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largest of these are Luzon and Mindanao. The natives are nearly of a copper color. They are mild and unsuspicious, and the common people go mostly naked. Some of them who are rich, are well dressed, and they bear a strong resemblance to the Polynesian islanders.
They are great smokers ; not the men only, but women, boys, and even children before they can talk, practise smoking. The women are not content with common segars, but have them made a foot long, and twice as large as your thumb. It is a curious sight to see these women going about, looking as if they had burning brands in their mouths.
These islands are very fruitful. They produce yams, potatoes, pumpkins, water-melons, plantains, bananas, guavas, cloves, nutmegs, betel nuts, cocoa nuts, oranges, and sago. The betel nut is chewed by the natives, particularly by the women, partly as a luxury, and partly for the purpose of making their teeth black. The people make a species of wine
from the palm tree. The fruitfulness of their country, enables them to lead a life of indolence; they are fond of pleasure, and are passionately devoted to cock-fighting.
For many years, the Spaniards have ruled over the greater part of the Philippine isles. Some of them, however, are governed by their native chiefs.
After I had been several weeks at Manilla, I had an opportunity to leave that place in a British ship. I need hardly tell my readers, that I was very anxious to 'return to my native land. The melancholy termination of our voyage had sickened me of the sea. In the wreck of the ship, I had lost what little property I possessed. With disappointed hopes, and painful recollections, I entered the British vessel, intending, if I reached Boston in safety, never again to venture upon the treacherous ocean.
The fate of Jenkins had long weighed heavily upon my heart. It is true, he was a rough sailor, and somehow or other he was always getting into trouble ; but he was an honest fellow, possessed an excellent heart, and would always give his last shilling to relieve a friend.
Since we left the American coast I had often thought of him ; there was, indeed, every probability that he had perished in the storm; but the chance that he was living still presented itself to my mind, and the idea that he was in captivity among the Indians, haunted my imagination by day, and my dreams at night. Now that I was going to set out for home, to return without him, to meet his friends and tell them he was lost, my remembrance of him became very sad and painful.
The vessel in which I had embarked was very large, and had on board of her at least two hundred men. She was sent out by the government of England, on some public business, to Canton. She had been to that place, and was now returning across the Pacific to England. She was going to touch at some of the islands on her way, particularly at New Holland.
- If you will look on the map, you will see a number of islands not far from Luzon. The principal of these are the Spice islands, Borneo, Sumatra, and Java. As we sailed in a direction nearly southwest from Luzon, we passed Borneo on the left, and went through the straits between Java and Sumatra.
As we did not stop at any of these islands, I can only describe them from the accounts of other voyagers. Borneo is the largest island in the world, except New Holland. It is nearly five times as large as all the New England States. It has, I suppose, about three million of inhabitants. As we passed along near the shores of this island, I saw a great many of the people navigating the waters in boats and canoes. Their complexion is quite dark, and they appeared to me to resemble the inhabitants of Luzon.
The land in Borneo is very fruitful. The productions are rice, pepper, camphor, oranges,
What of Borneo ?
lemons, cocoa nuts, bread fruit, and many others. There are many kinds of monkeys here; among them is the Orang-Outang, which in form very much resembles a man.
Birds of Paradise are also found in Borneo. Their color is a light yellow. We often saw them high in the air, and far out at sea. I believe it is because they are so often seen in the air, at a distance from the land, that the sailors imagine them to be birds of the sky, and not of the earth. This is said to be ilie reason, why they call them Birds of Paradise.