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built, and with a greater attention to com- change is going on here as in the course fort than they are lower down the country; of the dependent branch. During the most of them have a low wattled enclo- tracking of the boats, we landed, as usual, sure surrounding the hut, which serves at in the morning, and rambled over the the same time as an ornament, and a veil country. We passed one or two villages, to conceal the inbabitant from the prying wliose appearance was as inviting, and ineye of his neighbour. Before leaving the dicated fully as much comfort, as those more cultivated country this morning, I placed in more favourable situations. One had an opportunity of observing the In- with some trees adjoining to it was partidian mode of rolling the ground, which cularly pleasing in effect; and many of exhibits, in deficiency of better materials, a the huts not only displayed great neatness tolerable application of expedient. Stones, in their exterior, but bore marks of a cerit must be remembered, are not to be tain portion of taste in their possessor. found in Bengal, at least in this part of For the first time since leaving Calcutta, it; and iron, from its scarcity, is too dear I saw here an enclosed piece of ground, to come within the reach of a poor Indian forming a flower garden, as an appendage cultivator, whose whole wealth consists, to one of the humble clay edifices, which perhaps, in & yoke of oxen, and a few contributed not a little to enliven the cows and goats Solid timber, fit for such I could perceive in this village purpose too, is not, I imagine, the growth also more attention paid to the cattle : of the district. To supply the deficiency, comfortable sheds with enclosures, similar then, one would think a considerable ex. to those which surrounded the houses, ertion of ingenuity requisite : yet nothing being appropriated for their reception, and can be more simple, and it may be said apparently kept so clean, as to impress one obvious, than that which the natives have with a favourable idea of the inhabitants. adopted. It consists merely of a board What seemed rather extraordinary, last two or three feet broad (or several pieces night was passed without our being disjoined so as to make that breadth), con- turbed by, or even hearing the cry of a nected in the centre with a projecting beam, jackall. These animals, which infest the which being fastened by means of a cross- villages and towns, and prowl from sunset piece to the oxen, in the manner of the to sunrise on the river bank in quest of a plough, one, two, or more persons, accord- scanty pittance, cannot subsist themselves ing to the team employed, place themselves in a country where the thin population on the board, each grasping an ox's tail furnishes no superfluity of food, and the with his left hand, and holding firmly by absence of jungle leaves them no place of it so as to preserve his balance; the shelter, to retire to during the day. animals are then pushed on with the right, After tracking along the banks of the while the weight of the men's bodies, as Great River for a few miles, our whole they are dragged along, breaks the clods, suite struck off into a bye channel, which presses down the earth, and fixes the seed winds round an island of considerable in the ground, as efficiently as could be size. This new course deprived us of the done by the most perfect and ponderous pleasure of surveying the opposite bank of European roller.
the Ganges, whose scenery presented the The boats anchored last night, not only view that was at all agreeable in the many hundred yards from the point of country around; and we had nothing in entrance into the Ganges, where the stream return but a bare sandy beach, with a tuft was not so powerful as we had experienced of rushes here and there, which served as it to be on turning the angle formed by the haunt of alligators. As we were the junction of the rivers. Notwithstand- sailing slow along the right bank after din. ing the rapidity of the current, and the ner, one of the servants came and inforined less coherence of the soil forming the us that an alligator was seen lying on the bank, we seldom observed the earth giving opposite shore ; and on reaching the top way in the manner that it did in the of the bank we beheld the monster, whose Hooghly, under the same circumstances; appearance realized all the expectations we but from the rifts in the foot-path, and had formed of his size and ferocity. He fragments of the bank that lay prostrate at was lying on the bank with his head close the water's edge, it is evident that the same to the water, and the jaws wide open, as if in wait for his prey. The hinder part olfactories in a degree that is quite intoof the body was more elevated than the lerable. The insect which emits this dishead, from the ascent of the bank, and gusting odour is about the size, when somewhat curved towards the left, making stripped of its wings, of a common bug, an attitude of great apparent attention. and resembles it so much in colour and He remained quite motionless for a long appearance, as to be generally known by time ; and we could distinctly see, with the the name of the flying bug. Its colour is assistance of a glass, the colour of his a deep reddish brown (werner), the head body, which was of a dark leaden hue, and small, with very diminutive black eyes ; the enormous array of fangs displayed in six legs, the first pair consisting of two both jaws. The longest of these appeared large joints and a small one (doubtful), at least two or three