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Title: Across the Equator - A Holiday Trip in Java
Author: Reid, Thomas H.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Across the Equator - A Holiday Trip in Java" ***


[Frontispiece: TEMPLE, PARAMBANAN.]





  [all rights reserved.]


It was at the end of the month of September, 1907, that the writer
visited Java with the object of spending a brief vacation there.

The outcome was a series of articles in the "Straits Times," and after
they appeared so many applications were made for reprints that we were
encouraged to issue the articles in handy form for the information of
those who intend to visit the neighbouring Dutch Colony. There was no
pretension to write an exhaustive guide-book to the Island, but the
original articles were revised and amplified, and the chapters have
been arranged to enable the visitor to follow a given route through the
Island, from west to east, within the compass of a fortnight or three

For liberty to reproduce some of the larger pictures, we are indebted
to Mr. George P. Lewis (of O. Kurkdjian), Sourabaya, whose photographs
of Tosari and the volcanic region of Eastern Java form one of the
finest and most artistic collections we have seen of landscape work.

  SINGAPORE, _July, 1908_.



  THE BRITISH IN JAVA                      15


  ON THE ROAD TO SINDANGLAYA               33

  SINDANGLAYA AND BEYOND                   42


  THE TEMPLES OF PARAMBANAN                58





First Impressions of Batavia.

When consideration is given to the fact that Java is only two days'
steaming from Singapore, that it is more beautiful in some respects than
Japan, that it contains marvellous archaeological remains over 1,100
years old, and that its hill resorts form ideal resting places for the
jaded European, it is strange that few of the British residents
throughout the Far East, or travellers East and West, have visited the
Dutch Colony.

The average Britisher, weaving the web of empire, passes like a shuttle
in the loom from London to Yokohama, from Hongkong to Marseilles. He
thinks imperially in that he thinks no other nation has Colonies worth
seeing. British port succeeds British port on the hackneyed line of
travel, and he may be excused if he forgets that these convenient
calling places, these links of Empire, can have possible rivals under
foreign flags.

There is no excuse for the prevailing ignorance of the Netherland
Indies. We do not wish it to be inferred that we imagine we have
discovered Java, as Dickens is said to have discovered Italy, but we
believe we are justified in saying that few have realised the
possibilities of Java as a health resort and the attractions it has to
offer for a holiday.

Miss Marianne North, celebrated as painter and authoress and the rival
of Miss Mary Kingsley and Mrs. Bishop (Isabella Bird) as a traveller in
unfrequented quarters of the globe, has described the island as one
magnificent garden, surpassing Brazil, Jamaica and other countries
visited by her, and possessing the grandest of volcanoes; and other
famous travellers have written in terms of the highest praise of its
natural beauties.

Its accessibility is one of its recommendations to the holiday maker.
The voyage across the Equator from Singapore is a smooth one, for the
most part through narrow straits and seldom out of sight of islands clad
with verdure down to the water's edge.

Excellent accommodation is provided by the Rival Dutch Mail steamers
running between Europe and Java and the Royal Packet Company's local
steamers, and the Government of the Netherland Indies co-operates with a
recently-formed Association for the encouragement of tourist traffic on
the lines of the Welcome Society in Japan. This Association has a
bureau, temporarily established in the Hotel des Indes in Batavia, to
provide information and travelling facilities for tourists, not only
throughout Java, but amongst the various islands that are being brought
under the sway of civilised government by the Dutch Colonial forces.

As our steamer pounded her way out of Singapore Harbour in the early
morning, islands appeared to spring out of the sea, and seascape after
seascape followed in rapid succession, suggesting the old-fashioned
panoramic pictures of childhood's acquaintance. One's idea of scenery,
after all, is more or less a matter of comparison. One passenger
compares the scene with the Kyles of Bute; another with the Inland Sea
of Japan, at the other end of the world. Yet, this tropical waterway is
unlike either, and has a characteristic individuality of its own, none
the less charming because of the comparisons it suggests and the
associations it recalls.

We spent a good deal of our time on the bridge with the Captain, who was
courteous enough to point out all the leading points on his chart.

The Sultanate of Rhio lies on the port bow, four hours' sail from
Singapore. Glimpses of Sumatra are obtained on the starboard, and on the
way the steamer passes near to the Island of Banka, reputed to contain
the richest tin deposits in the world. This tin is worked by the
Government of the Netherland Indies, with Chinese contract labour; and
the revenue obtained is an important factor in balancing the Colonial
Budget. It is interesting to note that the Chinese, who have long mined
for gold and tin in the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago, were quite
familiar with the rich nature of Banka's soil two hundred years ago, and
that tin from this island was then a common medium of exchange in China
and throughout the Far East wherever the adventurous Chinese merchant
had penetrated.

The visitor landing at Tandjong Priok, the port of Batavia, after his
experience of other Far Eastern ports, cannot fail to be struck by the
excellence of the arrangements for berthing vessels and for storing
cargo. We British people are so accustomed to the idea that our ports
are the best and our trading arrangements unequalled that we are
astonished when we discover that our shipping and commercial rivals know
how to do some things better than ourselves, and that all wisdom is not
to be found within the confines of England and among the people who are
proud to own it as their place of birth. Our Far Eastern ports owe their
supremacy to geographical position almost entirely. We have realised
that during recent years in Singapore, and in our haste to correct the
mistakes of former officials and residents, the Straits Settlements paid
rather heavily when they expropriated the Tanjong Pagar Company which
owned the wharves, docks and warehouses. Tandjong Priok may not handle
the shipping that Tanjong Pagar does, but if they were called upon to do
so, we have not the least doubt that our Dutch neighbours would rise
readily to the occasion.

There is a Customs examination at Tandjong Priok. In our own case, it
was a mere formality, the new duty on imported cameras not applying to
our well-used kodak, since it was being taken out of the country again.
But we could not help contrasting to the disadvantage of Singapore the
examination of Chinese and other Asiatic passengers. Theoretically, in
Singapore, there is no Customs service. It is a free port, and so,
theoretically, one may land there free of vexatious examinations, such
as one experiences at some Continental ports or on the wharves at San
Francisco. But, as a matter of fact, they who have occasion to walk
along the sea front in Singapore may see Asiatic passengers at any of
the landing places turning out their baggage in sun or rain, while
chentings--the hirelings of the rich Chinese Syndicate which "farms" or
leases the opium and spirit monopolies--examine it for opium or spirits.
There is no proper landing place, absolutely no proper arrangements for
overhauling baggage, with the result that these poor Asiatics are
subjected to examination under conditions that are a disgrace to a place
which arrogates a front place in the seaports of the world.

They do things better at Tandjong Priok.

There is a brief journey by train to Batavia, and there the visitor,
having handed over his baggage to the care of the hotel runners at
Tandjong Priok, ought to take a sado for conveyance to the particular
hotel he has selected. The word sado is a corruption of "dos-a-dos." The
vehicle is drawn by a small pony, and is not comparable with the ricksha
for comfort, though the long distances may make the ricksha an
impossibility in Batavia.

[Illustration: THE TOWN HALL.]

Batavia is favoured in that it has a choice of several good hotels.
Whoever selects the Hotel Nederland or the Hotel des Indes will say that
the other "best Hotels in the Far East" have something yet to learn in
the accommodation of visitors, general cleanliness, and moderation of

One of the first things one ought to do after arrival is to obtain the
"toelatings kaart," at the Town Hall. Armed with this document, which,
most probably, he will never be called upon to show, the tourist may
travel in the interior. Without it, he may have trouble.

Batavia shares with the French ports of Saigon and Hanoi the honour of
more resembling a European town than any other ports in the Far East.
This, of course, is a matter of opinion, though it is based on
acquaintance with every port of importance from Yokohama to Penang,
including the principal ports of the Philippines, and we were somewhat
surprised, therefore, when expressing this opinion to a Dutch friend,
with his reply:

"When I left Singapore, with its fine buildings I felt I had said
good-bye to Europe!"

A little probing soon showed that it was only the two and three-storeyed
houses that created this impression.

[Illustration: HOTEL DES INDES.]

One has only to stroll along the Noordwijk in the afternoon and evening
to appreciate the difference between Batavia and Singapore. After
sundown, so far as Europeans are concerned, with the exception of the
little life seen under the electric light of Raffles Hotel and the Hotel
de l'Europe, Singapore is a dead place. Hongkong is no better. In
Batavia it is different. Up to the dinner hour, and after, there is a
considerable amount of life and light and animation, and if it be a
stretch of the imagination to compare the Noordwijk or the Rizwijk with
the Boulevard des Capuchins in Paris, or its open air restaurants with
the Cafe de la Paix, it is at least within comparison to say that the
resemblance to a Continental town is sufficiently marked to be welcome,
while one can have as choice a dinner or supper, with superb wines, in
Stamm and Weijns or the Hotel des Indes as in the best restaurants of
London and Paris. Not the least noticeable feature of all to the
observant visitor will be the punctilio and excellence of the waiting of
the Javanese table boys. When one saw the carefulness with which each
dish was served, and the superior nature of the side dishes, one thought
with a shudder of the sloppy vegetables, the dusty marmalade, and the
slipshod waiting of the China boy in some of the hotels it had been our
misfortune to patronise in British Colonies.

In this quarter, the wives and daughters of the Dutch and foreign
merchants drive in comfortable rubber-tyred carriages, having first
driven to the business quarter to bring home the "tuan besar" or head of
the family. Greetings are exchanged with friends by the way, and, while
the young folks stroll off in happy groups, the elders alight to drink
beer or wine at one or other of the famous open-air restaurants. There
is a general air of prosperity and a spirit of gaiety which one does not
usually associate with our Dutch cousins in the depressing humid
atmosphere of Holland. One soon catches the spirit of the place the more
readily if one has spent any time on the Continent.

On band nights the Harmonic or Concordia Clubs, two beautiful and
commodious buildings replete with every comfort, become the rendezvous
of old and young, and dancing is kept up till half-past eight o'clock.
It must be confessed that it made one perspire to see the dancers tread
a measure to a popular waltz, but there could be no question of the
enjoyment of those who participated.

There are two Batavias. There is the old town, founded in 1619 as the
capital of the Dutch East Indies upon the ruins of the ancient city of
Jakatra. This is the portion of the town where the business is done,
with the famous Kali Besar, the Lombard Street and Fenchurch Street of

The quarter is not particularly attractive. But after experience of the
filthy Chinese quarters of Singapore, Hongkong and Shanghai, it is
satisfying to European self-respect to observe how Dutch officialdom has
asserted the claims of hygiene and cleanliness upon the Asiatic
residents. The objectionable hanging Chinese signboards are noticeably
absent in Batavia, as in all other towns throughout Java, and something
has been done to make less clamant the odoriferous articles of Chinese
commerce. The Dutch have proved that the Chinese are amenable to
European notions if only firmness is shown by those in authority.

Then there is the residential town, Weltervreden with its broad
tree-lined avenues and palatial pavilion hotels and private villa

In style, the European houses are quite unlike those erected by the
Spaniards in the Philippine Islands, or the British in the Malay
Peninsula. They are not raised to any great height from the ground.
Three or four wide low steps lead on to a capacious white marble
verandah, the lofty roof of which is supported by shapely pillars with
Grecian cornices. Upon the polished surface of the ample hall are strewn
rugs of beautiful design or the fancy straw matting of the East.
Bed-rooms open on either side from this hall, and at the back, opening
out upon a spacious court-yard or garden filled with gaily coloured
flowers or stately palms, is another wide verandah where meals are
served. The bath-rooms, kitchen, stables, store-rooms and servants'
quarters lie beyond the garden. There is everywhere a generous
appreciation of space, and doubtless the good health enjoyed by the
Dutch ladies and their families so markedly in contrast to the British
colonists on the other side of the Equator is largely due to the more
comfortable homes in which they are settled. In Java, the bath-room is a
special feature, and only those who have travelled much in tropical
countries can appraise it at its true value. It is all in keeping with
the thorough cleanliness of the Dutch people, a feature which impressed
itself upon us wherever we travelled throughout the island. Detached
from every house of any pretensions, there is a smaller pavilion. It
usually stands in the grounds in front and nearer the roadway, and in
former times was spoken of as "the guest house." Nowadays, either
because the Hotels are more comfortable than in olden times or because
the railway system has led to a style of life that calls for less
hospitality for travellers, the guest house is more often let to
bachelors, who find it easier and cheaper to maintain a small
establishment of this sort than the bachelor messes or chummeries of
Singapore and Penang.

