Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

beasts. The oppressive laws of the land have | They are amphibious, and a family so numerous retarded cultivation. The fertility of the soil, that the woods swarm with them. The white and the equability of the temperature, enable the elephants of Siam are obtained in the forests people to exist with very little labour ; but the above Ayuthia. They are brown rather than ignorance of the doctors slays them in a very white, and so sacred or so scarce that the bloodshort time. In other respects the climate is equal iest wars between the kingdoms of Ava and to any part of the tropics in salubrity, and its vital Siam have occurred respecting the custody of the statistics, except for the active causes mentioned, white elephants. Farther up the river than would present a fair average return.

Ayuthia, the still older capital of Phit Salok is Sir John Bowring's two volumes consist largely reached, which now contains only five thousand of extracts, and might have been perhaps presented inhabitants, cutters of teak wood for the more in a more economical and portable form. The civilised and commercial dwellers in Bangkok. The illustrations are numerous, and some of them are Meiklong is an independent river connected with very rich specimens of lithography. The work the Meinam by a branch like that which joins has evidently been compiled in leisure moments, some of the South American rivers, forming a for the volumes supply various repetitions of simi- net work of inland navigation. The town of lar facts and figures. The first volume begins Meiklong contains ten thousand inbabitants, and with the gengraphy of Siam, but that is an unde- the valley of the river is narrow, but crowded fined and varying subject. The gene, al features with Chinese villages. The Chantaburi river of the country are a back range of grand moun- and town, are still more distinct and independent, tains, branches of the Himalayas, and a frontage forming the capital and the water-course of an of islets and ocean, with, between the two, a long entirely independent and fertile valley. Chantaand comparatively narrow region, in many districts buri is the great shipbuilding port of Siam, and nearly flat, and often, therefore, flooded, for it is the province abounds in mineral and vegetable intersected by large rivers - one of them, Mei-wealth, from the famous garden of Bangchang to klong, is reported to have a course of fifteen hun. the mountain of the stars.

Its articles of exportdred miles. The Meinam or Menam is said to ation are extremely varied, from hides to saltfish, run from seven to eight hundred miles. It is the ivory to precious stones, and sugar to tobacco. metropolitan river of Siam. The old capital with | The Bangpatung is a siinilar river flowing through the pretty name of Ayuthia is situated upon its another rich valley from the mountains of Cambanks, but, with bad taste regarding names, as bodia, to its port of Bangplasoi, where fish in imthey sound in European ears, the Siamese have mense quantities, and salt in an unlimited supply gone down nearer the sea to Bangkok, which is meet convenieutly together. The Meiklong is now their royal city. Ayuthia is a mass of ruins the longest river of Siam, whose praise was sung covered over by elegant creepers and forest trees, in the "Lusiad” by the poet of Portugal, who with twenty to thirty thousand persons dwelling styled it "the Captain of the Waters," in the centre of the old town, and plenty of paring it with the Nile, and asking rather foolscorpions and of serpents, we have no doubt, in ishly :the suburbs. Bangkok claims a population equal

And shall I to this gentle river throw nearly to that of Glasgow or Liverpool, or what is

My melancholy songs, and to its breast the same thing, the authorities make that claim Confide the welted leaves that tell the woo on its behalf. It is situated at a considerable

Of many a shipwreck dreary and distrest ? distance from either of the three mouths through These, and the other rivers, could all be joined which the Meinam disgorges its waters into the by a system of canalisation, with little expense or gulf of Siam. This river is said to liave been navi. labour; so that the entire territories of Siam gable once for three bundred and fifty miles from might be converted into gardens.

It is even the sea lo Chinese junks; but the navigation is said that a canal of less than fifty miles would now only a hundred miles or thereby, for sea connect the Bay of Bengal with the Meinam, and going vessels. The Ratiler steamer, which carried

save all the dangerous and dreary, as it is a loug Sir John Bowring and his suite upon their visit to and tedious, navigatiou between them. the Kings of Siam, experienced few obstacles in

The Malay peninsula separates the Bay of ascending to Bangkok. Meinam is a name com- Bengal from the Gulf of Siam. The vast length mon to all rivers, in the language of Siam. It is of this singular tongue of land, which is tipped by applied to the Bangkok river as a title of superior. the island and port of Singapore, renders very ity. That stream, like the Nile, overflows its tedious a voyage from any of the ports of Eastern banks periodically, and the annual deluge is as- India to the Siamese capital or territories,- for the sociated with the fertility of the soil. The course Bangkok Meinam, since the King of Siam informs of this Meinam is fringed with banks covered by us that Meinam means river, cnters the gulf near gorgeous vegetation.

