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Any person may have his silver either purified or depreciated to whatever standard he chuses. The nearest silversmith will perform the work free from charge; as the bringer by the operation must lose a trifle, which the artist gains; the small quantity of metal that adheres to the crucible, being his profit.
Weights and MEASURES.-The weights are the moo, tual, vis, and candy, and are thus divided :
100 Moos...............equal to...............1 Tual.
The vis is considered equal to 3 lbs. 5 oz. 5.33 drs., and the candy to 500 lbs. avoirdupois.
Rice is sold by a measure called tayndaung, or basket; the weight is 16 vis, about 534 lbs.: it is said to be 56 lbs.
The measures of length are the paulgaut, or inch, 18 of which compose the taim, or cubit. The saundaung, or royal cubit, is equal to 22 inches, but varies according to the will of the King.
The dha, or bamboo, consists of 7 royal cubits; 1000 dhas make 1 dain, or Burman league, equal to 2 English miles, and 2 furlongs; the league is also subdivided into tenths.
ARTICLES PROCURABLE AT RANGOON, WITH DIRECTIONS.
EARTH OIL, or Petroleum, (Mitti-tel, Hind., Neft, Arab.), a name given to a liquid bituminous substance, which flows between stones or rocks, and different places in the earth. This oil differs in lightness, smell, consistence, and inflammability, in its several specimens. Authors have distinguished many varieties: the principal are naphtha, petroleum, and mineral pitch.
NAPHTHA is the thinnest of the liquid bitumens, perfectly fluid, colourless, of a strong smell, not highly fragrant, extremely subtile, so light as to swim on water, spreading to a large surface, and highly inflammable. By the slightest contact of a burning body it takes fire, and burns with a copious blueish yellow flame, a penetrating odour, and much smoke.
PETROLEUM, properly so called, is in consistence next to naphtha, but grosser and thicker; of a reddish or brown colour, but so light as to swim
in spirits of wine; it is inflammable, of a bitter taste, and its smell strong
ASPHALTUM, or mineral pitch, is already described in page 71.
In the neighbourhood of Rangoon are many petroleum wells.
EMERALDS are to be met with at Pegu. They are of a shining, transparent, dark grass green colour, generally of a round or oval form, seldom as large as a hazel-nut. It is rare to find the colour pure, and of good strength; hence such specimens are highly valued. In the choice of emeralds great care should be taken to avoid all fouls, or spots within, to which they are very subject, and which materially depreciate them.
GARNETS are met with at Pegu, and other parts of the East Indies; they are of various sizes, from an inch in diameter to the size of a pin's head, and in roundish or oblong pieces, apparently polished. They should be chosen as large as possible, free from specks, flaws, and other impurities, and the colour of the juice of a ripe mulberry. The drill holes should be small, and not broken or flawed round. They are occasionally imported in large rough pieces, undrilled.
RUBIES are produced in Pegu, and occasionally some very excellent ones may be procured; they are of four kinds, vix. ruby, spinelle ruby, balass ruby, and rubycelle.
The ruby is a transparent gem, of a beautiful reddish colour, not like that of vermilion, but of blood, or cochineal. They are generally found very small, about the size of a large pin's head, of a roundish or oval form, but are met with of one and two carats, and sometimes much larger. They should be chosen of a lively fine colour; the deeper the red, the larger the stone, and the clearer it is, without flaws or veins, the more it is esteemed. The pale and veiny stones should be rejected.
The spinelle ruby is nearly of the same colour as the true ruby, but has not its beauty and splendour.
The balass ruby is more of the colour of crimson, and when well polished, is a handsome stone.
The rubycelle is red, with a cast of yellow in it, and is the least valuable of the kind.
According to Dutens, a perfect ruby, if it weighs more than three carats and a half, is of greater value than a diamond of the same weight, such stones being remarkably scarce: a stone of one carat, and perfect, he estimates to be worth ten guineas; two carats forty guineas, and three carats one hundred and fifty guineas.
MARTABAN.-This town is situated on the N. side of a river, in lat. 16° 28′ N., about 20 leagues to the E. of Rangoon river. A large island,
called Buga, fronts the entrance of the river, the proper channel into which is to the E. of the island, between it and the main land, having a bar at the entrance; the distance from which to the town of Martaban is about seven leagues.
Martaban was formerly a place of considerable trade, and once the capital of an independent kingdom; but it was taken by the King of Ava, who reduced the place to ashes, and sunk large vessels with stones at the mouth of the port, so that at present only small ships can enter. It still retains its potteries, and manufactures large jars, some of which will contain two hogsheads.
TAVAY.-Tavay Point, on which stands a pagoda, is in lat. 13° 33′ N., and long. 98° 6' E., and forms the W. side of the entrance of Tavay river. The river runs in a N. direction, and about eight leagues up are the fort and town of Tavay, seldom visited by Europeans. Inside the Point there is good anchorage for large ships; it is convenient for wooding and watering. Water is procured at a small brook, a short distance to the N. of the Point.
MERGUI is situated on the principal branch of the Tenasserim River, in lat. about 12° 12′ N. and long. 98° 24′ E. Large ships anchor in the roads, with a small island called Mandramacan, which forms the S. W. side of the river's entrance, bearing S. distant 3 or 4 miles. The town of Mergui is about six miles up the river; vessels of moderate size, by taking pilots, can go over the bar into the river, and anchor opposite the town, in 5 fathoms water.
