Page images

tai (te) does actually occur. Another parallel case is that of the Mongol Chao-wa (Java), which, by the addition of an almost invisible point, became the Chinese Kwa-wa throughout the Ming Records. A still more glaring case is the Turkish word t'e-k'in or teghin, which by the elision of a couple of faint strokes was supposed by Palladius to represent t'e-le or dere. Nothing whatever is said by Chinese history of Li-fah or Lide, except that they sent envoys in the train of Sumoltra, that their chief is elective, and that they number 3,000 families. Marco Polo says nothing of Lide. There is a mere possibility that Li-fah may be the Riah of modern maps south of Pasei, but no one seems to have mentioned Riah at any date, nor do I know whether there ever was, or now is, such a place.



The Ming Records state that between Lide and Sumoltra lay the petty state of Nagus, or "face tattooers," 1,000 families, having simple republican customs; both sexes went naked except for a loin clout, and the males pricked figures of flowers and animals into their faces, which were of "monkey type." It must have been a fairly powerful community to sustain a war in 1406-1410 with Sumoltra. Phillips identifies it with Marco Polo's cannibal Dagroian; but the Venetian does not describe its position, though the mere sound certainly suggests some slight analogy. Colonel Yule thinks it must be Pedir, " or near it," but, as we have seen, the Chinese at no date mention any place with that sound; certainly on the Chinese map there is a place Peh-t'u ("white earth ") between Lambri and the "Greater and Lesser Face Tattooers." This might be Pedir, but in that case "or near it" would be the utmost we could allow; but even then the Tattooers of the map are round the corner to the west from Lambri, whereas Pedir is round the corner to the east. Mr. Marsden supposes what he calls "Dragoyan" to be Indragiri, opposite Malacca, which is untenable; Mr. Hugh Murray suggests Indrapur near Padang, which is equally impossible. Mr. Groeneveldt

thinks that native Battas in an advanced stage were meant
by Nagur. Kollewijn says the Battas when penetrated by
Hinduism formed a state in North Sumatra, the remnant of
which is still found in the little kingdom of Bakara on the
Sea of Toba, and that cannibalism has not quite ceased yet.
This would furnish a solution in harmony with the views of
Marco Polo and Mr. Groeneveldt, if we only knew where
"Bakara and the Sea of Toba" were; besides, Nagur
suggests the Hindoo word nagara, "a city." There is
one other suggestion. Mr. Kollewijn speaks of the negari
of the Padang highlands, and vividly describes their very
republican or communal customs. If the Padang highlands
(like the Hinterlands of modern statesmen in Africa) could
be stretched a little so as to cross-not a continent, but—a
good-sized island, and to include Pedir, we might bring
even the Chinese authorities into the "concert of agree-
ment," which in this particular instance I cannot, in the
absence of sounder data, undertake to lead to a solution. I
have only been to one place in Sumatra myself, and that is
Deli, near "Ferlech."
Ferlech." I was told by mariners that all the
ports of that coast were much the same, i.e., long sluggish
reaches meandering amongst flat mangrove swamps.


The Chinese have nothing whatever of a descriptive kind to say at any time about Ferlech or Parlac, but their ancient map gives "Pa-luk Head" between Aru and Sumoltra.

[blocks in formation]

The Chinese mention several Sumatran states not enumerated by Marco Polo. For instance, in 1282 Kublai Khan sent an envoy named Adam to subdue Falilang, Alu, and Kampeh states. These cannot be but the Farlac and Aru of Colonel Yule's map (the Pa-luk and Alu of the Chinese map), between which two the Chinese map places "Kan-pei Haven." In 1294 the tuan P'ungyü, brother of the chief of Tanjong; Milapatu, brother of the chief of Fa-rh-la; and the tuan Hussein, brother of the chief of Aru, all came to submit addresses at Kublai's Court.

[ocr errors]

Tanjong may be anything, as in Malay it simply means (I believe) "promontory" or "wharf," e.g., Tanjong Pagar at Singapore. Aru is almost certainly on the mainland of Sumatra, and not the Aru Islands between it and Selangore. Kanpei or Kampei must not be confused with the " Kampa Haven" towards Palembang, and also on the Chinese map. The word tuan (which is like the Hindoo "sahib " and which I was always myself styled by natives in those parts) marks two of the places named as Malay; but as Marco Polo describes Ferlech city as "converted by the Saracens," probably "Milapatu" is a corrupted Arab name.


