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Full text of "History of the Indian Archipelago. Containing an account of the manners, arts, languages, religions, institutions, and commerce of its inhabitants"







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Printed by George Hainsay &, Co. 














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Chap. I. — Government, - _ 3 

Chap. II. — Classification and Distribution of the 

People, ... 29 

Chap. III.— Public Revenue, - 45 

Chap. IV.— Laws, - - 75 



Chap. I. — Domestic and Internal Commerce of the 

Archipelago, - - - 140 


Chap. II. — Commerce with Asiatic Nations, - 154 

Chap. III. — Commerce with European Nations, 211 

Chap. IV. — Intercolonial Commerce, - 293 

Chap. V. — Description of Articles of Exportation, 344 

Chap. VI. — Description of Articles of Importation, 500 









Forms of Political Association various. — Despotism increases 
tvith Civilization. — Government in ihehumblest state of social 
existence. — Formation of Villages or Torons, each a State or 
Nation. — Form of Political Association arising out of the 
Shepherd State unknown. — Elective and Federal forms of 
Government. — Absolute Monarchies. — Example of the Fe- 
deral form of Government in that of the Bugis state of 
Boni, in Celebes. — Varieties of this form of Political As- 
sociation. — Example of the absolute form qf Government in 
that of the Javanese. — Illustrations of the History of Go- 
vernment from an examination of Language. — Oscillation 
between the Federal and Absolute forms cf Government in 
the Progress of Society. — Influence of Foreign Manners 
and Institutions on the forms of Government among the 
Indian Islanders. 

Examples of every form of social union, from 
the equality which reigns among savages, to tlie 
most absolute form of oriental despotism, may be 

VOL. III. * 


found within the wide mno-c of the Indian islands. 
In these regions, the more abject the state of man 
in the scale of social improvement, the freer the 
form of his government ; and in proportion as he 
advances in civilization, is that freedom abridged, 
until, at the top of the scale, he is subjected to a 
tyranny where not a vestige of liberty is discover- 
able. In short, he enjoys freedom when he has 
nothing else worth enjoying ; and when the com- 
forts of civil life accumulate around him, he is de- 
prived of the liberty of benefiting by them. No 
nation, indeed, inhabiting a warm climate has ever 
known how to reconcile freedom and civilization. 
In that portion of the globe there is hardly any 
medium between the unbounded licence of savage 
independence and uncontrolled despotism. Man 
there no sooner acquires a little industry and a 
little property, than he is made a slave on account 
of them, just as he himself enslaves the docile and 
laborious animals, while the useless savages of the 
desert or forest enjoy their freedom. 

The cause of this phenomenon is in a good mea- 
sure to be sought for in the softness and fruitful- 
ness of the climate, and the consequent facility of 
living with little exertion ; in a word, to the ab- 
sence of that wholesome discipline by which man, 
in severer regions, is bred to habits of hardihood, 
enterprise, and independence, and certainly not in 
any imagined innate feebleness of frame, for, on ex- 


amination, it will be found fhat the physical consti- 
tution of every race is best adapted for the cli- 
mate it inhabits. 

An example of the very rudest and earliest 
form of social polity is afforded in the man- 
ners of the negro tribes which inhabit the moun- 
tains of the Malayan Peninsula. The least im- 
proved of these are the tribes which inhabit the 
mountain Jarai^ in the territory of (the Malayan 
Prince of3Queda, bordering upon (the empire of) 
Siara. There are not in the whole mountain 
above three or four hundred grown persons. This 
population is subdivided into hordes of thirty or 
forty families each, who roam about the forests of 
the mountain, picking up wild roots or honey, and^ 
shooting, xvith poisoned arroxcs, the smaller game.- 
They seldom stay above fifteen days in one spot, 
and their houses consist of a few moveable posts, 
and a little occasional thatchj (They are in a state 
of perfect nakedness, though living in a medium 
rather inclement, for their usual station is seldom 
lower than the middle height of a mountain pro- 
bably six or seven thousand feet high.} There is a 
perfect equality of rank among them, and they 
have,Cwith respect to some descriptions of pro- 
perty ,3a community of goods. They acknowledge 
no leader, consulting age and experience just when ' 
it suits their purpose, and then only. 

Another race of the same people, whose station 


is farther south, and In a less elevated tract of 
country, within the territory of the Malay Prince 
of Perak, have a wider range of country, — are 
more numerous, improved, and powerful. They 
make a prey of the larger game, and have skill 
enough to encounter and destroy the elephant it- 
self. These people acknowledge the authority of 
a chief, and have, in their way, a regular form of 
social polity. 

The next step in the progress of improvement 
is the formation of permanent residences. This 
would be brought about in the peculiar circum- 
stances of the Indian islands, ;hy the acquisition of 
competent subsistence, either from an improvement 
in agriculture, — from the discovery of a favourable 
fishing-ground, with improved skill in fishing, — or 
from both. In this manner >-the village would be 
formed, i For protection from the aggression of 
neighbouring hordes, and from the attacks of wild 
animals, the institution of villages is the necessary 
resource, and must have been coeval, in these, and 
similar climates, with the first attempt to quit the 
erratic course of life. In that early period of so- 
ciety, a village and a nation were synonymous 
terms. * 

The village or nation thus formed would neces- 

* " In the centre of Anahuac, as well as in the Peloponnesus, 
Latium, and wherever the civilization of the human species 


sarily require a form of polity for the maintenance 
of internal order, for attack, and for defence; 
and for this purpose would elect an elder for their 
government, — officers to assist him, — and, perhaps, 
a priest or astrologer to make their peace with Hea- 
ven. This is precisely the form of the village as- 
sociations which, even at present, exist in Java, 
and the circumstances which have tended to per- 
petuate them there, while they have disappeared 
elsewhere, will be afterwards pointed out. 

The extension of the ''nation, or the formation 
of new villages, may be readily imagined. When 
the population began to press against the means 
of subsistence in the first association, by the ex- 
haustion of the good lands in the vicinity of 
the village, or by the incompetency of the sup- 
ply of fish, it is needless to say, that, in such a 
state of society, the village could not be extend- 
ed to the formation of a town. Emigrations would 
be the necessary recourse of the society, and a 
swarm would be thrown off to form a new settle- 
ment, as near to the parent one as circumstances 
would permit, in order that the infant settlement 
might receive its support and assistance. In seve- 
ral parts of Java, where the population is rapidly 
increasing, such a process is at present going for- 

was merely commencing, every city, for a long time, consti- 
tuted a separate state." — Humboldt's New Spain, Book III. 


ward. It is not unfrequent to see one, two, or 
three smaller villages depending upon a greater 
one, although at several miles distance from it ; and 
in many cases, the history of the emigration of these 
little colonies can be traced to no very distant pe- 
riod of years. Among the Malays, too, we find 
traces of the same progress of population, in the 
distinct names given to the dependent plantations. 
When formed on a river, as in their situation they 
must often be, they are very frequently denomi- 
nated " child," or " progeny," terms which at once 
point at their origin. All the languages, it may 
be remarked, have a copious phraseology on this 
subject, while there is but one name in all for 
toivn or city, and that a foreign one ; — in short, 
one borrowed from the Hindus, (Ndgri.) 

In tracing the progress of social order among 
the tribes of the Indian islands, I make no refer- 
ence to the shepherd state. Such a form of socie- 
ty could, in fact, never have existed in these coun- 
tries, from the very nature of things. In regions 
abounding in rivers and narrow seas, and covered 
with stupendous forests, emigrations would take 
place by water, and not by land ; — an important fact, 
which constantly presents itself to us. The abun- 
dance of wild roots, honey, and game, but, above all, 
of fish, would, in a rude period of society, suggest 
these as materials of subsistence more easy and ob- 
vious than the taming of cattle. Minor considera. 


tions would contribute. The cattle of tlie Indian 
islands, in common with those of other tropical 
countries, afford milk in too meagre quantity to sup- 
- ply a material of subsistence. The sheep does not ex- 
ist at all ; and had it existed, would have been an 
animal of very little value ; for its coat is hair, and 
not wool ; but had it even been the latter, it would 
have little contributed to the useful necessities of sa- 
vages, inhabiting a soft and warm climate. The 
taming of cattle in these countries, therefore, is a 
considerable effort of civilization; and cattle were in 
all probability first made subservient to the purposes 
of agriculture, after that art itself had made consider- 
able advances. Among many of the savage tribes, 
who procure some portion of their subsistence from 
the growing of corn, cattle are still unknown. A 
tribe which applies the labour of cattle to the pur- 
poses of husbandry, necessarily adds so greatly to 
its means of supporting an increasing population, 
that it cannot long remain stationary. 

The progress of government, from the simplest 
form of elective magistracy, to the last verge of 
despotism, may be traced in its various stages. 
The office of leader, or chief magistrate, at first 
elective from the whole body of society, would 
in time become elective from a privileged fa- 
mily, and, in course, hereditary in that family. 
AVars, conquests, and the spoliation of a hostile 
horde, would soon give a victorious leader such 


power and authority as would render him despotic, 
and, in process of time, the body of the people 
would be reduced to be the mere slaves of his will. 
These abstract reflections on the progress of so- 
ciety and government are naturally obtruded upon 
our attention by those practical illustrations which 
our obseiTation oftlie manners of the Indian island- 
ers is constantly presenting. 

Among the least improved of the civilized tribes, 
the petty lords or tyrants of villages, or little dis- 
tricts, have, for offence or defence, found it conve- 
nientto associate, and to elect fromamongtheir num- 
ber an individual to preside over their councils. 
This may be deemed the second great step in the 
progress of government towards despotism. We have 
examples of it in all the governments of Cele- 
bes, of the Suluk Archipelago, and less perfect ves- 
tiges in those of Sumatra. In some of these aristo- 
cratic federations, the Presidency \s, elective from the 
body of the electors, but more generally from a par- 
ticular family. Such a form of government, I ima- 
gine, in an earlier period of society, was very general 
among the civilized tribes, but the same advantages 
which enabled the village chief to usurp over his 
fellows, would enable the elective president of a 
confederacy to do the same thing over the federal 
chiefs. The office determined to a privileged fa- 
mily would soon become hereditary, and necessarily 
despotic. Such a change has actually taken place 


among all the more highly civilized tribes ; for ex- 
ample, the Javanese, the Balinese, and the Malays, 
^0 doubt, the arbitrary maxims imported along 
with the Mahomedan and Hindu relio^ions have 
contributed, with these internal causes of change, 
to the establishment of uncontrolled despotism 
among these tribes. 

From what has been here laid down, it will ap- 
pear, that, among the tribes and nations of the In- 
dian islands, there are no fewer ihanjive distinct 
forms of social union, besides numerous varieties of 
each particular form, — beginning with the rudest sa- 
vages, among whom no subordination is recognized, 
and none required, and^roceeding successively, — to 
the simplest form of elective magistracy, — to the 
establishment of hereditary monarchy, — of elective 
confederacies ; — and, lastly,"^ ending with the estab- 
lishment of unlimited despotism. 

Among the civilized tribes, the two last forms 
of government only exist. To these, therefore, it 
will be necessary to devote more particular atten- 
tion. With this view, I shall furnish the reader 
in detail with an example of each, choosing for the 
federal government a sketch of that of the people of 
Boni in Celebes, and for the despotic government 
a similar one of that of the Javanese, supplying as 
I proceed any necessary or interesting illustrations 
from the other modifications of social union. 

The federal state of Boni consists of eight petty 


states, each governed by its own hereditary despot, 
while the general government is vested in one of the 
number elected by the rest. The presidency has 
been long elective in the family of the Prince of the 
state of Bontiialah, even at present little more than 
a considerable village. The princes in their own 
language are denominated king, Arung, and the 
only distinction left to the head of the confede- 
racy is to have the letter a appended to this appel- 
lative. The distinction among the Macassars is 
exactly similar ; they make the word Kraingy or 
prince, Kraiiiga, when they speak of the supreme 
head of their confederation. 

The head of the Boni confederacy can do no- 
thing without the other princes, who arc his coun- 
sellors. The public treasure is in their charge, 
and they decide on peace and war. The same 
council chooses the Tumilalang, or first minister, 
by whom, or through whose agents, justice is ad- 
ministered. The chief of the confederacy cannot 
correspond in his own name on public affairs, but 
the letters must run thus, " We, the king, and the 
people of Boni, decree, resolve," &:c. I have^per- 
used several of these. The seven counsellors are 
called from their number Arnug-pitUy which is as 
much as to say, the council of the seven lords or 
princes. Besides choosing the head of the confede- 
racy, these are themselves elected. Their offices 
are hereditary in families, but the council chooses 


the individual, and not only fills up vacancies by 
death, but will take upon them to remove an ob- 
noxious individual, and proceed to a new election. 
Independent of their deliberative functions, the 
members of the council of seven hold also executive 
offices ; one, for example, is first minister, another 
commander of the army, &c. 

Any individual of the privileged families, even 
a woman or an infant, is eligible to be raised either 
to the government of the particular states, or to 
be head of the general government. When a wo- 
man or minor, as very frequently happens, is rais- 
ed to the latter office, the constitution provides a 
guardian. This person is called in their language 
Madangrangy which means literally " a prop or 

The head of the confederacy cannot separate him- 
self from his council to go on a warlike expedition, 
or similar employment, without, by a kind of fic- 
tion, making a temporary abdication of the throne. 
In this case he is at liberty to nominate a viceroy, 
an officer who, in the Bugis language, is called his 
Sulexvatang, or proxy. The majority of the 
council then attend the king, and the remainder 
stay with the Sulexvatang to render him assistance. 
In illustration of this peculiarity of the govern- 
ment, I shall report the substance of a conversa- 
tion which took place in 1814, in the council of 
Boni, as it was rendered to me from the native 


language, respecting a meditated attack on tlie 
Britisli settlement of Macassar, with the view of 
throwing off the dependence of Boni on the Euro- 
pean authority. " I am determined," said the 
king of Boni, " for my own part, (addressing him- 
self to two of his councillors,) to submit to the 
English no longer ; and on this account I say, that 
one of us three must assume the command of the 
army, I perhaps leading, and you two, one to my 
righty and one to my left.** Arung-Chinay the 
commander of the army, observed, " The king of 
Boni cannot by any possibility take the command 
while the legitimate commander exists." The 
king answered, " Do not trouble yourself about 
that matter, for you know I have a sister whom I 
can nominate sovereign of Boni, for the time." 

All the governments of Celebes are formed on 
principles such as now exemplified in that of Boni, 
but there is some variety. The most extraordi- 
nary is in that of the Goa Macassars. The king 
is chosen by ten electors, who also choose the offi- 
cer called, in his capacity of elector, Faclialnya, 
and in that of first minister, Bachara-httali. To 
this officer belong powers similar to those of the 
Mayors of the Palace of France. Of his own au- 
thority he can remove the king himself, and direct 
the electors to proceed to a new election ; he can 
also remove any member of the council of nine, or 
BatO'Salapang, and direct another to be chosen. 


The history of this oflficer's usurpation of such ex- 
traordinary powers is not recorded, but may be 
readily imagined. 

The Bugis state of Wajo affords another singu- 
lar anomaly. There are forty princes in this state, 
who constitute the great council of the nation. 
This council is subdivided into three chambers, 
from each of which there are elected two princes, 
who in their turn elect the chief of the confederacy, 
called the Maticwa. This smaller council of seven 
princes, from which, by custom, women are ex- 
cluded, and in which the president, if necessary, 
has two votes, carry on the affairs of the general 
government, and decide upon all questions of go- 
vernment, those of peace and war excepted, which 
must be referred to the great national council of 

I am now to furnish the reader with a picture of 
absolute government, as exemplified in that of the 
Javanese. This government is a hereditary despo- 
tism, exactly such as is established in all the great 
empires of Asia. There is no hereditary nobility 
with privileges to control or limit his authority. 
He is himself the first minister of religion, so that 
even religion has but trifling influence in restrict- 
ing his authority ; in short, the monarchs of Java 
may be considered as among the most absolute of 
eastern potentates. In every word which relates 
to the monarch, the sei'vile copiousness of the Ja« 


vanese language proclaims his unbounded autho- 
rity. When he is addressed, words which literally 
imply *' the royal feet," and " the royal slave," 
have superseded all other pronouns of the second 
and first person. The usual exordium of a peti- 
tion to the monarch is, *' the royal slave places 
his life at the royal disposal." The language of 
adulation has no bounds. It would be sacrilege 
to call the monarch's head by any other name than 
that which literally means " the pinnacle of a 
temple." In the same language his eyes are a 
" pair of gems," and his face is "the sun." ^' The 
prince, on his side, addresses the highest of his 
subjects in language the most insolent, and " slave," 

* The of Prince Gelgel in Bali is usually called by the 
strange title of Deiva-Agung, which literally means the Great 
Deity or God. The author of the General Ilistory of Voyages, 
quoting the manuscript relation of a Dutch mission to Bali, 
has the following passage : " Sur I'article des moeurs, la re- 
lation ajoute a la suite, des coutumcs barbarcs de ces peuplcs, 
une simple explication de quelques uns dc leurs titrcs fas- 
tueux. Celui de Gusty, qu'on a Ifi souvent, ne signifle que 
consoiller ; mais le roi, ses freres scs soeurs et ses fils, sunt dis- 
tingues par le nom de Dewa, c'est a dire Dieu, appellant leur 
idole meme Dewa Ratus, ou le Grand Dieu (correctly " king- 
gods!") Dans Ics degres plus eloignes de la tige royale, ou 
n'employe que le titre de Sava Jang, ( Sang yang^) que repond 
a celui d'ange, et ces epithetes sont les memes pour les deux 
Sexes ; la difference qu'on en fait ne consistc que dans les noms 
proprcs." Vol. XVII. p. 59. 



or " fellow," are applied by him alike to the 
first minister, to a prince of the blood, and to the 
humblest villager. * In an ethical work, com- 
posed in the reign of the Sultan of Pajang, about 
250 years ago, implicit obedience, and unlimited 
devotion to the sovereign, are recommended in 
the following odious strain!: "He who serves a 
prince is exalted by an implicit obedience to his 
will. Should the monarch order you to embrace 

* The language of the Malays, and their laws, contain si- 
milar evidence. To shew the spirit of their institutions, I 
shall quote a few passages from their customary laws. " The 
forbidden words, say these, arc Titah, Barpatek, Marka, 
Ampun^ Darma-kurnia,) and Anggurha. If an inmate of 
the palace apply these terms to any but the prince, to whom 
they by right belong, he shall be put to death. If a person 
without the walls use them, he shall be struck a blow over 
the mouth at the time he is pronouncing them. If any maa 
direct these words to be addressed to himself, he shall suffer 

In the sumptuary laws of these people, the same spirit is 
discernible. The following are examples : 

" If persons come into the presence chamber, or even en- 
ter the precincts of the palace, wearing clothes of extraordi- 
nary fineness, without the royal approbation, their clothes 
shall be torn from their backs, and they shall be turned out.*' 
— " If a person use a mat for sleeping on, ornamented with 
yello'My (the royal colour,) or a yellow coloured pillow, or a 
yellow handkerchief, the punishment of such offence \s death." 
— " If a person wear a golden hilted h-'is, without the royal 
orders, such kris ehaU be taken from him and confiscated." 



the neck of a tiger, do it without delay ; should he 
o*rdei' you to kiss the cheek of an angiy serpent, 
do it without hesitation. Do not flinch in either 
case, for your obedience will gain you renown, and 
lay for you the foundation of prosperity. When 
you are ordered to walk over gi'ound strewed with 
sp'.kes, forthwith walk over it ; you will receive no 
harm, for, even should death be the consequence, 
the reward of your devotion will be a smooth road 
to heaven." 

In their extravagant efforts to appear servile, the 
Indian islanders may almost literally be said to 
mimic the gait and manners of the very beasts of the 
field. In approaching the sovereign, the subject 
creeps or goes on all-fours, and retires in the same 
humiliating manner. He never stands erect, by 
any chance, in tlie presence, whatever his occupa- 
tion. In the early intercourse of Europeans with 
the Javanese, a Dutch admiral and his suite, hav- 
ing stood erect before a Javanese monarch, though 
that monarch was a refugee claiming assistance, the 
courtiers were so shocked at his presumption, that 
they began to use force to compel him into an at- 
titude of more humility, and a serious quarrel was 
the consequence. * 

• " At Mindanao, they may look at their prince ; but, from 
the highest to the lowest, they approach him with the great- 
est respect and veneration, creeping Tery low, and ofttimes on 


The languages of the tribes which have the fede- 
ral and aristocratic forms of government, have no 
such extravagant expressions as those now alluded 
to, for with them there are many competitors for 
panegyric, and no one to make a thorough mono- 
poly of it. 

The government of Java, and all the other forms 
of absolute government, are hereditary in the fa- 
mily of the reigning prince, but the rule of primo- 
geniture, so indispensable to tranquillity, is neither 
practised nor understood. By custom it is gene- 
rally thought necessary that the heir to the throne 
should be the son of a legitimate wife, or queen, 
and not of a concubine. The sovereign, during 
his lifetime, proclaims the eventual successor, who 
is honoured as the first subject, but seldom entrust- 
ed with any share in the administration. This 
practice, which is universal in all the absolute forms 
of social polity, deserves to be looked upon as an 
improvement on these forms of government. 

Under the Javanese monarch, a minister^' or 
Patehy and four assistants, superintend the admi- 
nistration of the country. Two of the assistants 
are intended to aid in the management of the 

llicir kiiocs, wi(h their eyes fixt on him, and when they with- 
draw, ihoy return in the same rr.anntr, creeping backwards, 
and slill keeping their eyes on him, fill (hey are out of sight." 
JJampier, \'ol. I. p. 143. 


household^ and two in the conduct of the affairs of 
state, which is as much as to say, that these two 
departments are of equal importance, — perhaps, af- 
ter all, no small concession from a despot. The 
minister and his assistants form a council, the de- 
liberations of which are, as occasion may require, 
assisted by calling in those heads of departments, 
whose advice may be deemed useful, as the Pang- 
kuluy or High Priest, in matters of religion and 
jurisprudence ; and the governors of provinces in 
such affairs as touch their respective jurisdictions. 

The administration of the provinces is conduct- 
ed by the vicegerents of the prince, who execute, 
each within his jurisdiction, all the authority of the 
sovereign, or nearly the whole of it. They have, 
as he has, their Pateh, or minister, and he his as- 
sistants._JJ\. miniature of the same form of admi- 
nistration is discovered, indeed, in the very vil- 
lages, from which, in effect, the whole institu- 
tion originally took its origin, as already pointed 
out. '"^lil* 

The authority of the immediate deputy of the 
sovereign is divided and subdivided in proportion 
to the extent of his province or jurisdiction. This 
department of administration, in Java, in conse- 
quence of the great changes brought about by the 
extension of agriculture, and the increase of popu- 
lation, is not so well defined as in the more station- 
ary state of society in Bali, to which I shall, there- 


fore, refer. The smallest subdivision in Bali is 
into twenty families, five of vrhicli constitute the 
second subdivision of the hundred, under an officer 
called in that country Klijjan-tempel\ From two 
to three of these, according to the nature of the 
country, constitute the third division, under an of- 
ficer called Par ball al. Several of these, according to 
the extent of the district, constitute a province under 
the authority of the Gusti, lord or viceroy. The 
imperfect relics of similar institutions are discover- 
able in Java, in the division called Tat07igo, or the 
" immediate neighbourhood," Machapat, or the 
four next villages, and Manchogaiigsal^ or the 
five next villages, and in the jurisdiction of the of- 
ficers called Frapat and Gugimung. These are 
institutions almost exactly parallel to those of the 
Hindus, Peruvians, and Anglo-Saxons. There is 
no sensible reason to believe that either borrowed 
from the other simple and natural contrivances, 
which readily occurred to barbarians in the same 
state of society. 

In all these cases the deputy of the sovereign is 
vested with nearly his whole authority. The au- 
thority of the chiefs of smaller subdivisions dimi- , 
nish downwards, each being amenable in his turn ( 
to his immediate superior j the vicegerent, in his ' 
turn, is amenable to the first minister, and the first 
minister to the sovereign. -^ p- ^1 * 

I have no doubt, that, wherever, in the Archipe- 
lago, despotic government is now established, it 


must have passed successively through all the other 
four modes of government adverted to in tracing 
the history of the forms of political association. An 
examination of the languages of the people throw 
a few lights on this interesting subject. * The 
genuine native term for king in Javanese is Ratu, 
(which is the same word that is written Dalu in 
some other languages. Its literal meaning is 
grandfather, and by a slight inflection a senior or 
elder, from which last is taken its figurative mean- 

* " AVe have examples of the theocratical forms of govern- 
ment in South America, for such were those of the Zac of 
Bogota, the ancient Oundiniamarca ; and of thclnca of Peru, 
two extensive empires, in which despotism was conctaied 
under the appearance of a gentle and patriarchal government. 
But in Mexico, small colonies, wearied of tyranny, gave 
themselves republican constitutions. Now, it is only after 
long popular struggles that these free constitutions can be 
formed. The existence of republics does not indicate a very 
recent civilization." — Humboldt's Neiv Spain, Book II. 
chap. 6. — I consider that the argument of this great travel- 
ler in favour of the civilization of the Mexican tribes, de- 
duced from the republican form of their government, is 
•wholly unfounded. I have no doubt, indeed, but the Mexi- 
can republics were just such institutions as the aristocratic 
federal associations which 1 have described. In almost every 
particular connected with the progress of manners and so- 
ciety, the Indian islanders and Americans are more like each 
other than cither is to any other race of men, notwithstand- 
ing that no rational ground exists for imagining that the 
least intercourse ever existed between them. 


ing, a lord or chief. This brings us to that early- 
period of society, when, perhaps, no form of social 
contract existed, and the community listened to 
the advice of the aged and experienced, when they 
had need of their counsel. 

From attother^name W title of the Javanese so- 
vereign, a plausible inference is to be drawn respect- 
ing the immediate derivation of the despotic form 
of monarchy from the federal and aristocratic. The 
name of the higher order of nobility in Java, and 
especially of those to whom the governments of 
provinces is delegated, is Bopati. The title of 
the sovereign now alluded to is Sribopati, which 
means nothing more than the Jirst noble, though 
this more literal interpretation is of course, now- 
a-days, never given to it. This would make his 
office to have been precisely parallel to the Aruiiga 
or Krainga of the Bugis and Macassar forms of 
government, — make him, in short, the president of 
a federal association. 

A sort of oscillation between the despotic and 
the federal forms of political association may, I 
think, be traced in the history of both, but parti- 
cularly of the latter. In the former, the powers 
delegated to the chief of the confederacy must na- 
turally lead to abuse and usurpation. One ambi- 
tious and able prince would effect a great deal a- 
gainst the unskilful combination of a number, and 
a succession of such princes from the same family, 


under favourable circumstances, would hardly fail 
to overthrow the power of the inferior nobles, and 
render them in time, not the hereditary despots of 
their little principalities, but the mere creatures of 
his will, and the instruments of his power in the 
provinces. It was thus that, on the introduction of 
the Mahomedan religion among the Macassars, a 
succession of able princes, with the influence ac- 
quired by their extensive conquests, seem to have 
put them in the way of becoming absolute. 

The possession of wealth, the necessary conse- 
quence of a soil of great fertility, encouraged in 
Java the progress of absolute power, by strengthen- 
ing the hands of those in authority. The devo- 
tion of the people to agricultural industry, by ren- 
dering themselves more tame, and more at the mercy 
of power than the wandering tribes, and their pro- 
perty more tangible, went still farther towards it, 
for wherever, in the east, agriculture is the princi- 
pal pursuit, there it may certainly be reckoned, 
that the people will be found living under an ab- 
solute government. * The influence of Hindu and 

♦ This fact is finely illustrated by Humboldt in the fol- 
lowing passage, which did not occur to' me until I had writ- 
ten what is in the text. " The northern provinces, New Bis- 
cay, Sonora, and New Mexico, were very thinly inhabited in 
the sixteenth century. The natives were hunters and shep- 
herds ! and they withdrew as the European conquerors ad- 
vanced towards tlic north. Agriculture alone attaches man 


Maliomeclan manners must, no doubt, have had 
considerable effect in forwarding the same object. 
In whatever country of the Archipelago arbitrary- 
government exists, the titles of the prince, of 
his nobility, and of many of the offices of go- 
vernment, will generally be found purely Hindu ; 
but in the federal associations, their political in- 
stitutions do not afford a restio:e of the lansuasre 
of India. 

The feebleness, unskilfulness, and barbarism 
even of the most improved of the nations of the 
Indian islands, have always prevented them from 
establishing permanent empires, and the most con- 
siderable states have been but of momentary dura- 
tion. A succession of princes of ability overthrew 
the federal establishments : from the feeble hands 
of a succession of weak ones, power fell into the 
hands of the governors of provinces, who became 
hereditary lords of their respective jurisdictions. 
The society having, however, become familiar with 

to the soil, and dcvclopcs the love of country. Thus ^vc sec 
that, in the southern part of Anahuac, in the cultivated re- 
gion adjacent to Tcnichtitlan, the arctic colonists patiently- 
endured the cruel vexations exercised towards them by their 
conquerors, and suffered every thing rather than quit the soil 
■which their fathers had cultivated. But, in the northern 
provinces, the natives yielded to the conquerors their unculti. 
vated savannahs, which served for pasturage to the buffa. 
loes." Humboldt's New Spai7t, Book II. chap. 0. 


principles of absolute government, its restoration 
on an extensive scale required only the success of 
a new line of usurpers from the ranks of the petty 
sovereigns, whose power was established on the 
downfall of the last absolute government. This 
oscillation may be easily traced in the history of 
those nations of the Archipelago, where there has 
been a field for the establishment of considerable 
states, as among the Malays and Javanese. 

Whatever be the form of government amon<r 
the civilized tribes of the Archipelago, slavery, or 
at least servitude, is alike the lot of the people, but 
their condition is invariably most easy and com- 
fortable, where the absolute authority of one des- 
pot has superseded that of the many. * They even 
enjoy a larger share of personal freedom under 
such a government ; for their immediate rulers 
are in some degree responsible. The government 

* " The history of the lower classes of a peojile is the re- 
lation of the events which, in creating at the same lime a 
great inequality of fortune, enjoyment, and individual happi- 
ness, have gradually placed a part of the nation under the tu- 
torage and control of the otiier. We shall seek for this 
relation in vain in the annals of history. They transmit to 
us the memory of the great political revolutions, wars, con- 
quests, and other scourges which have afflicted humanity, but 
they inform us nothing of the more or less deplorable lot of 
the poorest and most numerous class of society." — Humboldt' % 
Political Essat^ on Netu Spaing Book II. chap. 6, 


is also more regularly administered, and, therefore, 
there is less anarchy and disorder. 

Wherever there exist nmnerous petty states, there 
is perpetual warfare and contention ; and the peo- 
ple are bought and sold without mercy. Thus sla- 
very and rapine are more general under the federal 
government of Celebes, than under any of the abso- 
lute governments. In Java, for example, it is re- 
markable that there is no personal slavery, no buy- 
ing and selling of human beings. The petty ty- 
rant of the village or district is engaged in the per- 
petual exercise of his tyranny ; but the greater des- 
pot has no time or opportunity. In the villages 
of the federal governments there is, of course, no 
vestige of elective government. In those ^f Java 
the people frequently choose their village officers 
with a remarkable degree of freedom, and with 
very little control. This benefit arises from the 
removal, to the greatest possible distance, of the 
influence of power and authority^] Even where 
absolute government is established, if the jurisdic- 
tion should be small, the mischievous effects of the 
interference of the sovereign are immediately felt. * 

* " The sultan (of Mindanao) is absolute in his power over 
all his subjects. lie is but a poor prince ; for, as I men- 
tioned before, they have but little trade, and therefore can- 
not be rich. If the sultan understands that any man has 
money, if it be but twenty dollars, which is a great matter 


The village officers are no longer nominated by 
the franchises of the people, but by the fiat of the 
sovereign ; anarcliy and disorder prevail, and the 
people are seized and sold into slavery. All this 
is the case among the petty principalities of the 
island of Bali, almost to the same extent as in Ce- 
lebes, the great nursery of slaves. 

among them, he will send to borrow so much money, pre- 
tending urgent occasions for it ; and thej dare not deny him. 
Sometimes he will send fo sell one thing or another that he 
hath to dispose of, to such whom he knows to have money, 
and they must buy it, and give him his price; and if after- 
wards he hath occasion for the same thing, he must have it if 
he sends for it." — Dampicr, Vol. I. p. 333. 



The people divided into six classes. — Account of the royal fa- 
mily, or Jirst class — Of the nohdity, or second class. — Of 
the priesthood, or third class. — Of the freemen, or fourth 
class. — Of debtors, or the ffth class. — Of slaves, or the 
sixth class. 

Among the Indian islanders, generally, there ex- 
ists no factitious and hereditary distribution of 
the people into various employments — no insti- 
tution of casts. The following natural orders 
exist in the society, of each of which it will be 
necessary to give a separate account. The royal 
family — the nobles — the priests — the cultivators, 
or freemen — debtors — slaves. 

Amono; all the tribes of the Indian islands where 
absolute government is established, the title of the 
royal family to the throne is considered divine 
and indefeasible. Their claims are guarded by 
superstition ; and the Malay and Javanese lan- 
guages have peculiar words to express the judgment 
of Providence that would fall upon the man of in- 


ferior birth who shoukl presume to aiTogate the 
office or titles of royalty. We have a singular and 
authentic illustration of the veneration with which 
the Indian islanders regard the royal blood in the 
circumstances attending the elevation of the prince 
called the Susunan Kuning in Java during the Chi- 
nese war. This person was a lad of twelve or thir- 
teen years of age, and removed in the third degree 
from the throne. The Chinese strongly objected 
to his elevation, but their Javanese coadjutors in- 
sisted that none but those of the blood royal could 
by possibility ascend the throne of Java. Marta- 
pura^ one of the Javanese chiefs, spoke as follows to 
the chief of the Chinese : *' Father, it is the imme- 
morial usage of Java, that none should be king save 
he who is of the blood of those to whom the kingdom 
as of right belongs ; and the presumptuous man 
would be short-lived who, without title, should in- 
trude himself into the throne. He would forfeit 
his wretched life, and it would be his fate to be 
beat to death with clubs." * 

With all this veneration for the royal family, 
there is nothing attached to it that is hereditary 
but the throne. The unbounded prerogative of 
the crown tolerates nothing that can by implication 
be considered independent of it. The title of 
Pangercuiy or prince, is, in Java, for example, 

* Javanese manuscript. 


usually conferred upon the sons, and sometimes 
upon the grandsons of princes, because these ho- 
nours reflect a lustre upon the sovereign himself; 
but, after this, their families are permitted to melt 
unnoticed into the common mass of the people. 

In the federal government, the persons who 
appear at first view hereditary nobles, are, in fact, 
as already explained, the little despots of their 
respective principalities. A hereditary nobility 
is incompatible with the unlimited authority claim- 
ed and exercised in the absolute governments. 
There all rank emanates from the sovereign, and 
is held during his pleasure. * The genuine spirit of 
this branch of the East Insular institutions will be 
thoroughly understood from the tenor of a Java- 
nese writ or patent of nobility, which is literally in 
the following words : *' Take notice ! This the 
royal letter of us the exalted monarch (such a 
one) we give in keeping to our servant the fellow 
Csuch a one. J Be it known to you all our slaves, 
whether high lords or inferior chiefs of our royal 
city or provinces, that we have given in custody 

* '' It is the nature of despotism," snys Burke, " to abhor 
power held by any means but its own momentary pleasure, 
and to annihilate all intermediate f^ituations between bound- 
less strength on its own p:irt, and total debility on the part of 
the people." — TJwugliis on the Causes of the Present Dis- 


this our royal letter to our servant, that he may be 
made high from being low, and be placed in our 
confidence by being raised to the rank of a noble. 
Moreover, we empower him to wear and use such 
dress, decorations, and insignia, as belong to a high 
noble, giving for his subsistence of our royal pro- 
perty within a certain district, the quantity of land 
laboured by one thousand families." This, in a 
few words, points out the absolute dependence of 
the nobility upon the will of the sovereign. Tlie 
noble once nominated may be looked upon as a 
kind of emanation of his master, and receives from 
all his dependants, in their several gradations, a 
portion, and a large one, of the honours due to 
the sovereign, of whom he is the representative. 
The inferior chiefs are addressed by their depend- 
ants on their bare knees. This patriarchal subor- 
dination extends through every class of society, 
and is not confined to political dependance, but 
pervades the domestic economy of the people. 
The genius and the idiom of the language has 
taken the impression in proportion as the refine- 
ments of absolute power have been extended, a 
subject which has been already treated at length in 
considering the Javanese language, the dialect of 
that tribe which has the most despotic government. 
Though there be no hereditary nobility among 
the Indian islanders, and every man's title dies with 
himself, no people are fonder of titles, or pride 



themselves more upon the possession of them. 
The refinement established on this point in the 
ranks of nobility which exist in Java deserves a 
particular description. According to the customs 
of that country, there are two distinct classes of no- 
bility, a higher and a lower, which may be explain- 
ed by comparing them respectively to our barons 
and knights, or, perhaps, more appropriately, to 
the nobles and noblesse of old monarchical France. 
The first are distinguished by the general appella- 
tion of Bopati, and the second, by the Hindu name 
of Mantri. The first class of nobility consists of 
two orders, the Adipati and the Tumangiing ; the 
second of three, the Ingabai, the Ronggo, and 
the Damang. The nobility of either class, and all 
orders, are again subdivided into three grades, by 
prefixing to their titles the epithets Mas, Kyayi, 
and Raden, words which may be considered to 
import, though they do not literally mean, Dis- 
tinguished. Honourable, and Illustrious. By cus- 
tom or courtesy all who are descended from the so- 
vereign, in the third or fourth degree, or who have 
the honour to receive one of the royal daughters 
in marriage, are entitled to the most distinguished 
epithet, or illustrious. 

From the first class of nobility are chosen the 
governors of provinces, the ministers of state, and 
other high functionaries j and from the second the 

VOL. III. c 


inferior officers, down to tlie chiefs of large villa- 

No class or rank of nobility is to be considered 
exclusively civil or military, for, in such a state of 
society, such an appropriation of employments has 
no existence. When the Javanese would aim at the 
organization of a regular military force, they trans- 
fer to the military body the civil subdivision of 
ranks, from the highest noble down to the hum- 
blest officer of the village polity. 

Under the Malay governments we have a nobi- 
lity of the very same description as under that of 
the Javanese. The first class is there denominat- 
ed Mantri, and the second HidubaUmg. The 
first hold the principal offices of state, and the se- 
cond the subordinate ones. 

The influence of Hhulu manners, as stated in the 
chapter on Government, appears to have had no 
small share in the establishment of absolute power, 
and its influence may be traced in the titles of nobi- 
lity, particularly in Java. The Hindu w^ord Mdntrij 
meaning a viceroy, has, among the Javanese, been 
strangely degraded, in modern times, to the lowest 
class of nobility ; among the Malays it is more ap- 
propriately applied. The probability is, that, with 
the former, it was driven from its station, like many 
other words of the same origin, by becoming too 
familiar, and, consequently, vulgar. The words 
adipatl and nayoko are also Hindu words, not to 


mention the titles of office, as several of the names 
of the sovereign himself, as Bqjaj Nare}idra, and 
Naradipay with Senapati, commander of the anny, 

The third class, or priesthood^ is next to be con- 
sidered. Religion, even the Hindu religion, seems 
never to have established, among the Indian island- 
ers, that extraordinary influence upon the minds of 
men which has accompanied it in some other coun- 
tries, and particularly in the country of the Hindus 
themselves, whom we are most naturally led to com- 
pare with the Indian Islanders. The Hindu religion 
does not appear, among the latter, to have been 
artfully interwoven with the political institutions 
of the country, nor to have mixed with all the 
common offices and common business of life In the 
wonderful manner it does In continental India. 
The ministers of religion seem, therefore, never to 
have acquired an undue and pernicious Influence 
in society, and the veneration for absolute power 
seems, In all ages of the history of these countries, 
to have superseded that for the priesthood. At 
the period of the conversion of the Javanese, and 
for some time afterwards, the priests exercised un- 
usual authority, and the government was a sort of 
theocracy, but the civil authority soon regained 
its natural ascendancy, and the powers of the 
priesthood were absorbed Into those of the so- 
vereign, who assumed and maintained the title 


and authority of the head of the church. The 
Indian islanders have, indeed, an ample stock of 
credulity and superstition, but the temper of the 
people is not of that gloomy and enthusiastic cast 
which affords the materials that would kindle into 
a flame of fanaticism or intolerance, and however 
abject their political servitude, they are not subject 
to the still more pernicious slaveiy of the priest- 
hood. The Mahomedan religion authorizes no 
regular priesthood, yet among the Indian island- 
ers it has become a distinct profession, and in 
Java we see them the virtual successors of their 
Braminical predecessors, a peaceful unaspiring race 
of men, whose influence is kept under through 
control by the all-limiting supremacy of despotic 

Although, in considering the class of nobles, I 
have stated that an official rather than a hereditary 
nobility exists, yet, from the nature of things, it 
must necessarily happen that such nobility is in 
some measure hereditaiy in families. The pos- 
sessor of oflice acquires, in that situation, a portion 
of power, wealth, intelligence, and experience, 
which is naturally more or less inherited by his fa- 
mily ; and, from habit, convenience, and necessi- 
ty, the nobility are often chosen from the same 
stock. In such a state of society, there can be no 
middle class ; and, accordingly, as mentioned in 
another place, the mercantile order had in Java, 


when the people were Hindus, no existence. Tlie 
community is divided, in fact, into two great 
and distinct classes, and the influence of this 
division is discoverable in all their languages. 
In those of the Malays and Javanese, the dis- 
tinction is drawn in a most humiliating and mor- 
tifying manner. A great man, in both, means 
a person of rank ; and a little one is the usual ex- 
pression for a peasant. In the Javanese, the chiefs 
are designated the head, and the mob the Jeet. In 
the same language, the two classes are frequently 
designated from a comparison taken from the fami- 
liar appearance of the rice grain ; the lower orders 
being called by the same word which is applied 
to the motes and broken fragments of the grain, 
and the privileged order by that which expresses 
the perfect ones ; or, as the idiom of our language 
would make it, " the chaff and the corn." The 
Malay language, in one example, draws a still 
more degrading distinction for a rich man * and a 
man of rank, are one and the same thing, which, 
in such a state of society, implies pretty plainly 
that none but the great can be the possessors of 
wealth. Such a disregard to the rights of the 
people is what we must expect in such a state of so- 
ciety. Not trusting altogether to the evidence of 

* Orang-kaia. 

850 90 


philological argument, I shall quote, on this subject, 
the words of a Javanese historian, when he is de- 
scribino; the hostilities conducted against the Eu- 
ropean power by the combined Chinese and Java- 
nese, and when a mock action is thought neces- 
sary to deceive the common enemy, the Dutch. 
" Sing sell and Sapanjang (the Chinese leaders) 
obseiTcd to the Javanese chiefs, the Adipati (the 
first minister) has now arrived with a countless 
liost, and we are unacquainted with the practice of 
the Javanese, and how they conduct a mock fight.'* 
" Fathers, said the Javanese chiefs, such a battle 
is conducted by us in perfect earnest, with mutual 
slaughter, for not the smallest compassion is shewn 
to the people ; keeping your secret and saving 
the life of the Adipati, you may exterminate the 

The condition of the peasantiy or occupiers of 
the soil will afterwards be described in a separate 
chapter ; and, in the meantime, it may be suffi- 
cient to observe, that their tenure depends upon 
the will of their masters, and that the only secu- 
rity for their possession is the utility and neces- 
sity of their labour to their superiors. Among 
themselves, the peasantry live in their villages 
on terms of much equality. In many parts of 
Java, the village is a kind of co?^poration, in 
which the chief and officers, including the priest, 
are elected by the cultivators, privileges which they 


exercise because they are not worth interfering 
with, and which never fail to be usurped when ca- 
price or interest suggest it to the government or its 

A*iburth, but a small class, existing in every , 
country of the Arcliipelago, but most where anar- \ 
chy and disorder most prevail, are called debtors in 
the native languages. These are people who either { 
voluntarily, or by the laws of the country, mortgage \ 
their services for a certain period, or during life, to | 
discharge some obligation which they have no other ] 
means of liquidating. Their condition is, in fact, a \ 
mitigated kind of slavery .J These debtoi"S, with free- 
menandslaves, constitute the three orders into which 
the laws of the Malays, and other tribes, divide the 
people, for the higher orders are literally above the 
law, and not noticed except as administering it. 
jWhen any country is distressed by war, famine, or / 
intestine commotion, hundreds of the lower orders f 
mortgage their services to persons of wealth or in- ; 
fluence, who can afford them subsistence and pro- 
tection, just as the peasantry of the middle ages of 
Europe were wont to make a sacrifice of their per- j 
sonal liberty to obtain the countenance of religious | 
institutions, and of the nobility. This is the ori- 
gin of a class very numerous among some of the 

Slavery exists in every country of the Indian 
Archipelago except Java. The anomaly of its ab- 


sence in the latter country will be afterwards ex- 
plained. The origin of slavery in these islands is 
referable to four heads ; prisoners of U'ar ; debt- 
ors who cannot redeem themselves ; criminals, 
condemned to slavery by sentences of courts of 
law, and persons kidimpped. None but the most 
savage of the tribes destroy their prisoners ; and 
the more improved nations, like other men in a 
corresponding state of civilization, make slaves 
of them. In Java, we perceive that, in the con- 
quests of the dynasty of Mataram, the population 
of the districts which were overrun were carried 
off into slavery, more particularly the female por- 
tion of it, to satisfy the vicious demands of poly- 
gamy. In the wars of Celebes, even whole na- 
tions were, by the right of conquest, made slaves. 
We perceive the Macassar nation at one time in 
possession of ten thousand male slaves, of the van- 
quished Bugis, and employing them, without dis- 
tinction of rank, on the labour of public works. 
The right is, indeed, universally established, or 
rather the violence universally practised. The 
second source of slavery is the failure of the debt- 
or to redeem himself, and this must, from the 
indigence or indolence which gave occasion to 
pawn his liberty, be a frequent cause of servitude. 
Another ample source of slavery is the arbitrary 
and iniquitous sentences of the native law, with 
which the deprivation of personal liberty is a fre- 


quent punishment, extended often to the whole fa- 
mily and relatives of the real or pretended crimi- 
nal. The practice of kidnapping, among the Indian 
islanders, has chiefly had its origin in their connec- 
tion with foreigners, and mostly in consequence of 
the establishment of European settlements.* Per- 
sons enslaved by kidnapping could not, from the 
nature of things, find a market in their own coun- 
try, but are advantageously exported to foreign 
countries. This abominable proceeding is recog- 
nized by the native laws, where we find the heredi- 
tary slave, from his subdued spirit, and servile edu- 
cation, fixed at double the value of the reluctant 
and untractable freeman who has been filched of 
his liberty. 

Among the Indian islanders predial slavery has 

♦ '• For Macassar is not far from hence, ( Boufon,) one of 
the chiefest towns the Dutch have in those parts. From thence 
the Dutch come sometimes hither to purchase slaves. The 
slaves that these people get here, and sell to the Dutch, are 
some of the idolatrous natives of the island, who, not being 
under the sultan, and having no head, live straggling in the 
country, flying from one place to another, to preserve them- 
selves from the prince, and his subjects, who hunt after them 
to make them slaves. For the civilized Indians of the mari- 
time places, who trade with foreigners, if they cannot reduce 
the inland people to the obedience of their prince, they catch 
all they can of them and sell them for slaves, accounting 
them to be but as savages, just as the Spaniards do the 
poor Americans." — Dawpier, Vol. I. p. 457. 


hardly existence any where. The condition of so- 
ciety scarce admits of it, for freemen, as occupants, 
till the soil, and afford the master a higher profit 
than his own ignorance and supineness could give 
him, hy his superintendence of the labour of more 
nominal slaves. Slaves among the Indian islanders, 
then, may be looked upon as a kind of personal 
luxury, contributing, even according to their own 
estimation, rather to pomp and display than profit. 
It gratifies the vanity of a master to be the uncon- 
trolled and unresponsible lord of the life and for- 
tune of his servant, and the supple and flexible 
manners of the slave afford his pride a gratifica- 
tion which could not be so well satisfied by the 
less servile and uncertain attentions of a freeman. 
The slave among the Indian islanders is treated 
with kindness and tenderness, and considered 
rather in the light of a child, or favoured do- 
mestic, than even a dependant. 

Whenever the services of freemen may be obtain- 
ed on nearly the same terms, the obvious inutility, 
or rather striking disadvantages, of slavery become 
evident, and this is the true cause why slavery is 
unknown to the present race of Javanese, among 
whom, from the internal evidence of language, 
and from their writings, it is proved, in earlier 
times, to have existed as among the other tribes. 
The numbers and docility of his countrymen 
will now furnish a Javanese chief with attentions 


as supple and sen'ile as any slaves could admi- 

On the principle now stated, I think it will be 
found, that, wherever the manners of the lower or- 
ders are most untractable, there slavery mostly pre- 
vails, and where they are most docile, it is rarest. 
For the extremes of both, Celebes and Java may be 
quoted as examples. 

The severest lot of the condition of servitude is 
no where experienced in the Indian islands. That 
lot can only be felt in the higher stages of civiliza- 
tion, where there is an immeasurable distance be- 
tween the political condition of the master and the 
slave — where the latter is considered as a por- 
tion of the stock of the former, and the spirit of 
gain excludes every other consideration. Of all the 
masters of slaves in the Indian islands, the Chinese, 
and the Arabs, alone are disposed to make this use 
of slaves, but they are themselves depressed orders, 
jealously watched by their European masters, and, 
no doubt, in some measure influenced in the treat- 
ment of their slaves by the mild example of their 
native neighbours. The Dutch, in their predilec- 
tion for slaves, are actuated by the same principles 
as the natives of the country. Their vanity is 
gratified by their suppleness and docility, and 
even in Java, where they might be more cheaply, 
and as agreeably, served by freemen, their early 
estrangement from the inhabitants of that country 


has now become habitual, and slaves continue to be 
the fashion with them. These are all domestics, 
and, with the exceptions which the uncertainty 
of human passions compels us to make an allowance 
for, are treated with kindness and humanity. 



Enumeration of the sources of public revenue. — Land-tax.— 
Its origin traced. — Its amount among the different tribes. 
— Condition of the cultivator. — Mode oj dividing the crop 
between the cultivator and the sovereign in Java. — Mode of 

paying salaries and making the public disbursements 

General rejlections. — Scheme of a land-tax. — Capitation or 
poll-tax. — Taxes on consumption. — Monopoly of trade by 
the sovereign. — Customs — Transit duties — Market duties. 
— Du'y on opium and salt. — Principle of farming the pub- 
lic revenue universal. — Its advantage in so rude a state of 

1 HE object of this chapter is a description of the 
modes practised by the native governments of the 
Indian islands for raising a revenue, and will be 
comprehended under the three heads of Land-tax, 
Poll-taxes, and Taxes on Consumption. The first 
of these, on account of the extent to which it is 
carried, and its influence on the state of society, is 
out of all proportion the most interesting and im- 
portant, and will afford the principal matter of this 

Abundant examples of that early period of so- 
ciety before land is appropriated, exist in the In- 


dian islands. Even amonjr the most civilized and 
populous tribes, by far the greater portion of the 
land is unoccupied and unclaimed, and it is the most 
fertile and productive alone that yields a rent. The 
first and rudest description of agriculture in these 
countries consists in snatching a fugitive crop of rice 
or maize from a virgin soil, the productive powers 
of which are increased by the ashes afforded by 
burning the stupendous forest that stood upon it. 
This expensive and rude process, from its very na- 
ture, supposes the land unappropriated ; and, 
w^herever it is practised, we find that no rent is 
pretended to be exacted. The appropriation of 
land, and the exaction of rent, in these countries, 
increased with the introduction of that improved 
husbandry of rice which consists in growing it by 
the help of water ; a fortunate discovery, which 
places, of itself, the agriculture of a rude people, in 
point of productiveness, on a level with that of the 
most civilized nations. The appropriation of the 
most fertile lands, and those most conveniently si- 
tuated for irrigation, with the construction of water 
courses and dikes, is at once the creation of a pro- 
perty of the most valuable description ; and a de- 
mand for rent must have been coeval with it. 
Wherever this description of husbandry prevails, 
the pretence for the sovereign's first demand 
of a share of the produce may be traced to the 
necessity of vesting in the state a general super- 


inteiiclence of the distribution of that water of 
irrigation on which the whole success of the pro- 
cess rests, and which could not, without loss and 
inconvenience, be left in private hands. It is re- 
markable that the sovereigns of Bali, as will be af- 
terwards pointed out, though among the most ab- 
solute, claim the tax on land solely on the prin- 
ciple of distributing and supplying the water of ir- 
rigation. It may, indeed, be suspected that the 
early establishment of this right or prerogative has 
afforded the sovereign one of the principal means 
of subverting the equality of society, and of esta- 
blishing absolute power. 

The legitimate impost exacted as the reward of 
superintending the water of irrigation, increases 
in the progress of arbitrary power, and, accord- 
ingly, among every tribe where the right of 
property in the land is established, that is, among 
the whole of the civilized tribes, the sovereign, 
in one shape or another, comes at length to be 
considered as the sole proprietor, and the people 
as labouring it for his benefit. The proportion 
exacted as tax depends on the fertility of the 
soil, the extent of improvement, and the amount 
of the population. The encroachments of the so- 
vereign advance with the improvement of the so- 
ciety, and the peasant is ultimately left with no 
more than a bare subsistence. The whole of this 
subject will be more perfectly understood by fur- 


nishing a short account of the condition of landed 
tenures among the different tribes. 

Agriculture can hardly be deemed the primary 
occupation of the maritime tribes, who are so much 
engaged in fishing and traffic. Whenever, among 
them, the right of property in the soil is worth ex- 
ercising, it is sure to be claimed. I do not dis- 
cover, among them, that any numerical propor- 
tion of the produce of agriculture is claimed, but 
among those with whom I am best acquainted, a 
stated tax on all cultivators is imposed. This, by 
the Malays of Perak and Queda, is called Rtipai^ 
and consists of about one hundred pounds of rice for 
the land cultivated, be its extent what it will, but 
that extent, from the state of society, is necessarily 
limited by the labour of the individual and his fa- 
mily, and cannot exceed a few acres. The nobles, 
or officers of government, instead of the sove- 
reign, receive this contribution on the estates as- 
signed to them, on a principle to be afterwards ex- 

Among the governments of Celebes where the 
sovereign is every thing, and the people nothing, 
it would be incompatible with the absolute sway 
of the former to suppose him not vested with a 
proprietary right in the land. A tenth is thus the 
numerical proportion of the crop exacted from the 
people for the benefit of the immediate lord, from 
which one-third is paid to the general fund for 

7 • 


the expences of the supreme government. It 
may here be noticed, that a tenth, or tithe, seems 
to be the nnmerical proportion determined upon 
by all the nations of the east, as the sovereign's 
share of the produce of the land, as soon as his 
claim is regularly established. It would seem to 
mean nothing more than the smallest share, being 
the fraction of the denary scale of numeration, 
and, except in its convenience for computation, to 
be entirely arbitrary, and unconnected with any ra- 
tional estimate of the capacity of the soil. 

The claim of the sovereigns of Bali to a share of 
the produce of the land is very peculiarly modified. 
No numerical proportion is stated, and every thing 
hinges upon what is most important and indispen- 
sable to the peculiar husbandry of the country, the 
water of irrio-ation. The land itself is lost sight 
of, and we do not hear of the sovereign's claim to 
the landj but to the xvater. This singularity arises 
from the very peculiar circumstances of the island, 
where all the agriculture that is either valuable or 
important depends solely on artificial irrigation. 
In other parts of the Archipelago, indeed, we ne- 
ver hear of any land but cultivated land, and sel- 
dom of any but wet rice lands, so that the term for 
rice lands ("SawahJ means, in popular language, 
any landed property whatever. In Bali we see 
that they go still further, the soil being lost sight 
of altogether. The dues of the sovereign are not 



determined at any numerical proportion, nor have 
the Balinese any regular land measure by which 
these dues are assessed. The tax is fixed upon the 
seed-corn, and not upon the produce. Observing 
that a given quantity of land, of a given fertility, 
which fertility is determined by long usage, re- 
quires an estimated number of sheaves of seed- 
corn, they assess each sheaf at a fixed amount, pay- 
able partly in money, but mostly in kind. 

Among the Sundas, or mountaineers of the 
west end of Java, a tithe is, as in Celebes, the por- 
tion of the crop claimed by the sovereign authority, 
by whatever name that authority is distinguished ; 
but, from some very good lands, we find double 
this proportion, or one-fifth claimed. 

It is among the Javanese, properly so called, that 
the proprietary right of the sovereign in the soil 
is most unequivocally established, and, perhaps, 
most arbitrarily exercised. The principle is open- 
ly avowed and proclaimed. In his patents of no- 
bility, the sovereign bestowing a revenue on the 
noble, or other chief, distinctly terms the land 
" our royal property," and he expressly specifies 
that it is le?it or given in trusty and not alienated. 
Such is the universality of this principle, that I do 
not believe, in the whole territory of the native 
princes, there are a hundred acres, over which, by 
the customs or laws of the country, any distinct 
proprietary right could be pointed out, independent 


of the sovereign. There may be here and there a 
little forbearance, from motives of religion or super- 
stition, but a proprietary right in the soil, on the 
part of a subject, according to the present notions 
of the people, it will not be going too far to assert, 
would be unintelligible to thein, so strongly con- 
trasted are their opinions and oiu'S on this point. 

The more absolute authority of the sovereign in 
Java, — the greater servility of the people ; — the su- 
perior fertility of the soil, — and the superior modes 
of husbandry which prevail, have enabled the sove- 
reign to exact a larger share of the produce of the 
soil than in any other part of the Archipelago. 
One-half the produce of wet lands, and one-third 
of that of dry lands, are the long established and 
well known shares of the government. AVhether 
these ratios have been assumed by the Javanese of 
themselves, as the highest possible scale of exac- 
tion which decorum could suggest to such rude 
financiers, or have been copied from the Hindus, 
it is not easy to determine, but the exact accord- 
ance of this scale with that established among the 
Hindus of the Deccan, from whom the Javanese 
borrowed so many of their ancient institutions, is 
good ground for believing that the latter had at 
least some share in the establishment of this rate 
of taxation. 

In the condition of the cultivators there is con- 
siderable nominal, though perhaps little essential 


diflPerence, in the different countries of the Archi- 
pelago. The relative situation of the sovereign 
and cultivator may justly be compared to that of 
a Russian or Polish lord with his peasants. The 
European noble estimates the value of his estate, 
not by the number or fertility of its acres, but by 
the amount of his peasants. This is exactly what 
is done in Java. The sovereign, in his letters of 
nobility, does not say that he gives a certain num- 
ber of acres, or a certain quantity of land, but that 
he gives a certain number of cultivators, or, which 
is the same thing, the labour of a certain number 
of cultivators. The subject of landed tenures in 
oriental countries has been, for the first time, ad- 
mirably explained by the philosophical author of 
that invaluable and great work, The History of 
British India, when he states, that, " In a country 
in which the revenue of the sovereign was increased 
in proportion to the number of cultivators, there 
would be a competition, not of cultivators for the 
land, but of the land for cultivators.*' That " If 
a ryot cultivated a piece of ground, and paid his as- 
sessment punctually to the sovereign, the sove- 
reign would be far from any wish to remove him 
when it was difficult to supply his place ;" and 
that, " If he sold the ground to another ryot, 
or left it to a successor, that is, put another in 
his place who would fulfil the wishes of the so- 
vereign, the sovereign, whose source of fear was 


the want of a cultivator, had still cause for sa- 
tisfaction ; and seldom if ever interfered.'* * This 
principle is, if possible, still more applicable to the 
Indian islands than to any part of Hindustan ; for 
the competition of the land for cultivators is still more 
pressing. There is not a country of the whole Ar- 
chipelago, the fifth part of which is occupied, and 
of many the hundredth part is not in a state of cul- 
ture. It will constantly be found, that, in the 
agricultural countries which are best peopled, the 
cultivator is invested with the smallest power over 
the land, and, on the contrary, that he possesses 
the greatest power over it in the countries worst 
peopled, or where the competition for cultivators 
is greatest. In Celebes, in liali, and in that ill-peo- 
pled portion of Java called the country of the Sun- 
das, the cultivator is invested with a ki?id of proprie- 
tary right. By sufferance he can bequeath, alien- 
ate, or mortgage his little tenement. In the highly 
peopled provinces of Java, where the population be- 

* Mill's Hislory of British India. — The enlightened Fifth 
Report of the House of Commons on Indian Atfairs, and Mi- 
Mill's book, both written by gentlemen who never visited 
India^ and the better for being so, will constitute a new era 
in the history of our Indian legislation, and are, at once, a 
proud evidence of the difl'usion of knowledge among us, and 
a satisfactory refutation of the pernicious prejudice that an 
Indian residence is indispensable to an understanding of In- 
dian affairs. 


gins already to press on the good land, the culti- 
vator exercises no such risrhts over the soil, and I 
hardly know any privilege which he possesses in 
regard to it, except the liberty of abandoning it. 

Under governments so arbitrary as those of the 
Indian islands, it would be idle to speak of a pri- 
vate right of property in the soil, — the most tangi- 
ble of all sources of revenue, and that most inva- 
riably within the grasp of an absolute sovereign. 
A bare establishment of the amount of the peasant's 
tenement, which never exceeds the little spot which 
he and his family are capable of labouring with their 
own hands, and which never increases or accumu^ 
lates beyond it, is quite conclusive on this subject. 
Had an actual right of property existed, we should, 
without doubt, find estates of some magnitude in 
private hands, accumulated by industry, or acquir- 
ed by violence. No such estates are found to exist. 
The unbounded influence of arbitrary power ob- 
literates all private or minor rights. 

With all the rudeness, barbarism, and despotism 
which characterize the governments of the Indian 
islands, the condition of the peasant or cultivator 
is perhaps, upon the whole, more fortunate than in 
any other country of the east. This advantage 
arises mainly from two causes, — the competition for 
cultivators and for labour in general, in countries 
where an extraordinary quantity of good land is 
still unoccupied, — and the habits and character of 


the people themselves, who, frotn the simplicity of 
their manners, to give it no higher name, are, 
when placed in authority, fortunately incapable of 
practising those refined arts of extortion, chicane, 
and knavery, with which we are so familiar in 
the people of Hindustan. The fiscal agents either 
want the skill or have not the inclination to med- 
dle in the details of the revenue. The village 
associations are, therefore, left to manage it them- 
selves ; and the share of the government is paid 
by them with good faith, while all classes observe 
towards each other a great share of forbearance. 

The high price of labour, and the extraordinary 
demand for cultivators, is strikingly exemplified in 
the wages paid to shearers, which, in every part of 
Java, is no less than one-sixth of the gross produce, 
a rate continued even in the most populous pro- 
vinces of the island, where the competition for la- 
bour is necessarily smaller, such among these peo- 
ple is the influence of the empire of custom. 

The whole of this subject will be better under- 
stood by presenting at once a short sketch of the di- 
vision of the crop and of the internal organization of 
the vilhige in regard to it, selecting for an example 
the institutions of the Javanese, as not only those 
with which I am myself most familiar, but those, 
too, which arc acknowledged in matters of this na- 
ture to be most systematically defined. In Java, the 
lands arc separately tilled by each cultivator, and 
not in connnon, as is frequently the case in the 


Hindu village. The quantity varies with the fer- 
tility of the soil ; and the state of population, being 
generally not less than half an acre, and seldom 
exceeding half a dozen. The cultivators are 
upon an equality, until one among them is chosen 
by themselves, or nominated by their superiors, to 
preside in the affairs of the village. Even in the 
latter case, it is a measure of policy not to offer vio- 
lence to the feelings of the villagers by placing an 
obnoxious person over them. The chief of the vil- 
lage thus appointed is the person entrusted with 
the collection of the public revenue, and the fol- 
lowing is a fair example of the division which he 
makes of the crop. Suppose the crop of a given 
quantity of land consists of sixty parts, one-sixth is 
deducted from the gross amount at once for reap- 
ing, which, in almost all cases, goes necessarily to 
the cultivator and his family. Of the remaining 
fifty parts, a tvventy-iifth, or four per cent, goes to 
the village priest or astrologer, after which the re- 
mainder is divided in equal parts between the cul- 
tivator and the sovereign. Although the nomiutil 
share of the sovereign and cultivator therefore be 
one-half each, the actual shares of the parties are 
as follow : 

The cultivator, - - 84 parts. 

The priest, - - 2 

The sovereign, - - 24> 



The share of the sovereign is necessarily farther 
reduced by the remissions he is compelled to make 
for management ; the amount of which, however, 
it is not practicable to state, as no regular scale of 
charges is established. One-fifth of the sovereign's 
share has been occasionally paid as the commission 
for collection. 

From this account of the Javanese village, it will 
be seen that it possesses many decided advantages 
over the similar municipal institution of the Hindus. 
Each man's possession is in his own immediate ma- 
nasement, and therefore must feel the advanta^-es 
of individual exertion and enterprise, which are pal- 
sied by the system of common management. The 
customary allowance of a sixth for reaping is just so 
much in favour of the cultivator j and his ultimate 
share with the sovereign is not frittered away by 
beins: wasted on the vile herd of miscreants and 
vagabonds belonging to the Hindu village, under 
the various and hicongruous appellations of astro- 
nomers, doctors, poets, musicians, barbers, and 
dancing girls. Even the lazy artificers of the Hin- 
du village, v.'ho receive a share of the crop, and are 
of course paid on a principle which excludes all the 
advantages of competition, have no existence in the 
organization of the Javanese village, each peasant 
of which resorts to the general market for the best 
or the cheapest work. This state of things contri- 
butes, with the demand for labour, the abundance 


of good land ; or, to speak in general terms, the 
progi'essive state of the society towards improve- 
ment, to render the condition of the Javanese cul- 
tivator more comfortable than that of the Hindu 
one, notwithstanding the admitted inferiority of the 
Javanese to the Hindus in the scale of civilization. 
That the habitation of the Javanese peasant is neat- 
er, his clothing and food better, and his modes of 
husbandry more perfect, is admitted by all who have 
had an opportunity of instituting a fair comparison 
between the Hindus and Javanese. 

Another circumstance which contributes materi- 
ally to the comfort or ease of the husbandman in all 
the countries of the Indian islands, is the almost 
universal exemption of all lands from taxation, ex- 
cept those employed in raising bread corn, substi- 
tutes for it, or the materials of clothing. In Java, 
it is roughly estimated by the natives themselves, 
that one-third of the area of all the arable land is oc- 
cupied by the sites of villages, including the gardens 
and orchards interspersed with the buildings. It 
matters little whether this proportion be accurate 
or not ; the belief that it is so may, at least, be ad- 
mitted as proof that a very large proportion is so oc- 
cupied. A Javanese village, and the same observa- 
tion applies to the villages of the other agricultural 
tribes, may be described as the mixture of a garden, 
orchard, and plantation of useful woods, in the grove, 
formed by which are interspersed the dwellings of 


the peasantry. Whatever is grown within the pre- 
cincts of the village, as here defined, is free from 
direct taxation, among which may be enmnerated 
a variety of leguminous plants and farinaceous 
roots, fruits, materials of cordage, and the useful 
and abundant bamboo, of almost universal applica- 
tion in the domestic and agricultural economy of 
the cultivator. 

If we would know what is the amount of the re- 
venue of a sovereign in the Indian Archipelago, 
we cannot do this by an examination of the records 
of his treasury, nor by the extent of his territory, 
but we can commit no great error if we have ascer- 
tained the number of his cultivators. The effective 
records of their exchequers do, in fact, consist of 
such documents. The revenue in Java, for example, 
is mostly paid in kind ; but, neither in this shape nor 
in any other, does much of it find its way into the 
treasury. Almost every one connected with the 
government or its administration is paid by assign- 
ments of land ; including princes of the blood, fa- 
vourites, officers of state, the army, from its highest 
to its lowest functionaries, and the very menials of 
the palace. The prince does not say to his first mini- 
ster, " Your salary shall consist of so much money, 
butit shall consist of so much corn, or of theproduce 
of the labour of so many cultivators." He holds the 
same language to one of his grooms. The quanti- 
ty of land, or, to speak more in the language of 


the people, the number of cultivators reserved by 
the prince for the production of a direct revenue 
in money or kind, is very inconsiderable. So fa- 
miliar is the manner of payment by assignments of 
land to the notions of the people, that one of the 
distinctions of official rank is founded upon it j and 
as the Tartar sovereigns of Hindustan ranked 
their military captains by the nominal establish- 
ment of horses assigned to them by the sovereign, 
so we find the rank of the nobles of Java frequent- 
ly determined by the number of cultivators on their 
assignments of land, from the chief of fifty Cha- 
cliaJis, or families, to him of five hundred, of a 
thousand, or upwards. The first minister, ibr ex- 
ample, whose income, after that of the heir to the 
throne, is the highest of all, is denominated " the 
lord of two thousand ;" that is, of two thousand 

As long as a revenue is paid in kind, and as long, 
indeed, as the character of the people continues 
what it is, I cannot help thinking that there is an 
evident advantaj^e in this rude mode of conductin": 
the business of the treasury, if I may so call it. It 
is, in the first place, attended by marked economy, 
for the inevitable waste which would accompany its 
collection by the officers of government is avoided. 
The cultivator is placed, by this system, either 
under the protection of an individual, whose in- 
terests are assimilated with his own, or who is too 


insignificant to injure them, instead of being sub- 
jected to the scourge of the venal officers of the re- 
venue. But the greatest advantage which accrues 
from it is its superseding the employment of a 
crowd of revenue agents, and that system of chicane- 
ry and tergiversation which yniist ever accompany 
such employment. I feel convinced that it is to the 
absence of this system, in no small degree, that we 
must ascribe the candour and good faith which has 
been remarked in the Javanese cultivator, so strik- 
ingly in contrast with the notorious chicanery and 
mendacity of the demoralized cultivators of Hin- 

Before concluding this branch of the subject of 
taxes, some observations will be necessary on its in- 
fluence on agricultural improvement, and upon the 
circumstances of society more generally. Except 
the advantages resulting from superior soil ^d cli- 
mate, and a greater abundance of good land in pro- 
portion to the number of inhabitants, the agriculture 
of the Indian islands cannot be deemed to be in a 
more favourable situation than that of Europe in 
the middle ages, when the soil was cultivated by 
wretched bondmen, or tenants at will, whose con- 
dition was little better. When the sovereign, as he 
does in Java, exacts, as tax, one-half the produce of 
the best and greater part of the cultivated lands, 
and one-third of that of the poorest, it is evident 
that, in such an exorbitant impost, he demands not 


merely that portion of the produce of the earth paid 
to tlie proprietor for the use of the original and inde- 
structible powers of the soil, or that which is a re- 
muneration for the expenditure of capital in its im- 
provement, but also the whole of the legitimate pro- 
fits of the farmer and cultivator. The amount thus 
exacted is expended in revenue, and falls into unpro- 
ductive hands, — is spent, in short, upon the court, its 
officers, or agents, and not a farthing returns to be 
added to agricultural capital and to the improvement 
of the land. What but the extraordinary productive- 
ness of the soil, and benignity of the climate, with 
the peculiar relation of the land to the popula- 
tion, could, for a moment, render so enormous an 
impost tolerable, and present to us, notwithstand- 
ing such disadvantages, the extraordinary spectacle 
of a rich husbandry under such privations as those 
of the Javanese cultivator. Should such a system 
be persevered in when the wages of labour fall, 
the land becomes scarce, and the population begins 
to press against the means of subsistence, a period, 
according to the present rapid increase of popula- 
tion, not extremely remote, the peasantry of Java 
will be driven to wretchedness and poverty, and to 
crimes and immorality, to which, even in their pre- 
sent state of degradation, they are strangers. The 
very best that could be predicted of any system of 
revenue arrangements, founded on the extravagant 
and iniquitous principles of the native institutions. 


would be the perpetuation of the present abjectness 
and indigence of the cultivator, and, consequently, 
the poverty and debasement of the whole society. 
If, according to Adam Smith, the opulence or po- 
verty of a nation " depends very much, in every 
country, upon the proportion between that part of 
the annual produce which, as soon as it comes 
either from the ground or from the hands of the 
productive labourers, is destined for replacing a 
capital, and that which is destined for constituting 
a revenue either as rent or as profit,'* Java, and 
every other country of the Archipelago, are really 
poor countries, and must, in spite of a soil the most 
eminently gifted, always continue so while a land- 
tax, founded on the native principle, or almost any 
modification of it, is persevered in. 

It is only in reference to countries in the occu- 
pation of Europeans, that it can be necessary to 
propose any scheme of amelioration. In doing so, 
the interests of a very heterogeneous population 
must be considered. We have to legislate for Eu- 
ropeans, for Chinese, and for a mixed mass of na- 
tive inhabitants. The law should make no distinc- 
tion between them. Java is the coimtry which £ have 
chiefly in view in throwing out these suggestions. 
The first point is to establish a right of private pro- 
perty in the land. In the present abject state of 
society, there is no class of the native inhabitants to 
whom it belongs, or that has a better claim to it 

CA public revenue. 

than another. This is so universally felt by them- 
selves, that to insist upon it were unnecessary. The 
sovereign's right to the soil, with the reservation 
of a land-tax, should then be sold to the highest 
bidder. This would place the proprietary right 
where it ought to be, in the hands of men of in- 
fluence and property. The competition for the 
first sales of such lands as are in the actual occu- 
pation of the natives should be confined to them, 
but all future sales ought to be unrestricted. This 
regulation would obviate the inconveniences which 
mifTfht arise from too sudden a transition of rio;hts 
into the hands of unpractised and inexperienced 
stranf2;ers, but secure eventually the wholesome and 
familiar admixture of the different races, the only 
means of reconciling them to each other, and com- 
municating to the least improved the intelligence 
and information of the most civilized. The com- 
petition for unoccupied land should be general. 
Such lands would, of course, fall chiefly into the 
hands of strangers whose capitals and industry, 
notwithstanding the inferior fertility of their pos- 
sessions, would place them on some equality with 
the natives. As an encouragement to the clear- 
ing and cultivation of such lands, they ought to be, 
according to circumstances, exempted from taxa- 
tion for a period of ten, twenty, or thirty years. 
The extent of the lots exposed to sale would ne- 
cessarily be regulated, in a good measure, by their 


fertility or otherwise. That extent should not be 
so great as to confine the competition to a few great 
capitalists, incapable, from the extent of their pos- 
sessions, of improving them with advantage, nor so 
minute as to throw the lands into the hands of the 
ignorant and improvident peasantry, still more in- 
capable. Neglected lands should be resumable 
by the state. 

Such a measure as now proposed could not be 
carried into effect at once by the mere issue of 
a government edict, but ought to be the gradual 
work of many years. In estimating the amount of 
the land-tax to be reserved by the state, care 
should be taken that the tax be confined to what 
is strictly rent, that is, to a value for the use of the 
land, and of the land only. * The assessment, by a 
numerical proportion of the crop, is fallacious and 
unjust. A sixth of the produce might be a heavier 
tax on poor lands which demanded much labour 
in the culture, than a third of that of richer lands. 
A general standard for the whole country could 
not be fixed ; but a regulated scale for each pro- 
vince or district might easily be framed. The 
amount of the tax should be invariable and per- 
petual ; and, to obviate any deterioration of the 
public revenue, ought to be stated in com as well 
as in money, although paid in the latter; the govern- 

♦ Ilicardo's Piin, of Polit. Econ. p. 222. 


iiient reserving to itself tlie option of adjusting' it 
by a reference to the former, at stated but distant 
periods of time. The public sale of the govern- 
ment lands would place at the disposal of the state, 
for a long period of years, a large fund applicable 
to the general charges of government, or to par- 
ticular improvements. Strangers of enterprise and 
capital, chiefly from Europe and China, would 
be encouraged to settle ; improvement would be 
rapid ; and, long before the sale of the whole 
lands, the prosperity and wealth of the society 
would furnish, if necessary, other sources of pub- 
lic revenue, which would far more than compen- 
sate for any imaginary loss. 

According to Mr Ricardo, a tax on rent falls 
wholly upon landlords, cannot be shifted to any 
class of consumers, and caimot discourage the cul- 
tivation of new lands, for such lands pay no rent. 
In Java, or any country similarly situated, where 
there are no landlordSy and the sovereign is the 
sole proprietor, it is evident, therefore, that -the 
whole of what is strictly the true rent of land, ex- 
cluding the produce of capital laid out in improve- 
ments, might be taken by the state as tax, without 
injury or injustice to any class of society. If, 
along with this, we take into consideration the 
extraordinary productive powers of the soil of Java, 
it will not be too much to assert, that no govern- 
ment was ever presented with so favourable an 


opportunity of organizing a system of taxation so 
certain, productive, and beneficial, as the admi- 
nistration of tliat island has it now in its power to 

In speculating upon this vital question I must 
here remark, that it is upon the justice, liberality, 
and entire equality, in this as well as all other great 
questions of legislation, with which the different 
classes of inhabitants are considered, that the pro- 
sperity of European colonies, so circumstanced as 
those in the Indian islands, must mainly depend. 
Difference of colour and language are the great 
obstacles to the happiness, improvement, and ci- 
vilization of mankind in such situations. We 
have the fatal example of the Spanish colonies of 
America to warn us against the danger and impo- 
licy of laws, the tendency of which is to create castes. 
No specific regulation should, therefore, exist lor 
the peculiar protection of any one class. This is not 
a matter for legislative interfei'ence. Every class 
shouJd be permitted to enter freely into contracts 
with another ; and the dark-coloured races should 
not be looked upon as minors under the guardian- 
ship of the state, or their imbecility will be increased 
and perpetuated, while then* morals will be corrupt- 
ed by the temptation to evasion and chicanery which 
the very laws themselves will hold out. 1 cannot 
better impress this subject upon the mind of the read- 
er than by quoting the high authority of that en- 


lightened philosopher Baron Humboldt, who, speak- 
ing of the stai'e of the natives of New Spain, makes 
the following reflection, which is unexceptionably 
applicable to the Indian islanders, though certain- 
ly a more vigorous, moral, and improved race 
than the Americans. " In an age when it was 
formally discussed, whether the Indians were ration- 
al beings, it was conceived granting them a benefit 
to treat them like minors, to put them under the 
perpetual tutorage of the whites, and to declare 
null every act signed by a native of the copper-co- 
loured race, and every obligation which he contract- 
ed beyond the value of fifteen francs. These laws 
are maintained in full vigour, and they place in- 
surmountable barriers between the Indians and the 
other castes, with whom all intercourse is almost 
prohibited. Thousands of inhabitants can enter in- 
to no contracts which are binding ; and, condemn- 
ed to a pei-petual minority, they become a charge 
to themselves, and the state in which they live."* 
In almost all the countries of the Archipelago, 
something in the form of a capitation oy poll taa: is 
levied, but, when more closely examined, this im- 
post is discovered to be another form of assessing the 
land, being a tax levied on the cultivation or culti- 
vators jointly, and on no other class of the people. 
It does not bear a proportion to the rent or quali- 

* Political EssoTj on New Spain, Book II. chap. 6. 


ty of the land, except that it is confined to tiet 
lands, Its amount is but a mere triHe. The west- 
ern inhabitants of Java term the tax Fdgalantang, 
and the eastern Pachumplang\ sometimes sarcasti- 
cally Pangatvang, or air-taj^y which is as much as to 
say, that they are not convinced that it is exacted 
on any reasonable ground ! The demand of one- 
half the produce of their hibour from tlie soil does 
not appear extravagant or unreasonable, so natural 
does this prerogative of the sovereign appear to them ; 
but the trifling poll-tax is not so much associated 
with their habits and feelings, and is consequently 
unpopular. I conjecture that, in the first instance, 
it was a tribute levied on conquered countries. 
The eastern Javanese, when tbey conquered the 
Sundas, in the reign of the Great Sidtaii, imposed 
this tax on the conquered people, while the land- 
tax was left to their natural chiefs. 

It would be in vain to pretend to render an ac- 
count of all the irregular contributions and requisi- 
tions to which a people are liable who labour under 
the evils of a rude and arbitrary government. At 
festivals, at marriages and births, wh' ther in the 
family of the sovereign or of the chief who presides 
over them, the cultivators are called upon for con- 
tributions. In the transportation of public pro- 
perty, or the conveyance of the minions of the 
court or its officers — in the repair or construction 
of roads, bridges, and other public works, the ser- 


vices of the people are exacted unmercifully, and 
without thank^ or leward. 

In Java a direct tax is imposed an Jjsheries. Ex- 
tensive tracts of country along the sea side, consist- 
ing of salt marshes, and little inlets of the sea, have 
been converted into fish-ponds, in which are bred 
the ordinary sea fish in great quantities. The so- 
vereign claims a proprietary right in the greater 
number of these fish- ponds, and derives a large re- 
venue from farming them. 

Taxes on consumption in these countries are 
but of comparatively recent introduction, and, per- 
haps, have been owing chiefly to the example of the 
Chinese. A direct tax is a plain mode of levying a 
revenue, but an indirect impost a less obvious one. 
The first attempt to tax foreign commerce is in 
making a monopoly of it, and the principle is still 
ndhered to in most of the native governments of 
the Archipelago. The petty prince must have the 
refusal of the stranger's cargo, or such parts of it as 
may suit his fancy ; he barters his goods in return, 
and it is only through favour or forbearance that 
the foreign merchant is permitted to trade with 
private persons. Buying cheap and selling dear 
are gross expedients which readily occur, but the 
wisdom of encouraging trade by moderate imposts, 
of which the result would be a much ampler reve- 
nue to the sovereign, implies a refinement and fore- 
thought of which the rude understandings of the' 


Indian islanders are incapable. It is only with a 
very few of the native princes, and these common- 
ly Arabs, or of Arabian stock, that a better system 
has been partially adopted. 

Transit duties are another rude expedient, 
resorted to universally in all eastern countries, 
wherever roads or inland navio-ation exist. The 
roads and rivers of Java may be described as abso- 
lutely infested with such impositions. As the toll 
varies with every station, or custom-house, and is 
variously assessed on every description of goods, 
without reference to any rational principle, it would 
be in vain to attempt rendering any account of the 
rate of taxation. 

Another set of taxes of the same character con- 
sists in imposts levied on all goods sold in the pub- 
lic marketSf and repeated with every sale. 1 he 
impost thus levied may be said to consist of three 
parts, a monopoly of the market-place, the ground 
rent of the stall where the goods are exposed, and 
the direct tax on the goods. It is unnecessary to 
say that a tax levied on the first and third princi- 
ple, is a tax on industry of the most pernicious kind. 
These rude and unskilful financiers make no dis- 
tinction between a tax upon the necessaries of life 
and a tax upon luxuries, innocent or vicious. The 
productiveness of the tax, and the facility of levy- 
ing it, are the only questions. Foreign and do- 
mestic manufactures, raw and wrought produce, the 


necessaries of life, includin^j corn of every kind, and 
animal food,are alike objectsof this form of taxation. 
It is upon this principle that opium, the substitute 
of the Indian islanders for wines and spirits, and 
salt, the universal subject of heavy taxation in all 
ages, and almost all countries, are equally objects of 
extraordinary and distinct taxation. In Java, the 
great manufacturing country of salt, the commodity 
was sold on the spot where it was made at about 
fifteen times its natural value, — in distant places, 
sometimes as high as seventy times. Opium, in the 
same country, may be reckoned to be sold at about four 
times the amount of the monopoly sales in India, 
and at probably not less than ten times the natu- 
ral cost. In every part of the i\rchipelago, opium 
and salt are, under one form or another, objects of 
a rigid monopoly on the part of the governments. 

The system of farming the public revenue, in all 
its departments, is universal in the Indian islands, 
wherever European influence has made no innova- 
tion. The farmers are either natives of the east coast 
of the peninsula of India, or Chinese, but most fre- 
quently the latter. We hear them generally deno- 
minated Bandar, s. corruption in orthograpliy, and a 
more palpable one in meaning, of the Persian word 
Bdndury-a. sea-poit, or commercial emporium, which 
the accommodating geniusof the Polynesian tongues 
applies not only to the custom-houses on the coast, 
but to the toll ports of the interior, where the 


transit duties are levied, and, as now stated, even 
to the farmer himself. In the early state of com- 
merce in all countries, the pernicious system of 
farming such branches of the public revenue as 
consist of taxes on consumption is general. From 
the peculiar commercial capabilities of the In- 
dian islands, and the resort of strangers, they 
may justly be said to be possessed of a share of 
trade beyond its usual extent, in countries of 
equal civilization. The incapacity and ignorance 
of men in their state of society, renders the 
Indian islanders quite unequal to the details of 
a business of any degree of compiexness, and 
the necessary consequence is, that the manage- 
ment of the revenue, in all the more difficult 
branches, falls into the hands of rapacious stran- 
gers. Tlie employment of the Chmese in the di- 
rect collection of the duties is found impracticable 
from their utter want of moral character and inteo-ri- 
ty, so that the farming system becomes, by necessity, 
the only resource, and the only means of securing 
the just amount of the public revenue, is the dis- 
posal of the farms by the competition of a pub- 
lic sale. Even in European establishments, from 
the unwise restraints imposed on European coloni- 
zation, the employment of European officers in 
the direct management of the revenue has not 
been found to answer. The smallness of their 
numbers does not admit of the employment of 


instruments either sufficiently cheap, or sufficient- 
ly expert. They are both unwiUing for, and un- 
equal to the task of bestowing the attention ne- 
cessary to the minute details of a laborious business. 
Under their management the inferior agents of the 
revenue commit depredations on the trader, the re- 
venue suffers defalcation, and nothing is gained. 
The employment of the Chinese farmers, therefore, 
as long as the impolitic principle of interdicting 
European colonization is persisted in, is far less 
injurious both to the subject and the state. The 
native trader, who woukl hesitate to complain of the 
injustice of an European agent, will not fail to com- 
plain of that of a Chinese one, who possesses no po- 
litical power, and is an object of jealousy, but not of 
fear, both to the trader and the man in power. 
On this subject I speak distinctly from the results 
of my own personal experience in the control of 
two of the most considerable commercial establish- 
ments in the Archipelago, those of Samarang, and 
Surabaya, in Java. Until, in the progress of colo- 
nization, an active race of Europeans, by constitu- 
tion fit to bear the climate, and by education and 
experience equal to transact business with the va- 
rious inhabitants of these countries, be available, 
the assumption of the dhect management of those 
branches of the public revenue, to which I have al" 
luded, by the servants of the European government, 
will prove injurious both to the sovereign and the 





Xatw of the Indian islanders a mixture of native Hindu and 
Arabian laiv. — Account of writings on Jurisprudence — 
Modes of administering justice. — Courts, — Proceedings. — 
Rides of evidence. — Civil laws. — Purchase and sale.—" 
Deposits. — Letting and hiring. — Loans. — Latos of inherit- 
ance. — Marriage-contract. — Penal laws. — Description of 
punishments. — Frequency of capital punis/unent. — Of fine. 
— A^ronl, or personal insult, a punishment by laxv. — Out.' 
lavory. — Modes of execution. — Lex talionis. - Pecuniary 
compensation for crimes. — Allotment of punishment accord' 
ing to rank. — Off^ences against property. — Theft. — Roh^ 
bery. — 'Offences against persons. — Abusive language. — 
Right of avenging tvrongs in a great measure left in pri- 
vate hands, and employment of hired champions to avenge 
private quarrels. — Wounding. — Murder and m/inslaugh- 

ter Injuries offered to the sex. — Seduction. — Adultery. — 

Offerees against the sovereign. — Exercise of unlawful tmtho' 
rity. — Giving false information. — Counterfoiting the royal 
signet — Treason and rebellion — OJfences against the laws 
oj nature. — Sorcery. — Marriages wtthin jjrohibited degrees. 

Having rendered an account of the forms of go- 
vernment among the Indian islanders, I shall con- 
clude this book by a sketch of their laws, in the 
course of wiuch 1 shall rather attempt to shew their 
spirit and character than enter into any minute 

76 LAWS, 

details conceraing them. This may be done under 
the four following heads : — viz. History and Ar- 
rangement of the Laws, — Forms of Judicatory, — 
Civil Laws, and Penal Laws. 

As in other departments, so in that of the laws, 
the Hindus, the Arabs, or both, have imparted a 
share of their learning to the Indian islanders. 
(The laws of all the civilized tribes consist, accord- 
ingly, of a commixture of native customs and of 
Hindu and Mahomedan jurisprudence. From the 
remarkable opposition whicli exists in the state o 
society among the Indian islanders, and that of the 
Hindus and Arabs, we must be prepared to find that 
the peculiar codes of the two latter people would 
be but very partially adopted by the former, — 
that laws framed for a populous country, in which 
the odious institution of the castes was rigidly es- 
tablished, or for the shepherds of the add and 
sterile plains of Arabia, could not be transferred, 
without modification, to the simple, rude, and 
scanty population of the verdant and luxuriant 
islands of the equator. 

