after the fashion of his country, and used continually to warble
languishing love-airs to our great amusement, and also good inarching
airs. He had a good ear, and soon picked up some of the Laos tunes, and
so one had good opportunities of comparing them. It was curious, too,
how he and several of the others took to English airs they heard from
me, even copying the sounds of the English words. The proficiency of
the Siamese " service" bands in Bangkok shows, too, that they can
master and appreciate our music.
have heard the Laos called " savages," which can only be said in
ignorance. They respect superiors, are devoted to their " chows," to
whom they are united by feudal ties, are obedient to their parents,
extremely hospitable, and perfectly honest. The stranger to them is no
enemy, but a creature that needs kindness, and invariably gets it.
Quarrelling is unknown. They respect their women, and, unlike the
Siamese, walk behind them and bear the heaviest load. They do the
jungle-work, and the women stay at home, weaving their silk panungs or
their horizontally striped petticoats at the loom beneath the house;
while the dogs, no longer vile pariahs, but cared for well, and of a
breed something like a sheepdog, sit by and watch the children play.
Surely there is something besides savagery here.