Batavia is the metropolis of the Dutch trade and settlements in India, and is well situated for the spice trade, which they have entirely in their own hands. There are seldom less than twenty sail of Dutch ships at Batavia, carrying from thirty to fifty and sixty guns each. Abraham van Ribeck was governor-general when we were there. His predecessor, as I was informed, had war with the natives of the island, who had like to have ruined the settlement; but, by sowing divisions among the native princes, he at length procured peace upon advantageous conditions. This is one of the pleasantest cities I ever saw, being more populous than Bristol, but not so large. They have schools for teaching all necessary education, even for Latin and Greek, and have a printing-house. There are many pleasant villas, or country seats, about the city; and the adjacent country abounds in rice, sugar-plantations, gardens, and orchards, with corn and sugar-mills, and mills for making gunpowder. They have also begun to plant coffee, which thrives well, so that they will shortly be able to load a ship or two; but I was told it is not so good as what comes from Arabia.
We sailed from Batavia on the 11th October, 1710, and on the 19th came to anchor in a bay about a league W. from Java head, and remained till the 28th, laying in wood and water. The 15th December we made the land of southern Africa, in lat 34 deg. 2’ S. And on the 18th we anchored in Table Bay in six fathoms, about a mile from shore. We remained here till the 5th April, waiting to go home with the Dutch fleet, and on that day fell down to Penguin Island, whence we sailed on the 5th for Europe. On the 14th July we spoke a Dane bound for Ireland, who informed us that a Dutch fleet of ten sail was cruizing for us off Shetland, which squadron we joined next day. On the 28d we got sight of the coast of Holland, and about eight p. m. came all safe to anchor in the Texel, in six fathoms, about two miles off shore. In the afternoon of the 24th I went up to Amsterdam, where I found letters from our owners, directing us how to act as to our passage from thence home. On the 30th we got some provisions from Amsterdam. On the 22d August we weighed from the Texel, but the wind being contrary, had to return next morning. We weighed again on the 30th, and on the 1st October came to anchor in the Downs, and on the 14th of that month got safe to Eriff, where we ended our long and fatiguing voyage.
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It appears, by incidental information in Harris, I. 198, That the outfit of this voyage did not exceed L14,000 or L15,000, and that its gross profits amounted to L170,000, half of which belonged to the owners; so that they had L85,000 to divide, or a clear profit of L466 13s. 4d. per centum, besides the value of the ships and stores.—E.
VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD, BY CAPTAIN JOHN CLIPPERTON, IN 1719-1722.