Project Gutenberg Australia
a treasure-trove of literature
treasure found hidden with no evidence of ownership


Title: Civilizing Mountain Men
Author: Mrs Mason
* A Project Gutenberg Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 0900471.txt
Language: English
Date first posted: July 2009
Date most recently updated: July 2009

Production notes:
[Transcriber's Note: This file is prepared from the digitized edition
hosted at www.archive.org]


Project Gutenberg Australia eBooks are created from printed editions
which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice
is included. We do NOT keep any eBooks in compliance with a particular
paper edition.

Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the
copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this
file.

This eBook is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms
of the Project Gutenberg Australia License which may be viewed online at
http://gutenberg.net.au/licence.html

To contact Project Gutenberg Australia go to http://gutenberg.net.au

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Title: Civilizing Mountain Men
Author: Mrs Mason

* * *

CIVILIZING MOUNTAIN MEN
OR
SKETCHES OF MISSION WORK AMONG THE KARENS.
BY MRS. MASON
OF BURMAH.
EDITED BY L. N. R.
AUTHOR OF
"THE BOOK AND ITS STORY," "THE MISSING LINK," ETC.

LONDON:
JAMES NISBET & Co., 21, BERNERS STREET.
1862.

TO THE GOD OF ISRAEL
THIS RECORD IS HUMBLY OFFERED IN THANKSGIVING.
MAT IT PROVE A SILENT PLEADER FOR THE HEATHEN.



INTRODUCTION.


IF the readers of this bright little book have as much pleasure in its
perusal as its English Editor has had, they will have no reason to
complain of the time they bestow upon it. It is the ROBINSON CRUSOE of
Missions, and is directed, as most readable little books are, very
chiefly to the world of children; but sensible, grown-up people always
like good children's books, and we fairly confess that our sister from
the green mountains of Vermont has so bewitched us, that amid many toils
and pressing duties, in a land of civilization, we have found it a daily
refreshment to turn with her into the jungles, and listen to the mountain
echoes. We have followed her steps over crag and hill, and reposed with
her in gorge and glen; have gone out with her Karens to fell timber for
the Institute, or sat within listening to her lively and practical Bible
lessons, luxuriating always in all her _tableaux vivans_ of the matchless
mountaineers, and truly, we are half sorry that our task is over.

Stern critics have bid us part with the first chapter: we can only say to
the reader that when he has arrived at the end of the book, he will
return to it as a natural Preface to the Mission work accomplished. For
ourselves, we like to know when such a "teacheress" was "raised," as her
countrymen would say. This work for the Karens must have been done. This
loving leadership of the wild and untaught children of the hills must
have been undertaken, and the native poetry of their peculiar history and
character has found its record from the sympathizing heart of woman; of a
woman made meet for the singular occasion.

Mrs. Mason fills her niche in the long line of America's noble sons and
daughters, (how many are there now gathered "to the shining shore,") who
seem to have had appointed to them by their Master's hand, and by consent
of other Missionaries, the mighty privilege of seeking and carrying the
word of salvation to the mysterious and scattered descendants of
long-exiled "ISRAEL,"--a privilege that bids us glory in the
Anglo-Saxon origin and language of the successful explorers. For further
details on this head, we must refer the reader to our concluding chapter,
and in our Introduction confine ourselves to indicating what the rest of
the book is about.

It is chiefly the history of the raising of SELF-SUPPORTING FEMALE
SCHOOLS among the Karens, in which shall be trained those village
teachers and Bible-readers, who shall spread everywhere the knowledge of
the Lord among a people prepared above all others by ancient associations
to receive it.

Mrs. Mason remarks, that teachers, as _men_, have seldom the time and the
patience to sit down on a low seat with the ignorant, and say one simple
truth over and over, in varied ways.

If you would have Burmah redeemed to the Lord, she adds, send _woman to
woman_, and let her teach the A B C of Christianity, which is mothers'
work all the world over:--"Moung Shway Moung is like Mount Meru, very
high; he knows everything," say the women of Burmah, "but _he can't talk
woman talk; we don't understand;_" therefore, if you want to teach
heathen women, begin with them as girls.

Now, this is what Mrs. Mason has done, amid many "waitings, and
watchings, and wearyings, and heartachings." She has had the gift from
God to stir up others to liberal donations and earnest labours in this
department. She has persuaded wild chiefs to choose the cleverest girls
of their clans, and bring them down from the mountains to be educated,
supporting them and providing for their simple wants while undergoing the
process. The capacity and docility of the pupils are amazing, and the
result of their acquirements, as taught to others almost as soon as
attained by themselves, is not a little marvellous. The true elevation of
woman by Christian education has been thus recognised as a duty by the
chiefs of seven tribes in Tounghoo.

So few people read a Preface, that we have sometimes thought it is
scarcely worth while to write one; we hasten, therefore, to dismiss our
readers to their mountain rambles, believing that they will return from
them most deeply interested in the hitherto despised and outcast KARENS,
and willing to help in every way the disinterested workers in that now
important Missionary field.

It may only be further necessary to remark, that the name of the nation
is pronounced Ka-_rens_, the first syllable short; and the appellation
"mama," so frequently used by the natives, is not pronounced as in
English, but contrariwise--_mam_-ma, the accent on the first syllable.

L. N. R.

* * *

CONTENTS:

PART I.

I.     AMONG THE GREEN MOUNTAINS.
II.    HALTINGS AMONG THE CITIES AND WATERS OF MARTABAN
III.   THE DONG YAHN CONQUERORS MY HUSBAND'S PEOPLE
IV.    BEGINNING OF THE TOUNGHOO MISSION
V.     TOUNGHOO, AND WHAT WE FOUND THERE
VI.    THE MINSTREL AND HIS BATTLE SONG
VII.   FIRST CHRISTIAN SCHOOL IN TOUNGHOO
VIII.  KAREN DRESS WITCHCRAFT MY TUTAUMAN

PART II.

I.     GOING TO INDIA NOT OVERLAND
II.    THE FIRST GIRLS' SCHOOL IN TOUNGHOO
III.   GATHERING UP THE MANNA
IV.    FORMING AN EDUCATION SOCIETY
V.     GETTING A TITLE DEED
VI.    THE KAREN CANAAN
VII.   CIVILIZING MOUNTAIN MEN
VIII.  ESTABLISHING A KAREN FERRY
IX.    SEEKING TIMBER FOR THE INSTITUTE
X.     LIFE IN THE WOODS
XI.    CONQUERING DIFFICULTIES
XII.   THE RAISING THE PIC-NIC
XIII.  THE KAREN NATIONAL BANNER
XIV.   HELP FROM ENGLAND
XV.    THE TABERNACLE IN THE MOUNTAINS
XVI.   THE MIGHTY HAND IN THE MOUNTAINS

PART III.

I.     SETTLING A COLONY
II.    SKETCHES OF KAREN CHARACTER
III.   THE "KING OF TOUNGHOO"
IV.    KAREN SOLDIERS
V.     CONCLUSION--DEDUCTIONS--THE PAST OF THE KAREN NATION


* * *




PART I.



CHAPTER I. - AMONG THE GREEN MOUNTAINS.


When a child eleven years old, my mother always gave me one hour a day
for my own time. This was invariably spent by the side of a wild mountain
brook, that came tumbling and dancing down through a grove of
birch-trees. It was a most companionable little stream, clear as crystal,
full of smooth white pebbles and little speckled trout.

My brother fitted me up a small leafy alcove, carpeted with scarlet
lichens, close down to the margin, with my pet flowers, the wild violet
and the forget-me-not, all around, and close by, a patch of those bright
red winter-green berries that all New England children know. There the
old family Bible was daily spread open at Solomon's Prayer. There, too,
the woods often echoed with the "Sweet Bower of Prayer," while I dug gold
thread and made little golden skeins for baby sister.*

[Footnote: * The fibrous yellow roots of the three-leaved Hellebore,
which New England school children delight in.]

There, with the brook and the trout, I planned many a castle, which then
seemed as much beyond my grasp as the moon; yet, somehow or other, almost
every plan has been realized. The reason may have been, that every castle
had a Bible and a Bower of Prayer.

I don't know why I liked Solomon's Prayer so much better than Agur's; but
young Solomon, the brave Daniel, the good Samaritan, and the poor
Publican, were my favourites among Bible men; with Deborah and Mary
Magdalen among the women. There were other companions too. These were the
letters of Ann H. Judson and Harriet Newel; and often did I turn the old
brown and yellow birches into Burmese and Hindu girls. Many a time have I
talked till tears came to these imaginary heathen women, and then sung to
them ever so much more.

I loved my Bible, and I loved nature. It seemed a great deal easier to
pray out in a grove among the mountains. I never wondered that Jesus went
on to the mountain to pray, or that Daniel kept his window open.

Even the great giant-looking larches of Canada had a charm. They were
real old Samsons, or Knights Templars, all in their armour, as they lay
so stiff, and black, and awful, in the moonbeams, on the crusted snow.

One time they were indeed awful to me. "Elder Huntley," as everybody
called my father,* was for more than forty years a "Gospel Ranger" among
the hills of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Canada; and as soon as I was old
enough, he took me into his cariole with him. One time he had been out to
hold a "Protracted Meeting" in Lower Canada. We were returning home at
midnight, through a tamarack swamp, winding leisurely along the
well-trodden wood road, my father thinking of his sermons, and I covered
head and eyes in the buffalo skins. Suddenly a strange sound: "Crazy
Jane" pricks up her ears. Again, faint, low, fearful. Instantly Crazy
Jane gave a bound that almost broke the traces. My father heard it, and,
with an anxious look at me, he gave the startled creature the reins, when
she flew over the road as if chased by lightning. On came the boding
sound, nearer, nearer, clearer, clearer. A murmuring as of many waters, a
clear bark, a tremendous howl of a whole pack of wolves! "Oh, God, save
papa! Oh, God, I will, I will go!" This was the earnest cry of the
moment, for I had no doubt but God was calling me to work for the
heathen; yet deep and painful had been the inward struggle, even at that
early age, and I had always answered, "I _cannot_ leave mamma."

[Footnote: * Leland Huntley.]

Crazy Jane had just time to leap into the open village when the hungry
wolves appeared on the skirts of the forest, thanks to the Hearer of
prayer.

"Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee." This was the
promise that came to me as I nestled in the buffalo skins.

When but nine years old, there seemed to be some propelling power ever
pushing me on to Burmah. "Get ready, I will call for thee," was for ever
whispered in the air. How I should get ready, was the difficult question.
My father was a poor Baptist Minister; he could not help me. He loved the
cause of missions; but he was poor, for he gave all his time and talents
for others; and so did my faithful, self-denying, and beautiful mother.

The first effort toward my undertaking was made in flowering oil-cloths,
by which I bought myself a grammar, when thirteen years old. I had never
had any school books but a spelling book and "English Reader;" but I had
read, and thought, more than many children. I borrowed a geography, and
studied it open in the window, while I rinsed the cups and saucers,
standing upon a stool beside the table. "Milton's Paradise Lost,"
"Young's Night Thoughts," "Pollok's Course of Time," "Thomson's Seasons,"
these were among the graver books that had charmed me till midnight over
my pine torches--I could not afford candles--so my brother, dear,
kind little fellow that he was, would, every few days, lay before me a
votive offering of pitch pine-knots from the plains; and it was by the
light of these that I read two thick volumes of moral philosophy, and
studied the fragments of a copy of Josephus, found on the shelf of some
old book store. After securing the grammar, I obtained permission to
leave home for a few months, as companion to a doctor's wife. It was one
evening while with her, that I found a large volume of the "Arabian
Nights" in my bed-room. I had never seen it before, and, of course,
strained my eager eyes over it till the long candle was burned to the
socket. The next night the "Arabian Nights" was gone, and a Missionary
Magazine lay there. I took it up, a little vexed to lose the stories;
opened it, and the first thing that struck me was the "Journal of Francis
Mason."

Next Saturday night I said, "Papa, I must go to Burmah." I had often
spoken of going, but my father had never believed me serious, and always
called it "El's wild scheme." Now he looked at me with the deepest
earnestness of his grave eye, and uttered not a word. From that time he
never opposed, never ridiculed; and my mother--my dear, fond
mother--expected me to go some time.

It was very near where the Fairfax Literary Institution now stands that I
first read that journal which threw a spell, a strange, drawing spell,
over all my future.

With the money the doctor's wife gave for my little services, my bill was
paid at a select school, where I made my first attempt at model
letter-writing. I remember it perfectly, the old yellow page ruled down
the side, leaving an inch margin, and beginning, as all models did, "I
take my pen in hand," &c. I can see her now, that tall, straight
schoolma'am, so shocked when I said, "Oh, Miss Sage, I can never get this
right; please let me write my mother a real letter."

I wanted to tell her I had got her a new cap ribbon. It was the first
thing I had ever earned for her with my own hands, and I was all on
tip-toe to show her what I thought the daintiest little ribbon in the
world. Miss Sage bade me write my copy, and learn propriety--a thing I
have been trying to learn ever since.

I can't tell you, reader, half the things about getting ready, graved in
burning lines upon my own memory, but if you will glance at two or three
dissolving views, they will fling a few faint lights over the shadowy
past. I speak of these personal scenes only to show you that God does
honour trust and works, and allows our best hopes to be realized.

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Making way through drifted snows, boys shoveling the road, a young girl
has prepared breakfast for five little brothers and sisters, has dressed
them, put the house in order, and is on her way to the school-room, where
she has a charge of some forty children, young men and young women. Her
father and mother are on a mission to the Isles of Lake Champlain, and
are icebound. They cannot know the load on their daughter's heart; they
could not reach her if they did. She is sixteen years old--is striving
for Burmah.

"Ye shall reap _if ye faint not_."

It was among the lumber* men on Lake Champlain, close upon the romantic
waters of Lake George, over which I have glided for hours in a little log
boat, steered by lumber women, catching the yellow perch and trout which
we could see through the lake clear to the bottom. It was a missionary
undertaking, for they had no church, no tract visitors, no school of any
kind within many miles. It was Sunday. I had called on all the mothers,
and now they came dropping in, leading their little ones.

[Footnote: * "Lumber: in America, timber sawed or split for use."
--Webster.]

The room was fragrant with flowers, and Bible-pictures hung on the wall.
We had just sung--

"There is a land of pure delight."

Who is that? A fine-looking man, the superintendent of the colony,
appears, steps to the open door. "Miss Huntley, may--may we come in?"
and eight or ten strong-souled men in their checked shirts are waiting
admittance. A stammering "Yes, if you'll help us," was given, and I am
sure no one can tell, but the angels, what delightful Bible readings we
there enjoyed, amidst the log cabins, partitioned only with blankets,
glazed with paper, and made habitable by huge altar-like pillars of stone
in the middle for chimneys.

What is the matter? why does the young girl tremble so?

"Children, you may go home." And she sits an hour, helpless, shaking with
ague, then recovers and creeps home. The next day tries again; but every
other day these horrors return; so for two years she struggles on; thin,
pale, weak, suffering as only one can suffer with the terrible lake fever
and ague. It is the effect of the miasma of the lumber region.

At last the goal is reached,--a female seminary where she may quench
her burning thirst for knowledge. Months pass: "Miss S----," she asks,
one morning, in faltering tones, "may I go home? I have no more money,
and I can't bear to give up now when the term is so near over." She had
been living three months on a trifle over five dollars, boarding herself.

"Why do you go home?"

"I have a dear brother; possibly he may help me."

"How are you going?"

"On foot."

"On foot! How far is it?"

"Twelve miles!"

"Twelve miles! Why, child, you can't travel twelve miles. You'd better
send for your brother."

"He cannot come. Only say I may go."

A reluctant consent is given. The young girl starts alone.

She draws her belt very tight, for she is hungry. She has tasted no
supper, no breakfast; scarcely anything for a whole week but a loaf of
bread. Not a cent is left; but she cannot beg.

"Good morning, Ellen. Come back soon" says her preceptress.

"Good morning. Miss S----." When you are hungry, may God feed you, she
prays inwardly, and departs.

Longer and longer seems that weary way. Now up a steep, hard hill, now
stretching like a narrow line away over the plains. She comes to a river;
the bridge is gone; she enters in, is carried down, struggles, reaches
the bank, walks on, comes to another, fords it.

What is the matter? She cannot see; everything swims; she falls, revives,
and creeps up on to the steps of an old church--prays for strength,
prays for Burmah.

At ten o'clock she sees the light glimmering from her mother's window,
falls upon the steps, returns to consciousness, is lying in her own
little room. Her tender mother is chafing her brows, the big tears
chasing each other down silently, while little hands are holding cups of
hot tea and gruel, murmuring out,--

"Sissy not die. God takes care of sister."

"For I say unto you, that their angels do always behold the face of my
Father which is in heaven."

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

There are other scenes behind. Higher and higher swell the waters, keener
and keener grows the anguish; but purer the longings, sweeter the peace.

See you that young girl's eye? Mark you the pent-up agony? She holds a
newspaper; the superscription is her lover's; she knows there are burning
words within that wrapper. The spirit longs, thirsts for their sweet
sympathy, for she is a stranger in a strange circle.

"Must I leave it?" she asks herself, pressing her temples. Yes, her purse
is empty, utterly empty. Those rainbowed, precious words must go to the
dead-letter office. She lays it back--that dear, dear handwriting--that
_radiant_ hand. She turns and leaves it there, crushing down agony
for heathen women.

What hand that upon the burning brow? A letter. It opens. Out falls a
bank bill--the most beautiful, _shining_ bank bill ever made. Who sent
it? The Angel of the Lord sent it. By whom? Ask the loved teacher, now
Mrs. Nott, of Schenectady, and her Persis-like sister. Miss C. Sheldon,
of Philadelphia. The Lord told them to send it. May He tell somebody to
send them beautiful bank bills if they ever need them!

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Another scene. A school group--but not a white group. There are
mountains, but not the old green mountains. There are trees, but not the
birches, the beeches, the spruces of her childhood. There are flowers,
but not the daisies and honeysuckles of her fatherland. Her pupils are
black-eyed, bronze-coloured girls, boys, men, and women. The trees are
the light bamboos arching over them, and each mountain has a spire, a
tall beacon spire all alone--it is a Buddhist pagoda, and that land is
Burmah.

When I first stepped upon the shore of India, it was at Maulmain. The
Rev. Dr. Judson kindly met our large party at the quay, and, giving me
his arm, led me through a long line of native Christians to his own door.
My own emotions on reaching a heathen land were perfectly overpowering. I
could not speak. I could do nothing but weep.

It was the remembrance of my childish yearnings, and of God's infinite
goodness, that so overpowered me on reaching a pagan land. The letters,
the journal, the old family Bible, the "gold thread," the wee sisters'
eyes, all came back with the last, last kisses of a home, and the deep
love of the tenderest of mothers that I was never to see again. Then I
heard those strange old household names, Mah, Dokes, Menlas, and a host
of others, all verily living beings before me! Dr. Judson's princely brow
too! Was I indeed in the body or out of it?

It was truly a strange linking of circumstances, that the writings of Dr.
Judson's wife should first have stirred my soul for Burmah, and then that
his lips should have been the first to greet me, and his arm the first
offered me to lean upon. It was strange that Mr. Mason should have united
him with his loved Sarah, and then that Dr. Judson should have performed
the same service for us at a day long after this. I had been married to
Mr. Bullard some time before I left America.

Heat, bilge-water, destitution of milk, and of every comfort for my babe,
in the six-foot cabin of a merchant ship for nearly five long months, had
induced extreme weakness and inflammation in my eyes.

It was during these weeks of intense suffering, just after reaching
Burmah, that I learned the real kindheartedness and self-forgetting
spirit of Dr. Judson. Full of anxious desire to speak to the women, it
was hard to do nothing! I had not then learned to wait as now. Dr. Judson
saw it, and seemed to give me a special corner in his warm heart, for
after we left his house, which he would not allow for many days, about
two o'clock daily I would hear his military-like step, and feel the
sympathizing grasp of his dear hand as he drew me down beside him, and
made me forget past sufferings and present agony in his inimitable
manner, language, and stories. With him I lived over the whole past
history of the mission, and much of its hidden life.

One day he was telling me of a lady who always greeted the native women
with, "'Ma-a-lah--H-o-w-d-ye?' drawing it," he said, "clear across the
room in her _everlasting rocking chair_." Another spent nearly her whole
time in making pills, smelling bottles, and plasters for the natives!
"What wonder," he would ask, "that both gave up and went home?"

The proper medium line between indifference and undue anxiety in regard
to the physical wants of the heathen,--this was what Dr. Judson was
endeavouring to impress upon me, and what he never lost sight of I loved
him ever after as my own father, for it was no small self-denial for a
man of his experience and his duties to lay all aside and sit down daily
to instruct an inexperienced Missionary woman. His exquisite tact, too,
won my most profound reverence, while his gay good humour taught me the
secret of good health in Burmah.

It was seventeen years ago that I sat there the wondering pupil of
Adoniram Judson. Alas, the changes! Then Sarah B. Judson was there,
always so gentle and loving in her pretty pink or white wrapper, and
often she would call me to accompany her when she took aside the native
Christians to settle their petty difficulties in her prayer room. Then
Fanny Forrester was struggling upward in Utica. My husband, Mr. Bullard,
was with us, and Mr. Mason was with his little Maria and her mother in
Tavoy.

Now, where are we all? What a changing, painful drama! Dr. Judson's Sarah
on the rock of the sea, himself in his ocean coffin; his Emily triumphant
over her sharp mission conflict; sweet Maria and her loved mamma passed
into heaven; Mr. Mason in a region then unexplored, translating the Bible
into a language then unknown; Little "Enna" Judson, who used to come in
to rock "Baby Ella," now proclaiming the Gospel for his father; Baby Ella
wandering over half the globe, a teacher to heathen women; while her
adored father, who would have given his life for either of us, is calmly
sleeping by the Salwen,* and I struggle on amidst innumerable hindrances
for the same great work for which Anna H. Judson died, viz., the
establishment of Woman's Mission in Heathen Lands.

[Footnote: * Mr. Bullard died at Maulmain, April 5th, 1847.]



CHAPTER II. - HALTINGS AMONG THE CITIES AND WATERS OF MARTABAN.


"The Golden Waters! The Golden Waters!" all exclaimed in raptures, as the
good ship _Charles_ swept round into the Gulf of Martaban, and along its
semicircled shore of wild adventure and Christian toil. Four sun-lit
streams roll their waters into this lovely scallop of the ocean. First,
on the right, comes pouring the noble Salwen, with the city of Martaban
on one side, and Maulmain on the other. Farther round, the Sittang, with
the city of Sittang; then Pegu, with its antique ruins; and still beyond
the Irrawaddy, with the cities of Rangoon and Bassein.

The first city of importance on this coast is Rangoon--Lord Dalhousie's
enchanted garden--which, under Col. Phayre, is rapidly becoming one
indeed. It resembles the modern portion of New York. I did not learn the
number of streets, but saw one marked, I think, the fifty-third. The
principal streets are parallel with each other, very broad, and nicely
macadamized. Along these, in the business part of the town, stucco
buildings are rapidly running up in simple Grecian style, with flat roofs
and Ionic pillars. The officers and civilians erect beautiful teak
bungalows in the environs, surrounded by tall forest trees.

To the north there is a romantic drive through a wide tract of woodland,
out to old Kemendine. There the numerous clusters of snowy tents
whitening the landscape, with the broad Irrawaddy pouring its silver
spouts around, make it truly, to the artist's eye, enchanted ground. This
drive to Kemendine also leads to what is intended to become the Binney
College, just founded by three benevolent gentlemen in Philadelphia, Wm.
Bucknell, Esq., W. C. Mackintosh, Esq., and David Jayne, M.D. Mr.
Bucknell invited Dr. Binney to undertake this enterprise, and he with the
other two have ever since sent him a personal support of 1,200 dollars,
or L250, per annum. This is nobly done, and now, if the founders go on,
endow the college and make it permanent, it will be an honour to the
denomination, an honour to their country, and an inestimable blessing to
the Karen tribes through all time. Both Dr. and Mrs. Binney possess a
magic power over their pupils. There is also a Theological School in the
same buildings, all under the patronage of the American Baptist
Missionary Union.

There are two other schools of importance at this station, a Preparatory
English and Vernacular School, aided much by Government, under Mrs.
Vinton, a lady who has prepared many valuable books in Karen, and whose
hymns will be chanted over the Karen hills when she shall be harping with
the harpers. Another Normal School is in charge of the Rev. D. L.
Brayton. This is for the Pwo Karens. It is taught in the vernacular, and
is dependent upon voluntary aid for support. Both Mr. and Mrs. Brayton,
and their daughter, Mrs. Rose, are teachers of long experience, and their
school really merits sympathy and support.

Not far from this station is a most hopeful mission under Mrs. Ingalls,
widow of the late Rev. Lovell Ingalls. This is a mission to the Burmese
as well as to the Karens, and the very remarkable success of our lone
friend proves that woman's sympathy, patience, and quiet perseverance may
tell more upon the hearts of heathen _men_ than even public preaching.
Mrs. Knap, also a widow lady there, is another of our silent coral
workers. This friend greatly aided Mrs. Brandis, sister of Lady Havelock,
in establishing the Burmah Female School Society, and a day school for
girls in Rangoon.*

[Footnote: * Messrs. Stevens and Dawson are in charge of the Burman
Department of Rangoon, and Mr. Vinton, son of the late Missionary Vinton,
is a preacher in the Karen Department. Doctor and Mrs. Wade are the
oldest Missionaries on the coast. They are at Maulmain, working on with
all their rich experience as earnestly as ever, with Messrs. Bennett and
Haswell, and J. Haswell, Jr.

There are also American Missionaries on all these rivers, except Pegu:
Messrs. Kincaid and Simons at Prome, Messrs. Thomas and Crawley at
Henthada, Messrs. Beecher and Vanmeter at Bassein, Mr. Harris at Shwagyn,
and Messrs. Mason, Cross, and Bixby, at Tounghoo.]

Seven children of the Burman Missionaries have entered upon the same
service. How cheering it is to see a mission receiving back its own sons
and daughters to stay up the hands of their parents! May the time come
when it will be understood that this is the duty of Missionaries'
children, rather than to seek ease and civilized comforts for themselves,
while their fathers and mothers faint under their burdens alone.

In all, there are on the Burmah coast twenty-two American Missionary
families, with about four hundred and fifty native preachers and
schoolmasters, and some twenty-six thousand baptized converts. Of these,
about five hundred and fifty are Burmese and Talaings, and twenty-two of
them are preachers; the others are mostly Karens. The population of
Rangoon is about thirty thousand.

Now, reader, would you believe these Pegu waters and lands to be the
veritable Ophir of the Ancients, and the real old Byssinga of the
Alexandrian geographers? My word-loving husband says so, and you will
find some pretty strong proof of it in his book on Burmah.

I can almost see the strange old Phoenician craft and banner floating
still before me; King Solomon's boys chasing each other over the ridges
after peacocks for Queen Belkis, and King Hiram's sailors plying up the
rivers for Almug-trees. Yes, truly, I have to look round to see if these
old Tyrians are not now washing out the gold for the basins, the tongs,
and the pomegranates. Who knows but the Tyrian king did send a colony
over to these rivers? The Talaings look enough like the old Theban
mummies to be their brothers. I saw mummy heads from Thebes in the
Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, that in form were as near as
possible like Talaings. They are known to be the oldest race on this
coast, and Dr. Mason thinks them related to the Koles of Hindustan by
their language. Evidently their first simple faith was rock-worship, like
that of the Koles, the Santals of India, the ancient Peruvians, who set
up an emerald as a goddess, and the Arabs.

Going over the mountains once, near Siam, we were passing a cairn like
those of the Highland Scots, when I noticed that every Talaing with me
stopped and threw a stone on to the pile.

"What is that for?" I asked.

"Oh, nothing. A spirit lives here." This was all the explanation.

If it takes as long to Christianize Burmah as it did to turn it to
Buddhism, it will be a task for the millennium. Twelve hundred years they
had to work, according to their account, before Buddhism became the
national religion of Burmah.

But for real enchanted ground we must go over to Maulmain. Here pagodas!
pagodas! shooting up on every mountain peak, from twenty to three hundred
and sixty feet high, like colonnades of gold, in burning, prismatic
radiancy. And such foundations! Terrace upon terrace. The highest plateau
is eight hundred feet in circumference, and the lower more than one
thousand eight hundred feet, tapering up so like old Behs' feet.
Perchance some Layard may yet join them into international links. But
just to think how tired these strict religionists must be to climb such
long flights of steps to church--five hundred, seven hundred, and nine
hundred steps! The pagoda of the Aing Pass is said to have nine hundred
and seventy stone steps.

Some of the pagodas are walled, others not. One in Paghan was barricaded
with a wall upheld by stuccoed elephants, after the style of that vestige
of a ruin called the "Diamond Gate" in western India, indicating a
relationship between the architects of the two countries.

There are two kinds of pagodas. The common one is a sacred structure; it
is octagonal, and built of solid masonry, with a small gold or silver god
and charmed scroll morticed up within. The other is a monument in honour
of some prince. This is arched, generally of a quadrangular form, with
four gateways, a dome in the centre, and vaulted galleries running round
the interior. Syms tells of the ruins of a pagoda of the latter
description in the northern part of Burmah, with walls and aisles of
eighty feet in height. There is a smaller one in Tounghoo, which, it is
said, contains a royal urn; but the royal god that graced the dome now
sits in the Hartford Museum in Connecticut.

Look upon one of these illuminated zadees, as I have done, at evening.
Listen to the soft breathing of the wind-bells on the _tee_, the umbrella
of the top; think of the mysterious scroll, the hidden god, the enchanted
hieroglyphics. Watch the lights and shadows of the burnished spire,
glimmering and mingling with those of the vaulted aisles, which come
flashing out upon the glaring enamelled eyes of griffins and lions,
lighting up the many-coloured scales of serpents and dragons, then
vanishing in gloom, as the winds rush through the corridors, and you will
not wonder that the natives are awed by the strange, dreamy effect.

Directly over Dr. Judson's house in Maulmain was Mount Rama. This is the
Pali name for Maulmain, and the mountain is a lovely undulating line of
slate and sandstone, which divides the old and new town. On a plateau,
many hundred feet in circumference, rises Payah Pu, the principal pagoda
of Maulmain. Opening up to this are four gateways, fifteen feet in width,
guarded by huge lions with enormous glass eyes.

Upon the north stands a Tomb temple, with an image of Gaudama. It is
crowned with Mosaic work representing an antique tiara or royal horn of
magnificent emeralds. His god-ship is lying upon a Mosaic catafalque, his
head resting upon twelve Mosaic pillows, over a large lotus, held as
sacred here as in Egypt. Around him six crowned apostles, twelve feet
high, standing on elevated pedestals, like so many stylites all in gold,
with the right hand laid reverently upon the breast. Peering over the
feet is the sacred hydra, with its dilated hood, while the immense coil
of the serpent, glistening with enamelled scales, serves as a pedestal
for one of the statues.

In a niche at the entrance of this temple is a female figure, in a
sitting posture, and, Eve-like, covering her person with her long black
tresses.

Just under the shadow of the cliff stands another temple, with the Foot
of Gaudama, which everybody knows.

The roof of this foot-shrine is a perfect forest of pinnacles, while over
the low oriental portal stand two supernatural warders, with terribly
large searching eyes. The vaulted ceiling has a representation of the
zodiac, which struck me as very like the pictures I had seen of Dendera.
The roof and cornices are, like the old Greek temples, adorned with
tracery and vermillion, and the low pedestals are modelled into lilies,
some of them lettered with the donors' names.

I have seen in a temple of Tavoy an oriental tableau of Gaudama, previous
to his becoming a god. He is represented as prostrate on the ground,
humbling himself into a flag stone, while Dobindea, the former Buddh,
with his troop of begging boys, is walking over him. This act of deep
humility was one of the principal deeds of merit that secured to him his
divinity. There is another temple there, shaped precisely like the famed
"Paradise" of Western India, and containing a statue of the last Buddh
Dobindea.

Go up on to this plateau. A poem, a very poem, you exclaim at once, made
up of natural stanzas, with the music all set. First comes Martaban, with
the lofty Zingabat mountains, the classic vale of Thadung, the Dong Yahn
fortress looming over its mourning river, wide forests and savannas, and
the temple mountain of Damathat, shooting up in natural Gothic. Then come
the Atteran, the Salwen, the Gayng, linking among the cliffs, and
silvering the prairies; far-stretching Thanee, all buried in half-tints;
while Maulmain lies in the foreground, forcing its way up the hills, amid
groves of palms, cocoa-nuts, bananas, tamarinds, mangoes, citrons,
papayas, and pumpalows; and each face of the mountain is alive with
convents, temples, pillars, turrets, altars, idols, and pagodaettes, as
if multiplied by a Lysippus hand, bristling among ever-blooming avenues.
Here and there, also, rises a guardian group of statues, or the hideous
Belu, who, history states, were Gaudama's bodyguard; and one can believe
it, for they are for ever present--the real Scandinavian Memming, or
the Beer-seeker of the Scalds. Everywhere, winding up the mountain, are
trains of priests, with their bald pates or tonsures, with here and there
a priestess, in her floating white mantle, counting her rosary, gliding
in at some monastery, or half concealing herself behind the lemon trees.

It was the festival of the New Year, and the Pagoda Bath Day, which
interested me particularly. This festival occurs annually, like the
Grecian days for bathing the statues of Minerva.

The young men were clad in their long silk patsoes girded up over their
tattoo-imitation pantaloons, or thrown gracefully over the shoulder,
while their long hair, black and glossy, was neatly braided with white
muslin fillets so as to pass for the eagle-plumed bonnet, and with their
scarlet sandals, they seemed to look upon themselves as perfectly
irresistible.

Each carried two small jars of clear water nicely covered with fresh
plantain leaves, on which lay a small silver goblet. A curious sight it
was to see the whole city, men, women, and children, doing battle with
the fierce ardor of Trojans, and all with the same dashing weapon--cold
water. The young women, I believe, had come off conquerors, and taken the
young men prisoners, who were compelled into the service of the gods; and
while they carried water, the maidens bore a web of sacred cloth,
extending a quarter of a mile in length, like a line of golden cloud.
They were going to drape the large pagoda, or give Payah Pu a new turban.

At night the whole city was magnificently illuminated. The great Pagoda
was encircled with rings of little festal lamps from the base almost to
the summit. Mount Rama was covered with colonnades of lights, every
street bordered with flame, and illuminated arches rose before every
door--for the same reason that the ancient Britons made bonfires on New
Year's Day, to drive away evil spirits, as the Jews, Sabians, Vestals of
Rome, and other nations have done.

These decorations continue fifteen days; but the grandest illumination
follows the regattas in October, after the ninety days' Lent. Then, soon
after sunset, cannons fire, serpents run through the air, coloured
lanterns are wafted overhead, while innumerable tongues of flame are
floated on bits of plantain stems down the rivers, quite covering their
surface from China to the Indian Ocean, offerings to Shen Oboogoke, the
Neptune of Burmah. It is doubtful if the old god received any grander
honours from classic Athenians than the Talaings and Burmans give him
here on their illuminated rivers.

Sometimes there comes sailing down a little pagoda fancifully lit up,
constructed of delicate wicker-work; and once I saw passing, on the
Sittang river, a sitting Gaudama, braided in the same manner, like the
old wicker deities of the Druids, of life size or larger, with a
beautiful tiara imitative of coloured gems, and holding in his hand a
wicker rice-pot, which shone in the dimness like a great bowl of gold.

Shen Oboogoke is said to dwell in a leaden palace under the sea. He
receives special homage from the Burmese and Talaings; and their sailors,
when embarking on a voyage, offer him a turtle. So, one season in a time
of drought in Tavoy, he was honoured with a fountain and a pair of leaden
fishes, at the side of the court-house, where the people poured water
daily, and offered prayers for rain, sending up showers of cotton flakes.

This grand water-festival is closed with entertainments and music, when
the wild, varied harmony of their numerous instruments is blended with
the crying, thrilling kyzoup, with the glee-maidens clapping their
castanets; the screaming of the minstrels, the shrieking of the trumpets,
and the pounding of the drums, all mingled in one tremendous detonation.

The Burmese call music the language of the gods, but from the bubbling,
shrieking, crashing sounds of their festivals, one would suppose it must
be the language of the Dii Inferni; yet there are passages in their
softer airs melodious, pathetic, and subduing.

The Burmah maidens were certainly attractive on this festival day,
flitting amid festooned arches. Their graceful forms were set off by
yellow silk robes of circling stripes, with crimson cinctures and black
lace jackets fitting close to the bust, with rose satin scarves, and
exquisitely-wrought gold chains; just such, according to antiquarians, as
were once worn by the honourable women of the British Isles in the days
of the Druids. They also wore gold ear knobs, bracelets, and bangles,
brocaded sandals, and their coal-black hair wreathed with golden champac,
rose-buds, or the delicate mimusops. Altogether they presented a most
picturesque _tableau vivant_. Many had made free use of cosmetics, and
were chalk-white; others would rival the purest bronze antiques, while in
the fine chiseling of their features some of them would lose little
beside the classic models of Greece.

It was in passing down from Mount Rama that I met a coffin--a very
little coffin--followed by a Christian mother. Beyond were a group of
heathen women also burying an infant. I could but contrast the emotions
of the two mothers, the one believing her little one for ever wandering
in unrest, lost in dismal swamps, tired and hungry, while the Christian
mother could look up to the pure blue sky. I could but ask, Who hath made
them to differ? But thought followed the little spirits upward, until
there fell these low, tremulous murmurings from the Infant Paradise. It
was long before I could catch the song, for it came only in snatches of
the faintest trillings upon the air.

AN INFANT TO ITS CHRISTIAN MOTHER AFTER
ITS FIRST DAY IN HEAVEN.

What beautiful music is waving along!
It trances my senses, it bathes me in song;
Now around me, now o'er me, again and again,
Does its low rolling cadence steal over the plain.

Is this the sweet tuning of seraphs who sing
While crowns are fast shower'd at the feet of their King?
Is this, mother, that heaven afar in the skies,
Where so oftentimes turn'd were your sweet, loving eyes?

Yes, yes, this is heaven I've enter'd to-day,
For the angels are singing wherever I stray;
It was only this morning I found I had wings,
Yet I've seen, oh I've seen, ma, such wonderful things!

My soul, when unfetter'd from that little clay
That now you are laying so gently away,
Oh, how it expanded! what speech too I knew
As with gladness and wonder far upward I flew!

Yes! long before reaching the deep azure sky,
A convoy of spirits appear'd from on high;
And "Hail, little brother!" cried one very bright,
As, embracing, he veil'd me in robes of pure white.

'Twas Calla, dear Calla, 'mid that smiling band,
With a wreath on his brow, and a harp in his hand;
Oh, that you, mother dear, could have seen his bright eyes
Look down on me so loving, like stars in the skies!

Quick speeding me onward, said he, "Come, behold,
High floating in blue, the great City of Gold,
With its walls of pure jasper, and all precious stones,
That around it lie blazing in radiant zones.

"And a throne of pure sapphire, on which sits above
The adorable Saviour, all shining in love;
Yet with manner more regal than mightiest king,
And oh, how the rainbows around Him do spring!"

Then open'd the portals, and up to the throne
The good angels bare me--I was not alone--
And He spake to me kindly, and welcomed me home,
Saying, "Yes, little spirit, yes, yes, you may come."

Now peal'd from the harpers a triumphing strain,
"All worthy the Lamb who for sinners was slain!"
And now it rose softly from newly-born powers,
On a mount ever blooming, o'erwoven with flowers.

O sweet, they have told me, earth's murmuring shades,
And pure the still waters that silver its glades;
Yet sweeter, far sweeter, these blest spirits say,
Are the zephyrs and streamlets here warbling away.

But hark! mother, heard you the little ones' feet?
'Tis the Saviour! the Saviour! they're running to meet;
I'll go, then, and wait for you, sweet mother dear!
And you'll come very quick, we're so happy up here!



CHAPTER III. - THE DONG YAHN CONQUERORS. MY HUSBAND'S PEOPLE.


Looking from Mount Rama toward the north, we see shooting up a limestone
peak, called by the English the Duke of York's Nose. I don't know how it
came by this strange title, but the Talaings have not given it a better.
They named it Zwagabang--the Boat Mooring, and tell tales of a time
when the waters came up over that peak; that there was just one boat seen
on the waters, and when they began to go down, the sailors tied it up
there to this great nose.

This mountain is in Dong Yahn, on the Salwen river, twenty-five miles
north of Maulmain, a place which became our home for four years. The
country round is the Canaan of Pegu, one of the richest rice-growing
valleys in Burmah, full of fruit-trees, encircled by charming hills, and
covering a large extent of territory.

It was under the high rock-fortress of Dong Yahn that I took a sketch of
Guapung, a noble Karen woman, a descendant of one of the Pwo princes who
had invaded this region; she had an interesting niece, who bore, however,
the frightful name "Halter." Halter's mother was taken captive by the
Siamese in a skirmish which took place, about the year 1811, between them
and the people of Khan Koming, when the enemy carried nearly all into
captivity. Her mother was corded by the neck to another woman, as all the
rest were, two and two; their hands bound behind them, and the poor
prisoners goaded on without mercy. Seeing that this woman could not
possibly proceed, they left her upon the road, where, a few minutes
after, the infant Halter was born, and so named to commemorate the
dreadful scene. The little brother, an only son, the mother beheld
pricked on by the robbers, the poor little fellow frantic with grief and
terror. She never saw him again. Indeed, there was no end to the
sufferings of these poor Karens, who were always hunted by the Burmese,
Talaings, and Siamese, until the English, whom they call the "Sons of
God," gave them peace and protection.

There is a stirring tale connected with this wild home of ours in the
wilderness.

One day Guapung was in a shanty by the Salwen river, when she saw a
"Flying Ship" come up the river. It was about the year 1827. She ran down
to see the "Flying Ship," when a tall, handsome, white foreigner stepped
on shore, and, coming right up to her, extended his hand, asking in
Burmese if she was well.

"Ma, th'kyen--well, my lord,"--she replied with native grace. The
stranger had only time to ask after her business, and say, "Go in peace,"
when he returned to the Flying Ship, and she stood gazing after him in
mute amazement.

Soon her brothers came, and she said:--

"I've seen one of the sons of God!"

"Did he speak?"

"Yes, and he gave me his hand."

"Did you take the hand of a foreigner?"

"Yes, for he looked like an _Aing_" (angel).

"Would 'Worship-Face' had been here with his golden arrow!"

"Nay, but I'm not ashamed," insisted Guapung--"Aunt or Lady Pung." The
name indicates a notable housewife, as she was, and so were all her
daughters after her.

The brothers took her home to A Wah--"White Patriarch"--the highest
chief or king of Dong Yahn. He was a heathen, and though he adored his
beautiful Guapung, his jealousy was aroused, and he beat her, as he often
did in a fit of drunkenness. That night she was called to attend the
ceremony of the "Dead Bone burial."

"No," said this modern Semiramis--for she was so, indeed, in majestic
beauty, with the finest brow and richest eyes ever created--"no, ever
since I was a child I have served Satan and Shen Gaudama, yet they have
never stopped my husband from beating me once. This white man spoke to me
kindly, and gave me his hand. His God must be _The God_. Hereafter I
worship Him."

True to her purpose, she began that very night to pray to the Unknown God
of the white foreigner, and this was her prayer:--

"Great Aing! Mighty Judge, Father God, Lord God, Uncle or Honourable God,
the Righteous One! In the heavens, in the earth, in the mountains, in the
seas, in the north, in the south, in the east, in the west, pity me I
pray! Show me thy glory, that I may know thee who thou art!"

This prayer, she told me, she prayed for several years, I think five
years, never once again making offerings to idols or demons. After a long
time, another white teacher visited her village, when she ran and sat
down at his feet for nine days. Then a white woman appeared, that
indefatigable American, Phoebe, Eleanor Macomber, whom Guapung hailed as
almost divine, and escorted her home, as, she said, "their goddess, right
from the heavens, come to deliver the women of Dong Yahn from their
oppressive masters;" and indeed she did, under God, for the arrack pots
were soon cast out, and the men, from being a whole village of
bacchanalians, became a sober, God-fearing people.

Guapung, with Miss Macomber, was the means of raising up in Dong Yahn a
flourishing Christian church, that became the parent of two other Pwo
churches which Mr. Bullard organized in that province. All this was the
result of a little human sympathy towards woman. Guapung felt that, in
her land, woman was regarded as a slave, fit only to bear burdens, and
never walk beside her husband or brothers; and this was why the simple
act of giving the hand left such an indelible impression. Verily, this
was Dr. Judson's Great Sermon, for it was he who gave the hand; and if
his ransomed soul could now speak down from the spirit land, would he not
say to his brethren, "_Pity Heathen Women?_"

This Christian body in Dong Yahn was the first to build its own chapel,
which was once or twice burned by the heathen. It was the first to
support its own pastor, to send forth a Missionary, and the first to
sustain a schoolmistress; indeed, the only district school reported in
the Maulmain province for 1860 has been sustained all these years through
the perseverance of Guapung. This remarkable woman, more than any other
person, brought about my husband's plan.

It was the Rev. Edwin Bullard, then in charge of the Pwo Karen department
of the Maulmain Mission, under the American Baptist Missionary
Convention, who first introduced and established a self-sustaining
Ministry among the Karens of Burmah, a plan which has already saved the
Missionary Union more than a hundred thousand dollars.

The recommendation to support their own preachers was met by a shower of
indignant reproaches, for at that time all pastors and preachers were
being regularly paid by the mission,--in Maulmain, seven rupees the
month; in Arracan, Rangoon, and Bassein, the same or more; and in Tavoy
four, the lowest of all.

I well recollect the morning when this subject came up. Mr. Bullard had
been preaching in Karen a very searching sermon on the subject of
presenting their bodies a living sacrifice. The next morning good old
Mong Chung came in, saying he could not sleep; he had thought all night
about the sacrifice. We suggested to him that when the churches should
come to understand that Scripture, they would no longer ask American
Christians to support their pastors; they would do as Christians did in
other lands, support their own.

"Teacher," he said, with a look of extreme mortification, "Teacher, this
would ruin the cause in Dong Yahn. The heathen would reproach, and ask if
we didn't beg just like their priests. Teacher, would you make us
Poongyees?"

It was a painful task to convince the old man that it would be right even
to ask the Christians to support their own preachers. He was deeply
grieved, and I am sure we sat there full two hours arguing the point, Mr.
Bullard pointing out Scripture which favoured it, he reading it in
Burmese and trying to turn it differently. At last the old patriarch
seemed to get some idea of the history of the Church, and the sacrifices
of Christians in America and England. He shut up the book, rose very
solemnly, as if full of a mighty determination, and went out. The next
day he and Guapung were all over the village, teaching the people their
duty concerning a self-supporting ministry. It was decided to attempt it
in Dong Yahn, and that church has ever since supported its own pastor,
which is now the general practice among the Karens of Burmah. My dear
husband lived only three years on heathen ground, but if he had
accomplished nothing more than this one thing, this alone was enough to
compensate for all expense of going, and acquiring the language. I will
describe some of the scenery amid which we then dwelt.

One morning we had reached the shore of a small still lake at the base of
a limestone cliff which loomed up perpendicularly several hundred feet.
Here an old ferryman took us into a skiff, and we glided over to an
aperture low and narrow, in the base of a mountain opposite. On we went
right through the mountain, when there opened out a large rotunda with
deep green waters lying still as the Sea of Sodom. Everywhere, above,
before, behind, the huge black masses of rock rose up in misty, grim,
colossal forms, just visible by the few streaks of light shooting in from
the distant orifice. Just as we reached the middle in awed silence, my
consamer or cook became restless, and nearly overturned us.

"I'll hurl him over, Miger!"--indeed! shouted our old ferryman, leaping
up, and darting a stick of sugarcane at the fellow's head.

"Hurl him over, Miger!" thundered the Genii of the cavern, as if close
upon us, all around and underneath.

"Hurl him over, Miger!" eagerly answered all the powers above, and it
seemed as if they were responded to by ten thousand behind, and those by
ten thousand more, until the whole cavern bellowed it out there in the
darkness like charging artillery.

"They'll swallow him up," said the steersman, with a wicked laugh.
"Swallow him up--hi--hi--hi!" gurgled up ten thousand hoarse voices
from the regions below. "Swal--swal--low! hi--hi--hi!" laughed
out all the furies in their upper halls. The poor Malabar, half dead with
fright, cowered down flat on the bottom of the boat, and we paddled on in
impatient silence, not daring to arouse the threatening Genii again. The
angry Gin abated somewhat their wrath, but still kept on grumbling, and
even when we had emerged from their haunted precincts, we still heard
them growling after us, "S-w-a-l-l-o-w," and laughing with a malicious
glee in their dark abodes. Very glad was I to return once more to the
light of day.

Next we glided round to a cave temple, over slippery heights and dismal
hollows, with torches and ladders. On, on, on! the dark recesses
resounding with ten thousand bats rushing, chasing, soaring, chattering,
until we come to a halt, in a grand, pantheon-like chamber, with an
arched, columnless portico, sixty feet in height. Here a curious,
throne-like stalagmite shoots up fifteen or twenty feet, quite in the
centre, with natural steps leading up to the top, as pulpit-like as
possible. The audience, too, are provided with semi-circular seats, one
above the other, and the rotunda lighted by an aperture right over the
pulpit or throne-seat, while the roof is jewelled with pendant
stalactites, some of them clear as crystal. The Talaings say Gaudama
preached here, and consecrated the temple from this quaint, self-made
pulpit. At any rate, it has been consecrated to GOD, for, at the request
of the Karens, we called them to prayer there, and taking the seats the
grotto-Builder had made for them, the whole cavern resounded with a hymn
of praise to the Deity. This was in December, 1844. After singing, Kowong
and Halter spread us a pic-nic in an enchanting little oriel under the
portico, overhung with the greenest ferns and the sweetest air plants.
Here the consamer fried us little fishes from the lake at our feet,
roasted us rice in a bamboo joint, and spread tea on wild palm leaves.
The Karens had their repast of sour leaves, red ant nests, and bamboo
shoots, while Guapung amused us with tales of the Genii inhabitants of
this cavern.

Amongst the Karens there are four regular orders of ghosts--the
Tarataka, Taprai, Jah, and La. The first is a terribly malignant genus,
the spirits of bad rulers, false prophets, and such like. The grasp of
this demon is certain death, from which no mortal can deliver. This is
the spirit which the Hindus think lives in the tiger, in the lightning,
storm, &c.; the Dearga of the Gaels. The dress of the Tarataka is also
green, like that of the old Dearga of Ben Ledi. The names, too, seem to
be the same.

Next to this invisible they fear the Jah, which means the same and is the
same word as the Saxon Gast, English Ghost. These are the restless
spirits of drowned persons, infants, and all who have perished from
contagious diseases. The Jahs live in the caverns, and, like gnomes,
under the caverns. They have been denied the rites of burial,
consequently each

"Flits to some far uncomfortable coast,
A naked, wandering, melancholy ghost."

They are heard, too, in the forest,

"Faint, like broken spirits crying."

"Hark! don't you hear it?" asked Halter, and that moment the gigantic
bamboos bowed their tall, hairy heads, and wailed out the most ghost-like
tones that ever came from forestry. The moan of the bamboo is more
mournful than anything heard in Burmah, except the wailing casuarinas
upon the sea-shore, and they would almost make one believe they were
indeed haunted by spirits.

The Taprai is a spirit, as tall, said Halter, looking up, "as the
teak-tree." It is seen stretching out its long arms to clasp the belated
traveller.

"But did you ever see a La?" I asked Halter's mother.

"Oh yes, mama, once when going home from this very cave."

Every Karen has his La, and so with all animated nature. Some call it a
So, which, with La, makes soul. It has a little throne in the crown of
the head, as the Greeks thought. This is man's tutelar divinity, the
same, it would seem, as the Highland Scots had, for they believed the
shadow to be a sort of Banshi, or guardian, and the Karens call the
shadow by the same name La, or the light of the body.

Sometimes the La goes wandering about, and gets caught in a thorn bush.
Then a great seven-headed demon enters into the person, perhaps the same
as the "Seven other Spirits" mentioned in Scripture. The Karens tell of
one being whom they call Paba. It seems to be Ceres. They make offerings
to this goddess, and build her a lilliputian house in their rice fields,
in which they put two cords for her to tie up the straying La, if she
catches them. In sickness the Karen soul has either been tied up, or has
gone on a visitation, so they try to call it back. They deposit an
offering in the jungle for the truant soul, and knock upon their
house-doors to beseech it to return.

With the Burmese the spirit at death flies away in the form of a
butterfly, just as the Greeks believed.

With the Karens it forms a globule of life, and after a time bursts, when
the ethereal vapour (or gas, of course, attendant upon the decomposition
of bodies) falls upon the opening flowers, thereby imparting to them the
principle of life. Then whatever devours the flower imbibes the soul.

It was Guapung who attempted to teach the women of these Golden Waters
_to make children good_. For three months, one season, I accompanied her
over the plains of Dong Yahn, mostly for this purpose. So much cruelty to
children we saw, that my whole soul was stirred. Often my little boy has
felt unable to remain in the house, but has sometimes demanded the ratan,
and taken it from them. I recollect going to one mother, after enduring
the scene long enough to have punished a dozen Five Points children, and
found she had a bundle of ratans beside her, which she was still using
upon the naked body of her own little girl six years old! I never was so
strongly tempted to use one myself. The poor child was covered with wales
and cuts. I saw a mother, in a fit of weariness, fling her nursing babe
from her bosom out upon the bamboo floor, and that mother a chief's wife,
and among the best of them too. The little one died, I think, the next
day, and I dressed it in flowers for the grave with my own hands, for the
father was an excellent Christian man, and was inconsolable. This woman
was not naturally cruel, nor are the women generally, except when passion
rules.

Guapung had great power with these Dong Yahn women. Indeed, she had with
every one, for she was one who lived on the Word of God, and seemed to
catch the tones of the "Better Land." Sometimes our way lay over
Swiss-like bridges of slender bamboos or single logs, then over the
prairies, where I could never have endured the heat, but for a turban
dipped in cold water. Once we were lost upon the prairies, and followed a
lone taper for three hours. We got into a wide morass, Mr. Bullard,
myself, and babe, and all our party. Darkness came on, and no one could
tell which was the way out. It is a dreadful thing--did you ever know
it, friend?--to be out in a prairie marsh in the black night, with only
a few glimmering torches, sinking deeper and deeper at every step,
turning and turning, and finding no solid foot of ground. I think the
feeling that comes over one is about as horrifying as anything I ever
experienced. For a long time we followed the wicked ignis fatui, but
finally emerged from the fathomless bogs, and reached our home.

At another time our boatmen, who were strangers among the creeks, lost
their way, and insisted on remaining out over night. The next day was the
Sabbath, and we were going to meet the women of Dong Yahn. We had made no
preparation for the damps of night, expecting to reach the village before
dark; but there was not any alternative; my babe had to be wrapped in
whatever could be found, and put to sleep on sweetened water, while I
stood all night upon deck to point out the landmarks. Many a night,
indeed, during these wanderings, I was compelled to lay my little girl to
sleep on rice water, and hear her moan out in her unrest, "Ma, mic, mic."
It almost broke my heart, but not a drop could be obtained at any price.
After the first year we learned to supply our boat with a goat, and
little Rasa had the pretty creature all to herself; but for years after
she would grasp her cup of milk, and sip it for hours, holding it with
all her strength, as if she remembered--little thing--the sufferings
of those dreadful nights.

Indeed, these labours were not prosecuted without severe pain, weariness,
and suffering, even to Guapung, as well as to ourselves. There was one
season when I could obtain no vegetables of any kind whatever for six
weeks. The work was too urgent to be left. Mr. Bullard had just called
out a company of lay converts, and was traversing all the plains,
preaching to the heathen, while Guapung and I were talking to the women
from six o'clock in the morning till ten in the evening, in the bungalow,
for they thronged us continually, so that, although I remained with them
four months at a time, I never could command time to touch a needle, or
take up an English book; and several times returned to the city, so
utterly exhausted, that the boatmen were obliged to carry me from the
landing to the house.

But then all weariness and pain were forgotten on seeing those poor
mothers seeking so earnestly for light.

"My husband loves me now."

"My boys bring me fire-wood now."

"My little girl don't run away now."

"There," exclaims a fourth, "you see that boy? He was the worst child in
the world: he would hold his breath till almost dead, and all my beatings
did no good. Now see, I haven't struck him for a week, and he's just as
good as _chepoke_" (sugar cane).

Then others were thronging round, anxious to learn how to make home
happy. One day a woman in great distress came some five miles to Guapung
for a charm to cure her husband from running away. Guapung sat down,
listened to her sad tale, then said,--"Yes, sister, I have a charm,"
and repeated to her the story of Christ, of His forbearance, His
humility, and His love for His enemies.

"Now go," says Guapung, "and ask your husband home, and then don't scold
him again, and see if he don't love you."

About three weeks after, a man came over from that woman's village to see
"Guapung, the big teacheress, who had the charm;" for he understood that
Jesus Christ's religion did not allow women to scold their husbands! The
unhappy woman, he said, was living quietly with her husband, and the men
of the village were all anxious to have their wives join the Christians.