Weltervreden may be compared with a gigantic park, and there are
residences sufficiently imposing to please the lover of architectural
beauty, even if there is no assertive Clock Tower to emphasise by
contrast the hovels of Singapore's region of slums. The idea of keeping
the various races to their Kampongs may be contrary to British ideas,
but in Java it appears to work satisfactorily enough. It is only in
recent years that certain British colonies have been allowed to set
apart reservations for European residence, and it would be well if the
Government of the Federated Malay States, before it is too late,
introduced the Kampong system in laying out new towns throughout the

A motor-car ride through the residential quarter and round the suburbs
of Batavia gives one a good idea of the extent of the town, and,
incidentally, of the merging of East and West in the population. Former
Dutch residents have left their impress in more respects than one, and
one result is a half-caste population which takes a much more prominent
part in the affairs of the island than is the case, so far as we are
aware, in any British Colony. There are pretty forms and beautiful faces
among this hybrid race, and we are not astonished that succeeding
generations from the land of dykes and canals should form alliances that
wed them for ever to the sunny soil of Java. East may be East and West
may be West, but here at least the lie is given to Kipling's
generalisation, false like most generalisations, as to the impossibility
of their blending.

The visitor will find the Museums full of objects of interest. On
Koningsplein, young Holland devotes itself to recreation, and evidence
is given here and elsewhere throughout the suburbs of the widespread
popularity of the English game of football. The Dutch do not follow the
British Colonial custom of sending their children to Europe. Many are
educated and kept under the home influence in Java, and a fine healthy
race of boys and girls is being reared to play its part in the new
Netherlands created by Dutch enterprise and perseverance. Great as is
the Java of the present day, there is justification for believing that
it has a greater future in store.


The British in Java

It is a constant matter of regret to British travellers who have visited
Java that the island, once in our possession, should have been restored
to Dutch rule.

It is not our purpose, however, to discuss the reasons for that
restoration, contenting ourselves with the reflection that the capture
of Java was merely part of the plan for breaking the power of Napoleon
and destroying his dream of dominating the East. The alliance of
European Powers having succeeded in encompassing the great Frenchman's
downfall, there were doubtless good reasons at the time for reinstating
the Dutch in an island where they had been established for two hundred

A perusal of the history of the British Expedition against Java brings
into strong relief the annihilation of space and the improvements in
marine travel during the past century.

It was on April 18, 1811, that the troopships carrying the first
Division, commanded by Colonel Robert Rollo Gillespie, sailed from
Madras Roads. On May 18, they anchored in Penang Harbour, and on June
1, at Malacca. Here they awaited the remainder of the flotilla, and were
joined by Lord Minto, then Viceroy of India; Lieutenant-General Sir
Samuel Auchmuty, Commander-in-Chief; and Commodore Broughton. While
here, the British learned that Marshal Daendels, the Dutch
Governor-General, had been recalled, and that General Janssens, with a
large body of troops from France, had landed and taken over the command
in Java.

Marshal Daendels had been the Governor-General when the Colony was taken
over by the Crown of Holland from the Dutch East India Company. He has
left the mark of his influence upon the Colony to this day, and many of
the public works that remain as evidence of the pioneer days were due to
his force of character and initiative. Some of his methods may not
commend themselves to us in these more humane and enlightened days, any
more than they were approved by his great English successor, Sir
Stamford Raffles, such, for instance, as his construction of the
post-road from Anjer Head to Banjoewangi, a distance of over 700 miles,
at the cost of from twelve to twenty thousand lives; but it is not
always easy to estimate at a distance of a hundred years the peculiar
difficulties and conditions under which European Governors administered
an oriental Colony. If, at times, he exceeded his instructions, as
British Governors also had to do before they came under the thralldom
of a Colonial Department at the end of a telegraph cable, we can forgive
much in a man who accomplished so much.

Sir Stamford Raffles is careful to explain in the preface of his
"History of Java" that as "in the many severe strictures passed upon the
Dutch Administration in Java, some of the observations may, for want of
a careful restriction in the words employed, appear to extend to the
Dutch nation and character generally, I think it proper explicitly to
declare that such observations are intended exclusively to apply to the
Colonial Government and its officers. The orders of the Dutch Government
in Holland to the authorities at Batavia, as far as my information
extends, breathe a spirit of liberality and benevolence; and I have
reason to believe that the tyranny and rapacity of its Colonial officers
created no less indignation in Holland than in other countries of

On June 11, the British armada set out on the final stage of its
journey. We can imagine the imposing show it made as it lay in the
roadstead of Malacca, now shorn of its ancient importance and long since
superseded as the foremost shipping port in the Far East.

The squadron consisted of four line of battle ships, fourteen frigates,
seven sloops, eight Honourable East India Company's cruisers,
fifty-seven transports and several gunboats--altogether over 100 sail.
Composed equally of European and Indian troops, there were upwards of
10,000 men under Sir Samuel Auchmuty's command. The European troops
included the 14th, 59th, 69th, 78th, and 89th Regiments of Infantry,
Royal Artillery, and Royal Marines, and a small detachment of Royal

A course was set for a rendezvous off the coast of Borneo, and on August
4, 1811, a landing was effected at Chillingching, a village about ten
miles east of Batavia. To the astonishment of the British Commander, his
landing was not opposed, the defending force being concentrated in the
neighbourhood of Weltervreden and Meister Cornelius, to-day the thriving
residential suburbs of Batavia.

General Janssens rejected Lord Minto's summons to surrender.

On August 10, Batavia was in the hands of the British troops, and on
that day, after two hours of hard fighting, Weltervreden was captured,
the 78th Highlanders having a heavy casualty list amongst their

The French troops bravely contended every foot of ground, and battles,
with heavy losses on both sides, were fought on August 22, August 24,
and August 26. Colonel Gillespie, who led the advance in each of these
engagements, performed prodigies of bravery in the latter fight, for we
read that "Colonel Gillespie took one General in the batteries, one in
the charge, and a Colonel, besides having a personal affair in which
another Colonel fell by his arm."

Altogether, the British captured three General officers, 34 field
officers, 70 captains and 150 subaltern officers in these fights.

The rout of the enemy was complete. General Janssens made his escape to
Buitenzorg, thirty miles distant, with a few cavalrymen and the remnants
of his army of 13,000 men. He did not remain here long, but fled

A British force was shipped to Cheribon, where a large number of French
officers were captured; and the port of Samarang was next attacked, with
the object of forcing General Janssens back upon Solo, while the eastern
end of the island was occupied by another British force. On September
10, an action was fought outside Samarang, and Janssens, defeated,
retreated to Fort Salatiga; but eventually, being deserted by his
troops, he opened up negotiations for capitulation.

This must have been a bitter experience for General Janssens, for it was
not only the crowning misery of his defeat but marked the end of his
military career, assuming that his Imperial master retained his power in

"Souvenez vous, Monsieur," Napoleon is reported to have said to him
upon taking up his appointment, "Qu'un Génèral Francais ne se laissa pas
prendre une seconde fois!"

The island having been wrested from the French, the British authorities
set about the reform of the civil administration. This was not to be
accomplished, however, without a test of strength between the natives
and their new masters. An act of treachery soon called the troops into
the field again.

During the Governorship of Marshal Daendels, the Sultan of Djocjakarta
had been the most turbulent and intriguing of the native princes, and
his conduct immediately after the British occupation gave occasion for
serious uneasiness. Mr. Stamford Raffles, who had been appointed by Lord
Minto Lieutenant-Governor of Java in December, 1811, went in person to
see the Sultan. A treaty was entered into, under which the Sultan
confirmed to the Honourable East India Company all the privileges,
advantages and prerogatives which had been possessed by the Dutch and
French authorities. To the Company also were transferred the sole
regulation of the duties and the collection of tribute within the
dominions of the Sultan, as well as the general administration of
justice in cases where British interests were concerned.

This expedition of Mr. Raffles seems to have had exciting experiences,
for we read:

    "The small British escort which accompanied Mr. Raffles,
    consisting only of a part of the 14th Regiment, a troop of the
    22nd Light Dragoons and the ordinary garrison of Bengal Sepoys
    in the Fort and at the Residency, were not in a condition to
    enforce terms anyway obnoxious to the personal feelings of the
    Sultan. The whole retinue, indeed, of the Governor were in
    imminent danger of being murdered. Krises were actually
    unsheathed by several of the Sultan's own suite in the Audience
    Hall where Mr. Raffles received that Prince, who was accompanied
    by several thousands of armed followers expressing in their
    behaviour such an infuriated spirit of insolence as openly to
    indicate that they only waited for the signal to perpetrate the
    work of destruction, in which case not a man of our brave
    soldiers, from the manner in which they were surrounded, could
    have escaped."

For a time, however, an open breach of the peace was averted by the tact
of Mr. Raffles and the outward appearance of bravery of the officers and
men accompanying him.

Several expeditions were made into the interior to put down petty
brigands, in much the same way as the Dutch are engaged in Flores and
Celebes to-day, and a more imposing display of military force had to be
made in Sumatra.

In the following year, the Sultan of Mataram in Djocjakarta again became
troublesome, and it was found necessary to send a strong expedition
against him. On June 20, the famous Water Castle at Djocjakarta was
captured by assault, and the Sultan taken prisoner. He was exiled to
Prince of Wales Island (Penang), and the Hereditary Prince was placed on
the throne. The ruling native at Solo, who rejoiced in the imposing
title of Emperor, made terms with the Lieutenant-Governor, and peace was
established throughout the island, and was not disturbed seriously
during the remainder of the British occupation.

Mr. Raffles set himself to establish a more humane administration than
had hitherto prevailed, and anyone who wishes to realise the
thoroughness with which this able administrator set himself to the task
should read his "History of Java." It is replete with shrewd
observations of the native customs, industries, antecedents, and
languages, and shows how little change has been effected in the
character and domestic customs of the people during the last hundred

The essence of his policy of administration is contained in the
following sentence written by him:--"Let the higher departments be
scrupulously superintended and watched by Europeans of character; let
the administration of justice be pure, prompt and steady;" and it is
satisfactory to one's sense of patriotism to know that that is the
spirit which pervades British administration in her Crown Colonies

Botanist's Paradise at Buitenzorg.

To the Singaporean visitor to Java there is a melancholy interest in the
little monument erected in the Garden at Buitenzorg by Sir Stamford
Raffles to the memory of his wife, who died during his residence there.

In the conditions under which the island was restored to Holland, it was
stipulated that the monument, in the form of a little Greek temple,
should be cared for by the Dutch. The trust has been fulfilled, and
those of us who take interest in the historic chances and changes of
Britain's possessions in the Far East and the personal influence of the
builders of the Empire, can find food for reflection in the sacrifices
made by those men and women who are ever found on the Empire's
frontiers. The sight of this memorial among the kanari trees in the
tropical island of Java makes us think of the tablet in the little
parish church on the hill at Hendon, near which this woman's husband
lies buried.

The inscription runs as follows:--

    "Sacred to the memory of Olivia Marianne, wife of Thomas
    Stamford Raffles, Lieutenant-Governor of Java and its
    dependencies, who died at Buitenzorg on the 26th November, 1814.

      "Oh thou whom ne'er my constant heart
        One moment hath forgot.
      Tho' fate severe hath bid us part
        Yet still--forget me not."

The traveller who has only a fortnight or three weeks to devote to Java
must awake betimes. In any event, he must needs be early to take
advantage of the express trains, and in our case we had only a day to
devote to Buitenzorg, where the Governor-General of the Netherland
Indies has his palace.

With the exception of the short run from Tandjong Priok, it was our
first acquaintance with the railway service, and when we saw the crowd
awaiting to entrain at Weltervreden Station we decided to travel
first-class, contrary to the advice of our friends. It was well we did
so on this occasion, for the train was overcrowded; but afterwards we
travelled only by the second-class, and found it as comfortable as one
could wish. Indeed, so few persons travel in the first-class
compartments of the trains that we are astonished that any are retained
by the management. Throughout Java we found the railway service
excellent in every respect. The carriages are comfortable. Ample
accommodation is given for each person. It is possible to stow away a
considerable amount of barang or baggage in the carriages, and full
advantage is taken of this facility by the Dutch and native travellers.
The lavatory accommodation is better than we have seen it in the fast
expresses on the principal lines in England, and on the through service
expresses there are restaurant cars where meals may be partaken of at a
moderate tariff. We cannot say we always found the food palatable, for
the Chinamen who are in charge appear to have a fixed idea that the
"beef-stuk," which is the pièce de resistance, should be served up raw.
In course of time, doubtless, the railway management will be able to
turn its attention to the commissariat arrangements, with a view to
their improvement, and, when they do so, we hope they will leave out the
beefsteak altogether and provide more variety and daintier, more
inviting, and more palatable viands.

