Trade and Travel in the Far East; Or, Recollections of Twenty-one Years Passed in Java, Singapore, Australia, and China (Google eBook)

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Madden and Malcolm, 1846 - New South Wales - 312 pages
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Page 19 - ... of the spears pointed at him ; he then came to the charge, and made a spring that surprised me, and, I fancy, every one present. I am afraid to say how high he leaped, but he was on the descent before a single spear touched him. This leap was evidently made with the intention of getting clear over the heads of the men and their spears too ; and he most certainly would have accomplished it, had he 'not leaped too soon, and fallen within the square, the height of the spring being quite sufficient...
Page 31 - The next process was, to stretch the carcass to as great a length as he could before uncoiling himself; then to lick it all over; and he commenced his feast by succeeding, after some severe exertion, in getting the goat's head within his mouth. In the course of twenty minutes, the whole animal was swallowed : the snake would then lie down, and remain perfectly dormant for three or four days. His lunch (as I may call it) on the fifteenth of the month, used to consist of a duck.
Page 18 - ... to it, at the end where the tiger's head is, the box being too narrow to permit his turning round in it. The leading native then lifts a sliding door at the other extremity of the box, carefully covering the opening thus made with mats, to prevent the light from penetrating, and inducing his royal highness to back out too soon. This operation completed, the straw is set on fire. The native and his two coolies now retire slowly, keeping time to Javanese music as they make their way outside the...
Page 38 - Such a tree certainly exists on the island; but the tales that are told of its poisoning the air for hundreds of yards round, so that birds dare not approach it, that vegetation is destroyed beneath its branches, and that man cannot come near it with impunity, are perfectly ridiculous. To prove their absurdity, a friend of mine climbed up a upas-tree, and passed two hours in its branches, where he took his lunch and smoked a cigar. The tree, however, does contain poison, and the natives extract the...
Page 17 - The exhibition took place on an extensive plain near the town, just after daybreak. A square of men, armed with the native spear, was formed three deep, and one hundred yards across. Inside this square was placed a box resembling in shape a coffin, but much larger, containing a royal tiger fresh from his native forests, which had been brought to town the day previously for this express purpose. Imagine...
Page 31 - ... commenced his feast by succeeding, after some severe exertion, in getting the goat's head within his mouth. In the course of twenty minutes, the whole animal was swallowed : the snake would then lie down, and remain perfectly dormant for three or four days. His lunch (as I may call it) on the fifteenth of the month, used to consist of a duck. This snake was given, in 1815, to Lord Amherst, on his return from China, and reached the Cape in safety : there it was over-fed to gratify the curious...
Page 240 - ... dollars had been laid out, and what is more, they were already well filled. " As a convenient and safe depot for opium, (a trade, in my opinion, quite as legitimate and honorable as that in brandy, gin, and other spirits,) Hong Kong is admirably situated. The purchaser from the western ports as well as from the northeastern, finds the distance he has to travel moderate, and, on his arrival, has no one to dread, no mandarin daring to show his face on shore. The ships that bring the drug from India...
Page 240 - ... universal carelessness of the Chinese, and the consequent very frequent occurrence of extensive conflagrations, being considered too great by the underwriters. Both these difficulties are completely obviated in Hong Kong ; and every substantially built house and warehouse, together with the property in them, were insured against fire, previously to my quitting the Island. One China-man had, in March last, completed buildings for the storage of property collected from the different ports on the...
Page 32 - One morning after breakfast, the officer was sitting smoking his hookah, with a book in his right hand and the hookah-snake in his left, when he felt a slight pain in his left hand, and on attempting to raise it was checked by a low angry growl from his pet leopard ; on looking down he saw that the animal had been licking the back of his hand, and had by degrees drawn a little blood.
Page 239 - Hongi, where they can deposit their goods with safety, beyond the reach of their grasping mandarins. This advantage to a China-man is something so new, and so far beyond any thing he ever dreamed of enjoying, that I conceive the benefits likely to accrue from it to Hong Kong to be incalculable. Goods...

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