Howard Malcolm.

Travels in south-eastern Asia: embracing Hindustan, Malaya, Siam, and China ... online

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tau. V.-.

Travels in South-eastern Asia

Howard Malcolm

1»v«* c2oV, 31. J


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WITH iroTicES or

Ain> A rutx AccouRT or




■ TO.


** Bomo sum ; human! nihil a me alienam puto.'* .Tsbbitob.

VOL.. I.





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APR 5 1941


Elntered accordbi; to Act of Congreit, in the year 1899,

Bt Gould, Kkitdall, and Lincoln,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Alassacbusetts.


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Thc only aim of the following pages is utility.
Had a place been sought among admired travellers^ I
should have given more descriptions, incidents, and
delineations of private character; and fewer hctSj
opinions, and reflections; which would at once have
saved labor, and rendered me less vulnerable.

Honest intentions, diligent inquiries, and fortunate
opportunities, will not secure a traveller from errors,
even in Europe or America, where, in every place, we
meet persons of veracity, and free to impart informa-
tion. In the East, the case b much worse. The
foreigner, dreaded for his power, and abhorred for
his religion, excites both civil and religious jealousy.
His manners often displease, by the omission of forms
of which he may be ignorant, or to which he cannot
succumb. He is met with taciturnity, or wilful mis-
representation ; and if he escape these, he will gene-
rally encounter ignorance. If he be so happy as to
find both intelligence and communicativeness, the want
of bodes, maps, charts, and statistics, renders the infor-
mation of natives merely local, and often conflicting.
Added to all, his interpreter may be unskilful. If he


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depends upon resident foreigners, their arrival may
have been recent, or their opportunities small, or their
inquiries negligent, or the statements of one may be
flatly contradicted by those of another. All these
embarrassments have met me by turns, so that fre-
quently, after laborious and continued inquiries, I have
been compelled to lay aside the whole mass of notes, in
the utter inability to decide whom to believe. I pre-
ferred silence, and apparent deficiency, to questionable

My advantages have, nevertheless, been great. I
was sent out, as the deputy and representative of one
of the great American Missionary Societies, to examine
into, and with the missionaries adjust, many points not
easily settled by correspondence ; to compare the various
modes of operation in different missions ; to survey the
field ; to compare the claims of proposed new stations ;
to comfort, encourage, and strengthen the missionaries
in their arduous work ; and to gather details on every
point where the Board lacked information. Such a
mission gave me confidence, in the eyes of all classes,
wherever I went ; and toleration in making investiga-
tions, which might otherwise have been deemed
impertinent* The time spent at each place, was suffi-
cient for deliberate inquiries, from various sources.
In most places, I found missionaries and civilians,
who had lived long on the spot, and who gave me the
fruits of mature and extended observations. My inter-
preters were in general not only thoroughly conversant
with the language, but in the habit of familiar inter-
course with the people, and possessing their confidence.


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Before leaying a place, I generally submitted mj notee
to several persons for a careAil revision. If, therefore,
I should be convicted of errors, they are such as the
best informed persons on the spot have fallen into, and
as my reader would have imbibed, had he been in my
place. Some errors may be charged to me, through
mistake of the objector; for often, when I read my
notes in various places, gentlemen dissented froai' some
statements with great confidence, the correctness of
which they admitted on further examination ; which
examination they would not have made, had I not
quoted some influential name as my informer.

It is, of course, out of the question to quote authori-
ties in a work not drawn from books. To have filled
the margin with names would have been to violate
pro|mety, while it could not add to the reader's con-
fidence to quote persons wholly unknown to him.
In every part of the work I have studiously sought
brevity, lest, by diminishing its circulation, my great
object should be defeated. Voluminous communica-
tions in relation to my official dmngs, inquiries, and
concIusicHis, are in possession of the Board, which will
not be withheld from the examination of proper appli-

Conversations with heathen, converted and uncon-
voted, often deeply interesting, are omitted, because
they occur so abundantly in the printed commu-
nications of missionaries. Descriptions, adventures,
and scenery, as well as geographical, commercial,
and pcditical mennminda, are inserted only so far as
comported with the precise object in view. To have


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abstained wholly from such observations, would haye
been to withhold facts necessary to a proper knowledge
of the countries to which our friends extend their
benevolence; beside which, many of the friends of
missions have access to but few books; and some will
be indebted to these pages, for most of their information
on the subjects which are introduced.

AH works on the East differ from each other in the
orthography of names, and few are even consistent
with themselves. Some seem to take pride in a new
oithography of old terms; and no two have the same
system as to new ones. This difficulty cannot be
. surmounted, till some mode of Romanizing foreign
languages becomes universal. Words which have
acquired an estabUshed spelling, I have so given.
Others are written as directed by some one skilled in
that particular language. When no aid was at hand,
they are given just as they sounded to my ears, from
the lips of natives.

