The passage from Canton to Hong-Kong was accomplished without any circumstance worthy of notice, save the time it took, in consequence of the prevalence of contrary winds the whole way. We were, it is true, woke up the first night by the report of guns; but I expect they were not fired at us, as we were not molested. My travelling companions, the Chinese, also behaved themselves on this occasion with the greatest politeness and decorum; and, had I been enabled to look into the future, I would willingly have given up the English steamer and pursued my journey as far as Singapore on board a junk. But as this was impossible, I availed myself of the English steamer, "Pekin," of 450 horse-power, Captain Fronson commander, which leaves for Calcutta every month.

As the fares are most exorbitant, {116} I was advised to take a third-class ticket, and hire a cabin from one of the engineers or petty officers; I was greatly pleased with the notion, and hastened to carry it out. My astonishment, however, may be imagined when, on paying my fare, I was told that the third-class passengers were not respectable, that they were obliged to sleep upon deck, and that the moon was exceedingly dangerous, etc. It was in vain that I replied I was the best judge of my own actions; I was obliged, unless I chose to remain behind, to pay for one of the second places. This certainly gave me a very curious idea of English liberty.

On the 25th of August, at 1 o'clock, P.M., I went on board. On reaching the vessel I found no servant in the second places, and was obliged to ask a sailor to take my luggage into the cabin. This latter was certainly anything but comfortable. The furniture was of the most common description, the table was covered with stains and dirt, and the whole place was one scene of confusion. I inquired for the sleeping cabin, and found there was but one for both sexes. I was told to apply to one of the officials, who would no doubt allow me to sleep somewhere else. I did so, and obtained a neat little cabin in consequence, and the steward was kind enough to propose that I should take my meals with his wife. I did not, however, choose to accept the offer; I paid dearly enough, Heaven knows, and did not choose to accept everything as a favour. Besides, this was the first English steamer I had ever been on board, and I was curious to learn how second-class passengers were treated.

The company at our table consisted not only of the passengers, of whom there were three besides myself, but of the cooks and waiters of the first-class places, as well as of the butcher; or, in a word, of every one of the attendants who chose to take "pot-luck" with us. As for any etiquette in the article of costume, that was entirely out of the question. Sometimes one of the company would appear without either coat or jacket; the butcher was generally oblivious of his shoes and stockings; and it was really necessary to be endowed with a ravenous appetite to be enabled to eat anything with such a set.

The bill of fare was certainly adapted to the crew and their costume, but decidedly not to the passengers, who had to pay thirteen dollars (2 pounds 12s.) a day each for provisions.

The table-cloth was full of stains, and, in lieu of a napkin, each guest was at liberty to use his handkerchief. The knives and forks had white and black horn handles, with notched blades, and broken prongs. On the first day we had no spoons at all; on the second we had one between us, and this one was placed on the table in solitary grandeur during the entire voyage. There were only two glasses, and those of the most ordinary description, which circulated from mouth to mouth; as I was a female, instead of my turn of the glasses, I had, as a peculiar mark of distinction, an old tea-cup with the handle knocked off.

The head cook, who did the honours, pleaded in excuse for all this discomfort, that they happened this voyage to be short of servants. This struck me as really a little too naive, for when I paid my money I paid for what I ought to have then, and not for what I might have another time.

As I said before, the provisions were execrable; the remnants of the first cabin were sent to us poor wretches. Two or three different things would very often be side by side in the most friendly and brotherly manner upon one dish, even although their character was widely different; that was looked upon as a matter of no import, which was also the case as to whether the things came to table hot or cold.

On one occasion, during tea, the head cook was in unusually good humour, and remarked, "I spare no possible pains to provide for you. I hope you want for nothing." Two of the passengers, Englishmen, replied, "No, that's true!" The third, who was a Portuguese, did not understand the importance of the assertion. As a native of Germany, not possessing the patriotic feeling of an English subject in the matter, I should have replied very differently had I not been a women, and if, by so replying, I could have effected a change for the better.

The only light we had was from a piece of tallow candle, that often went out by eight o'clock. We were then under the necessity of sitting in the dark or going to bed.

In the morning the cabin served as a barber's shop, and in the afternoon as a dormitory, where the cooks and servants, who were half dead with sleep, used to come and slumber on the benches.