TRADE. It is frequented to procure provisions and refreshments. There are many Mahometan merchants, and natives of India, who carry on the remaining trade of the place, which under a better government would be much increased. The articles principally in demand, and which are imported from several parts of India, are iron, Madras piece-goods, salt, tobacco, &c. Their principal exports are tin, elephants' teeth, and rice. Chintz, and other fine painted goods, will, if the market be not overstocked, find immediate vent. There is abundance of fine timber, and many carpenters here.
PROVISIONS AND Refreshments.-The oxen here are good, but, from religious motives, are difficult to be procured. Other articles are plentiful and cheap. Fish are very fine, abundant, and cheap. Fire-wood and water are easily procured.
COINS. The principal is the tical, worth about half a Spanish dollar.
TENASSERIM is situated about 30 miles up the river, on the S. side, and is a place of considerable trade. The whole of this coast from Martaban formed a part of the dominions of the King of Siam; but after conti
nued wars between that nation and the Burmans, the latter power obtained possession of the coast of Tenasserim, with the two important ports of Mergui and Tavay; acquisitions of great moment, when considered either in a political or commercial light.
The narrow part of the continent, which separates the Bay of Bengal from the Gulph of Siam, is sometimes called the Isthmus of Kraw. The whole extent of coast, from Tavay to Junkceylon, is generally called the Coast of Tenasserim, having several bays and harbours, seldom visited by Europeans.
JUNKCEYLON, OR JAN-SYLAN.-This island is divided from the continent by a narrow isthmus of sand, about a mile in length, and half a mile in breadth, and is covered at high water; it shuts up, on the N. part, an excellent harbour, called Popra, where a vessel drawing 20 feet water may get in, on the springs, over a mud bar. The island extends from lat. 8° 9′ to 7° 46′ N., and is about 24 miles long, tain on its S. part is in long. 98° 20′ E.
and 10 broad. A high moun
The place where ships generally anchor, is in a good road, well sheltered behind a small island, joined to the main at low water, in lat. 8° 10′ N. On the main, opposite to this island, is a creek, that leads to a village called Terowa, consisting of about 80 houses, built of timber, and covered with palm-leaves. Here resides the Viceroy, or Governor, from the Court of Ava. On the S. W. side of the island is another good harbour, where vessels occasionally stop.
TRADE.-A considerable trade used formerly to be carried on here; but in consequence of orders from the Burman Government, the use of opium is forbidden to the natives, and a heavy duty laid on the exportation of tin. The trade has much declined. It is occasionally visited by country ships, which bring the following articles :-Coarse cutlery, China ware, iron in bars, looking-glasses, opium, piece-goods, steel in faggots, tobacco, and woollens.
The Malay and Buggess proas, previous to the establishments at Pinang and Singapore, used to exchange their produce here, which consisted of Buggess cambays, Java painted cloths and handkerchiefs, China gongs, brass utensils, the blue and white coarse cloths, called kangan, &c. with the country vessels for opium, giving in exchange the tin they procured here for their own imports.
The principal export is tin, of which article upwards of 800 tons have been in some years exported; a few elephants' teeth are occasionally to be met with. The tin ore is here pounded in wooden mortars. Before it is
reduced to powder, it is roasted in pits, and a quantity of pure tin is obtained by this first process.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS.-Bullocks and buffaloes, wild hogs, and deer are to be had; also common poultry, but not in abundance. Rice and various vegetables, with several kinds of tropical fruits, are to be procured. The water is good, and got with little difficulty.
They have certain pieces
COINS AND WEIGHTS.-All kinds of Indian coins pass current here; but the preference is given to Spanish dollars. They have not the small cash in circulation, as at Acheen and other places. of tin, shaped like the under half of a cone, called poot, which are used on the island as money, weighing about three pounds: these are also their weights:
which is equal to 64 Bengal factory maunds. The China pecul is in use here, by which tin is generally sold; the price varying from 12 to 16 Spanish dollars per pecul.
ANDAMAN ISLANDS.-This group comprehends the Great and Little Andaman, and the small islands in the vicinity; they are situated on the E. side of the Bay of Bengal, about three degrees from the Coast of Tenasserim.
GREAT ANDAMAN is about 43 leagues long from N. to S., and its breadth varies from 6 to 10 leagues. About 5 leagues from the N. extreme of the island, on the E. side, is Port Cornwallis, in lat. 13° 20′ N. and long. 92° 51′ E., a very good bay and harbour, so named from Admiral Cornwallis, who was anxious to make it a naval station. The dwellings of the natives are the most wretched hovels imaginable; three or four posts stuck in the ground, and fastened together at the top in the form of a cone, over which a kind of thatch is formed with the branches and leaves of trees. The people are ferocious, crafty, and revengeful, and the least civilized of any perhaps in the world.
These islands are covered with wood, fit for building and many other purposes; the most common are the poon, dammer, ebony, soondry, and bindy: many of them afford timbers and planks fit for the construction of ships, and others might answer for masts. A tree grows here to an enor mous size, one having been found to measure 30 feet in circumference, producing a very rich dye, which might be of use in manufacture.