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are told of it, and some of them requested to effect the separation by a formal ceremony, which consists in taking five cowries from each party and throwing them out of the house.
When a death occurs there is always a great deal of grief manifested. The corpse is kept in the house four or five days; in some cases more. A rájá who died last year was kept three months. The body had been put into the hollow trunk of a tree and fumigated. They do not bury but burn their dead, like the Hindus, though in a more decent manner. The friends of the deceased go out a day or two previously to the funeral, to cut wood for fuel and the coffin this service they perform gratuitously, expecting that the relatives of the deceased will return the kindness in case of their own decease. The body is carried on a bed of mats, tied to two poles, the ends of which are borne on the shoulders of four men. During the procession a funeral dirge is played on bambu flutes, which adds much to the solemnity of the scene, accompanied as it is by the groans and shrieks of the bereaved friends. Arrived at the spot, the body is taken off the bed and put into a wooden box which stands on four legs, under which the fuel is placed. While in the act of removing the body from the bed to the box, it is carefully concealed from the view of bystanders; four or five individuals surround the box and cover it over with their garments, while the body is let down. Sometimes the body is carried from the house in the box in which it is to be burnt. While the body is being burnt, sacrifices are offered, and offerings of betel leaf, areca-nut, fruit, &c. made to the spirit of the deceased. Sometimes arrows are discharged towards the four points of the compass. When the body is burnt the ashes are carefully collected, put into an earthen vessel, carried home and kept until by the help of their oracles the day is fixed for the removal to the family vault, which is composed simply of a tabular stone. Within this the ashes are placed, and on occasion of their removal from the house, those who can afford the expense, have dancing and feasting, which are kept up for three or four days. The relatives do not engage in either, except to defray the expense and superintend the whole. The dancers are both men and women; of the latter only such as are unmarried, or widows. These dance, or rather hop, in an inner, while the men form an outer, circle and display all sorts of gesticulation, but keeping good time with the music. Sword exercise is also common on such occasions, and is the most interesting part of the proceedings. A party of 30 or 40 men after having exhibited a little sham fight, proceed with naked swords in one hand, and a chowry gracefully waved in the other, to the vault, following the relatives of the deceased, dancing to vocal music. In returning they dance in like manner; both going and returning, musketo
are fired at intervals of one or two minutes. The ashes of one tribe are deposited together under one vault, and never separated except when the individual has come by his death dishonourably. The remains of a man and his wife are never deposited together, because they are always of different tribes. A husband is therefore separated from his wife and his children, as they belong to the tribe of the mother, and have their ashes deposited with bers.
Language.-The language of the Khasees is not a written language, and is quite unlike any spoken in the vicinity. It is simple in its construction and idioms; monosyllabic in its roots and has no intonations. Its verbs and nouns suffer no inflexion by the change of tense, number, person or case, The distinctions where there are any, are known by prefixes and affixes. A specimen of a verb in all its tenses and of a few common-place words may not be uninteresting.
Plural. i Nga I come. i Ngee
We come 9 Phi Thou comest. 9 Phi
1 Ngee lawan 2 Phi lawan Thou camest.
9 Phi lawan
lalawan You have come. 3 U Jalawan He is come.
lalawan They have come.
I shall or will come. i Ngeen wan We shall, &c. 9 Phin wan Thou shall, &c. 9 Phin
You shall, &c. 3 Un wan He shall, &c.
3 Kin wan They shall, &c. The future of verbs is differently formed from the other tenses, by the nasal n being affixed to the pronoun as above.
The prefixes ú and ka in the following list of nouns indicate the sexes ú being masculine and ka feminine. Air Kaler.
IV.- Remarks on the Shan and Siamese languages.
From a Correspondent in the Straits.
There is a very marked similarity between the Shan and the Siamese languages. I have no doubt they had one common origin.
The Siamese call themselves the Thi people or free people, and their language the Thi. They also distinguish between the Thi Yai, and Thi Noi, though they sometimes are unwilling to admit that they are of the last class : Noi literally meaning the less, and Yai the greater. But these terms are not unfrequently used for elder and younger. Thus pe Yai means elder brother and pe Noi younger brother.
This is no doubt the true meaning of Thi Yai, the elder or ancient Siamese ; and T'hi Noi, the modern Siamese or Thi.
The Siamese also speak of the country on the north as the ancient Thi country, and theirs as the new country.
The present kingdom of Siam is comparatively of recent origin, and is rapidly rising in importance. Considerable improvements have recently been made especially in ship building and commerce. Four or five vessels, after the European model, were built the last year, and others of a large size are now building. Their clumsy junks, it is to be hoped, will soon cease to be used.
With regard to the literature of the Siamese, it is quite extensive. They are a reading people, and have a large number of works on media cine, law, &c. but the greater part of their books are works of poetry and
Their sacred books are written in the Pálí, and are wholly unintelligible to the people, and even to the priests themselves. An ability to read the character is considered a great attainment. The Siamese are generally fond of reading, and it is considered a disgrace not to be able to read, especially for males. Almost all the young men are sent to the wats or temples for a time, where they are instructed to read and write. In other words they all enter the priesthood for an education, where they remain a longer or shorter time, according to their inclinations.
