William H. Seward's Travels around the World

By Olive Risley Seward; William Henry Seward | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II. THE CAPITAL OF JAVA.

The City of Batavia.--The Hôtel des Indes.--A New-England Sabbath.--Malay Servants. --The King's Plain.--Population of Java.--The Queen of the East.--Departure for Buitenzorg.--Manner of Travelling.--The Vice-Regal Residence.--The Climate of Java.--The Baths of Buitenzorg.

Batavia, January 16th.--At sunrise we were tossing in the open roadstead, four miles from the shore. The monsoon was past, though the sea had not subsided. The skies cleared at eight o'clock, giving us a view of a long, level, green coast, swelling upward into lofty blue mountains. There is much less shipping here than at Singapore, but the diversity of flags indicates a not less various commerce. The smallest of all steam-tugs was seen bounding over the waves and distributing passengers and freights, among steamers which are going out to neighboring Dutch ports throughout the Archipelago. When she had done this, she rounded up to our steamer, and received us on board. On the way, we passed a steamship-of-war, freighted with troops, going to repress a native rebellion in Borneo.

A pretty stream, which once stagnated in the jungle, has been converted into a broad canal, that now affords navigation from the roadstead to the heart of the city of Batavia. The custom-house officers took our own statement for our number, ages, occupations, luggage, and intentions. Malay drivers, the smallest men we ever saw, with the heaviest sort of European barouches, drawn by mini

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