inches, and the and armed at the extremity with a stiff smaller ones seemed to make up in num- black incurvated claw; this pair is the ber what they wanted in size. His shortest; the middle consists of two joints, greatest length might have been about fif- terminating in a hairy extremity; the hinteen feet. Some boats which passed on der pair terminate with a club (parva that side very close to him, did not in the componere magnis), like the pair of an least disturb him; and we could see bis elephant; and to the inner side of the exbody, as long as the light enabled us, ap- tremity of each pair is attached a delicate pearing exactly as described, like a bare bristlewing, two complete—other two extrunk of a tree, or a low mud wall on the ternally are only half membranaceous; the beach. With the spectacle of this levia- upper half is of the same nature as the than of the river closed our day's voyage; elytrum, which is situated in the middle and we soon afterwards came too for the and protects the wings; these are very night, on the same island in which we had delicate and thin. On each side of the seen the alligator. At the point of an- mouth there is a feeler of the necklace chorage, great numbers of a large kind of form (monclator), and a pointed proboscis swallow were flying about over our head, protrudes from the mouth; the neck enjoying the cool of the twilight, and in- white, and under it at the top of the dulging their appetite with those myriads thorax are placed two small white points. of the insect tribe, which never fail, when So much for the description of this insect, the sun goes down, to issue from the grass, which owes its interest not to any good, to the great annoyance of the traveller. but to the disagreeable qualities it is gifted The inconvenience experienced from in- with. It would be curious to trace the sects has increased very much since we purpose which such a property of emit. came into the Great River. The shade ting an offensive smell, serves in the surrounding the candle had hitherto pro. economy of this diminutive creature : for tected it from these troublesome intruders; doubtless, like that of sending forth light and by sitting at a short distance from the possessed by the fire-fly, so frequent an table, we could always obviate any per object of admiration in India, it must in sonal inconvenience from their presence : some way or other contribute either to the but now a host of ill-savoured winged preservation of the individual or of the bugs fly into the budgerow, the moment species. —[Oriental Magazine. the candles are lighted, and offend our
DESCRIPTIVE ACCOUNT OF PALEMBANG. The kingdom of Palembang, which mountains which separate that state from amongst the native states of Sumatra holds Bencoolen and its dependencies; and ou the first rank, occupies the portion of that the north-west its limits adjoin the terriisland to the southward of the equator, tories of the Sultaun of Jambee. which is included between the latitudes of The principal river, which is called the 20 and 40 30. It is bounded on the north Moosee, upon which the town of Palemand east by the Straits of Banca; on the bang is situated, runs through the whole south by the Lampoong country ; on the extent of the country in a general direcwest and south-west by the ranges of tion from south-west to north-east, having
its source in the range of hills near to Vessels making for the Palembang river, Bencoolen. With this river all the others direct their course to the bar; and, from have confluence; and the accumulated the direction, it is proper to cross it, in waters are disembogued into the Straits of order to enter the channel for Soensang; Banca by four different mouths, which the mouth of that branch of the river apunder the names of the Sali, the Open, the pears nearly closed by projecting land; Soensang, and the Pontian, diverge from the Pontian mouth, at the same time, exthe main river at different points below posing a wide and open view of that river: the town of Palembang: the Sali being the latter, is therefore frequently mistaken the eastern, and the Pontian the western for the navigable branch ; and vessels com mouth, or kwala, so called by the natives. mitted to this stream have had their pro
The Soensang branch affords the most gress intercepted, and been necessitated to ready and the safest navigable communication with the town of Palembang, which, The river, through its whole extent, is by the winding course of the river, is about much infested with alligators, which are seventy miles distant from the sea. Mo- very daring and voracious. The pantjalnopin Hill, on the western extreme of langs, or river passage boats, which are of Banca, bears nearly north-east from the various dimensions, according to the rank Soensang entrance, whence it is distant of the owners, and which, being cut about eight leagues; and from which, ex- from the solid trunk of a tree, are almost cepting in thick hazy weather, it is clearly on a level with the surface of the water, discernible. The village of Soensang is expose the men who paddle them very near the mouth of the river, and is placed much to the attacks of these monsters of under the control of a Demang, whose the river. Some of the pantjallangs beduty it is to send a report to the Sultaun longing to the Sultaun and his family are of Palembang of the arrival of every no less than forty-two feet in length, and vessel of any consequence. From him, ten or twelve in the greatest breadth, repilots may be obtained to conduct vessels or quiring twenty-four men to paddle them, boats up to Palembang.
