The Mission to Siam, and Hué: The Capital of Cochin China, in the Years 1821-2. From the Journal of the Late George Finlayson ... With a Memoir of the Author, by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, F.R.S.

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J. Murray, 1826 - Cochin China - 427 pages
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Page 227 - The forehead, though broad in the lateral direction, is in general narrow, the hairy scalp descending very low. The head is peculiar. The diameter from the front backwards is uncommonly short ; and hence the general form is somewhat cylindrical. The occipital foramen in a great number of instances is placed so far back, that from the crown to the nape of the neck is nearly a straight line. The top of the head is often unusually flat. The hair is thick, coarse, and lank, in some shewing a disposition...
Page 34 - Island, the bodies which emit this singular light exist in such vast quantity, that a boat may readily be distinguished at the distance of several miles by the brilliant light, resembling that of a torch, proceeding from the water agitated by her bow and oars. We have seen the sea rendered of a green colour and slimy appearance, by day, so that it might have been taken for the green vegetable matter common on stagnant pools.
Page 34 - We know that fish, when dead, afford similar light, and experiments have shown that dead fish immersed in sea water, after a time, afford it also. The spawn of fishes is said to afford it, and putrefaction is considered as a very common cause of this appearance. In the present instance it appeared unequivocally to proceed from innumerable granular gelatinous bodies, about the size of a pin's head. These, when taken upon the hand, moved about with great agility for a second or two, when they ceased...
Page 143 - ... or of indignation, caused by the debased condition of a whole nation. Such a scene was well calculated to take a firm hold on the imagination. I shall, however, endeavour to describe it in its true colours, and with the least possible aid from that faculty. The hall was lofty, wide, and well aired, and appeared to be about sixty or eighty feet in length, and of proportionate breadth. The ceiling and walls were painted with various colours, chiefly in the form of wreaths and festoons ; the roof...
Page 230 - We found one of those pyramids covered with vultures, and the enclosure much frequented by dogs. The scene was loathsome and disgusting in the extreme, and sufficiently attested the prevalence of this custom. The practice is looked upon as charitable and laudable, and the Siamese arrogate to themselves no small share of merit in thus disposing of the...
Page 238 - It will be seen by the manner in which the funeral-pile is lighted, how much attention hag been bestowed upon the arrangement even of the most trivial matters. A train is laid from the pile to the place where the king stands, others to those occupied by the princes of the family, with this distinction in their distribution, that the train laid to the king's station is the only one that directly reaches the pile. That of the next person in rank joins this at a little distance, and so of the others,...
Page 13 - On the llth of next month, they came to anchor in the harbour of Penang ; of which island we have a magnificent description. Its natural beauty, according to Mr. Finlayson, Is rivalled only by the industry of the inhabitants: Industry, active, useful, manly and independent, seemed here to have found a congenial soil and fostering care. The indolent air of the Asiatic was thrown aside. Every arm laboured to produce some useful object, and every countenance, teeming with animation, seemed, as it were,...
Page 320 - ... in the combat. The tiger lay along on the ground as if he were dead, yet it appeared that he had sustained no material injury, for on the next attack he threw himself into an attitude of defence, and, as the elephant was again about to take him up, he sprung upon his forehead, fixing his hind-feet upon the trunk of the former. The elephant was wounded in this attack, and so much frightened, that nothing could prevent him from breaking through every obstacle, and fairly running off. The mahawat...
Page 145 - ... an obscure light was cast, of sufficient size to display the human body to effect, in the sitting posture. In this niche was placed the throne, projecting from the wall a few feet. Here, on our entrance, the King sat immoveable as a statue, his eyes directed forwards. He resembled in every respect an image of Buddha placed upon his throne ; while the solemnity of the scene, and the attitude of devotion observed by the multitude, left little room to doubt that the temple had been the source from...
Page 190 - Its principal character is that of being soft, lively, sweet, and cheerful, to a degree, which seemed to us quite surprising. They have arrived beyond the point of being pleased with mere sound — the musician aimed at far higher views, that of interesting the feelings, awakening thought, or exciting the passions. Accordingly they have their different kinds of music, to which they have recourse according as they wish to produce one or other of these effects.

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