SIR JAMES BROOKE, K.C.B. a
disperse them more before I have done with them, and I believe I am as astute honestly as they are dishonestly.
Makota, the other day, composed a pantun,*. on the occasion of a respectable man of Sarawak (but not nobly descended), arriving at Muka in a fine trading-boat. The sense was thisa" Formerly steel alone could separate the trunk of the tree, now the very leaves rend the parent stem." The leaves are the non-noble traders on their own account.
Sarawak is " visibly swelling " and quite prosperous ; we have houses springing up in all directions. The Dyaks, too, thrive, and we now only pray for a good rice crop, to keep us quite comfortable, I said I would write but little, and fcI have, as you see, written a great deal on the subject of Sarawak. I may add, that we have one man-of-war (the " Hazard ") already here, and daily expect the " Iris," when it will be decided whether we take Labuan at once, or whether it is to be postponed until further orders from home.
The "Wolf" comes here likewise very shortly, and will be for some time to come, stationed in the Straits, so I shall have the pleasure of knowing your brother-in-law Captain Gordon, f It is probable he will be of our party to Labuan, and a few days of that sort of work, make men as well acquainted as years in misty England.
My paper warns me to be brief, or I was about to
* A song. t He commanded H.M.S. the " Wolf."* A song. t He commanded H.M.S. the " Wolf."