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curb these sea-robbers is not surpris- her with eighteen war-boats, to which ing. The only wonder is, that he were afterwards added eleven hundred was able to protect his own capital Dyaks, in their bangkongs. On the from the assaults which they often 31st of July, at night, they encountered threatened but never dared to at- the great war-fleet of the Sarebus and tempt.
Sakarran pirates, numbering one hunBut efficient aid was at hand. In dred and fifty bangkongs, returning the summer of 1843 the British ship home laden with plunder. The pirates Dido anchored off the entrance of found the entrances of the river occuSarawak River. She was commis- pied by their enemies, — the English, sioned to suppress piracy in and about Malay, and Dyak forces being placed the Chinese Sea. Her commander in three detachments, while the Nemereadily entered into the views of the sis was fully prepared to assist whenEnglish Rajah. A boat expedition ever the attack should begin. Then against the strongholds of the Sare- there was a dead silence, broken bus pirates was projected. Mr. Brooke only by three strokes of a gong, assisted with seven hundred Dyaks. which called the pirates to a council A curious incident occurred, showing of war. A few minutes afterwards a how clearly the natives appreciated fearful yell gave notice of their adtheir dependence on their English vance, and the fleet approached in two friend. When he asked their chiefs divisions. In the dead of the night if they would aid him, they besought there ensued a terrible scene. The him not to risk his life in so desper- pirates fought bravely, but they could ate an enterprise. But when he as- not withstand the superior forces of sured them that his purpose was fixed, their enemy.
Their boats were upthat he should go, alone if necessary, set by the paddles of the steamer. they replied : “What is the use of our They were hemmed in on every side, remaining behind ? You die, we die; and five hundred men killed you live, we live. We will go too." sword in hand, while twenty-five hunThe expedition was perfectly suc- dred escaped to the jungles, many of cessful. Three fortified villages were them to perish. The morning light stormed, many guns spiked, many showed a sad spectacle of ruin and boats destroyed, and their defenders defeat. Upwards of eighty prahus and driven to the jungles. This chastise- bangkongs were captured, and many ment not sufficing, in the following more destroyed.” The English offiyear another expedition from the same cers would have gladly saved life ; vessel attacked the Sakarran pirates but the pirates would take no quarand inflicted upon them a punishment ter, and the prisoners were few. It even more severe than that which had was a striking fact, that one of the fallen to the lot of their Sarebus breth- war - boats under Mr. Brooke
Six forts, one mounting fifty-six manned by some thirty Malays, every guns, scores of war-boats, and more one of whom had lost during the than a thousand huts, were burned. year a near relative, killed by these These lessons, though sharp, did not same pirates. The confederacy has permanently subdue.
never risen from this defeat, and for The blow which broke the power of years the tribes composing it have rethese confederacies was inflicted in turned to the labors of peaceful life. 1849. News came to Sarawak that Writing twelve months afterwards to the pirates had put to sea, marking a friend, Rajah Brooke says : “ Pray their course by fearful atrocities. At keep the 31st of July apart for a speonce Mr. Brooke applied to the Eng- cial bumper, for during the last year lish Admiral for assistance, and the not a single innocent life has been steamer Nemesis was despatched to taken by these pirates, nor a single the scene of action. The Rajah joined prahu fallen into their hands.” Many
a victory, famous in story, has accom- chiefs ?” It has been beautiful to beplished less.
