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The Mr. Murchison mentioned was brother of Sir Roderick, well-known in scientific circles.
Abdulla's description of English law proceedings is correct in principle, though not in detail; he apparently had not been able to arrive at the precise functions of grand and petty juries, so he has assumed what the names would naturally suggest. He seems, however, to have thoroughly appreciated the beneficent institution in contradistinction to the arbitrary and uncontrolled proceedings of native autocrats and petty tyrants, whose despotism he alternately feared, hated, and despised, and the condition of whose subjects he lamented.
His concluding remarks are excellent, and his philosophy admirable. The population of the tropics are akin to their climate, generally calm, listless, and dreamy, but these amoks intermittently, like Sumatra squalls, burst forth and bear down all before them. Yet, like the squall, the frenzied amoker has but a short career, for he is shot down like a mad dog, and, the ill vapours of the social atmosphere having been purged, tranquillity reigns again.
ABDULLA'S ESTIMATE OF THE NEW MISSIONARIES.
"Now, I had been about nine months in Singapore, when there came a letter from Mr. Hughes in Malacca, calling me there, for he wanted to learn Malay. At first I got his letter and replied that I was very much engaged at this time, but, by the grace of God, that in one or two months I might get away; but in other ten days there came another letter urgently asking my return, for there was neither a Malay nor a countryborn person who could speak English, nor who could explain himself. For this reason I returned to Malacca, and took duty at the college. Mr. Hughes was a new comer, and his custom was to consult me in everything, whether it related to himself or to the college; for I knew all the old people before his time, this is why he left all to me.
Now I soon perceived that Mr. Hughes had not the tone of a clergyman; that is, in his walk, appearance, and non-culture, he had none of the polish of Mr. Milne or Dr. Morrison; but he had an excellent disposition,he had good sense and a kind expression. When he spoke he was always smiling. He was liberal and enlightened; but he had a poor memory. He wore spectacles, his education and qualifications were not equal to the missionaries that had gone before him; neither was he diligent in work, but good at being
respectful; so, though it is true he learnt Malay, both in writing and speaking, yet he never acquired the tone, so that his meaning could not even be guessed. Also it is true that he could read letters, as well as history, but just as Malays do. If you asked him the meaning, he did not know. This was because of his very poor memory -what he learnt to-day he forgot on the morrow.
I was thus close with him in his studies for eighteen months. I also learnt English from him daily, as I thought to be able to translate for myself. For if I had been competent to do this, it would have been of great service to me, for there are many things for which the Malays knew no word. On this account many Malays study Arabic grammar, and when they find it difficult, they give it up; for it is extremely complex, so much so, that of 1000 Malay students, only one or two master it, and that with difficulty, for the Arabic language is a very comprehensive one, not that the glossary in itself is difficult, but the ramifications of its etymology. So, to my idea, if there were a grammar of the Malay language, would it not be well to teach it to the children in the Malay schools.
Now, as to what I would wish about a Malay grammar, it is not such as has exemplification in the Dutch translation of St. Matthew into Malay, which is hundreds of years old, and which Mr. Rabonin (?) copied. In this translation the English, Latin, and other idioms are used in Malay in a most perplexing manner, which is most obnoxious to the genius of the language; it is just like one digging thorns, which is most treacherous and vicious, and so forth. I perceived in the old Dutch translation of the Gospel, that in each place they put the times that had gone, because they appeared to think that they were the same; but they did not know how many kinds of words are not understood. I also perceived
in their translation of the Gospel of St. John made by English gentlemen, who call themselves competent in the Malay language, the following words: Ka-shurka-an, Kaboangan, and Kamo; but these gentlemen only dress up the Malay language with the English idiom in an ignorant manner. These words I would not dare to use in Malay composition, as they would be laughed at and made a fool of by our people. Further, these are a sign by which people test your competency, for the words have no status or position in our language. Now, if they think they can use Ka-shurka-an, why not also Ka-naraka-an, or Ka-bumi-an, or Ka-langit-an, or Ka-ajar-atan?
Then as to the Malay grammar that I intended to compose. I intended to have its construction out of the language itself, having the words in proper order and by acknowledged rule; the idiom, also, not indiscriminately arranged by everybody's supposed skill,-one saying this is right, the other saying the contrary, and yet both wrong, each and every one being their own judges of themselves and their qualifications, like a country without a government, each and every one calling themselves the king. My difficul was to get the reading and writing in settled order, as I had no rule to guide me by way of authority. The luckless and ignorant that will not learn their own language, see other people doing so and so, and they just follow them without knowing the reason-the right or the wrong, or the circumstances of its being wrong. One pressing over the other, as if they thought it easy, through a special gift of the Almighty, to rise as judges upon the subject, and thus to teach ignorant slaves of God. Moreover, they madly essay to fix and arrange the Malay language, and to write it with propriety, for an example to future generations. Great may be their recompense!
Now, you, O reader! must not find fault with my advice or idea, for the Malay grammar would be of great use; nor must you think that with it alone you could perfect yourself in composition. True enough the rules could be applied, and many words would follow the rules; but in a hundred words seventy might only come under the rules, and thus thirty be beyond them. Now, as regards these latter, were we to force compliance to set rules, we would, for instance, have to write daganga-an-that is, in the suffix, like ka-ada-an and ka-tida-an. Now, the Europeans ask if you can say ka-ada-an : why not also say kaya-an, ka-buka-an, ka-perkera-an, ka-jalan-an, and so forth? For are not there rules to this effect, so why should they not apply to the other words also? To this I answer, put suffixes to your own language and try them in all cases (as, if mission is correct, then why should not kiss be written kission?) So, as this is the case, you must understand that the use of grammar is only to lighten the labour of study in most languages; and in order to grasp the subject, it is necessary to search out the exceptions, and from the grammar find how to use them. Even after this, foreigners could not compose rhymes in Malay. On this account it is very stupid of the Europeans to question their native teachers (mūnshis), telling them that this is right and the other wrong, because the grammar says so; for know, O reader! that each race is the judge of its own language, and don't think, from what I have said, that the Malay language is a very easy
I relate all this because day and night the subject has been one of earnest consideration, and if my life be spared, I shall use all means under God's providence to lay the foundations of the work; but if I be unable to prosecute the same, it is because I see the condition of