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of excellent fish are caught in air, we repaired thither early in every direction round the island, March. which, from the salubrity of its The distance from the town to air, is justly eeteered the Mont- that part of the base of the mounpelier of India.
tain where the path commences, Coups-de-soleil are seldom ex. is about five miles, and from perienced in this settlenzent, al- thence to the summit, better than though the Europeans walk and three. ride about at all times of the day, The pathway, which is not completely exposed to a vertical more than eight or ten feet wide, sun.
is cut with incredible labour, In short, as soon as the wet through a forest of immensely docks are established on Poolo tall trees, whose umbrageous foJaraja (a small island between liage uniting above, excludes, exPenang and the main), this will cept at some particular turnings, be the most beautiful, healthy, the least glimpse of the heavens, and flourishing settlement in the involving one, all the way up, in East Indies.
pensive gloom. From the dawn of day, until It frequently winds along the the sun has emerged above the brinks of yawning and frightful high mountains of Queda, and precipices, at the bottoms af even for some time after this pe- which one shudders to behold riod, Penang rivals any thing that huge trunks of trees rived and has been fabled of the Elysian fractured, while precipitating fields.
themselves down the craggy and The dews which have fallen in the course of the night, and by Steep and rugged as this path remaining on the trees, shrubs, is, the little Sumatran horses and flowers, have become impreg- mount it with great safety; the nated with their odours, early in ladies, however, are generally the morning begin to exhale, and carried up in a kind of sedan fill the air with the most delight chair, borne on the shoulders of ful perfumes; while the European some stout Malays. inhabitants, taking advantage of After a tiresome ascent of two this pleasant season for exercise, or three hours, we gained the crowd the roads (some in car- summit; and were amply reriages, some on horseback, and warded for our labour by the others on foot), till the sun get. most extensive and beautifully ting to some height above the variegated prospect we liad ever mountains of Queda, becomes so
seen in India. powerful as to drive them into The eye ranges over a beautitheir hungalows, to enjoy a good ful plain, laid out in pepper planbreakfast with a keen appetite. tations, gardens, groves of the
A small party of us having ob- cocoa-nut, betel, areca, and vatained permission to occupy the rious other trees, checkered Convalescent Bungalow on the throughout with handsome vilmountain, for the purpose of las and bungalows, intersected breathing a cooler and purer by pleasant carriage-roads, and
watered with ineandering rills, but lions, tigers, and otlier ferothat flow from the mountain's civus animals, are unknown. A side, clear as the crystal.
tiger did once swim across from Here may be seen standing in the Queda shore, and male for perfect peace and ainity with each the mountains here, but was shot other, the Hindoo temple and soon after his landing; he was pagoda; the Chinese josshouse; supposed to be the only.one that the Christian chapel, and various ever was on the island. Birds of other places of worship; every the most beautiful plumage, are one enjoying the unmolested ex- seen on almost every branch of a ercise of his religion.
tiee, through this island ; but From hence, the eye stretches nature has been so very bountiful over the beautiful strait that sepa- in clothing them with her most rates the island from the main ; gaudyliveries, that she has thought and whose glossy surface reflects proper to make a drawback, by the faint images of the clouds depriving them of the melodious above, and lofty mountains that tones which so often charm us in tower on each of its sides.
