Published for the Royal Geographical Society by J. Murray,
Text on page 22
NOTES OF A JOURNEY ON
extent in Siam itself), smoking opium, theft, and malice seem to have no attractions for them. I believe every one who has travelled with and among them will say the same, and will ever keep their memory stowed away in a warm corner of the heart.
The Eachawong was the official I saw most ofa an upstanding, refined, and gentlemanly looking man, with a touch of iron grey in his hair, a firm step, a strong mouth, and high clear forehead. He gave me the story of some recent trouble with Chow Sa (the Prince of Sa) without any of that repetition, detail, or tinge of animosity one expects from an uneducated or inferior mind when speaking of an enemy.
Preparations were beginning for the cremation of the late a king a who was just dead, but we left before the ceremony began.
The punishment of death, which was inflicted for opium-smoking, elephant-killing, or theft, has been replaced during the last few years by a milder form; but it is noteworthy that in two years only one man has been put in the prison at Nan.
The music is a great contrast to that of the Siamese. At a dinner to which I was invited at M. Sa, we had, to an accompaniment of three bamboo flutes with very sweet low tones, a kind of duet sung by two girls, each taking a verse in turn. The rather nasal notes would soar up quite independently of the flutes, and then suddenly return to the keynote, which was a lovely minor, and was sustained; then would come a pause, with the delightful subdued refrain on the flutes again, ere the other began. The subject was a war-song, on which they both extemporized; but even my Siamese could not follow the words at all. After a solo from one of the flutists, who, as usual, sang falsetto (which is especially affected by the Siamese too in love-songs), he and one of the damsels lighted tapers, and though in no dress but their ordinary open dark blue jackets of panung, they performed another kind of duet, accompanied by waving of hands and arms, and a certain amount of not ungraceful attitudinizing. It seemed to be a kind of sacred affair, with a slow dignified air, and they quite lost themselves in it, though some of my Siamese were making running comments in the usual, style of the vulgar all over the world.
As far as music goes, it was far more expressive and peaceful than anything I had heard in Siam, as the others owned. I had with me as assistant-surveyor a very accomplished young Siamese, who is an excellent specimen of the best that Siam produces; he is a capitalAs far as music goes, it was far more expressive and peaceful than anything I had heard in Siam, as the others owned. I had with me as assistant-surveyor a very accomplished young Siamese, who is an excellent specimen of the best that Siam produces; he is a capital