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of the Malays, who are under the government of a native Prince, resident at Mattan, about 40 miles S. of the ancient Succadana. Numbers of Chinese reside here.
This is an excellent market for opium, and it is occasionally visited by the country ships.
DIRECTIONS.-On your arrival, first visit the Shabundar, or CustomMaster. It is the custom here, as at all eastern ports, to make presents. The Shabundar will enquire what you have brought for sale, and will be inquisitive about the quantity; but you must evade giving him this information, till you have ascertained the market prices, and what goods are most in demand. It has been the custom of this place for the Rajah's family to engross all the opium trade. No strangers are allowed to purchase of the Europeans, nor are the Chinese. All other trade is free; but permission of the Shabundar will be necessary, as also to keep on good terms with him.
In bargaining for opium, or other goods, you must settle what returns you are to have. This is generally arranged according to the demand the goods are in. If in great want of them, insist on having all tin; if other wise, in proportion, half tin, and half pepper; or one-third tin, and twothirds pepper; or else a proportion of tin, pepper, and gold. Be sure to agree about the price, and let your agreement be in writing, and signed by the party agreed with, whether King or subject, to prevent their flying off, and evading payment, which they will do, if possible.
TRADE-The imports are similar to those already enumerated at Banjar Massin, but in smaller quantities. This place used to be resorted to for diamonds, of which considerable quantities were to be got; they were not considered equal to those procured in India, being generally of a dull water. Gold, tin, and pepper are to be got here; if gold is taken in return for goods, you must trust to the King for its goodness, by having it inserted in your agreement that he is to seal it, and be answerable for its quality. This is the only sure way to take gold at any of the Malay ports; but if you are going to China, the less gold you take, the
DUTIES AND PRESENTS.-There is a charge of 250 dollars for anchorage, if you sell goods to that amount; if under that sum, no anchorage is paid. The customs are 5 per cent. upon both goods and dollars. The presents to the principal people should be-the King, to the amount of 50 dollars, the Rajah about 30, and to the Shabundar, and agents, 20 each. The King's is generally given at the first audience.
COINS.-Spanish dollars are the only coin in circulation in the trade
with Europeans, and all bargains are made in this money; but accounts are kept among the natives in tale and mace.
then turned into China peculs.
WEIGHTS.-All gross goods are weighed by English weights, and Their small weights are busucks, kuthus divided:
pangs, mace, pahaws, and tale,
By these weights diamonds, gold, bezoar, and other valuable articles are weighed.
PONTIANA, the most recent of the Malay states, is situated upon the principal branch of a large river, named Lewa, whose entrance is in latitude 0° 2′ N., and longitude 109° 12′ E., and which discharges itself into the sea by several mouths. This branch is at its entrance 12 feet deep, and at high water 16 or 17 feet, so that vessels can proceed to the factory. The passage requires 10 or 12 hours. At the distance of 7 or 8 miles from the sea, the river divides itself into two branches, on the southernmost of which the factory stands. The anchorage in the road is from 3 to 5 fathoms, safe and free from shoals, the river's mouth E. S. E. offshore about 5 miles. The population consists of Chinese, Malay, Bugis, Arabs, and Javan slaves.
The principal diamond mines in the island are at some distance at the back of this place. The spots where they are to be found, are said to be known by certain small flints, generally of a black colour, which lie on the surface, and also by the yellow colour of the stony soil. The place is dug in the presence of an overseer; and if any stones are found above five carats, they are claimed as the property of the Sovereign. Besides these mines, diamonds are sometimes found in the rivers, but seldom of any size, or to any amount.
TRADE.-The Dutch import piece-goods for the supply of the natives; but opium and other articles are imported either by their own proas from Pinang, or by country ships stopping here. In 1810, the imports at Pontiana in English ships amounted to 210,000 dollars.
The following are the principal commodities procured here:-Birds'nests, beech de mer, diamonds, gold-dust, pepper, rattans, sago, and wax.
DUTIES, &c.—The duties on sales are 6 per cent. on piece-goods and other articles generally; 1 dollar per pecul on iron, steel, tin, and saltpetre; 2 dollars per pecul on bees' wax from the interior; and on opium 50 dollars per chest; but late accounts state that the English are charged
100 dollars per chest. A few presents are usually given to the Rajah, but
COINS AND WEIGHTS.-Spanish dollars are the principal coin; and the China weights of pecul and catty are in common use. There is an inferior coin, called a wang, worth the twelfth part of a rupee.
MOMPARVA.-This river is about 8 leagues from a high but not very large island, called Pulo Dattoo. The point at its entrance is in latitude about 0° 18′ N., and longitude 109° 17′ E.; it is remarkably low and flat, and difficult to be seen; there are eight or nine islands in the offing, and to the N. of it. A very small island, which lays about two miles from the river to the N., and quite close in, is a good mark for it. You anchor in 4 fathoms, soft mud, with Momparva Point about N. E., distance two or three miles. The bar of the river is very shallow, and soft mud; ships' boats will seldom get in before half-flood. About three miles up are some houses belonging to the Bugis: here you will get a man to pilot the boat to the town of Momparva, which is about 16 miles farther up.
