A NATURALIST'S WANDERINGS
days. In this low-lying, close and stinking neighbourhood, devoid of wholesome water, scorched in the daytime, and chilled by the cold sea fogs in the night, did the Eastern merchant of half-a-century ago reside, as well as trade. Out of this, however, if he survived the incessant waves of fever, cholera, small-pox, and typhoid, he returned home in a few years, the rich partner of some large house, or the owrner of a great fortune.
All this is changed now. Morning and evening, the train whirls in a few minutes the whole European populationa which tries, in vain, to amass fortunes like those of past times a to and from the open salubrious suburbs, the new town, of fine be-gardened residences, each standing in a grove of trees flanking large parks, the greatest of wdiich, the Kinga s Plain, has each of its sides nearly a mile in length. Here the Governor-General has his official Palacea his unofficial residence being on the hills at Buitenzorg, about thirty miles to the south of Batavia ; and here are built the barracks, the clubs, the hotels, and the best shops, dotted along roads shaded by leafy Hibiscus shrubs, or by the Poinciana regia, an imported Madagascar tree, which should be seen in the end of the year, when its broad spreading top is one mass of orange-red blossoms, whose falling petals redden the path, as if from the lurid glare of a fiery canopy above. To these pleasant avenues, in the cool of the evening, just after sunset, and before the dinner-hour, all classes, either driving or on foot resort for exercise and friendly intercourse.
In front of the barracks, another fine park, the Waterloo Plain, is ornamented by a tall column, surmounted by a rampant lion, with an inscription to commemorate the prowess of the Netherlanders in w inning the battle of Waterloo. A remark, perhaps not quite fair, of a Ceylon friend on viewing the pillar and its long inscription : a The lion at the top is not more conspicuous than the lyina at the bottom ! a
Having been furnished, through the kind influence of Professor Suringar, A f Leyden, with an autograph letter of recommendation from His Excellency the then Minister for the Colonies, to the Governor-General of the Netherlandsa Indies, I proceeded, very shortly after my arrival, to Buitenzorg, for the purpose of presenting it. From His Excellency