SAVAGE MALAYS OF JOHOR
they will ultimately be entirely amalgamated with them. This is a fate which every consideration of humanity and religion urges us to endeavour to avert. As yet the Benua preserve much of their natural openness and honesty of character, and their whole disposition is such as to give assurance that they would prove willing recipients of Christianity, were it presented to them in its purity and simplicity. Were an intelligent and kindly missionary to settle amongst them, the superiority of his character to that of the Malays would speedily gain for him the influence and authority of a father. A great improvement in their condition might be brought about by merely placing their intercourse with the Malays upon a juster footing, to accomplish which the influence of the Singapore government and the authority of the Temenggong (the Sultan of Johor) would, it may be anticipated, be readily accorded.1
To compare or contrast the aborigines of the south of the Peninsula with the Bataks and the Dayaks and the Malays, it need here only be remarked that the character of the first three races mentioned is essentially the same, and that it may still be recognised even in the Malay.2
The Benua has less development of intellect, and less corruption of the passions. Natural influences are with him greater than artificial ones. Every individual and every family lives rather in the pure and fresh presence of nature than of men. Detached in family groups in the forest, Malay corruption, which would long ago have reduced them to its own dye if it could have operated on them en masse in villages, has found no assailable point. The absolute-
1 J. /. A. vol. i. p. 291.