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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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James Cook
Joseph Banks

Account of the Inhabitants of Batavia


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Account of the Inhabitants of Batavia (continued)

These women imitate the Indians in every particular; their dress is made of the same materials, their hair is worn in the same manner, and they are equally enslaved by the habit of chewing betel.

The merchants carry on their business here with less trouble perhaps than in any other part of the world: every manufacture is managed by the Chinese, who sell the produce of their labour to the merchant, resident here, for they are permitted to sell it to no one else; so that when a ship comes in, and bespeaks perhaps a hundred leagers of arrack, or any quantity of other commodities, the merchant has nothing to do but to send orders to his Chinese to see them delivered on board: he obeys the command, brings a receipt signed by the master of the ship for the goods to his employer, who receives the money, and having deducted his profit, pays the Chinese his demand. With goods that are imported, however, the merchant has a little more trouble, for these he must examine, receive, and lay up in his warehouse, according to the practice of other countries.

The Portuguese are called by the natives Oranserane, or Nazareen men, (Oran, being Man in the language of the country,) to distinguish them from other Europeans; yet they are included in the general appellation of Caper, or Casir, an opprobrious term, applied by Mahometans to all who do not profess their faith. These People, however, are Portuguese only in name; they have renounced the religion of Rome, and become Lutherans: neither have they the least communication with the country of their forefathers, or even knowlege of it: they speak indeed a corrupt dialect of the Portuguese language, but much more frequently use the Malay: they are never suffered to employ themselves in any but mean occupations: many of them live by hunting, many by washing linen, and some are handicraftsmen and artificers. They have adopted all the customs of the Indians, from whom they are distinguished chiefly by their features and complexion, their skin being considerably darker, and their noses more sharp; their dress is exactly the same, except in the manner of wearing their hair.

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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 750 - 751, 2004
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