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a certain proportion of Chinese were necessary to the development of the resources of the country. “My Dayaks are gentle“men,' Sir J. Brooke delights to say. Without being idle they take things easily, prefer the lightest occupations, and will not surrender their evening leisure for the sake of increasing their gains. To make production and commerce what they may be, a plodding and money-getting race like the Chinese must bave a place in the community; and wherever they can find toleration, there are accordingly Chinese to be found. It is observable that they are not, in Borneo and the neighbourhood, pure Chinese who have arrived direct from their own country, but a mixed race, the offspring of former immigrations. In fact, it seems to be difficult to draw the line between those who are loosely called Borneans and Chinese; for it is contended that the people of Borneo are themselves descended from ancient Chinese cultivators of the pepper and rice grounds, the traces of which are very common.
However this may be, there are people called Chinese, prone to industry and money-getting by the celestial side of their constitution, and to raids and rebellion by the Malay element now intermixed with it. The Dutch are oppressive rulers and hard taskmasters of these people ; and they have naturally flocked to the Sarāwak territory, where they have been to a certain extent welcome, and would have been entirely so if the rural labourers among them had stuck to their proper business. Every encouragement was given to their agricultural efforts ; but the gold-seekers overwhelmed the rice-growers, and carried them off to the mines. As their force increased, they made difficulties by encroaching on the lands of the Dayaks in search of gold; and in 1853 it was necessary to control them by force of arms. The cultivators used their opportunity to get back to their rice-grounds and gardens, and Mr. St. John saw, in 1856, about 500 of them 'engaged in a war against the jungle.' About 800 were living in the capital and its environs; and up the country, in the mineral district, there had been a clandestine immigration, persistently denied on the spot, which brought the number of gold-seekers and their dependents up to 3,000.
The immigration was not much to be wondered at, nor the secrecy: for the Dutch authorities over the frontier exact a payment of 61. from every Chinese who leaves their territory; and the punishment for leaving without paying is very severe. To get into Rajah Brooke's territory, and to get there unnoticed, was therefore the Chinaman's natural ambition. Yet Sir J. Brooke was vigilant, and suspicious of some design against his proper subjects. The perpetual ground of suspicion of the
Chinese, asserted by all who have made acquaintance with them in the Eastern Archipelago, is their fondness for secret societies. By such organisations they carry on smuggling, communicate with such centres of power as Singapore, learn what is going on abroad, and overawe their own weaker members at home. Mr. St. John was dosed with opium by his own servant, a Chinese boy, under the control of the officers of a secret society, who stole the consul's property while he was sunk in his thirteen hours' sleep. The Sarāwak revenue was cheated, through the same instrumentality, by the smuggling of opium from Singapore. The society was fined 1501., after having made many thousands; and the illicit trade was stopped.
This happened just after the Chinese had heard that the English had retired from Canton. Their information was that the English had been beaten back; and the British power was supposed to be humbled. Humble as it was, Brooke and his colleagues in the government were supposed to have no benefit of it. There was no evidence of the English Government feeling any concern about Sarāwak; and the persuasion among the Chinese was that if Brooke and his aids could be got rid of, no inquiry would ever be made, so long as the other European residents were not meddled with. Such were the suggestions of an emissary sent from Singapore and Malacca, encouraged hy certain native parties in the Dutch territory adjoining. Mr. St. John's Chinese servants were told, in the Consulate at Brunei, four days before the rising, that all the white men at Sarāwak were going to be killed immediately, and Mr. St. John svon after, so that his servants had better join the society which was thus about to come into power. There was no time to send warning to Sarāwak, even if Mr. St. John had believed the tidings which his butler revealed to him in great trouble of mind. He put the government at Brunei on its guard; and that government made it clearly understood that every Chinese should be destroyed if any outrage were offered to its European ally. In Sarāwak, however, the only warning given was by a swift Malay rower, who pulled down to Kuching, the capital, and told that a Chinese expedition was just behind him. As the Rajah was ill, it was resolved to wait till morning before troubling him with the news. What happened in the night of that Feb. 18. 1857, we all remember — how the Rajah escaped through his bath-house, and by swimming the river; how his guest, Mr. Nicholets, was slain in one of the garden-houses; how Mr. and Mrs. Crookshanks were wounded, and how the constable's two children and lodger were killed. As long as the belief prevailed that Brooke was dead, all was forlorn and VOL. CXVI. NO. CCXXXVI.
hopeless. The Chinese sat in the Rajah's seat in the courthouse, and aped his authority. This was the drop too much. One of the native citizens protested — somewhat prematurely.
“He was a sturdy man,' Mr. St. John tells us, with a pleasant cheerful countenance, and a warm friend to English rule; and his first words were, “Are we going to submit to be governed by Chi“nese chiefs, or are we to remain faithful to our Rajah? I am a “man of few words, and I say I will never be governed by any “but him ; and to-night I commence war to the knife against his “enemies." This was the unanimous determination of the assembly; but they were divided as to the course to be pursued.' (Vol. ii. p. 350.)
