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a great pile of wood, with which to keep up a cheerful fire. Most of us are sitting round it, and that everlasting subject of discussion arises - how far are the Kayans off
. The hut to-day appeared as if very lately used ; but if we are to be attacked, I hope it will be in the day-time. The conversation was beginning to ilag, when suddenly we heard a bird utter three cries to our right. “Ah!" cried Japer, " that is a good sign,” and instantly reverted to head-hunting and omens. I will here introduce a story illustrative of the practice. Its cool atrocity always makes my heart sick. Japer told it in illustration of various omens. I will try and relate it in his own words, whilst they are still ringing in my ears.' (Vol. ii. p. 61.)
The story, too long for extract, deserves to be called atrocious. But the decline of head-hunting is very marked. By degrees it appeared that any human heads could do as well as those of warriors; then it was only the heads of bona fide foes, which were sought alive; and then it came to taking them from the graves where the European practice of sepulture exists; and Mr. St. John tells us that during his journeys up the Limbang River, and in all his wanderings near Kina Balu, he only once saw the dried heads of enemies hung up. “Yet when falling in with parties
of head-hunters on the track of their enemies, I have always, says our author,' avoided spending a night in their immediate' ' neighbourhood, and have kept our arms ready for service.' This precaution was not remitted after he overheard, from a Bornean hareem, a remark which tended to reassure him against the head-hunters of that country of flashing eyes. While he was thinking how yellow and smoke-dried the young ladies looked, he heard one of them observe, How very dull his eyes are!'
Thus there was hope that his head was not very attractive. • Profitable agricultural industry' is the prescription for the cure of this social disease.
Wherever he went, our author bore in his mind the conception of the future establishment of our civilisation there. At the end of his description of the view obtained from a lofty ridge of a wide extent of coast and plain, he tells us that the rice tillage extended almost to the top—the jungle having been cleared away for the purpose; and, by natural association of ideas, proceeds thus : —
“We carefully examined the noble buttress on which we were encamped, and were convinced that if ever the north of Borneo fall into the hands of a European Power, no spot could be better suited for barracks than Marei Parei. The climate is delightful : at sunrise the average was 56°, mid-day 75°, sunset 63° ; and this temperature would keep European soldiers in good health. There is water at hand ; and up the western spur a road could be easily made, suited to cattle and horses : in fact, buffaloes are now occasionally driven from Labang Labang to Sayap.' (Vol. i. p. 330.)
In the concluding chapter may be found Mr. St. John's reasons for warning us that the redemption of Borneo will not be wrought by the Sarāwak Mission, unless the management of it is totally changed. It has created a painful sensation in England lately, that a Christian bishop should have boasted of the number of pirates he had killed with his breech-loading weapon. Necessary as it is to put down piracy, we should not think of commissioning our first bishop in that region to perform an office for which the sacred book he carries affords no warrant. A not less unfavourable impression exists in Sarāwak, evidently from our neglect of the pregnant hint of Sir Stamford Raffles, so well acted upon by Sir James Brooke,—that the growth of these people must proceed from indigenous roots of civilisation, and that it will never answer to impose upon them new thoughts and manners, foreign to their minds and customs. In a single sentence of our author's we find the results of the neglect and of the observance of this hint, in the religious and civil life of the Sarāwak people. After telling us how the chief operation of the Mission has been to fill the Mohammedan temples, Mr. St. John says:
*That the present management is decidedly faulty, may be gathered from this, that, of all the officers in the Sarawak government service who have been employed there during the last fourteen years, I only know of one who has abandoned his position, and that one under peculiar circumstances; while, as I have said, five-sevenths of the missionaries have left their posts, though their work is not harder — certainly not nearly so dangerous as that of the officers — and is as well paid.' (Vol. ii. p. 375.)
It is success and non-success that makes the difference in the conduct of the civil and religious officials; and these depend, as we were warned long ago, on whether we watch for the native guidance, for the native good, or impose our own, for the satisfaction of our own preconceptions.
ART. VI. — Gloucester Fragments. — I. Facsimile of some
Leaves in Saxon Handwriting on St. Swidhun, copied by Photozincography, at the Ordnance Survey Office, Southamp
and published with Elucidations and an Essay. By John EARLE, M.A., Rector of Swanswicke; late Fellow and Tutor of Oriel College, and Professor of Anglo-Saxon in the University of Oxford.-11. Leaves from an Anglo-Saron Translation of the Life of S. Maria Ægyptiaca, with a
Translation and Notes. 4to. London: 1861. A Bout five and thirty years ago, a few leaves of Anglo
Saxon manuscripts, found in the Chapter Library at Gloucester, were marked by the librarian as discovered in • Abbats’ Braunche and Newton's Register,' laid aside, and forgotten. On these leaves Mr. Earle was requested to prepare a memoir for the meeting of the Archæological Institute in 1860; and from the interest expressed in the subject, he was led to publish facsimiles of the fragments, taken by the process of photozincography. The first MS., thus reproduced, belongs to a narrative of the translation of St. Swithun, and was written, in Mr. Earle's opinion, about the year 985. The condition of the language in the reign of Æthelred, and the familiarity of English readers with the name, if not with the history of Swithun, suggested the idea of making its publication serviceable as an introduction to English literature. The second fragment from a life of St. Mary of Egypt, exhibits the language in a state much like that of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in the beginning of the twelfth century, and may serve to give a good idea of the devotional reading of the age. To the facsimiles of these fragments Mr. Earle appends the text in Roman letters, with a literal translation and some notes, neither too many nor too long, for the benefit of Anglo-Saxon students. Unfortunately, with regard to the first fragment, the good fortune of having made a discovery cannot be added to Mr. Earle's merits as an editor. A manuscript in the British Museum * contains the homily of which the leaves found in the Chapter Library at Gloucester form a portion. If we regret that Mr. Earle had not acquainted himself with the existence of this MS. before publishing his volume, it by no means follows that the value of his work is seriously impaired. For the purposes of philology, the comparison of the two fragments remains not less useful, while the chief interest of the work for ordinary
* Alfric's Liber Festivalis. Cotton MS. Julius, E. 7.
