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Murder is com rntable by fine: but in ing to their titles in the following order : the case of a servant who killed his master, Tomunggung, Ranga, Demang, Anghhey. the culprit was punished by death, inflicted These are taken indiscriminately from all by the stabs of kreeses.
classes of the inhabitants, and are advanced A chief giving offence to the Sultaun, or to their titles at the pleasure of the Sultaun, in his presence making use of any provok. and according to the degree of their merits ing language or gesture to another chief, and services in his apprehension. Chinese, must soon after send his kris to the Sul- Arabs, Malayese, and every description of taun, in token of his submission, or he will persons are found in this class, the only endanger the sequestration of bis property essential requisite to the attainment of the and banishment to the upper country, the rank of Mantrie being the profession of the usual punishment of the chiefs for contu- Mahommedan faith. macy or disaffection, which, in extreme
In the provinces, the head-men of the cases, are punished with death.
villages are generally selected by the inPalembang is the only large town in the habitants themselves, and their choice conterritories of the Sultaun, which may be said firmed by the Sultaun. They have their to centre within itself all the rank and customary titles of Dupattie, Lura, Prowealth of the state. The chiefs, who hold attin. by grant from the Sultaun the seignorial The districts and provinces which conproperty and authority in the provinces and stitute the dominions of the Sultaun of villages, only visit their Desas, as they call Palembang derive their names from the them, on occasions connected with the pur- principal rivers which flow through them, suit of trade, or other objects of personal on the banks and tributary streams of which interest. The greater part of their time is all the villages are situated. The most spent in the capital, where they are attended valuable of these provinces is probably that by a stipulated number of their vassals, at the head of the river Moosee, called the who receive no pay or food from their Anak Moosee, so named from its embracchiefs during their appointed time of ser- ing several streams which have confluence vice. The number of men each village is with the main river. required to provide for the service of its The general produce of this province chiefs is regularly recorded in the books of consists in rice, pepper, cotton, wax, gamthe country, together with the proportion bir, and gold dust. of tribute the inhabitants have to provide The word soongie signifies river, and is from the produce of the land in their occu- prefixed to the pame of it. pation.
The number of men signifies the agreed Of the several ranks, the first in dignity proportion to be provided for the performwill of course include the sons and brothers ance of feudal services. of the Sultaun. His eldest son has pro- The province of Mooste, which comperly the title of the Pangerang Ratoo, but prizes the Doosuus, situated on the main the Sultaun Najm al Deen gave to his river, produces rice, cotton, wax, and eldest son that of Prabo Anam, of equal pepper. dignity, in consequence of the eldest son of The province of Lamatang is so called the Ex-Sultaun having received that of the from a large river of that name, which has Pangerang Ratoo.
its source to the eastward of that of the The Pangerangs are generally allied by Mosee, which river it joins about eighty blood, some nearly and others more re- miles above the town of Palembang. It motely, to the royal family. They take produces pepper, cotton, and rice. precedence according to the designation The river Ogan, which also joins the affixed to their title: thus, the Pangerang Moosee about two miles above the town of Chitra Kasooma was elevated, in reward of Palembang, has its source in the Lamhis services, to the superior rank of Pan- poong country. gerang Wiro de Radjo. The sons of Pan- The district of Rembang Ogan has its gerangs have the title of Redeens by birth. name from the river Rembang, which joins
The chiefs below the ranks of Pangerang the Ogan before it reaches the Moosee. and Radeen come under the general de- The Sultaun is supplied with rattan mats nomination of Mantries, and rank accord for his palace from this district.
