Glenn Washington Herrick.

The Asiatic journal and monthly register for British and foreign ..., Volume 18 online

. (page 73 of 124)
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Hafiz Khamut Khan, a gallant leader,
and they bravely stood a cannonade of
several hours before our infantry line
moved forward and drove them from
their position and encampment, wldch
we took possession of. The enemy
was dispersed in every direction, and
lost many men in the pursuit ; which
the Vizier's irregulars continued for
many miles, destroying vast num-
bers of their brave enemies. I well
remember the tragic scene of the Vi-
zier's visit to Colonel Champion, our
commander in the battle, who was re-
posing himself after the fatigues of the
day in a tent in tlie Rohiila camp. It
was announced that Hafiz Khamut
was killed in the action, and that the
Vizier was about to present his head to
the Colonel. Curiosity, brought most
of the English officers to the tent, and
shortly the Vizier dismounted from his
elephant, and one of his followers
produced the head of poor Hafiz. It
was wrapped in a dirty cloth; the
countenance was placid; the beard,
though Hafiz was an old man, was
quite black. Some doubts as to its
being the head of that chief were re-
moved by the lamentations and as-
surances of a wounded Rohilla who
was lying near the tent. There was
not an Englishman present who did



a Letter.) ^

not lament the fate of the brave Hafi&
Not so his implacable and ostenta^
tious enemy, who could not conceal
his joy at the spectacle exhibiting.

The army moved on. Some of the
chiefs of the Rohiilas escaped: one.
of them, Fyzoola Khan, reached the
northern UUs, when he entrenched
himsdf in the jungles. Another chiefs
Maboob Ali Khan, reached his ten*
dence at Bissowly, and, on the fiuti^
of promises of safety^finnn the Vizier^
remained there until both armies reach-
ed that place. Maboob was a timid
man, and had every diing to fear firom
Sojah Dowlah.

The following anecdote will shew
that the European character, even at
this early period, was held in some
estimation by the natives. In our
army was a Lieut. H— , who, be-
sides possessing a perfect knowledge
of the language, had acquired also the
propensity of an Asiatic to mtrigue.
This gentleman found means to have
an Interview with Maboob, and so far
to encourage in him hopes of better
days, that the latter confided to Lieut.
H.'s charge some valuable jewels,
which, in the event of his (Maboob)
surviving, were to be returned to him,
otherwise to be retained by Mr. H.,
rather than fall into the hands of the
Vizier. Lieut. H., judging that some
one of superior ranJc to himself being
joined in the intended trust, would
add confidence to die Khan, solicited
Major W. to accompany him to the
palace. I was an eye-witness to the
result, for, visiting Major W. in the
evening, I found that he and Lieut.
H. had just returned from the palace^
and on the table was a silk handker-
chief, which I supposed contained the
jewels, to a great amount. M^]or W.
described his reception in the |>alace
as most heart-breaking: he tisured
me that the scene of sorrow, firigfat,
and lamentation of the women, wbo
on their knees supplicated his good

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,^WUt^9 Fefag$ io Ctekin Ckhm.



m



I rfuJI

■OTcr foiget the SmpreMkMi the peckttt
■•deiipiinaiymnifBelingB. TliltwMi
iMwevft', a tnuiMction which the wUv
VUer MQO discoTerecL Th« J^weu
were rlcim^pJr d mdghrtti up; Lieut. H.
WM removed firoa the arm/^aild Id^jot
W. was reprehended for meddling t
Bfaboob wet instantly sent as a state
prfsoner to the fortress of AMahabad.
The chief Fysodah Khan^ with the
tOBoaiit of his nation^ escaped to the
iMontaios and jungles, and entrench*
MlJitmself there. Natwithstanding the
rshy season had coiUBenced our amijr
Biarched towards hoMa, and, «ft« Brack
tad tenons nqsodation, broii^t him
ts terms bj leaving him sa indepen-
tat tavrHorjr. He then came out of
his fatnesses, where he had been en*
treachad lor seferal months, and soU
\^o our snmii— iler. Curiosity
'^le spot



