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The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes
by Fedor Jagor; Tomas de Comyn; Chas. Wilkes; Rudolf Virchow.
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[A heathen Mountaineers' settlement.] On the following morning the ascent was commenced. Even before we arrived at the first rancho, I was convinced of the good report that had preceded me. The master of the house came towards us and conducted us by a narrow path to his hut, after having removed the foot-lances, which projected obliquely out of the ground, but were dexterously concealed by brushwood and leaves. [148] A woman employed in weaving, at my desire, continued her occupation. The loom was of the simplest kind. The upper end, the chain-beam, which consists of a piece of bamboo, is fixed to two bars or posts; and the weaver sits on the ground, and to the two notched ends of a small lath, which supplies the place of the weaving beam, hooks on a wooden bow, in the arch of which the back of the lath is fitted. Placing her feet against two pegs in the ground and bending her back, she, by means of the bow, stretches the material out straight. A netting-needle, longer than the breadth of the web, serves instead of the weaver's shuttle, but it can be pushed through only by considerable friction, and not always without breaking the chains of threads. A lath of hard wood (caryota), sharpened like a knife, represents the trestle, and after every stroke it is placed upon the edge; after which the comb is pushed forward, a thread put through, and struck fast, and so forth. The web consisted of threads of the abaca, which were not spun, but tied one to another.

[A giant fern hedge.] The huts I visited deserve no special description. Composed of bamboos and palm-leaves, they are not essentially different from the dwellings of poor Filipinos; and in their neighborhood were small fields planted with batata, maize, caladium and sugar-cane, and enclosed by magnificent polypody ferns. One of the highest of these, which I caused to be felled for the purpose, measured in the stem nine meters, thirty centimeters; in the crown, two meters, twelve centimeters; and its total length was eleven meters, forty-two centimeters or over thirty-six feet.

[Simple stringed instruments.] A young lad produced music on a kind of lute, called baringbau; consisting of the dry shaft of the scitamina stretched in the form of a bow by means of a thin tendril instead of gut. Half a coco shell is fixed in the middle of the bow, which, when playing, is placed against the abdomen, and serves as a sounding board; and the string when struck with a short wand, gave out a pleasing humming sound, realizing the idea of the harp and plectrum in their simplest forms. Others accompanied the musician on Jews' harps of bamboos, as accurate as those of the Mintras on the Malay Peninsula; and there was one who played on a guitar, which he had himself made, but after a European pattern. The hut contained no utensils besides bows, arrows, and a cooking pot. The possessor of clothes bore them on his person. I found the women as decently clad as the Filipino Christian women, and carrying, besides, a forest knife, or bolo. As a mark of entire confidence, I was taken into the tobacco fields, which were well concealed and protected by foot-lances; and they appeared to be carefully looked after.

[The people and their crops.] The result of my familiarity with this people, both before and after this opportunity, may be briefly summed up: They live on the higher slopes of the mountain, never, indeed, below 1,500 feet; each family by itself. It is difficult to ascertain how many of them there may now be, as but little intercourse takes place amongst them. In the part of the mountain belonging to the district of Goa, their number is estimated at about fifty men and twenty women, including the children: but twenty years before the population was more numerous. Their food consists principally of batata, besides some gabi (caladium). A little maize is likewise cultivated, as well as some ubi (dioscorea), and a small quantity of sugar-cane for chewing.

[Batatas.] In laying out a batata field, a wood is partially cleared, the earth loosened with the blunt forest knife (bolo), and the bulbs or layers then planted; and within four months the harvest begins, and continues uninterruptedly from the time the creeping plant strikes root and forms tubers. [Rotation of crops.] After two years, however, the produce is so much diminished that the old plants are pulled up, in order to make room for new ones obtained from the runners. The field is then changed, or other fruits cultivated thereon, but with the addition of manure. A piece of land, fifty brazas long, and thirty wide, is sufficient for the support of a family. Only occasionally in the wet season does this resource fail, and then they resort to gabi, which appears to be as easily cultivated on wet as on dry ground, but is not so profitable as batata. The young shoots of the gabi are planted at distances of a vara, and if consumed in a proper manner, ought not to be cropped till after a year. Each family kills weekly one or two wild hogs. Stags are rare, although I obtained a fine pair of horns; and they do not use the skin. Bows and arrows are used in hunting; some poisoned, and some not. Every rancho keeps dogs, which live principally on batata, and also cats to protect the fields against rats; and they also have poultry, [Game cocks a Spanish innovation.] but no game cocks; which, having been first introduced into the Philippines by the Spaniards are seldom if ever, wanting in the huts of the Filipinos; but the inhabitants of the Isarog are as yet free from this passion.

[Trade.] The few products of a more advanced civilization which they require, they obtain by the sale of the spontaneous productions of their forests, chiefly wax and resin (pili), [149] apnik, dagiangan (a kind of copal), and some abaca. Wax, which is much in request for church solemnities, fetches half a dollar per catty; and resin averages half a real per chinanta. Business is transacted very simply. Filipinos, having intercourse with the Igorots, make a contract with them; and they collect the products and bring them to a place previously agreed on, where the Filipinos receive them, after paying down the stipulated price.

[Religion.] Physicians and magicians, or persons supposed to be possessed of secret powers, are unknown; every one helps himself. In order to arrive at a clear understanding of their religious views, a longer intercourse would be necessary. But they certainly believe in one God, or, at least, say so, when they are closely questioned by Christians; and have also loosely acquired several of the external practices of Catholicism, which they employ as spells.

[Respect for women and aged.] Hunting and hard labor constitute the employment of man in general, as well as in the Philippines. The practice of employing women as beasts of burden—which, although it exists among many of the peoples of Europe, for example, the Basques, Wallachians, and Portuguese, is almost peculiar to barbarous nations,—seems to have been lost in the Philippines as far back as the time of its discovery by the Spaniards; and even among the wild people of the Isarog, the women engage only in light labor, and are well treated. Every family supports its aged and those unfit for labor. [Medicine.] Headaches and fevers were stated to me as the prevalent maladies; for which burnt rice, pounded and mixed to a pap with water, is taken as a remedy; and in case of severe headache they make an incision in the forehead of the sufferer. Their prevalence is explained by the habit of neutralizing the ill effects of drinking water in excess, when they are heated, by the consumption of warm water in large doses; and the rule holds with regard to coco-water; the remedy for immoderate use of which is warm coco-water. Their muscular power is small, and they are not able to carry more than fifty pounds weight to any considerable distance.

[Manufactures.] Besides the chase and agriculture, their occupations are restricted to the manufacture of extremely rude weapons, for which they purchase the iron, when required, from the Filipinos, and of the coarse webs made by the women, and of wicker work. Every father of a family is master in his own house, and acknowledges no power higher than himself. In the event of war with neighboring tribes, the bravest places himself at the head, and the rest follow him as long as they are able; there is no deliberate choosing of a leader.

[Death customs.] On the whole, they are peaceful and honorable towards each other, although the idle occasionally steal the fruits of the fields; and, should the thief be caught, the person robbed punishes him with blows of the rattan, without being under any apprehensions of vengeance in consequence. If a man dies, his nearest kinsmen go out to requite his death by the death of some other individual, taken at random. The rule is strictly enforced. For a dead man a man must be killed; for a woman a woman; and for a child a child. Unless, indeed, it be a friend they encounter, the first victim that offers is killed. Latterly, however, owing to the unusual success attained by some of them in representing the occurrence of death as an unavoidable destiny, the custom is said to have fallen into desuetude; and the relatives do not exact the satisfaction. This was easy in the case of the deceased being an ordinary person; but, to the present day, vengeance is required in the event of the death of a beloved child or wife. If a man kills a woman of another house, her nearest kinsman endeavors to kill a woman of the house of the murderer; but to the murderer himself he does nothing; and the corpse of the victim thus slain as a death-offering is not buried, nor is its head cut off; and her family, in their turn, seek to avenge the death by murder. This is reckoned the most honorable course. Should the murderer, however, be too strong to be so overcome, any weaker person, be it who it may, is slain in retaliation; and hence, probably, the comparatively small number of women.

[Marriage.] Polygamy is permitted; but even the most courageous and skilful seldom or never have more than one wife. A young man wishing to marry commissions his father to treat with the father of the bride as to the price; which latterly has greatly increased; but the average is ten bolos, costing from four to six reals each, and about $12 in cash; and the acquisition of so large a sum by the sale of wax, resin, and abaca, often takes the bridegroom two years. The bride-money goes partly to the father, and partly to the nearest relations; every one of whom has an equal interest. If there should be many of them, almost nothing remains for the father, who has to give a great feast, on which occasion much palm-wine is drunk.

[Sexual crimes.] Any man using violence towards a girl is killed by her parents. If the girl was willing, and the father hears of it, he agrees upon a day with the former, on which he is to bring the bride's dowry; which should he refuse to do, he is caught by the relations, bound to a tree, and whipped with a cane. Adultery is of most rare occurrence; but, when it does take place, the dowry is returned either by the woman, who then acquires her freedom, or by the seducer, whom she then follows. The husband has not the right to detain her, if he takes the money, or even if he should refuse it; but the latter contingency is not likely to arise, since that sum of money will enable him to buy for himself a new wife.

