The Ancient History of Java
from the earliest traditions to the commencement of the hindu period, anno javan 1 (a.d. 75).
Introduction.aAlthough not a few of us in these islands have probably heard at some time or other that there is such a place as Java, how many of us have any knowledge ol its exact, or even approximate, geographical position, or of its extent, importance, and population ? I am prepared to say there are not many. It is true nevertheless that Java is the most important island, not only in the East Indian Archipelago, but in the world.
The Paradise of the Worlda Its climate, too, away from the sultry ports, and from a height of 1,500 feet upwards, is quite incomparable ; and this, taken with the fascination of its charming folk, has caused many to designate it as the Paradise of the Earth, Certainly, if ever there was a Garden of Delight, the region of Java, in regard to its beauty and climate, may, I think, lay a very good claim to be such a place. The climate is one of perpetual and unending summer, where the wants of man are liberally supplied without stint by an ever bounteous Nature, and where neither covering nor house is required. It strikes the stranger or traveller as a gorgeous and magnificent garden of superlative and unparalleled luxuriance, surpassing Brazil, Jamaica, Formosa, Borneo, or New Zealand, or even, as some say, the whole of these combined.
It is certainly a land in which the forests are adorned with an everlasting green, a land of thousands of lovely
b 2b 2