The Chinese had all the arms from the arsenal; the Malays were burnt out of their homes, scattered and pillaged: but they attacked the Chinese boats, and fought when, where, and as they could. They were apparently of the same mind with their fellow-citizen, who, dying in the struggle, said that he would rather be in hell with the English, than in heaven with his Mohammedan countrymen. When Brooke was known to be alive, and yet more when he appeared, they did wonders in defence of their persons and property. Yet all seemed to be over, as the town was burning, when the Borneo Company's steamer arrived to furnish a base of operations for the defence of the settlement. The details may be read in Mr. St. John's book : the point that concerns us now is the proof afforded by this insurrection, of the nature and temper of the connexion between Rajah Brooke and his Dayak subjects. From hour to hour it became clearer that the Chinese could never have had a chance of success in their attempt to usurp the government. Dayaks were thronging from all parts to avenge their ruler, when he led his people to victory over the aggressors; and the whole country was resolved to sacrifice everything, rather than the beneficent rule which they need never have submitted to again but by their own choice. Since that date we have heard no more charges or insinuations against Sir James Brooke as Rajah of Sarāwak.
Mr. St. John's sketch of the aspect of the seat of government after the disturbance was over, will interest our readers. The wretched insurgents had for the most part perished, and the survivors were dispersed. Many were found hanging in the woods, or dead by other methods of suicide ; and most of them with their booty on their persons — money from 51. to 201., silver spoons, forks, and other portable treasure. Meantime, while these victims of their secret society authorities were proving their essential harmlessness as rebels, the capital was rising from its ashes.
• The news of the insurrection reached me,' says Mr. St. John, after a very long delay, as the first intimation I had of it was through a letter from Mr. Ruppell, dated Singapore, as he had left Sarāwak after the failure of the Sunday attack : and I was kept in suspense for above a week, when a more rapid sailing-vessel brought me the news that Sir James Brooke had triumphed.
• I went down to Sarāwak by the first opportunity, and reached it in July, to find everything proceeding apparently as if no insurrection had occurred. Though the Malay town had been burnt down, yet the inhabitants had soon recovered their energy, and had built their houses again, which, though not so substantial as the former ones, still looked very neat. Some things were missed in the landscape, and the handsome government-house, with its magnificent library, had disappeared ; Mr. Crookshank's and Mr. Middleton's houses were also gone, and, with the exception of the Rajah, they were the principal sufferers, as the Chinese had had no time to destroy either the church or the mission-house, or the Borneo Company's premises ; and, although they all suffered losses from pilferers, yet they were comparatively trivial, when placed in comparison to that noble library, which was once the pride of Sarāwak.
• I found, as I had expected, that the loss of worldly goods had had little effect on the ruler of the country, who was as cheerful and contented in his little comfortless cottage, as he had ever been in the government house. His health, which before was not strong, had been wonderfully improved by his great exertions to endeavour to restore the country to its former state; and I never saw him more full of bodily energy and mental vigour than during the two months I spent at Sarāwak in 1857. Everybody took their tone from their leader, and there were no useless regrets over losses ; and it was amusing to hear the congratulations of the Malay chiefs: “Ah, Mr. “ St. John, you were born under a fortunate star to leave Sarāwak “just before the evil days came upon us." Then they would laughingly recount the personal incidents which had occurred to themselves; and tell with great amusement the shifts they were put to for want of every household necessary. There was a cheerfulness and a hope in the future, which promised well for the country.' (Vol. ii. p. 361.)
It would seem that Rajah Brooke has solved the problem which Sir Stamford Raffles and many other good men have taken to heart-that of winning the mind and heart of races with which measures of conquest, of commerce, and of missionary enterprise have always failed. The evidence seems to have turned up everywhere, as well as within sight of the Rajah's dwelling, and the influence of his personal conduct. Mr. St. John tells us how his ear was caught by the name of Brooke when he was in the wilds, attempting the exploration of the interior mountains. There, among his hungry followers, and suspicious strangers, beyond the Limbang River, exhausted by bleeding from the leeches which fastened upon him in his daily walk, encompassed with perils, and, as it were, lost in the furthest wilderness of the world, he heard, as he sat by the night-fire, the sound of Tuan Brooke' often repeated. On inquiry, he learned that the natives were proud and delighted to see in him, with their own eyes, the adopted son (as they had been told) of the great Rajah, the friend of the aborigines. * Their only surprise was, that he who had given peace and “happiness to the Southern Dayaks should neglect to extend • his benefits to the Northern.' On investigating the origin of their notions of the great Rajah, Mr. St. John found that, among the natives, the mightiest event in human history was the humiliation of the Bornean Sultan, when his government was driven to hide in the jungle, and to apologise for its oppressions at the bidding of the British. With this piece of history was linked the story of the justice with which Britons rule; and especially of the blessings which one Briton had brought to that part of the country which he was pleased to inhabit. • What dwelt in their minds was, that there were some of 'their countrymen who were happy under the rule of Tuan • Brooke.' (Vol. ii. p. 107.)
The question arises whether this influence is to expire with the life of a peculiarly-gifted man. It is a question of the highest importance. By the delays and impediments which have been interposed for twenty years, we must conclude that the difficulties are also great; but we never have been able to see, and we do not now see, how they can be conceived to bear any proportion to the benefits to everybody concerned of confirming and perpetuating the work prescribed by Raffles, and begun with singular success by Brooke. Nobody wants to enter on a course of enterprise which can lead us into a policy of annexation like that which has made us the conquerors and owners of India. Nobody wants that we should involve ourselves in such a scheme as that of the French in Cochin China, nor in responsibilities at all resembling those which we are beginning to find embarrassing at Shanghae. What we have done thus far has not been what was asked, nor what was desirable. We have mismanaged the Labuan settlement and the Sarawak Mission; and we seem to have been unable to apprehend the principle and aim proposed by the one great English friend of the Malay races, and carried out by the other. We seem to have been thus far unable to perceive that our call is to be the guardian and friend of these Eastern people, exactly as far as they desire us to be so; and by no means their masters by the strong hand, nor their priests by self-appointment. Speaking