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young man's room, Saint Just threw his clothes on a chair, and disposed himself for sleep. “What do you do?' said Robespierre to him.
to bed,' replied Saint Just. • What!
you think of sleeping on such a night!' cried Robespierre. Do you not hear the tocsin ? Do you not know that this night will, perhaps, be the last for thousands of your fellow creatures, who are men at the moment in which you fall asleep, and who will be corpses when you waken ?'
666 Alas !' answered Saint Just. I know that there will be a massacre this night. I deplore it. I wish I were powerful enough to be enabled to moderate the conflicts of a people which debates between death and liberty ; but say not
And besides, after all, those who will be sacrificed this night are not friends to our ideas. Adieu.'
“ Thus saying, he fell asleep.
“ The next morning, at daybreak, Saint Just, on awaking, saw Robespierre, who was walking with disturbed steps in the chamber, and who, from time to time, pressed his brow against the glass of the window, looking for the daylight in the sky, and listening to the noise in the street. Saint Just, astonished to see his friend so early in the same place, cried out
«•What has brought you here so soon to-day ?'
6. What has brought me ?' answered Robespierre. “Do you think that I have returned ? “What, then, you have not been to sleep?" inquired Saint Just.
Sleep ? replied Robespierre; “ Sleep? while hundreds of assassins massacre thousands of victims, and while blood, both pure and impure, runs like water in the streets. Oh, no!' continued he, in a gloomy voice, and with a Sardonic smile on his lips, 'no, I did not go to bed. I watched, like remorse or crime. Yes, I was weak enough not to go to sleep, but DANTON—HE SLEPT.'
This anecdote, given on good authority, exculpates Robespierre, with the testimony even of his enemies, from all participation in the greatest crime of the Revolution. It will be found that he was equally guiltless on nearly every other occasion.
THE INDIAN ISLANDER S.*
The Eastern Archipelago has lately become, we may say, an all-engrossing topic in the commercial, literary, and scientific world. Numberless works, papers, and articles have been written on the subject : there have, however, been none devoted exclusively to the manners, customs, religion, and modes of life peculiar to Borneo, and the islands adjacent.
No portion of the globe affords an equal example of the want of a wide-spread and established faith. It is true, indeed, that there exists among the various populations an indistinct notion of some kind of spirit exerting an influence more or less beneficial on the whole human race, but of the extent and nature of whose power they are totally ignorant, and when questioned on the subject, seem perfectly at a loss. The Rajah Brooke falling into conversation with a Dyak of Lundu, asked him a great many questions concerning the customs and religion of his tribe, which we extract.
When a chief dies, what becomes of his spirit ?'
“Events in Borneo and Celebe, from the Private Journals of James Brooke, Esq.; with a Narrative of Operations on the coast of Borneo, in H.M.S. Iris, by Captain Rodney Mundy, R.N.” Murray. 1848.
" It goes into the clouds.' “When the chief dies, and goes into the clouds, do you ever see him again ?' “No; but when his friend dies, too, they will meet.' “ Amongst these spirits, is there one great spirit above the rest ?'
“He seemed only half to comprehend, and on the question being repeated, said
“. I do not know; but there are a great many spirits of my countrymen in the clouds; others are not there.'
6 * Did he know there was a God ?'
Do they ever offer sacrifice to any other person ?'
visitor showed such unequivocal signs of weariness, that I ordered him something to eat, and he partook of salt beef, biscuit, and grog. I closed our questions by asking him"Are many of your tribe converted to Islam ?'
Yes, a good many." “. Are you of Islam ?' 6.No; I do not want to be.' “I then dismissed my wild man for the day."
There are many tribes, however, who from time to time have been converted to the faith of Islam, among whom we may mention the Minkokas, dwelling in Celebes. These must, however, be divided into two distinct communities those living near the sea, and those who make the valleys of the interior mountains their home. The former have in some measure been civilised by their intercourse with the Bugis and Bajow people, and have adopted the Mohammedan creed, without, however, rejecting their ancient and savage practices. Indeed, the principal sign of their religion consists in the abhorrence of pork and other unclean meats. The hill-dwellers remain in their primitive state of ignorance and barbarism. Their language bears no affinity to that spoken by the Sumatrans, Malays, or Bugis. In general appearance, however, they greatly resemble the last-mentioned people, being of rather diminutive stature, though exceedingly well made and clean limbed. Their clothing consists, in most instances, of nothing but a pair of very short trousers, though some few wear sarong
These people wear their hair long over their shoulders, serving as their only head-dress. They decorate their arms with rings of plaited bamboo and carved shells.