In order to render us still more comfortable, one of the officers pitched upon our cabin as quarters for two young puppies, who did nothing but keep up one continued howl; he would not have dared to put them in the sailors' cabin, because the latter would have kicked them out without farther ceremony.

My description will, in all probability, be considered exaggerated, especially as there is an old opinion that the English are, above all other people, justly celebrated for their comfort and cleanliness. I can, however, assure my readers that I have spoken nothing but the truth; and I will even add that, although I have made many voyages on board steam-ships, and always paid second fare, never did I pay so high a price for such wretched and detestable treatment. In all my life I was never so cheated. The only circumstance on board the ship to which I can refer with pleasure was the conduct of the officers, who were, without exception, obliging and polite.

I was very much struck with the remarkable degree of patience exhibited by my fellow-passengers. I should like to know what an Englishman, who has always got the words "comfort" and "comfortable" at the top of his tongue, would say, if he were treated in this manner on board a steamer belonging to any other nation?

For the first few days of our voyage we saw no land, and it was not until the 28th of August that we caught sight of the rocky coast of Cochin China. During the whole of the 29th we steered close along the coast, but could see no signs of either human beings or habitations, the only objects visible being richly wooded mountain- ranges; in the evening, however, we beheld several fires, which might have been mistaken for the signals from lighthouses, and proved that the country was not quite uninhabited.

During the following day we only saw a large solitary rock called "The Shoe." It struck me as being exactly like the head of a shepherd's dog.

On the 2nd of September we neared Malacca. Skirting the coast are tolerably high, well-wooded mountain-ranges, infested, according to all accounts, by numerous tigers, that render all travelling very dangerous.

On the 3rd of September we ran into the port of Singapore; but it was so late in the evening, that we could not disembark.

On the following morning I paid a visit to the firm of Behu and Meyer, to whom I had letters of introduction. Madame Behu was the first German lady I had met since my departure from Hamburgh. I cannot say how delighted I was at forming her acquaintance. I was once more able to give free vent to my feelings in my own native tongue. Madame Behu would not hear of my lodging in an hotel; I was immediately installed as a member of her own amiable family. My original plan was to have remained but a short period in Singapore, and then proceed in a sailing vessel to Calcutta, as I had a perfect horror of English steamers, and as I had been told that opportunities continually presented themselves. I waited, however, week after week in vain, until, in spite of my unwillingness, I was obliged to embark in a comfortable English steamer at last. {118}

The Europeans lead pretty much the same kind of life at Singapore that they do at Canton, with this difference, however, that the merchants reside with their families in the country, and come to town every morning for business. Each family is obliged to keep a large staff of servants, and the lady of the house meddles very little in domestic matters, as these are generally altogether entrusted to the major-domo.

The servants are Chinese, with the exception of the seis (coachmen or grooms), who are Bengalese. Every spring, whole shiploads of Chinese boys, from ten to fifteen years old, come over here. They are generally so poor that they cannot pay their passage. When this is the case, the captain brings them over on his own account, and is paid beforehand, by the person engaging them, their wages for the first year. These young people live very economically, and when they have a little money, return generally to their native country, though many hire themselves as journeymen, and stop altogether.

The Island of Singapore has a population of 55,000 souls, 40,000 of whom are Chinese, 10,000 Malays, or natives, and 150 Europeans. The number of women is said to be very small, in consequence of the immigrants from China and India consisting only of men and boys.

The town of Singapore and its environs contain upwards of 20,000 inhabitants. The streets struck me as being broad and airy, but the houses are not handsome. They are only one story high; and, from the fact of the roof's being placed directly above the windows, appear as if they were crushed. On account of the continual heat, there is no glass in any of the windows, but its place is supplied by sun-blinds.

Every article of merchandise has here, as at Canton, if not its own peculiar street, at least its own side of the street. The building in which meat and vegetables are sold, is a fine handsome edifice resembling a temple.

As a natural result of the number of persons of different nations congregated upon this island, there are various temples, none of which are worthy of notice, however, with the exception of that belonging to the Chinese. It is formed like an ordinary house, but the roof is ornamented in the usual Chinese fashion to rather too great an extent. It is loaded with points and pinnacles, with circles and curves without end, all of which are formed of coloured tiles or porcelain, and decorated with an infinity of arabesques, flowers, dragons, and other monsters. Over the principal entrance are small stone bas-reliefs, and both the exterior and interior of the building can boast of a profusion of carved wood-work richly gilt.