birds of a more homely exterior. The thermometer at the bun- There is, however, one small galows, generally ranges from 70 bird on this island (whose name to 80 degrees ; sometimes at I forget), which perches among night, however, it stands as low the leaves of the tall areca tree, as sixty-two dégrees; and in:leed, and sings mornings and evenings, so cold did we feel it, that we in a style far superior to that of generally slept with a blanket any bird I have seen between the over us ; a very rare occurrence tropics. withir. six degrees of the equator. The Argus pheasant is found
As soon as it gets dark on this in this island, but they are genemountain, there arises on every rally brought over dried, from side, a singular concert of birds the Malay coast, where they and insects, which deprived us of abound, and are here sold for a sleep for the first night or two. dollar each. Far above the rest, the trumpeter With respect to the domesticani(a very curious animal, about an mals, they are but few; and those inch in length) saluted our ears brought from the neighbouring regularly for a few hours after parts : horses from Pedir, on the sunset, with a sound so strong, coast of Sumatra; buffaloes from that the first time I heard it, I Queda; and sheep, &c. from actually thought a party of dra- Bengal. goons were approaching the bun- The buffaloes are brought over galows, nor could I be persuaded from the opposite coast, in a very for some time, that such a dimi- curious manner ; six or eight of nutive creature could possibly thern being collected together on possess organs capable of emitting the beach, thongs of leather, or such a tremendously loud note. pieces of rattan, are passed in at
Deer of a very curious species, one nostril ind out at the other, are sometimes, though rarely, then made fast to the sides and found in the woods of this island; stern of the boat, which is pushed
off from the shore,' and the mosphere has somewhat abated. buffaloes driven into the water, On coming out from their cool realong with it; these thongs, or treats, they are the most uncouth rattans, keeping their
and disgusting objects imagina'òle, above water, and assisting them having a coat of clay an inch or in swimming, until they gain the two in thickness, which, in a few opposite shore, unless seized on minutes, is hardened by the sun their piss:ige by the alligator. into a crust that defends their
The buffaloe often becomes a hides from his powerful rays dumost dangerous animal when en. ring the remainder of the day raged by the heat of the sun, or They are the only aninials used any other cruise. At these pe. in labour ; their flesh is tolerably riods the animal rushes furiously good, and an excrescence that upon any thing in its way, and grows on the top of their shouldaslies into the houses, upsetting der's called a hump, when salted and breaking through all obstruc. and well preserved (especially in tions; as it is possessed of great Bengal), is esteemned excellent muscular strength, and runs about eating; in short, it is the most with impetuous velocity, there is useful animal in India. no mode of subduing it, but by Alligators are very common killing the animal with spcars or round the shores of this island, shot.
rendering it very unsafe to bathe A large one lately made a des.
on any part of the coast. Snakes perate sally through George- of an immense size have likewise town, while the gentlemen of the been found here by the early settlement fired on himn in all di. settlers, but are now very rare. rections, from their verendahs; Bandicotes (a species of large rat) at length lie rushed through the are extremely numerous on the governor's kitchen, upsetting the island, and do a great deal of cook and all his utensils; but mischief, as does likewise the what was still worse, a ball from white ant. It is astonishing what a rite, aimed at the furious buf- effects these very small insects falo, unfortunately struck the are capable of producing ; they poor harmless cook ; and between will destroy the interior parts of the fright occasionel by the ani- the beams and rafters in houses ; mal, and the idea of being shot to leaving a thin external shell of but, he very nearly diel.
solid wood, that completely deis these creatures have very ceives the eye, and lulls into a little hair on their bodies, they false security the unsuspecting are utterly unable to bear the loger, who frequently sces with scorching rays of the sun to- astonishment the whole fabric Wards iniil-lay: at these times, come tumbling to the ground therefore, they betake themselves without any apparent cause, or to every pool and pudiile in the perhaps is himself involved in its neighbourhood, rolling them. ruins ! selves in the mud, and then lying When these dangerous insects with their nostrils just above wa- find their way on board ships it ter, until the feriency of the ato becomes a very serious concern;
as no one can tell where they may while their disgusting chaps seem be making their destructive bur- as gory as if they had been mangrows, perhaps through the thin ling a piece of raw flesh. plank that separates the whole The pepper-plant is a shrub crew from their eternity! whose root is small, fibrous, and
In these cases there is no me- flexible ; it rises into a stem thod of destroying them, but by which requires a tree or prop to sinking the vessel in shallow water support it; its wood has the same for some days, until they are all sort of knots as the vine, and drowned.
when dry it exactly resembles the The principal useful trees, vine branch. The leaves which shrubs, and plants, on this island, have a strong smell and pungent are those that bear the cocoa-nut, taste, are of an oval shape, but areca-nut, pepper, and hetel. they diminish towards the extreThe cocoa-nut tree is raised by mity, and end in a point. From burying the nut (stript of its fib- the flower buds, which are white, rous rout) at some depth in the and sometimes placed in the midground; and it is very singular dle, sometimes at the extremities that the stem is nearly as thick of the branches, are produced when it makes its appearance small bunches resembling those above ground, as it ever becomes of the currant tree; each of these afterwards, though it sometimes contains from twenty to thirty rises to the height of fifty or sixty corns of pepper ; they are confeet.
