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probated his conduct and advised him to go in pilgrimage to Mecca. The Sultan also sent for Mr. Burn, whom he had sometime before swindled out of a valuable cargo, and hiving requested his forgiveness, desired him to beware of the Panambahan, as a man of naturally bad heart, and after his death to have no interviews with hiin nnless in public. On the death of the old Sultan, the second brother, desirous of not being involved in his father's debls, declined the honour of being Sultan. The head-men, however, were at first refractory, and it was sometime before they could be brought to acknowledge him as Sultan, which he only accomplished by dint of presents and promises, engaging to discharge his father's debts as soon as possible, while he gave up many of his own claims, especially those which were due by the Arabs.
The deceased Sultan was a man of fine presence and the most respectable appearance, possessing the most insinuating address ami imposing manners. Profuse and ostentatious in his habits, he scrupled at no means, however base, for raising money to support this exterior state, and as he was perfectly versed in every species of deception, and always supported the appearance of wealth, be seldom failed to procure credit from strangers. He concealed his debts with the utmost care, and was in the constant habit of contracting one debt to discharge another, often selling goods for that purpose at a large discount on what he had bought them. By this means his debts and his difficulties went on gradually accumulating to his death. The most considerable part of his debts were incurred to the Bugis traders, and in consequence of this, the Sultan was obliged to wink at many irregularities of those traders, in regard to avoiding the usual port duties. The Chinese repeatedly made him offers to farm the duties of the port, but to this he would not consent, foreseeing the disputes that were certain of arising between the Bugis and Chinese. In the midst of these difficulties, however, the Arabs and other religious impostors prevailed on him to advance to them large sums of money, which they never thought of refunding; thus with all his dissimulation, becoming the dupe of hypocrisy. He seems always to have dis
played more of the character of the artful trader than of the Sovereign, though it must be owned, that he exhibited considerable suppleness and dexterity in ruling the motley mass of subjects which he had collected at Pontiana.
In punishment he was uncommonly severe and even barbarous. In his own family the faults of his domestics, especially his women, were punished in the most cruel manner, and by the most infamous sort of tortures, sometimes pouring boiling water into the privities of the females, or burning them alive with their paramours on the suspicion of incontinence.
The present Sultan, since the death of his father, has conducted himself in such a manner as in a great measure to efface the former dislike which was entertained of him by the people, carefully avoiding the most prominent errors of his father's character. He has endeavoured to liquidate his father's debts, but has found them so enormous, that a long period must elapse before this can possibly be effected. Carefully avoiding all superfluous expense and the contracting of new debts, he has attempted to establish better regulations. He gradually dismissed the Arabs and religious impostors, who had preyed on his father's credulity, and attempted likewise to compel the Bugis traders to pay the usual duties. In this however, he has never been able to succeed, and many of them have left Pontiana, in consequence of his measures, neither are the Chinese traders so numerous as they formerly were.
The present Sultan has been engaged in no hostilities excepting with Sambas, which is still the inveterate enemy of Pontiana. Shortly after the death of the old Sultan of Pontiana, the chief of Sambas attacked Mampawa, and had very nearly taken the fort. Immediately on receiving intelligence of it, the present Sultan proceeded to Mampawa with two thousand men, and defeated the Sambas army, taking their guns, and a number of prisoners, all of whom, even the women, were put to death at Pontiana, and their heads exposed publicly. The union of the Lanuns with the chief of Sambas, has however, given that chieftain a decided preponderance at sea.
The mouth of Lewa or Pontiana river lies about three or four miles to the N. of the equator, has only from eleven to twelve feet at high spring tides, but above this the river is very deep to an immense distance, and the strength of the current seldom exceeds from three to three and a half miles an hour, and is generally less. The anchorage in the roads is safe and free from shoals, and the weather, even in October, which is the worst month, is never so bad as to interrupt the regular intercourse between the ship and the shore. About seveu miles from the mouth of the river, at Balu Layang, there is a fort on each side of the river, with fourteen or fifteen guns mounted, being eighteen and twenty-four pounders; on the north side of the river and on the south side, directly opposite, a number of smaller guns. The town of Pontiana is about twelve miles from the mouth of the river, where there is likewise a fort, and some armed vessels stationed.
