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The Story of Saidjah part 12

An old woman led him to her cottage. She would take care of the piteous fool. His laugh gradually became less horrible, but he still spoke no word. During the night the inmates of the hut were frightened by the sound of his voice. He sang out monotonously: “I don’t know where I shall die!”

Some of the natives collected a little money in order to offer a sacrifice to the crocodile of the Tji-Udjiung, in order to cure Saidjah, whom they thought insane. But he was not insane, for on a certain night when the moon was extraordinarily clear, he rose from his couch and quietly left the hut, and sought out the place where Adinda’s house had stood. It was not easy to find it, for many houses had fallen down. But he recognized the spot by looking at the rays of moonlight that filtered down through the trees, as sailors measure their positions by lighthouses and mountain-tops.

That was the spot. There had Adinda lived!

Stumbling over half-decayed bamboos a

The Story of Saidjah part 11

He would wait. …

But what if she were ill—dead?

Like a wounded stag he flew along the pathway toward the village. He saw nothing and heard nothing. Normally he would have heard, fiir there were men standing in the road at the entrance to the village, Who cried out, “Saidjah, Saidjah!”

Was it his eagerness, or what, that prevented his finding Adinda’s house? He had already run to the end of the village, and as if mad, he turned back, beating his head in despair to think that he had passed her house. But he soon found himself back at the entrance of the village, and—was it a dream! Again he had missed the house. Once more he flew back and suddenly stood still, and took his head in both hands to press out the madness that stunned him.

“Drunk, drunk!” he exclaimed. “I am drunk!”

The women of Badoer came out of their houses and saw with sorrow poor Saidjah standing there, for they knew that he had been looking for

The Story of Saidjah part 10

Saidjah had never learned to pray, and it would have been a pity to teach him: a more devout prayer and a more fervent expression of gratitude than his would have been impossible. He would not to go Badoer: actually to see her again was not so wonderful as to await her coming. He sat down at the foot of the Ketapan, and his eyes wandered over the landscape. Nature smiled at him, and seemed to welcome him like a mother.

Saidjah was overjoyed at seeing again so many spots that reminded him of his earlier life. Though his eyes and thoughts wandered, his longing always reverted to the path which leads from Badoer to the Ketapan tree. His senses were wholly alive to Adinda.

He saw the abyss to the left, where the earth was yellow, the spot where once a young buffalo had sunk down to the depths: they had all descended there with strong rattan cords, and Adinda’s father had been the bravest of the rescue party.

More fragile than Adinda

How Ad

The Story of Saidjah part 9

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Who would now be living in her father’s house? Then he thought of his childhood, and his mother, and how the buffalo had saved him from the tiger, of what would have become of Adinda if the buffalo had not been so faithful. He watched the sinking of the stars, and as each disappeared, he calculated how much nearer he was to Adinda. For she would certainly come at the first beam—at daybreak she would be there. Why had she not come the day before?

He was hurt that she had not anticipated the supreme moment that had lighted his soul for three years with indescribable brightness; unjust as he was in his selfishness, it seemed to him that Adinda ought to have been waiting for him. He complained unjustly, for the sun had not yet risen. But the stars were growing pale, and strange colors floated over the mountain tops, which appeared darker as they contrasted sharply with places elsewhere illuminated.

Here and there something glowed in the east—arrows of gold and

The Story of Saidjah part 8

No, he had sublime visions in his mind’s eye. He looked for the Ketapan tree in the clouds when he was still far from Badoer. He caught at the air as if to embrace the form that was to meet him under the tree.

He pictured to himself the face of Adinda, her head, her shoulders, saw the heavy chignon, black and glossy, confined in a net, hanging down her back; her large eyes glistening in dark reflection, the nostrils raised so proudly as a child (was it possible?), when he had vexed her; and the corner of her lips, when she smiled; and finally, her breasts, now doubtless swelling under her shawl.

He could imagine her saying to him, “Welcome, Saidjah! I have thought of you as I was spinning and weaving and ‘ stamping the rice on the floor which shows three times twelve lines cut by my hand. And I am under the Ketapan the first day of the new moon. Welcome, Saidjah! I will be your wife.”

