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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 681 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.
a naked sword resting on his shoulder.  At this time there was a prodigious mortality in Batavia, which carried off 500 of the attendants of this prince, and destroyed no less than 150,000 persons in one year, besides vast numbers of beasts.  This mortality was occasioned by a malignant pestilential fever, which attacked indiscriminately all the inhabitants of Batavia, Europeans, natives, Chinese, and blacks.  It spread also through Bengal and all the dominions of the Great Mogul, where it made incredible ravages, and extended even to Japan in the most extreme violence, where numbers fell down dead in the streets, who had left their houses in perfect health.  This dreadful malady was supposed to have arisen from excessive drought, as no rain had fallen during the space of two years, whence it was conceived that the air was surcharged with mineral vapours.

Leaving the island of Bootan, and passing through the channel of the Moluccas, or between the S.W. leg of Celebes and Salayr islands, during which course the crews of the two vessels suffered inexpressible miseries, by which the greatest part of them were carried off, Roggewein arrived on the coast of Java towards the close of September 1722.

SECTION VII.

Occurrences from their Arrival at the Island of Java, to the Confiscation of the Ships at Batavia.

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.

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