A MALAY IMPROVISATRICE.
English words, with a justness of accent most surprising, which I thought was owing to a musical ear ; hut I met with many a Malay afterwards, who uttered the words of our language, though not knowing it, with the utmost truthfulness of tone.
I had heard of Malay minstrels, pouring out pantuns, made as they sang. Sedap was of the inspired race, a Malay improvisatrice. I asked her to sing for me ; something never sang before; and what about, said she; some story of Laksamana; ah, ao, there was nothing new to be said of him ; then of herself : What of the Fair Night ? its stars were always the same ; then choose yourself ; yes, I will sing of something new, of a juro toudi, a captain, of kappal hitam kecheel, the little black ship. And then with a monotone, yet soft and pleasing, she sang these Words as I then partly understood, and were afterwards more fully explained.