They present all those its top, and Bangkok is at some distance from the attractions which water and wood supply in the mouth of the river. The Meiklong and the tropics. The river itself and the other rivers of Meinam are the two great rivers of Siam; but it Siam support fishes endowed with the singular contains many minor streams, while the Salwein power of living on the land or in the water. . rivor, which falls into the sea at Martaban, near

com.

[blocks in formation]

Moulmein, on the opposite shore of the long and or priests, of Bhudda have to be supported in Darrow spit of land belonging to the Malays, runs idleness by the population who work; and they are parallel to the Meinam, and so near to that river numerous race. These sturdy beggars never in its course that they seem to water two great return thanks for the benevolence developed in neighbouring vallies, separated by a mountainous their favour. They accept the gists of the popuridge.

lation in silence, buried in contemplation. Europe The irrigation of these valleys can be cheaply bad never friars of order black, brown, or grey, and completely effected; and a vast extent of who reduced the voluntary taxation of the people territory might be rescued from noxious and wild to a scheme so stringent as the system of the animals for the use of man. At present even bonzes. Singapore town is not secure from the visits of The partnership of royalty adopted in Siam, is tigers

, who swim the narrow strait, and take a without precedent in any other country. Sir John meal in its streets or suburbs, like all other mur- Bowrivg concluded the treaty between Britain and derers and robbers, chiefly operating in the dark. Siam with the first and second king. Both names Its proximity to a thinly peopled tropical land, appear to be used in the transaction of public covered to a very great extent by natural jungle, business, although the second king is to be must always render these objectionable visitations only a sleeping partner of inferior rank to the first, not uncommon.

and bis expenses and payments require to be The capabilities of Siam may be learned from vouched by the first king, before they are allowed Bangkok for London, "since the ratification of the To The two Kings have formed acquaintance with treaty with Sir John Bowring. The vessel arrived the English language. The first King wrote to on the 17th of last month, with a cargo of which Sir John Bowring in broken English, but he has a we subjoin the details :-

copying press, copies his letters and numbers

thiem; the communication to the British Ambas. 24 Cases of Raw Silk, 62 bales of Cotton, 20 ditto Gam Benjamin, 264 bags of Rice,

sador, lithographed in this volume, being No. 37. 9,663 bags of Sagar, 12 tubs & 23 bays of Indigo, The penmanship is better than the grammar or the 1,082 ditto of Black Pepper 66 bags of Cardamoms, style, but the King of Siam may say truly that no 778 ditto of Sticklac,

22 cases of Gamboge,

European monarch can write to him in the Siam779 Buffalo Hides, 11,302 pieces of Sapan Wood, 167 Bundles Hemp,

ese language. The letter of the second King is 1 Elephant.

in execution and style superior to the notes that The different items form an assorted cargo of Sir John Bowring might have expected from many tropical produce, embracing specimens of nearly English gentlemen or noblemen. It is unexcepeverything that the tropics furnish; and the only tionable : animal entered on the list is the largest and yet

To His Excellency Sir John Bowring, Governor of Hong. the most peaceable of the tropics, until roused by

kong, Minister Plenipotentiary to the Emperor of attacks, or by his own error, to fury, when his

China, &c. &c. wrath is terrible.

Sır, -It gives me great pleasure to hear of your Excel. The Siamese, including the Chinese, are gene- lency's arrival in Siam as the representative of your most rally Bhuddhists in religion, the Malays are Maho- gracious Sovereign Queen Victoria; it will afford me great metans,--all are slaves. The slavery is of the pleasure to meet and welcoine you personally to Siam. In

the meantime I beg your acceptance of a few Siamese fruits most abject kind. We do not refer to the mere bread, cake &c., with the assurance of my high respect. buying and selling of themselves inter se, but to

I remaio, Sir, yours faithfully, the semi-adoration by inferiors of superiors.

