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Title: The History of Java, v. 1-2

Author: Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles

Release date: September 1, 2015 [eBook #49843]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Richard Tonsing, Chuck Greif, Michigan
University Libraries and the Online Distributed Proofreading
Team at


The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

[Vol I Pg i]










[Vol I Pg ii]




The gracious permission which I have received to dedicate these volumes to your Royal Highness, affords me an opportunity of interesting your Royal Highness in favour of the amiable and ingenuous people whose country they describe. The high respect they entertain for British valour and justice, and the lively gratitude they retain for the generous system of British Legislation, will, I am sure, give them a strong claim upon your Royal Highness's good opinion.[Vol I Pg iv]

To uphold the weak, to put down lawless force, to lighten the chain of the slave, to sustain the honour of the British arms and British good faith; to promote the arts, sciences, and literature, to establish humane institutions, are duties of government which have been most conspicuously performed during your Royal Highness's regency. For a period of nearly five years, in which I have had the honour, as a servant of the East India Company, to preside over a mild and simple people, it has been my pride and my ambition to make known to them the justice and benevolence of my Prince, whose intentions towards them I could only fulfil by acting up to the principles of the Authority which I represented, and by doing every thing in my power to make them happy.

To those who judge that the right to express their sentiments requires no more than sincerity, or that their praise is of a value to overbalance the disrespect of offering it, I shall leave the usual language of dedications. Conscious that the assurances of respect and of loyal attach[Vol I Pg v]ment can never be offered to your Royal Highness by the humblest British subject, without meeting a gracious reception,

I have the honour to be,

With profound veneration and respect,



Most faithful and most dutiful servant,


London, June 1, 1817.
[Vol I Pg vi]

[Vol I Pg vii]


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

For such, and all other inaccuracies, as well as for the defects of style and arrangement which may appear in this work, an apology is necessary; and in the circumstances under which it has been prepared, it is hoped that an admissible one will be found. While in the active discharge of the severe and responsible duties of an extensive government, it was not in my power to devote much time to the subject: the most that I could do, was to encourage the exertions of others, and to collect in a crude state such new or interesting matter as fell under my personal observation. I quitted Java in the month of March in last year: in the twelve months that have since elapsed, illness during the voyage to Europe and subsequently, added to the demands on my time arising out of my late office, and the duties of private friendship after an absence of many years, have made great encroachments; but engaged as I am in public life, and about to proceed to a distant quarter of the globe, I have been induced, by the interest which the subject of these volumes has excited, and the precarious state of my health, rather to rely on the indulgence of the public than on the attainment of leisure, for which I must wait certainly long and, possibly, in vain.

Most sincerely and deeply do I regret, that this task did not fall into hands more able to do it justice. There was one[1], dear to me in private friendship and esteem, who, had he lived, was of all men best calculated to have supplied those deficiencies which will be apparent in the very imperfect work now presented to the Public. From his profound acquaintance with eastern languages and Indian history, from the unceasing activity of his great talents, his other prodigious [Vol I Pg viii]acquirements, his extensive views, and his confident hope of illustrating national migrations from the scenes which he was approaching, much might have been expected; but just as he reached those shores on which he hoped to slake his ardent thirst for knowledge, he fell a victim to excessive exertion, deeply deplored by all, and by none more truly than myself.

My acknowledgments are due to the Right Honourable Sir Joseph Banks, Bart., the venerable President of the Royal Society, for his kindness and encouragement; and particularly so to Mr. Charles Wilkins, Librarian to the East-India Company, as well as to Mr. William Marsden, for many suggestions, of which I regret that I have not been enabled to avail myself so much as I could wish, in consequence of the haste with which the work has been got up. I am also indebted to Mr. Thomas Murdoch, not only for access to his valuable library, but for illustrations from Portuguese authors, which the reader will find in the Introduction and Appendix.

For all that relates to the Natural History of Java, I am indebted to the communications of Dr. Thomas Horsfield. Though sufficient for my purpose, it forms but a scanty portion of the result of his long and diligent researches on this subject. Of this, however, I am happy to say, that the Public will shortly be able to judge for themselves.[Vol I Pg ix]

In sketching the state of the Dutch East-India Company, and the measures adopted by the Dutch government respecting Java, subsequently to the year 1780, I have availed myself of much very valuable information communicated to me by Mr. H. W. Muntinghe, President of the Supreme Court of Justice at Batavia; and as, in the course of this work, I have often been obliged to condemn the principles and conduct of the Dutch colonists, I am anxious to acknowledge the distinguished merit of this excellent magistrate, and that of Mr. J. C. Cranssen, President of the Bench of Schepenen, both selected by the late Earl of Minto to be members of the British Council in Java.

The English came to Java as friends. Holland had ceased to be an independent nation, and for the time there could be but two parties, the one English, the other French. The emissaries of the late ruler of France had perverted the minds of the majority: many were doubtful on which side they should rally. At this critical juncture these two gentlemen declared for England and the ancient order of things; and to the influence of their decision and conduct is to be ascribed, not only the cordiality and good understanding which soon prevailed between the English and Dutch, but in a great measure also that general tranquillity of the country, without which the re-transfer[Vol I Pg x] of it to the rule of its former masters might have been impracticable.

Of the wisdom and benevolence which determined the late Earl of Minto to place two members of the Dutch nation at the Board of the British Council in Java, it is unnecessary to speak. The measure was in the same spirit which uniformly actuated that enlightened and virtuous statesman, my revered patron and ever lamented friend. The selection of the two gentlemen whom I have mentioned, was no less advantageous. To their countrymen it was peculiarly so, and I am happy to have this opportunity of publicly expressing my acknowledgments to them for the good counsel, firm support, and unwearied exertions, by which they were distinguished while members of the Board.


The principles of Orthography, recommended by Sir William Jones, and adopted by the Asiatic Society at Calcutta, have been adopted in this work, with some slight modifications. The consonants preserve the same sounds generally as the same letters in the English alphabet: the vowels are used as in Italian. To avoid confusion, the emphatic syllables are alone accented, and the inherent vowel a has invariably been adopted.


[1] Dr. J. C. Leyden, the bard of Tiviotdale, who accompanied the expedition to Batavia in 1811, and expired in my arms a few days after the landing of the troops.[Vol I Pg xi]


In reprinting the History of Java in its present form, the Editor feels it necessary to say a few words. Though the first edition of this work has been honored with extraordinary success, and has long been exhausted, so that copies have become rare, yet Sir Stamford Raffles always considered it as a hasty production, requiring great alteration and improvement; and if it had pleased God to prolong his course of usefulness in this world, he would have bestowed upon it those corrections and additions which he thought it required.

The present Editor has only ventured to add a few short notes which she found prepared by Sir Stamford, and to omit, according to his intention, the larger part of the comparative vocabularies, retaining only a hundred words in each language.

The additional plates were prepared some years ago, for a second quarto edition: they are now published, with those belonging to the first edition, in a separate quarto volume, detached entirely from the present work.[Vol I Pg xii]

For the drawings from which the engravings of the antiquities are made, Sir Stamford was indebted to Lieut.-Colonel Baker, of the East India Company's service; and the present Editor is happy to have this opportunity of acknowledging the obligation, as well as her thanks, for many kind intentions to aid her in reprinting this history.

On the subject of the plates which originally accompanied the quarto edition, Sir Stamford stated in the Preface to that edition, p. ix, as follows: "The plates which accompany this work, not otherwise distinguished, are from the graver, and many of the designs from the pencil of Mr. William Daniell, who has devoted his undivided attention in forming a proper conception of his subject, and spared neither time nor exertion in the execution."

The Editor has only to add, that the size of the map of Java rendered it impossible to unite it with the present edition of the History, it is therefore added to the engravings; and it is also prepared for separate circulation.


High Wood,
Dec. 31, 1829.
[Vol I Pg xiii]


The first arrival of the Portuguese in the Eastern Islands was in the year 1510, when Alphonzo de Albuquerque first visited Sumatra. In the following year, Albuquerque conquered the city of Malacca, and sent to announce that event to those countries and islands which had traded thither, inviting them to continue their intercourse, and promising them protection and encouragement[2]. To Java and the Moluccas he sent Antonio de Abrew, having, however, previously prepared the way by a Moor or Mahomedan, of the name of Nakoda Ismael, who was trading in a merchant vessel. Antonio de Abrew sailed on his mission with three vessels, and took with him several Javans and Malayus who had been accustomed to trade with Malacca. The first port on Java at which he arrived was the city of Agacai[3], and from thence he sailed to Amboina, one of the Moluccas, where[4] he set up his padroes, or pillars of discovery and possession, as he had done at every port at which he had touched. One of the vessels was lost in a storm, but the people were saved and [Vol I Pg xiv]carried by Abrew to a port in Banda to which vessels then resorted for trade, and whither it was that the Javan vessels used to go for cloves, nutmegs, and mace, which were carried to that port by the natives of the Moluccas in their own vessels.

Nakoda Ismael returning from the Moluccas with a cargo of nutmegs, his vessel was wrecked on the coast of Java, near Tuban. The cargo of the Nakoda's vessel having been saved, Joam Lopez Alvrin was sent (A. D. 1513) by the governor of Malacca with four vessels to receive it. Alvrin was well received in all the ports of Java where he touched, but particularly at Sidayu belonging to Páteh Unrug, a prince who had been defeated at Malacca by Fernan Peres.

The straits of Sínga púra[5] being infested by the cruisers of the former king of Malacca, who had been expelled from his dominions by the Portuguese in 1511, the straits of Sában were the usual route of the Portuguese vessels from Malacca to the Spice Islands, and in this voyage they generally touched at the ports of Java.

About the year 1520 or 1521, Antonio de Britto, with six vessels under his command, bound to the Moluccas, touched first at Túban and proceeded afterwards to Agacai, where he remained seventeen days, during which time he sent a boat to the island of Madúra, for the purpose of exploring it; but the men landing incautiously were surprised and made prisoners, and were not ransomed without much difficulty, and the friendly intervention of the governor of Agacai.

Antonio de Britto had scarcely accomplished the ransom of his men, when he was joined by Don Garcia Henriquez with four vessels bound to Banda for spices, and at the same time a Javan vessel arrived from Banda. This vessel had been furnished with a pass from the Spaniards, under Fernan de Megalhaen, who having passed by the straits which bear[Vol I Pg xv] his name, had arrived at the Spice Islands. This was the first intelligence which the Portuguese received of Megalhaen's discovery of the route round the southern extremity of the American continent, and they were the more mortified at it, as he had left his own country in disgust, and was then in the service of Spain[6].[Vol I Pg xvi]

The first voyage made by the Dutch was in 1595, in which year their first fleet, under the command of Houtman (who [Vol I Pg xvii]had been previously employed by the Portuguese in the East India service), sailed direct to Bantam. At this period th[Vol I Pg xviii]e Portuguese were at war with the king of Bantam, to whom Houtman offered assistance, in return for which he obtained [Vol I Pg xix]permission to build a factory at Bantam, which was the first settlement formed by the Dutch in the East Indies.

[Vol I Pg xx]

Following the example of the Dutch, the English East India Company, immediately after their incorporation by [Vol I Pg xxi]Queen Elizabeth in 1601, fitted out a fleet of four ships, the command of which was entrusted to Captain Lancaster, who [Vol I Pg xxii]sailed from London in 1602, first to Acheen (Aché) on Sumatra, where he procured part of his cargo, and entered into a treaty with the king, of which a copy is yet in existence. From Acheen he went to Bantam, and settled a factory there, which was the first possession of the English in the East Indies. Captain Lancaster brought home a letter from the king of Bantam to Queen Elizabeth in 1602, which is still in the state paper office.

In 1610, the first Dutch governor general, Bolt, arrived at Bantam, and finding the situation of his countrymen in that province not favourable to the establishment of a permanent settlement, removed to Jákatra. On the 4th of March, 1621, the name of Batavia was conferred upon the new establishment of the Dutch in Jákatra, which from that period became the capital of their East Indian empire.

In 1683, the English, who had hitherto maintained a successful rivalry with the Dutch, withdrew their establishment from Bantam.

In the year 1811, Holland having become a province of [Vol I Pg xxiii]France, the French flag was hoisted at Batavia; and on the 11th September, in the same year, the British government was declared supreme on Java, by a proclamation of that date signed by the Earl of Minto, Governor General of Bengal. On the 17th of the same month, a capitulation was entered into, by which all the dependencies fell into the hands of Great Britain.

On the 13th August, 1814, a convention was entered into by viscount Castlereagh, on the part of his Britannic Majesty, restoring to the Dutch the whole of their former possessions in the Eastern Islands; and on the 19th August, 1816, the flag of the Netherlands was again hoisted at Batavia.

Without adverting to the political importance to Great Britain of the conquest of Java, or to the great commercial advantages which both countries might eventually have derived from its remaining in our hands, I shall merely notice that the loss of it was no immediate or positive evil to the Dutch. For many years prior to the British expedition, Holland had derived little or no advantage from the nominal sovereignty which she continued to exercise over its internal affairs. All trade and intercourse between Java and Europe was interrupted and nearly destroyed; it added nothing to the commercial wealth or the naval means of the mother country: the controul of the latter over the agents she employed had proportionally diminished; she continued to send out governors, counsellors, and commissioners, but she gained from their inquiries little information on the causes of her failure, and no aid from their exertions in improving her resources, or retarding the approach of ruin. The colony became a burden on the mother country instead of assisting her, and the Company which had so long governed it being ruined, threw the load of its debts and obligations on the rest of the nation.

It might have been some consolation for the loss of immediate profit, or the contraction of immediate debt, to know, that such unfavourable circumstances were merely temporary;[Vol I Pg xxiv] that they arose out of a state of political relations which affected internal improvement, and that the resources of the colony were progressively increasing, and would become available when peace or political changes should allow trade to flow in its former channels. Whether the Dutch could not indulge such prospects, or whether the system on which the internal government of their eastern dominion was conducted was in itself ruinous under any circumstances, a view of the financial and commercial state of Java before the conquest, and of the causes which led to the losses and dissolution of the Dutch East India Company, will assist the reader in determining.

In tracing these causes, it is hardly necessary to go further back than the period of the Company's history immediately preceding the war of 1780. The accidental calamities of that war brought it to the brink of ruin, and its importance in the past transactions of the country being borne in mind, a general concern existed in Holland for its preservation, and for the restoration and maintenance of its credit. With the view of affording it the most effective and beneficial assistance, inquiries were set on foot, not only to discover some temporary means of relief, but to provide a more permanent remedy for threatened decline. It is impossible to ascertain what might have been the result of the measures which were then in contemplation, as the convulsed state of Europe, and especially of Holland, subsequently to this period, left no room for their operation, and did not even admit of making the experiment of their efficiency. The free intercourse of the mother country with her colonies was interrupted; the trade was thrown into the hands of neutrals; several possessions were lost for the want of due protection, and those which remained were left to support or defend themselves in the best way they could, without any assistance or reinforcement from home.

For ten years preceding the year 1780, the average annual sales of the Company amounted to upwards of twenty millions[Vol I Pg xxv] of guilders, which was considerably more than in former years, and the prices of the different articles were nearly the same as they had been from the years 1648 to 1657, when the sales only amounted on an average to about eight millions a year; it was therefore clear, that the decline of the Company was not to be attributed to the decrease of trade.

On an examination of the Indian books, it was found, that from the year 1613 to 1696, the profits in India, though moderate, had always kept equal pace with the profits in Europe.

From 1613 To 1653. To 1663. To 1673. To 1683. To 1693.
Guilders. Guilders. Guilders. Guilders. Guilders.
The total profits were 101,704,417 142,663,776 206,072,335 259,250,969 322,735,312
Expences 76,177,755 117,616,961 161,271,745 212,282,020 274,416,306
Nett Profits 25,526,662 25,046,315 44,330,590 46,968,949 48,319,506
Thus, on an average of forty years till 1653, the annual profits were about 640,000 guilders a year;
Of fifty years to 1663 about 500,000 do.
Of sixty do. to 1673 750,000 do.
Of seventy do to 1683 670,000 do.
Of eighty do to 1693 600,000 do.

In the year 1696, the nett profit from the same year (1613) amounted to only 40,206,789 guilders, being full eight millions less than it had been in 1693, only three years preceding; and the average nett annual profit from 1613 was reduced to 484,371 guilders. But from 1697 to 1779, comprehending a like period of eighty-three years, the losses were so exorbitant as to overbalance and absorb, not only the contemporary, but all the preceding profits in Europe, and even a large amount[Vol I Pg xxvi] of fictitious profit stimulated to screen the government in India.

The nett amount of profits calculated from 1613, amounted

In 1697 to only 38,696,527
In 1703 31,674,645
In 1713 16,805,598
In 1723 4,838,925
In 1724 1,037,777

In 1730 there was already a total loss of 7,737,610, and in the year 1779 this loss amounted to 84,985,425.

The Company used to send yearly to India, before the commencement of the war of 1780, twenty ships of about nine hundred tons each, and eight or ten of about eight hundred tons each, which, to the number of twenty-two or twenty-three, returned with cargoes: four from China, three from Ceylon, three from Bengal, one from Coromandel, and twelve or thirteen from Batavia. They annually exported to India provisions and other articles of trade to the amount of two millions six or eight thousand florins, and in cash from four to six millions, and sold yearly to an amount generally of twenty or twenty-one millions; and it was estimated that the Indian trade maintained, directly and indirectly, all the external commerce of Holland, employing a capital of about two hundred and sixty millions of florins.

From the inquiries of a commission appointed by the government of Holland, in the year 1780, to ascertain the real state of the Company's finances, and to report how far the nation would be warranted in giving its further support to the credit of an institution which had so rapidly declined, it appeared that in 1789, the arrears of the Company amounted to seventy-four millions of florins, and that this amount had since increased to eighty-four or eighty-five millions, of which sum no less than 67,707,583 florins had been advanced by the nation.[Vol I Pg xxvii]

The Commissioners, however, being of opinion, that the affairs of the Company were not irretrievable, recommended a further loan of seven millions of florins.

A meritorious servant of the Company, Mr. C. Tetsingh, had offered to the Commissioners a memorial, in which he proposed that the Company should abandon the trade to private merchants under certain restrictions; but on this proposal the Commissioners stated that they were not then prepared to offer an opinion.

This Commission, in reporting upon the manner in which the Company's affairs had been managed in India, declared that "they could not conceal the deep impression which the same had made upon their minds, and that they could not fix their thoughts upon it, without being affected with sentiments of horror and detestation...." "When," said they, "we take a view of our chief possession and establishment, and when we attend to the real situation of the internal trade of India, the still increasing and exorbitant rate of the expenses, the incessant want of cash, the mass of paper money in circulation, the unrestrained peculations and faithlessness of many of the Company's servants, the consequent clandestine trade of foreign nations, the perfidy of the native princes, the weakness and connivance of the Indian government, the excessive expenses in the military department and for the public defence; in a word, when we take a view of all this collectively, we should almost despair of being able to fulfil our task, if some persons of great talents and ability among the directors had not stepped forward to devise means by which, if not to eradicate, at least to stop the further progress of corruption, and to prevent the total ruin of the Company."

The improvements proposed by the directors extended to every branch of the administration abroad. They proposed, first, with regard to the Cape of Good Hope, the yearly arrears of which settlement had latterly amounted to a million and a half of florins, that the same should be reduced to one[Vol I Pg xxviii] half of that sum. With regard to the further eastern possessions, the measures proposed for consideration were chiefly the following.

To confine the Company's future trade to opium, spices, pepper, Japan copper, tin, and sugar, as far as the European and Japan markets would require. To abandon the trade to Western India to the Company's servants and free merchants, under payment of a certain recognition. To abandon several factories in that quarter, and to reduce the rest to mere residencies. To make considerable reductions in the establishment on the coast of Malabar and in Bengal. To reduce the establishments on the coast of Coromandel to three factories. To abandon the establishments on the West coast of Sumatra, and to leave it open to a free trade. To diminish the expenses at Ceylon by a reduction of the military force, and by every other possible means to animate the cultivation and importation of rice into that settlement. To open a free trade and navigation to Bengal and Coromandel, under the superintendence of the Company, on paying a certain recognition. To encourage, by every means, the cultivation of rice in the easternmost possessions, and especially at Amboina and Banda, for the sake of preventing the inducements of a clandestine trade, which the importation of rice to those places might afford. To abandon several small factories to the eastward. To adopt a plan for the trade of Malacca proposed by Governor De Bruem. To introduce a general reduction of establishment at Batavia and elsewhere. To introduce new regulations with regard to the sale of opium at Batavia. To improve the Company's revenue, by a tax upon salaries and a duty upon collateral successions. And finally, to send out commissioners to India, with full powers to introduce a general reform in the administration.

In a memorial subsequently submitted by the Commissioners, which formed the basis of all the measures recommended and adopted at this time, for the better administration of affairs in India, after shewing that, from the year 1770 to[Vol I Pg xxix] 1780, the Company had on the whole of its trade and establishments on the coast of Coromandel, Bengal, Malabar, Surat, and the western coast of Sumatra, averaged a profit of only 119,554 florins a year, they recommended the introduction at Batavia of a public sale of the spices, Japan copper, and sugar, wanted for the consumption of Western India, and the establishment of a recognition of ten per cent. on the piece goods from Bengal, and of fifteen per cent. on the piece goods from Coromandel. Under such a plan of free trade, they calculated that, after the diminution of the Company's establishments in Western India, and the abolition of several small forts and factories to the eastward, it was highly probable that the administration in India would, in future, cover its own expenses, and thereby save the Company from utter ruin.

It was on these calculations that the Commissioners appointed by the States of Holland founded their hopes of the future relief of the Company, and with these prospects they closed their report, the care and future fate of the Company devolving from that time chiefly on the Commissioners appointed at their recommendation to proceed to India, in order to carry into effect, on the spot, the reforms proposed. Of these new Commissioners, Mr. Nederburg, then first advocate to the Company, was appointed the chief.

The Indian Commissioners sailed from Europe in the year 1791. At the Cape of Good Hope they made such changes and reforms as may be said to have fully effected the object of their commission. The importance, however, of the Cape being comparatively small, it is not necessary to enter into any detail of the measures adopted there. The more momentous part of their trust was undoubtedly to be discharged in India, where they arrived in 1793.

If the talents of these Commissioners were to be estimated by the benefits which resulted from their labours, we may safely pronounce them to have been incompetent to the task they had undertaken; but such a criterion cannot with any[Vol I Pg xxx] justice be applied. A continuance of peace with Great Britain was of course reckoned upon in all their calculations, and war with that power broke out almost immediately afterwards.

With regard to the abandonment of several forts and factories to the eastward, to which their attention had been particularly directed, the result of their deliberation and inquiry was, that the continuance of the Company's establishment on Celebes was indispensable for the protection of the Moluccas; that at Timor reductions had been made, in consequence of which the revenues covered the expenses; that after mature investigation the Japan trade was shewn to yield a nett profit of 200,000 florins; that with regard to the West Coast of Sumatra the revenues had been made to exceed the expenses, and the pepper collected in that neighbourhood left still some profit to the Company.

With respect to the institution of public sales at Batavia for Japan copper, spices, and sugar, on the introduction of which it was supposed the establishments in Western India might be for the most part reduced, they were of opinion, after deliberating with the Council of India, and after a personal inquiry into the actual state of the private trade at Batavia, that chiefly for the want of an adequate means among the purchasers such sales were entirely impracticable, and that it would therefore be preferable, after making some partial reductions in the expense, to continue the establishment in Bengal and the coast of Coromandel, but that Cochin on the Malabar coast might, perhaps, be advantageously abandoned[7].

To determine the mode in which the trade with India should in future be conducted, these Commissioners assumed a general calculation of the receipts and disbursements which would occur at home and abroad, on the supposition that the Company should, in future, navigate with hired vessels only,[Vol I Pg xxxi] and that all marine establishments should be abolished. The result of this calculation was in abstract as follows. The estimate may be considered as affording an interesting view of the hopes and prospects which were at that time entertained of the resources of the Eastern Islands.

The whole estimate was framed on the principles of monopoly, and with a view to an increase of the trade on the one hand, and a reduction of expenses on the other. The quantity of coffee stated at eighteen million pounds, was calculated upon the produce which might be expected after two years. In the calculation of the quantity of pepper, an augmentation of 1,500,000 pounds beyond the produce of the preceding year was anticipated, from the encouragement given to the growth of that article in Bantam and other parts of Java. With regard to the sugar, calculated at 8,000,000 of pounds for the home cargoes, it is stated, that the actual deliveries

From Batavia at that time amounted to 6,000,000 lbs.
From Chéribon 500,000
From other ports in Java 1,000,000
7,500,000 lbs.
Supposing therefore the home cargoes 8,000,000 lbs.
The demand for Surat 3,500,000
For Japan 900,000
For the consumption of the Company's own establishments 200,000
The quantity required would be 12,600,000 lbs.

Or 5,100,000 pounds more than the actual produce. The whole of that quantity, however, the Commissioners felt confident might be produced in three years, by encouraging the manufacture in the Eastern Districts of Java. Among the retrenchments was a tax upon the salaries of all civil servants, which reduced the average salary of each to the sum of fifteen Spanish dollars per month.[Vol I Pg xxxii]

Exclusively of the direct Trade to China, upon the Plan of the Commissioners of Inquiry, A. D. 1795.
Florins. Florins.
Public Duties 2,350,000 For the Surplus Expenses at the Cape of Good Hope 150,000
Freight on Company's vessels 50,000 For the same in Bengal 33,120
Additional public revenues 400,000 For the same at Surat 40,000
Profits on Trade in India:​— For the Military Expenses in India 2,571,314
Profit on opium 1,250,000 For Salaries to Civil Servants 1,000,000
Ditto on 12,880 pikuls tin, at 26 rix-dollars per pikul 228,000 For Ammunition, &c., 100,000
Ditto on 5,000 lbs. Mace 43,000 For Fortifications and Repairs 400,000
Ditto on 15,000 lbs. Nutmegs 90,000 For Sloops and minor Vessel 200,000
Ditto on 120,000 lbs. Cloves 420,000 For Hospital Expenses 100,000
Ditto on 730,000 lbs. Japan Copper 292,000 On Account of Confiscations 18,000
Total on Spices and Copper 845,000 For Presents to Native Princes 32,000
At Surat:​— Interest on Sums lent in India 100,000
On Sugar 190,000 For Stores and Goods shipped in India 200,000
On Camphor 10,000 For eventual Losses 100,000
On Tin 18,000 For the Purchase of the Produce in India 4,519,400
218,000 For Insurance at five per cent. on the Money sent to India 212,700
In Japan, on divers Europe and Indian articles 76,000 For Freight on Returns of Homeward-bound Cargoes 3,300,000
2,617,000 Insurance and Risk of the Sea in India 200,000
And for Sundries at the coast of Coromandel 33,000 For Freight of Tonnage in India 699,030
2,650,000 For Freight for 2,320 Men, to complete the Military and Civil Establishment in India 219,240
For the produce of the Indian Returns in Europe:​— For the Passage home of 450 men 28,350
Coffee, 18,000,000 lbs., deduct Wastage, &c. is 16,000,000 lbs. at 8½ stivers per lb. 6,813,281 Bounty Money to 2,020 military men 303,000
Pepper, 3,765,000 lbs., deducting Wastage, &c. is 3,263,789 lbs. at 12 stivers per lb. 1,958,273 Premiums to 300 civil servants 60,000
Tin, 530,000 lbs. deducting Wastage, &c. is 490,913 lbs. at 40 florins per cwt. 196,365 Recognition to the Admiralty 360,000[Vol I Pg xxxiii]
Cotton Yarn, 60,000 lbs., or nett 57,000 lbs., at 35 stivers per lb. 99,750 Contribution to the same 500,000
Indigo, 30,750 lbs. deducting Wastage, &c. is 27,645 lbs. at 80 stivers per lb. 110,580 Total Expenses of the Company's Establishments at home 1,000,000
Sugar, 8,000,000 lbs. deducting Wastage, &c. is 7,068,000 lbs. at 10 stivers per lb. 1,767,000 Yearly Interest to be paid 4,758,000
Saltpetre, 1,650,000 lbs. deducting Wastage, &c. is 1,285,350 lbs. at 30 florins per cwt. is 385,605 Dividends at 12½ per cent. to the Holders of Stock 831,000
Sappan Wood, 600,000 lbs. or nett 513,000 lbs. at 12 florins per cwt. 61,560 22,035,154
Cowries, 160,000 lbs. or nett 101,460 lbs. at 8 stivers per lb. 40,584 Balance 1,052,379
Camphor, 64,000 lbs. or nett 56,344 lbs. at 23 stivers per lb. 65,025 |
Cardamons, Java, 22,000 lbs. or nett 18,810 lbs. at 20 stivers per lb. 18,810 |
Tamarinds, 115,000 lbs. 43,700 |
Arrack, 140 leagers 46,000 |
Cinnamon, 400,000 lbs. at 5 florins per lb. 2,000,000 |
Cloves, 250,000 lbs. at 65 stivers per lb. 812,500 |
Mace, 110,000 lbs. 937,500 |
Nutmegs, 320,000 lbs. 561,000 |
Bengal Piece Goods 970,000 |
Surat do. do. 550,000 |
17,437,533 |
For Freight and Recognition on Private Trade 200,000 |
Total Florins 23,087,533 Total Florins 23,087,533
[Vol I Pg xxxiv]

These Commissioners seemed to entertain no very favourable ideas of the benefits which would arise to private trade from the license it already enjoyed. As a measure much more beneficial to the general trade of Europe and to the Company, they proposed, in lieu of it, to throw open to individuals, under certain restrictions, the trade and navigation from Europe to Bengal and Coromandel.

Thus we see these Commissioners sent out with the view of introducing something like free trade on Java, coming to a resolution to take away from it even the little private trade which it had previously been allowed to enjoy.

The Company's trade with continental India had already been so much encroached upon by foreigners, that it was judged expedient no longer to exclude the Dutch free trader from his share in the spoil; but it was hoped, by increased strictness, to preserve entire to the Company the exclusive trade in spices, Javan coffee, pepper as far as it was the produce of her own possessions, Japan copper, the opium which was consumed in Java and in the Moluccas, and Javan sugar.

The trade of the Dutch Company has thus been brought to the period, when its monopoly was proposed to be almost exclusively confined to Java and the Eastern Islands, including Japan. The causes which operated to destroy the Dutch influence on the continent of India, are too well known to require any particular description.

The Dutch had long maintained a decisive superiority, as well on the continent of Asia, as among the Indian islands, until the active exertions of their competitors in trade succeeded in undermining and overturning their monopoly; and as it was natural their weak side should suffer first, it was on the continent, where their establishments were far removed from the chief seat of government, and where they had not been able to insure to themselves those exclusive privileges from the princes of the country which they had exacted from the weaker princes of the Eastern Islands, that other nations,[Vol I Pg xxxv] chiefly the French and English, first endeavoured to introduce themselves.

After reciprocal jealousies had for some time prevented both nations from making any considerable progress, a successful war at last turned the scale entirely in favour of the English, whose influence, from that period, has been paramount in continental India, and the Dutch East India Company was no longer able to enforce its system of exclusive trade there.

Without inquiring into the practicability of realizing the flattering estimate made out by the Indian Commissioners, or the policy which dictated a still more rigorous monopoly of the produce of the Eastern Islands, it ought to be remarked, although it seems never to have been adverted to by the Commissioners, whose calculations and plans were exclusively of a commercial nature, that the original situation of the Company as a mere mercantile body, looking out for trade and not dominion, had undergone a material alteration, by the acquisition it had made from the middle of the last century of considerable territorial possessions, especially on the island of Java.

To use the words of one of the most enlightened men who now adorns his country, and is prepared to give energy to a better state of things[8], "these territorial acquisitions became to the Company a source of new relations. In consequence of them, new rights were acquired and obligations of a novel kind were contracted, as well with regard to the territories themselves as the population upon them. The nature of these rights and duties might have been deemed worth inquiry; and as all these territorial acquisitions were made by a delegated authority derived from the government at home, it was further worthy of investigation how far the government itself was entitled to a direct share in the acquisitions made, and how far it was bound to controul [Vol I Pg xxxvi]and superintend the exercise of those duties which were newly contracted. A consideration of these points would have led to the important question, how far, on a renewal of the Company's charter, it would be requisite to alter and modify its conditions according to existing circumstances, and especially how far it would have been expedient, in future, to leave the Company the exclusive trade, and at the same time the uncontrolled sovereignty over the same country."

But however natural it may be, at the present moment, to consider questions of this kind, it was perhaps at that time beyond the common course of human thought to entertain doubts on the subject. From an honourable regard for ancient institutions, the mercantile system of the Company was still considered with reverence and respect; it had been at all times the boast and pride of the nation; the services which the Company had rendered to the state in its earlier days, and the immense benefits which the government had been enabled, by its means, to spread among the community at large, had rendered the East India Company and all its privileges, objects of peculiar care and tenderness. The rights of sovereignty which the Company afterwards acquired, were obtained by degrees and almost imperceptibly. Every acquisition of the kind had been considered, at the time, merely as the means of increasing its mercantile profits, and all its territorial rights were looked upon as subservient to its mercantile system.

In consequence of these ideas, after the whole of the northern and eastern coast of Java had been added to the Company's territorial dominions, by a cession in the year 1749, no step seems to have been taken for improving these acquisitions, by any direct use of the supremacy obtained. Some contracts were instituted with the native chiefs, for delivering gratis, or at the lowest possible price, such articles as would serve the Company's investments at home; but[Vol I Pg xxxvii] taxation, the levy of produce, and the management of police and justice in the inferior courts, were left to the care and conscience of the natives themselves.

Arguments in favour of this system may perhaps be drawn from the respect due to the native usages and institutions, and from a supposed want of power, on the part of the Company, to assume any direct controul over the native population. But whatever influence these ideas may have had on the conduct of the Company, it may be affirmed that an European government, aiming only to see right and justice administered to every class of the population, might and ought to have maintained all the native usages and institutions, not inconsistent with those principles; and that the power, for want of which it withheld its interference, would have been supplied and confirmed by the act of exercising the power which it possessed, and by the resources it might have been the means of drawing from the country.

Considering, therefore, the propensity inherent in every native authority to abuse its influence, and to render it oppressive to the population at large; the ascendancy of Europeans in general, even over the class of native chieftains; the scantiness of many of the establishments proposed in the plan of the Indian Commissioners; the manifest inadequacy of the remuneration of the civil servants which it recommended, and the narrow scale on which all expenses were calculated; no very durable benefits could have been reasonably expected from it. The discretionary power being left in the hands of the native chieftains, the whole of the lower class of the population would have remained at their disposal; the ascendancy of the European servants would have subjected both to peculations, which the insufficiency of their salaries would constantly have tempted them to practice; the administration of justice not meeting with a proper remuneration would have been ineffectual, perhaps corrupt; the reduction of the[Vol I Pg xxxviii] military establishment would have left the possessions an easy prey to the first invader; and the original sources of the Company's revenues in India remaining the same, it seems probable, that in a short time, the same scenes which had hitherto met with so much reprobation, would have been acted over again, and to a still more disgraceful extent.

But of whatever merit might have been the plans suggested by the Commissioners in India on the 4th July, 1795, the calamities which had already befallen the mother country were followed by an event, which it seems the Commissioners had hardly dared to suspect, and which, in every case, would have frustrated all their designs. This was the dissolution of the Company, in consequence of a resolution taken to that effect on the 24th December, by the body then representing the government of the United States of Holland.

New views of policy were of course suggested by this important change. In the year 1800 there appeared a small volume, entitled "A Description of Java and of its principal Productions, shewing the Advantages to be derived therefrom under a better Administration, by Mr. Dirk Van Hogendorp," in which the writer, after observing that the true state of Java and its importance to the mother country had hitherto been little known, or at least that no correct ideas had yet been formed in Holland with regard to its value, fertility, population, and advantageous situation for trade, establishes,

"1. That the system on which the trade in India had hitherto been conducted and the possessions administered, was no longer good under present circumstances, but contained in itself the seeds of decline and ruin.

"2. That the exclusive trade was in its nature injurious, and naturally caused the ruin of the colonies.

"3. That under a different system, those colonies would flourish, and yield much greater advantages than ever.[Vol I Pg xxxix]

"4. That a revenue, founded on the principles of freedom of trade, property in the soil, and equality of imposts, could be easily introduced.

"5. And finally, that all the benefits which would thereby accrue to the mother country, from the territorial revenue, the duties on trade, the industry and wealth for which that trade would furnish employment, and the treasures which the distribution of produce throughout Europe must bring into the mother country, would greatly exceed the highest advantages that could be calculated upon, even under the most favourable prospects, by the means of the fallen Company or a continuation of its former system."

Many parts of this pamphlet abound in violence and invective, and others are too highly coloured; but with these exceptions, it may be safely asserted that it contains a more correct view of the state of society, and of the resources of the country, than any paper which had preceded it, and the author is most justly entitled to all the credit of having chalked out to his countrymen the road to honour and prosperity, in the future administration of the Dutch East-Indian colonies.

Having, in the course of the foregoing sketch of the decline and fall of the Dutch East-India Company, exhibited a statement of these resources, under the mercantile system of the Company, it may be interesting also to state what, in the opinion of Mr. Hogendorp, the island of Java alone was capable of affording eventually, under a system founded on the principles of property in the soil, freedom of cultivation and trade, and the impartial administration of justice according to equal rights. "When the exclusive and oppressive trade of the Company, the forced deliveries, the feudal services, in short, the whole system of feudal government, is done away with, and when the effects of this important revolution are felt in the certain increase of cultivation and trade, then," observes Mr. Hogendorp, "the limits of pro[Vol I Pg xl]bability will by no means be exceeded, in estimating the aggregate of the revenues of Java, in progress of time, at twelve millions of rix-dollars, or twenty-four millions of guilders, annually."

This statement, calculated with reference to the comparative produce of the West India Islands, has been generally considered by the colonists as exhibiting a very exaggerated view, of what the island could, under any circumstances, afford, and by many as too wild a speculation to deserve attention; but to this it should be added, that the plan on which it was founded, viz. an entire change in the internal management of the country, was considered as equally wild and romantic by those who declaimed the loudest against the possibility of these advantages accruing, and that notwithstanding the doubts then entertained of its practicability, that measure has been actually carried into effect, without producing any one of the consequences depicted by the advocates of the old system, and as far as a judgment can yet be formed, with all the advantages anticipated by Mr. Hogendorp.

It is not surprising to find, that the enlightened views of this writer were never acted upon, when we find it asserted by a commission, who sat at the Hague in 1803, composed of the highest, and perhaps best qualified persons in the state of Holland, and of which he was himself a member (of course a dissenting one), that "it appeared to them to have been admitted generally, and without contradiction, that according to ancient regulations, of which the first institution was lost even among the Javans themselves, the manner in which that people are used to live rests on principles, with which a free and unlimited disposition of the ground and its productions is absolutely inconsistent; that they were, for their parts, convinced that such a change could not be effected, without causing a general fermentation among all classes of people; that though, in this case, violent mea[Vol I Pg xli]sures might suppress an insurrection, they would rather advise to bid an eternal farewell to Java, than to resort to such means; that if they adverted to the question in a commercial point of view, the same uncertainty, the same dangers presented themselves. These arose from the natural disinclination of the Javan to work, which has been observed by many eminent persons; the danger of new monopolies, which would fall heavier upon the common people than the present forced deliveries; the exorbitant charges to support a great number of native chiefs and priests, who are at present provided for and ought to be supported; an undoubted deficiency in the revenues, and a considerable expenditure during the first years, without the probability of a remedy. All this," say they, "seems to forebode a neglect of the cultivation; and after long and laborious researches, we are compelled to lay it down as a general principle, that property, of the soil among the common Javans, and the abolition of public services, cannot be adopted as the basis of an improvement, of which the internal management of Java would be susceptible. The contingents and forced deliveries ought therefore to be continued and received on account of the state, which has succeeded to the prerogatives of the former Company[9]."

Marshal Daendels, who was recalled from the government of Java only a few months before the British conquest, and who was by far the most active and energetic governor who had for a long time been at the head of the colony, has written an account of his own administration, of the state in which he found the island, of the measures he proposed and executed, of the improvements which he projected or carried into effect, of the revenues that might be expected, and of the expenditure[Vol I Pg xlii] that the public service required. Although he enters into some free and bold strictures on the conduct of the Commissioners, the estimates they formed, and the policy they recommended, he does not seem himself to have avoided many of the faults which rendered their policy objectionable, or to have entertained any hope of establishing a more liberal system. Forced services and contingents, and all the tyranny which they render necessary, still constituted the greatest part of the ways and means of the colonial treasury, and the grand source of profits for the Company.

The difficulties he had to struggle with, and the peculiar habits and character formed by his profession, seem to have determined his proceedings, more than any matured scheme of general administration, or any deliberate principles of government. He thus describes the situation of the colony on his arrival: "A powerful enemy threatened us by sea, and the Javan princes, acquiring audacity in proportion as they saw proofs of our weakness, thought the moment had arrived for prescribing the law to their former superiors. The very existence of our dominions on Java was thus in the greatest danger. Our internal resources of finance were exhausted, while a stagnation of trade, caused by the blockade of our shores, cut off all hopes of procuring assistance from without. In the midst of such disastrous circumstances, and the failure of so many attempts to introduce reform, and to maintain the dignity of government, I found it necessary to place myself above the usual formalities, and to disregard every law, but that which enjoined the preservation of the colony entrusted to my management. The verbal order which I received, at my departure from Holland, had this for its object, and the approbation bestowed upon my attempts to carry it into execution, encouraged me in the course of proceeding which I had began."

The situation in which the Marshal found the colony is justly drawn; but the result of his operations, and the condi[Vol I Pg xliii]tion in which he left the government to his successor, are described in colours by far too flattering. His partiality for his own work, and the consciousness of having made great exertions to accomplish it, seems to have influenced his mind too easily, in convincing him of the advantage and success of the measures he had adopted. "In spite," says he, "of all the obstacles I encountered, I obtained the following results. I made the general government the centre of authority, from which every inferior authority descended in a determined proportion, with a definite responsibility and a salutary controul. Into all the local and subordinate administrations, clearness and simplicity were introduced; agriculture was encouraged, protected, and extended; general industry was promoted; the administration of justice and of the police was put on a sure footing; the means of defence were increased as much as possible; many works were undertaken, both for the service of government and other useful ends; new roads were made and old ones improved; the condition of all the inhabitants, as well native as European, was ameliorated, and every cause of misunderstanding removed; the relations of the colonial government with the courts of the native princes were regulated on principles, conformable to the dignity, and conducive to the interests of the former; and, in fine, the revenues of the colony were so augmented, that after every deduction for internal expenditure, they will furnish a surplus of five millions, free of all charge, as a nett return to Holland."

Marshal Daendels, in his memoir, sufficiently showed the fallacy contained in the report of the Commissioners, concerning the estimated revenue and profits of the Company. Instead of the receipt of 1,250,000 florins, accruing from the profit of the sale of opium (as marked in the table which I have transcribed), he assures us that not one farthing was actually obtained. Many of the conclusions of the Commissioners, concerning the temper of the inhabitants, the[Vol I Pg xliv] nature of the soil of particular districts, and the general resources of the island, he satisfactorily proved to be founded on erroneous information or mistake; and it is only to be regretted, that he did not carry the same spirit of impartiality into the formation of his own reports, which he requires in those of his predecessors, or anticipates from his successors, an examination equally rigorous, and a measure of justice equally strict as that to which they were subjected. Had this been the case, we should not have been offered such financial results as make the revenue of the island amount to 10,789,000 rix-dollars, and its expenditure only 5,790,000, leaving a balance of five millions of profit. It may be interesting to compare his estimate with the table already exhibited.[Vol I Pg xlv]

Rix-dollars. Rix-dollars.
Rent of land 2,000,000 Civil appointments 1,000,000
Produce of land unfarmed 500,000 Land forces 1,227,000
Sale of opium[10] 1,120,000 Manufactory of powder, foundery of balls, and arsenals 180,000
Money 360,000 Hospitals 80,000
Coffee, 300,000 pikuls, at 20 rix-dollars 4,500,000 Marine 250,000
Pepper, 30,000 pikuls 160,000 Fortifications, &c. 200,000
Tin, 35,000 pikuls 400,000 New works 400,000
Japan Copper, 25,000 pikuls 250,000 Justice and police 150,000
Spices 1,000,000 Transports and freights 300,000
Forests 250,000 Transport of Company's servants, recruits, &c. from Europe 300,000
Sale of rice 250,000 Purchase of native articles 300,000
Package 100,000
Interest 400,000
Unforeseen charges 903,000
10,790,000 Which being subtracted from 10,790,000
Leaves a nett profit,

[Vol I Pg xlvi]


[2] Barros, Decada 3, chap. 6, book 3.

[3] Probably Grésik.

[4] Barros, Decada 3, book 5, chapter 6.

[5] Barros, Decada 3, book 5, chap. 7.

[6] The following is the description of Java from Jono de Barros, Decada 4, book 1, chap. 12.

"Before we treat of the expedition of Francisco de Sa, it is proper to state the occasion of the expedition, and how that was connected with the treaty of peace and friendship which, by order of Jorge de Albuquerque, governor of Malacca, Henriquez Lerne concluded with the King of Sunda, on account of the pepper produce in that kingdom.

"We must, therefore, first give an account of the voyage of Henriquez Lerne. The kingdom of Sunda being one of those of the island of Java, it will be best to begin with a general description of that island, that what follows may be understood.

"The land of Java we consider as two islands, whose position is from east to west, and nearly in the same parallel, in seven or eight degrees of south latitude. The total length of the two islands, according to the best authorities, is about one hundred and eighty leagues, although perhaps this is rather exaggerated.

"The Javans themselves do not divide the land into two islands, but consider the whole length as constituting only one; and on the west, where it approaches Sumatra, there is a channel of ten or twelve leagues wide, through which all the navigation of eastern and western India used to pass, previous to the founding of Malacca.

"A chain of very high mountains runs along the whole length of Java. Their distance from the northern coast is about twenty-five leagues. How far they are from the southern shore is not certainly known, though the natives say about as far as from the northern.

"Sunda, of which we are now to treat, is situated at about one-third of the total length of Java from the west end. The natives of Sunda consider themselves as separated from Java by a river, called Chiamo or Chenan, little known to our navigators; so that the natives, in dissecting Java, speak of it as separated by this river Chiamo from the island of Sunda on the west, and on the east by a strait from the island of Báli; as having Madura on the north, and on the south an undiscovered sea; and they think that whoever shall proceed beyond those straits, will be hurried away by strong currents, so as never to be able to return, and for this reason they never attempt to navigate it, in the same manner as the Moors on the eastern coast of Africa do not venture to pass the Cape of Currents."

The following is the substance of a note inserted in Jono de Barros, Decadas, p. 76-77, vol. 4, part 1st, 8vo. Lisbon 1777.

"The island of Java is divided into many kingdoms along the northern coast; and beginning to the eastward, those of which we have any account are​—Paneruca, Ovalle, Agasai, Paniao (whose king resides in the interior, and has a supremacy over those just mentioned), Beredam, Sodaio, Tubam, Cajoam, Japara (the capital of this kingdom is called Cheronhama, three leagues from the sea coast, near to which Japara is situated), Damo, Margam, and Matarem.

"In the mountainous interior live a numerous class of chiefs, called Gunos: they are a savage race, and eat human flesh. The first inhabitants were Siamese, who about the year 800 of the Christian era, on their passage from Siam to Macassar were driven by a great storm on the island of Báli. Their junk being wrecked they escaped in their boat, and arrived at Java, until that period undiscovered; but which, on account of its size and fertility was immediately peopled by Passara, son of the king of Siam: and the city of Passaraan, called after his own name, was founded at a very good seaport, and this was the first settlement on the island.

"The Javans are proud, brave, and treacherous, and so vindictive, that for any slight offence (and they consider as the most unpardonable the touching their forehead with your hand) they declare amok to revenge it. They navigate much to every part of the Eastern Archipelago, and say that formerly they used to navigate the ocean as far as the island of Madagascar (St. Laurence).

"The city of Bintam, or Banta, which is in the middle of the opening of the straits of Sunda, stands in the centre of a large bay, which from point to point may be about three leagues wide, the bottom good, and the depth of water from two to six fathoms. A river of sufficient depth for junks and galleys, falls into this bay, and divides the town into two parts. On one side of the town there is a fort, built of sun-dried bricks: the walls are about seven palms thick, the bulwarks of wood, well furnished with artillery.

"The island of Sunda is more mountainous than Java. It has six good sea-ports: Chiamo, at the extremity of the island; Chacatara, or Caravam; Tangaram, Cheginde, Pandang, and Bintam, which have a great traffic, on account of the trade carried on, not only with Java, but with Malacca and Sumatra.

"The principal city of this kingdom is called Daro, situated a little towards the interior, and we are assured that when Henriquez Lerne first visited it, this town had upwards of fifty thousand inhabitants, and that the kingdom had upwards of one hundred thousand fighting men.

"The soil is very rich. An inferior gold, of six carats, is found. There is abundance of butcher's meat, game and provisions, and tamarinds which serve the natives for vinegar. The inhabitants are not very warlike, much addicted to their idolatries, and hate the Mahomedans, and particularly since they were conquered by the Sangue Páti Dama.

"Here four or five thousand slaves may be purchased, on account of the numerous population, and its being lawful for the father to sell the children. The women are handsome, and those of the nobles chaste, which is not the case with those of the lower classes. There are monasteries or convents for the women, into which the nobles put their daughters, when they cannot match them in marriage according to their wishes. The married women, when their husbands die, must, as a point of honour, die with them, and if they should be afraid of death they are put into the convents.

"The kingdom descends from father to son, and not from uncle to nephew, (son of the sister), as among the Malabars and other infidels in India.

"They are fond of rich arms, ornamented with gold and inlaid work. Their krises are gilt, and also the point of their lances. Many other particulars might be added (but we reserve them for our geography[11]), concerning the productions of this island, in which upwards of thirty thousand quintals of pepper are collected annually."

Decad. iv. Chapter 13.

"In the year 1522, Jorge Albuquerque, governor of Malacca, equipped a vessel to carry Henriquez Lerne, with a competent suite and certain presents, to the king Samiam above mentioned, for the purpose of establishing a commercial intercourse. Lerne was well received by the king, who was fully sensible of the importance of such a connection, in the war in which he was then engaged with the Moors (Mahomedans); and, therefore, he requested that, for the protection of the trade, the king of Portugal should erect a fortress, and that he would load as many ships as he chose with pepper, in return for such merchandise as the country required. And further, he (the king) obliged himself, as a pledge of his friendship, to give him annually a thousand bags of pepper, from the day on which the building of the fortress should commence.

"These things being concluded and presents exchanged, Lerne returned to Malacca, where he was well received by Albuquerque, who immediately communicated the result to the king of Portugal, who approved of all that had been done.

"Francisco de Sá was in consequence dispatched with six vessels (the names of which and of their commanders are enumerated), with which he called at Malacca, and accompanied the expedition against Bintam (then in the possession of the expelled king of Malacca), on leaving which he was overtaken by a dreadful storm, and one of his vessels, commanded by Dironte Coelho, reached the port of Calapa (where the fort was to be built), where she was driven on shore, and all the crew perished by the hands of the Moors (Mahomedans), who were then masters of the country, having a few days before taken the town from the native king, who had concluded the treaty with the King of Portugal, and given him the site on which to erect the fortress.

"But although the intended establishment on Java was thus frustrated, the Portuguese continued to have intercourse with that island, at which they frequently touched on their voyage to and from the Moluccas."

Decad. iv. Book i. Chapter 14.

"In August, 1626, Antonio de Britto, on his return from Ternati to Malacca, touched at the port of Paneruca, where he found his countryman, Jono de Moreno, who had twenty Malay junks under his command. From thence he proceeded to the town of Tagasam, whose inhabitants were at war with the Portuguese, and had captured a junk laden with cloves, which he had dispatched to Malacca, and they even attempted to take the vessel in which he himself was, which occasioned his quitting that place, having however first captured a junk laden with provisions."

Decad. iv. Book i. Chapter 17.

"In July, 1528, Don Garcia Henriquez appears to have touched at the port of Paneruca, (Panarukan) for the purpose of taking in provisions on his way to Malacca; and it also appears, that the king or chief of Paneruca sent ambassadors to the Portuguese governor of Malacca in the same year 1528."

The following is the substance of a description of Java from the Decada of Diego de Couto.​—Decad. iv. Book iii. Chapter i.

Couto describes the wreck of a Portuguese vessel, and the destruction of her crew by the Moors, who had just become masters of the kingdom of Sunda, in nearly the same words as Barros. He then proceeds to state, that Francis de Sá ran before the storm along the coast of Java, and collected his scattered vessels in the port of Paneruca, and gives a general description of Java in nearly the following words.

"But it will be proper to give a concise description of this country, and to shew which were the Greater and the Lesser Java of Marco Polo, and clear up the confusion which has prevailed among modern geographers on this subject.

"The figure of the island of Java resembles a hog couched on its fore legs, with its snout to the channel of Balaberao, and its hind legs towards the mouth of the Straits of Sunda, which is much frequented by our ships. This island lies directly east and west; its length about one hundred and sixty, and its breadth about seventy leagues.

"The southern coast (hog's back) is not frequented by us, and its bays and ports are not known; but the northern coast (hog's belly) is much frequented, and has many good ports: and although there are many shoals, yet the channels and the anchorages are so well known, that but few disasters happen.

"There are many kingdoms along the maritime parts, some of them subordinate to the others; and beginning at the east (head of the hog), we will set down the names of such as are known: Ovalle, Paneruca, Agasai, Sodayo, Paniao (whose sovereign resides thirty leagues inland, and is a kind of emperor over these and others hereafter mentioned), Tabao, Berdoao, Cajoao, Japara (whose principal city or town is called Cerinhama, three leagues inland, while Japara is situated on the sea shore), Damo, Margao, Banta, Sunda, Andreguir (where there is much pepper, which is exported by a river called Jande). In the mountainous interior there are many kings, called Gunos; they live among rugged mountains, are savage and brutal, and many of them eat human flesh."

"These mountains are exceedingly high, and some of them emit flames like the island of Ternati. Every one of these kingdoms which we have named has a language of its own; yet they mutually understand each other, as we do the Spaniards and Galicians.

"The kingdom of Sunda is thriving and abundant; it lies between Java and Sumatra, having between it and the latter the Straits of Sunda. Many islands lie along the coast of this kingdom within the Straits, for nearly the space of forty leagues, which in the widest are about twenty-five, and in others only twelve leagues broad. Banta is about the middle distance. All the islands are well timbered, but have little water. A small one, called Macar, at the entrance of the Straits, is said to have much gold.

"The principal ports of the kingdom of Sunda are Banta, Aché, Chacatara (or, by another name, Caravao), to which every year resort about twenty Sommas, which are a kind of vessel belonging to Chienhec (Cochin China), out of the maritime provinces of China, to load pepper. For this kingdom produces eight thousand bahars, which are equal to thirty thousand quintals of pepper annually.

"Bantam is situated in six degrees of south latitude, in the middle of a fine bay, which is three leagues from point to point. The town in length, stretching landward, is eight hundred and fifty fathoms, and the seaport extends about four hundred. A river capable of admitting junks and galleys, flows through the middle of the town: a small branch of this river admits boats and small craft.

"There is a brick fort, the walls of which are seven palms thick, with wooden bulwarks, armed with two tiers of artillery. The anchorage is good; in some places a muddy, in others a sandy bottom, the depth from two to six fathoms.

"The King, Don John, conceiving that if he had a fortress in this situation he should be master of the Straits, and of all the pepper of those kingdoms, recommended it strongly to the lord admiral to have a fort built by Francisco de Sa; and even now it would be perhaps still more important as well for the purpose of defending the entrance against the English and the Turks, as for the general security of the trade and commerce of those parts, which is the principal value of India. And it was the opinion of our forefathers, that if the king possessed three fortresses, one in this situation, one on Acheen head, and one on the coast of Pegu, the navigation of the east would in a manner be locked by these keys, and the king would be lord of all its riches; and they gave many reasons in support of their opinions, which we forbear to repeat, and return to Java.

"The island of Java is abundantly furnished with every thing necessary to human life; so much so, that from it Malacca, Acheen, and other neighbouring countries, derive their supplies.

"The natives, who are called Jaos (Javans), are so proud that they think all mankind their inferiors; so that, if a Javan were passing along the street, and saw a native of any other country standing on any hillock or place raised higher than the ground on which he was walking, if such person did not immediately come down until he should have passed, the Javan would kill him, for he will permit no person to stand above him; nor would a Javan carry any weight or burthen on his head, even if they should threaten him with death.

"They are a brave and determined race of men, and for any slight offence will run amok to be revenged; and even if they are run through and through with a lance, they will advance until they close with their adversary.

"The men are expert navigators, in which they claim priority of all others; although many give the honour to the Chinese, insisting that they preceded the Javans. But it is certain that the Javans have sailed to the Cape of Good Hope, and have had intercourse with the island of Madagascar on the off side, where there are many people of a brown colour, and a mixed Javan race, who descend from them."

Then follows the refutation of a ridiculous story told by Nicolas Couti, the Venetian, about a tree that produced a rod of gold in its pith, at which some well informed Javans, of whom Couti inquired, laughed very heartily.

"Marco Polo mentions the greater and the lesser Java. We are of opinion, that the Java of which we are treating is the lesser, and that the island of Sumatra is the greater Java; for he says that the greater Java is two thousand miles in circumference, and that the north star is not visible, and that it has eight kingdoms, Taleh, Basma, Camara, Dragojao, Lambri Farafur, from which it is very clear that he means Sumatra, for it has nearly the dimensions which he assigns it. The north pole is not visible, as this island lies under the equinoctial line, which is not the case with any of the islands situated to the northward, on all of which the north star is seen: and it is still more evident from the names of the kingdoms, for there cannot be a doubt that Camara is the same as Camatra (the ç being soft like s). Dragojao (which is pronounced Dragojang) or Andreguir, and Lambri, still retain their names on that island."

[7] This is the factory which by the recent convention has been exchanged with England for the Island of Banka.

[8] Mr. Muntinghe.

[9] Report of a Committee appointed to investigate East India affairs made to the Government of the Batavian Republic, dated 31st of August 1803, consisting of Messrs. Murman, Sic, Ponloe, Verbuell, D. Van Hogendorp, Nederburgh, and Voute.

[10] In a note on this source of revenue, Marshal Daendels says that he is sensible of the evils arising from the use of this drug, but that the Javans are so addicted to it, that no prospect of success could be entertained from any project for reducing its consumption. Yet even while he is making this observation, he tells us that the Commissioners fixed the sale at 1,200 chests, and that he in his estimate has only taken it at 800. It was afterwards reduced to less than 300 chests, without any fear of disturbance or any danger of illicit trade.

[11] Barros often alludes to his Treatise on Geography, in which he had described particularly all the countries mentioned in his Decadas; but it never was published, having been left in an imperfect state at his death.[Vol I Pg xlvii]


Dedication iii
Preface vii
Introduction xiii
Geographical Situation of Java​—Name​—Extent and Form​—Divisions​—Harbours​—Mountains and Volcanos​—Rivers and Lakes​—General appearance of the Country​—Mineralogical Constitution​—Seasons and Climate​—Metals​—Minerals​—Soil​—Vegetable and Animal Kingdoms 1
Origin of the Natives​—Javans compared with the Maláyus and Búgis​—Comparative Progress of the three Races​—Foreign Influence​—Persons of the Natives​—Manners​—Population​—Inequality of it accounted for​—Population Tables​—Increase of Population​—Foreign Settlers​—Chinese​—Búgis​—Maláyus​—Moors​—Arabs​—Slaves​—Gradations of rank among the Javans​—Their Habitations, Dress, and Food 62
Importance of Agriculture to Java​—Soil​—State of the Peasantry​—Price of Rice​—Subsistence of the Peasantry​—Dwellings​—Agricultural Stock​—Implements of Farming​—Seasons​—Different kinds of Land​—Rice Cultivation​—Maize, &c.​—Sugar​—Coffee​—Pepper​—Indigo​—Cotton​—Tobacco​—Tenure of landed Property 117
Manufactures​—Handicrafts​—Bricks​—Thatch​—Mats​—Cotton Cloths​—Dyes​—Tanning​—Ropes​—Metals​—Boat and Ship-building​—Paper​—Salt​—Saltpetre Works​—Gunpowder, &c.​—Felling and transporting of Teak Timber​—Fisheries 182[Vol I Pg xlviii]
Commerce​—Advantageous Situation of Java for Commercial Intercourse​—Importance of Batavia in particular​—Native Trade​—Roads and Inland Carriage​—Markets​—Influence of the Chinese​—Coasting Trade​—Exports and Imports​—Trade with the Archipelago​—China​—Kamtschatka​—Western India​—Europe, &c.​—Dutch Commercial Regulations​—State of the Eastern Islands​—Advantages which they possess​—Causes of the Depression of the Nations and Tribes which inhabit them​—Japan Trade 210
Character of the Inhabitants of Java​—Difference between the Súndas and the Javans​—The Lower Orders​—The Chiefs​—Nature of the Native Government​—Different Officers of State​—Judicial Establishments and Institutions​—Laws, and how administered​—Police Institutions and Regulations​—Military Establishments​—Revenue 272
Ceremonies of the Court​—Deference paid to superior Rank​—Regalia​—Processions​—Pomp​—Rank and Titles​—Ambassadors​—Ceremonies attending Births, Marriages, and Funerals​—Account of the People called Kálang, and of the Inhabitants of the Téng'ger Mountains​—The Bedui​—Festivals​—Amusements​—The Drama​—Wáyangs​—The Dance​—Tournaments​—The Chase​—Tiger Fights​—Combat of Criminals with Tigers​—Bull Fights, &c.​—Games of Skill and Chance​—Other Customs and Usages 343
Language​—Little known to Europeans​—Different Languages or Dialects​—Those of Súnda, Madúra, and Báli, compared with that of Java Proper​—The polite Language, or Language of Honour​—The Kawi, or Sacred and Classic Language​—Numerals​—Chandra Sangkala​—Literature​—Compositions in the Kawi Language, and in the modern Javan​—Influence of Hindu Literature​—Introduction of Arabic Literature​—Poetry​—The Brata Yudha, a Poem​—Music​—Painting​—Sculpture​—Architecture​—Arithmetic​—Astronomy 396




[Vol I Pg 1]


Geographical Situation of Java​—Name​—Extent and Form​—Divisions​—Harbours​—Mountains and Volcanos​—Rivers and Lakes​—General Appearance of the Country​—Mineralogical Constitution​—Seasons and Climate​—Metals​—Minerals​—Soil​—Vegetable and Animal Kingdoms.

The country known to Europeans under the name of Java, or Java Major, and to the natives under those of Tána (the land) Jáwa, or Núsa (the island) Jáwa, is one of the largest of what modern geographers call the Sunda Islands. It is sometimes considered one of the Malayan Islands, and forms a part of that division of the Oriental Archipelago which it has been lately proposed to designate as the Asiatic Isles. It extends eastward, with a slight deviation to the south, from 105° 11´ to 114° 33´ of longitude east of Greenwich, and lies between the latitudes 5° 52´ and 8° 46´ south. On the south and west it is washed by the Indian Ocean; on the north-west by a channel called the Straits of Súnda, which separates it from Sumatra, at a distance in one point of only fourteen miles; and on the south-east by the Straits of Báli, only two miles wide, which divide it from the island of that name. These islands, and others stretching eastward, form with Java a gentle curve of more than two thousand geographical miles, which with less regularity is continued from[Vol I Pg 2] Acheen to Pegu on one side, and from Tímor to Papúa, or New Guinea, on the other: they constitute on the west and south, as do Bánka, Bíliton, the great islands of Borneo and Celebes, and the Moluccas on the north, the barriers of the Javan Seas and the Malayan Archipelago. From the eastern peninsula of India, Java is distant about one hundred and forty leagues, from Borneo about fifty-six, and from New Holland two hundred.

To what cause the island is indebted for its present name of Java[12] (or Jáwa as it is pronounced by the natives) is uncertain. Among the traditions of the country (which are more particularly mentioned in another place) there is one, which relates, that it was so termed by the first colonists from the continent of India, in consequence of the discovery of a certain grain, called jáwa-wut,[13] on which the inhabitants are supposed to have subsisted at that early period, and that it had been known previously only under the term of Núsa hára-hára or Núsa kêndang, meaning the island of wild uncultivated waste, or in which the hills run in ridges.

In the tenth chapter of Genesis we are told, that "the isles of the Gentiles were divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in the nations:" and in the twenty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel we find among the rich merchants, those of Javan "who traded the persons of men, and vessels of brass, to the market of Tyre, and who going to and fro, occupied in her fairs, brought bright iron, cassia, and calamus." But we shall leave it to others to trace the connection between the Javan of Holy Writ and the Java of modern times. It appears, that the Arabs, who had widely extended their commercial intercourse, and established their [Vol I Pg 3]religious faith over the greatest portion of the Indian Archipelago, long before the Europeans had navigated round the Cape of Good Hope, designate the whole of the nations and tribes which inhabit those regions by the general term of the people of Jawi, as in the following passage taken from one of their religious tracts:​—"The people of Jawi do not observe with strictness the rule laid down for keeping the fast, inasmuch as they eat before the sun sets, while the Arabs continue the fast until that luminary has sunk below the horizon." Jawa or Jawi is also the name by which Borneo, Java, Sumatra, the Malayan Peninsula, and the islands lying amongst them, are known among the nations of Celebes, who apply the Búgis diminutive Jawa-Jawáka, or Java minor, to the Moluccas, Ámbon, Bánda, Tímor, and Éndé. Jabadios Insulæ, from Jaba, and dib, div or dio, has been employed in the largest sense by Europeans, and it is probable this was once generally the case among the Asiatics, with the terms Java, Jawa, Jawi, and Jaba,[14] which, as the appellations of [Vol I Pg 4]people inhabiting the countries beyond the continent or distant, some have derived from the word jaù, of very general acceptation in eastern languages, and meaning beyond, distant.[15]

It is, perhaps, in consequence of these names having embraced the whole, or at least several of the islands collectively, that the accounts given by Marco Polo, and other early European voyagers, of particular islands, as Java Major and Java Minor, are so inconsistent with one another. The country described by Marco Polo as Java Minor, seems, beyond doubt, to have been the eastern coast of Sumatra; but that expression, "or Little Java," is now applied exclusively to Báli, as "Great Java" is to the island we are now describing. It is on the latter only, if we except what has been observed of the names given to the Archipelago generally by the natives of Celebes, that the islanders themselves apply the name of Jawa, in any of its forms, to their own country. It has there even a still more confined application, being generally limited to the eastern districts of the island, which may be considered as Java proper, in contra-distinction to the western districts, which are for the most part inhabited by a people called Súnda, from whom the Straits and Isles of Sunda have been named by Europeans.

Whether Sumatra, Java, or any other island of the Archipelago, or the whole or several of them collectively, may not have formed the Taprobane of the ancients, is perhaps still an undecided question, notwithstanding the claims to this distinction which have of late years been rather admitted than proved in favour of Ceylon. The most striking fact detailed in the accounts which have reached us of this ancient country, and one which, from its nature, is least likely to have been[Vol I Pg 5] disfigured or perverted by the misrepresentations or prejudices of travellers, is, that it was bisected in nearly equal portions by the equinoctial line, and that to the southward of it the polar star was not visible. How can this statement be evaded, or in any way applied to Ceylon? Major Wilford seems inclined to consider Taprobane as derived from the Sanscrit words tapa (penance) and vana (forest or grove), a derivation equally favorable to the claims of the Javans, tapa and wana, or wono, having the like signification in their language; and if, as there is reason to believe, an extensive intercourse subsisted in very remote times between Western India and these islands, where was there a country that could more invite the retreat of holy men, than the evergreen islands which rise in endless clusters on the smooth seas of the Malayan Archipelago, where the elevation and tranquillity of devotion are fostered by all that is majestic and lovely in nature?

Although in Sumatra no traces of their residence have yet been discovered, except in the language and customs of the people; on Java, which is almost contiguous to it, it is abundantly attested by monuments still existing in stone and brass. In few countries, with which we are yet acquainted, are more extensive ruins to be found of temples dedicated to an ancient worship. If tradition may be trusted, every mountain had its tapa, or recluse, and the whole energies and resources of the country would appear to have been applied to the construction of those noble edifices, the ruins of which still strike the spectator with astonishment and veneration.

That these splendid and magnificent piles were erected under the superintendance of a foreign people, more skilled in the arts than the rude and simple natives of the islands, can scarcely be doubted; and that they were sacred to the rites of the Hindu religion, according to some persuasion or other, is equally clear, from the numerous images of deities and attributes by which they are adorned, many of which are still preserved in their original state. Further investigation may perhaps establish Java and Sumatra, or rather the Malayan ports (in which general term we may include all the islands containing the Malayan Ports) as not only the Taprobane or Tapavana of the ancients, but also the Sacred Isles of the Hindus.[Vol I Pg 6]

The map of Java which accompanies this work has been drawn principally from actual surveys, many of which were made by order of the British Government on the island. The first map of Java which was presented to the public, and from which nearly all those, which have subsequently been engraved, are copies, was published by Valentyn,[16] and consists of seven sheets. As, at that period, little more was known of the island by the Dutch than some parts of the coast, the country in the immediate vicinity of their capital, with perhaps the province of Bantam, the author had no materials for making a map of the whole island, which could pretend to much authority or value. Most of the land in the immediate vicinity of Batavia having been sold to Europeans, was of necessity surveyed, in order to ascertain the different boundaries; but it was only a short time before the arrival of Marshal Daendels, in 1808, that any steps appear to have been taken by the local authorities, to procure correct statistical and topographical information of the other more important districts of the island. Something to this effect was done during the administration of Mr. Engelhard, late Governor of the North-east Coast, but it was only during the government of the Marshal that these objects were pursued with much energy or success.

At the period of the arrival of the English, topographical surveys of Semárang and several of the eastern districts had been completed; and although somewhat deficient in accuracy of measurement and neatness of execution, yet as they appeared sufficiently correct for many valuable purposes, and as the Government was anxious to obtain, without loss of time, a better acquaintance with the geography of the country, it was determined to make some sacrifice of accuracy to the considerations of economy and expedition, and to survey the other districts upon the same plan. While these surveys were in progress, the territorial interest which the European government obtained in the central provinces, induced them to turn their attention to the improvements of which the Solo River might be susceptible. This river, the most considerable in[Vol I Pg 7] the island, passes through Súra-kérta, the capital of the Susuhúnan, or (as he is termed by Europeans) Emperor of Java, and discharges itself into the sea near Grésik. An actual survey was accordingly made by a British officer of experience, particularly instructed to ascertain how far it might be practicable to improve its navigation by the aid of artificial cuts and dams.

A greater object soon called for more extensive measures. When it was determined to introduce an entirely new system of internal management, by the abolition of feudal service, and the establishment of a more permanent property in the soil, it was deemed essential that a detailed survey should be made of the different districts successively, in which the new system was to be introduced. This was intended to form the basis of a general agricultural survey of the country, then about to be made. In several of these districts this detailed survey has been completed; and, with the exception of the provinces still under native jurisdiction, and called Native Provinces, nearly the whole of the land on Java, not in a state of absolute forest, has been measured with more or less accuracy. Of the native provinces but a very small part has been actually surveyed; with regard to the rest, the materials from which the present map is taken, were principally obtained from observation made during occasional routes through them. The southern division of Bantam being principally forest, has not been actually surveyed; neither has the island of Madura been yet surveyed by Europeans: the eastern part of it was measured by the natives, and it was principally upon their authority that the map now presented of that island was drawn. The best charts of both the north and south coast have been consulted. The three harbours of Wyn Coops Bay, Cheláchap, and Pachítan, on the latter, are laid down from actual survey, as well as the entrance to the harbour of Surabáya. On the whole, therefore, although the map now engraved is far from perfect, and of course suffers from the reduction necessary to adapt it to the rest of the work, it is presumed that it will aid the reader in most of the geographical objects to which this volume will refer, and that its superiority over those that have previously appeared is such as to justify its publication.[Vol I Pg 8]

The length of Java, in a straight line drawn between its extreme points, (Java Head, and the south-east point of the island) is five hundred and seventy-five geographical, equal to six hundred and sixty-six statute miles: its breadth varies from one hundred and seventeen geographical, or one hundred and thirty-five and a half statute miles (between the south-west point of Pachítan bay and the north point of Japára) to forty-eight geographical or fifty-six statute miles, (between the mouth of the Seráyu river and the Marabáya, five degrees east of Tegál);[17] and it is estimated to contain an area of about fifty thousand statute miles.

Numerous small islands are scattered in its immediate vicinity, particularly along the northern coast, and contribute, with the projecting points and headlands inclosing the different bays, to form harbours of various capacities. The most important of these islands is that of Madúra, which is separated from the main land of Java by a strait in one part not more than a mile broad, and serves to form the important harbour of Surabáya. This island has the appearance of being a continuation of the main land of Java, and having been long subjected to the same political authority, has generally formed one of the provinces of the Javan empire. In length Madúra is about seventy-nine geographical, or ninety-one and a half statute miles; and its narrowest part is about twenty-seven geographical, or thirty-one and a quarter statute miles. The small islands lying to the east of it are considered as its dependencies.

The form of Java is chiefly remarkable for the rectangularity of its outline, which is such that the island might be divided into five or six parts, each a rectangular parallelogram drawn by an unsteady hand. Its western and northern coasts abound with bays and inlets. The outline of Madúra is more regular, especially on the northern coast.

The coast from Bantam to the river Chi-mánok, about two degrees in length on the north, is nearly parallel to that which extends from Wyn Coops Bay to a point about twenty miles[Vol I Pg 9] west of Núsa kambúng'an, the breadth throughout being about seventy-eight geographical miles; and from the same point to the river Manchíngan, a distance of about one degree and three-quarters, the coast is nearly parallel to that which lies between Chéribon and Semárang, the breadth throughout being about fifty-seven geographical miles. From the west point of Japára to point Pángka on the north, distant from it about two degrees, and along the corresponding coast on the south, the average breadth is seventy-three geographical miles; and from Surabáya to the north-east point of the island, distant about one degree and a half, and along the south coast opposite to it, the average breadth is forty-five geographical miles.

At the time when Europeans first visited Java, the whole of the island acknowledged the supremacy of one sovereign: but there was a period in its history when it was nearly equally divided under the independent administration of two powers, one established in the eastern, and the other in the western districts; and as there is a marked distinction between the descendants of these two nations, the most general division of the country is still into the western and eastern districts, to the latter of which alone the term Java is applied by the natives. They are separated by the river Losári, which forms the boundary between Chéribon and Brébes: and all the western, the northern, with a few of the inland districts and the Island of Madúra, are under the immediate authority and administration of the European government. The rest of the island remains subject to the native princes, and on that account is designated on the map and elsewhere, with more regard to convenience than correctness of language, as the Native Provinces.

The provinces under European authority have latterly been divided into fifteen residencies, or separate administrations, exclusive of the seat of government, which, as they will be frequently referred to in the course of this work, it may be convenient to notice in this place.

Commencing from the west, the province, or as it is usually termed, the kingdom of Bantam (properly Bántan) occupies the first place. This extensive province forms a large portion of the island. It is washed on three sides by the sea. At the[Vol I Pg 10] east it joins with the environs and highlands of Batavia and the district of Chi-ánjur, and on the west it is bounded by the Straits of Sunda; and in this quarter comprises dependant islands scattered along its shore, and the two harbours of Mew and Merák, which, with other bays, deeply indent the coast. Bantam, the native capital of this province, has been latterly deserted by the European establishment for Sírang (commonly called Ceram), an elevated and healthy station about seven miles further inland.

Next in succession towards the east is the division of Batavia, which comprises what formerly constituted the native province of Jákatra or Jokárta. The northern part of this division, towards the coast, includes the city of Batavia, populous and important on account of its excellent roads for shipping, its advantageous position for European commerce, and as being the long established seat of the Dutch government, but less fertile and healthy than the more eastern provinces of the island.

South and east of the division of Batavia and its environs lie what are termed by Europeans the Preanger (Priáng'en) Regencies,[18] the central and southern districts of which, stretching from Bantam to Chéribon, are extremely mountainous. This extensive portion of the island, which now includes a large part of Chéribon, consists of the districts of Kráwang, Chiásem, Pamanúkan, Kándang-aúr, and Dramáyu or Indramáyu, along the northern coast, and of the inland and southern districts of Chi-ánjur, Bándung, Súmedang, Lim-báng'an, and Súka-púra; the southern coast, from the boundary of Bantam to that of Chéribon, being included within the subdivisions of Chi-ánjur, and Súka-púra.

To the eastward of these districts, and crossing the island from north to south, is the province of Chéribon, divided into ten principal districts. To the south is the island of Núsa-kambáng'an which forms the harbour of Cheláchap.

East of Chéribon, as before noticed, it is only the northern and some of the inland districts, that are immediately subject[Vol I Pg 11] to the European authority. These, during the British government of the island, were comprised under the administrations of Tegúl, Pakalúng'an, Semárang, Japára, and Rembáng, which under the Dutch East-India Company constituted what was termed the government of the North-east Coast, the seat of which was at Semárang; and of Grésik, Surabáya, Pasúrúan, Bisúki, and Banyuwángi, which, with Bankálang and Súmenap on Madúra, constituted, under the same authority, the division of the Oost Hook, or East Point of the island, of which Surabáya was the principal station. Inland of Semárang and Pakalúngan, and bounded by those divisions, and by the provinces of the native princes, is situated the rich and fertile district of Kedú, which, with the more eastern districts of Grobogan, Wirosári, Blóra, Jípang, Jápan, and Wírasaba, stretching inland from Semárang to Surabáya, were ceded to the British government in the year 1812.

The capitals of all the northern districts bear the same name with the districts themselves, and are generally situated on small rivers at no great distance from the sea.

The Native Provinces are divided between two native sovereigns: the Susuhúnan, or Emperor of Java, who resides at Súra-kérta,[19] on the Solo River; and the Sultan, who resides at Yúg'ya-kérta,[20] near the south coast, in the province of Matárem. These provinces comprise several of the richest districts of the island, among which are Bányumas, Rómo, Bágalen, and Matárem, to the west; and Mádion, Jagarága, Sukawáti, Pranarága, Kértasána, Blítar, and Kedíri, to the east; and with the exception of the small district of Pachítan, which has been recently ceded to the European government, occupy the whole of the southern coast from Chéribon to [Vol I Pg 12]Málang, a distance of not less than two hundred and fifty miles, and form about a fourth part of the whole island.

The districts near the coasts are generally separated from each other by rivers; those in the interior often by ranges of hills and mountains. The districts are again divided, each subdivision including numerous villages.

The principal harbour of the island is that of Surabáya in the eastern districts, formed by the approaching extremities of Java and Madúra. It is broad and spacious, secure against the violence of the sea and wind, and may be rendered impregnable to any hostile attack.

The next in importance is that of Batavia, more properly, perhaps, called the roads of Batavia, which are sheltered by several islands lying in the outer part of the bay. These roads, however, not admitting of any means of permanent defence from the attack of a superior naval force, the Dutch government, during the late war, were induced to fortify the small harbour of Merák Bay, on the north-west coast of Bantam.

Along the northern coast, there are perhaps other positions which admit of being improved into convenient harbours; but where the whole coast affords excellent anchorage at nearly all seasons of the year, and where vessels of any burthen can approach all the principal stations, at a convenient distance for the barter of their merchandize, the purposes of commerce are in that respect already sufficiently provided for. The sea being usually smooth, and the weather moderate, the native vessels and small craft always find sufficient shelter at the change of the monsoon, by running under some of the numerous islands scattered along this coast, or passing up the rivers, which, though in general difficult of entrance on account of their bars, are for the most part navigable to such vessels, as far up as the maritime capitals, through which they run.

The south coast, on account of its exposure to the open ocean, the consequent high swell or surf which breaks on it, and its general want of good anchorage, is seldom visited by shipping. But even here harbours may be found; and those of Cheláchap and Pachítan might, no doubt, be frequented with safety, were it considered desirable to attract commercial adventurers to this side of the island.[Vol I Pg 13]

Passing from the coast to the interior of the country, the stranger cannot fail to be struck with the bold outline and prominent features of its scenery. An uninterrupted series or range of large mountains, varying in their elevation above the sea from five to eleven, and even twelve thousand feet,[21] and exhibiting, by their round base or pointed tops, their volcanic origin, extend through the whole length of the island.

The first of this series, commencing from the westward, is in Bantam. This mountain (Gûnung-kárang), though of moderate elevation compared with others on the island,[22] is seen at a considerable distance from sea, and is a well known landmark to mariners. It lies due south of the town of Bantam, at a considerable distance from the sea.

The next mountain of the series is the Salák, the eastern foot of which is connected with the Gedé or Panarang'o, situated about fifty miles south of Batavia. These two mountains are seen from the roads of Batavia, and, from the appearance they exhibit, are usually termed by mariners the Blue Mountains.

From the eastern part of the Gedé, the volcanic series separates into two independent branches, one of which inclines to the south; the other proceeds almost due east, slightly verging to the north. The former breaks into an irregular transverse range, which extends across the island, till it approaches the northern branch, from whence the general series is continued in an easterly direction as far as the mountain Sindóro, the western of the two mountains known by mariners as the Two Brothers. The mountain Súmbing, or Sindári (the second of The Brothers), is somewhat further to the south.

At a short distance from the eastern foot of the mountain Súmbing are three large volcanos, in a direction almost north and south, dividing the large series transversely; these are the mountains Ung'árang, Merbábu, and Merápi. The next volcano, in an eastern direction, is that of Japára, which [Vol I Pg 14]deviates more than any other from the regular series, and forms a peculiar peninsular appendage to the island. The series is then continued in an easterly course from the Merápi as far as the mountain Telágawúrung, which is in contact with the ocean at the eastern end of the island.

The several large mountains comprised in this series, and which are in number thirty-eight, though different from each other in external figure, agree in the general attribute of volcanos, having a broad base gradually verging towards the summit in the form of a cone.

They all rise from a plain but little elevated above the level of the sea, and each must, with very few exceptions, be considered as a separate mountain, raised by a cause independent of that which produced the others. Most of them have been formed at a very remote period, and are covered by the vegetation of many ages; but the indications and remains of their former irruptions are numerous and unequivocal. The craters of several are completely extinct; those of others contain small apertures, which continually discharge sulphureous vapours or smoke. Many of them have had irruptions during late years.[23][Vol I Pg 15]

Besides the mountains of the larger series above described, there are extensive ranges of mountains of an inferior elevation, [Vol I Pg 16]sometimes connected with the larger series, and sometimes independent of them, which are also for the most part [Vol I Pg 17]volcanic. Numerous ridges of hills traverse the country in various directions, and the surface of the island in general, [Vol I Pg 18]independently of these more striking features, is in most parts undulating and uneven, except on the sea coast.

[Vol I Pg 19] A country which abounds in mountains is seldom deficient in rivers; accordingly, no region is perhaps better watered. Java is singularly favoured in the number of its streams. The size of the island does not admit of the formation of large rivers, but there are probably fifty, that in the wet season, bear down rafts charged with timber and other rough produce of the country, and not less than five or six at all times navigable to the distance of some miles from the coast. It [Vol I Pg 20]would be vain to attempt numbering those which are precious to the agriculturist; they are many hundreds, if not thousands.

The largest, and most important river on the island, is that of Sólo, or as it is termed by the natives, Beng'áwan (the great) Sólo, which takes its rise in the district of Kadáwang, and after collecting the waters of the surrounding hills, becomes a stream of considerable depth and breadth at Súra-kérta, where it is further increased by the waters collected from the adjacent districts. Its general course from the capital is in an east-north-easterly direction, till it discharges itself by two principal outlets into the sea, near Grésik and Sidáyu. After leaving Matárem, it traverses the provinces of Sukawáti, Jagarága, Mádion, Jípang, Blóra, Túban, Sidáyu, and Grésik.

At Awi, near the boundary of Mádion and Jagarága, on the eastern side of the river, a large branch from the south-eastern provinces, commonly called the river of Mádion, unites itself with that of Sólo, and from hence its course, which in various places has been rapid, and in a few places impeded with rocks, is calm, regular, and steady to its discharge. It has been estimated, that the extent of the windings of this river is not less than three hundred and fifty-six English miles, from Súra-kérta to Grésik, which in the chart only gives a straight line of one hundred and forty English miles, and during its whole course no serious impediment appears to its navigation.

This river is of great importance to the inland trade of many of the eastern provinces. During the rainy season, boats of considerable size convey the produce of an extensive tract of country to the sea; and, except during the months of August, September, and October, and in seasons uncommonly dry, it bears down boats of middling or small size during the whole year, from a considerable distance above Súra-kérta. The boats employed in the navigation of the river are of very different sizes, and of a peculiar construction: they are very long in proportion to their breadth, have flat bottoms, and draw very little water. Those generally used in conveying the produce from one village to another in the vicinity of Súra-kérta, carry only a few tons, and have a temporary covering of straw mats, or kájang; others, more carefully constructed, have a regular roof of planks and a chamber or cabin which can be closed, and convey from fifty to one[Vol I Pg 21] hundred tons. These are generally used by individuals in their adventures to Grésik and Surabáya. The largest, which are the property of the prince, load nearly two hundred tons. They are employed in transporting the produce of several of the interior provinces, consisting chiefly of pepper and coffee, to Grésik, and return laden with salt and foreign merchandize for the consumption of the interior. They require a considerable depth of water, and can only pass when the river is swollen by continued rains. They mostly depart from Súra-kérta in the month of January. Their course down the river is rapid: they generally arrive at Grésik in eight days; but they can perform but one voyage in a season, as they require nearly four months to work up the stream.

The river of Surabáya, the second in magnitude of the whole island, rises near Bátu, in the vicinity of the southern hills of the mountain Arjúna. It is near its source called Káli-brántas. Near the capital of Málang it receives two streams from the eastward. There it first takes its course through the most southern provinces of the island, when winding round the mountain Káwi it returns again to the north, receiving near its curvature numerous augmentations from the southern ridge of mountains. The chief of these is the Lésti, a considerable river coming from the east, which joins it near the boundary of Málang and Seríng'at. Continuing its course in a northern direction, it traverses the provinces of Rówo and Kedíri, being joined on the way by the river Rówo: here it attains its utmost magnitude, and is distinguished by the name of Beng'áwan Kedíri. From the capital of this district to its mouths, it is navigable for boats of very considerable size, and its course is steady and uninterrupted. Having crossed the district of Wirasába and Jápan, it enters that of Surabáya. It discharges itself into the ocean by five outlets, which form as many separate rivers. The first of them, taking an easterly course, is called the river Púnong: then follow those of Tang'goláng'ing, Sído-kéri, Kedóng, and lastly of Wóno-króno, which again subdividing sends off the branch which passes Surabáya.