[Basira ravine.] In the afternoon we reached a vast ravine, called "Basira," 973 meters above Uacloy, and about 1,134 meters above the sea, extending from south-east to north-west between lofty, precipitous ranges, covered with wood. Its base, which has an inclination of 33 deg., consists of a naked bed of rock, and, after every violent rainfall, gives issue to a torrent of water, which discharges itself violently. Here we bivouacked; and the Igorots, in a very short time, built a hut, and remained on the watch outside. At daybreak the thermometer stood at 13.9 deg. R. [150]

[At the summit.] The road to the summit was very difficult on account of the slippery clay earth and the tough network of plants; but the last five hundred feet were unexpectedly easy, the very steep summit being covered with a very thick growth of thinly leaved, knotted, mossy thibaudia, rhododendra, and other dwarf woods, whose innumerable tough branches, running at a very small height along the ground and parallel to it, form a compact and secure lattice-work, by which one mounted upwards as on a slightly inclined ladder. The point which we reached * * * was evidently the highest spur of the horseshoe-shaped mountain side, which bounds the great ravine of Rungus on the north. The top was hardly fifty paces in diameter, and so thickly covered with trees that I have never seen its like; we had not room to stand. My active hosts, however, went at once to work, though the task of cutting a path through the wood involved severe labor, and, chopping off the branches, built therewith, on the tops of the lopped trees, an observatory, from which I should have had a wide panoramic view, and an opportunity for taking celestial altitudes, had not everything been enveloped in a thick mist. The neighboring volcanoes were visible only in glimpses, as well as San Miguel Bay and some lakes in the interior. Immediately after sunset the thermometer registered 12.5 deg. R. [151]

[The descent.] On the following morning it was still overcast; and when, about ten o'clock, the clouds became thicker, we set out on our return. It was my intention to have passed the night in a rancho, in order next day to visit a solfatara which was said to be a day's journey further; but my companions were so exhausted by fatigue that they asked for at least a few hours' rest.

[Ferns and orchids.] On the upper slope I observed no palms with the exception of calamus; but polypodies (ferns) were very frequent, and orchids surprisingly abundant. In one place all the trees were hung, at a convenient height, with flowering aerids; of which one could have collected thousands without any trouble. The most beautiful plant was a Medinella, of so delicate a texture that it was impossible to preserve it.

[Carbonic acid spring.] Within a quarter of an hour north-east of Uacloy, a considerable spring of carbonic acid bursts from the ground, depositing abundance of calcareous sinter. Our torches were quickly extinguished, and a fowl covered with a cigar-box died in a few minutes, to the supreme astonishment of the Igorots, to whom these phenomena were entirely new.

[Farewell to mountaineers.] On the second day of rest, my poor hosts, who had accompanied me back to Uacloy, still felt so weary that they were not fit for any undertaking. With naked heads and bellies they squatted in the burning sun in order to replenish their bodies with the heat which they had lost during the bivouac on the summit; for they are not allowed to drink wine. When I finally left them on the following day, we had become such good friends that I was compelled to accept a tamed wild pig as a present. A troop of men and women accompanied me until they saw the glittering roofs of Maguiring, when, after the exchange of hearty farewells, they returned to their forests. The natives whom I had taken with me from Goa had proved so lazy and morose that nearly the whole task of making the path through the forest had fallen upon the Igorots. From sheer laziness they threw away the drinking water of which they were the porters; and the Igorots were obliged to fetch water from a considerable distance for our bivouac on the summit. In all my troublesome marches, I have always done better with Cimarrons than with the civilized natives. The former I have found obliging, trustworthy, active and acquainted with localities, while the latter generally displayed the opposite qualities. It would, however, be unjust to form a conclusive opinion as to their comparative merits from these facts; for the wild people are at home when in the forest; what they do is done voluntarily, and the stranger, when he possesses their confidence, is treated as a guest. [Forced labor.] But the Filipinos are reluctant companions, Polistas, who, even when they receive a high rate of wages, consider that they are acting most honorably when they do as little as possible. At any rate, it is no pleasure to them to leave their village in order to become luggage-porters or beaters of roads on fatiguing marches in impracticable districts, and to camp out in the open air under every deprivation. For them, still more than for the European peasant, repose is the most agreeable refreshment. The less comfort any one enjoys at home, the greater is the reluctance with which he leaves it; and the same thing may be observed in Europe.

[A petition for liquors.] As the Igorots were not permitted to have cocoa-palms for the preparation of wine, vinegar and brandy, so that they might not infringe the monopoly of the government, they presented me with a petition entreating me to obtain this favor for them. The document was put together by a Filipino writer in so ludicrously confused a manner that I give it as a specimen of Philippine clerkship. [152] At all events, it had the best of results, for the petitioners were accorded twice as much as they had prayed for.

[Winds and planting season.] The south-west monsoon lasts in this region (district of Goa) from April to October. April is very calm (navegacion de senoras). From June to August the south-west winds blow steadily; March, April, and May are the driest months; there are shifting winds in March and the beginning of April; while from October to December is the time of storms; "S. Francisco (4th October) brings bad weather." Rice is planted in September and reaped in February.

CHAPTER XVIII

[Mt. Iriga.] From the Isarog I returned through Naga and Nabua to Iriga, the ascent of which I at length accomplished.

[The ascent.] The chief of the Montesinos had received daily rations for twenty-two men, with whom he professed to make a road to the summit; but when, on the evening of the third day, he came himself to Iriga, in order to fetch more provisions, on the pretext that the work still required some time for execution, I explained that I should endeavor to ascend the mountain on the following morning, and requested him to act as guide. He consented, but disappeared, together with his companions, during the night; the Filipinos in the tribunal having been good enough to hold out the prospect of severe punishment in case the work performed should not correspond to the working days. After fruitless search for another guide, we left Buhi in the afternoon, and passed the night in the rancho, where we had previously been so hospitably received. The fires were still burning, but the inhabitants, on our approach, had fled. About six o'clock on the following morning the ascent began. After we had gone through the forest, by availing ourselves of the path which we had previously beaten, it led us through grass three or four feet in height, with keen-edged leaves; succeeded by cane, from seven to eight feet high, of the same habitat with our Arundo phragmites (but it was not in flower), which occupied the whole of the upper part of the mountain as far as the edge. Only in the ravine did the trees attain any height. The lower declivities were covered with aroids and ferns; towards the summit were tendrils and mosses; and here I found a beautiful, new, and peculiarly shaped orchid. [153] The Cimarrons had cut down some cane; and, beating down our road for ourselves with bolos, we arrived at the summit a little before ten o'clock. It was very foggy. In the hope of a clear evening or morning I caused a hut to be erected, for which purpose the cane was well fitted. The natives were too lazy to erect a lodging for themselves, or to procure wood for a watchfire. They squatted on the ground, squeezed close to one another to warm themselves, ate cold rice, and suffered thirst because none of them would fetch water. Of the two water-carriers whom I had taken with me, one had "inadvertently" upset his water on the road, and the other had thrown it away "because he thought we should not require it."

[Altitude.] I found the highest points of the Iriga to be 1,212 meters, 1,120 meters above the surface of the Buhi Lake. From Buhi I went to Batu.

[Changes in Batu Lake.] The Batu Lake (one hundred eleven meters above the sea) had sunk lower since my last visit in February. The carpet of algae had increased considerably in breadth, its upper edge being in many places decomposed; and the lower passed gradually into a thick consistency of putrid water-plants (charae, algae, pontederiae, valisneriae, pistiae, etc.), which encompassed the surface of the water so that only through a few gaps could one reach the bank. Right across the mouth of the Quinali lies, in the lake, a bar of black mud, the softest parts of which were indicated by some insignificant channels of water. As we could not get over the bar in a large boat, two small skiffs were bound together with a matting of bamboo, and provided with an awning. By means of this contrivance, which was drawn by three strong carabaos (the whole body of men with evident delight and loud mirth wading knee-deep in the black mud and assisting by pushing behind) we succeeded, as if on a sledge, in getting over the obstacle into the river; which on my first visit overflowed the fields in many places, till the huts of the natives rose out of the water like so many ships: but now (in June) not one of its channels was full. We were obliged in consequence to continue our sledge journey until we were near to Quinali.

[Ascent of Mt. Mazaraga.] At Ligao I alighted at a friendly Spaniard's, a great part of the place, together with the tribunal and convent, having been burnt down since my last visit. After making the necessary preparations, I went in the evening to Barayong, a little rancho of Cimarrons at the foot of the Mazaraga, and, together with its inhabitants, ascended the mountain on the following morning. The women also accompanied us for some distance, and kept the company in good humor; and when, on the road, a Filipino who had been engaged for the purpose wished to give up carrying a bamboo full of water, and, throwing it away, ran off, an old woman stepped forward in his stead, and dragged the water cheerfully along up to the summit. This mountain was moister than any I had ever ascended, the Semeru in Java, in some respects, excepted; and half-way up I found some rotten rafflesia. [154] Two miserable-looking Cimarron dogs drove a young stag towards us, which was slain by one of the people with a blow of his bolo. The path ceased a third of the way up, but it was not difficult to get through the wood. The upper portion of the mountain, however, being thickly overgrown with cane, again presented great obstacles. About twelve we reached the summit-level, which, pierced by no crater, is almost horizontal, smoothly arched, and thickly covered with cane. [Altitude.] Its height is 1,354 meters. In a short time the indefatigable Cimarrons had built a fine large hut of cane: one room for myself and the baggage, a large assembly-room for the people, and a special apartment for cooking. Unfortunately the cane was so wet that it would not burn. In order to procure firewood to cook the rice, thick branches were got out of the wood, and their comparatively dry pith extracted with great labor. The lucifer-matches, too, were so damp that the phosphorus was rubbed away in friction; but, being collected on blotting-paper, and kneaded together with the sulphurous end of the match-wood, it became dry and was kindled by friction. Not a trace of solid rock was to be seen. All was obstructed by a thick overgrowth from where the path ceased, and the ground covered with a dense bed of damp wood-earth. The following morning was fine, and showed a wide panorama; but, before I had completed my drawing, it again became misty; and as, after several hours of waiting, the heavens were overspread with thick rain-clouds, we set out on our return.

