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British Borneo

Sir W. H. Treacher

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Page_17">[17]and appears only as a Government Official, a merchant or a planter.

But the decay of the Brunai aristocracy was probably inevitable. Take the life of a young noble. He is the son of one of perhaps thirty women in his father's harem, his mother is entirely without education, can neither read nor write, is never allowed to appear in public or have any influence in public affairs, indeed scarcely ever leaves her house, and one of her principal excitements, perhaps, is the carrying on of an intrigue, an excitement enhanced by the fact that discovery means certain death to herself and her lover.

Brunai being a water town, the youngster has little or no chance of a run and game ashore, and any exercise he takes is confined to being paddled up and down the river in a canoe, for to paddle himself would be deemed much too degrading—a Brunai noble should never put his hand to any honest physical work—even for his own recreation. I once . . . Read More