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The Adventures of Badang by unknown


It is related that there once lived at Salouang a husbandman who owned a slave named Badang, whom he employed in clearing forest-land. It happened one day that Badang spread his nets in the river; but on the following morning he found his net quite empty, and by its side some fish-scales and fish-bones. The same thing took place for some days following. Badang flung the fish-scales (sisik) into the river; from which circumstance was derived the river's name, Besisik.

Meanwhile the slave said to himself: “Who is it who eats the fish caught in my net? I must watch and find out.”

With this intention he hid one day behind some trees and saw a hantou, or evil genius, or monster, who was eating the fish taken in his net. This hantou had eyes red as fire, his hair was like woven osiers, and his beard fell down to his waist. Badang drew his knife, and, screwing up his courage, rushed up to the hantou and seized him.

“Every day,” he said, “you eat up my fish. But this time you shall die at my hands.”

On hearing these words, the hantou was afraid, and slipped aside, wishing to avoid the hands of his adversary; but failing to do so, he said to him: “Do not kill me; I will give you what you wish, on condition that you spare my life.”

Badang thought: “If I ask for riches, my master will claim them. If I ask the power to become invisible, they will put me to death as a sorcerer. Therefore it is best for me to ask for the gift of physical strength, in order that I may do the work of my master.”

In accordance with this resolution, Badang said to the hantou, “Give me the gift of physical strength; let me be strong enough to tear down and to uproot the trees; that is, that I may tear down, with one hand, great trees, a fathom or two in girth.”

The hantou answered: “Your prayer is granted. You wish for strength; I will give it to you; but first it is necessary that you eat up what I vomit.”

“Very well,” said Badang; “vomit, and I will eat it up.” The hantou vomited, and Badang set to work to eat it. He held the hantou by the beard, and would not let him go. Then he attempted the uprooting of great trees; and, seeing that he tore them up with ease, he let go the beard of the hantou.

Afterward, coming and going through the forest, he tore down enormous trees; he carried off, roots and all, those of a fathom or two in girth. As for the small ones, he tore them up by handfuls and flung them on all sides. In a moment the forest which had been a wilderness became level as a great plain.

When his master saw this work he said: “Who has cleared our land? For I see that it is suddenly freed entirely from trees and brushwood.”

“It is I,” said Badang, “who have effected this clearance.”

Then answered the master: “How have you been able to do this, single- handed, so quickly and in one job?”

Then Badang related all the details of his adventure, and his master gave him his liberty.

The report of these occurrences reached Singapore. King Krama immediately ordered that Badang be brought before him, and he called him Raden (i.e., Royal Prince).

Once upon a time the King of Singapore ordered Badang to fetch for his repast the fruit of kouras, at the river Sayang. Badang went there alone in his pilang, or boat, which was eight fathoms long, and he punted it with a pole cut from the trunk of a kampas-tree a fathom in girth.

When he arrived at the river Sayang, he clasped the kouras -tree. The branches broke, the tree fell, and his head struck against a huge rock. His head was not injured, but the rock was split in two. This stone is still seen to-day on the river Sayang, and it bears the name of Balou- blah, which means the “Riven Rock.” His pole and boat have also been preserved to the present day. The day following his exploit Badang started back for Singapore, with his pilang completely laden with sugar-cane, bananas, and keladion, or edible lily, root. He had eaten the whole cargo before he arrived at Djohor-the-Old.

On another occasion the King of Singapore had caused a large ship to be built, fifteen fathoms long, in front of the palace. The vessel being finished, between forty and fifty men were ordered to push it into the water. They were unable to launch it. As many as 2,000 or 3,000 persons were equally unsuccessful. Then the King ordered Badang to undertake the operation. Badang undertook the task unaided, and pushed with such force that the vessel went right across the strait to the other shore. For this feat the King appointed him houloubalong, or officer of military rank.

A report reached the province of Kling that among the officers of the King was a man of extraordinary strength, named Badang. Now there was a powerful athlete at the court of the King of Kling, who had no rival in the country. His name was Madia-Bibjaya-Pelkrama. The King ordered him to go to Singapore with seven vessels; “Go,” said he, “and wrestle with this officer. If he defeat you, give him as a prize the cargo of the seven vessels; if you are victorious, demand of him an equal forfeit.”

“I obey, your Majesty,” said the athlete, and started off with the seven vessels.

When he arrived at Singapore they brought news to the King of the city, saying: “An athlete has arrived from the land of Kling to compete with Badang in many kinds of sports. If he is defeated, he will leave the cargo of his seven vessels as forfeit.”

The King came out of his palace to give audience. The Hindoo athlete presented himself. The prince told him to try a bout with Badang. Badang beat him in every round.

Now facing the balerong, or court of audience, was an enormous rock. The athlete said to Badang: “Come, let us match our strength by lifting this stone. Whoever cannot lift it will be conquered.”

“Do you try first,” said Badang.

The athlete commenced, and made many attempts without succeeding in lifting it. At last, mustering all his strength, he raised it to the height of his knee and let it fall again.

“Now it is your turn, my master,” he said.