The bar at the entrance from Pontiana all their supplies of opium,
In the town and hounds of Pontiana, there are settled about 3000 Malays, 1000 Bugis, 100 Arabs, and about 10,000 Chinese; besides these, who are the free inhabitants, there are a considerable number of slaves, many of whom are Javanese, and the rest of all the other Eastern tribes; there are also a few runaway Lascars from different vessels. The character of tjie Malays is nearly the same at Pontiana as in other Eastern towns; phlegmatic, indolent and proud, and few of them possess much wealth. The Arabs live by trade; they are generally poor when they settle, but are respected on account of their religious character by the Malays. They are, however, neither such economists as the Bugis, nor so expert as the Chinese in trade, and at present few of them possess property to the amount of 20,000 dollars. The Chinese seldom acquire property above this amount at Pontiana, though they are industrious and expert in trade. They are fond of good living, and addicted to gambling, opium, and merry making. They follow the occupations of merchants, mechanics and labourers, cultivate the ground, distill arrack, make sugar, tearch for gold-dust, and trade to the interior as well as along the coast. The Chinese of Monterano and Salakan, two places very near each other, and situated a short way to the north of Mampawa, 4nd who are estimated at 30,000, receive
piece goods, iron, and China articles. The Bugis at Pontiana chiefly apply themselves to trade, the manufacture of Bugis cloth, and the working of raw silk into cloths. Many of them are possessed of very large property, amounting to above 100,000 dollars. They are generally poor when they come from Bugis-land, but soon acquire property from uniting frugality with dexterity in trade. They are extremely economical and even penurious in their manner of living, insomuch that the daily expense of a Bugis-man's family, however great his property may be, does not amount to above three or four wangs, when the meanest Chinese labourer will continue to spend a rupee; aud a wang at Pontiana is only the twelfth part of a rupee.
The Sultan allows them to cultivate as much ground as they please, without any consideration for the same, but they seldom avail themselves of this permission, permitting their domestic slaves only to till as much as serves for their own subsistence. In navigation, the Bugis seem to have been stationary probably for these thousand years; the proas in which they sail from Pontiana to Pulu Penang, Java, Bali, or any similar place, generally cost from 150 to 300 dollars, and the whole outfit, as far as respects sails, cordage, provisions, stores, &c. for one of these voyages, seldom exceeds the sum of 40 or 50 dsllars, while the amount of the cargo is generally from 10 to 40,000 dollars. The crews receive no wages, but only a share of the adventure, according to the regulations of the Undang-undang. Many of these proas are lost at sea, but few taken by pirates, as they defend themselves desperately, and never surrender.
The duties at Pontiana on sales are six per cent, on all piece-goods, one dollar per pecul on iron, ditto on steel, ditto on tin, ditto on saltpetre, 50 dollars per chest on opium, bees' wax from the interior two dollars per pecul. The trade of Pontiana, however, has greatly declined. Formerly it was annually visited by from eight to fifteen Chinese junks; at present, however, they never exceed the number of five. Two or three small junks come annually from Siam, but the value of their cargoes is only about 7 or 8000' dollars each.
(To be concluded in our next.)
MEMOIR OF RAJA RUNJEET SINGH,
THE PRESENT RULES OF THE SIKHS.
Runjeet Singh, at an early age, found himself at the head of the religion and government of the Sikhs, a Hindu people situate in the Punjab, or country of Five Hirers. To a fine and prepossessing figure he unites a countenance remarkably animated ;—his eyes are large and of jet black, his forehead high, nose what is commonly called Roman, and a mouth small, with an expressive smile. He possesses a richly endowed mind; is well versed in the Eastern dialects ; and speaks, with fluency, one or more European languages. His ministers he selects with discrimination—never permitting interest to gain the ascendant of ability. During the whole of his reign, war has been his delight. He has, however, little confidence in his own subjects, and seems ever to place his chief reliance on that hardy race, the mountaineers of Afghanistan. His recent attempt and failure in the invasion of the valley of Kashmir have attached a celebrity to his character it could not have otherwise obtained. In this instance he was actuated more by avarice than ambition; more through lust of spoil, than anxiety to conquer Kashr inir, hitherto deemed impregnable. His reason calculated the dangers, his imagination heightened the probabilities of sue • cess:—in the last he was deceived. He relied on the fidelity of his Sirdars, and. was misled by their treachery. Rarely lias any native power undertaken a war with such prospects of success—never one in which such flattering hopes were so justly disappointed. In the termination, as on the outset of this disgraceful expedition, Runjeet Singh evinced himself
careless of fatigue; impatient of misfortune, generally mild, but at intervals cruel and inhuman. Disgrace was new to him, and he revenged it on those who surrounded him. His impetuosity broke forth in useless imprecations on the severity of the season, and on the snowy mountains, those natural barriers of Kashmir, the obstacles to his success. At Lahore, his capital, Raja Runjeet Singh is beheld to advantage. Wholly devoid of the tyranny which characterizes many native princes, he happily unites in himself the rarely associated qualities of awe and attachment, the love and duty of his subjects. His laws are mild, and equally administered. Genius finds in him a liberal patron; and poverty, when unsullied by crime, a generous benefactor.