"Ah," said Guapung to me that night, "if Jesus Christ's women only make
home happy, the men won't oppose them."

Was she not right? Yet how sadly has this truth been forgotten!

Yes! if preachers and teachers are only sent to _men_, and _women_ are
left idolators, scolds, and gamblers, how slowly the work moves on!

In this department of mission labour, woman has yet a great work to
do--woman in Christian lands and in pagan lands. Let our brothers marshal
their forces of preachers and books, but we will be the coral-workers,
out of sight, under ground. Mark that assembly of cultivated men and
women under the impassioned eloquence of some master spirit. What
sympathy will be elicited, what indignation, what determination, when the
voice rises and falls! Even so have I seen it in the Mother's Meetings at
Dong Yahn, under the inspiring lessons of the Bible. Yes, the Missionary
woman who has the native language, and the confidence of the people,
wields a wand as magical as the orator of London or New York; so does the
Bible woman of Christian lands. Nay, still mightier, for her instructions
are not for the whirling, changing mass. She goes behind, and tones the
secret springs that move the mass. It is no light thing, Christian
sister, this lofty privilege, either in Heathen or Christian lands, to
move the heart wheel that is to roll and roll, and send out links
doubling through eternity.

There was a lady, the editress of the "Mother's Journal," in New York,
who often sent these Dong Yahn mothers a few sweet crumbs of strength and
comfort.

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

But oh, it is dark--dark--dark! What is that gloomy cavalcade? Ah, do
not ask--do not ask--silently--silently we wind along. Oh, who--who
can pity but God? Who but the Almighty give strength? Why does the
rain pelt so? Oh God, the grave is full of water! Will they put him
there?--the loved, the husband, the father, the heathen's friend! I
cannot see--I cannot see!

Alone!--what a crushing burden is on the air, floating over the pillow,
pressing upon the eyelids, and sinking upon the heart like the sound of
the first turf upon that coffin lid,--on awakening after an hour of
feverish sleep, in the arms of dear Mrs. Stevens. That moment my little
boy of six months nestled closer to my bosom, looking up so pityingly. It
was his father's blue eye--a tear gathered under the silken lashes. I
knew it--accepted it--his father's glance of sympathy--and it
nerved the heart and hand for future struggles.

"Are we not to be like the angels?" And are there not "ministering
spirits sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
Did not Jacob see the angels ascending and descending? Do not "their
angels behold every day the face of my Father?" and did not the angel
father inspire his darling girl, then four years old, when she planted
her tiny foot firm beside me, and, with a faltering voice, yet with the
determination of age, said, "Don't cry, mamma, don't cry. I'll be your
comforter!" wiping off my tears with her infant hand? Never shall I
forget that voice--that glowing eye that spoke so thrillingly of peace.
It was the father's great heart coming back through his little one.
Blessed child! They _were_ inspired words--faithfully kept, thank
Heaven.

Nobly my dear husband strove, nobly he died. May the father's mantle fall
upon his boy!

Dong Yahn was the centre of Mr. Bullard's field of enterprise--our
loved Jungle Home--where he laboured with an inspiration that inspired
all Dong Yahn, and linked many a Karen heart to his for eternity.

Although my dear husband compressed the labours of a long life into three
brief years in India, yet his ministry had been twenty-two years; for he
was but twelve years old when a deacon of the Rutland church in Vermont
sent for him twelve miles to come and preach in his own house, and he
ever after bore the title in his childhood of "the beloved little John,"
for his peacemaking gifts at school, gifts for which he was remarkable
through life. He was always studious, and indefatigable in overcoming
difficulties. He mastered the Pwo Karen language within a year; preached
in it a thousand sermons, baptized thirty-eight Pwo Karens, taught nearly
a year his Theological Class with great devotion, organized two churches,
gave them their first discipline in their own language; left them a rich
legacy in a Karen Missionary Sermon, and translated for them the Gospel
of Matthew, with Explanations; besides ministering to them, from door to
door, nearly all over the Pwo Karen territory of the Maulmain Province.

He carried up to his Master a crown of a hundred stars, his own dear
converts, baptized by himself. He was ordained three years before going
to Burmah, and two precious revivals followed his preaching in
Massachusetts; and how many converts he found above, or meets coming up
there now, no one here may tell.

He was, too, the tenderest of husbands--the fondest of fathers.

The following lines were written on leaving this our first home in the
wilderness:--

FAREWELL TO DONG YAHN.
Kind forest-child, away, away!
Oh urge me not, I may not stay;
But on your breast this tear-drop lay.
While now, with heart all torn, I say,
    Farewell, Dong Yahn!

Farewell, high rocks, and caverns gray!
Farewell, sweet flowers that smile so gay!
Farewell, my birds in bright silk clad,
Ye who have sung my lone heart glad,
    In sweet Dong Yahn!

And must I leave that Inga grove,
That bower of prayer we loved to rove?
Ah, yes, sweet bowers, your drooping flowers
Sigh with me now o'er by-gone hours,
    In bright Dong Yahn.

Leave, too, that stream, that blessed stream,
O'er which a star now seems to beam,
Where ransom'd souls have lowly bow'd,
And, strong in God, have firmly vow'd
    To save Dong Yahn.

How oft on this secluded plain
We've smiled and wept o'er joy and pain!
How often angels hover'd near.
Over the penitential tear,
    Here in Dong Yahn!

And can I leave that temple there,
Where once your _Teacher_ knelt in prayer,--
That Teacher who, with pitying eye,
Would ever soothe the mourner's cry,
    In our Dong Yahn?

And, more than all, my pupils kind,
Round whom the cords of love are twined,
Must I, then, never, never see
Those eyes that beam so tenderly
    In my Dong Yahn?

Entreat not, child, with that sad tear!
It pains my very soul to hear;
Oh look not up so grieved and pleading,
For my crush'd heart is also bleeding
    O'er lone Dong Yahn.

Dear ones, farewell! I go, I go!
Though sorrows brim and overflow;
God comfort thee in all thy woe,
And span thy hills with heaven's bow,
    My loved Dong Yahn!

After many months of grief, which I trust was sanctified, I turned to the
Indo-Britons, a large and sadly neglected class in Maulmain.

A very pretty, intelligent Anglo-Indian young woman became my Bible
Reader. Her name was Jessie. She visited more than a hundred and fifty
Burmese women with me, besides many of her own people. Jessie had known
sorrow, and was therefore fitted for the work. No person whose heart has
not been bowed by grief is prepared for it. Lessons in sorrow are just as
necessary to the Bible reader in heathen lands, and in Christian lands
too, as discipline in language or arithmetic.

"Miss Jessie, have you brought your Jesus Book today?"

"Yes, Rabbi."

"Well, read, Miss, read. Don't speak. I'm sick, read."

It was Mr.----, of Maulmain, who thus spoke. He was a Hebrew. Jessie
understood the tone. She was much surprised at the command, for he had
always forbade her opening her New Testament; but she obeyed at once,
asking no questions. Slowly, distinctly, she read on, the fifth chapter
of Matthew, then the story of Nicodemus, then of the young lawyer, then
the parable of the sower, the husbandman, and much more. The Hebrew had
turned his face to the wall, and uttered not a word. His wife sat by and
listened, swinging her infant. She, too, so silent, they could hear every
drop of the pattering rain. Finally, Jessie closed her Jesus Book,
pressed the sweet Jewess's hand, and went out.

It was soon after that I left Maulmain, and heard no more from my Hebrew
friends. Jessie married, and we both had new cares.

It was in 1860, on my way to the States, that I again met Mr.---- in the
steamer _Burmah_. He had with him his wife, a son and daughter, and a
friend with servants. He was going up to Calcutta to take a wife for his
son--the babe the Jewess was tending when Jessie was there. They were
very happy, for the alliance was to be with a powerful family, one that
had worked itself up as I suppose as they had done.

The Jews are the Yankees of the East, always managing to make their way
upward if it is only one step a month, and they do it in the same manner
as the "Song of the Shirt"--by work, work, work, morning, noon, and
night--and by watching men's eyes.

When I first knew Mr.---- he was a poor man, just beginning as a small
shop-keeper in Maulmain. Abraham, Isaac, and all the patriarchs had
re-appeared in the bazaar there, and it was amusing to hear them: if you
inquired of Mr.---- for an article not in his shop, he would go through
all the bazaar calling up Samuels, Moshas, Daniels, and Davids, till you
would begin to ask if his mother lived in Endor. But it did not matter
what you thought; he would be sure to bring you the article desired,
whether satins, nails, or pickles.

Now, Mr.---- was said to be worth twenty lacs of rupees, or about ten
hundred thousand dollars.

The son was dressed on this wedding tour in blue sill: pantaloons, with
the finest linen--a long tunic of the richest blue silk brocade over a
white linen robe, and a Fez cap with a rich heavy crimson tassel. He had
a costly ruby upon his finger, but no other jewelry.

The sister was beautiful. Her dress generally was of silks, cut very much
in the style of our present dresses. She wore no veil, but a delicate
mantle of exquisite gauze, thrown gracefully over the head, and around
the waist a chain of gold, with a heavy talisman or scroll of gold. She
wore rich bracelets, and a Burman necklace of gold threads, with diamond
earrings and rings. The Jewessess in Burmah do not veil themselves within
doors any more than Sarai did, but I have met them returning from the
synagogue veiled in Persian style, showing only their fine large black
eyes.

The Hebrews of Maulmain are very light, almost white, indeed. They have
not the transparent rose and white of Erin and the Norseland, but they
are white Asiatics. They are cultivated people, well read, and very
polite, except that--and his lovely family would not eat with us
Gentiles. They kept their own cook, and had their meals served by
themselves on solid silver.

Mr.---- was a fine singer, and I wanted him to sing me a Hebrew Psalm,
but he did not like to do it there. This led to a long talk about the
Scripture prophecies. He seemed unwilling to hear them, but digressed
continually to the genealogies and histories of the Israelites. He could
silence me very quickly in the genealogical line, for it is as much as I
can do to remember who my grandfather was. I had to give up that. I could
trace Abraham's only to Terah the Gentile. He did not like to touch on
the hundred and tenth Psalm, but could chant the whole of the hundred and
fifth. Finally, after indulging him and all his companions in a
victorious laugh over my obstinate ignorance of the Chronicles, I
succeeded in getting him to read attentively the twenty-ninth and
fifty-third chapters of Isaiah, when a pious, intelligent officer joined
us, and I left them. The discussion was prolonged until a very late hour,
and after all others had retired, I saw--standing with his friend Mr.
Cohen, apparently preaching to him Jesus, the Holy One of Israel, while
Mr. Cohen's excited tone, eye, and manner, expressed all the scorn of the
Pharisee. They were speaking in Arabic, but I could distinctly hear--saying
the "Mesheah," the "Mesheah," and pointing him to Isaiah. It was a
moment of the deepest interest to me; and the officer told me that
Mr. ---- did acknowledge to him alone that he had a New Testament in his
own house, and had read it twice through; moreover, that he did sometimes
doubt, and scarcely knew what to believe about their long-expected
Messiah. But he added, "Suppose we believe this Book. What can we do? We
are dependent upon our business. If we confess Jesus to be the Christ, we
shall surely be cast out of the Synagogue, and then not a Jew will do
business with us."

Do people think what it was, and what it is now, to be put out of the
synagogue?

As I looked on my friend, in the saloon of the "Burmah," thought
went back to Jessie and my Eurasian friends in Maulmain. One eye after
another rose around the cabin, beaming with hope, love, and high resolve,
till I laid my head down and wept for Jessie and my old Sunday-school.
The pupils and teachers of this school were very dear to me, and Jessie
was my principal helper. Thrilling scenes and discoveries did we make in
our visitings among the Eurasian children and their heathen mothers in
Maulmain.

One Burman woman insisted that she was married, that the white man ate
pickled tea with her, which is the same as joining hands in English; but
a third, the mother of three little children, looked up and said, "My
mother sold me when thirteen years old. The father of my babes will never
marry me; I am not his colour. I dare not ask it. He never promised it.
What can I do? If I leave him, my children die. Lady," and the big tears
stood in that heathen woman's eye, "Lady, it was a Christian who bought
me: will not the Christian's God pity me?"

At another place we found a woman sitting upon the grass beating her
bosom, and moaning most piteously. Her curly-headed, blue eyed boy had
been taken from her--stolen from her in the night--and sent across
the ocean for an English education. She would never see him again, or if
she did, only to be cursed by him. She was a maniac.

I was told of another poor creature, who went tearing her hair, rushing
wildly up and down the streets calling for her two little girls. Their
father had taken an English wife, a perfect stranger to the children and
to their mother; a dashing, working woman, just come out from Scotland.
She would want help, so, to save other expense, the two sisters were
taken by force from their mother, who idolized them, and put under this
hard foreigner, with a father who only cared for gold. This was my Jessie
and her little sister. Their poor mother, I think, never saw them again,
and their sad story is too harrowing to relate. Many of these children
inherit their father's high spirit, scorn their Burman relations, and are
equally scorned by them. So that the condition of this class is truly
pitiable. They need a real Yankee school in their midst--that is, one
giving them a sound English education, mentally and physically, and one
that will teach them to scorn the oriental fear of work.

When I began teaching the Karens of Dong Yahn, they refused to wash their
own clothes, but insisted on my hiring a washerman for them. I insisted
on their doing it themselves. Then they would not bring their clothes at
all; so I was obliged to go to the rooms of each pupil, for I had then
men, women, and children. Finally, it occurred to me that they held it as
degrading because _we_ hired a dhoby. So one Saturday I called all
together, placed the children to mind the fires and the well, and took
the mothers to the wash-tub; I got out _my_ children's clothes, and went
into the soap suds in earnest. "There," I said, "you see how book-women
can wash."

"Mama makes herself a _cooley_," said one of the preachers, with
unutterable scorn.

"And what, Bahme, did the Son of God make Himself?" I asked, when he
walked away. The example moved them all, and proved a decided success; so
that from that time no more washermen were called for my school, and ever
after I found they washed every week regularly in the jungles. One had
gone so far as to get a flat-iron, and even ironed her husband's jackets.

Their subsequent habits of cleanliness seemed to change them every way.
One boy who was very lazy, and who would sit down at play hours, after he
began to wash his turban, became all at once the most industrious fellow
there; he subsequently learned the printing business, and became so
efficient, he was called for everywhere. He dated his conversion from
that time; and so did a fine little girl, now a preacher's wife, as her
pastor wrote me subsequently.

Another young girl had troubled me much with her bad temper and language.
Suddenly she changed, and, from being hated by her companions, became a
favourite. One day I called her aside, and inquired how it was she had
kept from saying bad words so long. The tears started.

"Mama," she said, "when my dress was dirty, my heart was dirty. Now I
want to keep my heart clean. So when the bad words rise, I pray to God,
then shut my teeth tight, and choke them!"

Six of these young washerwomen became Bible readers and teachers; one
married the highest chief in the land, and another the head teacher in
the Theological School in Maulmain.

Another time one of the women remained out of school, because her child
cried. I called for the child, and found it all over eruption, from the
crown of its head to the soles of its feet. I ordered an ointment, and
gave her a cake of castile soap.

"Mama," she exclaimed, with all the disgust she could express, "it
smells!" And no persuasion could induce that mother to put her delicate
hands to the ointment.

"Very well," I said, "give me the poor little thing," and dashed him into
the water; then anointed the little tubercle of humanity with my own
hands. The next day he was so much better, the mother was encouraged, and
ventured to follow; and from that time her children were the most cleanly
in her village, and have risen up to honour their parents. These were
Karens, but--

"Will Mrs. Bullard please send her servant?" asked a poor Eurasian young
woman, who had applied to me for sewing. She was living with her Burman
mother alone, down among the huts. I made her up a small roll, and handed
it to her as we do at home; but she was the daughter of a baron, and a
high military officer. It would degrade her to carry that little roll of
cloth. This is orientalism, and one of the greatest hindrances to the
education of eastern nations.

"No, Julia," I answered; "I don't think I could send Sammy. He's gone to
market, and he has no one to do the work for him. But I'll take it
myself; I should like to see your mother."

Julia's eyes opened as they never did before: "Oh, no, madam;" but I took
the roll home. Julia never again asked for a servant.

Now, these Indo-Britons need to be taught after the Yankee model, to put
their hands to work, and to regard all work as honourable if honest. Then
they would rise up and become the elevators of the heathen, and the
strength of the Government.



CHAPTER IV. - BEGINNING OF THE TOUNGHOO MISSION, AND OUR JOURNEY UP THE COUNTRY.


Will you take a sail now in "the rains" down the Bay to Monmogon, on the
coast of Tavoy? It is an awful kind of beauty that nature puts on here;
but come, it is inspiring.

Wild, sublime, and lovely as ocean, sky, rock, and flower can be, is this
Monmogon, our home by the sea; especially when a storm broods over the
islands, or draws up in a line of water-spouts. At times I have seen a
long colonnade of these glorious water-columns, now and then lit up by a
crossing sunbeam into prisms of indescribable grandeur. Indeed, the lover
of marine scenery always finds Monmogon enchanting ground.

The dark graceful avenues of feathery Casuarinas, the two lonely
mountains north and south, the frontage of rocky isle and green sea, and
the knowledge that there is a village a mile behind in the mangoes, make
it all that the lover of romance can want in scenery. The orchids are
flowering in the woods, the creepers carpeting the alluvial plain, and
the darling little pink and white shells embroidering the shingly beach.
It is exciting, too, when the fisher monkeys come scampering along the
sand, digging out the shells, cracking them as boys would their nuts, and
helping themselves to breakfast. It was exciting to see our boys chasing
them, or tending their great baby monkey. One day a Burman brought them a
young white eyelid monkey, of a pretty flesh colour, that did truly look
like a little baby boy. They were glad to send it off to the woods again,
for they had another pet monkey, and the moment the pet saw them touch
the white one, it sprang at it, and would have killed it.

The boys amused themselves also by running after the sea cocoa-nut, along
the beach, and watching the cunning scarlet-coloured crabs; but one time
they came bounding into the door in breathless haste, and a few minutes
after a barking deer leaped, almost flew past, through the jungle, and
the children fully believed they could hear the hard breathing of the
tiger over the imploring eyes of the pretty deer. There were tigers all
around us we knew; for they had devoured two men in the neighbourhood
after we went there, and we sometimes heard their dismal "peo, peo,"
ranging round the mangroves.

It is in August, 1853; Mr. Mason lies on his cot in the centre of the
bungalow, too weak to speak loud, or raise his hands.

"Husband, do get well, and we'll go to Tounghoo!" I say playfully. He
looks up a moment earnestly, smiles, and drops into a calm sleep. Strange
to say, from that very hour he begins to mend.

One week passes--a light cot of bamboo, covered and enclosed with
thatch, stands at the door.

"Gently--gently--Moungyen," and they lift him in on to his little
bed. He is nicely tucked up and covered from the rain.

"Who are to carry the Sahib?"

"These, ma'am," pointing to six of the smallest men present.

"No, no, these men can take me, but the stoutest ones must be master's
bearers. Stand up together. Let's see if you are the same height."

The natives think nothing about this, and generally put tall men on one
side, and short ones on the other; then go trotting on, regardless of the
constant anxiety it gives the persons borne lest they should be tipped
out.

Turning a bend in the path, I see my little daughter swinging over a
slippery precipice, in a basket borne by two Burmans, on a bamboo. The
poor little thing is drenched with the pouring rain, for her umbrella,
like mine, had been smashed by the bearers. Beyond, on the verge of a
high perpendicular cliff, are my two little boys astride of men's
shoulders. One is on the neck of a tall, sleek Coringa, clinging with
might and main to the fellow's long black hair, which was streaming
Absalom-like, a part in the wind, and a part tangled in the jungle
branches above.

"He is a votary of Kali," I think, as my eye glances down at the rapids
beneath. But at that moment there appear half a dozen red, checked, and
white turbans from below.

"Ho, ho! Stop, stop, Moungyen!" Useless hallooing. They're too far on to
stop, and I hold my breath as they cross, for the bearers are dangling my
husband's cot right over a deep gulf as black as night, and they stand on
a single log, thrown as a bridge across the ravine.

"Now, Allay, these Burmans are not to do such a daring thing again," and
I leave my chair, and walk before to watch the road, stopping now and
then to wet my husband's lips with wine, and say a word of comfort--full
of terror, lest he should expire on the road. Nothing but a faint
hope that he might live through such a journey could have induced me to
go at such a time. But he was so nearly dying, I felt sure he could
survive but a few days if he remained. No physician near--no white
face.

On they go, tugging up the steep ascent, over toppling crags, and through
the dripping, pinched-up fissure beyond. We had crossed the submerged,
unreaped rice field, with much effort descended the steep falling bank,
and crossed the Tavoy river. A stout Burman, with only his patsoe trussed
up, caught me in his arms, and plunged at once knee deep into the mire,
and kept plunging to the top of the bank. These men have such a way of
walking, one feels quite safe; and they never dropped me, although they
have carried me many a time through swollen streams, and up steep
precipices, clenching their naked toes to the rocks like the mountain
goat.

I have crossed these mountains in painful anxiety and fear at midnight,
by torch-light, almost fleeing before my bearers, who plodded on with
their empty chair, fearing lest we should be left in utter darkness with
the tigers; but this time it was more fearful still, for the whole seemed
like a funeral march.

Nothing was heard but the roar of some hidden torrent behind a crag, the
scream of the peacock eagle as she plunged down the tiger-haunted abyss,
the surge-like sounds of the hornbills' wings soaring around the
splintered pinnacles, and the mournful requiem of the congregated wauwau
monkeys, calling and answering from mountain to mountain, or hurling
rocks right over our heads. The craggy precipices loomed up from five
hundred to fifteen hundred feet on each side the gorge, almost shutting
out the light; and not a blossom looked out to cheer us, except now and
then the blue thunbergia, which I have loved ever since; but instead of
flowers, immense creepers swung over the lonely ravines and along the
cliffs like mourning weeds draping a cathedral.

In the same manner I had carried my husband to the sea-shore nearly two
years before, and the change restored him for a time to health.

After nine miles travel in the heaviest rain, over rocks and crags,
rivers and gulfs, we are glad enough to reach Tavoy.

"Husband, dear, are you still alive?"

"Please go quickly!" I entreat of the Missionary brethren, "and see if we
can get passage to Maulmain in the steamer just ready to leave."

All shake their heads, and fingers are raised in token of warning.

"She's crazy," they say to themselves; but I put some wine to his lips
and hasten out.

In the steamer--"Captain, captain! will you take my husband? Please do;
he'll die here."

"The captain is not here, madam; can't engage."

"Oh, Sir, do take my husband. Say he may be brought."

The second officer has a human heart.

"Well, madam, I've no right. The captain may be displeased, but I'll
venture. We leave in an hour though. You can't get him here?"

"Only say the word--we'll try."

In the streets; not a bearer left; hungry and wet, all have run away to
their homes. No time to lose, I hasten over to our old Burman
bazaar-woman. By a few words and more gestures make her comprehend. Out
she goes, and in half an hour my husband's cot is alongside the steamer.
Good, kind Mr. Gray lifts him up, cot and all, on to the deck.

There I knelt beside him, telling him earnestly he would not die, for he
was called to Tounghoo, and all the time my own heart beating as if it
would burst through. Thank heaven, he lived; and on arriving in Maulmain,
the change of air, diet, and medicine set him in his chair again. We were
much indebted here to Quarter-Master Craig, an officer then in Maulmain.
This kind friend of Mr. Mason came in one day with a bottle of the best
old port wine, and a paper of charred cork. He begged my husband to try
it--a wine-glass of wine and a tea-spoonful of the cork together, three
times a-day. He did try it, and it cured him of the most obstinate
chronic illness, which had baffled the skill of all his physicians.

A week has passed--Mr. Mason is still very weak; but he calls me
beside him--

"Ellen," he says, "don't you think it may be duty for us to try and go to
Tounghoo?"

"Most certainly. Haven't a doubt of it."

"But you can't--." Before he could finish, I was gone.

In the streets of Maulmain. I call an extra servant.

"John, will you go with the Sahib to Tounghoo?"

"Oh, no, mistress. Plenty robbers. Me very 'fraid."

At last, after three days a servant is engaged. But it was nearly a week
that he and I traversed those streets, hour after hour, and day after
day, in search of a boat and men who would dare to make the perilous
attempt of going to Tounghoo. Pegu had been taken by the English, and the
country was overrun with dacoits.

Finally, on Saturday, in answer to prayer, I am sure, a few volunteers
appeared at our door. Among them a Karen boatman, a Christian, who could
speak Pwo Karen, the language I was familiar with. Mr. Mason said, "Take
him for your Tutauman, or interpreter." I did so, and wonderful indeed
has been this man's career ever since.

After a few days we are on the way for that unknown land of song, old
Tounghoo. Almost everybody then condemned the undertaking, or at least
thought it a wild scheme, and a most perilous exposure of life.

Imagine us in a small Burman boat, with a queer, hood-like cover of
thatch over the centre; a corps of six native preachers in another boat,
and rowing a few miles up the Salwen. I could not help wishing that our
way led up as far as Trockla, for I do love trees, and this is the land
of that queen of trees, the Amherstia. I have seen several in full bloom
in Maulmain, but could only talk to its native glories in imagination.

It is something like an umbrella in form, with light drooping branches of
lively green. Its blossoms are of brilliant red and yellow, which float
down more than a yard in length. Doctor Wallich first discovered it, and
named it after Lady Amherst, wife of the Governor General of India. The
tree is said to be worth fifty pounds in England.

About fifty miles north-west of Martaban Gulf, we passed in sight of a
land I had many times visited. The last time I went in search of a pupil,
whose mother had kept him away from school. The family lived quite alone
on the skirts of a forest, and we had to walk some three miles over the
paddy fields, with feet almost blistering, and fainting from the noon-day
heat. A Karen girl carried my babe, and on reaching the ladder, I saw two
women cutting up fish on the verandah. I called to them, but they gave me
no answer. I ascended, but they gave me no mat. I took a stone for a seat
with my babe, all of us utterly exhausted. Not the slightest attention
was bestowed, nor any recognition of our presence. The house was quite
full of young men and women; but one looked at the rice pot, another at
the fishing net, another at the water bucket, and another played with the
dog's tail, making him keep up a continual yelp. All seemed determined
not to know us, and kept on their loud talking and jesting, both girls
and boys.

Clack, clack, too, went the knives, and for a moment my heart sunk within
me. Never before nor since did I receive so much rudeness, or see so much
scorn in the countenances of heathen men and women.

Finally, my school girls, who had accompanied me, struck up a Karen hymn;
clearly, slowly, sweetly they sung on about the Saviour, and as their
plaintive notes floated round among the lime-trees and over the bananas,
it seemed to fall upon the boisterous company like a gentle shower on
tumultuous waves. For a moment there was a calm, and I began to explain
the words of the hymn.

Clack, clack, faster and faster went the knives. Soon another loud
contemptuous laugh.

We sung again. Another pause, and again we addressed them. So the scene
continued, until at last, when we had sung nearly through the third hymn,
they began to drop, one after another, as if mesmerized. All sat down but
one, a tall, handsome, light-coloured maiden, whose rolling eyes and
mischievous tricks greatly troubled us. She was the daughter of the
mistress of the house, one of the choppers on the verandah. Gradually,
just as we have seen the dawn opening, the surrounding eyes began to lose
their wildness, and the lips their scorn; finally, the mouths all around
began to open wider and wider, while the glance of the eyes grew sharper,
steadier, more penetrating.

Clack, clack, went the knives.

Earnestly we entreated the Great Enlightener to descend, and I do believe
He was there, wicked as the place was. Suddenly it occurred to me that I
did not hear the knives. I looked round, and there lay the two women, the
very personification of two great porpoises, stretched upon the floor
behind, their chins propped up by their hands and elbows; but their eyes
were full of tears. Yes, those savage-mannered women had human hearts.

I found my pupil hidden behind a rice basket, where the chopping women
had put him on seeing my approach. On questioning him about the Sabbath,
he said he remembered the Sabbath day.

"And how do you spend it?"

"I read this," he answered, taking out the Gospel of Matthew from under
the basket. He had paid two annas for it. After Mr. Bullard had printed
St. Matthew for the Pwos, he suggested to my school children that they
should each pay sixpence a-piece for it. Books had always been given them
before, and the idea of buying books was wholly new to them. "It hit
their minds" though, as they said, and they came forward to purchase in
great numbers, and went and covered them the first thing they did--which
I had never seen them do with any book before.

It was in 1846 that I made this trip to the Prairie women. In 1850 I went
to visit my old school. I was passing round the room, feeling mournful
that I could not recognise any old familiar faces, when suddenly a heavy
hand was laid upon my shoulder, and I confronted a large elderly woman,
who gazed into my eyes with a depth in her own I could not account for.

"Mama!" she exclaimed, "I'm not as I was! Don't you know me? I'm not as I
was;" seizing both my hands in her brawny palms, and leading, rather
hurrying, me up to a desk--"My daughter. Mama! My daughter!" Both had
been baptized.

Oh, did not the angels weep tears of joy with me that morning? Did not
their loved teacher in heaven look down with unutterable delight upon
that scene? Thanks be to God who giveth us victory--"victory through
our Lord Jesus Christ."

As I thought of these scenes in passing the prairies, my eyes peered
toward the misty north, and the veiled future; and I heard--yes, it
seemed like a voice saying, "Only believe."

Then the sun shone out brighter, the birds sang more sweetly, our boat
glided on, and we rejoiced over the coming days of Tounghoo. It seemed as
if everything else rejoiced too with us, even the water fowl on the way.

These prairies are the home of innumerable water fowl:--adjutants
nodding their floating marabout plumes among the red lilies and crimson
leaves of the nelumbiums; cormorants, teal, and thousands of snow-white
herons with black legs, mingling with the white lilies as if blossoms
themselves. In a cove here I saw a hundred pelicans netting up the fish
like skilled old fishermen. A hundred more swept through the air above,
with several magnificent cranes; and down came from a distant pinnacle
the fisher-eagle; while the wide plain was flanked with many a herd of
great black buffaloes, standing like lines of cavalry drawn up around the
horizon.

Then came the "Guiding Island" in the midst of this desert. The canal
here enters a small lake, encircled by little lights glimmering among the
morning shadows as we float under the lime-trees, reminding us of what
children sing of

"--One of those beautiful islands,
    Away in the tropical seas,
Where flow'rets blossom all winter.
    And oranges hang on the trees."

But right beside the oranges is a poor, woe-begone peasant plying his
skiff through the prairie--now up, now down, while his wife keeps two
small bamboos working on the sides. They are gathering grass seeds for
their children's breakfast. In times of famine the natives of India use
grass seeds for rice.

Afterwards Sittang bursts upon us like a fairy-land, lying in a tranquil
mirror-like semicircle, a mile or more in width. Rows of cottages and
avenues of trees on either side, with the dim battlements of the ancient
city in the distance! These make the place so lovely, and it looks so
civilized, that one doubts for a moment if the inhabitants can be
heathen.

Old Sittang was founded about six hundred years ago, by the Talaing
monarch of Pegu, about twenty miles west of this place. It was designed
by nature for a stronghold, and such it has continued to be, passing
through innumerable changes; now sacked by the Shans, then by the
Burmans, and by how many more nations I know not, but at last taken by
the English in 1824 or 1825, given up again to the Burmans, and retaken
by the British in 1852.

Modern Sittang has a very tolerable bazaar close to the river, which here
flows round a crescent-shaped precipice, rising just behind the principal
street, forming a natural rampart from one to two hundred feet high;
perpendicular, and covered with brilliant green shrubbery, it presents a
very striking and beautiful background. On this hill the English have
planted their cantonments. The place is garrisoned by a small force; the
town at present numbers only from one to two thousand inhabitants, mostly
Burmans, and I believe all are heathen.

Passing up this river the boatmen tell us many tales--among them the
following:--

While the British troops were on their march from Shwaygyn to Tounghoo, a
party of horse one day galloped off some distance from the army, and came
suddenly upon a skirmishing party of three or four hundred Burmese
soldiers, armed ready for battle. As soon as they saw the Colahs, they
all cowered down and _shekoed_, except one, who was dauntless enough to
fire a musket. He had no sooner fired, than a sepoy leaped to his side
and caught him by the hair, calling out:

"Who are you, you rascal?" Whereupon somebody who knew him muttered,
"Rajah."

"Rajah!" shouted the sepoy. "Who? Where?"

"Hoga, Rajah! Rajah!" cried the caught man, pointing fiercely to a Burman
who was galloping off at full speed.

"So, ho!" shouted the sepoy, starting with all fury after the flying
rider, when, to his great chagrin, he learned that the man he had let go
was the Rajah, the robber Governor of Martaban, and the one he was
pursuing was his servant. In the mean time, the Rajah had run for his
life.

So, you see, many scenes have been acted along these waters--many
shockingly tragic, and some tragi-comic.

"Saya, Saya!" came in subdued tones through our boat-curtains the morning
after we had slept at Sittang.

"What--what is it, Kodote?" hurriedly questions the Missionary, rousing
from his sleep, for it is scarcely dawn.

"_Thane nat! thane nat!_"

"Ha! What? Where are the guns?"

"Gone, Saya. The _demiahs_ have got them both!"

It seems incredible, for the missing muskets are both loaded, and lie on
each side of our head boatman under his curtains. But gone they are, and
thankful are we that the dacoits have not turned them upon us as we lay
helpless before them.

We have been repeatedly told that our way is infested by robbers, and
that a notorious brigand has posted his followers not far from this
place; but having an old soldier to lead us, and our boats being well
armed, we have felt comparatively safe. We now see more than ever how
weak is man, how strong is God.

Imagine one vast plain stretching to the west as far as the eye can
reach, its banks fringed with luxuriant cucubine reeds and the long
purple tassels of the saccharrine grass. Here and there, too, is a
village, and then comes a green field of waving rice instead of the
forever glaring yellow. The spirit is cheered, too, by human sounds which
tell of a heart-tie. When travelling far among deep forests and burning
plains, we forget nations, and feel so grateful to grasp any human hand
or hear any human sound; no matter what is said, even a curse would
sometimes be thankfully received from a brother man.

Our right shore contrasts finely with the left in its magnificent
precipices, which occasionally tower up all of a sudden from their level
basements, overhanging the river with great boldness and beauty. On our
right is a grand range of mountains, the same chain as seen at Martaban,
which separates the Salwen and Sittang valleys, and extends far above
Ava. And here we are at Shwaygyn, the City of Gold, one hundred and
thirty-six miles from Maulmain.

'Tis an old town, and if you wish to know how it looks, you must think of
two broad rivers meeting up here, a little way from the foot of these
great mountains. At their junction lie two precipitous ledges of rock,
like terraces, one above the other. On the highest of these hills, which
presents a broad space of table-land, the British troops are cantoned,
mostly within the old Burman stockade.

The lower terrace of Shwaygyn presents the aspect of having been in its
day one of the loveliest spots in India. The beautiful Abbey Hill here
opens over a perpendicular precipice of forty or fifty feet, on the verge
of which stands a line of fairy-like pagodas, and then a line of ancient
abbeys. In Burmah, monasteries are perched on the cliffs, like the Romish
Convents of the Levant. Below these hills are about a thousand houses,
bordering each fork for about two miles, making the city some four or
five miles long, and perhaps one mile in width. The houses are nearly all
low huts of bamboo, or teak and matting; but the monasteries are
principally of teak, strongly built, some of them richly carved, and with
roofs of five gradations in height.

Shwaygyn excels in the grandeur and elaborate carving of its public
buildings. But what a queer medley is Burman architecture! everywhere of
a perfect chameleon order. Look at these huge sea-serpent spouts, which
join the roofs, and you think they ought to have come from the Cyclopean
or old Phenician land. Glance again at these fairy temple-spires, and the
pointed arch, and you cry, "The Goth! the Goth!"

Look at these monastery domes, and the pavilion roofs, the relics of sun
idolatry, and you say it is Chinese surely; but just then you glance at
the arch turned into a horse-shoe amidst flowers, and vines, and mosaic,
and you cry, "Arabian!" but another look, and you declare it is no
Arabian, and nobody's order at all.

Symes tells us that the King of Paghan destroyed one thousand arched
temples, and four thousand square ones, to obtain bricks and stones to
build a contemplated wall of defence against the Chinese. From this we
may conclude that the Burmese formerly built of stone. The most curious
little temple perhaps in Burmah is the Peepul-Fane of Tavoy, where the
branches of an old peepul have taken root close around the idol, and
completely embower it.

One of the monasteries which I visited was ornamented with paintings,
among which were the four Buddhs who have already blessed the earth,
three represented upon thrones, but Debendea, the third, as always
pictured, sitting upon the sacred lotus. Three nuns were bowing before
them, and when I begged of them not to worship, "I'll worship, worship,
worship!" one repeated till I left.

Burmese painting seems to be all of one type. But there is a barbaric
inspiration in it after all. Perspective, foreshortening, chiaro-scuro,
graduating tints, and the softening outlines they have no idea of, yet
they make eloquent pictures without them. Their figures are often struck
out quite in proportion, with the boldness and freedom of a Correggio;
yet they seldom know what to do with the feet, and pack them up as much
out of the way as possible.

In Burmah, paintings of all kinds, good, bad, and indifferent, are valued
according to the _size_--one rupee the cubit.

A Shan painter wanted me to sit to him for my portrait, which to
encourage the old man I did, but when he got to the eyes, he could not
make them turn, so one morning I said, "Let me take the brush," which he
did, but as soon as he saw the picture was looking at him, he gave a cry
of terror as if it had been "an evil eye," dashed down his pallet, and
fled. I never saw him again.

Burmah has a genius for painting as much as Italy, but this base valuing
of art as chips and blocks suppresses any attempt at rising, and so they
drudge on by the old monastic rules of Mount Athos. The wall paintings of
the temples are usually the best. The most antique are monochromes
executed in gold bronze on wood.

The Burmese always expend a great deal over their dead. I took pains one
time to enumerate the articles borne to a grave. The deceased was only a
carpenter's wife, yet there passed five maidens with flower pots, five
with bamboos, two with harps, six with oil jars, eight with water jars,
eight with pillows, six with mats, ten with jars, twelve with cocoa-nuts,
ten with bananas, all followed by some three hundred people. The house
was crowded with invited guests, all chatting in lively groups, and
feasting. The young men were attending outside to two immense cauldrons
of rice and curry; the old women were making confectionary, and the young
women preparing loads of betel-leaves. The married men were the only
class allowed to be idle, and they were looking on enjoying the scene.
The festival cost the poor man many hundred rupees; but pillows, mats,
&c., were borrowed from the Kyoungs and returned,--a common practice
when one is unable to meet the expenses. After the burning, a sheet was
held over the ashes by seven persons, who perambulated the pyre seven
times, each time elevating and lowering the sheet. The few small bones
remaining were then deposited in an urn.

Anciently the Karens always buried their dead. They have the old Welsh
custom of lighting tapers at the head and foot of the grave, and their
wail-dirge sounds much like the coronach. The chiefs place small darts
around their pyres to prevent the spirit from returning home. They also
tie strings across the streams as bridges for the ghosts of the departed
to get conveniently over to their graves.

At their funerals they engage in a game prefiguring the struggle of man
with evil spirits, and then chant a dirge, recognising the truth that sin
brought death.

In the plastic art the Burmese exhibit some degree of skill. Like the
ancient Greeks, they colour and drape their figures, and frequently
provide them with imitation eyes. Burman bronzes have some of them as
delicate a green, and appear to be quite as skilfully cast, as the
bronzes of Egyptian museums. Papier-mâché work is carried on in Tounghoo,
and some of it is executed with taste and skill. They understand a coarse
kind of mosaic in running vines, flowers, a lion, peacock, or other
simple subject; but fine mosaic of Burmese execution I have never found.
Painting on glass and ivory is done to perfection by the Mussulmans of
Delhi, but not much understood by Burmese. Their chessmen, however, their
ivory-hilted knives, and cocoanut-shell work, show a good degree of skill
in delicate carving.

Among the beautiful trees on the Sittang river is the Nauclea Kadamba. It
was Sunday, and Mr. Mason had just closed his services under the
wide-spreading branches of this tree, when a little skiff came gliding
along silent as a wavelet.

"Ho, brother! take mama into your skiff?" cried my boys.

The man is a highlander in his mountain tunic, who has never seen a white
woman. Quite frightened, he pushes on faster and faster; then Shapau
hails him, and finally succeeds in bringing him to shore. The skiff is
only big enough for three to sit safely in. So, giving my Tutauman the
bow, I take the centre. Shaupau reads to the boatman the Gospel of St.
Matthew for an hour, steadily, carefully explaining every word until he
comes to the account of Christ's healing the lunatic. Upon this the
stranger stops, lays down the oar, and, taking up a small joint of bamboo
very carefully deposited, he empties the whole contents deliberately into
the river.

"There! brother, I have been twenty miles after this _Ootee_, or charmed
water, and paid a rupee for it; but henceforth I worship this Yasu Kriek
who healed the crazy man!" Is it not "the Sword of the Spirit?"

There is, far inland, a hidden hamlet, a deep glen flanked with
mountains. Here we find all the women like Ruth gleaning in the fields,
and a high time these buccaneer brothers are having over their great
fires on the shore of the creek, where they are drying their jerked deer,
having just beat up a huge stag in the thickets, and killed him in their
bamboo traps, made like a bow and arrow loosely covered from view. With
great wonderment all dropped their work and stood gazing, as I stepped
down the precipice right over their heads.

Both men and women listened with attention and astonishment to the
message of a Saviour's love, and a few followed me down to our
encampment, promising to learn to read. I have never seen them since, but
on returning from America, two years after, we heard to our great joy
that they had a flourishing little church in that place. "The Lord hath
spoken."

Another Sunday morning we turned to the west, a mile over an unreaped
rice-field full of water, to a hamlet of Pwo Karens. Not one would
receive us. We sought shelter with a poor woman in a stable. Very
reluctantly she consented to receive us; for she evidently feared some
terrible calamity would befall her in consequence.

We talked and read to her about the poor in body and poor in spirit. She
seemed interested, and I quite forgot that there were buffaloes beside
us. Suddenly she screamed: "Flee! flee!" I had just time to glance round,
and saw the buffaloes had stretched their noses on a straight line, as
they always do when about to charge, and their eyes burned like coals of
fire.

"Flee! flee!" cries the woman, snatching her babe; but just at that
moment the leader breaks loose, and dashes past us so near, that his
awful horns graze my hat.

"Thank God, we're safe!"

"Come in, friend! come in, friend!" shout all the women at once, and
every heart is opened. Mats are spread, and they are now disposed to
regard us as gods.

"Look here," says an old woman who passes for an eldress, after I have
been telling her that God is always near:

"Why, the Elders told the Karens the same thing, and my grandmother used
to say, Yuah was like this"--waving one hand just above the other. The
Omnipresence of God known to this wild heathen woman!

Moored again farther up the Sittang. A woman appears on the shore with an
eye that I cannot mistake; I am sure that is a Pwo Karen, though she is
dressed in the Talaing robe.

"Sister," I say, "have you any husband?"

"Lady! white lady! you speak Pwo?" Instantly she was at my feet,
entreating me to go to her house, and could scarcely be restrained from
bearing me away. On reaching her house, I commenced reading the Gospel of
Matthew in her language. With the true Karen spirit she could not be
content to receive so much pleasure alone.

"Teacheress, read! read!" she says to me eagerly, having assembled all
the neighbours.

I read the Pwo; she interprets into Talaing, for a whole hour, the
Talaing women quite as much delighted as the Karens; for they never
before heard of Christ, and not one of them can read at all in any
language.

Suddenly I stop, and strike up in Pwo--

"Alas, and did my Saviour bleed?"

The men, hearing the singing, throw aside their dahs and baskets, and
assemble around the house, pressing up the ladder.

Hark! what's this? Crack! crack! and crash, we all go on to the ground!

"Read on! read on!" cries the Karen woman. "Light! light! give us light."
So there I sit among the ruins, and read the stories of the crucifixion
and resurrection, and certainly I never felt so near the unseen and
eternal. We are in the middle of the account of Christ casting out
devils:

"What's that? what's that, lady? Tell that devil story again. Yasu Kriek
kill the devils?"

We read it again when the man--a fine-looking Karen of some thirty-five
years--steps out:

"Lady! lady! You see this cord (the nat-cord worn on the wrist) there!"
wrenching it off, "never again will I offer to any lord but Jesus
Christ." This was really a very decided act, for usually the nat-cord is
the last thing Karens will give up.

On our returning two years after, we learned that this man had been
baptized, and was the leading deacon of a little Christian church in or
near his own village.



CHAPTER V. - TOUNGHOO, AND WHAT WE FOUND THERE.


I happened to be the first white woman who ever entered either the city
or the kingdom of Tounghoo, so that my poor face was as much of a
curiosity as the mermaid a few years ago in America, and all the way up
the villagers thronged us to see the wonder, and discuss its merits. The
great point was whether it was a fair specimen of the race.

"Wa! wa!" exclaims one, "I thought them a great deal whiter--but then I
dare say many are whiter than she is."

"No, I don't believe they are," joins in a prim young belle, sitting so
as to look over the first one's shoulder. "I didn't think the colah woman
very handsome."

"Hae!" grumbles a matronly chaperon, as she sees some young men
approaching: "you know nothing. They're not white like _jackets_. I dare
say she's as white as any of 'em."

"Koungtha! koungtha!" cries a gay young fellow, jauntily flinging himself
off after a furtive glance. "Anglaik very pretty--Burman woman
_taemathe_"--(very black), with a teasing laugh at the ladies. And it
really does seem to tease them to see fairer women than themselves.

As Mr. Mason was not ready to go up into the city, and wished to wait for
the cool of evening, I attempted to proceed, thinking I would have time
to prepare a comfortable place for his reception. A native of the city
stepped forward, and very politely volunteered his services as guide to
the house, which he professed to know all about.

I followed the man, as it was only about a mile, and on he went till he
reached the principal street, when he began to inquire of everybody where
the white lady's house was. This, with my being the first white woman
ever there, attracted such a crowd, it was impossible to proceed.

"Don't you know the place, friend?" I questioned in dismay.

"Don't know Th'kyen," and vanished out of sight. Seeing a good road in
front, I escaped from the crowd to that, and meeting a Madras servant who
could speak English, I tried to make him understand my wants.

"Did some carts go there this morning with tin cans?" he asked.

"Yes."

"Oh, then, I'll find it in a minute. Missus, please come."

So again I walked on, on; and soon pale faces began to pass, one after
another, all in the same style of dress--dark trousers, checked shirts,
with military forage-caps loosely covered with white muslin havelocks.
Immediately it occurred to me that we must be drawing near the
cantonments. As quick as the thought flashed, I stopped short once more
with--

"Boy, where _are_ you going?" rather sharply.

"To master, missus. Master knows all about it."

"And who is your master, pray?"

"Major H----, of the Madras Fusileers. He lives close by--right here.
Missus, _please_ come."

"Oh, no, no," I replied; but before the words were half uttered, he had
whipped out of sight behind an old kyoung that looked as if it might
possibly have been changed into a bungalow. Not caring to meet a stranger
just there, I instantly turned, and attempted to regain the wall. But at
that moment my Burman servant took a fancy to leap off after the
Madrasee, thinking he would find the house immediately. "Shwaho, Shwaho!"
I called, but in vain. The last I saw of him was his yellow silk patsoe
streaming on the air, as he flew, John Gilpin-like, up the street.
Finally, I walked straight on, as if quite at home, back to the landing,
and found Mr. Mason wickedly enjoying the sport, because he did not care
to have me get into the city before him. He had called a Burman cart, and
I concluded to patronize that, although I had rather any time walk two
miles than ride one in this vehicle. Wearisomely it dragged its slow
wheels along. The driver was a malicious-looking fellow, and was
continually walking his bullocks up on to the bank; but at last we got
safely over the gullies into the bazaar street, and turned off into a
retired square, where we found an enclosure bounded by a bamboo trellis
some fourteen feet high, and covered with blue flowered creepers. A huge
double gate was flung open to receive us, and in front of a pleasant
green plat stood the keep of the former Myusaya, or city recorder. This
building was our home while we remained. It was a true native-built
house, of teak, probably a hundred years old; sixty-seven feet long, set
up seven feet from the ground, built in three separate portions, three
roofs joined together by huge water-spouts of teak. The verandah was
strongly barricaded, and behind the reception-rooms of the master and
mistress was the donjon.

Now, imagine this old city on the Sittang, which has been shut up three
hundred years from all the civilized world. Think of a wall five or six
miles round, some twenty feet high, and thick enough, with the inner
embankment, for a carriage drive. A large brick church now stands upon
it, with dwelling-houses and palm-trees. The wall is constructed with
bastions and battlements, and with four pagoda turrets, watch-houses for
the guardians of the city.

Tounghoo must once have been very handsome, with its towers, and spires,
and statues; with its broad, regular streets shaded with palms; its
monasteries, temples, pagodas, and palace, all surrounded by palms; its
many huge gates; its encircling flagged walk and carriage road, and its
moat extending clear round the city. The moat was said to be sixty yards
wide, and was filled at any moment by secret channels from a beautiful
lake within the fort. Then the grand bridges across the moat, adorned
with statues, rich carvings, and the national peacock-emblem, mounted on
pillars in every direction, sixty and eighty feet high; with magnificent
tanks, caravanserais, and rich rice fields. I do not wonder that old
Tounghoo in its glory excited the cupidity of European adventurers, as
Burman history says it did. The Portuguese navigators made their way up
to this city and took possession, but the governor lost his life in
consequence. The Burmese then held it as a principality of Ava until it
fell into the hands of the English in 1853.

When we entered Tounghoo, there might be two thousand palm-trees counted
in and around the city; but Tounghoo history says that there were six
thousand in ancient days. They yield a sweet wine in great abundance,
that is much sought after. It is dealt out to the troops in daily
rations, and much of it is used to make yeast for bread.

Most of these trees are planted by the priests, and are, of course,
attached to monasteries, especially the corypha palm, which supplies the
book leaf for the priests and schools. The corypha dies immediately after
it has once blossomed; but the Burmans affirm that it is always a hundred
years old before it blossoms. The palmyra palm flowers annually after
fifteen or twenty years. I saw in Tounghoo, in 1853, five or six hundred
coryphas in blossom all at once, a sight seldom seen, and, of course, as
the _Tanyaka_ or "vintage of the palms" approached, there were grand
times in the city. Everywhere women and children were running, and men
walking with business-like rapidity, tugging bamboos to secure their
trees. Palm wine is not obtained like maple sap, from the trunk, but from
the top of the palm. The tree is ascended by a ladder, and just as the
fruit begins to form, the flower is cut off. The stem is then turned down
into an earthen vessel, or into a bamboo, which is secured to the place
by means of a slight frame around the tree. When the juice is drawn into
an earthen vessel, it is sweet; but if drawn into a joint of bamboo, as
frequently done, it almost immediately becomes intoxicating; and if it is
not sufficiently spirituous, the strength is increased by dropping in a
few broken areca-nuts, when one glass of the liquor will intoxicate.

It is curious to see these men and boys go up the tall palm-trees. The
bamboo ladder is made about a foot wide. The climber has only a patsoe,
or cloth, girt around his loins, to which is attached his knife, threads,
ratans, and everything, with a dah, or short sword, thrust in behind, and
two little earthen chatties. He begins to ascend by cording the ladder
strongly to the trunk for a few feet up, then goes up and ties again, so
continues tying on the ladder, and ascending at the same time. Of course,
it is very slender, and looks most hazardous, but one ladder would hold
up half a dozen boys.

Each palm yields about seventy-five quarts of sap in a season, valued at
six rupees, or more, so that two thousand trees would yield a revenue of
twelve thousand rupees. Now, many of the palms have been destroyed to
make room for buildings. Indeed, whole avenues were burned down by the
priests on the approach of the English. The palm-gardens are sold
annually at auction, for, I think, ten thousand rupees.

Each tree yields about one hundred and fifty fruits, used mostly for
sweetmeats; but I have made tarts or pies of the pulpy part, quite as
good as pumpkin pies. The leaf, of course, is highly valued for writing,
especially the corypha; and scrips of palm leaf, with Government orders,
are common still among the native officers.

Modern Tounghoo is mostly built without the walls, extending some three
miles along the river.

The residences of the officers are a kind of Anglo-alhambras, magically
fascinating, as everybody says who comes to Tounghoo. Then the gardens
are perfectly charming; the drives, too, are very pleasant, and the
ladies of the cantonment daily enjoy them with their Shan ponies.

Tounghoo is a famous mart for ponies, which are brought down in great
numbers from Monay, a large Shan city, a month's journey to the north.
They vary in price from twenty to five hundred rupees. I have seen very
good ones bought for thirty rupees, and a pair of splended iron-greys for
five hundred.

The officers keep a pleasure boat, and a moon-light sail up the Sittang
is one of the pleasantest pastimes for the English gentlemen and ladies.
Game is abundant in the region east of Tounghoo, and the officers often
go out shooting, while the ladies spread pic-nics for them among the
caravanserais of the celebrated Seven Pagodas.

Tounghoo is well fortified, and the place is strongly garrisoned, chiefly
by English soldiers, so that an enemy could scarcely take it, except by
stratagem, cutting off the commissariat boats in the river, or by coming
in stealthily in disguise from the north.

This city is about two hundred and forty miles north of Rangoon, two
hundred miles south of Ava, one hundred west of Siam, and eighty east of
Prome. Tounghoo is the capital of a province about eight thousand miles
square. History says the ancient city was founded six hundred years ago
by the Karens, and even now the province is pretty nearly divided between
Karens and Burmans. The population is estimated at 50,000, including
Burmese and Talaings, and thirty thousand Karens, but there are two
hundred thousand Karens adjoining these in a state of independence.

The Karens once occupied the plains of Tounghoo, but the Burmese, they
say, having a knowledge of books, drove them back and took their lands.

Mr. Mason thus describes the climate of Tounghoo:

"We have a delightful climate here on the mountains. It is March, and the
thermometer was to-day, at sunrise, 58°, the hottest part of the day 84°;
and while I write, 10 o'clock P.M., it is 65°. It has not been higher
than 87° since my arrival, and with one exception the mornings and
evenings have never been hotter. Then we have a fine thermal spring at
the foot of the hill, particularly good for liver complaints, good for
consumptives, good for people who have coughs, and good for people who
have no coughs; 'good for fevers, nervousness, erysipelas, impurity of
the blood, inflammation, melancholy, sick headache, pains in the chest,
side, back, and limbs; bilious affections, and all other diseases!' What
more attractive place for an invalid? Then for those who are not
invalids, there are the steepest mountains to scale that can be found in
this empire.

"After leaving the alluvial plain, near the river, not an acre of level
grass is to be found anywhere. The whole coast is a pile of mountains
rising to steep ridges, at an average angle of 45°, oftener more than
less. Sick or well, then, happy or melancholy, send your patients to
Tounghoo--the sanitarium of Burmah!"

Teak, rice, and betel-nut are the principal articles of export in
Tounghoo. Silk is cultivated in some parts by a tribe of wild men called
Baings, among whom it might be very desirable to introduce Christianity.
The Karens bring in sesamum seed, cardamom, turmeric, tobacco, beeswax,
honey, swine, oranges, mats, baskets, ratans, and bamboo; but the most
valuable production brought by them is betel-nut, the best in all Burmah.

We had been in Tounghoo a short time, when two Sgau Karens came in from
the western hills. One of them wished to learn to read, and stopped with
us. His name was Sau Kamoo.

It was only a few mornings afterwards that he came up in great agitation,
crying out, "They'll kill me! They'll kill me!"

"Who'll kill you?"

"The Myuthugyee, or city magistrate."

"Do right, Sau Kamoo, then trust in God."

"Oh, mama don't know these Burmans."

At last I made out his story. He had been waylaid by a Burman head-man,
who inquired what he was doing at the foreigners.

"Learning books," he answered.

"A Karen dog learn books!" exclaimed the Burman with profound scorn. "See
here, wretch. If I catch you round in the city after to-morrow, you see
this!" brandishing his sword over the trembling Sgau.

Servant announces,--

"A peon, ma'am."

"A peon!" I go myself to meet the officer.

"What is it, peon?"

"The Karen."

"Well, what of the Karen?"

"The magistrate calls."

"Show your paper."

"Not here, Th'kyen."

"Then begone. Tell your master to bring his authority; but when the Karen
goes to court, the white lady will go too."

I send off to the Commissioner, and acquaint him with this persecution.

"Have no fears, Mrs. Mason," he replies, and sends me the following note:--

"MY DEAR MRS. MASON,--

"If you find any slaves in my province, tell them they are free to go
where they please, and to learn what they please.--E. O. RILEY,
_Commissioner of Tounghoo._"

I transmit a copy to the magistrate, and hear no more from him; but, of
course, if we had been under Burmese rule, there would have been a very
different ending of the matter.

It is the boast of Burman slavery that it is only debtor slavery; but the
shrewd Burmans know ways enough of increasing the debt to any extent and
making it utterly unredeemable. So fraudulent and violent were they in
their dealings with the Karens, that the English Commissioner, soon after
taking Tounghoo, issued a proclamation forbidding any Burmans to enter
the hill settlements without the permission of the head men, and then to
leave whenever he chose.