Inonly gathered in October, and The areca-tree makesareryhanil- exposed to the sun seven or eight some appearance; its branches days. The fruit, which is green are small, but its leaves are very at first, and afterwards red, wlien beautiful, forming a round tuft stripped of its covering, assumes at the top of the trunk, which the appearance it has when we grows is strait as an arrow to the see it; it is not gown, but plantheight of twenty-five or thirty ed; a great nicety is required in feet. The shell which contains the choice of the shoots; it prothe fruit is about the size of a duces no fruit till the end of three Wall-nut, and of a yellowish red years, but bear's so plentifully eolour outside, and rough within ; the three succeerling years, that when ripe it is astrigent, and pot some plants yield six or seven unpleasant to the taste.
pounds of pepper in that period. It is needless to say how much The bark then begins to shrink, this nut (when mixed with leaves and in twelve years time it ceases of the betel and chunam) is used bearing. in chewing by all classes of the The culture of pepper is not natives. This composition is difficult; it is sufficient to plant called Penang (whence the name it in a rich soil, and carefully to of the island), and though it has puli up the weeds that grow in an agrecable flavour, it gives the great abundance round its souts, mouths of the natives, who use especially the three first years. it, a most diabolical appearance, As the sun is highly necessary to rendering what few straggling the growth of the pepper plant, tecth they have as black as jet; when it is ready to bear, the trees that support it must be lopped, to couriers' have crossed the deserts prevent their shade from injuring from Tunis to this city, dissemithe fruit:
nating the plague in their way; The betel is a species of this and consequently the country genus. It is a climbing and creep- round us is every where infected. ing plant like ivy; and its leaves Even the Moors now allow it ; a good deal resemble those of the but their precautions are rendered citron, though they are longer useless by not continuing them ; and narrower at the extremity. for though from circumstances It grows in all parts of India, they are induced at one moment but thrives best in moist places ; to check an indiscriminate in. the natives cultivate it as we do tercourse between the sick and the vine, placing props for it to healthy, they give way to it the run and climb upon; and it is a next. common practice to plant it against the tree that bears the areca nut.
May 28, 1785. Fruits are plentiful on this beau- The prime minister, Mustapha tiful island; the pine-apple grows Serivan's house is at present as will, while shaddocks, plantains, much in a state of quarantine as jack-fruit, oranges, lemons, &c. he can put it, consistent with the are reared with the greatest ease.
ideas of the Moors; yet he will Though Prince of Wales's Is. not admit to any one, nor to the land exports very little of its own Bashaw, the necessity of taking procluctions, except pepper and precautions at the castle, where wood, yet there is a very con
he alleges sovereignty is the siderable trade carried on here, greatest shield, and whence he from its being in a central situa- says it is necessary to give the tion between India, China, and Moors an example, not to try to the Eastern Islands.
l'esist the hand of fate. The merchants take advantage It is against the Mussulman's of the fleets passing and repassing, faith to number the dead, they to export to China, &c. opium, are not, therefore, exactly aware betel, pepper, tin, rattans, and of the increasing mortality : but various other articles which they
the castle is much infected ; one have already collected; and fur of the princesses, a child of six which they receive either dollars, years old, dier two days since, and or the productions of China, and one of the three remaining queens the Eastern Isles, which they of the last sovereign was buried afterwards ship off to India, or to-day. By the Bashaw's orders, send home to Europe, whichever her funeral was attended by se they may find niost advantageous.
veral of the officers of state, and by four black slaves, freed by him in compliment to this relict of his
father: she was buried in very rich (From Narrative of a ton Years Residence ęlothes, and with all the jewels in Tripoli.)
found in her possession. The
four enfranchised slaves who fol. April 1785.
lowed her were worth about four 1x the last few weeks several hundred pounds; they cost from