and turned into all sorts of odd 
forms — animals, birds, boats, houses, &c. — ^while 
trees of the largest species are dwarfed into the 
most diminutive dimensions. These Lilliputian 
trees, waterfalls, fountains, bridges, and rockeries, 
are very curious ; they might seem rather trivial in 
other countries, but somehow they seem to fit in 
with the Japanese character, which is in many 
respects child-like, if frivolous. 

On the 25th we left for Jeddo. The railway 
being finished within two miles of the city, we 
intended to have gone by it, but some delay 
occurred and we resolved to take a carriage, 
which, as enabling us to see the country, was far 
better. It was an open car with a driver's seat, and 
two side-seats behind. We had with us a cook and 
an interpreter, and were therefore to some extent in- 
dependent of hotels. The driver was an American- 
Irishman, and we had a pair of spirited ponies. 
The entire distance to Jeddo, which is about twenty 
miles, was, with few exceptions, one continuous 
street. The road, the so-called Tocaido, was ex- 
cellent, and in many places lined with trees. We 
followed the sea, but every now and then the road 
took a turn inland. The country was most pleasing, 
and the road alive with people on foot, in congoes, 
on horseback, but above all in jinrikshas. There 
were also a good many carriages, some of curious 
shape, occupied and driven by Japanese. One man, 


I noticed, drove a pair of restive ponies with one 
hand, holding an umbrella with the other — "a 
Japanese is not happy without his umbrella." 
There are three large townships between Yokohama 
and Jeddo — Kanagawa, Kawasaki, and Sinagawa. 
After leaving Yokohama, Eanagawa is entered by 
a long and very steep hill, so steep that many 
accidents happen here. We, being unaware of the 
steepness and extent of the hill, remained in our 
seats, and our driver, a rather ruffianly fellow, who 
I suspect knew more about gold-digging than 
driving, gave us no hint to get out. The poor 
ponies struggled for footing on the pavement, the 
driver and his native assistant lashing them and 
shouting ; but after vain efforts the ponies stopped, 
the whip failed to urge them on, and the carriage 
began a backward movement, luckily getting into a 
deep gutter, which stopped its further descent, and 
the empty carriage eventually reached the top of 
the hill. We halted at three tea-houses by the 
way, full of gay and laughing people ; but in one of 
these about a year ago a very different scene took 
place. A party of gentlemen with one lady rode 
out of Yokohama along this road. When near this 
tea-house they met a Daimio with a party of armed 
retainers. The Europeans were too much in the 
proud prince's way; he gave a sign to clear the 
road, and in a moment one gentleman, Mr. Richard- 
son, was cut down and several others wounded. 
The lady turned her horse, and saved herself by a 

19 • 


furious and gallant ride. I had tea from the young 
woman who took charge of poor Richardson, and 
nursed him kindly, though in vain. 

At last we passed a point in the street, where 
our interpreter informed us that Jeddo began. 
Before entering it, however, I must record an 
amusing incident on the road. A man was riding 
close behind our carriage with a number of small 
baskets filled with peaches; now and again one 
fell out. We laughed, and, through the interpreter, 
told him he had better throw them to us. He 
laughingly shook his head, but the peaches still 
continued to drop ; his pony was spirited, and his 
efforts to mend matters made it worse. Coming 
out at first one by one, they now came by twos 
and threes ; at last he got so exasperated that he 
shook out the entire contents into the road. We 
laughed and cheered, as did the other people on the 
road. While we cheered, he passed the carriage 
at a furious gallop, laughing heartily, however, as 
he waved the empty baskets. 

In one place we crossed the river on a ferry-boat, 
carriage and all, which was very well managed, and 
finally entered Jeddo. 

There was nothing to indicate that we had entered 
the largest city in the East ; in fact, as we after- 
wards found, the city was, as far sa the appearances 
of the houses went, mean-looking, far inferior to 
Osaka, and there were large open spaces in it ; this 
was in part due to the dreadful fire which devastated 


it some months previous, partly to the fact that the 
feudatory princes and nobles, who were formerly 
bound to live at Jeddo with thousands of their 
retainers part of the year, did so no longer ; so that 
beside the devastation of the fire, many of the resi- 
dences of these nobles had been pulled down, or 
allowed to go to ruin ; in fact, Jeddo was in a state 
of transition. There were the telegraph-posts along 
the streets, and in the middle of the city a large 
railway station was finished; the old narrow streets 
had given way to broad ones. Where but a little 
while ago everything had reminded one of feudal 
and official Japan, there were to be seen instead of 
stately processions of nobles and princes, only the 
jinrikshas, young Japanese in European costumes 
and uniforms, policemen in blue costumes with red 
shoulder-straps and rather grotesque cocked hats; 
but, for all that, it was still Japan that we saw about 
us. Jeddo was imposing from its size. One could 
drive for miles, and be still in Jeddo; as far as 
one could see along the streets, there was teem- 
ing, busy population. If we had seen jinrikshas 
on the road by hundreds, we now saw them by 
thousands, passing us, crossing us, running into 
us, and being run into, and it was reserved for us 
to do the latter. We were in the heart of the 
city, driving up the main street, when I heard a 
crash and a shout, and saw a rush of people towards 
our carriage. We had driven over a jinriksha. 
I jumped out; there, between the hind-legs of the 


ponies and the front wheels of the carriage, was the 
jinriksha, broken to pieces, and close by lay a man, 
stunned, perhaps dead, or at least with broken 
limbs, I could not tell which, but it seemed im- 
possible that he could have escaped unhurt. By 
this time large crowds were gathering, and cor 
position was not a pleasant one. The man evidently 
belonged to the higher class, and had a fine gold 
watch ; he was bruised and bleeding, but appeared 
to have broken no limbs, and to my anxious inquiries 
through the interpreter, he returned friendly 
gestures. Meanwhile the police had come up, and 
wanted the driver's name and address — they did not 
appear to hold us at all responsible — ^but the Irish- 
man was obdurate and refused to answer inquiries. 
We, however, insisted ; and, their demand complied 
with, we were allowed to pass on, much to our 
satisfaction : I must say the Japanese behaved like 

We were told that the European hotel was burned 
down, and directed the interpreter to take us to a 
Japanese inn. The first at which we called was 
crowded, and the second not quite to our taste, 
but we had to put up with it, and found among the 
lodgers four young Japanese gentlemen who had 
been at some school, could speak a little English, 
and gave us much useful information. Having 
brought our cook and supplies, we were independent 
of hotel fare. No objection was taken to this, and, 
looking at the rather doubtful messes served ap 


for our fellow-lodgers, we were not sorry to cater 
for ourselves. 

Having fortified ourselves with a good breakfast, 
we issued forth to see the city. Our first excursion 
was to " Atango," a temple situated on a height 
from which a fine view is obtained of Jeddo, the 
harbour and surrounding country. A steep flight 
of ninety steps led to the grounds in which the 
temple stands. It was somewhat of a climb, but 
worth the trouble ; we had the great city and 
surrounding country spread out before us. The 
most conspicuous object was the castle, where the 
Shiogun used to live, but where the Mikado now re- 
sided ; with its triple line of moats, and the Daimios' 
residences {yamasks)^ it occupied a vast extent of 
ground. Endless lines of streets covered the great 
valley, broken here and there by undulating hills, 
gardens, and woods ; while on the other side the bay 
was seen between headlands and islands, a smooth 
and placid water, secure against the waves of the 
Pacific, and also, on account of its shallowness, 
secure against an enemy's ships. As usual, there 
were tea-houses and booths in the gardens, which 
were thronged, and what we saw only served to 
excite our curiosity to see more of the great city. 
But it was getting late, and we deferred further 
sight-seeing till to-morrow, and drove back to the 
inn; not, however, to enjoy unbroken sleep, as 
mosquitoes and fleas prevented it. 

At 7 A.ii. we were in our jinrikshas, and started 


with our cook, interpreter, and provender^ bo as to 
be unimpeded in our movements, passing through 
miles of streets, which, however, varied but little 
from those seen at Hiogo and Yokohama, but were 
on a larger scale. The amazing fact was the extent 
of the city, and its endless crowds. As I looked at 
them, the thought came over me that this Japanese 
world, for so many centuries shut up within itself, 
could not have been an unhappy one, for I never 
saw more cheerfulness, nor less apparent poverty 
and want ; of beggars, there were none to be seen. 
Every now and then the change arising from 
contact with the outer world was made apparent 
by some passing Japanese in European dress, and 
it made me wonder whether the new civilisation 
would become them as ill as did the tail-coat and 
tight-fitting trousers. 

We at last stopped before an imposing gateway, 
and from the noise and frivolities of the busy street 
found ourselves transferred to silent groves, stately 
avenues, gardens, and park-like grounds, which 
surrounded the temples of " Shiba," the burial- 
place of the ShioguQS. Passing through six succes- 
sive courts, each containing temples, we reached 
the three innermost. The wonderful artificers of 
old Japan had here wrought shrines of great 
magnificence and beauty, in grand proportions and 
picturesque outlines, in ebony, ivory, purple, and 
gold-carving of marvellous depth and beauty, mas- 
sive gold-plating, cunningly chased, and of enormous 


value. Beyond these, again, was a great bronze 
monument, which covered the six tombs of the 
Shioguns who lie buried here. For hours we 
wandered from temple to temple, admiring and 
enjoying the beauty of the magnificent varieties of 
shrubs, flowers, and trees, which only Japan can 
offer, and feeling something like pity for the 
Buddhist priests and monks, who for centuries had 
been in undisturbed possession, but who, as the 
now partly-emptied cloisters showed us, were being 

Monastic quiet is not, however, the rule in 
Japanese temples. The next one we visited was 
** Asaxa," one of the most celebrated in Jeddo; but 
it was more like a fair, museum, theatre and tea- 
garden — in fact, a place of amusement of every 
description than a temple. The fine avenue which 
led from the outer to the inner gate was full of 
booths and stalls, exposing wares the most pro- 
miscuous — toys, trinkets, books, maps, pictures, &c. 
— and in the grounds, beautiful as usual, all sorts 
of amusements were going on. Here young 
Japanese were trying their skill at archery, at 
other places jugglers were performing ; again, 
crowds surrounded the theatre, and but few, I 
think, were bent upon devotion. As for the temple 
itself, it was but a repetition of others. The in- 
congruous collection of sacred and profane things, 
of figures — such as are seen at Madame Tussaud's 
— of pictures, including those of famous courtesans. 


of hideous idols, and a thousand trifles which it 
would be difficult to name ; but in the gardens one 
ever found new beauties. 

At noon we reached the " Venno ** temple ; 
these beautiful and extensive parks had five years 
previously been the battle-field of the Shioguns' and 
Mikados' opposing forces, and there were still marks 
of destruction amongst the trees. 

We were now fatigued and hungry and entered 
the nearest Japanese house, asking permission to 
cook and rest, which was gladly granted us, 
and we remained here a couple of hours. Subse- 
quently we saw the " Meodjen " temple and the 
castle, a citadel of vast extent, with massive gate- 
ways, walls, moats, and bastions ; there were three 
lines of defences, the Mikado's palaces and gardens 
being in the centre. It must be admitted that 
there is grandeur, and at the same time simplicity, 
about all the public establishments in Japan, and 
one could hardly help feeling regret that the pecu- 
liar civilisation which had produced all this was 
vanishing. Even as I looked at the old castle, 
hitherto guarded by men in medisBval costumes, a 
squadron of cavalry appointed after the latest 
European pattern passed by. 

Marvellously interesting as were all these novel 
sights, I soon found that even Jeddo became 
wearisome at last, and having laboured diligently 
for three days we took rail to Yokohama. 

A few days later we made another excursion ; 


there were three of us, and we were mounted on 
stout ponies and had bettoeSj or grooms, to lead us. 
Our destination was ^'Enoshima/' a small peninsula 
which in summer is a very popular resort of the 
Japanese. After passing a few miles beyond Yoko- 
hama our guides were at fault as to the road, 
and led us into soft paddy-fields where our ponies 
floundered and finally came down. Both my com- 
panions got bad spills, and one, rather corpulent, 
was almost buried in the mud. As he was unfor- 
tunately dressed in light clothing, he looked in a most 
deplorable condition. What was to be done? we 
could not go on, and to return through the streets 
of Yokohama was not to be thought of. I had 
fortunately escaped with little damage, and it was 
eventually resolved that I should return to town 
for change of clothing and a new guide, while my 
friends performed their ablutions in a farm-house 
close by. Eventually we made a fresh start ; and 
our road lay along the sea-coast, through picturesque 
lanes and between farm-houses and gardens. At 
one of the villages the people were scraping oysters, 
of which they offered us some, and were with diffi- 
culty persuaded to receive payment. We met 
crowds of pilgrims dressed entirely in white and 
carrying small bells; they had been at Fusiyama, 
which at this time of the year is much visited by 
them. We passed through the villages of "Makaia," 
** Kanesawa," and " Kamakura,'' stopping at the tea- 
houses, which, as well as the roads, were crowded. 


Everywhere cheerfulness and merry-making pre- 
vailed. At about 3 P.M. we saw the great Dia-boos, 
a bronze statue of Buddha in the usual sitting and 
contemplative attitude ; it is sixty feet high, and is 
surrounded by groves of trees. The idol is several 
hundred years old. Our next stoppage was at 
*^ Katuza," and then we again got on the sea-shore 
and rode along the beach to our destination, " Eno- 
zima," a rocky promontory connected with the 
mainland by a narrow sandy spit ; both on the rock 
and the mainland are large villages. We meant to 
have proceeded at once to the former place, but as 
we passed the tea-house about a dozen damseb 
surrounded our horses and fairly took charge of us; 
so we had refreshments and the horses were put up. 
We then walked on to the peninsula, a most pic- 
turesque place. We entered caverns, wandered 
through beautiful gardens and groves, bought all 
sorts of curiosities made of sea-shells, and finaUy 
returned to our tea-house on the mainland, where 
we had an excellent Japanese fish dinner. 

Next morning we returned to Yokohama along 
the " Tokaido/' the beautiful high-road which runs 
through the entire length of " Nipon," and which 
presented a most animating and gay appearance. 
We arrived at Yokohama at 2 p.m., having ridden 
forty-two miles and enjoyed the trip exceedingly. 
This was my last excursion in Japan. 

Like, probably, all travellers in Japan, I had been 
delighted with the country, but astonished at the 


rapidity with which the ruling classes of this old and 
exclusive empire had divested themselves of their 
old ways and habits, and the docility with which 
the people submitted to it. Not handsome, the 
Japanese are yet a highly pleasing and interesting 
race ; clever and quick, but, as I have said, seemingly 
wanting in solidity. I did not then believe in the 
undisturbed progress of the new state of things ; 
but, happily, time is rolling on, and the Japanese are 
still progressing and apparently consolidating, a 
spectacle that cannot but affect their mighty 
neighbour China. 




Mt stay in Japan had now come to an end, and 
I took my passage in the Pacific Company's mail- 
steamer Alaska for California. 

On the 8th August I went on board the AUisha; 
it was a fine clear day, a fresh southerly wind was 
blowing, and there was a moderate sea, through 
which the huge ship ploughed her way without any 
perceptible motion. I had twice before, in 1850, 
crossed the Pacific, but under very different con- 
ditions. From the shores of Japan to California I 
had then taken fifty days, and we had had a rough 
time of it ; now I was to cross it again, but in a 
ship of nearly 5,000 tons burthen, and which seemed 
more like a floating island than a ship. She 
could carry some 1,200 passengers, and the four 
or five hundred now on board found, therefore, 
ample room. 

Among the cabin passengers were one Chinese 
and seven Japanese gentlemen; the former (Lai 


Soon, I think, was his name) had been educated 
in America, and had taken honours at Harvard 
University ; he was now going on a mission for the 
Government of Pekin, to arrange for the education 
of forty Chinese youths in America. He was 
wonderfully well informed, and I spent many 
interesting hours on deck in conversation with him. 
We used to speak of the Japanese and the 
wonderful strides they are making. I remember 
asking him why his countrymen did not imitate 
the Japanese. " Ah ! " he said, *' they go much too 
fast, and allow themselves to be cheated by 
European adventurers; we shall move, but more 
slowly and surely and trust more to ourselves." 
" Yes," I said, " but you can't get on without 
European instructors." '' True," he answered, 
'' and we do not object to be instructed, but there 
are those amongst them who would fain govern us 
altogether. There is Mr. Lay, for instance, he 
would fain act the part in China which Lord Clive 
played in India," &c. 

There was a good deal of conceit in all this, yet 
I think he was not far wrong in his estimate of his 
countrymen as compared with the Japanese. The 
latter are more sensitive, impulsive, and brilliant ; 
but the Chinaman, though slower, has probably 
more solid qualities. 

It was wonderful, however, to notice the applica- 
tion to study during the whole voyage displayed by 
the seven young Japanese on board. They were 


all of noble birth, two of them princes; none of 
them could then speak English. A few months later 
I met one of them in London, and was surprised 
when he spoke to me in very fair English. 

A voyage across the Pacific is, perhaps, mono- 
tonous, but I found it delicious. The weather was 
fine, clear and bracing. Day by day the huge beam 
engines propelled us through the sea at a uniform 
speed of nine to ten miles per hour. Looking at 
the ceaseless labour of the complicated machinery 
which goes to make up such colossal engines ; it 
seemed an anxious thought, that if they broke down 
in mid-ocean — over 2,000 miles from either shore — 
the great vessel would remain practically helpless. 

For a distance of over 4,000 miles we saw 
nothing but sea and sky, bird and fish, save on one 
occasion when we met the steam- ship America^ 
belonging also to the Pacific Steam-ship Company, 
and received mails from her. The ill-fated ship 
was a few days later burnt, but luckily in a harboar 
in Japan. 

The voyage was drawing to a close. On the 
Slst of August I was once more, after many years' 
interval, in the entrance of San Francisco harbour. 
The old land-marks were there, but the city was no 
longer the San Francisco of twenty-two years ago. 
It was in vain that I endeavoured to define the old 
outlines ; the nurseling had become a giant, and its 
features were no longer recognisable. 

I put up at the Occidental Hotel which, though 


large, and containing a couple of hundred bed- 
rooms, was crowded. What luxury and comfort ! 
while as for the table, no place in the world offers 
such abundance of all that is good and delicious of 
flesh, fish, and fruit, as a Californian hotel ; the 
tables groaned under their weight, and this at a 
cost of only three to four dollars per day. I asked 
myself whether this was the same country where, 
when I knew it last, a friend of mine paid 250 
dollars per month for his room, having to hoist his 
umbrella while in bed, and thirty-five dollars per 
week for his board, which was of the simplest ! 
Yet all the luxuries I now saw were the produce of 
the country, and furnished a proof that gold was 
not the only treasure California had to offer the 
confiding adventurers to whose labour and energy 
it owed its first start. 

Accompanied by a friend whom I had known 
when last here, and who had never left San 
Francisco, I took a ramble through the town, and 
my first inquiry was for Flagstaff Hill, from the 
top of which I had sketched the town in 1849 ; but 
it had all but disappeared, levelled by the spade. I 
then wanted to visit the mission-house of Dolores, 
a country walk of three miles on my former visit ; 
but now it was deep in the city. I traced the water- 
lots, which had been offered to me for a few hundred 
dollars ; on them stood now the finest buildings in 
the principal part of the city. One such lot would 
have made me a millionaire I 



I had brought three letters of introducfcioii to 
influential firms in the city. One was to Mr. 