Several smaller rivers, which fall into the sea between Semárang and Lásem, are highly important for the conveyance of teak timber from the central forests to the coast; and the[Vol I Pg 22] waters from some of them being directed into canals, particularly through the low district of Demák, tend considerably to increase the inland navigation of the country.

In the western districts, the principal rivers which discharge themselves into the sea on the northern coast are the Chikándi, which forms the present boundary between Bantam and the environs of Batavia; the Chi-dáni, which discharges itself below Táng'ran; the Chi-tárom, which falls into the sea below Kráwang; and the Chi-mánok, which forms the present boundary between Dramáyu and Chéribon. The principal rivers which discharge themselves by the south coast are the Chi-mandíri, which falls into the sea at Palábuan-rátu, or Wyn Coops Bay; the Chi-tándui, which disembogues near Núsa-kambáng'an; and the Seráyu, which taking its rise in the mountain Díeng or Práhu, traverses the rich districts of Bányumas, and falls into the sea a short distance to the east of Cheláchap; but these rivers, though of considerable depth, are choked up at their mouths by heavy banks or bars, and in consequence of the heavy surf which constantly breaks on the southern coast, are dangerous at their entrance.

Along the northern coast, almost every district has its principal river, and most of them are navigable up to the maritime capitals for native vessels of considerable burthen; but they all have the disadvantage of being partially blocked up at their discharge by extensive bars and mud banks, an evil which is extending with the increase of agriculture, by reason of the quantify of soil necessarily washed down in the process of irrigating the land for the rice cultivation. Most of them require the application of jetties or piers to deepen the passages at their entrance.

There are no lakes of any considerable size on Java, for that name cannot be given to the ráwas, or swamps, which though swelled to a considerable size in the wet season, are for the rest of the year either dried up or choked by vegetation. Of this description are two extensive tracts; one inland of Japára, usually termed by the Dutch the Binnen Zee, or inland sea; and another in the district of Semárang. In Báglen also (one of the native provinces on the southern side of the island) there is a lake which supplies the neighbouring[Vol I Pg 23] country with fish, and along the coast of which a traffic is carried on in boats.

Extensive swamps are also found in some parts of the native provinces, and in the mountainous districts of the Súnda country. Several very beautiful lakes, of small dimensions, are discovered among the hills, and some of them can evidently be shown to have been formed of the craters of extinct volcanos.

The general aspect of Java on the northern coast is low, in many places swampy and overgrown with mangrove trees and bushes, particularly towards the west. The southern coast, on the contrary, consists almost entirely of a series of rocks and cliffs, which rise perpendicularly to a considerable height. In the interior, stupendous mountains stretch longitudinally throughout the island, while others of an inferior elevation, and innumerable ranges of hills running in various directions, serve to form and confine plains and valleys of various elevations and extent. On the northern side, the ascent is in general very gradual, from the sea-coast to the immediate base of the mountains; particularly in the western parts of the island, where it has the greatest breadth, and where the mountains are situated far inland. In approaching the mountains, which lie at the back of Batavia, there is a gradual but almost imperceptible acclivity for about forty miles. In other parts, where the mountains and hills approach nearer to the coast, the ascent is of course more abrupt, as may be observed in the vicinity of Semárang.

Although the northern coast is in many parts flat and uninteresting, the interior and southern provinces, from the mountainous character of the country, may be reckoned amongst the most romantic and highly diversified in the world; uniting all the rich and magnificent scenery, which waving forests, never-failing streams, and constant verdure can present, heightened by a pure atmosphere and the glowing tints of a tropical sun.

The largest of the elevated plains are; in the west, that of Bándung, formed between the two ranges of volcanos which branch off from the foot of the mountain Gedé; and in the east, those usually termed the plains of Sólo and Kedíri, which extend along the central districts from the Merápi to Kedíri and the site of the ancient capital of Mejapáhit. These are of con[Vol I Pg 24]siderable magnitude, and with the exception of the valley of Kedú and the province of Bányumas, through which the beautiful river of Seráyu bends its winding and romantic course, are perhaps the richest parts of the island. The low-lands, however, are not without their claims to that distinction; especially the flats of Demák, once an extensive swamp, and the Delta of Surabáya. Large tracts, particularly in the mountainous ranges of the western districts, still remain in a state of nature, or where the ground has been once cleared of forest, are now overrun with long and rank grass. In the central and eastern districts, the country is comparatively well clothed with cultivation.

Quitting the low coast of the north, in many parts unhealthy, the traveller can hardly advance five miles inland without feeling a sensible improvement in the atmosphere and climate. As he proceeds, at every step he breathes a purer air and surveys a brighter scene. At length he reaches the highlands. Here the boldest forms of nature are tempered by the rural arts of man: stupendous mountains clothed with abundant harvest, impetuous cataracts tamed to the peasant's will. Here is perpetual verdure; here are tints of the brightest hue. In the hottest season, the air retains its freshness; in the driest, the innumerable rills and rivulets preserve much of their water. This the mountain farmer directs in endless conduits and canals to irrigate the land, which he has laid out in terraces for its reception; it then descends to the plains, and spreads fertility wherever it flows, till at last, by numerous outlets, it discharges itself into the sea.

Almost all the mountains or volcanos, in the large series before noticed, are found on examination to have the same general constitution: they are striped vertically by sharp ridges, which, as they approach the foot of the mountain, take a more winding course. These ridges alternate with valleys, whose sides are of a very various declivity. Large rocks of basaltes occasionally project, and in several instances the valleys form the beds of rivers towards the tops of the volcanos; in the rainy season they all convey large volumes of water.

Next in importance to this extensive series of primary mountains, there are various ridges of smaller mountains,[Vol I Pg 25] or hills, extending in different directions, with nearly an equal degree of elevation; sometimes originating from or connected with the primary volcanos, sometimes forming independent ranges, and arising separately and at a distance from the great series. These, which have been termed secondary mountains, though evidently of a volcanic nature, differ in many particulars of their constitution from those of the larger series. They generally extend in long narrow ridges, with but a moderate elevation, and their sides are less regularly composed of the vertical ridges above mentioned. In most cases, a stratified structure and submarine origin may be discovered. They are generally covered with large rocks of basaltes; and in some instances they consist of wacken and hornblende, which is found along their base in immense piles.

Hills of calcareous constitution, with only a moderate degree of elevation, occur in smaller ridges, often with a flat or tabular top; or in steep rocks and eminences. These are sometimes found in the centre of the island, covering the volcanic districts, but much more frequently near the northern and southern shores.

Hills of a mixed nature, partly calcareous and partly volcanic, are also found. The southern coast of the island consists almost entirely of them, rising in many places to the perpendicular height of eighty or one hundred feet, and sometimes much higher. These, as they branch inward and approach the central or higher districts, gradually disappear, and give place to the volcanic series, or alternate with huge masses of basaltic hornblende, that appears to assume a regular stratification. At the base of these, or in the beds of the rivers which proceed from them, are frequently found various silicious stones, as common flints, prase, hornstone, jasper, porphyry, agate, cornelian, &c.

Alluvial districts, evidently of recent origin, are noticed in several parts of the island. These are formed from the sediment and near the discharge of large rivers, and at the borders of the calcareous ridges, which are in many instances partially covered by them: their boundary can easily be traced, and most of them are still in a state of constant progression. Among other phenomena are mineral wells of various temperature and impregnation; wells of naphtha, or petroleum;[Vol I Pg 26] and rivers arising, in a few instances, from the craters of volcanos, impregnated with sulphureous acid[24].[Vol I Pg 27]

From these, and all other investigations yet made, the constitution of Java appears to be exclusively volcanic. From [Vol I Pg 28]the vast Asiatic chain of mountains, one branch of which terminates in Ceylon, proceeds another, which traversing Arakan, Pegu, and the Malayan peninsula, extends to Sumatra, Bánka, and Bíliton, where it may be said to disappear. On Java no granite has been discovered. In its constitution, as in its direction, it may be considered as the first of a series of volcanic islands, which extend nearly eastward from the Straits of Sunda for about twenty-five degrees.

At what period the island assumed its present shape, or whether it was once joined to Sumatra and Báli, is matter for conjecture. The violent convulsions which these islands have so often suffered, justify a conclusion that the face of the country has been frequently changed, and tradition mentions the periods when Java was separated from those islands;[25] [Vol I Pg 29]but the essential difference which has been found in the mineralogical constitution of Java and Sumatra, would seem to indicate a different origin, and to support the opinion that those two islands were never united. Whether, at a period more remote, the whole Archipelago formed part of the continent of Asia, and was divided from it and shattered into islands; whether they were originally distinct from the main land, or whether they were formed at the same time, or subsequently, are questions we cannot resolve. Yet, when we reflect on the violence of those dreadful phenomena[26] which [Vol I Pg 30]have occurred in our own times in the smaller islands of the volcanic series, and view this range, as it is now presented to [Vol I Pg 31]us on the map of the world, a conjecture might perhaps be hazarded, that the whole may have once formed but the [Vol I Pg 32]southern side of one large island or continent, within which much of the main land has fallen in, and subsequently disappeared on the influx of the sea.

[Vol I Pg 33] The constitution of the island is unfavourable to metals. All the examinations hitherto made confirm this assertion, and it may be laid down as a general position, that no metals occur, in such a quantity, or with such richness of ore, as to reward the operations of the miner. The only notice we have of the existence of gold or silver is contained in the first volume of the Transactions of the Batavian Society; and the attempts on the mountain of Párang, in 1723, and on the Mégeméndung, in 1744, were soon abandoned. Iron pyrites is found in small quantity in several districts, as well as red-ochre; which, however, often contains so little iron, as scarcely to serve for the common purpose of paint. The existence of mercury in the low lands of Démak, where it is distributed in minute particles through the clay of the rice-grounds bounding one of the principal rivers of that district, has not been considered as an indication of a mine, or of the ores of that metal.

No diamonds are found, nor other precious stones, but many minerals of the schorl, quartz, potstone, feldspar, and trap kind. They mostly exist in mountains of secondary elevation, towards the southern shores of the island, sometimes in extensive veins; but separate fragments are carried down by the rivers, and found far from their original deposition. Prase is found in very extensive veins; hornstone is also abundant in particular situations, as well as flint, chalcedony, hyalite, common jasper, jasper-agate, obsidian, and porphyry.

The soil in Java is for the most part rich, and remarkable for its depth; probably owing to the exclusively volcanic constitution [Vol I Pg 34]of the country, and the constant accession of new mould, which is washed down the side of its numerous mountains. It has the character of being in a high degree richer than the ordinary soil of the Malayan countries in general, particularly of Sumatra and the Malayan peninsula. The best soil resembles the richest garden-mould of Europe; and whenever it can be exposed to the inundation necessary for the rice crop, requires no manure, and will bear without impoverishment, one heavy and one light crop in the year: the poorest, with this advantage, will yield a liberal return to the husbandman. In an island of such extent and variety of surface, the soil is necessarily various, but its general character is that of extraordinary fertility. The red and very light soil of the western districts is generally considered inferior to the dark brown and stiffer soil which prevails in the eastern. The best soil is usually found near the beds of rivers, in the valleys, and on the slopes of the largest mountains: the worst on the ranges of low calcareous hills, which run through different parts of the island.

The seasons, in all the countries situated within about ten degrees of the equator, agree in this: that as one eternal summer prevails, they are not distinguished as hot and cold, but as wet and dry. On Java the seasons depend upon the periodical winds. The period of the setting in of these winds is not determined within a few weeks; but generally the westerly winds, which are always attended with rain, are felt in October, become more steady in November and December, and gradually subside, till in March or April they are succeeded by the easterly winds and fair weather, which continue for the remaining half year. The heaviest rains are in the months of December and January, and the driest weather is in July and August; at which latter period, also, the nights are coldest and the days hottest. The weather is most unsettled when the season is changing, particularly at the first setting in of the westerly winds: but those violent storms and hurricanes, which are so often felt in the West Indies and in higher latitudes, are here unknown. With the exception of a few days at these periods, or when the westerly winds are at their height, vessels of any description may ride in safety in most of the bays along the northern coast of the island; and on shore, the wind is never so violent as to do damage. Thunder-storms are, however, frequent, and the[Vol I Pg 35] lightning is extremely vivid. In the vicinity of the hills, and elsewhere during the dry season, seldom a day passes without thunder and lightning; and although these grand exhibitions of nature cause less consternation in general within the tropics than beyond them, it cannot be denied that they are destructive of many lives. Earthquakes are to be expected in a volcanic country, and are frequent in the vicinity of the volcanos; but the European towns have never sustained any serious injury from them.

During the rainy season there are many days free from showers. The mornings are generally clear, and although the rains sometimes continue without intermission for several days, and frequently fall in torrents, they are not marked on Java by that decided character, either of permanence or violence, which distinguishes the periodical rains of the continent of India; neither is the dry season distinguished by that excessive aridity which attends the hot seasons of that country. Even in July and August, the atmosphere is refreshed by occasional showers, and the landscape is at all times of the year covered with the brightest verdure. The thermometer of Fahrenheit has been known to rise along the northern coast as high as 90° about three in the afternoon, and even higher, particularly in the large and low capitals of Batavia, Semárang, and Surabáya; but from observations made during a course of some years at Batavia, and published under the authority of the Dutch government, it has been found usually to range between 70 and 74° in the evenings and mornings, and to stand about 83° at noon. By similar observations at Semárang, the same thermometer, placed in a spacious and open apartment, has averaged 87½° at noon.

At a distance inland of not more than thirty or forty miles, where the ascent is gradual, and of fifteen or twenty or less where it is rapid, the thermometer falls from five to ten degrees lower. At Chi-serúa, situated about 40 miles inland of Batavia, and Chi-pánas, about twelve miles further, on the opposite slope of the mountain Gedé, the thermometer ranges generally between 60 and 70°. In the morning, at six o'clock, it is sometimes as low as 57°; and in the afternoon, at three, its usual height is from 67 to 70°, but seldom rising to 72°. On some of the hills inland of Semárang, on which Europeans frequently reside during the dry season, at an elevation of about four[Vol I Pg 36] thousand feet, the thermometer is frequently seen as low as 45°, and generally, in the clear season, ranges from 50 to 62°, and on the summit of one of the mountains (Sindóro) it has been observed as low as 27°[27]. Ice, as thick as a Spanish dollar, has been found; and hoar-frost, denominated bóhon úpas, or the poisonous dew, has been observed on the trees and vegetation of some of the higher regions.

By its insular situation, the climate of Java enjoys the benefit of land and sea breezes, which in its least favoured parts subdue the fierceness of the tropical rays, while the great elevation of its interior affords the rare advantage, that from the sea-shore up to the tops of the mountains, there is, almost from one end of the island to the other, a regular diminution of the temperature, at the rate of two or three degrees of Fahrenheit for every ten miles.

The general inference which has been drawn by professional men, from the experience which the occupation of Java by the British has afforded, is, that with the exception of the town of Batavia, and some parts of the northern coast, the island of Java stands on a level, in point of salubrity, with the healthiest parts of British India, or of any tropical country in the world.

The principal stations of the British army, composed of Europeans and Sepoys, were at Weltevreden, within three miles of the town of Batavia, and at Semárang and Surabáya, spots certainly less favourable to health than the rest of the island taken generally; but detachments from it have occasionally done duty in every district of the island.

The tables included in the Appendix[28], will shew, that notwithstanding the troops laboured under many disadvantages and privations, in point of accommodation, &c. to which they would not have been subjected in a more permanent settlement, and that they were otherwise exposed to diseases unconnected with those of the climate, the average casualties were not excessive. From the 1st November, 1813, to the same month in 1814, the average number of troops is stated to have been 7,470, the deaths 504, making a proportion of 1 to 14-8: the average number of sick in the same period was 862, making [Vol I Pg 37]a proportion of sick to well as 1 to 8. From the beginning of November 1814 to the same month in 1815, out of an average number of troops stationed in different parts of the island, in corps and detachments, amounting to 7,487, there were 252 deaths, 63 of which were caused by fever, 123 by dysentery, and 65 by other diseases, making an average number of deaths of 21 per month, or in the proportion of one death to thirty men in the year, a proportion not exceeding that of some of the healthiest possessions in temperate climates.

To this general result may be added the comparative casualties in his Majesty's 78th regiment, during the period of its being stationed in India and Java. This regiment has occasionally been cantoned at each of the principal stations, and has remained on the island from the first conquest of Java. By the table will be seen the number of rank and file of which this regiment consisted at different periods, since 1797 to 1815, and the number of casualties in the same periods. It might not be proper to select the years in which it landed on the continent of India or on Java; but those in which it was stationed in either country may be brought together, as fit subjects for comparison. By calculation, upon the data of the table, it will appear, that from December 1800 to December 1801, the deaths were to the number of troops as 1 to about 20½; in 1801-2, as 1 to 12; in 1803-4, as 1 to 5¼; in 1804-5, as 1 to 8½; in 1805, as 1 to about 20; in 1806-7, as 1 to 28 nearly; in 1807-8, as 1 to 24½; in 1809-10, as 1 to about 23; in 1811-12, as 1 to 3¾; in 1813-14, as 1 to 6; and in 1814-15, as 1 to about 20 nearly. The places at which the regiment was stationed at these different periods will be seen by the table; and the cause of the unusual mortality that prevailed in 1811-12, and which exceeds any of the years on the continent, will be found in an extract from the letter of Dr. Currie, the surgeon, inclosing the return. The mortality in the last year was as 1 to 20 in the regiment, and among the whole troops, according to the data above, as 1 to about 30; a low estimate for climates, whose characters stand higher for salubrity than that of Java.

That the climate of Java, in general, is congenial to the human frame, at least to that of an Asiatic, is corroborated by the great extent of its native population, compared with that of the surrounding islands, notwithstanding the checks which[Vol I Pg 38] it experienced both from the native princes and the European government; and the convincing proof which the records of the British army now afford, are perhaps sufficient to remove the unfavourable impression which existed against the climate of the island, as affecting Europeans.

At the same time, however, that Java has to boast this general character of high salubrity, comparatively with other tropical climates, it is not to be denied that there are some spots upon it which are decidedly unhealthy. These are to be found along the low swampy marshes of the northern coast, which are mostly recent encroachments upon the sea: the principal of these is Batavia, the long established capital of the Dutch eastern empire.

The climate of this city has ever been considered as one of the most baneful in the world. It has even been designated the storehouse of disease; with how much justice, is too woefully demonstrated by the writings of those visitors who have survived its perils, and the records of the Dutch East-India Company itself. If we may credit Raynal,[29] there perished between the years 1714 and 1776, in the hospitals of Batavia, above eighty-seven thousand sailors and soldiers. From the table, No. 1, imperfect as it is, on account of the loss of many of the registers at the period of the British conquest, it will be seen what a large proportion the deaths bore to the whole population; and from the table, No. 2, of the same Appendix, discovered among the Dutch records, it appears further, that the total amount of deaths in this city, from the year 1730 to the year 1752, was in twenty-two years more than a million of souls.

To those who are acquainted with the manner in which the affairs of the Dutch East-India Company were managed abroad, there will perhaps be no difficulty in laying rather at the door of the colonists, than of the nation, the crime of maintaining a commercial monopoly, at such a dreadful expence of lives as resulted from confining the European population within the narrow walls of this unhealthy city. That the sacrifice was made for that object, or to speak more correctly, under that pretext, for the private interests of the[Vol I Pg 39] colonists who were entrusted with its details, can scarcely be doubted. From the moment the walls of the city were demolished, the draw-bridges let down, and free egress and ingress to and from the country was permitted, the population began to migrate to a more healthy spot, and they had not to go above one or two miles beyond the precincts before they found themselves in a different climate. But this indulgence, as it gave the inhabitants a purer air, so it gave them a clearer insight into the resources of the country, and notions of a freer commerce, which, of all things, it was the object of the local government and its officers to limit or suppress.

Necessity might have first determined the choice of the spot for the European capital; but a perseverance in the policy of confining the European population within its walls, after so many direful warnings of its insalubrity, cannot but lead to the inference, that either the monopoly of the trade was considered a greater object to the nation than the lives of the inhabitants, or that the more liberal views of the government were defeated by the weakness or corruption of its agents.

Of the vegetable and animal kingdoms, as of the mineral, we shall content ourselves with such an account as may be necessary to convey to the reader a general notion of the nature of the country and its resources, referring the man of science to the intended publication of Dr. Thomas Horsfield, a gentleman whose sole attention has, for the last seven years, been directed to the natural history of Java.

Java is distinguished not only by the abundance of its vegetation, but by its extraordinary variety. Upwards of a thousand plants are already contained in the herb-area of Dr. Horsfield, of which a large proportion are new to the naturalist. Between the tops of the mountains and the sea-shore, Java may be considered as possessing at least six distinct climates, each furnishing a copious indigenous botany, while the productions of every region in the world may find a congenial spot somewhere in the island.

Vegetable productions, which contribute to the food and sustenance of man, are found in great variety. Of these the most important is rice, which forms the staple grain of the country, and of which there are upwards of a hundred[Vol I Pg 40] varieties. Maize, or Indian corn, ranks next, and is principally cultivated in the higher regions, or in those tracts where the soil is unfavourable to the rice cultivation. The bean, or káchang, of which there are many varieties, is an important article of food. Of the sugar-cane, which is used by the natives only in its raw state, they distinguish eight varieties, an account of which, as well as of the cultivation of coffee, pepper, indigo, tobacco, &c. will be found in the chapter on agriculture. Aniseed, múngsi, cummin-seed, márícha (black pepper), chábi jáwa (long pepper), kumúkus (cubebs), socha dolichos, and mendéking, plants of considerable importance, may be considered as indigenous to the island, and are collected for various uses in diet and medicine.

Besides the cocoa-nut and other productions more generally known, there are many trees growing spontaneously, of which the seeds and kernels are used as food; the principal of these are the peté, jéngkol, and kómlandíngan, several species of the mimosa, and the púchang and kamíri. The bread-fruit tree grows on Java, and is of the same species (although inferior in quality) with that of the South Sea Islands: but the fruit is comparatively very little esteemed or employed as an article of food.

Of tuberous roots, besides those furnished from the principal genera, convolvulus, dioscorea, and arum, are those from the bangkwang (dolichos bulbosus), the roots of which are much esteemed by the natives, and the kéntang jáwa (ocymum tuberosum) or Java potatoe. Most of the numerous varieties of the convolvulus and dioscorea, which furnish food for the natives, have been enumerated in one of the first volumes of the Batavian Transactions. The jatropha manihot, called úwi blanda, or wúdo, has been propagated through all parts of Java, and is found growing in the hedges.

The true sago of Amboina and the Eastern Islands, is found only solitary in a few low and marshy situations, and the preparation of it from the pith of the tree is not known to the inhabitants of Java: the leaves only are employed for covering houses; but from the áren, or sagurus rumphii, which grows abundantly in every part of the island, and on account of its variously extensive uses, ranks next in importance to the cocoa-nut, a substance is prepared, similar in all respects[Vol I Pg 41] to the true sago of the Eastern Islands. The tops of various trees of the palm kind, which are sought after in other parts of the East as food, are, on account of the abundance of rice and other esculent vegetables, but little regarded in Java; but the young shoots of many varieties of the bambu are used in the diet of the natives. Wheat and potatoes, with almost every species of European vegetables, are cultivated with success. Of the oil-giving plants a particular account will be given when describing the agriculture of the country.

Java, in common with the Malayan islands in general, abounds in indigenous fruits. "No region of the earth," observes Mr. Marsden, "can boast an equal abundance and variety of indigenous fruits." The mangústin, which on account of its acknowledged pre-eminence amongst Indian fruits, has been termed the pride of these countries; the durian, or dúren, to which the natives of these islands are so passionately attached; the rámbutan, the lánseh or lánseb, with an extensive variety of the jack, the mango, the plantain, the guava, the pine-apple, the papaw, the custard-apple, the pomegranate, and almost every species of fruit which grows within the tropics, are here found in the greatest variety. The tamarind tree is general. The island also produces many kinds of oranges, citrons, lemons, and in particular the pumplemous (known in Bengal under the name of the Batavian lembu, or lime, and in the West Indies as the shaddock), besides the sáwu, klédung, pachítan, and a variety of others, not generally known to Europeans, but well calculated for the table. Of the mango, at least forty varieties are enumerated; the wild raspberry, which is found in the higher regions, is not destitute of flavour; one kind, in particular, with dark violet-coloured fruit, approaches in taste to the European species. In some of the mountainous tracts are to be found peaches, Chinese pears, and some other fruits imported from Japan, the Cape of Good Hope, and China.

Among innumerable flowers which bloom in perpetual succession throughout the year, and impregnate the air of these countries with their fragrance, those of the champáka, tán-jong, meláti, kanáng'a and nágasári, hold the first rank; they are used by the natives in the ornament of their persons, and are remarkable for their fragrance. The myrtle and rose[Vol I Pg 42] are found in the gardens of Europeans. A great variety of ornamental trees and shrubs, many of them overlooked in the catalogues of Rhumphius and Van Rheede, have been noticed, as deserving cultivation for their utility as well as beauty.

The medicinal plants of Java have been described in an account published in the Batavian Transactions: among these are many which are employed in the daily practice of the natives, of which a large proportion have not been subjects of investigation or experiment by Europeans, and others which had not previously been botanically described or classed. In a country hitherto imperfectly explored, and abounding in profuse vegetation, it was natural to calculate on the discovery of many useful medicinal plants; and among upwards of sixty, described, for the first time, by Dr. Horsfield, he particularly notices several, as likely to become most valuable articles in general medicinal practice.

Besides abundance of coir, termed sepét by the natives, prepared from the fibres which surround the cocoa-nut, and gamuti (called duk), prepared from those of the áren tree, both of which are well known, another species of palm, the gebáng, also yields valuable ropes, the fibre of which is obtained from the large petioles or stalks of the leaves by pounding and beating. Intelligent natives assert, that ropes prepared from these are particularly valuable, exceeding in strength all other kinds of equal size. The fibres and ropes are called bas. The cotton shrub (gossypium herbaceum) is universal; and hemp, though its uses are unknown to the Javans, is found in the gardens of foreign settlers. Besides these, the island affords various kinds of vegetables, the fibrous bark of which is made into thread, rope, cloth, &c.; but they are never cultivated, and when required for use are collected in their wild state. The general denomination, in the Javan language, of the internal bark of all vegetables which can be manufactured into cords, thread, &c. is lúlub. This being freed, by beating or maceration, from the adhering particles of the exterior bark, yields the fibrous substance, which is twisted by the most simple process, commonly by the hands alone. The trees which afford the lúlub are the wáru, which is very abundant, and is manufactured into ropes for all common domestic pur[Vol I Pg 43]poses; the melínju, the bark of which is called bágu; and the béndo, which affords ropes of superior strength and durability.

Of the bambusa, the pring-ápus, the stem of which may be considered arborescent, furnishes the cheapest ropes. These are made with great expedition, being split into thin strips, which are twisted on the spot into cords fit for all common purposes, although they are serviceable only for a few days. They are uniformly used, in travelling, for securing baggage, &c. Among shrubs principally employed for these purposes are the werúng, urís-urísan, dalúmpang, che-plákan and glúgo; among plants, the widúri and rámi; the fibres of the latter afford very strong and durable cords, which are chiefly employed for nets or lines, and used in fishing: they greatly resemble the sunn of western India, and would probably be found to answer the same purpose, as well in furnishing the bags called in India gunny-bags, for the transportation of goods, as for the manufacture of paper in Europe. This remark applies also to the lúlub of several of the other shrubs mentioned. Several species of písang or plantain yield the materials for ropes and cords of various fineness, according to the methods employed in preparing them. In the Manilla Islands, cables are made from these fibres; and in the first volume of the Batavian Transactions a mode is described of preparing from them a substance resembling cotton. The leaves of the 'nanas, or pine-apple, contain also abundance of useful fibres, which are easily separated in a bundle, after scraping off the coriaceous substance. It is very fine, and the separate fibres are employed by the natives in sewing without any preparation; but it may also be spun, and is made into a kind of stuff resembling silk, gauze, &c.

Mats are made from several species of pandanus, from a kind of grass called méndong, and from the leaves of various palms, particularly the gebáng. The latter affords the most common kinds, coarser and less durable than the others, as well as bags (straw sacks) resembling very coarse mats.

The paper in common use with the Javans is manufactured from the glúgo, (morus papyrifera.)

A variety of vegetable substances are used in dyeing: the principal of which, however, are the tom, or indigo, which is[Vol I Pg 44] extensively cultivated throughout the island; and the wong-kúdu, which affords a lasting scarlet. A black dye is obtained from the bark of several exotic trees, united with the rind of the mangústin fruit. A yellow dye is also obtained from an exotic wood, heightened by the addition of the bark of the nángka tree, and a variety of the mango.

Extensive forests of the játi, or teak of India[30], are found in almost all the eastern provinces; but the most valuable and important are in the central districts, situated inland, between Semárang and Sidáyu, and particularly in the districts of Blóra, Jípang, and Padáng'an.

Of the teak tree there is but one species known, the tectona grandis of Linnæus, the tekka of Van Rheede, and the jatus of Rhumphius. Its natural history has been already fully detailed, and all the kinds generally enumerated are merely varieties. These are usually distinguished among the natives of Java by names derived from the quality and colour of the wood. The principal are the játi kápur, the chalky teak, and a kind varying in colour, and on account of its excellence termed játi súng'gu, or the true teak. The former is the most common: its wood is of a whitish hue, and it sometimes contains calcareous concretions in nodules or streaks. This sort[Vol I Pg 45] is chiefly employed for common domestic purposes, and though inferior in quality to many others, from its abundance and comparative cheapness, is perhaps the most generally useful. The játi súng'gu is harder, closer, and more ponderous, and particularly selected for ship-building. The colour of the wood is of different shades, from light to intense brown, with a cast of violet verging sometimes to red or black. If the stem is covered with spines, or rather pointed scales, it is called játi dúri, but in its texture and quality it agrees with the játi súnge'gu. Besides these the natives distinguish, as játi gémbol, those excrescences or protuberances which are produced from a variety of the játi, furnishing materials for handsome cabinet-work.

The teak tree on Java grows at a moderate elevation above the level of the ocean. It is generally conceived, that the timber afforded by forests growing on a soil of which the basis is limestone, and the surface uneven, gravelly, or rocky, is the hardest, the freest from chalky concretions, and in all respects the best; but in laying out a teak plantation, a soil consisting in a great proportion of black vegetable mould, is always selected for the purpose of obtaining a rapid growth. The teak tree is slender and erect. It shoots up with considerable vigour and rapidity, but its expansion is slow. Like all other trees affording useful timber of a close grain, it is many years in arriving at maturity. Under favourable circumstances, a growth of from twenty to twenty-five years affords a tree having about twelve inches diameter at the base. It requires at least a century to attain its perfection, but for common purposes, it is usually felled when between thirty and fifty years old[31].

Notwithstanding the extent to which cultivation has been[Vol I Pg 46] carried in many districts of the island, large portions of its surface are still covered with primeval forests, affording excellent timber of various descriptions. Besides the teak, there are several kinds of wood or timber employed for various domestic purposes, as the súren (the tuna of Bengal), of which the wood is very light, stronger and more durable than all other kinds of similar weight produced on the island: as the grain is not fine, it is not employed in making furniture, but it is useful for chests, trunks, carriages, &c.; its colour is red, and its odour somewhat resembling that of the cedar. Its weight is probably inferior to that of the larch.​—The wúngú or ketángi is often used instead of teak: the grain is somewhat finer: when in full blossom it is perhaps the most beautiful tree existing.​—The wádang or báyur, a light and tolerably durable wood, is employed for masts and spars of small vessels; but the surface must be well covered with resinous substances to prevent its splitting.​—The gintúngan is employed in the same manner, but grows to a larger size; the colour of the wood and bark is red.​—The lampéan or lában is light but durable, and affords materials for the handles of the spears or pikes borne by the natives.​—The nángka abounds in several districts where teak is not found, and is almost exclusively used in the construction of houses, and other domestic purposes: the wood is more close and ponderous than the súren, which it otherwise resembles; it takes a tolerable polish, and is sometimes employed for furniture. The colour is yellow; but it is made to receive a brownish hue, by the application of the young teak-leaves in polishing: its bark is used as a yellow dye.​—The lúren resembles the nángka, but is generally of rare occurrence, though in some tracts it furnishes the only timber: its use in the neighbouring islands, particularly on Sumatra, is well known.​—The kusámbi is uncommonly heavy, hard, and close: it supplies anchors for small vessels, blocks, pestles, and numerous similar utensils.​—The sáwur is a very beautiful and useful wood; the colour resembles that of mahogany, but the grain is closer, and it is more ponderous: its chief use is for handles of tools for carpenters and other artificers, for machinery, especially for the teeth of the wheels of mills, and other purposes where a hard and durable wood is required. On account of its scarcity, it is uniformly cut down on Java before[Vol I Pg 47] it arrives at the necessary size for cabinet-work. Forests of it grow on the hills of Báli, opposite the Javan shore, whence it is brought over by boat-loads for sale.

The pílang is a very hard wood, and employed in the eastern districts, instead of lignum-vitæ, for the construction of ships'-blocks, &c.​—The pung is equally hard, and uniformly employed by the natives for pegs in constructing their prahus.​—The wáli kúkun is equal to the kusámbi in weight, and exceeds it in hardness: it is employed for anchors, naves of wheels, machinery, &c.​—The tang'gulun is a hard wood of a close grain, and employed by turners for various small works.​—The kelúmpit is a very large tree: sections are employed by the natives for cart wheels.​—The járan is a white wood taking the tool easily: the natives prefer it to all others for the construction of their saddles, which consist principally of wood.​—The demólo affords a light wood, which is made into planks, and employed where durability is not much required.​—The wood of the kedáwung is whitish and moderately hard.​—The lában is a yellowish and hard wood: it is employed for the handles of axes and various utensils.​—The jánglot is considered by the natives as the toughest wood produced in the island, and is always employed for bows when procurable: the tree is of a moderate size.​—The béndo is a light wood, useful for canoes.​—The séntul is a light close-grained wood, and easily worked: it resembles the súren.

For household furniture, cabinet-ware, &c. are employed​—the sóno kling of the Maláyus, the colour of which is a deep brown, inclining to black:​—the sóno kómbang, which has some resemblance to the lingua wood of the Moluccas:​—the war'm-lot, dark brown; and próno-sodo, resembling the walnut, both scarce:​—the wer'n, of a brown colour, of a close substance and light, abundant in some districts:​—the mentáus and júmberit, the wood of which is white and fine-grained, uniformly used for inlaying:​—the randu kúning, yellowish and close-grained:​—and the íng'as, of a brownish red colour, and very brittle.

For the hilts and sheaths of krîses, the natives make use of the timóko, of which the black and white variegated fragments are called pélet. These are of various kinds.​—The arúman,[Vol I Pg 48] variegated white and black, is also employed for canes, handles, and spears, &c. and is very heavy.​—The tiké, yellowish, closed and marble,​—the mángu,​—the áti áti,​—the kráminan,​—the púrwo-kúning and several others, are employed for the same purposes.​—The kamúning is of a brownish colour and very fine grain:​—the tayúman resembles the last and is very much esteemed:​—the wúni stelágo affords a reddish wood.

Among the most extensively useful productions ought not to be forgotten the bámbu, or príng, which abounds on Java, and seems, from the greater luxuriance and variety by which it is here distinguished, to find the soil and climate more congenial to its growth than those of any other country. It blossoms in different parts of the island. The rattans (rótan) of Java are on the whole inferior to those of Sumatra and Borneo: the improved state of cultivation is unfavourable to their growth and propagation.

Many woods afford excellent fuel. The charcoal prepared from the kusámbi is equal perhaps to that of any other wood with which we are acquainted, and is universally preferred in cooking, and in the other branches of domestic economy. Charcoal, for gunpowder, is uniformly prepared from the celtis orientalis, called áng'grung.

Among the useful trees must be noticed: the soap-tree, of which the fruit is used to a very great extent in washing linen:​—the kasémak, from the bark of which is made a varnish for umbrellas:​—the sámpang, from the resin of which the natives prepare a shining varnish for the wooden sheaths of krîses:​—the cotton-tree, from which a silky wool is obtained for stuffing pillows and beds:​—the wax-tree, which, though scarce on Java, grows abundantly on some parts of Madúra: (the kernel, by expression, produces an oil, which some time after becomes hard and bears a resemblance to wax; it may be burnt in lamps or converted into candles, and affords an agreeable odour): the bendúd, a shrub producing the substance of which the elastic gum, commonly called Indian-rubber, is prepared. The art of preparing it in this form is however unknown in Java. Torches are made of it, for the use of those who search for birds' nests in the rocks, and it serves for winding round the stick employed to strike musical instruments, as the gong, &c. to soften[Vol I Pg 49] the sound. The mínyak káwon or niátu is a very useful tree, which grows solitary in all, and abundantly in some parts of the island, and produces a kind of tallow.

Dámar, or resin, is distinguished by the inhabitants of these countries into two kinds: dámar-bátu or séla, and dámar-puti, comprising numerous varieties obtained from different trees. None of these are, however, produced on Java. Besides the rásamála, which is very limited as to its place of growth, the Canáram, and a peculiar resin employed by the natives for varnishing the wooden sheaths of their krîses, called sámpang, few odoriferous resins are found. The camphor-tree, which abounds on Sumatra and Borneo, is unknown on Java. The wood oil, distinguished among the Malays by the name of krúwing (which in Java is applied to all resinous or oily substances employed in the construction of vessels), is not a native of Java, but it grows abundantly on Banka and Sumatra.

None of what are called the finer kinds of spices, namely, the nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon, are indigenous to Java; but the few trees which have been planted in the gardens of Europeans have thriven well: and, from the nature of the soil and climate, there seems little doubt that the nutmeg and clove, in particular, might be extensively cultivated throughout the island, did it suit the policy of the European government to admit of their general introduction.

The vine was once extensively cultivated in some of the eastern provinces of the island, in which the soil and climate appear well calculated for its growth; but an apprehension, on the part of the Dutch East-India Company, that its cultivation on Java might interfere with the wine trade of the Cape of Good Hope, induced them to discourage it, and the preparation of wine from the grape was strictly prohibited. Lieutenant-Colonel Mackenzie, when noticing the vast quantities of ashes thrown up from the different volcanos, makes the following observation on the eastern part of Java. "The soil of the country is evidently enriched by the ashes and earth emitted by these eruptions, and there is reason to conclude, what persons well acquainted with the south of Europe assert, that the vines of Italy and the Cape would thrive in perfection, in a soil and climate so well adapted to them."[Vol I Pg 50]

Among the vegetable productions of Java, none has excited more interest than the celebrated úpas, or poison-tree. Mr. Marsden, in his history of Sumatra[32], has referred to various concurring authorities, in refutation of the very extraordinary tales told of this tree; and, in this general account of the productions of Java, it may perhaps be sufficient to refer the reader to the particulars contained in the subjoined note[33].[Vol I Pg 51]

Of the useful or domestic quadrupeds it may be observed, that neither the elephant nor the camel is a native of Java: [Vol I Pg 52]the former is rarely imported, the latter unknown. Neither the ass nor mule is found; but the island has a fine breed of [Vol I Pg 53]small horses (járan), strong, fleet, and well made. A still finer breed is imported from Bíma, on the neighbouring [Vol I Pg 54]island of Sumbáwa, which by competent judges has been said to resemble the Arab in every respect except size. They [Vol I Pg 55]seldom exceed thirteen hands, and in general are below this standard.

[Vol I Pg 56] The bull and cow (sápi or lémbu) are general, but much more so in the central and eastern districts than in the western. The breed has been greatly improved by the species introduced from continental India. But the animal of most essential and general use in the agriculture of the country is the buffalo (kábu, maísa, or múnding), a particular account of which will appear in the chapter on Agriculture. Goats (wedús) are numerous and of a small size: sheep (called here European goats) are scarce and small. As in other sultry climates, the latter have a coarse woollen coat, which is employed for stuffing saddles, pillows, &c. but it is in so little request that the inhabitants are rarely at the trouble of shearing for it. The hog (chéleng) is reared principally among the Chinese.

Of beasts of prey may be enumerated several species of the tiger, as the máchan lóreng (felis tigris), máchan gogor (a variety), máchan tútul (probably the small leopard of Pennant), máchan kombang and kúwuk, the smallest kind, called tiger-cats. The jackal, and several varieties of the wild-dog; as the ásu wáwar, ásu ájag, or ásu kíki; and among other wild quadrupeds, the rhinoceros, and bánteng, or wild Javan ox, the wild-hog and the stag: the last, as well as the rib-faced and axis deer, is tamed and fattened for food. The aggregate number of mammalia on Java have been estimated at about fifty. The habits and manners of the larger animals, the tiger, leopard, black tiger, rhinoceros and stag, and two species of deer, the varieties of the wild-hog, &c. are sufficiently known; but the bánteng, or Javan ox, the Javan buffalo, the varieties of the wild-dog, those of the weasel and squirrel, and most of the other smaller quadrupeds, still present curious subjects for the study of the naturalist. Next to the rhinoceros, which [Vol I Pg 57]sometimes (though rarely at present) injures plantations, the wild-hogs are the most destructive animals. They are often poisoned (or intoxicated, according to the quantity they consume) by the kálák kámbing, or by the remains from the preparation of brom. The practice of suspending rags impregnated with urine, at small distances around the plantations, is universal over the whole island. These animals are said to have so violent an aversion to this odour, that even this "feeble barrier" is useful in preserving the plantations.

Musk, called dedes, is procured from the rasé.

Although the same qualities are ascribed to them here as in other countries, bezoars are comparatively scarce in Java; and those occasionally found in the maritime capitals are uniformly brought from other countries. The hog-deer and Nicobar pigeon are not natives; and although wild-hogs, in which bezoars are said to be found, are very abundant, they are never examined or approached by the natives. Every extraordinary concretion, calculus, ossification, &c. found in any part of an animal, is called mustíka, which corresponds to the bezoar of the Arabs, Persians, &c. A concretion of feathers found in the stomach of a fowl is called mustíka áyam, and is carefully preserved. A stony concretion, discovered accidentally by the rattling of a human skull exposed for many years to the action of the sun, has been denominated mustíka órang, and the most salutary virtues ascribed to it. Analogous to the bezoars, must be considered the horns of the rhinoceros, whose virtues are highly prized.

Among the domestic fowls, or poultry, are the turkey, which is comparatively scarce, and chiefly raised for the tables of Europeans; the goose, which is very common near all the establishments of Europeans; the bébek, or duck, abundant in every part of the island; the common fowl and pigeons. Among the birds of prey, the eagle is not found; but there are several varieties of the falcon, of which the jóko wuru is the largest; also the carrion crow and the owl. Of the parrot kind, two only, the bétet and selíndit, are found on Java. The peacock (merák), is very common in large forests. The number of distinct species of birds has been estimated not greatly to exceed two hundred, of which upwards of one hundred and seventy have been described, and are already con[Vol I Pg 58]tained in the collections made on account of the English East India Company.

The dorsal feathers of the white heron, and the vent feathers of the sándang láwé, are employed, as substitutes for ostrich feathers, by the natives, for plumes, &c. It is very rarely that the feathers of geese, &c. are employed for beds or pillows, the silky cotton of the kápok being preferred on account of its coolness. For ornamenting the arrows of the natives, the feathers of some of the falcon tribe are chiefly employed.

Among the interesting subjects which still remain open for search, are the habits and constitution of the hirundo esculenta, the small swallow which forms the edible nests, annually exported in large quantities from Java and the Eastern Islands for the Chinese market. These birds not only abound among the cliffs and caverns of the south coast of the island, but inhabit the fissures and caverns of several of the mountains and hills in the interior of the country. From every observation which has been made on Java, it has been inferred, that the mucilaginous substance, of which the nests are formed, is not, as has been generally supposed, obtained from the ocean. The birds, it is true, generally inhabit the caverns in the vicinity of the sea, as agreeing best with their habits, and affording them the most convenient retreats for attaching their nests to; but several caverns are found inland, at a distance of forty or fifty miles from the sea, containing nests similar to those on the shore. From many of their retreats along the southern coast, they have been observed to take their flight in an inland direction, towards the pools, lakes, and extensive marshes covered with stagnant water, as affording them abundance of their food, which consists of flies, mosquitoes, gnats, and small insects of every description. The sea that washes the foot of the cliffs, where they most abound, is almost always in a state of the most violent agitation, and affords none of those substances which have been supposed to constitute the food of the esculent swallow. Another species of swallow on this island forms a nest, in which grass or moss, &c. are merely agglutinated by a substance, exactly similar to that of which exclusively the edible nests consist. This substance, from whatever part of these regions the nests be derived, is essentially uniform, differing only in the colour, according to the relative[Vol I Pg 59] age of the nests. It exhibits none of those diversities which might be expected, if it were collected casually (like the mud employed by the martin, and the materials commonly employed in nest-making), and applied to the rocks. If it consisted of the substances usually supposed, it would be putrescent and diversified.

Dr. Horsfield thinks that it is an animal elaboration, perhaps a kind of secretion; but to determine its nature accurately, it should be carefully analyzed, the anatomy of the bird should be investigated, and its character and habits watched.

The kayman of the Dutch, the boáya of the Malays, and the bóyo or bájul of the Javans, which abounds along the shores and in the principal rivers of the island, resembles more the crocodile of Egypt than that of the Ganges, or the American alligator. The character of the lacerta crocodiles, as given in the Systema Naturæ, applies to the Javan crocodile, with this difference, that in the latter the two crests of the tail coalesce towards the extremity, in which respect it agrees with that of the Ganges; but its head and jaws are broad, and rounded. In its manners, habits, and destructive qualities, it resembles the largest animals of this genus. Next to the crocodile in size is the béwak of the Malays, or menyáwak or selíra of the Javans. It sometimes attains the length of six or seven feet, and lives near the banks of rivers and marshes. Its character agrees with those of the lacerta monitor. It is erroneously denominated the guana by Europeans. The eggs of this animal, as well as of the crocodile, are eaten by the natives, and the fat is collected for medical purposes. A small lizard, the búnglon of the Javans, is erroneously called the chameleon, in consequence of the property of changing its colour. It has the specific characters of the guana, but is much smaller, seldom exceeding eighteen or twenty inches in length. There are various other lizards.

Two varieties of the turtle, pényu and pényu kombang, are found in the seas surrounding Java. Both yield the substance called tortoise-shell, but they are seldom taken of sufficient size to render it valuable: the flesh is excellent. Another kind, of which the species is unknown, renders a thicker shell. Kúro is the name of the common land-tortoise, which is found very abundantly in particular districts.[Vol I Pg 60]

Besides the rana esculenta, green frog (kódok íjù of the Javans) which is frequently eaten, and the kódok benju, there is the common toad, kódok, and the bánkong and kíntel. The frog-fish (rana paradosa), or a variety of it, is also found on the island, and has been exhibited in the same supposed metamorphosis as in other countries. No noxious quality of any of these animals is here known.

It is uncertain whether the boa constrictor be found on Java. The serpent usually called the úlar sáwa is a species of coluber, and has been described in one of the volumes of the Batavian Transactions; but several other species are found which arrive at a very large size. One of them, the úlar lánang, is very much dreaded by the natives, and said to be poisonous. Of the úlar sáwa there are several varieties, one of which, úlar sáwa máchan, is most beautifully variegated. Upwards of twenty serpents are enumerated as poisonous. The úlar lámpe is found at or near the discharge of large rivers into the ocean, and is more abundant in some districts than in others. This is greatly dreaded by the natives; its bite however is rarely mortal, and the effects are comparatively slow, death seldom occurring within twenty-four hours from the time of its infliction. No remedies which deserve notice are known by the natives: charms and superstitious applications are generally resorted to. The most remarkable serpent is the úlar kádut, or kárang. The úlar lánang, and some of the varieties úlar sáwa are slender, and possess considerable agility. According to the account of the natives, they frequently ascend trees, and suspending themselves by the extremity of their tail, seize upon small animals passing below; but the true úlar sáwa of the Eastern Javans is slow, thick, and unwieldy. Nothing which could illustrate its supposed power of fascination has been noticed.

Of the fish most commonly used for food by the natives, many of which are excellent and abundant, thirty-four species of river fish, seven found chiefly in pools or stagnant waters, and sixteen sea fish, are already enumerated by Dr. Horsfield. The classes of amphibia and pisces, doubtless, afford many new subjects for investigation. Valentyn enumerates five hundred and twenty-eight uncommon kinds of fish found in the waters of the Eastern Islands.[Vol I Pg 61]

Honey and wax are produced by three species of bees, inhabiting the largest forests, but they are both collected in very inconsiderable quantities. Bees are occasionally domesticated by the Arabs and Indians near the large settlements, but never by the natives. Silk-worms were once introduced by the Dutch near Batavia, but attention to them did not extend among the natives. The chrysalis of the large atlas affords a coarse silk, which is however not collected for use. To the fruit, several insects, and to the corn while in the ear, a peculiar species, generally known by the name of wálang-sángít, are most destructive. The latter has in some years destroyed the growth of whole districts, and occasioned partial scarcity. The natives attempt, in some instances, to extirpate it by burning chaff and brimstone in the fields. There are scorpions and centipedes, but their bite is considered of little consequence: the natives generally apply a cataplasm of onions to the wound. The class of insects affords many new objects; specimens of most of the genus papilio, and many of other genera have already been collected.

Java does not afford the same opportunities for beautiful collections of shells as the Moluccas, Papua, and other Islands. Along the northern coast, few shells are found of beauty or variety, and the corallines have mostly lost their integrity by attrition; but the extensive bays in the southern shore contain many of these objects in a state of beauty and perfection.


[12] The primitive Athenians were called Iones or Iaones (Herodotus, lib. i. &c.) This name is thought to have been given to them from Javan, which bears a great resemblance to Ιάων. This Javan was the fourth son of Japheth, and is said to have come into Greece after the confusion of Babel, and seated himself in Attica; and this report receives no small confirmation from the divine writings, where the name of Javan is in several places put for Greece. See Daniel x. 20. xi. 2. where the vulgar translations render it not Javan, as in the original, but Græcia. The Athenians afterwards named Asia the less Ionia.​—Potter's Archæologia Græca.

[13] Panicum Italicum.

[14] The term Zapagé or Zabaja seems also to have been a corruption from Jawa, and to have been used with the same latitude, according to the following notices by Major Wilford. "There was a constant intercourse, both by sea and land, between the kingdom of Magad'hi and China, on the authority of Chinese history; and they traded to an island and kingdom, called Founan, to the eastward of Siam, during the third and fourth centuries. This was probably a Malay kingdom; but we cannot ascertain its situation. It seems that the Malay emperors and kings, as those of Zapagi and Founan, did what they could to introduce trade and learning into their dominions, but their exertions proved ineffectual; at least they were not attended with much success; and their subjects soon relapsed into their former mode of life." ... "There are two countries called Maharaja, which are often confounded together; the first, at the bottom of the Green Sea, including Bengal and all the countries on the banks of the Ganges; the second comprehended the peninsula of Malacca, and some of the adjacent islands in the seas of China. In these countries the emperor, or king, always assumed the title of Maharaja, even until this day. Their country, in general, was called Zapagé or Zabaja, which is a corruption from Java or Jaba, as it was called in the west, and was also the name of Sumatra, according to Ptolemy, who calls it Jaba-diu, and to Marco Polo. In the peninsula of Malacca was the famous emporium of Zaba: Zubaja, in Sanscrit, would signify then Zaba. The empire of Zabajé was thus called, probably, from its metropolis, Zaba, as well as the principal islands near it. Zaba was a principal emporium even as early as the time of Ptolemy. It remained so till the time of the two Mussulman travellers of Renaudot, and probably much longer. It is now called Batu Sabor, upon the river Jehor, which is as large as the Euphrates, according to these travellers; who add, that the town of Calabar, on the coast of Coromandel, and ten days to the south of Madras, belonged to the Maharaja of Zabaje. The wars of this Maharaja with the king of Alkoner or countries near Cape Comorin, are mentioned by the two Mussulman travellers in the ninth century, and it seems that, at that time, the Malayan empire was in its greatest splendor."​—Asiatic Researches, vol. ix.

[15] Others again have derived the term Jawa from Yava, which in Sanscrit means barley, whence Java has occasionally been termed the land of barley.

[16] Beschryving van Groot Djawa of te Java Major door F. Valentyn.​—Amsterdam, 1726.

[17] The breadth is a few miles less between Cheribon and the south coast, occasioned by the deep bay of Cheláchap, and also in the eastern termination of the island beyond Surabáya, where it only averages forty-five geographical miles.

[18] The term regencies is adopted from the title of Regent, given by the Dutch to the chief native authority in each district.

[19] Súra-kérta or Sura-kérta di ning'rat, is the name given to the seat of empire; but as the capital was only removed to its present site about the middle of the last century, it is still frequently called Solo, the name of the village in or near which this capital was established.

[20] This capital is indifferently turned Yokya, Jokya, Juju, 'Ng'yug'ya, or Yug'ya-kerta, and is the Djojo-Carta, according to the Dutch orthography. The turn Yug'ya has been selected, on account of its nearer approximation to the supposed derivation of the word from the Na-yud-ya of the Ramayan.

[21] The height of the mountain Arjúna, in the eastern part of the island, has been determined at 10,614 feet above the level of the sea; and this mountain is by no means so lofty as those of Semíru and Tegál, the exact height of which has not yet been ascertained.

[22] The height of this mountain has been ascertained to be 5,263 English feet above the level of the sea.

[23] To the above general observations, which are made on the authority of Dr. Horsfield, it may not be uninteresting to subjoin a more particular account of two or three of the volcanos which have been examined by that gentleman; those of Tánkuban-Prahu, Papandáyang, and Gúntur are, therefore, extracted from a paper published by Dr. Horsfield in the Batavian Transactions.

"Tankuban-Prahu.​—This mountain (which has derived its name from its appearance at a distance, resembling a prahu, or boat, turned upside down) forms a vast truncated cone. Its base extends to a very great distance, and it belongs to the largest mountains of the island, forming one of its most interesting volcanos. Although it has had no violent eruption for many ages, as is evident from the progress of vegetation, and from the depth of black mould which covers its sides, its interior has continued in a state of uninterrupted activity.

"The crater is one of the largest, perhaps the largest, of the island. It has, in general, the shape of a funnel; but its sides are very irregular. The brim, or margin, which bounds it at the top, has also different degrees of elevation, rising and descending along the whole course of its circumference. The perpendicular depth at the side, where I descended (in the south), is at least two hundred and fifty feet: in the west the margin rises considerably higher. The regular circumference of the crater I estimate one English mile and nearly an half. The south side of the interior crater, near the top, is very steep. I found it impossible to descend, without the assistance of ropes tied to the shrubs at the margin. It consists here of small fragments of lava. About one-third of its depth it becomes more oblique or inclining, and the lower part consists of large piles of rocks, through which the descending streams of water have excavated a winding channel. The east side descends gradually about one-half of the depth, where it is terminated abruptly by a perpendicular pile of large rocks, which continues to the bottom. The north side is more gradually shelving than the others, and is partly covered with vegetation. The west side is one perpendicular pile of rocks. The nucleus of the mountain consists of large masses of basaltes, in which the volcanic opening is situated; and the sides exhibit piles and strata of this stone in every possible variety of configuration. In some places the rocks have the appearance of a regular wall, which is suddenly diversified by large fragments suspended apparently by a small base, and threatening to fall down every instant. Sometimes they rise in an oblique manner, and appear to have been disposed by art. But I shall not attempt a minute description of the disposition of the rocks and the strata which form the internal walls of the crater, which, without an accurate drawing, would be tedious and scarcely intelligible. The surface of the rocks which line the interior of the crater is completely calcined, generally of a white colour, sometimes inclining to grey or yellow. In many places small fragments of lava adhere to and cover the rocks of basalt: these are of different sizes, and of great variety of form and colour; but the most are calcined or burnt, or the surface like the rocks themselves. The different sides of the internal crater are excavated in many places, by furrows made by the descending water, which penetrate to a considerable depth, and expose more completely the interior basaltic composition. The bottom of the crater has a diameter of three hundred yards, but is not completely regular; its form depends on the gradual meeting of the sides below. Its surface is much diversified: it is strewed, like the sides, with immense blocks of basalt, the interstices between which are excavated, in a similar manner, by the streams of the descending water.

"Near the centre, somewhat inclining to the west side, it contains an irregular oval lake, or collection of water, whose greatest diameter is nearly one hundred yards: it dilates into several branches. The water is white, and exhibits truly the appearance of a lake of milk, boiling with a perpetual discharge of large bubbles, which rise with greatest force from the eastern side. The heat is 112° of Fahrenheit's scale: the apparent boiling arises from a constant development of fixed air. The water has a sulphureous odour; its taste is astringent, somewhat saline. Shaken in a bottle it explodes its fixed air with great violence. The sides of the lake, to some distance, are lined by a white aluminous earth, most impalpably fine, and very loose, on which account it is very difficult to approach the water. In attempting to examine its temperature, and to collect for analysis, I sunk into the earth to a considerable distance, and found it necessary to dispose large fragments of basaltes before I was able to pass over it. This earth consists of the clay (alumine) of the lavas dissolved by the sulphureous steams on the bottom of the crater; it is of the purest kind, and divided to a degree minute almost beyond conception. Large quantities have been several times thrown out of the ancient craters of the island. One eruption of this substance occurred in the year 1761 from the mountain Gedé: it was considered as an eruption of ashes.

"I was witness to a similar eruption, which occurred from the mountain of Klut, in the month of June last year. The earth very much resembled ashes, and was so impalpably fine and light, that the common breeze of the monsoon carried it from this mountain, situated in the longitude of Surabáya, to Batavia and farther westward. It possessed the properties of the purest clay, and being mixed with water became viscid and ductile. It can easily be formed into vessels, and if procurable in large quantities, might usefully be employed in the arts. All its properties indicated sufficiently that it was the alumine of the lavas, divided in an extreme degree by the causes above-mentioned. The Javanese are not wholly unacquainted with the properties of this earth. It is a custom amongst silversmiths to collect the ashes thrown out by similar eruptions, for the purpose of making moulds for the finest works.

"Towards the eastern extremity of the lake are the remaining outlets of the subterraneous fires: they consist of several apertures, from which an uninterrupted discharge of sulphureous vapours takes place. Two of these are larger than the rest; they are several feet distant from each other. The apertures are of an irregular oblong form, and covered with crystals of impure sulphur, which form from the discharged vapours, and adhere to those incrustations of the aluminous earth which have formed themselves in a great variety of configurations (hollows, tubes, &c.) near the apertures. The vapours rush out with incredible force, with violent subterraneous noises, resembling the boiling of an immense cauldron in the bowels of the mountain: their colour is white, like the concentrated vapours of boiling water. The apertures cannot be approached without the greatest danger, as their true extent cannot be discovered: they are surrounded by incrustations of sulphur adhering to delicate laminæ of the aluminous earth, which are extremely brittle. The greatest diameter of the large opening is nearly twelve inches.

"To give an adequate description of the interior of this crater would furnish matter for an able pen: the force of the impression is increased, perhaps, by the recollection of the danger which has been overcome in descending to the bottom. Every thing here contributes to fill the mind with the most awful satisfaction. It doubtless is one of the most grand and terrific scenes which nature affords; and, in the present instance, the extent of the crater, as well as the remains of the former explosions, afforded a view and enjoyment which is not in my power to describe.

"Papandayang.​—The Papandáyang, situated on the western part of the district of Cheribon, in the province of Suka-pura, was formerly one of the largest volcanos of the island; but the greatest part of it was swallowed up in the earth, after a short but very severe combustion, in the year 1772. The account which has remained of this event asserts, that near midnight, between the 11th and 12th of August, there was observed about the mountain an uncommonly luminous cloud, by which it appeared to be completely enveloped. The inhabitants, as well about the foot as on the declivities of the mountain, alarmed by this appearance, betook themselves to flight; but before they could all save themselves, the mountain began to give way, and the greatest part of it actually fell in and disappeared in the earth. At the same time, a tremendous noise was heard, resembling the discharge of the heaviest cannon. Immense quantities of volcanic substances, which were thrown out at the same time and spread in every direction, propagated the effects of the explosion through the space of many miles.

"It is estimated, that an extent of ground, of the mountain itself and its immediate environs, fifteen miles long and full six broad, was by this commotion swallowed up in the bowels of the earth. Several persons, sent to examine the condition of the neighbourhood, made report, that they found it impossible to approach the mountain, on account of the heat of the substances which covered its circumference, and which were piled on each other to the height of three feet; although this was the 24th of September, and thus full six weeks after the catastrophe. It is also mentioned, that forty villages, partly swallowed up by the ground and partly covered by the substances thrown out, were destroyed on this occasion, and that 2,957 of the inhabitants perished. A proportionate number of cattle was also destroyed, and most of the plantations of cotton, indigo, and coffee, in the adjacent districts, were buried under the volcanic matter. The effects of this explosion are still very apparent on the remains of this volcano; but I defer an account of it, till I have had an opportunity of making a more minute examination.

"Guntur.​—The whole of the eastern part of this mountain is completely naked, and exposes to view, in a striking manner, the course of the lavas of the latter eruptions: the top is a regular cone, and covered with loose fragments of lava. I shall give a very concise abstract of the observations on the mountain, and on the different streams of lava which have lately flowed from its crater. I could distinctly trace, from the base of the conical top to the roots of the mountain, five different eruptions. The latest stream of lava which I examined (the mountain has since had a later eruption) was thrown out in 1800. Its course along the top cannot be distinctly observed, being completely covered with sand and small fragments of lava, which generally rise towards the end of an eruption. At the place where the stream first appeared distinctly, it was about five yards broad and completely even on the surface: having proceeded about twenty yards further it gradually widened, and was formed into a connected stream, higher in the middle, the sides tapering or inclining towards the top, forming a ridge with a pointed or sharp back. As the stream arrived at the foot of the mountain, it spread more and more, and pursued its course to the eastward, about six hundred yards over the adjacent country. Its greatest breadth, from north to south, is about one hundred and sixty yards, and it terminates abruptly by a rounded margin, consisting of large blocks of lava piled upon each other, nearly perpendicularly, to the height of fifteen to twenty feet.

"This stream of lava, like all the others of later date which I have examined on the island, does not consist of a connected mass of fluid lava, united like a stream of melted metal; at least on the surface where it is exposed to view. It is made up of separate masses, which have an irregular (generally oblong or cubical) shape, and lie upon each other as 'loose disjointed clods,' in an immense variety of disposition. In some of these fragments I think I could observe a tendency to assume the regular basaltic figure. During its course down the steeps of the mountain, the stream, as has been observed, forms the long connected ridge (which has been described above, in the account of the volcanos, as generally covering the sides); but having arrived at the foot and spread more at large, these lumps of lava dispose themselves, in some instances, in plains, bounded by deep vallies: now they rise to a considerable height, and form a steep perpendicular eminence; then again they are piled upon each other more gradually, and appear rising by steps and divisions. But to give an accurate description of the arrangement of these fragments of lava would be unnecessarily prolix, and would require, to be clearly understood, a good drawing. In different places, the sulphureous vapours have forced their way through the interstices of the blocks of lava. The sides of their outlets (whose form is very irregular) is covered with a white calcareous crust; and the heat is so great, that small pieces of paper thrown into them are immediately singed.

"This stream of lava is bounded on the north by another, of the same nature and disposition, thrown out of the mountain (according to an estimate made from the commencement and progress of vegetation upon it) about thirty years ago. In its course along the sides of the mountain it forms the same pointed ridges above described. It affords a plain demonstration of the manner in which the surface of lava is decomposed and rendered fit for vegetation. A third district of lava bounds the new stream first described in the south: it is more extensive than the others, and consists of several distinct regions, probably thrown out during one eruption (which appears to have been more violent than the others), but in successive periods shortly following each other. It extends farther to the eastward than the others, and covers a great portion of the foot of the mountain. Vegetation has already made considerable progress upon it: in the vallies between the separate streams of lava are found not only plants but also small shrubs. At one place, near the termination of this stream, the lava is piled up in two irregular ridges to the height of twenty feet; and at a small distance from its eastern extremity, in a spot which has escaped the effects of the later eruptions, and is covered by pleasant wood, are three different hot wells, within the circumference of a quarter of a mile. In the south, this district of lava is bounded by a recent stream, which appears to have been thrown out in 1800, by the same eruption which produced the first mentioned stream. It differs from the others only in the colour of its lava, which has a reddish hue: it is less considerable in extent than any of the others, and cannot be traced far from the foot of the mountain. The fifth stream of lava which I examined is still farther towards the south, and is one of the oldest which have been discharged from the eastern part of the crater. Near the foot of the mountain, vegetation has made greater progress than in any of the other districts of lava.

"The colour of the recent lava of this mountain is jet-black or grey: one of the streams only has a reddish colour. Its texture is very loose, and its fracture very porous. The smaller fragments have much the appearance of the scoriæ of a blacksmith's forge: on being thrown against each other, they emit a sound like two bricks coming into contact. The interior crater of this mountain, as it has remained after the eruption of 1800, is less interesting than the others which I have examined. Its shape is somewhat oval, the greatest diameter being about one hundred yards: its depth is not very considerable. Its structure, in general, is similar to that of Tankuban-prahu. It has one remaining aperture, which discharges with great force hot sulphureous vapours."

Batavian Transactions, vol. ix.

[24] Mineral wells, of various qualities, are found in almost every part of the island. As an instance of the hot wells, the following account of those found in Cheribon is selected. "At the village of Bongas (situated about ten miles to the north-east of Karang-Sambong) I directed my route to the large mountain, in order to examine part of the hills along its foot, called the hills of Pana-wangan, and several hot wells which are found near their borders. On approaching these hills, after a very gentle acclivity covered entirely by calcareous stones, I very soon came to the spot of the hot wells. They are found on a gently inclining plain, about one hundred yards in circumference. This plain is perfectly white; and on approaching it, it is perceived at some distance by a sulphureous vapour, arising from the whole neighbourhood. The water springs from several apertures, but their temperatures are not equal; the hottest indicates the degree of one hundred and thirty of Fahrenheit's scale. They all contain a very large quantity of calcareous earth in solution and suspension, which coming into contact with the air, immediately separates, and adheres to the surrounding objects, or is precipitated to the ground. The branches of the shrubs in the vicinity are all enveloped by a stalactical incrustation. The water from the different wells gently descending the white calcareous plain, is collected in a rivulet below. A large number of calcareous rocks are found in the vicinity of the plains; some are covered with elegant crystals of calcareous spar, others have a coralline appearance, and some have the fracture of alabaster. On proceeding up the hills, immense irregular blocks of calcareous rocks are found strewed about in the valleys. About one hundred yards above this district are several wells of naphtha, or petroleum. It rises in small plashes of water, about twelve or eighteen inches in diameter, upon which it drives its black specks, emitting the peculiar odour of the petroleum. The earth in the circumference of these plashes is strongly impregnated with this oil: it is very tough, and from that immediately bounding apertures, the naphtha flows out on its being pressed; some portions exactly resemble asphaltum. A considerable space of ground is occupied by these wells. The stones are all calcareous. A few hundred yards above this spot, the borders of the hills become very steep. I examined them to some extent. They are composed exclusively of calcareous stones. Several extensive stalactitic caves are found at no great distance above the wells; they exhibit the usual appearances of calcareous caves and vaults. The process of incrustation is continually going on. In some places, deep perforations extend into the heart of the hills."​—Essay on the Mineralogy of Java, by Dr. Horsfield. Bat. Trans. vol. ix.

Among other objects of curiosity, which can only be illustrated by particular description, are the explosions of mud, situated between the district of Grobogan on the west, and of Blora and Jipang on the east. By the natives they are termed Blédeg, and are described by Dr. Horsfield as salt wells.

"These salt wells," he observes, "are dispersed through a district of country several miles in circumference, the base of which, like that of other parts of the island which furnish mineral and other saline waters, is limestone. They are of considerable number, and force themselves upwards, through apertures in the rocks, with some violence and ebullition. The waters are strongly impregnated with sea-salt, and yield upon evaporation very good salt for culinary purposes. (In quantity not less than two hundred tons in the year.)

"About the centre of this limestone district, is found an extraordinary volcanic phenomenon. On approaching it from a distance, it is first discovered by a large volume of smoke rising and disappearing at intervals of a few seconds, resembling the vapours arising from a violent surf: a dull noise is heard, like that of distant thunder. Having advanced so near, that the vision was no longer impeded by the smoke, a large hemispherical mass was observed, consisting of black earth, mixed with water, about sixteen feet in diameter, rising to the height of twenty or thirty feet in a perfectly regular manner, and as it were pushed up, by a force beneath; which suddenly exploded with a dull noise, and scattered about a volume of black mud in every direction. After an interval of two or three, or sometimes four or five seconds, the hemispherical body of mud or earth rose and exploded again. In the same manner this volcanic ebullition goes on without interruption, throwing up a globular body of mud, and dispersing it with violence through the neighbouring plain. The spot where the ebullition occurs is nearly circular and perfectly level, it is covered only with the earthy particles impregnated with salt water, which are thrown up from below; the circumference may be estimated at about half an English mile. In order to conduct the salt water to the circumference, small passages, or gutters, are made in the loose muddy earth, which lead it to the borders, where it is collected in holes dug in the ground for the purpose of evaporation.

"A strong, pungent, sulphureous smell, somewhat resembling that of earth-oil, is perceived on standing near the explosion; and the mud recently thrown up possesses a degree of heat greater than that of the surrounding atmosphere. During the rainy season these explosions are more violent, the mud is thrown up much higher, and the noise is heard at a greater distance.

"This volcanic phenomenon is situated near the centre of the large plain which interrupts the large series of volcanos; and owes its origin to the general cause of the numerous volcanic eruptions which occur on the island." Batavian Trans. vol. ix.

"These salt wells, as Dr. Horsfield terms them, and other phenomena connected with them, appear to be precisely of the same description as the mud volcano at Macalouba, in Sicily, and the eruptions described by Pallas, at Tainan and Kercha (the boundary of Europe to the south-east of Little Tartary) and no doubt owe their origin to similar causes​—the extrication of gas, as well described by Dallas, in his Translation of the History of Volcanos, by the Abbé Ordinaire," page 249. All the phenomenon described in this work, as well in Sicily as at Tainan and Kercha, are to be found in Java, where, on the hypothesis of the Abbé, "the vitriolic acid liberating a great quantity of fixed air from the salts with which this argillaceous and limy mass is impregnated, is observed escaping copiously, by a general bubbling on the surface of the plain, when the substances are sufficiently diluted by rain," &c.

On the hypothesis of the Abbé it may, therefore, be doubted whether the assertion "that the Blédegs owe their origin to the general cause of the numerous volcanos on the island, is correct." Pallas conceives that the phenomenon at Kercha and Tainan may be explained by supposing a deep coal mine to have been for ages on fire, that the sea broke in upon it, that the water was turned into steam, and that the expansion occasioned thereby, and the struggle of the different gases to get free, force the upper surface, &c. but there seems no necessity for admitting the action of fire; the mud he describes is only luke-warm, this is precisely the case in Java.

It is remarkable that in Java, as in Sicily, in the vicinity of these phenomena, "the country around is of calcareous earth; briny springs and salt mines are found in the neighbourhood; some beds of oil of petroleum are also observed floating on adjacent stagnant waters."

[25] The tradition is as follows:​—"It is related, that in former times the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, and Sumbawa were united, and afterwards separated into nine different parts; and it is also said, that when three thousand rainy seasons have passed away, they will be reunited."

The separation of the lands of Palembang (Sumatra) and Java took place in the Javan year 1114
The separation of the lands of Bali and Balembangan on Java in 1204
The separation of the lands of Giling Trawangán and Bali in 1260
The separation of the island of Selo-Parang and Sumbawa in 1280
See Chronological Table, under the head "History of Java."

[26] In order to give the reader some idea of the tremendous violence with which nature sometimes distinguishes the operations of the volcano in these regions, and enable him to form some conjecture, from the occurrences of recent experience, of the effects they may have produced in past ages, a short account of the extraordinary and wide-spread phenomena that accompanied the eruption of the Tomboro mountain, in the island of Sumbawa, in April 1815, may not be uninteresting. Almost every one is acquainted with the intermitting convulsions of Etna and Vesuvius, as they appear in the descriptions of the poet and the authentic accounts of the naturalist, but the most extraordinary of them can bear no comparison, in point of duration and force, with that of Tomboro. This eruption extended perceptible evidences of its existence over the whole of the Molucca islands, over Java, a considerable portion of Celebes, Sumatra, and Borneo, to a circumference of a thousand statute miles from its centre, by tremulous motions, and the report of explosions; while within the range of its more immediate activity, embracing a space of three hundred miles around it, it produced the most astonishing effects, and excited the most alarming apprehensions. On Java, at the distance of three hundred miles, it seemed to be awfully present. The sky was overcast at noon-day with clouds of ashes, the sun was enveloped in an atmosphere, whose "palpable" density he was unable to penetrate; showers of ashes covered the houses, the streets, and the fields to the depth of several inches; and amid this darkness explosions were heard at intervals, like the report of artillery or the noise of distant thunder. So fully did the resemblance of the noises to the report of cannon impress the minds of some officers, that from an apprehension of pirates on the coast vessels were dispatched to afford relief. Superstition, on the other hand, on the minds of the natives, was busily at work, and attributed the reports to an artillery of a different description to that of pirates. All conceived that the effects experienced might be caused by eruptions of some of the numerous volcanos on the island; but no one could have conjectured that the showers of ashes which darkened the air, and covered the ground of the eastern districts of Java, could have proceeded from a mountain in Sumbawa, at the distance of several hundred miles. Conceiving that it might be interesting and curious to preserve an authentic and detailed account of the information that could be gained of this wonderful phenomenon, while the event was still recent and fully remembered, I directed a circular to the different Residents, requiring them to transmit to the Government a statement of the facts and circumstances connected with it, which occurred within their own knowledge. From their replies, the narrative drawn up by Mr. Assey, and printed in the ninth volume of the Batavian Transactions, was collected; the following is an extract from that paper:​—

"The first explosions were heard on this island (Java) in the evening of the 5th of April: they were noticed in every quarter, and continued at intervals until the following day. The noise was, in the first instance, universally attributed to distant cannon: so much so, that a detachment of troops was marched from Djocjocarta, under the apprehension that a neighbouring post had been attacked; and along the coast boats were in two instances dispatched in quest of supposed ships in distress. On the following morning, however, a slight fall of ashes removed all doubt as to the cause of the sound; and it is worthy of remark, that as the eruption continued, the sound appeared to be so close, that in each district it seemed near at hand, and was generally attributed to an eruption either from the mountains Merapi, Klut, or Bromo. From the 6th the sun became obscured; it had every where the appearance of being enveloped in a fog. The weather was sultry and the atmosphere close, and still the sun seemed shorn of its rays, and the general stillness and pressure of the atmosphere seemed to forebode an earthquake. This lasted several days. The explosions continued occasionally, but less violently, and less frequently than at first. Volcanic ashes also began to fall, but in small quantities, and so slightly as to be hardly perceptible in the western district. This appearance of the atmosphere continued, with little variation, until the 10th of April; and till then it does not appear that the volcano attracted much observation, or was considered of greater importance than those which have occasionally burst forth in Java. But on the evening of the 10th, the eruptions were heard more loud and more frequent; from Cheribon eastward the air became darkened by the quantity of falling ashes; the sun was nearly darkened; and in some situations, particularly at Solo and Rembang, many said that they felt a tremulous motion of the earth. It was universally remarked in the more eastern districts, that the explosions were tremendous, continuing frequently during the 11th, and of such violence as to shake the houses perceptibly. An unusual thick darkness was remarked all the following night, and the greater part of the next day. At Solo candles were lighted at 4 p. m. of the 12th; at Mágelan in Kédu, objects could not be seen at three hundred yards distance. At Grésik, and other districts more eastward, it was dark as night in the greater part of the 12th April, and this saturated state of the atmosphere lessened as the cloud of ashes passed along and discharged itself on its way. Thus the ashes that were eight inches deep at Bányuwángi were but two in depth at Súmenap, and less in Grésik, and the sun does not seem to have been actually obscured in any district west of Semárang.

"All reports concur in stating, that so violent and extensive an eruption has not happened within the memory of the oldest inhabitant, nor within tradition. They speak of similar effects, in a lesser degree, when an eruption took place from the volcano of Karang Asam in Bali, about seven years ago, and it was at first supposed that this mountain was the seat of the eruption. The Balinese on Java attributed the event to a recent dispute between the two Rajahs of Bali Baliling, which terminated in the death of the younger Rajah by order of his brother.

"The haziness and heat of the atmosphere, and occasional fall of volcanic ashes, continued until the 14th, and in some parts of the island until the 17th of April. They were cleared away universally by a heavy fall of rain, after which the atmosphere became clear and more cool; and it would seem that this seasonable relief prevented much injury to the crops, and removed an appearance of epidemic disease which was beginning to prevail. This was especially the case at Batavia, where, for two or three days preceding the rain, many persons were attacked with fever. As it was, however, no material injury was felt beyond the districts of Banyuwángi. The cultivators every where took precaution to shake off the ashes from the growing paddy as they fell, and the timely rain removed an apprehension very generally entertained, that insects would have been generated by the long continuance of the ashes at the root of the plant. In Rembang, where the rain did not fall till the 17th, and the ashes had been considerable, the crops were somewhat injured; but in Banyuwángi, the part of the island on which the cloud of ashes spent its force, the injury was more extensive. A large quantity of paddy was totally destroyed, and all the plantations more or less injured. One hundred and twenty-six horses and eighty-six head of cattle also perished, chiefly for want of forage, during a month from the time of the eruption.

"From Sumbawa to the part of Sumatra where the sound was noticed, is about nine hundred and seventy geographical miles in a direct line. From Sumbawa to Ternate is a distance of about seven hundred and twenty miles. The distance also to which the cloud of ashes was carried, so quickly as to produce utter darkness, was clearly pointed out to have been the island of Celebes and the districts of Grésik on Java: the former is two hundred and seventeen nautical miles distant from the seat of the volcano; the latter, in a direct line, more than three hundred geographical miles."

The following is an extract from the reports of Lieutenant Owen Phillips, dated at Bima on the island of Sumbawa. "On my trip towards the western part of the island, I passed through nearly the whole of Dompo and a considerable part of Bima. The extreme misery to which the inhabitants have been reduced is shocking to behold. There were still on the road-side the remains of several corpses, and the marks of where many others had been interred: the villages almost entirely deserted and the houses fallen down, the surviving inhabitants having dispersed in search of food. The Rajah of Sang'ir came to wait on me at Dompo, on the 3d instant. The suffering of the people there appears, from his account, to be still greater than in Dompo. The famine has been so severe that even one of his own daughters died from hunger. I presented him with three coyangs of rice in your name, for which he appeared most truly thankful.

"As the Rajah was himself a spectator of the late eruption, the following account which he gave me is perhaps more to be depended upon than any other I can possibly obtain. About 7 p. m. on the 10th of April, three distinct columns of flame burst forth near the top of the Tomboro mountain (all of them apparently within the verge of the crater), and after ascending separately to a very great height, their tops united in the air in a troubled confused manner. In a short time, the whole mountain next Sang'ir appeared like a body of liquid fire, extending itself in every direction. The fire and columns of flame continued to rage with unabated fury, until the darkness caused by the quantity of falling matter obscured it at about 8 p. m. Stones, at this time, fell very thick at Sang'ir; some of them as large as two fists, but generally not larger than walnuts. Between 9 and 10 p. m. ashes began to fall, and soon after a violent whirlwind ensued, which blew down nearly every house in the village of Sang'ir, carrying the ataps, or roofs, and light parts away with it. In the part of Sang'ir adjoining Tomboro its effects were much more violent, tearing up by the roots the largest trees and carrying them into the air, together with men, horses, cattle, and whatever else came within its influence. (This will account for the immense number of floating trees seen at sea). The sea rose nearly twelve feet higher than it had ever been known to do before, and completely spoiled the only small spots of rice land in Sang'ir, sweeping away houses and every thing within its reach. The whirlwind lasted about an hour. No explosions were heard till the whirlwind had ceased, at about 11 a. m. From midnight till the evening of the 11th, they continued without intermission; after that time their violence moderated, and they were only heard at intervals, but the explosions did not cease entirely until the 15th of July. Of the whole villages of Tomboro, Tempo containing about forty inhabitants is the only one remaining. In Pekáté no vestige of a house is left: twenty-six of the people, who were at Sumbawa at the time, are the whole of the population who have escaped. From the most particular inquiries I have been able to make, there were certainly not fewer than twelve thousand individuals in Tomboro and Pekáté at the time of the eruption, of whom only five or six survive. The trees and herbage of every description, along the whole of the north and west sides of the peninsula, have been completely destroyed, with the exception of a high point of land near the spot where the village of Tomboro stood."

[27] Batavian Transactions, vol. viii. Introductory Discourse.

[28] See Appendix A.

[29] Raynal, vol i. page 293.

[30] It is remarkable that the teak tree, which, as far as our information yet extends, is not to be found on the peninsula of Malacca, or on Sumatra or the adjacent islands, should grow in abundance on Java and several of the islands which lie east of it: as on Madúra and its dependent islands, Báli, Sumbáwa, and others. Sumbáwa produces a considerable quantity. The whole of the hills on the north-east part of that island under Bíma are covered with it; but from the constant demand for the timber, the trees are seldom allowed to grow to more than a foot in diameter, except in the forests exclusively appropriated to the use of the sovereign. In Dómpo, which occupies the central division of the same island, the teak cannot be used by any but the sovereign, and the trees are in consequence allowed to attain their full size. The timber is here uncommonly fine, and by the natives considered superior to that of Java; but the forests being surrounded by steep hills, and the population but scanty, it cannot be transported to the sea-coast without great labour and expense. On Celebes the teak tree is only known in a few spots. The principal forest is in the district of Mario; and this does not appear to be indigenous, as the natives assert that the seed from which the forest has grown, was brought from Java about eighty years ago by one of the sovereigns of Tanété.

[31] The Dutch, apprehensive of a failure in the usual supply of teak timber, have long been in the habit of forming extensive plantations of this tree; but whether from a sufficient period not having yet elapsed for the trial, or that the plantations are generally made in soils and situations ill calculated for the purpose, experience, as far as it has yet gone, has shown, that the trees which are left to the operations of nature, attain to greater perfection, even in a comparatively barren soil, unfit for any other cultivation, than those which are with great care and trouble reared in a fertile land. Their wood is more firm, more durable, and of a less chalky substance than that of the latter.

[32] Page 176, third edit.

[33] Although a serious refutation of the gross imposition practised on the people of Europe, by the romance of Foersch on the subject of the upas, or celebrated poison-tree of Java, may at this day be in a great measure superfluous, as the world has long ceased to be the dupe of his story, and as regular series of experiments have been instituted, both in France and in England, to ascertain the nature and potency of the poison; yet it may not be altogether displeasing to the reader to see in this place an authentic account of the poison, as drawn out by Dr. Horsfield at my request, and published in the seventh volume of the Batavian Transactions. Almost every one has heard of its fabulous history, which, from its extravagant nature, its susceptibility of poetical ornament, its alliance with the cruelties of a despotic government, and the sparkling genius of Darwin, whose purpose it answered to adopt and personify it as a malignant spirit (in his Lives of the Plants), has obtained almost equal currency with the wonders of the Lerna Hydra, the Chimera, or any other of the classic fictions of antiquity.

"Although the account published by Foersch, in so far as relates to the situation of the poison-tree, to its effects on the surrounding country, and to the application said to have been made of the upas on criminals in different parts of the island, as well as the description of the poisonous substance itself, and its mode of collection, has been demonstrated to be an extravagant forgery,​—the existence of a tree on Java, from the sap of which a poison is prepared, equal in fatality, when thrown into the circulation, to the strongest animal poisons hitherto known, is a fact which is at present my object to establish and illustrate. The tree which produces this poison is the anchar, and grows in the eastern extremity of the island. The work of Rhumphius contains a long account of the upas, under the denomination of arbor toxicaria. The tree does not grow on Amboyna, and his description was made from the information he obtained from Makasar. His figure was drawn from a branch of what is called the male-tree, sent to him from the same place, and establishes the identity of the poison-tree of Makasar, and the other Eastern Islands, with the anchar of Java. The simple sap of the arbor toxicaria (according to Rhumphius) is harmless, and requires the addition of several substances, of the affinity of ginger, to render it active and mortal. In so far it agrees with the anchar, which, in its simple state, is supposed to be inert, and before being employed as a poison, is subjected to a preparation which will be described after the history of the tree. Besides the true poison-tree, the upas of the Eastern Islands, and the anchar of the Javans, this island produces a shrub, which, as far as observations have hitherto been made, is peculiar to the same, and, by a different mode of preparation, furnishes a poison far exceeding the upas in violence. Its name is chetik, and its specific description will succeed to that of the anchar: the genus has not yet been discovered or described.

"Description of the Anchar.​—The anchar belongs to the twenty-first class of Linnæus, the monoecia. The male and female flowers are produced in catkins (amenta) on the same branch, at no great distance from each other: the female flowers are in general above the male. The characters of the genus are:​—Male flower; calix, consisting of several scales, which are imbricate. Corol; none. Stamens; filaments many, very short, covered with scales at the receptacle. The receptacle, on which the filaments are placed, has a conical form, abrupt, somewhat rounded above.​—Female flower; catkins, ovate. Calix; consisting of a number of scales (generally more than in the male), containing one flower. Corol; none. Pistil; germ single, ovate. Styles; two, long, slender, and spreading. Stigmas; single and acute. Seed-vessel; an oblong drupe, covered with the calix. Seed; an ovate nut, with one cell.

