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tial to the character of our nation, as the acquisition of power and wealth; and that wherever our flag is carried, it should confer the benefits of civilization on those whom it protects, it will appear no less important, that in proportion as we extend the field of our own inquiry and information, we should apply it to the advantage of those with whom we are connected; and endeavour to diffuse among them the light of knowledge, and the means of moral and intellectual improvement.
The object of our stations being confined to the protection and encouragement of a free and unrestricted commerce with the whole of these countries, and our establishments being on this footing and principle, no jealousy can exist where we make our inquiries. When the man of science inquires for the mineral or vegetable productions of any particular country, or the manner in which the fields are cultivated, or the mines worked, no motive will exist for withholding information ; but if, in return, we are anxious and ready to disseminate the superior knowledge we ourselves possess, how much shall we increase this readiness and desire on the part of the natives; and what may not be the extent of the blessings we may, in exchange, confer on these extensive regions ? How noble the object, how beneficial the effects, to carry with our commerce the lights of instruction and moral improvement! How much more exalted the character in which we shall appear-how much more congenial to every British feeling! By collecting the traditions of the country, and affording the means of instruction to all who visit our stations, we shall give an additional inducement to general intercourse ; while the merchant will pursue his gain, the representative of our government will acquire a higher character, and more general respect, by devoting a portion of his time to the diffusion of that knowledge, and of those principles, which form the happiness and basis of all civilized society. The native inhabitant, who will be first attracted by commerce, will imbibe a respect for our institutions; and when he finds that some of these are destined exclusively for his own benefit—while he applauds and respects the motive, he will not fail to profit by them. Our civil institutions, and political influence, are calculated to increase the population and wealth of these countries; and cultivation of mind seems alone wanting to raise them to such a rank among the nations of the world as their geographical situation and climate may admit. And shall we, who have been so favoured among other nations, refuse to encourage the growth of intellectual
improvement, or rather shall we not consider it one of our first duties to afford the means of education to surrounding countries, and thus render our stations, not only the seats of commerce, but of literature and the arts? Will not our best inclinations and feelings be thus gratified, at the same time that we are contributing to raise millions in the scale of civilization? It may be observed, that in proportion as the people are civilized, our intercourse with the islands will become more general, more secure, and more advantageous; that the native riches of the countries which they inhabit seem inexhaustible, and that the eventual extent of our commerce with them must, consequently, depend on the growth of intellectual improvement, and the extension of moral principles. A knowledge of the languages of these countries, considered on the most extensive scale, is essential to all investigation; and may not the acquisition of these be pursued with most advantage, in connexion with some defined plan for educating the higher orders of the inhabitants? May not one object mutually aid the other, and the interests of philanthropy and literature be best consulted, by making the advantages reciprocal ?
There is nothing, perhaps, which distinguishes the character of these islanders from the people of India more than the absence of inveterate prejudice, and the little influence Mahomedanism has had over their conduct and mode of thinking. With them, neither civil nor religious institutions seem to stand in the way of improvement; while the aptness and solicitude of the people to receive instruction is remarkable; and, in the higher classes, we often find a disposition to enjoy the luxuries and comforts of European life, and to assimilate to its manners and courtesies. The states more advanced in civilization have embraced the Mahomedan faith, which still continues to make a slow progress throughout the Archipelago. This faith was not introduced by conquest, but by the gradual progress of persuasion exerted by active missionaries, on a simple and ingenuous people. It is on the Mussulman teachers alone, that they are at present dependant for instruction; but these are now comparatively few, and of an inferior order; many of them little better than manumitted slaves, though assuming the titles of seids and sheiks. When we consider, that the whole of the Archipelago is left open to the views and schemes of these men; that they promise the joys of paradise, in recompense of the slight ceremony of circumcision; and, in this world, exemption from the pains of slavery, to which all unbelievers are
liable; we may account for the facility with which conversion is still effected, and the little impression it makes on the people. Institutions of the nature of colleges were formerly maintained by the native princes of Bantam, and in the interior of Java and Sumatra, particularly at Menangkabau, to which latter a visit was considered only less meritorious than a pilgrimage to Mecca. These colleges have disappeared with the power of the native government which supported them, and their place is very imperfectly supplied by the inferior and illiterate priests who are settled among them. The want of an institution of this nature has long been felt and complained of by the higher orders, and a desire has even been expressed of sending their children to Bengal; but the distance, and want of means to defray the expense, has generally prevented them from doing so. In an instance, however, in which this has taken place, we shall find evidence of the capacity of the people to receive instruction; and are able to form some estimate of the degree of improvement to which they might attain, if similar advantages were enjoyed by all. Shortly after the conquest of Java, two sons of the regent of Samarang were sent to Bengal, where they remained only two years, but returned to their native country, not only with a general knowledge of the English language, but versed in the elements of general history, science, and literature. The rapid progress made by these youths, not only in these attainments, but in their manners, habits, and principles, has been the surprise and admiration of all who have known them. It may be observed, generally, with regard to Mahomedanism in the Eastern Íslands, that although the more respectable part of the population pay some attention to its forms, as the established religion of the country, they are far more attached and devoted to their ancient traditions and customs; insomuch, that in most of the states the civil code of the Koran is almost unknown. In many of the countries which have not yet embraced Mahomedanism, such as those of the Battas, and other interior tribes of Sumatra, the islands along its western coast, and the Dayaks of Borneo, it is difficult to say what are their religious tenets. Faint traces of Hinduism are occasionally discovered, blended with local and original ideas; and it has even been questioned, whether some of them have any religion at all.