[Butterflies.] Numerous butterflies swarmed around the summit. We could, however, catch only a few, as the passage over the cane-stubble was too difficult for naked feet; and, the badly-stitched soles of two pairs of new shoes which I had brought from Manila having dropped off some time before I reached the summit, I was compelled to perform the journey to Ligao barefoot.

[Native contempt for private Spaniards.] On the following day my Spanish host went twice to the tribunal to procure the carabao carts which were necessary for the furtherance of my collections. His courteous request was unsuccessful; but the command of the parish priest, who personally informed the Gobernadorcillo in his house, was immediately obeyed. The Filipino authorities have, as a rule, but little respect for private Spanish people, and treat them not seldom with open contempt. An official recommendation from the alcalde is usually effectual, but not in all the provinces; for many alcaldes do hurt to their own authority by engaging the assistance or connivance of the native magistrates in the furtherance of their personal interests.

[Giant bats.] I here shot some panikes, great bats with wings nearly five feet wide when extended, which in the day time hang asleep from the branches of trees, and, among them, two mothers with their young sucking ones uninjured. It was affecting to see how the little animals clung more and more firmly to the bodies of their dying parents, and how tenderly they embraced them even after these were dead. The apparent feeling, however, was only self-interest at bottom, for, when their store of milk was exhausted, the old ones were treated without respect, like empty bottles. As soon as the young ones were separated, they fed on bananas, and lived several days, until I at length placed them in spirits.

[A muddy dry season.] Early in the morning I rode on the priest's horse to Legaspi, and in the evening through deep mud to the alcalde at Albay. We were now (June) in the middle of the so-called dry season, but it rained almost every day; and the road between Albay and Legaspi was worse than ever. During my visit information arrived from the commandant of the faluas on the south coast that, as he was pursuing two pirate vessels, [Power of Moro pirates.] six others suddenly made their appearance, in order to cut off his return; for which reason he bad quickly made his way back. The faluas are very strongly manned, and provided with cannon, but the crews furnished by the localities on the coast are entirely unpractised in the use of fire-arms, and moreover hold the Moros in such dread that, if the smallest chance offers of flight, they avail themselves of it to ensure their safety by making for the land. The places on the coast, destitute of other arms than wooden pikes, were completely exposed to the pirates, who had firmly established themselves in Catanduanes, Biri, and several small islands, and seized ships with impunity, or robbed men on the land. Almost daily fresh robberies and murders were announced from the villages on the shore. During a plundering expedition the men caught are employed at the oars and at its close sold as slaves; and, on the division of the spoil, one of the crew falls to the share of the dato (Moro chief) who fitted out the vessel. [155] The coasting vessels in these waters, it is true, are mostly provided with artillery, but it is generally placed in the hold of the ship, as no one on board knows how to use it. If the cannon be upon deck, either the powder or the shot is wanting; and the captain promises to be better prepared next time. [156] The alcalde reported the outrages of the pirates by every post to Manila, as well as the great injury done to trade, and spoke of the duty of the [No protection from Government.] Government to protect its subjects, especially as the latter were not permitted to use fire-arms; [157] and from the Bisayan Islands came the same cry for help. The Government, however, was powerless against the evil. If the complaints were indeed very urgent, they would send a steamer into the waters most infested; but it hardly ever came in sight of pirates, although the latter were carrying on their depredations close in front and behind.

[Government steamer easily eluded.] At Samars, the principal town, I subsequently met with a Government steamer, which for fourteen days past had been nominally engaged in cruising against the pirates; but the latter, generally forewarned by their spies, perceive the smoke of the steamers sufficiently soon to slip away in their flat boats; and the officers knew beforehand that their cruise would have no other result than to show the distressed provinces that their outcry was not altogether unnoticed. [158]

[Steam gunboats more successful.] Twenty small steam gunboats of light draught had shortly before been ordered from England, and were nearly ready. The first two indeed arrived soon after in Manila (they had to be transported in pieces round the Cape), and were to be followed by the rest; and they were at one time almost successful in delivering the archipelago from these burdensome pests; [159] at least, from the proscribed Moros who came every year from the Sulu Sea, mostly from the island of Tawitawi, arriving in May at the Bisayas, and continuing their depredations in the archipelago until the change of the monsoon in October or November compelled them to return. [160] [Renegades join pirates and bandits.] In the Philippines they gained new recruits among vagabonds, deserters, runaway criminals, and ruined spendthrifts; and from the same sources were made up the bands of highway robbers (tulisanes), which sometimes started up, and perpetuated acts of extraordinary daring. Not long before my arrival they had made an inroad into a suburb of Manila, and engaged with the military in the highways. Some of the latter are regularly employed in the service against the tulisanes. The robbers are not, as a rule, cruel to their victims when no opposition is offered. [161]

[Plants from Berlin.] In Legaspi I found awaiting me several chests with tin lining, which had been sixteen months on their passage by overland route, instead of seven weeks, having been conveyed from Berlin by way of Trieste, on account of the Italian war. Their contents, which had been intended for use in the Philippines exclusively, were now for the most part useless. In one chest there were two small flasks with glass stoppers, one filled with moist charcoal, and the other with moist clay, both containing seeds of the Victoria Regia and tubers of red and blue nymphae (water-lily). Those in the first flask were spoiled, as might have been expected; but in that filled with moist clay two tubers had thrown out shoots of half an inch in length, and appeared quite sound. I planted them at once, and in a few days vigorous leaves were developed. One of these beautiful plants, which had been originally intended for the Buitenzorg Garden in Java, remained in Legaspi; the other I sent to Manila, where, on my return, I saw it in full bloom. In the charcoal two Victoria seeds had thrown out roots above an inch in length, which had rotted off. Most likely they had been torn up by the custom-house inspectors, and had afterwards rotted, for the neck of the bottle was broken, and the charcoal appeared as if it had been stirred. I communicated the brilliant result of his mode of packing to the Inspector of the Botanical Gardens at Berlin, who made a second consignment direct to Java, which arrived in the best condition; so that not only the Victoria, but also the one which had been derived in Berlin from an African father and an Asiatic mother, now adorn the water-basins of Java with red pond-roses (the latter plants probably those of the Philippines also).

[Carpentering difficulties.] Being compelled by the continuous rain to dry my collections in two ovens before packing them, I found that my servant had burned the greater part, so that the remains found a place in a roomy chest which I purchased for a dollar at an auction. This unfortunately lacked a lid; to procure which I was obliged, in the first place, to liberate a carpenter who had been imprisoned for a small debt; secondly, to advance money for the purchase of a board and the redemption of his tools out of pawn; and even then the work, when it was begun, was several times broken off because previous claims of violent creditors had to be discharged by labor. In five days the lid was completed, at the cost of three dollars. It did not last long, however, for in Manila I had to get it replaced by a new one.

[Off to Samar.] At Legaspi I availed myself of an opportunity to reach the island of Samar in a small schooner. It is situated south-east from Luzon, on the farther side of the Strait of San Bernardino, which is three leagues in breadth. At the moment of my departure, to my great regret, my servant left me, "that he might rest a little from his fatigue," for Pepe was good-natured, very skilful, and always even-tempered. [Losing a clever assistant.] He had learned much from the numerous Spanish soldiers and sailors resident in Cavite, his native place, where he used to be playfully called the "Spaniard of Cavite." Roving from one place to another was his delight; and he quickly acquired acquaintances. He knew especially how to gain the favor of the ladies, for he possessed many social accomplishments, being equally able to play the guitar and to milk the carabao-cows. When we came to a pueblo, where a mestiza, or even a "daughter of the country" (creole), dwelt, he would, when practicable, ask permission to milk a cow; and after bringing the senora some of the milk, under pretext of being the interpreter of my wishes, he would maintain such a flow of ingeniously courteous conversation, praising the beauty and grace of the lady, and most modestly allowing his prodigious travelling adventures to be extracted from him, that both knight and esquire beamed with brilliant radiance. A present was always welcome, and brought us many a little basket of oranges; and carabao milk is excellent with chocolate: but it seemed as if one seldom has the opportunity of milking a cow. Unfortunately Pepe did not like climbing mountains, and when he was to have gone with me he either got the stomach-ache or gave away my strong shoes, or allowed them to be stolen; the native ones, however, being allowed to remain untouched, for he knew well that they were fit only for riding, and derived comfort from the fact. In company with me he worked quickly and cheerfully; but, when alone, it became tedious to him. Particularly he found friends, who hindered him, and then he would abandon his skinning of the birds, which therefore became putrid and had to be thrown away. Packing was still more disagreeable to him, and consequently he did it as quickly as possible, though not always with sufficient care, as on one occasion he tied up, in one and the same bundle, shoes, arsenic-soap, drawings, and chocolate. Notwithstanding trifling faults of this kind, he was very useful and agreeable to me; but he did not go willingly to such an uncivilized island as Samar; and when he received his wages in full for eight months all in a lump, and so became a small capitalist, he could not resist the temptation to rest a little from his labors.

CHAPTER XIX

[Samar.] The island of Samar, which is of nearly rhomboidal outline, and with few indentations on its coasts, stretches from the north-west to the south-east from 12 deg. 37' to 10 deg. 54' N.; its mean length being twenty-two miles, its breadth eleven, and its area two hundred and twenty square miles. It is separated on the south by the small strait of San Juanico from the island of Leyte, with which it was formerly united into one province. At the present time each island has its separate governor.