F , considered one of the wealthiest men in 

San Francisco. I saw him twice without' any par- 
ticular incident happening, but on my third visit 
he said, after looking at me attentively, " Have 
you been in California before?" and on my answer- 
ing in the affirmative, he said : " I thought so, yon 
were one of the twenty-two in Montgomery Street." 
In fact, this gentleman to whom I had thus ac- 
cidentally become accredited, after an interval of 
twenty-two years, had been one of the marry party 
who used to rough it, and to have many a jovial 
evening together in the old shanty in Montgomery 
Street. He was then a poor correspondent of a 
newspaper, but had since become a CrcBSus. 

I had come to California with a distinct object in 
view. That accomplished, I was anxious to speed 
on my homeward journey ; I therefore gave little 
time to sight-seeing in San Francisco; but I 
visited Cliff House, on the sea-shore. Prom the 
verandah of this bouse a strange sight is to be 
seen ; indeed, long before it is reached a bellowing 
is heard, gradually increasing to a deafening roar, 
intimating something extraordinary, and soon, on 
a rock some 160 yards from the shore, a curious 
commotion is visible. It looks as though the rock 
was moving, but it is a great number of monsters 
— in other words, sea-lions, perhaps a couple of 
hundred of them, which play, and fight, and roar. 


now plunging into the sea, then again awkwardly 
crawling on to the rock, in unceasing motion. 

In the evening I saw a lion of another kind. 
Returning to the hotel, I noticed a great gathering 
of people outside one of the music-halls, and, hearing 
national airs played, I concluded that something 
unusual was going on, and followed the crowd in. 
It was General McLellan, stumping the country in 
favour of Mr. Greeley's election for the Presidency. 
He held a lev6e, and the crowd was walking round 
the ring, shaking hands with the General as the 
peoplo passed him. I was told that this had been 
going on for two hours ; if so, the gallant General's 
arm must have been pretty well tired. Evidently 
the sovereign people of the great Republic are not 
exempt from hero-worship. I could not help feel- 
ing, however, that there was something impressive 
in the self-imposed, orderly conduct of this huge 
crowd, and in the spontaneous homage offered to a 
meritorious fellow-citizen. 

My object in California was to visit the quick- 
silver mines, and I lost no time in putting this into 
effect. On the 3rd of September I left San Fran- 
cisco by rail at 4.30 p.m., for San Jos^, where I 
arrived at seven. The town is situated in a pretty 
valley, and the Auzerai's house, where I put up, 
was a most comfortable hotel. I was to visit the 
celebrated Almaden quicksilver mines, situated 
twelve miles from San Jos^, and before retiring 
for the night I ordered a carriage to take me 

20 • 


across. At seven next morning a trap with a pair of 
spirited horses was brought to the door. I waited a 
httle while for the driver, but none turned up, and 
I was then told that none could be spared, and I 
would have to drive myself. Now, as I had no 
experience in driving, I looked rather doubtingly 
at the somewhat eager-looking steeds, and regretted 
not having ordered a saddle-horse ; but I was 
evidently " in for it," so, taking the reins with as 
much nonchalance as I could command, I was 
about to start, when it occurred to me to ask the 
road ; but my steeds had no mind to wait, they 
were off at a gallop, and had left some miles behind 
us before I had a chance to inquire whither I was 
going. As good luck would have it, we were all 
right, and by degrees I felt quite at my ease, and 
was able to enjoy the beautiful country through 
which I was passing. It was a rich valley, about 
fifteen miles wide, with mountain ranges on either 
side, and covered with orchards and corn-fields, and 
here and there clumps of magnificent oaks, cypresses, 
and sycamores. The harvest was in full operation, 
and I had occasion to admire the mechanical skill 
by which the Americans make up for want of 
labour in the cultivation of their vast estates. 
Steam was at work in every direction, cutting the 
corn, gathering, and threshing it. In this wonderful 
climate there is no need of bringing corn under 
roof, it is bagged in the field, and from thence 
leisurely sent to the market. 


The twelve miles to Almaden was accomplished 
in one hour and a quarter. The first intimation 
that I was near the mines was a sign-board, upon 
which was painted in large letters, " Cinnabar 
House." Then came a village where the workmen 
live, and then a gate, the entrance to the works, a 
board upon which intimated, in large letters, that 
there was no admittance for strangers, and the land- 
lord of the inn told me that this was strictly- 
enforced. It was, therefore, with some little mis- 
giving that I called upon Mr. Randal, the manager, 
who indeed looked at me suspiciously, but my 
letters of introduction put me all right. He offered 
me every facility, and ordered one of the foremen 
to attend me. 

The new Almaden quicksilver mine is one of the 
most famous and valuable of the Californian mines, 
and my interest in it was increased by the circum- 
stance that there is considerable resemblance between 
the situation and general appearance of this mine 
and those of the " Tegora " mines in Sarawak ; and 
the history of this mine is so remarkable that I 
think an outline of it, drawn from official docu- 
ments, Avill prove interesting. 

Even before the advent of the Spaniards in Cali- 
fornia, this place was known to the Indians, who 
painted their faces with the powdered cinnabar 
(how their teeth fared is not recorded) ; at a later 
period the Jesuits made their converts bring this 
pigment to paint the Mission-church. In 1824 


Antonio Sunol and the Chabollas endeavoured to 
work the cave as a silver mine, and for that pur- 
pose they erected a mill on a stream near bj and 
obtained a flask of quicksilver; and again, ten 
years later, the Chabollas renewed the attempt 
In 1845, when Andre Castillero, a captain in the 
Mexican Regular Army, happened to be in this 
department, one Chato Robles called his attention 
to this spot ; Castillero founded a company, dividing 
the property of the mine into twenty-four shares. 
It is interesting to see how the value of these shares 
rose as the mine got more and more developed. In 
March one share sold for only 800 dollars ; in April 
and May three shares sold for 1,000 dollars each ; 
in September two shares sold for 3,800 dollars; 
in August 1849 one share sold for 5,000 dollars; 
and one year later James Alexander Forbes sold 
one share to John Garott for 24,000 dollars. 

In December 1852 a number of the shares had 
passed into the hands of Jacker, Torre & Co. ; they 
were resold by these gentlemen to the firm of 
Barron, Forbes & Co. for 380,000 dollars, and this 
at a time when the title to the mine was threatened 
with a combination of law-suits. It was admitted 
during the great trial which took place in 1859—60, 
"United States v. Andre Castillero," that up to 
that time the profits of the mine had reached the 
enormous sum of 8,000,000 dollars, and the value 
of the mine was fixed by the United States Govern- 
ment at 25,000,000 dollars. 


The mines, to which the above refers, are 
situated on a range of hills subordinate to the 
main coast range, the highest point of which is 
1,200 to 1,500 feet above the valley of San Jos6. 
The ridge which contains the quicksilver vein runs 
north-westerly from this mine for a distance of five 
miles ; the vein, varying from 15 to 200 yards in 
width, has its strongest apparent development near 
this mine. Here the divisions and spurs spread out 
the vein in an irregular form. The walls or boun- 
daries of this great vein are clearly defined. They 
contain within the limits trap, serpentine, limestone, 
quartz, calcareous spar, and other rocks, and run- 
ning across the vein occur at intervals the deposits 
of cinnabar ore. These deposits are in veins, having 
their distinct walls, however small they may be; 
thus making veins within the great vein. 

My guide took me over the whole of the mines, 
about five miles. There were upwards of two miles 
of galleries in the mountain, with three separate 
entrances. One of these — the one worked by the 
previous owners — was no longer worked by this com- 
pany ; it was on the opposite side of the mountain 
to those worked at this time. The ore was sent do¥ni 
in the first instance on an inclined tramway, and 
afterwards carted down a pretty steep road, about a 
mile and a half, to the works. A few men were still 
working in this mine on their own account, selling 
the ore tiO the Company, and I found a party of 
Mexicans picking over a heap of refuse ore, which 


appeared to me very poor. On the opposite 
of the mountain two drifts had been run in ; the 
lower one of these was the outlet of all the ore then 
brought out, the ore from the upper galleries being 
sent down through a shoot to the lower ones. 

They had recently struck some very good ore, a 
long way into the mountain, and were sinking a 
shaft down upon it, which was already some 500 
feet deep. Wages varied from forty-five to sixty 
dollars per month, with board, which was valued 
at fifteen dollars. A working day was ten hours. 
There were about 900 men in the mine, one third of 
whom were white, the rest Mexicans. A good many 
of the latter were living by picking old refuse from 
stone. The character of the ore seemed similar to 
that of Borneo. 

Having completed my investigations in these 
mines, I returned to San Jos^, having had a most 
exciting drive, for two young ladies in a buggy 
insisted on racing me the whole way. At night I 
returned to San Francisco. 

My next excursion was to the quicksilver mines 
in the Pope valley, Napa county. Leaving San 
Francisco by steam-boat at 4 p.m., on the afternoon 
of the 6th of September, we crossed the harbour, 
passing "Goat," and "Alcatraz" islands. These, 
which when I last saw San Francisco had hardly a 
hut upon them, were now covered with fortifications 
and military establishments on a most extensiTe 
scale. Entering San Pablo Bay (a continuation of 


that of San Francisco), we reached the Straits of 
Carquinez, and entering a narrow sheet of water 
on the left, soon found ourselves at Vallejo, the 
southern terminus of the Pacific railroad. Then I 
took train for the town of Napa, which I reached at 
7 P.M., and put up at the " Rivera House " hotel. 

The object of my first visit was the Redington 
quicksilver mines, and at 5.30 next morning I 
started in a light trap with a pair of horses (by 
this time I had become an experienced whip). The 
morning was beautiful, but cold, about 60°; but 
soon the sun got power. Later in the day it was 
98° in the shade, and probably 15° to 20° more in 
the sun, but the atmosphere was so pure and dry 
that the heat was not oppressive ; yet it was a 
marvel to me how white men could do field-work in 
such a heat I in the Eastern states it would have 
killed them. After some hours' heavy driving, I 
stopped for a cup of coffee at Neil's Ranche. Neil 
was a good, honest Kentish man, with a smart 
Scotch wife ; both were anxious for news from 
home, and spoke affectionately of the old country. 
I next stopped at a roadside inn, Barreyessas 
Hotel ; this takes its name after the valley, which, 
again, is named after a Mexican who formerly 
owned it, but lost his magnificent estate of 32,000 
acres by gambling; 15,000 tons of wheat were raised 
on it last season. I saw this man, now a beggar, 
sitting outside the door of a miserable cottage I 

I arrived at 4 p.m. at the mines, and the manager, 


Mr. Livermore, to whom I had an introductioQ 
from the proprietors, gave me a most cordial 
welcome, and every facility for examining the 
works. One of the directors of the Company, who 
happened to be staying here, offered, the following 
day, to drive me over the district. He was an old 
Californian, full of wit and himiour, and proved a 
most interesting companion, and an excellent whip, 
a very necessary qualification on the roads over 
which we had to drive. 

I visited successively the " Redington," " Man* 
hattan/' and ** Phoenix " mines, besides numerous 
smaller ones, and was much impressed by the vast- 
ness of the resources of this extraordinary country. 
There seems practically no limit to the production 
of quicksilver. As yet, however, the business was 
hardly carried on with the same energy as in the 
mining of other minerals. In many cases, indeed, 
it was clear that the mines were worked with 
insufficient means, and in a manner that could 
hardly pay when prices for the metal were low; 
they were then exceptionally high. 

Having been so busily engaged in quicksilver- 
mining during the last few years, it was interesting 
for me to compare the conditions under which the 
mines were worked here with those in Borneo; con- 
ditions which, the mines being of equal richness, 
weighed, in my opinion, much in favour of the 
latter country. Here were barren mountain ranges, 
in many cases distant from railroads or rivefi 


destitute of fuel, which was laboriously hauled great 
distances over diflficult mountain-tracks, and, above 
all, expensive labour, the men getting, as I have 
stated, forty to sixty dollars per month; while at 
the mines on the forest-clad slopes of the Sarawak 
rivers, our Chinese, Dyaks, and Malays got only 
from five to eight dollars per month, fuel and 
water being abundant on the spot, and carriage 

It may be that the caution which was apparently 
exercised in many of the mining operations for quick- 
silver in California was judicious. It is a peculiar 
metal, not capable of universal application; its princi- 
pal uses, so far, have been for gold-mining purposes, 
the quicksilver being used to absorb the gold, which 
subsequently is liberated from it. Again, it is 
largely used for the manufacture of vermilion, but 
in both industries it is threatened to be superseded 
by other agencies. It might well happen, therefore, 
that if these vast cinnabar-bearing lodes of Cali- 
fornia were vigorously worked, the metal might 
become depreciated in value. 

The nature of the cinnabar ore in these mines 
varies, as does its richness. As a rule it is found as 
a reddish-brown massive ore, in bunches, or dis- 
seminated through the rock. In other cases, again, 
as a black oxide, usually rich, or, as in the Beding- 
ton miner in beautiful crystals. In some cases, also, 
the native quicksilver is obtained, but this is not 
usually a promising ore. The yield is very varied; in 

316 PtONDEBING IN THfi: B'Att EASt. 

Almaden it was stated to be as high as 10 per cent., 
while in the Phoenix it was only 1-^ per cent. ; but 
even less than this would then pay, but, as with gold 
and silver, so with quicksilver, the ore runs very 
irregularly. The lodes which carry it are not unfre- 
quently 50 to 100 feet thick, and through this great 
mass the mercury runs irregularly, following cross- 
veins and bands of other substances than the main 
lode ; at times following one side, at times another ; 
at times, again, lost altogether. It is, therefore, only 
by extensive working in a variety of places at once, 
that a good average percentage of the metal is 
obtained, and in mines so worked it rarely hap- 
pens that the metal runs short. 

Having acquired all the information I desired, I 
took leave of my courteous host, and commenced, 
with my new friend, our drive over the country, in 
its way, one of the most remarkable performances 
I ever remember to have undergone, although my 
experiences in this way have been very varied. The 
motion of our trap was more that of a boat in a 
sea-way, than that of a carriage on land ; only it 
was not the gentle rolling of the former, but sharp 
and sudden jerks whenever the wheel encountered 
a new boulder, which sent me into the air, and 
knocked myself and my neighbour about, as though 
we were playing Punch and Judy. Of what 
materials, and how, these American traps are made, 
is a mystery to me ; but they do infinite credit to 
the manufacturer. It was not, however, merely the 


roughness of gullies and dried-up river-beds in which 
we drove which caused me to wonder at Oalifornian 
roads : here and there we came to a narrow track, 
cut into the mountain-side at an elevation in some 
places of 3,000 feet, but with a gradient so steep 
and curves so sharp as to make me wonder how the 
horses could draw us up in the first case, or pre- 
vent our going over the precipice in the second ; in 
fact, if, at such a moment, the harness gave way, a 
wheel broke, or horse stumbled, over we would go. 
I gently hinted, on one or two occasions, to my 
Yankee friend, the propriety of getting down to 
walk, but he enjoyed showing the stranger what 
an old Californian whip can do, and, indeed, he 
liked to cut it very fine. On one occasion I pointed 
out to him that we were getting perilously near 
the precipice ; he looked over, turned his 'baccy in 
his mouth, and said, "I guess we have still four 
inches." That, I have no doubt, was our margin ; 
but when at the ranche, where we slept that night, 
he quizzed me about the incident, our host told us 
that a short time before a cart with four mules, 
driver and all, had gone over the precipice, and 
down the mountain-side, near that very spot. It is 
an awkward occurrence on such roads, when a team 
is met, coming down with quicksilver, or wood, or 
stores. They are usually drawn by mules, six, or 
even eight, labouring heavily at the steep gradients, 
the drivers urging them on with fearful impreca- 
tions. As these roads are rarely wide enough for 


two vehicles to pass, it is necessary to be on the out- 
look, so as to make a halt at some convenient place. 
On such occasions the wheel of the outside carriage 
may even have to be let down on the slope, and 
by main force held in that position till the other 
carriage has passed. 

Altogether, the eight or ten miles' drive was 
rather of a precarious nature; but when the heights 
were reached, it was worth the trouble to view the 
hills and valleys, and mountain-ranges piled higher 
and higher, till at last they culminated in the snow- 
clad summits of the Sierra Nevada, standing out 
clear in the wonderful atmosphere, though more than 
a hundred miles away. It was a glorious sight, and 
though we knew that extensive valleys were lying 
below, covered with corn-fields and vineyards, they 
were hidden in the mighty folds of the mountain- 
ranges, and all looked grand and wild, as if yet 
untrodden by man ; but as we descended, the details 
of the wonderful variety of Californian vegetation 
appeared, pine, oak, poplar, maple, with endless 
varieties of shrubs, and conspicuous amongst them 
were the wild vine and the laurel. 

Not the least marvel of this day*s drive, in a 
fierce heat, was the endurance of the Californian 
horses; they never showed sign of distress, and 
never seemed to require water ; but I was glad 
when, at 8 p.m., we reached the ranche where we 
hoped to find night-quarters for man and beast, and 
were not disappointed. 


The hot day had changed into a cool and lovely 
evening, and the moon was shining as we reached 
the ranche. We found it occupied by one man only, 
an Americanised Chinaman, who turned out to be 
the cook of the establishment. His masters, two 
Yankees, were out, bringing in the swine. Presently 
they were heralded by the screeching and grunting 
of upwards of a hundred of these creatures, driven 
by the two men on horseback. When the animals 
were secured within an enclosure, and quiet to 
some extent restored, the two new-comers gave us 
a hearty, if rough, reception ; and John Chinaman 
was soon busy preparing our supper, and an excel- 
lent one it proved, though the first course, a fine 
dish of quails, caused my friend some embarrass- 
ment. I must explain that, during our drive in 
the early morning, I noticed great numbers of these 
birds, and had expressed a desire to make their 
further acquaintance; but my friend, who was 
sheriff of the county, explained that the close season 
was not yet over, and seemed rather scandalised 
when I suggested that, in a country like this, the 
game-laws need not be very strictly adhered to. 
He seemed almost to consider any doubt thrown 
upon the efiKcacy of the law as a personal offence 
against the sheriff. I therefore doubly enjoyed the 
sight of a great dish of these birds, in excellent 
condition. I had a good laugh at the sheriffs 
expense, who enjoyed them, nevertheless. 

The day's journey had been a fatiguing one, and 


although my couch was hard, I slept right well. 
When waking next morning, I saw my host standing 
watching me, or rather my ulster, in which I was 
sleeping, a new and a very good one, and which 
seemed greatly to have taken his fancy. 

" Stranger," he said, "I guess you have a mighty 
fine coat there." 

" Yes," I answered. A pause. 

" What might be the value ? " 

" I could not say." 

"Will you take 50 dollars for it? " 

" No." 

My friend then gradually increased his offer up to 
120 dollars. I then told him not to put me to 
further temptation, as I could not part with it, 
which seemed greatly to astonish him, and with 
something like contempt in his face, at my inability 
to appreciate a good bargain, he turned away. At 
6 A.M. we were on the way again. 

Near Mount Saint Helena are the hot springs of 
Calistoga, in a picturesque valley, entirely sur- 
rounded by mountains. Here, at the petrified 
forest. Mount Saint Helena, and the Geysers, I 
spent a few interesting days in viewing the mar- 
vellous phenomena of nature, of which the .following 
description by an American writer will give some 

" The hot springs of Calistoga are situated in a 
level valley near the foot of Mount Saint Helena, in 
the northern part of the countryi surrounded on all 


sides by mountains ; the situation of these celebrated 
springs is one of much beauty, the surroundings 
are very picturesque, it is a place of fashionable 
resort, and there is a good hotel. 

