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Title: A Visit to Java - With an Account of the Founding of Singapore
Author: Worsfold, W. Basil (William Basil), 1858-1939
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Visit to Java - With an Account of the Founding of Singapore" ***



(_See page_ 134.)]





  Publishers in Ordinary to her Majesty the Queen.
  (_All rights reserved._)


In writing these pages I have had before me a double purpose. First, to
present to the general reader an account of what seemed to me to be a
singularly interesting country, and one which, while being comparatively
little known, has yet certain direct claims upon the attention of
Englishmen. Secondly, to provide a book which, without being a guide
book, would at the same time give information practically useful to the
English and Australian traveller.

In sending this book to the press I have to acknowledge the courtesy of
the editors of the _Field_ and of _Land and Water_. To the former I am
indebted for permission to make use of an unusually interesting
quotation from Mr. Charles Ledger's letter to the _Field_ on the subject
of cinchona introduction, and also to include a short article of my own
on "Horse-racing in Java" in Chapter XII. The latter has kindly allowed
me to reproduce an account of my visit to the Buitenzorg Gardens,
published in _Land and Water_.

My general indebtedness to standard works, such as Raffles' "Java," and
Mr. Wallace's "Malay Archipelago," and also to those gentlemen who, like
Dr. Treub, most kindly placed their information at my disposal in Java,
is, I hope, sufficiently expressed in the text.

Professor Rhys Davids has very kindly read over the proof sheets of the
chapter on the Hindu Temples; and I take this opportunity of
acknowledging my sense of his courtesy in so doing, and my indebtedness
to him for several valuable suggestions.

The spelling of the Javanese names and words has been a matter of some
difficulty. The principle I have finally adopted is this. While adopting
the Dutch spelling for the names of places and in descriptions of the
natives, and thus preserving the forms which the traveller will find in
railway time tables and in the Dutch accounts of the island, I have
returned to the English spelling in narrative passages, and in those
chapters where the reader is brought into contact with previous English
works. But I have found it impossible to avoid occasional
inconsistencies. In my account of the literature of the island I have
kept to the Dutch titles of Javanese works as closely as possible; but I
have modified the transliteration in accordance with the usages of
English oriental scholars.

  W. B. W.

  1, Pump Court, Temple, E.C., November, 1892.

[Illustration: A JAVANESE ACTRESS.]



  Legal basis of Dutch possession--British
  occupation--Return of Dutch--Culture system--
  Eruption of Mount Krakatoa                                 1



  Area--Climate--Permission to travel--Chief objects of
  interest--Means of locomotion--Language--Hotels           17



  Dutch possessions in the East--Government--Army and
  navy--Administration--Development of natives--Raden
  Saleh--Native dress--Cooking and houses--Rice
  cultivation--Amusements--Marriage ceremony                38



  Tanjong Priok--_Sadoes_--Batavia--Business
  quarter--Telephoning--Chinese Campong--Weltevreden--
  Waterloo Plain--Peter Elberfeld's house--Raffles
  and Singapore                                             62



  The temple remains generally--The connection between
  Buddha and Brahma--The Boro-Boedoer--Loro-Jonggrang       86

  ANNEX: The Routes to the Temples                         100



  Batavian heat--To Buitenzorg by rail--Buitenzorg--
  Kotta Batoe--Buffalo--Sawah land--Sketching a
  Javan cottage                                            103



  History of the Buitenzorg gardens--Teysmann--
  Scheffer--Three separate branches--Horticultural
  garden--Mountain garden--Botanical garden--
  Dr. Treub--Lady Raffles' monument--Pandanus with
  aërial roots--Cyrtostachys renda--Stelecho-karpus--
  Urostigma--Brazilian palms--Laboratories and
  offices--Number of men employed--Scientific strangers    117



  View of Mount Salak--Railway travelling in Java--
  Soekaboemi--No coolies--A long walk--Making
  a _pikulan_--Forest path--Tji Wangi at last         134



  Financial system previous to the British occupation--
  Raffles' changes--Return of the Dutch--Financial
  policy--Van den Bosch Governor-general--Introduction
  of the culture system--Its application to sugar--To
  other industries--Financial results of the system--
  Its abandonment--Reasons of this--Present condition
  of trade in Java--Financial outlook                      147



  The Tji Wangi bungalow--Coffee plantations--
  Cinchona--Native labour--A wayang--Country-bred
  ponies--Bob and the ducks--Loneliness of a
  planter's life                                           169



  Mr. Wallace and the Malay Archipelago--Animals--
  Birds--General characteristics of plants--European
  flora in mountains--Darwin's explanation--Fruits--
  History of cinchona introduction--Mr. Ledger's
  story--Indiarubber                                       186



  Dutch society in the East--Batavian etiquette--
  English residents--Clubs--Harmonie--Concordia--
  Lawn-tennis--Planters--Horse-racing                      207



  The Hindu Javanese literature concerned with the
  past--Javanese alphabet--Extent of Javanese works--
  Kavi dialect--Krama and Ngoko--The Mahabharata and
  the Ramayana in Kavi--Native Kavi works--The Arjuna
  Vivaya--The Bharata Yuddha--Episode of Salya and
  Satiavati--Ethical poems--The Paniti Sastra--
  Localization of Hindu mythology in Java                  223



  Uncertainty about the history of the Hindu kingdoms
  given by the chronicles--Character of the _babad_,
  or chronicle--Its historical value--Brumund's treatment
  of the babads--Account of the babad "Mangku Nagara"--
  Prose works--The Niti Praja--The Surya Ngalam--
  Romances--The Johar Manikam--Dramatic works--The
  Panjis--Wayang plays--Arabic works and influence--The
  theatre--The wayang                                      241



  Batavia and Singapore--Raffles' arrival in the East--
  Determines to oppose the Dutch supremacy in the
  Archipelago--Occupation of Java--Is knighted--Returns
  from England--Foundation of Singapore--Uncertainty
  whether the settlement would be maintained--His
  death--Description of Singapore--Epilogue                263



  BUITENZORG                                   Frontispiece

  A JAVANESE ACTRESS                                          vi

  MOHAMMEDAN ARMOUR                                          xii

  A PORTUGUESE HOUSE, BATAVIA                   _To face_      6

  CHINESE BARBER                                              37

  PALACE OF A NATIVE PRINCE                     _To face_     43

  WOMAN COOKING RICE. KOMPOR                          "       51

  A BULLOCK CART                                      "       54

  A SAWAH PLOUGH                                              61

  THE KING'S PLAIN, BATAVIA                     _To face_     67


  THE WATERLOO PLAIN, BATAVIA                         "       78

  SKETCH MAP OF JAVA                                  "       89

  TEMPLE                                              "       94

  A JAVANESE COTTAGE                                  "      114

  NATIVES SQUATTING                                          116

  A HAPPY CELESTIAL                                          133

  A PRODUCE MILL                                _To face_    156

  ROSAMALA TREES                                      "      170

  WOMEN BARKING CINCHONA                                     176

  A DALANG                                      _To face_    179

  COFFEE BERRIES                                             185

  A WAYANG FIGURE                                            262

  THE ESPLANADE, SINGAPORE                      _To face_    264

  THE CAVANAGH BRIDGE, SINGAPORE                      "      282

[Illustration: MOHAMMEDAN ARMOUR.]



  Legal basis of Dutch possession--British occupation--
  Return of Dutch--Culture system--Eruption of Mount

In the centre of that region of countless islands termed not inaptly the
"Summer of the World," midmost of the Sunda group of which Sumatra lies
to the west, and Flores to the east, with the fury of the tropical sun
tempered by a physical formation which especially exposes it to the
cooling influence of the ocean, lies the island of Java. Rich in
historic remains of a bygone Hindu supremacy, when the mild countenance
of Buddha gazed upon obedient multitudes, in memorials of Mohammedan,
Portuguese, and Dutch seafaring enterprises, it is a country singularly
alluring to the student and antiquarian. Nor is its present life less
interesting. Densely populated by a simple and refined native race, who
live for the most part in the midst of mountain glories and tropical
verdure, itself the best example of a rival and successful system of
colonization, modern Java is no mere tourist's country, but one which
possesses, and always has possessed, special attractions for the man of
science and the political student.

From an immense mass of native tradition the main outlines of the
history of the island can be disentangled with sufficient certainty.

Javanese tradition universally speaks of a personage called Saka,
variously termed warrior, priest, and god, to whom is attributed the
introduction of the arts of civilization, and whose advent marks the
opening year of the native chronology. The first year of Saka
corresponds to the seventy-eighth of the Christian era. There can be no
doubt as to the region from which this extraneous civilization came.
Native tradition and the vast religious monuments of the eastern and
central districts alike point to an Indian colonization and supremacy;
for the temples of Java bear the stamp of a culture and of an artistic
and architectural genius superior to that possessed by a race, the sole
record of whose national existence is contained in the meagre tradition
of an immigration from the western lands about the Red Sea.

Sir Stamford Raffles, in his exhaustive history of Java, gives the names
and dates of the Hindu monarchs, with an account of their conquests and
administrations. But the native chronicles require to be carefully
sifted, and to be supported by the record of the antiquarian remains,
which supply an unfailing basis for, at any rate, the main outlines of
the period. The oldest inscriptions are found on the west side of
Buitenzorg, on river stones, and at Bekasi, on the east side of Batavia;
they are written in Sanskrit characters of the oldest period, and, by
comparison with the inscriptions of British India, indicate the
existence of Hindu civilization in Java during the fourth and fifth
centuries after Christ. The oldest _dated_ inscription in Java (and in
the Archipelago) is one bearing date 654 of Saka (A.D. 732). This is now
in the museum at Batavia. It contains twelve verses in the Sanskrit
tongue, and is about four feet in length by two in width, and about ten
inches in depth.

The magnificent temple of Boro-Boedoer, of which Mr. Wallace[1] says,
"The amount of human labour and skill expended on the Great Pyramid of
Egypt sinks into insignificance when compared with that required to
complete this sculptured hill temple in the interior of Java," and which
will be separately described with the other religious monuments, was
probably erected in the eighth or ninth century. It marks the highest
point in the Hindu supremacy, and the time when the influence of
Buddhism was supreme. At any rate, we have the witness of Fa Hian, a
Chinese traveller, who visited the island in the fifteenth century, to
the effect that at this later period "the Brahmins were still very
numerous, but the law of Buddha was no longer respected."

    [Footnote 1: "Malay Archipelago."]

The earliest European visitors tell us nothing of the two Hindu
kingdoms, Pajajaran and Majapahit, so celebrated in the chronicles. They
speak only of Sunda and its port Bantam; and they mention a certain
prince, Fateléhan, as completing the Mohammedan conquest in 1524.
Raffles, however, following the chronicles, focusses the overthrow of
the Hindu supremacy in the capture of the city of Majapahit in 1478 A.D.
In spite of the traditions which speak of a long period of fighting, it
is probable that the conversion of the Javanese to the new religion was
gradual and peaceable, being in the main the result of commerce. The
temples, the head-quarters of the old religion, show no traces of
violence. They were destroyed, says Dr. Leemans,[2] simply by
"carelessness, disuse, and nature," not by a sanguinary war. Long before
the Prince Fateléhan conquered the western kingdom of Sunda in 1524,
Arab merchants had spread the principles of Islamism among the Javanese.
It was just at the time of the establishment of the Mohammedan power
that the first Europeans made their way to the island. Portuguese
writers say that their people, after the conquest of Malacca in 1511,
entered into relations with the inhabitants of Bantam, through Samian, a
prince of Sunda, who had formerly lived at Malacca. Lemé, a Portuguese
sent by Albuquerque, Captain of Malacca, made a treaty with this Samian,
and obtained permission to build a fortress at Bantam on condition that
the prince and his subjects were protected from the Moors. In the
realization of this object, an expedition was sent by the Portuguese
king under command of Francesco de Sa; but before it reached the prince
Bantam had been taken by treason, and the Mohammedan power established
under Fateléhan. Henceforward the native rulers were Mohammedans, and
the list of these sovereigns given by Raffles extends from A.D. 1477 to
A.D. 1815.

    [Footnote 2: "Bôrô-Boedoer Temples," by Dr. C. Leemans, à Leide

[Illustration: A PORTUGUESE HOUSE, BATAVIA. _Page_ 6.]

The Portuguese were followed by the Dutch and English after some
considerable interval. The first Dutch fleet, under the command of
Admiral Houtman, sailed for Bantam in the year 1595. The prince, who was
then at war with the Portuguese, allowed them to establish a factory
there, and thus the first Dutch settlement in the East Indies was
formed. Not long after, the English East India Company (immediately
after their incorporation by Queen Elizabeth in 1601) despatched a force
under Captain Lancaster. He succeeded in establishing friendly relations
with the prince, who sent a letter to the English queen, which is still
extant among the state records. This is noticeable as being the first
settlement of the East India Company; and as showing that Hindustan,
which now means India for most people, was not the original "India" of
the company. In the subsequent quarrels between the natives and the
Dutch, the English assisted the former so successfully that at one time
the Dutch had to enter into a convention with the native chiefs and the
English commander, by which they agreed to surrender their fort at
Jakatra and evacuate the island. On the conclusion of peace, however,
between the Dutch and English in Europe, and on the arrival of
reinforcements under Jan Pietersen Koen, they changed their plans, and,
instead of retiring from the island, proceeded to lay the foundations of
an extensive settlement at Jakatra.

In the following year (1621) the name of Batavia was given to the
settlement, and from this period onwards the Dutch continually increased
their influence in the island, until in 1749 a deed containing a formal
abdication of the sovereignty of the country was secured from the dying
_susunan_ (or Mohammedan emperor). In this the unfortunate prince
"abdicates for himself and his heirs the sovereignty of the country,
conferring the same on the Dutch East India Company, and leaving it to
them to dispose of in future, to any person they might think competent
to govern it for the benefit of the company and of Java."[3] It is by
virtue of this deed that the Dutch East India Company, and subsequently
the Dutch Colonial Government, became practically landlord of the whole
island. Since the Government assumed possession of the soil they have
gradually bought up the previously existing rights of the native
princes, and in return have guaranteed them certain revenues, which have
now become in most cases mere official salaries. Among the rights which
the Government secured, by thus becoming landlord of the island, was
that of receiving one-fifth part both of the produce and of the labour
of the Javan peasants. This fact--that the mass of the Javan natives
owed, as it were, feudal services to the Government--explains the
comparative ease with which, nearly a century later, the culture system
was introduced.

    [Footnote 3: Raffles' "History."]

The English settlement at Bantam was withdrawn in 1683, and no effort
was made to interfere with the Dutch until the year 1811, when, owing to
the conquests of Napoleon in Europe, the island had become a mere French
province. In that year a British force reduced Java and its
dependencies. During the short period of British occupation (1811-1816)
extensive reforms were introduced by Sir Stamford Raffles, the
lieutenant-governor. These reforms had for their object the improvement
of the condition of the mass of Javan natives, and the liberation of the
industries of the island from the restrictions placed upon them by the
monopolist policy of the Dutch. Whatever may be the verdict of history
as to the practical value of these proposals, the attempt to carry them
out has at least left behind such a tradition of British justice as to
cause a feeling of profound respect towards the English to be almost
universally entertained in the island to this day.

In the settlement effected by the Treaty of London, in 1814, the British
Government retained the Cape and Ceylon among the Dutch possessions
acquired by conquest in the Napoleonic wars, but Java and its
dependencies were restored to their former masters. A right of
protectorate, however, over the neighbouring island of Sumatra belonged
to the British crown until the year 1872, when it was surrendered in
return for equivalent rights on the Gold Coast of Africa. This
concession has proved a veritable _damnosa hereditas_ to the Government
of Netherlands India. The attempt to enforce the newly acquired rights
over the Sumatrans resulted in the outbreak of the Atchinese war in
1873, an event which has involved the island of Java in serious
financial difficulties, and imperilled the prestige of Holland in the

A great part of the special interest which attaches to Java is derived
from the fact that it has been the scene of an interesting financial
experiment. The history of the introduction of the culture system, and
of its gradual abandonment in recent years, is so interesting as to
require a separate chapter to itself, and it is only necessary to
mention here just so much as is essential for the purposes of a
historical sketch. The author of the proposal was General Van den Bosch,
who became Governor-General in 1830. The system continued in full
operation until the year 1871, when the Home Government passed an Act
providing for the gradual abandonment of the Government sugar
plantations. By the year 1890 sugar, by far the most important of the
Javan industries, was practically freed from Government interference. At
the present time it is in debate whether or not the coffee industry
should be similarly treated.

This short historical sketch would be incomplete without some mention of
an appalling and unique event in the history of the island. On the 27th
of August, 1883, the green-clad island of Krakatoa, which rises for some
three thousand feet out of the waters which separate Sumatra from
Java--the Straits of Sunda--was the scene of a most terrific volcanic
discharge. Whole towns were destroyed in both islands; but even more
striking than the loss of human life and property is the fact, now
satisfactorily established, that the discharge of ashes was so great as
to cause a series of extraordinarily brilliant sunsets all over the
world, while the force of the tidal wave was such as to affect the level
of the water in the river Thames. In travelling from Batavia to
Singapore, I was fortunate enough to meet with an officer in the employ
of the Netherlands India Steamship Company, who was able to give me an
actual narrative of his personal experience of this wonderful eruption.
Mr. S---- was at that time second engineer on the steamship
_Governor-General Lowden_, belonging to the same company. I cannot do
better than close this chapter with his narrative.

"We were anchored off Telokbetong, in Sumatra, when the chief officer
and myself observed a dark line out at sea which bore the appearance of
a tidal wave. While we were remarking this, the captain (who was just
then taking his bath) rushed on to the bridge, and telegraphed to the
engine-room to steam slow ahead up to the anchors. I was engaged in
carrying out this order when the wave came up to the ship. First she
dropped; then heaved up and down for some five minutes. There were three
waves. When I came on deck again, the long pier, which had been crowded
with Europeans who had come out of the town (they had experienced a
shock of earthquake during the night),--this pier, the houses and
offices, had disappeared, in fact, the whole town was gone. A Government
steamboat lying at anchor (with steam up) in the bay was landed high on
the tops of the palm trees in company with some native boats. That was
the first intimation we received that Krakatoa was in eruption, and from
that time, eight o'clock, onwards through the day the rumbling thunders
never ceased, while the darkness increased to a thick impenetrable
covering of smoky vapour. Shortly after this we got under way, and
proceeded until the darkness made it impossible to go on further. It was
while we were thus enveloped in darkness that the stones and cinders
discharged by the mountain began to fall upon the ship. In a short time
the canvas awning and the deck were covered with ashes and stones, to
the depth of two feet, and all our available men were employed in
removing the falling mass, which would otherwise have sunk the ship. We
had a large number of natives on board, and a hundred and sixty European
soldiers. The latter worked with the energy of despair at their task of
clearing the deck, in spite of the twofold danger of being burnt and
stunned by the hot falling stones. While we were engraved in this
struggle, and enveloped in the sheer blackness of a veritable hell, a
new and terrible danger came upon us. This was the approach of the tidal
wave caused by the final eruption, which occurred about 12.30 to 1 p.m.
The wave reached us at 2 p.m. or thereabouts, and made the ship tumble
like a sea-saw. Sometimes she was almost straight on end, at other times
she heaved over almost on her beam-ends. We were anchored and steaming
up to our anchors as before, and as before we managed to escape
destruction. All the passengers and the crew gave themselves up for
lost, but there was no panic, and the captain handled the ship
splendidly throughout. He received a gold medal from the Government in
recognition of his indomitable courage in saving the ship and
passengers. Well, you can fancy what it was like when I tell you that
the captain was lashed with three ropes alongside the engine-room
companion, while I was lashed down below to work the engines. The men
were dashed from one side of the engine-room to the other.

"When we reached Angier we found no trace--neither a splinter of wood
nor a fraction of stone--of the buildings of that once flourishing
seaport. At Batavia the water was so dense from the floating lava (the
deposit reached fifteen feet in depth) that we made our way to the shore
on planks. Telokbetong was closed for three or four months, and on our
return to Achin we could not land our passengers. At Batavia the tidal
wave had penetrated almost to the town, where in the lower portion the
houses were flooded by the Kali Bezar (great river). Business was
suspended except by a few determined spirits who worked on by gaslight,
so great was the alarm at the darkness and thunderous noises."



  Area--Climate--Permission to travel--Chief objects of
  interest--Means of locomotion--Language--Hotels.

Of the many travellers who have written accounts of their visits to
Java, not one has been explicit in his directions as to the ways and
means of reaching the various interesting objects which he has
described. This may partly be accounted for by the fact that there are,
indeed, no Titanic difficulties to be encountered. The districts to be
traversed are furnished with excellent roads, and in part with railways,
contain large and civilized towns, and are inhabited by a peaceable and
industrious population. The difficulties, such as they are, can be
overcome by the two necessaries for all except the most hackneyed
excursions--time and money. In Java the former is, if anything, more
important than the latter.

Java--with which is included for all purposes the little island of
Madura, lying off its north-eastern coast--is a long narrow island six
degrees south of the equator. It is 630 miles long, and averages 100
miles in breadth. Its area is 51,961 square miles, an extent slightly
greater than that of England; and the present population reaches a total
of twenty-three millions. Like all the islands of the Malay Archipelago,
its surface is diversified by great mountains (generally volcanic) and
extensive plains. It is poorly supplied with minerals; coal is there,
but not in workable quantities; perhaps the only valuable mineral
products are the clay, which is made into bricks, earthenware, and
porcelain, and the deposits of salt in the Government mines.

On the other hand, the soil is proverbially fertile. The chief products
are best exhibited in connection with the four botanical zones into
which Junghuhn has divided the island according to elevation:

    I. From the seaboard      Tropical.           Rice, sugar, cinnamon,
         to 2000 feet.                              cotton, maize.

   II. From 2000 feet to      Moderately hot.     Coffee, tea, cinchona,
         4500 feet.                                 sugar-palm.

  III. From 4500 feet to      Moderately cool.    Indian corn, tobacco,
         7500 feet.                                 cabbage, potatoes.

   IV. From 7500 feet to      Cold.               European flora.
         12,000 feet.

The climate varies in accordance with these zones. Observations made at
Batavia (on the coast), the only place where a record covering a
sufficient period has been kept, give a mean of 78.69° for a period of
twelve years. The monthly mean shows a variation of only two degrees.
The period from April to November, when the south-east trade winds
prevail, called the dry or east monsoon, is slightly warmer than the
remaining six months which make up the rainy season. The heaviest
rainfall is in the months of December, January, and February. The chief
characteristic of the climate of Java is, therefore, not so much its
heat as its equability: it is rarely wet all day long even in the wet
season, and at least one shower may be expected each day in the dry.

In spite of its great heat Java is generally healthy, and, in cases of
simple bronchitis, the climate is positively helpful. Of course the
mountain districts are preferable to the plains, but in the ordinary
routes traversed by travellers there are no conditions to be encountered
which are adverse to persons in the enjoyment of ordinary health.
Buitenzorg (close to Batavia), the summer residence of the
Governor-General, a place which is to Dutch India what Simla is to
British India, is especially healthy, being some seven hundred feet
above sea-level. Tosari, again, in the eastern part of the island, is a
recognized sanatorium. It has a capital hotel, and lies at an elevation
of six thousand feet above sea-level. This latter place is easily
reached in one day from Soerabaia; and close by is Mount Bromo, one of
the most active volcanoes in Java, and one which is always covered with
smoke. A three-mile walk will give the visitor an opportunity of seeing
the boiling crater--a magnificent spectacle. Mount S'meroe, the highest
mountain in Java (12,000 feet), is also in the neighbourhood.

The best time to travel is the dry season, April to November, when the
nights are cooler and the weather brighter; and, of course, in
travelling by carriage, arrangements should be made to avoid proceeding
during the hottest part of the day as much as possible.

The Dutch are nothing if they are not methodical, and in order to travel
in Java certain formalities, which at first sight appear somewhat
formidable, but which are really matters of form, have to be gone
through. Any person intending to remain in the island for more than
twenty-four hours must register his name with the police, and give them
particulars of his age, birthplace, profession, last place of residence,
the ship in which he arrived, and the name of its captain. He thereupon
receives a document entitled _Toetlakings-kaart_ ("admission ticket"),
which states that the person so named and described arrived at a certain
date, "with the intention of residing in Netherlands India," and that
he is permitted, "by authority of the ordinance of March 12, 1872, to
reside in any of the chief harbours or ports open for general trade, and
also at Buitenzorg." It is signed by the Assistant-Resident of Batavia.
This "admission-ticket" is not sufficient to authorize the new arrival
to travel in the interior. For this purpose a second and still more
imposing document must be obtained. This is an extract from the register
of "decisions" of the Governor-General, and is to the effect that the
petition of the undersigned So-and-so has been read, and "that the
Governor-General has been pleased to grant him permission to travel for
six months in Java."

If the visitor wishes to enjoy any sport he will require a third
document, signed by the Resident, to entitle him to "import the
following weapon and ammunition, namely," his gun, "which is intended
for his own use." It will be a relief to the reader to know that in my
own case the documents confirming the grant of all these privileges
were obtained at the cost of half a crown for stamps.

Batavia, the capital of Java and the seat of government of the Dutch
possessions in the East, is distant two hundred and fifty miles from
Samarang, and four hundred from Soerabaia, the ports which respectively
"tap" the populous central and eastern districts. While these two latter
towns are connected by rail with each other, communication with Batavia
is maintained at present by steamboats and post-carriages, since there
is a break of one hundred and twenty miles--from Garoet, the terminus of
the western railway, to Tjilatjap, a port on the southern coast--in the
trunk line which is eventually to unite the whole island. Batavia,
however, in spite of this drawback, is the natural starting-point for
the visitor. In the first place, it is the port of call of the principal
steamboat companies which connect Java with Australia, British India,
China, and Europe; and in the next, being the seat of government and
containing the chief political and scientific authorities, it is the
centre from which information and assistance of all kinds may be
obtained. In particular, I would recommend a visit to the museum of
antiquities at Batavia as an introduction to the study not only of the
Hindu remains, but also of the native industries and manner of life.

The subjects of special interest in Java may be grouped under five
heads--the Hindu antiquities, the native towns, the plantations,
tropical plant-life, and sport. In the case of the three latter, the
several neighbourhoods required to be visited are easily accessible from
Batavia by the western railway. Soekaboemi, the centre of the coffee and
cinchona plantations, and the head-quarters of the Planters'
Association, is fifty miles distant. Buitenzorg, with its famous
botanical gardens, is within an hour and a half's journey. Here, in the
various Government gardens and plantations, the plant-life of the whole
Malay Archipelago is conveniently exhibited, both in its scientific and
industrial aspects, and a strangers' laboratory is specially provided
for scientific visitors. The Preanger Regencies--the best place for
sport--may be described roughly as occupying the southern half of the
western portion of the island. The chief towns of this
district--Tjandjoer, Bandong, and Garoet--are all connected with Batavia
by the same line of railway. Of these, Tjandjoer is the residence of the
native prince, the Regent of Tjandjoer, who is the chief patron of
horse-racing in Java.

But the largest of the native towns and those in the neighbourhood of
which the most important of the Hindu remains are to be found, such as
Soerabaia, Samarang, Solo, Djokja, and Magalang, are situated in the
centre and east of the island. As I have before explained, the western
and eastern railways are not yet connected, and therefore the railway
alone will no longer be sufficient to convey the traveller to his basis
of operations. In planning his journey to these towns he will have to
weigh the relative advantages of three routes, and to consider the
opportunities offered by three means of locomotion--railway, steamboat,
and post-carriage.

In another place[4] I have given in detail, with full information as to
distances and expenses, the three possible routes to the temples from
Batavia, and therefore I need speak here only in general terms.

    [Footnote 4: Appendix.]

The principal coast towns can be reached by the steamships of the
Netherlands India Company (or its successor), which average about 1000
tons, and are said to be fairly comfortable. As the fares are
comparatively high, most people will prefer to avoid the discomforts
incidental to a steamboat, augmented by the conditions of the
place--natives and strange food. In travelling by road very considerable
fatigue must be undergone, and of course the expense is greater than
that incurred in travelling by rail or steamboat. Also, as in such
travelling smaller towns and less-known districts are traversed, it is
especially desirable to have a "boy," or native servant (who can talk
English), to communicate with the natives in the Javanese and Sundanese
dialects, since in the out-of-the-way districts Malay is not
understood. The railways are much the same as elsewhere, except that
the rate of travelling is slower and the cost of travelling rather more
than usual. As part of the railways are held by private companies, there
is a slight variation in both of these particulars on different lines.
The construction of railways in Java began in 1875. Ten years later
there were 261 miles of private, and 672 miles of Government, railways
open for traffic. Since then this extent has been increased, but in 1891
the railway system was still incomplete, by reason of the gap between
Garoet and Tjilatjap.

There is another important consideration which will affect the choice of
routes and of means of conveyance, and that is the question of language.
The natives in the big towns and all servants in hotels and private
houses speak Malay, which is the official language for communication
between them and the Europeans. There is always supposed to be one man
in each native village (or campong) who can speak this language. Malay
handbooks are published in Singapore, and although such books cannot be
_bought_, as far as I know, in Batavia, they can often be _borrowed_;
or, failing this, a few necessary phrases can be written down. Such a
phrase, for example, as this: _Apa nama ini?_ ("What is the name of
this?") will serve to supply the place of many vocabularies. The
language, which from its soft sounding has been called "the Italian of
the Tropics," is very simple, and seems to consist almost exclusively of
nouns (_i.e._ substantives, adjectives, and pronouns). The verb "to be"
and prepositions are often omitted, _e.g. Pighi bawa ini Tuan X--_ = "Go
[and] take this [to] Mr. X----;" and most substantives can be formed
into verbs. Combinations of substantives are used; e.g. _Kreta api_
("fire-carriages") = "railway." Again, many European words are adopted
bodily. In _sadoe_ a Frenchman will easily recognize a corruption of
_dos-à-dos_; _ayer brandy_ (or _ayer whisky_), literally "water-brandy,"
will present no difficulties to the average Englishman. "Butter" is
_mentega_, a Portuguese word. The vowels have the same value as in the
Continental languages.[5]

    [Footnote 5: The combination _oe_ is pronounced [_macron-u_] (or

It is obvious that the few words and phrases necessary for everyday life
can be easily acquired in such a language, and most people will find the
process rather amusing than otherwise. If, however, it is desired to
escape this trouble, or to gain a more complete knowledge of the ideas
of the natives, a "boy" who speaks English can be secured at Batavia,
who will act as valet and interpreter.[6] In communicating with the
Dutch residents and the European shop-people in the towns, there is no
difficulty experienced, since nearly every one can speak English; if
not, recourse can be had to French or German.