The reigning religion of the Archipelago, as has 
been fully described in another department of this 
work, is the Mahomedan, which necessarily implies 
the inseparable existence of the Mahomedan law. 
In a period of about two centuries and a half, which 
elapsed from the end of the thirteenth to the be- 
ginning of the sixteenth century, almost all the 

J>r<urn t Kri^rared \y W-B Lixars from a ShOefi by Cap.' HeLi/ossc. 

fda or SraJTurt of' Bali. 

Edinburgh. FtihhjhM ly Con^UibU k C U20. 

LAWS. 77 

considerable nations of the Indian islands adopted 
the Mahomedan religion, the work of conversion 
commencing naturally from the west and proceed- 
ing eastward. The degree in which they have 
adopted the laws and doctrines of Mahomed have 
been proportioned to the degree of civilization in 
which the natives were found, and to the greater 
or smaller intercourse which has since subsisted 
between them and the Mahomedan nations of the 

The Mahomedan law i§ nominallij established 
among the whole of the converted tribes, and in 
'penal and ecclesiastical jurisprudence is followed 
pretty closely. Tracts on Mahomedan law, fol- 
lowing the doctrines of Shojihi, or his pupils, are 
in circulation in every country of the Archipela- 
go, accompanied occasionally with commentaries or 
translations in the vernacular languages. To fur- 
nish any detailed account of these vvoukl be foreign 
to the nature of my undertaking, the object of 
which is to delineate the peculiar features of a state 
of society widely different from that for which the 
Mahomedan code was framed, or its commentaries 
composed. The state of society among all the tribes 
of the Indian islanders differs so essentially from the 
latter, that, notwithstanding the avowed supremacy 
of Mahomedan law, it is hardly applied in any case, 
without considerable latitude and modification. Lo- 
cal usages and customs are covertly of authority, 

78 LAWS. 

and among several of the principal tribes, have been 
committed to writing. I n the languages of the west- 
ern tribes, these written collections are generally 
denominated Undang^ a word, which, in the lead- 
ing language, the Javanese, means a royal order or 
edict, and points distinctly enough at their nature 
and origin, being all compilations made by express 
order oi some particular monarch. None of them, 
of course, bear date earlier than the introduction 
of Mahomedanism, and the greater number are in- 
deed coeval with this event, or were compiled im- 
mediately after it. It may be presumed, that these 
collections are founded on the written laws which 
were in existence with each particular tribe before 
the conversion. Under the name of Kuntaray for 
example, the 13alinese have still a collection of na- 
tive laws, slightly modified by Hinduism, which 
bears a strong afunity with the Malayan collec- 
tions called Undang. In attempting to render 
an account of the jurisprudence of the Indian 
islanders, I shall freely quote these different col- 
lections. All of them display a remarkable cha- 
racter of rudeness and barbarism. Institutions so 
imperfect, indeed, have never, in all probability, 
been, among any other people, committed to writ- 
ing. No attempt is made in them at arrangement 
or classification, but the most incompatible mattery 
are blended togetlicr, and the forms of judicatui'^, 
criminal and civil jurisprudence, maxims of mo- 

tAWS. 79 

rality, and commercial regulations, are incongru- 
ously mtermixed. 

I proceed to render some account of the arr 
rangements for tlie maintenance of order and tran- 
quillity, and for the administration of justice. We 
are fully prepared to understand what the charac- 
ter of these miat be from what has been already 
said on the subject of government. As in all rude 
periods of society, the chief, lord, king, or sovereign, 
under whatever name recognized, administers the 
law. In the smaller communities, he does so in 
person ; in the larger ones by delegate. The ad- 
ministration of the laws is, in fact, but a subordi- 
nate branch of executive government, conducted by 
one and the same hands. In the law terms used 
by the Javanese, accordingly, any injury offered to 
the persons or property of the king's subjects are 
termed injuries to him : Thus doso i^ojo-brono, 
literally the crime against the king's property, is 
theft ; doso rojo-iatUy meaning literally wounding 
the king, is wounding or maiming in general ; 
and doso rojo-pati, the crime of killing the king, 
is murder. In the larger communities, to save 
trouble, the usual expedient, in such cases, of law 
assessors, has been had recourse to. The sove- 
reign or his minister has his assessor, — the dele- 
gates of the sovereign, in the administration of 
the provinces, theirs, — and all the subdelegates of 
these, in a third or fourth series, theirs also, the prin- 

80 LAWS. 

cipal always interfering whenever he has leisure w 
inclination to do so. This general account I shall il- 
lustrate by a particular statement of the mode of ad- 
ministering justice among the Javanese. Akingdom, 
in that island, is an aggregate of villages each of 
which has within itself a distinct local jurisdiction, 
which may be described as a sort of corporation hy 
sufferance. This corporation consists of a diiej] a se- 
condy a yjr/e^/, a register^ or writer, elders^ and the 
tenants oi the land ; or, which is the same thing, the 
tenants of the sovereign. Sometimes the principal 
village-officers are elected by their fellow-villagers, 
and at other times by a superior. In whatever way 
nominated, it happens, that, from the equality of 
their fortunes, or, in other words, from the po- 
verty of all, a great degree of freedom and equa- 
lity subsists between the members of these little 
societies. Petty disputes are settled by the chief 
and elders in public, or written evidence of mat- 
ters of greater moment is taken down by them, 
to be transmitted to higher authority. Arrange- 
ments are made by the same authority for the pro- 
tection of the joint property, and for that of the 
goods of strangers or passengers, by the nomina- 
tion of nightly watches and patroles. The village 
associations are superintended by officers of va- 
rious names, who are the delegates or lieutenants 
of the governors of provinces. These have their 
law assessors and courts, which take cognizance of 

LAWS. 81 

matters of higher moment than lie within the ju- 
risdiction of tlie village-officers. They are re- 
sponsible in their turn to the governors of pro- 
vinces, who have their minister or assistant, their 
law assessors, writers, and registers, &c. which, in 
name and nature, are a literal copy of the su- 
preme authority at the seat of government, now 
to be more particularly described. The supreme 
court of justice, at the seat of government, nomi- 
nally consists of the Jour following persons, called, 
from their importance, ** the nails which fix the 
kingdom," Patoh Nagoro, — the sovereign, — his 
minister, — the high-priest, and the judge of common 
law. The sovereign never administers justice in per- 
son, but interferes when he thinks proper, as well on 
the general principle of his authority as an arbitrary 
prince, as because he is the head of the church. Fa- 
nolo AgomOt law and religion in the East being al- 
ways inseparable. His minister is also too much oc- 
cupied to devote much time to the administration of 
justice, the consequence of which is, that it is left 
nearly altogether to the Panguluy or high-priest, 
and to the Jaksa, or native judge. The first is 
presumed to be learned in the Mahomedan law, 
and takes rank of the second, who is employed in 
minor details of mere drudgery, and is presumed to 
be familiar with those peculiar customs and usages 
which are deviations from the Mahomedan law. 


9i LAWS. 

The court is an open one, and, to give solemnity 
to the proceedings, is held in the portico, Sdram- 
hi, of the principal mosque. The Indian island- 
ers are not by nature litigious ; and in their pover- 
ty, it is not reasonable to expect that important 
rights of property should often be contested among 
them. Civil disputes are settled in the inferior 
courts rather by a kind of arbitration than by judi- 
cial process, so that the duties of the superior court, 
now described, are chiefly confined to criminal 
trials, principally capital offences. 

In all important cases the evidence is formally 
recorded in writing, and the whole procedure, as I 
have frequently witnessed, is conducted with calm- 
ness, deliberation, and decorum. The details are 
slow and tedious, but the whole process sufficient- 
ly expeditious. 

Peculiarity of local situation and manners has 
given rise to various distinctions in the distribu- 
tion of judicial authority. Among the Hindu po- 
pulation of Bali the Brahmins administer justice. 
Among the Malay tribes the peculiarity of their 
maritime situation and their commercial habits has 
given rise to a peculiar distribution of judicial 
authority, which is expressed, in the Institutes of 
Malacca, as follows : — " The authority of the mi- 
nister, Bcindahara, extends over men in office, — 
lords, — sons of nobles of the first rank, and the 
royal guards, Biduinday that of the minister of 

LAWS. 83 

police, Tumangungy over the affairs of the coun- 
try generally, and over beggars, destitute persons 
and orphans ; — ^that of the admiral, Laksimana, 
over all maritime affairs, and all the concerns of 
the dependent provinces of the state ; — and that of 
the Intendant of the Port, Shahba?ida?\ over the 
affairs of the port, over all merchants, and over all 
strangers." The most remarkable of these is the 
authority delegated to the admiral. He is declared 
to be " the king" when at sea, and then to have 
the power of life and death. It is singular that this 
power is not confined to this superior naval officer 
alone, but expressly belongs by law even to the 
master of a trading-vessel. The following law, 
from the Malacca collection, specifies all the officers 
or persons to whom this dangerous power is en- 
trusted : " The persons who have the power of 
inflicting the punishment of death are the mini- 
ster, Bandahara, in the absence of the king, or 
within his own particular jurisdiction, (literally his 
own river,) — the minister of police, Tumnngtmg, 
when engaged in apprehending criminals, — the 
admiral, Lalvsimamij when in the harbour, and he 
is disobeyed, or when on the high-seas,' — and the 
commander of a trading-vessel when he is at sea, 
for he is then as the Icing. But the authority of 
this latter extends only to the great crimes of 
takinjr another man's wife or concubine, or me- 
ditating to run a muck." 

84 LAWS. 

The judicial proceedings, as already mentioned, 
are conducted with much solemnity, and the an- 
cient laws punish want of attention to the forms 
of the court. In the Javanese laws we have, 
with this view, the following singular enactments, 
so characteristic of the simple manners of the 
people : " If a person refuse to pay attention to 
the forms of court he shall be fined ten pieces of 
money." — '* If a person address the judge out of 
his turn he shall be fined two pieces of money." — 
" If any one bring victuals or other gift to the 
judge, when he has a suit in court, he shall lose 
his cause.'* 

The prosecutor, or plaintiff, states his own cause 
to the judge, often in a strain of considerable elo- 
quence, and he then produces his witnesses. The 
accused makes his defence in a similar manner, 
and, in his turn, brings forward his evidence. The 
judge hears and decides forthwith, and the sen- 
tence is carried into effect on the spot. Attorneys 
or advocates are seldom or ever had recourse to. 

The following is the description of the qualifi- 
cations and duties of a Javanese judge, from a 
work called Niti Praja : * *' A judge must, in all 
cases, be impartial, to enable him to weigh all 
causes which come before him with the same ex- 
actness that merchandise is weighed in a scale, and 

* Raffles's History of Java, Vol. I. p. 277. 

LAWS. 85 

nicely balance the equilibrium ; nothing adding or 
taking from either side." — " He must be above 
all bribery, either by words or money, and never 
allow himself to be induced to commit an act of in- 
justice ; for, were a judge to commit an act of this 
kind, the consequence could not but be highly in- 
jurious to the country." — *' He must not accept 
presents of any kind from the parties whose cause 
comes before him, not only because he cannot ex- 
pect to derive advantage therefrom, but also be- 
cause the public will hold discourse concerning 
him highly injurious to his reputation." — " All 
causes in dispute must be decided upon by him, 
with the least possible delay, according to law, and 
not kept long in suspense to the injury of the par- 
ties concerned, lest he be considered like a holy 
man, who, for the sake of money, sacrifices his 
good name." — " A judge must inquire into every 
circumstance relating to the causes brought before 
him, and duly investigate the evidence ; after which 
he must take the cause into consideration. He 
must not in the least listen to what is false, and, 
on all occasions, decide according to truth." Such 
self-evident maxims, and crude instructions for 
the conduct of a judge, could only, thus pom- 
pously, be paraded in a very rude and early stage 
of social union, and of the science of ethics. The 
judge, in all these cases, being no more than the 
law assessor, the law makes no scruple in punish. 

86 LAWS. 

ing him severely. In a treatise on Javanese law, 
composed immediately after the conversion to Ma- 
homedanism, and called the " Sun of the Uni- 
verse," Surya AUlnit after an enumeration of the 
duties of the judge, Jaksa, it is deliberately de- 
clared, " If he is found ignorant of these things, 
he shall have his tongue cut out ;" and, if the 
next in order to the judge, Jajanaiig, shall, in act- 
ing for the judge, prove deficient in a knowledge 
of his duty, he too shall either have his tongue cut 
out, lose both his ears, or have red-hot pincers ap- 
plied to his lips.'* — " In the third place," it adds, 
" any incorrect statement in writing shall be pu- 
nished with the loss of both hands. Should nei- 
ther of these sentences be carried into effect, the 
judge ought, at all events, to be banished the coun- 
try. This punishment, however, may be miti- 
gated by the Raja, who, having compassion on the 
judge, may recall him after one year's banish- 
ment." * 

Even the capacity or learning of the judge, or 
law assessor, appears, on some occasions, to be 
treated with very little ceremony. In one law of 
the ancient Javanese, it is declared, that, if he be 
^lenced in a discussion with one of the parties who 
dispute a point with him, he shall be fined forty 
thousand pichis. 

' Raffles's Java, Vol. II. Appendix, p. 33. 

LAWS. 87 

The rules of evidence, as among all barbarous 
people, are arbitrary and capricious. At present, 
they are, among the Mahomedan nations of the 
Archipelago, determined principally by the sacred 
text of the Koran, and by its commentaries. By 
the ancient laws of the Javanese, or, which is the 
same thing, by the present laws of Bali, women, 
slaves, stammerers, lame or maimed people, persons 
afflicted with such loathsome disorders as leprosy, 
or epilepsy, &c., were excluded from giving testi- 
mony in a court of justice. 

The collection of Malacca decides in the follow- 
ing words, who are to be deemed competent, and 
who incompetent witnesses. " Competent witnes- 
ses are persons of virtue, just persons, pious per- 
sons, and freemen. Incompetent witnesses are 
persons of bad character, slaves, and women. The 
lattor are admissible, however, in affairs of preg- 
nancy, and in those which regard female complaints. 
In affairs of marriage, they are by no means to be 

The rules of evidence among the people o^Pas- 
summah are as follow : ** In order to be deemed 
a competent and unexceptionable evidence, a per- 
son must be of a different family, and dusun from 
the person in whose behalf he gives evidence, of 
good character, and a freeman ; but, if the dis- 
pute be between two persons of the same dusuriy 
persons of such dusun are allowed to be complete 

88 LAWS. 

evidence." This singular law is framed to pro- 
vide against the feuds and animosities prevail- 
ing between the inhabitants of different villages, 
and affords a striking picture of the violence and 
anarchy of the state of society among these peo- 

Witnesses are not, as among us, examined on 
oath ; for oaths are not administered but with 
much solemnity. Among the different tribes, 
there are various forms of administering an oath. 
The military tribes of Celebes swear by their 
drawn krises, with the Koran held over their heads, 
as already described in the account of their man- 
ners, in the first volume. The people of Sumatra 
swear by their heir-looms. The Javanese swear 
by the Koran in the mosque with great solemni- 
ty, the ceremony occupying frequently more than 
an hour, and consisting chiefly in the recitation 
by the priest of pertinent and impressive passages 
from the sacred volume. The form of words used 
by the people of Sumatra is to the following effect : 
** If what I now declare is truly and really so, may 
I be freed and clear from my oath ; if what I assert 
is wittingly false, may my oath be the cause of my 
destruction." * The oath pronounced by the Ja- 
vanese is very remarkable. " If,*' says the Java- 
nese peasant, with perfect simplicity, " I speak 

" History of Sumatra. 

LAWS. 89 

falsehood, may I meet with misfortune ; but if I 
speak the truth, may I receive the blessing of the 
prophet of God, of all the saints of Java, and of 
my lord and king^ who now reigns,*' ratu. The 
mosque is the most common place for administering 
an oath, but some of the tribes consider the shrines 
of saints, or the burying-ground of their ancestors, 
as places of more solemnity. 

Among all the tribes, it is the principal rather 
than the witnesses that are sworn. *'In many cases," 
says Mr Marsden, * '• it is requisite they should 
swear to what it is not possible, in the nature of 
things, they should know to be true. A sues B 
for a debt due from the father or grandfather of 
B to the father or grandfather of A. The origi- 
nal parties are dead, and no witness of the transac- 
tion survives. How is the matter to be decided ? 
It remains with B to make oath that his father or 
grandfather never was indebted to those of A, or 
that, if he was indebted, the debt had been paid. 
This, among us, would be considered a very strange 
method of deciding causes, but among these people 
something of the kind is absolutely necessary. As 
they have no sort of written accounts, nor any 
thing like records or registers among them, it would 
be utterly impossible for the plaintiff to establish 
the debt by a positive proof in a multitude of cases ; 

* ilistory of Sumatra, p, 239. 

90 LAWS. 

and, were the suit to be dismissed at once, as with 
us, for want of such proof, numbers of innocent 
persons would lose the debts really due to them, 
through the knavery of the persons indebted, wlio 
would scarce ever fail to deny a debt." 

'The Javanese administer an oath on the same 
principle, though not so often in civil as in crimi- 
nal cases. A murder, for example, has been com- 
mitted, and the relations prosecute J:he person sus- 
pected to have committed it. If there be either no 
evidence, or but inadequate evidence, the prisoner 
will be directed by the court to swear to his own 
innocence. When we are sufficiently aware of the 
character of the inhabitants of these countries, the 
practice will not appear so unreasonable as it seems 
at first view. There are no people who have a more 
sacred regard for the sanctity of an oath. In a 
court of justice their character appears to great ad- 
vantage. Truth and simplicity are the decided 
characteristics of their testimony. — There is gene- 
rally no legal punishment among them for perjury, 
which is left to the vengeance of the invisible 
powers. The laws of the Malays alone punish 
this offence, and the code of Malacca describes the 
kind of punishment in one case as follow : *' If a 
person give false evidence before the Intendant of 
the Port, his face shall be streaked with charcoal 
and turmeric, and he shall be publicly exposed ; or 
be fined to the amount of two tahils" Among 

LAWS. 91 

some of the tribes, collateral oaths are deemed ne- 
cessary, and the testimony of an accused person 
must be corroborated by that of others, somewhat 
in the manner of the compurgators of the middle 
ages of Europe. Among those people, however, 
it is the relations of the deceased alone that are 
sworn. Marsden gives the following interesting 
account of the practice : "In administering an 
oath, if the matter litigated respects the proper- 
ty of the grandfather, all the collateral branches 
of the family descended from him are understood 
to be included in its operation ; if the father*s 
effects only are concerned, or the transactions hap- 
pened in his lifetime, his descendants are included ; 
if the affair regards only the present parties, and 
originated with them, they and their immediate de- 
scendants only are comprehended in the conse- 
quences of the oath ; and if any single one of these 
descendants refuses to join in the oath, it vitiates 
the whole ; that is, it has the same effect as if the 
party himself refused to swear ; a case that not 
unfrequently occurs. It may be observed, that the 
spirit of this custom tends to the requiring a weight 
of evidence, and an increase of the importance of 
the oath, in proportion as the distance of time ren- 
ders the fact to be established less capable of proof 
in the ordinary way." * 

■ History of Sumatra, p. 241. 

9^ LAWS. 

Obtaining evidence by torture, though practised 
occasionally in the wantonness of tyranny, can 
hardly be said to belong either to the character of 
the Indian islanders, or the spirit of their institu- 

The trial by combat or duel, and the appeal to 
the judgment of God by various descriptions of 
ordeal, are not unknown. The Malay laws direct 
that the combat or ordeal shall be had recourse to 
in the absence of evidence, in the following words : 
" If one accuse and another deny, and there be no 
witnesses on either side, the parties shall either fight 
or submit to tlie ordeal of melted tin or boiling 
oil. The latter consists in extracting with the 
hand, at a single dip, from the boiling liquid, a slip 
of paper with a verse of the Koran written upon 
it. If the accusation be that of taking a man's 
wife, and the accuser won in the ordeal, the ac- 
cuser shall be put to death ; if the accused be 
successful, then the accuser shall suffer death, or 
jtay ajine of ten iahils." 

Having rendered this account of the modes of 
administering justice, I shall proceed to give a 
sketch of the character of the Civil taxes of the In- 
dian islanders. Where poverty excludes frequent 
or large exchanges of property in moveables, and 
where the proprietary right of the soil is usurped 
by the sovereign, the compact of purchase and sale 
are sufficiently simple. Goods are by custom sold 

LAWS. 93 

in the public market. The three following laws 
of the Javanese are descriptive of their manners 
touching this point : " If a man purchase a piece 
of cloth without examination, and, carrying it home, 
discovers, on washing it, that it is holed, he shall 
proceed with it to the magistrate, who will endea- 
vour to find out whether the defect in the cloth be 
recent or of long standing. If the latter, the ven- 
der shall make good the loss ; if the foniier, the 
purchaser ; and, if the matter appear dubious, the 
loss shall be shared between them." — *' If a per- 
son, after having given something to another, 
afterwards repent, and demand it back, alleging 
that he had only given it in charge, and the de- 
fendant bring witnesses to prove that the pro- 
perty was actually given to him, he shall be en- 
titled to keep it, and the plaintiff shall be fined, 
besides, to the amount of 8000 pkhis. If, how- 
ever, the defendant, in the last case, should 
fail to prove that the property was actually given 
to him, he shall be compelled to make restitu- 
tion two-fold, and pay, besides, a fine of 12,000 

The laws of the Indian islanders provide for de- 
posits principally in the case of travellers. When 
a traveller arrives at a village, it is his duty to re- 
port himself to the chief, and consign his goods to 
his charge. If they are lost, the village is respon- 
sible. Even the owner of a house is by law or cus- 

94 LAWS. 

torn responsible for tlie goods of a stranger sleeping 
under his roof, if such goods have been duly con- 
signed to his care. The laws of the Rejangs on 
this subject are as follow : — " If a person pass- 
ing the night in the house of another does not 
commit his effects to the charge of the owner of 
it, the latter is not accountable, if they are stolen 
during the night. If he has given them in charge, 
and the stranger's effects only are lost during the 
night, the owner of the house becomes account- 
able. If effects both of the owner and lodger 
are stolen, each is to make oa|h to the other that 
he is not concerned in the robbery, and the par- 
ties put up with their loss, or retrieve it as they 
can.'' * 

The provisions for letting and luring are scanty 
and ill-defined. They chiefly refer to cattle and 
slaves, the principal descriptions of property that 
can be let where free servants are hardly known, 
and the property of the soil is vested in the sove- 
reign. The following are a few of them, from the 
laws of Malacca : — " If a person hire a slave from 
another, and it be well understood on what business 
he IS to be employed, and the slave be killed, the 
master shall receive but three- fourths of his price ; 
that is, he shall lose one-fourth of it." — "If a person 

Marsilcii's riisiori/ of Sumalra, p. 221. 

LAWS. 95 

hire a slave for the express purpose of climbing trees, 
the master being fully aware thereof, and the slave 
fall and he killed, the master shall receive an equit- 
able return for the price of his slave." — " If a man 
hire from another a slave, and have said to the 
master beforehand, ' he may possibly be killed/ 
and the master reply, * if he be killed, let him be 
killed,' and it turn out that the slave is really 
killed, the master shall receive but one-third of his 
price ; that is, he shall forfeit two-thirds." — '* If 
a person hire a buffalo, and place the animal in an 
enclosure near a dwelling, and, in that situation, 
it be killed by a tiger, he shall restore half his 
price only, for he was not to blame ; but, if the 
bufifalo have been placed in a pen at a distance from 
a dwelling, then he shall pay his full price." — " If 
a man hire a woman, and deflower her, he shall be 
fined one tahil and one paha, but if with the wo- 
man's consent, only five vias." — " If a man hire a 
female slave, and violate her, he shall, if she have 
been a virgin, pay to her master a fine of ten maSy 
one piece of cloth, and one vest, Bqju ; but if the 
woman have been a widow, the fine is only five maSj 
and no cloth or vest. This is the law of the totim, 
ndgri, the country, desdy and the river, SungaL 

In the Javanese laws, I discover two enactments 
respecting the letting of lands, sufficiently declara- 
tory of the arbitrary violence which prevails on this 
subject. They are as follow : " If a person sub- 


let rice grounds, and, receiving the rent in advance, 
absconds, and the lord, gusti, have not been made 
acquainted with the transaction, the person hiring 
the lands shall forfeit the money advanced, and 
shall not have the use of the lands.'* — " If a man 
^ get rice lands from another to work, and neglect 
them, and the said lands lie over unemployed, the 
lo7'd shall have a right to the profit of such lands, 
agreeably to their usual produce." * 

Loam, as in other rude states of society, where 
neither law nor morals encourage integrity in com- 
mercial transactions, are usually made on pledges, 
gade. These pledges are usually the jewels and 
personal trinkets of the borrower or his family. 
Interest paid for the use of money has been known 
to the Indian islanders from very early times. 
The following law, from the ancient code of Java, 
at present in force in Bali, describes particularly 
the mode of lending money : " Before you lend 
money, whether gold, silver, or copper, perform 
ablutions and purify yourself. Neither ought you 
to lend on a wrong day, on a Thursday or a Sunday. 
When you are prepared, write down the name of 
the debtor, the place of his residence, and the 
cause of lending your money. Let all this be done 
in presence of the borrower ; let the amount of the 
sum lent be written down, with the ^e<2?% the sea- 

* Laws of Java and Eali. 

LAWS. 97 

sojij the moon, the day of the week of seven, and 
the day of the week of five days, the time of the 
day, and the xvuku. Let the rate of interest be 
moreover stated, and let there be witnesses to the 
writing. Such an instrument is called a Pawitan, 
Let the interest of money, Bungali^ (literally the 
flower of it,) be paid yearly, at the end of which, 
if it have been demanded, and is refused, the bor- 
rower shall be compelled to pay double the amount 
of the capital." 

Interest in kind for loans seems also acknow- 
ledged by the same laws ; thus, " If a man owe a 
debt in corn, and the time exceed five years, he 
shall be compelled by the magistrate to make resti- 
tution five-fold." The exorbitancy of the penalty 
in these cases declares the unskilfulness of the le- 
gislator, and the difficulty of recovering the debt. 
By the laws of the Rejangs, the legal interest of 
money was declared to be loO per cent, per an^ 
num. Commodore Beaulieu tells us, that, in his 
time, the interest of money at Achin was arbitrari- 
ly limited to 12 per cent., but that, at Bantam, it 
was as high as 60. It was hardly less among 
the other tribes, though it is generally difficult 
to state any specific amount, the rate varying with 
the risk of lending, and the declaration of the Ma- 
homedan law, that all interest is usury, making it 
difficult to avow it. 

If a debtor is unable to pay his creditor, he is 


98 LAWS. 

compelled to serve him until the debt be dis- 
charged, and he is then nearly in the condition of a 
slave. Every man has his fixed price ; and, if the 
debt exceed this, he either loses his liberty alto^ 
gether, or his family are compelled to serve the 
creditor along with him. 

The following two laws of Malacca have refer- 
ence to this practice : *' If a man be in debt to 
such an amount as to exceed his estimated price in 
the country, then it shall be lawful for his creditor 
to punish him by stripes or abusive language — but 
after the manner of a freeman, and not of a slave." 
— " If a man deflower a virgin that is his debtor, 
he shall be compelled either to marry her or forfeit 
the amount of the debt." 

This universal custom is more distinctly express- 
ed in the laws of Sumatra, as collected by the offi- 
cers of the British government : " When a debt,** 
say these, " becomes due, and the debtor is unable 
to pay his creditor, or has no effects to deposit, he 
shall himself, or his wife, or his children, live with 
the creditor as his bond slave or slaves, until re- 
deemed by the payment of the debt." 

With respect to inheritance^ the converted tribes, 
in this matter, are chiefly guided by the complex 
rules of Mahomedan jurisprudence. W^here there 
is a right of private property in land, or at least 
the usufruct of it, there is generally a community of 
goods among the members of a family. It is held 

LAWS. , 99 

in the name of the father or elder male of the fami- 
ly, and hence, by the customs of the greater num- 
ber of the tribes, the father, or nearest of kin, is 
answerable for the debts of all the members of a 
i'amily. I can nowhere discover, in any of the col- 
lections of native laws which have fallen into my 
hands, that the right of devising property by will 
had any existence among the tribes of the Indian 
islands. — The law of inheritance, among the people 
oi Fasiimmah, in Sumatra, is as follows : " If a 
person dies having children, these inherit his ef- 
fects in equal portions, and become answerable for 
the debts of the deceased. If any of his brothers 
survive, they may be permitted to share with their 
nephews, but rather as matter of courtesy than 
right, and only when the effects of the deceased 
devolved to him from his father or grandfather. If 
he was a man of ranl^ it is common for the son 
who succeeds him in title to have a larger share. 
This succession is not confined to the eldest born, 
but depends much on private agreement in the fa- 
mill/. If the deceased person leaves no kindred 
behind him, the tribe to which he belonged shall in- 
herit his effects, and be answerable for his debts." * 
The ceremonies of marriage have been already 
described, in a separate department ; and I have 
only, in this place, to allude to the nature and 

* Marsdcn's Sumatra. 

100 . LAWS. 

character of the marriage-contract, considered as an 
institution of law. The marriage-contract, among 
the whole of the tribes, is a purchase of the use of 
the woman's person by the man, for a pecuniary or 
other consideration. Besides the concubinage esta- 
blished among persons of rank, in which the con- 
cubine is a person of humble condition, the mere 
handmaid of the more legitimate wife, there are 
generally three kinds of marriage in use. The 
Jirst^ and most common, consists in paying the fa- 
ther or protector of the young woman a specific 
sum, varying in amount according to the different 
manners of the different tribes, and the different 
condition in life of the parties. When the whole 
of the sum agreed upon is paid, the woman, among 
many of the tribes, becomes literally the property, 
or, in other words, the slave, of the husband, who 
may sell, or otherwise dispose of her, as if she were 
actually a slave. Except, however, in the case of 
a violent quarrel between the families of the parties, 
a trifling instalment is always left unpaid ; and, as 
long as this continues to be the case, and the bar- 
gain is incomplete, the woman has a right to be 
considered as an equal, and may demand a divorce. 
The second description of marriage is also a pur- 
chase. It consists in a person of inferior rank sa- 
crificing his personal liberty to become the husband 
of the daughter of a man of superior condition. 
He is in this case adopted into the family of his 

LAWS. 101 

father-in-law, who may dispose of him as he pleases, 
— even sell him as a slave. 

The third kind of marriage is the most univer- 
sal, and supposes, although a pecuniary considera- 
tion be still paid, a greater degree of equality be- 
tween man and wife. This is the kind of marriage 
which commonly prevails among the Malays, the 
Javanese, and civilized nations of Celebes. 

Marriages may, in general, be dissolved without 
much difficulty. If the husband sues for the di- 
vorce, he forfeits all claim to the Patukon, or con- 
sideration paid to his wife's relations for her per- 
son. If the woman sues for the divorce, she re- 
pays the purchase-money, and, by some laws, two- 
fold. " If a woman," say the laws of Bali, *' feel a 
dislike to her husband, she shall be made to re- 
store the original purchase-money, tulcon^ two-fold, 
and receive a divorce. This is called Mcidal San- 
gama. Among the Javanese, divorces are obtain- 
ed with great facility. They are, in point of law, 
sufficiently easy everywhere, but the manners of 
the people are an obstacle to their frequency ; and, 
among the Malays, the people of Bali, Sumbawa, 
and Celebes, they are rarely heard of. Where 
the laws appear the most strict, there we shall dis- 
cover the greatest dissolution of morals in this re- 
spect ; for the laws of barbarians must be consider- 
ed as no more than so many occasional expedients 
for the correction of acknowledged evils. When 

102 LAWS. 

these evils have no existence, laws are not thought 

The rigour of the mnrriage-vow, as far as tlie sex 
are concerned, is strongly declared in the following 
law of the ancient Javanese and present Balians : 

" If a man go on a sea voyage, his wife shall not 
marry another for ten years ; if he go into the 
country in quest of employment, she shall not 
marry {qv four years ; if he go in quest of religious 
education, she shall not marry for six years. If 
he absent himself on any other account than these, 
the wife may, according to the Manawa Sastra, 
take another husband in four years ; but, accord- 
ing to the Kuntara Sastra, in tJiree. In any of 
these cases, the first husband, should he return, 
cannot claim his wife, for the gods, Dezvata, hare 
parted them,** This is the only passage, in an 
ancient manuscript of these people, in which I find 
distant journeys, or sea voyages, expressly referred 
to. It must be confessed, however, that it bears 
some marks of a Hindu origin. 

The provision made for the wife, in the event of 
separation, is, among the converted tribes, with 
some modifications, usually guided by the precepts 
of Mahomedan law. In Java, when a man wishes 
for a divorce, he has but to signify his intention to 
the priest, who " cuts the marriage cord" before 
witnesses, which simple ceremony dissolves the 
marriage. The man, as already mentioned, for- 

LAWS. 103 

feits the patuhon, or purchase-money, the woman 
has restored to her whatever property she brought to 
her husband, and the husband whatever he contri- 
buted to the joint stock. Their common earnings 
are then divided, the woman receiving one part, 
and the husband two. If it appears to the judges 
that the industry of the wife has chiefly contribut- 
ed to the accumulation of the joint property, as 
often happens, they will not scruple to award her 
a larger share. 

A betrothing always, among these people, pre- 
cedes a marriage, and, being considered nearly as 
binding as the marriage union itself, a violation 
of it is punished by law. The following law of the 
Malays refers to this custom : " If a man bid for 
a woman betrothed to another, knowing her to be 
so betrothed, and gives her a marriage pledge, the 
magistrate shall summon the parents, and direct 
them to restore the pledge, and he shall fine the 
offending person, if rich, ten tahils, and if poor, 
five tahils. If the person bidding for a betrothed 
woman do it in ignorance, he shall be deemed to 
have committed no offence, but the parents of the 
girl, if privy to the transaction, shall be fined at 
the pleasure of the magistrate." 

The ancient laws of the Javanese (Sur?/o aldm) 
were to a similar effect. " If," say these, ** a 
man betrothes his daughter to one man, and after- 
wards gives her in marriage to another, he shall be 

104 LAWS. 

fined to tlie amount of twelve thousand PichiSy for 
the benefit of the injured person. If a man re- 
ceive the troth of a woman, and has paid the Pa- 
iuhoii, and she refuse to accept of him for her 
husband, alleging that he is a person of bad cha- 
racter, the man, on reference to the judge, shall 
be entitled to a fine of twelve thousand Pichis^ 
twice told, and the woman be compelled besides to 
restore the Patukon. If a woman be betrothed to 
one man, and another interrupts the marriage, and 
takes her to himself, he shall pay to the injured 
person double the purchase-money, and be fined 
besides in a sum of eight thousand Picliis." 

This short sketch of the civil laws of the Indian 
islanders will serve to convey some idea of their 
spirit, and I shall now proceed to treat of a more 
extensive subject, — their pe?ial code. This may be 
satisfactorily done under the five following heads, 
viz., the character and nature of their punishments, 
— allotment of punishment, according to the rank 
of the parties, — ofifenccs against property, — offences 
against persons, — and offences against the state. 

The punishments of the Indian islanders are ra- 
ther charactei'ized by their arbitrary violence, than 
by refinement in cruelty, as among the Hindus 
and Chinese. They shew, however, a much less 
regard for human life than the laws of these people, 
especially of the latter. Death is the punishment 
of a hundred trifling offences, and is awarded with 

LAWS. ' 105 

a wantonness which shocks the humanity of civiliz- 
ed men. When a criminal is apprehended, the 
first thing always done is to deprive him of his 
kris. He is then secured by being bound with a 
rattan, or filament of bamboo cane, which places 
him " rather in a state of constraint than of pain." 
** If," says Mr Marsden, " the offender be of a des- 
perate character, they bind him, hands and feet, 
and sling him on a pole." As the same accurate 
observer remarks, '* pain is never wantonly or un- 
necessarily inflicted." The punishments vary con- 
siderably with the character and habits of the dif- 
ferent tribes. Fines and death are by far the most 
frequent, and corporal punishment the rarest. 
Whippingy as a punislnnent for minor offences, is 
directed by the Mahomedan law, but seldom car- 
ried into effect. As I have mentioned in another 
place, among some of the tribes, as the Malays and 
inhabitants of Celebes, the very meanest of the 
people are as impatient of a blow as any modern • 
European gentleman. In the Malay code, a blow 
or an afiVont is prescribed by law as the punish- 
ment of what are considered as offences of much 
aggravation. I shall quote a few curious examples 
of this. " The persons," says one law, " who may 
be put to death without the previous knowledge of 
the king or nobles, are an adulterer, a person guil- 
ty of treason, (^Maharaja lela,) a thief who cannot 
otherwise be apprehended, and a person "vchoojfcrs 

106 LAWS. 

another a grievous affront^ such as a hloxc over 
the face. U a freeman strike a slave, he shall 
be fined five mas. If a slave strike a freeman, 
the fine is half his price. If a freeman strike 
a freeman, and he that is struck stabs the other 
to death, he is held justified. If a slave give 
a slave a blow, and the offended person return 
a mortal stab, the mstaer of the offender sliall pay 
a fine of half the price of the slave that is killed. 
If a slave give abusive language to a freeman, he 
shall be punished by a stroke on the mouth. If 
a freeman give abusive language to the wife of a 
slave, and the slave kill him, he shall be deemed to 
have committed no crime thereby,^or no \£oman is 
to be considered lightly. If any man strike ano- 
ther a blow, it shall be lawful for such person, for 
the period of three days, to put the offender to 
death, but if after this, he shall pay a fine of one 
kati and five tahils.** 

The same character is exemplified in the fol- 
lowing law : " If a man make an attempt to seduce 
another man's wife, the chief shall cause the offend- 
er to make an obeisance to the husband in open 
court. If he refuse to make such obeisance, he 
shall pay a fine of ten tahils, unless the judge, or 
some other person of rank, should have compassion 
upon him, and excuse him." 

On the same principle, a kind of pillory is a fre- 
quent punishment with the same people. The ob- 


LAWS. 107 

ject is, to render the criminal an object of contempt 
and ridicule. For this purpose, his face is alter- 
nately streaked with charcoal and turmeric, an 
enormous red flower is placed as a burlesque orna- 
ment behind his ear, and in this plight he is car- 
ried through the town or village mounted on a 
white buffalo, an animal in disrepute. 

The cruel and unjust punishment of mutilation^ 
liberally inflicted for the crime of theft, wherever 
the Mahomedan religion prevails, appears to have 
been introduced with that religion, and not to be 
congenial to the manners and customs of the peo- 
ple. Imprisonment, as a punishment, does not 
belong to the manners of the people, and, perhaps, 
will be found to prevail only where it has been in- 
troduced by Europeans. The practice of outlaw- 
ing does not obtain any where, that I am aware 
of, except among some of the tribes of Sumatra. 
It is not a legal punishment awarded for any spe- 
cies of offence, but a right exercised by every 
tribe or family, with respect to its own members, na- 
turally arising out of their legal responsibility for 
the acts of all those members. The individual 
thus outlawed (llisao) is considered to be without 
the pale of society, and again reduced to the sa- 
vage or wild state. *' If an outlaw,*' says the his- 
torian of Sumatra, " commits murder, the friends 
of the deceased may take personal revenge on him, 
and are not liable to be called to an account for it ; 

108 LAWS. 

but if such be killed, otherwise than in satisfaction 
for murder, althougli his family have no claim, the 
prince of the country is entitled to a certain com- 
pensation, all outlaws being nominally his property, 
like other wild animals." * 

Banishment was a punishment frequently inflict- 
ed by the Javanese, and was known to the people 
of Achin and Bali. These two last deported their 
criminals to unfrequented islets ; the Javanese sent 
them to forests and unhealthy places, which the 
superstition of the people led them to consider in- 
habited by hobgoblins or evil genii. 

The punishment of death, as already stated, is 
too wantonly inflicted. The modes in which exe- 
cution is effected illustrate the character of the 
people. Strangulation, by suspending the body 
from the neck, as among us, or decapitation, as so 
frequent with the greater nations of Asia, are 
never practised. State criminals are sometimes 
privately executed, as in Turkey, by the bowstring. 
This is literally denominated stringing, Qaleni.') 
The most familiar mode of violent death among 
them is stabbing with the A'm, and this they transfer 
to their leiral executions. In Java, and it is a cir- 
cumstance full of meaning, the office of public- exe- 
cutioner is not one of infamy or discredit, but ra- 
ther of distinction. There are, by custom, two of 

* History of Sumalirt, p. 24G. 


them, each having his band of the ministers of pu- 
nishment and death. The chiefs execute crimi- 
nals of rank, and the inferior agents meaner cul- 
prits. They are titled persons taking the rank of 
inferior nobles. One has the title of Singlia Nd- 
gara, the lion of the country, the other, by a vile 
irony, Mdrta-lulut, or the merciful and affectionate. 
Stabbing with the kris is an uncertain mode of 
inflicting death, and conveys, at least to the Euro- 
pean mind, the impression of savage ferocity. The 
prisoner is secured to a post, and the executioner 
plunges the weapon into his heart. Tiie expedi- 
tion with which death follows depends, of course, 
on the dexterity of this officer. Sometimes death 
is almost instantaneous, but when the blow fails to 
reach the immediate sources of life, the prisoner 
will linger for hours. I remember that the re- 
spectable chief of Samarang informed me that he 
presided, a few years ago, at the execution of a 
state-prisoner, the circumstances attending which 
were dreadful and affecting. The Javanese chief, 
Ingahai Tirto TFijoi/o, of the district of T'irsono, 
was, during the administration of Marshal Daendels, 
and in a period of some alarm, accused of uttering 
seditious expressions. That arbitrary and feroci- 
ous governor ordered him to be forthwith executed, 
on the bare report, without form of trial or even 
examination. The prisoner met his fate with sin- 
gular fortitude, although the execution was attend- 

110 LAWS. 

ed by circumstances of the most tragical nature ; 
for the executioner, unused to his office, and in a 
state of agitation, inflicted an erring blow, under 
which the unhappy sufferer lingered for four-and- 
twenty hours. 

In cases of enormous crimes the criminal, in 
Java, as mentioned in another place, was condemn- 
ed to be devoured by tigers, while his fate was 
aggravated by the abominable mockery of being 
made to fight beforehand, for the amusement of a 
tyrant and his court, with his savage executioner. 
The Malay laws, in some extreme cases, direct 
execution by impalement, Suluk, but this abo- 
minable cruelty, which the Dutch had the im- 
prudence to borrow from them, is not in gene- 
ral consonant to the genius of their character. 
Among the more lawless and turbulent govern- 
ments, as before noticed, the forfeiture of personal 
liberty is a frequent punishment of offences, the 
crime of an individual being often attended by the 
slavery of his whole family. The increase of this 
mode of punishment, it is to be apprehended, fol- 
low^ed the encouragement given to the slave-trade 
by the European governments. 

Almost all punishments may be commuted for 
fine or mulct, and these constitute themselves di- 
rectly the most frequent of all punishments. The 
substitution of pecuniaiy fines, as compensation, 
marks the progress of society as in other situations. 

LAWS. Ill 

The lex talionis more or less obtains amonsf the 
different tribes as they are more or less civilized. 
The more ferocious tribes insist, in many situa- 
tions, upon a literal compliance with the law of re- 
taliation ; other tribes constantly accept a pecuni- 
ary compensation. Among the Javanese, a civil- 
ized tribe, we seldom hear of the law of retaliation. 
Such, among them, was the power of a despotic 
government, and the tameness of the people, that 
the strict law could be carried into execution, and 
compensation for murder is scarcely heard of. By 
the laws of the Sumatrans there was hardly a 
crime that might not be expiated by a pecuniary 
compensation. The following extract from the 
laws of the Rejangs is a curious example of the 
length to which this principle has been pushed : 

** For a wound occasioning the loss of an eye or 
limb, or imminent danger of death, half the bmu 
gun is to be paid. 

" For a wound on the head, the pampas^ or 
compensation, is twenty dolhirs. 

" For other wounds, the pampas from twenty 
dollars downwards. 

" If a person is carried off and sold beyond the 
hills, the offender, if convicted, must pay the ban- 
gun. If the person has been recovered previous 
to the trial, the ofi'ender pays half the hangun, 

" If a man kills his brother, he pays to the 
proattins the tippong Oumi, (purification money.) 

112 LAWS. 

*• If a wife kills her husband, she must suffer 

** If a wife by scmando wounds her husband, her 
relations must pay what they would receive if he 
wounded her.** 

One of the most remarkable and instructive cha- 
racteristics in the laws of the islanders, is the allot- 
ment of punishment according to the rank of the 
offender. The three great classes of society which 
may be said generally to exist throughout the In-, 
dian islands, in a legal poir.t of view, are the 
nobles, freemen, {Mdrdika,') and slaves, (Hdmba.) 
In tlieir laws the rijxhts of these classes are con- 
stantly referred to. The authority of I'ank, it need 
hardly be insisted, is constantly dwelt upon, and its 
immunity from the severities of the law impudently 
proclaimed. " The Bangun, or compensation for 
the murder of a Pamharaby" (superior chief,) say 
the laws of the Rcjangs, " is five hundred dollars ; 
for that of a Proatlin, (inferior chief,) two hundred 
and fifty dollars ; for that of a common person, 
man or boy, eighty dollars ; for that of a common 
person, woman or girl, one hundred and fifty dol- 
lars ; for the legitimate child or wife of a Pam- 
larab, two hundred and fifty dollars.*' A law of 
the Balinese is to the i'ollowing effect: " If a man 
lay violent hands on the wife of another, let the 
custom of former princes be followed, and let such 

LAWS. lis 

a one be moderately fined as the price of his life. If 
the woman be aperson of high rank, the mulct is two 
laksaSy or 20,000 pichis ; if of middling rank, one 
laksa, and these fines go to the king ; but, if the 
woman be of rnean condition, the mulct shall be 
only five talis, and it goes not to the prince, but the 
injured husband. The Malay laws are to the same 
effect. " If," says the code of Malacca, " the 
commander of a vessel kidnap the slave of the Ba7i- 
dahara, or other great man, he shall be compelled 
to restore the slave, and pay a fine of ten iahils ; 
if he kidnap the slave of any inferior person, he 
shall only restore the slave, and pay a fine equivalent 
to his price.'* — " If a husband should kill the 
man that offers a price for the virtue of his wife, he 
shall pay a fine of one tahil, for a mere attempt 
to seduce is not an offence deserving death, excei^ 
in the case of a person of rank." 

Distinction in the allotment of punishment is 
solely founded upon civil I'ank, and nothing ex- 
ists, or seems, indeed, at any time to have existed, 
even where the Hindu religion prevails, like the 
allotment of punishment according to the intoler- 
able and odious distinction of the castes, unless we 
except a few inconsiderable immunities to the Bra- 

Some faint attempts at apportioning the punish- 
ment to the means of the offender may now and 
then be discerned . The Malay code of Malacca says, 


114 LAWS. 

** If a freeman strike a slave, his fine, if rich, shall 
be ten maHy and if poor, five mas.''^ — " If a free- 
man mutilate a slave, he shall be fined half the 
price of the slave, and, if poor, ten w?a5." The 
Javanese law tract called Suryo Aldm states, that, 
" If a person of high rank screen a delinquent, he 
shall be fined one hundred thousand j^^chis. If a 
person of middling rank be guilty of the same of- 
fence, he shall be fined eighty thousand ; and, if a 
person of mean condition, forty thousand.'* 

In rendering an account of the Penal Laws of the 
Indian islanders, I shall consider the subject very 
briefly under the heads of — Offences against Pro- 
perty, — against Person, — against the State or So- 
vereign, — and against Nature. 

Of offences against property^ I shall only con- 
sider theft and robbery naturally the most frequent 
of all crimes among people where the protection 
afforded by law or government is so inadequate. 
The usual copiousness of the Javanese language is 
exercised upon a subject so familiar, and all the 
modifications of unlawful appropriation of property 
are distinguished by specific tenns. The follow- 
ing list of the names given to delinquents will 
serve as examples : The Nayah steals by day, and 
comes insidiously, and by artifice, on the object of 
his depredation. The Bhirut snatches the ob- 
ject he steals, and, running off, trusts to his speed 
for his escape. The Begat is a gang-robber, 

LAWS. 115 

depredations are committed in the day-time. The 
Mating and Pandimg steal at night, by breaking 
open houses, or more frequently by entering them 
by a mine. The Kechii and Kampak are gang- 
robbers who attack in the night-time. In award- 
ing the punishment of theft, the native laws con- 
sider the hour in which the theft is committed, — 
the place from which the property is stolen, — the 
person who steals it, — and the person from whom 
it is stolen. The usual punishments are mutila- 
tion, that is, the loss of the offending member, pil- 
lory, fine, and death. If a thief be caught in the 
act it is lawful to put him to death, and any body 
whatever found at night within an inclosure is to 
be considered a thief, and dealt with accordingly. 
" If," says an ancient law of the Javanese, " any 
person enter a village at an improper hour, and is 
thrice challenged without making any reply, he 
shall be considered a thief. A person skulking 
behind a door or fence, and refusing to answer, 
shall also be considered as a thief.** 

The different conditions which either aggravate 
or mitigate the crime of theft are considered in 
the following laws of the Malay code : " If a 
thief enter an inclosure^ and the owner kill him 
on the spot, or, pursuing him, kill him between 
two villages, he is, in either case, guilty of no 
offence ; but if he meet him on the following 
day, it shall not then be lawful for him to put him 

116 LAWS. 

to death of himself, but he shall give him over to 
justice." — " If a gang of thieves attack a house, 
and one person only ascends, this person alone 
shall suffer mutilation : the rest shall be punish- 
ed by personal infliction in the following manner : 
The criminal shall be mounted on a white buf- 
ftilo ; he shall have the liaya flower as an ear or- 
nament, CSimting,) a dish cover, (Tiidimg saji,J 
as an umbrella j his face shall be streaked with 
charcoal and turmeric, and, in this plight, he shall 
be led through the town. If the delinquent be 
a slave, the master shall be compelled to restore 
the property stolen, or its equivalent, and if he be 
a freeman, he shall become the slave of the owner 
of the property." — " If a person steal garden pro- 
duce, such as sugar-cane, arrowroot, or fruits of 
any sort, he shall suffer mutilation. If the theft 
be at night, the owner of the garden may, without 
incurring any penalty, put him to death." — *' If a 
person steal an ox or buffalo from a pen, he shall be 
made to restore the property taken, and to pay a 
line of one tahil and one jxiJiaJ'^ — *' U a person 
steal a goat from a house, he shall pay a fine of ten 
mas, and restore the property." — *' If a man steal 
ducks or fow^ls, he shall be made to restore them, 
and pay a fine of five mas." — " By the law of God," 
(the Mahomedan law,) says the same collection, " if 
a man steal a buffalo, a cow% or a goat, from an in- 
closure,he shall either suffer death or mutilation, but 


LAWS. 117 

if he do not steal them from an inclosure, he shall 
only be niade to restore them." This last rule, 
which follows the others, is stated in deference to 
the Mahomedan law, but evidently as if it were 
not of practical application to tlie state of society, 
and a violence offered to the known usages of the 

The following two laws of the ancient code of 
Java, and present one of Bali, are in the same 
spirit : " Those who steal hogs, dogs, fowls, or 
other animals, be they what they may, that are 
kept by the husbandman, shall pay a fine of five 
talis to go to the judge, and they shall be made to 
restore the property taken twice-told." — "If, how- 
ever, the theft be committed at night, the criminal 
shall be put to death by the prince w ho desires the 
prosperity of his kingdom.*' — *' If a man cut down 
trees belonging to another, ^without his consent, he 
shall be fined four talis^ and be made to restore the 
property taken two-fold. If the offence be commit- 
ted at niglit, the criminal shall be sentenced to 

There is great uniformity in the fine imposed for 
theft among the different tribes, which is almost al- 
ways double the value of the property taken, with a 
consideration for the judge. The laws of the Re- 
jangs are as follow : " A person convicted of theft 
pays double the value of the goods stolen, with a fine 
of twenty dollars and a buffido, if they exceed the 



value of five dollars ; if under the value of five dol- 
lars the fine is five dollars and a goat ; the value of 
the goods still doubled.*' — " All thefts under five 
dollars, and all disputes for property, or offences 
to that amount, may be compromised by the ProaU 
iinSf whose dependents are concerned.'* By 
the laws of the people of Pasummah, also, ** a 
person convicted of stealing money, wearing-ap- 
parel, household effects, arms, or the like, shall 
pay the owner double the value of the goods stolen, 
and be fined twenty-eight dollars. A person con- 
victed of stealing slaves shall pay to the owner at 
the rate of eighty dollars per head, which is esti- 
mated to be double the value, and fined twenty- 
eight dollars. A person convicted of stealing Betely 
ifowls, or coconuts, shall pay the owner double the 
value, and be fined seven dollars ; half of which 
fine is to be received by the owner." 

The laws of the Indian islanders, as they respect 
accomplices, or suspected persons, are arbitrary, vio- 
lent, and frequently absurd. " If," says the Kun- 
iara, or code of the Balinese, " a person be found 
guilty of harbouring a robber, it shall, in the first 
instance, be lawful to put the robber to death, and 
the person who sheltered him, the prince, who is 
anxious for the prosperity of his country, shall order, 
with his property and children, to be confiscated.*' 
The Javanese law tract, called Suryo alaniy has 
the following extraordinary enactments on this sub- 

LAWS. 119 

ject : " Should a person lose property of any kind, 
without knowing how, and in searching for his 
goods, any one should say, without being question- 
ed, * I did not steal them,' such person shall be 
obliged to restore the value of the missing goods. 
If several people be assembled together, and one of 
them happen to lose something, whoever is the first 
to quit the party shall be considered the thief, and 
be compelled to make restitution tivo-fold.'* — " If a 
thief, who is pursued, runs into a man's premises 
by a gap in the paling, the proprietor shall be held 
responsible for one-third of the amount stolen." — 
" Any person in whose possession the implements of 
a thief's calling are found, shall be considered guilty 
of any robbery committed at the time." 

Offences against per sms may be considered un- 
der the heads of abusive language, assault, injuries 
offered to the seXy and murder. In the sketch 
which I have given of the character of the people in 
a preceding part of this work, I have expressly stat- 
ed, that they were not addicted to the use of gross 
or abusive language. The use of such language 
is, indeed, so apt to be punished by instant recourse 
to the dagger, that the law has little occasion to in- 
terfere for its correction. Among some of the 
tribes, abusive language cannot with impunity be 
used even to a slave. Blows are still more intolera- 
ble, and considered such grievous affronts, that, by 
law, the person who receives them is considered 

150 LAWS. 

justified in puttinjij the offender to death. Exam- 
ples of laws dictated in tliis spirit liave been already 

The quarrels of a people brave, always armed, 
and punctiliously regardful of the point of honour, 
more frequently end in wounds and death than in 
personal abuse and blows. In the imperfect state 
of law and government which exists, a large share 
of the right of avenging wrongs is left in the 
hands of private persons. The law even expressly 
interdicts all interference when there appears a cha- 
racter 0^ fairness in the quarrel. In illustration of 
this curious principle, I shall quote a few passages. 
** If," say the laws of Bali, " two persons bearing 
each other an equal dislike, being equally fierce, 
equally brave, and armed with equal weapons, fight, 
and inflicting mutual wounds, one of them is kil- 
led, the survivor shall not be punished by the ma- 
gistrate. If a third party interfere, and, attempt- 
ing to part the combatants, is killed or wound- 
ed, the magistrate shall take no notice of the 

The laws of the Malays are still more full on the 
subject. " If," says the Malacca code, " two per- 
sons fight, and exchange stabs ^ and a third person 
interfere with kris, cleaver, or cudgel, should 
such a one be stabbed, cut, bruised, or killed, 
nothing shall be said on the subject." In a few 
situations, considered by the law as extreme cases, 

LAWS. 121 

however, it is allowable to interfere. These 
are stated in the following law : " It is lawful to 
assist one putting to death an adulterer, for in this 
case meddling; has been lonji' tolerated. It is law- 
ful to assist a friend acting justly, or suffering in- 
justice, when unable to make his complaint to the 
king, or to a (^reat one, — and it is lawful to assist a 
youth unable to represent his grievance, or to con- 
tend with his adversary. In these cases, but in no 
others, is it allowable to meddle in a quarrel, and 
the person who meddles under any other pretext 
shall be fined according to the extent of his inter- 
ference, from five tahils and one paJia, to one tahil 
and one 'paha.''^ 

Not only is a large share of the power of aven- 
ging injuries left in prkate hands, but the princi- 
ple is pushed further, and this power seems even to 
have been allowed to be delegated to champions 
liired for the occasion. It is impossible to read, 
without disgust, the following laws in which this 
principle appears to be fully recognized. They are 
from the code of Malacca. " If a man hire a per- 
son, without the knowledge of the magistrate, to 
give another a slap over the face, he shall pay a 
fine of five tahils. If a man be hired to beat ano- 
ther, and the person who is beaten die of the blows 
given, the employer of such person, if the deceased 
be a slave, shall pay his whole price, or if a free- 
man, ten tahils." — " If a man hire a person to kill 



another, xi^itk ike hnoivledge of the magistrate^ and 
the person so hired be killed in the attempt, the 
person employing him shall give the proffered re- 
Avard to the family of the deceased, and be at the 
expence of the funeral charges." 

In exacting retribution for assault, the law of 
retaliation is not pushed to the same extremity 
amons: the Indian islanders as amono; the Arabs and 
Hindus. Life is required for life, but we do not 
hear of the refinement of limb for limb, eye for eye, 
or tooth for tooth. Like those nations, however, we 
discover that punishment is allotted, not according 
to the degree of malice, but to the accidental cir- 
cumstances of the nature and situation of the wound. 
" If," say the laws of Bali, on this subject, " a 
wound be inflicted with a kris, a spear, an arrow 
from a blow-pipe, Tidup^ or other sharp-pointed 
weapon, and a tooth, a hand, or a leg, be injur- 
ed to a inoderate degr^ee^ the offender shall pay a 
fine of ten thousand pichis. If the wound be on 
the neck, or the head, and conside7Yible, the fine 
shall be two hundred thousand. These fines go to 
the magistrate." The following law, from the Ja- 
vanese tract called Suryo-alaniy is characteristic, 
and more reasonable : " If a man receive from an- 
other a wound, by which he is maimed or blemish- 
ed, the fine shall be equal to that for taking his life." 
The laws of the Rejangs on this head are to the 
same effect as those now mentioned. The follow- 

LAWS. 12S 

ing are examples : ** For a wound occasioning the 
loss of an eye, or limb, or imminent danger of 
death, half the Bangun (compensation for mur- 
der) is to be paid. For a wound on the head, 
the compensation is twenty dollars. For other 
wounds, twenty dollars and downwards." — ** In 
wounds," says the collection of the laws of Fa- 
summahy " a distinction is made in the parts of 
the body. A wound in any part from the hip 
upwards, is esteemed more considerable than in 
the lower parts. If a person wounds another 
with sword, kris kiijury or other weapon, and 
the wound is considerable, so as to maim him, he 
shall pay to the person wounded the half compen- 
sation of murder, and to the chiefs half the line for 
murder, with half of the hassa lurah. If the 
wound is trifling, but fetches blood, he shall pay 
the person wounded the Tepung of fourteen dol- 
lars, and be fined as much more. If a person 
wounds another with a stick or bamboo, &c. he 
shall simply pay the Tepung of fourteen dollars." 
In cases of murder, no distinction is made be- 
tween wilful murder and chance-medley. It is the 
loss which the tribe or family sustains that is con- 
sidered, and the pecuniary compensation is cal- 
culated to make up that loss. The term used by 
the Rejangs of Sumatra Bangun^ or " awaking," 
expresses the meaning they attach to it. By the 
same people, another charge is made against the 

124 LAWS. 

murderer, wlilcli has its origin in superstition. 
This is called the Tejnmg-bumiy or purification of 
the earth from tlie stain it has received. Amonff 
other tribes, besides the compensation, the mur- 
derer pays the funeral charges. It is remarkable 
that there is not, in any language of the Indian 
islands, words equivalent to ours lo murder, or 
murderer ; no terms which express the horror 
which we attach to these. In these tongues, to 
murder is simply " to kill," and a murderer is no 
more than " one that kills." Human life can be 
of little value among a people whose languaeje is 
incapable of making this great moral distinction. 
It is among the military and high-spirited nations 
of Celebes that the law of retaliation is urged to 
the greatest length. Still, even there, every mem- 
ber of the society has his price determined, from 
the chief to the slave ; and when, after the neces- 
sary forms, this price is paid, the parties rest satis- 
fied. Within the society, the injury is consider- 
ed to be done to the family of the deceased j but 
if the murder have been committed by a stran- 
ger, the quarrel is then no longer a private but 
a public one, and the tribe of the murderer is an- 
swerable, the death of any member of which, ge- 
nerally, will be considered to satisfy the principle 
of retributive justice, according to their wild notions 
of it. In the year 1812, a subject of the Bugis 
king of Boni, an inhabitant of the Bugis quarter of 

LAWS. 125 

the town of Macassar, committed a robbery upon a 
stranger merchant, residing under our protection, 
in the same town. The property taken was traced 
and recovered. The Bugis, some time thereafter, 
entered the shop of the merchant, and made what 
must appear to our ideas a very odd demand, re- 
muneration for the trouble he had had in commit- 
ting the theft, as he had been, by the restitution, 
deprived of the benefits of it. The merchant seiz- 
ed a spear which was close at hand, and pursued 
the Bugis, who, having no arms fit to contend with 
him, ran off. The merchant pursued him ; and, 
setting up the usual cry of " a muck," the Bugis 
was, as is common in such cases, beset and killed. 
The Bugis quarter was immediately in an uproar, 
and life for life was demanded. The European au- 
thority began deliberately to investigate the matter, 
but in a manner too slow for the vindictive tempe- 
rament of those who thought themselves aggrieved. 
For a moment ail appeared quietness, in the midst 
of which a lad not above thirteen or fourteen from 
the Bugis quarter entered that of the Macassars, or 
native subjects of the European authority, and de- 
liberately stabbed to death the first individual he 
met with. As soon as this retribution was executed, 
both sides remained as contented as if ample and 
complete justice had been administered, and no 
more was heard from them of the transaction. 
Among the same inhabitants of Celebes, the 

12G LAWS. 

compensation for murder must be quickly adjusted, 
or the friends of the deceased will be held justified 
in takinir reveng;:e with their own hands. The 
house of the chief of the village, or the place of 
worship, are considered places of refuge, and here 
the murderer must seek an asylum until he has 
paid the forfeit of his life. In illustration of the 
laws now referred to, I shall quote, from those of 
the different tribes, a few of the most striking : 
" If," say the laws of the Macassars, " a free 
man kill his equal, and take refuge with the chief 
or priest of his village, the murder shall be com- 
pensated by the following fines — for the murder of 
a man twenty dollars; for the murder of a wo- 
man thirty dollars." — " If a chief kill a free per- 
son, retribution shall not be demanded ; but he 
shall, notwithstanding, pay the price of blood, 
which, for a man, is twenty dollars, and for a wo- 
man thirty, and a mulct besides, of the same 
amount." — " When a person commits murder, he 
shall forthwith surrender himself to the chief of his 
village, and pay the usual compensation. If he ne- 
glect so to do, he may be killed by the friends of 
the deceased wherever taken." The laws of the 
Rejangs are as follow : " If a man kills his slave, 
he pays half his price, as Bangun to the Pange- 
rariy and the Tepung-bumi to the Proattins,** 
— " If a man kills his wife by jujur marriage, he 
pays her Bangun to her family, or to the Proaitins, 

I.AVVS. 127 

according as the marriage-knot is entire or other- 
wise." — " If a man kills or wounds his wife by Se' 
mando marriage, he pays the same as for a stran- 
ger.'* — " If a man kills his brother, he pays to 
the Proattins the Tepung-bumi.^* 

The strange practice of running a muck has 
been already explained in rendering an account 
of the manners of the people. A custom so dan- 
gerous and so frequent is of course often referred 
to in the native laws. The person who runs a 
muck may lawfully be killed by the first that meets 
him. In Celebes, especially, where, perhaps, mucks 
are, from the licentious sense of honour, entertain- 
ed by all ranks, more frequent than any where else, 
it is dangerous to be seen running in the streets of 
a town or village, for, among the Indian island- 
ers, none are ever seen to i^un unless those who run a 
muck, murderers, thieves, and robbers. * *' If," says 
the Malacca code, " a slave or debtor run a muck. 

* " They are always in a sitting posture, either in their 
boats or houses ; neither do they stir without it be out of ab- 
Bolute necessity. They used to laugh at us for walking 
about in their houses^ telling us that it looked as if we were 
macl, or knew not what we did. If, say they, you have any 
business at the other end of the roonij why do you not stay 
there; if not, why do you go thither; why always stalking 
backwards and forwards ?" — A Voyage to and from the 
Island of Borneo, by Captain Daniel Beeckman, page 41. 

128 LAWS. 

they shall be immediately put to death. If, how- 
ever, they happen to be seized alive, and then 
put to death, the person so putting them to death 
incurs a fine of one taliil and one jyaha. If the 
slave or debtor be mortally wounded when taken, 
and then put to death, the person so putting him 
to death shall only pay the funeral charges.'* 
The naval code of the Malays is peculiarly strict 
on tlie subject of mucks, as we see from the follow- 
ing specimens : " If a man quarrel with an- 
other in the fore part of the vessel, and, di'awing 
his kris, come aft as far as the place where the 
sails are kept, towards the person he has quarrelled 
with, it shall be lawful to put him to death : But, 
if he can be apprehended, he shall be fined in- 
stead." — " If a man quarrel with another, and fol- 
low him to the door of the commander's cabin, 
even though he may not have drawn his h^is, it 
shall be lawful to put him to death ; but, if he can 
be apprehended, he may be fined instead." — " If 
the officer of a vessel quarrel with the command- 
er, and approach him in the after part of the 
vessel, he may be put to death ; but, if he ask for- 
giveness it may be granted, on his paying a pecu- 
niary fine, and furnishing a buffalo for the com- 
mander's entertainment /" 

Injuries offered to the sex are next to be consi- 
dered. These are of two kinds : — those offered to 
unmarried women, and those offered to married 

LAWS. 129 

ones. The first are considered rather as venial 
offences, but the last as the most flagrant of crimes. 

A man is allowed to runaway with a woman ; and, 
upon making the usual payments, he is exonerated 
from any culpability by doing so, and the marriage 
is valid. If a man violate a female slave, he pays 
a fine ; and if he violate a debtor, he must either 
marry her or forfeit the debt. I shall quote a few 
of the many laws on this subject. The Malacca 
code says, *' If a man repeatedly ask for a young 
woman in marriage, and the parents are displeased 
thereat, and refuse their assent, but he secretly de- 
flower the virgin, he shall be fined one tahil and 
one paha^ for a man's daughter is not to be treated 
lightly. Even if of no rank, still she shall not be 
treated lightly." 

" If a man," says the same collection, " borrow 
a female slave, and have connection with her, he 
shall, if she have been a virgin, pay to her master 
a fine of ten mas, one piece of cloth, and one vest ; 
but, if a widow, only five mas and no cloth or vest. 
This is the law of the town, of the country, and of 
the river." 

By the laws of the Rejangs, it is declared that 
" If a man carries off a woman under pretence of 
marriage, he must lodge her imuiediately with 
some respectable family. If he carries her else- 
where for a single night, he incurs a fine of fifty 
dollars, payable to her parents or relations." — "If," 


130 LAWS. 

continue the same laws, *' a man carries off a wo- 
man with her own consent, juid is willing either to 
pay her price at once hjjitjur, or marry her by se- 
mando^ as the father or relations please, they can- 
not reclaim the woman, and the marriage takes 

" If a man carries off a virgin against her incli- 
nation, he incurs a fine of twenty dollars and a 
buffalo ; if a widow, ten dollars and a goat, and the 
marriage does not take place. If he commit a 
rape, and the parents do not chuse to give her to 
him in marriage, he incurs a fine of fifty dollars." 
In all this, it will be seen that there is hardly any 
thing considered but the value of the girl's person 
to her relations, as a mere vendible commodity. 

Among all the tribes, adultery is considered as 
among the most heinous offences, except among the 
Javanese, whose manners, in this particular, more 
resemble those of the nations between Hindustan 
and China. The ancient Javanese, however, to judge 
from their laws, appear to have been not less puncti- 
lious than their neighbours. The crime of adultery 
is viewed, we may remark, at once as an injury to 
a man's honour and to his property. The husband 
may put the adulterer and adulteress to death on 
the spot, without incurring any penalty. The little 
confidence which the islanders repose in the sex is 
evinced in those laws, which punish freedoms, appa- 
rently the most innocent, taken with them j nay the 

LAWS. 131 

mere circumstance of being seen accidentally in a 
doubtful situation with a woman, is construed into 
an offence for which the husband must receive satis- 
faction. Among all the tribes, adultery is the 
most frequent subject of legislative enactment. I 
shall here quote a few of the laws on the subject : 
" Ify'* says the code of Malacca, " a husband kill 
the man that bids for the virtue of his wife, he shall 
pay a fine of one taltil and one paha ; for a mere 
attempt to seduce is not a crime deserving death, 
except in the case of a man of rank,'* The laws 
of the Balinese decide that " If a man be an eye- 
witness to another's offering his wife any violence, 
it shall be lawful for him to kill him on the spot ;" 
and farther, *' If a husband discover his wife in the 
embraces of another, it shall be lawful for him to 
put both to death at once." The same laws de- 
clare that *' If a man enter into conversation with 
another's wife, though only on the subject of a 
debt, he shall be fined one hundred thousand j9/c7^/5; 
for it is forbidden to converse with a man's wife 
alone ; it is particularly interdicted. It is even for- 
bidden to a Panditay (a priest,) who would, by doing 
so, injure his sacred character; for words are of pow- 
erful effect ; and the wickedness of the human 
heart difficultly repressed. This is the saying of 
Sang Yiwang Agamay** (the deity of the faith or 
book.) The enactments on this subject in the Ja- 
vanese tract called Siiryo Alttm are so extrava- 

132 LAWS. 

gantly punctilious as to wear an air of some ridi- 
cule. " If," says this performance, " a man speak 
much to a woman on the highway, or at the 
resting places on a journey, and her husband ex- 
press dissatisfaction thereat, the offender shall pay 
a line of seven pieces of money." 

" If a man pick up on the highway, or in any 
other place, a flower belonging to a woman, and 
her husband expresses dissatisfaction, the person 
who is in possession of the flower shall pay a fine 
of six pieces of money." 

" If a woman who may have retired to a thicket 
is seen coming out of it at the same time with a 
man whom necessity may have taken to the same 
situation, and the husband of such woman express 
dissatisfaction, the man shall be fined four pieces 
of money." 

" If a man, lodging in the house of another, give 
the wife of his host his clothes to wash, and bor- 
row, in the meantime, others from her, should the 
husband be displeased thereat, the man shall be 
fined four pieces of money." 

" If a man tear a woman* s clothes, or lets down 
her petticoat, he shall be fined two thousand four 
hundred pichis.*' 

** If a man lay violent hands on another man's 
wife, with intention of violating her, he shall be 
made to pay damages to her to the amount of three 

LAWS. 133 

thousand pichiSy and to the magistrate four thou- 

" If a man seize upon a woman, and she cry 
out, on which he lays hold of her by the hair of the 
head, and she then stabs him to death with a kris, 
her life shall not be endangered by so doing, but 
she shall pay, as the price of blood, to the relations 
of the deceased, eight thousand pichiSy with a mulct 
of four thousand eight hundred besides to the ma- 

The laws of the Rejangs are nearly to the same 
eflPect, and as follow : " If a person lies with a 
man's wife by force he is deserving of death ; but 
may redeem his head by payment of the Bangun, 
eighty dollars to be divided between the husband 
and Pruattms.'* — " If a man surprises his wife in 
the act of adultery, he may put both man and wife 
to death upon the spot without being liable to any 
Bcmgun. If he kills the man and spares his wife, 
he must redeem her life by payment of fifty dollars 
to the Proatti?is." 

The next branch of the penal laws to be con- 
sidered are offences against the state or sovereign. 
Offences against the state consist of exercise of un- 
due authority, — giving false information, — forging 
the royal signet, or those of the officers of state, — 
and rebellion. The despotic character of the so- 
vereign authority has been already explained in 
another chapter of this book. The prerogatives 

iS'h LAWS. 

of royalty will tolerate no encroachment. Wearing 
forbidden arms or garments, or using, or causing 
to be used, the language of adulation appropriated 
to the sovereign, are always crimes of the greatest 
magnitude, and often capital ones. " The Raja's 
court,** says the Suryo Akm, " is like the sun, 
whose refulgent rays spread in all directions, and 
penetrate through every thing, — the displeasure of 
the Raja, in his court, is like the heat of the sun, 
which causes those who are exposed to it to faint 
away.** * Exercise of undue authority is punish- 
ed rather as a disrespect to the king*s person 
than as an offence offered to the regular admi- 
nistration of justice. We have this exemplified 
in the following law of the Malays : *' If a person 
put a malefactor to death without the knowledge 
of the king it shall be deemed contumacy, for he 
has not the fear of the king before his eyes, and 
his punishment shall be a fine of ten tahils and one 

The offence of giving false intelligence, accord- 
ing to the acceptation of the Indian islanders, is 
not a great political offence, as we might imagine, 
but a sort of personal indignity offered to the prince 
himself directly, or indirectly to him in the person 
of one of his officers. *' If a man,** say the laws 
of Bali, *' shall say to a person of rank, there is in 

* Ruffles, Vol. II. Appendix. 

LAWS. 1 35 

such and such a place valuables, as cattle, fruit, gold, 
silver, gems, or handsome women, and it turn out 
that the information is uncertain or false, such per- 
son shall be fined in a sum of ten thousand pichisJ' 

The law, however, appears occasionally to have 
been directed against alarmists, of which we have 
an example in tlie following one from the tract so 
often quoted, Suryo Aldm : " If a person is 
found guilty of circulating false reports, or of mag- 
nifying any piece of intelligence, so as to create a 
great alarm in the country, and put all the people 
in a ferment, he shall be fined four hundred and 
four thousand pichis." 

Forging the royal signet, or using the royal name 
for illegal ends, called, in the idiom of the Malay 
language, seUing the king's 'word^ are capital of- 
fences. Using the name of any of his officers 
with improper views is also a high offence. The 
punishment for this last is described in the fol- 
lowing law of the Malays : " If a person use 
the name of a great man with improper views, he 
shall either be fined one tahilaiid one 2)aha, or re- 
ceive a Jack before the people. If he resist he 
shall be put to death, for great men sustain the 
business of the king.'* 

Treason and rebellion are, of course, the greatest 
of crimes under a despotic government. They are 
construed to be not only temporal offences, but even 
sacrilciie. But there are no laws which describe 

136 LAWS. 

the punishment of treason. It is a crime which the 
laws do not even contemplate. Sedition, treason, 
and rebellion, are one thing. There are no shades 
of distinction. When a man forgets his allegiance 
there is no middle course to pursue ; he is at once 
a rebel, and, like a wild beast, hunted down as a 
common enemy. When taken, he is unceremonious- 
ly put to death, for the semblance of judicial trial, 
unsuitable to the spirit of their political institutions, 
is, of course, out of the question. Insurrection, the 
only mode of obtaining a redress of grievances in 
the East, has been always very frequent among the 
more considerable and richer tribes of the Archi- 
pelago, as the Achinese, Javanese, &c. those who 
had any thing to plunder, and any thing worth 
struggling for. In Java, when an insurgent 
C KravianJ is taken, his punishment, by imme- 
morial usage, is to be tortured to death hi/ the 
people, on a principle of retaliation, considering 
him as the common enemy of the tribe, in the 
manner in which prisoners of war are tortured by 
the savages of North America. For this purpose, 
the criminal is exposed in the great square in front 
of the palace, and slowly tortured to death by the 
mob. In the reign of Susunan Pakubiiwono, 
a rebel, called Mas DonOy suffered this cruel death, 
or, as the native writer expresses it, was " punc- 
tured to death with needles for the amusement 
of the people !" During the reign of the last 


LAWS. 137 

Susunan, another pretender was executed at Solo, 
nearly in the same manner, having been pinched 
to death by the populace ! 

Of offences aga'mst the laws of nature the laws 
of the Indian islanders provide for none but the 
imaginary one of sorcery or witchcraft. 

One of the great advantages which the natives 
of the Indian islands have derived from their con- 
version to the Mahomedan religion, is a freedom 
from the terrors of this supposed offence. Though 
far from disbelieving in magic, we do not find the 
minds of the converted natives haunted by the 
terrors of the diabolical superstition entertained by 
their ancestors, and by the tribes which still adhere 
to Hinduism. Sorcery, among the latter, is con- 
sidered one of the most atrocious crimes. " If," 
say the laws of the Balinese, ** a man falsely ac- 
cuse another of sorcery, and speak publicly there- 
of, the magistrate shall fine him forty thousand." 
The following odious and sanguinary law of the 
same people describes what they mean by incanta- 
tion or sorcery, and directs what is to be the pu- 
nishment : '* If a person write the name of an- 
other on the winding-sheet of a corpse, or on a 
dead man's bier, or makes images of another of 
paste, or writing the name of a man on a slip of 
paper, suspends it on a tree, buries it in the earth, 
deposits it in haunted ground, or where two roads 
cross each other, any of these shall be deemed sor- 

13S LAWS. 

eery. If a man write the name of another on a 
human bone with blood and charcoal, this also shall 
be deemed an incantation. Whoever is guilty of 
any of these practices shall the judge order to be 
put to death. If the matter be very clearly made 
out, let the punishment of death be extended to 
his father and his mother, to his children and to his 
grandchildren ; let none of them live ; let none 
connected with one so guilty remain on the face of 
the land, and let their goods be in like manner 
confiscated. Should the children or parents of the 
sorcerer live in a remote part of the country, still 
let them be sought out and put to death, and let 
their goods, if concealed, be brought forth and con- 
fiscated." According to the Suryo Aldrriy the of- 
fence of witchcraft is much less severely judged, 
but still considered a very serious crime. *' There 
is," says this tract, " one thing which ought not 
to be tolerated in a country, namely, sorcery ; par- 
ticularly if practised in difficult times. The line 
for this offence is forty thousand, and if any thing 
be missing, it shall be laid to the charge of the per- 
son practising the art. Should the governor of the 
province be the person, he shall be dismissed from 
his office, and his officers and relations shall be con- 
sidered as implicated in his crime. Should a per- 
son of the rank of Mantri be found guilty of prac- 
tising incantations, his fine shall be one hundred 


LAWS. 139 

For the abominable and unnatural vice said to 
be so frequent among the Persians, the Hindus, 
and especially the Chinese, calling theni selves the 
most refined nations of Asia, the Indian islanders 
have not even a name. Their manners, in this 
particular, are perfectly pure and uncontaminated. 
Of course, there are no laws against crimes which 
have no existence. 

Marriages between near relations are prohibited 
by the laws of the Indian islanders. When they 
do happen, the parties are fined if within the third 
degree of consanguinity collaterally, and in the 
ascending and descending line they are indefinite- 
ly forbidden. A brother, however, marries the 
widow of a brother, as among the Hindus ; and a 
man, on the demise of his wife, may espouse her 
sister ; but, among the Javanese at least, such 
unions are not deemed respectable. These are 
the only marriages which seem, to our prejudices, 
to infringe upon the law of nature. 

VOL. in. 





Character of the mercantile profession among the Indian 
islanders. — Rate of profits, and interest oj" money. — Foreign 
7-esident merchants, — Modes of commercial ifitercourse. — 
International trade. — Nations conducting the carrying 
trade. '■^Voyages of the Waju merchants. — Principles on 
rvhichforeign trade is conducted by the natives. 

I SHALL treat of the commerce of the Archipe- 
lago in six short chapters, under the respective 
heads of Domestic and Internal Commerce, — Com- 
merce with Asiatic Nations, — Direct Commerce with 
European Nations, — Commerce with the Asiatic Co- 
lonies of European Nations, — Description of the 
principal Articlesof Export, — and Description of the 
principal Imports. The deep interest and import- 


ance of this subject will make it unnecessary to 
apologize for the length of the details into which 
it is my intention to enter. 

The ralue and extent of the commerce which 
distant nations are capable of carrying on with 
each other, is in the direct proportion of their 
wealth and civilization. The tribes whose history 
T am writing have, however, from early times, on 
account of their favourable situation, their easy ap- 
proach, the richness of some of their productions, 
and the singularity of others conducted with the 
great civilized nations of the globe, a commerce far 
greater than this usual standard would, at first 
view, lead us to expect. History affords ample 
proof of this fact. Ignorant of geography and na- 
vigation, the half civilized nations of Asia, notwith- 
standing, made their way to the Indian islands, the 
commodities of which were spread over Asia, and 
through ahundred hordesof barbarians, finally reach- 
ed the civilized nations of Europe long before the lat- 
ter knew even the name or situation of the coun- 
tries which produced them. In later times, the 
productions of the Indian islands constituted the 
most important articles of that oriental commerce 
which lighted the embers of civilization in Italy 
in the middle ages, and, finally, it was the search 
for them that led to the discoveries of Gama and 


Columbus, the two grandest events in the history 
of our species. 

All the great tribes of the Archipelago are in 
that state of advancement in social improvement 
in which the mercantile profession is a distinct em- 
ployment. It is even one which, from the pecu- 
liarity of their maritime situation, is honoured be- 
yond the rank which usually belongs to it, in so 
humble a state of social existence. To engage in 
commerce is reckoned no dishonour to any one, but 
the contrary, and it is, indeed, among the maritime 
tribes especially, one of the most dignified occupa- 
tions even of the sovereign himself, and of his prin- 
cipal officers. The higher class of dealers, in point 
of moral character, are remarkable for their fair- 
ness, spirit, and integrity. In the management of 
their concerns, though they are not systematically 
skilful, they display, from habit and familiarity with 
their business, much discernment and acuteness. 
The use of money is understood by all the con- 
siderable tribes. The metals are used by the civi- 
lized ones, and the ruder have recourse, as in the 
earlier stages of society elsewhere, to the staple and 
current commodities of their respective countries, 
as I have mentioned in another part of this work. 
Bills of exchange, such as exist among the Hin- 
dus, and which imply much commercial intercourse, 
and considerable confidence, have never existed 
among the scattered and hostile tribes of the In- 
dian islands. 


As in rude and unsettled states of society every- 
where, mercantile profits are exorbitant, and the 
rate of interest high in proportion to this profit, 
and to the risk of lending. No attempt, that I am 
aware of, has ever been made to determine, by law, 
the rate of interest. In the rude period of society 
which preceded the modern intercourse with stran- 
gers, commerce had not assumed, among the In- 
dian islanders, that regular and systematic charac- 
ter which would lead to such a measure, and it is 
probable that the interdiction of interest, from reli- 
gious motives, has since hindered it from being 
openly declared. Among the natives themselves, 
trading on large capitals is a thing unknown. 
Every merchant is a petty retailer, or shopkeeper. 
The natural rate of interest may be ascertained from 
a view of the character of the transactions of such 
dealers. The Chinese of Java will occasionally 
lend, on good security, at twelve per cent., but 
double this amount is more frequent. The rate in 
this case, however, is greatly reduced from the con- 
fidence and security which any form of European 
government, however imperfect, naturally confers. 
Under the native governments, it is probable that 
not less than fifty per cent, is paid by the borrower 
in one form or another for a loan. 

The women, especially in Java, are almost the 
sole merchants and brokers, the men hardly ever 
interfering, at least in matters of retail. Ihe 


higher departments of mercantile adventure are al- 
most solely in the hands of strangers, encouraged 
for ages to settle in the country by the supineness 
of the natives, and the natural wealth of the land. 
These foreigners, whose character I have al- 
ready drawn, are natives of Hindustan, Chinese, 
Arabs, and Europeans. Of the Asiatic dealers, 
the Chinese are the most useful, numerous, and 
distinguished. They here occupy the same situa- 
tion which the Jews did among the barbarians of the 
middle ages of Europe, except that, perhaps, as they 
are placed under circumstances more favourable, they 
are more frequently engaged in the pursuit of fair 
mercantile speculation, and seldomer in the invidi- 
ous one of lending to spendthrifts at high interest. 
The different foreign merchants residing in the 
Archipelago take their rank in the extent of the 
dealings they conduct, according to the civilization 
of the nations to w^hich they belong. The high- 
er branches are in the hands of the European mer- 
chants, and the details of intercourse with the na- 
tives of the country fall naturally into the more 
supple management of the Arabs, the Telingas, 
and Chinese, better fitted, from manners and cha- 
racter, for a direct intercourse with them. 

The natives of the Indian islands are far enough 
from having amved at that period of civilization in 
which skilful measures are pursued by the public 


for facilitating intercourse, and for the distribution 
and exchange of the surplus produce of the dif- 
ferent portions of the same countiy. I know no 
exception to this but the institution of public 
markets, which had its origin in Java, and which 
spread in some measure among the neighbouring 
tribes, as we learn on the testimony of language. 
Throughout the whole of Java, these are regularly 
established j and, as mentioned in another place, 
the ancient Javanese week was founded on this in- 
stitution. The allotment of particular quarters of 
a town for the permanent sale of commodities was 
probably borrowed from the Mahomedans, for the 
term Fasar, applied to these, appears to be nothing 
more than a corruption of the Arabic word bazar. 
The Indian islanders have neither relio-jous zeal 
nor civilization enough to have any institutions pa- 
rallel to the great fairs or Melas which periodical- 
ly take place ir. Hindustan. The ordinary markets 
of Java present scenes of great bustle and activity. 
Under the shade of a few scattered trees, planted 
for the purpose, or of temporary sheds, the dealers 
expose their wares for sale on frames of bamboo. 
The whole value of their goods seldom exceeds a 
few dollars. A short list of the principal dealers in 
these markets will convey some notion of the na- 
ture of the traffic conducted. These are the corn- 
dealer — the oil-merch.ant — the sugar-merchant — 
the salt-merchant — the green-grocer — the dealer 



in onions, garlic, and trasi — the dealer in coco- 
nuts — the dealer in sugar-cane — tlie butcher — the 
poulterer — the ambulatory cook, who has a port- 
able kitchen — the liower-seller — the tobacconist — 
the vender of gambir or terra Japoiiica — the ven- 
der of betel — the vender of areca — the vender of 
wax and frankincense — the draper — the vender of 
cotton — the vender of cotton-thread — the vender 
of indigo — the vender of lac, and other dye-stuffs 
— the dyer — the vender of iron — die vender of 
Icris scabbards — the vender of kris handles — the 
vender of krises- — the vender of spears — the wood- 
merchant — the vender of gunpowder — the vender 
of brass and copper utensils — the horse-dealer. 
We perceive, in this enumeration, a very minute 
subdivision of employments, indicating very consi- 
derable commercial improvement. The principal 
artisans who present themselves in the market for 
employment are, the blacksmith — the goldsmith — 
the brazier — the dyer — and the painter of cotton 
cloths. Except where Europeans have made some 
impression in the way of colonization, roads, 
bridges, or canals, are altogether unknown. The 
roads are mere pathways, and the bridges but tem- 
porary and inconvenient rafts. In a general view, 
wheel-carriage for the transportation of merchan- 
dise is unknown. Where water-carriage is not to 
be had, goods are conveyed on men's shoulders, or 
on oxen and horses ; costly goods and difficult roads 



more particularly demanding the first, and more 
bulky commodities, with easier routes, admitting of 
the latter. On the great roads which lead from 
the port of Samarang, in Java, to the capitals of the 
native princes, through some of the most populous 
and improved parts of the island, five thousand iti-» 
nerant porters are constantly employed in the trans- 
port of merchandise. Droves of pack-horses and 
oxen are constantly to be seen on the same route. 
A great deal of the commercial as well as other in- 
tercourse of the Indian islanders is by water. The 
frequent rivers of their country, and the pacific sea 
which everywhere surrounds them, almost as safely 
navigated as tliose rivers, afford wonderful facilities 
to commerce. 