hold order coming out of chaos, peace The next year a fleet of sixty-four out of violence, whole districts reprahus, manned by northern pirates, deemed from anarchy, simply by giving and carrying 1224 guns, was destroyed efficient support to the orderly part of by British gunboats in the Gulf of the population. Another object of not Tonquin. This was followed by an at- less importance was to create in this tack of the Spaniards upon the haunts people something of the feeling of naof the Soloo pirates. A lull ensued. tionality, and to make them compreFor three or four years almost nothing hend that they were citizens, with the was heard of freebooting; but it was a duties of citizens. It certainly was no deceitful calm, not a final cessation of easy task to awaken much of the sentithe storm. The freebooting spirit was ment of lofty patriotism in the minds not taken out of the blood of the Ma- of those whose only common memories lay. Now piracy is said to be on the were of lawless misrule and oppression. increase again. Only three years since Every possible effort has been made in six Balanini pirates had the audacity to this direction. The struggle has been, sail into Sarawak Bay and commence not to plant an English colony, but to depredations along its coasts. But not create a Bornean state. The laws are one returned to tell the tale. The whole not English, nor built upon English six were captured or destroyed, and their precedents. They are simply the old crews killed or taken prisoners. The Bornean statutes, made conformable to only permanent remedy for the evil is the principles of equity, and adminjust, settled, and efficient government, istered with just regard to the customs such as has been established at Sara- and traditions of the people. The offices wak, destroying not simply the fleets, of government are filled to the least but breaking up the piratical haunts, possible degree with foreigners; while and with firm hand forcing their people native chiefs and even reclaimed piback into the habits and pursuits of civ- rates are associated with them, and ilized life.
thus habituated to all the forms of a
civilized state. Mr. Brooke, with a rare Being delivered for a time at least courage and wisdom, has always trustfrom these perils, the new Rajah was at ed for his safety to the good-will of liberty to devote himself to the welfare his native subjects. He has never of his subjects. It is not possible, in been sustained by mercenary bands. a brief notice, even to hint at all the At a time when piratical violence was events and efforts of the next fifteen
most threatening, when disorders were years of his government, – to say how yet rife in his own state, and when his he repressed the cupidity and lawless- subjects but poorly appreciated his beness of the Malay chiefs ; how he en- nevolent purposes towards them, his couraged and protected the poor Dy- whole English force was twenty-four aks; how he opened new channels for It is pleasant to add, that this trade; how, from year to year, he re- confidence was not misplaced. A sisted the fierce pirates, who, coming younger generation is now springing from the neighboring islands with strong up, with larger views of life, and with
, fleets, sought to sweep the adjacent a better appreciation of the workings
Of course the prime need was and value of equitable government. to restore confidence, and to assure To sum up all in a brief sentence, to all honest workers, of every race, it may be said with truth that the adthe gains of their industry. The first ministration has been marked by rare question, indeed, of the Chinese emi- sagacity, firmness, and comprehengrant was, “Will you protect us, or will siveness of view, and that it has been our plantations, so soon as they are crowned with success. worth anything, be stripped by your In 1845, Mr. Brooke came for the
first time into official relations with the committed to his charge a ring, bidding British government, by accepting the him deliver it to Rajah Brooke as a office of confidential agent in Borneo. dying memento, and to tell him that We have already alluded to his warm he died faithful to his pledges to the love of his native country. As early as Queen; then, setting fire to a keg of 1841, he had expressed a willingness to powder, he blew himself with his family sacrifice his large outlays, and to relin- into the air. quish all his rights and interests to the These tidings filled Mr. Brooke with crown, if a guaranty could be given that grief and indignation. Every passion piracy would be checked and the native of his fiery and energetic nature was races protected in all their proper rights aroused. He repaired on board the and privileges. He accepted gladly, British fleet, which, upon receipt of this therefore, a post which promised to in- news, had put into Sarawak. Without crease his power to benefit his people, delay the fleet sailed for Bruni. An and entered upon its duties with vigor. immediate explanation was demanded Immediately upon his appointment, he of the Sultan. The reply was a volley was requested to make investigations from the forts which commanded the as to the existence of a harbor fit for river. Without ceremony the ships the shelter and victualling of ships returned the fire. In a brief time these bound from Hong-Kong to Singapore. strongholds were stormed, and Bruni He reported that Labuan, a small island itself was at the mercy of the enemy. north of Borneo, was in every way suit- The Sultan Aled to the swamps. Sailable ; that it was about equidistant ing out of Borneo River, the fleet swept from the two parts; that it had a fine along the whole northern coast, taking harbor, or rather roadstead; that it was in rapid succession the forts of the Illahealthy; that it abounded in coal of the num pirates who had instigated the best quality; that, finally, the Sultan murders at Bruni, and inflicting upon stood pledged to convey it upon rea- them a signal chastisement. sonable terms.
