Section 1 -- Narrative of the Voyage from Holland to the Coast of Brazil
Section 2 -- Arrival in Brazil, with some Account of that Country
Section 3 -- Incidents during the Voyage from Brazil to Juan Fernandez, with a Description of that Island
Section 4 -- Continuation of the Voyage from Juan Fernandez till the Shipwreck of the African Galley
Section 5 -- Continuation of the Voyage after the Loss of the African, to the Arrival of Roggewein at New Britain
Section 6 -- Description of New Britain, and farther Continuation of the Voyage till the Arrival of Roggewein at Java
*Section 7* -- Occurrences from their Arrival at the Island of Java, to the Confiscation of the Ships at Batavia
*Section 8* -- Description of Batavia and the Island of Java, with some Account of the Government of the Dutch East-India Company's Affairs
*Section 9* -- Description of Ceylon
*Section 10* -- Some Account of the Governments of Amboina, Banda, Macasser, the Moluccas, Mallacca, and the Cape of Good Hope
*Section 11* -- Account of the Directories of Coromandel, Surat, Bengal, and Persia
*Section 12* -- Account of the Commanderies of Malabar, Gallo, Java, and Bantam
Section 13 -- Some Account of the Residences of Cheribon, Siam, and Mockha
Section 14 -- Of the Trade of the Dutch in Borneo and China
Section 15 -- Of the Dutch Trade with Japan
Section 16 -- Account of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope
Section 14 -- Voyage from the Cape of Good Hope to Holland, with some Account of St. Helena, the Island of Ascension, and the Azores
Roggewein came to anchor immediately in the road of Japara, and saluted the city and fort, after which the boats were hoisted out to go on shore, where they were astonished to find that it was Saturday, whereas on quitting their ships they conceived it to be Friday morning. This was occasioned by having come round from the east along with the sun, by which they had lost a day in their reckoning. Roggewein immediately waited upon Ensign Kuster, a very civil and well-behaved gentleman, who commanded there on the part of the East-India Company, to whom he gave an account of his motives for coming to this place.
Kuster immediately assembled a council, to consider what measures were to be taken on this occasion, and all were much moved at the recital of the miseries which Roggewein and his people had endured. In truth, never were men more worthy of compassion. Only ten persons remained in any tolerable health, and twenty-six were down in various sicknesses, by which, exclusive of those who had been slain in their different engagements with the Indians, they had lost seventy men during the voyage.
Their next care was to get the sick men on shore, which was done with all care and diligence, slinging them in their hammocks into the boats. Four of these poor people were in so low a condition that it was thought impossible they could bear removal, and they were therefore left on board, the very thoughts of which, after their companions went ashore, soon killed them. Those who were carried on shore were lodged under tents in an island, where they had every necessary afforded them that the country produced, yet many of them died.
Mr. Kuster sent an immediate account of their arrival to the commandant of the coasts of Java, who instantly forwarded it to Mr. Swaardekroon, at that time governor-general of the East Indies. He sent a favourable answer, promising every assistance in his power, and adding, that they had nothing to do but to get to Batavia as soon as possible. While waiting the answer of the governor-general and the recovery of their sick, they passed their time agreeably enough at Japara, as their countrymen used them with all imaginable kindness.
In a few days, the seamen became as frolicsome and gay as if they had made a pleasant and fortunate voyage; insomuch that those who only a few days before were weeping, sighing, praying, and making warm protestations of leading new lives, if God in his mercy were pleased to save them, now ran headlong into the greatest extravagances; spending their whole time in debauched houses, and in swearing and drinking. This our author attributed to the bad example of those among whom they lived, all the lower people at Japara being as lewd and profligate as could be imagined; insomuch that the first question they put to strangers from Europe is, if they have brought over any new oaths.
The town of Japara is seated at the bottom of a mountain of moderate height, is of a middling size, and is inhabited by Javans, Chinese, and Dutch; and was of more considerable extent than now, when in the hands of the Portuguese. Before getting possession of Jacatra, now Batavia, the Dutch East-India Company had their principal magazines for trade at this place, which was their chief factory, and on which all the other factories in Java were dependent; but it has fallen much in importance since the factory was transferred to Samarang.
The port of Japara is both safe and commodious, and is defended by a fort, built mostly of wood, on the top of the mountain at the foot of which the town is seated. This fort is called the Invincible Mountain, because the Javanese were constantly defeated in all their attempts to get it into their hands, when in possession of the Portuguese; and its guns command the whole road.
The king of Japara mostly resides at a place called Kattasura, about twenty-nine leagues up the country, where the Dutch have a strong fort with a good garrison, serving at the same time to secure their conquest, and to guard the king. This prince is a Mahomedan, and is served entirely by women, of whom he takes as many as he pleases, either as wives or concubines. Some of his priests are obliged to go every year on pilgrimage to Mecca, in order to make vows for the safety and prosperity of the king and royal family.
His subjects are extremely faithful, and devoted to his service; the principal persons of his court having to approach him on their knees, every time they have an audience; but in time of war, this slavish custom is dispensed with. Such as commit the slightest fault are poniarded on the spot by a kriss or dagger; this being almost the only punishment in use among them, as the smallest faults and the greatest crimes are all equally capital. The natives of this country are mostly of a very brown complexion, tolerably well shaped, and having long black hair, which however many of them cut short. Their noses are all flat and broad, and their teeth very black, owing to the incessant chewing of betel and faufel.