where these wretched peeple had wA
fcred so aiieh« It was ssid that two-
diirds of them had died of ftmma
and disease ; and truly the number of
graces, and the limbs and oAl of dead
cattle and horses, wUch were strewed
abouty ware ample proof of the aaaar-
tion. It was a sight most iliiitnHiii^
and mckening. We were glad to ffei"
move to a more open country, ton we
had lost a conndmble number af aft-
cers and men from the swampy gpiaM4
and pestiferous air of the hffls. Oar
encapmentwas onlyafew mies to tfM
mm Mil of the Hwdwak, or whatis
la^Bilj called ^ C6w's 3fsaClL

Rehilcnnd, when our army eaftaaiA
it in 1774, was a garden; in a ^t/0
yeurs afterwards k was renderai m
desert by the Viser's goveraaieat*
I am liappy to lean, however, thai
it has bean gradually recoreriag \
itwaaeededious.



Hf toif kD of IS00I10.



d Vo^i^e io Codam Ckmu hj JohH
Wmnrm, Lieateaant in the United
States Navy. London: 1824.
Oum American lirethren of the
United fitatea have latterly made great
adfaaces in every branch of literature,
lad have forced the illiberal ledii^
that haa been hadxMired against them
I7 many of our countrymen, to give
^vay befisre admowledged merit. For
far.owa sakes as well as theirs we
i^ioioe in this happy change, and shall
nsver allow ourselves to be influsaoed
tf a petty spirit of national pride
iHien liia iitecary productions of ^e
traniBllaniic Brkons pass in review
heibieus.

Consistently with ibis general
laowal, we do not heatate to venture
aa opinion, tiiat the publication men-
tioned at the head of this article fiir-
i^es by far the roost full and satis-
hdoty account of the coantries of
Cambodia and Cochin China that has
eier yet appeared.
MiHe Joam.— No. 106.



Oui^ information respecting these
countries has been hitherto very scan*
ty, for until' the last year or two
almost every attempt of Europeans
to establish a commercial intercourse
with the singular people who m-
habit them» has been met, as in the
pcesent instance, with every possible
discouragement. Almost all their fo-
reign trade is conducted by Chinese»
and the only particular account of
Cambodia, the southeramost province
af the kingdom of CocUn-China,
was, previously to the publication ai
Captain White's journal, by the pan
of a Cbinesf author. Of Codm
China Proper, however, we have not
been destitute of information. In
17789 Mr. Chapman was despat ch ed
from Cakatla for the purpose of open-
ing a csaaarreial intercourse. He
arrived m Cochin China at a VM)st in-
aaqMciotts season, eok U»e termJnatioD
of a civil war^ which had produced a
general £unine, as wdl as the meM'

Vol. XVIII. 3 D



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578 Me^Afw.-^WkiU't Voyagtto Coeim €hma. ICTcT.

plied etHi whidi always accompany vessel, oo each rade in the centre of



intestine commotion : a usurps, more-
over, had obtuned possession of the
crown, and tbe whole system of go-
vernment was disorganized. That the
British envoy should have been ill-
received at so unfavoundile a conjunc-
tnf^ can occasion no surprise. Not
only did he fail in every object for
which his mission had been under-
taken, but he was plundered in every
possible way, and it was with the
utmost difficulty that he ultimately
succeeded in making his escape. Bat-
teries were erected at the mouth of
the Hue river, already sufficiently ob-
structed by a dangerous bar* and every
expedient was resorted to to capture
or destroy his vessel. Mr. Chapman's
own account of lus mbsion was pub-
Usbed in several successive numbers
of our Journal in tbe year 1817. The
style in which it is written is bad, but
the circumstances related are interest-
ing.