Notwithstanding the apparent similarity of the 
climate of the different islands, there is a prodigi- 
ous variety of production. The more improved 
tribes, and those inhabiting the most fertile soils, 
supply the less improved with food and clothing, 
and receive, in exchange, the peculiar productions 
of those countries, generally in a crude form, or 
nearly as they come from the hand of nature. The 
first description of merchandise may be enumerated 
as follow : Rice — a variety of pulses — vegetable 
oils — cotton wool — manufactured cotton — tobac- 
co — salt — sugar — and indigo. The second de-;. 
scription consists of gold — tin — ivory — catechu — 
Benjamin — dry-fish, &c. The necessities or luxu- 


ries of strangers give a powerful impulse to the in- 
ternal commerce of the Archipelago ; and from 
this source springs the tratHc which is driven in 
collecting the Ibllowing list of commodities : 
Edible birds'-nests — tripang^ or bech de mer — 
black-pepper — cloves, mace, and nutmegs — cam- 
phor — sharks* Hns, — and tortoise-shell, &c. &c. Be- 
sides the coasting and internal trade, conducted in 
the different productions just enumerated, by 
strangers or foreign settlers, the most powerful and 
civilized tribes have always themselves conducted a 
considerable carrying trade. These considerable 
tribes are the Javanese, the Malays, and Bugis, 
the great tribes of the three finest islands, Java, 
Sumatra, and Celebes. 

The annals of the Spice Islands mention, that, 
as early as the year 133^2, the Javanese were in the 
habit of frequenting Ternati, then the paramount 
island of the group, for cloves, and they are again 
mentioned as forming settlements there, along with 
the Malays, about the period of the conversion of 
their inhabitants to the Mahomedan religion. One 
or other of the three great tribes above-mentioned, 
in all probability, indeed, conducted the spice trade 
from the earliest periods. It was the demands of the 
western world which stimulated this commerce, and 
the adventure of those tribes may be considered as 
\\\Q first link in that long commercial chain which 
brought the spices of the Moluccas through many 


nations of barbarians to the gates of Rome, the in- 
habitants of which were ignorant of the countries 
which produced them, and of the means by which 
they obtained them. The spices obtained by these 
adventurers at the eastern extremity of the Archi- 
pelago were carried to the emporia of the west, to 
Malacca, Achin, and some of the ports of Java, 
where they were purchased, in the earHer ages of 
the commerce, by the. Hindus, and in later times 
by these, jointly with the Arabs. 

The war pursued by European nations against 
the commerce and industry of the native inhabit- 
ants, suppressed the traffic of the Javanese and 
Malays, who, from their situation, fell more imme- 
diately within their power. The people of Cele- 
bes are now the most considerable and enterpris- 
ing of the navigators of the Indian islands, and 
among them the ^Bugis of TVqjii are the most dis- 
tinguished. Some account of their adventures, 
therefore, will prove interesting. The original 
country of these people is the banks of the great 
fresh water lake Tapara-karaja, in the south-west^ 
em limb of Celebes, and towards the northern part 
of that limb. Europeans are wholly unacquainted 
with the nature of this country ; but from the ana- 
logy of other situations, we may safely infer, that a 
territory which has given rise to so much compara- 
tive civilization, and so much mercantile enter- 
prise, is a land of considerable fertility. There is 


no country of the Archipelago possessed of any ad- 
vantages for trade, in which the Bugis of Waju are 
not found settled, and, in some situations, they 
have even colonized as a body, and founded inde- 
pendent states. The lake above-mentioned com- 
municates by rivers navigable for the largest native 
craft, both with the Bay of Boni to the east, and 
with the sea to the west. The voyage from the 
shores of the lake is commenced in the beginning of 
the easterly monsoon. The adventurers carry on a 
trading voyage as they proceed westward, until at 
Rhio, Malacca, Penang, and Achin, they reach the 
limits of the Archipelago, and are prepared to re- 
turn with the change of season. The commodi- 
ties which they export from their native country, or 
collect, in the course of their outward voyage, for 
the supply of the most distant islands, are the ex- 
cellent and durable cotton cloths of their native 
country, gold-dust, nutmegs, Spanish dollars, birds'- 
nests, camphor, Benjamin, or frankincense, and 
tortoise-shell. They bring back from the extremi- 
ties of the Archipelago, either for the supply of the 
intermediate tribes, or that of their own country- 
men, opium, European broad cloth, European and 
Indian cotton goods, unwrought iron, and tobacco. 
This voyage is necessarily the most considerable 
and important of the adventures of the Waju mer- 
chants, but many subordinate ones are undertaken, 
in which the chief object is to collect materials for 


the markets of China, as birds'-nests, ornamental 
feathers, tortoise-shell, and Tripang, or sea slug. 
The most singular and interesting of these voyages 
is the adventure made to the southern coast of New 
Holland, for the fishery of the last mentioned ar* 
tide. Upwards of forty vessels, of from twenty to 
fifty tons, quit Macassar annually for the coast of 
New Holland, besides numbers that go elsewhere in 
search of the same object. A vessel of twenty tonsj 
manned by twenty-five hands, is considered to be 
successful, if she have obtained seven thousand 
pounds weight of Tripang. It is the capital of the 
Chinese resident merchants, which sets these adven- 
tures on foot, as they advance to the undertakers 
from two to four hundred Spanish dollars, accord- 
ing to the extent of their equipment, securing to 
themselves the rtfusal of the cargo. These sketches 
will suffice to convey some notion of the character 
and extent of this department of native commerce. 
Having considered the nature of the traffic con- 
ducted by the Indian islanders, both domestic and 
international, I shall take a view of the regulations 
under which the commerce with strangers is con- 
ducted, and the provision made for its arrangement. 
By all the nations from Japan to Bengal, foreign 
trade is rather tolerated than encouraged. If a 
stranger is permitted to trade, it is considered 
eminently as a favour conferred upon him, rather 
than as a benefit to the society with whom he main- 


tains an intercourse. The tribes of the Indian 
islands entertain sojiie of those feelings in common 
with the rest. The first thing to be done by a 
stranger merchant coming among them, is to con- 
ciliate the good will of the prince, and obtain his 
peraiission to trade, which must be done by an of- 
fer of gifts. The imposition of regular duties on 
trade is seldom thought of. The short-sighted 
judgment of the native prince sees an apparently 
obvious benefit to be derived from buying cheap 
and selling dear, and he either makes a monopoly 
of the traffic, or parts with the privilege of trading 
to some favourite, or for some valuable considera- 
tion. A Malay prince is, therefore, as already 
mentioned, in general the first and often the only 
merchant in his country. * Where a busy traffic 
with the more enlightened nations of Asia was es- 
tablished, and especially where Arabs and their de- 

* Beaulieu, speaking of Acliin, describes tliis character of 
the commerce with strangers perfectly well : " But tlie great- 
est damp on the tnido of that place," says he, " is that the 
king engrosses it all into his own hands ; for what conmiodi- 
ties he buys, he must have them under a market-price, and 
what he sells rises fifty per cent, above it ;" and again he says 
of the king, " He knew very well that his buying pepper at 
the same time would stifle my market, and if any one had 
sold me pepper he would certainly have punished him, under 
pretext of preferring my custom to his." — Harris's Colledion, 


scendants obtained the sovereignty, a policy in a 
good measure more enlarged and liberal has been 
occasionally pursued, and considerable freedom of 
commerce permitted. The consequences have al- 
ways, as might be reckoned upon, been most bene- 
ficial. Commerce has flourished, and such states 
have always risen to comparative opulence and 
grandeur, of which Malacca, Bantam, Achin, Pa- 
lembang, Pontianak, and Macassar, are examples. 
In these states commerce was of such consequence, 
that the management of it became a separate de- 
partment of the administration, and the officer pre- 
siding over it under the Persian name of Shah- 
handdry borrowed, perhaps, intermediatelyfrom the 
Telinga, was the highest and the most important 
functionary of the state. 



Intercourse ivith China Its history and early character. — 

Character qf foreign commerce ivith the Chinese, and regu- 
lations tinder which it is tolerated. — Navigation and skip- 
ping of the Chinese. — Nature of the import cargoes. — 
Amount of shipping employed. — Trade between the Indian 
islanders and the Hindu- Chinese nations. — Trade of the 
Archipelago tvith the country of the Hindus. — Probable 
history ofthefrst intercourse between them. — Present state 
of the trade. — hnporls andexpoi'ts — Trade between the In- 
dian islands and Arabia Its history and character — Ara- 
bian navigation. — Exports and imports. 

A COMMERCIAL iiitercourse has, from very remote 
times, subsisted between the Archipelagc and all 
the great maritime nations of Asia. I shall, in the 
present chapter, furnish a sketch of the histoiy and 
circumstances of this connection, beginning with 
that of the Chinese, and successively rendering an 
account of — that with the Hindu-Chinese nations, 
— the nations of Hindustan, — and the Arabs and 
Persian, — as, in other parts of the world, we find 
that it is the more opulent and civilized that have 
always visited the country of those that are less so. 


All the strangers, therefore, who, in any age, have 
held a commercial connection with the Indian island- 
ers, have invariably visited them j while the spirit 
of adventure, or the ambition of wealth and fame, 
has never carried the inhabitants of the Archipelago 
beyond the waters which wash their native islands. 
The most extensive, intimate, and probably the 
most ancient, of the foreign commercial relations of 
the Indian islands, is that with China. A de- 
mand for the most peculiar of the products of the 
Indian islands may be said to be now interwoven 
with the unchangeable habits, manners, and even 
religious ceremonies, of the singular population of 
that empire. From this fact alone, which is of 
more value than the imperfect records of either the 
Chinese or the Indian islanders, we may safely in- 
fer, that a commercial intercourse has subsisted for 
many ages between them. We must guard our- 
selves, however, against imagining that, in early 
times, it was a busy or an active intercourse. There 
is unquestionable proof, indeed, of the contrary. At 
present, since the road has been shewn to them 
by Europeans, and parts of the country, rendered 
by their protection a safe residence, the Chinese 
have displayed a strong tendency to settle and colo- 
nize. Before this period, they had certainly shewn 
nowhere a disposition to settle, as is sufficiently 
demonstrated by a total absence, not only of such 
colonization, but by that of any vestige of the Ian- 


guage, habits, or manuers of such a colony. For- 
mosa, as I have noticed in another place, an island 
within twenty leagues of the coast of the most com- 
mercial province of the empire, was, by the confes- 
sion of the Chinese, only discovered by them, and 
that too by accident, as late as the year 1430, and was 
not occupied until 231 years thereafter, when the 
genius of European manners and institutions had 
rendered it a comfortable and safe abode. In the 
same way the Philippines, neglected by them in all 
previous periods of their own history, were coveted 
when the Spaniards had established some degree of 
tranquillity within them, and rendered them a safe 
asylum for this timid and unenterprising race. The 
Chinese population of Java was established under 
the very same circumstances. Few or none had 
the courage to settle under the turbulent govern- 
ment of the natives, but the Dutch had been 
scarcely established when there was an inundation 
of Chinese sett!- rs, and, in little more than a cen- 
tury, their masters considered it necessary to mas- 
sacre them by thousands to lessen their redundan- 
cy. The political institutions of the Chinese are 
remarkable among those of Asiatic people, for the 
uncommon share of tranquillity they are found, by 
experience, capable df maintaining, and for the secu- 
rity they thus afford to life and property. This, 
in a fertile country, and favourable situation, has 
been quite adequate to produce an immense popu- 


lation, and the pressure of population against the 
means of subsistence has, by necessity, begot a pa- 
tient and systematic industry unknown to other 
Asiatic nations. This industry, however, we find, 
is constantly directed to objects of mere necessity, 
or of the gratification of the senses, and never as- 
sumes a character of intellectual enterprise. There 
is nothing, indeed, in the character of the Chinese 
that would lead us to believe them capable of bold 
and perilous adventure, and I must, for this rea- 
son, and others to be now mentioned, utterly dis- 
credit their distant voyages beyond the Indian 
islands, to Malabar, or the Persian Gulf. The on- 
ly authentic record of a distant voyage made by 
them, is that in which the celebrated Venetian 
Marco Polo was engaged. The circumstances of 
it, which are very remarkable, deserve a particular 
examination, as they throw much light on the sub- 
ject of our inquiry. The Tartar sovereign of 
Persia sent ambassadors to his relation Kuhldl, the 
Tartar emperor of China, for a wife. A young 
lady of the royal family was conceded to him, and 
she and her retinue attempted to proceed to Per- 
sia by land, but, from the wars among the princes 
of Tartary, found this impracticable. The Polo 
family were now at the Chinese court, and Marco 
had just returned from a voyage among the Indian 
islands, which the Persian ambassadors hearing of, 
proposed to return to their native country by sea, 


with the prospect of having the Europeans as their 
pilots. I shall state the circumstance in the lan- 
guage of the editor of the travels : ** About the 
time of their (the ambassadors) reappearance, Mar- 
co Polo happened to arrive from a voyage he had 
made, with a few vessels under his orders, to some 
ports of the East Indies, * and reported to the 
grand Khan the intelligence he brought respecting 
the countries he had visited, with the circumstan- 
ces of his own navigation, which he said was per- 
formed in these seas with the utmost safety. This 
latter observation having reached the ears of the 
three ambassadors, who were extremely anxious 
to return to their own country, from whence 
they had now been absent three years, presently 
sought a conference with our Venetians, whom 
they found equally desirous of revisiting their 
home ; and it was settled between them that the 
former, accompanied by their young queen, should 
obtain an audience of the grand KhaUy and repre- 
sent to him with what convenience and security 
they might effect their return by sea, to the domi- 
nions of their master ; whilst the voyage would be 
attended with less expence than the journey by 
land, and be performed in a shorter time, accordr 
ing to the experience of Marco Polo, who had late- 

• To some of the Indian islands, in the opinion of Mr 


ly sailed in those parts. Should his majesty in- 
cline to give his consent to their adopting that 
mode of conveyance, they were then to urge him 
to suffer the three Europeans, as being persons well 
skilled in the practice of navigation, to accompany 
them until they should reach the territory of king 
Arghun.'* * The emperor gave his consent to the 
sea- voyage ; and, in 1291, the embassy, with the 
Europeans accompanying it, sailed from the Peiho 
in a fleet of fourteen junkSy provisioned for two 
years. They took three months to reach Su- 
matra, a voyage that a Chinese jmik would now 
make in probably one-fourth of the time, and no 
less than eighteen months more to reach Ormuz, 
or whatever other part of the Persian territory 
they first made. The following commentary on 
these circumstances naturally occurs. When Marco 
Polo told the Chinese court of the facility of 
navigating the Indian seas, from his own expe- 
rience, it was received as news. It is highly im- 
probable, therefore, that the voyage could have 
been familiar to the Chinese : on this occasion, it 
looks as if it had been undertaken for the first 
time, and only on the prospect of having the Eu- 
ropeans as pilots. An imperial fleet, which we must 
naturally suppose equipped in the best manner, 
took two years to reach the port of its destination ; 

* ]Maisden's excellent translation of Marco Polo, p. 28- 


it would naturally take two years to come back. A 
commercial voyage, the returns of which could not 
be made in less than four years, could hardly be con- 
ducted by any people, and especially by a people 
who borrow money at an exorbitant interest. It 
cannot well be argued that the trade might have 
been conducted, and yet the Tartar sovereign and 
his court be ignorant of it, for the family ofJe?igez 
Khan had at this time been in complete possession 
of China and its coasts for a number of years. 
Kuhlai personally was remarkable for his desire to 
render himself acquainted with foreign countries ; 
and, before the period in question, had sent an un- 
successful expedition of four thousand vessels, and 
S'iOjOOO men, against Japan. * Had the Chinese 
been in the habit of frequenting the coasts of Hin- 
dustan, surely the Portuguese, long anxious to gain 
admittance to China, must have met with them ; 
and from their wealth, which they would not have 
wanted a pretext to plunder, compared to that of 
the traders of India, could not have failed to have 
mentioned so remarkable a circumstance. Their 
not having done so on any occasion, nearly amounts 
to a direct proof that, when tliey arrived in India, 
no direct in,tercourse existed between China and 

I am strongly tempted even to suspect that the 
Arabs, who traded direct from their own country 

* Kempfer's Hislory C)f Japan. 


to the Fndian islands and China, as early as the 
ninth century at least, were the first to instruct the 
Chinese perhaps even in the route to the Indian 
islands, as the Europeans in later times shewed 
them the way to, or at least the advantages of, For- 
mosa and the Philippines. It is not improbable that 
the fleet in which Marco Polo sailed had Arabian 
pilots, even from its first setting out, and highly 
probable that such were obtained for the more dis- 
tant part of the voyage, that is, from Sumatra to the 
Persian Gulf, where the traveller himself says Arabs 
were settled, and carrying on a commerce with their 
native country.* Etymology comes in some degree 
to our assistance on this point. It is not by a 
Chinese name but an Arabian, or at least a Per- 
sian one, Chin, that the maritime part of the Chi- 
nese empire is known to the Indian islanders. It 
is a legitimate conclusion from this, — that whether 
the people of the west made the Indian islands 

* Mr Marsden supposes the existence, in the fleet, of 
these pilots, without drawing the same inference from it that 
I have done. " It should be observed," says he, " that the Per- 
lak of the Malays is pronounced Ferlak by the Arabs, who 
liave not the sound of P in their language; and, amongst 
the pilots of the fleet, it is probable there were many of that 
nation who were accustomed to trade to China from the 
Gulf of Persia and Muskat." — Marsden's Marco Polo, p. 



first known to the Chinese or not, it looks as if they 
made the Chinese known to the Indian islanders, 
which, in a practical view, amounts to the same 
thing. It is pretended that the Chinese were ac- 
quainted with the mariner*s compass, and it is 
hence argued that they must have been great na- 
vigators, and made distant voyages. It might as 
well be insisted upon, that, because they were ac- 
quainted with an imperfect kind of printing, they 
must necessarily have made the same use of this 
noble invention that the European nations have 
done. If they were acquainted with the compass, 
and turned their knowledge of the polarity of the 
magnetic needle to any useful purpose, the Arabs 
who lived among them, converted many of them to 
their religion, and for centuries carried on a busy 
trade with them, could not, by any possibility, be 
ignorant of so great a discovery. These Arabs, 
after between at least six and seven hundred years 
intercourse with the Chinese, were still, as is well 
known, unacquainted with the compass when Vasco 
di Gama doubled the Cape of Good Hope, yet 
immediately after borrowed it from the Europeans. 
It is probable that the Chinese, as well as the 
Arabs, made a coasting voyage to the Indian 
islands ; and that the shorter and safe voyage 
which they now pursue they have both been in- 
structed in by Europeans. This circumstance is 
strongly corroborated by a well-knovm fact, which 



is strikingly illustrative of the" character of the 
people, and of which those acquainted with the 
trade of the junks are well aware, that almost every- 
one of them has a pilot, a native Portuguese, or 
other individual of the European race and educa- 
tion, who has the entire direction of the navigation. 
I remember having once seen, in 1814, a large 
junk arrive from the port of Amoy, at Samarang, in 
Java, in the short period of thirteen days, under 
the conduct of an American pilot, accidentally ob- 
tained. Marco Polo's fleet took three months to 
perform a voyage of nearly the same length ; and, 
in short, actually performed a coasting voyage, 
having touched, as far as can be ascertained, at 
Hainan, Kamhojay Champa, Kondur, Bintan, 
and Sumatra, proving, past all doubt, that he did 
not sail by the compass. He even adds himself a 
remark that proves it could not have been the prac- 
tice in his time. Intending to convey some no- 
tion of those countries of the Indian islands most 
frequented by the Chinese junks, he supposes the 
whole to be one island ; and, as the Arabs do at 
this day, gave the name o^Java the most renowned, 
and the only one which had probably reached him, 
to this country, of which he says, '* That the Grand 
Khan has not brought the island under subjection to 
him, must be attributed to the length of the voyage, 
and the dangers of the navigation.** From the port 
of Canton to the centre of the Archipelago, this 


voyage, described as so distant and so dangerous, is 
now performed by a Chinese junk, navigating by 
the compass, in fifteen days. 

It may be further remarked, that the circum- 
stances of the voyage made by the fleet which the 
Emperor Kuhlai sent for the conquest of Borneo or 
Java, prove the very same thing. It sailed from 
one of the very ports of Fo-ldcn from which the 
junks sail at this day, and took sixty-eight days to 
reach its destination, making, like Marco Polo and 
his fleet, a coasting voyage of it, sailing along the 
shores of Tonquin and Cochin China. * 

In the native annals of the Indian islanders, the 
first distinct mention made of the Chinese is a no- 
tice that they came to trade in cloves at Ternaiiy 
one of the spice islands, in the reign of Marhum^ 
king of that island, whose reign commenced in 
14(J5. The wife of the last monarch of the Budd- 
hist religion in Java is, in the annals of that island, 
expressly stated to have been a Chinese. Tliat mo- 
narch lost his kingdom and his life in 1478, so that 
these two transactions accord very nearly in date. 
From the Javanese annals of the same period, we 
glean that there was some intercourse between Java 
and Champa and Kamboja, in the route from China 
by the coasting voyage. It is remarkable that 
the Arabs are expressly mentioned as having 

♦ HUioire des Huns, Liv. \Q, p. 186. 


been concerned in the transaction in which this 
last intercourse is alluded to. Independent, in- 
deed, of European or Arabian testimony, we have 
the express authority of native records for the fact 
of an intercourse existing with the Arabs in Ter- 
naii, near a century and a half, and with the Ja- 
vanese for a still longer period, before any notice 
whatever is taken of the Chinese. 

By the Chinese accounts, their intercourse with 
the Indian islands is stated to have been very early. 
The P. Amirot and De Guignes the elder, 
mention, on the authority of Chinese annals, a 
country of the Indian islands which they term ivowa- 
oua. Tliis is supposed by commentators to have 
been Borneo or Java ; but it is more consonant to 
the ignorance and imperfection of the intercourse 
of the Chinese to imagine that it applies generalljj 
to all the countries of the Archipelago rather tlian 
to any 07ie in particular. Han T'oko, a most acute 
and intelligent Chinese of Surabaia, in Java, well 
versed in the literature of China, and fiuniliar with 
the Malay language and the customs of Java, sup- 
plied me with some account of the country alluded 
to by Amiot and De Guignes, from a Chinese 
work printed at Pekin in the reign of Kanhi. 
The following is an abstract of the narrative it 
gives. The country, it states, was formerly called 
Cha-po, but now Jao-wa. This country became 
first known to the Chinese in the reign of an Em- 


peror called Lao-Gil-ijoyigt of the dynasty called 
Songi whom I presume to be Kao-tsou-vou-ti, the 
first prince of the dynasty Song, whose reign, ac- 
cording to Du Halde, commenced in the year of 
Christ 420, and who was a prince possessed of 
great qualities. At two other and distant periods, 
the kings of Chapo^ or Koua-oua^ or Jao-wdy are 
described as sending missions of homage, as all mis- 
sions from foreign princes are construed by the 
ignorance and vanity of the Chinese to be, to 
China. In the reign of the first Tartar sovereign 
of China, the celebrated Kuhlai, and in the thir- 
teenth year of his reign, an attempt is stated to 
have been made against Jao-U'a^ which failed, ow- 
ing to the great numbers of the people of the 
country. The thirteenth year of the reign of 
Kublai corresponds with the year 1292. The 
Chinese accounts, as we come down, become more 
circumstantial, and seem to be more identified with 
the particular histoiy of the island of Java. In the 
fifth year of the reign of Ching Tsiij better known 
by the name of Yong-Lo, of the dynasty of Meng, 
the king of the western portion of the island is 
described as having conquered the king of the east- 
ern portion. The former is called, in the Chinese 
work, To-iva-pan, This fact, if it really refer to 
Java, as has been supposed, seems to coincide with 
an important fact in the history of that island, the 
foundation of Mojopahiiy by a refugee from the 


western kingdom of Tajnjaran. It would corre- 
spond with the year 1324 of Javanese time. In 
the sixteenth year of the same reign, the king of 
JaO'Wa is described as sending a mission to China, 
with a gift of a white parrot or cockatoo ! I men- 
tion this last circumstance only because the name of 
the king, which is remarkable, if the intei'preta- 
tion be any thing more than fanciful, bears a close 
resemblance, indeed almost an identity, with the 
name or titles of ancient Javanese sovereio-ns. 


It is Yafig-xvi-se-sa,* which means *' the mighty 

• The articulation or pronunciation of the Chinese is so 
imperfect, and so utterly unlike that of all the rest of man- 
kindj that it is only by mere accident that they ever pro- 
nounce a foreign word rightly. Independent, therefore, of 
their ignorance, their selfishness, their want of feeling and 
imagination, and their gross and exclusive devotion to objects 
of mere sensual gratification, their descriptions of foreign 
countries and manners must be altogether unintelligible to 
strangers. I shall quote, as examples of their perversion of 
foreign names, a few of the names of places as they were 
written down for me by a Creole Chinese of Java. The 
Chinese born and brought up in the Archipelago, it ought 
to be noticed, have none of the imperfections in pronuncia- 
tion of their progenitors. Tagal they make Tak-kat — Cheri- 

bon — Cha-li-bun Brabas, Golo-bat — Kandal, Gan-tra — 

Japara, Ji-pla-la — Garsik, Kat-lik-sik — Blambaiigan, Gwa- 
lam-bang — Sumanip, Syang-kin-lap — Borneo, correctly 
Burnai, Bun-lai — Palembang — Ku- kang — Banda — Bal-laa 
— Samarang, Sam-pa-lan — Ternati, Kan-na-ti — Macassar, 
Bangkasat. It sometimes, however, happens that the name 
consists of such sounds as are familiar to the organs of 


or powerful.'* The description of the people 
and their manners is done in many respects with 
graphic accuracy, and accords faithfully with the 
character of the Indian islanders. The men, for 
example, always wear a short weapon of exqui- 
site workmanship (the kris) — tliey never inflict 
corporal punishment — the punishment of death is 
very frequent — execution is performed by stabbing 
— the people are of a resentful disposition — in 
their marriage ceremonies, the man goes to the 
woman's house, not the woman to the man's — in 
the disposal of the dead, some are thrown into the 
water, some burnt, and some buried. The account 
given of the exports of the country, though some 
of the articles appear whimsical, are exactly those 
of the Indian islands, as gold, pearls, rhinoceros' 
horns, elephants' teeth, tortoise-shell, betel-nut, 
black pepper, suppan and agila wood, paroquets, 
green pigeons, doves of various hues, &c. The 
only two articles not easily accounted for are silver 
and cotton, unless these were brought to the em- 
poria frequented by the Chinese, through the 
Hindus, and Arabs coming to the same places, 
and exchanging them for spices, &c. 

the Chinese, and then it is of course pronounced accurate- 
ly or nearly so ; thus Ambun, or Amboyna, is An-buii, — 
Bali is Ba-li — Ma-la- ka. Mo- la-ka — Bantam, properly Bantan, 
Ban-tan. If a place have two names, they will gladly adopt 
the easiest, though the least known ; thus, for Batavia, or 
Jacatra, they say Ka- la-pa, and for Pasuruhan, Gam-bo2iy. 



I have entered the more fully into this disquisi- 
tion, because it concerns a point of history of much 
interest, and tends to make us better acquainted 
with the real commercial character of all the par- 
ties concerned in it. 

The Chinese pretend to despise foreign trade ; 
they are, indeed, a jealous and unsocial people, and 
are far from having arrived at that point of civili- 
zation when men are prompted, by their passion for 
gain, to get rid of some share of their antipathy to 
strangers, and to perceive the benefits of a foreign 
intercourse. Their extensive empire extends over 
so many climes, containing necessarily such va- 
rious productions, easily distributed throughout by 
an extensive internal navigation, that they stand ap- 
parently in little need of foreign commerce. Other 
causes contribute. The sea- coast of China is small 
in proportion to the area of the country, and to the 
population ; it is dangerous to navigate ; the Chi- 
nese are timid and unskilful navigators, and, final- 
ly, they have no rich neighbours that are willing 
or anxious for a free intercourse with them. 

The government of China expresses, therefore, 
an avowed hostility to foreign commerce, and to- 
lerates it rather than protects it. The trade of all 
others that they are least jealous of, is that of the 
Indian islands. It brings them productions on 
which they put a real value, and the weakness of 
those with whom it is carried on disarms them of 


all political jealousy. AVhatever be the foreign 
trade conducted by the subjects of China, the in- 
variable practice of the government is to place it 
in the hands of a few individuals, who become an- 
swerable that it shall be conducted under all the 
restrictions and conditions required by law. One or 
all of these security merchants, as they have been 
called, must be amenable for every ship that arrives 
at, or sails from China, both in as far as regards 
the regulations of trade as the conduct of the crew. 
These persons pay a premium to the government 
for the privilege they enjoy, and reimburse them- 
selves by laying the trade open, and exacting from 
the adventurers a certain per centage on the in- 
vestments. At the port of Amoy, or Em-ui, in 
the province of Fo-kien, the principal seat of this 
commerce, the security merchants are three in 
number, and exact from the adventurers a duty 
of six per cent, on exports, and five on imports. 
It is evident that the principles on which this trade 
are conducted are as completely different from 
those of our joint stock company monopolies as can 
well be imagined, though they have absurdly enough 
been compared. The Chinese security merchants do 
not trade on a joint stock among themselves, and 
they leave the trade nearly free to competition. 

There is no subject of legislation on which, in 
semi-barbarous times, so many gross errors, the re- 
sult of impertinent interference and over-govern- 


ing, are committed as in that of foreign commerce. 
China affords examples of this as well as modern Eu- 
rope, and it is singular enough to remark, how much 
alike are the errors committed by the legislators of 
both. For the conduct of foreign commerce, each 
has its monopoly, and in China we discover all 
the errors and absurdities of the mercantile sys- 
tem of political economy, the ridicule of the pre- 
sent generation, though tlie boast of our predeces- 
sors. The Chinese, indeed, carry the principle of 
the mercantile system to an extreme, which would 
have excited the admiration or envy of the European 
politicians of the early part of the last century. As 
our politicians did, they believe that money is 
wealth ; they are peculiarly prepossessed in favour 
of that foreign trade, which appears to bring in the 
largest share of it ; and they prohibit its exporta- 
tion. They prohibit also the exportation of all 
articles of a durable nature, many articles of great 
value in use, and some to which the absurd nation- 
ality of the people attach a factitious value. The 
following may be enumerated in their list of ex- 
clusion : The precious metals, wrought and un- 
wrought ; the useful metals, wrought and un- 
wrought, especially in the form of domestic uten- 
sils, corn of all kinds, raw silk, and Chinese books. 
The importation, on the contrary, of the raw mia- 
terials of food in any forai, and of drugs, with the 
exception of those that are intoxicating, are either 


legal or popular. Notwithstanding these restric- 
tions, it is by no means to be supposed that the 
prohibited articles are not traded in. By force of 
corruption, all-powerful in China, the articles deem- 
ed by law contraband are freely imported and ex- 
ported, and a thorough understanding to evade the 
law exists between the magistrate and the mer- 
chant. The only bad effect, therefore, of this clan- 
destine system is, that the bribery which is indis- 
pensable, enhances the price of the goods, and, on 
that account, restricts the consumption. 

Almost all the foreign trade of China is con- 
ducted from the two maritime provinces of Quan- 
tong and Fo-kien. It is from the latter that the 
greater portion of the Chinese trade with the In- 
dian islands is carried on. The most numerous, 
the largest, and the richest jimks, sail from this 
province, which, although one of the smallest of 
the empire, is remarkable for the enterprise of its 
inhabitants, the excellence of its sea-ports, as well as 
the production of almost all the black tea which is 
exported to foreign countries. The principal port of 
exportation is Hiamen, which we name Amoy, or, 
more correctly, Em-ui, from tlie name of the island, 
which forms its capacious and excellent haibour. 

The character of the commerce conducted be- 
tween the Indian islands and China will not 
be intelligible without some description of the 
shipping and navigation in which it is conducted. 


The state of the arts of ship-building and navi- 
gation among nations afford us at once an easy and 
certain criterion to judge of their comparative civi- 
lization and barbarism. This applies as well to the 
nations of Asia among themselves, as to those of 
Europe among each other. The vessels and ships 
of the Chinese are, notwithstanding their imperfec- 
tion, greatly superior in construction, size, and 
utility, to those of all other Asiatic people, who 
have not had the assistance of Europeans, or their 
example. The common Chinese name for these 
vessels, which perform foreign voyages, is Tcheou. 
The Portuguese call them Soma, the Indian island- 
ers U'angkang, and we name them Junks, a cor- 
ruption of the word Jung, meaning a large vessel, 
in contradistinction to boats or canoes, in several 
of the languages of the western portion of the Ar- 
cliipelago. Almost all the junks employed in the 
commerce between the Indian islands and China are 
built at Bangkok, on the great river of Siam, and 
the capital of that kingdom. This is chosen for its 
convenience, and the extraordinary cheapness and 
abundance of fine timber, especially teak, which it 
affords. The parts of the vessel under water are 
constructed of ordinary timber, but the upper works 
of ieak. Iron bolts are used in fixing the frame 
and planking. The seams are very neatly caulked, 
with an oakum made from the bamboo, and the 
bottom is payed with the sort of rosin which the 


Malays call Darnar^ and with quicklime. The 
bow is flat, like the stern, but much smaller, hav- 
ing no keel, or cut-water. The stern has an im- 
mense channel, or chamber, in which the rudder 
receives protection from the sea. The masts are 
from two to four in number, and very dispropor- 
tionate in size, the principal, or main-mast, being 
greatly larger than any of the rest. They consist 
but of a single spar each. The sails are but a single 
square sail on each mast, made of mats of split bam- 
boo, and extended by yards of that cane. They 
have but one deck, and the w^hole hold is divided 
into little cabins, or compartments, to lodge the 
goods, and afford accommodation to each separate 
adventurer. Pumps are either unknown, or not 
made use of. The cables are made of twisted 
rattans ; the anchors of iron-wood, having their 
flukes occasionally tipped with iron. The stand- 
ing and running rigging are either of rattan, 
or coir the fibre of the coco-nut. The whole 
appearance of a Chinese junk is remarkably 
grotesque and singular. The deck presents the 
figure of a crescent. The extremities of the ves- 
sel are disproportionately high and unwieldy, con- 
veying an idea that any sudden gust of wind would 
not fail to upset her. At each side of the bow 
there is a large white spot or circle to imitate eyes ! 
These vessels, except before the wind, are bad sail- 
ers, and very unmanageable. They require a nu- 


merous crew to navigate them. An European 
merchantman is well navigated with hands in the 
proportion of four to each hundred tons, but these 
require near forty, or in the proportion of ten 
to one. Of one of the largest size, it often takes 
fifty men to manage the helm alone. The size of 
the junks usually depends on the nature of the 
ports to which they are accustomed to sail. As 
these are shallow^ or deep, they are small or large, 
from two hundied to the enormous and unwieldy 
size of twelve hundred tons. Some of those trad- 
ing between Batavia and Amoy are of this last size. 
Imperfect as the construction of the Chinese ves- 
sels is, it appears, at present, impossible to con- 
template improvement, for to alter what has exist- 
ed from time immemorial, is contrary to the man- 
ners, or, which is the same thing, to the laws of 
China, and an infringement of the laws, however 
venial to appearance, is treason in that country. 
An attempt to improve the form of the Chinese 
junk is said to have been made, some years ago, on 
the model of European vessels, but met with such 
severe reprehension, that it was found discreet to 
desist from it. 

The officers of a Chinese junk consist of the com- 
mander, whose business it is to look after the crew, 
— of a pilot who attends to the navigation, — and of 
quarter-masters who attend to the steerage. Or- 
der and subordination are well preserved, but this 

176 commkucl; with 

arises rather from the sober and orderly character of 
tlie people, and the principle on which the crew are 
paid, each person having an interest in the voyage, 
with a quantity of tonna<^e proportionate to his ser- 
vices, than from any skilful and oi'ganized system 
of discipline. 

The Chinese are utterly ignorant of navigation, 
as a science, and even of the useful practical parts 
of it. They keep no reckoning, and take no ob- 
servation of the heavenly bodies to ascertain their 
situation, tlie ideas of the latitude and lon":ituc]e 
of places being wholly unknown to them. The 
mariner's compass used by the Ciiinese is divided 
into twenty-four parts, probably the ancient sub- 
divisions of the circumference of the horizon among 
them, before they became acquainted with the 
polarity of the magnetic needle, or at least before 
they applied it to any useful purpose. According 
to Du Halde, these compasses are all made at 
Nangazaki, in Japan. If this be true, or was 
true in the time of those on whose authority he 
compiled his work, the Chinese may have acquired 
the use of tlie mariner's compass through the Ja- 
pantise, in whose country the customs, learning, 
and religion, of Europe had at one time made a 
deeper impression than they ever did in any other 
part of Asia. From whomever acquired, the Chi- 
nese compass is a very imperfect instrument, being 
clumsily fabricated, and the needle of the largest 


not exceeding three inches in length. * The use 
made of it by the Chinese mariner is as awkward 
as the instrument is rude. The direction of the 
port he is steering for from the one he leaves being 
once ascertained, the vessel's head, making no al- 
lowances for the winds, currents, or circumstances 
of the navigation, is constantly kept towards it. This 
is, however, less preposterous than it seems at first 
sight, when we recollect that voyages are never 
undertaken but with the favourable monsoon, nor, 
indeed, but for the monsoons, could so distant an 
intercourse ever have taken place between nations 
so unskilful and so barbarous. The voyage from the 
port of Amoy to Batavia, under the most favour- 
able circumstances, takes from twenty to twenty- 
five days ; and, of course, one voyage ayear only 
can be performed. With all the unskilfulness of 
their management, I do not imagine, however, 
that many of the Chinese junks are shipwrecked. 
This is owing to the facility and security afforded 
by the monsoons, which are so well known to the 
Chinese pilots, that they avoid the tempestuous and 
dangerous periods of them. I remember but one 
example of a junk being lost, during between five 
and six years that I resided in Java, and of this one 
all the crew and some of the cargo was saved. A well- 
constructed and well-navigated English or Anglo- 

• Barron', Staunton, and Du Halde. 


American vessel will easily perform three voyages 
for one voyage of a Chinese junk ; that is, she will 
make three voyages between Batavia and China 
within the twelvemonth, and this too with much 
more security to herself and cargo. She will 
do it with one-tenth part of the crew, and of 
some particular goods, she will, in the same ton- 
nage, stow an incomparably larger quantity. * 
There is, in fact, the same wide difference between 
the cost of the work done by them, that there is be- 
tween that effected by manual labour, and by the 
most skilful and perfect piece of machinery. Not- 
withstanding all this, the trade carried on by the 
junks has some advantages over that conducted by 
Europeans. The Chinese have an intimate know- 
ledge of the markets, and a skill in assorting and lay- 
ing in their cargoes, which no European, in the ex- 
isting state of things, can acquire ; and they display 
a rigid economy, and give an attention to details 
which, in these climates, are foreign to the habits of 
an European. They have, over and above, peculiar 
advantages in the ports of their own country, some 
of them such as afford the most favourable mate- 
rials of a commerce with the Indian islands, the Eu- 
ropean merchant being altogether excluded from. 
The cargo of a Chinese junk is not the proper- 
ty of an individual, nor of two or three, as an ad- 

* In cotton, for example, as two to one. 


venture of the same nature would be among us, 
but consists of a great many small adventures, the 
proprietor of each of which accompanies his own, 
and has it in his separate compartment of the ves- 
sel, at his own exclusive disposal and control. The 
principal adventures are usually the joint property 
of a family, some members of which reside in the 
islands, and others in China. Of the extent of 
the risk and profit we may judge from the rate at 
which money is borrowed at Batavia for one of 
these adventures. This is usually forty per cent. 
The neat profit cannot be less than double this 
amount. On such bulky articles as tea and porce- 
lain, the advance of price in the ports of the In- 
dian islands is about from 150 to 200 per cent.j upon 
wrought silks and cottons about 100. These, how- 
ever, it must be recollected, are not wholesale but 
retail prices, for as soon as the junks arrive at 
the ports of their destination in the Indian islands, 
shops are immediately opened, and the goods re- 
tailed by the owners. 

The duties levied at the native ports on the 
junks are arbitrary and uncertain, varying, of 
course, at each port. Instead of levying an ad va- 
lorem duty upon the cargo, as would be done 
among us, a tax is imposed on the junk for the 
liberty of trading. This mode of payment is par- 
ticularly agreeable to the Chinese, and, indeed, to 
all other Asiatic traders, who, naturally enough. 


abhor the arbitrary interference of the officers of 
government with their property, and are glad to 
purchase an immunity from it at any price. In 
the native ports this price, indeed, is not extrava- 
gant, for it is, on calculation, seldom found to ex- 
ceed two or three per cent. At the European 
ports, as usual, there is more exaction. The com- 
merce of the Chinese is tolerated, because the go- 
vernments are bribed to a little toleration from the 
supply which their needy treasuries receive from 
the trade of the junks. The practice, at Batavia, 
was to sell the privilege of trading to China in a 
junk of a certain size, from year to year, excluding 
all competition, and allowing, therefore, the paten- 
tee or contractor to impose what price he pleased 
on his goods. 

The junks are distinguished into those o? green 
heads or prows, and those of red prows ; the first 
being distinguished by the Chinese laws with some 
privileges, and usually bearing by far the most va- 
luable cargoes. The goods exchanged in the in- 
tercourse between China and the Indian islands 
are generally such as constitute the trade between 
a rich and a poor country, between a country 
densely peopled — and one thinly inhabited, but dis- 
tinguished alike by the richness and singularity of 
its natural products. A large portion of the in- 
vestments from China, howeyer, it is to be remark- 
ed, are intended for the supply of the emigrants or 


colonists of that nation in the Archipelago, and 
these, on the other hand, contribute greatly to col- 
lect or to create the return cargoes. The articles 
of importation from China may be enumerated in 
the order of their importance, as follow : Black tea, 
coarse porcelain, wrought iron, principally in the 
form of culinary vessels, (kwali^J cotton cloths, 
raw silk, wrought silk, brass-ware, paper, books 
paint, shoes, fans, umbrellas, and toys. The ar 
tides of the return cargo are far more numerous 
and may be said indeed to embrace, without excep 
tion, every article of the produce of the Archipe 
lago. The most prominent are the following 
Black pepper, cloves, mace, and nutmegs, long 
pepper, clove bark, ebony, sandal, sapan, and Agila 
wood, benzoin, camphor, ivory, tin, rattans, Kaxvuly 
or tinder of the Gomiiie palm, betel-nut, bees-wax, 
Gambir^ and cotton wool, agar-a-ga7\ or sea weed, 
i?-ipa?ig, or sea-slug, edible birds'-nests, jerk-beef, or 
denckiig, sharks' fins, fish maws, rhinoceros horns 
and hides, ox and buffalo hides and horns, tor- 
toise-shell, gold-dust, silver coins, European wool- 
lens and cottons, &c. All these articles will be 
described at such length in a succeeding chapter, 
that it will be unnecessary, at present, to make any 
remarks upon them. The principal seats of this 
commerce in the Indian islands are Manilla and 
Batavia. The following statement contains the 
best account I have been able to collect of the 


amount and distribution of this trade. Beginning 
with the western countries, there used to trade 
with Malacca, one junk from Em-ui of near 1000 
tons burthen, which the unsettled state of Eu- 
ropean politics, affecting even those distant re- 
gions, with the competition of our colonial trade 
from India, have been the cause of discontinuing. 
In former times, a great many junks used to 
frequent Achin. This trade is now entirely at 
an end. Three junks, two from Em-ui of about 
800 tons each, and one from the port of Chang- 
Urn of 500, annually trade to Lingen and the other 
Malay islands, at the eastern entrance of the Straits 
of Malacca. One junk from Em-ui, of 800 tons, 
trades with Tringanuy and another of 800 tons 
with Kalanten, both of them Malay states on the 
western shore of the Gulf of Siam. The kingdom 
of Siam, from the similarity of its products, from 
its vicinity to the countries of the Indian Archipe- 
lago, and from the productions of some of the lat- 
ter, which are tributary to it, passing through it to 
China, is looked upon by the Chinese as a portion 
of the group. The Chinese trade of Siam is chiefly 
carried on from the capital of the kingdom jBa^z^AoA', 
but with several Chinese ports of the provinces 
of Fo-kien and Quantang, as Em-ui, Chang-lim, 
Tyan-chiriy Limpo, Syang-hai, and Canton. There 
are employed in it ten junks of green prows of 600 
tons each, and ten of red prows, some of which do 


not exceed 120, while others are as large as those of 
green prows. A considerable number of still 
smaller craft are also employed, and the king of 
Siam sends annually two junks on his own account, 
manned and navigated by Chinese, which are duty 
free in the ports of China, making probably the 
whole amount of the tonnage in this branch of the 
trade not less than 10,000 tons. The imports in- 
to Siam are the same as into the countries of the 
Indian Archipelago ; and the exports, Y>'ith few 
exceptions, such as the articles of rice, salt fish, 
and stick lac, the same also. The duties on the 
Chinese junks at Siam are extremely moderate. 
The king requires the refusal of such articles of 
their import investment as he may fancy, but their 
delivery is never compulsory ; and I have it from 
some of those engaged in conducting the trade, 
that they have no room to complain of extortion or 
oppression. — The great number of Chinese settled 
in Borneo occasions much intercourse between 
China and that island. Three junks, of 500 tons 
burthen, sail to Borneo Proper ; to Sambas there 
sail two from Chang-lim of 500 tons a-piece ; to 
Pontianak, three of the same size, and to Mampa- 
wa two, also of 500 ; and to Banjarmassin, one of 
about 600, making in all about 5600 tons. The 
whole number to Java is seven junks, three from 
Em-ui of from 1000 to 1200 tons, and four from 
Chang-lim of about 500 tons each, making in all 


6S00, Six of these sail to the port of Batavia, 
and one to that of Samarang. The commerce be- 
tween the Suluk islands and China is conducted 
by two rich junks, which sail from Em-ui, and 
average 800 tons a-piece. The only portion of the 
island of Celebes carrying on a direct trade with 
China is Macassar, to which there sail annually 
from Em-ui two small junks, of 5U0 tons each, or 
one large one of 1000. A small junk of 500 
tons usually sails to Amboyna. Between Manilla 
and China the usual number of junks is four or 
five, of from 400 to 500 tons, making in all about 
2000 tons. From this statement, it will appear 
that there is engaged in this commerce near 
30,000 tons of sliippin.g, nine thousand tons more 
than that usually engaged in the direct intercourse 
between Great Britain and China ! Taking the 
value of the import cargo of each junk of oOO tons 
at 20,300 Spanish dollars, and the exports at the 
same, an estimate formed on an actual valuation, 
the annual value of the goods exchanged will be 
two millions four hundred and thirty-six thousand 
Spanish dollars, or L.5'i8,100. 

The intercourse between the Indian islands and 
the Hindu-Chinese nations is very limited, — a cir- 
cumstance which arises from causes not difficult to 
explain. The spirit of foreign mercantile adven- 
ture does not belong to nations so little civilized 
as the inhabitants of either country. Until there 


is long domestic tranquillity, a dense population, 
the good land of the country exhausted, and the 
population begins to press against the means of 
subsistence, foreign voyages, which imply both 
mercantile speculation and colonization, are not 
thought of in such states of society. The two par- 
ties at present in question are, in relation to the im- 
perfect state of navigation among them, separated by 
too distant, and to them dangerous, a voyage to make 
it practicable to carry on a commerce in the bulkyne- 
cessaries of life ; and neither the one nor the other 
is rich or civilized enough to have an effective de- 
mand for the luxuries or superfluities of the other. 
Those Malay states of the peninsula which lie con- 
tiguous to the Siamese empire carry on a direct inter- 
course with it. It is in the shipping of the Malays, 
in this case the most civilized and enterprising, as 
far, at least, as navigation is concerned, that the traf- 
fic is conducted. The Malays carry to Sia,m their 
pepper and tin, and receive food in exchange, the 
cheap and excellent rice of that country. 

The Chinese, who carry on so large a portion of 
the internal carrying trade of the Archipelago, 
conduct, also, all that is valuable of that of the 
Archipelago with the Hindu-Chinese nations. 
The peaceable, unambitious, and supple character 
of the Chinese, and the conviction, on the part of 
the native governments, of their exclusive devotion 
.to commercial pursuits, disarm all jealousy, and 


make them welcome guests everywhere. This 
very naturally and very justly gives them an equit- 
able monopoly of the carrying trade, from which 
the ambition of Europeans, and the impolitic re- 
straints of their own commercial policy, have ex- 
cluded them. Of late years, the Ciiinese have 
brought the produce of Siam in considerable quan- 
tity into the different trading ports on the Straits 
of Malacca, from whence they have found their way 
to Europe. Many have even settled in the ter- 
ritory of Siam, where they manufacture sugar from 
the cane, which they bring to the above ports in 
large quantities, and at very moderate prices. In 
our times, the Chinese pointed out to the king of that 
country the benefits of extending an intercourse to 
Java ; and two small junks, of 120 tons each, have 
been, since 1815, sent to Batavia, navigated by 
Chinese, but with the capital of the king, and os- 
tensibly for his benefit. It was from the crew of 
one of these, among whom were two or three Sia- 
mese, that I obtained the information I have given 
in the preceding pages, respecting the commerce 
between Siam and China, as well as the principal 
part of what is now stated. 

The next department of the commerce of the 
Indian islands wdth Asiatic nations is that with the 
country of the Hijidus, In the account which I 
have rendered of the languages, religion, and an- 
cient history of the Indian islanders, I have endea- 



voured to point out the nature and extent of the 
intercourse which subsisted in ancient times be- 
tween them and the Hindus. The history of com- 
merce affords us one important fact to enable us to 
approximate towards ascertaining the era wlien this 
intercourse began. Among the materials of the an- 
cient commerce of the Indies, those which alone are 
peculiar to the Indian islands are the produce of the 
clove and nutmeg tree, and perhaps gold. Pepper 
it has in common with Malabar ; frankincense in 
common with Arabia. Cinnamon is not a produc- 
tion of the Archipelago, and tin has not been a 
staple above a century. In the earlier periods of 
the commerce of the east, the clove and nutmeg, 
which, in later times, were the most esteemed and 
sought after of all the productions of the East, are 
never mentioned. Cinnamon was known in the 
very earliest times, and even black pepper, fine 
cottons, and silk, were long known in the markets 
of the western world before we hear of the clove 
and nutmeg. * The Periplus of the Erythrean 
Sea, supposed to be written in the tenth year of 
the reign of Nero, or about the year 63 of the 
Christian era, although it gives a minute catalogue 
of the articles of the commerce of the east, found 
in the markets of Egypt, Arabia, and the coasts of 

• In attempting to ofiFer some illustration of this period of 
ancient commerce, I have principally dtpended for my facts 
on a judicious and faithful guide, the learned Dr Vincent. 


India, makes no mention whatever of those two 
spices. The legitimate inference to be drawn from 
this is, tliat, down to the period in question, no in- 
tercourse existed between the land of the Hindus 
and the country of spices ; for I conclude that, had 
such intercourse existed, commodities so uniform- 
ly in request in every age of their history, among 
strangers of every climate and region, must have 
been imported by the Hindus, — found in their mar- 
kets, and — circulated among the civilized nations of 
the west. Little more than a century after the age 
of the Periplus, or from I7G to 180, in the reign 
of Marcus Aurelius, when associated with his son 
Commodus, the clove is mentioned for the first 
time as an article of importation from the East, in 
the famous Roman law of the Digest, in which 
every article imported at the custom-house of Alex- 
andria is particularly specified. From this time 
downwards, the clove and nutmeg are always men- 
tioned as the most prized of the commodities of 
India. At that time, therefore, or towards the 
termination of the second century of our era, it is 
to be concluded, that an intercourse between the 
Hindus and the country of spices must inevitably 
have existed. It is plain, therefore, that that in- 
tercourse must have commenced, in the century 
which was just elapsing. 

It is to be supposed, that the Hindus had an in- 
tercourse with the western portion of the Archipela- 


go for some little time before they became acquaint- 
ed, either directly or indirectly, with the spices, and 
the more distant countries which produced them. 
The Portuguese themselves, with their superior 
skill, enterprise, and activity, a thorough know- 
ledge of the value of the produce of the Moluccas, 
and an ardent desire to possess them, were some 
time at Malacca, and thirteen years in India, be- 
fore they reached the land of spices. A much 
longer time must be given to the indolence and 
ignorance of the Hindu navigators; some time, al- 
so, to acquire a knowledge of unknown commodi- 
ties ; and some time, too, for the ultimate consum- 
er to acquire a taste for them ; for I have presum- 
ed already, in treating of" the agriculture of those 
spices, and on the authority of language, that it 
was not the great tribes of the western portion of 
the Archipelago who taught the Hindus the prac- 
tice of using spices, but the Hindus those tribes. 

The first mention of the Golden Chersonesus 
is by the author of the Periphis of the Eri/lhrean 
Sea. He says there were, in the ports of Coro- 
mandel, large ships which traded with that country. 
Some commentators have conjectured that it must 
have been the Peninsula of Malacca that is here 
meant, but, as not one of the peculiar and exclu- 
sive products of the Archipelago are mentioned 
among the imports from thence, it appears impro- 
bable that this author could have meant any portion 


of the Archipelago at all, and almost certain that 
he could not have meant the Malayan Peninsula. 
The first direct mention made of any portion of 
the Archipelago is by the geographer Ptolemy, 
about the middle of the second century. Two 
names are distinctly mentioned in his map, which 
are unequivocally native, viz., MalayUy and Jaba, 
Java, or Jaioa, which are all synonimous. The 
word Malayu has appended to it the term koloUy 
and Jawa diuy or dib. Malayu and Jaisoay it is al- 
ready sufficiently known, are the names of the two 
great countries, or rather the two great tribes of the 
west. I shall presume to make a few observa- 
tions on each, endeavouring to illustrate the sub- 
ject by an application of the more accurate know- 
ledge of those countries, and their inhabitants, 
which has been acquired of late years. I think 
that the great geographer, or rather those from 
whom he had his information, must have had the 
notices in question directly from Hindus, and 
these again from the people of Java particular- 
ly. The word kolon is without any alteration 
Javanese, and means ** the west,'* and the com- 
pound word Malayu-kolon, exactly in the or- 
der in which it stands, Malays of the west. The 
Javanese must, therefore, the inference is, in all 
probability, have furnished the information in ques- 
tion, and the term west has probably reference to 
the geographical position of some one tribe of Ma- 


lays in relation to others ; for, to this day, the ori- 
ginal Malays are divided into several distinct tribes, 
according to their geographical situation. The peo- 
ple of Java, when interrogated, would, at all events, 
have called any Malays " people of the west," and, 
indeed, do so now. There is an unanswerable objec- 
tion against supposing Malayu-kolon to be on the 
Malayan peninsula, or, supposing this last to be the 
Golden Chersonesus, or Khruse, at all, which will 
occur at once to every one familiar with the well- 
known history of the Malays. It is this ; in the age 
of Ptolemy, and for many ages after it, the Malayan 
peninsula was uninhabited^ or inhabited only by a 
few negro savages, resembling the cannibals of An- 
daman, wretched beings with whom there could have 
been no intercourse, or at least no commerce. The 
Malays did not emigrate from Sumatra, their parent 
country, and settle in the Malayan peninsula, until 
the comparatively modern period of the year 1 160, a 
thousand years after the time of Ptolemy, while Ma- 
lacca was not founded until 1252, and every other 
Malay state on the Peninsula is of still more recent 
foundation. The term dib^ or diu, appended to Ja- 
va, and meaning countiy, or island, is pure Sanskrit, 
and happens not to be a word of that language 
ever used, that I am aware of, in any of the dia- 
lects of the Archipelago. It is fair, from this, to 
argue, that those who used the term in describing 
Java to the merchants of the west, were not na- 


tives of Java, or of any portion of the Archipelago, 
but Hindus, or natives of India ; and, which is the 
same thing, that Ptolemy's information was not ob- 
tained through the direct intercourse of Europeans 
with the country. If any names at all reached Eu- 
ropeans correctly, we cannot be surprised that these 
should be the names of the two principal tribes 
or countries. This is especially applicable to Java, 
the richest and most distinguished country of 
the Archipelago, and the principal seat of Hin- 
duism. We have seen, that it is the only name men- 
tioned in Chinese works ; and among the Arabs, 
such is its reputation, that they designate the whole 
Archipelago and all its inhabitants by it. Whether 
he obtained his information from Chinese or Arabs, 
Java was the most important name also which reach- 
ed the ears of Marco Polo. He was six months in 
Sumatra, without ever hearing any name for it, and, 
at last, following the example of other strangers, 
he calls it the Lesser Java, imagining it ought to be 
of smaller size than an ulaiid which was so much 
more celebrated. 

The Golden Chersonesus of the ancients, it 
would, I imagine, be unreasonable to fix upon any 
particular country, when we reflect upon the igno- 
rance which prevailed respecting all. * What 

• Linschoten, a man of intelligence, and an experienced 
pilot, writing expressly with the view of giving us all the in- 



Ptolemy has done, it seems to be no more than a 
rude attempt to give form and position to the 
countries which lie on the maritime coast between 
India, and China the country from which silk came. 
Among a mercantile people, it would naturally 
enough take its name from its most distinguished 
production, and, when the clove, nutmeg, and even 
pepper, were unknown, this production would un- 

formation in his power respecting Java, is at a loss, in the year 
1 583, seventy- two years after the Portuguese had been na- 
vigating the seas of the Archipelago, to say whether it was 
an island or a continent, is it not unreasonable to expect any 
precise information from the ancients respecting those coun- 
tries, and even absurd to enter into any serious discussion 
concerning their knowledge (their ignorance, as Mr Gib- 
bon calls it) of them ? " This Hand," says the writer in 
question, " beginneth under seven degrees on the south 
side, and runneth east and by south 150 miles long, (Ger- 
man miles,) but touching the breadth, it is not founds be- 
cause, as yet, it is not discovered, nor by the inhabitants them- 
selve well known. Some think it to be firm land, and parcell of 
the countrie called Terra Incognita, which being so, should 
reach from the Cape de Bona Speran^a, but, as yet, it is not 
certainly known, and, therefore, it is accounted for an island." 
Wolfe's Translation, p. 34. We see from this description, as 
well as from the chart of Java, given by Linschoten, that 
where their business took them, the Portuguese were suffi- 
ciently well-informed, but knew nothing beyond it. With less 
means, and less skill, in less curious ages, what right have 
we to expect more curiosity and enterprise in a few strag- 
gling Hindu or Arabian merchants, or even in Greek mer- 
chants of Alexandria ? 



doubtedly be gold. The two great islands of Su- 
matra and Borneo are more remarkable for abun- 
dance of gold, not only than any countries in their 
vicinity, but, indeed, than any countries in Asia. 
There is not a tribe of savages in these islands that 
does not traffic in it, and it would naturally be the 
first commodity asked for and produced, in an in- 
tercourse with strangers. From all that has been 
now stated, the following inferences and conclu- 
sions may safely be drawn. In the age of the Pe- 
riplus of the Erythrean Sea, or about the year GSj 
the clove and nutmeg, or the most distinguishing 
productions of the oriental Archipelago, were not 
imported into India, and, therefore, no intercourse 
existed at this time between the Hindus and the 
Indian islanders. From the year I76 to the year 
180, or during the joint administration of Marcus 
and Commodus, the clove was imported into Egypt, 
and, therefore, into India. At this time, therefore, 
an intercourse certainly did take place. It took 
place even earlier, for the geographer Ptolemy, who 
wrote fifty years earlier, cites Malay and Javanese 
names of places correctly on Hindu authority. All 
this leads to this final conclusion, that the first in- 
tercourse between the Indian islands and the coun- 
try of the Hindus, began between the years 63 
and 180, probably about the beginning of the 
second century of our era. It is singular and in- 
teresting to observe how well this accords with the 


traditional accounts which the Hindus themselves 
give us of the dispersion of the worshippers of 
Buddha, on their persecution by the Brahmins, in 
the first and second centuries of the Christian era. 
It would be curious to trace all the consequences of 
this emigration, or dispersion. It spread the wor- 
ship of Buddha over the Indian islands, contributed 
to civilize their inhabitants, taught them the use 
of two of their own commodities heretofore un- 
known to them, and spread the use of these novel 
luxuries over the whole world, to all succeeding 
generations. The consequences of this religious 
quarrel of the Hindus might, indeed, be pursued 
much farther, for, without doubt, we must, in a 
great measure, ascribe to it the desire, in the Eu- 
ropean races, of possessing the commerce in spices, 
the discovery of the maritime route to India, that 
of the New World itself, and much of that civili- 
zation which pre-eminently distinguishes the mo- 
dern European from every other race of men in 
any age or climate. 

From the early period of the connection of the 
Hindus with the Archipelago, down to the middle 
of the sixth century, the only direct notice we ha^ve 
of this commerce is that given by Cosmas, whose 
work is dated in 547, but who never was in India, • 
and whose information respecting oriental geo- 

* Vincent's Periplus of the Erythrean Sea. 


graphy is given only incidentally. AVe may be 
sure, however, that during all this time the inter- 
course subsisted, and was probably the only chan- 
nel by which the peculiar products of the Indian 
islands were transmitted to the western nations. 
Even in later times, though not without compe- 
titors, the Hindus, or their converted descendants, 
conducted the same traffic, and, to this day, conduct 
it under the modifications which the competition of 
the Arabs, and both the violence and competition 
of Europeans, have brought about. The trade has 
always been chiefly conducted from the ports of 
Coromandel, and by the nation called Kalingay or 
Telinga, of which the word Chuliah, so often in 
the mouths of Europeans in the Archipelago, seems 
another corruption. A small traffic, much inferior 
to the other, is conducted from the ports of Mala« 
bar. Until the genius and enterprise of the Euro- 
pean character led the way, no direct intercourse 
appears to have existed with the unwarlike and un- 
enterprising inhabitants of the rich provinces lying 
on the Ganges. The shipping in which the trade 
is carried on by the people of the Peninsula, are 
vessels from one hundred to two hundred tons bur- 
den, with one or two masts. Whatever was the 
ancient construction of these vessels, they are at 
present built and equipped in rude imitation of the 
European model. They are navigated by natives 
of India, generally Mahomedans, with now and 


then a few Hindus. Neither this branch of fo- 
reign commerce, nor any other, is ever conducted 
by the navigators of the Indian islands. It had 
been an erroneous notion formed respecting the 
Hindu character, from a limited knowledge of the 
Hindu tribes or nations, and perhaps mostly from 
an experience of the people of Bengal, that they 
were interdicted by their religion from performing 
sea voyages. This error is now corrected from 
our knowledge that Hindus occasionally form a 
portion of the crews of the ships from Telinga, and 
that Hindu passengers come yearly in them, who 
sojourn for a time in the Archipelago. At Ma- 
lacca, indeed, as mentioned in another part of this 
work, these Hindus have even colonized. The 
Telingas, though less robust, active, and indus- 
trious, than the Chinese, are more expert and skil- 
ful navigators. They have learned from the Arabs, 
who had their knowledge of the Greeks, to take 
the sun's altitude with the forestafF, and they use 
the more perfect compass of the Europeans instead 
of the rude imitation of it followed by the Chinese. 
Still the monsoons are necessary to their voyages, 
as well as to those of all other oriental navigators. 
The Indian traders quit their ports in the south- 
west monsoon, which blows from April to October, 
and return with the north-east monsoon, which 
prevails in the opposite half of the year. The 
length of the voyage depends upon the extent ta 


which the traders penetrate into the islands of the 
Archipelago, but to the nearest points, often does 
not exceed nine or ten days. It is usually per- 
formed with as much safety as expedition, notwith- 
standing the real unskilfulness of the voyagers, a 
fact which may teach us to moderate any prepos- 
sessions we might entertain regarding the difficul- 
ties which the early Hindus might have encounter- 
ed in candying their religion to the Indian islands, 
or in bringing the spices of the latter back to their 
own country. The monsoons have always made 
up, in some measure, to the orientals, for the want 
of that science, ingenuity, invention, and intre- 
pidity, which have been in every age, more or less, 
the birth-right of Europeans. 

The trade of the Indians is chiefly confined to 
the more western ports of the Archipelago, and 
they are prevented from going to the eastern ports 
by the competition of the Chinese, and by the Eu- 
ropean monopoly of the spice trade, a trade which 
probably, in other circumstances of it, often se- 
duced them as far as the Moluccas. The commo- 
dities which they import are, besides, some of them 
such as are not required in the central and eastern 
islands. The import investments consist, besides 
minor articles, of salt, tobacco, blue cotton cloths, 
and cotton chintzes. The exports are some of the 
most distinguished products of the Archipelago, 
most of them, in all likelihood, the very same of 


which the cargoes consisted seventeen centuries 
back, as betel-nut, damar, bees-wax, ivory, lignum- 
aloes, Indian frankincense, cloves, nutmegs and 
mace, black pepper, and tin. From the Malay 
states on the south-west coast of the Peninsula next 
to Siara, and tributary to it, a considerable number 
of elephants have been usually sent, which are of a 
race highly esteemed, and thought not to be infe- 
rior to the boasted breed of Siam itself. As the 
benefits of the influence of the capital and enter- 
prise of Europeans begin to be felt in the carrying 
and general trade of India, it is probable that much 
of this particular traffic will decline, or be alto- 
gether superseded, for it may be said, in a great 
degree, to have long owed its existence, or con- 
tinuance, to the privilege which the unlawful ex- 
clusion of Europeans confers upon it. Whether 
it be superseded, or otherwise, however, it ought 
not to be forgotten, is not the proper care of the 
legislator, whose duty lies solely in seeing justice 
done to all parties, and taking care that the natu- 
ral and wholesome influence of competition be not 
obstructed by the impertinence of restriction, or 
pretended regulation. 

The Arabs formed, in the early times of orien- 
tal commerce, the thh^d link of that chain of com- 
mercial voyages by which the ordinary commodi- 
ties of the Indian islands were transmitted to the 
farthest nations of the west, the Jourih link of that 


by which the spices were transmitted, and the Jijth 
by which the silk of China reached the same peo- 
ple. It is probable, that the Jishermen of the 
coasts of Arabia, from the moment they emerged 
from the savage state, and acquired the strength 
and intelligence which civilization confers, became 
petty traders, and, with the assistance of the mon- 
soons, soon sailed to the rich and civilized coun- 
tries on each side of them, Egypt and Hindustan, 
as merchants and as pirates. * To say that the 
Arabians, or any other people living in the latitudes 
of the monsoons, discovered these monsoons, t is 
but a solecism, and no better, perhaps, than gravely 
asserting that the people of temperate regions had 
discovered tJieir own summer and winter. The 
dullest savages could not fail to observe the perpe- 
tual succession of a dry and a wet season, of an 
east and a west wind. The steady uniformity of 
these winds would inspire them with confidence, 
and the navigator would be tempted to make a dis- 
tant voyage in one season, reckoning, with confi- 
dence, upon the facility and certainty of getting 

* " Sabea, Hadramant, and Oman, were the residence of 
navigators, in all age?, from the time that history begins to 
speak of them ; and there is every reason to imagine that they 
were equally so before the historians acquired a knowledge 
of tb.em, as they have since continued down to the present 
age." Vincent's Periplus, Vol. I. p. 61. 

f Vincent's Periplus, p. 62. 


back in time with the opposite season and wind. 
Hitherto we have seen that the commercial inter- 
course was conducted by one tribe only, by the 
most enterprising and civilized. In the present 
case, as the Hindus and maritime Arabs were per- 
haps nearly in the same state of civilization, in as 
far at least as navigation was concerned, we dis- 
cover the trade conducted equally by both, and 
find the ships of Hindustan in the ports of Sabea 
or Arabia, as well as those of Arabia in the ports 
of India. As the Arabs, however, had always dis- 
played a higher energy of character, it is not im- 
probable that they conducted the largest share of 
this trade. In tracing the route of the Indian com- 
merce to the west, a singular fact occurs to us, that 
two civilized nations of antiquity, lying in that 
route, the Persians and the Egyptians, took no 
share in it, until each mixed with a race of stran- 
gers of a higher cast of genius than themselves, 
and partook of their manners and character. This, 
it is to be presumed, arose out of the peculiarity 
of their situation, at once destitute of extensive 
sea coasts, and possessing fertile territories, with 
the peculiarity of civil polity which arose from those 
causes, and in which a dislike of maritime enter- 
prise became naturally a prominent feature. Persia, 
out of the direct way, received none of the bene- 
fits of the Indian commerce, but Egypt, a tho- 
roughfare, participated in the profits, without par- 
taking of the dangers, of the navigation. 


From the earliest accounts we possess, down 
to the period when the Arabs acquired, witli a 
new religion, a new character, no material change 
appears to have taken place in their mode of 
conducting the Indian trade, for the invasion of 
their monopoly of that traffic by the Greeks of E- 
gypt, under the Roman government, seems not to 
have wrought any material change. I think it by 
no means probable that the Arabs ever reached 
the country of spices, or any portion, indeed, of the 
Indian Archipelago, before their conversion to the 
Mahomedan religion. A semibarbarous people, 
not roused to activity and enterprise by that de- 
velopement of character which nothing is capable 
of generating but a revolution in religious opi- 
nions, is timid in disposition, and stationary in so- 
ciety. Besides this, whenever an Asiatic people 
trade extensively in any country, they soon settle 
or colonize in it ; because, unlike the restless and 
romantic Europeans, delighting in enterprise and 
novelty, they never quit a better country for 
a worse, — because, in a new country, their rank 
in society is always improved, — and because their 
manners, never very remote, soon assimilate with 
those of the natives. Thus, the Mahomedan 
Arabs settled on the west coast of India, in the 
Indian Archipelago, in China, even in Siam ; and 
the Hindus and Chinese have each settled in the 
Archipelago. We have no proof tliat the Pagan 


Arabs did so. In the Indian islands we have no 
relics of the manners, religion, or language of 
Pagan Arabia. Whatever is there that is Arabian 
is connected with the present religion. The words 
of their language which exist in the dialects of the 
converted tribes are almost all mythological, and in 
those of the unconverted tribes there is not a syl- 
lable at all. Connected with this subject, we 
may remark it as a curious and interesting fact, 
that every important change in the mode of con- 
ducting the commerce of India has been the re- 
sult of, or has followed, a religious revolution or 
convulsion. The trade of the Hindus extended 
in no direction but towards Arabia, until a reli- 
gious schism propelled their enterprise to the hi- 
therto unknown countries which yielded spices. 
The Arabian navigators went no farther east than 
the coast of Malabar, until they acquired enthu- 
siasm and energy from the religion of Mahomed, 
when they crossed the Bay of Bengal, colonized in 
the Indian islands, and pushed their commerce and 
their settlements to China. Even the last great 
revolution in the commerce of the East, effected 
by the European race, is distinctly connected with 
the great changes in religious as well as other 
opinions which characterized the commencement of 
the sixteenth century. In barbarous periods of 
society, indeed, it is through religious revolution, 
or change alone, that we can expect to find auy 


melioration produced in society. Political reforma- 
tion, resulting from the mere exercise of rea- 
son, indeed, belongs only to the intelligence 
and refinement of an exalted state of social exist- 
ence, — only perhaps to the European race and to 
modern Europe. In the extent and importance of 
the change and improvement effected in the mode 
of conducting the oriental commerce by each race, 
we have a test by which their comparative genius 
and character may be fairly estimated. The In- 
dian islanders never ventured out of the Archipe- 
lago with their productions. The Hindus disco- 
vered the Indian Archipelago, and brought spices 
and the silk of China to their own markets. The 
Arabs did a great deal more. Dispensing with 
the three voyages necessary, in a ruder state of na- 
vigation, to obtain the commodities of the more 
distant Indian islands, and the fou7' necessary to 
obtain those of China, they brought both by one 
simple efiPort to their own ports. What the superior 
genius of Europeans effected it is almost super- 
fluous to insist upon. The six voyages of the 
rudest period of the Indian commerce they reduced 
to one, in duration and expence hardly exceeding 
any individual voyage of the barbarians. Of the 
nations thus alluded to, as we recede from the 
East, each has a greater difficulty to conquer, but 
genius and energy of character increase in a still 
greater proportion. From this, and many other 


examples, we may learn that nothing can be more 
true than the converse of the proposition so fre- 
quently maintained, that civilization emanated from 
the East. Excluding the nations of the Chinese 
stamp of civilization, who have little in common 
with the rest of mankind, civilization and genius 
decrease as we go eastward. Whatever is enno- 
bling, or bears the marks of genius and enterprise 
in the civilization of the Asiatic nations, may fairly 
be traced to the European race.* 

The trade of Arabia with the East has generally 
been conducted from the ports on the lied Sea, 
and those on the ocean near it. Mocha, Jeddah, 
and Aden. During the reign of the Arsacida) 
in Persia, it would appear that the Persians for a 
moment took some share in the commerce of the 
east from the Persian Gulf. The Arabians, im- 

* " In what way, therefore/' says Smith, " has the policy 
of Europe contributed either to the first establishment or to 
the present grandeur of the colonies of America ? In one 
way, and in one way only, it has contributed a good deal. 
Magna vinan Mater! It bred and formed the men who 
were capable of achieving such great actions, and of laying 
the foundation of so great an empire; and there is no other 
quarter of the world of which the policy is capable of form- 
ing, or has ever actually and in fact formed, such men. The 
colonies owe to the policy of Europe the education and 
great views of their active and enterprising founders ; and 
some of the greatest and most important of them, so far as 
concerns their internal government, owe to it scarce any 
thing e\sQ."— Wealth of Nations, Vol. II p. 136. 


pelled by the spirit infused into them by a new 
religion, and by the little portion which they had 
imbibed of the knowledge of the Greeks, appear, 
on the conquest of Egypt and Persia, to have 
taken a "-reater and more active share in the com- 
merce of India, and to have carried it on from both 
Gulfs. Two centuries after this, we have the first 
tolerably authentic account that the Arabs had 
reached the Indian islands. In the year 850, at 
least, they traded between Oman on the Persian 
Gulf, and China, and were even settled in consi- 
derable numbers in the latter country. They must, 
of course, have passed through the Indian islands, 
and traded with them still earlier. The notices 
which the Arabian traveller and his commentator 
give of theirtrade are indeed most vague and puerile, 
and readily excite a suspicion that the intercourse 
which could supply no better could neither have 
been very extensive, nor conducted by persons of 
much intelligence. * It was not until four centu- 

* The commentator confuses together the islands of 
the Indian and Japanese Archipelagos. By the island Cala, 
it is evident he means the principal emporium at this time of 
the commerce with the west, possibly the port of Batavia 
under the Chinese name of Ca-la-pa. " In this same king- 
dom," says he, " is the island Cala, which is the mid passage 
between China and the country of the Arabs. This island, 
they say, is fourscore leagues in circumference ; and hither 
they bring all sorts of merchandise, wood aloes of several 
sorts, camphire, sandal wood, ivory, the wood called cala- 

4 . 


ries thereafter that we have reason to believe that 
the Arabs carried on a busy direct intercourse with 
the Indian islands, and settled there in numbers. 
Then we discover them converting the natives of 
the country to their religion, and trace the exten- 
sion of their commerce along with it, from the year 
1204, when the Achinese, 1 278 when the Malays 
of Malacca, 1478 when the Javanese, and 1495 
when the people of the spice islands, were convert- 
ed. I have little doubt but the increased trade of 
the Arabs with the Indian islands, in the twelfth 
and thirteenth centuries, arose out of the conse- 
quences of the crusades, — which made the nations 
of the east and west better acquainted with each 
other, — enlarged the ideas of both, — gave the west- 
ern nations an increased taste for the productions 
of the east, — and, consequently, occasioned an in- 
creased demand for them in the markets of Arabia. 
We discover by their consequences three distinct 
eras of the intercourse of the Arabs with the In- 
dian islands, each of which may naturally be traced 
to have sprung from their domestic prosperity. 
The first was in the ninth century, which is coeval 
with the government of the celebrated Caliphs of 

bit, ebony, red-wood, all sorts of spice, and many other 
things too tedious to be enumerated. At present, the com- 
merce is carried on between this island and that of Oman. " 
Harris's Collection, Vol. 1. p. 543. 


Bafjdat. The intercourse with the Indian islands 
in this period was with the Persian Gulf. On the 
decline of the dynasty of the Caliphs of Bagdat, 
we hear no more of the Arabian intercourse with 
the Indian islands, nor can we trace it by its con- 
sequences for three centuries and a half. Then 
began, in the end of the twelfth, and continued 
during the first half of the thirteenth, that inter- 
course which was stimulated by the prosperity of 
the Saracens, and by the events of the crusades. 
This naturally ceased Avhen the empire of the Sara- 
cens or Arabs was overrun by the Tartars, under 
Chungez Khan and his successors, towards the mid- 
dle of the twelfth century. After an interval of two 
centuries more, the intercourse of the Arabs again 
assumed an active character, and the tribes of the 
central, and some of those of the eastern portion of 
the Archipelago, were converted. This is coeval 
with the greatness and prosperity of the Soldans of 
Egypt, and of the Turks. This, in its turn, was 
interrupted by the well-known event of the dis- 
covery of the maritime route to India, and the es- 
tablishment of the Portuguese power. 

The discovery of the new route to India, with 
the settlement and supremacy of Europeans in the 
Archipelago, have long reduced the commerce of 
the Arabs with the latter to a trifle. At present, 
the direct trade is chiefly confined to a few ports 
of the western portion of the Archipelago, as 



Achin, Palembang, Pontianak, and some of the 
Malay states of the pemnsula. A trade is conduct- 
ed, however, by the resident Arabs, more extensive 
and considerable from port to port. The Arab 
shipping are the best constructed, best navigated, 
and best equipped, of those of any Asiatic nation. 
They are entirely on the European model, many 
of them navigated by an European pilot, and some 
constructed by Europeans. Arabia, a poor coun- 
try, has no commodities to exchange with the In- 
dian islands but the genius and enterprise of its 
people. The Arabian shipping coming to the 
Archipelago usually make a trading voyage on 
the coast of Malabar, * from whence they bring 
cloths to truck with the islanders. A few dried 
fruits are occasionally brought, and the rest of the 
investment is bullion. The returns are cloves and 
nutmegs, black-pepper, Indian frankincense, betel- 
nut, rice, but, above all, in later times, sugar, the 
production of the united industry of the Chinese 
and Europeans. In a free intercourse between 
these countries, this will, in future, constitute the 
most valuable article of exchange. With the re- 
turning ships, a great many pilgrims usually em- 
bark, natives of the Indian islands of all ranks and 

* It was from the inhabitants of that coast, in all probabi- 
lity, that they first acquired a knowledge of the navigation 
to the Indian islands, and thence that to China. 
VOL. in. 


ages. The voyage, with the visits to Mecca and 
Medina, are seldom performed in less than four or 
five years, and are usually attended with great 
trouble and expence. Could the clever and prudent 
founder of Mahomedanism have ever contemplated 
the spread of his religion beyond the confines of 
Arabia, he would not have been so indiscreet as to 
have made a visit to Mecca an imperative precept 
of it. He had certainly never heard the name of 
a single island out of the hundreds which compose 
the country of the distant nations who now put 
themselves to such peril and inconvenience in obe- 
dience to his wanton mandate. 



Ancient intercourse. — Trade of the Portuguese, and Principles 
on "which conducted. — Trade of the Dutch and English. — 
Origin of their monopolies. — Principles on which the mono- 
poly companies acted in their intercourse toith the natives. — 
Examples of their misconduct in their intercourse with the 
natives Era of establishing the close monopoly. — Benefi- 
cial effects of free trade exemplified in that of the Ameri- 
cans. — Profits and extent of the monopoly trade. — Sug- 
gestions for the future conduct of the trade tvith the Indian 

1 HE productionsoftlie Archipelago whicli the Arabs 
conveyed to the ports of the Red Sea were first 
distributed among the nations inhabiting the coasts 
of the Mediterranean, the only civilized inhabit- 
ants of ancient Europe, by the Tyrians. In an 
after age, the Greeks of Egypt, in accordance with 
the superior enterprise of the European race, 
brought these commodities to the Red Sea, and al- 
so spread them among the European nations. In still 
later ages, they made their way by the double chan- 
nel of the Arabian and Persian Gulfs, and by the 


necessary land journeys connected with them, and 
were now disseminated through Europe by the Vene- 
tians and Genoese, aided by the free and commercial 
republics of the Low Countries, who conveyed them 
into the remotest corners of the European world. 
Down to the close of the fifteenth century, the 
consumers of Europe were ignorant of the name 
and situation of the countries which produced the 
commodities on which they set so high a value. * 
The great discovery of Vasco Di Gama, in 1498, 
changed the commercial history of the world, 
which had remained nearly stationary for three 
thousand years ; and fourteen years thereafter the 
Portuguese obtained the first cargo of spices on 
the spot where they grew. 

The search for the spiceries of the East, as is 
well known, and as has been already*mentioned in 
the course of this work, gave rise to the two great- 
est events in the history of our species, the discove- 

♦ " Navigation, perfected as it is at the present, now 
opens all the maritime regions of the world to the knowledge 
of mankind ; but, in the early ages, personal intercourse was 
impracticable, the communication by sea was unexplored, 
and travelling by land was precluded by insecurity. The 
native commodities of orie climate passed into another by in- 
termediate agents, who were interested in little beyond 
the profits of the transit ; and nations in a diflPerent hemi- 
gphere were known respectively, not by their history b^t their 
^rodace."— Vincent's Periplus, Vol. I. p. 1. 


rj' of a new world and that of the maritime route to 
India, which last, in effect, laid open another new 
world, richer and more interesting than America. 
The delusion respecting the value of spices bears 
some resemblance to that which has prevailed re- 
specting gold. Elegant and costly aromatics, for 
which men expressed so universal a taste, that, at 
a time when no other luxuries were in request, 
they were purchased at any price, — which necessa- 
rily gave rise to a degree of industry and wealth in 
those engaged in the distribution of them, and from 
which the sovereigns through whose territories they 
passed derived a revenue, — great at least for such 
rude times, were, by a natural prejudice, consider- 
ed intrinsically valuable in themselves. That this 
erroneous opinion should be entertained in the fif- 
teenth and sixteenth centuries is sufficiently natu- 
ral, but that such a chimera should continue to 
haunt the imaginations of the politicians of the 
present age, and be acted upon by one of the most 
polished nations of Europe, in the country which 
gave birth to the science of political economy, is 
strange enough ; and had we not many otlier ex- 
amples of the unwillingness of men to redress 
most flagrant abuses of a similar character, might 
be thought unaccountable. 

The Portuguese, the Dutch, and the English, 
are the three European nations whose conduct has 
chiefly influenced the commercial destinies of the 


nations of the Indian Archipelago ; and a sketch 
of the policy which they have pursued will be ne- 
cessary towards a proper understanding of the sub- 
ject of this chapter. As the Portuguese entered 
upon the field of Indian commerce a whole centu- 
ry earlier than the European nations who followed 
them, they necessarily began in a much ruder and 
less improved age than these, at a time when there 
was less disposable capital m the country, and when 
commercial transactions were necessarily less exten- 
sive. It was, besides, rather the spirit of the sove- 
reign than the genius of the society over which he 
presided, at no time commercial, that led to the 
Portuguese discoveries, and to their commerce with 
the Indies. These circumstances ought to be con- 
sidered in forming our judgment of the early In- 
dian trade of Portugal. It was, we may readily be- 
lieve, rather the revenue of the state or sovereign 
than the disposable capital of the nation, which 
was employed in setting the Indian trade in mo- 
tion. Neither the merchants of Portugal, nor 
indeed of any other part of Europe, except, 
perhaps, those of the commercial republics of 
Italy and the Low Countries, had, at the time, 
a navy capable of conducting a trade to India j 
so that, in short, if the sovereign had not un- 
dertaken it, the trade, it may be said, could not 
have existed at all. From these circumstances, 
the despotic nature of the Portuguese government, 



and the necessity of combining in one a military 
and commercial navy, the trade, of necessity, was 
wholly conducted by the king. The ships were 
usually of great size, often of fifteen or sixteen 
hundred tons burthen, having crews, including the 
soldiers, of five and six hundred men. The whole 
crew, from the commander to the lowest sailor, 
had regular pay ; and, besides his pay, an allow- 
ance of tonnage, according to his rank. The goods 
belonging to the crew were, besides, free of du- 
ties ; and the exclusive monopoly of the king ex- 
tended only to the principal articles, as cinnamon, 
black-pepper, and the precious spices. This regu- 
lation must have occasioned a considerable compe- 
tition in the market. In India, conquest and re- 
ligious conversion were the primary objects of the 
Portuguese, and commerce but a secondary one. 
Colonization was unrestricted, and no obstacle 
opposed to it but the climate and the hostility of 
the natives. The trade in India was perfectly 
unshackled, and the Portuguese entering into it 
with avidity, did not feel the want of a distant 
commerce to Europe, for which their funds were 
less adequate. 

The Portuguese never attempted, like their 
successors, to limit or regulate the growth of any 
of the favourite articles of commerce. It happen- 
ed, therefore, from the degree of freedom which 
prevailed, that their commercial establishments. 


notwithstanding the vices and violence of their ad- 
ministration, prospered exceedingly. Malacca, fam- 
ed as a commercial emporium under its native so- 
vereigns, lost none of its reputation under the Por- 
tuguese. An active and unlimited intercourse ex- 
isted between the Indian islands and China, and be- 
tween them and Japan, of a beneficial nature un- 
known to their successors. Their reign in the Ar- 
chipelago, which barely lasted a century, has now 
been virtually suppressed for two ; yet more mo- 
numents of their arts, their religion, and their 
language, exist in the country than of those who 
succeeded them, whose authority has been twice 
as long established, and who are at this moment in 
the actual exercise of it. 

The benefits of the Portuguese government and 
commerce, merely the result of the unfettered influ- 
ence of European manners and institutions, and by 
no means arising cut of any scheme of policy ori- 
ginating in the wisdom of the government, was 
confined to the Indies. Europe gained no advan- 
tage from the discovery of the maritime route to 
the Indies. By their wars in the Moluccas the 
production of spices was diminished, the ancient 
carriers of the trade were plundered, and the Per- 
sian Gulf and Red Sea, the avenues by which the 
commodities of India reached Europe, were either 
seized or blockaded by them. The consequence 
of all this w^as, that the commodities of India were 


sold dearer than before the discovery of the new 
route. The industry of Europe received no new 
impulse, for no new market was created for her 

Europe had advanced a whole century in civiliza- 
tion when the Dutch and English embarked in the 
commerce of the Indies. Commerce and navig-a- 
tion had, at this time, made considerable advances 
among both, but particularly among the first. It 
was with the wealth of individuals, therefore, 
and not with the revenue of the state, as with 
the Portuguese, that they engaged in it. Grant- 
ing monopolies to particular branches of dis- 
tant commerce, with the view of promoting them, 
was the favourite policy of the age, perhaps, in- 
deed, the natural result of such rude times, when 
there existed little disposable capital, and when 
men must have been induced to enter upon such 
remote adventures as the commerce of the Indies, 
rather from a spirit of gambling than with views 
of fair trade. This opinion of the nature of the 
early adventures to India is sufficiently certified by 
the list of the subscribers to some of the early 
voyages. In the first English voyage the whole 
subscribers were 237, of whom 212 were for sums 
under L.SOO. In the second joint- stock company 
of the English, the whole subscribers amounted to 
954, of whom 338 only were merchants. The 
rest were mere gamblers, entering upon a lottery. 


as sufficiently appears by tlieir titles and designa- 
tions. They consisted of " dukes and earls, 
knights, judges, the king's council, privy-counsel- 
lors, countesses, and ladies, doctors of divinity and 
physic, widows, and virgins !" When the nations 
of the north of Europe began to adventure in the 
India trade, no military navy existed to protect their 
distant adventurers from the hostility of European 
and native enemies, and of necessity tlieir fleets 
must have combined military and commercial ob- 
jects. In India factories were to be established, 
and forts constructed, for the security of trade. 
This the legitimate government of the state want- 
ed ability or inclination to do ; and the only re- 
medy was, to invest the companies with a portion 
of sovereign authority. This explains the true 
origin of the monopolies granted of the India 
trade. The two most commercial nations of Eu- 
rope set the example, and were humbly imitated 
by the rest. How institutions, having their origin 
in the barbarism of the early part of the seven- 
teenth century, have been prolonged to more en- 
lightened ages, it is not difficult to explain. The 
public, excluded from an intercourse with India, 
were necessarily denied the means of obtaining 
the requisite knowledge respecting its trade and 
resources. The only knowledge that reached them 
was contained in the perverted facts brought for- 
ward by the monopolists themselves in defence 


of the abuses which were the very source of 
their power and privileges. The possession of 
political power and patronage made them cling 
to these at all hazards, and many honourable 
men have pertinaciously defended a system of 
malversation, which they believed to be right, 
because it was their interest to think it so. Their 
possession of patronage naturally connected the 
monopoly companies with the respective govern- 
ments where they existed ; and thus, but for the 
convulsions which have agitated the European 
world for the last forty years, the great political 
changes favourable to freedom, which have been 
the result of the diffusion of useful knowledge, 
and the force of public opinion, the abuses which 
for three centuries have excluded the two most 
wealthy and populous quarters of the globe from 
all useful connection with each other, might have 
long continued, or been perpetuated. 