A fair rate of speed is maintained, and it is possible to go from
Batavia to Sourabaya, at the other end of the island, in two days. The
trains, of course, as in the Federated Malay States, run only from
sunrise to sundown, and the through traveller between the two principal
towns must sleep the night at Maos, where a commodious pasanggrahan or
rest-house provides clean, comfortable accommodation and wholesome food.
Only on two occasions were we belated on the railway, and both instances
were due to the one cause,--a wash-out on the line at Moentilan, the
result of a severe thunder and rain storm on the previous day and night.
The train was run down cautiously to the gap, passengers crossed over on
a temporary bridge to the train waiting on the other side, and the
baggage was transferred by a host of coolies. All this had to be done in
a torrential rain-storm, but the railway officials did all in their
power to make the conditions as little disagreeable as possible, and the
only inconvenience was the late arrival of some of the baggage at

There was not much of interest on the morning run to Buitenzorg, but the
Dutch lady who carried on an animated conversation with four gentlemen
for the whole of the hour and a half introduced to us the possibilities
for expression in the Dutch equivalents of "Yes" and "No."

We had been prepared by Miss Scidmore's book for the beauties of
Buitenzorg, and for once expectation was more than realised.

The Dutch Governor-General van Imhoff was certainly well advised when he
selected this position as the official residence of the
Governor-General, and the Dutch horticulturists, than whom there are
probably none better, deserve to be congratulated upon the garden city
they have created out of the primeval jungle.

Part of the old palace was built by Governor-General Mossel, one hundred
and fifty years ago, and the original received additions during the
reigns of Daendels and Raffles. This structure was destroyed by an
earthquake in 1834, and the new palace, the first glimpse of which one
receives across an artificial lake, is a worthy residence for the
administrator of the Dutch Indies. The surface of the lake is studded
with lotus flowers and victoria regia, and the little island in the
centre displays a wealth of the red or rajah palm, feathery yellow
bamboo, and dark-green foliage which the lake mirrors in ever-changing

An Alma Tadema or a Marcus Stone would revel in the flowers and marbles
of the palace, with its broad stairs and corridors and fine Ionian
columns and cornices; and a Landseer or a MacWhirter might find endless
subjects in the deer park by which it is surrounded.

The garden is a botanist's paradise. Tropical treasures from Nature's
storehouse, collected by successive Directors, are arranged with care
and precision characteristically Dutch. It was established in 1817 by
Professor Reinwardt, and many distinguished botanists who have left
their mark in the scientific world studied here and added to the
collections. As may be imagined, the Dutch were not content with a mere
show place for tropical specimens, and they established five mountain
gardens where experiments are conducted, for practical and scientific
purposes, in the cultivation of flowers, plants, vegetables and trees
usually found in temperate regions. These gardens are situated in the
mountains to the south--at Tjipanas, Tjibodas, Tjibeureum, Kadang Badoh,
and on the top of Mount Pangerango, that is to say, at heights ranging
from 3,500 ft. to 10,000 ft. The garden at Tjibodas remains, and at the
Governor-General's summer villa at Tjipanas one might imagine one's-self
in a private garden in Surrey or Kent.

In the buildings at Buitenzorg, facilities are afforded for foreign
students, and at the time of our visit a Japanese Professor, from the
Tokio University, who had studied for three and a half years in Berlin,
was making an exhaustive investigation on scientific lines. Everything
that can be of service to students of botany is to be found here in the
museum, herbarium and library.

The general herbarium has been arranged on the Kew model. Besides a
large collection of plants made by Zollinger between 1845 and 1858, it
contains the valuable collections gathered by Teysmann, between 1854 and
1870, throughout the Malay Archipelago. Specimens by Kurz and Scheffer
are also found, together with other recent collections of plants from
Borneo and adjacent islands. Duplicates from the Herbarium at Kew
Gardens and from several of the more famous European herbaria are to be
found here, as well as numerous specimens from the botanical
institutions of the British Colonies.

The Herbarium Horti contains the necessary materials for the compilation
of the new catalogue of the Botanic Gardens, and the Herbarium
Bogoriense contains plants to be found in the neighbourhood of

Besides specimens of fruits, there is a comprehensive technical
collection in the Botanical Museum--fibres, commercial specimens of
rattan, india-rubber, and gutta-percha, barks for tanning purposes,
Peruvian barks, vegetable oils, indigo samples, various kinds of meal,
resins and damars. There is also a section devoted to forest and staple

Fuller details of the gardens and environs of Buitenzorg may be found in
the handbook published by Messrs. G. Kolff and Co., Batavia.

One need not be wholly a scientific investigator to appreciate the
beauties of Buitenzorg. There is here one view which has been described
over and over again, oftentimes in the language of hyperbole--the view
of the Tjidani Valley from the verandah of Bellevue Hotel. It is,
indeed, difficult to avoid the use of extravagant language in the
attempt to describe this beauty spot of Nature.

Though he was writing of a beautiful woman, F. Marion Crawford might
have been describing some beautiful landscape when he wrote in his own
exquisite style:--

"I think that true beauty is beyond description; you may describe the
changeless faultless outlines of a statue to a man who has seen good
statues and can recall them; you can, perhaps, find words to describe
the glow and warmth and deep texture of a famous picture, and what you
write will mean something to those who know the master's work; you may
even conjure up an image before untutored eyes. But neither minute
description nor well-turned phrase, neither sensuous adjective nor
spiritual smile can tell half the truth of a beautiful living thing."

The noble Roman, prompted to exclaim "Behold the Tiber" as he stood on
the summit of Kinnoull Hill and gazed upon the fertile valley of
Scotland's noblest stream, saw no fairer sight than this veritable
Garden of Eden in Equatorial Java.

Seen in the afternoon when the setting sun is casting long shadows over
the landscape, the scene in the Tjidani Valley is calculated to arouse
the artistic senses of the most insusceptible. Miles away, the Salak
raises his majestic cone against the blue sky. In the distance, the
mountain forms a purple background for the picture, purple flecked with
soft white patches of floating cloud. Beneath his massive form, colour
is lost in shadowy but closer at hand are the dark pervading greens of
the trees and vegetation, palms and tree ferns and banana trees helping
by their graceful form to provide the truely tropical features, while
the equally graceful clumps of bamboo sway and creak in the light
breeze, their pointed leaves supplying that perpetual flutter and
movement which one associates with the birches and beeches of one's
native land. The cultivated patches on hillside and valley are rich in
colour. Here, the yellow paddy is ripening for the sickle; there, it is
bright green; alongside, the patient buffaloes are dragging a clumsy
wooden plough through water-covered soil to prepare for the next crop.
The lake-like patches reflect weird outlines, and one almost imagines
that they catch the brilliant colours from the sun-painted clouds.

Down the valley, crossing the picture from left to right is the
river--the Tjidani,--a broad shallow stream when we saw it, in which
men, women and children are constantly bathing. From the compact kampong
nestling among the trees, the native women, clad in bright coloured
sarongs, came with babies, who take to the water as if it were their
natural element. Merry shouts of laughter ascend from the valley as the
youngsters splash about and chase each other. Everything suggests
beauty and peace and contentment, and as one drinks in the scene it is
borne in upon one that the comparison with the Garden of Eden is not
inapt. What could one wish for more than a beautiful, bounteous land and
a happy, contented people!

On the Road to Sindanglaya

Long before sunrise, the sound of merry voices arose from the valley.
Already the natives were bathing in the Tjidani, and, when the light
came, the primeval life on which the sun had gone down was reproduced in
the model-like scene spread out before us. Our kreta for the journey
over the Poentjak Pass had been ordered for six o'clock, but with
un-Oriental punctuality it was a quarter-past live when the sound of
carriage wheels broke in upon our dreams.

While we sipped our morning coffee,--Java hotel coffee has improved
since Miss Scidmore anathematised it in 1899,--the sun's rays began to
peep over the shoulder of the Salak, and dispelled the morning mists on
river and valley. The Salak's fretwork crater stood out entirely
clear--his form a purple background to the picture gradually unfolding
itself. Nature was everywhere awake. Children's voices in play blended
with the songs of early workers proceeding to the fields. Butterflies
flitted and floated like detached petals from the flowers. Distance
converted human figures into larger butterflies, yellow and orange,
pink and blue and red. If it were beautiful in the evening, the scene
was enchanting in the morning, and it was with reluctance that we obeyed
the summons to early breakfast, and followed our barang into the kreta
to begin the journey to Sindanglaya.

It was half-past six o'clock when we were salaamed out of the courtyard
of the Bellevue by the hotel "boys."

The kreta was not a handsome affair. In fact it was one of the most
disreputable vehicles it has ever been our misfortune to travel in, and
when we made acquaintance of the road it had to travel over we must give
the owner credit for an abundant faith in the toughness of the kreta. It
was a cross between the carromata of the Philippines and a covered
dog-cart. There was no aid to mount. By a series of gymnastics we
managed to get into the driver's seat--our own was behind his but also
facing to the front. In attempting to get there, a sudden movement of
the team sent us plunging into the barang, and, in extricating
ourselves, head came in contact with the roof and hat went overboard.

Eventually we went off with a bound along the main street of Buitenzorg,
scattering the fowls obtaining a precarious living in the roadway, and
sending cats and dogs and goats flying for safety into the houses.

We had now time to examine the points of our team. It was composed of
three tiny Battak ponies. Two were brown, and one a piebald in which a
dingy chestnut strove for mastery with a dingier white. No two ponies
were the same in size. One was in the shafts; the other two were in
traces alongside. They tapered in size from right to left--the piebald
on the left. The giant of the group had a nasty temper, and when lashed,
as he was frequently during the drive, vented his anger upon the patient
brute doing the lion's share of the work in the shafts. Upon the whole
they did their work extremely well, for a great deal was asked of them,
and they scarcely deserved the almost continuous flogging to which they
were subjected by our driver.

Having travelled over the road from Buitenzorg to Sindanglaya by the
Poentjak, without reserve, we advise pilgrims to Sindanglaya to
patronise the road from Tjiandjoer. The local guide book remarks with
truth: "The main road to the Poentjak being very steep, it does not
afford a quick mode of travelling. At Toegoe, an extra team of horses
must be added--or karbouws (water buffaloes) used instead of the horses,
to pull the carriage at a slow pace up the mountain. Good walkers may,
therefore, be advised to do this part of the road on foot, which will
take them about an hour and a half. By doing so they will be more able
to admire this marvellous work of Governor-General Daendels."

We suspect there is a touch of Dutch satire in this last remark. We have
travelled the road, and we are not prepared to parody the old Scot's

    "If you'd seen this road before it was made,
    You'd lift up your hands and bless General Wade"

Daendels may have been an admirable gentleman, a brave soldier, and a
clever administrator, but his engineering skill did not equal his other
qualities. It would have been much better if the road had never been
made. Surely no highway was ever more badly graded, and we are not
astonished that a practical people like the Dutch set themselves to
construct a more sensible road by way of Tjitjoeroeg and Soekaboemie. We
have seen paved mountain paths in China more inaccessible, but not much,
and when we dashed up to the Sindanglaya Hotel at 12.15, we thought more
highly of the team that had pulled us over the Pass than we could have
believed when we formed our first early morning prejudices.

Needless to say, it is not a road for a motor car. It would be
inadvisable to adopt this route to Sindanglaya if the party included
ladies. But, if they have a taste for mountaineering, baggage should be
sent by rail to Tjiandjoer under the care of some of the party, and
carriages dispensed with at Toegoe and the remainder of the journey made
on foot. As it was, a good deal of our journey up had to be made on
foot over unblinded loose road metal.

Going down the other side the driver led the ponies for about a quarter
of a mile, and then joined us in the kreta. That downward trip was the
most perilous we ever made in anything that runs on wheels, except a
train journey from Manila to Malolos during the Filipino insurrection in
1899. Jack London, the Californian novelist, once told us that life
would not be worth living if it were not for the thrills. We had more
thrills than we care to have crowded into one hour on that down-grade
run from Poentjak to Sindanglaya. Several times, we retrimmed at the
request of the driver, and we kept the barang from falling upon him,
while he manipulated our three rakish adventurers from Battak. When an
unusually severe lurch nearly precipitated us into the deep storm-water
channel on the left or the carefully-irrigated paddy fields on the
right, Jehu turned round and grinned a grin of fiendish appreciation,
whilst we thanked with fervour the merciful Providence who preserved us
from destruction, and wondered how long one could hold out with a broken
limb, without surgical help, should the worst happen. It is the
unexpected that happens. We got to Sindanglaya without any more serious
damage than a bottle of Odol distributed amongst our best clothes.

