William H. Seward's Travels around the World

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

CHAPTER V.
AT BATAVIA AGAIN.--THE MALAYS.

Farewell to Bandong.--A Tropical Breakfast.--A Breakfast in the Botanical Gardens.-- A Princely Native Artist.--Dutch Colonization.--Character of the Malay Race.-- Chinese Immigration.

Batavia, January 25th.--We bade farewell to the magnificent chief of Bandong, at sunrise yesterday, and we breakfasted with him at Sjiandjioer, enjoying in both cases the honors of music and the golden umbrella. We bathed and slept last night in the rose-gardens of Sindanlaya. At noon to-day, we reëntered the palace of Buitenzorg, which name, we now learn, was borrowed from the palace of Frederick the Great at Potsdam--Sans-souci.

A pretty illustration of tropical life greeted us here. The governor-general was absent; the ladies were just assembled at breakfast in the coolest of 'marble halls, dressed in the degagée habit which the Europeans have adopted from the natives here: hair falling naturally over the shoulders, the white "short-gown" of our grandmothers, made fanciful with ruffles and bright buttons; a gaycolored muslin skirt (sarong), not fastened by a belt, but softly folded around the figure; naked feet thrust into gold-embroidered slippers. After sharing their breakfast with us, they loaded our carriages with roses and passion-flowers, and lotuses, each flower in itself a bouquet. It was with sincere and unaffected regret that we parted with our newly-made friends, and so we are here once more

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