features are handsomer ; there is a smoothness and an expression generally which conveys the idea of amiability or gentleness not characteristic of the Burman.
I have seen, or at least observed, nothing of the poor persecuted Karens here, but if those whom I drew at Maulmain be characteristic of the whole body, I should say they would be a people yet, nay far, more capable of refinement of education. In the Karen woman I drew at the same time, I was struck by the extreme modest timidity of her demeanour. Although with her friends and relations at her side, she became so nervously frightened as to be incapable of standing for the short time I was sketching her figure !
The Karens it appears are divided into two tribes or more by language, and into two classes by habits ;athe one termed the civilized, and the other the wild Karen. The difference, however, between either class is not great, and that of the wild serves to exemplify the character, modified of course, of his more civilized brother. He is a man of superstitionabelieves in spirits, and worships the genii of the woods and waters. He is a wandering character,aseldom, unless circumstances are favourable, occupying the same site for more than one or perhaps three years, till, in short, the ground in the vicinity, the wood of which he fells and burns to enrich the soil for his upland grain cultivation, fail to yield the produce necessary for his subsistence.
Whether we regard them in reference to their character, which is simple and peaceful ; or their habits which, besides what I have already stated, are those of living apart and distinct from all other peopleaexcluding all other sectsaseldom marrying with strangers, and having a language of their own ;aor their traditions, which from a little work I had given to me at Maulmain, I find are of a very remarkable character, and point at some future period to their emancipation from Burman bondage by the " white foreigner,"athe Karens may certainly be looked upon as the most interesting of all the inhabitants of Burmah.
I do not by all this mean to convey to you an idea of a pure, innocent, pastoral, poetical race of " faultless monsters, whom
the world ne'er saw," (at least sincea" Man's first disobedience-") and should
last of all be looked for amongst a nation of uncivilized and untaught beings ; but of a people whose imperfections appear, from all I can learn, to be of that character which education soonest has the effect of correcting, and who, probably, from that readiness, willingness, and tenacity of mind which quickly receives impressions, are as apt to pick up the bad as the good, which may be exhibited to them.