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a fresh and healthy climate, which neither enfeebles the mind nor undermines the physical health, and it may be conceded that Celebes is an enchanted land.

(Adams's Eastern Archipelago.)


North of Celebes, between latitude 2 deg. and 4 deg., is the Sangir group, about fifty in number, with an area of 1,500 square miles, and a population of 30,000. Like many of the islands and groups in these seas, they are afflicted with the eruptic volcano, whose destructive ravages are to be seen on every hand. At Great Sangir, the largest island of the group, having an area of some 300 square miles, we find, in the northwest portion, the active volcano of Abu. In March, 1856, a fearful outburst took place here; the burning lava, boiling water, scoria and ashes laid waste the surrounding country, destroying towns and villages, sweeping over the fine plantations, leaving all within reach a vast, burning, smoking waste.

If this were all to relate of this eruption, it could be passed over with barely a glance; but when the sad fate of three thousand people, who lost their lives, caught in the burning lava or in floods of boiling water, or smothered in clouds of sulphurous smoke and ashes, is added, it darkens the history of these island regions like a funeral pall.

This island group produces nearly all of the tropical products in the greatest abundance. With a fertile soil, made beautiful by an industrious people, they appear like gems dotting the southern seas. But, like the neighboring isles, they lie over the track of the great eruptic fire-belt, whose terrible outbursts too frequently devastate the lands and convulse the foundations of the deep. ^— ~-,


The name Molluccas is employed in a restricted, and also in a comprehensive or general sense. It is applied, in the first place, to the Royal Islands, lying off the western coast of Gilolo, and washed by the Molluccas Passage, which separates Gilolo from Celebes. In a wider sense, the name Molluccas is applied to all the islands or groups of islands lying between Celebes and New Guinea. They are commonly divided, according to the three residencies, into the Ternate, Amboyna and Banda groups, which contain, respectively, the following principal islands:

1. The Ternate Islands, including the Molluccas proper—comprehending Ternate, Gilolo, Batchian, Obi, Mortui, and the Kaiva Islands;

2. The Amboyna Islands, including Amboyna, Ceram, Bouru, Goram, Amblau, and some smaller isles; and

3. The Banda Islands, including Great Banda or Luthoir, Banda Neira, Pulo Run, Pulo Ai, Goenong Api, Rosengyn, Kapal, Pisang, Spethau and Vronwen.

These numerous islands are all mountainous and mostly volcanic, and their forms of animal and vegetable life exhibit but few and unimportant differences. They may, therefore, be properly comprehended under the one general title of the Molluccas.

We shall visit them in the following order: Banda and adjacent islands; Amboyna, Ceram, Bouru, Goram; and Ternate, Gilolo, Batchian and adjacent islands. The inhabitants are Molluccan-Malays, and their religion is principally Mohammedan. * * * So much for the position of these charming islands, which escaping the dry winds that blow over the Australian deserts, are remarkable for their fresh greenery and the plentifulness of their vegetation.


They were first made known to Europeans by the Portuguese navigator, D'Abreu, but the Chinese and Arabs, and probably the Hindoos, had long previously included them in the range of their commercial enterprise. D'Abreu, according to the chronicler, DeBarros, had the assistance of Javanese and Malay pilots who had made the voyage; and DeBarros adds, that every year Javanese and Malays repaired to Lulotain (that is, Great Banda) to load cloves, nutmegs and mace, for it lay in the latitudes most easily navigated, and where ships were most secure, and as the cloves of the Molluccas are brought thither by vessels belonging to those islands, it was unnecessary to go to the latter for the much prized spices. In the five islands, says DeBarros, namely, Louthoir, Resengyn, Pulo Ai, Pulo Run and Banda Neira, grow all the nutmegs consumed in every part of the world. He gives the then population as 15,000—a very much larger number than at present, and further says of them: The people of these islands are robust, with lank hair and a tawny complexion, and are of the worst repute in these regions. They follow the sect of Mohammed, and are much addicted to trade, their women performing the labors of the field. They have neither king nor lord, and all their government depends on the advice of their elders,

and as these are often at variance, they quarrel among themselves.


The land has no other export than the nutmeg. This tree is in such abundance that the land is full of it, without being planted by any one, for the earth yields without culture. The forests which produce it belong to no one by inheritance, but to the people in common.

For about a century the Portuguese monopolized the commerce of these islands, and throughout this period maintained a friendly intercourse with the natives. In 1609 the Dutch, however, resolved to annex them to their Eastern possessions, and invaded Great Banda with a force of 700 soldiers, but falling into ambuscade, were compelled to retreat with considerable loss. They then began a war of extermination, which was prolonged for eighteen years, and brought to a successful issue only through the efforts of a large expedition from Java, commanded by the Governor-General in person. In this prolonged struggle, the natives, who fought with great courage and resolution, lost 3,000 killed and 1,000 prisoners. The survivors fled to the neighboring islands, where they were merged in the general mass, so that scarcely a vestige of their language or customs is now known to exist.


Of the little island group of Louthoir, it is said that beneath the shade of the lofty kanary trees, deriving their nourishment from the thin but warm volcanic soil, and fed by the constant moisture, the handsome glossy-leaved nutmeg trees, twenty to thirty feet high, line the roads and bloom in the gardens and spread over all the open places. They are very fair to look upon, with their thick-spreading branches, the tallest sprays of which are fifty feet high. The flowers are small and yellowish. The fruit, before it is fully ripe, resembles a peach that has not yet been tinted with red; but this is only the epicarp, or outer rind, which is of a tough fleshy consistence, and on maturing splits open into two equal parts, revealing a spherical, polished, dark-brown nut, enveloped in crimson mace. In this stage it may be fairly described as the most beautiful fruit in the cornucopia of Pomona.

It is now picked by means of a small basket fastened to the end a long bamboo. The epicarp being removed, the mace is carefully taken off and dried in the sun, which changes its bright crimson to an obscure yellow. It is then ready to be packed in cakes and shipped to market. Next the nuts are spread on a shallow tray of open basket-work, and exposed for a period of three months to the action of a slow fire. By the end of that time the actual genuine nutmeg has so shrunken that it rattles in its dark-brown shell. The shell is broken, and the nutmegs after being sorted, are packed in large casks of teak-wood, which are duly branded with the year in which the fruit was gathered and the name of the plantation where it was grown.


Mountains, hills, rocks, forests, noisy burns and rippling brooks, with well wooded valleys running in among the highlands and low fertile country stretch

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