Governor-General Daendels seems to have had a high opinion of this
remarkable highway. We read: "The obstinacy with which he carried
through his scheme of constructing the main road to the Preanger
Regencies across this summit is really amazing. He never shrank from the
terrible death-rate among the wretched labourers, nor from the
difficulties and enormous cost to keep such a road in good condition,
for, especially in the west monsoon, heavy rain-showers are continually
washing the earth off the road. Yet it was by no means necessary." Let
this be Governor-General Daendels' epitaph!

Had not one's attention been distracted by the eccentric performances of
the kreta, one might well have admired the scenery. Close at hand, the
road teems with fascinating pictures of native life. Only occasionally
does one see a really beautiful face, but there is a pretty shyness such
as one seldom sees on the roads of a European country. Although we read
of the thirty millions of people in Java, there is still, apparently,
room for more, and nearly every woman has a brown baby slung upon the
hip and others dragging on her sarong, or seeking to efface themselves
behind her none too ample form. At intervals, old women or young
children keep shop, either in nipa huts or on mats under the shade of a
kanari-tree. In the kampongs or collections of neat little huts which
punctuate the way, a pasar (market) is being held, haberdashers with
cheap glass and fancy wares being in juxtaposition with dealers in
sarongs and the sellers of fruits and vegetables. On the stoeps of some
of the houses, groups of women spin or weave cloth for the native
sarong; some make deft use of the sewing machine of foreign commerce.

The road is fringed by a variety of trees and plants which only a
botanist would attempt to describe. Colour is given to this fringe by
the magenta bougainvillea, the red hibiscus, the pale blue convolvulus,
the variegated crotons, and the orange and red of the lantana, and at
places the poinsettia provides a predominating red head to the
hedge-like greenery. Palms and tree ferns and feathery clumps of young
bamboo are called to aid by Nature's landscape gardener; but they do not
shut out the verdure-clad ravines that mark a waterway or the terraced
rice-fields which climb almost to the top of the highest summits.

We thought we had seen the acme of perfection in rice cultivation and
irrigation in China and Japan. But here in Java, we have seen more to
excite the admiration in this respect than in either of these countries.
One can only marvel at the completeness of the system of irrigation.
Rice is in all stages of cultivation, from the flooded paddy field to
the grain in the ear being reaped by the gaily coloured butterflies of
women. Water buffaloes drag a primitive plough through the drenched
soil, while the bright-faced young ploughboy, by what appears to be a
superhuman effort, balances himself precariously on the implement.

On the left, we pass tea gardens, the tufty bushes low to the ground.
What strikes us first is the amazing regularity of the rows and the
cleanness of the ground. An aroma of tea in the making escapes from the
roadside factory and agreeably assails our sense of smell as we jolt
past in our kreta.

We reached Kampong Toegoe at nine o'clock, refreshed both men and
beasts, and harnessed two more ponies with long rope traces to help us
to the summit of the Pass, which was reached at eleven o'clock. Here we
made a deviation on foot to the Telega Warna (Colour-changing Lake)
while the ponies rested for the downward journey. The path is a
difficult one, and the lake itself is less interesting than the lovely
vegetation by which it is surrounded. Ferns and bracken cover the
hillside, pollipods predominating, orchids cling to tree stems, and
higher up, the curious nest-fern and various forms of plant life attract
attention. Tree is woven to tree by a network of mighty lianas.

The lake itself lies in what must have been the crater in the
prehistoric period of activity of Megamendoeng. It is 100 metres in
width, circular in shape, and about 100 fathoms deep. Fish are found in
the lake, and they are regarded with veneration by the natives.

The steepness of the heavily wooded wall that rises hundreds of feet
sheer round three sides reminds one of the geyser-studded old crater of
Unzen, in the island of Kyushiu in Japan, "Its gleaming mirror," the
guide book says, "exhibits a wonderful luxury of tints and colours,
shifting and changing whenever the gentle mountain breeze ruffles the
smooth surface." We did not stay a sufficiently long time to experience
any wonderful changes on the lake itself, but the surroundings are
loaded with charm. The visitor to Sindanglaya should certainly not
neglect to make the trip to the lake. We would recommend an excursion on
foot from the hotel.

Once over the Pass, the view on the other side of the large basin-shaped
plateau in which Sindanglaya lies is more attractive than on the
Buitenzorg side, and, as we were to find on the following morning, a
better idea is obtained of the wonderful industry of the people, and the
remarkable extent to which the cultivation of the mountain slopes is
carried on by them.

Sindanglaya and Beyond.

We had not gone far on our travels before we realised the
presumptuousness of our attempt to "do" Java in a fortnight. It would
require weeks to drink in all the subtle beauties and influences of
Buitenzorg, to get the atmosphere of the place; and to derive the
fullest measure of benefit and enjoyment from the visit to Sindanglaya,
one would require at least a fortnight.

It will ever be matter for regret that we were unable to devote more
time to the beauty spots of Western Java or to make the various
interesting and health-giving excursions from Sindanglaya's comfortable
hotel. We have already said that the ride over the Poentjak Pass should
be avoided and the train taken from Buitenzorg to Tjiandjoer. The train
leaving Batavia (Weltervreden Station) at 7.25 a.m. and Buitenzorg at
8.44 reaches Tjiandjoer at 12.04. Here, if a carriage has been ordered
in advance, a representative of the Sindanglaya establishment meets
passengers, and the journey to the hotel is negotiated in two hours at a
cost of two and a-half guilders. From Buitenzorg to Sindanglaya the hire
of a carriage for passenger and baggage is nine guilders; from
Sindanglaya to Buitenzorg it costs seven guilders. The train fare from
Batavia to Buitenzorg is three guilders for first-class and two guilders
for second; from Batavia to Tjiandjoer, it is eight guilders first-class
and four guilders and seventy-five cents second.

The hotel, which consists of one main building with a number of small
detached pavilions surrounded by roses and other flowers of the
temperate zone, is situated on the slopes of the Gedéh, and is 3,300
feet above sea level. At this level one is able to move about long
distances during the day without becoming exhausted, and in the evening
the air is delightfully cool, falling just below 70 degrees the night we
slept there. There is a tennis court, and the manager spoke of laying
down another, and with billiards and skittles in the evening and a hot
spring swimming bath, near the Governor-General's villa, for healthful
recreation in the daytime, one need not feel too much the absence of
city life and companionship. The tariff is the moderate one of six
guilders a day, but it is reduced to five guilders per day when a stay
of a week or more is made.

The Governor-General's summer residence, Tjipanas, is here, a quarter of
a mile from the hotel. It is a prettily situated bungalow residence,
standing quite close to the main road from Tjiandjoer, and surrounded by
a garden which transports one at once to the south of England. Here, as
in many other places in Java, the notice appears: "Verbodden Toegang;"
but a courteous application to the Steward in charge obtains a hearty
welcome to inspect the grounds. These are well stocked with dahlias,
roses, hortensias, begonias, cowslips, sweet williams, wall-flower, and
other old-fashioned flowers, and the bloom-covered fuschias carried
one's thoughts back to pleasant days spent in Devonshire dales. From the
lawns sweet-smelling violets perfumed the air. Matchless orchids clung
to the trees, and the delicate maiden-hair fern held its own with the
hardier varieties. Dusky fir-trees, groups of Australian araucarias, and
Japanese oak trees and chestnuts set off the brightness of the flower
beds. In the park there is a beautiful pond, from the centre of which a
fountain throws a crystal spray to catch the sun's rays and dispense a
wealth of glittering diamonds.

Hot water is the literal meaning of Tjipanas, and a hot spring in the
vicinity of the villa supplies the bath-rooms, as well as the swimming
bath of the Sanatorium.

There is a fine view from the villa, but a better prospect is obtained
from Goenoeng Kasoer, some hundreds of feet higher, where a former
Governor-General often took his ontbijtberg (or breakfast). It is now
known as Breakfast Hill. A silver mine in the neighbourhood was worked
for a time by the John Company.

The mountain garden of Tjibodas, mentioned in a previous article, is
well worth a visit. A good walker, starting at six o'clock, can go
there, breakfast and be back at the hotel by noon. But the excursion to
be taken by everyone who stays at Sindanglaya for any length of time is
to the falls at Tjibeureum, Kandang Badak and the crater of the Gedéh.
Ladies may make the trip in sedan chairs; gentlemen on foot or on
horseback. The falls of Tjibeureum consist of three cataracts, falling
400 feet down a perpendicular crag, and the winding road passes through
some interesting jungle scenery.

From Tjibeureum, the path winds up a steep ascent, and through a narrow
cleft in the rocks, a natural gateway to which the natives have attached
some wonderful legends. Hot springs break through the mountain crust and
run side by side with crystal-pure cold brooks, as is often the case on
the mountains in Japan.

After a two and a half hours' climb from Tjibeureum, Kadang Badak (or
Rhinoceros Kraal) is reached. It lies almost half way up the saddle
which connects the Gedéh with the Pangerango, and although there are now
no traces of pachyderms, it is stated that both this place and the
Telega Warna were favourite haunts of the rhinoceros not so very many
years ago. It is recommended that the climbers should spend the night in
the hut here, and ascend the Pangerango (9,500 ft.) at 4 a.m. to see
the sun rise. From the top the view is magnificent.

Along a steep and difficult mountain path, the crater of the Gedéh may
be reached in an hour and a half, and the sight of the gigantic crater
of this majestic volcano is said to be overwhelming and ample
compensation for the toilsome ascent. It is about two miles distant from
the Pangerango, and forms the still active part of the twin volcano.
Between 1761 and 1832 no eruptions occurred, but seven took place in the
twenty years following, the most terrible and severe being the eruption
of 1840. There were again terrible eruptions in 1886 and 1899, when the
volcano covered the hillsides with huge stones, one over 150 kilogrammes
in weight landing three-quarters of a mile away.

There are several places in the Preanger Region where the visitor may
elect to stay instead of Sindanglaya, such as Soekaboemi (2,100 ft.)
which has the advantage of being on the railway, Bandoeng and Garoet.
All have their own attractions for invalids, and the hotel accommodation
is spoken of in terms of the highest praise by all who have been there.

When we drove away from Sindanglaya at seven o'clock on the following
morning, the white crater wall of the Gedéh stood out like a huge lump
of marble in the morning sun.

Our route lay through tea, coffee and cocoa plantations, and richly
cultivated country to Tjiandjoer--a thriving little mountain town, with
an air of prosperity and progress,--where we joined the train at 9.30
a.m. for Padalarang. Here, at 11.10 a.m., a change was made to the
express from Batavia, and Maos was reached at 5.46 p.m. It had been our
intention to stay overnight at Bandoeng, strongly recommended by Mr.
Gantvoort, the courteous manager of the Hotel des Indes in Batavia, but
we pressed on with the intention of devoting more time to the eastern
end of the island. It was well we did so, for, shortly after leaving
Padalarang, rain began to fall in torrents, and the afternoon and night
were passed in a severe thunderstorm which was to cause us delay. Part
of the line was washed away near Moentilan, and our train was over three
hours late in reaching Djocjakarta on the following day.

At Maos, there is a commodious, well-built, comfortable passagrahan or
government rest-house, where four of us ate our meal in solemn silence,
until a query by ourselves when the coffee arrived broke the icy reserve
of the quartette, and opened the way for an interesting conversation.

It is customary to make fun of English reserve, but our observation
convinced us that the Dutch are no whit behind us in that respect where
fellow-Dutch are concerned. On the other hand, nothing could have
exceeded the kindness and courtesy with which we were treated from one
end of Java to the other. Speaking no Dutch, we had looked forward to
many tedious days, but our fears were needless, for, wherever we went,
we met pleasant English-speaking Dutchmen, who proved the most
entertaining of companions, and we take this opportunity of
acknowledging the courteous assistance we received from time to time. On
the score of not speaking Dutch or Malay, no English man or woman need
be deterred from visiting Java. English is spoken at all the hotels, and
though all the train conductors and stationmasters may not do so, there
is sure to be an educated Dutchman or lady in the car to whom one may
turn for help, which is always readily given.

On one occasion, we had an interesting conversation with two native
officials attached to the staff of the Sultan at Djocjakarta. These men
had never left the island of Java, yet one of them read and spoke
English with ready fluency and perfect accent.

Next day, in spite of the delay caused by the wash-out on the line, we
were able to reach Djocjakarta by tiffin time, and devoted the afternoon
to the Hindu ruins at Parambanan.