"Specific Description.​—The anchar is one of the largest trees in the forests of Java. The stem is cylindrical, perpendicular, and rises completely naked to the height of sixty, seventy, or eighty feet. Near the surface of the ground it spreads obliquely, dividing into numerous broad appendages or wings, much like the canarium commune (the canary-tree), and several other of our large forest trees. It is covered with a whitish bark, slightly bursting in longitudinal furrows. Near the ground this bark is, in old trees, more than half an inch thick, and upon being wounded yields plentifully the milky juice from which the celebrated poison is prepared. A puncture or incision being made into the tree, the juice or sap appears oozing out of a yellowish colour (somewhat frothy) from old, paler or nearly white from young trees; exposed to the air, its surface becomes brown. The consistence very much resembles milk: it is more thick and viscid. This sap is contained in the true bark (or cortex), which, when punctured, yields a considerable quantity, so that in a short time a cup-full may be collected from a large tree. The inner bark (or liber) is of a close fibrous texture, like that of the morus papyrifera, and when separated from the other bark, and cleansed from the adhering particles, resembles a coarse piece of linen. It has been worked into ropes, which are very strong; and the poorer class of people employ the inner bark of the younger trees, which is more easily prepared, for the purpose of making a coarse stuff which they wear in working in the fields. But it requires much bruising, washing, and a long immersion, before it can be used, and when it appears completely purified, persons wearing this dress being exposed to rain, are affected with an intolerable itching, which renders their flimsy covering insupportable. It will appear from the account of the manner in which the poison is prepared, that the deleterious quality exists in the gum; a small portion of which still adhering, produces, when exposed to wet, this irritating effect: and it is singular, that this property of the prepared bark is known to the Javans in all places where the tree grows, while the preparation of a poison from its juice, which produces a mortal effect when introduced into the body by pointed weapons, is an exclusive art of the inhabitants of the eastern extremity of the island. The stem of the anchar having arrived at the above-mentioned height, sends off a few stout branches, which spreading nearly horizontally with several irregular curves, divide into smaller branches, and form a hemispherical, not very regular, crown. Previous to the season of flowering, about the beginning of June, the tree sheds its leaves, which reappear when the male flowers have completed the office of fecundation. It delights in a fertile, not very elevated, soil, and is only found in the largest forests. One of the experiments to be related below was made with the upas prepared by myself. In the collection of the juice I had some difficulty in inducing the inhabitants to assist me; they feared a cutaneous eruption and inflammation, resembling (according to the account they gave of it) that produced by the ingas of this island, the rhus vernix of Japan, and the rhus radicans of North America. The anchar, like the trees in its neighbourhood, is on all sides surrounded by shrubs and plants: in no instance have I observed the ground naked or barren in its immediate circumference. The largest tree I met with in Balambangan, was so closely environed by the common trees and shrubs of the forest in which it grew, that it was with difficulty I could approach it. Several vines and climbing shrubs, in complete health and vigour, adhered to it, and ascended to nearly half its height; and, at the time I visited the tree and collected the juice, I was forcibly struck with the egregious misrepresentation of Foersch. Several young trees spontaneously sprung from seeds that had fallen from the parent, put me in mind of a line in Darwin's Botanic Garden:​—

'Chain'd at his root two scion-demons dwell;'

while in recalling his beautiful description of the upas, my vicinity to the tree gave me reason to rejoice that it was founded in fiction.

"Description of the Chetik.​—The fructification of the chetik is still unknown: after all possible research in the district where it grows, I have not been able to find it in a flowering state. It is a large winding shrub. The root extends creeping a considerable distance parallel to the surface, sending off small fibres at different curves, while the main root strikes perpendicularly into the ground. The stem, which in general is shrubby, sometimes acquires the size of a small tree. The poison is prepared from the bark of the root. The chetik grows only in close, shady, almost inaccessible forests, in a deep, black, fertile vegetable mould. It is very rarely met with even in the wildernesses of Balambangan.

"Preparation of the Poison from the Anchar.​—This process was performed for me by an old Javan, who was celebrated for his superior skill in preparing the poison: about eight ounces of the juice of the anchar, which had been collected the preceding evening in the usual manner, and been preserved in the joint of a bambu, was carefully strained into a bowl. The sap of the following substances, which had been finely grated and bruised, was carefully expressed and poured into it, viz. arum (nampu), kempferia galanga (kenchur), anomum (bengli) a variety of zerumbed, common onion and garlic, of each about half a drachm. The same quantity of finely powdered black pepper was then added, and the mixture stirred. The preparer now took an entire fruit of capsicum fruticosum or Guinea pepper, and having opened it, he carefully separated a single seed, and placed it on the fluid in the middle of the bowl. It immediately began to reel round rapidly, now forming a regular circle, then darting towards the margin of the vessel, with a perceptible commotion on the surface of the liquor, which continued about one minute. Being completely at rest, the same quantity of pepper was again added, and another seed of the capsicum laid on as before. A similar commotion took place in the fluid, but in a less degree, and the seed was carried round with diminished rapidity. The addition of the same quantity of pepper was repeated a third time, when a seed of the capsicum being carefully placed in the centre of the fluid, remained quiet, forming a regular circle about itself in the fluid, resembling the halo of the moon. This is considered as a sign that the preparation of the poison is complete.

"Preparation of the Poison from the Chetik.​—The bark of the root is carefully separated and cleared of all the adherent earth, a proportionate quantity of water is poured on, and it is boiled about an hour, when the fluid is carefully filtered through a white cloth; it is then exposed to the fire again, and boiled down to nearly the consistence of an extract; in this state it much resembles a thick syrup. The following spices, having been prepared as above described, are added in the same proportion as to the anchar, viz. kempferia galanga (kenchur), (súnti), anomum zingéber (shai), common onion, garlic, and black pepper. The expressed juice of these is poured into the vessel, which is once more exposed to the fire for a few minutes, when the preparation is complete. The upas of both kinds must be preserved in very close vessels."

Dr. H. then details the particulars of twenty experiments made on different animals with these poisons, as well in their simple state as procured from the bark, powerfully prepared in the manner as above stated, in which the violence of the poison was manifested; and concludes with some general observations, from which the following are extracted:

"The operation of the two different poisons on the animal system is essentially different. The first seventeen experiments were made with the anchar. The rapidity of its effect depends in a great degree upon the size of the vessel wounded, and on the quantity of poison carried into the circulation. In the first experiment, it induced death in twenty-six minutes: in the second, which was made with the sap collected at Púgar, in thirteen minutes. The poison from different parts of the island has been found nearly equal in activity. The common train of symptoms is; a trembling and shivering of the extremities, restlessness, erection of the hair, discharges from the bowels, drooping and faintness, slight spasms and convulsions, hasty breathing, an increased flow of saliva, spasmodic contractions of the pectoral and abdominal muscles, retching, vomiting, excrementitious vomiting, frothy vomiting, great agony, laborious breathing, repeated convulsions, and death. The effects are nearly the same on quadrupeds, in whatever part of the body the wound is made. It sometimes acts with so much force, that not all the symptoms enumerated are observed. In these cases, after the premonitory symptoms (tremors, twitchings, faintness, an increased flow of saliva), the convulsions come on suddenly, and are quickly followed by death. The upas appears to affect quadrupeds with nearly equal force, proportionate in some degree to their size and disposition. To dogs it proved mortal in most experiments within an hour; a mouse died in ten minutes; a monkey in seven; a cat in fifteen; a buffalo, one of the largest quadrupeds of the island, died in two hours and ten minutes.

"If the simple or unprepared sap is mixed with the extract of tobacco, instead of the spices mentioned, it is rendered equally, perhaps more, active. Even the pure juice, unmixed and unprepared, appears to act with a force equal to that which has undergone the preparative process. Birds are very differently affected by this poison. Fowls have a peculiar capacity to resist its effects: a fowl died in twenty-four hours after the wound; others have recovered after being partially affected.

"The eighteenth and succeeding experiments were made with the poison prepared from the chetik. Its operation is far more violent and rapid than that of the anchar, and it affects the animal system in a different manner. While the anchar operates chiefly on the stomach, alimentary canal, the respiration and circulation, the chetik is determined to the brain and nervous system: a relative comparison of the appearances on dissection, demonstrates in a striking manner the peculiar operation of each. A general view of the effects of the chetik on quadrupeds is given in these experiments. After the previous symptoms of faintness, drowsiness, and slight convulsions, it acts by a sudden impulse, which like a violent apoplexy prostrates at once the whole nervous system. In two of these experiments this sudden effect took place in the sixth minute after the wound, in another in the seventh minute: the animals suddenly started, fell down head foremost, and continued in convulsions until death ensued. This poison affects fowls in a much more violent manner than that of the anchar. They are first affected by a heat and itching of the breast and wings, which they shew by violently pecking those parts; this is followed by a loose discharge from the bowels, when they are seized with tremors and fluttering of the wings, which having continued a short time, they fall down head foremost, and continue convulsed till death. In some instances, particularly young fowls, the poison acts with great rapidity; death has frequently occurred within the space of a minute after a puncture with a poisoned dart.

"Taken into the stomach of quadrupeds, the chetik acts as a most violent poison; but it requires about thrice the period to produce the same effect which a wound produces. But the stomach of fowls can resist its operation. Having mixed about double the quantity generally adhering to a dart with the food of a fowl, it consumed it without shewing any marks of indisposition. The poison of the anchar does by no means act as violently on quadrupeds as that of the chetik. I have given it to a dog: it produced at first nearly the same symptoms as a puncture; oppression of the head, twitchings, faintness, laborious respiration, violent contraction of the pectoral and abdominal muscles, &c. which continued nearly two hours; but after the complete evacuation of the stomach by vomiting, the animal gradually recovered.

"I have but little to add concerning the operation of the anchar on the human system. The only credible information on this subject is contained in the work of Rhumphius, who had an opportunity of personally observing the effect of the poisoned darts and arrows as they were used by the natives of Makasar, in their attack on Amboyna about the year 1650. They were also employed by the inhabitants of Celebes in their former wars with the Dutch. Speaking of their operation he says, 'the poison touching the warm blood, it is instantly carried through the whole body, so that it may be felt in all the veins, and causes an excessive burning, particularly in the head, which is followed by fainting and death.' This poison (according to the same author) possesses different degrees of virulence, according to its age and state of preservation. The most powerful is called upas raja, and its effects are considered as incurable; the other kinds are distributed among the soldiers on going to war. After having proved mortal to many of the Dutch soldiers in Amboyna and Makasar, they finally discovered an almost infallible remedy in the root of the radix toxicaria of Rhumphius, which, if timely applied, counteracted, by its violent emetic effect, the force of the upas. An intelligent Javan of Banyuwangi informed me, that a number of years ago an inhabitant of that district was wounded in a clandestine manner, by an arrow thrown from a blow-pipe, in the fore-arm, near the articulation of the elbow. In about fifteen minutes he became drowsy; after which he was seized with vomiting, became delirious, and in less than half an hour he died. From the experiments above related, we may form an analogous estimate of its probable effects on man." Batavian Transactions, vol. vii.[Vol I Pg 62]


Origin of the Natives​—Javans compared with Maláyus and Búgis​—Comparative Progress of the three Races​—Foreign Influence​—Persons of the Natives​—Manners​—Population​—Inequality of it accounted for​—Population Tables​—Increase of Population​—Foreign Settlers​—Chinese​—Búgis​—Maláyus​—Moors​—Arabs​—Slaves​—Gradations of Rank among the Javans​—Their Habitations, Dress, and Food.

The inhabitants of Java seem to owe their origin to the same stock, from which most of the islands lying to the south of the eastern Peninsula of Asia appear to have been first peopled. This stock is evidently Tartar, and has, by its numerous and wide-spreading branches, not only extended itself over the Indian Archipelago, but over the neighbouring Continent. "To judge from external appearance, that is to say, from shape, size, and feature," observes Dr. Francis Buchanan, in his Notices on the Birman Empire[34], "there is one very extensive nation that inhabits the east of Asia. It includes the eastern and western Tartars of the Chinese authors, the Calmucs, the Chinese, the Japanese, and other tribes inhabiting what is called the Peninsula of India beyond the Ganges, and the islands to the south and east of this, as far at least as New Guinea."​—"This nation," adds the same author, "may be distinguished by a short, squat, robust, fleshy stature, and by features highly different from those of an European. The face is somewhat in shape of a lozenge, the forehead and chin being sharpened, whilst at the cheek bones it is very broad. The eyebrows, or superciliary ridges, in this nation, project very little, and the eyes are very narrow, and placed rather obliquely in the head, the external angles being the highest. The nose is very small, but has not, like that of the negro, the appearance of being flattened, and the apertures of the nostrils, which in the [Vol I Pg 63]European are linear and parallel, in them are nearly circular and divergent, for the septum narium being much thickest towards the face, places them entirely out of the parallel line. The mouths of this nation are in general well shaped; their hair is harsh, lank, and black. Those of them that live even in the highest climates do not obtain the deep hue of the negro or Hindu; nor do such of them as live in the coldest climates acquire the clear bloom of the European."

But although the Javans are to be included under this general description, it does not follow that they bear an exact, or very striking resemblance, in person and feature, to the Chinese or Japanese, nor even that they are liable to be confounded with the Birmans or Siamese. From the former, indeed, they are far removed by many obvious characteristics; and though more nearly resembling the latter, they possess many peculiarities, which mark them out to the most careless observer as a race distinct and separate for ages, though still retaining general traces of a common origin. As we approach the limits of savage life, and recur to that inartificial, unimproved state of society, in which the primitive divergence may be supposed to have taken place, we shall find the points of resemblance increased, and the proofs of a common descent multiplied. The less civilized of the tribes inhabiting the islands, approach so nearly, in physical appearance, to that portion of the inhabitants of the Peninsula, which has felt least of the Chinese influence on the one side, and of the Birman and Siamese on the other, and exhibit so striking an affinity in their usages and customs, as to warrant the hypothesis that the tide of population originally flowed towards the islands, from that quarter of the Continent lying between Siam and China. But at what era this migration commenced; whether, in the first instance, it was purely accidental and subsequently gradual; or whether, originally, it was undertaken from design, and accelerated, at any particular periods, by political convulsions on the Continent, we cannot at present determine with any certainty, as we have no data on which to rely with confidence. It is probable, however, that the islands were peopled at a very remote period, and long before the Birman and Siamese nations rose into notice.[Vol I Pg 64]

Whatever opinion may be formed on the identity of the tribes inhabiting these Islands and the neighbouring Peninsula, the striking resemblance in person, feature, language, and customs, which prevails throughout the whole Archipelago, justifies the conclusion, that its original population issued from the same source, and that the peculiarities which distinguish the different nations and communities into which it is at present distributed, are the result of a long separation, local circumstances, and the intercourse of foreign traders, emigrants, or settlers.

Excluding the Philippines, as distant from the scene of our present observations, it may be noticed, that of the three chief nations in these islands, occupying respectively Java, Sumatra, and Celebes, the first has, especially by its moral habits, by its superior civilization and improvements, obtained a broader and more marked characteristic than the others. Both the Malayan and Búgis nations are maritime and commercial, devoted to speculations of gain, animated by a spirit of adventure, and accustomed to distant and hazardous enterprises; while the Javans, on the contrary, are an agricultural race, attached to the soil, of quiet habits and contented dispositions, almost entirely unacquainted with navigation and foreign trade, and little inclined to engage in either. This difference of character may perhaps be accounted for, by the great superiority of the soil of Java to that of the other two islands.

It is to be regretted, that our information on the state and progress of society in these islands is scanty, as Europeans only became acquainted with them when they were on their decline. The Malayan empire, which once extended over all Sumatra[35], and the capital of which is still nominally at Menáng-kábaù on that island, had long been dismembered; but its colonies were found established on the coasts of the Peninsula and throughout the Islands, as far east as the Moluccas. The Mahometan institutions had considerably obliterated their ancient character, and had not only obstructed their improvement, but had accelerated their decline. Traditional history concurs with existing monuments, in proving them to have [Vol I Pg 65]formerly made considerable advances in those arts, to which their industry and ingenuity were particularly directed, and they still bear marks of that higher state of civilization which they once enjoyed.

What the Malayan empire was on Sumatra, in the western part of the Archipelago, that of Guah or Mengkásar, was on Celebes in the east; but the people of this latter nation, whom we may generally designate by the name of Búgis, had not been equally influenced by foreign settlers nor exposed to the inroads of the Arab missionaries, and they consequently maintained their ancient worship and their native institutions for a longer period. Like the Maláyus, they sent forth numerous colonies, and at one period extended the success of their arms as far west as Acheen on Sumatra, and Kéddah on the Malayan peninsula, and in almost every part of the Archipelago, Malayan and Búgis settlers and establishments are to be found.

The Javans, on the contrary, being an agricultural people, are seldom met with out of their native island. At one period of their history, indeed, their power seems to have been exerted in acquiring or perpetuating foreign dominion, and they seem to have sent out colonies to Borneo, the Peninsula, Sumatra, and probably Celebes: but when Europeans became acquainted with them, their external influence appears to have been contracted, and their sovereignty nearly confined within the limits of Java itself. Their foreign establishments thus receiving from them no protection, and deriving no advantage from nominal obedience, declared their independence: and, having but little communication with the mother-country, soon became assimilated to the character, and merged into the body of the Malayan nation.

The comparative advancement of these three nations in the arts of civilized life, seems to be directly as the fertility of the soil they occupied, or the inducements they held out to foreign intercourse; and inversely, as the indulgence of their own roving, adventurous spirit, and piratical habits. The arts never fix their roots but in a crowded population, and a crowded population is generally created only on a fertile territory. Egypt, from the fertility of soil and the consequent density of its population, led the way in science and refinement among ancient nations; while the sterile tracts conti[Vol I Pg 66]guous to that favoured land have been inhabited, from primeval times, by dispersed tribes of unimproved barbarians. In like manner, Java having become populous from its natural fertility, and having, by its wealth and the salubrity of its climate, invited the visits of more enlightened strangers, soon made great progress in arts and knowledge; while the Búgis, being more deficient in these advantages, have been left considerably behind in the race of improvement. They may lay claim, however, to the most originality of character.

It will be the object of another part of this work, to trace the source of that foreign influence, to which these three nations are principally indebted for their civilization: here, therefore, it may not be necessary to advert to the circumstance further, than by generally observing, that from western Asia they received the rudiments and impulse of improvement; an inference abundantly justified by the extensive remains of the arts, institutions, and languages of that country, which are still to be found throughout the Archipelago.

The inhabitants of Java and Madúra are in stature rather below the middle size, though not so short as the Búgis and many of the other islanders. They are, upon the whole, well shaped, though less remarkably so than the Maláyus, and erect in their figures. Their limbs are slender, and the wrists and ankles particularly small. In general, they allow the body to retain its natural shape. The only exceptions to this observation are, an attempt to prevent the growth, or to reduce the size of the waist, by compressing it into the narrowest limits; and the practice still more injurious to female elegance, of drawing too tightly that part of the dress which covers the bosom. Deformity is very rare among them. The forehead is high, the eyebrows well marked and distant from the eyes, which are somewhat Chinese, or rather Tartar, in the formation of the inner angle. The colour of the eye is dark; the nose small and somewhat flat, but less so than that of the islanders in general. The mouth is well formed, but the lips are large, and their beauty generally injured by the practice of filing and dyeing the teeth black, and by the use of tobacco, sári, &c. The cheek-bones are usually prominent; the beard very scanty; the hair of the head generally lank and black, but sometimes waving in curls, and partially tinged with a deep reddish brown colour. The countenance is mild, placid[Vol I Pg 67] and thoughtful, and easily expresses respect, gaiety, earnestness, indifference, bashfulness, or anxiety.

In complexion, the Javans, as well as the other eastern islanders, may be considered rather as a yellow than a copper-coloured or black race. Their standard of beauty, in this respect, is "a virgin-gold colour:" except perhaps in some few districts in the mountainous parts of the country, where a ruddy tinge is occasioned by the climate, they want the degree of red requisite to give them a copperish hue. It may be observed, however, that they are generally darker than the tribes of the neighbouring islands; especially the inhabitants of the eastern districts, who may indeed be considered as having more delicate features, and bearing a more distinct impression of Indian colonization, than those of the Western or Súnda districts. The Súndas exhibit many features of a mountainous race. They are shorter, stouter, hardier, and more active men, than the inhabitants of the coast and eastern districts. In some respects they resemble the Madurese, who display a more martial and independent air, and move with a bolder carriage than the natives of Java. A considerable difference exists in person and features between the higher and lower classes; more indeed than seems attributable to difference of employment and treatment. The features and limbs of the chiefs are more delicate, and approach more nearly to those of the inhabitants of Western India, while those of the common people retain more marked traces of the stock from which the islands were originally peopled. In colour there are many different shades in different families and different districts, some being much darker than others. Among many of the chiefs a strong mixture of the Chinese is clearly discernible: the Arab features are seldom found, except among the priests, and some few families of the highest rank.

The women, in general, are not so good-looking as the men: and to Europeans many of them, particularly when advanced in years, appear hideously ugly. But among the lower orders, much of this deficiency of personal comeliness is doubtless to be attributed to the severe duties which they have to perform in the field, to the hardships they have to undergo in carrying oppressive burdens, and to exposure in a sultry climate. On the neighbouring island of Báli, where the condition of the[Vol I Pg 68] women among the peasantry does not appear by any means so oppressed and degraded, they exhibit considerable personal beauty; and even on Java, the higher orders of them being kept within-doors, have a very decided superiority in this respect.

In manners the Javans are easy and courteous, and respectful even to timidity; they have a great sense of propriety, and are never rude or abrupt. In their deportment they are pliant and graceful, the people of condition carrying with them a considerable air of fashion, and receiving the gaze of the curious without being at all disconcerted. In their delivery they are in general very circumspect and even slow, though not deficient in animation when necessary.

Here, as on Sumatra, there are certain mountainous districts, in which the people are subject to those large wens in the throat, termed in Europe goitres. The cause is generally ascribed by the natives to the quality of the water; but there seems good ground for concluding, that it is rather to be traced to the atmosphere. In proof of this it may be mentioned, that there is a village near the foot of the Teng'gar mountains, in the eastern part of the island, where every family is afflicted by this malady, while in another village, situated at a greater elevation, and through which the stream descends which serves for the use of both, there exists no such deformity. These wens are considered hereditary in some families, and seem thus independent of situation. A branch of the family of the present Adipáti of Bándung is subject to them, and it is remarkable that they prevail chiefly among the women in that family. They neither produce positive suffering nor occasion early death, and may be considered rather as deformities than diseases. It is never attempted to remove them.

The population of Java is very unequally distributed, whether we consider the fertility or the extent of the districts over which it is spread. The great mass of it lies in the eastern and native districts, as will be perceived from the annexed tables.

The table No. I., is compiled from materials collected by a committee appointed on the first establishment of the British government, to enquire and report on the state of the country. It will be found to illustrate, in some degree, the proportionate numbers of the different ranks and classes of society in the island. Beyond this, however, it cannot be depended upon, as the returns of which it is an abstract were made at a period[Vol I Pg 69] when the Dutch system of administration provisionally remained in force; and every new enquiry into the state of the country being at that time considered by the people as a prelude to some new tax or oppression, it became an object with them to conceal the full extent of the population: accordingly it was found to differ essentially in amount from the results of information subsequently obtained on the introduction of the detailed land-revenue settlement, when an agreement with each individual cultivator becoming necessary to the security of his possession, he seldom failed to satisfy the necessary enquiries. The table No. II., here exhibited, at least as far as regards the European provinces, may therefore be considered as faithful a view of the population of the country as could be expected, and as such, notwithstanding the inaccuracies to which all such accounts are liable, it is presented with some confidence to the public.

It was formed in the following manner. A detailed account of the peasantry of each village was first taken, containing the name of each male inhabitant, with other particulars, and from the aggregate of these village lists a general statement was constructed of the inhabitants of each subdivision and district. An abstract was again drawn up from these provincial accounts, exhibiting the state of each residency in which the districts were respectively included, and the totals of these last, collected into one tabular view, constitute the present abstract. The labour of this detailed survey was considerable, for as each individual cultivator was to receive a lease corresponding with the register taken, it was necessary that the land he rented should be carefully measured and assessed[36].[Vol I Pg 70]

No. II.
TABLE exhibiting the POPULATION of JAVA and MADURA, according to a Census taken by the BRITISH GOVERNMENT, in the Year 1815.
DIVISIONS. Total Population. Males. Females. NATIVES. CHINESE, &c. Square statute Miles. Estimated Population to a square Mile.
Total Natives. Males. Females. Total Chinese, &c. Males. Females.
European Provinces.
Bantam 231,604 106,100 125,504 230,976 111,988 118,988 628 352 276 3,428 67½
Batavia and its Environs 332,015 180,768 151,247 279,621 151,064 128,557 52,394 29,704 22,690 2,411 169⅓
Buitenzorg 76,312 38,926 37,386 73,679 37,334 36,345 2,633 1,591 1,042
Priángen Regencies 243,628 120,649 122,979 243,268 120,289 122,979 180 86 94 10,002 24⅓
Chéribon 216,001 105,451 110,550 213,658 99,837 113,821 2,343 1,193 1,150 1,334 162
Tégal 178,415 81,539 96,876 175,446 80,208 95,238 2,004 915 1,089 1,297 137⅓
Pakalúng'an 115,442 53,187 62,255 113,396 52,007 61,389 2,046 1,180 866 607 190⅙
Semárang 327,610 165,009 162,601 305,910 154,161 151,749 1,700 848 852 1,166 281
Kedú 197,310 97,744 99,566 196,171 97,167 99,004 1,139 577 562 826 238¾
Grobógan and Jípang 66,522 31,693 34,829 66,109 31,423 34,686 403 223 180 1,219 54⅓
Japára and Jawána 103,290 55,124 48,166 101,000 54,000 47,000 2,290 1,124 1,166 1,025 100⅔
Rémbang 158,530 75,204 83,326 154,639 73,373 81,266 3,891 1,831 2,060 1,400 113
Grésik 115,442 58,981 56,461 115,078 58,807 56,271 364 174 190 778 148
Surabáya 154,512 77,260 77,252 152,025 76,038 75,987 2,047 1,010 1,037 1,218 126¾
Pasúruan 108,812 54,177 54,635 107,752 53,665 54,087 1,070 522 548 1,952 58⅛
Probolíng'go 104,359 50,503 53,856 102,927 49,797 53,130 1,430 706 724 2,854 36½
Banyuwángi 8,873 4,463 4,410 8,554 4,297 4,257 319 166 153 1,274 7
Native Provinces.
Súra-kérta 972,727 471,505 501,222 970,292 470,220 500,072 2,435 1,285 1,150 11,313 147½
Yúgya-kérta[37] 685,207 332,241 352,966 683,005 331,141 351,864 2,202 1,201 1,001
Bankálang and Pamakásan 95,235 47,466 47,769 90,848 45,194 45,654 4,395 2,280 2,115 892 106¾
Súmenap 123,424 60,190 63,234 114,896 55,826 59,070 8,528 4,364 4,164 728[38] 146
Grand Total 4,615,270 2,268,180 2,347,090 4,499,250 2,207,836 2,291,414 94,441 51,332 43,109 45,794 Average Population rather exceeding 100 to a square mile
Mem.​—The Population of the principal European capitals included in the above, is estimated as follows:​—
Batavia and its immediate Suburbs 60,000
Semárang 20,000
Surabáya 25,000
The population of Súra-kérta, the principal Native capital, is estimated at 105,000.
That of Yúgya-kérta at somewhat less.

[Vol I Pg 71]

By the last table, it appears that in some districts the population is in the ratio of two hundred and eighty-one to a square mile, while in others it is not more than twenty-four and three quarters: in the districts of Banyuwángí it is even as low as seven. The soil in the eastern districts is generally considered superior to that in the western, and this circumstance, added to the superior facilities which they afford to commerce, may serve to account for their original selection as the chief seat of the native government, and consequently for their denser population at an early period.

This disproportion was also promoted by the policy of the Dutch Company. The Dutch first established themselves in the western division, and having no confidence in the natives, endeavoured to drive them from the vicinity of Batavia, with the view of establishing round their metropolis an extensive and desert barrier. The forced services and forced deliveries, which extended wherever Dutch influence could be felt, and of which more will be said hereafter, contributed to impoverish, and thereby to depopulate the country. The drain also of the surrounding districts, to supply the place of the multitudes who perished by the unhealthy climate of Batavia, must have been enormous; and if to these we add the checks to population, which were created over Bantam, the Priáng'en Regencies, and Chéribon, in the pepper and coffee cultivation, of the nature of which an account will be given when treating of the agriculture of the country, we need go no further to account for the existing disproportion. It was only about sixty years ago that the Dutch government first obtained a decided influence in the eastern districts, and from that moment, the provinces subjected to its authority ceased to improve, and extensive emigrations took place into the dominions of the native princes. Such were the effects of this desolating system, that the population of the province of Banyuwángi, which in 1750 is said to have amounted to upwards of eighty thousand souls, was in 1811 reduced to eight thousand.

The Priáng'en Regencies, from their inland situation and mountainous character, may probably have at all times been less closely peopled than other parts of the island, and their insufficient population would furnish no proofs of the oppressions of government, did we not observe extensive tracts, nay[Vol I Pg 72] whole districts, exhibiting the traces of former cultivation, now lying waste and overgrown with long rank grass. Chéribon and Bantam have shared the same fate. These provinces, according to authentic accounts, were at the period of the first establishment of the European government, among the richest and most populous of the island. In 1811 they were found in a state of extreme poverty, affording little or no revenue, and distracted by all the aggravated miseries of continued insurrections.

If we look at Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay, the capitals of the British government in India: if we look at the great cities of every nation in Europe; nay, if we even confine ourselves to the capitals of the native princes on Java, we shall find that population has always accumulated in their vicinity. And why was not this the case with the Dutch capital? The climate alone will not explain it. Bad government was the principal cause; a system of policy which secured neither person nor property​—selfish, jealous, vexatious, and tyrannical. It is no less true than remarkable, that wherever the Dutch influence has prevailed in the Eastern Seas, depopulation has followed. The Moluccas particularly have suffered at least as much as any part of Java, and the population of those Islands, reduced as it is, has been equally oppressed and degraded.

It was fortunate for the interests of humanity, and for the importance of Java, that the native governments were less oppressive than the sway of their European conquerors, and that their states afforded a retreat from a more desolating tyranny. It has been ascertained, that, on the first establishment of the Dutch in the eastern part of the Island, the inhabitants of whole districts at once migrated into the native provinces. Every new act of rigour, every unexpected exaction, occasioned a further migration, and cultivation was transferred to tracts which had previously scarcely a family on them. This state of things continued down to the latest date of the Dutch government. During the administration of Marshal Daendels, in the years 1808, 1809, and 1810, nearly all the inhabitants of the province of Demák, one of the richest in the eastern districts, fled into the native provinces; and when an order was given for the rigid enforcement of the coffee[Vol I Pg 73] monopoly, every district suffered in its population, in proportion to the extent of service levied upon it. Of the sacrifice of lives by thousands and tens of thousands, to fill the ranks of the Dutch native army, and to construct roads and public works, we shall speak more at large hereafter.

The total population of Java and Madúra appears from the Table No. II., to amount to 4,615,270, of which about four millions and a half may be considered as the indigenous population of the country, and the rest as foreign settlers. Itinerants, who are principally found along the coast in the different maritime and commercial capitals, are not included; neither is the nautical population, which cannot be estimated at less than 30,000 souls; so that the whole population of these two islands may, perhaps, be taken in round numbers at not much less than five millions. Of these not less than three millions are in the provinces immediately subject to European authority, and upwards of a million and a half in the provinces of the native princes.

While the British were in possession of Java, there is reason to believe that the population of the Island was rapidly increasing; that of the provinces immediately under the European authority was certainly augmented by the return of numerous families from emigration: but previously to that period, no such authentic registers were kept as might enable us to ascertain with precision the variations in the number of the inhabitants during the Dutch government.

Nothing can more completely shew the vague and defective information formerly attainable on this subject, than the loose and contradictory statements published by those who took most pains to be well informed, and who felt it their duty to collect all the light that could be attained. In some accounts which have met the public eye, the population of Java is placed on a level with that of the most powerful European states, and assumed as high as thirty millions, while in others, where one would expect more accuracy[39], it is rated at only a million. The most respectable authorities[40] state the population about a century ago at three millions; but the slightest reflection will convince us, that such an estimate must have proceeded upon [Vol I Pg 74]data merely conjectural, for from our knowledge of the Dutch maxims of administration we may safely say, that until very lately, they never thought it an object to prosecute statistic enquiries, and that if ever they had done so, under the old system, they could have obtained no results deserving of confidence or credit.

About the year 1750, a certain number of families were assigned by the stipulations of a treaty to one of the native princes[41]; and on his death, about thirty years afterwards, when an account was taken of this population, it appeared that the number of families had nearly doubled. But this increase cannot be taken as the average increase of the Island, for at this period the native provinces received a considerable accession to their numbers, in consequence of the emigrations from the Dutch territories.

If any inference can be drawn from this and other corresponding circumstances, it would seem, that notwithstanding the drains on the existing race, and the preventive checks to an increase, which were experienced during the latter years of the Dutch administration, the island was actually more populous in 1811, when it was surrendered to the British, than in 1750, when at the termination of a destructive war, the Dutch acquired the greatest portion of it from the natives.

To support the opinion of an increase within the last half century (which is every where asserted) we have the assurance, that during that period the greatest internal tranquillity prevailed in the provinces subject to native administration; that no years of scarcity and famine were experienced, and that the island was blessed with genial seasons and abundance of subsistence. But to place in the opposite scale, we have the government oppressions to which we formerly alluded, and which one would suppose sufficient to counteract the natural tendency of these advantages. As demonstrative of the strength of that principle of population, which could even maintain its stationary amount in conflict with political drains and discouragements, it may be proper to mention cursorily a few of them. Great demands were, at all times, made on the peasantry of the island, to recruit the ranks of the Dutch army, and to supply[Vol I Pg 75] the many other wants of the public service; the severities and consequent mortality to which the troops were liable, may be calculated, from the reluctance of the unfortunate wretches, selected as victims of military conscription, to engage in the duties of a military life. Confined in unhealthy garrisons, exposed to unnecessary hardships and privations, extraordinary casualties took place among them, and frequent new levies became necessary, while the anticipation of danger and suffering produced an aversion to the service, which was only aggravated by the subsequent measures of cruelty and oppression. The conscripts raised in the provinces were usually sent to the metropolis by water; and though the distance be but short between any two points of the island, a mortality, similar to that of a slave-ship in the middle passage, took place on board these receptacles of reluctant recruits. They were generally confined in the stocks till their arrival at Batavia, and it is calculated that for every man that entered the army and performed the duties of a soldier, several lives were lost. Besides the supply of the army, one half of the male population of the country was constantly held in readiness for other public services; and thus a great portion of the effective hands were taken from their families, and detained at a distance from home, in labours which broke their spirit and exhausted their strength. During the administration of Marshal Daendels, it has been calculated that the construction of public roads alone, destroyed the lives of at least ten thousand workmen. The transport of government stores, and the capricious requisitions of government agents of all classes, perpetually harassed, and frequently carried off numbers of the people. If to these drains we add the waste of life occasioned by insurrections, which tyranny and impolicy excited and fomented in Chéribon, the blighting effects of the coffee monopoly, and forced services in the Priáng'en Regencies, and the still more desolating operation of the policy pursued and consequent anarchy produced in the province of Bantam, we shall have some idea of the depopulating causes that existed under the Dutch administration, and the force of that tendency to increase, which could overcome obstacles so powerful.

Most of these drains and checks were removed during the short period of British administration; but it is to be regretted[Vol I Pg 76] (so far as accurate data on this subject would be desirable) that there was not time to learn satisfactorily the result of a different system, or to institute the proper registers, by which alone questions of population can be determined. The only document of that kind, to which I can venture to refer as authentic, is a statement of the births and deaths that occurred in the given general population of the Priáng'en Regencies for one year. From this account it would appear, that even in these Regencies, where, if we except Batavia, the checks to population are allowed to be greater than elsewhere, the births were to the total existing population as 1 to 39, and the deaths as 1 to 40 very nearly; that the births exceed the deaths by 618, or about 1 in 40, in a population of 232,000, and that, at that rate, the population would double itself in three hundred and seventy-five years. A slow increase, certainly, compared with England, where the births, in the three years ending 1800, were to the persons alive as 1 in 36, and the deaths as 1 to 49, and where, consequently, the nation would double itself in one hundred and sixty years (or taking the enumeration of 1811 as more correct, where the population would be doubled in eighty years): but not much slower than that of France, where, according to the statements of numbers in 1700 and 1790, about three hundred years would be required to double the inhabitants. It has been estimated that the population in some more favourable districts would double itself in fifty years. One inference cannot fail to be drawn from the register to which I have referred; that the births and deaths, though they nearly approach each other, are low, compared with the existing numbers; and that, consequently, the climate is healthy, and the marriages not very prolific, as far as this district is concerned.

In the absence of authentic documents, which would have enabled us to resolve many interesting questions regarding the population, such as the number of children to a marriage, the ordinary length of life, the proportion of children that die in infancy and at the other stages of life, the ratio between the births and deaths, and the consequent rate of increase, the effect of polygamy and multiplied divorces, the comparative healthiness of the towns and the villages, and several others,​—I shall state a few observations on some of these heads, and a[Vol I Pg 77] few facts tending to shew, that under a better system of government, or by the removal of a few of the checks that previously existed, Java might, in a short time, be expected to be better peopled.

The soil is in general extremely fertile, and can be brought to yield its produce with little labour. Many of the best spots still remain uncultivated, and several districts are almost desert and neglected, which might be the seats of a crowded and happy peasantry. In many places, the land does not require to be cleared, as in America, from the overgrown vegetation of primeval forests, but offers its services to the husbandman, almost free from every obstruction to his immediate labours. The agricultural life in which the mass of the people are engaged, is on Java, as in every other country, the most favourable to health. It not only favours the longevity of the existing race, but conduces to its more rapid renewal, by leading to early marriages and a numerous progeny. The term of life is not much shorter than in the best climates of Europe. A very considerable number of persons of both sexes attain the advanced age of seventy or eighty, and some even live to one hundred and upwards; nearly the same proportion survive forty and fifty, as in other genial climates.

While life is thus healthy and prolonged, there are no restraints upon the formation of family connexions, by the scarcity of subsistence or the labour of supporting children. Both sexes arrive at maturity very early, and the customs of the country, as well as the nature of the climate, impel them to marry young; the males at sixteen, and the females at thirteen or fourteen years of age: though frequently the women form connexions at nine or ten, and, as Montesquieu expresses it, "infancy and marriage go together." The conveniences which the married couple require are few and easily procured. The impulse of nature is seldom checked by the experience of present deficiencies, or the fear of future poverty. Subsistence is procured without difficulty, and comforts are not wanting. Children, who are for a very short period a burden to their parents, become early the means of assistance and the source of wealth. To the peasant who labours his field with his own hand, and who has more land than he can bring into cultivation, they grow up into a species of valuable property, a real[Vol I Pg 78] treasure; while, during their infancy and the season of helplessness, they take little from the fruits of his industry but bare subsistence.

Their education costs him little or nothing; scarcely any clothing is required, his hut needs very little enlargement, and no beds are used. Many of them die in infancy from the small-pox and other distempers, but never from scanty food or criminal neglect of parents. The women of all classes suckle their children, till we ascend to the wives of the regents and of the sovereign, who employ nurses.

Though women soon arrive at maturity, and enter early into the married state, they continue to bear children to an advanced age, and it is no uncommon thing to see a grandmother still making addition to her family. Great families are however rare. Though there are some women who have borne thirteen or fourteen children, the average is rather low than otherwise. A chácha, or family, is generally less numerous than in Europe, both from the circumstance that the young men and women more early leave the houses of their parents to form establishments for themselves, and from an injudicious mode of labouring among women of the lower ranks. Miscarriages among the latter are frequently caused by over-straining themselves in carrying excessive burdens, and performing oppressive field-work, during pregnancy. The average number of persons in a family does not exceed four, or four and a half. As the labour of the women is almost equally productive with that of the men, female children become as much objects of solicitude with their parents as male: they are nursed with the same care, and viewed with the same pride and tenderness. In no class of society are children of either sex considered as an incumbrance, or the addition to a family as a misfortune; marriage is therefore almost universal. An unmarried man past twenty is seldom to be met with, and an old maid is considered a curiosity. Neither custom, law, or religion, enjoins celibacy on the priesthood, or any other order of the community, and by none of them is it practised. Although no strictness of principle, nor strong sense of moral restraint, prevails in the intercourse of the sexes, prostitution is not common, except in the capitals.

As the Javans are a quiet domestic people, little given to[Vol I Pg 79] adventure, disinclined to foreign enterprise, not easily roused to violence or bloodshed, and little disposed to irregularities of any kind, there are but few families left destitute in consequence of hazards incurred or crimes committed by their natural protectors. The character of blood-thirsty revenge, which has been attributed to all the inhabitants of the Indian Archipelago, by no means applies to the people of Java; and though, in all cases where justice is badly administered or absolutely perverted, people may be expected to enforce their rights or redress their grievances, rather by their own passions than by an appeal to the magistrate, comparatively few lives are lost on the island by personal affrays or private feuds.

Such are a few of the circumstances that would appear to have encouraged an increase of population on Java. They furnish no precise data on which to estimate its rapidity, or to calculate the period within which it would be doubled, but they allow us, if tranquillity and good government were enjoyed, to anticipate a gradual progress in the augmentation of inhabitants, and the improvements of the soil for a long course of time. Suppose the quantity of land in cultivation to be to the land still in a state of nature as one to seven, which is probably near the truth, and that, in the ordinary circumstances of the country, the population would double itself in a century, it might go on increasing for three hundred years to come. Afterwards the immense tracts of unoccupied or thinly peopled territories on Sumatra, Borneo, and the numerous islands scattered over the Archipelago, may be ready to receive colonies, arts, and civilization from the metropolis of the Indian seas. Commercial intercourse, friendly relations, or political institutions, may bind these dispersed communities in one great insular commonwealth. Its trade and navigation might connect the centre of this great empire with Japan, China, and the south-western countries of Asia. New Holland, which the adventurous Búgis already frequent, and which is not so far distant from Java as Russia is from England, might be included in the circle, and colonies of Javans settled on the north, might meet with the British spreading from the south, over that immense and now uncultivated region. If we could indulge ourselves in such reveries with propriety, we might contemplate the present semi-bar[Vol I Pg 80]barous condition, ignorance, and poverty of these innumerable islands, exchanged for a state of refinement, prosperity, and happiness.

I formerly alluded to the oppressions of government, as the principal checks to the increase of population on Java. There are many others, such as the small-pox, and other diseases, which are common to that country with the rest of the world. From the scattered state of the population, any contagious distemper, such as the small-pox, was formerly less destructive on Java, than in countries where the inhabitants are more crowded into large towns, and it is hoped that, from the establishment for vaccine inoculation which the British government erected, and endeavoured to render permanent, its ravages may, in time, be entirely arrested. The diseases most peculiar to the country, and most dangerous at all ages, are fevers and dysenteries: epidemics are rare. There are two moral causes which, on their first mention, will strike every one as powerfully calculated to counteract the principle of population: I mean the facility of obtaining divorces, and the practice of polygamy. A greater weight should not, however, be given them than they deserve after a consideration of all the circumstances. It is true, that separations often take place on the slightest grounds, and new connexions are formed with equal frivolity and caprice; but in whatever light morality would view this practice, and however detrimental it would be to population in a different state of society, by leaving the children of the marriage so dissolved to neglect and want, it has no such consequences on Java. Considering the age at which marriages are usually contracted, the choice of the parties cannot be always expected to be considerate or judicious. It may be observed also that the women, although they do not appear old at twenty, as Montesquieu remarks, certainly sooner lose that influence over their husbands, which depends upon their beauty and personal attractions, than they do in colder climates. In addition to this, there is little moral restraint among many classes of the community, and the religious maxims and indulgences acted upon by the priesthood, in regulating matrimonial sanctions, have no tendency to produce constancy, or to repress inclination. Dissolutions of marriage are, therefore, very frequent, and obtained upon the[Vol I Pg 81] slightest pretences; but, as children are always valuable, and as there is very little trouble in rearing or providing for them, no change of mate, in either party, leads to their abandonment or neglect. Indeed, the ease of supporting children, which renders the practice less detrimental to the increase of population, may be one of the principal causes why it is generally followed and so little checked. No professed prostitution or promiscuous intercourse is the consequence of this weakness of the nuptial tie. It is rather brittle than loose; it is easily dissolved, but while it remains it generally insures fidelity.

Polygamy, though in all cases it must be injurious to population and happiness, so far as it goes, is permitted on Java, as in other Mahomedan countries, by religion and law, but not practiced to any great extent. Perhaps the ease of obtaining matrimonial separations, by admitting of successive changes of wives, diminishes the desire of possessing more than one at a time.

It is plain, likewise, that whatever be the law, the great body of the people must have only one wife; and that, where there is nearly an equality of number between the sexes, inequality of wealth or power alone can create an unequal distribution of women. On Java, accordingly, only the chiefs and the sovereign marry more than one wife. All the chiefs, from the regents downwards, can only, by the custom of the country, have two; the sovereign alone has four. The regents, however, have generally three or four concubines, and the sovereign eight or ten. Some of the chiefs have an extraordinary number of children; the late Regent of Túban is reputed to have been the father of no fewer than sixty-eight. Such appropriations of numerous women as wives or concubines, were owing to the political power of native authorities over the inferior classes; and as, by the new system, that power is destroyed, the evil may to a certain extent be checked. If we were to depend upon the statement of a writer whom Montesquieu refers to, that in Bantam there were ten women to one man, we should be led to conclude with him, that here was a case particularly favourable to polygamy, and that such an institution was here an appointment of nature, intended for the multiplication of the species, rather than an abuse contributing to check it. There is not the least foundation, however, for the[Vol I Pg 82] report. The proportion of males and females born in Bantam, and over the whole of Java, is nearly the same as in Europe, and as we find generally to exist, wherever accurate statements can be obtained. From the information collected in a very careful surrey of one part of the very province in question, the preponderance seemed to be on the side of male children to an extraordinary degree; the male children being about forty-two thousand, and the females only thirty-five thousand five hundred. There were formerly, it is true, great drains on the male population, to which I have before alluded, and which, in the advanced stages of life, might turn the balance on the other side; but as they were never so destructive as to render polygamy a political institution, so that institution was not carried to such an extent, as to render it a peculiar obstacle to the progress of population. Upon the whole, we may conclude that in Java, under a mild government, there is a great tendency to an increase in the number of inhabitants, and to the consequent improvement and importance of the island.

Besides the natives, whose numbers, circumstances, and character I have slightly mentioned, there is on Java a rapidly increasing race of foreigners, who have emigrated from the different surrounding countries. The most numerous and important class of these is the Chinese, who already do not fall far short of a hundred thousand; and who, with a system of free trade and free cultivation, would soon accumulate tenfold, by natural increase within the island, and gradual accessions of new settlers from home. They reside principally in the three capitals of Batavia, Samárang, and Surabáya, but they are to be found in all the smaller capitals, and scattered over most parts of the country. A great proportion of them are descended from families who have been many generations on the island. Additions are gradually making to their numbers. They arrive at Batavia from China, to the amount of a thousand and more annually, in Chinese junks, carrying three, four, and five hundred each, without money or resources; but, by dint of their industry, soon acquire comparative opulence. There are no women on Java who come directly from China; but as the Chinese often marry the daughters of their countrymen by Javan women, there results a numerous mixed race, which is often scarcely distinguishable from the native Chinese. The Chinese[Vol I Pg 83] on their arrival generally marry a Javan woman, or purchase a slave from the other islands. The progeny from this connexion, or what may be termed the cross breed between the Chinese and Javans, are called in the Dutch accounts pernákans. Many return to China annually in the junks, but by no means in the same numbers as they arrive.

The Chinese, in all matters of inheritance and minor affairs, are governed by their own laws, administered by their own chiefs, a captain and several lieutenants being appointed by government for each society of them. They are distinct from the natives, and are in a high degree more intelligent, more laborious, and more luxurious. They are the life and soul of the commerce of the country. In the native provinces they are still farmers of the revenue, having formerly been so throughout the island.

Although still numerous, they are considered to have much decreased since the civil war in 1742, during which not only a large proportion of the Chinese population was massacred by the Dutch in the town of Batavia, but a decree of extermination was proclaimed against them throughout the island.

The natives of the Coromandel and Malabar coast, who reside on Java, are usually termed Moors. They appear to be the remnant of a once extensive class of settlers; but their numbers have considerably decreased, since the establishment of the Dutch monopoly, and the absolute extinction of the native trade with India, which we have reason to believe was once very extensive. Trading vessels, in considerable numbers, still continue to proceed from the Coromandel coast to Sumatra, Penang, and Malacca, but they no longer frequent Java.

Búgis and Maláyus are established in all the maritime capitals of Java. They have their own quarter of the town allotted to them, in the same manner as the Chinese, and are subject to the immediate authority of their respective captains.

Among the Arabs are many merchants, but the majority are priests. Their principal resort is Grésik, the spot where Mahomedanism was first extensively planted on Java. They are seldom of genuine Arab birth, but mostly a mixed race, between the Arabs and the natives of the islands.

There is another class of inhabitants, either foreigners them[Vol I Pg 84]selves, or the immediate descendants of foreigners, whose peculiar situation and considerable numbers entitle them to some notice in the general sketch of the population: I mean the class of slaves. The native Javans are never reduced to this condition; or if they should happen to be seized and sold by pirates, a satisfactory proof of their origin would be sufficient to procure their enfranchisement. The slave merchants have therefore been under the necessity of resorting to the neighbouring islands for a supply, and the greatest number have been procured from Báli and Celebes. The total amount may be estimated at about thirty thousand. According to the returns obtained in 1814, it appeared that the following were the numbers in the principal divisions of the island.

At Batavia and its environs 18,972
In the Semárang division 4,488
In the Surabáya division 3,682
Total 27,142

These slaves are the property of the Europeans and Chinese alone: the native chiefs never require the services of slaves, or engage in the traffic of slavery. The Mahomedan laws, which regulate their civil condition, and permit this abomination in all its extent, are modified by the milder prejudices and more humane temper of the country. The Dutch, who, like us, valued themselves on their political liberty, are here the great promoters of civil servitude, and carried with them into their eastern empire, the Roman law regarding slavery in all its extent and rigour. But although they adopted principles that admitted of the most cruel and wanton treatment of slaves, I would not be understood to say, that they carried these principles into common practice. The contrary was almost universally the case, and the condition of slaves on Java, where they were employed principally in domestic offices, formed a complete contrast to the state of those employed in the West India plantations. It is remarked by Montesquieu, that "in despotic countries, the condition of a slave is hardly more burdensome than that of a subject," and such has been the case in Java. The grounds on which the Dutch justified the[Vol I Pg 85] practice of making slaves, was not that they could not command the services of the natives with a sway sufficiently absolute, and that they were compelled to seek, beyond the limits of the island, for unfortunate agents to perform what the natives shewed a reluctance to undertake, but that they found the class of foreigners more adroit and docile than the Javans in the conduct of household affairs, and that having reduced them to the state of property, they remained in the family for life, and saved the trouble of a new training.

Upon the conquest of the island by the British in 1811, the condition of this class of its subjects excited the attention of government; and though we could not, consistently with those rights of property which were admitted by the laws that we professed to administer, emancipate them at once from servitude, we enacted regulations, as far as we were authorized, to ameliorate their present lot, and lead to their ultimate freedom. Steps were immediately taken to check further importation, and as soon as it was known that the horrid traffic in slaves was declared a felony by the British parliament, it was not permitted for an instant to disgrace a region to which the British authority extended. The folly and perfect uselessness of slavery on Java has been often pointed out by Dutch commissioners and Dutch authors[42].[Vol I Pg 86]

Having thus attempted a brief description of the different classes of the Asiatic population of the island, I shall proceed [Vol I Pg 87]to a short detail of the habitations, dress, food, and domestic economy of the natives; but, in order to enable the reader to [Vol I Pg 88]understand some of the terms in the tables, and likewise in the subsequent observations, it may not be improper simply to state the names and titles expressive of the different gradations of rank, leaving a more particular account of the power and authority with which they are connected to another opportunity. The sovereign, who is either called Susuhúnan, Susúnan, or Sultan, is the fountain of honour and the source of all distinction. His family are called Pang'érans, his queen Rátu, the heir apparent Pangéran adipáti, and the prime minister Ráden adipáti. Governors of provinces, called by the Dutch Regents, are styled by the natives Bopátis, Tumúngungs, or Ang'abéis; and are ranked among the chief nobility of the country. All the inferior chiefs, including those termed Rádens, Mántris, Demángs, Lúras, and others, except the heads of villages, termed Kúwus, Búkuls, Patíng'gis, &c., who are elected by the common people out of their own number for the performance of specific duties, may be considered as petite noblesse.

The cottage or hut of the peasant, called úmah limásan, may be estimated to cost, in its first construction, from two to four rupees, or from five to ten shillings English money. It is invariably built on the ground, as on continental India, and in this respect differs from similar structures in the surrounding islands. The sleeping places, however, are generally a little elevated above the level of the floor, and accord in simplicity with the other parts of the dwelling. The sides or walls are generally formed of bámbus, flattened and plaited together: partitions, if any, are constructed of the same materials, and the roof is either thatched with long grass, with the leaves of the nipa, or with a kind of bámbu sirap. The form and size of these cottages, as well as the materials employed in their [Vol I Pg 89]construction, vary in the different districts of the island, and with the different circumstances of the individuals. In the eastern districts, where the population is most dense and the land most highly cultivated, a greater scarcity is felt of the requisite materials than in the western, and the dwellings of the peasantry are consequently smaller and slighter. In the latter, the frame-work of the cottages is generally made of timber, instead of bámbus, and the interior of them, as well as the front veranda, is raised about two feet from the ground. The accommodations consist of a room partitioned off for the heads of the family, and an open apartment on the opposite side for the children: there is no window either made or requisite. The light is admitted through the door alone; nor is this deficiency productive of any inconvenience in a climate, where all domestic operations can be carried on in the open air, and where shade from the sun, rather than shelter from the weather, is required. The women perform their usual occupations of spinning or weaving on an elevated veranda in front, where they are protected from the rays of a vertical sun by an extended projection of the pitch of the roof. In some of the mountainous districts, where the rains descend with most violence, the inhabitants provide against their effects, by constructing their roofs of bámbus split into halves, and applied to each other by their alternate concave and convex surfaces, all along the pitch of the roof, from the top down to the walls. On the whole, it may be affirmed that the habitations of the peasantry of Java, even those constructed in the most unfavourable situations and inhabited by the lowest of the people, admit of a considerable degree of comfort and convenience, and far exceed, in those respects, what falls to the lot of the peasant in most parts of continental India.

The class of dwellings inhabited by the petty chiefs are termed úmah chébluk or úmah jóglo. These are distinguished by having eight slopes or roofs, four superior and four secondary. Their value is from seven to eight dollars, or from thirty-five to forty shillings.

The largest class of houses, or those in which the chiefs and nobles reside, are termed úmah túmpang, and are of the same form as the preceding; they are generally distinguished from them by their greater size, which varies with the means and[Vol I Pg 90] rank of the possessor, and usually contain five or six rooms. The supports and beams are of wood. The value of such a habitation, calculated to answer the circumstances of an ordinary chief of the rank of a Páteh, or assistant to the governor of a province, may be about fifty or sixty dollars, or from ten to fifteen pounds sterling.

In the European provinces, the size and comfort of these dwellings have of late been very essentially contracted, by the rigid enforcement of the monopoly of the teak forests, which were formerly open to the natives of all classes.

Brick dwellings, which are sometimes, though rarely, occupied by the natives, are termed úmah gedóng. This kind of building is for the most part occupied by the Chinese, who invariably construct a building of brick and mortar whenever they possess the means. The Chinese kámpongs may always be thus distinguished from those of the natives.

The cottages, which I have already described, are never found detached or solitary: they always unite to form villages of greater or less extent, according to the fertility of the neighbouring plain, abundance of a stream, or other accidental circumstances. In some provinces, the usual number of inhabitants in a village is about two hundred, in others less than fifty. In the first establishment or formation of a village on new ground, the intended settlers take care to provide themselves with sufficient garden ground round their huts for their stock, and to supply the ordinary wants of their families. The produce of this plantation is the exclusive property of the peasant, and exempted from contribution or burden; and such is their number and extent in some regencies (as in Kedú for instance), that they constitute perhaps a tenth part of the area of the whole district. The spot surrounding his simple habitation, the cottager considers his peculiar patrimony, and cultivates with peculiar care. He labours to plant and to rear in it those vegetables that may be most useful to his family, and those shrubs and trees which may at once yield him their fruit and their shade: nor does he waste his efforts on a thankless soil. The cottages, or the assemblage of huts, that compose the village, become thus completely screened from the rays of a scorching sun, and are so buried amid the foliage of a luxuriant vegetation, that at a small distance no appearance of a[Vol I Pg 91] human dwelling can be discovered, and the residence of a numerous society appears only a verdant grove or a clump of ever-greens. Nothing can exceed the beauty or the interest, which such detached masses of verdure, scattered over the face of the country, and indicating each the abode of a collection of happy peasantry, add to scenery otherwise rich, whether viewed on the sides of the mountains, in the narrow vales, or on the extensive plains. In the last case, before the grain is planted, and during the season of irrigation, when the rice fields are inundated, they appear like so many small Islands, rising out of the water. As the young plant advances, their deep rich foliage contrasts pleasingly with its lighter tints; and when the full-eared grain, with a luxuriance that exceeds an European harvest, invests the earth with its richest yellow, they give a variety to the prospect, and afford a most refreshing relief to the eye. The clumps of trees, with which art attempts to diversify and adorn the most skilfully arranged park, can bear no comparison with them in rural beauty or picturesque effect.

As the population increases, the extent of individual appropriations is sometimes contracted; but when there is sufficient untenanted ground in the neighbourhood, a new village is thrown out at some distance, which during its infancy remains under the charge, and on the responsibility of the parent village. In time, however, it obtains a constitution of its own, and in its turn becomes the parent of others. These dependent villages are in the eastern districts termed dúku, and in the western or Súnda districts chántilan.

Every village forms a community within itself, having each its village officers and priest, whose habitations are as superior to those of others as their functions are more exalted. To complete the establishment in most large villages, a temple is appropriated for religious worship. Here is found that simple form of patriarchal administration, which so forcibly strikes the imagination of the civilized inhabitants of this quarter of the world, and which has so long been the theme of interest and curiosity of those who have visited the Indian continent.

In the larger villages, or chief towns of the subdivisions, in which the Kápala chútag, or division-officer, resides, a square place, corresponding with the álun álun of the capital, is re[Vol I Pg 92]served; and, in like manner, the mosque is found to occupy one side, and the dwelling of the chief another. The villages, whether large or small, are fenced in by strong hedges of bámbu, and other quick growing plants. All the large towns and capitals are formed on the same principle, each hut and dwelling being surrounded by a garden exclusively attached to it. In this respect, they are but large villages, although usually divided into separate jurisdictions. A newly-formed village contains but a few families, while in the capitals the population often amounts to several thousand souls. Súra-kérta, the capital of the chief native government, though its population is estimated to exceed one hundred thousand, may be termed an assemblage or group of numerous villages, rather than what in European countries would be called a town or city.

In the larger towns, however, and in the capitals, considerable attention is paid to the due preservation of broad streets or roads crossing in different directions. The inland capitals in the Súnda districts are distinguished by an extreme neatness and regularity in this respect; and although both these, and the greater native capitals at Sólo and Yúgy'a-kérta, may have been laid out principally at the suggestion of Europeans, it may be observed, that the same conveniences are also to be found in the extensive capital of Banyúmas, the planning of which must be ascribed entirely to the natives.

The dwelling or palace of the prince is distinguished by the terms kadáton or kráton, being contractions, the former probably from ka-datu-nan, and the latter from ka-ratu-nan, the place of the Dátu or Rátu (prince). Those of the Regents or Bopátis (nobles entrusted with the government of provinces), are styled dálam; a term which is applied to the inmost hall or chamber of both buildings; and by which also, particularly in the Súnda districts, the chiefs themselves are often distinguished.

The kráton, or palace of the prince, is an extensive square, surrounded by a high wall, without which there is generally a moat or ditch. In the front, and also sometimes in the rear, an extensive open square is reserved, surrounded by a railing, which is termed the álun álun. On the wall of the kráton, which may be considered as the rampart of a citadel, are usually planted cannon; and within it, the space is divided[Vol I Pg 93] by various smaller walls, which intersect each other, and form squares and compartments, each having a particular designation, and answering a specific purpose; separate quarters being assigned within the walls to all the families who may be considered as attached to the person of the sovereign, or that of the princes. The circumference of the wall of the kráton of Yúgy'a-kérta is not less than three miles; and it was estimated that, at the period of the assault in 1812, it did not contain fewer than from ten to fifteen thousand people. That of Súra-kérta is neither so extensive, nor so well built. After crossing the álun álun, or square in front of the kráton, the principal entrance is by a flight of steps, at the top of which it is usual for the new sovereign to be invested with his authority, and on which he is seated on those occasions in which he shews himself in public. This is termed the setingel, from seti-ingel, the high ground. On these occasions, the Pang'érans and nobles are ranged below. Proceeding into the interior of the building, and after descending a flight of steps, we find the next principal gateway or entrance is called the brójo nólo. After passing another court, the next gateway is termed kámandúngan; and beyond this again is the last passage, distinguished by the term s'rimenánti. Still farther on, in the centre of a square, is the hall, mendópo or bángsal, of the prince. On one side of the square are two small mendópos, or open sheds, called bángsal peng'ápit, where the Pang'érans assemble to wait the appearance of the sovereign in the principal mendópo; and on the opposite side is the dwelling, or úmah tumpang, of the prince, termed próbo yókso. The bángsal, or mendópo, is a large open hall, supported by a double row of pillars, and covered with shingles, the interior being richly decorated with paint and gilding. The ceiling of the mendópo of Yúgy'a-kérta is remarkable for its splendour and richness, being composed according to that peculiar style of architecture frequently observed throughout Java, in which several squares, of gradually decreasing sizes, are arranged one above and within the other; a style which is general among the Hindus, and strongly marks the architecture of the Burmans and Siamese.

In the centre of the álun álun, and in front of the setingel, are two wáringen trees (the Indian fig or banyan), called[Vol I Pg 94] wáring'en kúrung, which have been considered as the sign or mark of the royal residence from the earliest date of Javan history.

In the dwellings of the nobles and governors of provinces, the same form and order, with some slight modifications, are observed. These have likewise the álun álun front. The outer entrance corresponding with the setíngel of the kráton is however with them denominated the láwang sekéting, the second pasádong, and the third régol, within which is the mendópo, or dálam. The mosque forms one side of the álun álun.

The furniture of the houses or huts of the lower orders is very simple, and consists of but few articles. Their bed, as with the Sumatrans, is a fine mat with a number of pillows, having some party-coloured cloths generally extended over the head, in the form of a canopy or valance. They neither use tables nor chairs, but their meals are brought on large brass or wooden waiters, with smaller vessels of brass or china-ware for the different articles served up. They sit cross-legged, and, in common with other Mahomedans, only use the right hand at their meals. They usually take up their food between the finger and thumb, and throw it into their month. Spoons are used only for liquids, and knives and forks very rarely, if at all.

In the dwellings of the higher classes, the articles of furniture are more numerous and expensive. Raised beds, with many pillows piled one above the other, and mats and carpets, are common in all; but, in the European provinces, many of the rooms of the chiefs are furnished with looking-glasses, chairs, tables, &c. Most of these were at first introduced for the accommodation of European visitors, but are now gradually becoming luxuries, in which the chiefs take delight.

They are partial to illuminations, and, on days of festivity, ornament the grounds adjacent to their dwellings with much taste and design, by working the young shoots of the cocoa-nut, the bámbu, and various flowers, in festoons and other contrivances. The canopy or valance over the table, bed, or other place selected for any particular purpose, is universal. This canopy is generally of chintz, from Western India.

In all the provinces under the European government, the[Vol I Pg 95] chiefs have several rooms fitted up in the European style, for the accommodation of the officers of government, and none of them hesitate to sit down at table with their visitors, and join in the entertainment.

The natives of Java are in general better clothed than those of Western India. In many provinces of the interior, and in the elevated parts of the island, warm clothing is indispensable. They are for the most part clothed from the produce of their own soil and labour; but there are parts of their dress which they willingly derive from foreign countries. Blue cloths and chintzes, in particular, have always formed an extensive article of importation from Western India; and the chiefs consume considerable quantities of broadcloths, velvet, and other fabrics, in the jackets, pantaloons, and other articles of dress, in imitation of Europeans. Persons of condition are particular in being what they conceive well-dressed. A sloven is an object of ridicule; and, in point of expensive attire, they may be considered as restricted only by their means. Although the general character of the native costume is preserved, they seemed inclined to adopt many of the more convenient parts of the European dress; and, in proof of their having but few prejudices on this score, it may be observed, that, on occasions when the population of the country has been called out in the Native Provinces, the assemblage of the provincials presented themselves habited, many of them in cocked hats and stockings of Europeans, forming a most grotesque appearance. By the institutions of the country, a particular kind of dress is assigned to each different rank; and there are some patterns of cloth, the use of which is prohibited, except to the royal family: but these sumptuary laws are for the most part obsolete in the European provinces, and gradually becoming so in those of the native princes, particularly since those princes have engaged by treaty to discontinue their enforcement. There are also distinctions of rank expressed by the different modes of wearing the krîs, which will be treated of hereafter.

It is part of the domestic economy, that the women of the family should provide the men with the cloths necessary for their apparel, and from the first consort of the sovereign to the wife of the lowest peasant, the same rule is observed. In every cottage there is a spinning-wheel and loom, and in all[Vol I Pg 96] ranks a man is accustomed to pride himself on the beauty of a cloth woven either by his wife, mistress, or daughter.

The principal article of dress, common to all classes in the Archipelago, is the cloth or sárong, which has been described by Mr. Marsden to be "not unlike a Scots highlander's plaid in appearance, being a piece of party-coloured cloth, about six or eight feet long and three or four feet wide, sewed together at the ends, forming, as some writers have described it, a wide sack without a bottom." With the Maláyus, the sárong is either worn slung over the shoulders as a sash, or tucked round the waist and descending to the ankles, so as to enclose the legs like a petticoat. The patterns in use among the Maláyus or Búgis are universally Tartan; but besides these, the Javans pride themselves in a great variety of others, the common people only wearing the Tartan pattern, while others prefer the Javan bátek or painted cloths. On occasions of state they wear, in lieu of the sárong or járit[43] (the ordinary cloth of the country, which differs from the sárong in not being united at the ends), a cloth termed dódot, which is made either of cotton or silk and much larger. This is worn in the same way; but from its size, and the manner of its being tucked up, it falls in a kind of drapery, which is peculiar to Java.

The men of the lowest class generally wear a pair of coarse short drawers, reaching towards the knee, with the járit or cloth folded round the waist, and descending below the knees like a short petticoat. This cloth is always tucked up close round the waist, while the labourer is at work or moving abroad, but loosened, and allowed to descend to its full length, when in the presence of a superior. It is fastened round the waist by a narrow waistband or belt (sábuk). In general, the Javans are also provided with a jacket (kalámbi), having short sleeves reaching to the elbows. This is either white, or more frequently of light and dark blue stripes. A handkerchief or the (íkat) is always folded round the head. With the Maláyus this handkerchief is generally of the Tartan pattern, but among the Javans it is of the bátek cloth, and put on more in the manner of a turban than the handkerchief of a Maláyu is: the crown of the head is covered with it, and the ends are tucked[Vol I Pg 97] in. While abroad, they generally wear over it a large hat of leaves or of the split and plaited bambu, which shelters them like an umbrella from the sun and rain. A coarse handkerchief is usually tucked into the waistband, or a small bag is suspended from it, containing tobacco, síri, &c. The kris or dagger, which is universally worn by all classes, completes the dress. To that of the labourer, according to the work he may be employed upon, is superadded a large knife or hatchet for cutting wood, brushwood, or grass.

The women, in like manner, wear the cloth tucked round their loins, and descending in the form of a petticoat as low as the ankles. It is folded somewhat differently from the cloth worn by the men, and never tucked up as with them. The waistband or girdle by which they fasten it, is termed údat. Round the body, passed above the bosom and close under the arms, descending to the waistband, is rolled a body cloth called kémban. They also commonly wear a loose gown reaching to the knees, with long sleeves buttoning at the wrists. This gown is almost invariably blue, never being of any variegated pattern, and as well as the jacket of the men is usually termed kalámbi. The women do not wear any handkerchief on their head, which is ornamented by their hair fastened up in a glung or knot, and by an appendage of large studs, either of buffalo horn or brass, which they use for ear-rings. Both men and women, even of the lowest class, wear rings on their fingers. Those worn by the men are either of iron, brass, or copper; those of the women of brass or copper only. The value of a man's dress, as above described, may be estimated at about five rupees, twelve and sixpence; and that of the women at about six rupees, or fifteen shillings.

The children of the lower orders go naked, from the age of fifteen or eighteen months to six or seven years; but the children of persons of condition always wear the járit round their loins, together with a jacket.

The higher orders wear a járit, of about seven or eight cubits long and about three cubits wide, which with the men is folded once round the loins, and allowed to descend to the ankles in the form of a petticoat, but so as to admit of the leg being occasionally exposed when set forward in the act of walking.[Vol I Pg 98] The part which is folded in front commonly hangs somewhat lower than the rest of the garment. The sábuk or waistband is generally of silk of the chíndi or patólé pattern. When at leisure within-doors, the men usually wear a loose cotton gown descending as low as the knees; but when abroad, or in attendance on public service, they for the most part wear a jacket of broad cloth, silk, or velvet if procurable, frequently edged with lace and ornamented with filagree buttons. This jacket is called síkapan (from sikap ready) as it intimates, when worn, that the party is ready for duty. The jacket used by the Regents or chiefs of provinces, and other officers of distinction, closely resembles the old Friesland jacket, as worn about two centuries ago, and is probably modified, if not entirely taken from it. Under the jacket the men always wear a vest, usually of fine white cloth, with a single row of filagree buttons, buttoning close to the body and at the neck like a shirt. If the party is upon a journey or without doors in the sun, the túdang or shade, which is usually of broad cloth or velvet, is fixed over the face, having much the appearance of a large jockey cap. The petty chiefs, particularly in the western districts, instead of this shade wear a large hat, in the form of a wash-hand bason reversed, made of split bambu of various colours, and highly varnished to throw off the rain. This is fastened by a string under the chin, in the same manner as the hat of the common people.

The dress of the women of the higher classes does not in fashion differ essentially from that of the lower orders, but the articles are of finer texture and better quality, and gold studs and rings, ornamented with coloured and precious stones, are substituted for those of copper and brass. Both men and women of condition wear sandals, shoes, or slippers in the house; and in the European districts, the Regent and other chiefs, when in attendance on the public officers, on journeys or otherwise, usually superadd to the native dress tight cloth or nankeen pantaloons, with boots and spurs, according to the European fashion.

It is difficult to estimate with precision the value of the dress of the higher orders. That of an ordinary petty chief and his wife costs about fifty Spanish dollars, or between[Vol I Pg 99] twelve and thirteen pounds sterling, including the siri box, which is a necessary appendage. The siri box of the man is termed epok, that of the woman chepúri.

Neither men nor women cut their hair, but allow it to grow to its natural length: in this they differ from the Maláyus and Búgis, who always wear it short. The men, except on particular occasions, gather it up on the crown of the head, twist it round, and fasten it by means of a semicircular tortoise-shell comb fixed in front; but among the higher classes, it is considered a mark of the greatest respect to let it flow in curls in the presence of a superior. The princes and chiefs at the native courts usually confine it on the neck, and allow it to descend down the back in large curls; but in Chéribon and the Súnda districts, the chiefs, on occasions of ceremony, let their locks flow in curls and ringlets loose over their shoulders. The women confine their hair by gathering and twisting it into one large glúng or knot at the back of the head, in the manner of performing which there are several modes, distinguished by as many names. The short down encircling the forehead is sometimes cut or shaved, to give the brow a better defined appearance, when the hair is combed back, and on particular occasions the fine hair in the same place, which is too short to be combed back and gathered in the knot, is turned in small curls like a fringe. All classes, both of men and women, apply oils to their hair. The women frequently use scents in dressing it, and on state days ornament it with a great variety of flowers, diamond-headed pins, and other jewellery. Both sexes perfume their persons with different species of fragrant oils, as the láng'a chandána (sandal-wood oil), láng'a kanáng'a, láng'a gáru, láng'a gandapúra, and láng'a jerú, and adorn the skin with a variety of powders called bóré; as the bóré kúning (yellow powder), bóré érang (black), boré sárí, and boré k'lambak. To these may be added the general use of musk, termed by them dédes. In the houses of the higher orders, dúpa or incense of benjamin, and other odoriferous gums, is generally burnt.

The priests generally dress in white, and imitate the turbans of the Arabs.

Such is the ordinary costume of the bulk of the population, as it is usually seen in all that part of the island peculiarly[Vol I Pg 100] called Java. In the western or Súnda districts, the common people are by no means so well supplied with articles of dress as in the eastern. They are often seen with little or no covering, beyond a piece of very coarse cloth tied round the waist. The Regents or chiefs of provinces in these districts generally wear, when on public duty with the officers of the European government, a velvet cap ornamented with gold lace, differing in fashion in each province, but usually calculated to shade the face from the direct rays of the sun. In the eastern districts the chiefs, on similar occasions, wear the cap called kúluk, which will be more particularly mentioned as part of the court dress.

Besides what may be thus termed the ordinary dress, two grand distinctions are noticed in the costume of the Javans: these are the war dress and the court dress. The former consists of chelána or pantaloons, buttoned from the hip down to the ankles; the kátok, short kilt or petticoat of coloured silk or fine cotton, descending just below the knee; and the ámben or girth, rolled tightly round the body seven or eight times, like a military sash, and securing the whole body from below the arms to the hips: this is made either of silk or very fine cotton. Over this is drawn a tight vest without buttons, termed sángsang, and over this again the ordinary vest or kótan with buttons, buttoning close round the body and neck, the síkapan or jacket being worn over the whole. The túdung, or shade for the face, is usually worn on this occasion, as well as shoes or sandals. The ang'ger or sword belt, which goes round the waist, also forms an essential part of the war dress, in which the pedáng or sword is suspended on the left side. Three kríses are usually worn in the waist on these occasions, one on each side and the other behind. These consist of the krís which the wearer particularly calls his own, the krís which has descended to him from his ancestors, and the krís which he may have received on his marriage from his wife's father. The latter is often placed on the left side for immediate use. This dress is worn in going into the field of battle, on which occasion it is the custom to appear in the richest attire their means admit, and to wear the rings and the other valuable jewels or trinkets which they possess.

In the court or full dress, the shoulders, arms, and body,[Vol I Pg 101] down to the waist, are entirely bare; the drapery descending from the loins downwards, chelána, and what may be worn on the head, being the only covering. When a subject, whatever be his rank or family, approaches his prince, he must wear chelána or pantaloons of coloured silk or of fine cotton, without buttons; and instead of the járit or ordinary cloth, he must wear the dódot, a cloth which is of nearly double the dimensions. This is put on, however, nearly in the same manner as the járit, but so as not to descend on the right side further than just below the knee, while on the left it falls in a rich drapery, until it touches the ground in a point. The sábuk or waistband must be of gold lace, the fringed ends of which usually hang down a few inches, and the party must only wear one krís, which is tucked in the waistband on the right side behind, while on the left he wears a weapon, or rather implement, called a wédung, in the shape of a chopper, together with a small knife, indicative of his readiness to cut down trees and grass at the order of his sovereign. On his head he must wear a peculiar kind of cap (kuluk), said to have been introduced by the Sultan Pájang in imitation of the scull-cap of the Arabs; it is made of cloth, and either white or light blue, stiffened with rich starch: on more ordinary occasions, and generally, except in full dress, the chiefs prefer a cap of the same form made of black velvet, ornamented with gold, and sometimes a diamond on the crown. The part of the body which is left uncovered is generally rubbed over with white or yellow powder. The sovereign himself is usually habited in the same manner on state occasions, his body and arms being covered with a bright yellow powder. When women approach the sovereign, besides having their hair ornamented with diamonds and flowers, they must wear a sémbong or sash round the waist, which generally is of yellow silk with red at the two ends. It is brought once round the body from behind, and the long ends are allowed to descend towards the ground, one over each hip.

Since the loss of the makóta, or golden crown of Majapáhit, which disappeared on the banishment of Susúnan Mangkúrat, both the Susúnan and Sultan, on public occasions, when they have to meet the European authorities, wear a velvet hat or cap of a particular fashion, somewhat different at each[Vol I Pg 102] court; that of the Susúnan resembling what is distinguished by the term of the Madúra hat in consequence of its being still worn by the Madúra family, and that of the Sultan having a golden garúda affixed at the back, and two wings of gold extending from behind the ears. They both wear breeches, stockings, and buckles, after the European fashion.

The jámang or golden plate, which was worn over the forehead, as well as a variety of golden ornaments round the neck and arms, and which formerly formed the most splendid part of the costume, are now disused; except at marriages, or in dramatic or other entertainments, when the ancient costume of the country is exhibited in all its rich and gorgeous variety.

The following picture of a Javan beauty, taken from one of the most popular poems of the country, will serve better than any description of mine, to place before the reader the standard of female elegance and perfection in the island, and to convey an accurate idea of the personal decorations on nuptial occasions, in dances and dramatic exhibitions; it will at the same time afford a representation of what may be considered to have formed the full dress of a female of distinction, before the innovations of Mahometanism and the partial introduction of the European fashions. The extravagant genius of eastern poetry may perhaps be best employed in portraying such fantastic images, or celebrating such extraordinary tastes.

"Her face was fair and bright as the moon, and it expressed all that was lovely. The beauty of Ráden Pútri far excelled even that of the widadári Déwi Ráti: she shone bright even in the dark, and she was without defect or blemish.

"So clear and striking was her brightness, that it flashed to the sky as she was gazed at: the lustre of the sun was even dimmed in her presence, for she seemed to have stolen from him his refulgence. So much did she excel in beauty, that it is impossible to describe it.

"Her shape and form were nothing wanting, and her hair when loosened hung down to her feet, waving in dark curls: the short front hairs were turned with regularity as a fringe, her forehead resembling the chendána stone. Her eyebrows were like two leaves of the ímbo tree; the outer angle of the eye acute and slightly extended; the ball of the eye full, and the upper eyelash slightly curling upwards.[Vol I Pg 103]

"Tears seemed floating in her eye, but started not. Her nose was sharp and pointed; her teeth black as the kómbang; her lips the colour of the newly cut mangústin shell. Her teeth regular and brilliant; her cheeks in shape like the fruit of the dúren; the lower part of the cheek slightly protruding. Her ears in beauty like the giánti flowers, and her neck like unto the young and graceful gádung leaf.

"Her shoulders even, like the balance of golden scales; her chest open and full; her breasts like ivory, perfectly round and inclining to each other. Her arms ductile as a bow; her fingers long and pliant, and tapering like thorns of the forest. Her nails like pearls; her skin bright yellow; her waist formed like the pátram when drawn from its sheath; her hips as the reversed límas leaf.

"Like unto the púdak flower when hanging down its head, was the shape of her leg; her foot flat with the ground; her gait gentle and majestic like that of the elephant. Thus beautiful in person, she was clothed with a chíndi patóla of a green colour, fastened round the waist with a golden lúlut or cestus: her outer garment being of the méga mendúng (dark clouded) pattern. Her kémban (upper garment) was of the pattern jing'gomosi, edged with lace of gold; on her finger she wore a ring, the production of the sea, and her ear-rings were of the pattern nóto bróngto.

"On the front of the ear-studs were displayed the beauties of the segára múnchar pattern (emeralds encircled by rubies and diamonds), and she bound up her hair in the first fashion, fastening it with the glúng (knot) bobokóran, and decorating it with the green chámpaca flower, and also with the gámbir, meláti, and mínor flowers; and in the centre of it she fixed a golden pin, with a red jewel on the top, and a golden flower ornamented with emeralds. Her necklace was composed of seven kinds of precious stones, and most brilliant to behold; and she was highly perfumed, without it being possible to discover from whence the scent was produced.

"Her jámang (tiara or head ornament) was of the fashion sódo sáler and richly chased; her bracelets were of the pattern glang-kána, and suited the jámang. Thus was the[Vol I Pg 104] beauty of her person heightened and adorned by the splendour of her dress."

To this we may add, from one of the popular versions of the work called Jáya Langkárá the notions which the Javans have of the virtues, beauties, and dress, that should adorn a young man of family.

"In a youth of noble birth there are seven points which should strike the observer, and these are indispensable. In the first place, he should be of good descent; in the second, he should possess understanding; in the third, he should know how to conduct himself. In the fourth place, he recollects what he learns in the sástras; in the fifth, his views must be enlarged; in the sixth, he must be religious; in the seventh, he must exert the qualifications he possesses unhesitatingly. These are the seven points which must strike the immediate attention of the observer.

"In his heart and mind he must be quiet and tranquil. He should be able to repress his inclinations, and to be silent when necessary: never should he on any account tell a falsehood. He should not think long concerning property, neither should he fear death: in his devotions he should be free from pride, and he should relieve the distressed.

"It should be observed by all, that whatever he undertakes is quickly executed. He should quietly penetrate other men's thoughts and intentions; his inquiries should be discreet, intelligent, and active. Whenever he meets with an able man, he should attach himself to him as a friend, and never leave him till he has drawn all his knowledge from him; and in whatever he does, his actions should be rather what is generally approved, than the result of his mere will.

"As long as he lives he must continue to thirst after more knowledge; and he must constantly guard his own conduct, that men may not say it is bad. His recollection should be clear and distinct, his speech mild and gentle; so that people's hearts may be softened, and possessing these qualifications his dependants may praise him.

"His appearance and stature should not be deficient. The light of his countenance should be sweet, like that of Batára[Vol I Pg 105] Asmára (the god of love) when he descends to the earth. When men look upon him, they should be struck with the idea, 'how great would he not be in war!' In the form of his body no part should be ill shaped. His skin should be like unto virgin gold before it has undergone the process of fire; his head rather large; his hair straight and long. His eyes watery and ready to overflow; his brows like the ímbo leaf; his eyelash like the tánjung flower; his nose sharp and prominent, with but little hair above the upper lip; his lips like the newly cut mangústin shell; his teeth as if painted, shining and black like the kómbang; his breast and shoulders wide.

"A bright circle should irradiate his face and breast, and he should stand unrivalled. Whatever he says should make an impression on all who hear him, and his speech should be playful and agreeable.

"He should wear the chelána chíndi, with a dark green dódot of the pattern gádong-eng'úkup; his sash of golden lace. His krís should have the sheath of the sátrían fashion, and the handle should be that of túng'gáksmi. The súmping (an imitation of flowers or leaves which hang over the ear) should be of gold, and of the fashion súreng páti (brave to death); and on his right thumb (palgúna) he should at the same time wear a golden ring."

In common with the Sumatrans, and other inhabitants of the Archipelago and southern part of the peninsula, both sexes of all ranks have the custom of filing and blackening the teeth, it being considered as disgraceful to allow them to remain "white like a dog's." The operation is performed when the children are about eight or nine years of age, and is a very painful one. The object is to make the front teeth concave, and by filing away the enamel, to render them better adapted for receiving the black dye. This extraordinary and barbarous custom tends to destroy the teeth at an early age, and with the use of tobacco, síri, and lime, which are continually chewed, generally greatly disfigures the mouth. The Javans, however, do not file away the teeth so much as is usual with some of the other islanders; nor do they set them in gold, as is the case with the Sumatrans. Neither do they distend the[Vol I Pg 106] lobe of the ear, to that enormous extent practised on Báli and elsewhere, and which is observed in the representations of Búdh. This has been discontinued since the introduction of Mahomedanism.

Compared with the western Asiatics, the Javans have but few prejudices regarding food. They are Mahomedans, and consequently abstain rigidly from swine's flesh, and commonly from inebriating liquors; and some few families, from the remains of a superstition which has descended to them from their Hindu ancestors, will not eat of the flesh of the bull or cow; but with these exceptions, there are few articles which come amiss to them. They live principally upon vegetable food, and rice is on Java, what it is throughout Asia, the chief article of subsistence; but fish, flesh, and fowl are likewise daily served up at their meals, according to the circumstances of the parties. With fish they are abundantly supplied; and what cannot be consumed while fresh, is salted, or dried, and conveyed into the inland provinces. They do not eat of the turtle or other amphibious animals, but none of the fish known to Europeans are objected to by them. The flesh of the buffalo, the ox, the deer, the goat, and various kinds of poultry, are daily exposed for sale in their markets, and are of very general consumption. The flesh of the horse is also highly esteemed by the common people; but the killing of horses for food is generally prohibited, except when maimed or diseased. The hide of the buffalo is cut into slices, soaked, and fried as a favourite dish. The flesh of the deer, dried and smoked, is well known throughout the Malayan Archipelago, under the term dinding, and is an article in high request on Java.

The dairy forms no part of domestic economy of Java, neither milk itself, nor any preparation from it, being prized or used by the natives: a circumstance very remarkable, considering that they were undoubtedly Hindus at one period of their history; and that, if so essential an article of food had once been introduced, it is probable it would always have been cherished. No good reason seems to be assigned for their indifference to milk; except perhaps the essential one, that the cows of Java afford but a very scanty supply of that secretion. The udder of a Javan cow is sometimes not larger than that of a sheep,[Vol I Pg 107] and seems to afford but a bare subsistence for the calf; yet the buffalo gives a larger quantity, and butter or ghee might equally be prepared from it. The cows of the Indian breed are distinguished by a hump between the shoulders and a larger udder; and it has been found that the secretion of milk can be increased, as it is observed that where particular care has been taken by Europeans even of the Javan cows, they have in a short time afforded double the usual quantity. It has been conjectured, that on the introduction of the Indian breed by the Hindu colonists, the use of milk was forbidden, in order that the number of cattle might more rapidly increase; but the Javans have no tradition to this effect. It is however remarkable, that an absolute aversion to this aliment exists on that part of the continent of Asia, in which many popular usages are found similar to those of the east insular nations. In a recent publication it is stated of the people between Siam and China, who are not, by the bye, very nice in what they eat, "qu'ils ne se permettent pas le lait des animaux, et qu'ils ont pour cette boisson la répugnance que peut inspirer la boisson du sang. Cette répugnance va même jusqu'à exclure du nombre de ses alimens le beurre et le fromage[44]."

