Letters of a Javanese princess/Chapter 39

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XXXIX[1]

June 10, 1902.

DUTCH has always been my favourite study, and many people say that I am thoroughly at home in it. But heavens! fondness for a language is a very long way from knowledge of it. Next to languages I like geology. I also enjoy mathematics, but I am still struggling with the groundwork of history. Not that I do not like history; I think it is interesting and very instructive; but the manner in which it is set down in schoolbooks has little charm for me. I should like to have a teacher who knew how to make the dry parts interesting. What I do think delightful,is ancient history; it is a pity that so little of it has come my way. I should love to study the history of the Egyptians, and of the old Greeks and Romans.

We do not wish to make of our pupils half Europeans or European Javanese. We want a free education, to make of the Javanese, above everything, a strong Javanese. One who will be blessed with love and enthusiasm for his own land and people, with a heart open to their good qualities and to their needs.[2]


  1. To Mevrouw Abendanon.
  2. En somme Java est trop gouvemee. La remede est sous le main ; "Instruire las indigenes non pas avec I'idee d'em Faire des Europeans, mais dans le but de les preparer a devenir les collaberateurs intimes de ceux-ci." A. Fabert.