Some fruit and biscuits of various descriptions, with a very small quantity of boiled rice, were placed upon the altar of the Goddess of Mercy. These are renewed every evening, and whatever the goddess may leave is the perquisite of the bonzes. On the same altar lay pretty little wooden counters cut in an oval shape, which the Chinese toss up in the air; it is held to be a sign of ill-luck if they fall upon the reverse side, but if they fall upon the other, this is believed to betoken good fortune. The worthy people are in the habit of tossing them up until they fall as desired.

Another manner of learning the decrees of fate consists in placing a number of thin wooden sticks in a basin, and then shaking them until one falls out. Each of these sticks is inscribed with a certain number, corresponding with a sentence in a book of proverbs. This temple was more frequented by the people than those in Canton. The counters and sticks seemed to exercise great influence over the congregation, for it was only round them that they gathered.

There is nothing further to be seen in the town, but the environs, or rather the whole island, offers the most enchanting sight. The view cannot certainly be called magnificent or grand, since one great feature necessary to give it this character, namely, mountains, is entirely wanting. The highest hill, on which the governor's house and the telegraph are situated, is scarcely more than 200 feet high, but the luxuriant verdancy, the neat houses of the Europeans in the midst of beautiful gardens, the plantations of the most precious spices, the elegant areca and feathered palms, with their slim stems shooting up to a height of a hundred feet, and spreading out into the thick feather-like tuft of fresh green, by which they are distinguished from every other kind of palms, and, lastly, the jungle in the back-ground, compose a most beautiful landscape, and which appears doubly lovely to a person like myself, just escaped from that prison ycleped Canton, or from the dreary scenery about the town of Victoria.

The whole island is intersected with excellent roads, of which those skirting the sea-shore are the most frequented, and where handsome carriages, and horses from New Holland, and even from England, {120a} are to be seen. Besides the European carriages, there are also certain vehicles of home manufacture called palanquins, which are altogether closed and surrounded on all sides with jalousies. Generally, there is but one horse, at the side of which both the coachman and footman run on foot. I could not help expressing my indignation at the barbarity of this custom, when I was informed that the residents had wanted to abolish it, but that the servants had protested against it, and begged to be allowed to run beside the carriage rather than sit or stand upon it. They cling to the horse or vehicle, and are thus dragged along with it.

Hardly a day passed that we did not drive out. Twice a week a very fine military band used to play on the esplanade close to the sea, and the whole world of fashionables would either walk or drive to the place to hear the music. The carriages were ranged several rows deep, and surrounded by young beaux on foot and horseback; any one might have been excused for imagining himself in an European city. As for myself, it gave me more pleasure to visit a plantation, or some other place of the kind, than to stop and look on what I had so often witnessed in Europe. {120b}

I frequently used to visit the plantations of nutmegs and cloves, and refresh myself with their balsamic fragrance. The nutmeg-tree is about the size of a fine apricot-bush, and is covered from top to bottom with thick foliage; the branches grow very low down the stem, and the leaves shine as if they were varnished. The fruit is exactly similar to an apricot covered with yellowish-brown spots. When ripe it bursts, exposing to view a round kernel about the size of a nut, enclosed in a kind of net-work of a fine deep red: this network is known as mace. It is carefully separated from the nutmeg itself, and dried in the shade. While undergoing this process, it is frequently sprinkled with sea-water, to prevent its original tint turning black instead of yellow. In addition to this net-work, the nutmeg is covered with a thin, soft rind. The nutmeg itself is also dried, then smoke-dried a little, and afterwards, to prevent its turning mouldy, dipped several times in sea-water, containing a weak solution of lime.

The clove-tree is somewhat smaller, and cannot boast of such luxuriant foliage, or such fine large leaves as the nutmeg-tree. The cloves are the buds of the tree gathered before they have had time to blossom. They are first smoked, and then laid for a short time in the sun.

Another kind of spice is the areca-nut, which hangs under the crown of the palm of the same name, in groups containing from ten to twenty nuts each. It is somewhat larger than a nutmeg, and its outer shell is of so bright a colour, that it resembles the gilt nuts which are hung upon the Christmas-trees in Germany. The kernel is almost the same colour as the nutmeg, but it has no net-work: it is dried in the shade.