S. Pin Klav CHAN YU HUA, Even the highest nobles appear in the presence of

Second King of Siam, &c,

Palace of Second King, April 4th, 1855. royalty in a crawling or squatting posture, and they retaliate upon their inferiors a similar abase- The Kings of Siam are not only acquainted ment. The Siamese are a crawling people, in with the English language, but they have cultivaeach grade, to its superiors, up to the highest. ted our literature and science. Contributions by This custom may, however, be only an exaggeration one of them, we have no doubt the second king, of the western bowing, and ovly one developement to the Bangkok calendar, exhibit an intimate acof politeness; but it is very inconsistent, and quaintance with some scientific subjects. They would not be suitable to men attired in costly possess good libraries of English books, and raiment. The Siamese manage to cloihe them- scientific instruments on which they set great selves with one piece of cloth, in an ingenious value. The second King is well acquainted with style; but one that all our affection for the plaid geography, and must be an accomplished gentlewould not lead us to adopt; yet the kilt and plaid man. of the ancients formed only one garment.

The missionaries represent the Siamese The Siamese labourer is compelled to give one- generally frivolous, gay, gentle, inconsiderate, fourth or one-third of his life to the King. This and timid. They avoid disputes, and therefore tax is heavier than our late income tax, and all the are apparently tolerant of missions and missionothers together, while it must retard agricultural aries, yet they do not change their creed easily. progress and impoverish the treasury. The bonzes, They follow the opinion that all religions are good

as

[blocks in formation]

in their native places. It is an old Heathen view | squatting position at the door of the apartments of worship. Pharoah of Egypt denied not that where the fathers fondled the children, not in acthe Hebrews were bound to worship their God. cordance with our domestic habits. “Mendacity," The Canaanitish nations believed in His existence he says, is “not a national defect among the and His power upon the mountains of Israel. Siamese," admitting that “ lying, no doubt, is often They even were willing to give Him a certain por resorted to as a protection against injustice or option of their reverence. The Romans incorporated pression.” “Dishonesty," he asserts, “is repug. the deities of conquered nations in their mythology. nant to Siamese habits.” He mentions that The mixed Samaritans worshipped God when they “suicide is rare," and states that “murders are came into the land which they believed to be very rare, averaging not one in a year," while placed under his tutelage. The Romans at a " the people are eminently hospitable." As in Hinsubsequent period were not unwilling to place the dostau, buildings are erected in Siam for the con. Saviour among the heroes whom they worshipped, venience of travellers, and we are reminded of and while the idolatry of the Israelites and Jews patriarchal hospitality and times by the conduct of commenced by adding the idols of the nations the Siamese "women,” who "spontaneously around them to their former worship, we must re- bring to them jars of water to appease the thirst gret that Christianity, at the cominencement of of those who are journeying." These amiable the dark middle ages, incorporated parts of the characteristics are traced by Sir Jolin Bowring in Paganism that from Europe was fast fading away, some measure to the religion of the Siamese; yet in ceremonies, if not in creed.

the Chinese in their own country are diametrically The Bhuddist religion is evidently superior to opposed to those good points in Siamese conduct the other developments of Heathenism in the East, that we have named, and they are of the same upon some practical matters. Tous females in religion. The difference may be caused in part the Bhuddist countries are said to occupy a higher by the vast population and the relative want of position in society than in other Heathen or land in China, and among the higher classes of the Malommedan lands; yet our knowledge of Chinese great empire by the contempt evinced, because it crimes scarcely supports this opinion of Sir John is felt, for all foreign customs and habits ; but in Bowring; for female infanticide is conmon in which the Siamese, differing from the Burmese on many parts of China, as it has been common, or the north-west, and the Chinese on the north east, even more than common, in many parts of India. do not join ; for, as we have seen, the kings read Although a surplus of females is a contingency foreign literature, and study western science. The against which the Bluddists of China provide by indisposition of the Siamese to the destruction of this cruelty, yet they oppose the emigration of animal life, prevents, as we have remarked, the inadult females even when accompanied by males, and crease of rational life. It is a clear commentary thus render the latter comparatively useless as on the text “the letter killetb, but the spirit giveth settlers, and of less value than they might assume

life." as occasional labourers, in our West Indiau It is an amiable weakness, like that of able men colonies. The artificial compression of the feet among ourselves who cousider peace cheap at ang in Chinese females originated probably in this price. We think it dear if it be purchased by the enmity to their migration.

destruction of liberty, the establishment of oppres. Another feature in the Siamese character as- sion, and the prosperity of tyranny. The overcribed to Bhuddism is the respect given to throw of Commissioner Yeb at China, would be a children by their parents, and the reverence paid great blessing to suffering humanity; even if some to their parents by children. This characteristic d.fficulty existed in doing the work. We cannot is rendered by the Bhuddist authorities a terrible enact the part either of Jack the Giant Killer over instrument of punishment. Thus Commissioner all the globe ; or St. George, to seek out the Yeh even now threatens the Chinese, resident in dragons of all lands, and slay them; but we need Hongkong, with the punishment of their families not try to save these blood-red dragons when they if they do not return to the territories of the Em- come in our path. At any rate the conservation peror ; also the desecration of their ancestors' of beasts of prey and reptiles by the Siamese is graves if they are of service to the barbarians. mistaken humanity. Sir John Bowring says :

