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in the Sultan of Semba's territories. There they married Dyak women, and remained until about thirty years back, (the date they give is the time of the English occupying Singapore,) when, on account of differences with the Takong-kimsi, who originally emigrated with them from China, but are a much more numerous and powerful people, they left Montrado, and settled at Pemangkat, at the mouth of the Sambas river, where they became great rice-growers, and supplied the Sambas and the Montrado people with it. Lately there has been war between the Montrados and the Dutch on account of the opium farm, and the Pemangkat people sided with the Dutch and the Sultan against their countrymen, who attacked them in great force, drove them out of their country, and possessed themselves of their rice-grounds and gold works, which they still hold in spite of the Dutch, and are likely to do so, if a large force is not brought from Batavia to dislodge them, as it is said the Montrados are divided into seven kimsis, and each kimsi can furnish 10,000 fighting men. Nearly all the Pemangkat people who escaped fled here en masse, bringing their wives and children, and all the little property they could stow away in their boats. Several of these boats, crammed with people, many carrying from eighty to ninety, foundered at sea; and many of the refugees journeying over land perished of starvation by the way. The poor
creatures who arrived were all in a state of destitution and terror; they were afraid lest their enemies should follow them, or lest we should not be able to protect and assist them. They all declared that they fled here instead of going to Pontionak, with the one hope of being allowed to settle, and received as the subjects of our Rajah, whom they knew to be such a good man, and so kind to his people; and happy, indeed, they seemed when told they might remain, and that the government would do all in its power to protect and relieve them. Full well has this promise been performed ; lands, tools, and other implements for their houses have been given to every applicant, together with a monthly allowance of rice, and in many cases pecuniary assistance, to keep them until they can derive their own support from their gardens, paddy grounds, or gold works. They brought so many sick, wounded, and disabled, that medical aid was in constant request, and with the Rajah's assistance I have been enabled to open a small hospital, where the worst cases are now attended with some hope of success, and where already many lives and limbs have been saved, which without it must have been lost. The government allow medicines and rice, and I give each man a few pice daily from our offertory fund to procure other necessaries.
At present we can only accommodate twelve in-patients, and have always more
applicants than can be taken in. I hope that means may be found in England to enable the Mission to carry out this very necessary and beneficial work on a more efficient scale, and thus assist the government, whose revenue is taxed to the very utmost, to carry out its benevolent and charitable measures for assisting not only these, but also the numerous emigrants from other neighbouring countries who are constantly coming in.
These Dyako-Chinese are a fine race, being an improvement on both the original Chinese and Dyak. Instead of the small oblique eye and sinister expression of the Chinaman, they have the large beaming eye and kindly look of the Dyak; while in stature and strength they do not seem to have degenerated from their Chinese progenitors. Their language seems peculiar, and they have great difficulty in communicating with the other Chinese here, but many of them understand the Chinese written character. They are orderly and industrious, and have already made large clearings for their farms and gardens, which are making great inroads into the jungle around us, and in other places both down and up the river. They seem to have little or no religion amongst them; their only name for a religious observance signifies a great eating, and those that I have been enabled to question are not able to give any reason for the forms they go through at their feasts. All they say of them is, that thus they keep away the “autus,” i. e. evil spirits, and that they are the customs taught them by their fathers. At any rate they have no prejudice against, nor do they make any difficulty about their children being taught Christianity; and if means could be found, the Mission might have any number, instead of the few I have taken, to bring up entirely. It is a cause of great regret to have been obliged to refuse the little ones thus offered to us to bring up for Christ; but I feared to pledge the Mission beyond its means, as the expense of each child is three dollars a-month; and I also felt that, with the many other calls I have upon my time, it would be scarcely possible to do justice to the number we have, as with these little wild creatures everything requires the most careful superintendence. Their lessons require to be made amusements, and, again, their amusements lessons; and it is as necessary to instruct them in spinning a top or flying a kite, as it is to take care that they be not wearied and disgusted with instruction and discipline which
new and unnatural to them. They are very intelligent, and I think affectionate. When they first came to us everything had to be done by signs; they are now picking up Malay rapidly from the other children, and can read words of three or four letters in English. They are taught Chinese writing likewise, and retain their national costume, as it is
advisable to do everything to keep up the interest of their own people in them, and show them, as well as the Malays and Dyaks, that Christianity does not require men to abjure any harmless national habits and customs; for an idea, I find, has got abroad among the natives, that if they become Christians they must change their clothes, manner of living, &c. The Dyaks often ask me if they are to wear a coat and trowsers like mine when they become Christians; but I always tell them they may become as good Christians in their chawats and bagus, as I in my trowsers and coat; that they may still chew sirik and tobacco, and eat wild pig and monkey.flesh too, if they like. With this view of counteracting a false notion, which might hereafter prove a great impediment to us, I encourage a Malay Catechumen, who attends service, to keep his head-dress on in Church, but I make the Chinese take off their hats and let fall their tails, which is with them as much a sign of reverence and respect as it is for a Malay to keep his head covered. But, to return to our children; I feel sure, from their intelligence and tractability, that if it pleases God to enable us to bring them up rightly, they will one day prove the best Missionaries we could possibly have, and that from among them we may hope to have a body of men who, content with mere food and raiment, may be sent forth to proclaim the Gospel of peace throughout the length and breadth of the land.