The Beldida river, which gives name to The Sultaun being the acknowledged a small district of that name, held in fee by lord of the land, confers grants of the se. its chief, under the Sultaun of Palembang, veral villages to the Pangerangs and Mancommunicates with the river Ogan by tries, in value apportioned to the favour in means of a cut. The Beldida joins the which they are respectively held by him. Moosee, a few miles below the junction of The'assessment of each village is duly Lamatang. The Banyo Asseen river 'em- recorded, stating the quantity of produce braces that province which lies in the vici. agreed by the occupants of land to be pronity of the Pontian mouth of the river. vided to the chief, and the number of ma
The Kamareeng is a large river which tagawies, or men, to be furnished for ruirruns to the eastward of the Ogan, with ing his boat, and other duties required by which river it has a cut of communication. him to be performed. This is the system This river has its source in the Lampoong of forced labours and deliveries which has district, and is said to flow within twenty further called forth the indignation of Mr. miles of the Tulang Bawung, the principal Muntinghe, and, as he may wish it to be river in that country. The province com- thought, the humane interposition of the prized within the course of the Kamareeng Netherlands' Government of Java ; and is recorded in the Palembang books, but this is the very identical system pursued in the inhabitants do not appear to have been their own settlements of Amboyna. Not brought under perfect subjection to the au- only so, but, in order to increase the value thority of the Sultaun of Palembang, to of their own forced cultivation and deliverics whom they have not of late years rendered they destroy the natural productions of the any tribute. The province may be con- neighbouring islands, and deprive their insidered to embrace the tract of country be- habitants of the gifts which nature has between the Ogan and the sea-coast of the stowed, because those gifts come in comStraits of Banca. Its population is com- petition with their own interest, and, if posed of a mixture of various tribes of Ja- allowed to be enjoyed, would, by increasFanese, Buggis, and others.
ing supply, depreciate the value of their There is a description of wild people in trade. the interior of the Palembang dominions Whatever may be the objections to this who refuse all intercourse, and who are system, it is very evident that the contribucalled Orang Kubu. They are considered tions to the Sultaun and the chiefs are in a very harmless and inoffensive people, and fact payments of rent for the land. These with them a trade is contrived to be carried rights of the Sultaun and the chiefs, founded on in the following manner. Clothes, to- on ancient custom and agreement with the bacco, and other articles of which they have occupants of the land annexed to the vilneed, are placed at certain spots near where lages, ought to be held sacred, as constitutthey are known to live : and the owner of ing their property. the goods, as a signal to them, beats a gong Whether it be good or whether it be when he retires from the place. These bad, the Dutch Government had no right people then come and take away the gooils, whatever to interfere with the property of leaving a very full equivalent in honey, the chiefs, nor with the laws and governwas, and other articles they collect in their ment of the country. To send a messenger wild retreats.
through the country, proclaiming the ipse The Sultaun enjoys, throughout all the dixit of their ambassador to the Palembang provinces of his dominions, the exclusive state, and introducing, or endeavouring to monopoly of the trade in pepper. In pay- introduce, anarchy and distrust, by an-ment of this produce, he delivers to the nouncing to the people that they were no cultivators cloths, at fixed prices, which longer to pay their rents, nor to perform perhaps will allow to the Sultaun a profit any of the ancient duties of their allegiance, of fifty per cent on the original cost to him was a barbarous and malignant outrage of these articles.
upon the feelings and interests of the This is a privilege established by long Sultaun, the chiefs, and even the people custom, and which, coming under the deno- themselves. It has deservedly produced mination of Tiban and Toocan, awakens so an unanimous and determined resistance, much of the sympathy of Mr. Muntinghe. which I trust may be eventually successful. Asiatic Journ.- No. 97.
Had it been the real object of the Nether. play of his tenderness and philanthropy tolands' Government to ameliorate the con- wards the Palembang people. dition of the people, and to animate them No consideration of the rights of indivito the improvement of the advantages they duals, or regard for the independence of enjoyed in a fertile soil, intersected by fine the state, were permitted to interrupt the rivers, they would have employed time, accomplishment of Mr. Muntinghe's inconciliation, and persuasion, to impress the terpretation of relief to suffering humanity; Sultaun and the chiefs with the belief of his messenger is therefore charged to proadvantage to themselves, and benefit to the claim, through a country where he had no people, to be expected from a more perfect authority, or any other title than the susystem of laws and administration. But perior strength of his government, the their interest was too clearly, as I have abolition of this abominable custom as he already stated it, to usurp the country, and calls it. to prevent all opposition to such insidious I do not mean to advocate the morality design, by exciting the people against the or justice of such a custom, but I do assert, chiefs, and the chiefs who supported one that in such cases a worse evil must accrue Sultaun against the chiefs who supported to society, from the principle of employing the other.
