Light Breezes ENE in the Day and from the Land at Night.
At 9 this Morning my men and Officers went to the Stadt House to make Oath to the loss of his Majestys Ship who have deposed to every thing Asked of them a paper was made out Certifying the proceedings. This paper therefore was made out like the other in the Preamble that it was at my request this busyness was done, whereas I never thought of such a thing but on the Contrary it was the Governor and Council who declared they could not detain His Majestys Ship without such a document. I now too late discovered the Act of these people, for what would have appeard a publick Act of theirs now became a private One of mine & as such they brought me in an Account of 44 Rix Dollars for the Busyness done. But all this busyness primerly took place from a Suspicion that altho there were no evident signs of imposition on my side. (Having seen my Commission & Journals) Yet they thought such a thing might be the Case & therefore by the depositions, if by any thing such a Circumstance would come to light, my ill health would not allow me to embroil myself with such a troublesome pack my life could only be saved by Sailing in the Packet & as I was to go on board at Night I had a great deal to do to arange the busyness of my People and those of my own None of which was yet done as if designed by put of[f] to the last moment. The Sabandar therefore agreed to come and settle with me in the Evening. About 6 or 7 OClock this Gentleman came & presented all the Accounts which amounted to 839 Rix Dollars & 3 Stivers to be paid in paper Money but that as he had undertaken to pay all my accounts he therefore for my Bills on the Treasurer of His Majestys Navy would deduct 10 pr Cent. The Account then stood 755 Rix Dollars & 24 Stivers & this he said he did entirely out of Friendship. I now began to examine the Accounts & calculations when he told me he could not stay for that he was to spend the Evening with the Governor & therefore desired I would settle the Accounts for he assured me they were right. Surprized at so much inconsistency I told him he must disappoint his Excellency for a while for that I would give no Bills untill I had examined the Accounts. He therefore went away in a Pet. The Acco'ts were these
|%[*] due to the E In[†] Company as their droit for every person who takes a passage to Europe|
190 Dollars each, Yourself and Secretary equal to
|% payment to the Packet Captain for provisions & liquor & his profit for passengers||384..||24|
|% paid Town Surgeon Mr. Hanzorge||20..||–|
|% paid Notary Vander Gryp||10..|
|% Do. Stadt House Account for your Peoples Affidavits||44..||27|
The Calculation was right but the Charges e[x]sorbetant yet I had no resource [recourse] I must either loose my passage or pay the Account which at any rate would be demanded of me I therefore gave Bills on the Treasurer of the Navy for the Amo't. & left them with Mr. John Fryer the Master with orders to get duplicated of the Accounts attested. I also left my Acco'ts. of Victualling at the Hotel to be carried to the General Acco't. at Close of his Sailing.
The Sabandar is the person who is to transact all busyness with Strangers—what he has done for me he told me was out of Friendship & I really thought so untill he told me of it, but I will examine that particular. I however will do him the Justice to say that I found he was strict in examining all Accounts of transactions not concerned with himself.
Paper Money is the Current exchange of this Town it is therefore understood so in all bargains but this paper money is now at 28 pCent discount. The Ducatoon here is 80 Stivers but in Holland only 63 Stivers difference equal to 17 Stivers, which is 21¼ pCent loss on remittance of Money. It therefore follows that if a person at Batavia wants to remit Money to Europe which they all do they must loose from their property in Paper & the Exchange of Money 49¼ pCent at this present time, but Mr. Englehard to oblige me takes my Bills on Government payable at 3 Months for which he would deduct 10 pCent. It therefore followed as my Account with him was 839 Rix Dollars 3 Stivers I gave him Bills for 755½ Rix Doll's. now in this instance he pays 10 pCent & supposing I allow him at home for Receiving his Money to pay 5 pCent Commission & other Charges which makes 15 pCent this deducted from 49¼ gives him dear gains with me for the meer advance of Paper Money 34¼ pCent in Europe and all this is Friendship.
Now to counteract this busyness: A person with Government Bills or who is to close his transaction by giving Bills for the Amount has nothing more to do than privately to make his intention known & he will find a Number of People who will not only be glad of the Bills but give a premium of 10 or 20 pCent. By this means you can collect your Cash and without trouble pay every Account that is brought against you. But this I discovered too late to be benefitted by it.