[Former names.] By the older authors the island is called Tendaya, Ibabao, and also Achan and Filipina. In later times the eastern side was called Ibabao, and the western Samar, which is now the official denomination for the whole island, the eastern shore being distinguished as the Contracosta. [162]

[Seasons and weather.] As on the eastern coasts of Luzon, the north-east monsoon here exceeds that from the south-west in duration and force, the violence of the latter being arrested by the islands lying to the southwest, while the north-east winds break against the coasts of these easterly islands with their whole force, and the additional weight of the body of water which they bring with them from the open ocean. In October winds fluctuating between north-west and north-east occur; but the prevalent ones are northerly. In the middle of November the north-east is constant; and it blows, with but little intermission, from the north until April. This is likewise the rainy season, December and January being the wettest, when it sometimes rains for fourteen days without interruption. In Lauang, on the north coast, the rainy season lasts from October to the end of December. From January to April it is dry; May, June, and July are rainy; and August and September, again, are dry; so that here there are two wet and two dry seasons in the year. From October to January violent storms (baguios or typhoons) sometimes occur. Beginning generally with a north wind, they pass to the north-west, accompanied by a little rain, then back to the north, and with increasing violence to the north-east and east, where they acquire their greatest power, and then moderate to the south. Sometimes, however, they change rapidly from the east to the south, in which quarter they first acquire their greatest force.

[Winds and storms.] From the end of March to the middle of June inconstant easterly winds (N.E.E. and S.E.) prevail, with a very heavy sea on the east coast. May is usually calm; but in May and June there are frequent thunderstorms, introducing the south-west monsoon, which though it extends through the months of July, August, and September, is not so constant as the north-east. The last-named three months constitute the dry season, which, however, is often interrupted by thunderstorms. Not a week, indeed, passes without rain; and in many years a storm arises every afternoon. At this season of the year ships can reach the east coast; but during the north-east monsoon navigation there is impossible. These general circumstances are subject to many local deviations, particularly on the south and west coasts, where the uniformity of the air currents is disturbed by the mountainous islands lying in front of them. According to the Estado geografico of 1855, an extraordinarily high tide, called dolo, occurs every year at the change of the monsoon in September or October. It rises sometimes sixty or seventy feet, and dashes itself with fearful violence against the south and east coasts, doing great damage, but not lasting for any length of time. The climate of Samar and Leyte appears to be very healthy on the coasts; in fact, to be the best of all the islands of the archipelago. Dysentery, diarrhoea, and fever occur less frequently than in Luzon, and Europeans also are less subject to their attacks than in that place.

[Only the coast settled.] The civilized natives live almost solely on its coasts, and there are also Bisayans who differ in speech and manners from the Bicols in about the same degree that the latter do from the Tagalogs. Roads and villages are almost entirely wanting in the interior, which is covered with a thick wood, and affords sustenance to independent tribes, who carry on a little tillage (vegetable roots and mountain rice), and collect the products of the woods, particularly resin, honey, and wax, in which the island is very rich.

[A tedious but eventful voyage.] On the 3rd of July we lost sight of Legaspi, and, detained by frequent calms, crawled as far as Point Montufar, on the northern edge of Albay, then onwards to the small island of Viri, and did not reach Lauang before evening of the 5th. The mountain range of Bacon (the Pocdol of Coello), which on my previous journeys had been concealed by night or mist, now revealed itself to us in passing as a conical mountain; and beside it towered a very precipitous, deeply-cleft mountain-side, apparently the remnant of a circular range. After the pilot, an old Filipino and native of the country, who had made the journey frequently before, had conducted us, to begin with, to a wrong port, he ran the vessel fast on to the bar, although there was sufficient water to sail into the harbor conveniently.

[Lauang.] The district of Lauang (Lahuan), which is encumbered with more than four thousand five hundred inhabitants, is situated at an altitude of forty feet, on the south-west shore of the small island of the same name, which is separated from Samar by an arm of the Catubig. According to a widely-spread tradition, the settlement was originally in Samar itself, in the middle of the rice-fields, which continue to the present day in that place, until the repeated inroads of sea-pirates drove the inhabitants, in spite of the inconvenience attending it, to protect themselves by settling on the south coast of the little island, which rises steeply out of the sea. [163] The latter consists of almost horizontal banks of tufa, from eight to twelve inches in thickness. The strata being continually eaten away by the waves at low watermark, the upper layers break off; and thus the uppermost parts of the strata, which are of a tolerably uniform thickness, are cleft by vertical fissures, and look like the walls of a fortress. Pressed for space, the church and the convent have taken up every level bit of the rock at various heights; and the effect of this accommodation of architecture to the requirements of the ground, though not designed by the architect, is most picturesque.

[Deterioration in the town.] The place is beautifully situated; but the houses are not so frequently as formerly surrounded by little gardens while there is a great want of water, and foul odors prevail. Two or three scanty springs afford a muddy, brackish water, almost at the level of the sea, with which the indolent people are content so that they have just enough. Wealthy people have their water brought from Samar, and the poorer classes are sometimes compelled, by the drying-up of the springs, to have recourse to the same place. The spring-water is not plentiful for bathing purposes; and, sea-bathing not being in favor, the people consequently are very dirty. Their clothing is the same as in Luzon; but the women wear no tapis, only a camisa (a short chemise, hardly covering the breast), and a saya, mostly of coarse, stiff guinara, which forms ugly folds, and when not colored black is very transparent. But dirt and a filthy existence form a better screen than opaque garments. The inhabitants of Lauang rightly, indeed, enjoy the reputation of being very idle. Their industry is limited to a little tillage, even fishing being so neglected that frequently there is a scarcity of fish. In the absence of roads by land, there is hardly any communication by water; and trade is mostly carried on by mariners from Catbalogan, who exchange the surplus of the harvests for other produce.

From the convent a view is had of part of the island of Samar, the mountain forms of which appear to be a continuation of the horizontal strata. In the centre of the district, at the distance of some miles, a table mountain, famous in the history of the country, towers aloft. [The Palapat revolt.] The natives of the neighboring village of Palapat retreated to it after having killed their priest, a too covetous Jesuit father, and for years carried on a guerilla warfare with the Spaniards until they were finally overpowered by treachery.

[Pirate outrages.] The interior of the country is difficult to traverse from the absence of roads, and the coasts are much infested by pirates. Quite recently several pontins and four schooners, laden with abaca, were captured, and the crews cruelly murdered, their bodies having been cut to pieces. This, however, was opposed to their general practice, for the captives are usually employed at the oars during the continuance of the foray, and afterwards sold as slaves in the islands of the Sulu sea. It was well that we did not encounter the pirates, for, although we carried four small cannons on board, nobody understood how to use them. [164]

[Electing officers.] The governor, who was expected to conduct the election of the district officials in person, but was prevented by illness, sent a deputy. As the annual elections are conducted in the same manner over the whole country, that at which I was present may be taken as typical of the rest. It took place in the common hall; the governor (or his deputy) sitting at the table, with the pastor on his right hand, and the clerk on his left—the latter also acting as interpreter; while Cabezas de Barangay, the gobernadorcillo, and those who had previously filled the office, took their places all together on benches. First of all, six cabezas and as many gobernadorcillos are chosen by lot as electors; the actual gobernadorcillo is the thirteenth, and the rest quit the hall. After the reading of the statutes by the president, who exhorts the electors to the conscientious performance of their duty, the latter advance singly to the table, and write three names on a piece of paper. Unless a valid protest be made either by the parish priest or by the electors, the one who has the most votes is forthwith named gobernadorcillo for the coming year, subject to the approval of the superior jurisdiction at Manila; which, however, always consents, for the influence of the priest would provide against a disagreeable election. The election of the other functionaries takes place in the same manner, after the new gobernadorcillo has been first summoned into the hall, in order that, if he have any important objections to the officers then about to be elected, he may be able to make them. The whole affair was conducted very quietly and with dignity. [165]

[Unsatisfactory forced labor.] On the following morning, accompanied by the obliging priest, who was followed by nearly all the boys of the village, I crossed over in a large boat to Samar. Out of eleven strong baggage porters whom the governor's representative had selected for me, four took possession of some trifling articles and sped away with them, three others hid themselves in the bush, and four had previously decamped at Lauang. The baggage was divided and distributed amongst the four porters who were detained, and the little boys who had accompanied us for their own pleasure. We followed the sea-shore in a westerly direction, and at a very late hour reached the nearest visita (a suburban chapel and settlement) where the priest was successful, after much difficulty, in supplying the places of the missing porters. On the west side of the mouth of the Pambujan a neck of land projects into the sea, which is a favorite resort of the [A pirate base.] sea-pirates, who from their shelter in the wood command the shore which extends in a wide curve on both sides, and forms the only communication between Lauang and Catarman. Many travellers had already been robbed in this place; and the father, who was now accompanying me thus far, had, with the greatest difficulty, escaped the same danger only a few weeks before.

The last part of our day's journey was performed very cautiously. A messenger who had been sent on had placed boats at all the mouths of rivers, and, as hardly any other Europeans besides ecclesiastics are known in this district, I was taken in the darkness for a Capuchin in travelling attire; the men lighting me with torches during the passage, and the women pressing forward to kiss my hand. I passed the night on the road, and on the following day reached Catarman (Caladman on Coello's map), a clean, spacious locality numbering 6,358 souls, at the mouth of the river of the same name. Six pontins from Catbalogan awaited their cargoes of rice for Albay. The inhabitants of the north coast are too indifferent sailors to export their products themselves, and leave it to the people of [Catbalogan monopoly of interisland traffic.] Catbalogan, who, having no rice-fields, are obliged to find employment for their activity in other places.