who are ranged on each side. The trees The town of Palembang is only ac- from which these boats are formed are cut cessible on the north and eastern sides, by in the forests near the mountains, whence the medium of the rivers above-mentioned: they are brought to Palembang with conthe whole coast of Sumatra, along the siderable labour. The Sultaun, who was Straits of Banca, presenting nothing to very anxious at all times to manifest resthe eye, but a low flat of interminable pect and kindness to the British Resident, swamps and jungle. Very few villages always sent one of these boats to the intervene from Soensang to Palembang, mouth of the river to convey him up to the banks of the river on each side gene- Palembang, when he came from Banca to rally presenting the same forbidding aspect visit his Highness, and also to convey as the sea-coast; so that a stranger, until him back. I have seen, on two occasions, the town of Palembang opens to his view, alligators raise their heads out of the water might suppose he was travelling the river near the side of the boat, in the attempt to of an uninhabited country.
take one of the paddlers out of this large From Palembang to the sea, by the So- description of pantjallang. The boatmen, ensang branch, the river is navigable for having plenty of room to move away, escapvessels of the largest burden. In some ed their grasp; which was checked also parts it is narrow, but generally of a noble by the height of the side of the boat from breadth. About four miles, bearing near the water, though in this large pantajallang ly due north from the mouth of the river, the deck at the centre, upon which the pada bar must be crossed to enter the channel dlers sit cross-legged, did not exceed nine of deep water through which to navigate to or ten inches above the surface of the the river, the channel on each side having water. From the smaller description of shallow water.
At the highest spring pantjallangs, no less than seventeen padtides, the bar has never more than three dlers were carried away by alligators fathoms water upon it, so that the largest during the time I was at Palembang. Two ships are obliged to anchor outside the gentlemen, coming up the river to visit me
in one of the smaller boats had provided themselves with a basket of provisions for have any communication one with another, their journey: on their way an alligator excepting by boats. This does not proraised himself from the water ; the paddlers ceed from a necessity arising out of the shrieked, and fortunately escaped, but the nature of the country, so much as from basket of provisions became a prey to its the habits and inclination of the people to voracity.
have ready access to the conveniencies of These pantjallangs, which are peculiar the river. The principal inhabitants, who to Palembang, are very commodious and have their houses generally built upon the quick in their passage. That above-men- banks of the river, have piers constructtioned, belonging to the Sultaun, had a ed to the distance of low water mark, in space covered at the stern by a light cover- order that they may at all times command ing, made of matted nipah leaves, suffi- uninterrupted communication with their cient to shelter the steersman, to allow a boats, recess for sleeping, and a space in front to From one extreme to the other, the accommodate eight or ten persons sitting town may be estimated to extend at least with a table in the middle.
three miles along each bank, and to con. The prow biduk is another kind of river tain a population of nearly twenty-five boat, similar to the pantjallang boat, with thousand souls, including about one thouits sides raised by additional planks. They sand Arabs and Chinese. are used for conveying baggage, and as a The foreign trade from the town is carsafer passage-boat in stormy weather. ried on by the Chinese, Arabs, and natives,
The Sultan has a state boat of this des- to Java, Malacca, Banca, Penang or Prince cription, called the prow naga, which has of Wales' Island, Lingen, Rhio, and the a large carved head of the fabulous dragon eastern coast of Borneo. Two large junks called Naga.
from China, one from Among, the other The distinctions of ranks are preserved from Canton, and a small one from Siam, in the equipment of these boats, with as arrive annually at Palembang, with the much care as the colour of the payung,
N.W. monsoon in January, and depart which here, as in other Malayan states,
with the S. E. monsoon in August. varies according to the several gradations The principal imports consists of wool. from the Sultaun.