When the Dutch and English first appeared in 
the East Indies, they appeared in the simple cha- 
racter of traders, committing occasional acts of pi- 
racy, but, upon the whole, maintaining a tolerably 
fair reputation with the natives, who contrasted 
their peaceful demeanour, and still more peaceful 
professions, with the violence and persecution of 
the Portuguese and Spaniards. In a very few 
years, and as soon as they had superseded their 
European rivals, they lost this reputation, and 


entered upon the system of coercion and vir- 
tual spoliation, which continued ever after to 
mark their progress. Appearing as armed trad- 
ers, they did not fail to use the power which 
they had in their hands to possess themselves, on 
their own terms, of the produce or property of the 
native states with which they traded. The com- 
mercial factories which they held within the terri- 
tories of the native states, they converted into 
forts to overawe the native governments. The 
treaties which they entered into with these go- 
vernments had for their object to exclude all ri- 
valry or competition, to obtain the staple pro- 
ducts of industry at their own prices, and to 
possess the exclusive monopoly of the native mar- 
ket for their own imagined advantage. Most 
of these treaties were either violently or sur- 
reptitiously obtained ; but every attempt on the 
part of the natives to evade the flagrant injus- 
tice, as well as absurdity, which an adherence to 
them implied, was construed by the traders of Eu- 
rope exercising sovereign authority as a perfidious 
violation of their rights, and, accordingly, punished 
to the utmost of their power. This gave rise to 
the long train of anarchy and war which I have 
sketched in the historical part of this work. In 
the struggle which ensued, the independence of 
most of the natives of the Archipelago was sub- 
verted, and their commerce and industry subjected 


to the will of the monopolists. It was necessary, 
on the success of these political measures, to have 
recourse to new methods to obtain the productions 
which had brought the traders of Europe to India. 
'JTlie country, depopulated and exhausted by wars, 
and the incentives to industry and production be- 
ing removed, w^ould no longer spontaneously af- 
ford them. The resource was to convert the po- 
pulation of each particular country into predial 
slaves, and to compel them, by arbitrary edicts, to 
cultivate the most favoured products of their soil, 
and to deliver these exclusively to the monopolists, 
at such prices as the latter might be pleased to 
grant. It was on this principle, equally iniquitous 
and unprofitable, that the English have obtained 
their supplies of pepper, and the Dutch their pep- 
per, their coffee, their cloves, and nutmegs. In 
proportion as each of these articles, from their na- 
ture, could be subjected to the severity of the mo- 
nopoly regulations, they became injurious to the 
growers and useless to the monopolists. 

This system of fraud and rapacity naturally 
brought upon the European monopoly compa- 
nies the aversion and distrust of the native pow- 
ers, which were aggravated by the odious pic- 
ture of rancorous hatred, originating in the mean 
and contemptible spirit of commercial jealousy, 
which they displayed towards each other. The 
English traduced the Dutch, — the Dutch the 


English ; and botli vilified the Spaniards and Por- 
tuguese, while they committed acts of piracy and 
plunder upon the Asiatic traders, who had the 
temerity to venture upon a competition with them. 
All the nations of the Archipelago, or those Asiatic 
nations having an intercourse with it, whose go- 
vernments had vigour enough to resist their en- 
croachments, either expelled them from their coun- 
try, and refused to hold any intercourse with per- 
sons so little worthy of confidence, or placed that 
intercourse under the severest limitations. It will 
be a matter of curiosity, as well as instruction, to 
quote a few examples of the conduct pursued by 
the monopoly companies towards the native powers, 
and of the measures taken by the latter in con- 
sequence. Within fifteen years of their first ap- 
pearance in the seas of the Archipelago, the Eng- 
lish had established factories at Patani in the Pen- 
insula, at Achin, Ticao, and Jambi in Sumatra, 
at Bantam and Jacatra in Java, at Succadana and 
Banjarmassin in Borneo, in the Banda isles, at Ma- 
cassar in Celebes, in Siam, and in Japan. At all 
these, by their own recorded acknowledgment, the 
company was carrying on a gainful trade, of which 
they furnish us with the particulars. In after pe- 
riods they fomied establishments at Queda, Ligore, 
and Jehore, in the Peninsula, at Passumman, Sil- 
lebar, and Bencoolen, in Sumatra, at Japara in 
Java, at Balambangan in Borneo, at Camboja, at 


Cochin-Chlna, at Pulo Condore, at Formosa, and in 
China at Chusan, Amoy, and Macao. From a few 
of these they were expelled by the rivalry of the 
Dutch, but from the greater number directly by 
the natives, and solely on account of their misde- 
meanour and arrogance, and the utter incompatibi- 
lity of their claims with the rights and independ- 
ence of those natives, who had hospitably received 
them. One of the most flagrant examples of their 
misconduct was displayed at Banjarmassin, in Bor- 
neo, in the year I7O6. Their settlement at Pulo 
Condore had just been cut off by their own native 
soldiers, at the instigation of the king of Cochin- 
China, naturally impatient of their neighbour- 
hood, when they formed one at Banjarmassin. 
Captain Hamilton gives the following account of 
the causes and circumstances of their being driven 
out of the latter : " Their factory was not half fi- 
nished before they began to domineer over the na- 
tives, who past in their boats up and down the ri- 
ver, which so provoked the king, that he swore 
revenge, and accordingly gathered an army, and 
shipped it on large prawSy to execute his rage on 
the factory and shipping that lay in the river. The 
company had two ships, and there were two others ^ 
that belonged to private merchants, and I was 
pretty deeply concerned in one of them. The 
factory receiving advice of the king's design, and 
tlie preparations he had made, left their factory 


and went on board their shipping, thinking them- 
selves more secure on board than ashore. Wlien 
all things were in a readiness, the army came in the 
night with above 100 praws, and no less than 3000 
desperate fellows. Some landed and burnt the 
factory and fortifications, while others attacked the 
ships, which were prepared to receive them.*' He 
continues by observing, that " the two great ships, 
though in danger, beat off the enemy with small 
loss, but the little ships were burnt, with most of 
their men ;" and, farther, " but the English were 
forced to be gone from their settlement. The 
king thought his revenge had gone far enough in 
driving them from their settlement, and, finding 
the loss of the English trade affected his revenue, 
he let all English who traded to Jehore, and other 
circumjacent countries, know that he would still 
continue a. free trade with the English on the old 
footing, but would never suffer them, nor any 
other nation, to build forts in his country.'* * The 
sequel of this transaction, with its consequences, 
are given on a still more authentic authority than 
Hamilton's. The company, with the view of re- 
storing their commerce and factory, sent, in the 
year 1714, Captain Daniel Beeckman, one of their 
own commanders, a gentleman of great integrity, 
discretion, and abihty. The reception he met with 

* New Account of the East Indies, Vol. II. p. I45. 


points out at once the odium in which the Company 
was held, the jealousy of the people of Borneo of 
all political interference, and their desire for a free 
trade, especially with the inhabitants of this coun- 
try. The re-establishment of the factory was found 
utterly impracticable ; but the two ships under the 
orders of Captain Beeckman succeeded in obtaining 
complete cargoes by the stratagem of the parties 
Jeigni?ig themseh-es to Oe private traders unconnect- 
ed 'with tlieCompany. The success in this respect ap- 
pears to have been principally owing to the extraor- 
dinary address of Captain Beeckman, and his most 
conciliatory conduct towards the natives. " After," 
says he, " we had cast anchor, we espied a small 
praiso or boat under the shore ; we sent, in a very 
civil manner, to the persons that were in it, 
and entreated them to come on board. We lay 
then with our English colours flying, at which 
they were much surprised, knowing how se- 
verely they had used our countrymen when last 
among them. However, partly through fear, and 
partly through our kind invitation, they came on 
board. They were very poor-looked creatures, 
that had been at Tomhorneo, and had been return- 
ing to Tatas. We expressed all the civility ima- 
ginable towards them, gave them some small pre- 
sents, and desired they would acquaint their king 
or grandees in the countiy, that there were two 

VOL. III. p 



English ships come to buy pepper of them ; that 
we were not come to quarrel, but to trade peace- 
ably, and would pay them very honestly, and com- 
ply with all reasonable demands, according to what 
should be hereafter agreed on. They inquired 
whether we were Company's ships, to which we 
did not readily answer them ; but before we did, 
they proceeded and said, That if we were, they, 
as friends, would advise us to depart the port forth- 
with, because their Sultan and Oran-Cays, or great 
men, would by no means have any dealings with 
us. The next day came on board of us a boat, 
with one Cay liadeiiy TacJca, and Cay Chitra 
Uclay^ being messengers from the king. We re- 
ceived them as civilly as possible. The first thing 
they inquired was, v,hether we were Company's 
ships, or separate traders ; that if the former, we 
need not wait for an answer, and that it would be 
our best ways to be gone ; desiring earnestly, that 
what answer we should return them might be sin- 
cere, for that whatever we said to them should be 
told the Sultan. Finding no other method to intro- 
duce ourselves, we were forced to assure them that 
xve were jjrivate traders^ and came thither on our 
own account to buy pepper. This we did, believing 
we might in time have a better opportunity of mak- 
ing our honourable masters known, and of excus- 
ing the heavy crimes laid on their former servants, 
whose ill conduct had been the cause of the fac- 


tory's being destroyed. They asked us why we 
came thither rather than to any other place, since 
our countrymen had so grossly abused them.'* * 
The king of Banjarraassin, in one of his conferences 
with Captain Beeckman, gave him a narrative of 
the conduct on the part of the Company which 
led to the destruction of their establishment, which 
the honest narrator gives in plain and unequivocal 
language. As it aiFords an epitome of the con- 
duct which we must always expect in the same 
situation when men's interests and duties are at 
complete variance with each other, I shall not 
scruple to copy it. " He also inquired whether 
we were Company ships, or separate traders ; and 
being answered the latter, he began to lay heavy 
complaints on our countrymen, telling us how 
that, at their first arrival, they came like us, and 
contracted with him in the same manner, obliging 
themselves to build no forts, nor make soldiers ; 
but that, under pretext of building a warehouse, 
they mounted guns and insulted him, and his sub- 
jects, in a most base manner j that he bore it pa- 
tiently for a great while, till several of his subjects 
were beaten, wounded, and some killed by them, 
as they passed by in their boats, on their lawful oc- 
casions ; that they forced from them such duties 
and customs as belonged only to him, and acted 
very contrary to reason or honesty in all their pro- 

* ^^.Wn^ ^o Borneo, p. 47, et seq. 


ceedings. " All this," says he, " I bore with great 
patience." Then he told us with very great con- 
cern, how they fired several of their great shot at the 
queen-mother, which frightened her so, that ever 
since she continued distracted, and that they would 
have taken her prisoner, for what reason he could 
not imagine. " This," says he, " I had not patience 
to bear." He likewise told us of one Captain Cock- 
bum, and some others, whose names I have for- 
gotten, who were taken prisoners, and put to 
death, and the manner of their suffering. " But," 
continues he, " this is not at present our affair."* 

* Voyage to Borneo, p. 74. — Captain Beeckman'sown ob- 
servations on this subject, and the candid account he renders 
of the judicious measures he pursued, are so apposite, that 
I cannot refrain from quoting them, and venturing to o£Fer 
his example as a model of the policy which ought, in all pa- 
rallel cases, to be followed with the natives of this country. 
*' During our stay here," (at Banjarmassin) says he, "jive had 
^reat plenty of fish, fowl, potatoes, yams, cucumbers, deer, 
goats' flesh, &c. brought to our door every morning early, in 
small boats, by women, of whom we bought what we wanted, 
and that at a very reasonable rate. This was they owned the 
greatest opportunity they ever knew of getting so much 
money in so short a time ; for, when the English factory was 
there before, there was always such enmity and inveterate 
hatred between them, that the natives declared they never 
carried to them the tenth part of what they did us, being 
willing to have as little to do with them as possible. It is 
most certain they had a great hatred against all that belong- 
ed to that factory, and even the whole English nation^ for 
their sake, which made us meet with more difficulty than 


There is no place in which the different Euro-* 
pean companies were so anxious to make mono- 
polies, and where they were so well resisted, as at 
Achin, long the principal commercial state of the 
Archipelago, but the trade of which was at last 
ruined by the naval superiority of the Dutch, and 
the destruction of the commerce of every place 
that was wont to trade with it, on the final per^ 
Jecting ' of the monopoly system. Commodore 
Beaulieu, one of the most sensible and intelligent 
persons that ever visited the Archipelago, gives us 
an account of the animosity of the European na- 
tions against each other, and their machinations 
against the natives, which it is impossible to read 
without disgust. The French had no sooner made 

ordinary. It was an imprudent thing of those gentlemen to 
have given them occasion of having so barbarous a notion of 
the principles and behaviour of all their countrymen. It \» 
true we took all the pains imaginable, by an honest, civil, 
complaisant way of behaviour and dealfng, to remove this 
great prejudice out of their minds, though I must own we 
foiuid it a pretty hard task, they being so prepossessed with 
an opinion of our baseness and barbarity. I believe, indeed, 
that the great confidence we put in them did contribute not 
a little to make them have a greater value for us than for 
other strangers. They are certainly the most peaceable 
people in the world to one another, quarrelling seldom or 
never among themselves, and avoiding above all things any 
occasion of giving an aftront, because, when once it is given, 
it is never to be forgot." — Beeckman's Voyage to Borneo, 
p. 101. 


their appearance than they were attacked by the 
Dutch. Beaulieu was informed, *' That the Dutch 
had represented to the governor and inhabitants of 
that place, (Tikao in Sumatra,) that the French 
were robbers, and meant only to observe the land- 
ing place in order to sack them ; that they would 
not assist our two commissaries any manner of way, 
whether in health or sickness, nor give the least 
relief to any of our men, bating some few sailors 
that they stood in need of ; and that the English 
had served our men to the utmost of their power." 
He added, " That the governor was very sensible 
of the malice of the Dutch, who meant only to en- 
gross the Indies to themselves, and had but lately 
abused the king of Jacatray and usurped his terri- 
tories ; for which reason the king of Achin thought 
fit to discharge them from Ticow." * 

The same writer aflPords, in the following anec- 
dote, a striking picture of the rancorous enmity 
and illiberality of the different European nations 
in India towards each other at this period. " On 
the 1st of February,** says he, " I went ashore 
again, and, by the way, met some Portuguese, 
whom the king of Achin had laid in irons, and 
who told me that the Dutch and English had a 
design to poison me. I told them I did not be- 
lieve the English would do me any harm j how- 
ever, I would be on my guard. They replied, 

* Beaulieu's Voyage in Harris, Vol. I. p. 728. 


that, if I went to dine with the English captain 
tliat day, I would never return ; and very affec- 
tionately begged me to avoid it, because they had 
no hopes of being delivered from their captivity 
but through my means. But, after all, pursuant 
to my promise, I went and dined with the English 
captain, Mr Roberts, who treated me very kindly 
and handsomely, and gave me nothing to eat or 
drink but what he and the rest of the company 
took part of." * In an audience which the French 
commander had with the Achinese monarch, in 
which he informed him of his opinion of the Dutch 
and English, and what he had done to defeat their 
avarice, " This done,'' says the voyager, " the 
king informed me by the Shahandar, that I was 
both welcome and safe in his territories ; that, as 
to the business of trade, the Dutch and English 
used heretofore to have pepper in his country at 
an easy rate, but now that they had shewn such 
flaming ingratitude, in making war upon the king 
of Bantam, who had formerly vouchsafed them a 
kind reception, he had thereupon caused all the 
pepper plants to be cut down for fear hereafter 
they should prove the occasion of trouble ; that, by 
this means, the price of pepper was raised to 64 
reals the baliar ; and that, even at that price, he 
did not much care to let them have it, knowing 

* Beaulieu in Harris's Collection, Vol. I. p. 730. 


them to be an ill sort of people, that would rob 
and pillage, and do any thing, in order to engross 
the trade of the Indies to themselves." * 

But, three and twenty years after, the Dutch, 
with the assistance of the Achinese, conquered 
Malacca, they sent a powerful fleet against their 
ally, " to bring her to reason,^* by which they 
meant to subject her to the servitude of their com- 
mercial restrictions. In I675, they renewed their 
attempts upon her independence, and blockaded 
her ports, t The English, in 1684, on their ex- 
pulsion from Bantam by the influence of the Dutch, 
tried their fortune in the same way, and sent a 
mission from Madras, the modest object of which 
was to request permission to erect a fortification, 
or, in other words, to raise an independent autho- 
rity within the kingdom. " The purport of the 
embassy," says Mr Marsden, " was to obtain li- 
berty to erect a fortification in her territory, which 
she (the queen) peremptorily refused, being con- 
trary to the established rules of the kingdom ; add- 

* Harris, Vol. I. p. 731. 

-j- " About the year 1675, the Dutch made war on her, 
(the queen of Achin,) because she would not permit them 
to settle a factory at Achin, or rather to make her their 
vassal. They shut up the port of Achin by their shipping, 
and straitened the for want of provisions and other 
necessaries,"' &c. Hamilton's Neto Account of the East In- 
dies, Vol. H. p. 100. 


ing, that, if the governor of Madras would fill her 
palace with gold, she could not permit him to 
build with brick either fort or house. To have a 
factory of timber and plank was the utmost indul- 
gence that could be allowed ; and on that footing, 
the return of the English, who had not traded 
there for many years, should be welcomed with 
great friendship." * The queen of Achin appears 
to have been not only a better politician, but bet- 
ter skilled in the true interests of commerce, than 
the East India Company and their governor. All 
European merchants, w^ho laid claim to no political 
authority, were welcome in her country. Dam- 
pier, who was there, expressly tells us, " the 
English merchants are welcome here, and I have 
heard that they do not pay so much custom as 
other nations. The J^utchfree-inen may trade hi- 
ther, but the Company's servants are denied that 
privilege." t 

As the Dutch had most power, they pursued 
the phantom of commercial monopoly in regard to 
the native states to the greatest length, and be- 
came, of course, the most signal victims of the de- 
lusion. There was hardly a state in the Archipe- 
lago, or its neighbourhood, that escaped their ex- 
periments. The artifices pursued by them to 

* Historij of Sumatra, p. 14-9. 

t Danipicr's Voyngcs^ Vol. II. p. 135. 


secure the monopoly of trade at places too inconsi- 
derable to be settled as conquests is well described 
by Dampier from his own personal observation. 
** For where/* says he, *' there is any trade to be 
had, yet not sufficient to maintain a factory, or 
where there may not be a convenient place to 
build a fort, so as to secure the whole trade to 
themselves, they send their guard-ships, which, ly- 
ing at the mouth of the rivers, deter strangers from 
coming thither, and keep the petty princes in awe of 
them. They commonly make a shew as if they did 
this out of kindness to these people, yet most of 
them know otherwise, but dare not openly resent it. 
This probably causes so many petty robberies 
and piracies as are committed by the Malayans on 
this coast. The Malayans, who inhabit both 
sides of the straits of Malacca, are in general a 
bold people ; and yet I do not find any of them 
addicted to robbery, but only the pilfering poorer 
sort, and even these severely punished among the 
trading Malayans, who have trade and property. 
But being thus provoked by the Dutch, and hin- 
dered of a free trade by their guard-ships, it is pro- 
bable they, therefore, commit piracies themselves, 
or connive at> or encourage those who do ; so that 
the pirates who lurk on this coast seem to do it as 
much to revenge themselves on the Dutch for 
restraining their trade, as to gain this way what 


they cannot obtain in the way of traffic." * Conduct 
of the nature here related brought the European 
character into the greatest discredit with all the 
natives of the Archipelago, and the piratical cha- 
racter which we have attempted to fix upon them, 
might be most truly retaliated upon us. The pet- 
ty establishments supported by the Dutch to main- 
tain their compulsory regulations, lived, in the 
midst of a hostile population, in a state of the ut- 
most terror, alarm, and degradation, never count- 
ing themselves for a moment secure but in their 
forts or ships, f 

• Vol. 11. p. 164. 

f Dampier gives a very ludicrous picture of the condition 
of the Dutch garrison of Pulo Dmding, lying off the coast 
of the Malay state of Perah, and one of the establishments 
in question. He is describing an entertainment given to 
his commander and lady, by the Dutch governor. " But 
to return to the governor, he, to retaliate the captain's and 
Mr Kichards's kindness, sent a boat a- fishing, to get some 
better entertainment for his guests than the fort yielded at 
present. About four or five o'clock the boat returned with 
a good dish of fish. These were immediately dressed for 
supper, and the boat was sent out again to get more for Mr 
llichards and his lady to carry aboard with them. In the 
mean time the food was brought into the dining-room, and 
placed on the table. The dishes and plates were of silver, 
and there was a silver punch-bowl full of liquor. The go- 
vernor, his guests, and some of his officers, were seated, but 
just as they began to fall to, one of the soldiers cried out. 


The English, driven first from Jacatra, and then 
from Bantam, and refused the liberty of building 

Malayans, and spoiled the entertainment ; for immediately 
the governor, without speaking one word, leaped out of one 
of the windows, to get as soon as he could to the fort. His 
officers followed, and all the servants that attended were 
soon in motion. Every one of them took the nearest way, 
some out of the windows, others out of the doors, leaving 
the three guests by themselves, who soon followed with all 
the haste they could make, without knowing the meaning of 
this sudden consternation of the governor and his people. 
But by that time the captain, and Mr Richards and his 
.wife, were got to the fort; the governor, who was arrived 
before, stood at the door to receive them. As soon as they 
were entered, the door was shut, all the soldiers and servants 
being within already ; nor was any man suffered to fetch 
away the victuals, or any of the plate : but they fired seve- 
ral guns to give notice to the Malayans that they were ready 
for them ; but none of them came on. For this uproar was 
occasioned by a Malayan canoe full of armed men that lay 
skulking under the island, close by the shore ; and when the 
Dutch boat went out the second time to fish, the Malayans 
set on them suddenly and unexpected, with their cressets 
and lances, and killing one or two, the rest leaped overboard) 
and got away, for they were close by the shore; and they 
having no arms, were not able to have made any resistance. 
It was about a mile from the fort, and being landed, every 
one of them made what haste he could to the fort, and the 
first that arrived was he who cried in that manner, and 
frighted the governor from supper. Our boat was at this 
time ashore for water, and was filling it in a small brook by 
the banquetting-house. I know not whether our boat's 
crew took notice of the alarm, but tlie Dutch called to 


forts in Achin, were invited to Bencoolen and 
other adjacent parts by the natives, with the view 
of averting, what these apprehended a still great- 
er evil, the domination of the Dutch. It by no 
means appears that the East India Company's con- 
duct was such as to justify the confidence thus 
placed in them. The illustrious voyager Dampier 
was in the humble station of gunner of Bencoolen, 
in the year I69O, but five years after the first forma- 
tion of the settlement, and says of it, " The fort 
was but sorrily governed when I was there ; nor 
was there that care taken to keep up a fair corre- 

them, and bid them make haste aboard, which they did ; and 
this made us keep good watcli all night, having all our guns 
loaded and primed for service. But it rained so hard all the 
night, that I did not much fear being attacked by any Ma- 
layan ; being informed by one of our seamen, whom we took 
in at Malacca, that the Malayans seldom or never make any 
attack when it rains. It is what I had before observed of 
other Indians, both East and West ; and though then they 
might make their attacks with the greatest advantage on 
men armed with hand-guns, yet I never knew it practised, 
at which I have wondered ; for it is then we most fear them, 
and they might then be most successful, because their arras, 
which are usually lances and cressets, which these Malayans 
had, could not be damaged by the rain, as our guns would 
be. But they cannot endure to be in the rain; and it was 
in the evening, before the rain fell, that they assaulted the 
Dutch boat. — Dampier's Voya^^cs, Vol. 11. p- 175 — 7- 


spondence with the natives in tlie neighbourhood, as 
I think ought to be in all trading places especially. 
When I came thither, there were two neighbouring 
rajas in the stocks, for no other reason but be- 
cause they had not brought down to the fort such 
a quantity of pepper as the governor had sent for. 
Yet these rajas rule in the country, and have a 
considerable number of subjects, who were so ex- 
asperated at these insolences, that, at I have since 
been informed, they came down and assaulted the 
fort, under the conduct of one of these rajas." * t 

* Dampler, Vol. II. p. 183. 

■f Captain Hamilton's account is certainly not more fa- 
vourable. " In the year 1693, there was a great mortality 
in the colony, the governor and his council all died in a short 
time after one another ; and one Mr Sowdon being the eld- 
est factor, had his residence at Prayman, or Priaman, a sub- 
ordinate factory to Bencolon, being called to the govern- 
ment of the colony, but not very fit for that charge, because 
of his intemperate drinking, it fortuned in his short reign, 
that four princes differed, and rather than run into acts of 
hostility, referred their differences to the arbitriment of the 
English governor, and came to the fort with their plea. Mr 
Sowdon soon determined their differences in favour of the 
two that complained ; and because the others seemed dissa- 
tisfied with his determination, ordered both their heads to 
be struck off, which ended their disputes effectually, and 
made them afterwards to make up differences among them- 
selves, without troubling the English with their contentions 
and impertinent quarrels, but Governor Sowdon was sent 
for to Fort St George, and another sent in his place less 
sanguine." — Nciv Account of the East Indies, Vol. II. p. 114 


In 1719 the misconduct of the Company's ser- 
vants had completely estranged the natives of Ben- 
coolen from them, and their pusillanimity induced 
them to abandon their post, to which the natives, 
in terror of the Dutch power, once more invited 
them to return. 

It must not be supposed that the delusion of 
expecting profit to the trading companies, by 
restricting the commerce of the natives, and de- 
stroying the incentives to industry, the sure me- 
thods of ruining all commerce, belonged only 
to the earliest and rudest periods of the Eu- 
ropean connection with the Indian Islands. The 
principle at least has actuated the conduct of 
the Companies and their servants, without in- 
terruption, down to the latest times. In 1749, 
for example, the Dutch formed a settlement at 
Banjarmassin, and soon ruined it, so that for pro- 
duce and population, it is no longer to be recog- 
nized for the place it was a century back. The 
flourishing Malayan settlements of Pontianak had 
been formed but a few years, when it attracted the 
cupidity of the Dutch, who established a factory, 
a fortress, and all their concomitants there, in 
1778. From thence they destroyed the rival, 
flourishing, and independent states of Mampawa 
and Succadana. Pontianak itself, as usual and in- 
evitable in such cases, fell to insignificance, until 
the removal of the Dutch, when free trade once 


more restored it in our times. The Suloos are the 
only nation of the Archipelago considerahle for 
their numbers and civilization, who have, in all ages 
of the European history of these islands, maintain- 
ed their independence, for they have with equal spi- 
rit and success resisted the encroachments of the 
Spaniards, the Dutch, and the English. The 
latter, in the year 177^, succeeded for a moment 
in cajoling them, and formed an establishment at 
Balambangan, on the north coast of Borneo, an 
island belonging to them. Two years afterwards 
the Suloos, on an experience of the effects of this 
establishment, attacked the Company, and expelled 
them from their territories. In 1803 the settle- 
ment was renewed, but soon voluntarily abandon- 
ed. These examples, taken from a great many, 
are quite sufficient to prove the utter inutility in a 
commercial point of view, and the certain mischief 
in every other, of all establishments formed on the 
ruinous and illiberal principles hitherto acted upon 
by the European nations. When the failure of every 
new attempt, one after another, afforded fresh 
proof of the absurdity and injustice of the princi- 
ples on which they were formed, the wonder is 
how, in a long period of two hundred years, they 
should still continue to be persevered in. 

When the countries in which these monopolies 
were established either became impoverished by 
the loss of trade which they occasioned, or tlie ex- 


pence of the establishments necessary to enforce a 
policy hostile to the feelings and interests of the 
natives of the country, became so great that it 
could no longer be borne, the practice of the com- 
panies was to withdraw their settlements, and ei- 
ther to proclaim that the natives were so treacher- 
ous that there was no dealing with them, * or that 
some fortuitous circumstance (with which, of course, 
they had nothing to do) had rendered the trade 
no longer worth conducting. 

Of the numerous establishments formed by the 
Dutch, not one remained to them at the close 
of that period, but those of the territory of which 
they had actual military possession, and every one 
even of these considered as mercantile concerns 
are shewn, by their accounts, to have been losing 
concerns to them. To the English there remain- 
ed at the close of the same period, out of their nu- 
merous settlements, but the wretched establish- 
ment at Bencoolen, by which they were yearly 
sinking large sums of money, and which they threat- 
ened over and over again to abandon. I do not in- 

• Every man of sense who has visited the Indian islands, 
and dealt temperately and honestly with the natives, comes 
off with a favourable impression of their character, while 
they are slandered by the supei*ficial and captious who had 
hoped to impose on their simplicity, and therefore experien- 
ced their resentment. 

VOL. in. Q 


elude Prince of Wales Island, because it was not 
established on the monopoly principles. It was 
formed chiefly by two private merchants, * and may 
be looked upon as the first European settlement 
ever made in the Indian Archipehigo on principles 
of ti-ue wisdom and liberality. Its rapid prosperity, 
as lonsr as the views of its first founders were not 
encroached upon, is remarkably contrasted with 
the unfailing miscarriage of the visionary views of 
the monopolists. 

If we look for a moment to the conduct of the 
monopoly companies in their intercourse with the 
great nations who are the neighbours of the In- 
dian islanders, we shall find that their conduct was 
governed by the same principles. The result with 
these populous and powerful nations has indeed been 
very different, for every where with them the Euro- 
peans have either been expelled or placed under the 
severest restrictions, and the native states have pre- 
served their independence. Beginning from the 
west, the English, soon after their first appearance 
in India, settled a factory at Siam, and carried on 
with that country a beneficial intercourse. They 
soon, however, in their usual way, declared it ex- 
pensive and unprofitable, and withdrew it. They 
again re-established it j and, in 1686, on some idle 
pretext, removed it, and declared war against the 

* James Scott and Francis Light. 


king of Siam. The English traders were at this 
time in great favour in the country, and even ad- 
mitted to situations of honour and trust under the 
Siamese government. The East India Company 
could not hrook their success, and ordered them 
out of the country. * The French, so remarkable 
in Europe for their conciliatory manners towards 

* Hamilton gives the followinsj account of this transaction : 
" In former times a good number of English free mer- 
chants were settled at Merjee, and drove a good trade, liv- 
ing under a mild and indulgent government ; but the old 
East India Company, envying their happiness, by an arbi- 
trary command, ordered them to leave their industry, and 
repair to Fort St George, to serve them, and threatened 
the king of Siam with a sea war, if he did not deliver those 
English up, or force them out of his country, and, in anno 
1687, sent one Captain Weldon, in a small ship called the 
Curtany, to Merjee with that message. He behaved himself 
very insolently to the government, and killed some Siamers 
without any just cause. One night when Weldon was ashore, 
the Siamers, thinking to do themselves justice on him, got a 
company together, designing to seize or kill the aggressor ; 
but Weldon, having notice of their design, made his escape 
on board his ship, and the Siamers missing him, though very 
narrowly, vented their rage and revenge on all the English 
they could find. The poor victims, being only guarded by 
their innocence, did not so much as arm themselves to with- 
stand the fury of the enraged mob, so that seventy-six were 
massacred, and hardly twenty escaped on board of the Cur- 
tany ; so there was the tragical consequence of one man's 


Strangers, have been most signally unfortunate in 
their intercourse with the people of Asia. In 1689 
they intrigued with the celebrated Constantine 
Faulcon * to subvert the independence of the em- 

" Before that fatal time, the English were so beloved and 
favoured at the court of Siam, that they had places of trust 
conferred upon them, both in the civil and military branches 
of the government. Mr Samuel White was made shawban- 
daar, or custom-master, at Merjee and Tanacerin, and Cap- 
tain Williams was admiral of the king's navy ; but the trouble- 
some Company, and a great revolution that happened in the 
state of Siam, made some repair to Fort St George, others 
to Bengal, and some to Atcheen." Hamilton's Neio Ac- 
count of the East Indies, Vol. II. p. 63, 64. 

* Kampfer gives the following interesting account of Faul- 
con, which I transcribe, as it is from the hand of a master : 
" Faulcon was a Grecian by birth, a man of great understand- 
ing, of an agreeable aspect, and an eloquent tongue, notwith- 
standing he was brought up to no learning, and had passed his 
younger years mostly at sea among different nations, particu- 
larly the English, whose languages he had. Being in the ser- 
vice of the latter in the quality of cockswain, he came to Siam 
and obtained an employment at court. His natural parts, 
ready apprehension, and good success in affairs entrusted with 
him, which were first of small consequence, but, by degrees, 
of more moment, raised him, in the space of nine years, to 
the highest credit and authority. For he was put at the head 
of the finances of the kingdom, and had also the direction 
of the king's household ; almost all public affairs of the most 
important concern were determined by his advice, and wlio- 
ever had any thing to solicit was obliged to apply to him." 
Hist, of Japan, Vol. I. p. 19. 


pire of Siam, failed, and were for ever expelled 
the kingdom. This example of the misconduct of 
Europeans in their intercourse with the people of 
Asia, and which was caused by the unprincipled 
ambition of Louis the XIV., is the only notable 
one of which the monopoly companies were not 
directly or indirectly the cause. 

In the countries lying between Siam and China, 
viz. Champa, Camboja, Cochinchina, and Ton- 
quin, there existed at one time an intercourse 
with European nations, which promised to be of 
a most beneficial nature. These countries are, 
without doubt, the most highly gifted of all the 
continent of Asia, whether we consider the ferti- 
lity of their soil, the variety and utility of their 
vegetable and mineral productions, the number 
and excellence of their harbours, their fine navi- 
gable rivers, and the extent of their internal navi- 
gation, with the conveniency of their geographical 
position for an intercourse with other nations, yet 
they are, in point of useful intercourse, as little 
known to the great commercial nations of Europe 
9,t the present moment, as if they were situated in 
another planet. Down to the close of the seven- 
teenth century, the Dutch, French, and English, 
miiintained a busy intercourse with them, which 
was discontinued from the usual causes. There 
existed no means of getting the productions of the 
country from its intelligent and industrious inlia- 


bitants under their natural prices, or of selling fo- 
reiirn wares to them for more than they were worth, 
and without such aids the costly traffic of joint- 
stock companies could not be conducted. 

There is no country of Asia in which the un- 
principled ambition and avarice of the traders of 
Europe have brought them into such utter dis- 
grace as Japan, next to China, and in some re- 
spects before it, the most civilized country of Asia 
— that in which Europeans were received at one 
time with the least reserve, and that in which the 
institutions and civilization of Europe had made at 
one time the greatest progress. By their intem- 
perate zeal the Portuguese had indeed brought 
persecution and discredit upon themselves and 
their religion. But this state of things had in a 
great degree subsided for near half a century, and 
it was not until the Dutch East India Company 
had established themselves in Japan, that the 
Christian religion and free intercourse with Eu- 
ropeans were for ever interdicted through their 
intrigues, and even their active assistance. The 
mean compliances of the Dutch were of no use to 
them. From year to year their privileges were 
abridged, and their persons treated with new con- 
tumelies. At first the Japanese could not do 
without European commodities, but the inter- 
course gradually contracted, they learnt in time to 
dispense with them, and lastly almost to despise 


them, a single ship load a year being in the end 
enough to satisfy a whole empire. 

To conclude with China, it must be recollected 
that, although the religious intemperance of the 
missionaries had a large share in the exclusion of 
Europeans from a free intercourse with that empire, 
still that the trade of Europeans with this the great- 
est and most civilized country of Asia continued 
unrestricted for two centuries, and that it was not 
until the monopoly practices were matured that the 
intercourse of Europeans was placed under the 
present restrictions. Both the Dutch and Eng- 
lish began their intercourse with the Chinese 
by committing actual hostilities against them. 
Notwithstanding this, in the early history of 
our intercourse with that country, we were 
freely admitted to several of its ports, to Chu- 
san, to Tywan, to Amoy, Macao, and Canton, 
and it was not until the early part of the last 
century, on an experience of our troublesome am- 
bition, that our commerce w^as confined to one 
port, and laid under severe restraints. A singu- 
lar result of these restraints cannot escape us. 
In some countries, our East India Companies 
have succeeded in establishing their principles ; 
from others they have been utterly excluded. 
Success in the one, and discomfiture in the other, 
have been equally fatal to their commerce. China, 
the only country that has had at once tlie courage to 

q4S commerce with 

receive them, and the wisdom to restrain them, 
is the only one with which they have been able to 
maintain any thing like a successful traffic. This, 
indeed, is one, but not the sole or principal cause 
of the success of the Chinese trade in the hands 
even of monopoly companies. The great cause 
is the unlooked for universality of taste in the Eu- 
ropean world for tea, — for a gentle and delightful 
narcotic which no country but China can afford, 
aiid which, from these qualities, has gained ground, 
and still continues to gain ground, in spite of all 
the arts by which its price is enhanced to the con>- 
sumer. There is no other production of the East 
that possesses the same commercial qualities. It 
continues to gain ground, notwithstanding its ex- 
orbitant cost, and such is the passion for it, that 
the consumer gladly pays a tax for the use of it, 
to support that monopoly which is against him- 
self. The peqietual fear which the monopoly 
companies are in of losing so valuable an immuni- 
ty, is the cause of a nicety of conduct on their part 
in their intercourse with the Chinese, which we 
shall in vain look for in their commercial relations 
with the other nations of Asia. 

During the first century of the monopoly of the 
English, their privileges were frequently invaded, 
and this circumstance, as appears by comparing the 
results, was highly advantageous to the Indian com- 
merce. In that disturbed period of English history. 


chartered rights were but imperfectly regarded j the 
East India Company had as yet acquired little poli- 
tical weight in the state ; it was not, therefore, in a 
condition to influence the legislature, and to hood^ 
wink the nation; and as its privilege was too palpably 
at variance with natural right, no opportunity of in- 
vading it was lost sight of. It was the fate of the 
Indian commerce, that the establishment of civil 
liberty, and of the regular authority of the laws, so 
beneficial to every other branch of industry, should 
prove injurious to it alone. Before the revolution, 
all the charters granted to the company were 
granted by the king only, without tlie sanction of 
his parliament ; and, on the advice of eminent law- 
yers, were very generally and properly disregarded. 
At the close of the seventeenth century, an active 
commerce was conducted by the persons designated 
by the monopolists under the cant term of interlO' 
perSy in every part of India, notwithstanding the vio- 
lence and open hostility of the East India Company, 
When we read the accounts of the state of India 
at this period, advert to the prosperity of many of 
the native states, the confidence which subsisted 
between the European traders and the natives, 
and the practical knowledge which we had of the 
people from the Red Sea to China, we are com- 
pelled to admit, that, for 1^0 years, we have been 
not only in a stationary, but a retrograde state. 


and that we owe this to the sacrifices we have made 
to erroneous principles. 

The first effectual measure taken to suppress 
free trade was in 1686, in the most arbitrary mo- 
ment of the reign of James the Second, when, for 
the first time, a ship of war was dispatched to India, 
bearing a royal proclamation, directing the free 
traders to place themselves under the control of 
the company, and abandon their pursuits. After 
the access of a Dutch prince to our throne, many 
sacrifices were made to the supposed interests of 
the Dutch. During the reign of William, how- 
ever, so little were the people of England of opi- 
nion that the trade of India belonged of exclusive 
right to any body of men, that numerous free 
traders were still permitted to go out by licence, 
and even a second East India Company was 
formed. From the union of this new company 
with the old one in 1702, under Queen Anne, is 
to be dated the ruin of free trade, — the triumph 
of monoply principles, and, of course, the cessation, 
as far as Great Britain was concerned, of all useful 
intercourse with India, — a blank of 112 years. 

From the statements now given, we are left to 
the alternative of admitting, that the India trade, 
like every other trade, can only be conducted by 
separate and individual enterprise. This princi- 
ple is indeed more peculiarly appHcable to the 
Indian trade than to any other, if it were not 


imperative in all. A trade conducted by a joint- 
stock company, with civilized and powerful 
nations, is only liable to the objection which 
arises from the slovenly and expensive manage- 
ment which is inseparable from its nature, but 
one conducted by such a body, with half civilized, 
timid, and strange nations, is liable to a more seri- 
ous one. The individual adventurer is compelled 
by necessity to accommodate his conduct to the 
habits and institutions of the people with whom he 
trades. If the trade be worth conducting on their 
terms, he perseveres in it. Armed with no power, 
and appearing among them for purposes purely 
commercial, he excites no jealousy, and in the end 
his intercourse being discovered to be both safe, 
profitable, and agreeable, it is not only tolerated, 
but courted. Particular acts of violence or aggres- 
sion may occasionally be committed by individual 
traders in the earlier periods of such an intercourse ; 
but acts of aggression are neither in the nature, nor 
compatible with the interests of the peaceful pur- 
suits of commerce, and the misconduct of an indi- 
vidual would soon be explained and compensated 
for, without danger of implicating the national 
character, by the prudence and discretion of the 
greater number. It is almost needless to insist 
that the trading companies must, from their very 
nature, act on different principles. They are 
armed with political and arbitrary power, appear. 


in short, at once in the character of traders and 
sovereigns, and attempt, of course, under those cir- 
cumstances, to impose their own terms upon the 
nations with whom they hold intercourse, instead 
of submitting to the authority of the laws of the 
country. They identify their own conduct, and 
the success of the particular schemes on which they 
are bent, with the honour and interests of the nation 
to which they belong, while the native states na- 
turally conclude, that the misconduct of these par- 
ticular bodies is that of the whole nation. It 
would be strange, indeed, reasoning a priori, if 
one had not a thousand examples to bring in proof, 
if a combination so unnatural did not excite the 
distrust of the nations, and end in the expulsion 
of the monopolists, or the restriction of their trade, 
wherever they have not been able to maintain 
themselves by the power of the sword. Of the utter 
failure of the monopoly projects we have too many 
examples. Of the success of free trade we have 
one great one in the Ipdian commerce of the 
Americans. The first appearance of an Anglo- 
American trader in the ports of India in the year 
1784( is the true era of the commencement of fair 
and legitimate commerce between India and the 
civilized nations of the west. The period of near? 
ly three centuries which preceded that event may 
truly be described as a period of delusion, in which 
the nations of Europe, to their own loss and dis- 


honour, were pursuing a mischievous phantom. 
During all the time of the American trade, it has 
never connected itself with any political concern of 
the natives, never embroiled itself in their quar- 
rels ; nor has any American ship ever been cut off' 
by the rudest tribe they have dealt with. In the 
very vicinage of our powerful establishments, they 
are now pushing their enterprises in situations that 
we have neglected for more than a century, and, 
by their conciliatory conduct, retrieving that cha- 
racter which their progenitors had lost. Their trade, 
in all this time, has been progressively flourishing, 
and, without entering into the question of its in- 
trinsic superiority over the trade of the former mas- 
ters of the Indian commerce, is, in point of mere 
quantity, incomparably more extensive. 

If it should be objected, that a period of thirty-six 
years does not afford us sufficient time to judge of the 
moderation of the Americans, and of the success of 
their mode of carrying on the Indian trade, its im- 
measurable advantage over the monopoly system 
may, at all events, be proved, when it is remem- 
bered that the Dutch and English had been little 
more than half this time engaged in the same 
trade, when they had already quarrelled with and 
insulted every maritime power in the Indies, in- 
vaded, conquered, and plundered those who had 
received them hospitably, quarrelled with and mas- 
sacred one another j and, by all these means, sub- 


jected their trade to expences which no legitimate 
profit could cover, and which they were only at 
first enabled to carry on from the inadequate prices 
they paid the natives for what they bought, with 
the enormous profits they exacted from their coun- 
trymen ; and, lastly, by the ingenious intricacy 
and confusion of the accounts with which they have 
contrived to perplex their respective publics. 

Having rendered this account of the nature and 
character of the commercial relations which sub- 
sisted between the European rations and the peo- 
ple of India, I shall take a view of the nature of 
their commercial connection with their own coun- 
trymen. Europe, in the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries, w^as not the great commercial and manu- 
facturing community which it now is, — capable of 
supplying Asia with cheap commodities, suited to 
the taste of the latter. No raw produce of Asia — 
no productions of that quarter of the globe, become 
now necessaries of life — were in demand with the 
European consumer ; nor, were there an effective 
demand for them, could the rude state of naviga- 
tion, shackled by monopoly restrictions, afford to 
import them. The exports were trifling ; and the 
imports consisted solely in articles of luxury, chief- 
ly spiceries, with a few manufactured silk and cot- 
ton stuffs. This was a commerce, which, from its 
very nature, could never be very extensive, or be- 
come a national object. There existed no limit 


to the demands of the merchant but the capacity 
or inclmation of the consumer to purchase ; and, 
in the course of the trade, every experiment was 
certainly tried upon his docility. 

In the first period of the trade of Europeans to 
India, their profits were necessarily very large, and 
may generally be described as amounting to the 
whole difference between the expence of bringing 
goods to Europe by land and sea, since, as will af- 
terwards be shewn, the principal commodities fell 
veiy little in price. In the first two voyages of 
the English, notwithstanding the inexperience, 
errors, and unskilfulness of the undertakers, they 
divided a profit of 95 per cent. In the third voy- 
age they divided a profit of 234 per cent. ; in the 
fifth voyage 21 1 per cent. ; in the sixth voyage up- 
wards of 121 per cent. ; in the seventh voyage 218 
per cent. ; in the eighth voyage 211 per cent. ; in 
the ninth voyage l60 per cent. ; in the tenth voy- 
age 148 per cent. ; in the eleventh voyage 320 per 
cent. ; and in the twelfth 133-18 per cent. 

The Dutch, as they started earlier, and naviga- 
ted their ships more skilfully, made probably still 
more profitable voyages. Even after they took the 
fatal step of trading on a joint stock, they are de- 
scribed for a moment as making a profit of 130 per 
cent. Although the profits now described were 
enormous, even for these rude times, they bore no 
proportion to the difference between the prices 


paid for the commodities in India, and that charg- 
ed to the consumer. We are enabled to form an 
adequate opinion of the prodigious expensiveness of 
the conveyance of the productions of India at that 
time, by shewing the balance between the first cost 
of these productions, and the selling prices in Eu- 
rope. In the third English voyage, for example, a 
cargo of cloves, purchased at Amboyna for L.29i8, 
15s., sold in England forL. 36,287, or at an advance 
of 1 130 per cent. The whole profits of the voyage, 
notwithstanding, amounted to no more than 234? 
per cent. ; so that, if the other articles of which the 
cargoes consisted were equally profitable, the charges 
must have amounted to the enormous sum of 896 per 
cent, on the homeward investment. Twenty years 
after the first establishment of the trade, pepper 
and cloves are described by the monopolists them- 
selves as still selling at 700 per cent., mace at 800, 
and nutmegs at 650,— advances, however, which, as 
will be afterwards proved, are much underrated. 
Notwithstanding this, the highest profit ever real- 
ized did not exceed 320 per cent., and the profit of 
the whole twelve voyages averaged but 138 per cent. 
The profits were soon reduced from a variety of 
causes, — as the trading on joint stocks, and the 
enhancement of charges necessarily consequent to 
so injudicious a system, — the fall of prices which 
was necessarily produced from the large importa- 
tions from India, in spite of all the arts used to 



keep them up, — the advance of prices in India, — 
first, from the competition of the different nations 
engaged in the trade, and, lastly, from difficulties 
thrown in the way of growing them by the mono- 
poly bodies themselves, — from the hostilities com- 
mitted by the different companies on each other,— 
and, finally, by their expensive wars with the na- 
tive powers. 

It is remarkable enough, that the early and only 
successful trade, both of the Dutch and English, was 
virtually a free trade. The Dutch trade, during the 
first six years of it, was completely free, and it was 
then the greatest profits were made. The English 
trade, although under the name of a Company, was 
really so too, each voyage having, for the first twelve 
years, been conducted and managed as a separate 
concern. It was then only that the India Company 
divided the large profits I have already stated. 
During the first 20 years that the Dutch traded on 
a joint stock, their average profits were reduced to 
22^ per cent, per annum ; in the next 20 it fell 
to 12^ ; in the third it was 19 ; in the fourth 19^ ; 
in the fifth 18 ; in the sixth 22 ; in the seventh 
28 ; in the eighth 19 ; in the ninth 18 ; and for 
the last 25 years, or from 1771 to 1796, but 12] 
per cent. Tlie average profits, during the whole 
period of the trade, give but 1 9 per cent. It is 
evident, therefore, that the rates of profit, all aldng, 
must have been far below the regular and natural 



profits of stock ill the country ; and It must there- 
fore be admitted, that the trade was a losing one, 
or that the national capital was diverted from its le- 
gitimate employment to the detriment of the society. 
From the year 17^3, a regular account has been pre- 
served of the prices of the Dutch East India Com- 
pany's stock, which affords a better test of the state 
of the trade than the arbitrary dividends made by 
the directors. In the first period of ten years, the 
stocks were at 656 ; in the second they fell to 570 ; 
in the third to 470 ; in the fourth to 443 ; in the 
fifth to 437 ; in the sixth to 338 ; in the next 
thirteen years they fell to 300 and to 170 ; and for 
the last two years to 50, although 12^ per cent, 
preposterously continued still to be the dividend. 

The results of the English joint-stock trade were 
still more disastrous, although, as their accounts 
were kept with less accuracy, and their concerns 
more mixed up with political matters, their errors 
are more difficult of detection. The profits of the 
first four voyages, on joint-stock account, averaged 
no more than 87 i per cent, in four years, although 
one ship's cargo sold at an advance of 700 per 
cent., so that it is evident there was a national loss 
incurred in the very outset. The second joint' 
stock company appears to have conducted a losing 
trade, for, after fourteen years, they were able on- 
ly, with difficulty, to reimburse the original pro- 
prietors, and their balances were made over to the 


third joint-stock company, at a valuation of no 
more than ISg per cent. The third joint-stock 
company in eleven years divided a profit of 35 per 
cent, in all, and it is but too evident that this was a 
losing concern. It would be but idleness to prose- 
cute further the results of a system of delusion by 
which the Company have equally deceived them- 
selves and the public, as I think few will be hardy 
enough now to assert that a real profit was ever af- 
terwards realized at all. 

It is singular enough to compare the real cha- 
racter and extent of the Indian commerce, con- 
ducted by our ancestors, with the magnificent state- 
ments of it with which our fancy has been amused. 
The splendid commerce of the Portuguese, which 
is described as enriching that people, and the loss 
of which is said to have ruined the Venetians, 
amounted to less than seven ships a-year during 
its whole duration. From its commencement in 
1497 to 1640, 143 years, the whole of the ships 
sent out to India amounted to no more than 980. 

The results of the trade of the Dutch East In- 
dia Company, considered by the monopolists to be 
that which was conducted with most skill, and 
that which proved most beneficial to the state, is 
not less mortifying. From 1614 to 1730, the 
prosperous period of the Company's affairs, the 
whole number of ships which arrived in Holland 
was but 1621, giving an average for eaoli year 


of but 14, which is by no means equal in number 
or tonnage to the present free trade of the Ameri- 
cans with the very colonies of the Dutch them- 

The English trade hardly exhibits more flatter- 
ing results. In the first twenty-one years, the 
successful period of the trade, the average number 
of ships which it employed yearly was little more 
than four. Of these, 12j per cent, were captured 
by the Dutch, and such was the unskilfulness of 
the navigators, that lOi per cent, were lost. From 
the year 1680 we possess actual statements of the 
t»nnage employed by our East India Company. 
In the first period of twenty years, or from the 
year 1680 to ths close of the century, when the 
Company had been one hundred years engaged in 
the trade, the whole yearly tonnage employed was, 
on an average, but 4590 tons. In the next twen- 
ty years it had fallen ofiP, and was 4232 only ; in 
the third period it was 6796 ; in the fourth it was 
8861 ; in the fifth period it was 13,350 ; and in 
the period which closed the last century it was 
26,300. We should fall into an egregious error 
if we were to ascribe the increase of shipping thus 
exhibited to any legitimate and beneficial increase 
in the commerce of the Company. It arose alto- 
gether from circumstances forced or fortuitous. 
The chief cause has been the accidental and un- 
looked-for circumstance of tea having become, in 


rapid progression, an article of great consumptioa 
in this country ; and it would, I imagine, be as 
unfair to ascribe the prosperity of the East India 
Company's commerce to this circumstance, as to 
take the extent of the monopoly of salt in Old 
France, or the king's monopoly of tobacco in 
Spain and the Americas, or their own monopoly 
of salt in Bengal, as just criteria of the pro^ 
sperity of those countries. In the first period 
there was not a ton of tea consumed in all Ens:- 
land. In the second the tonnage occupied by it 
would not exceed 160 tons. In the third period 
it would rise to near a thousand. In the fourth pe- 
riod it would amount to above ^000 ; in the 
fifth period to about 5()00 ; and in the sixth pe- 
riod to 15,149. This last being deducted from the 
increase at the close of the last century, would leave 
the amount only 11,151 tons, or give an increase, 
in one hundred and twenty years, of only 7561 
tons, after the Company had acquired an immensity 
of territorial possessions, with a population of sixty 
millions of inhabitants, from having hardly a foot of 
land. If we take this last circumstance especially into 
consideration, and make the necessary allowance, 
at the same time, for the prodigious increase of 
Europe during this period in wealth and populous- 
ness, no doubt can exist that the comparative ex- 
tent of the Indian trade is greatly less than it was. 
What freedom of commerce is capable of effect- 


ing is sufficiently shewn in the example of the 
great commerce conducted by the Americans, and 
if farther illustration be requisite, our own free 
trade affords it. Shackled as it is, there has been 
yearly employed in it, since its commencement, a- 
bout sixty-one thousand tons of shipping. The 
whole trade of our East India Company, before it 
was interfered with by the former, was about forty 
thousand tons. The free trade is, therefore, half 
as extensive again as this. There ought to be de- 
ducted from the Company's trade, however, twenty 
thousand tons employed in the trade to China, 
and then the result will be, that the free trade, 
in less than four years, has grown to three times 
the extent of what the East India Company's at- 
tained in two hundred and twenty years. 

Having rendered this ample account of the er- 
rors of our former policy, it is incumbent on me to 
offer a few suggestions respecting that which ought 
in future to guide us in our intercourse with the 
people of the Indian islands. Their condition in 
social improvement has been pointed out, — the com- 
modiousness of their commercial position has been 
shewn, — and the rich variety of their native produc- 
tions described. The commerce of these islands is 
not only of importance in itself, but as the high- 
way to the greatest nations of Asia passes inevit- 
ably through them, and as they are connected with 
these by the strongest of all ties among nations, 


their mutual wants, their usefulness to each other, 
and the fiicility of intercourse between them, Eu- 
ropean nations will be, most likely, through their 
means, to maintain an useful intercourse with 
the former, from a direct and free connection with 
whom they are at present excluded by insurmount- 
able barriers. The silent and unrestrained effects 
of the capital and enterprise of the European na- 
tions will probably, in time, if pennitted free 
scope, bring about this beneficial arrangement 
without much care on the part of a legislator, 
but it will not be out of place to offer such sug- 
gestions as may facilitate the way to it. With 
the poor, scattered, and semibarbarous nations of 
the Archipelago, naturally too unobservant of the 
principles of international law, it cannot be ex- 
pected that the distant and inexperienced trader 
of Europe should be able to conduct directly a com- 
merce either very extensive, secure, or agreeable. 
It will be necessary, both to his convenience and 
security, as well as to those of the native trader, 
that the intercourse between them should be con- 
ducted by an intermediate class in whom both can 
repose confidence. A colonial establishment be- 
comes the only means of effecting this object. In- 
numerable islands of the vast Archipelago are still 
unappropriated, and to colonize them is, therefore, 
not only consistent with natural justice, but, in the 
existing state of the European world, might almost 

Q64> commeuce with 

be urged as a moral duty. In selecting fit situa- 
tions for such colonies there is ample room for 
choice, many of the islands containing commodious 
harbours, and fertile lands, while they are situated 
in the direct route of the intercourse between the 
most civilized tribes of the Archipelago itself, as 
well as in the tracts of the navigation between the 
great nations of the east and west. The most ci- 
vilized and commercial tribes of the Archipelago 
are situated towards the western part of it, and 
the principal avenues, as well as great thorough- 
fares, are also in this quarter. Perhaps the most 
happy situation for an European colony in this di- 
rection is the island of Banca, which has fine har- 
bours and an extensive territory, occupied only by 
a few straggling mountaineers, of peaceable and 
inoffensive character. The strait which divides it 
from Sumatra is the safest and best route for the 
trade of all the western world, with the principal 
parts of the Archipelago itself, and with every 
country lying to the north or east of it from Siam 
to Japan, all of which are only conveniently acces- 
sible through it. In the navigation from the coun- 
tries on the shores of the Bay of Bengal through 
the Straits of Malacca to the same countries it is 
scarcely out of the way. In a word, taking all its 
advantages into consideration, it may safely be pre- 
dicted, that the European colony of a commercial 
people, formed under favourable auspices, in Banca, 


would be attended with a more rapid prosperity 
than ever was known before in the whole history 
of colonization. 

Situations of minor advantage may be pointed 
out in various places of this portion of the Archi- 
pelago. Penaug is one of these ; and another 
much superior to it is the island of Sincapoor, cor- 
rectly written Singahpura, * lately selected, with 
much judgment, by Sir Stamford Raffles, and situ- 
ated at the eastern entrance of the great Straits of 
Malacca, the second in point of importance of the 
grand avenues to the Archipelago. The natural 
advantages of this neighbourhood are such that they 
could not escape the natives of the country them- 
selves in the course of ages. It was here that the 
first Malayan colony from Sumatra was formed ; 
and it was here, again, that the same people fixed 
themselves after they were driven, by the usurpa- 
tion of the Portuguese, from Malacca. An in- 
spection of the map will suggest many other favour- 
able positions for similar establishments in the 
centre and eastern extremity of the Archipelago ; 
but, to specify any in particular, would require a 
knowledge of local circumstances too minute and 
technical for my experience or knowledge. In 
general, it may be said, that they ought to be 

• A Sanskrit compound Word, mcaiunj^ " the city of tliu 
lion ;" or " the warlike city." 

QG6 commerce with 

situated in such places as the Straits of Ma- 
cassar, the northern coast of Borneo, and the 
Country of spices. The Dutch ah-eady possess 
establishments in the latter, and it is only neces- 
saiy to declare a free trade, establish a tolerably li- 
beral administration, and relieve the neighbouring 
islands from the fetters which shackle their indus- 
try, to insure their immediate advancement to 
prosperity. The European establishments in Java, 
with the distinguished fertility of that island above 
all the other countries of the Archipelago, will 
always insure to it a pre-eminence, and render it 
the favourite and principal resort of the distant 
trader of Europe. 

The situation of the countries of the Indian 
Archipelago is naturally so favourable to the set- 
tlement of foreigners of all descriptions, that hard- 
ly an establishment was ever formed by them that 
did not flourish in a remarkable degree as long as 
any share of prudence or good government was 
maintained in it. The indigenous civilization of 
the country, indeed, has not been formed on the 
sea-coasts, or through the medium of commerce, 
but wherever the improved agricultural nations of 
the interior have been moved to emigrate, and 
form commercial establishments on the coasts, these 
have been sure to be attended with success. We 
may quote for this the examples of ancient Malac- 
ca, a colony of the Malays of the interior of Suma- 


tra, Palembang, a colony of the Javanese of the in- 
terior of Java^ with Baiijarmassin, a colony of the 
same people. 

The effects of the influence of Asiatic strangers, 
more civilized than the natives, is exemplified 
wherever the Arabs, the most enterprising of all 
Asiatic people, have attained political influence. 
The remarkable prosperity of Bantam, Achin, 
Macassar, and Pontianak, occur to us as signal 
examples. To insure a large share of success in 
such cases, it seems that no more was necessary than 
the bare establishment of such a degree of regular 
government, however arbitrary in itself, as would 
insure a moderate share of security to person and 

If such prosperity accompanied the rude institu- 
tions of Asiatic nations, what a degree of it might 
not be looked for under the auspices of those of 
Europe ? From the nature of the policy pursued 
by the European nations, we are deprived, in- 
deed, of any flattering examples of it j but the 
partial success which has attended several Eu- 
ropean establishments, amidst all the vices of 
their administration, will be sufficient for our 
purpose. Malacca, where the Portuguese traded 
freely, and colonized without restriction, was pro- 
bably, during their dominion, though surrounded 
by enemies and the almost perpetual scene of warfare 
and anarchy, the most flourishing city which ever 
existed in the Archipelago, liatavia, the only set- 


dement of the Dutch where there was a semblance 
of free trade, became, by means of it, a great 
and flourishing city, while every other establish- 
ment belonging to Holland was ruined by being 
deprived of it. Manilla affords another example, 
so that we may see that the worst governments of 
Europe are superior to the best governments of Asia, 
when they only forbear from interrupting the na- 
tural effects of European institutions, and the usual 
course of commerce and colonization, by vain at- 
tempts at regulation. Perhaps the proudest ex- 
ample of the success of European establishments, 
formed in the Archipelago, is that of the little 
settlement of Penang, or Prince of Wales Island, 
already quoted. This is a small spot of barren 
soil, having a good harbour, but too far to the 
west, or, in other words, too remote from the most 
populous and productive parts of the Archipelago, 
and entirely out of the way of the easiest and safest 
avenue, the Straits of Sunda. It was found with- 
out people, yet such was its rapid prosperity, that 
in twenty years it contained as many thousand 
inhabitants, and if, in the latter period of its his- 
tory, it had not been managed injudiciously, and 
the principles on which it was founded abandoned, 
its success might have gone on in the same ratio 
for many years. 

With respect to the administration of such a 
colony, as now projected, a few general hints only 
can be given. There ought to exist the most un- 



bounded freedom of commerce and settlement to 
persons of all nations and religions. It need hard- 
ly be insisted, that the latter implies a right of pri- 
vate property in the soil, so unjustly and absurdly 
withheld from our countrymen in India, for with- 
out it the settlers would be no better than disreputa- 
ble vagrants, having no attachment to the land, nor 
to the government that afforded them protection. 
To establish, in all respects, a free government on a 
representative system, will be found, perhaps, im- 
practicable with the motley population, * of which 
such a colony would consist. To a representative 
body, however, the right of imposing taxes must 
be left, and, if the representatives are chosen alike 
from all the classes of inhabitants — if the elective 
franchise be confined to those who, by long resi- 
dence, have acquired the right of naturalization, 
and to persons of considerable estate, no danger 
from turbulence or anarchy can be apprehended. 
A pure and impartial administration of a code of 
laws suited to the state of such a colony, and adapt- 
ed to the peculiar character of its varied population, 
will form the most important branch of its admi- 

With respect to the duty of the chief magistrate. 

* At Pcnang, it is reckoned that tlicre are twenty- two lan- 
guages spoken, and at Batavia tliere are many more. 


I need hardly insist upon a political maxim so 
well understood, as that the less he meddles in 
the internal details of the affairs of the colony, and 
the more those details are committed to the intel- 
ligence and interests of those who are chiefly con- 
cerned, the better chance there will be of their be- 
ing well conducted. His principal and most im- 
portant occupation will consist in maintaining the 
foreign relations of the colony. No control 
ought to be attempted over the independent 
governments of the neighbourhood, but a friend- 
ly and equal correspondence maintained with 
them. Above all things, the imposition of treaties 
requiring exclusive privileges, or exemption from 
duties, ought to be avoided. It is evident, that 
th6 greater the revenue that a native sovereign 
derives from his intercourse with strangers, the 
stronger will be his motives to protect their com- 
merce, and encourage their resort to his country. 
An European merchant, trading more cheaply 
than an Asiatic one, ought not to grudge paying 
the same duties. Besides, to the bigoted nations 
of Asia, innovations of all kinds are odious, and of 
themselves quite enough to excite distrust. The 
most suspicious of all innovations are those which 
trench, or seem to trench, on the personal interests 
or prerogatives of the sovereign. 

In such a magistrate, a thorough knowledge of 
the customs, usages, and institutions of the sur- 


rounding natives, with a knowledge of the language 
principally used in their intercourse, would be in- 
dispensable. The reputation of these acquirements, 
with a character for justice and integrity, are sure 
to attach the natives of the Indian islands to a sur- 
prising degree. Persons of high rank in possession 
of these qualities acquire over the native mind an 
unbounded sway, and there is hardly any limit, in- 
deed, to the confidence they repose in them. 

A moderate impost upon external commerce, 
which that commerce, well protected, should cer- 
tainly afford, with the sale of public lands, and an 
excise on objects of vicious luxury, would afford a 
sufficient revenue to defray the expences of go- 
vernment, and the charge of public works. 

I shall conclude this sketch with a short enu- 
meration of some of the benefits which would be 
derived from such establishments. They would na- 
turally become great emporia. The native trader 
would find them the best and safest market to 
repair to, and the scattered productions of the 
Archipelago would be accumulated and stored 
at them in quantity for the convenience of the 
distant and inexperienced trader of Europe. The 
European voyager would find them also the best 
market for his goods ; and the sacrifice of a large 
nominal profit would be compensated by the ex- 
pedition with which his business would be dis- 
patched, and by his immunity from those risks. 


dangers, and delays, into which his inexperience 
must necessarily commit him in a direct inter- 
course witli the natives. It is sufficiently evident, 
in short, that, in this manner, a more agreeable, ex- 
tensive, and beneficial intercourse to all the parties 
concerned would be conducted, than in any other. 
More important and dignified objects, though per- 
haps more remote ones, would be gained by the pre- 
sence of such colonies in the midst of a native and 
docile population. By means of them the arts, in- 
stitutions, morals, and integrity of Europe, might 
in time be communicated to the natives of these 
distant regions, while they might contribute still 
earlier to give occupation to the population of 
those parts of the European world which are ac- 
knowledged to require new objects of employment. 
In the unappropriated lands of the Indian Islands, 
there is abundant room for the colonization of the 
European race ; and unlike the desert Promontory 
of Africa, or the superior, but isolated and distant 
Continent of Australasia, they would find abund- 
ant objects to engage their industry. The exam- 
ple of the vigorous race of genuine European 
blood, bred in the hot plains of South America, 
under the very line, would seem satisfactorily to 
prove, that the long entertained notion that the 
European race undergoes, from the mere eflPect of 
climate, a physical degetieracy when transported to 
the native countries of the black or copper-colour- 


ed races, is no better than a prejudice. The dif- 
ferent races of men appear to preserve their dis- 
tinctions wholly independent of climate. In hot 
countries, the first settlers feel, indeed, the incon- 
veniences of heat, but the constitution of their de- 
scendants immediately adapts itself to the climate 
which they are born to inhabit. Were it other- 
wise, the extensive table lands and mountain tracts 
of the great islands, elevated at 5000 and 6000 feet 
above the level of the sea, would afford a tempera- 
ture cold enouo-h even for an inhabitant of north- 


ern Europe. * 

After this sketch of what appears the most ma- 
terial and expedient method of extending the in- 

* "In climates very warm, and at the same time very dry, 
the human species enjoys a longevity perhaps greater than 
what we observe in the temperate zones. This is especially 
the case whenever the temperature and climate are neces- 
sarily variable. The Europeans, who transport themselves 
at an age somewhat advanced into the equinoctial part of 
the Spanish colonies, attain there, for the most part, to a 
great and happy old age. At Vera Cruz, in the midst of 
the epidemical black vomitings, the natives, and strangers 
seasoned for several years to the climate, enjoy the most 
perfect health." — Political Essajj on Nerv Spain, Vol. I. — In 
another of his works, Baron Humboldt tells us that there 
are in the hot plains of America, near the equator, men of 
the genuine European race, who are as athletic as the pea- 
santry of Spain, and perform all sorts of field labour in the 
sun without inconvenience. 



tercourse between European nations, the inhabit- 
ants of the Indian Islands, and the nations iu 
their neighbourhood, I shall furnish a general 
picture of the character of the commercial ex- 
changes which must take place between them in 
an unrestricted intercourse. The Indian Islands 
present to us an immense country, more easy of 
access to the merchant und navigator than any 
other portion of the globe, owing to the tranquil- 
lity of the seas which surround them, that, like so 
many canals, or great navigable rivers, throw the com- 
munication open, and render it easy from one extre- 
mity to another. This great advantage peculiarly 
distinguishes them from the continuous territory of 
the Continent of Africa, from a great part of that 
of Asia, and from some of that of America. At 
the same time, as many of the islands are of vast 
extent, the whole region is exempt from that cha- 
racter of sterility to which islands of small size 
within the tropics are naturally liable from the ab- 
sence of considerable rivers, indispensable to ferti- 
lity in those climates, All the great islands con- 
tain navigable rivers, and many of them extensive 
inlets and bays, or fine harbours. In a commer- 
cial point of view, the immediate neighbourhood 
of the Indian Islands to the greatest nations of Asia 
is one of their most prominent characteristics. With 
respect to fertility of soil, they are eminent. Their 
mineral and animal productions are various, rich, 



and extensive. They afford in luxuriance the ve- 
getable productions common to other tropical cli- 
mates, and some which are peculiarly their own, 
and whicli refuse to grow in cheapness or perfec- 
tion any where else. It is, at the same time, to 
be remarked of these last, and it is a singular coin- 
cidence, that they have been, and still are, in more 
universal request among men, in every rank of 
social improvement above that of mere savages, 
than the productions of any other portion of the 
globe. * 

Of this vast region of the earth it is but a small 
portion that is yet inhabited. By far the greater 
portion of the land, perhaps even of the good land, 
is still unoccupied, uncultivated, and unappropri- 
ated. There is, in fact, still room for an immense 
population. Among the various inhabitants of 
which it consists, there is a wide difference in 
point of industry. A few are roaming about their 
forests, as useless, as unproductive, and perhaps 

* It is to the productions of these islands that Dr Robert- 
son chiefly alludes, when he observes, " Some of these are 
deemed necessary, not only to the comfort, but to the pre- 
servation of life, and others contribute to its elegance and 
pleasure. They are so various as to suit the taste of man- 
kind in every climate, and in different stages of improve- 
ment ; and are in high request among the rude nations of 
Africa, as well as the more luxurious inhabitants of Asia." 
Disquiiition concerning Ancient India, p. liT- 



more mischievous, than the beasts of prey that 
wander along with them ; but by far the greater 
number have made a respectable progress in social 
order, tamed the useful animals, applied them- 
selves successfully to agriculture, to fisheries, to 
navigation, and even to mining. The produc- 
tions of industry have been, besides, increased 
by the labour and by the example of the crowd 
of foreigners who settle or sojourn among them. 
In such a social state, and in such a relation of the 
population to the land, manufacturing industry, in 
the sense in which it is applied in modern Europe, 
meaning the capacity in which a people possessed 
of a numerous population, a great capital, and high 
improvement in machinery, is placed to afford its 
less civilized neighbours manufactured produce in 
exchange for the rough produce of their soil, is, of 
course, out of the question. The Indian Islanders, 
blessed with an abundance of fertile soil, which 
cannot be exhausted for ages, will be for an inde- 
finite time in a condition to supply the more civi- 
lized world with its cheap and various produce, 
and necessarily in a condition to pay for the ma- 
nufactured necessaries or luxuries of the latter. 
The value and extent of the intercourse between 
them will increase, it is almost superfluous to in- 
sist, in the proportion in which freedom and good 
government will enable them to exchange their re- 
spective productions, at the smallest cost, and in 


the greatest abundance, — a maxim too trite and 
obvious to be here dwelt upon, had it not, in all 
periods of our intercourse with these countries, 
been either notoriously neglected, or rather had it 
not been acted in direct opposition to. 

Such is the commercial character of the country, 
and the people with whom the European mer- 
chant has to deal. The character of the particu- 
lar commodities to be exchanged between Europe 
and the Indian Islands will be afterwards fully de- 
scribed in the chapters on the Export and Import 
Productions, and any remarks upon them at present 
will be superfluous; but some general observations 
on the economy and equipment of the European 
voyage may be of utility, and with these I shall 
close this chapter. 

The most convenient size for a ship trading 
direct between India and Europe is from 400 
to 450 tons burden. Ships of these dimensions 
are as safe sea-boats as much smaller ones, more 
cheaply navigated in proportion to the freight they 
will carry, and do not draw too much water, to 
load and discharge with facility at the principal 
ports of India. They are far safer than merchant- 
men of greater burden, which are liable to the 
serious objection, besides, of being excluded from 
many of the rivers of India, or at least of deli- 
vering and taking in cargoes with cheapness and 
facility, which is the same thing. From the begin- 


ning of the free trade, to the end of 1819, there 
have sailed from the port of Liverpool 120 ships 
for various ports of India, the average burdens 
of which have been no more than 430 tons. The 
averasie tonnao;e of the American traders to China, 


where large ships have been supposed particularly- 
necessary, is under 400 tons. A ship sailing from 
England to any port of India is well manned with 
a crew at the mte of seven men to 103 tons. The 
American traders have seldom so many as six. 
They at-e as secure eitlier for the purpose of navi- 
gation or defence with such a complement, as if a 
large portion of their tonnage were crowded by a 
parade of military preparation, which it is not in 
the nature of things they should be able to use 
with effect against an Eui'opean enemy, and which 
are superfluous against' a native 6ne. When the 
India trade has assumed a more regular form, and 
our seamen have acquired the necessary experience 
of the navigation, it is likely that the Batavia 
voyage out and home will not exceed 300 days, the 
Bombay voyage 3^0, and the Bengal and China 
voyages each 36.5 days, or a year. Notwithstand- 
ing the many delays occasioned by want of cargoes, 
and some by the voyages performed in India from 
port to port, the average of 96 voyages, performed 
from Liverpool, has not exceeded for Batavia 308 
days, for Bombay 379 days, and for Calcutta 410 
days. Such is the safety with which these voyages 


have been performed, that, out of 97 ships, one 
only has been lost. As to touching at interme- 
diate ports, the expedition with which the voyages 
are at present performed, and the skill with which 
the health of the crews is managed, renders this 
unnecessary. In the outward bound voyage, there 
is indeed no port in the direct tract. In the re- 
turning voyage St Helena is so, and the Cape of 
Good Hope has been considered so. It is, how- 
ever, very absurd to consider the latter as a half- 
way station or house, as it has been called. Therc 
is no going into Table-bay, or any other of the 
dangerous road-steads of the Cape, (harbour it has 
none,) without infringing greatly upon the expedi- 
tion of the voyage, and adding to its risks. No 
American or free trader ever goes near it, unless oc- 
casionally to supply that necessitous colony with the 
necessaries of life. St Helena is in the direct 
route home, and it may be occasionally found con- 
venient to touch at it for a little fresh water. 

The cheapness with which the Indian voyages 
have been performed, has verified the boldest spe- 
culations in favour of free trade. It is now consider- 
ed that the freight of the most distant Indian voy- 
age will never exceed L. 10 a ton of 50 cubic feet. 
They have indeed been of late a great deal lower, 
but that sum, it is considered, will afford the ship- 
owner always a reasonable profit. We may there- 
fore reckon L. 10 a ton the legitimate freight from 


this country to Bengal, and also to China, which 
is a voyage that does not take more time ; about 
L. 9 to Bombay, and probably about L. 8 to Bata- 
via, or any other port to the western extremity of 
the Indian Archipelago. The voyage to the more 
eastern portions of it, should a free trade be open- 
ed with them, will probably be as expensive as that 
to Bengal or to China. 

It will be instructive to compare these results of 
the free trade with the system on which the East 
India Companies have conducted their commerce. 
In the earlier and more successful periods of their 
trade, they employed ships of small size like other 
merchants, but in the progress of the monopoly 
system, they increased the size of their shipping, 
and thus added to their expence and risk. The 
ordinary sizes of our East Indiamen are 800 and 
1200 tons, a class of shipping which cannot, 
in the nature of things, be built proportionably 
as strong as smaller vessels, and to which the 
greater number of the Indian rivers are inaccessi- 
ble, from the depth of water they draw. 

Wlienever exclusive privileges are conferred up- 
on a trade, and the wholesome correctives of indi- 
vidual interest and intelligence are removed from 
its direction, the abuse of constructing such huge 
and unmanageable vessels seems almost inevitably 
to creep in, perhaps from pure ostentation, a pas- 
sion to which the private merchant can aiFord to 


make no sacrifices. The Portuguese went the 
length of building ships of I6OO tons, the enor- 
mous caracks of which so many suffered ship- 
wreck. The Dutch went nearly as far, and the 
result was the same. It is probably to the same 
principle we are to ascribe the enormous, awkward, 
and barbarous junks of the Chinese Hongs or se- 
curity merchants, and w^hich are of a kind un- 
known to the private merchants even of that coun- 
try. * It has been stated that the trade to China 
is conducted with peculiar advantage in ships of 
1200 tons burden, from the smailness of the du- 
ties which such ships pay, compared to vessels of 
less size ; but this argument will be found, on ex- 
amination, as unsubstantial as many others which 
have been vaguely advanced in favour of the same 
principles. The duties paid in China on ships of 
any description are extremely trifling, and cannot 
weigh for a moment against more material consi- 
derations. The duties on a vessel of 1200 tons, 
under the designation of port-charges, (Mjushaxcy 
or present, &;c. amount to about 27s. a ton, and on 

• Captain Sari's picturi^ of a royal junk at Japan conveys 
a very just notion of this class of shipping. " There lay in 
a docke a juncke of eiglit hundred or a thousand tunnes of 
burthen, sheathed all. with yron, with a guard appointed to 
keep her from firing and treachery. She was built in a very 
homely fashion, much like that which describcth Noali's 
Arkc into us." — Purckas, Dook III, Vol. I. 


a vessel of 400 tons to about 50s. 6cl. The difference 
on '23s. 6d. is just within a shilling of the difference 
between the port-charges of London and Liver- 
pool, in favour of the latter. This, on the export 
or import cargo of a vessel of 400 tons, worth pro- 
bably in all not less than L. 80,000, will amount 
to a fraction of about three-fifths per cent. The 
Americans, who can afford to build the cheapest 
blocks in the world, and who have, from the nature 
of their country, the greatest command of large 
timber, have never thousrht of buildino; for their 
China trade vessels of I'^^OO tons burthen ; and, 
as has been already stated, carry on their success- 
ful commerce, after an experience of ei6 years, in 
ships of less than one third these dimensions. 

A free trader is well manned, as stated already, 
with seven men to a ton ; the East India Com- 
pany's ships require between twelve and thirteen ; 
and allowing for the difference of wages, are navi- 
gated for much more than double the charge. The 
East India Company's ships take at least 420 days 
to make a voyage to Bombay, and 480 to Bengal or 
to China. * An American trader to China usual- 

* The China sliips, in fact, make no more than one voy- 
age in iivo T/cara, for they must he useless in the Thames 
while they are not in the actual performance of their voy- 
age. An American ship will make two voyages in the same 


ly completes her voyage in about 350 days, or 130 
days less than one of the Company's ships. 

The consequence of these accumulated causes of 
expence are enormous freights. The East India 
Company's regular ships have been seldom freight- 
ed, during peace, for many years, under L. 25 per 
ton, or 75 per cent, higher than the market rate of 
freights ; and at the present moment are actually at 
about that rate, and cannot be sailed under it. In 
time of war, the Company's freights have very com- 
monly been as high as L. 40. It is remarkable, that, 
while in the progress of improvement, the charge 
of the produce of every species of manufacturing 
industry has fallen, the expences of the East India 
Company's shipping have increased, as if we were 
relapsing into barbarism. A hundred and eighty 
years ago, when the interest of money in England 
was as high as 8 per cent, and they were harassed 
by the hostility of the Dutch, their own shipping 
cost them but L. 31 per ton. A private merchant 
offered them in 1640, tonnage at the rate of L. 25, 
and this vessel, it is singular enough, made the 
quickest voyage that had hitherto been known, ef- 
fecting a direct passage and back again in eleven 

An intercourse, conducted as that of the East In- 
dia Company is, it is but too plain, must be conduct- 
ed, not to the benefit, but to the cost of a nation. 
This will appear still more clearly by slicwing what 


the difference of freif^ht between the legitimate rates 
and those of the India Company occasions in the 
price of some of the staple articles of commerce. 
The difference between the Company's freight to 
Bengal, or to China, which is the same thing, of 
L. 25, and the fair rate of the market of L. 10, is 
L. 15, which, on a ton of sugar, costing at an ave- 
rage L. 37, lis. 3d., occasions an advance in its 
cost of 31 percent. Supposing the Company's 
rate of freights to Bombay to be L. 22, 10s., and 
the rate of free trade L. 9, the difference on a ton 
of cotton, or 1550 lb. costing L. 52, 10s., will oc- 
casion an advance of 22 per cent. Preserving the 
same proportions, the freight of the Company to 
Batavia will be L. 20, that of the free trader L. 8. 
The difference will enhance the price of a ton of 
pepper, or 1792 1b. costing L.27, 10s., by 84, 
per cent. The free trader, therefore, can afford 
to sell sugar 31 1 per cent., cotton 22 per cent., 
and pepper Si per cent, cheaper than the India 
Company. There is, in fact, not a merchant in 
Britain that would not be happy to risk his capital 
in an Indian voyage, for the chance of profits equal 
to the simple difference between the legitimate 
freisrht and the exorbitant one of our Indian mono- 
poly. That difference, moreover, is uselessly dis- 
sipated, — is so much of the national capital wasted 
to no purpose. 


The India voyage, as the greater part of it is per- 
formed within the tropics, — as it has the advantage 
of the trade winds, monsoons, and open seas, is, for 
its extent, with the exception of that across the Great 
Pacific Ocean, the safest in the world. Insurances 
are now made in the free trade for the whole voy- 
age out and home, at the rate of ^!j per cent, 
which is an incontestible proof of it. Notwith- 
standing this, and that the East India Company's 
officers are perhaps the best practical navigators in 
the world, from the impossibility of combining 
military and commercial pui-poses, as attempted in 
our Indiamen, there have been more losses by 
shipwreck with them, than perhaps with any other 
class of merchantmen whatever. In the years 1808 
and 1809, there were totally lost 9000 tons of their 
shipping, of which between 5000 and 6000 foun- 
dered off the Cape of Good Hope, when their 
whole crews perished. None of these ships were 
lost in the Typhoons of the China Seas. No Ame- 
rican merchantmen were lost at the same time 
under the same circumstances as our Indiamen, 
although navigating the same seas, and in greater 
numbers. The Dutch, as their ships were less 
skilfully navigated than ours, and as, in point of 
construction and equipment, they were still more 
faulty, suffered still more severely. In the year 
1723, at the very height of their power, they lost 
fourteen great vessels by shipwreck. 


As a nursery of seamen for a military navy, the 
East India trade will be found to stand high. 
jFrom the great lengtli of the voyage, and tlie con- 
sequent certainty of employment, seamen's wages 
are necessarily lower in it than in any other ; and 
there is an opportunity, therefore, of making a bet- 
ter selection. The same length of voyage necessa- 
rily creates a degree of skill in the common seamen, 
and of knowledge and intelligence in the officers 
and commanders, which are not to be expected in 
the more narrow experience of shorter adventures. 
This has certainly not hitherto been the result of 
the trade of our monopoly companies, to the degree 
it ought. To say that they employ two hands 
where one would have done the business, will cer- 
tainly not be admitted by any one acquainted with 
the obvious principles of economical science, to be 
a means of farthering the national prosperity and 
the public resources. What would be pronounced 
of the judgment or public spirit of a manufacturer, 
who, in these days, should argue the superiority 
of his machinery over that of his neighbours, 
because it required a hundred men to work it in- 
stead of fifty ? He would soon be brought to his 
sober senses by the competition of his countrymen, 
unless he could prevail upon the legislature to re- 
ward his patriotisQi by a patent, which would en- 
able him to make a profitable trade of it, by charg- 
ing a double price for his commodities. The argu- 


ment of the monopoly companies is a precisely pa- 
rallel case to this. There can exist no effectual 
means of creating resources for a commercial navy 
without a dissipation of the funds which support 
public industry, but such as have a tendency to 
extend the employment of capital in its natural 
channels. But the free employment of capital is 
sure to effect tliis ; and, if we wanted proofs of so 
inevitable a i esult, we have it already, as far as con- 
cerns our present subject, on comparing the number 
of seamen employed by the East India Company 
and by the free trade. The 20,000 tons of shipping 
of the former would give employment only to 2550 
men ; but the 6l ,000 of the latter to 4270. This 
must be considered as conclusive. 

A stranger, examining our policy in regard to 
our commercial intercourse with the East, would 
be extremely apt, at first view, and without being 
aware of the almost insuperable obstacles which 
the growth of great abuses influencing our prac- 
tice and opinions, and even overawing the legisla- 
ture itself, have created, to pronounce, that our 
great object was to embarrass it, — to confer a mo- 
nopoly of it upon our poorer rivals, less capable 
than ourselves of conducting it, — and, in short, to 
proscribe it as a commerce detrimental to the na- 
tional interests, and rather to be tolerated as an un- 
avoidable nuisance than fostered as a national be- 


nefit. We do not, indeed, avow these to be our ex- 
press motives, but the effects are virtually the very 
same as if we did. While other nations are enact- 
ing laws for the direct encouragement of an Indian 
trade, the tendency of all ours that relate to it is 
to restrict it, and every step towards its enlarge- 
ment seems conceded by the legislature with as 
much reluctance as if its patriotism was en- 
gaged in stemming the invasion of some great 
moral or physical evil making incursions upon 
the state. W^e are, notwithstanding this, the na- 
tion fittest of all others for engaging in the trade, 
and this is the moment of all others when a free 
intercourse with India is most necessary to us. 
The people naturally and necessarily fittest to 
undertake the most distant and difficult of all 
commercial enterprises, the Indian commerce, is 
that nation, which, by the superiority of its ma- 
ritime skill, and the extent of its capital, can con- 
duct them most cheaply, can afford to give the best 
prices to the people of India for their commodities, 
and sell them at the lowest price to the people of 
Europe. None of the maritime states of the Conti- 
nent of Europe are at present in a condition to en- 
o-a^e in the commerce of the Indies, and it is, in- 
deed, making a doubtful exception in favour of Hol- 
land, probably never were in a condition to carry 
on any thing better than a small traffic in luxuries. 


That they are not at present, at least, ripe for the 
Indian trade, is sufficiently evinced from the exam- 
ple of Holland. Although possessed of the finest co- 
lonics in India, and although her national shipping 
be encouraged by large protecting duties on foreign 
vessels, still the free traders of Britain, and the Ame- 
ricans, conduct almost the whole intercourse between 
the mother country and these colonies. In the 
China trade, although the teas imported into Hol- 
land by Americans pay double duties, still scarce- 
ly a ton of Dutch shipping is engaged in the Chinese 
trade ; and Holland, as well, indeed, as almost all 
continental Europe, is supplied with tea, the great- 
est article of the commerce of India, by the Ameri- 
cans. I think it highly probable, indeed, that the 
Americans themselves, with their inadequate ca- 
pital, would scarcely have adventured, or, at least, 
adventured to any extent, in the India trade, had 
not the exclusion from it of the free capital of this 
country acted as a powerful bounty to induce them. 
They are now, however, in fair possession of by far 
the most valuable part of it, and as they are the 
only people that stand any chance with us, it will 
be matter of instruction to institute a short com- 
parison into our respective capacities of conducting 
it in a state of free trade on both sides, and in a 
fair and amicable competition. The block of an 
American ship is cheaper than that of an English 
vessel, at the first cost ; but this is compensated by 



the superior durability of an English vessel. The 
American ship is a faster sailer, and will make a 
more expeditious voyage ; but this is perhaps more 
than compensated by the greater cargo which an 
English vessel will cari*y ; for the first will take 
no more cargo than she is actually rated at, or 
what is expressed by her carpenter's measurement, 
but the latter about one-third more. An Ameri- 
can merchantman, from being more easily navi- 
gated, will require no more than six hands to 100 
tons ; whereas an English merchantman will re- 
quire an additional hand, or seven. An American 
ship is more cheaply provisioned, because the ne- 
cessaries of life are cheaper in America than in 
England, and because an American is, perhaps, 
somewhat more abstemious than an Englishman. 
This is again compensated by the lower rates of 
wages paid to English seamen. An American 
able seaman receives 45s. a month ; an English sea- 
man 3.5s. or 22 per cent. less. In all these parti- 
culars, the advantages are pretty nearly balanced ; 
in all other matters, the advantage is on the side 
of Britain. An American ship-owner cannot af- 
ford to freight his ship under L. 12 a ton to Ben- 
gal or China ; an English ship makes a saving 
freight at L. 2 less. The British merchant trades 
on a capital borrowed at five per cent. ; the Ame- 
rican must pay six. It hence follows, that, if ten 
per cent, be a good moderate profit to the first, to 


insure the same rate to the last he must have 
12 per cent. The English merchant can, there- 
fore, afford to sell his goods two per cent, cheaper 
than the American merchant. The American 
merchantman sails to India in ballast, because none 
of the commodities of America are suited to the 
India market, and, therefore, the whole weight of 
freight falls on the homeward investment ; but the 
English merchantman carries out British manufac- 
tures, probably to the extent of one fourth of her 
tonnage, and the capitalist has in this manner the 
advantage of a double voyage. The advantages to 
be derived from combining intermediate or inter- 
colonial voyages with the direct voyage are strong- 
ly in favour of the British trader. The ports of 
the east coast of America are equally open to him 
as to the citizens of the United States, and so are 
the native ports of India, while in the latter he 
has the advantage of knowledge and experience. 
These almost assure to him the colonial trade in 
the staples of pepper, betel-nut, and tin. The bene- 
fits of a trade from one port of British India to 
another, or from these to a native port, are privi- 
leges which exclusively belong to the English 
trader. From this cause alone he can trade colo- 
nially in the two great staples of cotton and opium. 
In supplying the markets of continental Europe 
with Indian produce, the British trader has the 
convenience of his proximity. The distance be- 


tween the United States and India, and between 
Europe and the latter, are nearly the same ; but 
the American trader, although he may bring the 
commodities of India direct to Europe, must cross 
the Atlantic instead of the Channel or the North 
Sea, to refit and prepare for a new voyage. From 
these united causes, it seems almost certain, that, 
had the enterprise and capital of this country fair 
scope like that of other nations, the Continent of 
Europe would not, in a few years, receive an ounce 
of Indian produce through America. 