    [Footnote 6: The cost of such a "boy" is very small (labour
    being one thing which is cheap in the island). He is paid from
    16 to 18 florins (12 florins = £1) a month; and when travelling
    it is usual to give him a half-florin a day for food, otherwise
    the hotel charge for servants, one florin a day, must be paid.]

In addition to obtaining the formal permission to travel already
mentioned, in order to see native ceremonies and enjoy big-game
shooting, it is necessary to get recommendations to the residents of the
native regencies, and in any case it is desirable to have as many
private introductions as possible.

But, however well supplied with such recommendations they may be, all
travellers are sure to be more or less dependent on hotels. In Java, as
in other tropical countries, the hotels are large one or two storied
buildings, with rows of rooms opening upon broad verandahs screened with
bamboo blinds, and arranged round courtyards planted with trees. The
general living-room and the dining-room have one or more sides open to
the air, and are arranged with a view to coolness. The style of cooking
in Dutch India is different from that in British India, and has one
special peculiarity the--_rice table_, which will be described
hereafter; and of course there are minor differences, depending upon the
conditions of the place and society. To persons who are prepared to
enjoy life (and this is the spirit in which one should travel), the
little eccentricities and deficiencies will be a source of amusement,
and give additional zest to the travelling experience. But no invalid or
dyspeptic should enter the portals of a Javan hotel. As for
accommodation, suites of rooms can be engaged, but the ordinary
traveller has a large bedroom with the proportion of the verandah
belonging to it; this latter is fitted with a bamboo screen, table and
chairs, and a hanging lamp, and is for all intents and purposes a
sitting-room. The bedroom also is furnished with a view of securing
coolness; the floor is covered with matting, and the furniture is not
very luxurious; its chief feature is a tremendous bedstead. Now, a Javan
bedstead is quite _sui generis_, and requires a ground plan. The
ordinary size is six feet square. It is completely covered with mosquito
curtains, and has no clothes, the broad expanse being broken by two
pillows for the head and a long bolster (called a Dutch wife) which lies
at right angles to the pillows. This latter is one of the numerous
contrivances for securing coolness. The ordinary routine of hotel life
is much the same as elsewhere in the island. At half-past six a coolie
comes to the door and awakes you, bringing tea or coffee when you want
it. Some time subsequently you proceed in pyjamas, or (if a lady) in a
_kabaia_ (or loose jacket) and _sarong_ (native dress) to the bath-room,
which is an important feature in every Eastern hotel. Generally
speaking, it is not so very much removed from what Mr. Ruskin would
desire. It is a large room with bare walls and a marble floor, on which
is placed a cistern or jar of water, from which water is taken with a
hand-bucket and poured over the bather, who stands upon a wooden
framework. The water runs away from the edges of the room, but I never
felt _quite_ sure that it didn't come back again afterwards. The walls
are sometimes decorated with mirrors, and there is often an arrangement
for a shower-bath. But very generally the bather has nothing but bare
walls and a huge earthen jar such as Aladdin and the forty thieves would
use at Drury Lane. At Singapore this same arrangement obtains, and there
it is related that a young midshipman, going to the bath-room and being
confronted by a bare interior with nothing but the big jar in the
middle of it, very naturally concluded that _this_ was the bath. He
quickly stripped and got into it; but once in he found it impossible to
get out again. After vain endeavours, he rolled the big jar over bodily,
and, smashing it on the floor, triumphantly emerged from the fragments.
His friends afterwards pointed out to him that there was a hand-bucket
there, and enlightened him as to its uses.

Breakfast consists of light breads, eggs, cold meat in thin strips, and
fruit, and is served about nine. After breakfast any serious business
should be accomplished before the great heat of the day sets in. At
12.30 rice-table (or tiffin) commences. This is a serious meal, and must
carry you on till eight o'clock in the evening. The first dish, or
rather series of dishes, is that from which the meal takes its
name--_rice-table_. In partaking of this the visitor first places some
boiled rice upon a soup plate, and then on the top of it as many
portions of some eight or ten dishes which are immediately brought as he
cares to take--omelette, curry, chicken, fish, macaroni, spice-pudding,
etc.; and, lastly, he selects some strange delicacies from an octagonal
dish with several kinds of prepared vegetables, pickled fish, etc., in
its nine compartments. After this comes a salad, some solid meat (such
as beefsteak), sweets, and fruit. Finger-glasses are always provided,
and one notices that the salt is always moist, and also that it is not
customary to provide spoons for that article. At four, or thereabouts,
tea is brought to your room. This serves to rouse you from your siesta,
and you then proceed (being by this time again in pyjamas) to take your
second bath. After that, European garments are worn, and it is cool
enough either for driving or walking. The dinner, which is served at
eight, is much like an ordinary _à la Russe_ dinner, except that there
are rather more small vegetable dishes than is customary elsewhere.

In the Hôtel der Nederlanden at Batavia (and there are plenty of others
like it) there is something of the life which is described as belonging
to the baths in ancient Roman watering-places. Imagine a long courtyard,
with deep verandahs, trees only screening you from the opposite side;
around you men in pyjamas, with their feet resting on the arms of their
easy-chairs, smoking or taking various iced drinks from long glasses;
ladies dressed in the beautiful native garment (the _sarong_) and the
lace-trimmed white jacket (the _kabaia_), promenading with children.
Opposite you is a little Dutch maiden, whose golden hair and white skin
contrasts with the dark complexion of her _baboe_, or nurse. She is
dressed in a flowing white robe, and is putting on her stockings in the
most _negligé_ attitude, for it is now time to go out--4 p.m.--while her
mother stands by and scolds her. Everywhere coolies are squatting on the
ground in their bright garments, or standing busied with the ordinary
duties of service, and _baboes_ are playing with their little charges.
You are yourself dressed in such a way that you would probably feel
uncomfortable were you discovered so dressed in your dressing-room at
home; but here you feel perfectly at ease--such is the magical effect of
climate--whether promenading in your loose garments or reclining in
your easy-chair and gazing coolly upon the occupants of the carriages
which cross the courtyard. Or perhaps you are engaged in a
chaffing-match with one of the native vendors--Chinese, Malay, or
Javanese--who are ever ready to persuade you to buy the commonest
trifles at the most fancy prices.

The native servants are very quick and willing to do the visitor's
commands; indeed, disasters generally arise from an excess of diligence
on their part. For instance, in a damp climate it is an excellent
general rule for your "boy" to keep your clothes aired by laying them in
the sun two or three times a week; but it is a trifle embarrassing to a
modest and impecunious person to see the whole of his wardrobe exhibited
_urbi et orbi_ in front of his room on the verandah. The pyjamas,
suspended in airy fashion, floating in the wind; the coats and trousers
hung up on strips of wood so that their full extent is exposed to the
sun and air; the pair of pumps, on which only last night he had
congratulated himself as looking quite smart by gaslight, now standing
confessed in all the unseemliness of bulging sides and torn lining;
even the domestic slippers too. Yet such was the scene which met my gaze
as I returned from breakfast at nine o'clock in the courtyard of the
Hotel Belle Vue at Buitenzorg. _Trop de zèle_, I thought.

[Illustration: CHINESE BARBER.]



  Dutch possessions in the East--Government--Army and
  navy--Administration--Development of natives--Raden
  Saleh--Native dress--Cooking and houses--Rice
  cultivation--Amusements--Marriage ceremony.

The Netherlands India, as the Dutch possessions in the East are
officially styled, includes the whole of the Malay Archipelago, with the
exception of the Philippine Islands belonging to Spain, part of Borneo
in the possession of the North Borneo Company, and the eastern half of
New Guinea, which is shared by Germany and England. The total area is
officially stated to be 719,674 square miles, and the total population
29,765,031. It is administered by a Governor-General, a Government
secretary, and a Council of State consisting of five members, who are
appointed from among the chief Dutch residents in the island of Java. As
all matters of general policy are controlled by the Secretary for the
Colonies, who is a member of the Home Government, the functions of the
Colonial Government are mainly executive and consultative. So close is
the connection that the colonial estimates for revenue and expenditure
have to receive the approval of the Home Government before they can be
carried out. Moreover, the various Government officials scattered
through the Archipelago are responsible to the Secretary for the
Colonies. There are colleges established both in Holland and in Batavia
in which the young men intended for the colonial service can receive a
suitable training.

The physical sanction upon which the Dutch authority rests is an army of
thirty thousand men, composed of Dutch, Germans, Swiss, Italians, and
natives, but officered exclusively by Dutchmen, and a navy of fifty
ships. Of these troops, a large proportion (amounting in 1891 to 16,537)
are native. The head-quarters of the army is fixed at Batavia. There
are barracks at Weltevreden, and at Meester Cornelis in the capital, and
additional accommodation has been recently provided at Buitenzorg. The
fleet is stationed at Soerabaia, a town which possesses the best harbour
in Java, and which is conveniently situated at the other end of the
island. There are, however, a few ships always stationed at Batavia. The
greater proportion of the fleet is composed of the ships of the
Netherlands Indian navy, which is permanently stationed in the
Archipelago; but there are among them some ships belonging to the Dutch
navy, which are relieved every three years.

At the present time, the chief occupation of the colonial forces is the
establishment of the Dutch authority in Sumatra. Since 1874 the natives
of Achin have successfully resisted the Dutch, and the Achin war has
proved so costly and so disastrous, that the Home Government have
ordered the operations of the troops to be confined to such as are
purely defensive. Acting under these instructions, the colonial forces
have retired behind a chain of forts, and all attempts to advance into
the interior have been abandoned. Last year (1891), Baron Mackay, the
Secretary for the Colonies, was able to assure the States General that
"excellent results were expected from the blockade system," now adopted,
and that the Achinese were already beginning to feel the inconvenience
of being cut off from their supplies of necessaries, such as opium and
tobacco. Java is by far the most important of the islands of the Malay
Archipelago. Its population is four times that of the total population
of the remaining Dutch possessions in the East. This population is
divided as follows (1890):--

  Europeans.      48,783

  Chinese.       237,577

  Arabs.          13,943

  Orientals.        1806

  Natives.    22,765,977

  Total.      23,064,086

With the exception of the Chinese, the great retail traders of the Malay
countries, almost the entire population of the island is "native." This
term includes various branches of the Malay race, of which the chiefs
are the Javanese and Sundanese, occupying respectively the east and west
of the island. Separate dialects are also spoken by the people of
Bantam and Madura. There is little to distinguish the two chief races,
except that the Javanese are more warlike and spirited than the
Sundanese, who are somewhat more dull and almost entirely agricultural.
Speaking generally, the native population of Java is but little inferior
in intelligence to the native population of India, while in some
respects--in particular, in the readiness shown by the native princes to
assimilate European learning and customs, and in a certain artistic
sensibility manifested by the whole people--they resemble the
inhabitants of Japan.

The majority of the Javanese natives are employed in the cultivation of
rice; in work on plantations, sugar, coffee, cinchona, and tea; and in
various lesser industries, such as the making of mats and weaving of
_sarongs_. They are also by no means unskilful as workers in clay, wood,
and metals, and as artisans generally, and are successfully employed by
the Government in working the railways and post and telegraph services.

[Illustration: PALACE OF A NATIVE PRINCE. _Page_ 43.]

For purposes of administration the island is divided into twenty-four
residencies. Each residency is further divided into districts, and
finally into _campongs_, or townships. It will be remembered that when,
at the end of the eighteenth century, the Dutch Government took over the
island from the East India Company, they received possession of the
soil, subject only to such limitations as the company had already
imposed upon their ownership. Since that time the Colonial Government
has pursued a policy in Java similar to that pursued by the British in
India, by which the native princes have been gradually induced to part
with their territorial rights and privileges, and to accept in return
proportionate monetary compensations. At the same time the services of
these "princes" have been utilized in the work of government. As a
result of this latter, the sums paid originally as incomes equivalent to
the revenues derived from the rights surrendered have now come to be of
the nature of official salaries. Most of these regents, as the native
princes are called, receive from two to three thousand florins a year;
but some one or two, such as the Sultan of Djokja, and the Regent of
Bandong, receive as much as seventy or eighty thousand florins. The
Dutch have wisely employed as much as possible the social organization
which they found in existence, and native authorities and institutions
have been supplemented by European officials. In each residency there
is, therefore, a double set of officials, European and native. First of
all, there is the Resident, who resides at the chief town, and is the
head of all officials, European and native. Under him there are
Assistant-Residents, contrôleurs, and assistant-contrôleurs. The
contrôleur is an official more especially connected with the Government
plantations, and the regulation of the industrial relations between the
planters and the peasants, or coolies, is an important duty which he
fulfils. The Regent is the head of the native officials, but of course
inferior in authority to the Resident, whom he calls his "Elder
Brother." Under him is an officer called a _patih_, and then _wedanas_,
assistant-wedanas, and ultimately the village chiefs, or _loerahs_. In
addition to these there is a further official called a _jaksa_, who
ranks above the wedanas, and receives information of any offences
committed. In the villages the loerahs act as policemen, but in the
towns there are regular native policemen, called _oppas_, who also
attend on the wedanas. In each residency there is a court of justice,
consisting of a president, who is a paid legal official, a clerk of the
court, and a _pangoeloe_, or priest, for administering oaths. In this
court the jaksa sits as native assessor to the European judge-president.
There are superior courts at the three great towns, Batavia, Samarang,
and Soerabaia, and a supreme court at Batavia. Murder and crimes of
violence are generally rare, but small thieving is common throughout the

The religion of the Javanese is Mohammedanism; although Brahmanism still
survives in some of the islands of the Archipelago, it has entirely
disappeared from Java. Until recent years the Colonial Government have
discouraged any efforts directed towards the conversion of the natives
to Christianity. The quietism of the Mohammedan creed was regarded as
better adapted to supply their religious needs than the doctrines of the

Of late years, however, a more generous policy has prevailed. As the
mass of the Javanese regard the native princes as traitors and
apostates, the Arab priests and hadjis have come to be recognized as the
popular leaders. It is they, and not the princes, who now form the
dangerous element. The priests are jealous of European influence, and
are ready to incite the natives to revolt if occasion offers, but in any
outbreak the native princes are the first to be attacked. A revolt in
Bantam had occurred some twelve months before the date of my visit
(1890). In return for some injustice, the Resident and his wife and
children were put to death by mutilation. The village in which this took
place was near Serang, the capital town of Bantam, and only seventy
miles from Batavia, and military assistance was obtained from both of
these places. The troops from Serang arrived in time to find the body of
the Resident's wife still heaving with the action of breathing. Fifty
or sixty of the natives were brought to justice for this murder, and six
of the ringleaders were shot. I was told that there were numerous secret
societies existing in the country, controlled by the Mohammedan
authorities in Arabia, and absolutely hidden beyond the reach of the

The question of the moral and mental development of the Javanese natives
is one which has lately been much discussed, both in Java and in
Holland, and the result has been that the Colonial Government is now
fairly pledged to a humanitarian policy. The large sum annually
appropriated in the colonial budget to the purposes of public
instruction, is a sufficient evidence of the reality of the desire now
manifested by the Dutch to give the natives of Java full opportunities
for the education and training necessary for technical and industrial
progress. There can be no doubt as to the capacity of the natives to
benefit by such advantages. When D'Almeida visited the island thirty
years ago, he paid a visit to Raden Saleh, a native artist, who had been
sent to Holland to be educated there at the expense of the Colonial
Government. He had lived for twenty-three years in Europe, residing both
in that country and in Germany, and following the profession of an
artist. He was chiefly distinguished as an animal-painter, and made such
progress in art that he was commissioned by the late Prince Consort to
paint two pictures for him, illustrative of Javan life and scenery.
Raden Saleh subsequently returned to his native country, and D'Almeida
found him residing in an artistically furnished house with large and
beautiful gardens near Batavia. In the course of this visit he was asked
whether there were any other Javan artists who had attained similar
proficiency. He replied, "Café et sucre, sucre et café, sont tout-ce
qu'on parle ici. C'est vraiment un air triste pour un artiste."

[Footnote 7: At the time of writing I have come across the following
paragraph in the Java news column of the _Singapore Free Press_ for
February 23, 1892: "The _Nieuwsblad_ notes the arrival of a Turk from
Singapore in the _Stentor_, who is suspected of having the intention to
stir up the natives of Java. The police are paying attention to him."]

The artistic perception inborn in the Javan natives is nowhere more
clearly manifested than in the colour and form of their dress. Nothing
impresses the visitor more quickly or more pleasantly than the gay and
graceful groups which throng the streets or roads. The light cottons and
silken cloths which the natives wear are admirably suited to the
climate, and an exquisite taste seems to govern the selection of colours
and the fashion of wearing their garments. Both men and women alike wear
the _sarong_, a long decorated cloth wound round the lower limbs and
fastened at the waist; over this the former wear a _badjoe_, or short
open jacket, and the latter a _kabaia_, or cloak, closed at the waist by
a silver pin (_peniti_), and reaching down almost to the bottom of the
sarong. Over the right shoulder is gracefully flung a long scarf called
a _slendang_, used by mothers to carry their babies, and by the men as a
belt when they are engaged in any active work. A square cloth (_kain
kapala_) is worn on the head by men; it is folded in half diagonally,
and then folded over and round the head until it looks much like a
turban. On the top of this a wide straw hat (variously shaped) is
carried, to protect the wearer against the sun. The women, on the
contrary, wear nothing but their glossy black hair, or carry a bamboo
umbrella if they wish for a similar protection.

The native weapons are the bamboo spear, and the short wavy sword called
a _kriss_; but the only arm they carry nowadays is a _golok_, or
straight piece of iron with a handle and sheath, used for lopping off
boughs and cutting wood. The better class of natives use European
furniture, but the ordinary peasants and artisans, who live in a bamboo
cottage, use nothing but a single bed on which the whole family sleep,
and a chest for clothes, both made, like the house, of bamboo.

[Illustration: WOMAN COOKING RICE.


_Page_ 51.]

The staple diet is rice and dried fish, with vegetables and fruits:
cakes and pastry are rare luxuries, and purchased at the market or from
itinerant vendors. The cooking arrangements are very simple. Nearly
everything is cooked in a _priok_, or frying-pan, which is heated over a
_kompor_, or stove of earthenware, or on bricks on a flat stove raised
from the ground. In both cases charcoal is burnt, being made to burn
brightly by a fan. The rice (which is to them what bread is to us) is
not _boiled_, but _steamed_. A copper vessel (_dang-dang_) is filled
with hot water, and the rice is then placed in a cone-shaped bamboo
basket (_koekoesan_), which is placed point downwards into the vessel
and covered with a bamboo or earthenware top (_kekep_). The dang-dang is
then placed over the fire either in the _kompor_ or on the bricks.

Rice culture is the natural pursuit of the Javanese or Sundanese native.
Coffee, sugar, and tea he cultivates on compulsion for wages with which
to pay his taxes. Now the land of Java is divided into two classes, land
capable of being inundated by streams or rivers called _sawah_, and land
not so inundated called _tegal_, or _gaga_. On the latter only the less
important crops, such as mountain rice or Indian corn, are grown. On
sawah land the rice is grown in terraces, which are so arranged that,
without any machinery for raising or cisterns for storing the water, a
perfectly natural and perpetual supply is gained from the high
mountains, which serve here the same useful purpose that the great river
Nile does in Egypt. The small fields are worked with the _patjoel_, a
sort of hoe, and the large with the plough (_wloekoe_), and then
inundated. After ten or fifteen days they are hoed again, so that any
places not reached by the plough or hoe may be laboured, and the
intervening banks kept free from weeds and consequently made porous. The
large sawahs are also harrowed with the _garoe_; and, finally, small
trenches are cut for the water to flow from one terrace to another. When
the earth has thus been worked into a mass of liquid mud, the young
plants are transplanted from the beds in which they have been sown about
a month previously, and carefully placed in this soft mud. Inundation is
necessary until the rice is nearly ripe, which is naturally about August
or September. It is reaped with a short knife called _ani-ani_, with
which the reaper cuts off each separate ear with a few inches of the
stem; and the ears are then threshed by being placed in a hollow tree
trunk and there stamped with a _toemboekan_, a heavy piece of wood with
a broad end. The lands are ploughed, harrowed, and weeded by the men,
but the transplanting, reaping, and threshing is done by women.

A curious circumstance in rice-cultivation is the fact that side by side
the crops may be seen in each of the separate stages, planting and
reaping often going on simultaneously. Beside the rice, a crop of beans
or sweet potatoes is grown in the year, and the flooded terraces are
also utilized as fish-tanks, in which gold-fish are grown to the length
of a foot and a half and then eaten. They are brought to the market in
_water_, and so kept fresh, and, if not sold, are of course returned to
their "pastures" again.

The sawah plough is an interesting study. It is made in three
pieces--the pole (_tjatjadan_); the handle (_patjek_), which fits into
the iron-shod share (_singkal_). To this is attached a crosspiece or
yoke (_depar_), fitted with a pair of long pegs coming over the necks of
the oxen or buffaloes, and a crosspiece hanging under their necks and
fastened to the yoke by native cord. The ploughman holds the tail of
the plough with the left and the rod-whip (_petjoet_) with the right
hand. He drives and directs the big lumbering beasts by words or by a
touch of the rod. To make them go "straight on," he calls out, _Gio gio
kalen_; "Turn to the right" is _Ghir ngivo_; "To the left," _Ghir
nengen_; "Stop" is _His his_; and whenever they (or horses) incur the
displeasure of their drivers, they are invariably brought to a better
mind by hearing an unpronounceable exclamation something like _Uk uk_.

[Illustration: A BULLOCK CART. _Page_ 54.]

Another natural industry in which the Javanese are particularly skilful
is the making of mats. There are many varieties. A light sort of
floor-covering is made from the leaves of the wild pine-apple
(_pandan_); a stronger kind is the _tika Bogor_, or Buitenzorg matting,
which is made from the bark of a species of palm, and which is used to
cover walls and ceilings. Beside these, matting is made from rushes and
from the cane imported from Palembang, in Sumatra; while for the walls
of the houses a heavy matting of bamboo strips is used. The weaving of
sarongs is practised by the women all over Java, and the cooking and
household utensils, made both in copper and earthenware, indicate by
their forms a considerable taste. The Javanese carpenters are also very
clever, and both they and the Malays are skilful in imitating any
European designs which are handed to them. In spite, however, of this
natural aptitude for higher industries, the great mass of the native
population are compelled by the present commercial system to remain mere
peasants. Even so the cheapness and simplicity of the means of life
prevent them from being a joyless race. A plantation cooly generally has
two days in the week on which he does no work.

The public feasts are numerous, the chief being the _Taon Baru_, or New
Year, which falls at the end of the fasting month, which varies from
year to year. In 1890 it lasted from April 21 to May 21. During this
month the chiefs and the better class abstain from eating or smoking
from sunrise to sunset. Every village has its market once a week or
thereabouts, and after this there is generally a _wayang_, or puppet
show, and some mild amusement. The wayang is the most important of the
native amusements; for the theatre is a rare luxury, and confined
chiefly to the towns or to the courts of the native princes. It is a
very simple business--far beneath a punch-and-judy show in point of art,
but the audience watch the puerile display for five or six hours without
intermission. The theatre consists of pantomimic representations, with
which is mingled a ballet, the basis of which is ancient tradition. The
following story (which I have condensed from D'Almeida's book) is a
specimen. A certain King Praboe Sindolo of Mendang Kamolan, feeling
tired of the vanities of the world, retired to a hut, where he lived in
prayer and fasting. While thus living he was visited by a tempter, who
sought to rekindle his desire for the good things of this life.
Thereupon Praboe sent for a large bird and four vestal virgins to defend
him against the evil spirit. By a miracle he transformed himself into a
flower, around which the vestal virgins danced. By chance, however, a
princess passed that way, and, seeing a vase with beautiful flowers
therein, she chose and gathered one, which she carried to her home. This
she placed in water, when, to her surprise, it suddenly was transformed
into a young and graceful man. Even as she had cared for him did Praboe
care for her, and forthwith he became her lover, and cared nothing any
longer for the fasting and the cave.

Much of the Javan festivity is connected with the marriage ceremony,
which is always an occasion of feasting, greater or less, in proportion
to the wealth of the bride and bridegroom. There is a procession and
music, but the actual ceremony is very simple, although the accessory
festivities appear to be capable of almost indefinite extension.
Barrington D'Almeida, who visited the island in 1861, thus describes the
scene[8] which he witnessed in a house filled with guests:--

    "On either side of the front room, on white Samarang mats, were
    seated the elders of the village, priests, various friends,
    relations, and acquaintances, all squatted cross-legged. Cups of
    tea, _à la Chinoise_--that is, without milk or sugar--were
    placed on handsome trays before each guest, as well as betel
    nuts, cakes, a quantity of _rokos_, and other native
    delicacies.... Followed by several of the guests, we entered
    another room, which was very gaudily decorated, and furnished
    with a low bed, the curtains of which were of white calico,
    ornamented with lace, gold, silver, beads, and coloured bits of
    silk. At the foot of this bed was a platform, raised about half
    a foot from the ground, on which was spread a spotless white
    mat, with several bronze trays containing cakes, etc. Whilst we
    were inspecting this apartment we were startled by the din of
    voices, followed by the sound of music, which, from its peculiar
    character, was too near to be agreeable. 'The bride is come,'
    said Drahman. The crowd was so great that it was some minutes
    before we could catch a glimpse of her. Our curiosity was at
    length gratified, while they were pouring water upon her small
    naked feet. After this ceremony an elderly man, who, I was
    informed, was one of her relatives, carried her in his arms to
    the inner room, and placed her on the platform, where she sat
    down on the left side of the bridegroom, who had followed her
    in. She had a rather pleasing expression, but was much
    disfigured by a yellow dye, with which her face, neck,
    shoulders, and arms were covered, and which effectually
    concealed her blushes.

    "Her dress was very simple, consisting of a long sarong of fine
    _batek_, passing under both arms and across the chest, so that,
    though her shoulders were quite naked, her bosom was modestly
    covered. This garment reached nearly down to the young bride's
    ankles, and was confined round the waist by a silver 'pinding.'
    Her hair was arranged in the usual Javanese style, with the
    addition that on the knob at the back of the head rested a kind
    of crown made of beads and flowers.

    "On the left side of the girl sat an old, haggard-looking woman,
    the waksie, or bridesmaid, on whose shoulders, according to the
    wedding etiquette of the Javanese, rests no small share of the
    responsibility.... She is expected to adorn the bride in the
    most attractive manner, so as to please her husband and the
    assembled guests; and she superintends all the ceremonies during
    the celebration of the wedding.... The bridegroom, like his
    bride, was yellow-washed down to the waist; his eyebrows were
    blackened and painted to a point; he wore a variegated batek
    sarong, fastened round the waist with a bright silk scarf,
    through the folds of which glittered the gilt hilt of a kriss.
    His hair fell on his back in long thick masses, whilst a
    conical-shaped hat, made of some material resembling patent
    leather, was placed on the top of his head. On one side of him
    was seated his _waksie_, or best man, a boy dressed very much
    like himself. I was told that the parents of the young couple
    were absent, as, according to the usual custom in this country,
    their presence is not expected at the wedding ceremony."

    [Footnote 8: "Life in Java."

It is interesting to know that the ceremony by which the marriage
tie is dissolved is as simple as the marriage ceremony is
elaborate. All that is necessary is the consent of the parties; no
discredit is involved nor any suffering incurred, and the Arab
priest performs the divorce service for a sum so trifling as half a
florin! Probably the cheapness of food, and the ease with which
life can be supported generally in such a country and climate, is
the cause of this laxity of the marriage tie. As a Mohammedan, a
Javan peasant is permitted to have as many as four wives, but he
can rarely afford more than one, or two at the most.

[Illustration: A SAWAH PLOUGH.]



  Tanjong Priok--_Sadoes_--Batavia--Business
  quarter--Telephoning--Chinese Campong--Weltevreden--
  Waterloo Plain--Peter Elberfeld's house--Raffles
  and Singapore.

When the prosperity of the Dutch East India Company was at its
height, the city of Batavia[9] was justly entitled the "Queen of
the East." Apart from the fact that this place was the centre and
head-quarters of the company, it was the emporium through which the
whole commerce of the East passed to and from Europe. The Dutch
possessions of Ceylon, the Cape of Good Hope, and the Moluccas
depended for their supplies on Java. Not only were the European
imports, iron, broadcloth, glass-ware, velvets, wines, gold lace,
furniture, and saddlery destined for these settlements received
here in the first instance, but similar imports intended for China,
Cochin, Japan, and the Malay islands were also reshipped from this
port into the native boats which conveyed them to those several
countries. Similarly, the wealth of China and the East was first
collected upon the wharfs of Batavia before it was finally
despatched to the various ports of Europe and America.

    [Footnote 9: "Not many years later (_i.e._ than 1602, the date
    of Wolfert's victory over the Portuguese Admiral Mendoza), at
    the distance of a dozen leagues from Bantam, a congenial swamp
    was fortunately discovered in a land whose volcanic peaks rose
    two miles in the air, and here a town duly laid out with canals
    and bridges, and trim gardens and stagnant pools, was baptized
    by the ancient and well-beloved name of Good Meadow, or Batavia,
    which it bears to this day" (Motley, "United Netherlands").

Since the foundation of the town, the seashore has silted up to
such an extent that the original harbour of Batavia, in which the
Dutch East Indiamen of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries lay
at anchor, has been abandoned, and a new port has been constructed
at a point six miles to the eastward. The harbour works at Tanjong
Priok, as the present port of Batavia is called, and the railway
which connects the port and town of Batavia, are one among many
improvements set on foot in the island since the inauguration of a
public-works policy by the Colonial Government in 1875. Ocean
steamships of 4000 and 5000 tons burden can now be berthed at these
wharfs, and there is a constant and convenient service of trains
between the port and the town. Even to-day the presence of
superannuated Dutch warships and quaint craft from China and the
Malay islands relieves the monotony of the vast hulls of the
steamships of the British India, the Messageries Maritimes, and the
Netherlands India Companies.

