February 24th, 1871
We are now loaded and on our way down the river towed by a powerful steamer.. Our
pilot this time is a big Scotch man. Wilkie by name. It is funny. We met 16 years ago in
Singapore. The old black pilot that took the ship up begged very hard to take the ship down.
First, he wrote me a petition, which, for civility, beats all the written documents I ever saw, and I put it in my chronicle as a curiosity. Then, he came in person. Ever so hard did he plead that he got down on his knees and clasped my legs. He brought a basket of luscious fruit, after the manner of the East, and when his offering failed, tried the last dodge. It was too much. I drove him off the ship.
Well! I have had some pleasant hours in Rangoon. One day, I visited the school of the American Baptist Mission. I rode out about three miles on a pleasant road and arrived there at 9 o’clock. This school is soon to be enlarged to a college. It is kept by the venerable Dr. Binney and his wife. It is in their compound, as premises are called here, and fair shaded by fair trees. The school was…
…just assembled and consisted of 80 young natives. They are of the tribe called Karins and are studying for the ministry. They were just singing their hymn, some we have sung at home many a time.. They are passionately fond of music, and sustained all
their parts well. Their voices are particularly sweet and musical, having a mild cadence, not found among us. There was a department of theology in a hall by itself under a native teacher, another of algebra- another of sacred Geography, and so on. Mrs. Binney was anxious for me to ask them questions, so I examined the class in Geography and found them well up and delighted to answer. As I read my Bible every morning, the stories of the old and new testaments were quite ______ to me and I was able to ask the class in Theology something about ancient bible history. They were ready and eager. I then addressed the school. I told them I was a sailor, had sailed many thousands of miles from my native home and how very pleasant it was to see them. They were very grave and respectful. I shall not forget my visit in a hurry. Dr. Binney took me all over his grounds, told me of his life’s work, and how he came here…
… and I learned for the first time to have real respect, sympathy, and interest for the
Everyone has heard of Dr. Judson. In this country he spent his life and many of his
associates are here still. Some of them have been here 40 years, and will never go
back. My _____ and his wife promise to visit me in a few days, and in about a week, they came with another family, and spent the afternoon and took tea. It was a good thing they enjoyed. My best boat was in readiness to carry them back and forth in the evening. Dr. Binney addressed the ship’s company and then Mr. Colburn engaged in prayer. After this, I had much pleasant intercourse with them, and by the invitation of Mr. Colburn, spent two nights with his family. A sweet wee daughter, Jenny, got quite sociable with me and the _________. Many would jabber and crow when I came like everything. It was sweet to be lulled to sleep by the sighing wind through the trees. And to wake to the song of birds in the morning. Jenny would run our and pick whole hands full of flowers, and was so much like my own darling, Mary that I felt quite at home again.
One morning we went to the top of Pagoda hill by sunrise. Mrs. Colburn rode horseback. There we met Capt. Martin of the St. Paul and his two children. Poor little things, their mother had died this voyage. We also saw Mr. Benchet, the oldest
missionary in the East. His daughter was with him. She married an English officer, and had just returned from a tour to America. She talked of the mammoths caves, of _______ , and of the big things. No one ever would have taken her for an American. The children were in England, at school. After this, I had a visit from Rev.-Dr. Stevens and his wife. They took tea with us and in the evening, he delivered a discourse on Buddhism, and it was real nice, and we had singing. Mrs. Stevens is a Boston lady, and always wanted me to ______ in and out of their house as I would at home. My guitar which hung silent for so long, was now often tuned up, and brought many songs of home and youth. I sent them all a pot of baked beans, a great luxury to them and when I went away, I had a nice sponge cake from mrs. Binney. She is now translating Cutter’s Philosophy into the Burmese language, no little thing for an old lady to do.
All The Burmese books from their bible class have been translated by the American
Missionaries. And an old gentleman, 80 years old,, is now giving them a dictionary. All loans from the American Missionaries in Burma. I shall have occasion to mention them again, but now I will turn to a different character.
One day while I was ashore in a ship Chandler Ton, I was introduced to countryman. A man by the name of Fuller. He was in the government(India) service, and had charge of the lighthouse on the coast. He was a great stalwart fine looking fellow. A thorough American, with a bright Yankee twinkle to his eye. He belonged to Nantucket so he invited himself on board next Sunday to breakfast. After service, we had a long talk. He said, some years ago he was second mate of an American whale ship. They were crossing the Eastern Archipelago, when one day he had a falling out with the captain. He demanded to be put on shore, and the captain, keeping his word, put him on the first lone island. There was not a white man on it and there he stayed, a seemed Robinson Crusoe, among savages for eighteen months. When a trading prow happened.
…along, took him off and carried jim to a Dutch Java port, and from there he worked his way up to Rangoon, where his promotion was rapid. But, said I, “Don’t you ever want to go home? Don’t you long for domestic comfort? A wife? A family?” Ah!
Cap’n said he, “That’s just it! I had a wife once, but she was a bad lot and I never want to see her again! Of course, that ended that part of the conversation. He looked round my room and remarked, I had some shells and curiosities. Yes says I. “I pick up these things when I run across them.” he said I should get a Burmese Idol or two. I told him I could not manage it. He said he would for me. What he wanted most was an American axe, so he could show these Englishmen how to chop wood. (For it is known, an American narrow-axe beats the world with it’s American handle, no their country can model one like it.) I gave him a brand-new one.. Handle and all. In a few days, he made an appearance with two small marble idols, old as the hills. . His pocket full of shells, and he said he had stolen the idols the night before from a Pagoda. He said the missionaries often wanted to _____ him, but he meant to keep clear of them.
So much for Fuller. Shall I ever see him again,…
Near the Pha Dagon Pagoda which is built on an artificial hill, are a chain of beautiful lakes. And _____ Buddhists believe they were made by taking the earth out to build the hill. They are much resorted to for bathing. One afternoon I was up there with an
English Captain and a large number of young English soldiers were swimming and floundering about gloriously. So next day we got our bathing dresses and went. I was a perfect boy again. He could not swim, so he had to be made round carefully. After that I went often.
One day there was a flower show at the horticultural gardens. Anything of that kind
would bring out all of Rangoon. So, of course I went. The flowers were not much, nor the fruits. The greatest curiosity was some irish potatoes about the size of walnuts. But my eye! There was General Fyche and his young wife, the _________ of the Province. The Colonel of the new regiment and wife with their daughters. All just like their mother. And so on. I saw them all, and had a good fellow, a young Scotch merchant, to tell me the history of each. There was one Colonel’s wife, a real motherly looking lady. I always like to see her. She is always at church.
She is quite stout. Dimples in her chin. “Me-What Pilgarlic?” says D.Bucket. “Looking at the women are you? Yes?” I am. I like the looks of a good fat woman- there is some substance to them.
It was the biggest turnout in Rangoon. Then there was a fine band band from the new regiment. They played till eight o’clock, then everybody went to dinner! Next day, the Doctor, a fancy Englishman once per diem for the little sum of 50 dollars a month, came on board. I told him as he not earned a cent since I came here, he better sit down and tell me about society in British Burmah. Well! he said, if I was a stranger just arrived and wished to get into genteel society, it would be my duty to call Mrs. General Phyche (the General’s wife.) and present my _________ (card), she would probably received me, or if she did not, I would be invited to the next assembly. And of course it would be clear, if I was respectable, newcomers must always call first, then the call is returned, and acquaintance begins. Right the reverse in our country. Here it is presumed if anybody wants the acquaintance of another, he will call, the other would be afraid of boring him if he called first.