Salt is obtained in abundance throughout every part of the island, but being manufactured on the coast, is proportionally higher in price in the inland districts. The sugar used by the natives is not prepared from the sugar-cane, but from the áren and other palms. It is manufactured by the simple process of boiling down the tári, or liquor which exudes from these trees, which are tapped for the purpose.

None of the palms of Java furnish the worms which are employed for food in other eastern countries, but similar worms are found in various kinds of rótan, sólak, &c. which are considered as dainties, not only by the natives, but by the Chinese and by some Europeans: they are called géndon. Worms of various species, but all equally esteemed as articles of food, are found in the teak and other trees. White ants, in their different states, are one of the most common articles of food in particular districts: they are collected in different ways, and sold generally in the public markets. Their extensive[Vol I Pg 108] nests are opened to take out the chrysalis; or they are watched, and swarms of the perfect insect are conducted into basins or trays containing a little water, where they soon perish: they are called láron.

The cooking utensils are, as might be supposed, of the most simple kind, and either of coarse pottery or copper. Rice, after several poundings in a trough or mortar, is generally dressed by steam, though not unfrequently boiled in a small quantity of water. In the former case, it is remarkable for its whiteness and consistency when dressed; and in this state it is publicly exposed for sale in the markets and along the high roads. Indian corn is usually roasted in the ear, and offered for sale in the same manner. Other aliments are for the most part prepared in the manner of curry, termed by the Maláyus gulai: of these they have almost an endless variety, distinguished according to the principal ingredients. Besides what may be considered as the principal dishes, they excel in a variety of preparations of pastry and sweetmeats (particularly of the kétan), of which many are by no means unpleasant to an European palate. They are fond of colouring their pastry, as well as other articles of their food. They occasionally make their rice yellow and brown, and even turn their boiled eggs red for variety.

Black pepper, as among the Maláyus, is scarcely ever used, on account of its supposed heating quality. The most common seasoning employed to give a relish to their insipid food, is the lombok; triturated with salt, it is called sámbel, both by the Maláyus and Javans, and this condiment is indispensable and universal. It is of different kinds, according to the substances added to increase or diversify its strength or pungency; the most common addition is trási, denominated by the Maláyus, bláchang. The name lálab is given to various leaves and kernels, mostly eaten raw with rice and sámbel: many of these substances possess a pungency and odour intolerable to Europeans. If several vegetables are mixed together, and prepared by boiling, they constitute what is called jang'an, or greens for the table, of which there are several distinctions. The various legumes are of great importance in the diet of the natives. Padomóro, pin'dang, and semúr, are dishes to which the flesh of the buffalo or fowls is[Vol I Pg 109] added, and which resemble the Indian curry. Rújak is prepared from unripe mangos and other fruits, which, being grated, receive the addition of capsicum and other spices, and thus constitutes a favourite dish with the natives, though very disagreeable to Europeans.

The Chinese prepare from the gédelé a species of soy, somewhat inferior to that brought from Japan. The káchang-iju is highly useful as a general article of diet, and is a good substitute for various legumes, which form the common nourishment of the continental Indians: it contains much farinaceous matter. Trási or bláchang is prepared in many situations along the northern coast, but is mostly required for the consumption of the interior. It is prepared from prawns or shrimps, and extensive fisheries for the purpose are established in many parts of the coast. The shrimps being taken, are strewed with salt, and exposed to the sun till dry; they are then pounded in wooden mortars, dressed, and formed into masses resembling large cheeses: in this state they constitute an article of trade, and are distributed through the country. The putrescent fluid remaining after the expression strongly impregnated with the odour of the shrimps, is evaporated to the consistence of a jelly, and affords a favourite sauce called pétis. An inferior kind of trási is prepared from small fish, and, when made into the form of small balls, is called blények. Trási blúro is of a reddish colour, and much esteemed at the native capitals. Another kind of pétis is prepared from the flesh of the buffalo, chiefly in the interior districts.

Salted eggs are also an important article in the diet of the Javans. The eggs of ducks being most abundant, are chiefly preserved in this way. The eggs are enveloped in a thick covering made of a mixture of salt and ashes in equal parts, or salt and pounded bricks, and being wrapped each in a large leaf, they are placed on one another in a tub, or large earthen vessel. In ten days they are fit for use; but they are generally kept longer in the mixture, and, being thoroughly impregnated with salt, can be kept many months. In some districts, the eggs of the Muscovy duck are particularly employed for the purpose.

In preparing their food, the Javans may be considered[Vol I Pg 110] to observe the same degree of cleanliness which is usual with Asiatics in general; and in point of indulgence of appetite, they may be, perhaps, placed about midway between the abstemious Hindu and the unscrupulous Chinese. In a country where vegetation is luxuriant, and cultivation is already considerably advanced, it follows that there must be an abundant supply for a people who subsist principally on vegetable productions; and it may be asserted, that, except where the manifest oppressions of government, or the effects of civil discord, for the moment deprive the labourer of his just reward, there are few countries where the mass of the population are so well fed as on Java. There are few of the natives who cannot obtain their káti, or pound and a quarter of rice a day, with fish, greens, and salt, if not other articles, to season their meal. Where rice is less abundant, its place is supplied by maize or Indian corn, or the variety of beans which are cultivated; and even should a family be driven into the woods, they would still be able to obtain a bare subsistence from the numerous nutritious roots, shoots, and leaves, with which the forests abound. Famine is unknown; and although partial failures of the crop may occur, they are seldom so extensive as to be generally felt by the whole community. Thus abundantly supplied, the Javans seem by no means inclined to reject the bounties of Providence: they are always willing to partake of a hearty meal, and seldom have occasion to make a scanty one. Yet among them a glutton is a term of reproach, and to be notoriously fond of good living is sufficient to attach this epithet to any one.

The Javans, except where respect to Europeans dictates a different practice, eat their meals off the ground. A mat kept for the purpose is laid on the floor, which, when the meal is over, is again carefully rolled up, with the same regularity as the table-cloth in Europe; and a plate of rice being served up to each person present, the whole family or party sit down to partake of the meal in a social manner. A principal dish, containing the sámbel, jángan, or other more highly seasoned preparation, is then handed round, or placed in the centre of the company, from which each person adds what he thinks proper to the allowance of rice before him.

Water is the principal and almost exclusive beverage, and,[Vol I Pg 111] among people of condition, it is invariably boiled first, and generally drunk warm. Some are in the habit of flavouring the water with cinnamon and other spices; but tea, when it can be procured, is drunk by all classes at intervals during the day.

On occasions of festivals and parties, when many of the chiefs are assembled, the dishes are extremely numerous and crowded; and hospitality being a virtue which the Javans carry almost to an excess, due care is taken that the dependants and retainers are also duly provided for. These, particularly in the highlands of the Súnda districts, where the people are furthest removed from foreign intercourse, and the native manners are consequently better preserved, are arranged in rows at intervals, according to their respective ranks; the first in order sitting at the bottom of the hall, and the lowest at some distance without, where each is carefully supplied with a bountiful proportion of the feast: thus exhibiting, in the mountainous districts of Java, an example of rude hospitality, and union of the different gradations of society in the same company, similar to that which prevailed in the Highlands of Scotland some centuries ago, where, it is said, "those of inferior description were, nevertheless, considered as guests, and had their share, both of the entertainment and of the good cheer of the day."

It is at these parties that the chiefs sometimes indulge in intoxicating liquors, but the practice is not general; and the use of wine, which has been introduced among them by the Dutch, is in most instances rather resorted to from respect to Europeans, than from any attachment to the bottle.

The Javans have universally two meals in the day; one just before noon, and one between seven and eight o'clock in the evening: the former, which is the principal meal, corresponding with the European dinner, and distinguished by the term mángán-áwan, or the day meal; the latter, termed mángán wéngé, or evening meal. They have no regular meal corresponding with the European breakfast; but those who go abroad early in the morning, usually partake of a basin of coffee and some rice cakes before they quit their homes, or purchase something of the kind at one of the numerous wárongs, or stalls, which line the public roads, and are to the common people as so many coffee or eating-houses would be[Vol I Pg 112] to the European; rice, coffee, cakes, boiled rice, soups, ready dressed meats and vegetables, being at all times exposed in them. What is thus taken by the Javans in the morning to break the fast, is considered as a whet, and termed sarap.

By the custom of the country, good food and lodging are ordered to be provided for all strangers and travellers arriving at a village; and in no country are the rights of hospitality more strictly enjoined by institutions, or more conscientiously and religiously observed by custom and practice. "It is not sufficient," say the Javan institutions, "that a man should place good food before his guest; he is bound to do more: he should render the meal palatable by kind words and treatment, to soothe him after his journey, and to make his heart glad while he partakes of the refreshment." This is called bójo krómo, or real hospitality.

The chewing of betel-leaf (síri), and the areka-nut (pínang), as well as of tobacco (tambáko), and gámbir, is common to all classes. The síri and pínang are used much in the same manner as by the natives of India in general. These stimulants are considered nearly as essential to their comfort, as salt is among Europeans. The commonest labourer contrives to procure at least tobacco, and generally síri; and if he cannot afford a síri box, a small supply will be usually found in the corner of his handkerchief. Cardamums and cloves compose part of the articles in the síri box of a person of condition.

The inhabitants of Java, as a nation, must be accounted sober; although Europeans, in order to serve their own purposes, by inducing some of the chiefs to drink wine to excess, have succeeded, to a certain extent, in corrupting the habits of some individuals in this respect. Two kinds of fermented liquor are however prepared by the Javans, called bádek and bróm: the former from rice; the latter almost exclusively from kétan or glutinous rice. In making bádek, the rice previously boiled is stewed with a ferment called rági, consisting of onions, black pepper, and capsicum, and mixed up into small cakes, which are daily sold in the markets. After frequent stirring, the mixture is rolled into balls, which are piled upon each other in a high earthen vessel, and when fermentation has commenced the bádek exudes and is collected at the[Vol I Pg 113] bottom. The remaining rice, strongly impregnated with the odour of fermentation, has a sweetish taste, and is daily offered for sale in the markets as a dainty, under the name of tapé. Bádek is, in comparison with bróm, a simple liquor, producing only slight intoxication: it is often administered to children to dislodge worms from the intestines. In making bróm, the kétan is boiled in large quantities, and being stewed with rági, remains exposed in open tubs till fermentation takes place, when the liquor is poured off into close earthen vessels. It is generally buried in the earth for several months, by which the process of fermentation is checked and the strength of the liquor increased: sometimes it is concentrated by boiling. The colour is brown, red, or yellow, according to the kind of kétan employed. Bróm, which has been preserved for several years, is highly esteemed among the natives, constituting a powerful spirit, which causes violent intoxication followed by severe head-ache in persons not accustomed to its use. The substance that remains after separation is a deadly poison to fowls, dogs, and various other animals. Arrack is prepared by distillation: an inferior kind, made in a more simple and economical manner, is called chiu. Both are prepared by the Chinese, and a particular account of the method employed will be found under another head[45]. A kind of small beer is made at Súra-kérta in a mode similar to the European process of brewing, by exciting fermentation in a solution of Javan sugar, with several spices and the leaves of the pári instead of hops. When fresh, the liquor is sprightly, and not unpleasant to the taste; but it cannot be preserved longer than four or five days.

The use of opium, it must be confessed and lamented, has struck deep into the habits, and extended its malignant influence to the morals of the people, and is likely to perpetuate its power in degrading their character and enervating their energies, as long as the European government, overlooking every consideration of policy and humanity, shall allow a paltry addition to their finances to outweigh all regard to the ultimate happiness and prosperity of the country. It is either eaten in its crude state as mánta, or smoked as mádat or chándu. In the preparation of mádat, the crude opium is boiled down[Vol I Pg 114] with the leaves of tobacco, síri, or the like, and used in a sticky or somewhat liquid state. In chándu, the opium is merely boiled down without any admixture, to a still thicker consistency, and rolled into small balls or pills, in which state, when dry, they are inserted into bámbus, and thus smoked. The crude opium is eaten principally by the people in the interior of the country, in the provinces of the native princes: the opium prepared for smoking is used along the coast, and generally in the other islands of the Archipelago; it is prepared by the Chinese. The use of opium, however, though carried to a considerable extent, is still reckoned disgraceful, and persons addicted to it are looked upon as abandoned characters, and despised accordingly. The effects of this poison on the human frame are so well described by the Dutch commissioners who sat at the Hague in 1803, and who much to their honour declared, "that no consideration of pecuniary advantage ought to weigh with the European government in allowing its use," that together with the opinion of Mr. Hogendorp, who concurred with them, I shall insert their statement here. The wish to do justice to authorities, whose views were so creditable to their country and their own character, and the importance of their opinion to an extensive population, will plead an apology for the length of the extract which I now present.

"The opium trade," observe the Commissioners, "requires likewise attention. The English in Bengal have assumed an exclusive right to collect the same, and they dispose of a considerable number of chests containing that article annually at Calcutta by public auction. It is much in demand on the Malay coast, at Sumatra, Java, and all the islands towards the east and north, and particularly in China, although the use thereof is confined to the lower classes. The effect which it produces on the constitution is different, and depends on the quantity that is taken, or on other circumstances. If used with moderation, it causes a pleasant, yet always somewhat intoxicating sensation, which absorbs all care and anxiety. If a large quantity is taken, it produces a kind of madness, of which the effects are dreadful, especially when the mind is troubled by jealousy, or inflamed with a desire of vengeance or other violent passions. At all times it leaves a slow poison, which undermines the[Vol I Pg 115] faculty of the soul and the constitution of the body, and renders a person unfit for all kind of labour and an image of the brute creation. The use of opium is so much more dangerous, because a person who is once addicted to it can never leave it off. To satisfy that inclination, he will sacrifice every thing, his own welfare, the subsistence of his wife and children, and neglect his work. Poverty is the natural consequence, and then it becomes indifferent to him by what means he may content his insatiable desire after opium; so that, at last, he no longer respects either the property or life of his fellow-creature.

"If here we were to follow the dictates of our own heart only, and what moral doctrine and humanity prescribe, no law, however severe, could be contrived, which we would not propose, to prevent at least that in future, no subjects of this Republic, or of the Asiatic possessions of the state, should be disgraced by trading in that abominable poison. Yet we consider this as absolutely impracticable at present with respect to those places not subject to the state. Opium is one of the most profitable articles of eastern commerce: as such it is considered by our merchants; and if the navigation to those parts is opened to them (which the interest of the state forcibly urges), it is impossible to oppose trading in the same. In this situation of affairs, therefore, we are rather to advise, that general leave be given to import opium at Malacca, and to allow the exportation from thence to Borneo and all the eastern parts not in the possession of the state."

"Opium," says Mr. Hogendorp, "is a slow though certain poison, which the Company, in order to gain money, sells to the poor Javans. Any one who is once enslaved to it, cannot, it is true, give it up without great difficulty; and if its use were entirely prohibited, some few persons would probably die for want of it, who would otherwise languish on a little longer: but how many would by that means be saved for the future. Most of the crimes, particularly murders, that are now committed, may be imputed to opium as the original cause.

"Large sums of money are every year carried out of the country in exchange for it, and enrich our competitors, the[Vol I Pg 116] English. Much of it is smuggled into the interior, which adds to the evil. In short, the trade in opium is one of the most injurious and most shameful things which disgrace the present government of India. It is therefore necessary at once, and entirely, to abolish the trade and importation of opium, and to prohibit the same, under the severest penalties that the law permits, since it is a poison. The smuggling of it will then become almost impracticable, and the health, and even the lives of thousands, will be preserved. The money alone which will remain in the country in lieu of it, is more valuable as being in circulation, than the profit which the Company now derives from the sale of it.

"This measure will excite no discontent among the Javans, for the princes and regents, with very few exceptions, do not consume any opium, but, as well as the most respectable of their subjects, look upon it as disgraceful. The use of opium is even adduced as an accusation of bad conduct, and considered as sufficient cause for the removal or banishment of a petty chief."


[34] Asiatic Researches, vol. v. page 219, octavo edition.

[35] See Marsden's Sumatra.

[36] The Javan mode of taking account of population is by the number of chácha, or "families," as it is usually rendered, though the word strictly means "enumeration." When the sovereign assigns lands, it is not usual for him to express the extent of land, but the number of chácha attached to it. But as the population of the land so granted varies, the original expression becomes inaccurate. In the native provinces, the number of cháchas reckoned is almost invariably less than the number actually existing, a clear proof, if the original census was correct, that in those provinces population has increased. An account of the number of cháchas was taken some few years back by the Sultan of Yúgya-kérta, with a view to a new distribution of the lands; but the measure was very unpopular, and no accurate results were obtained. The Dutch relied entirely upon this loose system of enumeration.

[37] This includes the Population of Pachítan, under the European government, amounting to about 22,000.

[38] This does not include the dependent islands, on which a considerable portion of the population is scattered.

[39] Colquhoun's Statistical Account of Great Britain.

[40] Valentyn.

[41] The grandfather of the present Prince Prang Wedóno.

[42] It is remarked in the text, that the condition of the slaves on Java is very different from that of the same class in the West Indies. The former are employed rather as administering to the luxuries than the necessities of their proprietors; and, with few exceptions, exclusively for domestic purposes. There are some who having taught their slaves when young to embroider, or exercise some useful handicraft or trade, obtain a livelihood by means of their services, and some few employ their slaves on their estates, or let them out to hire; but the general condition of the slaves is that of domestic servants.

The regulations and colonial statutes respecting slavery seem to have been framed on the principles of humanity, and with attention to the genius of the Christian religion; yet, in consequence of the supplementary force of the Roman law in the Dutch system of legislature, there appeared to be one capital defect in the code, viz. that a slave was considered as a real property, incapable of personal rights, from which consideration the ill-treatment of a master towards his slave was not so much estimated on the principle of personal injury, as that of a proprietor abusing his own property; and although a slave, under such a system, might obtain a portion of property for himself with the consent of his master, his possession was always precarious, and depended on the discretion of his proprietor (in the same manner as a peculium adventitium with the Romans), becoming only the unlimited property of the slave, if the master allowed him to keep it after his emancipation.

It was conceived, that considering the civil law only as a supplement to the positive law, continued in force on Java under the proclamation of the Earl of Minto of 11th September 1811, the code respecting slavery might, together with the other parts of legislation, be amended and established, on principles more consistent with humanity and good sense, by a declaration, that slaves in future should not be considered as objects of real property, but as objects possessing personal rights, and bound only to unlimited service; and that, in consequence thereof, slaves should never be transferred from one master to another, without their own consent given before witnesses or a notary. That a master should possess no other power over his slave, than to exact service in an equitable manner; that he should inflict no corporal chastisement on him after he had attained a certain age, nor beyond such a degree as would be given to his children or common apprentices; that all personal wrongs done to a slave, either by his master or by others, should be estimated by the common rules of personal injuries, and not by the principle of a proprietor abusing his own property; that the punishment for murder committed by a master on his slave, should be the same as that of murder committed on a free person; that every slave should have a right to acquire property of his own, by his private industry or labour, or by the bounty of others; that this property should never be removeable at the discretion of the master; that by this property the slave should always have a right to redeem his liberty, after having continued with his master for the term of seven years, and on paying the sum which, on estimation, subject to the approval of the magistrate, should at the time be thought an adequate equivalent for his personal services.

These fundamental alterations in the code were submitted by the local government to a higher authority, at a period when the principal proprietors evinced a concurrence in the measure; but the provisional tenure of the government, and the expectation of the early transfer of the island to the crown, induced a delay, until the re-establishment of Holland as a kingdom precluded the adoption of so essential a change.

The excuse offered by the colonists for the origin and continuance of slavery on Java is, that on the first establishment of the Dutch in the Eastern Islands, there did not exist, as in Western India, a class of people calculated for domestic service; that they had, in consequence, to create a class of domestic servants, in doing which they adopted the plan of rearing children in their families from other countries, in preference to those in their immediate neighbourhood, who, from their connexions and the habits of their relatives, could never be depended upon. Whether necessity dictated this system in the earlier periods of the Dutch establishment, or not, is at least doubtful; but it is certain that this necessity no longer exists, nor is there the shadow of an excuse for continuing on Java this odious traffic and condition. The Javans, during the residence of the British on Java, have been found perfectly trustworthy, faithful, and industrious; and the demand was alone wanting in this, as in most cases, to create a sufficient supply of competent domestics. The continuance of the traffic for one day longer serves but to lower the European in the eyes of the native, who, gratified with the measures adopted by the British government in its suppression, stands himself pure of the foul sin. To the credit of the Javan character, and the honour of the individual, it should be known, that when the proclamation of the British government was published, requiring the registration of all slaves, and declaring that such as were not registered by a certain day should be entitled to their emancipation, the Panámbahan of Súmenap, who had inherited in his family domestic slaves to the number of not less than fifty, proudly said, "Then I will not register my slaves​—they shall be free: hitherto they have been kept such, because it was the custom, and the Dutch liked to be attended by slaves when they visited the palace; but as that is not the case with the British, they shall cease to be slaves: for long have I felt shame, and my blood has run cold, when I have reflected on what I once saw at Batavia and Semárang, where human beings were exposed for public sale, placed on a table, and examined like sheep and oxen."

The short administration of the British government on Java has fortunately given rise to another class of domestic servants. The numerous officers of the army, and others whose funds did not admit, or whose temporary residence did not require a permanent establishment of servants, for the most part usually took Javans into their service; and though these might in the first instance, not be so well acquainted with European habits, as slaves who had been brought up from their infancy in Dutch families, yet they gradually improved, and were, in the end, for the most part very generally preferred. Let not, therefore, necessity be again urged as a plea for continuing the traffic.

The measures actually adopted by the British government may be summed up in a few words. The importation was, in the first instance, restricted within a limited age, and the duty on importation doubled. An annual registry of all slaves above a certain age was taken, and slaves not registered within a certain time declared free. A fee of one Spanish dollar was demanded for the registry of each slave, the amount of which constituted a fund for the relief of widows and orphans. On the promulgation of the act of the British legislature, declaring the further traffic in slaves to be felony, that act, with all its provisions, was at once made a colonial law. Masters were precluded from sending their slaves to be confined in jail at their pleasure, as had hitherto been the case, and all committals were required to be made through the magistrates, in the same manner as in the case of other offenders.

These general regulations, with the more rigid enforcement of the prohibition of further importations, and of such parts of the code of regulations for ameliorating the condition of the slaves as had become obsolete, were all to which the local government felt itself competent; but it gave its sanction to an institution set on foot by the English, and joined in by many of the Dutch inhabitants, which took for its basis the principles of the African Institution, and directed its immediate care to a provision for the numerous slaves restored to liberty.

[43] Called by the Maláyus kain pánjang or kain lepás.

[44] Exposé Statistique du Tonquin, &c. vol. i. p. 126.

[45] Chapter IV. Manufactures.[Vol I Pg 117]


Importance of Agriculture to Java​—Soil​—State of the Peasantry​—Price of Rice​—Subsistence of the Peasantry​—Dwelling​—Agricultural Stock​—Implements of Farming​—Seasons​—Different Kinds of Land​—Rice Cultivation​—Maize, &c.​—Sugar​—Coffee​—Pepper​—Indigo​—Cotton​—Tobacco​—Tenure of Landed Property.

The island of Java is a great agricultural country; its soil is the grand source of its wealth. In its cultivation the inhabitants exert their chief industry, and upon its produce they rely, not only for their subsistence, but the few articles of foreign luxury or convenience which they purchase. The Javans are a nation of husbandmen, and exhibit that simple structure of society incident to such a stage of its progress. To the crop the mechanic looks immediately for his wages, the soldier for his pay, the magistrate for his salary, the priest for his stipend (or jákat), and the government for its tribute. The wealth of a province or village is measured by the extent and fertility of its land, its facilities for rice irrigation, and the number of its buffaloes.

When government wishes to raise supplies from particular districts, it does not enquire how many rupees or dollars it can yield in taxes, but what contribution of rice or maize it can furnish, and the impost is assessed accordingly: the officer of revenue becomes a surveyor of land or a measurer of produce, and the fruits of the harvest are brought immediately into the ways and means of the treasury. When a chief gives his assistance in the police or the magistracy, he is paid by so much village land, or the rent of so much land realized in produce; and a native prince has no other means of pensioning a favourite or rewarding a useful servant. "Be it known to the high officers of my palace, to my Bopátis (regents),[Vol I Pg 118] and to my Mántris (petite noblesse)," says a Javan patent of nobility granted by Sultan Hamángku Búana, "that I have given this letter to my servant to raise him from the earth, bestowing upon him, for his subsistence, lands to the amount of eleven hundred cháchas, the labour of eleven hundred men." By the population returns, and by the number of leases granted under the late settlement, it appears, that sometimes there is not more than a tenth part of the inhabitants employed in any other branch of industry. Out of a population of 243,268 in the Priáng'en regencies, 209,125 are stated as employed in agriculture. In Surabáya, the proportion of householders who are cultivators, is to the rest of the inhabitants as 32,618 to 634; in Semárang, as 58,206 to 21,404; in Rembang it is as 103,230 to 55,300; and in other districts there are considerable variations: but it rarely happens, that the people employed in trade, in manufactures, in handicrafts, or other avocations, amount to a half of those engaged in agriculture, or a third of the whole population. The proportion, on an average, may be stated as three and a half or four to one. In England, it is well known, the ratio is reversed, its agricultural population being to its general population as one to three or two and a half. By the surveys lately made under the orders of the British government, we are enabled to describe the processes of Javan agriculture, and to state its results with more accuracy and in greater detail, than can be attained on many subjects of superior public interest. If we avail ourselves of these means pretty largely, it is not so much in the hope of increasing the stock of agricultural knowledge, as of assisting the reader to form an estimate of the character, habits, wants, and resources of the Javan.

The soil of Java, though in many parts much neglected, is remarkable for the abundance and variety of its productions. With very little care or exertion on the part of the cultivator, it yields all that the wants of the island demand, and is capable of supplying resources far above any thing that the indolence or ignorance of the people, either oppressed under the despotism of their own sovereigns, or harassed by the rapacity of strangers, have yet permitted them to enjoy. Lying under a tropical sun, it produces, as before observed, all[Vol I Pg 119] the fruits of a tropical climate; while, in many districts, its mountains and eminences make up for the difference of latitude, and give it, though only a few degrees from the line, all the advantages of temperate regions. The bámbu, the cocoa-nut tree, the sugar-cane, the cotton tree, and the coffee plant, here flourish in the greatest luxuriance, and yield products of the best quality. Rice, the great staple of subsistence, covers the slopes of mountains and the low fields, and gives a return of thirty, forty, or fifty fold; while maize, or even wheat and rye, and the other plants of Europe, may be cultivated to advantage on high and inland situations. Such is the fertility of the soil, that in some places after yielding two, and sometimes three crops in the year, it is not necessary even to change the culture. Water, which is so much wanted, and which is seldom found in requisite abundance in tropical regions, here flows in the greatest plenty. The cultivator who has prepared his sáwah, or rice field, within its reach, diverts part of it from its channel, spreads it out into numerous canals of irrigation, and thus procures from it, under a scorching sun, the verdure of the rainy season, and in due time a plentiful harvest. Nothing can be conceived more beautiful to the eye, or more gratifying to the imagination, than the prospect of the rich variety of hill and dale, of rich plantations and fruit trees or forests, of natural streams and artificial currents, which presents itself to the eye in several of the eastern and middle provinces, at some distance from the coast. In some parts of Kedú, Banyumás, Semárang, Pasúruan, and Málang, it is difficult to say whether the admirer of landscape, or the cultivator of the ground, will be most gratified by the view. The whole country, as seen from mountains of considerable elevation, appears a rich, diversified, and well watered garden, animated with villages, interspersed with the most luxuriant fields, and covered with the freshest verdure.

Over far the greater part, seven-eighths of the island, the soil is either entirely neglected or badly cultivated, and the population scanty. It is by the produce of the remaining eighth that the whole of the nation is supported; and it is probable that, if it were all under cultivation, no area of land of the same extent, in any other quarter of the globe, could exceed it, either in quantity, variety, or value of its vegetable[Vol I Pg 120] productions. The kind of husbandry in different districts (as shall be mentioned afterwards more particularly) depends upon the nature and elevation of the ground, and the facilities for natural or artificial irrigation. The best lands are those situated in the vallies of the higher districts, or on the slopes of mountains, and on the plains stretching from them, as such lands are continually enriched with accessions of new earth washed down from the hills by the periodical rains. The poorest soil is that found on the ranges of low hills, termed kéndang, extending along many districts, and particularly in the southern division of the island; but in no part is it so sterile or ungrateful, as not to afford a liberal return for the labour bestowed upon its cultivation, especially if a supply of water can be by any means directed upon it.

But when nature does much for a country, its inhabitants are sometimes contented to do little, and, satisfied with its common gifts, neglect to improve them into the means of dignity or comfort. The peasantry of Java, easily procuring the necessaries of life, seldom aim at improvement of their condition. Rice is the principal food of all classes of the people, and the great staple of their agriculture. Of this necessary article, it is calculated that a labourer can, in ordinary circumstances, earn from four to five kátis a day; and a káti being equivalent to one pound and a quarter avoirdupois, is reckoned a sufficient allowance for the daily subsistence of an adult in these regions. The labour of the women on Java is estimated almost as highly as that of the men, and thus a married couple can maintain eight or ten persons; and as a family seldom exceeds half that number, they have commonly half of their earnings applicable for the purchase of little comforts, for implements of agriculture, for clothing and lodging. The two last articles cannot be expensive in a country where the children generally go naked, and where the simplest structure possible is sufficient to afford the requisite protection against the elements.

The price of rice, which thus becomes of importance to the labourer, varies in different parts of the island, according to the fertility of the district where it is produced, its situation with regard to a market, or its distance from one of the numerous provincial capitals. As the means of transport, by which the[Vol I Pg 121] abundance of one district might be conveyed to supply the deficiencies of another, and to equalize the distribution of the general stock, are few and laborious, this variation of price is sometimes very considerable: even in the same district there are great variations, according to the nature of the crop. In the Native Provinces, a píkul (weighing 133⅓ lbs. English) sometimes sells below the fourth part of a Spanish dollar, and at other times for more than two Spanish dollars; but in common years, and at an average over the whole island, including the capital, the estimate may be taken at thirty Spanish dollars the kóyan of thirty píkuls, or three thousand kútis. A kúti of rice, according to this estimate, may be sold to the consumer, after allowing a sufficient profit to the retail merchant, for much less than a penny.

But though the price of this common article of subsistence may be of some consequence to the Javan labourer, when he wants to make any purchase with his surplus portion, he is rendered independent of the fluctuations of the market for his necessary food, by the mode in which he procures it. He is generally the cultivator of the soil; and while he admits that law of custom, which assigns to the superior a certain share of the produce, he claims an equal right himself to the remainder, which is generally sufficient to support himself and his family: and he sometimes finds in this law of custom, sanctioned by the interest of both parties, a security in the possession of his lands, and a barrier against the arbitrary exactions of his chief, which could scarcely be expected under the capricious despotism of a Mahomedan government. In addition to this reserved share, he raises on his own account, if he is industrious, within what may be termed the cottage farm, all the vegetables, fruit, and poultry requisite for his own consumption. His wife invariably manufactures the slight articles of clothing, which, in such a climate, the common people are in the habit of wearing. What can be spared of the fruits of their joint industry from the supply of their immediate wants, is carried to market, and exchanged for a little salt fish, dried meat, or for other trifling comforts, hoarded as a store for the purchase of an ox or a buffalo, or expended in procuring materials for repairing the hut and mending the implements of husbandry.[Vol I Pg 122]

The farming stock of the cultivator is as limited as his wants are few and his cottage inartificial: it usually consists of a pair of buffaloes or oxen, and a few rude implements of husbandry. There is a small proportion of sheep and goats on the island; but, with the exception of poultry, no kind of live stock is reared exclusively either for the butcher or the dairy. By the returns made in 1813 of the stock and cattle of the provinces under the British government, containing a population of nearly two millions and a half, it was found that there were only about five thousand sheep and twenty-four thousand goats. The number of buffaloes, by the same return, and in the same space, was stated at 402,054, and of oxen at 122,691. Horses abound in the island, but are principally employed about the capitals, and not in husbandry, further than in the transport of produce from one district to another.

The buffalo and ox are used for ploughing. The former is of a smaller size than the buffalo of Sumatra and the Peninsula, though larger than that of Bengal and of the islands lying eastward of Java. It is a strong tractable animal, capable of long and continued exertion, but it cannot bear the heat of the mid-day sun. It is shy of Europeans, but submits to be managed by the smallest child of the family in which it is domesticated. The buffalo is either black or white: the former is larger and generally considered superior. In the Súnda, or western and mountainous districts, nine out of ten are white, which is not at all the case in the low countries; no essential difference in the breed has been discovered to be connected with this remarkable distinction of colour. The usual price of a buffalo in the western districts is about twenty-four rupees for the black, and twenty rupees for the white; in the eastern districts the price varies from twelve to sixteen rupees. The Súnda term for a buffalo is múnding; the Javan, máisa and kébo: and in compliment to Laléan, the prince who is supposed to have introduced cultivation into the Súnda districts, that prince and his successors on the Súnda throne are distinguished by the appellation Múnding or Máisa. The name of the individual sovereigns enters into a compound with these general terms for the dynasty, and they are called Máisa-laléan, Múnding-sári, and so of others. [Vol I Pg 123]

The ox of Java derives its origin from the Indian breed. Two varieties are common: that which is called the Javan ox has considerably degenerated; the other, which is termed the Bengal or Surat ox, is distinguished by a lump on the shoulder, and retains in his superior strength other traces of his origin. The bull after castration is used as a beast of burden, for the draught, and sometimes for the stall. Cows are chiefly employed in husbandry, and are particularly useful to the poorer class; but in the sáwah and the extensive inundated plantations of the low districts of the island, the superior bulk and strength of the buffalo is indispensable. Eastward of Pasúruan, however, the lands are ploughed by oxen and cows exclusively. The wild breed, termed bánténg, is found principally in the forests of that quarter and in Báli, although it occurs also in other parts; a remarkable change takes place in the appearance of this animal after castration, the colour in a few months invariably becoming red.

The cows on Java, as well as throughout the Archipelago, remarkably degenerate from those properties, for which, in a state of domestication, they are chiefly prized in other quarters of the world, and afford little or no milk beyond what is barely sufficient for the nourishment of the calf: but the draught ox does not partake of a similar change, and in the central and eastern districts, particularly where the pasture is good, becomes a strong active animal. The degenerate domestic cows are sometimes driven into the forests, to couple with the wild bánténg, for the sake of improving the breed. A single pair of oxen, or buffaloes, is found sufficient for the yoke both of the plough and harrow; and these form by far the most expensive part of the cultivator's stock. The price of a draught ox, in the central and eastern districts, in which they are more generally used in agriculture, varies from eight to sixteen rupees, or from twenty to forty shillings English, and a cow may be purchased for about the same price. Either from the luxuriance of the pasture, the greater care of the husbandmen, or a more equal climate, both the buffalo and the ox are usually in better condition on Java than in many parts of India: indeed, those miserable half-starved looking animals, with which some of the provinces of Bengal abound, are never seen in this island, except, perhaps, occasionally, in[Vol I Pg 124] some of the few herds belonging to Europeans, in the vicinity of Batavia.

Buffaloes, however, more than other domestic animals, are subject to an epidemic disease, the symptoms and nature of which have not been hitherto carefully noted, or satisfactorily explained. It prevails throughout the whole island, and generally re-appears after an interval of three, four, or five years: it makes great ravages in the stock of the peasantry, and is checked in its progress by no remedies which have hitherto been discovered or applied: it is of an infectious nature, and excites great alarm when it appears: it bears different names in different parts of the island. As the bull and cow are not liable to this disease; and as, in addition to this advantage, they are less expensive in their original purchase, they are preferred by many of the natives.

For draught, the buffalo and cow are employed; and for burden, the horse (particularly mares) and the ox. In level districts, and in good roads, the use of the latter is preferred. The usual burden of a horse is rather less than three hundred weight, and that of an ox rather more than four; but in mountainous districts, and where the roads are neglected, one half of this weight is considered as a sufficient, if not an excessive load.

The comparatively higher price of cattle on Java than in Bengal has been accounted for from the demand for them as food, and the absence of extensive commons on which to feed them.

When implements of husbandry are mentioned in British agriculture, many expensive instruments, and complicated machinery suggest themselves to those acquainted with its practical details. From the preparation of the ground for receiving the seed, till the grain comes into the hands of the miller, labour is economized and produce increased, by many ingenious processes and artful contrivances, of which a Javan could form no conception. He could form no idea of the fabrication or advantages of our different kinds of ploughs; of our swing ploughs, our wheel ploughs, and our two-furrow ploughs; of our grubbers, cultivators, and other instruments for pulverizing the soil; of our threshing and winnowing machines, and other inventions. A plough of the simplest[Vol I Pg 125] construction, a harrow, or rather rake, and sometimes a roller, with a páchul, or hoe, which answers the purpose of a spade; an árit, which serves as a knife or small hatchet; and the áni áni, a peculiar instrument used by the reapers, are all the implements employed by him in husbandry; and the total cost of the whole does not exceed three or four rupees, or from seven to ten shillings.

The plough (walúku), in general use for the irrigated land, consists of three parts, the body, beam, and handle. It is generally made of teak wood, where that material can be provided, or otherwise of the most durable that can be found: the yoke only is of bámbu. Simple as it is, it appears, both in its construction and durability, superior to the plough of Bengal, as described by Mr. Colebrooke, from which it differs, in having a board cut out of the piece which forms the body, for throwing the earth aside. The point of the body, or sock, is tipped with iron, which in some districts is cast for the purpose. There is another kind, of more simple construction, in use for dry and mountain cultivation: this is termed brújul, and consists of but two parts. Both kinds are so light, that when the ploughman has performed his morning's work, he throws the plough over his shoulder, and without feeling any inconvenience or fatigue, returns with it to his cottage. For gardens, and for small fields adjoining the villages, the small lúku chína, or Chinese plough, is used with one buffalo: the cost for a good plough seldom exceeds a rupee and a half. The harrow (gáru), which is rather a large rake having only a single rough row of teeth, costs about the same sum, and is in like manner made of teak where procurable; except the handle, beam, and yoke, which are of bámbu. When used, the person who guides it generally sits upon it, to give it the necessary pressure for levelling or pulverizing the soil.

The páchul is a large hoe, which in Java serves every purpose of the spade in Europe, and is consequently, next to the plough, the most important implement in Javan husbandry. The head is of wood tipped with iron; and the handle, which is about two feet and a half long, frequently has a slight curve, which renders it more convenient for use: its price is about half a rupee. The árit, or weeding knife, costs about eight pence; and the áni áni, with which the grain is reaped,[Vol I Pg 126] about three pence. The latter is a small instrument of peculiar shape. The reaper holds it in a particular manner, and crops off with it each separate ear, along with a few inches of the straw. This mode of reaping has been immemorially practised and is universally followed. Some of the most intelligent people being questioned respecting the origin of this operose process, answered, that it was reported to have been established in ancient times as a s'lámat, or grateful acknowledgment for an abundant harvest; that when his field was covered with the bounty of Ceres, no reaper could refuse her this acknowledgment; and that the religious discharge of this obligation was guarded by the belief, that if he ceased to offer this tribute of his labour at the season of harvest, the field would not continue to yield him the same abundant return.

The lands are ploughed, harrowed, and weeded by the men, who also conduct the whole process of irrigation; but the labour of transplanting, reaping, and (where cattle are not used for the purpose) of transporting the different crops from the field to the village, or from the village to the market, devolves upon the women.

Besides the two general divisions of the year, marked out by nature in the great changes of the earth and the atmosphere, there are other periodical distinctions, depending on less obvious or more irregular phenomena. These variations have been ascertained by a reference to the course of the heavenly bodies, or the calculations of the wúku, which are described in another part of this work. It is the office of the village priest to keep this reckoning, and to apprize the cultivators when the term approaches for the commencement of the different operations of husbandry. Of these minor seasons of the year, the first, commencing after the rice harvest which falls in August or September, lasts forty-one days. During this season the leaves fall from the trees, vegetation is interrupted, and the only field labour performed is the burning of grass and vegetables, as a preparation of the tégal or gágas. In the second season, which lasts twenty-five days, vegetation again resumes its vigour. The third, which lasts twenty-four days, is considered the most proper for planting sweet potatoes, yams, and such other vegetables as usually form the second crop; the wild flowers of the forest are now in blossom;[Vol I Pg 127] and the period of what is termed dry cultivation commences. The fourth, which lasts also twenty-four days, is the natural season for the pairing of wild animals: high winds now prevail, the rains descend, and the rivers begin to rise. During the fifth, which lasts twenty-six days, the implements of husbandry are prepared, and the water-courses examined and renewed: this is the commencement of the wet cultivation. In the sixth season the ploughing of the sáwahs and sowing of the bíbít for the great rice crop takes place: this season lasts forty-one days. In the seventh, which also lasts forty-one days, pári is transplanted into fields, and the courses of the water properly directed. In the eighth, which lasts twenty-six days, the plants shoot above the water and begin to blossom. In the ninth season, which consists of twenty-five days, the ears of the grain form. In the tenth, also consisting of twenty-five days, they ripen and turn yellow. The eleventh, which lasts twenty-six days, is the period for reaping; and in the twelfth, which consists of forty-one days, the harvest is completed, the produce gathered in, and that dry clear weather prevails, in which the days are the hottest and the nights the coldest of the whole year. The accurate assignment of the number of days by the natives themselves to the different operations of husbandry, affords such complete information on this interesting subject, that any further account would be superfluous. It may, however, be proper to observe, that the periods above described chiefly refer to the progress of the principal rice crop, as influenced by the annual rains; but there are many lands rendered quite independent of these rains, by the vicinity of streams which afford a plentiful supply of water at all times of the year. In many favoured situations, it is even common to observe at one view the rice fields in almost every stage of their cultivation; in one, women engaged in planting the newly prepared soil, and in another, the reapers employed in collecting the fruits of the harvest.

Lands in Java are classed under two general divisions; lands which are capable of being inundated directly from streams or rivers, and lands which are not so. The former are termed sáwah, the latter tégal or gága. It is on the sáwahs that the great rice cultivation is carried on; and these[Vol I Pg 128] admit of a subdivision, according to the manner in which the land is irrigated. Those which can be irrigated at pleasure from adjacent springs or rivers, are considered as the proper sáwah; those which depend on the periodical rains for the whole or principal part of the water by which they are fertilized, are termed sáwah tádahan. The former are by far the most valuable, and lands of this description admit of two heavy crops annually, without regard to any particular time of the year: the fields seldom exceed forty or sixty feet in breadth, and the water is retained in them by means of a small embankment of about a foot in height. On the slopes of the mountains, where this mode of cultivation is chiefly found, these fields are carried gradually above each other in so many terraces, for the purpose of irrigation, the water admitted in the upper terrace inundating each of them in its descent. The tégal lands are appropriated to the culture of less important crops, such as the mountain rice, Indian corn, &c.

The vast superiority of the sáwah, or wet cultivation, over that of tégal, or dry, is shewn in their relative produce, and may be still further illustrated by a comparison of the rents which the two descriptions of land are calculated to afford. The quantity of tégal land, or land fit for maize, as compared with that of sáwah land, varies in different districts. In Chéribon, the tégal land, by the late survey, amounted only to 2,511, while the sáwan exceeded 16,000. In Tégal the proportions were even more widely varied, the number of jungs of the former to the latter being as 891 to 11,445. In Surabáya they were as 1,356 to 17,397; in Kedú and Besúki they were nearly equal, being respectively as 8,295 to 10,757, and as 6,369 to 7,862.

The succession of crops, next to the facility of irrigation, depends upon the quality of the soil, which in the native provinces is divided by the cultivators into three principal kinds, tána ládu, tána línchad, and tána pásir. The first is the best, consisting of rich vegetable mould, and a certain proportion of sand, and exists chiefly near the banks of large rivers; the second is almost pure clay, and is found in the central plains; and the third is alluvial, and covers the maritime districts. The term pádas péréng is applied to the oblique tracts enriched[Vol I Pg 129] with a fertile mould, which form the acclivities of hills, and from which the water readily disappears. Tána ládu will bear a constant succession of crops. Tána línchad yields only a single annual crop of rice: during the rainy season the soil constitutes a stiff mud, in which the plants find the requisite moisture and display all their luxuriance; when it is afterwards exposed to the rays of the sun, it bursts into extensive fissures, which admitting the scorching heat by which they were produced, become detrimental to every species of vegetation.

Besides the annual crop of rice which is raised on the sáwah lands, a variety of plants are raised upon them as a second or light crop within the same year. Among these are several species of káchang or bean, the cotton plant, the indigo, and a variety of cucumbers, &c. But the more generally useful and profitable vegetables require nearly the same period as the rice, and only yield their increase once in a season: they mostly grow in situations, on which the supply of water can be regulated, and a continued inundation prevented. Among the most important are the gúdé, káchang pénden, or káchang chína, káchang íju, kédéle, jágung or Indian corn, jágung chántel, jáwa-wút, jáli, wíjen, járak or palma christi, térong, and kéntang jáwa.

In tégal lands of high situations a particular method of planting is sometimes practiced, which produces a result similar to a succession of crops. Together with the rice are deposited the seeds of other vegetables, which arrive at maturity at different periods, chiefly after the rice harvest. The most common and useful among these is cotton; and, in some tracts, great quantities of this valuable product is thus obtained, without any exclusive allotment of the soil. Next to this are various leguminous and other plants, which do not interfere with the rice. No less than six or eight kinds of vegetables are sometimes in this manner seen to shoot up promiscuously in a single field.

Rice, however, as has been repeatedly observed, is the grand staple of Javan, as well as Indian cultivation, and to this every other species of husbandry is subordinate. The adjacent islands and states of Sumatra, Malacca, Borneo, Celebes, and the Moluccas, have always in a great measure[Vol I Pg 130] depended on the Javan cultivator for their supply, and the Dutch were in the habit of transporting an annual quantity of between six and eight thousand tons to Ceylon, to Coromandel, to the Cape, and their other settlements. Even at the low rate at which it generally sells, a revenue of near four million of rupees, or about half a million sterling, has been estimated as the government portion of its annual produce.

According to the modes of cultivation by which it has been reared, this grain is called pári sáwah, or pári gága; corresponding, with some exceptions, to the pádi sáwah, and pádi ládang of Sumatra. In the western, and particularly the Súnda districts, the term gága is changed for típar, the term gága, in these districts, being only occasionally applied to the grain which is cultivated on newly cleared mountainous spots.

The lowland and the mountain rice, or more correctly speaking, the rice raised in dry lands and the rice raised in lands subjected to inundation, are varieties of the same species (the oriza sativa of Linnæus) although both of them are permanent: but the rice planted on the mountainous or dry ground does not thrive on irrigated lands; nor, on the contrary, does the sáwah rice succeed on lands beyond the reach of irrigation. The mountain rice is supposed to contain in the same bulk more nourishment than the other, and is more palatable; but its use is limited to the less populous districts of the island, the greater proportion of the inhabitants depending exclusively on the produce of the sáwahs, or wet cultivation, for their support.

Stavorinus asserts, that the mountain rice is not so good as that of the low lands. Mr. Marsden informs us, on the contrary, that the former brings the higher price, and is considered of superior quality, being whiter, heartier, and better flavoured grain, keeping better, and increasing more in boiling. "The rice of the low lands," he says, "is more prolific from the seed, and subject to less risk in the culture; and on these accounts, rather than from its superior quality, is in more common use than the former." In general, the weightiest and whitest grain is preferred; a preference mentioned by Bontius, who includes in the character of the best rice its whiteness, its clearness of colour, and its preponderating weight, bulk for bulk. Dr. Horsfield con[Vol I Pg 131]ceives that Stavorinus formed his opinion in the low northern maritime districts of Java, and Mr. Marsden from a more extensive observation. Many intelligent natives state, that they prefer the mountain rice when they can procure it, on account of its whiteness, strength, and flavour; and that they are only limited in its use, by the impossibility of raising as much of it as can satisfy the general demand, all the mountain or dry rice not being sufficient to feed one-tenth of the population. In less populous countries, as in many parts of Sumatra, the inhabitants can easily subsist the whole of their numbers exclusively on mountain rice, or that produced on ládangs, which are fields reclaimed from ancient forests for the first time, and from which only one crop is demanded. The grain here, as in the mountain rice of Java, is highly flavoured and nutritious; but in countries where the population is crowded, where a scanty crop will not suffice, and where a continued supply of new land cannot be obtained, the peasantry must apply their labour to such grounds as admit of uninterrupted cultivation, and renew their annual fertility by periodical inundations, even although the produce is not so highly prized.

In the sáwahs of Java the fields are previously ploughed, inundated, and laboured by animals and hoeing, until the mould is converted into a semifluid mire: they then are considered fit to receive the young plants. No manure is ever used. Oil-cakes (búngkil), which are by some writers supposed to be used for this purpose generally, are only employed in the gardens about Batavia. One of the chief characteristics of the soil on Java, is an exemption from the necessity of requiring manure: on the sáwah lands, the annual inundation of the land is sufficient to renovate its vigour, and to permit constant cropping for a succession of years, without any observable impoverishment.

In the cultivation of the sáwahs, the plants are uniformly transplanted or removed from their first situation. In those of tégal or gága, they grow to maturity on the same spot where the seed was originally deposited, whether this be on high mountainous districts, or on low lands, the distinction of sáwah and gága depending exclusively not upon the situa[Vol I Pg 132]tion of the field, but in the mode of culture, whether wet or dry.

In raising rice in the sáwahs, inundation is indispensable till it is nearly ripe. The seed is first sown on a bed prepared for the purpose, about one month before the season for transplanting it, and the plant is during that time termed bíbit. Two methods are in use. According to the first, called úrit, the ears of pári are carefully disposed on the soft mud of the seed bed; in the second, called ng'éber, the separated seeds are thrown after the manner of broadcast in Europe. In by far the greatest portions of the island, the ground is prepared, the seed sown, and the plant removed, during the course of the rainy season, or between the months of November and March. In situations where a constant supply of water can be obtained from springs, rivulets, or rivers, two crops are produced in the course of twelve or fourteen months; but the advantage of double cropping, which exhausts the soil without allowing it time to recover, has been considered as very questionable. If in some situations commanding a supply of water, the earth is allowed to rest after the preceding harvest, during the latter end of the rainy season, and the transplantation made in the months of June and July, it generally yields more profitable crops than the common method of working the sáwah. This, which is termed gádu by the natives, has been recommended by the experience of European planters.

Irrigation is exclusively effected by conducting the water of rivers and rivulets from the more or less elevated spots in the vicinity, and in this respect, differs materially in its process from that of Bengal, for although considerable labour and ingenuity are exercised in detaining, regulating, and distributing the supply, by means of dams, called bandáng'ans, no machinery whatever is employed in raising water for agricultural purposes in any part of the island.

The rice grown on sáwahs, is of two kinds, pári génja and pári dálam. In the former, the harvest takes place four months after the transplantation; in the latter, six months. Pári génja having the advantage of a quicker growth, is therefore often planted when the rainy season is far advanced.[Vol I Pg 133] Pári dálam is more prolific, and yields a grain of superior quality, comprising those varieties in which the ears are longer and more compound. The varieties of each kind are distinct and permanent.

The subvarieties are very numerous, amounting, with those of kétan, to more than a hundred. Kétan is a distinct variety, with very glutinous seeds, seldom employed as an article of food, except in confections, cakes, and the like. Of the varieties of the pári génsha, mentik and anchar bántap are preferred. Of the pári dálam, those of krentúlan and súka nándi are most esteemed, being remarkably well flavoured and fit for keeping. S'lámat jáwa yields also rice of good quality. The bearded kinds of pári are always preferred for keeping, as the grains do not readily fall off. Near Súra-kérta, the principal native capital, close to the site of the former capital Kérta-súra, there is a peculiar tract inundated by water from a fountain at Píng'gíng, which is said to produce a grain of very superior flavour, from which the table of the Susuhúnan is supplied. Súka nándi is the kind uniformly preferred for these plantations.

For pári gága, whether in high or low situations, the ground is prepared by ploughing and harrowing, and the seed is planted after the manner called setting in some parts of England. The holes are made by pointed sticks, called pónchos, and into each hole two seeds are thrown. Only careless husbandmen, or those who cannot procure the requisite assistance in their labour, sow by broadcast. In high situations the earth is prepared before the rains commence: the seed is sown in the months of September or October, and the harvest takes place in January and February following. Gágas of low situations are planted about a month after the harvest of the sáwah is got in, and frequently receive temporary supplies of water from a neighbouring rivulet. In high situations, to which water cannot be carried, they are sufficiently moistened by the first rains of the season. During their growth, they receive several hoeings from the careful husbandman.

As the grain ripens, an elevated shed is frequently erected in the centre of a plantation, within which a child on the watch touches, from time to time, a series of cords extending[Vol I Pg 134] from the shed to the extremities of the field, like the radii of a circle, and by this cheap contrivance, and an occasional shout, prevents the ravages of birds, which would otherwise prove highly injurious to the crops. These little elevated sheds in the interior, and particularly in the district of Bányumás, are very neatly constructed of matting.

The reapers are uniformly paid, by receiving a portion of the crop which they have reaped: this varies in different parts of the island, from the sixth to the eighth part, depending on the abundance or scarcity of hands; when the harvest is general through a district, one-fifth or one-fourth is demanded by the reaper. In opposition to so exorbitant a claim, the influence of the great is sometimes exerted, and the labourer is obliged to be content with a tenth or a twelfth.

The grain is separated from the husk by pounding several times repeated. The first operation is generally performed in wooden troughs, in the villages near which it grows, and before it is brought to market. The pári being thus converted into bras or rice, afterwards receives repeated poundings, according to the condition or taste of the consumer.

With the exception of the rice raised in sáwahs, all other produce is cultivated on dry grounds, either on the sáwah fields during the dry season, or on tégal land, at all times exclusively appropriated to dry cultivation. The principal article next to rice, as affording food to man, is maize or Indian corn, termed jágung. It is general in every district of Java, but is more particularly an object of attention on Madúra, where, for want of mountain streams, the lands do not in general admit of irrigation. In the more populous parts of Java, likewise, where the sáwahs do not afford a sufficient supply of rice, the inhabitants have lately had recourse to the cultivation of maize. It is now rapidly increasing in those low ranges of hills, which, on account of the poverty of the soil, had hitherto been neglected, and is becoming more and more a favourite article of food. In the more eastern districts, it is procured from the inhabitants of Madúra in exchange for rice. It is generally roasted in the ear, and in that state is exposed while hot for public sale; but it is never reduced to flour, or stored for any considerable time.

The zea maize, or common jágung, is a hardy plant, and[Vol I Pg 135] grows on any soil. In common with every other production of Java it thrives there most luxuriantly; nor is there any reason to believe, that the Javan soil is less adapted to it than that of Spanish America, where Humboldt estimates its produce at a hundred and fifty fold. It is planted in fertile low lands in rotation with rice, and in high situations without intermission, often forming in the latter the chief, if not the only, support of the inhabitants. There are three different kinds, distinguished from each other by their respective periods of ripening. The first kind requires seven months, and is a large rich grain; the second takes only three, and is of inferior quality; and the third, which seems valuable only on account of its rapid growth, ripens in forty days, but has a poor small grain. They may be planted at all seasons of the year; and of the two inferior kinds, several crops are often raised from the same ground within the year.

Of other cerealia, the jágung chántel is raised very partially in particular districts, at no great distance from the capitals of the interior, and mostly for the purpose of preparing from it, by fermentation, a liquor sometimes drunk by the natives; as a general article of food it cannot be enumerated. The jáwa-wút and jáli are still more confined in their use; although the natives have a tradition, that on the first arrival of the Indian colonists on Java, the former was the only grain found on the island: it yields a pleasant pulp, and is made into several articles of confectionary. As a principal article of food, or a substitute for rice, Indian corn can alone be considered.

In times of scarcity, the natives make use of various kinds of the plantain (musa), also the yam (ubi of the Malays, and uwi of the Javans), the sweet potatoe, katélo (convolvulus batatas), the varieties of which are described in one of the early volumes of the Batavian Transactions, and a number of leguminous vegetables, the various kinds of beans (káchang), together with a species of grass with minute yellow seeds, called túton, which in ancient times is said to have formed a principal article of food, and the dried leaves of some other plants; but, happily, these times seldom occur, and the use of the jágung chántel and jáwa-wút, as well as of the various roots and leguminous vegetables to which I have alluded, is too limited to produce any sensible effects on the inhabitants.[Vol I Pg 136] Those natives who make use of the Indian corn exclusively, inhabit the highest districts, where the purity of the atmosphere counteracts any injury which their health might otherwise sustain from the want of rice.

From the áren (sagurus rumphii), which grows abundantly in many parts of Java, a substance is prepared, similar in all respects to the true sago of the Eastern Islands. It is particularly useful in times of scarcity, when large numbers of these valuable trees are felled, for the purpose of collecting the pith. The sap yields an excellent sugar of a dark colour, in common use with the natives. The wine or túwak (toddy) prepared from it is superior to that obtained from most other palms.

A very agreeable pulp is prepared from the pith of this tree, pounded with water, and exposed one night to spontaneous evaporation: it is eaten with palm sugar, and found by no means unpleasant by Europeans. The tuberous roots of a species of curcuma, tému láwak, grated and infused in water, yields a similar pulp. Both are denominated pátí, and daily offered for sale along the roads and in the interior.

All the varieties of the cocoa-tree, noticed on Sumatra, are to be found on Java, where its quicker and more luxuriant growth is accounted for by the superiority of soil. The principal varieties of the cocoa-nut are enumerated in one of the early volumes of the Batavian Transactions.

Of the oil-giving plants there are many. The káchang góring of the Malay countries, or, as it is indifferently termed by the Javans, káchang chína, pénden, or tána, is cultivated almost exclusively for the purpose of obtaining its oil, near the capitals of the principal districts, both central and maritime. It requires a very strong soil for its support, and as the cultivation is profitable, the lands which produce it yield high rents. It is never employed as an article of food by itself; but what remains of it after the oil is expressed, forms an ingredient for the seasoning of rice, in one of the common dishes of the natives. The oil is obtained by grinding the seeds between two grooved cylinders, and then separating it either by expression or boiling. The former is chiefly used by the Chinese, and yields as a refuse the oil-cakes, which I formerly observed were employed as manure in some of the gardens near Batavia. Where these cylinders are not in use, the fol[Vol I Pg 137]lowing mode is adopted: the nut having been taken from the ground, is dried by exposure to the sun for a few days; after which the kernel is extracted, and reduced, by successive beatings in the Javan lésung or mortar, to a grain sufficiently small to pass through a sieve; it is then boiled by steam, and having been allowed to cool for twenty-four hours, is put into a basket, and in that state placed between two oblong planks, which, being joined together at one extremity, are forced to meet at the other, on the principle of a lemon-squeezer. The oil exuding from the interstices of the basket is caught on an ox's hide, placed below to convey it to an earthen receiver.

The járak, or palma christi, is cultivated in nearly the same manner as maize, and thrives on similar soils: from this plant is obtained most of the oil for burning in lamps. In extracting the oil from this as well as from the cocoa-nut, various processes are employed, most of which tend to accelerate the rancidity of the oil. A pure cold drawn oil is not known. In the cocoa-nut, if the oil is obtained by expression, the broken nuts from which it is made are exposed till putrefaction commences. In other cases they are grated, and water being poured upon them, the parts mixed with it form sánten, a white milky fluid, which is evaporated till the oil alone remains. As this process requires much time and fuel, a more economical method is often resorted to: the milky fluid is left exposed for a night, when the oily parts rise to the top, and being separated from the water are purified by a very short boiling.

Of the sugar-cane, or according to the native term, tébu (the name by which it is designated, not only on Java, but throughout the Archipelago), there are several varieties. The dark purple cane, which displays the greatest luxuriance, and shoots to the length of ten feet, is the most highly prized. By the Javans the sugar-cane is only cultivated to be eaten in an unprepared state, as a nourishing sweetmeat. They are unacquainted with any artificial method of expressing from it the saccharine juice, and, consequently, with the first material part of the process by which it is manufactured into sugar. Satisfied with the nourishment or gratification which they procure from the plant as nature presents it, they leave[Vol I Pg 138] the complicated process to be conducted exclusively by the Chinese.

The cane, as in the West Indies, is propagated by cuttings of about a foot and a half long, which are inserted in the ground in an upright direction, previously to the setting in of the rains. The Chinese occasionally use oil-cake for enriching the lands; but where the plant is only raised for consumption in its fresh state, no manure whatever is thought requisite; and a good soil, without such preparation, will yield three or four crops in succession.

The cane is extensively cultivated for the juice in the vicinity of Batavia, where there are numerous manufactories, principally owned by the Chinese. It is also cultivated for this purpose in considerable tracts at Júpara and Pasúruan, and partially in other districts of the eastern provinces, where mills are established for expressing it. Previous to the disturbances in Chéribon, sugar likewise was manufactured in that district in considerable quantities, and furnished an important article of export.

The coffee-plant, which is only known on Java by its European appellation, and its intimate connexion with European despotism, was first introduced by the Dutch early in the eighteenth century, and has since formed one of the articles of their exclusive monopoly. The labour by which it is planted, and its produce collected, is included among the oppressions or forced services of the natives, and the delivery of it into the government stores, among the forced deliveries at inadequate rates. Previously to the year 1808, the cultivation of coffee was principally confined to the Súnda districts. There were but comparatively few plantations in the eastern districts, and the produce which they were capable of yielding did not amount to one-tenth part of the whole; but, under the administration of Marshal Daendels, this shrub usurped the soil destined for yielding the subsistence of the people; every other kind of cultivation was made subservient to it, and the withering effects of a government monopoly extended their influence indiscriminately throughout every province of the Island.

In the Súnda districts, each family was obliged to take[Vol I Pg 139] care of one thousand coffee plants; and in the eastern districts, where new and extensive plantations were now to be formed, on soils and in situations in many instances by no means favourable to the cultivation, five hundred plants was the prescribed allotment. No negligence could be practised in the execution of this duty: the whole operations of planting, cleaning, and collecting, continued to be conducted under the immediate superintendance of European officers, who selected the spot on which new gardens were to be laid out, took care that they were preserved from weeds and rank grass, and received the produce into store when gathered.

A black mould intermixed with sand, is considered the best soil for the coffee plant. In selecting a situation for the gardens, the steep declivities of mountains, where the plant would be endangered either by the too powerful heat of the sun or an entire want of it, or where torrents in the rainy season might wash away the rich earth necessary for its growth, are avoided. The best situation for them is usually considered to be in the vales along the foot of the high mountains, or on the gentle declivities of the low range of hills, with which the principal mountains are usually skirted; and it is found that, cæteris paribus, the greater is the elevation of the garden, the longer is the period of its productiveness, and the finer is the berry.

Having selected a proper spot for the garden, the first operation is to clear the ground of trees, shrubs, and the rank grass or reeds, the latter of which, termed galúga, are often found in these situations, and generally indicate a rich soil. In clearing the ground, it is the practise to collect together into heaps, and burn the trees, roots, and other rubbish found on it, the ashes of which serve to enrich the soil: when the trees are very large, the heavy labour of rooting them up is avoided, and the trunks being cut about five feet from the ground, are left in that state to rot, and in their gradual decay still further to enrich the land. As soon as the ground is thus cleared, it is levelled by three or four ploughings at short intervals, and laid out to receive the plants. A fence is planted round them, about twelve feet from their outer row, generally of the júrak, or palma christi, intermixed with either the dádap, or the silk cotton tree; and, in low situations, out[Vol I Pg 140]side of this a ditch is dug to carry off the water. These operations commence in August or September, and by the time the ground is in perfect readiness for planting, the heavy rains are nearly over. It then only remains to select the young plants, and prepare the dádap which is intended to shade them.

Of the dádap tree there are three kinds; the seráp, dóri, and wáru: but the first is preferred on account of the greater shade it affords. It is propagated by cuttings, and in selecting them for the coffee plantations, care is had that they are taken from trees at least two or three years old, and that they be three or four feet long, of which one foot at least must be buried in the ground. After the dádaps are planted, holes are dug, from a foot and a half to two feet deep, for the reception of the coffee plant, which is then removed from the seed place or nursery, and transplanted into the gardens.

In coffee gardens of four or five years old, are found quantities of young plants, that have sprung up spontaneously from the ripe berries dropping off the trees, and when these can be obtained about fourteen inches long, of a strong healthy stem, large leaves, and without branches, they are preferred to others: but as the plants thus procured are seldom found in sufficient quantities, nurseries for rearing them are formed as follows: When the berries are allowed to remain on the shrub after maturity, they become black and dry: in this state they are plucked, and sown in seed beds lightly covered with earth: as soon as two small leaves appear, the plants are taken from the bed, and transplanted, about a foot asunder, under the cover of sheds prepared for that purpose; in about eighteen months, these plants are fit for removing into the garden or plantation where they are destined to yield their fruit. In taking the young plant up, the greatest care is necessary not to injure the roots, especially the tap root, and with this view it is generally removed with as much earth attached to it as possible. This precaution has the additional advantage of not too suddenly bringing the plant in contact with a new soil.

The plantations are generally laid out in squares. The distance between each plant varies according to the fertility of the soil: in a soil not considered fertile, a distance of six feet[Vol I Pg 141] is preserved, and in each interval is a dádap tree for the purpose of affording shade; but in a rich soil, where the plant grows more luxuriantly, fewer dádaps are necessary, and the plants are placed at a greater distance from each other.

On Java a certain degree of shade seems necessary to the health of the coffee-plant, especially in low situations and during its early age; and the dádap is found better calculated for affording this protection than any other shrub in the country. It is a common saying, that where the dádap flourishes, there also will flourish the coffee: but they are not always constant or necessary companions; for in high lands many of the most flourishing gardens are to be observed with very few dádaps. The coffee tree yields fruit for a period of twenty years, yet in the low lands it seldom attains a greater age than nine or ten years (during six or seven of which only it may be said to bear), and the fruit is comparatively large and tasteless.

About the end of the rainy season, such coffee plants and dádaps as have not thriven are replaced by others, and the plantations cleaned: this latter operation, in gardens well kept, is generally performed three or four times in the year: but the tree is never cut or pruned, and is universally allowed to grow in all its native luxuriance. In this state, it often in favoured situations attains the height of sixteen feet, and plants of not less than eight inches broad have frequently been procured from the trunk. The general average produce of a coffee-tree is not estimated at much more than a káti, or a pound and a quarter English, notwithstanding some yield from twenty to thirty kátis.

There does not appear to be any fixed or certain season for the coffee to arrive at maturity. In the Súnda districts the gathering usually commences in June or July, and it is not till April that the whole crop is delivered into store. The season, however, generally gives what is termed three crops; of which the first is but small, the second the most abundant, and the third, being what is left to ripen, may be considered rather as a gleaning. When the berries become of a dark crimson colour, they are plucked one by one, with the assistance of a light bámbu ladder or stage, great care being taken not to shake off the blossoms which are still on the tree, or to[Vol I Pg 142] pluck the unripe fruit. The women and children usually collect the crop, while the husband is elsewhere engaged in harder labour. Attached to every principal village, near which there are coffee plantations of any extent, there is a drying-house, to which the newly gathered coffee is brought: it is there placed on hurdles, about four feet from the floor, under which a slow wood fire is kept up during the night. The roof of the drying-house is opened in the mornings and evenings, to admit the air, and the berries are frequently stirred to prevent fermentation. As the heat of the sun is considered prejudicial, the roof of the house is closed during the day. This operation is repeated till the husk is quite dry. The berries dried in this way are small, and of a sea green or greyish colour, and are supposed to acquire a peculiar flavour from the smoke, although it does not appear that any particular kind of wood is used for fuel. When dried in the sun, the bean becomes of a pale bleached colour, is larger, specifically lighter, and more insipid to the taste than the former. The most common mode of freeing the bean from the husk is, to pound the berries when dry in a bag of buffalo's hide, great care being taken not to bruise the bean. A mill of simple construction is sometimes used, but is not found to answer so well. The coffee being then separated from the husk, is put into bags or baskets, and kept on raised platforms till the season of delivery, when it is carried down to the storehouse, sometimes by men, but generally on the backs of buffaloes and mares, in strings of fifteen hundred or two thousand at a time.

In the Súnda districts there have been, for many years past, three principal depôts for receiving the coffee from the cultivators; viz. at Buitenzorg, Chikàn, and Karang-sámbang. From Buitenzorg it is either sent direct to Batavia by land in carts, or by the way of Linkong, whence it is forwarded in boats by the river Chi-dáni. From Chikàn the coffee is sent in boats down the river Chi-táram, and thence along the sea-coast to Batavia. From Karang-sámbang it is sent down the river Chi-mánok to Indra-máyu, where it is received into extensive warehouses, and whence it is now generally exported for the European market.

Under this system, the Súnda districts were estimated to[Vol I Pg 143] afford an annual produce of one hundred thousand píkuls of one hundred and thirty-three pounds and a quarter each, and it was calculated that the young plantations in the eastern districts, when they should come into bearing, would produce an equal quantity; but in this latter quarter, many of the gardens had been fixed on ill-judged spots, and the inhabitants were averse to the new and additional burden which this cultivation imposed upon their labour. Had the system, therefore, even been persevered in, and enforced by a despotic authority, it is questionable, whether the quantity anticipated in the above estimate, or even one half of it, would have been obtained from the eastern districts. The Súndas living in an inland and mountainous country, and having been long accustomed to the hardship of the coffee culture, are less sensible of its pressure than the rest of their countrymen: time and habit have reconciled them to what was at first revolting, and what must always be considered as unjust; their modes of life, their arts, their domestic economy, and other social habits, have all adapted themselves to a species of labour, which was at first forced upon them; and a state of servitude, which the philosopher would lament as a degradation, is scarcely felt to be a grievance by them. Instances, however, are not wanting, in which the usual measure of exaction having been surpassed, they have been awakened to a sense of their wretchedness. A government of colonial monopolists, eager only for profit, and heedless of the sources from which it was derived, sometimes subjected its native subjects to distresses and privations, the recital of which would shock the ear of humanity. Suffice it to say, that the coffee culture in the Súnda districts has sometimes been so severely exacted, that together with the other constant and heavy demands made by the European authority on the labour of the country, they deprived the unfortunate peasants of the time necessary to rear food for their support. Many have thus perished by famine, while others have fled to the crags of the mountains, where raising a scanty subsistence in patches of gánga, or oftener dependent for it upon the roots of the forest, they congratulated themselves on their escape from the reach of their oppressors. Many of these people, with their descendants, remain in these haunts to the present time: in their annual migrations from hill to[Vol I Pg 144] hill, they frequently pass over the richest lands, which still remain uncultivated and invite their return; but they prefer their wild independence and precarious subsistence, to the horrors of being again subjected to forced services and forced deliveries at inadequate rates.

It is difficult to say what was the recompense received by the cultivator previous to the year 1808. The complicated system of accounts which then prevailed, seemed only calculated to blind the government, and to allow the European commissary to derive an income of from eighty to one hundred thousand dollars (25,000l. per annum), at the expence of the authorities by whom he was employed, and the natives whom he oppressed. This, in common with most of the establishments on the island, underwent a revision in the time of Marshal Daendels; and it was then directed, that the cultivators should receive on delivery at the storehouses, three rix-dollars copper for each mountain píkul of two hundred and twenty-five pounds Dutch, being little more than one dollar per hundred weight, or one half-penny per pound. This same coffee was sometimes sold at Batavia, within fifty miles of the spot where it was raised, at twenty Spanish dollars the hundred weight, and has seldom been known to bring in the European market less than eleven pence the pound. This, however, was deemed a liberal payment by the Dutch, though in some cases it had been transported over sixty miles of an almost impassable country, where two men are required to carry a hundred-weight of coffee, on their shoulders, at an expence of labour which one would suppose at least equal to this remuneration.

Under the administration of the British government, the free cultivation of coffee, in common with that of all other articles, was permitted to the inhabitants of Bantam, Chéribon, and all the eastern districts; and at the time when the island was again ceded to the Dutch, arrangements were in progress for extending the same provision throughout the Súnda districts, under a conviction, that the quantity produced would not be less under a system of free cultivation and free trade, than under a system in which it was found necessary, as one of the first acts of European authority, to compel the native princes to direct "the total annihilation of the coffee culture within their[Vol I Pg 145] dominions," and to secure by treaty with them the destruction and confiscation of all coffee found in the hands of the natives[46]. A considerable portion of the peasantry, as already observed, have long been accustomed to the cultivation, and it is owing to their skill and experience, as much as to any direct superintendence or interference of the European officers (who generally derive their information from the native chiefs, and have little more to do, than occasionally to ride through the garden with a pompous suite, keep the accounts, and examine the coffee as it is received), that the coffee has so long been furnished for the European market; the experience obtained in the eastern districts, during the last three years, proves at least that coercive measures are unnecessary. There are many parts of Java, particularly the Príang'en regencies, where the soil is peculiarly and eminently adapted to the cultivation; and although it is difficult yet awhile to fix the exact rate at which the coffee might be produced under a free system, it may be calculated to be raised for exportation at about forty shillings per hundred weight.

Of the quality of the Javan coffee, in comparison with that of other countries, it may be observed, that during the last years, it has invariably maintained its price in the European market in competition with that of Bourbon, and rather exceeded it, both of them being higher than the produce of the West Indies. During the last years of the British administration on Java, and after the opening of the European market again afforded a demand, about eleven millions of young coffee shrubs were planted out in new gardens.

Pepper, which at one time formed the principal export from Java, has for some time ceased to be cultivated to any considerable extent. It was principally raised in Bantam, and the dependencies of that province in the southern part of Sumatra; and in the flourishing state of the monopoly, these districts furnished the Dutch with the chief supply for the European market.

But the system by which it was procured was too oppressive and unprincipled in its nature, and too impolitic in its provisions, to admit of long duration. It was calculated to[Vol I Pg 146] destroy the energies of the country, and with them, the source from whence the fruits of this monopoly proceeded. In the year 1811, accordingly, neither Bantam nor its dependencies furnished the European government with one pound of this article.

That pepper may be produced on Java, and supplied at a rate equally moderate with that at which other productions requiring similar care are furnished, cannot admit of a doubt, and this reasonable price may be estimated at about six or seven Spanish dollars (thirty to thirty-five shillings) the píkul. The plant grows luxuriantly in most soils, and when once reared requires infinitely less care and labour than coffee. The cultivation of it on Sumatra and Prince of Wales' Island having been so accurately and minutely described by Mr. Marsden and Dr. Hunter, it would be unnecessary here to detail the system followed on Java, as it is in most points the same. The only peculiarity regarding it which may deserve notice is, that on this island the plant is allowed to grow to a much greater size, entwining itself round the cotton trees, frequently to the height of fifty and sixty feet.

Indigo, called tom by the Javans, and by the Súndas tárum, is general, and raised in most parts of the island. The indigo prepared by the natives is of an indifferent quality, and in a semifluid state, and contains much quick-lime; but that prepared by Europeans is of very superior quality.

An inferior variety, denominated tom-ménir, having smaller seeds, and being of quicker growth, is usually planted as a second crop in sáwahs, on which one rice crop has been raised. In these situations, the plant rises to the height of about three feet and a half. It is then cut, and the cuttings are repeated three, or even four times, till the ground is again required for the annual rice crop. But the superior plant, when cultivated on tégal lands, and on a naturally rich soil, not impoverished by a previous heavy crop, rises in height above five feet, and grows with the greatest luxuriance. The plants intended for seeds are raised in favoured spots on the ridges of the rice fields in the neighbourhood of the villages, and the seed of one district is frequently exchanged for that of another. That of the rich mountainous districts being esteemed of best quality, is occasionally introduced into the[Vol I Pg 147] low lands, and is thought necessary to prevent that degeneration, which would be the consequence of cultivating for a long time the same plant upon the same soil. In the province of Matárem, where indigo is most extensively cultivated, it is sold in the market in bundles, as low as eight-pence the píkul weight; but in the vicinity of Semárang, and in districts where it is not produced in great abundance, it bears an advance upon this price of fifty per cent.

The climate, soil, and state of society on Java, seem to offer peculiar advantages to the extensive cultivation of this plant; and under the direction of skilful manufacturers, the dye stuff might form a most valuable and important export for the European market. The periodical draughts and inundations, which confine the cultivation and manufacture in the Bengal provinces to a few months in the year, are unknown in Java, where the plant might, in favoured situations, be cultivated nearly throughout the whole year, and where at least it would be secure of a prolonged period of that kind of weather, necessary for the cutting. The soil is superior, and a command of water affords facilities seldom to be met with elsewhere; while, from the tenure on which the cultivators hold their land, and the state of society among them, advances on account of the ensuing crop, which in Bengal form so ruinous a part of an indigo concern, are here unnecessary, and would be uncalled for.

The dye (níla blue) is prepared by the natives in a liquid state, by infusing the leaves with a quantity of lime: in this state it forms by far the principal dye of the country. Besides the quantity of it consumed within the island, it is sometimes exported to neighbouring countries by native traders, and sold at the rate of from a dollar and a half to three dollars the píkul, according as the plant may be in abundance or otherwise.

It is impossible to form any idea of the rate at which this species of dye can reasonably be manufactured for the European market, from the prices paid by the Dutch, both because the article was one of those classed by them under the head of forced deliveries, and because the regents, who were entrusted with its exclusive management, not fully under[Vol I Pg 148]standing the process of making it, conducted it always in a very expensive way, and were frequently exposed to entire failures.

The cotton of the country, distinguished by the name of kápas jáwa, is a variety of the gossypium herbaceum; but it is inferior to that generally cultivated on the Indian continent, which is also found on Java, and called by the Javans kápas múri. The plant of the former differs from the latter, in having a smaller stem, and in yielding a material, both of coarser fibre and in less quantity. There is a third variety, with a subarborescent stem, called kápas táhon, which is very scarce. Trials remain to be made, to determine how far the culture of the Indian cotton might be extended, so as to supersede the Javan cotton. The inferior kind, which forms the principal, and indeed with the mass of the people the only material for clothing, is cultivated in almost every part of the island. The soil, however, is not considered as universally favourable to its growth: many of the low lands, consisting of a clay, which bursts in the dry season, are unfit for it; and on several of the more fertile districts, where the plant itself flourishes, little cotton is obtained from it: the declivities of the hills, in which the mountain rice is raised, yield in general the best and most abundant supply. At present, scarcely a sufficient quantity is produced on the island to employ the female part of the inhabitants; and one district often depends upon another for the principal part of what it uses. The cotton of Bányumás is exported to Bágalen, to Tégal, and the western parts of Matárem, where it is manufactured; the environs of Wong'go, Adi-langú, and other places towards the southern hills, supply both the capitals in the interior; Kediri, Pranárága, and the vicinity, likewise furnish considerable quantities for other parts of the island. In the Súnda districts, the principal supply is received from the east and west Jámpang. The culture of cotton, and the manufacture of yarn, are in some degree promoted by an ancient custom, which imposes on every householder or village a certain contingent of cotton yarn for the sovereign, or for the person who holds the land on his account: this custom is called panyúmpleng. The chiefs on Java, and particularly on Báli, frequently wear a[Vol I Pg 149] skein of cotton yarn entwined round the handle of the kris; a custom which sufficiently indicates the respect paid to this species of cultivation.

The Javan cotton is a hardy plant, which grows to about the height of a foot and a half. It is generally planted on the sáwahs after the reaping of the rice crop, and yields the cotton in less than three months. The Indian cotton grows to a larger size, and produces a material of an infinitely superior quality; but it is more delicate in its nature, must be watched with greater care, and requires a month longer to attain to maturity. Cotton cultivated on tégal, or dry land, is considered as generally better than that raised as a second crop on sáwah; and this mode of cultivation has been adduced as the cause of the superiority ascribed to the cotton of Bâli, and other more eastern islands.

Tobacco,[47] termed by the natives tombáku, or sáta, is an article of very general cultivation, but is only extensively raised for exportation in the central districts of Kedú and Bányumás: as it requires a soil of the richest mould, but at the same time not subject to inundations, these districts hold out peculiar advantages to the tobacco-planter, not to be found on the low lands. For internal consumption, small quantities are raised in convenient spots every where; but the most eastern districts and Madúra are principally supplied from Púgar. Bantam receives its supply from Bányumás, by means of native traders from Pakalúngan visiting that port in small craft. The produce of Kedú is conveyed by men to Semárang, the great port of exportation.

In Kedu it forms, after rice, by far the most important article of cultivation; and, in consequence of the fitness of the soil, the plant grows to the height of from eight to ten feet, on lands not previously dressed or manured, with a luxuriance[Vol I Pg 150] seldom witnessed in India. Cultivated here alternately with rice, only one crop of either is obtained within the year; but after the harvest of the rice, or the gathering of the tobacco-leaves, the land is allowed to remain fallow, till the season again arrives for preparing it to receive the other. The young plant is not raised within the district, but procured from the high lands in the vicinity; principally from the district of Káli-béber, on the slope of the mountain Díeng or Práhu, where it is raised and sold by the hundred to the cultivators of the adjoining districts. The transplantation takes place in the month of June, and the plant is at its full growth in October.

Wheat has been introduced by the Europeans, and cultivated with success to the extent required by the European population. It thrives in many parts of the interior of the country: it is sown in May, and reaped in October; and, where the cultivation has been left to the Javans, the grain has been sold at the rate of about seven rupees the píkul.

Potatoes have been cultivated during the last forty years, in elevated situations, near all the principal European establishments, and are reckoned of a quality superior to those ordinarily procured in Bengal or China. Few of the natives, however, have as yet adopted them as a common article of food. Besides potatoes, most of the common culinary vegetables of Europe are raised in the gardens of the Europeans and Chinese. It must be confessed, however, that they degenerate, if perpetuated on the soil without change; and that their abundance and quality depends, in a great measure, on the supplies of fresh seed imported from Europe, the Cape, or other quarters.

Having now given an account of the different kinds of produce raised within the island, and the arts of husbandry practised by the natives, I shall conclude this short sketch of Javan agriculture by an account of the tenure of landed property, the rights of the proprietor and tenant, the proportion of the produce paid for rent, the division of farms among the inhabitants of villages, and the causes that have obstructed or promoted agricultural improvements.

The relative situation, rank, and privileges of the village farmer and the native chief in Java, correspond in most in[Vol I Pg 151]stances, with those of the Ryot and Zemindar of Bengal; but the more frequent and more immediate interference of the sovereign, in the former case, with any tendency to established usage or prescriptive claim, has left no room for that difference of opinion, concerning proprietary right, which exercised the ingenuity of the highest authorities in the latter. In Bengal, before the introduction of the permanent revenue settlement, there were usages, institutions, and established modes of proceeding with regard to landed estates, that rendered it doubtful in which of the three parties more immediately interested, the proprietary right should finally and lawfully be settled. The claim of the Ryot to retain the land which he cultivated, so long as he paid the stipulated contribution, seemed to raise his character above that of an ordinary tenant removeable at pleasure, or at the conclusion of a stipulated term. The situation of the Zemindar, as the actual receiver of the rents, standing between the sovereign and the cultivator, although merely for the purpose of paying them over with certain deductions to the sovereign, and his frequently transmitting the office with its emoluments to his children, although held only during pleasure, gave his character some affinity to that of an European landholder. And lastly, the sovereign himself, who ultimately received the rents, and regulated them at his pleasure, and removed both Zemindar and Ryot, in case of negligence or disobedience, was arrayed with the most essential attributes of proprietary right, or at least exercised a power that could render any opposite claims nugatory. Thus the Ryot, the Zemindar, and the Sovereign, had each his pretensions to the character of landholder. After much cautious inquiry and deliberate discussion on the part of our Indian government, the claims of the Zemindars, rather perhaps from considerations of policy than a clear conviction of their superior right, were preferred. In Java, however, except in the cases of a few alienated lands and in the Súnda districts, of which more will be said hereafter, no such pretensions are heard of, as those which were advocated on the part of the Zemindars of western India; although inquiries to ascertain the equitable and legitimate rights of all classes of the people, were known to be in progress, and a plan was declared to be in contemplation for their permanent adjustment. From every[Vol I Pg 152] inquiry that was instituted under the British government, and every fact that was presented to the view of its officers, it appeared that, in the greatest part of the island, in the eastern and middle districts, and in short in those provinces where rent to any considerable amount was attainable, there existed no proprietary right between that of the sovereign and that of the cultivator, that the government was the only landholder.

There are lands, indeed, which contribute nothing to the state, some on which the cultivator pays no rent whatever, and others of which the rent remains in the hands of his immediate superior; but the manner in which individuals acquire, and the tenure by which they hold such lands, form illustrations and proofs of the proprietary right of the sovereign. As his resources arise almost entirely from the share of produce which he exacts, and as he considers himself invested with an absolute dominion over that share, he burthens certain villages or estates with the salaries of particular officers, allots others for the support of his relatives or favourites, or grants them for the benefit of particular charitable or religious institutions; in the same manner as, before the Consolidation Act in this country, the interest of particular loans were fixed upon the produce of specific imposts. Here the alienation shews the original right: the sovereign renounces the demand to which he was entitled; he makes no claim upon the farmer for a share of the crop himself, but orders it to be paid over to those whom he thus appoints in his place, so far as the gift extends. With the exception of the Súnda districts, as already stated, and a comparatively inconsiderable portion of land thus alienated on different conditions, the proprietary right to the soil in Java vests universally in the government, whether exercised by native princes or by colonial authority, and that permanent and hereditary interest in it so necessary to its improvement, those individual rights of property which are created by the laws and protected by the government, are unknown. With these exceptions, neither law nor usage authorizes the oldest occupant of land in Java to consider the ground which he has reclaimed from waste, or the farm on which he has exerted all his industry, as his own, by such a tenure as will enable him, and his successors for ever, to reap the fruits of his labour. He can have[Vol I Pg 153] gained no title, even to a definite term of occupancy, but from the capricious servant of a capricious despot, who himself is not legally bound by his engagement, and whose successor is not even morally bound by it.

As a matter of convenience, the same cultivator may continue to occupy the same portion of land for life, and his children, after his decease, may inherit the ground which he cultivated, paying the dues to which he was liable. The head of a village, whether called Búkul, Peting'gi, or Lúrah, may be continued in the collection of the village rents for life, and may be succeeded in office by his heirs; the superior officer, or Demáng, with whom he accounts, may likewise hold his situation for a long period, and transmit it to his family; but none of them can stand in the possession against the will of their immediate superior, or of the sovereign, by any claim of law or custom.

