At that time, I never met an Englishman who had a white face, for all of them had “mounted the green horse,” that is to say, were drunk. So much so, that when children cried, their mothers would say, “Be quiet, the drunken Englishman is coming,” and the children would be scared and keep quiet.
His spirit of romantic adventure led him literally to rush upon death; for, with another volunteer who attended the expedition, he threw himself into the surf, in order to be the first Briton of the expedition who should set foot upon Java. When the success of the well-concerted movements of the invaders had given them possession of the town of Batavia, Leyden displayed the same ill-omened precipitation in his haste to examine a library in which many Indian manuscripts of value were said to be deposited. A library, in a Dutch settlement, was not, as might have been expected, in the best order, the apartment had not been regularly ventilated, and, either from this circumstance, or already affected by the fatal sickness peculiar to Batavia, Leyden, when he left the place, had a fit of shivering and declared the atmosphere was enough to give any mortal a fever. The presage was too just; he took his bed, and died in three days (August 28), on the eve of the battle which gave Java to the British empire.
« Older What is the Internet anyway?... | Recently on BBC America they h... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt