The churches of Manila can boast of several fine-toned bells, which are placed in large belfries or towers. There was one of these towers near the Messrs. Sturges', where we stayed; and the manner in which the bell was used, when swung around by the force of two or three men, attracted our attention; for the ringers occasionally practised feats of agility by passing over with the bell, and landing on the coping on the opposite side. The tower being open, we could see the manoeuver from the windows, and, as strangers, went there to look on. One day, whilst at dinner, they began to ring, and as many of the officers had not witnessed the fact, they sought the windows. This excited the vanity of those in the belfry, who redoubled their exertions, and performed the feat successfully many times, although in some instances they narrowly escaped accident, by landing just within the outside coping. This brought us all to the window, and the next turn, more force having been given to the bell, the individual who attempted the feat was thrown headlong beyond the tower, and dashed to pieces on the pavement beneath. Although shocked at the accident, I felt still more so when, after a few minutes, the bell was again heard making its usual sound, as if nothing had occurred to interrupt the course of its hourly peals.
[Monasteries.] In company with Dr. Tolben, I visited one of the convents where he attended on some of the monks who were sick; he seemed well acquainted with them all. I was much struck with the extent of the building, which was four stories high, with spacious corridors and galleries, the walls of which were furnished with pictures representing the martyrdom of the Dominican friars in Japan. These were about seventy in number, in the Chinese style of art, and evidently painted by some one of that nation, calling himself an artist. From appearances, however, I should think they were composed by the priests, who have not a little taxed their invention to find out the different modes in which a man can be put to death. Many evidently, if not all, had been invented for the pictures. So perplexed had they apparently been, that in one of the last it was observed that the executioner held his victim at arms' length by the heels, and was about to let him drop headforemost into a well. From the galleries we passed into the library, and thence into many of the rooms, and finally we mounted to the top of the monastery, which affords a beautiful view of the bay, city, and suburbs. There I was presented to three of the friars, who were pleasant and jolly-looking men. Upon the roof was a kind of observatory, or look-out, simply furnished with billiard-tables and shuffleboards, while the implements for various other games lay about on small tables, with telescopes on stands, and comfortable arm-chairs. It was a place where the friars put aside their religious and austere character or appearance, and sought amusement. It was a delightful spot, so far as coolness and the freshness of the sea air were concerned, and its aspect gave me an insight behind the curtain of these establishments that very soon disclosed many things I was ignorant of before. All the friars were of a rotund form, and many of them bore the marks of good living in their full, red, and bloated faces. It seems to be generally understood at Manila, that they live upon the fat of the land. We visited several of the rooms, and were warmly greeted by the padres, one of whom presented me with a meteorological table for the previous year.
The revenues of all these religious establishments are considerable; the one I visited belonged to the Dominicans, and was very rich. Their revenues are principally derived from lands owned by them, and the tithes from the different districts which they have under their charge, to which are added many alms and gifts. On inquiry, I found their general character was by no means thought well of, and they had of late years lost much of the influence that they possessed before the revolution in the mother country.
Among the inhabitants we saw here, was a native boy of the Igorots, or mountain tribe. He is said to be a true Negrito. (Another confusion of facts.—C.)
[Mountaineers.] The Spaniards, as has been stated, have never been able to subdue this tribe, who are said to be still as wild as on their first landing; they are confined almost altogether to the plains within or near the mountains, and from time to time make inroads in great force on the outer settlements, carrying off as much plunder as possible. The burden of this often causes them to be overtaken by the troops. When overtaken, they fight desperately, and were it not for the fire-arms of their adversaries, would give them much trouble. Few are captured on such occasions, and it is exceedingly difficult to take them alive, unless when very young. These mountains furnish them with an iron ore almost pure, in manufacturing which they show much ingenuity. Some of their weapons were presented to the Expedition by Josiah Moore, Esq. These are probably imitations of the early Spanish weapons used against them. From all accounts, the natives are of Malay origin, and allied to those of the other islands of the extensive archipelago of the Eastern Seas; but the population of the towns and cities of the island are so mixed, from the constant intercourse with Chinese, Europeans, and others, that there is no pure blood among them. When at Manila, we obtained a grammar of the Tagalog language, which is said to be now rarely heard, and to have become nearly obsolete. This grammar is believed to be the only one extant, and was procured from a padre, who presented it to the Expedition. (Tagalog is here mistaken for a mountaineer's dialect.—C.)
The Pampangans are considered the finest tribe of natives; they are excessively fond of horse-racing, and bet very considerable sums upon it; they have the reputation of being an industrious and energetic set of men.
[Revenue.] The mode of raising revenue by a poll-tax causes great discontent among all classes, for although light, it is, as it always has been elsewhere, unpopular. All the Chinese pay a capitation tax of four dollars. The revenue from various sources is said to amount to one million six hundred thousand dollars, of which the poll-tax amounts to more than one-half, the rest being derived from the customs, tobacco, etc. There is no tax upon land. It was thought at Manila that a revenue might be derived by indirect taxation, far exceeding this sum, without being sensibly felt by the inhabitants. This mode is employed in the eastern islands under the English and Dutch rule, and it is surprising that the Spaniards also do not adopt it, or some other method to increase resources that are so much needed. Whenever the ministry in Spain had to meet a claim, they were a few years ago in the habit of issuing drafts on this colonial government in payment. These came at last in such numbers, that latterly they have been compelled to suspend the payment of them.
The revenue of the colonial government is very little more than will meet the expenses; and it is believed that, notwithstanding these unaccepted claims, it received orders to remit the surplus, if any, to Spain, regardless of honor or good faith.
[Government.] The government of the Philippines is in the hands of a governor-general, who has the titles of viceroy, commander-in-chief, sub-delegate, judge of the revenue from the post-office, commander of the troops, captain-general, and commander of the naval forces. His duties embrace every thing that relates to the security and defence of the country. As advisers, he has a council called the Audiencia.
The islands are divided into provinces, each of which has a military officer with the title of governor, appointed by the governor-general. They act as chief magistrates, have jurisdiction over all disputes of minor importance, have the command of the troops in time of war, and are collectors of the royal revenues, for the security of which they give bonds, which must be approved of by the comptroller-general of the treasury. The province of Cavite is alone exempt from this rule, and the collection of tribute is there confided to a police magistrate.
Each province is again sub-divided into pueblos, containing a greater or less number of inhabitants, each of which has again its ruler, called a gobernadorcillo, who has in like manner other officers under him to act as police magistrates. The number of the latter are very great, each of them having his appropriate duties. These consist in the supervision of the grain fields, coconut groves, betel-nut plantations, and in the preservation of the general order and peace of the town. So numerous are these petty officers, that there is scarcely a family of any consequence, that has not a member who holds some kind of office under government. This policy, in case of disturbances, at once unites a large and influential body on the side of the government, that is maintained at little expense. The gobernadorcillo exercises the municipal authority, and is especially charged to aid the parish priest in every thing appertaining to religious observances, etc.
In the towns where the descendants of the Chinese are sufficiently numerous, they can, by permission of the governor, elect their own petty governors and officers from among themselves.
In each town there is also a headman (cabeza de barangay), who has the charge of fifty tributaries, in each of which is included as many families. This division is called a barangay. This office forms by far the most important part of the machinery of government in the Philippine Islands, for these headmen are the attorneys of these small districts, and become the electors of the gobernadorcillos, and other civil officers. Only twelve, however, of them or their substitutes, are allowed to vote in each town.
The office of head-man existed before the conquest of the island, and the Spaniards showed their wisdom in continuing and adapting it to their system of police. The office among the natives was hereditary, but their conquerors made it also elective, and when a vacancy now occurs through want of heirs, or resignation, it is filled up by the superintendent of the province, on the recommendation of the gobernadorcillo and the headman. This is also the case when any new office is created. The privileges of the headmen are great; themselves, their wives, and their first-born children, are exempted from paying tribute to the crown, an exoneration which is owing to their being collectors of the royal revenues. Their duties consist in maintaining good order and harmony, in dividing the labor required for the public benefit equally, adjusting differences, and receiving the taxes.
The gobernadorcillo takes cognizance of all civil cases not exceeding two taels of gold, or forty-four dollars in silver; all criminal cases must be sent to the chief of the province. The headmen formerly served for no more than three years, and if this was done faithfully, they became and were designated as principals, in virtue of which rank they received the title of Don.
The election takes place at the court-house of the town; the electors are the gobernadorcillo whose office is about to expire, and twelve of the oldest headmen, cabezas de barangay, collectors of tribute for the gobernadorcillo they must select, by a plurality of votes, three individuals, who must be able to speak, read, and write the Spanish language. The voting is done by ballot, in the presence of the notary (escribano), and the chief of the province, who presides. The curate may be present, to look after the interest of the church but for no other purpose. After the votes are taken, they are sealed and transmitted to the governor-general, who selects one of the three candidates, and issues a commission. In the more distant provinces, the chief of the district has the authority to select the gobernadorcillo, and fill up the commission, a blank form of which, signed by the governor-general, is left with him for that purpose.
The headmen may be elected petty governors, and still retain their office, and collect the tribute or taxes; for it is not considered just, that the important office of chief of Barangay should deprive the holder of the honor of being elected gobernadorcillo.
The greater part of the Chinese reside in the province of Tondo, but the tribute is there collected by the alcalde mayor, with an assistant taken from among the officers of the royal treasury.
The poll-tax on the Chinese amounts to four dollars a head; it was formerly one-half more. Tax-lists of the Chinese are kept, in which they are registered and classified; and opposite the name is the amount at which the individual is assessed.
The Spanish government seems particularly desirous of giving consequence even to its lowest offices; and in order to secure it to them, it is directed that the chiefs of provinces, shall treat the gobernadorcillos with respect, offering them seats when they enter their houses or other places, and not allowing them to remain standing; furthermore, the parish curates are required to treat them with equal respect. So far as concerns the provinces, the government may be called, notwithstanding the officers, courts. etc., monastic. The priests rule, and frequently administer punishment, with their own hands, to either sex, of which an instance will be cited hereafter.
[A country excursion.] As soon as we could procure the necessary passports, which were obligingly furnished by the governor to "Don Russel Sturges y quatro Anglo Americanos," our party left Manila for a short jaunt to the mountains. It was considered as a mark of great favor on the part of his excellency to grant this indulgence, particularly as he had a few months prior denied it to a party of French officers. I was told that he preferred to make it a domestic concern, by issuing the passport in the name of a resident, in order that compliance in this case might not give umbrage to the French. It was generally believed that the cause of the refusal in the former instance was the imprudent manner in which the French officers went about taking plans and sketches, at the corners of streets, etc., which in the minds of an unenlightened and ignorant colonial government, of course excited suspicion. Nothing can be so ridiculous as this system of passports; for if one was so disposed, a plan, and the most minute information of every thing that concerns the defences of places, can always be obtained at little cost now-a-days; for such is the skill of engineers, that a plan is easily made of places, merely by a sight of them. We were not, however, disposed to question the propriety of the governor's conduct in the former case, and I left abundantly obliged to him for a permission that would add to our stock of information.
It was deemed at first impossible for the party to divide, as they had but one passport, and some difficulties were anticipated from the number being double that stated in the passport. The party consisted of Messrs. Sturges, Pickering, Eld, Rich, Dana, and Brackenridge. Mr. Sturges, however, saw no difficulty in dividing the party after they had passed beyond the precincts of the city, taking the precaution, at the same time, not to appear together beyond the number designated on the paper.
On the 14th, they left Manila, and proceeded in carriages to Santa Ana, on the Pasig, in order to avoid the delay that would ensue if they followed the windings of the river in a banca, and against the current.
At Santa Ana they found their bancas waiting for them, and embarked. Here the scene was rendered animated by numerous boats of all descriptions, from the parao to the small canoe of a single log.
There is a large population that live wholly on the water: for the padrones of the parao have usually their families with them, which, from the great variety of ages and sexes, give a very different and much more bustling appearance to the crowd of boats, than would be the case if they only contained those who are employed to navigate them. At times the paraos and bancas, of all sizes, together with the saraboas and pativas (duck establishments), become jumbled together, and create a confusion and noise such as is seldom met with in any other country.
[Duck farms.] The pativas are under the care of the original inhabitants, to whom exclusively the superintendence of the ducklings seems to be committed. The pens are made of bamboo, and are not over a foot high. The birds were all in admirable order, and made no attempt to escape over the low barrier, although so light that it was thought by some of our gentlemen it would not have sufficed to confine American ducks, although their wings might have been cut. The mode of giving them exercise was by causing them to run round in a ring. The good understanding existing between the keepers and their charge was striking, particularly when the former were engaged in cleansing the pens, and assisting the current to carry off the impurities. In the course of their sail, it was estimated that hundreds of thousands of ducks of all ages were seen.
The women who were seen were usually engaged in fishing with a hook and line, and were generally standing in the water, or in canoes. The saraboas were here also in use. The run of the fish is generally concentrated by a chevaux-de-frise to guide them towards the nets and localities where the fishermen place themselves.
At five o'clock they reached the Laguna de Bay, where they took in a new crew, with mast and sail. This is called twenty-five miles from Manila by the river; the distance in a bird's flight is not over twelve. The whole distance is densely peopled, and well cultivated. The crops consist of indigo, rice, etc., with groves of the betel, palm, coconut, and quantities of fruit trees.
The shores of the lake are shelving, and afford good situations for placing fish-weirs, which are here established on an extensive scale. These weirs are formed of slips of bamboo, and are to be seen running in every direction to the distance of two or three miles. They may be said to invest entirely the shores of the lake for several miles from its outlet, and without a pilot it would be difficult to find the way through them. At night, when heron and tern were seen roosting on the top of each slat, these weirs presented rather a curious spectacle.
The Laguna de Bay is said to be about ten leagues in length by three in width, and trends in a north-northwest and south-southeast direction.
After dark, the bancas separated. Mr. Sturges, with Dr. Pickering and Mr. Eld, proceeded to visit the mountain of Maijaijai, while Messrs. Rich, Dana, and Brackenridge, went towards the Taal Volcano. The latter party took the passport, while the former relied upon certain letters of introduction for protection, in case of difficulty.
Mr. Sturges, with his party, directed his course to the east side of the lake, towards a point called Jalajala, which they reached about three o'clock in the morning, and stopped for the crew to cook some rice, etc. At 8 o'clock a.m., they reached Santa Cruz, situated about half a mile up a small streamlet, called Paxanau. At this place they found Don Escudero to whom they had a letter of introduction, and who holds a civil appointment. They were kindly received by this gentleman and his brown lady, with their interesting family. He at once ordered horses for them to proceed to the mission of Maijaijai, and entertained them with a sumptuous breakfast.
They were not prepared to set out before noon, until which time they strolled about the town of Santa Cruz, the inhabitants of which are Tagalogs. There are only two old Spaniards in the place. The province in which Santa Cruz is situated contains about five thousand inhabitants, of whom eighteen hundred pay tribute.
The people have the character of being orderly, and govern themselves without the aid of the military. The principal article of culture is the coconut tree, which is seen in large groves. The trunks of these were notched, as was supposed, for the purpose of climbing them. From the spathe a kind of spirit is manufactured, which is fully as strong as our whiskey.
About noon they left Don Escudero's, and took a road leading to the southward and eastward, through a luxuriant and beautiful country, well cultivated, and ornamented with lofty coconut trees, betel palms, and banana groves. Several beautiful valleys were passed, with streamlets rushing through them.
Maijaijai is situated about one thousand feet above the Laguna de Bay, but the rise is so gradual that it was almost imperceptible. The country has everywhere the appearance of being densely peopled; but no more than one village was passed between Santa Cruz and the mission. They had letters to F. Antonio Romana y Aranda, padre of the mission, who received them kindly, and entertained them most hospitably. [Climbing Banajao.] When he was told of their intention to visit the mountain, he said it was impossible with such weather, pointing to the black clouds that then enveloped its summit; and he endeavoured to persuade the gentlemen to desist from what appeared to him a mad attempt; but finding them resolved to make the trial, he aided in making all the necessary preparations, though he had no belief in their success.
On the morning of the 27th, after mass, Mr. Eld and Dr. Pickering set out, but Mr. Sturges preferred to keep the good padre company until their return. The padre had provided them with guides, horses, twenty natives, and provisions for three days. He had been himself on the same laborious journey, some six months before, and knew its fatigues, although it turned out afterwards that his expedition was performed in fine weather, and that he had been borne on a litter by natives the whole way.
The first part of the road was wet and miry, and discouraging enough. The soil was exceedingly rich, producing tropical plants in great profusion, in the midst of which were seen the neat bamboo cottages, with their industrious and cleanly-looking inhabitants. When they reached the foot of the mountain, they found it was impossible to ride farther, and were obliged to take to walking, which was, however, less of a hardship than riding the little rats of horses, covered with mud and dirt, which were at first deemed useless; but the manner in which they ascended and maintained themselves on the slippery banks, surpassed anything they had before witnessed in horseflesh. The first part of the ascent of the mountain was gradual, but over a miry path, which was extremely slippery; and had it not been for the sticks stuck down by the party of the padre in their former ascent, they would have found it extremely difficult to overcome; to make it more disagreeable, it rained all the time.
It took about two hours to reach the steep ascent. The last portion of their route had been through an uninhabited region, with some openings in the woods, affording pasture-grounds to a few small herds of buffalo. In three hours they reached the half-way house, by a very steep and regular ascent. Here the natives insisted upon stopping to cook their breakfast, as they had not yet partaken of anything through the day. The natives now endeavored to persuade them it was impracticable to go any farther, or at least to reach the top of the mountain and return before night. Our gentlemen lost their patience at the delay, and after an hour's endurance of it, resolved to set out alone. Six of the natives followed them, and by half-past three they reached the summit, where they found it cold and uncomfortable. The ascent had been difficult, and was principally accomplished by catching hold of shrubs and the roots of trees. The summit is comparatively bare, and not more than fifty feet in width. The side opposite to that by which they mounted was perpendicular, but owing to the thick fog they could not see the depth to which the precipice descended.
The observations with the barometers were speedily taken, which gave the height of Banajao as six thousand five hundred feet. The trees on the summit were twenty or thirty feet high, and a species of fir was very common. Gaultheria, attached to the trunks of trees, Rhododendrons, and Polygonums, also abounded. The rocks were so covered with soil that it was difficult to ascertain their character; Dr. Pickering is of opinion, however, that they are not volcanic. The house on the summit afforded them little or no shelter; being a mere shed, open on all sides, they found it untenantable, and determined to return as soon as their observations were finished, to the half-way house, which they reached before dark.
The night was passed uncomfortably, and in the morning they made an early start down the mountain to reach the native village at its foot, where they were refreshed with a cup of chocolate, cakes, and some dulces, according to the custom of the country. At ten o'clock they reached the mission, where they were received by the padre and Mr. Sturges. The former was greatly astonished to hear that they had really been to the summit, and had accomplished in twenty-four hours what he had deemed a labor of three days. He quickly attended to their wants, the first among which was dry clothing; and as their baggage had unfortunately been left at Santa Cruz, the wardrobe of the rotund padre was placed at their disposal. Although the fit was rather uncouth on the spare forms of our gentlemen, yet his clothes served the purpose tolerably well, and were thankfully made use of. During their absence, Mr. Sturges had been much amused with the discipline he had witnessed at the hands of the church, which here seem to be the only visible ruling power. Two young natives had made complaint to the padre that a certain damsel had entered into vows or engagements to marry both; she was accordingly brought up before the padre, Mr. Sturges being present. The padre first lectured her most seriously upon the enormity of her crime, then inflicted several blows on the palm of her outstretched hand, again renewing the lecture, and finally concluding with another whipping. The girl was pretty, and excited the interest of our friend, who looked on with much desire to interfere, and save the damsel from the corporal punishment, rendered more aggravated by the dispassionate and cool manner in which it and the lecture were administered. In the conversation which ensued, the padre said he had more cases of the violation of the marriage vow, and of infidelity, than any other class of crimes.
After a hearty breakfast, or rather dinner, and expressing their thanks to the padre, they rode back to Santa Cruz, where they arrived at an early hour, and at nine o'clock in the evening they embarked in their bancas for Manila.
[Los Banos.] In the morning they found themselves, after a comfortable night, at Los Banos. Here they took chocolate with the padre, to whom Mr. Sturges had a letter, who informed them that the other party had left the place the evening before for Manila.
This party had proceeded to the town of Baia, where they arrived at daylight on the 15th. Baia is quite a pretty place, and well situated; the houses are clean and comfortable, and it possessed a venerable stone church, with towers and bells. On inquiring for the padre, they found that he was absent, and it was in consequence impossible for them to procure horses to proceed to the Volcano of Taal. They therefore concluded to walk to the hot springs at Los Banos, about five miles distant. Along the road they collected a number of curious plants. Rice is much cultivated, and fields of it extend to some distance on each side of the road. Buffaloes were seen feeding and wallowing in the ditches.
At Los Banos the hot springs are numerous, the water issuing from the rock over a considerable surface. The quantity of water discharged by them is large, and the whole is collected and conducted to the bathing-houses. The temperature of the water at the mouth of the culvert was 180 deg..
The old bath-house is a singular-looking place, being built on the hill-side, in the old Spanish style, with large balconies, that are enclosed in the manner already described, in speaking of the houses in Manila. It is beautifully situated, and overlooks the baths and lake. The baths are of stone, and consist of two large rooms, in each of which is a niche, through which the hot water passes. This building is now in ruins, the roof and floors having fallen in.
Los Banos is a small village, but contains a respectable-looking stone church, and two or three houses of the same material. Here the party found a difficulty in getting on, for the alcalde could not speak Spanish, and they were obliged to use an interpreter, in order to communicate with him. Notwithstanding this, he is a magistrate, whose duty it is to administer laws written in that language. Finding they could not succeed even here in procuring guides or horses, they determined to remain and explore Mount Maquiling, the height of which is three thousand four hundred and fifty feet, and in the meantime to send for their bancas.
The next day they set out on their journey to that mountain, and the first part of their path lay over a gentle ascent, through cultivated grounds. Next succeeded an almost perpendicular hill, bare of trees, and overgrown with a tall grass, which it was difficult to pass through.
Such had been the time taken up, that the party found it impossible to reach the summit and return before dark. They therefore began to collect specimens; and after having obtained a full load, they returned late in the afternoon to Los Banos.
The mountain is composed of trachytic rocks and tufa, which are occasionally seen to break through the rich and deep soil, showing themselves here and there, in the deep valleys which former volcanic action has created, and which have destroyed the regular outline of the cone-shaped mountain. The tufa is generally found to form the gently-sloping plains that surround these mountains, and has in all probability been ejected from them. Small craters, of some two hundred feet in height, are scattered over the plains. The tufa is likewise exposed to view on the shores of the lake; but elsewhere, except on a few bare hills, it is entirely covered with the dense and luxuriant foliage. The tufa is generally of a soft character, crumbling in the fingers, and in it are found coarse and fine fragments of scoria, pumice, etc. The layers are from a few inches to five feet in thickness.
In the country around Los Banos, there are several volcanic hills, and on the sides of Mount Maquiling are appearances of parasitic cones, similar to those observed at the Hawaiian Islands; but time and the foliage have so disguised them, that it is difficult to determine exactly their true character.
I regretted exceedingly that the party that set out for the Lake of Taal was not able to reach it, as, from the accounts I had, it must be one of the most interesting portions of the country. It lies nearly south-west from Manila, and occupies an area of about one hundred and twenty square miles. The Volcano of Taal is situated on an island near the center of it, and is now in action. The cone which rises from its center is remarkably regular, and consists for the most part of cinders and scoria. It has been found to be nine hundred feet in elevation above the lake. The crater has a diameter of two miles, and its depth is equal to the elevation; the walls of the crater are nearly perpendicular, so much so that the descent cannot be made without the assistance of ropes. At the bottom there are two small cones. Much steam issues from the many fissures, accompanied by sulphurous acid gas. The waters of the lake are impregnated with sulphur, and there are said to be also large beds of sulphur. In the opinion of those who have visited this spot, the whole lake once formed an immense crater; and this does not appear very improbable, if we are to credit the accounts we received of the many craters on this island that are now filled with water; for instance, in the neighborhood of San Pablo there are said to be eight or nine.
[The hot springs.] The hot springs of Los Banos are numerous, and in their vicinity large quantities of steam are seen to issue from the shore of the lake. There are about a dozen which give out a copious supply of water. The principal one has been enclosed, and made to flow through a stone aqueduct, which discharges a considerable stream. The temperature of the water as it leaves the aqueduct is 178 deg.. The villagers use it for cooking and washing; the signs of the former employment are evident enough from the quantities of feathers from the poultry that have been scalded and plucked preparatory to cooking. The baths are formed by a small circular building six feet in diameter, erected over the point of discharge for the purpose of securing a steam-bath; the temperature of these is 160 deg. and 140 deg.. A change of temperature is said to have occurred in the latter.
The rocks in the vicinity are all tufa, and some of the springs break out close to the cold water of the lake. Near the aqueduct, a stone wall surrounds one of the principal outlets. Two-thirds of the area thus enclosed is occupied by a pond of warm water, and the other third is divided into two stone reservoirs, built for baths. These baths had at one time a high reputation, and were a very fashionable resort for the society of Manila; but their celebrity gradually diminished, and the whole premises have gone out of repair, and are fast falling to ruin.
The water of the springs has no perceptible taste, and only a very faint smell of sulphur is perceived. No gas escapes from it, but a white incrustation covers the stones over which the water flows.
Some of these waters were obtained, and since our return were put into the hands of Dr. C. T. Jackson, of Boston, who gives the following analysis:
Specific gravity, 1.0043; thermometer 60 deg.; barometer 30.05 in.
A quantity of the water, equal in bulk to three thousand grains of distilled water, on evaporation gave—
Dry salts, 5.95 grains.
A quantity of the water, equal in bulk to one thousand grains of distilled water, was operated on for each of the following ingredients:
Chlorine 0.66 Carbonic acid 0.16 Sulphuric acid 0.03 Soda and sodium 0.97 Magnesia 0.09 Lime 0.07 Potash traces Organic matter ,, Manganese ,, —— 1.98
[Mount Maquiling.] On Mount Maquiling, wild buffaloes, hogs, a small species of deer, and monkeys are found. Birds are also very numerous, and among them is the horn-bill; the noise made by this bird resembles a loud barking; report speaks of them as an excellent bird for the table. Our gentlemen reached their lodging-place as the night closed in, and the next day again embarked for Manila, regretting that time would not permit them to make another visit to so interesting a field of research. They found the lake so rough that they were compelled to return, and remain until eight o'clock. This, however, gave our botanists another opportunity of making collections, among which were beautiful specimens of Volkameria splendens, with elegant scarlet flowers, and a Brugmansia, which expanded its beautiful silvery flowers after sunset. On the shores a number of birds were feeding, including pelicans, with their huge bills, the diver, with its long arched neck, herons, gulls, eagles, and snow-white cranes, with ducks and other small aquatic flocks. Towards night these were joined by large bats, that were seen winging their way towards the plantations of fruit. These, with quantities of insects, gave a vivid idea of the wonderful myriads of animated things that are constantly brought into being in these tropical and luxuriant climates.
Sailing all night in a rough sea, they were much incommoded by the water, which was shipped into the banca and kept them constantly baling out: they reached the Pasig river at daylight, and again passed the duck establishments, and the numerous boats and bancas on their way to the markets of Manila.
Both the parties reached the consul's the same day, highly pleased with their respective jaunts. To the kindness of Messrs. Sturges and Moore, we are mainly indebted for the advantages and pleasures derived from the excursions.
The instruments were now embarked, and preparations made for going to sea. Our stay at Manila had added much to our collections; we obtained many new specimens, and the officers and naturalists had been constantly and profitably occupied in their various duties.
We went on board on January 20, and were accompanied to the vessel by Messrs. Sturges and Moore, with several other residents of Manila.
We had, through the kindness of Captain Salomon, procured a native pilot for the Sulu Sea, who was to act as interpreter.
On the morning of the 21st, we took leave of our friends, and got under way. The same day, and before we had cleared the bay, we spoke the American ship Angier, which had performed the voyage from the United States in one hundred and twenty-four days, and furnished us with late and interesting news. We then, with a strong northerly wind, made all sail to the south for the Straits of Mindoro.
Sulu in 1842
On the evening of January 21, the Vincennes, with the tender in company, left Manila bay. I then sent for Mr. Knox, who commanded the latter, and gave him directions to keep closely in company with the Vincennes, and at the same time pointed out to him places of rendezvous where the vessels might again meet in case any unavoidable circumstance caused their separation. I was more particular in giving him instructions to avoid losing sight of the Vincennes, as I was aware that my proposed surveys might be impeded or frustrated altogether, were I deprived of the assistance of the vessel under his command.
[Mindoro.] On the 22nd, we passed the entrance of the Straits of San Bernardino. It would have been my most direct route to follow these straits until I had passed Mindoro, and it is I am satisfied the safest course, unless the winds are fair, for the direct passage. My object, however, was to examine the ground for the benefit of others, and the Apo Shoal, which lies about mid-channel between Palawan and Mindoro, claimed my first attention. The tender was despatched to survey it, while I proceeded in the Vincennes to examine the more immediate entrance to the Sulu Sea, off the southwest end of Mindoro.
Calavite Peak is the north point of Mindoro, and our observations made it two thousand feet high. This peak is of the shape of a dome, and appears remarkably regular when seen from its western side. On approaching Mindoro, we, as is usual, under high islands, lost the steady breeze, and the wind became light for the rest of the day. Mindoro is a beautiful island, and is evidently volcanic; it appears as if thrown up in confused masses; it is not much settled, as the more southern islands are preferred to it as a residence.
On the 23rd, we ascertained the elevation of the highest peak of the island by triangulation to be three thousand one hundred and twenty-six fet. The easternmost island of the Palawan group, Busuanga, was at the time just in sight from the deck, to the southwest.
It had been my intention to anchor at Ambolou Island; but the wind died away before we reached it, and I determined to stand off and on all night.
On the 24th, I began to experience the truth of what Captain Halcon had asserted, namely, that the existing charts were entirely worthless, and I also found that my native pilot was of no more value than they were, he had evidently passed the place before; but whether the size of the vessel, so much greater than any he had sailed in, confused him, or whether it was from his inability to understand and to make himself understood by us, he was of no use whatever, and we had the misfortune of running into shoal water, barely escaping the bottom. These dangers were usually quickly passed, and we soon found ourselves again floating in thirty or forty fathoms water.
We continued beating to windward, in hopes of being joined by the Flying-fish, and I resolved to finish the survey towards the island of Semarara. We found every thing in a different position from that assigned it by any of the charts with which we were furnished. On this subject, however, I shall not dwell, but refer those who desire particular information to the charts and Hydrographical Memoir.
Towards evening, I again ran down to the southwest point of the island of Mindoro, and sent a letter on shore to the pueblo, with directions to have it put on board the tender, when she should arrive. We then began to beat round Semarara, in order to pass over towards Panay.
The southern part of Mindoro is much higher than the northern but appears to be equally rough. It is, however, susceptible of cultivation, and there are many villages along its shores.
Semarara is moderately high, and about fifteen miles in circumference; it is inhabited, and like Mindoro much wooded. According to the native pilot, its shores are free from shoals. It was not until the next day that we succeeded in reaching Panay. I determined to pass the night off Point Potol, the north end of Panay, as I believed the sea in its neighborhood to be free of shoals, and wished to resume our running survey early in the morning.
[Panay.] At daylight on the 27th we continued the survey down the coast of Panay, and succeeded in correcting many errors in the existing charts (both English and Spanish). The channel along this side is from twelve to twenty miles wide, and suitable for beating in; little current is believed to exist; and the tides, as far as our observations went, seem to be regular and of little strength.
The island of Panay is high and broken, particularly on the south end; its shores are thickly settled and well cultivated. Indigo and sugar-cane claim much of the attention of the inhabitants. The natives are the principal cultivators. They pay to government a capitation tax of seven reals. Its population is estimated at three hundred thousand, which I think is rather short of the actual number.
On all the hills there are telegraphs of rude construction, to give information of the approach of piratical prahus from Sulu, which formerly were in the habit of making attacks upon the defenceless inhabitants and carrying them off into slavery. Of late years they have ceased these depredations, for the Spaniards have resorted to a new mode of warfare. Instead of pursuing and punishing the offenders, they now intercept all their supplies, both of necessaries and luxuries; and the fear of this has had the effect to deter pirates from their usual attacks.
We remained off San Pedro for the night, in hopes of falling in with the Flying-fish in the morning.
On the morning of the 28th, the Flying-fish was discovered plainly in sight. I immediately stood for her, fired a gun and made signal. At seven o'clock, another gun was fired, but the vessel still stood off, and was seen to make sail to the westward without paying any regard whatever to either, and being favored by a breeze while the Vincennes was becalmed, she stole off and was soon out of sight. 
After breakfast we opened the bay of Antique, on which is situated the town of San Jose. As this bay apparently offered anchorage for vessels bound up this coast, I determined to survey it; and for this purpose the boats were hoisted out and prepared for surveying. Lieutenant Budd was despatched to visit the pueblo called San Jose.
On reaching the bay, the boats were sent to different points of it, and when they were in station, the ship fired guns to furnish bases by the sound, and angles were simultaneously measured. The boats made soundings on their return to the ship, and thus completed this duty, so that in an hour or two afterwards the bay was correctly represented on paper. It offers no more than a temporary anchorage for vessels, and unless the shore is closely approached, the water is almost too deep for the purpose.
[San Jose.] At San Jose a Spanish governor resides, who presides over the two pueblos of San Pedro and San Jose, and does the duty also of alcalde. Lieutenant Budd did not see him, as he was absent, but his lady did the honors. Lieutenant Budd represented the pueblo as cleanly and orderly. About fifteen soldiers were seen, who compose the governor's guard, and more were said to be stationed at San Pedro. A small fort of eight guns commands the roadstead. The beach was found to be of fine volcanic sand, composed chiefly of oxide of iron, and comminuted shells; there is here also a narrow shore reef of coral. The plain bordering the sea is covered with a dense growth of coconut trees. In the fine season the bay is secure, but we were informed that in westerly and southwesterly gales heavy seas set in, and vessels are not able to lie at anchor. Several small vessels were lying in a small river about one and a half miles to the southward of the point on which the fort is situated. The entrance to this river is very narrow and tortuous.
Panay is one of the largest islands of the group. We had an opportunity of measuring the height of some of its western peaks or highlands, none of which exceed three thousand feet. The interior and eastern side have many lofty summits, which are said to reach an altitude of seven thousand five hundred feet; but these, as we passed, were enveloped in clouds, or shut out from view by the nearer highlands. The general features of the island are like those of Luzon and Mindoro. The few specimens we obtained of its rocks consisted of the different varieties of talcose formation, with quartz and jasper. The specimens were of no great value, as they were much worn by lying on the beach.
The higher land was bare of trees, and had it not been for the numerous fertile valleys lying between the sharp and rugged spurs, it would have had a sterile appearance.
The bay of Antique is in latitude 10 deg. 40' N., longitude 121 deg. 59' 30'' E.
It was my intention to remain for two or three days at a convenient anchorage to enable us to make short excursions into the interior; but the vexatious mismanagement of the tender now made it incumbent that I should make every possible use of the time to complete the operations connected with the hydrography of this sea; for I perceived that the duties which I intended should be performed by her, would now devolve upon the boats, and necessarily expose both officers and men to the hazard of contracting disease. I regretted giving up this design, not only on my own account and that of the Expedition, but because of the gratification it would have afforded personally to the naturalists.
The town of San Jose has about thirty bamboo houses, some of which are filled in with clay or mortar, and plastered over, both inside and out. Few of them are more than a single story in height. That of the governor is of the same material, and overtops the rest; it is whitewashed, and has a neat and cleanly appearance. In the vicinity of the town are several beautiful valleys, which run into the mountains from the plain that borders the bay. The landing is on a bamboo bridge, which has been erected over an extensive mud-flat, that is exposed at low water, and prevents any nearer approach of boats. This bridge is about seven hundred feet in length; and a novel plan has been adopted to preserve it from being carried away. The stems of bamboo not being sufficiently large and heavy to maintain the superstructure in the soft mud, a scaffold is constructed just under the top, which is loaded with blocks of large stone, and the outer piles are secured to anchors or rocks, with grass rope. The roadway or top is ten feet wide, covered with split bamboo, woven together, and has rails on each side, to assist the passenger. This is absolutely necessary for safety; and even with this aid, one unaccustomed to it must be possessed of no little bodily strength to pass over this smooth, slippery, and springy bridge, without accident.
Two pirogues were at anchor in the bay, and on the shore was the frame of a vessel which had evidently been a long while on the stocks, for the weeds and bushes near the keel were six or eight feet high, and a portion of the timbers were decayed. Carts and sleds drawn by buffaloes were in use, and everything gave it the appearance of a thriving village. Although I have mentioned the presence of soldiers, it was observed on landing that no guard was stationed about or even at the fort; but shortly afterwards a soldier was seen hurrying towards the latter, in the act of dressing himself in his regimentals, and another running by his side, with his cartridge-box and musket. In a little while one was passing up and down on his post, as though he was as permanent there as the fort itself.
After completing these duties, the light airs detained us the remainder of the day under Panay, in sight of the bay. On the 29th, at noon, we had been wafted by it far enough in the offing to obtain the easterly breeze, which soon became strong, with an overcast sky, and carried us rapidly on our course; my time would not permit my heaving-to. We kept on our course for Mindanao during the whole night, and were constantly engaged in sounding, with our patent lead, with from thirty to forty fathoms cast, to prevent our passing over this part of the sea entirely unexamined.
[Mindanao.] At daylight on the 31st, we had the island of Mindanao before us, but did not reach its western cape until 5 p.m. This island is high and broken, like those to the north of it, but, unlike them, its mountains are covered with forests to their very tops, and there were no distinct cones of minor dimensions, as we had observed on the others. If they do exist, they were hidden by the dense forest.
I had determined to anchor at Caldera, a small port on the south-west side of Mindanao, about ten miles distant from Zamboanga, where the governor resides. The latter is a considerable place, but the anchorage in its roadstead is said to be bad, and the currents that run through the Straits of Basilan are represented to be strong. Caldera, on the other hand, has a good, though small anchorage, which is free from the currents of the straits. It is therefore an excellent stopping-place, in case of the tide proving unfavorable. On one of its points stands a small fort, which, on our arrival, hoisted Spanish colors.
At six o'clock we came to anchor at Caldera, in seven fathoms water. There were few indications of inhabitants, except at and near the fort. An officer was despatched to the fort, to report the ship. It was found to be occupied by a few soldiers under the command of a lieutenant.
[Caldera fort.] The fort is about seventy feet square, and is built of large blocks of red coral, which evidently have not been taken from the vicinity of the place, as was stated by the officers of the fort; for although our parties wandered along the alluvial beach for two or three miles in each direction, no signs of coral were observed. Many fragments of red, gray, and purple basalt and porphyry were met with along the beach; talcose rock and slate, syenite, hornblend, quartz, both compact and slaty, with chalcedony, were found in pieces and large pebbles. Those who were engaged in dredging reported the bottom as being of coral, in from four to six or eight fathoms; but this was of a different kind from that of which the fort was constructed.
The fort was built in the year 1784, principally for protection against the Sulu pirates, who were in the habit of visiting the settlements, and carrying off the inhabitants as slaves, to obtain ransom for them. This, and others of the same description, were therefore constructed as places of refuge for the inhabitants, as well as to afford protection to vessels.
Depredations are still committed, which render it necessary to keep up a small force. One or two huts which were seen in the neighborhood of the bay, are built on posts twenty feet from the ground, and into them they ascend by ladders, which are hauled up after the occupants have entered.
These, it is said, are the sleeping-huts, and are so built for the purpose of preventing surprise at night. Before our arrival we had heard that the villages were all so constructed, but a visit to one soon showed that this was untrue. The natives seen at the village were thought to be of a decidedly lighter color and a somewhat different expression from the Malays. They were found to be very civil, and more polished in manners than our gentlemen expected. On asking for a drink of water, it was brought in a glass tumbler on a china plate. An old woman, to whom they had presented some trifles, took the trouble to meet them in another path on their return, and insisted on their accepting a basket of potatoes. Some of the houses contained several families, and many of them had no other means of entrance than a notched post stuck up to the door.
The forests of Mindanao contain a great variety of trees, some of which are of large size, rising to the height of one hundred and and one hundred and fifty feet. Some of their trunks are shaped like buttresses, similar to those before spoken of at Manila, from which they obtain broad slabs for the tops of tables. The trunks were observed to shoot up remarkably straight. Our botanical gentlemen, though pleased with the excursion, were disappointed at not being able to procure specimens from the lofty trees; and the day was less productive in this respect than they had anticipated. Large woody vines were common, which enveloped the trunks of trees in their folds, and ascending to their tops, prevented the collection of the most desirable specimens.
The paths leading to the interior were narrow and much obstructed; one fine stream was crossed. Many buffaloes were observed wallowing in the mire, and the woods swarmed with monkeys and numbers of birds, among them the horn-bills; these kept up a continued chatter, and made a variety of loud noises. The forests here are entirely different from any we had seen elsewhere; and the stories of their being the abode of large boas and poisonous snakes, make the effect still greater on those who visit them for the first time. Our parties, however, saw nothing of these reptiles, nor anything to warrant a belief that such exist. Yet the officer at the fort related to me many snake stories that seemed to have some foundation; and by inquiries made elsewhere, I learned that they were at least warranted by some facts, though probably not to the extent that he represented.
Traces of deer and wild hogs were seen, and many birds were obtained, as well as land and sea shells. Among the latter was the Malleus vulgaris, which is used as food by the natives. The soil on this part of the island is a stiff clay, and the plants it produces are mostly woody; those of an herbaceous character were scarce, and only a few orchideous epiphytes and ferns were seen. Around the dwellings in the villages were a variety of vegetables and fruits, consisting of sugar-cane, sweet-potato, gourds, pumpkins, peppers, rice, water and musk melons, all fine and of large size.
The officer at the fort was a lieutenant of infantry; one of that rank is stationed here for a month, after which he, with the garrison, consisting of three soldiers, are relieved, from Zamboanga, where the Spaniards have three companies.
[Zamboanga.] Zamboanga is a convict settlement, to which the native rogues, principally thieves, are sent. The Spanish criminals, as I have before stated in speaking of Manila, are sent to Spain.
The inhabitants of the island of Mindanao, who are under the subjection of Spain, are about ten thousand in number, of whom five or six thousand are at or in the neighborhood of Zamboanga. The original inhabitants, who dwell in the mountains and on the east coast, are said to be quite black, and are represented to be a very cruel and bad set; they have hitherto bid defiance to all attempts to subjugate them. When the Spaniards make excursions into the interior, which is seldom, they always go in large parties on account of the wild beasts, serpents, and hostile natives; nevertheless, the latter frequently attack and drive them back.
The little fort is considered as a sufficient protection for the fishermen and small vessels against the pirates, who inhabit the island of Basilan, which is in sight from Mindanao, and forms the southern side of the straits of the same name. It is said that about seven hundred inhabit it. The name of Moro is given by the Spaniards to all those who profess the Mohammedan religion, and by such all the islands to the west of Mindanao, and known under the name of the Sulu archipelago, are inhabited.
The day we spent at Caldera was employed in surveying the bay, and in obtaining observations for its geographical position, and for magnetism. The flood tide sets to the northward and westward, through the straits, and the ebb to the eastward. In the bay we found it to run two miles an hour by the log, but it must be much more rapid in the straits.
At daylight on February 1st, we got under way to stand over for the Sangboys, a small island with two sharp hills on it. One and a half miles from the bay we passed over a bank, the least water on which was ten fathoms on a sandy bottom, and on which a vessel might anchor. The wind shortly after failed us, and we drifted with the tide for some hours, in full view of the island of Mindanao, which is bold and picturesque. We had thus a good opportunity of measuring some of its mountain ranges, which we made about three thousand feet high.
In the afternoon, a light breeze came from the southwest, and before sunset I found that we were again on soundings. As soon as we had a cast of twenty fathoms, I anchored for the night, judging it much better than to be drifting about without any knowledge of the locality and currents to which we were subjected.
On the morning of the 2nd, we got under way to proceed to the westward. As the bottom was unequal, I determined to pass through the broadest channel, although it had the appearance of being the shoalest, and sent two boats ahead to sound. In this way we passed through, continuing our surveying operations, and at the same time made an attempt to dredge; but the ground was too uneven for the latter purpose, and little of value was obtained.
[Sulu.] Shortly after passing the Sangboys, we had the island of Sulu in sight, for which I now steered direct. At sunset we found ourselves within five or six miles of Soung Harbor; but there was not sufficient light to risk the dangers that might be in our course, nor wind enough to command the ship; and having no bottom where we were, I determined again to run out to sea, and anchor on the first bank I should meet. At half-past eight o'clock, we struck sounding in twenty-six fathoms, and anchored.
At daylight we determined our position by angles, and found it to correspond with part of the route we had passed over the day before, and that we were about fifteen miles from the large island of Sulu. Weighing anchor, we were shortly wafted by the westerly tide and a light air towards that beautiful island, which lay in the midst of its little archipelago; and as we were brought nearer and nearer, we came to the conclusion that in our many wanderings we had seen nothing to be compared to this enchanting spot. It appeared to be well cultivated, with gentle slopes rising here and there into eminences from one to two thousand feet high. One or two of these might be dignified with the name of mountains, and were sufficiently high to arrest the passing clouds; on the afternoon of our arrival we had a singular example in the dissipation of a thunderstorm.
Although much of the island was under cultivation, yet it had all the freshness of a forest region. The many smokes on the hills, buildings of large size, cottages, and cultivated spots, together with the moving crowds on the land, the prahus, canoes, and fishing-boats on the water gave the whole a civilized appearance. Our own vessel lay, almost without a ripple at her side, on the glassy surface of the sea, carried onwards to our destined anchorage by the flowing tide, and scarce a sound was heard except the splashing of the lead as it sought the bottom. The effect of this was destroyed in part by the knowledge that this beautiful archipelago was the abode of a cruel and barbarous race of pirates. Towards sunset we had nearly reached the bay of Soung, when we were met by the opposing tide, which frustrated all our endeavors to reach it, and I was compelled to anchor, lest we should again be swept to sea.
As soon as the night set in, fishermen's lights were seen moving along the beach in all directions, and gliding about in canoes, while the sea was filled with myriads of phosphorescent animalcula. After watching this scene for two or three hours in the calm and still night, a storm that had been gathering reached us; but it lasted only for a short time, and cleared off after a shower, which gave the air a freshness that was delightful after the sultry heat we had experienced during the day.
The canoes of this archipelago were found to be different from any that we had heretofore seen, not only in shape, but in making use of a double outrigger, which consequently must give them additional security. The paddle also is of a different shape, and has a blade at each end, which are used alternately, thus enabling a single person to manage them with ease. These canoes are made of a single log, though some are built upon. They seldom carry more than two persons. The figure on the opposite page will give a correct idea of one of them.
We saw the fishermen engaged in trolling and using the line; but the manner of taking fish which has been heretofore described is chiefly practised. In fishing, as well as in all their other employments, the kris and spear were invariably by their side.
[Sulu harbor.] The next morning at eight o'clock we got under way, and were towed by our boats into the bay of Soung, where we anchored off the town in nine fathoms water. While in the act of doing so, and after our intentions had become too evident to admit of a doubt, the Sultan graciously sent off a message giving us permission to enter his port.
Lieutenant Budd was immediately despatched with the interpreter to call upon the Datu Mulu or governor, and to learn at what hour we could see the Sultan. When the officer reached the town, all were found asleep; and after remaining four hours waiting, the only answer he could get out of the Datu Mulu was, that he supposed that the Sultan would be awake at three o'clock, when he thought I could see him.
During this time the boats had been prepared for surveying; and after landing the naturalists, they began the work.
At the appointed time, Captain Hudson and myself went on shore to wait upon the Sultan. On our approach to the town, we found that a great proportion of it was built over the water on piles, and only connected with the shore by narrow bridges of bamboo. The style of building in Sulu does not differ materially from that of the Malays. The houses are rather larger, and they surpass the others in filth.
[Pirate craft.] We passed for some distance between the bridges to the landing, and on our way saw several piratical prahus apparently laid up. Twenty of these were counted, of about thirty tons burden, evidently built for sea-vessels, and capable of mounting one or two long guns. We landed at a small streamlet, and walked a short distance to the Datu's house, which is of large dimensions and rudely built on piles, which raise it about six feet above the ground, and into which we were invited. The house of the Datu contains one room, part of which is screened off to form the apartment of his wife. Nearly in the center is a raised dais, eight or ten feet square, under which are stowed all his valuables, packed in chests and Chinese trunks. Upon this dais are placed mats for sleeping, with cushions, pillows, etc.; and over it is a sort of canopy, hung around with fine chintz or muslin.
The dais was occupied by the Datu, who is, next to the Sultan, the greatest man of this island. He at once came from it to receive us, and had chairs provided for us near his sanctum. After we were seated, he again retired to his lounge. The Datu is small in person, and emaciated in form, but has a quick eye and an intelligent countenance. He lives, as he told me, with all his goods around him, and they formed a collection such as I could scarcely imagine it possible to bring together in such a place. The interior put me in mind of a barn inhabited by a company of strolling players. On one side were hung up a collection of various kinds of gay dresses, here drums and gongs, there swords, lanterns, spears, muskets, and small cannon; on another side were shields, buckler, masks, saws, and wheels, with belts, bands, and long robes. The whole was a strange mixture of tragedy and farce; and the group of natives were not far removed in appearance from the supernumeraries that a Turkish tragedy might have brought together in the green-room of a theatre. A set of more cowardly-looking miscreants I never saw. They appeared ready either to trade with us, pick our pockets, or cut our throats, as an opportunity might offer.
The wife's apartment was not remarkable for its comforts, although the Datu spoke of it with much consideration, and evidently held his better half in high estimation. He was also proud of his six children, the youngest of whom he brought out in its nurse's arms, and exhibited with much pride and satisfaction. He particularly drew my attention to its little highly-wrought and splendidly-mounted kris, which was stuck through its girdle, as an emblem of his rank. He was in reality a fine-looking child. The kitchen was behind the house, and occupied but a small space, for they have little in the way of food that requires much preparation. The house of the Datu might justly be termed nasty.
We now learned the reason why the Sultan could not be seen; it was Friday, the Mahomedan Sabbath, and he had been at the mosque from an early hour. Lieutenant Budd had been detained, because it was not known when he would finish his prayers; and the ceremonies of the day were more important than usual, on account of its peculiar sanctity in their calendar.
[Visiting the Sultan.] Word had been sent off to the ship that the Sultan was ready to receive me, but the messenger passed us while on our way to shore. After we had been seated for a while, the Datu asked if we were ready to accompany him to see the Sultan; but intimated that no one but Captain Hudson and myself could be permitted to lay eyes on him. Being informed that we were, he at once, and in our presence, slipped on his silken trousers, and a new jacket, covered with bell-buttons; put on his slippers, strapped himself round with a long silken net sash, into which he stuck his kris, and, with umbrella in hand, said he was ready. He now led the way out of his house, leaving the motley group behind, and we took the path to the interior of the town, towards the Sultan's. The Datu and I walked hand in hand, on a roadway about ten feet wide, with a small stream running on each side. Captain Hudson and the interpreter came next, and a guard of six trusty slaves brought up the rear.
When we reached the outskirts of the town, about half a mile from the Datu's, we came to the Sultan's residence, where he was prepared to receive us in state. His house is constructed in the same manner as that of the Datu, but is of larger dimensions, and the piles are rather higher. Instead of steps, we found a ladder, rudely constructed of bamboo, and very crazy. This was so steep that it was necessary to use the hands in mounting it. I understood that the ladder was always removed in the night, for the sake of security. We entered at once into the presence-chamber, where the whole divan, if such it may be called, sat in arm-chairs, occupying the half of a large round table, covered with a white cotton cloth. On the opposite side of the table, seats were placed for us. On our approach, the Sultan and all his council rose, and motioned us to our seats. When we had taken them, the part of the room behind us was literally crammed with well-armed men. A few minutes were passed in silence, during which time we had an opportunity of looking at each other, and around the hall in which we were seated. The latter was of very common workmanship, and exhibited no signs of oriental magnificence. Overhead hung a printed cotton cloth, forming a kind of tester, which covered about half of the apartment. In other places the roof and rafters were visible. A part of the house was roughly partitioned off, to the height of nine or ten feet, enclosing, as I was afterwards told, the Sultan's sleeping apartment, and that appropriated to his wife and her attendants.
The Sultan is of middle height, spare and thin; he was dressed in a white cotton shirt, loose trousers of the same material, and slippers; he had no stockings; the bottom of his trousers was worked in scollops with blue silk, and this was the only ornament I saw about him. On his head he wore a small colored cotton handkerchief, wound into a turban, that just covered the top of his head. His eyes were bloodshot, and had an uneasy wild look, showing that he was under the effects of opium, of which they all smoke large quantities. His teeth were as black as ebony, which, with his bright cherry-colored lips,  contrasted with his swarthy skin, gave him anything but a pleasant look.
On the left hand of the Sultan sat his two sons, while his right was occupied by his councillors; just behind him, sat the carrier of his betel-nut casket. The casket was of filigree silver, about the size of a small tea-caddy, of oblong shape, and rounded at the top. It had three divisions, one for the leaf, another for the nut, and a third for the lime. Next to this official was the pipe-bearer, who did not appear to be held in such estimation as the former.
[Treaty with United States.] I opened the conversation by desiring that the Datu would explain the nature of our visit, and tell the Sultan that I had come to make the treaty which he had some time before desired to form with the United States. 
The Sultan replied that such was still his desire; upon which I told him I would draw one up for him that same day. While I was explaining to him the terms, a brass candlestick was brought in with a lighted tallow candle, of a very dark color, and rude shape, that showed but little art in the manufacture. This was placed in the center of the table, with a plate of Manila cigars. None of them, however, were offered to us, nor any kind of refreshment.
Our visit lasted nearly an hour. When we arose to take our leave, the Sultan and his divan did the same, and we made our exit with low bows on each side.
I looked upon it as a matter of daily occurrence for all those who came to the island to visit the Sultan; but the Datu Mulu took great pains to make me believe that a great favor had been granted in allowing us a sight of his ruler. On the other hand, I dwelt upon the condescension it was on my part to visit him, and I refused to admit that I was under any gratitude or obligation for the sight of His Majesty the Sultan Mohammed Damaliel Kisand, but said that he might feel grateful to me if he signed the treaty I would prepare for him.
On our return from the Sultan's to the Datu Mulu's house, we found even a greater crowd than before. The Datu, however, contrived to get us seats. The attraction which drew it together was to look at Mr. Agate, who was taking a sketch of Mohammed Polalu, the Sultan's son, and next heir to the throne. I had hoped to procure one of the Sultan, but this was declared to be impossible.
The son, however, has all the characteristics of the Sulu, and the likeness was thought an excellent one. Mohammed Polalu is about twenty-three years of age, of a tall slender figure, with a long face, heavy and dull eyes, as though he was constantly under the influence of opium. So much, indeed, was he addicted to the use of this drug, even according to the Datu Mulu's accounts, that his strength and constitution were very much impaired. As he is kept particularly under the guardianship of the Datu, the latter has a strong interest in preserving this influence over him, and seems on this account to afford him every opportunity of indulging in this deplorable habit.
During our visit, the effects of a pipe of this drug were seen upon him; for but a short time after he had reclined himself on the Datu's couch and cushion, and taken a few whiffs, he was entirely overcome, stupid, and listless. I had never seen any one so young, bearing such evident marks of the effects of this deleterious drug. When but partially recovered from its effects he called for his betelnut, to revive him by its exciting effects. This was carefully chewed by his attendant to a proper consistency, moulded in a ball about the size of a walnut, and then slipped into the mouth of the heir apparent.
[Interior travel prohibited.] One of the requests I had made of the Sultan was, that the officers might have guides to pass over the island. This was at once said to be too dangerous to be attempted, as the datus of the interior and southern towns would in all probability attack the parties. I understood what this meant, and replied that I was quite willing to take the responsibility, and that the party should be well armed. To this the Sultan replied that he would not risk his own men. This I saw was a mere evasion, but it was difficult and would be dangerous for our gentlemen to proceed alone, and I therefore said no more. On our return to the Datu's, I gave them permission to get as far from the beach as they could, but I was afterwards informed by them that in endeavoring to penetrate into the woods, they were always stopped by armed men. This was also the case when they approached particular parts of the town, but they were not molested as long as their rambles were confined to the beach. At the Datu's we were treated to chocolate and negus in gilt-edged tumblers, with small stale cakes, which had been brought from Manila.
After we had sat some time I was informed that Mr. Dana missed his bowie-knife pistol, which he had for a moment laid down on a chest. I at once came to the conclusion that it had been stolen, and as the theft had occurred in the Datu's house, I determined to hold him responsible for it, and gave him at once to understand that I should do so, informing him that the pistol must be returned before the next morning, or he must take the consequences. This threw him into some consternation, and by my manner he felt that I was serious.
Captain Hudson and myself, previous to our return on board, visited the principal parts of the town. The Chinese quarter is separated by a body of water, and has a gateway that leads to a bridge. The bridge is covered by a roof, and on each side of it are small shops, which are open in front, and thus expose the goods they contain. In the rear of the shops were the dwellings of the dealers. This sort of bazaar contained but a very scanty assortment, and the goods were of inferior quality.
We visited some blacksmith-shops, where they were manufacturing krises and spears. These shops were open sheds; the fire was made upon the ground, and two wooden cylinders, whose valves were in the bottom, served for bellows; when used, they had movable pistons, which were worked by a man on an elevated seat, and answered the purpose better than could have been expected.
The kris is a weapon in which this people take great pride; it is of various shapes and sizes, and is invariably worn from infancy to old age; they are generally wavy in their blades, and are worn in wooden scabbards, which are neatly made and highly polished.
The market was well stocked with fruit and fish. Among the former the durian seemed to predominate; this was the first time we had seen it. It has a very disagreeable odour, as if decayed, and appears to emit a sulphuretted hydrogen gas, which I observed blackened silver. Some have described this fruit as delicious, but if the smell is not enough, the taste in my opinion will convince any one of the contrary.
Mr. Brackenridge made the following list of their fruits: Durian, Artocarpus integrifolia, Melons, water and musk, Oranges, mandarin and bitter, Pineapples, Carica papaya, Mangosteen, Bread-fruit, Coco and Betelnut. The vegetables were capsicums, cucumbers, yams, sweet-potatoes, garlic, onions, edible fern-roots, and radishes of the salmon variety, but thicker and more acrid in flavor.
[A stolen granite monument.] In walking about the parts of the town we were permitted to enter, large slabs of cut granite were seen, which were presumed to be from China, where the walls of canals or streamlets are lined with it. But Dr. Pickering in his rambles discovered pieces that had been cut as if to form a monument, and remarked a difference between it and the Chinese kind. On one or two pieces he saw the mark No. 1, in black paint; the material resembled the Chelmsford granite, and it occurred to him that the stone had been cut in Boston. I did not hear of this circumstance until after we had left Sulu, and have little doubt now that the interdiction against our gentlemen visiting some parts of the town was owing to the fear they had of the discovery of this plunder. This may have been the reason why they so readily complied with my demands, in order to get rid of us as soon as possible, feeling themselves guilty, and being unprepared for defence; for, of the numerous guns mounted, few if any were serviceable.
The theft of the pistol was so barefaced an affair, that I made up my mind to insist on its restoration. At the setting of the watch in the evening, it had been our practice on board the Vincennes to fire a small brass howitzer. This frequently, in the calm evenings, produced a great reverberation, and rolled along the water to the surrounding islands with considerable noise. Instead of it, on this evening, I ordered one of the long guns to be fired, believing that the sound and reverberation alone would suffice to intimidate such robbers. One was accordingly fired in the direction of the town, which fairly shook the island, as they said, and it was not long before we saw that the rogues were fully aroused, for the clatter of gongs and voices that came over the water, and the motion of lights, convinced me that the pistol would be forthcoming in the morning. In this I was not mistaken, for at early daylight I was awakened by a special messenger from the Datu to tell me that the pistol was found, and would be brought off without delay; that he had been searching for it all night, and had at last succeeded in finding it, as well as the thief, on whom he intended to inflict the bastinado. Accordingly, in a short time the pistol was delivered on board, and every expression of friendship and good-will given, with the strongest assurances that nothing of the kind should happen again.
[Marongas island.] As our naturalists could have no opportunity of rambling over the island of Sooloo, it was thought that one of the neighbouring islands (although not so good a field) would afford them many of the same results, and that they could examine it unmolested. Accordingly, at an early hour, they were despatched in boats for that purpose, with a sufficient guard to attend them in case of necessity. The island on which they landed, Marongas, has two hills of volcanic conglomerate and vesicular lava, containing angular fragments embedded. The bottom was covered with living coral, of every variety, and of different colors; but there was nothing like a regular coral shelf, and the beach was composed of bits of coral intermixed with dead shells, both entire and comminuted. The center of the island was covered with mangrove-bushes; the hills were cones, but had no craters on them. The mangroves had grown in clusters, giving the appearance of a number of small islets. This, with the neighboring islands, were thought to be composed in a great part of coral, but it was impossible for our gentlemen to determine the fact.
The day was exceedingly hot, and the island was suffering to such a degree from drought that the leaves in many cases were curled and appeared dry. On the face of the rocky cliff they saw many swallows (hirundo esculenta) flying in and out of the caverns facing the sea; but they were not fortunate enough to find any of the edible nests, so much esteemed by Chinese epicures.
At another part of the island they heard the crowing of a cock, and discovered a small village, almost hidden by the mangroves, and built over the water. In the neighborhood were several fish-baskets set out to dry, as well as a quantity of fencing for weirs, all made of rattan. Their shape was somewhat peculiar. After a little while the native fishermen were seen approaching, who evidently had a knowledge of their visit from the first. They came near with great caution in their canoes; but after the first had spoken and reconnoitered, several others landed, exhibiting no signs of embarrassment, and soon motioned our party off. To indicate that force would be resorted to, in case of refusal, at the same time they pointed to their arms, and drew their krises. Our gentlemen took this all in good part, and, after dispensing a few trifling presents among them, began their retreat with a convenient speed, without, however, compromising their dignity.
The excursion had been profitable in the way of collections, having yielded a number of specimens of shrubs and trees, both in flower and fruit; but owing to the drought, the herbaceous plants were, for the most part, dried up. Among the latter, however, they saw a large and fine terrestrial species of Epidendrum, whose stem grew to the height of several feet, and when surmounted by its flowers reached twelve or fifteen feet high. Many of the salt-marsh plants seen in the Fijis, were also observed here. Besides the plants, some shells and a beautiful cream-colored pigeon were obtained.
During the day we were busily engaged in the survey of the harbor, and in making astronomical and magnetical observations on the beach, while some of the officers were employed purchasing curiosities, on shore, at the town, and alongside the ship. These consisted of krises, spears, shields, and shells; and the Sulus were not slow in comprehending the kind of articles we were in search of.
Few if any of the Sulus can write or read, though many talk Spanish. Their accounts are all kept by the slaves. Those who can read and write are, in consequence, highly prized. All the accounts of the Datu of Soung are kept in Dutch, by a young Malay from Tarnate, who writes a good hand, and speaks English, and whom we found exceedingly useful to us. He is the slave of the Datu, who employs him for this purpose only. He told us he was captured in a brig by the pirates of Basilan, and sold here as a slave, where he is likely to remain for life, although he says the Datu has promised to give him his freedom after ten years.
Horses, cows, and buffaloes are the beasts of burden, and a Sulu may usually be seen riding either one or the other, armed cap-a-pie, with kris, spear, and target, or shield.
They use saddles cut out of solid wood, and many ride with their stirrups so short that they bring the knees very high, and the riders look more like well-grown monkeys than mounted men. The cows and buffaloes are guided by a piece of thong, through the cartilage of the nose. By law, no swine are allowed to be kept on the island, and if they are bought, they are immediately killed. The Chinese are obliged to raise and kill their pigs very secretly, when they desire that species of food; for, notwithstanding the law and the prejudices of the inhabitants, the former continue to keep swine.
[Natives.] The inhabitants of Sulu are a tall, thin, and effeminate-looking race: I do not recollect to have seen one corpulent person among them. Their faces are peculiar for length, particularly in the lower jaw and chin, with high cheek-bones, sunken, lack-lustre eyes, and narrow foreheads. Their heads are thinly covered with hair, which appears to be kept closely cropped. I was told that they pluck out their beards, and dye their teeth black with antimony, and some file them.
Their eyebrows appear to be shaven, forming a very regular and high arch, which they esteem a great beauty.
The dress of the common people is very like that of the Chinese, with loose and full sleeves, without buttons. The materials of which it is made are grass-cloths, silks, satins, or white cotton, from China. I should judge from the appearance of their persons, that they ought to be termed, so far as ablutions go, a cleanly people. There is no outward respect or obeisance shown by the slave to his master, nor is the presence of the Datu, or even of the Sultan himself, held in any awe. All appear upon an equality, and there does not seem to be any controlling power; yet it may be at once perceived that they are suspicious and jealous of strangers.
The Sulus, although they are ready to do any thing for the sake of plunder, even to the taking of life, yet are not disposed to hoard their ill-gotten wealth, and, with all their faults, cannot be termed avaricious.
They have but few qualities to redeem their treachery, cruelty, and revengeful dispositions; and one of the principal causes of their being so predominant, or even of their existence, is their inordinate lust for power. When they possess this, it is accompanied by a haughty, consequential, and ostentatious bravery. No greater affront can be offered to a Sulu, than to underrate his dignity and official consequence. Such an insult is seldom forgiven, and never forgotten. From one who has made numerous voyages to these islands, I have obtained many of the above facts, and my own observation assures me that this view of their character is a correct one. I would, however, add another trait, which is common among them, and that is cowardice, which is obvious, in spite of their boasted prowess and daring. This trait of character is universally ascribed to them among the Spaniards in the Philippines, who ought to be well acquainted with them.