“Very good,” answered Badang, and lifting the stone he swung it in the air, then hurled it toward the river, at the entrance to the town, where it is still seen at the extremity of the point of Singapore.

The athlete of Kling, thus vanquished, handed to Badang the seven vessels and their cargoes; then he returned, very much saddened and mortified by his defeat.

Now the report came to the country of Perlak that there was at Singapore an officer of the King named Badang without a rival in extraordinary strength. The King of Perlak, so runs the story, had an athlete named Bandarang, also very strong and of a great reputation. This athlete was before the King when they spoke of Badang.

“My lord,” he asked, “is Badang stronger than I am? If you will permit me, I will go to Singapore to try an assault with him.”

“Very well; go to Singapore,” said the King. Turning to the prime minister, Toun Parapatih, he said:

“Get ready a praho, for I am going to send Bandarang to Singapore.” When all was ready, a royal litter was prepared and the minister embarked with the athlete, and after a while reached Singapore. Prince Sri Rana Ouira Krama received the King's litter in the audience- chamber, among the radjas, ministers, body-guards, heralds, and other grand officers upon his command.

Then the prince, addressing the ambassador, asked: “With what commission is our brother charged?”

The ambassador replied: “Behold, I have received the command of your illustrious younger brother to bring here this subject Bandarang, to try his strength with Badang. If Bandarang is vanquished, your brother will place at your Majesty's feet the contents of a storehouse; and if Badang succumbs, you shall offer us the equivalent.”

“Very well,” said the King; “to-morrow everything shall be arranged for the struggle.” The King retired to the palace, summoned Badang, and said to him:

“You know, Badang, that to-morrow you will have to contend with Bandarang.”

“My lord,” answered Badang, “know that this man is a powerful athlete, of extraordinary strength, famous in all countries. If your slave is vanquished will it not cast some discredit on the sovereign? If your Majesty thinks it wise, let us both be called into your presence together, so that I may test him; and if I feel myself capable of competing with him, we will have the contest; but if he is too strong for me, then your Majesty can oppose the struggle.”

“You are right,” said the King. That is why, when night came, the prince invited Toun Parapatih Pendek, Bandarang, and their companions. When they arrived they were served with a collation. Bandarang was seated beside Badang, who began to test him. They tried each other's strength without attracting attention.

At the end of an hour, when the guests were in wine, the King asked Badang if he were strong enough to struggle with Bandarang, who declared that he was equal to him. On the other hand, when Toun Parapatih Pendek had returned to the ship, Bandarang said to him:

“Lord, if you will permit me to advise, there will be no contest between Badang and me. I might not conquer, for I have learned how powerful he is.”

“Very well,” said the minister; “it is very easy to arrange that.”

So the minister said to the King: “It is my opinion that we should prevent this struggle; for if one of the contestants should be vanquished in some bad way, a quarrel might arise out of it between your Majesty and the sovereign your brother.”

The King agreed, and the ambassador asked leave to return home. The prince had a letter written for the King of Perlak. It was carried in state on board the ship and the envoy, after receiving vestments of honor, set sail to his own country. Arriving, he told the King all that had taken place. Later Badang died and was buried at Bourou. When the news of his death arrived at that country, the King of Kling sent a carved stone, which is now seen at Bourou.

And now as to the kings of Pasey. The authors of this story declare that there were two brothers named Marah who lived near Pasangan. They were originally from the mountain of Sanggong. The elder was named Mara-Tchaga, and the younger Marah-Silou. Marah-Silou was engaged in casting nets. Having taken some kalang-kalang, he rejected them and cast his net anew. The kalang-kalang were caught again. After several attempts with the same result, Marah-Silou had these kalang-kalang boiled. And behold, the wretched things became gold and their froth became silver. Marah-Silou caught more kalang-kalang, boiled them, and again saw them become gold and silver. He had thus acquired much store of gold and silver, when one day the news came to Marah-Tchaga that his younger brother was catching kalang-kalang, and he was so irritated that he wished to kill him. When Marah-Silou learned of this design, he took refuge in the forest of Djawn. The place where he fished is still called the Plain of Kalang-Kalang.

Marah-Silou, established in the forest of Djawn, gave gold to those who dwelt there, and they all obeyed his commands. One day when he was hunting, his dog, named Si Pasey, began to bark on a slight hill which one would have believed made by the hand of man. Climbing the small hill he saw an ant as big as a cat. He took it and ate it up. The place was afterward called Samodra; that is to say, “The Big Ant.” Now it is said that the prophet of God—blessings be upon him!—once told his companions:

“There will be a country some day, toward the south, called Samoudra. When you hear it spoken of, hasten thither to convert the inhabitants to Islam, for in that country many will become the friends of God. But there will also be the king of a country called Mataba, whom you must take with you.”

A long time after this decree of the prophet, the fakir Mahomet went to Samoudra. Reaching the shore, he met Marah-Silou, who was gathering shells. The fakir asked him:

“What is the name of this country?”

“Its name is Samoudra,” answered Marah-Silou.

“And what is the sovereign's name?”