The governor and recorder had fifty or sixty slaves, most of whom were
driven off to the north when the English were approaching. Some of them
had heard that the foreigners liberated slaves, and refused to go; but
they were caught, and barbarously tortured by cramping the hands until
the pain was unendurable, and so they were forced to flee into perpetual
servitude.

A case occurred near the city soon after we reached Tounghoo. A poor
fatherless boy was passing through a garden, and, being hungry, plucked
an ear of corn and ate it. The owner saw him, and thinking he would make
a good field-hand, immediately had him caught, and taken before the head
man of the district, and having slipped a bribe into the hands of the
man's wife, the case was decided according to his own pleasure. The boy
was fined twenty rupees, and as they knew he could not raise it, he was
sold to the chief's son for the amount. On hearing of this cruelty, we
immediately sent a note, saying that if the boy was not released within
two days, he would be cited before the Commissioner. He was soon sent
home.

These were our first pupils; but not one had yet appeared from the
eastern hills, the real Karen land. Time was passing, and Mr. Mason began
to feel greatly solicitous about it. Finally, I told my tutauman to go
and stand in the main bazaar road and watch, for I knew the Karens must
come to the bazaar or market some time for salt. He went and watched all
day with no success. Went again the second day, none appeared. Again the
third day:

"Well, Shapau, none to-day? 'Three times and out,' as we used to say when
school-children."

"But I'm not out. Here they are though dreadfully afraid."

He had stood till he saw, on the third day, a small number coming with
their bamboo spears, fierce, wild, and savage-looking. They approached
very timidly, going round half a mile out of their way to avoid any of
the English or sepoys.

"How do you do, brothers? A white teacher has come--a Karen teacher,"
Shapau said, grasping their hands.

They saw he was a Karen, but they could not make much of him, for he
spoke a dialect different from any they had ever heard. They understood a
little Burmese, and he made them comprehend that a foreign teacher had
come from the west.

"We know," they answered. "Did he come in a big boat?"

"Yes, a long way. He wants to see you."

"See us! We know. He wants slaves to put in the flying ship. No, no, we
don't go. He'll carry us off where the sun goes down."

"But there's a white lady come, the teacher's wife. She won't let anybody
carry you off. Brothers, come and see!"

"Oh no, no. Where are the flying ships?"

"Why, the ships are gone home again."

"Aye, gone?"

"Yes, brothers, don't fear. Come and see. You'll love the teachers."

At last he succeeded in coaxing along three, and there they sat, canine
style, before the gate. I went out, and offered them my hand, but they
had no idea what for. Finally, they ventured into the house, and how
their eyes did open, when they saw the slave child learning to read, and
Karen books too! They seemed like beings wild with delight, yet their
emotions were visible only by their eyes and rapid talking one with
another. They gazed at me as if I had just dropped down from the moon,
and when I made them up each a little roll of salt, they quite forgot the
flying ship.

We asked after their home, and they pointed to the distant hills. We
inquired how many days it took them to come, and they counted three
fingers.

We asked how many houses there were in their village, and they held up
one finger.

We asked how many in the house, and they spread out all their fingers and
toes, then clapped their hands twice, then held up all their fingers
again. "_Knaza_, fifty," I said, in Burmese, when they nodded, much
pleased that I comprehended them.

Suddenly, as they were about leaving, I felt impelled to send out the
little book which Mr. Mason had prepared in Karen many years before--the
"Sayings of the Elders." I told Shwa Moung to write on the fly-leaf
in Burmese: "Yuah's Words come back to the Karens," and bade one of the
young men go over the mountains and show it to all his countrymen. Mr.
Mason stood by, smiling approval, but neither of us had much idea then of
the results; and yet I felt a hidden assurance that God would bless it.

Days passed, however, and I believe weeks, and no Karens came again. Once
or twice Mr. Mason rallied me about my "Faith book," but finally it was
quite forgotten amid the deeply interesting scenes with the Burmese, who
filled our house daily to overflowing, and kept Mr. Mason preaching from
morning till evening.

Every Burman officer, great and small, from all the region around, came
to pay his respects--not, however, until they heard of the proclamation
given regarding the Karens, when they concluded that I was "the Queen's
sister!" (their expression for a favourite with the Government). This
perhaps led the nobility to come; but the poor also flocked in, and we
had reason to believe they came from a true desire to hear of the new
religion. Some of my interviews with the women were thrilling, and
excited me so that I could scarcely sleep or eat. One day I was talking
to a house full of women, through my interpreter, for I could not speak
Burmese, when a tall handsome man rose up from the door, where he had
been sitting unnoticed in the crowd.

"Lady, lady, let me tell that," he exclaimed, and he began and narrated a
history of the creation and fall, as perfectly as any Christian could.

Mr. Mason was deeply interested in this man. He stated that he was an
officer in the last war with the English and Burmese; that his son was
killed by a shell on the taking of Shwadagon. He was seeking for his dead
boy on the battle-field, when he saw a white book on the ground. He
clapped it into his bag, and after interring the remains of his son, he
started back in his boat for Tounghoo. There, lonely and sad, the white
book recurred to him. He took it out. It was the first paper book he had
ever seen, and he was led to notice it on account of its whiteness, and
its being there so like a spirit, he thought, beside his boy.

"Wonder if Moung can read this?" he said to himself He throws aside the
oar, flings his mat down on the bottom of the boat, and there, drifting
on the river alone with his God, he read that Christian tract. It was
"The Balance," by Dr. Judson. He reached home. His wife and daughter
came, eagerly inquiring for the son.

"Gone--gone with the dead. The god let him die. Why should we worship?"
and then he took out the book, and read to them. It comforted them too,
and so whenever they felt distressed about their dear boy, they would
take out the white book, which seemed almost to take his place in their
affections.

To our great surprise and joy, this man's wife and a beautiful daughter,
I should think of sixteen, came forward, and corroborated all the officer
had stated; and he immediately said, like the Ethiopian officer,--"See,
here is water: what doth hinder me to be baptized?" I have ever since
wished that they had been received, but it was so sudden, and as Mr.
Mason was just leaving, he counselled them to study the Scriptures, and
defer the ordinance until he should return. The wife and daughter, too,
came forward before our houseful of Burmese, and applied for baptism. The
daughter had learned to read on purpose to read the white book herself,
and I have no doubt is now a hidden Bible-reader in the interior of that
dark empire.

On our return we found the family had gone,--had been driven away,
without doubt, on account of their new faith; for the magistrates well
remembered the man, and spoke of him as that Yazu Kreik man.

We heard of him in Baumo trading, but he still had the tract, and went
everywhere reading to the people, so that he was known as the "White Book
Man."

I think it was some three weeks after I sent out the little Karen book,
that we were assembled for prayer with the Burmese, when a company of
Karens appeared. They came up at once to the verandah as if sent for, and
seeing us at prayer, they bowed down with the rest. At the close, the
leader, a white-haired, majestic chieftain, came forward very
respectfully and laid before me a roll of plaintain leaves. Then, after
gazing into my face very intently, he began slowly to unroll. Fold after
fold was laid aside, and last he came to a dry leaf, out of which he took
the identical little book that I had sent out!

"Will the lady explain?" he asks, reaching forward,

"A real little dove!" Mr. Mason said, after his quiet, intense manner,
his eyes brimming with emotion, while my own ran down with tears of joy
and thankfulness. Mr. Mason immediately brought out the Karen Bible, and
read to the chief the first chapter of Genesis; and though it was a
dialect somewhat different from his own, he understood that it was in
Karen, and told their own traditions. He clasped the book to his heart,
and bowed down before it three times, exclaiming,--

"It has a spirit! It talks Karen! It talks Karen!"

He then brought out a little roll of beeswax as an offering to the spirit
of the book; beeswax, or candles, being a most sacred offering to the
gods.

This chief was an old Nat worshipper, and had been a kidnapper, but he
returned to his village a preacher of righteousness. His people never
again made offerings to the Nats, and the first Christian church
organized in Tounghoo was, I believe, in his village, where, and in the
adjacent villages, there are now a thousand redeemed heathen sending up
their anthems to Jehovah.

Of course, the tiny book had very little to do with the matter. It was an
olive leaf, as Mr. Mason said, and no more; but God uses such a small
thing, just as He did the clay and the spittle, to show forth more
mightily His own power and Godhead.

"The Morning Star of Tounghoo!" Mr. Mason said with his quiet
thoughtfulness again, as the chief departed.

We had gone up amidst great unbelief on the part of our friends, but
still hearing the voice: "Go up. Ye shall not fear them, for the Lord
your God He shall fight for you." And now, in this visit of the
highlander, we recognised the bow and beheld the ANGEL OF THE COVENANT.



CHAPTER VI. - THE MINSTREL AND HIS BATTLE SONG.


THERE came in one day a tall, light-brown chieftain, with large
melancholy eyes, and an uncommonly pleasing countenance, habited in a
striped cotton tunic, girded around him like a Highland kilt. His costume
and bearing were not very unlike that of a Highlander I once met on Loch
Lomond. His long, black, shaggy hair was half confined by a narrow red
turban, and a curious shaped basket was hung over his back. He carried a
long bamboo spear, which served both for a weapon and a staff. Eight or
ten swarthy six-foot mountaineers, attired like himself, accompanied him.
These men had none of the ingeniousness visible in the leader; but their
eyes were ever restless, as if on the alert for a foe.

"Has God's Son come down from heaven, lady? A man told us so on the
mountains, and we've come to see him."

"Yes, brother, but--"

"Where is He?" interrupting with eager eyes. "Is He here? In Rangoon? In
Bengala? Tell us quick, lady, for we've come to see Him!"

"He has come--sit down, brother--He has come, but He's not here. He's
gone back to heaven, but--"

Instantly the tall chieftain turned and strode away with all his
followers.

"Stop! stop, brother! He has left a letter for you," I called after him.

No answer--on he goes, and disappears. In about a week he returns.

"Lady! good lady!" he calls, putting his head in at the open door. This
time he accepts a seat, and throwing off all reserve, tells me his
country's history. There is something peculiarly striking and original in
his words and manner. He is all soul and fire, mingled with the most
persuasive grace and a handsome figure, with a very high brow.

As I sit listening to his painful romance, the palm shadows fall in
colonnades around me, and the sky and earth meet and mingle in one deep
golden glow. All is still, save the low, murmuring voice of the
Highlander, and fancy throws together his romantic tales, uttered now in
prose, and now in hurried rhymes in his own tongue.

SONG OF THE MOUNTAIN MINSTREL.

This Minstrel Chief had often known
The pain that waken'd sorrow's tone,
The pang that wrung the bitter groan,
The suffering deep, borne all alone,
    Yet borne it patiently.

"I've seen," he said, "my clansmen part
Driven in chains to the debtor's mart,
Beneath the lash to toil and smart,
Or droop and die of a broken heart,
    Yet strange, _I_ did not die.

"One had a wife--a dark-eyed bride--
How did his heart beat by her side--
Or when she near would softly glide,
Spreading repast at eventide
    In her sweet, winning way!

"He saw her look, as she fondly smiled,
Suddenly changed to terrors wild;
He saw her limbs with fetters piled--
Her arms outstretch'd for her infant child,
    Then snatch'd away.

"He saw it all--O God! what pain
Upheaved, and burn'd his madden'd brain
Convulsive, fierce, he grasped her chain--
Vaunting, they flung him back again--
    He senseless lay.

"Deep sunk that wrong as a burning dart,
He could not from her image part;
At midnight still he'll often start,
And think to clasp her to his heart,
    But clasp the air.

"He'll watch each form with features fair,
Each beauteous head of raven hair,
Then round on all will wildly stare,
Or his own dark locks with anguish tear,
    To find her never there.

"He's sought her far, he's sought her near,
Where tigers prowl he has has no fear--
Will stand for hours and list to hear
Aught that recals that voice so dear,
    Then sink in dumb despair.

"Time now has lull'd this cankering pain,
And reason calm'd his throbbing brain;
But still hot tears, will pour again,
Which a heart like his can ne'er restrain,
    Over his lonely prayer."

Again the Minstrel glanced his eye,
To mark if any Burman high
Should be behind, or drawing nigh,
To hear the tone, or note the sigh
    Of wrong and misery.

And finding none but friends around,
With an alter'd look and an alter'd sound,
    That spoke the Highland fire,
Boldly he pitch'd his voice again--
Boldly he sung of Shembuyen,
    Striking the martial lyre.

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Kyouk Long!--dreaded name--how the echoes groan!
While the monk counts his beads in an under tone,
And if one ever dares the fiend's story to tell,
The abbess hides quick in her cloister cell.

They say--I don't know--'tis a horrible story,
That puts to the blush all our legends hoary,
How he called a fair maid from the fairest Shan daughters
To join him on Ava's soft, murmuring waters.

"Do you love me?" he cried in a ruffian tone,
As she crouch'd at his feet there all alone;
"Do you love me, maid? speak quick and be free;
For _I_ am no lover of courtesy."

"Yes, my lord," she breath'd with a stifled sigh,
Though tears almost blinded her beautiful eye:
"I will serve my lord if he bid till I die,"
She murmur'd so low and falteringly.

"Then up," quoth the Chief, "and come to my side,
I'll make thee my bride--my headsman bride--
We'll brim the red beaker, we'll brim it long,
And the Nats shall join in our nuptial song!"

Then opening a case in his low, thatch'd room,
There clanking with armour, and frowning with gloom,
He drew forth the bridals--strange suit for a maid--
Red turban, and jacket, and glittering blade!

"Don this, my maid; this never can hide
The lip of my bride--my warrior bride--"
Then his baldrick he snatch'd from the beam above,
Buckling it to her with, "Love, maid, love!"

His swarthy arm around her was thrown,
Her tresses fell back, and were loosely blown;
"Oh, Heaven!" she cried, as backward she shrunk,
And low at his feet in agony sunk.

"What? ho, slave, up! No tears with me,
_We two_ are for foray and revelry;
Look to your weapon, nor heed ye a groan:
If ye blench at blood, it shall drink your own!"

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Now hark! a moan, a moan!
Again, a stifled groan!
Five noble heads are on the ground,
Hot orphan-tears are bubbling round--
To Moung Kyouk Long a welcome sound:
The headsman bride is standing by,
Quivers on her lip the pleading sigh,
She dare not pray, she dare not cry,
Nor seek a pitying eye.

'Twas thus that pass'd this Ava chief,
Scathing the land past all belief,
Shooting, spearing, branding, flaying,
Every day some Burman slaying;
And this poor girl, the headsman bride,
    Coop'd in his tiger den,
Was forced to travel by his side,
To sing, and dance, and wander wide,
    And slay her threescore men.

MOUNG KYOUK LONG was the Commander-in-Chief of the Burman forces on the
Sittang river, east of the Irrawaddy, during the last war between the
English and the Burmese. He was the Queen's brother, a most cruel tyrant;
and the story related above is true. He did compel a Shan girl to follow
him as executioner for noblemen, so as to inflict upon them the shame of
dying by the hand of a woman. In Shwagyn the tyrant drove many Burmans to
despair, by taking from them their young brides. One swore revenge, and
attempted to escape to Ava to report him to government. He was brought
back and flayed alive, and his body impaled by the river, where the
English found it on entering the city. The wretch was subsequently thrown
into prison at Ava, and, I believe, left to starve. The poor girl was at
last set free, but she was almost a maniac, she had suffered so terribly.

THE FUTURE OF TOUNGHOO.

Now away, ye Natsoes!* ye wild Elfin stories,
Ye Poongyees and Zaidees, and all idol glories,
Meukaule is conquer'd, his banner is furl'd,
And God re-appearing, encircles the world!

[Footnote: * _Natsoes_--Demons. _Poongyees_ and _Zaidees_--Priests
and pagodas. _Meukaule_--The Karen for Satan.]

The Christian has triumph'd, our nation is free!
Oh, hail it, ye brothers! hail, hail liberty!
Yes, liberty! liberty! sound it along!
Unfurl the new banner with trumpet and song!

No more shall we groan with our bondage and woe,
Or writhe in the grasp of our merciless foe;
No more shall the slave-fetter tarnish our name,
Or the "One God" prophet be branded with shame.

No, come now ye Wise Men and sing of salvation,
Redemption! redemption to every nation!
"The Book" is come back to us! clasp it for ever,
And bear it triumphant o'er jungle and river!

And I see--oh, I see, to this glorious fountain,
They run from the valley, they leap from the mountain!
They come--for a Saviour for sinners is bleeding!
They come--for a Saviour in mercy is pleading!

Light! light down the future is rapidly streaming!
The East and the West with its glory are beaming;
All nations are looking--all nations are bending,
And praise to Jehovah from all is ascending!

The Karens were enslaved by the Burmese, and there has been during all
the Burman rule a perpetual struggle between them, the Burmese seeking,
by every power, by craft, and by their superior knowledge of books, to
bind them in servitude; the Karens, on the other hand, fighting for
freedom, and struggling to maintain their own rights and lands, or
fleeing from them to inaccessible glens and fastnesses in the mountains.
There was no hope left for them, and nothing to excite them to rise, for
as soon as one obtained any property, their sharp-eyed officials were
down upon them, and nothing but ruinous bribes could secure to them a
single comfort. They have ever had seers and wise men among them
instructing them in their biblical traditions, and because of these
traditions and these priests, they have often been made to suffer by
their idolatrous rulers.

"The Book" of the Karens, the only one they seem to have any remembrance
of, contained the words of Jehovah. Their wise men say there were seven
brothers, and they, the younger, had God's word on skins. They were
careless, laid it at the foot of a plaintain-tree, and the White Brother
carried it off, and by it became the favourite son of God. This looks
much like the story of Jacob and Esau. They fully believe the White
Brother is to bring it back to them from north-western lands.

Of course, the minstrel did not utter all this exactly as it is here
written. He told it to me mostly in prose, and through an interpreter,
but with such poetic fire and inspiration, it moved me to pencil it down
that very night, almost word for word, as I here give it.

This chieftain was son-in-law to the high chief of the Mopaga tribe. He
came to see me, I think, every week after this interview, and listened
with intense interest to the Scriptures. He was soon afterwards baptized,
and has since been one of the warmest advocates for female education. In
1859 he was made captain of one of the Karen companies in the Tounghoo
Military.



CHAPTER VII. - FIRST CHRISTIAN SCHOOL IN TOUNGHOO.


"KARENS have books!" say the minstrel and his warriors. They hear the
children reading. Wonderful! wonderful!

"Lady, lady, hear! We like this. It hits our hearts. Give us rice; just
one meal. We will keep your Holy Day and worship. We wish to hear, but we
are poor men. Lady, hear! Yonder on those mountains are our wives, our
little ones. Lady, we cannot buy. If we buy and stay here idle, our wives
and our little ones will die. Pity us, good lady. We have only mats,
baskets, and seeds. Lady, hear! Give us to eat just once, only once. We
will fast the rest."

This pleading came from the lips of half a dozen tall, armed chieftains
from the hills of Tounghoo. We had been telling them they should keep the
Sabbath-day holy, and not return on that day.

What could I do? "May I give them rice?" I questioned eagerly of my
husband.

"You cannot. There is not a rupee in the treasury for any such purpose."

"Husband, God will send it. Only say I may try," I plead again.

"It is certainly rash; but if you must go to work on faith, then go to
work."

Oh, how my heart bounded! How happy I was I shall not try to tell you,
reader; but immediately I bought a basket, five feet square, filled it
with rice, and bought also two dozen rice chatties or cooking pots. Then
I stood beside it, and saw it measured out, so that each man had enough
for one meal, with a little fish and salt. Each group of ten were
provided with cooking vessels. Of course, they cooked for themselves, and
this first day cost me about ten dollars, or twenty-one rupees.

So it continued for four weeks. But, then, what was gained? Just this.
Crowds of heathen men, some heads of families and of villages, have
listened four Sabbath-days and nights to the Scriptures--listened, too,
as few heathens ever do listen, quietly and solemnly.

At night they strewed the floor all over every room but our own
bed-room, so that I was obliged to tell them to pull up their heels to
make a path for me to go through, for they put heads together and heels
together as close as they could stow themselves. The interest manifested
was intense--burning, past all description. Our six native preachers
were planted over the whole area, one in each corner, their own
arrangement, and there they would lie and question, the assistants
answering, till it seemed as if they must be utterly worn out.

"You say this wonderful man is God's Son. How do you know? Did you ever
see Him? Did He come down in your country--in the Anglaik land, in
Rangoon, or Bengal? Did you ever see anybody that did see Him? How do you
know your book is true? You tell us God's Spirit is like the wind, but
which wind? We have north wind, south wind, cold wind, hot wind--is God
changing like the wind?" All these, and a thousand other questions just
as strange, were asked in rapid succession; so that the last thing when I
lay down at an hour past midnight, and the first when I awoke at five
o'clock, would be these same wild but close questionings, showing that
the Holy Spirit was doing His work on the earth.

Four Sundays have gone by--the most interesting, thrillingly
interesting Sundays I ever knew, but my bill for rice has run up to many
dollars. I cannot go on, small as the gift is; so on Monday morning I
begin speaking to every company that comes in, asking if they cannot help
me to fill up the basket.

"It is so little," I say, "that I have supplied, I am ashamed to mention
it; but I have no more money."

What is it that has so touched those savage hearts? Why do tears start
under those sun-crisped locks? Oh! sympathy, that blessed angel, has
descended, and now the image of God comes out. If there is anything left
in the likeness of Christ upon earth, it is sympathy.

"I have no money," says one, "but would a mat do?" he asked very timidly.

"Oh yes, give a mat; anything will do."

"I can give a basket. Will the white lady accept a basket?"

"Yes, brother, bring your basket."

"Brother, bring mama that honey," says a chief, pointing to a bamboo
joint he had set up against the house.

"Here is a bit of beeswax," says a fourth, fumbling in his wallet.

So the flame catches, spreads, and soon the report flies over the hills:
"Mama has got an eating-basket, and anybody can put in whatever he
likes."

This showed just what the Karens wanted in Tounghoo--a head--a
responsible leader to inspire them; plan for them at first, and step by
step raise them upwards.

It was not a very pleasant thing, indeed, to have our house full of such
filthy, vermin-covered figures as the Karens of Tounghoo then presented.
I recollect a lady in the States could not allow a trunk in her house
that had come from Burmah, lest it should bring roaches into her rooms;
and it was hard at first for me to accustom myself to all the unpleasant
sights and smells in our own house, and over our own _well_. But what are
such little self-denials by the side of the Brook Kedron?

Our four slave children were hard at their studies, attracting the gaze
of every strange mountaineer that ventured to put his head in at the
doorway.

Next comes the earnest entreaty:

"Mama, teach my son."

"And mine. Please pity us."

Again comes the trial of faith, "May I, dear husband, take a few?"

"How can you? There are no funds."

"It shall not cost the mission a cent,--a single cent,--only say
yes."

"Well, yes. Try, if you will, what you can do."

"What is it, lady?"

"You must promise to bring down the very best young men that you have,
and let them become teachers."

Whispering--stammering--"Can't do that, good lady. Can't give my son
for a Sahib."

"Nor I," joins another, and another.

I suggest to them to go and think till morning, for I can take them in no
other way.

At early dawn half a dozen heads peer through the lattice.

"Lady, white lady, very good--very good."

Giving them a piece of chalk, I request them to mark out their country on
the floor. They do so, amid much merriment, of course. Then, dividing it
into twelve parts, I tell them they may bring twelve young men, one from
each district, that is all I can take, and if they should bring slow
learners, they won't do at all.

A few days pass, and the young mountain chivalry stalk up to the verandah
with their short tunics, their long streaming hair, and their baskets
strapped upon their foreheads. I have to put them immediately into
quarantine, until they have taken one thorough lesson at the bath.

Taking up the soap, one of the party, a wild Bghai, bites it, then flings
it spitefully into the hedge. Finally, Shapau succeeds, by setting the
example himself, in persuading them to try the soap, which, in the end,
perfectly delights the whole party.

The young men are hard at work, but how? I have to speak to them in Pwo.
My interpreter tells them in Burmese, which is all Latin to them: then
they learn the Sgau Bible, while they themselves are Pakus, Mopagas, and
Bghais. But strange truth, and as encouraging as strange, in two months
these young men can all read quite correctly, and with a good degree of
understanding.

The whole cost of the twelve young men, and of the four Sunday feedings,
I have assumed entirely myself, and without knowing the least where I
shall find a penny. I ask for it, though, every day of One who I know has
it in His treasury, and never for a moment doubt but it will come. "If ye
abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it
shall be done unto you." This is my bank book.

A fortnight goes by. A Colonel calls with his Lieutenant. The younger
officer hands me ten rupees, which calls forth this little answer:

"Lieut. J. P. Maud:

"My dear Sir,--Somebody says, 'Running streams are always clear.'

"I can readily see why you feel an interest in the salvation of the
heathen; you have kept the sympathies of the heart clear by outgoing, and
I am sure the hundred-fold reward will be yours, for nobody ever yet lost
by investing in God's mission-bank.

"My husband has translated the Bible for the Karens, but it remains a
sealed Word to them until they are taught to read it, and not one can yet
read in all this Tounghoo province. I can but recognise in your
thoughtful and kind donation the hand of an over-ruling Providence."

I then alluded to an incident in the life of one of the principal
civilians then in Burmah, who took an orphan child, an East Indian, left
to grow up in heathen ignorance, educated her, and thereby saved her from
temporal and eternal ruin.

I believed it was one secret of that officer's success in life, which had
been very remarkable.

What was my surprise to receive the following:--

"My dear Mrs. Mason,--Now that I know your work, I shall use every
effort in my power to assist you myself, and get others to do the same.
It is a sin to see a theatre springing up in Tounghoo, where no Christian
temple has yet been raised to the God of our salvation. Many subscribe
liberally to theatres and races from mere thoughtlessness, and need but a
word to stimulate them to higher purposes. As I have a dear sister,
perhaps you will kindly name the little slave girl after her, and I will
send you every month ten rupees for her and the boys.--Believe me, dear
Mrs. Mason, very sincerely yours, J. P. MAUD, 5th M.N.I."

Nor is it a sudden or idle start with this young officer. He sets to
work, goes himself from kyoung to kyoung, for the officers then in
Tounghoo all lived in kyoungs, raised a subscription, and relieved me of
my pecuniary embarrassment. Thanks to God, and thanks to his kind heart!
I have never seen him since we left Tounghoo, a month or two after, but I
cannot think of his brave, unselfish spirit without remembering that to
him belongs the honour, under God, of establishing the first Christian
school in Tounghoo.

Mr. Mason was much struck with the reply of one of the young men in this
school. The question arose as to where each should go to commence his
teaching, when one, laying his hand firmly upon the Bible, said,--

"I know where I shall go. _I go where the Holy Book goes._" We had but
one copy of the whole Karen Bible in Tounghoo. This man was a Bghai
Karen, the first Bghai that had ever learned to read, and he did as he
said, followed the Bible, and sat down beside it until he was baptized
and sent to a foreign tribe; and you will hear from him again by and by.

Until Mr. Mason went up to Tounghoo, only two clans of Karens were known.
Red Karens had been heard of, but travellers thought them Shans. Kah
Kyens had been heard of, but they too are still thought to be Shans.
Books had been introduced among the only two clans known, Sgau and Pwo.

The Karen nation is broken into three great classes, each class
comprising many clans and sub-clans. Two classes are called the Pwo, or
"Mother Branch," and the other the Sgau or "Father Branch." The Pwo Class
has more or less of the nasal sound in its language, while the Sgau Class
has none. The Pwo Class embraces Pwos, Mopagas, Sanches, Hershoos,
Gaykos, and all the mother Pwos above Tounghoo. The Sgau Class embraces
Sgaus, Pakus, Mauniepagas, and Wewaus. The third, and largest class yet
known, is the Bghai, embracing Tunic Bghais, Pant Bghais, and Red Karens,
but it is probable that many more will yet appear as the country opens.
The Kah Kyens are undoubtedly the chief Karens, as the name implies. The
Kyens will, perhaps, be found to be an offshoot from this nation, and the
Kemmes of Arracan another branch. These classes differ a good deal in
their habits of life; the Pwos claim to be the princes. They seek the
plains and surrounding mountains, and are great hunters. They build
mostly in separate houses, but in the Tenasserim mountains I found their
houses built long enough for three families, divided into compartments,
each division in tent-shape. This may have arisen from their old Syrian
custom of demanding the services of the son-in-law three years for his
wife.

The Pwos generally are better livers than the Sgaus, and bear in their
figure, manner, physiognomy, and all about them the air of princes.

The Mopagas come next on the north in this class. They are a small clan,
or part of a clan, so far as yet known, and they very closely resemble
the Pwos in physiognomy and independent manners. They are not herdsmen,
but a race of hunters, especially bee-hunters.

The other tribes of the Pwo class are as yet but little known. The Sgaus
in their songs boast that

"As Sgaus have the words of Jehovah,
Sgaus will pay no fine for killing a Pwo."

The Sgau-speaking class is docile, peaceable, and much given to
husbandry. Karens of this class live in separate houses, with gardens
attached. They cultivate oranges and betel-nuts in abundance, with yams,
beans, and cotton. With a little encouragement and patience they would
supply all Old and New England with cotton.

The Bghais are the most wild and singular of these clans. No stranger is
admitted into their villages without a guide, and even then he has his
quarters assigned him, and must remain there and eat of every dish set
before him. It is the duty of every family in the village to carry him
something as a mark of hospitality; to refuse it would be to declare war
at once. Sick or well, hungry or satiated, it matters not, eat he must of
every dish--dog-curries and all. If he refuses a single one, it is a
slight to their hospitality, and he is a spy in the camp; but if he
submits with grace to these feudal customs, he becomes their friend, and
the honour of the whole village is concerned in his protection; a custom
common, I believe, among the North American Indians. They had a place on
the mountains where they brought blankets, betel-bags, mats, baskets,
&c., to barter for handkerchiefs, turbans, coin, knives, sugar, and salt.
The Burmans are particularly fond of using false weights and measures,
but they never dared attempt it at this mountain bazaar. If they did,
_death was the penalty without judge or jury_.

At this place the Bghais used to settle all disputes, and compel the
Burmese to do them justice, like Rob Roy and the Lowlanders. I was
reminded of the similarity of this custom to those of the ancient Scots.
Once, on Loch Lomond, a Highlander pointed out to me Rob Roy's rock.
"Here," said he, "Rob would take the Lowlanders, and say, 'An is it that
ye'll gie me twenty black coos? An is it no that ye say? Then say y'r
prayers quick, and be aff,' and over they went," said my informant--himself
a Macgregor, in kilt and plaid and long stockings,--"over they
went into the deep, black hole that ye see yonder," Many are the stories
that the Burmans tell of the Rob Roy khans of their mountains, and there
is certainly much in their bearing and feeling that reminds one of the
old Scottish clans.



CHAPTER VIII. - KAREN DRESS. WITCHCRAFT. MY TUTAUMAN.


THE Bghai Karens have some peculiarities of dress not observed in the
costume of the other clans. For a head-ornament they wear a huge
boar-tusk set in copper, with bells of the same metal attached. This is
secured to a knot of hair, and worn on the crown of the head, the horn
upwards. It is worn only by men, and just as white men adorn themselves
with stars and ribbons to show the world their bravery. They also wear
little bells attached to their pantaloons.

Bracelets and bangles are worn both by men and women. These are usually
manufactured of copper and zinc, and one individual will sometimes wear
several pounds weight besides eight or ten chains of beads, and forty or
fifty rings of horse hair on the wrists and just below the knee, like the
old Welsh knee-bands. I have seen Karen women with ear-knobs of ebony as
large as a silver dollar, so bright as to be used for mirrors; and I saw
a Siam Karen chief, in the mountains near Siam, with cylinders in his
ears as much as two inches long, and I think an inch and a half in
diameter.

The native Karen dress will, in a few years, become almost extinct, like
that of Scotland, for, like ourselves, they have a great love for foreign
manufactures. With the Pwos it has been already superseded by the
Burmese, but the tribes of Tounghoo are rapidly adopting a sort of
Anglo-Shan costume, very comfortable and dignified.

As the Scottish chiefs had distinguishing plaids to mark their clans, so
the Karens have clan emblems on their dress. The general costume of both
the Pwos and the Sgaus is merely a loose tunic, reaching just below the
knee, but often for chiefs made down to the ancles. These tunics are
simply two breadths of cloth sewed together so as to leave holes for the
head and arms, and are worn sometimes falling off one arm. They are, as
nearly as possible, like the tunics figured on the bas-reliefs from
Nineveh that I saw in the British Museum. The betel-box and purse are
carried in a handsome wrought bag.

I am told that the Cosyahs of Upper India also wear the same style of
dress; and Major Biddulf, of India, who had travelled among them, told me
they were striped with red, blue, and white, and sometimes with red and
blue, with fringes and tassels, like the Karens. I have wondered if the
patterns on Karen dress were not hieroglyphical, a branch of the
picture-writing of Egypt and Mexico.

The Mopaga tunic has very narrow perpendicular stripes of a brilliant
red. The Bghai has a wider stripe of a duller red. The Sgaus and Pakus
are plain, but the borders of each are their chief feature. The Mopaga
border is from two to four inches in depth, closely wrought with silk in
beautiful vines and characters. The Mauniepagas weave theirs in narrow
stripes, in a great variety of patterns. The Sgaus sometimes weave a
border twelve or fifteen inches deep, of circular stripes and laboured
patterns, and again, others a foot and a half deep, of entire scarlet
silk floss. These are common on the western hills of Tounghoo. The most
delicate little vine-patterns creep round the neck and arm-holes.

The Karen woman's dress consists of two garments, a robe and jacket; the
Pwo robe is striped circularly, the Mopaga perpendicularly. Their border
is often of work that would vie with almost anything in the looms of the
West. The Karen robe is whole, girt straight around the waist, and tucked
into one large fold. The jacket is very pretty. The Pwos and Sgaus
embroider over a ground of blue, the Bghais over white. The Pwo jacket is
always wrought with brilliant silk floss, and a girl will be a year in
embroidering one. The work seems to represent a sunrise, and the shading
and blending are most beautiful. Its usual price in Dong Yahn is ten
rupees. The Sgau jacket, on the contrary, seems to represent evening,
with all the stars coming out on the deep blue sky. These stars are made
very perfectly of long white seeds, like rays. The Bghai woman's jacket
is woven, not wrought, with a nap of scarlet floss up to the armpits,
then a crescent and seven rays over the bosom and down the back.

The Pant-Bghai men wear loose white pantaloons only eighteen inches long,
wrought with rich silk borders. They certainly excel in the arts of
dyeing and weaving, and they understand perfectly the use of mordants, so
that they can make as brilliant and durable a purple as Lydia, or any of
the dames of Tyre.

These relics of a higher state of the arts point to the north-west, and
seem to prove that the Karens were once in a higher position than at
present. So their bamboo work seems to point to a higher knowledge of
weaving and architecture. They weave in this a great many patterns.

I once met a Chief on the Tenasserim river in Tavoy Province, with a robe
like the Hebrew High Priest, all tasseled. This man had three wives, all
of whom refused utterly to go to the Christian worship till he gave them
a sound beating. Then they went to chapel, and one was converted! This
was the old Chief who became a Christian, and had to give up two of his
wives. One, the oldest, was sickly, and the youngest very pretty. He
referred it to the church to say which he should keep, and they decided
that he had a right to retain the youngest, so he concluded to do so.
Then his conscience troubled him, and he finally resolved that as
somebody else might be willing to take the young, pretty wife, but nobody
would pity the feeble, sick one, he ought to keep the old one; so he did,
and put away the younger.

The Karens, like all demon worshippers, believe in witchcraft. There was
a poor childless Karen in Tavoy, who retired with his wife to the forest,
and cultivated a small patch of land there alone. After awhile a man died
in the neighbourhood of congestion of the liver. Dark suspicions began to
be whispered that the old man of the jungle knew more than he ought to
know of the matter. Soon he was openly pronounced a wizard, and his
precincts enchanted ground. After this, whenever any singular death
occurred in the neighbourhood, it was laid at his door. Finally, a child
died of an unaccountable disease, and, lo, when its body was burned, a
portion of the kidneys was found unconsumed. This to a Karen is proof
positive. The neighbours, therefore, went up from all parts to the
magistrate, clamorous for the old man's death. They found out that the
English law would give no help, so three stout young men, arming
themselves with axes and knives, hastened to the old man's hut, and there
in broad day they _hewed_ the wretched man to pieces as they would a log.
When arraigned for trial, they at once confessed, producing the unburned
kidneys as proof that they had acted only as public benefactors.

The Karen wizard is called by the Pwos "_Longcherthe_--the can-in
winder." This dreadful being bewitches by introducing noxious substances
into the body, as bits of glass, flesh, leather, water, &c., which things
are charmed by him into demons.

A man died in Tavoy of dropsy. He was killed, they said, by witchcraft.
The civil surgeon determined on a post-mortem examination. The friends
were called in the hope of convincing them of their error.

"Ah," they said, on seeing the quantity of water; "there it is! there it
is!"

"There what is?" questioned the surgeon.

"Why, the water-demon which the wizard cast into him. We thought he was
turning him into _drink_."

One mode of bewitching is by producing dumbness; this is done by
modelling an image of the person from the earth of his foot-prints, and
sticking it with cotton seeds. Here is certainly a relationship to the
old Saxon witch that troubled England a few years ago.

Another wizard produces insanity with a hair suspended in a whirlpool.
Others use a human skull concealed in the forest, with daily offerings
before it. The skull is often used also to drive away evil spirits, such
as the cholera demon and the small-pox demon. They tell wonderful tales,
one about a family being turned into toads.

Burman witches have power over the sea. A sailor, on coming home in
Tavoy, accused his wife of having been the cause of all his trouble at
sea, and gave her a severe beating.

The Karens have various modes of detecting witches, among which is the
water ordeal. When detected and alive, the witch or wizard is shaved, and
set over a stream. The Burmese laws decree that if the person rises, she
is guilty; if she sinks, she is innocent!

In Nicobari, witches are tied to a tree, and left to starve; and when
sentence is once pronounced, not even a daughter would dare carry food to
her mother.

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

"Who is this YUAH you tell of?" I inquired of the Karen minstrel, when he
repeated a stanza of poetry, which embodied their old traditions, saying,
Yuah made the heavens, the earth, the sun, the moon. Yuah made man, and
all things, just as we have it in Genesis. Passing strange this, for the
minstrel had never before seen a Christian teacher, or heard of Karen
books; yet he had the very same traditions that we had found in Tavoy and
Maulmain, two and four hundred miles distant; and yet his dialect was so
different from the Karen dialects of those regions, that he could not
understand five words.

"Where did you learn this?" I inquired.

"Oh, far back, anciently."

"Who taught you these things?"

"The Fathers. Old people."

"And who taught them?"

"The Mau."

"Who were the Mau?"

"Don't know. Prophets; good men, inspired by Yuah."

This was just what the Pwo Karens had told us everywhere. When I first
met Guapung, she told me the same story, and a Pwo chief down in the
Mergui jungles also.

Turning to a Paku, I asked, "Have you these same stories?"

"Yes."

"And where did you get them?"

"_A-poo-a-pee_--grandfathers and grandmothers."

"Where did they learn them?"

"The Wie taught them."

Who the "Wie" were, or where they were, he could tell no more than the
minstrel could of the "Mau," but this is what all the Sgaus say, dating
back to a very ancient time--it was the "Wie" who instructed them.

The Biblical traditions of the Karens are singularly clear and pure. The
story of the first man and woman, of the temptation, of God having dwelt
with man, and of salvation by the One God, they have handed down, they
say, from that ancient skin book.

Who these Karens are, to what people they are allied, and from whence
they obtained their glimmerings of truth, are inquiries of the deepest
interest, for this reason: God seems to have planted His footsteps
through the nations just as He has laid the foundations of the earth in
strata. If we strike upon a stratum of real precious ore, we follow it.
It seems as if He would teach Christians to do this in teaching the
world. If they hit upon a tribe ready for the Gospel, then it would seem
wiser to follow that stratum or dip of the languages, for we are sure, it
appears to me, to find the same, or a similar, disposition in all allied
tribes, however separated by other nations.

These terms, "Mau" and "Wie," ought to help us somewhat in tracing the
Karens; and before we have done, it may be that we shall find them nearer
to us than we think.

Of all the Karens near Tounghoo, the Bghais are the most warlike, and it
was a question of a good deal of anxiety as to who should venture among
them as a teacher of Christianity. Finally, I asked my Tutauman who
should go.

"Don't know," he replied, and sat for some minutes in deep thought; then,
looking up very sadly and timidly, he said:--

"I wish I knew enough to go to the Bghais."

"Perhaps you do, or if not, God can make you know enough," Mr. Mason
answered.

This man, Shapau, had lost his wife and all his children but one. He
looked sorrow-stricken; that was all that was remarkable about him. When
alone upon the sea-shore with my sick husband, I had written a few Karen
letters to the preachers' wives, which were published in the Karen
"Star." One of these gave a brief sketch of the Madagascar mission, and
another exhorted them to stir up their husbands, and set off to the Red
Karens.

Shapau said he had read this letter, and he felt a strong desire to work
among them. This was why he came and offered his services for this
journey to Tounghoo.*

[Footnote: * Several preachers, and some women, came over to Monmogon,
to talk about the possibility of a Red Karen mission, and four of them
did subsequently labour in Tounghoo and Shwagyn.]

We became much attached to Shapau, because he was always trying to
improve himself, as well as to do good to others, so, when he made that
reply, I felt sure God was calling him, and, therefore, sat down at once
and began to catechise him in the Scriptures. He had studied but little,
but had been a pupil of the Rev. Mr. Vinton. I think we sat two hours,
when he looked up delighted.

"Why, mama, I didn't think I knew half so much!" he said as innocently as
a child. Finally, I told him he could teach the Bghais, but asked if he
could be willing to give up his child and home, and go and live with such
kidnappers, and dog-eaters too.

"Don't know," he answered. Then, besides, I had to tell him that he knew
the teacher paid him as his boatman fifteen rupees per month, but if he
went to the Bghais, he could give him only four rupees.

"Would you go for that?" I asked, after giving him a sketch of the old
Gospel Rangers in Britain and America. Shapau took his Testament and went
out. He was absent some time; but when he appeared again, his face shone
with unearthly radiance, at least it struck me so as he came in.

"Well, Shapau," Mr. Mason asked, for he had heard our conversation, "what
is the decision? Can you go to the Bghais for four rupees the month?"

"No, teacher," very solemnly, "I could not go for four rupees the
month--_but I can do it for Christ!_"

And he went. There was deep meaning in that eye, and in that grasp of the
hand, when he said,--

"_I can do it for Christ._"

That man has since been ordained, has baptized nearly a thousand Bghais,
has established some forty churches, and has since gone on another
foreign mission to the Red Karens. "For I say unto you. That unto every
one _which hath shall be given_," saith the Faithful Promiser.

It was one day when the chiefs were in with us that a letter arrived from
Tavoy. It had been sent by the Christian converts of that province to Mr.
Mason, entreating him to pity his children there, and not call away their
teacher, San Quala.

"Read it, Shapau," Mr. Mason said to my Tutauman. He did so, standing up
in the centre of the group like a Saul, for he was almost a head and
shoulders above them all. The scene was intensely exciting. They had no
idea they had any brothers in the south, and now to find that they were
numerous, had become Christians, and had really and truly written that
letter themselves! Then the question arose--Would they take care of the
great Karen teacher if his people did consent to let him come up to them?

"Take care? Er, er! We'll feed him, we'll clothe him, we'll build him a
house. Tell them let him come," they answered in chorus; and then a
strife arose as to who should have him first, but one chief, elbowing his
way along through the crowd to me, said, with a great deal of quiet
determination,--

"Teacheress, take my name."

Much amused, I told Shapau to write it down.

"And my wife's name," again very slow and with great dignity. We took his
wife's name.

"And my sons' names," so down went the sons' names, when all seemed to
think he had gained the victory. I believe this was the same chief who
brought in the little book.

Quala came up, and Mr. Mason determined to make over the mission to his
care entirely, during his absence at home, and see what a native could do
in carrying on a mission alone.

Soon after this I started, under the protection of an English convoy, to
go down for our children in Maulmain, as Mr. Mason thought he must remain
in Tounghoo a year there before leaving. On the second night, about
midnight, I was awakened with a violent trembling, and with the
impression that my husband was sick. Something said to me, "Go back! go
back, or you will never see him again!"

I sat in dismay, meditating upon this strange revelation, some twenty
minutes, when I determined to obey. So, writing a hasty note to the
Commanding Officer, I asked my boatman to turn back. It was midnight, and
they were greatly afraid of falling into the hands of dacoits. I told
them not to fear; that I would place my chair on the little deck, and I
was sure no robber would shoot a white woman.

"Hoga! hoga!--yes," they exclaimed, and started off with alacrity.
Sitting out so was not very pleasant, for my garments were drenched with
the heavy dews long before morning; and, moreover, though I had
re-assured the boatmen, I could not help every moment listening for the
balls of the robbers. As we approached Tounghoo, we heard of them
skirmishing on all sides of us, and of one or two most daring robberies
just upon the shore; but after four such nights we reached the city again
unmolested.

Singularly enough, when I reached our bungalow, I found Mr. Mason had
really had another attack of his complaint, and was on the point of
starting himself for Maulmain, so that my return was very providential,
as I could be with him on the way down.

Having arranged this matter, the school was made over to Pwapau, one of
Mr. Mason's old pupils from Tavoy. A cocoanut grove was purchased, the
Sacred Oracles deposited, and then, amidst prayer and singing, Quala and
I went out with the school and planted a Christian banner in Tounghoo,
with these words inscribed:

"The Holy Book. Read--Hear."

Then came the pressing of hands, and the tearful good-byes, in which the
poor Shans from Monay came up and joined.

When we passed down, the tidal wave in the Sittang river rose fearfully,
and the waters rushed past our little boat as if they would instantly
sweep every vestige of us away. It was impossible to advance. The
darkness of night enfolded us, and we sat under our slender cover
listening with no small degree of agitation to the rush of waters. Just
then the boat was lifted suddenly up, and shot away with a velocity past
all description. I screamed to the boatmen, who were already screaming to
one another, and to the accompanying boats for help. Our anchor had given
way, and had not the men put forth every nerve to secure her to a larger
boat, we should have been lost. No sooner had they fastened the rope,
than the winds began to rise. Louder and louder they roared, until they
really bellowed along the waters, which lashed themselves, rolling,
tumbling, and growling around our boats with the greatest fury; weltering
under us as if they would instantly suck us into the seething brine. For
an hour we remained thus, the billows every moment threatening to engulf
us. That was an hour for thought--tossed in darkness amid the yawning
waves and howling winds; to think that our anchor gave way just then,
when the tide came--when it was most needed--awakened the most solemn
reflections. In such a place, one can imagine a little what the feeling
must be should _the anchor of hope_ fail when meeting death's dark tide.
With thousands it undoubtedly will fail, and leave them to perish. Oh!
what an agonizing moment will it be to feel _that_ anchor giving way, and
the soul sinking into eternity!

After the strength of the tide had come in, the men considered it safest
to cut loose, and run before the wind, which, coming from the east, blew
us with great violence farther and farther out to sea. We were in company
with three or four other boats; but they were much larger, carried more
sail, and, consequently, soon left us far in the rear. According to
Burmese custom, they now and then threw out signal lights from their
boats, and with what anxiety did I strain my eyes for those receding
beacons! Now, as our skiff rode up on a mountain wave, we could just
discern them far away, trembling for a moment, then disappearing; now
another light rises, faintly flickering, fainter, fainter, and again all
is darkness. Hark! a grinding sound! a ploughing of the boat! and the men
instantly leaped into the waters. But it was of no use; she had struck
upon the sands in the midst of the sea, some eight or ten miles from
land, as near as we could make out. The tide was fast falling, and it was
impossible to move her. It was three o'clock. The men had been toiling
for seventeen hours without food, and seeing nothing of our
provision-boat, they all but one left us to go in search of help. The man
who remained, wearied out, lay down and slept; but sleep was far enough
from me, though chilled through with anxiety and cold; for I had stood
three hours in the water, baling out, during the fury of the tide.

Never but once did I experience so trying a moment as this. Mr. Mason was
too sick to make any plan, or think of any proposed. He could neither
walk nor sit up; and I knew the tide would be in soon after sunrise, when
we should either be swamped, or driven out to sea without anchor,
provisions, or boatmen. Not a craft, not a soul, was to be seen or heard,
in all the surrounding distance. For a moment death seemed inevitable,
and had I been alone, I do not know but I should have yielded to the
overpowering sensation; but my husband lay helpless before me; and I knew
my little ones, whom I had not seen for nearly four long months, were
anxiously watching for father and mother. I stepped out upon the sand,
and looked up to the Eye that ever watches over land and sea. The sun
began to rise, and no one had returned. But just then I descried
something like the mast of a vessel far in the distance, across the wide
sandbanks. It was just discernible, but I instantly resolved to reach it.
So, rolling up a small bundle, I placed it upon the head of a little
Karen girl with us, and then tried to help my dear husband to rise. He
made the effort, but was too weak; and with feelings indescribable, I was
compelled to leave him. With swift feet Mary and I made our way over the
sands and waters which were beginning to come in. When about half way
over, we met the boatmen returning:

"We are all lost, mama!" they exclaimed. But without stopping, I charged
them to run and bring the teacher, and hastened on. They did so, and soon
we had the inconceivable happiness of seeing him lifted into a larger
vessel, the master of which, not for love, but for _rupees_, would take
us in. The men had barely time to secure a few clothes, and a handful of
tea and biscuit, when the breakers came dashing over the sands. At that
moment we discerned two objects apparently on the horizon, so far away
that it was impossible to tell if they were masts or human beings. At
last my little girl cried:

"Colahthu! Colahthu!" and we discovered that it was indeed the
_colahthu_, or cook, with the Burman preacher in search of us. In their
anxiety to find us, they did not seem to see that the waters were at
their heels, and it was not without a multitude of gesticulations and
exclamations, that they were made to comprehend their own danger, and
flee to their boat. The craft we now occupied was a crazy old thing,
destitute of every comfort. It had not even ballast, and rocked about
among the breakers, as if it would surely go to pieces, but it was a
paradise to the other, because it was comparatively safe.

The remainder of the way, I made tea in a bowl, which was all the
sustenance I could get for my husband except a little dry bread, and the
poor boatmen had not so much as that. For two days and two nights, I
believe, they never tasted food, except a few dry rusks which I succeeded
in tossing to their boat. It was then that I knew _why_ I had been turned
back to my husband in so singular a manner, for had not some friend been
with him, he would probably have died in the river. No one can imagine
what I felt as we rocked about in that old boat, while these words of my
childhood came back to me: "You must go to Burmah, and help Mr. Mason."
Truly, stranger than fiction is the story of one's own life.




PART II.



CHAPTER I. - GOING TO INDIA--NOT OVERLAND.


LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF THE SEA.

AWAY! away! on the rolling sea,
    When the blue waves bound and curl;
Let the mariner's song pour loud and free,
    And the canvas wide unfurl.

Away! away! where the Nereids sing
    With Arion's harp of old;
Now toss'd on the foam with the petrel's wing,
    Now rock'd on billowy gold.

Away! away! o'er the glistening brine,
    When the soft air breathes of love,
When mellow tints o'er the waters shine,
    Crayon'd by heaven above.

And lightly float on the moonlight sea
    As beneath a silver dome,
While the sails are falling gracefully,
    And the dreamer dreams of _home_.

But the sun-light down--the night gods frown!
    Growling, they're battering the stern;
Then hurl at the clouds o'er the shivering shrouds,
    While billows in darkness burn.

Now the surges boom 'mid the thickening gloom,
    Making all the canvas rattle;
But the bow drives low, and charges the foe,
    The ship and the storm doing battle!

Loud thunders roll, red lightnings fly,
    And earthquakes vault in the waves,
While they heave up their mountains wild and high,
    And scoop out their whirlpool graves.

Staggers on the bark in the maddening gale,
    And the tall masts reel and tremble;
While the hurricane winds give a boding wail,
    And the heart can no more dissemble.

"Now, hard up the helm! Let her run 'fore the blast!"
    Comes, as we shuddering wait--
Then the loud trumpet roar: "Cut away the mast!"
    "We're lost!" shriek captain and mate.

Lo! yonder a Light! a high beacon Light,
    Looms o'er the threatening doom--
'Tis the BETHLEHEM STAR! and bright, ever bright,
    It guides from an ocean tomb!

We left Tounghoo in January, 1854, and reached England in May in the
steamer _Indiana_, spending the summer mostly in London, Mr. Mason being
too ill to see friends. August was passed in Berlin, with improved
health, studying in the University among Bible translations, for which
purpose we went over. September we came to Scotland in the steamer
_Petrel_, and were almost wrecked. At last we reached Boston, in October,
in the _Europa_, and re-embarked for India in July, 1856, arriving at
Calcutta in November. Mr. Mason reached Tounghoo again in January, and I
in April, 1857. This is the only time that my husband ever left India
during his "thirty years' war" with heathen darkness.

Now imagine us in the _Jumna_, the graceful _Jumna_, that skims the
billows like a light sea-gull, or a stormy petrel on the wing.

We were coming to the close of a stormy voyage. Of course, everybody has
seen a hurricane, but a hurricane and a cyclone are just as different as
a mountain and Mont Blanc. We were riding at anchor on the Sand Heads,
passing congratulations on our arrival, when a pilot brig scudded
alongside, trumpeting us off to sea again with all possible speed. Our
master paced the deck, looking as if he could bite the wheel off; the
first officer bellowed his orders, and Jack went to the anchor with head
down as if going to be flogged. It was not very exhilarating to go
waltzing back into the deep black waters, especially with the prospect
before us of running our bow right into a Bengal hurricane. But off we
went, like the poor Rajah who, pressed by land enemies, thrust his head
into a rice pot, and rushed into the waters to hide himself.

By the time we were all under way, the winds were blowing very hard, and
our vessel close upon a reef. I had heard so much of the dreaded circular
hurricanes of the Bengal Bay, that I could think of nothing but fire, so
terrifying at sea. I noticed that the lightnings, fierce, hurried,
constant, and changing, without thunder, indicated a cyclone, as
described by Piddington in his "Law of Storms." The answers of the man at
the wheel also indicated a circular motion of the wind. I was, therefore,
fearing the worst, when I heard the captain say to the mate in an under
tone:--

"The vortex is ahead there."

"It acts like it," replies the officer.

"I know 'tis by the action of the sea."

"Can we do nothing?"

"Impossible, but I hope she'll outride it; she ought to; she's a new,
strong ship."

It was true, then, that we were in a cyclone, and rapidly approaching the
vortex, the winds every moment increasing, and the barometer rapidly
sinking. The sea was lashing itself into mountain waves, or sinking in
deep, charcoal-looking gulphs, while its significant seething, gurgling
sound was very terrible.

Nothing was heard amid the war of winds and waves but the shrill trumpet
orders of the officers, and the sharp, quick, shouting answers of the
men.

Suddenly there was a cry, "Ship on the weatherbow!" Up went our helm, out
went the trumpets, the captain, officers, and crew, all roaring at the
top of their voices. A French barque was staggering right down upon us,
apparently in utter bewilderment. At last the intrepid mate posted
himself right over the bow, and shook his fists so frightfully, the
Frenchman caught a glimpse of them by the lightning, and put about just
barely in time to clear us! Had she struck us then upon our
weather-board, probably not one had remained alive.

The hurricane had already raged its twelve hours--six of them
threatening every moment to swallow us--when the joyful announcement
was heard that the barometer was at a stand. This was at half-past twelve
at night. Fifteen minutes to one o'clock it had begun slightly to rise,
and the axes were put by. Five had been prepared to cut away the masts,
and orders given to be ready, and had the mercury fallen fifteen minutes
longer, they must have gone, or we should have been engulphed. Suddenly
again, there was a sort of dying pause in the winds, while the motion of
the sea became more alarming, heaving mountains of water upon us, so as
almost to capsize the vessel. The lightning chains, too, spanned the
heavens in double links, advancing, receding, meeting, chasing. Then we
knew we were in the vortex, but not in the centre, for if we had been
there, the agitation of the sea had been still more terrific.

We were lying under "bare poles" from eleven o'clock P.M. to four o'clock
A.M., waiting to see if the winds would rage again, or change about
suddenly and drive us out of our peril. Through the great mercy of the
Most High, in answer to prayer, this happened, and the winds came round
to the westward. It was a solemn thing to hear the watches called off
there in our midnight horrors to see who was alive, and who was gone. It
was a solemn thing--the awful stillness of our ship during that fearful
pause, when all who knew their danger must have been busy with their
hearts and with their God.



CHAPTER II. - THE FIRST GIRLS' SCHOOL IN TOUNGHOO.


THE young men of the Tounghoo Karen tribes were now fairly sent out as
educators of their own countrymen, and many heathen chiefs had become
enlisted as supporters of the scheme, for they were to go wherever they
should be called, and depend entirely on the people for support. This
plan Mr. Mason had determined to carry out among the preachers also, and
make Tounghoo an example to all the regions beyond, as a self-sustaining
mission. His excellent helper San Quala favoured it.