Here is another circumstance which I think it necessary to warn all Gentlemen strangers from being surprised at which is that if you are invited to spend the day at any house & such a hospitable person be afterwards asked to be with the General that day, You are desired to forebear your Visit & perhaps at so short a notice that you may loose your dinner altogether. How this arises I cannot pretend to say positively it is however done with a View to keep in favour altho I cannot conceive it has the least weight with the Governor who appears to be too much a Man of the World to wish those he desires to see at His Table to be crampt by such servile Civility.
Among the difficulties that English Folks labour under here is that they are obliged to live at the Hotel because such an Hotel cannot be kept up unless all Strangers are forced to live in it and this we are told also is an order from Holland possitively forbidding any One from living in the Country. Now I consider it a duty I owe to all travellers to represent this Act of Brutality for it is a place that insures Sickness & most commonly death if the Patient is not removed from it. This Hotel was formerly two Houses but is now turned into One there remains however so much of what made it two distinct dwellings (with only communication by doors) that there is not free Circulation of Air so that you are almost suffocated & it is in the middle of a range of houses more calculated for a Cold Country than Batavia. Add to this no place can be more Dirty or have worse attendance. Yes you are told the House is cleaned every day, but this cleaning is worse than any thing else, for it is done by brooming without Water so that a Cloud of dust takes place enough to suffocate any One & the cleaning itself is absolutely a nuisance
From a want of Cleanliness & proper Air also, the nights become intolerable when the Lamps are lighted & respiration is found to be so difficult that for a considerable time it is scarce bearable. Nevertheless this Hotel as a house would not be so objectionable if it was washed every or every other morning & the back ava or yard kept in neat order for a breakfasting place without the nuisances that are constantly there at this time. Cleanlyness is the principal thing to be attended to & after all possible care in that particular Batavia is so unhealthy that it is a Miracle if a Stranger remains a Month there without a Fever. I may with great truth however assert that let the badness of the Climate be what it will that the Town itself is more the principal cause of contagion and disease. The dutch Houses are built of too massey[?] materials & by far too many of them joined together a free circulation of Air is therefore not in Batavia; but there are Strong draughts of Wind which become so heated in their course by the nature of the dwellings having collected so much of the Suns power, that have the most pernicious effects on every One who are improperly exposed to them. The Croud of filth of other Houses belong'g to the Chinese and Javans add also to the general calamity of Ill health & the cross stagnated Cannals perhaps contribute to it but some of these are ordered to be filled up.
The Sun is so very powerfull in its effects that it is highly dangerous to be exposed to it between the hours of nine in the Morning & four in the Afternoon nothing therefore should lead people out of their Houses unless in a Carriage in this interval & even then a Stranger will feel the effect of it. The part of any dwelling also that has the Sun heating it all this time should be avoided for I will pronounce it as a certainty that a person who is obliged to be confined to such an apartment from busyness or any other cause will get the Fever. I advise it therefore to all Strangers to take the back Rooms of the Hotel & keep away from the fore part of the house where the heat from the Walls is so great as to render Health exceedingly precarious.
A Regular mode of living is perhaps more necessary to preserve life in this place than any other part of the World & I have no doubt but the eating part is more productive of Ill than the drinking. Animal food should be used in very small quantities as the feeding is not good & of course the juices detrimental to health, but I have no doubt of dry feeding could be common that animals so fed would be equally salutary to Poultry or Fish. This however not being the case Salt meat is wisely prefered. All kinds of Legumes are in abundance & should make the principal part of every Ones Meal, carefully avoiding to over charge the Stomack or to eat indigestable food. Claret is a Wine the most adapted to this place Maderia [Madeira] being too heating, and every One will feel the Advantage who goes supperless to Bed, but as is customary among the dutch it is the principal Meal. So far as Beer makes Bile it is an objectionable drink but it may be used by any one as a Glass after dinner with a morcel of cheese. Claret and Water is the best common drink, but the smaller you make the draughts the better because the Stomach becomes immediately disordered when too great a proportion of any thing is received at a time.