Colonial intercourse heliveen Indian Inlands and China.— ^ 
Betiveen Indian Islands and Japan. — Bekveen Indian 
Islands and West Coast of America. — Between Indian 
Islands and Western Nations of Asia. 

In this short chapter I shall furnish a very rapid 
sketch of the colonial intercourse with China, — 
of the Japan trade, which is purely a colonial one,— 
of the intercourse between the Indian Islands and 
the west coast of America, the celebrated galleon 
trade, a traffic of the same character, — and of that 
part of the country trade, as it is called, which has 
been commonly designated the Eastern or Malay 
trade. In the first period of the commerce of the 
monopoly companies with India, they conducted the 
trade from port to port as well as the direct trade. 
Their ships very generally touched, in the first 
place, at Surat, or some other port of Western In- 
dia, where they laid in investments of cotton goods, 
suited to the markets of the Archipelago. This, 
indeed, constituted the most valuable branch of 


trade in their outward-bound voyage. By the ac- 
counts given at this time of the capacity of differ- 
ent parts of the Indian Islands to purchase invest- 
ments of Indian commodities, compared to the 
present, we must be prepared to admit the morti- 
fying concUision, that the wealth and commerce ot 
those states has greatly declined since they were 
subjected to the control of Europeans. Two hun- 
dred years ago, our East India Company, when 
they had to compete in the same commodities with 
the Portuguese, the Dutch, and a crowd of Ara- 
bian, Persian, and Indian merchants, declare, that 
Bantam could take ol? yearly cotton goods to the 
extent of 60,000 rials. The "dhole imports of 
Bantam certainly do not at present amount to so 
much. They describe themselves as selling, under 
the same circumstances, 40,000 rials' worth at 
Macassar, now a port ruined by the monopoly ; and 
in the little cluster of the Banda Isles, at present 
containing a population of about 2000 inhabitants, 
mostly slaves, they could dispose of 50,000 rials' 
worth. The circumstances which contributed to 
ruin the industry of these places have been gene- 
rally described in the preceding parts of this work. 
The monopoly companies, from want of know- 
ledge, and finding the impossibility of exercising 
the same control over the colonial trade which their 
influence at home with their respective legislatures 
enabled them to exert over the direct trade, were 


soon necessitated to abandon it to their own ser- 
vants, and to the few Europeans who resided in 
India, by sufferance, under their authority. Hence 
the origin of what is termed " the country trade.*' 
The first branch of it, as far as my subject is con- 
cerned, is the intercourse with China. The most 
valuable branch of the trade of the Portug-uese was 
their colonial trade in India, and much of it was 
conducted by means of tlie commodities of the In- 
dian Islands. These greatly contributed especially 
to the lucrative trade which they carried on between 
China and Japan. The Dutch, from the illiberal 
character of the government which they establish- 
ed in the Archipelago, and from the peculiar ill 
fortune which attended most of their efforts to open 
a direct intercourse with China, never established a 
colonial intercourse of any value and extent with 
that great empire. Neither have the establish- 
ments of the English been founded on such prin- 
ciples, or carried to such an extent, as to give rise 
to an intercourse of sucli a beneficial or useful cha- 
racter as the peculiar suitableness of the two coun- 
tries for a commercial connection ought to have 
generated. Although the principal portion of 
the intercourse between the Dutch colonies and 
the Archipelago was always conducted by Chi- 
nese junks, still some traffic was also driven be- 
tween Batavia and Canton in colonial Dutch ves- 
sels ; and in this manner was brought much of the 


tea intended ultiuiatuly for the consumption of 
Europe. Tiie principal productions of the Arclii- 
pelago, which are now sent to China, are of great 
value compared to their bulk j and the same 
observation holds respecting those articles of the 
return cargoes for which there has been hither- 
to an effectual demand. When, under good go- 
vernment, the rude productions of the Archi- 
pelago are cheaply grown and cheaply convey- 
ed, its corn, raw cotton, and Imnber, will be add- 
ed to its present list of exportation, and, consti- 
tuting the staple articles, will give occasion to a 
great trade, similar to that which exists between 
Europe and America. From the vitious principles 
of all the European governments established in the 
Archipelago, so frequently dwelt upon, no capital 
has ever been created applicable to such a trade. 
Of the effect of these principles, we require no 
more decided proof than in the fact that raw cot- 
ton, which, in every tropical country having a good 
soil, has invariably become a staple of exportation, 
has never done so in the Indian islands, though 
possessed of a soil of eminent fertility; and al- 
though having, in China, a nearer and more con- 
venient market than can be paralleled in the case of 
any other tropical country. The more liberal go- 
vernments established by the British, in their con- 
tinental possessions, have long ago given rise to a 
capital there which is beneficially employed in the 
cotton trade to China, though these be so much more 



remote. This trade, much more extensive than 
that between China and Great Britain itself, 
constitutes by far the most valuable branch of the 
foreign trade of China. The shipping in which it 
is carried on frequently touch at the ports of the 
Archipelago ; and, in this manner, some of the 
productions of the latter are conveyed to China. 
The extensive trade of the Portug^uese from Ben- 
gal, which is, in fact, conducted with British capi- 
tal, protected by our laws, conveys, also, a consider- 
able share. The East India Company's ships going 
to China direct, being nearly empty, are still more 
available ; and a considerable part of the produc- 
tions of the islands, or, as they are technically de- 
nominated, " Straits produce,'* find their way to 
China in the private investments of the officers. 

The most considerable colonial trade carried on 
between the Indian islands and China at present is 
that from the Philippines. A number of colonial 
vessels, under Portuguese colours, constantly trade 
between Manilla and Macao, which is, in some re- 
spects, a Portuguese establishment. These supply 
the China market with the usual articles of the 
produce of the islands, and bring back supplies for 
the Philippines, and commodities for the more 
distant trade of South America. 

A sketch of the intercourse of Europeans with 
Japan is, unfortunately, more a matter of curiosi- 
ty than utility. Marco Polo mentions Japan under 


the name of Zipangii ; but it was not until the 
year 1.5i3, forty-five years after their arrival in 
India, that the Portuguese, from the accident of one 
of their ships trading to China being shipwrecked on 
its coasts, discovered it. * During forty-three years, 
they made incredible progress in propagating the 
r'hristian relio-ion, and carried on a most beneficial 
commerce with it. In the year 158G commenced 
the first persecution of Christianity. In the year 
1590, above 20,570 Christians are described as 
having suffered martyrdom. After some cessation 
the persecution was renewed in the year 1597« 
After this it seems to have ceased for forty years, 
until kindled in the year 1637, by the base and 
unmanly machinations of the Dutch, who took 
advantage of an . intercepted correspondence be- 
tween the Christians of Japan and their friends 
in Portugal to exclude their rivals from the 
empire. *' It was then," says Kempfer, *' that 
the empire of Japan was shut for ever both to 

* " The empire of Japan/' says Kempfer, " was then not 
3'et shut up, nor the princes or petty kings thereof kept to 
so strict an obedience and submission to their emperor as 
they now are. The Japanese were at liberty to travel with- 
in their own country and abroad whenever they pleased, w 
were called by their business or commerce. Foreign na- 
tions could then frequent the empire in vvhat manner they 
pleased, and put into what harbours they thought most ex- 
pedient." — Ilifto}-!/ of Japaii, Yo], I. p. 310. 


foreigners and natives. Thenceforward no foreign 
nation should have leave to come into the country, 
and none of the emperor's subjects to go abroad." 
Three circumstances may be stated as the causes 
v^diich led to this, the most singular and sur- 
jirising resolution that ever a people came to, and 
which the Japanese have pertinaciously abided by 
for 18^ years. The first of these was an import- 
ant change which, in the year 1585, after the Por- 
tuguese had been 42 years residing in the empire, 
took place in the form and character of the go- 
vernment itself. Before then the empire of Japan 
consisted of a confederation of princes, each of whom 
ruled within his own dominions, acknowledging 
the supremacy of the Dairi, or spiritual monarch, 
who executed his slender share in the govern- 
ment principally through the agency of the mi- 
litary chief of his army. This last office happen- 
ed to fall into the hands of a peasant, who had 
liaised himself by extraordinary talents to so emi- 
nent a station in a period of anarchy and turbu- 
lence. This was the celebrated Taikosama. He 
wrested the whole secular authority from the Dairi, 
and, subverting the authority of the inferior princes, 
made himself absolute monarch of the whole em- 
pire. It was in the prosecution of this last object 
that the Christians came in his way. Many of the 
inferior chiefs had embraced the religion of the 
Christians, — the priests of that worship were umbi- 


tious, and tlie dissemination of their doctrines ap- 
peared to Taikosama to raise an independent and 
dangerous authority within the state, hostile to the 
views he entertained of establishing a despotic au- 

The second of the circumstances alluded to, as 
giving occasion to the singular policy of locking up 
the empire, and exterminating Christianity, was 
the pride, ostentation, and intemperate zeal of the 
Catliolic priesthood, and the rapacity of the Por- 
tuguese and Spaniards of all ranks. The third cir- 
cumstance which contributed to that event, and which 
sealed the whole, was the artifices of the Dutch 
to subvert the power of the Portuguese, in hopes 
to establish their own. In the year 1638, the last 
remains of the Christians of Japan, amounting to 
40,000 in number, driven to despair by the per- 
secutions they had endured, rose in arms, and 
threw themselves into an old fortified place near 
Simabara. Here they were besieged, and the 
Dutch basely lent their aid by land and water for 
their destruction. The place, after a tedious siege, 
was taken, and 37,000 Christians put to death in 
one day. This is a brief abstract of the history of 
the Portuguese connection with Japan. During 
this connection of near a century, they certainly 
carried on a great commerce with it. This was 
conducted chiefly between Macao in China, and 
Firando and Nangasaki in Japan, and consist- 


ed in exchangirig the woollens, wines, and cu- 
riosities of Europe, the cottons of Cororaandel, the 
spices and drugs of the Archipelago, with the raw 
and wrought silks and other commodities of China, 
for the gold and silver of Japan, its lacquered 
ware, and its other curious manufactures. Kempfer 
states, that their annual export in gold amounted, 
according to the Dutch mode of reckoning, to 
SUO tons, which would make the enormous sum of 
two millions and a half Sterling. In the year 
16S6, after their religion was proscribed, they ex- 
ported, he tells us, in silver 2350 chests, amounting 
to'2,35O,00U tahils, which make L. 783,S3Si Ster- 
ling. In the follovving year they imported goods, 
and exported bullion to the value of ^,lV^,3d5 
tahils, or L. 71 "^j 121 5 Sterling; and in the year 
1638, the same in which the Christians were mas- 
sacred, and Christianity finally exterminated, their 
imports and exports still amounted to 1,259,023 
tahils, or L. 419,674'. Caron makes the amount of 
the Portuguese trade, one year v/ith another, nine 
hundred thousand pounds Sterling, or a million 
and a half of ducats. 

The ungenerous conduct of the Dutch towards 
their rivals was signallypunished in the sequel. The 
sacrifice of their religion and honour to their ava- 
rice brought themselves and the whole European 
race into the utmost discredit with the Japanese, 
while it effected the utter ruin of their com- 


merce. * That commerce was reduced, from one 
step to another, until it became what it now is, a 
mere pittance, unworthy of any consideration, ex- 
cept as it affords a mortifyin<r lesson of the inevita- 
ble consequences of what the unjust and illiberal 
character of our commercial policy with the Eastern 
nations is capable of bringing about. 

The active persecution against the Christians, it 

* Kerapfer, with honest indignation, observes, " By this 
submissive readiness to assist the emperor in the execution 
of his designs, with regard to the final destruction of Chris- 
tianity in his dominions, 'tis true, indeed, that we stood our 
ground so far as to maintain ourselves in the country, and 
to be permitted to carry on our trade, although the court 
had then some thoughts of a total exclusion of all foreigners 
whatever. But many generous and noble persons, at court 
and in the empire, judged quite otherwise of our conduct, 
and not too favourably for the credit we had thereby endea- 
voured to gain. It seemed to them inconsistent with reason, 
that the Dutch should ever be expected to be sincerely faith- 
ful to a foreign monarch, and one, too, whom they looked 
upon as a heathen prince, whilst they observed so much for- 
wardness to assist him in the destruction of a people with 
whom they otherwise agreed in the most essential parts of 
their faith, as the Japanese had been informed by the Por- 
tuguese and Manilhese fathers, and to sacrifice to their own 
worldly interests those who follow Christ the very same way, 
and enter the kingdom of heaven through the same gate, ex- 
pressions which I have often heard the natives make use of, 
when the conversation happened to turn on this subject." — 
Vol. I. p. 324 


will be obseiTed, had subsided between forty and 
fifty years, when the flame was rekindled by the 
artifices of the Dutch. But, for this circum- 
stance, it seems not improbable, that Christianity 
would, in Japan, as it. had done under the Ro- 
man Emperors, have risen superior to the perse- 
cutions it had undergone, and finally triumph- 
ed. It is impossible but the revolt of forty thou- 
sand of its subjects, instigated thereto by a foreign 
worship, should not, in a country long the victim 
of civil wars, have irritated and provoked a proud 
government to the utmost degree, and brought a 
political odium on all the followers of that worship.* 
The hostile spirit which actuated the government 
was evinced two years after the expulsion of the 
Portuguese, by the conduct pursued by the em- 
peror towards certain ambassadors sent to him by 
the Portuguese government of Macao. In viola- 
tion of the law of nations, which the Japanese 
had never before infringed in their intercourse 
with Europeans, he caused these ambassadors and 

* " Many reasons," says Kempfer, " contributed to make 
us suspected and hated at court, and occasioned, at last, the 
fatal change we underwent at this time ; but the profession 
■we made of the Christian reli;:;ion was one of the chief, the 
whole court being exasperated against it to the highest de- 
gree as a public nuisance, and the only cause of the ruin and 
destruction of so many thousands of the emperor's subjects." 
JJisi. of Japan, Vol. I. p. 356. 


their whole suit to be put to death, with the 
exception of a few mean persons, whose lives 
were saved to cai-ry back the accounts to Macao, 
and whom he charged with a message to the go- 
vernor of that place, couched in terms of barbaric 
pride and defiance. * The effects of this spirit 
were soon felt even by the Dutch themselves. 
Notwithstanding that the edicts against the Chris- 
tian religion were in force many years before their 
arrival in Japan, they were received hospitably, 
and without reserve, and traded freely and profit- 
ably for a period of thirty years. Hardly were the 
Portuguese expelled, when the Dutch were placed 
under restrictions. The very year in which they 
assisted in the destruction of the Christians they 
were themselves ordered to demolish their factory 
in Firando, because it was built of stone ! Three 
years had scarce elapsed when, in lG41, they were 
ordered to quit Firando, and were shut up in the 

* " Notice of their arrival and imprisonment having been 
immediately sent to court, the emperor, contrary to the livv 
of nations, sentenced them all to be beheaded, excepting 
twelve men of the lowest rank, who were to be sent back to 
Macao, to bring their countrymen the news of this unhappy 
success, along with a most proud and threatening message 
from the emperor, containing in substance, that, should the 
king of Portugal himself, nay, the very Ciod of the Chris- 
tians, presume to enter his dominions, he would serve iheni 
in the very same manner." — Hiatorij of Japnit, Vol. I. p. 320. 


prison of Deslma at Nangasaki, where they have 
since continued. The Dutch, in this imprison- 
ment, were still able to sell as great and purchase 
as large a quantity of goods as they thought pro- 
per, and there yet existed no restriction in regard 
to the nature either of the import or export car- 
gos^ It was in 1672, after an interval of about 
thirty years more, that the trade was virtually ruin- 
ed ; since which, properly speaking, it has never 
been a national object. The governor of Nanga- 
saki, the state jailor of the Dutch factory, now took 
it upon himself to fix a maximum upon their whole 
import cargos, and to sell them without their know- 
ledge, leaving with them only the alternative of 
re-exporting them. The Dutch governor-gene- 
ral, Von ImhofF, in his Memoir on the Trade of 
Japan, considers that this new insult offered to 
the Dutch had its origin in the contempt which 
the Japanese felt for them, in consequence of the 
disgraceful manner in which they had lost, a few 
years before, the neighbouring island of Formosa, 
certainly the most valuable tropical colony, from its 
natural capabilities, which an European people ever 
possessed, and the vicinity of which, in a military 
point of view, could always, in the hands of a spirit- 
ed people, overawe the two great empires on each 
side of it. After the trade had gone on for twelve or 
thirteen years on this footing, a remonstrance on 
the part of the Dutch effected a change in it, but a 

VOL. III. u 


change which reduced it to a more unfiivourable 
condition than ever. In l685, the quantity of 
goods which they w^ere allowed to import was re- 
stricted to 300,000 tahils, or L. 10.), 000 Sterling. 
In the year 1685, the exportation of copper was li- 
mited to 25,000 piculs. In the year 1710, the 
number of ships, before unlimited, and which usu- 
ally amounted to six or seven, was limited to four. 
In lyi'J'j the exportation of copper was limited to 
15,000 piculs, and finally, in 17^3, the trade was 
reduced to its present miserable extent, the ship- 
ping being limited to one vessel, and the exporta- 
tion of copper to 7500 piculs. 

The Dutch are literally imprisoned, or at 
least placed under a rigorous surveillance, which, 
for the degradation of the details, has no parallel. 
The ships no sooner arrive than their rudders are 
unshipped, their guns dismantled, their arms and 
ammunition removed, a military guard put on 
board, and row-boats appointed to watch them. 
Their cargos are landed by, and placed in charge 
of, the officers of the Japanese government, and 
the Dutch have neither control over, nor access 
to them, except through solicitation* The island 
of Desima, to which they are confined, is an arti- 
ficial structure of stone, raised upon the rocks of 
the harbour, measuring in its greatest length 'il36 
paces, by a breadth of 82. It communicates with 
the town of Nangasaki, by a bridge and gate, and 


is palisadoed all round, as well as surrounded by a 
guard. From this imprisonment the Dutch are 
allowed to peep twice or thrice a-year, rather to be 
exhibited to the great as a curiosity than out of 
indulgence. A corps of constables and interpre- 
ters are appointed to watch over their minutest ac- 
tions, and the most degrading servilities are exact- 
ed from the highest among them, by the meanest. 
oflScers of the Japanese government. * 

* The Dutch have not now even the excuse which they 
had in the time of Kajmpfer, when he tells us, •' So great was 
the covetousness of the Dutch, and so great the alluring 
power of the Japanese gold, that rather than quit the pro- 
spect of a trade, indeed most advantageous, they willingly 
underwent an almost habitual imprisonment, for such, in fact, 
is our stay at Desima, and chose to suffer many hardships in 
a foreign and heathen country, to be remiss in performing 
divine service on Sundays, and solemn festivals ; to leave off 
praying and singing psalms in public, entirely to avoid the 
sign of the cross, the calling upon Christ in the presence of 
the natives, and all the outward marks of Christianity ; and 
lastly, patiently and submissively to bear the abusive and in- 
jurious behaviour of these proud infidels towards us, than 
which nothing can be offered more shocking to a generous 
and noble mind.'' — Vol. I. p. 325. 

The following is a specimen of the conduct expected from 
the Dutch towards the officers of the Japanese government. 
The Banjos alluded to are a sort of constables or superior 
police-officers : " The Opperhoofd, or director of the Dutch 
factory, Myn Heer van DoefF, was also brought along with 
the banjos ; but it wi;s upwards of an hour before he was 


Besides the Portuguese and Spaniards, with the 
Dutch, the English are the only European people 

permitted tp cqpoe pn board. He had scarcely entered the 
cabin with his suite, consisting of his secretary, the two capr 
tains of the Dutch ships that were here, and a Baron Pabst, 
when they were all obliged to remain during several minutes 
in an inclined posture, which they were called upon to do, 
by a most insolent order from the interpreter : ' Myn Heer 
Opperhoqfd, compliment voor de Opper Banjos .'' This sub- 
missive, and at the same time degrading attention, was not 
answered even by a nod. The compliments, as they are 
called, of the Dutch, are something between the bows of the 
Europeans and Japanese, which last consist in throwing your- 
self flat on the ground, touching the earth with your head, 
and crouching backwards and forwards, according as you may 
be spoken to by your superior. The Dutch would find great 
difficulty in casting themselves on the ground, owin^ to their 
clothes, and the pliability of the body required in these 
prostrations cannot be expected in people who are not 
brought up to it; but in order to imitate the Japanese cus- 
toms as much as possible, the Dutchman must incline his 
body until it forms nearly the figure of a right angle ; and 
what is much more difficult, he must remain in this position 
with his arms extended until he receives permission to stand 
again in his natural posture, which is not until a lapse of 
some minutes. There must likewise be a difference in the 
compliments which the Dutch pay in Jeddo from those which 
we saw here ; for we were told that, previous to going there, 
all persons belonging to the embassies receive instructions 
in bowing. The Japanese never ventured to propose this 
submission to us : upon their second visit, indeed, one of the 
interpreters, just after I hwid been addresbcd by the banjos, 


who ever traded to Japan. An edict in favour of 
their trade was obtained from the emperor by 
Captain Saris, chiefly through the influence 
of Adams, an Englishman, residing in the coun- 
try. The edict was highly favourable to a free 
intercourse, and, indeed, not only conceded many 
favourable conditions, but some that ought never 
in modesty or good policy to have been asked for, 
as for example, a total exemption from import and 
export duties, and an exemption from the control 
of the laws of the empire. * 

Jn 1619, five years after its establishment, the 
English factory was removed by order of the go- 
vernment to Nangasaki ; and, in l6l^3, the fac- 
tory, under the usual pretexts, was withdrawn. 
The English, at that time, having, in fact, no ma- 
nufactures of their own fit for a foreign market, 
and no intercourse with China from whence they 
miixht obtain commodities fit for the market of 
Japan, were in no condition to compete with the 
Spaniards, Portuguese, and Dutch. Fifty years 

applied his hand gently to my back ; but when this occa- 
sioned me to look earnestly at him, he withdrew, nor did 
they ever renew the attempt." — Krusensterns Voyage round 
the World, Vol. I. p. 261, 262. 

* " And that all offences committed by them shall be pu- 
nished by the Cape merchant, according to his discretion, and 
our laws to take no hold of their persons or goods ! !" — Pur- 
chas*s Pilgrims. 


after the East India Company had voluntarily 
abandoned the trade to Japan, they made an at- 
tempt to re-establish it in the reign of Charles 
II., and while at war with the Dutch. On the 
representation of the latter we were, on this occa- 
sion, excluded, on the ixasoiiahle pretext that the 
king of England had espoused a princess of Portu- 
gal ! As this attempt was made tlie very year after 
the Dutch trade was placed under limitations, any 
thing short of discomfiture could hardly be looked 
for. Attempts equally unsuccessful were made in 
1G81, 1683, and 1689, the Japanese pertinacious- 
ly persevering in their resolution to exclude us 
from the empire in common with all other foreign- 
ers. These failures, after the tide of popularity 
had begun to run against the European character, 
are hardly to be regretted. Any partial success on 
the part of a body of men exhibiting a military and 
political power, along with commercial transactions, 
among a people so jealous and so proud as the Ja- 
panese, could not be lasting, and the national 
character, presented even under the most disad- 
vantageous form, could never have brooked the 
contumelies necessary to be borne for establishing 
such a connection as that of the Dutch. In the 
year 1813, we made, under the Dutch flag, ano- 
ther attempt to open an intercourse with Japan, 
totally unsuccessful. We found, on this occasion, 
that time had softened the prejudices of the na- 


tives towards our religion, but that, as they were 
not ignorant that we were more powerful and dan- 
gerous than our ancestors, they were fully more jeal- 
ous of us, politically, than they had been of them. 
Attempts, in every form, have been made of 
late by Europeans, but in vain, to open a connec- 
tion with Japan. Private American merchants 
tried it in 1801 and 1802. Private merchants 
from British India made an attempt in 1803 ; and 
the same year the Russians sent their embassy, the 
result of which is well known to us, from the can- 
did and sensible account of Krusenstern. We 
may certainly calculate, therefore, that every at- 
tempt to establish an intercourse between Euro- 
pean nations and the Japanese empire, by fair ne- 
gotiation, must at present be fruitless. The resi- 
dence of the Dutch at Nangasaki, on the present 
principle, must be looked upon as throwing a great 
obstacle in the way of it. Without proving any 
benefit to that nation in particular, but the con- 
trary, the nature of the relation subsisting be- 
tween them and the Japanese is of a character 
which tends to make the latter view the whole Eu- 
ropean race with contempt and ridicule. It may 
be safely recommended to them as a measure of 
wisdom, as well as liberality, to withdraw, in the 
mean time, from all commercial concerns — to re- 
move themselves from their ignominious imprison- 
ment at Nangasaki — to confine themselves to send- 


ing, as they are at present permitted to do, an 
embassy every three years to the Emperor of Ja- 
pan, with proper presents to himself and his offi- 
cers, which will compensate for the loss of such 
articles of European supply as they have been in 
the habit of receiving — and to rejecting all com- 
mercial intercourse not founded on a perfect free- 
dom of trade. No one nation can expect to con- 
duct with another an equal and beneficial com- 
merce to the exclusion of the rest of the world. 
A trade of this description would be liable to 
abuses on both sides, for the competition of na- 
tions may be reckoned almost as necessaiy to the 
wholesome conduct of a trade as that of indivi- 
duals. By a generous policy of the nature now 
recommended, the Dutch nation would consult its 
own dignity, and considering the neighbourhood of 
their settlements to Japan, the expence of a mis- 
sion would be but inconsiderable. This line of 
conduct would give some chance to the re-establish- 
ment of an useful intercourse with Europeans, and 
a better one to a free intercourse with China, by 
which an indirect but beneficial commerce in Euro- 
pean commodities might be carried on. 

The only people besides the Dutch who are ad- 
mitted to Japan are the Chinese; and as their 
commerce, as will presently be seen, is not un- 
connected with my present subject, I shall fur- 
nish a short sketch of it. The Chinese, after 


the tacit permission given to them on the last 
Tartarian conquest, to carry on foreign trade, 
entered with avidity into that with Japan, so 
conveniently situated for an intercourse with their 
country. At first, they were permitted to trade in- 
discriminately with every part of the empire, and to 
what extent they thought proper ; but in process 
of time, like the Eui'opean nations, they were con- 
fined to the port of Nangasaki. Even after this 
event, they came over to Japan in great numbers ; 
and Kaempfer describes no less than two hundred 
junks, with fifty men each, coming annually to Ja- 
pan. It is remarkable enough that it was the mis- 
conduct of the European nations, and not their own, 
that chiefly brought about the restrictions to which 
their trade was subjected. The emperor of Japan 
heard that the monarch of China protected the 
Christians ; and some books on Christianity hav- 
ing found their way to Japan among the goods of 
the Chinese, the jealousy of the government was 
roused, and limits immediately put to their trade. 
In 1688, they were placed, like the Dutch, under 
the surveillance of the police of Nangasaki, and 
imprisoned as they were. In the year 1685, the 
same year in which the Dutch trade was limited to 
300,000 tahils, the Chinese was also limited, and 
the sum fixed upon was double the amount of that 
of the Dutch trade. This measure, founded on a 
principle of dealing with impartiality towards all 


foreign nations, the Chinese suffered from in every 
future limitation to which the Dutch trade was 
subjected. At the time this limitation was put to 
the Chinese trade, they were still allowed to send 
seventy junks a year to Japan. The trade was 
not confined to that country alone, but the Chi- 
nese settled in other parts were allowed to parti- 
cipate. On this principle, a trade was conducted 
between Japan and Tonquin, Cochinchina, Cam- 
boja, Siam, and Java. 

In the year I7OO, when the Dutch trade was li- 
mited to four ships, that of the Chinese was limit- 
ed to twenty junks j and when the Dutch trade 
was reduced to one large ship, or two small ones, 
that of the Chinese was reduced to its present 
amount, of ten junks, and 15,000 piculs of cop- 
per, — their trade being always reckoned at double 
the amount of that of the Dutch. The Chinese 
junks are of about 400 tons burden, and the trade 
is conducted on the part of China from the port of 
Ning-po, in the province of Che-ki-ang, not above 
four days' voyage from Nangasaki, and so conve- 
niently situated that it may be performed by a 
good vessel at any season. Even the Chinese 
make two voyages a year. The productions im- 
ported into Japan from China are raw and wrought 
silks, the spices, camphor, and frankincense of the 
Archipelago j zinc ore, damar, drugs, particularly 


ginseiig root ; ivory, sugar, fine tea, tin, lead, and 
philosophical and theological books. * By this 
channel a small quantity of British woollens find 
their way to the distant market of Japan. The 
exports are copper, camphor, lacquered ware, and 
the bech de mevy or holoihuria. 

As an object of curiosity I shall exhibit a brief 

* " As to these books, it happened, as I have taken no- 
tice above, that some relating to the Christian religion, 
which were composed and printed by the Jesuits in China, 
slipt in among the rest. When this was first found out by 
the Japanese, they obliged the proprietor of the books to 
testify, in the most solemn manner, that he was not a Chris- 
tian himself, and that he did not bring over any of these 
books designedly, and knowing what they were ; then, to 
make him more circumspect for the future, they sent him 
back with his junk and whole cargo, without permitting him 
to dispose of any one part of it. Upon this, it was ordered for 
the future, that all books imported by the Chinese whatever 
should be first examined, and one of each kind read and 
censured, before they should have leave to sell them. This 
office of censors, with a competent yearly allowance, hath 
been given to two learned men of this town, one whereof is 
Father Prior of the Monastery, SiutoJais, who is to read and 
censure all the ecclesiastic books ; the other is a SJestos phi- 
losopher and physician to the Duiri, as he styles himself, who 
is to read and censure all the philosophical, -historical, and 
other books. This latter gentleman resides at Tattajnmma, 
and wears long hair, which he ties together behind his head, 
as the custom is among the philosophers, physicians and 
surgeons of the country." — Hlstori/ of Japan, Vol. I, p. 37y. 


sketch of the commercial capabilities of Japan, 
which will enable the reader to understand some 
additional causes, which have contributed to the 
restricted intercourse which now subsists between 
that nation and foreigners. Japan is the only 
great and civilized empire of Asia, situated in the 
temperate zone. It lies between the latitudes of 
thirty and forty degrees, the happiest climate of 
our globe. In winter there is a considerable fall of 
snow, and the summers are hot, but the climate is, 
upon the whole, remarkable for salubrity. The 
land is rather sterile than fertile, but, by the in- 
dustry of a numerous people, highly cultivated. 
It is rich in mines of the most precious and of the 
most useful of the metals, gold and silver, iron and 
copper. These, and a few manufactures in which 
the Japanese excel all mankind, they could af- 
ford to exchange for the productions of tropical 
countries which do not grow in their own, and for 
the manufactures of commercial Europe, which must 
necessarily be suited to the natural wants of a people 
inhabiting similar climates with ourselves. From 
the east coast of America, Japan is probably not 
distant above a month or five weeks* sail. It is 
but four or five days' sail from some of the richest 
provinces of China j from Manilla not probably 
above six or seven days' voyage, and from Batavia, 
at the most, not above twenty. From these last it 
could receive every species of colonial produce, and 


intermediately they would also supply it with the 
manufactures of distant Europe. 

The character of the Japanese is most singular. 
They possess, with the physiognomy of the Chinese, 
some of their political and religious institutions ; with 
their arts, their industry, and docility, a portion of 
the spirit, courage, and curiosity of the inhabitants 
of the temperate regions of Europe, and no small 
share of the revengeful temper and ferocity which 
belong to all men in barbarous states of society. * 

* The following authentic and well known story shews 
the devotedness of which the Japanese are capable when 
their honour and revenge are concerned : " As an instance 
of what I have mentioned," says Kaerapfer, "let it suffice, at 
present, to mention one single exploit of seven young men, 
natives of the province of Saizuma, an action the more sur- 
prising as it was committed in a foreign country, in presence 
of the Dutch, no longer ago than 1630. The case was this : 
A small Japanese vessel had been a trading to the island of 
Formosa, then, as yet, in possession of the Dutch. Japan 
was not at that time shut up, but its inhabitants at liberty to 
trade to what country they pleased, and the island Formosa 
hath been since taken by the Chinese, in whose possession 
it now remains. Peter Nuits, a Dutchman, who was then 
governor of Formosa, treated the Japanese who came on 
board this vessel with some harshness and severity, perhaps 
by way of reprisals. The Japanese took it as an affront and 
injury done, not so much to themselves as to their prince, 
to whom, when they got home, they made grievous com- 
plaints, insomuch that he grew very passionate and angry, 
the rather as he saw himself, as it were, under an impossibi- 


When their laws permitted them to quit their own 
country, the Japanese were the most adventurous 
of the nations of the east. They settled in every 
part of the Indian Archipelago, and in many of 
the neighbouring countries, and such was their re- 

lity of revenging so heinous an affront offered him by 
Nanbani, that is, southern people, (a contemptible name 
which they give to foreigners, and particularly the Dutch,) 
whereupon his guards addressed him in the following man- 
ner : " We will no longer, Sir," said they, " guard your 
person if 3'ou will not give us leave to revenge your honour 
and reputation. Nothing but the offender's blood shall wash 
off this spot. Command, and we will cut off that wicked 
head, or bring him alive into j^our presence to be punished 
by you as you shall desire and he deserves. Seven of us 
will be enough. Neither the danger of the voyage, nor the 
strength of his castle, nor the number of his guards, shall 
preserve him from our wrath. They are Nanbaiii, we of 
divine extraction." {Nifon-jfin, that is, Japanese, or, in the 
literal sense, inhabitants of the subcelestial world.) They 
would not desist from their demand till leave was granted 
them. The attempt indeed was bold, but carried on with 
no less prudence than courage and success. After a happy 
voyage they came safely to Formosa, and, being admitted to 
an audience of the governor, they all drew their swords, 
seized upon his person, and carried him off prisoner to their 
vessel in the middle of the day, amidst all his guards and 
domestics, none of which durst offer to stir in his defence, or 
to rescue him from his bold conductors, who, with their 
swords drawn, threatened to stab him the moment the least 
opposition should be made." — IHsi. qfJapmi, Vol. II. p. 57. 


putation for bravery and docility, that, they were 
the principal Asiatic soldiers employed by the Eu- 
ropean nations. 

The specific commodities which Japan is either 
capable of affording, or actually does afford, for ex- 
portation, are gold, silver, copper, tutenague, iron, 
camphor, ambergris, tea, rice, soy, wrought silks, 
lacquered-ware, and earthenware. The imports 
are raw and wrought silks, cotton goods, woollens, 
glass-w,are, hardware, quicksilver, antimony, ore of 
^inc or calamine, cinnabar, amber, coral, and pearls, 
dressed and undressed hides, sandal and sapan wood, 
Malayan camphor, ivory, alum, cloves, mace, pep- 
per, raw sugar, coffee, and tea. I shall offer a 
few remarks upon the most important of these. 
Japan, rather a sterile than a fertile country, as al- 
ready observed, is more remarkable for its mineral 
than vegetable wealth. When Europeans became 
first acquainted with that empire, there appears to 
have been a great accumulation of the precious 
metals within it. The mines were probably very 
fertile, and from this circumstance, — the low price 
of labour in Japan — the industry and skill of its in- 
habitants — and there being no outlet for gold and 
silver, these metals were at a much lower value 
than in other countries. They constituted, of 
course, the principal article of exportation. It has 
been already stated, on the authority of Kannpfer, 


that the Portuguese annually exported gold, in the 
most flourishing period of their trade, to the extent 
of two millions and a half sterling. This enormous 
amount, far greater than the mines of the New 
World afforded at the same period, is probably much 
exaggerated. The sums exported in later years 
may, however, be relied on. In 163G, they export- 
ed 2350 chests of silver, amounting to L.783,SS33- 
sterling; in 1637, L. 714,1213- sterling; and in 
1638, L. 419|6743- sterling. These large sums, 
although they may be considered as evidences of 
the abundance of the precious metals in Japan, 
cannot perhaps be justly considered as averages 
of the annual exports of the Portuguese, who were 
at the moment in a state of alarm from the perse- 
cution against their religion, and, therefore, mak- 
ing efforts to remove their property. While the 
Portuguese were exporting these sums, and the 
Chinese were driving a great commerce also, the 
Dutch are described as exporting no less than 
60 tons of gold a-year, or about half a million 
Sterling. After the expulsion of the Portuguese, 
the Dutch exports increased, and in 1641, they 
are described as remitting in gold 80 tons, or 
L. 700,000 sterling. The export of the precious 
metals from Japan, or the increased difficulty of 
working the mines, or the prohibition of working 
them, rendered, in process of time, their price to 



near the standard of other countries. * Gold ap- 
pears always, to have been more plentiful than 
silver, because, perhaps, the mines of it require 
less skill in working. The Portuguese exported 
large quantities of silver; but the Dutch, who, 
in 164^1, exported L. 700,000 Sterling worth of 

* " The emperor claims the supreme jurisdiction of all 
the gold mines, and, indeed, all other mines in the empire, 
none of which may be opened and worked without his ex- 
press leave and consent. Of the produce of all the mines 
which are worked he claims two-thirds, and one-third is 
left to the lord of the province in which the mine lies ; the 
latter, however, as they reside upon the spot, know how to 
improve their third parts so as to share pretty equally with 
the emperor. The richest gold ore, and which yields the 
finest gold, is dug up in Sado, one of the northern provinces 
in the great island Nipoii. Some of the veins there were 
formerly so rich, that one catti of the ore yielded one, and 
sometimes two tahils of gold, (5 and 10 per cent.) But of 
late, as I was informed, the veins there, and in most other 
mines, not only were scarcer, but yield not near the quan- 
tity of gold they formerly di«l, which we were told was the 
occasion, amongst other reasons, of the late strict orders 
relating to the trade and commerce with us and the Chinese." 
— History of Japan, Vol. I. p. 107. Ksempfer's account of 
the exactions of the emperor and provincial chief contains 
internal evidence of exaggeration ; but it is probable they 
are founded on those exactions being exorbitant ; and this, 
more likely than the exhaustion of the mineral veins, will 
account for the rise in the price of gold and silver in Ja- 



gold, exported only 14 chests of silver, amounting 
to L. 4666j Sterling. They sold the gold on the 
continent of India, at an advance of 28 per cent., 
but gained only 1? per cent, on the silver. After 
this we hear no more of the exportation of silver, 
but, on the contrary, the Dutch at present find a 
profit in the permission given to them to import a 
quantity of their national coin. In the year 1700, 
the Japanese government made an important alter- 
ation in the standard of their coin, having debased 
their Cobang or Cupang from a fineness of between 
twenty and twenty-one carats, to between thirteen 
and fourteen carats, w'hiist they compelled the 
Dutch to receive it, thus reduced in value 37 per 
cent., at the old rates. 

Besides the precious metals, Japan produces 
copper, iron, and the alloyed metal tutenague. 
Copper is the most important and abundant of all 
these ; and, according to Kajmpfer, is as cheap as 
iron. The price paid for it by the Dutch, in all 
periods of their connection, has been about 12i\)% 
tahils, or 18nj*o Spanish dollars per picul, equal to 
L.3, 9s. 2d. per cwt. This is considerably less than 
half the price of British sheet copper, which is of in- 
ferior intrinsic value in all foreign markets. The 
Dutch, at one period, exported from 700 to 1200 
tons a-year, a large portion of which was disposed 
of on the continent of India, at a clear gain of 
from 90 to 95 per cent* We hear nothing of cop- 


per, as an article of commerce, until the removal of 
the Dutch to the prison of Desima, when they 
obtained leave to trade in it ; and for a long time 
the quantity exported was unlimited. From the 
history of the commerce in copper, we may 
learn, that it has become, like gold and silver, 
scarcer in late times, and that it is given to the 
Dutch at a price far below its intrinsic value. 
This appears by the constant reductions made by 
the Japanese government in the extent of the sup- 
ply ; and the acknowledgment of the Dutch 
themselves, that the copper was given to them as 
a favour, and must have been a tax on the traders 
who supplied it. * ImhofF accordingly acknowledges 
that the price which ought to be paid for copper 
was 20 tahils the picul, or L. 5, 12s. per cwt. in- 
stead of L. 3, 9s. 2d. There is, it must be con- 
fessed, something very perplexing in the accounts 
we receive of the fluctuation in the price both of 
the precious and useful metals in Japan. IroUy 

• " Nothing is more natural, therefore," says the Baron 
Imhoff, " than that our exportation of copper should have be- 
come a burden to that class of people, and that their com- 
plaints contributed to the restrictions to which we are now 
subject. There is no doubt that, could the Japanese keep 
up the communication without allowing us a single chest of 
copper, they would willingly grant us GOOO tahils (L. 2000) 
as a gratification, over and above the stipulated price for our 


which Imhoff assures us was purchased in Japan at 
two Spanish dollars the picul, and exported to Bata- 
via, where it was sold at an advance of I'll 5 per cent, 
is represented by Ksempfer, whose testimony is more 
to be relied on, as being fully dearer than copper. 
He affords unquestionable proof of this, indeed, 
when he lets us into the knowledge of this decisive 
fact, that by the Japanese copper is constantly used 
in many such domestic utensils as are made of iron 
in other countries, and for bolts, nails, and other pur- 
poses in naval architecture. Their culinary utensils 
are, however, made of iron. Saris also states the 
price of iron at a very high rate, and as above that 
of copper. It is probable from this statement, that 
were a free trade again established with that em- 
pire, iron, instead of being exported, would be- 
come one of the greatest and most valuable com- 
modities for importation from Europe. The iron 
of Japan, we may believe, is of the finest quality, 
since, with their imperfect skill, the Japanese are 
capable of fabricating from it cimeters equal in 
temper to the renowned blades of Damascus. 

Camphor seems not to have become a great ar- 
ticle of exportation, until that of copper was limit- 
ed. Europe and China are at present principally 
supplied with the camphor of Japan. The Ja- 
panese, whose country produces such abundance of 
this commodity, have the same taste and pay the 
same exorbitant prices for that of the Indian islands 


as the Chinese. Thirty-three tahils, or L. 1 1 the 
catti of 1 \ lb. were paid for it in Ksempfer's time, 
which is much above the price paid at present for 
the best sort in China. * 

The tea of Japan is inferior to that of China, 
yet the Dutch at one time exported it in consi- 
derable quantity. They appear to have paid a high 
price for it, and it is probable that, considering the 
sterility of the soil of Japan, compared to that of 
China, this production cannot be reared there so 
cheap or so good as in the latter country. This 
appears plain enough from the circumstance of tea 
being an article of importation from China, and 
from the acknowledgment of the Dutch, that the 
tea of Japan is neither so good, nor will keep so 
well as that of China. The use of tea is as general 
in Japan as in China ; the people of the latter drink 
only black tea, those of the former only green. 

The rice of Japan is of the very finest quality, 
and small quantities are exported as objects of 
curiosity, but in a country with an inferior soil, 
a crowded population, and no unoccupied land, it 
must be high priced, and can never be largely ex- 
ported. It is much more probable, that in a free 
trade, it would become a great article of importa- 
tion from the Archipelago and Siam. 

* The passion for the edible swallows' nests does not, it i^ 
remarkable, extend to the Japanese. 


As a manufacturing people, the Japanese are in- 
ferior to their neighbours, the Chinese, although 
in some particular wares they excel all people. 
Their lacquered work is of inimitable beauty and 
perfection, and some of their wrought silks, par- 
ticularly their crapes, the most exquisite fabrics 
that can be conceived. Their porcelain is inferior 
to that of China, but though coarse, substantial and 
durable. That the manufactures of Japan should 
be more costly than those of China may perhaps 
be, in a great measure, ascribed to the high price 
of the raw materials in a country not fertile, and 
which can receive no supply from abroad. 

To describe all the foreign commodities which 
the Japanese, a rich, luxurious, and numerous 
people, inhabiting the same climate with ourselves, 
and having the same essential wants, would require, 
would perhaps embrace all that a manufacturing 
and commercial people could supply, from their 
own industry or that of their colonies. The sugar- 
cane is not cultivated in Japan, and sugar consti- 
tutes one of the most considerable articles of the 
cargos of the Dutch and Chinese. The Dutch 
sold their coarse sugar at near 20 Spanish dollars 
the picul of 125 Dutch lbs. probably about ten 
times the price paid for it. The higher ranks are 
principally clothed in silks ; the lower orders in 
cotton. The dress which covers the under part of 
the body of both ranks is usually made of a kind of 


linen, manufactured from the fibrous bark of a spe- 
cies of urtica. * The principal dress of both sexes 
and of all ranks consists of a robe or gown, open 
in front, and secured by a girdle. For warmth the 
number of these is multiplied from three or four, 
to a dozen or more, and they are frequently quilt- 
ed, with the same view, with silk or cotton wad- 
ding. The sheep is unknown to the Japanese, 
nor do they understand the art of manufacturing 
cloth from any species of hair or wool. Notwith- 
standing this, the woollen manufactures of Europe 
are in great repute among them. By Captain 
Saris* account, t Flemish broad cloth was purchas- 
ed with avidity, at an advance of 550 per cent. 
All the manufactures in which the Japanese are 
clothed can be manufactured by their neighbours 
cheaper than by themselves, and these can also fur- 
nish tliem with the raw material cheaper than they 
can grow or produce it. They receive from China 
both raw and wrought silk, and when the Euro- 
pean nations had free access to them, they import- 
ed large quantities of the cotton fabrics of India. 
In Caron's description of Japan, X there is a 

* Tliunl>crg's Travels, Vol. III. p. 267. This author's 
work, upon all material subjects, is little better than a com- 
pilation from Ka;mpfer, by an inferior man. 

-j- Purchas, Vol. I. Book HI. p. 394. 

+ Caron, according to Knempfer, was a person, who, by 
his abilities, raised himself from the mean condition of a 


statement of a Chinese investment for the Japanese 
market, consisting chiefly of raw and wrought 
silks, with a few calicoes, amounting to one mil- 
lion and fifty thousand Spanish dollars, on which 
the author pledges himself to his employers, the 
Dutch East India Company, that he will make a 
clear profit of eight hundred thousand Spanish 
dollars. * The avidity witli which European goods 
were purchased in our early intercourse with Ja- 
pan IS shewn by the quantities taken off, not- 
withstanding: the hio;h cost of the rude manufac- 
tures of Europe at the time, and the enormous 
profits charged upon them. The advance on broad 
cloths has already been stated at 550 per cent. ; 
quicksilver, according to Captain Saris, was sold at 
L.ll Sterling per cwt. ; iron at ^9>\i^^ Spanish 
dollars per picul, or L.^, 4s. per cwt. ; steel and 

ship's cook, to be chief of tlie factory of Nanga^aki, and 
who did some mischief in the latter office. 

* The author of this proposal was one Leonard Camps. 
The following, from an old English version, are the terms in 
which he pledges himself: " This aforesaid China Carga- 
soon being sent yearlie to Japan, I engage myself to my 
masters, so long as God gives me health, to serve them for 
nothing, unless I return them in four or five months' time, in 
good silver, one million eight hundred and fifty thousand 
royals of eight ; if that be not enough, let them send more, 
and the gain will be the greater." — Description of Japan 
p. 107. 


lead, each at 46/ifo Spanish dollars per picul, of 
L.8, 15s. 4d. per cwt., and block tin at L.ll 
per cwt. 

In the time of Kaempfer, the Dutch appear to 
have exacted enonnous profits for their goods. 
China raw silk they sold at 651 i taliils the picul, 
or 33s. 3d. the pound, which is little less than 300 
per cent, advance on the present prices in China. 
Bengal and Tonquin silks were sold at similar 
rates. Cloves were sold at lis. 2d. the pound. 
The clear gain made at this time on the ex- 
port and import cargos is reckoned by Kaemp- 
fer for each at 60 per cent, gross profit, or 40 
to 45 per cent, neat profit, which, on the whole 
transaction, made from L.80,000 to L. 90,000 

After this statement, there can be no denying 
that a free trade and a fair competition, such as 
would enable the Japanese to obtain foreign com- 
modities at a reasonable rate, and insure to them a 
proper price for their own, with abstaining from all 
interference in the affairs of the government, were 
alone necessary to have perpetuated the most valu- 
able branch of commerce which the east ever offered 
to European enterprise. After the early miscon- 
duct of the Portuguese and Dutch, the European 
nations would have had many obstacles, indeed, to 
contcndwith, but none that free commerce would not 
have surmounted. The regulations of the Dutch not 


only precluded all access to other nations, but rigid- 
ly interdicted the free trade of" their own merchants. 
"While they declaimed against the measures of re- 
taliation pursued by the Japanese, they forgot the 
gross injustice of their own policy. Every offer of 
fair trade on the part of the former was disdain- 
fully rejected by them. Whenever the commodi- 
ties of the country were offered to them at the 
market rates, they complained of this as a breach 
of engagement. By Imhoff's account, abundance 
of copper might be had at the rate of Is. a pound, 
probably near the market price ; but the Dutch 
refused to have it unless they could get it at little 
more than 7d., or 5d. less than it was worth. 
The Japanese, of course, reduced their supply first 
from an unlimited quantity to 25,000 piculs, and 
ultimately to the pittance of 7-500 piculs. Tuten- 
ague, brass, and camphor, were all successively ten- 
dered to them by the Japanese at the market 
prices, which were much below the prices of the 
same commodities in China, but they were always 
rejected. At the same time, as will appear by the 
statements already given, they put the most exor- 
bitant charge upon all they sold to the Japanese. 
Black pepper, which the Japanese obtained when 
the English and Chinese traded freely with them, 
at Gd.a pound, the Dutch sold to them at Is. J ,'d., 
and cloves at a far more exorbitant rate. AVhcn 
orders were given, on the pait of the Japanese, for 


new wares, they were either not brought at all, or 
brought of a bad quality ; and this had been so 
often practised, that ImhofF acknowledges that the 
Japanese had been so often deceived, that it would 
be extremely difficult to make them believe that the 
Dutch were capable of fulfilling their engagements, 
even supposing them to do so at any particular time 
with perfect integrity. The Japanese were, at the 
same time, privy to the numerous frauds and malver- 
sations of the agents of the monopoly on the spot, and 
had detected them practising the lowest and most dis- 
creditable artifices, to evade the laws of the country 
under the protection of which they were living. * 

* The Japanese government made a formal complaint to the 
Dutch government at Batavia of the impositions practised at 
the factory at Nangasaki. The following from Thunberg is a 
specimen of the conduct of the Dutch officers at Nangasaki. 
" We now perceived," says he^ " a boat coming from shore to 
meet us. The captain, therefore, dressed himself in a blue 
silk coat, trimmed with silver lace, made very large and 
wide, and stuffed and furnished in front with a large cushion. 
This coat has for many years past been used for the purpose 
of smuggling prohibited wares into the country, as the chief 
and the captain of the ship were the only persons who were 
exempted from being searched. The captain generally 
made three trips in this coat every day from the ship to the 
factory, and was frequently so loaded with goods that, when 
he went ashore, he was obliged to be supported by two sail- 
ors, one under each arm. By these means tijc captain de- 
rived a considerable profit annually from the other officers. 


It was impossible that the Japanese could be patient 
under a system, the effect of which was virtually to 
plunder them of their property. At the same time, 
they seem evidently to have been unwilling to lose 
the Dutch altogether, because they wished, as a 
matter of policy, and probably as a matter of curio- 
sity, to be informed, through their means, of what 
was passing in the world, to which, notwithstand- 
ing their pride and their selfishness, they are not, 
and cannot be, indifferent. They reduced the 
Dutch trade, therefore, to as low a state as they 
thought compatible with this object. 

What probability is there of a free intercourse 
being restored between Japan and the rest of the 
civilized world ? This is a question which affords 

whose wares he carried in and out, together with his own, 
for ready money, which might amount to several thousand 
rix dollars." — Thunberg's Voyages, Vol. III. p. 13. This 
disgraceful practice was at length prohibited, not by the 
Dutch but by the Japanese government. " For many years," 
adds Thunberg, " the captain was not only equipped with 
the wide surtout above described, but also wore large and 
capacious breeches, in which he carried contraband wares 
ashore. These, however, were suspected, and consequently 
laid aside ; and the coat, the last resource, was now, to the 
owner's great regret, to be taken off. It was droll enough 
to see the astonishment which the sudden reduction in the 
size of our bulky captain excited in the major part of the 
ignorant Japanese, who before had always imagined that all 
our captains were actually as fat and lusty as they appeared 
to be." — p. 17« 


matter of curious speculation. On the only pro- 
bable means of restoring it by negotiation I have 
already offered some conjectures. A great revo- 
lution in the government of Japan, by which the 
empire would be broken down into a number of 
petty states, as it was before the usurpation of 
Taikosamay would certainly effect it. The infe- 
rior princes who, in such a case, had thrown off 
their allegiance, would find it for their advantage 
to court an intercourse with Europeans, if for no 
other reason than to supply them with the muni- 
tions of war. This would give rise to a connec- 
tion, that, if conducted with moderation, which 
the competition among nations would insure, would 
prevent the empire from being restored in its pre- 
sent form, — hinder, in short, the re-establishment 
of that system of excluding strangers, which has 
chiefly contributed to uphold the Javanese govern- 
ment for 235 years, a duration longer than history 
records of any other Eastern monarchy. 

The probability of an intercourse being restored 
by means of conquest is, perhaps, however greater. 
There is no Asiatic power that can effect the con- 
quest of Japan, for several reasons. The Japanese are 
more numerous and united than any people of Asia 
except the Chinese, and in arts and arms they are 
at least equal to the best, and nmch superior to the 
greater number. Besides all this, their insular situa- 
tion opposes an insuperable barrier to tlieir conquest 


by any Asiatic people, whose want of maritime skill, 
judging from the experience of all history, will 
never enable them to equip a fleet equal to trans- 
port an army adequate to so great an enterprise. 
The Tartars, the only people of Asia who ever 
made extensive distant conquests, made an unsuc- 
cessful attempt on Japan in the year 1284, flushed 
with their success in the conquest of China, and 
with all the resources of that country at their com- 
mand, while the ports from which they sailed w^ere 
not above five or six days' voyage distant. The Eu- 
ropean race is the only one which can now effect 
distant conquests, and the very circumstance, the 
maritime voyage, which opposes an insuperable ob- 
stacle to the conquests of an Asiatic people, gives 
facility to theirs. Since the Japanese have shut 
up their empire, that race has been gathering round 
them. The Russians are, since then, colonized at 
Kamschatka, within a month's voyage. The Bri- 
tish empire has been established in Hindustan, not 
above six weeks' sail from them. A colony of the 
English has been founded in Australasia, destined 
to be a mighty empire, and not a month distant 
from Japan. Two great empires are established, 
or establishing, by the European race in the New 
World, the western shore of which cannot be above 
a month's voyage from Japan by the surest and easi- 
est navigation in the world. The danger is perhaps 
least from the quarter where, at first view, it appears 


most imminent, from the Russians. Their establish- 
ment at Kamschatka is formed in a situation far re- 
moved from the effective power of the empire, and in 
a country by nature so sterile and inhospitable, that 
the European race can never become in it populous 
or powerful, nor can it ever therefore furnish the 
means of fitting out a great armament adequate to 
the conquest of Japan. The most imminent danger 
to the independence of Japan is from the western 
shore of America, either from the Anglo-Americans 
when they shall have spread to that coast, and when 
their settlements shall have become populous and 
powerful in that quarter, or, in a less distant time, 
perhaps, from the Spanish Americans of Chili, Peru 
or Mexico. These may yet avenge the wrongs, 
real or imaginary, which the Japanese did to their 
ancestors and to their religion. A powerful and 
ambitious people of Northern or Southern America 
would easily fit out a fleet on the Columbia at A- 
capulco, Lima, or Valparaiso, which, in a month's 
time, would invade Japan, unaware of what is 
passing in the rest of the world, and wholly unpre- 
pared to resist it. A¥hen the time comes that the 
Spanish Americans navigate the seas of India in 
numbers, they will probably not be without pretext. 
If one of their vessels, for example, should hap- 
pen to be shipwrecked on the coast of Japan, it 
is probable that, in obedience to the standing or- 
ders of the empire, which are inviolate, the crew 


would be put to death, and this violation of the 
law of" nations would at once be equivalent to a 
declaration of war. The conquest of Japan, not- 
withstanding the superior courage and spirit of its 
inhabitants, would perhaps be easier than that of 
China, which has yielded to every conqueror that 
has tried it. The coasts of China, where China 
would be invaded, are situated within the tropics, 
and Europeans would suffer from the climate. Ja- 
pan is a healthy mountainous country, in the tem- 
perate zone, and the climate would be perfectly 
congenial to them. China is a great continuous 
territory, difficult, of course, to penetrate. It has 
been for ages accustomed to obey the rule of one 
master with an undivided authority, and a portion 
of it could not be conquered unless a conquest 
were made of the whole. Japan consists of many 
separate islands easily accessible. The government 
of the provinces is in the hands of hereditary prin- 
ces, who might readily be detached from their allegi- 
ance to their chief. A single island might be con- 
quered or detached without the whole empire, and 
readily preserved by the superiority of an Euro- 
pean navy. An illustrious traveller * is of opinion, 

• " Should a canal of communication, "says Humboldt, " be 
opened between the two oceans, the productions of Nootka 
Sound and of China will be brought more than 2000 leagues 
nearer to Europe and the United States. Then only can 



that the neck of land which divides the two Ame- 
ricas, has been hitherto the bulwark of the inde- 
pendence of China and Japan. This opinion, I 
conclude, must relate to a direct attack from 
Europe, and is certainly not well founded. No 
European nation has ever yet been in a condi- 
tion to fit out a fleet and armament of such ma^ni- 
tude and efficiency of equipment, as, after a voyage, 
at the very shortest, of between three and four 
months, could accomplish so mighty and distant 
an enterprise as the conquest of Japan. A canal 
across the isthmus would facilitate the conquest of 
Japan, if attempted from America, by giving the 
western shore of that continent the advantages of 
the superior resources of the eastern shore ; but it 
would not facilitate the conquest if attempted from 
Europe, for it could not be navigated by the great 
ships necessary to transport troops across the At- 
lantic, and ultimately over the Pacific. This fleet 
must be constructed or collected on, the western 
coast of America, and that coast must be the ren- 
dezvous from which the expedition sails. Ame- 
rica may be looked upon as a stepping-stone to the 

any great changes be effected in the political state of East- 
ern Asia, for this neck of land, the barrier against the waves 
of the Atlantic Ocean, has been for many ages the bulwark 
of the independence of China and Japan." — Political Essai/ 
on Neiv Spain. 



European race to reach Eastern Asia, and vvlthout 
it, that portion of the world might be considered 
safe, [at least in this direction, from European in- 
vasion. It is the nursery of the race of men that 
is to conquer and civilize Asia. 

A few words arc necessary on the subject of the 
intej^cow^se between the Fliirqjplnes and America, 
although I have nothing new to communicate. 
The Indian commerce of Spain, if Spain can be 
said to have any Indian commerce, is like that of 
other nations of Europe, conducted by an exclusive 
company, in which the king is a stock-holder ; but 
the trade between Manilla and i^capulco is con- 
ducted distinct from this, and still in the manner 
in which it has been carried on for many ages, by 
a single annual ship or galleon of 1200 or 1500 
tons. This is also a monopoly, the cargos to 
Acapulco being by law limited to half a million 
of Spanish dollars, or L. 112,500, and amounting 
by connivance to no more than a million and a 
half, or two millions, L. 337,500, or L. 450,000 
Sterling. The Ecclesiastical Corporations of Ma- 
nilla have a large share in the investments, either 
adventuring themselves directly, or lending their 
capital to the merchants on bottomry. The gal- 
leon sails from Manilla in the middle of June, or 
beginning of August, when the westerly monsoon 
is at its height. The voyage formerly lasted from 
five to six montlis, but at present does not, even in 


SO heavy a ship, and in the imperfect state of navi- 
gation among the Spaniards, exceed between three 
and four months. After losing the monsoon, the 
object of the navigator is to get into the latitudes 
of the variable or westerly winds, or, as Humboldt 
calls them, in opposition to the trade winds, the at- 
mospherical counter cuiTents. These, according 
to the present mode of navigation, are sought, 
not in the southern but the northern hemisphere, 
for which purpose, the galleon ascends as high as 
the latitude of 28. 55 degrees, and then steers in 
a south-east direction for Acapulco. The passage 
of the galleon back to the Philippines is perfonn- 
ed in one half the time she takes to make the voy- 
age to America, although she touches at the Ma- 
rian islands, and sometimes at the Sandwich 
islands, to water. Taking advantage of the north- 
west winds which blow on the northern coast of 
Mexico, she steers in a southerly direction, until 
she attains the parallel of Manilla, when she makes 
full sail to the west. * Although the whole navi- 

* " When she arrives in the parallel of Manilla, she makes 
full sail to the west, having always a tranquil sea, and re- 
freshing breezes from the point between the east and east- 
north-east. Nothing interrupts the serenity of the heavens 
in these regions, except sometimes a slight squall, which 
is felt when the vessel arrives at the zenith." — Humboldt's 
New Spain, Vol, IV. chap. 12. 


gation lasts but five months, the galleon makes but 
one voyage a-year. In a free trade, two could certain- 
ly be made without difficulty. Besides the principal 
galleon to Mexico, a smaller vessel occasionally 
sails to Lima, by the same route, and with the te- 
dious and distant voyage along the coast of America. 
Humboldt justly observes on this navigation, that 
" When Peru, liberated from the yoke of the 
monopoly of the Philippine Company, shall be al- 
lowed to trade without restriction to the East In- 
dies, in returning from Canton to Lima, the pre- 
ference will most likely be given to a track which 
goes to the south of New Holland, through seas 
where they are sure of favourable winds." * For 
the principal articles of exportation from the Phi- 
lippines, Manilla is but a place of transit. The 
cargos of the galleon consist of the manufactures 
of China and Hindustan, with the produce of the 
Spice Islands, and western parts of the Archipe- 
lago ; raw and wrought silk and cotton goods, 
cloves nutmegs, and pepper. The return cargo is 
chiefly silver, amounting to from one million to 
one million three hundred thousand Spanish dol- 
lars ; or from L. 2^5,000 to L. 292,500 Ster- 
ling; some cochineal, cocoa, Spanish wines, oil, 
wool, and bar-iron. All this occupies but a small 

* Political Essay on New Spain, Vol. IV. chap. 12. 


portion of the tonnage of the galleon, which makes 
her return voyage nearly in ballast. When a free 
and busy intercourse is established between India 
and the west coast of America, the furs, the corn, 
and the timber, of the northern parts of the for- 
mer, will be exchanged for the sugar, tea, coffee, 
pepper, and other spices of the Indies, and the sil- 
ver and copper of Mexico, Peru, and Chili, for 
the same commodities. 

The trade of the Indian islands with the con- 
tinent of India remains to be treated of. The 
principal portion of it called the Eastern trade is 
conducted from Bengal. The Malay traders, as 
they are called, are generally vessels from two to 
three hundred tons burden. The principal ex- 
ports from Bengal consist of opium and cotton 
goods ; and the principal returns of gold, pepper, 
and tin. In consequence of the import of British 
cottons by our free traders, and of Turkey opium 
by them and by the Americans, this trade has 
greatly declined. Before the use of Turkey opi- 
um was introduced, the average exportations for 
the Indian islands used to amount to about nine 
hundred chests a-year, amounting to about 1000 
cwt. of the drug. The average quantity of pepper 
imported into Bengal from the Indian islands annu- 
ally, on an average of eleven years, amounted to 
25,428 cwt., and the average quantity of tin, du- 
ring the same time, to about tiOUO cwt. The total 


exports of the Indian islands to Bengal have been 
valued at the yearly amount of L. 429,4-0, and 
the imports at L. 530,880. The trade between 
Madras and the Indian islands is much smaller. 
The exports from the Indian islands to Madras 
have been valued at L. ^80,000, and the imports 
at L. 205,000. The chintzes and cotton goods of 
Madras were at one time imported in large quan- 
tities into the Indian islands, but were in time 
supplanted by the cheaper manufactures of Bengal, 
as the latter have been by those of Britain. The 
value of the exports from the Indian islands to 
Bombay have been reckoned at L. 131,000, and 
the imports, consisting of a few Surat cloths and 
other trifles, at about L. 45,600. Since this esti- 
mate was formed, the exports have greatly increased, 
and large quantities of coffee, sugar, and even pepper, 
are now sent thither from Batavia. According to 
the statement just given, the total exports from the 
Indian islands to the Continent of India, in the 
country trade, will be L. 840,000 Sterling, and 
the imports L. 781,400. 

It is probable that the country trade of India, in 
all its branches, will decline, when the capital and 
enterprise of Great Britain are allowed to come 
into fair competition with it. It has owed its rise, 
in a great measure, to the unjust exclusion of that 
capital and enterprise, through our absurd system 
of regulation. The country gains no military 


strength by the country trade, for the pusillanhnity 
of the Indian lascars renders them utterly unfit 
for any mih'tary purpose. On this score, there- 
fore, it deserves no exchisive privilege. The 
expence at which it is conducted is so enormous, 
that it is obvious how easily it would give way to 
a trade conducted with more skill and economy. 
Such is the waste of labour in the construction of 
an Indian ship, that, notwithstanding the low price 
of the principal materials, she cannot be construct- 
ed near so cheap as a British vessel. The interest 
of the block costs ten per cent, instead of five per 
cent. For every hand that a British ship requires 
to navigate her, an Indian ship requires three, yet 
an Indian seaman's wages are within 20 per cent, as 
high as a British seaman's. In a word, even allow- 
ing for the low price of provisions in Bengal, and 
the abstemious habits of the iascar, a British 
ship, as far as wages and provisions alone are con- 
cerned, will be navigated, at a moderate calcula- 
tion, about 45 per cent, cheaper than an Indian 



Vegetable Products Rice. — Minor Grains. — Sago. — Vege- 
table Oils. — Cotton Wool. — Cotton Fabrics. — Indigo.r-^ 
Black Pepper. — Coffee — Sugar. — Cloves. — Nutmeg and 
Mace. — Misoy — Ginger, Turmeric, Cayu-puti Oil. — 

Areca. — Catechu Gambir Tobacco. — Malay Camphor. 

— Benzoin or FranJcincense. — Lignum Aloes, or Agila 
Wood. — Drarrons Blood. — Damar or Rosin. — Sandal 


Wood. — Sapan Wood. — Ebony. — Incorruptible Wood — 
Rattans, — Materials of Cordage. — Teak Timber — Animal 
Products. — Horns and Hides — Ivory. — The Bird of Pa- 
radise and Argus Pheasant Feathers. — Birds Nests. — - 
^ac. — Bees' Wax. — Animal Flesh. — Fisheries. — Dried 
Fish. — Sharks' Fiiis — Tripang. — Tortoise Shell — Pearls. 

—Pearl Oysters. Cowrie Shells. Ambergris. — Agar- 

aaar. — Whale Fishery. Mineral Products.. Tin — ■ 

Geld, — Iron . — Copper.—^ The Diamond. — Sulph ur. — Sa It . 

U NDER the common arrangement of — vegetable, 
— animal, — and mineral products, I shall proceed to 
give an account of the exports of the Indian islands, 
including not only such articles as are sent abroad, 
but such as are exchanged in the course of the 
commercial intercourse of the natives among them- 
selves. After the general account rendered of the 


state of society in the Indian islands, it is hardly 
necessary to mention, that almost the whole of the 
articles which they export are nearly in a crude 
form, and have scarcely undergone any degree of 
manufacture. Among the most important are ar- 
ticles of food, the principal of which is rice. The 
most fertile, populous, and industrious countries of 
the Archipelago export rice to their neighbours. 
The most remarkable of these are Java, Bali, some 
parts of Celebes, with the most fertile spots of Su- 
matra, and of the Malay Peninsula. Rice is gene- 
rally imported from tijese western countries into 
those farther east, such as the Spice Islands. Java 
is the principal place of production for the con- 
sumption of the other islands, and the only island 
of the Archipelago that sends rice abroad. The 
principal staples of exportation in that island are 
places remarkable at the same time forfertilityof soil, 
and near which there is no large town for the con- 
sumption of the surplus produce of the country, or 
where there exists water carriage, by which the 
grain of the interior may be cheaply conveyed to 
the coasts. The best places to take in large cargos 
are Indramayu, Cheribon, Tagal, Pacalongan, Ja- 
para, Gressic, and Surabaia. The rice of the east- 
ern districts is generally superior to that of the 
west. The worst rice is that of Indi-amayu, which 
is usually discoloured. The subdivision of the 
province of Cheribon called Gubang yields rice 


of fine white grain, equal to that of Carolina. 
The rice of Gressic preserves best. All Indian 
rice is classed in commercial language into the 
three descriptions of table rice — white rice — 
and carjro rice. From the limited demand for the 
first, it is only to be had in Java in small quantity. 
For the same reason the second is not procurable in 
large quantity, unless bespoken some time before- 
hand ; but the third may be had at the shortest 
notice in any quantity required. The resident 
European, or otlier wholesale merchants, contract 
with the native farmers or cultivators for rice of 
the ordinary kind, often as low as IC >Spanish dol- 
lars per coyan, of 30 piculs of 136 lbs., or 4080 lbs. 
avoirdupois, equal to 23|^d. per cwt. making them 
advances. The stranger who exports it pays for 
it, according to the state of supply and demand, 
from 25 to 35 Spanish dollars, or an average of 
Ss. 8jd. per cwt. Table rice may be obtained for 
exportation at from 40 to 45 Spanish dollars a 
coyan, and ordinary white rice at from 35 to 40. 

Java rice is inferior in estimation to that of 
Bengal or Carolina in the markets of Europe. 
When a cwt. of Carolina rice sells for IBs., Ben- 
gal sells for lis. 3d., and Java for 9s. 9d. The 
prime cost of Carolina rice to the exporter may 
be estimated at 4iVri Spanish dollars per cwt., and 
that of Bengal in the market of Calcutta at 1 Spa- 
nish dollar and 30 cents, or 4s. iOd. per cent., sq 


that, allowing 4-6 per cent, for the intrinsic infe- 
riority of Java to the first, and 13^ per cent, to the 
last, it is still cheaper than the latter by 16| per 
cent. I know no where that rice is so cheap 
as in Java, except in Siam, and here it is exported as 
low as 10 Spanish dollars per coyan, or for one third 
the price even of Java rice. A great deal of the 
rice of this country is therefore exported to 
China by the junks. The low estimation of Java 
rice is not attributable to any real inferiority in 
the grain, but to the mode of preparing it for the 
market. In husking it, it is for the want of pro- 
per machinery much broken, and from carelessness 
in drying, subject to decay from the attack of in- 
sects or worms. When in the progress of im- 
provement, more intelligent methods are pursued 
in preparing the grain for tlie market, it will equal 
the grain of any other country. Machinery must 
be employed for husking the grain, and some de- 
gree of kiln-drying will be necessary to insure its 
preservation in a long voyage. 

Independent of the quantities exported from Java 
to the other countries of the Archipelago, there 
were exported to Europe in Dutch, American, and 
English vessels, in 1818, no less than QJ^S^lj 
tons, or 540,4*287 cwts., and to the Isle of France 
and Cape of Good Hope 1821f tons, or 36,428* 
cwts. The quantity exported in native shipping 
from year to year is certainly not less than this, so 


that the whole export cannot fall short of 29,142 
tons. It may be roundly estimated, that this ex- 
jjortation may be about one-twentieth of the whole 
growth of the island. Java rice is also occasionally 
exported to China. Rice shipped at Batavia at one 
Spanish dollar perpicul, or 84 cents per cwt., may, 
reckoning freights at L.8 per ton, be sold in Eng- 
land at 15s. 21d. per cwt., allowing 30 percent, for 
interest of capital, profits of stock, deficiency of 
freight, and incidental charges. Rice shipped in 
Java, at the same rate, will bring an advance of 150 
to 200 per cent, in the market of Canton. In a 
free trade between Europe and China, vessels dis- 
charging their investments in the islands might, 
with advantage, therefore, fill up with rice, as, under 
such circumstances, freight to China could not ex- 
ceed L.l, 10s. per ton, or L.2 at the highest. 

Minor grains, or other secondary articles of food 
exported, are maize or Turkey corn, pulses and 
sago. The first are only articles of internal traf- 
fic from island to island ; or from a fertile and in- 
dustrious province or island to such as are less 
so. Tiirlicy corn is never separated from the ear, 
still less converted into flour for the convenience 
of transportation. 

Sago is an article of exportation to Europe, — to 
India, principally Bengal, — and to China. It is 
in its granulated form alone that it is ever sent 
abroad. The best sago is the produce of Siak, on 


the north coast of Sumatra. This is of a light 
brown colour, the grains large, and not easily bro- 
ken. The sago of Borneo is the next in value. 
It is whiter, but more friable. The produce of 
the Mokiccas, though greatest in quantity, is of 
the smallest estimation. The cost of granulated 
sago, from the hands of the grower or producer, is 
about twice the price of rice in Java, or a dollar a 
picul. In the market of Malacca, the sago of Siak 
may be had at from two to three dollars per picul. 
The sago of Borneo has been sold to the European 
merchant, in Java, as low as If dollar a picul. 
The foreign exporter will be able to ship the for- 
mer at from 3^ to 4fh dollars per picul. It may 
here be worth mentioning, that, within the last few 
years, the Chinese of Malacca have invented a pro- 
cess by which they refine sago so as to give it a 
fine pearly lustre. Not above four or five hundred 
piculs of this are manufactured. It is thought that it 
may be obtained at about 6 dollars per picul when 
the supply is more equal to the demand. A small 
quantity of it exposed for sale in the London mar- 
ket, in 1818, sold for about thrice the price of" or- 
dinary sago." 

Vegetable oils are produced and consumed in 
large quantities in the Indian islands, and might 
constitute, in time, a considerable article of expor- 
tation both to Europe and China. The oil of the 
ground pistachio and coco- nut are the most valu- 


able as edible oils, and as a burning oil that of the 
Talma Christi. The ground pistachio being the 
produce of considerable agricultural improvement, 
the oil is exported chiefly from Java and the other 
agricultural countries ; but the coco-nut grow- 
ing almost spontaneously, and depending for per- 
fection rather upon its vicinity to the sea than the 
fertility of the soil in which it grows, the oil of it 
is obtained in most abundance in the maritime 
countries, and is even an article of importation in- 
to Java, where the market price is usually about six 
Spanish dollars the picul. 

The ra'ii) cotton of the Indian islands has hither- 
to been almost entirely consumed on the spot. 
The most improved islands export cotton to their 
neighbours, as Java^ Bali^ Lomboc, Mmigarai, 
or Flores, Butung, &c. It may be remarked, that 
the production of cotton in considerable quantity, 
or, at least, in quantity for exportation, is confined 
to the islands which constitute the great chain 
which forms the southern barrier of the Archipela- 
go, beginning with Java, and ending with Timur- 
Lauty that portion of the Indian islands, in short, the 
geological formation of which is secondary rock. 

The price of Java cotton in the seed, the man- 
ner in which it is always produced for sale in the 
native market, may be estimated at from two to 
three dollars per picul. AVhen freed from the 
seed, an operation which deprives the inferior 



kinds of 75 per cent, of their weight, and the best 
of about 66 per cent, it costs from 10 to 11 dol- 
lars a picul, or SQs. 8d. per cwt. The ordinary- 
cotton of Java is considered in the market of 
Canton as equal in vakie to the second kind of 
Bombay cotton, and to the cotton of Tinnivelly. 
Samples of it exhibited in the London market were 
considered to have a woolly and w'eak staple, but 
brought l^|d. per pound, when Surat sold at l6:^d. 
and Bengal at ISd. It is believed by those who 
are acquainted with the subject, that it would 
be in higher estimation in the markets of the 
Chinese province of Fokien, if carried thither by 
the junks, than any where else. Cotton is a 
production which cannot be conveyed to a dis- 
tant market with any advantage, until the skill, 
intelligence, and economy of Europeans be ap- 
plied to its husbandry, preparation for the mar- 
ket, and transportation. It is cheapened and 
perfected, in short, by the application of skill and 
machinery, beyond any other produce of the soil. 
Thus, by a judicious selection of the best descrip- 
tions of cotton, the European cultivator enhances 
the value of his produce 81i per cent., as in the dif- 
ference between Surat and Georgia bowed cot- 
tons.. By the use of good machmery instead of hand 
labour, the wool is cheaply freed from the seed, 
and by compression of powerful machinery, an ar- 
ticle, naturally so bulky and expensive in transpor- 


tation, is made of cheap conveyance. The present 
low prices of cotton wool, and high prices of coffee 
and sugar, articles which may be brought into the 
market with less skill and less expenditure of capi- 
tal, are unfavourable to the rise of the cotton trade. 
It may be safely predicted, that in a more settled 
state of the markets oftJie world, a share of the ca- 
pital and skill of the inhabitants of Java may be ad- 
vantageously applied to it. With what advantage 
this may be done, we can estimate from the 
comparative costs of raising cottons for foreign ex- 
portation in Java, Bengal, Bombay, and Georgia. 
A picul of Java cotton may be shipped at 12, or- 
dinary Bengal cotton costs ISfj, Bombay I7 dol- 
lars, and the average of American cotton, for a pe- 
riod of years, and of all qualities, 26 Spanish 
dollars. China, from its vicinity, will always 
afford the best market for the cottons of the 
Indian islands. They may be sent thither for half 
the freights from Bengal, and probably for one- 
third of the freights from Bombay. The junks may 
be employed in conveying it even to a market 
nearly altogether new, that of the province of 
Fokien, where the cottons of the continent of In- 
dia will not interfere with it. At present they 
convey small quantities thither in the seedy a proof 
of the demand in China for the commodity, as it 
is reduced by being freed from the seed to one- 
fourth of its weight with it, and farther re» 


duced to one-third of the volume to which hard 
compression can reduce it by the application of 
machinery. It follows that the freight paid for it in 
the seed is twelve times greater than the necessary 
freight ! Exported to China by the junks at twelve 
Spanish dollars per picul, if properly screwed, and 
paying L. !2 per ton for freight, it might be sold 
with a gross profit of near 30 per cent, at twelve 
tahils. Bombay cotton of the second quality, or 
Tinnivelly cotton, may be quoted in the market of 
Canton usually at that price, but in that of JFokien 
cotton is much higher, not to say that this parti- 
cular kind of it is in higher esteem. 

Before any extensive intercourse took place be- 
tween continental India, and previous to the late 
wonderful improvement in the manufacture of the 
cotton fabrics of Europe, and the enlargement of 
intercourse between European nations and the 
Indian islands, the cotton cloths of the latter 
formed a considerable article of exportation from 
island to island, the more improved and agri- 
cultural tribes, that is to say, those that could, 
from superiority of soil and industry, grow cot- 
ton cheapest and most abundantly, furnishing their 
neighbours. Such stuifs are all the manufacture 
of the leisure hours of the women of the coun- 
try. From the imperfection of the machinery em- 
ployed, and, therefore, the great quantity of la- 
bour expended upon them, they arc comparatively 

VOL. III. z 


high priced. From the quantity of material they 
contain, however, and the care with which the 
thread is spun, they are heavy and durable fabrics. 
The superiority in cheapness of the fabrics of a re- 
fined and improved manufacture over such rude 
efforts of art, is always in the direct proportion of 
the quantity of skill which can be expended upon 
the smallest quantity of material. While the de- 
gree of art expended bears but a small proportion 
to the raw material, that is, when the fabric is 
coarse and heavy, the cotton fabrics of the islands 
are nearly as cheap as those of Great Britain. The 
former become dear in proportion as they become 
fine, and at last will bear no comparison at all, A 
picul of clean cotton wool costs in Java about 11 
Spanish dollars ; a picul of thread 24 Spanish dol- 
lars ; a picul of blue thread 35 Spanish dollars ; the 
same quantity of good ordinary coloured cloth, 50 
Spanish dollars. The spinning costs therefore 118 
per cent., the dyeing 46, and the weaving 108. In 
Bengal spinning is performed with so much more 
savina: of labour, that it costs little more than one 
half of what it does in Java. In Britain, thread of 
the fine quality, number 100, is spun at the ex- 
pence of not more than 30 per cent, on the 
cost of the raw material, or for 8d. per pound ! 
The raw material in Britain is,' at least, 125 per 
cent, more costly than in Java. It is transported 
over half the globe, — manufactured by a people 


among whom the price of corn is above seven times 
dearer than where it grew, * — is sent back by the 
same tedious voyage by which it came, — enters in- 
to competition with the manufactures of the coun- 
try, after paying heavy duties, — and finally drives 
them out of the markets by its cheapness and su- 
periority. This is one of the proudest and most 
unquestionable triumphs of the arts and sciences of 
a civilized people. The principal countries of the 
Archipelago in which cloth is manufactured for ex- 
portation are Java, Bali, and Celebes. More seems 
to depend on the quality of the raw material than 
the skill of the manufacturers. The cloths of Ce- 
lebes are the best, for they are fabricated from the 
fine cottons of Lamboc, Butung, and Mangarai. 
The cloths of Java, though cheaper in comparison, 
are coarser. 

Indigo, for reasons stated in the agricultural part 
of the work, has never constituted an important ar- 
ticle of the commerce of the Indian islands. The 
soil and climate are, indeed, peculiarly well suited 
to the growth of the plant, but the rude state of na- 
tive society, and the pernicious principles of Euro- 
pean government which have prevailed, have denied 

* Calculating rice at fifteen Spanish dollars per coyan, or 
7s. 5d, per quarter, and Hour at 52s. per quarter, the same 
quantities of each being supposed to go equal lengths as nu. 
triraent, on an estimate of the habits and constitution of the 
two races of men who respectively consume them. 


the existence of that skill and capital, without which 
this delicate product cannot be manufactured. 

The coarse drug manufactured by the natives 
for domestic use is, from a few situations in Java, 
exported in its liquid form in large jars, for the 
use of some of the neighbouring tribes, who are 
themselves incapable even of this rude degree of 
manufacture. The Dutch, pursuing the usual 
principles of their system of monopoly, laid several 
of the provinces of Java under contribution for in- 
digo, fixing the prices much below the natural 
value ; but a complete failure attended the attempt. 
Indigo, a much more precarious crop than any 
of those made by them the subject of agricultural 
monopoly, and requiring much more skill and ca- 
pital ill preparing it for a foreign market, of course 
sunk at once under the fatal touch of so rude 
a system. Before the British possession of Java, 
partial attempts had been made by European ad- 
venturers to manufacture a drug suited to the Eu- 
ropean market, and, as far as the quality of it was 
concerned, with signal success. In 1813, the 
quantity manufactured for the European market, 
or by the European process, did not exceed 20 pi- 
culs, or 2720 lbs. avoirdupois. Two English 
factories have been since established, which already 
manufacture SOO piculs, or 40,800 lbs. avoirdu- 
pois. By a new process pursued in the manufac- 
ture, and referred to in the agricultural part of 


this work, it is stated that much time is saved, and 
a drug of unifonn quality always obtained. This 
consists simply in drawing off the fluid from the 
steeping vats when the first fermentation has taken 
place, without waiting for a second, which only 
injures the quality of the Jceciila, without adding to 
their quantity. Specimens of this uniform drug are 
considered by English dyers as equal to good 
Bengal indigo. It is considered that it is manu- 
factured for about one rupee, or 2s. 3d. a-pound, 
and might be exported nearly at this price. 

Of fruits, tamarinds alone constitute an ar- 
ticle of foreign exportation. Java is the princi- 
pal exporting country. The best, which are 
of a very dark colour, nearly indeed black, and 
with a very large proportion of pulp to the seed, 
are the produce of the depending island of Madura. 
Those exported from one country of the Archipe- 
lago to another are merely dried in the sun. Such 
as are sent to Europe are cured with salt, and 
packed in tubs, weighing from two and a half to 
three piculs. The price paid by the resident mer- 
chant to the natives is as low as one and a half 
Spanish dollar the picul. They cost the mer- 
chant exporter about three dollars. 

Black pepper constitutes a great and valuable 
article of the exportations of the Indian islands ; 
which, indeed, afford by far the largest portion of 
what is consumed throughout the world. In the 


first intercourse of the Dutch and English with 
India, it constituted the most considerable and 
valuable article of their commerce. The produc- 
tion of pepper, as already remarked in the com- 
mercial department of this work, is confined to the 
western countries of the Archipelago, and among 
these to the islands in the centre and to the north- 
em quarter, including the peninsula. It is obtain- 
ed in the ports on both sides of the coast of the 
latter, but particularly the north-eastern coast. The 
principal staples are Pata?ii, Tri?iga?ni, and Kalari' 
ten. In the straits^ a large quantity is produced 
in the island of Linge?i, and above all, in Penang, 
where the capital of Europeans, and the skill and 
industry of the Chinese, have been successfully ap- 
plied to its culture. The western extremity of 
Sumatra, and the norlh-iL'est coast of that island, 
are the most remarkable situations in it for the 
production of pepper, and here we have Achin, 
Tikao, Bencoolen, Padang, and the country of the 
Lampungs. The production of the eastern extre- 
mity of Sumatra or Palembang is considerable, but 
held of inferior quality. In the fertile island of 
Java, the quantity of pepper grown is inconsider- 
able, nor is it remarkable for the goodness of its 
quality. The south, the west, and the north 
coasts of the great island of Borneo, produce a 
great quantity of pepper. Banjarmassin is the most 
productive place on the south coast, and the state 


of Borneo proper on the north coast. The best pep- 
per certainly does not grow in the richest soils, for 
the pepper of Java and Palembang are the worst of 
the Archipelago, and that of Penang and the west 
coast of Sumatra the best. Care in culture and 
curing improves the quality, as with other articles, 
and for this reason chiefly it is that the pepper of 
Penang is more in esteem than that of any other 
portion of the Archipelago.) 

The consumption of pepper is not confined to 
any one country in particular ; the whole world is 
the market for it, with the singular exception of 
the countries in which it grows, for as with the 
clove and nutmeg, the Indian islanders hardly 
ever use pepper for culinary purposes, and the 
consumption for occasional purposes is extremely 

The natural price of pepper in the Indian islands, 
or the cost of the labour of growing it, cannot, I 
think, be fairly estimated at above four Spanish 
dollars per picul, or li^d. per pound. To the ex- 
porter the price has of late years been pretty stea- 
dily about nine Spanish dollars, when purchasing 
it in large quantities at the emporia and from the 
European residents. This difference of price covers 
the freight, the detention, the risk of imposition, 
and other accidents which would result from deal- 
ing, in the small way, directly with the native trader. 
More capital and more competition, with tranquil- 


lity, confidence, and free trade, will, it may be pre- 
dicted, reduce, in time, the export price to about 
six Spanish dollars the picul. A cargo, laid in at 
nine Spanish dollars per picul, sells in England at 
the rate of 17iu'u per picul, or an advance of 92 per 
cent., and pays the exorbitant and unprecedented 
impost of 2s. 6d. per pound, or 328 per cent. In 
China, the same investment sells at an advance of 
about 90 per cent., and in Bengal at 108^ per 
cent., including 10 per cent, duties. The people 
of England pay for the pepper they consume 332 
per cent, more than the Chinese ; 294<2 per cent, 
more than the people of Bengal ; and 296 per 
cent, more than the Americans, who pay only a 
duty of eight cents of a dollar in the pound. 