“I am the sovereign of all who dwell here,” said Marah-Silou.

The fakir Mahomet converted Marah-Silou to Islam and taught him the words of the creed. Now Marah-Silou being asleep dreamed that he was in the presence of the prophet of God, and the prophet said to him, “Marah-Silou, open your mouth.” He opened it and the prophet spat in it, and Marah-Silou, awaking, perceived throughout his whole body a perfume like that of spikenard. When day broke he told his dream.

“This is truly the country of Samoudra of which the prophet of God has spoken,” said the fakir Mahomet. Bringing from the ship all the royal ensigns aboard, he proclaimed Marah-Silou king with the title of Sultan Melik-es-Salih.

Sultan Melik-es-Salih sent Sidi Ali Ghaiath-ed-Din to the country of Perlak. This prince had three daughters, two of blood-royal on their mother's side, and one born of a concubine. The latter was called the princess Ganggang. When Sidi Ali Ghaiath arrived at Perlak they showed him the three daughters. The two sisters of the blood-royal were seated lower than the princess Ganggang, who occupied a high seat. The latter, by order of her father, was cleaning arec nuts for her two sisters, like one doing the honors of the household. She wore rose-colored garments and a violet cloak. Her ears were adorned with soubangs made with the young leaves of the lontar. She was very beautiful.

Sidi Ali Ghaiath-ed-Din said to the King of Perlak, “That one of your daughters who is seated above is the one I ask in marriage for my master, your son.” The envoy knew not that Princess Ganggang was the daughter of a concubine.

The King burst out laughing. “Very well,” he said, “let the will of my son be accomplished.” Then he gave orders to equip 100 prahos, and Toun Parapatih received the command to accompany the princess to the country of Samoudra.

Sultan Melik-es-Salih went to meet the princess as far as Djambou Ayer. He introduced her into Samoudra with a thousand honors and splendors, and married her. The marriage accomplished, the prince gave presents to the ministers and to the officers, and showed himself lavish in gold and silver to the poor of the country. As for Toun Parapatih Pendek, he took leave to return to Perlak. Sultan Melik-es-Salih and the princess Ganggang had two sons who received from the prince the names of Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir and Sultan Melik-el-Mansour. The elder was confided to Sidi Ali Ghaiath-ed-Din and the other to Sidi Ali Asmai-ed-Din. Years passed and the two young princes had grown up. Perlak had been conquered by an enemy come from the opposite coast, and the inhabitants of the country had migrated to Samoudra. Sultan Melik-es-Salih conceived the plan of founding a city to establish his sons there. He said to the great ones, “To-morrow I shall go hunting.” The next morning he set out, mounted on an elephant called Perma Diouana. He passed to the other side of the water. When he came to land his dog Si Pasey began to bark. The prince ran up and saw that he was barking before a hillock, sufficiently extended for the erection of a palace and its dependencies, level on top and well disposed. Sultan Melik had the ground cleared and built a palace and a city there. After the name of his dog he called the palace Pasey, and established as king his son Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir, with Sidi Ali Ghaiath as minister. He divided his men, his elephants, and his royal standards into two parts, one for each of his sons.

Some time after this, the prince, having fallen ill, commanded the grandees to assemble and called his two sons and spoke as follows: “Oh, my two sons, and you all, my companions, my last hour is approaching. You men be good to those whom I leave behind. And you, my sons, beware of being envious of another's good, and of the wives and daughters of your subjects. Maintain between you the union of two brothers, abstain from all injustice, and avoid between you every cause of quarrel.” He said also to Sidi Ali Gaiath-ed-Din and to Sidi Asmai-ed-Din:

“Oh, my brothers, take care of these two sons. Stir not up trouble between them. Be faithful to them and never give your allegiance to another king.” The two young princes bowed their heads and wept.

As for the two ministers, “Lord,” they said, “light of our eyes, we swear by the sovereign Master who created the worlds that we will never break our promises, that we will never lack in our fidelity or render homage to another king than your two well-beloved sons.”

Then Sultan Melik-es-Salih named his son Melik-el-Mansour, King of Samoudra. Three days later he died and was buried in the interior of the palace. Their father dead, the two young princes, his sons, commanded the royal herald to assemble the officers and soldiers, elephants and horses, as well as the royal insignia of the country of Pasey. And the two cities grew and flourished more and more. God knows best the truth. He is our aid and our refuge.

Now this is the story of the King Chehr-en-Naoui. His power was great, his officers and soldiers innumerable. They told this prince that the country of Samoudra had a large population, many merchants, and a powerful king. Chehr-en-Naoui said to his officers:

“Which of you would be able to take the King of Samoudra?”

One of his officers very strong and brave, Aoui Ditchou, bowed and said: “Lord, if your Majesty will give me 4,000 chosen warriors, I will take the King of Samoudra alive and bring him to the foot of your Majesty's throne.”

The King gave him the 4,000 warriors and 100 ships. When they were ready Aoui Ditchou sailed toward Samoudra, feigning that the ships were bent on commerce up to the very moment when they reached the end of the voyage. Then he caused it to be said that he was an ambassador of the King Chehr-en-Naoui, and the King of Samoudra sent some officers to receive him.

