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The New Ceylon


    IT was hardly to be expected that the new British possession in North Borneo, to which the Queen has recently granted a charter, should long remain without its chronicler. Information at first hand respecting the country is very scarce, but, in the absence of this, Mr. Joseph Hatton in his little volume furnishes us with all that we can expect for the present. The materials placed at his disposal consisted of certain private letters and reports from explorers and the correspondence of the directors of the North Borneo Company. In addition to these he has made use of all that has already been written on Borneo, and the result—“a pioneer volume,” he modestly calls it—is such as might have been expected from Mr. Hatton's well-known literary skill. The value of the new colony to science is rather potential than actual. In Labuan and Sarāwak we have only touched the fringes of this vast island; we know but little of its mineral wealth and other natural resources; its geography, geology, fauna, and flora, have never been thoroughly studied. Even Mr. Carl Bock, in the journey described in his recent volume, only crossed a small corner of Borneo. With a settled government, under the British flag, we may expect a great increase in our knowledge of one of the largest and most interesting islands in the world. Mr. Hatton could, had he chosen, have added an interesting account of the early trade of the East India Company to Bandjermassin and other ports in Borneo from the Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, edited by Mr. Sainsbury.

    The New Ceylon.

    Being a sketch of British North Borneo, or Sabah. From official and other sources of information. Written and compiled by Joseph Hatton. (London: Chapman and Hall, 1881.)

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