Little of the revenue collected from the occupants is transmitted to the government treasury; the greatest part of that which is raised, and which, in other countries, would come into the hands of government, for subsequent distribution among its servants and the support of its various establishments, is intercepted in its progress by those to whom the sovereign immediately assigns it. The officers of police, of justice, of the prince's household, and, in short, public servants of all classes, from the prime minister down to the lowest menial, are paid with appropriations of the rent of land.

To this general principle of Javan law and usage, that the government is the only landholder, there are exceptions, as I mentioned before, in some districts of the island. These are chiefly in the districts inhabited by the Súndas, who occupy the mountainous and woody country in the western division of the island. Among them, private property in the soil is generally established; the cultivator can transmit his possession to his children: among them, it can be subdivided, without any interference on the part of a superior; the possessor can sell his interest in it to others, and transfer it by gift or covenant. He pays to his chief a certain proportion of the produce, in the same manner as the other inhabitants of Java; because, in a country without trade or manufactures,[Vol I Pg 154] labour or produce is the only shape in which he can contribute to support the necessary establishments of the community. So long as he advances this tribute, which is one-tenth or one-fifth of the gross produce, he has an independent right to the occupancy of his land, and the enjoyment of the remainder. The reason why the landed tenure of these districts differs, in so important a particular, from that of the most extensive and valuable part of the island, may perhaps be explained from their nature, without resorting to any original difference in the laws of property, or the maxims of government. Where the population is small in proportion to the extent of soil, and much land remains unoccupied, the best only will become the subject of demand and appropriation. The latter alone is valuable, because it yields great returns for little labour, and therefore offers inducements to engage in its cultivation, in spite of many artificial disadvantages: it alone can afford a desirable surplus, after maintaining the hands that call for its fertility, and consequently tempts power to reserve unalienated the right to this surplus. On the other hand, when waste ground is to be reclaimed, when forests or jungle are to be cleared, or when a sterile and ungrateful spot is to be cultivated, the government have less interest in reserving the surplus, and must offer superior inducements of immunity, permanency, or exemption, to lead to cultivation. On this principle, the tenure of land in the Súnda districts, and on some parts of the coast, may be accounted for. It may be concluded, that many of these lands were reclaimed from waste by the present occupiers or their immediate predecessors, and their rights to possess them, which is similar to that which the discoverer of an unappropriated field, forest, or mine would have, by nature, to as many of their products as he could realize by his labours, has not been crushed or interfered with by the sovereign; a forbearance, probably, more to be attributed to motives of prudence than to the restraint of law. Nearly coincident with this conclusion is the supposition which assumes, that before the introduction of the Mahomedan system, and the encroachments of despotic sovereigns, all the lands on the island were considered as the property of those who cultivated them; but that, as the value of the most fertile spots became more appa[Vol I Pg 155]rent, while the labour which had been originally expended in clearing them, and constituted the title to their original occupancy, was gradually forgotten, the government found inducements and facilities to increase its demands, and thus became possessed of the rights of some by violence, while it rendered those of all unworthy of being preserved. The land tenures of the Súnda districts, according to this hypothesis, are only wrecks of the general system, which have been protected against encroachment, because they did not so powerfully invite rapacity. Whatever truth there may be in this opinion, the fact is undoubted, that in the mountainous and less fertile districts of Java, and in the island of Báli, where the Mahomedan sway has not yet extended, individual proprietary right in the soil is fully established, while in that portion of Java where the Mahomedan rule has been most felt, and where proprietary right amounts to the greatest value, it vests almost exclusively in the sovereign.

The situation, however, of the cultivator in the Sunda districts, who is a proprietor, is not much more eligible than that of the tenant of the government: he may, it is true, alienate or transfer his lands, but while he retains them, he is liable to imposts almost as great as they can bear; and when he transfers them, he can therefore expect little for surrendering to another the privilege of reaping from his own soil, what is only the average recompense of labour expended on the estate of another. The Revenue Instructions, therefore, bearing date the 11th February 1814, and transmitted from the local government to the officers intrusted with the charge of the several provinces subject to its authority, lay down the following general position: "The nature of the landed tenure throughout the island is now thoroughly understood. Generally speaking, no proprietary right in the soil is vested in any between the actual cultivator and the sovereign; the intermediate classes, who may have at any time enjoyed the revenues of villages or districts, being deemed merely the executive officers of government, who received these revenues from the gift of their lord, and who depended on his will alone for their tenure. Of this actual proprietary right there can be no doubt that the investiture rested solely in the sovereign; but it is equally certain, that the[Vol I Pg 156] first clearers of the land entitled themselves, as a just reward, to such a real property in the ground they thus in a manner created, that while a due tribute of a certain share of its produce was granted to the sovereign power for the protection it extended, the government, in return, was equally bound not to disturb them or their heirs in its possession. This disposal of the government share was thus, therefore, all that could justly depend on the will of the ruling authority; and consequently, the numerous gifts of land made in various periods by the several sovereigns, have in no way affected the rights of the actual cultivators. All that government could alienate was merely its own revenue or share of the produce. This subject has come fully under discussion, and the above result, as regarding this island, has been quite satisfactorily established." It is remarked, in a subsequent paragraph of the same instructions, "that there have been, it is known, in many parts of the country, grants from the sovereign of lands in perpetuity, which are regularly inheritable, and relative to which the original documents still exist. Of these, some have been made for religious purposes, others as rewards or provision for relatives or the higher nobility. These alienations, as far as it was justly in the power of the sovereign to make, must certainly be held sacred; but their extent should be clearly defined, that the rights of others be not compromised by them. The government share, when granted, will not be reclaimed; but the rights of the cultivator must not be affected by these grants. Such proprietors of revenue, as they may be termed, shall in short be allowed to act, with regard to the cultivators on their estates, as government acts towards those on its own lands, that is, they shall receive a fixed share of the produce, but whilst that is duly delivered, they shall neither exact more nor remove any individual from his land." It is remarked by Major Yule, the British resident, in his Report on Bantam, that there, "all property in the soil is vested exclusively in the hands of the sovereign power; but in consequence of its having been long customary to confer grants of land upon the different branches of the royal family, and other chiefs and favourites about court, a very small portion was left without some claimant[Vol I Pg 157] or other. The púsákas granted to the relations of the Sultan were considered as real property, and sometimes descended to the heirs of the family, and at others were alienated from it by private sale. To effect a transfer of this nature, the previous sanction of the Sultan was necessary, after which the party waited on the high priest, or Mangku-bumi, who made the necessary inquiries, and delivered the title deeds to the purchaser, in which were specified the situation, extent, boundaries, and price of the land sold. A register of sales was kept by the priests, the purchaser paying the fees; and it rarely occurred that lands sold in this manner were ever resumed by the crown, without some adequate compensation being made to the purchaser. Púsákas given to chiefs for services performed, were recoverable again at pleasure, and always reverted to the crown on the demise of the chief to whom they had been granted: in all other respects, the same privileges were annexed to them as to the former. The holders of púsáka lands were very seldom the occupants; they generally remained about the court, and on the approach of the rice harvest deputed agents to collect their share of the crop. They do not let their lands for specific periods. The cultivators are liable to be turned out at pleasure, and when ejected, have no claims to compensation for improvements made while in possession, such as water-courses, or plantations of fruit trees made by themselves or their parents."

"We must make a distinction," say the Dutch Commissioners appointed to investigate this subject in 1811, "between the Príangén regencies, the province of Chéribon, and the eastern districts. Throughout the whole extent of the Príangen regencies exists a pretended property on uncultivated lands, on which no person can settle without the consent of the inhabitants of that désa, or village. In the sáwah fields, or cultivated lands, every inhabitant, from the Regent down to the lowest rank, has a share, and may act with it in what manner he pleases, either sell, let, or otherwise dispose of it, and loses that right only by leaving the village in a clandestine manner.

"In the province of Chéribon, according to the ancient[Vol I Pg 158] constitution, each district and désa, like the Príangen regencies, has its own lands; with the difference, however, that whilst those regencies are considered as belonging to villages and individuals, here the villages and lands are altogether the pretended property of the chiefs, or of the relations or favourites of the Sultans, who even might dispose of the same, with one exception, however, of that part allotted to the common people. Sometimes the Sultans themselves were owners of désas and chiefs of the same; in which case the inhabitants were better treated than in the former instances. If an individual thought himself wronged by the chief, who either sold, hired out, or otherwise disposed of his lands, he took his revenge, not on that chief, but on the person who held possession of the property. To corroborate this statement it may be mentioned, that the lands in the district of Chéribon were for the most part farmed out to Chinese, who increased their extortions in proportion as the chief raised his farm or rent, and thus almost deprived the common people of all their means.

"On the north-east coast of the eastern districts, no person can be called a proprietor of rice fields or other lands: the whole country belongs to government, and in this light do all the Regents consider it. The rice fields of a regency are divided among the whole of the population: in the division the chiefs have a share, according to their rank, occupations, or taxes they are paying.

"The chief enjoys his lands as long as he holds his station; the common people for a year only, when it falls to the share of another inhabitant of the désa, or village, that all may reap a benefit from it in turn. The ideas of the Javans concerning tenures, thus appear to be of three kinds: in the Súnda division they consist in allotting to the villages of uncultivated, and to individual persons of certain portions in the cultivated or sáwah fields: in Chéribon, the sultans and chiefs, as well as the common people, assert pretensions to similar allotments: in the eastern districts, on the contrary, nobody pretends to the possession of land; every one is satisfied with the regulation laid down, but if a man's share is withheld, he is apt to emigrate. No person considers himself bound to servitude. The Javans, however,[Vol I Pg 159] in the Príang'en regencies, in Chéribon, and in the eastern districts, pretend to have an unquestionable right to all the fruit trees and síri plants, at or near their kámpung or désa."

"There is not," says Mr. Knops, another of the Dutch Commissioners, "a single Javan, who supposes that the soil is the property of the Regent, but they all seem to be sensible that it belongs to government, usually called the sovereign among them; considering the Regent as a subject like themselves, who holds his district and authority from the sovereign. His idea of property is modified by the three kinds of subjects to which it is applied: rice fields, gâgas, and fruit trees. A Javan has no rice fields he can call his own; those of which he had the use last year will be exchanged next year for others. They circulate (as in the regency of Semárang) from one person to another, and if any one were excluded, he would infallibly emigrate. It is different with the gágas, or lands where dry rice is cultivated: the cultivator who clears such lands from trees or brushwood, and reclaims them from a wilderness, considers himself as proprietor of the same, and expects to reap its fruits without diminution or deduction. With regard to fruit trees, the Javan cultivator claims those he has planted as his legal property, without any imposts: if a chief were to trespass against this right, the village would soon be deserted. The Javan, however, has not, in my opinion, any real idea of property even in his fruit trees, but usage passes with him for a law. All dispositions made by the chief, not contrary to custom or the ádat, are considered as legal, and likewise all that would contribute to ease the people, by lessening or reducing the capitation tax, the contingent, the feudal services, in short all the charges imposed upon them. A different system would be contrary to custom. Whatever favours the people is legal, whatever oppresses them is an infraction of the custom."

The tenure of land in the native provinces is the same generally as in the eastern districts. Thus stands the question with regard to the proprietary right to the soil in Java; but it is of more consequence in an agricultural point of view, and consequently more to my present purpose, to inquire how that[Vol I Pg 160] right is generally exercised, than in whom it resides. Though the cultivator had no legal title to his lands, there might still be such a prevalent usage in favour of his perpetual occupancy, as would secure him in the enjoyment of his possession, and enable him to reap the fruits of his industry equally with the protection of his positive law.

But unfortunately for the prosperity of the people, this was far from being generally the case. The cultivator had little security for continued occupancy, but the power, on his part, of enduring unlimited oppression without removing from under it, or the interest of his immediate superior in retaining a useful slave; and as he could not expect to reap in safety the fruits of his industry, beyond the bare supply of his necessities, he carried that industry no farther than his necessities demanded. The sovereign knew little about the state of his tenantry or the conduct of his agents, and viewed the former only as instruments to create the resources, which the latter were employed to collect or administer. All his care was to procure as much from the produce of the soil and industry of his subjects as possible, and the complaints of the people, who suffered under the exactions of these chiefs, were intercepted on their way to the throne, and perhaps would have been disregarded had they reached it. The sovereign delegates his authority over a province of greater or less extent, to a high officer called Adipáti, Tumúng'gung, or Ang'ebái, who is himself paid by the rent of certain portions of land, and is responsible for the revenues of the districts over which he is appointed. He, in his turn, elects an officer, called Demáng or Mántridésa, to administer the subdivisions or districts of the province, to appoint the chiefs, and to collect the rents of several villages. The village chief, Búkul, Lúrah, or whatever designation he bears in the different parts of the island, thus appointed by his immediate superior, is placed in the administration of the village, required to collect the government share of the crop from the cultivator, and to account for it to the Demáng. In some provinces, the village elects its own chief, called Petíng'gi, who exercises similar functions with the Búkul appointed by government, as will be afterwards more particularly observed in the account of the native administration. As all the officers of government, of whatever rank, are[Vol I Pg 161] paid their salaries in the produce of the land, the Búkuls and the Demángs become responsible for the share of the appropriations of villages to this account, as much as if it went into the government treasury. They are themselves paid by the reservation of a certain share of what they collect, and of course are always ready to please their employers, and to increase their own emoluments, by enforcing every practicable exaction. Every officer has unlimited power over those below him, and is himself subject to the capricious will of the sovereign or his minister. When the Regent makes any new or exorbitant demand upon those whom he immediately superintends, they must exact it with an increased degree of rigor over the chiefs of villages, who are thus, in their turn, forced to press upon the cultivator, with the accumulated weight of various gradations of despotism.

The Búkul, or the Petíng'gi is the immediate head of the village, and however much his authority is modified in particular districts, has always extensive powers. To the cultivators, he appears in the character of the real landholder, as they have no occasion to look beyond him to the superior, by whom he is controlled. He distributes the lands to the different cultivators on such shares, and in such conditions, as he pleases, or as custom warrants, assesses the rents they have to pay, allots them their village duties, measures the produce of their fields, and receives the government proportion. He sometimes himself cultivates a small portion of land, and in so far is regarded only as a tenant, like the rest of the villagers. He is accountable for all the collections he realizes, with the reservation of a fifth part for his trouble, which share must be viewed merely as the emoluments of office, and not as the rent of the landlord, or the profits of a farmer. He sometimes holds his situation immediately of the sovereign, or by the election of the cultivators; but more generally from the intermediate agent of government, whom I have mentioned above, to whom he is accountable for his receipts. By his superior he may be removed at pleasure; although the local knowledge and accumulated means, which are the consequence of the possession of office, generally insure its duration to his person for a considerable period, or as long as his superior himself retains his power. [Vol I Pg 162]

The lands which he superintends and apportions range from six or seven to double that number of jungs, or from forty or fifty to an hundred acres English, and these are divided among the inhabitants of his village, generally varying from about two acres to half an acre each. That this minute division of land takes place, may be shewn from the surveys made under the British government in the eastern provinces, which nearly resemble those under the dominion of the native princes, and consequently may be taken as indicating the general state of the island. The inhabitants in the agricultural districts of the residency of Surabáya amount in all to 129,938: these compose 33,141 families, of which 32,618 belong to the class of cultivators, and 523 belonging to other professions pay only a ground rent for their houses. The area of the province contains about twelve hundred square miles, or 34,955 jungs, about 20,000 only of which are cultivated, so as to become of any consequence in the division of lands among the villages, the number of which amount to 2,770. By a calculation founded on these data, it would appear, that each village averages about twelve families, that a family falls considerably short of the average of four, and that a little more than seven jungs are allotted to a village. In Kedú the population amounts to 197,310, the number of villages to 3879, and the quantity of cultivated land to 19,052 jungs; so that in this province there are about five jungs attached to a village; and a village is inhabited by fifty-one souls, or about twelve or thirteen families. In Grésik, the number of villages amount to 1396, the quantity of cultivated land to 17,018 jungs, and the population to 115,442 souls. In Probalíng'o and Besúki, the numbers are​—of inhabitants, 104,359; of villages, 827; of cultivated land, 13,432 jungs. In these two last the proportions vary, the number of jungs to a village in the former being more than twelve, and of inhabitants more than eighty, or about twenty families; and in the latter, the proportion is more than one hundred and twenty souls to a village possessed of more than sixteen jungs of land. It would be superfluous to state any more examples. In different parts of the island, there are variations within certain limits; but the quantity of land occupied by one cultivator seldom exceeds a báhu, (or the quarter of a jung), although the quantity occupied[Vol I Pg 163] by a village, as will be seen by the above instances, varies from five to sixteen, according to the extent of the population.

The land allotted to each separate cultivator is managed by himself exclusively; and the practice of labouring in common, which is usual among the inhabitants of the same village on continental India, is here unknown. Every one, generally speaking, has his own field, his own plough, his own buffaloes or oxen; prepares his farm with his own hand, or the assistance of his family at seed-time, and reaps it by the same means at harvest. By the recent surveys, when every thing concerning the wealth and the resources of the country became the subject of inquiry, and means were employed to obtain the most accurate information, it was ascertained, that the number of buffaloes on that part of the island to which these surveys extended, was nearly in the proportion of one to a family, or a pair to two families; and that, including the yokes of oxen, which are to those of buffaloes as one to three, this proportion would be very much exceeded. In some provinces, more exclusively devoted to grain cultivation, the number of ploughs, and of course oxen or buffaloes, nearly amounts to one to a family. In other cases, where they fall much short of this proportion, a considerable part of the inhabitants must be engaged in labours unconnected with agriculture, or the cultivators must be engaged in rearing produce, where the assistance of those animals is not required. Thus in Japára and Jawána, where the number of inhabitants is 103,290, or about twenty-six thousand families, the number of ploughs amount to 20,730, and of buffaloes to 43,511; while in the Batavian Regencies, where the coffee culture employs a considerable part of the inhabitants, the number of families is about sixty thousand, and of ploughs only 17,366. The lands on Java are so minutely divided among the inhabitants of the villages, that each receives just as much as can maintain his family and employ his individual industry.

"A time there was, ere England's griefs began,
When ev'ry rood of ground maintain'd its man;
For him light labour spread her wholesome store,
Just gave what life requir'd, and gave no more:
His best companions, innocence and health;
And his best riches, ignorance of wealth."

[Vol I Pg 164]

But situated as the Javan peasantry are, there is but little inducement to invest capital in agriculture, and much labour must be unprofitably wasted: as property is insecure, there can be no desire of accumulation; as food is easily procured, there can be no necessity for vigorous labour. There exists, as a consequence of this state of nature and of the laws, few examples of great affluence or abject distress among the peasantry; no rich men, and no common beggars. Under the native governments and the Regents of the Dutch Company, there were no written leases or engagements binding for a term of years; nor could such contracts well be expected to be formed with an officer, who held his own place by so unstable a tenure as the will of a despot. The cultivator bargained with the Búkul or Petíng'gi for a season or for two crops, had his land measured off by the latter, and paid a stipulated portion of the produce either in money or in kind. When the crop had arrived at maturity, the cultivator, if his engagement was for so much of the produce in kind, cut down his own share, and left that of the landlord on the ground.

The proportion of the crop paid as rent varied with the kind of land, or produce, and the labour employed by the cultivator. In the sáwah lands, the share demanded by the landlord rarely exceeded one-half, and might fall as low as one-fourth, according as the quality of the soil was good or bad, or the labour employed in irrigating or otherwise preparing it was greater or less. In tégal lands, the rent paid varied from one-third to one-fifth of the produce; a diminution to be attributed to the uncertainty of the crop, and the necessity of employing more labour to realize an equal produce than on the other species of cultivation. In cases where there was a second crop of less value than the principal rice or maize crop, no additional demand was made upon the additional grain reaped by the farmer.

If such rates had been equitably fixed, after a deliberate estimate of the proportion between the labour of the cultivator and his produce, and if from the best kind of sáwah no more than the half had been required, with a scale of rents diminishing as labour increased or the soil deteriorated, the peasant could have had no reason to complain of the exactions[Vol I Pg 165] of government A jung of the best sáwah lands will produce between forty and fifty ámats of pári, each ámat weighing about one thousand pounds. Suppose a cultivator occupied a quarter of a jung of such land, he would reap ten ámats, or ten thousand pounds of pári, and allowing a half for the government deduction, would still retain five thousand pounds, which is equal to about eight quarters of wheat. The best sáwah lands return about forty-fold; sáwah lands of the second quality yield from thirty to forty ámats the jung; and they are considered of inferior quality when they yield less than thirty. From these last, two-fifths or one-third was required as the landlord's share. Tégal lands were assessed at one-third, one fourth, or one-fifth of their produce, according to their quality, and their produce in value is about a fourth of sáwah lands of the same relative degree in the scale. In Bengal, according to Mr. Colebrooke's excellent account of its husbandry, "the landlord's proportion of the crop was one-half, two-fifths, and a third, according to the difference of circumstances." The value in money of a crop of rice grown on a jung of the best land under the wet cultivation, may amount to one hundred and sixty Spanish dollars; and on a báhu (the space occupied by an individual cultivator), forty dollars. I formerly stated the price of the implements of husbandry, the price of buffaloes or oxen, the expence of building a house, and providing it with the necessary furniture. The whole farming stock of a villager may be purchased for about fifteen or sixteen dollars, or for little more than a third part of the produce of his land in one year. The price of labour, the price of cattle and of grain, as well as the fertility of the soil, varies in different parts of the island; but, in general, it may be laid down as an indisputable proposition, that from the natural bounty of the soil, the peasantry might derive all the means of subsistence and comfort, without any great exertion of ingenuity, or any severity of toil, if their government made no greater demand than the shares stated above.

But besides the rent which the cultivator paid for his land, he was liable to many more grievous burdens. The great objection to a tax levied on land, and consisting in a certain share of its produce, arises from the effect that it has in ob[Vol I Pg 166]structing improvements; but there were other imposts and contributions exacted from the peasantry, which were positively and immediately oppressive. A ground-rent for houses, called pachúmplang, was prevalent over many parts of the island, amounting in the provinces subject to the native princes, to one-sixth or seventh of a dollar for each dwelling or cottage. The cultivator, in some parts of the country, instead of paying this tax, was obliged to pay for his fruit trees. In some districts there was a capitation tax; arbitrary fines were levied in others, and contributions on the birth or marriage of the children of the superior, regent, or the prince. There were several charges made on the villages, that had a more immediate reference to their own advantage, but which nevertheless were felt as burdens; such as contributions for the repair of roads, of bridges, for the making or repair of water-courses, dams, and other works necessary for irrigation. Demands on the inhabitants for charitable and religious objects or institutions are universal, though not very oppressive. Every village has its priest, who depends upon the contributions of the peasantry for his support, receiving so much rice or pári as his salary. The taxes on the internal trade of the country extended to every article of manufacture, produce, or consumption, and being invariably farmed out to Chinese, who employed every mode of extortion that their ingenuity could invent, or the passive disposition of the people would allow them to practice, constituted an inexhaustible source of oppression: to these we may add the feudal services and forced deliveries required under the Dutch government.

The following observations extracted from two reports, the one on Bantam, at the western side of the island, and the other on Pasúruan, almost at its other extremity, were unhappily by no means inapplicable to the greatest part of the intermediate space, and contain by no means an exaggerated representation. "The holders of púsaka lands in Bantam were very seldom the occupants; they generally remained about court, and on the approach of the pári harvest deputed agents to collect their share of the crop. But what proportion their share would bear to the whole produce does not appear to be well defined: it is by one stated at a fifth, and by some (which I suspect to be nearest the[Vol I Pg 167] truth) at as much as the cultivator could afford to pay, the agents of the proprietors being the judges of the quantity. The proprietors of the púsakas have also a claim to the services of the cultivators: a certain number of them are always in attendance at the houses of their chiefs, and on journies are employed in carrying their persons and baggage. The lands not púsaka used to pay the same proportion of produce to the Sultan as the others did to the proprietors; but the cultivators of the royal dominions laboured under greater disadvantages than the others. Every chief or favourite about court had authority to employ them in the most menial offices; and chiefs possessing púsakas, often spared their own people and employed the others. The Sultan always had a right to enforce the culture of any article which he thought proper to direct; and, in such cases, a price was paid upon the produce, which was generally very inadequate to the expences."

"It may be very desirable," says Mr. Jourdan, in his report on the completion of the settlement of Pasúruan, "that I should mention a few of the oppressions from which it is the object of the present system to relieve the people. I cannot but consider the greatest of these, the extent of the personal service demanded, not only by the Tumúng'gung and his family, but the Mántris and all the petty chiefs, who had trains of followers that received no stipendiary recompence. These added to the individuals employed in the coffee plantations (to which they appear peculiarly averse), in beating out the rice for the contingent, in cutting grass for and attending the jáyang sekárs, post carriage and letter-carriers, may be calculated to have employed one-fifth of the male population of the working men. Another great source of exaction was the large unwieldy establishment of jáyang sekárs, and police officers: the former were liberally paid, the latter had no regular emoluments. Both these classes, however, quartered themselves freely in whatever part of the country their functions demanded their attendance. This was equally the case with any of the Regent's family or petty chiefs who travelled for pleasure or on duty. Whatever was required for themselves and their followers, was taken from the poor inhabitants, who have now been so[Vol I Pg 168] long accustomed to such practices, that they never dare to complain or to remonstrate. The European authority did not escape the taint of corruption. Monopolies, unpaid services, licences, forced or at least expected presents, were but too common even in the best times, and must have contributed to estrange the affections and respect of the natives from that power which should have afforded them protection. From this faint sketch it will be deduced, that while the men of rank were living in pampered luxury, the poor provincials were suffering penury and distress."

The Dutch Company, actuated solely by the spirit of gain, and viewing their Javan subjects with less regard or consideration than a West-India planter formerly viewed the gang upon his estate, because the latter had paid the purchase money of human property which the other had not, employed all the pre-existing machinery of despotism, to squeeze from the people their utmost mite of contribution, the last dregs of their labour, and thus aggravated the evils of a capricious and semi-barbarous government, by working it with all the practised ingenuity of politicians, and all the monopolizing selfishness of traders.

Can it therefore be a subject of surprize, that the arts of agriculture and the improvement of society, have made no greater advances in Java? Need it excite wonder, that the implements of husbandry are simple; that the cultivation is unskilful and inartificial; that the state of the roads, where European convenience is not consulted, is bad; that the natural advantages of the country are neglected; that so little enterprize is displayed or capital employed; that the peasant's cottage is mean, and that so little wealth and knowledge are among the agricultural population; when it is considered, that the occupant of land enjoys no security for reaping the fruits of his industry; when his possession is liable to be taken away from him every season, or to suffer such an enhancement of rent as will drive him from it; when such a small quantity of land only is allowed him as will yield him bare subsistence, and every ear of grain that can be spared from the supply of his immediate wants, is extorted from him in the shape of tribute; when his personal services are required unpaid for, in the train of luxury or in the cul[Vol I Pg 169]ture of articles of monopoly; and when, in addition to all these discouragements, he is subject to other heavy imposts and impolitic restraints? No man will exert himself, when acting for another, with so much zeal as when stimulated by his own immediate interest; and under a system of government, where every thing but the bare means of subsistence is liable to be seized, nothing but the means of subsistence will be sought to be attained. The Dutch accuse the Javans of indolent habits and fraudulent dispositions; but surely the oppressor has no right to be surprized, that the oppressed appear reluctant in his service, that they meet his exactions with evasion, and answer his call to labour with sluggish indifference.

The mode of dividing land into minute portions is decidedly favourable to population, and nothing but those checks to the progress of agriculture, to which I have referred, could have limited the population of Java to numbers so disproportioned to its fertility, or confined the labours of the peasantry to so small a space of what would reward their industry with abundance. The cultivated ground on the Island has already been estimated at an eighth part of the whole area. In Probolíng'o and Besúki, the total number of jungs of land amount to 775,483, the total of land capable of superior cultivation 174,675 jungs, while the space actually cultivated amounts only to 13,432 jungs. In Rembáng, the land belonging to villages is about 40,000 jungs, and not the half of that quantity is under cultivation. In Pasúruan, the same appearances are exhibited. From this last district the Resident's report on the settlement states, as a reason for his assessing the same rent on all the land, "that the cultivated part bearing so small a proportion to the uncultivated, the inhabitants have been enabled to select the most fruitful spots exclusively: hence arises the little variety I have discovered in the produce." Chéribon, Bantam, the Priang'en regencies, the eastern corner of the Island, the provinces under the native governments, and in short the greatest and most fertile districts, furnish striking illustrations of this disproportion between the bounty of nature and the inefficient exertions of man to render her gifts available, to extend population, and to promote human happiness; or rather they supply an example[Vol I Pg 170] of unwise institutions and despotic government, counteracting the natural progress of both.

When the British arms prevailed in 1811, the attention of government was immediately turned to the state and interests of its new subjects. It saw at once the natural advantages of the Island and the causes which obstructed its prosperity, and it determined to effect those changes which, having succeeded in Western India, and being sanctioned by justice and expediency, were likely to improve those advantages and to remove those obstructions. In consequence of the instructions of Lord Minto, the Governor-General, who was present at the conquest, and took a great interest in the settlement of the Island, no time was lost to institute inquiries and to collect information on the state of the peasantry, and the other points, the knowledge of which was necessary, before any attempt to legislate could be wisely or rationally made. The following principles, laid down by his Lordship, were those on which the local government acted.

"Contingents of rice, and indeed of other productions, have been hitherto required of the cultivators by government at an arbitrary rate: this also is a vicious system, to be abandoned as soon as possible. The system of contingents did not arise from the mere solicitude for the supply of the people, but was a measure alone of finance and control, to enable government to derive a revenue from a high price imposed on the consumer, and to keep the whole body of the people dependent on its pleasure for subsistence. I recommend a radical reform in this branch to the serious and early attention of government. The principle of encouraging industry in the cultivation and improvements of lands, by creating an interest in the effort and fruits of that industry, can be expected in Java only by a fundamental change of the whole system of landed property and tenure. A wide field, but a somewhat distant one, is open to this great and interesting improvement; the discussion of the subject, however, must necessarily be delayed till the investigation it requires is more complete. I shall transmit such thoughts as I have entertained, and such hopes as I have indulged in this grand object of amelioration; but I am to request the aid of all the information, and all the lights, that this[Vol I Pg 171] Island can afford. On this branch, nothing must be done that is not mature, because the exchange is too extensive to be suddenly or ignorantly attempted. But fixed and immutable principles of the human character and of human association, assure me of ultimate, and I hope not remote success, in views that are consonant with every motive of action that operate on man, and are justified by the practice and experience of every flourishing country of the world."

In compliance with these instructions, the object of which was embraced with zeal by the local government, to whom his lordship entrusted the administration of the Island, a commission was appointed, under the able direction of Colonel Mackenzie, to prosecute statistic inquiries; the results of which, as corrected and extended by subsequent surveys, will frequently appear in the tables and statistic accounts of this work. The nature of the landed tenure, and the demand made upon agriculture, in all the shapes of rent and taxes, were ascertained; the extortions practised by the Dutch officers, the native princes, the regents, and the Chinese, were disclosed; the rights of all classes, by law or usage, investigated; the state of the population, the quantity and value of cultivated land, of forests, of plantations of cotton and coffee, the quantity of live stock, and other resources of the country subject to colonial administration, inquired into and made known. The result of these inquiries, with regard to landed tenure, I have given above; and, as it will be seen, it was such as opposed the rights of no intermediate class between the local government and the beneficial changes it contemplated in behalf of the great body of the people. After attaining the requisite information, the course which expediency, justice, and political wisdom pointed out was not doubtful, and coincided (as in most cases it will be found to do) with the track which enlightened benevolence, and a zealous desire to promote the happiness of the people would dictate.

The peasant was subject to gross oppression and undefined exaction: our object was to remove his oppressor, and to limit demand to a fixed and reasonable rate of contribution. He was liable to restraints on the freedom of inland trade, to personal services and forced contingents: our object was to commute them all for a fixed and well-known contribution. The[Vol I Pg 172] exertions of his industry were reluctant and languid, because he had little or no interest in its fruits: our object was to encourage that industry, by connecting its exertions with the promotion of his own individual welfare and prosperity. Capital could not be immediately created, nor agricultural skill acquired; but by giving the cultivator a security, that whatever he accumulated would be for his own benefit, and whatever improvement he made, he or his family might enjoy it, a motive was held out to him to exert himself in the road to attain both. Leases, or contracts for fixed rents for terms of years, in the commencement, and eventually in perpetuity, seemed to be the only mode of satisfying the cultivator, that he would not be liable, as formerly, to yearly undefined demands; while freedom from all taxes but an assessment on his crop, or rather a fixed sum in commutation thereof, would leave him at full liberty to devote the whole of his attention and labour to render his land as productive as possible.

In conformity with these views, an entire revolution was effected in the mode of levying the revenue, and assessing the taxes upon agriculture. The foundation of the amended system was, 1st. The entire abolition of forced deliveries at inadequate rates, and of all feudal services, with the establishment of a perfect freedom in cultivation and trade: 2d. The assumption, on the part of government, of the immediate superintendence of the lands, with the collection of the resources and rents thereof: 3d. The renting out of the lands so assumed to the actual occupants, in large or small estates, according to local circumstances, on leases for a moderate term. In the course of the following years (1814 and 1815) these measures were carried into execution in most of the districts under our government, with a view to the eventual establishment of a perpetual settlement, on the principle of the ryotwar, or as it has been termed on Java, the tiáng-álit system.

The principles of land rental and detailed settlement were few and simple[48]. After mature inquiry, no obstacle appeared [Vol I Pg 173]to exist, either in law or usage, to the interference of government, in regulating the condition of the peasantry; and it was [Vol I Pg 174]resolved, therefore, that it should take into its own hands the management of that share of the land produce which was allowed to be its due, and protect the cultivator in the enjoyment and free disposal of the remainder. The undue power of the chiefs was to be removed, and so far as they had a claim for support, founded either on former services or deprivation of expected employment, they were to be remunerated in another way. The lands, after being surveyed and estimated, were to be parcelled out among the inhabitants of the villages, in the proportions established by custom or recommended by expediency. Contracts were to be entered into with each individual cultivator, who was to become the tenant of government, and leases specifying the extent and situation of their land, with the conditions of their tenure, were to be granted for one or more years, with a view to permanency, if at the end of the stipulated term, the arrangement should be found to combine the interest of the public revenue with the welfare and increasing prosperity of the occupant. If that was not the case, room was thus left for a new adjustment, for a reduction of rate, or for any change in the system which might adapt it more to the interests and wishes of the people, without prejudice to the rights of government.

This experiment hazarded nothing, and held out every prospect of success; it committed no injustice, and compromised no claim. The peasantry could not suffer, because an assessment less in amount, and levied in a less oppressive manner than formerly (all rents, taxes, and services included), [Vol I Pg 175]was required of them: the chiefs could not complain, because they were allowed the fair emoluments of office, and only restrained from oppressions which did not so much benefit themselves as injure their inferiors. Most of the latter were not only allowed an equivalent for their former income, but employed in services allied to their former duties,​—the collection of the revenue, and the superintendence of the police. As the cultivator had acquired rights which the chief could not violate, as the former held in his possession a lease with the conditions on which he cultivated his farm, no infringement of which could be attempted on the part of the latter with impunity, no evil could result from employing the chiefs in collecting the revenue of districts, while, from their practical knowledge of the habits and individual concerns of the peasantry, of the nature of the seasons and the crops, they were the fittest persons for the office. For these services it seemed most expedient to pay them, either by allowing them a certain percentage on their collections, or by allotting them portions of land rent free. The village constitution (which will be more particularly noticed in treating of the institutions of the country) was preserved inviolate; and the chiefs or head men of the villages, in many instances elected by the free will of the villagers, were invariably continued in office as the immediate collectors of the rents, and with sufficient authority to preserve the police, and adjust the petty disputes that might arise within them; the government scrupulously avoiding all unnecessary interference in the customs, usages, and details of these societies.

In looking at the condition of the peasantry, and in estimating the fertility of the soil, the wants of the people, and the proportion of produce and industry that they formerly were accustomed to pay for supporting the establishments of government, it was thought reasonable to commute all former burdens into a land rent on a fixed principle; all sáwah lands being estimated by the pári, or unhusked rice, they could produce, and all tégal lands by their produce in maize. The following (as stated in the eighty-third article of the Revenue Instructions) was considered as the fairest scale for fixing the government share, and directed to be referred to, as much as possible, as the general standard: [Vol I Pg 176]

For Sáwah Lands.
1st sort One-half of the estimated produce.
2d do. Two-fifths ditto.
3d do. One-third ditto.
For Tégal Lands.
1st sort Two-fifths of the estimated produce.
2d do. One-third ditto.
3d do. One-fourth ditto.

"Government," it is said in the eighty-fifth section, "think it necessary to declare explicitly, that they will be satisfied when the land revenue shall be productive to them in these proportions, determining at no future period to raise the scale; so that the inhabitants, being thus exactly acquainted with what will form the utmost demand on them, and resting in full confidence that government will not exact any thing further, may in that security enjoy their possessions in undisturbed happiness, and apply their utmost industry to the improvement of their lands; assured that, while they conduct themselves well, that land will never be taken from them, and that the more productive they can render it, the more beneficial it will be for themselves."

The government share might either be received in money or in kind from the sáwah lands; but the tégal produce, though estimated in maize, was always, if possible, to be commuted into money at the lowest price in the market; and as cultivators generally held portions of both, this rule, it was conceived, could not be considered generally as a hardship.

In the first settlement, leases were only granted for a year, or at the utmost three years, and were given to intermediate renters; but in the more detailed settlement of 1814, after sufficient information had been collected on the state of the country, government determined to act directly with the individual cultivator, and to lay the foundation of a permanent system. By this latter period, the experiments have been tried to a certain extent, and had succeeded beyond the most sanguine expectation. Difficulties met us in the way, but they were by no means insurmountable; there were at first imperfections in the system, but they did not affect its prin[Vol I Pg 177]ciple, and were easily removed. By the zeal, the ability, and industry of the various officers entrusted with the execution of the duty, whatever was practicable in furtherance of the object in which they felt deeply interested, was accomplished. In the course of the years 1814 and 1815, the new system was introduced into Bantam, Chéribon, and the eastern districts, over a population of a million and a half of cultivators, not only without disturbance and opposition, but to the satisfaction of all classes of the natives, and to the manifest increase of the public revenue derivable from land. In several journies which I undertook into the different provinces, for the purposes of examining in person the effect of the progressive system of reform which I had the happiness to introduce, and of lending the sanction of official authority to such modifications of it as local circumstances might render advisable, I was a pleased spectator of its beneficial tendency, and of the security and satisfaction it universally diffused. The cultivator, protected against all vexatious exactions, and no longer at the beck of a tyrannical chief who made unlimited demands upon his personal services, was beginning to feel additional stimulants to his industry, to acquire a superior relish for property, and to acknowledge that government and power were not always the enemies of the lower ranks of society, or as they modestly call themselves, the little people (tiang-halit). The British administration of Java, with all its agents, having watched the progress of the amended system at first with vigilant anxiety, at last saw it nearly completed with success, and rejoiced in its beneficial operation on the prosperity, improvement, and happiness of the people. During the two years that we retained possession of the island, after the greatest part of its arrangements were carried into effect, we had daily proofs of the amelioration they were producing. The cultivation was extending, the influence of the chiefs appeared to be progressively weakening, and the number of crimes, both from the superior industry of the people now become interested in the result of their labours, and from the contented tranquillity produced by an increase of the means of subsistence, as well as from the amended system of police (mentioned in another part of this work), was gradually diminishing. Without[Vol I Pg 178] troubling the reader with further details, I may mention that, in the beginning of December 1815, a few months before I left the island, not satisfied with my own observation or the vague report of others, I circulated specific queries to the different residents, on the comparative state of cultivation in the different provinces, before the introduction of the detailed settlement, and at the latest date to which an answer could be returned, and on the comparative number of crimes at the same two periods, and the return was as gratifying to humanity and benevolence as it was corroborative of the opinions previously formed. I shall quote a few extracts from these reports. The Resident at Chéribon "cannot, from certain data, tell what progress has been made in extending the cultivation of that province, but thinks it has been considerable;" and adds, "I have no doubt but that a few years of the amended system of government would render the district of Chéribon, so notorious for crimes, one of the most flourishing and valuable in any part of the island." The Resident of Tégal is nearly in similar circumstances with regard to authentic documents, but gives a very favourable opinion, both with regard to the increase of industry and the reduction of crimes. The return from Kedú is more definite: it states a positive increase of tégal land to the amount of thirty-six jungs, but a much greater increase of produce from improved culture. The revenue afforded a sufficient proof of the latter fact. The same favourable account is given of the state of police and the diminution of crime. No data are given in the report from Pakaláng'an to ascertain the additional quantity of rice lands brought into cultivation; but an opinion is expressed, that it has increased; and an assurance is afforded, that the culture of indigo and tobacco has sensibly extended. As an evidence that the means of subsistence are raised in greater abundance than formerly, their price has very considerably diminished.

A commission which was appointed to inquire into the state of the revenue, report from Japára the great facility there was in collecting the revenue under the amended system, and certify its beneficial effects in extending cultivation, securing tranquillity, promoting industry, and diminishing crimes. The same commission conclude their[Vol I Pg 179] report of Grésik with similar assurances of the happy results of the revenue, and judicial arrangements for the prosperity of that province. The Resident of Rembáng gives an increase of cultivation of fifty-two jungs of sáwah and about thirteen of tégal land, and accounts for the smallness of this increase from the comparative sterility of the soil, and the precarious supply of water. Indigo had not increased, but tobacco had to a great degree. The vigilance of the police, and the ameliorating effects of the revenue settlement, are seen, it is said, in the improved state of morals. In Surabáya it is stated, that during the time the amended system had been in action, there had been an increase of three hundred and twenty government jungs, making upwards of two thousand English acres. In the residency of Pasúruan there is an increase of cultivation to the amount of three hundred and six jungs: this, however, does not comprehend the whole advantage that the new system produced in that province, for industry had been so much promoted by it, as to obtain two crops within the year, on many of the lands where the cultivator was formerly content with one. It is needless to enter into any further particulars, to shew the advantages of the regulations adopted with regard to the settlement of the landed revenue.

By a steady adherence to a system which, even in its origin, was productive of such fruits, by continuing to the peasant the protection of laws made for his benefit, by allowing full scope to his industry, and encouraging his natural propensity to accumulate, agriculture on Java would soon acquire a different character: it would soon become active and enterprising; there would soon be created a difference in farms and in the circumstances of individuals; capital would be fixed and augmented in the hands of the skilful and the industrious among the cultivators; the idle and the indifferent would relinquish their possessions in their favour; roads, intercourse, and markets would be increased, the organization of society would be changed, and an improved race would shew themselves, in some measure, worthy of the most fertile region of the globe. What Egypt and Sicily were in different ages to the south of Europe, Java[Vol I Pg 180] might become to the south of Asia and the Indian Archipelago. From the exertion with which the British government endeavoured to lay the foundation of such improvements, at first amid the embarrassments of a recent conquest, and latterly with the prospect of only an intermediate possession; from the attachment it cherished for a people whose gratitude it deserved and acquired, and from the interest that every friend of humanity must feel in the anticipation of seeing this highly favoured island, the metropolis, the granary, and the centre of civilization to the vast regions between the coast of China and the Bay of Bengal, it might have been expected, that those who were instrumental in introducing the late arrangements, should watch with peculiar anxiety the first movements of the power to which the colony was transferred, and should look into the regulations for its Indian empire for the support, or the death-blow, of the most animating hopes. It must therefore be with peculiar satisfaction that we see, with regard to the freedom of cultivation, the Dutch government sanctions what we had done, and gives our regulations permanency by embodying them in its colonial policy. In articles seventy-eight and seventy-nine of the fundamental laws for the civil, judicial, and mercantile administration of India[49], we find the following enactments. "The free cultivation of all articles of produce which may be raised in the possessions of the state in India, is granted to the inhabitants of these possessions; with the exception of cloves, nutmegs, and opium, and without prejudice to the regulations which might be adopted concerning the contingents and forced deliveries, which on a resumption of these possessions out of the hands of the English, will be found to be continued in force. All the fruits of cultivation raised within the possessions of the states beyond the forced deliveries, and every kind of produce not comprehended under the exceptions mentioned above, are to be the lawful property of the cultivator. The free unrestrained disposal thereof belongs to him of right, as soon as the land rent assessed thereon, either in kind or money, shall be [Vol I Pg 181]paid. It is the duty of the Indian administration to maintain him in these rights." Let him be maintained in those rights, and the Dutch government will realize a revenue far beyond the amount of their former assessments, without, as formerly, disgracing the Europeans in the eyes of the Asiatic, by their weakness, corruption, and injustice.


[46] See Treaties of the Dutch with the Native Princes.

[47] This article has never been a contingent or forced delivery with the Dutch; and its extensive cultivation in the district of Kedu gives a proof of what the natives will do if not interfered with by European monopoly. The Kedú is, in consequence of this cultivation, by far the richest province in the island, giving an annual revenue to the government, in money, of half a million of rupees. This important district was never subjected to the Dutch government: it was transferred to the British in 1812, and immediately fell under the Revenue System.

[48] These principles were contemplated as just and practicable by a Dutch authority (Van Hogendorp) who resided on Java, and criticized freely the measures of administration, as will appear from the following extracts from a work, which only came into my possession subsequently to the introduction of the new system by the British government. "Property of the soil must be introduced by granting all the cultivated lands to those who have hitherto cultivated them, or, in other words, to the common Javans. All the rice fields belonging to each désa should be distributed among its inhabitants, and the gardens or spots of ground in which their cottages stand, should also, in future, be their personal property. Correct registers hereof should be kept, and certificates given to the different owners. Who can produce a better and nearer right to the personal possession of the land, than he who has cultivated and made it productive? And is there a country in the world where the natives are happy, free, and well settled, without having a property in the soil? Our own country, and all the kingdoms of Europe, afford the most direct proofs of this: they flourish in proportion as property is more or less secure and equally divided among the inhabitants of each. All Europe groaned under the feudal system of government: all Europe has freed itself from it; but by various means and in different degrees. Why, therefore, can similar changes not be brought about on Java? Every thing urges us to make them, and the results must be important and most advantageous to us. Java is alone able to relieve our commonwealth from all its difficulties.

"In order to collect a land-tax properly, a general and correct survey should, in the first instance, be effected in all the districts belonging to us, according to an established land measure, to be introduced generally throughout Java; for this is, at present, very irregular. All the lands should then be divided into three classes, first, second, and third class, according to the proportionate fertility of the soil, and according to the same proportion the land-tax should be established. I am very ready to admit, that this will naturally be difficult and troublesome; but what system of government is exempt from these inconveniences? and particularly in this country, where it is necessary to effect a radical change and reform, in order to produce any beneficial results? But with diligence, zeal, and deliberation, all difficulties may be overcome; and even should the survey not be exactly correct in the first instance, it might be improved from year to year. The word jung is now used by the Javans for a certain measure of land; but this differs so much in different districts, that it is impossible to ascertain how many square roods of land a jung ought to contain. The name might be retained, however, after having found by experience how many square roods, in general or on an average, are contained in a jung, the proportion might be once for all established, introduced throughout the island, and fixed as the regular land measure of the country. It would be difficult, and as yet unnecessary, to calculate how many jungs of land our territories on Java contain, and how much might be collected as a land-tax from each jung, in order to ascertain what this tax would amount to. I think it should be taken as a principle, that the land-tax can and ought to produce as much as the head-money, (namely, a rix-dollar per head): the land-tax would then yield an annual and certain income of at least two millions and a half of rix-dollars. Every spot of cultivated ground being measured and settled to which class it belongs, every owner will correctly know, how much he must pay for land-tax annually, and be completely at liberty to plant his land with whatever he may prefer, and may conceive most conducive to his advantage. I am of opinion, that during the first years it would be difficult, on account of the scarcity of specie, or rather its absence from circulation, to collect the land-tax; but, in the same way as with the head-money, it would be expedient, in the first years, to be somewhat indulgent in the collection, or else to receive produce in lieu of money, which might be done in this tax better than the capitation. But after five years of good administration, I am certain that the land-tax would be fully and without difficulty collected."

[49] Dated 1815. [Vol I Pg 182]


Manufactures​—Handicrafts​—Bricks​—Thatch​—Mats​—Cotton​—Cloths​—Dyes​—Tanning​—Ropes​—Metals​—Road and Ship-building​—Paper​—Salt​—Saltpetre Works​—Gunpowder, &c.​—Felling and Transporting of Teak Timber​—Fisheries.

It is here proposed to state the progress made by the Javans in a few of the common arts and handicrafts, and in one or two of the more extensive manufactures; their docility in working under European direction, and some other observations, which could not be so appropriately placed in any other part of this work. I have already had occasion to notice the limited skill and simple contrivances with which they carry on the labours of agriculture, and prepare the produce of the soil for consumption, in the various ways that their taste or their habits require. In a country like Java, where the structure of society is simple, and the wants of the people are few, where there is no accumulation of capital and little division of professions, it cannot be expected that manufacturing skill should be acquired, or manufacturing enterprize encouraged, to any great extent. The family of a Javan peasant is almost independent of any labour but that of its own members. The furniture, the clothing, and almost every article required for a family, being prepared within its own precincts, no extensive market of manufactured commodities is necessary for the supply of the island itself; and for foreign trade, the produce of their soil is more in demand than the fruits of their skill or industry. In a country where nature is bountiful, and where so much of her bounty can be collected with so little labour to pay for manufactures from abroad, there is but little encouragement to withdraw the natives from the rice field, the forest, or the coffee-garden, to the loom, the forge, or the workshop; and it is not in this respect, certainly, that a change of their habits would be beneficial. This short notice[Vol I Pg 183] of Javan manufactures, therefore, must be very limited, both in the number of the articles that it embraces, and in the importance that Europeans may attach to them: for Java can neither send us porcelain, like China; nor silks, shawls, and cottons, like Western India. To a nation, however, so much accustomed as we are to the exertions of manufacturing skill and perfection of manufacturing machinery, it may not be uninteresting to see the simple means, by which a half-civilized people accomplish the objects which we attain by such expeditious and ingenious processes. The most experienced naval architect may be interested by the manner in which a savage scoops his canoe.

The Javans have names in their language for most of the handicrafts. The following enumeration of terms applied to trades and professions will shew the extent to which the division of labour is sometimes carried, while the foreign extraction of some of them may, perhaps, serve to point out the source whence they were derived.

1. Pándi or émpu Iron-smith and cutler.
2. Túkang-káyu, or mergóngso Carpenter.
3. Meráng'gi or túkang-weróngko Kris-sheath maker.
4. Túkang úkir Carver.
5. ​—​— déder Spear-shaft maker.
6. ​—​— lámpet Mat maker.
7. ​—​— bábot Turner.
8. ​—​— bóto Brush maker.
9. ​—​— wátú or jelog'ro Stone-cutter.
10. ​—​— lábur Lime maker.
11. ​—​— nátah wáyang Wayang maker.
12. ​—​— génding Musical instrument maker.
13. ​—​— kemíng'an Brazier.
14. Sayáng, or túkung-tambógo Coppersmith.
15. Kemásan, or tukáng-mas Goldsmith.
16. Kúndi Potter.
17. Túkang árá Distiller.
18. ​—​— jílid Bookbinder.
19. ​—​— ténun Weaver.
20. ​—​— bátik Cotton printer.
21. ​—​— médal Dyer.[Vol I Pg 184]
22. Túkang léng'o Oil maker.
23. ​—​— nióro-wédi Diamond cutter.
24. ​—​— delúwang Paper manufacturer.
25. ​—​— pándom or gírji Tailor.
26. ​—​— súlam Embroiderer.
27. ​—​— jáit Sempstress.
28. ​—​— súng'ging Draftsman.
29. ​—​— chát Painter.
30. ​—​— pásah Tooth filer.

I shall proceed to describe a few of the manufactures of the island, without attending much to the order in which it might be proper to arrange them. The construction of a habitation is among the first and most necessary arts of uncivilized man, as the perfection of architecture is one of the most convincing proofs and striking illustrations of a high state of refinement. I have already described the hut of the peasant, and have mentioned that it is generally constructed of wood. Such structures suit the climate of the country, and save the labour of the people; but they are not rendered necessary by an ignorance of more durable materials.

Bricks are manufactured in almost every part of the island, being generally employed in the better sort of buildings, not only by Europeans and Chinese, but by the natives of rank. The quality of the clay varies greatly in different districts. It is all obtained from the decomposition of the basaltic stones, and possesses different degrees of purity, according to the proportion and nature of the other earths which are adventitiously mixed with it. In some parts of the island it is very pure, and might be advantageously employed in the manufacture of porcelain; but the natives are unacquainted with the principles of this art: some instruction in the glazing of their pottery would be of very general benefit. They are unacquainted with the process of making glass.

Cut stones are, at present, but rarely used by the Javans, and stone-cutting is almost exclusively performed by the Chinese. But although the Javans do not, at present, possess or practice any considerable skill in this art, the extensive remains of edifices constructed in stone, and of idols carved from the same materials, afford abundant testimony that the arts of[Vol I Pg 185] architecture, sculpture, and statuary in stone, at one period reached to a very high pitch on Java. As, however, these arts have long been lost to the Javans, the consideration of them rather falls within the department of antiquities than that which we are now upon.

In the vicinity of Grésik there are several hills composed of a soft white stone, which hardens on exposure to the air. Stones are here cut in the quarry into regular squares of various sizes, from that of a brick to the largest tomb-stone. They are principally required for the latter purpose, and in the cemeteries of Grésik and Madúra the inscriptions upon them are very neatly executed. Beyond this, the skill of the natives in stone-cutting does not at present pretend.

The covering of the native houses is generally of thatch. In the maritime districts, átap, or thatch, is made almost exclusively from the leaves of the nípa or búyu. In the preparation, the leaflets separated from the common petiol are employed. Being doubled, they are attached close to each other on a stick of three feet in length, and when thus arranged are placed on the roof, like shingles or tiles. The leaves of the gébang, on account of their fan-like form, are differently arranged: they constitute large mats, which are chiefly employed for sides of houses or for composing temporary sheds, but they are too large and brittle to form durable átap. In the interior districts, where nípa does not grow, the houses are almost uniformly thatched with a species of long grass called alang-alang (the lálang of the Malay countries). Near large forests, where bámbu abounds, the natives cover their houses with this reed. The leaflets of the cocoa-nut cannot be made into thatch, but wherever the sago and nípa grow, it is made from their leaflets.

An article of household furniture in use among all classes, and displaying in some cases considerable beauty and delicacy of execution, is matting. Mats are made from several species of pandanus, from a kind of grass called mándong, and from the leaves of various palms. A species of the latter affords the most common kinds, coarser and less durable than others, as well as bags (straw sacks) resembling coarse mats: the leaves being divided into laminæ, about one line in breadth, are woven in the same manner and on the same frames as[Vol I Pg 186] coarse linen. These fibres, called ágel, are sometimes manufactured into twine, which possesses but little strength. The mats or bags, called károng, are much inferior to the gunny-bags of India.

The coarsest kinds of mats, employed chiefly by the lower class, are called in the central districts klóso bóngko; those prepared from grass, klóso mándong; and the others, klóso psántrem (from the place where they are made). The materials of all these are plaited by hand. The klóso psántrem are of superior quality, and in use through the central and eastern parts of the island; especially among the natives of the first class, with whom they constitute the principal furniture of the dwelling-house. A person of the highest rank aspires to no luxury, more delicate or expensive in this way, than the possession of a bed composed of mats from psántrem.

A kind of umbrella hat worn by the common people, and universal in the Súnda districts denominated chápeng, is also manufactured in this manner, principally from bámbu, dyed of various colours, which being shaped in the form and of the size of a large wash-hand basin worn reversed, is rendered impervious to the wet by one or more coverings of varnish.

A great part of the manufacturing ingenuity of every people must be displayed in collecting the materials, or arranging the fabrics of those articles of clothing, required for protection, decency, or ornament. Whether these materials are derived from the fleece, the fur, or the feathers of the larger animals, from the covering of an insect, the bark of a tree, or the down of a shrub, they have to undergo several laborious and expensive processes before they are fit for use; and in conducting these processes, or forming machinery for rendering them more expeditious, complete, and easy, the superior manufacturing skill of one nation over another is chiefly evinced. The sheep on Java, as in all tropical climates, loses its fleece before it can be used with advantage. The silk-worm has never succeeded, although no reason can be given why it should not, and therefore the chief material of Javan clothing is cotton.

Cotton, in its rough state, is called kápas, and when cleaned kápok. The process of separating the seeds is performed by means of a gilíng'an, which is a roller, consisting of two[Vol I Pg 187] wooden cylinders revolving in opposite directions, between which the fibre is made to pass. This operation is very tedious, two days being necessary for one person to clean a káti, equivalent to a pound and a quarter English. After the separation of the seed, it is géblek, or beaten with a rattan, and píndi or picked. The finer sort is then bowed after the Indian manner; this operation is called wusóni. The cotton thus prepared is afterwards pulled out and drawn round a stick, when it is called púsuh. To perform the process upon a single káti will employ one person about two days. The cotton is now ready for spinning ('ngánti), and requires ten additional days' labour of one person, to convert the small quantity above mentioned into yarn, when the result is found to be three tukal, or hanks, of the ordinary kind.

Previous to the operation of weaving, the yarn is boiled, and afterwards dressed and combed with rice-water. When dry, it is wound round a sort of reel, termed 'íngan, and prepared for weaving. These are the last operations it undergoes till it is put into the hands of the weaver, and requires, in ordinary circumstances, three days for its completion. Four days are required even by an expert weaver, and five or six by an ordinary one, to manufacture a sárong, or piece of cloth, a fathom and a half long and five spans broad (equal to three square handkerchiefs of the ordinary size worn on the head). The cloths thus prepared, while uncoloured, are distinguished by the term láwon.

The spinning-wheel is termed jántra, and the spindle kísi. The loom, with all its apparatus, is called ábah ábah tenún, the shuttle trópong, the woof máni, and the warp pákan. Both machines resemble those described on the continent of India, but are neater and much better made: the loom especially is more perfect: the weaver, instead of sitting in holes dug in the ground, invariably sits on a raised flooring, generally in front of the house, her legs being stretched out horizontally under the loom. The price of the spinning-wheel varies from less than half a rupee to a rupee, and that of the loom from a rupee to a Spanish dollar. The operations of spinning and weaving are confined exclusively to the women, who from the highest to the lowest rank, prepare the cloths of their husbands and their families. [Vol I Pg 188]

Coloured cottons (járit) are distinguished into lúri or lúri gíng'gang, those in which the yarn is dyed previously to weaving; and bátik, those which are dyed subsequently. The process of weaving the former is similar to that of the gingham, which it resembles, and need not therefore be detailed; but the latter, being peculiar to Java, may deserve a more particular description.

The cloths termed bátik are distinguished into bátik látur púti, bátik látur írang, or bátik látur bang, as the ground may be either white, black, or red. The white cloth is first steeped in rice water, in order to prevent the colour with which the patterns are intended to be drawn, from running, and when they are dried and smoothed (calendered), commences the process of the bátik, which gives its name. This is performed with hot wax in a liquid state, contained in a small and light vessel, either of copper or silver, called chánt-ing,[50] holding about an ounce, and having a small tube of about two inches long, through which the liquid wax runs out in a small stream. This tube, with the vessel to which it is attached, being fixed on a stick about five inches long, is held in the hand, and answers the purpose of a pencil, the different patterns being traced out on both sides of the cloth with the running wax. When the outline of the pattern is thus finished, such parts of the cloth as are intended to be preserved white, or to receive any other colour than the general field or ground, are carefully covered in like manner with the liquid wax, and then the piece is immersed in whatever coloured dye may be intended for the ground of the pattern. To render the colour deeper, cloths are occasionally twice dipped. The parts covered with wax resist the operation of the dye, and when the wax is removed, by being steeped in hot water till it melts, are found to remain in their original condition. If the pattern is only intended to consist of one colour besides white, the operation is here completed; if another colour is to be added, the whole of the first ground, which is not intended to receive an additional shade, is covered with wax, and a similar process is repeated. [Vol I Pg 189]

In order to render the dye fixed and permanent for the scarlet or blood-red colour, the cloth is previously steeped in oil, and after five days washed in hot water, and prepared in the usual way for the bátik. In the ordinary course, the process of the bátik occupies about ten days for common patterns, and from fifteen to seventeen for the finer and more variegated.

A very coarse kind of cloth, which serves for curtains or hangings, is variously clouded, and covered sometimes with rude figures, by the art of colouring the yarn, so as to produce this effect when woven. For this purpose, the strands of the yarn being distributed in lengths equal to the intended size of the cloth, are folded into a bundle, and the parts intended to remain white are so tightly twisted round and round, that the dye cannot penetrate or affect them. From this party-coloured yarn the designed pattern appears on weaving. The cloths so dyed are called gebér.

The sashes of silk, called chíndi, are dyed in this manner, as well as an imitation of them in cotton, called jóng'grong.

Of the several kinds of coloured cottons and silks there is a very great diversity of patterns, particularly of the bátik, of which not less than a hundred are distinguished by their appropriate names. Among these are the patterns exclusively worn by the sovereign, termed bátik párang rúsa, and bátik sáwat, and others which designate the wearer, and are more or less esteemed, as well on this account as their comparative beauty of design and execution.

With the exception of blue and scarlet or blood-red, all the dyes of the inhabitants are liable to fade, and the processes offer nothing worthy of investigation or remark.

In dying blue, indigo, the palm wine of the áren, and various vegetable acids are employed.

Black is obtained from an exotic bark called tíng'i, and the rind of the mangustin fruit. In making the inferior infusion for this and for various other dyes, the chaff of rice, called meráng, is employed.

In dying green, a light blue is first induced, which is afterwards converted into the requisite hue, by infusion in a decoction of tegráng (an exotic wood), to which blue vitriol is added. [Vol I Pg 190]

Tegráng alone affords a yellow colour, and generally is qualified by receiving the addition of some bark of the nángka and plem-dodól.

A beautiful and lasting scarlet and blood-red is obtained from the roots of the wóng-kudu. The yarn or cloth is first boiled in the oil of wijen or kamíri: being washed in a decoction of meráng or burnt pári chaff, it is dried, and subsequently immersed in an infusion of the roots of wóng-kudu, the strength of which is increased by the addition of the bark jírak, a variety of the fruit kepúndung. In the preparation of this dye, the roots of the wóng-kudu are bruised and well mixed with water, which is then boiled until it is reduced to one third, when it is fit for use. No light red or rose colour of durability is produced by the Javans: they employ for this purpose the kasomba kling.

In several of the maritime districts, the Maláyus impart a beautiful crimson colour to silk, by means of the gúmlak tembálu or embálu, but with this Javans are unacquainted.

The kápas jáwa, or Java cotton, in its raw and uncleaned state costs from about three halfpence to three pence the káti, according to its quality, and the kápas múri from six to eight pence. The price of each advances sometimes fifty per cent. beyond this, when the production is scarce or out of season.

A káti of uncleaned Java cotton is calculated to produce two and a half túkul or hanks of coarse, and three and a half hanks of fine yarn; and a káti of kápas múri, five hanks of the latter. The value of the former is from three to four pence, and of the latter from seven to ten.

Three hanks and a half of coarse yarn, and from five to nine of fine, make one sárong, or three head handkerchiefs, the price of which, undyed, is from half a rupee to four Spanish dollars; if dyed, the ging'ams bring from one rupee to four Spanish dollars, and the bátik from a rupee and a half to six Spanish dollars for the same quantity.

Another kind of coloured cottons, in imitation of the Indian chintz, is also prepared; but it is not held in much estimation, on account of the superiority of the foreign chintzes imported, and the uncertainty of the colours, which the natives allege will not stand in the same manner as those which have undergone the process of the batîk, frequently[Vol I Pg 191] fading in the second washing. In these cloths, the patterns being carved on small wooden blocks are stamped as in India. They serve as coverlids, and are employed as a substitute for the Indian palempore, when the latter is not procurable. The price is about four rupees.

The natives of Java, like those of every other country, must have been, from the earliest times, in the habit of manufacturing various articles of leather; but the art of rendering it more compact, more tough, and more durable, by the application of the tanning principle, has been acquired only by their connexion with Europeans. They now practice it with considerable success, and prepare tolerable leather in several districts. There are two trees of which the bark is particularly preferred for tanning; one in the maritime districts, the other in the interior. These, with some others which are occasionally added, contain very large quantities of the tanning principle, which makes excellent leather in a short space of time. Of this native article, boots, shoes, saddles, harness, &c. are made in several parts of the island; but in the greatest perfection at Súra-kérta, where the prices are moderate, and the manufacture extensive and improving. Neither the leather nor the workmanship of these articles is considered much inferior to what is procured at Madras and Bengal. The prices are moderate: for a pair of shoes half a crown, for boots ten shillings, for a saddle from thirty to forty shillings, and for a set of harness for four horses from ten to twelve pounds.

Neither flax nor hemp is cultivated for the purposes of manufacture. The latter is sometimes found in the gardens of the natives of continental India, particularly at Batavia, who employ it only to excite intoxication; but the island affords various productions, the fibrous bark of which is made into thread, ropes, and other similar articles. These are, with one or two exceptions, never cultivated, and when required for use, may be collected in sufficient quantity on spots where they are of spontaneous growth. A particular account of these has already been given in the first chapter, when describing the vegetable productions of the island.

To enable rope or cord which is often exposed to water or moisture, as fishing-nets, cables, and the like, to resist its influence, the sap exuding from various trees is employed. [Vol I Pg 192]

No manufactures are calculated to show more clearly the extent to which the arts of life are carried in a country, than those in which the metals are used. Without the knowledge of iron, our dominion over nature would be very limited; as may be seen in the case of the Americans at the discovery of the western hemisphere. The manufacture and use of iron and steel has been known over the Eastern Islands, as well as in the western world, from time immemorial. The various iron implements of husbandry, the common implements and tools, the instruments and military weapons now in use among the natives of these regions, are fabricated by themselves. The importance and difficulty of the art may be gathered from the distinction which the knowledge and practice of it conferred.

The profession of a smith is still considered honourable among the Javans, and in the early parts of their history, such artizans held a high rank, and were largely endowed with lands. The first mention made of them is during the reign of the chiefs of Pajajáran, in the eleventh century. On the decline of that empire they went over, to the number of eight hundred families, to Majapáhit, where they were kindly received, and a record is preserved of the names of the head master-smiths. On the destruction of that empire in the fifteenth century, they were dispersed, and settled in different districts of the island, where their descendants are still discoverable. They are distinguished by the term Pándi.

Iron is cast in small quantities of a few ounces, and used occasionally for the point of the ploughshare. The metal is rendered fluid in about half an hour: charcoal is invariably used, and the operation is termed sing'i or chitak.

The bellows, which is peculiar, and believed to have been in use at the time of Pajajáran and Majapáhit, and of which a representation sculptured in stone was found in the recently discovered ruins at Suku (which bear date in the fourteenth century of the Javan æra), appears to be the same as that described by Dampier[51], in his account of Majindánao and the neighbouring islands. "Their bellows," says this faithful and intelligent traveller, "are much different from ours. They are made of a wooden cylinder, the trunk of a tree, [Vol I Pg 193]about three feet long, bored hollow like a pump, and set upright on the ground, on which the fire itself is made. Near the lower end there is a small hole in the side of the trunk next the fire, made to receive a pipe, through which the wind is driven by a great bunch of fine feathers fastened to one end of the stick, which closing up the inside of the cylinder, drives the air out of the cylinder through the pipe. Two of these trunks or cylinders are placed so nigh together, that a man standing between them may work them both at once, alternately, one with each hand." This account so exactly corresponds with the Javan bellows, that no further description is necessary. The Chinese bellows are partially used. The wages of a man skilled in iron-work are sometimes as high as a rupee a day.

Cutlery of every description is made by the smith. The most important manufacture of this kind is the krís, or dagger, of the peculiar form well known to be worn by all the more civilized inhabitants of the Eastern Islands.

The price of a krís blade, newly manufactured, varies from half a rupee to fifty dollars; but the same krís, if it is of good character, and if its descent can be traced for three or four generations, is frequently prized at ten times that sum. A pándi employed to manufacture a good krís blade, if the materials are furnished, is paid three dollars for the job.

The manufacture of sheaths or scabbards (sárong) for the krís constitute an exclusive profession; and the manufacturers are called túkang meráng'gi, or mergóngso. These men attend at the public market, where they occupy a particular quarter, in which may be seen people employed in the finishing or repair of every part of the mounting necessary for this instrument; some upon the handle, others upon the sheath; some in applying the paint and lacquer, others attending with a preparation of acids and arsenic for cleaning the blade, and bringing out the appearance of the pámur, a white metal obtained from Biliton and Celebes, which is worked up with the iron, in order to produce the damasked appearance of the blade.

Copper is manufactured into the kettles and pots employed by the natives for cooking; most of the other domestic vessels[Vol I Pg 194] are of brass, which is manufactured into various other articles, from the smallest, such as buttons, ear-studs, and other ornaments, in imitation of the gold patterns, to brass guns of considerable calibre, employed for the defence of small vessels. A very extensive foundery of this kind is established at Grésik. From the specimen of the casts in brass, copper, &c. which are occasionally dug up near many of the ruinous temples sacred to the ancient worship of the country, we may assert, that great proficiency was once attained in this art: like that, however, of stone-cutting, it has very much declined.

Gold and silver, as is well known, are wrought by the natives of the Eastern Islands into exquisite ornaments; and the Javans are by no means behind their neighbours, the Sumatrans, in the knowledge of this manufacture. They do not, however, usually work the gold into those beautiful filigree patterns, described as common among the Maláyus on Sumatra, nor is their work generally so fine.

Diamond-cutters, and persons skilled in the knowledge of cutting precious stones, are also to be found in the principal capitals.

Carving in wood is followed as a particular profession, and the Javans may be considered as expert in all kinds of carpenter's work, but more particularly in cabinet-work. They imitate any pattern, and the furniture used by the Europeans in the eastern part of the Island is almost exclusively of their workmanship. Carriages and other vehicles are also manufactured by the natives after the European fashion.

Boat and ship-building is an art in which the Javans are tolerably well versed, particularly the former. The latter is confined principally to those districts in which the Europeans have built ships, for the Javans have seldom attempted the construction of square-rigged vessels on their own account. The best carpenters for ship-building are found in the districts of Rembáng and Grésik, but small native vessels and boats are continually constructed by the natives in almost every district along the north coast.

When the quantity of teak timber, and the advantages of Java in respect of ports and harbours, are considered, the most flattering prospects are held out, that this Island[Vol I Pg 195] may, in time, be able to supply shipping to an increasing commerce of its own, and perhaps aid the dock-yards of other states.

Among the articles, the making of which may be interesting to Europeans, from the difference of the materials used or the process employed, is that of paper. The paper in common use with the Javans is prepared from the glúga (morus papyrifera) which is cultivated for this purpose, and generally called the delúwang, or paper tree. Having arrived at the age of two or three years, the young trees are cut while the bark easily peels off, and the fragments are portioned about twelve or eighteen inches in length, according to the intended size of the paper. These fragments are first immersed in water about twenty-four hours, in order that the epidermis may be separated; this being effected, the fibrous tissue of the inner bark is rendered soft and tractable by soaking in water, and by long and repeated beating with a piece of wood. During the intervals of this process, the fragments of the bark are piled in heaps in wooden troughs, and the affusion of fresh water is repeated till all impurities are carried off. The separate portions, which are about two or three inches broad, are then attached to each other on a plane surface, generally formed by the trunk of a plantain tree, and the union of the fibres is finally effected by continued beating. The quality of the paper depends upon the care employed in the preparation, and on the frequent affusion of fresh water. By applying successive layers to the spots which are bare from the defect of the fibres, and beating them till they unite, an uniform thickness is attained. The paper which is intended for writing is momentarily immersed in a decoction of rice, and rendered smooth and equal, by being rubbed to a polish on a plane surface. Such paper as is intended for common domestic purposes, for packing goods, &c. does not require this operation: in this the fibrous contexture of the bark is quite obvious; it much resembles a species of paper brought from Japan, and manufactured from the same tree, and was formerly employed instead of cloth by the poorer inhabitants. The process of manufacturing is strikingly like that in use among the inhabitants of the South Sea Islands, for the preparation of their cloth. The culture of this plant, as well as the manu[Vol I Pg 196]facture of paper, is chiefly confined to particular districts, where it forms the principal occupation of the priests, who gain a livelihood by it.

Large quantities of a coarse and homely sugar, distinguished by the name of Javan sugar, are prepared from the cocoa-nut, áren, and other palms. The average quantity of liquor extracted from one of these trees during a day and night, is about two quarts, and this is estimated to give from three to four ounces of sugar. The trees begin to yield it at about six or seven years of age, and continue to do so for ten or twelve years. The process of preparing the sugar is extremely simple: it consists merely in boiling the liquor in an earthen pot for a few hours, and afterwards pouring it into small cases made of leaves and prepared for the purpose, in which, when cool, it attains a due consistence.

Sugar from the cane is manufactured by the Chinese alone; the process followed resembles that of the West Indies. The juice is expressed between two rollers, sometimes turned by a water-wheel; but in all cases the machinery is rude and imperfect. The quality of the sugar made on Java is considered to be equal to that of Manilla and the West Indies: it contains as much of the saccharine principle as the latter, and is brought to a drier state. It differs from the sugar of Bengal, as much in its quality as in the mode of preparing it, but can be brought to market at about the same price. Considerable quantities are sent to the Malabar coast, but the principal exportation is to Japan and Europe.

The manufactory of Batavian arrack, the superior quality of which is well known, is also conducted by the Chinese: the process is as follows: About seventy pounds of kétan (glutinous rice) is heaped up in a small vat; round this heap or pile one hundred cans of water are poured, and on the top twenty cans of molasses. After remaining two days in this vat, the ingredients are shifted to a larger vat adjoining, when they receive the addition of four hundred cans of water and one hundred cans of molasses.

Thus far the process is carried on in the open air. In a separate vat within doors, forty cans of palm wine or toddy from the cocoa-nut tree, are immediately mixed with nine hundred cans of water and one hundred and fifty cans of mo[Vol I Pg 197]lasses. Both preparations being allowed to remain in this state for two days, the former of these preparations is carried to a still larger vat within doors, and the latter being in a vat placed above, is poured upon it, through a hole bored for the purpose near the bottom. In this state the preparation is allowed to ferment for two days, when it is poured into small earthen jars, containing about twenty cans each, in which it remains for the further period of two days: it is then distilled.

The liquor drops into a tin vessel under ground, from whence it is ladled into receiving vessels. This is the third or common sort of arrack, which by a second distillation in a smaller still, with the addition of a small quantity of water, becomes the second sort, and by a third distillation, what is called the first sort. The third or common sort is called by the Chinese síchew, the second tánpo, and the first kíji, the two latter being distinguished as arrack ápi. When cooled, it is poured into large vats in the storehouses, where it remains till it is convenient to put it into casks.

The whole process, therefore, to the completion of the first sort, does not require more than ten days, six hours being sufficient for the original preparation to pass through the first still. The receivers of the stills are of copper, and the worm consists of about nine turns of Banka tin.

The proof of sufficient fermentation is obtained by placing a lighted taper about six inches above the surface of the liquor in the fermenting vat; if the process is sufficiently advanced, the fixed air rises and extinguishes the light.

To ascertain the strength of the spirit, a small quantity of it is burnt in a saucer, and the residuum measured. The difference between the original quantity and the residuum gives the measure of the alcohol lost.

Among the most important manufactures of Java, both viewed in its relation to the comforts of the inhabitants and the interests of the revenue, is that of salt. In almost every country it is an indispensable commodity, but particularly where the people subsist on a vegetable diet, as in India and the Eastern Islands; and wherever government has seen it necessary, it has been converted into a source of taxation.

Nearly the whole of the north-east coast of Java and [Vol I Pg 198]-dúra abounds with places well calculated for its manufacture, and unfit for any other useful purpose. The quantity already manufactured has for many years exceeded the demand, both for home consumption and exportation, and might be increased almost ad libitum.

On Java the principal salt-pans are situated at Pákis, in the vicinity of Batavia; at Bantam, Chéribon, Tégal; at Wédong and Bráhang, in the Semárang districts; at Paradési, in Rembáng; at Sedáyu, Grésik, and Simámi; on Madúra, at Sámpang, Pamákasan, and Súmenap. Salt is also manufactured at several places along the south-coast, but of inferior quality, and by a different process. About two hundred tons are annually procured in the interior, from the Blédegs, as already described. The principal supply, however, is from the north-coast, where the quality of the salt, and the facility with which it can be manufactured, give it a decided advantage in demand and cheapness.

The process of manufacturing the salt on the north-coast is very simple, and depending on evaporation by the heat of the sun alone, may be favourably contrasted with the comparatively expensive process adopted in the Bengal provinces. Reservoirs are filled from the sea at high tide, and in them the water is allowed to remain for several days; this being found necessary to prevent the salt from being bitter. It is then conveyed by means of canals and sluices to the pans, which are distributed in compartments and banked in, so as to contain the sea-water, much in the same manner as the rice fields. If the weather be dry and the sun clear, five days are found sufficient for the process of evaporation in the pans; after which the salt is collected together in heaps, where it usually remains five days longer before it is brought into store.

Under the Dutch government, the manufacture of salt was fanned out to Chinese as an exclusive privilege; and to these farms, under the plea of enabling the farmer to command a sufficient number of hands for conducting his undertaking, and enabling him to make his advances to government, extensive tracts of rice land were attached, over the population of which the farmer was allowed unlimited authority. By a continued extension of these tracts, a population far more numerous than the work at the salt-pans required was wrested from[Vol I Pg 199] the administration of the regents and transferred to the Chinese: as they found their advantage in renting out the rice-fields, and employing the people in the transport of goods and other laborious offices of the country, the farms of course sold for more money. Under this system, it is difficult to say what was the actual cost of the salt to the farmer: the manufacturers were partly remunerated in land and partly in money, and the mode varied in every district; but this remuneration seldom amounted to more than a bare subsistence.

It was the practice of these farmers-general to underlet to other Chinese the privilege of selling salt, supplying them with the article at a certain rate, and these under-farmers sold the salt again to the petty retailers in the public markets at an advanced price. The price of the salt, after passing through the hands of the farmers, varied not only according to the distance from the place of manufacture, but according to the capital and speculation of the under-farmer; if he adopted the liberal system of obtaining small profits upon a large sale, the market was abundantly supplied at a low rate; but if, on the contrary, he traded on a small capital, and enhanced the price by insufficiently answering the demand, the price became proportionally exorbitant. In some places, as at Salátiga and Ung'arang, through which the salt was transported by inland carriage to the populous districts of the interior, the price was sometimes as high as one hundred and twenty, and even one hundred and forty Spanish dollars per kóyan, while along the coast, as at Chéribon and Surabáya, it was as low as thirty, and at Grésik twenty-five. The average in the year 1813, when the farming system was abolished, may be taken, one district with another, at about fifty-seven Spanish dollars the kógan, or rather less than thirty dollars per ton.

The quantity usually calculated for the annual consumption of Java and Madúra, including about one thousand kóyans estimated to be manufactured in the native provinces, is sixteen thousand kóyans, or thirty-two thousand tons. Under the arrangements now adopted for the manufacture and sale of this article, the average rate at which the manufacturers are paid is about six rupees the kóyan, including the charges of transport to the depôts, and the sale price varies from twenty-five to thirty-five Spanish dollars, according to[Vol I Pg 200] the distance from the principal depôts; an adequate supply by means of smaller depôts is insured in every part of the country.

The salt of Java exported to the other islands of the Archipelago, competes with that of Siam and the Coromandel coast, and generally supersedes it, both on account of its quality and cheapness. The exportation is free to all places except Bengal, where, on account of its interference with the monopoly there established, it has, since the conquest of Java, been found necessary to prohibit its importation under penalty of confiscation.

The salt of the south coast being manufactured by a process which is much more expensive than that employed on the north, and at the same time being inferior in quality, it is only consumed in places which the latter is prevented from reaching by the difficulty of conveyance or inland tolls and prohibitions; and it has consequently been calculated, that the north coast salt, if allowed to pass toll free through the country, would in a short time supersede that from the south altogether. The inferior quality of the latter is caused by the quantity of the sulphate of magnesia it contains, which renders it by its bitterness unpleasant for culinary purposes.

Of late years, the value of the manufacturing industry of the country may be in some degree be appreciated from the assistance it has afforded to the European government, when, in consequence of the war, the importation of European articles had become insufficient for the public service. Broad cloth not being procurable for the army, a kind of coarse cotton cloth was manufactured by the Javans, with which the whole army was clothed. At Semárang were established five of these manufactories, having seventy or eighty looms each. One or two of them made cotton lace, and supplied the army agents with epaulets, shoulder-knots, tassels, &c. There were likewise manufactures of cotton stockings, tape, fringes, cartridge-boxes, sword-belts, saddles, bridles, &c. and in short every thing that could be required for the dress and accoutrements of both cavalry and infantry.

Under European superintendents were established saltpetre works, powder-mills, foundries for shells, shot, anvils, &c. and manufactories of swords and small arms; and when it is[Vol I Pg 201] added, that the French government found means, within the the resources of Java alone, to equip an army of not less than fifteen thousand effective men, besides a numerous militia in every district, and that, with the exception of a few European superintendants in the more scientific works, all the articles were manufactured and supplied by the natives, it is not necessary to adduce any further proof of the manufacturing ability of the country.

Saltpetre is obtained in many parts of the island, and gunpowder has long been manufactured by the native inhabitants. A saltpetre manufactory was established near Grésik, under the superintendance of European officers, which it was calculated would furnish annually two thousand píkuls of that article to government, at the rate of eight rix-dollars per píkul, or one hundred and thirty-three pounds English. The importance of this establishment is manifest in the following observations of Colonel Mackenzie.

"I considered that one day would be usefully employed in viewing the saltpetre works, which a very few years back had been established here, at the risk, and by the zeal and ingenuity of private individuals, with the view of supplying this colony with that necessary ingredient for gunpowder. The best sulphur is supplied from a mountain near the straits of Báli. For further details of these mines; of the manner in which the nitre is obtained, by an ingenious application of the latest European improvements in chemistry; of the sulphureous crater of the mountain, whence the sulphur, in its utmost purity, is supplied; of the reports of the French engineers, last year, on the improvement of the gunpowder of Java; of the wood selected for the best charcoal, and of the present state of the manufactory and powder-mills at Semárang, I must refer, at present, to several papers collected by me on this subject, which may be usefully applicable to our manufactures of gunpowder in India. Passing over these and other considerations, I shall only observe, that of these mines, one of them is cut in caverns into the soft white calcareous rock; and another, more regularly designed, supported by pillars or masses of the native rock, covers regularly formed beds of the native earth, which being impregnated with the native nitre, saturated with the evacuation of[Vol I Pg 202] the numerous bats that haunt these caverns, and mixed with a compound of wood ashes, supplies the liquid that is boiled in large kettles, and afterwards left to cool and crystallize. The whole process is carried on, in a regular manner, under the direction of the first executor of this really grand work, who now resides at Surabáya[52]."

The labour of felling the teak trees and transporting the timber from the forests, gives employment to a very considerable population, who are distinguished from those employed in other avocations, by the term of blándong people, or foresters. The teak timber was formerly delivered to the government as a contingent, by the regents of those districts in which the principal forests were situated, the quantity being regulated according to the supposed extent of the different forests, and the means of cutting and transporting the wood. Previously to the year 1808, the amount of this annual contingent was eight thousand eight hundred beams of different sizes, according to the wants of the public service, of which more than three thousand were delivered from the central forests of Rembáng.

The cutting and dragging of the timber delivered in contingent was performed by the inhabitants of the villages adjacent to the forests, and the buffaloes required were left to be provided by the regents. For this service, in the Rembáng districts, four hundred cutters and labourers, and four hundred and twelve pair of buffaloes, were appropriated for the supply of three thousand one hundred beams annually, a proportion which varied in the other districts, only according to the distance of the forest from the timber yard on the coast, where payment was made for timber on delivery, at the rate of sixteen pence for cutting and conveying a beam of from eighteen to twenty feet long and from nine to ten inches broad, forty-eight stivers for a beam of from thirty-one to thirty-six feet long and from thirteen to fifteen inches broad, and for others in proportion. This was the regular and only payment made for the contingent timber; but when the demands of government exceeded the fixed contingent, which was generally the case, the excess was paid for at an advance of fifty per cent. on these prices. Crooked and other timber for ship-building was paid[Vol I Pg 203] for at about the same rate, but calculated according to a fixed table by the weight.

Under this system, the regents rented out many of the villages adjoining the forests to individuals, and sold, on their own account, such timber as was not of proper quality to be delivered to government. As the demands of government increased, as well as those of the European residents, who were many of them concerned in ship-building and in the sale of timber, the forests near the coast were soon exhausted of their best timber, and as it became necessary for the cutters to go further into the interior, the labour and expense increased, but without any corresponding recompense to them, for the government never raised the price. Individuals, however, did so; and the consequence was, that government finding no regulations they could make for the internal management of the forests sufficient to ensure them an adequate supply, were contented to believe that a greater quantity than was actually furnished could not be cut without injury to the forests; although, at that very time, the deliveries to individuals in the eastern districts were estimated at not less than fifty or sixty thousand beams per annum, the coast was lined with Java-built trading vessels of every description, and these, as well as the rough timber, were frequently sent for sale to a distant market.

In the year 1808, however, in common with all the other departments on the island, this important one was newly organized by Marshal Daendels, who placing the highest value on the forests, and determining to prevent the abuses which had previously existed, removed all the population which had formerly been engaged in the forests in the different parts of the island from the controul of the native regent, as well as the local European authority, and placed them, with the villages and lands to which they were attached, under a separate board or administration for the forest department. This change effectually secured government in the monopoly, and succeeded in the prevention of the abuses which had formerly existed: but in the degree that it had this effect, it also operated to the serious injury of general commerce and the domestic comfort of the inhabitants; for every one was now obliged to buy the timber from government, at a high monopoly rate fixed by general regulation, and the timber could[Vol I Pg 204] only be obtained in comparatively small quantities, seldom of the dimensions required, and only at the fixed staples. Ship-building, and even boat-building, which had before been carried to the greatest extent along the whole coast, was discontinued, and the cottage of the native, which had formerly cost a few rupees, now cost ten times the amount if built of desirable materials.

