council respecting tiie treaty. 289
obviously the master-mind of the assembly, and who carried on most of the conversation. The discussion lasted more than six hours, and every article of the treaty was talked about ; and as we reached a result, a record was made on a succession of black tablets by a scribe who knelt at the foot of the Kalahom. The Phra Klang was not present, though one of the ministers appointed: there were a number of children at the same elevation as the Somdetch, but all on their knees, and in a state of prostration. great number of ministers also attended the council, and we soon observed a bulky Chineseathe great monopolist, who farms no less than ninety articles of produce, and who, when the treaty proposal to abolish the existing monopolies was read, was called forward, and looked hke ten thunderstorms on hearing what, if effectually carried out, destroys "Othello's occupation." The powers from the Sovereigns of Great Britain and Siam were readathose given to the Five Commissioners seemed ample. The Queen's seal excited much curiosity.
After about four hours' discussion of the articles of the proposed treaty, a variety of refreshments were brought in; we partook of them, and resumed our labours. The remarks of the King's brother were sensible. The first Somdetch is nearly imbecile, and Ahviously understood very imperfectly what passed: l^s naked leg had a sore, and plaster upon it, which gave him some trouble.* The second Somdetch, ^ho is said to be deeply interested in existing mono-
* He died a few days after this meeting. VOL. II. u* He died a few days after this meeting. VOL. II. u