"Tell the white brothers," he said to me as we sat two hours conversing
about all the interests of the mission before we left, "tell them not to
forsake the Karens just yet. We are like children beginning to walk. We
toddle, we fall, but we're _trying_."

I had now a great desire to enlist the chiefs in a movement for the young
women similar to that of the men, to raise up schoolmistresses who should
form elementary classes all over the mountains as fast as little churches
could be formed, and thus leave the young men free to go forth as pioneer
preachers to the heathen.

Tounghoo was a great country of itself, isolated, almost excluded from
the unhappy influences of seaports. We thought we might mould it as we
would if we began at once. To make special effort for the men and not
the same for the women, would be doing just what others have so often
done,--confirming the heathen in their prejudices that woman was only a
slave to work and bear, not to speak, or sit with her brothers. But make
them teachers side by side, make the education of young women just as
prominent as that of young men, train the young mothers, and it would
tell upon the race through eternity. I knew that whatever type of
civilization or Christianity was introduced into Tounghoo, it would be
carried up through all the mountains of Burmah, and perhaps farther
still, through Thibet and Tartary.

While in America I could do very little for the Tounghoo tribes. As a
wife, duty called me first to my sick husband, then as a mother and
_step-mother too_, to our children, to look after their education, to
_try_ and incite them to high and holy consecration and activity; as a
daughter and sister, I had to comfort and cheer my relatives; as a friend
of the poor student and schoolmistress, to sympathize with many; and as a
housekeeper with small means and eight in family, to bake, sweep, and
attend to domestic duty. These were my duties and labours while in the
States, but those Tounghoo women were ever on my heart. What could I do
to begin the work among them? I had no time or means to go about to
interest friends. Then again the public feeling forbade it. It could make
no distinction between the schools which take in every child at foreign
cost, and _aid-schools_ which train teachers, and need only help enough
to develope native strength. It would have required months to explain
this matter, besides a kind, sympathizing helper. One such friend came
forward, the Rev. Dr. Beadle, of Hartford, who, with his ladies, raised
fifty dollars and a box of clothing and stationery worth fifty more,
presented with _sympathy_--more precious still--from a stranger, too,
whom I had never met but once! Noble, generous friend! May the Almighty
send him sympathizing hearts and helping hands! Undoubtedly, others would
have acted as nobly if the subject had been presented to them, but as it
was, this, with five dollars from a lady through the Rev. Dr. Westcot, of
New York, was all that I had to begin with.

Leaving Boston with so little help for the poor young schoolmasters I had
taken up, and with scarcely a ray of encouragement for their sisters
begging for instruction, I felt very dejected and desolate.

Many sorrows had encompassed us during our stay at home, deep, piercing,
harrowing, but, I thank God, _subduing_; and now, floating once more upon
the ocean, I could realize how entirely dependent those poor Tounghoo
women were for help on the Arm above. To that Arm--to that Eye--I
resolved to look, and to that source alone. Then stole out so soothingly
those tender words: "Jesus wept."

Yes, Jesus! Precious Jesus! and it was with _woman_ too, and there came
another voice: "It is I, be not afraid." Then my soul grew strong again,
and calm, and trustful.

It was very strange, but although Mr. Mason made every effort, no passage
could be obtained for me and my little boys from Calcutta to Burmah. We
even wrote to a chaplain whom we had known when in Burmah, entreating him
to intercede for us, and he did, but the troops were being transported to
Rangoon, and every steamer and sailing-vessel was full. Mr. Mason, even,
was obliged to take a deck passage. Before he left, I obtained his
consent to my giving up for a time my personal support from America, in
order to make an experiment, and see if the native chiefs could be
enlisted in managing and sustaining a girl's school themselves. I had no
promises from any living being, for I had not spoken to anyone in India,
and no one in America had promised the slightest aid, but I knew that to
be successful the school must _belong to the people. I did not withdraw
in the least from our mission_; I only proposed to find means where I
could, and support myself while doing it, sending reports regularly to
the Board, which has been done ever since. Having settled upon this, I
wrote out a full account of the plan to the Secretary of the American
Baptist Missionary Union, and then shut myself up with my two little boys
in a small basement bedroom in Sudder Street.

My first determination was to write something while detained in Calcutta
which should create an interest in the Karen people.

I said: "What shall I do, oh, my Saviour?"

"Ask, ask--if ye ask anything in my name, it shall be done for you."
From that day I asked morning, noon, and night, and every day my faith
grew stronger.

It happened to be at this time that the great act legalizing the marriage
of Hindu widows was brought about, which moved all Calcutta, and, indeed,
all India. The papers were full of this wonderful movement, begun by
native gentlemen themselves. Of course, I could not help feeling the most
intense interest in such a grand reform act, that must usher in light and
liberty to captive millions of heathen women, and I could write of
nothing else.

Finally, one morning after prayer, something whispered: "Send up your
manuscript to Lady Canning." There was no voice, but the thought came
like a flash. No idea of addressing Lady Canning had ever entered my mind
before. That same day I sent the following note:--

"To the Right Honourable Viscountess Canning,

"Government House, Calcutta.

"MADAM,--Feeling assured that every Christian must take a warm interest
in the late great movement among the Brahmins in regard to Widow
Marriage, I take the liberty, respectfully, to ask if I may be allowed to
dedicate the accompanying MSS. to your ladyship?

"I would also beg the indulgence of explaining why I desire it. My
husband, the Rev. Dr. Mason, translator of the Karen Bible, three years
ago founded a new mission in the old kingdom of Tounghoo, in Pegu, under
the patronage of the American Baptist Foreign Missionary Union. On this
undertaking God has been pleased to pour out His Spirit in a most
wonderful manner, and the mission now numbers thousands of baptized
believers. These converts have erected chapels at their own charges,
established some fifty jungle-schools, and support their own teachers.
The people are eager for instruction, so that one teacher has four
districts in charge at once, spending a day with each in succession.

"Our schools have been greatly blessed of heaven, and during four years
that I had the privilege of instructing one in Maulmain, thirty-eight of
my pupils were baptized, and write me in their own expressive idiom: 'My
heart hits the Lord Jesus Christ exceedingly.'

"For the women of Tounghoo nothing has yet been done, and I am very
desirous of opening for them immediately, in Tounghoo city, a National
Female Institute, for all the tribes, admitting only such as will devote
themselves to the work of instruction. But on account of heavy financial
pressure, our American Board is unable at present to aid this object. I
have, therefore, resolved to do what I can myself towards making a
beginning.

"Therefore, I have asked this favour of your ladyship.
Hoping that my request may be kindly granted,
I am, Madam, your humble servant,
ELLEN H. B. MASON.
13, _Sudder Street, Feb. 6th_, 1857."

I sent it off, praying, believing that God would arise and plead His own
cause.

Weeks passed, weeks of anxiety, yet of humble trust and continued asking.
A servant appears at last, and Mrs. C. H. L---- alights at my door.

"I have heard, madam, there is an interesting work in Tounghoo. I should
like to hear particulars. I am going to Government House, and would be
glad to give Lady Canning some account of it."

I thought--"Truly, this is of the Lord." The next morning I received
the following from--

GOVERNMENT HOUSE,
_March 14th_, 1857.

"MADAM,--I have been very much interested in the account you have given
me of the Karens, and should be glad to communicate with you further on
the subject.

"If you can call here to-morrow about eleven o'clock, I shall be glad to
see you.

"Believe me, sincerely yours,

"C. CANNING."

Five o'clock here is the time for evening drives. Mrs. MacLeod Wylie
enters.

"Mrs. Mason! Why are you here all alone?" she exclaims in astonishment.
"It was only last night that we learned the fact of your being still in
the city."

"I have not been alone, dear Mrs. Wylie."

"No, no, I understand. Now come home with me."

We arrive, and Mr. Wylie, drawing me beside him, asks what are my plans.

I explain to him a general plan.

"How much do you want to begin with?"

"Two thousand rupees."

"Oh, my dear Mrs. Mason, I am sorry to discourage you, but you won't get
it!--but Kitmagar!" he calls, "Bring me pen and ink,"--and down goes
at once fifty rupees for himself, and fifty for a friend of his--
one-twentieth of all I asked!

"Thanks! my dear Mr. Wylie. Now may hap I shall get it." And then I told
him of my invitation to Government House.

As soon as I could reach my room, and lock the door, I fell before God,
and thanked Him that He had sent the two thousand rupees. I could not say
the one hundred rupees--I could say nothing but the two thousand.

I was sure an order had been given for it by the Great Treasurer of
missions.

Next day I drove to Government Palace, ascended two flights of stairs
into a long corridor, lined on either side with exquisite exotics all in
full bloom, and a great number of Hindus, in snow-white drapery, and long
white stockings, without sandals or shoes, all touching their palms, and
bowing to the floor.

Passing into the drawing-room, the Countess Canning stood before me,
arranging some beautiful daisies. She immediately turned, and, smiling
graciously, led me to a seat.

"I am glad to see you, Mrs. Mason," she said. "I was very much interested
in the account you gave me. Pray now tell me something of your Karens.
Where did they come from? What is their religion? Have they any caste?
And how do you work among them so as to bring about such remarkable
results?"

This opened the way for me to give the Countess a description of the
Karen and Burmese women, and their want of education.

"And why don't you present your requests to Government, Mrs. Mason?"

"Surely your ladyship would scarcely advise that--I a stranger, and a
woman too?" I said.

"Why, yes, I think I would. The Queen, I assure you, feels a deep
interest in the women of her territories."

I think I sat with her nearly two hours, she repeatedly refusing
admittance to others. Once or twice I attempted to rise, when she gently
detained me, saying she had been much gratified, and should like to hear
more.

On returning home I drew up a brief account and petition to Government,
with the following conclusion:--

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

"If the Government will kindly grant the aids mentioned to make a
beginning, I propose, in order to make the school permanent, and to
enlist the sympathy of all the tribes of Tounghoo, that the land,
buildings, apparatus, furniture, and everything appertaining to the
institute, shall be held in trust by a Native Board of Managers, chosen
at the annual examination."

My friend Mrs. L----, who had called before, kindly undertook to present
the petition.

In about a week I received the following reply:--

"_To_ Mrs. ELLEN H. B. MASON.

"*    *    *    (After quoting the petition)

"As it is understood that the school when once established will be
self-supporting, the Governor-General in Council sanctions the grant for
the following aids, viz.:--

"1. A small piece of land with well and fruit-trees.
2. One thousand rupees for the erection of buildings.
3. Four hundred rupees for furniture and school apparatus."

Just what I had asked for. Who will say this was not from God? Who can
doubt but it was a great answer to prayer? Among other things, Lady
Canning expressed the hope that I would extend my efforts to the Burmese
women, and I replied,

"But it is very difficult, madam. They are trained from infancy only to
be attractive to strangers, that their mothers may sell them for a high
price. Therefore, the mothers will not let them come to us for
instruction."

"Then it is a love of money that induces them to fall into such
degradation and sin?"

"Yes, madam. Simply the desire of gain."

"Then why not introduce some attractive accomplishments by which they may
earn a handsome livelihood themselves, such as colouring or embroidery?"

Her ladyship subsequently sent me two volumes of engravings and a
handsome donation for the school, adding,--

"I most cordially trust your good work will prosper, and you have my best
wishes."

In my reply, I said,--

"I feel sure that when the Karens come to know that their chieftess cares
for them, it will inspire them with great zeal to support the school, and
they will feel their honour concerned in the education of their
daughters. They are unlike other Orientals, having a high respect for
woman, and a high sense of honour. They are, too, nationally, a grateful
people, and be assured, the incense of prayer will daily ascend from
three thousand warm hearts, scattered upon the mountains of Tounghoo, in
behalf of your Ladyship and the Governor-General."



CHAPTER III. - GATHERING UP THE MANNA.


"A CALL, ma'am." Mrs. D. She desires me to dine with her. I have passed a
delightful evening with a party of Christian friends. The Honourable E.
D. is Accountant-General, and he is one of the chief actors in the City
Missions, in Foreign Missions, in the Bible Societies, and to my great
joy, Mrs. D. takes up a Native Missionary in Tounghoo, whom they have
ever since supported generously by a hundred rupees a-year.

"Ma'am, a roll for you," said the Kitmagar, one day on my return from a
call. I open it: Two hundred and fifty rupees! Thanks! thanks, my God! I
read:

"MY DEAR MRS. MASON,

"Mrs. M. wished me to hand in this two hundred and fifty rupees, for the
support of a native preacher in Tounghoo, under your own and Dr. Mason's
care.

"J. M."

I knelt before God with my little boys, and thanked Him for remembering
the poor and needy. Dear, good, sympathizing friends! Mr. M. was pastor
of the Scotch Free Church in Calcutta.

Another card of invitation from the F's. On this evening I made the
acquaintance of one who has power both with God and man--the Rev. Mr.
H.; and on returning home, find a roll of one hundred rupees from Hugh
F., Esq. "Manna! manna! mother," my little boys say thoughtfully.

Two of the most profitable evenings were spent with the W's at small
dinner parties. The company was very interesting,--the Archbishop, with
Mrs. Pratt, including one or two military officers, the dear Milnes,
Moncrieffs, and the Rev. Mr. Yates, of the Church of England Mission, who
sent me fifty rupees; here also I met Dr. Kay, of Bishop's College, whose
sermon on Woman is worth going on pilgrimage to hear.

Mr. W. is emphatically a conversationist. You are sure to find at his
table the most talented, brilliant talkers and the most earnest
Christians of the land, and I have seen him hold them spell-bound for two
hours. It seems to be no effort or intention, but he leads you off so
easily, you are not in the least aware of it till you utterly forget you
are at the dinner-table; at least I did, and could do nothing in the
world but listen.

"Why was not Mr. W. a Missionary?" asked a lady who had heard his
inspiring eloquence.

"A Missionary! He's Missionary Extraordinary--a _Nah Khan Do_--Great
Ear Chief--a general hearer and helper of all parts and parties."

Mrs. W. is as deeply interested as he is in Missionary work. It was this
warm sympathy that induced her to write the "Gospel in Burmah," so
graphic in its style, and so correct in its detail.*

[Footnote: * This work is republished in New York, and I was told that
one Clergyman in the west sent for a hundred copies, saying nothing had
ever stirred up such an interest in that region.]

These friends usually receive social visits on Thursday evenings, for the
study of the Bible, when their large parlours are thrown open; and when I
was with them in 1860, they were soon filled with Government officers,
merchants, physicians, and young cadets, with many ladies. Mr. W. gave
out a hymn, which all united in singing; then prayer was offered, and he
read the ninth chapter of Acts, when all made remarks, or asked
questions, as they felt disposed. Mr. W.'s own explanations struck me
with a strange power, concerning the Lord's direction to Ananias, to go
into the street called "Straight," showing the minute care and knowledge
of the Lord concerning even streets and houses.

Among those whose acquaintance I delighted to make was Dr. Duff. One
morning I drove round to Wellesley Square. The Doctor very courteously
led me over the whole of the college. I was much amused with his
geography class.

"What is the world?"--"A star in the sky."

"How is it kept revolving round the sun?"--"By two forces."

"What do your Shasters say?"--"That the earth sits on a tortoise."

"Does it?"--"No."

"Then your Shasters tell a lie, do they?"--"They do," with a laugh.

"If your Shasters lie about one thing, will they not lie about others?"--

"Yes, Sir."

"Do you believe in the gods about here in Calcutta?"--No, Sir.

"Who is God?"--"The Eternal Creator, and Jesus Christ, His Son."

"Do you believe in Jesus Christ?"--"Yes, Sir."

"Have you become Christians?"--"No, Sir."

"Why not?"--"Our parents will not allow us."*

[Footnote: * It is a significant fact, that while the Government College
has no Bible taught, and is open to all, there are only about a thousand
students, while Dr. Duff has all his pupils read the Bible, and preaches
Christ to them every day, yet the school numbers fifteen hundred.]

In the evening I took tea with Dr. and Mrs. Duff, and a number of
Christian preachers, Hindu gentlemen, and one or two of their wives. I
can truly say they were gentlemen in every sense of the word--thorough
in the Scriptures, learned in the classics, and seemed to have imbibed
much of the Doctor's own spirit--zeal for the holy war. As I looked
upon the master and the pupils, and saw how his inspiration was diffused
among them, and how they loved him, I could but think how much more
blessed it was to give than to receive.

I called on that patriarch, Lacroix, who had been there thirty years at
work, yet nobody would have thought him growing old; for he came out with
such a beaming eye and elastic step, I could not help wishing that some
of our woe-begone young pastors, and Missionaries too, could grasp the
hand of this then brightening _young_ old Missionary soldier.

One of the most successful workers was Mrs. Mullins, now deceased, as
well as her sainted father. She had an interesting orphan school, and was
a pioneer Bible reader in the Zenanas of Calcutta.

In India it has hitherto been said, the laws of Menu and Confucius say,
"Give a woman letters or knowledge, and you give a serpent milk." They
know as well as we that "knowledge is power," therefore woman must never
possess it. If a little Hindu girl dares to learn books, she will surely
become a widow, that is, be cursed of God and man. Little girls are
married there when between eight and ten years old. They have nothing to
say about the matter. Their fathers trade them off to the one who offers
the highest rank or the fullest purse. He may be a very savage in
disposition, the father replies: "She's only a girl." Even at birth the
degradation of woman commences. A mother forgets all sorrow "for joy that
a man is born into the world;" but, alas! if a girl, her grief knows no
bounds, and she is obliged to remain a week longer in her outdoor den
alone.

By and by the infant begins to sit alone. Now, if it is a boy, it is set
upon a mat, and bright gilded toys are given it. If a girl, it is set in
the dirt, and an old tile is its plaything. So it is through life.
Widowhood is only a change of masters; but then in widowhood, if she has
no sons, her husband's brothers are her rulers, and she becomes a slave
to the caprice, envy, jealousy, and ill-temper of heathen sisters-in-law.

She must ever after stand in their presence to denote servitude; when
they lie upon a bed, she must lie upon the floor; when they have their
dainty viands, although they too must eat after their husband and out of
his sight, yet the poor widow must crouch away even from her sisters, and
eat her _one meal a-day_ of roots and herbs "boiled," as the law
prescribes, "in one pot." She may cook fish for her sons, but never taste
it; she may array her sisters in gay dresses, she must never put off her
coarse, widow weeds. She may fit off her favoured sisters for an airing
in their vails and polkas, she must never step foot outside of the high
picketed wall of her master's enclosure; she may bring books for her
lords, she may never read a letter; and the more sacred books she may
never hear even, lest, alas! she should obtain some glimmerings of
knowledge to solace her lonely spirit. Such is woman's lot now among the
helpless millions of India, and much the same throughout a great part of
Asia, and this is why the _preseance_ of power has been removed from all
these eastern nations. They are doomed every one of them, and because
they have so degraded woman; and very likely this is one great reason why
the Jews refused the Messiah, for they too had adopted much of heathen
philosophy in regard to her position. Even now, in the enlightened United
States of America, their women are not allowed to sit with men in the
synagogue, or to join in any part of the Hebrew service, not even in the
singing.

Yes, God made man a monarch, but gave him a limited monarchy; and
whenever he turns it into a despotism, he falls with it. Everywhere and
in every department this holds true; the reason we shall come to by and
by.

One of the most elevating schools in Calcutta is the School of Arts,
where young men are stimulated to emulate each other in drawing,
designing, modelling, engraving, and lithography. It is a noble
institution, and a beautiful thought; but why should the founders think
only of young men? If there was a female department, it might do much to
elevate the women of India.

I sent my card to Pundit Vidyasagur, the native gentleman who, with Baboo
Vidyarutna, brought about the Widow Marriage Act. He is President of the
Sanscrit College, to which he very politely escorted me. On one of the
shelves I saw an elegantly-bound volume of the Bible, to which I called
attention.

"Yes, madam," the librarian at once replied, "yes, and there is _Hume,_"
laying his hand on another volume of the same size, and just as elegantly
bound, _lying on the top of the Bible_. Government presented the Bible to
the college, so they did not dare refuse it, but they covered it with
Hume!

Vidyasagur attended me to see a widow whom he had been educating, much to
his honour. She was then a respected teacher in a school; a lovely young
creature, so inspired with her work, and so inspiring, it did one's heart
good to meet her.

I went to see Mrs. Ewart's school for Jewish girls. They had an excellent
teacher. It is difficult to instruct these girls, because their parents
care very little for sound, useful knowledge, but insist on their being
thorough in the geography of the Twelve Tribes. It certainly requires a
good store of patience to drill any girls for hours on the localities of
Dan, Gad, and Napthali; however, by perseverance in this particular, Mrs.
Ewart has the privilege of teaching them a thousand things about Christ
and heaven.

I visited several orphan schools. There is one connected with each
Missionary denomination in Calcutta. Dr. and Mrs. Duff have founded a
school for the high-caste girls, and have forty or more taught as yet by
a heathen pundit, but this is an improvement on the past. The light of
Calcutta in female education is the Normal Central Institution, for
educating teachers.

The gentlemen in India seem to feel much deeper interest in the elevation
of heathen women than our brothers in America do generally. This ought
not to be. They may say English officers ought to do more for India.
True, but America has its Indians, its negroes, its poor white girls. And
then, America is a great country of _educated mothers_, therefore we have
a right to expect from her sons some help for these millions of heathen
women in Asia.

These first schools are like leaven, and will work, and the Missionaries,
with many others in Calcutta, are indefatigable labourers in the cause.
But the population is so dense! Mrs. Wylie says: "In Calcutta alone there
are probably _three hundred thousand females_, and within a radius of
twenty miles around Calcutta, there are perhaps not less than _a
million_. Only a few of all this great multitude can read--only a few
have heard of the way of salvation."

What India now needs most is a corps of Bible-reading _women_, of high
cultivation, irrepressible zeal, and entire consecration. If the
gentlemen would just help these to go as _sappers and miners_, they would
next have to prepare quarters for a surrendering enemy.

There is a Sunday-school in Calcutta helping in this work, that
interested me deeply. The superintendent is Robert Scott Moncrieff, Esq.,
and he represents a class of earnest, primitive lay Missionaries
scattered all over India. He is a young man just rising, making his own
way upward. He rises because he keeps the only sure path--integrity,
hard work, perseverance, patience, faith, and trust. But, while toiling
unremittingly in a counting-house, with heavy responsibilities, he still
finds time to be Sunday-school superintendent, gaol Missionary, and
seaman's friend. Heaven reward thee, friend and brother! "He that soweth
bountifully shall reap also bountifully."

One morning the venerable Bishop, good Daniel Wilson, sent for me to
breakfast with himself and the Archdeacon. The dear Wylies took me in
their carriage.

His expositions of the Scriptures that morning were most clear and
impressive, as if the glimpses into their deep treasures grew brighter as
he looked over the river, and at the close we all joined with heartfelt
earnestness in "Thy kingdom come."

On going to the table he seated me beside himself, and after breakfast he
led me through his library, taking down volume after volume, until he
gave me a copy of each of his valuable works, with his autograph in every
one. He then showed me the pictures of all his family, and, finally,
stepped to his desk and drew a cheque for a hundred rupees, to help me on
in my contemplated school. Kind Archdeacon Pratt followed with another
fifty, and a nice volume of his own, with his autograph. So I returned
home richly laden.

The next day I heard the Bishop preach in the cathedral. His theme was
the new birth. He was very feeble, and obliged to lean upon the
Archdeacon for support in the pulpit. I could only think of Aaron holding
up the hands of Moses, for he seemed to be stepping into the portals of
heaven, and very soon after he entered his Father's house of many
mansions.

One of the most interesting women I saw in Calcutta was Madam Ellerton,
at that time the oldest inhabitant in Calcutta. She had been the friend
of Heber, of Carey, of Martyn, and a long line of worthies. She drew me
down over her, clasped her withered arms around my neck, and prayed for
me till my own tears mingled with hers.

Madam Ellerton had lived with the Bishop many years, and he very
tenderly, while I was there, bade her have no anxiety about her burial,
for he had seen her tomb prepared by the side of his own in the
cathedral!

The native gentlemen who interested me particularly were Lal Beharrie Da
and Lal Beharrie Singh. I heard Lal Beharrie Da preach in English to a
large audience in the Scotch Kirk from these words: "Let us go up and
possess the land, for we are able." I thought it one of the best
Missionary sermons I ever heard. It was glowing with light, and faith,
and zeal for his Master. He is an ordained Missionary, and Professor in
the Duff College. He has recently married a Parsee wife of great
intelligence.

At Beharrie Singh's house I met a party of native gentlemen, educated
pundits and baboos, all of whom declared their intention to do what they
could to change the degraded condition of their women. Beharrie Singh
gave me a copy of a History of Female Education in India, written by
himself.

During tea I expected that none but the Christians would eat with me; but
at last Vidyasagur took up his cup, and began to sip his tea. Then the
others followed, and although they declined cake, yet this was perhaps a
nearer approach to eating with a Christian than they had ever made in
their lives.

Mrs. Singh was Mary Sutton. She accompanied Mrs. Sutton, of the Orissa
mission, to America, and was educated by Baptist ladies in Boston, Mass.
She is a highly intelligent person, pretty, graceful, and a devoted
helper to her husband. When I saw her she was teaching a little school of
Mussulman children, and it was she who interested one of the donors to
the school to send me a hundred rupees. Mrs. Sutton very kindly obtained
for me a set of Hindu gods, drawn and coloured by a Hindu painter. The
cost was, I believe, a rupee a piece. They have been very useful to me in
explaining Hindu idolatry; and if Missionaries desire to send home
anything from Calcutta, these might awaken more interest than anything
else found there.

The interest in the Tounghoo mission increased every day until I left the
city. The Wylies, the Moncrieffs, the Milnes, and Mrs. Lushington were
pleading the cause of the poor and needy. Everybody I was introduced to
helped me in some way or other. Even my hostess, in Sudder street, kind
Mrs. Taylor, although taking boarders to help her own children, would
accept no payment from me. Her son, too, set about teaching my boys
Latin, and would spend hours in giving them instruction, after coming
home weary from his day's labours. Why was all this kindness shown to a
stranger? For the Master's sake.

Time would fail me to tell of all the friends raised up there, but when I
stepped on board the steamer for Rangoon, in March, my soul was running
over with love and wonder.

I hastened to my cabin, shut the door, and held up before the Almighty
the manna He had given us:--

                                                 RUPEES.
For the Girl's School in Tounghoo                 2,231
For the same in Books and Prints from the
Calcutta Tract Society                              100
For the Preachers and General Purposes              614
For printing the Sermon on the Mount in Bghai       100
For personal support, by Mrs. Wylie and
Mrs. Moncrieff                                      300

Besides the grant of land for the school, and a grant from the Calcutta
Bible Society for printing several parts of the Bible, under Mr. Mason,
in Bghai Karen; altogether in value more than six thousand rupees, or
three thousand dollars.

All this, too, without asking for a penny! and given by friends who did
not stop to ask if the converts would be of their church, or of any
other, but simply if they could be redeemed and elevated to glorify
Emmanuel.

I assure you, reader, I felt as if I had just come to the knowledge of
what God could do. It seemed too wonderful for me; I could only praise,
and lay my head in the dust.

Nor did the great I AM leave the work here. On reaching Rangoon, I simply
sent my card to Colonel Phayre, the Commissioner of Pegu, and a plan of
the contemplated school to our old Deputy Commissioner of Tounghoo, who
had helped me about the slave children. Immediately there came rattling
in nearly a hundred rupees from Government officers there.

I called on Mrs. Bell, the wife of the Commander-in-Chief in Burmah, and
they invited an interesting circle for prayer, for both General and Mrs.
Bell are working Christians. The General himself performs the two-fold
part of preacher to his officers, and Missionary to the heathen; and on
leaving their hospitable mansion, he sent after me a roll of two hundred
rupees!

If these friends, or others there, should happen to see these pages, they
will forgive me, I hope, and will obligingly stand in the Missionary
pillory, because I know you do want to see them, reader--those dear,
kind friends who so generously pitied the poor Tounghoo women.



CHAPTER IV. - FORMING AN EDUCATION SOCIETY.


ON reaching Tounghoo again, who should appear but my old Tutauman.
Pointing to the north, south, east, and west, he said,--

"Teacheress, among these hills and valleys there are ninety-six churches,
ninety-six chapels, ninety-six Christian schools, and two thousand six
hundred baptized converts." The tidings were perfectly bewildering. Men
who three years before had never heard of Jesus.

In came the young preachers too, many of them my old pupils, from every
point of the compass, with their troops of pupils, and one company
bearing palm leaves--a real oriental triumph! Was it any wonder if I
was exhilarated? I could not help writing back to dear Mrs. Wylie, who
had so tenderly sympathized with us: "I assure you I feel half the time
as if out of the body. I don't think I could ask any more joy; for I am
sure Emmanuel is with us, and His holy, lovely likeness, in a greater or
less degree, is shining all around us."

One day I was saying to one of the young schoolmasters, that it was
delightful to teach the people to read, it was so blessed to feed on
God's word. "Yes," he answered immediately, "'Blessed are they who do
hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.' I read
that in the holy book of Matthew."

These converts had already raised seven hundred rupees for books, eight
hundred for medicines, besides building nearly a hundred chapels
themselves alone, supporting nearly a hundred preachers and
schoolmasters; and in the last year they had raised several hundred
rupees for a young men's school. How could I, then, expect them to enter
upon the new undertaking of supporting schools for girls? Quala, too, on
whom I had most relied to further the plan, only said, "As for the food,
the Christians can do it." He had heard that the Christians in America
looked upon the design with doubt. He supposed it was because men did not
approve in America of women teachers. So he would be very wise; he would
take no ground at all. He would neither oppose nor help.

Looking over the towering mountains of the land, the scattered hamlets of
the people, their drained purses, and many dialects, all new to me, and
then this bitter disappointment in one on whom I had counted on as a
pillar of strength--shall I confess my weakness? Fear, an
indescribable, painful sense of fear, came over me, and, for a time,
overpowered every other emotion. I could see no help for all those
thousands of Tounghoo women, even after having just witnessed the power
of the Almighty arm. I retired at night only to toss from side to side; I
arose in the morning only to fear and grieve.

But the Lord gave strength, and it was not long that faith stood so
faltering. For a Christian to doubt and fear when his Captain gives the
word, "Forward!" is like a soldier stopping under marching orders to
inquire about the commissariat supplies. I determined to obey, and leave
results to the Master. Peace and joy indescribable followed this
determination; and, presently, one of the highest chiefs sent in three
young women, very pretty and clever, but not a rupee nor a kernel of rice
with them, nor a word about any support. Then arose another trial of
faith. If I sent them back, no more would come down; if I took them and
fed them myself, it would be a ruinous precedent. I called the girls,
told them every particular, threw the burden of responsibility upon them,
explained to them how momentous was the future, how much depended on
their stay with us, and then proposed a night of fasting and prayer. We
spent it mostly together, pleading with heaven, and before morning those
three young women were quite as deeply embued with the spirit of the
undertaking as I was myself.

Next evening a chief came in bringing eleven rupees for the young men's
school.

"Go and give it to mama for the girls," said Mr. Mason.

"The girls!" he replied, with a side look of disdain.

"Yes, for the girls. They have nothing to eat. They need food as well as
the boys."

Very reluctantly the chief came and handed me the eleven rupees.

"Stop, Nah Khan," I said, taking a low stool beside him. "Look at this,"
spreading out the ground plan of my contemplated building, and explaining
to him the whole undertaking. I also told him that I was obliged to give
up my own support to do this.

"And how is mama to get her curry and rice?" he asked.

"Ah! Qualay, God's ravens are still in the world," I answered; when he
smiled understandingly, and turning to his followers, in an undertone he
said,--

"Think we must send mama the great pig!"

Sure enough, a few days afterwards down came the great pig--such a
size--laced up in bamboos, borne by seven men, squealing so as to startle
the officers all the way through the cantonments. On they came, and laid
it an offering at my door, an offering of highland sympathy! The same day
my servant went with them to market and sold the squealer for twenty-two
rupees. With this, and the eleven rupees, I was enabled to support the
girls a whole term.

Seeing I was really in earnest, and had even sold the pig to help, the
Nah Khan and his men began also to feel an inspiration about the work.
From this time he encouraged and cheered us on. Caleb-like, he said:--

"Let the teacheress have no fear. We are able, and we will do all she
requires."

Thus God in mercy gave strength and comfort. The story soon spread, and
deputations began to pour in desiring to see the _taguau_ or plan which I
had marked out for the institute. With each company I spent hours in
explaining the plan, and the advantage of having the women taught so as
to keep the schools, and leave the young men free to go beyond, preaching
the Gospel. Some opposed strongly, and I would leave them in a high
dispute with one another about the shame of having _women teachers_, and
the impropriety of allowing their daughters to learn more than their
parents knew. They would become lazy, they would beat out paddy no more,
it was argued. They would become proud, and would no longer obey their
husbands. Others, however, saw the advantages, and particularly the
advantages of having a piece of land of their own, and a large handsome
house of their own. The liberal party finally prevailed, and all returned
to bring in their pledges and contributions. Each embassy now brought a
letter pledging his chief and people to carry on the school, and support
it; accompanying the letter with their money, varying from one rupee to
thirty rupees.

Next came the search after a building spot. The Deputy Commissioner
proposed a ride on horseback; so one morning before breakfast away I went
with our mutual friend, the Rev. Mr. Whittaker. The Commissioner was
mounted on a cream-coloured pony, with black mane, cut close, and a
sweeping black tail. The pretty creature had a fine arching neck, and
seemed to know exactly who she carried, for she stepped off as proudly as
Bucephalus. My pony, which Mrs. Whittaker had kindly lent me, was also a
Shan, but much smaller. I had not been on horseback for twelve years, so
that this was an adventure. The Commissioner led the way, and on we went
over all sorts of places, down the river, over the plains, and at last he
came up to a very steep ridge of table land, which he thought would make
a splendid site for a school. On the top was a pagoda with a long
graduated ascent of paved steps from the base to the summit. Captain
D'Oyly rode on, as if there were nothing to impede us, right up the brick
steps.

"Shall I come?" I asked timidly, yet with no thought in the world but
that of implicit obedience.

"Yes, Mrs. Mason, come up," he answered quietly, turning his head with a
grave, careless air. So on I went, up, up, up, till I verily thought the
pony must lose his balance and I tumble backwards over his head. As soon
as we reached the summit, he turned to me with a half-concealed
triumphant expression,--

"You're a capital rider, Mrs. Mason, and you are quite _tractable!_"

Then I saw the mischief in his eye, and understood he had led me straight
up the pagoda just for sport. We had a much harder time getting down, and
it was not without some peril.

When I asked the Captain what he played such a ruse for, he answered with
his judicial smile,--

"Oh! I saw you could lead Karens. I wanted to see if you could _follow!_"

It was all in vain, however, our scaling the Myugyee pagoda. Not a foot
of land could we find available, for the military lines lay far and near,
stretching in every direction. Once we saw a magnificent old mango near
the river, and galloped off, thinking then we had surely got beyond their
limits; but lo, to our great vexation, there were twenty or thirty
sappers slashing down the reeds and grasses to build an hospital! Then we
turned and galloped as far the other way to a clump of palms standing all
alone as much as two miles from the cantonments; but there they were, the
forever-present bushmen, putting up a stable. So, after searching in vain
till ten o'clock, we gave up and went home.

The next day I started again with Karens, and for five days we scoured
the country in every direction, and found nothing. I was resolved to get
on to the river, so that the Karens could have the advantages of a river
frontage for their boats, bamboos, and produce, as well as water free for
themselves and their cattle, besides protection against fires, and a
clear way downward, should they be obliged to flee from the Burmese.

Finally, the Nah Khans, the two chief Karens who had been appointed
magistrates, suggested that we should go into the jungle on the east side
of the Sittang river, opposite to the old fort, on a spot where they said
all the Karen paths met. It was a wild jungle, but a particularly
convenient place for all the tribes.

"Very well," the Deputy Commissioner replied, "I will go over with you,
and we will mark off as much as you want."

Recollecting the pagoda jaunt, I engaged him in an interesting
conversation till he quite forgot the land and walk. He suddenly
recollected his promise, and stopping short, said,--

"Do you want a _state_ here, Mrs. Mason? How far _are_ you going?"

"Only to that old tree; that will make a fine boundary," I answered,
pressing on to an ancient banyan that was waving fifty feet over the
river.

He looked back in utter amazement at the distance we had gone over, and
said something about having it measured. I suggested that he might let us
cut down the jungle first, and then it could be seen how much space there
really was.

"Well, call your people, and go to work quickly, but I can't promise you
will get all that."

Immediately about fifty came down to clear the land, but applied to me
for food. I counted up all they had brought in for the school, and the
whole amounted to one hundred rupees. I pointed to my twenty-four pupils,
and assured them it would be impossible for me to feed them also. But I
handed them twenty-five rupees, telling them they had better appoint two
of their number to buy and cook for the whole. The work would then go on
much more rapidly.

Two days passed, when they came again, saying the money was all gone. At
first I felt disposed to rebuke them, but turned to my closet for an
hour, giving the time to prayer and to my dear little help-book,
"Remedies against Satan's Devices." In that time God taught me what to
do, and strength was given for the day. Having first obtained permission
of Mr. Mason, I went out.

"Chiefs, can you build me a house?" I asked.

"Oh! yes; if mama would live in a Karen house."

"How long would it take?"

"We could put one up to-morrow."

"Very well. You go and put me up a house, and I will take the girls all
over the river. Then I will buy food in the bazaar, and the girls will do
the cooking if you think all would like this?"

"Never could eyes open so wide. They seemed relieved of a tremendous
burden, and, springing to their feet, they gave orders to their men,
right and left, while I handed them ten rupees more to sustain them while
building my house. The next evening I bade adieu to home and all home
comforts. They had cleared two spots about forty feet square, and the
school-house or shanty they had built me was only twenty feet square, set
up two feet above the damp ground, enclosed by reeds and covered with
grasses. To this we removed the next evening with our books and
twenty-four girls; and here was taught the first girls' school in
Tounghoo. At evening we assembled for prayers, and I addressed them
kindly, praising them for the efforts they had made, and encouraging them
to hope for success if they would let the girls cook for them all. To
this several strongly objected, alleging that Bghai food and Paku food
were not the same, and their manner of cooking not the same. I then
engaged that Bghai girls should cook for Bghais, and Paku girls for
Pakus, upon which all sung the doxology most heartily, and every heart
beat as strong as Gideon's."

The next day, on the 4th of August, 1857, the chiefs having arrived, we
held a convocation in the little bamboo chapel which they had erected
under four ancient mango trees some eighty feet high, and organized the
KAREN EDUCATION SOCIETY. Forty chiefs were present, and twenty were
represented by letter. The session continued until the 7th. They chose a
Board of Managers, consisting of one Paku, one Mauniepaga, one Mopaga,
one Bghai, one Pant-Bghai, and one English, besides Captain D'Oyly, who
kindly consented to act as president.

One of the first resolutions of the society was to support and carry on
themselves the NATIONAL FEMALE INSTITUTE, as they expressed it, "down to
remotest generations." The Nah Kahn Qualay stirred up the people to bring
in their pledges, and my Tutuaman, Shapau, set off through the Bghai
hills for three months, explaining the plan to all the Bghai villages,
and soon pledge letters came in from every quarter.

A few of these letters I will give, for I do really think they are
curious and interesting documents, considering they are entirely the
composition of these wild Karens. These are specimens of more than two
hundred letters now beside me, which have been voluntarily sent in by
native churches. The first letter was

FROM PWAPAU, THE TEACHER OF KLURLAH.

"DEAR TEACHERESS OF TOUNGHOO,

"Grace, mercy, and peace be with thee for ever! There are some young
women here who do desire to study with mama. We send two of them, who
pledge themselves to study hard and become teachers, and the people
promise to support them. We send now four rupees eight annas.
"PWAPAU THE TEACHER OF KLURLAH."

The same clan:--

"FROM THE CHIEFS OF HOOMUDUC.

"We are greatly pleased, and we send four girls immediately to study.
These we have examined, and they engage to teach school, and do
everything they can to build up Christ's kingdom. We send them quick that
they may not be behind the others."

From the Mopaga Tribe:--

"TEACHER AND TEACHERESS,

"The plan devised for us we all like much. We will give up our children
to study in the great zayat about to be erected, and will furnish them
food. All agree perfectly to the Committee of Seven, and we now hope to
become acquainted with books. We write this letter that the teachers may
know that we agree with glad hearts.

"The doings of the teachers afford us great pleasure.

"May peace and happiness rest on our helpers!

"WRITTEN FOR THE CHURCH OF PANAPOO."

From the Pant-Bghai Tribe:--

"TEACHERESS,

"That which thou hast devised, erecting a building for us, hits the minds
of all, both men and women. We agree with great glad hearts, and will
send our children and grand-children to study, and we will also furnish
them support.

"We will righteously perform the things to which we here agree, both men
and women pledging their words; and in order that mama may know our
designs, we have written this letter."



CHAPTER V. - GETTING A TITLE DEED.


"YOU will surely die there, Mrs. Mason." This was our civil surgeon's
belief, and the fear of all our friends; for every one knows how
unhealthy it is to live in the midst of new clearings day and night, and
especially in a hot climate, where vegetation decomposes so rapidly.

"But, doctor, how do your officers do when bringing your men before an
enemy?"

"Oh! we go first, of course," he answered, laughing.

"When you know you may get shot first?"

"Yes."

"Then you see why my husband lets me go and live in the clearings."

There is nothing so important, when labouring to raise up a heathen
people, as to let them see that you believe yourself what you teach them.
If you would have them trust, you must trust yourself. If you would have
them enter into the spirit of that diamond precept, "Seek first the
kingdom of God and His righteousness," you must make that kingdom first
in the little unnoticeable actions of every-day life, not unnoticed by
the heathen. Little things are what they judge by altogether, like little
children, and like God too. The minute hand is their guide, not the hour
hand. Therefore my dear husband was happy in this arrangement, although,
from July, 1857, to July, 1858, I could only have Saturdays for home
duties.

Saturday morning two of the school girls would go over, and while taking
lessons in sweeping, cleaning, and tasteful arrangement, would put
everything "to rights" in Mr. Mason's quarters. In the morning the dhoby
always came with the week's washing, and took away for the next week, by
which plan everything was changed on Saturday, and all ready for quiet on
the Sabbath.* Then the cook's market bill for the week was to be settled,
and directions given for the next week, and this had to be done for my
husband's table, for my own, for the girls' school, for the young men's
school, and for the two Karen hospitals; measuring out, every Saturday,
the tea, the coffee, the sugar, the salt, the flour, the curry-powder,
the rice, and even the lamp-oil, for every day through the week. By noon
the domestic business was completed, and the remainder of the day was a
real treat to us both. Then out came my dear husband's letters and
scientific papers, with my "woman's plans" to be sifted and turned over
by the wisdom and genial heart of one of the most indulgent of husbands,
and so these hours were exclusively devoted to each other.

[Footnote: * Everybody knows, I suppose, that in hot climates linen has
to be changed every day; so that it is always necessary to have one or
two dozen changes on hand at once.]

We were greatly favoured in having good servants. Appoo takes care of
all my husband's wants, while our friend, the mussulman, keeps all the
wardrobes in order. I have heard of legislators decreeing it the duty of
woman to "smile on her husband and darn his stockings!" Shades of Menu
and Fo! Smile, of course, we will on our husbands; but as for the
darning--all nonsense! old Baboo Hoosim can do it a thousand times
better than I can. He is our family tailor. Every Saturday morning, at
six o'clock, this tall, white-gowned spectre appears in his Cashmire
turban and flowing white beard on our verandah. Then out come the
drawers, when everything and anything that wants repairing is handed
over to him. He will find buttons, and sew them on to all the
wristbands, make up shirts or dresses, trousers or mantles, no matter
which; fit up your bed-room with sheets, pillow-slips, towels, all and
everything, for less money than it would cost you to furnish materials;
because a foreigner always has to pay a third more for everything than a
native. So I let the servants darn, and I superintend. This latter must
never be left to them, as they soon rattle through the purse, if you do.

Then little Appoo; he's such a capital fellow! Just like his master--I
mean, he is just as punctilious about the hours.* His curry is always
right, with the whitest rice, everything smoking hot, and just at the
hour. At three o'clock precisely, in comes the hot water for master's
bath. At seven o'clock precisely comes his unchangeable dinner of curry
and rice, or beef steak, fried plantains, and sweet potatoes, with now
and then the daintiest little custard "for master," or a nice cup of
arrowroot pudding.

[Footnote: * I have one of the most stereotyped husbands that ever
lived. Up every morning over his tea and toast at six o'clock, then comes
a short walk, then at his translations till prayer time, breakfast at
nine, study till eleven, lie down till twelve, at work again till two,
then a short nap, a bath, dinner, another walk, rest an hour, tea at
eight, translate till eleven. Week after week always the same, except
when broken up by jungle travelling.]

With my Yankee notions of housewifery, I for some time endeavoured to
tempt my husband to other dishes, which I prepared with great care
myself; but, although he would politely taste them and pronounce them
excellent, yet I saw he spent no thought on them, and only tasted from
mere politeness. So I gave up the cookhouse, much to his satisfaction,
and devoted my time to the people. The second year I was able to leave
the Karens also on Wednesday nights, and take our boys to join my
husband, which afforded us much cause for thankfulness, as the
separations of the first year had been to us both long and painful.

Not a little cankering care and anxiety I had in many ways, concerning
the land matters and the timber.

The Karens at this time were erecting twelve guard-houses for twelve of
the largest villages, in a parallelogram encircling the Institute, and
cultivating ground around them. They proposed to make a public road
around all, and, perhaps, to take up the jungle beyond and build a small
Karen settlement, if the taxes should be satisfactorily arranged, which
the Deputy Commissioner negociated for them.

The Acting Commissioner, Captain Hopkinson, stated that he could not,
without seeing or visiting the spot himself, or much further information,
sanction the grant of land.*

[Footnote: * Colonel Phayre, the Chief Commissioner of Pegu, was then in
Italy for his health, and Capt. Hopkinson, Commissioner of Tenasserim,
was in charge.]

Upon which, Captain D'Oyly wrote the following comforting little note to
me:--

"MY DEAR MRS. MASON,

"Do not be downcast. We must have a talk about this, and I hope we may be
able to get the Commissioner to change his mind.

"It would never do to let the labour and enthusiasm of the Karens be
thrown away. No, indeed! Be as bold in your present difficulties as you
were when you rode up the steps of the Myugyee pagoda, and all will come
right. Write yourself, and represent your own case, and I will forward
it."

The following letter was therefore forwarded:--

"To Captain H. Hopkinson, Commissioner of Pegu.

"SIR,

"I take the liberty of writing to you, as Captain D'Oyly requests me to
do so, concerning the land for which I have applied on account of the
Karen Female Institute.

"I would first beg permission to say a word in behalf of these mountain
tribes of Tounghoo."

Here followed a brief account of the Karens, and their readiness to
receive Christian books.

"From the lowest drunkenness thousands have risen up to sobriety,
diligence, and worth. From the lowest ignorance they have become able
mathematicians, printers, and teachers. Some of the most eloquent orators
I ever heard speak were Karens, and they have been educated almost
entirely in their own vernacular tongue. In Tounghoo the work of
conversion and education has been most remarkable."

After mentioning the young men's advancement and Quala's devotion, the
letter continued:--

"But for the education of the Karen women, very little has been done in
Tounghoo, and for the Burmese women nothing at all.

"For many years it has been my earnest desire to establish a school for
girls which should embrace all the tribes, bring out and concentrate
their energies and philanthropic feelings in the one great object of
education, and be to the Christian clans among the natives what Delphi
was to the tribes of Greece. God has in the most wonderful manner opened
the way for a beginning.

    *    *     *    *    *    *

"You know the grant so graciously given me by Government. It is true I
asked only for a 'small piece of land,' but then there was to be a 'well
and fruit-trees,' which implies a cultivated piece of ground, and this
was what Government expected me to have. But the military and civil lines
occupy almost every desirable spot in Tounghoo. I have, therefore, taken
an unbroken jungle. The labour of subduing this jungle and keeping the
land clear will be very great. Of course, we would not desire to have
such a piece of land unless compensation could be made in some way for
cultivated ground, 'the well and fruit-trees.' It takes a long time for
fruit-trees to grow, and they are invaluable for a school. Therefore it
is that I ask for a larger piece of land.

"For a public institution for a hundred girls we require ground
sufficient for the school-house, a house for the steward, the teacher, a
play-ground, a garden, a grazing-piece, dormitories, out-offices,
guard-house, and a spot for a chapel. I would, therefore, earnestly beg
you will make us the following grants:--

"1st.--The whole piece of land, measuring thirty-two and a-half acres.

"2nd.--Permission to erect twelve guard-houses on the outskirts of this
piece for the protection of the school, free of rent, the occupants
paying their annual capitation taxes in the districts to which they
respectively belong.

"3rd.--Permission for the Karens, who may take up land beyond the
school for cultivation, to pay their capitation taxes in the districts
where they belong, for the three years which Government allows to bring
the land under cultivation.

"4th.--Five hundred rupees towards making the new road required round
our land. This is asked because the road being a public one for all the
villages, it seems hard that we should do the work alone.

"I am, SIR, your humble servant,

"ELLEN B. MASON."

The letter was forwarded by Captain D'Oyly, and Captain Hopkinson replied
in the most gentlemanly terms, granting, finally, the whole piece of
land, permission for the guard-houses free of rent, permission to make
the road around the boundary; but he said,--"Mrs. Mason need not make
one any better than the native road that she found on the place." He also
granted all I asked in regard to taxes, and, moreover, he would give the
Karens permission to take up just as much land as they could cultivate,
free of taxes for ten years.

On the reception of this, the Karens gave ringing cheers for D'Oyly and
Hopkinson!

The next Sunday was appointed as a day of thanksgiving throughout the
jungles, and many warm heart-prayers ascended on that day from the glens
and pinnacles for the rulers who had thus helped us.

Changes, however, prevented the deed from being made out until the return
of Col. Phayre, when I again laid the subject before him. The following
is an extract from his very kind reply:--

ON THE IRRAWADDY, _April 12th_, 1858.

"MY DEAR MRS. MASON,
"_I fully appreciate the benefit which will result from your
determination to educate the Karens as Christian men, and to make them
good agriculturalists._

"I look forward with great pleasure, in my next visit to Tounghoo, to
seeing your Karen Female School, and witnessing the assembly of the whole
of your Karens at evening worship. I feel that a great work is going on,
and that it is the duty of all to further it to the utmost of their
ability.

"May I ask you to send me a brief sketch of the Karen Female School after
the close of the present term,--the number of scholars, what they are
taught, their age, the tribes they belong to, and all particulars which
you think would be interesting. The Government will, I am sure, be glad
to learn all particulars. When you have scholars of different tribes, do
you teach each in their own dialect?

"Believe me, very sincerely yours,

"A. P. PHAYRE."

My answer was accordingly:--

"The girls are all instructed in two dialects--the Paku and Bghai. They
are making most satisfactory progress in the study of Christianity,
geography, history, arithmetic, elementary astronomy, letter-writing, the
laws of health, housekeeping, nursing the sick, and teaching; and are
being carefully trained in habits of order, punctuality, and
cleanliness."

It was soon after this that our Deputy Commissioner was promoted, and a
new ruler arrived in Tounghoo. Directions were immediately given by the
Commissioner for the title deed to be made out, but that deputy a few
months after left the commission entirely. Then business fell into the
hands of a subordinate officer, and so the saddest delays occurred after
the order for the deed had been issued, causing me and the Karens the
most intense anxiety for two years, and by circumstances over which the
Commissioner had no control. This delay was caused mostly by bad men, who
retarded the advancement of female education in the land.

Finally, Colonel Phayre gave with his own hand the Title Deed, as
follows:--

TITLE DEED FOR KAREN SCHOOL LAND IN TOUNGHOO.

"UNDER THE AUTHORITY AND SANCTION CONVEYED FROM THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF
INDIA, IN COUNCIL, IN LETTER NO. 1,204, DATED 16TH MARCH, 1857, FROM THE
SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA IN THE FOREIGN DEPARTMENT, TO THE
ADDRESS OF THE COMMISSIONER OF PEGU, THE SAID COMMISSIONER DOTH HEREBY,
AS A SPECIAL CASE, IN ORDER THAT SOUND EDUCATION AND CIVILIZATION MAY BE
IMPARTED AND EXTENDED AMONG THE KAREN NATION, GRANT UNTO THE KAREN
EDUCATION SOCIETY OF THE DISTRICT OF TOUNGHOO ALL THAT PARCEL OF LAND
SITUATED ON THE EAST BANK OF THE RIVER SITTANG, NEAR THE CITY OF
TOUNGHOO, NOW IN THE OCCUPATION OF THE SAID EDUCATION SOCIETY, AND
CONTAINING ABOUT THIRTY-TWO (32) ACRES, MORE OR LESS; AND THE SAID LAND
SHALL BE HELD IN TRUST BY MRS. ELLEN B. MASON FOR THE SAID EDUCATION
SOCIETY, UNTIL HER DECEASE, WHEN IT MAY BE TAKEN IN CHARGE BY THE KAREN
BOARD OF MANAGERS OF THE SAID SOCIETY, IN CONNECTION WITH ANY ONE PERSON
WHOM THE SAID MRS. ELLEN B. MASON MAY HAVE APPOINTED TO CO-OPERATE WITH
THE SAID SOCIETY OR BOARD OF MANAGERS, AS THEIR TRUSTEE AND AGENT. AND
THIS GRANT SHALL CONTINUE AND HAVE EFFECT AS LONG AS THE LAND GRANTED,
AND THE BUILDING OR BUILDINGS THEREON, SHALL BE USED FOR AND DEVOTED TO
THE OBJECTS ON ACCOUNT OF WHICH THE GRANT IS MADE; NAMELY, FOR THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF FEMALE SCHOOLS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS, WHEREBY A SOUND
EDUCATION MAY BE IMPARTED TO THE KAREN NATION IN THE DISTRICT OF
TOUNGHOO, AND THE BLESSINGS OF CIVILIZATION BE EXTENDED TO THEM.

"IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I HAVE HEREUNTO SET MY HAND AND SEAL, AT BASSEIN, ON
THE NINTH (9TH) DAY OF JULY, 1859.

"A. P. PHAYRE, COMMISSIONER OF PEGU.
TOUNGHOO, 29th _July_, 1859."

I replied, "Oh how glad are we of this Title Deed! Every Christian Karen
on these mountains will thank our Government for it every day as long as
they live." The position was a central one, and approved as of easy
access to the great mass of the Karen population.

I think it had cost me to obtain it as many as _fifty_ letters. Two
years, too, of asking and waiting before the Throne. But God did not
forget to be gracious.

"HAPPY IS HE WHO HATH THE GOD OF JACOB FOR HIS HELP."



CHAPTER VI. - THE KAREN CANAAN.


"TEACHERS, I wonder if I love God with all my strength. I am thinking if
I _can_ do this."

These words were uttered by a very wild chief of the Pant-Bghai tribe.
He, with others, felt it a most formidable undertaking, the clearing
thirty acres of land, exceedingly formidable for wild Karens. The Nah
Khans divided out the whole ground into four wards, giving one to each of
the principal clans, so that every one, on going through the jungle,
would see "Paku ward," "Mopaga ward," "Bghai ward," and "Mauniepaga ward"
posted upon the stakes all along the whole tract.

It is August, and the rains are pouring heavily, but the news spreads
like a fire in the jungle. "The Karens have got a Canaan. God has given
us a Holy Land!" and mountain echoes to mountain, "Come to the work!" and
come they do in troops of five, ten, fifteen, twenty, until two or three
hundred cover the jungle. Drenched with rain, down they pour, over crags
and snags, through bogs and swollen rivers up to their necks, and not a
rag of clothing to change, so poor they are.

"Dahs, dahs, mama! Give us dahs!" (long stout knives); for a fourth part
of the Bghais bring nothing to work with, so I must buy for them spades
and hoes, to the amount of nearly a hundred rupees out of the general
fund which the whole supply. These, too, require care, and the men are
constantly going and coming, so two of the girls are appointed
stewardesses of the tools to give out and receive back, taking the
leaders' names in each company. Four others are entrusted with the
marketing; but the rations I give out daily myself to all the companies,
so that there shall be no injustice; besides, I find it much more
economical. The girls cook for them with perfect cheerfulness, and all
work indeed as Nehemiah's men did building up the wall.

You should have seen the heaps of presents coming to me. On one side,
rolls of mats, ten feet high; on another, long bamboo joints of honey; on
another piles of baskets, and a whole yard full of hens and chickens
before the door. You know this is custom _a L' Orient_. On first visiting
any superior, they lay before him some token of friendship, or rather of
homage.