Our little church, which, in beauty of outline and finish of workmanship, far surpasses what I thought at first we should be able to manage, will, I hope, be consecrated at Christmas. It is built of bolean, or iron-wood; the style is Early English, adapted to the climate by adding open aisles, which perform the office of verandahs. All the lights are filled with coloured glass, the central eastern light being a red and blue cross on a golden field, which is the Sarāwak flag, and it pleases the natives much. The inner walls and roof are of a wood like cedar, and panelled; the mouldings are massive and well carved, and take a high polish. On the whole, we have spared no pains to make the first church in Borneo a handsome and durable one. The services of the Church are at present carried on in the Mission-house. On Sunday afternoons I say most of the prayers and read the second lesson in Malay, for the sake of our servants who attend service, and such Malays as may happen to be auditors. I am sure it would delight any Churchman's heart to hear the voices of our little ones so lately redeemed from Islamism and Ileathenism, joining audibly in the prayers, and making a loud treble to the tunes that we use for the Psalms and responses. Indeed, we have a very creditable choir; for my wife has managed to interest all our small congregation in it, and one night in the week they all come to practise for Sunday: they really take a pleasure in it.
We have had here for some time an interesting Dyak from a long way in the interior, he says a fortnight's journey from this. He left his tribe on account of a skin disease, “ which,” he says, “ gives him no peace, and puts him to shame in his tribe, as the other men have all clean skins." He heard could cure it, and came to ask me to do so; but the case is too inveterate, I fear, for poor Koosoo ever to be cured. He is an intelligent fellow, and gives a most enchanting description of his country, in which, he says, there are large lakes and fine mountains, and which abound with wild cattle, deer, and other game, in great plenty. But his account of a race of Kayans, who border upon his tribe, is very remarkable, and forms the reason for mentioning him. These people are cannibals, and of all the anthropophagi I ever heard of they seem the worst. We may well assert of them what old Herodotus says of the cannibals of his time, that άγριώτατα πάντων ανθρώπων έχουσι ήθεα. They are perfect gluttons in human flesh, and prefer it to any other food. They all carry attached to their sword-scabbards a sharp skewer of about eighteen inches long, which, when they have killed a victim, man, woman, or child, they introduce into the flesh, and pass it along the bones of the extremities and spine, working it so as to divide all the muscular attachments from the bones. They then take off skin and flesh together, beginning at the sole of the feet, and carry on the operation from below upwards, doing it so rapidly that, in a few minutes, nothing but the bones and viscera are left. They take out the brain and cook it slightly in a particular kind of leaf, and consider it the great bonne bouche of their abominable feast. When they have cooked and eaten all they want, they cook and smoke the rest, as the Dyaks and Malays do boar's or deer's flesh, and will eat no other flesh while it lasts. Koosoo says, when his tribe go
to war some of these people always come to eat the bodies of the slain. They never kill their friends for food, but always eat an enemy when they can get one; eating all indiscriminately, men, women, and children. But, with the exception of this horrible taste, Koosoo describes them as very good people, and as more civilized and clever than the Dyaks. He has lived amongst them once and again, and has always found them kind and hospitable to strangers, and very honest in their trading transactions. He is quite sure they would not eat white men, but would be very glad to receive them as their friends, and would take great care of them. This narrative, which I quite believe, from the perfect simplicity and artlessness of the man, establishes the existence of cannibals here, a fact long disputed. These cannibals are a numerous and powerful nation, governed by a Rajah, but religion seems to be at a lower ebb amongst them than even amongst the Dyaks. I am trying to get a vocabulary
of his language from Koosoo ; it is very different from that spoken by our land-Dyaks. Apropos to languages-I may as well state, that I have not yet been able to discover any dialect similar to the Dyak translation of the New Testament published at the Cape in 1846. It is not understood here. It seems to me a very corrupt Malay spelt in the Dutch manner, and may be the language of some of the Dutch tribes in Pontionak. I am informed that the Bible Society have made a grant for the translation of the Malayan Bible at Singapore, which I think rather a waste of their money, as the existing translation done by the Dutch is very correct, and evidently made by careful scholars. Mr. Marsden, speaking of it, says that it is a work “executed with singular accuracy and skill by the progressive labours of several learned men.” It was originally printed in the Malayan character at Batavia, in 1758, and has now been so long in use, and so widely distributed in the eastern part of the Archipelago, as to have become quite a standard of the Malayan language in those countries. As regards the faithful translation of the text from the original languages, it must of necessity be more correct, and give the true meaning of Scripture better than a new translation made by those who, however well they may understand the vernacular Malay of the Straits, know absolutely nothing of Hebrew, Greek, or Latin, and are not over-well acquainted with the Queen's English, as certain publications I have seen clearly prove. In the July number of the Archipelago Journal Mr. Erle says, that “ the immense number of Malayan Bibles that have been circulated, not only in Amboyna" (where there are 30,000 native Christians), “but throughout the Moluccas, have produced an uniformity of idiom which greatly facilitates communication, not only between Europeans and natives, but between the natives of the different islands themselves. Indeed, the Malayan language here assumes an importance which is unknown to the other European settlements in the Archipelago." I think it is as well to mention this, as Malay is the language in which all Missionary operations of the Archipelago must be carried on, and it is important to preserve a uniform standard of it, which the existing translation furnishes.
We have now with us several influential chiefs from the neighbouring rivers, and amongst them the head men of the Sakarran Dyaks, who have come to ask the Rajah to take them under his care, and to send a European to govern them. Their principal, Orang Kaya, is an especially interesting old man; he has always been against piracy, and wished to put it down; and now that his people have agreed to give it up, he is quite happy, and seems perfectly delighted to make our acquaintance, and constantly says how pleased he is to be friends with