^^ Upon the summit of Mount Lincoln, which is near 
the hotel, there is an observatory, and a beautiful 
view is obtained of the valley and surrounding 
mountains. There are a great many hot springs of 
varying chemical character. 

" Some great convulsions are at work underground 
at Calistoga ; the ground is so hot that a dish of 
meat buried four feet deep, is cooked in two hours 
and a half, and the water issuing from it is near 
boiling-point. A well was bored preparatory to 
the erection of the bath-house, to a depth of sixty- 
five feet, when the boring instruments were blown 
out with tremendous force high into the air, as if 
some unseen power beneath was resenting the intru- 
sion of mortals upon his domain ; the workmen ran 
for their lives, and could not be induced to resume 
operations upon any terms. 

"Here is another evidence that the presiding 
genius of the place does not like to be disturbed. 
An attempt was made to pump water from this 
well ; after a few strokes, a violent stream was 
blown out of the well, ten or fifteen feet high. If 
the pumping was stopped, the blowing would stop 
also, but renewed afresh as often as the pumping 
was resumed. The water at the top being cold, 
seems to have held in abeyance the steam and 



intensely hot water below ; the action of the pump 
relieves the superincumbent pressure, when the hot 
water below rushes out. 

^'Five miles south of Calistoga, on the ridge that 
divides Napa and Santa Rosa valleys, is a fossil 
forest, the existence of which first became known 
in 1870. 

" * Just before our visit a destructive fire had 
swept over a portion of it, rendering it compara- 
tively easy to examine a large tract of country, 
which apparently had never been explored. A care* 
ful examination of the locality where the first pros- 
trate trunks had been discovered, soon made it 
evident that those now on the surface had all been 
weathered out of the volcanic tufa and sandstones, 
which form the summit of this part of the mountain- 
ridge. Several large silicified trees were, indeed, 
subsequently found in the vicinity, projecting from 
the side of a steep bluff, which had partially escaped 
denudation. Extending our explorations among the 
mountains for several miles around, we were 
rewarded by the discovery of many additional fossil 
trunks at various points, showing conclusively that 
this tertiary deposit contained the remains of an 
extensive forest of very large trees, which had 
apparently been overthrown and entombed by some 
volcanic eruption. Portions of nearly one hundred 
distinct trees, scattered over a tract three or four 
miles in extent, were found by our party, and the 
information we received from hunters, and others 


familiar with the surrounding country, renders it 
more than probable that the same beds, containing 
similar masses of silicified wood, extend over a much 
greater area. 

" * The fossil trees washing out of this volcanic 
tufa were mostly of great size, and appeared to be 
closely related to some of the modem forests of the 
Pacific coast, especially gigantic conifers. All the 
trees discovered were prostrate, and most of them, 
after their petrification, had been broken trans- 
versely into several sections, apparently by the 
disturbance of the enclosing strata.' 

** The trees lie generally north and south, some 
with portions of roots still attached. Professor 
Marsh was unable to determine their age ; he thinks 
the origin of the volcanic material which covered 
the forest may have been Mount Saint Helena, 
which is an extinct volcano. 

"Twenty-eight miles from Calistoga are the 
celebrated Geyser Springs, near the Penton 

" No language can adequately describe the im- 
pression produced by the first visit to the Geysers. 
The wild scenery around, the torn, irregular walls 
of the cafions, splintered into form by earthquakes, 
and dyed in all shades of colour by the action of 
chemicals, aided by subterranean fires, the fierce 
heat, the stunning, stifling vapours, and the wild, 
threatening sound of the heated and pent-up waters, 
that seemed maddened into fury and struggling to 

21 • 


escape, all combined to produce sensations at onoe 
novel and startling. 

" * The Mountain of Fire ' is an extensive eleva- 
tion, crusted over with brittle crystals of sulphur, 
and from which steam issues in a hundred places. 
The sight is less impressive than many others, but a 
view of it confirms the belief of the spectator in the 
vastness of the subterraneous fires at work in this 

" We started for the upper portion of the cafion, 
in order to follow down the rivulet that enters the 
frightful trench a pure, cold, mountain-rill, and 
issues from it a quarter of a mile below, hot and 
saturated with nearly all the acids of a medical 
laboratory. Just before reaching the point for 
descent, we came upon the * boiling cauldrons,' as 
they are called. These were openings in the ground, 
partly protected by a back-setting of volcanic- 
looking rocks, where pools of water were boiling or 
simmering. In one of them we could watch the 
swash, a slaty-hued ditch-water, as it seemed, which 
exhaled the stench of dock-mud. It appeared to 
be a vent for some boiling sewer of the pit. Three 
feet off, cleaner water was bubbling, with a gentle 
cooking sound ; and, at another short remove, 
steam was issuing from a score of vents in steady 
whiffs, depositing around each little opening beau- 
tiful feathery crystals of sulphur. The ground was 
very hot, and soon suggested to the feet the 
necessity of quick observation. Yet the scene 


was not entirely devoid of life ; a bob-tailed lizard, 
a genuine Salamander, was running over the baked 
and burning soil as though he enjoyed the tempera- 
ture. And, twenty feet distant, charming wild 
flowers were growing, with a touch of blight from 
the neighbouring heat or steam. 

** We hurried by many of the lesser wonders in 
order to reach the great steamboat spring, on the 
right-hand wall of the cafion. This is the spout 
whose loud wheezing we heard nearly a mile off, 
while descending into the larger ravine on horse- 
back. Around it is a huge pile of slags and fright- 
ful clinkers, over which rises the continual roar of 
escaping steam from an orifice two feet in diameter, 
and, in pulsations, precisely like those of a huge 
engine hard at work. Each beat sends the vapour 
up visibly 50 to 100 feet ; but in the early morning, 
when the air was cool, T saw a column 500 feet 
high, and widened to a cloud above, belched from 
the strange boiler that relieves its wrath through 
the mountain-side. Often, a little after sunrise, 
too, a rainbow can be seen on the steam-cloud, 
spanning the whole length of the awful trench with 
hues as clear as if they were refracted in pure 
water-drops, and not in sulphurous vapours fresh 
from Hades. 

** In the * Devil's Cafion * we see nature analytic 
and critical; her work is mostly death. In the 
flowers, and groves, and hill-sides lined with beauty, 
just outside the sulphurous gorge, and in the blue 


air and noiseless light, we see nature, synthetic and 
creative, wrapping her acids in sweetness, veiling 
her noisome vapours in perfume, transforming her 
fires into bloom, harnessing her deadly gases to the 
work of adorning the earth and serving man. And 
we will ride away from the Geysers, glad that we 
have seen its marvels and terrors, and grateful that 
the ever-renewing loveliness on the bosom of the 
world hides from us the awful fact which the 
Professor has so concisely stated, that we live on 
a globe which has a * crust of fossils and a heart of 
fire/ '' 

The object of my stay in California being ac- 
complished, I started by the Pacific Railway for 
New York. On the way I stopped at Nevada, in 
order to visit the celebrated Oomstock silver mines, 
which were near that city. To reach these, as the 
railway was not then constructed, I had to travel by 
coach, and this journey proved to be one I was not 
likely to forget. In company with two American 
gentlemen, my fellow-travellers, I left the train at 
midnight, and found the coaches (three in number) 
waiting to convey passengers on to the mines. By 
the dim light of burning faggots we saw a crowd 
of rough, rowdy-looking men, the adventurers who 
are in the van of pioneering in the wilds of those 
regions, and are, as a rule, the scum of that restless 
and unsettled class which is for ever extending the 
borders of the white man's dominion, and is the 
mortal foe of the redskin. 1 felt that it was not 


without reason that my American friends whispered, 
" Have you got your revolver ? " No savages that 
I had ever come across could compare for down- 
right brutal ferocity with those who were to be our 
travelling-companions. Their first act had been to 
possess themselves of our rugs, the second to secure 
all the best places, warning us off with fearful 
imprecations. The result was such a night as I 
never hope to experience again ; perched on some 
boxes on the roof of the coach, without my rug, 
and barely able to hold on as we rattled along the 
rough moimtain tracks, I was numbed and shaken 
to pieces long before we reached Virginia city. 
When returning by the same coach it was daylight, 
and we then saw that it was full of bullet-holes, the 
work of robbers, while the inside was well supplied 
with irons, intended, as the driver told us, for 
unruly passengers. 

Of these wonderful silver mines it is not my 
object to speak. In the lowest galleries the heat 
was almost unbearable, but I was told that men 
of great wealth were working here as common 
miners, wielding the pick in order to inform them- 
selves as to the promise of the rock, and so specu- 
late successfully in the shares, and in this way 
doubtless large fortunes were made. 

At Utah also I broke my journey, interviewing 
Brigham Young, who paid me the compliment of 
praising the Scandinavian women; but I must say 
that the appearance of those seen did not indicate 


that the peculiar institution had brought them much 
happiness. Wonderful, nevertheless, is the work 
which has been done by the Mormons, for Utah is 
an oasis in the stony desert. 

But I must take my reader no further in America. 
The chapters of my Eastern career terminate with 
my departure from the shores of the Pacific. 

A few years later I undertook a voyage to the 
Polar regions, whither I shall be glad to conduct 
my reader if he be so minded. 




Five years had passed since my departure from 
Borneo, and, having satisfactorily terminated a 
harassing law-suit, 1 was desirous again to find 
occupation, and was therefore ready to look into a 
scheme which had been put before some of my 
friends, and which seemed to combine great possi- 
bilities with a touch of romance. A collection of 
old German manuscripts was sent me for perusal, 
and from them I gathered the following. 

The field of the proposed enterprise appeared, to 
an old Indian like myself, somewhat forbidding. It 
was in the Arctic Regions, on the coast of Lapland, 
in the White Sea ; and the story was this : — 

In the early part of the last century, about 1732, 
when the Empress Anna reigned in Russia, the 
attention of her Government was attracted to 
certain mining adventures undertaken by Russian 
subjects, upon the coast of Lapland. Silver, copper, 
and lead had been found, and the Government 


became desirous to profit by the discovery. As 
yet there was no organized mining department, and 
the mineral wealth of the already vast empire had 
remained almost untouched. Under these circum- 
stances an application was made to the Saxon 
Government by that of Russia, for scientific and 
practical miners to open up the mineral resources 
of the empire ; and, in response, a certain Baron 
Schonberg, a Saxon mining-ofl&cial was sent, with 
about forty miners. These all went to the White 
Sea, where extensive mining operations were com- 
menced, both on the extreme eastern coast of 
Lapland, for copper, and on the western shores of 
the White Sea, for silver and lead. The manuscripts 
contained full accounts of the doings of these men, 
giving even plans of the mines. 

One marvels at the hardihood of these old Saxons 
in undertaking such a journey as that through Russia 
to the White Sea, in the then state of that country ; 
but more wonderful still are the evidences of their 
labours there, revealed 150 years later, which will 
be described further on. Suffice it here to say that 
Schonberg, after having been in the good graces 
of Anna and her successor, Elizabeth, shared the 
fate of so many favourites in Russia, and was, after 
years of arduous labour, disgraced, imprisoned, and 
finally sent out of the country, with all his men; 
and with their departure the mining operations in 
Laplaud ceased. How far these had been re* 
munerative was not clear, but silver had been won, 

tHB WHlDB 8BA, 331 

and the story told in St. Petersburg was that the 
intrigues against Baron Schonberg, and the closing 
of the mines, had had no connection with the pro- 
ductiveness of the latter. There appeared to be 
sufficient inducement for further inquiry, and, at the 
request of my friends, I went to St. Petersburg for 
that purpose, arriving there on the 11th of July 

The reader need not fear a description of that 
city, its gorgeous domes resplendent in gold, silver, 
green, and blue ; its handsome, broad, endless, but 
abominably paved streets ; its superb monuments, 
its numerous palaces, have been too often described 
to require repetition. Suffice it to say that the city 
and its public buildings are on a scale fitly to repre- 
sent so vast an empire ; but I thought them, in other 
respects, emblematic of it. Passing the superb 
Isaac's Church one day with a Eussian friend, who 
made some allusion to its magnificence, I said : 

" Yes, it resembles your Empire." 

" You are right,'* he rejoined ; " it has grand 

" And a rotten foundation 1 " I added. 

My friend looked anything but pleased, and said : 

" Not so rotten as you think." 

" You shall judge for yourself," I said ; and 
taking him nearer to the building, I showed him 
what he, at least, appeared not to know, that the 
facade of one entire side had sunk — I should say 
at least twelve or eighteen inches. 


Though there was at this time a feeling of 
depression, caused by the ill success in Turkey, I 
yet found St. Petersburg very pleasant. The 
Russians, whatever their faults may be, are hos- 
pitable and kindly ; and, their summers being short, 
they have to make the most of them. The gentle- 
man with whom my business lay, did his best to 
make my stay agreeable. Being a bachelor, he 
kept a sort of open house for his friends ; round his 
table, whether at lunch or dinner, guests were 
always seen, and the cuisine was worthy of the fine 
old Madeira which flowed freely. There were two 
old generals, who never failed us. With what a 
glow of satisfaction they used to hail the well-known 
brand I the fiercest assault on English policy would 
relax under its influence, though the truce was, as 
a rule, but short-lived. At that time the course of 
the war in Turkey was a source of much disap- 
pointment, and very small mercies in the field 
caused the town to be decked with flags ; but our 
military friends treated these checks as unimportant, 
and never doubted that Constantinople would 
eventually be captured. Our general used to talk a 
good deal about Russia's natural frontier, and his 
argument led, in fact, as he admitted, to the conclu- 
sion that Pekin and Calcutta would eventually be 
found inside the green line. Yet, while arguing in 
this way, he at the same time admitted that Russian 
officials could not be trusted at distant stations. 
When speaking of the vastness of the Russian 


Empire, one is, however, apt to forget that by far 
the greater part of it lies in inhospitable regions, 
and it is no doubt, in part, an unconscious longing 
for softer climes which prompts this insatiable 
ambition. Who, for instance, will wonder if the 
Court and its entourage should desire to exchange 
the Neva for the Bosphorus ? The pale, unhealthy- 
looking faces, especially amongst the children, seen in 
the streets of St. Petersburg, tell of the hardship of 
being shut up eight mouths out of the twelve in 
stove-heated rooms. But, doubtless, there are other 
causes tending to make the Russian a restless and 
unsafe neighbour. He is by nature adventurous, 
sanguine, and eager after novelties, whether in poli- 
tics or science, and too readily assumes that he has 
mastered his subject. ' There were few, amongst the 
people I met at my friend's house, who had not 
some novel theory to propound, or some startling 
scheme in hand. The performances of Edison him- 
self were dwarfed by some of these marvels; nor did 
they confine themselves to mere theories : one, at 
least, had been at work on his scheme for four or 
five years ; his discovery, of the reality of which he 
was thoroughly convinced, aiming at nothing less 
than a complete transformation of the present state 
of the world. 

I remember one Russian whom I met in Lapland, 
who, for many years past, had visited that country 
every summer, roaming amongst the mountains in 
search of a small lake, said in the Middle Ages to 


have yielded valuable pearls. The story rested 
entirely upon a popular legend, yet on the strength 
of this he wandered about year after year amongst 
the numerous lakes and swamps of those regions. 
But to return to the circle in St. Petersburg : Mr. 

P belonged to a class known in the public 

service as the 3rd Division, viz. the secret police. 
He had, I was given to understand, been high in 
the service, and, as he told me, accompanied Q-rand 
Dukes on their continental tours, and had numerous 
decorations, Russian and foreign. He was occasion- 
ally accompanied by Madame P , a pretty, 

bright, and clever creature, and, as I afterwards 

learned, a popular actress. P also had his 

schemes and concessions to dispose of ; in fact, they 
were numerous, comprising army contracts, railways, 
quarries, and lands. One of these was so extra- 
ordinary, by its magnitude, showing on what a vast 
scale such traflfic is carried on in the huge Empire, 
as to deserve particular mention. It consisted of a 
concession for no less than 360,000 acres of valuable 
forest land, with great facilities for saw-mills, 
mining, agriculture, &c. This enormous possession, 
the gift of an individual of high rank to a lady, 
was for sale at an absurd price. Expressing to 
a gentleman my astonishment at such transactions, 
he laughingly said : " I could tell you of many 

such cases, and will just mention one. The 

Railway was to be constructed, and there were 
three different combinations competing for the con- 


cession ; I represented one of these, I was in my 
office one day, when I was told that a lady wanted 
to see me. On being asked by me the object of 
her call, she said, * You want a concession, I 
can get you one,' and she named the price of her 
interference." My friend added, " I had no doubt 
of her power, but I was not prepared to conclude 
the bargain off-hand. She went elsewhere, and we 
missed it." 

I myself was, I fear, affected by the prevailing 
tone of the surrounding society, and inclined to be 
sanguine as to these old White Sea mines. All the 
information obtainable pointed unquestionably to 
the accuracy of the old story. The museum con- 
tained substantial evidence of the silver-mines in 
the shape of massive lumps marked " Bear Island," 
and dated in Schonberg's time; and specimens of 
copper, lead, and zinc. Official surveys and maps 
of the mines were shown me ; the lawyers employed 
to examine the titles, declared them to be in perfect 
order; and, finally, the minister Valujoff assured 
me of the countenance of the Government in the 
matter. In short, the bargain for the conveyance 
of the titles was finally concluded ; two Russian 
gentlemen, one of them head of the mining depart- 
ment of Northern Russia (a real Excellency on £300 
a year) had agreed to meet me in the White Sea 
the following year, to render assistance. 

The concession embraced more than a dozen 
localities on the coast of Russian Lapland, and on 


islands in the White Sea. For a specified time we 
were to bo at liberty to examine and work these, and 
on the expiry of that time we had the refusal to 
take them over for a certain consideration. All 
prelimmaries being arranged, I left St. Petersburg. 
On my return to London it was needful to con- 
sider how the undertaking could be carried out. 
The task was not an easy one : the islands of the 
White Sea and Russian Lapland were practically a 
terra incognita^ thinly, if at all inhabited ; the sum- 
mer was but of four months' duration ; the mines, 
in some cases, were as much as 240 miles apart, 
some of them had to be re-discovered ; several were 
known to be full of water, and the most important of 
them all the sea had flooded. If the expedition was 
to effect any practical and useful purpose, it would 
be necessary to clear the mines of water, and to 
explore them by mining operations carried on by 
practical miners ; and to do this, in so distant a 
country, with appliances which had to be transported 
thithcT within so short a time, was not exactly an 
easy problem; for it was evident that success 
depended upon a great variety of circumstances, no 
less than upon an adequate supply of men and 
materials, and perfect co-operation. Moreover, the 
expedition was to be kept within a certain limit ; it 
was, above all, essential, in a rough adventure of 
this kind, to have men manageable and willing to 
work under difficulties, without grumbling, or too 
great a display of British independence in the land 


of the Muscovite ; and as an Anglo-Bussian war was 
within probability, it was not thought desirable that 
the expedition should go under the British flag. 
Notwithstanding these diflficulties, the arrangements 
were so far completed as to enable me to leave Lon- 
don for the White Sea on the 23rd of May 1878. 

Embarking at Hull, in the steamship Angelo^ I 
arrived in due time at Ohristiania, where I hoped to 
find a small steamboat that would suit our purpose ; 
nor was I disappointed — ^a smart little boat, the 
Vestfoldy of 60 tons burden, which in its younger 
days had been an English yacht, was offered and 
accepted, and having had her overhauled, and 
engaged a smart young Norwegian as skipper, with 
a crew consisting of one mate, two engineers, seven 
men, and a steward and cook for myself, I sent her 
round to Trondhjom, whither the steam-pump, 
mining implements, tools, and stores had been sent 
from England, while I proceeded by rail. 