We let them bring as much as they like, but never take for ourselves a
single anna's worth, neither Mr. Mason, nor I, nor our children. We say
to them, "It is well, but we will set it all to the school account," and
every mat, basket, egg, and fowl, every pound of beeswax or bamboo of
honey which we use for ourselves, I pay for at the full market price, and
put it into the school funds. This has always been Mr. Mason's custom and
my own, and I believe it is far more pleasing to God than it would be to
take presents from such poor converts. Both Mr. Mason and Quala, at the
close of 1856, reported: "Among the Bghais, things are going back,"--but
this new school plan, which brought the tribes to work altogether,
seemed to have a mesmeric effect. It made the clans acquainted with each
other, drew forth their sympathies, much increased their mutual love, and
their interest in one another's welfare; our Bible studies also greatly
aided these desirable results.

It is morning. The girls are at their rice pots. I go to look over the
work, advising with the chiefs, and encouraging their men, as I always
find that if I have visited any spot in the morning, the men will
accomplish double the work there during the day.

But they are still weak--very weak. One morning I find them clearing
around the thorn bushes, but have no intention of going into such
perilous-looking clumps. A straggling thorn bush runs through the whole
tract, which increases very rapidly, and grows into trees all woven and
interwoven so as to be quite impenetrable. These the chiefs declare must
remain, for not a man will venture into those awful meshes. My two daring
boys snatch the dahs from the chiefs' hands, dash in, Saxon-like,
slashing right and left, and soon one large clump is laid low. At
twilight the torch is applied, and "Away goes one mountain," they shout.

The roots spread far and wide, and in that land will be up again in a
week; so again our boys rush into the work there in the moonlight, and
rafts of thorns float down the river. After this, whenever they came to a
thicket of thorns, the chiefs would cry out, "Remember the little
teachers," when the young men and boys would attack them with a
vengeance; but, of course, with bare feet, it was very unenviable work.

The middle of the day I devote to my school, leaving the men to do as
they choose; some working, others sleeping, but in the evening comes our
Bible-reading. This is deeply interesting. Imagine as follows:--

"I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye
present your bodies a living sacrifice," reads the assistant in Paku.

"I beseech you, therefore, brethren," &c., respond the congregation.

"I beseech you, therefore, brethren," &c., reads the assistant in Bghai.

"I beseech you, therefore, brethren," &c., respond the congregation in
Bghai.

"What is it the Apostle wants the heathen converts to do? You may all
answer; chiefs, women, young men, young women, tell what you think. What
is a _living_ sacrifice? How can we make a sacrifice every day, and keep
about our work?" Then,

"What about these mercies of God?" &c.

This is something new, and every eye begins to dilate, showing all are in
deep and intense thought, till finally the principal chief gives
utterance to his views; then another follows, and another, expounding and
reasoning, until the room presents a most animated scene of discussion,
and all about the Bible. The young women, too, are encouraged to express
their thoughts, but this arouses the young preachers.

"Mama, does not the Apostle Paul say, 'I suffer not a woman to teach?'
yet you call on the young women here in the presence of the men?"

"Ay, ay, Master Shemoon, but this is _our_ Bible lesson. It belongs to
the girls' school; and as I, too, am a woman, I fear you will all have to
stay away, or let the girls talk." They chose the latter alternative, and
these happy Bible-readings were never to be forgotten by either party.
The questions usually led to earnest exhortations, which always closed by
a hearty application of the text to the business in hand.

Again turning from the assistants to the chiefs, I try to have them feel
that, as they are all heads of families and heads of villages, it is
eminently desirable that they should understand the Scriptures, so as to
instruct their people, and hold up the hands of their teachers, pointing
them to Abraham. The question is then put:

"What shall be our subject to-night?"

"Faithfulness," it may be, cries a voice below the platform, and so we
take Faithfulness.

"Well, who does God command to be faithful? Does He say anything about it
to teachers? Look at 1 Tim. i. 12."

"The Apostle thanks the Lord that He counted him faithful," some one
answers.

"See Eph. vi. 21."

"He says Tychicus was faithful," calls out timidly a boy from the corner.

"Is anything said to chiefs? Look at Gal. iii. 9."

"Abraham is called faithful."

"Anything to the Board of Managers? 1 Cor. iv. 2."

"It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful."

"Anything to wives? 1 Tim. iii. 11."

"Wives are commanded to be faithful in all things."

"Anything to children? Titus i. 6."

"Parents are blessed when they have faithful children, not unruly."

"Anything to servants? Matt. xxv. 21."

"Servants are said to have '_well_ done' when faithful."

"What does a faithful servant do? Let each one tell."

"A dozen voices respond one by one, all telling some simple thing
pertaining to their every-day life.

"What does Christ call those who do whatsoever He commands them?"

"His servants."

"Where does He say they shall be? John xii. 26."

"Where He is."

"I saw a _Daupuwa_, or brother," says one of the Board of Managers; "he
said he had come down to work three days. He worked till noon to-day;
then he and all his men left for home, so as to reach there to-night.
Now, was he faithful?"

"No, no, no," utter a dozen voices of young men and women.

"I heard another say to-night he had worked two days, when to-day at noon
he went to the bazaar, and loitered all the rest of the day. Was he
faithful?"

"No, no."

"Tell some other way of being _un_faithful."

"I know," says a young man. "San Yaubu told me, if I didn't dig up the
roots of the grass and stumps around the chapel, I should not be
faithful."

"And I know," says one of the girls, "if I get tired, and don't teach my
class well when mama is out, I'm unfaithful."

And so every one hunts up an answer, and sometimes mingles it with simple
confession, showing the power of the sword of the Spirit.

"What is it a faithful witness _will not do_, girls? Look and see. Prov.
xiv. 5."

"Will not lie," answer the girls in low, sweet voices.

"Who was so faithful that none occasion nor fault could be found in him?
Look at Dan. vi. 4."

"Daniel," shout the boys.

Then the heart-searchings would be stayed, and all asked if any one could
tell what was promised to him who was faithful in a few things; and then
came again their brief, striking applications.

"What will Christ give to the faithful unto death? Rev. ii. 10."

"A crown of life."

But our five favourite topics were, first, "Thy kingdom come," in the
Lord's prayer; the armour, in Eph. vi.; the work of tribulation, Rom. v.;
the fruits of the Spirit, Gal. v.; and the great command, "loving our
neighbour as ourselves."

One evening the subject was the first commandment.

"First commandment, 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me,'" calls out
the assistant on my right, in Paku.

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me," respond the whole assembly. So
he goes through.

"First commandment, 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me,'" takes up
the assistant on my left, in the Bghai dialect.

The congregation respond, and so we go through again.

"How can you love the Lord with your _strength_?" it was asked. For some
time none could answer. Presently, chief Pwame rose and said,

"I think I understand."

"Well, what is it, chief?" and every eye was fixed on the speaker.

"What is it?" he replies, towering to his full height. "Why, brethren, if
we come here and help mama to build up this school for teachers, and
clear this land for a holy place, we are loving Jesus Christ with our
_strength_--that's the way, I think."

"Er, er," shouts out chief Poquai with a dozen other voices. And so it
goes on, the interest increasing every moment, till ten o'clock, and then
no one wants to stop--nor I either.

They always went home talking over the subjects, and they would continue
talking them over at midnight, in the morning, in the roads, and in the
fields. If any point of difficulty arose and it was referred to me, I
never answered them except by quoting other Scripture, or asking
questions which should lead them to see the truth, so that when it was
reached, all felt that they had got at it themselves. This encouraged
them to try, and to drink in with delight the waters that could quench
all their thirst.

"SANCTIFY THEM THROUGH THY TRUTH; THY WORD IS TRUTH." This has been
ringing in my ears ever since we began this work. It afforded them the
greatest pleasure to know that they were to be made holy by the study of
God's word. Then they thought that God had given His word as the food for
their souls, even as they prepared curry and rice for the body, and they
knew if they did not eat their evening meal, they could not possibly dig
up roots the next day.

"No," they would exclaim, "and so if we don't feed on God's word every
day, we shall never get up the thorns and stumps of sin from our hearts."

The young preachers and schoolmasters were usually about us two or three
together, and they always returned with brighter eyes, stronger nerves,
and higher aspirations to their work in the hills. This I regarded as one
of the greatest blessings that attended on the place--the sparkles of
truth and blendings of love would be borne back to the pinnacles of the
mountains, and have more or less effect upon hearts, as the teachers were
led to personal watchfulness.

I might have talked to these wild men and women till doomsday, and they
would never have made the sacrifices they have made, but for the deep
practical truths of the Bible. They loved dearly to have "Cruden's
Concordance" talk to them, and would often ask me to take the Holy Figure
Book, as they called it, which I always kept on the desk with the Bible.

Subsequently, after a year's teaching, I would ask the chiefs to name a
subject for investigation, which they could readily do,--perhaps faith,
perhaps love, mercy, or works, visiting the widow and the fatherless,
using just weights; indeed, almost every kind of practical subject was
taken up in our Bible readings. It was not merely Old Testament stories
that we studied, or the miracles or revelations, but Corinthians, Romans,
Galatians, Philippians, James, and John. The history of God's dealings
with the Israelites was always made prominent, because this seemed to me
eminently adapted to lead them to fear God and to trust Him, having
always strengthened my own faith. Our favourite parts of the Bible were
Exodus, Luke, John, Romans, and Corinthians.

The above are specimens of our manner of studying the word of God every
week-day night, men, women, and children, for the last three years, until
it seemed as if those who dwelt about the school-grounds grew so fast, we
could almost see them grow in a "knowledge of the truth." This was the
greatest consolation to us all when we saw them dropping away by cholera.
Twenty-five of my Bible class, who had so delighted in studying about the
"Light of the World," ascended up in two months' time to bask in that
light for ever, and not one murmur, not a single expression of fear, as
far as I could learn, escaped the lips of either.

"Are you afraid?" I asked them repeatedly, as I stood beside them and
held the hands of those dying saints.

"No, mama. We know Christ will take us." What but the Inspired Oracles
could have given such men such faith to die by? such a light through the
shadows, such a life-belt for those deep waters?

It was one evening after we had been dwelling on the first and great
commandment, that the wild Bghai met me on the steps with the striking
remark mentioned at the opening of this chapter:--

"Teacher, I wonder if I can love the Lord with all my strength?"

He wished me to supply his men with rice, and ten men would remain a week
and work on the Girls' Place, they buying their own curry. I was obliged
to refuse.

Just then a little boy standing behind pulled his tunic, and whispered
something low.

"I'll go and talk with my men," he said, hastily.

Half an hour passes. Back comes the chieftain, his little son beside him.

"We've talked it over," he said, "and Poquer says he and the boys will
make some baskets and sell for rice."

A week or ten days go by, and looking up the road, a troop of Karens
appeared, coming down in Indian file with eight or ten boys, each one's
head piled with baskets towering up like little mountains, eight or ten
on each head. Without stopping, they forded the river, waist deep, went
to the bazaar, sold their baskets, bought their own rice and curry, and
came and worked a week in clearing off the land. This is a single example
of the practical manner in which these willing hearers applied the
Scriptures to their daily lives.



CHAPTER VII. - CIVILIZING MOUNTAIN MEN--GETTING THE PRIEST OFF THE DINING TABLE.


A COLONEL's wife, soon after she reached Tounghoo, was walking one
evening with her husband, when they met a troop of Karens with their
loaded baskets upon their backs and bamboo spears in hand.

On coming up the Karens never moved an inch out of the way; but the
leader, confronting the lady, reached out his hand, unwashed as he had
come down the mountains. Knowing the English were their deliverers, he
could not help giving his hand to any white foreigner he met. Mrs. H. was
at first frightened at his wildness; but the smile and earnest manner,
pointing to his native hills, soon convinced her of his friendliness, and
she was a lady of too much good sense to refuse; she shook hands with the
whole troop, and they went on their way rejoicing, leaving the colonel
dreadfully shocked at his wife's soiled gloves.

The colonel, on relating to me the incident, said, "I wish the Karens
would learn what water is made for." I trust they are learning, but all
the offensive habits of wild savage tribes are not to be altered in one
generation.

It was the custom for every disciple to give the hand, but for four years
they gave it just covered with earth or lime, any way. For a whole year
after commencing the girl's school, I did not dare to speak of it; but
when they came to know me so well as their friend, I ventured to suggest,
very gently, that if they would lay off their loads and wash in the river
before shaking hands, I should like it better. A few walked away, but
generally after this they rushed for the river before giving the hand.

So with the pig-pens. Speaking of these, I wrote at that time:--

"One of the Board examines all round the place on Saturdays, and brings
me a report. It encourages me not a little to see the pig-pens vanish.
Last year the two men who first settled here put up pens right under
their doors, according to their custom. I mentioned to the Nah Khan how
offensive it was, and that hereafter we could not have them.

"'Oh, mama,' he exclaimed, 'if you do so, not a Karen will live here.'"

So I let it pass, and the pens remained just six months. When they were
building new houses, or preparing for it, I mentioned the matter in the
chapel. The next evening not one was to be seen under the houses.

The following is a letter from one of the Paku chiefs at this time
concerning behaviour at the settlement:--

"I, Khan Poquai, one of the Institute Managers, to the Churches,
greeting:

"DEAR BRETHREN,

"Chief Tekalai came to the Girls' Place and stopped two weeks, and went
up to worship but two or three times, and two others with him. These
three cannot remain on the place. They have brought no letters of
introduction, and they go not up to worship.

"My dear brethren, the Teacheress tells us, and very wisely, if any come
here to live, they must come with their families and goods, and remain
permanently. If they do not this, they had better not come.

"Now, the Teacheress wishes for the good of all the people; therefore
think, I entreat you, of what God says in Matthew, 'If ye take not up the
cross and follow me, ye cannot be my disciples.' Now, let us remember
this all of us. We who believe, strive to follow Jesus Christ; every one
of us then must bear the cross.

"What is Jesus Christ's cross? It is obedience to all His commands. Let
us remember, brethren, _to do just as He has told us to do_.

"KHAN POQUAI."

The following are specimens of the recommendations brought by all the
settlers:--

"Blessing and mercy rest upon the teacher for ever!

"DEAR TEACHERESS,

"I would say a word about our brother Thaboo, who desires to go and live
near the Great Schools. Please receive him if he arrives, and instruct
him in the truth. He wishes no help, will buy his own house with his own
money, and take care of himself, and help build up the kingdom of God.
"TEACHER OF THE CHURCH OF WATHAKO."

"MY VERY DEAR TEACHERESS,

"Now, my brother Hauchu desires to go and live on the Girls' Place, and
desires an introduction. He is not a bad man, a liar, or wanderer, or
idler, but an honest person. Therefore, please receive him.
"LETTER OF THE CHURCH AT WATHAKO."

"MY DEAR TEACHERESS,

"I will tell you a word about our brother Tatha. Receive him, I pray you,
for he is not one that loiters about doing nothing, but is a steady man,
and worships, although not yet baptized."

Writing at that time, I remarked,

"The smiles of heaven attend us constantly, and sometimes I feel as if I
could do nothing but thank God. If I could take the place of the poor
woman who washed her Saviour's feet with tears, and wiped them with the
hairs of her head, it seems to me it would be all I could ask. I do think
the work here is one living _miracle_. I thought, possibly, after four or
five years of toil, we might see Tounghoo teachers able to lead on and
work efficiently; and lo, what I was looking away for down the future, we
see before us."

The following is from Moung Po, a Shan magistrate:--

"MY DEAR TEACHERESS,

"I will now tell you a few words about myself. Formerly, I was in great
ignorance, and knew not right from wrong; but when I heard the Lord God's
commandments from teacher Quala, I believed with all my heart. For two
years I have been Nah Khan (private agent) to the Commissioner; but
whether I am at home or travelling, I do not forget God.

"I have been out with the Commissioner now three months. He has paid me
ninety rupees, and I put my heart in this way. Two months of it I will
give to my wife and children to buy food and clothing; the remaining one
month, thirty rupees, I will give to the Girls' School to help on the
place."

"Can you give so much?" I asked on his coming down, when he replied
solemnly,

"Yes, I can. _One-third is not too much for Christ._"

"Teacher," he continued in his letter, "you tell me to learn Shan again,
which I have nearly forgotten. I will do so, and although I follow the
Commissioner, I will do all I can to help. I do not seek the riches or
honours of this world. Do not think my heart is fastened to the things of
this life.

"As my brethren pledge themselves to support the Girls' School, so will I
do according to the Scriptures; and this I do with great glad heart, for
the mercy and favour of God to me have been very great.

"May heaven bless and prosper the Teacheress."

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

The Shans came down into Tounghoo in great numbers. The women were pretty
and interesting. I hired a Bassein Karen preacher to go among them for
six months, and paid him from funds raised there by officers. He met with
a good deal of favour.

I then applied to Government for an island lying in the Sittang river, to
be set apart to a Shan Mission, and received permission to take a
building site for a chapel and residence anywhere on the island. On
reaching America, I pleaded for a Bible-reader to go to these Shan women
to teach them from the word of God. I found more difficulty than I had
expected in securing this. At length it pleased the Lord to remove every
hindrance out of the way, and the Shan women have now one Bible-reader of
their own in Tounghoo.

Generally the Shans are not willing to be instructed by a Karen. They
look up to the Burmese, but down on the Karens. I once found a Burman
ready to be taught by a Karen, and a Burman priest, too. We were in
Monmogon, on the sea-shore of Tavoy, when a priest from Ava came in
inquiring for the white Teacheress.

On my entering, he immediately took his seat upon the dining-table, in
order to keep his head above that of a woman. Not quite approving that
etiquette, I ordered a nice mat and pillow, which I always kept ready,
such as they used at home. Finally, seeing me take a very low stool, and
as I was very short, so that his head would still be uppermost, he sat
down, though with a most supercilious air.

I handed him the Burman Bible. He desired to have me lay it upon the mat,
as he could not receive anything from the hand of a woman, because her
touch was defiling to his godship. For the purpose of benefiting his
soul, if possible, I submitted, when he read for some two hours, turning
from the Gospels to Corinthians, and everywhere, as if no stranger to the
book.

"I cannot understand," he said, "this new birth. How should I? Nobody
ever explained it to me." He then allowed my Karen interpreter to explain
and exhort, and seemed really to be groping after light. But then this
interpreter was a remarkable man, a preacher of God's own making.

In September, 1852, from our sea-bungalow on the Indian ocean, I had
written home thus:--"Burmah requires two or three hundred colporteurs--men
and _women_--to go with the Bible in their hands and its spirit
in their hearts, and thread these streets and mountain-passes, these
rivers and nullahs, reading and explaining its sacred truths, and I have
no doubt but this would be not only the speediest, but also the
_cheapest_, way of converting the nations." Two months afterwards I went
on a fortnight's trip up the Tenasserim river, in search of pupils, who
would promise to become Bible-readers, both men and women.

"Mong Nong!" called out my head boatman one day, looking off toward the
hills. Not a soul was to be seen, and I asked if he was calling the nats.

"No, mama; there is a strange man up here. He ought to preach. He has a
big tongue--a very big tongue!"

Soon the wife of the great-tongued man appeared, her arms full of
sugar-cane and bamboo rice-sticks. The natives have a way of preparing
rice for their journeys, by roasting it in the small joints of a
particular kind of bamboo, which gives a peculiar flavour to the rice. A
dozen of these can be stuffed into their wallet, and eaten with _chillie_
or red pepper, or with bananas; and it is better than any pound cake,
even to my own taste.

He and his wife were attending a great nat feast. Among the Karens the
office of priestess is recognised as hereditary, and is held in profound
esteem. They have a custom, too, which requires every member of a family
to be present at their high festivals. These are family sacrifices, and
are conducted with great solemnity. If a single member of the family is
absent, or leaves the circle during the celebration of the rite, the
charm is broken. Mong Nong and his wife had gone a great distance to
attend, but in the midst of it the priestess seemed struck with horror.
She threw down the sacrificial knife, rushed around the room, down the
ladder, and into the jungle. All looked on in silent amazement, and Mong
Nong, while returning home, began to ask his wife what such a religion
could be good for which a single individual could thus destroy. To the
Divine Oracles he now resorted daily for several weeks, until fully
convinced of the truth. He then led his wife to seek it. Both were
converted, both passed through much persecution, and were the means of
converting nearly all their families.

His bold, fearless manner, his fine, tall figure, and dignified bearing,
made him seem almost like a second Peter.* It was this man who seemed to
have a magic power over the Ava priest, and I trust Mong Nong will yet
bring him to the heavenly world for a gem in his Master's crown.

[Footnote: * The man was so much respected, that even the priests would
come out of their monasteries and extend their hands as he passed,
because they saw he had power with God.]

In the evening Mong Nong was with us at the Bible class. We took up the
parable of the talents. His spirit was moved to its depths. I said not a
word to him about coming with me, but he began to confess. He said he had
buried his talent; he knew he had sinned, and asked if he might accompany
me to town as a Bible-reader and preacher! He went, and for three months,
as long as I could find support for him, that man was day and night
proclaiming the Gospel among the Burmese of Monmogon.



CHAPTER VIII. - ESTABLISHING A KAREN FERRY--LESSONS IN PRACTICAL HONESTY.


"HURRAH! Hurrah for Commissioner D'Oyly!" is suddenly shouted from
pinnacle to pinnacle, from glen to glen, from river to river, and all
over the Karen plains of Tounghoo.

"Why is this?"

Because, by one stroke of the pen, Captain D'Oyly has scattered food,
raiment, and love among thirty thousand Highlanders; even two hundred
thousand. A few details will show how this was done.

The Karens had to bring down their loads of baskets, mats, and pigs, and
carry them across the river to the market, in order to purchase food for
themselves while working on the school-grounds. At these times, the
ferrymen, taking advantage of their necessities, often extorted presents
or double fees. The authorized fees were two annas for a load, or what a
man could carry on his back; four annas for going and coming, if he
remained over night: no matter if the load was only one mat, which he
would have to sell for four annas, he must pay the ferryman his two
annas. Or suppose he had eight baskets, the usual load, which would bring
two annas each; these, in all probability, he would have to spend all the
afternoon in selling, then it would be too late to buy salt and fish
until the next morning, so he must pay two annas for crossing each day,
two baskets out of his eight, or twenty-five per cent on his barter, just
to cross the river. To this the people submitted all the first year as of
old without complaining; but as they were supporting themselves, and
working for the public good, it seemed to me a very hard thing that those
on the place could not take them across.

Finally, I represented the case to the Deputy Commissioner, asking
permission to let them cross free in the school-boat; but the regulations
then existing were such that it was thought this would be injustice to
the ferryman. However, next April, at the time the ferries were sold at
auction, the Commissioner sent me the following note:--

"MY DEAR MRS. MASON,

"I send you a copy of the Ferry Regulations. There is a final clause
which will satisfy the Karens, by which you are permitted to lend your
boat _Scot-free to travellers_.

"GEORGE D'OYLY,

"Deputy Commissioner, Tounghoo."

The final clause was:
"Parties are not debarred from using boats that may be lent to them for
the purpose of crossing, but no such boats are to ply for hire."

The ferryman went up to court about it two or three times, and even now
goes up with a troop every time a new ruler arrives; but it was just to
him, as he purchased the ferry with the clause before him. He may not
have received quite so much, but the cause of education in Tounghoo was
forwarded thereby by thousands of rupees.

Upon this happy change, the Karens immediately brought me in one hundred
rupees to help pay the school-boatman, and from that time all were free
to cross in the school-boats--an invaluable boon; and as the news
spread up the mountains, the very hills clapped their hands for joy.

Even blessings, however, have their temptations. Not very long after this
favour was granted, one of the school girls intimated to me that all was
not right, but would on no account tell me what was wrong. I called the
Nah Khan, and asked him to tell me truly, Was he or the boatman taking
hire for ferrying across the mountain Karens? He acknowledged the boatman
had taken trifling things _as presents_ for taking them across, as mats,
betel-nuts, baskets, &c., and with his permission, because they came in
_such crowds_. I told him I had obtained the favour for them; the
privilege must not be abused.

Then came a heavy trial. If I screened them, every one would say the
great man can sin, and so can we. If I exposed the wrong, disgrace must
follow to us all, and probably the Nah Khan would become an enemy to the
Girls' School. I was in deep distress, and knew not which way to turn,
for his power over the people was very great. It produced for a short
time a conflict such as no one can realize, unless they can understand
what it is to see the object of their heart's desire in imminent peril.
But one morning I called the Nah Khan and the boat-master, and told them
I must inform against them. They had transgressed against a Government
regulation, and the Commissioner must be their judge. I did inform, and
they were fined twenty rupees. They paid it, and begged me to forgive
them. I told them yes, I could forgive; and as I knew they were not yet
fully acquainted with God's law, I should pay them back the fine myself.

"We don't want it, mama; only forgive us," they answered.

I insisted on their taking it; and truly had they been flogged or thrown
into jail, I do not believe it could have been half so great a punishment
to them as it was for me to pay that fine. I never after heard of any
delinquencies, and I believe the Nah Khan went off and put his into the
mission box.

Having obtained this boon for the Karens, I proposed to them to establish
a Young Men's School on the same land and on the same plan as the Girls'
Institute. After much discussion and some fearfulness, they concluded to
undertake the support of fifty young men for schoolmasters, the same
number as they had insured of girls.

Amidst their shoutings for the Commissioner, they set about this, and
soon erected a building a hundred feet in length. They built it entirely
themselves, and added out-offices, and a house for the teacher, with a
wooden frame.

Dormitories for the girls were also rebuilt, and a large airy
school-hall, of course, all of bamboo.

There was, and must be, the most pressing call for the continuation of a
Young Men's Normal School in Tounghoo. Imagine, reader, that you are
looking to the east. You see a range of mountains rising in peaks like
the Alps, one above the other, and extending through the whole province
two hundred miles.

Now, please think of those numerous pinnacles, all capped with Karen
hamlets, and the more distant, for ever making war upon the Christian
settlements. On this account the schoolmasters can leave their schools
only a few weeks at a time. They come down to study, are perhaps in the
middle of Corinthians or Hebrews, and deeply interested. Down comes the
chief:

"Teacher, I must have my schoolmaster. The people are beginning to use
arrack again, or the enemy is coming. Our teacher must go back
immediately."

At such times Mr. Mason always says to the teachers,--

"Go to God. Ask Him. What He tells you, that do." The result is, they
immediately return for a week or two, quiet affairs, re-assure the
chiefs, and preach to them all they have learned, and the truth, being
fresh in their own minds, takes a deeper hold on the people. Then they
say,--

"Now, chiefs, we have told you all we know, all that the teacher has told
us. Now we must go and get some more."

By this time the villagers are full of the subject, whatever it is, and
they gladly part with the teachers again, and contribute for their
support. Tounghoo must have Missionaries who can say,--"_Come_,
brothers," not "_Go._" They want leaders who can come down and rise up at
the same time. Sometimes the young teachers are liable to get high
notions, and make the children carry about a stool for them to sit on
above the people, as the wife of one did. They turned her out with her
husband, and two others with them, men who had been uncommonly well
educated, simply because of their city airs, and unwillingness to work
with their own hands. They are independent Churches like the
Congregational and Baptist Churches of America, and as they support their
own preachers, Mr. Mason leaves them free to choose for themselves.

The Tounghoo people will eventually become the chief supporters of the
Central College and Theological School in Rangoon; but it is hoped they
will themselves sustain the students they send, and thereby retain the
fraternal relationship so desirable between the chiefs and their
preachers.

"Tounghoo," Mr. Mason says, "should have the aid of all those who desire
the extension of God's kingdom, because, while other missions are
surrounded by cultivated fields, and contain a definite number of persons
for whom to labour, this one has no boundary on the north and east but
the Great Desert and the Yellow Sea, which comprise untold races among
whom the banner of the Gospel is constantly waved forward."

Besides this region, there are others calling for our labours. The
Government Surveyor in Arracan thinks we should reach the hill tribes
there sooner than Burmese would, and offers to support two schoolmasters
himself among the Kemmees.

The young schoolmasters of Tounghoo make great sacrifices in order to
study. Usually they alternate,--the teacher on one pinnacle taking
charge of one or two adjacent villages during the absence of their
preachers, and they are indefatigable in their studies. Never _once_ in
that land have I had occasion to urge on either the young men or the
young women, for they all seem perfectly _inspired_ with a love of books,
and really to _thirst_ for knowledge.

There was an interesting incident connected with these bamboo school
buildings. The chief proposed to cover one large house himself alone, and
ordered off two of his men. In about a week we were looking out one day,
when we saw something which looked like great bundles of grass winding
slowly along the school ground. It proved to be a troop of _women_
entirely enveloped in bundles of thatch. Throwing it upon the grass, they
all rushed for the river, washed, dressed their hair, and came up to give
the hand of friendship. Then they set to work to braid the thatch, and in
a few days nearly a thousand leaves were prepared, which in the rains
could not be bought of the thatch traders for less than thirty rupees.
They had travelled, cut the thatch for themselves, and had brought it
_upon their heads for not less than five miles_.

Mr. Mason taught the young men the Bible, mathematics, and preaching. He
says, in a note dated October 23rd, 1858: "We went through Matthew, with
part of Luke, the Acts, Romans, Hebrews, and First Book of Corinthians.
Many learned the first principles of arithmetic, a few land-measuring,
and I was surprised to find, at the close of the school, that some who
had learned from Mrs. Mason's coloured maps had as good a knowledge of
geography as they would have gathered from books in the same time, and
could point to the principal countries, seas, cities, mountains, and
rivers, as accurately as I could."

Very little praise did those invincibles deserve for all the mountains,
seas, and rivers in their memories.

"Go and say over those names! That's a _girl's_ study, isn't it?" they
would remark.

"Yes, to be sure it is. Of course, men don't need to know the way from
Kannee to Jerusalem. To-morrow you needn't come, brothers. Girls,
recollect we have closed doors."

Thursday comes. I put up the diagrams and say, "Now we'll learn how the
'tortoise swallows the moon,'" and before the doors are open, the girls'
eyes are all dancing with delight over their blackboard eclipses.

Next day, closed doors again. One girl is attempting to explain her
tortoise, which makes some sport, when all of a sudden a burst of
laughter from behind the mat doors and windows. We all feigned terrible
indignation, but the morning after an embassy appears, with this
entreaty:

"Won't the Teacheress let the young men come too?"

There was no need of further urging them on to geography, and I never saw
school children more delighted than they all were to learn how it was
their feet did not fly off from "that star earth" whirling in the
heavens.

We made our own tides too, as the tidal waves do not reach Tounghoo, with
gourd worlds and orange zones.

The chiefs brought in money for the young men's board, an hospital was
erected, a cook hired for them, and native teachers were appointed by the
Board of Managers; but the teachers and schools were both in great want
of slates and stationery. I had been seeking for them, and felt very sad
when they came to me for such little things as a sheet of paper or a pen,
and I could not supply them.

One day I called the pupils of both schools to pray for paper, pens, and
slates for the teachers, that God's kingdom might be increased.

The mail comes in--a letter--Mr. Mason hands it to me--and I read--

"I have just forwarded two boxes of slates, containing twelve dozen, with
paper, pens, threads, needles, knives, scissors, &c., for your two
schools.--M. WYLIE."

Again, we were in great want of means to carry on operations. I called
the girls to pray, and asked the chiefs on the place to pray that God
would send money for the sawyers, so that we might build up the house for
His glory.

In the morning--letters--a draft for two hundred rupees!

The following acknowledgment was returned to Mrs. Wylie, of Calcutta:--

"MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,

"Thanks be to the Most High Name, that you and your dear husband are
still permitted to stand between India and Burmah. I cannot say I thank
Mr. Wylie--it speaks too little; but I will pray Heaven to reward you
all with that _peace_ which our Heavenly Watcher alone can give. If you
are in correspondence with Major Edwards, or any of the kind friends who
have raised this money, do please tell them how timely their help was,
and the Great Treasurer will not forget their _interest_."

The next thing in which we set about instructing these wild men was
making gardens. In this they manifested a good deal of zeal and
enthusiasm, and planted some two hundred palms, three or four hundred
betel-nut trees, three hundred plantains, with many guavas, mangoes, and
oranges.

They also planted a great many betel-leaf creepers, which are very highly
valued. These, I believe, were all stolen, with about a hundred of the
plantains.

The palms all died but two, with many of the mangoes. I had been with
them three miles down the river for many of these, standing all day in
the rain, returning in the crowded boat at night, and to see our avenue
trees die, did indeed cause us grief; but they will, I trust, in the end,
succeed in making profitable gardens, and in raising fruit and vegetables
enough for the schools.

There was every reason to believe the fruit-trees were killed by the
heathen, for there was no end to the trouble they gave us, turning in
buffaloes, breaking down fences, cutting off plantains, destroying roads,
&c., and in many ways harassing the Karens, and if they attempted to
defend their property, they were attacked, and even beaten, by the
mongrel Hindu herdmen. At last the Saxon blood bubbled over again. My
boys could not stand it, to see the Karens browbeaten and made dogs by
heathen; they rose, called out all the boys of the district school,
formed a body-guard, and armed them with bamboo swords, staves, whips,
and lassos, and then woe to the buffaloes. The moment one showed his head
on the place, the guard gave the alarm, when there followed a general
chase on the part of the police, and a general stampede on the part of
the buffaloes and their keepers.

It was no use now either reviling or pleading. The police generally
returned leading up three or four heads of buffaloes, for each of which a
fine was demanded of sixpence, and then, to teach them the law of
kindness, they often let them off free. This course caused the little
fellows days of hard running and weary watching, but it finally tamed the
savages, so that they would even come to them for protection from others,
and in the end they became ashamed of their own meanness. These herdmen
were from the Madras coast, and were calf worshippers. One morning we
found a great calf with glass eyes set up in our chapel. They thought it
a public place, like a Burman zayat.

We had now seven short streets in our new settlement around the schools,
with elevated roads, usually twenty-one feet broad, all made and drained,
but we could procure neither stone nor bricks for them. Stones there were
none within several miles, and if the settlers attempted to take the most
broken bricks from either the old wall or ruined pagodas, they were
driven away with a vengeance. This brought forth a petition, based on the
fact that almost all our roads were _public_, and made for the good of
the Burmese as well as for the Karens.

The matter was long delayed, owing to the military authorities possessing
the wall. Finally, thus much was secured to us:

"MEMORANDUM:

"I have given orders that brick from the town wall, from spots not very
near to any of the principal gateways, may be taken by Mrs. Mason for the
construction of a road on the opposite or east bank of this river.

"GEORGE D'OYLY.

"TOUNGHOO, _August 15th_, 1858."

The old dilapidated parts of the wall were being used for roads, and had
long been a general resource for all other public purposes.



CHAPTER IX. - SEEKING TIMBER FOR THE INSTITUTE--TEACHING PERSEVERANCE.


WHILE in Rangoon, before my return to Tounghoo, in March, 1857, the
thought occurred to me to ask Government for timber for the buildings,
when Colonel Phayre immediately gave it his sanction.

As soon as we had organized the Karen Education Society, having made an
estimate, I sent in a petition to the Superintendent of Forests for two
hundred and twenty-five logs, large and small. This was objected to as
being an unnecessarily large amount, when I had to write and explain that
it was for no ordinary school-house, but an institution with dormitories,
&c. But in order to get the work begun, I changed my petition, asking for
an immediate grant of fifty large logs, and added the petition in the
form prescribed. This was allowed, with the promise that I should have
more when needed.

On receiving the grant, the chiefs met to see what should be done about
getting it in--a real Herculean task to their inexperienced hands.
However, they chose two of their principal chiefs--one for the Bghais
and Mopagas, and one for the Pakus and Mauniepagas, to look out the
trees, and see that every village bore its proper share of labour, and if
any one failed, the village was to be assessed as the two heads should
decide.

They went out by dozens and by twenties, working a month at a time,
supplying their own elephants and mostly their own provisions.

Finally, November arrived, the water began to fall, and only four or five
logs of timber had reached the school-ground. If the river became very
low, it would be impossible to float the logs, and we should be delayed a
whole year longer, before anything could be done towards the building.

"Mama! mama!" exclaims Maukie, puffing with all his might.

"What is the matter?"

"Thai Goung"--the Tree Chief--"has taken all our logs!"

"Why so?"

"He says we've cut sixty, ten more than you told us."

"Call up the head men."

"Yes, we have, but they did'nt understand."

"No! Jauque don't know. We've done no such thing." So here was a dispute
that ended in the Karens declaring I must go up and see for myself, or
they would abandon the work.

The Burmese were annoyed that the Karens should be allowed teak like
themselves for school buildings, so the Goung had circulated the report
that the Karens were paying no regard to orders, but had felled ten trees
more than the grant allowed. On this plea the Burman Forest
Superintendent seized upon the whole lot, and confiscated all for
Government; precisely as the Burmese are in the habit of doing in their
own territory with timber merchants and others. A Karen merchant, a
friend of mine, thinking he could make money faster, went up into Burmah,
had an audience with the King himself, (so he declared,) and contracted
for a large teak forest, or the privilege of working it for five years.
The King gave him a golden umbrella and the title of Chief Forest Goung,
supplied him with elephants, and greatly honoured him. Of course, the
ruse took, foresters flocked to the golden _Tee_, and great numbers
joined in the enterprise. The Chief Forester borrowed money largely to
support his men, and at last the timber was all down to the water's edge,
several thousand logs of beautiful teak.

"Ho, stop there!" halloos a red-sashed peon, riding up in great haste,
armed and frowning.

"What is it?"

"The King forbids the removal of his timber."

Of course, all work comes at once to a dead stop. Dismay is pictured on
every face.

Off rides the golden Umbrella, several days' journey up to court. The
King doesn't know him; no audience. The Sandozain sends him with his
petition to the Sandegan. The Sandegan thinks there must be a mistake. It
is the Nah Khangyee he wants. This functionary can take no note of the
matter. It does not belong to him. He had better go to the Minister of
the Interior. All this time work is at a stand-still, and debts
increasing.

Bribes, bribes are wanting. He must bribe, and that largely too, from the
Woongyee down to the lowest peon. The Karen found these largesses would
amount to more than half the value of the timber, the costs of working,
felling, and transportation to the other half, and he was penniless. The
timber was still on the shore, and the poor fellow in a Burman jail, when
I left the country.

This is simply a specimen of the Burmese system of extortion. So our
Kannee Timber Goung no doubt intended to build himself a snug little
house out of the Karens' teak. Convictions to this effect are expressed
to the Deputy Commissioner--that it is all a Burman trick. He does not
believe it, but writes:

"MY DEAR MRS. MASON,

"Bring in the logs at once by all means. I will send an order to the
Goung of the district that he is to let them go when your men come for
them. You know that fining you (I had begged him to fine me, if they had
done wrong, and not punish them) would be fining myself and all others
interested in your labours. The Superintendent of Forests must be the
judge. In the meantime, use the fifty logs."

Now the matter had to be investigated. Burmese Reporters would all go
with the Goung. Karen chiefs were too careless, and too easily browbeaten
by their enemies. None had strength and zeal combined enough for the
work. Therefore, in order to save the character of the Karen Christians
from destruction, I undertook, with my husband's consent, to go over the
forest, and count every log myself.

The following is my journal forwarded to him:--

"I betook myself to the boat, and had just started when the clouds began
to thicken, and it soon came pouring down, and rained incessantly for
twenty-four hours. At night we found lodgings in the verandah of a
semi-Burman house, for the woman refused to give us any other quarters.
Everything was wet through, overdress and all, except my pillows. We
spread them out, took a supper of cold fowl and bread, talked a long time
with the family concerning the Christian religion, sung a hymn, had
prayers, and sat down to write, but fell asleep at the fifth word. I had
been asleep perhaps half an hour, when, 'Bow wow! wow!' sounded close to
my ears. I aroused up, and found I had companions in two jackall-looking
dogs, which had crept up there to escape the rain, as I had myself.

"The second morning the rain was still pouring. The river, the boatmen
said, was so swollen, it would be impossible to stem the current. We
could reach the timber-camp by noon on foot, but we had not proceeded
twenty steps before I was just as wet as a drowned chicken, and speedily
returned to the boat.

"They were heathen boatmen, and thought, as I was a woman, my standing in
the rain was of no consequence. The river was a real mad river; deep, and
scooped out as if it had dug graves for every careless passer-by. But the
bottom was covered with white pebbles, and the water so clear, we could
see every little fish on the bottom, just what he was about.

"There are no lofty mountains flanking the stream here, but the forest is
very old, and its beautiful trees have their leaves of every possible
form, and of every shade of green.

"Then there came the rope-plants--the nymphs of the forest, so
gracefully looping up the creepers all along the shore, studded with
blue, yellow, and purple blossoms.

"The poor boatmen had to be half the time in the water when we reached
the rocky bed of the stream, urging the boat from side to side, from snag
to snag, waist deep, and often pulling us right under a clump of
knife-edged fan-palms, or, still worse, under the long, ponderous cables
of the rope-trees that grated over our heads, to the imminent risk of
turning us all into the water.

"As soon as we reached the camp, I started with one of our Karen Board of
Managers on an elephant, crossed the river, and began to climb; and climb
we did indeed, for nearly an hour,--now down through a deep ravine,
then up again, until we reached the summit of a mountain far distant.

"'Dear me! not far enough yet?' I asked.

"'No, mama.' So down we plunged again into a deep, deep gorge, and there,
between two almost perpendicular ridges, lay one of the monster logs that
had been such a trouble to them. Around this three or four more, all too
large to be ever pulled up the mountain, or through the gorge. The Karens
have tried to hire the Burmese to saw them in two, but they demand four
rupees each, so they are putting forth their own skill; and they wanted
me to see their management.

"I don't much enjoy tramping over these jungles myself, or having the
Karens do it, for I half expect a tiger-leap at every turn. Still we are
going in another direction to-morrow, where I am told a few trees have
been felled, a whole day's journey there and back. Good night. I'm going
to read Deut. xii. 7; will you please tell the boys to read Luke xiii.
19?"

Mr. Mason writes in reply:

"Teacher Kouk-kay has written a letter for the Karen _Star_, in which he
says: 'Mama Mason makes exceeding strenuous efforts for Tounghoo. In
order that the people may get wisdom, she is planning the erection of a
large building for girls to study in. The teacheress has now gone into
the jungles to exhort the people to bring down the timber quickly.
Moreover, the Commissioner desires us to learn, and to this end HE helps
her.' So you see your labours are _not unappreciated by the natives_."

This I repeat, reader, not because God favoured me, but the _work_, and,
therefore, it came like a little olive-leaf to my weary heart; indeed, I
could not help regarding it as an answer to prayer, for this young
preacher was one who had opposed the Girls' School. Indeed, he had been
the strongest opposer, lest they should fall under woman's government.

Those Kannee Wide Awakes! With a shout and a rush they mustered on the
sand-beds in the Kannee creek, in the moonlight, and formed themselves
into small companies of tens and twenties, chose their own leaders, and
filed off in ranks right and left, ready for action.

"Do you, officers, agree to command, each of you, the men under you?"

"We do."

"And do you, soldiers, agree to _obey_ your captains?"

"Er, er. We will obey."

This questioning was the duty assigned to me, for mama must review the
company.

The scene was to them extremely exciting, and to me very cheering.

For two months the Karens had been at work trying to get in the timber
for the school-house, yet not half the roads had been cut, nor half the
logs even found.

They were so undisciplined. Each set of men would obey only its own
chiefs, and if their own chiefs were absent, they would obey nobody. So
the chiefs, being each independent, had no idea of yielding to one
another; consequently, the works progressed very slowly.

As soon as I reached the jungles, I suggested this military kind of
order, and from that time the work went on so rapidly, they were
astonished at themselves, but they needed instruction in almost every
department. Mechanics they had no idea of, and I found they invariably
attempted to drag logs up high mountains the small end upwards, and it
was not without a good deal of reasoning that I could induce them to
change.

As concerned roads, too, the idea of cutting a smooth path for a mile or
two more for two or three logs seemed an intolerable burden, so they
tugged against snags and crags. Sometimes I would find them on a high
mountain, just in time to save elephant and rider from certain
destruction, as in one instance when they barely escaped. They had
reached a part of the road, lying immediately over a precipice of seventy
feet or more, and the road just sloping enough to give the log a cant
downwards, when nothing could have saved them. A mere boy was on the
elephant's neck, who knew nothing more than to trudge on straight before
his eyes. I advised the captains to appoint one of the cleverest men to
attend each elephant, with two clearers to watch and repair the roads.

The consequence was, they were able to drag as many logs in a day as they
had been before in a week.



CHAPTER X. - LIFE IN THE WOODS--HOW TO MAKE BRAVE MEN.


THE following conversational letters to the President of the Karen
Education Society of Tounghoo give glimpses of life in Kannee at this
time:--

"KANNEE JUNGLE.

"MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT,

"I almost think you will break the tenth commandment, and covet my rural
pleasures. Yesterday I determined to show the Karens that perseverance
would conquer all difficulties, so started with a guide, six or eight
Karens, and three elephants, to find some fifteen logs which have been
felled in the depths of the forest, several miles inland, and which,
report said, '_would not move_.'

"After crossing streams three or four times, then a deep miry plot, where
at every step the elephants sunk up to their bodies, we resorted to a
wood road, and thankfully enough, for I was greatly frightened lest we
should sink entirely. On the wood road we travelled some two hours, then
turned into a deep, thorny jungle, and wandered on for two hours more,
cutting our way at every step, till at last our guide cried out,--

"'Hai mat--lost!' and finally acknowledged that he had never been to
the place. It was then twelve or one o'clock; I sent a party forward to
reconnoitre, while we tethered the elephants to browse. After two hours
the party returned, with the report that they had found five logs, but
not the slightest path, and so far in, we could not possibly cut our way
to them and return that night. Seeing in their looks a strange dislike to
proceeding, I thought it better to take Franklin's advice.

"'Stoop, stoop,' so told the men to do quickly just what they pleased. Of
course, the elephants were turned back, and I sunk down in the houdah,
thinking what could be the design of such a lesson of disappointment, and
finally concluded that neither the Karens nor their teacher had yet
wreathed their brows with Job's laurel, when suddenly down shot a
ponderous creeper from its airy swing upon my head. As soon as I could
collect my scattered senses, out stole two or three long thorny fingers
and caught my hat, and, when I resisted, clung with all seeming malice at
my fingers.

"The Karens compassionated my head, but I begged them not to pity my
head, but my heart--that I was so ashamed to go back with three
elephants, and without a single log. To attempt to do a thing and not do
it! Upon this, every head drooped, and all were silent for some time.
Finally, the chief said,

"'Let not mama be sad. Monday night there shall be a good straight road
every step of the way through to the timber.'

"'Yes,' responds another. 'And we'll come and sleep here till every log
is in.' And they kept their word, dragging down triumphantly every log
felled.

"But I was going to tell you of our Sabbath in the wilderness, when we
all 'went up into the mountain to pray.'

"Last Sabbath morning we assembled on the top of a hill, in a bamboo
grove, over-arching so as to form a most lovely pavilion. There we spread
our mats, and sung our Karen psalms, making the hills and glens echo to
native airs, I took up the parable of the feast in the fourteenth of
Luke, explaining to them how the Gospel was first preached to the
Burmese, but they, having neglected it, had caused the Missionaries to
turn to the Karens. Then directed their thoughts four years back, to the
first time they ever heard the name of Jesus. Again to the subject of the
evening before. 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
_and all these things shall be added unto you_,' making them tell over
themselves the various ways in which God had shown them that He knew
their need, and had provided for it. I assure you there was not a dull
eye or a vacant expression among the whole audience. Then attention was
called to the remainder of the parable, showing that it was their duty
now to go after the savage Bghais, and 'compel them to come in.'

"'Aye, but the preachers must do that,' they answered. 'The Lord
commanded His servants, the little teachers.'

"Then they had to learn how the order was for all, and how _they_ were
doing it by building a house in which to educate teachers just as much as
the teachers themselves. I even impressed upon them that every log of
teak or iron-wood post they secured was calling just so many of the halt
and blind. They came down the hill greatly animated, the young men saying
one to another,--

"'I didn't understand all that was said, but I shall try and call two of
the blind ones to-morrow'--that is, obtain two logs for the
school-house.

"'And I shall try and get three.' And so on, and so on; and the next day
they did work, as if their very lives depended upon it.

"I mention these little things that you may know your people, and the
power that will move them; while flogging would only crush and wither
every upspringing of self-respect. _Flog_ Christian soldiers! I was so
indignant to hear it suggested to you. If I could have my wish, that
degrading punishment should be banished from military life, from sailor
life, and from all civilized bodies.

"A short time before, they had asked if we shouldn't give up, and not try
to find the logs.

"'Englishmen never give up,' I answered, which created a smile, but
nothing moved them to a firm resolution, until the appeal to their own
self-respect. So you see what material you have for _soldiers_. Forcing
might have pressed them on for a time, but would not have accomplished
this work; while a single appeal that touched their hearts brought every
log. The Karens will never make soldiers good for anything, unless their
leaders are men of _moral power_. Order and discipline belong to
school-boy lands. Of course, we ought not to expect it here among men
just redeemed from barbarism; but when I look around upon one and
another, whom I know to be as noble, self-sacrificing men as ever lived,
fasting all day themselves and giving their food to others, of which they
are capable, in order that a Christian school might be established,--when
I think of this, and then remember how these men looked and spoke
the first time they came to visit us, I cannot express my joy.

"_Thursday._

"Oh, me! if it would not tire the patience of Job, to sit here on the
ground hour after hour, and watch a dozen men hack, hack, hack, on a
single log, with a single axe, just big enough to cut off a squirrel's
ear. They won't use a bigger one, although I have bought three for them.

"But I was going to give you a chapter for your history of Tounghoo, and
will begin with my beautiful glen. You should have been here this morning
to see a Kannee sunrise! so lovely, grand, and exhilarating!

"Just picture yourself on a bluff forty or fifty feet high, standing
under a lofty canopy of arching branches interlocked, from which run down
rafters, and beams, and pillars of long woody creepers.

"Then there are such Swiss-looking windows, curtained with green leaves,
here and there looped up on one side by a twisted gray cord-plant and
tassel, while the other side is thrown open. Our front is an arched
portico about fifteen feet high, of heavy cord-plant spanning clear over
the cliff. Now we see away down the bluff large overhanging acacias,
tasseled with a thousand pendants, looking into the sweet little Wechaduc
creek all buried in shadow. Then, turning to the left, we have a deep
winding gorge, brimfull of sunshine, gushing along the sides of the
rocks, now glancing over the waters, anon dancing around them as if held
by the spell of their murmuring music, as they warble along round the
base, while other beams shoot out, colouring whole showers of golden
leaves, across the glen or the trembling foliage upon the opposite
mountain. Now cast your eye along the lofty forest, striped with
white-barked lagerstraaemias, and you lose the stream for a moment, then
catch it again winding lazily down, and going to sleep in a cove overhung
with bowering fan-palms.

"In the fore-ground, right over a jutting point below the cliff, where
the little creek falls into the Kannee river, stands my lodge in the
wilderness. It is a booth ten feet square, covered with wild plantain
leaves, and enclosed with nature's own palisade of reeds and grasses.

"We want a moon, and then the night view would be picturesque enough; for
on the opposite shore stand four large, wild gipsy-looking huts full of
mountaineers, boiling their chatties, roasting fish, lounging, and
singing over their camp-fires in all manner of classical attitudes; while
torch-lights are streaming up on to their brown faces and happy eyes,
their striped kilts and red turbans; and meanwhile the pebbly creek goes
ripple, ripple,

"'Faint and low, faint and low,
To and fro, to and fro;'

till all thought of teak, hills, and tigers dies away in its mesmerizing
lullaby."

"TO MY DARLING BOYS:

"You can't think what a nice, cozy nest I have, encamped on one side of a
crooked little brook under a few plantain leaves.

"My house is quite sumptuous, I think, for Kannee! I divide it--that
is, in imagination--into bed-room, bath and receiving-rooms, for you
must know, I hold a levee here every morning. Then during the day it is
Kannee Court-house. What would the Commissioner say to this? Don't you
think he would be looking after the Stars or the Eagle's beak?

"At evening my hall transmutes itself into a chapel, and so ends the day.
The brook is murmuring its little psalm. The peacocks are screaming out
like muezzins in the mountains, and all else is still.

"This is just the most coaxing little brook I ever heard. It reminds me
of one that used to go singing past my bed-room window away under the old
birches of Vermont, when I was a wee thing, ten years old--the very
brook in which I was baptized. I have always loved that brooklet; its
sound goes with me like a thread of silver, soft and soothing through my
life.

"Do you know, boys, I have some other music here--a Kannee band of frog
serenaders? One would think the creek full of bassettos, tenors, and
altos, calling and answering from shore to shore. I should think the
cicadas might join in for sopranos. Now, if you don't know these big
words, look in the dictionary."

"Little things again!" Yes, friend reader, don't you like little things?
I do. Life is made joyous or painful by little things. Its little pauses
are more to us than its great capitals. The delicate turn, the unseen
glance, the sympathetic smile, a single strain from some old song,
affects us more than the grandest orations and ovations.

It was the most painful part of my work for the Karens that I was obliged
to be so much away from my husband. But here again God cares for us; for
he was kept in better health than he had enjoyed for _fifteen_ years!

"MY DEAREST HUSBAND,

"When you can spare the boys, I wish you would let them shoulder their
bags, and come over here with the Karens. They can march it, and reach
here at night. Tell them to put up one suit each, with one loaf of bread
each, and two pounds of roast beef, for the journey, with two bundles of
plantains, a little salt, and their umbrella. They would have a world of
enjoyment, and never forget it. Tell them to keep _between_ the Karens,
not before or behind, lest the tigers eat them up.

"I have some most valuable men here--self-sacrificing souls as ever
lived, who will do anything to get the logs. Our work is going on
beautifully now, and I hope will come to an end next week, Saturday, but
that is uncertain. We can only drag three logs a-day, with the best
possible will, they are so far away; and you know we had _fifty teak_ to
get, and _seventy-four iron-wood_. Don't go away before I come back."

The following letter reached me at Kannee from the Pant-Bghai country.

"MY DEAR TEACHERESS WHO LOVES US,

"That which I wished for exceedingly you have sent me--books, pens, and
paper--things which I love best. When I saw them, I held them up in the
presence of all, and the children rejoiced with me; the elders were also
very glad, and their faith increased.

"The people of this village come every day to worship God, although they
have no chapel; but they are much afraid, and keep themselves armed, lest
their enemies should try to kill them while at worship. Therefore, pray
that love may increase among this people, who are still pagans. One of
the villagers has been to the girls' place and seen the work, and heard
of the plans for the Karens, and has come back and told us a great deal,
until the hearts of all the villagers are very hot. When I heard about
it, I raised my heart to God thus:--'Oh God, stretch out thine arm, and
help mama to complete her undertakings speedily, I beseech thee.'"

San Quala at this time sent me his kind remembrance:

"MY DEAR FRIEND MAMA,

"May the great love and peace of the Almighty God rest upon you and your
pupils--girls and boys--for ever!

"Teacheress, I know you do not forget us. Do you think I have forgotten
you? I have not--not for a moment. I learn everything about your
schools and doings. Your power of doing is very great. I cannot forget, I
remember you always, and as God blesses your work, my heart is
exceedingly happy.

"You have increased our strength with bread, sugar, and cocoa-nuts, which
we have received--a very great gift--besides the ten rupees to buy a
goat for our babe. Do not feel anxious about us in the least. Everything
I need the Christians supply with a free will. There is nothing in this
world that I want, except that I may go and preach Christ, so that souls
may be saved--this is on my heart continually. But my wife and child
are sick all the time, and this shuts me up at home and makes my heart
very sad. Because it is the judgment of heaven, I try to endure it. Pray
for me, dear Teacheress.

"QUALA."

This I received as a great answer to prayer. Mr. Mason had told me if
Quala opposed the girls becoming schoolmistresses, he did not think it
would be of any use to try, as he would not be likely to change his mind
when once determined. Thanks to the Almighty, who can turn _all_ hearts,
he did change from a state of indifference to feel a lively interest in
the work, and subsequently did all in his power to help us on. I believe
that God will yet influence many others to follow his example.



CHAPTER XI. - HUNTING FOR IRON WOOD POSTS--CONQUERING DIFFICULTIES.


"QUA AU! Qua au!" Look out! Look out! cry the Karens one to another.
"Tigers in this jungle."

Scarcely are the words spoken, when:--

"Ka! Ka!" Tiger! tiger! screams the forester at the head of our little
party.

I had wandered all the day before, and found only five suitable trees.
Again we had started on foot through streams and thickets, morasses and
thorns, and up at last on to a high ridge of table-land. I walked, as it
saved them the trouble of cutting the way for an elephant, whose houdah
is so high. We were ascending, tired, and slowly, yet another last hill,
dreaming of our solitary work, when all came to a dead stop with this
dread scream. It was not a tiger, but a leopard, right in our path. The
Karens set up a tremendous whoop, and the beast trotted off very
deliberately. A day or two after I saw a small one, as I was upon the
elephant. It was walking leisurely along the valley, a few rods distant
from me, and looking up as if doubtful whether to notice our intrusion.

There was a beautiful teak log, larger than could be drawn away, seven
and a-half feet in girth, on the side of a hill; so one of the managers
dug out a little saw-pit, and contrived by his own wit to get the log
over it, and saw it through _lengthwise_; this was the first time he ever
sawed a foot, and, of course, I had to go and encourage him. Another time
I taught them the use of the wedge, by which they saved two other fine
logs.