Every one is embarrassed, in reading works on India,
by meeting terms not found either in dictionaries or
encyclopedias. An explanation given in the margin,
when the term first occurs, cannot be always recollect*
ed, and the note is not easily found again. To avoid
this disadvantage, I have thrown together the necessary
explanations in a glossary. Some terms, not used by
me, but often occurring in Oriental works, are added,
to make it more useful.

The map has been constructed with great care. On
arriving in India, an outline was drawn on a very large
scale ; and, as local surveys or narratives of recent jour-


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neys came to hand, corrections were continually made*
My own tours, and conversations with missionaries, and
other gentlemen, furnished more. At the surveyor-
general's office in Calcutta, I was allowed im inspection
of various recent unpublished maps and charts of Farther
India. The omission of unimportant towns, imd un-
certain rivers and mountains, makes some parts of it
look meagre; but confusion is thus avoided without
diminishing the amount of general information. A
slight comparison with other maps of these r^ons, will
riiow that the corrections are so important and numer-
ous, as to entitle it to be called an original map.

Deeming it indispensable that a book of travels, in a
r^on so unknown, should contain numerous pictorial
illustrations, I applied myself from the beginning to
making sketches at every opportunity. A large number
of these are inserted, and constitute im entirely new
contribution to our stock of Oriental pictures. These
and the map considembly augment the cost of the
book, but it is hoped not so much as its value. For
the views of Maulmain, Tavoy, and Mergui, I am
indebted to a distinguished artist. That of Sagaing
was taken from the door of Mr. Kincaid's house, and
shows a section of his hisuly boat, partly hid under the
bank. I preferred giving this to a sketch of Ava, as
being most likely to be the seat of that mission. The
small size of Burman houses, and the fSeishion of filling
their cities with stately fruit-trees, make them all appear
to be far less populous than they reaUy are.

It would be a grateful task to acknowledge the kind-
nesses which were multipUed upon me in every place


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But such matters belong to the sacred recollections of
private history. To publish them all, would require
constant repetitions, in which the reader could take no
interest ; imd to name a part, would be doing injustice
to the rest. Suffice it to say, that I was every where
most affectionately and respectfully received, for my
work's sake. Never had a man kinder homes when
far from his own, not only among missionaries, but
with private, civil, and military gentlemen.

May He who blessed the enterprise, and bore me
safely through, bless the publication !

Boston, FAmanf^ 1839.


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DeiMrtnre — Employmenta — Illness — Comet — Company — Preach
on Deck — Sqaall — Magellan Cloads — Send Letters — Trade-
Winds — Another Illness — Tristan d* Acunha — Portuguese Men-
of-War — Ship Tigris for Ceylon ~ Encounter between a Whale
and a Thresher — " Doubling Cape of Good Hope " — Day of Fast-
ing — Enormous Shark— Nicobar Islands — First Sight of Idolaters

— Kedgeree — Heavy Dewi — Andaman Islands — Preparia and
Narcondam p. 13


ArriTal at Amherst — First Sabbath at Maulmain — Coasting Voyage

— Moungmagoung — Curiosity of the People — Walk over the
Mountain — Tavoy — Mata — Karens; their Piety, Liberality,
Temperance, Gratitude ; Letters horn Young Converts ; Churches ;
Books — Mergui ; Population ; Chinese ; Mussulmans ; Christians ;
Siamese Shyans ; Important as a Missionary Station — Tennasserim
Islands — Se-longs — Storm — Disagreeable Insects — Variety of
Costumes — Karen Juggler p. 35


Return to Maulmain — Missionary Conference — Preaching — Bolu
Island — Karen Churches near Maulmain — Water Festival —
Chinese Ceremony — The Mohurruro — River Excursion — Re-
markable Caves — Karen Christian Village — Church-Meeting and
Baptism — Population of Maulmain — Commerce — State of Boodh-
ism — State of the Mission — English Influence p. 55


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10 coirrzirrs.


Poptilatioii of Rangoon ; Commerce ; Prices of Living — ShoodagOn
Pagoda — Slaves of the Pagoda — Sunrise Worship — Rainy Mon-
soon — History of the Mission — Maubee — Labor of Native As-
sistants — Interesting Case — Voyage to Pegu — Evidences of
former Greatness — Shoomadoo Pagoda — Voyage up the Irrawad-
dy — Boats — Mode of Fishing — Prome — Leper Village — Gaoda-
ma's Foot — Barman Energy — Earth-Oil Wells — Shy an Caravan
— Ruins of Paghan — Attempt to buy Beef — Buffalo Herdmen —
Curiosity of Natives — Toddy — Arrival at Ava p. 73