The following passage from vol. ii., p. 278-9, of the affection of parents for children, and the deference inner life of the king No. I. :

gives, like many others in the book, glimpses of the paid by the young to the old, we saw abundant evidence in al! classes of society. Fathers were constantly observed When I reached the landing place, the chair, with a carrying about their offspring in their arms, and mothers bearer of a huge umbrella, conveyed nie within the palace engaged in adorning them. The King was never seen in courts, through hundreds of torch bearers, the soldiers public by us without some of his younger children near him, placed at different spots " presenting arms" to the order and we had no intercourse with the nobles where numbers given in English. On renching the reception place, ibe of little ones were pot on the carpet, grouped around their King came forward. Two little children of the King were elders, and frequently receiving attentions from them.

playing upon a crimson and gold carpet, who screamed at Sir John Bowring, however, states that the my approach, and were taken away. They seemed to wear

nothing, except wide brimmed hats, which covered their mothers of these children were observed in a heads. He took me to his private apartments, ornamented

[blocks in formation]

with beautiful pendules, statues of Queen Victoria and with the stores, and was very inquisitive. He said the Prince Albert, handsome barometers, thermometers, &c. He second king had tanght him English, and, probably to elicit then led me through two or three small chambers, where some complimentary admission, he remarked—“Siamese were fine specimens of Chinese porcelain services, and other country will belong to English some day.” He said the costly decorations. Almost everything seemed English. secood king had read the works of Sir Walter Scott, and There were many new books on the shelves. The King | had called a ship by liis name. He said his Majesty had spoke of the history of Siam, and said it was rather obscure Maryati's code of merchant signals, and asked whether he and fabulous ; but that the more veracious portions went coald get those of the royal navy. He asked to see the back about five hundred years ; that the Siamese alphabet screw of our steamer, and remarked that it looked like the had been introduced about that time. Inscribed upon the “patent cog." apartments to which his Majesty had conducted me, were He had been at Singapore and Batavia, and hoped, if he the words "Royal Pleasure” in English, and in Sanscrit came to Hongkong, that I would be civil to him. He tried characters with the same meaning. He asked me if I should to get a sword-belt from the officers, as he said he had a like to hear Siamese music. On my answering "yes,” a sword, but not a sword-belt to hang it on. He ate and number of young people, (I could not distinguish the boys | drank (but moderately) with the officers, and offered all sorts from the girls) played some rather pretty and plaintive airs, of services at Bangkok. Ho had a servant, bearing a silver and entertained us with songs which were less wild and teapot, enibossed with gold, and said nobody could use that monotonous than I could have expected. His Majesty then unless he were a poble. Its cost would be about fifty conducted me to the hall of audience, leading me by the dollars ; the weight of the silver, forty; the rest for the hand wherever we went, amidst the prostrate nobles, crawl. gold and the workmanship. He seemed a small person in ing about, or bending their heads in the dust at his pre. the presence of the two enroys, whom the king calls in his sence.

letter to me, his private ministers. The arrival of the shite The second King's home was, if possible, more

elephant seems to have created a great sensation in Bany.

kok. The letters from our envoys show they were not intellectual, in its small library and its scientific

aware that any communication had come direct from the study, than the first palace. Both monarchs pre-king. ferred instruments connected with science to any March 31.-It is curious to see how English influences other gist, but all the Siamese acted in a gentle. establish themselves in a country so remote as Siam. The manly way, when contrasted with othes Asiatic na

king has found means of employing many persons able to tions, and avoided all appearance of avarice. The speak English, and their histories no doubt would be curious.