Landing, Aoui Ditchou put into four chests four lusty houlou-balongs, to whom he said: “Presently, when you are in the presence of the King of Samoudra, open the chests, leap out, and seize the King.” The chests were fastened from within. They took them ashore in state as presents from the King Chehr-en-Naoui. When they were in the presence of the prince, a message couched in flattering terms was read, and the chests were brought in. Immediately the houlou-balongs opened the chests, sprang out, and seized the sovereign. The soldiers uttered fierce cries and unsheathed their arms to attack the band of Chehr-en-Naoui's men. But the latter cried:

“If you fall upon us, we will kill your King.”

So the soldiers paused in their attack. Aoui Ditchou and his people returned, bringing with them the King of Samoudra. They crossed the sea and regained their own country. There the prisoner-King was conducted by Aoui Ditchou before King Chehr-en-Naoui, who was very joyful and loaded the head of the expedition and all his companions with honors. As for the King of Samoudra, they made him a poultry-keeper.

Now let us talk of Sidi Ali Gaiath-ed-Din. Having consulted with the principal ministers in the country of Samoudra, he equipped a ship and purchased a cargo of Arabic merchandise, for the inhabitants of Pasey at that time all knew the Arabic language. Sidi Ali and the soldiers whom he embarked on the ship with him took all the ways and manners of the Arabs. The minister being on board and all being made ready, they set sail for the country of Chehr-en-Naoui, where they arrived after a short voyage. Sidi Ali landed and went to present himself to the King, bearing as a gift a tree of gold, of which the fruits were all sorts of precious stones, and which was worth an almost inconceivable sum. When the prince saw this present he asked:

“What do you want of me?”

Sidi Ali replied, “We want nothing.”

The King was highly pleased, although surprised by such a magnificent present. And he said to himself, “Now, what can be the aim of these people giving me all this?” The pretended Arabs returned to their ships. A few days after, the master of the ship returned to visit the King. This time he brought as a present a chess-board of gold of which the chessmen were of precious stones, which was worth an enormous sum.

“What do you want of me?” again asked the prince. “Speak, that I may satisfy you.”

And they replied, “We ask for nothing.”

Then they returned to the ship. Some time later, when the favorable monsoon blew for their return homeward, Sidi Ali Ghaiath thought upon his departure. He went to see the King, laden with a present which consisted of two golden ducks, male and female, enriched with precious stones, and in a big golden basin. He filled this golden basin with water, put in the ducks. They began to swim, dive, and pursue each other, a sight at which the King marvelled much.

“I beg of you to tell me,” he said, “what you desire of me. By the God whom I worship, I swear to fulfil your wishes.”

Then Sidi Ali answered: “Lord, if it is the accomplishment of your favor, we beg that you will give us your poultry-keeper.”

“It is the King of Pasey that you ask of me. But, very well, I grant him to you.”

“It is because he is a Mussulman,” said the strangers, “that we ask him of your Majesty.”

The King Chehr-en-Naoui delivered therefore the Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir to Sidi Ali Gaiath-ed-Din, who took him on board the ship, gave him a bath, and then clothed him in royal raiment. The wind blew, they weighed anchor, set sail, and after a certain time arrived at the country of Samoudra. And God knows the truth. He is our aid and our refuge.

Now we are going to speak of the King Melik-el-Mansour at Samoudra. This prince said one day to Sidi Ali Asmai-ed-Din:

“I would like to go and see how my brother is getting along.”

The minister answered, “Do not go, my lord, for fear of misfortune.” And, indeed, he tried to restrain his master. The prince would listen to nothing, and finally the minister was silent. He ordered the drums to beat, in order to make the announcement, “Sultan Melik-el-Mansour is going to see the country of his brother.”

Sidi Ali Asmai-ed-Din was not satisfied. He was an old minister who knew that out of every affair causes of trouble may arise. But it was his duty to obey. The prince started. He made the tour of the city of Pasey, and then entered the palace of the Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir. There he fell in love with one of the ladies-of-honor of his brother's court, and a quarrel arose between the two brothers on her account. Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir felt in the bottom of his heart a violent irritation toward his brother.

Now he had a son named Radja Ahmed, very young when his father was captured, but grown up when the prince was restored from the hands of Chehr-en-Naoui. Sidi Ali Ghaiath-ed-Din having withdrawn from affairs, a minister named Parapatih Toulous Toukang Sikari had replaced him in his ministerial functions. One day the King said to the minister:

“What is your opinion concerning the act of Sultan Melik-el-Mansour?”

The minister answered: “We have a means——”

“But,” answered the King, “it might involve his death.”

“If he dies,” replied the minister, “my name shall be no longer Toukang.”

“Give a family fete for your son Sultan Ahmed. We will invite Sultan Melik-el-Mansour to the festival.”

Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir gave orders then to decorate the city and made preparations for the fete, and sent to find Sultan Melik-el-Mansour. This prince was with Sidi Ali Asmai-ed-Din and his officers. They introduced the prince and his minister, but left the officers outside. When they had entered, Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir caused them both to be seized and ordered one of his officers to conduct his brother to Mandjang. “As for you,” he said to Sidi Ali, “stay here. Do not try to go with your master or I'll cut off your head.”

Sidi Ali answered: “Rather let my head be separated from my body than that the servant should be separated from his master.”

So the King had his head cut off. The head was thrown into the sea and the body impaled at the entrance to the Bay of Pasey. While they were taking the Sultan Melik-el-Mansour toward the east in a prabo, at the moment when they arrived near Djambou Ayer, the pilot saw a human head floating in the water near the rudder. He recognized the head of Sidi Ali. Informed of this event, Sultan Melik-el-Mansour caused the head to be taken from the water. It was indeed that of his minister. Casting his glances toward the land: “Behold,” he said, “the Plain of Illusions.” And it bears that name, “Padang-Maya,” to this day. The prince sent to his brother and demanded the body of Sidi Ali; joined the head with the body, and buried both in the Plain of Illusion. Then he went back to Mandjang.

After the departure of the Sultan Melik-el-Mansour, King Melik-ed-Dhahir had the family festival. The Sultan Melik-el-Mansour had been at Mandjang three years when the Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir bethought him of his brother.

“Alas,” he said, “I was truly too unwise. For a woman my brother dethroned, and his minister is dead.”

And the prince repented. He ordered some of his officers to go and find his brother at Mandjang. They therefore brought back Sultan Melik-el- Mansour with the regard due to a king. When they arrived near the Plain of Maya, the prince landed to visit the tomb of Sidi Ali Asmai-ed-Din. “I salute you, my father,” he said. “Stay here, my father. As for me I go away, called by my brother.”

From the interior of the tomb Sidi Ali answered: “Where would the prince go? It is better to remain here.”

When the prince heard these words, he made his ablutions, said a couple of prayers, then stretched himself upon the tomb and expired. They bore to Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir the news that his brother was dead, in the Plain of Maya, in the tomb of Sidi Ali Asmai-ed-Din. He started at once, went to the place, and had his brother, Sultan Melik-el-Mansour, buried with the ceremonies of great kings. Then, after returning to Pasey, a prey to grief, he abdicated the throne in favor of his son, Sultan Ahmed.

Some time after this, Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir fell ill. He gave Sultan Ahmed his last instructions. “O my son,” said he, “light of my eyes, treasure of my heart, never neglect the advice of your old servitors. In every affair take counsel with your ministers. Neglect not the duties of piety to God, the sovereign Master. Beware of injustice to men.”

Sultan Ahmed heard in tears the last words of his father. The prince died, and they buried him near the mosque.

Sultan Ahmed was for many years on the throne and governed with much justice. Now, the author of this story says: “There was at Pasey a servant of God named Toun Djana Khatite. This man made the voyage to Singapore with two companions. Crossing the square of Singapore he passed by the palace of the King and saw the Queen. Near the palace was an areca tree, and while Toun Djana was looking at the Queen the tree split in two. At sight of this, King Sri Maharadja was extremely irritated. 'You see,' he cried, 'the conduct of Toun Djana Khatite. To call the attention of the Queen, he has acted thus. And he ordered him to be killed. So Toun Djana was led to the place of punishment, near a cake-shop, where Toun Djana Khatite received the blow of the poniard; his blood ran on the earth, but his body disappeared and no one could ever tell what became of it. The cake-shop-keeper covered the blood with the cake-cover, and the cake-cover was changed into stone, which is still seen at Singapore. According to a tradition, the body of Toun Djana Khatite was transported to Langkaoui and there buried.”

Some time later came the sea-monsters called toudaks and attacked Singapore. They leaped upon the shore, and people who were there died in great numbers, overtaken by these toudaks. If they struck a man on the breast, they pierced to his back. If they struck the neck or the loins, they pierced clear through from one side to the other. There were many killed. People ran about crying:

“The toudaks are attacking us!”

“What shall we do?”

“How many dead? We shall all perish!”

Padouka Sri Maharadja in great haste mounts the elephant and goes forth, followed by his ministers, his body-guards, and all his officers. Arriving at the seashore he sees with horror the work of these monsters, the toudaks. Whoever was wounded by them inevitably perished. The number of the victims became larger and larger. The prince ordered the men to make a rampart of their legs, but in their boundings the toudaks succeeded in passing this barrier. They came like the rain, and the slaughter was terrible. While this was happening a young boy said:

“Why make thus a rampart of our legs? That is an artifice very much to our hurt. If we should make a rampart of the trunks of banana-trees, would not that be better?”

When Padouka Sri Maharadja heard the words of the child, “He is right,” he said. And on his orders they hastened to construct a barrier of banana-tree trunks. When the toudaks came bounding along their snouts were buried in the tree-trunks, and the men ran up and killed them. There perished thus of these toudaks a number beyond computation. Their bodies formed heaps on the shore, and all the population of Singapore did not suffice to eat them. And the toudaks ceased their leapings. They say, by the force of their boundings the toudaks reached the elephant of the prince and tore the sleeve of his cloak. About this they made a song:

  “The boundings of the toudaks tore
   The mantle which the Sultan wore,
   But here they ceased their onset wild,
   Thanks to the wisdom of a child.”