[A changed river and a new town.] The river Catarman formerly emptied further to the east, and was much choked with mud. In the year 1851, after a continuous heavy rain, it worked for itself, in the loose soil which consists of quartz sand and fragments of mussels, a new and shorter passage to the sea—the present harbor, in which ships of two hundred tons can load close to the land; but in doing so it destroyed the greater part of the village, as well as the stone church and the priest's residence. In the new convent there are two salons, one 16.2 by 8.8, the other 9 by 7.6 paces in dimensions, boarded with planks from a single branch of a dipterocarpus (guiso). The pace is equivalent to 30 inches; and, assuming the thickness of the boards, inclusive of waste, to be one inch, this would give a solid block of wood as high as a table (two and one-half feet), the same in breadth, eighteen feet in length, and of about one hundred and ten cubic feet. [166] The houses are enclosed in gardens; but some of them only by fencing, within which weeds luxuriate. At the rebuilding of the village, after the great flood of water, the laying out of gardens was commanded; but the industry which is required to preserve them is often wanting. Pasture grounds extend themselves, on the south side of the village, covered with fine short grass; but, with the exception of some oxen and sheep belonging to the priest, there are no cattle.

[Up the river.] Still without servants, I proceeded with my baggage in two small boats up the river, on both sides of which rice-fields and coco-groves extended; but the latter, being concealed by a thick border of Nipa palms and lofty cane, are only visible occasionally through the gaps. The sandy banks, at first flat, became gradually steeper, and the rock soon showed itself close at hand, with firm banks of sandy clay containing occasional traces of indistinguishable petrifactions. A small mussel [167] has pierced the clay banks at the water-line, in such number that they look like honeycombs. About twelve we cooked our rice in an isolated hut, amongst friendly people. The women whom we surprised in dark ragged clothing of guinara drew back ashamed, and soon after appeared in clean chequered sayas, with earrings of brass and tortoise-shell combs. When I drew a little naked girl, the mother forced her to put on a garment. About two we again stepped into the boat, and after rowing the whole night reached a small visita, Cobocobo, about nine in the forenoon. The rowers had worked without interruption for twenty-four hours, exclusive of the two hours' rest at noon, and though somewhat tired were in good spirits.

[Salta Sangley ridge.] At half-past two we set out on the road over the Salta Sangley (Chinese leap) to Tragbucan, which, distant about a mile in a straight line, is situated at the place where the Calbayot, which empties on the west coast at Point Hibaton, becomes navigable for small boats. By means of these two rivers and the short but troublesome road, a communication exists between the important stations of Catarman on the north coast, and Calbayot on the west coast. The road, which at its best part is a small path in the thick wood uninvaded by the sun, and frequently is only a track, passes over slippery ridges of clay, disappearing in the mud puddles in the intervening hollows, and sometimes running into the bed of the brooks. The watershed between the Catarman and Calbayot is formed by the Salta Sangley already mentioned, a flat ridge composed of banks of clay and sandstone, which succeed one another ladder-wise downwards on both its sides, and from which the water collected at the top descends in little cascades. In the most difficult places rough ladders of bamboo are fixed. I counted fifteen brooks on the north-east side which feed the Catarman, and about the same number of feeders of the Calbayot on the south-west side. About forty minutes past four we reached the highest point of the Salta Sangley, about ninety feet above the sea; and at half-past six we got to a stream, the highest part of the Calbayot, in the bed of which we wandered until its increasing depth forced us, in the dark, laboriously to beat out our path through the underwood to its bank; and about eight o'clock we found ourselves opposite the visita Tragbucan. The river at this place was already six feet deep, and there was not a boat. After shouting entreaties and threats for a long time, the people, who were startled out of sleep by a revolver shot, agreed to construct a raft of bamboo, on which they put us and our baggage. The little place, which consists of only a few poor huts, is prettily situated, surrounded as it is by wooded hillocks on a plateau of sand fifty feet above the reed-bordered river.

[On the Calbayot River.] Thanks to the activity of the teniente of Catarman who accompanied me, a boat was procured without delay, so that we were able to continue our journey about seven o'clock. The banks were from twenty to forty feet high; and, with the exception of the cry of some rhinoceros birds which fluttered from bough to bough on the tops of the trees, we neither heard nor saw a trace of animal life. About half-past eleven we reached Taibago, a small visita, and about half-past one a similar one, Magubay; and after two hours' rest at noon, about five o'clock, we got into a current down which we skilfully floated, almost without admitting any water. The river, which up to this point is thirty feet broad, and on account of many projecting branches of trees difficult to navigate, here is twice as broad. About eleven at night we reached the sea, and in a complete calm rowed for the distance of a league along the coast to Calbayot, the convent at which place affords a commanding view of the islands lying before it.

A thunderstorm obliged us to postpone the journey to the chief town, Catbalogan (or Catbalonga), which was seven leagues distant, until the afternoon. In a long boat, formed out of the stem of one tree, and furnished with outriggers, we travelled along the shore, which is margined by a row of low-wooded hills with many small visitas; and as night was setting in we rounded the point of Napalisan, a rock of trachytic conglomerate shaped by perpendicular fissures with rounded edges into a series of projections like towers, which rises up out of the sea to the height of sixty feet, like a knight's castle. [Catbalogan.] At night we reached Catbalogan, the chief town of the island, with a population of six thousand, which is picturesquely situated in the middle of the western border, in a little bay surrounded by islands and necks of land, difficult to approach and, therefore, little guarded. Not a single vessel was anchored in the harbor.

The houses, many of which are of boards, are neater than those in Camarines; and the people, though idle, are more modest, more honorable, more obliging, and of cleaner habits, than the inhabitants of South Luzon. Through the courtesy of the governor I quickly obtained a roomy dwelling, and a servant who understood Spanish. [An ingenious mechanic.] Here I also met a very intelligent Filipino who had acquired great skill in a large variety of crafts. With the simplest tools he improved in many points on my instruments and apparatus, the purpose of which he quickly comprehended to my entire satisfaction, and gave many proofs of considerable intellectual ability.

[The flying monkey.] In Samar the flying monkey or lemur (the kaguang of the Bisayans—galeopithecus) is not rare. These animals, which are of the size of the domestic cat, belong to the quadrumana; but, like the flying squirrels, they are provided with a bird-like membrane, which, commencing at the neck, and passing over the fore and hinder limbs, reaches to the tail; by means of which they are able to glide from one tree to another at a very obtuse angle. [168] Body and membrane are clothed with a very short fur, which nearly equals the chinchilla in firmness and softness, and is on that account in great request. While I was there, six live kaguangs arrived as a present for the priest (three light grey, one dark brown, and two greyish brown; all with irregularly distributed spots); and from these I secured a little female with her young.

[A hasty and unfounded judgment.] It appeared to be a very harmless, awkward animal. When liberated from its fetters, it remained lying on the ground with all its four limbs stretched out, and its belly in contact with the earth, and then hopped in short awkward leaps, without thereby raising itself from the ground, to the nearest wall, which was of planed boards. Arrived there, it felt about it for a long time with the sharp claw, which is bent inwards, of its fore-hand, until at length it realized the impossiblity of climbing it at any part. It succeeded by means of a corner or an accidental crevice in climbing a foot upwards, and fell down again immediately, because it had abandoned the comparatively secure footing of its hinder limbs before its fore-claws had obtained a firm hold. It received no hurt, as the violence of the fall was broken by the flying membrane which was rapidly extended. These attempts, which were continued with steady perseverance, showed an astonishing deficiency of judgment, the animal endeavoring to do much more than was in its power to accomplish. All its endeavors, therefore, were unsuccessful, though made without doing itself any hurt—thanks to the parachute with which Nature had provided it. Had the kaguang not been in the habit of relying so entirely on this convenient contrivance, it probably would have exercised its judgment to a greater extent, and formed a more correct estimate of its ability. The animal repeated its fruitless efforts so often that I no longer took any notice of it, and after some time it disappeared: but I found it again in a dark corner, under the roof, where it would probably have waited for the night in order to continue its flight. Evidently it had succeeded in reaching the upper edge of the boarded wall by squeezing its body between this and the elastic covering of bamboo hurdle-work which lay firmly imposed upon it; so that the poor creature, which I had rashly concluded was stupid and awkward, had, under the circumstances, manifested the greatest possible skill, prudence, and perseverance.

[A promise of rare animals and wild people.] A priest who was present on a visit from Calbigan promised me so many wonders in his district—abundance of the rarest animals, and Cimarrones uncivilized in the highest degree—that I accompanied him, on the following day, in his journey home. In an hour after our departure we reached the little island of Majava, which consists of perpendicular strata of a hard, fine-grained, volcanic tufa, with small, bright crystals of hornblende. The island of Buat (on Coello's map) is called by our mariners Tubigan. In three hours we reached Umauas, a dependency of Calbigan. It is situated, fifty feet above the sea, in a bay, before which (as is so often the case on this coast) a row of small picturesque islands succeed one another, and is exactly four leagues from Catbalogan. But Calbigan, which we reached towards evening, is situated two leagues N.N.E. from Umauas, surrounded by rice-fields, forty feet above the river of the same name, and almost a league and a half from its mouth. A tree with beautiful violet-blue panicles of blossoms is especially abundant on the banks of the Calbigan, and supplies a most valuable wood for building purposes in the Philippines. It is considered equal to teak, like which it belongs to the class verbenaceae; and its inland name is [Molave.] molave (Vitex geniculata, Blanco).