The railway journey by rail from Ohristiania to 
Trondhjem occupies twenty-six hours, exclusive of 
one night's stoppage at a clean and comfortable inn, 
where a good early breakfast is consumed, under 
the comfortable assurance from the guard that the 
train will not leave till you are ready. The scenery, 
during the first part of the journey, is very tame ; 
but the mountains grow bolder and more pictur- 
esque as the traveller proceeds north. 

The Vestfold did not turn up for a couple of 
days after my arrival at Trondhjem ; she had 



encountered severe weather, but had proved her- 
self an excellent sea-boat. The stores had arrived, 
but I found, to my discomfiture, that, as they had 
been landed, 1 could not re-ship them without the 
interference of the Customs. Great were the incon- 
venience and annoyance, but there was no help for 
it, and a general assault was made on my multi- 
farious belongings. The work was got through, 
however, and the duty was paid, although under 
protest, and subsequently refunded. Anthon, my 
steward and factotum, who had been in despair 
at this rude inroad on his domain, was soon busy 
refilling lockers and cupboards of every kind, in the 
most ingenious manner. Two German mining 
engineers from Saxony joined us here, one of whom 
was an important addition, for the following reason : 
the Russian concessionaire had, on three different 
occasions, viz. in the years 1868, 1869 and 1870, 
sent two or three scientific gentlemen to the White 
Sea, to discover and report upon these mines, and 
Mr. B had been with them. They had, how- 
ever, merely paid flying visits of some hours* dura- 
tion, and there had been no means to do more than 
ascertain that the mines referred to in the old 
manuscripts, in the archives at St. Petersburg and 

Moscow, really existed. B , however, was able 

to confirm all I had been told at St. Petersburg, 
and, as he was willing to accompany me, I had 
engaged him, with an assistant named Richter, 
also from Saxony. 


I now took up my abode on board the Vestfold, 
and made myself very comfortable. The boat had 
lately plied with passengers on Christiania Fjord, 
and had, therefore, as much cabin accommodation 
as her size would admit of. There were two small 
cabins down below, one of which was occupied by 
myself, the other by the captain. On deck there 

was a saloon, in which B and Bichter were 

to sleep, and where we had our meals ; the house 
on the bridge was given to the mate, and the men 
found room in the fore-cabin and engine-room, both 
below deck. The boat had been fresh painted, was 
in excellent trim, and looked a smart and handy 
craft, and, having got a pilot on board, we finally 
left Trondhjem at 11 a.m. on the 14th of June, 
bound, in the first instance, for Alten Fjord, near 
Hammerfest, and took the inner channel between 
the mainland and the numerous islands which line 
the coast of Norway. The weather was clear and 
fine, we had a smart breeze and a good deal of sea 
whenever we were exposed to it, which was only 
at intervals, for, as a rule, we were threading our 
way through channels ever varying — now so narrow 
as to appear as if we were within stone's- throw of 
either side ; then, again, miles wide ; while again, 
the open sea would be before us. Then the Vestfold 
would show us what she could do in the way of 
rolling ; in fact, we were minus a considerable por- 
tion of our pots, pans, and china, ere we had been 
many hours at sea ; but we learned by experience, 

22 • 


and took care to have our meals when under the lee 
of some island. As night came on, and I retired 
to my snug little cabin, I experienced my first 
disappointment ; the vessel being so low in the 
water, the ports could not be kept open at sea, and 
I soon found that the proximity of the engine-room 
made my cabin too hot, and I had to join the party 
in the saloon. Here, too, was trouble, as Bichter 
proved a perfect grampus ; but sleep came at last. 

B was less fortunate, and poor Richter was 

eventually banished to Anthon's sanctum in the 
larder. Such little flaws in our arrangements were 
soon adjusted, and I enjoyed my sail exceedingly. 
It seemed like olden times, when I used to sail 
about the coast and rivers of Borneo in a similar 
boat ; but the scenery was somewhat different, and 
so was the temperature. As we neared Alten the 
scenery increased in beauty ; the mountains were 
higher, with bolder and more rugged outlines. 
Snow, which at first appeared here and there in 
patches, now covered the higher parts entirely. It 
is a barren and stem-looking country, scantily 
peopled, and with but little cultivation ; here and 
there the rocky shore is covered with fish laid out 
to dry, and clean-looking brightly painted wooden 
houses are seen at intervals; everything betokens 
a poor but well-ordered and thrifty people. 

On the loth the sun no longer sank below the 
horizon; at midnight the bright orb was still 
throwing his ruddy beams across the sea, and soon 

TtiE WHITE SEA. ^41 

after he began to rise again, and as the rosy light 
gradually spread over the snowy ranges of Fin- 
marken, where an apparently extensive glacier 
sparkled with marvellous hues, the sea, smooth as 
glass, reflecting the wondrous panorama, the sight 
was sublime indeed. The thermometer then showed 
52'' Fahrenheit. I could not tear myself away, but 
walked the deck till past two o'clock; in fact, I 
soon began to find that the sun's constant presence 
rather tended to demoralise, for one did not know 
when to make it night. The Vest/old meanwhile, 
averaging nine knots, was threading her lonely way, 
but only an experienced pilot could find his way 
though these tortuous channels, and I wondered 
how ours remained at his post day after day, 
apparently without requiring rest. As we advanced 
north, the snow-line was gradually getting lower, 
but a few hundred feet above us, in sharp contrast 
to the green line of pasture below. Now and then 
narrow pine-clad valleys cut into the barren fjelds, 
and here and there brightly-painted houses clustered 
round the village church, while sheep and cattle 
browsed on the overhanging slopes ; truly a charm- 
ing picture, of a sterner type, perhaps, than Swiss 
landscapes, but, in its way, as fine. Then the 
water-fowl were getting numerous ; the eider duck 
paddled alongside, or rested on the rocks close by. 
When off Bodo we had to stop an hour, to adjust 
the engine, and meanwhile we caught some 
delicious flounders. In the early morning of the 


16th we were off Tromso, a town with about 3,000 
inhabitants, on a small island, a little green patch 
set in a huge white frame, the green line below the 
snow having now become very narrow; two or three 
steamers and several sailing-vessels lay off the 
town. The sun was high in the heavens ; it was 
five o'clock, but not a soul was to be seen as we 
passed swiftly and noiselessly by. Off Ulfs Fjord 
we felt the swell of the ocean ; passing Ouro we 
had it smooth again ; but as soon as we rounded 
Logo we were again exposed to the heavy roll from 
the ocean, and for three hours, till we turned east- 
ward into Stjeren Sound, the Vestfold rolled heavily. 
We passed Loppen, and then we were in the narrow 
rock-bound fjord which leads to Alten, of which 
place Murray says : " In several parts of the Alten 
valley the traveller will meet with as soft and pleasing 
scenery as an Alpine country can present ; indeed, 
the impression on the first view, is that of an oasis 
formed by nature as a resting-place in the midst of 
ruggedness and desolation." 

And, in truth, the scene at the end of the fjord 
down which we were now steaming, and of which 
the village clustering round a pretty church was 
the centre, might well have been situated in a 
more southern clime than that of the Arctic region, 
so green and soft was the setting. It was a bright, 
sunny Sunday afternoon, and as we came nearer, 
we saw the people in their Sunday best, in groups, 
sitting down on the slopes, or wandering about. 


apparently watching us with keen interest, for 
which there was good reason ; for some sweetheart, 
husband, or brother had already engaged to join in 
our adventurous voyage. 

It had occurred to me, when planning this 
expedition, that these hardy Norsemen would, in 
many respects, suit my purpose better than Eng- 
lish miners, and, as an English company was 
working copper mines at Alten, I was able to 
arrange in London that some of their experienced 
Norwegian miners should accompany the expe- 
dition, and the Vest/old was therefore expected at 

As soon as we had anchored, one of the Com- 
pany's men came on board with hospitable messages 
from the manager, whom I found with a party of 
ladies and gentlemen, some English, and some 
Norwegian, in the grounds of the manager's house, 
playing croquet. 

I called at Alten with another purpose in view, 
besides that of obtaining men, viz. to study the 
condition under which mines are worked in these 
high latitudes. My inquiries tended to show that 
the climate interposes no obstacle ; the mines, when 
fairly deep, are warmer in winter than in summer, 
and even in the over-ground work there is hardly 
any interruption. To my question, " How do you 
get 4 on in the three dark months?" the answer 
was, ** It is not absolutely dark ; the clear starry 
sky, the reflection from the snow, and the aurora 


combined, tend to create sucli a light that the eye 
at last hardly misses the sunlight." 

The manager's hospitality made me acquainted 
with the ptarmigan, Norwegian grouse, and the 
excellent Alten salmon. We had now got our 
miners on board, sixteen in all, who, with their 
boxes and bundles, sadly lumbered the Vestfold^s 
deck, much to the disgust of the captain, who prided 
himself on the boat's trim and yacht-like appear- 
ance. But eventually men and boxes disappeared 
below deck, and the Vest/old was soon once more 
ready, though full and deep. We were, all told, 
thirty-two on board. So far it had been pleasant 
sailing, but we were now rapidly approaching the 
North Cape, when we would have several days' 
steaming along the, to us, unknown coast of Russian 
Lapland, exposed to whatever the Polar ocean 
might be pleased to offer us, and our tiny boat 
looked hardly fit to encounter its fitful humours. 

We left Alten at 8 a.m. on the 18th of June, and 
arrived at Hammerfest in six hours. This is an 
insignificant little town, but a great resort for 
whalers and for Russian traders, who here exchange 
their fish for com. A smell of fish and fish-oil, 
therefore, pervades the town. Having taken in a 
few stores, and as many coals as we thought it 
prudent to carry, we got under weigh again at 
4 P.M. on the 19th. The weather continued 
extremely fine, and the sea smooth. One of the 
Norwegian steamers, the Jonas Lee^ taking tourists 








I ' 1 '■ 

■ ••A 





. \ 

„ ! 



to the North Cape, left at the same time ; I had 
travelled with some of her passengers from Christiania 
to Trondhjem, and they gave us a parting cheer as 
we passed out together. We kept them within 
sight until within a short distance of the North 
Cape, when we bore down eastward, through Mar- 
geroo Sound, and they disappeared in the dark 
shadows of the Cape, now dimly seen in the ruddy 
light of the midnight sun. As we entered the dark 
and narrow strait, the perfect solitude of which was 
enlivened only by vast clouds of sea-birds, it seemed 
as if we were leaving civilisation behind, and when 
we emerged from the strait into the wide expanse 
of the slowly-heaving ocean, I felt it to be almost 
presumptuous to have ventured upon it in our 
small boat. However, I had embarked upon an 
adventure, not for the first time in my life, and 
whatever might prove the value of the enterprise 
we had taken in hand, the task had been committed 
to me, and must be carried out. The miner's lamp 
must again light up those galleries which the brave 
old Saxons — amidst difficulties and hardships in- 
numerable — had wrought 150 years ago. 

We arrived at Vadso, the last Norwegian town, 
at 8 P.M. on the 20th, having had a good run along 
the forbidding-looking coast. The weather con- 
tinued fine, but there was a heavy swell from the 
north, and the Vest/old had been anything but com- 
fortable ; we had seen neither ship nor boat, but 
now and then we noticed flocks of reindeer, seeking 


their scanty fare on the cliflfs. Vadso is but a poor 
edition of Hammerfest, excelling it in fishy smells, 
and no wonder, for right abreast of where we 
anchored was the well-known whaling establish- 
ment of Mr. Foin, where something like eighty 
whales were boiled down that season. Seven 
or eight of them were then being operated upon, 
and his steam whale-boats brought in two more 
that same evening. The harpoon by which the 
fish is caught is fired from a cannon in the bow of 
the boat. 

Having changed the pilot and posted our letters, 
we lifted anchor at 11 a.m. Our new pilot had 
been much engaged in bear and walrus hunts in the 
A rctic regions, especially in Novya Zemlya, and spun 
many a yam of his adventures — how on one occa- 
sion a Polar bear was so close upon him as barely to 
leave him time to open the door of his hut, from 
whence he shot it ; or how, when they had caught 
a young walrus, the mother furiously threw herself 
into the boat in search of her offspring, barely 
leaving them time to escape to another boat. The 
Vest/old was somewhat too unsteady for writing or 
reading with comfort, and I was glad to while away 
the time in listening to our pilot's stories. 

On the 23rd of June, at 9 a.m. we could see 
through the glass the lighthouse of Cape Orloff, 
marking the entrance to the White Sea, just ten 
days after our departure from Trondhjem. The 
Vest/old had done her work well, having been under 


steam only nine days and sixteen hours from 
Christiania to Cape Orloff. At 11 we were off the 
Cape, and, telling the Captain to keep under steam 
without anchoring, 1 went on shore with the pilot, 
at a place where there seemed to be an inlet between 
the rocks, and here we landed on a large snow- 
drift, and walked towards the lighthouse situated 
on the height half-a-mile above. Three Russian 
peasants, in charge of the lighthouse, came down 
to meet us, and took us to it. From it we had an 
extensive view overlooking the country which was 
to be the scene of our first explorations. Following 
the coast-line towards the south, I could see an 
inlet from the sea, about eight miles off ; this, the men 
told me, was the stream Russenika, and between 
it and the lighthouse were the eighteen lodes of 
copper ore, some of which Schonberg had been 
working. I had hoped to enter the stream with 
the Vestfoldf but learned now, much to my disap- 
pointment, that this was not practicable, and that 
the only shelter on the entire coast was behind 
three small islands some four miles south of Rus- 
senika. For these islands we accordingly steered, 
and anchored there, among a number of small 
native coasting-vessels, at 4 p.m. Some of the 
owners of these came on board, and I returned 
the visit of one, who very hospitably treated me 
to tea from the inevitable samovar, a tea-urn, which 
a Russian never dispenses with. This, and the 
picture of a saint covered with gilding, are seen in 


every respectable house ; and iu the little cabin of 
this boat, which was very neat and clean, the icon 
was encased in the richest of frames, and the 
samovar was as bright as polished brass and copper 
could make it. 

But the necessity of anchoring so far from the 
scene of our operations, in an anchorage only 
partially protected, was an unlooked-for disappoint- 
ment. It entirely deranged our plans, and threw 
great obstacles in our way. The intention had 
been that the explorations should be conducted 
from the Vest/old direct, the working parties con- 
tinuing to sleep on board, and to draw their pro- 
vision and materials from thence ; but now it was 
evident that a base must be established on shore. 
I had intended to go into these explorations with 
all the resources at my command, to finish here, 
and then to remove all to the other scenes of our 
labours at Bear Island and the neighbouring coasts 
on the western shores of the White Sea, about 240 
miles from our present anchorage ; but it was now 
evident that Bussenika could not be dealt with in 
this offhand manner, and as time would not permit 
of much delay in the commencement of operations 
at Bear Island, where mines had to be pumped, it 
became necessary to divide our party, leaving some 
to prosecute the work at Bussenika, while others 
went to Bear Island. But there was a further 
difficulty; the blasting materials were not yet to 
hand. B had been commissioned by me to buy 


at Hamburg, and ship to Eussenika, a quantity of 
dynamite, and this he had succeeded in doing, the 
captain of the ship engaging to land the stuff at 
Cape Orloff; but though ample time had elapsed, 
none had arrived. This caused me, however, little 
surprise, as it is possible to communicate with that 
cape only in fine weather, and I thought it likely 
enough that the vessel had carried the dynamite to 
Archangel, which was her destination. However, 
as there was much work to be done at Eussenika, 
before blasting could be commenced, I had no im- 
mediate anxiety on this score. It now became our 
first care to get a working party housed, with pro- 
vision and materials, within a practicable distance 
from the mines, and the only way of doing this 
appeared to be by establishing them inside the creek, 
in a boat, and I fortunately succeeded in buying for 
sixty pounds a decked boat large enough to hold 
the entire party and their stores, and which at the 
same time, in case of need, would enable them to 
communicate with other settlements on the coast. 

Previous, however, to taking this step, Mr. B , 

the captain, and myself had been examining the 
country opposite our anchorage, and as far as the 
creek of Eussenika. It was a moorland plateau 
about 120 feet above the sea, to which it presented 
bold, in most places steep, cliffs; it was covered 
with rank grass, brushwood, and swamp ; the rasp- 
berry grew abundantly, but was as yet only in 
blossom ; we started several partridges. The dis* 


tance to the stream, which in a straight line oould 
not exceed four miles, was made, by the necessity 
of avoiding swamps and inlets from, the sea, a con- 
siderable walk. Coming upon one of these little 
bays, we saw three Laplanders, two men and a 
woman, salmon-fishing ; they had some thirty fish 
in their boat, and were in the act of drawing the 
net, which brought them eighteen more. As they 
were under contract to deliver all to some of the 
Eussian traders who were present, they declined to 
sell any, but presented me with a fine fish. These 
were almost the only natives we saw during our 
stay at Russenika, nor were any huts or settlements 
to be seen, but some eight or ten miles south there 
is a considerable Russian village, Ponoy. The fol- 
lowing morning it was intended to steam up along 
the coast north, and to examine the old excava- 
tions, which we had already seen on our way down 
from Cape OrlofF, but during the night a heavy 
gale sprang up from the north, and we were only 
too happy to remain within shelter of the islands. 
Being unable to go by sea, which would have saved 
us much fatigue and labour, we were preparing to 
start by land when a steamer flying the Russian 
war-flag was seen steering down towards us. It 
proved to be a despatch-boat. Polar Star^ bringing 
my old St. Petersburg friend, one of the two gentle- 
men named as having engaged to assist in this 
matter. This one, the Excellency, came really in 
virtue of his office, to survey the concessions at 


Russenika (of which no survey had yet been made), 
on behalf of his friend the concessionaire in St. 
Petersburg. He was desirous on his own account, 
also, to further this undertaking, for, as he told me, 
" If these mines should be successfully worked 
during my term of office, it might procure me 
promotion.*' In any case it offered those oppor- 
tunities for making some addition to his miserable 
pay which a Russian official knows so well how to 
turn to account. Well-meaning and good-natured, 
I have no doubt that this old gentleman would 
have rendered us what assistance he might have 
it in his power to give, but in our actual con- 
dition his presence was only embarrassing; we 
were a large party already on board the Vestfoldj 
and had no room to spare ; and the old general, 
in all the glories of uniform and decorations, and 
his secretary, in all the filth natural to low-class 
Russians, were not a welcome addition to any of 
us. To this I would willingly have submitted, 
however; but when I found that the surveys he 
had in view were likely greatly to interfere with 
our work, our resources, and our precious time, 
the matter was different; and so it happened that 
the hitherto smooth course of the expedition was 
disturbed. The fact was that the old general, at 
our friend's table in St Petersburg, with the '34 
Madeira before him, and anxious to have the 
expedition set on foot, was a very different person 
to the official who had now, as if by right, taken 


charge of our little saloon, much to the discomfort 
of its occupants ; but we soon found that he was 
only doing the ornamental, and was entirely in the 
hands of his adjutant as regarded the work to be 
done, of which he himself apparently knew nothing, 
and he had, in consequence, to keep on very good 
terms with this man. Now, although I was quite 
prepared to do the hospitable to my old friend, even 
at some inconvenience, it was somewhat trying to 
find him quietly supplanting me, and giving orders 
to the much-puzzled Anthon, in a manner which 
indicated that I had been superseded, and that not 
only the divans in the saloon but the choicest 
contents of larder and cellar were henceforth to 
administer to the comfort of himself, and, above all, 
to that of MamilofF, for such was the name of the 
factotum. But I had made up my mind from the 
outset not to allow small matters to interfere with 
the smooth course of the expedition ; I therefore 
bore, with as much patience as I could muster, the 
somewhat repulsive presence of Mamiloff, but found 
some difficulty in insuring the same forbearance on 
t^e part of others, for no doubt his eccentricities 
were trying. Thus, having omitted the most super- 
ficial ablutions before dinner, he would, during the 
meal, begin combing himself over the table, or spit 
out on the floor anything he did not approve of ; for 
although Mamiloff's usual food doubtless consisted 
of cabbage-soup and pickled-cucumber, and his 
drink of quass and vodki, he was very particular 



in his selection of the good things which the old 
general anxiously brought under his notice. This 
poor half-savage was, of course, little to blame; 
but it showed a wonderful disregard in his superior 
of what, in common decency, was due to the feelings 
of civilised men, to force this man's society upon 

Now, however, arose the more important con- 
sideration as to the generaFs requirements for his 
survey. He wanted a number of men, which I 
could not supply without interfering with the 
proper object of the expedition. It might be very 
necessary to have these surveys made, if the mines 
came to be worked, but our first object was to 
ascertain what probability there was of this being 
done. As no men could be spared by us, it became 
necessary to seek them in some neighbouring 
settlement, the nearest being Ponoy, on a river of 
the same name, some eight miles south. An order 
was sent down, in obedience to which a number of 
wretched-looking peasants came over, and the work 
was commenced by MamilofF, the general remaining 
on board, having made one gallant but unsuccessful 
attempt at landing. He did, indeed, with the 
assistance of a number of men, succeed in scaling 
one of the slippery rocks which lined the shore ; but 
in a tight-fitting uniform, and patent boots, this had 
proved no easy matter, and the prospect of reaching 
terra firma over a succession of such rocks, with 
intervening sheets of mud, was doubtful. However, 



he was not to remain long in doubt as to the neces- 
sity of beating a precipitate retreat, for clouds of 
mosquitoes so fearful as far to exceed anything I 
had ever known in my long experience of tropical 
countries, seemed, in a moment, to fill the air; the 
poor general reached the steamer in a miserable 
plight, and did not again attempt to land. 