I was agreeably surprised at the size and convenience of the
station at Tanjong Priok. The booking clerk, who was, I think, a
Chinaman, seemed to know the ways of strangers, and I and my
fellow-passengers had no difficulty in taking tickets for Batavia.
The line passed through groves of cocoa-nut palms, intersected with
canals. Everything was quaint and interesting, the canal boats,
the buffalo ploughs, the gaily-feathered birds,--all revealed a new
and delightful phase of life and nature. We were immensely struck
with the appearance of a native cutting grass. He had a hooked
blade of steel fastened to a long handle, forming an instrument not
unlike a cleek or other golf-stick. This he slowly swung round his
head, and each time it touched the ground cleared about three
inches of grass. The thing looked too absurd. We all wanted to get
out and ask him how long he expected to be mowing that strip of
grass by the canal-side.

While I was on board ship I had been fortunate enough to borrow a
Malay phrase-book from a man who had visited the Archipelago
before, and during the voyage to Batavia I had amused myself with
copying out some of the phrases and committing them to memory. On
landing I found these few phrases extremely useful, and I mention
the fact by way of encouragement, and in case any other traveller
should be inclined similarly to beguile the tedium of the voyage.
He will have his reward.

When Mr. Wallace visited Java in 1861, he tells us he found no
conveyances in Batavia except "handsome two-horse carriages,"
costing something under a sovereign a day. He justly complains of
the expensiveness of these vehicles, and also of the cost of the
post-carriages which then formed the sole means of locomotion in
the interior of the island. To-day things are greatly improved. To
say nothing of the railway system which connects the large towns in
the east and west, Batavia is provided with an excellent tramway,
and with a capital supply of small vehicles called _sadoes_.

[Illustration: THE KING'S PLAIN, BATAVIA. _Page_ 67.]

The sadoe is the hansom of Java. It is a small two-wheeled
carriage, in which the seats are placed back to back (hence the
name, which is a corruption of dos-à-dos), and which is furnished
with a square top to keep off the sun. It is drawn by one (or two)
of the sturdy little horses bred in the island. At a pinch these
vehicles will hold four, but two is enough. Ordinarily the driver
sits in front, and the "fare" in the more luxurious seat behind.
Thus weighted the country-breds go at a very smart pace; nor is
there any complaint to be made in respect of the drivers. They are
generally very civil, and their charges are very moderate.

I was told a story which illustrates the docility of the sadoe
drivers, and the cleverness with which they can trace and identify
their "fares."

An English officer from Singapore, whom we will call Brown, was
visiting Batavia, and had occasion, in the course of his visit, to
drive in a sadoe from the old town to a friend's house in
Weltevreden. For some reason or other he became annoyed with the
driver, and, having ejected him, proceeded to drive himself. As it
was night, he soon became entangled in the maze of streets. At last
he reached the large open space called the King's Plain. He was now
close to his destination. The only difficulty was to get rid of the
sadoe. In order to do this he drove into the middle of the plain.
He waited until the horse began to graze quietly, and then "made
tracks" as quickly as might be for his friend's compound.
Ultimately he returned to his hotel. The first thing Brown saw,
when he got up the next morning, was sadoe, driver, and horse
waiting outside his verandah in the courtyard. He grew pale with
thoughts of the police; but no, the driver only wanted his fare,
which was two florins. Having received this, he retired smiling and

There was a crowd of these sadoes waiting outside the station at
Batavia, in one of which I made my way to the Hôtel der

Batavia may be divided (like all Gaul) into three parts. First,
there is the business quarter, the oldest, where the houses are
tall and built in the style still prevalent in the warm countries
of Europe, with balconies and verandahs and widely projecting
eaves, and where the streets are narrow. Then there is the Chinese
Campong, which, with the adjacent streets, occupies the central
portion of the town, containing the bulk of the population closely
packed in their curious dwellings. And, lastly, there is
Weltevreden, the Dutch town, where the officials, the military,
and the merchants reside. The town is traversed from end to end by
the railway, which passes through from Tanjong Priok to Buitenzorg
and Bandong; and by the tramway, which runs from the town gate in
the north to the statue of Meester Cornelis in the south. It is
also divided by the stream called the Kali Bezar, or Great River,
and intersected by numerous canals. The pavements are of red brick,
and the roads covered with a reddish dust; indeed, the prevailing
tone of the whole place is a warm red-brown, varied by salmon-pink
and green masonry, and generously interspersed with bright yellow,
deep crimson, and olive-green foliage, though not unfrequently a
spreading waringin tree or a group of feathery palms overtops the
general mass. Additional colour is given by the natives, who are
clothed in light cottons and silken stuffs of delicate tones and
graceful shapes, carried with an easy carelessness and unfailing
novelty of combination. Sometimes they are gathered into dark brown
masses round the base of some one of the many bridges which span
the river or canals, prepared for the luxury of the tropics--an
afternoon bathe.


All three quarters are possessed of a separate beauty. The
elaborately carved pediments and ponderous doors, the heavy
balconies and eaves of the houses, give an old-world quaintness
to the first, which is enhanced by the crowd of many-shaped and
variously coloured boats that line the quays that front the offices on
either side of the Great River. Nothing could be more delightful than
the setting of the red-tiled roofs, with their dragon-decorated ridges
and parapets, on the wooden trellis fronts and canvas blinds of the
Chinese houses. Weltevreden, too, is not without attractions. The broad
porticoes of dazzling white, with their Ionic columns and marble floors,
are often set in a fair surrounding of green trees. The compounds and
gardens are always verdant, and sometimes radiant with bright-leaved
shrubs and flowers. Especially the broad green-covered squares and the
wide roads arched with noble trees speak of coolness and repose in a hot
and weary land. On the outskirts of the town, along the country roads,
where the cocoa palm and banana plantations begin, are the bamboo
cottages of the Sundanese natives.

But it is after nightfall that this place becomes a veritable
fairyland. The open porticoes of the Dutch houses are seen to be
thronged with gaily dressed people, the ladies often still wearing
the sarong, and looking like Æneas' mother--

    "Proved to be a goddess by her stately tread,"

and in harmony with the pillars and pediments about them.
Everywhere lights gleam through foliage, and ever and again,
through an air instinct with electric movement and heavy with
perfumes, strains of music reach the ear from the open doorways, or
are wafted in the distance from one of the numerous military bands,
which are ever "discoursing sweet music" to the society of the
capital. In the centre of the town the native streets look, to the
European eye, like a perpetual festival. Outside the doors are
gathered in groups the various inhabitants--Chinese, Malay, or
Sundanese, some clanging cymbals and other strange instruments of
music, others seated round fires, eating baked cakes or fruits and
other frugal dainties. Meanwhile the streets are alive with the
rush of numerous cahars[10] and sadoes, drawn by the agile native
pony, and with itinerant vendors, who, bearing their baskets
suspended from their shoulders by the _pikulan_, or cross-piece,
each with a lamp fixed to the rearmost basket, flit to and fro
noiselessly on their bare feet.

    [Footnote 10: Native carriage much like the sadoe, but never
    used by Europeans.]

The business quarter, like the "city" in London, is thronged with
merchants and carriages, carts and coolies, and all the machinery
of commerce, in the daytime, and entirely deserted at night. The
merchants keep their offices open from nine till five, and, in
spite of the great heat, work all through the day, with the
exception of an hour or so for "tiffin." By this arrangement the
early morning and late afternoon, the only time when open-air
exercise is possible, is left available for riding or walking. In
spite of the romantic exterior of the place, Batavia is not
ill-supplied with modern improvements. The tramway system, in
which smoke and heat are avoided by the use of a central boiler
from which steam is taken for the different locomotives, is
especially well suited to the requirements of the climate. The
telephone, again, is in constant use both in offices and private
houses, although the confusion of languages--Malay, Dutch, and
English--makes it a little difficult sometimes to work it. I
remember once asking the landlord of the Hôtel der Nederlanden to
telephone to a man in the town that I was intending to go to
Buitenzorg on the following morning, and the terrible difficulty I
had to get him to convey my name to the clerk at the other end.
After ringing up the central office (which is worked by Malays) and
getting the connection he wanted, he said--

"Mr. X----?"


"Mr. X---- is not there" (to me).

"All right," I said; "tell the clerk to tell Mr. X----"

But the telephone was now shut off, and the process of connecting
had to be gone through again.

"Tell Mr. X---- What is your name?"

"Worsfold," I said.



"Tell Mr. X---- that Mynheer Versfolt----"

"Who?" (from the other end).

"Mynheer Versfolt."




"How you spell it?" (to me).

I spelt it.

"Mynheer V-e-a-s-f-o-l-t. Veasfolt, _Veasfolt_, VEASFOLT."

Here he appealed to a Dutch gentleman who could speak English, and
wrote down the name, W-o-r-s-f-o-l-d.

"Tell Mr. X---- that Mynheer---- Listen, I will spell it--W-o-r,"

"Oh, never mind; tell him that the Englishman is going to
Buitenzorg to-morrow."

"The English gentleman is going to Buitenzorg to-morrow."

"What Englishman?"

"Mynheer Veasfolt."


"Mynheer Veasfold. I will spell it--W-o-r," etc.

"Yes; what about him?"

"Tell Mr. X---- that Mynheer Veasfolt----"


"Oh, never mind," I said; "Mr. X---- will understand."

But the polite landlord was not satisfied. "It is no trouble; I
will tell him."

Then I went away in haste, as the process had already occupied half
an hour, and I was telephoning to avoid delay. Five minutes later I
passed the bureau. The landlord was still at that wretched
instrument. I hurried by without daring to look up, fearing that I
should be appealed to again. I dared not even ask whether the
message ever reached the office or not.

Beside the town gate--a massive stone arch, with two large iron
images on either side, remnants of early victories over the kings
of Bantam--there are two buildings of interest in this (business)
quarter of the town, the _stadthaus_, or town hall, and the town
church. The former is just such an old Dutch edifice as might be
seen in any of the towns of Holland, standing in a tree-planted
space. In it are the offices of the Resident and the police
authorities. The _landraad_, or county court, also holds its
sittings here; and on the stone terrace in front of the building,
the town guard (a native force armed with lances or picks, and
therefore called "pickiniers") are generally to be seen drilling.
The town church is across the river, on the road to Tanjong Priok.
It is given up to a half-caste congregation, but its walls are
lined with memorial tablets of former governors, and there are some
interesting monuments outside. According to a wooden tablet within,
it was built between the years 1693 and 1695 by Pieter Van Hoorn.
It contains some handsome silver candelabra and a richly gilt
pulpit, and in the vestry there are some handsome old chairs.

The native quarter is remarkable for the picturesque medley of its
people and their houses. There are also in the Chinese Campong many
fine private houses, which are furnished with courtyards, and
elaborately finished. In the decorations of the roof the favourite
form of the Chinese dragon is constantly repeated, and
extraordinary effects are produced by a sort of mosaic work, with
which the spaces over the doorways and windows are filled, and
which has a shiny surface almost like majolica ware.

Weltevreden has many handsome buildings, and some which are
interesting. Most of them are grouped round the two great squares
or parks, the King's Plain and the Waterloo Plain. The former is
lined by four magnificent avenues of tamarind trees (_Poinciana
regia_), which form a graceful arch of small-leaved foliage, broken
here and there by a still wider-spreading waringin tree. On the
west side stands the museum, which contains a very perfect
collection of the antiquities and industries of the island. There
is also a library, and new buildings are in course of erection. It
is governed by a directory, which consists in full of eleven
members, who have power to fill up any vacancies which may occur.
There is a president, a vice-president, a secretary, and a
librarian. This latter gentleman is generally to be found at the
museum, and a little conversation with him, and a few hours spent
in the ethnological and antiquarian sections, form the very best
commencement of a tour through the island. Directly opposite the
museum is the Weltevreden station and the great black dome of the
Dutch church. This latter is noticeable as being the place where
the few people who do go to church in Batavia attend, and where
marriages are solemnized after the preliminary ceremony at the

[Illustration: THE WATERLOO PLAIN, BATAVIA. _Page_ 78.]

The Waterloo Plain is not nearly so large as the King's Plain. On
two sides it is lined by officers' bungalows; and the east side is
occupied by a large pile of Government offices, called the Palace,
and by the military club, the _Concordia_. In front of these
buildings there are some prettily laid out gardens, in the centre
of which is a statue of Jan Pietersen Van Koen, the first Dutch
Governor of Batavia. In the centre of the plain is the monumental
pillar from which it takes its name. It consists of a round column
with a square base, some forty feet in height, surmounted by a
Belgian lion. On the base the following inscription is to be read
in plain Roman characters and excellent Latin:--

    "In æternam, celeberrimæ diei duodecimæ ante Kalendas Julii
    MDCCCXV, memoriam, quo, fortitudine et strenuitate Belgarum
    eorumque inclyti ducis Wilhelmi, Frederici, Georgi Ludovici,
    principis arausiaci, post atrocissimum in campis Waterlooæ
    proelium stratis et undique fugatis Gallorum legionibus PAX
    ORBIS RELUXIT...." [William Frederick Charles, Vice-king of
    India, erected this monument in the year 1827.] "To the
    perpetual memory of that most famous day, _June 20, 1815_, on
    which, _by the resolution and activity of the Belgians and their
    famous General, William Frederich George Ludovic, Prince of
    Luxemburg_, after a terrible conflict on the plains of Waterloo,
    when the battalions of the French had been routed and scattered
    on every side, the peace of the world dawned once more."

Most people will admit that the facts of the famous victory are scarcely
detailed with sufficient accuracy by the inscription. And, indeed, the
American gentleman who accompanied me on my visit remarked that "he
guessed the _lion_ at the top was on the whole inferior in size to the
_lyin'_ at the bottom of the pillar."

Just outside this plain, and opposite one of the small bridges which
leads into the native street termed _Pazer Baroe_, is the theatre, which
is the most picturesque of the modern buildings of Batavia.

In the main road which leads through that part of the town which covers
the site of the original Sundanese capital, Jakatra (meaning "the work
of victory"), there is a desolate-looking house which the visitor will
do well to include in his archæological investigations. Over the
walled-up entrance of this house the remains of a skull spiked on a pike
are still to be seen. Underneath is a tablet with the following

    "_In consequence of the detested memory of Peter Elberfeld, who
    was punished for treason, no one shall be permitted to build in
    wood or stone, or to plant anything whatsoever, in these grounds
    from this time forth for evermore. Batavia, April 22,

    [Footnote 11: I have taken this inscription as I found it
    translated in D'Almeida's "Life in Java," from which I have also
    abridged the story.]

This Peter Elberfeld was one of the many natives who conspired from time
to time against the Dutch. According to Raffles, the Dutch
administration of Java was distinguished from the very first by a
"haughty assumption of superiority, for the purpose of overawing the
credulous simplicity of the natives, and a most extraordinary timidity,
which led them to suspect treachery and danger in quarters where they
were least to be apprehended." But large allowances must be made for the
precarious position of a handful of Europeans living in the midst of a
hostile and numerous population. In the case of the conspiracy in
question, the historical outlines of the story are tinctured by an
element of romance.

Peter Elberfeld was a half-caste who had acquired considerable wealth,
but who was possessed by an intense hatred of the Dutch. Uniting the
native princes in a league, he formed a conspiracy to extirpate the
entire white population of the island by concerted massacres. When his
plans were fully formed and ready for execution, an unexpected
circumstance revealed the plot and brought destruction upon the chiefs
of the conspiracy. Elberfeld had a niece living with him, who, so far
from sharing her uncle's hatred of the Dutch race, had secretly fallen
in love with a young Dutch officer. Knowing her uncle's aversion to
their foreign masters and jealousy of their power, she did not dare to
ask for his consent to the marriage. At last she arranged to elope with
her lover. On the night previous to that fixed upon for this event she
was unable to sleep, from a feeling of remorse at conduct which seemed
ungrateful to one who had at least been indulgent and affectionate to
her. As she stood upon the verandah, looking out upon the darkness of
the night, she became conscious that some persons, unseen in the
darkness, were moving around her. She made her way in alarm to her
uncle's chamber, but found it empty. She then went to the dining-room.
The door of this room was shut, but, bending down, she perceived that
the room itself was filled with people, and listened to their whispered
consultations. Overwhelmed with horror at the cruel nature of the
conspiracy, and at the terrible ceremonies by which they bound
themselves at the same time to mutual loyalty and vengeance on their
enemies, she yet hesitated to betray her uncle. Finally love for her
betrothed prevailed, and she communicated the particulars of the
conspiracy to him. He at once informed the Dutch authorities. On the
following night--the night fixed for the elopement--Elberfeld's house
was surrounded, and the conspirators were captured as they were on the
point of departing to their various stations. Most of the native princes
were punished by mutilation, but Elberfeld was reserved for a signal
vengeance. Each of his arms and legs were tied respectively to one of
four horses, which were then driven by lashes of whips in four different
directions. Finally his head was severed from the trunk of his body and
impaled. To this day it remains a ghastly memorial of the turbulent
past. The most unsatisfactory part of the story is the fact that the
girl who had made such sacrifices in her lover's behalf was after all
not permitted to be his bride.

The population of Batavia is, in round numbers, 110,000. Of these 7000
are Europeans. In respect of total population it is inferior to
Soerabaia, the eastern capital, which has 140,000 inhabitants. There
are, however, fewer Europeans at Soerabaia than at Batavia. Samarang,
which ranks third in size, has a population of 70,000.

Sir Stamford Raffles, who was Governor of Java during the short period
of English occupation, was so impressed with the commercial importance
of Batavia, that he persuaded the British Government, upon the cession
of the island, to found a rival port on the opposite side of the
Straits of Malacca. Singapore, the town due to this act of political
foresight, is built upon a small island at the extremity of the Malay
peninsula. Although it is almost exactly on the equator, it enjoys a
more temperate climate than its older rival. It also possesses vastly
superior accommodation for shipping. While Batavia, owing to the silting
of the river already mentioned, is now some miles from the sea,
Singapore possesses two commodious harbours, and has far outstripped the
older town in commercial importance. There is a monument marking the
spot where Lady Raffles was buried in the green glades of the gardens at
Buitenzorg; but the statue of Sir Stamford Raffles looks forth to the
sea from the centre of the broad grass-clad esplanade of Singapore.



  The temple remains generally--The connection between
  Buddha and Brahma--The Boro-Boedoer--Loro-Jonggrang.

Of the temple ruins of Java, considered generally, Mr. Wallace says, "It
will take most persons by surprise to learn that they far surpass those
of Central America, perhaps even those of India."[12] Yet it is only
recently that these great works have been recovered to the world. A
Dutch engineer who was sent to construct a fort at Klaten, in 1797,
found that a number of architectural remains existed in the
neighbourhood of Brambanan, of which no account had been given. The
natives, it appeared, regarded them as the work of some local deity,
and, indeed, were in the habit of worshipping one conspicuous statue.
He also found much difficulty in sufficiently clearing the ruins of the
overgrowth of vegetation, so as to get an adequate view. Eventually he
succeeded in making some rough sketches of them. In the year following
the English occupation (1812), Colonel Colin MacKenzie visited
Brambanan, and made an accurate survey of the ruins in that
neighbourhood, which he sketched and described. At the instance of the
Governor, Sir Stamford Raffles, Captain Butler was then sent to make
drawings of the buildings, and to report upon them. This was the first
methodical exploration of the Hindu ruins in Java; but it was only
partial, and related almost exclusively to the Brambanan neighbourhood.
A quarter of a century later, when the discovery of photography had made
an exact reproduction of the sculptures possible, the Dutch Government
instituted an exhaustive survey of the Boro-Boedoer temple. In July,
1845, M. Shaefer was commissioned to execute photographs of the
bas-reliefs, but he was only partially successful. Two years later, an
engineer, M. F. C. Wilsen, was sent out from Holland, and, after giving
satisfactory proofs of his skill, definitely appointed in 1849, by a
decree of the Council of Netherlands India, to make drawings of the
bas-reliefs and statues of this temple. He was assisted by M. Schönburg
Mulder. They commenced in April, 1849, and completed the whole of the
task they had undertaken in the year 1853. M. Mulder's drawings proved,
however, to be useless, and a new assistant, M. Mieling, was appointed.
After various troubles, the drawings were finally completed in 1871, and
the letterpress and plates published in 1874. This great literary work,
consisting of several hundreds of large lithographed plans and drawings
of sculptures and statues, with a complete account written by Dr. C.
Leemans, director of the Public Museum at Leiden, was produced under the
direction of the Dutch Minister of the Colonies. But even this splendid
account of the Boro-Boedoer temple is not complete; since the date of
its publication a new series of bas-reliefs have been discovered, and
are being gradually photographed. In connection with the temples of
Brambanan and Kalasan, also, new and interesting discoveries are being
made from year to year. Indeed, images and sculptured stones are
continually found all over the island. At Gunong Praü, forty miles
south-west of Samarang, and further east, at Kediri and in Malang, there
are large tracts of ruins; but the most imposing and interesting for the
traveller are to be found in the centre of the island, in the
neighbourhood of Magalang and Djokja, in positions indicated by the
accompanying map. I shall endeavour first to give the reader a general
idea of the extent and nature of these remains, and then, after a few
remarks on the connection between Buddha and Brahma, to describe more at
length the Boro-Boedoer temple, and that of Loro-Jonggrang, near
Brambanan, the former of which is Buddhistic, and the latter Brahmanic,
or Saivite.

    [Footnote 12: "Malay Archipelago."]

[Illustration: SKETCH MAP OF JAVA. _Page_ 89.]

At Boro-Boedoer, ten miles from Magalang, there are the remains of the
vast temple of that name; and about a mile distant, on the nearer bank
of the Prago river, is the small and externally insignificant temple of
Mendoet. Inside this latter is a vaulted chamber, the roof of which
springs from walls twenty feet in height, and rises to sixty feet in the
centre, covering a fine statue of Buddha.

At Brambanan, a village near Djokja, there is a large mass of ruins, of
which the most important are the temple of Loro-Jonggrang and a group of
small temples called Tjandi Sewoe, or Thousand Temples. In the
neighbourhood of the former ruins there are six large and fourteen small
temples, twenty separate buildings in all. The ruins of the latter group
cover a space of six hundred, square feet, and contain many splendid
colossal figures. They are arranged in five regular parallelograms,
consisting of an outer row of eighty-four temples, a second of
seventy-six, a third of sixty-four, a fourth of forty-four, and a fifth
(forming an inner-parallelogram) of twenty-eight. The centre is occupied
by a large cruciform temple, ornamented with sculpture, and surrounded
by flights of steps. All of these remains are greatly marred by the
luxurious growths of tropical vegetation which cover them.

Half a mile further are the Tjandi Kali Bening, or Temples of Kalasan.
Here there is a very fine and well-preserved temple, seventy-two square
feet in extent, of which Mr. Wallace says that it is "covered with
sculptures of Hindu mythology that surpass any that exist in India."
There are also other ruins of palaces, halls, and temples in the

    [Footnote 13: For this general account of the ruins in the
    neighbourhood of Djokja I am indebted to the accounts of Raffles
    and Wallace.]

The stones used for the construction of the Boro-Boedoer and other
temples in Java, and for the images found throughout the island, are of
volcanic origin. They are supplied by the numerous volcanoes in the
island, and carried down the sides of the mountains to the plains below
in lava streams. To-day such stones are used largely for making roads.
There is, however, a little limestone found in the southern districts of
the island.

In the Boro-Boedoer, at Mendoet, and in the Tjandi Sewoe, Buddha was
worshipped; but in the Temple of Loro-Jonggrang at Brambanan, and in the
Temples of Kalasan, Siva (the third person of the Hindu Trinity--Brahma,
Vishnu, Siva) was the central object of adoration. As the connection
between the religion of Buddha and Brahma has been often misunderstood,
a few words on this point may be of service to the reader.

Brahmanism, which was the established worship of the Hindus when Buddha
taught, was a religion which admitted of many sects; and Buddha,
although his ethical system was independent of Brahmanic theology,
recognized the existence of the popular deities. The distinction, then,
between Brahmanism and Buddhism is purely arbitrary; the latter is
merely a new growth of the former, and they both exist in British India
at the present day. In China also there is a similar fusion of religious
beliefs, where there are three established cults--those of Brahma,
Confucius, and of the Taöists, or nature-worshippers. The Confucian
religion is rather a system of ethics than a cult; but the rites of the
Buddhist and Taöist temples are attended indiscriminately by the
majority of the Chinese, the priests of the separate temples alone
confining themselves to the worship of a particular deity. In India,
however, the special followers of the two systems do not exhibit an
equal liberalism of sentiment; while the worship of Brahma is considered
orthodox, the cult of Buddha is regarded as heretical. The Buddhistic
temples of Java, coming midway between the oldest Buddhistic temples of
India and the modern shrines in Burmah, Ceylon, and Nepaul, the present
seats of the cult, supply an interesting _lacuna_ in the antiquities of
Buddhism. The Javan form of this religion is especially allied to that
of Nepaul. It bears a general resemblance to the Buddhism of Northern
India, but is distinct from that of Ceylon and the south. It is not
surprising, therefore, that ruins of temples dedicated to the services
of both religions should exist side by side, nor that the grosser and
more popular Brahmanic forms should have developed more largely than the
more spiritual worship of Buddha, both in India to-day and in Java
previously to the Mohammedan conquest.

[Illustration: GROUND PLAN.


_Page_ 94.]

The temple of Boro-Boedoer is built upon a slight rounded eminence, the
last of a chain of hills on the eastern bank of the river Prago. The
entire edifice rests upon an equilateral base of six hundred and twenty
feet, situated due N.S.E. and W., and rises gradually in terraces
adapted in design to the form of the hill. These consist of two lower
terraces which are square in form; four galleries (or passages, with
sculptures on either side), which are still rectangular in form, but
have twenty angles to admit of their following the rounded contour of
the hill; and four terraces, of which the first has twelve angles, while
the remaining three are circular, adorned with cupolas, each containing
a statue of Buddha; and finally the whole is surmounted by a huge
cupola, fifty feet in diameter, in which rests the central figure of
Buddha. Access from one terrace to another is gained by four flights of
steps, running up the centre of each front, at the several entrances of
which are placed two huge lion-monsters. Dr. Leemans, in his account of
the building, enumerates _five_ galleries; but in reality there are only
four, since the outside of what he calls the first gallery is merely a
second basis for the whole structure, as is shown by the nature of its
decoration, viz. simple architectural designs and groups of deities. The
lower terrace, of which Dr. Leemans only guessed the existence, is now
being excavated and photographed section by section. Only one section is
kept open at any given time, because the earth is necessary to support
the vast mass of stonework which forms the entire building, and it was
for this reason, namely, to prevent the structure from breaking up, that
this terrace was formerly banked up. It is found that this lower terrace
is decorated with sculptures representing ordinary mundane scenes, the
world being the basis on which all the higher religious phenomena rest.
In the first gallery (Leemans' second), the bas-reliefs represent a
continuous selection of scenes from the historical life of Buddha; in
the second, there are sculptures of the lesser deities recognized in the
Brahmanic worship, such deities having been adopted into the Buddhistic
pantheon; in the third the higher deities are represented, where the
_shrine_, and not the deity, is worshipped; in the fourth there are
groups of Buddhas; and in the central dome there is the incomplete
statue of the Highest Buddha--_Adibuddha_. This is unfinished by design,
in order to indicate that the highest deity cannot be represented by
human hands, having no bodily but only a spiritual existence.

    "OM, AMITAYA! measure not with words
      Th' Immeasurable; nor sink the string of thought
    Into the Fathomless. Who asks doth err,
      Who answers, errs. Say nought."

Such is the design of this great religious monument, of which even the
bare ruins, in their melancholy magnificence, inspire the mind of the
spectator with mingled feelings of wonder and solemnity.

The temple of Loro-Jonggrang is one in which, as at Kalasan, the object
of worship was Siva, and not Buddha. This god, as already stated, was
the third of the three persons of the Hindu Trinity; the first being
Brahma, or the Creator, and the second Vishnu, the Preserver. Siva, the
Destroyer, is also the Reproducer, and appears in Java to have been
worshipped under three forms: (1) as Mahadeva, or the Great God; (2) as
Mahayogi, or the Great Teacher; and (3) as Mahakala, or the Destroyer.
Guru (or Goeroe) is an alternative name for Siva Mahayogi, and his
statues in this temple are so called. The edifice is greatly inferior in
size to that of Boro-Boedoer; it rests upon a rectangular basement
having twelve angles, and measuring some eighty feet across in either
direction. Like the former temple, its position is almost exactly square
with the points of the compass. The basement is ornamented with ordinary
religious ornaments, consisting of sacred trees and lions. Above this is
a gallery, of which the parapet on the inner side is decorated with
scenes taken from the Ramayana (the second of the two great Indian
epics), while the opposite wall of the temple is adorned with forms of
deities. In the centre or body of the temple are four chambers, one of
which--the principal--is itself larger, and contains a larger image than
the others. They are each alike approached by flights of steps in the
centre of the four sides of the edifice. The deities represented are--in
the northern chamber, Durga; in the western, Ganesa; and in both the
southern and eastern, Guru. Now, according to the Brahmanic pantheon,
Durga (_the_ Goddess) was the mother, and Guru the father, of Ganesa,
the elephant-headed God of Wisdom. The connection between Siva and the
Rama epic is this. The Ramayana is the history of the incarnation of
Vishnu as Rama, and contains an account of the war waged by Rama with
the giant Ravana, the demon king of Ceylon. In the poem mention is made
of the Vedic god Indra and his Maruts. Subsequently Siva, the world
destroyer, was identified with Indra in the form of Rudra, the god of
tempests; hence the appropriateness of scenes from this story on a
Saivite temple. It only remains to add that the name of the temple,
_Loro-Jonggrang_, is simply the native name given to the particular
Durga (or Goddess of Efficient Virtue) represented in the shrine, and
means literally the "Maiden with beautiful hips."

    NOTE.--In view of the late appearance of the Adibuddha (probably
    the tenth century), I have thought it desirable to state that
    the theory of the general design of the Boro-Boedoer contained
    in the text is based upon a very interesting conversation which
    I had with M. Groeneveldt, who is a member of the Council of
    Netherlands India and Director of the Museum at Batavia.
    Professor Rhys Davids has pointed out an interesting distinction
    between the Boro-Boedoer and the Buddhist shrines in India, viz.
    that, whereas the cupolas at Boro-Boedoer are hollow, the
    _dagabas_ of British India are always solid. In the Annex will
    be found a detailed account of the various routes and the cost,
    etc., of travelling from Batavia to the temple districts in the
    centre and east of Java.



Supposing that the traveller has been landed at Batavia, and wishes to
visit the ruins in the east of the island, he will have the choice of
three routes. First, he may sail by a Netherlands India boat to Samarang
(or Soerabaia, if, as often happens from December to February, it is
impossible to land at the former place owing to the surf); this occupies
about thirty-six hours. There is an excellent hotel at Samarang--the
Pavilion--where the night can be spent, and the following day the train
will carry him to Amberawa, a distance of 50 miles by rail (or 30 by
road). Here the railway stops, and a carriage must be taken to Magalang,
the next town (with splendid views of the two volcanoes, Merbaboe and
Merapi), which is some 20 miles further on, and where a halt must be
made for the night. Ten miles' driving will take him to the
Boro-Boedoer; the drive is one of extraordinary beauty. After visiting
the Boro-Boedoer and the neighbouring temple of Mendoet, it is usual to
return by way of Djokja (25 miles), which is the centre of numerous
ruins. If, however, it is intended to travel overland, there are two
routes available. The first is the regular posting route along the
northern coast; the second lies to the south, and is perhaps more
interesting. If the regular route is chosen, the traveller will proceed
by rail as far as Bandong, a distance of some 90 miles; and then drive
to Cheribon (80 miles), a place on the northern coast; and then,
following the coast-line, from Cheribon to Tegal (40 miles); from Tegal
to Pekalongan (35 miles); and from Pekalongan to Samarang (68 miles). In
all these places there are good hotels, but two horses, and in some
places four (as in the last stage, where the road passes over
mountains), would be necessary. Such a journey in a carriage would cost
(apart from hotel expenses) £20, or, if it were done in a cart (sadoe)
and two horses, half that sum.

If he pursues the second route, he will not leave the railway before
Garoet. From Garoet he will proceed to Kalipoetjan (100 miles) by
carriage; this occupies two days, and Manongyaya (with a hotel) is
passed, and Bandar, where there is sleeping-accommodation to be had.
From Kalipoetjan he will make his way to Tjilatjap by native canoe,
crossing the Kinderzee, a large lagoon, in eight or nine hours, and
passing some villages built on piles. There is also a curious cave and
some edible swallow-nests to be seen. In travelling by this route it is
necessary to take a servant to interpret with the natives. From
Tjilatjap the railway runs to Djokja. This town is about 25 miles from
the Boro-Boedoer temple; the road is bad, and at times covered with dust
to the depth of a foot or more, so that three horses are necessary. Even
then the journey occupies four or five hours, although it is quite
possible to return on the same day. There is an inn at the small village
near the temple, but it is not sufficiently inviting to merit more than
a transitory visit; at the same time, there is nothing to prevent the
gentlemen of the party from staying the night at Boro-Boedoer if they
felt so inclined. From Djokja, of course, the railway extends to
Samarang and to Soerabaia. Especially the town of Solo (or Soerakarta),
which is the junction where the line branches north or east, is worthy
of a visit, as being the best centre for seeing native ceremonies. In
conclusion I append a table of distances, means of conveyance, and cost
(this latter being approximate only as depending upon individuals).

NOTE.--The regular hotel charge all through Java is five or six florins
a day (= 10s.). Twelve florins = £1.


  Places.            Means of       Cost.     Number        Time.
                    Conveyance.              of Miles.

  Batavia to        Steamboat    60 florins    240        36 hours.

  Samarang to       Train         8    "        50

  Amberawa to      {Cart         10    " }      20
    Magalang       {Carriage     20    " }

  Magalang to      {Cart          5    " }      10
    Boro-Boedoer   {Carriage     10    " }


  Batavia to        Train        --    "        90

  Bandong to       {Cart         30    " }      80        10  "
    Cheribon       {Carriage     60    " }

  Cheribon to      {Cart         15    " }      40         4  "
    Tegal          {Carriage     50    " }

  Tegal to         {Cart         15    " }      35         4  "
    Pekalongan     {Carriage     60    " }

  Pekalongan to    {Cart         30    " }      50        11  "
    Samarang       {Carriage     70    " }


  Batavia to        Train        --    "       100

  Garoet to         Carriage     29    "       100         2 days.

  Kalipoetjan to    Native       15    "        --        8 or 9 hours.
    Tjilatjap         Canoe

  Tjilatjap to      Train        --             90



  Batavian heat--To Buitenzorg by rail--Buitenzorg--
  Kotta Batoe--Buffalo--Sawah land--Sketching a
  Javan cottage.

Once in Java, and a visit to Buitenzorg is a matter of course. In the
first place, Buitenzorg is to the Dutch possessions in the East what
Simla is to British India; and, in the second, it possesses a strong
attraction in its famous Botanical Gardens.

After a week of Batavia, the European or Australian traveller begins to
want a change. It is not that there is at any time any extraordinary
thermometrical heat to be encountered. It is simply that, not being an
orchid, he finds it does not suit him to live in the warm damp
atmosphere of a hothouse. What he suffers from most is the want of
sleep. Probably he has not learnt to take two solid hours of sleep in
the afternoon. He says to himself, "Pooh! this is nothing to the sun in
India." He remembers that when he was in Australia the thermometer
frequently registered 20° higher than it does here. It is all nonsense
to call this a hot country, he thinks. So he hails a sadoe and drives
off to the Kali Bezar to see the agent of his steamship company, when he
ought to have been dressed in the luxurious freedom of pyjamas, and
sleeping peacefully upon his great square bed, with the mosquito
curtains securely drawn.

When night comes, the heat is apparently just as intense, and he lies
awake, saying bad words about the mosquitoes which buzz around him,
until the small hours of the morning. When his "boy" wakes him at six
o'clock, he feels as if he had had no sleep at all. All the same it is a
little cooler now; so he gets up to enjoy the fresh air outside in the
verandah. After he has had his coffee and some bananas or a slice of
pomelo, and taken his bath, he feels tolerably alive. This impression is
heightened by a gallop over the King's Plain; and by the time he has had
his breakfast he feels as "fit as anything." So he hardens his heart and
does the same thing again to-day, except that, knowing the uselessness
of trying to sleep before the temperature falls after midnight, he plays
billiards at the club until he is turned out, and then spends the rest
of the evening on a friend's verandah, seated in a long chair, consuming
long drinks, and smoking long cigars.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the average globe-trotter finds a
week of Batavia about enough at a time. He confides his emotions to his
friend, who is a resident. This latter says, "Can't sleep? You should go
to Buitenzorg; you'll sleep all night there." So he leaves his heavy
luggage behind in the hotel, and packs a bag, jumps into a sadoe, and in
less than two hours he finds himself in one of the healthiest climates
in the world, and in the midst of surroundings as novel as they are

The train by which I had arranged to travel to Buitenzorg left the
Weltevreden station at the convenient hour of half-past four in the
afternoon. It only stopped once, and accomplished the distance in the
fairly good time of one hour and twenty minutes. Here, again, as at
Tanjong Priok, I was agreeably surprised with the size and convenience
of the stations. The railway employés were Chinese and Javanese. The
latter were dressed in peaked caps and blue serge coats and trousers,
but wore rather unnecessarily waist-clothes and head-bands on the top of
their European dress.

In Java, as elsewhere, the Anglo-Saxon abounded. The occupants of the
railway carriage were, with two exceptions, English, like myself. There
was a member of the Upper House of one of our colonial legislatures and
his wife, the sister of a prominent English politician. With them I was
already acquainted. But an English gentleman, who occupied one of the
corner seats of the compartment, engaged in reading the _Field_, was a

The train passed by rice-fields, plantations of sugar cane, of bananas,
and of Indian corn. On either side of us was a rich and highly
cultivated country. There were hedgerows as neat as those which separate
our English fields; and here and there a fox-hunter would have observed
with disgust that barbed wire fences had spread as far as Java. At
regular intervals, bamboo cottages with red-tiled roofs had been built
for the signalmen. Among the fields were scattered groups of tropical
trees, palms, and bamboos; and more than once we caught far-off glimpses
of high mountains. The whole landscape was clothed in a supreme verdure.

As we approached the neighbourhood of Buitenzorg, the sky suddenly
became overcast. Tremendous masses of dense black clouds rushed up from
the horizon, throwing into relief the slopes of the mountains on which
the sun was still shining brilliantly, and deepening the verdure of the
rice-fields by their shadows. A few minutes of pelting rain and a flash
or two of vivid lightning low down on the horizon, and once more the
sky was clear and the landscape smiling and peaceful.

The town of Buitenzorg is situated on the slopes of the great volcanic
mountain Salak, in 106° 53' 5" east longitude, and 6° 35' 8" south
latitude. Although the elevation is only seven hundred feet above
sea-level, the heat is never overpowering in the daytime, and the nights
are delightfully cool. The mean temperature at noon, as indicated by the
thermometer, is 82° Fahrenheit; but in the dry season as much as 88° is
sometimes registered. Moreover while on an average there are five months
of dry weather in Java and three in Batavia, three weeks without rain is
considered unusual in Buitenzorg. The heat of the sun, therefore, is
tempered by a rainfall which is not only very heavy, but very uniform;
and when Batavia is steaming with moist heat, and the plains of the
interior are scorched and dry, in Buitenzorg the gardens are still
verdant and the air still tonic.

Besides Salak, which rises to a height of seven thousand feet, there is
another and still loftier mountain mass in the immediate neighbourhood
of the town. This is the double-peaked Pangerango and Gedé. All three
mountains are volcanic. Salak, however, has been silent since the
eruption of 1699, and the peak of Pangerango is an extinct volcanic
cone; the only sign of activity is the light wreath of smoke which is
generally to be seen hanging over the summit of Gedé. The slopes of
these great mountains are clothed with a foliage which is kept
perennially fresh by the abundant rains. Seen from rising ground, they
enrich the landscape with the beauty of their graceful elevations; from
the lower levels of the town, and in contrast to the foliage of palm or
bamboo, their sheer height is manifested by the intense blueness of the
background they afford.

Buitenzorg has long been the favourite resort of the officials and
merchants of Batavia. In course of time the train service will no doubt
be improved; as it is, busy men run down to see their families, or
merely to enjoy the comparative coolness of the air for the "week end,"
or even for a single night.

The town itself contains a population of four thousand inhabitants. It
has an excellent club, a museum, a race-course, and several good hotels.
The summer residence of the Governor-General is in the centre of a large
and beautifully wooded park, in which a number of deer are kept. It is
an extensive building, consisting of an elevated central portion with
wings on either side. It is built in the usual classical style affected
by the Dutch for their public buildings, and is ornamented with
pilasters and pediments. Part of the park is occupied by the famous
Botanical Gardens, which form the supreme attraction of the place to the
scientific visitor. The Governor-General, as the highest official in the
Dutch East Indies, receives a salary of 160,000 florins a year. While
this personage is at Buitenzorg he may be frequently observed driving
down the great avenue of Kanarie trees in his state coach drawn by four
horses. In close connection with the palace (as the Governor-General's
residence is called), but at some distance from the town, large and
convenient barracks have lately been completed for the better
accommodation of the European troops.

I had been told not to omit to visit Batoe Toelis, "the place of the
written stone," where there is an ancient inscription, and Kotta Batoe
with its celebrated bath presided over by a Chinaman. My first
expedition was to this latter place. There were three of us bent upon a
swim before breakfast, and in order to save time we took a sadoe. The
beauty and extent of the view increased as we ascended the slopes of
Mount Salak. When we had driven some three miles we left the sadoe, with
strict injunctions to the driver to wait till we returned, and proceeded
to accomplish our quest on foot. There were three baths in all, natural
basins of rock fed by streams of mountain water, and shaded by the dense
foliage of lofty trees. One of them is circular in form, and the water
is curiously coloured, by some trick of reflection or refraction, to a
dull steely blue. A plunge in the clear cool water was well worth the
trifling fee we paid to the celestial, and we returned to our hotel
with a famous appetite for breakfast.

It was on the occasion of this drive that I first made the acquaintance
of that useful domestic animal, the buffalo (_Bos Sondaicus_). He is a
very "fine and large" animal of a mouse colour, with white legs and a
patch of white on his quarters; and has long horns lying back on his
neck, where they cannot be the slightest use to him. His Javan masters
find him very docile, but he has an awkward way with strangers. He is
generally to be found under the care of a small boy, who is seated on
his broad back, and who touches him with a rod on this side or that
according to the direction which he desires the animal to take. I have
already described the simple but effective plough to which he is yoked
when working the sawahs,[14] and the methods employed by the natives for
the cultivation of rice.

    [Footnote 14: In Chapter III.]

From almost any elevated point it is possible to get views of the sawahs
in the neighbourhood of Buitenzorg. The form and extent of the separate
fields divided by the water-courses vary with the nature of the country.
Each field is itself perfectly level, and is separated by as little as
half a foot, or as much as four feet, from those immediately above and
beneath it. The slopes of Gedé are covered with such a series of vast
and irregular terraces. Seen from Buitenzorg the general effect is not
unlike that of the tiers of a theatre, while in the distance the
individual terraces show smooth surfaces varying in colour from emerald
green to saffron yellow, or flashing with the brightness of still and
sunlit waters.

Indeed, there is much to be seen at Buitenzorg with but little
expenditure of time or trouble. Close at hand is the Campong, or Chinese
town, with its quaint shops and busy market-place. Immediately beneath
the hotel numberless bamboo cottages crowded with Javanese peasants can
be found for the looking. They lie in the midst of groves of cocoanut
palms, hidden away almost as completely as if they were a hundred miles
instead of a hundred yards from the Belle Vue.

[Illustration: A JAVANESE COTTAGE. _Page_ 114.]

I spent one whole morning sketching a cottage which I found within a
stone's throw of the hotel. Without any ceremony, I walked into the
midst of the family circle, and seated myself under the shelter of a
wood shed. Had I known enough Malay, I should certainly have first asked
permission before I ventured upon such an intrusion, for I have found a
sketching-book an almost universal passport to civility. As it was, I
assumed an air of conscious innocence, which I trusted would soon remove
any awkward suspicions which might arise in the mind of the owner of the
house, and proceeded to unpack my sketching-traps. I then quickly
sketched in the group on the verandah, consisting of the mother and
children. Before I had finished they all ran away in alarm, and for the
next half-hour the front of the house was entirely deserted. I suppose
they made up their minds at last that I was harmless, for they gradually
came back and resumed their usual manner of life. The mother was
occupied with keeping two small children in order. Besides these, there
was a little boy and a girl. This latter was the oldest of the family.
She was not so shy as her mother; on the contrary, she arranged herself
in a most becoming attitude against the front of the verandah. Every now
and then the mother showed her teeth and spoke crossly to the baby, and
once when it cried she whipped it with a bit of palm-leaf until it came
to a better mind--which it did promptly. After a time, a Chinaman called
and had a talk with the lady of the house. I think he wanted a load of
firewood. An old lady also came. I could not fathom _her_ business, but,
from the interest she manifested in the children, I expect she was a
relative of the family.

About noon the father came back with a load of wood. He was a man of the
world, and knew all about the performance. After he had looked at the
sketch, the children, and finally the mother, all came round my stool
and had a good long look at my work. Even so the mother would not let
the children dab their toes into my paints, or generally become a
nuisance. For this unexpected manifestation of a sense of the fitness
of things, I felt grateful to her, and, before I went away, found a way
of recompensing the children for the sorrow they must have felt at being
compelled to relinquish such a rare opportunity for getting into

Every morning I found some quaint figure with which to enrich my
sketch-book--a sarong-weaver, or a beggar crouching by the wayside, or a
Hadji, with his large umbrella and green turban, the latter marking the
fact of his having accomplished a pilgrimage to Mecca. But, interesting
as were these human studies, my pleasantest recollections of Buitenzorg
centre in the visit which I paid to the Botanical Gardens, under the
guidance of the curator, Dr. Treub.

My account of this, however, and of the gardens generally, I reserve for
the next chapter.

[Illustration: NATIVES SQUATTING.]



  History of the Buitenzorg gardens--Teysmann--
  Scheffer--Three separate branches--Horticultural
  garden--Mountain garden--Botanical garden--
  Dr. Treub--Lady Raffles' monument--Pandanus with
  aërial roots--Cyrtostachys renda--Stelecho-karpus--
  Urostigma--Brazilian palms--Laboratories and
  offices--Number of men employed--Scientific strangers.

Among the twenty or thirty tropical gardens established in the
colonial possessions of the various European Powers, three stand
pre-eminent--those of Calcutta, the Peradenia Gardens in Ceylon, and
the Dutch gardens at Buitenzorg. It is only natural that a people so
distinguished for horticulture as the Dutch should have turned to
account the floral wealth of the Malay Archipelago, perhaps the richest
botanical hunting-ground in the world. The Buitenzorg gardens, however,
owe their present celebrity more to individual energy than to Government

Originally established in 1819, in a corner of the park surrounding the
residence of the Governor-General, the exigencies of colonial finance
subsequently required the withdrawal of almost all the provision
originally made, and only a sum sufficient to support a single European
gardener was left. The salary of this single official was taken from the
funds appropriated to the maintenance of the park. It was to this post
that J. E. Teysmann was appointed in 1830. Educated at one of the
primary schools in Holland, and originally employed as an
under-gardener, he had in that capacity accompanied Governor Van den
Bosch to Java. Like our own Moffat (also an under-gardener), Teysmann
rose by his energy and devotion to "great honour," and, half a century
later, received a remarkable proof of the esteem in which he was held in
the scientific world, consisting of an album, within which were
inscribed the signatures of the donors--one hundred famous naturalists,
ranging from Darwen to Candolle, the Genevan. It bore the inscription--

    "_Celeberrimo indefessoque J. E. Teysmann cum dimidium per
    sæculum Archipelagi indici thesaurum botanicum exploravit,
    mirantes collegæ._"

During the period that the gardens ceased to exist as an independent
institution--1830 to 1868--Teysmann continued to search throughout the
islands of the Archipelago for rare and undiscovered plants with which
to enrich them. He also published catalogues embodying the discoveries
he had made, and finally arranged the plants and trees upon an excellent
system, in which they are grouped in accordance with their natural

In 1868 the gardens once more became a public institution, with a
curator and a recognized revenue. The new curator was Dr. Scheffer, of
Utrecht, who in 1876 founded, in addition to the botanical gardens, a
school of agriculture with a garden attached to it. This useful
institution was subsequently suppressed by the Government, but the
garden still survives alongside its parent at Buitenzorg. Dr. Scheffer
died in 1880, when only thirty-six years of age. He was succeeded by the
present curator, Dr. Treub.

The Dutch Government gardens in Java, known to the scientific world as
the _Hortus Bogoriensis_,[15] and to the official as the _Nederlands
Plantentuin te Buitenzorg_, contain three separate branches--the
botanical gardens, a horticultural garden, and a mountain garden. Of
these, the last is situated at some distance from the town, on the
slopes of Mount Gedé. It occupies seventy-five acres of land at an
altitude of between 4000 and 5000 feet, and is provided with a staff of
ten natives working under a European gardener. I was told that, while
all European, Australian, and Japanese flowers would grow there, it was
found impossible to cultivate the fruits of such temperate regions,
owing to the difficulty experienced in securing the necessary period of
rest. I have since heard that in Fiji the difficulty is overcome by
exposing the roots for some months, and thus preventing the sap from
rising. Why not adopt this method in Java?

    [Footnote 15: _Bogor_ is the native name for this place;
    _Buitenzorg_ means "beyond care," and is therefore the
    equivalent of the French _sans sourci_.]

The horticultural garden adjoins the botanical gardens, and occupies
forty acres. As already mentioned, it owes its existence to Dr.
Scheffer, and it is, of course, devoted to strictly practical objects.
Consequently, everything is arranged in such a manner as to make the
most of the space. All the paths are at right angles or parallel to each
other, and the garden generally is laid out with monotonous regularity.
Yet no small part of the success of the Government gardens as an
institution depends upon the produce of this department. It has for many
years enabled the Government to distribute gratuitously the seeds and
plants required for various colonial enterprises. Within its trim beds
are contained tea and coffee plants, sugar-canes, caoutchouc and
gutta-percha trees, _Erythroxylon coca_ for cocaine, and trees
producing tannin and oils. Various medicinal plants are also to be found
here, and such as afford useful nourishment for cattle. The necessary
labour for this garden is supplied by a head-gardener and seventy

The botanical gardens occupy ninety acres of the southern corner of the
park, which itself forms their northern limit. On the east they are
bounded by the river Tjiliwong, and on the west and south by the
high-road from Batavia. Through the centre there runs the famous _Allée
des Kanaries_ (_Canarium commune_), the boughs of which form an arched
roof one hundred feet from the ground. Leading right and left from this
central avenue run other smaller avenues, roads, and paths, conducting
to the different plots in which the various families of plants are
contained, in accordance with the system of arrangement introduced by
Teysmann. Some of these paths, especially those leading to the lower
level by the river-bank, are paved with pebbles after the manner of the
"cobbled" streets of our English villages. To this Mr. Wallace, in his
"Malay Archipelago," takes exception on the score of discomfort. I was
assured, however, that they are a necessary evil, and that the heavy
rains to which Buitenzorg was liable, made it necessary to have the
firmest kind of pathway in such places. At either end of the avenue
there are lodges, but no gates, and the gardens are left open day and
night without any fear of injury. This fortunate condition of affairs is
not unusual in Java, but in this case security is partly ensured by the
proximity of a large military force and the frequent presence of the

As Dr. Treub had kindly offered to act as my guide, I found my way one
morning to his house at the early hour of half-past seven. The residence
provided for the curator is situated on the left side of the southern
entrance. The deep verandah is furnished with some brilliant groups of
flowers. Opening on to it is a little morning-room hung with some
elegant engravings--reproductions of _Salon_ pictures. Here I found Dr.
Treub waiting for me.

After a few moments' conversation we left the house and passed down the
avenue. Some hundred yards onwards, to the right, there is a stone
monument interesting to Englishmen. It consists of a circular roof
supported by pillars, protecting a funereal urn placed upon a square
pedestal. On the pedestal the following inscription is engraved:--

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

Although the site of this monument is more humble than that of Sir
Thomas Raffles' statue at Singapore, it is scarcely less interesting;
and the repair and preservation of the stonework is secured by a special
clause in the treaty of cession. I think it was just here that Dr. Treub
turned away from the Canary Avenue, and, taking one of the paths to the
right, led me forward towards the river.

I had asked him if he would point out any trees specially worthy of
being sketched, and he had very readily acceded to my request. After we
had walked a few minutes, however, he said--

"I am in a difficulty; I do not know what to show you. We have some most
curious plants in the garden, but there is nothing remarkable about them
externally. I suppose you want something with a _cachet_ for the

I said he was quite right in his supposition. What I wanted was
something of interest from a picturesque point of view to the general

"There," he said, pointing to a tall tree with a growth and foliage of
no distinct character, "is a strychnine tree; from the berries of that
tree we get nux vomica; but if you drew that, they would say, 'Why, it
is an apple-tree; it is not worth going to the tropics to see that.'"

By this time we had almost reached the banks of the Tjiliwong, and again
turning to the right, where grew the pandans, "There," he said, "is a
tree with aërial roots. It comes from the Nicobar Islands, just
north-west of Sumatra. I think it is about twenty-eight feet in height.
No, the roots do not contribute to its nourishment; they are useless
but very curious." From the pandans we passed to the palms. First we
noticed a specimen of comparatively low growth, with its leaves
springing from the ground like the leaves of a primrose--_Ladoicea
Sechellarum_. It bore, I was told, the largest fruit and the largest
leaves of any known tree, the former being two, and the latter ten, feet
in diameter. "Unfortunately, there is no fruit on it," said Dr. Treub,
"but you can see _that_ in any museum. You see, the stems of the leaves
are as hard as iron." Indeed, they gave quite a metallic ring as he
drove the ferrule of his walking stick against them. A few steps further
brought us to a tree which Dr. Treub said had no special
characteristics, but was a perfect natural specimen of the palm family.
It stood about forty feet in height, and was furnished with foliage
which hung gracefully suspended from a straight tapering stem. Then at
the next corner, where its beauty showed to advantage, we came upon a
group of red-stemmed palms from the little island of Banka. A fortnight
later I was anchored off Mentok, the capital of that island, in a Dutch
mail boat; but at this time I had no knowledge of the _habitat_ of this
fair tree--nor, indeed, had I seen it before, although a few weeks
afterwards I found two fine specimens growing on either side of the
entrance of a private house at Singapore. It needs an expert to describe
so rare a combination of brilliant colours and graceful form. Mr.
Forbes, the naturalist, in his account of his "Wanderings in the Eastern
Archipelago," tells how he passed down through "plots of amaryllideæ,
iris, and other water-loving plants" in this quarter of the garden; and
how he found the "glory" of "the richest _palmetum_ in the world--the
_Cyrtostachys renda_, whose long bright scarlet leaf-sheaths and
flower-spathes, and its red fruit and deep yellow inflorescence hanging
side by side, at once arrest the eye."

From this point we again ascended to the higher level of the garden by a
path paved with pebbles and cut into steps. Then "faring on our way," we
reached the division marked _Anonaceæ_, and there my eye came upon a
sight which rivalled in wonder the golden bough of the sixth Æneid
which the doves of Venus showed to Æneas:

    "Tollunt se celeres, liquidumque per aëra lapsæ,
    Sedibus optatis geminæ super arbore sidunt,
    Discolor unde auri per ramos aura refulsit."

In this case the "contrasting golden beam" shone not from the foliage,
but, stranger still, from the black trunk of a tall tree. It was a
_stelecho-karpus_, or stem-flowering tree. The trunk from which the deep
saffron flowers sprang was about one foot and three inches in diameter,
and the flowers themselves were much like bunches of primroses, only
darker in colour and divested of their leaves. Unlike Æneas, we passed
forward without any floral spoils--for, indeed, we had no such awkward
personage as Charon to reckon with--among dark, cool, tree-arched
avenues of figs and banyans to the northern limit. On our way we paused
once to notice a fine "sacred fig" of India (_urostigma_), a tree with
remarkably angular boughs; and again when Dr. Treub stopped, and,
pointing to the frangipane blossom, said, "That is the flower of
religion in India, being sacred to Buddha; the Malays here call it the
'flower of the dead.'" In this quarter the trees were larger and of more
robust growth, and the appearance of the garden more natural to my
Northern eyes. A sudden turn brought us to a projecting spur, on which
was built a little summer-house commanding a view of the surrounding
country. Far away the double mountain Pangerango and Gedé rose blue and
shadowy, with just a wreath of smoke showing from the volcanic peak. In
the middle ground stretched masses of tropical forests edging the bright
green terraces of the savah land. At our feet the river ran bubbling and
fretting over the brown stones.

In returning we skirted the central lake, and, having crossed the
avenue, passed down a broad roadway lined with rich foliage. This was so
arranged as to afford a view of Mount Salak to the southern windows of
the Governor-General's residence. It was one of the many glimpses which
appeared of a sheer height of dark azure contrasted with the bright
green of palm or bamboo. Leaving this, we passed down an avenue of
Brazilian palms, running parallel to the Canary Avenue. Each tree was
almost too faultlessly perfect in its graceful foliage and smooth
rounded stem, and of apparently equal height. Round the surfaces of
these stems the green leaves and purple flowers of convolvuli clung. A
few yards beyond the termination of this avenue we left the path and
entered a wilderness of climbing plants. Carefully advancing (for there
were arms stretched out on every side ready to pluck flesh or clothing),
we took our stand opposite the coils of a huge climbing palm.

"There are branches," said Dr. Treub, "from this plant six hundred feet
in length; it passes, as you see, from tree to tree."

On reaching the path, I found that we had completed the circuit of the
gardens, and were once more in the neighbourhood of the nurseries and
buildings. These latter are numerous and extensive, for the curator of
the Buitenzorg gardens aims not only at obtaining a wide range of
vegetable products, and thus serving the needs of colonial industries,
but also at accomplishing researches in the pathology and physiology of
plants. In this way Dr. Treub expects a useful development for the
tropical gardens generally, which he considers have only lately become
genuine centres of scientific research. At Buitenzorg, in addition to a
museum containing an extensive herbarium and a botanical library of over
five thousand volumes, there are numerous laboratories and offices
accommodating the curator and his three assistants, and draughtsmen, who
are competent to employ the methods of photography and lithography in
reproducing the forms of plants. Under the direction of this staff there
are employed a number of natives, including three Malays with special
botanical knowledge, a head-gardener, and nine under-gardeners, and
scarcely less than a hundred coolies. Altogether there are nine thousand
distinct species of plants contained in the gardens. On our way to the
strangers' laboratory we passed a number of trellis-work houses, with
creepers trained over their sides and roofs. "You see," said Dr. Treub,
with a smile, "we have _cool_ houses here instead of _hot_ houses. They
are for forest plants accustomed to coolness and shelter."

I was especially asked to notice the completeness of the arrangements
made for scientific visitors. The laboratory is seventy-five feet in
length, and opposite each of the ten windows (five on either side) is
placed a table fitted with optical instruments and other necessary means
of botanical research. It is also provided with a small library and
herbarium. In reference to the strangers' laboratory, Dr. Treub remarked
that he specially desired to see Englishmen avail themselves of it.
German and French _savants_ had come to Buitenzorg to study, but no
Englishmen as yet.

I visited these gardens on several occasions during my short stay at
Buitenzorg, and often wandered among the dark tree-arched paths and
avenues. On each occasion I found some new beauty. One day it was a
lakelet covered with great water-plants; another day a gorgeous plot of
orchids, or a fresh piece of landscape. These subsequent visits,
however, lacked that which gave so great a charm to my first walk
through the gardens--the spontaneous courtesy and graceful learning of
the curator.

[Illustration: A HAPPY CELESTIAL.]



  View of Mount Salak--Railway travelling in Java--
  Soekaboemi--No coolies--A long walk--Making
  a _pikulan_--Forest path--Tji Wangi at last.

It is two in the afternoon, and I have just taken the curious Javan meal
called _rice-table_. Everyone else in the hotel, visitors and servants
alike, are asleep. The doors of my rooms are all open, and there is a
through draught from the courtyard to the verandah, where I am seated in
a long easy chair with arms extending at will after the manner of the
tropics. By my side on a table are placed cigars, a glass of iced claret
and water, and a novel.

The view from the back rooms of the Hôtel Belle Vue at Buitenzorg is
famous. This afternoon I am looking at it for the last time, and it
seems more wonderful than ever. Let me try to describe it.

Immediately in front is the great triangular mass of Mount Salak. The
peak is 7000 feet above sea-level, and, like most of the Javan
mountains, it rises to its full height almost clear from its base. The
lower levels are luxuriantly covered with tropical forests, a covering
which gradually thins and dwindles until the apex of the triangle stands
out sharply against the sky. Between the hotel and the mountain there
stretches a sea of waving treetops. In the distance it is deep blue; as
it approaches it grows more and more green; then separate forms of palms
and bamboos can be distinguished, with red-tiled or brown-thatched roofs
showing between them. Immediately beneath me is the brown river
Tjiliwong, with bamboo cottages on its banks and natives bathing in its

Inside the courtyard no one is stirring. The dreamy silence is only
broken by the voices that rise from the river below, by the clacking of
the sarong weaver's shuttle or the dull boom of a far-away tom-tom.

Under such circumstances the conditions necessary for perfect physical
enjoyment are very fully realized. Yet it is at such moments that one is
apt to reflect how unimportant are these material considerations
compared with the advantages of strenuous and reasoned action. One longs
for the stir of life as it is felt in the great centres of European

    "Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay."

Well, I was going to see some European energy on the morrow. At Batavia
an English resident had said, "When you are at Buitenzorg you should go
on to Soekaboemi and see a coffee plantation.' Subsequently he wrote
that his friend H---- would expect me on Tuesday at his coffee
plantation with an unpronounceable name in the Preanger district. The
morrow was Tuesday.

Soekaboemi was only thirty or forty miles away, but I left Buitenzorg at
eight o'clock in order to escape the discomfort of travelling in the
middle of the day. It goes without saying that trains in the tropics do
not carry you along as quickly as the Flying Dutchman or the Scotch
express. But I found the carriages comfortable enough, being built in
the American fashion, and furnished with Venetians to keep out the sun
and let in the air. Except the station-masters, all the officials were
Chinese or Javan natives. The guard who looked at my ticket wore the
traditional peaked cap and cloth uniform, but over his European garments
he had appended as usual his airy native costume. Of the four classes of
carriages two are reserved for Europeans, one for Chinese, and one for
the natives.

In leaving Buitenzorg I made the mistake of taking a first-class ticket.
In the first place, the carriage had not been dusted, and a cooly came
in and disturbed me with his brush. He made such a cloud of dust that I
had to beat a retreat. On my return I found the carriage clean, but the
dust transferred to my baggage. In the next place, all the Dutch
officials, and the planters and their wives, were travelling second
class, and I was left to enjoy (?) my compartment in solitary grandeur.
Had there been any one in the carriage, I should have found out that
Soekaboemi was not the right station for H----'s plantation. As it was I
could open and shut windows at will, and I was free to make the best of
my opportunities for sight-seeing--an object towards which the slow pace
of the train and the frequent and lengthy stoppages materially
contributed. Indeed, the crowds of natives at the stations were as well
worth studying as the mountains and plantations. I never saw elsewhere,
even in Java, such rainbow mixtures of colours as they contrived to
bring into their cotton jackets and dresses; and as for their plaited
hats, there was every possible variety of shape and size, from an
umbrella to a funnel.

For the first few miles the line ran southwards between Salak and Gedé.
On either side I could see stretches of mountain slopes luxuriously
wooded, while the brown stream Tji Sadanie, a tributary of the Kali
Besar, or "great river" of Batavia, playing hide-and-seek with the
railroad, afforded more than one charming "bit" of river, tree, and

As we get away from the mountains the view widens. Masses of palms, dark
green bamboos, and other tropical growths fill up the distance. In the
foreground are irrigated rice terraces, with gleaming waters and the
freshest of verdure. Here copper-coloured natives are at work. Men are
ploughing the wet soil of the sawahs with buffaloes; women--often with
their babies slung on their backs with their long scarfs--are hoeing, or
weeding, or reaping. As the average monthly temperature does not vary
more than two degrees all the year round in Java, the process of
preparing the ground, sowing, and reaping go on simultaneously in the
ricefields. Every now and then we come across a queer little Noah's-ark
cottage in the midst of bananas and bamboos, with a tall palm or two
waving overhead. Salak remains long in sight. At first it towered in its
pride of greatness, then it grew soft in the blue distance. At last the
railway turns abruptly at Karan Tenjak, and it is gone.

As the train nears Soekaboemi the character of the country changes.
Plantations of sugar in the level country and of tea on the uplands take
the place of ricefields. The name Soekaboemi means "pleasant place," and
the town is the centre of the planting interest in Java. In its
immediate neighbourhood are coffee, cinchona, and tea plantations.

At a quarter to eleven the train drew up in a large and excellently
arranged station. I at once made my way outside. Here I looked in vain
for the horses and coolies I expected to meet me. After waiting some
moments, I confided my troubles to a bystander, addressing him in
French, which is spoken by the Europeans in Java almost as much as
Dutch. Fortunately Tji Wangi--the unpronounceable name of H----'s
plantation--seemed to be well known, and he grasped the situation at

"You ought to have gone to Tji Reingass," he said; "the coolies will be

"How far am I from Tji Wangi? Is it within driving distance?" I


"Can I take a sadoe?"

"Yes, certainly."

There were several sadoes outside the station at Soekaboemi. As my
knowledge of Malay, the recognized language for communication between
natives and Europeans, was strictly limited, I asked my new friend to
find out if the Malay "boy" knew where Tji Wangi was. This he readily
did, and told me that it was all right; that he would take me to Tji
Wangi. So I got into the sadoe, expecting to be driven promptly to my

But the thing was not so simple. After an hour and a half of driving
over mountain roads, the Malay pulled up suddenly under the shelter of a
wayside inn. While I was wondering why he stopped, he coolly took out my
luggage and planted it in the middle of the road in front of the sadoe.
After this very broad hint, I got out too.

"Mana Tji Wangi" ("Where is Tji Wangi")? I said.

For answer he pointed with his thumb over his shoulder to the mountain.

"Brapa lama" ("How long")?

"Suku jam" ("A quarter of an hour"), was the mendacious and unhesitating

Meanwhile a cooly, who had been summoned from the ricefields, appeared
upon the scene and took up my Gladstone bag. Nothing remained for me but
to pay my mendacious Malay half the number of florins he demanded and
follow my new guide.

As a matter of fact, Tji Wangi was ten miles away on the other side of
the Goenoeng Malang, or Cross Mountain. This, of course, I did not know,
and so I set off cheerfully up the side of the mountain. Although it was
midday, the heat was not oppressive at this altitude (two thousand
feet), and I was clothed for the tropics. When an hour had passed and
there were still no signs of the plantation, I began to feel less
cheerful. I stopped and interrogated the cooly. He smiled blandly. _He_
at least was suffering from no misgivings. Like the young man in
"Excelsior," he pointed upwards. We met some natives; I accosted them
with "Mana Tji Wangi?" They too pointed up the mountain. At any rate, we
were travelling in the right direction. I noticed that the natives we
met behaved very differently from the saucy sadoe-drivers in the towns.
As we passed they stood on one side with their heads uncovered. When I
spoke to them, they squatted down and sat with their legs tucked up
under them and their hats off in a most uncomfortable way. I afterwards
learnt that these traditions of Oriental etiquette were preserved by the
Dutch and English planters in the interests of discipline. As the
plantations are often long distances apart, the Europeans have to rely
upon moral force to maintain their ascendency. Another half-hour passed
and still no signs of Tji Wangi. We had met no Europeans, and I was
beginning to get uneasy, when we came to a second inn.

Here I ordered a halt. The shade of the projecting roof was very
welcome. My eyes could not reach the dark interior, but they ranged
hungrily--I had eaten nothing since my early breakfast--over the
edibles laid out in front. There were fruits and cakes, little
messes of vegetables, dried fish, and other odd-looking delicacies
on plates. I decided on a big bunch of bananas. In payment I gave a
half-florin--worth rather less than a shilling of English money--and I
received in return quite a handful of silver and copper coins. I
concluded that bananas were not expensive in Java.

While I was eating my bananas, my cooly set to work to make a _pikulan_,
or shoulder-piece. He took a long bamboo and stripped off the leaves and
branches with his _gaulok_, a long knife which every native carries at
his waist. By the aid of this contrivance--borrowed from China--the
Javan natives carry burdens up to half a hundredweight without apparent
exertion for long distances. The spring of the bamboo eases the pressure
on the shoulder. On the same principle, an Australian carries his swag
with a lurch forward.

While he was busied with the pikulan, the cooly talked over the affairs
of the _Tuan Ingris_ (English gentleman) to a crowd of natives. Suddenly
I heard the word _kuda_. Fortunately _kuda_ (horse) was one of the words
I knew: and I at once ordered the kuda to be brought. Half a dozen
natives set off to find it. It turned out to be a very diminutive pony,
but I was not prepared to criticize.

We set out from the inn under brighter auspices. The cooly slung my
Gladstone bag at one end of the pikulan, and another small bag, with a
big stone to balance, at the other. He moved with an elastic step, as if
there was no greater pleasure in the world than carrying bags up
mountain paths, and beat the kuda hands down.

Relieved of the fatigue of walking, I could admire the mountain scenery.
As we climbed higher and higher, the stretches of green country grew
more extensive, and the blue mountains seemed to grow loftier in the
distance. Once over the saddle of the mountain, we descended rapidly
into a region of almost virgin forest. Ferns and large-leaved trees
overhung the path; from the verdant undergrowth there sprang at
intervals the vast round trunks of the rosamala trees. In the branches
high above, and beyond the range of any gun, the wild pigeons fluttered
and cooed. The spaces between the great trees were filled by a
background of dense forest.

About five o'clock the red roofs of the plantation came in sight. In
another five minutes I was being-welcomed with Anglo-Saxon heartiness.
"Ah!" said H----, as he looked at my little pony. "I sent you down a
horse that would have brought you up within the hour. You should have
gone to Tji Reingass; that is our station, not Soekaboemi. Johnston
ought to have known. Come in."

In H----'s comfortable den I soon forgot the various _contretemps_ of my
journey to Tji Wangi.



  Financial system previous to the British occupation--
  Raffles' changes--Return of the Dutch--Financial
  policy--Van den Bosch Governor-General--Introduction
  of the culture system--Its application to sugar--To
  other industries--Financial results of the system--
  Its abandonment--Reasons of this--Present condition
  of trade in Java--Financial outlook.

As I have already mentioned, the Colonial Government succeeded the Dutch
East India Company in the administration of Java towards the end of the
last century. During the period antecedent to the British occupation,
the revenue of the Government was derived from two monopolies: (1) that
of producing the more valuable crops, and (2) that of trading in all
products whatever. Meanwhile the mass of the natives were left entirely
to the mercy of the native princes, by whom they were subjected to all
manner of exactions.

The financial results of this state of things were seen in the fact that
in 1810 the gross revenue of Java was only three and a half million
florins,[16] a sum wholly inadequate to the requirements of

During the five years of British occupation (1811-1816) Sir Stamford
Raffles was Lieutenant-Governor. He at once introduced reforms. The
native princes were displaced; the village community, with its common
property and patriarchal government, was modified; a system of criminal
and civil justice, similar to that in force in India, in which a
European judge sat with native assessors, was introduced; the peasants
were given proprietary rights in the soil they cultivated; and complete
political and commercial liberty was established. An inquiry into the
nature of the respective rights in the soil of the cultivator, the
native princes, and the Government resulted in establishing the fact
that, of the subject territory the Government was sole owner of
seven-tenths. Of the remainder, two-tenths belonged to the Preanger
Regents, and one-tenth was occupied by private estates, chiefly in the
neighbourhood of Buitenzorg and Batavia. In order to teach the native
the western virtues of industry and independence, Raffles determined to
introduce the Ryotwarree system. The property in the land vested in the
Government was handed over to individual peasant proprietors. In return
for his land each proprietor was made individually and personally
responsible for the payment of his land tax, and his land was liable to
be sold in satisfaction of his public or private debts.

    [Footnote 16: 12 florins = £1.]

Before the English administration the peasant had paid--(1) a land rent
for his rice lands to the native princes, amounting to a sum equivalent
to one-half of the produce of sawah (irrigated) and one-third of tegal
(unirrigated) lands; and (2) a tax of forced labour to the Dutch
Government, which took the form of unpaid labour in the cultivation of
the produce for export. Raffles abolished both, and in place of them he
established a fixed money payment equivalent to a much smaller
proportion of the produce of the land than had been paid before to the
native princes alone.

The Dutch regained their East Indian possessions by the Treaty of
London. On their return to Java, they restored the village community
with its joint ownership and joint liability, and abolished all
proprietary rights of the natives in the soil, only allowing ownership
of land to Europeans. They contend that this attempt of Raffles to apply
Western principles to an Eastern society had already proved disastrous.
The peasants, on the one hand, had not acquired the habits necessary for
the successful development of their holdings, but, on the other, through
their inability to pay the land rent, were becoming hopelessly involved
in debt to the Chinese and Arab money-lenders. The broad fact, however,
remains that during the short period of British rule the revenue rose
from three and a half to seven and a half million florins, and the
population from four to five and a half millions.

As the old monopolies from which the chief part of the revenue had
formerly been derived had been abolished by the policy of unrestricted
commerce introduced by Raffles, it was necessary to find some other
method of raising money. It was decided to retain the land tax as a
basis of revenue, but, in order to make it more profitable, a return was
made to the original principle of land tenure under native rule, by
which the cultivator paid one-fifth of his labour and one-fifth of his
produce in return for the usufruct of the land. One day of gratuitous
labour in seven (the European week) was substituted for one day in five
formerly given to the landlord. In certain districts, namely, those of
which the Dutch became possessed by treaty and not by conquest, this
contribution in kind and labour was paid to the native princes, and not
to the Government. On private estates, again, as the Government had
parted with their feudal rights in alienating the property, a tax of
three-fourths per cent, on the estimated value of the property was
substituted. This tax, called _verponding_, was at most equivalent to
one-fifth of the net yearly income.

As before, the produce due from the peasants cultivating Government
lands was commuted into a money payment assessed upon the rice crops;
but this payment was made, not by the individual peasants, but by the
_wedanas_, or village chiefs, on behalf of the whole community. Beside
the land tax, an additional source of income remained in the profit
arising from the sale of coffee, grown either by the Preanger Regents
and sold to the Government at prices fixed by treaty, or on the coffee
plantations established by Marshall Daendels, which were now restored.

These two methods of raising revenue were resorted to by the Dutch upon
their return to the island, and continued in force during the period
1816-1833. They were wholly inadequate. Whether the Dutch were right or
not in characterizing Raffles' reforms as a failure, it is certain that
nothing could be more desperate than the state of the island in the
years immediately preceding the introduction of the culture system. At
the end of the period 1816-1833 both revenue and population seem to have
become stationary. The mass of the natives were becoming so impoverished
that they ceased to be able to keep a supply of domestic animals and
implements necessary for the cultivation of their lands. Apart from the
princes, there was no class, merchants or tradespeople, possessing any
wealth that could be taxed. Not only was the revenue stagnant, but,
owing to a war with the sultans of the interior, a debt of over
35,000,000 florins was incurred by the Government. In a word, the colony
seemed likely to become an intolerable burden to Holland. It was at this
crisis that General Van den Bosch proposed the culture system as a means
of rescuing the island from its financial and social difficulties.

The immediate object of the culture system was to extend the cultivation
of sugar, coffee, and other produce suited for European consumption; its
ultimate object was to develop the resources of the island. This latter
was, of course, the most important. Van den Bosch saw that the natives
would never be able to do this by themselves. In the first place, they
were still organized on the patriarchal model in village communities;
and, in the second, owing to the tropical climate and the extreme ease
with which life could be sustained in so fertile a country, they were
naturally indolent and unprogressive. He therefore proposed to organize
their labour under European supervision. By this method he thought that
he would be able both to raise the revenue and to improve the condition
of the peasants by teaching them to grow valuable produce in addition to
the rice crops on which they depended for subsistence. Van den Bosch
became Governor-General of Java and its dependencies in 1830. Before
leaving Holland he had made his proposals known, and obtained the
approval of the Netherlands Government. He took with him newly appointed
officials free from colonial traditions, and his reforms inspired such
confidence, that a number of well-educated and intelligent persons were
willing to emigrate with their families to Java in order to take up the
business of manufacturing the produce grown under the new system. Upon
his arrival in the island, a special branch cf the Colonial
Administration was created. The first work of the new department was to
found the sugar industry. It was necessary to supply the manufacturers
with both capital and income. Accordingly, a sum amounting to £14,000
was placed to the credit of each manufacturer in the books of the
department. Of this sum he was allowed to draw up to £125 per month for
the expenses of himself and his family during the first two years. From
the third year onwards he paid back one-tenth annually. Thus at the end
of twelve years the capital was repaid. The manufacturer was to apply
the capital so advanced to the construction of the sugar-mill, which was
to be fitted with the best European machinery, and worked by
water-power. Free labour, and timber from the Government plantations,
was supplied; and the customs duties upon the machinery and implements
imported were remitted. The building of the mills was supervised by the
_contrôleurs_, the officials of the new department, and had to be
carried out to their satisfaction. The department also undertook to see
that the peasants in the neighbourhood of each mill should have from
seven hundred to a thousand acres planted with sugar-canes by the time
the mills were in working order. In Java, as in other Eastern countries,
the landlord has the right of selecting the crop which the tenant is to
plant, and therefore the peasants saw nothing unusual in this action of
the Government. The contrôleurs ascertained, in the case of each
village, how much rice land was necessary for the subsistence of the
village, and they then ordered the remainder, usually one-fifth, to be
planted with sugar-canes. At the same time, they explained that the
value of the crop of sugar would be much greater than that of the rice
crop, and promised that the peasants should be paid not only for the
crops, but also for the labour of cutting the canes and carrying them to
the mill. When, at the end of two years, the mills had been built and
the plantations established, another advance was made by the department
to the manufacturers. This was capital sufficient to pay for the value
of the sugar crop, estimated as it stood, for the wages of the peasants,
and generally for the expenses of manufacture. This second advance was
at once repaid by the produce of the mill. At first the department
required the manufacturer to deliver the whole amount of produce to them
at a price one-third in excess of the cost of production. Subsequently
he was allowed the option of delivering the whole crop to Government, or
of delivering so much of the produce only as would pay for the interest
on the crop advance, together with the instalment of the original
capital annually due. Working on these terms, large profits were made by
the manufacturers, and there soon came to be a demand for such new
contracts as the Government had at their disposal.

[Illustration: A PRODUCE MILL. _Page_ 156.]

As for the peasants, they were undoubtedly benefited by the
introduction of the system. While the land rent continued to be
calculated as before, on a basis of the produce of ricefields, the value
of the sugar crop was so much greater than that of the rice, which it
partially displaced, that the money received for it amounted on the
average to twice the sum paid to Government for land rent on the whole
of the village land. Moreover, although the estimated price of the crop
was paid to the wedanas, or village chiefs, the wages for cutting and
carrying were paid to the peasants individually. The value of the crop,
the rate of wages, and the relations between the peasants and the
manufacturers generally, were settled by the contrôleurs.

In 1871, when the culture system was in full operation, there were
39,000 _bouws_, or 70,000 acres, under sugar-cane, giving employment to
222,000 native families, and ninety-seven sugar-mills had been started.
One-third of the produce was delivered to Government at the rate of
eight florins per picul,[17] and the remaining two-thirds were sold by
the manufacturers in open market. In the five years 1866-1870 the
Government profit on sugar amounted to rather more than 25,000,000

    [Footnote 17: The picul = 135 lbs.]

Subsequently the cultivation of coffee, indigo, cochineal, tobacco,
pepper, tea, and cinchona was added to that of sugar. The system pursued
was not identical in the case of all produce. Cochineal, indigo, tea,
and tobacco were cultivated in a manner similar to that adopted for
sugar. But in the case of coffee, cinnamon, and pepper it was not found
necessary to have any manufacturers between the contrôleurs and the
peasants. Of these coffee, the most important, is grown on lands having
an elevation of from 2000 to 4500 feet. Each head of a family is
required to plant a certain number of trees in gardens (the maximum was
fixed in 1877 at fifty a year), and to keep a nursery of young trees to
replenish the plantations. These gardens and nurseries are all inspected
by native and European officials. The process of harvesting the berry is
similarly supervised, but after that is accomplished the peasants are
left to dry, clean, and sort the berries by themselves, and are allowed
to deliver the crop at the coffee stores at their own convenience.
Finally, private persons contract for periods of two or three years to
pack and transport the coffee to the central stores at the ports. Of the
coffee produced on Government account, one-fifth only is sold in Java,
and the remainder is sent home to Europe and sold there.

The culture system was so successful as a financial expedient, that
between the years 1831 and 1875 the colonial revenue yielded surpluses
to Holland amounting to 725,000,000 florins. This total seems the more
remarkable when we know that from 1838 onwards, the colonial revenue was
charged with 200,000,000 florins of the public debt of Holland, being
the proportion borne by Belgium before the separation of the two
countries, which took place at that date.

In 1876, however, the long series of surpluses ceased, and they have
since been replaced by deficits almost as continuous. These deficits
are due to three well-ascertained causes: (1) the Achin war, (2) public
works, and (3) the fall in the price of sugar and coffee. In order to
show that this remarkable change in the financial fortunes of Java is in
no way due to the culture system, it is necessary to go somewhat more
into detail.

(1) Before the outbreak of the Achin war in 1873, the average
expenditure of the Colonial Government for military purposes was
30,000,000 florins annually. During the period 1873-1884 this
expenditure rose to an average of 50,000,000 florins, and the total cost
of the war during that period amounted to 240,000,000 florins. Since
1884 the expenditure has been reduced by confining the operations of the
troops to such as are purely defensive; even then the average annual
expenditure has reached 40,000,000 florins.

(2) Since 1875 the construction of railways and of other public works,
notably the harbour works at Tanjong Priok, the port of Batavia, has
been undertaken by Government. Since the cost has been paid out of
current revenue, and not raised by loans, these works have necessitated
a further annual expenditure of 8,000,000 florins. The total sum spent
in public works between the years 1875-1884, amounting to 75,000,000
florins, is almost exactly equivalent to the deficit incurred during the
same period.

(3) In suffering from the competition of France in sugar, and of Brazil
in coffee, Java has not been peculiar. The British West Indian colonies
are at the present time most disastrously affected by the bounty-fed
sugar industry of France, and Ceylon is only just learning how to
compensate itself for the diminution of its coffee export by the
introduction of a new industry--tea.

As for the general progress of the island, it is sufficiently indicated
by the fact that since the date (1831) of the introduction of the
system, the population has increased from six to twenty-three millions,
and the revenue from thirty million florins to one hundred and

Although the culture system has yielded such satisfactory results, it
has been gradually abandoned since 1871.

The reason for this change of policy is the feeling that the system,
though necessary originally to develop the resources of the island, is
at variance with the best interests of the natives, and hinders the
introduction of private enterprise and capital. Increased commercial
prosperity is expected to compensate for the loss of revenue caused by
the withdrawal of the Government from the work of production. In the
mean time, it has been found necessary to impose various new and direct
taxes. The most important of these is a poll tax on the natives, which
has taken the place of the personal services formerly rendered by them
on the Government plantations. Originally imposed in 1871, it yielded
two and a half million florins in 1886. Another compensating source of
revenue is the growth of the verponding. As already mentioned, this is a
tax of three-fourths per cent, on the capital value of house property
and industrial plant. It is assessed every three years, and therefore is
an accurate test of the growth of private wealth invested in the colony.
In the fifteen years from 1871 to 1886, the amount yielded by this tax
showed a growth of seventy-five per cent.

It is not necessary to detail the various steps by which the Dutch have
carried out this policy of abandonment. It is sufficient to note the
general result.

To-day all industries, with the exception of coffee, opium, and salt,
are free. In the production of the two latter, opium and salt, the
Colonial Government maintains a complete monopoly; in the case of coffee
they compete with the planters. The extent of the shares respectively
taken by the Government and private enterprise in the trade of the
island is exhibited by the following returns for 1889:--

                       IMPORTS.               EXPORTS.

  Government         13,009,445  florins    33,072,175  florins
  Private persons   160,375,326    "       164,590,439    "
                    -----------            -----------
  Total             173,384,771    "       197,662,614    "

The Government still produces two-thirds of the coffee crop. In 1889 the
amount produced respectively by the Government and the planters was
578,000 and 356,000 piculs.

Of the two chief industries of the island, sugar and coffee, the exports
in 1890 amounted in value to fifty and fifteen million florins
respectively. To these must be added two new industries--tea and
cinchona bark. The former is only in its infancy, and is confined to the
immediate neighbourhood of Soekaboemi, the head-quarters of the planting
interest in Java. Here there are two important estates, Sinagar and
Parakan Salak, which are from 12,000 to 15,000 acres in extent. The
latter industry is especially hopeful. In 1890 the area of cinchona
plantations was 22,500 acres, and 6,000,000 pounds of bark, containing
four per cent, of sulphate of quinine, was exported. This amount is
equivalent to half the world's supply for the year.

Of the import trade it is not necessary to say more than that the most
important item is that of the various cotton goods, coming mainly from
this country, which serve the natives with material for clothing
suitable for their tropical climate. It is also important to remember
that there are a quarter of a million Chinese residents in the island,
by whom all the retail, and part of the wholesale, trade is conducted.

Last year the administration of Java was the subject of a severe
criticism in the Netherlands Parliament. The complaints were chiefly
directed against the conduct of the Achin war, the opium monopoly, and
the continued interference of the Government in the coffee industry. The
reply of Baron Mackay, the colonial minister at the Hague, was in
substance as follows:--

The Achin war, he said, was the result of unavoidable circumstances, and
neither the Colonial nor the Home Government could be regarded as
responsible for the loss of revenue involved in it. He added, however,
that "excellent results were expected from the blockade system" now
adopted, and that there were already signs that the Atchinese would
before long be brought to terms. With regard to the sale of opium, he
assured the States-General that "every possible means were being taken
to reduce the sale of the drug, and to remedy its evil effects." He
frankly recognized the importance of the question of coffee-culture, but
at the same time urged the advisability of maintaining the system for
the present. It was not certain, in the first place, that the existing
system could be changed with advantage; and, in the second, "no product
in the immediate future could be looked for to replace coffee as a
source of revenue."

Undoubtedly the resources of Java are at the present time subjected to a
heavy strain. On the other hand, it must not be forgotten that (1) the
burden of the Achin war may be at any time removed, and (2) all public
works are being paid for out of current revenue without recourse to
loans. There is, therefore, no reasonable ground for supposing that the
present financial difficulties of the Colonial Government are more than
temporary. A glance at the balance-sheet of the island for the year 1889
shows to what an extent the difficulties are due to an increasing sense
of responsibility towards the natives, and to an intention to
eventually open all the industries of this singularly fertile island to
private enterprise.

                       MILLION FLORINS.

      _Revenue._                           _Expenditure._

  Taxes                        40      Instruction               10

  Monopolies                   31      Army and navy             40

  Sale of produce (of this             Public works (of this
    coffee contributes 37,               railways cost 10)       20
    sugar 2)                   49
                                       Administration, etc.      60
  Other sources (railways,
    school fees, etc.)         14
                              ---                               ---
  In round numbers            134                               130

When the natives have been educated and the industries of the island
freed from unnatural restrictions, financial and commercial prosperity
will return to Java.



  The Tji Wangi bungalow--Coffee plantations--
  Cinchona--Native labour--A wayang--Country-bred
  ponies--Bob and the ducks--Loneliness of a
  planter's life.

Horace's remark,[18] "Those that cross the sea change temperature, not
temperament," is especially true of the Englishman out of England. The
room in which I was now seated differed in scarcely anything from the
regulation "den" of every Englishman, whether in Scotland or Timbuctoo.
From the French windows I could see smooth lawns and bright flower-beds,
while beyond appeared the dark green plantations surmounted with grey
mountain heights. Photographic groups and etchings shared the task of
decorating the walls with riding-gear and Indian knives. The
writing-table was strewn with photograph-frames of all sorts and sizes.
The black "boy" who brought tea and whisky and Apollinaris, alone gave a
hint of "foreign parts." The house itself stood 3500 feet above
sea-level; but some of the estate (which covered 800 acres) rose nearly
1000 feet higher still. At this altitude the temperature was never
excessively hot: at midday it averaged 70°; certainly it never
approached the heat of Batavia; and that night I did what I had not done
before in Java--slept with a blanket over me.

    [Footnote 18: "Coelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt."]

The next morning, two handsome Sandalwood ponies were brought round, and
H---- took me over the estate. We rode between coffee and cinchona
plantations on roads of various widths cut in zigzags or curves up the
mountain sides, sometimes with the sun blazing full above us, sometimes
shaded by the light foliage of the albizzias, until we reached a rough
stone monument which marked the highest point. In the higher ranges we
sometimes came upon a piece of bush with the tall rosamala trees still
standing; or caught a glimpse of wide plains, bounded in the far-off
distance by lofty mountains.

[Illustration: ROSAMALA TREES. _Page_ 170.]

On more than one occasion H---- stopped to talk to the natives. They
were engaged in weeding--the heaviest work on the plantation, since, in
the hothouse atmosphere of Java, continual labour is required to keep
down the rapidly growing plants of all kinds, which would otherwise
impoverish the soil and choke the coffee trees. He usually addressed the
_mandors_, or native foremen, but once or twice he spoke sharply to an
idle or careless worker. His method, he explained, was to treat them
with strict justice, but merciless severity: both were necessary to
secure their respect, adding that it was useless for a man who was not
respected to have anything to do with native labour.

It was during many such rides, supplemented by visits to the factory and
long after-dinner talks with many different persons, that I learnt
something of the ins and outs of a planter's life.

Although the Dutch Government are gradually abandoning the "culture" or
"Government-plantation" system, the change is too recent to permit as
yet of the full development of private enterprise in the island. Even
now there are Government plantations in every village, in which the
natives are compelled to work without wages. Of course, it is easy to
undersell the planters by produce raised on these conditions. In
addition to the direct Government competition, they complained of export
duties on their coffee and cinchona, and of _ad valorem_ property taxes
upon their plantations and buildings. Altogether, I gathered, the
planters considered themselves very badly treated; but they had just
formed an association in order to maintain their interests, and to take
concerted action against the assistant-residents and the officials
generally, who sometimes failed to appreciate the benefit conferred upon
the country by the making of roads and other similar improvements.