In Europe I never heard it was conducive to health to go to Sleep immediately after eating on the contrary the reverse is asserted but here & most hot countries it is established as a fact altho I see no reason to believe it natural indolence however & the custom of the Country has brought into use what will never be laid aside whether it is absolutely productive of good or not
The Environs of Batavia are pleasant & healthy when about 3 Miles from the City on that account all those who possibly can, reside there & is called their Garden. No place is nevertheless exempt from Sickness in the Months of Dec'r. & Jan'y. which is the time the heavy Rains set in but the Violence of disease at this Season is not every Year alike for I may give this reason. December is the Month the Rains certainly set in if therefore the deludge comes suddenly on, the Earth in a dry and hard state for 5 or 6 months before imbibes too great a quantity & by that means a very unsalutary effluvia is exhaled which being respired creates diseases but on the Contrary if the Rains set in moderately & begin in Oct'r. & by Showers fill the Earth and cool it, the deluge then becomes inoffensive the overcharge of Water being carried of[f] by the Rivers which in the first instant would in a great measure be exhaled by the Heat of the Sun.
From what I have already said it may readily be understood that it is
not good to be exposed to Night dews or to take exercise in the morning before the Sun is up.
I shall now give an Account of the Seasons as I got them while here & I believe they may be relied on
The Middle of November the West Wind or Monsoon begins and Rain.
December—Continual Rain and West Winds.
January—Do. Do. and hard Gales SW, NW & West.
February—middle of this Month the Rain begins to take a little off.
March—About the last of this Month fine Wr begins with Westerly Gales.
April—In this Month the East Wind begins to blow. Showers.
May—East Monsoon fixed. Some Showers.
June, July—Easterly Wind Strongest Fine Wr & Clear.
August, September—Do. Wr. and not so strong Winds.
October—In tis Month the Wind becomes a little Vbl'l with sometimes Rain
With little or no difference the above Account is applicable all the way to Otaheite only that there & to the Eastward of New Guinea the West Winds are not so permanent.
But I shall now return to my Account of disadvantages English people labor under at Batavia. In common with all Strangers they are to be confined to the Hotel & I myself became subject to this restriction which I found would soon be the cause of death if I was not removed; I therefore determined on writing a publick Letter to General & Council requesting leave to hire a House in the Country but I was persuaded from it as such a request according to Rule would be refused alledging orders from Holland to the contrary as a reason. I therefore applied to the Sabandar as a favor to be allowed to remove from Town who immediately requested the General of it & I Rec'd for Ans'r. I might retire to the Physician of the Hospitals House about 4 Miles from Town the General having considered my peculiar situation & hardships I had undergone. This point being accomplished I found no difficulty in any thing else as I might Visit to particular Houses without subjecting such friendly people to blame who otherwise could not openly show me any attachment for fear of disobliging some leading Man from whose interest they expected preferment. Even among that Rank as a British Officer & the situation of the two Nations I expected some politeness but I received none except from a Mr. Vander Beck a Mr. Hemme & a Mr. Hogendorp these Gentlemen as Inhabitants of the World had a liberality equal to it & I presume attached to their prince a qualification I thought advantageous to myself but which I am too certain had a contrary effect except with his Excellency the Governor General whose wish I believe it was to render every service to the subjects of His Majesty. But a council counteracted such plans or such a part of the Council who will not at present Allow Orange Cockades to be worn by the East India Companys Servants all the Captains & Officers of the Ships being obliged to lay the Orange Cockade in their Chests & appear with black ones so that however obedient to the orders from Holland in other particulars there is a violent transgression in this The Officers of the States, it was pleasure to see appearing with a degree of independancy & honor The Bellona Frigate lay here Cap't. Hartman whose peculiar civility & attention demands my acknowledgement. A Commodore with other Ships of War are daily expected & it is then supposed the Orange in the Companies Service will again command respect.
My Illness while here has prevented me from having a more general knowledge of Batavia & therefore many wise regulations & publick order & Buildings that would have been highly worth relating must undoubtedly have escaped me, but perhaps it is not the least worthy of Remark, the care & elligibility of their Country Hospital which is about 4 Miles from Town. At this place they have from Eight to Fourteen hundered Men carefully attended others perfectly recovered & fit for Service for which three hundered were to be draughted for the Fleet that was to Sail for Europe. Each Ward is a seperate dwelling so that the different diseased are not only classed properly but a free circulation of Air takes place throughout the whole building. I went through most of the Wards in each of which were about 80 patients & I found so little to offend my Nose as really astonished me. The Sheets & Bedding were exceedingly neat & clean & the linnen & persons of the diseased were remarkably so. All the Wards likewise were clean kept with very sufficient attendance & the whole does great honor & Credit to the Physician, Doctor Spirling. The Situation of the Hospital is close upon the side of the River & by art is made an Island of and the Sick people are brought to it in a Boat which always attends for the purpose.