One man, who has been made a noble, was a captain, and, I difference between the experiences of Sir John believe, is now a merchant, called himself an Armenian, but Malcolm at Teheran, the capital of Persia, in was born at Ispahian. He seems to have been strangely 1798, and of Sir Jolin Bowring at Bangkok, in tossed about the world, but, no doubt, is useful in Siam. 1855, is very remarkable. The Persians have He accompanied the son of the prime minister, and the

envoy from the second king, on board the Rattler. The not, we fear, greatly improved during the half cen

“ prime minister” of the king, who came yesterday, told me tory; while the strange Siamese, dwelling almost he had been taught English by Dr. Bradley, and he spoke alone, hit, now at least, on the most handsome with much propriety and correctness. One of the attendants manner in the matter of gifts. The first King had studied navigation at Mrs. T'aylor's school in the Minoexpressed regret at bis inability to carry out a ries ; spoke English well, and read many English books;

said he liked England, but it was not a place for a poor man purpose which he once entertained; of sending a

to live. He had lived in a "sailor's home," he said, and was crown to her Majesty. Sir John Bowring assured

only fourteen when he left Siam. him that a few of the natural productions of the The talkative sellow, who called himself Captain Dick, country would give much more gratification to who had lost the vessel which belonged to the second king, Queen Victoria.

and was now " looking about" for something to do, came An extract from the Author's journal will give whose position is not very clear to me, as I observe he is

with one of the parties to report matters to his master, a graphic view of the courtiers who surround the

not mentioned by the first king, who no longer signs as first throne at Bangkok. We copy from his descrip. king, but the “King of Siam.” I hear from some of the tion of the approach to the river :

functionaries who came on board, that the second king does March 28.-To-day there came a letter from the king. It mechanical studies-he may be busied with his religious

not occupy himself so much as he used to do in nautical and 943 brought in an ornamented vase of gold by three high

Some of the salted fish sent by the king was placed officers, one of whom spoke English. They had a quantity

on the table at breakfast this morning, and pronounced of fruit, sent by the king-mangoes, oranges, liches, ananas,

excellent by every body. The specimens sent of preserved plantains, and several species unknown to me-all in richly

meats in bottles are curious. The first are powdered into ornamented silver salvers, with a variety of sweatmeats.

small fragments, looking like masses of saffron. covered with banana leaves. Another boat followed, with a large display of cocoa-nuts, sugar-canes, one hundred fowls,

It would, perhaps, be difficult to state how dueks, pigs, eggs, rice, paddy, &c., for the use of our crews. On board this second boat was a sharp Siamese, whom they English customs and language have been esta. called Captain Dick, and who was said to come from the blished so far in Siam ; but the circumstance is second king, having commanded one of his ships. He was attributable probably to the merchants and misinquisitive about divers matters. The second boat bronght sionaries. The missionaries acquire influence from letters from our envoys, giving a satisfactory account of all their regular residence in a capital where the that had taken place of the attentions shown them, and of their intercourse with the high authorities. The question nobles want to learn much that they can teach, under discussion seems to be, whether or not the Rastler and are so careless of their religion that they disshall convey me to Bangkok.

cuss its demerits or merits coolly with strangers The officers remained a on , the

a course tendants crouched in their presence with extreme servility, and habitaal prostration. The man who said he was of the pear to be very beautiful

, and Sir John Bowring, third order of nobles, and called himself Captain Dick, came amid all the cares and ceremonies of state, des

cares,

[blocks in formation]

seven

cribes in a pleasant style the natural decorations | value. It lends itself from the most exquisite and minnte of this fertile land:

carving to the coarsest usages of the crate and the hurdle,

collecting, conveying, or distributing every species of flaid. The appearance of the river is beautiful, crowded with the It supplies fire by friction, and is the great water-conductor, richest vegetation to the water's edge. Now and then a

being an almost ready-formed conduit. In some species the bamboo-hat is seen amidst the foliage, whose varieties of knots or separations in the stalk are distant six or bright and beautiful green no art could copy. Fruits and feet, in others they are adjacent. For boses, for nets, for flowers hang by thousands on the branches. We observed cordage, for threads, for numerous implements and instruthat even the wild animals were scarcely scared by our

ments, it is the ever-present material. Perhaps amidst the approach. Fishes glided over the mud banks, and birds many gifts of Providence to a tropical region, the bamboo either sat looking at us as we passed, or winged their way is the most benignant, appropriate, and accessible. The around and about us. The almost naked people sat and author, the sculptor, the architect, and the painter, have all looked at us as we glided by, and their habitations were laid it under contribution in the field of imagination, and generally marked out by a small creek, with a rude boat, and the developement of art; and if the camel is characteristic one or more pariah dogs. As we approached Bangkok, of the desert, the bamboo may be considered typical of the floating houses became more and more numerous. They are Indo-Chinese nations. Its leaves, its stems, its branches, raised on piles of bamboos, and moored to the shores; they its roots, all contribute to multitudinous objects, a detailed are the shops and bazaars as well as the dwellings of the description of which would fill thousands of pages. inhabitants. In front of some of the superior edifices, we observed a

Only think for a moment how very little we great number of ladies waiting to see the procession, among know in this country. The Palm tree we comwhom the wives of the Phra Klang, were pointed out to us. prehend very well, but this bamboo is almost unMany of the priests (talapoios) sat upon the rafts and known. We employ it occasionally for umbrella wharves before their temples

. We had remarked one soli- stalks and walking canes, but the multifarious dutary talapoin steering a miserable boat.