[Serpent-charmers.] According to the statements of credible men, there are serpent-tamers in this country. They are said to pipe the serpents out of their holes, directing their movements, and stopping and handling them at will, without being injured by them. The most famous individual amongst them, however, had been carried off by the sea-pirates a short time before; another had run away to the Cimarronese in the mountains; and the third, whose reputation did not appear to be rightly established, accompanied me on my excursion, but did not justify the representations of his friends. He caught two poisonous serpents, [169] which we encountered on the road, by dexterously seizing them immediately behind the head, so that they were incapable of doing harm; and, when he commanded them to lie still, he took the precaution of placing his foot on their necks. In the chase I hurt my foot so severely against a sharp-pointed branch which was concealed by the mud that I was obliged to return to Catbalogan without effecting my object. The inhabitants of Calbigan are considered more active and circumspect than those on the west coast, and they are praised for their honesty. I found them very skilful; and they seemed to take an evident pleasure in making collections and preparing plants and animals, so that I would gladly have taken with me a servant from the place; but they are so reluctant to leave their village that all the priest's efforts to induce one to ride with us were fruitless.

[A coral garden.] At a short distance north-west from Catbalogan a most luxuriant garden of corals is to be observed in less than two fathoms, at the ebb. On a yellow carpet of calcareous polyps and sponges, groups of leather-like stalks, finger-thick, lift themselves up like stems of vegetable growth; their upper ends thickly covered with polyps (Sarcophyton pulmo Esp.), which display their roses of tentacula wide open, and resplendent with the most beautiful varying colors, looking, in fact, like flowers in full bloom. Very large serpulites extend from their calcareous tubes, elegant red, blue, and yellow crowns of feelers, and, while little fishes of marvellously gorgeous color dart about in this fairy garden, in their midst luxuriantly grow delicate, feathered plumulariae.

[Ornamental but useless forts.] Bad weather and the flight of my servant, who had gambled away some money with which he had been entrusted, at a cock-fight, having detained me some days in the chief town, I proceeded up the bay, which extends southwards from Catbalogan and from west to east as far as Paranas. Its northern shore consists of ridges of earth, regular and of equal height, extending from north to south, with gentle slopes towards the west, but steep declivities on the east, and terminating abruptly towards the sea. Nine little villages are situated on this coast between Catbalogan and Paranas. From the hollows, amidst coco and betel palms, they expand in isolated groups of houses up the gentle western slopes, and, on reaching the summit, terminate in a little castle, which hardly affords protection against the pirates, but generally forms a pretty feature in the landscape. In front of the southern edge of the bay, and to the south-west, many small islands and wooded rocks are visible, with the mountains of Leyte in the high-ground, constituting an ever-shifting series of views.

[Paranas.] As the men, owing to the sultry heat, the complete calm, and almost cloudless sky, slept quite as much as they rowed, we did not reach Paranas before the afternoon. It is a clean village, situated on a declivity between twenty and a hundred and fifty feet above the sea. The sides, which stand perpendicularly in the sea, consist of grey banks of clay receding landwards, and overspread with a layer of fragments of mussels, the intervals between which are filled up with clay, and over the latter is a solid breccia, cemented with lime, composed of similar fragments. In the clay banks are well-preserved petrifactions, so similar in color, habitat, and aspect to many of those in the German tertiary formations that they might be taken for them. The breccia also is fossil, probably also tertiary; at all events, the identity of the few species which were recognisable in it—Cerithium, Pecten, and Venus—with living species could not be determined. [170]

[A canal through the bog.] On the following morning I proceeded northwards by a small canal, through a stinking bog of rhizophora (mangroves), and then continued my journey on land to Loquilocun, a little village which is situated in the forest. Half-way we passed through a river, twenty feet broad, flowing east to west, with steep banks rendered accessible by ladders.

[Hammock-travelling.] As I still continued lame (wounds in the feet are difficult to heal in warm countries), I caused myself to be carried part of the way in the manner which is customary hereabouts. The traveller lies on a loose mat, which is fastened to a bamboo frame, borne on the shoulders of four robust polistas. About every ten minutes the bearers are relieved by others. As a protection against sun and rain, the frame is furnished with a light roof of pandanus.

[Poor roads.] The roads were pretty nearly as bad as those at the Salta Sangley; and, with the exception of the sea-shore, which is sometimes available, there appear to be none better in Samar. After three hours we reached the Loquilocun, which, coming from the north, here touches its most southerly point, and then flows south-east to the great ocean. Through the kind care of the governor, I found two small boats ready, which were propelled with wonderful dexterity by two men squatted at the extreme ends, and [Running the rapids.] glided between the branches of the trees and rocks into the bed of the rapid mountain torrent. Amidst loud cheers both the boats glided down a cascade of a foot and a half in height without shipping any water.

[Loquilocun.] The little village of Loquilocun consists of three groups of houses on three hillocks. The inhabitants were very friendly, modest, and obliging, and so successful in collecting that the spirits of wine which I had with me was quickly consumed. In Catbalogan my messengers were able with difficulty to procure a few small flasks. Through the awkward arrangements of a too obliging friend, my own stores, having been sent to a wrong address, did not reach me until some months afterwards; and the palm-wine, which was to be bought in Samar, was too weak. One or two boats went out daily to fish for me; but I obtained only a few specimens, which belonged to almost as many species and genera. Probably the bad custom of poisoning the water in order to kill the fish (the pounded fruit of a Barringtonia here being employed for the purpose) is the cause of the river being so empty of fish.

[Numerous small streams.] After a few days we left the little place about half-past nine in the forenoon, packed closely in two small boats; and, by seven minutes past one when we reached an inhabited hut in the forest, we had descended more than forty streams of a foot and a foot and a half and more in depth. The more important of them have names which are correctly given on Coello's map; and the following are their distances by the watch:—At ten o'clock we came to a narrow, rocky chasm, at the extremity of which the water falls several feet below into a large basin; and here we unloaded the boats, which hitherto had, under skilful management, wound their way, like well-trained horses, between all the impediments in the bed of the river and over all the cascades and waves, almost without taking any water; only two men remaining in each boat, who, loudly cheering, shot downwards; in doing which the boats were filled to the brim.

[Jasper and Coal.] Opposite this waterfall a bank of rubbish had been formed by the alluvium, in which, besides fragments of the subjacent rock, were found well-rounded pieces of jasper and porphyry, as well as some bits of coal containing several pyrites, which had probably been brought during the rain from higher up the river. Its origin was unknown to the sailors. From fifty-six minutes past eleven to twelve o'clock there was an uninterrupted succession of rapids, which were passed with the greatest dexterity, without taking in water. Somewhat lower down, at about three minutes past twelve, we took in so much water that we were compelled to land and bale it out. At about fifteen minutes past twelve, we proceeded onwards, the river now being on the average sixty feet broad. On the edge of the wood some slender palms, hardly ten feet high, were remarkable by their frequency, and many phalaenopses by their display of blossoms, which is of rare occurrence. Neither birds nor apes, nor serpents were observed; but large pythons, as thick as one's leg are said to be not unfrequent.

[Big pythons.] About thirty-six minutes past twelve we reached one of the most difficult places—a succession of waves, with many rocks projecting out of the water, between which the boats, now in full career, and with rapid evolutions, glided successfully. The adventure was accomplished with equal skill by the two crews, who exerted their powers to the utmost. At seventeen minutes past one we arrived at [Dini portage.] Dini, the most considerable waterfall in the whole distance; and here we had to take the boats out of the water; and, availing ourselves of the lianas which hung down from the lofty forest trees like ropes, we dragged them over the rocks. At twenty-one minutes past two we resumed our journey; and from twenty-two minutes past to half past eight we descended an irregular stair composed of several ledges, shipping much water. Up to this point the Loquilocun flowed in a rocky bed, with (for the most part) steep banks, and sometimes for a long distance under a thick canopy of boughs, from which powerful tendrils and ferns, more than a fathom in length, were suspended. Here the country was to some extent open; flat hillocks, with low underwood, came to view, and, on the north-west, loftier wooded mountains. The last two hours were notable for a heavy fall of rain, and, about half past five, we reached a solitary house occupied by friendly people, where we took up our quarters for the night.

[Down the river.] On the following morning the journey was continued down the river. Within ten minutes we glided past the last waterfall, between white calcareous rocks of a kind of marble, covered with magnificent vegetation. Branches, completely covered with phalaenopses (P. Aphrodite, Reichb. fls.), projected over the river, their flowers waving like large gorgeous butterflies over its foaming current. Two hours later the stream became two hundred feet broad, and, after leaping down a ladder of fifty meters in height from Loquilocun, it steals away in gentle windings through a flat inundated country to the east coast; forming a broad estuary, on the right bank of which, half a league from the sea, the district of Jubasan or Paric (population 2,300) is situated. The latter give their names to the lower portion of the stream. Here the excellent fellows of Loquilocun left me in order to begin their very arduous return journey.

[Along the coast.] Owing to bad weather, I could not embark for Tubig (population 2,858), south of Paric, before the following day; and, being continually hindered by difficulties of land transit, I proceeded in the rowboat along the coast to Borongan (population 7,685), with the equally intelligent and obliging priest with whom I remained some days, and then continued my journey to Guiuan (also Guiuang, Guiguan), the most important district in Samar (population 10,781), situated on a small neck of land which projects from the south-east point of the island into the sea.