Under the administration of the Board of Forest, whose residence was fixed at Semárang, and who were altogether independent of the local authorities, was now placed a population of nearly one hundred thousand souls, exclusively devoted to the labours of the forests; and as no revenue had been given up by the arrangement, and a small annual delivery of iron, salt, and gunpowder, to the foresters, was the only payment made, considerable profit was expected to result from it to the government. It was found, however, after the establishment of the British government, that the timber which had been cut, and of which there was an immense quantity on hand, was not of a description required for the building of coasting vessels, and could not compete in Bengal with that of Pegu, without such a reduction in the monopoly price, as added to the loss occasioned by so large a proportion of the population, who were set apart for this duty and contributed nothing else to the revenue, the extent of the establishment necessary to enable the government to be the sole timber merchant, and the abuses connected with it, would amount to more than all the profits that had been calculated on. The coasting trade was perishing for want of vessels, and the forest department was a losing concern. Under these circumstances, it was judged expedient to include the population of the Blándongs in the general arrangements for the release of the peasantry from feudal bondage, and the establishment of a fixed rent from the land, in lieu of all services and payment formerly rendered.

The people who lived near the forests, and had long been in the habit of cutting and dragging the timber, still however continued in this employment, an annual contract being made with them for their services in the forests, in remuneration for which a remission of rent was granted. The largest and most valuable forests are, under this system, reserved for the exclu[Vol I Pg 205]sive use of government; others of less value, and the limits of which can be easily defined, have, in consideration of a recognition of ten per cent. ad valorem on the timber when worked up, been thrown open to individuals engaged in ship-building, who generally contract with the people of the adjoining villages, to cut and deliver the timber at fixed prices: a mode which has also been occasionally resorted to by government, especially for the inferior and small kinds of timber, shingles, pipe staves, &c. which are allowed to be cut in particular forests.

The industry which has been excited by opening these facilities in procuring timber, and the impetus which it has afforded to trade, may be estimated by this fact, that within the last few years have been launched no less than ten to twelve square-rigged vessels, of from one hundred and fifty to four hundred tons, and that many more of larger dimensions were about to be built, when the restoration of the colony was announced.

It need hardly be observed, that due precautions have been taken for the preservation and renovation of the valuable forests, which so far from being exhausted, are capable of supplying besides crooked and compass timber for ship-building, forty or fifty thousand beams in the year without injury. European overseers are appointed, and one general superintendent is placed over the whole.

As illustrative of the importance attached to these forests by the Dutch, and of the capabilities of the island for ship-building, it may not be uninteresting to annex an extract from Mr. Hogendorp's appeal to the authorities in Holland on this subject.[53] [Vol I Pg 206]

The Blandong people or foresters are generally employed in cutting or in dragging timber during eight months out of the twelve, but they are obliged to watch the forests the whole year through: they are regularly relieved, and half the working men are at all times left disposable for the rice fields. The Blandong people have always been accustomed to the work, and generally have their villages near the principal forests. It is one of the advantages of the system of contracting with the people for land payments, that in emergencies they are willing to lend their own buffaloes to assist those of government in dragging heavy timber, which could not be removed otherwise without great expence, while their children at other times watch and attend the cattle belonging to government. [Vol I Pg 207]In short, the resources of the village are at the disposal of government, for a land payment considerably less than one-third of the expence of hired labourers, whom it would be difficult to procure, and still more difficult, from the character of the people, to retain in constant and unremitting employment.

Under the system of granting remissions of rent, it has been calculated that in the districts of Semárang, where the assessment is comparatively high, on account of the vicinity to a large capital, a remission of eight rupees and a half, or about twenty shillings, being the average amount paid annually by each cultivator, government obtains a man's hard labour for six months of the year. But as the inhabitants of the same village are generally accustomed to labour in the fields alternately, and thus to assist each other, it has been found advisable to make the remissions of rent for the Blandongs to the village as a community, in order to avoid the delay and endless vexation which would ensue, in adjusting the petty claims of each individual.

In the maritime districts on the north-east side of the island, a very large proportion of the population is employed in the fisheries, and so moderate are the seasons, that except perhaps for a few days at the change of the monsoon, they are seldom interrupted by the weather.

The sea fish is taken either by the net, in stakes (wídi), or with the hook and line: the most considerable quantity is of course procured by means of the two former, generally distinguished by the term máyang, whence práhu máyang, fishing boat. The whole apparatus of the hook and line is called pánching, the usual term for angling among the Maláyus. The fishing-boats quit the shore at about three or four o'clock in the morning, and are driven out by the land breeze beyond sight before daylight. At about noon they are seen returning with the sea-breeze, and generally reach the shore by two in the afternoon. The stakes along the whole of the northern coast, wherever the banks and projecting land admit, are very extensive: they are often fixed in several fathom water, and constitute a very important property. They are usually closed in the night.

Nets are principally made of rámi, though sometimes of[Vol I Pg 208] gadáng'an, and even of cotton. They are steeped in an infusion, which not only darkens their colour, but is considered essentially to contribute to their strength. Fish that is not eaten or disposed of while fresh, is salted and dried in the sun, or smoke-dried at a short distance from a fire, and in that state forms an extensive article of internal commerce. Besides the abundance of fish thus obtained from the sea, extensive tracts of country, salt marshes, and inlets of the sea, have in several parts of the island been converted into fish-ponds (támba). These ponds are to be found in most of the low maritime districts: those at Grésik, which are the most extensive, appear to have been first established during the visit of one of the early Mahomedan princes of the island in the fifteenth century. The bándeng is generally considered as the richest and highest-flavoured fish known in these seas: the young fry are taken in the sea, and transferred to these ponds, where they grow and fatten for seven months, when they are fit for the table. An annual supply of young fish from the sea is found necessary to keep up the stock in the tanks; and, whether from a desire to raise the value of the fish so obtained in them, or otherwise, the natives generally affirm, that the fish rarely attains its full size in the sea. The extent and value of these nurseries for the fish may be estimated from the rent paid for those at Grésik, which are the property of government.

The river fish are taken by a variety of methods: one is to throw a number of branches of trees into a deep part of the river; here the fish collect: they are then surrounded by stakes, or the branches are taken out, and the fish easily caught; this method is termed rúmpon. Bámbu fences are sometimes thrown across the rivers at night, and so constructed that the fish are easily entrapped as they pass down the stream: this method is called pásang wádong. The rivers and ponds are frequently dragged by nets of different sizes. The coculus indicus, and other intoxicating drugs, are sometimes thrown into the river, after which the fish are found floating on the surface and easily taken; this method, termed túba, is prohibited on large rivers: when the fish are afterwards driven down the river by a number of men into a snare laid below, the usual term is jámprong. In the western dis[Vol I Pg 209]tricts, a fishing party of this description affords a very favourite amusement on great occasions. A time is selected when the river is moderately low; temporary stands made of the trunks of small trees or stout bámbus are then thrown across, each consisting of three piles, fastened together at the top and expanding below, the bottoms being pointed so as to fix in the ground. On a small stage on each, just above the surface of the water, are piled a few stones, by which they are steadied while the current is allowed a free course below. The piers or stages thus formed, answer well for the construction of a temporary bridge over the rocky or stony bed of the most irregular river. A coarse matting, made of bámbu or some other material, is then carried from one to the other, so as to shut the current in within a narrow space, across which a temporary platform and shed is thrown, with a sloping floor rising above the surface of the water, to where the party is assembled. The drug having been thrown into the river, a considerable distance higher up several hundred people now enter the river, and driving the half-intoxicated fish before them, they come floundering one after the other on the bámbu stage, to the no small amusement of the party collected, fish of a considerable size literally jumping into their laps. On these occasions, when the entertainment is given to Europeans, a great concourse of people attend, a feast is prepared, and the wild and antic music and dance of the mountaineers, performing on the ánklang and rude drum, give great peculiarity and zest to the amusement. Fish are sometimes struck at night by torch light, both at sea and in the rivers; but this method is not very general.

Pearls are obtained in the vicinity of Bányuwáng'i, where the privilege of fishing for them is farmed out by the year, as well as in the vicinity of Núsakambáng'an, on the south side of the island; but they are generally of the description called seed pearls, and of little value.


[50] These vessels for large patterns are sometimes made of the cocoa-nut shell, and then hold a proportionally larger quantity.

[51] Dampier's Voyage, vol. ii.

[52] Journal of Colonel Mackenzie, 1812.

[53] "Batavians! be amazed! hear with wonder what I have to communicate. Our fleets are destroyed, our trade languishes, our navigation is going to ruin​—we purchase with immense treasures, timber and other materials for ship-building from the northern powers, and on Java we leave warlike and mercantile squadrons standing with their roots in the ground. Yes, the forests of Java have timber enough to build a respectable navy in a short time, besides as many merchant ships as we require. Hemp would grow as well as in Bengal, and as labour is as cheap in Java, we may consequently presume that it would require little trouble to establish manufactures of canvas and cordage there in a short time. But, at any rate, Java already produces at a very low price cayar and gamuti cordage, which answers very well for cables, hawsers, and rigging. To build ships at Java for the mother country, it is only necessary to send out skilful and complete master-builders with a few ship carpenters; for common workmen are to be had on Java in numbers, and at a very low rate, as a good Java carpenter may be hired at five stivers a day. The principal objection that could be made is, that the shores of Java being very flat and level, are not well adapted for building, and still less for launching ships of heavy burthens, but this difficulty may be easily overcome: on the islands before Batavia, and particularly Brunt and Cooke's Island, wharfs, or even docks, may be constructed at little expence. The same may be observed of one of the islands off Japára and at Grésik, besides many other places in the eastern division, in the harbour which is formed by the island of Madúra, and which is sheltered from every wind.

"The resident of Rembáng, and sometimes of Jawána, are almost the only Europeans who build ships, for it is too difficult and dangerous for others to undertake it, under the arbitrary government at present existing in Java, under which nothing can flourish or succeed. But the Chinese, who are favoured in every thing, are well aware how to turn this also to their own advantage, and to build a great number of vessels all along the coast, from fifteen to two hundred tons burthen, for which they get the timber almost for nothing, by means of renting the forest villages. It is easy to imagine, how these avaricious bloodsuckers use the forests, and manage to get all they can out of them. In spite of all this, however, the forests of Java grow as fast as they are cut, and would be inexhaustible under good care and management.

"At Bombay, Surat, and Demaun, and other places along the coast of Malabar, at Bengal, and at Pegu, the English build many large and fine ships, which last a length of time, especially those of Bombay and Malabar built, although I believe the wood produced there, however good, is not equal to the teak of Java." [Vol I Pg 210]


Commerce​—Advantageous Situation of Java for Commercial Intercourse​—Importance of Batavia in particular​—Native Trade​—Roads and Inland Carriage​—Markets​—Influence of the Chinese​—Coasting Trade​—Exports and Imports​—Trade with the Archipelago​—China​—Kamtschatka​—Western India​—Europe, &c.​—Dutch Commercial Regulations​—State of the Eastern Islands​—Advantages which they possess​—Causes of the Depression of the Nations and Tribes which inhabit them​—Japan Trade.

From the importance which the Dutch, in the days of their greatness, attached to their East-India commerce, of which Batavia was the emporium, and the importance which this commerce conferred upon them, from the desire excited in the other nations to obtain a share in its advantages, and the crimes committed to maintain its undivided monopoly, some idea may be formed of its magnitude and value. When the French troops, in the summer of 1672, under Louis XIV. had overrun the territory of Holland, with the rapidity and irresistible force of the sea after bursting the dykes, the Republic formed the magnanimous resolution of transporting its wealth, its enterprise, and its subjects to another hemisphere, rather than submit to the terms of the conqueror, and fixed upon Batavia, already the seat of its eastern commerce, as the capital of its new empire. They could have found shipping in their own ports for the transport of fifty thousand families; their country was inundated with the ocean, or in possession of the invader; their power and political importance consisted in their fleets and colonies; and having been accustomed to maintain their naval superiority by the fruits of their eastern trade, and to buy the corn of Europe with the spices of the Moluccas, they would have felt less from a removal of their seat of empire from the north of Europe to the south of Asia, than any people who ever contemplated a similar change; while, at the same time, the very project of such an extraordinary emigration, and[Vol I Pg 211] the means they had of carrying it into effect, give us the highest ideas of the independent spirit inspired by their free government, and of their commercial prosperity, derived, in a great degree, from their eastern establishments and connexions.

The same advantages which the Europeans derived from the navigation of the Mediterranean, the inhabitants of the Malayan Archipelago enjoyed in a higher degree; and it cannot be doubted, that among islands lying in smooth and unruffled seas, inviting the sail or oar of the most timid and inexperienced mariner, an intercourse subsisted at a very early period. To this intercourse, and to the fertility of the soil of Java, which soon rendered it an agricultural country, must be attributed the high degree of civilization and of advancement in the arts, which, from the monuments of its progress which still exist, there is every reason to believe it once attained. In short, to adopt the expressions of Dr. Adam Smith, when speaking of a very different country[54], Java, "on account of the natural fertility of its soil, of the great extent of its sea-coast in proportion to the whole of the country, and of the number of its navigable rivers, affording the conveniency of water carriage to some of its most inland parts, is conveniently fitted by nature to be the seat of foreign commerce, of manufactures for sale to the neighbouring countries, and of all the improvements which these can occasion."

But though there can be little doubt that Java very early emerged from barbarism, and rose to great commercial prosperity, to determine the precise time at which these events took place is perhaps impossible; and to approach the solution of the question would involve an inquiry that will be better reserved till we come to treat of its languages, institutions, and antiquities. If, in the consideration of these topics, it should be made to appear, that, in very remote ages, these regions were civilized from Western India, and that an extensive Hindu empire once existed on Java, it will be reasonable to infer a commercial intercourse still earlier than the communication of laws and improvement.

In the remarkable account of the rich commodities conveyed to ancient Tyre, it would appear that there were many articles[Vol I Pg 212] the peculiar produce of the Malayan States; and in that given by Strabo of the importations into Egypt, cloves, which we know to be the exclusive produce of the Moluccas, are expressly mentioned. The same taste for the fine kinds of spices, and the same desire to obtain them, which prompted European nations successively to make themselves masters of these islands, must in all probability have operated, in a very remote period, on the merchants of Hindustan, and even of countries lying farther to the westward, who had already found their way into the gold regions; and if the hypothesis, which places Mount Ophir on Sumatra or the peninsula of Malacca, cannot be maintained, it will at any rate be admitted, that previously to the discovery of America, no country was known more rich in gold than the Malayan Islands, and that, on that account, they were peculiarly attractive to foreigners, who could not be supplied from any other quarter.

The Arabs, it is known, had in the ninth century, if not long previously, made themselves acquainted with these countries; and the Chinese, if we may trust the Javan annals, had visited Java at the same period. According to Kempfer, the Maláyus in former times had by far the greatest trade in the Indies, and frequented, with their vessels, not only all the coasts of Asia, but even ventured to the shores of Africa, and particularly to the great island of Madagascar; "for," adds this author, "John de Barros in his Decades, and Flaccourt in his History of Madagascar, assures us, that the language spoken by the inhabitants of that large African island is full of Javan and Malayan words: subsisting proofs of the commerce with these two nations, about two thousand years ago the richest and most powerful of Asia, had carried on with Madagascar, where they had settled in great numbers."

Whatever credit we may attach to these statements and inferences, respecting the commerce of these islands before they were visited by Europeans in the fifteenth century, it is certain that, at this period, an extensive trade was established at Malacca, Acheen, and Bantam, then the great emporiums of the Eastern Archipelago. Hither the rich produce of Sumatra, Borneo, and the Moluccas, was conveyed in the small trading craft of the country, and exchanged for the[Vol I Pg 213] produce of India and China. These ports were then filled with vessels from every maritime state of Asia, from the Red Sea to Japan. The Portuguese, who preceded the Dutch in India, and who had fixed upon Goa, on the coast of Malabar, as the capital of their eastern settlements, selected Malacca as the most convenient station for conducting and protecting their trade with the islands, and erected it into a secondary capital. The Dutch finding this desirable station pre-occupied, and being foiled in their attempts to dislodge their rivals, first established a commercial settlement at Bantam, and subsequently subdued by force of arms the neighbouring province of Jákatra, (or Jokárta), on which, as will be afterwards mentioned, they built the fortress, the city, and the port of Batavia.

Nor was it without reason that they selected this spot for the capital of their new empire. "What the Cape of Good Hope is," says Adam Smith, "between Europe and every part of the East Indies, Batavia is between the principal countries in the East Indies. It lies upon the most frequented road from Hindustan to China and Japan, and is nearly about midway on that road. Almost all the ships, too, that sail between Europe and China, touch at Batavia; and it is, over and above all this, the centre and principal mart of what is called the country trade of the East Indies, not only of that part of it which is carried on by Europeans, but of that which is carried on by the native Indians, and vessels navigated by the inhabitants of China and Japan, of Tonquin, of Malacca, of Cochin China, and the Island of Celebes, are frequently to be seen in its port. Such advantageous situations have enabled these two colonies to surmount all the obstacles which the oppressive genius of an exclusive company may have occasionally opposed to their growth: they have enabled Batavia to surmount the additional disadvantage, of perhaps the most unwholesome climate in the world."

It would be as difficult to describe in detail the extent of the commerce enjoyed by Java[55], at the period of the establishment [Vol I Pg 214]of the Dutch in the eastern seas, as it would be painful to point out how far, or to show in what manner, that commerce was interfered with, checked, changed in its character, and reduced in its importance, by the influence of a withering monopoly, the rapacity of avarice armed with power, and the short-sighted tyranny of a mercantile administration. To convey an idea of the maritime strength of the native princes anterior to this date, as giving a criterion by which to judge of the trade of their subjects, it may be sufficient to state that warlike expeditions, consisting of many hundred vessels, are often reported to have been fitted out against Borneo, Sumatra, and the peninsula. In the art of ship-building, however, they do not appear to have advanced beyond the construction of that sort of vessel adapted to the navigation of their own smooth seas, and now to be met with in all their ports and harbours; nor do they seem to have had any knowledge of maritime geography beyond the shores of their own Archipelago, and the information which they gained from the reports of the Arabs, or the traditions of their own more adventurous ancestors. This circumstance would lead us to infer that the trade of Java was carried on chiefly in foreign vessels, and through the enterprize of foreign adventurers. The habits of the people had become agricultural; they had nearly deserted an element which they had no powerful temptation to traverse, and on which they could reap little, compared with what they could draw from the fertility of their own territory. Leaving therefore their ports to be filled, and their commodities to be carried away by the Maláyus, the Búgis, the Indians, the Chinese, and the Arabs, they for the most part contented themselves with enjoying the advantages of a trade, in which they incurred no chance of loss; and thus, though their own country yielded neither gold nor jewels, they are said to have been plentifully supplied with these and other valuable articles on their own shores, in exchange for the produce of their tranquil industry and their fertile soil. This kind of traffic was almost entirely annihilated, or at least very much diverted from its ancient course, by the restrictive system of Dutch colonial policy. Some branches of it were, it must be allowed, partially encouraged by the influx of European capital and the demand for particular articles which bear a high price in the European[Vol I Pg 215] market; but this was an inadequate compensation for the loss of that commerce, which may be said to be as much the growth of the country as any of its indigenous plants. In order to show to what insignificance it was reduced under Dutch oppression, and what tendency it has to improve under a better system, it is only necessary to compare its state during the latter years of the Dutch government, before the blockade, and afterwards during the short interval of British administration. For the first of these purposes, I have drawn, in the introduction to this work, a short sketch of the condition of the Dutch East India Company, for a considerable period previous to our arrival; and I now proceed to give some account of the external and internal trade of Java, as it existed at the time when we restored it to its former masters.

The extent of this commerce, since the establishment of the British government, and since a greater freedom of trade has been allowed, may, for a want of a better criterion, be estimated from the amount of tonnage employed since the beginning of the year 1812, at which period the operations of the military expedition had ceased, and the transports were discharged.

In the year 1812, the number of square-rigged vessels which entered the port of Batavia amounted to 239, and their aggregate tonnage to 48,290 tons, and in the same year the native craft amounted to 455 vessels, or 7,472 tons, or together 55,762 tons. The quantity cleared out during the same year was 44,613 tons of shipping, and 7,762 of native craft, making together 52,375.

In the year 1813, the number of square-rigged vessels was 288, and the tonnage 51,092, the native craft amounting to 796 vessels, or 13,214 tons, or together 64,306 tons.

In 1814, three hundred and twenty-one ships, or 63,564 tons, cleared out with 568 native vessels, or 9,154 tons, shewing the total tonnage of Batavia during this year to have amounted to 72,718 tons.

The returns for the following year have not been received, but they are estimated to exceed either of the two former years, and not to have fallen much short of one hundred thousand tons; and it may be noticed, that during one year after the first accounts were received of the successes of the[Vol I Pg 216] allied armies against France, no less than thirty-two ships, measuring fifteen thousand tons, cleared out, and carried cargoes, the produce of Java, to the London market.

The average annual tonnage which cleared out from the port of Surabáya, for the three last years, amounted to about thirty thousand tons, and the native tonnage trading to the neighbouring port of Grésik is estimated to have even exceeded that quantity.

At the small port of Súmenap, situated at the east end of Madúra, which is a principal resort for the native trade, the tonnage which cleared out was

Small prahus and vessels. Tonnage.
For 1812 3,765 15,230
1813 4,752 33,769

And the estimated value of the same,

Imports. Exports.
For 1812 Rupees 625,628 Rupees 396,820
1813 740,080 492,020[56].

The value of the imports and exports of Semárang, on which duties were actually collected at that port, were

Imports. Exports.
For 1812 Rupees 555,044 Rupees 167,101
1813 1,530,716 985,709
1814 686,330 549,038

The native tonnage which cleared from Rembáng was as follows:

In 1812 862 vessels or 8,058 tons.
1813 1,095 ditto. 8,657
1814 1,455 ditto. 12,935

The trade from the other minor ports was inconsiderable, the effect of the regulations passed in 1813 being yet hardly felt. From Pakalúngan the tonnage which cleared was for 1812, 5,962 tons, and for 1813, 4,679 tons, the imports being about 150,000 rupees, and the exports 300,000 rupees in each year; from Tégal for 1812, 2,445 tons, and for 1813, 1,926[Vol I Pg 217] tons, the imports being about 50,000, and the exports about 60,000 rupees in each year.

The amount of tonnage which touched at Anyer, on the way through the Straits of Súnda, to and from Europe, Africa, and America, was

In 1812 73 ships 29,450
1813 73 37,546
1814 125 56,942

By an official return made in March 1816, it appears that the total quantity of tonnage in vessels boarded on their passage through the Straits of Súnda, amounted in 1812 to 45,000 tons; in 1813, to 56,000 tons; in 1814, to 64,000 tons; and in 1815, to 130,000 tons; to which, adding a third for vessels which passed without being boarded, the whole amount of tonnage for these four years, would be 390,000, the quantity in the fourth of these years being nearly triple that of the first.

The commerce of Java may be considered under the two general divisions of the native and the European, the former including the internal and coasting trade, with that of the Malayan Archipelago in general; the latter comprehending that carried on by Europeans and Americans with India, China and Japan, Africa, America, and Europe.

Java has already been described as a great agricultural country. It has long been considered as the granary of the Eastern Islands.

The southern coast is for the most part inaccessible, and seldom visited by traders; but along the north coast there are no less than thirteen principal ports, besides numerous other intermediate and less considerable ones, frequented by native vessels at all seasons of the year. Many of these are sheltered, and form safe harbours in all weather, as Bantam, Batavia, Rembáng, Grésik, and Surabáya. Even where the vessels lie in an open roadstead, the wind is seldom sufficiently strong to render the anchorage unsafe. Several of the rivers are navigable for many miles into the interior, and most of them are capable of receiving native vessels into the heart of the town, through which they generally run; but the rivers of Java, as well as those of the eastern coast of Sumatra and the western coast of Borneo, are for the most part obstructed at[Vol I Pg 218] their entrance by extensive bars, which preclude the admission of vessels of any very considerable burthen. Piers have been run out in many places, to remedy this inconvenience; but in consequence of the quantity of soil annually carried down, the bars or banks are continually increasing, and in some places, as at Tégal, have nearly blocked up the communication between the rivers and the sea.

The produce and manufactures of the country are conveyed from one district to another and to these maritime capitals, either by water or land carriage. The principal navigable rivers to the westward, are those which disembogue themselves below Táng'ran, Kráwang, and Indramáyu, and the produce brought down by them is usually conveyed to Batavia. To the eastward, the great Sólo river, which is navigable from Súra-kérta, affords, with the Kedíri, the principal and only outlets from the native provinces by water towards the northern coast. Down the former, which empties itself by several mouths, near Grésik, into the great harbour of Surabáya, during the rains, large quantities of the produce of the richest provinces of the interior are conveyed. The boats employed, which are of considerable burthen, return with cargoes of salt. This river runs through many valuable teak forests, and consequently affords the means of easy transport for the timber; an advantage which is also derived from several smaller rivers on the northern coast, particularly in the neighbourhood of the principal building yards. Facilities of the same kind are also found at most of the sea ports, which are generally seated on rivers passing through forests in the interior, down which timber required for house-building and the construction of small craft is floated with ease. An inland navigation is carried on to a considerable extent, by means of small canals, in Demák and some of the neighbouring districts, where it is common, even during the harvest, at the driest season of the year, to observe innumerable boats with their light sails crossing an extensive, flat, and highly cultivated country and traversing the corn-fields in various directions. In the rich and fertile delta of Surabáya, the whole produce of the adjacent country is conveyed by water carriage, generally on light rafts constructed of a few stems of the plantain tree.

Goods not conveyed by water carriage, are usually carried[Vol I Pg 219] on the backs of oxen or horses, or on the shoulders of men and women, carts not being generally used, except in the western districts, where the population is thin, or in some of the more eastern districts, particularly those recently under Chinese direction. The cart of the western districts, termed pedáti, is of clumsy construction, running on two large solid wheels, from five to six feet in diameter, and from one to two inches broad, on a revolving axle, and drawn by two buffaloes. It is the ordinary conveyance of goods to the capital, within a range of about sixty miles from Batavia.

Few countries can boast of roads, either of a better description, or of a greater extent, than some of those in Java. A high post road, passable for carriages at all seasons of the year, runs from Anyer, on the western side of Bantam, to within twenty miles of Bányuwángi, the eastern extremity of the Island, being a distance of not less than eight hundred English miles. Along this road, at intervals of less than five miles, are regular post stations and relays of carriage horses. A portion of it towards the west, which proceeded into the interior, and passed over some high and mountainous tracts, was found to occasion great delay and inconvenience to passengers, and to impose an oppressive duty upon those inhabitants, who, residing in the neighbourhood, were obliged to lend the use of their cattle, or the assistance of their personal labour, to aid carriages in ascending the steeps; this part of the line has therefore been abandoned, and a new road has recently been constructed along the low lands, from Batavia to Chéribon, by which not only the former inequalities are avoided, but a distance of fifty miles is saved. This route is now so level, that a canal might easily be cut along its side, and carried on nearly through all the maritime districts of the eastward, by which the convenience of inland navigation might be afforded them, for conveying the commodities continually required for the consumption and exportation of the capital. Besides this main road from one extreme to the other, there is also a high military road, equally well constructed, which crosses the Island from north to south, leading to the two native capitals of Súra-kérta and Yúg'ya-kérta, and consequently to within a few miles of the South Sea. Cross roads have also been formed wherever the convenience[Vol I Pg 220] or advantage of Europeans required them; and there is no part of the Island to which the access is less difficult. But it is not to be concluded, that these communications contribute that assistance to agriculture or trade on Java, which such roads would afford in Europe: their construction has, on the contrary, in many instances, been destructive to whole districts, and when completed by his own labour, or the sacrifice of the lives of his neighbours, the peasant was debarred from their use, and not permitted to drive his cattle along them, while he saw the advantages they were capable of yielding reserved for his European masters, that they might be enabled to hold a more secure possession of his country. They were principally formed during the blockade of the Island, and were intended to facilitate the conveyance of stores, or the passage of troops necessary for its military defence. The inhabitants, however, felt the exclusion the less, as good inferior roads were often made by the side of these military roads, and bye-roads branched off through all parts of the country, so that the internal commerce met with no impediment for the want of direct or convenient lines of communication.

Nor is it discouraged by the want of understood or established places of exchange. Bazars or public markets (here called pékan) are established in every part of the country, and usually held twice a-week, if not oftener. The market days are in general regulated by what are called pásar days, being a week of five days, similar to that by which the markets in South America appear to be regulated. At these markets are assembled frequently some thousands of people, chiefly women, on whom the duty devolves of carrying the various productions of the country to these places of traffic. In some districts, extensive sheds are erected for the accommodation of the people; but, in general, a temporary covering of thatch, to shelter them from the rays of the sun, is made for the occasion, and thought sufficient. Where the market is not held within a town of considerable size, the assemblage usually takes place under a large tree, in a spot occupied from immemorial usage for that purpose. In these markets there are regular quarters appropriated for the grain merchant, the cloth merchant, venders of iron, brass, and copper ware, and dealers in the various small manufactures of the country, as well as those of India, China,[Vol I Pg 221] and Europe. Prepared eatables of every kind, as well as all the fruits and vegetables in request, occupy a considerable space in the fair, and find a rapid sale. In the more extensive bazars, as at Sólo, the kris handle makers have their particular quarter, and in an adjoining square, horses and oxen are exposed for sale.

Small duties are generally levied in these bazars, the collection of which was formerly farmed out to Chinese; but it being found that they exacted more than the settled or authorized rate, and that they contrived, by means of the influence which their office conferred, to create a monopoly in their own favour, not only of the articles of trade but of many of the necessaries of life, that system has latterly been relinquished wherever practicable, and government has taken the management of that portion of the public revenue into its own hands. In the bazars, accordingly, regulated under the immediate superintendence of its officers, extensive sheds are built, and a small compensation only is required for the use of them by those who there intend to expose their goods for sale. This duty is collected at the entrance into the market-place, and is taken in lieu of all other taxes or customs whatever, formerly levied on the transit or sale of native commodities. It is to be regretted, that this improvement had not been extended to the native provinces, where every article of produce and manufacture is still impeded in its progress through the country to the place of consumption or export, by toll duties and other impolitic exactions, and charged on its arrival there with heavy bazar duties, to the discouragement of industry and enterprize, and the depression of agriculture and trade, in a degree not compensated by a proportionate benefit to the revenue[57]. [Vol I Pg 222]

Almost all the inland commerce, beyond what is thus carried on though the medium of bazars, is under the direction of the Chinese, who, possessing considerable capital, and frequently speculating on a very extensive scale, engross the greater part of the wholesale trade, buy up the principal articles of export from the native grower, convey them to the maritime capitals, and in return supply the interior with salt, and with the principal articles imported from the neighbouring islands, or from foreign countries. The industry of the Javans being directed almost exclusively to the cultivation of the soil, they are satisfied if they can find an immediate market for their surplus produce; and the Chinese, from their superior wealth and enterprize, offering them this advantage without interfering with their habits, have obtained almost a monopoly of their produce, and an uncontrolled command of their market for foreign commodities.

The trade carried on by native vessels along the coast, with the neighbouring islands, and with the peninsula of Malacca, has been even more shackled than that placed under the impolitic restraints of interior regulation; and if it exists now to any considerable extent, it is owing only to the great natural advantages that attend it. Independently of the dangers to which the peaceable unprotected trader has so long been exposed, from the numerous pirates who infest the Eastern Seas, and who for many years have been in the habit of annually sweeping the coast of Java, the various restrictions, penalties, and prohibitions established by the Dutch government, in order to insure their own monopoly, closed all the minor ports against him.

Among these restrictions, none operated more forcibly to prejudice the native trade than the rigid and enforced monopoly of the teak timber; an article of produce with which Java abounds, and of which the shipping of the Archipelago had, from time immemorial, been principally constructed. The facilities for building and repairing vessels along the coast, while the sale of timber was unrestricted, not only allowed a more abundant supply of shipping at a cheap rate for the convenience of the native trader, but attracted the beneficial visits and the intercourse of foreigners, and encouraged a species of trade, which under the recent system has been lost. The[Vol I Pg 223] Búgis and Arabs of the different eastern ports, navigating in large vessels, were induced to give them an annual repair on Java; and rather than depart in ballast, frequently carried out cargoes, the profits of which alone, independently of their refit, would not have been sufficient to tempt them to the speculation. These adventurers not only imported considerable quantities of gold-dust to defray the expence of their repairs, but many other articles the produce of the Malayan islands; for which they in return exported large quantities of salt and other bulky commodities, which would otherwise hardly repay their freight. In consequence of the stop put to this kind of intercourse, the Malayan States were principally supplied with salt from Siam and the Coromandel coast, or manufactured the article for themselves, while an accumulating undemanded surplus for many years remained on Java unsaleable. Of the nature of the restrictions under which the internal commerce and the native trade in general were placed until lately, some idea may be formed from the amount of the duties which were exacted at Chéribon prior to the introduction of the land revenue settlement[58].

These, with still heavier and more vexatious duties and exactions, were levied on trade in other districts of the island. Constant requisitions were made by the Dutch government for the services of native vessels, at rates far below a just compensation to the owner, and the native traders were forbidden to traffic in any of the articles of Dutch monopoly; considerations which incline us rather to express our surprize, that there should have been any native trade at all, than that there should be so little as now exists.

The coasting trade is carried on in vessels belonging chiefly to Chinese, Arabs, and Búgis (natives of Celebes), and in smaller Malayan práhus[59]. The enterprize of the Arabs, [Vol I Pg 224]Chinese, and Búgis is very conspicuous. They are in general fair traders; and Europeans acquainted with their several[Vol I Pg 225] characters can rely on their engagements, and command their confidence. Many of them, particularly the Búgis, are possessed of very large capital.

By means of the coasting trade, the produce of the maritime and inland districts is conveyed to Batavia, Semárang, and Surabáya, the principal ports of consumption and exportation; and in return those districts receive iron, steel, and other articles of foreign produce and manufacture from abroad. The western districts being but thinly inhabited, do not yield a sufficient supply for the consumption of Batavia; and on this account, as well as its being the principal mart of foreign commerce, the trade of the eastern districts is attracted to it, in a higher degree than to any of the other great towns in their own immediate neighbourhood: but owing to the unhealthiness [Vol I Pg 226]of the climate, the loss occasioned by the paper money, which the native traders of other islands could never understand, and the various vexations and impositions to which they were subjected, these latter invariably prefer the more eastern ports of Semárang and Surabáya, or rather Grésik, in the immediate vicinity of the latter, which has always been the principal establishment and residence of the Arabs.

The Búgis import into Java from the other islands, Malayan camphor, tortoise-shell, edible birds'-nests, bees'-wax, cloth called sárongs, of a very strong texture, their own manufacture, and gold dust, which they lay out in the purchase of opium, iron, steel, Europe chintzes and broad cloth, and Indian piece goods, besides tobacco, rice, salt, and other productions and manufactures of Java, with which they return eastward during the favourable monsoon.

The Arabs navigate square-rigged vessels, from fifty to five hundred tons burden. The Chinese also have many brigs, besides their peculiar description of vessels called junks, as well as native-built práhus. They extend their voyages to Sumatra, the Straits of Malacca, and eastward as far as the Moluccas and Timor, collecting birds'-nests, camphor, bich de mar, and other articles, making Java a grand depôt for the produce of all the countries to which they resort. Throughout the whole of Java, trade is usually conducted by the Chinese: many of them are very rich, and their means are increased by their knowledge of business, their spirit of enterprize, and their mutual confidence.

If a cargo arrives too extensive for the finances of one individual, several Chinese club together, and purchase the goods, each dividing according to his capital. In this manner a ready market is always open at Java, without the assistance of European merchants, and strangers are enabled to transact their business with little trouble or risk.

The objections which have been made to the political influence of the Chinese and Arabs in the Eastern Islands, do not equally apply to them as traders. In this last capacity, and subject to regulations which prevent them from uniting the power of a chief with the temper of a merchant, and despotism with avarice, their value cannot be too highly rated.[Vol I Pg 227] The persevering industry and speculative turn of the Chinese is too well known to need description; and the Arab traders are here what they are all over the world, keen, intelligent, and adventurous. The Búgis have long been distinguished among the Eastern Islands for the extent of their speculations and the fairness of their dealing.

Java exports, for the consumption and use of the other islands of the Archipelago, including the Malayan ports on the peninsula, rice, a variety of vetches, salt, oil, tobacco, timber, Java cloths, brass ware, and a variety of minor articles, the produce of her agriculture and manufactures, besides occasionally, as the market admits, a considerable quantity of European, Indian, and Chinese goods. Almost the only articles for which Java is at present dependent on its neighbours are gúmbir, imported from Lingen (Ling'ga) and Rhio, where it is produced to the annual amount of from twenty to thirty thousand píkuls,​—and pámur, the metal used for damasking the Javan krís, of which a small quantity is imported from Biliton and Célebes, where alone it is found. The following articles, the exclusive produce of the Eastern Islands, are collected at its principal ports, for re-exportation to India, China, and Europe: tin, from Bánka; gold-dust, diamonds, camphor, benjamin and other drugs, edible birds'-nests, bich de mar, rattans, bees'-wax, tortoise-shell, and dyeing woods, from Borneo and Sumatra; sandal and other fine woods, nutmegs, cloves and mace, coarse, wild and damaged spices, káyu-púti and other pungent oils, from the Moluccas; horses and sapan wood, from Sumbáwa; Búgis cloths, and many collections for the Chinese market, from Célebes. Cloths are also sometimes imported from Báli, and pepper is collected at Bánjermásin, on Borneo, and from several of the Malayan states.

The tin brought to Java is almost exclusively from the mines of Bánka. This metal is also exported from several of the other islands, and from the peninsula of Malacca, whence these countries have been considered the Temala of Ptolemy, timáh being the Malayan word for tin; but the quantity obtained from all other sources falls far short of what is procured on Bánka, which exports to the annual[Vol I Pg 228] amount of thirty thousand píkuls, or nearly forty thousand cwt. of this metal. The mines on Bánka are worked by Chinese, who deliver the metal into the government stores in slabs, at the rate of about eight Spanish dollars the píkul, of one hundred and thirty-three pounds and a quarter.

A very extensive branch of trade is carried on by a direct communication between Java and China, entirely upon Chinese capital, in a description of vessels called junks. From eight to ten of these vessels arrive annually from Canton and Amoi, with cargoes of teas, raw silk, silk piece goods, varnished umbrellas, iron pots, coarse china-ware, sweetmeats, nankeen, paper, and innumerable minor articles, particularly calculated for the Chinese settlers. They are from three to eight hundred tons burthen, and sail at stated periods, generally reaching Batavia with the north-east monsoon, about the month of January. Of all the imports from China, that which produces the most extensive effects on the commercial and political interests of the country is the native himself: besides their cargoes, these junks bring a valuable import of from two to five hundred industrious natives in each vessel. These emigrants are usually employed as coolies or labourers on their first arrival; but, by frugal habits and persevering industry, they soon become possessed of a little property, which they employ in trade, and increase by their prudence and enterprize. Many of them, in course of time, attain sufficient wealth to render themselves independent, and to enable them to remit considerable accumulations yearly to their relations in China. As these remittances are generally made in the valuable articles, such as birds'-nests, Malayan camphor, bich de mar, tin, opium, pepper, timber, leather hides, indigo, gold and silver, the return cargoes of these vessels amount to an almost incredible value.

The quantity of edible birds'-nests alone, annually exported from Java to China on vessels of this description, is estimated at not less than two hundred píkuls, of which by far the largest proportion is the produce of the Javan rocks and hills. It is well known that these are the nests of a species of swallow (hirundo esculenta) common in the Malayan islands, and in great demand for the China table. Their value as a[Vol I Pg 229] luxury, in that empire, has been estimated on importation to be weight for weight equal with silver. The price which these nests of the best quality have of late years brought in the Canton and Amoi market, has been forty Spanish dollars per káti, of rather more than a pound and a quarter English. They are usually classed into first, second, and third sorts, differing in price from forty to fifteen Spanish dollars, and even to ten and less for the most ordinary. The price in the Batavian market rises as the period for the departure of the junks approaches; but as the principal produce of Java is still a monopoly in the hands of government, it is difficult to fix the price at which they might be sold under other circumstances. Generally speaking, however, they sell throughout the Eastern Islands considerably lower than they are calculated to do in China, which may be accounted for by the perishable nature of the commodity, and the great care necessary to preserve them from the damp, as well as from breakage. On this account, they are seldom bought by European traders. Birds'-nests consigned by the Javan government to the Canton factory in 1813, sold to the amount of about fifty píkuls, at an average rate of about twenty dollars per kati: but this was at a period when the China markets were unusually low.

The quantity of birds' nests obtained from the rocks called Kárang bólang, on the southern coast of Java, and within the provinces of the native princes, is estimated, one year with another, at a hundred píkuls, and is calculated to afford an annual revenue to the government of two hundred thousand Spanish dollars. The quantity gathered besides by individuals, on rocks and hills belonging to them, either in private property or held by farm from the government, in other parts of the island, may amount to fifty píkuls; making the extent of this export not less than one hundred and fifty píkuls, besides the amount of the collections from the other islands of the Archipelago.

In the Malayan islands in general, but little care is taken of the rocks and caverns which produce this dainty, and the nests procured are neither so numerous nor so good as they otherwise would be. On Java, where perhaps the birds are fewer, and the nests in general less fine than those to be met with in some of the more Eastern Islands, both the quantity and[Vol I Pg 230] quality have been considerably improved by European management. To effect this improvement, the caverns which the birds are found to frequent are cleansed by smoking and the burning of sulphur, and the destruction of all the old nests. The cavern is then carefully secured from the approach of man, the birds are left undisturbed to form their nests, and the gathering takes place as soon as it is calculated that the young are fledged. If they are allowed to remain until eggs are again laid in them, they lose their pure colour and transparency, and are no longer of what are termed the first sort. They are sometimes collected so recently after their formation, that time has not been given for the bird to lay or hatch her eggs in them, and these nests are considered as the most superior; but as the practice, if carried to any extent, would prevent the number of the birds from increasing, it is seldom resorted to, where the caverns are in the possession of those who have a permanent interest in their produce. Much of their excellence and peculiar properties, however, depend on the situation of the place in which they are formed. It has often been ascertained, for instance, that the same bird forms a nest of somewhat different quality, according as it constructs it in the deep recesses of an unventilated and damp cavern, or attaches it to a place where the atmosphere is dry, and the air circulates freely. The nature of the different substances also to which they are fixed, seems to have some influence on their properties. The best are procured in the deepest caverns, (the favourite retreat of the birds), where a nitrous dampness continually prevails, and where being formed against the sides of the cavern, they imbibe a nitrous taste, without which they are little esteemed by the Chinese. The principal object of the proprietor of a birds'-nest rock is to preserve sufficient numbers of the swallows, by not gathering the nests too often, or abstracting those of the finer kinds in too great numbers, lest the birds should quit their habitations and emigrate to a more secure and inaccessible retreat. It is not unusual for a European, when he takes a rock under his superintendence, after ridding it of the old nests and fumigating the caverns, to allow the birds to remain undisturbed, two, three, or even more years, in order that they may multiply for his future advantage. When a birds'-nest rock is[Vol I Pg 231] once brought into proper order, it will bear two gatherings in the year: this is the case with the rocks under the care of the officers of government at Kárang bólang.

In the vicinity of the rocks are usually found a few persons accustomed from their infancy to descend into these caverns, in order to gather the nests; an office of the greatest risk and danger, the best nests being sometimes many hundred feet within the damp and slippery opening of the rock. The gatherers are sometimes obliged to lower themselves by ropes (as at Kárang bólang) over immense chasms, in which the surf of a turbulent sea dashes with the greatest violence, threatening instant destruction in the event of a false step or an insecure hold. The people employed by government for this purpose were formerly slaves, in the domestic service of the minister or resident at the native court. To them the distribution of a few dollars, and the preparation of a buffalo feast after each gathering, was thought sufficient pay, and the sum thus expended constituted all the disbursements attending the gathering and packing, which is conducted by the same persons. This last operation is however carefully superintended by the resident, as the slightest neglect would essentially deteriorate the value of the commodity[60].

Although the Malayan camphor, which is the exclusive produce of Sumatra and Borneo, is much stronger than the camphor from China, it has not yet been considered an article of extensive export for the European market. It is always, however, in the greatest demand in China, where it is either consumed, or as has been supposed by some, it undergoes a certain process previous to its re-exportation under a different appearance. It is not known in what manner the China camphor for the European market is prepared; and unless the Malayan camphor is used in the composition, it seems difficult to account for the constant demand for it in China, whence it is never re-exported in its original state. Whatever value may be set on the Chinese camphor, that[Vol I Pg 232] exported from Japan is of a still superior quality, and more in demand for the European market.

Bich de mar is well known to be a dried sea slug used in the dishes of the Chinese: it is known among the Malayan Islands by the name of trípang, and collected on the shores of nearly all the islands of the Archipelago. It usually sells in China at from ten to fifty dollars per píkul, according to its quality, but being an article still more perishable than the birds'-nests, and very bulky and offensive, it seldom composes the cargoes of European vessels. It would be very difficult to ascertain the average price, as it varies according to the difficulties experienced in collecting it, and the immediate demand in the market, for its perishable nature will not admit of the excess of one season being laid by to meet the deficiency of another. It requires constant care on the voyage, and a leaky vessel frequently loses a whole cargo.

Stic-lac, used in dying, is procured in many parts of Java, and can easily be obtained in a quantity sufficient to meet the demand. The insect which yields it abounds in the Bantam districts, and the lac prepared is considered of good quality; but it is not an article which appears to have attracted much attention.

The trade between Java and China in vessels belonging to Europeans, at present consists principally in carrying out tin, pepper, spices, rattans, and betel-nut, for the China market, and receiving in return a few articles of China produce in demand for the European market, a balance of cash, and a supply of manufactures required annually at Batavia; but it is calculated that cotton, rice, and timber, which may be considered as the staple produce of Java, might be exported to China with advantage.

A small quantity of Javan cotton lately sent to China, was sold at a higher rate than the ordinary prices of the cotton from Western India[61]. Cotton-yarn is an article sometimes [Vol I Pg 233]exported to China, but in the existing state of society on Java, the exportation of the raw material is likely to be attended with the greatest advantages. Some writers have estimated the capability of Java to export raw cotton almost incredibly high, but it must be admitted, that although the soil is not universally favourable, yet few countries afford greater general advantages for the cotton cultivation, it being practicable to raise it to a great extent, without interfering with the general grain produce of the country. It could be grown as a second crop on the rice fields, being planted shortly after the harvest, and attaining maturity before the season again comes round for irrigating the lands. Nothing can convey a higher idea of the richness of the soil of Java, and of the advantages of its climate, than the fact, that during one half the year the lands yield a rich and abundant crop of grain, more than sufficient for the ordinary food of the population, and during the other half a valuable staple, which affords the material for clothing them, and opens in its manufacture a source of wealth and of continual domestic industry through the year.

Enterprising individuals, merchants of Batavia, have not been wanting to engage in the valuable fur trade, hitherto carried [Vol I Pg 234]on principally by the Americans, between Kamtschatka and China. Mr. Timmerman Thyssen, an enlightened Dutch gentleman, whose name for honourable dealing and extensive business has always stood high among the merchants of Batavia, has entered into more than one speculation of this kind. Vessels fitted out from Batavia took in furs at Kamtschatka, which were intended to be exchanged in China for dollars; but the dangers of the passage in one instance, and the informality of the papers in another, rendered this bold and promising enterprize productive of but little pecuniary advantage. Nothing, however, has occurred, to prove that the adventure would not have fully answered its intention in time of peace, the principal difficulties which attended and frustrated it ceasing with the war.

Since the conquest a very extensive trade has been carried on by the English country ships importing from Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay, all kinds of piece goods, opium, and other articles, the returns for which have been usually made by bills, gold-dust, bees'-wax, tin, Japan camphor, sago, and teak timber.

The piece goods of Western India have always formed an extensive article of import into Java, and the annual value of those latterly imported cannot well be estimated at less than a million of dollars. Those generally meet a ready sale, at an advance of from thirty to forty per cent. upon the prime cost in India, and much more when the supply is scanty.

In consequence of these heavy and valuable importations, the returns to Bengal were till lately made principally by bills, obtainable either from government, or individuals desirous of purchasing colonial produce for the European market by means of funds in Western India. But there are also several articles, which experience has proved well calculated for making their returns direct to Bengal, particularly Japan copper and teak timber. Java is known to abound with valuable teak forests, and the quality of the wood has been considered as superior to that of Pegu or the Malabar coast. The restrictions under which this export was formerly placed as a government monopoly, prevented its finding its way beyond the immediate Dutch dependencies; but the extent to which it was even then sent to the Moluccas, to Malacca, and to the Cape[Vol I Pg 235] of Good Hope, where all the public buildings are constructed of Javan teak, sufficiently attests the value and extent of the forests, as well as the good quality and durability of the wood. This valuable, but bulky article of export, is always in demand for ship-building in Bengal, and has afforded to the merchant a very liberal profit on exportation, after paying the present government prices, which are calculated at something above ten per cent. upon the actual expence of cutting and dragging the timber from the forests to the port of exportation. During the last two years, large ships have taken cargoes to Bengal, and afforded very handsome profits. From the neighbourhood of Rémbáng, where permission has been given to individuals to cut the timber, on paying a duty of ten per cent. on the estimated value when worked up, it has not only been exported at a cheap rate to Bengal, but several ships have been constructed of it, while along the whole line of coast, from Semárang to Grésik, small vessels and country craft are launched every month.

But although the direct trade with Bengal has thus been always against Java, the demand for sugar in the Bombay market always affords the means of a circuitous return of capital. Large quantities of Javan sugar have been exported to Bombay during the last four years, principally on the returning ships in ballast touching at Batavia on their way from China, and these cargoes have afforded considerable profit. A lucrative trade in this article is also sometimes carried on by the Arabs to the Red Sea, and particularly to Mocha; but Arab traders, of sufficient capital for these extensive speculations, have, by the effects of the former monopoly on Java, long been driven out of the market, and sufficient time has not been given for them to return.

The extensive produce of this fine island in sugar and coffee of superior quality, and the pepper and various other articles, either yielded by it or collected from the neighbouring countries, such as sago, tin, Japan copper, spices, elephants' teeth, sticklac, long pepper, cubebs, tortoise-shell, gold, diamonds, Japan wood, ebony, rattans, indigo, &c. present fine subjects for commercial speculation to all parts of Europe and America, the Cape of Good Hope, and the Mauritius; and the more so, as from the extensive native and[Vol I Pg 236] European population, a very considerable and constant demand exists for the produce and manufactures of Europe, not only for the consumption and use of the island itself, but to supply the neighbouring Malayan states by way of barter.

The quantity of sugar seems to depend almost entirely upon the demand, and is likely at all times to equal it, few countries affording equal advantages for its manufacture. Owing to the want of a demand for this kind of produce, for several years antecedent to the conquest, many of the manufactories were discontinued; but since the trade has been opened, and the demand renewed, many of them have again commenced working, and the quantity produced in the year 1815 was not less than twenty thousand píkuls.

The manufacturers being no longer compelled to deliver their produce to government, can afford to sell the sugar at Batavia at from four to six Spanish dollars (or from twenty to thirty shillings) per píkul, the quality being distinguished into first, second, and third sorts, of which the first may be bought in the market for exportation at six Spanish dollars per píkul, or about twenty-five shillings the hundred-weight. The quality of this sugar is altogether different from the sugar in Bengal, and is said to be equal to that of Jamaica, being manufactured in a great measure according to the same process. While the European market is open for coffee and other light articles, the sugar of Java is always in demand for dead weight, and large quantities have recently been sold in the London market as high as ninety and one hundred shillings per hundred-weight[62]. [Vol I Pg 237]

The quantity of coffee delivered to government in the year 1815, exceeded seventy thousand píkuls; about thirty thousand píkuls more may have been exported by individuals, and the produce is greatly on the increase[63]. [Vol I Pg 238]

The Batavian arrack is well known in the European market, and was at one time imported in considerable quantities into [Vol I Pg 239]the continent of Europe. It is distilled in a great measure from molasses, in which respect, as well as in the process employed, it differs so materially from the arrack of continental India, that it cannot with propriety be considered as the same spirit: it is in fact vastly superior to it, and capable of competing in the European market with the rum of the West Indies. Its price at Batavia, where any quantity can at all times be procured, is for the first sort about sixty Spanish dollars, for the second sort fifty, and for the third thirty Spanish dollars the leaguer; the first sort, which is above proof, thus selling by the leaguer of one hundred and sixty gallons, at the rate of about twenty-pence the gallon. In consequence of the prohibitory duties against the importation of this article into Great Britain or British India, this branch of commerce has latterly declined, and many of the distilleries have been discontinued.

The Dutch possessions of Ceylon, the Cape of Good Hope, and the Moluccas, dependent on the government of Batavia, always received their principal supplies of rice from Java, and [Vol I Pg 240]considerable quantities have of late been occasionally exported to those places, as well as the Coromandel coast, with great advantage. During a scarcity of grain in England, the Java rice has also found its way to that market[64].

From Europe the most important imports, and those in constant demand for the native population, are iron, steel, copper, printed cottons of a peculiar pattern, and woollens. Of iron, not less than from one thousand to fifteen hundred tons are annually imported, which is worked up into the implements of husbandry, and into the various instruments, engines, and utensils, required in the towns and agricultural districts. The price has varied, during the last four years, from six to twelve Spanish dollars: the average has been about eight dollars per hundred weight for the English, and about nine per hundred weight for the Swedish iron. The small bar iron is always in demand[Vol I Pg 241] in the market, in consequence of its convenience for working up into the different implements required. Steel is also in demand, to the extent of two or three hundred tons annually.

English printed cottons, of peculiar patterns adapted to the taste of the natives and Chinese, and white cotton sheeting cloth, always meet a ready and extensive sale; but the great objection to the former is the want of permanency in the colours, a disadvantage which all the English printed cottons labour under. A very extensive and valuable assortment of these cottons, imitated after the Javan and Malayan patterns, was recently imported into Java by the East India Company, and on the first sale produced very good prices; but before a second trial could be made, the natives had discovered that the colours would not stand, and the remainder were no longer in any demand. Would it not tend greatly to the improvement of the British manufacture, and consequently greatly extend the export, if the enquiries of scientific men in India were directed, in a particular manner, to an observation of the different dye-stuffs used in Asia, and to the manner followed by the natives in different parts, for fixing the colours and rendering them permanent?

Broad-cloths, velvets, glass ware, wines, and in short all articles of consumption and use among Europeans, may on Java be considered also, in a great measure, in demand by the native population, who free from those prejudices which preclude an expectation of the introduction of European manufacture into Western India, generally indulge in them according to their means. The climate of many parts of the Island renders the broad-cloth, particularly at some seasons of the year, an article of great comfort, and among the higher orders it is usually, as with Europeans, worn as a jacket: sometimes this is of velvet. A constant demand, limited only by the means of the purchaser, is also daily increasing for gold-lace and the other European manufactures used in dress, furniture, saddlery, &c.; it may therefore be easily conceived, to what an extent the demand for these articles is likely to be carried, among a native population of more than four millions and a half of souls, advancing in wealth and intelligence.

It is unnecessary to notice the extent of the articles re[Vol I Pg 242]quired from Europe by the European population, as they are the same in all parts of India. The demand is, of course, partially affected by the extent of the military force, and by the wants of the officers; but where there is a permanent resident European population, of not less than a thousand souls, generally in good circumstances, it may be inferred that the demand is always great.

A continual traffic is carried on between Batavia, the Isle of France, and the Cape of Good Hope, by which the latter in particular is supplied with timber, rice, oil, and a variety of articles of consumption, the voyage being frequently effected in five weeks. While the Bourbon coffee bore a higher price in the European market, considerable quantities of coffee were sent from Java to that island, and from thence re-exported as Bourbon coffee.

The American trade was carried to the greatest extent during the existence of the anti-commercial system of the late French ruler, when American traders purchased the Java coffee at the rate of eighteen Spanish dollars the píkul at Batavia, and by a circuitous route imported it into France, at an advance of one hundred per cent. During this period, the purchases of the Americans in the market of Batavia amounted in some years to nearly a million sterling, for which they obtained principally sugar, coffee, and spices.

Having thus given some account of the internal and external trade of Java as it at present exists, of the advantages for an extensive commerce which it enjoys, of the articles which it can supply for the consumption of other countries, and those which it receives in return for its own consumption, and of the places with which its dealings are or might be most profitably conducted on both sides, I might now be expected to enter into the history of that trade since the subjection of the Island to the Dutch, the regulations enacted and enforced by them, for restraining or directing it, and the fluctuations it has undergone during two centuries of a rigid monopoly; but this inquiry would lead me to swell this part of the work to a disproportionate size. I shall now merely present my readers with a few extracts from the orders made in 1767, and strictly enforced throughout the Archipelago, for regulating the trade and navigation of the dominions subject to Batavia, and with[Vol I Pg 243] a brief abstract of the amount of exports and imports during some of the subsequent years.

"All persons whatever," says the first article of those orders, "are prohibited, under pain of death, from trading in the four fine kinds of spices, unless such spices shall be first bought of the Company." Opium was placed under the same restrictions, and enforced by the same penalty. The exportation of pepper, tin, and Japan copper was prohibited, unless bought for the Company; and the importation of them not permitted, except for sale to the Company, under the penalty of confiscation, and a fine of four times the value of the article. The import and export of Surat silks and of India cloths, were strictly prohibited under the same penalty. White cotton yarn and all other sorts of it, Semárang arrack, and unstamped gold, were prohibited from being exported under the penalty of confiscation. No port was open to any vessel coming from the northward or from the Moluccas, except Batavia. No práhu or vessel was to carry any greater quantity of gunpowder and shot, than might be permitted, and regularly entered in the pass given to the party, under penalty of confiscation of the vessel, and the infliction of a corporal punishment similar to that inflicted for theft. All persons belonging to the coast of Java were strictly prohibited from sailing from any part of the coast where there was not a Company's Resident. No navigation was allowed to be carried on by the vessels of Bánka and Bíliton, except to Palémbang. All navigation from Celebes and Sumbáwa was prohibited, under pain of confiscation of the vessel and cargo. No vessel from the latter place could pass Malacca, and the Company's pass to proceed to Siak was given only once in a year to three vessels from Batavia, two from the coast of Java, and one from Chéribon. The China junks were only permitted to trade at Batavia and Bánjer-másin. No trade or navigation whatever was permitted beyond the west point of Bantam, without a pass from Batavia. Such are the most important of thirty-one articles of restriction, serving to shackle every movement of commerce, and to extinguish every spirit of enterprize, for the narrow selfish purposes of what may be called the fanaticism of gain. After perusing them, the reader will[Vol I Pg 244] rather be inclined to think the following amount of the trade too highly stated, than be surprised that it is so low.

The precious metals have always been a great article of import into Java, as well as into the other regions of the East. In 1770 there was imported into Java from Holland, cash and bullion to the amount of 2,862,176 Java rupees[65], and the sums imported from other quarters in the same year, and raised by bills of exchange on Holland, amounted to 1,419,565 rupees, making in all 4,281,742, or more than half a million sterling. The amount imported in that year was almost as great as that in any subsequent year till 1803, when the importation of precious metals was estimated at 7,617,122 rupees, or nearly a million sterling. This period corresponds with that of the greatest exportation of sugar by the Americans, who, no doubt, imported the precious metals in exchange for their cargoes, as the quantity brought from Holland in the same year amounted only to 448,370 rupees. In the following year (1804) the quantity imported was 6,499,001 rupees, of which none at all came from the mother-country. In forty years, from 1770 to 1810, the total of the imported precious metals amounted to 118,607,472 Java rupees, or nearly three millions annually upon an average. A great portion of this was re-exported to India, China, and the Dutch possessions in the Archipelago, to pay for the articles brought to Batavia for the supply of the European demand. The quantity of goods imported from all quarters of the globe, exclusive of cash and bullion, amounted in the year 1770 to the value in Spanish dollars of 2,350,316, and the exports to 3,318,161, leaving a balance in favour of the exports of 867,845 Spanish dollars. A great part of the exports was destined for Holland, and a great part of the imports came from Holland. The imports from Holland were again re-exported to China, Japan, the Spice Islands, &c. from which, and from Bengal, Ceylon, the coasts of Coromandel and of Malabar, and the Cape of Good Hope and other eastern countries, the other shipments came, and to which the other exports proceeded. The profits on the sale of that portion of the imports of 1770, disposed of in the market of Batavia for the consumption of Java, are stated [Vol I Pg 245]at 7,895 Spanish dollars, so that, so far as the import trade was concerned, Batavia only became the entrepôt between the mother-country and her other possessions or stations of commercial resort in the Indian seas. The exports of Java almost every year exceeded the imports, as will appear from official returns which follow.

Years. Exports. Imports. Excess of Exports. Excess of Imports.
Spanish Dollars. Spanish Dollars. Spanish Dollars. Spanish Dollars.
1771 3,122,197 3,116,374 5,823 ​—
1772 2,909,371 2,170,741 738,630 ​—
1773 3,193,912 2,789,869 404,043 ​—
1774 3,184,641 2,941,011 243,630 ​—
1775 3,083,773 2,692,420 91,353 ​—
1776 3,319,070 2,305,228 1,013,842 ​—
1777 3,139,678 2,006,561 1,133,117 ​—
1778 2,440,042 1,776,674 663,368 ​—
1779 2,274,308 2,075,022 ​— 430,714
1783 2,788,702 1,914,202 874,500 ​—
1784 2,921,274 2,781,833 139,441 ​—
1785 2,670,468 2,654,687 15,781 ​—
1786 2,495,038 2,639,663 ​— 144,624
1787 2,634,049 2,506,267 127,782 ​—
1788 3,700,209 3,017,853 682,356 ​—
1789 2,956,240 2,840,127 116,113 ​—
1790 3,011,040 3,073,801 ​— 62,761
1791 3,771,263 3,098,849 672,414 ​—
1792 1,172,670 1,295,959 ​— 123,289

There was, of course, a lamentable falling off in the foreign trade of Java after the commencement of the war of the French revolution: some of the best markets were almost entirely closed to it, and the intercourse with the mother-country was nearly destroyed. The total of exports to Holland and her eastern possessions, from the year 1796 till 1806, amounted in value to only 7,097,963 Spanish dollars; the imports to 3,073,894 Spanish dollars; leaving a surplus of exports of 4,024,069 Spanish dollars. The Americans began to frequent the market of Batavia in 1798, and through them principally was the trade carried on till the conquest of the Island by the British, except during the short interval of the peace of Amiens. No specie (with which Holland chiefly paid for her eastern commodities) was imported from the mother-country[Vol I Pg 246] from 1795 downwards, except during 1802-3 and 1803-4, during which there was only the very inconsiderable sum of about half a million of rupees imported.

It is impossible to convey a just idea of the native or foreign trade of Java, without adverting to the commercial and political state of the other islands of the Archipelago. Of these it may be stated generally, that the interior is possessed by the natives, collected under leaders who have taken advantage of the great extent of the country, in proportion to its population, to render themselves independent of the lawful sovereign; that the coast is occupied, in many places, either by pirates, by some of the ruder tribes whom it is dangerous to invade, or by adventurous traders, chiefly Maláyus and Búgis. These traders arrive in well-armed vessels, which some of them remain to protect; others travel up the country, not unfrequently to the distance of a hundred miles, and at the change of the monsoon return to their companions, charged either with plunder, or with the fruits of a commerce carried on with the natives at an exorbitant profit. The pirates, as they drive the peaceable and honest trader from the coast, recruit their numbers from among the seafaring men to whom he used to give employment. The decay of commerce is accelerated; and the natives retreat into the interior, where, for want of a market, they cease to collect the rich productions of their country, and rapidly sink into poverty and barbarism. The sea and the coast remain a scene of violence, rapine, and cruelty. The mouths of the rivers are held by lawless banditti, who interrupt the trade of those who inhabit their banks, and capture the vessels destined for the inland towns: the bays and harbours are entirely within their power; and in these smooth seas they are never driven a moment from their stations, or diverted by danger from their predatory vigilance. The sovereigns of the country have too little authority over their nominal subjects; and their resources are too confined for them to oppose any effectual resistance to these outrages. All restraints are withdrawn by the divisions and weakness of the native governments; and men, rendered desperate by the experience of lawless violence, are induced to join in the system of plunder against which they can find no protection.

This extensive, rich, and beautiful cluster of islands is thus[Vol I Pg 247] deprived of all the advantages which it might derive from the sea with which it is surrounded; its harbours become the retreats of marauders, instead of the resort of peaceful commerce; its seafaring people are reduced to a state of nature. Where force decides right, no sovereign is possessed of paramount authority to sweep this pest from his shores; no vessel is safe, no flag is respected. The trade is thus confined to desperate adventurers only, to whom the existence of piracy is more advantageous than the unmolested security of navigation, as the danger which it creates drives away all competitors of a less daring character, and gives them a monopoly of these ports. It is too true, also, that European traders have materially contributed to the strength of the pirates, by the supply of arms and ammunition. At the port of Sambas, European vessels had not dared to touch openly for twenty years; but such means of resistance as the pirates were found to possess in two recent attacks upon it, could never have been collected without large supplies from British traders.

The small colonial craft, so necessary for the prosperity of these regions, cannot without great risk venture beyond the coast; while armed Malayan and Bugis práhus, and a few European speculators, engross most of the trade.

The above observations apply more particularly to the coasts of Borneo and the adjacent islands; but they are, in a great measure, applicable to many parts of Sumatra. The unfortunate king of Acheen, who has long been intimately connected with the British establishments, is a young man of estimable qualities, with a title ancient and undisputed, though perhaps a weak prince. All his chiefs acknowledge his authority, though none submit to his control. Native traders from the coast of Coromandel, and Europeans from Pinang, frequent every river; and the profit derived from their dealings furnishes the inhabitants with inducements and means to throw off their allegiance. The king, too feeble to reduce the revolters, is only able to keep up a state of continual alarm and warfare, to which the mutual jealousies among the petty usurpers themselves mainly contribute. The trade of his dominions is in a great measure carried on like smuggling, by armed boats running out at a favourable moment, hiding themselves from danger, or fighting their way through opposition,[Vol I Pg 248] as occasion may require, and laying their account with making up for frequent losses by exorbitant profits. In some places, these almost independent bands are commanded by Malabar chuliahs; and, in most instances, the petty chiefs whom they elevate to authority are foreign vagrants. Those places which, from their vicinity to the residence of the king, are least able to resist his power, are supported in their opposition by the interests of the English traders; and it is not to be forgotten, that when he made a partial attempt to regain his authority over all the neighbouring country, they petitioned the European authority to prevent, by its interference, his levying a duty upon his own subjects. The petition was attended to; and the king was compelled, by the command of strangers, to forego the only means by which he could have preserved his dominions from anarchy and confusion. At the period, therefore, when the resources of his kingdom would have been unfolding themselves, by the improving industry of a well-regulated population, it is falling into decay, through the personal imbecility and political weakness of the monarch; and, breaking into detached fragments, is about to form as many separate principalities, as formerly there were independent governments throughout all the Archipelago[66].

That there has been, at some time, a more extensive commerce on the shores of the Archipelago is highly probable, and that there might be cannot be doubted. The great resources, vegetable and mineral, with which they abound, such as spices, camphor, gold, and diamonds, and the facilities which they enjoy for navigation, offer means and inducements of the highest nature. The general character of the people, also, as far as it can be ascertained, appears[Vol I Pg 249] equally favourable to commercial intercourse. They are represented as mild, inoffensive, not indisposed to industry, free from any obstinate prejudices of superstition, and altogether of a different temper from that of the few who remain in a constant state of warfare on the coast.

Another favourable circumstance is the existence of sovereigns, whose rights, however infringed, are in principle acknowledged, and who have never been known to favour, what must be considered the chief misfortune of these countries, and the source of almost all the rest, the horrible system of piracy. The evil is manifest, and the remedy is not of difficult discovery. Were legitimate and acknowledged sovereigns assisted in resuming their due authority, piracy and rebellion might be destroyed, these shores would be peopled with their native inhabitants, whose industry, awakened and invited by the opening of a safe navigation to the capitals, would in fleets of small vessels, so essential to the prosperity of the Eastern settlements, bring the produce of the interior down the innumerable rivers, and communicate to countries, beyond the reach of foreign adventurers the comforts of civilised life.

A few years of repose to these islands, and of safe uninterrupted commerce, with its attendant blessings, would repay with gain incalculable, what they now claim from the benevolence and philanthropy, if not from the justice of Europeans, who have so essentially contributed to their degradation. If left neglected, without capital, without a safe navigation, almost without laws, the government disunited, the people groaning under vassalage and slavery, these races must descend still further in the scale of degradation, until scarcely a vestige will remain to vindicate the records of their history; and their political existence will only be testified by acts of piracy perpetrated on defenceless vessels, which from accident or ignorance may visit their inhospitable shores.

In all their Eastern settlements, the favourite policy of the Dutch seems to have been to depress the native inhabitants, and give every encouragement to the Chinese, who, generally speaking, are only itinerants and not children of the soil, and who follow the almost universal practice of remitting the fruits of their industry to China, instead of spending them[Vol I Pg 250] where they were acquired. The Chinese, in all ages equally supple, venal, and crafty, failed not, at a very early period, to recommend themselves to the speculating Hollanders. They have, almost from the first, been their agents; and in the island of Java, in particular, they acquired from them the entire monopoly of the revenue farms and government contracts. Many of the most respectable Dutch families were intimately connected with the Chinese in their contracts and speculations, and whole provinces had been sold in perpetuity to some of them, the extensive population of which were thus assigned over to their unfeeling oppression, for the purpose of raising temporary supplies of money.

On Java, the Chinese have been generally left to their own laws and the regulations of their own chiefs; and being, for the most part, merely temporary residents in the country, they devote themselves to the accumulation of wealth, without being very scrupulous about the means of obtaining it: when, therefore, they acquire grants of land, they generally contrive to reduce the peasants speedily to the condition of slaves. The improvement of the people, which was never much attended to by the Dutch, was still less so by the Chinese, and the oppression which they exercised in the vicinity of Batavia had opened the eyes of the Dutch themselves. A report of the Council of Batavia, a short time prior to the landing of the English, accordingly states, that "although the Chinese, as being the most industrious settlers, should be the most useful, they on the contrary have become a very dangerous people, and are to be considered as a pest to the country; for which evil," they add, "there appears to be no radical cure but their expulsion from the interior." Wherever the Chinese formed extensive settlements in Java, the native inhabitants had no alternative but that of abandoning the district or becoming slaves of the soil. The monopolising spirit of the Chinese was often very pernicious to the produce of the soil, as may be seen even at this day in the immediate vicinity of Batavia, where all the public markets are farmed by them, and the degeneracy and poverty of the lower orders are proverbial.

The Chinese of Batavia are a very numerous body, and possess considerable wealth. They are active and industrious,[Vol I Pg 251] enterprising and speculative in the highest degree in the smallest or most extensive concerns, and equally well adapted for trade or agriculture; but, at the same time, they are cunning, deceitful, covetous, and restless, and exceedingly unwarlike in their habits and dispositions. This is the character given of them by Mr. Hogendorp, who, in considering the injurious consequences of their extensive influence on Java, has drawn a very just and able representation of it[67]. [Vol I Pg 252]

In all the Malayan states, the Chinese have made the greatest efforts to get into their hands the farming of the port [Vol I Pg 253]duties, and this has generally proved the ruin of the trade. In addition to these circumstances it should be recollected, that the Chinese, from their peculiar language and manners, form a kind of separate society in every place where they settle, which gives them a great advantage over every competitor in arranging monopolies of trade. The ascendancy of the Chinese requires to be cautiously guarded against and restrained; and this, perhaps, cannot be better done, than by bringing forward the native population, and encouraging them in useful and industrious habits.

Some of these observations regarding the Chinese are, in a high degree, applicable to the Arabs who frequent the Malayan countries, and under the specious mask of religion prey on the simple unsuspicious natives. The Chinese must, at all events, be admitted to be industrious; but by far the greater part of the Arabs are mere useless drones, and idle consumers of the produce of the ground: affecting to be descended from the Prophet and the most eminent of his followers, when in reality they are commonly nothing better [Vol I Pg 254]than manumitted slaves, they worm themselves into the favour of the Malayan chiefs, and often procure the highest offices under them. They hold like robbers the offices which they have obtained as sycophants, and cover all with the sanctimonious veil of religious hypocrisy.

Under the pretext of instructing the Maláyus in the principles of the Mahometan religion, they inculcate the most intolerant bigotry, and render them incapable of receiving any species of useful knowledge. It is seldom that the East is visited by Arabian merchants of large capital, but there are numerous adventurers who carry on a coasting trade from port to port, and by asserting the religious claims of Sheikh, generally obtain an exemption from all port duties in the Malayan states. They are also not unfrequently concerned in piracies, and are the principal promoters of the slave-trade.

This may serve, in some degree, to illustrate the necessity of establishing an equal and uniform system of port regulations throughout the whole of the Malayan countries; for if the Chinese, on the one hand, are permitted to farm import and export duties in different ports, they have every facility allowed them to form combinations, in order to secure a monopoly to Chinese traders; and on the other hand, if the Arabs, under religious pretexts, are entirely exempted from duties, they may baffle all competition, and engross the trade of the Malayan countries to the exclusion of European traders altogether.

Let the Chinese and Arabs still trade to the eastward. Without them, the trade would be reduced to less than one-third of even what it is at present, for it is only through the stimulus which they give to the industry of the country that its resources are to be developed: but let their trade be regulated; and above all, let them not be left in the enjoyment of immunities and advantages, which are neither possessed by Europeans, nor the indigenous inhabitants of the country. Since the reduction of the Dutch influence in the East, several of the ports formerly dependant on them have almost become Arab colonies. The evil is obviously increasing every day, and can only be checked by encouraging the native population, and regulating on equal terms the duties of the Malayan and other Eastern ports. [Vol I Pg 255]

In many other respects besides those which we have stated, the commercial policy adopted by the Dutch, with regard to the Eastern islands and the Malayan states in general, was contrary to all principles of natural justice, and unworthy of any enlightened and civilized nation[68]. [Vol I Pg 256]

From authentic accounts it appears, that they attempted to destroy and eradicate from a vast range of countries the most advantageous produce of the land, in order to favour their own petty traffic, and burnt a large proportion of the residue, in order to keep up their monopoly price in Europe on a small proportion of this produce. Against errors of this kind, it is to be hoped the more enlightened policy of the present era will be an effectual preventive; but there are others, so interwoven with the interests of these islands, and so local in their nature, that they may not so easily attract the attention of the governing power.

One feature of the Dutch policy in the Eastern Isles seems to have been the exclusion of all foreign trade, whether European or native; excepting at certain specified ports under their own immediate control. This policy was as much connected with the general government of the country, as with the commercial profits of the Company; for in an Archipelago of such unparalleled extent, inhabited by tribes of such various characters, formidable in a high degree from their very want of civilization, it was necessary to bring forward some of the most powerful and most favourably situated of these numerous states, and to hold them answerable for the proceedings of the several districts under their influence. Such views gave rise to the establishment of certain regular and determined trading ports, and led to the vigilant suppression of all [Vol I Pg 257]attempts at competition and independence on the part of the inferior states.

Had this measure been combined with a liberal encouragement of the home trade, as it may be denominated, between these privileged ports established by the Dutch, and the various countries under their influence, little doubt can be entertained that it would have tended materially to promote the civilization and general improvement of all the neighbouring nations. Very different, however, was the object of the Dutch agreements with the different rajas of the Eastern Archipelago. In some cases it was to secure a monopoly of all the tin, pepper, camphor, and other saleable articles produced in their dominions; in others it was to bind the chiefs themselves to destroy the only saleable articles that their country could furnish, lest the monopoly price of the Dutch should be injured by a greater quantity of such produce being brought to market. The Dutch genius, though exclusively devoted to commerce, has never yet been able to discover the truth of the maxim, that in the long run it may be as gainful "to make small profits on large sales as large profits on smaller sales;" their policy, on the contrary, has not been inaptly compared to a man putting out one of his eyes to strengthen the sight of the other.

It must be admitted, that the line of conduct pursued by the English towards the Malayan nations, had by no means been of a conciliatory or prepossessing character. Our intercourse with them had been carried on almost exclusively through the medium of adventurers little acquainted with either the country or people, who have been frequently more remarkable for boldness than principle[69]. Indeed, the want of any settled basis of traffic, and the long indifference of the British government to the complaints of either party, had produced so many impositions, reprisals, piracies, and [Vol I Pg 258]murders, that any eastern trader must have felt himself very much in the situation of a dealer in spirits, tobacco, and blankets, among the Indians of North America. It was the remark of Mr. Farquhar, than whom no man is more extensively acquainted with the interests and resources of East insular India, that the indifference of the British government must have originated solely in the want of information or incorrectness of knowledge; since it is not improbable, that the riches of Sumatra and Borneo are equal to those either of Brazil or New Spain; and it is only from the disadvantages under which we had hitherto entered into the competition, that these great sources of wealth had so long been engrossed by other nations[70].

The doctrine, that a colony should always be considered a distant province of the mother-country, has been foreign to the political creed of the Dutch; and at any rate the radical want of strength in the government of Batavia may have prevented them from venturing to act upon it. Of course, they must always have contemplated the prosperity of the eastern tribes with the invidious regret of a rival shopkeeper, and regarded their progress in civilization with the jealousy of a timid despot. The fact sufficiently establishes the truth of this remark.

Independently of the effects of the European influence just described, the causes which have tended most to the depression of the Malayan tribes, and the deterioration of their character, are the civil commotions to which every state is liable, from the radical want of strength in the sovereign; the constant wars between the petty chieftains and heads of villages; the ill-defined succession to the throne, from the doctrine of primogeniture being imperfectly recognized; the prevalence of piracy in all the Eastern Seas; the system of domestic slavery, and all its concomitant evils, as wars for the purpose of procuring slaves, and the want of confidence between family and family, man and man; the want of a generally-established, and recognized system of laws, civil and criminal; the want of a similar system of commercial regulations respecting[Vol I Pg 259] port duties, anchorage, and other charges, to prevent arbitrary exactions and impositions in the various Malayan ports; and, finally, the monopoly of the trade assumed by the Malayan rajas. Had Java remained permanently annexed to the British crown, the redress of these evils would have been, in a great measure, in the power of the English nation: the undertaking would have been worthy of their general character, and there was no other nation that could have possessed the means in an equal degree, even if it had indeed possessed the inclination.

The prevalence of piracy on the Malayan coasts, and the light in which it was viewed as an honourable occupation, worthy of being followed by young princes and nobles, is an evil of ancient date, and intimately connected with the Malayan habits. The old Malayan romances, and the fragments of their traditional history, constantly refer with pride to piratical cruizes.

In addition to other causes, which I shall not stop to specify, the state of the eastern population, and the intolerant spirit of the religion of Islam, have eminently tended to increase the practice. The Arab Sheikhs and Sayeds, whatever doctrines they failed to inculcate, never neglected to enforce the merit of plundering and massacring the infidels; an abominable tenet, which has tended more than any other doctrine of the Kóran to the propagation of this religion. Numerous and various are the tribes of the Eastern Isles which have not embraced the religion of Islam to this day, and consequently are reckoned infidels: cruizes against such were, and are, constantly certain of receiving the approbation of all the Arab teachers settled in the Malayan countries. The practice of piracy is now an evil so extensive and formidable, that it can be put down by the strong hand alone; though precautions against its recurrence might be taken, by rendering, under the system of acknowledged ports, every chieftain answerable for his own territory.

Connected with this evil, though of much wider extent, is the system of slavery in the Malayan countries, which, to apply the energetic language of Mr. Pitt to this subject, has been none of the least efficient causes of keeping down these regions "in a state of bondage, ignorance, and blood." In the[Vol I Pg 260] beginning of the year 1805, the Marquis Wellesley abolished slavery throughout India; and, on the 4th of June, 1811, the Earl of Minto, by an order to emancipate all the government slaves at Malacca, and to direct that hereafter no slaves should be purchased or received on account of government, gave to the Malayan nations an earnest of his sentiments on the subject. It is certainly to the credit of our countrymen in the East, that they have ever opposed all attempts to introduce the abominable slave traffic into our settlements there. It was prohibited at Madras by an act of the Governor and Council, of so early a date as 1682.

The sources of slavery in the Malayan countries are chiefly piracy at sea, captivity in war, manstealing along the coast, and the penalties enacted in the Malayan law respecting debts and sundry misdemeanors. The surviving crews of vessels which fall into the hands of the pirates are generally disposed of by sale at the first market. The captives taken in the constant wars which the Malayan chieftains carry on against each other, are generally employed in domestic occupations, tending cattle, and cultivating the ground, where there is no opportunity of bringing them to market. This, however, is seldom the case, since such numbers are constantly required by the Arabs and Chinese traders, and heretofore by the Dutch. Many of the Arab trading vessels are almost exclusively navigated by the slaves of the owner; and in their progress from island to island, they find little difficulty in recruiting their crew, by receiving presents of slaves, or if that should fail, by kidnapping the unfortunate natives. This forms a strong argument against admitting the unrestricted range of the islands to either Chinese or Arab traders; for while this is permitted, the abolition of the system of kidnapping would be absolutely impossible. The pagan tribes in the vicinity of the Mahometans, such as those on Báli, and some of the tribes of Celebes, the Harafúras, the black Papúas or oriental negroes, the original inhabitants of Hálamahíra, Coram, and other easterly nations, are in a great measure the victims of the kidnapping system, and being infidels are considered as fair booty.

Nothing has tended more decidedly to the deterioration of the Malayan character, than the want of a well defined and generally acknowledged system of law and commercial regu[Vol I Pg 261]lation. The Malayan nations had, in general, made considerable progress in civilization, before the introduction of the Mahometan religion among them: they had, accordingly, regular institutions of their own, some of which were probably of considerable antiquity, derived from the continent of India, and consequently radically different from those of the Arabs.

Some difficulty appears to have occurred in adapting these institutions to the general tenor of the Mahometan law, and many anomalous ones appear accordingly to have sprung up in different states. These occur in every part of jurisprudence, whether commercial, civil, or criminal, and are recited in the Undang úndang and Adat Maláyu, which are the systems of national law among the Maláyus. They vary considerably from each other in different states, and still more from the generally acknowledged principle of Mahometan law, as received by the Arabs. Hence there is, in almost every state, a constant struggle between the adherents of the old Malayan usages and the Hájis, together with other religious persons, who are desirous of introducing the laws of the Arabs, in order to increase their own importance.

Among the numerous and important evils which result from this complex and ill-defined system, may be reckoned its affording an opening for the caprice and tyranny of the rulers, and producing a general insecurity both of person and property.

The state of the Moslem religion is very different here from what it is in the old Mahomedan states, such as Persia, Turkey, or Arabia. In many of the Eastern Islands paganism still remains: in some districts there are many Christians, and the Chinese swarm in every Malayan country, and live intermingled with the Mahomedans. This mixture of religion and tribes has tended, in some degree, to soften the intolerance of the Mahomedan system among the Malayan nations, and neither the positive authority of Islam, nor the persuasions of their Arab teachers, have hitherto been able to induce them to abandon entirely their own peculiar usages and customs. With some of these usages, especially those which relate to wrecks on the Malayan shores, and the commercial regulations of the different ports, it becomes incumbent on[Vol I Pg 262] the supreme European authority to interfere. In revising these, the opportunity might perhaps be taken to procure the abandonment of some of those maxims and usages, which have the strongest tendency to prevent their improvement, and counteract the habits of civilized life.

A circumstance highly injurious to the commerce of the Malayan nations is the trading monopoly, which in most of the Malayan ports is actually assumed by the chiefs. Of this monopoly there is no trace in the Undang úndang of the Maláyus, or in the fragments of their history which have yet come to light, and it is a question whether this pernicious practice has not been copied from the monopoly regulations of the Dutch. Where this system has been fully carried into effect, it has generally succeeded effectually in repressing industry and commercial enterprize; and where it has been for some time established, its evils have been felt so deeply, that it may be presumed the Malayan chiefs might be induced to relinquish it in favour of a regulated commerce, whenever they might regain the power of collecting regular duties in lieu of it. The Malayan laws and customs are fortunately of a very different kind from those adopted among the great nations of the continent in their vicinity. These nations, especially the Siamese and Cochin Chinese, have long been accustomed to look up to the Chinese, with whom they coincide in religion and manners, and from whom they have adopted their exclusive maxims of foreign intercourse. The Málayus, on the other hand, though accustomed to look up to the Arabs as their religious instructors, seldom hesitate to admit the superiority of both the Europeans and Chinese, both to themselves and to the Arabs, in the arts of life and general science; and it is certainly our interest to encourage them in this mode of thinking, and to prevent the increase of the Arab influence among them.

The Dutch nation appears to have pursued, as a principle of policy, the propagation of Christianity among the Eastern Islands. The same object had been previously followed by the Portuguese with great success, and there are now several small islands in the Malayan Archipelago, inhabited almost exclusively by Christians of the Catholic persuasion. In many other islands the Protestant persuasion has made con[Vol I Pg 263]siderable progress, and teachers, in the flourishing times of the Batavian Regency, were dispersed over all the low chain of islands which extend from Báli and Lumbok (Sásak) to the great island Timor. The islands in which the Christian faith has been most extensively diffused are the great island Endé or Meng' arái, the great island of Tímor, and the several small islands in the vicinity, and Amboina. In many of these islands the natives having no written character of their own, have been instructed in the Roman character, and taught to read Malayan and other dialects in it There have also been various formularies printed for their use, and translations have been executed for them in some of their languages, which have little or no affinity to the Malayan. The propagation of Christianity among these islands is obviously liable to none of those objections which have been urged against its missionaries on continental possessions. A great proportion of the natives are still pagans, under the influence of a wild and almost unintelligible superstition, the principles of which are not recorded in books, but are handed down, like stories of ghosts, fairies, and witches, with all the uncertainty of tradition. In most instances, the people, though they stand in great awe of the priests or enchanters, or dealers with invisible spirits, are very little attached to the superstition in which they are educated. Many of them are said to be very desirous of procuring instruction, and in some places they look up with a degree of veneration to the Mahomedans, as a people who have received something which they still want.