At Praklan, we were struck by the enormous and formid- ties performed by this one vegetable in the East able chains and wood-work which had been made to protect are scarcely suspected in the West. It has no the river, and which, at one time, we were informed, might rival here, and we may lament in vain that it will be used to stop our progress ; but instead of an impediment, not bear transplantation. Discount the despotism, we found a major-general, wearing gold and silver flowers on the side of his round hat ; he being clad in a jacket of exile the crawling, the bonzas, and the beasts parple silk, with gold ornaments

, and telling us he spoke that horrible array of beasts which apparently Portaguese, and was escended from Portuguese ancestry, includes all that Western men detest and fearbut he had never left Siam. He says there are a thousand and with its bamboos, its mangoes, its cooling Portuguese settled in the country. Roasted pigs, ducks, and fruits and cooling streams, its cotton plants and a great variety of meats and sweatmeats ; fruits in profusion -ine mangoes, plantains, oranges, liches, dried dates from sugar canes, its silks, and gold, and precious stones, China, with tea and other appliances, arrested us on our

its gentle Heatliens, male and female, almost naked way, and we had all the embarrassments of superfluons table though they be, yet not savage, its gardens of luxuries around us. After being detained about half an jungles, its vast lands awaiting the hand of bour, we proceeded up the river in great glee.

the industrious, and its fatally easy means of supFrom this description of the river banks, and porting life, and this Siam would seem to be a from everything in the volume, we gather that modern Eden, teeming with peace and plenty, Siam is the Paradise of the East, while even the Christian missionaries have not hitherto, in the human family, subject to the exceptions already author's opinion, made great progress in Siam. taken, which are important and numerous, live Taking the facts stated by him they have, howin a pleasant region. Like the Pharoahıs of ever, reason for thankfulness. The natural world Egypt, the rulers of Siam are fond of building im- teaches us that we must plough and sow ere we posing tombs. The temples of the Bhuddists are reap. The missionaries plough and sow. Other far greater than we could readily suppose. The men will enter upon their labours. The days of tomb of the late King is magnificent, at least in one generation will be occupied in the removal of the lithograph, coloured in gold and purple, so as obstacles which begin to disappear; yet it is carious to fatigue the eye with the splendour of its page. that the lowest castes accept the messages of the Then every Siamese has his bamboo, and the Protestant missionaries more readily than their British Plenipotentiary, while he explains the superiors. Still it is true that to the poor the nature of all the indigenous plants of Siam, dwells gospel is preacheđ. The Kareens yield the most with peculiar pleasure on the bamboo :

promising converts. And who are they? :The bamboo performs among the Siamese a great portion The Kareens are held to have been the original inbabiof the multitudinous services which the still more ingenious tants of Siain, who abandoned the country, when the Shai and inventive inhabitants of China have extracted from it. invaded it, and built the capital of Ayuthia. They retired It is employed for building, for baskets, mats, and vessels of to the mountainous regions on the east and west, which they every sort. In some shape or other it is used for food, for occupy to this time. They are of larger stature than the clothing, for shelter, for navigation, for comfort, and for Siamese-agile, robust, and hardened against fatigue. Acornament. It is the plant alike of the utilitarian and the customed from youth to labour and privation, they willingly poet, one perpetually turning to account its infinite variety pursue the toilsome forest explorations. Their physiognomy, of uses, the other celebrating its multifarious beauties; it is especially that of the women, is mild and pleasing. the raw material of the shipwright and the builder, the tool. The men wear a white sleeved robe, which reaches mideray maker and the carver ; out of it are constructed instruments down their legs; they have a belt round their waist, and a of music and weapons of war. The hardness of the wood, simple cotton cloth rolled about their heads. the facility with which it is split into the minutest threads, They allow their hair to grow, and bore their ears, which the straightness and regularity of its fibres, its smooth- they ornament with feathers of birds, and silver hollow ness of surface, the rapidity of its growth, all add to its cylinders.

« PreviousContinue »