296 SIB* JOHN BOWRING'S JOURNAL.
and myself took a row in the steamer's gig up the river. We saw the elephants bathing, and among them the white elephant, whose colour is not white, but a dull brick colour. He (or rather she, for the animal is a young female) was escorted to the river with music and a sort of procession, and had several other elephants in attendance. We saw altogether about thirty, and visited many in their sheds, where they are tied by the fore-leg to large wooden pillars, being kept strictly from all communication with one another. There were three elephants in some of the sheds. We saw a cock-fight, in which the owners of the cocks did their best to excite their own birds to act valorously, and observed more than one Siamese engaged in washing and attending to the wounds of the cocks that had suffered in combat. Women are constantly seen rubbing turmeric over their naked children ; and we observed a white dog on which the same operation had been performed.
We passed many criminals in chains, some of which a were very light, others very oppressive. The first class were, as we understood, debtors, who become subject to slavery at the demand of their creditors, and who, in consequence, are delivered over to those who will buy their services. It is usual for a creditor to punish his debtor by calling in the power of the nobles, and handing him over to servitude unless his friends release him, though the servitude is often unredeemed for life.
Bonzes of different ranks were levying their contributions silently on the prostrate people, whose offerings seemed spontaneously given. The rice-pots were drawnBonzes of different ranks were levying their contributions silently on the prostrate people, whose offerings seemed spontaneously given. The rice-pots were drawn