The dress of the women is not unlike that of the men in appearance. They wear close jackets of various colors when they go abroad, and the same loose breeches as the men, but over them they usually have a large wrapper (sarong), not unlike the pareu of the Polynesian islanders, which is put round them like a petticoat, or thrown over the shoulders. Their hair is drawn to the back of the head, and around the forehead it is shaven in the form of a regular arch, to correspond with the eyebrows. Those that I saw at the Sultan's were like the Malays, and had light complexions, with very black teeth. The Datu thought them very handsome, and on our return he asked me if I had seen the Sultan's beauties. The females of Sulu have the reputation of ruling their lords, and possess much weight in the government by the influence they exert over their husbands.
[Superiority of women.] It may be owing to this that there is little jealousy of their wives, who are said to hold their virtues in no very great estimation. In their houses they are but scantily clothed, though women of rank have always a large number of rings on their fingers, some of which are of great value, as well as earrings of fine gold. They wear no stockings, but have on Chinese slippers, or Spanish shoes. They are as capable of governing as their husbands, and in many cases more so, as they associate with the slaves, from whom they obtain some knowledge of Christendom, and of the habits and customs of other nations, which they study to imitate in every way.
The mode in which the Sulus employ their time may be exemplified by giving that of the Datu; for all, whether free or slave, endeavor to imitate the higher rank as far as is in their power. The datus seldom rise before eleven o'clock, unless they have some particular business; and the Datu Mulu complained of being sleepy in consequence of the early hour at which we had disturbed him.
On rising, they have chocolate served in gilt glassware, with some light biscuit, and sweetmeats imported from China or Manila, of which they informed me they laid in large supplies. They then lounge about their houses, transacting a little business, and playing at various games, or, in the trading season, go to the meeting of the Ruma Bechara.
At sunset they take their principal meal, consisting of stews of fish, poultry, beef, eggs, and rice, prepared somewhat after the Chinese and Spanish modes, mixed up with that of the Malay. Although Moslems, they do not forego the use of wine, and some are said to indulge in it to a great extent. After sunset, when the air has become somewhat cooled by the refreshing breezes, they sally forth attended by their retainers to take a walk, or proceed to the bazaars to purchase goods, or to sell or to barter away their articles of produce. They then pay visits to their friends, when they are in the habit of having frequent convivial parties, talking over their bargains, smoking cigars, drinking wine and liquors, tea, coffee, and chocolate, and indulging in their favorite pipe of opium. At times they are entertained with music, both vocal and instrumental, by their dependants. Of this art they appear to be very fond, and there are many musical instruments among them. A datu, indeed, would be looked upon as uneducated if he could not play on some instrument.
It is considered polite that when refreshments are handed they should be partaken of. Those offered us by the Datu were such as are usual, but every thing was stale. Of fruit they are said to be very fond, and can afford to indulge themselves in any kinds. With all these articles to cloy the appetite, only one set meal a day is taken; though the poorer classes, fishermen and laborers, partake of two.
[Government.] The government of the Sulu Archipelago is a kind of oligarchy, and the supreme authority is vested in the Sultan and the Ruma Bechara or trading council. This consists of about twenty chiefs, either datus, or their next in rank, called orangs, who are governors of towns or detached provinces. The influence of the individual chiefs depends chiefly upon the number of their retainers or slaves, and the force they can bring into their service when they require it. These are purchased from the pirates, who bring them to Sulu and its dependencies for sale. The slaves are employed in a variety of ways, as in trading prahus, in the pearl and beche de met fisheries, and in the search after the edible birds' nests.
A few are engaged in agriculture, and those who are at all educated are employed as clerks. These slaves are not denied the right of holding property, which they enjoy during their lives, but at their death it reverts to the master. Some of them are quite rich, and what may appear strange, the slaves of Sulu are invariably better off than the untitled freemen, who are at all times the prey of the hereditary datus, even of those who hold no official stations. By all accounts these constitute a large proportion of the population, and it being treason for any low-born freeman to injure or maltreat a datu, the latter, who are of a haughty, overbearing, and tyrannical disposition, seldom keep themselves within bounds in their treatment of their inferiors. The consequence is, the lower class of freemen are obliged to put themselves under the protection of some particular datu, which guards them from the encroachment of others. The chief to whom they thus attach themselves, is induced to treat them well, in order to retain their services, and attach them to his person, that he may, in case of need, be enabled to defend himself from depredations, and the violence of his neighbors.
Such is the absence of legal restraint, that all find it necessary to go abroad armed, and accompanied by a trusty set of followers, who are also armed. This is the case both by day and night, and, according to the Datu's account, frequent affrays take place in the open streets, which not unfrequently end in bloodshed.
Caution is never laid aside, the only law that exists being that of force; but the weak contrive to balance the power of the strong by uniting. They have not only contentions and strife among themselves, but it was stated at Manila that the mountaineers of Sulu, who are said to be Christians, occasionally make inroads upon them. At Sulu, however, it did not appear that they were under much apprehension of these attacks. The only fear I heard expressed was by the Sultan, in my interview with him; and the cause of this, as I have already stated, was probably a desire to find an excuse for not affording us facilities to go into the interior. Within twenty years, however, the reigning sultan has been obliged to retire within his forts, in the town of Sulu, which I have before adverted to.
These people are hostile to the Sulus of the coast and towns, who take every opportunity to rob them of their cattle and property, for which the mountaineers seek retaliation when they have an opportunity. From the manner in which the Datu spoke of them, they are not much regarded. Through another source I learned that the mountaineers were Papuans, and the original inhabitants of the islands, who pay tribute to the Sultan, and have acknowledged his authority, ever since they were converted to Islamism. Before that time they were considered extremely ferocious, and whenever it was practicable they were destroyed. Others speak of an original race of Dyacks in the interior, but there is one circumstance to satisfy me that there is no confidence to be placed in this account, namely, that the island is not of sufficient extent to accommodate so numerous a population as some ascribe to it.
The forts consist of a double row of piles, filled in with coral blocks. That situated on the east side of the small stream may be said to mount a few guns, but these are altogether inefficient; and in another, on the west side, which is rather a rude embankment than a fort, there are some twelve or fifteen pieces of large calibre; but I doubt very much if they had been fired off for years, and many of the houses built upon the water would require to be pulled down before these guns could be brought to bear upon any thing on the side of the bay, supposing them to be in a good condition; a little farther to the east of the town, I was informed they had a kind of stockade, but none of us were permitted to see it.
[Population.] According to our estimates, and the information we received while at Sulu, the island itself does not contain more than thirty thousand inhabitants, of which the town of Soung may have six or seven thousand. The whole group may number about one hundred and thirty thousand. I am aware, however, that it is difficult to estimate the population of a half-civilized people, who invariably exaggerate their own strength; and visitors are likewise prone to do the same thing. The Chinese comprise about an eighth of the population of the town, and are generally of the lower class. They are constantly busy at their trades, and intent upon making money.
At Soung, business seems active, and all, slaves as well as masters, seem to engage in it. The absence of a strong government leaves all at liberty to act for themselves, and the Ruma Bechara gives unlimited freedom to trade. These circumstances promote the industry of the community, and even that of the slave, for he too, as before observed, has a life interest in what he earns.
Soung being the residence of the Sultan, as well as the grand depot for all piratical goods, is probably more of a mart than any of the surrounding towns. In the months of March and April it is visited by several Chinese junks, who remain trading until the beginning of the month of August. If delayed after that time, they can scarcely return in safety, being unable to contend with the boisterous weather and head winds that then prevail in the Chinese seas. These junks are said to come chiefly from Amoy, where the cottons, etc., best suited for the Sulus are made. Their cargoes consist of a variety of articles of Chinese manufacture and produce, such as silk, satin goods, cottons, red and checked, grass-cloth clothing, handkerchiefs, cutlery, guns, ammunition, opium, lumber, china and glass-ware, rice, sugar, oil, lard, and butter. In return for this merchandise they obtain camphor, birds' nests, rattans, beche de mer, pearls, and pearl-shells, coco, tortoise-shell, and wax; but there is no great quantity of these articles to be obtained, perhaps not more than two or three cargoes during the season. The trade requires great knowledge of the articles purchased, for the Chinese and Sulus are both such adepts in fraud, that great caution and circumspection are necessary.
[Customs dues.] The duties on importation are not fixed, but are changed and altered from time to time by the Ruma Bechara. The following was stated to me as the necessary payments before trade could be carried on:
A large ship, with Chinese on board, pays $2,000 A large ship, without Chinese on board, pays 1,800 Small ships 1,500 Large brig 1,000 Small brig 500 Schooners from 150 to 400
This supposes them all to have full cargoes. That a difference should be made in a vessel with or without Chinamen, seems singular; but this, I was told, arose from the circumstance that English vessels take them on board, in order to detect and prevent the impositions of the Sulus.
Vessels intending to trade at Soung should arrive before the Chinese junks, and remain as long as they stay, or even a few days later. In trading with the natives, all operations ought to be carried on for cash, or if by barter, no delivery should be made until the articles to be taken in exchange are received. In short, it is necessary to deal with them as though they were undoubted rogues, and this pleases them much more than to appear unsuspicious. Vessels that trade engage a bazaar, which they hire of the Ruma Bechara, and it is advisable to secure the good-will of the leading datus in that council by presents, and paying them more for their goods than others.