In our number for August 1823, we
furnished likewise an abridged account
of Mr. Crawfurd's mission, which
took pUce in the preceding year, as
also certain particulars descriptive of
the country and its inhabitants on the
authority of an individual, who visited
Cochin China in 1819.— To these seve-
ral articles we refer our readers, and
proceed to the more copious and parti-
cular rdation which is now before us.
- Capt. White left the American port
of Salem in January 1819, in com-
mand of the Franklin, with a cargo
eluefly consisting of specie. The des-
tination of the vessel was the port of
Saigun, a city situated i^ut fifty or
sixty miles up the river Donnai, which
empties itself into the China Sea at
the southern extremity of Cambodia.

In passing the straits of Banka, off
the north-eastern coast of Sumatra,
they were attacked by Malay i»rates,
in three lai^ proas, each with " two
banks of oars, with a barricado bmlt
across their forecastles, above a man's
height, and projecting out several feet
beyond the gunwale, or top of the



which was a round perforation or em-
brasure, through which projected die
muzzle of a large cannon. One of
these vessels was larger than tBe
others, and acted as commodore.'*
She was rowed by seventj^-two cars.
The three proas approached tbe Frai±-
lin in the most determined manner^
the oars moving '^without the leaet
regularity," and resembling *' the legs
of a centipede in rapid motion.'* The
Franklin was a ship carrying very few
guns ; a broadside, however, of three
six-pounders was g^ven to the pirates
as ^soon as they had advanced to with-
in a prop)er distance. One of the
shots struck the water a few yards
short of the commodore, and bonnd-
ed over her barricado. The damage
occasioned by this shot caused the
pirates to suspend their attack, nnd it
was happy for the Franklin that it did,
for the next broadside completely dis-
abled her, by breaking the gun-car-
riages, wldch were made of too brit*
tie a wood to bear the recoil of the
guns. Her best course under exisdng
circumstances was mani^tly to take
reftige in Mintow, a Dutch settlement
in the island of Banka, which pUure
she reached in safety.

After refitting at this port, and
taking the best precautions against «
similar adventure, Capt. White pro-
ceeded on his voyage to the coast of
Cambodia widiout encountering fur-
ther obstacle.

On reaching the Donnai river, and
commencing their negociations with
the Cochin Chinese authorities at the
village of Vungtau, a most ludicrous
and provoking scene immediatdy todc
place, affi>rdkig, however, a fair sam-
ple of the manners of the people
with whom they had to deal. The
vessel was boarded by a party of offi-
cers, at the head of which was an old
mandarin named Heo.

After having visited every part of the
ship, the old mandarin be^ to court mj^
favour with the most unyielding pertina-
city, hugging me round the neck,«cti^p^



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Review. — Whitest Voyage to Cochin China.



979



tag to tfamst hlf dlrtj betel-nut into my
mouth from his own, and leaping upon
me like A dog, bj which I was nearly suf-
Ibcated. I finally succeeded in extricating
myself from the ardour of his caresses,
awl getting to the windward side of him,
which I maintained, notwithstanding his
reitented eSart» to dislodge me. At first
we could not account for this sudden and
fislent fit of unsolicited friendship, but in
• short time the mystery was completely
anmrelled.