The Siamese language is tolerably copious, and every sound and intona. tion are accurately marked. Their intonations are very difficult for a foreigner to attain, and require a delicate ear.
With regard to introducing the Roman character for the Siamese, I would remark, that as far as the prejudices of the people are concerned, they are very favourable ; they are exceedingly fond of any thing English, and some now read the English language with fluency.
With regard to the willingness of the people, I see nothing in the way of introducing the Roman character.
The principal difficulty at present seems to be the want of a system suf. ficiently simple, to express accurately all the various intonations. No sys. tem has yet appeared which exactly represents all these sounds. The in. tonations are even more difficult to express than the Chinese. Yet I doubt not a system may be devised which will meet every case.
V.-The Missionary's Appeal. By Rev. A. Sutton of
[We have much pleasure in bearing our testimony to the zeal and perseverance of the writer of the following appeal, and his esteemed colleagues, and have but one wish as it respects his modest but stirring appeal, that it may meet with a response in many hearts; we hope that the means neces. sary for conveying these young men to the shores of India may be speedily forthcoming, accompanied by the prayers of the donors that they may be sanctified to the Lord's service. We are the more sanguine that some of our readers will respond to the call from the fact that in answer to similar appeals on behalf of the Basle Mission last year in our pages we had the pleasure to transmit to the Treasurer of that Institution 1,200 Co.'s Rs. May this noble example so worthy of imitation, find many imitators. Remember, Christian, “ The silver and the gold are His” who hath redeemed you,
not with with such corruptible things, but “ with his own precious blood."-Ed.]
TO THE FRIENDS OF MISSIONS. Messrs. EDITORS,
At the risk of being thought and called, perhaps, an annoying and restless beggar, I feel impelled by the force of considerations which I cannot resist to solicit your patronage to this appeal to the friends of missions. I have indeed tried to suppress my convictions of duty to the cause of Christ and the Heathen with respect to the subject of this letter, and for a time have succeeded; but when I have again contemplated the devastations of Heathenism, the vast moral waste around me; when I have thought of the short season of human probation, and of that truth which I most firmly believe that it is more blessed to give than to receive ;' and all this in connexion with my experience of the ability and willingness of many pious Christians in India ; then I have felt as if I could not refuse to make this attempt to enlighten the benighted multitudes around me and be guiltless. Yea I sometimes feel as if I were dishonouring the friends of Christ by my backwardness in soliciting their aid in behalf of a most reasonable means of doing good.
My case is briefly this :
1, with my Missionary associates, form what is denominated the Orissa Mission. Our stations extend north and south, from Midnapore to Berhampore near Ganjam ; and east and west from Pooree to Sumbhulpore ; so that we consider as included within our sphere of labour, and where in fact our labours are more or less bestowed, the whole province of Orissa ; the Southern part of Bengal; part of the Northern Circars ; the recently conquered country of the Khunds; part of Gundwana and Chota Nagpore. In all this vast field there are no labourers but those connected with our little Mission. Our nearest Missiopary brethren are stationed at Vizagapatam, Nagpore, Benares, Burdwan, Serampore and Calcutta.
Nearly fourteen years have I been labouring in this place where it may emphatically be said Satan's seat is, and now at this moment we have but five foreign Missionaries and four ordained Native preachers to cultivate so wide and interesting a field. We are, it is true, expecting one other labourer shortly with a printing press; but should he come, still may we not exclaim, What are these among so many ? O how often do I look upon these hapless myriads and in deep anguish inquire, Are these all the labourers that can be afforded for Orissa? Can no other means be employed to carry out the Saviour's command as it respects these perishing souls ? Cannot I possibly contrive some means of bringing a few more Heralds of Salvation into these vast and dark regions ? After long watching an answer has arrived. The Secretary of the Society with which I am connected, has by the October overlaud despatch informed me that there are four young men who have just completed their academical course, who are anxiously waiting to be sent to Orissa, but the Society has not funds necessary to equip and send them. Some of them I know have long cherished the desire of labouring in India, and others are ready to offer so soon as these have been sent out. But alas ! the answer has been and now is, we have not the means of sending you !
What then can be done ? The thought has followed me day and night that there are wealthy Christians in India who would if they knew the case, help to fetch them out. We ask not for great things for ourselves. I believe our whole Mission establishment including Native and Foreign labourers does not exceed 1,000 Rs. a month, and could we but obtain some assistance towards the outfit and passage of these four brethren, or any of them, or any promise of assistance towards their support when they arrive, we shall be willing to economize as much as possible, and feel assured that our Society would cheerfully embrace the first opportunity of sending them.
A Christian friend, not long since, offered 100 Rs. a month if a Missionary were sent to his station. Could a few such friends be found, or even on a less liberal scale, these four Missionaries would soon, D. V., be in Orissa. And no men would be more likely than these to lead the way to the station where the 100 Rs. is promised, and thus introduce a fifth labourer.
I must not trespass on the pages of the excellent publication in which I hope this appeal may be presented, by any extended reference to the motives which should urge Christians to engage