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people, on which I need not dilate, as an officer called Major Begbie has made a book* on it in the English language, and in which I assisted him a little in regard to the Malay affairs; that is, on the origin of the Malays, Malacca, and the names of their settlements,—all these he learnt from me."
The Nanning war was one of those wars of Xerxes in which the East India Company used to indulge, no doubt from sufficient motives. They were good for trade, both home and colonial, and the Malacca storekeepers would not be the least amongst the supporters. It brought in foreign capital to be scattered amongst them, and the good times of the war of Java would be in the recollection of many. There can be no doubt that the East India Company lost prestige in the eyes of the Malays by their management of the affair, which assumed leviathan proportions, as the attack of all barbarous tribes hidden in forests must do when undertaken by regular armies. Sir James Brooke, with two hundred of his men, would have brought in the Pengulu in the course of six weeks, as it was, this service required several regiments, who would not march till a way had been cleared, several chains in width, through the tall forest for a distance of twenty miles. This was the real labour of the war, and appeared ridiculous to the natives. The regular troops were calculated for action only on the open plains of India; for such a country as the Malay Peninsula they were the wrong material. The impedimenta of an Indian army are enormous, and the habits acquired even by the European officers are obstructive to enterprise. Bass and Allsopp will have
*Much lampooned in the Madras papers for its pathos.
much to account for in future years, when trials of strength come between us and other European governments. The climate is debilitating enough, but the quantity of beer consumed makes it doubly worse; it tends to make the bodily system inert and obese, creating a tendency to fever. I always found beer drinkers easily prostrated by a little exertion, and would vote that the beverage be abolished from the Indian army. The officers are brave, but they should always be in a condition to undertake hardships without flagging, or being prostrated by the diseases which the use of malt liquor nourishes. A love for beer is promoted by the climate, and is ultimately detrimental to sound habits and selfrespect. In fact, in India, if real service is to be done, neither ales nor spirits should be taken, unless occasionally, after exposure to wet; no man requires them habitually till he is past forty.*
Crawfurd informs us that "Nanning covers an area of about 400 square miles, having a population of about 6,000 souls; a poor and unprofitable possession." Of the Nanning war, Mr. E. A. Blundell, formerly Governor of the Straits, says that no one could be proud of it except a few native chiefs, who still chuckle with delight at the idea of having caused the English to retreat. The war, he adds, was "caused by the non-payment of a tribute of 400 gantangs of paddy, value 12 dollars, which cost the Government of India 20 lacs of rupees, and ended by pensioning the rebel chief on a salary of 100 rupees a month, a larger sum than the man had ever possessed at one time. It will thus be seen that the cause of the war is stated differently by
* I have known a European so addicted to beer, that he required to have a coolie carrying a three-dozen case after him if he left his house for any time. Of course in this instance the addiction was a disease, and he soon killed himself. He was not a soldier, however. It is said he attained to the maximum of twenty bottles daily.
killing these people as if they were nothing better than ants, they having done no crime calling for death. Further, in taking men's goods by force, killing the owners, or keeping them captive; never paying their debts; given to gambling, cock-fighting, keeping multitudes of slaves, who despoil God's creatures, stabbing them; or, as is the case in Borneo and Koti, where they commit piracies on the European ships, killing the crews. Further, they send their spear to people's houses, oppressively requiring their goods and chattels; forcing betrothals, and such like misdemeanours of different grades, of which I am ashamed to write in my story. Moreover, they humiliate the slaves of God, who are created like themselves, looking on them like dogs,— as, for example, when they go along the road people have to sit down in the middle of the road till they are past, whether it be in the mud or the filth, all are ordered to squat down. More especially, again, they make hundreds and twenties of daughters of their subjects into concubines, closing them in their harems, and once or twice in taking concubines they keep them till death, not allowing them to marry other men; and were such to marry, they would kill and root out the whole house of such a woman. The fathers and the mothers of their concubines may be sick unto death, yet are they not allowed to go out to see them. And while they detain them in their courts, yet they do not feed and clothe them sufficiently, but treat them as slaves; but when they are enamoured of a woman, they blindly obey her in all her behests. If she wants to kill, he kills accordingly. All these hang on their lusts only, not on justice or the laws of Islam, nor on the counsel of the public, but on their self-will. Then, as a matter of course, each raja has ten or fifteen children, but some have twenty or thirty. Such children have the nature and disposition of brute beasts, owing to
their undergoing no teaching from their fathers in any good direction when young, but only following sensuality, becoming practised in evil, such as cock-fighting, gambling, opium eating, treachery, and assassination; and when they grow big, if the father does one quarter of wickedness, the son does three-quarters more than he. And all the slaves of God that feel their wickedness, oppression, and injustice, have no redress but to the Lord, who sees and hears the howlings and lamentations of mankind, and He it is who will repay all these doings with true justice. And these sleep soundly before they reflect, but when it is light God repays them.
Is it not true that in this part of the world full half has been originally under the government, laws, and direction of the Malays, for I have seen in many histories and traditions of the race making mention of Malay princes of old, their power, greatness, and worth? Then what is the reason that God has taken these from them, giving them to other races? Is it not because of their oppression and overburdening injustice, by which God has depressed them, and put them under the government of other races? Then if this state and these manners be perpetuated, God alone can foretell; but to my idea, who am unlearned,whose knowledge comes not of himself,-to a certainty. the very name of Malay will be lost in the world, by the will of the Almighty; for have I not read in many books that He is at enmity with such oppressors? And from this sentence I draw my argument, that when one hates God he will be destroyed. Delay, then, to fight the Almighty.
Moreover, because in my age I have seen many Malay countries destroyed and becoming wildernesses, places for elephants and tigers, by reason of the oppressiveness and injustice of rajas and sons of rajas,—such
as Selangore, and Perak, and Queda; again, as Padang, and Moar, and Batu Pahat, and Kissung, and how many more places the same as these. Now, in former times all these were rich countries, beautiful and full of people; but now the name remains only, after reverting into forest, the inhabitants having removed to other places—some in poverty, eating one day and starving two days;-all these griefs and misfortunes come from the oppressions of the rajas and the sons of rajas. And not to look at the distance, see Padang, how well populated it was at one time; how many its men of wealth and variety of merchandise coming out from thence, in those times I allude to; how immense the quantities of betel-nut exported, numbers of ships yearly carrying this production to Kalinga and Bengal ; besides this, the quantities of ivory, benzoin, and rattans; nor were durians eaten in Malacca unless they were the durians of Padang, and these in such abundance as to bring two or three doits only each (about a farthing to a halfpenny); also mangosteens were in millions, for which four or five stores were erected in Malacca, in which to keep them-here they sold for five or six to the doit (one-eighth of a penny),—but of dukus they could not be reckoned, they were so abundant; half of Malacca was raised up with the skins of these fruits brought from Padang; and in regard to other fruits that came from thence, they were beyond my powers of relation.
Now, I myself have gone to see the mangosteen and durian gardens, and when I got to the top of a mangosteen tree, I could see that for two or three miles they extended without break; and in the durian season the fruit fell in thousands, and these were of the villages only, and not of the hills. The name of these hills is Moara. But as to the myriads of trees, God alone could