60 JAVA: THE GARDEN OF THE EAST
call it by its newer name, is one of the enchanted spots where days can slip by in dateless delight; one forgets the calendar and the flight of time, and hardly remembers the heavy, sickening heat of Batavia stewing away on the plains below. It is the Versailles of the island, the seat of the governor-generala s court, and the social life of the colony, a resort for officials and the leisure class, and for invalids and the delicate, who find strength in the clear, fresh air of the hill's, the cool nights, and the serenely tempered days, each with its reviving shower the year round. Buitenzorg is the Simla of Netherlands India, but it awaits its Kipling to record its social life in clear-cut, instantaneous pictures. There are strange pictures for the Kipling to sketch, too, since the sarong and the native jacket are as much the regular morning dress for ladies at the cool, breezy hill-station as in sweltering Batavia, a fact rather disproving the lowland argument that the heat demands such extraordinary concessions in costume. But as that a Bengal Civilian a who wrote a De Zieke Reiziger; or, Rambles in Java in 1852,a and commented so freely upon Dutch costume, cuisine, and Sabbath-keeping, succeeded, Mr. Money said, in shutting every door to the English traveler for years afterward, and added extra annoyances to the toelatings-kaart system, budding and alien Kiplings may take warning.
The famous Botanical Garden at Buitenzorg is the great show-place, the paradise and pride of the island. The Dutch are aeknowledgedly the best horticulturists of Europe, and with the heat of a tropical sun, a daily shower, and nearly a centurya s well-directed efforts, they have made Buitenzorga s garden first of its kind