[A tideland spring.] Close to the shore at the latter place a copious spring bursts out of five or six openings, smelling slightly of sulphuretted hydrogen. It is covered by the sea during the flow, but is open during the ebb, when its salt taste is hardly perceptible. In order to test the water, a well was formed by sinking a deep bottomless jar, and from this, after the water had flowed for the space of half an hour, a sample was taken, which, to my regret, was afterwards lost. The temperature of the water of the spring, at eight o'clock in the forenoon, was 27.7 deg.; of the atmosphere, 28.7 deg.; of the sea-water, 31.2 deg.C. The spring is used by the women to dye their sarongs. The materials, after being steeped in the decoction of a bark abounding in tannin (materials made of the abaca are first soaked in a calcareous preparation), and dried in the sun, are placed in the spring during the ebb, taken out during the flow, re-dried, dipped in the decoction of bark, and again, while wet, placed in the spring; and this is repeated for the space of three days; when the result is a durable, but ugly inky black (gallussaures, oxide of iron).

[East Indian monkeys.] At Loquilocun and Borongan I had an opportunity of purchasing two live macaques. [171] These extremely delicate and rare little animals, which belong to the class of semi-apes, are, as I was assured in Luzon and Leyte, to be found only in Samar, and live exclusively on charcoal. My first "mago" was, in the beginning, somewhat voracious, but he disdained vegetable food, and was particular in his choice of insects, devouring live grasshoppers with delight. [172] It was extremely ludicrous, when he was fed in the day time, to see the animal standing, perched up perpendicularly on his two thin legs with his bare tail, and turning his large head—round as a ball, and with very large, yellow, owl-like eyes—in every direction, looking like a dark lantern on a pedestal with a circular swivel. Only gradually did he succeed in fixing his eyes on the object presented to him; but, as soon as he did perceive it, he immediately extended his little arms sideways, as though somewhat bashful, and then, like a delighted child, suddenly seizing it with hand and mouth at once, he deliberately tore the prey to pieces. During the day the mago was sleepy, short-sighted, and, when disturbed, morose; but with the decreasing daylight he expanded his pupils, and moved about in a lively and agile manner, with rapid noiseless leaps, generally sideways. He soon became tame, but to my regret died after a few weeks; and I succeeded only for a short time in keeping the second little animal alive.

CHAPTER XX

[Pearl divers from the Carolines.] In Guiuan I was visited by some Micronesians, who for the last fourteen days had been engaged at Sulangan on the small neck of land south-east from Guiuan, in diving for pearl mussels (mother-of-pearl), having undertaken the dangerous journey for the express purpose. [173]

[Hardships and perils of their voyage.] They had sailed from Uleai (Uliai, 7 deg. 20' N., 143 deg.57' E. Gr.) in five boats, each of which had a crew of nine men and carried forty gourds full of water, with coconuts and batata. Every man received one coconut daily, and two batatas, which they baked in the ashes of the coco shells; and they caught some fish on the way, and collected a little rain-water. During the day they directed their course by the sun, and at night by the stars. A storm destroyed the boats. Two of them sank, together with their crews, before the eyes of their companions, and of these, only one—probably the sole individual rescued—two weeks afterwards reached the harbor of Tandag, on the east coast of Mindanao. The party remained at Tandag two weeks, working in the fields for hire, and then proceeded northwards along the coast to Cantilang, 8 deg. 25' N.; Banouan (called erroneously Bancuan by Coello), 9 deg. 1' N.; Taganaan, 9 deg. 25' N.; thence to Surigao, on the north point of Mindanao; and then, with an easterly wind, in two days, direct to Guiuan. In the German translation of Captain Salmon's "History of the Oriental Islands" (Altona, 1733), it is stated that:

[Castaways from the Pelews.] "Some other islands on the east of the Philippines have lately been discovered which have received the name of the New Philippines because they are situated in the neighborhood of the old, which have been already described. Father Clan (Clain), in a letter from Manila, which has been incorporated in the 'Philosophical Transactions,' makes the following statement respecting them:—It happened that when he was in the town of Guivam, on the island of Samar, he met twenty-nine Palaos (there had been thirty, but one died soon after in Guiuan), or natives of certain recently discovered islands, who had been driven thither by the east winds, which prevail from December to May. According to their own statement, they were driven about by the winds for seventy days, without getting sight of land, until they arrived opposite to Guivam. When they sailed from their own country, their two boats were quite full, carrying thirty-five souls, including their wives and children; but several had died miserably on the way from the fatigue which they had undergone. When some one from Guivam wished to go on board to them, they were thrown into such a state of terror that all who were in one of the boats sprang overboard, along with their wives and children. However, they at last thought it best to come into the harbor; so they came ashore on December 28, 1696. They fed on coconuts and roots, which were charitably supplied to them, but refused even to taste cooked rice, which is the general food of the Asiatic nations. [Previous castaways.] Two women who had previously been cast away on the same islands acted as interpreters for them....

[Lived by sea-fishing and rain water.] "The people of the country went half naked, and the men painted their bodies with spots and all kinds of devices.... As long as they were on the sea they lived on fish, which they caught in a certain kind of fish-basket, with a wide mouth but tapering to a point at the bottom, which was dragged along underneath the boats; and rain-water, when they could catch it (or, as is stated in the letter itself, preserved in the shells of the coconut), served them for drink. When they were about to be taken into the presence of the Father, whom, from the great respect which was shown to him, they took for the governor, they colored their bodies entirely yellow, an operation which they considered highly important, as enabling them to appear as persons of consideration. They are very skilful divers, and now and then find pearls in the mussels which they bring up, which, however, they throw away as useless things."

[Not the first time for one.] But one of the most important parts of Father Clain's letter has been omitted by Capt. Salmon:—"The oldest of these strangers had once before been cast away on the coast of the province of Caragan, on one of our islands (Mindanao); but as he found only heathens (infidels), who lived in the mountains or on the desert shore, he returned to his own country."

[Yap camotes from Philippines.] In a letter from Father Cantova to Father d'Aubenton, dated from Agdana (i.e. Agana, of the Marianne Islands), March 20, 1722, describing the Caroline and Pelew Islands, it is said:—"The fourth district lies to the west. Yap (9 deg. 25' N., 138 deg. 1' E. Gr.), [174] which is the principal island, is more than forty leagues in circumference. Besides the different roots which are used by the natives of the island instead of bread, there is the batata, which they call camote, and which they have acquired from the Philippines, as I was informed by one of our Caroline Indians, who is a native of the island. He states that his father, named Coorr, ... three of his brothers, and himself had been cast away in a storm on one of the provinces in the Philippines, which was called Bisayas; that a missionary of our society (Jesus) received them in a friendly manner ... that on returning to their own island they took with them the seeds of different plants, amongst others the [Other arrivals of Micronesians.] batata, which multiplied so fast that they had sufficient to supply the other islands of the Archipelago with them." Murillo Velarde states that in 1708 some Palaos were wrecked in a storm on Palapag (north coast of Samar); and I personally had the opportunity, in Manila, of photographing a company of Palaos and Caroline islanders, who had been the year before cast on the coast of Samar by foul weather. Apart from the question of their transport, whether voluntary or not, these simply were six examples, such as still occur occasionally, of Micronesians cast up on the shore of the Philippines; and probably it would not be difficult to find several more; but how often, both before and after the arrival of the Spaniards, might not vessels from those islands have come within the influence of the north-east storms, and been driven violently on the east coast of the Philippines without any record of such facts being preserved? [175] Even as, on the west side of the Archipelago, the type of the race seems to have been modified by its long intercourse with China, Japan, Lower India, and later with Europe, so likewise may Polynesian [Possible influence on Filipinos.] influences have operated in a similar manner on the east side; and the further circumstance that the inhabitants of the Ladrones [176] and the Bisayans [177] possess the art of coloring their teeth black, seems to point to early intercourse between the Bisayans and the Polynesians. [178]

[A futile sea voyage in an open boat.] At Guiuan I embarked on board an inconveniently cranky, open boat, which was provided with an awning only three feet square, for Tacloban, the chief town of Leyte. After first experiencing an uninterrupted calm, we incurred great danger in a sudden tempest, so that we had to retrace the whole distance by means of the oars. The passage was very laborious for the crew, who were not protected by an awning (temperature in the sun 35 deg. R., of the water 25 deg. R. [179]), and lasted thirty-one hours, with few intermissions; the party voluntarily abridging their intervals of rest in order to get back quickly to Tacloban, which keeps up an active intercourse with Manila, and has all the attractions of a luxurious city for the men living on the inhospitable eastern coast. [Beauty of Samar-Leyte strait.] It is questionable whether the sea anywhere washes over a spot of such peculiar beauty as the narrow strait which divides Samar from Leyte. On the west it is enclosed by steep banks of tuff, which tolerate no swamps of mangroves on their borders. There the lofty primeval forest approaches in all its sublimity close to the shore, interrupted only here and there by groves of cocos, in whose sharply defined shadows solitary huts are to be found; and the steep hills facing the sea, and numerous small rocky islands, are crowned with little castles of blocks of coral. At the eastern entrance of the strait the south coast of Samar consists of white limestone, like marble, but of quite modern date, which in many places forms precipitous cliffs. [180] At Nipa-Nipa, a small hamlet two leagues from Basey, they project into the sea in a succession of picturesque rocks, above one hundred feet in height, which, rounded above like a dome, thickly covered with vegetation, and corroded at the base by the waters of the sea, rise out of the waves like gigantic mushrooms. A peculiar atmosphere of enchantment pervades this locality, whose influence upon the native mariner must be all the more powerful when, fortunately escaping from the billows outside and the buffeting of the north-east wind, he suddenly enters this tranquil place of refuge. No wonder that superstitious imagination has peopled the place with spirits.