The weather, which for two days had been stormy 
and cold, now improved, and on the 26th we were 
able to steam round to the Russenika creek, with 
the smack in tow, which soon got safely inside, 
having on board the working party with their 
supplies. There were, however, heavy 
articles required at the mines, and to save the men 
the labour of carrying these overland, we steamed 
up in front of the mines, to land them on the spot, 
but this, owing to the swell, we found a some- 
what risky and difficult task ; and it was not till 
the following day that all had been landed on the 

cliffs, and Mr. B and myself began looking 

at the mines. 

It has been mentioned that the distance from 
Cape Orloff to the Russenika is about four miles ; 
the lodes which more or less indicate copper are 
nineteen in number. The first is seen within a 
quarter of a mile from the Russenika, and all of 
them are within about two miles of that stream. 
They are seen from the sea, and three of them 
have been worked to a considerable extent ; thou- 
sands of tons have been taken out of these lodes, 


and into the deep fissures caused thereby the sea 
casts its spray. As the cliffs in many places are 
perpendicular, and 180 feet high, some of these old 
excavations can be approached and examined only 
from a boat. Considerable quantities of ice and 
snow had accumulated, and this, as also the old 
timbers, made examination difficult; and, in fact, 
considerable clearings required to be done before 
the value of the ore could be determined, but the 
extensive character of the works seemed to show 
that the old miners must have had ore worth 
working. The walls were so thickly covered with 
moss and encrustations that only chance guided us 
in the search for ore, but good specimens were 
obtained. Thus employed, we were gradually 
returning to Eussenika, where a boat was to meet • 
us to take us on board the Vestfoldj which had 
returned to the mouth of that stream. Absorbed 
in our work, we had not noticed that a calm morning 
had changed into a stormy day; it was looking 
threatening seawards, and heavy seas were dashing 
against the rocks. The Vest/old was rolling and 
pitching, and our small boat, pulled by two men, could 
make but small headway towards her. We were 
evidently unable to reach the ship, and in danger of 
drifting seawards amongst the rocks. Where the 
steamer could not follow us, and, as we could no 
longer return to the river, our only chance was to 
seek a passage between rocks and breakers, and in 
this we luckily succeeded, found shelter, and, hauling 

23 • 


our boat on shore, prepared to find our way over- 
land to the Three Islands, whither the Vestfold had 
returned, unable to remain at the exposed anchorage 
off the river. The swampy nature of the country 
made a guide very desirable, and as the Lapp 
fisherman's hut was not far off, I made for it. To 
my call I got, however, no response ; I therefore 
put my head through an opening between the skins 
with which the framework was covered, to ascer- 
tain whether the hut was uninhabited. At first I saw 
nothing but cooking and fishing apparatus, but my 
eyes, having grown accustomed to the dim light, I 
noticed something moving under a bundle of skin 
and clothing in a corner, and presently one head 
appeared, another, and yet another; it was my 
friend the fisherman, who somewhat ungraciously 
appeared, with two comely-looking young women. 
Having no interpreter at hand, I was unable then 
to inquire into the manners and customs of the 
Lapps ; but to my young friend's good-nature under 
trying circumstances I am bound to bear witness, 
for, as soon as he understood the object of my 
visit, he willingly undertook to become our guide. 
We soon found ourselves on board, tired, and glad 
to have escaped so well from our adventure. 

The Norwegian miners were now established on 
shore, and Richter, who was left in charge of them, 
had been directed what to do during our absence 
in Archangel, whither we were bound, as various 
wants were to be supplied before we could go to Bear 


: =s| 

: ijaa 1 


:n K 

~-^^. ;' 







THE WfliTE Sl?A. ^5? 

Island. Our coals were nearly expended, the men 
were short of biscuit, the dynamite was to be 
inquired after, an interpreter had to be engaged, 
and I hoped to find letters. We expected to return 
from Archangel in five or six days, meanwhile the 
men would have ample work to do. 

At 10 A.M. on the 29th we got under way and 
made the run to Archangel in nineteen hours, 
arriving there on the morning of the 30th. We 
were soon visited by all sorts of officials, but as 
there were orders from St. Petersburg not to 
interfere with us, they soon left. 

Archangel, for centuries Russia's most con- 
siderable seaport on the Northern Ocean, with an 
export trade which even now engages some seven 
hundred ships during the four months of the 
shipping season, is nevertheless in a stagnant, if 
not retrograde condition. Having a population of 
about 20,000 inhabitants, it seems much larger, on 
account of the great extent of ground which it 
covers. Even in these desolate regions of the Polar 
Sea, Eussia does not belie her character of an 
ambitious and encroaching power, as Sweden and 
Norway know to their cost ; yet she can do little 
or nothing with her vast territories. So important 
a port as Archangel is without any other means 
of communication with the rest of the empire 
than such water-ways as nature has provided; 
a few short and easily-constructed railway-lines, or 
even good roads, would put Archangel within a few 


days' communication with St. Petersburg, whereas 
it now takes ten days under favourable conditions, 
and in spring and autumn three weeks to a month. 
Archangel, nevertheless, is a bright-looking town; the 
long, wide streets, or rather roads, with well-built 
houses, and numerous churches, all bright with paint 
and limewash, and planked footpaths almost every- 
where extend for miles along the Dwina, a magnifi- 
cent river, at this time of the year full of shipping 
to supply cargo for which queer-looking Noah's 
arks came floating down the stream; these huge 
floats, which serve as lighters, each of which will 
carry several hundred tons of produce, are, in fact, 
nothing but covered rafts built in the interior, 
drifting down with the stream, and, when discharged, 
cut up and sold as timber. 

I called on the Governor, from whom I received 
a document, enabling me to claim the assistance of 
all Government officials in the province ; a docu- 
ment which subsequently stood me in good stead. 
In Russia, as elsewhere, good introductions ensure 
the bearer much courteous assistance, and I am 
inclined to think that the Russians are especially 
hospitable; this does not, however, prevent them 
from showing their national prejudices. Amongst 
those from whom I received special assistance was the 
director of the White Sea Steamship Company ; he 
offered, without remuneration, to let one of his 
boats call at Bear Island, with and for letters, as long 
as I should be there, but ended his conversation with 





t , 
1 I 



me by saying, **I hope I have shown you my 
friendly feeling, and I will do all I can to assist 
you ; I must, at the same time, tell you that I am 
a patriot, and resent the Government giving away 
such concessions to foreigners.'* But when, in 
answer to this, I offered him and his friends a share 
in the undertaking, ho was not by any means ready 
to accept it ; it was the old story of the dog in the 
manger. It was strange that the very existence 
of these old mines was unknown, and, in fact, dis- 
believed ; and when, on a subsequent visit to Arch- 
angel, I brought specimens from the mines, and 
described their extent, there was great astonishment. 
But if the inhabitants of these regions feel that 
nature has treated them hardly, and that at any 
rate they are entitled to all the advantages which 
are within their reach, who shall blame them, buried 
in ice and snow for eight months, while even the 
remaining four, which they by courtesy call summer, 
bring them but precarious enjoyment, as the follow- 
ing will tend to show. Archangel has one public 
garden in the best part of the town, and I was 
surprised never to see anybody in it. When asking 
the reason I was told that, being situated rather 
low, it was a special haunt of mosquitoes, and that 
consequently nobody could go there. 

I engaged two young Bussians, brothers, one to 
act as interpreter, and the other as fireman; the 
former I got through the courtesy of the commander 
of a Bussian Government steamer, on board which 

360 PIONEEBlKG In the FAE BASt. 

he was serving for punishment. The oflFence was 
somewhat curious ; being of German extraction, 
this young man was very intelligent, and better 
educated than young Russians of the same class 
would be, and, speaking several languages, he was 
able to make himself useful to ships' captains. 
Being on board a ship one evening, he was asked 
to sing a song, and selected one, the air, though 
not the words, being that of the English national 
anthem — Russia's relations with England being just 
then in a precarious state. This was promptly 
reported, and, on leaving the ship, he was arrested, 
the result being compulsory service in a man-of-war. 
The captain, being a humane man, allowed him to 
accept the more congenial situation of interpreter on 
board the Vestfoldj and he proved most useful; in one 
respect only he required looking after — he was 
not proof against the national weakness of drink ; 
but then. Archangel, being a great seaport, was 
very bad in this respect. To my great astonish- 
ment my paragon Anthon yielded to temptation, 
and placed me, on one occasion, in an awkward 
dilemma. I had asked - some officials on board to 
lunch, and Anthon had made great preparations. 
At the last moment he found that certain articles 
were wanted, and went on shore to bring them. 
My guests, meanwhile, came, and were, I think, 
looking forward with some satisfaction to an English 
lunch, as enormous import duties make all foreign 
luxuries rare in Archangel. I, on my side, was 

1?dE WfllTli SEA. 361 

desirous to show what the Vestfold could afford; 
but the time for luncheon came and went, and no 
Anthon. My guests looked hungry, I got uneasy, 
and, after a vain attempt to gain access to the pantry, 
I had to make explanations, and to bow my guests 
down the gangway, with as much grace as, under 
the trying circumstances, I could command. As 
for Anthon, when, hours after, he did return, he 
was in a sad plight. But he never did it again. 

Of sight-seeing, there is little to do in Archangel. 
The churches are here, as in most Russian towns, 
bright and picturesque objects externally, but, 
beyond this, devoid of interest to travellers. There 
was a theatre, where a travelling company per- 
formed ; the Governor and his lady occupied the 
state box, and the rest of the house was moderately 
filled, mainly with the official and military class. 
The town does not own a library nor a newspaper, 
except an official gazette ; there is not a bookseller, 
nor would it seem quite safe to order books from 
abroad. A gentleman gave me his own experience 
in this latter respect; he had sent for Alison's 
History of Europe, but the work was ordered down 
to St. Petersburg to be examined by the Censor, and 
was never returned. My own newspapers did not 
reach me, and were, I was told, detained on the fron- 
tier ; my letters also had, as a rule, been opened. 

I had ascertained that the schooner which was to 
bring our dynamite had not yet arrived, and might, 
therefore, expect that our party at Bussenika, who 


were looking out for the vessel, would succeed in 
intercepting her and secure this all-important article; 
and the object of our visit to Archangel being now 
attained, we lifted our anchor early on the 6th July. 
It took us some hours to get out of the river, and 
the wind being north-east, we kept near the Arch- 
angel shore till 8 P.M., making good running; but 
sea and wind had gradually increased, and when we 
had passed Cape Werrevski, the boat began to 
labour heavily. We found she was too deep to rise 
easily to the sea, and, in fact, it soon became 
apparent that we were not in a condition to steam 
against it ; she was taking water over on both sides 
and endangering the fires. It was clear that we 
could not reach Russenika, and we, therefore, deter- 
mined to try and cross the Strait, so as to get under 
the lee of Lapland, and so reach Bear Island. I did 
so with great reluctance, knowing that the men we 
had left at Bussenika would run short of bread and 
other stores ; but, situated as we were, we felt that 
we would have reason to be thankful if we succeeded 
in crossing safely, for we had heard, and now ex- 
perienced, that the strait which connects the White 
Sea with the Polar Ocean is in stormy weather 
dangerous ; the waves from the ocean here meet the 
water washing out from the Dwina, and a heavy 
cross-sea is the result, which, for a low boat like 
ours, with an unprotected engine-room, is very 
dangerous. For four hours we felt that our position 
was very precarious. 1 have been in many a galOi 



but never had a tossing like this; but the boat 
behaved wonderfully, and about midnight we began 
to feel the protecting influence of the land, and as 
we gained west, we got more and more comfortable, 
and kept running along within about four miles of 
the land. When, after a few hours' refreshing 
sleep, I again came on deck the wind had gone 
down, the sea was smooth, and we were running 
nine miles. I was looking at the chart with the 
captain, and we were calculating the time of our 
arrival at Bear Island, when a noise, b-r-r-r-r and a 
sudden shock, told us that the vessel had struck. 
We rushed on deck. It was but too true ; we had 
stranded, and no efforts of the engine would move 
the boat. Luckily, we had grounded on sand, and 
we soon found that the boat was making no water; 
but, even so, our position was anything but pleasant. 
Though we were within a few miles of the mainland 
of Lapland, and a few huts and a fishing-boat were 
to be seen, the prospect was a dreary one, if we 
should be unable to float our boat, and of this 
we began to feel doubtful, as we soon found that we 
had run on at, or very near, high water. Gradually 
the water left us, and the vessel settled over on her 
side. When it had become evident that we could not 
get off, I had sent the interpreter to communicate 
with the people, in the boat, and had armed him with 
the document given to me by the Governor of Arch- 
angel, and which now stood me in good stead, for 
the people — who were not Lapps, but Eussians — 


did not seem very willing to help us, and would 
probably have preferred that the Vestfold should 
become a wreck. The water, meanwhile, continued 
to fall ; gradually the sandy beach became visible 
the entire distance between us and the shore, and 
soon we saw the villagers, men and women — some 
sixteen of them — coming out; they were of the 
familiar type of Bussian peasants in these latitudes, 
a fair-haired, hardy race, all hair, beard, and dirt, 
and knowing only one source of happiness — drink. 
The information we obtained from them as to the 
tides, showed us that the only chance we had of 
floating the Vestfold was in lightening her. 
Luckily, she was very deep ; besides forty tons of 
coal, we had taken on board at Archangel a good 
deal of timber for propping up the old Bussenika 
mines ; we soon set to work to throw it overboard. 
No time was to be lost, as the tide was again rising 
fast ; moreover, there were signs of stormy weather, 
threatening clouds were gathering on the horizon, 
and the glass was falling. If the storm should burst 
upon us before we got clear of the shore, our chance 
of saving the boat would be gone. Gradually the 
vessel began to right herself, steam was got up, and 
an anchor laid out astern. All the wood, and thirty 
tons of coal, had been thrown overboard, everything 
of weight was being put into the fishing-boat, and, 
taking advantage of the confusion, the stores were 
got at, as was soon apparent in the condition of 
some of our men, as well as of the Bussians who 


were working on board. The boat was moving more, 
and as it was now near high-water, all hands got at 
the hawser ; the engine we were afraid to use lest 
the blades of the screw might break against the 
large boulders which were embedded in the sand ; 
but we hauled in vain, the boat did not move, and 
as the water had ceased to rise, we had little hope 
of getting oCF. " Now or never I " shouted the 
captain ; then a desperate effort, and a shout, ** She 
is moving ; again and again, she moves I Now try 
the engines ; she is clear I " The Vestfold was afloat 
once more. Soon we had our anchor, chains, casks, 
and cases on board again, but not a moment too 
soon, for the storm was upon us. The day had been 
one of such perfect calm, as we had not experienced 
since we came to these seas — to it we owed our 
providential escape ; but barely were we under way, 
at 11 P.M., before wind and rain assailed us furiously. 
Anthon had not yet had time to secure his stores 
and utensils, and our already much reduced stock 
of glass and china was all but finished when the 
boat began her old game. Our captain had now 
grown wiser, and gave the land a wider berth. I had 
endeavoured to engage a pilot from amongst the 
villagers, but the only one we could get was a 
decrepit old man, who was very drunk, but I was 
told that he knew the way to Bear Island, and 
nobody else would go. It was a nasty night, at 
times it blew with great fury, it was bitterly cold, 
and the rain fell in torrents; then, too, our late 


troubles had made us anxious, and we felt uncertain 
as to whether the strain which the boat was now 
undergoing might not divulge some damage to her 
bottom. The sea before us was unknown, and the 
pilot, so far from being an assistance, only exaspe- 
rated us and increased our anxiety. A picture of 
drivelling idiot cy, partly from old age, but mainly 
from drink, blear-eyed, filthy, he had wedged him- 
self into a corner on the bridge, near the helm ; 
sitting here in imperturbable calm, he would answer 
the captain's anxious inquiries with a vague wave of 
the hand westward, or some exclamation, which, as 
the interpreter informed us, meant that if we put 
our trust in God, He would show us the way; pious, 
no doubt, but in our circumstances scarcely satis- 
factory ; in truth, the old man looked more like some 
malignant demon bent upon our destruction, than a 
pilot intent upon leading us to a safe harbour. But 
westward we sped, the Vestfold^ as if delighted at 
regaining her freedom, rushing through the water 
at a great rate. And so the night wore on, the 
time had come for us to look out for Bear Island ; 
soon we saw land on every side, land not shown in 
the chart, islands and peninsulas in bewildering 
number. But where was Bear Island ? In vain 
we appealed to the pilot ; his arm was still feebly 
pointing westward ; the sea was white with crested 
waves. Still we sped on, past headlands, islands, 
rocks, and, perhaps, unseen dangers, we knew not 
whither. The captain, poor fellow, worn out and 










anxious, looked at me. What should we do ? was 
the mutely expressed query that passed between us. 
In truth, it was difficult to say; we saw rocky, 
dangerous-looking coasts on every side, but no sign 
of habitations or life, bewildering irregular coast- 
lines, but nothing to guide us as to the direction in 
which to seek for our destination. We believed 
that we had reached, and even passed, our island, 
and were puzzled in what direction to steer. In 
those unknown waters there was no anchorage ; it 
looked wild in every direction. Just at that moment 
of perplexity, the captain pointed to what looked like 
a log-house on one of the islands ; the glass revealed 
that it was one, and in the general outlines of the 
island, I seemed to recognise those of a drawing I 
had below, sketched nine years ago by Forster. 
The island was now seen from the opposite side, 
and, therefore, reversed, but, having the sketch to 
compare it with, there was no mistaking the high 
hill at the north-western end running out in a low 
point towards the south-east ; the little bay at the 
north-west corner ; and, above all, on the highest 
point of the island, elevated about 200 feet, the 
large wooden cross, just as it stood nine years ago, 
when Forster sketched it. We now felt our way 
towards the bay, and soon we saw a boat pushing 
off ; it was Stanioloff's men, and he quickly followed 
in another boat. We finally anchored at 7 o'clock 
on the morning of the 8th July, within two cable- 
lengths of Bear Island. 