That was the music that resounded in his ears and preve

The Story of Saidjah part 7

He arrived at Batavia, and asked a certain gentleman to take him into his service, which the gentleman did, because Saidjah spoke no Malay—an advantage there, for servants who do not understand that language are not so corrupt as the others, who have been longer in touch with the Europeans. But Saidjah soon learned Malay, though he behaved well, for he always remembered the two buffaloes he was going to buy. He grew tall and strong, because he ate every day—not always the case at Badoer.

In the stable he was liked, and would certainly not have been rejected if he had asked the hand of the coachman’s daughter. His master liked him so much that he soon promoted him to be a house servant, increased his wages, and continually made him presents, to show how pleased he was.

Saidjah’s mistress had read Sue’s novel, so popular for a short while, and always thought of Prince Djalma when she saw Saidjah, and the young girls, too, understood better than before w

The Story of Saidjah part 6

Neither on the first nor the second day had he realized how lonely he was, because he was captivated by the grand idea of earning money enough to buy two buffaloes, whereas his lather had never had more than one, and was too excited over the prospect of seeing Adinda again to grieve over his departure. He had left her in anxious hope. The prospect of seeing her again so occupied his heart that on leaving Badoer and passing the tree, he felt something akin to joy, as if the thirty-six moons were already past.

It had seemed that he had only to turn round to see Adinda waiting for him. But the further he went, the more did he realize the length of the period before him. There was something in his soul, that made him walk more slowly—he felt an affliction in his knees, and though it was not dejection that overcame him it was a mournful sadness. He thought of returning, but what would Adinda think of his want of courage?

Recapture that calmness

Therefo

The Story of Saidjah part 5

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“I will gladly marry you, Saidjah, when you come back. I will spin and weave sarongs and slendangs, and be very diligent all the while.” “Oh, I believe you, Adinda, but—if I find you already married?” “Saidjah, you know very well I will marry nobody but you. My father promised me to your father.”

“And you yourself—?”

“I shall marry you, you may be sure of that.”

“When I come back, I will call from afar off.”

“Who will hear it, if we are stamping rice in the village?”

“That is true, but Adinda—oh, yes, this is better: wait for me in the wood, under the Ketapan, where you gave me the Melatti flowers.” “But, Saidjah, how am I to know when I am to go to the Ketapan?” Saidjah considered a moment and said: “Count the moons. I shall stay away three times twelve moons, not counting this moon. See, Adinda, at every new moon cut a notch in your rice block on the floor. When you have cut three times t

The Story of Saidjah part 4

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Afterwards she hoped that the buffalo understood her, for he must have known why she wept when he was taken away, and that it was not Saidjah’s mother who caused him to be slaughtered. Some days afterward, Saidjah’s father fled out of the country, for he was afraid of being punished for not paying his taxes, and he had no other heirlooms to sell with which to buy another buffalo.

His parents had left him but few things. However, he went on for some years after the loss of his last buffalo by working with hired animals: but that is a very unre- munerative labor, and moreover sad for one who has had buffaloes of his own.

Saidjah’s mother died of grief, and his father, irt a moment of dejection, left Bantam to find work in the Buitenzorg district. But he was punished with stripes because he had left Lebak without a passport, and brought back by the police to Badoer. There he was put in prison, because he was supposed to be mad, which I can well believe, and i

The Story of Saidjah part 3

Once when they were in the field, Saidjah called in vain to his buffalo to make haste. The animal did not move. Saidjah grew angry at this unusual refractoriness, and could not refrain from scolding. He called him as. Anyone who has been in India will understand me, and he who has not is the gainer if I spare him the explanation.

Saidjah did not mean anything bad. He only used the word because he had often heard it used by others when they were dissatisfied with their buffaloes. But it was useless: his buffalo did not move. He shook his head as if to throw off the yoke, he blew and trembled, there was anguish in his blue eye, and the upper lip was curled, baring the gums.

