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her dress opposite, peeped slyly across at me as much as to say, "Now we have got her between us; it is all right, isn't it?" Nellie was blushing painfully; for of course she had heard every word of my conversation with the dog, and knew that I must be aware of the chief cause of her confusion. So distressed was she, that her eyes began to fill with tears. My mouth was parched as with a fever, but I succeeded in addressing her by her Christian name for the first time.
Nellie, I have not come here without your father's sanction : you must know, at any rate now, how dearly I love you. Will you marry me?"
The pent-up tears ran down her face, and presently I heard an almost inaudible "Yes"; so I threw my arms round her and drew down her pretty head on to my shoulder.
What an afternoon that was amongst the heather!
As I write this, beautifully preserved with the fly in his mouth, the trout stands on a table at my right, while the sketch of the Cliff Pool hangs on the opposite wall.
We revisit our happy fishingground every summer, and never pass the Cliff Pool without a kiss, and indeed a great many (Nellie is pulling my hair, and says I have no business to mention all those kisses-but I shall), in commemoration of our first meeting.
I do not fish quite so hard as I used to; for every now and then I find myself leaving the water when Nellie is sketching from the bank above, and then dropping down beside her, I listen to the sweet songs of Scotland till the tears of joy spring to my eyes. ARTHUR CRAWSHAY.
SIX WEEKS IN JAVA.
I EXPERIENCED so much difficulty in obtaining trustworthy information regarding the present means of travelling in Java, and what there was to be seen there, that perhaps a short account of a visit recently made to that island may be of use.
Except a Visit to Java' by Mr Basil Warfold, whose personal experiences appear to have been confined to Batavia and Buitenzorg, I know of no book in the English language, though there are several in Dutch, which treats of Java as it exists to-day; and thus it has come to pass that this most interesting of islands, though easily accessible, is usually omitted from the globetrotter's programme.
Mr Boys, an Indian civilian, lately published at Allahabad an excellent little essay on the Dutch Administration of Java,1 which deserves to be more widely known than it is; Miss North, in her Memories of a Happy Life,' gives a good description of her tour in the island; and Baron Donwes Dekkar's well known novel, Max Havellaar,' gives much valuable information about Java: but none of these books contains the detailed information required for practical travelling. The
History of Java,' in two large volumes, by Sir Stamford Raffles, published early in the present century, still remains the standard work on Java, and is a mine of information regarding the country and its inhabitants; but the book has long been out of print, and is difficult to procure, though it should cer
tainly be read by any intending visitor.
Mr A. R. Wallace in his classical Malay Archipelago' has a chapter about Java, which is as accurate and delightful as his writings always are; but he made only two short excursions into the interior, and as nearly forty years have elapsed since his visit, his descriptions necessarily take no account of the present facilities for travel. The Dutch are energetic rulers, who fully appreciate the advantages of roads and railways, and in this respect there is probably no country in the East which has more changed during recent years than Java. Good hotels may now be found in nearly every place where the ordinary traveller wishes to stop, and ladies could travel from one end of the island to the other without experiencing any serious discomfort.
As regards climate, the towns on the sea-coast, such as Batavia, Samarang, and Soerabaja, are always hot, with the moist heat of Calcutta or Singapore in July; but the whole of the interior is hilly, and possesses a cool and pleasant climate. It is very remarkable at what low elevations in Java the stagnant heat of the plains is exchanged for cool fresh breezes. At Buitenzorg, for example, which is only 800 feet above the sea, the mornings and evenings are always cool, and the climate resembles that of Subathoo in the Himalayas, which is situated at the height of 4000 feet. At greater elevations it is, of course, proportionately cooler; and on Ardjoeno, at 8000 feet, we longed for fires and more