Of warlike weapons no savage race is destitute. Accordingly, these Minkokas, each and all, are provided with poniards, short, but broad and formidable ; and adorned at the hilt with tufts of hair, human or otherwise as the case may be. Besides this they have long cut-and-thrust swords, with spears, and the sumpitan, or blowpipe, to cast poisoned darts—that extraordinary weapon peculiar to barbarous races. Like most of the other inhabitants of the Indian
Archipelago they pursue the practice of head hunting, which, however, is not so general in this as among other tribes, it being only resorted to at funerals or festive gatherings. The death of a great chief affords a special occasion. When this occurs, the friends and relatives of the dead man, each with a white band bound round his forehead to denote his purpose, sally forth and destroy every enemy they can lay hands on. “From twenty to forty heads, according to the rank of the deceased rajah, being procured, buffaloes are killed, rice boiled, and a solemn funeral feast is held, and whatever time may elapse, the body is not previously buried. The heads on being cleaned, are hung up in the houses of three principal persons of the tribe, and regarded with great veneration and respect. It is not necessary, as with the Dyaks, to produce a skull previous to marriage; nor, except on the occasion mentioned and during war, do they take any heads."
The Minkoka people marry but one wife.
Thus much for Celebes—Mr. Brooke's account of this island will be perused with interest by all. Few travellers have penetrated so far as he did. Had we space, we could make numerous extracts from this portion of the work, such as the deer hunting, the visit to the caverns of Mampo, compared by our countryman to the palaces of Alhambra, and others equally striking. However, magazine laws are stern, and allow only of a certain amount of matter. We therefore reluctantly transplant ourselves from Celebes to Borneo, where we find Mr. Brooke among the Bukara tribe of Dyaks, whose notions of a supreme being are extraordinary to the last degree. Entertaining no definite idea of a God, they possess a dim perception of a great spirit dwelling far above the clouds, who sends thunder, lightning, and rain. They never pray nor offer sacrifice to this invisible deity. However, their belief is that the dead, after they have been buried, depart to a place similar to the happy hunting grounds of the Indians, called Sabyan. They expect that all friends will meet again there in a state of endless beatitude if they have been good in this life ; but if wicked, though they would go to Sabyan, it would be to another division of it, where they would be far from happy. This belief is very general among the Bornean tribes.
The Bukars have by some writers been denounced as cannibals; this, however, is not the fact, though one Indian tribe in the neighbouring island of Sumatrathe Battas-occasionally justify the accusation; for when a man has been con victed of some particular crime, he is sentenced to be tied to a stake and devoured alive by the assembled multitude. The palms of the hands and the soles of the feet are reserved as bon-bouches for favoured individuals a barbarous mode of executing justice, certainly, but the Battas of Sumatra are somewhat different from the Bukars of Borneo.
The Kayans, a tribe of wild Dyaks in the interior of Borneo, have partly been converted to the faith of Islam. This, however, does not prevent their devouring any quantity of pork-chops they can procure; indeed, their religion appears to be but a name, as they are totally ignorant on the subject. They are expert in the use of the sumpitan, are fond of music and dancing, and bear a good character for honesty and punctuality in performing their engagements.
6 I observed one of their customs somewhat new to me; a child was sick, and, as a charm, a straight stick, six feet high, was stuck in a water jar before the door of the apartment in which it lay; leaves, surmounted by a Baltich handkerchief, crowned the head, and the stem was twined with a waist-cloth. On inquiry, I learned that it was a charm, and that a ghost or fairy would descend and make known the best cure for the child, either in a dream, or whilst they were awake, they couldn't be certain which.”
The manners and customs of the inhabitants of Sarawak, which Mr. Brooke, as rajah of the province, has abundant opportunity of observing, are simple and primitive in the extreme, though ridiculous and absurd. The Dyaks are remarkably mild and gentle, and exceedingly attached to their white ruler, whom they make much account of in their religious ceremonies. For instance, when praying to their great god, Jowata, they fill small cups with yellow rice, which a chief then takes and presents in succession to Mr. Brooke, after which the contents are scattered over the ground, while a prayer is muttered to the supreme being.
Mr. Brooke observes that the moral code of the Sarawakians, though rather low, is sufficiently respected; while quietness and tractability form characteristics of the Dyak tribes. To ingratiate himself with the people it has been the universal rule of the English Rajah never to mock any of their prejudices, while he submits with perfect good humour to the most ridiculous ceremonies, among numerous instances of which we extract the following :“When I seat myself on the mat one by one they come forward and tie little bells on my arms ; & young cocoa nut is brought, into which I am requested to spit. The white furl is presented,—I rise and wave it and say, 'may good luck attend the Dyaks ; may their crops be plentiful; may their fruits ripen in due season ; may male children be born ; may rice be stored in their houses ; may wild hogs be killed in the jungle; may they have cold weather.' This exhortation over, the dance begins. Men and women advance, take my hand, stroke their own faces, with a wild indescribable shriek, and begin a slow, monotonous, twisting, wriggling movement, with arms extended, the measure being occasionally faster, when the old ladies feel inclined to indulge in a jump; when this occurs the music gradually becomes more furious and the dance proportionably animated, then may be seen a shy boy or girl stealthily mixing in the crowd, and perhaps some proud mamma will bring her little child of six or seven, and put her into the circle, and the tiny creature will move her tiny hands in unison to the music. At Raping, on my late excursion, the wife of the Orang Kaya, who was very pretty, and danced exceedingly well, insisted upon exhibiting herself before Bethune and myself, and by this little piece of vanity greatly disturbed the economy of the dance. This being observed and complained of by the other performers, the head man (at once the chief and the master of the ceremonies), said in a loud tone, addressing her by name, Why don't you dance fair ? There you are dancing before the great man, and the great man can see no one but you.''
