New York [etc.]:
D. Appleton and Company,
Text on page 512
16 THE FORMER, PHILIPPINES THRU FOREIGN EYES
the population of a half-civilized people, who invariably exaggerate their own strength; and visitors are likewise prone to do the same thing. The Chinese comprise about an eighth of the population of the town, and are generally of the lower class. They are constantly busy at their trades, and intent upon making money.
At Soung, business seems active, and all, slaves as well as masters, seem to engage in it. The absence of a strong government leaves all at liberty to act for themselves, and the Ruma Bechara gives unlimited freedom to trade. These circumstances promote the industry of the community, and even that of the slave, for he too, as before observed, has a life interest in what he earns.
Soung being the residence of the Sultan, as well as the grand depot for all piratical goods, is probably more of a mart than any of the surrounding towns. In the months of March and April it is visited by several Chinese junks, who remain trading until the beginning of the month of August. If delayed after that time, they can scarcely return in safety, being unable to contend with the boisterous weather and head winds that then prevail in the Chinese seas. These junks are said to come chiefly from Amoy, where the cottons, etc., best suited for the Sulus are made. Their cargoes consist of a variety of articles of Chinese manufacture and produce, such as silk, satin goods, cottons, red and checked, grass-cloth clothing, handkerchiefs, cutlery, guns, ammunition, opium, lumber, china and glass-ware, rice, sugar, oil, lard, and butter. In return for this merchandise they obtain camphor, birds' nests, rattans, bche de mer, pearls, and pearl-shells, coco, tortoise-shell, and wax; but there is no great quantity of these articles to be obtained, perhaps not more than two or three cargoes during the season. The trade requires great knowledge of the articles purchased, for the Chinese and Sulus are both such adepts in fraud, that great caution and circumspection are necessary.
Customs dues. The duties on importation are not fixed, but are changed and altered from time to time by the Ruma Bechara. The following was stated to me as the necessary payments before trade could be carried on:
A large ship, with Chinese on board, pays..........$2,000
A large ship, without Chinese on board, pays........ 1,800
Small ships..................................... 1,500
Large brig..................................... 1,000
Small brig..................................... 500
Schooners............................from 150 to 400
This supposes them all to have full cargoes. That a difference should be made in a vessel with or without Chinamen, seems singular; but this, I was told, arose from the circumstance that English vessels take them on board, in order to detect and prevent the impositions of the Sulus.
Vessels intending to trade at Soung should arrive before the Chinese junks, and remain as long as they stay, or even a few days later. In trading with the natives, all operations ought to be carried on for cash, or if by barter, no delivery should be made until the articles to be taken in exchange are received. In short, it is necessary toVessels intending to trade at Soung should arrive before the Chinese junks, and remain as long as they stay, or even a few days later. In trading with the natives, all operations ought to be carried on for cash, or if by barter, no delivery should be made until the articles to be taken in exchange are received. In short, it is necessary to