[Burial caves.] In the caverns of these rocks the ancient Pintados interred the corpses of their heroes and ancestors in well-locked coffins, surrounded by those objects which had been held in the highest regard by them during life. Slaves were also sacrificed by them at their obsequies, in order that they might not be without attendance in the world of shadows; [181] and the numerous coffins, implements, arms, and trinkets, protected by superstitious terrors, continued to be undisturbed for centuries. No boat ventured to cross over without the observance of a religious ceremony, derived from heathen times, to propitiate the spirits of the caverns who were believed to punish the omission of it with storm and ship-wreck.

[Objects destroyed but superstition persists.] About thirty years ago a zealous young ecclesiastic, to whom these heathen practices were an abomination, determined to extirpate them by the roots. With several boats well equipped with crosses, banners, pictures of saints, and all the approved machinery for driving out the Devil, he undertook the expedition against the haunted rocks, which were climbed amidst the sounds of music, prayers, and the reports of fireworks. A whole pailful of holy water first having been thrown into the cave for the purpose of confounding the evil spirits, the intrepid priest rushed in with elevated cross, and was followed by his faithful companions, who were fired with his example. A brilliant victory was the reward of the well-contrived and carefully executed plot. The coffins were broken to fragments, the vessels dashed to pieces, and the skeletons thrown into the sea; and the remaining caverns were stormed with like results. The objects of superstition have indeed been annihilated, but the superstition itself survives to the present day.

[Skulls from a rock near Basey.] I subsequently learned from the priest at Basey that there were still some remains on a rock, and a few days afterwards the worthy man surprised me with several skulls and a child's coffin, which he had had brought from the place. Notwithstanding the great respect in which he was held by his flock, he had to exert all his powers of persuasion to induce the boldest of them to engage in so daring an enterprise. A boat manned by sixteen rowers was fitted out for the purpose; with a smaller crew they would not have ventured to undertake the journey. On their return home a thunderstorm broke over them, and the sailors, believing it to be a punishment for their outrage, were prevented only by the fear of making the matter worse from throwing coffin and skulls into the sea. Fortunately the land was near, and they rowed with all their might towards it; and, when they arrived, I was obliged to take the objects out of the boat myself, as no native would touch them.

[The cavern's contents.] Notwithstanding, I was the next morning successful in finding some resolute individuals who accompanied me to the caverns. In the first two which we examined we found nothing; the third contained several broken coffins, some skulls, and potsherds of glazed and crudely painted earthenware, of which, however, it was impossible to find two pieces that belonged to each other. A narrow hole led from the large cavern into an obscure space, which was so small that one could remain in it only for a few seconds with the burning torch. This circumstance may explain the discovery, in a coffin which was eaten to pieces by worms, and quite mouldered away, of a well-preserved skeleton, or rather a mummy, for in many places there were carcasses clothed with dry fibers of muscle and skin. It lay upon a mat of pandanus, which was yet recognizable, with a cushion under the head stuffed with plants, and covered with matting of pandanus. There were no other remains of woven material. The coffins were of three shapes and without any ornament. Those of the first form, which were of excellent molave-wood, showed no trace of worm-holes or decay, whereas the others had entirely fallen to dust; and those of the third kind, which were most numerous, were distinguishable from the first only by a less curved form and inferior material.

[Impressive location of burial cave.] No legend could have supplied an enchanted royal sepulchre with a more suitable approach than that of the last of these caverns. The rock rises out of the sea with perpendicular sides of marble, and only in one spot is to be observed a natural opening made by the water, hardly two feet high, through which the boat passed at once into a spacious court, almost circular, and over-arched by the sky, the floor of which was covered by the sea, and adorned with a garden of corals. The steep sides are thickly hung with lianas, ferns, and orchids, by help of which one climbs upwards to the cavern, sixty feet above the surface of the water. To add to the singularity of the situation, we also found at the entrance to the grotto, on a large block of rock projecting two feet above the ground, [A sea snake.] a sea-snake, which tranquilly gazed at us, but which had to be killed, because, like all genuine sea-snakes, it was poisonous. Twice before I had found the same species in crevices of rock on the dry land, where the ebb might have left it; but it was strange to meet with it in this place, at such a height above the sea. It now reposes, as Platurus fasciatus Daud., in the Zoological Museum of the Berlin University.

[Chinese dishers from a cave.] In Guiuan I had an opportunity of purchasing four richly painted Chinese dishes which came from a similar cavern, and a gold signet ring; the latter consisting of a plate of gold, originally bent into a tube of the thickness of a quill with a gaping seam, and afterwards into a ring as large as a thaler, which did not quite meet. The dishes were stolen from me at Manila.

[Burial caves.] There are similar caverns which have been used as burial-places in many other localities in this country; on the island of Andog, in Borongan (a short time ago it contained skulls); also at Batinguitan, three hours from Borongan, on the banks of a little brook; and in Guiuan, on the little island of Monhon, which is difficult of approach by reason of the boisterous sea. In Catubig trinkets of gold have been found, but they have been converted into modern articles of adornment. One cavern at Lauang, however, is famous over the whole country on account of the gigantic, flat, compressed skulls, without sutures, which have been found in it. [182] It will not be uninteresting to compare the particulars here described with the statements of older authors; and for this reason I submit the following extracts:—

[Embalming.] Mas (Informe, i. 21), who does not give the sources of his information, thus describes the customs of the ancient inhabitants of the archipelago at their interments:—They sometimes embalmed their dead with aromatic substances * * * and placed those who were of note in chests carved out of a branch of a tree, and furnished with well-fitted lids * * * The coffin was placed, in accordance with the wish of the deceased, expressed before his death, either in the uppermost room of the house, where articles of value were secreted, or under the dwelling-house, in a kind of grave, which was not covered, but enclosed with a railing; or in a distant field, or on an elevated place or rock on the bank of a river, where he might be venerated by the pious. A watch was set over it for a certain time, lest boats should cross over, and the dead person should drag the living after him.

[Burial customs.] According to Gaspar San Agustin (p. 169), the dead were rolled up in cloths, and placed in clumsy chests, carved out of a block of wood, and buried under their houses, together with their jewels, gold rings, and some plates of gold over the mouth and eyes, and furnished with provisions, cups, and dishes. They were also accustomed to bury slaves along with men of note, in order that they might be attended in the other world.

"Their chief idolatry consisted in the worship of those of their ancestors who had most distinguished themselves by courage and genius, whom they regarded as deities * * * * They called them humalagar, which is the same as manes in the Latin * * * Even the aged died under this conceit, choosing particular places, such as one on the island of Leyte, which allowed of their being interred at the edge of the sea, in order that the mariners who crossed over might acknowledge them as deities, and pay them respect." (Thevenot, Religieux, p. 2.)

[Slaves sacrificed.] "They did not place them (the dead) in the earth, but in coffins of very hard, indestructible wood * * * Male and female slaves were sacrificed to them, that they should not be unattended in the other world. If a person of consideration died, silence was imposed upon the whole of the people, and its duration was regulated by the rank of the deceased; and under certain circumstances it was not discontinued until his relations had killed many other persons to appease the spirit of the dead." (Ibid., p. 7.)

"For this reason (to be worshipped as deities) the oldest of them chose some remarkable spot in the mountains, and particularly on headlands projecting into the sea, in order to be worshipped by the sailors." (Gemelli Careri, p. 449.)

[Basey and its river.] From Tacloban, which I chose for my headquarters on account of its convenient tribunal, and because it is well supplied with provisions, I returned on the following day to Samar, and then to Basey, which is opposite to Tacloban. The people of Basey are notorious over all Samar for their laziness and their stupidity, but are advantageously distinguished from the inhabitants of Tacloban by their purity of manners. Basey is situated on the delta of the river, which is named after it. We proceeded up a small arm of the principal stream, which winds, with a very slight fall, through the plain; the brackish water, and the fringe of nipa-palms which accompanies it, consequently extending several leagues into the country. Coco plantations stretch behind them; and there the floods of water (avenidas), which sometimes take place in consequence of the narrow rocky bed of the upper part of the river, cause great devastation, as was evident from the mutilated palms which, torn away from their standing-place, rise up out of the middle of the river. After five hours' rowing we passed out of the flat country into a narrow valley, with steep sides of marble, which progressively closed in and became higher. In several places they are underwashed, cleft, and hurled over each other, and with their naked side-walls form a beautiful contrast to the blue sky, the clear, greenish river, and the luxuriant lianas, which, attaching themselves to every inequality to which they could cling, hung in long garlands over the rocks.

[A frontage.] The stream became so rapid and so shallow that the party disembarked and dragged the boat over the stony bed. In this manner we passed through a sharp curve, twelve feet in height, formed by two rocks thrown opposite to each other, into a tranquil oval-shaped basin of water enclosed in a circle of limestone walls, inclining inwards, of from sixty to seventy feet in height; on the upper edge of which a circle of trees permitted only a misty sunlight to glimmer through the thick foliage. A magnificent gateway of rock, fifty to sixty feet high, and adorned with numerous stalactites, raised itself up opposite the low entrance; and through it we could see, at some distance, the upper portion of the river bathed in the sun. [A beautiful grotto.] A cavern of a hundred feet in length, and easily climbed, opened itself in the left side of the oval court, some sixty feet above the surface of the water; and it ended in a small gateway, through which you stepped on to a projection like a balcony, studded with stalactites. From this point both the landscape and the rocky cauldron are visible, and the latter is seen to be the remainder of a stalactitic cavern, the roof of which has fallen in. The beauty and peculiar character of the place have been felt even by the natives, who have called it Sogoton (properly, a bay in the sea). In the very hard limestone, which is like marble, I observed traces of bivalves and multitudes of spines of the sea-urchin, but no well-defined remains could be knocked off. The river could still be followed a short distance further upwards; and in its bed there were disjointed fragments of talcose and chloritic rocks.

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