[Illustration: THE BARA BUDUR.]

Hindu Ruins in Central Java.

A visit to Java would be incomplete did it not include a pilgrimage to
the marvellous products of religious fervour which Buddhism reared in
the plains around Djocjakarta before it went down before the
all-conquering onslaught of Moslemism. These ruins testify to an ancient
art and civilisation and culture and an instinct of creation few are
aware of to-day, and it is hard to resist the temptation to indulge in
extravagant language when attempting to describe them as they now stand,
partially restored by the Dutch authorities.

Miss Scidmore has lavished the wealth of her luxuriant vocabulary upon
them, but neither she, nor any of her predecessors in the work of
praise, saw them as they stand to-day--a wonder alike to archaeologist,
architect, artist and student of comparative religions. Here in the
centre of fertile plains we have the real Java of ancient times.

The Dutch had been in possession of the island for two hundred years
without discovering the rich deposits hidden beneath the accumulated
mounds of centuries and buried under a mass of tropical vegetation. To
the active mind of Sir Stamford Raffles the discovery was due. He went
to Java as Lieutenant-Governor in 1811, and during the period it was
under his control, he had the mounds explored, the ruined temples
un-earthed and their historic import co-related with the romantic
legends and poetic records rescued from the archives of the native
princes. It was due to the investigations of this great Englishman that
the date of the construction of the temples was fixed at the beginning
of the seventh century of the Christian era, and subsequent
investigators (prominent amongst whom must be placed Dr. I. Groneman,
now and for many years resident of Djocjakarta and Honorary President of
its Archaeological Society) agree in accepting this period as
authentically proved from the ruins themselves.


Sir Stamford was of opinion that the temples, as works of labour and
art, dwarf to nothing all wonder and admiration at the great pyramids of
Egypt; but since his time, it must not be forgotten, much richer
discoveries in ancient art and archæological lore have been made in
Egypt and Palestine. Alfred Russell Wallace, Brumund, Fergusson, all
join in the chorus of praise, and the latter, in his "History of Indian
and Eastern Architecture," expresses the opinion that the Boro Budur is
the highest development of Buddhist art, an epitome of all its arts and
ritual, and the culmination of the architectural style, which,
originating at Barhut a thousand years before--that is more than
twenty-one centuries ago--had begun to decay in India at the time the
colonists were erecting this masterpiece of the ages in the heart of


To reach the Boro Budur, one takes the steam tram from Djocja to
Moentilan. There a dog-cart may be hired for three guilders, and, taking
the Temple or Tjandi of Mendoet on the way, the Boro Budur may be
reached in an hour and a half from Moentilan. Miss Scidmore was able to
write with her customary enthusiasm about this road; but, truth to tell,
we found the drive far from pleasant. Until one gets within a quarter of
a mile of the ruins, the surface is bad and some of the small bridges so
dangerous that we dismounted at the driver's request. The dog-cart,
also, is far from an agreeable vehicle in which to travel, and if a
better carriage could be found we would advise its being hired.
Wherever one goes in Java, the public vehicles are in a state of decay,
far more disreputable than the gharry of Singapore, and a large number
of the ponies are decrepit and suffering from open sores. If Java is to
become a tourist country the vehicles should be better supervised.

Before setting out from Djocjakarta, the visitor should get the hotel
proprietor to communicate with the stationmaster at Moentilan, with the
object of having a more comfortable carriage than fell to our unhappy
lot through leaving the matter to haphazard.

Strictly speaking, the Boro Budur--which means the collection of
Buddas--is not a building in the sense that we speak of St. Paul's or
St. Peter's. A small hill has been cut down and the earthwork surrounded
by masonry, uncemented, unjointed, layer upon layer, and there is no
column, pillar, or true arch. It is supposed that it was built by some
of the first Buddhist settlers from India as the resting place (dagaba)
of one of the urns containing a portion of the ashes of Buddha.

[Illustration: BAS RELIEF--BARA BUDUR.]

[Illustration: BAS RELIEF--BARA BUDUR.]

It is difficult to describe it briefly, but the following extract from
Miss Scidmore's book seems to us to convey the best idea of the
structure in general terms:--

    "The temple stands on a broad platform, and rises first in five
    square terraces, inclosing galleries or processional paths
    between their walls, which are covered on each side with
    bas-relief sculptures. If placed in single line, these
    bas-reliefs would extend for three miles. The terrace walls hold
    four hundred and thirty-six niches or alcove chapels, where
    life-size Buddhas sit serene upon lotus cushions. Staircases
    ascend in straight lines from each of the four sides, passing
    under stepped or pointed arches, the keystones of which are
    elaborately carved masks, and rows of sockets in the jambs show
    where wood or metal doors once swung. Above the square terraces
    are three circular terraces, where seventy-two latticed dagabas
    (reliquaries in the shape of the calyx or bud of the lotus)
    inclose each a seated image, seventy-two more Buddhas sitting in
    those inner, upper circles, of Nirvana, facing a great dagaba,
    or final cupola, the exact function or purpose of which as key
    to the whole structure is still the puzzle of archæologists.
    This final shrine is fifty feet in diameter, and either covered
    a relic of Buddha, or a central well where the ashes of priests
    and princes were deposited, or is a form surviving from the
    tree-temples of the earliest primitive East when nature-worship
    prevailed. The English engineers made an opening in the solid
    exterior, and found an unfinished statue of Buddha on a platform
    over a deep well-hole."


We read this description among others before we visited the Boro Budur,
and must confess that from none of them did we get a correct idea of
what we were to see. It must be seen to be realised. Not even
photographs give a true conception of the ornate character of the
decorative stonework--the hard but freely-worked lava stone having lent
itself easily to the chisel. Like Cologne or Milan Cathedrals, it must
be examined minutely to grasp the elaborateness of the sculptured work,
but, unlike either of these, it does not produce an immediate impression
of grandeur and religious elevation. It is unlike any of the temples in
Japan, or, indeed, anywhere, though Ceylon and India may suggest

What will strike the visitor as he perambulates these miles of
sculptured terraces is the complete absence of any offensive or indecent
figure. Mere nudity is not, of course, an outrage to the artistic soul;
but here there is not even a nude or grotesque figure. Each is draped in
the fine flowing robes of the East, not in monotonous regularity but
suggestive of prince and peasant, princess and maids, down even to the
jewels they wear. Strangely enough, no particularly Javanese type of
face or figure is represented--all are Hindu, Hindu-Caucasian and pure

It is not our purpose to give elaborate details of this work of
religious art. The visitor may obtain at Djocjakarta a copy of Dr.
Groneman's learned treatise on the subject, a treatise which will teach
him something about Buddhism as well as the Boro Budur, of which Dr.
Groneman has made an exhaustive study. With his guide, the sculptures
become an open book to the visitor.

It is more archæological than descriptive, however, and we must
acknowledge our indebtedness again to Miss Scidmore for the following
passage to show the scope of the sculptures:--


    "The everyday life of the seventh and eighth century is
    pictured--temples, palaces, thrones and tombs, ship and houses,
    all of man's constructions are portrayed. The life in courts and
    palaces, in fields and villages, is all seen there. Royal folk
    in wonderful jewels sit enthroned, with minions offering gifts
    and burning incense before them warriors kneeling and maidens
    dancing. The peasant ploughs the rice-fields with the same
    wooden stick and ungainly buffalo, and carries the rice-sheaves
    from the harvest field with the same shoulder poles, used in
    all the farther East to-day. Women fill their water-vessels at
    the tanks and bear them away on their heads as in India now, and
    scores of bas-reliefs show the unchanging costumes of the East
    that offer sculptors the same models in this century. Half the
    wonders of that great three-mile-long gallery of sculptures
    cannot be recalled. Each round disclosed some more wonderful
    picture, some more eloquent story. Even the humorous fancies of
    the sculptors are expressed in stone. In one relievo a
    splendidly caparisoned state elephant flings its feet in
    imitation of the dancing girl near by. Other sportive elephants
    carry fans and state umbrellas in their trunks; and the marine
    monsters swimming about the ship that bears the Buddhist
    missionaries to the isles have such expression and human
    resemblance as to make one wonder if those pillory an enemy with
    their chisels, too. In the last gallery, where, in the progress
    of the religion, it took on many features of Jainism, or
    advancing Brahmanism, Buddha is several times represented as the
    ninth avatar, or incarnation, of Vishnu, still seated on the
    lotus cushion and holding a lotus with one of his four hands."

In all probability, the masonry was shaken down by an earthquake, the
Boro Budur being near three volcanoes. Restorative and preservative work
is now being carried on by the Government, and some of the smaller
temples in the Djocja district are restored in the original design.


[Illustration: THE SMÉROE--13,000 FEET HIGH.]

There is a small hotel at the Boro Budur where one is recommended to
stay when studying details, and we can well believe that sunrise as seen
from the summit is a sight one should never forget. We saw it in the
early afternoon when the heat vapours from the noontide sun partially
obliterated the landscape, but even so it was impressive. Except on the
right, where the mountains close in the horizon, the eye has a range of
many miles over fertile alluvial plains, studded with coco and banana
and palm trees, and every other patch of ground cultivated "like a tulip
bed." Miss Marianne North, whose collection of paintings in Kew Gardens
may be familiar to some of our readers, wrote of this view: "The very
finest view we ever saw."

The Temples of Parambanan.

There are other Buddhist ruins in the neighbourhood of the Boro Budur;
but the other more important collection is scattered over the region
between Djocjakarta and Soerakarta. One small temple, the Tjandi Kali
Bening, is reputed to be the gem of Hindu art in Java. This we did not
see; but, on another day, in a victoria drawn by four small ponies, kept
going by the wild gr-r-r-ee gr-r-r-eeing of our native running footman,
we drove to the scattered temples on the Plain of Parambanan, where,
with the help of another archæological guide by Dr. I. Groneman, we were
able to appreciate the beauties of these 1100-year-old centres of
ancient religious devotees. These temples are the most interesting in
the country, though lacking the extent and grandeur of the Boro Budur.
Though they do not contain a single genuine Buddha figure, but many
images of Brahmanic gods, Dr. Groneman says there are many reasons to
justify the opinion that they were built by Buddhists, probably over the
ashes of princes and grandees of a Buddhistic empire.

In his report to Sir Stamford Raffles on these Parambanan ruins, Captain
George Baker, of the Bengal establishment wrote:--"In the whole course
of my life, I have never met with such stupendous and finished
specimens of human labour and of the science and taste of ages long
since forgot, crowded together in so small a compass, as in this little
spot, which, to use a military phrase, I deem to have been the
headquarters of Hinduism in Java."

In Volume XIII of the "Asiatick Researches or Transactions of the
Society instituted in Bengal for inquiring into the History and
Antiquities, the Arts, Sciences and Literature of Asia" (Calcutta,
1820), Mr. John Crawfurd, who, apparently, visited Java in 1816, gives a
long and interesting description of the ruins on the Plain of
Parambanan. He describes the locale as ten miles from Djocjakarta, a
valley lying between Rababu and Marapi to the north and a smaller
southern range of high land.

A few of the ruins consist of single isolated temples, but the greater
number are in groups, rows of small temples surrounding larger temples.

The shape of the smaller temples is worthy of observation. From the
foundation to the lintels of the doors, they are of a square form. They
then assume a pyramidal but round shape, and are decorated around by
small figures resembling Lingas, while a larger Linga surmounts the
whole building, forming the apex of the temple.

Invariably, the sites of the temples are adjacent to abundant supplies
of clear water so much desired by the Hindus and so necessary to the
performance of the ritual. Beside two rivers of the purest water, there
is between the villages of Parambanan and Plaosan a small tank,
evidently an appendage to the temples. This little piece of water is a
square of about 200 feet to the side. The ground around it is elevated,
and there is every appearance of its being an artificial excavation. The
whole tank, when visited by Mr. Crawfurd, was covered with blue lotus,
the flower of which is so conspicuous an ornament of the sculptures of
the temple.

Then, as now, there was no evidence of Hindu descendants of the builders
of these religious houses and places of worship, but the Javanese are as
tolerant of various religious cults as the Chinese or the Japanese, and
the visitor need not be surprised to find native visitors making what
appears to be a pilgrimage to some particular shrine.

Mr. Crawfurd found barren women, men unfortunate in trade or at play,
persons in debt and sick persons propitiating the Goddess Durgá,
"smeared with perfumed unguents or decked with flowers." This worship,
too, was not confined to the lower orders. His Highness the Susuhunan
when meditating an unusually ambitious or hazardous scheme made
offerings to the image.