The Physician Mr. Sperlings House is at One extremity of the Hospital & here it was I resided & received every politeness & attention besides the greatest care taken of my health &; recovery, which I date to my being with this Gentleman. He would receive no payment but considered it a point of duty to any of His Majestys Subjects.
There is another Hospital in Town which I believe is equally taken care of by Doctor Anzorgh but the Situation is much against it & it would be a humane act to remove it into the Country as most assuredly a number of lives are lost from the bad place it stands in now. I see no difficulty in doing this for surely as far as the River is navigable by Boats there can be no difficulty or danger in carrying Sick people to a Hospital that may be built on its Banks such Boats being covered with Awnings and convenience for hanging the Hammocks or platforms to lay on. It is a Charity due to the poor unfortunate sick people that are here & will undoubtedly save the lives of Thousands. There is an unpardonable neglect in this Country among the Commanders of Shipping in suffering their people to go dirty in their persons & frequently without Frocks or any thing to cover their Bodies I speak of this as a publick nuisance wherever such Europeans are seen & it is likewise productive of ill Health in the most robust constitution.
It was at the Convalessent Hospital I had power from the General to take every person belonging to me & I thought it an elligible plan but my Officers requested of me to admit them to remain the Town as they could not bear the Idea of being there & I complyed with their request allowing each a Rupee pr Day except the Master and Surgeon who I Allowed One Rix Dollar pr Day on Government Account. The Seamen I directed to be at the Hospital & they found themselves perfectly satisfyed when they saw I was so near them
But the Governor General in some Degree or the directions from Holland by which he was governed were reprehensible in point of Politeness in fixing my Residence at any particular place & I have only my ill health to plead as an excuse for accepting it. My grand object was to get into the Country & I then found sufficient friends with whom I might take up my abode by turns as I found it agreeable to me. But if any one had dared to have paid so much attention to an Englishman openly such a person would have had a bar to future promotion for to be Loyal is not to have the most powerfull Friends at Batavia.
Among the many breaches of civility is the Stoppage of Carriages when the Governor or an Edellere is passing or any of his family for which no doubt they deserve to be overturned, but how can a Stranger get the better of it You can only Here a Coach which is drove by a Malay & that fellow will suffer Death before he will drive on when such a person is passing him so that you are mortified at being stopt for those people to pass and sometimes for half a Malay Woman the Wife or Daughter of such an Edellere.
It has surely been Batavia itself that has given Birth to such mean acts of incivility as these & we may trace their origin from a Clannishness & want of amiable female connections. Evan a want of the latter Men become a set of Brutes & they are not much better at Batavia as very few indeed of the Women are above two degrees advanced from the Malay so that their Manners or Ideas soften or improve the dispositions of the Men but very little. This is a fact and I assert that you will not find many well bread persons in Batavia if I except those Gentlemen who have not been confined to the education of that metropolis. But even allow that these regulations have taken place from laudable motives originally it is certain that such reasons do not exist at present and therefore might be laid aside.
I have only now to observe how far the Company as a right would impose upon me a payment of 190 Dollars for myself & each of my Officers for leave only to Sail for Europe. For leaves only because with respect to the Capt. of the Packet they had no power to make him take a passenger & he therefore would not admit me unless I paid him also for the convenience of his Ship & laid in for myself every necessary to eat & drink on this point I objected as making two payments & the Sabandar carried the matter before the General where it was settled that before I could go I must pay the Captain 300 Dollars for myself, Clerk & One Servant and lay in my own stock of liquor which amounted to 84½ Dollars the whole being 384½ Rix Dollars on the Captains Account & 380 as a Droit of the Comp'ys which together made 764½ Dollars with a discount in my favor of 30 pCent. The same charges are to be made for the Officers who remain & as on these Conditions only I could settle my busyness I closed my transactions & gave written orders to the Master how to proceed and follow me to the Cape of Good Hope & from thence to Europe.