The Ming Records say that Aru is three whole days' sail from Malacca; customs and climate like Sumoltra. 1411 the King, Sultan Hussein, sent an envoy along with those of Calicut and other states. Chêng Ho returned the compliment in 1412. In 1419 the tuan Allah Shah, son of the King, sent an envoy, and tribute came in 1421 and 1423; in 1429 the eunuch took them some presents, and there the matter ends. Mr. Groeneveldt quotes two Chinese books composed by the eunuch's Chinese interpreter in Arabic, from which it appears that Alu is opposite the Sembilangs (Perak), and connected with the Insipid Sea (i.e., flat, or not boisterous). This remark is particularly interesting, for the journey of Ibn Batuta from Shumutra to China lay, after leaving "Mul Java" (which was connected by land with Shumutra) through the "Still Sea."





No China history says anything of Kampar, but "Kampa Haven" is marked on the 1399 map, which also gives Lampong. The Ming Records say that the King of Lampong, Sri Mahârâjâ Dîrâjâ sent a tribute envoy in 1376. Between 1403 and 1435 another mission, or perhaps two missions, came. The people are said to be Buddhists, and both hemp and wheat are stated to grow; but the land is described as sandy and stony, so that there is not much sea-trade with China.




THIS work was written about 120 years ago, by Mūrtazā Husain, of Bilgrām, in Oudh, and who was also called Ilah Yar 'Uṣmāni. It is a geographical treatise, written in imitation of the "Haft Iqlim" of Amin Rāzi, and, like it, contains a quantity of historical and biographical matter. It is essentially a compilation from a few Muhammadan books, the "Subah Sadiq" being perhaps the one most frequently quoted, and much of it is dull and tedious to the Western reader. But the prolix accounts of sovereigns and saints and countries are interspersed with notes of the author's own experiences and adventures, and it is to those that the work owes its vitality. They are generally introduced by the words "raqim-i-huruf guyad," "the writer says," and crop up in the most unexpected places, so that one has to travel over deserts of historical and geographical disquisition in search of them. Thus, at p. 360, we find in the midst of an account of the Seljuqs of Kirman a description of an eclipse of the sun which the author witnessed in India in 1175 A.H., when the sun was in Gemini. He does not tell us in what place he then was, but no doubt it was in Northern India, and he says the eclipse occurred three or four hours before sunset, that the body of the moon was superimposed over that of the sun, but that the latter protruded to the extent of a barley-corn, thereby showing, he remarks, that the sun was the larger of the two. Gemini, 1175, corresponds to June, 1762, and I have not been able to trace this eclipse in any European book. It appears from L'Art de vérifier les Dates that there was a solar eclipse on June 3, 1761. This is equal to Ilah Yār, when

7 Shawwal, 1174, and it is probable that

* Lithographed at the Newal Kishore Press, Lucknow, in 1879. THIRD SERIES. VOL. IX.


writing some twenty years afterwards, made a mistake of a year. He mentions the eclipse apropos of one which occurred in 557 A.H., when the sun was in Taurus, ¿.e., April, 1762, and which is said to have so alarmed Mihyied-din Tughril Shah, the Seljuq King of Kirmān, as to cause his death. The only eclipse nearly corresponding to this appears to be that which occurred on January 17, 1762.

Another instance of buried information is at p. 390, where we are told, apropos of Nizam-ul-Mulk and his relations to Hasan Sabbah, the head of the Assassins, that the practice of numbering pages of accounts was not known then, and is said to have been the invention of Todar Mal. At p. 160, the author apologizes for his discursiveness, and seems inclined to attribute it to old age and the melancholy circumstances under which he wrote; but the excuse recalls Wordsworth's sarcastic comment on Ellwood's apology for introducing a notice of Milton into his autobiography. Our regret is not that Ilah Yar has occasionally digressed, but that he has not done so often enough. It is curious that so many Muhammadan writers should have thought it incumbent on them to write a history of the world instead of confining their attention to their own times. However small their abilities or their experience of affairs, they can hardly enter upon the most local and parochial details without a preliminary prance among the patriarchs. Ilāh Yār must needs give us details about Adam and Eve, and repeats the ridiculous stories which have been told by hundreds of previous writers. At p. 185 we have an account of Damascus, where we are informed that it was the birthplace of the prophet Job, and that the fountain which rose from his footsteps is still flowing, and is efficacious for the removal of disease. He also gravely assures us that, though there is a tradition that Cain killed Abel at Damascus, it is of feeble authority, for the more correct account is that the death of Abel occurred in the island of Ceylon! Even Abul Fazl, though he is so

« PreviousContinue »