1 Some Notes on Java and its Administration by the Dutch. By H. Scott Boys. Pioneer Press. Allahabad, 1892.
blankets. The dry season in Java commences in April, and the most favourable time for travelling is from the beginning of that month to about the end of June. July and August are hot, especially in eastern Java, where the rainfall is less than in the western provinces, and where drought is apt to prevail during the autumn. In October the rainy season begins. Before railways were constructed, travellers had to hire or buy their own carriage, and to drive long distances by post over rough mountain roads. This is not necessary now. Much of the travelling is done in railways; and where posting is resorted to, a carriage can always be hired for the day's journey. Posting is expensive, but it is a delightful way of seeing the country, and we quite agreed with Mr Boys that few of the pleasures of travel can compare with bowling along a good road through the magnificent scenery of the Javan highlands on a fresh April morning. There is no country in the East which can boast of better roads than Java, or where the carriages and system of posting are so good. The principal roads are divided into two portions, one of which is metalled and strictly reserved for carriages, and the other, usually unmetalled, is used by the heavy country carts. halves of the road are maintained in good repair. This regulation works well in practice, and is certainly economical, as it saves the carriage-road from being cut up by the wheels of the clumsy waggons, generally drawn by oxen, for which speed is not necessary.
In a few years Java will possess a railway extending from Batavia on the west to Soerabaja on the east that is, throughout nearly its entire length. At present the difficulties of construction through
hilly country leave a gap of over one hundred miles between Garoet and Tjilatjap on the southern coast. The journey between these points is somewhat difficult, and requires arrangement beforehand; we therefore found it most convenient, when leaving the western for the central provinces, to return to Batavia and go by sea to Samarang.
The train service in Java is very regular and punctual, and even an unlocked portmanteau appears to be quite safe in the luggage-vans. The carriages are built on the American plan, which ensures good ventilation; and we found the second class sufficiently comfortable. The speed is slow according to European ideas, and the stoppages prolonged and frequent; but in Java no one is in a hurry, and as the scenery is always interesting, small delays are rather welcome than otherwise.
The cosmopolitan port of Singapore is the most convenient starting point for Java, as weekly steamers belonging to a Dutch Company run thence to Batavia. The British India Company's steamers from London also call at Batavia; and during the sugar export season a steamer sailing to Soerabaja may usually be found at Hong-Kong. The Dutch vessels are small, but well found and comfortable; and the food provided is liberal, and quite good enough for ordinary people. We sailed from Singapore harbour at 8 A.M. on Wednesday 26th April, and after a pleasant voyage over calm seas studded with wooded islands, landed at Batavia at 3 P.M. on the following Friday.
Land was visible nearly the whole way, as, after passing through the archipelago of small islands which stretches to the south of the Malayan peninsula, the track lies along the northern coast of Suma
tra, and passes through the narrow strait separating that shore from the small island of Banca, famous for its tin mines. On our return voyage the steamer stopped here for a few hours to land passengers and cargo, and the view of the wooded heights rising behind the small town of Mintok was very pleasing. If the traveller is fortunate enough to get clear weather when approaching Batavia, he will enjoy a view of the three volcanic peaks known as Gede, Pangerango, and Salak, two of which are still more or less active, though the small clouds of steam they emit cannot usually be seen from the
Batavia is the capital of Java, but in commercial importance it is closely approached by the more modern port of Soerabaja. The The part of the town where the hotels, the shops, and the palatial residences of the Dutch merchants and officials are situated, is six miles from the wharves of Tandjoeng Priok, where passengers land; but frequent trains run between the two places, and within an hour after leaving the ship the traveller ought to find himself at his hotel.
We stayed at the Hôtel des Indes, a very comfortable establishment, the proprietor of which speaks English. The important matter of language is the most serious of the few difficulties to be encountered in Javan travel: Dutch and Malay are the two languages principally used, but a knowledge of the latter is the most important, as it is understood by all the servants in the hotels, and more or less throughout the country. It is also the native language spoken by the Dutch residents, and may therefore be regarded as the lingua franca of Java, as Urdu is in India. We had provided ourselves, while at Singapore (through
the good offices of the manager of the Raffles' Hotel), with a Malayspeaking Madrasee "boy," who had also a practical acquaintance of English. He was an excellent lad, quite honest, and willing to put his hand to any kind of work, including cooking. We never ceased congratulating ourselves on having secured his services; and indeed it is hard to say how we could have managed without him. I think that our plan of getting a servant at Singapore is the best. There are, of course, plenty of lads to be found in Batavia who can speak Malay, but their second language is pretty sure to be Dutch, and Dutch only, which would not be of much use to the ordinary Englishman.