Floating the timber was the next great task; for the Karens had not one
of them learned to swim, and never floated a log before in their lives.
They often lost their turbans, and were nearly losing themselves too, but
they would not have a Burman to help them. Their self-respect was
aroused, and they were determined to show that they could perform great
deeds as well as Burmese. An instance of this national pride occurred
once near our door. The bank of the river caved in, burying a very
valuable teak boat; several Karens attempted to raise it, but failed, so
I sent for a Burman. Poquai, the Paku member of the Board, hearing this,
hastened over with a picked number of Karens, asking,--

"Shall God's men call for heathen to help them in such a little thing?"

I paid the Burman, and dismissed him. In about two hours Poquai brought
up the boat, when all looked at me with such laudable triumph and
satisfaction, that I felt really proud of them. The very next night the
boat for which we had paid forty rupees was missing, and we never heard
of it again. Probably the Burman knew where it went to. This makes the
_fourth_ that has been taken from us, or been lost, since commencing
these schools.

Our fifty teak logs, when spread out on the school land, were worth one
thousand rupees, and the Burmans could not help regarding them with
covetous eyes. So when the timber Goung came to make his report to
Government, he seemed determined to make out that the Karens had exceeded
the number granted to them. I measured every foot of the logs with him,
and pointed out where one had been cut into two parts. Still he sent in
his report, counting the sawed and split logs _as two_. This led to a
report on behalf of the Karens.

I wrote thus to Captain D'Oyly:--

"_14th July_, 1858.

"SIR,
"I shall feel greatly obliged if you will do me the favour to express to
Government my most sincere thanks for this gift to the Institute, and to
all who have aided me in obtaining it. In answer to the kind inquiry how
much more will be required, I would say, the timber already granted will
not be nearly enough for the school-house alone, without dormitories. I
would, therefore, beg you kindly to recommend a further grant, _provided_
that the Government will allow us to defray the cost of felling, and
floating into town, from the amount of timber granted. Without this
permission the grant would now be quite useless to me, as I could not
command the means to pay for its transportation, and the Karens, having
lost two of their elephants, would not feel able at present to make any
further effort. Owing in part to their inexperience, the Kannee timber
was pointed out in the most difficult places possible, in the deepest
gorges, and on the tops of the highest pinnacles, so that it cost us
severe labour, and many months of time, with three elephants and a
hundred men, to obtain it; and then nearly one-half of the logs had to be
cut or sawed in pieces. I would, therefore, ask if a further grant be
made, that it should be given in localities accessible in the dry season
by water, and that the Goung be ordered to give us _sound_ timber.

"I am, SIR,

"Your humble servant,

"ELLEN B. MASON."

The following was Col. Phayre's immediate reply, ordering the Goung to
give us _standing trees_, which would ensure good timber.

"D. BRANDIS ESQUIRE,
To _the_ SUPERINTENDENT OF FORESTS IN PEGU, RANGOON.

"SIR,

"With reference to Mrs. Mason's request, in a letter dated 14th July,
1858, for a further grant of one hundred and twenty-five logs of teak
timber, for the purpose of completing the Karen Female Institute, and
your remarks thereon in your proceedings, dated 14th instant, I have the
honour to inform you that, under the special circumstances of the case,
the Commissioner has been pleased to accede to Mrs. Mason's request, and
desires that the timber may be made over to her as required.
"_9th Oct._, 1858."

Besides the teak, we had to get in a hundred iron-wood posts. The heads
of tribes reported them all felled, each village having felled its share,
some twenty, some forty logs; but all they brought in were as crooked as
serpents, and they could do no better, they said, unless I went with
them. It was in February, and very hot; but again I walked twelve miles,
over mountains and gulfs, and not a single straight log could be found. I
went into my hut too tired to speak, threw myself on the mat, and poured
out my despair to God. The Karens saw without a word that I was
distressed, and that made them wretched. With heavy hearts we assembled
that night.

I tried to be cheerful, but dwelt on the loss of respectability which
would follow to the Karen chiefs, and the triumph the Burmese would feel,
on comparing the posts of Jesus Christ's kyoung with theirs. I avoided,
however, asking them to cut any more posts. I had not spoken long, when
the two head chiefs stepped forth and harangued the people with so much
effect, they all voted to fell a _hundred_ more, on condition that I
would select them!

No small task this to go over all these mountains again, and find a
hundred straight _iron-wood_ trees. The next morning I set out, though as
with a leaden weight upon my heart, with a large company impatient for
the work.

I soon found three beautiful trees as straight as a plumb-line, but from
four to five feet in girth around the base.

"Oh, mama, our people could _never_ hew down _iron-wood trees!_" the
chiefs exclaimed in dismay. Iron-wood is the hardest timber known, and so
hard, it is seldom used except for house posts. At last they found that
in no other way could they get them long enough or large enough for such
a building, and they determined _to try_. Guess at the task--_eight
men_ had to work _three hours_, relieving one another, before they got
down a single one of these trees. Then it took twenty men _two days_ to
hew it down at the base to the required size. In this way I passed over
the ridges where iron-wood was found, leaving five and six to battle with
each tree, as far as I could persuade them to join the battle at all. So
we continued for two weeks before we counted up the whole number.

The Mopagas and Bghais were on the point of giving up, and some did; but
the Pakus and Mauniepagas persevered, exhorting their weaker brethren
with great gentleness, and at last the tremendous task was accomplished.
Then came the dragging or hauling, almost the hardest work of all, for
some of the best logs we had found were in the most inaccessible places.
Four of them were fifty feet long without the slightest crookedness, and
one day we sent for one of these far into the deep forest. Through
ignorance or carelessness, when I was not with them, they had felled this
one so as to let the top fall up the cliff, leaving the large end
downwards, on the side of a mountain and over a tremendous gorge. After a
long consultation, it was resolved to hitch the elephant to the large
end, and try and turn it half round, so as to bring it to lie
horizontally across the mountain, instead of perpendicularly, that we
might drag it off, ascending circuitously. Not knowing in the least what
men of sense would do in such a dilemma, I allowed them to try this; but
no sooner had the elephant moved the log, than it began to slide, pulling
the beast down after it, and we stood horror stricken, thinking it must
be dashed over the precipice, rider and all, when it was stopped by a
large clump of bamboos. The rider, a brave boy, had succeeded in leaping
off, and as soon as possible the tackling was cut, and the poor elephant
released. But it was so frightened, it could never be made to pull any
heavy weights afterwards.

The next day we started again with two elephants, two large iron chains,
and provisions for two days, determined still to have the log; so they
put up a wigwam of bamboo branches, and by my continual urging and
calling, I succeeded in getting all up from the gorges, with their water
jars and fire-wood, before dark, for tigers, we knew, roamed over all
that forest. The most difficult to get in was old Kargau. He had dug out
one of those pretty, flesh-coloured bandicots as large as a kitten,
broken its legs, and stuffed it into his wallet, to suffer all day till
it should be spitted alive.

I sent my assistant to kill it. The mountaineer thrust him roughly away.
I persisted, and it was at last put out of its misery, but the owner
never forgave it. They tell me it is the practice everywhere either to
keep their small game alive or strangle it, so as to retain the blood.

Perhaps the Apostles found it as hard to train the Antioch Christians. As
we assembled that evening under the bamboo arches upon the mountain, I
called the assistant to read Acts xv. 20, and we had quite a warm
discussion on the subject. All agreed with me that it was wrong, except
old Kargau, who had the bandicot. He would not give up. Perhaps the
others would not if they had found any game, but it so happened that he
was the only one that caught a bandicot that day.

Toads and frogs they serve in the same manner, and toad-hunting is very
common. The toads are beat up by scraping the bare foot over the grass,
when the toad will hop or croak, and the hunters pounce upon it at once,
or give chase, break its legs, and clap it alive into their bags. Snakes,
too, skinned alive, they stuff wriggling into their bags for supper; and
I really think it has cost me more labour to change these cruel practices
than it ever did to learn a new language.

Tired and nervous, but not discouraged, my boys and I spread our mats and
lay down, praying earnestly that God would teach me, that I might teach
them how to obtain the log. Then we made another trial. We took two very
strong elephants, placed them above two large deep-rooted trees, and
hitched two long chains; then some twenty men shouted to the beasts with
such vehemence, they gave a tremendous pull, and, being goaded on, up
came the prize, stretched horizontally across the hill, right above the
great teaks, entirely clear from the fearful abyss beneath. When the
Karens saw the elephants were safe, and the log positively secured, they
gave one long mountain shout of joy, after which we all knelt and gave
thanks to God. The same day we hauled it up the mountain, and the next
day into the water.

The Burmese, when they saw it, said such a log could not be bought for a
hundred rupees, that it could not be found, and no Burman ever did or
ever could get such a log, or would even make the attempt.

The poor elephant that was frightened belonged to the Girls' School, and
cost me four hundred rupees. Her name was Poma, and she was so gentle, we
could always ride on her with safety. She knew my voice like a child, and
would put her trunk into my boys' bedroom window every morning for a
plantain. They could do anything with her. She would kneel down at their
bidding, put out her leg for them to climb up, or hand them water when
they were thirsty, and she delighted in carrying them across the river on
her neck; of course, they were very fond of _Poma_, and were always
making up nice bits of barks or tamarinds and salt for her, but one day
she was brought home sick. She laid her trunk on the ground, and tears
positively ran down her face! The boys and girls were very sad. I sent
for a Burman doctor, and took her to our own yard.

Finally, she seemed better, and was taken off to browse among young
bamboos, of which they are so fond. But a few days had passed when they
sent to me in haste, saying Poma had fallen down, and was too weak to get
up. I went to her some two miles. As soon as she heard my voice, she
stretched out her trunk towards me, and moaned as if asking for sympathy.
The Karens brought two stout elephants to raise her up; but she could not
stand, though she took food and drink from my hands, and from the girls
and boys, while she would take from no others; but, alas, she could not
swallow, and as soon as we were gone, she rolled it all out upon the
ground, having taken it from simple attachment, so I begged the men to
shoot her. Her tusks brought forty rupees, but they often sell for eighty
rupees.

After five different encampments, absorbing six weeks of time, we
succeeded in getting all the logs, with bamboos and ratans to raft them
down to the mouth of the Karen river.

I had delayed until nearly dark superintending matters, and then found
the elephant left for me was an ugly brute that I did not dare mount.
There was but one chief remaining behind, but he and his two men set to
work and made me a bamboo raft three feet wide. On this they poled me
down that wild, mad river, about six miles to our own camp. The following
is a letter written to my friend Mrs. Wylie at this time:--

"I have felt very sad about spending time in the jungles, traversing
pathless mountains and glens in search of timber, but now I see the hand
of God leading me onward, for in no other way could I have come so near
the hearts of the people, or been made acquainted with their individual
characters. Now I know whom to trust, and how each can be made useful.

"I am thankful that I was able to be with them, for it cheered them not a
little, taught them to think and reason more correctly, and through God's
mercy prevented sickness. During the last week many came in here to see
the logs and look upon them with great delight and satisfaction. No doubt
it will be far better for the people that they have had to work hard for
the timber, for had I purchased it, they never would have valued it half
so much. Now they are pouring down to settle round the Institute.

"It was one of the most interesting nights I ever spent, when we encamped
at the mouth of the Kannee river after more than three months of hard
toil, six weeks of which I had spent with them; now there lay the logs,
strung to bamboos, filling the river.

"A hundred Karens were stretched around six or eight camp-fires, covering
the sand-bank just below my booth of grasses perched on the overhanging
cliff.

"The full moon was rising behind the trees, its soft light shimmering
upon the waters and lighting up the faces of the Karens, as they stood in
dripping garments, some drying themselves around the camp-fires, others
tending their chatties or their cooking vessels.

"We all knelt down and poured out our hearts in grateful praise, and,
after singing a hymn, which sounded far over the waters, coming back in
echoes from the mountains, I got into my little boat, made our way
through the foaming surf, and rowed down to the city, reaching home at
midnight."



CHAPTER XII. - THE RAISING--THE PIC-NIC.


A GRAND festival was that of ours! I mean the "raising."

It had cost us from two and a-half to three rupees each to bring the
iron-wood logs to an equal size, and plane them.

Finally, a day was appointed for planting the posts of the Institute, and
an exciting time we had of it. About two hundred workmen came in, but at
first they had no idea but of merely raising the posts.

I called the Board, and explained to them how necessary it was to level
the ground and to brick under and around the posts, and they said it
should be done; but the other chiefs opposed, thinking it a useless waste
of time. Finally, I was obliged to appear and address the crowd, which
was so silent, that I spoke only in my usual voice, which always seemed
to have a strange effect upon them; probably the great contrast between
my voice and their own high key was the secret of it; but I always
recognised on such occasions the immediate presence of the Almighty God.
Seeing by their eyes that all were ready, Chief Ledda of Baugalay seized
upon the moment, struck an electric cord which brought out roars of
laughter, and all rushed to the work; some to the ground, others in
troops, shouldering their spades and pick-axes, for digging out bricks.

They found this under preparation a pretty formidable work, but after
three or four days of hard labour it was accomplished. Several thousands
of bricks had been dug out of the old town wall, backed a quarter of a
mile, boated across the river, and seventy tall, smooth, iron-wood posts
were firmly planted six feet deep, enclosed in brick. In one of the posts
was deposited a small lead box, in which we had a Government plan of the
grounds, the history of the Karen Education Society, with a photograph of
their President, a letter from Colonel Phayre, an account of the schools,
a notice of the Karen Bible, a few letters from the head girls, and a few
coins. The opening was then so closed up, that no one probably could ever
find it.

Connected with this was a Sunday-school celebration, the first one ever
witnessed by the Karens in Tounghoo. The long beautiful lawn between the
Institute and Young Men's School had been prepared with seats, and a
platform for strangers. Settees had been placed for the chiefs and
elders, who arose one after another and addressed the assembly in their
own native languages, but with an eloquence perfectly irresistible.

Several English officers and ladies were present, who also addressed the
congregation, Mr. Mason interpreting. The children then sung the "Happy
Land," in Karen. Mr. Mason pronounced the benediction, and they were left
to enjoy the repast.

Refreshments had been provided by our kind friend and helper, Captain
Bond, Commander of the Artillery, and native food by Mr. Mason. Little
eyes were very big with expectation on that day, for the long tables on
the lawn were loaded with boiled fowls, rice, sugar-cane, plantains,
corn-balls, Shan and Burman sweetmeats, and English cakes; the eating
stands were wreathed with flowers, and the orphans all appeared in their
new dresses, given them by Mr. Mason.

No sooner had we left than down rushed the wild Bghais, pouncing like
bears over all the tables.

"Children fed, and grown people hungry!" they muttered with scorn. "No
good, no good." So one seized a fowl by the neck, another turned a whole
dish of rice into his turban, and another filled his wallet with cakes,
and off they leaped, the ducks and hens dangling, and one old man very
deliberately munching two corn-balls, first one and then the other.

The children went home in great disappointment. The next day I assembled
the whole concourse, and read to them Luke xiv. 13. "When thou makest a
feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: Ye shall not
afflict my fatherless child;" and again, "Pure religion is to visit the
fatherless," &c. "The stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, shall come
and eat," and asked them if they did not some of them break God's law the
night before. The Board of Managers immediately took up the matter, and
gave them such a sermon, they all cried out,--"Stop, brother, stop!
We'll pay! We'll pay!" and immediately laid down ten rupees to buy again
for the children. One chief sent off at once to the mountains and brought
down his fatted pig, and all vied in giving the poor one good dinner.

But the young preachers now came down upon me with great earnestness,
thinking I could not possibly have the least authority for making any
festival at all.

Pic-nics, Sunday-school celebrations, gatherings for the poor, all alike
were "devil feasts" to them. It might do for a Christian land, but not
among demon worshippers, they said. I told them, if it wounded their
consciences to see the poor little children get a good dinner, they need
not come, but such as approved might come and make addresses. For my own
part, I believed the Bible was written for all countries alike, and that
said, "_When_ ye make a feast, call the halt and the blind."

The care of the young preachers, however, shows a beautiful love for
Bible truth, which is their great safeguard, and will, in time, regulate
all their intercourse. It is of no use to talk to these people, unless
you can _prove_ from the Bible it is right. The following letter from Mr.
Mason shows their earnest desire for truth:--

"No feature of the work among the Karens appears so full of promise as
the eagerness with which the young preachers seek for instruction on
Biblical subjects. During the three or four weeks spent with our
Associations, whenever I sat down to eat, there were always a number of
young men around me seeking information on difficult subjects; and when I
strolled into the forest, a long peripatetic train questioned me at every
step. Sometimes I would seat myself to rest on a granite rock,
overlooking the plains thousands of feet below, when all would quickly
surround me,--a crowd of young men with their open Testaments, each one
eager to ask concerning some passage or other that he found it difficult
to comprehend. One would desire me to explain Paul's assertion, 'For me
to live is Christ, and to die is gain.' Another, the expression: 'I am
crucified to the world, and the world is crucified unto me.' A third
finds it difficult to understand, 'I could wish myself accursed from
Christ.' A fourth could not comprehend our Lord's language in relation to
John the Baptist; while still another was perplexed with Peter's
statement, that 'David had not ascended into heaven.' 'David, the good
man who wrote the Psalms, has surely gone to heaven. Were there two
Davids?' Some had chronological difficulties to settle; others asked for
historical information, and still others had numerous inquiries to make
on the natural productions mentioned in the Bible; while not a few had
questions to ask which Gabriel himself could not answer. Thus a single
lecture would be diversified like mosaic, with theology and botany,
exegesis and zoology, metaphysics and lightning wires, history, sacred
and profane, geography, ancient and modern, with a sprinkling of almost
every other subject of the past, the present, and the future. After lying
down to sleep, I often heard the younger teachers inquiring of their
seniors the signification of various passages, and asking information on
numerous topics on which they had been instructed. In this way the
knowledge communicated to one is passed on to tens, twenties, and
thirties, making my school of theology as wide as the province, and its
pupils as numerous as the ministry within its borders; and it is an
undeniable fact, that when we need a man to go to a station where there
is real self-denial to be endured, it is one of this irregular corps who
volunteers. They are the cream of the churches, rising by the law of
moral power, a law as immutable as the law of gravitation."*

[Footnote: * Mr. Mason means that no school can make the man, but he
would also say that no man can be made without the school, or without
_letters_. No man can be a warrior without his arms.]

It was while in the Kannee jungles that I made a trip into the ancient
Mopaga country in the north.

We started with one elephant, but found the road so very steep and rough,
I sent it back.

The path led over three sharp alpine peaks, and through as many deep
glens; then out gushed broad sunlight over an immense paddy field, with
here and there a wee bit of a shanty, and I began to congratulate myself
on finding a resting spot again, when I chanced to look forward, and lo,
there were the boys who carried my little _bundle_, away on the tip-top
of another cliff, as far as the eye could reach. I had been quite ill the
night before with fever, and was far too weak for such a jaunt, but it
was useless to look back when once started; and, besides, we could not
look downward without clinging to the bamboos, as we should have gone to
the very deeps. So we went plodding on, and even after reaching the
narrow opening in the sky, by clinging to the roots, rocks, and whatever
could help us, still no house appeared, nor the slightest vestige of any
village; but, following our guide, we wound along on the side of the
hill, down, down, down, and were about to step off into a gorge as black
as night, when a dozen hands were raised, and a whole flood of mountain
music burst up the ravine, and held us spell-bound!

It was the little congregation of Wechaduc, yet far distant, at prayer,
and singing,

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,"

in their own native tongue.

I stayed my steps, and listened with emotions indescribable, glancing
over the whole history of the past four years in as many minutes, until
lost in bewildering joy, for well did I recollect the first visit of
those _tau-beahs_ to our house. The leader was the minstrel who came to
inquire if God's Son had come from heaven. Now he came smiling down the
glen to meet me, his babe in a blanket upon his back for me to bless! And
on reaching the house, all the mothers, to the number of a hundred, I
should think, brought forth their infants for me to lay my hand upon
their heads. I knew not what to do, whether to gratify them or not, for
it seemed fearful to think of standing in the place of our Blessed
Redeemer. However, I patted their little heads, and shook hands with some
four hundred, then went into the chapel, and explained to them who alone
could bless their little ones.

The whole village consisted of only one house, besides the chapel and
teacher's residence.

Imagine a building four hundred feet long and thirty wide, divided into
some thirty rooms; then another house parallel, just separated by a
verandah three feet broad; then still another parallel, separated by a
verandah just the same, and all three alike, except the central row,
which is perhaps ten feet shorter at each end, leaving an open court in
front and a work-yard behind. This central row belongs to the chief and
his relations, and he holds his court in the first hall. Each compartment
has its little bedrooms, just long enough to stretch one's-self in, with
cooking-box and all manner of jungle apparatus strewn on bamboos above;
while beneath is a pigsty, walled up with bamboos to the floor, which is
about six or eight feet from the ground, with little trap-doors in the
floor, so that they may feed the pigs without going out! There are three
separate roofs to the building, and under the eaves extend long bamboo
spouts. This constitutes the village of Wechaduc, one of the largest of
the Mopaga tribe.

I found forty children in this village who could read very well and
repeat the Catechism by heart. Several of them had been baptized. This
school was taught by Nau Tejau, one of the Bghai head girls of the
Institute.

The rains are pouring hard. The sawyers have all run away--will not work
in the rain--demand higher wages. I am in distress; have no means to go
on with the work. I call in the chiefs and girls, lay the case before
them, and entreat them to ask God for money to complete the building for
His glory. All bow in prayer. Eight o'clock,--nine o'clock--ten o'clock,
and still we plead there upon our faces:

"O Lord, if this undertaking pleaseth thee, 'Establish thou the work of
our hands.'"

In the morning I go out, and look over the half-sawed logs. Saws all
still--not a soul comes. I cannot raise wages--I have no money. Oh
Lord, do not suffer thy servants to be put to shame! Oh Lord, the heathen
are rejoicing. They revile thy name--they cry, "Aha! aha! where is now
your God?" Oh Lord, make haste to deliver us.

At two o'clock comes the mail--there is a letter, and I read:--

"CALCUTTA, _August 8th_, 1859.

"MY DEAR MRS. MASON,

"You will see, by my letter to your husband, that I have had the pleasure
to receive from a friend a donation of eight hundred rupees for your
school. It is from a friend who has lately gone to England.

"MACLEOD WYLIE."

Thanks, oh thanks, to the Almighty Jehovah! Now "Let the heathen rage and
imagine vain things," but we will acknowledge _the Lord our deliverer_.



CHAPTER XIII. - THE KAREN NATIONAL BANNER.


"WHY cannot the Karens have a banner--a national banner--now that
such numbers of them are coming out of heathenism?" This question was
asked among the chiefs of Tounghoo, after a visit to the cantonments,
where they had examined with great delight the English standard.

The Institute being set up, the question of banners arose, and it was
decided that every Karen clan which joined the Education Society, and
helped to support the Girls' School, should be allowed to put up a banner
on the building. Six clans raised theirs at once, taking for their
distinctive flags the clan-emblems embroidered on their tunics. These are
seen on the front posts or iron-wood pillars of the Institute. They
represent the Sgaus, Pakus, Mauniepagas, Mopagas, Bghais, and
Pant-Bghais, who have joined the enterprise. This excited a great deal of
enthusiasm, and the village maidens all vied with one another in weaving
and embroidering the most beautiful flags.

It was after erecting these banners for the tribes that the question came
up concerning a national emblem or a Union standard for all. Quala took
up the subject with earnestness, and sent an epistle to the churches in
Tounghoo. He then chose a device for them, which was a Bible with a sword
across it. This banner has recently been presented to the nation. The
following is an account of its presentation extracted from the _New York
World_, of August 8th, 1860:--

"In the Mariners' church, in New York, last Sabbath evening, a national
banner was presented by one of the largest Bible societies in America to
the most interesting and hopeful nation in all Asia, the Karens.

"This strange, wild people are being rapidly Christianized, and they have
sent to America for a national flag to commemorate their exodus out of
heathenism,--the most remarkable and exhilarating request that we have
ever heard of from a new nation.

"The following remarkable letter was read from the principal native
teacher:--

"LETTER OF QUALA, THE SECOND KAREN APOSTLE.

"'To all the churches in Tavoy, Maulmain, Rangoon, Bassein, Shwagyn,
Tounghoo, and Prome, greeting!

"'To the great teachers, small teachers, men and women, young women,
young men, deacons, elders, old and young, one and all, greeting!

"'I, a son of Tavoy, Teacher Quala, trust you all know and understand the
word of God, and can speak of the things pertaining to the truth and
light which God has given us. In order that we may be able to conquer our
enemies, and escape from every evil hand, God has given us a weapon. What
is it? What kind of a weapon is it?

"'Behold! The children of Judah, when they escaped out of the hands of
the Egyptians, in order that their children might understand how they
were delivered out of their hands, erected banners with emblems of the
hawk, the lion, the bear, and ox.

"'Again, the ENGLISH nation, when they escaped out of the hands of the
idolatrous Romans, erected a standard of the cross as a national emblem;
and when their king went to rescue Jerusalem from the Moslem invaders,
took back Judah's lion, so that future generations might understand.
Again, the AMERICANS, when they declared independence, erected a national
emblem of the eagle, with stars and stripes. This was to inform every
nation that they would rise heavenward, over every enemy.

"'Therefore, my brethren, young and old, mothers and fathers,
grandmothers and grandfathers, nieces and nephews, uncles and aunts,
cousins and friends, children and grandchildren, we, the uncivilized, the
children of the forest, barbarians, without books or understanding,
without a king or a name in the earth, we, the nation in thick darkness,
whom God has compassionated and sent His own Son Jesus Christ to save out
of our darkness and bondage;--we, in the year of the world five
thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, received books from the hands of
the teachers--the children of America. We received the HOLY BIBLE, the
words of God, and the ten commandments which He gave to His people, the
children of Israel, by the hand of Moses. This was a treasure more
precious than all the books of the earth--the best above all books; the
CHIEF among books.

"'We, the Karens, were like wild beasts of the mountains--like the wild
speckled fowl of the jungles. We had no knowledge, no understanding, no
power. But now we have received instruction indeed. Now to us Karens God
has given books and teachers, and now we, too, have schools and
school-houses all our own. Therefore it is well if we rejoice with
exceeding great joy; and now let us erect a National Banner, as other
Book nations have done. Let us erect it over our school-houses, and let
us choose for our emblem, not a lion or any beast, but the weapon which
God hath given us by which to subdue our enemies--even the "WORD OF
GOD, WHICH IS THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT."

"'Now, teachers and teacheresses, friends, the children of God among the
Karens everywhere--what think you? Will this be good, or will you
differ from me? Instruct me, I pray you, if there is a better way. Dear
friends, let us think of what our mothers taught us. "Dogs go in troops;
they catch the deer. Villages united conquer enemies." This is what I
have to say: "If many work together, much the reward, and the greater
their strength."

"'Dear friends, let us look at Luke xii. 15. I have seen a letter--Karen
teachers asking support of the foreign teachers, and I was greatly
ashamed. Brethren, teachers, churches, all, consider, I pray you. The
white foreign teachers were like our father and mother; first, _they_ had
to be instructed by others, but they did not lean on their instructors
for their curry and rice. They did not ask their teachers to feed them.
Let us follow the white foreigners, and learn of them till we can make
clocks, and glass, and swords, and cannon, and telescopes, and
fire-carriages--till we know the earth's boundaries, all nations and
medicines; but let us support our own schoolmasters and preachers.

"'The white foreigners do not ask the Burmese to feed their teachers. The
Burmese have teachers, and they do not ask the white men to feed theirs.
Therefore there is no place for us to ask--not in the least.

"'Do we not know? Do we not understand? Birds build nests; the young ones
learn. Fathers die; sons take their seats. Mothers die; daughters take
the mothers' places; and think, I pray you, of King Solomon's words: "A
wise son is the joy of his father, but a foolish son is the grief of his
mother."

"'Let us not seek for ourselves alone, but seek, plan, and devise for our
posterity down to the remotest generation. Therefore let us erect a
banner for our whole nation, and glorify God, that the surrounding
nations may know that we have come out from heathenism, and are
determined to be a Christian people.

"'QUALA.'

"This is a literal translation of Quala's Karen letter, published in the
_Star_, a monthly paper printed in the Karen language. At the time of
presentation, the Secretary of the American and Foreign Bible Society,
the Rev. F. Haynes, preached a very able sermon. The Rev. Mr. Stewart
then made over the flag to the BIBLE SOCIETY, remarking that his
congregation had given till he had to tell them to stop giving; and Mr.
Haynes, on receiving it, made some stirring remarks in relation to the
Mariners' Church, especially in connexion with a member going out from it
who had been the first source of the great Swedish reformation in
Europe.*

[Footnote: * In 1834, F. O. Nilsson, a converted Swedish sailor, was
baptized by the Rev. Mr. Stewart, of the Mariners' Church, N.Y. In 1839,
he returned to his native land to preach the Gospel to his countrymen and
kindred. After labouring several years amid persecutions, fines, and
imprisonment, he was finally banished from the kingdom, leaving fifty-six
baptized believers scattered in different districts.

In 1855, the American Baptist Publication Society adopted a system of
Colportage for Sweden, and on the 8th of September, the Rev. A. Wiberg,
as Superintendent of Colportage, sailed for Stockholm, where he arrived
on the 7th of November. Some fifteen Colporteurs were appointed, and soon
all Sweden was traversed by this devoted band. As the result, there are
now upwards of one hundred Baptist Churches, with a membership of between
five and six thousand.]

"The flag has a blue ground, with the device of a Bible and sword in
colours, and a motto: 'THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE WORD OF
GOD.' The motto is in the Karen language, in large white letters.

"At the close of the sermon, Mr. Haynes presented the flag on behalf of
the American and Foreign Bible Society. Mrs. Mason received it in place
of her husband, now in Burmah, on behalf of the nation. Mrs. Mason then
replied as follows:--

"'I beg to thank the American and Foreign Bible Society for this Karen
National Banner. I thank you, Sir, in behalf of the twenty-five thousand
Karen converts of Burmah, enlightened by the Bible which your Society has
so liberally given them, in their own language.

"'I thank you in behalf of my husband, the translator of the Bible for
the Karen nation. I thank you in behalf of the four hundred young
preachers and teachers of the Karen nation; in behalf of the four hundred
district schools of the nation; in behalf of the four hundred
Sunday-schools of the nation; in behalf of the seventy-five thousand
Karens who have determined to come out from heathenism, and to receive
Christian books.

"'It may be known to you that many believe that a hundred years hence the
Karens will be the ruling power in India, and the Missionary nation to
all Asia, the right-hand of the English nation, because they so generally
receive the Bible, while so many of the nations reject it. Therefore I
thank you, Sir, in behalf of all the hundreds of thousands of
Christianized, civilized Karens who shall tell of this gift to their
children, and wave this national banner; and especially I would thank you
in behalf of the _women_ of the Karen nation.'"



CHAPTER XIV. - HELP FROM ENGLAND.


IT was on my way to Tounghoo that I wrote an account of my school plans
to my kind friend, Robert Scott Moncrieff, Esq., of Calcutta. His
brother, the Rev. W. Scott Moncrieff, of London, took the letter
immediately to Miss Webb, Secretary of the "SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING FEMALE
EDUCATION IN THE EAST." I had then never heard of that Society.

And as if God would say, "There shall be no failure when I undertake," he
had previously sent the Rev. W. Hazeldine to see Miss Webb. Mr. Hazeldine
was Chaplain at Tounghoo, and had been out on a tour among the Karens,
where he took the jungle fever, which had compelled him to return to
England; but he had carried with him there a world of sympathy for the
Karens. Now, I beg to ask if any Christian man, woman, or child, can
doubt for one moment that there was in all this a most remarkable answer
to prayer.

The SOCIETY FOR FEMALE EDUCATION IN THE EAST has been in existence
twenty-eight years; has sent out, according to the Report for 1862, one
hundred and three female teachers; had then raised L53,355; had sent out
work for sale to the amount of L31,830; and rendered aid in various ways
to Girls' Schools, superintended by Missionaries' wives, and by private
individuals. Two hundred and fourteen of these schools are, at present,
in connexion with the Society; yet what are these among so many? They
have NATIVE as well as EUROPEAN teachers in the field, and are labouring
in China, Burmah, the Punjaub, Calcutta, Benares, Lucknow, Madras,
Tinnevelly, Bombay, and many other parts of India, Ceylon, Mauritius,
South Africa, West Africa, the Levant, and Egypt. Yet this Society began
with nothing in 1834, and has been carried on entirely by ladies, and
ladies of different denominations, working in union for one single
object, the glory of God in the salvation of heathen women.

Its Report for 1860 closes with this striking, and in America almost
forgotten, command:--

"And bring my _daughters_ from the ends of the earth."

On hearing of my undertaking for the women of Tounghoo, Miss Webb, the
Secretary, immediately opened communication with me, and very kindly made
inquiries--offering to help us. This drew forth the following letter:--

"TOUNGHOO, _August 22nd_, 1858.

"MY DEAR FRIEND,

"I feel myself under great obligations to your Society for taking an
interest in Burmah. I thank you, especially, for thinking of our dear
Karens, and in so friendly a manner offering me aid. I recognise in this
fact a clear answer to my prayers. I see as striking evidences that the
Lord is working among these Karen mountains as if a voice from heaven
should proclaim, 'This is God's work in the land of the Bghais.'

"Our second term and three days' examination are just over. The girls
have been more successful in learning than I have ever seen girls in my
native country in the same time. They have now a tolerably exact
knowledge of the Gospel of Matthew, the Acts, the history of the Old
Testament, the geography of Asia, Europe, North and South America, and a
good understanding of the solar system. The latter has been particularly
interesting to them, because they have always been taught that in an
eclipse of the sun or the moon a demon devours the heavenly bodies.

"Our Girls' School numbered, the last term, sixty members, all from the
best families of the Pakus, Mopagas, Bghais, and Pant-Bghais. They have
not in a single instance appeared in soiled apparel. They have washed and
cooked for themselves, and brought their own food from the market. One
was expelled from the institution for theft; but severe measures were
required in only one or two instances. One of these was the case of a
chief's daughter, who, for neglect of duty, was sent out of school, or
rather for a week was not allowed to recite her lessons. This was a great
trial to her, as she had been the first in the school. Still I saw no
manifestation of anger; on the contrary, all that she said was to beg for
forgiveness, and she returned a humble and polite girl.

"The other case gave me great anxiety. We had a rule that every pupil
should have her hair put up in a decent and orderly manner when she came
into the school-room in the morning. One day almost half of the girls had
neglected this duty. I sent them back to their rooms; and when I called
them, not one appeared. There was evidently an opposition to the rule.
They were all forbidden to enter the school or come into my room for
three days. This was a great trial to them, though they had their meals
as usual. On the second day, three of them declared their resolution to
return home, and they would have done so, if others had been willing to
follow them. I feared and prayed. But I sent them only this word, that if
they went away, they would show to all the churches that they could not
humble their hearts, and all the headmen would rejoice that they did not
need them for teachers. That was enough. Not one of them left, and I had
no further trouble in respect to cleanliness. Often during this period I
would see their sparkling eyes peeping through the bamboos during the
hour of recitation; that was a favourite hour with all, for I had
introduced the custom of allowing them to examine me, instead of my
examining them.

"I have for the Female Department one paid male teacher, two assistants,
one Paku, and one Bghai; then two other sub-assistants, one for the sick
and one for the bazaar business. These are permanent. Under these are six
heads for the boarding department, two for housework, two for sewing, two
for the ground around and under the houses, and one for the sick. Besides
these, we have ten monitors chosen monthly; the other heads are chosen
weekly. The monitors see that all bathe and dress their hair properly,
keep their places in the classes, and recite correctly.

"In the Young Men's School I have the superintendence of two general
teachers, one cook, two hospital-heads, two house-heads, and two heads
for the grounds; these heads, too, are all chosen weekly, the monitors
monthly.

"Every Wednesday morning all assemble together, young men and young
women, to take lessons in good manners, and in keeping a day-book.* So
everything goes on in an orderly manner, whether I am present or not. No
one receives the least pay, except an arithmetic book or the money to
purchase one.

[Footnote: * In this day-book we made a record of every rod of land
which they cleared, every foot of road they made, and every stump they
dug up, which excited great emulation among them, and saved the school
much sickness in term time.]

"By having two schools at the same time, I find many opportunities to
instruct the young men as to their behaviour to the other sex. For
example, it was a rule that six of the girls entrusted with the marketing
and six of the men should purchase all their vegetables at the bazaar,
and bring them home. I soon discovered that while the girls came home
with heavy baskets on their backs, the young gentlemen tripped on before
with a very light bag or bundle under the arm. I took great pains to
change this custom, in which, however, I did not entirely succeed,
because the young men were not in the least ashamed of it, and the girls
were disposed to boast of the burdens they carried. One of the teachers
said to me--

"'Mama, if our wives work much and carry heavy burdens, we love them; if
not, we hate them.' That is the prevailing feeling among the unbelievers.
In time, I think I shall succeed in bringing the young men to be ashamed
of such things; but it takes more than one term to change heathen
customs.

"At the public examination I desired the best of the young students to
examine the girls in the presence of the assembled chiefs; but I did not
venture fully to unfold their attainments, lest I should awaken
opposition to the school. In fact, a teacher has already come out openly,
and declared to the chiefs that they would yet come under woman's
government. Pray for me! Oh, pray for _us_ in this exigency; for here
lies our great danger. Many were at the outset opposed to a girls'
school, because, they said, the girls would become indolent and useless;
but, in fact, they feared lest they should acquire knowledge. To obviate
this objection, the girls have willingly taken their spades and worked in
the garden two hours daily, labouring as zealously as the men.

"The men settlers around our place have a good school-house, and support
a teacher for all the children in the village. My two boys examine this
school every Saturday, and teach the children Bible history from
pictures, requiring the scholars to read everything in the Karen Bible.
They repeat what has been learned before the whole assembly at the close
of the Sabbath-school, which embraces all the colonists, male and female
together, with both the schools.

"As these people live around me, I have a good opportunity to accustom
them to cleanliness, order, morality, uprightness, love of children, and
sympathy with the sick and bereaved, all duties which they deeply need to
be taught; so that even in this respect a school is formed in which I
esteem it a precious privilege to give instruction.

"In regard to all that God, the Almighty God, and not man, has done here,
I can say, Behold, God is my salvation. I will trust and not be afraid,
for Jehovah the Lord is my strength. He whose throne is in Heaven--who
sends His word upon earth, and His word runs very swiftly. He will rule
from sea to sea, and from the river to the end of the earth. They who
dwell in the wilderness shall bow before Him; for He will save the poor
when he crieth, and the needy, and _him that hath no helper_. He is God,
the faithful God, who keeps covenant and faithfulness,--the Almighty.
During the last year I have learned the meaning of that name, the
ALMIGHTY, for no one can pray, 'Give us this day our daily bread,' like
one who has no bread.

"When I first resolved to attempt this self-sustaining school, I promised
my husband that I would write to some Society in England or Scotland, and
endeavour to obtain help for myself. But my duties were so pressing, that
for six months I could not find time to do it. During this period God had
sent me so much, I could not find the heart to do it. It seemed to me a
thing forbidden. It appeared as if God had called me to trust, and to
lift up my eyes to the hills from whence all my help came. I did so
without fear or doubt, and now He has sent your Society to aid me
further.

"I think I shall let the Karen girls of the highest class enter the
Ornamental department. Because they are so diligent, Mr. Mason thinks
they have a good claim to this privilege, and they take great pleasure in
drawing, embroidering, and music. Even our old chieftains looked on the
drawing-books of the girls with visible pride, having a taste for art and
brilliant colours. I will give an instance to show their love of the
beautiful. After the posts of the house, sixty in number, were well set,
I said to a member of the building committee that they would look very
pretty if they were painted and lackered. The very next week the Pakus
and Maunies brought one hundred and thirteen rupees for this object. One
or two days afterwards, a Mopaga head-man visited us, and wished to learn
how everything was to be done. I mentioned this, and asked him if he had
heard what the Pakus were doing. He knew nothing of it, and said not a
word, but after three days he came again with two other aged head-men,
and counted out _ninety-three_ rupees as a contribution from two villages
only, for the purchase of paint for the posts!

"The land, building apparatus, furniture, and everything indeed
appertaining to the School, is made over legally to the KAREN EDUCATION
SOCIETY, that Society engaging to support and carry it on perpetually
from 'generation to generation.' So that no Foreign Society, or
individual, can have any claim upon the property of the Institute, or any
control over it, it being left wholly to their own Board of Managers to
control for themselves. With this knowledge before your Society, could
you help me?

"If you would undertake the _permanent_ support of a principal and a
native female assistant, you would relieve me of much anxiety. The
support of a single lady would amount to about L72 sterling per year. The
support of an assistant for the Karen department would be L10 sterling,
and for the Burmese, L18. As to myself, I have no fears. I only wish that
the existence of the school may be made as secure as possible.
(Signed) "ELLEN B. MASON."

The Report of the Society for 1860 gives the following result:--

"There are few fields of Missionary effort upon which the eye of the
Christian rests with more adoring wonder and gratitude than upon Burmah.
The deep interest which the Committee anticipated would be felt by their
friends in connecting themselves with this work, as announced in the last
report, has not been disappointed, and the 'Special Fund for Burmah' has
almost met the demands upon it. Of Mrs. Mason's Training School for Karen
girls at Tounghoo, the Committee have received heart-stirring accounts,
and they have rejoiced in being able to support this labourer in her
arduous yet delightful work. The large supplies of school apparatus,
which the liberality of their friends placed at their disposal for her,
have arrived safely.

"The Committee have this year undertaken also the maintenance of a native
female teacher for a school for Burmese Karen girls at _Kemendine_, under
the superintendence of Mrs. INGALLS. To those who are acquainted with the
history of that mission which 'Judson prayed into existence,' her name
needs no introduction; and much gratification has been felt at this
opportunity of sustaining her self-denying and zealous efforts for the
benefit of the heathen females amongst whom she has taken up her abode."

Thus wonderfully did God open the minds and hearts of English Christians
to see the utility of the work, and to sympathize in my undertaking, when
I had almost said, My father and my mother had forsaken me; then the Lord
took me up.

And now I sing,

"I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and my supplication,
because He hath inclined His ear unto me; _therefore will I call upon Him
as long as I live_."



CHAPTER XV. - COLONEL PHAYRE'S REPORT--THE TABERNACLE IN THE MOUNTAINS.


I AM in the mountain village of Baumuduc;--a chief enters in high
spirits.

"We've seen the Perdo! the Perdo!"

"Well, what did he say?"

"Oh, he's God's Commissioner!"--rubbing his hands--"he's God's
Commissioner!"

"Why, how do you know?"

"Oh, he shook hands with the _children!_ I know he loves us!"

The Commissioner of Pegu had just made Tounghoo a visit, and attended the
Paku Association. He gave his hand to every one, old and young, and would
even stop his great horse, and reach down for the wee babies which the
mothers held up, by which he greatly won the confidence of the Karens.
They were much delighted with his kind acts in helping them to teak for
their chapels, and in appointing for them their own magistrates. In many
other ways he also won for himself golden tablets in their memories.

Mountain is here piled over mountain, but after two days we espied an
opening leading to what appeared to be an old inhabited country, with a
pinnacle some six hundred feet high, looming up before us
perpendicularly, crested with a cluster of gigantic bamboos. Just under
this cluster, upon one side of the summit, stretched the tabernacle along
the ridge; a most picturesque sight, but I think I was full three hours
in reaching the place after the scene burst upon us. News had gone
before, and on reaching the base of the pinnacle, the path was bordered
on either side by disciples all the way to the door of the chapel,
waiting to hail the Commissioner as their benefactor.

Colonel Phayre remained five days, attending every service, and listening
to all the speeches, which were partially interpreted to him as they were
spoken. He gave us resolutions and speeches on educational pursuits, on
supporting the schools, on caring for teachers,--true Missionary
orations, equal to any in London or Boston. Sgaus, Pakus, Mauniepagas,
Mopagas, Bghais, and Pant-Bghais, also addressed the assembly, and the
scene was perfectly exhilarating. One esteemed deacon rose to speak in a
soiled dress, when another told him to sit down, and let the clean folks
talk, but generally there was an evident striving to be tidy and
respectable. Each village had its booth encircling the great tabernacle,
so that I fancied myself in the feast of tabernacles among the cedars of
Lebanon.

After our Association closed, we made an excursion over the top of the
mountain, down to sweet Wathako--a charming spot in a basin of the
mountain, where we found a new teak chapel, very neatly built as far as
it was completed, which had already cost the little church a thousand
rupees. The one in the village where the Association met had cost them
fifteen hundred rupees, all paid by themselves.

The village was swept clean, and we all went into the old chapel and had
a pic-nic. Everything looked civilized and advancing, and the children
were well trained in school.

Encircling this village in the mountains were groves of many hundred
betel-nut trees. A betel or Areca-nut grove is one of the most agreeable
objects the eye rests on in Burmah. Imagine two hundred trees with trunks
as large as hop-poles, forty feet high, without a single branch or leaf
except at top, the fronds, of the freshest green, then floating out in
loveliness and grace, while the whole ground is made a chess-board of
tiny brooks to water the trees.

It was at this place that they had made an attempt to overcome two boys,
when the Gospel was first preached there. One man entreated Pwapau to
remain, and declared he himself would become his pupil whether others did
or not. But the young men began to come in, and he soon had a school of
forty scholars. After awhile, the father of two of the lads sent to call
them home, to keep a feast to the nats. The boys sternly refused to go,
or to perform any more heathen rites. The next day over came the men of
the village, thirty or forty, stoutly armed, and surrounded the
school-house. One of the boys was caught, and compelled to march off to
the feast; but the other, Talaoo, leaped out of the back of the house,
dashed into the jungle, and escaped. This young man made a glowing speech
on the Bible at the Association, and the chief who led the armed band was
there too, and made a speech. He is now a deacon of the church.

The following is the Commissioner's Report:--

"_To_ CECIL BEADON, ESQUIRE,
_Secretary to the Government of India_,
CALCUTTA."

"SIR,

"1. Having lately returned to the station of Tounghoo, from a short tour
among the Karen mountain tribes dwelling to the east of the Sittang
river, I have the honour to submit, for the information of His Excellency
the Governor-General in Council, a brief report of what I have observed
among that interesting race of people.

"2. The mountainous country of the Tounghoo district, in which the Karen
tribes reside, extends over an area of about two thousand square miles.
It is bounded by the line of the British frontier, with Burmah on the
north, along the parallel of 19° 29' north latitude, on the south by the
river Youkthwa, which divides it from the Martaban province, on the east
by the country of the independent Red Karens, and on the west by the
lowlands skirting the Sittang river. Within the above tract of country
dwell the several tribes distinguished by the Burmese under the general
name of Karen. These tribes, though acknowledging a relationship to each
other in race, yet bear separate distinctive names for themselves. Their
dialects, in some instances, differ from each other, so as to render
communication between the tribes nearly as difficult as if the languages
were altogether distinct. The following are the names of the several
tribes or clans within the above tract of country:--

"1. Paku. 2. Mauniepaga. 3. Bghai, divided into two sections. 4. Wewau.
5. Sgau. 6. Mopaga, and one or two more not yet satisfactorily
ascertained.

"3. It is impossible to give an accurate return of the numbers of these
people, but they may be stated generally to be about fifty thousand, of
whom more than twenty thousand souls are either professed Christians or
under Christian instruction and influence. They are scattered over
mountains which rise five thousand feet above the sea. Their villages
seldom contain more than thirty or forty houses. Their cultivation, like
that of all the Indo-Chinese mountaineers, is carried on, not by
terracing the hills, but by cutting down the forest on the mountain
sides, burning the whole mass of timber and grass, and then sowing the
seed in the ground among the ashes.

"As the next rain washes away the fertile vegetable soil, a crop cannot
again be raised on the same spot for some ten or fifteen years. Each
village, therefore, requires a wide extent of mountain land in order to
have a rotation of cultivatable spots. This method of cultivation acts as
a barrier to the progress of the people, since they are engaged in a
constant struggle against the forest.

"4. Up to the year 1853, the several tribes, and it may even be said the
different villages of the same tribe, lived in a state of enmity and
actual warfare with each other. By open force or by stealthy manoeuvre,
they would capture women and children, and sell them as slaves to other
tribes; while they generally put to death all grown-up men who fell into
their power. These predatory habits still exist, more or less, among
those tribes who have not accepted Christianity.

"5. In my annual administration report I have narrated how, by the
unwearied labours of the Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Mason, of San Quala, and other
Christian Karen teachers from the Tenasserim provinces, Christianity has
been introduced among these tribes; how their languages have been
mastered and reduced to writing, and how religion and education have
simultaneously wrought a vast change in the habits, the feelings, and the
hearts of these wild mountaineers.

"6. The Government has been pleased in past years to make grants of money
to Dr. and Mrs. Mason for the translation of books, and for the building
of the school for Karen females at Tounghoo. Having now been present at
the meeting in a central mountain village of a considerable number of
people from all the tribes--an annual gathering held to recount their
past proceedings, to compare their progress, and to animate each other to
future effort--having witnessed this deeply-interesting meeting, I deem
it my duty to report, for the information of his Excellency the
Governor-General in Council, the result so far of the work which has been
going on among these tribes.

"7. Their educational institutions are closely connected with their
village or clan system. Each village community constitutes a church or
congregation in itself. Among the Sgau, Mauniepaga, Paku, and Wewau
tribes, there are fifty-eight stations or churches. At each village there
is a teacher and a school. The teachers are generally young men of the
tribe who have been selected and instructed under the care of the Rev.
Dr. Mason. The village teacher is not in all cases an ordained Minister,
but he it is who conducts the public worship, and is also the
schoolmaster. In each village a church is erected, and the school is held
in the same building. At those villages which I have visited, these
mountain places of worship were neat wooden buildings, with a house
adjoining for the Minister or Teacher. All are built at the expense of
the people, and the Teacher is entirely supported by the same means. I
need hardly add, that it is a completely voluntary system. A bamboo
fence, put round the church and the Teacher's or Minister's dwelling,
separates them from the rest of the village.

"8. Among the other tribes, namely, the Bghai and Mopaga, there are
sixty-two stations, or parishes, as they may be termed, which I am
informed are provided for in every respect as above described.

"9. In January, 1859, the Paku Association of all the churches belonging
to that and some adjoining tribes held a meeting, at which I was present.
It was at a village named Baugalay, situated on a fine commanding
position, at some three thousand feet elevation, with forest-clad
mountains all round. There were about seven hundred or eight hundred
people present, men, women, and children. The Rev. Dr. Mason, with
several Karen Ministers and Teachers, occupied a central platform of
bamboos, slightly raised above the ground. Around the platform, under the
shade of a temporary shed of bamboo, were the Karens, seated according to
their tribes and families, clad in their picturesque national dress, and
with intelligence and deep interest in the objects for which they had met
beaming in their faces.

"10. The business of the meeting commenced with a hymn and with prayer,
both in the Karen language. The Karens have naturally a taste for melody,
and the soft sounds of their language are well adapted to vocal music.
Several of the young Karen Ministers and Teachers successively addressed
the assembly in earnest language, exhorting the people to make increased
exertions to educate their children, to support religion, to procure
Bibles, and to be careful of them when they had them. One read a paper
containing a brief account of the illness and death of a brother pastor,
who had lately died. Several of the chiefs also briefly addressed the
meeting, exhorting the people. Finally, it was announced that the
Associated Churches had subscribed over five hundred rupees towards the
support of the central schools at the town of Tounghoo, where both boys
and girls are educated more highly than can be done in the village
schools. They are trained as teachers for the other schools.

"11. It was a wonderful sight thus to behold in the midst of an assembly
of tribes so lately savage, and without written language, the evidence of
a people appreciating the benefit of religion and of education,
supporting pastors and schools, listening to speeches on social
improvement and religious duties, delivered by men of their own race in
their own tongue, abandoning their evil habits and their cruel wars, and
living as quiet, industrious mountaineers, anxious for improvement. I was
surprised at the youth of some of the teachers, and more at the respect
and attention shown them by many of the chiefs. This is the rather
remarkable, as we might almost have looked for jealousy from the latter
at their own influence being impaired. It is not so, however. Dr. Mason
has found, as was to be expected, that young people were more readily
impressed with new ideas than those advanced in life, and has employed
young men as teachers, while their education ensures them respect and
influence among both chiefs and people.

"12. Though the people support their village teachers and schools, and
will, and do, also support those youths who go to study at the Normal
School in town, yet it is beyond their means to defray all the expenses
of the latter institution. I was present at an examination of the Female
Institute at Tounghoo, by Mrs. Mason. Fifty were present. They appeared
to acquit themselves creditably in geography, arithmetic, and other
branches of knowledge. To show what a change education has wrought in the
opinions of these people generally, I may mention that, in the absence
of regular teachers in the more remote villages, some of the chiefs have
applied for young women from the Institute to instruct the children of
their tribe. This fact, showing a disregard for their previous
prejudices--for they heretofore considered women only as useful drudges
to 'the lords of creation'--evinces the wonderful change effected in
their habits of thought.

"13. I have entered into these details of the progress made among these
tribes, in order to lay clearly before the Governor-General in Council my
reasons for making application for further grants towards supporting and
extending education among them. On this subject I beg to annex copies of
two letters to my address, one from Mrs. Mason, dated the 13th of
January, 1859, and one from the Rev. Dr. Mason, dated the 21st. Both ask
for assistance for the Normal School for Karen young men, established at
the town of Tounghoo.

"14. Hitherto the Government has contributed as follows towards education
among the mountain Karen tribes: two thousand rupees for the translation
and printing of useful works in the Bghai and Mauniepaga dialects, and
fourteen hundred rupees for books, apparatus, &c., for the Karen Female
Institute; a grant of land at Tounghoo has also been made for erecting
the building.

"15. With reference to the present application by Dr. and Mrs. Mason, I
beg earnestly to recommend that the Honourable the President in Council
will be pleased to sanction a grant toward the Young Men's Normal
School,--a school which is to fulfil the important object of furnishing
instructors to the various tribes scattered over the mountains. The
great importance of aiding the Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Mason in affording
these young men a liberal education, through whose agency these tribes
may be raised from the depths of ignorance and barbarism to hold
hereafter, it is hoped, a prominent place among Asiatic races, the great
importance of aiding in this noble object, requires not a word from me
to recommend it. I shall content myself, therefore, with stating that
many tribes still remain to be recovered from barbarism, and with
recommending as follows:--

"1st. That the sum of three thousand rupees be granted towards the
building of a school-house for the Karen young men at Tounghoo. This
school is proposed to be of brick, and one hundred pupils are to be
educated therein.

"2nd. That I be authorized to procure for the said school the following
instruments:--

"1. A telescope, on stand, of sufficient power to observe the eclipse of
Jupiter's satellites.

"2. A sextant and artificial horizon.

"3. A pair of globes, one foot in diameter.

"4. A prismatic compass and chain, complete.

"5. A set of school maps.

"I have not the means of making an estimate of the expense that will be
incurred in procuring instruments, but I believe that twelve hundred
rupees will be the outside.

"I have the honour to be, SIR,

"Your most obedient servant,

"A. P. PHAYRE.

"_February 3rd_, 1859."

I have felt very thankful to our Commissioner for writing this report, as
it reaches a class of men who seldom or never read Missionary
publications.

Colonel Phayre, too, being Agent to the Governor-General of India and for
Her Majesty, can speak with a power which no other person can wield in
Burmah.

It is a day or two before the Bghai Association. I am distressed and sad.
I cannot go out to my husband--have no money to pay the workmen--the
Chinaman is urgent for wages--doors and windows half done--I seek to
the Lord: "Oh Lord, may I go to the Bghai mountains? If it please thee
that I go, do thou graciously send me some money; thou art the _mighty
God of Jacob_."

I begin to prepare some cake to take up to my husband, for I am sure I
shall go.

It is morning; the door opens, and a servant enters.

"A roll ma'am, from the General." He opens it out on the table, counts
two hundred and fifty rupees, and hands a note. I read:--

"MY DEAR MRS. MASON,

"I am very sorry for your having to leave so unexpectedly, as I have been
planning to accompany you to the school on the other side of the river,
but must hope for another meeting at some future time. Wishing you and
Dr. Mason every blessing and success in your undertaking, with kindest
regards,

"Believe me, yours, very sincerely,
"J. BELL.

"P. S. The two hundred and fifty rupees I send to help on your work."

General Bell was commander of the British forces in Burmah; he has aided
us to the amount of five hundred rupees, and has often cheered us with
his kind notes. I regarded his help at this time as a special answer to
prayer. "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who _only doeth wondrous
things_."

It was about a month after the excursion to the Paku hills that I went up
to the Bghai country, and wrote from thence to my dear friend, Miss Webb.

"The vacation of my schools is now begun, and I am enjoying rest on the
very tip-top of the loftiest Bghai mountains, writing on a divan of
slender bamboos, raised five or six feet above the ground. A line of
brown figures lies stretched on one side in their close Highland-looking
blankets--a very tableau of mummies, Israelitish enough to be brothers
to the pyramid-builders. Above us stretches a dome of the purest blue,
while the stars are looking right down into our faces.

