PRIVATE LETTERS OF
The reasons why this law is so acceptable to the people here is, that all the neighbouring rivers, viz., Sambas, Sangow, Rejang, and c., have retained Sarawak slaves who took refuge there, during the days of discord and bad government, and they consider it foolish that they should give everything and get nothing ; but I do not believe that they are clever enough to see the real drift of the enactment. My letters of December were important, and from the tone of some of them, I can see my way through the mercantile affairs.* I shall not be forced against my will to become rich, or to enter into any mad speculations.
The Netherland government has made an attack upon me, but it has failed. I am astonished at the misrepresentations to which it stoops. It is stated, that disputes have arisen between me and the Netherland authorities, whereas the truth is, I never had any dispute with the Dutch authorities on any matter of business; and the only communications which have passed between the resident of Sambas and myself, have been of a most friendly kind, and relating entirely to the seizure of some criminals, who escaped from the jail of Sambas. I am accused of obstructing Dutch trade, and monopolizing produce. The truth is, that the trade from Sambas, Pontiana, and the NatuiA Islands has greatly increased, and not the slightest res-
See note to preceding letter.See note to preceding letter.