The Chinese and natives of the place chew this nut with betel-leaf and calcined mussel-shells. They strew the leaf with a small quantity of the mussel-powder, to which they add a very small piece of the nut, and make the whole into a little packet, which they put into their mouth. When they chew tobacco at the same time, the saliva becomes as red as blood, and their mouths, when open, look like little furnaces, especially if, as is frequently the case with the Chinese, the person has his teeth dyed and filed. The first time I saw a case of the kind I was very frightened: I thought the poor fellow had sustained some serious injury, and that his mouth was full of blood.

I also visited a sago manufactory. The unprepared sago is imported from the neighbouring island of Borromeo, and consists of the pith of a short, thick kind of palm. The tree is cut down when it is seven years old, split up from top to bottom, and the pith, of which there is always a large quantity, extracted; it is then freed from the fibres, pressed in large frames, and dried at the fire or in the sun. At this period it has still a yellowish tinge. The following is the manner in which it is grained: The meal or pith is steeped in water for several days, until it is completely blanched; it is then once more dried by the fire or in the sun, and passed under a large wooden roller, and through a hair sieve. When it has become white and fine, it is placed in a kind of linen winnowing-fan, which is kept damp in a peculiar manner. The workman takes a mouthful of water, and spurts it out like fine rain over the fan, in which the meal is alternately shaken and moistened in the manner just mentioned, until it assumes the shape of small globules, which are constantly stirred round in large, flat pans until they are dried, when they are passed through a second sieve, not quite so fine as the first, and the larger globules separated from the rest.

The building in which the process takes place is a large shed without walls, its roof being supported upon the trunks of trees.

I was indebted to the kindness of the Messrs. Behu and Meyer for a very interesting excursion into the jungle. The gentlemen, four in number, all well provided with fowling-pieces, having determined to start a tiger, besides which they were obliged to be prepared for bears, wild boars, and large serpents. We drove as far as the river Gallon, where we found two boats in readiness for us, but, before entering them, paid a visit to a sugar-refining establishment situated upon the banks of the river.

The sugar-cane was piled up in stacks before the building, but there had only been sufficient for a day's consumption, as all that remained would have turned sour from the excessive heat. The cane is first passed under metal cylinders, which press out all the juice; this runs into large cauldrons, in which it is boiled and then allowed to cool. It is afterwards placed in earthen jars, where it becomes completely dry.

The buildings resembled those I have described when speaking of the preparation of sago.

After we had witnessed the process of sugar-baking, we entered the boats, and proceeded up the stream. We were soon in the midst of the virgin forests, and experienced, at every stroke of the oars, greater difficulty in forcing our passage, on account of the numerous trunks of trees both in and over the stream. We were frequently obliged to land and lift the boats over these trees, or else lie flat down, and thus pass under them as so many bridges. All kinds of brushwood, full of thorns and brambles, hung down over our heads, and even some gigantic leaves proved a serious obstacle to us. These leaves belonged to a sort of palm called the Mungkuang. Near the stem they are five inches broad, but their length is about twelve feet, and as the stream is scarcely more than nine feet wide, they reached right across it.

The natural beauty of the scene was so great, however, that these occasional obstructions, so far from diminishing, actually heightened the charm of the whole. The forest was full of the most luxuriant underwood, creepers, palms, and fern plants; the latter, in many instances sixteen feet high, proved a no less effectual screen against the burning rays of the sun than did the palms and other trees.

My previous satisfaction was greatly augmented on seeing several apes skipping about on the highest branches of the trees, while others were heard chattering in our immediate vicinity. This was the first time I had seen these animals in a state of perfect freedom, and I secretly felt very much delighted that the gentlemen with me did not succeed in shooting any of the mischievous little creatures: they brought down, however, a few splendid lories (a sort of small parrot of the most beautiful plumage) and some squirrels. But our attention was soon attracted by a much more serious object. We remarked in the branches of one of the trees a dark body, which, on nearer inspection, we found to be that of a large serpent, lying coiled up, and waiting, probably, to dart upon its prey. We ventured pretty near, but it remained quite motionless without turning its eyes from us, and little thinking how near its death was. One of the gentlemen fired, and hit it in the side. As quick as lightning, and with the greatest fury, it darted from the tree, but remained fast, with its tail entangled in a bough. It kept making springs at us, with its forked tongue exposed to view, but all in vain, as we kept at a respectable distance. A few more shots put an end to its existence, and we then pulled up under the bough on which it was hanging. One of the boatmen, a Malay, made a small noose of strong, tough grass, which he threw round the head of the serpent, and thus dragged it into the boat. He also told us that we should be sure to find a second not far off, as serpents of this kind always go in pairs, and, true enough, the gentlemen in the other boat had already shot the second, which was also coiled up on the branch of a large tree.