Whereas from a representation of the Physician General it appears that my life is in great danger to remain here untill the Fleet for Europe Sails, and that only myself and two others can be taken in the Packet which departs on the 16 Instant, I therefore impower you to take command of such remaining Officers and Men & to follow me to the Cape of Good Hope by the first Ships His Excellency the Governor General shall permitt you to embark on. And as his Excellency has been pleased to Order that the People may be taken care of at the Convalessent Hospital about 4 Miles from Town where is a good Air & the best of treatment You are hereby to see that every one remains there.
You are not to permitt any of those who remain in Town to be wandering about between the hours of 9 in the morning & 4 in the Afternoon.
You are also upon your embarkation or at a proper time to get a knowledge of what charges are against His Majestys Subjects under your Command & upon fairly & duly considering them you are to draw Bills for the Amount on the Navy Commissioners for Victualling His Majestys Navy (if it cannot be done as hereafter expressed) giving them a Letter of advise at the same time certifying that I saild to the Cape of Good Hope before you in a Packet that could take no more men. My health being so exceedingly impaired as to render my existence very doubtfull & that the Governor General could not give us all a passage in one Ship.
I have agreed with the Sabandar that all debts on the Government Account incurred for Victualling or passage money shall be presented to him, that then on your certifying the justness of it and another Signing Officer such Account shall stand over untill presented to Government in England.
That of all such Accounts you are to secure Copies & to send them by different opportunities to me in England (Signed as before Mentioned) to the care of Mess'rs Marsh & Creed Agents Norfolk Street, Strand. You are also for further security to send one to your own Agent.
That before the departure of the People you are to allow each Seaman One Months pay to buy warm Clothing to pass the Cape with & you may also give all the Officers one Months pay for the same use except yourself and Surgeon.
I shall leave with you the Money received for the Schooner 177 duccatoons or 295 Rix Dollars for the expenditure of which you must produce regular vouchers but you are to pay no Account without consulting the Sabandar that such Acco't is at a moderate price.
The Board & Lodging for yourself & Doctor you may consider to be paid at One Rix Dollar pr Day & for the Boatswain Gunner Mr. Elphinston, Mr. Hayward & Mr. Hallet One Rupee pr Day & the charges for the Seamen in the Hospital from the 13th Oct'r. you must pay as demanded allowing for your Brother Robt. Tinkler at the same Rate to be put on to the General Account. And should it be demanded of you to pay the passage money for every individual before you sail, you are seperately & distinctly for such passage money to draw Bills on the Treasurer of His Majesty's Navy.
Before the Ships are ready for Sea you are from time to time to apply to Mr. Englehard the Sabandar who will assist you for the good of His Majesty's Service & through him, or as circumstances may point out you are to make all necessary applications to the Governor G'l
The remaining Men & Officers , you are to take according to the Ships they are put into not seperating Mr. Hayward & Hallet. The Carpenter you must apply for to come with you and is to be considered a prisoner at large in the Ship.
On Embarkation you are to see that both Officers and Men conduct themselves with due order and Regularity.
On your Arrival at the Cape of Good Hope you are forthwith to join me but should I not be there before the Ship you Sail in departs for Europe you are to make the best of your Way in the same Ship & being arrived to proceed to the Admiralty & give an Account of your transactions.
While you remain here you are to examine into the situation of the People in the Hospital twice a Week & if they are not properly treated to represent the same to the Sabandar.
The Carpenter having apply'd to me for Cloaths you are to supply him with a Months pay to purchase the necessary Articles he is in want of and to see that he is not ill treated.
Much to my mortification after all my trouble of bringing plants from Timor I was obliged to leave t[h]e Tubs of Jacks Nancas Karambolas Namnams Jambos and three thriving Breadfruit Plants I desire application to be made that they might be brought in the different Ships my Officers came in as they would be highly Valuable at the Cape of Good Hope if brought no farther. It was the 20th August I took these plants on board at Coupang so that they have experienced a passage of 42 days to my Arrival here The Breadfruit died to the Root & Sprouted from thence & the Karambolas, Jack, Jancas, & Namnams I rose from the seed and were in fine order hence a judgment may be formed of the success of bringing plants. In the present instance they had every disadvantage.