The faufel or areka is a kind of nut, not much unlike a nutmeg, but smaller, and in a great measure tasteless, but yielding a red juice when chewed, which juice also is used by the Indians in painting chintzes, so much admired in Europe. The tree which bears this nut is very straight, and has leaves like those of the cocoa-nut tree. The betel is a plant producing long rank leaves, shaped like those of the citron, and having an agreeable bitter taste. The fruit of this plant resembles a lizard's tail, and is about an inch and half long, having a pleasant aromatic flavour.
The Indians continually carry the leaves of this plant, which also are presented at all ceremonious visits. They are almost continually chewing these leaves, and they mostly qualify their extreme bitterness by the addition of the faufel or areka-nut, and the powder of calcined oyster-shells, which give them a very agreeable taste; though some mix their betel leaves with shell lime, ambergris, and cardamom seeds, while others use Chinese tobacco. After all the juice is chewed out, they throw away the remaining dry mass. Many Europeans have got into the habit of chewing betel, so that they cannot leave it off, though it has proved fatal to some of them; for the natives are very skilful in preparing betel so as to do a man's business as effectually as a pistol or a dagger.
The prevailing diversion among these people is called tandakes, which are a kind of comedies, acted by women very richly dressed, and consists chiefly in singing and dancing, accompanied by music, not very pleasant to European ears, the only instruments being small drums, on which they beat with much dexterity. Their dancing is mostly of a grotesque kind, in which they are very dexterous, throwing their bodies into all sorts of postures with astonishing agility, and expressing by them the passions of the mind so comically, that it is impossible to refrain from laughing. The men also practise a kind of war dance, in which the king and grandees bear a part. They also practise cock-fighting, like the English, and bet such considerable sums on this sport as often beggars them.
The country abounds in all the necessaries of life, having abundance of beeves and hogs, and amazing quantities of fowls. The only thing scarce is mutton, chiefly owing to the richness of the pasture, which is very apt to burst the sheep. As to wild animals, they have buffaloes, stags, tygers, and rhinoceroses; which last animal is hunted by the Indians chiefly for the sake of its horns, of which they make drinking cups that are greatly valued, owing to a notion that they will not contain poison, but break immediately on that being poured into them. The high price of these tends to show that the Javanese are addicted to the infamous practice of poisoning.
The land is every where extremely fertile, producing vast abundance of pepper, ginger, cinnamon, rice, cardamoms, and other valuable articles. Of late they have planted coffee, and with such success as to have a reasonable hope of rendering it a principal commodity of the country. Cocoa-nuts, figs, and a variety of other excellent fruits grow everywhere in the greatest profusion; and as the trees on which they grow are verdant during the whole year, and are planted in rows along the rivers, they form the most agreeable walks that can be conceived.
Sugar-canes also abound in Java. They have also plenty of vines, which produce ripe grapes seven times every year, but they are only fit for making raisins, and not wine, being too hastily ripened by the climate. The sea, and all the rivers, furnish an infinite variety of the finest fish. Thus, taking it altogether, it may be safely affirmed that Java is one of the most plentiful and pleasantest islands in the world.
Having refreshed at Japara for about a month, Roggewein began to think of proceeding to Batavia, encouraged by the fine promises of the governor-general. Everything being ready, the voyagers spent two days in taking leave of their kind friends, who supplied them with all sorts of provisions, much more than sufficient for so short a voyage, and they at length departed, feeling a sensible regret at parting with those who had treated them with so much kindness, relieving all their wants with so much generosity, and had enabled them to spend several weeks in peace and plenty, after a long period of sickness and misery.
Steering from thence about seventy leagues to the westwards, with a fair wind, they entered the road of Batavia, where they saluted the fort, and anchored close to the ships that were loading for the voyage home, believing that all their distresses were now over, and that they should speedily accompany these other ships homewards. As soon as the ships were safely anchored, Roggewein went along with the other captains into his boat, meaning to have gone ashore to Batavia, but had not proceeded far from the ship when he met a boat having the commandant of Batavia on board, together with the fiscal, and some other members of the council, by whom he was desired to go back to his ship, which he did immediately; and, when the two boats came within hearing of the ships, the fiscal proclaimed, with a loud voice, that both ships were confiscated by order of the governor-general.
At this time both ships were so environed by other large vessels belonging to the East India Company, that it was impossible to have escaped, if they had so inclined; and soon afterwards several hundred soldiers came on board, taking possession of both ships, and placing their crews under safe custody. Taught by so many and such unlooked-for misfortunes, Roggewein now thoroughly repented having proposed to return home by way of the East Indies, but was now wise behind-hand. He had neglected prosecuting the discovery on which he had been sent, for which he now suffered a just punishment from the East India Company, however unjust in itself the sentence might be considered.
By the sentence, both ships were declared legal prizes, and all the
goods they contained were confiscated; and to prevent all trouble and delay
from representations, reclamations, or memorials, everything was immediately
exposed to public auction, and sold to the highest bidders. The crews of
both ships were divided, and put on board several of the homeward-bound
-- *Index of Part Two, Book Four* -- *Glossary*-- *Robert Kerr index page* -- *FWP's main page* --