One of the king's secretaries, who was a confirmed opium-smoker, assured me he would rather die at once than be excluded from the region of raptures his pipe opened to him. It is commonly supposed that the Buddhists of Siam and Birmah regard the Chang Phoouk, or white elephant, as a deity, and worship it accordingly. The notion is erroneous, especially as it relates to Siam.
From the earliest times the kings of Siam and Birmah have anxiously sought for the white elephant, and having had the rare fortune to procure one, have loaded it with gifts and dignities, as though it were a conscious favorite of the throne.
But I cannot completely make out his back parts; and hint what he will about his face, I say again he has no face. The Grand Armada The long and narrow peninsula of Malacca, extending south-eastward from the territories of Birmah, forms the most southerly point of all Asia.
Quite otherwise, in its curious novelty, is their spirited and picturesque sport of foot-shuttlecock, a game which may be witnessed only in Asia, and in the perfection of its skill and agility only in Birmah and Siam. The shuttlecock is like our own, but the battledore is the sole of the foot. A number of young men form a circle on a clear plot of ground.
The Meinam itself forms the main avenue, and the floating shops on either side constitute the great bazaar of the city, where all imaginable and unimaginable articles from India, China, Malacca, Birmah, Paris, Liverpool, and New York are displayed in stalls.
His successor struggled with an uncle for possession of the throne, and the king of Siam, seizing the opportunity, declared himself independent; wherefore a more formidable army was shortly sent against him, under command of the eldest son of the king of Birmah. But one of the young princes who had been led into captivity by Mandanahgri now sat on the throne of Siam.
For three days I waited, with doors and windows barred, for I knew not what explosion. After the death of the Second King, his Majesty behaved very disgracefully. It was well known that the ladies of the prince's harem were of the most beautiful of the women of Laos, Pegu, and Birmah; above all, the Princess of Chiengmai was famed for her manifold graces of person and character.
Mandanahgri held the queen of Siam and her two sons as hostages for the payment of the tribute he had levied; but the princes were permitted to return to Siam after a few years of captivity in Birmah, and in 1583 their captor died.
But I cannot completely make out his back parts; and hint what he will about his face, I say again he has no face. The Grand Armada. The long and narrow peninsula of Malacca, extending south-eastward from the territories of Birmah, forms the most southerly point of all Asia.
Thus all natural ambition has been stupidly extinguished in the breasts of the artists of a land whose remaining monuments attest her ancient excellence in architecture, sculpture, and painting. The most remarkable examples of Siamese painting are presented in the cartoons to be found on the walls of the ancient temples, decorated with the brush before the introduction of wall-paper from Birmah.