The character of the European intercourse with 
India, in the different periods of the trade, is illus- 
trated in a most interesting manner, by directing 
our attention to the history of the pepper trade, of 
which I shall therefore give a short review. This 
may be divided into five periods, viz. that early one 
in which the commodities of the East were con- 
veyed by the numerous channels which I have de- 
scribed in another chapter — that in which the Por- 
tuguese principally supplied the market — the short 
period, during which there was an equal competi- 
tion in the market between the nations of Europe 
—the period of the close monopoly — and, lastly, 
the period of the present free trade. Pepper was 


sold in the markets of ancient Rome at the rate of 
3s. 5jd. per pound avoirdupois, * which, for con- 
venience of comparison, I shall give, on this and 
similar occasions, in Indian weights, making Spa* 
nish dollars 102— per picul. At what price this 
pepper was purchased in Malabar, from whence it 
must have come, cannot be stated, but, from the 
analogy of modern times, we may probably not err 
far by saying at 6~ Spanish dollars per picul. 
The advance then would be nearly 1 600 per cent. 
When the Greeks of Egypt facilitated and cheap- 
ened the carriage, by a skill and enterprise exceed- 
ing that of the Asiatic traders, and still more, 
when the cheaper and more abundant produce of 
the Indian islands found its way to Europe, it is 
probable that this price was greatly reduced. 

Munn states the price of pepper in India at 
^iVo Spanish dollars per picul. When it had reach- 
ed Aleppo, it was enhanced by 860 per cent., or 
cost 59i^V '^P^^is^ dollars, and, in the English 
market, it cost 3 s. 6d. per lb. or 103 /,f,, Spanish 
dollars per picul, or 7^ per cent, on the price at 
Aleppo, and 1580 per cent, on the first cost, 
nearly the price it cost to the Romans in the time 
of Pliny. 

In the time of the Portuguese, or about the 

* Arbuthnot's Tables, page 160. JMr Gibbon says it was 
sold at 10s. per pound. 


year 1583, Linschoten informs us that pepper 
was to be had in the markets of Sunda Calapa, the 
modern Batavia, at from 4 Spanish dollars and 
94 cents, to 5 93, and 6 91 cents, or an average 
of 5 dollars 93 cents per picul. Taking this as 
the rate in the markets of the Archipelago in the 
Portuguese times, we find the same pepper selling 
in the markets on the Caspian at 41 Spanish dol- 
lars and three cents, or an advance of 591 per 
cent, on the prime cost. This price must have been 
enhanced by the hostility of the Portuguese to- 
wards the Arabian and Turkish merchants ; and 
Edwards, agent to the Russian "Company, who 
gives the statement, says, " by the malice of the 
Turkish merchants.'* * Pepper was sold in Eng- 
land, towards the close of the Portuguese supre- 
macy in India, in 1592, at 4s. per pound, or 
1 18^0^5 Spanish dollars per picul, 14>f per cent, 
beyond the price it bore before the discovery of the 
route by the Cape of Good Hope, so that thus far 
Europe was a loser rather than a gainer by that 

In the short time that the Dutch had a tempo- 
rary monopoly of the pepper trade, by their naval 
superiority over the Portuguese, and in conse- 
quence of the French and English not having yet 
interfered with them, they raised the prices in Eu- 

* Hakluyt, Vol. II. page 391. 


rope to 8s. a-pound, or 100 per cent, more than 
the Portuguese price, and 128y per cent, above the 
ancient prices. If they purchased at the prices 
which the Portuguese did, or at an average of 
^imj Spanish dollars per picul, they must have sold 
at the enormous rate of 3895 per cent, advance. 
Tliis unfair monopoly price accounts at once for 
the enormous profits, which, in spite of their ig- 
norance, their wars, and their losses, they divided 
in the early period of their trade. 

The competition of the French, Dutch, and Eng- 
lish, in the beginning of the seventeenth century, 
necessarily raised the price of pepper in India. Com- 
modore Beaulieu tells us, that, in 16^0, he purchas- 
ed his pepper, including duties, at 8 Spanish dollars, 
and 89 cents, on the west coast of Sumatra. When 
no European competition existed, the price, the 
same voyager informs us, was, at Pulo Langkawi, 4* 
Spanish dollars and 27 cents the picul. Notwith- 
standing the higherprice paid at this period for pep- 
per, the wholesome effects of competition reduced 
it in England, according to Munn, from the Portu- 
guese price of 4s. to Is. 8d. per pound. Shortly 
after this, pepper again fell in India to its na- 
tural price, the growth appearing to have increased, 
and to have been commensurate with the de- 
mand. In the beginning of the eighteenth century. 
Captain Hamilton states, that the price he paid for 
pepper at Palembang was three Spanish dollars the 


picul, but the pepper of Palembang was in itself 
not of superior quality, and required garbling, so 
that we may state it at about four dollars the picul. 
Small quantities of pepper were to be had still low- 
er, and the same author mentions, thai he purchas- 
ed some at Jehor even as low as 2 Spanish dollars 
and 6.5 cents. Beeckman, in lyi^-j laid in a cargo 
at Banjarmassin at the rate of 4 Spanish dollars and 
50 cents, but thinks it ought to have been got 
much cheaper. After this time, the rigid mono- 
poly of our own East India Company being fully 
established, as well as that of the Dutch, and the 
free European traders who had resorted to the Ar- 
chipelago being excluded, the quantity of pepper 
grown was diminished, and the price rose from 
its natural rate to 12 to 14, and even 16 Spanish 
dollars per picul. From the year 1785 to 1791 
inclusive, a period of peace, the average price of 
pepper in Holland was above 15d. per pound, and 
in England, from Is. to Is. 8d. 

Since the establishment of some degree of free 
trade, the culture of pepper in the Indian islands 
has revived, — the cultivator obtaining an equitable 
price for it, and the merchant purchasing it at a fair 
one. In England, the price has, in consequence 
of this favourable turn in the trade, fallen below 
what it was ever known before, and at least to 100 
per cent, lower than the last monopoly price, to one- 



sixth of the ancient prices, to near one-seventh of 
the Portuguese prices, and to near one-third of Mr 
Munn's boasted prices, the ground of his estimate 
of the advantages which the East India Company 
conferred on the state. 

In the beginning of the seventeenth century, 
(l6l5,) Sir Dudley Digges states the consumption 
of England in pepper at 450,000 lbs., and Munn 
(1621) that of all Europe at G,000,000 of lbs. 
At present it has increased prodigiously, and per- 
haps the consumption of England is not less than 
1,113,584 lbs., nor that of ail Europe than 
15,890,000 lbs., the whole having increased since 
Mr Munn*s time, or in about two centuries to 
nearly two and two-thirds more than it then was. 

From these details some interesting and import- 
ant deductions may be made. The first remark 
that occurs is, that, as far as pepper, the principal 
article of exportation from India in the early inter- 
course of modern Europe with India is concerned, 
neither Europe nor India gained any advantage by 
the discovery of the new route by the Cape of Good 
Hope. The first obtained no better market for its 
produce, nor did the latter obtain a cheaper com- 
modity. In the ancient intercourse, pepper cost 
Ss. 6d. per pound, — under tljp^ Portuguese it cost 
4s. But the mere difference between land and 
sea carriao-e cannot be estimated at less than 70^ 
per cent. Supposing ijepper, by either route. 


to have been laid in in India at the rate of six Spa- 
nish dollars the picul, and freight to have ac- 
tually cost the Portuguese, in the early and im- 
perfect state of their navigation, as high as L. 50 
Sterling per ton, or above si:v times the present 
prices, they ought still, had there been a free trade, 
to have sold at 7d. per pound. To the difference 
between land and sea carriage must be added, the 
superior risk of three sea voyages, — the expences 
of frequent shipment and trans-shipment, the many 
arbitrary imposts, in the form of import, transit, 
and export duties, levied by barbarous states, * 
with the risk of plunder and depredation in passing 
through the territories of barbarous hordes, t 

Another important remark occurs, that, during 
the short period in which the Dutch had a mono- 
poly of the pepper trade, the price rose 100 per cent, 
above what it was in the time even of the Portu- 
guese, and 114S per cent, beyond what it had been 
before the discovery of the route by the Cape of 
Good Hope. This shews at once the condition to 

• The duties levied by the Soldans of Egypt alone are 
said to have amounted to one-third of the price of the goods 
at Alexandria. 

\ "What goods," says the author of the Wealth of Na- 
tions, " could bear the expence of land carriage between 
London and Calcutta ? Or, if there were any so precious as 
to be able to support the expence, with what safety could 
they be transported through the territories of so naany bar- 
barous nations ?" — Book I- Chap- III- 


which the pepper trade would have been reduced, 
could any one nation have been able to make a mo- 
nopoly of it as the Dutch did of the clove and 
nutmeo; trade. That this has not been done as 
with these two productions, we are not indebted to 
the wisdom or forbearance of the European policy 
of the times, but to the impracticableness of effect- 
ing so great a mischief. Pepper has a wide geo- 
graphical distribution, and the inhabitants of the 
countries in which it grows are compared to the 
feeble inhabitants of the Spice Islands, so powerful 
and spirited as to have afforded effectual resistance 
to a system which was a virtual spoliation of their 

The third remark which I have to make is on 
the state of the trade when an active competition 
existed in it between the Portuguese, French, 
Dutch, and English. Mr Munn triumphantly 
proclaims the advantages which England derives 
from the new trade of the East India Company, of 
which he was a member, and says that the country 
obtained spices nearly one-third cheaper than by 
the old route. It is evident, from what has just 
been stated of the conduct of the Dutch, that this 
fall was not owing to the conduct natural to a com- 
mercial monopoly, but to the effects of the busy 
competition which subsisted at the time between 
the European nations, during which the trade 
was followed by many of the beneficial conse- 


quenccs of freedom, for the grower at the time 
was obtaining a higher price than ever he obtained 
before, and the consumer a much cheaper commo- 
dity. The question is not whether it was cheaper 
than by the old route, but whether it was cheaper 
in tlie proportion it ought to have been cheaper. 
It was sold in England at this time at from Is. 8d. 
to 2s., whicli is nearly as high as it was sold at the 
same time in the markets on the Caspian, there- 
fore it was sold at a monopoly price still. Suppos- 
ing it purchased in the markets of India at eight 
dollars, allowing L. 16 per ton, or twice the pre- 
sent price, for freight, and 100 per cent, for profit, 
it was actually sold for from 108 to 150 per cent, 
above its natural market price ! If pepper was 
laid in at five Spanish dollars, it ought to have 
sold for 6d. per pound instead of 9^d. as the 
above rate of enhancement supposes. 

In the last period of the trade, or that of the 
enlargement of British commerce, the price has 
sunk to less than one half of the average it had 
borne in the most favourable periods of the close 
monopoly, a price beyond which, in times of tran- 
quillity, it is not probable it will ever rise again, 
but indeed fall much below. This fact speaks 
for itself, and requires no comment. 

The last remark to be offered regards the rela- 
tive consumption of pepper now and at former 
times, ^\^len the price was 1 s. 8d. per pound, the 


consumption of all Europe was ^.000,000 lbs. It 
has continued to increase since that time with the 
increase of wealth and of consumers ; and, in the 
period before the suppression of the monopoly, 
when the prices had fallen to one half what they 
were when Mr Munn's estimate was made, it 
had increased to 11,218,000 lbs. The price has 
since fallen to less than lid. per pound, or about 
one-third of Mr Munn's price ; and, unless pep- 
per be different from all other commodities, we 
may reckon upon a corresponding increase of con- 
sumption. A practical illustration of this estab- 
lished maxim in political economy is afforded by 
the progressive increase of consumption, in pro- 
portion to the fall of prices within the last few 
years in England alone. In 1814, when the price 
was lid. the consumption was only 785,89^ lbs. ; 
in 1816, when it was 8J^d. it was 914,840; and 
in 1818, when the price sunk to yd. the consump- 
tion became ], 113,584, or 147 per cent, more 
than in Mr Munn's time. If it is reasonable to 
suppose the consumption of other parts of Europe 
has been in this ratio, the whole consumption at pre- 
sent ought to be about sixteen millions of pounds, or 
as 8 is to S of the consumption two centuries back. 
In point of quality, the pepper of the Indian 
islands is usually reckoned inferior to that of Mala- 
bar, but there exists no material difference between 
them, as between some other colonial productions, 

VOL. III. A a 


such as cotton, coft'^'c, cloves, &c. • In the market of 
Bengal, where they meet on equal tenns, the pro- 
duce of Malabar usually fetches about 2 per cent, 
more than that of the Indian islands. In the mar- 
kets of Europe there is a difference of ^d. a pound 
in favour of Malabar pepper, but in China no dif- 
ference whatever is made. 

In point of cheapness, the Malabar pepper will 
bear no comparison with that of the Indian islands. 
When Malabar pepper is sold in the markets of 
Bombay, at the rate of 16 Spanish dollars per pi- 
cul, that of the Archipelago is sold in Batavia at 
9 Spanish dollars the picul, or 45 per cent, cheap- 
er. The same rate of difference seems always to 
have existed. Buchanan tells us, that 120 rupees 
a candy, or 11 Spanish dollars and 11 cents a pi- 
cul, are a price too small to enable the cultivators 
of Canara to grow pepper. The Indian islanders 
can afford to grow it, as already shewn, for 4 Spa- 
nish dollars, or for little more than one third of 
the Malabar prices. * When free European trad- 
ers received the pepper of the Indian islands at 
4 and 5 Spanish dollars the picul, they paid in Ma- 
labar 7tV(J dollars. The Dutch and English com- 

* Hamilton, giving an account oPJelior, says, *' About 
SOO tons are the common export of pepper, and we have it 
for almost one half o( the price we pay for Malabar pepper." 
New Account of the East Indies, Vol. II. p. 156. 


panies, in the beginning of last century, paid in 
Malabar at the rate of 7i^fnj Spanish dollars the pi- 
cul, while they obtained it in the Archipelago at 
3 and 3} Spanish dollars. 

Some loose attempt may be made at estimating 
the consumption of different countries in pepper. 
The whole produce of Malabar * is considered to 
amount to 6000 candies, 28,8UOpiculs,orS,840,000 
lbs. avoirdupois ; considerably less than the little 
island of Penang produced at one period. The 
quantity of pepper imported into China by Eu- 
ropean traders is annually 20,560 piculs, or 
f^,74<l, 333 lbs. It may be presumed that the junks 
take as much more, or, in all, 5,4^82,666. The 
Dutch send to Japan 30,000 lbs. annually. The 
quantity, on an average of eleven years, imported in- 
to Bengal, was 35,000 Bazar maunds, or 21,000 pi- 

• " Black pepper is the grand article of European com- 
merce with Malabar. Before the invasion of Hyder, the 
country now called the province of Malabar produced an- 
nually about 15,000 candies of 640 lbs. The quantity con- 
tinued gradually diminishing until ITSS-it, when Colonel 
Macleod's army came into the province, since which the de« 
crease has been more rapid, and continues every year to 
augment." — Buchanan* s Journey, Sec. \o\. TI. p, 530. Dr 
Buchanan ascribes the diminution entirely to disturbances 
and misgovernment, but I imagine it is more to be attributed 
to the high cost of growing, and the consequent inability of 
competing with the produce of the Indian islands. 


culs, or 2,800,000 lbs. almost the whole of which 
is from the Indian islands. The whole quantity 
sent to Europe is 11,218,000 lbs. The peninsula 
of India is chiefly, though not entirely, supplied 
with the produce of Malabar, and so are the coun- 
tries on the Persian and Arabian Gulf. The coun- 
tries lying between Siam and China are supplied 
with their own produce, of which it would be in 
vain to conjecture the amount. The home con- 
sumption of the Indian islands is very trifling. 

Coffee^ although not a native product of the In- 
dian islands, — ^but recently known in their commer- 
cial history, — and still nearly confined to one island, 
is one of the most important articles of trade. As 
mentioned in the agricultural portion of the work, 
coffee was introduced into Java in the early part of 
the eighteenth century, to which, with the excep- 
tion of a suLill quantity of indifferent produce^ 
grown on the west coast of Sumatra, which occa- 
sionally finds its way into the market of Calcutta, 
it is still confined. The soils and countries in 
which the coffee and pepper plants thrive are ex- 
tremely different. The soil which suits coffee 
must be fertile and good. Pepper is more indis- 
criminate, and thrives in a much inferior soil. The 
lands suited for both are at present in such abund- 
ance, that they scarcely bear any rent ; but scarci- 
ty will naturally be first felt in coffee lands, and 
tliis circumstance will sooner render coffee high 


priced than pepper. At present the labour of 
raising these two commodities is nearly the same, 
and, therefore, their price is nearly alike. They 
occupy the same area of ground, are equally proli- 
fic, bear in the same time, and live nearly the same 
time. Coffee may, I imagine, be raised in Java, 
with an ample profit to the farmer, at 4 Spanish 
dollars the picul. 

Holland is the principal market of Java coffee, 
and here it is distinguished into pale, yellow, and 
brown, varieties which depend on the age of the 
commodity, and not on the modes of culture, or 
on any permanent difference in the plants which 
yield them. The pale coffee is the newest and 
lowest priced. The brown is the oldest and most 
esteemed. Coffee stored in Java loses the first 
year eight per cent., the second about five, and 
the third about two, after which it continues 
stationary, and assumes a brown colour. This 
is the brown coffee of commerce. There is a loss 
of 15 per cent, of weight, and at least two years 
and a half of the interest of money, and profits 
of stock upon this commodity. It is probable, 
therefore, that the brown coffee will disappear from 
the markets. The Dutch acquired a taste for it 
during the time in which the coffee used to be te- 
diously and improvidently stored, when the mono- 
poly was in full force. Coffee is an article of co- 
lonial produce, the value of the different varieties 


of which is in a good measure determined by the 
taste or caprice of" the consumer. In the Dutch 
market, pale or new Java coiFee bears the same 
price as the coffees of St Domingo and Cuba, and is 
15 per cent, worse than ordinary West India cof- 
fees, yelloxi) coffee is 41? per cent, better than Bour- 
bon or even Mocha, and bro''d!;n coffee is 'i5 per 
cent, better even than the last. In the London 
market, the average of Java coffees is 20 per 
cent, better than Jamaica. Java brown coffee in 
the London market is nearly on a par, but rather 
superior to Mocha. In the markets of Ben- 
gal and Bombay, Mocha coffee ranks very high, 
and is no less in the latter than 82 per cent, su- 
perior to Java. This relation, however, is only 
to inferior Java coffee, triage y as it is called in com- 
mercial language, such only having been sent to 
Bombay. The whole produce of Java in coffee is 
120,000 piculs for the western parts or country of 
the Sundas, and about 70,000 for the eastern dis- 
tricts, or in all, the picul being 136 pounds avoir- 
dupois, 25,810,000 pounds, which is equal to two- 
sevenths of the whole produce of the British West 
Indies, about the nineteenth part of the consumption 
of Europe, which is reckoned at 54,260 tons, or 
486,158,960 pounds avoirdupois. The quantity 
of land in Java fit to grow coffee .is immense, and 
any scarcity of it cannot be anticipated for many 
years. Such is its abiuidance, that it can hardly be 



said to pay any rent, or to have any price, where- 
as in the West Indies, Edwards estimates the price 
of lands fit for growing coffee at L.2= per acre. Un- 
der tliese circumstances, and the cheap rate of labour, 
the quantity which might be grown appears ahnost 
interminable. It is only necessary for this, that 
the culture should h^^completely free and unshack- 
led, and that no injudicious impost should be levied 
upon it. The existing administration of the co- 
lony has made some liberal advances towards such 
a system, but half enough has not yet been effected, 
for it may safely be asserted, that a government 
that understands the ever-inseparable interests of 
itself and its subjects, has no more to do with the 
culture or trade in coffee, than in that of bread 
corn. Under the present management, it is aS' 
sorted by competent judges, that in five years 
from the time in which the high prices began 
to affect the free culture, or 1817, the quantity 
of coffee which Java will be capable of yield- 
ing will not be less than 70,000,000 of pounds, 
which will equal the production of St Domingo in 
the year 1790, when its cultivation was carried to 
the highest pitch under the French. 

From the rates at which coffee has been of late 
years sold in Java, it is impossible to form any opi- 
nion of its natural price. The supply of coffee 
grown in all the countries which produce it has 
j)ot, in fact, been equal to the demand of the 


European market, and until supply and demand 
be equalized, it will be impossible to ascertain it. 
Any quantity of coffee might be had in Java in 
1812, at 2 Spanish dollars a picul. It rose in 
1814, and the following years, to 10, to 15, to^O, 
to 30, and in the keenness of competition, once 
reached 37 dollars. If pepper, which so exactly 
resembles it in the labour necessary to produce it, 
can be imported into Java, and sold there for 9 
dollars j coffee, the produce of the country, not 
chargeable with freight, ought not, even in the pre- 
sent circumstances of the trade, to exceed eight. 
In a free and fair state of trade and production, 
coffee, like pepper, will be grown at 4 Spanish 
dollars, and 6 Spanish dollars per picul may 
be considered a fair exportation price, which 
should cover the risk of the merchant in making 
advances to the native cultivator, pay him inci- 
dental charges, and afford him a good profit. Ex- 
ported at 9 Spanish dollars the picul, coffee, 
paying freight at the rate of L.8 per ton, and 
allowhig 50 per cent, for profit, insurance, and 
incidental charges, might be sold in Europe at 
about 55s. per cwt., which is nearly the present 
price of pepper. 

The cost of growing West India coffee has 
been estimated by Edwards at 57fs. per cwt., or 
ISimj Spanish dollars per picul, 285^ per cent, 
higher than the actual cost of growing Java coffee. 


157 per cent, higher than I have supposed it prac- 
ticable for the European resident merchant to ex- 
port it, and 7H per cent, beyond the price as esti- 
mated by the parallel produce of pepper. We 
have the price of Mocha coffee from Neibour, who 
states it, in 1763, as high as 16 j Spanish dollars 
the picul. • In a state of fair trade, and with equal 
duties in the markets of Europe, it is evident enough 
from this, that the produce of the West India islands, 
or Arabia, would stand no chance of competition 
with that of Java. The market price of Java 
coffee is at present regulated, and will continue 
to be regulated, until the quantity greatly increases, 
by the prices of the general market. The differ- 
ence between the cost of growing and bringing to 
market the coffee of Java, and the dearer produce 
of other countries, is a premium paid to the cul- 
tivator of the former, until his own produce shall 
begin to regulate the general market. 

Sugar is a production for which, like coffee, the 
Indian islands are indebted to the enterprise and 
knowledge of Europeans. Java, and Luconia, or 
Lusong, are the principal places of production. The 
Chinese residing in Siam have of late years manu- 
factured, indeed, a considerable quantity of excel- 
lent quality, which finds its way into the Archipe- 
lago, and eventually to Europe. All the sugar 

* Description de I'Arabic, Tom. II. p. 52. 


manuflictured in the Indian islands is of the de- 
scription called clayed. The sugar in manufactu- 
ring is formed in pots, the lower part of which be- 
ing the worst clayed, and the upper the best, this 
circumstance determines the commodity into two 
qualities in the market. The manufacture is en- 
tirely in the hands of the Chinese. To these the 
Euroj^ean resident merchants make advances, and 
the produce is delivered at the end of the manu- 
facturing season. I have already attempted to es- 
timate the cost of growing sugar in Java, and stat- 
ed it at ^j-j^ Spanish dollars the picul of 136 lbs. 
The European merchants at present contract with 
the planters at the following rates : — For the best 
*ivhite sugars from five to six and a half dollars the 
picul of 136 lbs. avoirdupois ; and for the brown 
from four to four and a half dollars, or an average 
for both of five Spanish dollars. It is usually sold 
to the exporter for about eight dollars the white, 
and six or seven the brown. These high prices, 
and a free culture and trade in the commodity, 
have been, within the last few years, the cause of 
an immense increase in the culture of the sugar 
cane. This has been most remarkable in the rich 
districts of the eastern part of the island. In 
1813, the quantity of sugar produced in the cen- 
tral districts did not exceed 10,000 piculs, or 
12,14(2'^ cwts. In 1818, it had increased six-fold, 
or was 60,000 piculs, or y-^S^y} cwts. The quan- 


tity produced in the "doestern districts is 120,000 
piculs, or 145,7144 cvvts., and in the eastern extre- 
mity of the island about 20,000 piculs, or 24,285|- 
cwts., making, in all, 200,000 piculs, or 242,857|- 
cwts., or 27,200,000 lbs. 

The quality of Java sugar will be best ascer- 
tained from comparing it with other sugars in the 
market in which it is best known. When a pound 
of Java sugar, mijced brown and white, sells in the 
market of Rotterdam for 10^ groots. 

Bengal sells for 

9 groots. 

British West India 










It may be obsei*ved, in respect to the quality of 
these sugars, that those of Manilla, Java, and Bra- 
zil, are nearly equal. 

Edwards has estimated the price of growing su- 
gar in Jamaica at 18s. Qd. per cwt., making 22s, 
9 Id. per picul. By the estimate I have furnished, 
this is 125 per cent, dearer than Java sugar. 
Under a system of colonial policy and government 
perfectly liberal and free, I should calculate upon 
good clayed sugar being exported from Java at the 


low rate of from three to four Spanish dollars per 
picul. * 

The better part of the molasses obtained in the 
manufacture of the sugar of Java is, in the present 
abundance of it, nearly wasted, especially in the 
eastern districts, where no arrack is manufactured. 
Any quantity may be purchased on the spot where 
the sugar is manufactured at the rate of half a dol- 
lar per picul ; and the finest might, were there a 
market for it, be delivered to the exporter at 4s. 
per cwt. 

The Arrack, or spirits manufactured from rice, 
molasses, and palm wine, is made in large quanti- 
ties, chiefly for domestic consumption. In former 
times, it was exported in considerable quantity, 
particularly to Europe and Madras. The arrack 
of commerce is of three kinds, which are mere va- 
rieties in the strength of the spirit. The leaguer of 
the highest proof, including duties, is usually sold 
at from 60 to 75 Spanish dollars, according to the 
demand, which is 45 cents of a Spanish dollar per 
gallon, and one of the second at from 45 to 55 

♦ Hamilton, in 1710, purchased sugar at Japara, the 
principal place of manufacture at present also, lower than I 
have here stated it. "I bought," says he, '' good white su- 
gar in cakes here for two Dutch dollars per picul, being 
140 lbs. English suttle weight.'' 


Spanish dollars, or S3 cents per gallon. It is cal- 
culated that the best may be afforded, including 
duties, for seven Spanish dollars per picul, which is 
37 cents, or 20d. per gallon, and the ordinary at 
28 cents, or 15d. 

The first of the peculiar and most valued of the 
exports of the Indian islands is the clove, of the 
agriculture of which I have already furnished an 
ample account. The clove requires very little care 
or preservation as an article of commerce. It is 
simply packed in bags weighing 224 lbs. each, and 
in this state suffers no deterioration from keeping. 
For two centuries it has now been an article of 
rigid monopoly in culture and commerce, and du- 
ring that period sold to the consumer at a price 
exorbitantly beyond its natural value. As the 
commerce in it is at present conducted, it is too in- 
considerable to deserve much serious attention. 
It deserves, however, to be inquired, what circum- 
staiices have contributed to reduce the trade in an 
article of elegant and innocent luxury, for which 
nations of every rank of civilization have an univer- 
sal taste, to it present insignificant amount, and to 
point out the means by which the commerce in it 
may be enlarged, and the natural rights of the 
grower and consumer restored. We possess abun- 
dant facts to enable us to do this, and we have 
only to apply to them the acknowledged j)rin- 
ciple, that a free competition alone can insure to 


the grower the whole value of his produce, and to 
the consumer the cheapest commodity. It will be 
no difficult matter to prove, that the diminished 
consumption of cloves, which has been absurdly 
and inconsiderately ascribed to a caprice of fashion, 
has, in fact, been principally owing to an enhance- 
ment of their cost, — that the clove is naturally a 
cheap and abundant production, and that a free 
trade in it will be inevitably attended by a great 
increase of consumption. I shall do this by 
furnishing a calculation of the natural price of 
cloves, and corroborate it by a review of the prices 
of the commodity in the different periods of the 
trade. The natural price of the clove may be best 
understood by a comparative statement of the la- 
bour of growing it, with that of articles of the 
same countries, the cost of which has been ascer- 
tained by free culture, — pepper and coffee are 
those articles with which it is most natural to in- 
stitute a comparison. In the existing relation' of 
land to capital, the lands required for all three af- 
ford no renty on account of their abundance. This 
is more peculiarly applicable to the clove, perhaps, 
than to the others. An acre of pepper vines will 
yield II6I lbs. of clean pepper ; an acre of cloves 
only 375 lbs. If the expence of growing cloves, 
therefore, were in proportion to the produce of a 
given area of land, they ought to be nearly three 
times the price of pepper. This, however, is by 


no means the case. The principal labour is in the 
first culture of the ground, and the planting of 
the trees. In the culture of clove trees, there is 
in J5 years only the labour of preparing one acre 
of land, and of planting, rearing, and reaping 
75 trees, which will in that time give a produce of 
S4',750 lbs. In that of pepper, there will be in 
the same time the labour of the preparation of 31 
acres of land, and the rearing of 5805 vines and 
props. The produce will be 74^)014 lbs. 

The relative expence of growing these two pro- 
ducts, according to the system o£ Jbrced culture, 
will aflPord another means of determining their re- 
lative prices. In Amboyna, 50 clove trees are as- 
signed to the care of one man ; in Bencoolen 500 
pepper vines. The produce of the labourer in 
the first case is 2181 lbs., and that of the second 
^03 ;T lbs. This would seem to imply that the na- 
tural price of the clove, the cost of rearing it, is 
really smaller than that of pepper. 

We have a further means of judging of their re- 
lative cost by the prices given respectively for them 
by the monopolists. The real price paid to the 
cultivator for cloves is 3id. per lb. avoirdupois, or 
nearly eight Spanish dollars per picul of 133] lbs. 
In Bencoolen there is paid for pepper in all about 
4tutt per picul. 

We may again compare the prices determined by 
these data with the natural market rate of the com- 


modity before violence or impolicy interfered with it. 
The companions of Magellan, in 1521, purchased 
cloves at the Moluccas at the following rates by bar- 
ter : For ten yards of good scarlet broad cloth they 
received a bahar of cloves weighing 594^ lbs, avoir- 
dupois ; and for fifteen yards of middling cloth 
the same quantity. If we take the value of the 
finest broad cloth at 24s. per yard, * we shall 
have the price of the cloves at nearly 12 Spanish 
dollars per picul. In 1599, the Dutch, in their 
first voyage, obtained their cloves in the Moluccas 
at the rate of lOj^ Spanish dollars, which proba- 
bly included some charges and duties, for, in the 
following year, regular contracts were entered in- 
to as low as ^f^ Spanish dollars. The price paid 
for pepper at this time in the markets of the west- 
ern part of the Archipelago was -6 Spanish dollars. 
From all these data, we may fairly conclude that the 
natural price of growing cloves cannot, at all 
events, be more than 50 per cent, higher than that 
of growing pepper, — that that price may be about 
6 Spanish dollars, and would, in a free state of the 
market, be to the exporter not more than 8 Spa- 
nish dollars. 

The clove trade is naturally divided into the three 
following periods, — when it was conducted by the 
natives through many steps, and reached the distant 

Wealth of Nation Sf Baok I. chap. ii. 


nations of Europe by precarious voyages and distant 
land journeys, — when it reached them partly through 
that channel and partly through the Portuguese by 
the new route, — when the nations of Europe com- 
peted for the commodity in the markets of the Mo- 
luccas and of Europe, — and, lastly, when the supre- 
macy of the Dutch was fully established and exclud- 
ed all competition. In the first period, if we imagine 
the Arabs, Malays, and Chinese, to have purchas- 
ed cloves in the Moluccas at their natural market 
rate, or 8 Spanish dollars, we may then trace them 
on their way to Europe. At Siinda Calapa, or 
the modern Batavia, one of the emporia at which 
the traders of the west obtained cloves, Linschoten 
informs us, that the commodity was to be obtain- 
ed at from 12^ Spanish dollars to 15^, or at an 
average of nearly 14 Spanish dollars, which would 
afford a reasonable profit between the Moluccas 
and Java in the rude state of commerce and navi- 
gation which prevailed. When the cloves, pur- 
chased at the emporia of the west, had reached as 
far as the Caspian, and thus made two sea voyages 
with a tedious, expensive, and dangerous land 
journey, they cost no more than 91j\j77 Spanish 
dollars, or were enhanced 551 per cent. * Munn 
informs us, that the price of cloves, when they had 
got as far as Aleppo, was 140 /^J^^ Spanish dollars. 

* Edwards in Hakluyt's Collection, Vol. II. p. 291. 
VOL. III. B b 


and that the ancient selling price in England, after 
the voyage from Aleppo to Venice, from Venice 
to Bruges or Antwerp, and thence to England, 
was 237ioo Spanish dollars, nearly thirty times the 
prime cost, seventeen times the price at the emporium 
of Sunda Calapa, 160 per cent, on the price at the 
markets of the Caspian, and 68 per cent, beyond 
the Aleppo prices. This is, in a few words, a pic- 
ture of the distant commerce of all other barba- 
rous times. 

During the second period of the trade in cloves, 
or that of the dominion of the Portuguese, very 
little change appears to have been effected in the 
price of cloves, for Europe was supplied partly 
through the Portuguese, and partly with the pro- 
duce which came over-land, a proof that the Por- 
tuguese could not have brought a great deal, or 
materially interfered with the commerce of the 
Arabs. The Dutch had hardly established their 
connection with the Moluccas when they were 
followed by the English, and both had to com- 
pete with the Portuguese, the Chinese, and na- 
tive traders, that is, the Malays, Javanese, and 
Macassars. The price of cloves, of course, rose, 
and in l6l9, Rumphius * informs us, that the 
Dutch Governor-General Coen was compelled 
to allow by contract 13^^ Spanish dollars the 
picul for them, but that this did not satisfy 

* Manuscript History of Amboyna. 


the natives, who were in the habit of receiv- 
ing from the English often as much as 18j~j 
Spanish dollars the picul. Munn says, the Eng- 
lish paid as high as 22^, but Munn was mak- 
ing out a case for the East India Company, 
and probably this is an exaggeration."^ The 
same competition, as we have already seen, rais- 
ed pepper to 8A^-. The cloves purchased in the 
Indies at these prices, we are informed by Munn, 
were sold in England at the rate of 177TT)n Spanish 
dollars, or 850 per cent, advance on the highest of , 
these prices. I come now to the last period of the 
history of the clove trade, that of the close mono- 
poly of the Dutch. This may be said to date 
from the expulsion of the English, in 1623, and 
therefore has continued near two centuries. An at- 
tempt to impose the monopoly of cloves, in trade 
and culture, occasioned constant wars and insur- 

* " The Governor, Van Spult, again sent an expedition 
of war-boats against Loehoe and Cambello, to compel the 
inhabitants of these districts to cut down their clove trees, 
as they refused to leave off trading with foreigners, and, as 
there was no means of preventing them, for, when they knew 
of any strangers arriving, they would conceal their ships in 
by places and carry their cloves to them. The English es- 
pecially hurt the market exceedingly, giving for a bahar of 
cloves from 80 to lOO rix dollars, a price which the natives 
desired from us also." — Rumphius's Manuscript History of 
Amboyna, Chap. viii. 


rections in the Moluccas down to the year 1681, 
when the Dutch at length established the monopo- 
ly to their heart's desire. That they might regu- 
late and control production and price just as they 
thought proper, the clove trees were extirpated 
every where but in Amboyna, the seat of their 
power ; and the surrounding princes were bribed 
by annual stipends to league with them for the de- 
struction of their subjects' property and birthright. 
This plan was begun about the year 1551. * The 
contracts are still in force, and an annual fleet vi- 

* " Admiral Vlaming," says Ruraphius, " having now re- 
turned frora Banda, and observing, as before stated, that 
the Company was overstocked with cloves, he longed for 
an opportunity of rooting up a portion of the clove trees. 
The existing disaffection seemed to him to afford that op- 
portunity, by means of which the whole produce might 
be secured to the Company, and the faithless inhabitants 
be prevented from smuggling. With this view, he request- 
ed the king of Ternate to come to Amboyna, that he 
might accompany him to Batavia, to take measures with 
the Governor- General and Council for settling the affairs 
of the Moluccas. He also proposed to the king that he 
should cause to be extirpated ail the clove trees in his 
country, as they were the cause of all the disaffection 
which existed, and that he should yearly receive, in con- 
sideration of this service, a good sum in money." In ano- 
ther place he says that, on one occasion, at a single ga- 
thering, Amboyna alone produced, for the first crop, a rich 
harvest of two thousand bahars, 1,188,000 lbs. avoirdupois, 
but that Jbrtune favoured the admiral, for the troops sent to 
ravage the country succeeded in destroying a great many 
sago and cocoa-nut trees, with 3000 clove trees ! 


sits the surrounding islands, to suppress the growth 
of cloves, which, in their native country, spring 
up, with a luxuriance which these measures of Sa- 
tanic rigour, and of sacrilege towards bountiful 
Nature, can scarce repress. 

By the plan on which the clove trade is now 
conducted, a plan carried into effect through so 
much iniquity and bloodshed, the country of spices 
is rendered a petty fanu, of which the natural 
owners are reduced to the worst condition of pre- 
dial slavery, and the great monopoHzer and op- 
pressor is that government whose duty it should 
have been to insure freedom and afford protection. 
Human ingenuity could hardly devise a plan more 
destructive of industry, more hostile to the growth 
of public wealth, or injurious to morals, than this 
system, framed in a barbarous age ; and it reflects 
disgrace upon the character of a civilized people to 
persevere in it. 

It is curious to remark how the monopolizers, in 
carrying the details of this system into effect, at 
once impose upon the natives and deceive them- 
selves. The nominal price paid to the natives is 
actually above the natural price of the commodity, 
but they are cheated in the details. The cultiva- 
tor brings his produce to the public stores, where 
it is subjected at once to a deduction of one-fifth, 
for payment of the salaries of the civil and military 
officers. The price of the remainder is fixed at 


the rate of 9/00 Spanish dollars the picul, but before 
payment is made, another deduction of one-fifth 
is made, one half of which is for the benefit of the 
chiefs or r^ajas, and the other for the native elders, 
who are overseers of the forced culture. The real 
price, therefore, paid to the grower, is, Spanish 
dollars 8 per picul, or 3 Id. per pound avoirdupois, 
instead of Spanish dollars 1 1 iln per picul, or 43d. 
per pound, which is pretended to be given. 

When cloves have been sold on the spot, the 
price usually exacted has been about 64 Spanish 
dollars the picul, or eight times the price paid to 
the cultivator ! The average price in Holland, 
previous to the war of the French Revolution, may 
be taken at 6s. per pound, or IT^-iio Spanish dol- 
lars per picul, 2122 per cent, advance on the real 
cost of the commodity in the place of its growth. 
When brought direct to England, they have cost, 
on an average, Ss. 8d. the pound, making lOSiun 
per picul, an advance on the natural export price 
of 1258 per cent. ! 

With respect to the quantity of cloves grown 
and consumed in different periods of the trade, 
from the nature of the subject, our information 
cannot be expected to be any thing more than 
an approximation. Argensola informs us that 
\\iejive Moluccas alone, exclusive of Gilolo, Am- 
boyna, &c. produced yearly, in the time of the 
Portuguese and Spanidi supremacy, 4000 bahars, 


or 2,376,000 lb. avoirdupois. He adds a most iiir 
structive and important fact, that, when the trade 
was free, the quantity produced was increased to 
one-half more, or 6OOO bahars, making 3,564,000 
lbs. In the year 1631, the quantity yielded by 
Amboyna was greatly reduced by the depredations 
of the Dutch, and what was delivered to them was 
only 1300 bahars, or lbs. avoirdupois 772,497. A 
great deal more, however, was actually produced, 
for the natives were naturally disinclined to supply 
the Dutch, and sold what they could to other 
strangers. The whole produce at present does 
not, it is believed, average above 700,000 lbs. 
The average consumed yearly in Europe, in the 
period before the Spice Islands fell into the hands 
of the English, was about 553,000 lbs. During 
the last British possession of the Moluccas, the 
average consumption of Europe, on an estimate of 
five years, from 1814 to 1818, was 365,000 lbs. 
Of this Great Britain consumed annually 78,000 
lbs., of which 7^,000 lbs. were the produce of 
Cayenne. The duty on Molucca cloves during 
this time in England was no less than 5s. 72d. the 
lb., more than twenty fold the price of the com- 
modity where it grows, and making, with the price, 
the real cost to the consumer thirty«four times that 
price ! 

The facts brought forward in these statements 
are amply sufficient to point out the true causes of 


the decline of tlie clove trade. Production and 
consumption naturally declined, because, by the 
arts of the monopoly, the price was so exorbitantly 
enhanced, that the consumer could not afford to 
buy. The production of the five Moluccas, which, 
in the best times, was 3,5G4,000 lbs. fell, in 
the early period of the Dutch administration, to 
2,3 IG, 600 lbs. The consumption of Europe, 
which, in 1621, was 450,000 lbs., was, on an ave- 
rage, from 1786 to 1791, only 553,000 lbs., and 
from 1814 to 1818 only 365,000 lbs. It is not 
enough to say that the price fell numerically. It 
ought to have fallen in the proportion of other ar- 
ticles likely to be substituted for cloves, or likely to 
supplant them. It ought to have fallen in the 
proportion of black and long pepper, pimento, gin- 
ger, &c. the consumption of all of which has, in the 
same time, greatly increased. If cloves and pep- 
per were, the one 8s. per pound, and the other 
3s. 6d. previous to the discovery of the new route 
to India, and pepper fell afterwards from competi- 
tion to Is. 8d. ; cloves ought to have fallen to 3s, 
9 -Id., instead of which they were 6s. If the clove 
trade had partaken of the freedom of which the 
pepper trade has of late years received, when the 
price of it has fallen to 7d. per pound, cloves ought 
legitimately to have fallen to Is. 4d. per pound. 
It is not true that the actual consumption of cloves 
has diminished in England, but in reference to 


increased wealth and population, it is strictly so. 
In 1615, it was computed that the consumption of 
England was fifty thousand pounds, and it is in- 
creased, in the present state of wealth and luxury, 
but by 56 per cent., whereas the increase in pep- 
per is 147 per cent. It would be strange if the 
case were otherwise, when we advert that, for years 
back, the actual cost to the consumer, including 
duty, has been 16 per cent, greater than before 
the discovery of the route by the Cape of Good 
Hope, and 55 per cent, more than in the com- 
mencement of our intercourse with the Indies ! 

Besides the cloves of the Moluccas, the Isle of 
Bourbon, and Cayenne, produce cloves originally 
brought from the Moluccas, the only part of the 
world to which the clove is indigenous. The 
cloves of Bourbon, in the market of Bombay, are 
0,5 parts less valuable than those of the Moluccas, 
in China 33? per cent., and, in the London market, 
10 per cent. If the clove suffered deterioration, 
as Rumphius and other good authorities assure us, 
by being merely translated from the genuine Mo- 
luccas to Amboyna in their immediate neighbour- 
hood, it is not to be expected they should bear a 
change of several degrees of latitude. The exist- 
ence of the culture in Bourbon or Cayenne rests 
entirely on the frail foundation of the existence of 
the Dutch monopoly in the Indies. The differ- 
ence between the natural price of the clove in the 


Moluccas over the market price of those of Cay- 
enne and Bourbon, is, in fact, a bounty paid to the 
cultivators of those countries for growing cloves, 
and cannot be estimated at less than 800 per cent., 
or 72 Spanish dollars per picul. Setting aside, 
therefore, a difference of about 25 per cent, of in- 
feriority in their intrinsic values, which they have 
to struggle against, it is evident that not only free 
culture and trade, but any moderate relaxation of 
the monopoly in the Moluccas would instantly de- 
stroy the clove trade of Cayenne and Bourbon. 
Down to the year 1815, Bourbon cloves were im- 
ported into England under the cover of a protect- 
ing duty, but when the duties were equalized, the 
Bourbon cloves were wholly driven out of the 
market. Cayenne cloves, until last year, were im- 
ported under the same advantages, and will, now 
that that protection is withdrawn, inevitably share 
the same fate. 

Having rendered a very detailed account of the 
clove trade, it will not be considered necessary to 
furnish such ample accounts of the trade in nut- 
megs, which does not essentially differ from it. 
The production of nutmegs by the perverse arts of 
the monopoly is confined, as mentioned in treating 
of their agriculture, to the small cluster of the 
Banda Isles, and the quantities produced for com- 
mercial purposes elsewhere are very limited. The 
produce of the nutmeg tree, as it is presented in 



commerce, is less simple, or of a more complex 
character than that of its sister tree ; and as this 
circumstance is intimately connected with its com- 
mercial history, and with any inquiry into its re- 
lative price with other commodities, some analysis 
of it will be necessary. The dried produce of a 
nutmeg tree consists of nutmeg, mace, and shell. 
In 15 parts of the whole produce there are 2 
parts of mace, 5 of shell, and 8 of nutmegs ; or 
in 100, 13^ of mace, o-Si of shell, and 531 of nut- 
megs. The proportion which the shell bears to 
the nutmeg, which it envelopes, is as 5 is to 8, 
which is 38 J per cent, of shell, and 61 j of nut- 
megs. The proportion which the mace bears to 
the nutmeg is as 1 is to 4. In the ancient 
commerce, and down to the establishment of the 
Dutch monopoly, nutmegs were always sold and 
transported in the shell, and the natives, when the 
commerce is left to their management, continue 
this practice. AVhen, therefore, we hear that in 
the early period of modern European intercourse, a 
picul of nutmegs cost only 6ioo Spanish dollars, 
we must understand it of nutmegs in the shell, 
and the clean nutmeg would be, independent of 
the labour of freeing the nuts from the shell, 
9 Jro Spanish dollars. It seems to have been one 
of the recourses of the Dutch monopoly, with the 
view of securing the more effectually an entire mo- 
nopoly of the nutmeg trade, to free the nuts from 


the shell, and otherwise subject them to such pro- 
cesses as would destroy the powers of germination. 
These processes, as mentioned ah'eady, consist of a 
slow kiln-drying and smoking for three months, and 
immersion in a mixture of quick-lime and salt-water, 
with drying, which require near two months longer. 
This factitious system of curing the nutmegs is 
attended with the greatest waste and inconveni- 
ence. According to the old and natural process 
of curing the nuts in their shell, and which re- 
quires but a short and hasty kiln-drying, the fruit 
is effectually secured from the depredation of in- 
sects ; no tropical product is more hardy, and it is 
fit for stowage in bulk, without any package or 
protection, but its hard and impenetrable shell. 
On the other hand, the moment the fruit is extri- 
cated from the shell, it becomes one of the most 
perishable of productions. A peculiar insect, call- 
ed by Europeans the nutmeg fly, attacks it, and the 
immersion in caustic lime but imperfectly pro- 
tects it against its depredations. * Owing to the 

* '» The history of the nutmeg insect^" says Mr Hopkins, 
in the manuscript report formerly quoted, " if fully known, 
would be curious, and might probably afford the means of 
guarding the fruit against its depredations. '] his much is 
known with certainty, that so long as a nutmeg, after being 
well dried, is kept in its shell, it is secure against the insect, 
though length of time may occasion it to lose its flavour, or 


loss of the shell, the natural and only effectual 
protection of the nutmeg, great numbers are lost. 
"When, m the year 1810, the British conquered 
the Spice Islands, there were found in store the 
enormous quantity of 37,184 lbs. of nutmegs, 
mouldered into dust and quite useless. The quan- 
tity of broken, bad, and rotten nutmegs, can- 
not be estimated at an average, according to the 
present management, at less than IO5 per cent, of 
the fruit as it comes from the tree, so that the 
true proportions, in the view of productiveness, will 
be as follows in 100 parts : 

moulder into dust. If the nutmeg, after the shell has 
been taken off, be left for some time unlimed, the following 
appearances will present themselves, — a small hole at the side 
or base of the nut, never, I believe, at the apex, out of which 
a hard cased black fly may be seen to spring, or there will 
be a quantity of minute dust, which, upon examination, will 
be found to consist of very diminutive insects engendered in 
the nut, and already successful in destroying its interior 
substance. Many nutmegs apparently sound, and when mi- 
nutely inspected, exhibiting no trace of a hole on the sur- 
face, will, on cutting them open, be found to contain a small 
white maggot. All the different stages of the progress of 
the animal may be traced, and will render it evident that the 
fly did not enter the ripe fruit. It follows, therefore, that 
the egg must have been deposited in the flower, and that 
the animal grows with the growth of the nut, requiring the 
removal of the shell, and the action of the external air to 
bring it to perfection." 


Shell - - - 381 parts. 

Broken and rotten nuts lOy 
Good nuts - - 51 


An arg-ument in favour of freelnoj the nutmeo-s 
from the sliell, which at first view appears plausi- 
ble, is the saving of freight or carriage, by dimi- 
nishing the bulk and weight by SSi per cent. 
But this argument is easily answered. The pack- 
ages or tare of the nutmegs, according to the pre- 
sent management, are 25 per cent, of the whole 
amount, so that the apparent saving in this re- 
spect is but 131 per cent., against which is to 
be balanced the expence of the packages, which are 
brought to the Moluccas from Java, as they must be 
made of teak, the only wood of the islands found to 
answer, — at least four months loss of time, with the 
labour of curing the nuts, the cost of the materials 
employed, and the effects of the depredation of 
the insect. There can be no doubt that the cost 
of bringing the nutmeg to market, therefore, is 
very greatly enhanced by the injudicious practice 
of freeing them from the shell, and this is satis- 
factorily proved by a comparison of the relative 
prices of the clove, the mace, and the nutmeg, in 
the early state of the commerce, before the present 
mode of treating the nutmeg was adopted, with the 


existing prices. In the first periods of our com- 
merce, the average price of tlie nutmeg to the 
clove was as 100 is to 290, or 63'^ per cent cheaper. 
At present the case is reversed, and the relative 
prices areas 100 is to 47, or 113 per cent, dearer. 
This factitious and unnatural price, however, is 
far from being, as will be presently seen, altoge- 
ther attributable to the blunder made in curing the 
nutmegs, but is in a great measure also owing to 
a rigour of monopoly, and a restricted production 
in culture and trade in the nutmegs grown by the 
hands of a few slaves, which could not be carried to 
so pernicious an extent with the clove, cultivated 
by the numerous and comparatively free popula- 
tion of Amboyna. The intelligence, which is en- 
gendered by free commerce, would render such 
observations as these superfluous ; but it belongs 
to the imbecility which is the inseparable character 
of commercial monopoly, to require a perpetual tu- 
toring and direction even towards accomplishing its 
own narrow objects. 

The mace requires no such preparation as the 
nutmeg, simple exsiccation in the sun rendering it 
at once fit for the market. 

The natural price of rearing nutmegs, and bring- 
ing them to market, in a state of free trade and cul- 
ture, may be ascertained without much difficulty. 
A picul of long nutmegs in the shell, the natural 
expence of growing which is exactly the same as 


that of the round nutmeg, may be had in the mar- 
kets of the eastern parts of the Arcliipelago for 
four Spanish dollars, or 1 5s. l^,d. per cvvt. ; and 
further to the west, as at Bali, at five Spanish dol- 
lars, or 18s. lOjd. per cvvt. Freed from the shell, 
this is, for the first, 5,^,/,- Spanish dollars the picul, 
or 20s. ll'fd. per cvvt. ; and for the second, 6^^^ 
Spanish dollars per picul, or UGs. 2jd. per cvvt. 
There is a striking accordance between these prices 
and those paid when the trade was free, if we ad- 
vert that the former is enhanced by the charges 
incident to the risk of smuggling, and receive a 
bounty from the exorbitant cost of the monopoly 
product. In the first Dutch voyage, when the 
Hollanders competed with the Portuguese, the 
Chinese, and the native traders of the western por- 
tion of the Archipelago, they paid no more for 
their nutmegs than l-—-, Spanish dollar per picul, 
or 4s. 6d. per cwt., which makes the cost of the 
clean nutmegs 1^ Spanish dollar per picul, or 
7s. 3^d. per cwt. At Sunda Calapa, the modern 
Batavia, where nutmegs were brought by the Ja- 
vanese for the convenience of the Arabs, the Hin- 
dus, and Mahomedans of Western India, Lin- 
schoten tells us, that the cost of nutmegs in the 
shell was no more, at an average, than 2^^- Spa- 
nish dollars per picul, or l^d. per lb., or 10s. 10|d. 
per cvvt., which reduces the clean nutmeg, exclu- 
sive of the petty charge of husking them, to no 



more than 4)~ Spanish dollars per picul, l|d. per 
lb., or 17s. 6d. per cwt. As an argument in fa- 
vour of the monopoly, it has been sometimes as- 
serted, although not much insisted upon, that its 
care and vigilance are necessary towards supplying 
the consumer with good spices. That there is as 
little meaning as possible in such an assertion may 
readily enough be shewn. There was the greatest 
comparative consumption of spices when the mono- 
polists had nothing at all to do with them ; and, 
as far as nutmegs are concerned, those nutmegs 
must surely have been well enough cured which 
could withstand, in a rude period of navigation, 
many careless sea voyages, long land journeys, and 
all the alternations of heat and cold to which 
they were necessarily subjected. Were nutmegs, 
as at present preserved, submitted to the same trials, 
but a small portion of them indeed would reach 
the distant market of Europe. 

In treating of the clove, I have endeavoured to 
ascertain its natural price, and fixed it at about 
six Spanish dollars per picul, or 2,}d. per pound ; 
or, stored for export, eight Spanish dollars per pi- 
cul, or 3^d. per pound. The natural price of the 
nutmeg is much lower ; and from the data already 
adduced we may conclude, that, in a state of free 
trade, it ought not to exceed four Spanish dollars 
per picul ; or, ready for exportation, six Spanish 
dollars per picul, or 2^d. per pound. The true 

VOL. 111. c c 


price in Europe ought not to exceed Gd. a pound, 
but it has very generally been twelve times as 
much, and in England, including duties, seventeen 
times as much. The consumer pays this price, we 
need not scruple to say, for no other purpose than 
that a political juggle may be played, by which the 
party who plays it imposes upon itself, without 
gaining any earthly advantage, while the grower is 
cheated out of his property and out of his liberty. 

The same quantity of labour producing four 
times as much of nutmegs as mace, the natural price 
of the mace ought to be four times the price of the 
nutmegs. The market price, of course, occasion- 
ally varied from this, but, in general, we find an 
approximation to it. In the first Dutch voyage, 
nutmegs appear to have been at a wonderfully low 
rate, and to have cost no more than one- sixth part 
of the price of mace. Linschoten's prices at Sunda 
Calapa in 1583, I imagine, are more to be relied 
on, and here the mace is described as costing very 
nearly three times as much as nutmegs ; but in this 
estimate we are to reckon in the nutmeg the cost 
of transporting, 381 per cent, of useless shells, 
which may be considered as the tare of the article. 
At the markets on the Caspian, the relative prices 
approximated still more from the same cause ; and 
here we find the mace valued at no more than 80 
per cent, above the price of the nutmeg. 

In order thoroughly to comprehend the nature 



and history of this branch of the spice trade, a re- 
view of the prices of the nutmeg and mace in Eu- 
rope, in different periods of the trade, will be ne- 
cessary. The ancient price of nutmegs in England, 
before the discovery of the route by the Cape of 
Good Hope, was 133^ Spanish dollars per picul, 
or 4s. 6d. per pound, and of mace 266f Spanish 
dollars per picul, or 9s. per pound. The price of 
nutmegs in England two centuries ago was 7^ rod 
Spanish dollars per picul, or 2s. 6d. per pound, and 
of mace 177r[^ Spanish dollars per picul, or 6s. per 
pound. The prices in Holland, when the Dutch 
were in full possession of the monopoly, was for 
nutmegs S05 Spanish dollars per picul, or 10s. 3|d. 
per pound, and for mace 903 Spanish dollars per 
picul, or L. 1, 10s. 5fd. per pound. It is no won- 
der that such enormous charges should diminish 
the consumption. During the years 1803, 1804, 
and 1805, nutmegs sold in England for 309 Spa- 
nish dollars per picul, or 10s. 5\d. per pound. At 
present the price, exclusive of duties, is 5s. per 
pound for nutmegs, and 8s. per pound for mace, or 
including duties, 7s. 6d. for the one, and lis. 6d. 
for the other. 

The alleged consumption of Europe in the dif- 
ferent periods of the trade is next to be consider- 
ed. In the year 1615, the consumption of Eng- 
land in nutmegs was reckoned at 100,000 lbs., and 
of mace 15,000 lbs. Two centuries ago, Mr 


Munn estimates the consuraption of all Christen- 
dom in the first at 400,000 lbs., and in the second 
at 150,000 lbs. During the middle of last cen- 
tury, the consumption of Europe had fallen in nut- 
megs to 250,000 lbs. On the first occasion that 
the monopoly fell into the hands of the English, 
the consumption of England, on an average, was 
39,071 lbs. in nutmegs, and 5400 lbs. in mace. 
In all Europe it fell in nutmegs to 85,960 lbs. and 
in mace to ^4,234 lbs. During our last possession 
of the spices, the consumption of England in nut- 
megs was 56,960 lbs., and of all Europe 214,720 
lbs., and in mace, of England, 3620 lbs., and of 
all Europe 250,040 lbs. The facts now adduced 
are quite sufficient to enable us to decide, as far as 
the produce of the nutmeg tree is concerned, how 
it has come about that the consumption of spices 
is smaller in Europe at present than in the middle 
ages, while the commodity is less costly. The ar- 
guments used to explain this apparently anomalous 
fact in regard to the clove are necessarily still more 
applicable to the more costly mace and nutmeg. 
It is not, however, strictly true, even abstractly, 
that the charge of these two spices has actually be- 
come less since the discovery of the new route. 
The truth is, that men have acted, with regard to 
them, as with regard to other commodities. The 
monopoly price has had its limit. People have ceased 
to consume the finer spices, and had recourse to sub« 


stitutes. Black pepper and ginger have taken their 
place ; but above all, perhaps, the pimento and Chili 
commodities, unknown to Europe before the dis- 
coveiy of America, and of the route by the Cape 
of Good Hope. Had the finer spices, articles for 
which we know there is an ingenerate taste in. 
almost every race of men, not been rendered, by 
the foolish arts of the monopoly, inaccessible, the 
coarser and less agreeable spiceries never would 
have been had recourse to, no more than men 
would, unless compelled by necessity, consume 
Port wine in preference to claret, or malt liquor and 
spirits in preference to the former. The cases are 
exactly parallel. The finer spices are now by necessi- 
ty confined to the rich few ; and, as articles of com- 
merce, or subjects of revenue, are, of course, of very 
little consequence. If any additional proof of this 
being the true explanation were required, it is af- 
forded in this striking and remarkable fact, that the 
greatest diminution of consumption has been in the 
most costly s])ices. The diminution in the con- 
sumption of cloves has only been 19 per cent. ; in 
nutmegs it has been 465, and in mace 83} per 
cent. In 1621, the consumption of mace to nut- 
meg was as 372 is to 100 ; in 1790, as 33? is to 
100 ; in 1803, as 28} is to 100 ; and, from 1814 
to 1818 inclusive, as Hit' is to 100. 

It may not be without its utility to offer, in 
this place, a few speculations on the best means of 


restoring the spice trade to its natural state. To 
render this inteUigible, it will be necessary to pre- 
mise a very short sketch of the culture and trade 
in nutmegs, as conducted under the monopoly re- 
gulations, and of the attempts made to extend the 
culture beyond the limits of the native country of 
the nutmeg tree. The clove tree is cultivated by 
the aboriginal inhabitants of Amboyna, but the 
nutmeg by the hands of slaves, imported into the 
Banda isles for this express purpose by the Dutch. 
The inhabitants of the little cluster of the Banda 
islands made the earliest and most spirited resist- 
ance to the establishment of the monopoly, but 
being few in number, and their country open to 
the military operations of the European power, 
they were completely subjugated ; and, in the year 
1620, it was the hard fate of the few who survived 
the struggle to be expatriated. To keep up the 
cultivation of the nutmeg plantations, the Dutch 
made a sort of sale of them to invalided European 
soldiers, and other adventurers of their own nation, 
whose descendants, an indolent, ignorant, idle, and 
dissipated class of men, are the present possessors. 
Under these persons are placed the slaves, about 
2000 in number, who till the soil and cure the spices, 
natives of some of the surrounding islands. The 
number of children to a marriage among them is 
no more than /ao, whereas, among the free popu- 
lation of Amboyna, it is three ; and the annual 


deaths are owe in twenty-two, equal to that of the 
most unhealthy towns of Europe ; so that the stock 
must be kept up by annual importations. The 
conditions of the landed tenures of the proprietors, 
or park-keepers, as they are with more propriety 
termed, were, that they should deliver their pro- 
duce to the government, and to government only, 
at certain fixed rates, and that the government 
should supply them with slaves and necessaries at 
stipulated prices, while these nominal proprietors 
were liable to be dispossessed by the local authorities 
of the government on the most trifling pretext, as for 
neglect or disrespect, offences of which the accuser 
was to be the sole judge ! The prices paid to the 
cultivator for spices have varied from time to time. 
The first prices established were — for nutmegs, OM. 
per pound avoirdupois, or Spanish dollars —^ per 
picul ; and for^mace, 04 d. per pound ; or Spanish 
dollars 2 per picul. These wonderfully low prices 
were soon found inadequate, and the government 
were by necessity compelled, from time to time, to 
raise them. The actual prices paid at present, on 
the average of nutmegs of all qualities, is 3,^d. per 
pound, or Spanish dollars 9nnj P^'' picul j and of 
mace 9|d. per pound, or Spanish dollars 24 per 
picul. We have here another decided testimony 
in proof of the pernicious effects of the monopoly. 
The price now voluntarily paid is far greater than 
the Dutch were compelled to pay when, in their 


first intercourse, they traded on terms of equality 
and justice, the nutmegs being near five times as 
dear, and the mace more than double. This is the 
nature of the retribution, considered in a mere mer- 
cenary view, which has fallen upon them for the 
double crime of exterminating the native inhabit- 
ants, and introducing the labour of slaves. 

The entire monopoly of the spice trade is ensured, 
both as far as regards the production of the nutmeg 
as well as the clove tree, by confining the first, as 
already stated, to the Banda isles, and the latter to 
Amboyna — by paying little stipends to the petty 
princes of the other native countries of spices for 
the extermination of the plants, — by sending an 
annual fleet round the different islands, to see that 
the terms are literally complied with, —and by de- 
claring the penalty of what they are pleased to call 
the illicit trade in spices to be banishment to a 
noble, and death to an inferior person ! Such is 
the system of mismanagement by which, once the 
greatest branch of the commerce of the East, has 
been reduced to a pittance that would by no means 
afford employment to the capital of many private 
merchants of London, Glasgow, or Liverpool. 
Our nation was thirteen years in possession of 
the Spice Islands, and twice restored them, with- 
out alteration in the principle on which they were 
governed, to those who had reduced them to their 
present state of degradation and insignificance. 


The possession of the Spice Islands, in 1796, 
put it in the power of the Englisli to obtain what 
they had long anxiously desired, spice plants, for 
the purpose of propagation in their own settle- 
ments, and the nutmeg has been tried in Penang, 
Bencoolen, and some of the West India islands. 
In the latter it has altogether failed, or has failed, 
at least, to all useful purposes. Within the Archi- 
pelago, the culture, as far as the quality is con- 
cerned, has been attended with somewhat more 
success than that of the clove, and very good nut- 
mesrs are now raised both at Penang' and Ben- 
coolen, but the cost of bringing them to market is 
so high, that the restoration of a free culture, in 
the native country of the nutmeg, would instantly 
destroy this unstable and factitious branch of in- 
dustry. The planters of Bencoolen assert that 
they cannot grow nutmegs under ^s. 6d. per 
pound, or J'^d'o Spanish dollars per picul, which, 
to be sure, is 44^ per cent, cheaper than the mo- 
nopoly prices at which nutmegs have been sold in 
the Spice Islands, but is, at the same time, 2000 
per cent, dearer than the estimated natural cost. 
The bounty, therefore, paid to the planters of Ben- 
coolen, for growing their nutmegs, is the enor- 
mous difference now stated. It would be need- 
less to add more. It would, I imagine, be as vain 
an attempt to grow the grapes of Champagne or 
Burgundy in Normandy or England, as to grow 


the clove and nutmeg trees, in perfection, in any 
land out of the limits of their natural soil. After 
these preliminary remarks, we shall be prepared to 
oflPer some observations on the measures which 
ought to be taken to restore to the people of the 
Moluccas their just rights, and bring the spice 
trade back to its natural and wholesome condition. 
We may begin by admitting, that the existing plan- 
tations, both of clove and nutmeg trees, however 
unjustly obtained, are the property of the state. 
This, of course, applies only to the trees in actual 
existence. The land, where land is so abundant 
in proportion to capital and population, is of no 
value. The existing plantations should therefore 
be let for a period of years, by the competition 
of a public sale, to the highest bidder. This would 
determine, in the most equitable manner, the rent 
of the plantations. The rights of the proprietors 
of the nutmeg parks would be secured, by assign- 
ing to them the highest rate of compensation 
which an estimate of their existing profits could af- 
ford. The slaves should, it is hardly necessary to 
insist, be immediately and completely emancipated. 
Both the culture and trade in spices should, with 
these measures, be declared completely free, not 
only in the islands to which the spices are at pre- 
sent confined, but wherever, without exception, the 
inhabitants of the country might find it for their 
advantage to direct their industry either to grow- 


ing them or trading in them. It may be asked, 
in what manner the ruling authority would be com- 
pensated for the sacrifice of so many privileges ? 
It would be compensated by the increase of in- 
dustry which freedom would produce. Foreign- 
ers from Western India, from China, and from 
Europe, would flock to the flivoured land of spices 
as traders and as settlers, and where wealth ex- 
isted, the government of these islands, of whatever 
nation, would not want, what no government has 
ever wanted, the means of appropriating a share of 
that wealth for the exigencies of the state. The 
duties upon trade would necessarily constitute the 
most important branch of revenue. From the su- 
perior protection and security which European in- 
stitutions are sure to confer beyond native ones, 
the lands would acquire a value, and the rate of 
the unappropriated ones would, of course, become 
a respectable source of revenue. This would in- 
sure at least as large a revenue as the existing sys- 
tem, which, it is now well known, was not only no 
source of commercial profit, but, for many years, 
was inadequate to defray the bare expences of the 
local establishments necessary to enforce it. The 
advocates of monopoly have objected to any at- 
tempt to ameliorate the condition of the inhabit- 
ants of the Moluccas, by restoring to them their 
natural rights, that they would be incapable of ex- 
ercising any rational freedom of conduct in their 


own affairs, and •would not consider their emanci- 
pation as a boon, but an injury. This futile and 
selfish reasoning hardly deserves serious attention. 
If this were true, it would convey the most un- 
measured censure on a system which could so won- 
derfully debase their character, for the same men 
fought and bled for a century together for those 
very rights which they would now be represented 
as rejecting. But, in truth, the inhabitants of the 
Moluccas are at this day most anxious for a free 
trade, as the pains and penalties of the monopoly 
regulations sufficiently declare. In spite of the 
confiscation of property, and the penalties of ba- 
nishment and death, there are annually smuggled 
from the Banda Islands no less than 60,000 lbs. of 
nutmegs, and 15,000 lbs. of mace. 

I shall be held excused for the length at which 
I have treated of the spice trade, although more 
than commensurate with its present importance, 
when the peculiarly severe lot of the natives of 
the Moluccas, from the earliest intercourse of Eu- 
ropeans with them down to the present times, is 
considered. Under the influence of principles the 
most unjust, fallacious, and unprofitable, they have 
for two centuries been subjected to, a scourge upon 
industry, of which, for severity, there is no other 
example in any age or climate. The delusion 
which led to this system still continues to influence 
the policy of the European nations ; and it is re- 


markable, that, notwithstanding the establishment 
throughout other parts of the Dutch Indies, of a 
system of administration in principle the most 
free and enlightened ever acted upon in the East, 
the Spice Islands, by a singular fatality, were ex- 
pressly excluded from its benefits. 

The whole produce of the Banda Islands in nut- 
megs at present is 600,000 lbs., or 4500 piculs ; 
and of mace 150,000 lbs., 1125 piculs. Europe, 
China, Bengal, and America, are the principal 
markets. The civilized tribes of the Archipelago 
consume nothing but the long nutmeg, which 
they receive in the shell, and many of these also 
are exported to Western Asia and Hindustan. 

If the consumption should increase, as it in- 
evitably vnW in a free trade and free cultivation, 
spices will become a more extensive article of con- 
sumption than they ever were before ; and in a 
very few years we should see the spice trade be- 
come in reality an important branch of commerce. 

Besides black pepper and the precious spiceries 
there are several of inferior value which are objects 
of foreign commerce. These in the order of their 
importance are, long pepper, cubeb pepper, clove 
bark, misoy bark, ginger, turmeric, and cayti-puti 
oil. These are too inconsiderable as objects of 
commerce to be dwelt upon at any length. Long 
pepper may be purchased in Java at 30 per cent, 
below the price of black pepper, and the cubebs at 


the same rate. The turmeric of Java is of high 
estimation in the markets of Europe, ranking next 
to that of China, and being much superior to that 
of Bengal. The principal value of the clove bark, 
as an article of exportation, is for its oil, which 
differs little from that of the clove itself. Cayu- 
puti oil, the essential oil of a species of myrtle, 
growing in the country of spices, has become of 
late years a favourite medicine as an external ap- 
plication. It has been sold on the spot for the 
high price of five Spanish dollars the quart ; but 
this is not the natural cost of the commodity, and 
is caused only by the difficult intercourse of the 
* trading world with the countries which produce it. 

Betel-niity or areca^ gambir, and tobacco, are ar- 
ticles of extensive traffic. All the countries of the 
Archipelago respectively produce enough of areca 
for their own domestic consumption, but it is only 
the western countries, and especially the w'est 
coast of Sumatra, where Pedir is the most remark- 
able place, that the areca is in such abundance 
as to be an article of foreign exportation. The 
areca of commerce is of two kinds ; that which is 
dried carefully without being split, and that which 
is split and more hastily dried. The first is the 
most valuable, and its common price at Pedir, 
which produces for exportation about 40,000 pi- 
culs annually, is from f to 1 J of a Spanish dollar 
per picul. At this price it is purchased by the 


European traders of Peiiang, who dispose of it from 
their warehouses at an advance of from 100 to 
200 per cent. It is principally carried to China 
and Bengal, bringing, in the market of Canton, an 
average price of 3^^ Spanish dollars per picul ; 
and in that of Calcutta 4 -^ Spanish dollars, an 
advance on the prime cost in the one of 50 per 
cent., and in the other of 'JO per cent. An 
article so cheap, and so little perishable, might, 
perhaps, be imported into Europe, and used with 
advantage in the dyeing of our cotton goods, 
a purpose to which it is converted in Coroman- 
del and Malabar. The betel-nut of the Indian is- 
lands is grown cheaper than that of Malabar by no 
less than 66§ per cent., or is no more than one- 
third of its price. 

Garnhir, or Terra Japonka, as mentioned in 
the account given of its agriculture, is the produc- 
tion of the western portions of the Archipelago, 
from whence it is a great article of exportation to 
the eastern, and especially to Java. It is also sent 
to China. The price of the commodity to the 
traders, who export it from the places of its growth, 
is from three to four Spanish dollars per picul. It 
usually sells in Java at six, and when the market is 
understocked, often as high as eight Spanish dollars. 
Such fluctuations of price we must reckon to meet 
with in countries between which the communication 
is still uncertain, because unskilfully conducted. 


Tobacco has been already fully described in the 
agricultural department of the work, and in this 
place ir will only be necessary to offer a few re- 
marks on the trade in it. Small quantities of to- 
bacco are every where grown for domestic con- 
sumption, but a rich soil and considerable agri- 
cultural skill being necessary to produce it in 
quantity and perfection, it is an article of foreign 
exportation only in a few situations. These situa- 
tions are Lusong, Majindanao, but especially Java, 
This latter country, besides its o wn internal sup- 
ply, exports an immense quantity to Borneo, Su- 
matra, the Malayan Peninsula, Celebes, and the 
Spice Islands. The whole quantity exported is 
5,000,000 lbs. The tobacco of Java, as it appears 
in commerce, is, as mentioned in another place, 
divided into three kinds, collected from the 
same plants, — the upper, middle, and under leaves, 
constituting respectively tobacco of the Jirstt se- 
cond, and third qualities, the prices of which 
on the spot may be reckoned in order at 5d., 
3d., and Ifd. per lb. It would be difficult to 
institute any comparison between these prices, 
and those of the tobaccos of other countries, from 
the nature of the preparation which the Java 
tobacco undergoes, which is finely shred, well 
dried, and freed from the mid-rib, a state in which 
other tobaccos do not appear in the markets. It is 
to be observed, that, in the present state of agri- 



cultural industry, when dressings are never applied 
to inferior lands to fit them for growing tobacco, 
the growth of the plant is necessarily restricted to 
a few favoured spots, which consequently pay an 
enormous rent to the landlord, by which the price 
of tobacco is necessarily enhanced. At the same 
time, the state of commercial intercourse, the pe- 
culiar preparation of the drug, and the long esta- 
blished prejudice of the consumer in its favour, 
contribute to give the Javanese commodity a mono- 
poly of the market, and to exclude the compe- 
tition of foreign produce. This naturally accounts 
for its high price, compared to the raw produce 
of the same soil. 

Java tobacco, as it appears in commerce, is pre- 
pared by the Chinese, who pack it very neatly in 
little parcels of a few ounces in Chinese paper, which 
is stamped with their seals. A certain number 
are contained in a basket, which are sold by kodis, 
corges, or scores, one of which weighs 1100 lbs. a- 
voirdupois. The cost at the market of Samarang, after 
payment of inland duties, and charged with the 
heavy cost of transport on men's shoulders, over 
sixty or seventy miles of difficult road, may be 
reckoned, for the lowest sort, 40 Spanish dollars, or 
18s. 4d. percwt. ; for the second sort, 80 Spanish 
dollars, or 86s. Sd. ; and for the first, 120 Spanish 
dollars, or 55s. per cwt. 

Of drugs and ^erfumeSj a considerable number 

VOL. III. D d 


are objects either of domestic and foreign commerce, 
or both. The principal are camphor, benzoin, 
lignum aloes, dragon's-blood, sassafras, sapan wood, 
and morinda. The camphor of Sumatra and Bor- 
neo is divided in commerce into three sortSy ac- 
cording to quality, the relative values of which 
to each other may be estimated in the proportions 
of 25, 14, and 4. The price of this article depends 
upon the factitious value which the Chinese attach 
to it, and to its limited production in nature. A 
pound avoirdupois of the best kind usually sells in 
China at the exorbitant price of about 18^^^^- Spa- 
nish dollars, or L. 4, 4s. 4^d., while the camphor of 
Japan, which does not apparently differ from it, 
and is equally esteemed every where else, sells for 
the 78th part of this amount, or costs no more 
than Is. Id. per pound. The best camphor is 
purchased at Barus, in Sumatra, always the empo- 
rium of the commodity, and which strangers usu- 
ally affix to its name, at about 8 Spanish dollars 
per cattiy or 27s. per pound, which, it is remark- 
able enough, is nearly the price assigned to it by 
Beaulieu in the first French voyage to the Archi- 
pelago two centuries back. 

Benzoin^ or frankincense, called in commercial 
language Benjamin, is a more general article of 
commerce than camphor, though its production 
be confined to the same islands. Benzoin is divid- 
ed in commerce, like camphor, into three .sor/5, ac- 


cording to quality, the comparative value of which 
may be stated in figures as follow, 105, 45, 18. 
Benzoin is valued in proportion to its whiteness, 
semi-transparency, and freedom from adventitious 
matters. According to its purity, the first sort 
may be bought at the emporia to which it is brought 
at from 50 to 100 dollars per picul, the second 
from ^5 to 45, and the worst from 8 to ^20 dol- 
lars. According to Linschoten, benzoin, in his 
time, cost, in the market of Sunda Calapa, or 
Jacatra, from 19y^, to ^5j^ Spanish dollars the 
picul. By Neibuhr's account, the worst benzoin 
of the Indian islands is more esteemed by the Arabs 
than their own best oUbaniim^ or frankincense. 
In the London market, the best benzoin is fourteen 
times more valuable than oUbanum, and even the 
worst 2j times more valuable. Benzoin usually 
sells in England at 10s; per lb. The quantity ge- 
nerally imported into England, in the time of the 
monopoly, was 312 cvvts. The principal use of 
this commodity is as incense, and it is equally in 
request in the ceremonies of the Romish, the Ma- 
homedan, the Hindu, and Chinese worships. It 
is also used as a luxury by the great in fumigations 
in their houses, and the Javanese chiefs are fond 
of smoking it with tobacco. Its general use among 
nations in such various states of civilization, and 
the steady demand for it in all ages, declare that 
it is one of those commodities the taste for which 


is inherent in our nature, and not the result of a 
particular caprice with any individual people, as in 
the case of Malay camphor with the Chinese. 

Lignum aloes, a half rotten and unctuous wood, 
which, in burning, emits a fragrant odour, is a per- 
fume or incense much in request in all the coun- 
tries of the East, and forms an article of trade in 
the Indian Islands, where it makes its appearance 
in commerce without its being absolutely certain 
that it is a production of the country. 

Dragon' S'blood is the produce of a large spe- 
cies of rattan growing on the north and north- 
east coast of Sumatra, with some parts of Bor- 
neo, and chiefly manufactured at Jambi, Palem- 
bang, and Banjannassin. Considerable quantities 
of it are sent to Europe, to China, to India, and 
to Arabia. The price at Banjarmassin in Bor- 
neo, where large quantities are manufactured, 
is, according to quality, from 50 to 70 Spanish 
dollars per picul, or an average of L. 11, 6s. 9^d. 
per cwt. In th e London market we find it quot- 
ed at L. S4 per cwt., or about 200 per cent. ad. 
vance on that cost. 

DamaTy the species of rosin which has been al- 
ready described in the agricultural branch of this 
work, is a very large article of commerce, foreign 
as well as domestic. Under this native name, it 
is well known in the markets of Bengal and China, 
where this abundant and spontaneous production 



is much used in paying the bottoms of ships and 
vessels. In Borneo it is obtained in larger quan- 
tities on the coasts, being floated down the rivers 
as a drift during the periodical floods to the sea, 
and afterwards cast ashore by the winds and cur- 
rents. By a previous arrangement, almost any 
quantity may be procured by the trader at the low 
rate of half a dollar a picul. It can be imported 
and sold in the market of Calcutta as low as two 
rupees four anas per maund, or 8s. Id. per cwt. 
cheaper than Stockholm pitch in the London mar- 
ket. According to Dalrymple, the island of Pa- 
lawan yields gum copal, which the natives call 
Tiiyii. Fifty piculs of it may be had annually. 

The sandal-wood of the Indian Islands is con- 
sidered inferior to that of Malabar ; yet no dis- 
tinction is made between them in the market^of 
China. The highest perfumed wood is that near- 
est the root of the tree ; and, for this reason, the 
largest billets are the highest priced. The sandal- 
wood of Timur, and the other easterly islands, from 
whence, for the convenience of the markets, it is 
imported into Java, costs there, according to its 
quality, from 8 to 13 Spanish dollars per picul. 
This, making no allowance, however, for inferiority 
of quality, is 45 per cent, cheaper than the Mala- 
bar sandal-wood. * In China, the great market 

* Bnrhai (ins Mywrc, Vol.11, j). 537. 


for this commodity, the wood is sorted into three 
classes, which bear the following relative values 
expressed in figures, 24<, 22, and I'J. The quan- 
tity of sandal -wood imported into China from Ma- 
labar annually is about 30(X) piculs, 357 1 2 cwts. 
There are no means of ascertaining the importa- 
tions from the Indian Islands ; but the produce of 
the island of Timur alone is not under 8000 pi- 
culs, or 9524 cwts. 

Sapan-U'oodi as mentioned in the agricultural 
department of the work, grows abundantly in se- 
veral of the Indian Islands, and is exported to Eu- 
rope and China. It is generally obtained at the 
cheap rate of 3s. 4d., or one Spanish dollar the pi- 
cul, and used as dunnage. 

Within the last twelvemonth, the sassafras tree 
has been discovered in great quantities in the 
island of Banca, and cut down for commercial pur- 
poses. The charge of hewing the wood, and pre- 
paring it for market, has been estimated at about 
two Spanish dollars the picul, or 7s. 5\ per cwt. 

The ebony of the Indian Islands is much infe- 
rior to that of the Mauritius, being generally of 
a paler colour, and of less hardness. It is found 
in considerable quantities, and is an article of ex- 
portation to China. 

A species of wood, called hliang by the Malays, 
is abundant in Borneo, and forms a considerable 
article of exportation to China. This is a heavy 


hard wood, chiefly valued for being almost incor- 
ruptible. It resists every alternation of heat, cold, 
and moisture, and nothing proves injurious to it 
but the depredation of the water-worm, or Teredo 

Rattans form one of the greatest articles of ex- 
portation from the Indian Islands, and are sent to 
Bengal, to Europe, and above all to China, where 
an immense quantity is consumed as cordage. The 
rattan is the spontaneous product of all the forests 
of the Archipelago, but exists in greatest perfec- 
tion in those of tiie Islands of Borneo, Sumatra, 
and of the Malayan Peninsula. The finest are 
produced in the country of the Bataks of Suma- 
tra. The wood-cutter, who is inclined to deal in 
this article, proceeds into the forest, without any 
other instrument than his pai^ang or cleaver, and 
cuts as much as he is able to carry away. The 
mode of performing the operation is this : He 
makes a notch in the tree, at the root of which the 
rattan is growing, and cutting the latter, strips off 
a small portion of the outer bark, and inserts the 
part that is peeled into the notch. The rattan 
being now pulled through, as long as it continues 
of an equal size, is by this operation neatly and 
readily freed from its epidermis. When the 
wood-cutter has obtained by this means from three 
hundred to ibur hundred rattans, being as many 
as an individual can conveniently carry in their 


moist and undried state, he sits down and ties them 
up in bundles of one hundred, each rattan being 
doubled before being thus tied up. After drying, 
they are fit for the market without further prepara- 
tion. From this account of the small labour expend- 
ed in brinofinn; them to market, thev can be sold at 
a very cheap rate. The Chinese junks obtain them 
in Borneo, at the low rate of five Spanish dollars 
per hundred bundles, or five cents for each hun- 
dred rattans, or thirty-seven for a penny. The 
natives always vend them by tale, but the resident 
European merchants and the Chinese by weight, 
counting by the picul. According to their quali- 
ty, and the relative state of supply and demand, 
the European resident merchants dispose of them 
at from 1;; to 21 dollars the picul. In China the 
price is usually about 3l dollars per picul, or 7^ 
per cent, above the average prime cost. In Ben- 
gal they are sold by tale, each bundle of a hundred 
rattans bringing about 20|d. 

Of materials of cordage, the only ones deserving 
of notice as articles of commerce are the gomiiti : 
the material resembling black horse-hair, qbtained 
from the Ai^en palm, as described in the book on 
Agriculture ; and uMte rope, or Manilla rope or 
cordage, manufactured, as stated already, from the 
epidermis of a species of musa or banana. The 
fibres of tlie first singular substance are stronger, 
more durable, but less pliant than those of the coir 


or coco-nut husk, and therefore more fit for cables 
and standing-rigging, but less fit for running-rig- 
ging. The native shipping of all kinds are entire- 
ly equipped with tlie cordage of the gomuti ; and 
the largest European shipping in the Indies find 
the advantage of using cables of it. It undergoes 
no preparation but that of spinning and twistingj no 
material similar to our tar or pitch, indispensable 
to the preservation of hempen cordage, being ne- 
cessary with a substance, that, in a remarkable de- 
gree, possesses the quality of resisting alternations 
of heat and moisture. The best gomuti is the 
produce of the islands farthest east, as Amboyna 
and the other Spice Islands. That of Java has a 
coarse ligneous fibre ; the produce of Madura is 
better. Gomuti is generally sold in twisted shreds 
or yarns, often as low as a Spanish dollar a picul, 
and seldom above two, which last price is no more 
than one-sixth part of the price of Russia hemp in 
the London market. Were European ingenuity 
applied to the improvement of this material, there 
can be little doubt but it might be rendered more 
extensively useful. 

One of the most valuable productions of the In- 
dian Islands is teak iinibe?\ As mentioned in an- 
other place, it grows only abundantly in Java, from 
whence it may be exported in large quantities, 
such is the extent of the forests of it which exist 
in that island. Besides compass and crooked tim- 


ber, it is reckoned that these forests, without any 
injury to them, may annually afford 50,000 beams 
for ship-building and exportation, and supply the 
demand for small timber, for house-building, and 
native shipping craft besides. The price paid for 
teak timber by the Dutch government in former 
times was at the low rate of about 4s. 7id. per load. 
This was, however, a forced price, the timber be- 
ing delivered as an assessment. Any additional 
quantity was paid at 50 per cent, advance upon 
this. The government sold the timber thus cheap- 
ly obtained at a monopoly price, taking advantage 
of the necessities only of the public, and necessa- 
rily excluding all fair and regular traffic. The 
trade was, during the British time, opened to pri- 
vate speculation, and large quantities of it were 
sent to the market of Bengal, where it competed 
successfully with that of Pegu. The established 
prices, as fixed by the government, whose property 
the forests are, were then as follow : Straight squared 
timber was sold at an average of L. 5 per load. A 
mast piece, 6l feet long, by 17 inches diameter, was 
sold for L. 7j i4<s. 4jd. per load ; and one of 100 feet, 
by 32 inches diameter, for L. i'i, i^s. 5d. Planks, 
or rather what is called in the language of our In- 
dian ship-builders s/imbin, being planks hewn out 
of the solid beam by the adze, were sold at the rate 
of L.5, 14s. per load, and pipe-staves at L. 2, 2s. 9d. 
per hundred. The existing administration of the 


island has again restricted the trade, and the tim- 
ber is now sold 200 per cent, dearer than when 
the island was in the British occupation. 

Under the British administration, some ships 
wholly built of teak were constructed by British 
ship-builders. In the year 18 17, it was estimated 
that the hull of a ship, well fastened and sheathed 
with copper, could be easily constructed at the rate 
of L. 12 per ton. Besides teak, inferior, but still 
valuable woods abound, fit for house and ship- 
building. The large trading praos of the Ma- 
cassars and Bugis, called padewakan, the best na- 
tive vessels of the Archipelago, are constructed of 
a timber called katu7ideng, a hard durable wood 
found abundantly in the mountains of Celebes. 

Many vegetable productions might be mention- 
ed which, in the event of colonization, European 
ingenuity and capital might manufacture into a 
form to fit them for a distant market. The bound- 
less forests of these countries suggest, for example, 
the probability that industry might be well reward- 
ed in the manufacture of pot and pearl ashes, 
which require comparatively but a moderate share 
of skill and capital. Should European coloniza- 
tion take place in the Indian Islands, and an useful 
freedom of commerce be established, it might be 
suggested that China, from its vicinity, the density 
of its population, and the high price of the produce 
of the soil, which is the consequence of this state of 


thinf^s, would afford to the lumber of the Indian 
Islands the same advantageous market which Eu- 
rope has afforded to that of America. 

The animal products of the Archipelago, which 
afford materials of commercial export, though less 
valuable than the vegetable, are important and in- 
teresting. Land animals afford hides, horns, ivory, 
feathers, birds' nests, stick and shell lac, bees* wax, 
jerk-beef, and animal sinews. The fisheries supply 
dry fish, fish maws and roes, sharks' fins, tripang or 
sea-slu^, tortoise-shell, pearls, mother-of-pearl, and 
cowries, with ambergris. I shall give a very rapid 
sketch of these, confining myself generally to what 
relates to their commercial character. 

From the great size of all the buffaloes, and of 
the greater number of the oxen of the Indian 
Islands, tlieir hides and horns are peculiarly va- 
luable. The immense horns of the Java buffalo 
have been long sent to Europe as an article of 
trade, and the hides both of the ox and buffalo are 
sent to China always in the hair, and not tanned. 
Bali and Lombok are the countries which have af- 
forded the greater number of ox hides, and the 
cost may be judged of from the price of the whole 
animal, which seldom exceeds ten or twelve sliil- 
lings. * In Java, where there is the greatest abun- 

* Bccckman, speaking of Bali, says, " The country af- 
fords plenty of oxen, the largest and best I ever saw out of 


dance of cattle, the number of hides available for 
exportation is diminished by the singular practice 
among the inhabitants of that island of using the 
fresh hide as an article of food, — nay, even esteem- 
ing it a dainty beyond any other part of the ani- 
mal. A steady demand for hides as an article of 
commerce would probably put an end to this taste. 
In Java, from the low price of salt, it may be sug- 
gested, that pickling the hides, a practice never 
yet resorted to in that part of the world, might an- 
swer. Hides and horns, from their bulky nature, 
will probably be always a fitter article for the neigh- 
bouring market of China than for the more distant 
one of Europe. 

