DEALINGS WITH OTHER RACES
well second,a is the growth of this very sensitiveness. He soothes and flatters others that he himself may be soothed and flattered. The command over his own passions and feelings which he has obtained renders courtesy and politeness habitual, but has veiled, not subdued, his Benua nature, and the sense of wrong, when not relieved by speedy revenge, sometimes preys upon his mind till he is goaded into fury, and moodiness becomes madness. It is another result of the inherency of the Benua disposition that many Malays, who have not the sustained animal spirits or firmness required by the civilisation and position which the race have obtained, are disposed to a degree of melancholy which sometimes becomes sullenness. Let the Benua be drawn from his seclusion into intercourse with other nations, and his character will be emboldened and hardened by the change in his habits, and unless a more powerful and spiritual religion than that of the Malays should elevate him in character as well as in civilisation, we may see him bring the kris to the aid of his spells, and substitute the a amoka for the a tuju.a As yet the race sits happy in the ethnic nursery, unconscious of the progress of events which must force it from its child-like ignorance and peace, and teach it to know the corruption and the strife which nations of larger growth have found in civilisation.1
The Benua occasionally embrace Islamism, but although attachment to their old habits and pride in the antiquity of their race combine with their want of regard for the Malays in rendering them averse to this conversion, the Malays are persuaded that
1 J. /. A. vol. i. pp. 269, 270.