readers lies in the Essay on the Life and Times of Swithun,' which follows the text of the fragments. Mr. Earle's materials may be somewhat less original than he appears to have thought them, but he makes up for this disappointment by the originality and quaintness of his own remarks.
The facts of St. Swithun's life, so far as they are known to us, may be told in a few words. Yet his history, as Mr. Earle rightly insists, is not necessarily apocryphal because we cannot adduce much of contemporary evidence for it. The nearest approach to such testimony is that of Asser, the biographer of Alfred. From him and from some incidental statements elsewhere, we learn that Swithun was a monk, prior, and afterwards Bishop of Winchester,—that he built a bridge,--that he was appointed by Egbert tutor to his son Æthelwolf, who looked on him always as his most faithful counsellor and friend, and that after his death he was buried on the north side of his cathedral church. Yet although to later generations his name was linked with a mere prognostication of weather, there are some important events of his own time with which the historian may be naturally led to associate his memory. It may seem no strained inference to conclude that he compiled the early history of Wessex, – that he accompanied Alfred in his pilgrimage to Rome, – that he suggested the donation of Æthelwolf, and brought about the compromise which guaranteed to Æthelbald the more important kingdom of Wessex. But while Mr. Earle rejects such a reconstruction of history, he thinks that a middle course yet remains, which, by a fair examination of the time, may enable him to appreciate the relative position of the morsels which concern Swithun' (p. 23.). "The Saint of the Summer Rains is as unquestionably historical as Alfred. In the absence of authentic incidents, his life might in a ruder age be embellished by fictions : in our own day it is clear that its chances of rehabilitation are
over, and the only way of investing the relic with a meaning ' is to recover its antiquarian history? (p. 22.).
The connexion of Swithun with Æthelwolf cannot be called into question. Yet, in spite of arguments which may be drawn from his sanctity and authority, a strict historical criticism will hesitate to maintain that under such a tutor the personal character of the prince would be well cultivated, and his tastes would be well regulated. Swithun would never have forgotten to direct his attention to business, to ' the art of governing, to the importance of industry, as well 'as to the value of a pure creed and Scriptural learning (p. 26.). From the presence of Ealchstan and Swithun at the court of Æthelwolf, it is fair to infer that their example may have influenced Alfred, but less judicious perhaps to conclude, from Alfred's ignorance of letters at the age of twelve, as well as from his subsequent military career, that the instruction of Ealchstan was more acceptable than that of Swithun. The inference is plausible which makes Swithun the companion of the young prince in his journey to Rome. That pilgrimage, Mr. Earle believes, was made immediately after Swithun's promotion to the see of Winchester; and the bishop may well have gone to Rome to seek a benediction, as Metropolitans were already accustomed to journey thither for their pall. It is scarcely so safe, to connect Swithun directly with that donation of Æthelwolf which has been the subject of so much controversy.
On this point Mr. Earle fully admits the absence of strictly contemporary evidence, while at the same time he rejects the idea that the donation consisted in the legal establishment of tithe, to which, however, be thinks that it eventually led. It was with this very object that Swithun led the king to set the example of devoting a portion of his land to religious uses, and so of making a provision for the clergy, which was the more needed in times of war and trouble. Mr. Earle is thus at once carried to the conclusion that the donation of Æthelwolf was absolutely necessary for the spreading and establishment of Christianity, and that it consisted in setting aside the tenth part of every manor in his possession for the purpose of building a minster. This minster was not to be itself a parish church, although it might become the parent of many such.
It might expand hereafter into a great monastic house : but in itself it was an outpost of the Christian Church, with a body of priests living under rule in some of those isolated stations which have ever since retained the • maternal title' of Minster (p. 41.).
These conclusions, even if they lay open to no antecedent objections, assume a less plausible character when compared with the conflicting accounts which seem almost to call the bare fact of the donation into question. Shortly before the close of a long and not untroubled reign, Æthelwolf
, in the words of Asser, freed the tenth part of his whole kingdom from all royal service and tribute, and devoted it to the Holy Trinity for the salvation of his soul and the souls of his forefathers. No one, probably, will hesitate to admit with Hallam, that from such a passage it seems impossible to strain his words into a grant • of tithes. Nor does it seem irrelevant to remark that Æthel
* Middle Ages, chapter vii. note 1.