At Lahore splendour is without ostentation—power devoid of oppression—munificence and encouragement spring from the throne—gratitude and admiration from the people. The Punjab bears witness of its Prince's humanity in villages rebuilt, canals cleared, and wells sunk iu the sandy plains whiqli border on the Indus and its branches.
Runjeet Singh is amiable in private life; in politics deceitful. Generally speaking, the father of his subjects—terrible to his enemies. In his demeanour courteous, though in conversation somewhat reserved. His reply to a General Officer, who had lately signalized himself in India, shews native intrepidity of soul:—' Should the British Government attack Lahore,' said Rnivjeet Singh, 'its King can die lighting under its walls, but can never survive the fall,of his capital.'
A CONCISE NARRATIVE
INVASION OF NEPAL BY THE GORKHAS.
The valley of Nepal, situated amidst the immense and almost pathless mountain groups which rise southward of the still more elevated rangeof Himalaya, appears to have been rendered famous in the days of the l'urauas, by the sublime occurrences in the history of the gods, as Asiatic Journ.—No. 13.
well as of late by the ambition of the Gorkha, and the exhibition of British power. The wild spirit of mythology, as if delighted with something congenial in the bleakness and barrenness of nature, has laid the scene of some of her most stupendous legends amidst these dreary soli
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tudcs of snow, summoning to her aid all the terrors and grandeur of the hills. It would be a long task to enumerate the multiplicity of appearances which the condescending or enraged deities have in this valley or its vicinity, afforded to their worshippers. Kailasa Manasarowar, and the mysterious Gangutri, with innumerable places of pilgrimage, are here all, more or less, approximated. The whole land is rendered sacred ; every mountain, spring, or torrent, bears a name in memorial of some preternatural exploit or occurrence. No doubt, amongst many others which are presented to us, we may recognize an interesting fact of natural history, disguised under the mysterious, butspleudid, garb of allegory. Thesuows of heaven which descend upon the lofty summit of Mahadevaka Linga, and melting, afford her sacred waters to the Ganges, have afforded this wild spirit the materials for one of her most interesting legends, that of the descent of Ganga. But it was not only as the scene of unintelligible wonders that Nepal was renowned even in those days. If the information which Mr. Wilford has produced be correct, we learn that the valour of the mountaineers was the means of placing the celebrated Chandragupta om the throne of the eastern division of India.
The valley of Nepal, although not above 200 miles in circuit, at the time of the Gorkha invasion contained the capitals of three independent kingdoms. Catmandu, the residence of the most powerful of these Rajas, consisted of about 18,000 houses, with a territory extended over the surrounding hills to the north as far as Tibet, and eastward about twelve days' journey :—he is reported to have maintained 50,000 troops. The kingdom of Lelit Patau, although the city contained a larger number of houses, was reckoned of secondary importance; it extended four days' journey to the borders of Mucwampur. Bhatgan, which lies eastward of Lelit Patan, contained about 12,000 families, and stretched eastward to the distance of five or six days'journey, as far as the country of the Ciratas, a wild and savage hill tribe, of whom at present little is known. Favoured by the rugged nature of the surrounding country, Nepal appears to have preserved its religion, language, and independence equally uncontaminated by any foreign admixtures to the time
when the dissentions of the rulers of the three petty states afforded the opportunity of conquest to the ambition and intrigue of the Gorkha. The nobles of Lelit Patan, or as by way of eminence it is usually called Patan (the city), had nominated for their sovereign Gainprejas, a man of most extensive influence. He had not reigned however many years, when for some reason being displeased with his conduct, they had removed him from the sovereignty, which they conferred on the kiugof Bhatgan, who as rapidly succeeded his predecessor in disgrace and dethronement. Another king was next called to the throne, and apparently in as short a time to execution. The aristocracy, for such it was which had hitherto swayed at their caprice the politics of this important city, were unhappily not so much at liberty in the next offer of their sceptre.