len cloths, of which every man who has The town of Palembang is formed on the means is anxious to have a dress; Engboth sides of the river Moosee, which is lish chintzes and coloured cottons, their there twelve hundred feet in breadth choice of which is principally directed by Some of the houses are erected upon large the pattern; Bengal and Madras piece rafts of timber, anchored near the banks, goods; copper, iron and steel, with manuand which rise and fall with the tide; be- factured articles of these metals; teas, hind these are houses built upon piles of tim- drugs, China silks, nankeens, earthenware, ber, and which at high water become in- salt, and Java cloths. sulated : at the back of these again a third The exports consist of Palembang prorow of houses, built on the land, along the duce, in pepper, cotton, rattans, bees’-wax, the banks, and on the sides of the several dragons' blood, benzoin, gambir, elephants' small streams which join the main river. teeth, gold dust, kayoo laker, and birds'
The palace of the Sultaun is a mag- nests in small quantities. nificent structure, built of brick, and sur- Of the produce of Palembang, pepper, rounded by a strong wall. The houses of which is there called sahan, as also the the principal chiefs are commodious and common name of ladab, may be computed comfortable, though they have no preten- at fifteen thousand peculs annually, which sions to elegance. Many of these, as was formerly sold at three dollars per well as the houses of the wealthy Arabs pecul of one hundred and twenty-five and Chinese, have tiled roofs, supported Dutch pounds. by strong pillars of timber, and are divided Of cotton there are two kinds: the cominto rooms by wooden divisions of plank. mon, called kapas, and the cotton, which is
The houses of the inferior classes are built called kapok. The latter is only used for of the light materials which are used for stuffing beds and pillows, which purpose it habitations in other Malayan countries. answers exceedingly well, being very soft
Not more than three or four houses and elastic. The produce of cotton has been about four thousand peculs, sold raw, questions regarding trade, are adjusted by from two to four dollars per pecul, and the Sliabundar, assisted in cases of imporcleaned, from eight to ten.
tance by other chiefs, who are deputed for Rattans, about one hundred thousand, the purpose by the Sultaun. Their deciof one hundred to each bundle. The first sion, which is regulated by the application sort, three fathoms long, sells at seventeen of acknowledged rules and customs of dollars per bundle ; inferior, at ten, twelve, trade to the particular points in dispute, is and fourteen.
duly submitted by the Sultaun, with Dragons' blood, called jaranang, and whom it rests to confirm their adjudication, benzoin, called kaminian, sells at from or to direct a further consideration of the fourteen to twenty-five and thirty dollars question. per pecul.
The jurisdiction of the town is adElephants' teeth, if two to a pecul, sell ministered by one of the chief Pangerangs, for eighty dollars; if four, sixty dollars, who, by virtue of his office, is called the and so on.
Pateh. All the duties of a judge and Kayoo laka is exported in considerable magistrate devolve upon him; in the perquantities by the China junks. It is used formance of which he is assisted by a Tuby the Chinese for burning in their houses munggung, who holds an inferior and suband temples.
ordinate jurisdiction. In judical matters, Gold dust varies in price according to the decisions of the Pateh are regulated by its quality. The inferior sort is called the common law or adut of the country; mooda, or young ; the most valuable being and in cases of magnitude or difficulty, the termed tooah or old. The former, when Sultaun deputes other chiefs to assist in melted into bars, has a whitish dull cast; the investigation. Before the Pateh orders the latter bearing a brilliant yellow ap- the execution of any sentence or decree, pearance.
he submits the case to the Sultaun, and The Sultaun receives a certain amount receives his orders in confirmation, or from every vessel or prow entering the otherwise. Disputes between the Chinese port of Palembang, according to its are commonly referred to the Captain
China, or chief of the Chinese, for settleA large China junk pays about fifteen ment, according to their customs; and in hundred dollars; a smaller one thousand like manner the chief of the Arabs exdollars; and the Saimese junks, which are ercises authority over the Arab inhabitants. not of greater burden than eighty tons, Matters which concern the state and pay about seventy-five dollars.
The an- effects of deceased persons, with all other chorage dues being paid, the cargo is free suits of an ecclesiastical nature, are adfrom all other imposition of duties. judged by the Pangerang, Punghooloo, or
Of all the Malayan ports, Palembang Cazee, who is guided in his judgment by has been, and is considered by all native the laws and precepts provided in the and European foreigners, the safest and Koran. best regulated. Once entering the river, Controversies frequently arise upon the the smallest
prow, with ordinary vigilance question, whether litigated points should and precaution, will be secure from vio- be adjusted by the audit, or common law lence or plunder. Outside the river, small of the country, or by the Koran ; the one pirate prows will sometimes lie concealed party finding the strength of his cause to in the creeks, and under the shelter of the be favoured by the application of one rule, jungle along the coast, and he will prey and the other party viewing his interests to upon the small trading prows entering the be best protected hy the other mode of adriver; but such occurrences are not com- juidcation. In these cases, the party who non, and are guarded against by every can command an influence with the same means in the Sultaun's power.
Sultaun, either personally, or by the interThe controul of the port is placed under vention of his confidential advisers, will the authority of a native chief; he is ap- probably obtain the sanction of that law pointed by the Sultaun, and his office is which is best suited to his purpose. called the Shabundara. All disputes aris- The usual punishments for offences are ing among the crews of vessels, or on fines and imprisonment for short periods.