This, then, was the little island which had been the 
object of so many enterprises, where the hardy miners 
from Saxony had plodded and worked a century 
and a half ago, confidently believing, as the quaint 
and pious entries in the records left by them show, 
that ** God would give luck." Having myself had 
a taste of this stormy sea, I could appreciate the 
sturdy determination and hardy endurance of the 
men who in those days had journeyed all the way 
from Saxony to Archangel, and thence crossed the 
White Sea in a boat, which took twenty days to do 
the voyage we had accomplished in twenty-seven 
hours. They must have worked here for five or 
six years, carving out the coveted treasure of the 
rocks, under conditions so hard, and with means so 
inadequate, that we marvelled at their perseverance. 
Our labours would, we hoped, throw some light 
upon the work they had done, and what might have 
been their reward. 

Our arrival at Bear Island was, as will have been 
seen, not altogether unprepared for. Mr. Stanioloff, 
a Russian gentleman, had, in accordance with an 
arrangement between the concessionaire and myself, 
been sent from St. Petersburg early in the spring, 
when travelling in North Russia is made easy by 
ice and snow, to make preparations for the expedi- 
tion, consisting in the building of a couple of log- 
houses, and the collection of labour. He was to act 
for the joint interest of the concessionaire and 
ourselves, and, I need hardly add, that it was 

■ I i^^BT^V^ 


{, i^ l\i \ 



"Reserved for us to be paymasters ; in fact, there was 
a general understanding that our Russian friends 
had the experience and we the money, though before 
we parted company this position was to some extent 
reversed. Luckily, the scope of Mr. Stanioloffs 
operations was limited. Our enthusiastic Russian 
friends, when once they found us committed to our 
enterprise, suggested all sorts of impossible but ex- 
pensive contrivances for draining and working these 
mines, to be brought by Mr. Stanioloff overland 
from St. Petersburg to the White Sea. On the 
main part of this proposition I promptly put my 
veto, but there were certain articles suggested by 
their experience as being absolutely necessary, 
which I did not succeed in stopping, and these 
I found our friend, at great cost, had duly stored 
away at Bear Island, where they remain unused up 
to the present time ; the log-houses, however, did 
us good service, as did about a dozen Russians, 
who turned out very hard-working men. 

It may be desirable here to say a few words as to 
the character of the country and the people. 

Russian Lapland, or, as it is called, the Kola 
Peninsula, contains a population not much ex- 
ceeding 10,000, and consisting of three distinct 
nationalities, viz. Russians, Karelen or Finns, and 
Lapps. The former, about one-half of the number, 
occupy the towns or villages on the sea coast, 
buying up such products as the country produces, 
mainly salted fish, which they carry to Archangel, 



and even Norway, bringing in return breadstufFs 
and other necessaries. Here, as elsewhere, the 
Russians are enterprising and adventurous. The 
Lapps, who are the original inhabitants of the 
country, are no longer nomads, but live in winter 
in small fixed settlements in various parts of the 
interior, changing about, however, three or four 
times during the year, according to the necessities 
of their reindeer flocks, or their hunting or fishing 
avocations. The salmon fisheries are still supposed 
to belong to them, i.e. they catch the fish, and the 
Russians buy them at their own price ; in fact, the 
Lapps are rapidly becoming the bondsmen of the 
Russians, who now own the bulk of the reindeer. 
The Karelen, as those Finns are called who live on 
the western shore of the White Sea, are a peace- 
loving, sober, and hard-working people. The Rus- 
sians being the traders, and the Lapps the hunters, 
the Karelen would be tillers of the soil, if nature 
would allow them, but as the soil in these latitudes 
yields but precarious returns, they have to support 
existence by other means; they become workers 
in wood, boat and house builders, and fishermen. 

One of the peculiar features in the existence of 
these populations is, the immigrations which take 
place at certain times every year, about the beginning 
of February. Thousands of people living on the 
southern, western, and northern shores of the White 
Sea may then be seen wending their way across the 
snow and ice-covered wastes of Lapland, usually in 








parties of ten to thirty, with a few sleighs, carrying 
their poor chattels, drawn by dogs ; their fare con- 
sisting of dried fish and reindeer flesh, and bread, 
which contains much more chopped bark and straw 
than flour. Their destination is the fisheries of the 
Northern Ocean, where they hire themselves for the 
fishing season to the Norwegians and Russians, who 
have boats and stations for carrying on the fishing, 
drying, and salting business, which lasts till August 
and September. 

Lapland is only in part wooded, the northern 
and eastern parts, nearly two-thirds of the whole, 
are pasture, moor, shrub, and swamp ; the western 
and south-western part is covered with birch, fir, 
and pine wood. 

For two days after our arrival off Bear Island 
it continued to blow heavily, and it was not till the 
10th that the steam-pump and other materials could 
be landed. The log-houses had been built on the 
shore of a small sandy bay, behind which a pretty 
wooded valley extended ; on three sides this valley 
was surrounded by heights, of which the central 
and highest point was nearly 200 feet, and was 
surmounted by a huge wooden cross. 

Our first search was for the mines, and these 
we soon found, of course full of water, and till 
they had been pumped it was impossible to form 
even a surmise as to the nature and extent of the 
works; the putting up of the pump was, there- 
fore, the first work to be done. We were rather 

24 ♦ 


short of men, having left so many at Bussenika, 
but the few whom Stanioloff had engaged worked 

Meanwhile, I enjoyed sauntering about the 
island, which is less than three miles in circum- 
ference. There were traces in several places of the 
old settlement, and in one secluded spot I came 
upon a grave with a wooden cross. From the 
highest point of the island there was an exten- 
sive view of Lapland, showing an undulating, well- 
wooded country, with considerable mountain-ranges 
in the interior, numerous deep bays and fjords, long 
promontories, and many islands. It was a pretty 
landscape, but wanting in life : save our little 
steamer, there was, as a rule, not a living thing, 
nor house, nor boat to be seen over the broad 
expanse ot land or sea ; but such scenes had been 
familiar to me. These unbroken coast-lines of sombre 
green reminded me of scenes in the far East, 
apparently as lonely and deserted as these, though 
a nearer view would quickly have revealed the 
difference. The stern rigidity of these gloomy fir 
and pine woods formed as grim and painful a 
contrast to the luxurious wealth and picturesque 
variety of a tropical forest, as did the easy and 
careless lives of the Malay and Dyak, to the hard 
lot of the Lapp and Finn. 

The Vest/old had now plenty of room, and, as sbe 
was lying close to the shore, I continued to live ob 
board. I was not, however, destined to be left long 





to myself ; we had, it will be remembered, landed 
the old General and his secretary at Archangel, 
knowing that his presence here would be not only 
unnecessary, but embarrassing; and we had con- 
gratulated ourselves on the release. It was, there- 
fore, with anything but pleasure that I learned, on 
the morning of the 11th, that our friends had turned 
up during the night, a steamer having dropped them 
and gone on. Our people on shore could not ac- 
commodate them, and I had to insist upon their 
coming on board, which they did very ungraciously. 
Their object evidently being to establish a sort of 
official supervision over the doings of our people, I 
frankly told our old friend that as we did not require 
his assistance, I intended to take him back to 
Archangel in a couple of days* time. 

As everything was now landed, and Mr. B 

was busy preparing for pumping one of the mines, 
I became anxious to revisit the party left at Rus- 
senika, but want of coal and other materials made it 
necessary to call at Archangel first, and seeing that 
preparations at the mines were progressing, and 
apparently would go on without interruption during 
my absence, we got under way for Archangel at 
noon on the 1 3th. The sea was smooth, but it re- 
mained so only while we had the shelter of the coast 
of Lapland. During the night, when exposed to the 
current from the northern ocean, we had again a 
very heavy sea, the boat was very trying, and rest 
impossible ; it was not till seven in the morning of the 


14tli that we began to feel the sheltering influence 
of the coast north of the Dwina, and early in the 
afternoon we anchored off the town, having made 
the run in twenty-seven hours. The shipping season 
of Archangel was now at its height, several hundred 
ships were in the harbour, and steamers coming and 
going continually. Having received and despatched 
letters, and taken in coal and stores, we again 
steamed down the river on the evening of the 16th, 
and got to the entrance of the river by midnight. 
The longest day was now long past, and the sun 
was a couple of hours below the horizon, during 
which time there was just enough twihght to give 
brightness to the full moon. It was a lovely night, 
and we had good hopes that there would be 
nothing to prevent our reaching Russenika on this 
occasion, bat experience had taught us that the 
conditions under shelter of the land were no criterion 
of what we might encounter off the open ocean, 
the force of which our little boat was quite unfit to 
cope with. I was therefore watching sea and sky 
with more than usual anxiety. I was beginning to 
feel anxious about the party I had left behind at 
Russenika, whom we were to have seen again within 
five days ; and now eighteen had passed. So I was 
truly thankful when we reached Cape Katness, at 
which point we had to confront the open sea, and 
where we had to retreat last voyage, to find the 
water smooth, so that we were able to continue 
our course to Russenika, which we reached in thirty* 


six hours. Impatient to see the men, and to learn 
how they had fared, we did not anchor at Three 
Islands, but steamed up to the cliffs where I hoped 
to find the men at work, and that they had worked 
to some purpose, as I had learned in Archangel 
that the schooner with the dynamite had arrived off 
Russenika a day or two after we left it. Indeed, 
that our men had dynamite in their possession 
soon became apparent ; as we were nearing the 
cliffs, eagerly scanning them through the glass for 
some sign of the party, a column of smoke and a 
dull sound attracted our attention, and presently 
there was a perfect fusillade of the charges of 
dynamite fired by the men to express their joy at 
our return. The sea being perfectly smooth, we 
anchored as close under the cliffs as possible, and 
a few minutes later Richter was on board with 
some of the men. Their appearance reassured me 
as to their condition; they had been in want of 
nothing but bread, and of this they had suc- 
ceeded in getting some from the Russian settle- 
ment, Ponoy ; but their supplies would have been 
exhausted in a day or two, and, being under some 
anxiety as to what had become of us, they were in 
perplexity, when our arrival put an end to their 
anxiety. As to the result of their exploration, 
this had not been so exhaustive as I had hoped : 
the old galleries had to be approached with great 
caution, particularly as timber for supports had 
been wanting ; what we brought from Archangel 


for this purpose had been thrown overboard when 
the Vestfold ran ashore. There were also, at the 
entrance of some of the mines, considerable masses 
of ice to be removed. Of actual mining there had 
heretofore been little, but some blasting had been 
done in the rock, and I was soon on shore to 
examine the result, though getting on shore was 
not an easy matter, for it meant the climbing of 
almost perpendicular cliffs, some 120 feet high. 

The rock which had been brought from the 
mines showed a fair amount of copper ore, some of 
excellent quality, and, given sufficient time for 
systematic working, I thought that these copper 
lodes might not improbably prove valuable, but 
time was what I could not afford ; the summer 
season is short in these latitudes, and the expedi- 
tion was to leave the White Sea before the end of 
August. The mines on Bear Island were our main 
object, to examine which properly required all my 
resources; besides, there was great inconvenience 
as well as some risk in leaving a small party on 
this coast, especially as experience had taught me 
that I could not always safely communicate with 
them in so small a boat as the Vestfold. For all 
these reasons I determined at once to carry the 
whole party and materials away. If this could be 
done while the Vestfold remained with steam up under 
the cliffs, it would be a matter of a few hours, but 
with the least wind and sea, and she would have to 
run to the Three Islands for shelter, and getting off 


might be a matter of many days. The sea was as 
smooth as glass; it was now near midnight, the 
men were hard at work sending the things by ropes 
down the cliffs into boats below ; they were anxious 
to get away from this somewhat forbidding coast, 
and knowing that our work might at any moment 
be interrupted, they worked with a will. Down 
went the things in quick succession, jumping and 
clinking against the rocky wall, to be caught in the 
boat below. Though midnight, the glow of the sun 
was still in the horizon ; it was that of the setting 
and rising sun combined, for in another hoar he 
would again appear. There was not a breath of 
wind ; several ships were lying becalmed, and three 
or four steamers were leaving behind them long 
trails of smoke resting like huge serpents on the 
sea. While sitting dreamily contemplating this 
scene, a phenomenon appeared which made me rub 
my eyes in doubt as to whether I was dreaming or 
awake. Far out at sea there appeared what seemed 
to be land with trees, towers, and buildings ; yet I 
knew that no land was within sight. Presently, the 
steamers appeared to double themselves ; a shadow 
ship, bottom up, appeared to float in the air. I then 
knew that I saw the effect of the fata morgana^ and 
that what appeared to be land, was, in fact, the 
reflection of the coast opposite, though, in reality, 
far out of sight. The tower seen by me was a light- 
house some thirty or forty miles off. Meanwhile, 
the work went on merrily, and soon all would 


be on board, with one important exception, the 
dynamite. The captain and crew of the Vestfold 
were not well pleased at the prospect of carrying so 
large a quantity as fifteen hundred weight of this 
dangerous stuff. But there was a more serious 
diflBculty, namely, the insurance, and I did not, 
therefore, consider myself justified in taking it 
aboard. I then remembered that the smack was 
lying in the Russenika Creek, some two miles off ; 
she had at first served the men as storehouse and 
dwelling, but the mosquitoes had proved too much in 
the creek, and they had finally moved everything to 
the cliffs. Delighted at this escape from my 
diflBculty, I directed some of the men to pull away 
to fetch her, when I learnt, to my dismay, that, 
having been left on the stones high and dry, she 
had become leaky. Here was a great disappoint- 
ment ; but, leaky or not, it had to be tried, and to 
my great delight, in about two hours' time I saw 
tlitm towing the boat up with the tide. She could 
float, but that was all, and four men were constantly 
baling; but the water was got under at last, and 
a raised flooring made for the dynamite, of which 
there were thirty cases. How to get the cases 
safely down from the cliffs was an anxious con- 
sideration ; at the best, the rocky wall was an 
awkward climb, even without a load; how, then, 
were we to trust the men with cases each containing 
half a hundredweight of dynamite on their backs ; 
a false step, and the whole of us would be blown to 


atoms. Softly, anxiously the men commenced the 
perilous task; from precipice to precipice, from 
boulder to boulder, we followed, with bated breath, 
every one of these thirty cnses, till at last they were 
all safely deposited at the water's edge, and thence 
quickly transferred to the smack, and then, at last, 
all was on board. It was half-past five, as, with the 
smack in tow, we steamed away to the White Sea 
once more ; it continued smooth, and it was well it 
did so, for the least sea would have made it impossible 
to keep the smack afloat; as it was, we could hardly 
hope to get her to Bear Island, a distance of 240 miles. 
A relay of men was constantly at work baling out 
the water, which at first, when the boat was being 
forced through the sea, increased alarmingly, but 
gradually she tightened a little, and as the weather 
looked settled and the sea smooth, I became more 
and more hopeful that we might succeed in bringing 
our charge safely to her destination ; but we kept a 
Avatchful eye upon her, as not only was it quite 
possible that she might suddenly open out and go 
down, but there was the still more dreaded chance of 
an explosion, which would send us all to the bottom. 
Our anxiety on this score arose from the reckless- 
ness of the men ; they had been strictly forbidden 
to have fire on board, and I was horrified when, 
on close observation, I noticed them with pipes, 
smoking on the very top of the dynamite. How- 
ever, all went well, and at 4 p.m. on the 19th, after 
a passage of thirty-four hours, we anchored at Bear 


Island. I could see B and his men hard at 

work at the mine, and smoke from the funnel told 

me that pumping had commenced. B was soon 

on board, and reported all well and good progress, 
but some of the Russian workmen had just left, and 
StanioloS also had gone to the town of Kowda to 
recruit. Our reinforcement in men and materials 
was therefore most timely ; our men would now be 
fully supplied with all that was needful to carry on 
the explorations effectively, and we might count 
upon having five weeks of effective exploring. The 
dynamite was soon stored and the men housed ; the 
smack also was beached, and when we curiously 
examined her, we found that the planks were only 
sewn, literally stitched together, a lonely nail here 
and there fastening the shell to the framework. It 
was a marvel how she had held together over 240 
miles of sea. The engineer had done excellent work 
during my absence ; the timber in the top of the 
shaft, which was decayed, had been renewed, the 
engine had been put up, the pump attached, and 
the water had already been reduced some thirty 
feet, the shaft was found to be heavily timbered, 
and the wood below the water-line perfectly sound, 
though now over 150 years old. On the morning 
after our arrival I learnt that at a depth of forty- 
four feet a gallery had been come upon, which, 
when dry, measured forty-three feet towards the 
west and 100 feet towards the east; we found 
that these were driven upon a lode of lead ore 


: i 






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two feet thick. Regular mining was now begun, 
the men working night and day in relays, and the 
pumps going constantly. B regretted the neces- 
sity of taking the men away from Russenika, as he 
considered the results obtained such as to hold out 
good promise; but however that may be, we had no 
choice, we had not the means of keeping both 
places at work. 

The men having now settled to regular work, I 
had intended to make excursions to the neighbour- 
ing coast, but the experience of the Vestfold'S men 
was not encouraging. A party of them went out 
fully equipped for sport, but they returned with one 
wretched little bird, having been nearly eaten up 
by mosquitoes ; on another occasion they wounded 
a reindeer, which I strongly suspect was more a 
domestic than a wild animal. There were reports 
of bears being about, and as one of our Rus- 
sian friends was an experienced bear-hunter, our 
enthusiastic party wished again to try their for- 
tunes, and they were in luck, for shortly after 
landing they found the fresh marks of a mother 
with her young. Bear-hunting being a new sensa- 
tion to our friends, the near presence of Bruin 
had a somewhat exciting effect upon them, and 
some discussion took place as to the part each was 
to play. Meanwhile, the Russian had advanced 
deeper into the forest to reconnoitre ; suddenly the 
party left behind heard him fire two shots in rapid 
succession, followed by a loud shout. Apparently 


he was being attacked. Wlio could wonder if, 
under these circumstances, our friends showed some 
irresolution, and that, while one or two of them 
rushed forward, others — to say the truth — had 
bolted ? Our worthy captain took a middle course, 
held his ground, and began vigorously loading his 
gun. But it proved all to have been a false alarm ; 
the Russian, in fact, wanted to try the nerves 
of his companions, and the incident might 
not have been worth mentioning, but for the 
singular effect it afterwards was proved to have 
had on the captain, or rather, the captain's gun; 
it was found to be full of sandwiches, which he 
appeared to have been ramming in when the bears 
had been announced. While visiting the village 
Umba, I noticed that the sheep were brought across 
the water in the morning to their pasture and 
brought back in the evening, and on inquiry I found 
that several nights running, sheep had been killed 
by bears, which the villagers did not seem inclined 
to tackle. One of them told us of an encounter 
they had had with a bear in the fjord, when Bruin, 
having put his paw on the gunwale of the boat, 
was only beaten off with the anchor. 