“Fly,fly!” Adinda’s brothers cried, “Fly, Saidjah, there’s a tiger!” And they all unyoked their buffaloes, and throwing themselves on their broad backs, galloped away through sawahs, irrigation, trenches, mud, brushwood, forest and jungle, along fields and roads, but when they tore p

The Story of Saidjah part 2

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The buffalo turned willingly, on reaching the end of the field, not losing an inch of ground when plowing backwards the new furrow, which was ever near the old, as if the sawah was a garden ground raked by a giant. Quite near were the sawahs of the father of Adinda (the child who was to marry Saidjah), and when the little brothers of Adinda came to the limit of their fields, as the father of Saidjah was there with his plow, the children called out merrily to each other, and each praised the strength and docility of his buffalo. But I believe that Saidjah’s buffalo was the best of all, perhaps because its master knew better how to speak to the animal, for buffaloes are very responsive to kind words.

Saidjah was nine and Adinda six, when this buffalo was taken from Saidjah’s father by the chief. Saidjah’s father, who was very poor, thereupon sold to the Chinaman two silver curtain-hooks—inheritances from his wife’s parents—for eighteen guilders, and with that mon

The Story of Saidjah part 1

Eduard Douwes Dekker (Multatuli) (1820—1887)

Dekker was for many years an Assistant Resident official of the Dutch government in Java. Out of his bitter experiences he wrote his famous novel Max Havelaar, which exposes the cruelty and corruption of the Dutch in regard to the native population of Java. Dekker was also a dramatist, though his fame rests chiefly on his novel.

The Story of Saidjah is a complete entity, introduced into Max Havelaar as an example of the sufferings undergone by the native Javanese under Dutch rule.

The present version is based upon the translation of Max Havelaar by Alphonse Nahuys, Edinburgh, 1868. It was made by the editors, who have omitted a number of long verse passages and here and there condensed a long and verbose passage.

The Story of Saidjah

(From Max Havelaar)

Caidjah’s father had a buffalo, which he used for plowing his O field. When this buffalo was taken away from him by the

Falcon part 6

He lay thus, while the herald read aloud the law, “twelve sols in silver—six ounces of flesh from near the heart—thus Sir Enguerrand protects the pleasures of the nobles.” He did not look up, when his skin was cut open, so that the smell of blood should attract the falcon, and when it plunged its beak in his breast, he did not utter a cry, merely quivered, so that the bird’s eyes flashed angrily, and it stretched out its wings as if about to flap them.

The seneschal’s daughters leaned their heads forward with a gleam of interest in their strangely dreamy eyes, but they did not raise their hands from their laps, and their robes lay as before in unruffled folds. The horses snorted at the smell of blood and stamped on the frosty ground, so that the red cloths fluttered in the blue pallor of the morning air; but Renaud lay silent, and the huntsmen stood in vain with distended cheeks and their horns at their lips, ready to drown his cry of pain.

Renaud dr

Falcon part 5

They formed a semi-circle, plume by plume, shoulder by shoulder, round a bush where the prisoner was tied. As the horse-cloths fluttered in the wind, red penetrated deep into the shadow, gloomy like hopeless longing, and red burned in the sunshine, light as victorious jubilation. The noble ladies’ supple necks leaned forward out of the carriage, and their conical hoods formed one line with the sloping contours of their shoulders.

They were like herons, Renaud thought, and he almost expected them to utter shrill cries when the notes of the horns fell far away like projected stones, and all grew silent. But when he saw them more clearly, with their thin, straight lips and strangely dreamy eyes, which were always directed in cold ecstasy toward something infinitely distant, and the indolent white hands in their laps and the long folds of their robes, then they seemed to him wondrously beautiful like the richest images of saints with dimly burning candle flames at their fee

Falcon part 4

Wandering boys soon caught sight of Sir Enguerrand’s bird in Rengud’s hand; the knight’s menials seized him and led him to the castle, and he shivered when the falcon was taken from him, motionless and proud as always, without turning his bent neck, without a glance from his cold, calm eyes. The bird was taken to his master, but he had not even a caress for the favorite he had missed, for he had allowed himself to be touched by ignoble hands. Sir Enguerrand gazed down in silence at Renaud, and in his mind there settled more and more distinctly the memory of an old game-law of the days when the noble’s foot lay steel-shod on the neck of the people, and pleasures fluttered inviolable about his shoulders—and his eyebrows closed about the certainty that the old law had never been repealed. The law provided that he who stole a falcon with the mark of a knight on its foot should pay twelve sols of silver or six ounces of flesh from his ribs under the beak of a famished bird of p