The average size of the Javan coffee plantations is from 400 to 500
acres. At Tji Wangi there were 500 acres laid down in coffee, and 300
in cinchona. Part of the plantation was new, and H---- had done some
clearing since he had taken over the estate. He described the process.
The first thing to be done was to clear the forest. The trees were
felled; the light timber--underwood and branches--was removed or burnt,
but the huge trunks, bare and blackened, were left upon the ground.
Indeed, I saw many such trunks, affording a curious contrast to the
young plants growing around them. After this, he had formed plantations
of albizzias (a slight, tall tree, with a foliage resembling that of the
accacia), and planted the young trees, when they were sufficiently
grown, at intervals upon the ground he had just cleared. Finally, the
coffee trees, which had been grown from seedlings, and had remained in
the nurseries for a year, were planted in rows, six or seven feet apart,
under the shelter thus provided for them by the albizzias. The coffee
trees do not bear until their third year. At the fifth year they reach
maturity, and then continue in their prime for as long as ten or fifteen
years. Those grown upon the higher, and therefore cooler, ranges will
sometimes remain in first-rate condition for even a longer time.

H---- gathered a branch to show me the berry. It was like an acorn with
the cup taken off in shape, and of a reddish-brown colour. These berries
are harvested ordinarily at the beginning of the dry monsoon, _i.e._ in
April or May. As the coolies are paid in proportion to the amount they
gather, the whole crop is first of all measured. It is then put into a
pulping-machine, and the husk or outer covering removed. The coffee is
now said to be in the parchment, _i.e._ the two lobes of the bean are
still covered by a parchment-like skin, and in this condition the bean
is washed down into the fermenting-tanks, where it remains for
thirty-six hours. After a final washing, it is dried in the sun in large
wooden trays running on wheels, or else on concrete platforms. Most of
the Javan coffee is sent off to Europe while it is still in the husk, in
order that it may present a better appearance in the European markets.
At Tji Wangi, however, the whole work of preparation was done on the

As is well known, the civilized world is indebted for its increased
supply of quinine to Mr. Charles Ledger, the naturalist. In a subsequent
chapter I have given Mr. Ledger's interesting account of the manner in
which he succeeded, after various adventures, in the course of which
occurred the death of his faithful Indian servant, Manuel, in procuring
a small quantity of _Cinchona calisaya_ seed from Bolivia, part of which
was sold to the British and part to the Dutch East India Governments. It
is from the nurseries thus formed that the plantations of Java and
Ceylon were stocked.

In Java the cinchona is ordinarily grown by grafting slips from a hybrid
or _Ledgeriana_ of known quality on to the _Succirubra_ stem. The
succirubra grows fast, but yields only a small percentage of quinine;
the hybrid contains from ten to sixteen per cent. of sulphate of
quinine. By this device a combination of quick growth and good bearing
qualities is obtained, since the hybrid thus formed bears as freely as
the graft. The cinchona crop is harvested whenever it is convenient,
independently of the seasons, but generally at the same time as the
coffee. The quinine is contained in the bark of the tree. The first crop
of a plantation consists of branch bark. After the plants have been
growing for about six years, a whole row is taken out. In this case the
trees are entirely removed not 'barked' at all, and the whole of the
bark, even that of the roots, is utilized. It is separated from the wood
by beating the stems with sticks or wooden hammers. This is done by
women, who sit in circles round large trays, into which they drop the
bark as it falls off. It is then left to dry, and afterwards collected
and placed in long wooden troughs, where it is stamped fine with heavy
wooden stampers. In this condition it is packed into round bales.
Finally, both coffee and cinchona are transported by coolies to the
nearest railway station.


It is in respect of labour that the Javan planters have an advantage
over those of Ceylon. At Tji Wangi from 125 to 600 coolies were employed
according to the season of the year. They were paid at the rate of 20,
15, and 10 cents (or 4d., 3d., and 2d.) respectively for a man,
woman, or child per day; the mandors, or foremen, however, received from
30 to 40 cents per day. Yet so simple and cheap are the necessaries of
life in Java, that in this district a good master has no difficulty in
getting Javanese or Sundanese natives to work for him at this rate of
payment, and the plantation cooly, in spite of his low wages, manages to
enjoy his two days' holiday every week in the year.

H---- said that the average cost of living per head among his coolies
was not more than 10 cents, or 2d., per day. It should be added,
however, that the rate of wages varies in the different residencies. In
those in which there are large towns, especially in the eastern
districts, the native workers, both coolies and artisans, are paid at a
considerably higher rate than they are in the Preanger Regencies.

I have already mentioned the wayang as one of the most popular
amusements of the natives, and I shall have something more to say about
it in connection with the native literature. At Tji Wangi I had an
opportunity of witnessing this performance in its simplest form, _i.e._
the wayang _klitik_, in which the puppets are exhibited themselves to
the audience instead of being made to project shadows on a transparent
screen. Here, as at most plantations, it was customary for the weekly
market, held after pay-day, to be followed by a wayang.

When I reached the factory I found that the wages were being paid. The
coolies were seated (or rather squatted) on the ground in rows inside
the coffee-washing shed, while H---- sat at a table, with his manager
and foremen standing round him. After receiving their wages, the crowd
of natives flocked through the factory gates to an open space in front
of the storehouse. Here the different itinerant vendors had already
arranged their goods on stalls or on the ground. There were all manner
of cottons and silks, trinkets and hardwares. In addition to these,
queer edibles were to be seen--little dishes of pickled vegetables and
cured fish, fruits and cakes, even gold-fish. These latter were kept in
vessels filled with water, so that the fish could be put back into the
ponds again if they were not sold.

[Illustration: A DALANG. _Page_ 179.]

It was a pretty scene, this crowd of bright-coloured humanity. The skin
of the Javanese is little darker than that of the Italian, and his
clothes are gloriously picturesque. As usual, the hats, jackets, scarfs,
and sarongs displayed every shade of colour and variety of pattern. The
wayang did not begin until the evening. The chief performer, called the
_dalang_, or manager, squatted on the ground before two poles of bamboo
placed horizontally at a height of about three feet, into which he
stuck the puppets, taking them from a box placed by his side. He chanted
a long legendary tale taken from the ancient Javan literature, and
dealing with the times before the European occupation of the island. At
intervals he broke into a dialogue, when he worked the puppets' arms and
legs with wires, so that they seemed to be acting their several parts.
Behind the dalang was a _gamelan_, or series of gongs mounted on a
wooden frame much like an ordinary couch. These gongs were struck with
wooden hammers by other members of the company, and thus served as an
orchestra. It was interesting to observe the deep attention with which
the audience followed the movements of the puppets, and listened to the
recitations and dialogue. H---- said they would sit there listening for
hours, far into the night, without getting tired.

Owing to the restrictive trade policy of the Government, the planters,
as a class, are much more identified with the native princes than with
the Dutch officials. In a subsequent chapter I shall have occasion to
speak of the development of horse-racing in Java, and of the support
which is given to the movement by the native princes. At Tji Wangi I was
shown a recent importation from Sydney--Lonely, who was destined to
lower the colours of the Regent of Tjandjoer recently carried to victory
by Thistle, also an Australian horse. The stables (like everything else
in Java) were built of bamboo. They were kept in first-rate order. The
stalls were occupied chiefly by country-bred ponies, the progeny of the
native races of the neighbouring islands of Sandalwood and Timor.
H---- said modestly that his stud was a very small one, but that if I
would visit a Dutch neighbour I should see a stud of fifteen racers,
beside brood mares. Race meetings and the various social gatherings
connected with them are among the most important resources of the
planter's life. H----'s nearest European neighbours were seven miles
away, and he said that he could seldom entertain visitors at Tji Wangi,
because of the scarcity of game in the neighbourhood. Indeed, the
loneliness of the life is its great objection. The case of the Dutch
planters is rather different. They are often married, and with their
managers, form quite a little society of their own. But an Englishman
rarely has the courage to bring a wife so far from home. In most cases
it is the near prospect of returning with a fortune which alone makes so
isolated an existence bearable.

Under these circumstances, it was not strange that H---- should keep a
number of canine pets. Among them Bob, an English bulldog, was his
favourite. He was as good-natured as he was ugly, seldom misbehaving,
even when tempted beyond doggish endurance by the proximity of dark
skins and waving drapery. On one occasion, however, he did give way to
anger; but it must be admitted that he had provocation. H---- had some
black ducks which he had carefully reared to ornament the little lake in
the garden. One afternoon, when Master Bob was taking his siesta in the
neighbourhood of the kitchen, with his small white teeth protruding,
after the manner of bulldogs, from his black lips, and gleaming in the
light, an unfortunate duck came by. Seeing the white oblong-masses in
the region of Bob's mouth, she very naturally concluded that they were
grains of rice left by the careless quadruped. Acting upon this theory,
she hastily essayed to seize the morsel. The impact of her bill upon his
nose woke Bob in terrible indignation. A short scuffle and a plaintive
quack, and that duck's career was ended. But that was not all. So
serious did the bulldog consider this insult to his dignity that, in
spite of repeated castigations, he never rested until he had killed the
whole of the remaining brood of ducks.[19]

    [Footnote 19: Whenever I think of Bob and the ducks I remember
    that line of Virgil, in which he tells of Juno's hatred of the
    Trojans--"Æternum servans sub pectore vulnus."]

Bob's predecessor in office had been poisoned by a native cook. "But I
got her two months," H---- added, "and told my people that I had sent
for another bulldog from England, and that if they poisoned _him_ I
should send for six more."

"But you once told me you had your house broken into. How did that
happen?" This was in one of our talks in the smoking-room after dinner.

"It wasn't a very exciting business," he replied. "All I know was that
the money was gone the next morning. The night before I was very tired
and slept soundly; when I woke up I found my despatch-box gone. I
summoned my people and set them to look for it; it was found about a
hundred yards away, with the papers in it, but the money gone. About a
month afterwards I discovered that one of the natives had been spending
more money than he could account for, and, by the help of the native
police, I got him convicted and sentenced to transportation for four
years. There were three men concerned, but the others escaped through
insufficient evidence. One of the stable boys had pulled up the bolts of
the front door, and the thieves had quietly walked in, taken the box
outside, and broken it open. It was a mere accident--my putting the
money into the despatch-box instead of into the safe; but, of course, I
took precautions against a repetition of the affair. I had my safe
fastened into the ground, and the two safes at the office were built
into the wall, as you saw.

"Now, you see, they know there's always a revolver here"--pointing to
the desk--"and another by my bedside at night. There are a couple of
guns there, but of course they would not be any good, although the
bowie-knife hanging by them would. I always have two dogs in the house,
one here and one in my bedroom, and there are five or six outside."

[Illustration: COFFEE BERRIES.]



  Mr. Wallace and the Malay Archipelago--Animals--
  Birds--General characteristics of plants--European
  flora in mountains--Darwin's explanation--Fruits--
  History of cinchona introduction--Mr. Ledger's

No less than eight years (1854--1862) were employed by Mr. Wallace, the
naturalist, in "the study of man and nature" in the Malay Archipelago.
During this period he collected a vast number of specimens of animals
and plants, and, some years after his return to England, gave the
results of his travels to the world in his "Malay Archipelago." The
general conclusions which Mr. Wallace was led to form are of such
interest, that I shall endeavour very briefly to lay them before the

In the first place, the evidence supplied by the nature of the
distribution of the various plants and animals is such as to point to
the belief that the whole Archipelago is composed of fragments of two
separate continents. The Malay islands must, therefore, be divided into
two groups. Of these groups the first, roughly consisting of Sumatra,
Java, Borneo, and the Philippines, once formed part of the continent of
Asia; while in the second, the Celebes, Flores, Timor, the Moluccas, and
New Guinea, we have fragments of a great Pacific continent, which has
been gradually and irregularly broken up. The inhabitants of the former
region, to which Mr. Wallace gives the name Indo-Malayan, are Malays;
those of the latter, the Austro-Malayan, are Papuans.

Secondly, the intervening seas, which surround the various islands which
have now taken the place of these former continental tracts, have been
formed by the subsidence of land from which the foundations have been
withdrawn by the continued activity of a long volcanic chain which
traverses the Archipelago from end to end. And therefore, strange as it
may seem at first sight, the fertile island of Java, with its rich
plains and abundant vegetation--so unlike the traditional barrenness of
a volcanic region--is the work of this subterranean energy.

"The island of Java contains more volcanoes, active and extinct, than
any other known district of equal extent. They are about forty-five in
number, and many of them exhibit most beautiful examples of the volcanic
cone on a large scale, single or double, with entire or truncated
summits, and averaging 10,000 feet high."[20]

    [Footnote 20: "Malay Archipelago."]

Thirdly, not only did Sumatra, Java, and Borneo once form part of the
continent of Asia, but the subsidence of land which caused their
separation from the continent, and from each other, is of very recent
date--recent, that is, in the scale of geological eras. This is shown by
the fact that the separating seas are so shallow that to-day ships can
anchor anywhere in them. We shall, therefore, expect a strong
similarity, almost amounting to a complete identity, to exist between
the animals and plants of Sumatra, Java, and Borneo and those of
Southern India, Burmah, and the Malay Peninsular. Such, according to Mr.
Wallace, is the fact.

"The elephant and tapir of Sumatra and Borneo, the rhinoceros of Sumatra
and the allied species of Java, the wild cattle of Borneo, and the kind
long supposed to be peculiar to Java, are now all known to inhabit some
part or other of Southern Asia.... Birds and insects illustrate the same
view, for every family and almost every genus of these groups found in
any of the islands occurs also in the Asiatic continent, and in a great
number of cases the species are exactly identical."

In addition to the rhinoceros and wild cattle mentioned above, the wild
animals of Java include the jackal, the tiger, and several species of
monkeys. Snakes and alligators are also to be found in the island. There
is a good supply of domestic animals with the exception of sheep. This
useful animal was so entirely unknown to the natives, that when the
Dutch attempted to introduce it into the island it was necessary to find
a name for it. It was accordingly called a "Dutch goat;" nor is there at
the present time any other term in the Malay language by which the
animal can be designated. I have already spoken of the utility of the
Javan horses. They are imported in large numbers from the neighbouring
island of Sandalwood, and great attention is being paid to the
production of country-breds. An attempt is also being made to improve
the breed by the importation of English and Australian thoroughbreds. I
was also informed that in recent years a number of cattle had been
introduced from India. As in most Eastern countries, the ox is used in
Java for drawing carts and for other agricultural purposes; but the
buffalo is the most valuable of all animals to the natives, by whom it
is especially employed in the cultivation of the ricefields. The only
dangerous animal is the tiger, and the sport of tiger-hunting still
forms one of the recreations of the native princes.

The birds of Java are distinguished for their variety and for the rich
plumage with which they are adorned. During a single month passed in
Ardjoeno, a mountain situated in the regency of Paseroean, in the east
of the island, Mr. Wallace collected ninety-eight species of birds.
Among these he mentions the Javan peacock, of which he obtained two
specimens more than seven feet long; the jungle fowl (_Gallus
furcatus_); the jungle cock (_Gallus bankiva_), called by the natives
bekéko; various species of woodpeckers and kingfishers; a hornbill
(_Buceros lunatus_) more than four feet long; and a "pretty little
lorikeet (_Loriculus pusillus_) scarcely more than as many inches." When
he visited the west of the island, he found still more valuable
specimens in the Preanger regencies, twenty miles south of Buitenzorg.
Among the mountains of this neighbourhood, and at an elevation of 4000
feet, he collected in a fortnight forty species of birds, "almost all
of which were peculiar to the Javanese fauna." In these were included
the "elegant yellow-and-green trogon (_Harpactes Reinwardti_); the
gorgeous little minivet flycatcher (_Pericrocotus miniatus_), which
looks like a flame of fire as it flutters among the bushes; and the rare
and curious black-and-crimson oriole (_Analcipus sanguinolentus_)." Mr.
Wallace also speaks of the rare and beautiful butterflies which he
captured here. In particular he secured a specimen of the calliper
butterfly, "remarkable for having on each hind wing two curved tails
like a pair of callipers."

It is in this neighbourhood that the large Javan wood-pigeons which I
saw at Tji Wangi are to be found. As they are excellent eating, they are
shot by the planters, though it is often difficult to get within range
of them owing to the height of the rosamala trees in which they settle.

There are certain characteristic developments of plant-life which arrest
the attention of the traveller in Java.

In the towns he cannot fail to be impressed with the large-leaved and
gorgeously coloured shrubs which surround the houses of the European
residents; he will notice, too, that the streets and open spaces are
planted with waringin and tamarind trees, and when he travels into the
interior he will find that the roads which traverse the island are still
lined by the same trees. Of these the former is a species of _ficus_;
the latter, the tamarind, has been introduced from Madagascar. Towards
the end of the year it is covered with orange blossoms, which finally
develop into a somewhat acid fruit. In the country the dwellings of the
Javan peasants are almost universally surrounded by palms, bananas, and
bamboos. While the palms and bananas supply the native with fruit, from
the bamboo he has learnt to make numberless useful articles, ranging
from a house or a boat to a drinking-vessel or a musical instrument.
Cooking-utensils, baskets, hats, and all manner of tools are constructed
out of the material provided by this useful tree. While I was staying at
a friend's house at Weltevreden I had a singular illustration of the
variety of uses to which the bamboo could be put by observing the method
of cutting the grass adopted by a native gardener. He was squatting on
the ground, and had by his side about half a dozen sections into which
he had split some bamboo rods about two feet in length. These he rapidly
passed over the grass backwards and forwards with a semicircular sweep,
and their sharp edges mowed the grass down as cleanly as the blade of a
scythe. In this way he cleared a space around him, and, gradually
advancing, eventually trimmed off the whole plot of grass.

The tropical forests, again, are characterized by a remarkable
uniformity and sombreness which gives them an aspect quite unlike that
of European woods. The vast cylindrical trunks of the great forest
trees, rising like pillars from the midst of ferns and lesser growths,
support a lofty roof of leaves. Beneath this screen innumerable forms of
plant-life develop without let or hindrance, and the whole abundant
foliage is bound into an inextricable mass by parasites and creepers.
On every side the eye is met by one monotonous tone of verdure, for the
supremely favourable conditions for plant-life which obtains tend to
produce a total effect, not of variety, but of sameness.

One of the most interesting facts connected with the Javan flora is the
appearance of European flowers upon the higher levels of the mountains.
The phenomenon is the more remarkable in the face of the consideration
that the seeds of such flowers are so heavy, and the distance from their
present habitat so great, as to negative the supposition that they have
been carried by the wind; nor can their presence be satisfactorily
referred to the agency of birds.

At first sight, therefore, the existence of flowers such as the violet,
the buttercup, and the honeysuckle in an island south of the equator,
and surrounded by vegetation of a totally different order, appeared to
be so inexplicable that the hypothesis of a separate and distinct origin
was advanced. A more satisfactory explanation has, however, been
furnished by Darwin, which is now generally accepted. Very briefly,
this is as follows. It is supposed that at the time of the glacial epoch
the depression of temperature was so great as to admit of the prevalence
in the tropics of forms of plants now peculiar to the temperate regions
of the north. As the heat increased, such plants retreated from the
tropics, for the most part northwards, but not exclusively. Following
the snow-line, they also climbed to the cool heights of the lofty
mountains of Central India and of Abyssinia, and even crossed the
equator. They now linger upon the summits of the Javan mountains, and
furnish by their presence an additional proof of the original union of
the western islands of the Archipelago with the continent of Asia.

During his stay at Buitenzorg, Mr. Wallace ascended the mountains
Pangerango and Gedé. He describes this expedition as "by far the most
interesting incident" of his visit to Java, and gives a full account of
the various European plants which he found growing at different
altitudes. In particular he mentions the royal cowslip (_Primula
imperialis_), "which is said to be found nowhere else in the world but
on this solitary mountain summit," and the stem of which he found
sometimes growing to a height of over three feet. The list of families
of European plants growing upon Pangerango and Gedé given by another
scientific traveller, Mr. Motley, includes, among others, such familiar
names as the violet, the buttercup, the primula, the lily of the valley,
the honeysuckle and the wood-sorrel. I have already mentioned the fact
that it is found possible to grow all European plants (but not fruits)
in the mountain garden which is established on the slopes of Gedé, and
which forms part of the Government gardens.

Of the tropical fruits in general I am inclined to think that their
excellences have been very much over-estimated. There is nothing to
equal or approach a fine jargonelle pear, a peach, or hothouse grapes.
The orange, cocoanut, banana, and mango are so well known as to need no
special description. In addition to these, the commonest fruit are the
pomelo, the mangosteen, the duku, the rambutan, and the durian. The
pomelo is six or seven inches in diameter, with a smooth green exterior,
not unlike that of a water-melon; the fruit is pink in colour, and
easily breaks up into sections. It tastes like a very dry and rather
acid orange, and the peel makes an excellent bitter in sherry. The
rambutan resembles a horse-chestnut in size and appearance, except that
its shaggy exterior is red instead of green. The duku and mangosteen, on
the other hand, are smooth and green, and in other respects resemble a
walnut. All three, rambutan, duku, and mangosteen, provide a gelatinous
substance with a delicate acid flavour. The durian is as large as a
cocoa-nut, and its exterior is armed with spikes; the fruit is soft and
pulpy, tasting like a custard in flavour, but it has a horrible smell,
and possesses strong laxative qualities. Mr. Wallace devotes several
pages to a description of its various qualities, remarking that "to eat
durians is a new sensation, worth a voyage to the East to experience."
_Credat Judæus non ego._ There is also a species of green orange, with a
very thin skin and fine acid flavour, to be obtained in Java.

A general view of the products of the island has already been given in
Junghuhn's table in Chapter II., and some of the more important have
been subsequently described at length. Any account of the plants of Java
would, however, be incomplete without a narrative of the introduction of
cinchona into the East Indies.

This plant, from the bark of which quinine is obtained, is a native of
Peru, and for a long time the Peruvian Government jealously maintained
exclusive possession of it. Forty years ago, the Dutch Colonial
Government despatched Haskarl, one of the officials of the Buitenzorg
gardens, to Peru for the purpose of procuring cinchona seed. He
succeeded in obtaining some seed of a very inferior quality, and the
plantations produced from it were practically useless. In 1866, however,
both the British and Dutch Indian Governments purchased small
quantities of seed from Mr. Charles Ledger. From this seed the very
valuable plantations of Java and Ceylon have been propagated. I have
already described the method of cultivating _Cinchona Ledgeriana_
adopted by the planters, and how advantage is taken of the extreme
liability of the cinchona plant to hybridization. The manner in which
the seed was secured forms an interesting episode in the history of
scientific botany. The story is told by Mr. Ledger in a letter to his
brother published in the _Field_ of Feb. 5, 1881, in which it will be
seen that these seeds were obtained at the cost of the life of Manuel,
the naturalist's faithful Indian servant.

    "While engaged in my alpaca enterprise of 1856, a Bolivian
    Indian, Manuel Tucra Mamami, formerly and afterwards a cinchona
    bark-cutter, was accompanying me with two of his sons. He
    accompanied me in almost all my frequent journeys into the
    interior, and was very useful in examining the large quantities
    of cinchona bark and alpaca wool I was constantly purchasing. He
    and his sons were very much attached to me, and I placed every
    confidence in them. Sitting round our camp-fire one evening, as
    was our custom after dinner, conversing on all sorts of topics,
    I mentioned what I had read as to Mr. Clement R. Markham's
    mission in search of cinchona seeds. Now, Manuel had been with
    me in three of my journeys into the cinchona districts of the
    Yungas of Bolivia, where I had to go looking after laggard
    contractors for delivery of bark. It was while conversing on the
    subject of Mr. Markham's journey, and wondering which route he
    would take, etc., that Manuel greatly surprised me by saying,
    'The gentleman will not leave the Yungas in good health if he
    really obtains the _rogo_ plants and seeds.' Manuel was always
    very taciturn and reserved. I said nothing at the time, there
    being some thirty more of my Indians sitting round the large
    fire. The next day he reluctantly told me how every stranger on
    entering the Yungas was closely watched unobserved by himself;
    how several seed-collectors had their seed changed; how their
    germinating power was destroyed by their own guides, servants,
    etc. He also showed me how all the Indians most implicitly
    believe, if, by plants or seeds from the Yungas, the cinchonas
    are successfully propagated in other countries, all their own
    trees will perish. Such, I assure you, is their superstition.
    Although there are no laws prohibiting the cinchona seed or
    plants being taken out of the country, I have seen private
    instructions from the prefect in La Paz ordering strictest
    vigilance to prevent any person taking seed or plants out of
    the country. More than half a dozen times I have had my luggage,
    bedding, etc., searched when coming out of the valley of the

    "You are aware how I am looked upon as a doctor by the Indians.
    Well, one day I said, 'Manuel, I may some day require some seed
    and flowers of the famous white flower, _Rogo cascarrilla_, as a
    remedy; and I shall rely upon you not deceiving me in the way
    you have told me.' He merely said, 'Patron, if you ever require
    such seed and flowers, I will not deceive you. And I thought no
    more about it.

    "Manuel was never aware of my requiring seed and leaves for
    propagating purposes; he was always told they were wanted to
    make a special remedy for a special illness. For many years,
    since 1844, I had felt deeply interested in seeing Europe, and
    my own dear country in particular, free from being dependent on
    Peru or Bolivia for its supply of life-giving quinine.
    Remembering and relying on Manuel's promise to me in 1856, I
    resolved to do all in my power to obtain the very best cinchona
    seed produced in Bolivia.

    "His son Santiago went to Australia with me in 1858. In 1861,
    the day before sending back to South America Santiago and the
    other Indians who had accompanied me there as shepherds of the
    alpacas, I bought 200 Spanish dollars, and said to him, 'You
    will give these to your father. Tell him I count on his keeping
    his promise to get me forty to fifty pounds of rogo cinchona
    (white flower) seed. He must get it from trees we had sat under
    together when trying to reach the Mamore river in 1851: to meet
    me at Tacna (Peru) by May, 1863. If not bringing pure, ripe
    rogo seed, flowers, and leaves, never to look for me again.'

    "I arrived back in Tacna on the 5th of January, 1865. I at once
    sent a message to Manuel, informing him of my arrival. At the
    end of May he arrived with his precious seed. It is only now,
    some twenty-four years after poor Manuel promised not to deceive
    me, manifest how faithfully and loyally he kept his promise. I
    say _poor_ Manuel, because, as you know, he lost his life while
    trying to get another supply of the same class of seed for me in
    1872-3. You are aware, too, how later on I lost another old
    Indian friend, poor Poli, when bringing seed and flowers in

    "I feel thoroughly convinced in my own mind that such
    astonishingly rich quinine-yielding trees as those in Java are
    not known to exist (in any quantity) in Bolivia. These wonderful
    trees are only to be found in the Caupolican district in Eastern
    Yungas. The white flower is specially belonging to the cinchona
    'rogo' of Apolo.

    "You will call to mind, no doubt, the very great difficulties
    you had to get this wonderful 'seed' looked at, even; how a part
    was purchased by Mr. Money for account of our East Indian
    Government for £50 under condition of 10,000 germinating. Though
    60,000 plants were successfully raised from it by the late Mr.
    McIver, I only received the £50.

    "The seed taken by the Netherlands Government cost it barely

    "Such, then, is the story attaching to the now famous _Cinchona
    Ledgeriana_, the source of untold wealth to Java, Ceylon, and, I
    hope, to India and elsewhere. I am proud to see my dream of
    close on forty years ago is realized; Europe is no longer
    dependent on Peru or Bolivia for its supply of life-giving

Before closing this chapter I may mention that there is a considerable
plantation of gutta-percha trees in the horticultural garden at
Buitenzorg. The best producer of gutta-percha, _Pelaguium_ (_isonandra_)
_Gutta_, grows nowhere on the island naturally, but seeds were obtained
from two specimens of this plant which had been placed in the botanical
garden, and the plantation was established some years ago at the
suggestion of Dr. Treub. In view of the recent development of electrical
engineering and the increased demand for indiarubber generally which has
arisen in the last few years, the fact that an unlimited supply of this
valuable plant can be obtained in Java is one of some importance to the
commercial world.



  Dutch society in the East--Batavian etiquette--
  English residents--Clubs--Harmonie--Concordia--

Boston is not the only place in the world which has decided upon
insufficient evidence that it is the centre of the universe. We all of
us have a weakness for the special form of civilization with which we
are most familiar, and to discover excellences of character and manners
essentially identical with those we have been taught to associate with a
cherished society in our own country, in places where we least expect
them, is part of the discipline of travel. In the Dutch over-sea
settlements society is more exclusive and regulated by a more rigid code
of etiquette than it is in Holland. Nor will it seem strange, when the
special conditions of Javan life are remembered, that the persons
composing this society should be indolent, luxurious, and imperious. On
the other hand, an abundance of leisure, and a consciousness of racial
superiority acquired by habits of command exercised for several
generations, endow it with some of the finer qualities associated with
ancient society based upon the institution of slavery.

Nor must we forget that the Dutch are not mere "birds of passage" in
Java, as is the case with the English in India. On the contrary, the
majority of the Dutch residents are persons whose families have been
settled in the island for many generations, and who look upon Java as
their home. One has only to look round in the streets of Weltevreden to
realize the fact that Batavia is a colony, not merely a possession. From
seven to eight in the morning, troops of boys and girls are to be seen
going to school. The little girls are dressed in light materials; they
do not wear either hats or bonnets, and rarely carry sunshades. The boys
wear brown holland trousers and jackets, and the military cap of a
continental school. Although children are sent to Holland for social
reasons, the climate of Java does not require that painful separation of
parents and children which is one of the disagreeable accidents of
Indian life. On the contrary, the Dutch race appears to have developed
favourably in Java, and the colonial-born women are famous for the
beauty of their complexions and for the fineness of their physique.
Another test of the social condition of a community is its shops. In
Batavia there are excellent shops. Not merely can the newest books, and
the cleverest etchings, and all the numberless refinements of Bond
Street be obtained, but the manners of the tradespeople indicate that
they are accustomed to deal with persons who require to be served
promptly, and with the best.

