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day. And if he had not known how to learn or how to write, but had remained in ignorance, I would have counted him as if he had been dead.' Thus I heard all the conversation of my parents from out of their own room, and this was the first time that I came to fully know their love of me, as well as the use of all their teachings and the good of knowledge. So from that day I was convinced in my heart that all the lessons of my father were true, proper, and good.

After this my father came into my own room, where I was accustomed to be taught, with a sour face, saying, What have you been doing to-day? You know I have been out, and you have not been studying and writing this comes of your laziness. Even though you know nothing of letters, here you have been making out a bond for a Siak skipper, with ever so many blunders in it; and so you think that you have mastered these things.'

Now I perceived that my father would on no account allow that I was competent or expert; nor would he praise me in any way, lest I should be proud. Yet it happened after this, in regard to post letters, or receipts, or powers of attorney, or wills, and the like, if people came to us for these, he ordered me to attend to them. He first told me such and such are the circumstances, such are the amounts, such the periods, letting me compose the instruments myself; and for a time or two only were there a few faults, for on the third trial all was correct. From that time he made over to me all his writing material and desks.

Moreover, at that time persons who were competent to write and compose were highly appreciated, for there were only four who could be engaged upon such employment. The name of the first was Mama Hoj Mahomed, a Malacca born Kling, who was employed by the Com

pany.* After him was Mama Jamal Mahomed bin Nūr Mahomed, of Surat; then my father, Abdulkadar bin Mahomed Ibrahim, and Mama Mahadin bin Ahmed Libby. Now these persons were Klings of mixed race, excepting Jamal Mahomed, who was born at Malacca, but his father was a Suratee and not a Malay.

Now, it was on account of the diligence of these persons in literature and language as a science, that they attained excellence. Further, in whatever employment-be it in that of writing or composition of Malay, or Tamil and such like-it was they that convicted people and put them to shame in council. Thus they gained their living, and by no other means; and because of the liberality of the Malacca people at that time, they were kept constantly busy-there was daily work; and from this came not one advantage only, for their names became extolled in various countries, and they were cited by Europeans with high honour in their great courts."

Thus the knowledge to draw out a receipt had been attained. Laugh not at this, ye scholars of Europe; considering the depressing influences, both artificial and natural, it was a great event. Amongst a people sunk in apathy and ignorance, Abdulla had a right to be proud of himself. Had the Arab priest had his own way, he would have confined Abdulla's acquisitions to crying out texts from the Koran without his knowing the remotest meaning thereof. By this method the priest perpetuated a mysterious influence over the people which gave him absolute power; and he feared to impart even the most rudimentary knowledge. The pride of the parents

* Meaning the East India Company.

is also so well described as to be truly natural. The father's reticence and mock severity heap up honours on the son's head, and at length the finished schoolboy, after all his pains, by way of compensation finds the greatest of all pleasures, viz., that he can make himself useful.

It is a remarkable fact, that out of a population of 60,000 souls, only four could write the language of the country correctly. What power is thus running to waste! How prostrate must not a people be so situated in these modern days! After this there follows a disquisition on Malay literature, into which we need not now enter.



"Now at this time I had no other employment than that of constantly reading manuscript or writing, this only; when shortly there came a rumour to Malacca that the English intended to destroy the fort, but none of the races of people inhabiting the town would believe that such could be done so easily, saying one to another, that the life of the Governor would not be long enough to finish such an undertaking. This was, in their opinion, owing to the strength, workmanship, and hardness of the stones, and its extraordinary position. And on account of these circumstances such an event could not come home to their understandings, nor that the fort could be quickly knocked down. So many people went about saying, Now is the time coming for poor people to ́ get rich in earning wages at the fort demolition. Another one would suggest that if they meddled with it many would die, for how many of the devil's imps were inside of it! Again, half the people cried that it comes of the knowingness of the English, this destroying the fort; for should it happen to fall into the hands of another power, it would be a long war to get it back again, owing to its great strength and the skill with which it had been constructed.

To proceed. The nature of the Fort of Malacca, as I observed it by walking along its ramparts and proceeding down to its foundations, was of stones called outerite, red coloured, of a half fathom to a fathom in length. These stones had been originally very smooth and straight, as if they had been chiselled. Further, the face of the walls inclined a little backwards, with a round moulding. The fort had four sides, and there were eight bastions; and the breadth of the ramparts of the bastions was from ten to thirteen fathoms, and it was here where the cannons were ranged around; and the thickness of the curtain was two and a half fathoms, while at each bastion there were underground cells, with folds, wells, and stables, and within the rampart walls of the fort there was a path, by which people could proceed round to the bastions, whence there were sally-ports.

Again, the height of the fort was about ten fathoms, as seen from above, and it is reported that the foundations were as much below the surface, for when they were about to demolish it, they went down seven or eight fathoms, and had not yet reached the lowest course.

Also the fort had four gates, and the largest gate had attached to it the great bridge. The large gate had also a small one, by which people went out and in after eight o'clock in the evening. This was eight or ten fathoms distant on the right wing. There was also another gate, for taking out and in merchandise, as also carriages,— all these went by this way. At these two gates Sepoys stood sentry by turns. Again, on the side of the Chinese Hill,* there was one small gate, and on the side towards Banda Illiar there was another of the same description as the great gate. And its bridges were three in number one great one, viz., towards the town of Malacca; the second, called the little gate, towards the

* Bukit China.

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