72 JAVA: THE GARDEN OF THE EAST
stone inscribed in ancient Kawi characters, the original classic language of the Javanese. In another basket shrine were shown the veritable footprints of Buddha, with no explanation as to how and when he rested on the island, nor yet how he happened to have such long, distinctively Malay toes. Near these temples is the villa where the poor African prince of Ashantee was so long detained in exilea an African chief whose European education had turned his mind to geology and natural sciences, and who led the life of a quiet student here until, by the exchange from Dutch to British ownership of Ashantee, a way was opened for him to return and die in his own country. There is a magnificent view from the Ashantee villa out over a great green plain and a valley of palms to the peaks of Gedeh and Pangerango, and to their volcanic neighbor, Salak, silent for two hundred years. Peasants, trooping along the valley roads far below, made use of a picturesque bamboo bridge that is accounted one of the famous sights of the neighborhood, and seemed but processions of ants crossing a spidera s web. All the suburban roads are so many botanical exhibitions approaching that in the great garden, and onea s interest is claimed at every yard and turn.
It takes a little time for the temperate mind to accept the palm-tree as a common, natural, and inevitable object in every outlook and landscape; to realize that the joyous, living thing with restless, perpetually threshing foliage is the same correct, symmetrical, motionless feather-duster on end that one knows in the still life of hothouses and drawing-rooms at home; to realize that it grows in the ground, and not in