Misled as we had been by the accounts
which we bad bad of this country, and to-
tally unacquainted with the real character
of the people, we had taken no precaution
to keep any articles out of 4heir sight,
which it would have been improper or in-
convenient for us to part with ; and on
this occasion we suffered severely by our
ignoiance. One of the inferior aiic& in-
thnated a wish to descend to the cabin,
wiiicfa was granted. No sooner bad we
entered it, than, pointing to the looking-
'^ass, he gave us to understand that be
must hare that for the old chief; being
somewhat surprised at the demand, we'
smiled, and, endeavouring to divert his
attention, presented him a bottle of brandy
and a glass to help himsdf, which be did
not h^tate to do most abundandy ; and
^Hn, giving us to understand that he con-
sidered the vesseb as a present, passed
them to his attendants, who, afWr swallow-
ing the liquor, deposited them under their
robes. The mandarin then renewed his
solicitations, nor was there a single article
in sight that he did not demand, and in a
manner to impress us with an idea that a
fefusal would give great umbraee to the
chief on deck. Our curtains, glass-ware,
wearing apparel, arms, ammunition, spy-
gkuses, and cabin furniture, were succes-
sively the objects of his cupidity. We
had, however, determined to be very li-
mited in our donations; at the same time
keeping in view the importance of con-
ciliating these people, and gaining their
^ood-will, on our first entrance into their
eountry : be was therefore presented with
a shirt, a handkerchief, and a pair of shoes
for himscilf, with an intimation that no-
diing more would be bestowed ; on which
he went on deck in a very ill mood. We
followed him shortly, and found the aspect
•f afiairs materially changed; from an
excess of gaiety and good-humour, old
Heo ^for that we discovered was his name)
bad fallen into a very ill-humour, and
•caicely deigned po speak. We bad dis-
covered their insatiable love of spirits, and
with a view to conciliate them, vre ordered
a bottle full to be brought, which was dis-
patched with gfeat avidity. Still the lower,
ing frown sat on their brows ; and, find-
ing ns Inflexible, the chief made signs that
we could not proceed, and ordered his
boat alongside for the purpose of leaving



us, signifying, at the same thn% that. if i
we persisted in ascending the river, our
heads vfould be the forfeit, and intimated
that we must return Co sea. Being now
within two or three miles of the village
of Canjeo, and fearing that our persisting
in a refusal of their demands would in-
duce them to put their threats of leaving
us into execution^ it was thought expedient
to yield in some measure to their rapacity.
A treaty was accordingly set on foot, and.
we were fain to purchase peace and good-
will at the expense of a pair of pistols to
the old chief, with twenty-five pistol car-
tridges, twelve flints, one six-pound car- .
tridge of powder, two pair of shoes, a
shirt, six bottles of wine, three of rum,
and three of French cordials, a cut-glass
tumbler, two wine-glasses, and a Dutch
cheese. To fbe other chiefs we gave each
a shirt, a pair of shoes, a tumbler, and
wine-glass, -and a small quantity of pow-
der. Nor were his attendants neglected
in the general amnesty, and each of them
received some triflins article of clothing
as a propitiatory c^f^ng.

Old Heo was now in high spirits agiin,
and, in the wantonnest of hu benevolence^
took off bis old blue silk robe, with which
be Tery graciously invested me; at the .
same time shrugging his shoulders, and
intimating that he was cold. I toik the
hint, and sent for a white jacket, which I
assisted him in putting on ; at this attention
be appeared highly gratified. A demand
vras now made for some refreshments, and -
we spread before them some biscuit, cold
beef, ham, brandy-fhiits, and cheese. Of
the biscuit and cheese they ate voraciously,
seasoning their repast with bumpers of
raw spirit ; the other viands they did not
seem to relish ; neither did the brandy-
fhiits suit their palates, till it was hinted
to them that they would produce the same
eifect as the rum, on which they swallow-
ed them with great goUtt nor were they
disappointed in the efiects which we had
promised them would be produced by their
debauch, and bv the time we had anchored
opposite the village, they were in a state of
great hilarity.

Old Heo now thought it necessary
to be hospitable in return. The officers
of the Franklin were therefore invited
on shore, and were ushered into a
room which proved to be ^ the usual
hall of audience." This' room was
filled with the most ludicrous assem-
blage of odd things imaginable; viz,
immense tom-ioms^ on which the hour
was beaten ; '^ two miserable-looking
objects undergoing the punishment of
the caungue, or yoke;" a wattled
screen hiding from ** view the wtunen,

3 D 2 r^ T

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380



SevUw.^WhUe** Voyage to Cochin Chma»



tOc«.



childrciv and pigs bcMiul ity who were
amicably partaking together of the
contents of a huge wooden tray;'*
canred figures which it ^must have
cost the wildest and most prolific
imagination no small effort to invent ;**
and ** a little Jbronze Joss» or God,'*
together with a censer^ and a quandty
of matches used in worshipping him ;
but the most entertaining object of all
shall be described by our author at
full length.