Prithwinarayana,the Gorkha Raja, had formerly been tributary to Patan in the days of Gainprejas: the capital of hit original possessions lies immediately westward of Mount Bansfore, the lofty peak of which is seen from Nepal, about fifty miles distant. He had long meditated the subjugation of the petty neighbouring states. He had already seized the country of the kings of Marecajis, who were his relations; and had prepared a readier access by conciliating or subd uing the several mountain chiefs, whose rocks and glens lay interposed between Gorkha and the valley, when he was invited to his assistance against his brother Kings by the Prince of Bhatgan. He obeyed the summons, commenced hostilities against Patan, and as promptly received the submission of the nobles. His brother was constituted viceroy; but the Raja still continuing to disturb the tranquillity of his new territories, the nobles revolted, and set up Delmerden Sah the viceroy. For several years he waged war against his brother, until the opinion of the aristocracy again changing, he also was deposed from his dignity, and made room for a man of Lelit Patan, poor, but of the royal house. The first effort of Prithwinarayana against the plain, was thus rendered abortive.
Decisive and energetic in his active measures, the king of Gorkha knew also how to relax or change them as the occasion might require. After more fully securing the. alliance of the hill people, he began again to descend into the plain, and more openly to evince his intentions. Cirtipur, a populous town reckoning 8000 houses, about a league from Catmandu, was the first point which arrested the invader's progress. Disappointed of relief from their sovereign the King of Patan, and pressed by the activity of the besieger, the inhabitants obtained the assistance of Gainprejas, who, without delay, gave battle and a complete overthrow to the Gorkha. A brotherof the king was numbered among the slain; and Prithwinarayana himself escaped with difficulty into the mountains, by the fidelity and vigour of his bearers. Gainprejas, to whom the honour of victory was due, was at once elected king by the inhabitants of the rescued city. This spontaneous effusion of admiring gratitude did not however suffice to remove the suspicions or the malice of Gainprejas :—when the chief persons of the town waited on him at a conference appointed in consequence, they were basely seized by his soldiers; some were clandestinely put to death, and others openly disgraced and led about the city in an ignominious manner. Revenge for their former conduct is conjectured to have deluded the reinstated prince to this conduct.
The king of Gorkha, although thus repulsed with disgrace, could not abandon the favourite project of his ambition; hitherto his abilities or his valour had always succeeded, and generally with great facility. Wild and unlettered as he might have been, he had no doubt frequently listened to a common rule of policy which instructs the young Hindu Raja, that where the strength of the lion fails, recourse should be had to the craftiness of the jackal. The mountain barriers which afford such security to the plain, it is very obvious, may be rendered, if the passes are in the hands of an enemy, the unfriendly means of cutting off all intercourse with other states. These we have before mentioned were now at the command of the Gorkha ; accordingly, a most rigorous blockade was imposed, with the design of creating a famine; and with luch dreadful severity were the orders executed, that a little salt or cotton found on a traveller was sufficient to condemn him to death on the next tree. On one
occasion, some inhabitants of a neighbouring village, having been detected in an attempt to smuggle a tritium article into the plain, the whole of their fellow villagers were, without regard to age or sex, or innocence, or mercy, destroyed with circumstances of the most revolting barbarity. Still however, the king of Gorkha was disappointed and obliged again to change his policy. That maxim which may justly be styled the last resort of tyrants, which has been exhibited with so much splendour and effect in the most important histories of our species, was not above the comprehension of this uncivilized invader. What the sword and famine had equally failed to effect, distentions fomented among the nobles of the three kingdoms would appear to have speedily realized. In the execution of this design, we cannot but be struck with the circumstance, that a large body of Brahmans were the tools employed; secured by the notions of sanctity and inviolability which all ranks of their countrymen attach to the person of a Brahman these characters were suffered to traverse all boundaries and all distinctions; although subjects of the enemy, they found opportunity to bribe the principal men by liberal promises. When the party of the invader was in his estimation sufficiently strong he advanced a second time to the defences of Cirtipur, correcting at the same time a military error which he had committed in the former siege, when he exposed his army before an unsubdued fortress between Catmandu and Patan, cities in the possession of the enemy. We have previously seen that his disposition was (naturally) severe and sanguinary ; it was further inflamed at this time to a remorseless rage by the conduct of the besieged. After several months blockade, the Gorkha demanded the submission of the inhabitants, when a letter was returned with abusive and exasperating language, a surer proof of their determination to persevere, than of their courage or their wisdom. The instant of its reception a general storm was ordered. He was repulsed however by the resolution of the town's people with considerable loss; his brother was wounded by an arrow, and the siege of Cirtipur was raised the second time, Prithwinarayana's attention for a season after this event