The principal business to be done at Batavia is to get a passport from the Dutch Government with permission to travel throughout Java. Local passports are also issued, but these are not necessary if care is taken to ask for a general passport. This document can be easily obtained through the kind offices of the English consul. The only places worth visiting in Batavia are the Museum, which is most interesting, and the Zoological Gardens, where are a small collection of local birds, two ourangs from Borneo, and some monkeys and other animals peculiar to the Malayan islands. Perhaps the most novel sight in Batavia can be obtained by a drive through its brilliantly illuminated streets between six and eight o'clock in the evening, when all the world and his wife are abroad, and the shops display their varied wares in the most alluring fashion.
We left Batavia for Buitenzorg by the afternoon train on the day after our arrival: the journey is about an hour, and the rise in
elevation is less than 800 feet, yet in this short space one passes from oppressive heat to a cool climate. The line traverses a highly cultivated country, and as Buitenzorg is approached, glimpses are caught of volcanic peaks towering over rich tropical vegetation. There is a good hotel at Buitenzorg, which is a pretty little town, with shady well-kept roads, and the headquarters of the Dutch Government in the East Indies. The Governor-General has a palace situated in the famous Botanical Garden, and approached through a grand avenue of Kanari trees (Canarium commune), with their stately trunks entwined by creepers of strange and beautiful aspect. A small park with a herd of fallow deer lies to the north of the palace, and is remarkable for a grove of ancient Waringin (Ficus sp.) trees, with their boughs and roots twisted and knotted in a most extraordi
The neighbourhood of Buitenzorg furnishes several pretty drives, and as the traveller will probably have to wait two or three days for his passport, he cannot do better than spend the time here. The view from the verandah of the hotel looking towards the west has become celebrated even in Java. It comprises luxuriant tropical vegetation, a foaming river tumbling over big black rocks, and a background formed by the jagged peaks of the Salak volcano.
The Botanical Garden may perhaps somewhat disappoint the expectation of the unscientific mind, as more attention is paid therein to the requirements of botany than to the picturesque. But the garden possesses more named species of plants than any other similar establishment, except perhaps Kew; and its collection of palms, all growing in the open
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instead of being crowded under a glass roof, is certainly unrivalled. The plant-houses are poor, and not much money is spent on them. The orchids also are in the open, and there is nothing at Buitenzorg to compare with the orchid-house in the Calcutta Gardens, where ferns and foliage plants combine with gorgeous flowers to produce a scene of vegetable beauty that is, I think, unequalled. But as a botanical garden for the scientific study of plants, Buitenzorg possesses facilities that cannot be enjoyed elsewhere, and this, it must be remembered, is the end that the able director, M. Treub, has exclusively set before himself, and which he has attained to a degree that has earned for the Dutch nation the gratitude of botanists all the world over. The garden is liberally equipped with the necessary facilities for study in physiological, systematic, and economic botany; and the Dutch Government hospitably invite botanists of all nationalities to avail themselves of the resources and treasures of Buitenzorg. This offer has been freely accepted, and several German, Italian, and English botanists have made the long journey to Java, in order to prosecute original investigations into one or other of the numerous botanical problems now awaiting solution.
A visit should also be paid to the Government experimental plantation, about two miles from the hotel. The two varieties of coffee (C. arabica and C. liberica) commonly seen in cultivation, several species of the plants producing gutta - percha, mahoganytrees, cardamoms, and numerous other interesting plants possessing economic value, may be seen there.
We left Buitenzorg by railway on the morning of the 3d May,