In addition to the native and Chinese population, there are seven
thousand Europeans resident in Batavia. As most of these latter are
persons whose various employments allow them a good deal of "leisure,"
there is a corresponding amount of social activity. This is regulated by
the rules of old-fashioned continental society, with such innovations as
have been rendered necessary or merely suggested by the special
conditions of the place and climate. As the official class is the basis
upon which Batavian society rests, it is not surprising that ceremony
should play an important part in its system. Among European communities
in warm countries, a considerable licence is generally allowed in the
matter of dress; but in Batavia, etiquette requires a man to wear a
frock coat and white gloves for paying a call. Moreover, before a call
which is intended to initiate an acquaintance can be made, notice of the
caller's intention, and of the day proposed, must first be sent. These
formal calls are made from seven to eight in the evening, and it is not
considered polite to leave before the hour has expired. During this
period iced water is handed round in elegant glasses, furnished with
silver trays and tortoiseshell covers. Again, after introduction to an
unmarried lady at a dance, a man is required to properly legitimize the
acquaintance. In order to do this, he must be presented to the parents
of the lady, if this has not already been done, and he is expected also
to make the acquaintance of such of her relatives as are resident in the

At the date of my visit (1890), the English community in Batavia
consisted of fifty or sixty men and five ladies. Up to the last ten
years there has been an English chaplain at Batavia; but there is some
difficulty in raising the necessary stipend, and so the interesting
little church is at present deserted. It is only quite recently that the
English residents have received any sort of recognition in Batavian
society. Now, however, they have succeeded in establishing two
institutions--a paper-chase (on horseback) and a lawn-tennis club, which
are likely to modify the rigour of its etiquette.

The Dutch are famous for their clubs. These institutions flourish in
Java, and in Batavia they contribute materially to the social life of
the place. Among many others, the Societeit Harmonie and the Concordia
are the most considerable. At both of them frequent concerts and dances
are held. In connection with this latter amusement, it was interesting
to find that all the dancing at Batavia was done on marble. I was told
that it was not considered unpleasant, and that the only wooden floor in
the island was in the Governor-General's palace at Buitenzorg. The
Harmonie is a large square building, surrounded on two sides with
porticos and verandahs, standing at the corner of Ryswyk. The main
entrance leads into an extensive hall with white walls and a lofty roof
supported by ranges of pillars. On the marble floor are arranged a
number of small tables for light refreshments. To the right and left of
this hall is the billiard-room and the reading-room. The former contains
some twenty or thirty French and English tables; and the latter is well
supplied with European papers and magazines. The two rooms are separated
from the hall by light wooden screens, which allow the air to circulate
freely from one to another, and in this way the whole building is kept
pleasantly cool. The Harmonie was founded in 1815 during the British
occupation. In 1889, shortly before my visit, a dinner was held
commemorating the foundation of the club, and on each menu card an
account of the event was printed, taken from the British Government
_Gazette_ published at the time. Compared with the Concordia, it is a
civilian club; for, although this latter does not by any means restrict
its membership to officers in the forces, the management is entirely in
the hands of the military, who make the neighbourhood of the Waterloo
Plain, where the club stands, a sort of military quarter. The Concordia
gives an open-air concert every Saturday evening and every alternate
Wednesday afternoon.

I went to one of the Saturday evening concerts, and enjoyed it very
much. The air was warm and calm, and it was very pleasant to sit under
the wide-spreading waringin trees and gaze up at the twinkling
brightness of the stars through the screen of leaves. There was quite a
crowd of members and their friends promenading or sitting in easy groups
round the little iron tables. The kiosks were brilliantly lighted, but
through the branches of the waringin trees the soft radiance of the moon
could be seen shining upon the dull blue vault of the sky. The
performance was given by the staff band, which never leaves Batavia, and
is said to be the best in the East Indies. I give the programme:--


  1. FUR'S VATERLAND MARSCH                            _C. Millöcker._

  2. WIENER FRAUEN WALZER                                _J. Strauss._

  3. OUVERTURE JELVA                                    _F. Reisiger._

  4. GRUSS AUS DER FERNE INTERMEZZO                     _J. Verhulst._


  6. FANTAISIE LA REINE DE SABA                          _Ch. Gounod._


  7. OUVERTURE DIE FRAU MEISTERIN                      _Fr. v. Suppé._

  8. DIE MUHLE IM SCHWARZWALD                          _R. Eilenberg._


On Sunday afternoon a military band plays in the centre of the Waterloo
Plain, and all Batavia turns out in carriages or on horseback to
listen--all Batavia, that is, with the exception of the very select few
who keep to themselves almost entirely, or, if they attend a Concordia
concert, never leave their carriages. This select few includes the
highest officials and their families, personages such as the general and
admiral, and the members of the East India Council. There is an
interesting fact in connection with the admiral that recalls the time
when the supremacy of the sea was the pride of the Dutch nation. The
Governor-General, the general of the forces, and the admiral of the
fleet all enjoy the title of "Excellency," while they reside in Java;
but, whereas the two former cease to be entitled to it when their term
of command is over, the admiral is "his Excellency" to the end of his

As I mentioned before, the strictness of Batavian etiquette is likely to
be modified by the introduction of a pastime so essentially English as
lawn-tennis. The courts of the Bataviasche Lawn-tennis Club are in the
Zoological Gardens, south of the King's Plain. The club holds numerous
tournaments in the course of the year, and competitions are established
for both a ladies' and gentlemen's championship. The great majority of
the men who play are English, but the ladies are, from the small number
of English women in Batavia, almost exclusively Dutch. The holder of the
championship of Batavia, and the secretary of the club, in 1890, was an
Englishman, Mr. R. L. Burt. In addition to this club, the old Batavia
cricket club, which has an excellent ground on the King's Plain, has
been practically converted into a men's lawn-tennis club. I was told
that as many as six double courts were to be seen in full play on
ladies' days at this club. So that it would appear that the Dutch
ladies, at all events, have taken very kindly to lawn-tennis.

The style of living in Batavia is very similar to that of European
society in India. The cheapness of labour and consequent number of
servants give a certain air of luxury to even moderate establishments.
The Malay cooks are particularly skilful in the matter of curreys, and
in a good house a "rice-table" is a thing to be remembered. The neatness
and quickness of the natives generally make them very suitable for the
duties of domestic and body servants. A Batavian dinner is served at a
late hour in a lofty and spacious apartment, which is one of a series of
chambers through which the air freely circulates from the front to the
back of the house. From this room the outside world is excluded only by
partially drawn blinds, and through the open windows the perfumes of
flowers or the sounds of music are borne in upon the guests. After
dinner the party return to the portico in the front, which is almost as
completely furnished as an inside room, and the rest of the evening is
spent practically in the open air.

Beside the officials who are scattered over Java and the Dutch
possessions in the East, the planters form an important element in the
social life of the island. They are by no means exclusively Dutch, but
the class includes a considerable number of Englishmen. Such men are
usually drawn from the higher classes in Holland or in England, and are
fairly wealthy and refined. Like the sheep farmers of Australia, they
are exceedingly hospitable, and their bungalows are often convenient and
even luxurious. Often, too, these latter are set in the midst of
mountain scenery, and surrounded by charming gardens.

The planters are the representatives of the principle of free commerce,
and the natural opponents of the official class. Everywhere among them
complaints are heard of the prejudice displayed against private
enterprise, and of unnecessary obstacles placed in their way by the
contrôleurs and assistant-residents. As I have already mentioned, a
planters' union has lately been established for the purpose of
protecting the planting interests. It meets at Soekaboemi, and it is
hoped that, by means of concerted action, such grievances will be
brought more effectively before the Government. After all, the planters
are the real producers of the island, and their importance increases
every year in proportion as the area of Government plantations is
reduced. In many respects the planters are allied with the native
princes. To a large extent the two classes lead the same life and share
the same pursuits. They are both brought into close connection with the
natives, and they both find their chief recreation in various forms of

Horse-racing in particular has of late years developed very
considerably. The principal meetings are held at Buitenzorg and at
Bandong, the former in June and September, the latter in July. At
Bandong the native princes turn out in force, and the native population
hold a carnival in the town. One of the greatest patrons of the turf is
the Regent of Tjandjoer. At the time of my visit he was the owner of the
premier horse in the island--Thistle, whose sire was Teviot of West
Australia. The planters round Soekaboemi are also among the principal
supporters of horse-racing in Java.

In Java, as elsewhere, they had a grievance. It was said that the owners
of big studs of country-breds dominated the arrangements for events, and
that the programmes were made up in favour of such native-bred horses to
the exclusion of imported stock. Such a policy was regarded as
unfavourable to the best interests of horse-racing in Java, since,
instead of encouraging the importation of thoroughbreds from Australia
and Europe, it tends to perpetuate the native race. The country-bred
horse is undoubtedly a handsome-looking animal, but he exhibits a
tendency to become weedy and razor-chested, and fails to carry a heavy
weight from deficiency of bone. It is also found that the progeny of
imported stock decline in quality both in size and stamina. This is the
joint effect of climate and inferior food. Horses are trained merely on
fresh grass and paddy (_i.e._ the ear and part of the stalk of the rice
plant). Bandaging, I was told, was almost unknown; at the same time the
animals were generally sound in feet and legs.

The average height of the country-bred horse is 14.3 to 15 hands; and
good time over a mile is between 1 min. 52 sec. and 1 min. 55 sec.,
carrying at the rate of 75 lbs. (Dutch) for 4 feet, and one pound for
every quarter of an inch in advance. In other words, a fifteen-hand
horse carries about nine stone. There is no system of handicapping, but
horses carry weight for inches; so that a horse may defeat a rival any
number of times without effecting a change in the weights, and a known
winner carries less weight than his defeated rival if the latter is an
inch or two above him.

There are no recognized steeplechases, but generally one or two events
at each meeting are reserved for gentlemen riders, and private matches
are sometimes arranged. In 1888 the commandant at Buitenzorg offered a
prize for a cross-country race for the purpose of encouraging riding
among the officers. The event, however, was won by an English planter.

The Buitenzorg meetings are attended by all the best people in the
island, and on the first day the Governor-General appears in state. The
racing is fixed for the morning, and lasts from nine to twelve. It is a
rather curious fact that in Java the starter has discarded the universal
red flag, and waves a Dutch tricolour instead.



  The Hindu Javanese literature concerned with the
  past--Javanese alphabet--Extent of Javanese works--
  Kavi dialect--Krama and Ngoko--The Mahabharata and
  the Ramayana in Kavi--Native Kavi works--The Arjuna
  Vivaya--The Bharata Yuddha--Episode of Salya and
  Satiavati--Ethical poems--The Paniti Sastra--
  Localization of Hindu mythology in Java.

The literature of a country reflects its life, but under certain
conditions. The literature of Java is mainly, but not entirely,
concerned with the distant past, when the quiet tide of Eastern life had
received as yet no disturbing impulse from the stream of Mohammedan and
European conquest. This Hindu Javanese literature tells us of a people
far advanced in the essentials of civilization, and reveals the
existence of a social system which, though undoubtedly primitive, was
at the same time complete and homogeneous. From the date of the
Mohammedan conquest onwards, that is to say, for the last four
centuries, the national life has been directed by alien forces. During
this period but little or nothing has been added to the literature of
the country, since the fresh ideas which have been introduced have come
from Mohammedan conquerors, who were themselves provided with a
sufficient medium of expression, and one which they sought, as a matter
of policy, to impress upon the subject races of the island. Beyond
enlightening us upon the social system prevalent many hundred years ago,
it would seem that a knowledge of their literature could contribute but
slightly towards a comprehension of the Javanese. This opinion, however,
is modified by the fact that the Kavi literature has been popularized by
translation into modern Javanese, and that the mass of the population
are still acquainted with its main features by means of these versions
accompanied by the representations of the theatre and the wayang. The
ideals of conduct conveyed in these epics, romances, legends, and
ethical treatises will, therefore, be those with which the Javanese are
still familiar, and presumably such as still enlist their sympathies.
Besides this general insight into native methods of thought, there are
also certain features of their life and of their present relationship to
their European conquerors upon which interesting lights are thrown by an
acquaintance with the traditions and beliefs enshrined in the ancient

The Javan alphabet, according to the native idea, consists of only
twenty consonants. But as a matter of fact, each of these consonants is
credited with an inherent vowel sound of _a_ (often written _o_) as in
_water_; and there are five vowel signs which are attached to the
consonants, and so vary the inherent _a_. There are also twenty
auxiliary consonant forms, corresponding to the original twenty
consonants, which are used in all combinations of consonants. Even this
does not exhaust the list, for there still remain a number of double
letters, while modifications of the letters of the alphabet are
employed for numbers. Speaking of this alphabet as a whole, Crawfurd
says[21] that it reaches perfection, since "it expresses every sound in
the language, and every sound invariably with the same character, which
never expresses but one." He concludes, "In splendour or elegance the
alphabet of the Arabs and Persians is probably superior to that of the
Javanese; but the latter, it may be safely asserted, surpasses in beauty
and neatness all other written characters." Some idea of the extent of
the Javanese literature may be gained from the fact that M. Vreede's
recently issued account of the Javanese manuscripts in the Leiden
University Library[22] gives the names of some five hundred manuscripts,
containing no less than one hundred and fifty separate works. And--to
come nearer home--the collection of the Royal Asiatic Society contains
as many as forty-four Javanese manuscripts, for which the society is
mainly indebted to the generosity of Lady Raffles. No little interest
and learning have been displayed by continental scholars in the study of
these works; but, unfortunately, their valuable treatises, written in
German, French, and Dutch, are not easily accessible to English readers.
In order to find an account of the Javanese literature in English, we
have to go back more than half a century to the works of Raffles and
Crawfurd. Fortunately, the former has enriched his "History" with
unusually full and interesting extracts from Javanese works. But since
Raffles was in Java immense advances have been made, not only in our
general knowledge of oriental languages, but especially in the
interpretation of literature by means of antiquarian remains. It is not
that his account is rendered worthless by these recent researches. On
the contrary, in this latest work, Vreede's "Catalogue," we find
frequent quotations from Raffles' appendices. At the same time, when we
see how much he achieved with his inadequate materials, it is difficult
to suppress a feeling of regret that the fuller information, which is
available to-day, was not at the disposal of the author of a "History
of Java." As I have embodied in the text some extracts from Raffles'
translations, it may be well to say a word as to the value of these
versions. What Vreede says of a particular passage is true of these
renderings in general: "They are not literal translations, but the
spirit of the work is well rendered."

    [Footnote 21: "Indian Archipelago."]

    [Footnote 22: "Catalogus van de Javaansche en Madoereesche
    Handschriften der Leidsche Universiteits-Bibliotheek door A. C.
    Vreede. Leiden: 1892."]

In the present chapter we are concerned only with those Hindu Javanese
works which are properly entitled to be classed as "literature." They
are written in the Kavi or literary language. The term "Kavi" means the
language of poetry, and this dialect is composed, to a great extent, of
words of Sanscrit origin. Although the knowledge of Kavi was gradually
lost after the Hindu supremacy was overthrown by the Mohammedans, modern
Javanese contains but few Arabic words, especially differing in this
respect from Malay. Two forms of modern Javanese are employed in
everyday speech. First, the language of ceremony, called Krama; and,
secondly, the common speech, or Ngoko (meaning literally the thou-ing
speech). The Krama contains a considerable number of words derived from
Sanscrit and introduced through the Kavi, and an admixture of Malay. It
is used by the peasants and artisans in addressing the native princes.
The Ngoko is spoken by the common people among themselves, and by the
native princes in communication with their inferiors. The existence of
this double language explains the fact (of which I have already spoken)
that the Dutch have established Malay, and not Javanese or Sundanese, as
the medium of communication between Europeans and natives.

The modified Hinduism which existed at the epoch of the Mohammedan
conquest (1400-1500, A.D.) retreated very gradually in an easterly
direction before the new religion. At the end of the eighteenth century
there were still Hindus in Java, and to-day the ancient religion lingers
in Bali, a small island off the south-eastern coast. In Bali, therefore,
it is natural that we should find the fullest remains of such parts of
the Kavi literature as are most closely identified with that of
Continental India. Only fragments of the two great Indian epics, the
Mahabharata, or "Great War of the Sons of King Bharata," and the
Ramayana, or "Adventures of Rama," are found in Java; but in Bali Kavi
versions of both appear. Neither of these versions, however; bears the
Indian title of the original work. The Mahabharata, which, with its
220,000 lines, is the longest epic in the world, and which Sir Monier
Williams calls "a vast cyclopædia of Hindu mythology," is known as "the
Parvas." Of the eighteen parvans, or divisions, of the original, eight
only are in existence in the Kavi version. Of these the first,
_Adiparva_, is the best preserved, says Dr. Van der Tuuk; "but this
also," he adds, "abounds in blunders, and especially the proper names
have been so altered from their Indian originals as to be hardly
recognizable."[23] As the name "War of the Bharatas" is applicable,
strictly speaking, to only one-fifth part of the whole poem, it is
probable that the great epic was not yet known under this title at the
time when it was transported from India to Java.

    [Footnote 23: In the _Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society_,
    xiii. N.S. 1881.]

The Ramayana appears in a slightly changed form in the Kavi version. The
original Indian epic is divided into seven _Kandas_, or volumes, which
are again subdivided into chapters. The Kavi version, entitled "the
Kandas," contains the narrative of the first six Kandas. The seventh,
the _Uttara-Kanda_, or supplementary volume, which gives an account of
the descendants of Rama after his death, appears in the Kavi as an
entirely separate work. It would appear, therefore, that neither of the
two Indian epics had reached their final form when they were carried by
Hindu colonists to Java. That part of the Mahabharata which afterwards
gave the poem its distinctive title had not yet been written, or at
least added to the central myth; and the Ramayana then contained only
the history of Rama. Both poems appear, however, to have acquired a
reputation for unusual sanctity. In Java and Bali both "the Kandas" and
"the Parvas" are used as synonymous terms, and mean "the Sacred Books."

The difference between the Kavi and Indian versions of these epics seems
to afford additional evidence--if any such were needed--that neither the
Mahabharata nor the Ramayana is the work of a single mind, but that both
are a collection or compilation of myths.

It is noticeable also that, in spite of the love of dramatic
representation manifested so universally among the Javanese, the Indian
dramas were not transplanted to Java. Dr. Friederich[24] offers an
explanation of this. "Most of the Indian dramas," he says, "are of late
times, and perhaps, at the time the Brahmans came to Java, were
exclusively found at the courts of the princes."

    [Footnote 24: In the _Journal of R. A. S._ vii. N.S.]

We come now to the consideration of what may be called, by
contradistinction to the direct versions of the Indian epics, the native
Kavi works. The character of these poems--for all the Kavi literature is
alike written in metre--is in the main mythological and romantic; but
there are also to be found among them certain ethical and religious
works. Although the subjects, the heroes, and even the metre in many
cases, are still Indian, these subjects and heroes have been so
completely identified with the local life that the poems are essentially

Of the native Kavi works the "Arjuna Vivaya," which gives an account of
the ascent of Arjuna to Indra, and of his love for the nymph Urvasi,
deserves to stand first from the purity of the dialect in which it is
composed. The Indian hero Arjuna, the son of Pandu, who is called by Sir
Monier Williams, "the real hero of the Mahabharata," was adopted by the
Javanese, and his name was given to one of their mountains. The metre of
the poem is Indian in form, and not Javanese, and the date of its
composition is fixed by Professor Kern in his "Kawistudien" as the first
half of the eleventh century of our era. The fact that it contains but
slight traces of Buddhistic thought is important as giving some hint of
the date at which Buddhism was introduced in the island. In this
respect it differs from the "Arjuna Vijaya," a later poem celebrating
the triumph of the same hero over Ravan, the demon king of Ceylon.

The "Bharata Yuddha," or war of the Bharatas, is so closely connected
with the sacred Parvas, that it is generally placed by the Javanese at
the head of the native Kavi works. It is esteemed the greatest work in
the Javanese literature, but it yields in point of antiquity to the
"Arjuna Vivaya." Its language also is less pure, and contains a certain
admixture of ordinary high Javanese or Krama. A definite date (1195,
A.D.) is assigned to it, and the name of its author is said to be Hempu,
or M'pu, S'dah. The subject of the poem is identical with that of four
of the parvans of the Mahabharata, but the scene is changed from India
to Java. It contains an account of the struggle between the Pandavas, or
five sons of Pandu, and the Kauravas, or hundred sons of Dhritavashtra,
in which the latter are ultimately defeated in their attempt to obtain
the kingdom of Ngastina. The scene is laid in the plains around the
city Ngastina, or in the city itself. The poem opens with the following

    "In war 'tis the prayer of the brave to annihilate the foe;
    To see the braids of fallen chiefs scattered like flowers before
        the wind;
    To rend their garments, and burn alike their altars and their
    Boldly to strike off their heads while seated in their chariots,
        and thus to obtain renown."

The episode of King Salya, one of the Kaurava princes, and Satiavati,
his queen, is singularly romantic, and reveals a high ideal of wifely
devotion. The poem relates how Salya steals away from his wife, and
sacrifices himself on the field of battle. Then Satiavati wanders over
this same field of battle by night in quest of his corpse. A flash of
lightning is sent to direct her steps, and when she has found the body
of her husband, she addresses the corpse in a speech in which she
declares her intention of following his spirit.

    "But earth has lost its fleeting charms for me
    And, happy spirit, I will follow thee."

She continues--

    "Though widadaris[26] should obey thy call
    Reserve for me a place above them all,"

and finally stabs herself.

To her faithful maid Sagandika she says--

    "Tell them to think of Satiavati's fate,
    And oft the story of her love relate."

But Sagandika also kills herself.

    "Then did their happy spirits wing their way
    To the fair regions of eternal day."

I conclude the episode by a quotation from the prose rendering given by
Raffles, which keeps more exactly to the original, and gives a
characteristically Eastern picture of heaven.

    "The astonished spirit of Prince Salya quickly said--

    "'Uneasy and impatient have I waited for thee among the clouds,
    with many widadaris, panditas, and diwas.'

    "Having taken the princess in his arms, he returns with her by
    the road which leads to heaven.

    "There arrived, they find it extremely beautiful.

    "Of silk were the houses, and brilliant were the precious

    "Amusing herself, the princess was delighted with the abundance
    of food which was there.

    "Great being the bounty of the Almighty to mankind. And there
    was no difference susceptible in the ages of those that were

    [Footnote 25: I am indebted for this and the subsequent versions
    in the text to Raffles' "History of Java."]

    [Footnote 26: Angels.]

I have already mentioned that among the Kavi poems are contained various
ethical works. Of these the "Paniti Sastra," or Manual of Wisdom, will
serve as an example. Raffles, in his account of this work, says that it
contains one hundred and twenty-three stanzas, and that it is said to be
contemporary with the Bharata Yuddha. Vreede, in his "Catalogue," says
in a note,[27] "Winter mentions the 'Niti Sastra Kawi,' and as its
author Prabu Vidayaka, in the time of Aji Saka." As Saka was the
commencement of all things in Java, to refer the work to the time of
Aji Saka, is practically to say that it is of unknown antiquity. It
belongs to the second class of _Tuturs_, or sacred writings, _i.e._
those which were not kept secret by the priests, but which might be read
by other castes beside the Brahmans; and there are several versions and
translations of it in modern Javanese. The following lines are taken
from the Kavi text of this work:--

    "As the suraya flower floats in the water, so does the heart
    exist in a pure body; but let it not be forgotten that the root
    of the flower holds to the ground, and that the heart of man
    depends upon his conduct in life.

    "As the moon and the stars shed their light by night, and the
    sun giveth light by day, so should the sayings of a wise man
    enlighten all around him.

    "Deprive not another of the credit which is due to him, nor
    lower him in the opinion of the world; for the sun, when he
    approaches near the moon, in depriving her of her light, adds
    nothing to his own lustre."

    [Footnote 27: Page 262.]

There is a modern Javanese version of the "Niti Sastra," of which the
following passages are specimens:--

    "A man who is ignorant of the sacred writings, is as one who has
    lost his speech; for when these become the conversation of other
    men, he will be under the necessity of remaining silent.

    "No man can be called good or bad until his actions prove him

    "It is well known that a man cannot take the goods of this world
    with him to the grave, and that man, after this life, is
    punished with heaven or hell, according to the merits of his
    actions in this life: a man's duty, therefore, requires him to
    remember that he must die; and if he has been merciful and
    liberal in this life to the poor, he will be rewarded

One and the same principle governs the composition of the mythological
and romantic literature of the Hindu epoch, and that of those somewhat
similar works in modern Javanese composed after the Mohammedan conquest.
The authors of both alike set one main object before them--to exalt the
reigning princes by identifying them with the heroes or princes of an
anterior epoch; only in the case of the Kavi poems, this anterior epoch
is fixed in the cloud-land of Hindu mythology, while after the
Mohammedan conquest it becomes merely the preceding era of the Hindu
supremacy in Java, which is used as a ladder by which the Hindu
cloud-land may be reached. But the nature of the _babads_, or
chronicles, the medium by which this object was subsequently effected,
and the interesting question of their historical value, are subjects
which I must reserve for the succeeding chapter.



  Uncertainty about the history of the Hindu kingdoms
  given by the chronicles--Character of the _babad_,
  or chronicle--Its historical value--Brumund's treatment
  of the babads--Account of the babad "Mangku Nagara"--
  Prose works--The Niti Praja--The Surya Ngalam--
  Romances--The Johar Manikam--Dramatic works--The
  Panjis--Wayang plays--Arabic works and influence--The
  theatre--The wayang.

The works of the Mohammedan Javanese period include, in addition to
translations and versions of all kinds both from the Kavi literature and
the Arabic, romances, dramatic works, and plays, intended both for the
theatre and the wayang, ethical and legal compilations, and, lastly, the
_babads_, or chronicles. It will be convenient to consider these latter
first; but before doing so it is necessary to revert for a moment to the
historical account which I gave in my opening chapter. It will be
remembered that in that account the two Hindu kingdoms of Pajajaran and
Majapahit, respectively founded in the west and east of the island, were
mentioned as being especially celebrated in the native chronicles. These
chronicles, it is true, give us the names and dates of various earlier
kingdoms, and a variety of information about their respective dynasties;
but for all practical purposes the history of the Hindu period, as at
present revealed, may be summed up in a sentence of Crawfurd. From the
latter part of the twelfth century to the overthrow of Majapahit (1478),
"a number of independent states existed in Java, and the religion of the
people was a modified Hinduism." Antiquarian research further tells us
that this series of Hindu states commenced in the centre of the island,
and that it was closed by the western kingdom of Pajajaran, which
existed as early as the first half of the eleventh century, and the
eastern kingdom of Majapahit, which was itself succeeded by the first
Mohammedan empire of Demak. Remains of the capital cities of both these
Hindu kingdoms are in existence. Those of Pajajaran, which are to be
found forty miles from Batavia, are exceedingly meagre, and appear to be
the work of a primitive epoch. Those of Majapahit, close by Soerabaia,
are numerous and magnificent.

But the chronicles which make these kingdoms the subject of their
narratives were not composed until the Mohammedan period was well
advanced; or, at least, if they had a previous existence, they were then
remodelled under the direction of the susunans, or emperors. They have,
therefore, to be regarded with considerable suspicion. In the case of
the chronicles which relate contemporary events, we are on surer ground.
But such is the nature of the Javanese, and such the literary character
of the babad, that even here we are by no means certain to meet with
actual facts.

The babad is a poem composed in a common Javanese measure, which
purports to give an account of historical persons and events.
Sometimes it relates the fortunes of empires; sometimes it degenerates
into a mere genealogical tree. Every Javan "prince" has his "babad," in
which the names of his ancestors and their deeds are recounted.
Remembering the fertility of the Eastern imagination, and the despotic
character of Eastern rulers, it is easy to understand that such babads
were more often than not reduced in point of veracity to the standard of
an average fairy tale. M. Brumund, whose remarks on this subject are
embodied in Leemans' work on the Boro-Boedoer temple, deals very
severely with the babads. He cannot away with them, and goes near to
denying their claims for credence altogether. But surely a distinction
should be made between the family babad, which is altered to suit the
whims of a single prince, and those babads which relate events affecting
the interests of several competing princes, or in which no single prince
is especially interested. The Homeric poems, we are told, were kept
reasonably free from interpolations by the jealousy of the various
Hellenic communities. May not an influence of the same kind have
operated in Java, and have preserved some of these chronicles from

That the babad is capable of being approached from two different points
of view is apparent from the following extracts, in which I have
compared M. Brumund's treatment of a babad of only fifty years ago with
Mr. Nieman's account of an earlier babad in the possession of the Royal
Asiatic Society.

M. Brumund says--

    "Let us take, for example, Dhipa Negoro, the chief of the revolt
    in Java, which lasted until 1830; well, the babad represents him
    to us as enveloped in the clouds of the supernatural. There he
    is, surrounded by hundreds of enemies; he is about to be
    captured, but he calls to his aid the miraculous power which is
    at his disposal, and this power causes him to pass freely, safe
    and sound, through the threatening host, who suffer him to pass
    in their amazement, and who dare not even lift a finger against
    him. Another day he gives orders to have some cocoa-nut trees
    felled, and to have them covered with a white flag; he sets
    himself to pray, the flag is removed, and behold, the cocoa-nut
    trees are changed into pieces of artillery of the finest
    casting. He needs counsel; forthwith he is carried through the
    air to the southern shore and to the great spirit of the south,
    only to return forthwith after the conference. He wishes to pray
    at Mecca; scarcely has he formed the wish before his person is
    found upon the borders of the city, and, as a proof that he has
    really been there, he carries off a cake from the sacred city,
    all smoking hot."

Mangku Nagara, who is the subject of the babad discussed by Mr. Nieman,
was a Javan prince who played a leading part, first in the Chinese war
of 1745, and afterwards in the revolt of the Javan princes against the
Dutch and the reigning susunan, known as "the Java war," which lasted
from the close of the Chinese war to the year 1758. In the latter he
fought for some time in alliance with Mangku Bumi, a younger brother of
the susunan. After a time, however, this personage made terms with the
Dutch on his own account, and Mangku Nagara, thus deserted, was
compelled to submit to the susunan, and accept a modified territory for
his administration. It was in this war that the Dutch obtained the deed
of abdication mentioned in Chapter I. from the Susunan Pakubuona II., in
the year 1849. The conduct of the war cost the company more than four
million florins, but at its termination they had secured the virtual
control of the island.