While Padouka Sri Maharadja was returning, the grandees said to him: “Lord, this child, though so young, has much wit. What will it be when he has grown up? You had better get rid of him.” That is why they found it just that the King should give the order for him to be killed.

After they had caused this young boy to perish, it seems that the city of Singapore felt the weight of his blood.

Padouka Sri Maharadja reigned some time still and then died. He had as successor his son Padja Is Keuder Chah, who married the daughter of Toun Parapatih Toulous, and by her had a son named Radja Ahmed Timang-timanganga Radja Besar Mouda. This young prince was handsome and well formed, without equal in those days. When he was of age his father married him to the daughter of the King Salamiam, King of Kota-Mahlikie, who was named Kamar-al-Adjaaib, a princess of unrivalled beauty. King Is Keuder Chah had a bendahari, or major-domo, named Lang Radjouna Tapa, of the race of ancient inhabitants of Singapore, father of a very beautiful girl in the court of the King. The other court ladies calumniated this young woman, and the King in a rage ordered her to be impaled in the corner of the marketplace.

Lang Radjouna Tapa was extremely wounded by the treatment of his daughter. “If in truth my daughter had offended,” said he, “you might have simply had her killed. But why dishonor us thus?” On this he wrote a letter to Java saying, “If the Batara of Madjapahit wishes to attack Singapore let him come at once, for I will give him entrance into the fortifications.”

When the Batara of Madjapahit had read this letter he caused to be equipped 300 junks and a great quantity of other boats. A hundred thousand Javanese embarked, crossed the sea, and attacked Singapore. At the end of several days King Is Keuder commanded his major-domo to carry rice for the rations of the troops. Lang Radjouna Tapa answered, “There is no more, my Lord.” For he wished to betray him. At daybreak he opened the gates of the fortifications and the Javanese entered. Inside the town there was a frantic combat. So many people were killed on each side that blood flowed like water. From this came the marks of blood which are seen to this day in the Plain of Singapore. The natives ceased their struggle and King Is Keuder escaped, descending from Salitar to the Moara coast. By the will of God, the house of Lang Radjouna Tapa was overturned, the storehouse for rice fell to pieces, and the rice was changed to earth. The bendahari himself and his wife were changed to stone, and these stones are still found in the ditch at Singapore. After this victory the Javanese returned to Madjapahit.

On arriving at Moara, King Is Keuder halted at nightfall. Now there came a multitude of iguanas, and, when day dawned they saw them gathered in a crowd near the halting-place. They killed them and threw their bodies into the river. But at night, iguanas again came in mass. The next morning the Singaporeans killed them, but that night as many more arrived. So that the place became putrid from the multitude of their bodies. The quarter is still called Biaoak Bousok, or “Putrid Iguanas.”

King Is Keuder Chah set out and came to another place, where he built a fort. But all they constructed by day was overturned by night. And the place still bears the name of Kota-Bourok, or “Ruined Fort.”

Starting from there the King advanced into the interior during many days and came to the Saning Oudjong. He found this place agreeable and left a minister there. Hence comes it that to this day Saning Oudjong is the residence of a minister. Then the King returned toward the coast near a river at the shore of the sea. The river was called Bartain. Is Keuder Chah halted at the foot of a very bushy tree. Then he began hunting. His dog, chasing some game, was struck by the foot of a little white gazelle and fell into the water. On this the prince cried:

“Here is a good place to build a city, for even the little gazelles are valiant here.”

And all the grandees said, “His Majesty is right.” The King therefore gave orders for the construction of a city at this place. He asked, “What is the name of this tree against which I have been leaning?”

Someone answered, “It is a malaka-tree.” “Very well,” said he, “let Malaka be the name of the city.”

The prince established himself at Malaka. He had lived thirty-two years at Singapore, up to the capture of that town by the Javanese. He lived for three years more at Malaka, and then died, by the vicissitudes of this world, and had as successor his son Radja Besar Mouda.

This prince governed with justice. He regulated the etiquette of the court. He first established a ministry of ceremonies to direct people who came to Balerong, and forty heralds who stood below the throne ready to take the orders of the King and carry to him the words of the public. He instituted among the sons of the grandees a body of pages serving as royal messengers and bearing everywhere the royal equipage.

This prince had three sons, Radeu Bagousa, Radeu Tengah, and Radeu Anoumah, who all married daughters of Bauhara Toun Parapatih Toulous. At his death, Radeu Bagousa took his functions with the title of Toun Parapatih Permouka Berdjadjar.