By this time the Sultan wearied of But before legal papers could be jungles and sighed for his palace. He drawn, the whole policy of the court of wrote a cringing letter, promising amendBruni had changed. The Sultan was a ment, agreeing to ratify all his former monarch with “the head of an idiot engagements, and as a sign of his true and the heart of a pirate.” All his sym- penitence was ready even to pay royal pathies were with violence and robbery. honors to the memory of the men whom Under the influence of others, he had he had slain. There was no further agreed to use his power against piracy, difficulty in respect to the cession of and had even been brought to say, in Labuan, and it was taken possession of, fawning phrase, that "he wanted the December 24, 1846, — Mr. Brooke being English near to him.” But he sud- appointed governor. It is said that the denly repented of his good purposes. possession of this island goes far to In a fit of Oriental fickleness he caused make England mistress of the Chinese Muda Hassim and all who favored the Sea, a statement easily to be credited English alliance to be put to death, by any one conversant with English despatched a messenger secretly to ad- policy. At any rate, he who observes minister poison to Mr. Brooke, and en- how, at apparently insignificant statered into even closer friendship than tions, -on little islands, on a marshy before with the piratical tribes. A con- peninsula, - mere dots on the map, fidential servant of Pangeran Budru- England has established her commerdeen, the brother of Muda Hassim, cial depots, — at Hong-Kong in the with difficulty escaped, and fled to Sara- north, at Labuan in the centre, and wak. He related that his master had at Singapore in the south, — will gain bravely resisted, but, overpowered by new respect for the sagacity which in the numbers and desperately wounded, bad councils of the mother country always lurks behind the red-tapism of which and work. He has been termed a we hear so much.
He has been ac
cused of avarice, of wringing from the After an absence of nine years, Rajah natives great sums, and receiving from Brooke revisited England in the year England large salaries as Consul at 1847. He was the hero of the hour. Borneo and as Governor of Labuan. Every honor was showered upon him. It has been asserted that he has been He was invited to visit Windsor Castle, guilty of wholesale slaughter of the received the freedom of London, and innocent, interfering with tribal wars then or soon after was knighted. Ow- under the pretence of extirpating piing to his representations of the readi- racy. None of these charges have been ness of the Dyaks to receive instruc- sustained. On the contrary, it has been tion, a meeting was held in London, at conclusively shown that he has sunk which funds were obtained to build a more than £20,000 of his private forchurch and school-houses. Two mis- tune in this enterprise. The piracy, so sionaries and their families were sent mildly called intertribal war, is undoubtto Sarawak. The buildings were erect- edly robbery, both on the sea and on ed long since, and these Christian means the land, and conducted with all fitting are in full activity. Brooke's language accompaniments of cruelty and bloodupon the proper qualifications of a shed. This persecution has not been missionary exhibits in a striking light borne by its object with much patience, his straightforward resolution and en- and, indeed, like Rob Roy's Highlandlarged liberality. “Above all things, I er, “ he does not seem to be famous for beg of you to save us from such a one that gude gift." “ I am no tame lion to as some of the committee desire to see be cowed by a pack of hounds. These at Sarawak. Zealots, and intolerants, intertribal wars are such as the wolf and enthusiasts, who begin the task of wages against the lamb. I should like tuition by a torrent of abuse against all to ask the most peaceable man in Engthat their pupils hold sacred, shall not land what he would do if a horde of come to Sarawak. Whilst our endeav- bandits frequently burst forth from ors to convert the natives are conduct- Brest and Cherbourg, ravaging the ed with charity, I am a warm friend of shores of the Channel, and carrying the mission. But whenever there is a women and children into captivity, with departure from the only visible means the heads of their decapitated busGod has placed at our disposal, — time, bands and fathers ? Would he preach? reason, patience, and the Christian Would he preach when he saw his faith is to be heralded in its introduc- daughter dishonored and his son murtion by disturbances and heart-burnings dered? And then would he proclaim and bloodshed, I want it not; and you his shame and cowardice among men? are quite at liberty to say, that I would What do some gentlemen expect? rather that the mission were with. They particularly desire to suppress drawn.”
