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and was first found growing wild in Arabia, Africa and some portions of South America. It is sometimes cultivated at a height of six thousand feet above the sea-level, but this only in warm countries, as the tree does not thrive in climates where the thermometer falls below 55 deg. In its wild state the tree grows from ten to thirty feet high, but when cultivated it is pruned down to five or six feet—the yield being greater, while the berry is much easier to harvest. The young plants are usually grown from the seed in nurseries, and when a year old are transplanted to such localities as desired. The tree, in favorable climates, begins to bear fruit at three years, but hardly in paying quantities until the fifth year. From this age the plant bears from two to three crops per annum for twenty years, after which the yield is hardly profitable, when the older trees are replaced with younger plants. The fruit of the coffee tree greatly resembles the cherry, in size and color, when ripe; the coffee, as we see it in commerce, being the seeds, of which there are two to each berry. The kernels are extracted, after the fruit is thoroughly dried, by being passed through wooden rollers, which crush and separate the hull from the grains. The best coffee is Mocha, grown in the province of Yemen, in Arabia; that from Java taking second place. Brazil is credited with producing something over half of all the coffee consumed in the world, although the quality is not equal to Mocha or Java. It is a little difficult to judge of the brands of coffee of fered in the markets nowadays, as much that is grown in outside districts, and of an inferior quality, is shipped to Mocha and other leading districts, and re-shipped under the brands of the best products from those places. Little is known of the early history of coffee, although we read of its being used as a beverage in Ethiopia as early as A. D. 875. At a more modern period, we note its introduction into Arabia from Af. rica—in the fifteenth century—and in Venice in 1615, and in England in about 1640. It was first introduced into Java by the Dutch between 1680 and 1690.
This great island, whose area exceeds 284,000 square miles, lying on either side of the equator, between latitude 7 deg. IO min. north and 3 deg. 40 min. south, and between longitudes 109 deg. 30 min. and 118 deg. 30 min. east, is the third in size among the islands of the Pacific.
The population is about three millions. There are many beautiful bays and inlets along its two thousand miles of coast line, although navigation is made exceedingly dangerous by the many islets and rocks that dot the sea along its shores. Beautiful rivers traverse Borneo, winding through its valley and plains, and are in most cases broad, navigable streams. Forty of this character are already known.
Great ranges of mountains rib the island here and there, some of them towering nearly 14,000 feet above the level of the sea.
Physically speaking, Borneo may be described as one immense forest, generally of moderate elevation —that is, 300 to 700 feet—traversed by great rivers, which descend from a central group of mountains, and surrounded by wide alluvial plains, edged with mangrove swamps, or broken up into low deltas, constantly subject to inundation. It has, therefore, a physical character distinct from that of Java or Sumatra. Its plains are of much greater extent, and its mountains, on an average, do not attain the same elevation. From northeast to southwest extends a chain of mountains, nearly parallel to, but at a great distance from, the west coast, which, in or near latitude 3 deg. north, curves around, to terminate at Cape Sipang. From this chain a short spur projects, and links it to a double range of lesser height, one of which runs southwest to a point near Cape Sambas, while the other pursues an irregular southeastern direction and reaches Cape Salatan. The culminating point of the first-named chain is Kinibulu, 13,680 feet in height. This is the loftiest summit on-the island, and on the east side of it lies a great lake, the source of numerous rivers. The other important peaks are Kamangting, in the southwest chain—6,500 feet; Lunangi, in the southeast, 6,300 feet; Meratoo, also in the southeast, 4,000; Batang-Loopar, east of Sarawak, 4,000; Krimbang and Saramboo, both south of Sarawak, 3,250 and 3,000. respectively; and Santibong, at the mouth of the river Sarawak, 2,050 feet. Thus it is evident that the general elevation of the island is not considerable. If it were sunk five hundred feet, at least four-fifths of its area would disappear, leaving several long peninsulas, of tolerable breadth, divided by broad ocean channels, and relieved by solitary mountain peaks rising here and there above the waters. If sunk one thousand
feet, nothing would remain but a few of these peninsulas; the ocean ways would be broader, and the mountain peaks wider apart.
We come now to the rivers of Borneo. In most countries the configuration of the surface is determined by the course of one principal river, or it is defined by the basins of two or three main streams. Thus, Germany is marked out by the basin of the Rhone and Loire; Egypt, by the valley of the Nile. So far as our knowledge of Borneo at present extends, it offers us no such assistance in surveying and laying down its superficial area. Its rivers are mostly tidal, but their basins seem to be very narrow, and they descend languidly and slowly through vast level deltas, which merge into inundated plains.
The littoral or shore country on the north and northwest, a comparatively level tract about six hundred miles in length, is watered by a perfect network of rivers, though probably not one of them exceeds a hundred and fifty miles in its full career. They rise from the range of mountains of which Kinibulu is the culminating summit, and their course being short, are more rapid than those in any other part of the island. Some of them preserve their fresh water character down to the very coast.
Tracing them from the north, we may notice, first, the River Brunai (Borneo), a broad sheet of water, navigable for some distance by large ships. Next, the Binbula and the Judal, both of which are considerable streams. Passing Cape Sinik, we observe the mouths of the Rejang, which, at eighty miles from its mouth, is one mile wide. Still larger than these is the noble Butong-Lupai, which measures nearly five miles across, and can float a large frigate. The Sarawak, famous in the annals of English enterprise, is not so remarkable for its length or breadth as for its numerous branches, which ramify in such a manner as to afford to an extensive district all the advantages of water communication. South of the equator we find the Mejak, the Sambas and the Kapooas. The first named was ascended by a Dutch steamer, as far as Malu, in March, 1855. The last named is one of the chief rivers on the island —perhaps the chief—measuring not less than seven hundred miles in its sinuous course. On the south coast we notice the Djelli, the Pembuan, the Medawi, the Great Dayak, the Little Dayak, the Kahajau, the Murong, and the Bangermassin, or Burdo. This last is connected by several arms with the Murong on the west, and thence again with the Kahajau ; so that a water-way penetrates into the very heart of the interior. In the lower part of its course it is continually overflowing the country, as its name indicates—Bangermassin (“frequent floods”). In the upper part it is called the Dooson, or village river, because its banks are occupied by several agricultural communities. It is fed on the east by the Nagara, a river which in itself is of considerable importance. On the east coast the rivers are not so large nor so numerous, but we notice the Kooti, with its wide delta, extending over one hundred miles of coast. It was ascended by Major Muller, a Dutch officer, in 1825, and he had succeeded in crossing the mountains and descending into the valley of the Kapooas, when he was murdered by the Dyaks. Further to the north lies the Pautai, or river of Beron.