Ava — Splendid Kyoungs — Pagodas — Priests — Palace — Popula-
tion — Arts — Prices — The Mekara Prince — Meawade Woon-
gyee — The Burman Pontiff — Surra wa Prince — Climate of Ava
— History of the Mission in Ava — Present State of Mission —
Safety of the Missionaries — Roman Catholics — Sagaing — Marble
Quarries — Mengoon Pagoda — Umerapoora p. 97


Chittagong — Coz*s Bazar — Akyab — Kyouk Phyoo — Ramree —
Arracan p. 118



The Term India — Hither and Farther India ^Boundaries of Burmab
— History of the Empire — War with the British — Dismember-
ment of the Tennasserim Provinces — State of the Succes-
sion p. 133


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Fefttnres of Countiy — Climate — Mountains — MinenLi — Riven
— Soil ^ Prodactions — Agricultare — Animals — Bifds — Fishes
^Reptiles— InsecU p. 143


Population — Form and Featnres — Boildings — Food — Dress—
Manners and Customs — Character — Condition of Women — Mar-
riage — Polygamy — Divorce — Diseases — Medical Practice —
Midwifery — Funerals — Amusements — Musical Instruments —
Manufactures p. 178


Goremment — Orders of Nobility — Grades of Community — Magis-
tracy — Laws — Division of Property p. Sll


Revenue — Commerce — Currency — Army — Navy — Slavery —
Division of Time — Weights and Measures — Language — Litera-
tuze— Degree of Civilization... p. 222


Extent of Boodhism — Meaning of the Term — Antiquity of the
System — History of Gaudama— The next Boodh — The Bedagat

— Theory of the Universe — The Four Islands — This Island, or
the Earth — Origin and Fall of Man — Celestial Regions — Hells —
No eternal God — Universe eternal — Moral Code — Merit — Dis-
course of Gaudama — Religious Edifices — Images — Impressions
of Gaudama's Foot — Worship — Offerings — Public Days —
Superstitions — Nat- Worship — Priests ; their Dress, Residences,
Morals, Office, Support, Numbers, Orders, Funerals — Priestesses

— SecU— Toleration — Remarks p. 239


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Map of South-Eastern Asia.
View of Tavoy, on sUd, Frontisp.

View of Mergui, on steely 48

View of Maulmain, on sted,...,25

Mn. Jad8on*8 Grave 36

Boardman'fl Grave • 54

Maulmain Printing-Office €0

Mr. Judson's Residence ...... .72

Aacending the Irrawaddy«« ... .85

Barman Ox Cart :; 96

Ground Plot of Ava- • • • .• 97

Gentleman *■ Carriage 100

Barman King's Boat 113

Warder, or Balu 132

New Pagoda at Aya. ^ 142

Junction of the Ky end ween... 149^

J&ck-Tree and Fruit 151

Mango 152

f lantain ^ 153

Cashew-Nut ».^ 156

Irrigating a Rice Field. .7. . . .169
^ttflWo 173


Woman pounding Rice 177

Stand for Eating 182

Burman Shoe 183

Burman Lady 183

Spittoon 186

Burman Gentleman and Fol-
lowers 187

Drums and Drummer 204

Beating the Gong 204

Drums ..204

Fiddle.. ...U :.'.205

Burman Lamp 206

Assaying Silver 207

Cleaning Cotton 208

Gaudama 242

Zayat 252

Statue of a Lion 253

Streamer 254

Gaudama's Foot 256

Priest walking out 260

Priest preaching 262

Burning Ponghee 267



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Dqmrtore— >£inplojiiieitts — lUoess ^Cornet— Company — PreackoaDoek
» Squall — MageUan Clouds— Send Letlen— Trade- Windf — Another
Illness— Tristan d'Acunha — Portuguese Men-of-War — Ship Tigris (or
Ceylon— Encounter between a Whale and aHirasher — *' Doubling Cape
of Good Hope" — Day of Fasting — Enormous Shark— Nicobar blands
^Flnt Sight of Idoiatera—- Kedgeree — Heavy Dews ~^ Andaman Islands
— 'Preparis and Ifareondam.

How eordial and eompreheiiaive are the sympathies of true
religioii ! Who that saw the Louvre, with her eleven ordained
ministers, about to spread her canvass, could foil to contrast the
scene with ordinary shipping operations? Over all the wharf
is one dense mass of grave and silent spectators, while the decks
and rigging of the acyacent ships are filled with younger, but not
less intent observers. No sound interrupts the ascending prayer.
The lull harmony of a thousand voices wafts to Heaven the
touchmg hymn. Countless liands, thrust toward the narrow
pasBway, seek the last token of rwognition. Even the aged,
unaccustomed to tears, weep, not from bitterness, but in exu-
berance of love.