tXntOj in ffoofc of the otoir, as we.
afterwards found it to be, and contijjuout
to ity was nused a platfonn, about aa feet
square^ and two feet from the ioer, corered
with oo



On the platform
square IfiUfiw euwbfoni, paint-
ed red and Mufibd with rice husks; and
on these was seated, in all the digmty of
good behaTiour, his head erect, witb his
chest inllatad, his anns a-kimbo^ and bis
legs croewd like a tailor's, a yeoerable
looking ofaiject, with a thin gr^ beard,
wfaidi he was stroking most comp la e ent ly ;
en his bead was mounted a laige white Eu-
ropean fiolt hat,ezactlv in the style of those
worn among us by me most broad4)rim-
med Quakers ; he wore a robe of black
embossed silk, surmounled by a garment,
which I immediaiely moogmaed as the
jacket that I had presented to the old chief.
On each sideofhim were ranged sererslmi-
lilaiToAocrsandsoldlers, in party«ooloured
uniform, who were anxiously watching his
countenance^ and sedulously attentive to
all his motions. We were led up directly
in Aunt of the tkronep and received by this
augusl personage widi great pomp, and a
most gracious inclination of the liead. He
then waved his hand towards two dununr
antiquated chairs, placed on his right ham^
on which we seated ourselves. Hetben
addressed us in their language^ not a word
of wfaidi could vre understand ; but the
voice sounding familiar to us, on a nearer
acrudny we recognised our recent merry
but now most dignified host, old



This redoubted personage, being
naturally a buffoon, soon descended
firom his dignity, and strutted about
the apartment, surveyed -with great
complacency his motley habiliments,
and looked confidently towards bis
guests for expressions of admiration,
** whUe his whole frame was agitated
and dilated with importance." After
witnessing their astonishment, he pro-
ceeded to discharge the duties of the



table. The dtnner that #aa new aerr-
ed up consisted of a large dish of
boiled rice, a piece of boiled fresh
pork, very fiit and oily, and anodier
of boiled yams. This was not much
amiss, but the style of eating was not
so tolerable. ** The old chief hegtai
tearing the food in piece-meal with faiar
long daws,*** and tfamsdng it into
the mouths of his guests, between
every thrust holding to their fips a
bowl of tea made very sweet. So
pertinacious was he indeed in tliis
cramming sort of hospitality, diat to
avoid suffocation, prayers and en-
treaties bdng found of no nvail, C$pU
White resorted at letigth to the fano-
die of his dirk, ^ darting at him at
the sapie time a look of high dBa-
l^leasure.*' This was cdnsid^red bj
all parties a good joke ; ^6 crsriiming
ceased, and the guests being ** suffix
dently gorged with fat pork and bfauJc
rice," regaled li^n some sweetmeata
''prepared in different ways, mbatly
fried in poriL grease."

AfW dinner *^ a bottle of mm, and
another of cordial (a part of the pil-
bge firom die ship) were produced,"
and these appear to have been con-
sidered by the guests as the best part
of the entertainment. The host Mm-
self was of the same opinion; for
without offering a single drop by way
of libation to the Uttle Joss God be-
hind him, he soon put an end to the
feast by sinking under the tal^.

EntcJrtainments of the above des-
cription, whether given or recdved,
are very amusing by way of novdty ;
but when often repeated they beoome
stale. Accordingly, when old Heo
made his appearance a second time on
board the vessel, asking for every
thing he saw, he was not so welooDe
a guest as he had been ; and his third
and fourth vints were veiy possiUy
st31 more irksome. Hospitafity is
very well in its way, but as die visit
of the Franklin had a eommerdnl as

* Theleofth of tht inger-nidlt Usiesi ol'renjt
in Cochin-china, long sails being inceaintibls
with laanua] laboor*



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Beviiw^^Whii^s VcgOg^ to C^iMt (Mm.