These serpents were of a dark green colour, with beautiful yellow streaks, and about twelve feet in length. I was told that they belonged to the boa species.

After having proceeded eight English miles in four hours, we left the boats, and following a narrow footpath, soon reached a number of plots of ground, cleared from trees, and planted with pepper and gambir.

The pepper-tree is a tall bush-like plant, that, when trained and supported with props, will attain a height varying from fifteen to eighteen feet. The pepper grows in small, grape-like bunches, which are first red, then green, and lastly, nearly black. The plant begins to bear in the second year.

White pepper is not a natural production, but is obtained by dipping the black pepper several times in sea-water: this causes it to lose its colour, and become a dirty white. The price of a pikul of white pepper is six dollars (24s.), whereas that of a pikul of black is only three dollars (12s.).

The greatest height attained by the gambir plant is eight feet. The leaves alone are used in trade: they are first stripped off the stalk, and then boiled down in large coppers. The thick juice is placed in wide wooden vessels, and dried in the sun; it is then cut into slips three inches long and packed up. Gambir is an article that is very useful in dyeing, and hence is frequently exported to Europe. Pepper plantations are always to be found near a plantation of the gambir plant, as the former are always manured with the boiled leaves of the latter.

Although all the work on the plantations, as well as every other description of labour at Singapore, is performed by free labourers, I was told that it cost less than if it were done by slaves. The wages here are very trifling indeed; a common labourer receives three dollars a month, without either board or lodging; and yet with this, he is enabled not only to subsist himself, but to maintain a family. Their huts, which are composed of foliage, they build themselves; their food consists of small fish, roots, and a few vegetables. Nor is their apparel more expensive; for, beyond the immediate vicinity of the town, and where all the plantations are situated, the children go about entirely naked, while the men wear nothing more than a small apron about a hand's-breadth wide, and fastened between the legs: the women are the only persons dressed with anything like propriety.

The plantations that we now saw, and which we reached about 10 o'clock, were cultivated by Chinese. In addition to their huts of leaves, they had erected a small temple, where they invited us to alight. We immediately spread out upon the altar some refreshments, which Madame Behu, like a good housewife, had given us; but, instead of imitating the Chinese, and sacrificing them to the gods, we were wicked enough to devour them ravenously ourselves.

When we had satisfied our hunger, we skinned the serpent and then made a present of it to the Chinese; but they gave us to understand that they would not touch it, at which I was greatly surprised, since they will generally eat anything. I was afterwards convinced that this was all pretence, for on returning some hours later from our hunting excursion and going into one of their huts, we found them all seated round a large dish in which were pieces of roast meat of the peculiar round shape of the serpent. They wanted to hide the dish in a great hurry, but I entered very quickly and gave them some money to be allowed to taste it. I found the flesh particularly tender and delicate, even more tender than that of a chicken.

But I have quite forgotten to describe our hunting excursion. We asked the labourers if they could not put us on the track of a tiger; they described to us a part of the wood where one was reported to have taken up his abode a few days previously, and we immediately set off. We had great difficulty in forcing our way through the forest, having, at every instant, to clamber over prostrate trees, creep through brambles or cross over swamps, but we had, at all events, the satisfaction of progressing, which we certainly should not have had in the forests of Brazil, where such an undertaking would have been impracticable. It is true that there were creepers and orchids, but not in such numbers as in Brazil, and the trees, too, stand far wider apart. We saw some splendid specimens, towering to a height of above a hundred feet. The objects which interested us most were the ebony and kolim trees. The timber of the first is of two kinds, a layer of brownish-yellow surrounding the inner stem, which composes that portion especially known as ebony.