Mr. Nieman first gives some particulars about the manuscript.[28] It is
entitled, he says, the "Babad Mangku Nagara." Its date is 1802; it is
written in metre; its language is modern Javanese, but it contains some
Kavi words, and one whole passage is written in the literary dialect. He
then continues--

    "Mangku Nagara is always depicted, not only as a brave and
    valiant, but also as a very religious man. His soldiers, and
    those of Mangku Bumi, who was at one time his ally, were steady
    adherents of the rites of Islam, so far as they were enabled to
    observe them, such as ablutions, prayer, the fast of Ramadan,
    and other practices of the Moslem. His confidence in the power
    of Allah, and his submission to his will when in distress, are
    praised, and his character is contrasted with that of the cruel
    Mangku Bumi, who put two of his wives to death for the most
    trifling offences, such as neglecting to offer him his coffee.
    Mangku Nagara, on the contrary, is described as greatly attached
    to his wives and children, carefully providing for their safety,
    and visiting them at their places of concealment, whenever he
    could snatch a temporary interval from his duties as a warrior.
    Attachment to his family, and attention to religious
    observances, seem to have been thought quite compatible with a
    strong attachment to the sex generally; we find him at the
    village of Zamenang, engaged for two months in copying the Koran
    and other religious works, and yet frequently amusing himself
    with the Bedaya, or dancing girls, from whom he was unable to
    separate himself in his retirement. Mangku Bumi had the
    impudence to deprive him of two of these women, whom he had
    previously presented to him as a mark of kindness; and, although
    he subsequently restored one of them to Mangku Nagara, the
    prince could not pardon the offence. The one that Mangku Bumi
    did not restore appears to have been especially a favourite of
    Mangku Nagara, whose grief and resentment were aggravated by
    some other offences; and the Dutch Governor of Samarang took
    advantage of this disposition to urge him to forsake the cause
    of Mangku Bumi. His efforts were at first successful, and Mangku
    Nagara made peace with the Dutch, and declared war against
    Mangku Bumi; but this state of things did not continue long. War
    soon recommenced between the Dutch and Mangku Nagara, from some
    cause which does not fully appear. It is believed that the
    latter was unable to prevent his adherents from quarrelling with
    and attacking the Dutch; but the fact is, the Mangku Bumi,
    finding himself unable to resist the united forces of Mangku
    Nagara and of the Dutch, found means to effect a reconciliation
    with the latter, and by their mediation received from the
    Susunan Zaku Buwana nearly a half of the Empire of Mataram,
    assumed the title of Sultan, and fixed his residence at
    Jotjokarta, the susunan residing at Solo, or Surakarta. This
    division of the empire took place in A.D. 1755. From this epoch
    the power of the unfortunate Mangku Nagara declined. Mangku Bumi
    made common cause with the Dutch and the susunan against him,
    and the desertion of several of his adherents, who now joined
    his relentless enemies, left him no rest. He was hunted from
    place to place like a wild beast, until he resolved, in his
    despair, to fall upon his numerous foes, in the persuasion that
    he should perish in the strife. Forty of his bravest friends
    joined in this resolution; their example encouraged the few
    troops who remained with him; they attacked their enemies with
    desperate courage, and unexpectedly gained a great victory. The
    Dutch were wholly defeated; nearly a hundred of them were left
    dead on the field of battle; and, better than all, his brave and
    indefatigable enemy, Van der Zoll, the Dutch commander, perished
    in the fight. Mangku Nagara's success, however, was not
    permanent; he was defeated in the next battle, and, although the
    war continued with varying success, sometimes to the advantage
    of one side, and sometimes of the other, his cause gradually
    declined. It was a guerilla war; Mangku Nagara was now flying to
    the mountains of Kerdenz, and now issuing forth to fall upon and
    harass his enemies; but upon the whole his losses were
    predominant, and the manuscript ends with an account of the
    peace he was compelled to submit to, and the conditions on which
    it was concluded. All this may be read in Raffles' "History."

    [Footnote 28: _Journal of the R. A. S._ xx. 1863.]

The existence of such babads as this of Mangku Nagara would seem to
point to the conclusion that a consecutive and reliable account of
the Hindu period could be produced by careful sifting and
comparison of the various babads dealing with this epoch. For this
purpose they require to be examined by the methods of scientific
history, and the results thus obtained must be checked by the
faithful records of the antiquarian remains.

Among the prose works in modern Javanese, two, the "Niti Praja"
and the "Surya Ngalam," are especially interesting as throwing
light upon Javanese customs and thought. The former is one of a
number of similar works, containing rules of conduct and
instructions on points of Eastern etiquette especially intended for
the information of the princes and nobility.

It is said to have been "compiled" by the Sultan Agung of Mataram.
According to Vreede, the language of the "Niti Praja" is not Kavi,
but it is written in the "stiff and artificial language common to
the ethical treatises." The following passages are taken from
translations which appear in Raffles' account of the work:--

    "A good prince must protect his subjects against all unjust
    persecutions and oppressions, and should be the light of his
    subjects, even as the sun is the light of the world. His
    goodness must flow clear and full like the mountain stream,
    which, in its course towards the sea, enriches and fertilizes
    the land as it descends.

    "When a prince gives audience to the public, his conduct must be
    dignified. He must sit upright, and not in a bending posture,
    and say little, neither looking on one side or the other,
    because, in this case, the people would not have a sight of

The following paragraph, which deals with the duty of a prime minister,
is conceived in a spirit more suitable for the court of a constitutional
monarch than for that of an Eastern potentate.

    "It is a disgrace to a prime minister for any hostile attack to
    be made in the country entrusted to his charge without his
    knowledge, or that he should be careless or inattentive to the
    same, rather thinking how to obtain the favour of his prince
    than to secure the safety of the country."

An ambassador is directed to use all means within his power for
obtaining information concerning the country to which he is sent. Then
follow some directions which are specially characteristic of Eastern

    "The letter must be carried on the shoulder, and in his gait and
    speech he must conduct himself with propriety. In delivering the
    letter he must present himself with dignity, approach first, and
    then retire from the person to whom the letter is directed,
    speak with him at a distance, and not too familiarly."

The "Surya Ngalam" is the most important of a group of legal treatises.
Its author, or rather compiler, from whom it takes its title, was a
Sultan of Demak, the first of the Mohammedan states founded in Java. It
is a compendium of Mohammedan law.

The modern version of the "Surya Ngalam" commences, "There was a certain
raja of the West, named Sang Probu Suria Alem, who, being duly
qualified, did, in the establishment of divine justice, frame a code of
judicial regulations, consisting of one thousand five hundred and seven
articles, which being afterwards digested and reduced to the number of
one hundred and forty-four, were by him made known and explained to all
the people of the countries under his authority, thereby diffusing
knowledge and righteousness where ignorance and wickedness before

I have already mentioned the jaksa,[29] as receiving information of
offences, and sitting in the courts as assessor to the European
judge-president. There are some very drastic punishments provided for
this official in the section of the "Surya Ngalam" which treats of his

    "In the first place, he must possess a sufficient knowledge of
    the law, to know how to act in regard to cases which may come
    before him.... If the jaksa be found ignorant of these matters,
    he shall have his tongue cut out.... In the third place, any
    incorrect statement in writing shall be punished by the loss of
    both hands."

    [Footnote 29: In Chapter III.]

Among the modern Javanese works there appear a number of romances, of
which the "Johar Manikam," which is taken from the Arabic, is an
example. She was a sort of Javan Una, and the poem tells of her various
deliverances from dangers, moral and physical. It commences with a
sentence which is subtle enough for the nineteenth-century era. I quote
this and the two following lines:--

    "That is true love which makes the heart uneasy.
    There was a woman who shone like a gem in the world, for
        she was distinguished by her conduct, and her name
        was Jowar Manikam.
    Pure was her conduct like that of a saint, and she never
        forgot her devotions to the deity: all evil desires were
        strangers to her heart."

The dramatic works fall naturally into two divisions. The circle of
poems, partly historical, which recount the adventures of Panji, the
"knight" or national hero of Java, and which are called, after his name,
"the Panjis;" and the wayang plays. The Panjis are important as alone
supplying the Javan theatre with subjects for its representations. Among
the titles of the various works included in the group are such as these:
"The marriage of Panji and Angreni," "The History of the Lady Kurana,
Princess of Bali," and "Panji and his Amours." There appears to be great
uncertainty as to the origin and date of these poems. Vreede, after
giving Raffles' account of the "Angrene"--the title under which the
Panjis appear to have been then (1819) known--says that he has quoted
the account of Raffles _verbatim_ "because, notwithstanding the palpable
inaccuracies of his conclusions, seeing our faulty information about the
origin, the date, the authors, and the compilation of the Panji
narratives, his indications may have, for all we know, great value."

As to the works directly due to the introduction of the Arabic language
and literature simultaneously with the establishment of the Mohammedan
power in the island, it is certainly remarkable, considering the
completeness of the Mohammedan conquest and its long duration, that the
Javanese language should show such few signs of Arabic influences as it
does at the present time. The Koran was rendered into Javan verse a
century and a half ago. Beside the various adaptations from the Arabic,
there are a large number of Arabic treatises current in Java. Long ago
Arabic schools were established in the island, and of these schools
that in the district of Pranaraga at one time boasted of having as many
as fifteen hundred scholars.

I shall conclude this account of the Javanese literature with a short
description of the native theatre, and of the wayang.

As I have already mentioned, the subjects of the _topeng_, or Javan
drama, are invariably taken from the group of Panji poems. The actors
are dressed in the costumes of ancient times, and are gaudily decked
with cheap jewellery, velvet, leather, and gold-embroidered cloths. A
special characteristic of the native theatre is the fact that the actors
wear masks and do not themselves speak, but the words of the play are
recited by the dalang, or manager. The only occasion on which they
depart from this practice is when the performance is given before one of
the native princes, and in this case they also appear without their
masks. In the performance of their somewhat limited functions they
display considerable skill and histrionic capacity, but the piece
resembles a ballet rather than a drama.[30] The recitations of the
dalang are accompanied by the music of the gamelan, which, as in the
case of the wayang, forms the orchestra. A topeng company numbers eleven
persons--the dalang, six actors, and four gamelan musicians.

    [Footnote 30: See p. 56.]

The subjects of the wayang plays are taken from the Kavi poems, from the
Panjis, and especially from the chronicles. Some of these plays, or
_lampahans_, are in metre, others are in prose. Both alike consist of
summaries of the original poems on which they are based, and are
intended for the use of the dalang. It is noticeable, however, that the
wayang commands a far wider range of subjects than the theatre.

In the true wayang the figures themselves are not seen, but only their
shadows. The dalang places a transparent curtain, stretched over a frame
ten feet long by five high, between himself and the audience. He then
fixes his figures in the bamboo bar immediately in front of him, and
throws their shadows on to the curtain by placing a lamp behind them. At
the same time he moves the arms with wires in order to produce the
effect of action. The wayang dolls are singularly grotesque. There is
an interesting tradition which ascribes this distortion to a deliberate
purpose. According to this account, after the Mohammedan conquest and
the subsequent conversion of the Javanese to Islamism, it became
necessary to reconcile the continued enjoyment of the national pastime
with the precept of the new religion which forbade the dramatic
representation of the human form. A means of escaping from the dilemma
was discovered by the susunan of that day, who ordered the wayang
figures to be distorted to their present grotesque shapes. His line of
argument was ingenious. The world, he said, would now no longer
recognize the figures of the wayang as representations of humanity. The
Javanese, however, would recognize the persons whom the figures were
intended to reproduce from their knowledge of the national traditions.
Even if _they_ should eventually come to forget the nature of the
originals good would arise, for they would then believe that it was only
since their conversion to the faith of the prophet that their ancestors
had assumed a human shape.

There are two forms of the shadow wayang, the _purva_ and the _gedog_.
The subjects of the first are taken from the various mythological works
of the Hindu period, and from the Bharata Yuddha. In presenting this
wayang, the dalang first recites a few verses in Kavi, and then
continues the narrative in a modern Javanese version. This wayang is
especially useful as serving to keep alive some knowledge of the
literary dialect among the common people. The wayang gedog differs from
the former in so far as its subjects belong to a later period, and no
Kavi verses are recited. The gamelan also which accompanies the dalang
is somewhat different. Pangi is the favourite hero of the wayang gedog,
though he is not represented so exclusively as in the theatre. In both
of these wayangs the dalang often improvises the dialogue with which the
narrative is interspersed.

I have described the wayang klitik in my account of my visit to Tji
Wangi. The performance is given without the intervention of a curtain,
and the figures in the wayang are slightly smaller and not nearly so
skilfully constructed as in the two former. The wayang klitik takes its
subjects from the period of the Mohammedan invasion.

The dalangs are held in great respect by the common people, and many of
them possess their own sets of wayang puppets. It is customary for the
native princes to keep a dalang at their palaces; in this case, of
course, the figures and gamelan do not belong to the dalang, but to the

[Illustration: A WAYANG FIGURE.]



  Batavia and Singapore--Raffles' arrival in the East--
  Determines to oppose the Dutch supremacy in the
  Archipelago--Occupation of Java--Is knighted--Returns
  from England--Foundation of Singapore--Uncertainty
  whether the settlement would be maintained--His
  death--Description of Singapore--Epilogue.

A fortnight after my visit to Tji Wangi I left Java. As the train took
us from Batavia to the port, I caught a glimpse of the sea over the
palm-trees, and I felt something of the exultation which prompted the
remnant of the ten thousand Greeks to exclaim, "The sea! the sea!" I had
tired of the steamy atmosphere of Batavia, and that line of blue seemed
full of revivifying power. Three days later we reached Singapore. Here
everything was bright and new and English--miles of wharfs crowded with
shipping, broad streets, the cathedral spire _en evidence_, tall
warehouses, and handsome Government buildings. Watering-carts replaced
the bamboo buckets in the streets, and English iron and stone work the
quaint lamps and antiquated masonry. There the Dutch lived by
themselves; the wide streets, education, Christianity, were for them
exclusively. Here it was otherwise. Even the native streets were well
drained and lighted; for the Englishman shares his civilization with the
native races. The glory of the place is its splendidly turfed and
tree-clad esplanade; and in the centre of the broad carriage-road there
stands the statue of Sir Stamford Raffles, for five years
Lieutenant-Governor of Java and the founder of Singapore.

The British occupation of Singapore arose so directly out of the cession
of Java, that a description of the circumstances which led to this event
will suitably complete my account of that country.

[Illustration: THE ESPLANADE, SINGAPORE. _Page_ 264.]

After some years' service as a clerk in the East India house in London,
Raffles was despatched in 1805, when only twenty-three years of age, to
the East, as assistant-secretary to the Government of Penang, where a
settlement was then being formed by the company. In this capacity he so
distinguished himself as to attract the notice of Lord Minto, then
Governor-General of India. In particular Raffles made himself
acquainted, as no other European had done before, with the circumstances
and character of the Malay races. Subsequently, in view of the
annexation of Holland by Napoleon, it became desirable for the Indian
Government to take some measures to prevent the establishment of the
French in the Dutch possessions in the East. When, as a means to this
end, it was determined to occupy Java, it was to Raffles that Lord Minto
applied for the necessary information upon which the operations of the
expedition could be based. The capture of Java was considered of such
importance that the Governor-General himself accompanied the expedition.
Raffles' information was found to be so accurate, and his suggestions so
valuable, that after the capitulation of General Jansens on September
18, 1811, Lord Minto entrusted the island to his charge. Up to the
present, Raffles had been acting first as agent and afterwards as chief
secretary to the Governor-General; he was now appointed
Lieutenant-Governor of Java and its dependencies.

I have already written of the principles upon which Raffles based his
measures during the five years of his administration, and of the
criticism which was directed against them. The whole of Raffles' public
acts as a servant of the company were reviewed by the Court of Directors
in 1826. The verdict of this very competent authority, with reference to
the financial expedients and the general reforms which he adopted in his
administration of the island, was entirely favourable, if we except what
refers to the sale of lands, which it characterized as a "questionable
proceeding." It is worthy of note, however, that this "questionable
proceeding" had been pronounced by the Governor-General to be "an able
expedient in a moment of great emergency." Raffles was bitterly
disappointed when the news reached him that, under the settlement
effected by the Treaty of London, the British Government had consented
to restore Java to the Dutch. For a moment the announcement of
Napoleon's escape from Elba seemed to bring a chance of a reprieve. But
this transient gleam of hope was soon dispelled, and in March, 1816,
Raffles relinquished the government to the imperial officer appointed to
carry out the transference of the island. Lord Minto had secured for him
the residency of Bencoolen, a settlement on the western coast of
Sumatra; but his state of health was so unsatisfactory that it became
necessary for him to proceed to England without delay.

After a stay of only fifteen months' duration, during which he received
the honour of knighthood from the king, Raffles again set sail for India
in October, 1817. He was appointed to the government of Bencoolen, with
the title of Lieutenant-Governor of Fort Marlborough, and it is in this
capacity that he signed his Singapore proclamations. It appears,
however, that he was in some way commissioned by the Home Government to
exercise a general supervision over British interests in the further
East. In a letter written in 1820 he says that he "had separate
instructions from the Court to watch the motions of foreign nations, and
particularly the Dutch, in the Archipelago generally, and to write to
the Court and the Secret Committee."[31] On his arrival at Bencoolen in
March, 1819, he set himself once more to achieve that object for which
he had incessantly worked ever since his first appearance in the
East--the establishment of British influence in Malaya and the Eastern
Archipelago. With this object in view Raffles resolved to proceed to
Calcutta, in order that he might personally confer with Lord Hastings,
who had succeeded Lord Minto as Governor-General, and secure the
co-operation of the Bengal Government in his plans. He arrived at
Calcutta early in July of the same year. Lord Hastings expressed a high
appreciation of the value of Raffles' services in Java, and gave him
general assurances of his further support. Although the Bengal
Government were not prepared to endorse the extension of the British
authority in Sumatra, they and the British merchants at Calcutta were at
least rendered sensible by Raffles' arguments of the importance of
endeavouring to check the progress of the Dutch in the Malay Peninsula.
Of the two channels which alone gave access to the Archipelago, one was
already in the hands of the Dutch, and the other soon would be. In
short, unless some immediate and energetic measures were taken, the
trade of the whole Eastern Archipelago would be closed against the
English merchants. In his own words, Raffles asked for neither territory
nor people; all he wanted was "permission to anchor a line-of-battle
ship and hoist the English flag."

    [Footnote 31: "Memoir of Sir Stamford Raffles, by his widow."

In short, the result of Raffles' visit to Calcutta was that the Bengal
Government resolved, if possible, to keep the command of the Straits of
Malacca, and he was despatched as their agent to effect this purpose.

It appears that the Bengal Government hoped to sufficiently command the
straits by an establishment at Achin, in the extreme north of Sumatra,
and by taking possession of Rhio, a small island south of Singapore.
Raffles, however, foresaw--what indeed happened--that the Dutch would
anticipate him in the occupation of Rhio, while Achin seemed scarcely
suitable for the purpose. When he left Calcutta he had another plan in
view. On December 12, 1818, he writes from on board the _Nearchus_, at
the mouth of the Ganges, to his frequent correspondent Marsden, the
Sumatran traveller--

    "We are now on our way to the eastward, in the hope of doing
    something, but I much fear the Dutch have hardly left us an inch
    of ground to stand upon. My attention is principally turned to
    Johore, and you must not be surprised if my next letter to you
    is dated from the site of the ancient city of Singapura."

In carrying out the difficult task which had been entrusted to him,
Raffles encountered not only the opposition of the Dutch, which he
naturally expected, but that of the Government of Penang. The
authorities at Penang had a double reason for their opposition. In the
first place, they regarded the establishment of a station further east
as detrimental to the interests of their own settlement; and, in the
next, they had themselves unsuccessfully endeavoured to acquire a
similar position, and now maintained that the time had gone by for such
measures. Fortunately, however, Raffles had already secured the services
of Colonel Farquhar and a military force. This officer was in command of
the troops at Bencoolen, which, at the time Raffles left Calcutta, were
on the point of being relieved. Raffles had written from Calcutta,
instructing him to proceed to Europe by the Straits of Sunda, where he
would receive further instructions.

Singapore, the spot which Raffles' knowledge of the Malay states enabled
him to secure for his settlement, is a small island, twenty-seven miles
long by fourteen broad, immediately south of the Malay Peninsula, from
which it is separated by a channel of less than a mile in width. No
situation could be imagined better calculated to secure the objects
which the new settlement was intended to effect. Not only does the
island completely command the Straits of Malacca, the gate of the ocean
highway to China and the Eastern Archipelago, but, lying at a convenient
distance from the Chinese, the Indian, and the Javanese ports, it was
admirably adapted to serve as an _entrepôt_ and centre of English trade.

The island at this time formed part of the territory of the Sultan of
Johore, and it contained the remains of the original maritime capital of
the Malays. It was within the circuit of these Malay fortifications,
raised more than six centuries ago, that, on the 29th of February, 1819,
Raffles planted the British flag at Singapore.

From the very first Raffles fully realized the value of the acquisition.
On the 19th of February, 1819, he writes that he has found "at Singapore
advantages far superior to what Rhio afforded." And in the same letter
he says, "In short, Singapore is everything we could desire, and I may
consider myself most fortunate in the selection; it will soon rise into
importance, and with this single station alone, I would undertake to
counteract all the plans of Mynheer."

Raffles was not able to remain for more than a few days at Singapore. He
hurried on to Achin, and, after completing the object of his mission
there, returned to his residency at Bencoolen. But the new settlement
rapidly progressed under Colonel Farquhar's able administration. A year
afterwards, this officer writes to Raffles that "nothing can possibly
exceed the rising trade and general prosperity of this infant colony."
He adds, "Merchants of all descriptions are collecting here so fast that
nothing is heard in the shape of complaint but the want of more ground
to build on."

In spite of this immediate assurance of prosperity, it remained for a
long time uncertain whether the British Government would maintain the

The right of possession was from the first disputed by the Dutch.
Raffles himself succinctly states in a letter to Marsden the basis upon
which this rested. It appears, from his letter, that the Dutch had
secured the cession of Rhio from the Sultan of Lingen, whom they
recognized as the Sultan of Johore. On his arrival at Singapore, Raffles
was visited by one of the two chief hereditary officials of Johore, who
represented to him that an elder brother of the Sultan of Lingen was the
legal successor to that throne, adding, that as the Dutch had negotiated
with an incompetent authority, it was still open to the English to
effect a settlement on the territory of Johore. This elder brother was
subsequently recognized by the nobles at the court of Johore, and it was
with this personage, in his capacity of Sultan of Johore, that Raffles
concluded his treaty, and obtained permission to establish his
settlement. The Dutch, on the other hand, maintained that the Sultan of
Lingen had been legally invested with the sovereignty of Johore at the
time of the occupation; and, therefore, that the permission accorded to
Raffles was worthless. In a letter bearing date July 19, 1820, a
correspondent writes to him from London--

    "You are probably aware of the obstacles which have been opposed
    to the adoption of your measures, and even threatened your
    position in the service. Your zeal considerably out-stepped your
    prudence, and the first operations of it became known at an
    unfavourable juncture. It was thought that the state of affairs
    in Europe required that they should be discountenanced.

    "The acquisition of Singapore has grown in importance. The stir
    made here lately for the further enlargement of the Eastern
    trade fortified that impression. It is now accredited in the
    India House."[32]

    [Footnote 32: "Memoir of Sir Stamford Raffles."]

Undoubtedly the Dutch were making strong endeavours at this time to
procure the removal from the East of a man who had shown himself so
resolute and capable an opponent of their commercial system. Raffles
himself writes from Bencoolen in July, 1820, "After all, it is not
impossible the ministry may be weak enough to abandon Singapore, and to
sacrifice me, honour, and the Eastern Archipelago to the outrageous
pretensions of the Dutch." Fortunately he had powerful friends, and he
was not immediately recalled. Meanwhile he continued to hold the
settlement on his personal responsibility against the efforts of both
the British and Dutch East India Governments. In eighteen months it had
grown from an insignificant fishing village to a port with a population
of 10,000 inhabitants. During the first two and a half years of its
existence Singapore was visited by as many as 2889 vessels, with an
aggregate burden of 161,515 tons. The total value of its exports and
imports for the year 1822 amounted to no less than 8,568,172

    [Footnote 33: The Mexican dollar, which varies in value, but is
    worth about four shillings.]

Raffles returned to Singapore on the 10th of October, 1822, on his way
to England. He remained in the settlement for nine months, and during
this time employed himself in laying-out the city, and in drawing up
rules and regulations for the government of its people. In one of his
letters he expresses a hope "that, though Singapore may be the first
capital established in the nineteenth century, it will not disgrace the
brightest period of it."

The position of Raffles in respect to Singapore was indeed remarkable.
Though a servant of the company for five years, he was personally
responsible for the administration of the settlement, and neither the
Bengal Government nor the Court of Directors in London would relieve
him. In the report which he sent to the Bengal Government before
returning to England, he states the main principles upon which he has
based the regulations which he framed. At the head of them stands a
declaration of the principle of free trade.

"First I have declared that the port of Singapore is a free port, and
the trade thereof open to ships and vessels of every nation, free of
duty, equally and alike to all." It was a hatred of their monopolist
policy which had especially inspired Raffles in his opposition to the
Dutch. In respect of the question of the authority of his legislation,
he writes that he considered himself justified in thus provisionally
legislating for the settlement by reason of the existence of "an actual
and urgent necessity for some immediate and provisional arrangements."
He further states that in framing these regulations he has, while giving
due weight to local considerations, "adhered as closely as possible to
those principles which from immemorial usage have ever been considered
the most essential and sacred parts of the British constitution."

Before he left Singapore, Raffles selected twelve merchants and
appointed them to act as magistrates for a year. He also provided for a
succession of such magistrates, who were to be chosen from a list kept
by the Resident.

Raffles' career was cut short by his sudden and premature death, which
took place on the 5th of July, 1826. He had lived, however, long enough
to see the merit of his public conduct established by the judgment of
the Court of Directors, which I have already mentioned, and which was
pronounced in the preceding April. The fortunes of Singapore were
secured two years previously to this event, when the island was formally
ceded to the British Government by the Sultan of Johore, in pursuance of
the terms of an arrangement then concluded between the Dutch and English
Governments. Subsequently it formed part of the consolidated Government
of Penang, Singapore, and Malacca. In 1867 these settlements were
converted into a Crown colony under the name of the Straits Settlements.
At the present time the colony so constituted is administered by a
Governor, and an Executive Council of eight members, assisted by a
Legislative Council consisting of these eight official, and seven other
unofficial, members.

The town of Singapore has fully realized the expectations of its
founder. Its rapid and continuous growth is sufficiently indicated by
the fact that at the present time it possesses a population of 182,650
inhabitants; while the importance of its trade is demonstrated by the
fact that more than three million tons of shipping entered the port in
the year 1889. In connection with the growing recognition of the
necessity for an organized system of naval defence for the empire, the
strategical value of Singapore has of late years been greatly
emphasized, and the defences of the port have been strengthened and
improved. Batteries have been constructed by the colony at a cost of
£100,000, which have been furnished with guns at the expense of the
Imperial Government. At the same time a new harbour, including the
Tanjong Pagar wharf and docks, has been added three miles to the
westward, where the largest ocean-going steamships can find ample space.

The original "fort" is still conspicuous in the centre of the town, and
behind it are the gently rising hills on which the bungalows of the
English residents are for the most part built. At evening the blinds are
drawn up to welcome the reviving breath of the sea, and from the open
windows of these bungalows appears a panoramic scene of singular extent
and beauty, and one which forms a fitting background to the Eastern
viands and Chinese servants which give a Singapore dinner-party a
character of its own.

[Illustration: THE CAVANAGH BRIDGE, SINGAPORE. _Page_ 282.]

The ricsha furnishes the streets with an additional element of
picturesqueness. These charming vehicles are not used, however, by
Europeans during the day. Then the Anglo-Saxon instinct for
respectability (or some more subtle reason) prescribes the use of the
ghari, which is practically a four-wheeled cab with Venetian blinds
substituted for windows. The ricsha is especially used by the Chinese,
who, as in Java, have contrived to get most of the retail trade into
their hands, and many of whom are extremely wealthy and greatly attached
to the British connection. In addition to the public offices, the most
noticeable buildings are the Government House, which stands on a slight
elevation and is surrounded by a park, the cathedral, and the Raffles
Museum. Near the Cavanagh Bridge--a handsome iron suspension bridge
which spans the river--is the hospitable and commodious Singapore club;
and just outside the town there is a fine race-course. The esplanade
together with this latter provide the English residents with the means
of outdoor recreation which are so essential in the tropics. I have
already spoken of the great advantage which Singapore possesses over
Batavia in the singular healthiness of its climate. Almost the first
sight which I saw on my arrival was that of an English crowd surrounding
the tennis courts on the esplanade, where a very considerable tournament
was proceeding. It is by such pursuits as these, polo, golf, cricket,
and tennis, that the insidious languor of the East can alone be

       *       *       *       *       *

There are times when, among the prosaic surroundings of this work-a-day
world, our senses are unexpectedly stirred by some undetected stimulus
which sets in motion a train of memories. Such memories penetrate even
the gloomy recesses of Temple chambers. Sometimes they bring with them
a waft of perfume from the warm pine woods that clothe the slopes of
Table Mountain; sometimes a vision of glassy waters walled by the sheer
mountain heights of New Zealand Sounds; or it may be a sense of calm
swan-like motion over the sunlit reaches of the Hawkesbury. Not least
interesting among such memories I count the recollection of a time when
life was lived on a verandah, in the twilight of palm leaves, and its
needs were served by dusky ministers whose footfall brought no
disturbing sound.

It is not so very long ago since Mr. Lucy wrote that a man in search of
"pastures new" might do worse than try Japan. I would add that, having
tried Japan (and who has not?), he might do worse than take to Java.
Here, in an island where the business of the great world is heard only
as the murmur of a neighbouring stream, he will find an ancient and
interesting civilization still existing, some vast Hindu ruins, and the
gardens of Buitenzorg.



Inconsistencies in the hyphenation of words preserved. (cocoanut,
cocoa-nut; crosspiece, cross-piece; ricefields, rice-fields)

Footnote 4, the text in the footnote refers to an "Appendix" but the
title at the actual location is "Annex". Original word "Appendix" is

Pg. 37, "Buitenzong" changed to "Buitenzorg". (Hotel Belle Vue at

Pg. 275, "propably" changed to "probably". (You are propably aware)

Annex to Chapter V, Table showing the alternative routes to the Hindu
temples. Row starting "Bandong to Cheribon", comma in last column is
changed to a doublequote mark which is here serving as a ditto mark. Row
starting "Cheribon to Tegal", a doublequote mark is added to the last
column to serve as a ditto mark.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Visit to Java - With an Account of the Founding of Singapore" ***

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