inQ a» fiifOldljr olject, C^pUdn White
looked Tecy naturellj. for aometbiog
mon than a good dinner and a hearty
welcome. From the ^rst moment of
his arrin^ he had repeatedly demand-
ed a pilot to conduct him up die river
to Sdgun. Old Heo» however, was not
at all dbposed to aid the departure
of hi* good-natured gueats. Heci^led
them from time to time with promises
aod excuses, repeatedly assuring diem
that be had despatched amessenger
to Saigua to announce the anival of
A strange vessel, and to obtain an
order for its progresaup die river. It
soon turned put, bowever, that be.
had despatched no messenger aft all ;
asid it was, moreover, suspected, from
the great anxiely manifested to induce^
the Americans to draw their guns,
and to entice the ^kole of the crew
on shore to a buflhlo hunt, that be
intended to carry his hospitality so
fiir as to seize the vessel and its cargo
on the first fiivourable opportunity.

Determined to submit no longer to
such vexatious conduct, Capt. White
weighed anchor, and skirted the coast*
of Cochin Chma as high as Turon
Bay. On arrriving in this quarter, he
learnt that there was little or no pros-
pect of obtaining there a return cargo
on advantageous terms, the country
having been devastated during the civil
wars, and being at that time ^slowly
emefging from a state of poverty."

Captain White resolved, therefore,
to proceed to Manilla, hoping to find
at that place some person acquainted
with the knguage of Cochin China,
whd might be disposed to accompany
him to Saigun to aid in the final ac-
oomplisfamient of his commercial ob-
jects.

Manilla, and the Philippine Islands
generally, are described by our author
in a very interesting and lively sketch.
The political condition of this colony
has sboe his visit, however, under-
gone a change, the colonists hav-
iqg imitated their South American
br et h r en by establishing an indepen-
dent govemmenL The revolution to



381

which we allude, was almost predicted
by Captain White ; and tbe transition
from haughty state to active enter-
prize that has been the consequent re-
sult, is very creditable to his foresight.
We extract from this portion of die
volume the following passage, as illus-
trative of the degradation of every
humane disposition, which a long resi-
dence amongst a depressed race is
calculated to engender.

Impelled bj a very oommoo, and, per-
haps, ezcuiablo curiosity, I rode out with
some friends one day to witness the eze-
cution of a Mistesa [haUlcaste] soldier for
murdar; The parade grcmnd of Bugam-
bayan was the theatre of this tragic-coma-
dy^ lor such it vomj be truly called; and
never did I eaqierienoe such a revulsion
of feeling as upon this, occasion. The
j^ace was crowded with people of all de-
sonptioos, andaatnonanaidof aoldiaf%
three deep, surrounded the gaUows» form-
ing a circle, the area of which was about
two hundred feet in diameter. Hie
hangman was habited fai a lad jaokei and
trowaers, with a cap of the saaie .iiotaur
upon his head. Thu fellow had been Ibr-
merly condemned to death for parricide,
but was pardoned on condition of turning
ezeeutioner, and bsraming cloea prisoner
for life^ except when the duties of his
profession occasionally called him from his
duneeon for an hour. Whether his long
connement, and the igpMminious estima-
tion in which he waa held, combined with
deraair of pardon for his heinous offence,
and a natural ferocity of character, had
rendered him reckless of ** weal or woe,**
or othsr impulses directed his move-
ments, I know not; but never did I see
such a demoniacal vieage at was presented
by this miscreant; and when the trembling
culprit was delivered over to his hand, he
potmeed eagerly upon his victim, while his
countenance waa suffbsed with a grim
and ghastly smile, which reminded us of
Dante's devils. He immediate ly asc en ded
the ladder, dragging his prey tSiar him tQl
they had neariy reached the top: he then*
placed the rope around the neck of the
malefactor, with many antic gestures and
grimaces, highly ^tifying and amusing



Online LibraryGlenn Washington HerrickThe Asiatic journal and monthly register for British and foreign ..., Volume 18 → online text (page 73 of 124)