The inducements and facilities which are thus afforded, suggest the advantage and necessity of forming, under the immediate control and superintendence of government, an
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institution of the nature of a native college, which shall embrace, not only the object of educating the higher classes of the native population, but, at the same time, that of affording instruction to the officers of the Company in the native languages, and of facilitating our more general researches into the history, condition, and resources of these countries. An institution of this kind, formed on a simple, but respectable plan, would be hailed with satisfaction by the native chiefs, who, as far as their immediate means admit, may be expected to contribute to its support; and a class of intelligent natives, who would be employed as teachers, would always be at the command and disposal of government. The want of such a class of men has long been felt, and is, perhaps, in a considerable degree owing to the absence of any centre or seat of learning to which they could resort.
The position and circumstances of Singapura, point it out as the most eligible situation for such an establishment. Its central situation among the Malay states, and the commanding influence of its commerce, render it a place of general and convenient resort; while, in the minds of the natives, it will always be associated with their fondest recollections, as the seat of their ancient government, before the influence of a foreign faith had shaken those institutions, for which they still preserve so high an attachment and reverence. The advantage of selecting a place thus hallowed by the ideas of a remote antiquity, and the veneration attached to its ancient line of kings, from whom they
proud to trace their descent, must be obvious. The objects of such an institution may be briefly stated as follows:
1st. To educate the sons of the higher order of natives.
2dly. To afford the means of instruction in the native languages to such of the Company's servants, and others, as may desire it.
3dly. To collect the scattered literature and traditions of the country, with whatever may illustrate their laws and customs, and to publish and circulate, in a correct form, the most important of these, with such other works as may be calculated to raise the character of the institution, and to be useful or instructive to the people.
In order to embrace these objects, it will be sufficient, in the first instance, that an European superintendant and assistant, with three native professors, or head teachers, and a few native assistants, should be appointed to conduct the đuties. Hereafter, as the institution becomes more generally
known, and its advantages felt, an extension of this establishment may become necessary. The immediate expenses may be estimated not to exceed two thousand rupees per month, and ten thousand rupees for the construction of an appropriate building
In the formation of the establishment, the utmost simplicity will be necessary, as well with a view to economy, as with reference to the character and circumstances of the people. The rules for its internal discipline will be few and obvious, and the means of exciting emulation, such as may be best suited to the condition of the students. The establishment proposed will include a native professor in each of the three principal languages, Malay, Bugies, and Siamese, with an assistant in each department; and four extra teachers in the Chinese, Javan, Burman, and Pali languages. The course of education will be the acquirement of such of the above languages as the students may select, together with Arabic, to which the same professors will be competent; and in the higher classes, the Roman character, and English language, will be taught, together with such elementary branches of general knowledge and history, as their capacity and inclination may demand. The extra number of Moonshees are intended to afford instruction to the Company's servants, and others; and it will be the duty of the superintendant and native professors to form the collections, and carry into effect the third and last object, under such directions as they may from time to time receive.
The more immediate effects which may be expected to result from an institution of this nature, have already been pointed out, and are such as will readily suggest themselves. Native schools, on the Lancastrian plan, have already been established at some of our stations, and may be expected to spread in various directions : connected with these, an institution of the nature now proposed, is calculated to complete the system; and by affording to the higher classes a participation in the general progress of improvement, to raise them in a corresponding degree, and thus preserve and cement the natural relations of society. After what has been said, it is needless to enlarge on the more obvious and striking advantages which must result from the general diffusion of knowledge among a people so situated. The natural and certain effect must be the improvement of their condition, and a consequent advancement in civilization and happiness. The weakness of the chiefs is an evil which has been long felt and acknowledged in these countries, and to cultivate and