These temples are built of a hard dark and heavy species of basalt, the
chief component of the mountains of Java. The stone is usually hewn in
square blocks of various sizes, as is the case with the Boro Budur. The
respective surfaces of the stones which lie on each other in the
building have grooves and projections which key into each other as in
the best masonry work to-day. They are regularly arranged in the walls
in such a manner as to give the greatest degree of strength and solidity
to the structure, and nowhere is cement or mortar utilised. There are no
huge pillars or single blocks such as may be seen in other prehistoric
edifices, and neither in boldness of design nor imposing grandeur have
the temples presented any difficulties to the builders. There is nothing
upon a great scale, nothing attempted outside the reach of the most
obvious mechanical contrivance or the most ordinary methods of common
ingenuity. The chief characteristic is the minute laboriousness of the
execution. Nevertheless, the temples excite the imagination, and send
the thoughts back to those primeval days when men sought to express
their religious feeling through these elaborate monuments of hewn stone.

The Tjandi Kalasan, one of the most beautiful of the temples, is the
only ruin in Central Java of which the exact date of construction has
been learned with any degree of accuracy. This was ascertained from a
stone found in the neighbourhood, inscribed in nâgari characters. Two
versions of the inscription were made--one by the Dutch scholar, Dr. J.
Brandes, and the other by the Indian, Dr. R. G. Bhandarkar.

Dr. I. Groneman makes use of both versions to compile the following:--

    "Homage to the blessed (or, reverend) and noble Târâ.

    "May she,--the only deliverer of the world, who, seeing how men
    perish in the sea of life, which is full of incalculable misery,
    is sure to save them by the three means--grant you the wished
    for essence, the salvation of the world by the Lord of gods and

    "The guru (_i.e._ teacher) of the Sailendra prince erected a
    magnificent Târâ temple. At the command (or, the instance) of
    the guru, the grateful ----(?) made an image of the goddess and
    built the temple, together with a dwelling (vihara, monastery)
    for the monks (bhikshus) who know the great vehicle of
    discipline (Mahâyâna).

    "By authorisation of the king, the Târâ temple and the monastery
    for the reverend monks have been built by his counsellors, the
    pangkur, the tavan, and the tirip (old Javanese civil officers,
    perhaps soothsayers or astrologers).

    "The deserving guru of the Sailendra king built the temple in
    the prosperous reign of the king, the son of the Sailendra

    "The great king built the Târâ temple in honour of the guru (to
    do homage to the guru) when 700 years of the Saka era were past.

    "The territory of the village of Kâlasa was bestowed on the
    congregation of priests (monks) in the presence of the pangkur,
    the tavan and the tirip, and the village chiefs (as witnesses).

    "This great (incomparable) endowment was made by the king for
    the monks. It is to be perpetuated by the (later) kings of the
    Sailendra dynasty, for the benefit of the successive reverend
    congregations of monks, and be respected (maintained) by the
    wise pangkur, the good tivan, the wise tirip and others, and by
    their virtuous wives (according to Dr. Brandes, but "their
    virtuous foot-soldiers" according to Dr. Bhandarkar).

    "The king also begs of all following kings that this bridge (or,
    dam) of charity, which is (a benefit) for all nations, may be
    perpetuated for all time.

    "May all who adhere to the doctrine of the Jinas, through the
    blessings of this monastery, obtain knowledge of the nature of
    things, constituted by the concatenation of causes (and
    effects), and may they thrive.

    "The ---- prince once more requests of (all) future kings that
    they may protect the monastery righteously."

This inscription, showing clearly that the temple was consecrated to
Târâ, the sakti of the deliverer of the world, the fourth Dhyâni Buddha,
Amitâbha, the Târâ of the Buddhists of the Northern Church (Mahâyâna, or
the "Great Vehicle"), leads Dr. Groneman to the opinion that this
particular temple was completed in the year 701 of the Saka era, or 779
of the Christian era. No trace of the Târâ image was found; but this is
not to be wondered at when we note the presence of other images in the
gardens of private residences in Djocjakarta, and even farther afield,
and remember the destruction wrought by foreign soldiers and foreign and
native vandals.

People and Industries of Central Java.

In the plains going eastward through Central Java from the Preanger
Regencies to the mountains of the Teng'ger Region, one cannot fail to be
struck by the remarkable change in the appearance of the natives. The
Soendanese of the West may not have the resource and thoughtfulness of
the people of the plains, the Javanese, but they have brightness and
vivacity which make them more attractive. Their bent of mind is
reflected in the bright colours of their dress. In this and other
respects, they resemble the Japanese women. In the plains, sombreness of
dress is a characteristic--the browns of Mid-Java changing to an almost
universal dark blue in the west, reminding the traveller of the Chinese
and the inhabitants of the southern Japanese islands.

Everywhere, the male Javanese carry the kris or native knife in the
girdle. There is much variety in the blades, handles and sheaths of
those weapons, real native damascene blades costing considerable sums.
One taking a superficial trip through the island is at a loss to
understand why the natives should be armed. According to all accounts,
they are a peaceably inclined people, and give their Dutch rulers very
little trouble; and if they were at all quarrelsome amongst themselves,
the handy weapon would be a source of grave danger. In course of time,
perhaps, the knife will disappear as did the sword of civilised Europe a
century or more ago. A traffic in Birmingham manufactured krises and
knives is done at Djocjakarta and Soerakarta, as well as at Samarang,
Sourabaya and Batavia, and anyone who wishes to make a collection of
native weapons should be careful to have the assistance of an expert to
detect the sham from the real.

The same remark applies to the purchase of sarongs. The ordinary sarong
of commerce is manufactured in Lancashire, whence an excellent imitation
of the native manufacture is exported. Tourists are also catered for in
a native block-stamped variety, which is at least a colourable imitation
of the real article. Wherever we went, however, we could see that the
native art had not been lost entirely. Women sit outside their little
huts by the roadside tracing the most elaborate designs in brown and
blue dye upon the cloth with tiny funnel-shaped implements.

This cloth is styled bátik. According to the ground of white, black or
red, it is known as bátik látur púti, bátik látur irang, or bátuk látur
bang. To prepare it to receive the design, the cloth is steeped in rice
water, dried and calendered. The process of the bátik is performed with
hot wax in a liquid state applied by means of the chánting. The
chánting is usually made of silver or copper, and holds about an ounce
of the liquid. The tube is held in the hand at the end of a small stick,
and the pattern is traced on both sides of the tightly drawn suspended
cloth. When the outline is finished, such portions of the cloth as are
intended to be preserved white, or to receive any other colour than the
general field or ground, are carefully covered in like manner with the
liquid wax, and then the piece is immersed in whatever coloured dye may
be intended for the ground of the pattern. The parts covered with wax
resist the operation of the dye, and when the wax is removed, by being
steeped in hot water till it melts, are found to remain in their
original condition. If other colours are to be applied, the process is
gone over again. It will thus be seen that a considerable amount of
skill is required. In the ordinary course, the process of the bátik
occupies about ten days for common patterns, and from fifteen to
seventeen days for the finer and more variegated.

Some of the sarongs worn by the native aristocracy and the European
ladies are not only beautiful in pattern and working but most expensive
in price.

In our excursions in the neighbourhood of Djocjakarta, we had ample
opportunity of seeing the industry of the Javanese. Wherever one went,
there were long processions of stunted women bravely carrying enormous
burdens on their backs, often with a baby slung in the slandang astride
the hip. The cheery, coquettish look of the Soendanese was absent here.
All seemed to be borne down by the seriousness of a strenuous physical
life. No songs arose from the fields; scarcely a head was raised from
the laborious planting of tufts of paddy roots as our kreta rattled
past. While mothers toiled in the fields, children played near the
roadways, or now and then assisted their parents.

We were surprised to see in these fertile plains how prevalent goitre is
amongst the women. In the drive from Moentilan to the Boro Budur, at
least one in twenty were so afflicted. We commented on this fact to a
native official while waiting for our tram at Moentilan, and he assured
us that it is remarkably prevalent amongst the common people, but that
the men do not suffer in the same proportion as the women. The disease
is named "kondo" by the Javanese. We do not know whether any scientific
investigations into the disease have been carried out by the Dutch
officials; but it would be interesting to know why it should be so
prevalent in this area. Goitre is usually associated with people living
in mountainous regions, yet we never noticed it in the Preanger and
scarcely at all on the mountains of East Java.

Since the above was written, we have had an opportunity of consulting
Sir Stamford Raffles' History of Java. He found goitre prevalent in both
Java and Sumatra, but is careful to explain that it was observed in
certain mountainous districts. The natives ascribed it to the quality of
the water, but, says Sir Stamford, "there seems good ground for
concluding that it is rather to be traced to the atmosphere. In proof of
this, it may be mentioned that there is a village near the foot of the
Teng'ger mountains, in the eastern part of the island, where every
family is afflicted by this malady, while in another village, situated
at a greater elevation, and through which the stream descends which
serves for the use of both, there exists no such deformity. These wens
are considered hereditary in some families, and seem thus independent of
situation. A branch of the family of the present Adipati of Bandung
(1811-15) is subject to them, and it is remarkable that they prevail
chiefly among the women of the family. They never produce positive
suffering nor occasion early death, and may be considered rather as
deformities than diseases. It is never attempted to remove them."


We reached Djocjakarta in the ordinary way through Maos. It may be that
circumstances may take the traveller off the beaten track, and we are
indebted to a friend for the following brief description of the trip
from Samarang to Djocja over the mountains:--

    "The usual journey from Samarang to Djocjakarta is made by way
    of Solo (Soerakarta), but the route is devoid of interest, the
    railway running through low country under rice cultivation. I
    would suggest the far more interesting route via Willem I.
    Starting at 5.57 a.m. or 8.17 a.m., Djocja is reached at 2.16
    p.m. or 5.10 p.m. The 10.50 a.m. train, I found, went only as
    far as Magelang, so I started at 2.9 p.m., and, after a
    delightful run, reached Kedoeng Djattie, a fine junction
    station, where we changed cars. The next two hours' run is
    through foot hills, strips of forest and lovely vegetation,
    glimpses being obtained every little while of pleasant valleys,
    rice fields and distant hills as the train climbed up to Willem
    I. This point we reached about 5 p.m., in time to enjoy the
    refreshing cool breezes and to admire the beautiful view and
    sunset on a small mountain opposite the hotel.

    "Next morning, I caught the train (8.54 a.m.,) which leaves
    Samarang at 5.57, and after a short run reached a station where
    our engine was changed for one working on the cog-wheel system,
    the grade being too heavy for the ordinary locomotive. The train
    winds and circles round hills cultivated, for the most part, to
    their summits. Upwards we climbed till we were in the clouds and
    the air became quite bracing and invigorating. Tiffin should be
    ordered through the guard before starting from Willem I., and it
    will be handed into the train.

    "It was about one o'clock when we reverted to the ordinary
    locomotive, and began the descent to Djocja, through Magelang.
    To anyone who has to visit Samarang, I would recommend this

The principal sight of Djocja itself is the Water Castle. This trip need
not occupy more than a couple of hours, and its appreciation depends
upon the taste of the visitor. Earthquakes have played havoc with the
buildings, but sufficient is left in the way of tunnels, grottoes,
bathing ponds and dungeon-like rooms. Everywhere are signs of decay and
desolation; nevertheless, it is possible, with a little knowledge of
comparatively recent Javan history, to reconstruct the scenes enacted
here in the days when the native sultans were more powerful in the land
than they are to-day. For a small fee, a native pilots one through the
carved archways, underground halls and subways and cells. As one stands
in the large banqueting hall, it is possible to conjure up the
ceremonials of a past age, and, in the mind's eye, to group retainers
round the Sultan and the members of his harem, while gaudily dressed
courtesans sang and danced for the entertainment of "the quality."

The Health Resort of East Java.

Tosari on the Teng'ger mountains was the goal of our travels. We were
anxious to escape from the heat of the plains, for the sun had now
crossed the Equator, Java was in its summer season and the rains might
come any day. From Djocjakarta, we should have arrived in Sourabaya in
time for riz-tafel, but the wash-out at Moentilan still caused a delay
of traffic and we were two hours late in reaching our destination.