The kolim-tree diffuses an excessively strong odour, similar to that of onions, indicating its site at some distance off. The fruit tastes extremely like onions, and is very often used by the common people, but its odour and taste are too strong for Europeans. I merely just touched a piece of fresh rind, and my hands smelt of it the next morning.

We beat about the forest for some hours without meeting the game of which we were in search. We once thought that we had found the lair, but we soon found that we were mistaken. One of the gentlemen, too, affirmed that he heard the growl of a bear; it must, however, have been a very gentle growl, as no one else heard it, although we were all close together.

We returned home without any further addition to our stock of game, but highly delighted with our agreeable trip.

Although Singapore is a small island, and all means have been used and rewards offered for the extirpation of the tigers, they have failed. Government gives a premium of a hundred dollars, and the Society of Singapore Merchants a similar sum for every tiger killed. Besides this, the valuable skin belongs to the fortunate hunter, and even the flesh is worth something, as it is eagerly bought by the Chinese for eating. The tigers, however, swim over from the neighbouring peninsula of Malacca, which is only separated from Singapore by a very narrow channel, and hence it will be impossible to eradicate them entirely.

The varieties of fruit found at Singapore are very numerous and beautiful. Among the best may be reckoned the mangostan, which is said to grow only here and in Java. It is as big as a middling- sized apple. The rind is a deep brown on the outside and scarlet inside, and the fruit itself is white, and divided naturally into four or five sections: it almost melts in the mouth, and has an exquisite flavour. The pine-apples are much more juicy, sweeter, and considerably larger than those at Canton; I saw some which must have weighed about four pounds. Whole fields are planted with them, and when they arrive at full maturity, three or four hundred may be bought for a dollar. They are often eaten with salt. There is also another kind of fruit, "sauersop," which also often weighs several pounds, and is green outside and white or pale yellow inside. It very much resembles strawberries in taste, and, like them, is eaten with wine and sugar. The gumaloh is divided into several distinct slices, and resembles a pale yellow orange, but is not so sweet and juicy; many people, however, prefer it; it is at least five times as large as an orange. In my opinion, however, the palm of excellence is borne away by the "custard apple," which is covered with small green scales. {125} The inside, which is full of black pips, is very white, as soft as butter, and of the most exquisite flavour. It is eaten with the help of small spoons.

A few days before my departure from Singapore, I had an opportunity of witnessing the burial of a Chinese in easy circumstances. The procession passed our house, and in spite of a temperature of 113 degrees Fah., I went with it to the grave, which was three or four miles distant, and was too much interested in the ceremony to leave until it was concluded, although it lasted nearly two hours.

At the head of the procession was a priest, and at his side a Chinese with a lantern two feet high, covered with white cambric. Then came two musicians, one of whom beat a small drum at intervals, and the other played the cymbals. These persons were followed by the coffin, with a servant holding a large open parasol over that part of it on which the head of the deceased lay. Alongside walked the eldest son or the nearest male relative, carrying a small white flag, and with his hair hanging in disorder over his shoulders. The relations were all dressed in the deepest mourning - that is to say, entirely in white; the men had even got white caps on, and the women were so enveloped in white cloths that it was impossible to see so much as their faces. The friends and attendants, who followed the coffin in small groups without order or regularity, had all got a white strip of cambric bound round their head, their waist, or their arm. As soon as it was remarked that I had joined the procession, a man who had a quantity of these strips, came up and offered me one, which I took and bound round my arm.

The coffin, which consisted of the trunk of a large tree, was covered with a dark-coloured cloth; a few garlands of flowers were suspended from it, and some rice, tied up in a cloth, was placed upon it. Four-and-twenty men bore this heavy burden on immense poles: their behaviour was excessively lively, and every time they changed, they began quarrelling or laughing among themselves. Nor did the other personages in the ceremony display either grief or respect; they ate, drank, smoked, and talked, while some carried cold tea in small pails for the benefit of such as might be thirsty. The son alone held himself aloof; he walked, according to custom, plunged in deep sorrow by the side of the coffin.

On reaching the road that led to the last resting place, the son threw himself upon the ground, and, covering up his face, sobbed very audibly. After a little, he got up again and tottered behind the coffin, so that two men were obliged to support him; he appeared very ill and deeply moved. It is true, I was afterwards informed that this grief is mostly merely assumed, since custom requires that the chief mourner shall be, or pretend to be, weak and ill with sorrow.