piracy. Do they really imagine that pi
racy is to be suppressed by argument About the year 1850, Mr. Brooke and preaching ?” became the object of a virulent at- Mr. Brooke's enemies have three tack, continued several years, both in times pressed their accusations before the public prints and in Parliament. the House of Commons, and three Prompted originally by the petty mal- times have been defeated by overice of those whose tool for the ad- whelming majorities, — the last vote vancement of their personal schemes being 230 to 19. Finally, to end the he had refused to become, this at- controversy, a royal commission was tack was taken up by a few persons appointed to visit the scene of these of influence, who seem to have mis- transactions, and upon the spot to understood utterly both his character decide their merits. The report of
this commission has not reached us, deaths by violence were of almost daily if indeed it has ever been made pub- occurrence. Twelve years later, a resilic ; but the practical results of it are
dent could boast that for three years certain. Mr. Brooke has severed his only one person had lost his life by official connection with the British gov- other than natural causes. How would ernment by a resignation of the offices American cities appear in comparison which he held under it ; while he re- with this poor Dyak and heathen metains his sovereignty at Sarawak, with tropolis ? Well does Rajah Brooke the undiminished love of his subjects proudly ask, “Could such and an unimpaired influence over the spring from a narrow and sordid polnative tribes. There seems to be no icy?” Mrs. McDougall, the missiondoubt that the intelligent public opin- ary's wife, says: “We have now a beauion of England fully sustains him. And tiful church at Sarawak, and the bell it is safe to predict that with that opin- calls us there to worship every mornion the final verdict of history will co- ing at six, and at five every evening. incide. That, placed in circumstan- Neither is there anything in this quiet, ces of great difficulty, he may have happy place to prevent our thus living taken steps not to be squared with the in God's presence." nicest morality, is possible; for that is Mrs. McDougall adds a story which what must be said of every man who
shows the estimation in which the nahas borne the burden of great public tives hold their Rajah. “Pa Jenna paid responsibility. Neither is it surprising me a visit at Sarawak. The Rajah was that a man of such boldness of speech then in England. But Pa Jenna, comand such almost Cromwellian vigor in ing into my sitting-room, immediately action should have enemies ; that is a espied his picture hanging against the necessity. But that he has been a true wall. I was much struck with the exand sagacious friend of the natives, and pression of respect which both the face that his career has been for the in- and attitude of this untutored savage crease of human happiness, are facts as assumed as he stood before the picture. certain as any can be.
He raised his handkerchief from his His best defence is his works. In head, and, saluting the picture with a 1842, when he took the government of bow, such as a Roman Catholic would Sarawak, it was a feeble province, torn make to his patron saint's altar, whisby dissension, crushed by slavery, and pered to himself, Our great Rajah.'” ravaged by lawless violence. Now it is And this man was a reclaimed pirate. a peaceful, prosperous commonwealth. This reverential love of the natives In 1842, its capital, Kuching, was a is the one thing which does not admit wretched village, whose houses were of a doubt. The proofs are constant miserable mud huts or tents of leaves, and irresistible. Some years since a and containing but fifteen hundred in- lady with a few attendants was pushing habitants. Now it numbers fifteen her boat up a Bornean river, many thousand, — an increase almost rival- leagues away from Sarawak, when she ling that of our Western cities. In 1842, encountered a wild Dyak tribe on a no boat put to sea without terror. As warlike expedition. The sight of more a result, the amount of trade was con- than a hundred half - naked savages, temptible. Now Sarawak has enter- crowning a little knoll which jutted prising native merchants, owning ves- into the river a half-dozen rods in adsels of two hundred tons, having regu- vance of her boat, dancing frantically lar transactions with Singapore and all like maniacs, brandishing their long the neighboring ports. This trade, as knives, and yelling all the while like early as 1853, employed twenty-five demons, was not cheering. Yet at the thousand tons of shipping, and the ex- sight of the Sarawak flag raised at the ports for the year were valued at more bow of the boat, every demonstration than a million of dollars. In 1842, of hostility ceased.