Sourabaya is the most important port and business centre of Java, but
this fact notwithstanding many of the foreign business houses still
maintain their headquarters in Batavia. As a place of residence, each
has its good points, and those who have lived in both are divided in
preference. Possibly we were not in either long enough to form a lasting
opinion, but we stayed so long in Sourabaya that we prefer Batavia. It
would be sheer ingratitude, however, not to acknowledge the hearty
welcome we received from the British colony in Sourabaya, and the
personal help of members of that community. Here where the principal
business of Java is conducted, as elsewhere throughout the Far East, it
was satisfying to one's patriotism to see the respect in which British
commercial enterprise and integrity is held by native and European
alike, and that the most cordial good feeling exists on all sides.

To reach Tosari, the visitor proceeds first of all by train to
Pasoeroean, leaving Sourabaya (Goebeng Station) at 6.42 a.m., and
reaching Pasoeroean at 8.23. Here a single-pony carriage is engaged
(two and a-half guilders) as far as Pasrepan, where a change is made to
a two-pony carriage (three guilders). This conveyance takes one to
Poespo, 2,600 feet above sea-level. A halt is made for tiffin in this
delightful little hotel, whose pleasant looking proprietress,
unfortunately, does not speak English. The remainder of the journey to
the Sanatorium (6,000 feet) is made in the saddle or by sedan chair. Of
this ride and a subsequent excursion we have painful recollections, but
anyone accustomed to the saddle will enjoy this ascent through mountain
scenery and vegetation, and even more the morning trip down to Poespo,
through the forest, when returning to Sourabaya.

Tosari has been described as the Darjeeling of the Netherland Indies.

Here within four days' journey from Singapore, one may obtain a complete
change of climate, and if there were only more frequent direct steamer
communication between Singapore and Sourabaya, we predict with
confidence that Tosari would become a favourite health resort for those
who live on the northern side of the Equator. The rooms are comfortable,
the food is good, the facilities for amusements at nightfall are ample,
the walks and excursions are inexhaustible and the views are
magnificent. The tariff (seven guilders per day--$4.90 in Singapore
currency) is higher than that of any other hotel in Java, but those who
intend to stay for a fortnight or more could probably arrange more
favourable terms.

There is a resident doctor who has graduated in the Schools of Tropical
Medicine, and when we were in Tosari there were visitors from Burma,
Siam, Singapore, Penang, and all parts of Java, recruiting from malaria
and other ailments peculiar to Far Eastern residence. But they were not
all invalids, and formed a bright, companionable party.

The Teng'gerese who people this mountainous region are a race apart.
Their religion is a mixture of paganism and Buddhism, and, though
reputed to be kind and honest, they are an ignorant, uncouth, uncultured
people. They dwell _en famille_ in large square houses without windows,
in isolated kampongs on the projecting ridges of the mountains. The door
of each house is on the side nearest the Bromo crater, and as if
tradition gave them cause to fear another destructive eruption they
worship this volcano. Dirt prevails everywhere, and in consequence of
the cool climate and the scarcity of water they seldom bathe, a fact
that is very noticeable after one's acquaintance with the people of the

To go to Tosari without seeing the Bromo is tantamount to going to Rome
without entering St. Peter's. The journey is made on pony or in a sedan
chair, by way of the Moengal Pass and the Dasar or Sand Sea, which is in
reality the enormous Teng'ger crater, inside of which there are three
more craters, the Bromo being the only one showing signs of activity.

A better view and more impressive is obtained from the Penandjaan Pass,
a description of which is given in the next chapter.

Another trip worth making is to the lakes in the saddle-back mountain
between the Teng'ger and the Seméroe. From this high plateau, the ascent
of the Seméroe or Mahameroe is fairly easy and will prove attractive to
those who are fond of mountaineering. It is the highest volcano in Java
and has a perfect cone. The crater, from which smoke and ashes are
constantly ejected, is not on the summit but is formed on the south-east

The visitor who does not wish to retrace his steps to Poespo and
Pasrepan may return to the plains by way of Malang or Lawang through
beautiful sub-tropical and tropical mountain scenery.

Sunrise at the Penandjaan Pass.

When a sharp rap came to our door at two o'clock in the morning to
summon us for a ride to the Penandjaan Pass, we repented the rash
promise to carry out this over-night project to see the sun rise. It was
no use to curl one's-self up under two heavy blankets and pretend that
we had not heard. The "jongus" was insistent. Up we had to get, effect a
hasty toilet in ice-cold water by the aid of a flickering lamp, and step
into the outer darkness and mount the pony waiting beside our bedroom

Unfamiliar constellations shed a cold light on the hillside.

Our thickest clothing was penetrated by a searching though slight
breeze, as our little rat of a pony, guided by the syce, clambered
bravely up the brae that led through Tosari village.

The road bore away to the left, and we were soon slipping and jolting
down a mountain path that sank into a crater-like ravine. It was like a
descent into the infernal regions. Disaster seemed inevitable. A mistake
by the pony or the slightest lurch would have precipitated us down some
hundreds of feet; but the guide knew his way and so did the pony, as,
sure-footed and cautious, it picked its way, first on one side of the
road and then on the other, descending, descending, lower and lower,
where the pale light failed to penetrate. The hill on the other side
loomed so high that one could not believe there was a way out. Pit-pat,
pit-pat went the pony with steady step, now on hard road now on yielding
lava mud, across fragile bamboo bridges covered with bamboo lathing,
down, down, down till at last we reach the ford. The seat was not an
easy one for the unaccustomed rider, whose hands and feet were chilled
almost beyond feeling by the unwonted cold. But it was arm-chair ease
compared with the experience on the other side, as the pony pluckily
pounded his way up the zigzag path for the summit of the hill. How
either guide or pony could see a path will ever remain a puzzle. The
over-hanging vegetation blotted out any recognisable landmarks; not even
the ribbon of a road was visible to the eye. But the top was reached,
and believing we were now on the level road for Penandjaan we tried to
open up conversation with our guide.

It is not easy to carry on a connected conversation with a native of the
Teng'ger when one's Malay vocabulary consists of about twenty words--and
half of these numerals--and the native's knowledge of the English
language, as one soon learned, consists entirely of "Yes" and "No." Yet,
it is wonderful what one will attempt in the dark--the loneliness was
so overpowering that one felt compelled to break the awesome silence.

[Illustration: ROAD TO TOSARI.]

But the conversation soon flagged, and one was thrown back upon one's
own thoughts. And as the road once again shaped for another crater-like
ravine, plunged in inkier darkness and shrouded in solemn stillness,
thoughts surged rapidly through one's mind. The first thing that had
attracted our attention as we mounted our pony was the delicious smell
of roses in the grounds of the Tosari Hotel. Since nothing could be
learned from the syce, nothing could be seen, nothing could be heard
except the occasional bark of a dog from a remote hut on the hillside or
the tuneful tingle of a bell on the neck of the uneasy occupant of an
unseen cow-shed, one tried to learn something by the sense of smell. At
first, the morning air was snell and sharp; there was an earthy aroma
which suggested nothing but decaying vegetable matter, but soon it was
succeeded by a pungent penetrating odour which made one wonder whence
its source. This pungency remained for the remainder of the morning's
ride, almost to the top of the mountain pass, some 9000 feet above
sea-level, and we ascertained on our return that it proceeded from the
enormous cabbages grown by the mountaineers for the markets on the
plains of East Java.

As we plunged deeper into the forest, it was impossible to make out more
than a dull outline of a white jacket and the white shoulder of our
piebald pony. Had we not known that the guide was there, we might have
wondered how the wonderful jacket succeeded in floating through space.
The pony had no head to our sight; the reins we held in our hand might
have been dispensed with so far as they acted as a guide to the pony,
who picked his own foothold and followed the white jacket. With painful
persistence, he picked the edge of the precipitous declivity which was
lost in the bottomless abyss.

Once only we lost our way. Turn after turn was negotiated safely, first
down into the bottom of the ravine and through the mountain torrent,
then up the hillside again, mysterious zigzag after zigzag, and one had
become reconciled to the jolting motion of the pony, the steady tramp of
his tiny hoofs, and his heavy breathing where the path was steepest, and
gave one's-self up to reverie. How terrible, we thought, must have been
the scene on the mountain slopes when the enormous craters of the
Teng'ger range were belching forth their death-dealing streams of lava,
their showers of ashes and stones and choking sulphurous fumes! How
insignificant was man before the powerful agencies of Nature! How bright
were the occasional stars one saw wherever there was a break in the
trees that lined our path! How wonderful that each of those stars, those
planets, might be peopled by beings puzzling over the disputed facts of
the Creation, as we were; who might also be worrying over a future
existence and the redemption of a sinful people; who might be
endeavouring to solve labour problems and trade disputes and discussing
whether free trade or preferential tariffs were best for a nation's
welfare! Was there somebody up in one of those other planets on a pony's
back, as we were, robbing one's-self of much-needed rest to reach a
mountain top to see the sun rise?

These and other thoughts kept recurring to one when, suddenly, as if it
had been shot, the pony planted his forefeet and refused to follow the
guiding lead of the syce.

We had made a wrong turning and the syce all but slipped over a
precipice. Had it not been for the pony's instinct, all three of us
would have been plunged into Eternity, and some of the problems of the
previous moment might have been solved.

Out came the syce's matches, as he clung to the pony's bridle. Not
nearly so bright as the lambent phosphorescence from the fireflies which
flickered across our path, the puny light of the match was sufficient
for the guide to pick up the ribbon-like path, and once more we were on
our way to the top.

Three deep ravines were traversed before we made the final upward
movement, and then Nature's lamp lights were being shut out in hundreds
at a time as the soft dawn began to diffuse itself. With Dawn's left
hand in the sky, we thought of Omar Khayyam's stanza, and felt impelled
to cry out to the sleepers in the hollow--

    Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
    Has flung the stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
      And lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
    The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light,

The dawn had been preluded by the awakening chirrups of songsters in the
wood. A shriller note was struck by some feathered Daphnis piping to his
Chloe. Deep down in the valleys and in the villages perched perilously
on projecting ledges of the mountain, faint twinkling lights began to
appear, and the lowing of the cattle and the answering and re-echoed
crowing of rival poultry-yards sent the thoughts back to Homeland scenes
some 10,000 miles away.

As we stood on the wall of the enormous crater, overlooking the Sand
Sea, and watched the long shafts of golden light shoot up to the zenith
from behind the mountain peaks to the East, we felt that our ride had
not been in vain.

To be abroad at early dawn in the tropics is to enjoy the most
delightful period of the day. An English essayist has well expressed the
exhilaration one feels: "There is something beautiful in the unused day,
something beautiful in the fact that it is still untouched, unsoiled."
Only those who have stood on the hill tops, far removed from the haunts
of men, have any true idea of the grandeur of Nature and the
insignificance of man.

The sun rose speedily in the full power of his golden radiance to paint
the landscape. There was no transition. Out of the darkness there rose a
view, enormous, diversified, impressive.

Miles away on the west, the five summits of the Ardjeono had been the
first to reflect the rays hidden from us. Penanggoenan's sugar-loaf top
soon caught them up and passed them on to Kawi's three lofty peaks. To
the south, was the Seméroe, Java's loftiest volcano; to the east, the
Yang Plateau; to the north, the sea and the island of Madoera. We could
trace the coast-line 9,000 feet below, away westward beyond Sourabaya,
where white-crested surf beat silently upon the streak of yellow sand.
The vast plains of East Java showed a pattern of variegated colour,
which stretched out to the cultivated slopes of the hills. Mountain
hamlets and villages on the plains sent out blue vapours from morning
fires. The rivers were distinguishable by their leafy fringe as much as
by the reflection of the blue sky overhead. Between us and the Yang
Plateau, there were rolling billows of white cloud, tipped by the
colours from the sun's spectrum.

But it was the panorama spread out like a model beneath our feet which
arrested attention and impressed one most. We stood on the edge of an
enormous crater--the Teng'ger--with a circumference of fifteen miles.
Where, in prehistoric times, flames and ashes and lava had boiled and
belched, there was now a sea of yellow sand, out of which stood other
three volcano peaks--the Battok, the Bromo, and the Widodarèn--showing
purple in the morning light. The Battok is a perfect cone, the
lava-covered sides standing out in clearly defined ridges like the
buttresses of a Gothic structure. The Bromo is the only one of the three
now active. As we gaze down, we are startled by a deep groaning noise,
and out of the wide crater mouth there issues a mass of grey smoke and
ashes laden and streaked with fire. Simultaneously, a huge mass of
cloud, cruciform in shape, is shot up hundreds of feet into the air from
the Semeroe. It rests a few seconds above the bare, ash-strewn cone, and
then drifts heavily to westward, to make way for the next eruption.