The Malay Peninsula and Sumatra, the only 
countries of the Archipelago where the elephant is 
found, are also, of course, the only countries that 
aflPord much ivory. From these two countries, and 
more especially from the neighbouring country of 
Siam, ivory forms a considerable article of exporta- 
tion, principally, of course, to China, where the 
manufacture of this beautiful commodity is better 
understood than any where else. 

The birds of the Indian Islands, like t'hose of 
other warm countries, are more remarkable for the 
gay and brilliant tints of their plumage than for 

England." — Voyage to Borneo, p. 168. — From my own ex- 
perience I can speak to the same eftcct. 


its softness and abundance. They afford, therefore, 
no down for commerce, but ornamental feathers of 
singular beauty. The principal are the featiiers of 
several species of the jay tribe, called Birds of Pa- 
radise, and those of the Argus pheasant, respec- 
tively found, the first in the countries of the east- 
ern, and the last of the western, extremity of the 
Archipelago ; the one being found only in New 
Guinea and the adjacent islands, and the other no 
where but in Sumatra and the Malayan Peninsula. 
The bird of paradise is an article of commerce to 
China and Europe. To prepare it for the market, 
the bird is embowelled, smoked, and deprived of 
the legs. The bird is abundant ; and the Papuas, 
of whose country it is an inhabitant, are dexterous 
in shooting or taking them. It is, in consequence, 
cheap in its native country, and would be abun- 
dant every where, if the want of confidence which 
exists between the seller and the buyer, with the 
restrictions on the intercourse between the rest of 
the world and the emporia to which they are 
brought, did not unnaturally enhance their cost. 
The usual price at Banda is about 4s. ^hd. a bird. 
The' nest of a species of swallow peculiar to the 
Indian Islands, Hirundo esculentOy is well known 
to constitute an important article of their com- 
merce, owing to the very whimsical luxury of the 
Chinese. The natural history of this bird is far 
from being as yet acGurately understood, and it 


would be useless to dwell upon conjectures respect- 
ing the nature of the substance which composes 
the nest. In shape the nest is like that of an or- 
dinary swallow's nest, and in external appearance as 
well as consistence, somewhat resembles a fibrous ill- 
concocted isinglass. The nests of all the swal- 
low tribe in these countries are more or less form- 
ed of this singular substance. The common house 
martin, as I have a thousand times seen, constructs 
its nest partly of this substance, and partly of the 
ordinary materials of birds' nests, hair, straws, fea- 
thers, &c. These, however, are of no value. The 
esculent nest is always the produce of the swallow 
that builds in the caves of rocks, at a distance 
from the habitation of man. The caves where 
these nests are found are frequently, but not al- 
ways, on the sea-side. In Java, very productive 
caves are found in the interior of the country, and 
at least fifty miles from the sea. It seems proba- 
ble that they are most abundant on the sea-side 
only, because caverns are there most frequent, and 
least liable to disturbance. This seems to prove 
that sea foam, or other marine production, has no 
share in the formation of the nest ; and the most 
probable hypothesis is, that the nest is a material 
elaborated from the food of the bird, a conjecture 
which would be proved if, on a skilful dissection, it 
were discovered, that the bird has any peculiar or- 
gans destined to perform such a process. The natives 

43^ comml:rcial description of 

of the Indian Islands make no distinction between the 
variety of swallow which affords the esculent nest 
and ariy other, nor do I believe that naturalists 
have remarked any. 

As an article of commerce, the quality of the 
nest is determined by several circumstances, as the 
nature and situation of the cave, its extent, but, 
above all, the time at which the nest is taken. The 
best nests are those obtained in deep damp caves, 
and such as are taken before the birds have laid 
their eggs. The coarsest are those obtained after 
the young have been fledged. The finest nests 
are the whitest, that is, those taken before the nest 
has been rendered impure by the food and feces 
of the young birds. The best are white, and the 
inferior dark-coloured, streaked with blood, or in- 
termixed with feathers. It may be remarked, how- 
ever, that some of the natives describe the purer 
nests as the dwelling of the cock-bird, and always 
so designate them in commerce. Birds' nests are 
collected twice a-year, and, if regularly collected, 
and no unusual injury be offered to the caverns, 
will produce very equally, the quantity being very 
little if at all improved by the caves being left 
altogether unmolested for a year or two. Some 
of the caverns are extremely difficult of access, 
and the nests can only be collected by persons 
accustomed from their youth to the office. The 
most remarkable and productive caves in Java, 


of which I superintended a moiety of the collec- 
tion for several years, are those of Karang-holang, 
in the province of Baglen, on the south coast of 
the island. Here the caves are only to be ap- 
proached by a perpendicular descent of many hun- 
dred feet, by ladders of bamboo and rattan, over 
a sea rolling violently against the rocks. When the 
mouth of the cavern is attained, the perilous office 
of taking the nests must often be performed with 
torch- light, by penetrating into recesses of the 
rock, when the slightest trip would be instantly 
fatal to the adventurers, who see nothing below 
them but the turbulent surf making its way into 
the chasms of the rock. 

The only preparation which the birds' nests un- 
dergo is that of simple drying, without direct ex- 
posure to the sun, after which they are packed in 
small boxes, usually of half a picul. They are as- 
sorted for the Chinese market into three kinds, ac- 
cording to their qualities, distinguished into /irst, 
or best, second^ and third qualities. Caverns that 
are regularly managed will afford in 100 parts 
53^ parts of those of the first quality, S5 parts of 
those of the second, 11/- parts of those of the 

The common prices for birds* nests at Canton 
are, for the first sort, 3500 Spanish dollars the 
picul, or L. 5, 18s. l^d. per pound j for the se- 
cond, 2800 Spanish dollars per picul ; and, for 



the third, no more than I6OO Spanish dollars. In 
the Chinese markets a still nicer classification of the 
edible nests is often made than in the islands. The 
\vhoIe are frequently divided into three great 
classes, under the commercial appellations of PaS' 
Icaty Chi'Jcatj and Tung-tungy each of which, ac- 
cording to quality, is subdivided into three infe- 
rior orders, and we have, consequently, prices va- 
rying from 1200 Spanish dollars per picul to 4200. 
These last, therefore, are more valuable than their 
weight in silver ! From these prices it is suffi- 
ciently evident, that the birds' nests are no more 
than an article of expensive luxury. They are 
consumed only by the great, and the best part is 
sent to the capital for the consumption of the 
court. The sensual Chinese use them, under the 
imagination that they are powerfully sthiiulating 
and tonic, but, it is probable, that their most valua- 
ble quality is their being perfectly haimless. The 
people of Japan, who so much resemble the Chi- 
nese in many of their habits, have no taste for the 
edible nests, and how the latter first acquired a 
taste for this foreign commodity is only less singu- 
lar than their persevering in it. Among the 
western nations there is nothing parallel to it, 
unless we except the whimsical estimation in which 
the Romans held some articles of luxury, remark- 
able for their scarcity rather than for any qualities 
ascribed to them. 



Of the quantity of birds' nests exported from 
the Indian Islands, although we cannot state the 
exact amount, we have data for hazarding some 
probable conjectures respecting it. From Java 
there are exported about 200 piculs, or 27,000 lbs. 
the greater part of which is of the first quahty. 
The greatest quantity is from the Siduh Ar- 
chipelago, and consists of 530 piculs. From 
Macassar there are sent about 30 piculs of the 
fine kind. These data will enable us to offer some 
conjectures respecting the whole quantity, for the 
edible swallow's nest being universally and almost 
equally diffused from Junk, Ceylon, to New Guinea, 
and the whole produce going to one market, and 
only by one conveyance, the junks, it is probable, 
that the average quantity taken by each vessel is 
not less than the sum taken from the ports just 
mentioned. Taking the quantity sent from Bata- 
via as the estimate, we know that this is conveyed 
by 5300 tons of shipping, and, therefore, the whole 
quantity will be 1818 piculs, or 242,400 lbs., as 
the whole quantity of Chinese shipping is 30,000 
tons. In the Archipelago, at the prices already 
quoted, this property is worth 1,263,510 Spanish 
dollars, or L. 284,290. The value of this im- 
mense property to the country which produces it, 
rests upon the capricious wants of a single people. 
From its nature it necessarily follows that it is 
claimed as the exclusive property of the sovereign, 


and every where forms a valuable branch of his in- 
come, or of the revenue of the state. This value, 
however, is of course not equal, and depends upon 
the situation and the circumstances connected with 
the caverns in which the nests are found. Beingr 
often in remote and sequestered situations, in a 
country so lawless, a property so valuable and ex- 
posed is subject to the perpetual depredation of 
freebooters, and it not unfrequently happens that 
an attack upon them is the principal object of the 
warfare committed by one petty state against an- 
other. In such situations, the expence of afford- . 
ing them protection is so heavy that they are ne- 
cessarily of little value. In situations where the 
caverns are difficult of access to strangers, and 
where there reigns enough of order and tranquillity 
to secure them from internal depredation, and to 
admit of the nests being obtained without other 
expence than the simple labour of collecting them, 
the value of the property is very great. The ca- 
verns of Karaiig-bolang, in Java, are of this de- 
scription. These annually afford 6810 lbs. of nests, 
which are worth, at the Batavia prices of 3200, 
2500, and 1200 Spanish dollars the picul, for the 
respective kinds, nearly 139,000 Spanish dollars, 
and the whole expence of collecting, curing, and 
packing, amounts to no more than 11 per cent, 
on this amount. The price of birds* nests is, of 

course, a monopoly price, the quantity produced 


being by nature limited and incapable of being aug- 
mented. The value of the labour expended in 
bringing birds' nests to market is but a trifling 
portion of their price, which consists of the high- 
est price which the luxurious Chinese will afford 
to pay for them, and which is a tax paid by that 
nation to the inhabitants of the Indian islands. * 
There is perhaps no production upon which human 
industry is exerted of which the cost of production 
bears so small a portion to the market price. 

The lac insect exists in most of the forests of 
the Indian islands, but especially in those of Su- 
matra and the Malayan Peninsula. Its produce 
is, however, inferior to that of Bengal, and 
especially of Pegu, which countries chiefly supply 
the large consumption of the market of China, 
while the lac of the Indian islands is principally 
confined to home consumption. 

• " When a commodity is at a monopoly price, it is at 
the very highest price at which the consumers are willing to 
purchase it. Commodities are only at a monopoly price 
when, by no possible means, their quantity can be augment- 
ed ; and when, therefore, the competition is wholl}' on one 
side — amongst the buyers. The monopoly price of one pe- 
riod may be much lower or higher than the monopoly price 
of another, because the competition among the purchasers 
must depend on iheir wealth, their tastes, and caprices." — 
Principles of Political Economyy by David Ricardo, Esq. 
B. XV. 


Bees* wax constitutes a very valuable and con- 
siderable article of commerce. Bees have no 
where been domesticated in the Indian Islands, 
nor, indeed, I believe, in any part of Asia. The 
wandering habits to which they are encouraged at 
all seasons, by the perpetual succession of flowers, 
would probably render it difficult. * From the 
same cause, and it being consequently unnecessary 
to lay up a store of provision, their honey is small 
in quantity, while, from the quality of vegetation, 
it is naturally of much inferior flavour to that of 
higher latitudes. I have seen the honey of Ara- 
bia brought, as a luxury, to the Indian Islands. 
The bees of these islands, however, afford an 
abundant supply of wax, which is largely exported 
to Bengal and China. The greatest supply is ob- 
tained in the islands furthest to the east, and, above 
all, in Timur and Flores. The quantity exported 
annually from the Portuguese settlements in Ti- 
mur is 20,000 piculs, which is sold by the natives 
at the low rate of five Spanish dollars the picul, or 
18s. lOjd. per cwt. When the Bugis vessels 
bring it to the west, it is, according to its purity, 
sold from 2(5 to 36 Spanish dollars the picul. In 

* This objection may not be equally applicable to situations 
of considerable elevation. The bee appears to be domesticat- 
ed in the island of Cuba, although I am ignorant under what 


Bengal we find the same produce quoted at 45 
rupees per maund, or an advance of 36^ per 

Animal flesh, among the Indian islanders, is 
never, as with us, pickled, but, for presei'vation, is 
dried in the sun, with the assistance of a very small 
proportion of salt. Under the native name of den- 
de?ig, the muscle of the ox, the buffalo, the deer, 
and wild hog, are thus prepared, and the three first 
form an article of considerable domestic consump- 
tion, while all are exported by the junks to China. 
The best dendeng may be had at the rate of six 
Spanish dollars the picul, 2^,d. per pound. 

Thejisheries of the Indian Islands afford a most 
valuable branch of their industry. Both sea and 
river fish abound, but the first are the most abun- 
dant and valuable. The waters which surround 
these islands are so tranquil, and the numerous 
banks which exist afford the living animals which 
inhabit them such abundance of food, that no part 
of the world abounds more in fine fish. The seas 
of the western parts of the Archipelago, particu- 
larly the Straits of Malacca, and the shores of the 
Gulf of Siam, are the most remarkable for their 
abundance of edible fish. * Towards the eastern 
j)arts of the Archipelago, where the coasts are 

• " Their seas," (the Straits of Malacca^) says Hamilton, 
♦' produce the finest fish that ever I saw or tasted." — New 
Account of the East Indies, Vol. II. p. 156. 


bolder and the seas deeper, the fish are scarcer and 
less abundant. The edible fish are numerous, 
among which the pomfret, the calcap, and the sole, 
are the most delicate. A great variety of fish are 
dried in the sun, and form a considerable article of 
commerce, fish being in this state, — for little or none 
is consumed fresh, — an article of as universal con- 
sumption among the Indian islanders as flesh is in 
cold countries. The preparation which fish undergo 
consists simply in drying them in the sun, for pick- 
ling is hardly ever had recourse to. Of one species, 
a kind of shad, which frequents the great river of 
Siak in Sumatra, the dried roe, of enormous size, 
constitutes an article of commerce. The common 
price of ordinary salt or dried fish may be stated 
at two Spanish dollars per picul, or 7s. 6|d per 

Ordinary dried fish forms no portion of the fo- 
reign exports of the Indian islands, but three sin- 
gular modifications of it do, fish-ma'wSj shark*s 
JinSy and tripang^ or sea slug, all of which are sent 
to China in large quantity. The first is a favour- 
ite article of the strange luxury of the inhabitants 
of that country, often bringing as high as 7^ Spa- 
nish dollars per picul, or L. 14, 3s. 6d. per cwt. in 
the market of Canton. Shark* sjins are exported 
to China from every maritime country of India, 
from the Arabian Gulf to the Indian islands. 
They are articles of luxury rather than of neces- 


sary food among a sensual people, who seek them 
under the imagination that they are powerful to- 
nics. A picul of shark's fins usually sells in China 
as high as 32 Spanish dollars, or at L. 6, Is. per 
cwt. which high price makes it evident, that they 
are no more than articles of luxury for the use of 
the rich. In the market of Macassar the ordinary 
price is about 15 Spanish dollars per picul, or 
L. 2, l6s. Sjd per cwt. Tripang swala^ or sea- 
slug, (holothurion,) is a much more important 
article of commerce than the two just mentioned, 
and constitutes, in quantity and value, the most 
considerable article of the exports of the Indian 
islands to China, unless, perhaps, we except pep- 
per. There are fisheries of tripang in every coun- 
try of the Archipelago, from Sumatra to New 
Guinea. The fish being found chiefly on coral reefs, 
and never on flat muddy shores, the most consider- 
able fisheries are consequently to the eastward 
from Celebes to New Guinea and Australasia, 
where the formation of the land is most favourable. 
The most productive are the fisheries among the 
Aroe islands and those in the Gulf of the Car- 
pentaria, and generally on all the north-west coast 
of New Holland, called, by the Bugis fishermen, 
MarejCy and by the Chinese, Lam-hai. 

The tripang is an unseemly looking substance, 
of a dirty brown colour, hard, rigid, scarcely pos- 
sessing any power of locomotion, nor appearance 


of animation. Some of the fish is occasionally as 
much as two feet in length, and from seven to 
eight inches in circumference. The length of a 
span, and the girth of from two to three inches, 
however, is the ordinary size. The quality or va- 
lue of the fish, however, does by no means depend 
upon its size, but upon properties in them, neither 
obvious to, nor discernible by, those who have not 
had a long and intimate experience of the trade. The 
Chinese merchants are almost the only persons who 
possess this skill, even the native fishermen them- 
selves being often ignorant on the subject, and al- 
ways leaving the cargo to be assorted by the Chi- 
nese on their return to port. The commercial 
classification made by the Chinese is curious and 
particular. In the market of Macassar the great- 
est staple of this fishery, not less than thirty varie- 
ties are distinguished, varying in price from five 
Spanish dollars per picul to fourteen times that 
price, each being particularized by well known 
names. To satisfy curiosity I shall give a few of 
them, with their ordinary prices. 

Tacheritang costs 

68 Spanish dollars. 














8 Spanish dollars. 



























Mareje (New 









It is evident, from this account, that the tripang 
trade is one in which no stranger can embark with 
any safety, and it is consequently almost entirely 
in the hands of the Chinese. The actual fishery is 
managed, however, exclusively by the natives. 
The fish is caught by them on ledges of coral rock, 
usually at the depth of from three to five fathoms. 
The larger kinds, when in shallow water, are oc- 
casionally speared, but the most common mode of 
taking them is by diving for them in the manner 
practised for pearl oysters, and taking them up 
with the hands. The quantity of tripang sent an- 
nually to China from Macassar is about 7OOO pi- 
culs, or 8333 cwt. The price in the market of 
China varies from eight Spanish dollars per 


picul, to 20, to 50, to 7«5, to 110, and to as high 
as 115, according to quality. 

Tortoise-shell is a valuable article of the com- 
merce of the Archipelago. The tortoise is found 
in all the seas of the Archipelago, but in greatest 
abundance in those in which the sea- slug abounds, 
particularly the east coast of Celebes, the coasts 
of the Spice Islands, and those of New Guinea. 
Towards the western parts of the Archipelago, 
the animal is smaller, the shell thinner, and of 
course much less valuable. Those engaged in 
fishing the tripang combine with it that of the 
tortoise, and about 200 piculs, Q.GyQ>QQ'i lbs. of 
shell are annually brought to Macassar by them 
for exportation to China, where the price is from 
300 to 350 Spanish dollars the picul, 701 per 
cent, less than the prices in the London market. 
This very tortoise-shell is again re-exported to 
Europe, affording a pointed example of the bene- 
ficial consequences of the free trade of the Chinese, 
and the flagrant injustice and impolicy of the re- 
strictions upon the intercourse of Europeans with 
those countries. The valuable productions which 
are obtained on the very coasts of the islands which 
the latter occupy, are here seen to be forced into a 
foreign market, where they must be collected before 
they can find their way to their final destination. 

PearlSy and the mother 'Of -pearl oyster, are pro- 
ductions of the seas of the Indian islands. The 


first, as an object of trade, are found no where 
but in the Suluk islands, and the last principally 
there also. Pearls are found in the narrow chan- 
nels or passages which exist among the nume- 
rous and dansrerous shoals of the islands of this 
group. The pearl is known in every language 
of the Archipelago by one and the same name, 
and this name, ' Miitya^ or Mutyara^ is San- 
skrit, from which it may be inferred that the use 
of pearls as an ornament, and by consequence the 
art of fishing for them, were taught by the Hin- 
dus. The quantity annually exported to China 
is reckoned worth, on the spot, 25,000 Spanish 
dollars ; and the quantity of mother-of-pearl shell 
obtained and exported to the same country is about 
5000picu]s, worth in China, at the rate of 14 Spa- 
nish dollars the picul, 70,000 dollars, or L. 15,7^0. 
Considering the turbulent and piratical habits of 
the natives of the Suluk group, it is certain that 
a greater share of skill and industry than can at 
present be applied to these fisheries, would great- 
ly enhance the value and amount of their produce. 
The same seas are the only parts of the Archi- 
pelago in which the coivrie shells, used as small 
currency in Hindustan, are found ; and the Bugis 
Praos bring them as articles of traffic to the 
more westerly parts of the Archipelago. These 
also, as well as almost all parts of the Archipelago, 
afford the gigantic cockle^ some of which occasion- 


ally measure three feet wide. The substance of 
the shell is several inches thick, perfectly white, 
and takes a fine polish. They are sent to China 
as articles of trade. 

Ambergris is found in several parts of the seas 
of the Archipelago, and constitutes an article of 
the return cargos to China. As the commodity 
has no name but the Arabian one Anhar, we may 
plausibly conjecture that the Arabs first instructed 
the natives in the use of it as a perfume. 

The last marine production I shall mention is 
Agar-agar^ a kind of Fucus, which is soluble in 
water, and in which it forms a gelatinous matter. 
The Chinese use it in this form with sugar, as a 
sweetmeat, and apply it in the arts as an excellent 
paste. It is probable it might be used in the same 
manner by us, and might prove a cheap and useful 
substitute for the expensive gums we now import. 
It forms a portion of the cargos of all the junks. 
The price on the spot where it is collected is very 
low, seldom exceeding one and a half or two Spa- 
nish dollars a picul, or from 5s. 8d. to 7s. Old. per 

It need hardly be insisted upon that, in the 
event of the European race colonizing in the 
countries of the Archipelago, and their entei'prise 
being permitted to take its natural range, the rich 
variety of marine production which I have now 
enumerated would, with the interminable demands 


of the market of China in their immediate vici- 
nage, afford abundant occupation for their indus- 
try and skill. In speaking of the fisheries of 
the Indian Islands, one great subject has not 
yet been alluded to — the "dohale -fishery. In the seas 
which surround the Spice Islands, and particular- 
ly towards Timur, and that portion of the Pacific 
Ocean which lies between the Archipelago and 
New Holland, the Cachelot or Spermaceti whale 
abounds. While the Spice Islands were in our 
possession, our whalers were in the habit of re- 
freshing at Amboyna, which they found a con- 
venient station for this purpose alone, though per- 
mitted to carry on no species of trade with it. 
Ten or twelve of them annually put in for refresh- 
ments at the port of Dili in Timur. It is evident, 
that any nation in possession of the Spice Islands, 
that has the wisdom to destroy the absurd mono- 
poly of spices, and restore the industry of those 
countries to their natural state, may see them 
necessarily become a convenient station of the 
whale-fishery. If industry and capital were suf- 
fered to take their natural course, the spice trade 
and whale-fishery would be naturally combined, 
each mutually aiding the other. The striking 
contrast in the present case, between the Jree and 
fettered trade, is sufficient to bring ridicule and 
confusion on the supporters of regulated and mo- 
nopoly commerce. The spermaceti whale-fishery 


employs 32,100 tons of shipping, and 3210 sea- 
men; — the vaunted spice trade 700 tons, and 80 
seamen ; the tonnage is thus 46 times greater, the 
hands employed 40 times greater. The value of 
the fishery is L. 1070,000, that of the spices, at 
three times their natural price, only L. 120,000, 
or little more than a ninth part of the value 
of the fishery. This amount for the fishery is 
obtained by the labour of 3210 men, among the 
boldest, most active, and hardy, that human insti- 
tutions are capable of breeding. The spices are ob- 
tained through the enslaving of a population of 
46,000, or with the labour of 11,500 persons, 
taking the labouring population at about a fourth 
of that number,* who, with perhaps a million more, 
are by means of it robbed of the most ordinary 
rights of human nature, and kept in slavery and 
barbarism to insure an unworthy and contemptible 
object. It will appear from this, and allowing that 
spices bring a monopoly price equal to three times 
their natural value, that the labourof one Englishman 
is equal to that of 96 natives of the Spice Islands, 
with the aid of the productive powers of the soil to 
boot. The value of the ordinary labour of a civi- 
lized European over an Asiatic, wherever there is 
an opportunity of making a fair comparison, is no 

* This is the actual population of Amboyna and the Banda 


more, however, than as 3^ is to 1 . Some of this 
he owes to the natural and inherent superiority of 
his physical form, but more to education and to 
moral habit. 

The ludian Archipelago, so remarkable for the 
rich variety of its vegetable and animal productions, 
is hardly less distinguished for its mineral 'wealth. 
In tin, it is by far the most productive country on 
the globe ; and in gold, it is probably not inferior 
to America. Ores of silver, lead, and zinc, on the 
other hand, have not yet been discovered at all ; and 
iron is scarce, no ores of it sufficiently rich being 
at all found in some of the islands, and these the 
most distinguished for their vegetable wealth 
and civilization. Rich ores of copper are known 
to exist in several situations, but this metal is 
net generally diffused. The truth, however, is, 
that, with respect to the metallic wealth of 
those countries, very little is known, for the 
industry and civilization necessary to elicit it 
neither exist now nor have ever existed. The 
singular wealth of the tin and gold mines has in 
a measure obtruded these metals upon notice ; but 
it is only through the enterprise of strangers, and 
in very recent times, that their produce has become 
a respectable object of commerce. The command- 
ing genius of the European race, though fettered 
by so many pernicious restraints, has, since its 
authority was established in these regions, had in- 

VOL. III. F f 


fluence enough to establish such a share of confi- 
dence and security as to stimulate enterprise where 
the natural wealth of the land made a very little 
sufficient. Under the commanding protection of 
that genius, the industry and the labour of the more 
industrious nations of Asia frequenting the Archi- 
pelago, particularly the Chinese, has been put in 
motion ; and it is chiefly through them that the 
gold and tin mines of the Archipelago, before 
little known, or of little value, have been rendered 

The mineral products which particularly deserve 
notice, in a commercial point of view, and of which 
I propose giving an account in succession, are the 
following : tin — gold — copper — iron — salt — sul- 
phur, and the diamond. 

Tin is called, in every language of the Archipe- 
lago, by the name Timali, a word, it is presumed, 
of the Malay language. In geographical distribu- 
tion, tin is confined to the island of Banca, the 
Malayan Peninsula, and the islets on its coasts, 
with Junkceylon. Tin, wherever found, it has 
been remarked, has a limited geographical distribu- 
tion ; but where it does exist, it is always in great 
abundance. The tin of the Indian islands has, 
however, a much wider range of distribution than 
that of any other country, being found in consider- 
able quantity from the 98' to the IO7'' of East lon- 
gitude, and from the 8' North, to '6" South lati- 


Tin exists either in greatest abundance, or is ob- 
tained with least hxbour and difficulty, in the island 
of Banca, which affords at present by far the great- 
er quantity of the tin of commerce of the Archipe- 
lago. The discovery of the mines of Banca is com- 
paratively a recent event. It took place in the 
beginning of last century, in the reign of Sultan 
Badur TJMin, king of Palembang, and sovereign 
of the island. * 

This event in the history of tin may be fairly 
compared to the discovery of the American mines, 
in that of the precious metals. The working of 
the former mines in the Archipelago was in a 
great measure discontinued ; and, but for the ef- 
fects of the monopoly, tlie influence might have 
extended to Europe. In about thirty years from 
the discovery, the tin produced from the mines of 

* Captain Hamilton, who was in India at the time, gives 
the following account of the discovery : " In I710, a son 
of the king of Pullamban {Palembang) was king, and a fiic 
accidentally happening in a village, when the lire was ex- 
tinguished they chanced to find much melted metal under 
the rubbish, which proved to be tin. The king ordered his 
people to dig a little into the ground, and they found plenty 
of ore, which he now reaps a good advantage by. The 
Dutch sent from Batavia for leave to settle a factory there, 
but could not obtain that favour, the king declaring that his 
countr}' should be Wee for all nations to trade in." — New 
Account of the East Indies, \6\. II. p. 120. 


Bancavvasno less than 05,000 piculs, or S870ton5?, 
being nearly the same as that of the mines of 
Cornwall at present. Previous to the discovery of 
the mines of Banca, the principal portion of the tin 
of the Arcliipelago was obtained on the west coast 
of the Malayan Peninsula. * 

The geological formation of the island of Banca 
is chieRy prima }'!/ rock. The principal mountains are 
of granite ; and those of inferior elevation of red 
iron-stone. In the low tracts between these, the tin 
ore is found, and hitherto always in alluvial depo- 
sites, seldom further than £'5 feet from the surface. 
The strata in which it is found are always in a ho- 
rizontal direction ; and the following is an example 
of their nature and composition : 

Vegetable mould, - - 1} feet. 
Black clay, - - 8 
Grey clay intermixed with sand, - 4 
Black clay, - - 6 
Coarse sand, of semi-transparent co- 
lour, bedded in pure white clay, G 


* " The country," says Hamilton, speaking of Perali, 
" produces more tin than any in India ;" and again he adds, 
" there are several places along the coast of Malaya that 
produce gre;<X quantities of tin ; but Salangore and Parce- 
lore are the most noted." — Nexv Account of ihe East Indies, 
p. 73, 74. 


These incumbent materials vary a little in differ- 
ent situations, but not materially. Immediately 
under the last stratum occurs the bed or stream of 
tin ore, disseminated in coarse fragments of granite, 
and other primitive rocks, and of various degrees 
of depth. The disappearance of the bed of ore is 
constantly indicated by a stratum of pure white 
friable clay. * 

The tin ore of Banca is common tin ore, or tbu 
sto7ie, an oxide of tin, and its most common colour 
is reddish-brown. From this account of the geog- 
nostic situation of tin we shall be prepared to un- 
derstand the nature of the processes pursued for 
converting it into metal. The process of mining 
is wonderfully simple, easy, and cheap. A tin 
mme is nothing else than a large oblong pit, made 
by excavating the ground in a perpendicular di- 
rection, to a depth of from 15 to ^5 feet, to re- 
move the superincumbent strata of sand and clay 
and get at the ore. The first opening is seldom 
above 100 feet in length, and if the ore is discovered 
to lie below the usual depth, the situation in the 
present abundance of mineral will be neglected for a 
more favourable one. The mines are divided into 
lai'ge and smally called respectively in the language 
of the country kolong and Iculit. It is in the first 

* Callc.l_,by the Chinese miners Kon^sek. 


only that tlie process of mining is carried to any 
degree of refinement, and that machinery is em- 
ployed. The Chinese alone are engaged in work- 
ing these, and the average number of hands em- 
ployed in each mining operation is from ^5 to 30. 
The whole of the labourers work on terms of equa- 
lity ; the older and more experienced directing, 
and the younger and more active performing the 
operative part, while all share equally in the pro- 
fits. Fortunately it has been found impracticable 
to make the Chinese labour on any other terms. 
The whole process for obtaining the metal consists 
of 7niningt Xicishhig, iind Jhshig : of each of these 
I shall supply a very brief sketch in their natural 
order. The situation for opening a new mine is 
determined by some indications of the existence of 
the mineral, well known to the experienced Chi- 
nese, and by the usual test of boring. The ground 
being first cleared of the huge primeval forest 
which covers all Banca, the miners begin metho- 
dically to remove the alluvial strata to get at the 
ore. In large mines of a superficies of 100 feet by 
80, this operation, conducted by ^5 or 30 work- 
men, will occupy about from three to four months. 
The earth it removed by little baskets, a pair of 
which are suspended, according to the usual cus- 
tom of the east, from a beam or lever across the 
shoulders of the workmen. The rough trunk of a 
forest tree felled on the spot, and having steps cut 


into it, constitutes the ladder by which the descent 
and ascent into the mine is effected. The smaller 
mines, besides being generally more superficial, are 
commonly situated upon acclivities, and thus an 
accumulation of water seldom incommodes the 
mining, but the larger ones are more frequent- 
ly in vallies, and soon filled with water, which 
it is necessary to remove. This is effected by a 
common and cheap hydraulic Chinese machine. 
Sometimes a canal is made to pass close to the 
mine for the purpose of facilitating the labour of 
removing the upper strata of sand and clay, which 
are thrown into it as extracted, and thus carried off 
by the stream. This is, of course, practicable on- 
ly in situations where the fluid has a considerable 
impetus. The stratum of tin is pursued by a suc- 
cession of pits, following the first opening or 

The washing of the mineral is performed in a 
manner remarkably cheap and easy. The abun- 
dance of mountain streams, which characterize the 
physical aspect of Banca, in common with all the 
other considerable islands of this tropical region, 
are the sources of this facility. When there is 
much room for selection it becomes a material ob- 
ject to choose a mine in the neighbourhood of such 
mountain stream which is either itself, or a canal 
from it, directed to the neighbourhood of the mine, 
where an aqueduct is regularly formed, the sides 


of wlilch are carefully lined with the bark of the 
larfj^e forest-trees of the neii^hbourhood. Into this 
trench the ore previously accumulated on its bank 
is gradually thrown in, while a rapid stream of 
water is made to pass through it, the labourer 
ao^itatinjj the materials with a hoe. The earth and 
sand are carried off by the water. The ore and 
large stones by their gravity subside, when the lat- 
ter are separated from the former by manual la- 
bour, with the occasional use of sieves. 

The purified ore thus obtained is removed to 
sheds erected for the purpose, and which contain 
the furnaces and apparatus for smelting. The 
process of smelting is usually performed once a- 
year, or, in a very productive season, twice. The 
furnace is ten feet long, four wide, and composed 
of clay. The bellows, or ventilator, is a piece of 
timber, about twenty-five inches in diameter, hav- 
ing; a bore of seventeen or eigrhteen inches admit- 
ting a piston. It is made of a single tree, and its 
fabrication requires considerable skill. This en- 
gine, plied by three stout workmen, keeps up a 
constant blast on the furnace. A quantity of ignit- 
ed charcoal is first thrown into the furnace, which 
continues, as long as the process of smelting goes 
forward, to be fed alternutely with ore and coals. 
In due time, and wjien the furnace is heated, the 
metal begins to flow, in a full stream, from an 
aperture for the purpose in the bottom of the floor, 


and is received into a basin, from which, in time, 
it is removed, by a ladle, into moulds made of 
moist sand, formed near the furnace. The size of 
these moulds gives slabs or ingots of metal weigh- 
ing 50 katis, or 6i')'t lbs. This operation serves 
the double purpose of smelting and roasting the 
ore. It is always conducted in the night time, to 
avoid the heats of the day, which would be inconve- 
nient in that climate to the labourers. In the 
course of one night 5280 lbs. of ore are smelted, 
which, at an average, afford 44i or 45 ingots of me- 
tal, or 3062 lbs., so that, at this rate, 100 parts of 
ore yield 58 parts of metal. A more improved, 
but perhaps more expensive, mode of smelting 
would, it is thought, give a greater produce. 

The outlay of capital, according to this mode 
of extracting tin, is extremely trifling. Besides 
the water-wheel, ventilator, and shed, including 
the furnaces, it consists of the charges for pick- 
axes, spades, hoes, shovels, and a few cheap wheel- 
barrows, after a Chinese construction. The very 
"vvoods, cut down on the site of the mines, afford 
the necessary charcoal for smelting. The whole of 
the processes described are conducted by the Chi- 
nese. The miners are scattered over the island 
according to the direction of the mines. Besides 
the immediate labourers in the mines, many others 
are connected with them, being engaged either in 
raising food and necessaries, or in fabricating the 


tools and other materials required in the processes of 
milling, washing, and smelting. Among these are 
blacksmiths, carpenters, charcoal burners, garden- 
ers, &c. In the present state of population, the corn 
consumed by the workmen is more cheaply import- 
ed than grown. The simplicity of the various pro- 
cesses of mining industry is such, that little pre- 
vious training is necessary. The only exception to 
this is the business of the smelter, which is always 
a separate trade. The miners are almost all na- 
tives of China, and, notwithstanding the difference 
of climate, and the severity of their occupations, 
enjoy good health. 

besides the tin obtained by the Chinese, by the 
intelligent processes now described, an inconsider- 
able quantity is obtained by the natives, by very 
rude processes. The masters of the island, the 
Malays, or, at least, the people of Palembang, imi- 
tate the Chinese at an humble distance, and extract 
the ore by means similar to those practised by the 
latter in the small mines. The aboriginal natives 
follow still ruder processes. They mine in the 
form of a narrow cylindrical shaft, capable of ad- 
mitting one person only, and, if the bed of ore 
be found productive, follow it at the risk of their 
lives under the alluvial strata, which often fall 
in upon them. They have no water-wheel, no 
aqueduct. To avoid the accumulation of water, 
they must always mine on the acclivities of cle- 


vated tracts, and, for washing the mineral, it must 
be conveyed, as it is extracted, to the nearest rivu- 
let. In smelting they use small furnaces, and, in- 
stead of the large and effectual ventilator of the 
Chinese, the common Malay bellows, described in 
the first volume of this work, is employed by them. 
The metal is even transported to the market, with 
inferior skill, and to facilitate its conveyance, is 
cast into much smaller slabs than those of the 
Chinese, by which distinction it is known in the 
markets. The different conditions of the three 
races of men, in point of industry and civilization, 
is distinctly pourtrayed in their respective manner 
of pursuing the process of mining. Were the Eu- 
ropean race to engage in the same occupation on fair 
terms, that is, supposing them legitimately coloniz- 
ed, we should find a new and higher grade added 
to the scale, if, indeed, their superior vigour and 
intelligence did not soon banish all competition. 

The economical management pursued in regard 
to the mines by the sultans of Palembang deserves 
a particular description. The real source of the 
large revenue which the sultan of Palembang de- 
rives from the mines of Banca is the rent of these 
mines, what they yield beyond the value of the 
produce of the poorer mines of other countries. 
The sultan is at once the sovereign and the owner, 
or lord of the soil, and nominally the mining ad- 
venturer. Comparing the economy of the mines 


of Banca with those of Cornwall, he receives — the 
tax or quit-rent paid to the duke or sovereign, — the 
rent paid to tlie lords of the soil, — and partakes, 
nominally at least, in the profits of those who are 
more immediately the adventurers. Considered as 
a branch of the public revenue of the native so- 
vereign, the mines of Banca were divided intoj^'rc' 
departments, the administration of which was con- 
signed to as many native officers, usually residing at 
the court of Palembang. These persons had, accord- 
ing to the practice of the native governments, the 
whole powers of administration delegated to them, 
and conducted the civil and military government of 
their respective districts, as well as, what they consi- 
dered the more paramount, affairs of the mines. 
They delegated the charge of the mines to agents 
distinguished by the Chinese name of Kongsi. 
These kept the accounts of the mines, and at fixed 
staples had stores of provisions, tools, &c., made ad- 
vances to the adventurers, and received the tin at 
fixed rates. The adventurers may be described as 
bein^ at once labourers and adventitrerSy who work 
in common upon terms of perfect equality. The 
price which they received was an invariable, fixed, 
one of about six Spanish dollars per picul, or 
L. 1, 2s. 8d. per cwt., 57 per cent, less than the 
cost of Cornish tin. This, however small, nomi- 
nally must have been a fully adequate compensation 
for their labour, since it induced them to quit their 



country, and to subject themselves to the inconve- 
nience of living in a new uncleared country, and, 
of course, not in a very favourable climate. The 
actual price paid, however, must have been greatly 
lower than this nominal one, for the Kongsis^ or 
native agents, were in the practice of supplying 
them with necessaries at exorbitant prices, as an 
example of which it may be stated, that rice was 
delivered to them at the rate of 5 Spanish dollars 
per picul, six times its price in Java, and certainly 
not less than 150 per cent, above its natural price 
on the spot. The whole price paid by the British 
administration when it took possession of Banca, 
including management, transportation, &;c. was 
only 8 Spanish dollars the picul of 133; lbs. avoir- 
dupois, or L. 1, 10s. 3d. per cwt. Such are the 
extraordinary facilities, or the small quantity of la- 
bour expended in producing the metal, and bring- 
ing it to market. The difference between the 
price actually paid for the production of the 
tin, and the selling price, consists of the jwofits 
of stock, and the rent of the mines, but perhaps 
chiefly, or, indeed, in all likelihood exclusive- 
ly of the latter, as it is not to be imagined that 
profit is likely to accrue from the wasteful and im- 
provident management of a trading sovereign. This 
price on the spot has generally been about 12 dol- 
lars, so that the average proportion of the rents of 
mines in Banca may be reckoned about one-half o^ 
their produce. 


The quantity of tin which the mines of Banca 
are capable of affording is immense, as the supply 
of ore is nearly indefinite, and the facility of working 
great. About the year 1750, or forty years after 
their first discovery, they yielded, it has been cal- 
culated, much above 1:^0,000 slabs, or G6,000 pi- 
culs, 5870 tons. From internal anarchy, — mal- 
administration, — the exhaustion of some rich mines 
conveniently situated, — the monopoly of the Euro- 
pean government, — the restrictions upon commerce 
occasioned by the state of war among the European 
nations, — and in some respect, perhaps, from the 
forced competition of the tin of Cornwall brought 
to China, the quantity produced of late years has 
greatly diminished. About the year I78O, the 
produce had fallen to 30,000 piculs, or to less than 
half its maximum, and from 1799, until the Bri- 
tish conquest, seldom exceeded one-third of this 
last amount, or 10,000 piculs. Of the causes 
which have led to the diminished production of tin 
in late years, the only one that deserves a particu- 
lar examination is that which ascribes it to the 
exhausted state of the mineral strata. To this 
cause, however, I am inclined to ascribe a very 
limited effect indeed. It is necessarily with mines 
as with new lands, in countries where both are abun- 
dant and fertile. No economy is observed with 
regard to either. The more fertile beds of mi- 
nerals, those which afford the greatest quantity 



of metal witli the least labour, will be first wrought, 
and a great number of mines will be worked in a 
slovenly manner, rather than a few with skill and 
economy. This is the case in the management of 
the Chinese. A stratum of mineral no sooner dips 
a few feet beyond the usual level than the mine is 
abandoned for a new one. A scanty supply of water 
for washing the mineral will lead to a similar 
measure. When an adequate price was given for 
the additional labour, however, the Chinese had no 
scruple to go on with the work. Premiums with 
this view were occasionally given by the sultans 
of Palembang. By giving an additional price to 
the workmen, the British administration extend- 
ed the quantity of tin, in IS 17, from 10,800, 
which they found it in 1813, to 35,000 piculs, or 
2083j tons, equal to half the produce of Cornwall. 
All that can be reasonably said, therefore, on this 
subject is, that the cost of producing tin has, by the 
exhaustion of some of the most conveniently situ- 
ated mines, been, perhaps, a little enhanced. Were 
a judicious and liberal system of economy pursu- 
ed regarding the mines, increasing capital, with 
the improved skill and machinery which would 
attend it, would, for a long time, more than 
counterbalance any natural impediments to min- 
ing, arising from the difficulty of obtaining the 
ore. It is but a small portion of an island, con- 
taining an area of 3400 geographical miles, that 
has yet been examined. The mines at present 


are cliiefly confined to the northern and western 
parts of it, whereas the south-eastern has hardly been 
touched. From one extremity to the other, the 
alluvial lands are ascertained to abound in beds of 
tin ; and from the analogy of other countries, it is 
beyond any doubt that the mountains abound in 
veins of it. To the difficult and expensive pro- 
cesses required for the mining of these last it is 
at present superfluous to look, for the alluvial 
lands contain the cheap and abundant supply of 
many ages. 

I shall, with the view of pointing out the great 
value of the mines of Banca, draw a short compa- 
rison between them and those of Cornwall. The 
whole produce of the mines of Banca, when they 
were wrought to the greatest advantage, was near- 
ly the same in numerical amount with the highest 
produce of those of Cornwall, Even at present 
their amount is equal to one half of it. But the 
whole produce of Banca is grain tin, a pure metal, 
superior in intrinsic value to block tin 2-^^ per 
cent. Cornish tin is obtained, with vast labour, by 
mining through obdurate granite, often to the pro- 
digious depth of many hundred fathoms ; Banca 
tin, by digging through a few soft strata of sand 
and clay, and seldom to more than three or four 
fathoms. To clear the Cornish mines from water, 
the most expensive and complex machinery is re- 
quisite ; to clear those of Banca, a simple wooden 


wheel,' costing a few shillings ! To separate the 
Cornish ore from its matrix, it must be ground in 
a stamping-mill, as well as subjected to the process 
of washing. The Banca tin is at once separated 
from its matrix, and fitted without farther care 
for smelting, by the simple process of passing 
a stream of running water over it in an aqueduct 
simply lined with the bark of trees. The necessary 
result of all this is, that the cost of producing a cwt. 
of Banca tin is but 2Ss. 8d., whereas that of Corn- 
wall tin is not less than Gis. yd. ; and that, while 
a Cornish mine seldom yields a rent of more than 
a tenth or twelfth of the produce, often not more 
than a twenty-fourth, and usually not above a fif- 
teenth, the Banca mines yield no less than one- 
half. This is the most exact and unquestionable 
test of the superior fertility of the one over the 
other. The skill and ingenuity of Europeans, — 
their capital, — and their machinery, make some 
amends for the inferior fertility of the Cornish 
mines, but such as are far enough from counter- 
balancing the immense wealth of those of Banca. 
Were the Cornish workmen, with their ingenuity, 
their capital, and machinery, to be employed on 
such mines as those of Banca, no other mines in 
the world would, in a short time, be worth workino- ; 
and, on the other hand, were the Banca miners, 
with their tools and simple- machinery, to attempt 
such mines as those of Cornwall, there can be no 

VOL. III. G o; 


question but they would be as inaccessible to them, 
for all useful purposes, as if buried a league in the 
crust of the earth. 

The tin of Banca and the other Indian Islands 
finds its way into almost eveiy part of the world ; but 
China and the Continent of India are its principal 
markets. The average annual importation into 
Bengal is COOO cwt. By European ships there are 
miported into Canton 6068 piculs, or 7^^"^ cwt. 
The Dutch, in the days of their commercial admi- 
nistration, sent to China annually 11,690 piculs, 
or 16,700 cwt. The quantity sent to the different 
ports of China by the Chinese junks it is impossi- 
ble to conjecture, but it is very considerable. The 
most recent prices in the different countries in 
which the tin of Banca finds a market may be 
quoted as follows : In China, 83s. 2d. per cwt. ; 
in Bengal, including duties, 97s. ; in New York, 
where it comes into competition with Spanish tin, 
100s. 9id. ; and in Amsterdam, 82s. 8|d. All 
these prices, allowing for the intrinsic superiority 
of the metal, are cheaper than Cornish tin in the 
London market. 

I shall conclude this account of tin by throwing 
out some hints towards a better system of admini- 
stration for the mines of Banca than has yet been 
pursued. The lands and the mines are the proper- 
ty of the sovereign ; and whether that sovereign has 
been native or European, the tin has been made a 


subject of exclusive trade, for the assumed benefit 
of the state. This system is too palpably vitious 
to deserve particular exposure. The sultans of 
Palembang paid six Spanish dollars a picul for tin, 
and sold it for 12 Spanish dollars. The profit 
upon, say 60,000 piculs, was, therefore, Spanish 
dollars 360,000, or L.8 1,000. Under the British 
administration, 10 dollars a picul were paid, in- 
cluding all charges ; and the tin, after being trans- 
ported to Batavia, was sold at 15 Spanish dollars. 
If from this we deduct one dollar for expence of 
transportation to that place, and incidental charges 
attending it, and take the average produce at 
30,000 piculs, the profit was but 120,000 Spanish 
dollars, or L.27»000, against which was to be de- 
ducted the interest of money advanced to tlie mi- 
ners, the whole civil, naval, and military expences 
of the island, with its share of the expence of the 
general government of all the European establish- 
ments, of which it is a part. As a mere fiscal ar- 
rangement, therefore, it is evident that the com- 
mercial monopoly will not bear a moment*s exami- 

It is not the rent of the mine, the value paid 
for the productive power of the earth in mineral, 
that, either in Cornwall or in Banca, put the min- 
ing adventures in motion. In Cornwall, the ca- 
pital of private adventurers is the fund on which 
the mining adventures are conducted j and the 


lord or proprietor absolutely does nothing but sit 
down at his ease, and receive his rent. * Of the 
mines of Banca, in their present state of fertility, I 
have attempted to estimate the rent at one-half of 
their gross produce. This rent is the proper sub" 
ject of taxation, and were the amount permanent 
and equal, or could be precisely ascertained, might, 
without infringement of private rights, or detri- 
ment to public industry, be all assumed as the 
public revenue of the state. No perpetual arrange- 
ment, however, could be made with respect to 
mines, as proposed with respect to lands ; for the 
productive powers of the soil are permanent, arid 
the rent of a given portion of land increases rather 
than diminishes in the progress of society, whereas 
the produce of mines is liable to diminish, or to be 
altogether exhausted. A periodical, and not a per- 
manent organization, therefore, would be the most 

* " The dues," says INIr Taylor, " are delivered to the lord 
or to his agent on the mine, free of all cxpence, or are com- 
muted for a proportionate part of the money arising from the 
sale of the whole. Hence it will be seen that the land-own- 
er risks nothing but a little injury to the surface of his 
fields. It seems reasonable that the land-owners should con- 
tribute something in favour of that exertion which so often 
leads to their great advantage. As it now stands, the land- 
owner often derives a great revenue from a mine, which is 
swallowing up the money of the adventurers." — Transactions 
of the Geological Society of London, Vol. II. p. 312, 313. 


suitable. I conceive tliat the granting of a lease 
of from ten to twenty years, according to the 
nature of the mines, with their disposal by the 
competition of a public sale, would be the surest 
and most equitable means of determining and se- 
curing the amount of the revenue of the state, and 
of reconciling public and private interests. Sub- 
ordinate regulations will readily occur, and need 
not be detailed. Mining adventure, by the plan 
proposed, would have ample scope ; and the aboli- 
tion of the exclusive trade would soon give the ex- 
citement to individual enterprise, which insures 
prosperity and wealth. From the abundance of 
the lands of" Banca, and the injurious system pur- 
sued, of supplying the miners at exorbitant rates 
with food and necessaries from abroad, they are at 
present excluding those which contain tin ores, of 
little or no value. When the activity of mining 
industry is set at liberty by being freed from the 
shackles which now fetter it, the lands will acquire 
value from the demands of the mines ; and, as in 
other situations of much less promise, we shall see 
agricultural industry thrive, and towns and villages 
rise in the midst of the mining districts. The 
lands should be gradually sold for a quit rent, on 
the principles laid down in another part of this 
work, to facilitate the progress of so desirable an 
eveilt. When it is considered tliat, 7^ years ago, 
under an luilavourable system, and when there was 


a less demand for tin in the arts than at pre- 
sent, Banca produced 65,000 piculs of tin, it 
will not be too high a rate to expect from the 
system of freedom recommended, that the island 
should produce 100,000 piculs. Supposing that, 
of this gross amount, the rent is but two-fifths, 
the picul being valued at 12 Spanish dollars, 
then we should have a net revenue of 480,000 
Spanish dollars, or L. 108,000, free from any ex- 
pensive fiscal establishment, indeed without any at 
all, in this particular department, while the trade 
would be open to the wholesome influence of indi- 
vidual enterprise in every department. * 

Next to tin, gold is the most valuable of the 
mineral products of the Archipelago. In a geo- 
graphical view, it is very generally, perhaps uni- 
versally, diffused throughout the Archipelago ; but 
the countries in which it most abounds are those 
of which the geological constitution is primitive. 
It is most abundant in those islands which consti- 
tute the western and northern barriers of the Ar- 
chipelago, and exists but in small quantities, rare- 

* For the information I have supplied in the text respect- 
ing the economy of the mines of Banca, I am altogether in- 
debted to an able memoir on the subject furnished to me 
by my friend Dr Horsfield, who will soon lay before the 
public the result of researches conducted for many years into 
every branch of the natural history of the Archipelago. 


ly worth mining for, in the great volcanic range 
extending from Java to Timur-Laut. Of parti- 
cular islands, Borneo affords by far the most abun- 
dant supply. Next to it comes Sumatra, and in suc- 
cession the peninsula J Celebes, and Lusong, an enu- 
meration which would seem to indicate that even 
the size and extent of the countries in which it is 
found have some relation to its distribution. In 
this estimate of the geographical distribution of 
gold, it ought not to be forgot that we may possi- 
bly be misled by too limited an experience, and 
that the countries in which the industry of man 
has been, perhaps by accident, directed to its ex- 
traction, may possibly be mistaken for those in 
which nature has produced it in greatest abundance. 
In one great island especially, the magnificent one 
of New Guinea, it is known to exist, and there 
is room to imagine, in great abundance. 

The gold ol the Indian Islands, in regard to 
geognostic situation, is found, as in other parts of 
the world, in veins and mineral beds, as well as in 
alluvial deposites. In the first situation it exists 
in granite, gneiss, mica-slate, and clay-slate ; and 
in the second, in ferruginous clay and sand. The 
ore is what modern mineralogists term gold-yellow 
gold, * and always contains a considerable quanti- 

* Professor Jameson's able and laborious " System of 


ty of silver, and generally, although not always, 
some copper. The gold of Banjar-laut, for exam- 
ple, usually contains in 100 parts — gold 90 parts, 
silver 4 parts, and copper H parts. The gold of 
Larak, in the same island, affords in 100 parts — 
gold 86 parts, silver 6 parts, and copper 8 parts. 
The gold of Pontianak in 100 parts contains 83 
parts of gold, l6 of silv„r, and about 1 of copper. 

A small part of the gold of commerce of the 
Indian Islands is obtained by mining processes 
from veins and mineral beds ; some from washing 
the sand and mud of brooks and rivers ; but by far 
the greatest portion by washing deposites of gold 
in alluvial lands. The first mode is chiefly follow- 
ed by the more civilized native tribes ; the second 
principally by the savages ; and the third chiefly 
by the Chinese. Mining, conducted in veins and 
mineral beds, is pursued, as far as I know, in the 
island of Sumatra only. The principal mines are 
in the interior of the island, in the country of the 
Bataks and Menangkabao Malays. The mines are 
but petty excavations. The perpendicular shaft 
usually goes no deeper than five or six fathoms, 
when the operations are pursued laterally, the 
sides of the mine being supported by beams of 
wood. Iron crows, shovels, and mallets, are the 
only tools made use of. The practice of blasting 
the rock is not known, neither is the simple w^ter- 
wheel of the Chinese, the mine being kept clear 


by no other means than by buckets and manual 
labour. The ore is separated from its matrix, 
usually quartz, by pounding and washing. Mr 
Marsden tells us, that it is estimated that there 
are no less than 1^00 of these i>etty mines in the 
territory of Menangkabao alone. The fertility of 
these mineral beds is sufficiently prored by the cir- 
cumstance of their being wrought at all by such 
rude and imperfect means. 

The practice of mining for gold from alluvial 
deposites is pursued by both natives and Chinese ; 
but systematically, skilfully, and effectually, as to 
production, only by the latter. The economy of 
the Chinese mining operations, on account of their 
extent and importance to commerce, deserve a 
particular description. The seat of them is Borneo, 
and of that island principally the territory on its 
west coast, situated towards the mountains, and ly- 
ing between the rivers of Pontianak and Sambas. 
The country is usually denominated Montradak, 
from the name of the principal town or vilhige, 
which is situated about two days* journey, or ra- 
ther voyage, as it is an inland navigation, from the 
coast. The whole tract is alluvial, and channelled 
by the beds of numerous rivers, some of them of 
great size. My information respecting the econo- 
my of the mines is principally from personal com- 
munication with Chinese who were for years en- 
gaged in them. The whole Chinejse population of 


this part of the countiy amounts to 36,000, of 
whom 4000 only are women. Part of the latter 
only are of the mixed Chinese and native race, 
and the greater number natives of the place, pur- 
chased or kidnapped. Six thousand of the whole 
of this population only are directly engaged in 
the working of the mines, the rest being occupied 
in trade or agriculture, or in branches of industry 
subservient to the working of the mines. This 
Chinese population is nearly independent of any 
native authority, governing itself through its chiefs, 
and the tribute paid to the raja of Sambas, in whose 
territories the mines are situated, is very trifling, 
amounting to no more than l60 bungkals, making 
399^ Spanish dollars ; or, in Sterling money, 
L. 898, 4s. Like the tin mines of Banca, the 
economy and circumstances of which they very 
closely resemble in many particulars, the gold mines 
oi Montr adak are divided into large and small. Of 
the first there are thirteen at present wrought, 
and of the second fifty-seven. The principal dif- 
ference in these consists, not in the amount of 
the fertility of the ore, but rather in the greater or 
smaller capital vvhich is employed in working them ; 
and, of consequence, in the principle and extent to 
which the mining operations are conducted. The 
great mines are wrought by companies of persons of 
property and capital, who employ monthly labourers. 
The smaller mines, on the other hand, are worked 


by the mere labourers who at once conduct the ope- 
rative parts, and share the proceeds on terms of per- 
fect equahty. The large mines employ from 100 to 
^00 men, including labourers and overseers, the 
smaller from 10 to 50. The economy of the 
large mines is chiefly worthy of notice. The mode 
of paying the labourers is by monthly wages, with 
a supply of food. An inexperienced labourer re- 
ceives for the first four months two Spanish dollars 
a month, for the second four months four dollars, 
and for the remainder of the year five. Ever after- 
wards he receives six, and if he has capacity and 
integrity to make an overseer eight dollars ; from 
the mode of making payment, as will be after- 
wards shewn, there is a real advance of 80 per 
cent, on these wages. In defiance of the climate 
the miners labour severely. They work about 
12 hours a day, beginning their operations by 
break of day, or, if there be moonlight, earlier, not 
ceasing until half past six at night, and taking 
very little time to their meals. 

The mine is a longitudinal excavation following 
the course of the mineral stratum, and its breadth 
and depth necessarily depend upon the circum- 
stances of that stratum. The situation of the ore is, 
however, commonly very superficial, not usually above 
five or six feet from the soil. Forty feet is a common 
breadth for the stratum containing it, and of course 
for the mine, and 10 feet for its depth, making 


15 or 10 feet a common depth for the whole mhie. 
The processes pursued for extracting the ore, — for 
clearing the mine of water, — and for washing the 
mineral earth, so much resemble the same opera- 
tions followed with the tin ore, that they need 
not be detailed. The access to the mine is by 
the trunk of a forest tree, into which steps are cut. 
The ore is extracted and brought up by manual 
labour with spades and baskets. Tlie largest mines 
are cleared of water by the Chinese wheel, and the 
mineral is washed in an aqueduct lined with the 
bark of trees, and supphed by a neighbouring 
brook with a stream of running water. In the 
large mines it is the practice to suspend the pro- 
cess of extracting the mineral, and to wash the 
auriferous earth at the end of every thirty-five 
days. A mine wrought by 200 labourers will af- 
ford in that time, as the largest produce, about 
320 bungkals, or 555^ ounces troy, and as the low- 
est, about 140 bungkals, or 243 ounces troy. The 
following detailed statement will point out more 
fully the expences and profits of the mining busi- 
ness, as it is conducted by the Chinese. 


Statemext of the Expences and Profits of a Gold Mine, 
worked by 200 Labourers. 

20 Overseers for 35 days, at 8 Dollars. 

dollars per month, - 186.67 or L.4'2 

180 Miners, for 35 days, at C dol- 
lars per month, - 1260.00 283 10 
30 Per cent, on wages of 200 

men, - - 434.00 97 13 

70 Piculs ordinary rice, at I dol- 
lar per picul, - 70.00 15 15 
17^ Piculs salt fish, at 2 dollars 

per picul, - - 35.00 7 17 6 

4 Piculs salt, at 14 dollar per 

picul, - - 5.00 12 6 

2 Piculs edible oil, at 15 dol- 
lars per picul, - 30.00 6 15 
Interest of dead stock, and re- 
pairs of tools and machines, 35.00 7 17 6 
Interest upon capital of 2020.67 
dollars, at 25 per cent, for 35 
days, - - 49.11 11 1 

Total charges, 2104.78 L.473 11 6 

Produce, 2000 bungkals of Mon- 

trada gold dust, worth 4848.00 1090 16 

Gross profit for 35 days, 2743.22 617 4 6 

Annual profit, 28607.89 L.6436 15 6 


The gold of the Indian Islands, whether obtain- 
ed from veins or mineral deposites, always appears 
in the commercial transactions of the country in 
the form of coarse sand or dust, that of the alluvial 
deposites being, from attrition, always smooth, and is 
of intrinsic value, usually in proportion to the size 
and coarseness of the grains. In commercial lan- 
guage, gold-dust is designated by the name of the 
country which produces it, and that of the same 
country is without any extraordinary variation, 
pretty constantly of the same touch or fineness. 
Independent of the quantity of copper or silver al- 
ways in chemical mixture with the ore, it inva- 
riably contains a considerable mixture of earth, 
iron, and other adventitious matters. The most 
productive mines, it may be remarked, afford gold 
of the lowest test, and that which contains the 
largest portion of mechanical admixture. The fol- 
lowing table presents at one useful view an analy- 
sis of some of the most common descriptions which 
appear in the markets. 













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The natives of tlie country are extremely inex- 
pert in judging of the quality of gold. They know 
no means of separating the metals which alloy the 
ore, being wholly unacquainted with the chemical 
menstrua, and other means, which Europeans em- 
ploy for that pui-pose. They are even unaware of 
the presence of foreign metals at all, and imagine 
that gold, more or less alloyed, is but tlie same 
metal, differing intrinsically, as it is, in a state of 
less or higher maturity. »Some of the native deal- 
ers in gold have, however, acquired the practice of 
assaying the metal, by the touch-stone, from the 
natives of Telinga. The scale of these last people, 
instead of being divided, as among us, into twenty- 
four parts, contains only ten degrees. The resi- 
dent Telingas themselves are the most expert as- 
sayers of gold. Native merchants have, indeed, 
been in the habit of employing the Hindus of the 
little colony of this people, residing at Malacca, to 
assay their gold for them, which was done for a 
trifling per centage. The packages were sealed 
with their signet, and often passed current for the 
quantity and value they were said to contain, with- 
out examination. From the unskilfulness of the 
natives in assaying gold, and their consequent fear 
of imposition, they seldom or ever cast gold into 
bars, and we do not therefore meet it in this form 
in the markets of the Archipelago. It maybe 
strongly recommended to any of the European go- 



vernments, when they have acquired the confidence 
of the natives, to institute a mint or assay-office, 
for the purpose of melting gold into ingots, to 
bear a stamp, declaring the assay of the metal. 
This is peculiarly called for in a country which 
contains some of the most productive gold mines in 
the world; and I know no measure of mere regu- 
lation which would tend so eminently to the bene- 
fit and facility of commercial intercourse. The 
stamp, expressing the quality of the metal, ought 
to be impressed in one or two native characters, as 
well as in the Chinese and in the European cha- 
racter. The coining of gold as money is a mea- 
sure which cannot be recommended in a country 
where it is more exclusively an article of com- 
merce than in any other, and where, consequent- 
ly, its price must fluctuate more. Silver, be- 
sides, is in more estimation as money, always re- 
gulating the price of gold, except where govern- 
ments arbitrarily interpose to reverse this order. If 
gold coin expressed only its intrinsic value, it would 
be immediately exported on every trilling rise in 
its price, and if it expressed more, it would be of 
no value beyond the limits of the authority under 
which it was coined, and would banish silver- from 
circulation. No other result would attend this 
measure than subjecting the state to the expence 
of supporting a coinage, an expence at present in- 
curred for them by foreigners. 
With respect to the absolute amount of the gold 
VOL. HI. H h 


afforded by the mines of the Indian Archipelago, 
it is impossible, from the nature of the subject, to 
state any thing better than probable conjecture. 
In attempting to furnish materials to form such an 
estimate, some striking facts will be adduced which 
will enable us to estimate it at a very high amount. 
Mr Marsden has estimated the whole export of 
the south-west coast of Sumatra at 14,100oz. j and 
conjectures that that of the north-east may be equal 
to it. Hamilton, a century ago, estimates the 
whole gold of Achin at 1000 lbs. This makes the 
whole export of gold dust of that island 40,800 oz., 
which, at 21 carats, and five per cent, for extraneous 
substances, makes the quantity of pure gold 33,915 
oz. The great export, however, is from Borneo. * 
The annual produce of the great mines of Mon- 
tradak, in the territory of Sambas, reckoning the 
produce of each labourer of 6000 at 18y^ oz., is 
88,362 oz. of pure gold. The whole imports of 
gold at the port of Calcutta, from the different 
countries of the Indian Archipelago, on the average 
of nine years, was 16,244 oz. of pure gold, but in 
particular years it exceeded 26',000 oz. The fol- 
lowing table will shew the real state of the imports 
at that place. 

* It has been estimated that in Borneo, in or near the coun- 
tiies producing gold, there are 200,000 Chinese, and tli;it, on 
an average, each remits to China 172 grains in gold, which 
vould make the whole sent to China, considering all the gold 
as equal in \aluc to that of Montradak, 71,666^ oz. 




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To the statement given of the exports of vSu- 
matra and Pontianak, and of the produce of the 
mines of Montradak, many items are wanting to en- 
able us to form an estimate of the total produce 
of the Archipelago. The whole of the natives of 
the Indian Islands consume, as ornaments, a much 
larger quantity of gold than could be reckoned 
upon from the standard of their relative wealth and 
civilization. This arises, in some measure, — from 
the want of silver mines, and the greater relative va- 
lue of that metal, — from the demand of the pre- 
cious metals being not for plate or utensils, but for 
personal ornaments, for which the beauty of gold 
makes it more suitable, — and from the necessary 
cheapness of gold in the countries which produce 
it. This is, of course, a point to be considered in 
attempting to form an estimate of the whole 
amount. Of the production of the Malay Penin- 
sula, the Suliik Archipelago, the east coast of 
Borneo, and the Island of Celebes, with the 
whole of the Philippines, we have no means of 
forming an estimate, but if the whole produce of 
these, with the domestic consumption, amount to 
but one-fourth of that of which I have attempted to 
forai an estimate, and this is, perhaps, a moderate 
conjecture, then the whole produce of the mines 
of the Archipelago will be 154,865 oz., worth 
2,925,2!28 Spanish dollars, or L. 658,170 Sterling, 
or more than one-fifth of the produce of the mines of 
America, nearly nine times the produce of the mines 


of Northern Asia, nearly one-third the produce of 
the mines of Africa, and nearly four times the pro- 
duce of those of all Europe. These interesting 
results appear in the clearest and most satisfactory 
manner in the form of a table. 




Exhibiting the Estimated Annual Amount of the Gold of the 
Indian Archipelago, compared ivith that of other Countries. 

Pure Gold. 

Value at L.4, 5s. an oz. 

Exports from the east and 




west coasts of Suma- 

tra, - - oz. 25,080 

Produce of Achin, 10,450 

Total estimated produce of 





Estimr*ed produce of the 

mines of Montradak in 

Borneo, - . - 




Produce of all other parts 

of the Archipelago, esti- 

mated at one-fiftli of the 

whole, - - - 
Total annual produce of 




the Archipelago, 




Produce of Brazil, 

oz. 236,250 

America, - 320,095 




Total produce of America, 

Produce of Northern Asia, 







Total annual produce of 

the whole world. 




From the preceding Table it appears, that the produce 
of the Archipelago is nearly one-eighth of that of the tvhole 


The chance of an increased produce from the 
mines of the Archipelago will depend upon the 
share of tranquillity which the country enjoys, and 
the degree of freedom secured to its commerce. 
Nothing further is requisite, for the ore, from all 
accounts, exists in inexhaustible abundance. This 
is most particularly applicable to Borneo ; the im- 
mense alluvial tracts round the whole circumfer- 
ence of which every where contain rich deposites 
of this metal, from whence it necessarily follows^ 
that the primitive mountains of the interior must 
contain veins of it. From the abundance of 
the ore, and the usual fascination of all mining 
projects, especially those in quest of the precious 
metals, the search for gold will be the first object 
to engage the attention of any enterprising and in- 
dustrious people settled in that country, of what- 
ever race. Amidst a great deal of anarchy and 
disorder, mining has of late years been prosecut- 
ed by the Chinese with surprising spirit. It 
is not above eight or ten years since consider- 
able capital and the use of machinery have been ap- 
plied to it, and in that time there has been a 
vast increase of produce. 

Bengal and China are at present the principal 
markets for the gold of the Indian Islands. The 
absolute price, it need hardly be noticed, depends 
on the state of supply and demand. Its relative 
price with silver on the spot is ascertained with 


considerable accuracy. When the Chinese assume 
gold dust as money, they estimate the Bungkal, or 
two Spanish dollars weight, viz. 833 grains troy, as 
worth sixteen Spanish dollars. The gold of Sam- 
bas, which contains, in 100 parts, nine of dross, 
and l6.32parts of alloy, is, at this rate, to silver as 
9j is to 1, instead of being, as in Europe, as 15 is 
to 1. In the open market on the spot, the results 
of several trials give the relative values from 12 
to 1, to 13 to 1. One striking circumstance con- 
nected with the gold mines of the Archipelago 
will not fail at once to strike the reader, viz. that 
ores of silver are not found along with them as in 
other parts of the world distinguished for mines of 
the precious metals. Silver cannot be said not to 
exist undoubtedly, for it has been already pointed 
out as always existing in combination with gold ; 
and it is even highly probable that ores of this me- 
tal will, in the progress of discovery, be found in 
the primitive rocks of the great islands, especially 
of Sumatra ; but, with a view to production, its 
non-existence may strictly enough be predicated. 
It follows from this remarkable circumstance, that, 
if the produce of the gold mines of the Archipela- 
go augment in the proportion they have done of 
late years, without any proportionate increase in 
the production of silver, the additional quantity of 
the former metal poured into circulation must soon 
depreciate its value, and destroy the present rela- 


tion between the two metals. This, to be sure, 
will be effectually counteracted if the conjec- 
ture of Mr Holms should ever be verified, that 
the Cordilleras of the Andes, if properly investi- 
gated, will one day afford silver in such quantity 
and cheapness as to make it as abundant as iron or 

Iron and copper are, besides tin and gold, the 
only metals found in the Indian Archipelago. 
Iron exists but in very small quantity, but, from 
its native name, without any foreign synonym, we 
may conjecture that its use was early known to the 
natives, and was not acquired from strangers. Iron 
ore, of sufficient fertility to be wrought, is found 
in several parts of the Malayan Peninsula, in some 
parts of the south coast of Borneo, in Banco, and 
in Billiton. The mines of the last, which is a 
rocky sterile island, are the most productive of the 
Archipelago. The mineralogical character, or 
geognostic situation, of the ores of iron which ex- 
ist in the Archipelago, I am unable to point out. 
The iron manufactured at Billiton is said to be of 
an excellent quality, and nails are manufactured 
from it on the spot, which are articles of export 
to some of the neighbouring countries, as Fon- 
tianak in Borneo. 

From what mysterious law of nature does it pro- 
ceed, that gold abounds and iron is scarce in all 
the regions of the equator, and that the reverse is 


true of temperate regions ? Whatever be the 
cause, the fact has in all likelihood had its share 
in hindering or retarding the progress of civiliza- 
tion in the one as well as in promoting it in the 

Copper ores are known to exist in Sumatra, — in 
Tiraur, — and have, of late years, been discovered, 
and wrought in the territory of Sambas in Bor- 
neo. A copper mine has long been known to be 
wrought in Limun in Sumatra. Copper is found 
in its native state more frequently than any other 
of the useful metals, and hence it has been judi- 
ciously conjectured, that it was used at a more ear- 
ly age for economical purposes than any other. 
In the Indian Islands this may probably be 
true of the tribes in whose country copper exists, 
as in Sumatra and Timur, from whence lumps of 
native copper have been brought, but it can hardly 
apply to some of the more civilized tribes, in whose 
country copper is not found at all, as Java. In one 
or two of the languages, those of the people, I think, 
in whose country copper is found, the metal is de- 
signated by a native name, but the general, almost 
the universal, one, tambaga, is Sanskrit, from 
which I infer, that the fusing of copper from an 
ore is probably an art in which the natives were 
instructed by the Hindus. Almost all the casts of 
Hindu images, and other relics of Hinduism found 
in Java, are a mixture of copper and iron j but I 


am not aware that, among the numerous relics of 
this description, there has ever been found any 
tools or warlike weapons, such as would indicate 
that copper had been used for economical pur- 

Except Brazil and Hindustan, the Indian Is- 
lands are the only portions of the world which af- 
ford the diamond. Though in the immediate vi- 
cinity of Siam and the Burman empire, the only 
parts of the world in which are found the ge- 
nuine oriental ruby and sapphire, they yield neither 
of these, nor, so far as we are acquainted, any gems 
whatever, indeed, but the diamond. Borneo is the 
only island of the Archipelago in which the diamond 
is found, and here it is confined to the south and the 
west coast, principally to the territories of the 
princes of Banjarmassin and Pontianak. The prin- 
cipal mines are at a place called Landak, from 
which the diamonds of Borneo, to distinguish them 

* An analysis of some of the metallic relics found in Java, 
such as casts of Hindu images, the zodaical cups, and some an- 
cient coins, including those struck after the conversion to 
Mahomedanisra, discovers them to be alloys of copper and iron, 
and to contain neither tin nor zinc. One coin, impressed with 
the usual Javanese characters, is pure lead. Tiiese results, so 
little to be looked fur, vrould seem to imply that tin was un- 
known or litlle used by the anciently islanders ; and the coin of 
lead, a metal which is not known to 6X181,^001(1 appear to point 
out that the islanders, perhaps, received their supply of the 
useful metals from strangers. 


from those of Hindustan, are usually designated. 
It is the same country that is most remarkable 
for the production of gold in which the diamond is 
found. The working of the diamond mines is suf- 
ficiently simple. A perpendicular shaft is first 
sunk, and the stratum containing the diamond is 
pursued in a lateral direction, the superincumbent 
earth being supported by piles or posts of timber, 
and at imminent risk to the miners, from the fre- 
quent falling in of the incumbent soil. The 
geological situation of the diamond in these mines 
is as follows : — The first stratum, from one to 
two fathoms in depth, consists of soil and yellow- 
coloured clay ; the 5ecowc? of sand and small stones 
or pebbles ; the third of disintegrated sandstone ; 
and the fourth of stones of a very hard nature, 
differino; in their character from those of the two 
last, and most probably quartz. 

The diamond mines are wrought only by the 
Dayaks or Aboriginal savages of Borneo, and, from 
their uncivilized state, we may believe, with little 
skill or industry. Diamonds are in no repute 
among the Chinese, else, through the industry of 
that people, we should, without doubt, have long 
ago found the produce of the mines of Borneo, 
which are described as fertile, greatly multiplied. 
The Bugis resident merchants are the great deal- 
ers in diamonds. They usually purchase them 
from the miners at the rate of from five to ten 


Spanish dollars for a rough diamond of one carat, 
or from 2-2s. 6d. to 45s. 

The diamond is in great repute among all the 
natives of the Indian Islands, and, indeed, is the 
only precious stone in much esteem, or much worn 
by them. It is probable that the art of cutting 
them is a native art, and not a borrowed one. 
The rough and polished gem are known by two 
distinct names, piidi and i?itan, both native 
terms, and the last, or the name of the cut dia- 
mond, universally the same in every one of the 
languages, while the first is confined to that of the 
country w'hich produces them. No other precious 
stone, when used by them, is ever polished, and they 
have a specific term to describe the polishing or cut- 
ting of the diamond, which is an original word of the 
Polynesian languages. If ever the principal tribes, 
the Javanese, Malays, and people of Celebes, un- 
derstood the art of cutting the diamond, they have 
now lost it, but diamond- cutters are still found in 
Banjarmassin, near the seat of the mines, where, in- 
deed, it is most reasonable to expect to find them. 
The cut which is approved of by the Indian island- 
ers is a kind of table cut. The hriUiant cut is 
not esteemed, and the rose cut still less, so that it 
is probable that the table cut only is a native one. 
One of the largest diamonds in the world is now 
in Borneo, in the possession of the petty prince of 
Mattan, and was obtained in the mines of Lan- 
dak about a century ago. It is still in its rough 


state, and weighs 367 carats, which, according to 
tlie rule of comparing rough and polished dia- 
monds, is but one-half of that amount, if cut, or 
183i carats, which make it eleven and a half carats 
smaller than the Emperor of Russia's diamond, and 
46i carats larger than the Pitt diamond. Its real 
value is L. 209,378, which is L. 34,825^ less than 
that of the Russian diamond, and L. 119,773, 10s. 
more than that of the Pitt diamond. It has been 
stated to have lately fallen into the hands of the 
ambitious chief of Pontianak. 

Sulphur has not, that I am aware of, been dis- 
covered in any abundance in beds or veins in any 
part of the Indian Islands, though it is certain 
enough that it does exist in such situations; but in 
a country strewed with volcanoes, over a range of 
thousands of geographical miles, there is, of ne- 
cessity, an immense store of volcanic sulphur fit 
for the purposes of commerce. There is no vol- 
canic mountain in Java, for example, that does not 
afford sulphur, but the best and most abundant 
supply is obtained from the great mountain of 
BcniyiVii'angi at tlie eastern extremity of the island. 
Here and| in similar situations sulphur is obtain- 
ed without difficulty, and in such a state of purity as 
to require no preparation for the market; but the 
tost of production is naturally enhanced by the 
nature of the places in which it is found, — moun- 
tains of great elevation generally covered with 
deep forests, and usually at a great distance from 


the sea-ports, — circumstances which render tlie 
transportation difficult. 

The only other mineral production which, in a 
commercial view, desen'es notice, is salt. All the 
salt used by the Indian islanders for culinary pur- 
poses is obtained from the evaporation of sea wa- 
ter or that of salt springs, but principally of the 
former. The abundance of salt springs which ex- 
ist, particularly in Java, is sufficient proof that 
there exist beds of mineral salt. The processes 
by which salt is obtained from brine have been 
already described in the notices 1 have given re- 
specting the useful arts of the islanders, and need not 
be here repeated. Java is the country of the Archi- 
pelago that affi}rds the principal supply of culinary 
salt, and the combination of local circumstances, 
which gives to that island a sort of natural mono- 
poly, have been already detailed. Along the im- 
mense line of its flat north coast there are many 
situations in which, from their natural advantages, 
salt is manufactured with wonderfully little labour, 
and, consequently, at a very low price. About 
2 Spanish dollars the Coyang of 4080 lbs. avoir- 
dupois, or — per cwt. may be considered as about 
an average of the real cost of production. The 
capital expended is nothing, or next to nothing. 
The sun performs the whole process of evapora- 
tion, — the implements are but a few wooden rakes, 
spades, and baskets, and the only xcorhs necessary 
are the petty dikes of a foot high, constructed of the 


clay or mud obtained oa the spot. It follows, from 
all tliis, thatlands on which salt can be manufactured, 
like those afford ing vegetable productions of use to 
man, or like mines, will yield a rent strictly so 
called. Salt is, in this case, the produce of the 
earth, and rent is the portion of its produce paid 
for the original and indestructible powers of the 
soil to produce this commodity. The rent of the 
salt lands of Java is, generally speaking, the differ- 
ence which arises from the superior productive 
powers of these lands over all other means to pro- 
duce salt, which, in the natural state of things, is 
likely to come in competition with the salt of Java. 
In the Indian Archipelago the salt of Java comes 
into competition with that of Coromandel, Siam, 
and with other native salt, and a great proportion 
of Borneo, Sumatra, and all the more easterly 
islands, is supplied with it. The country traders 
can afibrd to give for it in the island about four- 
fold the cost of manufacture, or about ~^^ Spanish 
dollars per cwt. The difference between this and 
the cost of production is j^'77 Spanish dollars, and 
as, from what has been said of the process of ma- 
nufacture, a very trifling portion of this is to be 
accounted the profit of stock, we have a means of 
conjecturing the proportion of the whole produce 
which ought to be reckoned as rent. This may 
be roundly estimated at ^^.^ Spanish dollars per cwt. 
Where no private right can be invaded, because 
no private right to the soil is claimed, it is evi- 



dent that the whole of this is an available source 
of revenue to the state, and if assumed on ju- 
dicious principles, will prove no obstruction to 
industry. To understand what these principles 
should be, it will be necessary to furnish a sketch 
of the management of this branch of revenue as 
hitherto conducted. The whole annual consump- 
tion of Java and Madura is estimated at 32,000 
tons, or b'40,000 cwt., which, for a population of 
five millions, is at the rate of 143 lbs. for each in- 
dividual. The practice of the Dutch was to sell, 
for a period of years, the ea:clusive privilege of 
vending and manufacturing salt to a few great far- 
mers, who subset the farms to their agents, and 
thus the whole consumption was placed at the dis- 
posal of a few great monopolists. On the coast 
the monopoly price was generally about 1400 per 
cent, above the natural price, and, in the more 
remote j)arts of the interior, charged with the 
numerous profits of many petty dealers, as well as 
with the necessary ones of transportation, often at 
the exorbitant rate of COOO per cent. The only 
change effected by the British government was to 
take the management of the monopoly directly into 
its own hands, on the highly oppressive principle pur- 
sued in Bengal, and to fix a maximum for the price of 
manufacture, higher, however, than the price allow- 
ed before to the labourer by the farmers. Including 
the charge of transport to the depots, this maxi- 
VOL, III. - I i 


mum was only iuj per cwt. By a more enlighten- 
ed system, the rent of the salt lands would be dis- 
posed of by the government, at lease, for a series 
of years at a fixed money rent. The farms should 
be sold separately, and at great detail to prevent 
monopoly, and this measure, with the competition 
of a public sale, would insure the just amount of 
the rents. This object once attained, the com- 
merce ought, like every other, to be left perfectly 
free, when the competition of the manufacturers and 
dealers would insure the lowest prices to the public. 
If the price, under the monopoly management, was, 
on the spot, 1400 per cent, above the natural price, 
reckoning very moderately, we may assume 50 per 
cent, on the natural price as the cost of the com- 
modity with freedom and competition, so that the 
consumer would thus obtain his salt for one-tenth 
ofthe former prices, or at the rate of one-third of a 
Spanish dollar per cwt., instead of 1 Spanish dollar. 
The result would be no less favourable to the public 
revenue, always a secondary object. Tlie consump- 
tion of salt, like that of every other article consumed 
by man, Mith perhaps the exception of a few insigni- 
ficant articles, the demand for which rests upon the 
caprice ofthe higher orders in refined states of socie- 
ty, invariably rises as the cost falls, and falls as it rises. 
A very trifling alteration of price is often sufficient 
to effect a most material change in this respect. 
When the Gabelle was established in France, a re- 


duction of 50 per cent, in the price of salt raised 
the annual average consumption of each individual 
from 14* lbs. to 18 lbs. The reduction in price, 
calculated in the foregoing statement, is 90 per 
cent., and it will be a moderate rate of increase if we 
calculate that this decrease of cost will raise the con- 
sumption to the average of 20 lbs. for each indivi- 
dual, instead 14? lbs. The whole internal con- 
sumption will then be near 900,000 cwt. or 45,000 
tons. If we take the exports at only one-half this 
amount, or 450,000 cwt., then the whole production 
of the rent of the salt lands, at y^ Spanish dollars 
per cent., as already estimated, will be 162,000 Spa- 
nish dollars, a revenue which would be collected at 
little or no expence. The gross amount of the re- 
venue derived from salt under the Dutch was only 
127,292 Spanish dollars, and under the British ad- 
ministration, including every charge of management, 
salaries, construction of warehouses, &c. only 1 62,(346 
Spanish dollars. The great importance which na- 
turally belongs, in a practical view, to subjects of 
this nature, involving the happiness and comfort 
of a numerous people, will be an apology for the 
apparent prolixness with which I have treated this 
and similar questions. * 

• For many of the particulars contained in this chapter I 
acknowledge myself iiidtbtud to tiie valuable comraunici^r 
tions of my friend, Mr George Lurpent of London. 



Cotton Fabrics JVooUens. — Hats. — fihoes. — Iron, turought 

and unwr ought. — Copper. — Fire- Arms and Ammunition. — 
Glass-tvare. — Porcelain. — Raw and Wrought Silks. — Opiv 

A DESCRIPTION of the merchandise imjiorted in- 
to the Indian Islands will occupy much less room 
than I have found it necessary to bestow upon 
that exported. The first are generally too well 
known to call for full details, and in regard to 
them, it will be chiefly requisite to dwell upon those 
circumstances and modifications which suit them 
to the tastes and manners of the consumer. I 
may begin by observing, that, in a commercial in- 
tercourse with the Indian islanders, the merchant 
has, in his efforts to adapt his goods to the market, 
no inveterate and unsocial prejudices to struggle 
against. The desire of the islanders for articles of 
foreign luxury, utility, or comfort, has no bounds 
but their means to purchase, and the trader who 
acquires a knowledge of the little local tastes and 


fancies of his customers, will be sure of carrying on 
a beneficial and agreeable intercourse with them. 

Among the important articles of importation in- 
to the islands, cotton Jhbrics, — from the long usage 
of the people, — their suitableness to the climate, — 
the dearness and imperfection of their own stuffs, — 
and the capacity of modern manufacturing Europe to 
afford a cheap and abundant supply, hold the first 
place. The taste for foreign cotton fabrics among 
the islanders is of a date long prior to the in- 
tercourse of Europeans with them, and is probably 
coeval with their first connection with the country 
of the Hindus, from which, as far as regarded their 
foreign consumption, they were, until the last few 
years, almost exclusively supplied. In the earlier 
periods of commerce, they appear to have been 
supplied from Malabar and Coromandel j and in 
later times, vvitli cheaper fabrics from Bengal. The 
quantity of Indian cottons described by our own 
East India Company two centuries back, as con- 
sumed in the Archipelago, omitting several import- 
ant stations of trade, is no less than 200,000 
Spanish dollars, or L. 45,000 worth. The im- 
portance of the trade in European cotton goods bears 
date from the capture of Java in 1811, and more 
particularly from the enlargement of the trade in 
1814. Its progress in the few years which have 
elapsed since then has been remarkably rapid. 
Before the year 1811, the whole consumption of 


European cotton goods did not exceed 5000 pieces 
of chintz, the only description consumed. These 
were purchased by the Bugis traders at Penang for 
exportation to the central and eastern parts of the 
Archipelago, and at double the present prices. In 
1814, 1000 pieces of chintz overstocked the mar- 
ket of Samarang in Java, one of the most consider- 
able marts of the Archipelago. Prices have fallen 
since that period at least 25 per cent., and the 
consumption has increased in a much greater ra- 
tio than even this reduction would imply. In 
1818 there were sold in the same market for 
the consumption of the place itself, and for dis- 
tribution in the interior, 15,000 pieces, worth 
150,000 Spanish dollars, or L. 33,750. This re- 
markable increase will appear still more surprising 
when it is known that the retail price, the actual 
cost to the consumer on this description of goods, 
is still from 150 to 200 per cent, above the first 
cost. When the price falls to 100 per cent., 
which will still afford a good profit to the judi- 
cious importer, a great increase of consumption will 
inevitably follow. This result is to be expected, not 
so much from the competition of the importers, as 
from the increase of capital, skill, and experience, 
in the local dealers employed in distributing this 
description of merchandise among the consumers, 
which can only happen from the increased confi- 
dence and security which good government will con« 
fer. The consequence of the influx of British goods 


has already been the entire superseding of all the 
finer Indian cloths formerly consumed. The only 
Indian cotton goods now imported are a few coarse 
cloths, blue and white, called bciftas and gurrahs 
in the commercial language of our Indian traders, 
goods in which the labour of manufacture bears but 
a small proportion to the raw material. 

The principal descriptions of cotton goods in 
demand are chintzes or printed cottons, — white 
cottons, — cambrics, — handkerchiefs, — and velvets. 
Chintzes, consumed principally by the native popu- 
lation, constitute, of course, the most considerable 
article. The selection of these requires some ex- 
perience ; for in the taste displayed by the natives, 
both in colour and pattern, but particularly in the 
first, there is something which, to a stranger, ap- 
pears fanciful and curious, if it were not universal, 
and, on this account, national. They have a de- 
cided aversion to black, and no chintz in which it 
is a prominent colour will sell, let its texture be 
ever so fine. The favourite colours are red arid 
green, and next to these yellow and brown. In 
short, the colours should be as bright as possible, 
and the pattern should occupy as much as possible 
of the ground, but still be very distinct, and not 
crowded or confused. They ought never to be 
large, and the favourite figures are running Jlouo- 
ers. The quality most suitable to the market of 
the islands in general is what costs at Manchester 


from Is. to Is. 6d. per yard in the present states 
of the British market. Coarse fabrics are not in 
demand, but after a certain fineness is attained, the 
colours and patterns are of more consequence than 
the texture, clotlis of approved patterns, often selling 
fifty per cent, higher than those that happen not 
to suit the native taste. A small proportion of 
very fine chintzes only will now and then find a 
market. Furniture chintzes meet a limited mar- 
ket. The same selection of bright colours and 
character of pattern is necessary for them. 