Pumping and mining were now going on in a 
steady, business-like manner, and on the 28th July 
we had reached the bottom of the first of the three 
mines which we found on the island. It proved 
to be 153 feet deep, with four drifts or galleries 
measuring in all 524 feet, besides two considerable 


excavations, but, beyond lead ore of rather poor 
quality, nothing valuable had been met with. The 
inflow of water was so trifling that we were enabled 
to continue mining without using the pumps ; these 
were, therefore, removed to the second mine, but 
here greater difficulties were encountered, the sea 
had flooded it as at Russenika, so here it was clearly 
demonstrated that the land had sunk at least three 
or four feet since the old Saxons mined here 150 
years ago. The excavations and mines which were 
now submerged could not have been wrought in 
the wash of the open sea; a wall of timber, 
stone, and cement, was, however, so successfully 
constructed as to prevent any leakage whatever 
when the water in the old shaft a few feet from 
the sea had been reduced some eight feet by 
pumping ; but lower down it was found that cracks 
in the rock admitted the sea, and this was overcome 
only with great difficulty ; our little pump, calcu- 
lated to throw only 1,800 gallons per hour, was, by 
hard pressing, made to throw nearly 3,000 gallons, 
and this enabled us gradually to tighten up the 
cracks with wooden wedges and cement, but it re- 
quired great vigilance and hard work on the part of 
the men, who were at it night and day. This was 
the principal mine of the old Saxons, and the one 
that had yielded all the silver, and as the lode 
on the surface was several feet thick, showing 
rich lead ore, we were in hopes that the excava- 
tions below, would reveal something to reward us 


for our labour. Inch by incli the water was 
reduced; the slow progress we made, in spite of 
the large body of water steadily pumped out, 
showing us that the excavations we were draining 
were extensive. The rocks overhanging and sur- 
rounding the top of the shaft looked dangerous, and 
heavy timber supports had to be put in ; but lower 
down, where the timber had been constantly under 
frozen water, it was perfectly sound and substantial 
and well put up. We watched the dark caverns 
as they slowly revealed themselves, with much in- 
terest. The ladders, of which our men had made 
an ample supply, were scarcely needed, as those the 
Saxons had left, which we found in the mines, were 
perfectly sound. To descend was, however, at first 
a dangerous task ; a great quantity of seaweed and 
slime had been washed in from the sea, the narrow 
ledges of rocks overhanging dark and unknown 
depths were thus made slippery and doubly 
dangerous ; gradually, however, all difficulties were 
overcome, and by the 16th of August we had 
drained the mine. The shaft proved to be ninety- 
four feet deep with eight galleries and large 
excavations ; as in the first mine, so here the miners 
worked regularly night and day, blasting with 
dynamite. Lamps and hand-pumps, left by the old 
miners, were found, and our men admired the sub- 
stantial and workman-hke manner in which their 
operations had been carried on. Having made 
arrangements for keeping the water under, we 

rM£ OLD GAUtl'tJ '* '""f ""*' 

1' ' 








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I I 

'If I' : 

1- ■ 


moved the pumps to the third and last mine on the 
island. These three mines, though unconnected, 
were within a few hundred yards of each other, 
and again we went through the same labours ; but 
though these extensive works, executed with com- 
paratively rude appliances, and under circumstances 
of great diflBculty, undoubtedly indicated that some- 
thing had been got to induce such expense and 
labour, we yet came upon nothing very promising ; 
the lode, which on the surface was strong, branched 
out in depth in thinner veins, possibly to reunite. But 
it was not our object to be content with possibilities. 
We were led to expect that substantial evidences of 
mineral riches would be found when these galleries 
and caverns should be explored. That these were 
driven in genuine silver-carrying lodes there was no 
doubt, but the precious metal had, as the old records 
show, been found in intermittent pockets, not in 
constant supply. At intervals lucky blasts had 
revealed bunches of it. Our miners, who had had 
experience of similar mines, were not disheartened 
by the present aspect of affairs. Anxious to fire 
the lucky shot, and so obtain the reward I had 
promised, they worked away with a hearty good 
will ; night and day the old galleries resounded with 
the dull booms of the dynamite charges, and, hard 
though the rocks were, we added a good many feet to 
these galleries. Very expectantly did I watch the 
bucket's as the products of these blasts were brought 
up to be examined in daylight. Each day brought 



US nearer to the one fixed for our departure ; but 
the 27th of August arrived without revealing the 
looked-for treasure, and we began- to feel somewhat 

Meanwhile there were other old workings on the 
mainland mentioned in the manuscripts, which also 
were to be examined. One of these was near the 
town of TJmba, about twenty miles off; selecting a 
fine day, we steamed down the coast to the entrance 
of the narrow fjord on which the village is situated. 
Such inlets are very numerous on this part of the 
coast, and form excellent harbours. This village, 
which contained about 500 inhabitants, was prettily 
situated in a hilly and well- wooded country, and with 
the usual domed and bright-looking little church to 
set it off, it looked quite pretty as we steamed up 
the narrow water ; but a nearer view showed that 
the log-houses were in but indifferent repair, and that 
Russian untidiness and dirt pervaded the place. A 
fine salmon stream has its outlet near the village, 
from which the villagers supplied us with some 
fish caught in nets, our attempt to catch them with 
the fly having failed. The greater part of the popu- 
lation was absent, this being the fishing and trading 
season, and but few women and children were left 
to watch the sheep and cattle, the latter being very 
puny and so long-haired that it required close in- 
spection to distinguish a calf from a goat. The 
Russian settlements here appear to have a very 
poor and stationary existence. There are about 





fifteen or sixteen such villages on the coast of Lap- 
land, altogether scarcely numbering 5,000 inhabi- 
tants, with one or two exceptions on the south 
coast ; most of them are several hundred years old, 
without having apparently undergone much change. 
In one of these villages I was shown a log-house still 
inhabited, originally put up at Bear Island by the 
Saxon miners, and after their departure removed 
to this village ; they had also the picture of a saint 
framed in silver, given them by the Saxons from 
the mines. The natives, in fact, appeared to have 
a strong belief in the existence of silver in these 
mines; thjy doubted our power to remove the 
water, but when the news spread that this was 
being accomplished, parties used to visit us at the 
mines, showing keen interest in what was going on, 
and stimulating our zeal by wonderful traditions 
handed down to them as to the riches their fathers 
had seen. But neither did this visit to TJmba nor 
a similar trip along the western shore of the White 
Sea result in any valuable discoveries, though in 
both cases we found mineral deposits of copper and 
lead, upon which those wonderful old Saxons had 
tried their luck ; but the more I saw of their doings 
the more I became confirmed in my belief that these 
mining adventures had been conducted by a reckless 
man, entrusted with the vast resources of the Rus- 
sian Government, in money and, above all, in men. 
The entire population, then slaves, had been at 
his disposal; vast sums must have been spent, 

26 • 


and it seems unlikely that they brought adequate 

Yet Baron Schonberg, we are told, was a man of 
culture and great ability, who held a responsible 
position in his own country, and became a courtier 
and a man of fashion at the Russian Court, and had, 
it would seem, for mining purposes, a choice of 
localities in the entire Russian empire. Under these 
circumstances he must, it would seem, have had some 
strong motive to induce him to select the coast of 
the Polar Sea for exploration, and it is incon- 
ceivable that he should have carried on the works 
to such an extent unless there was some encourage- 
ment; but whatever may have been the returns in 
some of the works at Russenika and Bear Island, it 
was clear, in many of the places, that considerable 
expenditure in money and labour had then been 
incurred without sufficient justification. 

These operations on the coast of Lapland spread 
over a distance of 250 miles, and we saw at least 
twenty-five different workings, many of them, as 
has been shown, on a large scale, and arranged and 
secured in a manner which would even now be con- 
sidered highly substantial. Those at Russenika are on 
a dangerous coast, without any safe harbour, and all 
of them are surrounded by snow and ice during two 
thirds of the year. The voyage from Archangel to 
Bear Island, which 1 accomplished in twenty-seven 
hours, it took Schonberg eighteen to twenty days 
to do, in badly-appointed and unsafe boats ; his 

< I 

< »' 


tools, blasting materials, and mining-^implements of 
every kind were rude and insufficient ; the rock he 
had to work in was very hard. Under all these cir- 
cumstances, whatever my mortification at seeing so 
little apparently to justify our labour, I could not 
help feeling admiration at the indomitable energy 
and perseverance of which these dark caverns gave 
evidence, and I examined with deep interest all 
the various implements which the receding water 
brought to light. 

The peasants from the neighbouring villages, who, 
as already stated, used to visit us at Bear Island, 
were probably the descendants of the very men who 
had assisted in doing the wonderful work which we 
were now revealing to their astonished eyes. Their 
forefathers had worked as slaves, and Schonberg's 
operations had probably been a curse to them ; but 
if these old galleries should hold out promise of a 
renewed great industry, under an English manage- 
ment, blessings such as these poor, half-starved, 
and neglected Russians, Lapps, and Karelen could 
hardly conceive, might yet be theirs. And who 
that, like myself, had pitied their condition, blighted 
alike by nature and by man, could help feeling 
satisfaction at the thought that some amelioration 
might be effected in the lot of these benighted 
races ? 

The conditions under which the mineral lodes 
occurred here were such as to offer great facilities 
for working them. The people are well adapted 


for the work, and tbere can be little doubt that a 
successful mining enterprise would bring them 
blessings both directly and indirectly. The timber 
trade, which is neglected, and the fishery, which is 
monopolized, would receive a new development; 
and, instead of enriching only a few Russian traders, 
would benefit the entire people. 

If the deadly effect of the Russian system were 
not, indeed, a trite subject to moralise upon, one 
might well wonder for what purpose ambition 
prompts the Muscovite to extend his empire over 
these desolate regions. The result of that exten- 
sion hitherto has been to place these few strag- 
gling tribes of human beings in a condition more 
miserable than the one in which they formerly 
were. Whatever freak of nature, or of man's will, 
destined these poor Samojedes and Lapps to wander 
the dreary tundras of these ice and snow covered 
lands, they led, at any rate, in their earlier state, 
the free life of nomads, owners of flocks of their 
beloved reindeer, of the fish of the sea, and of the 
wood of the forests ; but now, step by step, the 
Russian, more enterprising and crafty, reduces 
them to bondage, and while the Russian people 
thus wreaks its will upon a weaker race, the 
Government does nothing to protect the unhappy 

The Russian uniform is, indeed, seen even in the 
wretched villages on the dreary Lapland coast ; but 
only to add to the misery of the people, whom these 

il '' 

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. t 

¥he white S£!A. 391 

officials must squeeze in order to increase the 
miserable pittance paid them by their Government. 

It seems grotesque, upon God-forsaken coasts in 
the Arctic regions, to find officials enforcing red- 
tapeism in all its rigour ; yet so it is, nay, even in 
the dense gloomy forests which cover the north- 
west coast of the White Sea, the home of the 
bear and wolf, the poor peasant is not free to fell 
the timber for the miserable log-hut which is to 
keep out the snow and icy blasts from the Pole. 

Never was any race of men more to be pitied 
than these. To have developed amongst them an 
enterprise, such as the one we had in hand, would 
indeed have been a blessed work ; but it was not to 
be, and it was with deep regret that I saw my hopes 
decrease from day to day. 

But before we came to the end of our explorations 
I had once more to cross the White Sea to Arch- 
angel, to lay in supplies of food and materials. I 
left Bear Island on the 7th of August at seven in 
the morning, again making the passage in twenty- 
eight hours, the last few hours being in a heavy 
sea, the precursor of a severe gale which we just 
escaped. On the 15th, I once more anchored off 

Bear Island, anxious for the news which B 

soon brought me ; but it was not of a cheering 
character — the bottom of the mine had been reached, 
and nothing valuable was in sight. And, in fact, up 
till the 27th, the day appointed for our departure, 
we met with no better success* 


My stay in the White Sea had not, I must confess, 
been a very cheerful one. The season had been 
unusually stormy, and as I had never slept on shore 
during the whole time, and the Vestfold, even at her 
anchorage, had rolled a good deal, I had not had 
much quiet ; I had made some dangerous passages ; 
the safety of the men in the mines, when the old 
galleries were shaken by the dynamite charges, gave 
me some anxiety ; and, finally, the want of success 
in our object depressed me on leaving. On the 
other hand, I had reason to congratulate myself 
that the work had, as far as time permitted, 
been effectually done, and without a hitch; men 
and material had proved eflScient for the purpose, 
and there had been no disputes or difficulties of any 
kind, nor had we a single case of illness, though we 
were thirty-four all told, and some of the men had 
been a good deal exposed ; the temperature, too, 
was very changeable, ranging from fifty to eighty- 
six degrees. 

On the morning of the 27th, all our preparations 
for departure were complete. The daj was fine, but 
already there were signs that the short summer was 
coming to an end ; it had been freezing during the 
night, and at noon the thermometer showed fifty- 
three degrees. Our passage to Archangel turned 
out rough, and we did not reach that port till 4 p.m. 
on the 28th of August, just sixty-six days after our 
arrival at Bussenika. 

As it was desirable that I should see our friends 


in St. Petersburg, I determined to return home 
overlandy and so, baying seen tbe Vdtfold equipped 
for the homeward journey, I bade mv friends good- 
bye and God-speed, and she left Archangel on the 
Slst of August, calling at the same ports as on the 
voyage up, and finally arriTed safely in Christ iania. 

On the Ist of September, I started for St. Peters- 
burg. My route took me up the Dwina as far as 
Siya by steamer, from thence by a country cart 
{tarantdss) to the lake of Onega, then across the 
two large lakes Onega and Ladoga, and from 
thence by the Neva to St. Petersburg. The journey 
took me eleven days, and, though very fatiguing, 
was most interesting. The first part of the journey 
to Siya, a distance of about a hundred miles, was 
accomplished in a large, comfortable steamer. I had, 
by the way, nearly lost my passage, owing to the 
unusual circumstance that no drosky was to be got ; 
the horses of Archangel were, I was told, all in 

"Not, surely, on their own account?*' 1 asked. 

"Yes,** was the answer; "all our horses are 
taken to church once a year, to be blessed." 

Fortunately, a friend of mine, who came to bid 
me good-bye, and who took a less serious view of 
his horses' religious obligations, lent me his drosky, 
and at 4. p.m. we left our moorings and steamed 
pleasantly up the Dwina. Having seen how Russian 
passenger steamers are at times crowded with 
unsavoury-looking moujiks, and having had some 


misgivings on this score, I was agreeably surprised 
to find that the crowd of third-class passengers 
was embarked in a barge to be towed by us. As it 
was somewhat venturesome to make this journey 
without a knowledge of the Russian language, 
seeing that, as regards means of conveyance, I 
should be entirely at the mercy of the peasants, I 
was looking out on board for possible companions ; 
but they were all Russians, and there were apparently 
none with a knowledge of any other language. The 
great man on board was a colonel, the head of the 
secret police in Archangel district, but if the colonel 
were the head of that rather unpopular department 
of State, I was told that the wife was the head of 
the colonel. As it was evident that they might be of 
much use to me, I obtained an introduction to him ; 
but as he only spoke Russian I could make nothing 
of him, and introduced myself to his wife, with 
whom I managed to converse, and she promised 
that the colonel would assist me. Not trusting 
much to this, however, I subsequently formed an 
alliance with a young forester and his wife, who 
were going to St. Petersburg, and, having more 
luggage than one tarantass could carry, were de- 
sirous of having a companion who could relieve 
them of some. They spoke Russian only, but my 
interpreter effected an understanding between us, 
and we managed to get on very well on the journey. 
Our boat was an extremely comfortable one, and 
the fare excellent ; the forepart of the ship was set 


apart for second-class passengers who, as true 
Russians, drank tea to an incredible extent. Getting 
up early, and finding that the saloon attendants 
were not yet astir, I went forward, and, seeing the 
steaming samovar, took my seat at one of the small 
tables. I was leisurely sipping my tea, intent on 
some book, when a stentorian voice close by caused 
me to look up. Standing before me was a monk, 
of huge stature, who, with folded arms, looked at 
me in what appeared to me anything but a friendly 
way ; he was addressing me fiercely, but I was 
unable to make out his meaning, except that he 
wanted to know my nationality ; but as the man's 
attitude was insolent, I did not feel disposed to 
gratify him, and contented myself with calmly 
looking at him, which seemed greatly to exas- 
perate him. He named almost every nationality in 
Europe, and, still obtaining no response, got greatly 
excited, and at last furiously shouted " Turkey ? " 
The Turkish War was then at its height, the 
Russian armies being ba£9ed, and the country 
disappointed and angry ; and this was evidently a 
fanatical monk, probably fresh from the sacred 
shrines of the Solovetsk Monastery. When, therefore, 
moved by some impulsive whim, I nodded my head 
when he shouted " Turkey," he broke out into what 
was clearly a volley of imprecations, and seemed 
inclined to follow up with an assault; but, as I 
remained passive, he forbore. Such demeanour 
was, as far as my experience went, quite unusual 


396 PlONEEl^lNa IN Tfl£ FAB £A8ll. 

in the Russian people, and I could only attribute it 
to fanaticism. 