On arriving at the grave, which was seven feet deep, and dug on the declivity of a hill, they laid the pall, flowers, and rice on one side, and then, after throwing in a vast quantity of gold and silver paper, lowered the coffin, which I then for the first time perceived was of the finest workmanship, lacquered and hermetically closed. At least half an hour was taken up by this part of the proceedings. The relations at first threw themselves on the ground, and, covering their faces, howled horribly, but finding the burial lasted rather long, sat down in a circle all round, and taking their little baskets of betel, burnt mussel-shells, and areca-nuts, began chewing away with the greatest composure.

After the coffin was lowered into the grave, one of the attendants advanced to the upper part of it, and opened the small packet of rice, on which he placed a sort of compass. A cord was then handed to him. He placed it over the middle of the compass, and altered its position until it lay exactly in the same direction as the needle. A second cord, with a plummet attached, was then held to the first and let down into the grave, and the coffin moved backwards and forwards according to this line, until the middle was in the same direction as the needle: this arrangement consumed at least another quarter of an hour.

After this, the coffin was covered over with numberless sheets of white paper, and the person who had conducted the previous operation made a short speech, during which the children of the deceased threw themselves upon the ground. When it was finished, the speaker threw a few handfuls of rice over the coffin and to the children, who held up the corner of their outer garments so as to catch as many of the grains as possible; but as they only succeeded in obtaining a few, the speaker gave about a handful more, which they tied up carefully in the corner of their dress, and took away with them.

The grave was at last filled in, when the relations set up a most dismal howl, but, as far as I could remark, every eye was dry.

After this, boiled fowls, ducks, pork, fruit, all kinds of pastry, and a dozen cups full of tea, together with the tea-pot, were placed in two rows upon the grave, and six painted wax tapers lighted and stuck in the ground near the refreshments. During all this time, immense heaps of gold and silver paper were set fire to and consumed.

The eldest son now approached the grave again, and threw himself down several times, touching the ground on each occasion with his forehead. Six perfumed paper tapers were handed to him a-light; when he had swung them round in the air a few times he gave them back, when they also, in their turn, were fixed in the earth. The other relations performed the same ceremony.

During all this time, the priest had been sitting at a considerable distance from the grave under the shade of a large parasol, and without taking the slightest share in the proceedings. He now, however, came forward, made a short speech, during which he rang a small bell several times, and his duty was at an end. The refreshments were cleared away, the tea poured over the grave, and the whole company returned home in excellent spirits accompanied by the music, which had also played at intervals over the grave. The provisions, as I was informed, were distributed among the poor.

On the following day I witnessed the celebrated Chinese Feast of Lanterns. From all the houses, at the corners of the roofs, from high posts, etc., were hung innumerable lanterns, made of paper or gauze, and most artistically ornamented with gods, warriors, and animals. In the courts and gardens of the different houses, or, where there were no courts or gardens, in the streets, all kinds of refreshments and fruit were laid out with lights and flowers, in the form of half pyramids on large tables. The people wandered about the streets, gardens, and courts, until nearly midnight, when the edible portions of the pyramids were eaten by the proprietors of them. I was very much pleased with this feast, but with no part of it more than the quiet and orderly behaviour of the people: they looked at all the eatables with a scrutinizing glance, but without touching the smallest fragment.

Singapore is situated 58' (nautical miles) north of the line, in 104 degrees East longitude, and the climate, when compared to that of other southern countries, is very agreeable. During the period of my stay, extending from September 3rd to October 8th, the heat seldom exceeded 83 degrees 75' indoors, and 117 degrees in the sun. There is never any great variation in the temperature, which is the natural consequence of the place being near the equator. The sun always rises and sets at 6 A.M. and 6 P.M. respectively, and is immediately followed by full daylight or perfect night; the twilight hardly lasting ten minutes.

In conclusion, I must remark that Singapore will shortly become the central point of all the Indian steamers. Those from Hong-Kong, Ceylon, Madras, Calcutta, and Europe arrive regularly once a month; there is likewise a Dutch war-steamer from Batavia, and in a little time there will also be steamers running to and fro between this place, and Manilla and Sidney.