The chintzes which I have described are used 
by the natives for vests or coats with the men, and 
with the women for gownSy( bqju and kabaya.J For 
the under part of dress, the covering of the loins 
and lower parts of the body, (sarung,) none of 
our established manufactures are exactly suitable ; 
but the natives purchase our white calicoes and 
cotton cambrics, and jyaint them of their favourite 
colours and patterns. This is a branch of the 
trade quite new, but likely to be carried to a con- 
siderable extent. Manchester madapolams and 
Glasgow cottons, put up in imitation of Irish 
slurtingy especially the latter, are articles very suit- 
able to the Java market. They are used chiefly 
by the Chinese, whose favourite and national co- 
lour white is, and have of late years entirely super- 
seded the Indian and Chinese fabrics formerly con- 
sumed by them. 


The bandana handkerchiefs, manufactured at 
Glasgow, have long superseded the genuine ones, 
and are now consumed in large quantities both by 
the natives and Chinese. Some improvement 
might be suggested by which they would be still 
more suitable to the taste of the native consumer. 
Tlie white spots, for example, might be changed 
for green or yellow flowers, and handsome colour- 
ed borders would particularly suit the fancy of the 

Cotton velvets are in considerable demand 
among the richer natives ; not one of whom that 
can afford such a luxury is without a suit of this 
material. The favourite colours in this fabric 
are dark-green, mulberry, and blue, with flowered 

A few finer cotton fabrics are in demand among 
the European part of the population. 

Woollens are an article of considerable and in- 
creasing demand among the Indian islanders. 
There cannot be a greater error than to imagine 
that this description of fabric is unsuitable to the 
climate and habits of the people. Woollens are, 
perhaps, upon the whole, more suitable to climates 
under and near the equator than to those in the 
neighbourhood of the tropics. Half the year in 
the latter is, indeed, a mild winter, in which wool- 
len clothing is an object ofcomforty but the other 
half is a sultry summer in which it is inlolerable. 


In countries upon the equator, on the other hand, 
it is an object of comfort throughout the year, — 
from the frequency of rains, — on account of the land 
and sea breezes, — and of the prevalence of elevated 
tracts of land. During the summer of countries 
near the tropics, European habits give way to the 
climate, and cotton garments are the constant wear 
of the colonists, but at the equator the principal por- 
tion of dress with them is always woollen cloth. To 
the feelings of the natives, who are naturally less op- 
pressed with the heats than Europeans, woollens 
are objects of still more comfort ; and the consump- 
tion of them is commensurate with their means of 
obtaining them. 

The demand for European broad-cloths among 
the inhabitants of the Indian Islands is at least of as 
early date as our first direct intercourse with them, 
and was probably much earlier, it not being unlikely 
that small quantities were imported by the Arabs, 
received by the latter overland from the Venetians. 
I am led to this conjecture, from the circumstance 
of broad-cloth being known to the natives, not by 
an European, but an Arabian name. In our earli- 
est intercourse with them, broad-cloths were in 
great demand. The companions of Magellan bar- 
tered them readily, even with the natives of the 
Moluccas, who received them in exchange for their 
cloves. * With so strong a predilection in their 

* Tiie following interesting account is given by Figafetta 


favour, had the skill of the private dealer been suf- 
fered to exert itself, we should Ions; ao-o have seen 

of the disposal of the investment of the first ship that sailed 
round the world; " Le mardi, 12 Novembre, le roi fit con- 
struire un hangard pour nos marchandises, lequel fut acheve 
en un jour. Nous y portames tout ce que nous avions des- 
tine a faire des echanges, et employanies trois de nos gens 
pour la garder. Voici comment on fixa la valeur des mar- 
chandises que nous comptions donner en echange des clous 
de girofle. Pour dix brasses de drap rouge de bonne qualite, 
on devoit nous donner un bahar de clous de girofle. Le 
bahar est de qaatre quintaux et six livres, et chaque quintal 
pese cent livres. Pour quinze brasses de drap de qualite 
mo3'enne, un bahar de clous de girofle ; pour quinze haches, 
un bahar ; puor trente-cinq tasses de verre, un bahar. Nous 
6changeumes ensuite de cette maniere toutes nos tasses de 
verre avec le roi. Pour dix-sept cathils de cinabre, un ba- 
har ; et la raeme quantite pour autant de vif-argent : pour 
vingt-six brasses de toile, un bahar; et d'une toile plus fine, 
on n'en donnoit que vingt-cinq brasses : pour cent cinquante 
couteaux, un bahar ; pour cinquan'e paires de ciseaux, ou 
pour quarante bonnets, un bahar ; pour dix brasses de drap 
de Guzzerate, un bahar ; pour trois de leurs timballes, un 
bahar ; pour un quintal de cuivrc, un bahar. Nous aurions 
tire un I'ort bon parti des miroirs ; mais la plus grande partie 
s'etoient casses en route ; et le roi s'uppropria prcsque tons 
ceux qui etoient restes entiers. Une partie de nos marchan- 
dises venoit des jonques dont j'ai dcja parle. Par ce moycn 
nous avons certainement fait un trafic bien avantageux : ce- 
pendant nous n'en avons pas tire tout le benefice que nous 
aurions pu, a cause que nous voulions nous hiiter autant 
qu'il etoit possible de retourner en Espagne." — Pigafetla, p. 


European woollens form a o;reat article of trade be- 
tween these islands and the European nations. 
Until the relaxation of the British monopoly, they 
continued to be supplied with heavy and high- 
priced fabrics, neither suited to the climate nor to 
the means of the people, and, of course, the con- 
sumption was trifling and unimportant. It is only 
since 1811- that the importations have become so 
considerable as to deserve attention in a national 
point of view. At present the importations into 
Java, from whence woollens are disseminated 
throughout the rest of the Archipelago, are very 
great, and continue rapidly to increase from year 
to year. 

The fabrics which are most suitable are the 
light cheap cloths of Yorkshire, such as cost at 
Leeds from 5s. to 6s. 6d. per yard. The favourite 
colours are scarlet, green, "•■' brown, and blue. The 
liner and higher priced fabrics of the west of Eng- 
land find only a limited market among the Euro- 
pean colonists, and a few of the natives of the high- 
est rank. The market beginning now to be to- 
lerably well supplied, or the supply being equal 
to the demand, the consumer becomes more fas- 

* The taste of the islanders for these favourite colours did 
not escape our early navigators. In Drake's voyage, in Pur- 
chas, it is said of the Javanese, that " they are wonderfully 
delighted in coloured cloths, as red and green." — Purchas's 
Pilgrims, Vol. I. Book II. p. 57. 


tidious, and considerable economy and skill are 
requisite on the part of the merchant in laying in 
his investment, which, however, if well selected, 
will still bring an advance on the prime cost of 
100 per cent. To insure this object, the goods 
ought to be laid in at the place of manufacture, 
and under the personal direction of the specula- 

Sundry minor articles of wearing apparel are im- 
ported into the Indian Islands, principally for the 
consumption of the colonists. Hats are the most 
considerable and most promising of these, as their 
consumption is not confined merely to the Euro- 
pean colonists, the Cliinese, very generally, and 
the Javanese, although I believe none of the other 
native tribes, in a more limited degree, wearing 
them. Fine beavers in small numbers are requir- 
ed by the Europeans, but the taste of the natives 
would require a light cheap article, which on the 
spot would not cost them above 10s. No attempt 
has yet been made to suit this state of the market. 
A few short and long cotton stockings find a mar- 
ket. They are chiefly consumed by the European 
colonists, but a few by the Chinese, and even by 
the Javanese, who, of all the inhabitants of tropi- 
cal Asia, seem willing to get over their prejudice in 
favour of bnr'e legs. 

Of all articles of European importation, manUf 
factures of leather find the narrowest market. 


From the cheapness of the raw material, the small 
portion of skill and labour employed upon it, com- 
pared to that employed on some other materials ; 
and the enhancement of its price in Europe from 
excessive taxation in the only country that has skill 
to export it, the natives of Asia, who acquire our 
art, compete with us more successfully in this de- 
partment than in any other. A pair of handsome 
shoes, after the newest London fashion, is made 
in Java for 18d. and a pair of boots for 5s. These 
articles are not indeed durable, nor water-proof, but 
they are a light comfortable wear, and very gene- 
ally supersede the use of the parallel articles of 
European manufacture, a few of which only are 
worn by the colonists of highest rank. The na- 
tives, instructed by the British during their stay in 
Java, now manufacture good carriage harness on 
the same easy terms. They have been much less 
successful in the more complex and difficult art of 
manufacturing saddles, and English saddlery is 
therefore an article in considerable demand amonjr 
the European population. 

Of all articles of import into the Indian Is- 
lands, iron fonns the most valuable. These coun- 
tries have hardly any iron of their ovm, and for this 
commodity, so indispensable to their comfort, and, 
indeed, existence, as civilized communities, the 
islanders are indebted to strangers. Among the 
causes which have contributed to retard their pro- 


gress in improvement, the scarcity of iron deserves 
a prominent place. Previous to the enlargement of 
the Indian trade of Great Britain, in 1814, Swe- 
dish iron was seldom under ] 3 Spanish dollars per 
picul, or 49s. ^d. per cwt., and often rose to 20 
Spanish dollai's the picul, or Jos. 7d. per cwt. 

Iron is imported into the Archipelago wrought 
and tmxvroiight, and in the form of steel. The 
quantity of wrought iron, however, is very incon- 
siderable. The descriptions of imwrought iron 
brought to the market are Swedish and British, 
the first always bringing 18 per cent, higher than 
the second. In the earlier period of our free trade 
with the islands, the principal demand was for 
Swedish iron, but of late, the native workmen hav- 
ing got into the method of forging British iron, 
three-fourths of the wliole quantity now consumed 
is of this last description. Bar-iron, from two 
to three and a half inches broad, and not more 
than half an inch thick, is the form best suited to 
the market. The whole quantity of iron sold in 
Java, for its own consumption, and for distribution 
to the countries in :ts neighbourhood, to which it 
is conveyed by native vessels, is about 23,000 pi- 
culs, near 28,000 cwt., or 1400 tons, worth, at 
an average, about 100,000 Spanish dollars, or 
L. 22,500. Swedish steel in small bars, of not 
more than half an inch square, to five-eighths of an 
inch, will generally find a ready market. Bars of 


larger dimensions, from the imperfect processes of 
the native artisans in manufacturing the raw ma- 
terial, arc not in request. 

In wrought iron, a small quantity of fine cutlery 
and some coarse cutlery is in demand, with locks, 
hinges, kc. and in Java, carriage springs and car- 
riage mountings. Cleavers ('parang J and hoes, 
CpachidyJ if suitably manufactured, would also 
answer ; but the most material articles of this 
nature are nails of various sizes, small anchors, 
weighing from six to twelve cwt., which the native 
vessels have begun of late years to use, and which are 
in most urgent demand with them during the short 
boisterous period that ushers in the westerly mon- 
soon ; and iron pans, called by the natives IcvoaU, 
These last are the only articles of iron brought from 
any other part of the world than Europe. They 
have been, from time immemorial, imported from 
China. They are invariably used as sugar-boilers, 
4nd by the Chinese, and occasionally by the natives, 
as culinary vessels. Our acquaintance with the 
wants of the market in this respect has not been 
long or intimate enovigli to enable us to substitute 
for such commodities our better and cheaper ma- 

There is a considerable importation of wrought 
and unwrought copper. The first is entirely from 
Europe, and the latter chiefly from Japan. Ja- 
pan copper brings a price in the markets of the 



Archipelago, higher than British sheet copper by 
15 per cent., and higher by<t5 per cent, than Bri- 
tish slab copper, or that of Chili. Copper is used 
by the European part of the population chiefly in 
sheathing their shipping, and by the natives in the 
manufacture of gongs and other musical instru- 
ments of percussion, as well as in the fabrication 
of brass culinary vessels, which arc veiy universally 
used by them. 

Plated ware, in a variety of forms, begins to be 
in considerable demand. The principal articles 
are candlesticks and table-ware. 

Fire-arms and ammunition have always been in 
great request by the Indian islanders, whose ma- 
nufacture of both is extremely rude and imper- 
fect. It has been a principle with the European 
governments to inhibit the sale to the natives of 
all descriptions of warlike stores, a policy extremely 
questionable. The free sale of warlike stores to 
barbarians places them but the more at the mercy 
of the civilized people who furnish thenj with their 
supplies of these commodities. They are, in short, 
rendered much less formidable adversaries, when, 
by quitting their native modes of warfare, they at- 
tempt an unequal struggle with civilized man with 
his own weapons. We ought surely not to over- 
look also the effects which the possession of fire- 
arms produces in civilizing them. It is one of 
the most certain means of inducing them to fore- 

VOL. III. K k 


go the rooted habits of savage Hfe, — of imitating ci- 
vilized men, — and of cstabhshing the authority of 
social order. Were the principle of supplying them 
without restriction acted upon, the Indian Islands 
would afford a great market for the warlike stores of 
the civilized and manufacturing nations of Europe. 
Small brass cannon, gunpowder, and muskets, are 
all in demand. The Arab and Chinese traders 
purchase cannon and blunderbusses for the protec- 
tion of their vessels from the attacks of pirates. Our 
common jwvvder in barrels is purchased with avi- 
dity, and an old musket will generally sell for from 
10 to 12 Spanish dollars, or from 45s. to 54s. 
Among the colonists of Java there is a demand for 
neat fowling-pieces, such as are manufactured at 
BiiTningham, and the taste for them is extending 
to the native chiefs, who have also a taste, like the 
Turks and Persians, for handsome pistols. 

There is no article of our manufactures con- 
sumed in the Indian Islands upon which the fall 
of prices has produced so remarkable an effect in 
extending consumption as glass-ware. A few 
years ago, a trifling quantity was consumed by the 
European colonists, and even those living among 
the natives could hardly have suspected that they 
would have become already considerable consumers 
of this description of manufacture. The Chinese 
of Java, the Javanese, and even many of the inha- 
bitants of the more distant islands to the eastward. 


now use a variety of our glass and crystal manu- 
factures. The most suitable kinds are vase-shaped 
lamps, candle shades, small neat lustres, glass-ware 
for the table, common looking-glasses, formerly 
brought of a bad kind from China ; convex, con- 
cave, and ordinary mirrors, shewy, but not expen- 

Like our glass-ware, our em^thenware also has, 
within the last two or three years past, come 
into request. The Indian Islanders and Chinese 
colonists had always required and received a supply 
of coarse porcelain from China. Common table 
sets of blue and white earthenware already sell in 
considerable quantities, and finer kinds, of every 
variety of pattern, are in more limited demand. 
Independent of the superior cheapness and better 
quality of our earthenware, we possess one great 
advantage over the Chinese importer. The out- 
ward bound freight, as at least one-fourth of the 
tonnage is not occupied, is a mere trifle ; whereas 
the freight of this bulky commodity from China 
is considerable, even at present, from the nature of 
the investments, and would be much greater if teas 
were imported as the principal cargos, as would 
certainly be the case in a natural and unrestricted 
state of the trade. 

There is a market for many minor articles, which 
it will be unnecessary to describe, such as a variety 
of medicinal drugs, as cinchona^ calomel, &c. with 


a considerable quantity of British stationary ware. 
At present, the greatest quantity of the paper con- 
sumed in the Indian Islands is Chinese ; but, as 
the vast superiority of that of British manufacture 
is well known among the natives, it would soon 
supplant the imperfect manufacture of China, if it 
could be imported on terms of equality. * 

Raw and wrought silks have been articles of 
demand in the markets of the Archipelago in every 
age of their foreign trade. China, and not Eu- 
rope, has supplied the consumption of the islanders 

* It may amuse the reader to see the sketch of an invest- 
ment of European goods, proposed by a most judicious trader, 
upwards of a century ago. The writer is giving instructions 
for carrying on the trade at the port of Banjarmassin in Borneo. 
" As to an investment outward," says he, " a small matter 
for a private trader may turn out to account; viz. iron bars, 
small steel bars, small looking-glasses, hangers with buckhorn 
handles, sheet lead, beautiful callimancoes, knives without 
forks, proper mixture of cutlery ware ; the smallest sort of 
spike nails, twenty-penny nails, small grapplings of about forty 
pounds weight, iand small guns, from one to two hundred 
■weight, without carriages ; red leather hoofs, spectacles, pro- 
per sortment of clock-work, small arms, brass mounting bell- 
mouth-iron blunderbusses, ordinary horse pistols, gunpowder, 
a few scarlet worsted stockings " &c. — Beeckman's Voyage to 
Borneoy p. 151. — This will appear no trifling list, if we ad- 
vert to the limited market of Banjarmassin, and to the imper- 
fection and costliness of the European manufactures of the 


in these commodities, and is Hkely long to continue 
to supply them. After the picture which has been 
given of the state of manufacturing industry among 
the islanders, it may readily be believed, that, did 
the same freedom prevail in our silk manufacture 
and trade which exists in those of cotton, silk goods 
might be disposed of in the Indian Islands to a great 
extent. The establishment of a colonial trade, on 
the principles described in the fourth chapter of this 
book, would be the means of bringing the raw silks 
of China and Tonquin to the emporia of the Archi- 
pelago, for the consumption of Europe. The raw 
silk of Tonquin, one of the most productive coun- 
tries in the world in this commodity, it is remark- 
able enough, is at present as unknown to the mar- 
kets of Europe as the gold or silver of Japan, al- 
though in the early periods of our intercourse it 
was a considerable article of commerce, being sent 
to Europe, as well as constituting one of the chief 
articles of import by European nations into Japan, 
The raw silk brought at present into the Indian 
Islands, from China, is of inferior quality. From 
it the native women manufacture heavy rich stuffs, 
principally tissues, which, it is remarkable enough, 
were at one period imported into Europe, such, 
at that early time, was the rude state of our manu- 
factures. The wrought silks imported are satins, 
of various colours, with a few velvets and bro- 


The use of silk was introduced, as mentioned in 
another place, not by the Chinese, but by the 
Hindus, as is testified on philological evidence. 
This fact seeras to prove, that the intercourse with 
the country of the Hindus was of earlier date than 
that with China. No attempt has ever been made 
in these islands to cultivate the mulberry, or pro- 
pagate the silk-worm, although the manufacture of 
raw silk seems a branch of industry peculiarly well 
suited to the character of the natives, and to the 
fertility of the soil. 

Ojnum, in all ages of the European intercourse 
with the Indian Islands, has been a considerable 
article of importation, and is at present a very 
great one. From its Arabian name, although I 
am not aware of any direct authority in favour of 
the supposition, I think it highly probable that the 
Arabs taught the use of it, and imported it before 
Europeans had any direct intercourse with India. 
Until the last few years, the whole consumption of 
the Archipelago was supplied by Bengal. There 
has been a great revolution in this branch of trade, 
in common with almost every other, in consequence 
of the trade of the Americans, and the enlarge- 
ment of the British trade, and a considerable quan- 
tity of the consumption of the islands comes now 
from Turkey and Mahva. The natural cost of 
a chest of Bengal opium, which usually weighs 
about 140 lbs. avoirdupois, is calculated to be about 


11^ sicca rupees, or L. 14 Sterling. In culture it 
is a monopoly of the government, who limits the 
quantity grown to about 4500 chests, which are 
disposed of by public auction to the highest bid- 
der, at two annual sales at Calcutta, in the months 
of December and February, with the view of suit- 
ing the markets of China and of the Archipelago, 
where almost the whole is consumed. The price 
has risen of late years, from sicca rupees 738, which 
it bore about the year 1801, to rupees 1124 
in 1803, rupees 1437 in 1804, rupees 1589 in 
1810, rupees 1639 in 1811, rupees 1813 in 1814, 
and ultimately, in 1817, to rupees 2300, its 
highest price. This price, equal to above twenty 
times the natural cost of the commodity, shews 
that the quantity produced and brought to market 
was unequal to the demand, and that, acting as 
a bounty on the opium of other countries, it has 
been the cause of a great importation of Turkey 
and Malwa opium, as already mentioned. Ben- 
gal opium, as an article of trade, is usually 
sold in the Indian Islands at an advance of 35 
per cent, on the Calcutta prices. Throughout the 
islands, it is made with more justice than under 
the government of the country of which it is the 
produce, a subject of heavy duty. The native 
princes usually monopolize the sale, and the Euro- 
pean government of Java farms the privilege of 
vending the drug in a medicated or prepared form* 


"WTien the supplies were regular, tlie cost to the 
consumer was about 3500 Spanish dollars per 
chest, or L. 787, 10s. Sterling, an advance upon 
the market price of 133 j per cent, upon the mono- 
poly price of Bengal of 1685 per cent., and upon 
the first cost of 3025 per cent. Under this form 
of levying an excise on opium, the duties, if judi- 
ciously managed, would realize to the government, 
exclusive of charges of collection, about a million 
of Spanish dollars a-year, or L. 225,000 Sterling. 

The quantity exported from Bengal to the In- 
dian Islands, one year with another, when the 
whole supply was from that country, was about 
900 chests, of which Java alone consumed 550 
chests. The quantity consumed depends, how- 
ever, as in every other commodity, upon the price. 
The effects of this principle were illustrated in a 
most striking manner in all the sales in Java, of 
which I had personally a remarkable example in 
those under my own authority, within the terri- 
tories of the sultan. When the retail price was 
about 5000 Spanish dollars per chest, as it was on 
the British first taking possession of the island, the 
whole consumption was only 30 chests a year. When 
the price fell to about 4000 dollars, the sales rose to 
\ about 50 chests, and when the price finally sunk 
to 3500, the consumption advanced to near 100 
chests. When the price was moderate, many 
had recourse to the drug who never used it before. 


When it was extravagantly liigh, many who had 
before used it moderately, desisted altogether, and 
those whose habits were more confinned, had re- 
course as substitutes to native narcotic drugs?, less 
agreeable and more pernicious. 

The history of the introduction of Turkey 
opium is of some interest in a commercial view. 
Like all new articles, there was at first a strong 
prejudice against it. The Chinese, who are the 
farmers of the opium excise, as well as of every 
other branch of revenue that is farmed, could 
hardly be induced to take a few chests at one-third 
of the Bengal prices ; this was in 1815. In the 
contracts they made with the merchants, they 
shortly afterwards consented to take one-fourth 
part of the supply in Turkey opium. In I8I7 
they expressly stipulated for Turkey opium, to 
the amount of one-half of the supply they required, 
although the price rose to double its first amount, 
while that of Bengal opium continued station- 
ary. In 1818 they demanded that three- 
fourths of the whole supply should be Turkey 
opium, and the price approximated still more to 
that of the Bengal drug, which suffered a great re- 
duction of price. As by the importations of the 
Americans in Turkey opium into China, a similar 
revolution is there going forward in that country, it 
is probable, that the legitimate influence of compe- 
tition will put an end to the illegal and unfair mo- 


nopoly made of the drug by our Indian govern- 
ment. Bengal opium, which had for many years 
been sold in China at from 1200 to 1500 dollars 
per chest, fell in 1818 to 800, and last year the 
sales in Calcutta, which for several years had ex- 
ceeded 2000 rupees, fell 30 per cent., or to IGOO 
rupees. * 

Tea, which the natives of the Indian Islands, 
after the Chinese, call tt, has, of course, been in- 
troduced into the Archipelago from the earliest 
connection with China, and the present impor- 
tations are very considerable, Chinese of all ranks 
consuming it, as well as every native whose means 
can reach it. The principal commercial in- 
tercourse between China and the Indian Islands 
is with Fokien, the province which produces 
all the black tea that is exported to other coun- 
tries, and of course the commodity comes to them 
in the most direct and cheapest form which the 
existing regulations of commerce and state of navi- 
gation can admit. The Chinese and Indian islanders 
consume no tea but blacky and the principal con- 
sumption is in the inferior sorts of this description, 

* For the greater number of the practical details contain- 
ed in this chapter, I am indebted to my acute and intelligent 
friend Mr Deans of Java, a gentleman, who, in the course of 
a long experience, has acquired an intimate knowledge of 
the commercial affairs of the Archipelago. 



as Bohea and Hangke. A picul of bohea tea is rec- 
koned to cost on board the jnnks at Araoy about Sj^- 
Spanish dollars per picul, orSkl. per pound, which 
is probably not less than 50 per cent, cheaper than 
the same commodity at Canton. The retail price 
in Java, as the trade is now taxed, is annually at 
an advance of i^OO to iiOO per cent, on the Amoy 

In the earlier periods of the European tea-trade, 
the whole of the teas consumed in Europe were 
obtained through the medium of the Indian Islands. 
The taste for tea does not appear to have reached 
Europe during the Portuguese supremacy in the 
Indies, notwithstanding their direct and intimate 
connection with the inhabitants of China. The 
Dutch, who seem to have learnt the use of it from 
the Chinese they met with at Bantam, were the 
jfirst to introduce it into our part of the world. 
The English, now the principal consumers of tea, 
acquired it from the same quarter about the mid- 
dle of the seventeenth century, and our first im- 
portations, like those of the Dutch, were from 
Java. This continued until 1686, when we were 
expelled from that island by the Dutch, on which 
we procured our teas from Surat and Madras, to 
which, however, they were brought by private 
traders from Bantam, and other ports frequented 
by the junks of China. This state of things 
continued until the first years of the eighteenth 
century, when we traded for the first time di- 


rect with several ports of China. The Dutch con- 
tinued to find it for their interest to import the 
principal parts of their teas by this channel, ex- 
cept during the short interval from 16 V2 to 
1662, when they possessed the valuable and con- 
venient colony of Formosa. Tliis channel is pro- 
bably still the most natural and easy by which a 
large portion of the European intercourse with 
China may be conducted, as long as the singular 
policy of that people in regard to strangers is per- 
severed in. This subject is of such moment, that I 
shall be excused for taking a more comprehensive 
view of it than seems, at first sight, to belong to 
the nature of this work. Europe, at present, con- 
sumes yearly about 27,000,000 lbs. of tea ; and 
Europe and America, or the whole European race, 
^2,000,000 lbs. When we speak of the consump- 
tion of Europe, Britain is the country chiefly con. 
cerned, because it consumes 22,000,000 lbs. of all 
the teas imported into Europe, and ~th parts of all 
that is consumed by the European race. The im- 
mense quantity of tea now mentioned, owing to the 
jealousy of the Chinese government, must all be 
brought from a single port, if we trade direct with 
the country, while all our commodities, bulky as well 
as otherwise, must be imported into that country 
through the same confined channel. It necessarily 
happens from this, that such Chinese goods as are not 
produced at or near the port of exportation, are wan- 
tonly enhanced in price by distant carriage j and that. 


of the commodities imported by us for their use, the 
bulky can be consumed only by the limited market 
of the spot where they are imported, while a few 
of the less bulky, and the least important alone, can 
obtain a more extended one. Of the exports, teas 
are the only article which is of very great importance. 
There are, as is well enough known, two descriptions 
of tea, black and green., permanent varieties of the 
same plant, divided into subvarieties. The cul- 
ture and qualities of the tea-plant are most satis- 
factorily illustrated by comparing them with those 
of the grape. The districts in China which grow 
green tea are distinct, and even distant from those 
which grow black, and both are far enough from 
Canton, the only port of exportation. To grow 
the different varieties of tea, in perfection, de- 
mands a peculiar soil and climate, and the cul- 
ture, in general, requires the care and attention 
of a skilful husbandry. China is the only 
country in the world where fine tea, fit for 
exportation, is produced. Even in Japan tea is 
grown in a very careless manner, as a secondary 
object of cul(;ure, being planted only round the 
edges of corn-fields, and not as a distinct object of 
husbandry, and it is so ill cured that it will not 
keep in a long voyage. The teas of Tonquin and 
Cochin-China are still coarser, and fit only for the 
use of a people long accustomed to them, and who 
know no butter. Even in China the situations fit 
for growing teas, as is the case in Europe with the 


grape, are very limited. The black teas for ex- 
portation are all produced in the north-west part of 
the province of Fokien, and the green in that of 
Kiangnau, in the neighbourhood, and to the west 
of the city of Whe-chu-fu. Both Fokien and 
Kiangnan are maritime provinces, and two of the 
richest of the empire. Fokien is, in a manner, 
isolated from the rest of the empire by a chain of 
mountains, which surrounds it in every way on the 
land side. It is among the vallies of the portion 
of these mountains, called Bu-ye, * that the black 
teas are grown. A very small portion of them 
only is brought to Canton by sea, and the rest is 
transported by porters over the mountains, and ge- 
nerally without the advantage of internal naviga- 
tion. The distance, in a straight line to Canton, 
from the black tea districts, cannot be less than 
320 miles, and, by the usual calculation for the 
winding of the roads, not less than S60. Wher- 
ever land-carriage must be resorted to in China, 
it is attended with peculiar disadvantage, from 
the total absence of wheel carriages, good roads, 
and beasts of burthen. The green tea districts 
in Kiangnan cannot be less than 700 miles from 
Canton in a straight line, or 800 miles follow- 
ing the direction of the road, although, perhaps, 
from the advantage of internal navigation, the cost 

* Of which the worJ Bohea is a coriupUon. We apply the 
term erroueouj'ly to the wuibt detcriptiou ol black which we 


of transport is not proportionally enhanced, so 
much as in the case of the black teas. * 

The natural and obvious channels by which the 
teas of r^hina would be exported to foreign coun. 
tries are wholly different from that to which the 
Chinese force it. Black teas, instead of being con- 
veyed by a land journey of about 360 miles, to 
Canton, are readily conveyed to the maritime city 
of Fou-chu-fu by an easy voyage on the river 
Min, of four days, in the most favourable season, 
and by a voyage of twice that length in the 
least favourable. The green teas are still more 
easily transported to the coast on the Yan-che- 
kiang, one of the greatest and finest rivers in 
China, which runs through the province of Kiang- 
nan, and brings the teas from the spot on which 
they are produced, direct to the coast. The marts 
to which they are brought are exactly those places, 
especially those in Fokien, where the natives are 
the most remarkable for their mai-itime enter- 
prise, and from which, in fact, by far the largest 
portion of the native foreign trade of China is 
conducted. Including the province of Che-kiang, 
which produces the greatest quantity of the raw 
and manufactured silk of China, the provinces of 
Fokien and Kiang-nan are the great marts for dis- 
tribution to the more northern provinces, of the 

• I am indt-btt-d for many of the facts here adduced to a little 
printed tract by Mr Biill ol our factory at i\]acao. 


foreign goods, jiarticularly the European, con- 
sumed iu China, and which do not find a market 
in the two provinces' of Quantang and Kiangsi, 
the limited neighbourhood of Canton, the present 
port of importation. It need hardly be insisted, that 
the natural course of a free trade, were it permit- 
ted, would bring the skilful and intrepid na- 
vigators of Europe at once to the true emporia 
of the tea trade. The irrevocable edicts of the 
Chinese government, by confining our trade to a 
single port, forbid, as is but too well known, this 
freedom of intercourse. The cost of conducting it 
by a more circuitous and expensive channel is the tax 
we pay for our restless ambition, an ambition which 
has compelled a numerous and industrious people, 
who once admitted us freely into all their ports, 
to place us under limitations. It remains for us 
only to submit to what we cannot change, — to 
make the best of our situation, — and not aggravate 
it by superadding shackles of our own making. 
If a free trade were established between the ports 
of China not now frequented by Europeans, and 
the colonial establishments of Europeans in the 
Indian Islands, as well as between the latter and 
Europe, we should be, in some measure, compen- 
sated for our exclusion from a free and direct inter- 
course with the ports of China. The Chinese 
merchants of Canton are of opinion that there is a 
difference in the charge of bringing black teas by 
land and sea carriage of from one-third to one-half. 


It may, therefore, be asked, how it comes about 
that, while there exists an extensive coasting trade 
between the provinces of Fokien and Quantong, 
teas are not invariably conveyed by sea ? This is 
accounted for. The great capitalists of Amoy and 
Fu-chu-fu are not directly interested in the tea 
trade to Canton. It is not their capital, but that 
of the merchants of the distant port of Canton 
which sets it in motion ; and the latter, who make 
their contracts with the cultivators of the moun- 
tains, w'ill not employ the former as intermediate 
agents in a country where all agents are notorious 
for dishonesty. Besides this, tea is a cheap and 
bulky commodity, and the shipping which convey 
it must come back half empty for want of return 
cargos. The voyage to the Indian Islands is of a 
very different character ; a full return cargo being 
always to be obtained, purchased at first hand, and 
always bringing a great profit to the adventurers. 
What is remarkable is, that it hardly exceeds it in 
length, and is perhaps even safer. The voyage 
along the coast from Fu-chu-fu takes fifteen days ; 
that to Batavia is often performed in this time, 
and seldom exceeds it beyond five or six days. It 
must be safer, in as much as a voyage performed in 
the open seas is safer than one performed along a 
dangerous coast, and in as far as one, the greater part 
of which is performed in the tranquil waters of the 
Archipelago, must be safer than one, the whole of 
which is performed in the tempestuous seas of China. 

VOL. III. L 1 


The advantage of bringing teas direct from the 
natural marts of the teas in China will be render- 
ed obvious, by exhibiting a short sketch of the 
voyage of a Chinese junk to the Archipelago, and 
contrasting it with that of an European ship of the 
same burden from Canton. 

The voyage of a Chinese junk of 400 tons bur- 
den is as follows : 

Investment of black tea at 11^ c. for each ton, 

makes 504,000 lbs. laid in at S^d. per lb., is L. 7.350 

Freight at L.4 per ton, being double the amount 

estimated for an European ship, - - 1,600 

Insurance 10 per cent.y or five times the amount 

of insurance on an European ship, - - 735 

Profit at 40 per cent, or quadruple that estimat- 
ed on an European voyage, . . _ 2,940 

Total, - L.12,625 
The tea imported into the Indian Islands will, at this rate, 
cost no more than 6d. per lb. 

An investment of tea brought by an European 
ship of the same burden from Canton will be as fol- 
lows : 

Investment of black tea at ll| c. for each 
ton, makes 504,000 lbs. laid in at 7d. per 
lb., is - - - - L.14,700 

Freight at L.2 per ton, ... §00 

Insurance at 2 per cent., ... 294 
Port charges and duties at 4500 Spanish dol- 
lars, or - ... 1,012 10 
Factory charges 500 Spanish dollars, - 112 10 
Profit at 10 per cent., - - - 1,470 

Total, L. 18,389 


The tea imported into the Indian Islands by this convey- 
ance will cost 8|d, pev lb., and will of course be dearer than 
the teas brought by the junk by 2|d. per lb., or nearly by 
46 per cent. 

The advantage which the European consumer 
would receive by the tea trade being conducted in 
this channel, may be shewn by tracing the progress 
of the commodity in the course of a free trade. If 
black tea could be laid in at one of the emporiums 
of the Archipelago at 6d. per pound, it would be 
no exaggeration to state the cost of the best hyson 
at only Is. 7d. a pound. The sketch of the voyage 
will then be as follows : 

For a ship -t)f 1-00 tons burden. 

Hyson, 8Sf tons, or TpjG^i^ lbs. at Is. 7d. 

per lb., is - - - - L.6,305 3 8^ 

Black tea, 311^ tons, or 357,155| lbs., at 

.Gd.perlb., - - - - 8,928 17 9 

Freight at L.S per ton, - - - 3,200 

Insurance at 4 per cent., - - - 612 

Export duties and port charges, say 5 per 

cent,, 761 14 1 

Profit, 20 per cent., , . - - 3,046 16 3| 

Total, L.22,854 11 10 

By this calculation, hyson tea might be imported into 
England at 2s. 2id. per Ib.j and black tea at 9^d. 


These prices, exclusive of duties, are, for black 
tea 25 per cent, cheaper than teas imported in the 
free trade of the Dutch, and no less than 6.5 per 
cent, cheaper than the same commodity imported 
through our own monopoly. 



Na I. 


IHE Map of the Indian Islands has been compiled 
from the following materials : — The coasts of Pegu, 
Siara, the Malay Peninsula, Camboja, Cochin-China, 
the island of Hainan, the Andaman Islands, the Nico- 
bar Islands, Sumatra, Banca, Billiton, with the west 
coast of Borneo, are taken from a chart by Captain 
Horsburgh. The Paracels, and Coast of China, to the 
east of the island of Hainan, are taken frnm the Sur- 
veys of Lieutenant Ross. The Philippines are from a 
Spanish chart, published by Arrowsmith. The island 
of Palawan is also from Arrowsmith, with all the points 
coiTectedby Lieutenant Ross. The Sooloo Islands are 
from Dalrymple. The north, south, and east coast of 
Borneo, the coast of Celebes, &c. are taken from the best 
charts of Dalrymple, Arrowsmith, Espinoza, and from 
numerous Dutch and Spanish charts, adjusted in lati- 
tude and longitude by observations extracted from 
Horsburgh's East India Directory. The Bashee Islands 
are taken from a chart by Horsburgh. Java is from the 
beautiful map of Sir S. Raffles ; and the interior of 
Sumatra from Mr Marsden. The Islands of Bali 
and Lombok arc from a manuscript of Captain Hai'ris 
of the Bengal Artillery, compiled from native information, 
and their positions adjusted from Horsburgh. Timor, 
and the south coast of New Guinea, are from Flinders. 



The west coast of New Guinea is from Lieutenant 
M'Clur; and the north and east coasts of the same 
island are from Arrowsmith, adjusted by Horsburgh. 
Australasia is taken from Flinders, and from a MS. 
survey in the possession of Mr Walker. The particu- 
lar plan of Banca is taken from a Survey by Mr Robin- 
son, published by Horsburgh, with the interior from Dr 
Horsficld. Amboyna is from a chart by Dalrymple. 

The following Table of Latitudes and Longitudes 
of some of the principal positions in the Archipelago, 
with the superficial area of the principal countries, will 

prove useful. 


Malay Peninsula 



sq. miles. 


Salang, Oi JuuKco-ylon Island (S. end) 

7S 4G" N 

98° 20' 

Prince of \\'ales Island (tort) 

5 244 X 

100 21 A 

Romania Point (the S.E. point) 

1 22 N.1104 lU 



Achin (town) 

5 3G N. 

95 2fi 

Flat Point (S.W. end) 

G S. 

104 40 

Tanjong Tora, or Hog Point (S.E. end) 

5 r.4 8. 

105 4.-^ 

Bangka Island (Monopin Hill) 

20 s. 

105 14 


Billiton (S.E. end) 

3 22 S. 

108 20 




Sambas River (entrance) 

1 I3i> S. 

109 3 

Tanjong Sanibar 

2 r,ii s. 

1 10 8 

Pulo Laut (N.E. end) 

3 23 S. 

IIG 41 

Konneroongan Point 

1 5 fS. 

UK) 10 

Tanjong Sampanmangio 

7 1 N. 

lOG 47 



Java Head 

C 4G S. 

105 9 

Cape Sedano 

7 49 S. 

114 28 

Madura Island (N.E. point) 

<; 53 s. 

114 2 

Bali (Peak) 

« 24 S. 

115 24 


Lonibok (Peak) 

8 214 S. 



Sambawa (^.W. end) 

9 2 S. 

116 45 


S. E. end 

8 51 S. 

119 8 

Floris (S.W. end) 

8 55 S. 

119 57 


Timor (Kiipang) 

10 9 S. 

123 3G 


E. end 

8 21 S. 

127 15 



Macassar town 

5 9 S. 

119 .% 

Cape Donda 

48 N. 

119 57 




Kima Village 



sq. miles. 

]p 22' 


125*? 1.9' 

Butung Point (S. point) 

5 42 


l-.'3 44 


Uooro (X.W. end) 

3 (J 


125 57 


Cajeli Bay, Fort Defence, N.E. of Booro 

3 24 


127 4 

Ceram, S.W. point 

3 31 


127 5G 


S.E. point 

3 45 



Amboyna, Fort Victoria 

3 41) 


12;j 15 


Batchian, S.F. extremity 



128 3 


Ternate Volcano Mountain 



127 13i 

Tidore Olountain) 



127 22i 

Gilolo, S. point 



128 25 


N. point 

2 23 


127 50 

Morty N. Cape 

2 44 


128 25 


Aroo S. extremity 

7 G 


135 20 


Timor Laut S. extremity 

8 15 


132 15 


New Guinea N. W. point 

1 27 


130 45 


Cape of Good Hope N. point 



132 31 

Cape Valsche 

8 23 


137 50 

S.E. point 

8 45 


148 25 

Sooloo, I. W. end 

5 52 


120 51 


E. end 

5 67 


121 27 

Basilan I. W. end 

G 34 


121 46 


E. end 

6 33 


122 22 

Mindanao S. point 

a 30 


1:25 15 


W. point 



121 50 

N. point. 

9 49 


125 22 

Negros S. point 

9 4 


122 53 


N. point 

10 58 


123 13 

Zebu S. point 

9 2G 


123 3 


N.E. point 

10 58 


123 55 

Bohol W. end 

9 53 


123 37 


S.E. end 

9 48 


.24 22 

Leyte S. point 

9 50 


124 59 


X.^V. point 

11 33 


124 15 

Panay S. point 

10 25 


121 59 


N.W. point 

11 43 


121 49 

N.E. point 

11 33 


123 9 

Samar S. point 

11 2 


125 43 


N.W. point 

12 33 

124 15 

N.E. point 

12 33 

125 13 

Mindoro S. point 

12 10 

121 14 


N.W. point (point de Calavite) 

13 2(; 

120 18 

N. point (point del Escarseo) 

13 31 


Catandreanes S. point 

13 13 

i 24 4 


N.W. point. 

14 4 

124 4 

Luzon S.E. point (point Calaan) 

12 31 

124 5 


.S.W^. point (point Santiago) 

13 45 

120 38 


14 3G 

120 58 

N.W. point (C. Bogeador) 

18 27 

120 34 

N.E. point (point Majague) 

18 ;'.« 

122 15 

Palawan S.W. point 

8 23 

!I7 12 


N. point. 

8 28 

119 40 



No. II. 


The following short explanation of the orthography 
used in the course of the work will be sufficient to 
make it intelligible. 

Of \v'ords which have become familiar to the Euro- 
pean reader by long use, I have taken care not to dis- 
turb the popular orthography. But on occasions of 
philological discussion, or wherever a more critical at- 
tention was required, I have attended to a more pre- 
cise and systematic one. The sounds of the Polyne- 
sian languages are few and simple, such as can be arti- 
culated by the European organs, and expressed by the 
Roman characters, witliuui much difficulty. The vowels 
ai'e as follows: a is our a in call, e our e in melodram ; i is 
the Italian ?, or our ce ; o is our o m sober ; zi is our 
00, or our u mj'ull. The a with a circumflex, thus, a, 
is our short tc in sum. The diphthongs are but two in 
number, which are the combinations expressed by ai 
and ao, according to the description just given of these 
vowels. The consonants require very little description ; 
they are h, d, f, g, h, j, k, I, m, n, p, r, s, f, w, y, 
and z. In common with most of other oriental lan- 
guages, the Polynesian dialects have four distinct charac- 
ters, for which the Bx)man alphabet has no correspond- 
ing symbols. These express our ch in church, our nasal 
iig in sing ; the sound which, in a rapid enunciation, is 
nearly expressed by the consonants ny ; and lastly, the 
aspirate. These are respectively expressed, in this work, 

by ch, ??o", ny, and h. 



Address — that of the Indian islanders awkward, i. 98 — their pe- 
culiar forms of, ib. 

Agar-agar — description and value as an article of commerce, iii. 

Agriculture — See Husbandry 

Alphabet — See Language 

Ambergris — an article of commerce, iii. 446 

Amusements — See Games 

Antiquities — of Java synonymous with its ancient religion, i. 194 
— ancient temples, 195 — images and statues, 207 — inscriptions, 

Archipelago— general outline of its geographical, i. 1 — physical, 7 
— and moral features, 12 

Architecture — different species of, i. 156— durable materials not ap- 
plied to modern, 157 — dwellings of the agricultural and maritime 
tribes, 159 — materials for building, IGI — ilescription of a Pan- 
dapa, 162 — of a Javanese palace, 163 — of a village and town, 167 
—of household furniture, 173 — durable materials not applied to 
works of public utility, 174^ — nature of ancient tanks, 175 — Ma- 
homedan buildings dedicated to religion, 175 — ignorance of the 
Javanese in, 176 — ancient temples, ii. 195 — statues and images, 

Areca and betel, preparation of universally used by the Indian 
islanders, i. 101 — when introduced, ib. — its constituent parts 
and effects, 102 

Areca-palm — its culture, i. 394 — an article of extensive commerce, 
iii. 414 — its price and quality, ib. 

Arithnutic — Indian islanders ignorant of it as a science, i. 253 — 
employ foreigners as accountants, ib. — their manner of counting, 
ib. — origin of their numbers, ib. — their numerical scales, 255 — 
limits of these, 259 — numerals of the Javanese ceremonial dia- 
lect, how formed, 26 1 — origin of their ordinal and fractional 
numbers, 262— Hindu digits long known to thens, ib. — Java- 

5;J8 INDEX. 

nese digits, how formed, 263 — specimen of Polynesian numerals, 

Arrack — inanufacture of, i. 47S. — its value as an article of com- 
merce, iii. 380 

Arrow-root — its culture, i. 371. 

Artichokes — introduced into the Archipelago by Europeans, i. 376 

Arts of the Indian islanders — description of those of architecture, i. 
156 — weaving, 176 — painting and dyeing cloth, 178 — working 
metals, 18^2 — carpentry, 192 — fishing, 195 — preparing fish, 197 
— manufacturing salt, 199 — saltpetre, 200 — and gunpowder. 201 
— general remarks on thesi useful arts, 202 — description of their 
dress, 206 — art of war, 220 — arithmetic, 2.JSS — measures, 273 — 
money, 280 — calendar, 285 — navigation, 307 — ^geography, 317 — 
medicine, 327 — music, 332 — husbandry, 341 

Bagu — its culture, i. 443 

Bamboo — applied in the construction of houses, i. 159— its culture, 

Banana — the principal fruit consumed by the Indian islanders, i. 
4.10 — its varieties — culture and products, 412 

Bees'-wax — a considerable article of commerce, iii. 438 — quantity 
and price exported, ib. 

Benzoin — description of the tree yielding, i. 517 — price and quality 
as an article of commerce, iii. 418 

Betel-box — a uuiverstil ornaincnt of theliulian islanders, i. 214 

Betel-pepper — its extensive culture, i. 402. — See also Areca and 

Birds' nests, edible, — description of them, iii. 430 — an article of 
commerce, 432 — quantity and price, 433 — quantity exported and 
value, 435 

Births — ceremony at, i. 93 — practice of bestowing names at, ib. 

Bitangor — its culture, i. 453 

Bliang — a species of wood exported, iii. 422 

Boats — ^description of those of the Indian islanders, i. 193 

Bodily endowments, respecting — the Indian islanders athletic but 
not active, i. 38 — defective in personal cleanliness, 39 — temperate 
in diet, 40 — not constitutionally indolent, 42 — gifted with forti- 
tude, 43 

Bow and arrow — exercised in a sitting posture by the chiefs, i. 117 
— universally used by savage tribes, 222 — poisoned arrov/s ustd 
by some tribes, ib. — natives not dexterous in the management 
of the, 223 

Bread-fruit — common in the Indian islands, i. 413 — its culture, 

Brown tribes of the Archipelago — their superiority to the negro, i. 
18 — geographical distribution, ib. — stature, 19 — shape, ib. — fea- 
tures, ib. — complexion, 20 — hair, ib. — comparison of, with otlicr 
races of men, 22 — standardof beauty among, 23 — conjectures re- 
specting their origin, 27 

INDEX. 539 

Bucklers — anciently used by the Indian islanders, i. 226 — still used 
by the natives of Celebes, ib. 

Buffalo — superstition of the Indian islanders exemplified in the cir- 
culation of the skull of one, i. 58 — combat between the tiger and 
buffalo an amusement of the Javanese, 115 

Bulls — combat between two, a favourite amusement of the ]Madu- 
resc, i. 117 

Burying-grounds of the Indian islanders — their situation and ap- 
pearance, i. 95 — pious attachment of the natives to them, 97 — • 
worship of ancestors in, ib. 

Cabbages — introduced by Europeans, i. 276 

Calabash — its culture, i. iSi 

Calendar — at what period of civilization formed, i. 285 — Javanese 
the only people of the Archipelago who had a national, 286 — 
their divisions of the day, 287 — week, 289 — and year, 292 — in- 
troduction of the Hindu calendar and era, SOU — era of Salivaua 
Still current in Bali, ib. — this era, how modified by the Javanese, 
301 — lunar time of the Arabs, by what tribes adopted, 302 — cy- 
cles and periods of the Javanese and Balinese, ib. — superstitious 
opinions and ceremonies respecting eclipses, 304 — calendar of the 
Bugis of Celebes, 305 

Calico-printing — the Indian islanders ignorant of, i. 180 

Camphor — description of the tree yfchlin^ it, i. 515 — an article of 
connnerce, iii. 418 — pike and quality, ib. 

Caout-chouc — culture of plants yielding, i. 456 

Cannon — See Fire-arms 

Capsicum — culture, i. 377 

Canoes — those of the Indian islanders described, i. 193 

Cardamom — its culture, i. 514 

Carpentry — skill of the Indian islanders in, i, 193 

Carrots — introduced by Europeans, i. 376 

Cassia-tree — partially found in the Indian islands, i. 514 

Casts — followers of Siwa in Bali divided into four, ii. 237 

Cavalry — no part of the military force of the Indian islanders, i. 
229 — the great and their retainers mounted, ib. 

Cayuputi tree — its culture, i. 512 

Chace — pursued lor amusement by the civilized tribes, i. 117 — for 
subsistence by the negroes, 118 — animals which afford this di- 
version, and the manner of pursuing them, ib. 

Champadak — its culture, 423 

Champaka — its culture, i. 437 

Chess — most probably a Persian game, i. 112 — only partially prac- 
tised in the Archipelago, ib. 

Childbearing — See Parturition 

Christianity — See Religion 

Chuck-farthing — the game of, introduced by the Chinese, i. Ill 

Cinnamon-tree — not a native of the Indian islands, i. 511. 

Circumcision — where pcrformetl, i. 94 

540 INDEX. 

ClMsiflcation — Indian islanders divided into six classes, 29 — account 
of the royal family, ib. — the nobility, 31 — priesthood, 35 — free- 
men, 38 — debtors, 39 — slaves, ib. 

Cloth — introduction of cotton, i. 177 — ^previously formed of the 
filaments of plants, ib. — manufacture of, confined to women, 
178 — description and character of cotton, ib. — mode of dyeing 
and painting, ISO — introduction of silk, 181 

Clove — its description, -lOS — distribution, 495 — name, 497 — ^his- 
tory, ib. — culture, 498 — fecundity, 301 — .m article of importa- 
tion, 381 — prices in different periods of the trade, compared with 
those of pepper, 3S2 — history of the clove trade, 384 

Clove-bark tree — its culture and uses, i. oOl 

Club — a universal weapon of savages, i. 222 

Cock-fighting — a favourite amusement of the Indian islanders, i. 112 

Coco-nut — its extensive culture, i. 379 — an article of exportation, 
iii. 349 

Coffee — its history, i. 486 — culture, 487 — fecundity, 491 — an arti- 
cle of exportation, iii. 372 — cost, quality, and produce, 373 

Coins — See ]\Ioney 

Colonists in the Archipelago — character and manners of the Hindu, 
i. 133 — Chinese, 134 — Arab, 138 — Dutch, 139 — Spanish, 149 

Commerce — its division, iii. 140 — character of the mercantile pro- 
fession among the Indian islanders, 141 — rate of profits and in- 
terest, 143 — ^foreign resident merchants, 144 — commercial inter- 
course, ib. — international trade, 147 — nations condiicting the 
carrying trade, 14S — voyages of the Waju merchants, 149 — prin- 
ciples on which foreign trade is conducted, 151 — history of the 
intercourse with the Chinese, 151^ — Hindus, 186 — Arabs, 199 — 
Portuguese, 212 — Dutch and English, 217 — colonial ir»tercourse 
with China, 293 — Japan, 297 — America, 338 — India, 341 — de- 
scription of articles of exportation, 344 — of importation 

Compass — navigation of tlie Indian islanders sometimes assisted by 
it, i. 310 — conjectures respecting its origin, ib. 

Constitutions — the Indian islanders have robust, i. 30 

Copper — very scarce in the Archipelago, i. 182 — the natives taught 
the use of it by the Hindus, ib. — seldom used in its pure state, 
191 — where found, iii. 490 

Cosmetics — used for improving the complexion, i. 218 

Cotton — its importance, i. 438 — history and culture, ib. — almost 
entirely consumed on the spot, iii. 350 — its price and quality, 
351 — comparison between cotton wool and cloths of different 
countries, 352 — cotton cloths imported, 502 — quantity and prices, 
ib. — description of the imports, 503 

Cowrie-shells — their use as currency, iii. 445 

Crickets — the Javanese amused by combats between, i. 114i 

Cubeb pepper — its medicinal properties, i. 465 

Cucumber — extensively cultivated, i. 377 and 434 

Currency, paper — introduced by the European governments, i. 284. 
— See also Money 

INDEX. 541 

Custarcl-apple — its culture, i. 431 

Cutaneous disorders — very common among the Indian islanders, i. 
34 — ascribed by them to the consumption of fish, ib. 

Damar — culture of tree bearing, i. 4-55 — an article of commerce, iii* 

420 — price, 421 
Dancing — a favourite amusement of the Indian islanders, i. 121 — 
character of the dances, ib. — different descriptions of dancing, 
Datxua— effects of this plant, i. 466 
Dendeng — preparation of animal flesh, iii. 439 — price, ib. 
Diamonds — Indian islanders ignorant of the art of cutting, i. 204 
— worn by them, 212 — where found, iii. 497 — price of the rough 
and cut diamond, 492 — largest diamond in the world, 493 — va- 
lue of several large diamonds compared, 494 
Dice — the Indian islanders acquired the knowledge of from the 

Portuguese, i. 112 
Diseases — the Indian islanders free from inflammatory, i. 31 — sub- 
ject to remittent and intermittent fevers, 32 — to the small-pox, 
33 — to the venereal disease, ib. — to cutaneous dii^orders, 34 — in- 
testinal worms fatal to children, 35 — parturition and child-bear- 
ing easy, expeditious, and safe, 36 
Domestic relations of the Indian islanders, with respect to — mar- 
riage, an universal ordinance, i. 73 — women not secluded, ib. — the 
sexes on terms of equality, ib. — polygamy and concubinage tole- 
rated, 76 — female chastity general except in Java, 7 8 — the men 
not jealous of the women, 79 — tenderness and affection be- 
tween parents and children, 82 — fraternal affection warm and ac- 
tive, 83 
Dragon's-blood — price as an article of commerce, iii. 420 
Drama — Javanese the inventors of the Polynesian, i. 127 — different 
descriptions of dramatic exhibitions, ib. — subjects of the .Javanese 
drama, 129 — Indian islanders passionately fond of dramatic exhi- 
bitions, 132 — civilization would be favoured by an improved 
drama, ib. 
Dress — original dress of the Indian islanders, i. 207 — use of cotton 
dresses taught them by the Hindus, 208 — enumeration of the 
useful portions of, ib. — the ornamental, 212 — the fantastic, 215 
Drunkenness — the vice of, rare in the Archipelago, i. 41 — the na- 
tives not restrained from, by rehgious motives, 108 
Dukuh — its culture, i. 472 
Durian — its culture, i. 417 
Dyeing and painting cloth — mode of, i. 180 

Earthenware — imported into the Indian islands, iii. 515 

Ebony — varieties of it found in the Archipelago, i. 454 — an article 

of exportation, iii. 422 
Eclipses — superstitious ceremonies and opinions respecting, i. 304 

542 INDEX. 

Epilepsy — rarer in the Inrlian Islands tlmn in Europe, i. 34 
Europe — supplied with the productions, long bcfuru the discovery, 
of the Archipelago, i. 1. 

Fevers — species and cause of, among the Indian islanders, i. 32 

Fire-amis — time of their introduction not knov.'n, i. 227 — cannon 
of the natives made of brass, ib. — small arms imported by Euro- 
peans, ib. — natives unskilful in the use of them, 228 — prices of 
those imported, iii. 513 

Firelock — See Fire-arms 

Fishing — tlie Indian islanders very expert in this art, i. 195 — its 
imjiortance and extent, and how practised, ib. — niodc of pre- 
paring and using fish, 197 — what kinds exported, and prices, 
iii. iW 

Fish-maws — price as an article of commerce, iii. 440 

Flowers — Indian islanders ornament their dress with, i. 212 — cul- 
ture of the cliampaka malor or malati, and tanjung, 437 — kam- 
bojo.i, 438 — sulasi, ib. — European flowers, ib. 

Frankincense — See Benzoin 

Fruits — banana the principal fruit consumed in the Indian islands, 
i. 41 — bread-fruit, common, 412 — general remarks on the culture 
of fruits, 415 — culture of the mangustin, 417 — durian, 419 — 
jack-fruit, 422 — champadak, 423 — mango, ib. — orange and le- 
mon, 425 — pine applo, 1Q7 — -jninbi]. 428 — guava, 429 — papinja, 
430 — custard apple, 431 — arekah, lingseh, and riambia, 432 — 

rambutan, ib. — pomegranate, 433 — tamarind, ib. calabash, 

gourds, melons, cucumbers, 43 1 — European fruits, 43G 
Funerals — ceremonies before and after, i. 25 
Furniture of the Indian islanders described, i. 1 72 

Gambir-plant — its culture, i. 405 — exportation, iii. 415 — price, ib. 

Games and amusements — the Indian islanders passionately fond of, 
i. 109 — ^games of hazard, ill — chess only partially introduced, 
112 — combats between cocks, 113 — quails, 114 — and crickets, ib. 
puerile sports of the Javanese, ib. — combat of the tiger and buf- 
falo, 115 — of the wild boar with rams and goats, IIG — between 
two bulls, 117 — games of exercise seldom practised, ib. — tourna- 
ments awkwardly exhibited, ib. — the chace pursued for amuse- 
ment by the civilized tribes, 118 — dancing both an amusement 
and solemnity, 121 — different descriptions of it, 122 — dramatic 
amusements of the Javanese, 126 — two kinds of interlude, 129-r- 
civilization would be promoted by an improved drama, 132 

Ganja — its culture, i. 442 

Geography — Indian islanders ignorant of this science, i. 317 — hard- 
ly know any foreign country but by name, ib. — imperfectly 
know their own, 318 — ^have no general term to designate the Ar- 
chipelago, ib. — ignorant of the insular form of the principal 
islands, 319 — use the term island in a circumscribed sense, ib. — 
principle ou which they give names to countries, 320 — Hindus 

INDEX. 543 

and Arabs ignorant of the geography and topography of the Ar- 
chipelago, 324' 

Gilding — Indian islanders ignorant of thisart^ i. 192 

Ginger, extensively cultivated, i. 515 

Glassware — article of importation, iii. 514 

Glugo, its culture, i. 443 

Goats — ludicrous combats between them and wild hogs practised 
in Java, i. 1 1 6 

Gold, in its native state, abounds in the Archipelago, i. 183 — know- 
ledge of working it, a native art,ib. — its application to trinkets and 
filagree work, ib. — ornaments worn by the Indian islanders, 212 — 
measures, 274 — where found, iii. 470 — quality, 471 — mining oper- 
ations, 472 — expences and profits of a gold mine, 477 — analysis 
of gold dust, 478 — skill of the natives in assaying, 480 — quan- 
tity extracted, 481 — table exhibiting the quantity imported into 
Calcutta, 483 — total produce of the Archipelago compared with 
that of the whole world, 484 — general remarks on the gold 
trade, 487 

Gomuti-palin — its culture, i. 397 — its principal products, 398 — 
cordage obtained from an article of commerce, iii. 424 

Government— forms of it various among the Inilian islanders, iii. 3 
— despotism increases with civilization, 4 — rudest form of, 5 — 
formation of villages, 6 — shepherd state of society unknown, 8— 
elective and federal forms of, 9 — absolute forms of, 15 — illustra- 
tions of the Iiibior)' of, from an examination of language, 21 — 
oscillation between federal and absolute forms of, 23 

Gourd — its culture, i. 434 

Gout, unheard of among the Indian islanders, i. 34 

Guava — its culture, i. 429 

Gunpowder — high priced and unskilfully manufactured in the Ar- 
chipelago, i. 201 — one of the most highly prized of European 
imports, 202 — the art of making it, not native, ib. 

Hair — description of that of the brown iribes, i. 20— of the negro 
tribes, 24 — mode of wearing and ornamenting it, 212 

Hazard, games of — favourites of the Indian islanders, i. 1 1 1 — the 
most common, ib. 

Hinduism — See Religion 

History of the Archipelago — it divisions, ii. 284 — paucity of great 
events and remarkable characters, 286 — remarkable native charac- 
ters, 287 — character of Asiatic settlers, 288 — remarkable Euro- 
pean characters, 289 — causes inimical to the display of talent 
among the Dutch colonists, 291 — general remarks on the inter- 
course of Europeans with the Indian islanders, 391 — chronologi- 
cal table of the principal events of, 481 

of Java — recentness and character of Javanese historical com- 
positions, ii. 293 — their chronologies mostly fabrications, 297-- 
ancient inscriptions, 298 — Hindu states, 299 — introduction of 
Mahomedanism, 304— Javanese liistory of its propagation, 308—; 

54>4> INDEX. 

true history, S13 — comiils ion occasion by its introduction, 320 — 
rise of the dynasty of Mataram, 321 — principal historical events 
till the coininencement of the Dutcli power in Java, 323 — retro- 
spect of Portuguese history as connected with Javanese, 337 — 
of Dutch history, and reflections on the policy pursued by Eu- 
ropeans, 340 — principal historical events till the present time, 

History of the Malays — original seat of their name and nation, ii. 
371 — iheir emigration to the Peninsula, 372 — native history of 
this transaction, 373 — remarks on it, 374 — origin of the terms 
by which the Malays are distinguished, 375 — their language and 
name diffused through the Archipelago ])y the first colony, 376 
— why the Peninsula is termed the " land of the IMalays," 

———of the people of Celebes— their records mor6 limited and 
imperfect than those of Java, ii. 397 — limit of probable history 
among their principal tribe the Bugis, 380 — general remarks on 
their early history, ib. — their country never united as one em- 
pire, 381 — their religion Hmduism previous to the conversion to 
Maliomedanism, 382 — when the I\lacassars began to keep histo- 
rical records, ib. — their progress in the useful arts very recent, 
383 — history of the conversion to jMahomedanism, 384 — princi- 
pal events till the ascendancy of the state of Boni and the Dutch, 
385 — various rebellions, 390 

— of the Portuguese culuiii»(=- their first appearance in the 

Archipelago, ii. 396 — establishment in Malacca, ib. — and in the 
Moluccas, 406 

-of the Dutch colonists — causes which led to their aaventures 

to India, ii. 411 — their first appearance in the Archipelago, 412 
— policy in relation to the Indian islanders, ib. — principal events 
during their administration in Java, 414 — in the western coun- 
tries, 431 — and in the Spice Islands, 435 

-of the Spanish colonists — their influence confined to the 

Philippines, ii. 446> — policy in relation to the natives, 447 — first 
intercourse with the Philippines, 449 — neglect of them for the 
Moluccas, 451 — first attempt to conquer the Philippines, ib. — 
establishment in them, 452 — wars and quarrc Is with the Chinese, 
455 — Japanese, 465 — neighbouring states, 468 — 'and Europeans, 
Hogs, wild — fought against rams and goats in Java, i. 116 
Horizon — how divided by the Indian islanders, i. 311 
Husbandry of the Archipelago — its richness and variety, i. 341 — 
description of the seasons, 342 — soil, 344 — tillage, 346 — cattle, 
347 — implements, 348 — irrigation, 350 — dressings, 354 — syste- 
matic rotation of crops unknown, 355 — ^general reflection on, ib. 
— husbandry of rice, 358 — maize, 366 — pulses, 369 — yamorig-, 
name, 371 — sweet potatoe or batatas, 372 — Kantang or Javanese 
potatoe, 373 — arrowroot, 374 — wheat, ib. — common potatoe, 375 
— garden stuflfs,376 — cucumbers, 377 — onions, ib. — capsicum, ib. 

INDEX. 545 

— coconutj 379 — ground pistachio, 379 — ricinus or Palma Chris- 
ti, 382 — sago, 383 — areca palm, 394 — sagwire or gomuti, 397 — 
betel pepper, 402 — ^gambir, 40.5 — tobacco, 406 — banana, 410 — 
bread fruit, 413 — general remarks on the husbandry of fruits, 
414 — husbandry of the mangus tin, 417 — diu-ian, 419 — -jack-fruit, 
422 — champiidak,423 — mango, ib. — orange and lemon, 425 — ^jiine 
apple, 427 — -jambu, 428 — guava, 429 — papaya, 430 — custard-ai>- 
ple, 431 — langseh, rambeh, and dukuli, 432 — rambutan, ib. — 
pomegranate, 433 — tamarind, ib. — calabash, gourds, melons, cu- 
cumbers, 434 — European fruits, 436 — flowers, 437 — cotton, 439 
— rami, a species ofurtica, 442 — ^ganja or hemp, ib. — bagu and 
waru, 443 — glugo, ib. — lontar, or tar palm, ib. — gjibang, 444 — 
rattan, 445 — bamboo, 446 — nibung, 447 — nipah, 448 — teak, 449 
— lingoa, 452 — bitangor, niarbao, pinaga, and suren, 453 — fancy 
woods, ib. — damar or rosin, 454 — caout-chouc, 456 — tallow tree, 
ib. — soap tree, 457 — indigo, ib. — kasumba or safflower, 46 1 — 
tumtieric, 462 — sappan-wood, ib. — mangkudu, 463 — logwood, ib. 
— medicinal plants, 464 — cubeb pepper, 465 — datura, 466 — ka- 
niadu leaf, ib. — upas or poison tree, 467 — sugar-cane, 473 — black 
pepper, 479 — coffee, 486 — cocoa, 492 — clove, 493 — nutmeg, 503 
— massoy, 511 — clove-bark, ib. — cayu-puti, 513 — cassia, 514 — 
cardamom, ib. — ginger, 515 — camphor, ib. — benzoin, 517 — ^lig- 
num aloes, 518 — sandal- wood, 519 

Jack-fruit — its culture, i. 4;^ 

Jambu — its culture, i. 428 

Images, ancient, found in Java, ii. 207 

Indigo — history and culture of plants yielding, i. 457 — an article of 
exportation, iii. 355 — its cost, 356 

Infantry — the principal land force of the Indian islanders, i. 229 

Inscriptions — ancient description of them, ii. 211 

Intellectual faculties — the Indian islanders are of slow compre- 
hension and narrow judgment, i. 44 — have weak memories and 
childish imaginations, 46 — are credulous and superstitious, 47 
— are good imitators, ib. — have delicate ears for musical sounds, 
ib. — their faculties weak from want of exercise, ib. 

Iron — artof working itnative, i. 186 — very scarcein the Archipelago, 
188 — consequences of its scarcity, ib. — chiefly employed in the 
manufacture of warlike weapons, 189 — where found, iii. 489 — 
important article of importation, 510 — ^history of the iron trade, 

Justice, administered by the Brahmins of Bali, ii. 239 

Kamadu-leaf — its eflects, i. 496 

Karaboja — its culture, i. 438 

Karairi — a nut, how used by the Javanese as an amusement, 

Kamuning — its cultiu-e and uses, i. 454 

VOL. III. M m 

5i() INDEX. 

Karaton — cLscriplion of the structure callctlj i. 163 

Kasuinba — its culture, i. 4G1 

Kris — J. warlike weapon worn by the Indian islanders, i. 213 — its 
value and beauty a test of rank and wealth, ib. — one of their fa- 
vourite weapons, 223 — ti tter for assassination than war, 22 1. — reason 
of its universal adoption, ib. — used in action with the spear, 225 
— example of the dexterous use of kris, ib. 

Lac insect — found in the Indian Islands, iii. 437 — lac confined to 

home consumption, ib. 
Langseh — its culture, i. 432 
Language, Balinese — by whom spoken, ii, 69 — its character, 70 

.Javanese — the most improved and copious of those of 

the Archipelago, ii. 3 — its alphabet, ib. — grammatical form, 5— 
copiousness, 7 — redundancy, 8 — ordinary and ceremonial dialects, 
9 — analogy of sound to sense, 13 — its want of figurative expres- 
sions, ib. — derivation, 15 

Madurese — by whom spoken, ii. 68 — its character, 69 

Malayan — its alphabet, ii. 40 — grammatical form, 

41 — known by what term, ib. — its general character, 42 
— ceremonial dialect scanty, 43 — derivation and composition, 
ih. — origin, 57 — diffusion, ib. — currency as a lingua franca, 
ib. — general uniformity, 57 — where spoken in greatest purity, 

-Sunda — ^by whom spoken, 66 — its alphabet, 67 — gramma- 

tical form, ib. — ceremonial dialect, 68 

-of Celebes and the eastern countries — universally different 

from those of the western, ii. 59 — alphabet of Celebes, 60 — two 
great languages, the Bugis and Macassar, spoken in Celebes, ib. 
— character of both, ib. — influence of the Bugis language on those 
of the eastern countries, 63 — composition and derivation of these, 

-of the Indian Islanders — their resemblance in sound, ii. 

72 — in grammatical form, 73 — in idiom and genius, ib. — their 
written characters various, 74 — these cannot be traced to the 
Hindus, 76 — component parts of improved languages, 78 — radi- 
cal portion of each language distinct, 79 — languages numerous 
in each country in the direct ratio of their barbarity, ib. — an ab- 
original language with each tribe, 80 — a great Polynesian lan- 
guage existed, 8 1 — words of this language most numerous in cvd- 
tivated dialects, 82 — nature of this class of words, ib. — conjectures 
respecting the people of whom the Polynesian was the language, 
84 — arguments in favour of .lava being their country, 96 — in- 
fluence of the Polynesian long prior to the Sanskrit, 94 — influ- 
ence of cognate languages on each other, 95 — Sanskrit words 
admitted into all the improved languages, 106 — Kawi, a recondite 
language, how formed, 110 — Sanskrit disseminated through the 
language of Java, 111 — introduction of Arabic, 114' — Telinga, 
117 — Persian, llS-r-Chinese, ib. — -and European languages, 

INDEX. 547 

Laws of the Indian Islanders — their origin, iii. 75 — account of 
writings on, 77 — modes of administering justice, 79 — rules of 
evidence, 87 — laws of purchase and sale, 92 — deposits, 93 — letting 
and hiring, 94 — ^loans, 96 — inheritance, 98 — marriage-contracts, 
99 — description of punishments, 104 — modes of execution, 108 
^lex ialionis, 110 — pecuniary composition for crimes. 111 — ^al- 
lotment of punishment according to rank, 11'2 — offences against 
property, 114 — against persons, 119 — against the state and so- 
vereign, 133 — against the laws of nature, 137 

Lead — its use confined to the manufacture of musket-bullets, i. 
192 — natives taught the use of it by Europeans, ib. 

Lemon — its culture, i. 425 

Lignum-aloes — history of the tree yielding, i. 519 — an article of 
commerce, iii. 420 

Lingoa — its culture and uses, i. 452 

Literature of the Javanese — divided into ancient and modern, ii. 
16 — their lyrical compositions, 22 — romances founded on Hindu 
legends, 24 — on native story, 26 — histories of modern transac- 
tions, 27 — prose compositions, 31 — works founded on Arabic ori- 
ginals, 34 — education, 35 — books and manuscripts, 36 — ^general 
character of their compositions, 37 

■ of the ]\Ialays — character of their literature, ii. 47 — their 

metrical composition, 48 — ^jirose composition, 50 — romances, 5(i 
-of the nations of Celebes — character of their literature, ii. 

61 — specimen of their love songs, R'^ 
Logwood — its culture and uses, i. 463 
Lontar — its culture, i. 443 

Mahomedanism — See Religion 

i\Iaize — indigenous to the Indian Islands, i. 366 — ^its culture, 367 
— fecundity, 369 — an article of exportation, iii. 348 

Malor or Malati — its culture, i. 437 

Mango — its culture, i. 423 

Mangkudu — its culture, i. 463 

Mangustin — its culture, i. 417 

IMarbao — its culture, i. 453 

Marriage — an universal ordinance in the Archipelago, i. 73 — time of 
its taking place, 86 — mode of courtship before, 87 — three de- 
scriptions of, ib. — ceremonies of the Javanese at, 88 — ceremo- 
nials, detail of, 91 

Massoy — its culture and uses, i. 510 

Meals — Indian islanders observe little delicacy at, i. 100 — their 
posture and manner of eating at, ib. — ablutions before and after, 

Measures of the Indian islanders — native, estimated by bulk and 
not weight, i. 271 — their measures of capacity, 273 — weight, ib. 
— length, 275 — and surface, 277 

Medicine — character of the practitioners of, i. 328 — nature of their 
prescriptions, ib. — advantages of their practice in fevers, 330 — 

548 INDEX. 

tlieir total ignorance of the treatment of surgical disortlers, 331 — 
plants afford in<^, 4(jl. 

Melon — its culture, i. 43 1 

iVIetals — the Indian islanders longacquaintcd with the use of the na- 
tive metals, sol'U iron, and tin, i. 182 — taught the use of silver 
and copper by the Hindus, ib. — their art of working gold, 183 
— silver, 184 — and iron, 18G — description of tools, ib. — scarcity 
of iron in the Archipelago, and its consequences, 188 — iron chief- 
ly used for military weapons, 189 — manufacture of the subordi- 
nate metals, I'Jl — tin and brass used as money, 280 

]\Iilitary — weapons of the Indian islanders, i. 222 — forces, 229 — 
discipline, 235 — subsistence, 237 — warfare, 239 — treatment of 
the dead, wounded, and prisoners, 242 — use of the right of con- 
quest, 247 

^lirrors — Indian islanders ignorant of the manufacture of, i. 192 

Molasses — price of in the Indian Islands, iii. 380 

]Money — articles used as, by the rude tribes, i. 280 — origin and de- 
scription of tin and brass coins, ib. — no silver coins anciently used, 
281 — origin and description of gold coins, 282 — introduction of 
European coins, 283 — and paper currency, 284 

Monsoons — navigation of the Indian islanders favoured by them, 
i. 309 — origin of the term, 3 1 6 

Moral qualities — See Virtues, Weaknesses, Vices, and Domestic, 
Social, and PoUtical Relations 

Music — state of, i. 332 — description of musical instruments, 333 — 
of bauds or gamalans, 338 — character of Javanese music, 339 

Narcotics — See Areca and Betel, Tobacco, and Opium 

Navigation — rude skill of the Indian islanders in, i. 307 — usually 
a coasting one, 308 — favoured by the monsoons assumes a 
bolder character, 309 — assistance sometimes derived from obser- 
vations of the heavenly bodies, and from the compass, 310 — con- 
jectures respecting the origin of the compass, ib. — division of 
the horizon by the Malays, 311 — Javanese, 315 — ^and minor 
tribes, 316 — origin of the term monsoon, ib. 

Navy — military, 230 

Negro tribes of the Archipelago — their inferiority to the brown, i. 
18 — geographical distribution, ib. — account of a negro, by Major 
IMacinnes, 23 — by Sir Everard Home, 24 — their resemblance, but 
inferiority, to the African negroes, ib. — their puny statures and 
feeble frames constitutional, 2o — Sonnerat's account of the ne- 
groes of New Guinea, 26 — conjectures respecting their origin, 

Nibung — its culture and uses, i. 447 

Nipah — its culture and uses, i. 448 

Numbers — See Arithmetic 

Nutmeg — its description, o03 — distribution, 505 — history and 
name, 506 — culture, 507 — fecundity, 510 — an article of exporta- 
tion, iii. 394 — proportion of its different parts, 395 — disadvan- 


INDEX. 549 

tages of separating the nutmeg from the shell, 395 — natural 
price of nutmeg and mace, 399 — history of the nutmeg trade, 

Onion, indigenous to the Indian Islands, i. 377 

Opium — the Indian islanders passionately fond of, i. 105 — its re- 
cent introduction, ib. — its use limited only by the price, ib. — 
the poppy, from which it is derived, not a native of the Archipe- 
lago, 106 — its pernicious effects, ib. — manner of using and pre- 
paring it, ib. — history of the opium trade, iii. 518 — prices and 
quantity imported, 519 — introduction of Turkey opium, 521 

Orange — ^its culture, i. 425 

Painting — Indian islanders ignorant of this art, i. 327 

Palma Christi — its culture, i. 382 — oil of, an article of exporta- 
tion, iii. 350 

Pandapa — description of a Javanese, i. 162 

Papaya — its culture, i. 430 

Paralytic disorders, rarer in the Archipelago than in Europe, i. 34 

Parturition and child-bearing, among the Indian islanders, very 
expeditious and safe, i. 36 

Patek, a disease of the Javanese, analogous to the venereal, i. 34— 
its introduction ascribed to the Chinese, ib. 

Pearls — quantity exported and value, iii. 445 

Peas — intrndured by Europeans, i. S7C 

Pepper, black — its history, i. 479 — culture, 481 — fecundity, 485 — 
an article of exportation, iii. 357 — where produced, 358 — price, 
359 — history of the pepper trade, 360 — quality and quantity 
consumed, 369 

Pistachio, ground — its culture, i. 381 — its oil an article of exporta- 
tion, iii. 349 

Pinaga — its culture, i. 53 

Pine-apple — its culture, i. 427 

Plated- ware, imported into the Indian Islands, iii. 513 

Political relations — the Indian islanders attached to their society 
or tribe, i. 84 — jealous of the independence of their country, ib. 
— attached to their place of birth, ib. 

Polynesian numerals — vocabulary of them, i. 264 

Pomegranate — its culture, i. 433 

Potatoe — cultivation of the yam, i. 371 — sweet potatoe, 372 — Ja- 
vanese, 373 — and American, 375 

Pulses— culture of two varieties chiefly objects of attention, i. 36 !> 
—articles of exportation, 348 

Quail-fighting — the .Tavanese fond of this amusement, i. 114 
Quicksilver^— not employed by the Indian islanders, i. 19^ 

Ram bu tan — its culture, i. 432 
Rami — its culture, i. 442 

550 INDEX. 

Rams — lutlicrous but bloodless combat between them and wild 
hogs practised in Java, i. IIG 

Rattan — its culture, i. il5 — an article of exportation, iii. 423 — ^price, 

Religion of the Indian islanders, ancient — synonymous with their 
antiquities, ii. 194 — remains of ancient temples, 195 — mode in 
which they are constructed, 199 — mytholof^ical character of the 
sculptures and decorations, 202 — remains of statues and images, 
207 — ancient inscriptions on stone, 211 — ancient manuscript, 
216 — conjectures respecting the ancient Hinduism of the Indian 
islanders, 218 — first Hinduism of Java, an example of genuine 
Buddhism, 220 — a barbarous form of Hinduism prevailed in later 
times, 222 — introduction of Hinduism, 225 — superstitions which 
prevailed previous to that event, 230 — character of Hinduism, as 
modified by these superstitions, 231 — ^modern Hinduism nearly 
confined to Bali, 236 — Balinese chiefly of the sect of Siwa, 237 — 
Siwais, as in Hindustan, divided into four casts, ib. — Brahmins 
and higher classes genuine Hindus, but the lower still practise their 
local superstitions, 238 — Brahmins entrusted with the admini- 
stration of justice, 239 — Hindu ceremonies generally neglected 
by the Balinese, 240 — sacrifices of widows on the piles of their 
husbands, 241 — immolations of slaves and domestics with de- 
ceased princes, ib.^-examples of these customs, 244 — bodies of 
the dead burned, 255 — two great religious festivals, ib. — Indian 
era and calendar Qflnpted by the Balinese, 256 — list of their re- 
ligious books, ib. — religion of Siwa, when introduced, 257 — ex- 
istence of Hinduism in Bali after the conversion of the other ci- 
vilized tribes accounted for, ib. — orthodox Mahomedanism pre- 
vails in the Archipelago, 259 — Malays the best IVIabomedans, 
260 — state of this religion in Java, 261 — ^Javanese religious fes- 
tivals, ib. — duties and offices of .Javanese priests, 26G — inatten- 
tion of the Indian islanders both to the positive and negative 
precepts of the Koran exemplified, ib. — Catholic and Protestant 
Christians found in the Archipelago, 273 — zeal of the early Eu- 
ropean adventurers to make proselytes, 274 — their want of suc- 
cess, to what attributed, ib. — superiority of the Christians over 
the Mahomedan and Pagan tribes, 277 — Christianity coAsidered 
as an instrument of civilization, 278 — effects of insulated mis- 
sionaiies useless or mischievousj 280 — obstacles to the propaga- 
tion of Christianity, 281 
Revenue, public, of the Indian islanders — sources of, iii. 45 — ori- 
gin of the land-tax, ib. — its amount, among the different tribes, 
48 — condition of the cultivator, 51 — division of the crop between 
the cultivator and sovereign, 65 — payment of salaries, 69 — gene- 
ral reflections, 60 — poll-tax, 68 — taxes on consumption, 70 — 
transit duties, 71 — system of farming the revenue, universal, 
Rambia — its culture, i. 432 

Rice — the principal food of the Indian islanders, i. 358 — indige- 
nous to the Archipelago, ib. — il^ culture a native art, ib. — varie- 

INDEX. 551 

ties of ricej 359-*-culture of these, 360 — fecundity, 365 — an ar- 
ticle of exportation, iii, 345 — where procured, ib. — price and 
quantity, 346 
Ricinus — See Palma Christi. 

Sacrifice of widows on the funeral piles of their husbands, ii. 241 
— of slaves and domestics with deceased princes, ib. — examples 
of these sacrifices, 244 

Sago-palm — the principal food of the people of the eastern portion 
of the Archipelago, i. 383 — its cultivation, 384 — its native coun- 
try, 385 — harvest, 388 — preparation for storing, 3S9 — its fecun- 
dity, 393 — an article of exportation, iii. 348 — where procured, 
and price, ib. 

Safflower — its culture, i. 461 

SagAvire — See Gomuti 

Salt — manufactured chiefly in Java, i. 199 — process by which it is 
obtained, ib. — cost of production, iii. 495 — ^history of the salt 
trade, 496 

Saltpetre — mode of obtaining it in the Archipelago, i. 200— cost 
of it dearer there than in Hindustan, 201 

Sandal- wood — ^liistory of the tree yielding, i. 519 — price as an ar- 
ticle of commerce, iii. 421 

Sappan-wood — its culture, i. 46^— price at which exported, iii. 

Sassafras— rjast nf prepflring it fnr tho marle-pt,, iii. -tSS 

Scrofula — a rare disorder in the Archipelago, i. 34 

Sculpture — Indian islanders ignorant of this art, i. 327 

Seas of the Archipelago, i. 5 

Separaga — a kind of foot-ball played by the Indian islanders, i. 

Settlers — See Colonists 

Sharks'-fins — price as an article of commerce, iii. 440 

Ship-building — skill of the Indian islanders in, i. 193 

Silks — manufacture of, 181 — imports of, iii. 517 

Silver — ores of it in the Archipelago only suspected, i. 182 — the 
use of it taught the natives by the Hindus, ib. — images and 
coins formed of it by the ancient Javanese, 185 

Sling — an universal weapon of rude tribes, i. 222 

Small-pox — the most fatal disorder among the Indian islanders, i. 
33 — time of its introduction unknown, ib. — mortality in Yugya- 
karta in Java by, ib. 

Soap-tree — its culture, i. 467 

Social relations of the Indian islanders, respecting — friendship not 
known, h4 — attachment between chiefs and retainers, ib. 

Sono — its culture and uses, i. 454 

Spear — one of the favourite weapons of the Indian islanders, i. 223 
— varieties of this weapon, ib. — in action used alternately with 
the kris, 225 

552 INDEX. 

Statues — See Images 

Stone — a very rare disorder in the Indian Islands, i. 34. 

Sugar— its culture, i. 473 — history, 475— manufacture of, 476— an 

article of exportation, iii. 377 — cost, quality, and quantity, 378 

— prices of tlifferent sugars compared, 379 
Suksi — its culture, i. 438 
Sulphur— abundant in the Indian Islands, i. 201 — might become 

an article of commerce, iii. 494 
Sureu — its culture, i. 453 
Sword — origin of its use in Java, i. 226 

Talagatari — a game of ha2ard practised by the Javanese, i. 112 

Tallow-tree — its culture,!. 456 

Tamarind — its culture, i. 433 — an article of exportation, iii. 357 — 

price, ib. 
Tanjung — its culture, i. 437 
Tea— history of the tea trade, iii. 522 
Teak — its geographical and physical distribution, i. 449 — paraDel 

between it and the oak, 451 — its value as an article of commerce, 

iii. 425 
Teeth — practice of blackening and filing them universal in the 

Archipelago, i. 215 
Temples — remains of, in .Java, ii. 195 
Tiger — combat between this animal and the buffalo, an amusement 

of the Javauerc, i. IIS how fought hpforp the Javanese sove- 
reigns, 121 

Timaka — its culture and uses, i. 454 

Time — See Calendar 

Tin — indigenous to the Archipelago, i. 182 — stldoni ui^cd by the 
natives in its pure state, 191 — where found, iii. 150 — history of 
mining, 452 — parallel between the mines of Banca and Corn- 
wall, 464 — ^price, and quantity exported, 466 — general reflections 
on the tin trade, ib. 

Tobacco — the practice of smoking, when introduced into the 
Archipelago, i. 103 — the only agreeable narcotic which thrives 
in every climate, 104 — present mode of using, 105 — its culture, 
406 — quantity exported, iii. 416 — price, ib. 

Topography of the Archipelago, i. 3 

Tortoise-shell — value as an article of commerce, iii. 444 

Tournaments — awkwardly exhibited in the Archipelago, i. 117 

Town — description of one in the Archipelago, i. 168 — those of the 
maritime tribes described, 1 7 1 

Tripang — description and nature, as an article of commerce, iii. 

Turmeric — its culture, i. 462 

Turnips—introduced by the English, i .376 

Umbrella — ^its quality or colour a mark of rank in the Archipelago, 

INDEX. 553 

Upas, or poison- tree — description of it, i. 467 — history of its perni- 
cious effects, ib. 

Venereal disease — frequent in every part of the Indian Islands, 
i. 33 — Javanese account of its origin, ib. — its name in Java, 
34 — its introduction ought to be ascribed to the Europeans, 

Vices of the Indian islanders — the most prominent are, revenge, i. 
65 — mucks, 66 — assassinations, 70 — ^piracy and treachery, 71 — 
thefts and robberies, 72 

Village — description of a Javanese, i. 167 — of an alpine village, 
171 — Indian islanders, for mutual protection, associate in villages, 

Virtues — the Indian 'islanders are distinguished by a regard for 
truth, i. 50 — ^have no capacity for intrigue, ib. — are capable of 
attachment and gratitude, ib. — arc reserved but courteous, 51 
— are neither litigious nor rapacious, ib. — nor naturally cruel, 
ib. — are good humoured and cheerful, 52 — seldom use abusive 
language, ib. — are naturally hospitable, 53 — and poUte, 54 — are 
free from bigotry, 55 

Vocabulary, Polynesian — difficulty of forming such a vocabulary, 
ii. 120 — errors in former ones, 121 — sources whence those in 
this work were derived, 123 — vocabulary of the Polynesian 
languages, 125 — specimen of the great Polynesian, 192 — of nu- 
merals, i. 264 

War — mode of conducting it among all savages nearly the same, i. 
220 — civilized tribes of the Archipelago an armed population, 
221 — their military weapons, 222 — mode of levying troops, 229 — 
discipline, 235 — subsistence, 237 — carrying on war, 239 — treat- 
ment of the dead, wounded, and prisoners, 242 — use of the right 
of conquest, 247 

Warn — its culture, i. 443 

Water-cresses — introduced by the English, i. 376 

Weaknesses of the Indian islanders — summary of, i. 55 — examples 
of, 56 — in the laws against sorcery, ib. — in the circulation of the 
skull of a buffalo, 58 — in their insurrections, 60 — in their attach- 
ment to relics, 62 — and in their fondness for external shew and 
pomp, 64 

Weaving — See Cloths 

Weights — See ]\Icasures 

Whale-fishery — its commercial importance, iii. 447 

Wheat — cultivated sparingly, i. 375 

Widows — sacrifice of, on the funeral piles of their husbands, ii. 

Wood, working of — rude skill of the Indian islanders in this art, i. 
192 — their boats and shipping the most considerable exhibition 
of it, 193 

VOL. III. N n 

554} INDEX. 

Woollens — their suitableness to the climate of the Indian Islands, 

iii. 505 — liistory of the woollen trade, 50G 
Worms, intestinal — often fatal to children, i. 35 — cause of this 

disorder, ib. 

Yam — ^its culture, i. 371 

Yugyafearta — state of mortality there, i, 33 

Printed by George Ramsay & Co. 
Edinburgh, 1820. 


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