Arriving at Siya means arriving at the opposite 
bank of the river, and this circumstance was, as 
will be seen, the cause of much inconvenience to 
myself. We required two boats to cross in, and the 
steamer had only one to spare ; of course the colonel, 
the ladies, and some military men took it, and we 
had to wait till the dirty, haggard-looking monks, 
under whose convent we landed, could supply a 
boat. This delay gave the others a start, which they 
kept ; they took the horses at the stations, and, at 
the best, gave us the jaded ones. But neither was 
Siya on the opposite bank, it was three verst« 
inland ; deep, soft sand, upon which we were landed 
with our luggage, and no tarantass in sight. The pas- 
sengers (amongst whom were two energetic young 
ladies, travelling quite by themselves to study 
medicine at St. Petersburg) had all got away, 
and, strange to say, the only person left was the 
colonel, sitting in solitary grandeur, in full uniform, 
on the top of a great pile of boxes — Madame 
le Colonel, I should say, being about half a mile 
off. She had taken up a position on the top of a 
sandhill, so as to intercept any tarantass coming from 
the village, which was not really three versts from 
us, but a creek was between, and the villagers bad 
to pass by the hill upon which the lady sat. Seeing 
how matters stood, and appreciating the importance 
of being in time at the station in the village, to get 


horses, I thought I might outflank the lady, and, 
sending the interpreter, who left me hero, across the 
creek, I in fact secured the first tarantass for con- 
veyance of my luggage to the station. I felt some 
compunction when passing the lady with my luggage : 
the day was very hot, and the walk to this hill 
through the deep sand had evidently distressed her, 
yet she declined, with a slight toss of her head, my 
proffered umbrella ; but she had her revenge, for 
they got away first after all. This station was 
the first of twenty-two before we should reach 
Vytegra, on the lake of Onega, and it was not till 
5 P.M. that I succeeded in getting a start — and such 
a start ! I thought that, after the first mile, it 
would be impossible to continue this for several 
days, it seemed to shake one to pieces. A tarantass 
is a small, four-wheeled oountry-cart, without the 
ghost of a spring ; it is drawn by two or three small, 
lean, miserable-looking ponies, which probably the 
most sanguine costermonger would hesitate to put 
to his cart. I used, at first, to set out from a 
station with many misgivings, and some com- 
punction ; but, strange to say, these miserable- 
looking screws, veritable bags of bones, were very 
fast, and wonderfully enduring. The stations were 
from eighteen to twenty-eight versts apart, usually 
twenty-five (about seventeen miles) ; the usual 
speed was nine versts per hour, but at times they 
did as much as eleven, at others, when the road was 
very bad, only seven. Most of the stations have 


two, three, sometimes four rooms ready for travel- 
lers, where they can eat and sleep, but will get 
nothing but hot water in the samovar. I had, thanks 
to Anthon's forethought, brought a basket with 
some tinned meats from the Vestfold; I had also 
my own tea and sugar. I suggested joint commis- 
sariat with my two travelling-companions, but the 
lady seemed to prefer the food to which she had 
been accustomed in the Petchiora, where she and 
her husband had spent the first three years of their 
married life — and a stern life these northern Siberian 
solitudes must have been for a young woman, very 
lady-like as she was. I induced her to try some of my 
preserved delicacies, which, though common enough, 
were quite new to her ; but she preferred her own 
pickled cucumber to my peaches, and her smoked 
herring and caviare to my potted meats and patties. 
But my delicacies soon came to an end, and, what 
was worse, my bread failed ; nor was it possible to 
get a wash. I do not think such a thing is known 
to Russian peasants, who content themselves with 
an occasional steam-bath. I once, at a station, 
tried to get to the well, but only once. The bouses 
were always surrounded with a sea of mud and 
when you travel five nights and days without l>eing 
able to change clothes, moving often in drenching 
rain from one tarantass to another, with your nest 
of fur-pillows, rugs, hampers and luggage, all of 
which at each change become more damp, dirty, 
and unsavoury, every pool of mud is carefully 


to be eschewed ; so I preferred to remain un- 
washed. We had, unfortunately, a great deal of 
rain, and the roads, or what were so called, were 
simply lines of mud, intersected by little rivulets 
and pools, through which the wretched ponies floun- 
dered, the cart bobbing, pitching, and creaking — 
at one moment sending you upwards, bringing your 
head in sharp contact with the hood of the vehicle, 
to descend again with equal violence — the driver 
always watching the wheels with an uneasy look, 
impressing you with a feeling that you might at any 
moment find yourself deposited in the midst of 
these endless pine forests, with the additional com- 
fort that your driver, as a rule, is a child. One of 
them (a capital whip he was) reached to the third 
button of my waistcoat, from which I know that 
he was three feet eight inches high. Another little 
fellow was a trifle taller ; he, too, whipped away 
bravely, keeping up, as is their wont, a constant 
flow of talk to their horses, that seems to have 
more effect than the whip, which is not a very 
formidable one. Repairs to the harness, or, in other 
words, the tying together of odds and ends of cord, 
constantly breaking, were of momentary occurrence ; 
presently the whole harness came off. It certainly 
was the most audacious arrangement for securing 
a horse to a cart I ever saw ; . even the driver of 
my companion's cart, who luckily was behind me, 
grinned a broad grin when he came to our assist- 
ance. Somehow the wreck was secured again, and 


THB WHITB 8£A. 401 

and churches which dotted the landscape here and 
there were a pleasing relief, gaudy and picturesque 
as they always looked from a distance, with im- 
posing, bright-coloured domes, which, however, on 
close inspection, often turned out to be woodwork 
of no great pretension. 

Next day, at noon, I embarked in a small steamer, 
where most of the party from Archangel met again ; 
a couple of hours' steam down the river brought 
us to the lake Onega. There was a good deal of sea, 
and most of the ladies suffered in consequence. 
Mrs. Colonel held out gallantly for some time, but 
had at last to yield, which she did with very ill 
grace, and looking very indignant. At 5 p.m. we 
arrived at Vosnesenie, a town on the western shore of 
the Onega; here we had to wait for the larger 
steamer, which was to take us to St. Petersburg, 
and which did not arrive till the following day. 
Meanwhile, comfort and cleanliness remained un- 
realised. Not having been in bed since leaving 
Archangel, I had escaped the attack of those dis- 
turbers of night repose which are so prevalent in 
Russia ; but for any immunity which I had so far 
enjoyed I paid the penalty in Vosnesenie. 

Next morning, the 9th of September, I embarked 
in a large, comfortable steamer, a boat of at least 
500 tons, but, being flat-bottomed, appearing much 
larger. Leaving the Onega, we entered the river 
Svir, which connects the two great lakes, Ladoga 
and Onega. The sail is a very pretty one ; a strong 



current carries you swiftly down this very winding 
stream, till, after several hours' steaming, you 
emerge on the broad bosom of Lake Ladoga, which 
we found to be somewhat boisterous. There was 
quite a heavy sea, which seemed strange in an inland 
fresh-water lake ; but the lake is so large that you 
are, at one time, almost out of sight of land. Cross- 
ing the lake, which takes several hours, the first 
object that meets the eye on approaching the source 
of the Neva is the grim fortress Schliisselburg ; you 
are then within about forty miles of St. Petersburg, 
the approach to which city is heralded by factories, 
workshops, and ship-building yards. The vicinity of 
a large city became more and more apparent, till at 
last its gay and gilded domes lay before me, and I 
realised that my wanderings were almost over, and 
that once more I was on my way home. 




Almaden mines, 309. 

Alten, 342; copper mines at, 

Antimony ores, 132 ; mines, 

Archangel, trade, 357 ; town of, 

358, 361 ; horses in church, 

Arima, 285. 
Asaxa temple, 297. 
Atango temple, 295. 
Australia, voyage to, 200. 


Badjoo, 13. 

Bali, anticipations concerning, 
2-10; arrival at, 11 ; descrip- 
tion, 20 ; eruptions, 22 ; pro- 
duce, 24; cattle, 25; cock- 
fighting, 26 ; origin of name, 
30 ; Hinduism in, 32 ; litera- 
ture, 34; temples, 37; shape 
of, 39; money, 40; life in, 
41 ; trading, 41 ; part taken 
by women in business trans- 
actions, 42 ; houses, 45 ; 
slavery, 54 ; justice in, 55 ; 
superstition, 57; suttee, 57- 
65 ; Dutch wars, 66 ; de- 
parture from, 71 ; revisited, 

Bali Badong, 20. 

Balinese carts, 26; industries, 
27 ; cotton, 28; pottery, 28 ; 
salt, 28; fishing trade, 29; 
boats, 29; dress, 29 ; vene- 
ration for monkeys, 31 ; 
castes, 35 ; religious shows, 
52 ; cock-fighting, 54. 

Bangkok, arrival at, 114. 

Bangli, 21. 

Bau, 156. 

Bear Island, 367. 

Bear Island mines, 371, 383. 

Bear-hunting, 381. 

Beliling, 20. 

Bishop of Labuan, 160. 

Bodo, 341 . 

Boers, visits to, 5 ; their feel- 
ing then towards the English, 

Borneo, 123 ; aboriginal tribes, 
148; colonists from Java, 
148 ; coast view of, 129 ; 
Dutch dependencies in, 124 ; 
return to, 204. 

Borneo Company, formation, 
161 ; prospects in 1860, 206 ; 
support given to Bajah 
Brooke, 239. 

Brooke, Sir James, early his- 
tory, 126 ; arrival at Euching, 
127; development of trade 
by, 137 ; conduct of during 
Chinese insurrection, 178; 
effect of Chinese insurrection 
upon, 214; and Captain 
Brooke, 215; dispute as to 



Brooke — eont. 

succession, 215 ; testimonial 
to, 218, 223, 280; letter to 
Mr. Charles Brooke, 228. 

Brooke, Captain, return to 
Sarawak, 204; dispute with 
Sir James Brooke, 215 ; Ba- 
jah Muda, 219-232; reply to 
statements, 224 ; banishment 
of, 235 ; installation of, 235- 

Brunei, Sultan of, 125. 

Buddhism, Japanese, 279. 

Buddhist priests, an encounter 
with, 114 ; temples, 280. 

Burd, John, 15. 


Calantan, Bajah of. 111. 

California in 1850, 72; re- 
visited, 302; produce. 305; 
cultiyation, 308 ; quicksilver 
mining, 315 ; roads, 317 ; 
landscapes, 318. 

Calistoga, springs of, 321. 

Cambodia, 94; former ap- 
proach by the Mekong, 95 ; 
ancient capital of, 102 ; king's 
palace at, 102 ; results of 
visit to, 108 ; king of, 258. 

Canton, visit to, 72. 

Cape of Good Hope, The, arrival 
at, 4 ; stay at, 5. 

China, first visit to, 72 ; second 
visit to, 257. 

Chinese as pioneers, 247 ; emi- 
grants to Borneo, 253 ; com- 
pared with Japanese, 303; 
their cookery, 106 ; in Upper 
Sarawak, 157; in Kuching, 
170 ; expelled from Kuching, 
180; their influence in the 
East, 255 ; insurrection, 164 ; 
labourers, 158; labourers at 
San Francisco,83 ; labourers, 
recklessness of, 244 ; miners. 

Chinese — conL 

155 ; their money used in 
Bali, 40; secret societies, 
159; settlements in Borneo, 
154; sufferings of, 191. 

Christiania to Trondhjem, 337. 

Cochin China, French missions 
in, 107 ; French settlements, 
258, 259. 

Cock-fighting at Bali, 26. 

Commerce, failure of treaty o^ 
with Siam, 109. 

Commission of inquiry, the 
Sarawak, 129. 

Copper lodes, 354. 

Court, the, at Kuching, 134. 

Crookshank, Mr. and Mrs., at- 
tack on, 167. 


Daimios, abdication of, 268* 

Dancing-girls, 51. 

Danoos, or lakes, 23. 

Datu Haji, conspiracy of, 205. 

Decima, island of, 26iB. 

Dewa A gong, the, 20. 

Djembrana, 20. 

Dolores, mission of, 85, 87. 

Dutch, wars with Bali, 66; 
camp, the visit to, 68 ; peace 
with the, 70; dependencies 
in Borneo, 124. 

Dyaks, Hill and Sea, 127. 

Dyak thief, 133; paths, 148 
traps, 144; villages, 145 
tabu, 146; houses, 146 
religion, 149; cremation of 
the dead, 150; belief in 
ghosts, 151. 


Edwards, Governor, letter from, 

Elephants, manner of hunting, 
by the Stiens, 101 ; a jour- 
ney on, 107. 



Emigration from India to the 

Eastern Archipelago, 256. 
England, first view of, 1. 
Enoshima, 299, 309. 
Exhibitions, Japanese, 280. 


Fairbaim, Mr., letter from, 

Fata Morgana, 377. 
Fossil forest, 322. 
Fox, Mr., murder of, 205. 
Franciscan missions, 86. 
French colony in Cochin China, 



Grading mountain, 154. 

Gamalans, 48. 

G^jser springs, the, 323. 

Gianjar, 21. 

Gold-diggings, 138. 

Gold mining in Sarawak, 157. 

Golden Gate, the, 76, 92. 

Goyemor of Labuan, unwise 
interference of, 208 ; dis- 
approved by Government, 

Gunong Agong, 11. 

Gunong Katta, 48. 


Hammerfest, 346. 

Head feasts, 152, 189. 

Hiogo, 269. 

Hong Kong, 259. 

Hot springs of Calistoga, 321. 

Hughes, Mr., letter from, 227. 


India, emigration from, to 
Borneo, 256. 


Japan, visit to, 263 ; arrival in, 
263; empire of, 264; his- 
tory of, 265 ; European in- 
tercourse with, 266; Portu- 
guese, 266 ; Dutch in, 266 ; 
American treaty with, 267 ; 
revolution in, 267. 

Japanese boatmen, 264 ; towns, 
270 ; dress, 271 ; houses, 
272 ; custom-house, 271 ; 
funerals, 273 ; good manners, 
276; tea-houses, 276; thea- 
tre, 288; bath-houses, 287; 
tea, 287 ; fondness for flowers, 
289; gardening, 290; tem- 
ples, 279, 296-97 ; progress, 
303 ; students, 303. 

Java, colonists from, 148; 
Dutch rule in, 197. 

Jeddo, 292-94. 

Jesuits in Lower California, 

Jinrikshas, 271. 

Jungles, Bornean, 140. 

Juries at Kuching, 134. 


Kanagawa, 291. 
Karang Assam, 20. 
Karelen, 369, 370. 
Kassiman, Kajah, 44 ; visit to, 

46; defeated by the Dutch, 

Kassumba, 21 ; attacked by the 

Dutch, 67. 
King George's Sound, 202. 
King of Siam, the old, 112; 

death of, 113 ; the new king, 

117; his education, 118; 

audience of, 119 ; letter from, 

121 ; the second king, 118. 
King, Mr., Mr. Lange's rival 

tiuder at Lombok, 15, 16. 


Kioto Exhibition, 284; cit^ of, 

Elong-kong, 20; rajahs of, 21. 
Knoi, M.r., letter from, 226. 
Fobi, 270. 

KoU PeuiuBuIft, the, 369. 
Komput, 96, 97 ; Governor of, 

Kotta, Btrwts of, 26, 27. 
Kuching, plunder of, 171; Im* 

provement in, 241. 
Kungsi, the, 159-65. 


Ladoga lake, 400. 

Lakes in Bali, 23. 

Landak, 156. 

Lange, Mr,, arriTal at house of, 
12 ; description and hlstor; 
of, 15; at Lombok, 16; his 
flight from Lombok, 17; his 
establishment at Bali, 18 ; 
political agent of the Dutch, 
18 1 his gardea, 25 ; his cha- 
racter, 71 ; death of, 198 . 

Lannun pirates, fight with, 

Lapland, Bussian, 369-71. 

Lapp fishermen, 350, 356. 

Letters, Sir James Brooke to 
his nephew, 221, 226, 234; 
from Mr. Knoi, 226; Mr. 
Hughes, 227 ; Mr. Fair- 
balm, 229; Captain Brooke 
to Sir James Brooke, 233, 

Limestone caves in Sarawak, 

Logo, 342. 

Lombok, Mr. Lange at, 15 ; his 
flight from, 17. 

Loppen, 342. 

Low, Mr. Hugh, account of 
Sarawak, 240. 


Macdougall, Bishop, 160. 

Majapahat, kingdom of, 33. 

Mamyama, 281. 

Mekong riTer, second visit, 258. 

Mengoi, 21. 

Mentrado, 156. 

Meodjen temple, 298. 

Michaels, General, 67. 

Midnight sun, 34l. 

Mikado, 265. 

MissioD at Dolores, near Sas 
Francisco, 85, 67; to Sara- 
wak, 160. 

MisHionaries, French, sufferings 
of, ID Cochin China, 107, 109. 

Mobrom, 16. 

Mohammedans, 152. 

Monkeys, veneration for, 31. 

Montoiro, 98. 

Moaquitoea, 854, 359. 

Mount Lincoln, 321. 

Mount St. Helena, 320. 

Muda Hassim, 127. 

Muka, feud at, 194 ; expedition 
to, 207; visit to, 209; sago 
factor;, 212. 


Nevada, travelling in, 327. 
North Borneo, importance of, 

North Borneo Company, 249; 

prospects of, 250. 
North Cape, the, 345. 
Norway, coast scenery, 340. 


Occidental Hotel, 304. 
Onega lake, 401. 
Opium taxation, 159 ; trade, 



Orloff, Cape, 346. 

Osaka, 278. 

Oudong, starting for, 98 ; jour- 
ney to, 99 ; arrival at, 101 ; 
return from, 107. 

Ourang-outang, story of an, 

Ouro, 34.2. 


Padang, 20. 

Paknam, arrival at, and recep- 
tion, 113. 

Pamali. See Tabu. 

Pangeran Dipa, 195; hostility 
of, 207. 

Pangeran Matusin, 194. 

Pirates in China, 73 ; in Gulf 
of Siam, 96 ; ill-treatment of 
their captives, 213. 

Ponoy, 360, 353. 

Pontianak, 193. 

Pope Valley mines, 312. 


Quicksilver mines, Bomean, 
243 ; discovery of, 244. 


Bajahs, visits to, 112. 
Richardson, Mr., murder of, 

Besignation of Bajah Brooke, 

Bussenika river, 347; country 

near, 350. 
Bussian fanatic monk, 395; 

drivers, 399 ; hospitality, 

adventurous character, 
BuBSO-Turkish war, 332. | 


Saigon, 109, 258. 

St. Elmo, lights of, 72. 

Spencer, Mr. St. John, memo- 
randum by, 232. 

St. Petersburg, 331; Arch- 
angel to, 393. 

Sambas, Chinese in, 156. 

San Francisco, harbour and 
shipping, 76; the first gold 
found by Johann Sutter at, 
77; description of, 78; ex- 
periences at, 82 ; fire at, 83 ; 
Chinese labourers, 85 ; pro- 
gress of, 305. 

San Jose, 307. 

Sangara, visit to Rajah, 112. 

Sarawak, first arrival in, 130 ; 
life in, 132, 135; antimony 
mines, 138 ; gold diggings, 
139 ; ancient remains, 153 ; 
limestone caves, 153; peace 
restored, 192 ; succession, 
dispute as to, 215; Mr. Low's 
account of, 240; trade and 
resources, 243 ; quicksilver 
mines, 243; present condi- 
tion and prospects, 248. 

Saxon miners in Lapland, 387. 

Schonberg, Baron, 388. 

Shanghai, 261. 

Shiba temple, 294. 

Shintooism, Japanese, 278. 

Shiogon, the, 265 ; abdication 
of, 267. 

Siam, decay of trade, 94 ; Sir 
James Brooke's mission to 
conclude treaty of commerce 
with, 94; mission to, 95; 
Oulf of, 96; negotiations 
with, 109; produce and 
trading commerce, 115; cus- 
toms duties, 116; audience 
of King, 118 ; letters to and 
from ]^g, 121 ; education. 



Siam — conL 

117; treatment of the dead, 

121 ; presents from, 122. 
Simonosaki, Straits of, 269. 
Singapore, voyage from Cape 

to, 6 ; description of, 7 ; the 

shipping at, 9 ; tigers at, 10 ; 

return to, 74 ; from, to Siam, 

Sinjawan, 157. 
Sirib Musahor, expulsion of, 

203; at Muka, 209; dan- 

gerous interview with, 219 ; 

leaves Borneo, 212. 
Siva, Balinese votaries of, 35. 
Sija, 396. 
Somdet Phra Parra Manda, 121. 

See King of Siam. 
Spain, jealousy of, 249 ; power 

of, in the Archipelago, 249. 
Stanioloff, Mr., 368. 
Steel, Mr., murder of, 205. 
Stiens, the, their manner of 

hunting, 101. 
Stjeren Sound, 342. 
Sumatra, landing on the coast 

of, 7. 
Sumbava, eruption at, in 1815, 

Suttee at Bali, account of, 57, 

Sutter Johann, 77. 
Sydney, 201. 
Svir river, 401. 


Tabanan, 21. 

Tarantass, travelling in a, 397. 

Tegora quicksilver mines, 244. 
Tigers at Singapore, 10. 
Tocaido, the, 290, 300. 
Treaty of commerce, failure to 

establish, with Siam, 109. 
Tringanu, landing at, 110. 
Tromso, 342. 
Trondhjem, railway to, 387; 

departure from, 339. 


Ulfs Fiord, 342. 
Umba, 384. 
Utah, 327. 
TJmot-trin, 151. 


Vadso, 345. 

Venno Temple, 298. 

Vest/old, the, 350 ; aground, 

Volcanic eruptions, 28. 
Vosnesenie, 401. 
Vytegra, 400. 


Water Lily, arrival of, 193. 
White Sea, the, mines in, 829 ; 

departure for, 337 ; entrance 

of, 347 ; mines, 388. 


Yokohama, 289. 


January, 1882. 

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