"Among the bamboos around us, are eight or ten more Karens circling their
camp fires; some with crimson turbans and dark-bordered tunics, grasping
their boar-tusked spears, with long black locks streaming over their
shoulders. The torch-lights, glimmering through the feathery bamboos,
make our pinnacle pavilion a perfect Alhambra. The moon is just rising
from under the mountains, and sends up streams of silver light; there
again they come, softening, soothing, stealing around those dark shadowy
forms, just as the light of truth is now stealing around the darkness of
their heathen minds. From a deep abyss on the left is heard the cry of
the peacock, which arouses the fear that tigers may be our near
neighbours. Strange that these two inhabitants of the jungle should have
such an affinity for each other.

"Four days ago, upon a sister pinnacle, there lay stretched before us one
of the grandest views amongst mountain grandeurs. We had been travelling
two days, climbing ridge upon ridge and peak upon peak, when suddenly a
cry of joy burst from our bearers, 'Ta Opo, Ta Opo!' (the Tabernacle).
All exclaimed in one breath, 'Where? Can you see the village?' 'Er, er,'
(Yes, yes,) was the electrical reply shouted from lip to lip, clear over
the mountains.

"Truly it was a bewildering scene, where beauties new and wild seemed to
meet the eye at every angle. Just at our feet there opened out one of the
wide Tounghoo farms, extending over hill and dale, just felled and
burned, ready for clearing. The seared bamboos, strewed over every inch
of ground, gave it the appearance of a ripened corn-field, and contrasted
strongly with the lively verdure of the young foliage beyond, and this
again came into bold relief against the dark green of the ancient forest,
walled behind with purple pinnacles. On the left loomed Mount Gazeko, far
above his brethren. He bears the reputation of having been conquered by a
famous mountain on the south, when he had his head cleft asunder; but now
both repose in peace, surrounded by Christian settlements.

"The cynosure of every eye was Mount Magadoo on our right, on the very
summit of which could be distinctly seen a long colossal Tabernacle,
which, being constructed of split bamboos, glistened in the sunlight as
if its walls had been of brass, reminding one instantly, in its
position--encircled by hills--and by its colour, of Jerusalem's Temple.
At our feet lay a narrow defile, the beginning of that path which, now
winding tortuously across the glen, now around the base of the
mountains, now lost in a gorge, and now re-appearing, winds up, up, up
the long ascent to the Tabernacle.

"It was perhaps four o'clock when we espied the scene of the great
Convocation, and it was not until after four hours of hard travelling
that we neared the place. We then found the path widened, and swept, and
lined on either side with young men and old men, come to bear me on. The
way was still over two mountains, and very steep, but the Bghai
Christians would not for a moment leave their post. At length we reached
the last peak, and found the path crowded with women and children, each
of whom was determined to have a grasp of my hand. My pupils formed the
foreground, and went before as a body-guard, compelling the crowd to file
out right and left, while I walked up until the throng became so dense,
that the chief of the village, fearing I should be smothered, came and
carried me away over their heads to the chapel, where I took a stand on
the steps, and shook hands with about two thousand Abrahams and Sarahs,
Deborahs, and Dorcases, and their babies.

"The next morning all assembled in the Tabernacle, which was one hundred
and fifty feet long by seventy-five broad, built right over the crest of
the mountain, which had been cut off one cubit in depth, to make a level
space for the pulpit, that being placed in the centre, enclosed by a
bamboo trellis, with a writing-desk on one side, and a preaching-desk on
the other, around which were seated four ordained Karen preachers, and
about one hundred young preachers and schoolmasters; my school-girls were
arranged on the left hand. It was the annual session of the Bghai
Christian Association, and one of the most interesting meetings I ever
attended. Committees were formed, and resolutions passed, and speeches
made, full of burning zeal, ON THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE, AND ITS
DISTRIBUTION, on the support of the District Schools, on the importance
of holy living, on female education, and on brethren settling their own
difficulties.

"At the close of the last speech on the latter subject, every one rose
and pledged himself NOT TO GO TO WAR WITH HIS BROTHER. Oh, the infinite
power of the Gospel of Christ! To see one thousand clear-eyed,
high-browed, strong-armed men, who, from their childhood, had hated each
other, kidnapped and speared each other whenever they could, now
exchanging the clasp of peace, and publicly pledging themselves to help
and love their neighbours as themselves!

"When I looked over the dense mass of heads, and saw at least
three-fourths in clean new tunics, jackets, and turbans, and the women,
at least all the younger portion, well dressed, I felt that a great and
mighty work had been done in the Bghai country since 1853. Truly the deaf
have heard the words of the BOOK, and the eyes of the blind have seen out
of obscurity; they also that erred in spirit have come to understanding,
and they that murmured have learned doctrine.

"The letters read from the churches of this Association showed that
twenty-seven Bghai villages had come over to Christianity within the
year, had built school-houses, supported schoolmasters, and established,
in the place of their mythical _Mosha_, the worship of Jehovah: there are
only forty-four _heathen_ Bghai villages remaining. The Mopagas are all
brought in except three villages, and _ten_ new ones were numbered this
last year with the Paku Christian communities.

"At this assembly the chiefs and teachers enacted three rules, which
ought to be on every church door, or, perhaps better, on every closet
door.

"1st. _That they will not marry heathen companions._

"2nd. _That they will aid in supporting their teachers._

"3rd. _That they will do all they can to enlighten the heathen._

"The girls of the Institute were arranged along one side of the platform,
tastefully dressed in their own costume, of their own manufacture; and at
the close of the convocation they all rose and sung in Karen that
inspiring piece--

'Hark! ten thousand harps and voices
    Sound the note of praise above:
Jesus reigns and heaven rejoices;
    Jesus reigns the God of love.'

"The effect was perfectly inspiring, and as the strains of music floated
away over the hills, and down the glens, we could hear it echoed back
from the neighbouring pinnacles, as if choral voices were answering down
from the heavenly plains."



CHAPTER XVI. - THE MIGHTY HAND IN THE MOUNTAINS.


IT is the last day of the Association upon the Karen mountains. The
moderator rises, and reads off fifteen names of schoolmistresses now
ready for service, and the congregation is informed that any who desire a
schoolmistress can apply to the Karen Board of Managers at the close of
the session. The girls pull their turbans over their faces in bashful
modesty, as the eyes of the assembly fall admiringly on the seat beside
me. The Association adjourns; a score of chiefs crowd forward saying,--

"Give us a schoolmistress. Give us a schoolmistress." Here is a report
from the first Paku who went out, the principal head-teacher in the
school. The chief who called her had been a notorious robber, and I felt
afraid to let her go.

"Teacheress, that chief will never become a Christian if she does not go.
Our young men have been there, and no one can remain. If he gives his
word, she is safe."

This the chiefs all agreed in, and I left it entirely to her. Nau Tsah
went, and God kept her, like Daniel in the lions' den. After some weeks
she wrote back:--

"MY LOVED TEACHERESS,

"As God has given me a place, I strive to do His work. After two days
many left the school, and returned to their play and work. When the chief
returned with the maps, I said,--

"'Chief, I came here to instruct your children. Put them into my hands.'

"'I did put them into your hands,' he replied, 'but they like to run
about. They cannot sit still.'

"'Chief,' I answered, 'give them into my hands entirely, and if they do
not learn, I will be responsible.' Then the chief said,--'It shall be
as you say.' So now there are twenty-nine learning very nicely, and
nineteen are new ones who never learned before. This is God's power.
Mama, I am a young girl: I have many fears lest I should not do well. I
entreat that you will pray for me, that I may increase in wisdom and
ability.

"NAU TSAH."

Again she says,--

"Everything you taught us I tell to the people here, to the women, and to
the men also, if they ask me. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.
Just as you divided the classes and the time at the Institute, so I do
here, and read the Scriptures in the presence of all; but the young men
on Sabbath did not come to worship. Then I sent and entreated, and they
came, but I saw they had been asleep, so I said to them,--'Brothers, is
it good to sleep on God's holy day? Ought we not to get strength for the
soul from God's Word?' After this all came to study the Bible in the
school-house.

"Mama, dear, I am very happy. Pray that God's Spirit may help me."

When it was time for the next term at the Institute, the chief heard of
it, and immediately placed a guard over my brave girl to keep her from
leaving them! Nau Tsah wrote to me that she could not get away, but that
all were so good to her, it made her weep, because she was unworthy, and
she knew God was there.

Finally, I had to send to the chief that if he did so, the managers would
not dare let him have another schoolmistress. So he gave in, and, coming
up to Nau Tsah, he said,--"Teacheress, my people all love you. Promise
me you will go to no other village," She promised; then he appointed an
escort to attend her down, and as he bade her good by--

"Here, teacheress," he said, "here is a rupee, an umbrella, and a dress.
Don't forget us."

Nau Tsah burst into tears on telling me of it. "Why," she said, "mama,
God is too good to me: I did'nt expect anything." All had gone out
freely, asking nothing, expecting nothing, but feeling amply paid in
having the _privilege_ of working, as they expressed it, in God's
vineyard. Their mothers, too, noble sister spirits, toiled day and night
to spin and weave their dresses, while they were teaching gratuitously,
because they felt they were doing it for Christ. Surely for the sake of
this work of love God will establish this school.

The girls had made it a subject of prayer with me for the whole year that
God would open the hearts of the chiefs to receive their services. Then
all doors opened at once, through the mountain region, at every point of
the compass, as if Jehovah had spoken: "Behold, and see if I will not
open the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing!" "I say unto
you, _All things_ whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, BELIEVING, _ye shall
receive_."

"Mama," said a preacher's wife very eagerly, during this Bghai
Association, "shall not Nau Meu go to our village? I am so anxious to
learn of her. Do compel her to go."

"What shall I do?" said Nau Meu, in a low tone, as soon as she could
speak to me alone. "They call me _five_ ways."

"Don't you know who can tell you, Nau Meu?"

"Oh, yes, yes," she replied, and was soon out of sight. The result showed
with what spirit she left the altar. Many villages had called her where
she could have had every comfort, but she turned from all to a most
filthy, repelling-looking people, in a Bghai village, where she knew she
must deny herself betel-nut, to them a very great sacrifice, and many
things to which she was accustomed, and which it would be hard to do
without. The following are her letters to Mrs. Dalton, of Edinburgh, and
myself, from the jungles, translated literally:--

"DEAR FRIENDS WHO LOVE THE KARENS,

"I, Nau Meu, one of the girl teachers, wish to say a word.

"I am now teaching in the Bghai country. I have _seventy_ pupils, and
they are trying very hard to learn. I can now speak their language, for
which I thank God exceedingly. They are all very kind to me, and I
entreat you will pray for me, that I may do them good.

"NAU MEU."

The result was most satisfactory and cheering. The chief soon came down
with ten rupees for the school, for which he had never given anything
before. He came with his men also, and cleared his portion of the ground,
the first and best of any village in the mountains. His people, too,
began to come in more tidy; and when I asked after Nau Meu, their eyes
always glistened with delight.

The result was what it often is in Christian lands: Nau Meu soon had an
offer of marriage from the cleverest young man of the place, and the
whole village beset her to accept it!

The following is from the same teacher to Mrs. Dalton:--

"DEAR MAMA,

"I long greatly that God's kingdom may increase. I will tell you a word
of my country. It is now four years since we first heard of the Eternal
God, and eighty-eight have become disciples in my village. When we were
in the hands of Satan, my elder brother had the small-pox, and my uncle
caught it of him, and another person caught it of my uncle. This person
then kidnapped my uncle, as all the Karens used to do if they caught a
disease of any one. Then my uncle caused persons to waylay my brother,
and catch him, and would have sold him to the Burmese, but my poor mother
wept continually, and at last borrowed money enough to buy him back. She
gave two gongs which cost sixty rupees each, and a large one which cost
two hundred and fifty rupees.

"When my uncle became a disciple, he gave back the large gong to my
brother. My wicked uncle has changed. He has built a house on the Girls'
Place, and we love each other much. The Tounghoo people, who are not
disciples, do after this manner continually, and are very wicked. Now the
school is dismissed that we may all reap paddy, but all of us love the
school with a great love."

The following, in Karen, was sent in by the schoolmistresses of the
Institute without any suggestion from me, with a handsome suit of Karen
clothes, asking if they might give them to Captain D'Oyly when he was
leaving for Prome. It is translated literally:--

"TO THE GREAT COMMISSIONER WHOM GOD BLESSES.

"DEAR SIR,

"Since you ruled over Tounghoo, it has pleased you to help us poor Karen
people, so that we rejoiced greatly under your rule, and now, when we
hear you are going to another country, we feel that our hearts will go
after you exceedingly, even as the deer thirsts for the water-brooks.

"We pray that the great King of Heaven may bless you during life, even as
He blessed Mordecai and Queen Esther. For this reason, we, poor people,
before we received the Eternal God's commands, knew nothing at all of
books. Now the English Commissioners have come to Tounghoo, and a place
has risen for us to study in.

"This is God's great mercy, and we rejoice and praise Him, and the name
of Jesus Christ, continually."

I might tell many stories about the Mighty Hand in the mountains, but I
will stop for only one more. One day a Bghai chief, who had not been
baptized, came down almost in a rage to know what had become of his
teacher. He had opened his village to books only about three months
before.

"Mama, has my teacher gone with teacher Mason?" he asked, with some
appearance of impatience.

"Yes, brother, he has gone on a tour to the red Karens, but he will be
back, we hope, in two months."

"Two months! I must have another."

"Suppose you take one of the girls, chief?" I suggested.

"_A girl_," he repeated, towering up in scorn, and I could see every lip
of his attendants curled with disdain.

"Oh, never mind," I answered, gently. "If you don't like, you needn't
have one, but just come in and hear them recite." Out of politeness,
merely, he and his men entered the school-room. I called up the principal
Bghai mistress to examine the school, briefly, in reading Bghai, in the
Bible, in arithmetic, and geography. She was going over the large outline
maps, and the school intensely interested, when the chief rose and walked
along in a bending posture to the front of the platform, followed by his
men. All sat down in profound respect, but very soon their eyes began to
peer open, as if they would roll out; their hands fell down, their mouths
opened, and there they sat, their heads stretched far forward. Finally,
the chief said in a low tone,--

"I'll have that one--that one," pointing to the mistress who was
questioning the others.

"Er, er," all his men joined in. "We'll have that one." Nau Lanui hid her
face for shame, and the whole school was on tiptoe. After some
persuasion, Nau Lanui ventured to go with them, and then came the real
triumph of knowledge, for every one of those young men stepped forward,
offering to carry something. One took her slate, another her hymn-book,
and even one grasped her little basket of clothes, a thing those men
could not before have been hired to do, for with them nothing is so
defiling as to touch a woman's dress, and nothing so degrading as to
carry burdens for her.

However, all forgot these prejudices in their delight, and hope of
acquiring wisdom. The girls vied with one another in helping them off;
for, as we did not like one to go alone, they offered to support two, and
two went with them the same day fifteen or twenty miles into the
mountains, which is as much as a hundred in a country of roads and
carriages. On the way they met another troop on a similar errand.

"We've got the best teacher there," the men called out.

"Then she shall go with us," the others retorted, and they came near,
bearing her off in spite of them.

"Let her alone! Go to the school and get another. Haven't you got feet?"
shouted the men with their prize, and pushed on.

The adventure proved an entire success, and this girl has ever since been
regarded as a kind of sybil or oracle among the tribe.

The plan of the school in Tounghoo was an _experiment_, but no experiment
ever succeeded more perfectly, for it has united these wild clans under
one banner, and awakened a spirit of enterprise and energy, such as they
never before felt or knew. The Karen Education Society at first numbered
only sixty chiefs, but it has increased to two hundred and sixty, and
thus far they have been more than faithful to their promise. Since the
school was opened in 1857, the chiefs have contributed 10,000 rupees.

In Burmah, no appeal to self-interest will move to action, if it touches
the native sense of honour. The poorest Burman will walk off and forego
his supper rather than endure a single word wounding to his self-respect.
So with Karens. You appeal in vain to their sense of fear or love of
gain. Say to them,--"If you do not thus, the Commissioner will not help
you," and they would look down from their soul-pinnacles with unutterable
contempt. But just say, "GOD expects this of KARENS," or, "Your brothers
are watching your feet," and you touch a chord that will vibrate through
every glen of Tounghoo. Therefore, in proposing a school to the Mountain
Chiefs of the land, I appealed to this innate self-respect--simply
telling them they would have the honour before all the surrounding
nations of educating their women like the greatest nation in the world,
and they should have the honour of doing it themselves in institutions of
their own, and under managers of their own, only Government would help
them to begin; AND ABOVE ALL IT WOULD PLEASE YUAH.

And now this Karen Female Institute will be cherished as the Delphi of
their tribes, to which they will continually resort, and from which they
cannot return without carrying to their mountain homes some glimmerings
from the light of science, and a clearer knowledge of the True God.




PART III.



CHAPTER I. - SETTLING A COLONY--KAREN RESOURCES.


I KNEW it would be in vain to build a school-house, unless the Karens
would some of them live near enough to protect it, for the heathen would
carry off every board, one by one. Besides, a _girls'_ school could not
be maintained without protectors, and these must be _Karen_ protectors.
Karens could not live there without _support_, and they could not find
support without _land_. To settle only two or three families around us
would be useless. So I applied to Government for a tract of land on which
experiments might be made, a tract large enough for all the tribes near
Tounghoo.

There were other good reasons for trying to bring the Karens down to the
plains. Their mode of cultivating the hill land, as described in Colonel
Phayre's letter, leads them to be always migrating, so that it is very
difficult to keep up their mountain schools with any regularity; the same
cause keeps them poor, and renders it exceedingly difficult to support
their families and teachers. They have nothing against times of distress,
so that if there comes a drought, or if armies of rats destroy their
rice-fields, numbers die of starvation.

Considering all this, Mr. Mason thought no one could do a greater good to
the tribes in Tounghoo, than help them to begin lowland paddy
cultivation.

The Karens want _instruction_. Their forests abound in valuables, but
they know not how to make them available. In the first place, they want
good rice land on the plains, and to be taught the cultivation of cotton.

Colonel Phayre once sent the South American cotton seed to experiment
with in Tounghoo. I left before hearing the full result of that
experiment, but I heard that planted around the schools, on rich soil, it
grew too luxuriously, and yielded only a small basket, but what there was
of it had long silken fibres, and the seeds fell out at once, to the
great delight and amazement of the Karens. I imagine that soil was too
rich, as it went mostly to leaves, and on the sand hills it seemed to
lack nourishment, but probably if the forest were cleared half a mile
inland, cotton would grow well in Tounghoo. The Karens would enter into
its cultivation, I think, with spirit, and this would encourage the rice
cultivators. But they would need to have instruction at first in adapting
the soils, in seeking out suitable localities, and to have a machine for
cleaning the cotton. Secondly, they require instruction in working iron
and lead. They have both in Tounghoo, and loadstone. They would soon
learn to make plows and other agricultural implements for themselves,
axes, and carpenter's tools.

They need instruction in preparing leather and making good strong shoes,
which their people would buy all over the hills. Pegged shoes, if
introduced, might be the means of raising up large villages in the
mountains, for the manufacture of pegs alone, as I have seen in New
Hampshire.

Their buffalo and cow hides, deer and goat skins, might then be of use to
them. Preparing leather would bring them to work their limestone, and
their rock salt, which is also found in the hills of Tounghoo. Valuable
barks, nuts, oils, and catechu trees, abound likewise, and careya, and
mangrove trees, on the coast would supply tannic acid.

They need masters in wood-work of all kinds; their mountains abound in
beautiful woods, and they might learn to make wooden wares for
themselves, instead of using bamboo troughs. Their red wood is almost
equal to mahogany, the hopea, and a kind of turminalia, which they call
"bitter wood," because the teredos will not eat it, might be very useful
for drawers and chests. They have sassafras, too, and ebony is so
abundant, they make their great pestles, six feet long, of it. They have
matchlock-wood and lance wood, and a soft white wood that might answer
instead of pine. Wicker-work they would excel in, and the ratans wreathe
their gorges all through the mountains. I have seen them thirty feet in
length. Their forests, too, abound in cordage plants, and they already
understand a curious kind of rope-braiding in Tounghoo, that far excels
that made by any of the other tribes, and they braid thatch in a very
superior style, which lasts twice as long as Burman thatch.

If they could have instruction from a practical botanist, their forests
would yield medicinal plants largely for export. They have abundance of
gamboge, liquid amber, the camphor plant, (Blumea,) a kind of native
cinnamon, ipecacuanha, manna, clove, cassia-bark, citron, bhang, nux
vomica, castor-oil, cutch, turmeric, betel-leaf, leca, sessamum,
cardamum, ivy, sarsaparilla, heartseed, garlic, and gum-arabic--not the
true, but the gum of the cashew tree, which is quite as good. The true
arrowroot, (Maranta,) also, is beginning to be cultivated, and might be
to any extent. They have a pine from which tar and pitch might be
manufactured in abundance, and the wood-oil, I am sure, might be put to
some economic purpose, besides supplying torches.

They have the best of dye-plants, the cashew, melastoma, shoe-flower,
ebony, and physic-nut, for black dye; ruellia and asclepias, for blue;
sappan, tamarind, morinda, log-wood, for red; safflower, gamboge, butea,
turmeric, and jack, for yellow; and they make a fine green with turmeric
and soap-acacia. They have four or five indigenous trees producing
excellent varnish, but all goes to waste.

(If you ask how I know these things are there, I answer, my husband says
so, and he's my Cyclopedia. See his book on "BURMAH." Phinney, Blakeman,
& Mason, New York.)

To redeem these riches of earth, or to elevate the Karens, it needs the
help of Government, and the help of philanthropists. Especially are these
aids and encouragements needed for the women of these nations, for does
not woman educate the farmer, the soldier, the teacher, and the
Legislature? When the Prince of Wales was in New York, I presented the
subject to him, particularly in regard to Female Education in India,
taking the opportunity to give some particulars, through Colonel Bruce,
concerning the Karens, and the Girls' School in Tounghoo. The Prince
answered very kindly, and I hope may not wholly forget either the school,
or those who have so kindly aided us.

An application being made for land to the Deputy Commissioner of
Tounghoo, he wrote back the following note, in the latter part of 1857:--

"MY DEAR MRS. MASON,

"If your mountain friends will only clear the land and cultivate it, I
will give them as much as their hearts desire.

"GEORGE D'OYLY."

Captain D'Oyly gave orders that the Burman Thugyee should accompany me
and the Karen chiefs, to select the land, and that he should give them
good fields in the vicinity of the Institution, and on the strength of
this we started together.

Fancy us mounted on two great elephants--I on one, and the Burman
head-man on the other, each of us with a score of followers. The Nah Khan
and several Karen chiefs are of the party, and two of our best assistants
are behind.

On we go, over logs and bogs--now on a wide open prairie, the sun
burning into our very brains, and anon the elephant sinks up to his body
in a broad marsh, sinks, sinks, so fearfully, that our hair almost stands
on end, lest we should never again emerge.

"There, Thugyee, there's a nice field. It stretches up a long way, too."

"Yes, but this I gave yesterday to a couple of Burmese."

We wander--farther and farther.

"Come, Thugyee. Here are fields."

"But the Burmese yonder, pointing half a mile off, will want this to
enlarge their fields."

"And this?" Coming to another tract of wild land that might have been
cultivated thirty years before.

"Oh, this is grass land. I couldn't give this to the Karens."

"Karens want grass land as well as Burmese, and the Commissioner said
that you must give them good land."

So we travel, two whole days, over an area of nearly fifty miles, always
receiving the same answers. At last I stopped short.

"Thugyee, listen! The Commissioner ordered you to give the Karens
land--good land--and near the school. We've travelled long enough. Give
us the land!"

Upon this the Thugyee rode off hastily to a long jungle skirting the
river.

"There," he says, "take this."

"This!" the Karens exclaimed in dismay. "We can never clear off these
great trees. It will be useless. Why cannot he give us grass land as he
does the Burmese?"

"Wait brothers, be patient--see what rich soil. Look at those paddy
stalks as large as your little fingers," pointing to the fields
adjoining. "Let us get this if we can, for he does not mean to give you
anything." Then turning to the Burman,--

"We can have this, you say; but then we must have the whole jungle, as
far as we choose."

"Yes, except where the Burmese have commenced clearing."

There were many obstacles to the cultivation of this tract, which were
almost insurmountable to the Karens. The strip of good land was very
narrow, the trees thick and large, the Burmese fields close adjoining,
and there was a public road running through all.

We could only persuade fourteen men to attempt the business the first
year. They succeeded in clearing and planting each a pretty good piece of
land, and with great pride they watched it. One morning, when the rice
was about two feet high, they all came running down to me with fear and
wretchedness depicted on every face.

"What is the matter?" I inquired.

"Gone! gone!"

"What is gone?"

"The paddy. The Burman buffalos have destroyed the whole."

"How did it happen? Had you not good fences?"

"Yes, we had fenced every lot carefully; they must have been turned in."
None but those who have gone through what we have in securing land--in
persuading wild men to make an attempt at civilization, and in supporting
them while doing it--can understand our grief on that morning. The men
went to the Thugyee for redress.

"You must catch the buffalos," he told them. So they watched day and
night, and at last succeeded in catching two. They received for all their
loss _five rupees!_

Upon this they were utterly discouraged, and all but two returned to the
jungles.

So the matter rested for several months, when the Thugyee came to me to
know if the Karens were going to cultivate that land any more. "The
Karens cannot cultivate lowland," he said; "the Burmese can, and it must
not lie waste."

We told him the land would be occupied, when he left with a very dark
brow.

I called the Karen women and explained to them how fruitless all my
efforts for a permanent school would prove without protectors, and
endeavoured to arouse their philanthrophy and love for Christ's kingdom.
It was not, however, until after several days of prayer and exhortation
that they could be persuaded to go up and live in the rice fields.
Finally, six families volunteered, and I engaged to advance them rice for
six months. To cheer and strengthen them I went up every week, helped
them to plan the little settlement, and encouraged them to persevere. The
first week on my reaching the camp, they all came out and grasped my hand
with tears, so like my own children had they become. I found them all
huddled into one circular hut, built of brush and reeds, and a little
bedroom for the night-guard in the top of a tree.

The second week they gave me a happy surprise and led me up into a neat
little chapel, where a boy teacher, about fourteen, sat by a pretty
bamboo table, surrounded by twenty little children in school, learning to
read.

The Commissioner had liberally invited the Karens down to the plains,
promising them land and protection. This had greatly encouraged the
chiefs, and they mustered several new families for the work. How should
they get buffalos was the next question, and two or three resolved to
sell their fruit gardens. I was one day speaking of their great want to
Colonel Phayre, when he said,--

"I'll make them a loan for buffalos."

"You will?" I asked in surprise. "Are you in earnest? Would you _dare_ to
trust them?"

"I will," he answered with a quiet smile, and to our great joy ordered
the loans, sending this kind note to Mr. Mason:--

"I request you will have the goodness to inform the Karens, to whom this
advance is made, that I do not name any particular time for repayment of
this advance, but that I expect them to repay when, with ordinary
exertion, they can do so. They have my best wishes."

This, too, we recognised as a special answer to prayer, for which we
thanked God and took courage.



CHAPTER II. - SECURING FISH PONDS--SKETCHES OF KAREN CHARACTER--LITTLE FRANK.


"HALLOO! there, you Karen dog. Pay me half a rupee!"

Seeing the women and children running, I inquired what had happened, but
before they could answer, a stout, hard-looking Burman came leading a
Karen up to the chapel, declaring he would take him to court. On
inquiring I found one of the new settlers had stepped into a pond, and
with his axe had caught two fishes for his supper. The pond had been
rented by the Burman, and there was no way but to pay the fine, which I
did, for the offender was very poor and hungry.

On the east side of the Sittang river there are fifteen or more large
ponds full of fish. These are annually rented out by the Government, and
bring in a little revenue. But the poor always suffered on account of the
heavy fees demanded by these pond-holders.

One time when I was in the jungles, a villager complained to me, and
begged me to intercede for him. They had made a small trap by the shore,
trying to get a few fish for their suppers. The goung came round, ordered
it to be destroyed, abused the poor man, and imposed a fine, which forced
him to sell his pig to pay. All this was contrary to Government rules,
for Colonel Phayre, on purpose to protect the poor, had made a provision,
that no river or creek should be taxed at all, or hand-nets anywhere, or
any kind of small traps. Moreover, the ponds were to be rented to the
settlers _around them_. But this was all Greek to Captain Rock, then
Deputy Assistant in charge; consequently, I sent up the following
petition:--

"As the present monopoly of one man over all the ponds in Kannee makes it
exceedingly hard for the Karens here to procure any fish for daily use, I
would beg the privilege of taking one pond for them in the immediate
vicinity of the Karen paddy field, during this present year."

The answer was contrary to the printed law before him,--that Government
could recognise but one pond-owner in that region.

"Apply for the whole," says Mr. Mason, which I did at once, for two
hundred rupees, the same as the Burmese had paid. No excuse could be
found for refusing, so I took them for one year. This caused universal
joy among the poor of all classes: great numbers were about to enter into
the fish trade, when the cholera scattered them. I had intended to let
the Burmans have one-half, but I sold thirteen ponds to the Burmese for
just what I gave, reserving two of the best free for the Karens and other
friendless persons. So the Karens, Shans, and poor Burmese, were
liberated from their oppressors, and supplied with fish in abundance for
the taking. The ponds and the buffalos had a most happy effect, and many
now came down to join the colony, until my hands were doubly full.

"Mama, will you buy me a pair of buffalos?" "And me?" "And me?" came from
twenty at once.

But who was competent to buy, was the perplexing question. The Karens
were no judges of buffalos--the Burmese would either cheat or rob them.
Just at this time a Shan was introduced to our camp, an old herdsman. So
he was sent out with the bravest Karen there, to make the purchase of one
pair of buffalos and a cart. On returning, the Karen only came to me with
the change. At that moment the Shan made a motion behind the Karen,
indicating that all was not right, but on questioning, I could obtain no
satisfaction. Immediately I called two Karens, and sent secretly to
inquire the sum for which the buffalos had been sold. My messengers had
ten miles to walk; but I felt sure there was dishonesty, and as we had
many buffalos to buy, it was an important matter. The Paku member of our
Board also came to my aid, and so cross-questioned the two during the
night, that he drew forth a confession, and early next morning sent
Thatug to me with ten rupees more.

The thief came on his knees begging forgiveness, and promising solemnly
to steal no more. We forgave him, but his history was a sad one.

His place flourished above all others. He was far more industrious, and
kept his garden in better order, and was always ready to help anywhere
and everywhere; besides, he was so fearless, he was really a great
acquisition to our new settlement. But one day I was called to see his
wife, who lay nearly senseless, the blood streaming down her face. He had
struck her with a club, and nearly killed her, then fled to the woods.
Upon this I learned that he was a murderer, feared by all. He had speared
a man in his rage, and had sold one wife to the Red Karens, and whether
she was living or dead no one knew. I immediately gave notice to the
Acting Commissioner, who sent his peons, and cast him into prison. Some
thought it served him right; others beheld with trembling a brother of
the church in gaol; and, altogether, I scarcely knew what to do. It was
true he had sold his wife and killed a neighbour, but then it was before
he heard God's commands. Others in the church had been either robbers or
kidnappers. If God and the church had forgiven him, those things ought
not to influence in this case. These thoughts, with his humble pleading,
troubled me not a little, for he made no plea, only, "O Lord, I am a
great sinner; I have an awful temper; I cannot govern it: it will send me
to hell. Oh, God! oh, God!"

"Who maketh thee to differ?" whispered a still, small voice within. Mr.
Mason was in the hills, but I could not rest; so I sent to the gaol the
same night, paid his fine of fifteen rupees, and set him at liberty. He
came to me directly, fell upon his face, and implored me not to send him
off from the place. We took his garden for the fine, and gave him five
rupees, with a new piece of land outside the school lot, to begin anew.
But one morning the neighbours came leading Thatug again. They had
suspected him, had set a watch, and caught him stealing young trees and
plantains from his old garden. So then it was the general voice that he
must be expelled; and he was, on condition, however, that if he conducted
himself well for one year, he should again be restored. For a time he
tried and did pretty well, but before six months were gone, he was caught
again stealing a goat in the night, which he carried to a poor man, and
they killed and ate it together. So he was brought down once more, led by
a cord around his body, and the man who ate with him was brought as a
witness.

"Do you not know the partaker is as bad as the thief?" I asked.

"No, we never heard of such a law."

"Well, if they take him up to court, he would just witness himself into
gaol with Thatug, and I don't see why he should not be there too."

"No, no," they cried, "he is not a bad man, and never did anything of the
kind before. He shall not go up at all." The case ended in giving Thatug
six months of hard labour on the roads; yet, strange as it may seem, I
believe this man will be found at last with the forgiven thief in
paradise! He has gone back now to the new settlement a changed man, and
will yet, I have no doubt, be one of the most upright and faithful. I
assure you, reader, we do not know the strength of temptation till we
encounter it _under the same circumstances_ with our brothers.

I had another hard thing to meet in those days. Nah Khan Qualay, the man
who had been first to take up the work and help it forward, on whom I
relied more than upon all the other chiefs together, came, when we were
assembled, dressed in sackcloth, standing under the house pleading for
forgiveness. In amazement, I inquired what that meant, when he confessed
that he had two wives! It appeared that his real wife was very sickly,
and that she had no children. He saw a pretty slave girl and bought her,
provided for her and all her family at a distance from his home, and had
joined the church without letting this fact be known. Some did know of
it, but it is a rule with Karens not to inform. He had been a member of
the church three years, and all this time had been transgressing the law
of God.

Seldom did I ever suffer such mental distress as then. For three days I
could only groan. The slave wife had now a little son, and, of course,
the truth must be told, so that all confidence in the man's integrity
vanished like the dew. The report spread far and wide over the hills, and
hundreds came down to see the humility of the greatest Khan in the
jungles. Qualay sat on the ground in soiled garments, the very picture of
despair, confessing to every one, and begging forgiveness of every one,
offering, too, to put away the young wife, and never look on his boy
again.

I could not help pitying the culprit, whose great desire was to have an
heir to his title and his property. Still such deception and
transgression could not be lightly passed by. He had built himself a
handsome house on the girls' place, so as to hear petty causes there,
which would have been a convenience to the Bghai tribes, and have tended
to bring the heathen Karens around us where they could hear of God, and
see the schools. I was hoping for great good from this arrangement; but
this sudden disclosure dashed all our plans, and crushed all our hopes.

Mr. Mason and San Quala both agreed that he must be excluded from the
church, and then came the question. Could he have a court-house on the
school land? I referred the case to the settlers, and told them they must
decide the matter, simply exhorting them to do it in the fear of God.
Their decision was, that his house must be pulled down and removed from
the school land, and that he should no more visit the place until
restored to the church. I had not quite expected this, and for a week my
strength left me. It seemed to me impossible to go on in our arduous work
without the aid of this chieftain.

The Board of Managers all felt so too, and had everything at stake, but
the law of God glittered above their heads like a two-edged sword, and
they dared not shield the Chief. He is the greatest man, they said. Every
eye is on us. Nobody believes we shall dare speak out. Finally, I
suggested that we call the Nah Khan, and let him judge himself. We did so
in the presence of all the Board of Managers and the principal chiefs. We
laid the whole case before him, the injury he had done the cause, the
unhappy influence on the minds of all the tribes coming and going, and
cast the whole burden of deciding the matter upon his own conscience.
Then appeared the true Christian shining out over all his transgressions.

"I have laid a stone of stumbling," he said; "I will do all I can to
remove it." This was his answer, coming up from under the floor, for he
utterly refused to enter the chapel while the stain was upon him.
Immediately that man went to work with his own hands, solitary and alone;
he took off the boards and the roof from his house, the big tears
dropping over all, which so excited the commisseration of the crowd, that
they all stepped back in awe, except the principal chiefs, who, with
great deference, offered their aid. When they got to the posts, the crowd
was called, and in a few hours the beautiful house that had cost months
of labour, and was a great ornament to our grounds, was gone, and the Nah
Khan, who had been as _my brother_, had gone too.

Here, again, were visible the footsteps of the Almighty, for instead of
the people fainting, as I had feared, they were ten times stronger than
ever before, so that the wildest Bghais came pouring down, having
confidence in the law of God. Singular, too, it was, a short time after
this, a large teak monastery, south of our school, was burned down, and
the lighted thatch falling on it, a small house just below where this had
stood was burned. Had that building been there then, probably nothing
could have saved the INSTITUTE, as the south wind blows very strong.
Truly, God is _Almighty_. I feel happy to say the Nah Khan kept his
promise, never visited his boy, and only once or twice had it brought to
him. After two years of exclusion, he was restored to the church, and
now, having buried his poor invalid wife, he has been lawfully married to
the mother of his boy. But I fear that boy will be to him an Absalom.

The next attempt at purchasing buffalos ended in buying a sick one that
died in two days, and another old one that "would not draw." But
perseverance! nobody can tell what that will do! After a while the Karens
learned to trade better, and every day the buffalo regiment had to be
paraded up before the Institute, and I was obliged to go out and review
it. What constituted a good buffalo I had not the slightest idea, except
that it ought to have sound hoofs, a clean tongue, and ears that "would
stand." This I learned as they did, by the sick one being minus all these
good qualities. Practice, however, makes perfect, so we persevered in the
study of buffalos till we all learned that long horns were obstinates,
big bones would not fatten, and very small hoofs would break and run. In
the end, the Burmese acknowledged the Karen buffalo herd to be the
handsomest and best of all in the region. We had the same experience with
carts. At first the Karens were sure to come home with some broken-backed
cart, which the Burmese had put off to them for twelve rupees, while they
might have bought a new one for sixteen. I did not tell them they had
been deceived. There's nothing like learning one's self. I advised them
to go immediately and get a load of paddy. They went off in high spirits,
but coming home, over went the whole load upon the ground in the middle
of a broad prairie. There were only two men. One had to go five miles for
a new axletree, and as soon as he was gone, the crows and vultures
pounced down upon the load, and, in spite of the carman, appropriated a
good share of it to themselves. "Amai! this old rickety cart wasn't worth
two rupees," I heard them telling the others on their return. They never
mentioned it to me, they were so much ashamed. Ever after they took care
to buy good carts.

Rice is the staple food of this place instead of bread. The Karens have
no money to lay up in advance, and they were quite at the mercy of the
traders in the rains. I resolved to build a store-house, and store for
them one thousand bushels of paddy; then they could buy of me at cost
price when the paddy rose; for the Burmese raised the price from thirty
to seventy rupees the hundred baskets, or from four annas to a rupee the
bushel for unbeaten rice. The Burmese traders were shrewd enough to see
what I was doing, so they kept up the price, and I had to pay forty-five
and fifty rupees the hundred, and in the same proportion the Karens had
to pay for all eatables.

Their ploughs, yokes, everything indeed, I was obliged to look after.
These obtained, I must then go up and divide the land, and this was the
hardest of all. No new cultivator would raise his axe till I apportioned
off his lot. It was of no use for me at first to delegate this business
to another. Mama must say herself what should be theirs. So I submitted,
knowing they would after awhile learn to trust the assistant, who always
accompanied me, which they now do; but for many weeks at first I had to
go out twice and three times the week nearly the whole length of the
land, five miles in extent, dividing off their lots to arrange for their
school-houses, and their dwellings; to prescribe for their sick, to cheer
them on, and instruct them in the Scriptures. Their Bible studies they
missed more than anything else. They had been for more than a year
constant attendants at our Bible class, and were so deeply interested,
they could repeat a great deal by heart, and I never visited them without
a Bible meeting; but these field labours were really much harder than all
my teaching in the house, although there I had no help except natives and
our own boys.

One day, on returning, I was met by the girls, saying my little Frank was
sick. Without a moment's delay I hastened to him. This was on Monday. On
Wednesday evening, I had no little Frank in this world. When I saw he
must die, I bent down and told him the worst, just as I had always done
when giving them medicine. "You are going to Jesus, darling," I said:
"you are not afraid to go?" He looked up, at first startled, but
instantly signified that he was not afraid, and that look was so loving
in the midst of his agony.

The dear brothers were parted--our little circle broken, and so
suddenly--so unexpectedly--by a death so inexpressibly painful, I had
scarcely strength to lay him in the grave. His papa was in the hills, and
could not reach us, so I buried him alone, with our kind friend, Captain
Bond, and the Karens. I heard a Minister once remark in the pulpit: "Some
people under bereavement go about their business, and you scarcely see
any difference, while others are entirely overcome. This is owing to
finer and more acute feelings in the one than the other." So a lady once
said to me when my heart was breaking,--"Why, you look just as usual!"
I think the Master Himself taught us on this subject. He bore about with
Him the heaviest bereavement, and yet worked on with cheerfulness.

My angel boy was a dear little missionary, and taught a Sunday-school of
little Karen orphans for two years before he died. The children and girls
of the school were inconsolable.

He was a great reader; he had laid by story books at my request, and
taken to graver studies. He was well acquainted with Humboldt and Layard,
and Buchanan, and the Pilgrim's Progress was his daily companion.

The stroke was indeed heavy, and tears were my nightly companions, yet I
trust tears of submission. His own mother died when he was only three
months old, and kind Mrs. Bennett, now of Maulmain, became a dear and
tender mother to him, until I went and claimed him, which was before he
could walk much. There were only three months' difference between him and
my own little boy, so they were like twins, and until the last week of
his life, my pet lambs would jump into my arms at once. His name was
Francis, but when he came to me I named him _Meus_. He was a daring,
restless boy, and it was very hard for him to keep from cutting the
benches and spoiling the inkstands in school. One time I had to pay quite
a bill for this, but I only gave it him to pay, telling him I would have
to go without my dinner that day. His little lip quivered, and he could
not possibly swallow his own dinner. He would often come, after we
returned to Burmah, twine his arms around me, laying his sweet face close
to mine, and whisper, "I am so glad you didn't leave me in America, for
then I should have been a _bad_ boy. You know I couldn't _be still_,
mama," leaving tears of tender gratitude upon my cheek; and truly I was
afraid to leave him, lest he should be treated with severity for his
restlessness, and so become stubborn.

My dear boys at one time bore a heavy weight upon their hearts for
months; at last they came to me and made a full confession of all their
heart-sins, and poured out their long pent-up sorrows. After this they
were very happy, and tried to live in the fear of God. They had sinful
hearts, but they struggled hard and obtained the victory, so that I
recollect only a single instance where a wicked nature betrayed itself,
and then but for a moment, during all the last year of Frank's life. From
being restless he became quiet, from being careless he became exceedingly
watchful, and from being hard he became as tender as an infant in all his
emotions. The change was remarkable and striking, and I doubt if boys
ever enjoyed more of Christ together.

They studied everything together, reciting to one another; with my
examining them on Saturdays, they got on so as to enter the High School
Latin Class in Newton Centre, Mass., after reaching home when seven years
old, and they went through arithmetic alone. They generally kept their
study-hours very regularly, knowing that an exhaustless fund of amusement
was ready for them as soon as the lessons were well learned. They had
their own little Burman high-backed saddles, their own pony, and their
own boat. At four o'clock, they donned their Highland costume, and
steered with all speed over the river to the orphans, who knew just when
to expect them, and were always ready on the beach; and these poor
children miss them now.

They taught all the boys in the settlement how to swim, and girls to row
a boat, and to ride. My Frank was a fine rider, and could manage any pony
that was brought in to our village. He was thrown two or three times, so
was his brother; but they both rode so that they would gallop up and down
the roads at the swiftest possible speed, without saddle or bridle.
Boating was a source of great amusement to both the boys, and this, too,
they taught the Karen students, having first learned themselves, for the
young men coming from the mountains were extremely fearful of water. One
time, Frank was rowing me across the river, when there arose a sudden
squall, which came near capsizing the boat. We had a dozen Karens in the
boat, and all too much frightened to give the slightest assistance. "Bail
out!" he cried, "and sit still. We'll go it." This re-assured the Karens
and he landed us all safely. It was a very wild scene, and one of great
peril. The wind was blowing a gale, and the whole river in commotion, the
breakers all around us, and the white crested waves every moment dashing
over us. Edwin had rowed his boat across, and stood ready to strike out
if we went over. And over we must have gone but for my brave little
pilot, who stood up amidst the wild waters, and gave his orders loud
above the roaring winds, and in a tone so calm and self-possessed, it
inspired every one present, so that each one did the very best thing
possible, and we all reached shore without harm. It was really a great
feat, and he, dear boy, was amply paid by seeing that his papa and I
appreciated his skill.

With all their play and study, one would think they could not have been
of much service to me, but oh! they were, and when gone, I missed my
darling on every rock, every wave, and in every corner of the house. All
the time I was in the jungles after timber, Frank and Edwin were our
accountants and apothecaries, selling, during that time, four hundred
rupees' worth of medicines and books to the Karens. Every ounce of this
and every book they had set down in perfect order, and rendered the
account to their papa, with all the money received in. Frank, also, kept
my bazaar account for me, and servants' bills, and everything expended in
the family.

Soon after this parting, I was brought very low with fever for three
weeks; and in the rains I wrote to my daughter:--

"I have scarcely done anything for many months but nurse and doctor the
sick. Cholera has been raging all around; and out of our little
settlement, thirty-four are now at rest. I have taken four very severe
cases of cholera into our own house, and, by God's blessing, they are now
well: the last was Quala, whose wife had just died with cholera in the
jungles. Twenty-five orphans are with us, all made so within three
months. On the mountains they all flee and leave the sick to die alone,
and remain unburied until the wild beasts enter the house and devour
them."



CHAPTER III. - THE "KING OF TOUNGHOO."


OUR sufferings were thought to have been caused by cholera. If I thought
otherwise, it was not wise to think it aloud; but scarcely had we
recovered, when Captain Rock, the "King of Tounghoo," as he crowned
himself, called on us with a train of Burmese.

"Mrs. Mason, these Burmese have come with a petition for some land. You
see I know nothing about the matter--nothing at all," he said. I begged
to explain that the Burman Thugyee had given the land to the Karens by
order of the former Deputy Commissioner. "But you bring no documents,"
said the King. "I can deal only with _documents_. You had better write
immediately to the Commissioner for documents."

"The Commissioner knows all about the matter, and has given orders that
we should not be molested."

"Aye! Is that your school-house over the river?"

"It is the _People's_ house."

"Oh, ay, but I've not much opinion of this mission work. Missionaries, no
doubt, _mean_ well; but it's all useless--there's no changing savages.
You'll never succeed."

"The Commissioner thinks we _have_ succeeded."

"Well, but, Mrs. Mason, what shall we do about this matter? It's very
unpleasant--particularly unpleasant."

"There is nothing to be done. The Commissioner of Pegu gave the Thugyee
orders commanding him what to do."

"The Thugyee! How? what? where is it?" in apparent amazement, whereupon
the Thugyee was obliged to produce the order which commanded him not to
trouble the Karens, and not to give the jungle to any other party till
the boundary should be settled.

"Yes, I see; but, Mrs. Mason, these people say they want to enlarge their
fields. I know nothing about it--nothing at all. It's very bad--very
bad, indeed, this mingling of races."

Two weeks after this boding interview, I went up into the rice fields,
and, to my dismay, found the Burmese had began to clear the Karen land.
We were entirely at the mercy of Captain Rock, so I wrote up to him. He
replied that he had ordered all work to cease, and had appointed a Burman
to go out and investigate the subject. Commissioned a hostile Burman, and
that, too, directly contrary to official orders! I entreated that the
subject might be left where the Commissioner himself had left it.

"That cannot be," he answered. "It is clearly my duty to prevent all
trespassing. I shall to-morrow re-issue my order to the Goung to take up
any Karens whom he may find trespassing upon the land in dispute."

Entreaties were again employed. No reply: the work was all stopped, the
Karens in great distress, the Burmese rejoicing, declaring that Captain
Rock has determined all Karens should go back to the hills. One Burman
comes riding into the fields with an elephant to trample down the
Karens--their houses are pulled down--they are terribly threatened and
frightened, and we flee to prayer, and are all of us found in the chapel
till twelve o'clock.

In the morning arrives the Rangoon mail, and I read,--

"_To_ ----, ESQ., COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, TOUNGHOO.

"SIR,

"I herewith enclose to you a copy of a letter dated the 8th of February
last, which I addressed to Captain D., directing him to make over to the
mountain Karens some vacant jungle land in the circle of Kannee. As this
has not been done, I herewith invest you with special powers to proceed
and do so.

"When completed, I request you will send me a copy, showing the exact
boundaries given to the Karens.

"Any Burmese settlers on land within that which the Karens applied for,
who have entered since the date of the application, will be directed to
quit.

"I have, &c., &c.,
A. P. PHAYRE,
_Com. Pegu, Agent to the Gov.-General._"

By the same mail the following came to me from Colonel Phayre:--

"As soon as the papers reach me, I will endeavour to make everything
satisfactory. I consider it a great object to induce the mountain Karens
to come down to the plains. You may be sure I will do all I can to
encourage them."

The order had been issued previous to Captain ----'s order, and had been
ten days or more on the way, so it was very singular that it should reach
us just at this time, as if God, foreseeing the distress that would come
upon us, had so arranged it on purpose to comfort us, and to grant
_special_ answer to prayer. Truly, "It is not in man that walketh to
direct his steps." I immediately telegraphed to the Commissioner:--

"Thank you! _Thank you!_" Heb. vi. 10; and took for our subject, in the
Bible class that evening, 1 John v. 14, "And this is the confidence that
we have in Him, _if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth
us._"

This arrangement sent the Karens for a time back to their paddy fields.
But the result of this officer's investigations will be seen in Mr.
Mason's official letter to Government:--

"TOUNGHOO, _June 12th_, 1859.

"_To_ COLONEL PHAYRE, COMMISSIONER OF PEGU.

"SIR,

"I have the honour to acknowledge the reception of your letter, dated May
18th, 1859, making inquiries relative to the Kannee lands now in
cultivation by the Karens. To make the matter as plain as possible, a map
of those lands, accompanying this letter, will be found reduced from the
Surveyors' map, made by the Superintendent of Customs. According to a
statement in one of your notes to Mrs. Mason, that 'No interference or
occupation of the land, after the date of the application, could be
allowed,' Mrs. Mason pledged her word to the Karens, who were very
fearful lest they should lose their labour, that the land they cleared
should be their own, and fifty-five men have been at work in the forest,
more or less, for the last five or six months. The Superintendent, making
his boundary, has cut off _twelve_ of the best paddy fields cleared by
the Karens, running along the watercourses where the water is a cubit
deep, leaving them only a narrow strip, where the water is but ankle
deep. These fields, on which they had worked for some six months, he has
given to the Burmese, whose broad, rich fields already stretched as far
as the eye could scan.

"He admits that the Karens are wronged by the arrangement he proposes,
because he recommends _remuneration_ to be made. He writes me, 'The
Commissioner will, I doubt not, consent to a moderate pecuniary
indemnification being made to them.' Now, if the Karens have commenced
their cultivation illegally, they are not entitled to 'pecuniary
indemnification;' but Mr. ---- says they _are_ entitled to it, therefore
they have commenced cultivating their lands _legally_, Mr. ---- being
judge; and all we ask is to have this legal occupancy confirmed to them.
Money is not the article wanted, _but the land_, and Mr. ----'s special
powers were to make over the land applied for; and by refusing to do
this, and recommending that the Karens shall be driven off the land for a
pecuniary indemnification, he seems to me to have travelled out of the
docket, and assumed 'special powers' not granted him. Instead of making
over the land as directed, he goes into a lengthened statement of reasons
for taking it from the Karens, and giving it to the Burmese; the main one
of which is, that the Burmese are rich!

"The whole space of good paddy land is very small for a large number of
people. The remainder is either too sandy or too dry for paddy, and will
answer only for temporary cultivation or for gardens."

The Superintendent of Customs was not a man that feared God, and was
overawed by Captain ----. He was soon after removed to another post, and
again the work fell back into Captain ----'s own hands, who had long
hoped to be appointed Deputy Commissioner of Tounghoo, but hearing that
the vacancy was otherwise filled, he was like a wild elephant, ready to
trample nations, Government, and all into the ground, so he sent Mr.
Mason another note:--

"TOUNGHOO, _25th July_, 1850.

"MY DEAR SIR,

"A few days ago two Burmese came and complained to me of your Karens, as
I prognosticated would be the case. I ordered the Kannee Thugyee to
investigate into the matter, and to report to me. He is here now, and may
I beg you to attend and hear the case further investigated."

On his departure from Tounghoo, the Superintendent of Customs had issued
an order, permitting the Karens to resume their work again, and had
commanded that no one should interfere with them, being compelled to do
so by Colonel Phayre. This order Mr. Mason sent up to the court.

Captain ---- replied, "I must issue a fresh order, and _insist_ upon the
land being _vacated by the Karens till the decision of the boundary comes
from the Commissioner._"

This threw the Karens and myself once more into the deepest distress. I
again telegraphed to Colonel Phayre, and soon this note came from
Captain ----:--

"_August 3rd_, 1859.

"DEAR SIR,

"I beg leave to send you the accompanying telegram. Your people are to
reap the _one_ crop that they have _now cultivated_. I will issue the
necessary order."

"Now, let us show the Burmese what Christianity is. We'll not utter a
word of triumph as they did to us, but we'll only speak kindly," says the
principal cultivator, in which all the others join. Praising God and
giving thanks, they proceed again to their fields. Two or three days
pass. In comes the Thugyee with another paper, utterly forbidding the
Karens to proceed. We again remonstrate, and the following is received
from Captain ----:--

"I told the Thugyee explicitly to let them alone, as far as the _crop
sown_ by them was concerned, which it is most clearly understood they are
to have, but I don't understand that they are to _continue_ further
cultivation."

They were in the midst of ploughing and sowing their fields, in the
greatest haste, as the right season for it was rapidly passing.

More entreaties follow, telling Captain ---- that the Karens cleared the
fields themselves, that they would have no rice for the whole year, that
they had already suffered extremely by cholera, and that they and their
little ones were starving.

Answer:--

"I shall certainly adhere to my resolution, and not allow either party to
reap any benefit from the land;" and the Thugyee ordered every one to
leave the fields with their families and buffalos. Difficult as it was to
write to such a wicked man, I did again, stating that, if compelled to
drive away their buffalos, the Karens would never be able to repay the
Government loan, and he alone must be responsible for the money. Upon
this he permitted the Karens to remain in their homes and tend their
buffalos, _provided they would not raise a hand to work on the land in
question_, but threatening that if they did that, and were brought before
him for trespass, their fine should exceed all the value of their
anticipated crops.

Picture, reader, forty or fifty families, in as many different houses,
scattered up through the fields. All of a sudden there appear red-belted
peons all along, hooting out Government orders to stop all work. The
plough is arrested in its furrow--the sower's arm is caught back with
its handful of seed--the uplifted axe is jerked from the hand of the
forester--the poor mother bending over her potato patch is ordered into
the hut, and the armful of faggots is knocked from the arms of the little
child.

Weeks pass, and Captain D'Oyly, as a special favour, comes from
Prome,--Captain D'Oyly, the benevolent Commissioner, who gave them the
land; a man remarkable for deep penetration, for skill in dealing with the
different classes of nations; a man noted, too, for his sympathy and fear
of God. To him the Commissioner of Pegu writes:--

"I consider it of great importance that the mountain Karen tribes should
be induced to settle in the plains, and cultivate land. I feel assured
you will also see the importance of the case in that respect, and also of
the question generally being settled satisfactorily and justly for both
parties."

Four days pass, and Captain D'Oyly is laid on a sick bed--one week, and
he dies. A pall! a pall! Alas, for the Karens! Captain ---- again takes
the field, and the Karens are scattered.

Two Karen chiefs, who were leaders in this undertaking, had also died
very suddenly. It was said by cholera, but I held their hands when they
died, and was no more sure of that than the officers were with Captain
D'Oyly's horses. He had four or five, one pair of beautiful iron greys,
which were great pets. First a common one died, then another, then one of
the greys. Captain D'Oyly was in the jungles upon official business, and
seeing all his ponies going, his friend, Captain Bond, roused up, and
examinations were made again and again, still the ponies died, until
every one was gone! The natives cried _snakes!_ Captain D'Oyly was a
Christian Commissioner, and sought earnestly to honour the law, human and
divine. He detected a Burman of high rank in harbouring robbers, and
sharing the booty, for which he fearlessly cast him into prison. It was
soon after this that all his ponies died; and since we commenced the
paddy cultivation, the Karens have had four elephants die, two of which
cost seven hundred rupees each.

I confess I feel that my own life, and that of every one who attempts to
work for God's kingdom in Tounghoo, is in jeopardy, as well as the
school-buildings.

I sent a text to the Commissioner of Pegu:--

"_For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against
spiritual wickedness in high places._"

As the Karens were driven away in the midst of their _ploughing_, when
too late to make mountain fields, seventeen families had not a kernel of
rice for the year. These suffered greatly, having been reduced a part of
the time almost to starvation, and must have come to still greater
suffering if the others and ourselves had not helped them by sharing
their sufferings. Thirteen families had only from twenty to forty
baskets, when they had cleared land enough for one hundred baskets each,
and more. Out of six Bghai villages commenced, only _one_ man was allowed
to cultivate at all, and he had only thirty or forty baskets, when he and
the other Bghais had cleared land enough for a good crop. Thirty-eight
families had been so alarmed by the threatenings of Captain ----, that
they fled for ever, it is supposed. But the continued perseverance of the
others amidst such heavy oppression proves, that, if rightly cared for,
the Karens will yet greatly remunerate Government for any aid it may
render them.