These observations on the Malayan Islands in general, apply to no part of the Archipelago more than to the important and great island of Borneo.

Borneo is not only one of the most fertile countries in the world, but one of the most productive in gold and diamonds[71]. [Vol I Pg 264]Its camphor is the finest known, and it is thought capable of producing every kind of spice. Its eastern coasts, which [Vol I Pg 265]abound in sago, also furnish a greater quantity of birds'-nests, sea-slug, and other commodities in great demand in the [Vol I Pg 266]Chinese market, than the other islands of the East; but the interior has never been explored by Europeans. It may be [Vol I Pg 267]conjectured, that the ignorance of the state of the country is one of the principal causes that no European settlement on it has hitherto proved advantageous, but has generally been abandoned after a short trial. The only exception to this observation is the Dutch settlement of Bánjer-másin, which continued from 1747 to 1810, when it was formally abandoned by Marshal Daendals to the Sultan, by agreement, for the sum of fifty thousand Spanish dollars. The Sultan soon after sent an embassy, inviting the English to settle; and previous to the conquest of Java, the Earl of Minto received the ambassadors at Malacca, and accepted their invitation.

The only territory to which the Dutch had any claim on the island of Borneo, was the coast from Súkadána to Mempáwa; this territory they acquired by virtue of a cession from the Sultan of Bantam in 1778. They destroyed Súkadána, and established factories at Pontiána and Mempáwa, which however they abandoned as unproductive after a period of fourteen years.

In no other part of the island of Borneo has there been any European settlement. The English, in 1772, intended to have established a factory at Pásir, but they abandoned the design on some commotions taking place in that state. Its object was to make Pásir a depót for opium and India piece goods, and for the contraband trade in spices. In 1774, a short time after the first settling of Balambángan, Mr. Jesse was deputed as Resident to Borneo proper, and concluded a treaty with that state, by which he acquired for the settlement of Balambángan the exclusive trade in pepper, stipulating in return to protect Borneo from the piratical incursions of the Súlu and Mendanáwi men. Neither of the parties, however, fulfilled its agreement, though the Residency at Borneo was continued for some years after the first breaking up of the settlement of Balambángan in 1775.

On the north-east of Borneo proper lies a very considerable territory, the sovereignty of which has been long claimed by the Súlu government; a very considerable part of this, together with the islands off the coast, have been for upwards of forty [Vol I Pg 268]years regularly ceded to the English by the Súlus, and has also at different periods been assumed by them, without any objection on the part of the government of Borneo proper. This ceded district, extending from the river Ki-manis on the north-west, which forms the boundary of Borneo proper, to the great bay on the north-east, is undoubtedly a rich and fertile country, though in a rude and uncultivated state, and it is admirably situated for commerce, notwithstanding the different failures of Balambángan may seem to indicate the contrary. Balambángan is one of the small islands off the northern extremity of the island of Borneo, and included in the Súlu grant to the English. It would be foreign to the present object to enter into any details concerning the history of the settlement of Balambángan, but it may be proper to mention, that all the gentlemen who were engaged in the last attempt were convinced that the bottom of the great Malúdu Bay would have been infinitely preferable as a settlement on every account. Balambángan is exactly analogous, in every respect, to Pinang; it does not admit of territorial extension, and must exist, if at all, by commerce solely. Malúdu, on the other hand, is a dependency on the island of Borneo, which admits of any degree of territorial extension, may always subsist any number of inhabitants by its own produce, and is said to communicate, by a land carriage of little more than forty miles, with the central lakes in the vicinity of the gold countries.

From every inquiry, however, and the result of some experience, and much reflection, it may be stated, that no settlement which is founded on a commercial, instead of a territorial basis, is likely to succeed in that quarter. We have already acquired territorial rights, and therefore the only question seems to be, whether these cannot be turned to advantage, as well by cultivation as by commerce. The Dáyaks, or original inhabitants of Borneo, are said to be not only industrious, but particularly disposed to agriculture, and so manageable, that a handful of Maláyus have, in numerous places, reduced many thousands of them to the condition of peaceful cultivators of the ground. Indeed nothing seems wanting but a government strong enough to afford efficient protection to person and property. In the case of the Dáyaks, it must be considered as[Vol I Pg 269] an advantage, that they have not hitherto adopted the religion of Islam, and would consequently be more ready from the first to regard us as their friends. It ought to be calculated among the inducements to form a settlement on Borneo, that in that quarter our territorial arrangement would interfere with the claims or the rights of no European nation. To recommend, however, the immediate establishment of a settlement at this particular spot, and on a basis so new, would obviously be premature, as notwithstanding the length of time we occupied Balambángan, not only the interior of Borneo was almost unknown, but until lately, even a great part of its coasts. This supineness in the government of Balambángan is perhaps not unexampled. The want of local information has, indeed, often proved fatal to the infant settlements of the English. "Colonies and settlements of every kind," says the author of the Letter on the Nagrais Expedition, "must at first be attended with many difficulties, which however a judicious perseverance will surmount, if there be not some original fault in the establishment. It must be obvious to every one, that the English never made a settlement, in which they were not impeded by some unforeseen difficulties, so as at least frequently to make abandoning the infant establishment appear the most prudent step, without even hoping any return for the prodigious expense which may have been incurred by the undertaking."​—"Various reasons," adds that author, "may be ascribed for this event; but incapacity in the person entrusted with the management, and the want of previous examination of the place, seem to me the most common and the most considerable." Without stopping to inquire how far the want of success in our several attempts to settle Balambángan may have been fairly attributable to either of these causes, it may be confidently asserted, that the last establishment failed chiefly from its being solely of a military nature, without either professional merchants or mercantile adventurers being attached to it.

These observations respecting Balambángan apply to it chiefly as a territorial establishment; but there is no doubt that it would speedily attain commercial importance. Many of the commercial advantages which recommended its selection still exist, to an equal or greater extent; especially those[Vol I Pg 270] which related to Cochin China, Champa, and Cambodia. But this digression has already exceeded its reasonable limits, and it is necessary to revert to the more immediate point under consideration, the commerce of Java. Any account of this commerce would be imperfect, which after stating the extent to which it is carried, and the mode in which it is conducted with the adjacent islands in the same Archipelago, should omit to mention the advantages of an intercourse with Japan, and some notices on the Japan trade.

The history of the Dutch connexion with that country is well known, and can never be forgotten. Perhaps there is not such an instance in the annals of commerce, of the disgraceful arts to which mercantile cupidity will resort, and the degradation to which it will submit for the attainment of its object, as in the Dutch proceedings at Japan; nor is there, perhaps, a more remarkable example of the triumphant success, and complete disappointment of commercial enterprize. As it may be interesting to many readers to see an authentic history of the origin, fluctuations, and decline of the Dutch Japan trade, and as even a very succinct statement of it would swell this chapter to a disproportioned size, I have placed a short history of it in the Appendix to this work, to which I beg leave to refer those who have any curiosity for such details[72]. From the year 1611, when the Dutch established commercial relations with Japan, till 1671 (a period of sixty years), their speculations were unrestricted and their profits were enormous. This was the golden age of their trade: they opened a mine of wealth, and they fondly thought it inexhaustible, as well as rich and easily wrought. In 1640, the Company obtained a return in gold, that yielded a profit of upwards of a million of guilders. They had been accustomed to procure, for some time previous to 1663, a return of silver to the extent of two hundred chests of one hundred pounds each, and it was suggested that it would be desirable for as many chests of gold of the same weight to be sent in future. The golden and silver ages of Japan commerce being past, the latter half of the seventeenth century began with what the Dutch called its brazen age, that is its export of copper, which [Vol I Pg 271]has ever since continued the staple of the Japan market. The trade was on the decline during the whole of the last century, and had become of so little importance about 1740, that the Company deliberated upon the expediency of its total abandonment. From employing, as at one time, eight or nine ships, and exporting copper alone to the amount of more than thirty thousand píkuls, of one hundred and twenty-five pounds each, it diminished to the use of two vessels, and the purchase of cargoes of five or six thousand píkuls. The Appendix contains an account of the nature of the trade, and the result of the Dutch adventures of 1804-5 and 1806, and of our own in 1813.


[54] Great Britain.

[55] It is said that when the Dutch first established themselves in Java, three hundred vessels of not less than two hundred tons each, were accustomed to sail to and from the port of Japára, in Java, if not belonging to that port.

[56] The greatest part, or rather nearly the whole of these exports and imports, consisted of colonial produce, of articles of subsistence, or native manufactures, mutually exchanged between the two islands of Madúra and Java. Not a tenth part of the imports came from beyond Java.

[57] "The bazars," observes Mr. Hogendorp, "now produce a large, and even an incredible amount, which however is melted away in the hands of the native regents and also some European authorities; but the Chinese, to whom they are mostly farmed out, derive the greatest profits from them, both by the money which they extort from the Javans, and by the monopolies in all kinds of produce, and particularly of rice, which by these means they are enabled to secure to themselves. The abuses on this point are horrible, and almost induce me to recommend that the markets should be made free and open."

[58] See account of Chéribon.

[59] Although but few of the natives of Java venture their property in foreign speculations, the natives of Java form the crews of all coasting vessels belonging to Chinese, Arabs, or Europeans, and it is of them almost exclusively that the class of common sailors, known in the east under the general denomination of Malays, is composed. Here it may not be improper to notice the manner in which European vessels have hitherto been supplied with such crews, and to point out the probable causes of that atrocious conduct with which the Malayan sailor is so generally reproached.

A reference to the maritime customs of the Maláyus will shew the manner in which the outfit of a native vessel in the Eastern Seas is effected[73]. Each individual on board has a share and interest in the concern, and among themselves the maritime population is distinguished for good faith and attachment. In the vessels either commanded or owned by Chinese or Arabs, the same principle is attended to; and although the common sailors in these generally receive wages, the petty officers, who are also generally Javans, have some trifling interest in the cargo, the common men are protected by them, and the policy of the commanders induces every possible attention to the usages, prejudices, and comforts of the crews. They are able to assimilate more nearly with them, and to enter more immediately into their feeling and their wants, than it is possible for Europeans to do, and as they do not possess the authority to obtain crews by force, it is only by a character for good treatment that they can insure an adequate supply of hands. These vessels navigate throughout the whole extent of the Archipelago, to Malacca and Acheen on one side, and to the Moluccas and New Guinea on the other. They are manned exclusively by Javans, usually called Malays, and no instances occur of the crews rising either upon the Arab or Chinese commander: they are, on the contrary, found to be faithful, hardworking, and extremely docile. How is it when Malays are employed in vessels belonging to Europeans? The Javans are originally not a seafaring people; they have an aversion for distant voyages, and require the strongest inducements to quit the land, even for a coasting expedition in the smooth seas of their own Archipelago, beyond which, if they ever engage themselves on board a colonial vessel, they make an express agreement, not to be carried: European vessels in want of hands for more distant voyages to Europe, India, and China, have been compelled therefore to resort to force or fraud, as the means of obtaining crews. The Dutch government were in the habit of employing people, known among the Javans by the term sélong, as kidnappers, who prowled about at night, pounced upon the unwary peasant who might be passing along, and hurried him on ship-board. When the direct influence of government was not used, the native regents or chiefs were employed to obtain people for the crews of vessels: this they did sometimes in the same manner, though more frequently condemning to sea as many as were required, by an indiscriminate draft on the neighbouring population. The native chiefs were perhaps paid a certain head-money, on what may have been considered by the European commanders as nothing more than crimpage. The people who were seized were seldom of a seafaring class, but almost entirely landsmen, in many instances perhaps opium smokers, or persons obtained from the lowest and most worthless part of the community. Once embarked, their fate was sealed for ever, and due care was taken that they never landed again on Java, as long as their services as sailors were required.

In this manner are obtained that extensive class of sailors, denominated Malays, who are found on board almost every country ship in India, and inhabit the sea-ports in considerable numbers, particularly Calcutta, where they have a distinct quarter allotted them. They are taken from their home against their will, and in violation of all their views and habits. In general, neither their language or customs are in the least understood by their new master, for though most of the commanders in the eastern trade may speak the Malayan language, and be accustomed to the Malayan character, they know nothing of the Javan language, and but little of the manners, habits, and prejudices of the Javan people.

That numerous instances have occurred, in which they have appeared the foremost in mutiny and in the massacre of their officers, will not be denied; but it is well known, that many instances of ships being cut off by the Malay crews, have been occasioned by the tyrannical and inhuman character of the commanders; and however dreadful the massacre, some excuse may be made on the score of provocation, for a people low in the scale of moral restraint and intellectual improvement. In some cases they have been made the instruments and dupes of the villany of others, and have merely followed in the track of cruelty. In general, so little care seems to be devoted to the comforts of these people, and so much violence offered to their habits, that a person accustomed to observe the course of human action, and to calculate the force of excited passions, is almost surprized to find the instances of mutiny and retaliation are so few.

[60] From a course of experiments recently undertaken, and a careful examination of the bird, by Sir Everard Home, Bart., there is every reason to believe that the nature of the substance of which the edible birds'-nests are composed will be satisfactorily explained.

[61] Mr. Hogendorp makes the following observations on the cotton of Java. "This article of produce, which now, in order to provide the Company with a few hundred píkuls of cotton-yarn at a low rate, is only productive of vexation and oppression to the poor natives, might be made of the greatest value, both to Java itself and to the mother country. The plant grows in abundance and of good quality, especially if the best kinds of seeds are procured from the Coromandel Coast and the Isle of France. The cultivation of cotton is not at all injurious to any other branch, for after the rice harvest is the best season for planting the cotton, and before the rains, when the fields are again ploughed for rice, the cotton is ripe and gathered.

"Little of it is comparatively planted at present; indeed only the necessary quantity, after providing the natives with coarse cloths, for the government contingent. In rough cotton there is no trade at all: but, in fact, what trade is there on Java, except the monopoly trade of the Chinese?

"Let us but suppose the cultivator to have a property in the soil, and that he, as well as the trader, were at liberty to buy and sell, how soon should we see the Javan planting cotton directly after his rice was reaped. After being cleaned by machinery and screwed into bales, it might be exported to China and Europe.

"There is no doubt that the Javan cotton would be as good at least, if not better, than the cotton of the English, whether from Bombay, Madras, and Bengal, and it might certainly be produced cheaper; but even suppose that, when cleaned and picked, it cost ten rix-dollars a píkul, the Javans would still be well paid."

[62] By an official statement of the quantity of sugar manufactured at Batavia and the various residencies of the island of Java, from the year 1779 to the year 1808, it appears that

In the year 1779 it was 30,131 píkuls.
In the year 1800 106,513
In the year 1801 107,498
In the year 1808 94,903

that during the first fourteen of these years, the quantity made and delivered over to the Company for export to Holland, Persia, &c. amounted to 642,234 píkuls, or to an average of 47,874 annually, two of these years being almost entirely unproductive, on account of the non-payment to the manufacturers of money, to enable them to carry on their business. During the latter half of the period, or from 1794 to 1808, the quantity manufactured and delivered over to the Company amounted to 917,598 píkuls, averaging 65,542 annually. All the sugar for export, during this period, as stated in the text, was delivered over at fixed rates to the government, and was placed under laws of the strictest monopoly. To shew the great practicability of an increase to almost any extent, we may adduce the sudden start in the supply occasioned by the American demand in 1800. In no preceding year had this article of produce been delivered over to the Company to a greater amount than 67,552 píkuls, and in that year the quantity sold at Batavia to Americans alone, amounted to 91,554, and for the subsequent years averaged 100,000 píkuls, and sold for 900,000 Java rupees, or 11,000l. sterling. The principal part of this was manufactured at Batavia, the quantity supplied by Jawâna, Japâra, Chéribon, Surabáya, and Semárang, being but proportionally small till 1803, when Japára contributed to the exports of the island in this article 12,219. In 1804, the same province supplied 21,175 píkuls. The disadvantage under which the manufacturer laboured, by forced deliveries at inadequate rates, need not be here insisted on, though it must be taken into the account in any estimate of the attainable increase of the manufacture.

[63] Mr. Hogendorp makes the following observations on the coffee and pepper of Java:​—"In comparing the produce of the West Indian islands, according to their proportionate extent, population, and expenses of cultivation, I have frequently left off in the middle of my calculations; but I am sure that Java, on a very moderate calculation, can without difficulty yield fifty millions of pounds of coffee annually.

"For a long period, the planting of coffee was confined to the Batavian high and Priáng'en lands, and to Chéribon, on the principles of that short-sighted and self-destroying policy and spirit of monopoly, by which the company and the government of Batavia have ever been characterized. It is only of late years that it has been permitted to extend and revive the cultivation in the eastern districts. But the Commissioners, in May 1796, ordered that the cultivation should be abolished; and in the month of September in the same year, this order was countermanded, and the planting of coffee ordered to be promoted in the most rigorous manner possible. But what is to be expected from a country, where the natives are so treated, so oppressed? To-day the Javan is ordered to plant his garden with coffee trees: he does so, and although well aware how little he will get for the fruit, he sees them grow up with pleasure, considering their produce as a tribute which he must pay to his master for enjoyment of protection; but now, when they are about to bear fruit, he is ordered to root them out: he does so, and four months afterwards he is again ordered to plant others! Can a more infamous tyranny be imagined? Can it be credited, that any government should act so madly, so inconsistently? And yet this is the plain and real truth. But how can stupid ignorance, which by the vilest means, by base meanness, mercenary marriages, and every kind of low trick, rises into power and importance, and then becomes by wealth luxurious, and by flattery intoxicated, act otherwise? And will you, Batavians, continue to trust in such hands as these, your valuable possessions and interests in India?

"Pepper grows but slowly on any soil, and is so nice with regard to it, that in some places, where to all appearance there would be an abundant produce of the plant, it will not grow at all. The vine requires four or five years to produce fruit. The improvident Javan, who under the present despotic administration, can and will scarcely provide for his daily subsistence, finds this too long a delay between his labour and its reward: having, therefore, no sufficient motive to pursue the cultivation cheerfully or actively, he can only be driven to it by force; but let him once experience the advantage of property in land; let him see the trader ready with plenty of money to purchase the fruits of his labour; let him, if he should still be idle, observe his more industrious neighbour acquire wealth, by the sale of those articles which he slothfully declines to cultivate, and with it procure the necessaries or conveniences of life, and he will soon be induced, by emulation and the desire of ameliorating his condition, to plough and plant his ground. The Island of Java will then produce a considerable quantity of pepper, for which, if the cultivator obtains twelve rix-dollars per píkul, he will be amply paid.

"Although every thing goes on with difficulty at first, and it cannot be denied that it will require time and trouble to stimulate the Javans, who are now confounded, as it were, with tyranny and oppression, to industry and emulation, it is notwithstanding equally certain, that an improved system of administration, founded on property of the soil, freedom of person and trade, would by degrees, though perhaps much quicker than may be imagined, bring about such a change, and that Java might and would produce as much pepper for exportation annually as coffee, or about two hundred thousand píkuls, which will bring three thousand six hundred rix-dollars into the country."

In the year 1801, it was estimated by one of the first commercial houses in Europe, that the following quantities of pepper might be obtained from different ports of the Archipelago.

"Ports and Places where Pepper is to be had:​—estimated in March 1801.

"At Bencoolen, belonging to the English, may be had about twelve hundred tons of pepper per annum.

"At Prince of Wales Island, belonging to the English, may be had at present only one hundred tons per annum: in a few years it will be five hundred tons.

"At Susú, on the west coast of Sumatra, belonging to the King of Acheen, may be had one thousand tons per annum.

"At Acheen and its ports, belonging to the King of Acheen, may be had about one thousand tons per annum: the Danes often go to these two ports.

"At Tringano and Kalanton, belonging to a Malayan prince, may be had about two thousand tons per annum: the Europe Portuguese ships often call at these ports on their way to China.

"At Palembang: the Dutch have a small fort here, and oblige the king to send all his pepper to Batavia; it may be about seven hundred tons per annum.

"At Lampung, on the south point of Sumatra: the Dutch have a small fort here, and they send all their pepper to Batavia; it may be about five hundred tons.

"At Bantam may be had five hundred tons: this belongs to the Dutch.

"At Bánjer-másin, on the south-west of Borneo: the Dutch have a fort here, and the rajah sends all his pepper to Batavia: it may be about twelve to fifteen hundred tons per annum.

"At Chintabun, near Siam, belonging to the King of Siam, may be had one thousand tons per annum: this goes to China in the king's junks."

[64] "Ceylon, it may be observed, will consume two thousand kóyans annually (four thousand tons). There is also a ready market at the Cape of Good Hope, for one thousand kóyans a year. A scarcity of this grain frequently happens on the coast of Coromandel, when the import of it from Java will yield great profit, if the traders are permitted to export it. The general freedom of commerce and navigation, and the encouragement such freedom holds out to the merchant, will establish and extend a ready communication and friendly relation between Batavia and the trading places of India. In the article of rice, Java possesses advantages superior to Bengal; for although this grain is generally very cheap there, yet the navigation from and to Bengal is always more difficult than that from and to Java, from whence, at all seasons of the year, the passage may be made to most parts of India: and in Bengal it often happens, that the rice is very scarce and dear, and even that a famine rages there. On the island of Java, on the contrary, although the crops may sometimes partially fail in a few places, a general and total failure never happens: at least there is no instance of it on record. It may also be considered, whether the exportation of rice from Java to Europe might not become an object of speculation. The cargo of a ship of five hundred lasts, or kóyans, would only cost fifteen thousand rix-dollars, which cannot be reckoned at more than thirty thousand guilders; and the kóyan being calculated at three thousand five hundred pounds, the only question would be, what would be the value of one million seven hundred and fifty thousand pounds of rice in Europe, and if the undertaking would afford a reasonable gain? Even China is sometimes much in want of rice, and the export of it to that country would often, if not always, turn out very advantageous."​—Hogendorp.

Rice was exported both to England and China, during the provisional administration of the British government on Java.

[65] The rupees are throughout calculated at thirty stivers each.

[66] If current report is to be credited, the fate of this unfortunate prince has been at last sealed; and the undisputed successor of "that great and puissant king," to whom Queen Elizabeth gave an assurance, "that far from ever having cause to repent an intercourse with the English, he should have a most real and just cause to rejoice at it;" and to whom, on the part of the English nation, she gave a pledge, "that her promises were faithful, because the conduct of her subjects would be prudent and sincere"​—has been obliged to abdicate his throne in favour of the son of a Pinang merchant!

[67] "We, the Batavians," says Mr. Hogendorp, "or rather our good and heroic ancestors, conquered these countries by force of arms. The Javans, who are immediately under our jurisdiction, acknowledge the Batavian nation or the East India Company as their lord or sovereign; but by so doing, although they resigned their political rights, they still retained their civil and personal liberty, at least their right thereto. But what relation do the Chinese bear to us, and what are the rights they can require from us? As foreigners and itinerant traders, this may be easily defined, but as inhabitants and settlers a further inquiry becomes necessary. To political rights, or to a share in the government and revenues of the country, they have not the slightest claim, and as inhabitants, they cannot even claim the enjoyment of the same civil or personal privileges as the Javans: in the first place, because they are not natives of the country; secondly, because they take no interest in the welfare or preservation of the country; thirdly, because they only endeavour to derive their gain at the expense of the Europeans as well as the Javans, in order to return to China with the profits they make, or at least to send as much of it as possible to their families there; fourthly, because they have no regard whatever to the welfare of our country, and would be quite indifferent to the English, or any other nation, driving us from Java. For these reasons, I conceive that the Chinese have not the same right as the Javans to the freedom or privilege of citizens. The basis of all civil communities is incontrovertibly the sacrifice of a part of the liberty, rights, and even property of each individual, for the enjoyment and security of the remainder; and this remainder, when fixed, forms the civil freedom and privileges of such a community. Not only are the Chinese quite exempt from this sacrifice, but they are also, by the corruption of the Batavian government, much less burdened than all the other inhabitants, even the Europeans, and are besides favoured with considerable privileges and exclusive means of gaining wealth. These are facts, which no one who is acquainted with Batavia can or will contradict.

"Were impartial justice to be adhered to, the Chinese would be looked upon and treated only as foreigners, who are suffered and admitted, as long as it is not injurious to our interest and safety, to settle in our country and under our protection, seeking in trade or agriculture their means of subsistence and emolument, and to whom, on account of their numbers, it is allowed by our indulgence, as long as they conduct themselves well and peaceably, to preserve and practise their own manners and customs, and even in particular places, to dwell together under their own chiefs.

"All the Chinese who come to Java every year in such vast numbers, in the junks from China, or in other vessels from neighbouring places, are the refuse of their nation, and principally from a province, the natives of which are considered by their own countrymen the worst of the whole empire. These people come half naked and poor in the extreme: they add, therefore, so many more to the population, which must be supported by the country, to which however they contribute nothing. It must be acknowledged, they are, particularly at first, very active, industrious, inventive, and frugal. At Batavia they exercise almost every useful art, trade, and handicraft, they cultivate and produce the best vegetables, they work the sugar-mills, and appear therefore to be uncommonly useful and perhaps indispensable.

"The trade in the interior, wholesale and retail: the trade to sea, to the opposite shores, and elsewhere in the Straits, is entirely in their hands, and is almost wholly carried on by them. In all considerable places on the coast, as well as in the interior of Java, they have distinct towns, called kampongs, where they live under their own chiefs, and follow their own customs and manners. Finally, they have exclusively all the farms of the government taxes and revenues, both in the Company's districts and in the dominions of the native princes: by which means they are complete masters of all trade, internal and foreign; and are enabled to make monopolies in every thing, which they do accordingly in the most extensive manner. The burthens they have to bear are, on the contrary, very trifling; in fact, almost nothing: especially because they are exempt from all feudal and personal services, which are so oppressive to the Javans.

"To what can this impropriety and injustice be ascribed but to the government of Batavia? The Chinese have obtained all these favours and privileges by making considerable presents, and thus sacrificing the interests of the Company and the nation to their selfishness and avarice. These arbitrary governors of the East Indies have made the Chinese possessors of Java: for I undertake to prove, that the wealth of the Chinese on that island amounts to ten times as much as the property of all the Europeans added together, and that their profits every year bear the same proportion.

"With reference to their numbers and character, I am of opinion that the following resolutions regarding them might be adopted: That the Chinese on Java should be allowed to remain, and even that further arrivals of them should be permitted; care being taken, however, to keep them in good order, that they should be prevented from injuring the Javans, either by force or fraud: that they be not more favoured than others: that they should contribute a proportionate and equitable share towards the revenues of the state for their enjoyment of the rights of citizenship, in the same manner as other inhabitants, which can best be effected by means of a capitation tax. Uncultivated and uninhabited lands might then be granted or sold to the Chinese, as well as to the natives, to establish sugar-mills or plantations. By these means, every practicable use and advantage would be derived from them, as an industrious and active people, without doing any injury to the other inhabitants, and especially the Javans as natives of the country: and because they have no interest in our national welfare, they should be made, as an equitable compensation, to pay a higher rate to the state. In other respects, they may be completely subjected to our laws, and may be treated with kindness as well as justice.

"The number of Chinese on Java is much greater than is generally imagined, and annually more of them arrive by thousands. By connexions with the native women, their families increase in inconceivable numbers. These half-Chinese retain the language, religion, manners, customs, and even the dress of their fathers; and are generally called Pernakans, although that name is also frequently applied exclusively to those Chinese who embrace the Mahometan religion; and these, as a separate class of people, have their own chiefs, or sometimes confound themselves with the Javans, and can only be distinguished by their lighter complexion."

[68] Among the exports from Java for the Europe market, no particular notice has been taken in the text of the extent of the spice trade, the produce of the Moluccas having, during the provisional administration of the British government, been conveyed direct from Amboina to the port of London, without being landed and re-assorted at Batavia, as was formerly the case under the Dutch government.

The sovereign Prince of the Netherlands has, by a solemn act, abandoned his right to the feudal services of his native subjects in the Eastern Archipelago, but has at the same time reserved to the state the exclusive monopoly of the spices. It may perhaps have been deemed expedient, in aid of the finances of Great Britain, that this odious monopoly should have been permitted to remain for upwards of five years under her uncontrolled dominion; and that, while the cloves on Amboina were raised by forced services, the nutmeg gardens on Banda should have been cultivated by slaves. There may have been reasons also which induced her to continue the system of extirpation in the neighbouring islands, and to act up to those stipulations for depressing these unhappy countries, for which the Dutch have in all ages been so justly reprobated. But now that the sovereign, to whom they are again ceded, has recommenced the Dutch administration in the Eastern seas, with an appearance of something more like justice, humanity, and sound policy than we have been in the habit of witnessing for the last two centuries, it is to be hoped that the profits of two annual cargoes of spices, whatever they may amount to, will never be considered of sufficient importance to tempt a great and magnanimous nation longer to trample on the hallowed rights of humanity, and to persevere in a system, which, while it may have afforded a temporary profit, has tended to degrade, depopulate, and destroy the fairest countries in creation. If the nutmeg and clove trees were allowed to grow where Providence would seem to have ordained that in their natural course they should, and this trade were opened to a free commerce, nutmegs might perhaps be procured as cheap as betel-nut, and cloves as cheap as pepper.

"In the Spice Islands," observes Adam Smith, "the Dutch are said to burn all the spiceries which a fertile season produces beyond what they expect to dispose of in Europe, with such a profit as they think sufficient. In the islands where they have no settlements they give a premium to those who collect the blossoms and green leaves of the clove and nutmeg trees which naturally grow there, but which this savage policy has now, it is said, completely exterminated. Even in the islands where they have settlements, they have very much reduced, it is said, the number of those trees. If the produce even of their own islands was much greater than what suited their market, the natives, they suspect, might find means to convey some part of it to other nations; and the best way, they imagine, to secure their own monopoly, is to take care that no more shall grow than what they themselves carry to market. By different acts of oppression, they have reduced the population of the Moluccas nearly to the number which is sufficient to supply with fresh provisions and other necessaries of life, their own insignificant garrisons, and such of their ships as occasionally come there for a cargo of spices. Under the government of the Portuguese, however, these islands are said to have been tolerably well peopled."

Had Dr. Smith written at the present day he might have heightened the picture by observing, that so far from even being able to supply the garrisons, these islands have long been considered incapable of raising sufficient supplies for their own subsistence; they have for many years depended almost entirely on Java for rice and the common necessaries of life, and latterly supplies have been sent to them from Bengal.

[69] This general remark is not intended to apply to the traders of Pinang (Prince of Wales' Island), who are in general well-informed and most honourable in their dealings, possessing great experience in the trade, and acquaintance with the habits and character of the natives: but this establishment is comparatively of recent date, and the very general view here taken has reference to the intercourse which has subsisted during the last century.

[70] See an able report on the Eastern Islands, by R. T. Farquhar, Esq. late Lieutenant-Governor of Prince of Wales' Island.

[71] Gold.​—From a calculation recently made, it appears that the number of Chinese employed in the gold mines at Mentrada and other places on the western side of Borneo, amounts to not less than thirty-two thousand working men. When a mine affords no more than four bengkals (weighing about two dollars each, or something less than a tahil) per man in the year, it is reckoned a losing concern, and abandoned accordingly. Valuing the bengkal at eighteen Spanish dollars, which is a low rate of estimation, and supposing only four bengkals produced in the year by the labour of each man, the total produce is 128,000 bengkals, worth 2,224,000 Spanish dollars, equal to 556,000l., at the rate of five shillings the dollar. But it is asserted, that upon the general run of the mines, seldom less than six bengkals per head has been obtained, and in very rainy seasons seven. Taking the medium at six and a half bengkals, the 32,000 Chinese will procure 208,000 bengkals, which at eighteen Spanish dollars the bengkal is 3,744,000 Spanish dollars, equal to 936,000l. Such is the result of a very moderate calculation of the produce of these mines. According to an estimate made in the year 1812, the annual produce of the mines on the west coast of Borneo was estimated at 4,744,000 Spanish dollars, being an excess of a million sterling. The quantity of gold procured on Sumatra, the supposed golden Chersonesus of the ancients, is according to Mr. Marsden about 30,800 ounces, which, at 4l. sterling the ounce, is worth 123,200l., equal to 492,800 Spanish dollars.

With respect to the disposal of the gold from the mines of Borneo, it may be observed, that every native Chinese, whether employed in the mines, in agriculture, as merchant or artificer, manages every year to remit at least the value of one tahil, more or less, of gold to his relations in China. These remittances are generally made by the junks in gold, as it saves freight, is more easily smuggled on shore without the notice of the rapacious Mandarin, and remitted over-land to the residence of their families. Taking the Chinese male population who can thus remit at double the number employed in the mines, and supposing one half to be born in the country, most of whom may not remit to China, this remittance would amount to 34,000 bengkals or tahils, which at eighteen Spanish dollars is 612,000 dollars, or 153,000l.

It is calculated that, one year with another, at least five hundred Chinese return in the junks to their native country with a competency. Several have been known to take away one thousand bengkals of gold, many from three to five hundred, but very few return before they have cleared a competency of two thousand dollars, or from one hundred to one hundred and twenty tahil of gold. This goes partly in gold; though they prefer investing a part of it in tin from Banka, opium, and other articles. Say, however, that they remit one half in gold, five hundred men, at one thousand dollars each, will give five hundred thousand dollars, which added to the small family remittances, accounts for an amount exceeding one million of dollars, or 250,000l. This calculation, however, seems to be far within the mark, and gives less by one half than what is usually stated to be remitted to China from the Bornean mines, which has been estimated at a loose guess at two millions of dollars, or 500,000l.

A further amount of not less than the value of a million of dollars (250,000l.) is supposed to find its way annually to Western India, and principally to Bengal, viâ Batavia, Malacca, and Pinang, for the purchase of opium and piece goods. The surplus enriches Java and some of the other islands, in exchange for salt, tobacco, coarse cloths, &c.

As the mines are worked with so little expence of machinery, the funds necessary for commencing an undertaking of the kind are small; and as the property of the soil belongs to the first occupant, almost every Chinese would become a proprietor, but from the mode by which their services are, in the first instance, secured by the council of proprietors or kongsis. A parcel of half-starved Chinese, enchanted with the prospect of wealth on the golden shores of Borneo, readily find a passage in the annual junks that sail from the mother-country to Borneo, at ten dollars a head. On their arrival, being unable to pay the passage money, and the tax of a dollar per head, established by the native authority, while their immediate wants of food, clothing, and habitation, are urgent and imperious, the proprietors of the mines find it easy to engage their services for three or four years. In some other cases, agents are employed to obtain men from China, on stipulated agreements, to work for a number of years; the usual rate of payment to the miners so engaged is not considered to average less than five Spanish dollars a month. No sooner, however, are these engagements concluded with their masters, than a number of them club together with the funds they have been able to save, and commence a new mine upon their joint account, in a few years acquiring a competency to return to their native country.

Diamonds.​—There appears to be no just foundation for the idea, that the diamonds of Borneo are inferior to those of Golconda. Many of an inferior quality have no doubt found their way into the market, because there was perhaps less skill and judgment in the selection; but the value of diamonds here, as well as every where else, depends upon their shape, size, and water, and in this respect the diamonds of Borneo will bear a comparison with those of any country yet known. Indeed, as far as we may judge from the present state of our information, the Lándak mines alone are as productive, and its diamonds as precious, as any other in the world.

The principal mines where diamonds are regularly dug for on Borneo, and found in any considerable quantities, are those of Lándak, Sángau, on the great river Lawi, and the districts of Bánjer-másin. Diamonds have been occasionally found within the limits of Borneo Proper, at Mátan and Sukadána. The mines of Lándak are as ancient as the Malayan dominion on the islands, those of Sángau are of more recent date, and those of Bánjer-másin are said to have been first discovered in the reign of Sultan Sepoh, from whom the present sultan is the fourth in descent.

Diamonds are not only found in the bottom of rivers when dry, but at the foot of craggy hills and mountains. The párits, or mines, are dug to the depth of from one to five fathoms only; but experience has invariably proved, that the deeper they are dug, not only are the diamonds more abundant, but superior in size, shape, and water. The soil which produces diamonds is known from a species of earth called by the natives lábor or lábor-gig'gi. This is sometimes black, sometimes white, red, orange, and green: it is a species of earth which stains the clothes of the labourer, and is distinguished by many names.

At Lándak there are ten párits worked by Chinese, and in each from twenty to thirty labourers employed. As a general average, eight Chinese are supposed to find about eight bengkals of diamonds in a year. From two to three hundred of the smallest sort are supposed to go to a bengkal, valued at from twenty to twenty-four rupees. This is independent of the larger ones, which are casual. So far back as the year 1738, the Dutch annually exported from the produce of these mines, diamonds to the value of from two to three hundred thousand dollars.

Few courts of Europe could perhaps boast of a more brilliant display of diamonds than, in the prosperous times of the Dutch, was exhibited by the ladies of Batavia, the principal and only mart yet opened for the Bornean diamond mines, and whence those known in the European world have been procured. With the decline of the Dutch government, however, the demand has decreased, and the mines are now almost neglected, the numerous diamond-cutters not being able to obtain a livelihood. Formerly, when more Chinese were employed in the mines of Lándak, diamonds from ten to thirteen carats were common in the public markets. The Pangéran of Lándak now wears one of eighteen, and another of fourteen carats and a half. Since Java has been in the possession of the English, rough diamonds from Borneo have been sent to England, and, even in a very unfavourable state of the market, turned out an advantageous remittance.

Among the larger diamonds which these mines have produced, it may not be uninteresting to mention, that the great diamond now in the possession of the Sultan of Mátan, which has been seen and examined by Europeans, weighs three hundred and sixty-seven carats: it is of the shape of an egg indented on one side. It is, however, uncut; and, on this account, it may be difficult to say, whether it will become the largest cut diamond ever known; for the famous diamond of Aurung Zebe, called the Mogul, in its rough state weighed seven hundred and ninety-five carats, and was then valued at 600,000l., but when cut was reduced to two hundred and seventy-nine carats. This celebrated diamond, known by the name of the Mátan diamond, was discovered by a dáyak, and claimed as a droit of royalty by the Sultan of the country, Gúru-Láya; but was handed over to the Pangéran of Lándak, whose brother having got possession of it, gave it as a bribe to the Sultan of Súkadána, in order that he might be placed on the throne of Lándak: the lawful prince, however, having fled to Bantam, by the aid of the prince of that country and the Dutch, succeeded in regaining possession of his district, and nearly destroyed Súkadána. It has remained as an heir-loom in the family of these princes for four descents, and is almost the only appendage of royalty now remaining.

[72] See Appendix B.

[73] See a paper on the Maritime Institutions of the Malayan Nation, in the twelfth volume of the Asiatic Researches. [Vol I Pg 272]


Character of the inhabitants of Java​—Difference between the Súndas and the Javans​—The Lower Orders​—The Chiefs​—Nature of the Native Government​—Different Officers of the State​—Judicial Establishments and Institutions​—Laws, and how administered​—Police Institutions and Regulations​—Military Establishments​—Revenue.

Having, in the foregoing pages, attempted to introduce the inhabitants of Java to the reader, by an account of their person, their manners, and employment in the principal departments of agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, I shall now endeavour to make him, in some degree, acquainted with their intellectual and moral character, their institutions, government, and such other particulars as may contribute to enable him to form some estimate of their relative rank in the scale of civilized society.

From what has been stated of their progress in the manufacturing and agricultural arts, their general advancement in knowledge may be easily estimated. There are no establishments for teaching the sciences, and there is little spirit of scientific research among them. The common people have little leisure or inclination for improving their minds or acquiring information, but they are far from being deficient in natural sagacity or docility. Their organs are acute and delicate, their observation is ready, and their judgment of character is generally correct. Like most Eastern nations, they are enthusiastic admirers of poetry, and possess a delicate ear for music. Though deficient in energy, and excited to action with difficulty, the effect probably of an enervating climate and a still more enervating government, they are capable of great occasional exertion, and sometimes display a remarkable perseverance in surmounting obstacles or enduring labours. Though ignorant and unimproved, they are far from wanting intelligence in the general objects of their pursuit, and fre[Vol I Pg 273]quently astonish Europeans by the ingenuity of their expedients, and the facility with which they accomplish difficult operations by apparently inadequate means.

People in a rude state of society are not always prepared to admit their inferiority, or inclined to adopt manifest improvements: what is much beyond their skill or their power, may excite their wonder, but does not always tempt their imitation. This is more peculiarly the case, where national pride or religious prejudice stand in the way; and the contempt of unbelievers, with which the Mahomedan system inspires its votaries, leads them usually to undervalue the arts in which others excel, or the instruction which they communicate. The Javans, though far from deficient in national pride, and though Mahomedans, are free from this senseless and pernicious prejudice, and are ready to acknowledge the superiority of the Europeans, as well as disposed to imitate their arts and to obey their direction. No people can be more tractable; and although their external appearance indicates listlessness and sometimes stupidity, none possess a quicker apprehension of what is clearly stated, or attain a more rapid proficiency in what they have a desire to learn. The restraints under which conversation labours by the necessity of using different dialects in addressing different orders of society, as well as the respect paid to superiority of rank, prevents them from such a frequent intercourse of thought and opinion as might otherwise be expected, and often renders them, to appearance, reserved and taciturn, although in fact, they are social, cheerful, and good humoured.

An uninstructed people are often credulous, and the Javans are remarkable for their unsuspecting and almost infantine credulity. Susceptible of every impression that artifice may attempt to make upon them, and liable to every delusion propagated by the prejudiced or the designing, they not inaptly compare themselves to a piece of pure white cloth, on which any dye or shade of colour may be laid. They lend an easy credence to omens, to prognostics, to prophets, and to quacks. They easily become the dupes of any religious fanatic, and credit, without scruple or examination, his claim to supernatural powers. Their profession of Mahomedanism has not relieved them from the superstitious prejudices and observ[Vol I Pg 274]ances of an anterior worship: they are thus open to the accumulated delusion of two religious systems.

They are great observers of lucky or unlucky days, or natural phenomena, and undertake no journey or enterprize without attending to them. It is unlucky to go any where on the day that you hear of the death of a friend: the sight of two crows fighting in the air is unlucky: two small birds (called prenjak) fighting near a house, afford a prognostic of the arrival of a friend from a distance. Explosions or noises heard from the mountains not only excite terror for their immediate consequences, but are thought to forebode some great calamity, unconnected with the convulsions of nature, of which they are the symptoms, such as a sanguinary war, a general famine, or an epidemic sickness. The eclipses of the sun and moon powerfully excite this superstitious spirit, and induce many absurd notions and observations. Earthquakes furnish certain prognostics, according to the day of the month on which they happen. In none of their superstitions, however, is there any thing of that gloomy, dark, or malignant cast, which distinguishes those of less favoured climates or of more savage tribes.

Although, on many occasions, listless and unenterprising, their religious enthusiasm is no sooner excited, than they become at once adventurous and persevering, esteeming no labour arduous, no result impossible, and no privation painful. We witnessed an instance, both of their simplicity and of their energy, connected with this part of their character, which excited our astonishment. The population of some of the districts of Bányumás contributed their voluntary labour, in 1814, to the construction of a broad high road, from the base to the summit of one of the loftiest mountains on the island (the mountain Súmbing), and this extraordinary public work was almost completed, before intelligence of its commencement reached the government. It was in consequence examined, and found to be a work of immense labour and care, but without the least appearance of object or utility. Upon enquiring into the motive of such a singular undertaking, it was learnt that a general belief prevailed, that there was a very holy man at the top of the mountain, who would not come down till there should be a good road made for him.[Vol I Pg 275] The Madúrese are said to believe, that the spirits of the dead revisit the earth; but this does not appear to be a Javan superstition.

Their prejudices are neither very numerous nor unyielding, and seem generally to have originated in some laudable feeling or amiable weakness. Their nationality, which is very strong, although it delights in the traditionary narratives of ancient Javan exploits, and supports a hope of future independence, which they are not backward to express, does not lead them to despise the character, or to undervalue the acts of strangers. They have a contempt for trade, and those of higher rank esteem it disgraceful to be engaged in it; but the common people are ever ready to engage in the labours of agriculture, and the chiefs to honour and encourage agricultural industry. Those of the highest rank and greatest authority, generally attend at the opening of new sáwah fields, performing part of the work with their own hands, and leading their inferiors or dependents, as they express it, to pay respect to the earth, in whose honour they also observe annually the sedéka búmi, or feast to the earth. It is in the same spirit that the buffalo, as the chief assistant of the husbandman, is viewed with such peculiar regard, that in some of the interior districts, new-born infants are sometimes carried to be breathed upon by them, from a superstitious belief that such a ceremony will render them fortunate.

Notwithstanding the despotic nature of their government, and the feudal principles on which it rests, the Javan must be considered as a patriarchial people, still retaining many of the virtues, and all the simplicity, which distinguish that state of society. Their village settlements constitute detached societies, under their local chief and priest, and the same internal concord prevails in these little associations which characterises patriarchial tribes. Vicinity and daily intercourse afford opportunities of conferring real assistance and acts of kindness: injustice and even violence may sometimes be committed against the inhabitants of other villages, but very seldom by the inhabitants of the same village against each other. The patriarchial spirit of the Javans may be further traced, in the veneration which they pay to age, the respect and acquiescence with which they receive the maxims or the counsels[Vol I Pg 276] of experience, the ready contented submission which they shew to the commands of their immediate superiors, the warmth of their domestic attachments, and the affectionate reverence with which they regard and protect the tombs and the ashes of their fathers. To the same description of feelings may be referred that consideration for ancestry, that attention to the line of descent, and that regard to the history and merits of distant kindred, which in the meanest people appears often to assume the character of family pride.

These observations apply principally to the inhabitants of villages, at some distance from the seats of the princes or regents, and the contagion of the larger capitals, and more particularly to the people of the Súnda districts. Those of higher rank, those employed about court, or in administering to the pleasures or luxuries of the great, those collected into the capitals or engaged in the public service, are frequently profligate and corrupt, exhibiting many of the vices of civilization without its refinement, and the ignorance and deficiencies of a rude state without its simplicity. The people in the neighbourhood of Batavia are the worst in the Island, and the long intercourse with strangers has been almost equally fatal to the morals of the lower part of Bantam. The population collected at the native capitals is naturally influenced, to a certain extent, by the vices of the court; but the further they are removed from European influence and foreign intercourse, the better are their morals and the happier are the people.

In attempting to exhibit some of the more striking features of the Javan character, it becomes necessary to distinguish between the privileged classes of society and the mass of the people. Long continued oppression may have injured the character of the latter, and obliterated some of its brighter traits; but to the former, the constant exercise of absolute dominion has done a more serious injury, by removing every salutary restraint on the passions, and encouraging the growth of rank and odious vices. In the peasantry we observe all that is simple, natural, and ingenuous: in the higher orders we sometimes discover violence, deceit, and gross sensuality.

Where not corrupted by indulgence on the one hand, or stupified by oppression on the other, the Javans appear to be[Vol I Pg 277] a generous and warm-hearted people. In their domestic relations they are kind, affectionate, gentle, and contented; in their public, they are obedient, honest, and faithful. In their intercourse with society, they display, in a high degree, the virtues of honesty, plain dealing, and candour. Their ingenuousness is such, that as the first Dutch authorities have acknowledged, prisoners brought to the bar on criminal charges, if really guilty, nine times out of ten confess, without disguise or equivocation, the full extent and exact circumstances of their offences, and communicate, when required, more information on the matter at issue than all the rest of the evidence. Although this may, in some degree, be the result of the former use of torture, it cannot be wholly so.

Though not much addicted to excess, and of rather a slow temperament, they are in general liberal and expensive, according to their means, seldom hoarding their wealth, or betraying a penurious disposition. Fond of show and pomp, they lay out all their money, as soon as it is acquired, in the purchase of articles of dress, horses, splendid trappings, &c.: but they possess a quality which is not always joined with a love of splendour, either in nations or individuals; they are cleanly in their persons, and pay the greatest attention to neatness, as well as to glare and finery.

Hospitality is universal among them; it is enjoined by their most ancient institutions, and practised with readiness and zeal. The Javans are exceedingly sensible to praise or shame[74], and ambitious of power and distinction; but their [Vol I Pg 278]national oppressions or agricultural habits have rendered them somewhat indifferent to military glory, and deprived them of a great portion of their ancient warlike energy. They are more remarkable for passive fortitude than active courage, and endure privations with patience, rather than make exertions with spirit and enterprize.

Though living under a government where justice was seldom administered with purity or impartiality, and where, of course, we might expect to see the hand of private violence stretched out to punish private wrong, or a general spirit of retaliation and insidious cruelty prevailing, the Javans are, in a great degree, strangers to unrelenting hatred and blood-thirsty revenge. Almost the only passion that can urge them to deeds of vengeance or assassination, is jealousy. The wound given to a husband's honour by seducing his wife, is seldom healed, the crime seldom forgiven; and what is remarkable, the very people who break the marriage tie on the slightest caprice, or the most vague pretence, are yet uncommonly watchful over it while it remains entire. They are little liable to those fits and starts of anger, or those sudden explosions of fury, which appear among northern nations. To this remark have been brought forward as exceptions, [Vol I Pg 279]those acts of vengeance, proceeding from an irresistible phrenzy, called mucks, where the unhappy sufferer aims at indiscriminate destruction, till he himself is killed like a wild beast, whom it is impossible to take alive. It is a mistake, however, to attribute these acts of desperation to the Javans.

That such have occurred on Java, even during the British administration, is true, but not among the Javans: they have happened exclusively in the large towns of Batavia, Semárang, and Surabáya, and have been confined almost entirely to the class of slaves. This phrenzy, as a crime against society, seems, if not to have originated under the Dutch, certainly at least to have been increased during their administration, by the great severity of their punishments. For the slightest fault, a slave was punished with a severity which he dreaded as much as death; and with torture in all its horrid forms before his eyes, he often preferred to rush on death and vengeance.

Atrocious crimes are extremely rare, and have been principally owing to misgovernment when they have occurred. In answer to what has been asserted concerning robberies, assassinations, and thefts, it may be stated, that during the residence of the English, an entire confidence was reposed in the people, and that confidence was never found misplaced. The English never used bars or bolts to their houses, never travelled with arms, and no instance occurred of their being ill used. The Dutch, on the contrary, placed no confidence: all their windows were barred, and all their doors locked, to keep out the treacherous natives (as they called them), and they never moved five miles abroad without pistols and swords. What could be expected by a government that derived a principal part of its revenue by the encouragement of vice, by the farms of gaming, cock-fighting, and opium shops? After the two former were abolished by the English, and the local government had done all in its power to discourage the latter, a visible amelioration took place in the morals of the lower ranks.

Hordes of banditti, formidable for their numbers and audacity, formerly infested some parts of the country, particularly the provinces of Bantam and Chéribon; but since they have been dispersed by the strong hand of government, the roads[Vol I Pg 280] of Java may be travelled in as much security as those of England.

Much has been said of the indolence of the Javans, by those who deprived them of all motives for industry. I shall not again repeat what I have formerly on several occasions stated on this subject, but shall only enter a broad denial of the charge. They are as industrious and laborious as any people could be expected to be, in their circumstances of insecurity and oppression, or as any people would be required to be, with their advantages of soil and climate. If they do not labour during the whole day, it is because such persevering toil is unnecessary, or would bring them no additional enjoyments. The best refutation of the charge of indolence is to be found in the extent of their cultivation, the well dressed appearance of their rice fields, and the abundant supplies of their harvests. They generally rise by daylight: at half-past six they go out to the rice fields, where they employ their buffaloes till ten, when they return home, bathe, and refresh themselves with a meal. During the violent heat of the noon they remain under the shade of their houses or village trees, making baskets, mending their implements of husbandry, or engaged in other necessary avocations, and at about four return to the sáwahs to labour them, without buffaloes or other cattle. At six they return to their homes, sup, and spend the remainder of their time till the hour of rest (which is generally between eight and nine) in little parties for amusement or conversation, when the whole village becomes a scene of quiet content and pleasure. The same round of toil and relaxation is observed during the season for garden culture, dry field labour, or other employments.

Under this system, the villagers seem to enjoy a greater degree of happiness than they could derive from those increased means that would result from increased exertion. I can bear testimony to their general cheerfulness, contentedness, and good humour, for having visited their villages at all seasons, and often when least expected or entirely unknown, I have always found them either pleased and satisfied with their lot when engaged at their work, or social and festive in their hours of pleasure. One observation generally made and admitted, would seem to militate against this part of the[Vol I Pg 281] Javan character; they are remarked to be envious and jealous of one another's success: but if this trait of character be with difficulty reconciled to their general reputation for contentedness and benevolence, it is surely still more inconsistent with that indolent apathy with which they are often charged.

It will appear throughout their history, that when strongly excited by the animosities of the constant wars in which they were engaged, they were frequently guilty of acts of great barbarity: such as decapitating a vanquished enemy, and kicking his head about like a football. In war and politics, much is not to be said in their favour, stratagem and intrigue being relied upon in preference to discipline, courage, or good faith: even the Chinese, during what is called the Chinese war on Java (A.D. 1750), would appear to deserve a higher character for bravery and good faith than the Javans. But it is reasonable to attribute this, in some measure, to the degrading influence of European despotism. A great disregard for the little people is shewn throughout their political history, as is particularly exemplified in the instance of a mock battle that was fought between the Chinese and Javans, near Semárang, in order to impose upon the Dutch. The Chinese wished to know how they should act upon the occasion. "Attack the whole army of the Javans by surprize," said the Javan negotiators," but be careful not to kill any of the chiefs or great people, and it will be a sham fight."

Of their nationality it may be observed, that ever since the first arrival of Europeans, they have neglected no opportunity of attempting to regain their independence. A reference to the chapters on history will be sufficient to illustrate this, as well as to shew the national feeling on the encroachments and assumptions of their European rulers. In the great cause of national independence all would unite, but they seem hardly to be sufficiently advanced in civilization to effect such an object, without the risk of relapsing into many barbarities, from the practice of which they have been weaned, by a long continuance of established government and general tranquillity. Quiet and peaceable as the Javans now are, were they once roused to insurrection, their blood would rapidly boil, and they would no doubt be guilty of many excesses. [Vol I Pg 282]

I might illustrate the Javan character still further by a comparison of it with the Malayan, by shewing, from the remains of those customs that are to be referred to an anterior and milder system, how much it has been altered by the introduction of Mahomedanism, and by giving an estimate of the effects produced upon it by the government of the Dutch; but this would anticipate some observations which will be more appropriate in other parts of this work.

Of the causes which have tended to lower the character of the Asiatics in comparison with Europeans, none has had a more decided influence than polygamy. To all those noble and generous feelings, all that delicacy of sentiment, that romantic and poetical spirit, which virtuous love inspires in the breast of an European, the Javan is a stranger, and in the communication between the sexes he seeks only convenience, and little more than the gratification of an appetite. But the evil does not stop here: education is neglected and family attachments are weakened. Among the privileged orders, the first wife is generally selected by the friends of the party, from motives of interest, and to strengthen family alliances, and the second is rather to be considered as the object of the husband's choice. But if his circumstances admit of it, he has no scruple to entertain other women as concubines, who hold an honourable rank in his household. The progeny from these connections is often immense. It has already been stated, that a Javan chief has been known to have upwards of sixty acknowledged children; and it too often happens, that in such cases sons having been neglected in their infancy, become dissipated, idle and worthless, and spring up like rank grass and overrun the country, or serve but to fill up a long and useless retinue. Fortunately for the peasantry, who are the mass of the population, they have escaped this deteriorating institution; and perhaps much of the comparative superiority of the character of the peasantry over that of the higher orders is to be attributed to this advantage. The higher orders have also been more exposed to the influence of Mahomedanism and European innovation; and if the former has removed from their usages some traits of barbarism, and tended to the developement of their intellectual qualities, it has introduced Mahomedan vices; and[Vol I Pg 283] the European power having gradually obtained its supremacy over the island, rather by stratagem and intrigue than by open conquest, it is probable that the necessity under which the natives found themselves to resist its encroachments by similar means, has powerfully contributed to corrupt their natural ingenuousness. It is not at the court of the sovereign, penned up as he now is, and kept like a bird in a cage by the intrigues and power of the European authority, that we are to look for the genuine character of the people; neither is it among those numerous chiefs and petty chiefs attendant on the European authorities, who by continual association have, in a great degree, assimilated with them. What we have said of the Javans must therefore be considered, as more particularly applicable to the peasantry or cultivators, who compose three-fourths of the whole population, and is to be received with some reserve in its application to the higher classes.

Thus far I have given a faithful representation of the people as they appeared to me; but it may be amusing to the reader to read the Javan character, as transcribed from the impressions of the Dutch. The following is an official account[75] of this people given by a subject of that nation, which has contributed so much to depress and degrade them.

"If the Javan is a person of rank, or in affluent circumstances, he will be found superstitious, proud, jealous, vindictive, mean, and slavish towards his superiors, haughty and despotic towards his inferiors and those unfortunate beings that are subject to his orders, lazy and slothful.

"The lower class is indolent and insensible beyond conception, and although certain persons, who presume to be perfectly acquainted with the character of the Javan, maintain the contrary, still I am convinced by daily experience, that the Javan in general is most shockingly lazy, and that nothing but fear of his superior, and apprehension of being punished, or momentary distress or want, can compel him to labour. If left to himself, he will do no more than what is absolutely requisite to furnish the necessaries of life, and as he needs[Vol I Pg 284] but little, his labour is proportionate: yet as soon as he has a sufficiency for four days, or for the next day only, nothing will put him in motion again but force or fear.

"Cowardly, vindictive, treacherous, inclined to rob and to murder rather than work, cunning in evil practices, and unaccountably stupid (supposed intentionally,) if any good is required of him. These are the principal traits of the Javan character.

"The Maláyu, speaking of him as an inhabitant of this island, because I am unacquainted with the character of those living at a distance, is possessed of a little more courage and activity, fond of small trade and travelling, and but seldom a robber like the Javan, whom in other respects he very much resembles. A Maláyu, who is a little cunning, will, as soon as an opportunity offers, commit a fraud, especially when he has had some loss which he wishes to retrieve."

Others of the colonists, and some particularly who are likely to have greater influence with the restored government, entertained more correct, because more favourable opinions of the Javans, coinciding nearly with those which I have stated as my own.

The following extracts are intended to convey some notion of Javan ethics. The first is from a popular work, called Raja Kapa-kapa[76].

"It is incumbent upon every man of condition to be well versed in the history of former times, and to have read all the chiríta (written compositions) of the country: first, the different Ráma, the B'rata yúdha, Arjúna wijáya, Bíma súchi; secondly, the different accounts of Panji; thirdly, the Júgúl múda, Pralámbang, and Jáya langkára; also to know their different tunes, as well as the mode of striking the gámelan; he must know how to count the years, months, and days, and comprehend the Sangkála, understand the Káwi language, and also must be clever in all

Niúng'ging Painting;
Ukir ukir Carving in wood;
Pándi Iron-work;[Vol I Pg 285]
Kemásan Gold-work;
Argénding Musical instrument making;
M'ráng'gi Kris-sheath making;
N'gapús Compositions (literary);
Gárdji Sewing with the needle; working;
Anyára-wedi retna Jewellery;
Anyádur-rasa In gilding and the application of quicksilver.

And he must also be skilled in horsemanship, and in the management of an elephant, and have courage to destroy all bad men, and drive away all women of loose character."

The Níti sástra is a work of the greatest celebrity on Java: the original is in the Káwi language, but there are many versions. The following is translated from a modern version in the present language of Java.

"Praise be to Batára Gúru, who is all powerful! to Batára Vishnu (wísnu), who purifieth the minds of men! and to Batára Súria, who enlighteneth the world! May they render their divine assistance to the author who composeth this work, Níti Sástra, which contains an account of the truths to be found in the sacred writings, and which are highly necessary to be known by all public officers.

"A man who cannot regulate his conduct according to circumstances, and to the situation in which he may be placed, is like unto a man who has lost the senses of taste, and enjoyeth not the advantage of síri, for such a man doth not shine in the world, however fair may be his appearance.

"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.

"It is an abomination to the Divinity to worship him in an unclean place; and the man who does so may be compared to one who eats another man's bread without his consent. The food is unwholesome to him, even as if he ate of his own bread with aversion, in which case he re[Vol I Pg 286]sembles the poor man who overeats himself and afterwards suffers from hunger.

"A woman who takes not a husband until her hair becomes grey and her teeth fall out, is despicable in her own eyes, because men will no longer feel any inclination to her.

"A man, to be accounted able, must know how to adapt his words to his actions and his actions to his words, so that he may give offence to no one, but render himself agreeable to his companions: he must also know how to command in war, and to inspire his followers with courage.

"In order to obtain this distinction, a man must conduct himself towards his equals even as a lover conducts himself towards his mistress; for as the lover cannot obtain his object without flattery and indulgence, so must we strive to obtain the good will of mankind by flattering them occasionally, and by indulging them in those things to which they are most inclined, and which consists, if we are in company with religious men, in treating of religious matters, and if in company with warriors, in treating about war. This will not only make them like us the better, but at the same time, excite them to excel in their profession.

"The subtle nature of the snake, and the venom of its poison, as well as the ferocious disposition of the tiger, may be removed by sympathetic remedies; the wild elephant may also be tamed by means of the well-known small iron hook: but the fierceness of the warrior, when once in close engagement, is not to be tamed, unless his enemy surrender; and even then not entirely, for although the vanquished surrender, it is to be inferred that he still harbours resentment for the loss of his freedom, and the conqueror must keep a lively watch over the vanquished, lest he still oppose him.

"It is well known that waters, however deep, may be fathomed; but the thoughts of men cannot be sounded. In order to know the nature of another, we must attentively observe his appearance, his manner of speaking, and his judgment; and if a man gives himself out as a holy man, it must be proved by his observance of the ser[Vol I Pg 287]vice of the Deity and his knowledge of the sacred writings.

"Such a man is distinguished, who is able to expound all abstract expressions.

"A rich man, who maketh not use of his riches in procuring for himself good food and clothing, is an abomination, and ought not to be admitted into the society of the learned or men of rank; neither ought a man, who has learnt a profession or studied religion, but who still continues attached to his idle and vicious propensities.

"The man who advances in years, and he who is too lazy to labour, and does nothing but eat and sleep, is like a sheep, which is useless except on account of its flesh.

"It is said, that neither the ravens nor the gadárbo birds, are good for man; but much less are such men who having once embraced a holy life, return to worldly pursuits, or such as can find it in their hearts to seduce the wives and daughters of their friends to commit adultery.

"The water in a vessel which is only partly full will by the least agitation splash on the sides: experience also proves, that the cow which has the loudest voice gives the least milk. So it is with men: those who have least understanding or wealth make the greatest noise and show; but in reality they are inferior, and all they say and do vanisheth like smoke.

"Friends must be faithful and forbearing towards each other, otherwise the consequences will be fatal to both. Of this we have an example in the fable of the tiger and the forest.

"The forest and the tiger lived together in close friendship, so that no one could approach the forest, for the tiger was always in the way; nor the tiger, for the forest always afforded him shelter. Thus they remained both undisturbed, on account of the mutual security they afforded to each other; but when the tiger abandoned the forest and roamed abroad, the people seeing that the tiger had quitted it, immediately cut down the forest and converted it into plantations: the tiger, in the meantime, taking shelter in a village, was seen by the people, who soon found means to kill him. In this manner, both parties,[Vol I Pg 288] by abandoning their mutual duties to each other, were lost.

"A child ought, in every respect, to follow in the footsteps of its father; but this is seldom the case, either among men or animals in general. Among the latter, however, there are three sorts which follow their parents in every respect: all kinds of fish, frogs, and tortoises. The first and second spawn in water, which is carried away until the young are produced, when they again join their parents: the last lay their eggs in holes, and as soon as the young are hatched they follow the old ones into the water.

"Man, although he is borne in his mother's womb a long time, and after his birth is taken care of and nourished, still seldom follows in the footsteps of his parents. If his father is a holy man, he ought to follow the same profession; but instead of this, children do not generally attend to the advice of their parents, nor to the lessons of the sacred writings, or those given by holy or good men.

"That men of rank should do every thing in their power to attach the lower class of people to them, is not only proper but necessary, in order to keep them faithfully to their duty. To this end, therefore, men of rank ought to be indulgent and liberal towards their inferiors, like a woman who implores the assistance of man to bring forth children and support her; but not like a tigress that brings forth its cubs, nor the snake which brings forth so many young, that sometimes having no food for them or for herself, she devours them.

"Man is pleased with the dódot cloth (apparel), and women are proud of their bosom; but a good man prefers the sacred writings, which may lead him to the life to come.

"Property obtained by man's own labour is valuable, but more valuable is that which is obtained by a man's blood in time of war: of less value is property inherited from a man's parents. Of little value is the property taken from a man's parents or his wife, but still less valuable is that which comes to a man from his children.

"It is the duty of the chief of the nation to inquire into every thing which can affect his subjects; to know whether[Vol I Pg 289] they are prosperous or not, if every one attends to his duty, if they are skilful in the execution of it or not, and in all cases to take measures accordingly, never losing sight of justice. He must, as far as possible, be lenient in the punishment of the guilty, and liberal in the reward of the deserving; particularly in the field of battle, when in sight of the enemy, when presents ought then to be distributed to the soldiers (prajúrit), in order to animate them; for if ever so justly treated, they will not, except they have been obliged by their commander, either be so faithful, or risk so much in an attack against the enemy.

"Highly prejudicial is it for the chiefs to discover fear before their enemies, for in that case the men will also be afraid; but when the chiefs conduct themselves in such a manner as to shew they do not fear the enemy, then the men are animated by their example.

"A chief should keep his plan of attack as secret as possible, because the knowledge of it may enable the enemy to be on his guard, and turn the measures taken to his own advantage. He ought not to challenge his enemy to give battle, as in that case the enemy will have an opportunity of preparing himself for the same: but he should attempt to surprize him, and rush upon him like a fire, that quickly and without much noise consumeth all with which it comes in contact.

"The most formidable enemy of a man is his own conscience, which always brings his crimes before his eyes, without leaving him the means of avoiding it.

"The most valuable and lasting friendship is that which exists between persons of the same rank.

"The severest misfortune which a man can suffer, is to be deprived by force, of the land upon which he lives and which he has cultivated, or to have his wife and children taken from him by force.

"Man loveth nothing more than his own children, and he always esteems his own feelings in preference to those of others.

"Of all birds the chíong (miner) is the most highly prized,[Vol I Pg 290] because it has a beautiful appearance and can imitate the speech of man.

"A woman who loves her husband so tenderly, that at his death she wishes to die with him, or surviving never marries again, but lives as if she were dead to the world, is valued above all others of her sex.

"The lessons of our parents are like the lessons of the ten wise masters. No master con be called wise, unless he attends to what is written, as well on sacred as on worldly subjects. Such a master may be justly called a superior mortal; for it is a difficult task to learn and to attend to the same, even as difficult as to catch and tame a wild elephant on the edge of a precipice without injury.

"Melancholy is it to see a young man of condition unacquainted with the sacred writings; for, be he ever so gracefully formed or elegant in his manners, he remains defective; like the wúrawári flower, which, notwithstanding its fine appearance and bright red colour, emits no fragrance whatever.

"No man can be called good or bad, until his actions prove him so. Thus if a man declares that he has never taken any but delicious food, it will be shewn in his appearance. If he is stout and well looking, then may he be credited; but if, on the contrary, he is poor and lean, then it is impossible that he should have lived on good food.

"In like manner, when a man pretends to be the friend of mankind, it must be proved by his behaviour when he receives the visits of others. If he receives his guests with kindness and hospitality, then is he the friend of mankind, otherwise he is not so. And further, if a man pretends to have fasted and prayed, and to have become a holy man, it will be known whether he is really so, by the success which attends the prayers which he puts up for another: if the Deity hears them not, then is he a deceiver.

"A caterpillar has its poison in its head, a scorpion in its tail, and a snake in its teeth, but it is unknown in what part of the body the poison of man is concealed: a bad man is therefore considered poisonous in his whole frame. [Vol I Pg 291]

"A child which is indulged by its parents in every thing, is like a young fish in a clear and pure stream, in which it grows and sports, unconscious whither it may lead.

"As the strength of a bird is in its wings, so does the power of a prince consist in his subjects; but then only through the means of persons properly informed on the following points. First, how a country ought to be properly administered; secondly, how to please a prince; thirdly, how to prepare all delicacies for him; and fourthly, how to preserve discipline and direct the conduct of an army.

"The dread of the subject should be such, that the orders of the prince should be to him like a clap of thunder, that may be heard far and wide.

"A man who does evil to his companions acts against the sacred writings and the lessons of his instructor: he can never enjoy prosperity, but will meet with misfortunes in all his proceedings. Such a man is like a piece of porcelain, which when it falls to the ground breaks into many pieces and can never be rendered perfect.

"A field without pasture is not frequented by cattle, neither does a river without water contain fish. An instructor who knoweth not how to perform the duties of his situation can have but few disciples, and a prince who pays little regard to his country and subjects, will in time not only lose his fame and glory, but his authority also.

"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 of 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 hereafter. Happy is the man who divides his property equally between himself and the indigent, who feeds the poor and clothes the naked, and relieves all who are in distress; he has hereafter to expect nothing but good.

"The following animals, as being injurious to the health of man, are not proper to be used by him as food: rats, dogs, frogs, snakes, worms, monkeys, lizards, and the lik[Vol I Pg 292]e.

"A handsome man is an ornament to the community, and one that has good manners besides, is an ornament to his prince; but he who understands the sacred writings is the pride of the community and a delight to his prince.

"A prince who wishes to know his subjects well, ought to be attentive to their manners, actions, and courage; and as gold is known by the touchstone, or broken into pieces in order to ascertain its intrinsic value, so ought a prince to try his subjects, before he intrust them with the charge of his women or treasure, and make himself acquainted with their valour and knowledge: for a person who does not possess the qualifications required for this purpose, is unworthy to associate with people of condition, and much less to be the servant of a prince.

"If a man violates the law, he may for the first offence be punished by a pecuniary fine, for the second by punishment affecting his person, but for the third offence he may be punished with death.

"A joy generally followed by sorrow is that which we feel in borrowing money. We feel happy in having obtained what we wished, but as soon as our creditors come for their money, our joy is converted into grief; and that is the greatest when the money is spent, and we have not wherewith to satisfy our creditors: then arise quarrels and ill will, and yet no sooner are these settled than we again have recourse to the old habit of lending and borrowing.

"Laughing and joking at our companions is also a bad custom, for it generally begets quarrels, and is thus the cause of grief.

"Should medicine be mixed with poison, we would naturally separate the poisonous parts before we swallowed it, and we would also clean rusty metal in time before it becomes rusty and corroded. In the same manner we should distinguish between the good and bad actions of man, rewarding knowledge and opposing evil: and be it recollected, that a woman, however low her birth, if her manners are amiable and her person good, may without impropriety be made the wife of a great man.

"Riches only tend to torment the mind of man, and sometimes even to death; they are therefore, with justice, dis[Vol I Pg 293]regarded and despised by the wise. They are collected with pain and troubles in afterwards administering them; for if we neglect to watch them properly, thieves will come and steal them, and the loss occasions as much grief as the point of death.

"Therefore is it advisable to give part of our property to the poor and indigent, who will thence naturally become under obligations to us, and not only assist in guarding our property against all accidents, but pray that our property may increase, being themselves interested in our success, and our names will be blessed by our children and grandchildren.

"As dykes cannot long resist the force of water, unless the water is allowed a free current and a place to pass through, so riches cannot long be enjoyed, unless employed for charitable purposes; but, on the contrary, they will turn to the injury of the possessor, both here and hereafter, who will be exposed to the wrath of all the nine deities.

"Batára gúru is cool, still colder is the moon; but the coolness of neither is to be compared to that which is instilled by the voice of a holy man. Fire is hot, still hotter is the sun; but neither is to be compared to the heat of a man's heart.

"Like those flies and birds, which fly in the air to procure food, and still continue to feed on filth and dirt, is the man of bad character; for although he may have the means of procuring an honest subsistence, still will he continue to take what he should not, by unlawful means, to the prejudice of others. But a good man wishes the success of another, and is happy when his brother prospers.

"As the moon and stars enlighten the night, and the sun enlighteneth the day, so do the Holy Scriptures enlighten the hearts of men; and a son who is superior in knowledge to his father, is a light to his family.

"A child accustomed to nothing but amusement, neglects the lessons of its parents. The child on this account, often abandoned to its fate, becomes a dangerous subject; it is therefore essential that a child should be kept under[Vol I Pg 294] subjection while it is yet time to prevent its committing any bad acts. For this purpose these rules should be attended to:

"A child under five years of age may be indulged in many things; but afterwards it must be kept under strict subjection, and instructed in the knowledge of the Holy Writings until its tenth year, when a commencement may be made to instil that sort of knowledge which will form the intellects for the benefit of society. After the sixteenth year further instruction must be given in the higher and more important branches of knowledge.

"Man should always be on his guard against the commission of wicked acts, for the end of them is always pain and misery.

"A man must, on no account, listen to the advice of a woman, be she ever so good; for the end of it will be death and shame: but he must always consult his own mind in what he has to do or not to do, never losing sight of the lessons of his instructors. Thus, not only will he obtain knowledge, but his actions will be good.

"Riches, beauty, knowledge, youth, and greatness often lead a man into error; he, therefore, who is blessed with any of them ought to be, at the same time, humble and generous, for then he will excel; otherwise, his virtues will be hidden.

"As the man who advances by fair means from poverty to riches, or from insignificance to greatness, is rewarded in this world, so will he who is generous and kind-hearted be rewarded hereafter in heaven. So will the warrior killed in battle, who is like a conqueror, enjoy all the delights imaginable; while a deserter is despised by all men, and covered with shame and disgrace, because he deserted his comrades in the moment of danger.

"No man ought to be termed a hero but he who has already conquered a hundred heroes; nor should any man be termed a holy man until he can boast of surpassing in virtue a hundred holy men: for as long as a hero has not conquered a hundred heroes, or a holy man has not surpassed a hundred other holy men in virtue, he can neither be considered as a real hero or holy man. [Vol I Pg 295]

"The signs of the approaching end of this world will be all kinds of depravity among mankind; that is to say, the wise will turn foolish, the holy men will become worldly, children will abandon their parents, princes will lose their empires, the little will become great, and commit depredations; in short, every thing will be in confusion, and an entire revolution take place.

"In the beginning every thing was at rest and quiet. During the first thousand years princes began to start up, and wars arose about a woman named Déwi Darúki: at this period writing was first introduced. One thousand five hundred years after this another war began, about a woman named Déwi Sínta. Two thousand years after this a third war broke out, about a woman named Déwi Drupádi: and two thousand five hundred years afterwards another war took place, about the daughter of a holy man not named in history.

"Every man can thus see what has been the first cause of war. Even as the roots of trees and the course of rivers cannot run straight, but wind here and there, so cannot a woman be upright: for the saying is, that a raven can sooner turn white, and the tanjang-plant (a water lily) grow from a rock, than a woman can be upright.

"A perfect man should be, in firmness and ability, equal to eight women; and to satisfy a woman, a man must be able to please her in nine different manners.

"A bad man is like a fire, which inflames every thing which approaches it; we, therefore, ought never to go near it with an intention to extinguish it. A good man, on the contrary, is like a sweet-scented tree, which continues to produce flowers and fruit, pleasant to the taste and smell of every one, and the fragrance of which remains in the wood even after the tree is cut down and rooted out.

"When a harlot begins to feel shame, then is her improvement approaching; but when a holy man begins to meddle with worldly affairs, then is he about to become a worldly man himself.

"When a prince allows encroachments to be made on his territories, it is a sign that the loss of both his court and lands is nigh at hand. [Vol I Pg 296]

"A man may receive instruction from his gúru (instructor) until his twentieth year: after which he should apply himself to study until his thirtieth year; at which time he ought to know every thing necessary, as well for this world as for that to come.

"The art of elocution may properly be reckoned superior to all others, because happiness and misery, fortune or misfortune, very often depend upon it: it is, therefore, necessary to use prudence in speech.

"A man who does not eat síri (betel) does not shine.

"Married people who have no children ought to lead a retired life, and people without fortune should not attempt to make a shining appearance: they should look pale and melancholy, like unto the dullness and quiet of a country without a prince.

"These are the qualities necessary to constitute a good housewife:​—She must be well-made and well-mannered, gentle, industrious, rich, liberal, charming, of good birth, upright, and humble. A stingy, curious, dirty, foul-mouthed, vulgar, false, intriguing, lazy, or stupid woman, is not only entirely unfit for a housewife, but will never be beloved by a husband."

Intimately connected with the character, moral and intellectual, of a people, are its civil and political institutions. In a country like Java, the frame of society is so simple, the hand of power is so universally felt or seen; rank, wealth, and authority are so identified, and the different classes of the community are so referable to each other, by contrast or reciprocal influence, that it was impossible to give any account of the state of the peasantry, or of the tenure and distribution of the land, without introducing some notices concerning government and revenue. As there is little division of labour among a rude people, so there is no division of power in a despotism: the despot is proprietor, all the rest is property.

The Island of Java appears at different times to have been divided into states of greater or smaller extent. History informs us, that it was at one period under the sway of one principal chief, and at others subject to two or more. In the former case, the provinces into which it was divided were administered, as they are still, by subordinate and delegated[Vol I Pg 297] governors; and in the latter, many of them composed independent sovereignties. In all these cases, the form of government and the privileges of the people were the same; the only difference between a state co-extensive with the Island, and one limited to a few districts, consisting in the different extent of territory or number of subjects at command. In looking at the map, the divisions of the Island now under European dominion, and those under the native princes, can easily be traced. Bantam (the sultan of which surrendered his rights to the British government for a pension of a few thousand dollars), and Chéribon, an extensive province to the eastward of Batavia, enjoyed till lately a nominal independence; but the only great native power on Java, till the establishment of Yúg'ya-kerta about sixty years ago, was that of the Susuhúnan, or as he is termed, the Emperor of Java; and a slight sketch of his government, of the maxims by which it is regulated, and the officers it employs, will be sufficient for my present purpose.

The sovereign is termed either Susuhúnan or Sultan, both denominations adopted since the establishment of Mahomedanism: the titles previously employed were Kiaí Gedé, Prábu, Browijáya, &c. as will be perceived on reference to the list of Hindu princes in the historical details. The line of succession to the throne is from father to son, but the rights of primogeniture are not always allowed or observed. If there is no direct descent, the claims of collateral branches of the reigning dynasty are settled by no law or uniform custom. Females have sometimes held offices of power, but have never occupied the throne since the establishment of Mahomedanism. The chiefs of districts and the heads of villages are sometimes women; in that case widows continued in the office of their deceased husbands.

The government is in principle a pure unmixed despotism; but there are customs of the country of which the people are very tenacious, and which the sovereign seldom invades. His subjects have no rights of liberty of person or property: his breath can raise the humblest individual from the dust to the highest distinction, or wither the honours of the most exalted. There is no hereditary rank, nothing to oppose his will. Not only honours, posts, and distinctions, depend upon[Vol I Pg 298] his pleasure, but all the landed property of his dominions remains at his disposal, and may, together with its cultivators, be parcelled out by his order among the officers of his household, the members of his family, the ministers of his pleasures, or the useful servants of the state. Every officer is paid by grants of land, or by a power to receive from the peasantry a certain proportion of the produce of certain villages or districts.

When a sovereign enjoys unlimited power, he generally in eastern countries surrenders it for ease and pleasure, and his servant, under the name of Vizier or some other title, becomes the despot. The highest executive officer or prime minister in the Javan government is called Ráden Adipáti: he usually rules the country while his master is satisfied with flattery, with pomp, and the seraglio. He is intrusted with power so great, as even, in particular cases, to extend to the royal family. All communications to and from the sovereign are made through him: he receives all reports from different parts of the country, and issues all orders. The power and importance of this office has, however, naturally lessened of late years, since the European government has assumed the right of nominating the person who shall fill it: the sovereign naturally reposes less confidence in a prime minister so nominated than in one of his own choice; and if he does not take an active part himself in the politics of his court, he is generally under the influence of an ambitious member of his own family, by which means the Ráden Adípati, or prime minister, though left to conduct the details of government, is often ignorant of many of the intrigues carried on in the place.

The gradations of power and rank are as follow.

After the royal family, which includes the prince or sovereign, called Susuhúnan or Sultan, and the sons and daughters of the sovereign, called Pangérans, the heir apparent being called Pángéran Adipáti, come the nobility, and at their head the Ráden Adipáti.

The nobility or privileged orders may be classed under the two general divisions of Bopátis, and their immediate assistants or Pátehs, and Mántris or public officers. Bopáti is the general term given to the governors of provinces, being the[Vol I Pg 299] plural of Adipáti. This, however, is rather a title of office than of mere rank, as these governors are sometimes Tumúng'gungs, An'gebáis, and of still inferior rank. Adipáti appears to be the highest title below royalty. The dignity of this title, as well as that of others, is again raised, by prefixing the epithet Kiai (venerable) or Mas (golden), as Kiai-adipáti, Kiaí-tumúng'gung, Mas-adipáti, Mas-tumúng'gung. Ráden-tumúng'gung is also occasionally used, to express a rank above an ordinary Tumúng'gung, in the same manner as Ráden Adipáti.

These officers, when appointed to the administration of provinces, are called Regents by the Dutch. Since the innovations of Europeans, the distinctions above referred to have been a good deal confounded. In the Súnda districts, where the absolute sway of the native sovereign has long ceased to be felt, and in the eastern provinces, which are subject to Europeans, the Regent assumes the state of a petty sovereign, and is the fountain of honour. The power and rank attached to particular titles, especially those of inferior importance, differs in some degree in almost every province.

The sons of the Regents, or of those who may be properly termed the nobles of the country, are usually called Rádens, and in the Súnda districts invariably so; but there is properly no hereditary nobility, no hereditary titles, although few people have a greater respect for family descent than the Javans; custom and consideration, in this as in other cases, generally supplying the place of law.

Nearly the same form of government is followed in the administration of each particular province as is observed in the general administration of the country, every Adipáti, or governor of a province, having a Páteh, or assistant, who acts as his minister. In general there is a Páteh-luar, and a Páteh-dalam; one for conducting affairs abroad or public business, the other for the superintendence of the household.

The same union of the judicial, revenual, and executive authority, which exists in the sovereign, descends to the governor of a province; and if there are subdivisions of the province, it descends to each head of the subdivision. This is also the case with each village; the consequence of which is, that every chief, of whatever rank, has an almost absolute[Vol I Pg 300] power over those below him. The only exception to this, and the only part of the Javan constitution which wears the appearance of liberty, is the mode of appointing the heads of villages; these are elected by the people, as will be hereafter more particularly described.

In every considerable province or district there are several subdivisions over which an inferior chief presides: the district of Semárang, for instance, has several. Although this absolute authority is vested in the different chiefs, according to their ranks, it is dangerous for a public functionary, whatever be his rank, and even for the Susuhúnan himself, to violate what is called the custom of the country; and the ancient Hindu institutions are revered and generally followed by all classes. The priests also exercise a considerable influence; and although the power of the Jáksa, or law officer, is essentially reduced since the establishment of Mahomedanism, and a great part of his authority transferred to the Panghúlu or Mahomedan priest, he is still efficient, as far as concerns the police and minor transactions. The observations which follow on the administration of justice and the judicial instructions established by the British government, will explain the present nature of his duties.

In the suite of every governor of a province, of his Páteh, or assistant, and of every public functionary of importance, are numerous petty chiefs, generally classed as Mantris, but having various titles, as Demángs, Lúras, Klíwons, &c. varying in authority and relative rank in different districts.

Three-fourths of the island having been long subjected to the European authority, and the provinces which still remain under native administration having been divided under two distinct authorities, and their original constitution otherwise departed from, it would be impossible to lay down a scale of rank for the different titles of honour, which should be applicable to every part of the island, but the subject will be resumed in a future chapter.

The following observations of Mr. Hogendorp, who resided on Java not many years before the arrival of the English, and was employed in a commission of inquiry into the state of the island, are extracted from a report or memoir which he drew up for the use of the Dutch government, recommending[Vol I Pg 301] a policy similar to that which we subsequently pursued. They contain a just account of the principles of the Javan government, and of the state of the Regents under the Dutch Company. After remarking, in perhaps too broad and unqualified terms, that the structure of the government is feudal, he proceeds to state:

"The first principles of the feudal system, which form the basis of the whole edifice, are: that the land is the property of the sovereign; that the inhabitants are his slaves, and can therefore possess no property, all that they have and all that they can obtain belonging to the sovereign, who allows them to keep it no longer than he chooses; and that the will of the prince is the supreme law.

"These are the real fundamental principles of the feudal system: for though the English and French kings could not always maintain their despotic sway, but were sometimes opposed, hostilely attacked, and even forced by arms to treat for terms with their subjects, this was only the natural consequence of the acknowledged rule, that tyranny destroys itself; and it is only necessary to revert to what James and Charles of England, in so late a period, thought their divine rights of royalty, to ascertain what were the rudiments of the feudal form of government: and even now, notwithstanding the numerous changes and revolutions which have happened in England, the most surprizing traces of that system are to be found, since in that country, so free, no individual soever possesses a foot of land in absolute property (allodium), but merely from the king (feodum), to whom only belongs the dóminum absolutum et directum, although subsequent laws and regulations have rendered this title more imaginary than real.

"The same system of government has been continued in the Company's districts, under the pretext of allowing the natives to retain their own laws and customs, but in reality from ignorance and self-interest. Although they were too ignorant to effect any improvement, they knew perfectly well that this plan was the best adapted to promote their own interest and advantage.

"The princes of Java, as well as those of Europe in[Vol I Pg 302] former times, and as a natural effect of the same cause, were also almost continually at war with their chief vassals, until the Dutch power and influence re-established and maintained the general tranquillity. This, however, has never had any effect on the system of government itself, and the subject who dethroned his sovereign and then succeeded him, thought that he had thereby obtained the same divine right of property in the lands and persons of his subjects, as his predecessor had possessed.

"The princes allotted the lands to their chiefs and immediate dependents, as rewards for military and other services. These chiefs (termed by the Dutch regents) again subdivided the lands among others of inferior rank, on the same conditions, and so on, down to the poor labourer who cultivated the land, but to whom a very small proportion of the fruits of his labour was left for his own support.

"The exclusive administration of the country was conferred on the regents, an appellation given to the native chiefs, who had acquired their lands from the Dutch, by contract or agreement, binding them annually to deliver partly for payment and partly not, a quantity, in some cases fixed, in others uncertain, of the produce of such lands, obliging them also to the performance of feudal services, both of a military and other nature.