When, by the vicissitudes of the world, King Besar Mouda died, his son Radeu Tengah succeeded him. The latter had a son called Radja Kitchil Bessar, who at his death was his successor. He was just and guarded the interests of his subjects. No one in his time among the kings of the world equalled him in liberality. And the city of Malaka became large, well peopled, and the meeting-place of merchants. This King married a daughter of Toun Parapatih Permouka Berdjadjar, and by her had two sons, Radja Kitchil Mainbang and Radja Makat. He reigned for a certain time, when one night he dreamed that he was in the presence of the glorious prophet of God, on whom be blessings! And the prophet said to him, “Recite the words of the creed.” And Radja Kitchil Bessar did as the prophet commanded.

“Your name shall be Sultan Mahomet,” said the prophet. “To-morrow at the moment of the Asr (in the afternoon) there will arrive a ship from Djedda, from which the men will descend to pray on the shore of Malaka. Follow all their orders.”

“Yes, Lord,” replied the prince, “I shall obey your word.”

And the prophet disappeared. When day came the King awaked. He perceived upon his body the odor of spikenard and saw that he bore certain marks. “It is clear,” he thought, “that my dream does not come from Satan.” And he began to recite without relaxation the words of the creed.

The ladies-of-honor who were in the palace were very much surprised to hear the King speak thus. “Has the King been touched by Satan, or has he lost his wits? Let us hasten to inform the bendahari.” They ran to tell the bendahari, who came at once, entered the palace, and saw the King repeating without cessation the words of the creed.

“What is this language in which the King is speaking?” said the minister.

“Last night,” said the King, “I dreamed that I was in the presence of the glorious prophet.” And he told his dream to the bendahari.

“If your dream is not an illusion,” said the latter, “what is the sign?”

“Here is the sign that proves that I have really seen in a dream the prophet of God. Furthermore, the prophet told me: 'To-day, at Asr, there will arrive a ship from Djedda, from which the people will descend to say their prayers on the shore of Malaka. Follow their directions.'“

The bendahari was surprised at seeing the marks on the King.

“Truly,” he said, “if a ship arrives at the hour stated, then your dream is a reality. If it does not arrive, we shall judge that Satan must have troubled your spirit.”

The King replied, “My father is right.” And the bendahari returned to his house.

Now at the hour of Asr there arrived a ship from Djedda which cast anchor. The master came on shore. He was called Sidi Abd-el-Aziz. He said his prayers on the shore of Malaka. The inhabitants, astonished at the sight, said:

“Why does he stoop so and prostrate himself so?”

And to see him better, the people pressed around, leaving no spot vacant, and making a great tumult.

The noise reached the palace, and the King mounted an elephant and came in haste, accompanied by his grandees. He saw the master making all the ceremonies of his prayer, and all was in evident accord with the dream.

“It is exactly as in my dream,” he exclaimed to the bendahari and the grandees.

When the master had finished praying, the King made his elephant stoop, and took up the master with him and carried him to the palace. The bendahari and the grandees all became Mussulmans, and by command of the King so did all the population, men and women, great and small, young and old. The master taught the King the ceremonies of prayer, and gave him the name of Sultan Mahomet Chah. The bendahari received the title of Sri Ouak Radja; that is to say, “Paternal Uncle of the King,” which he was in fact. And that is the first title of the bendahari.

Sultan Mahomet regulated the ceremonial customs of the court. He was the first to prohibit yellow for the clothes of the person strange to the court, for handkerchiefs, borders of curtains, pillow-cases, mattresses, coverings of all kinds, ornaments of every nature, as well as for the decoration of houses.

Furthermore the use of only three kinds of garments was permitted—the kain, the badjoa, and the destar. It was also forbidden to construct houses with projections sustained upon pillars not touching the ground, or with pillars extending beyond the roof or with observatories. The prahos could have no windows in front. It was forbidden to carry clasps or ornaments of gold on the kris. No one strange to the court could have gold rings nor pins nor jingling bangles of gold and silver. Nobody without the royal consent had the right to wear on his clothes gilding of any sort; but the authorization once granted, one might wear it indefinitely. When a man presented himself at the palace, if he had a vesture falling beneath the girdle, if his kris was not attached in front, if he was not clad in a sabec, he was not admitted, whatever might be his distinction. If anyone entered with his kris attached behind, the officer took it away from him.

Such were formerly the prohibitions of the Malay kings. Whoever transgressed was guilty of lese-majeste and was condemned to pay a fine of one to five katis. White parasols were held in higher esteem than yellow ones, because they could be seen at a greater distance. That is why they were ranked higher; the first were for the King and the second for the princes. The objects of the king's private use, such as the spittoon, the ewer for his ablutions, the fan, and other like objects, had no fixed place, except the betel-tray and the sword, which they kept at the right and left of the sovereign. At the arrival and departure of an ambassador, the servitors of the King brought from the palace dishes and basins which were received by the head of the bataras and deposited near the bendahari. They gave a dish and a scarf to the bearer of the letter. If the missive came from Pasey or from Harau, it was received with all the royal pomp—drum, flute, trumpet, kettledrum, and two white parasols together; but the bugle did not figure at this reception. The ministers preceded the elephant bearing the message, the bataras followed it with the sida-sida. The letter was borne by the chief of the bedaouenda, and they placed the elephant at the extremity of the balei. For the kings of these two countries were equal in greatness to the King of Malaka. Younger or older, all gave the salaam.