Among the sea Dyaks exists an extraordinary custom, which may be briefly described. It seems to be peculiar to a few tribes. The principal doctor or magician of the community is chosen as “ Manang," and thereafter considered as a woman, and dresses as such. She or he marries a husband, adopts children, lives altogether among the women, and performs all the domestic duties incidental to the sex.
The principal occupation of this man-woman, if we may be allowed the term, is to perform the cure of certain diseases by the use of various charms, driving away devils, and exorcising wicked spirits. The whole is a gross superstition; though, as it leads to no evil resul it is not interfered in by Mr. Brooke, whose whole policy is marked by a rigid abstinence from the practice generally so prevalent among European travellers, of ridiculing the practices, and offending the prejudices, of the races among whom they may happen to be for the time located. There are many harmless ceremonies attendant on the election of any new candidate for this office. A branch of a tree is fixed on the Manang's head; around it is wrapped a piece of white cloth, and near this spot the spathe of the betel or areca nut is placed.
Then a great assembly of the people is convened, shouts are uttered, gongs are beaten, shells rattled, and all proclaim, in every possible way, their joy and satisfaction. The Manang to whom our countryman was introduced became so when quite a child, and was then well stricken in years.
It may not be amiss here to extract an account of the mode of taking the crocodile adopted in Borneo: it is curious and characteristic:
“A monkey or cat is attached to a stick as a bait, which the monster sucks down lengthways, and when the strain comes on this gets across his throat. To the stick is attached, by a cord, a long rattan (cane), which floats on the surface of the water, and which the animal attempts to get rid of. In the vicinity of this floating bait a dog is confined on a stage, beyond the crocodile's reach, in which miserable position it is not surprising that he should howl somewhat lustily. The crocodile, attracted by the noise, approaches the spot with great caution; and the natives state that if he encountered any resistance in taking the bait, he would immediately retire, without a second attempt. When, however, he has swallowed it, which he does slowly, as he never suddenly tears the bait, he carries it to the shore, and it is sometimes two or three days before the long rattan is found, as he frequently takes it some distance, and secretes himself amongst the bushes and weeds of a small creek.”
The manner in which capital punishment is executed at Kimanis is characteristic. A thick mosquito net is given to the criminal, who wraps it about his person, and, when all is prepared, gives the signal, upon which the fatal noose is instantly attached, and death ensues in a moment. At Sarawak it is somewhat different. The prisoner's arms are extended, his breast bared, and the kris fixed within the left clavicle bone. All being ready, a sign is made, and the executioner, by a sudden movement, drives the weapon home to the heart. Death by this means is instantaneous.
Having thus glanced briefly at a few of the customs and ceremonies used upon particular occasions by the natives of Borneo, we shall now proceed to touch on the more regular and common ceremonies, courtships, marriage, and the varied modes of burial. Of course courtship comes first, being generally a preliminary of marriage.
No youth of quality dare venture to say sweet words to an aristocratic girl, unless the said sweet words be accompanied by a net-ful of fresh human heads, thrown at the blushing maiden's feet. If a young man can accumulate a sufficient number of these trophies, he places them carefully in a receptacle somewhat resembling a cabbage-net, slings them on his shoulder, and proceeds forthwith to the house where resides the object of his desires. He then offers the heads at the same time that he places at the lady's disposal his hand and heart.
If his addresses be agreeable, the damsel desires her lover to cut a large bamboo cudgel from the neighbouring jungle, and when armed with this instrument she carefully arranges the cadeau d'amour on the floor, and by repeated blows beats the skulls into fragments, which, when thus pounded, are scraped up and cast into the river, the damsel at the same time throwing herself into the arms of her enraptured lover. So commences the honeymoon.
The usual practice, in other cases, however, is to guard the skulls, pickling them with care, as from the extreme heat of the climate constant attention is required to preserve them.
The above account is the only one worth relating here; we shall, therefore, proceed at once to the next in succession-viz., marriage ceremonies, which, however, are not very varied or interesting.
The people of the tribe of Sinar are not obliged to take possession of a head before marriage, being in this respect almost singular. The ceremonies among them are as described in the following extract :
“ They have four cups, in which are hog's blood, fowl's blood, rice, and gold dust, each in a separate cup. Four cups are carried by the bride, four by the bridegroom, in a tray on their heads, and when they retire to rest these are placed over their couch. They do not assemble the tribe, nor do they feast, the immediate relatives of the parties only being present."
Among some races there is very little ceremony. The lady is at perfect liberty to accept or refuse her admirer, as she pleases, and matches are made with
very little intervention on the part of the parents, who, after the usual period of courtship has elapsed, cannot withhold their consent to the union, if both parties are agreeable. The lover then presents his father-in-law with a