You will ask why it was that so many should harrass the Karens. I can
only answer, Satan was let loose for a little season, for some wise
purpose, perhaps to drive them into the sure tower and rock of defence.



CHAPTER IV. - KAREN SOLDIERS.


COLONEL PHAYRE, finding the independent Karens a pretty formidable host
to deal with, resolved to form a mountain police of reliable Christian
men, who should be able to protect their own schools, chapels, and homes.
Upon this I petitioned that fifty might be enlisted from the paddy
cultivators on the plains; I thought it would help them to pay for their
buffalos.

Among them would be found the fittest and _strongest_ men now, for after
a year spent in the neighbourhood of the schools, they could walk twice
as far, carry twice as much, and accomplish more by _contrivance_ than
the rest. They would be the most _obedient_. It would inspire the men on
the mountains, to see a body of soldiers practising on their own parade
ground. They would feel more secure, because the Institute Guard acts as
the pulse of the nation, holding immediate and daily communication in a
direct line with every village and hamlet, from Shwagyn to the Burmese
territory on the north, and to the Red Karen kingdom on the east. Then it
was of importance to protect this post, as here would be grouped their
most costly buildings, libraries, and school apparatus, and schools, too,
in constant operation. But above all these considerations, the Kannee
Pass led right through their paddy settlement, and this was the key to
the city from the north-east. Colonel Phayre was very willing to allow
the arrangement, provided it did not too much weaken the guard on the
hills. The new officer was empowered to organize the Karen police, but
when he called for the men, they hesitated.

"Is Captain ---- going to organize us?" the Karen chiefs inquired in
dismay. "Teacher, we are afraid." They remembered the sacked villagers
had obtained no redress; they remembered the rice land was not yet given,
and when he sent for them, only a very few would come at all. Colonel
Phayre's plan was to form two companies in the mountains, supply them
with arms, and a certain quantity of ammunition monthly, and let them
learn to use them themselves in the jungles, paying them a mere nominal
sum, just enough to make the hill men recognise them as soldiers. This he
and Mr. Mason had arranged, as the cheapest, wisest, and best for the
people, and it pleased the Karens far better than to come to town at full
pay.

Captain ----'s judgment was to make them barrack soldiers, and have them
thoroughly drilled. Mr. Mason doubted the expediency of doing this, and
did not like to meddle with it; besides, he had no time. Then
Captain ---- turned to me:--

"Come," he said, "Mrs. Mason, they will do anything you tell them. Call
them down and encourage them to enlist."

Mr. Mason, under the circumstances, thought I had better do it. So the
Board of Managers was called. They immediately telegraphed to every
pinnacle and glen by their runners, and in two days nearly two hundred
chiefs and men stood before Captain ----, the Deputy.

"Great Chief, greeting," they said, as all appeared in highland garb and
dignity; but they noticed he did not give his hand to them as Colonel
Phayre and Captain D'Oyly had done.

"Tell them," said the Captain, "I will enroll two companies, with two
captains, two lieutenants, eight sergeants, and one hundred and sixty
men."

"Th'kyen," they replied, "we are afraid. We are ignorant men. We do not
understand white men's customs."

"Never mind; I'll send a man over here to teach you."

"Suppose your man drinks, he will spoil all our young men. Suppose he
flogs, our people will all run away."

"He shall not do either. I know a good man who never drinks. I'll send
for him."

"Would he be patient? We cannot learn quickly. We don't know Burmese
talk."

"He shall neither flog nor drink. He shall be patient. I want you to
remain on the plains until you have learned thoroughly."

"Th'kyen, we are chiefs. We have the care of our villages and of God's
work on the mountains. We cannot remain constantly."

"But I will pay your captains forty rupees the month, the lieutenants
twenty-five, the sergeants sixteen, and the sepoys eight."

"Th'kyen, let the great Governor keep his money. Give us arms, powder,
shot, and _land_. We will learn to shoot; we will defend our villages and
chapels."

"But I cannot give you these, unless you come and learn soldiers'
business."

"How long must we stay away from our homes?"

"Till you have learned to be soldiers."

"Shall we then go back?"

"You shall."

"We cannot learn with the Burmans. They do not worship God. They drink
and swear. Our young men would follow in their ways, and be ruined. We
cannot drill with heathen."

"You need not. You may have Karen barracks in your own village, and be
drilled here."

"How can we learn here, Th'kyen."

"I will send men to teach you. You shall be entirely separate from the
Burmese, and have nothing to do with them."

"Shall we not have Burman officers?"

"No. I will make Karen officers."

"Shall we certainly be taught in our own village, and not be called over
to learn with the Burmese?"

"You shall."

"Th'kyen, our men cannot support their families on soldiers' pay. Give
them less money and some land."

"You shall have the land as I told you, every bit of it" (impatiently).

"Mama, we are afraid. If he means true, why does he not pity our starving
brothers? Why does he not let us have the land _now_, and why does he not
bring back the captives? Teacheress, we fear this Government man. Do you
advise us to enlist?"

"I cannot advise. He appears truthful. You will get no arms unless you do
enlist."

"Teacheress, pledge your word with this Governor's, then we will enlist."

"Captain ----, they are afraid," turning to him. "They fear Government
will ensnare them. They will not enlist unless I give my word with you."

"Pray give it, Mrs. Mason. I will deal honourably with them." And so I
gave my word that the promises made them shall be sacredly kept, and they
gave in their names, the best chiefs being appointed officers.

It is the Sabbath--the chiefs and men are assembled for worship. Hark!
What are they listening to? Why do the young men look at the chiefs, the
chiefs at one another, and all at me so questioningly? Drive, drive!
clack, clack! go the hammers--up--up go the rafters all through that
holy day. Captain ----'s workmen building him a new house. Nothing is
said.

It is Monday morning--the chiefs are on the verandah.

"Teacher, I want my name taken off from the list of _Bos_" (officers).
"And mine," "And mine," said one after another.

"Why, what's the matter now?"

"Oh, this ruler _does not know the Ten Commandments!_" As usual, I go to
Mr. Mason.

"You had better return," he said, "and reason the matter. Tell them they
will probably encounter many temptations, but on the other hand, if they
do not enlist, Government will give them no arms, and there will be no
protection for them against their enemies."

I find them all assembled in the Institute.

"Then what shall we do?" they cry all at once, greatly excited.

"Don't you know what the Bible says?"

"Er, er," answered Poquai, "'Let him that lacks wisdom ask of me.'" I
leave them to prayer and consultation. Again the chiefs appear on the
verandah.

"We have determined what to do," and they hold out a list of resolutions:--

"1st. _We will not work on God's holy day._"

"2nd. We will not drink arrack, or toddy, or brandy, or allow our men to
use these drinks."

"3rd. We will take care only of our own country."

"4th. We will have permission to leave our business honourably, if we
dislike it."

"Oh, oh! Captain ---- won't sign any such paper," I said, taking it in to
Mr. Mason.

"Then we may _not enlist_," was the determined reply.

"Why do you name the third?" Mr. Mason asks just then stepping out of his
study.

"Because, teacher, this Governor _does not know the Ten Commandments_. So
whether he will be good or bad, we do not know. Supposing he is bad, then
he gets angry with us ignorant Karens. He says, I'll punish 'em, so he
may send us away over to the west and leave our homes unprotected; then
an enemy may come immediately, destroy our villages, and break up our
schools."

"This is correct reasoning, but why the fourth resolution? That is
contrary to all military usage."

"Teacher, we know our people. If a Karen does not like a thing, he'll run
away. No officer, no money, no Government can keep him. Then we are made
ashamed before the Great Governor, and our name is injured before our
brethren in America." I begged them, if determined, yet to soften the
matter down a little and be polite, which they tried to be, and then went
up, asking for Captain ----'s signature and the Government stamp.

"Oh yes, yes; I'll sign it. Come with me to court." Immediately there
comes a Burman goung, and pours down fifteen hundred rupees upon the
floor before the Karen officers. Then another follows:--

"What's your name?"

"Chief Ledie."

"And yours?"

"Chief J'Que." So he goes round, and takes the names of all the officers
in his book.

"Done! Take your money and be off!" gruffly, with a haughty toss of the
head.

"Give us the paper, Th'kyen," entreat the chiefs.

"Go--go. I can't attend to you; I am full of business," says
Captain ---- in displeasure.

"We wait, Th'kyen," and there they sat until noon, when two came over to
me.

"What _shall_ we do, mama?" they asked in great distress.

"Have you signed any receipt?"

"No."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes."

"Have they not taken your names?"

"A Burman set down our names, but we have not touched the money."

"But you have given your names, and without the paper!"

"We gave nothing. The Burman _took_ our names." I referred the matter
again to Mr. Mason, and he decided that they were under no obligation to
take the money, without the signature promised to their resolutions, as
they had told him they could not serve without it.

"We will not touch it!" they cried resolutely, and again took their seats
to await his convenience. Two o'clock comes, three o'clock, and no
indication of the signature; four o'clock, and Captain ---- leaves the
court.

"We go, Th'kyen," say the chiefs, rising.

"Take the rupees."

"Give us the paper, Th'kyen!"

"The Mengyee will give no paper. Take the money and be gone."

"We leave it here, Th'kyen."

"You _dare not_ leave it. It is yours, and you are responsible."

"We _will not_ have it, Th'kyen, without the paper."

A secret messenger is despatched to Captain ----. He re-appears, throws
them a letter in Burmese, ordering them away gruffly. They desire to have
the paper read, but are peremptorily ordered out that the doors may be
closed. So they take up the money, and being half-famished, having sat
there all day, they go immediately over to their Karen settlement, and
send the assistant with the paper to Mr. Mason. Mr. Mason reads:--

"You are to obey me and the officer whom I place over you!"

"That all?" he asks in dismay.

"That is all."

Terrible indignation we knew would rise in every breast, that evening,
among the Karens; and long we sat deliberating on what course to pursue;
until Mr. Mason became alarmed.

"Go over," he says, "and try to soften their anger, and help them to
arrange for guarding the money through the night, for they will surely be
robbed."

Ten o'clock rings--Shemoop is called--I jump into my little boat, and
reach the landing. The gong is rung, and in a few minutes nearly two
hundred men in their Highland tunics, with dahs in hand, and in great
excitement, are hovering close around me in the moonlight.

"Come, brothers, let us go in and talk over this matter. Now speak, each
one. Say just what you choose," for I thought it safer to let them
exhaust their pent-up feelings first. And they did speak, one after
another, and poured forth their indignation upon the English Government,
until every eye gleamed and many leaped to their feet, snatching their
dahs and war-clubs in one wild clamour.

"Gently, gently, brothers."

"Sit down!" shout the captains. "Let mama speak." Instantly every voice
is hushed, every form has dropped upon the floor, and every eye is fixed
to hear if I can say a word in extenuation. Very gently, in a low voice,
I ask:--

"Are there not kidnappers in your nation?"

"Yes."

"Would you like Commissioner Phayre to declare you _all_ kidnappers?"

"No--no--we understand."

"You saw the Great Commissioner at Klurlae. Did he ever tell you a
falsehood?"

"The Great Commissioner tell a lie! No--no--he couldn't tell a lie!
He knows the Ten Commandments."

"Then do not put this sin upon the English Government."

"No--no--we must not."

"Then again, did you not say this man knows not the Ten Commandments?"

"Er--er. So we have reason to fear."

"Then, ought you to call all Englishmen bad?"

"No--no, but why does he not learn? He knows books. He is a disciple."

"_Is_ he a disciple? What does the Bible say is the beginning of wisdom?"

"The fear of God," answers Pwama, again.

"Without the beginning, can there be progress? Ought we not to pity
rather than be angry with him?"

"Er, er, the teacheress is right; but we'll carry it back," exclaim the
Captains, in one breath.

"May be he'll put you in gaol."

"Let him put us in gaol--let him cut off our heads--we can bear it,"
thundered the Captains, towering up. "Brothers," they cry, turning to the
sepoys, "you have not taken one anna of this money. You are free. Go home
if you choose. To-morrow we carry all back and pour it at the Governor's
feet. We _won't eat Government money_." In half an hour, scores of these
men, who had enlisted as soldiers at my earnest entreaty, were tramping
off up the mountains, as hard as they could go, declaring they would
never again come down at the call of Government. The next morning the
Captains went up once more to Captain ---- with Nah Khan Qualay, and
begged for the right paper.

"I can never sign such a paper," he replied. "No Government officer would
agree to such propositions."

"If the paper does not please the Governor, let him not sign it; but let
him dismiss his humble servants to their homes."

"I shall not dismiss you. You have enlisted."

"We go, Th'kyen," rising, bowing themselves out.

"Go where?"

"For the money, my lord." And so he allowed them to depart; but on their
reaching the river, a messenger was despatched to call them back. They
went and stood at the foot of the steps, half expecting to see an
execution.

"Hear," says Captain ---- "here's your paper," and gave them the
veritable document, just what they had asked, stamped with the Government
seal. With joyful eyes they brought it to Mr. Mason, and desired us to
write a note of thanks to Captain ----, which was done, assuring him that
blessings would fall upon him from every pinnacle of the mountains, when
he sent us the following kind reply:--

"It gives me much pleasure to think that in carrying out the signing of
the Karen petition, I should, at the same time, have afforded you so much
satisfaction; and I trust, with your valuable assistance, to be able to
show that the Karens, if properly cared for, will prove as able settlers
of the country as the tribes around them. I was much amused yesterday to
see the Karens sit so utterly regardless of the rupees before them. I
supposed they would grasp them like Burmese and Shans; _but I see they
are not to be bought over from the service of the great God whom you have
so wonderfully introduced among them._"

"Now let us thank God," said Poquai, one of the Lieutenants, and in
humble awe and love they bowed there at once, and sent up their warm
heart-breathings to the Almighty, whose own right arm had wrought their
deliverance.

It was then thought that Captain ---- had only been trying these
Christian officers to see what they really were; but, however it was, we
knew the answer was from the Lord; and that night we took for our text in
the Bible class, "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever; with
my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations."

One day a messenger came in out of breath, saying, the Bogyee Brigand,
who had sacked the village mentioned, was pouring down his men towards
the Christians again. The Deputy Commissioner sent up an embassy with a
written message, threatening this Rob Roy of the north, if he didn't
behave himself, he would set a thousand rupees upon his head. His
ambassadors went as far towards the hostile region as they dared, to put
up the message on a stake in the path, and hastened back to court as hard
as they could go. The pickets soon found the missive, and hastened to
send it to their leader. In a few days a letter from the daring brigand
was found much nearer home, bidding defiance to the Government, and
telling the Deputy to beware, or he would come and spear him and burn his
town. The marauders came on, gathering strength at every step. Again he
reached the plundered chief's village, which now lay powerless before
him, for his force was said to be several thousand strong.

"See," he says, "what do you gain from these white Colahs? What have they
done for you? Resist me now, and I'll burn your village; join me, and I
will redress your wrongs in a different way." The plundered chief was
entirely at his mercy; he had no power to resist the demands of such a
sweeping force, and, of course, gave him food and shelter. Some said his
people joined the warriors. If they did, it is not strange, though I
think it was untrue; but the Border leader pushed on, coercing and
persuading, and under the magic name of Menlong, he carried all before
him.

The Deputy Commissioner is sleeping quietly in his own house--one
nearest the invader's route. What dreams he of danger at that midnight
hour? But hark! a knocking at the door. What is it?

"Th'kyen! Th'kyen! Menlong! Menlong!"

Captain ---- starts up--the English forces are called in haste to the
battle--meet the brigand, who flies into the forest--Captain ---- with
six Englishmen give chase--the friendly Karens see the Commissioner's
danger--rush to the conflict--the robber is overborne, but he sells his
life dearly--three brave Karens lie slaughtered at his feet--the
prisoner is taken down to the spot which he had reached nearest to town,
and is there hung.

Tounghoo is saved--but was it saved by foreigners? No, indeed! It was
saved by the Karen police of native Christians, who gave the warning, and
who so boldly risked their lives for their ruler.



CHAPTER V. - CONCLUSION--DEDUCTIONS--THE PAST OF THE KAREN NATION.


THUS far does Mrs. Mason describe this true "Romance of Missions:" we
should not perhaps venture to use a word that commonly appertains to the
kingdoms of the unreal, but that we have the authority of Dr. Mason, her
grave and sober husband, for it, in his appendix to his little book
called "THE KAREN APOSTLE," which has been often re-published both in
England and America, a fourth edition of which lately reached us by the
hand of Mrs. Ranney, a sister Missionary, just fresh from Rangoon. "The
history of the introduction of Christianity among the Karens," Dr. Mason
says, "is too full of 'truth stranger than fiction,' to be believed by
those afar off from us, and yet the brightest colours of these scenes of
surpassing interest are perhaps never seen at home."

"The days most interesting to myself," he writes in 1862, "during more
than thirty years of Missionary life, are those spent at the Association
Anniversaries. These people must be seen on their native mountains to be
appreciated and understood. Between one and two thousand persons,
encamped in booths covered with green branches, are gathered around a
large central bamboo building erected for the occasion, in which they
assemble four times a-day.

"It is their annual holiday, and dressed in their best, the large
proportion in new clothes, more especially the women and children, their
appearance in the varied garments of a dozen different tribes and clans
is most picturesque. Standing in their midst, surrounded by the wild
scenery of their wild hills, with their unbroken ponies dashing to and
fro, they seem wilder than the Bedouin of the desert; but what a contrast
to the Arab who has been deluded by his False Book! When the gong brings
the people to worship, the scene appears to change by enchantment. The
young men arise to address the congregation by turns from the Word of the
true God; and we could believe ourselves again at home, listening to the
eloquent discourses of our popular preachers.

"The Karens are a remarkable people, and a remarkable change has come
over them--like the change of the lion to the lamb. The most
astonishing feature of the whole work, to my mind, is the number and
talent of the NATIVE PREACHERS that God has raised up among them."

In 1860, Mrs. Mason again left Burmah for America, to invite, by personal
intercourse and description, the aid of American and English ladies in
her sphere of labour. She passed by way of London, and, during her then
short visit, was introduced to the details of the "Missing Link" Mission
among our HOME HEATHEN, and became confirmed in her ideas that very
similar plans will be found useful in Tounghoo, the Bible-readers,
however, being necessarily of a different age.

"Before I left home," she says, "Mr. Mason had often spoken on the
subject of Bible-readers in Tounghoo, and the desirableness of setting
forth a company of NATIVE FEMALES, with this object, to go from house to
house, and from hamlet to hamlet, to read and explain the Scriptures
directly to the women."

Mrs. Mason was detained in America, first by much personal affliction.
She caught the small-pox during the summer, and recovered from that sad
disease only to nurse her young daughter-in-law through rapid
consumption, and then to lay her in an early grave. She was further
occupied in sending forward her own daughter, Miss Bullard, to take the
care of the Karen Institute, while she should yet be detained in America
by the publication of her book; thus hoping to elicit further help for
the mission, and also to persuade assistant teachers to accompany her on
her return, securing THEIR support in England and America.

Miss Bullard arrived safely, and did good service for many months, but
she has since married and accompanied her husband to India. "She was
remarkably successful while she remained in the school," says Dr. Mason,
"and especially helped us in teaching the Karens music. We must not now
ask any one to take her place who does not possess this accomplishment.
Five or six of her pupils are out on the hills, and one of them writes
that she has fifty-eight pupils. More than six hundred fresh converts
have been baptized during the year, and nearly fifteen hundred rupees are
brought in for the support of the pupils of the two Institutes. More
female teachers and Bible-readers have to be continually raised up here,"
adds the Doctor. "Mrs. Mason made a good beginning, and Ella made a good
mark, but that would soon be washed away, unless others shall follow, to
add 'line upon line, and precept upon precept.'"

We hope very soon to hear that Mrs. Mason is once more arrived at
Tounghoo. She left England in February, and has been heard of from
Rangoon. Her chief ambition for the present little book is, that it may
be made the means of raising funds for the KAREN and BURMESE Missions to
Women.

She hopes it will have proved various things, and she has written not
without an idea of alluring some of the lighter class of readers who do
not in general read Missionary books,--of disarming their prejudice and
attracting a new circle of friends.

She trusts that from these pictorial records may spring a conviction,--

1. Of the faithfulness of JEHOVAH to His promises.

2. Of the power of HIS HOLY WORD.

3. That the foundation of successful Missions is their aim from the
first, to raise up NATIVE TEACHERS.

4. That it is necessary to enter into the _secular_ affairs of the
people, in an attempt to Christianize them, for such is the example of
Jesus.

5. That _sympathy_ with those we want to teach, in things great and
small, is the gift of heaven.

6. That the importance of FEMALE education in heathen lands cannot be
over estimated, and that all obstacles must be overcome to attain it,
because of the great influence on whole nations of their women and girls.

7. She further wishes it to be observed that the reason why the Karens
are so especially accessible to the efforts of Bible-readers, and the
reason they are so much more ready to receive Christ than the surrounding
heathen, is, because they recognise in HIM the ancient "YUAH" of their
traditions, even the same as our "JEHOVAH."

As we ourselves in LONDON have arrived simultaneously at six at least of
these conclusions, having picked them up from experience in dingy courts
and alleys, it has been very refreshing to learn them anew among the
jungles and the pinnacles of old Tounghoo.

God speed to our Missionary sister in resuming her work of love! It is
very sweet to think that she takes out with her the support for seven
girl Bible-readers--one for each Karen Clan, for one year, from the
friends of the "Missing Links" in our country. American ladies charge
themselves with the provision of training teachers to prepare and
superintend these readers.

Mrs. Mason was so pleased with the large pictorial diagrams, on calico,
printed and coloured by the WORKING MEN'S EDUCATIONAL UNION, in
illustration of "THE BOOK AND ITS STORY," and of "THE BOOK AND ITS
MISSION," as means of teaching to the Karens the history of the Bible in
other countries, that she took out three sets of each, _i.e._, three sets
of thirty pictures. They will probably soon learn to design similar ones.

The subjects of the above double series are as follows:--

_Stone Books._
PICTURE WRITING, at Karnak, Thebes.
WRITING ON STONE: the Rosetta Stone.

_The Manuscript Ages._
ANCIENT MANUSCRIPTS AND WRITING MATERIALS.
MULTIPLICATION OF COPIES: the Scriptorium and Scribe.
THE DEATH OF THE VENERABLE BEDE.
WYCLIF CITED BEFORE ARCHBISHOP COURTENAY.

_Bible Translators._
THE BIBLE CHAINED.
LUTHER FINDING THE BIBLE.
LUTHER TRANSLATING THE BIBLE INTO GERMAN.

_The New Era._
MULTIPLICATION OF COPIES: the Printing Press.

_Enmity to the Bible._
THE BURNT ROLL; or, the Scriptures Destroyed.
SEARCH FOR NEW TESTAMENTS at Oxford and Cambridge.
BIBLE BURNING AT PAUL'S CROSS.

_The Bible Free._
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL; the Jubilee Sermon.
THE BIBLE HOUSE AND WAREHOUSE.

Of "THE BOOK AND ITS MISSION," the vols. for 1856 and 1857 are
illustrated. The subjects are as follows:--

_Lands without the Divine Book._--_Heathen._
TIBET, THE LAND WHERE THERE IS AS YET NO BIBLE.
BURMAH.--THE MISSIONARY JUDSON COME TO PRESENT A PORTION OF THE BURMESE
BIBLE TO THE HAUGHTY EMPEROR.
THE ROCK OF BEHISTUN.--Key to Nineveh Characters.
DAGON AND NEBO.--"GODS OF THE KINGS OF ASSYRIA."

_Lands of the False Book._
SKETCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE.--Bible Colporteur on the Bridge.
THE COLPORTEUR AMORGA AT BAGHCHEJUK crying "Holy Book" in the Market
Place.

_Lands where the Teachers have hidden and burned the Book, but where it
is now finding Entrance._
THE BURNING OF HEBREW MANUSCRIPTS IN SPAIN.--Scene: The Stone
Fire-place near Seville.
THE SWISS COLPORTEUR IN THE ALPS.

_Ancient Churches which first possessed the Book._
SKETCH OF MONT CASTELLUZZO.--"Bible among the Vaudois."
NIGHT CLASS IN POITOU FOR SCRIPTURE READING.
THE NESTORIAN CHRISTIANS.--Scene: Salt Lake Oroomiah.

_Protestant Countries._
SALE OF SCRIPTURES BY SUNDAY SCHOLARS OF MANCHESTER.
LIEUTENANT GRAYDON AND HIS BIBLE VAN TURNED INTO A STALL AT A FAIR AT
LAUSANNE.
THE BIBLE-READERS IN OLD ST. GILES'S.--A Thicket by Night.
"PARTY OF MODERN BIBLE-READERS IN ST. GILES'S."--Scene: A Mothers'
Class. On the other side of the Picture the entrance to "Church Lane."
N.B. Each picture is provided with frame and eyelets for convenient
suspension.
_Note._--The address of the Working Men's Educational Union is 25, King
William Street, West Strand, London, W. C.

Everything that concerns the BOOK OF GOD has immense value in the eyes of
this remarkable people. But the Karens have no book, or fragment of a
book, to which they can trace their oral traditions handed down
diligently from father to son in their songs. When Dr. Judson entered the
country, they had not even a written alphabet, but their fathers had told
them that once they possessed the word of the eternal God, which gave
them histories of the Fall and of the Flood, and bade them never worship
idols. They say that the Prophet who had the charge of this book was
reading it one day beneath a tree and he fell asleep, when a dog came and
tore it to pieces. Then God was angry, and gave them up to the evil
spirits, or "Nats," of whom they are ever since in fear. This rendering
is slightly different from that given in page 103, but is accounted for
by the variations in oral tradition.

They have many beliefs evidently derived from the Old Testament, and some
very remarkable ones, originating perhaps in other sources. They say that
men had at first one father and mother; but because they did not love one
another they separated, and their languages became diverse, that

"The KAREN was the elder brother,
And obtained all the words of God.
God formerly loved the Karen nation above all others,
But because of their transgressions, He cursed them,
And now they have no books.
Yet He will again have mercy on them,
And love them above all others.

"God departed with our younger brother,
The white foreigner.
He conducted God away to the West.
God gave them power to cross waters and reach lands,
And to have rulers from among themselves.
Then God went up to heaven.
But He made the white foreigners
More skilful than all other nations.

"When God had departed,
The Karens became slaves to the Burmans,
Became sons of the forest and children of poverty;
Were scattered everywhere.
The Burmans made them labour bitterly,
Till many dropped down dead in the jungle,
Or they twisted their arms behind them,
Beat them with stripes, and pounded them with the elbow,
Days without end.

"In the midst of their sufferings,
They remembered the ancient sayings of the elders,
That God would yet save them,
That a Karen king would yet appear.
The Talien kings have had their season;
The Burman kings have had their season;
The Siamese kings have had their season;
And the foreign kings will have their season;
But the Karen king will yet appear.
When he arrives, there will be but one monarch,
And there will be neither rich nor poor.
Everything will be happy,
And even lions and leopards will lose their savageness.

"Hence in their deep afflictions they prayed,
If God will save us,
Let Him save speedily!
We can endure these sufferings no longer.
Alas! where is God?
Our ancestors said that when our younger brothers came back,
The white foreigners
Who were able to keep company with God,
The Karens will be happy.

"Our ancestors charged us thus--
'Children and grandchildren,
If the thing come by land--weep
If by water--laugh.
It will not come in our days,
But it will in yours.'
Hence the Karens longed for those
Who were to come by water."

Another remarkable tradition among the people was as follows:--The
elders said, "When the Karens have cleared the Horn-bill city* three
times, happiness will arrive, so when the Burman rulers made them clear
it the last time, they said among themselves, 'Now we may suppose
happiness is coming, for this completes the third time of clearing the
Horn-bill city;'" and true enough, for before they had finished, they
heard THAT THE WHITE FOREIGNERS HAD TAKEN RANGOON.

[Footnote: * The site of an old city near Tavoy, which the Karens were
called on to clear occasionally, when the trees grew up over it.]

Dr. Judson had lived fourteen years in Rangoon, preaching the eternal
God, in whom none would believe, while the poor unnoticed KARENS were
continually passing his door, and singing the same truth by the way--

"God is eternal, His life is long;
One Kulpa, He dies not;
Two Kulpas, He dies not;
Kulpas on Kulpas, He dies not."

The first Karen who attracted the Missionary's attention was Ko-thahbyu,
a slave, whom he took into the mission family as a free man, and after
instructing him in the Gospel, baptized him. Ko-thahbyu then became a
remarkable pioneer preacher to his countrymen, in one village after
another, for thirteen years, and raised up other NATIVE preachers. The
above astonishing traditional beliefs had caused these wild tribes to
move among the haughty Burmans, unimpressed by their gorgeous temples,
their gay processions, and their glittering festivals. In sorrow and
subjection, they bore their heavy burdens, and "waited for the Book."

The beloved Judson spent twenty years of his devoted life in preparing
the Bible for the Burmese. The best translation in India is admitted to
be that of the Burmese Scriptures by Dr. Judson. It is as Luther's Bible
to Protestant Germany. He prayed only that he might live to see a hundred
converts in Burmah, after he had given to the people the word of God in
their own tongue. He lived to see many more than this even in his own
church at Rangoon; and what he saw besides among the despised Karens
surpassed his hopes.

But it was for Dr. Judson's noble successors--and it was more
especially for Mr. Wade and Dr. Mason--to have the high privilege of
GIVING THE BIBLE TO THE KARENS. "With the aid of two Karens who
understood Burmese," says Mr. Wade, "I analyzed and classified the Karen
sounds, and adopted a system of representing them which embraced all the
syllables occurring in their language." The system adopted by Mr. Wade is
so admirably conceived, that a person ignorant of a single letter can
learn to read Karen with ease in a few weeks; whereas, Dr. Judson says,
that after two _years'_ diligent study of the Burmese, he had made less
progress than he had in two _months_ in the study of the _French_
language. This fact marked the open path for the Missionary of the Book,
and how wonderful it was to find that it was for nothing else these
people were waiting. "HAVE YOU BROUGHT GOD'S BOOK?" said the simple,
timid villagers of Dong-Yhan to Mr. Wade;--the very first question they
asked the white foreigner;--and when the answer was, to show them the
treasure, though in ENGLISH, and to tell them that parts were already
translated for the Burmans, then came the immediate reply, "But you must
do it for US also."

Mr. Wade adopted the Burman alphabet, for the simple reason that the
Burman type only was at hand at the time, and when it proved inadequate
to express the fifty-four vowel-sounds of the Karen, (itself having only
ten,) a few new letters met the difficulty. When the translation of the
New Testament was accomplished, however, no attempt was made at printing
it for several years for want of pecuniary means, and each book was
copied and circulated as fast as completed in manuscript. The Karens soon
learned to write as easily as to read their language, which they had
never before supposed was capable of being represented by signs. They are
now vaulting day by day from a state of downtrodden slavery into a claim
upon the title-deeds of their old nobility in the scale of nations. Mr.
Mason affirms that the alphabetical powers of the Karen alphabet are of
Arabic or Hebrew origin.

From the time of their expectations being realized, and of their
receiving the book in their own tongue, this people have delighted to be
ruled by its precepts, as all the foregoing narratives evince, and this
particular circumstance irresistibly points us back to their _origin_.
They _must_ have received their traditions from God's chosen people, the
JEWS, and many of their habits and observances lead to the conclusion
that they are themselves, as they say, of the race to whom, and to whom
alone, were committed the keeping of the holy oracles in old time.

There are no traces among them of NEW TESTAMENT light, which forbids the
idea that they could have derived their knowledge from the Nestorian
Missionaries, who were so widely scattered over Central and Eastern Asia
from the seventh to the thirteenth century.

There is testimony that there were Jews in China as early as B.C. 258,
(see "Edin. Cycl.," vol. vi., p. 95,) and there is no reason for
concluding that they were the first visitors of their race. May not the
merchant princes of Tyre have had dealings with the Chinese? and would
not the ships of Solomon, sailing from the Red Sea, and spending three
years on their voyage, (1 Kings ix. 26; 2 Chron. ix. 21,) have possibly
met the same people at some of the ports of trade?

It appears, from a paper read at the meeting of the British Association,
in Oxford, in 1860, by Dr. Mac-gowan, concerning his personal researches
in China, that he found evidence of the existence of a numerous and
wealthy colony of Jews existing about a century before the birth of
Christ in the city of CHINTU, the capital of the province of Sz-chuen. A
magnificent temple which they had erected was destroyed, and they
suddenly disappeared from Chinese territory. As this occurred about the
time of the expulsion of the Huns from China, and as that city was near
its western border. Dr. Mac-gowan supposes that some of these Chinese
Jews found their way to the adjoining mountains dividing China from
Burmah, and that they were either the progenitors of the Karens, or that
through them this remarkable people obtained their Old Testament
traditions, which, preserved among them for so many ages, appear thus
wonderfully to have prepared them for the reception of the Gospel.

The same authority describes the MIAUTSE Aborigines, or hill-tribes of
China, as having many resemblances to the Karens, and dwelling on the
confines of their country.

"The Karens regard themselves," says Dr. Mason, "as wanderers from the
north, and one of their traditions states that a party of them came
across 'the river of running sand' on an exploring tour. It is regarded
as having been an arduous work, to cross this immense quicksand with the
sands in motion like the waters of a river. The tradition was quite
unintelligible to me, until I read the Journal of Fa-hian, the Chinese
pilgrim who visited India about the fifth century, which threw a sunbeam
on the subject. He constantly designates the great desert north of
Burmah, and between China and Tibet, as 'the river of sand.'"*

[Footnote: * The Desert of the Great Gobi, that wide "sea of sand and
salt" often blown into ridges by fierce winds, and stretching away north
of the table-lands of Tibet, to the great wall of CHINA eastward.]

In Deut. xxviii. 64, it was said to ISRAEL, "The Lord shall scatter thee
among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other;" and many
think that the excellence of some of the Chinese rules of morality may
thus be explained. Confucius was but the prince of compilers; he does not
pretend to originality; and he may very probably have held communication
with some of those heaven-taught wanderers, who always brought with them
the law of God, and occasionally, at least, must have "called it to mind
among the nations whither the Lord their God had driven them."--Deut.
xxx. 1.

There is a new colony of modern Jews at Kaifung, the capital of Honan, in
CHINA. Wherever they have colonized, they have, as we know, remained as a
peculiar race in the midst of those around them, and are distinguished,
at least, by Jacob's distinction, "the race that plucks out the sinew."
Some of the Kaifung Jews have been honourable in literature, several of
them governors of provinces and Ministers of State; but at present they
are few in number, degraded in condition, and the wisest men very
ignorant of their own religion. Some Hebrew Scripture MSS. were purchased
from them, which do not, however, appear to have been of more ancient
character than those already possessed in Europe.

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

It is very remarkable that from the Missionary seminaries of the New
World, at Massachusetts and in Pennsylvania, about a generation since,
there went forth the young men,--now grey-haired,--to different
points of the East, whose loving labour was in the course of time to
bring to light such wondrous things, particularly concerning the Book,
and the Book-peoples. We refer to Dr. Mason and Dr. Perkins, of the
Nestorian Mission, at Oroomiah.

We have seen Dr. Mason preparing the Bible for that obscure and probable
portion of the ten tribes, who may be said to have thirsted for it during
its loss more than all the others, and who may, perhaps, therefore, be
privileged to proclaim it to all their kindred. They are receiving
Christian ideas more rapidly than any people in the world,--unscathed,
like the Affghans, by Mohammedanism, and but slightly by the surrounding
superstition of Buddh. It is daily developed that they are neither a
scanty nor a scattered people, but extend at intervals over at least
twelve degrees of latitude, and ten of longitude, and they are calculated
to be in number at least five millions. The study of their derivation
will probably throw further light on the OUTCAST ISRAEL of the Old
Testament.*

[Footnote: * See a most interesting work, entitled, "The Lost Tribes;
or, the Saxons of the East and West." By Dr. Moore, of Hastings. Longman
& Co., 1861.]

The Missions of the Book of the present day are unravelling the tangled
threads of Scripture history in a manner least expected. "It is only in
the Bible," says Dr. Moore, "that we find a bond of connexion between man
and man, through all his kindreds, from the beginning to the present, and
to the end." This author, in his charming volume, points especially to
the Hebrews, who, while "swallowed up" among the nations, (Hosea viii.
8,) have yet influenced those nations, quite distinctly from the eight or
nine millions of men still recognised as JEWS. He treats of the Tribes
who never returned to the Land of Promise, and yet who remained not in
Assyria, the land of their exile, but overflowed among the Scythians, or
_Sac?_, (derivation I-_saac_,) into the land of the Tartars, and thence
into all parts of the habitable globe.

In Amos vii. 9, the word "Isaac" is synonymous with "Israel." The prophet
speaks of the "house of Isaac," not long before Israel's banishment, and
after they had separated themselves from the house of David. It is very
remarkable that the name of _Sac?_ is not applied by any classic
historians or geographers to any tribe of the Scythians until some time
subsequent to the exile of the house of Isaac. For the research into the
links of connexion between the _Sac?_ and ourselves, the _Saxons_, we
must refer our readers to further particulars in the above-named volume,
and then to the wondrous 37th chapter of Ezekiel,--the "joining of the
stick of Judah and of Ephraim," over which a light will then begin to
dawn, which may soon increase to full daylight.

But Dr. Perkins, and Grant, and Stoddard, and others in the bright roll
of American names, had their mission to the NESTORIAN CHRISTIANS, to the
descendants of that remnant of Israel who remained in Assyria--the
"remnant according to the election of grace"--spoken of by Paul in the
11th of the Romans, to whom he alludes as connected with the rest of his
people, in his defence before King Agrippa in Acts xxvi. 7, "Unto which
promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to
come;" and to whom the Epistle of James is addressed: "To the twelve
tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting." They are greeted as
brethren, and their _faith in Christ_ is commended; therefore they must
have become Christians in the first century. James, the Bishop of
Jerusalem, addresses many of these Jewish converts as having backslidden,
and dedicates to them his practical Epistle.

The Nestorian Christians inhabit the same district of Adiabene as was
occupied by converted Israel; and Nestorian churches and prelates have
flourished in an uninterrupted succession in the same places where they
were founded by the Apostles among these Israelites. The Jews assert very
positively that the Nestorians were converted from Judaism to
Christianity immediately after the death of Christ, and the marvellous
history of the NESTORIAN MISSIONS IN THE EAST, commencing with that of
the Apostle Thomas to India and to China,* continuing through thirteen
centuries, testifies to the same fact, although their extent has been
very indistinctly appreciated, because lost in the subsequent clouds of
Romanist Missionary efforts, and we may also add their fables.

[Footnote: * That he visited these regions is the constant tradition of
the Syrian Church.]

The tablet of Scg-nan-foo* dug up in 1625, relit the torch of history on
this point; and for a generation past, as we have said, America's chosen
sons, with our English language, but acquiring for their Missionary
purpose the ancient and modern Syriac,--the former being the language
used by our Lord Himself,--have opened the old conduits, like Mr.
Layard among the rock sculptures of Bavian, and restored to this ancient
of ancients, among the churches, the refreshing stream of the "water of
life," in a tongue that its children would understand.

[Footnote: * In the province of Shensi. See "Book and its Story," cheap
edition, "China," page 385. Also, "The Nestorian Church," page 431.]

They had not, like the Karens, lost their book utterly. They had no
printed books; but they possessed, says Dr. Perkins, a few rare
manuscripts of almost all the Bible, rolled up and hid away in secret
places in their churches, to keep them from the ravages of the
Mohammedans. Some of the copies are very venerable, written with the
nicest care on parchment, and dating back to the period of England's
Magna Charta. They are mostly found among the wild mountains, from which
some tribes of the Nestorians descended three centuries since to the more
genial plains of Oroomiah.

From those original districts, where they still abide as the _Protestants
of Asia_, they sent forth their missions to the East and North, the
traces of which remain to this day. They were doubtless undertaken to
China and India from the knowledge that people of their own kindred were
known to be in those countries, though they never reached the Karens, or
they would have told them of Jesus; and now their self-sacrificing
devotion in past ages is richly repaid in the outpouring of the Holy
Spirit on their children. Scarcely a score of the priests could read
their own MSS. when Dr. Perkins reached them, and _not one woman_. Now
there are 3,000 intelligent readers of the Bible, and every reader, child
or adult, is an independent lamp in his dark village, neighbourhood, or
household.

The thought of making the children who are educated in Bible knowledge
"lamps" in the heathen villages, is fraught with instruction. Let us
remember the happy Missionary Karen girls, and make similar use of our
own English girls in country villages. There are girls connected with
every Bible class and mothers' class in London, who might be
Bible-readers. Mrs. Porter, who has long been engaged in Missionary
schools at Cuddapah, Madras, assures us that allured by the singing of a
child, in its own village, of some part of "The sweet Story of Old," and
then by its reading of the New Testament, a native woman came forty miles
to hear. Perhaps the girls in our village schools would be very different
when they leave them, had they been _so taught in the Scriptures that
they could teach again_, for the word of the Lord would never return unto
Him void, but shall prosper in the thing whereto He sent it.

Immediately that the NESTORIANS, like the KARENS, had received in their
own tongue the wonderful words of God,--ever sacred in their
memories,--they, too, rose in the scale of nations. "When I commenced,"
says Dr. Perkins, "reducing the language of the Nestorians to writing, I
early observed that there were no words in that language for _wife_, and
_home_. Why not? Because the things signified did not exist among the
people. _Woman_ and _house_ were the nearest approximations."

"In all their social and domestic usages, woman was the down-trodden
slave, and man the tyrant lord. Mothers and sisters, among these fallen
Christians, were not accustomed to eat with their husbands and brothers
when we first went among them; they must serve and then take the
remnants, if any there were; but the revival of pure Christianity has
elevated woman to her proper dignity and place."

The girls return from the Missionary Schools to their mountain homes in
Tyari to teach and bless their kindred. "We have enjoyed," says the same
Missionary, "seasons of most affecting interest in giving instructions to
those young brethren and sisters on sending them forth to their distant
posts of toil and self-sacrifice--as we had ourselves left the
endearments of America to come to dark and far-off Persia.

"I now recall one such young married couple, who have long been located
in a deep gorge of those central mountains which are the home of
thousands of Nestorians, where the lofty encircling ranges limit the
rising and setting of the sun to ten o'clock A.M. and two P.M. most of
the year; where the towering cones of solid rock, like peering Gothic
spires, cast their pointed shadows from the moonbeams on the sky, as on a
canvas, nay, rear their summits against that canopy which seems to rest
on them as pillars; and where, in winter, men must creep around the steep
and lofty cliffs with whispers, lest the sound of their voices by an echo
bring down upon them the terrific avalanche ever ready to quit its bed at
the summons of the slightest jar."

There are many such secluded spots among the lofty mountains of
Koordistan; and here it is that our intelligent, cultivated young helpers
plant themselves as spiritual watchmen. The most rugged districts of
these mountains are the most populous, as they offer the safest asylums
to the long-persecuted Christians.

Even these secluded districts were, seventeen years ago, the scene of the
massacre of thousands of Nestorians by the ruthless Koords; and yet now
the valleys thus desolated are again quite as thickly populated as
before. The dreadful barbarities of the Koords, who tossed infants on
their spears, led to their subjugation and punishment by the Turks, and
drove forth the trembling survivors from their native cliffs and gorges
to come in contact with the people of other nations, breaking up their
entire isolation from the rest of Christendom in regions where they had
clung, as for their life, to their rare parchment copies of the New
Testament in an ancient unknown tongue, locked up in their venerable old
churches.

The Missionary work among the Nestorians has been eminently God's
work,--"the excellency of the power" has been very clearly seen to be of
God, and not of men. "Now," says Dr. Perkins, "we have been permitted to
meet at the communion table with hundreds of Nestorian brothers and
sisters in Christ at the same time; and never, till admitted to the
marriage supper of the Lamb, do I expect to sit in such heavenly places
in Christ Jesus as at these Nestorian communions."

To "Israel" converted of old, and to "Israel" hidden among the heathen,
what if at these two points AMERICA has been honoured to carry the
message which is to make them blossom and bud, and fill the face of the
world with fruit? "Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from
the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim."--Isa.
xlix. 12. It is no light thing "to be God's servant to raise up the
tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel." The 49th of
Isaiah is a wondrous prophecy, as relating to their gathering together.

To return in conclusion to the KARENS, as Mrs. Mason would have us. The
Institute for 50 girls, as her frontispiece will show, is finished, and
finished at a cost of upwards of 11,000 rupees; a self-supporting normal
school for 50 young men is also erected, and there are 140
self-supporting Jungle schools in Tounghoo; but foreign help is still
needed in many ways, to the provision of which it is hoped the reading of
this little book will conduce. If native preachers, school teachers, and
Bible-readers are to be sent forth, their support of L10 a-year must at
first be guaranteed; and help, as we have seen, must often be afforded to
them and their families in times of distress, famine, and sickness.
Teachers go out hitherto without any stated salary, taking just what the
people can give them.

Mrs. Mason's visit to America issued in the establishment at Philadelphia
of a WOMAN'S UNION MISSIONARY SOCIETY FOR HEATHEN LANDS, whose object it
is to send out and sustain single ladies to raise up and superintend
native Bible-women and School Teachers. They have already raised L400 for
this purpose.

Of the fund for Mrs. Mason's use, entrusted to the Secretary of the
London Bible and Domestic Female Missions, she took with her on her
return L70, as the salary for one year of seven Karen Bible-woman, and
L52 likewise was placed at her disposal for incidental expenses and
appliances in starting the missions. She writes that the idea has already
taken effect, and that she found four Bible-women at work in Rangoon
under fit superintendence, but needing pecuniary help; and she adds, "I
am daily asking God for means to supply the native Schoolmasters and
Schoolmistresses each with a new Karen Bible (cost 6s.), which they are
longing for more than meat and drink. Will not England do this for the
Karens, and increase and multiply the Bible-readers both for the Burmese
and the Shans."

"The Shans are even a more interesting race than the Burmese. They are
the merchant princes (like the Armenians) of Burmah. They come down to
its seaports every year from the mountains, bringing precious stones,
Chinese cloths, nice lacquered boxes, silver-hafted knives, sugar, stick
lac, and spades. No Missionary ever dwelt among them; once a Karen
teacher visited for about six months, among the hundreds who pitch their
tents in Tounghoo, and they have, ever since, inquired for their friend
'Sahya.'

"I once met a large company of them on the plains. I thought the women
exceedingly beautiful. They are a broken nation like the Karens, no
longer having a king of their own, but paying tribute to foreigners, and
they seem to feel their degradation deeply. In the cities they are
Buddhists, but Buddhism is not their native religion. The women might
probably first be willing to receive the Gospel, for among the Karens
they have generally been the first to come forward--first to receive
the teachers--and first to renounce their superstitions.

"Woman is the educator of Burmah, and, strange to say, she carries on the
chief business and trade of the country. It is she who, at present,
tramples on the 'white book,' and gives her son the palm-leaf; who
teaches the toddling child to tug its dress full of sand up hill every
night to the pagoda. She also excites discord, fans rebellion, and
overturns dynasties. She _can_ and she _will_ rise. Teach her to rise
towards God, and let us do it ere it is too late. An aged Burmese said to
me, 'Don't tell me; I can't learn your prayer; I'm too old. Your Jesus
doesn't know me. I've worshipped Gaudama. I've done good. I've fed the
priests. I've built a kyoung. If I take another religion now, I shall
fall between the two. No, no; let me alone. I'm an old woman; if I'm
lost, I'm lost. Had I heard when I was young, I might have believed, but
_Loonbie Loonbie_, too late, too late."

"'All is dark,' murmured another citron woman; 'we know nothing; we are
lost in the jungle.'

"After reading to her, for a third time, a tract to which she seemed to
give ear, we thought she appeared indifferent. Feeling sad, I arose, and
inquired if she desired Christians to visit her no more.

"'No teacheress,' she exclaimed, with emphasis; _'I am thinking!'_

"Oh, how often have these words brought comfort! When the cold 'Go!' has
met us--when the laugh of derision has rung after us--when traversing
mountains and burning sands, with blistered feet--when we have sunk
weary on the threshold of home, then it has echoed in our ear, 'Burmah is
THINKING!' and when, in Christian lands, we have met the nerveless hand,
the cold eye, the heartless tone, then came again the echo--'BURMAH is
_thinking!_"

Christian friends! England MUST help Burmah and her Karen mountaineers.



THE END


    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Subscriptions in favour of Mrs. Mason's general work will be received for
her at Messrs. Ransom's, Bankers, 2, Pall Mall, and by Messrs. Nisbet,
Berners Street. Those intended especially for her SCHOOLS can be remitted
to Miss Webb, Secretary of the Female Education Society, 15, Shaftesbury
Crescent, Pimlico, S. W.; and those for BIBLES and BIBLE-WOMEN FOR
TOUNGHOO, to Mrs. Ranyard, 13, Hunter Street, Brunswick Square, W. C.

Printed by M. S. Rickerby, Hand Court, Upper Thames Street. E. C.

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

RECENTLY PUBLISHED.

THE MISSING LINK; or, Bible-Women in the Homes of the London Poor.
By L. N. R. Small crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. cloth. Also, a cheaper Edition, 1s.
6d. cloth limp.

"This little Book, of which upwards of 40,000 copies have now been
circulated in this country, is the illustrative exponent of a Mission
commenced in London five years since, showing how we may TAKE OF THE
PEOPLE TO MEND THEMSELVES, as well as HELP THEM TO HELP THEMSELVES.
Surprising as it may seem, it has been proved that as an instrument of
civilization--an instrument for working out domestic and social reform,
THERE IS NOTHING LIKE THE BIBLE."

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

LIFE-WORK; or, The Link and the Rivet.
By L. N. R. Crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. cloth.

"A volume, supplementary to 'THE MISSING LINK,' has just been published,
under the title of 'LIFE-WORK,' which, if possible, surpasses its
predecessor in interest, as showing the further and successful working of
the system described. We trust both volumes will find their place in the
library and in the heart of every lady in the land."

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

THE BOOK AND ITS STORY.
By L. N. R. Post 8vo., 4s. 84th Thousand,

"A book which all lovers of the Bible ought to read."

"We should like to hear of this most instructive volume finding its way
into every family where the Bible is a household book. The numerous facts
recorded are of the most animating character, and are all calculated to
increase the confidence of Christian men in the simple reading of GOD'S
HOLY WORD, as a direct and powerful instrument of human salvation."

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

THE BOOK AND ITS MISSION.

"This Magazine, price 3d monthly, is the organ of 'THE LONDON BIBLE AND
DOMESTIC FEMALE MISSION,' [See the 'MISSING LINK,' and 'LIFE-WORK,'] and
keeps its subscribers acquainted with their current affairs. It is,
therefore, strongly recommended to those who are following out the
principles of these Missions in town or country. The Missions of the Book
ABROAD are included in its pages, as well as those AT HOME."

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

MEMORIALS OF JOHN BOWEN, D.C.L., late Bishop of Sierra Leone.
Compiled from his Letters and Journal by his SISTER. Post 8vo., 9s.
cloth.

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

THE LIFE OF THE REV. RICHARD KNILL, of St. Petersburg.
By C. M. BIRRELL. With a Review of his character by the late Rev. JOHN
ANGELL JAMES. With Portrait. Crown 8vo., 4s. 6d. cloth. Cheap Edition,
2s. 6d. cloth limp.

"Mr. Birrell has discharged his work with fair ability and good judgment.
. . . Mr. James's review is an elaborate, discriminating, and suggestive
performance."--_Daily News._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

BRIEF MEMORIALS OF THE REV. ALPHONSE FRANCOIS LACROIX, Missionary of the
London Missionary Society in Calcutta.
By his Son-in-Law, Rev. JOSEPH MULLENS, Missionary of the same Society.
Crown 8vo., 5s. cloth.

"These memorials are among the most interesting records of Missionary
life and labour that have ever been written."--_News of the Churches._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

THE LIFE OF ARTHUR VANDELEUR, Major Royal Artillery.
By the Author of "Memorials of Captain Hedley Vicars," "English Hearts
and English Hands." Crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. cloth.

"It would be difficult to imagine a more beautiful and touching
story than the simple and not unusually eventful life of Major
Vandeleur."--_Morning Post._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

THE BASUTOS; or, Twenty-three Years in South Africa.
By the Rev. E. CASALIS, late Missionary Director. Post 8vo., 6s. cloth.

"The work gives a capital insight into the life of a powerful African
tribe, and as such is a valuable contribution to ethnological science."

--_Athenaeum._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

COAST MISSIONS: a Memoir of the Rev. Thomas Rosie.
By the Rev. JAMES DODDS, Dunbar. Crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. cloth.

"This volume is highly valuable. The incidents of Mr. Rosie's brief life
are full of romantic interest."--_British and Foreign Evangelical
Review._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

ANNALS OF THE RESCUED.
By the Author of "Haste to the Rescue; or, Work while it is Day." With a
Preface by the Rev. C. E. L. WIGHTMAN. Crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. cloth.

"This is a deeply interesting volume. It is a book of similar character
to 'English Hearts and English Hands' and shows what may be effected by
well-directed and individual efforts."--_Watchman._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

MEMOIR of the LIFE and BRIEF MINISTRY of the REV. DAVID SANDEMAN,
Missionary to CHINA.
By the Rev. ANDREW A. BONAR, Author of the "Memoir of Rev. R. M.
M'Cheyne," &c., &c. Crown 8vo., 5s. cloth.

".... No reader can peruse this brief Memoir without both pleasure and
much profit."--_The Dial._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

HELP HEAVENWARD: Words of Strength and Heart-cheer to Zion's Travellers.
By the Rev. OCTAVIUS WINSLOW, D.D. 18mo., 2s. 6d. cloth.

"It is replete with sound, searching, practical remark, conveyed in
winning and affectionate spirit, and with luxuriant richness of
phraseology."--_Scottish Guardian._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

RAGGED HOMES, AND HOW TO MEND THEM.
By Mrs. BAYLY. Small crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. cloth. Also, a Cheaper Edition,
1s. 6d. cloth limp.

"We scarcely know which to praise most highly, the matter or the manner
of this work. Her style is as attractive as her subject. Mrs. Bayly has
wrought with an artist's eye and spirit."--_Daily News._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

EVENINGS WITH JOHN BUNYAN; or, The Dream Interpreted.
By JAMES LARGE. Crown 8vo., 4s. 6d. cloth.

"The volume abounds in most valuable matter, eminently calculated to
instruct and to edify. It is replete with interesting facts."--_British
Standard._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

MISSIONARY SKETCHES IN NORTHERN INDIA; with some Reference to recent
Events.
By Mrs. WEITBRECHT. Crown 8vo., 5s. cloth.

"An interesting account, partly historical, partly from personal
recollections, and partly contemporary correspondence and publications of
the results of Missionary exertions in North India."--_Daily News._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

GOD'S WAY OF PEACE: a Book for the Anxious.
By HORATIUS BONAR, D.D. 18mo., 2s. cloth.

"The name of Dr Bonar carries with it such weight, that it is almost
enough for any book to be inscribed with it. The present, although one of
his smallest volumes, will probably turn out to be one of the most
useful."--_British Standard._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

"THE OMNIPOTENCE OF LOVING-KINDNESS:" being a Narrative of the Results of
a Lady's Seven Months' Work among the Fallen in Glasgow.
Crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. cloth.

"We have been exceedingly interested with this volume. Many of the
histories we have read are very touching. We heartily wish this book in
the hand of every British Christian matron."--_Church of England
Magazine._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

CONFERENCE ON MISSIONS HELD IN 1860 at Liverpool.

Including the Papers read and the Conclusions reached; with a
comprehensive Index showing the various matters brought under review.
Edited by the Secretaries to the Conference. 440 pp. demy 8vo., 2s. 6d.
cloth.

"The volume presents the ablest manual on the great question of missions
to the heathen that has ever come under our notice."--_British
Quarterly._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

THE ROMANCE OF NATURAL HISTORY.
By PHILIP HENRY GOSSE, F.R.S. With Illustrations by WOLF. Two Series,
each post 8vo., 7s. 6d. cloth.

"This is a charming book. . . . This romance of natural history will be
one of the best gift-books which can be procured."--_Daily News._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

A SECOND SERIES OF HYMNS OF FAITH AND HOPE.
By HORATIUS BONAR, D.D. Fcap. 8vo., 5s. cloth. Also, a Pocket Edition of
the First Series, 32mo., 1s. 6d. cloth.

"There is a freshness and vigour, an earnestness and a piety in these
compositions. We have much pleasure in recommending the volume to our
readers."--_Evangelical Christendom._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

THE WANDERINGS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.
By the late Rev. GEORGE WAGNER, Author of "Sermons on the Book of Job."
Crown 8vo., 6s. cloth.

"These are very interesting productions. The sermons are
excellent."--_Clerical Journal._



THE END




This site is full of FREE ebooks - Project Gutenberg Australia