These indications of Nature's activity in the crucible at the earth's
centre make one reflect on the possible consequences of the next great
convulsion, and the fate that is in store for those intrepid villagers
who have perched their primitive huts on the very edge of the Teng'ger
crater. With these reflections, we turn away from one of the most solemn
and impressive sights it has been our privilege to witness, silently
mount our pony and retrace our steps for the snugly-situated Hotel at
Tosari, no longer regretting, nay, rather thankful, that we had resolved
and achieved our resolution to climb the Penandjaan Pass to see the sun

[Illustration: SMOKE PLUME--THE SMÉROE.]

Hotels and Travelling Facilities

Before going to Java, the tourist ought to make himself acquainted with
the outlines of the history of the island since it came under European
domination. Half the charm of European travel, if one is something more
than a mere unreflective globetrotter, lies in the historic associations
of the places visited, and it is the comparative absence of this quality
which robs new countries of the interests they would otherwise possess
for educated people. Scenery alone surfeits the appetite.

In Java, as in most Oriental countries, the traveller feels that he is
moving in an atmosphere of antiquity, and though it has become a
misnomer to refer to "The Unchanging East," it is borne in upon one that
in the large group of islands comprised in the Philippine and Malay
Archipelagoes, from Luzon in the north to Java in the south, from Samar
in the east to Sumatra in the west, centuries of western contact has
left but a slight impress upon the characters of the people. Changes
there are, undoubtedly. Modern civilisation has advanced like a
resistless wave and gradually engulfed an older civilisation, but here
in Java one feels that the change has not been so decisive; and railways
and canals and cultivation notwithstanding, the difference in general
advancement between the Javanese and the Japanese is most marked, and
even the Chinese, conservative though they are in most ways, have more
character and look more hopeful soil for the reception and development
of western ideas.

A solid foundation for the trip to Java may be laid by perusing Sir
Stamford Raffles' history, the second edition of which, published in
1830, will be found in Raffles Library. It covers the whole period from
the time the Portuguese arrived in the Farther East in 1510 to the
British occupation. Making Malacca his headquarters, Albuquerque sent
various expeditions to the surrounding islands, and Antonio de Abrew was
his emissary to Java and the Moluccas. The Dutch appeared in 1595,
obtaining their first footing in the East Indies at Bantam, the English
East India Company establishing a factory at the same place in 1602.

Of the capture of Java by the British troops brief details have already
been given.

An interesting account of "The Conquest of Java" is given by Captain
William Thorn, a Dragoon officer, who served on the staff of one of the
brigadiers. It was written in 1815 while he was on his way back to
England, and is so plentifully illustrated with field maps as to add
interest to one's visit to Batavia and Buitenzorg and the seaports of
Samarang and Sourabaya.

We are indebted to Dr. Hanitsch, the Curator, for the following list of
books on Java in Raffles Library:--

    The Dutch in Java; 1904, by Clive Day.

    Java, Facts and Fancies; 1905, by Augusta de Wit.

    Facts and Fancies about Java; 1908, by Augusta de Wit.

    Life in Java, 2 vols; 1864, by W. B. d'Almeida.

    Voyage Round the World; 1870, by Marquis de Beauvoir.

    With the Dutch in the East; 1897, by W. Cool.

    Geschiedenis der Nederlanders of Java; 1887, by M. L. Deventer.

    From Jungle to Java; 1897, by Arthur Keyser.

    Java; 2 vols., 1861, by J. W. Money.

    Java; 1830, by Sir Stamford Raffles.

    Führer auf Java; 1890, by L. F. M. Schulze.

    The Conquest of Java; 1815, by William Thorn.

    A Visit to Java; 1893, by W. B. Worsfold.

    Rambles in Java; 1853, (anon.).

    The Hindu Ruins in the Plain of Parambanan; 1901, by Dr. I.

    The Tjandi-Bäräbudur in Central Java; 1901, by Dr. I. Groneman.

    Bôrô-Boedoer op het Eiland Java; 1873, by F. C. Wilsen, 2 vols.

In addition to a selection from the above-named, the intending visitor
should read "Java: The Garden of the East" by Miss E. R. Scidmore, 1898,
and the Rev. G. M. Reith's "A Padre in Partibus" will be found

Much must depend upon the notions of the tourist as to the cost of a
trip in Java, but our experience is that Java is the cheapest country we
have ever visited. The hotels are superior to those found in the
interior of Japan, and, as the guilder, which has a value of 70 cents in
Singapore currency or about 1s. 7¾d. in English currency, may be taken
as the unit of value for travelling purposes, our readers will see at a
glance what a fortnight or three weeks' trip is likely to cost from the
following hotel rates:--

  Hotel des Indes, Batavia       6 guilders per day

  Hotel Bellevue, Buitenzorg     6    "       "

  Hotel, Sindanglaya             6    "       "

  Hotel Garoet                   6    "       "

  Gov't. Hotel, Maos             4    "       "

  Hotel Mataram, Djocjakarta     5    "       "

  Hotel Simpang, Sourabaya       6    "       "

  Sanitorium, Tosari             7    "       "

  Hotel du Pavilion, Samarang    5    "       "

There are a few extras, and the servants are civilised enough to expect
small tips. Charges for liquors are invariably reasonable.

The hotels are scrupulously clean and the accommodation excellent, and
in a tropical country one appreciates the facilities for bathing.

In his delightful poem of "Lucile," Owen Meredith wrote:--

    We may live without poetry, music and art;
    We may live without conscience, and live without heart;
    We may live without friends; we may live without books;
    But civilised man cannot live without cooks.
    He may live without books,--what is knowledge but grieving?
    He may live without hope,--what is hope but deceiving?
    He may live without love,--what is passion but pining?
    But where is the man that can live without dining?

Here the poet leaves the realms of poetic fantasy to record a simple
fact of everyday life--one which is appreciated by every man and woman
irrespective of nationality or temperament. As in all other matters
pertaining to the comfort of the European in the tropics, the Dutch, in
the matter of food, seem to us to have achieved better results than we
have in the British Colonies. The "riz-tafel" may not appeal to the
English palate, but there is no lack of clean, wholesome dishes, and
side dishes that make us wonder at the toleration of the traveller with
the Indian and Colonial caravanserai. The tourist who visits Java after
traversing India will be agreeably surprised at the difference in favour
of the Dutch Colony in this respect.

In the matter of the personal attention to their guests by the
management of some of Hotels in the interior, and the supply of
information, there could easily be an improvement, and doubtless there
will be a great change when tourist traffic becomes more general, as it
promises to do in the near future. Our own experience was that we were
left, almost invariably, to the tender mercies of the servants, and as
one's Malay was limited this led to avoidable inconvenience.

Nothing, however, could exceed the courtesy and attention of the
management at the Hotel des Indes, in Batavia, and the Hotel du Pavilion
in Samarang, and the Manager of the Hotel at Sindanglaya.

We have already mentioned Stamm and Weijns Restaurant in Batavia.
Coupled with it for excellence of table is Grimm's famous restaurant in

This year, thanks to the efforts of some of the leading hotel
proprietors, the government of Netherlands India has awakened to the
possibilities of Java as a country for tourists. Co-operating with the
Hotels and steam-ship companies, special inducements were held out to
visitors during the months of May and June, in the way of reduced fares,
and the success of the venture will doubtless lead to its continuance.

The Koninklyke Paketvaart Maatschappij (Ship's Agency, late J. Daendels
and Co.) issues tickets at single-fare rates to Batavia and Sourabaya,
the fare to Batavia and back being $45; to Sourabaya and back $63; and
to Batavia and along the Coast Ports to Sourabaya and back to Singapore
(sixteen days on board ship) $74. The tickets are available by the
steamers of the Royal Nederland Line and the Rotterdamsche Lloyd.

Travel by rail throughout the Island is cheap. For the convenience of
visitors with limited time to devote to Java, a tourist ticket has been
arranged. This may be obtained from the Steamship Company in Singapore.
The price is $40 (Singapore currency). The tour laid down by the coupons
covers the whole of Java from Tanjong Priok, the port of Batavia, to the
easternmost end of the island beyond Sourabaya on the way to Tosari and
Bromo. Buitenzorg and the Preanger health resorts may be visited on the
tickets, the famous Hindu ruins near Djocjakarta, and the health resorts
of Eastern Java. The journey may be broken wherever the tourist cares to
stay, and the ticket is available for sixty days.

Directions are printed on the ticket in English in regard to baggage and
other matters, and a small outline map is a useful adjunct.

Throughout the island, the carriages for hire are execrable. The
four-pony victoria which took us from Djocjakarta to the Buddhist ruins
at Parambanan had not gone half a mile when one of the wheels came off,
and we were lucky to escape without serious damage. It will always
remain a marvel to us how the ramshackle kreta held together which took
us from Buitenzorg to Sindanglaya, over the Poentjak Pass, and we are
astonished that the Dutch authorities, who are exacting in other
respects, do not exercise a wholesome supervision over the ponies
employed in these cross-country carts and carriages, for a more wretched
collection of horseflesh could scarcely be imagined.

We have already commented on the Toelatings Kaart. This relic of a past
age, which did not add much to the revenue, and impressed one
unfavourably with a rigid officialism at the port of entry that did not
obtrude itself upon one's notice in the interior, may now be avoided by
the traveller registering at the Tourist Bureau. In our own case, we
were never called upon to produce the kaart.

The general impression left by one's visit to Java is the excessive
cleanliness of town and country and the widespread cultivation. There
are, of course, black spots in the towns; but they are as nothing to the
traveller who has perambulated the native quarters of any British Colony
in the Far East. When we think of the millions of dollars Hongkong has
expended to cope with filth-created plagues and to reduce the native
rookeries of China town, it fills us with the highest admiration for
Dutch administration in Java. The Government of the Straits Settlements
is entering upon a similar campaign to rectify past sins against the
laws of sanitation and hygiene, and hundreds of thousands of dollars
might have been available for other purposes had the Chinese been
handled as the Dutch handle them in Batavia, Samarang and Sourabaya. It
may be overdoing the cult for whitewash to whiten the walls of every
bridge and the stack of every sugar mill in the country, but it is
pleasing to the Europeans to see that one nation has been successful in
carrying its ideas of cleanliness into the tropics and in making the
Oriental conform to the ordinary laws for the protection of the health
of the common people.

To those of our readers who may be induced to visit Java, we would
tender a few words of advice.

If it is intended to compress a tour of the principal places we have
noted into a fortnight's holiday, travel, if possible, to Sourabaya, and
go first of all to Tosari. After a few days there, Djocjakarta should be
made the headquarters for a two or three days' inspection of the
Buddhist ruins, and then Bandoeng could be made a halting place while a
decision is arrived at as to whether Sindanglaya, Soekaboemi or Garoet
is to be visited next before going on to Buitenzorg and Batavia. We
recommend this course because there is a more frequent service of
steamers between Batavia and Singapore, and by ascertaining the sailing
dates while at some of the Preanger health resorts one is able to time
one's arrival at Batavia and so avoid the heat of the seaport.

We have painted Java in rosy colours because we found it beautiful, the
people companionable and the conditions agreeable. It is possible that
others may go over our tracks without deriving a tithe of the enjoyment.

No one should travel unless he has a genius for travel and a ready
adaptability to prevailing conditions. He should bear in mind that it is
he who is the odd piece in the machinery, and that unless he adjusts
himself to the other working pieces he will only have himself to blame
if things do not run smoothly. If Java is visited in the right spirit,
we have not the least doubt that the traveller will be delighted with
all he sees and experiences, and will come away with an assured
conviction that it was no exaggeration which styled the island "The
Garden of the East."

[Map: JAVA.]

Transcriber's Notes:

Inconsistencies in the hyphenation of words preserved. (court-yard,
courtyard; over-night, overnight)

Pg. 52, the phrase: "collection of Buddas". The author might have meant
"collection of Buddhas", as "Buddha" is used elsewhere in the text.
However the author's original spelling is preserved.

Pg. 55, "daning" changed to "dancing". (and maidens dancing.)

Pg. 63, the title "tivan" is also spelled "tavan" in two instances in
the preceding paragraphs. As it is unclear which spelling the author
intended, the original spelling is preserved in all cases.

Pg. 70, unusual time expression "2.9 p.m." The original text is
preserved. (so I started at 2.9 p.m., and, after)

Pg. 74, duplicated word "at" removed. (reaching Pasoeroean at 8.23)

Pg. 90, text contains the expression "1/7¾d" which, for clarity, has
been rendered as "1s. 7¾d." (or about 1s. 7¾d. in English currency)

In the original text, the author was inconsistent with respect to
whether the "ae" ligature was used in the word "archæological". This
inconsistency has been preserved.

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