"The titles of these regents are either Adipáti, Tumúng'gung, or Ang'ebái. The Prince of Madúra, styled Panambáhan, and the Prince of Súmenap, who is called Pangéran, are however only regents as well as the rest. The Prince of Madúra enjoys that tide as being of the imperial family, and the Prince of Súmenap purchased his by a large payment to a Governor-General.

"These regents are only officers of government, and possess not the smallest right to hereditary possession or succession. Yet when one of them dies, he is in general replaced by one of his sons, considered most fit for the office, provided he can afford to pay the customary present to the governor of the north-east coast of Java; for if he is unable to do this, or if any other person offers a more considerable sum, a pretence is easily found to exclude the children in favour of the more liberal purchaser. [Vol I Pg 303]

"These presents form a principal part of the emoluments of the governor of the north-east coast, and consequently all new appointments of regents are for his advantage. The present chief regent of Samárang paid 50,000 dollars for his promotion, and all the children of his predecessor were superseded. The others pay in proportion to the value of their regencies; and as this is arbitrary and uncertain, it is easily to be conceived, that they find means to recover the amount of their place-money[77].

"These Regents although very proud, are, with very few exceptions, ignorant and idle persons, who give themselves little concern about their lands and their people; of whom, indeed, they frequently know nothing, but only endeavour to squeeze and extort from them as much as possible, both for their own subsistence and pleasure, and to satisfy the cupidity of government and of their immediate superiors. They leave the administration of affairs entirely to their Pátehs, who are also appointed by the Dutch, and are held accountable for every thing[78]. [Vol I Pg 304]

"To their brothers, wives, children, and other near relations, they assign villages or désas, sufficient for their maintenance, for all these consider themselves born not to work, [Vol I Pg 305]and look upon the peasantry as only made for the purpose of providing for their support.

"In order to collect the rice and other kinds of produce, which they are by contract obliged to deliver to the Company as contingents, they compel the inhabitants of the district to furnish as much of it as is at all possible, without any fixed ratio or calculation, and without any kind of payment, leaving them scarcely what is absolutely necessary for their own support and that of their families, and even sometimes not nearly so much, especially in the event of failure in the crops; on which occasions the miserable inhabitants desert by hundreds to other districts, where, at least in the first instance, they may expect a less rigorous treatment. Several regents also, when distressed for money, are compelled by want, to let out many of their best désas to the Chinese: these bloodsuckers then extort from such villages as much as they can possibly contrive, while the inhabitants of the other désas are alone obliged to deliver the contingent required from the whole aggregate. It may easily be conceived, how oppressively this demand must fall upon those unhappy individuals; and how greatly these and other acts of injustice, which are the natural consequences of the present faulty administration, must tend to the ruin of the country, it would be superfluous reasoning to prove."

The only restraint upon the will of the head of the government is the custom of the country, and the regard which he has for his character among his subjects. To shew what that character ought to be, what is expected of a good prince, and what are the reciprocal duties of a prince, prime minister, and people, I may here quote a few sentences out of the Níti Prája, a work in very high esteem, and constantly referred to by the Javans.

"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. He must consider that as the withered foliage of the trees awaiteth the coming of[Vol I Pg 306] rain to flourish anew, so are his subjects waiting for his benevolence, to be provided with food, with raiment, and with beautiful women. If, on the contrary, a prince neglects to extend his benevolence and protection towards his subjects, he exposes himself to be abandoned by them, or at any rate to lose their confidence; for it is an undeniable truth, that no one will be faithful or attached to a man upon whom no dependence can be placed.

"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 proper sight of him. He must assume a pleasing appearance, which will enable him to observe his subjects who surround him, and then enquire if any one has any thing to say to him; and if there is, he must animate him to speak openly.

"In his discourse he must not speak loud, but low, and with dignity, and not more than is necessary for the purpose; for it does not become a prince to withdraw his words if once given, and much less to give them another turn.

"It is, above all, the duty of a prince to take notice of every thing going on in his country and among his subjects, and, if possible, to turn every thing to a good end: if he passes over unnoticed the least crime, he may create numerous enemies. It is further the duty of a prince, besides knowing the merits of his subjects and the state of his country, to explain all abstract and difficult expressions, particularly such as occur in writings.

"It is a disgrace to a prime minister for any hostile attack to be made on the country intrusted 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. So it is when he does not understand how to administer the country properly, or fails to invent what is useful; when he makes many promises, but fulfils few; when he is careless with regard to public affairs, and talks much about what is of no consequence, seeking to be admired by the people, and putting on fair appearances when his intentions do not cor[Vol I Pg 307]respond; when he cares nothing about the misfortunes of his inferiors, provided he gets money himself; when, finally, he is not faithful, but deceitful. Such a prime minister is like the hawk, which soars high in the air, but descends low on the earth to seize and steal its food.

"But a good prime minister is he who is upright in his heart, moderate in his fear of the prince, faithfully obedient to all his orders, kind-hearted, not oppressive to the people, and always exerting himself to the utmost for the happiness of the people and the welfare of the country.

"And a prime minister is good beyond measure who can always please his prince in every thing that is good; who knows every thing that is going on in the country, and takes proper measures accordingly; who always exerts himself to avert whatever is likely to be injurious; who considers nothing too trifling to merit his attention; who accumulates not wealth, but offers to his prince whatever comes in his way that is curious; who heeds not his own life in effecting what is right; who considers neither friends, family, nor enemies, but does justice alike to all; who cares not when he is praised or reviled, but trusts to the dispensations of Providence; who possesses much experience; who can bear poverty, and cares not for the enjoyment of pleasures; who is polite to every one; who with good will gives alms to the poor and helpless; who consults much with his brother officers, with whom he ought always to advise on affairs of business. Against such a prime minister it is impossible for any one to speak, for he will be feared at the same time that the people will become attached to him: the people will then live quiet and happy, perform their labours with cheerfulness, and wish that his administration may be lasting.

"A prime minister ought, nevertheless, not to be too confident in this, but always remain on his guard against the designs of bad men.

"There are many examples of such prime ministers: among which is Rája Jájahan, (prime minister of Mesir Egypt,) to whom all the people of the country, great and small, were much attached.

"Whenever his brother officers intended to visit the prince[Vol I Pg 308] for the purpose of paying their respects, they always assembled at the prime minister's house, where they generally partook of a meal: after this they proceeded to the court, followed by the prime minister on foot, dressed in white, with only three attendants, carrying a spear and other articles of state before him. By this conduct he supposed that he was screened from reproach, and that he was freed from enemies; but at the very time there were enemies conspiring against his life, as was afterwards discovered: therefore ought a prime minister not only to be virtuous, but cautious also, and always armed against his enemies, in the same manner as a sportsman arms himself against wild beasts.

"A subject going into the presence of his prince must be clean and well-dressed, wearing proper chelána (pantaloons.) He must have a good girdle and a sharp krís, and be anointed with aromatic oils. He must range himself with his equals, and convince them of his abilities and good breeding; because from this it is that he has to expect favour or disgrace, grief or joy, happiness or misery; for a prince can either exalt or humble him.

"A prince is like a dálang (wáyang player,) his subjects like wáyangs, and the law is as the wick of the lamp used in these entertainments: for a prince can do with his subjects what he pleases, in the same manner as the dálang acts with his wáyangs, according to his own fancy; the prince having the law, and the dálang the lamp, to prevent them from going out of the right way.

"In like manner, as it is incumbent on the dálang to make magnanimity and justice the principal subjects of his representation, in order that the spectators may be instructed and animated thereby, so should a prince, a prime minister, and chief officers of the court, direct the administration of the country with such propriety, that the people may attach themselves to them; they must see that the guilty are punished, that the innocent be not persecuted, and that all persons falsely accused be immediately released, and remunerated for the sufferings they may have endured."

The judicial and executive powers are generally exercised by the same individual. The written law of the island, ac[Vol I Pg 309]cording to which justice is administered and the courts are regulated, is that of the Koran, as modified by custom and usage. The Javans have now been converted to the Mahomedan religion about three centuries and a half, dating from the destruction of the Hindu kingdom of Majapáhit, in the year 1400 of the Javan æra. Of all the nations who have adopted that creed, they are among the most recent converts; and it may be safely added, that few others are so little acquainted with its doctrines, and partake so little of its zeal and intolerance. The consequence is, that although the Mahomedan law be in some instances followed, and it be considered a point of honour to profess an adherence to it, it has not entirely superseded the ancient superstitions and local customs of the country.

The courts of justice are of two descriptions: those of the Panghúlu or high priest, and those of the Jáksa. In the former the Mahomedan law is more strictly followed; in the latter it is blended with the customs and usages of the country. The former take cognisance of capital offences, of suits of divorce, of contracts and inheritance; they are also, in some respects, courts of appeal from the authority of the Jáksa. The latter take cognisance of thefts, robberies, and all inferior offences; its officers are employed in taking down depositions, examining evidence, inspecting the general police of the country, and in some measure acting as public prosecutors: these last functions are implied in the title of the office itself, jáksa meaning to guard or watch[79]. [Vol I Pg 310]

At the seat of government are supreme courts of the Panghúlu and Jáksa: to these there is an appeal from similar but inferior tribunals, established within each province. Petty tribunals, under like names, are even established under the jurisdiction of a Demáng, or chief of a subdivision, and sometimes of a Bákol, or head of a village; but in these the authority of the Panghúlu and Jáksa extend no further than to take down evidence to be transmitted to some higher authority, to settle petty disputes, and perform the ordinary ceremonies of religion, inseparable among the Javans, as well as all other Mahomedans, from the administration of justice.

Such however is the nature of the native government, that these officers are considered rather as the law assessors or council of the immediate superior officer of the executive government, than as independent ministers of justice. In such cases as come before them, they examine the evidence, and point out the law and custom to the executive officer, who is himself generally too ignorant and indolent to undertake it. When the evidence is gone through, and the point of law ascertained, [Vol I Pg 311]the whole is brought before him, at whose discretion it rests to pass judgment. It is however admitted, that in matters of little moment, where his passions and interests are not concerned, the division is frequently left to the law officers; but in all matters of importance he will not fail to exercise his privileges of interference.

The court of justice in which the Panghúlu or high priest presides, is always held in the serámbi, or portico of the mosque; a practice, which, as it inspires the people with a considerable share of awe, appears judicious. It is also convenient for the administration of oaths, which among the Javans are always administered within the mosque, and usually with much solemnity. The forms of the court are regular, orderly, and tedious; all evidence is taken down in writing, and apparently with much accuracy.

The court, at least at the seat of government, consists of the Panghúlu, the officiating priest of the mosque, and four individuals, also of the religious order, called Páteh nagári, meaning literally the pillars or supports of the country, to whom, after the examination of evidence in capital offences, the point of law and decision is referred. At the seat of government the sovereign or his minister passes judgment.

The court of the Jáksa at the seat of government consists of the head Jáksa, who may be styled the law officer of the prime minister, and the Jáksas of his Klíwons or assistants, for they too have their law councils. The functions of this court being of less importance, of a more mixed nature, and less solemn because less connected with religion, are still more subject than that of the Panghúlu to the rude interference of the executive authority[80]. [Vol I Pg 312]

The Javan code of law is divided into two departments, that of the Mahomedan law and that of custom and tradition. The former is distinguished by the appellation of húcum állah, the commands of God, from the Arabic; the latter by the Javan words yúdha nagára, meaning consideration for the country, or in other words, allowance for the state of society.

The decisions in Mahomedan law are chiefly guided by several works in the Arabic language. In all the courts of Java these works are said to be consulted in the Arabic language, but reference is more frequently made to a collection of opinions extracted from them, and translated into the language of the country.

The law of custom is chiefly handed down by oral tradition, but has in part been committed to writing in the following performances.

The earliest work relating to jurisprudence which is now referred to, is that of Júgul Múda Páteh, or minister of Sri Ma Púng'gung (of Méndang Kamúlan), now Wirosári: it is computed to be about six hundred years old. The second bears the name of Rája Kápa, said to have been the son of Júgul Múda, and like him minister of his sovereign Kandiáwan, also prince of Méndang Kamúlan.

By the authority of the Sultan of Demák, the first Mahomedan prince, a compilation of the Javan laws was made, in which they were in some measure blended with the Mahomedan jurisprudence. Probably this was intended to pave the way to an entire introduction of Mahomedan law. The body of regulations, &c. compressed in these codes is curious, from the laborious refinement of their distinctions, from the mixture of moral maxims and illustrations with positive law, from the most incongruous combinations, and from their casuistical spirit. In the Appendix will be found the translation of a modern version of the Súria Alem, a work of this description in high repute, as well an abstract of the laws and regulations said to have been in force in the earliest periods to which Java tradition refers[81]. [Vol I Pg 313]

The proclamations (úndang-úndang), and the laws and regulations (ánger ángeran) of the sovereign, form another source of deviation from the Mahomedan law. Collections of these have been committed to writing.

The prince, by himself or his officers, is always supposed vested with a discretionary power of adapting the Mahomedan law to the circumstances of society, a prerogative liberally exercised. This power, which sanctions every deviation from the letter of Musselman law, the Javans also express by the term of yúdha nagára. The krising of criminals instead of beheading them, the combat of criminals with tigers, the severe penalties for infractions of the sumptuary laws of the Javans, the constant commutation of corporeal punishment for a pecuniary fine, and in the case of persons of rank found guilty of murder, the commutation of the strict law of retaliation for a fine, without regard to the wishes of the relations of the deceased, if the latter be of no consideration, were among the deviations from the Mahomedan law sanctioned by the Yúdha nagára.

Such was the composition of the courts, and the code of laws that existed on Java before the arrival of the Dutch, and remained unchanged at the conquest of the island by the British. The Dutch legislated for the colonists, but took little interest in the system by which the judicial proceedings of their native subjects were guided, excepting in so far as their own advantage or security was concerned in them. The following statement contains the changes introduced by the Dutch.

Besides the colonial laws and regulations, enacted from time to time by the Governors and Council at Batavia; besides some standing orders of the Court of Directors, and some rules and provisions contained in the successive charters of the Company, and in what was called the article brief; the Dutch law, which was always considered the foundation of the colonial law, was of authority, as far as it remained unaffected by these institutions.

A collection of the colonial statutes and regulations, called the Placart Book of Batavia, and an abstract of them, entitled the Statutes of Batavia, were made under the authority of the colonial government; but as the latter never underwent[Vol I Pg 314] a regular promulgation, the rules contained in it were not considered as possessing the force of law, except in so far as they might be found to be conformable to the orders, proclamations, and regulations of the Indian government, or of the Directors of the East India Company.

The power of the Directors and of the Council of Batavia to enact local laws and regulations, seems not to have been very circumspectly defined in the first charters of the Company, those charters conferring on them, in general terms only, authority to provide for the administration of justice and establishment of police.

But from the nature of the occasion it seems evident, that this power of making colonial laws, as far at least as related to the Council of Batavia, could only have been a limited one, to be exercised with considerable discretion, and only upon points requiring an immediate provision, subject always to the approbation of the authorities at home; and even the Directors could hardly be considered to have possessed a greater extent of legislative power, than was necessary for the security of their new territories, and of their rights and privileges, or to have been authorised to deviate wantonly from the established law of the country, or neglect the dictates of justice and equity.

In the great variety of matter comprehended in the colonial statutes, no subject seems to have occupied more attention than the laws respecting slavery. These, as already observed, appear to have been formed in general upon principles of humanity and consideration for the condition of the unfortunate beings to whom they related.

In consequence of a resolution of the year 1760, the Council of India ordered that the customs of the Mahomedans, in matters of inheritance and successions ab intestat, &c. should be sanctioned and published.

In civil matters, natives and Chinese in the districts of Batavia seem to have been governed by the same laws as the European inhabitants.

Crimes committed by natives or Chinese in the city of Batavia and its environs, had, from the first settlement of the Dutch on the island, always been tried by European judges, and according to European law. [Vol I Pg 315]

In Bantam the criminal jurisdiction over the natives was left to the Sultan, and that over the Chinese resident there, was exercised as at Batavia according to the European law.

The Jakatra and Priáng'en Regencies seem formerly to have enjoyed a peculiar and fortunate state of tranquillity. Almost entirely removed from every communication and intercourse with Europeans, Chinese, and other foreign settlers found in the neighbourhood of Batavia, engaged in agriculture, and ruled by their own native chiefs, these districts seem to have been in a high degree free from crime; but whenever enormities did happen, the offenders were sent down to Batavia, and tried according to European law. It is to be observed, however, that on the first submission of those districts to the Company, their chiefs or regents reserved to themselves the jurisdiction over the inhabitants of their respective districts; but this stipulation appears to have been disregarded in the latter times of the Dutch Company, and under the late administration of Marshal Daendals, a court was established for these districts, the rule of which was European law.

From Chéribon the Chinese were amenable, as from Bantam and Batavia; but the natives were subject to a landraad (or local court), of which the Resident was president, and the Sultans members; and this court was, partly at least, directed by a papákam, or native code, compiled under the sanction of the government.

In the Eastern districts of the island, the Javans seem always, in criminal matters, to have enjoyed their own laws, founded on ancient custom and the precepts of the Koran. Of these laws the Council of Batavia caused abstracts to be printed, for the guidance of the great landraad or high court at Semárang, to which all the Javans in the European provinces, from Losári to Banyuwángi were amenable.

Under the native government, the prime minister (Ráden Adipáti) is the head of the police, as well as every other department of authority. The higher class of functionaries is most frequently to be found in those parts of the country most remote from the seat of government, where, as governors of provinces, they possess some extension of powers. The great and fertile provinces near the capital, on the other hand, are divided into small appropriations, of from two hundred to one[Vol I Pg 316] thousand cháchas, or families, placed under the administration of division officers, whose authority is limited to the duties of police.

Each village is possessed of a distinct organization within itself, has its chief, its Kabáyan or assistant, and if of any considerable size, its priest, whose advice is frequently had recourse to, and who generally decides petty disputes, especially respecting divorces and matters of inheritance. The chief of the village is not without his share of judicial authority, and often takes upon himself to punish by fine and imprisonment. In each village the inhabitants keep regular nightly watches and patrols.

The manner in which these little societies have been recently formed in the districts to the east of Surabáyu, where the European authority had not interfered, and where the influence of the Mahomedan government was scarcely felt, will tend to illustrate their nature and constitution.

The frequent wars, in which the people had been engaged with the inhabitants of Báli and Madúra, as well as with the Dutch, had reduced those provinces to a state of wilderness towards the middle of the last century. The encouragement held out to the people of the neighbouring island of Madúra brought over several adventurers, who were allowed to occupy the land they cleared; first rent-free, and afterwards at a fixed assessment. If several persons came together, their leader was invested with the authority of Petíng'gi over the new village which they formed. When individuals associated to construct a village, the chief was elected by themselves, subject to the approval of the landlord; and they possessed the privilege, common in all the districts east of Surabáya, of annually electing their chief, or Petíng'gi.

The nature of the duties rendered by this person was so essential to the well-being of a village, that this privilege was most intimately connected with its existence. Whenever a new assessment was imposed on the lands, it was the business of the Petíng'gi, if the amount was too high, to represent the matter to the superior, and to state the inability of the people to make good the demand: the consequence was, either a reduction of assessment on the part of the principal, or desertion on that of the people. But when the amount of the[Vol I Pg 317] assessment was considered reasonable (and any amount less than three-fifths seems to have been so considered), the Petíng'gi had to assemble all the people, and to distribute to each, in the common presence of all, his individual proportion of land, with a statement of the produce to be paid. He had to keep a roster of all duties required of the people, and to see that every man took his proper turn. When the harvest ripened, he had to watch the collectors, that they exacted no more from each man than his proportion; and the cultivator, that he did not embezzle any part of the due of government. In large villages he had an assistant, called a Kabáyan, who represented him during his absence, and with the Kamitúah and Múdin (priest), formed a court for settling petty village disputes; subject, however, to a reference, if the parties should be dissatisfied.

It was customary for the people of the village to cultivate the lands of their Petíng'gi without payment. This and the honour of chiefship rendered the office an object of village ambition; while an annual election, and the fear, if turned out, of being called upon to justify his conduct, rendered this officer generally a steady and careful representative of his constituents.

All strangers passing through the country were expected to apply to the Petíng'gi for the assistance they required; and if payment was tendered, all procurable necessaries were furnished. The Petíng'gi also took charge of the strangers' property, examined the same in the presence of the other head-man, and was bound to return the whole undiminished the next morning, or to pay the value. If, however, the stranger preferred keeping his property under his own charge, and rested himself for the night under some of the public sheds, the loss he might sustain fell on himself alone, and all he could procure from the village was assistance to trace the offenders.

It was customary, as well to deter beasts of prey as thieves, for a part of the men of each village to keep a night watch round it, and to perform this duty in successive rotation.

Such appears to have been the internal regulation of these villages; and it seems to have been framed according to the ancient usage of the island, the similarity of which to that of[Vol I Pg 318] Western India has been adduced as a strong instance of one common origin[82].

[Vol I Pg 319] It follows from the above, that each village has in itself the materials of a good police, and that a right of choosing their chiefs gives to the people a considerable share of real liberty[83]. This right of election in the inhabitants of the village, as before observed, would appear at one time to have been general throughout the island. It is still respected in the districts of Surabáya, where the office of Petíng'gi was always elective, for although the same person might hold it for many years, a ballot for the situation was regularly held at specified periods, varying from one to three years[84].

The right of election is also clearly acknowledged in the districts of Japára and Jawána. "That the Petíng'gi is elected by the inhabitants of a village," observes the officer who introduced the settlement into those districts[85], "there cannot be a doubt; and even the right of election is foregone by the people, though I have not met with a single instance of the kind, it may be taken for granted, that it is so only, in consequence of the influence of the Regent, to serve some particular purpose. While the Petíng'gi continues in office, he is looked up to and obeyed by the people of the village to which he belongs as the immediate chief. He generally occupies the paséban usually to be found in villages of consequence, and has two or more men, inhabitants of the village, appointed to attend him wherever he goes. A Petíng'gi was usually elected for one year, during which time he could not, according to the ancient usage, be removed, except in consequence of some [Vol I Pg 320]gross misconduct, but if his conduct was such as to give satisfaction to the inhabitants, they continued him for several years. As far as I could learn," continues the same officer, "the Regent, or other superior native authority, seldom interfered in the election of a Petíng'gi; but it was generally understood, that although he could not force a Petíng'gi upon them who was disliked by the people, his confirmation was required before the person elected could act with effect."

In the Súnda districts of Chéribon and Tegál, the appointment to this office is invariably made, if not by the election of the villagers, generally from among themselves, and always with their concurrence. It is a common practice for the people of a village, even where the right of election is not in use, to represent in a body the conduct of their chief, if incorrect; and it has always been necessary for the chief native authority to remove him, if the complaints were justly founded.

A reference to the judicial regulations in the Appendix[86] will show how desirous the British government on the island has been to protect the privileges of these societies, and in particular the right of electing their chief.

When the British authority was established on the island, it was immediately seen that something must be done to supply the deficiencies, and to correct the imperfections of the native code. All the other changes in contemplation for the encouragement of industry and for the abolition of oppressive and impolitic exactions, would have been nugatory, without such an improvement in the judicial and police regulations, as would secure, by a full and impartial administration of justice, the rights and privileges about to be conferred. It would have been in vain to define the limits of power, to issue directions for guiding the conduct of public servants in their transactions with the people, or to have abrogated the oppressive privileges of the chiefs, and to have assured the people of the intention of government to protect them against all invasion of their rights, either by open violence, by the exaction of services, or by oppressive contributions, without[Vol I Pg 321] establishing effective means of obtaining redress when aggrieved. The system acted upon was at once barbarous and revolting. Practices prevailed under the sanction of native law, which were abhorrent to the criminal jurisdiction of any enlightened nation, without being at all necessary to the due administration of justice[87]. I allude particularly to torture and mutilation. These the Earl of Minto immediately abolished, by his proclamation of the 11th September 1811, in which, besides this beneficial and humane enactment, he laid down clearly and distinctly the liberal and enlightened principles which should guide the local government in the subsequent revision of the civil and criminal code of the colony. The result was the enactment of the code of judicial and police regulations which will be found in the Appendix to this work[88]. The outlines of these regulations, and the principles which dictated them, are contained in a Minute which I recorded on the 11th February 1814, when they were [Vol I Pg 322]completed and promulgated; and the following quotations from that document may be sufficient to put the reader in possession of the change which was effected.

"It was essential, in conducting the revenue arrangements, that the measures taken for the establishment of a good and efficient police, and the full and impartial administration of justice throughout the island, should preserve an equal pace.

"Rights were not to be bestowed and defined, without a suitable provision for their being effectually guarded against any invasion; and it became an object of the first moment, to form such an adequate and consistent code of regulations, as should serve, in every instance, to guide the executive officers of government in the performance of their duty, and to make known, and secure to the people, the means of obtaining redress, whenever they felt themselves in any way aggrieved.

"The system found existing on our first arrival was at once complicated and confused. In the principal towns there were established courts, but these were constituted in all the troublesome formalities of the Roman law; and in the different residencies were provincial courts, styled land-raads, where the native form and law was left to take its course, with all its barbarities and tortures.

"The Dutch government, proceeding entirely on the system of commercial monopoly, paid very inferior attention to their internal administration. They had little other connexion with their best subjects, the cultivators of the soil, than in calling on them, from time to time, for arbitrary and oppressive contributions and services; and for the rest, gave them up to be vassals to the various intermediate authorities, the Regents, Demángs, and other native officers. These either at first purchased their situations, or stipulated for a certain tribute, in service or money, in consideration of which all the inferior classes of inhabitants were made over, to be dealt with by them as most pleasing to themselves. Policy, and the common attention to their own good, suggested to these a certain equity of procedure, and it was generally the custom to leave each village to its own management, with respect to police and settling the petty[Vol I Pg 323] quarrels that occurred within its limits; but for the continuance of what was good in such a system, there was no security whatsoever, and oppression and injustice must have constantly occurred. Where the will of the lord was the paramount law, his vassals could only have depended on his natural goodness of disposition for being equitably treated. No remedy was afforded where the reverse was the case, and they possessed, in short, no security, no freedom whatsoever.

"On the propriety of the measures to be adopted by us to remedy such evils, no doubt could exist.

"The first proclamation of the enlightened founder of the present government adverted immediately to this subject. As a step that could not, consistently with British ideas, admit of a moment's delay, it instantly ordained, that torture and mutilation should no longer make part of any sentence to be pronounced against criminals; and it then proceeded to define clearly the relative situation of the English and Dutch inhabitants, laying down rules for the future guidance of government concerning them. This proclamation, dated 11th September, 1811, has long been before the world, and it would be superfluous, in this place, to dwell on that love of justice and benevolence of disposition, which is to be traced through every part of it. It forms the basis of the present respective European rights in this colony[89].

"As a continuation of the measures so ably sketched out by my predecessor, I issued the proclamation, dated the 21st January, 1812.

"In this I attempted to simplify the clumsy and unwieldy structure of the former courts, by abolishing some, lessening the number of the judges in the remaining ones, and by defining, as accurately as I could, the limits of their respective jurisdictions.

"It was found that, formerly, there were separate courts for investigating the conduct of the immediate European servants of the Dutch Company, and of Europeans not included in that service. This distinction, as Lord Minto observed, never could have been grounded on any sound[Vol I Pg 324] principle, and it being resolved, that justice, under the British government, should be administered equal and alike to all classes and denominations, the judicial power of the College of Schepenen was abolished, and transferred to the jurisdiction of the courts of justice.

"The great number of judges who, under the Dutch administration, formed a court, was reduced in each to a president and three members.

"One court was established in each of the three principal towns, Batavia, Semárang, and Surabáya, the jurisdiction of which extended over its European inhabitants; proceeding, in civil cases, in the mode before established, but in criminal ones, so as to conform as much as possible to that established in Great Britain; in all cases confronting the prisoner with the evidence, and a jury being called to judge of the fact on the evidence so adduced.

"To relieve these courts from numerous inconsiderable causes, courts, of the nature of Courts of Requests, were also established in these three towns, for the recovery of small debts.

"For matters of police within the towns, magistrates were appointed; but they were ordered to confine themselves entirely to this branch.

"An abuse which had been discovered to be usual, the compounding crimes and offences, in consideration of a sum of money paid to the Fiscal or other officer, had also met with Lord Minto's most severe reprehension, as being one of an abominable nature, and to be suppressed without delay. The practice was accordingly strictly prohibited, and consonantly with British ideas was termed scandalous.

"Thus much had been done with regard to Europeans, and it has been found fully sufficient.

"But with respect to the native inhabitants of the Island, it was to be expected that much greater changes would be necessary.

"In the first instance, it was ordered that courts should be established in the different districts, in which the chief civil authorities should preside, aided by the Regents and other native officers, for the purpose of hearing and trying all causes in which natives only were concerned; the[Vol I Pg 325] amount of their civil decisions, when exceeding fifty dollars, being submitted for confirmation to the courts of justice; and all criminal cases, of a capital nature, being made over by them to judges of circuit, who were ordered to be sent on this duty twice a year, from among the members of the superior courts.

"Thus much was known not to militate either against the principles of universal and natural justice, or against the particular laws and usages of the country; and thus much was only, at first, done, because it was resolved to obtain the fullest knowledge of the subject, with regard to the manners, habits, and institutions of our native subjects, before we established one general code of regulations for the internal administration of the country.

"In effecting this grand object, it was rather my wish to have it maturely and well done, than by accelerating it too much, to run the risk of taking up a crude system, which would require to be afterwards re-considered, and perhaps entirely new modelled.

"On the principle, however, which would eventually guide me, there was no doubt, nor is it necessary for me to dilate on the impolicy, the inconvenience, or the injustice, of subjecting the natives of Java to any other laws, than those of their ancient government and established faith.

"The tranquillity of the country and the duties of police have been provided for, by preserving the original constitution of the villages, and continuing the superintendence and responsibility in the hands of those, whose rank enables them to exert a due influence, and to command respect. For the administration of justice, the duties of the Resident, as judge and magistrate, have been considerably extended. In civil cases, the mode of proceeding, and the establishment of petty courts, are founded on the practice of the country; in criminal, the jurisdiction and authority of the Resident has been considerably extended. Hitherto, his duties had been strictly confined to police; but considerable delay and injury to the parties accused, as well as to the witnesses, had been occasioned by allowing all causes of a higher nature to lie over for the Court of Circuit: and as the separation of the collection of the Revenue would afford[Vol I Pg 326] more time to the Resident, it was resolved to extend the criminal jurisdiction of the Provincial Courts to all cases, in which the punishment for the crime alleged does not amount to death. In these courts, which instead of being termed Landraad, as heretofore, are now styled the Resident's Courts, the Panghúlu, or chief priest, and the superior, Jáksa, or native fiscal, attend to expound the law. The Bopátis, or Regents, with their Pátehs, are present, to aid and assist the Resident with their opinion in the course of the investigation, but they have no vote in the decision. If the opinion of the law officers appears to the Resident to be according to substantial justice, and is in accordance with his own opinion, the sentence is immediately carried into effect, provided the punishment does not extend to transportation or imprisonment for life.

"In cases where the punishment adjudged is more considerable, or wherein the opinion of the law officers may be at variance with that of the Resident, a reference is to be made to the Lieutenant Governor; and in all cases where the punishment for the crimes charged is of a capital nature, the prisoner is committed to jail, to take his trial before the Circuit Judge.

"On the first establishment of the Courts of Circuit, it was directed that the President and one other member of the Courts of Justice, should proceed once in six months, or as much oftener as circumstances might require, to the different Residencies in their several jurisdictions, for the trial of offenders. Much inconvenience, however, was found to arise from the absence of those members of the courts from the towns in which they were established, as it necessarily followed, that all civil business was at a stand while they were away. On the other hand, to prevent delay on the trial of criminals, it was necessary that they should visit the Residencies more frequently than once in six months.

"To remedy this in future, and to provide for the prompt and due administration of justice among the native inhabitants, in a manner that is not repugnant to their notions of right and wrong, one member of each of the courts of justice has been appointed a Judge of Circuit, who will be present in each of the Residencies at least once in every three[Vol I Pg 327] months, and as much oftener as necessary. In the mode of proceeding, they are to avoid the formalities of the Roman law. A native jury, consisting of an intelligent foreman and four others[90], decide upon the fact: the law is then taken down, as expounded by the native law officers, and the sentence, with the opinion of the Judge of Circuit, and on the application of the Dutch and Colonial law on the cases, is forwarded for the modification or confirmation of the Lieutenant Governor.

"Hitherto the jury required by the Court of Circuit, did not exceed five in number, and these, as justly observed, 'were chosen from a class of men (Europeans) who had no common feelings, no common rights; who were, in no shape or consideration, the equals of the person tried. The law was the law of Europe. The jury, under their best prejudices, were influenced by that law; and its meanings and penalties were applied to people who reason in a different manner, and who often never knew any thing of the laws of Europe, before they found themselves its convicted victims.'

"The general jurisdiction of the Courts of Justice at Batavia, Semárang, and Surabáya, is now confined to Europeans and foreigners and to the inhabitants of those towns and their suburbs; and a line has been drawn, which distinctly separates the police of the country from that of the towns.

"Collections of the different law-books and institutions of the country are now making, and a native establishment has been formed at Buitenzorg, under my immediate superintendence, for examining and revising the judicial proceedings, and for affording to the native inhabitants that facility of appeal, which the remoteness of the Government, and the rules of Dutch administration, did not formerly admit of, but which is so consonant to the principles on which the new system of internal economy has been established."

Under the native government, the whole of the male population[Vol I Pg 328] capable of bearing arms was liable to military service; but the number of people required to cultivate the land, and to perform other public services, did not admit of more than one-third being spared for military purposes, except in cases of extraordinary emergency. The extent of the force permanently kept up by the sovereign in time of peace varied, of course, with the probability of approaching hostilities: when this was smallest, the number seldom exceeded what was required for the state and pomp of the court, and might have amounted to four or five thousand men. Until within the last sixty years, when the Dutch first obtained a supremacy over the whole island, the provinces under the native administration had for several centuries been in a continual state of warfare; but since that period the military spirit has been gradually subsiding, and, by the existing treaties with the native princes, they are restricted in the number of troops which they may maintain. Those of the Susuhúnan are limited to a body guard of one thousand men: such further number as may be required for the tranquillity of the country, the European government undertakes to furnish.

Before the native sovereign was under this restriction, he used to raise the requisite force by a demand upon the governor of each province for a specified number, to be furnished at a certain time, varying according to circumstances. The governor or chief of the province apportioned this demand among the subdivisions, and the village chiefs selected from among the villagers as many as were required of them; and thus, in a country where every man wears a kris or dagger, and the spear or pike is the principal military weapon, an army, or rather a numerous armed mob, was easily collected in a few days. The men furnished from the villages, and of whom the mass of every large army necessarily consisted, were distinguished from the soldiers by profession (prajúrit), by the term árahan, or prajúrit árahan. During their absence from home, they were provisioned by the sovereign, and their wives and families were maintained by the head of the village, who required of the remaining cultivators to assist in working their fields or gardens.

The sovereign, as the head of the military and the fountain of military honour, assumes among his titles that of Senapáti,[Vol I Pg 329] or lord of war. When an army is to be raised, he appoints a certain number of his chiefs to be widánas, or commanders of corps of three hundred and twenty men. Under each widána are four lúrahs or tíndihs, who command companies of eighty men, and have each two subaltern officers, called babákals or sesábats, each having the command of forty men. The widánas were remunerated for their services by grants of land, to the amount of a thousand cháchas, from which they had again to make assignments for the maintenance of the inferior officers, who were always nominated by them.

When troops march through the country, or supplies are required, a demand is made upon the neighbouring districts, which are obliged to contribute according to their means, without payment. When in an enemy's country, the troops, of course, subsist by plunder, the disbursement of money for provisions or supplies being unknown.

The native armies of Java consisted chiefly of infantry, but the officers were invariably mounted, and when cavalry was required, each province furnished its quota: the troops, whether on foot or mounted, joined the army properly equipped for action. It was thus unnecessary for the sovereign to keep up a store of arms. Each village has its provision of spears, and sometimes of fire-arms; the officer of subdivision keeps a further reserve for contingencies; and as the chief of the province is responsible for the proper equipment of the men, he generally has also a further store to supply any deficiency.

Of the different weapons used in Java, the most important and the most peculiar to the Eastern Islands is the krís, which is now worn by all classes, and as an article of dress has already been noticed.

The Javan krís differs from the Malayan, in being much more plain, as well in the blade as in the handle and sheath: it differs also in the handle and sheath from the krís of Madúra and Báli, as may be seen in the plate. The varieties of the blade are said to exceed an hundred; and as a knowledge of the krís is considered highly important by the Javans, I have, in a separate plate, offered specimens of the most common.

In the plates are also exhibited the different kind of spears, darts, and other weapons, either said to have been in use for[Vol I Pg 330]merly, or actually used at the present day. These are the bow and arrow (gendewa, pana) which are seldom used in modern days, except on state occasions. The arrows, termed chákra, paspáti, trisúla, waráyang, diwál, róda dedáli, and others of a similar form, as well as the clubs called indán, gáda, and dénda, are represented as the weapons used by the gods, demigods, and heroes of antiquity, and are constantly referred to in the mythological and historical romances of the Javans, and exhibited in their scenic and dramatic entertainments. The túlup and páser represent the tube and the small arrows which are rendered poisonous by the úpas: these have not been used on Java for centuries, but they are common in less civilized islands of the Archipelago, and particularly on Borneo. The gánjing is an iron bar, formerly used by the Javans. The bandríny, or sling, is still used with considerable effect, and was employed in resisting the British troops in 1812. The pedáng, bandól, badík, golók, mentók, lámang or klewáng, and chundrík, are varieties of the sword. The kúdí-tránchang is a weapon which was formerly general on Java, but not now much used. The wedúng is a peculiar weapon, in the shape of a chopper, worn on occasions of state by all chiefs when in presence of the sovereign. Of spears and darts, there are several varieties distinguished by different names. Small round shields are still in use; the long shield is not. The matchlock exhibited in the plate is a representation of a piece manufactured on Báli.

Besides these instruments of war, the Javans have long been acquainted with the use of cannon, muskets, and pistols. Previous to the reduction of Yúgya-kérta, in 1812, by the British forces, the Sultan cast brass guns of considerable calibre, and at Grésik they are still manufactured for exportation. Round the kráton of Súra-kérta are mounted several very large pieces of artillery, and great veneration is paid to some of them supposed to have been the first introduced on the island: two, in particular, are considered to be part of the regalia. For muskets and pistols they are principally indebted to Europeans. Gunpowder they manufacture, but to no considerable extent, and the quality is not esteemed.

From an army raised only on emergency, and composed of people who do not make the military life a profession, much[Vol I Pg 331] discipline cannot be expected. The veneration, however, which the common people pay to their chiefs, the well defined gradations of rank, and the devotion with which all classes are willing to sacrifice themselves in support of their ancient institutions and independence, seem to render the Javan troops, while acting under their own chiefs, orderly and tractable. In their tactics and conduct they endeavour to emulate the examples given in their ancient romances; and in the plans for their pitched battles, the march of their armies, and the individual heroism of their chiefs, they strive to imitate the romantic exhibitions contained in the poems of antiquity. In the great Matárem war, for instance, the result of which was the establishment of the present family on the throne, the disposition of the army is said to have been in the form of a shrimp or prawn, as represented in the plate. This form is termed mangkára, or the shrimp which hides its soul, alluding to the sovereign who is in the centre and not to be approached. The plan of this order of battle is said to have been taken from the poem of the Bráta Yúdha, and was adopted by Bimányu, the son of Arjúna. The diráda máta is another form, said to have been used by the army of Astína, and has likewise been adopted by the modern Javans[91].

Of the bravery and heroism required of a soldier, some notion has been given in the account of the Javan ethics; and a reference to their history, for the last three centuries, will abundantly prove, that although unacquainted with those evolutions and tactics which contribute so largely to the power of an European army, the Javans, as soldiers, have not been deficient, either in personal courage, or in such military principles as might be expected from the general state of society among them, and as are well suited to the nature of the country and the weapons they are accustomed to carry[92]. [Vol I Pg 332]

It is the national boast, that it was not so much by force of arms as by intrigue and stratagem, that the Dutch obtained the superiority in the country. The history of the Dutch administration on Java will abundantly testify this, and at the same time prove, that among Asiatics, there are few nations who have fought more obstinately in support of their independence than the Javans. It was by corrupting and bribing the chiefs, and sowing disunion among them, that the Dutch succeeded in dismembering an empire, already shaken, at the period of their arrival, by the constant wars which attended the establishment of Mahomedanism. The comparison which has been drawn by the Javans themselves of their own character, in contrast with that of the Dutch, may serve to illustrate the nature of the military feeling still existing in the country. "The Dutch," say they, "are superior to the Javans, inasmuch as they have good heads; they can calculate, and they understand policy better, but then they have cold hearts: the Javans are poor simple beings, but they love their country and will never quit it; their heart glows and often burns."

The phrenzy generally known by the term muck or ámok, is only another form of that fit of desperation which bears the same name among the military, and under the influence of which they rush upon the enemy, or attack a battery, in the manner of a forlorn hope. The accounts of the wars of the Javans, as well as of the Maláyus, abound with instances of warriors running ámok; of combatants, giving up all idea of preserving their own lives, rushing on the enemy, committing indiscriminate slaughter, and never surrendering themselves alive[93]. Even at present, there are to be found among the Javans men who profess to be and are considered invulnerable; and there are some who, by a dextrous manner of receiving the spear, [Vol I Pg 333]and other such artifices, completely impose upon the too credulous people. Nothing is so easy as for an artful man to persuade the common Javans that he possesses supernatural power. At the present day this pretension, and the artifices by which it is supported, are more generally of a religious nature, but during the wars, every fortunate chief was considered as partially vested with it.

The general term for a soldier is prajúrit: the guards of the sovereign are distinguished by the term tantómo. Sara g'ni is the name given to those who carry fire-arms. Gándek are the couriers or messengers who convey the orders of the commanders. In every army there is a certain number called jága béla, whose duty it is to prevent the body of the troops from deserting, and to see that every man does his duty. Pána káwan is the term by which the youths who accompany their fathers and relations to battle are distinguished. Semút gátat is the general term for attendants, retainers, and followers of an army. But besides distinctions of office, there are others purely of merit and honour: those are called niútra who are selected as superior to their comrades in person and strength: the prawireng are those who have once distinguished themselves in battle: magátísh, those who sacrifice all other prospects in life in order to pursue the love of arms: trúna-láyang, gallant youths: jága súra, those whose courage is undisputed, and who keep a good look out: júdi páti, those who hazard their lives in battle, as they would hazard a die in any common game of chance; literally, who play with death: nirbáya, those who are above a sense of pain or fear: jáyeng sekár, flowers of victory[94]. This latter term was chosen by Marshal Daendels for the native militia raised for the service of the Dutch government during his administration.

In the Dutch armies the Javans were considered as inferior to the other islanders as soldiers, and from the facilities offered[Vol I Pg 334] for desertion while serving on Java, it was with great difficulty that they could be disciplined. The men were invariably raised by conscription, and instances have occurred of their deserting by companies. Under the British a corps of about twelve hundred men was raised, with little prospect of advantage for the first two years; but, by the perseverance and ability of the officer who commanded them, they afterwards became a well-disciplined corps, and on all occasions behaved themselves with fidelity and courage when called into action. As individuals, they are, for the most part, physically weaker than the Maláyus and other islanders; and as a nation, their agricultural habits have considerably obliterated the military character which they once possessed. Their country, however, particularly in the interior, is naturally very strong, full of ravines and fastnesses, and their mode of warfare is perhaps the best adapted for its defence. Were the whole energies of the nation united under one chief, with the experience which they now have of European tactics, it may be assumed that they would render it impregnable to any open attack, either of an European or an Asiatic force; but, unfortunately for their independence, it has been their lot, as their history will shew, to be continually disunited, either by religious or political feuds. Their greatest resistance appears to have been made against European influence. They maintain with pride, that although virtually conquered, they still, as a nation and as individuals, pertinaciously adhere to their ancient institutions, and have a national feeling, very different from that which is usually to be found among a conquered people.

The subject of revenue, for the support of the various establishments under the native government, has been so repeatedly touched upon, and came so much into view in the account given of Javan agriculture, that many further details here would appear tedious and unnecessary. All public officers, it has been often observed, from the highest chief to the lowest menial, are remunerated by grants of land revokable at pleasure, and all expences of the courts of justice, all police and military services, defrayed out of the same fund. There is no public treasury. When public works are to be executed, or supplies are to be furnished, each village is called upon to[Vol I Pg 335] furnish its quota of men, of provisions, &c.; and on the equitable regulation of these services and contributions depends the reputation of the native chief. The land constitutes the only treasury of the prince, and this is valuable according to its fertility, and the extent and number of its cultivators. There are, to be sure, certain general taxes and imposts levied throughout the country: but these appear to have been of comparatively modern introduction, and unconnected with the genuine principles of the Javan government. The nature of several of these imposts and taxes has been explained in treating of the landed tenure and the condition of the peasantry. The following statement, extracted from the Report of a Dutch commissioner[95], appointed to inquire into the subject of taxation in the year 1812, though it refers to the particular province of Surabáya, may be considered as applicable to the greater part of the island; and I here produce it in preference to any more general or more concise account of my own, because it will shew that the opinions I have so often expressed, concerning the oppressions of the Dutch authorities, the patient submission, the industry, and other good qualities of the lower classes of Java, are not peculiar to the English, but entertained by some of the subjects of a government which profited by the abuses complained of, and must have been anxious to conceal their enormity.

"The ordinary taxes annually levied in the district of Surabáya are as follow:

"1. The grabág or peték, or as it is sometimes called, the chácha or capitation tax, is generally levied at the rate of four rupees for each chácha a year; that is to say, for such a quantity of profitable land as may be cultivated by one family.

"2. The contingent or contribution of rice to government, being from fifteen to nineteen píkúls of clean rice from each jung, according to its situation and fertility.

"3. Pári pánajúng (from which, however, are excused the distant districts), consisting generally of three ámats of pári, equal to from eight to ten káti of rice, from each jung. This is destined for the maintenance of those Mántris and[Vol I Pg 336] chiefs who were not at all or insufficiently provided with rice fields of their own.

"4. Pári págondíkan, levied only in the districts near the capital, consisting generally of two gédings or double heaps of pari. This was destined for the extraordinary expences of the districts; as the maintenance of the government, state prisoners, native ambassadors from the opposite coast, and the like.

"5. Pàri pakásak, consisted of three gédings from each jung, destined for the maintenance of those who superintend the direction of the water-courses, &c.

"6. Pári zákat, consisted of one ámat of pári from each jung, and was destined for the maintenance of the church and chief priests.

"7. Pítrah, consisted in the payment of twenty káti of rice from each jung, also destined for the maintenance of the priests.

"8. Máláman. This consisted of a payment made to the Regent or chiefs of the districts, at each of the three festivals of Múlut, Púasa, and Besár, of ten káti of rice, and three and a quarter stivers in money from each jung, one large fowl, five eggs, four cocoa-nuts, one bunch of plantains: and from those who held three or four jungs, was further required a bottle of oil, to add to the solemnity of the ceremony, to which persons of this condition were universally invited.

"It is easy to conceive, that the common Javan was not able to make any money after paying these taxes and contributions, at least not so much as he wanted for himself and family; particularly if we take into consideration, that it is very seldom one man is the sole proprietor of a jung alone, but that it is often divided between three and four persons, and that, with the most successful harvest, such a jung does not produce more than thirty to thirty-five ámats of pári. With all this, however, the common Javan would feel himself satisfied, if he had no other taxes to pay, having generally a good many fruit trees, and a little cottage farm, in which he cultivates síri, &c. and sometimes a small fish-pond in the vicinity of his dwelling, which is usually free of tax. But this is not the case; he must submit to other[Vol I Pg 337] oppressions, which not being regulated, are for that reason the heavier, because they are called for in an arbitrary way, and because self-interest does not fail to seize every possible opportunity of extortion.

"When a chief has occasion to travel, when a marriage, birth, circumcision, recovery from illness, or any such subject of festivity, occurs in his family, it is advertized immediately to the subordinate towns and villages, the inhabitants of which feel themselves obliged, each in proportion to his means, to carry him fruits, rice, fowls, and even buffaloes and money. These are called free presents, but in fact, are as much an obligatory contribution as any of the others; to say nothing of the many demands for fowls, eggs, ducks, fruits, &c. for which payment is made, but always at a rate far below their value: or of the numerous fines which are continually exacted from the people, in compensation, or as hush money for disputes and offences of every description; the taking away of bámbus, and sometimes of fruit trees, when wood is required, either for government or the chief; to which must yet be added, that for the execution of the duties of government, and on the conveyance of orders, Mántris, and other subordinate chiefs, were continually, in the neighbourhood of the villages, just like so many voracious birds, who think themselves entitled not only to take something for their trouble, but to be provided during their stay with every thing gratis, even opium, if they require it. This custom, adopted on Java, extends to every other chief, although not in employment, and even to the Regents, their relations, &c. None of these persons will pass through a town or village, without demanding what he wants for his maintenance or journey; and very often he asks what he does not want, to the great oppression of the common Javan. Much is wasted by this practice, and no particular advantage appears to result from it.

"We must, indeed, be astonished to see all the oppressions, &c. to which the common Javan must submit. It is usually said, indeed, that the Javan is not accustomed to an easy life, and ought not to have more than barely enough to keep him alive, with many more such expressions; but this is not the manner of reasoning of any [Vol I Pg 338]well-thinking man, who, though he sees very well the imperfections and weak nature of the Javan, yet bears in mind that he is a man like himself; who, although he has been conquered, it is true, by the greater valour and knowledge of the European, has still an equal right to be treated like a man.

"But, alas! these are not all the vexations and oppressions which fall to the lot of the common people, who bear all without murmuring. The feudal service was as grievous as almost all the other charges united. The origin of those services must be sought for in the feudal system of the native government, long ago adopted throughout Java. It was considered that all the land was the property of the prince, who only made provisional assignments thereof to his subjects, in remuneration for military and other services rendered. This was the cause of all the lands being divided into as many allotments as could be cultivated, called cháchas, each of a size to be cultivated by one man. A certain number of these was assigned to the different chiefs, according to their rank; the custom of the country fixing not only the amount of contributions to be paid from the produce, but the number of men to be constantly kept in attendance upon them. The lands thus assigned to chiefs were exempt from service to them, and the inhabitants were only expected to watch the villages, to make and repair the roads, and to perform other general services of the state. This was the situation of the people with regard to service, when the coast districts were first ceded to the European government. The system of trade and fixed contributions did not admit of any change, and the services were at that time of very little consequence, and such as could be performed without oppression to the inhabitants; but the case is now quite different. Successively and particularly of late years, much heavier services have been demanded than were ever before known, and it naturally follows, that the Javan must be kept more at work than before. Besides, it is not possible to apportion those services equally, on account of the situation of the places where the services are required, and because the chiefs, who have the direction of the works, from indifference and lazi[Vol I Pg 339]ness, generally make a requisition on the nearest village; and it not unfrequently happens, that many people are thus taken for the public service, who have no lands whatever allotted to them.

"Were the requisitions made for the public service alone, it would still be comparatively nothing, it being admitted that the state has a right to the labour of its subjects; but the Regents, their relations, their Pátehs, and the subordinate chiefs of every description, assume the right of disposing of the services of the common people as they think proper, and themselves employ many of them in menial labour of all descriptions[96], from which it arises, that the number of people employed away from their homes, on what is called public services, is almost incredible.

"It is therefore more than time, and highly necessary, that an end be put to this monstrous system of government. Humanity looks forward with pleasure to this step. Government, who are essentially interested, have the most perfect right to take it; but the change must be entire and radical. Where the machine is entirely bad, it would be vain to attempt the repair of a few of the parts of which it is composed: the whole would still remain worthless, and it would only result that the main defects being hidden by a specious covering, the whole labour would be worse than thrown away."

The British government did accordingly alter the whole system of revenue. The subject was forced upon its attention, not only by the desire which every humane and liberal administration must feel, to promote the happiness of its subjects, but by considerations of a prudential nature. The resources of the country had sunk under a capricious and tyrannical system of exaction; industry was paralyzed, and confidence was destroyed. The opportunity for effecting a reformation was favourable, our means ample, and we had nothing to dread from the opposition of those interested in supporting abuses: it was, therefore, resolved to abolish all oppressive taxes, and to come immediately upon the soil for support of our establishments, by appropriating a fixed portion[Vol I Pg 340] of its produce, leaving the full enjoyment of the remainder to the cultivator, with every facility for turning his industry to account. What was done in consequence, by the land revenue arrangements, has been seen in the account given of landed tenure.

The subjects of the colony were freed from the sway of their chiefs, who were no longer permitted to demand at pleasure their services or their property. These chiefs were compensated for the loss of their former influence by salaries in money or allotments of land, which they either held on condition of performing the police duties, or collecting the revenue. When paid by the rent of land, they were permitted to exact no more than the assessment settled by government. No arbitrary power was allowed them to disturb the peasant in the enjoyment of the remainder, or to drag him from his home and his duties to his family, for the purpose of swelling their idle pomp, or performing services about their person or household. The Chinese farmers of the revenue in Chéribon and other districts, having oppressed the people by every rapacious and tyrannical expedient, were, by the discontinuance of the farms, deprived of the power they had exercised over the persons and property of the natives. Forced services and all deliveries of produce at inadequate rates on government account were abolished; and for whatever colonial produce or supplies might be required for the public service, the fair market price was ordered to be paid. Duties on the transport of goods from one part of the country to another, and on the sale of commodities at markets or bazars, were, for the most part, abolished, as injurious to trade and discouraging to agricultural industry. The system of farming the import and export duties, which existed under the Dutch, was likewise annulled, and collectors were appointed to receive the duties immediately for government. Internal duties, of the nature of tolls and market dues, had been universally, though secretly, levied by the Chinese, in Chéribon and other places, in direct opposition to the orders of government and the terms of their engagement. This abuse, engrafted on the farming system, incalculably aggravated its evils and called loudly for redress. The farmer thrust his rapacious hand into every place where there was the least prospect of gain, and limited his demand[Vol I Pg 341] only by the capacity of the merchant to satisfy it, or by an ill-defined custom, which might be perverted almost at pleasure, so as to accommodate itself to any exaction. The evils resulting from this mode of raising a revenue may easily be calculated, when it is stated, that, for a very trifling contribution to government by the farmer, duties were levied upon internal transport amounting to nearly fifty per cent. on the value of the commodities transported. Rice, on its transport from one part of the island to another, had been liable to duties of about forty-six per cent. Regulations were made for fixing the amount of import duties, and equalizing them over the island.

The restoration of the Dutch Indian empire to the sovereign of the Netherlands, at a period when these important changes were only in progress, may have perhaps prevented the full accomplishment by the English of the details in some districts, but the principles of the new system were not only introduced and thoroughly understood in all the more populous districts under the European government, but an experience of three years fully demonstrated the advantages resulting from it to the public revenue. It would have been attended with great immediate loss, without any corresponding future gain, to have abolished at once all the former sources of revenue; but the thorough change of system was declared, and the principles of it were acted upon, as far as was consistent with the security of public tranquillity and the realization of the current resources of the country; and the results of these arrangements, as far as they went, proved that a land rent might, even with the existing taxes in the capitals, &c. be realized at the rate of at least six rupees annually from each cultivator, or after the abolition of the taxes bearing on agriculture, at the average rate of four Spanish dollars from each cultivator, giving in the one case a rental for the whole island of about six millions of rupees, and in the other of four millions of Spanish dollars, or at five shillings the dollar, a million sterling. Of this one-fourth would accrue to the native princes, and the remainder to the European government. The particulars of the land revenue settlement effected in each district, and the detailed resources of the different parts of the island, will be particularly noticed[Vol I Pg 342] in the statistical accounts which will appear in a subsequent part of this volume, when the subject of revenue will be again adverted to; and, in the mean time, it may be sufficient, for the purpose of shewing the general resources, to refer to the annexed table, exhibiting the revenues and expenses of the Javan government for a period of three favourable years under the old Dutch Company, for three years under the administration of Marshal Daendels, when its real resources were first called forth and the revenue was higher than before known, and for the first three years under the British government, of which alone, the accounts are yet closed. The dependencies included in this table do not include the Moluccas or Spice Islands, the administration of which under the British government was kept distinct from that of Java.

By this statement it will appear, that the revenues actually realized in cash, on Java, in the year 1814-15, and before the land revenue arrangements had become fully effectual, amounted to upwards of six millions and a half of rupees: to this may be added one-third more for the revenue of the native provinces, making a total revenue of the island exceeding eight millions and a half of rupees, or above a million sterling.

From a colony which was able to furnish at such a moment so extensive a revenue from its own internal resources, after the drains, checks, and restrictions to which it had been subjected during the last two centuries, what might not have been expected, had confidence been once established in the permanency of the government, and the tide of British capital been once fairly turned into it?


[74] The inhabitants of these Islands are strikingly alive to a sense of shame; a feeling, which is heightened by the influence of a tradition among the Maláyus, that, on the first establishment of the Malayan nation, the islanders stipulated, that neither they nor their descendants should ever be put to shame. The tradition runs as follows:

"Then Ampu and Maling made obeisance to Sangsapurba (a prince who had arrived in Sumatra from Western India, and who is supposed to have founded the Malayan empire) and represented to him that Demang Lebar Daon (chieftain broad leaf of Palembang), had a daughter. Sangsapurba accordingly sent to ask her in marriage; but he excused himself, alleging, that she would probably be struck with sickness, and that he would only resign her to him as a wife on certain conditions. These conditions were, that, on Sangsapurba marrying his daughter, all the family of Demang Lebar Daon should submit themselves to him; but that Sangsapurba should engage, both for himself and his posterity, that they should receive a liberal treatment; and, in particular, that when they committed a fault, they should never be exposed to shame nor opprobrious language, but if their fault was great, that they should be put to death according to the law. Sangsapurba agreed to these conditions; but he requested, in his turn, that the descendants of Demang Lebar Daon should never move any treasonable practices against his descendants, even though they should become tyrannical. 'Very well,' said Demang Lebar Daon; 'but if your descendants break your agreements, probably mine will do the same.' These conditions were mutually agreed to, and the parties swore to perform them, imprecating the divine vengeance to turn their authority upside down who should infringe these agreement. From this condition it is, that none of the Malayan rajas ever expose their Malayan subjects to disgrace or shame: they never bind them, nor hang them, nor give them opprobrious language; and whenever a raja exposes his subjects to disgrace, it is the certain token of the destruction of his country. Hence also it is, that none of the Malayan race ever engage in rebellion, or turn their faces from their own rajahs, even though their conduct be bad, and their proceedings tyrannical."​—Malàyan Annals.

[75] See Report on the Districts of Japára, by the Resident Dornick, in the year 1812.

[76] See a further account of this work under the head Literature.

[77] This payment is regularly termed by the Dutch, ampt-geld, or place-money, being money paid for the purchase of an office. By the Javans it is termed sorok, which, in its more general acceptation, means a bribe.

[78] With whatever fidelity this character of the Javan regents may have been drawn by Mr. Hogendorp, in the year 1800, it most certainly did not apply to them in the year 1811, nor in the subsequent years of the British government on Java; for, however negligent and corrupt many of them may have been rendered, by the system of government which prevailed under the Dutch East India Company, the changes effected during the administration of Marshal Daendals soon induced a character for energy and activity. His government was military and despotic in the extreme, and the regents were considered to hold a military rank, and required to exert themselves in proportion to its importance. They did so, and works of the greatest magnitude were constructed by their exertions. The chiefs were found active and intelligent, the common people willing and obedient. With regard to their character under the British Government, it would be an act of injustice, if not ingratitude, were I to neglect this opportunity of stating, that, as public officers, the Regents of Java were almost universally distinguished by an anxiety to act in conformity with the wishes of the government, by honesty, correctness, and good faith; and as noblemen, by gentlemanly manners, good breeding, cheerfulness, and hospitality. In the observations made upon the Javan character in the text, I have spoken of the Javans as a nation generally; but I might select instances where the character of the individual would rise very far above the general standard which I have assumed. I might, for instance, notice the intellectual endowments and moral character of the present Panambáhan of Súmenup, Náta Kasúma. This chief is well read, not only in the ancient history of his own country, but has a general knowledge of Arabic literature, is conversant with the Arabic treatises on astronomy, and is well acquainted with geography. He is curious in mechanics, attentive to the powers of mechanism, and possesses a fund of knowledge which has surprised and delighted all who have had an opportunity of conversing with him and of appreciating his talents. Of his moral character I have given an instance, in the manner in which he liberated his slaves. He is revered, not only for his superior qualifications and talents, but also for the consideration and attention he pays to the happiness and comfort of the people committed to his charge.

Of the capacity of the Javans to improve, of their anxiety to advance in civilization, and of the rapidity with which they receive knowledge and instruction, an instance might be given in the case of the two sons of the Regent of Semárang, Kiái Adipáti Súra Adimangála. This Regent, who, next to the Panambáhan of Súmenap, is the first in rank as well as character, shortly after the establishment of the British government on Java, sent his sons to Bengal, in order that they might there receive an education superior to what they could have had at home. They remained there for about two years under the immediate protection and patronage of the late Earl of Minto, and on their return not only conversed and wrote in the English language with facility and correctness, but evinced considerable proficiency in every branch of knowledge to which their attention has been directed. The eldest, in particular, had made such progress in mathematics before he quitted Calcutta, as to obtain a prize at a public examination, and had acquired a general knowledge of the ancient and modern history of Europe, particularly in that of Greece and Rome. He is remarked for his graceful and polite manners, for the propriety of his conduct, and for the quickness and correctness of his observation and judgment. As this is the first instance that has been afforded of the capacity of the Javan character to improve under an European education, it may enable the reader to form some estimate of what that character was formerly in more propitious times, and of what it may attain to hereafter under a more beneficent government. Among all the English on Java, who have had an opportunity of conversing with this young nobleman, there has not been one who has hesitated to admit, that his mind, his qualifications, and conduct, would be conspicuous among their own countrymen at the same age, and that, as an accomplished gentleman, he was fitted for the first societies of Europe. This young man, Ráden Sáleh, is now about sixteen years of age, and when the British left Java was an assistant to his father as Regent of Semárang.

[79] The following description of the office of a Jáksa, and of the qualifications requisite for fulfilling his important duties, is taken from the Niti Prája, a work already referred to.

"A Jáksa must, in all cases, be impartial, to enable him to weigh all causes which come before him with the same exactness as merchandize is weighed in a scale, and nicely balance the equilibrium, nothing adding or taking from either side.

"He must be above all bribery, either by words or money, and never allow himself to be induced to commit an act of injustice; for were a Jáksa to commit an act of this kind, the consequences could not but be highly injurious to the country.

"He must not accept presents of any kind from the parties whose cause comes before him, not only because he cannot expect to derive advantage therefrom, but also because the public will hold discourse concerning him highly injurious to his reputation.

"All causes in dispute must be decided upon by him with the least possible delay, according to law, and not kept long in suspense, to the injury of the parties concerned, lest he be considered like a holy man, who, for the sake of money, sacrifices his good name.

"A Jáksa must inquire into every circumstance relating to the causes brought before him, and duly investigate the evidence; after which he must take the cause into consideration. He must not, in the least, listen to what is false, and on all occasions must decide according to truth.

"A Jáksa who attends to all these points is of high repute. Of less repute is a Jáksa who, in the decision of causes which come before him, listens to the advice of others: such a one is like that kind of bird, which in order to procure for itself the necessary food, dives under water, without thinking of the danger to which it is exposed of losing its life from the want of air. But entirely unfit for employment is a Jáksa who is haughty in his demeanour, and at the same time low enough to take advantage of persons who come before him: such a one is like a bat, that in the dark steals the fruit from the trees; or like a sportsman, who though destined to chase what is useful only, indiscriminately destroys whatever comes in his way, whether useful or not. In the same manner is it with a priest who every day attends at the temple, for no other purpose but to make profit by it: or with a writer, who knows not how to make any thing but by the prostitution of his writings; or with the head man of a village, who imposes upon the villagers; or a devotee, who gains his livelihood by necromancy."

[80] The following was the usual course of proceeding in Jápara, and generally in the provinces subjected to European authority, previous to the interference of the British government. The plaintiff went to the Jáksa and made his complaint. If the case was important, the Jáksa took down the deposition in writing in the presence of witnesses, summoned the accused, and communicated the deposition to him. The latter then either acknowledged or denied the facts, witnesses were examined, and the proceedings of the suit laid before the Regent, who after perusal transmitted the same to the Panghúlu for his advice, with which the latter complied, referring at the same time for a sentence to some of the collections on Mahomedan law. The Regent having compared the sentence with the law and with equity, and finding the same correspondent with both, judgment was pronounced by the Jáksa.

[81] See Appendix C.

[82] With the exception, perhaps, of the right of election, which I have not seen noticed in any account of Continental India, the constitution of the Javan village has a striking resemblance to that of the Hindus, according to the following statement in the Fifth Report of the House of Commons on Indian Affairs. "A village, geographically considered, is a tract of country comprising some hundreds or thousands of acres of arable and waste lands; politically viewed, it resembles a corporation or township. Its proper establishment of officers and servants consists of the following descriptions: the Potail or head inhabitant, who has generally the superintendance of the affairs of the village, settles the disputes of the inhabitants, attends to the police, and performs the duty of collecting the revenues within his village, a duty which his personal influence and minute acquaintance with the situation and concerns of the people render him the best qualified to discharge. The Kurnum, who keeps the accounts of cultivation, and registers every thing connected with it. The Tallier and Totie, the duty of the former appearing to consist in a wider and more enlarged sphere of action, in gaining information of crimes and offences, and in escorting and protecting persons travelling from one village to another; the province of the latter appearing to be more immediately confined to the village, consisting among other duties in guarding the crops and assisting in measuring them. The boundary man, who preserves the limits of the village, or gives evidence respecting them in cases of dispute. The superintendent of tanks and water-courses, distributes the water therefrom for the purposes of agriculture. The Bramin, who performs the village worship. The schoolmaster, who is seen teaching the children in a village to read and write in the sand. The calendar Bramin or astrologer, &c.

"These officers and servants generally constitute the establishment of a village; but in some parts of the country it is of less extent, some of the duties and functions above described being united in the same person: in others it exceeds the number of individuals which have been described.

"Under this simple form of municipal government, the inhabitants of the country have lived from time immemorial. The boundaries of the villages have been but seldom altered; and though the villages themselves have been sometimes injured, and even desolated by war, famine, and disease, the same name, the same limits, the same interests, and even the same families, have continued for ages. The inhabitants give themselves no trouble about the breaking up and division of kingdoms; while the village remains entire, they care not to what power it is transferred, or to what sovereign it devolves; its internal economy remains unchanged. The Potail is still the head inhabitant, and still acts as the petty judge and magistrate, and collector or renter of the village."

In examining the interior of a village on Java, we find that, in common with the Hindu usage, it possesses a constitution within itself, independent of the supreme governing power. Here, as in Western India, it will be found that each village possesses its Petíng'gi or chief; its Kabayan, who is the deputy or assistant to the head of the village; its Kamituah or elders, generally men who have formerly been chiefs of the village; its Múdin or priest; its Ulu-ulu or Kapala Bandang'an, or superintendent of water-courses; its Jeru-tulis or writer, &c.

[83] See Report of Mr. Hopkins on the districts of Surabáya.

[84] See Report of Colonel Adams on Surabáya.

[85] Mr. Mc. Quoid. See his Report on the Districts of Japára and Jawána.

[86] Appendix D.

[87] Among many others, the following enactments, which were in force in some of the Eastern districts when the English arrived, will serve to shew the barbarities of the law then existing, in its operation on the people, and its leniency towards the great.

"Any person murdering his superior shall be beheaded, his body quartered and given to the wild beasts, and his head stuck upon a bambu.

"Any person disobeying his superior and attempting to murder him, may be killed by the superior, without giving any intimation thereof to the chief town.

"Any person daring to destroy any public advertisement promulgated by government shall forfeit his right hand.

"A Demáng, or other chief of a désa, being acquainted with any conspiracy tending to the injury of the state, and not giving intimation thereof, shall be punished by losing one ear, his head shall be shaved, and he shall be banished.

"Any person daring to offer violence to a priest in the mosque or among the tombs shall forfeit one hand.

"If a woman kills a man she shall be fined 500 reals batú.

"If a superior kills an inferior he shall be fined 1000 doits.

"If a person puts out the eyes of another he shall be fined 500 reals batú; if one eye only 50 reals."

There were also different fines for maiming different parts of the body. "For cutting out the tongue, 500 reals; for knocking out the teeth, 25; for breaking the thumb, 500; for breaking the finger, 100; and the like." See Collection of Native Laws at Banyuwangi.

[88] Appendix D.

[89] See Appendix D.

[90] The number required to compose the jury was fixed in conformity with the ancient usages of the country, in which five persons are considered necessary to assist in the deliberation upon any matter of importance.

[91] In joining the battle it is usual for the warriors to shout, and for the trumpets (sarenen), gongs, and drums used in the martial music of the country to be sounded.

[92] The following verse from the Níti Sástra Káwi may be adduced, in further illustration of the notions entertained by the Javans regarding the bravery of a soldier:

"The brave man who has been successful in war obtains his heart's desire.

"The brave man who dies in war is received into heaven and cherished by the Widadaris.

"If a man is cowardly in war and die, the keepers of hell seize upon him in a rage:

"Should he not die, he is reprobated and despised by all good men, even to his face."

[93] It is on these occasions that the parties frequently increase their desperation by the use of opium.

[94] "As to their military character, it is certain," says Plutarch, "they were able commanders, both by sea and land. But as the champions, who in one day gain the garland, not only in wrestling, but in the pancration, are not simply called victors, but by the custom of the games, the flowers of victory; so Cymon, having crowned Greece with two victories gained in one day, the one at land, the other at sea, deserves some preference in the list of generals."​—Langhorne's Plutarch: Cimon and Lucullus compared.

[95] Mr. Rothenbuller.

[96] This was the practice of the Europeans also. [Vol I Pg 343]


Ceremonies of the Court​—Deference paid to superior Rank​—Regalia​—Processions​—Pomp​—Rank and Titles​—Ambassadors​—Ceremonies attending Births, Marriages, and Funerals​—Account of the People called Kálang, and of the Inhabitants of the Téng'ger Mountains​—The Bedui​—Festivals​—Amusements​—The Drama​—Wáyangs​—The Dance​—Tournaments​—The Chase​—Tiger Fights​—Combat of Criminals with Tigers​—Bull Fights, &c.​—Games of Skill and Chance​—Other Customs and Usages.

Having, in the preceding Chapter, endeavoured to pourtray the natural and moral character of the people of Java, and to convey to the reader a general idea of the nature and principles of the government to which they have been subjected, I shall now proceed to detail some of the usages and customs which prevail among them.

Of these the ceremonies of the court are the most obvious, and a stranger cannot fail to be struck with the extreme deference and respect towards their superiors, by which the Javans are characterized. Respect for rank, for experience, for parents and old age, have been already noticed among the features of their character; but the excess to which deference to rank is carried by the political institutions of the country, deserves more particular remark, whether we consider it as illustrative of the nature of the government and the quiet and orderly disposition of the people, or endeavour to trace, in the early periods of their history, the causes which may have contributed to the existing constitution of society among them.

The respect shewn to superior rank on Java is such, that no individual, whatever his condition, can stand in the presence of a superior; neither can he address him in the same language in which he is spoken to. Not even the heir apparent, or the members of the royal family, can stand in the presence of the sovereign; and the same restriction applies to the family of each subordinate chief. Were this mark of respect[Vol I Pg 344] confined to the royal family alone, it might perhaps find a parallel in other eastern countries, where it is usual for the subject to prostrate himself before the sovereign, but in Java the nature of the government is such, that each delegated authority exacts the same marks of obeisance; so that, from the common labourer upward, no one dares to stand in the presence of a superior. Thus when a native chief moves abroad, it is usual for all the people of inferior rank among whom he passes, to lower their bodies to the ground till they actually sit on their heels, and to remain in this posture until he is gone by. The same rule is observed within doors; and instead of an assembly rising on the entrance of a great man, as in Europe, it sinks to the ground, and remains so during his presence.

This humiliating posture is called dódok, and may be rendered into English by the term squatting. The practice is submitted to with the utmost cheerfulness by the people: it is considered an ancient custom, and respected accordingly. It was, however, in a great measure discontinued in the European provinces during the administration of the British government, who endeavoured to raise the lower orders, as much as was prudent, from the state of degradation to which their chiefs, aided by the Dutch authority, had subjected them; but it continued in force in the native provinces, in Madúra, and to a certain extent in most of the districts at a distance from the seats of European government.

In travelling myself through some of the native provinces, and particularly in Madúra, where the forms of the native government are particularly observed, I have often seen some hundreds drop on my approach, the cultivator quitting his plough, and the porter his load, on the sight of the Túan besár's carriage. At the court of Súra-kérta, I recollect that once, when holding a private conference with the Susúnan at the residency, it became necessary for the Ráden adipáti to be dispatched to the palace for the royal seat: the poor old man was as usual squatting, and as the Susúnan happened to be seated with his face towards the door, it was full ten minutes before his minister, after repeated ineffectual attempts, could obtain an opportunity of rising sufficiently to reach the latch without being seen by his royal master. The mission on which he was dispatched was urgent, and the Susúnan[Vol I Pg 345] himself inconvenienced by the delay; but these inconveniences were insignificant, compared with the indecorum of being seen out of the dódok posture. When it is necessary for an inferior to move, he must still retain that position, and walk with his hams upon his heels until he is out of his superior's sight.

Besides this deference in the posture of the body, a deference, equally striking and still more defined, is shewn in the language used to a superior. The vernacular language of the country is never allowed to be used on such occasions, but only an arbitrary language, distinguished by the term bása, the language, or bása kráma, the polite language, or language of honour. The common people are thus not permitted to use the same language as the great, or in other words, are by the political institutions of the country, in a great degree, deprived of the use of their mother tongue. This subject will however be more particularly treated of in another chapter. That a set of people who have received some mental culture will necessarily discover it in their language, and that a line of distinction will be thus drawn between the well informed and the ignorant, is natural; and of the employment of a different number of persons in the verbs and pronouns, according as supremacy, respect, or familiarity is to be expressed, the modern European languages afford abundant example: but that one class of words should be exacted from the lower orders as a homage to the powerful, and another class given in exchange, serving to remind them of their inferiority, is a refinement in arbitrary power, which it would be difficult to parallel.

Having thus seen the nature and extent of the general deference paid to a superior on Java, the reader will be prepared, in some degree, for the still further humiliations which are expected from a subject on public occasions. No one approaches his sovereign or immediate chief, no child approaches his father, without súmbah, (to that is, obeisance) closing his hands and raising them to his forehead, in token of respect. On public or festival days, it is usual for the inferior chiefs, not as in Europe, to kiss the hand, but to kiss the knee, the instep, or the sole of the foot, according to the relative distance of rank between the parties. [Vol I Pg 346]

The royal seat is a large stool or bench of gold or silver with a velvet cushion: it is called dámpar, and attends the sovereign wherever he may go.

Among the regalia (upachára), which are always carried in procession when the sovereign moves abroad, and are arranged behind him while seated on the dámpar, are the following golden figures:​—the hásti or gája, that of an elephant; the hárda walíka or nanágan, that of a serpent; the jajáwen sánting, that of a bull; the sángsam, that of a deer; and the sáwung gáling, that of a cock fowl; each of a size to be borne in the hand. These, with the kútuk and chapúri for tobacco and síri, the pakachohán or golden spitting-pot, and a variety of golden salvers, bowls, &c. distinguished by the respective names applicable to their different purposes, have descended as pusákas, or heir-looms, in the royal family, and are esteemed with the highest degree of veneration.

When the sovereign moves abroad, he is attended by numerous spearmen (wáhos), the duty of eight of whom is to attend the figures of the sacred elephant and bull, near which are also led four horses richly caparisoned. The royal páyung, or state umbrella, is carried in front of the procession on these occasions, in which are also invariably carried four trunks or boxes (brókoh), each borne by two men, and containing the clothes of the sovereign, caparison for his horses, his personal arms, implements, provisions, and in short every thing required for an establishment: this rule is observed whenever the sovereign moves out of the palace. His mat (lánté) is likewise borne in procession, together with two saddle horses for his use when necessary.

The ceremonies and state of the native courts have lost much of their genuine character, from the admission of European customs, introduced by the Dutch after the last Javan war. Salutes are regulated after the European order, and the Javans have availed themselves of many of the customs of Europeans, to render the ceremonies of state more striking. Thus both the Susúnan and Súltan are furnished with large gilt carriages, after the fashion of those used by the Lord Mayor of London. When the former drinks wine with the governor, the rest of the company are offered white wine,[Vol I Pg 347] while they alone drink red, and a flourish of trumpets sounds as the glass approaches their lips.

It may be observed, that few people are more attached to state and show than the Javans; that, in general, the decorations employed and the forms observed are chaste, and at the same time imposing, calculated to impress a stranger with a high idea of their taste, their correctness and yet love of splendour. The ornaments of state, or regalia, are well wrought in gold; the royal shield is richly inlaid with precious stones, and the royal krís is hung in a belt, which, with its sheath, is one blaze of diamonds. In processions, when the European authority is to be received, each side of the road, for miles, is lined with spearmen in different dresses, and standing in various warlike attitudes; streamers flying, and the music of the gámelán striking up on every side. Páyungs, or umbrellas of three tiers, of silk richly fringed and ornamented with gold, are placed at intervals, and nothing is omitted which can add to the appearance of state and pomp. Among the ensigns displayed on these occasions are the Monkey flag of Arjúna, and a variety of other devices taken from the poems of antiquity, as well as the double-bladed sword, and a variety of inscriptions from the Arabs.

The chiefs of provinces, and the petty chiefs in their gradation below them, keep up as much of the form and ceremony of the chief court as is consistent with their relative rank and means; and, in their turn, exact from their vassals the same degree of respect which the sovereign exacts from them.

On occasions when the Regents are anxious to shew particular respect to Europeans, as on the entrance of the Governor, or other high officer travelling, it is the custom, particularly in the Súnda districts, to erect triumphal arches of bámbu at the entrance of the principal villages; and the taste and variety displayed on these occasions have been often noticed, as evincing a refinement beyond what the general results of their present state of civilization might justify.

In a former place I noticed, that the gradations of rank among the Javans were, in some instances, marked by the dress they wore, and by the manner of putting on the krís; but a more defined line is drawn by the páyung, or umbrella,[Vol I Pg 348] which is subject to the following regulation from immemorial custom:

1. The Sovereign alone is entitled to the golden páyung[97].

2. The Rátu, or Queen, and the members of the royal family, to the yellow páyung.

3. The family of the Rátu, and the family of the Sovereign by his concubines, to the white páyung.

4. The Bopátis and Tumúng'gungs to the green páyung, edged and mounted with gold.

5. The Ang'ebáis, Ráng'gas, Mántris, &c. to the red páyung.

6. The heads of villages, and other petty officers, to the dark páyung.

In order to convey an idea of the different titles and the gradations of rank among the Javans, it becomes necessary, in consequence of the confusion which has arisen among them of late years, to revert to what they were supposed to be in the days of Májapáhit and previously, when the Hindu faith and institutions exclusively prevailed.

The usual term for the sovereign was then Rátu, and in the literary compositions which have descended to us, he was either distinguished by such epithets as Nára-náta, Nára-dípa, Nára-páti, Naríndra, Narária, Aji, Prábu, Kátong, Ajung, or Máharája. The queen was called Pramiswári. The children of the sovereign were called, the princes Ráden, and the princesses Déwi, which titles were hereditary in their families. The brothers of the sovereign had the title of Ráden aria.

When a sovereign was advanced in age, and quitted his government to become a devotee, he was called Begáwan.

The minister who administered the country in the name of the sovereign, and issued his orders to the governors of provinces, &c. was always termed Páteh; and the chiefs employed in administering the government of the provinces, or otherwise in the government of the country, were entitled either Pratíiwa, Pung'gáwa, Niáka, or Bopáti. The chiefs below these, and subject to their orders, such as Ráng'ga, [Vol I Pg 349]Ange'bái, Demáng, Praméa, Ménak, Klíwon, and others were included in the class of Mantris.

The heads of villages were called either Umbul, Patíng'gi, Babákal, Babáhu, Lúra, or Kúwu.

The commanders-in-chief in war had the title of Senapáti. The general term for soldiers was prajúrit; and those employed in guarding the country from the approach of an enemy were called either Pechát tánda, Támping, or Ulu-bálang.

In judicial affairs the Jáksa was the chief. His assistant or deputy was Paliwára, and the officers of his court Kérta.

Wadána gédong was the title given to the officer entrusted with the charge of the sovereign's purse and personal property, and with the collection of his revenues: the secretary or writer was called Chárik. Tánda and Sabándar was the title of the officers who collected the duties in the markets and along the high roads.

When it was necessary for the sovereign to move from one part of the country to another, there was always a class of Mántris in attendance, to whom the title of Pang'alasan or Kajíneman was given.

On the establishment of the Mahomedan religion, in the Javan year 1400, a new gradation of rank and order of titles was introduced by the sultan of Demák, as follows.

The sovereign, instead of being called Rátu, took the name of Susuhúnan[98], or Sultan, and the queen was called Rátu. The title of Panámbahán was conferred as the highest in rank next to the sovereign, and above the princes of the blood, who were now termed Pang'éran or Pang'éran ária; the princesses born of the queen were termed Rátu, and the daughters by concubines Ráden áyu. The sons of the princes were called Ráden mas, until they were married, when they were termed Ráden only; their daughters before marriage were called Ráden ajéng, and after marriage Ráden áyu. The Susuhúnan's great grandchildren by his wife were allowed to assume the title of Ráden, and those by his concubines bore the title of Mas, the latter title continuing to [Vol I Pg 350]descend in the family to the offspring by a wife, those by a concubine taking the title of Bágus, which is considered as the lowest title appertaining to royalty. It would be tedious, in this place, to detail the minor titles common in the Súnda districts; they will be more particularly noticed in the statistical accounts of those districts.

When a Bopáti, or governor of a province, is appointed, he is furnished with a piágam or nawála, or letter patent, fixing his rank, and the extent of assignment of lands conferred upon him[99]; also with a báwat, or stick, similar to that of the páyung, or umbrella, measuring about eight feet long, with which it is his duty to measure the sáwah or rice fields.

When a chief of the rank of Mántri is appointed, he is furnished with a krís handle and with a mat, which is carried[Vol I Pg 351] behind him when he moves about, as well for use as to shew his rank.

The Javans include in the general term of Priáyi all persons above the rank of common people, a term which in its general application on Java is not very unlike that of gentlemen, or latterly of esquires, in England.

Among the forms of an eastern court, few are more particularly observed than those relating to ambassadors. The Javans have long ceased to send or receive ambassadors, but the following extracts from the Níti Prája, will shew what they conceive ought to be the qualifications and conduct of such an officer.

"A person entrusted with a message from his prince, must never abuse the trust placed in him, but always keep in sight that on such occasions he is the representative of the prince. And chiefly, if he is sent with a letter from the prince to a foreign country, in this case he must be less submissive than before his own prince. According to circumstances he must conduct himself with dissimulation, and before he enters any foreign country, by some secret means or other, occasion his own name, and that of the prince his master, to be spread over the country, at the same time that he obtains every possible information regarding the state of the country and people. On entering the country, he must assume a dignified appearance, and not speak or look about him more than is necessary. Such conduct will inspire the people with respect for him.

"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.

"In all cases he must be careful not to go beyond his orders. His deportment must be unassuming yet dignified; and having received an answer for his prince, it is his duty to depart immediately, and to proceed with it direct to the prince, without even going to his own house first. If the letter is from some person lower in rank than his master, he must not immediately shew it, but conceal it for a time; but[Vol I Pg 352] if it is from a prince of equal rank, then must he carry the letter before him. When a letter is from a prince to one of his subjects, it must be carried high. Coming in the presence of his prince, he must carefully watch his eye, that he may deliver the letter on the first intimation given by the prince that he is ready to receive it.

"Whoever dictates a letter must be careful that a letter to a superior is not couched in the same terms as a letter to an inferior."

The three most remarkable events in the history of the individual are his birth, his marriage, and his death; to these accordingly have the greatest number of forms and ceremonies been attached.

As soon as it is observed that a Javan woman is in the third month of pregnancy, the event is communicated to all the nearest relations, to whom, at the same time, presents are made, consisting of yellow rice, sweet-scented oils, and wax candles. People of condition add some cloths, gold, silver, or brass cups, as also needles, either of those metals or of iron.

After seven months' pregnancy, a festival is given to the relations and friends, at which yellow rice forms invariably a part of the entertainment.

The pregnant woman must afterwards wash her body with the milk of a green cocoa-nut, on the shell of which has been previously carved two handsome figures, one of each sex, by which the parents intend to represent a standard of beauty for their expected offspring, and to engrave on the imagination of the mother, impressions which may extend to the lineaments of her infant. The nut must be opened by the husband. She is next to bathe in water, into which many sweet-scented flowers have been thrown, and to dress herself with a new cloth, making a present of the old one, together with money, raw rice, sírí, and cocoa-nuts, to the midwife, who assists in her lustrations. On the night of these ceremonies there must be a wáyang or scenic shadow performed, the object of which is to represent the life and adventures of a certain prince in the line of Déwa Batára Bráma.

If the woman is delivered of a son, the after-birth is immediately cut off with a very sharp knife of bámbu, wrapped in[Vol I Pg 353] a piece of paper on which is written the Javan alphabet, then laid in a new pot, and buried in the ground, at which place a lamp, covered with a basket of bámbu, and adorned with leaves of the pandánri, is put, and kept burning till the umbilical cord of the child falls off. When this takes place, the child is watched the whole night, by persons who read the history of the Déwas, or of famous princes, or amuse themselves with a wáyang.

As soon as the child is nine months old, the parents entertain their relatives and friends with a wáyang and festival.

Marriages are invariably contracted, not by the parties themselves, but by their parents or relations on their behalf. Such interference (which was common among the Greeks, without the same apology) is rendered necessary by the early age at which the matrimonial union is formed, and the incompetence of either of the intended couple to form a discreet and prudent choice. During the period that intervenes between the application of the frien