violence and fraud in the contemplation of Of the general population of the country beneficial results, than any evil from imunder the authority of the Sultaun of perfection of laws. Palembang I can form no correct estimate. However odious such a custom may apFrom the record of the number of men
pear, we may perhaps find some good registered for feudal services, a rough com- effects to arise from it. In Palembang we putation would suggest the possibility of see no houseless or starving poor, none 75,000 scattered over the provinces, and “pining in want, or in a dungeon's gloom, 25,000 for the town of Palembang, making shut from the common air and common use a total population of 100,000 souls.
of their own limbs." The produce of the interior is brought Of the revenues of the Sultaun of Pato Palembang on large rafts of bamboos, lembang it would be difficult to form a upon which small houses are constructed monied estimate, as they consist of conof the same materials, covered in with tributions in kind from the provinces, port nipah leaves.
Thus completed, these rafts duties, and feudal dues and services, which are called rackets, and the people who have embrace a variety of contingencies. charge of conveyance of the stores have no
On occasion of the marriage of the Sul. further trouble in the navigation of the taun's sons, all the principal inhabitants are river, than to keep the racket in the middle required to erect a flag-staff, and, on the day of the stream.
of ceremony, to hoist a flag. This is a Of positive slavery there is less, perhaps, custom observed on any grand occasion of than in most of the Malayan countries, joy to the royal family. On the occasion or even those which constitute the present of marriage the parties are weighed, when Dutch possessions.
the chiefs are expected to contribute a pro. Individuals who borrow money for the portion of silver money. purpose of relieving themselves and fami- The island of Banca was the most prolies from urgent distress, owe service and fitable source of monied revenue, from fidelity to their creditors until the debt is which, some years ago, the Sultaun may be discharged. They cannot quit their masters computed to have derived 150,000 dollars excepting they find another master willing annually, by the sale of tin, on terms of his to advance the amount of their debt, when
contract with the Dutch East India Comtheir services revert to their new creditor.
pany.—[Cal. Jour. The debt is not only binding on the indi- The foregoing article appears to vidual, but on his wife and children; but
have been written previously to the late they cannot be sold, or made property of
subjugation of the kingdom of PalemThis law has given another oc
bang by the Netherlands Government. casion for Mr. Muntinghe to make a dis.
Review of Books.
Statement of Facts relative to the Re- word of mouth, or writing; and as
moval from India of Mr. Bucking- governments are termed free or despo. ham, late Editor of the Calcutta tic, in proportion as their laws and Journal, with an Appendix, pp. 59. institutions keep near to, or recede xviii. 4to. Calcutta, April 1823. far from, the natural rights of man, so
It is universally admitted to be the may the degree of liberty of speech, object of all human laws to promote and liberty of published thought the peace and welfare of the societies through the press, which exists in in which they are established. To any state, be taken as a pretty just this object they mainly contribute by measure of the political liberty which restraining the natural rights of man, its institutions bestow upon it. It is, taking out of the hand of the individual in fact, the being allowed to exercise the authority which by nature belongs this right at all, that distinguishes a to him, of avenging his own wrongs, free from a despotic Government. and placing it in the hands of those, In the latter, freedom of speech-or, whom the social compact recognizes what is really the same thing—freedom as the rulers of the community.- of the press, cannot exist at all; and There is one prerogative however, even in the more free, pretending to which it is obvious no human laws can the name of civilized, certain restraints reach, and this is, the right of thinking, have always been imposed upon this on all subjects whatever, as a man natural right. The laws of such a pleases. As the exercise of such a free state måy, indeed, be so framed, right can never, by possibility, affect that the requisite restraints shall be the welfare of men in a social state, imposed before the thoughts of the it were both tyrannical and absurd to individual are published to the comattempt restraining it. But, while its munity, in order that nothing, tending exercise cannot possibly trench upon to hurt the interests of the society, the peace and welfare of society, its may be propagated among the mempossession would be quite useless, were bers composing it; or they may be so there no means of embodying our laid down, as to leave to every one thoughts in such a manner, as
