fifty Europeans would take the whole country from end to end.
Borneo Proper has scarcely held any communication with Europeans, and I believe the only treaty was entered into with the English in the year 1775, which certainly was little adhered to by either party. The Dutch have had no footing or no treaty, and the Borneons are jealous of their neighbours, as they well may be ; for the Dutch governments of Sambas and Pontianak, however advantageous they may be to Holland, in a pecuniary point of view, do not even aim at the improvement of the natives or the extension of trade. It is in consequence of this slight intercourse with the civilized world that the Borneons are more rude and more ignorant than the other Malayans ; and the demands of commerce, instead of improving the country generally, have had the opposite effect, and have rendered the chiefs and traders jointly, the oppressors of the poorer classes.
I may here be allowed to offer a few remarks which apply generally to the Eastern Archipelago, but more particularly to the country of Borneo. Commerce has been indiscriminately described as an important medium of improvement, and no doubt it is so, in many (perhaps all) cases where it is unshackled and left to the impulse of the people ; but there are exceptions to this rule, and amongst
* Borneons. These are the Malay inhabitants of Borneo Proper, and must be considered as quite distinct from the Dyaks, or aboriginal population.* Borneons. These are the Malay inhabitants of Borneo Proper, and must be considered as quite distinct from the Dyaks, or aboriginal population.