DIRECTIONS.-Upon your arrival, you must wait upon the King, and state to him the business you are come upon; he will then introduce to the Shabundar, and Captain of the Chinese, with whom you generally begin and transact trade. You must insist upon it that no country boats shall come alongside your ship, but anchor without your buoys, till you send a boat to know their business, when the Noquedah and one more should be admitted, in order to examine the goods; keep your musters up at town, and all boats that go on board from the King or Shabundar, should be furnished with his chop or seal, because that will in some degree make him responsible, if any loss should happen. There are a great number of Chinese merchants settled here, and seldom less than four or five of their junks, which generally arrive in February or March; so that if you come before that time, you may probably make a better sale of your goods. Momparva is one of the best markets to the E. for opium, as a considerable trade is carried on in the Chinese junks, and by the proas from the neighbouring places and islands.-Caution is necesin dealing here, as the Captain of a Calcutta vessel was attacked in his boat, and killed in this river, through the treachery of the Rajah of Momparva.
TRADE.-The imports are much larger here than at any place on this coast, especially opium. Of piece-goods and other imports similar to those enumerated at Borneo Town, the quantity is considerable. The exports are principally gold and pepper; sometimes you will procure tin, but not so cheap as in the Straits of Banca. Pepper you get cheap.
The gold is
inferior to that obtained on the Coast of Sumatra, and to the S. of Borneo ; it is called mas moodo, or young gold, but the price varies according to the demand, so that you must be guided by a strict enquiry, which your linguist will make, if you do not understand the Malay language yourself.
DUTIES, &c.-On opium a duty of 100 Spanish dollars per chest is charged; on other imports and exports 6 per cent. It is necessary to make a present of a piece of each sort of piece-goods you import, on being introduced to the King, and likewise to the Shabundar, with whom it is your interest to be on good terms.
COINS AND WEIGHTS are the Spanish dollar and Chinese pecul; the Chinese cash is current among the natives.
SAMBASS. This town is 10 leagues up the principal branch of a river, the entrance of which is in latitude 1° 13′ N., and longitude 109° 3′ E. The anchorage is with the river's mouth bearing E., about two miles off shore. In trading here, more caution is necessary than at some of the
TRADE.-The Chinese settlers carry on a great trade. Opium is the largest article of import; piece-goods the next. Gold forms the chief export, and is the usual return. It is only of the fineness of 7 touch. Pearls are met with occasionally; likewise tortoiseshell, and a few other Malay articles. An article has lately been discovered in a range of mountains north of the Principality of Sambass, which appears to be an ore of antimony, of the species called grey foliated antimony. The same mineral is said to exist at Bulang, and at Kamamang, in the territory of Tringano, on the Malay Peninsula. This mineral is extensively used in England medicinally, as well as in the arts, where it is imported from Germany and Spain. It would be a profitable article of export from the East to Europe. The Chinese traders appeared ignorant of its existence as well as uses; but a sulphuret of antimony is used medicinally in Hindostan, where it is termed Surmeh (Hind.), and Saubira (San.)
DUTIES are levied here as at Momparva, at the rate of 100 dollars per chest of opium, and 6 per cent. on other commodities. A few presents to the Rajah and principal men are necessary.
COINS AND WEIGHTS.-The Chinese weights are in common use. Spanish dollars are the coin in which all bargains are made; but hereabouts wax is the currency of the country; it is melted, but not refined, and cast into moulds of an oblong shape, the breadth about two-thirds of the length, and the thickness about half the breadth, having a rattan to lift them by, cast in the wax. A piece weighs a quarter of a pecul, and is valued in
payment at about 10 mace; for smaller payments they have pieces of eight and sixteen to a pecul; and for smaller money, cowries are in use.
BORNEO TOWN.-This town is about 10 miles up a river of the same name, bearing S. W. from Pulo Chirming, a remarkable island on the coast. One mile from the town, the river bends in a short reach, round a small island, in almost an opposite direction; being up with this island, which you must leave on your right, there appears a branch of the river to the left, or S. E.; keeping to the right, you approach the town, to which junks of 600 tons come up. The houses are built on each side of the river upon posts, and are ascended by stairs and ladders; those on the left side going up, extend backwards to the land, each in a narrow slip. The land is not steep, but shelving; every house has therefore a kind of stage erected, for connexion with the land. There is little intercourse from house to house by land, the chief communication being by boats. On the right going up, the houses extend half a mile backwards, with channels like lanes between the rows. The river here is almost as wide as the Thames at London Bridge, with six fathoms water in the channel; and here lie moored, head and stern, the Chinese junks, four or five of which come annually from Amoy, of 500 to 600 tons each. Some of the houses on the right side of the water are two stories high, with stages or wharfs to them, for the convenience of trade.
A considerable traffic is carried on here with Amoy, and several places in China, and with the neighbouring islands; and timber being plentiful, and good for ship-building, the Chinese build large junks, the artificers and iron work for which are brought from Amoy.
The treacherous disposition of the inhabitants of this extensive island has discouraged almost every European from venturing to trade with them. On the N. W. coast, particularly at this place, they have in the river 40 or 50 large proas, which are instantly ready and filled with men, when a ship is to be assaulted. Therefore, unless trading in a large ship, well fitted for defence, it is not safe to remain in the road, and certain destruction to proceed up the river to the town. If a boat is sent on shore, the Rajah will offer to trade when the ship is brought into the river, and when the commander comes to visit him. Beware of complying with these requests; as a short time since, the commander of a large ship, with four of his officers, and part of his crew, were massacred, and the ship and cargo seized. Soon after another ship, mounting 18 guns, anchored in the roads, and after remaining a few days, and communicating in her boat with the town, 28 large proas came out of the river with the intention of attacking her, which compelled her to leave this inhospitable place without trading.