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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 783 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.

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

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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