the freedom of saying or writing what make them known to our fellow-crea- he pleases, subject to penalties enacttures. Such means there are; and ed, should he say or publish what is we need scarcely say, they are speak- injurious to the public peace and weling and writing for printing,--for the fare. In states where censorships of employment of the press, is but an the press are established, the former extended modification of writing, or of these modes is to be found; the employment of the pen. It is no less latter prevails in England, and other manifest, that as the social body countries generally termed free.could derive no advantage from the It is clear, however, that in neither natural right of thinking, inherent in the one nor the other does freedom every man, without these practical of the press, in its most extended and modes of rendering it audible and natural sense, exist. This freedom visible,- so, on the other hand, as can only be found among savages, and soon as the advantages are sought, in the absence of every thing like gothere is a door opened to an opposite vernment. class of evils, which it is unnecessary Were it possible to find men so dito enumerate. Accordingly all legisla- vested of prejudice and passion, that tors that ever existed, have without their decisions, in determining what is scruple interfered with the right of or is not injurious to society, might publishing one's thoughts, either by be implicitly relied upon, as equitable
and just, it cannot admit of a doubt vernments existing, and which had that a censorship of the press, pre
existed for many centuries, purely vious to publication, would in every despotic. When the sovereignty of the respect be preferable to, and better
country came in process of time into calculated to prevent the evils of im- their own hands, it was neither asproper publication of one's thoughts, serted nor contemplated, that this than the mode of restraining these distinguished feature had been erased. evils by the punishment of delin- The first acts of their power were quents, after an open and impartial exerted, as regardless of scrutiny, investigation into their alleged exist- through a public press in India, as
It were in vain, however, to had been the acts of Acber and look for such an entire absence of Aurengzebe: and it was not until a passion and prejudice as we have very late period in our history, as the supposed; and although judges and Governors of India, that any one was juries are liable to influence, as well found claiming, through an Indian as censors, it cannot be disputed that, press, controul over Indian rulers. as human nature exists, the latter The exercise of this right began to be mode of restraining the liberty of pub- attempted within these fifty years, and lished thought-or liberty of the press
was first claimed by men, both igno-- leaves the natural right of thinking rant of the nature of our Eastern authe most untouched; and therefore thority, and dissatisfied from persothe governments adopting it, come the nal disappointment with its acts. As nearest in their political institutions the claim was necessarily confined to to freedom, as already defined. a very few, it was obvious, that the
Were the principles, which we have evils, which it was no less clear would now laid down, uniformly kept in result from its exercise, would be view, in discussing questions about most effectually met, by a previous the liberty of the press, less consu- censorship on the public press: and sion would prevail upon this impor- such a censorship was imposed by tant subject than we find to be the Lord Wellesley. As the number of case; and many measures of states, Europeans increased in India, and the reprobated as destroying this noble press became more generally resorted right, would be found to be only af- to, as the medium of making known fecting it, as all are obliged to do, in men's thoughts on every variety of degree, not in kind. How far such subject, it was to be expected, that encroachments are demanded — or, complaints against the censorship what sometimes comes to be really would be frequently brought; and the same question how far cir- those, who are acquainted with its cunistances demand of states, to ex- history, between the days of Lord Weltend the right, and to approximate lesley and Lord Hastings, can bear testinearer to a practical recognition of mony to the fact, that such complaints the natural right of thinking posses- were daily carried up to Governsed by every man, must obviously ment, against the mode in which their depend on the circumstances in which secretaries exercised their censorial such states are placed ; and it is by powers. It may well be believed, these circumstances, not by any ab- that these complaints were often very stract principles, and general reason- frivolous and unfounded; and it will ing about what is called “freedom of not be denied, that they sometimes thought, and freedom of discussion,” rested on good and valid grounds. that the policy or impolicy of their We cannot, however, suppose, that acts is to be judged.
it was either the frequency, or the When Englishmen first settled on fairness of these complaints, that led the shores of India, they found go- the Gɔvernment, in 1818, to remove