But here are none of the customary inducenoents to convene ^
crowd. A ship sailing with passengers is no novelty. One of
the nimiber was, indeed, the pastor of a large and most affec-
tionate congregation ; but with the others, in general, the multi-
tude had no acquaintance. Personal attachments, therefore, had
not assembled the people. There was, in &ct, nothing in the
scene, which could call forth a general interest, but its religious
character. The regular packet, crowded with passengers, leaves

VOL. I. 2


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14 nrtAVE tmt,

oar shotres, while only here and there i group of perMiia] frieiufo
k)ok on with interest The merchantman mifUria hia aaila, hot
his destination and obfecta are not regarded. But the miaaioD-
ary! he awakena the sympathy of every believer. Stranger
though he be, all preaa lo grasp his hand, and, when gone, aU
intercede for him with God. Even denominational preferences
are forgotten, and eveiy sect mingles in the throng, exulting
in a common joy.

fiat all this is a mere fraction of the fruits of Christian
charity. The same expansive benevolence embraces the unseen,
unknown heathen. Intense interest for those sends forth these
self-denying ones, and draws fit>in Christians at home the re-
quisite frmds. The worid is the field over which the eye of the
Christian wanders^ and for all of which he will labor and pray,
while he has being. O blessed gospel, which thus makes man
the friend of man, and excites in the heart all that is pure, joy-
ous, and benevolent!

Never did a diip leave Boston harbor more nobly. A fine
wind, and Avoring tide, bore us on ao rapidly as scarcely to leave
us time to gaze one lingering ftrewell to the fidnt outlines <rf* the
great and beautifrd city. In two houn the pilot left ua, bearing
brief notes of affectionate remembrance to firienda behind. Soon
we found ourselves in the midst of scores of beautifril schooners,
engaged in mackerel fishing. So thickly did they lie along the
horizon, as to resemUe streets of stately white houses. Even
these, at length, sunk into the dim distance, and we dashed on
till night closed in, and the breeze hushed itself to rest

Wednesday, Sept 23, 1835. Light winds and a smooth sea
gave us a night of quiet repose ; bat as the sun rose cloudless out
of the sea, the wind fiieshened on our quarter, and amid an array
of studding-sails we made fine progress. Most of die passengers^
alas ! fbel no relish for the noble sight of ocean, and the ra]M
plunging of our gallant ship. Sea-eicknesB, that most dii^iriting
of all maladies, oppresses them. Mr. Sotton and myself how-
ever, being inured to die unnatural motion, are so ftr exempt as
to be able to act the part of nurses. Between attending the srck,
and making fust the baggage, I fi>und ample empk^ment for
the day.

My heart fills with tender and grsteflil emotions, as I arrange
the various gifts of friendship and regard which almost fill my
state-room. Nothing that experience could dictate, or imagination
"uggest, as requisite fbr my comfort, seems wanting. My sweet
but oppreerive emotions find relief only in pouring oat before


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Qod fenrent thanks, and impforing him to remember hk promiae,
that a cup of cold water given to a diBcipley because he is a
diseipfte, shall not lose its reward.

94 The wind has continued &vorable, and we are already ad-
vanced on our way nearly 500 miles. The skylight in my state-
room proves sufficient The round-house, (so called,) on deck, is
an hmJuahle comfort, and will be especially so in rainy weather
In the evening, such as were well enough commenced &mily
worship in the cabin.

Sunday, 27. Still fine and fitvoringbneeBes. The awning being
extended, and seats arranged, br. Sutton-preached this morning
an appropriate and interesting discourse. Most of the passengers
able to attend. As many were singers, I led the psalmody with
my flute, and we raised hosannas, not unacceptable, we trust, even
to the ear of God. Four of the crew attended. Our entire com-
pany then resehred themselves into a Bible^lass, to meet every
Lord's-day afternoon at half past three, and requested me to take
charge of it We selected the Ads oftht ApoitUs^ as most appro-
priate tDmi6si<»iary work. TIU the arrival of the appointed hour,
on every side were seen the brethren and sisters, busy vnth Dod-
dridge, Henry, Scott, Barnes, Adam C3arke,^sc. &c. Each reci-
tation will embrace a chapter, and occupy from one to two houTBL

Saturday, Oct 10. Amid the numerous discomforts of a long
sea-voyage, one is thrown upon his own resources, both far im-
provement and {Measure. But the mind accustomed to view with
intelligent and devout eontemplation the works of God, can sel-
dom be widiout materials for lofty and purifying thought And
surely the wide ocean and wider sky present a rich field for the
ezpatiation of our noblest thoughts. Pacing the deck, or leaning
against the bulwarks, toward setting sun, it would seem as though
the roost gross and thoughtless mind must rise, and expand, and
feel delight Far and near rolls <* old Ocean." Before Jehovah

Online LibraryHoward MalcolmTravels in south-eastern Asia: embracing Hindustan, Malaya, Siam, and China ... → online text (page 1 of 60)