Having reached the audience-chamber, the letter was received by the chief of heralds of the right, the one of the left being charged with transmitting the words of the King to the ambassador, and the herald of the right transmitted the answer. If the message came from another country than Pasey and Harau, they suppressed part of the men. The cortege included only the drum, the flute, and a yellow parasol. They took, as was suitable, now an elephant, now a horse, and they halted outside the first exterior gate. When the message came from a more considerable sovereign, they employed the flute and two parasols, one white and one yellow. The elephant passed through the exterior gate, for formerly the royal entrance included seven fortifications. At his departure, the ambassador received a complete investiture, even were he only a simple ambassador of Rakan. The same gift was offered to our own ambassadors at the moment of their departure.

When the King conferred a title, he gave audience in the falerong, with the following procedure: According to the rank, the person to be honored was brought on an elephant, on horseback, or simply on foot, with parasol, drum, and flute. There were green, blue, and red parasols. The noblest were the yellow and the white, which with the kettle-drums represented the height of distinction. The yellow with the trumpet was also very distinguished; they were the parasols of the princes and greatest personages. The violet, red, and green parasols were those of the sida-sida, of the bataras, and of the houlou balongs. The blue and black ones served for any other person summoned to receive a title. When the personage arrived at the palace, he was detained without. Then they read before the King a very fine piece. It was a descendant of Batl that held this office. The piece read, they took it out. He who received it was of the family of the candidate for honors. With this piece they brought a tetampan scarf with which the reader invested the candidate, whom he then introduced into the audience-chamber. There a mat was stretched for him to sit upon in whatever place the King designated.

Then arrived the vestments. For a personage promoted to the ranks of the bendahari there were five trays. The sons of radjas and the grand officers had four trays only, and so on down through the various ranks. The servitors of the King charged with this duty approached the beneficiary and placed the vestments upon his shoulders. He crossed his arms, to hold the vestments in place, and they took him outside. The etiquette in that was the same for ambassadors awarded an investiture, each according to the rights of his rank. The beneficiary dressed himself outside and then re-entered. They decorated him with a frontlet and with bracelets, for every man who received a title wore bracelets, each according to his dignity. Some had bracelets in the form of a dragon with amulets, others had bracelets of precious stones, others of blue enamel, others of silver. These wore them on both wrists, those on only one. The beneficiary thus decorated went and bowed before the King. Then he returned accompanied according to his rank, or by the person who introduced him. The cortege included now a drum and a flute alone, now trumpets or kettledrums, sometimes a white parasol; but the white parasol was a rare honor, as well as the kettle-drums, for the yellow parasol and the trumpet were very hard to obtain in those times.

On festival days, when the King went forth in a palanquin, he was surrounded by high officers of state. At the head, before the sovereign, marched the bataras and the houlou balongs, each following their charge. Footmen, also before the King, bore the royal insignia. The royal pikes were at the right and left; the bataras had sword at shoulder. Before them marched the lancers. When the King gives a festival it is the panghoulou bendahari who arranges everything inside the palace, stretches mats, decorates the balerong, and places the bangings on the ceilings. It is he who looks after the repasts and sends the invitations; for the servitors of the King, his bendahari, his tax-gatherers, and the receiver of the port all depend on the administration of the panghoulou bendahari. He invites the guests and the temonggoreg seats them. In the hall the guests eat four at a dish, to the end of the platform. If any one of the various fours are lacking the others eat without him, by threes or by twos or even one alone. For it is not permitted for those below to ascend to make up the number. The bendahari eats alone or from the same dish as the princes.

Such was in former days the etiquette of Malaka. There were many other regulations, but to relate them all would weary the attentions of my readers. At the month of Ramadhau, at the twenty-seventh night, while it was still light, they went in state to make adorations to the mosque. The Temonggoreg was at the head of the elephant. They first took in state to the mosque the betel-tray, the royal insignia, and the drum. When night came, the King started for the mosque, following the ceremonial of festival days, made the prayer of perfumes, and returned.

The next day the laksamana carried in state the turban, for the Malay kings were accustomed to go to the mosque in a turban, a badjon, and a sarong. These vestments were forbidden at weddings except by express permission. It was also forbidden to dress in the Hindoo fashion. Only those persons who had worn this costume for a long time were allowed to wear it at prayers and at weddings. Festival days, great or small, the bendahari and the grandees assembled at the palace, and the panghoulou bendahari brought in pomp the palanquin. As soon as they saw it appear, the persons seated in the balei descended and stood about. Seven times they beat upon the drum, and each time the trumpet sounded. After the seventh, the King set out on an elephant and came to the platform erected for that purpose, which he mounted. At sight of him, all those present bowed to the earth, except the bendahari, who mounted the platform to receive him. The palanquin having approached, the King placed himself in it, and they started for the mosque according to the ceremonial above mentioned.

Such was formerly the etiquette of the Malay kings. Such I learned it, such I tell it. If I commit any error, I desire to be convicted by anyone who has given attention to this story, and implore the indulgence of the reader.


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